During late August I packed up our temporary apartment in Frankfurt-Oberursel and got everything ready for moving back across country to Schulzendorf. By September 4th we were back in the boatyard in Preveza attempting to get boat repairs organised and failing in an attempt to source a new engine. Engines, like most other things, have become scarce since Covid. By mid-September we had a dash to the UK for my old dad’s birthday and we called in at the Southampton Boat Show on the way to get some ideas about the latest equipment available.
Friends, Mayk and Peter, were holidaying near Preveza and they rented a house for us near them for a night which was a welcome break from living on the boat. By September 24th the old repaired engine had been lifted back into the boat and apart from some electrical work we were ready for launch. We decided we could make it to Preveza Marina, about half a mile away, and we would wait there for the electrician. The electrician turned up on the following Monday and after a new alternator was fitted, we were off into the Ionian Sea. By the first evening we reached Corfu and as it was getting dark, we called into Gouvia Marina. By the second evening we had a short nap in a remote bay in Albania. By the third evening we had another short sleep in a bay in Montenegro. We should have cleared-in to both countries but we had no intention of going ashore and were hoping we would not be spotted. We were and were intercepted by the Montenegro Police as we were about to cross into Croatian territorial waters. We had to pay a fine in Kotor but it turned out to be cheaper than the normal formalities. We cleared into Croatia in Dubrovnik and stayed in a marina there. By coincidence, the cruise ship that H has been working on recently, AIDAblu, was also in port and we invited Kapitän Peter Schade for breakfast on our boat deck. Later, when we were sailing out of Dubrovnik we had a salute on the ship’s horn which is a huge honour. We continued on in fairly rough seas to the island of Korcula where we anchored again. The next day, October 1st, we reached our destination at Marina Kastela near Split. We stayed in the marina for almost a week organising re-fit work and a lift-out. One day, we had lunch in Split with Oli, Chief Engineer on AIDAblu and his wife Nikolina. They live nearby. It is through Oli’s contacts that we decided to have our refit done in Croatia. Graptolite was lifted out October 7th and we flew back to Berlin the next day.
This blog site is usually used just for our non-sailing travels but this boat stuff was included here as it was more of a trip between boatyards than exploring. The yacht Graptolite has a blog of her own, more suited for recording sea voyages and can be found at http://www.graptolite.eu/. There is yet another related blog at http://blog.mailasail.com/graptolite which is intended for updates and position data by satellite phone on ocean passages.