Wednesday, December 13, 2017
It is still before sun-up, but I am killing some time and thought I would fill in and update our activities. We came into Athens, pulled the boat into our slip and are now getting things cleaned up, acquainting ourselves with Athens and preparing for a month in another ancient city.
After weathering the storm in Corinth, we were a bit tired on our arrival. We decided to stay at Zea Marina. There are many marinas along this stretch of the coastline, all with different characteristics (based on reading the internet), but Zea appears to be in the heart of shopping, very well protected and close to transit. That contrasts with being busy, a bit ‘dirty’ and a long way from quiet roads for cycling. But once Jinhee leaves, I am betting that I will want the conveniences close by if I am spending the days riding the bike. So here we are!
Yesterday we went to a bakery and grocery store for fresh bread and milk. There are many stores close by, and really an entire shopping district here. All of the hits are close, with KFC, Pizza Hut and Dominos less than 5 minutes away on foot! Okay, those are the North American standouts, but there are a number of bakeries, grocery stores, telecom, electronics, clothes, everything, all within a short walk.
We have a great Sub-Zero refrigerator on board, but it runs way, way too much, and so I am, for the second time, trying to figure out why. The refrigerator is almost directly over our heads when we sleep and running as much as it does tends to annoy me when I wake up in the morning. I don’t really notice it when I am tired, but early in the morning I hear it loud and clear. In any case, I think I have it figured out. The cooling radiator looks more like a winter coat, than a radiator. While I have brushed the fuzz off of the outer fins, the real problem is dust in the middle (there are two rows of cooling tubes), and almost no air is getting through from the cooling fan. Clearly a problem for a heat exchange system. I did use a small implement to clean out some of the fuzz, and get some air flow, but I need a high pressure air hose to blow it out. I tried a can of compressed air from the local computer store, but that was essentially useless (and very expensive). Today I will try to find an inexpensive mini-compressor or similar device to blow substantially more air, I am thinking an airbrush kit from an art store.
After messing about with that for a couple of hours, I took advantage of the awesome weather (high of 18C, and beautiful sunshine) to ride the bike for a while and get my legs moving again. Athens and vicinity appears to have a lot of ups and downs when you look at it from afar. When you actually ride the bike it REALLY has a lot of ups and downs. Getting through the local area was another scary venture, which I will get used to in time. The drivers are fine, but the roads here are a bit sketchy and the weaving, short stops, etc. make it an intense venture. In the end I found a route to the outskirts of town and was met by a very long climb on a moderately busy 3 lane highway. It was fun to go up and even more fun to go down the other side. The ride was short (only about 40km) but I did 500m of climbing, which is totally awesome for such a short ride (I typically get 300m of climbing from a 80km ride in Toronto). Today is supposed to be a very nice day as well, so I will hopefully get a longer ride in.
Jinhee continued working away while I was riding, and after my return we started working on cleaning the boat. One of the downsides of having a ‘big’ boat is that it takes a lot of time and effort to keep it clean. After a week of travel, the boat was in need of a scrubbing to remove salt, dirt and scuffs. We did read that Zea Marina is ‘dirty’, and on the face of it, it looks okay, but when cleaning the decks, it occurs to me that they may just mean there is a lot of dirt coming off of the city. There was an abundance of dust on the boat which, I suppose, may have been picked up along our route, but is more likely to be coming from the air in the Athens vicinity. At the end, we have cleaned off a large part of the boat, removed most of the salt, and done a modestly complete job cleaning the interior.
The boat is starting to resemble a home in many ways with well defined ‘places’ for many items, and a modest amount of clutter that builds up from time to time. Being a boat, it is important to ensure that clutter is modest, such that you can prepare the boat for moving quickly, but it is still looking more like a home.
By days’ end, there was some shopping to do, and while Jinhee went to scope out the neighbourhood, I went to get a badly needed haircut. Not only was it badly needed, but probably best described as a bad haircut as well. Good thing hair grows!
Today is just beginning, so maybe there will be more stories to tell at the end of the day, but that’s it for now.