Steering Saga

Our last proper post was about my fantastic fix on bleeding the hydraulic steering system, which did NOT work! Next morning we set sail, heading south for Pilos and the bay of Navarino but the steering still didn’t work. We set the autopilot and she worked overtime to keep us on course. A day later we squeezed through the rocks (my decision which caused Lotty and I to argue mightily about a dodgy move with dodgy steering) and anchored against a beautiful sandy beach in the bay.

It was an easy pass between the rocks, but when you’re motoring through with a loopy steering system prone to an occasional 360 degree spin for no reason, I agree with Lotty, although I didn’t mention that at the time. Maybe that caused the row?

Anyway, to cut a very long story shorter, I visited an eccentric and wonderful chandler in Pilos. Fotis, who sold me things, gave me orange juice and his free olive oil and the promise of an engineer in a van turning up at the quay in three hours. A rush back to the boat got Yves Christian down to the quayside from anchor and a visit from Michael Pountis (engineer, no English), his girlfriend (some English) and his lawyer (lots of English). Michael is a young but totally gifted marine engineer and boatyard owner. A natural diviner of problems and solutions. He worked out what was wrong just by turning the wheel and two nuts, told us (through his lawyer) to sail back to his home port, 6 hours north and promptly left.

We sailed back to Kiparissia, a port we’d sailed past the day before. A wonderful free little port town where Michael fixed our steering (It took a week) for a price so small I cannot comprehend it still. A gifted young man who deserves to succeed with his grand plans for boatyard expansion.

We will never forget Kiparissia, a brilliant real town where we enjoyed being stuck. A wonderful place and wonderful people. In the picture below, Yves is on the moll above Hector’s head.

And thus we were ready to set sail again to see new places, meet good friends and fall into the grip of the September 2018 Medicane, a Mediterranean hurricane that ravaged the Greek and Italian sea ports and nearly cost me my arm.