We arrived in Lefkas Marina at midday on Monday the 14th. On arrival we went to the Fuel Dock where the Black Water pump out station was located. We needed to empty the tank before we could work on the system which would involve removing the tank.
I decided to pump out both tanks, just in case, but the hose on the pump was not long enough to reach both of them. So we had to go out, and turn around in between. An onshore breeze from ahead on the first go and astern on the second and a sub 20 m gap to get into and out of on the jetty, twice. Lots of boat handling practice!
We were then sent across to a pontoon berth. That required us going stern to on laid moorings with what was now an annoying cross wind. As we reversed towards the gap the people on the large power catamaran down wind of us appeared on deck. They promptly armed themselves with boat hooks and fenders and expressions Valeria and I normally wear in these circumstances.
To be fair, Lefkas is Charter Boat Central and a large number of those boats are Cats. Assuming we were charterers was perhaps an easy mistake to make. But as we maneuvered in it became evident that the boat hook and fender wouldn’t be needed. A relived “Nicely done mate” came over from our new neighbours, Rick and Tania, a New Zealand couple, who we didn’t ‘bump into’!.
Happily the guys from CYS came down to see us on Monday afternoon. I dismantled the shower and the Black Water tank to give them access to the top of the offending pipe. Sounds easy but as you can never fully empty a tank it wasn’t overly pleasant!
The problem was a blocked pipe between the tank and the sea cock (the big tap in the hull). After 5 years the calcium build up had finally won over the various treatments we’d been using. It needed to be removed. The ‘challenge’ was getting the old one out because the boat had been fitted out from the keel upwards. The plumbing went in and was cable tied in place, then the bathroom units were put in over them. Then the sink and the trim panels were fitted before everything was sealed in place. There wasn’t one accessible screw, clip or catch as the units had never been designed to be removed.
We had to cut out the base of two cabinets to access the pipe and cable ties and then inch the old pipe out. The carpenter repaired the ‘damage’ and we now have two access panels “for next time”. Trust me, there won’t be a next time while we own the boat!!!
Fast forward to Wednesday morning and the new pipe was delivered from Athens; the last 5 metres they had. Fitting it was a comparatively simple job, for three of us. By 11 am, with a fully operational toilet we were good to go. And the good news was that the repairs were a bit cheaper than I had budgeted for!
Paying the bill I chatted to Joe and Jeanette, who run CYS. I mentioned that the Black-water pump out had cost €1 per litre plus VAT. Who knew VAT was charged on shit! Joe then mused that as a lad he’d always ‘spent a penny’ but now he had to ‘Eurinate’ …
Also, while I was working on the toilet, Valeria was doing some more essential shopping for the winter. This involved a bulk purchase of wine from a purveyor of decent wine. We now have 75 litres in boxes in the Prosecco Locker! When you find a drinkable Greek wine, don’t ignore it! We also had a meal out in our favourite restaurant in Lefkas called Eytyxia.
As our stay in Lefkas progressed we found ourselves about to be on the receiving end of a rather scary looking depression, and associated weather system, due to cross the Ionian to the south of us. We tried to get a berth in the marina but they’d only let us stay until Friday, by which time it would be too late. So with repairs completed we headed down to the island of Meganisi a couple of hours south of Lefkas Town. We planned to shelter from the bad weather in a bay called Port Atheni on the Eastern end of the island.