Sailing in 2001

Sailing in 2001 was interrupted by a big problem: I had to replace the boat's diesel engine. So it can be divided into two parts: before and after.

I set out from Poros on the Greek Easter Saturday with a friend from England. Getting the boat ready was difficult as the engine didn't arrive back from Athens where they were regrinding cylinders till the Wednesday and it was hastily--too hastily--installed in the boat. I had problems from the start as many of the bolts weren't tightened adequately and the high-pressure oil line wasn't secured so that it was cut within 10 minutes of the engine being started. Other problems showed up with time.

We sailed over to Sifnos where the first of several storms rolled in from the west. In a month which expected one storm I had three, though mercifully I wasn't caught outside in them. But some damage was inevitable.

We picked up another friend and headed to Paros, then down to Ios and Thira where I was left without any crew. I really loved Thira (Santorini) with its volcanoes and high cliffs. I had planned to head on to Crete, but my next crew couldn't come so I decided to visit Crete by ferry and turned instead due east and continued to Rhodes via Astipalea, Nisiros and Simi.

Two more friends arrived in Rhodes and we set out to go round the island in an anticlockwise direction, but alas the winds increased and we had to take shelter on Simi, which was as far as we got before returning to Rhodes. I then took the boat over to Marmaris where I left it for a month as I had business in England.

On my return, I got several mechanics to look at the engine and they were unanimous: the engine had to come out as it had multiple problems. As it was underpowered anyway, I decided this was enough: I needed a new, or at least, reconditioned, engine. It proved impossible to find another Yanmar in Turkey. Any that come available are snapped up. But I did manage to locate a Syrian in Athens who marinised second-hand Yanmars and I visited him and agreed a deal.

The main problem was delivery: in the end I decided to take delivery in Rhodes and in early September sailed over sans engine to fetch it. It was an interesting trip, with patches of total calm and force 5 winds in the channel and anchoring in Rhodes harbour. But I made it, and left a German mechanic in Marmaris to install the new 2-cylinder engine.

There was one week left for sailing in October. I had a lovely sail around Gocek and Fethiye before leaving the boat in the marina at Marmaris for the winter.