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260. Top Tips Tuesday - Sun? sailing and a soaking

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Well, after enduring snow and a ferry strike on our drive down from the UK to Greece, I was hoping for some pleasant sailing conditions once we had got the boatyard 'business' out of the way. Yes it was great to get Hindsight back in the water however now we have moved on we do miss the fish taverna across the road from the Corfu boatyard. One starter of anchovies, Greek salad both shared, two main course of sardines and four beers.

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After that feast, which we didn't finish, (doggie bag requested) John my driving companion/crew went looking for the Liverpool/Barcelona football match. I went back to the boat being more of a rugby person but next morning he advised me that whilst looking for a taverna to view the match he stumbled across, in a backstreet opposite the Corfu ferry port, an establishment that cooked on the charcoal grill meat that you personally selected. As we were both 'fished out' next day John advised me that it would be a meat night, eat and then watch the Tottenham/Ajax match on the screen. So that evening off we trotted to a night of food and footie. Interesting place, at first I thought (if it were not for a few tables) we were in a butchers shop as the counter had probably at least six different cuts of beef on display in the chilled counter display, pork, lamb, chicken etc. Two very very large meals, one Greek salad and four beers between the two of us all for 30 euros. Our only complaint... no sound whilst watching Tottenham Hotspur sorting out Ajax on the screen!

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Before we battened down the hatches last October I serviced the engine (using the Yanmar service kit package) plus a replacement Delphi primary filter. The oil change is so easy these days using a vacuum extractor. I am using a Pela which was kindly given to me by an old friend, took pity on me when my grey water tank overflowed, due to my cock up. It was perfect for getting the waste water out of the Mystery's deep bilge! As for the engine oil change, easy peasy with no chance of an oil spill. For those on a limited budget the Seago vacuum oil extractor works well and is excellent value for money.

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As you can imagine after six months on the hard standing, the cockpit and deck gets a little grubby, and by the time I have replaced bedding, brought on board provisions etc it's even dirtier! Starbrite deck cleaner gets the nod from me. Have tried a few others (purely for research of course) but always come back to this one. The Shurhold telescopic brush handle complete with the interchangeable brush gives me the option to use a soft, med or hard head. Or if I want to clean the topsides whilst on deck a head is available with a different angle. You can also adjust the length of the handle if necessary.

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I was disappointed to find water in one of the cockpit lockers, had thought it fairly watertight! The cover for the folding bucket was stained with mildew however an application of Yachticom's mould and mildew remover soon put paid to that! Same treatment was successful on the various ropes stored in the locker over the winter! Don't forget, however, to wash thoroughly with fresh water once desired effect had been achieved.

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