How do you make God laugh?

Show him your plan, which you are really proud of, since a lot of brainpower and heart has poured into it and you stand behind it with all your personality …

This is how we felt – God laughed a lot! A party was planned, a very big, nice party with our friends and families. With a christening of the ship, a party and a departure from the beautiful Freespirit on Sunday, May 24th, 2020, just to sail towards the sun.

Nice plan.

And then came a tiny little thing that kept the world in suspense and our plans tumbled apart in all directions.

So life is.

But the nice thing is that we are human beings – flexible, adaptable and equipped with humor, a lot of humor.

And so we decided not to have any plans and to look at the circumstances and react to the respective situation.

And this decision was a good one: We shifted down a gear and approached the ship not with general staff but with feeling. And it’s a very exciting getting to know each other.

If we absolutely want to do tasks with pressure, the ship gives us back the pressure. When we work our way into the belly of our beauty step by step, she presents us with switches that we have been looking for a long time and suddenly see through a different perspective. We discover well-preserved substance if we muster the courage to face the rust with the hammer and hit the skin really hard. We are happy about all devices and machines that work flawlessly and make life really pleasant.

What has happened since February (Jutta since February 12th and Christian since February 19th)?

Well – the real center and Christian’s favorite place, i.e. machine room, was cleaned of unnecessary ballast: hoses, partly cables, all batteries, the old desalination plant, the old boiler, one of the old bilge systems, motors for various devices that no longer existed, and a spare parts box was removed.

Holes were discovered and closed on deck, the old windlass was cleaned with love, only to realize a short time later that it was too small for the chain our Freespirit needed and that it had to be replaced. Shrouds were fixed so that our main mast did not have to do a snake dance in the spring storms, lockers were ransacked and the contents were divided according to meaningful and devoid of meaning and the second was disposed of. It was a time of cleaning, sweating and stowing away of old and new.

Below deck every cabin was cleared, cleaned and re-arranged at least once – until the Tidls remembered that there was still something to do …

The galley is already fully owned by the lady of the “house” 😉 – It was also the first object of cleaning madness that Jutta attacked after being without Christian for a few days. Everything brought along has its place and it will be further optimized.

Optimizing is a normal condition on the ship and a constant process – it often means: Back to the start and clearing, refitting, mucking out. But that takes time and this gave us life.

We’re still on dry dock in Preveza and that’s a good thing! It enables us to approach our tasks more relaxed, to let something pass, to work stronger after a break on the solutions, to discuss, to refine and reject ideas, to consider alternatives, to analyze and to make decisions. Researching on the Internet (if possible), placing orders and receiving parcels, buying spare parts and materials in the Marinashop (since they opened again) and delivering them to the respective destination on the ship.

Even after four months, we discover something new – this is rather unusual with our curiosity, otherwise we are faster 😉 – We weigh up the next sensible steps, adapt to the increasingly hot weather and have found a relaxed rhythm for us.

What do we take with us from the current situation in the world?

We are doing very well here – we are almost alone on a huge private property in the middle of a mast forest, we have the marina for us: no mask wearing (if we don’t want to go to the shop), free movement on the property, water and electricity for the boat, beautiful Sanitary facilities just for us, washing machine and wild peppermint that nobody wants (the first syrup is already in the bottle and leaves for tea dried ;-)). We treat ourselves to a small car to be mobile. That is luxury. And of course our morning coffee on deck with wonderful conversations and the sunsets at the stern with a „day-end drink“ (sun downer).

Of course, life in Greece is just as limited as anywhere else in the world. But the Greeks are a life-affirming, happy people who correctly follow the instructions with a wink. Masks and gloves have been mandatory since March, shops can only be entered individually and only a certain number of customers are allowed on the sales area, initially there was a complete curfew (except for emergencies and for the food supply, doctor or pharmacist) since Mother’s Day the restaurants opened and on May 1st there was a big march. In addition to the grocery stores, other shops have been open two weeks ago and we noticed that it was getting louder again: more traffic, more public life.

From May 18th, the sea can be used again: swimming and shipping are allowed – that’s why it is getting a bit more busy in the marina too: locals, who have taken their boats out of the water during the winter, clean and repair them and we assume that many yachts will be launched this week.

We are with our beauty in the section of commercial shipping: excursion boats, charter yachts and catamarans are prepared for the various official inspections. It remains to be seen whether they will also be launched into the water. skepticism still prevails – the season has so far been written off.

Our neighbor, captain of a 93-person excursion boat, jokingly said that we would still be in dry dock in October when he returned for the  winter with his Ammoilia excursion boat, which runs between Paxos and Antipaxos. Christian just said succinctly that we would visit him in Antipaxos with our Freespirit in summer. Exchange of blows between sailors.

But the exchange is good, as far as our neighbors are fluent in English, because we learn a lot of tricks and tips in boat maintenance from the experienced sea dogs. Another neighbor has been restoring a beautiful wooden ship for 20 years, which he also offers for excursions. Something new is added every year, he tells us with a wink, while he picks up one of our homemade cinnamon buns. And about the cinnamon buns: „Their name is Saraglakia”. With that we had our first Greek lesson.

“Now I stop writing and start cooking ;-)” – “But save it!” were the words of the best husband in the world. 😀

Kali Spera!

Yours Jutta

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