… and pleasant morning. It hasn’t rained here for absolute ages, though there have been some extremely cold nights which I’ve never really expected in Greece. Some mornings, the sea is warmer than the air.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to help Alexis with the boat. I now find that it’s closer to twenty-five feet in length than the eighteen I told you about. Apparently, we were going to find the extent of leakage in the hull. I had visions of dragging half a ton of used fishing boat into the sea and watching how quickly it sank. And I wondered how we were going to get it ashore again all waterlogged. I needn’t have worried. When I got down there, the boat was still propped up on wooden blocks spread over the sand by the harbour and Alexis had already half-filled the hull with sea water, using a petrol-driven pump. I should have thought of that. Water was squirting out all around, and Alexis was marking the worst holes with dabs of black paint. He handed the paint pot to me and set about the hull with a sharp knife, stabbing it into the wood to find soft bits. Although he gouged out alarmingly large chunks of wood from some rotten areas, these were all localised and nothing important will have to be replaced. As the hull filled, alarming creaks and groans were heard, but nothing bent or broke. As time went on, some of the leaks appeared to heal themselves. I imagine that dry planks tend to shrink, and wetting them can close small gaps. When Alexis was satisfied, we reversed the pump, and when the hull was empty, that was that for the day. Beers at Nikos’.