This winter is colder than usual in Greece. I did the procedures I was used to in Northern Europe (I even had a couple of “antivries” bottles left over from Holland :-) ) to avoide any freeze damade and I am safe. Matilda is now covered in snow waiting for warmer days.
Saturday, January the 6th 2017
Although more than one year has passed now since my last post, this blog is not dead. I will compile and post the remaining videos of my Round Europe voyage when I find the time and will also update the page on technical stuff and changes/upgrades on Matilda. So, stay tuned and have a look from time to time.
I didn’t do any longer trips last year and there were many reasons for that but I still enjoyed some local sailing on extended weekends with friends and relatives. On my last trip in October 2016 where I visited a couple of the Cyclades islands I was surprised by a heavy thunderstorm with more than force 10 squalls and almost got washed ashore. I had anchored in a bay at nice weather and clear skies. We went swimming, had a Greek salad for dinner and were enjoying a glass of wine. Suddenly, at about 21:00 the stars disappeared, the night sky turned black and the light wind veered 90 degrees to W. A few minutes later the scenario changed completely. Heavy rain was flying horizontally such that I couldn’t see the surface of the see any more from the cockpit. The wind meter was showing 48kn of gusts, the anchor started dragging and the big motor yacht behind me on the permanent mooring was coming dangerously closer. I started the engine and tried to keep away from that motor yacht whilst my brother in law was trying to lift the anchor. Although heavy lightening is not sailor’s favorite weather phenomenon I was thankful about it because this way I could figure out where I was in the bay and where the other moored boats were in relation to me. After a 20 min fight with the elements, the anchor was lifted and the wind had dropped to about F6. I moved the boat to the neighboring bay and went alongside at the pier. I went to a nearby pub where I met some other sailors. Everyone was talking about the thunderstorm of course. After midnight, I was sitting on a bench in the rain next to Matilda enjoying my last beer for that day and I couldn’t believe that she was still afloat. Some days later I heard from other sailors that many yachts got damaged that night and one even sunk. The phenomenon was heavy and although very extended it had not been forecasted. Finally I must say that I am quite sure that the anchor (even dragging) had helped preventing stranding. I wouldn’t have managed to turn Matilda into the wind using engine power. If I knew it was coming I would have preferred to stay in open water. In any case, that was another lesson learned.
Now after almost three years in the water, it was about time to get Matilda out in order to give her underwater body some attention and prepare her for the next season.
Matilda being put on the cradle
Several layers of self polishing antifouling can be removed easily with the help of a spatula. The red one seems to be hard antifouling. It comes off together with the other layers where – as it seems – no primer could be applied because of the cradle support pads but holds well on the rest of the surface