Week one aboard has been everything: Amazing, dream-like, unbelievable, social, beautiful, overwhelming, chaotic, fun and yes, a bit frustrating at times, as to be expected. The day we launched Happy Dancer I was surprised and touched by the hundreds of Facebook messages, emails and comments we received. So many people are with us in their hearts, maybe never quite imagined all this would really happen one day, and lots of them encouraged to follow their own dreams which is beyond joy to see and hear.
We’ve been anchored in Kilada Bay, Greece, since the launch, first bringing the immense chaos – inherent to moving your life on board – into order and now installing a few more gadgets before our first 12 miles sail to Porto Heli, another stunningly beautiful and well protected bay here in the Argolic Gulf. Netting around the boat still needs to be installed and ideally the stainless polished before putting it on, a new gas bottle connected, more extra dinghy fuel be purchased and the water-maker started, to name but a few tasks. A boat is a constant piece of work, but we knew that when we got ourselves into this dream and we are enjoying every moment of it. Even the challenges, mind you, some to a lesser degree.
After my cousin and girlfriend’s wonderful albeit brief visit, we left our big box full of books, charts and boat papers in the van (which, by the way, is now for sale if anyone fancies a fantastic and economical European camping opportunity, ready to go). Unfortunately the mistake was only realized when they were already on board a ferry to Italy. After fruitless discussions with Italian authorities trying to get them to put the box on the next ferry back to Greece, poor Pablo has had to drive to Igoumenitsa (six hours), catch an overnight ferry to Italy, pick up the box in storage, catch the next ferry back and will hopefully be back with us tomorrow morning. A very silly, time-consuming, unnecessary and expensive mistake which has hopefully taught us to check everything not once, nor twice, but at the very least three times.
More importantly, we are all happy and healthy, the kids have taken to life afloat like fish to the sea, the boat and all its systems work well and we are following our hearts, exploring life to its fullest and daring to live our dream. Other sailors and the people in Basimakopouloi shipyard have been excellent, helpful in every way and very trustworthy. Honesty is something we’ve noticed seems to be big amongst Greek, and needless to say, amongst the cruising community. Whilst smiling does not appear to be everyone’s cup of tea in Greece, it never feels unsafe leaving anything unattended – kids’ balance bikes, cars, boats and even wallets or walkie talkies.
Due to the heat and Mediterranean culture, life stops between two and five in the after-noon, but stretches into warm and stunning star-lit summer nights which have seen us bond with locals on the playground and around tavernas. This side of the Argolic is only popular with Greek tourists, which is why we are already quite well known in many of these picturesque, traditional fishing villages. Pictures will but portray a shadow of how stunningly beautiful it really is here – and follow in my next post as the camera’s cable is back on board – and I’m writing form a Cafe with Wifi. No constant internet – Bless those little yet deep differences from life ashore;)
Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. Greek proverb