“There’s balls, mummy! Mummy, there’s balls, look! Look!” was the first words I heard when we woke up after a rather late night, flying into Athens. Outside the window, a blossoming tree filled with juicy ripe oranges smiled at me in the sunshine. Stunning! The Greek yoghurt that followed for breakfast was to die for, light years better than even the best one I had ever had before. The kids and us alike buried our warm UK winter shoes with delight in the furthest corner of the suitcase, exchanging them for bare feet or thongs – memories of Australia floating back… And Spain as the rough beautifully flowing landscape on our way to Kilada reminded us of our days in Almeria last summer. Then, we were still boatless. Not so now.
Happy Dancer was waiting for us smiling. Stepping aboard felt like coming home. The prior owner went far and beyond our contractual agreement of a couple of days intro to the boat and it’s systems; welcoming us with Champagne aboard, explaining every system from bow to stern, introducing us to helpful people in the yard, becoming best buddies with Noah, showing us the places to know in the region for spares, repairs or local produce and even inviting us to a delicious traditional dinner. Thanks Klaus! You will always be a welcome VIP on board!
The place, similarly, a paradise. The yard, professional, despite the sad accident that had happened that morning when a steel yacht crashed of the crane due to human error. Ten minutes from being launched. Ten meters missing for a dream to be fulfilled. Now the devastated owners have to think of how to fill the blank left behind by a bust year or so planned voyage to the Caribbean and back or beyond. Even though a Panteanius representative was on site evaluating the damage less then 24 hours later, time is nothing even the best insurance company can pay back…
Anyway, shit happens, even big shit. They say challenges make us grow. Without storms, we’d stay as pitiable and miserable as our nagging neighbours back in Hampshire. Nevermind. Can’t wait to be back on another full moon, sailing to Puerto Heli’s Thursday markets for local produce and meeting the few other foreigners in the area. Barely anyone speaks English. Greek often sounds like Spanish. Shouldn’t be too hard to pick up a few words. Locals seem to love kids and even Kilada, the tiny village where we are moored, has a massive playground – right next to a great value and amazingly yummy little restaurant. What more to ask for!?!