Vlicho Reprise

Vlicho Reprise

Vlicho Bay, Greece. Rabbit sent me a text on Tuesday morning. The dinghy guy wanted to talk turkey. So, we lifted anchor at Port Atheni and headed back to the boat harbour in Vlicho. We were somewhat sad to leave Atheni because we could jump off the boat and swim when it got too hot, and it’s certainly been hot. Vlicho offers no such remedies as the harbour is a working port and the water is murky. But we were looking forward to resolving the dinghy situation.

We had worked out a system for getting to the restaurant. We put towels, phones, money and a change of clothes into a gear bag. Then, Ruth and I would tow Ben on his large tyre, carrying the bag over his head. On the far shore, we would change out of our swimming gear into evening clothes, and walk the mile or so to the taverna. After dinner, we walked back amongst the cicadas, back to the boat. We repeated the procedure and climbed back on board.

In Vlicho, we tied up beside Takkis’s barge and were informed that the dinghy is beyond repair, it seems. It’s actually not that old. It came from Lidl or Aldi I seem to recall. It’s a B-Spliced model, which is new to me. I don’t doubt that it is beyond repair. When I had a go at fixing it, one of the other pads lifted away like a post-it note, from the sponson. The PVC glue was gone, probably everywhere. The dinghy guy sold us a 2.7m RIB for 300 euro plus our original dinghy. I have no doubt he’ll probably redo all of the glue on the old one and sell it to someone else. He’s welcome to it. I don’t doubt the work involved. The bad news is that the RIB won’t be ready until Saturday or Sunday. We are back to Corfu on Monday, so we won’t get much benefit from it. No matter. It’ll be ready when Mike gets here on Tuesday.

I managed to persuade Rabbit to part with a small, rigid hull dinghy which someone returned to him, while we were tied alongside. So, we have something. We spent yesterday unclogging the bilge and shower pumps, and cleaning the boat. Not nice work, even in cold weather. Tim had bought a spiffy, new water inlet deck fitting but didn’t have time to install it. I bought some sikaflex and new hose clamps, and went at it. The first job is to remove the old sikaflex, which is this rubbery compound used to create a watertight and flexible seal. That took about half an hour of prodding with a putty knife before the old deck fitting came away. I then spent some time cleaning the old sikaflex off the deck. Finally, after a quick wipe with some acetone, the deck was ready for the new fitting. Lo and behold, it’s smaller than the old one. I should have checked. I noted that both had three screws so I didn’t need to drill the fibreglass, but I never compared the circumferences. D’Oh!!!

The old deck fitting is actually for pumping out the waste water from the holding tank, but had been repurposed as a water inlet. Not the most assuring, to be sticking a fresh water hose down a deck fitting labelled “Waste.” Also, the screw on lid has never been secure. That means that some salt water may leak in to the fresh water tanks and also it’s a nuisance to remove.

So, choices available in the noon-day sun; re-install the old fitting, or install the new one and back-fill the larger hole. After much deliberation, I chose the latter. Rabbit appeared and made up some two part paste to fill the screw hole for the old fitting. However, it needed to dry before installing the new fitting. We decided to go ashore for some food and maybe a beer, given the unseasonable heat. We took the dinghy down to the village in Vlicho, and in the process of pouring petrol into the outboard, the filler cap fell off into the water. I had to hold my hand over the fuel tank as we motored across the bay. On return, it was either go looking for a filler cap for an oldish Suzuki two-stroke, or get out the snorkel and mask. I went diving in the murky harbour water and found the cap! I dried it out, washed it in petrol, and put it back on.

We couldn’t wait to get away from the heat of the barge, so we dropped our lines and motored to the opposite side of the bay, where we spent the night on the hook. We treated ourselves to a nice meal in the exquisite “Seaside Restaurant” and took the dinghy back to the anchorage. The bulb for the mooring light is gone. It’s at the top of the mast, so someone is going to need to go climbing. Finding the boat in the dark was a little challenging, but fun all the same. Ben drove us back to the boat. He’s very natural in the dinghy. Some people hold on to whatever grabrail they can, with white knuckles. He sits on the sponson, relaxed and chilled out.

Today, I want to mount that deck fitting, haul the anchor and finally head for Sivota. Hopefully we won’t be back here until Sunday or Monday and we need to start cleaning the boat before driving back to Corfu.

Dermot Tynan's Picture

About Dermot Tynan

Part-time sailor, full-time procrastinator. Software Engineer, Writer, Film-maker. Interested in all things cloud, sailing, autonomous systems and robotic sailboats.

Galway, Ireland http://intothemystic.eu