In the early days of November 2017 we arrived at Margarona boatyard (next to Preveza) where Halcyon Days would spend the winter, without us. We were not sure when we would go back to her, but hoped/thought April or May would be a good time. Our sailing boat was to stay on the dry during this whole time. We spent the last couple of days of our journey preparing the boat for the winter and making a (long) list of all the repairs that had to be done. Out of this list, we did maybe two or three things before leaving. We then took our flight back home. The flight was departing from Corfu and the original plan was to take a ferry from Preveza to Corfu. Unfortunately just at the time we had to take the ferry, the ferry companies were on strike. Change of plan: we booked instead an inland flight from Preveza to Corfu… With a heavy heart and tears in our eyes we said goodbye to Halcyon Days, hoping everything would be ok for next couple of months. The inland flight plane was a tiny propeller plane. The airport itself was almost empty and so was the plane. We were happy to be back in Corfu for a day. Tourists were long gone and the city was a lot more quiet. The next day we landed in Weeze and were picked up by the parents of Thijs. A bit weird, it took us months to get there and we were back in a few hours.
The winter was not all slacking and dreaming about going back to our boat. We bought our first house in the center of Delft. Another big renovation project as the house is really old (1878) and we are rebuilding it completely. The renovation keeps all of our evenings and week-ends busy. At the beginning of January we also got (almost) married: we signed the geregistreerd partnerschap, we still have to do the romantic part, we’ll do that someday aboard Halcyon Days somewhere warm and tropical. Sarah’s mother came to the Netherlands for the first time ever. She will probably come back but not in winter. We also had a nice dinner in Leiden with fellow sailors Maarten and Hanneke, and Louis and Mirjam, at Mirjam’s place. In April we visited Sarah’s parents in Nice and since Carl and Pia were in the marina in Menton we paid them a visit too, it was nice to be on a boat again!
A few days ago our vacation and 2018 journey with Halcyon Days finally started. This time we flew from Amsterdam to Preveza. We got some updates on the boat thanks to Wayne and Cha who spent some time in Margarona in March to rebuild their aft cabin and Mirjam and Louis who went there in April. Everything seemed fine so we were a bit reassured but were still very excited to see the boat with our own eyes. First the bad stuff: a lot of cleaning to do on the inside, as many things were covered in mold and fungus, somehow some water managed to get inside and the bilge was filled with oily water. The cockpit was filled with dirty water and so was the deck. Turns out we have some leaks from the deck (one spot we knew of already). On the plus side: the engine had been serviced by the yard as we asked them to, the antifouling looked good, and there was no damage on the boat. We worked for three days non stop to prepare the boat to go back into the water. It was exhausting but fun. June 19 was the big day: Halcyon Days was put back in the water. We first tried the engine and it worked fine. We were really happy about it. Mirjam and Louis were anchored in the bay next to Preveza and we joined them there. It was nice to see them and to spend the first night on the boat at sea again. We’re happy to be back. Aegean Sea here we come!