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BACK ABOARD ENVOY IN GREECE

We had a great trip up from Auckland enjoying one night stopovers in Dubai and Athens. The flight to Dubai is nearly 17 hours, but the time seemed to pass OK with nice meals, plenty of movies to watch and a few hours sleep. The economy class seats have…

RETURN TO ENVOY NOW IMMINENT

Diane booked our fares yesterday and dealing with Emirates had no issues getting our travel arranged at short notice at good pricing with departure next Friday. We’ll spend one night in Dubai and one in Athens before catching the bus for the five hour …

ENVOY’S 2109 CRUISING

We are home in Auckland, NZ while Envoy is in Greece’s Lefkada marina.We hope to know by this time next week – Thursday 2 May that all is on track for our return to the Med for several months of cruising – watch this space!

MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT

We are currently home in Auckland, NZ and expect to return to Envoy to do some cruising mid-May. Envoy’s new owners will join us during part of this time for a joint cruise.

There all types of boaties and about as many different approaches to the subject of boat care and maintenance. At one extreme plenty of derelict-looking boats can be seen on moorings, apparently never used with growth dangling below their hulls, while at the other extreme some owners can be seen on their anchored boats lovingly cleaning their pride and joy all day long.
Boating is about enjoyment – cruising to great anchorages, swimming, diving, fishing, children playing on the beach, BBQs with family and friends etc and as such it’s well to consider that care and maintenance should focus more on the technical than the cosmetic aspects – minor marks and imperfections show that adventures and fun have been had, they add character and are part of a boat’s life story. This is not to say that gelcoat and stainless steel shouldn’t be cared for and we’ve learned long ago that regularly washing accumulated salt off our topsides and stainless steel pays huge dividends. We also get our topsides gelcoat professionally polished annually.
It can be challenging to monitor all of the checks and subsequent maintenance required aboard modern vessels with the growing complexity of the equipment they carry, especially as we all tend to focus on the immediate problems needing our attention rather than those in the future. So how can we keep track of the myriad of routine maintenance issues?
Our own approach is to be pragmatic and practical but not pedantic and we try to strike a balance between preventative maintenance and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.
Maintenance normally falls into one of three categories:
# something that you notice needs doing – eg you see a frayed vee belt
# something based on hours of use – eg replacing engine oil and filter after 200 hours
# something based on elapsed time – eg replacing your oil and filter annually regardless of elapsed hours
The simplest way to manage this process is to go through the maintenance sections of your equipment manuals and make one list of what needs to be done at various time intervals, for example daily, weekly, monthly, 3-monthly, annually etc, plus another list showing the equipment to be maintained and its maintenance requirements every 100 hours, 200 hours, 500 hours etc.
When planning your maintenance consider that it’s often best to group similar maintenance items together. For example when replacing the oil and filters on the engine(s), consider doing the generator at the same time, particularly if you’re paying a mechanic to do this – if your oil is supposed to be changed at 200 hours it doesn’t really matter if it turns out to be 180 or 220 hours.
Some owners like to do as much as possible themselves while others like to mostly use contractors.
If using contractors try to be aboard your vessel while they’re working. It may lead to better results and at the least you will often learn useful information. Always check what has been done including a sea trial if anything more than minor work has been done on vital equipment.
It’s a good idea for any boat to have an Operation Manual. This can range in size from a few pages for a smaller boat to probably around a hundred pages for a larger complex one. Not only does this simplify the operation of your boat but it’s a valuable asset when it’s time to sell. This Manual should document where equipment is located – particularly for safety-critical items like isolating switches and seacocks, how systems work – for example how to change from one fuel or fresh water tank to another and maintenance procedures – how to change oil, oil filters, fuel filters etc.
Another useful document is a list of spare parts carried aboard and their location, so they can be found quickly in an emergency like a vee belt breaking on your main engine while under way. Keep this updated so that used parts are replaced as soon as possible. Parts are expensive and should always be well packaged for their protection and stored in cool, dry conditions.
Aboard Envoy we like to keep things simple and rely on a few handwritten documents. Rather than jotting things down on various pieces of paper that get lost we use a Daybook to write down information relating to the boat’s operation. For example if we’re thinking about replacing an item of equipment and want to do some research about it we note the pertinent facts in the Daybook. We also keep a separate Logbook to record details of the voyage, for example where we’ve been been, what we’ve done and people we’ve met.
Another important document for us is our To Do List and my unlikely-to-be-achieved life’s ambition is to have nothing on this list (I’ve yet to meet a boat owner who says there’s nothing that needs doing on their boat).
Finally to maximize your technical security and independence it’s essential to carry aboard a comprehensive toolkit, manuals for all installed equipment, and an extensive range of chandlery items. Then even if you can’t fix something yourself this may enable a fellow boatie to assist you.

REALITY CHECK – BUY Vs CHARTER

Envoy is in Greece’s Lefkas Marina. We expect to return there mid-May for several months’ cruising including some time with her new owners.

We recently wrote this article published in Pacific MotorBoat magazine.

When Envoy, our Greece-based Nordhavn 46 passagemaker was for sale, one inquiry is from a Kiwi guy saying that due to work commitments he’d only able to travel to Greece to use the boat for about one month a year. He asks my opinion on this idea. As much as I want to sell Envoy and proceed with our new boating plans I don’t want to mislead anybody so tell him it would be much more practical and cost-effective to charter one of the thousands of boats available throughout the Med. My reply is based not only on cost, but also on the fact it takes at least a week to get your boat ready for cruising and about the same to lay her up again for winter. He agrees and this prompts me to write this article.
We’ve chartered boats several times here in NZ, in Britain and in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands and never been disappointed. If you own a boat locally there’s a lot to be said for chartering overseas during our winter for a much-needed sunshine boost combined with enjoying a cruising adventure in a different location. Consider the Whitsundays, Pacific islands, the countries bordering the Mediterranean, the exotic Caribbean or Alaska’s Inside Passage. Alternatively you could explore British canals by narrow boat enjoying the many pubs along the way or meander through European canals enjoying croissants and coffee in the morning and wine in the afternoon.
However it’s quite another option and mind shift to charter locally insteadof owning your own boat, even though there’s a compelling logical and financial case to do so where people enjoy boating, but would use their boat infrequently (say less than about 20 days in a year).
There are two main issues to consider when comparing ownership with charter – the intangible and the tangible (financial) aspects.
Several intangible factors favoring ownership include pride in your vessel, the ability to potter around aboard doing odd jobs, having the exact boat and equipment you prefer, knowing how to handle your own boat and her limitations, being able to keep your gear aboard and of course unrestricted availability for use.
Conversely several intangible factors favoring charter include the ability to use different types and sizes of boat, cruising in different locations, being able to step on and off without the worry of repairs and maintenance (R&M) and being able to try out cruising before making a major financial commitment to purchase a boat.
Then we come to the tangible – the financial question. The cost of boat ownership is something many owners probably don’t like to think about and is only generally discussed in hushed tones, preferably without spouses present. As the saying goes, if you have to think about this you can’t afford it.
Let’s consider the costs attached to a typical 12 metre twin-engine planing fly-bridge launch about 15 years old costing NZ$300,000, of which there are many similar examples currently advertised.
First you have to consider annual cash costs which I’ve calculated as: marina $9,000, insurance $2,800 and R&M $12,000, totaling $23,800. In this calculation the marina and insurance costs can be accurately defined, but R&M is always a guesstimate based on factors like the vessel’s age and condition, how much work the owner does versus using contractors, how fastidious the owner is and whether the owner wants to upgrade ageing equipment etc. Some years may be less than $12,000 but in other years factors will certainly come out of left field to exceed it.
Since we are comparing ownership with charter, where diesel is an extra cost, the above figures don’t include diesel. But a good guess on costs would be about $8,400 based on using your boat for a reasonably common 200 engine hours annually, averaging 30 litres per hour and a diesel cost of $1.40 per litre.
To bare-boat charter a vessel around 12m typically costs about $1,000 to $1,500 per day depending on location, season and vessel type so let’s take an average of $1,250. This would reduce if you share the charter experience and cost with others (which many charterers do). These figures show you only need to use your boat more than 19 days per year for ownership to be the better financial option.
However we are missing vital components in this equation – the non cash costs of depreciation and opportunity cost.
The vast majority of boats depreciate and like cars the level’s higher for newer boats until they eventually reach a level where their depreciation is negligible.
A fair figure for depreciation on a boat of this age would probably be around 5 per cent annually, so in the first five years of ownership the depreciation cost would be about $68,000 or about $13,600 per year. 
Opportunity cost refers to the fact that if you didn’t spend that $300,000 on a boat it would be earning for you. In recent years that would easily be 5 per cent annually in a managed fund. So over 5 years that is about $83,000 or about $16,600 annually. Are these “real costs”? You betcha – the actual figures may vary higher or lower than this example but they are real nonetheless.
Now we have quite a different picture with your total ownership cost being about $54,000 annually and chartering being beneficial at any usage level below about 43 days per year. Of course if you borrow money and pay interest to buy your boat the figures change even more in favor of chartering.
To hell with logic though, in our case we’ll follow our hearts not our heads and stick with ownership combined with occasional chartering in exotic locations.

ENVOY’S 2019 CRUISING PLANS

Although the sale of Envoy was finalised late last year, the new Brisbane-based owners don’t plan to use her until they retire and part of our sales agreement was that we are able to still use Envoy this year.At the time we left Envoy we were inclined …

THE MAGNIFICENT MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS

Watch this space for some news of Envoy’s future plans about this time next week.
Here is an article we wrote that was recently published in Pacific PowerBoat magazine.

The North Island’s north-east coast and the greater Marlborough Sounds area provide New Zealand’s two prime cruising areas. Many visitors only experience Queen Charlotte Sound as their ferry cruises into Picton, but this is only a small part of the broader “Sounds” cruising area also comprising Kerepuru and Pelorus Sounds, D’Urville and several other smaller islands, Taman Bay including the coastal sections of the Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay, together constituting over a fifth of New Zealand’s entire coastline.
The majority of cruisers here are South Islanders, but some hardy Wellingtonians venture across the often challenging (particularly in fresh northerlies and southerlies) Cook Strait, both from Wellington harbour itself, some 50 miles distant and from Mana only about 25 miles away.
Indeed the notorious Cook Strait has a history of shipwrecks including the Union Steamship Company’s ferry Wahine in 1968 in winds up to 160 knots with the loss of 153 lives and the Soviet Union’s cruise ship Mikhail Lermontov in 1986 with the loss of one crew member.
In early January we arrive by ferry after a calm Cook Strait crossing, entering the Tory Channel with its swirling tidal rips to view wooded hills gently sloping down from around 600 metres in places to sparkling blue (albeit rather chilly) waters, rocky shorelines and delightful sandy coves. Heading up Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton we pass fish farms and sparsely situated holiday homes, many with the ultimate in privacy being accessible only by sea. Later the building intensity increases as we pass the impressive Waikawa marina to port. This is New Zealand’s third largest marina and one of five in the area, the others being located at Picton, Havelock, Nelson and Port Tarakohe (near Takaka) all with fuel available.
Maori have inhabited the area for several hundred years and the first European to visit here was Abel Tasman in 1642, but it was well over a hundred years before the next Europeans led by Captain Cook visited here in 1770. He made efforts to meet and understand Maori and while this was largely successful there were also some violent encounters. Whalers established shore stations during the 1820s and although whaling’s heyday was over by 1850 the last station didn’t close until 1964.
We drive off the ferry at Picton and head to Whatamango Bay to stay with friends at their beachside holiday home. Picton itself is a delightfully quaint village with its ferry terminal and commercial wharves to the west and the marina to the east from where all manner of sightseeing and fishing trips are available as well as bareboat charters.
The waterfront and few short main streets are interesting and lined with basic shops as well as many bars, cafes and restaurants. A short drive south takes you past the airport to one of New Zealand’s most famous wine growing areas with many well-known vineyards offering tasting and quality dining.
To the south of this area and about thirty minutes drive from Picton, Blenheim is the region’s main town and offerins most facilities.
Our friends are keen boaters owning an impressive Christchurch-built seven metre Huntsman Crusader, kept on a convenient mooring reducing the need to launch and retrieve it. Next day six of us head off for a few hours fishing. The Crusader leaps onto the plane with its powerful 200hp 4-stroke Yamaha outboard comfortably achieving 20 knots at 4,400rpm and topping out 35 knots at 5,500rpm.
Cod is the most prevalent fish here and we find this every bit as delicious (many would argue more so) than snapper, found in larger numbers further north. We easily reach the daily limit of two each and interestingly land eight different species in a couple of hours including cod, rock cod, terakihi, barracuda, shark, spiny dogfish, leatherjacket, gurnard and octopus – an unusual combination compared to our experiences further north. Our hosts tell us that additional common species include red cod, sea perch, kahawai, snapper, spottie, kingfish, eels and rays. It’s not unusual to see seals, leopard seals, whales, dolphins and orcas while divers can also find mussels, crayfish and scallops subject to restrictions in place at various times.
Between D’Urville Island and the mainland is the narrow and notorious French Pass where dangerous tidal currents can reach 8 knots and cause whirlpools. This is New Zealand’s strongest tidal current caused by a two metre difference between tide levels on Cook Strait to the east and Tasman Bay to the west.
Anchorages here are picturesque and plentiful with moorings also available in some areas (the Mana Cruising Club owns about a hundred). Except for the entrances to the Sounds most areas are free from ocean swell, but the wind is often strong and can whip up a surprisingly large and uncomfortable chop. Katabatic winds can also sweep down the hillsides taking unprepared boats by surprise.
Everybody knows the Sounds are stunning, but the area is much larger than commonly imagined and to explore the area fully would require about a month of cruising, something we hope to achieve one day – a good option for us may be to buy our next boat in that area, spend some time cruising there and cruise back to Auckland.

WHY SO MANY KIWIS AND AUSSIES CRUISE THE MED

This is an edited version of our article recently published in Pacific PowerBoat magazine
Travel not to escape life but so life doesn’t escape you
You don’t have to cruise far in the Med to come across a yacht flying the Silver Fern or Boxing Kangaroo flag from its yardarm. I say “yacht” deliberately because the vast majority of Australasian Med cruisers are found aboard sailing yachts (including many catamarans) and rarely aboard motor vessels. Most of the cruisers we meet are retired couples aged in their 50s on who’ve bought their new or pre-owned boats in Europe. 
Here there are many more boats for sale and consequently more choice and cheaper prices. 
Some cruisers plan to ship or sail their boats home, although if you are planning this you need to consider the total cost of getting your boat back to Australasia including GST and duty. 
There’s also a far smaller number of cruisers who’ve sailed their boats to the Med either as their destination or as part of a circumnavigation. There used to be many more circumnavigators but the piracy issues on Africa’s north-east coast have considerably reduced their numbers.
In the Med you come across many other nationalities – in no special order mainly Americans, Canadians, British, French, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Dutch, Danish and Swedish, but over the years we’ve found Australians the friendliest.
New Zealand has some fantastic accessible cruising areas, particularly the North Island’s north-east coast and the South Island’s Marlborough Sounds (Blog posting coming soon on the Sounds). However the total area of these destinations is quite limited and while it’s great to cruise back to favourite haunts you soon run out of new and varied cruising destinations.
Australia undoubtably has a very strong boating community, but quality cruising (as opposed to day or weekend boating) seems to be pretty much restricted to the east coast, particularly Queensland. 
In this tropical area the sea is nicely tepid, but unlike the Med swimming opportunities can be limited by the dangers of sharks, crocodiles and poisonous jelly fish.
Adventure and diversity
So the first thing the Med offers is adventure, the ability to explore a huge cruising area about 2,500 miles from west to east and 500 miles north to south, with an area of 970,000 square miles containing about 3,300 islands and a coastline of 29,000 miles. 
The Med’s large enough that it’s divided into seven smaller seas: from west to east the Alboran, Balearic, Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, Ionian, Adriatic and Aegean and each one offers months of cruising possibilities.
Twenty one European, African and Middle-Eastern countries border the Med and this fascinating diversity of cultures offers more cruising variety and historical interest than anywhere else on our planet. Here you can anchor in the same bay where at different times Persians, Phoenecians, Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Crusaders and Ottomans have anchored and many areas famous battles have been fought from ancient times right up to WW 2.
If natural scenery is your thing you can anchor near Santorini’s Caldina and ponder on one of the world’s largest volcanic eruptions that caused a massive tsunami, ending Crete’s Minoan civilisation.
To put the Med’s cruising possibilities in perspective during nine seasons we’ve spent 1,442 days aboard Envoy, cruised 16,300 miles through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia, visited about 100 islands and still only covered about 20 per cent of the Med.
Great weather
The Med’s subtropical weather is the next appeal, particularly as its summer coincides with Australasian winter. Although some cruisers live aboard all-year-round spending the relatively mild Med winter in a marina most choose to cruise from about May to September when you can expect stable sunny weather without clouds or rain. Although it can be hot with temperatures often reaching the mid 30s or more, there’s little humidity and the sun doesn’t have the searing ultra-violet levels we encounter. Predominantly northerly winds can be strong often reaching mid-20 knots during afternoons, but then mostly dying away overnight. In some areas like Croatia there are notorious katabatic winds that cruisers need to be aware of as well as thunderstorms throughout the Med, mostly from September on that cause squalls and wind direction changes.
Stunning scenery
The Med largely has stunning coastal scenery and many spectacular beaches with mostly clean and clear waters with that famous turquoise colour and nothing in the warm water that’s going to hurt you. Yes many beaches are quite crowded (as many are here) in the July to August high season, but you can generally find your own quiet hideaway. With some notable exceptions when cruising in Australia or New Zealand there’s not much of huge interest to see ashore whereas scattered along the Med coast are countless interesting villages and towns each contributing their own piece of history and unique points of interest. Additionally you will find rustic beach-side tavernas, often thrown up just for the summer in a way that would have our health and safety inspectors pulling their hair out, but never lacking frosty glasses full of ice-cold local beer.
Reasonable cost
Cruising in the Med can be surprisingly economical as putting boat-related costs aside (you would have those at home anyway) the costs of most foods as well as eating out are significantly cheaper than found at home. You also have the bonus of visiting interesting markets to buy many of your fresh provisions. The ladies will soon discover that shopping isn’t restricted to the necessities of life with plenty of retail therapy opportunities to explore. 
Marinas for wintering over are a similar cost to Australasia although summer casual marina prices can be very expensive, typically NZ$80-180 per night. To keep costs down it’s best to anchor wherever possible or moor stern-to to a town quayside being far cheaper and more atmospheric than marinas. The eastern Med is generally cheaper than the western.
Safety
There’s no piracy in the Med and ashore is generally safe except in some of the countries on the African and Middle-Eastern coast. Only in the larger Italian and Spanish cities do visitors need to be aware of pickpockets and theft from vehicles.
You could cruise the Med for a lifetime and not see it all, but it’s certainly fun trying.

WE MEET THE OWNERS OF STARLET

A couple of weeks back we had the huge pleasure of meeting Mark and Jennifer, the American owners of N46 Starlet, currently in Auckland’s Westhaven marina. 
They purchased Starlet in the States then cruised across the Atlantic to explore the Med, cruised back across the Atlantic to the States, then across the Pacific to New Zealand.
Being very keen scuba divers they had a very leisurely cruise across the Pacific stopping not only at some of the well-known islands but also at many remote reefs to dive.
Built about ten years after Envoy, Starlet is a magnificent vessel and a credit to her owners. She has a different layout to Envoy, the main variations being her forward main stateroom (Envoy’s is amidships), wider galley layout, a flybridge above the pilothouse and a boarding platform (making diving a lot easier). 
Starlet also has no stair access from the pilothouse to the the forward stateroom, making for more space in the pilothouse. We also liked her carpeted saloon and stairway up to the pilothouse. 
Starlet uses passive stabilisers (ie paravane type) and Mark commented that often deploying one is sufficient for comfort. She also carries a dive compressor.
It never ceases to amaze me how these remarkable and comparatively small (46ft or 14m) vessels safely transverse oceans, bearing in mind that many “superyachts” don’t cross the major oceans on their own hulls.
Mark and Jennifer mentioned they’d missed visiting Fiji on the way here so they plan to cruise up to Fiji and back to rectify that. This was said in the same casual way a local might talk about cruising to Great Barrier Island for the weekend!
It seems Starlet’s future plans also include visiting the South Island, crossing to Australia and visiting S E Asia. Wishing Mark and Jennifer continued great adventures and safe cruising.

Next Post – why so many Kiwis and Aussies cruise the Med.

OUR LAST DAYS ABOARD ENVOY

Envoy is in winter storage in Lefkas Marina, Greece and we are home in Auckland.
In late October we cruise back into Greece’s Lefkas Marina with my brother Charles still aboard.
The weather is still great and totally suitable for cruising, though it generally deteriorates rapidly during November.
Although we had our smaller “spare” Raymarine radar serviced in August and the fluorescent back lighting replaced with LEDs the screen is still too hard to see, even at night. So we take it back to Dieter at Metronix and he tells us what we expected to hear; that the unit is from the early 2000s and old not only in years but in technology, being an LCD screen. The latest similar-sized units have a GPS/Plotter included so will solve the problem of replacing our failed Northstar GPS too. Also they support AIS which neither of our present radars do. So Dieter visits Envoy to check installation costs and quotes us for an Axiom 7 Display unit, Quantum Q24C Radar, Navionics charts for the plotter function and installation so that we can discuss this with our prospective buyer.

The same day that the Internaftiki engineer arrives to work on our noisy stabilisers (see last Post) our buyer arrives with his two friends, Graham and Andrew for their first look at Envoy. 
I’m not using the buyer’s name as he prefers to remain anonymous at this point. 
The initial inspection all goes well and they are totally satisfied that Envoy is in fact in better condition than they expected. We’d not met our buyer previously but all get on extremely well and enjoy a sociable dinner that evening.
The next day we do a sea trial and again all goes well – however I’m not satisfied with the Naiad stabilisers and later contact Internaftiki again. But the season is running out of time and there’s no chance for them to visit Lefkas before our departure for NZ, so we agree they will visit to solve the problem during preparation for Envoy’s next cruise, whenever that may be.
We have always needed to flake the anchor chain into its locker because there’s a large spare anchor stowed in the bottom of the anchor locker and this reduces the vertical space available to stow the chain. We’ve never used this spare anchor (having two other spares) and in fact it’s so heavy I would not be able to lift it out of the locker anyway. I discuss this with our buyer and suggest we remove this anchor to eliminate the need for someone to flake the chain. During our sea trial we lay out 80 metres of chain to expose the spare anchor in the bottom locker and Graham and Andrew lift it out. Then we retrieve the chain and as expected find that it doesn’t need flaking. As a result we remove this anchor from the boat. In retrospect we could have done this a lot earlier and avoided the need for Di to flake the anchor chain many hundreds of times over all those years.
Next day we lift Envoy out of the water for a hull survey. Again all goes well and subsequently the deal is finalised. We then spend a few days with the buyer explaining Envoy’s operation and systems as well as introducing him to some of the key people around the marina.
Charles heads back to Scotland on Sunday 28 October, known as Ochi Day in Greece, celebrating Greece’s refusal to allow Italian troops to occupy Greece in World War 2. The Italians consequently attacked Greece but were routed by Greek troops until battle-hardened Germans came to aide Italy and turned the tide of battle. Ochi Day is treated very seriously like our own Anzac Day and masses of people turned out in a sea of waving blue and white Greek flags to watch their parade.
Next day out buyer and his friends leave and we’re by ourselves again.

Our last “cruise” is a few hundred metres to the refueling jetty where we load 1,800 litres of diesel from a tanker to top up Envoy’s tanks – boats should always be left with fairly full tanks to reduce moisture ingress through condensation. The tanker driver tells us this diesel is imported and unlike local diesel has no bio-diesel content. This is good because while bio-diesel may be good for the environment (although this is highly debatable) it it more hygroscopic and not so good for long term storage stability.

We spend the last few days packing our personal effects and preparing Envoy for winter storage including fitting her winter storage cover.
On our last Saturday night we go out for dinner with Vassilis from Sailand and his English wife Judy.
It was Vasillis who arranged our accommodation last year while Envoy’s fire damage was being repaired. They take us to a small village high in the hills behind Lefkas where there’s a small and rustic family-owned taverna. There’s no menu and after a brief discussion between Vassilis and the owner we’re inundated with delicious Greek dishes including local sausages, grilled eggplant with balsamic drizzle, moussaka, grilled lamb, Greek salad and white wine made from their own grapes. As often happens we’re surrounded by local cats – in fact six of them. One kitten looks particularly frail and Judy decides to take it home to care for it. The kitten is happy to oblige and nestles contentedly in Judy’s arms. Sadly we later learn that it only survived a few days.
On Wednesday 7thwe leave Envoy to spend our last night in Lefkada ashore in the marina’s hotel.
This is the end of a major era in our lives – 12 years of owning Envoy and two years of prior research. During those 12 years we spent the substantial parts of eight years cruising plus the much shorter time this year totaling 1,442 days spent aboard, cruising 16,297nm and logging 3,220 engine hours.
Not only have we enjoyed this immensely ourselves but shared special times with 35 family members and close friends. Now we hand the mantle to Envoy’s new Australian owners and hope they have as much adventure and enrichment of their lives as we’ve enjoyed.
Just this week I learned that the parts for our B&G wind speed gear, expected to arrive late August, have finally arrived!

So far as this Blog is concerned – I still have some articles to complete for boating magazines and will put them on the Blog as well as any other boating related material that comes to mind.
Next Spring we plan to do some canal boating in France so will report on that too.