Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 113


Yesterday I found internet access in the center of town. I sat in front of a large house with a sign “We have rooms” and chatted with the owner, her mother, and her mother in law about my adventure.

“So where will you sleep tonight?” they eventually got around to asking.

“I don’t know, probably down by the beach. Sometimes people invite me over. I get all sorts of invitations. I’ve stayed on boats, in people’s houses, you know, all sorts of places.”

My potential hostess understood what I was hinting at, and shut up like a safe.

A five minute walk from my kayak I found a small drink shack near the beach that had been closed since last summer. The fisherman at the dock told me my boat would not be safe in the port overnight, so as the sun set I paddled my boat to the shelter and lugged everything up the hill to the safe spot.

It’s a hassle to load my boat up and get dressed again after I’ve finished my paddling for the day. When possible, I try to avoid it.

I was expecting force four headwinds this morning, and force five in the afternoon. The next port was five miles away. I could make it before the afternoon, and maybe I would find a hot shower there.

The waves, widely spaced, rolled in at a height of two meters. They’d pop me up and drop me down, and I continued on my way.

Preveza lies at the edge of the short channel that connects the outer Ionian sea to the inner Ambracian Gulf. Old derelict forts sleep on either side of the channel. Preza is on the north side, and an enormous marina and shipyard stretches in a veritable forest of masts on the south.

With the rest of the day maybe I could shower and fix the persistent leak to my front compartment. But would I be able to resupply from a supermarket on the south side of the channel?

I asked a fisherman in the middle of the channel. If not, I would first stop and go shopping in the city leaving my boat ready for launch, and then look for my shower in the port.

The fisherman smiled and nodded enthusiastically to my question as if to say “Yes, there is a supermarket by the port.” Or it was possible he told me “I don’t speak a word of English, but I hope one day to learn.”

I pulled over and unpacked my gear.

Ahhh, a warm shower. That felt good. I even washed my clothes.

But there was no supermarket. So I packed everything up and crossed the channel. The wind had grown considerably and even the short protected crossing was choppy, just enough to salt and negate the shower.

Back in the port I filled my boat up with water to see where it was leaking. Pouring rain. I guessed where the leak might be, and then hauled my boat to a sheltered spot.

The zipper on my rain shell doesn’t work anymore. I thought it was okay since it’s almost summer and there’s a lot less rain in the summer.

I brought some toilet paper from the bathroom to dry off the part of my boat I guessed needed the patch, but by the time I got it there it was wet.

I did the best I could to dry it and applied the epoxy. I think the epoxy has gone bad.

I was very cold and wet.

There’s a closed bathroom here in the port. I found a clean stall and set up camp. In the small space, I’m beginning to warm up.

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