Crossing the Med Sea by boat is fun, they said, hhhmmm sometimes there are hard times, too! But hey we expected that and tried our best to handle all circumstances. So how were our first days as sailors?
Saying Good Bye
Beginning of July 2021 was tough. We had to empty our house, pack everything in boxes and store our life at a friends warehouse. Often we heard the question: And how does it feel? Strange, I would say. Strange, because I didn’t feel something like excitement or sadness. I was just sooooo exhausted!
For the last days we moved into my mothers house. There we got organised for our flight to Athens, packed up the last things and said good bye to many of our friends.
How cool, we got a friendship flag for Hakuna Matata:
In the last moments finally the feeling of anticipation was there! We were so happy, that we are really starting our journey! Although I have to admit: the journey starts with the decision to do such a project to be honest!
Flight to Athens, Greece
It is not a big deal, right? 2 hours to Athens by Austrian Airlines should not be worth writing about it. Well… when you fly with your dear pets (we have Ronja, our dog and Tiezi, our cat on board), then everything gets more complicated! The Check-in was fine althoug Tiezi decided to keep on MIAUUUUUING all the time. We got medcine from the vet to make the journey easier for them – still they were not that excited as we were!
But at the payment counter for our extra luggage and pets we had to wait endlessly. There was a computer issue and 3 people were working on it. My nerves were thin as paper and I felt really sick. In the end all worked out fine, Ronja was handed over to the special team, Tiezi came with us through security check (by the way: the pets are also x-rayed, that was an interested process!), we had a very good gate without walking too much, almost no waiting time, got into the plane and off we went. I was so concentrated on Tiezi and her well-being I forgot about my own fear of flying!
Arriving and starting a new life
When you do big things, then do them slow and step by step. We expected the flight and the last days as being really stressful, therefore we did not plan anything for the first 2 days after our arrival. As our boat was still on the hard and there is much heat (about 40 degrees) in Greece in July, we booked a hotel nearby (with air-condition!) to stay there for the first days.
We rested, slept and processed the experiences. Of course our kids were really excited to see the boat the first time! So we went there on the first day to have dinner on board (still on the hard). They loved it from the first moment on. Raphael started to try out buttons and ropes. Emilia immediately started to decorate her cabin.
As we were close to Athens and had a rental car, we did not miss to visit Akropolis early in the morning to escape the big heat. (I call it „Oarschloch-Hitze“ between 16.30 and 19.30)
We had ice cream as breakfast afterwards and had some shopping to do: things for the boat (I do not bother you with special terms or any other technical sailing stuff :)) and scuba gear for everyone except me.
Hard times on the hard
On Saturday, 10th July, was the big moving day! We moved on the boat and had to survive in the heat there. That time it had about 40 degrees during the day in Greece. The boat had a black anti-fouling paint on, stood in a shipyard with black stones all around and were surounded by metal fences – it felt like a barbecue!
Our pets slept all day on the most cool places, we helped them by putting cool-packs next to them!
We drank a lot and did not work during the most heat. It was really a pain in the ass! We were counting minutes until we can get into the water.
The big day: Let us into the water!
I felt so excited, my heart was bumming when the big blue crane was coming to put us into the sea. The electrician was also there for some last check ups. Then it happend, wow what an experience!
Everthing went good until they wanted us to start the generator (the engine was already on) – that was the biggest mistake! They cannot work the same time! The engine died, panic, more men on the ship trying to fix something (where there was nothing to fix, they just got too little diesel).
Long story short: after 2 hours the put us back on the hard! What a bummer!
Another 2 days later (the engine mechanic had to buy something that got broken by trying to fix the new engine… grrrr) we finally succeeded!
Our first stop was in front of the canal of Corinth. As we knew it is closed, we had plenty of space and quietness to test the boat and to get used to everything!