The Bare Essentials – a short Homage to Helios

Me and helios


Helios, our dinghy, has served us well from his first appearance in Bodrum where I’m afraid I took one look at this rather comical looking coracle and snorted with laughter. Our ‘new’ second hand rib (Rigid Inflatable Boat) bobbing lightly alongside just didn’t have the gravitas I thought we deserved. However we have had this tender for five years now and what a lucky find it was, I was wrong.

Helios in happier times………

New arrivals.JPG

You may remember from earlier blogs that Helios has been in poor health for a while.  Here is a photo of last year’s surgery.

Tender in Intensive Care

So having had periods in intensive care last year and a subsequent period of remission we realised that he wasn’t going to see us through the season; we began to look for a replacement. The joy of Helios is that he is 2 metres, short and stubby with a rigid bottom and big tubes, sounds a bit unflattering but it works. He fits neatly between the baby stay and the inner forestay fixing. The results of our research were depressing. Yachts are getting ever bigger and so are the accompanying tenders. The smallest rib we found was 2.4m. Gloom descended – we could have a cheap 2m flat bottom but we are really in love with the rigid bottom.
By chance while on the moorings in Taormina we talked to George who mentioned that his tenders had been re tubed – aha – light bulbs and the sound of a whirring brain were seen and heard! Great idea so now we have to find someone to do it. Emails were fired off and one reply seemed hopeful. Nikkos in Lefkas knew of a priest on the mainland who did this – priests in Greece are very resourceful and educated people. Sadly this priest has proved too elusive.
Moving on a few weeks we have settled on a British company who will do it for us during the summer.  Helios has been flayed, skinned with surgical precision; stripped down to the bare essential of spine and now resembles the bleached white bone of the sepia so common on the beaches around here.  He is simply a cuttlebone, resting on the forward deck, all tubing removed. It came off very easily – old and weathered. We transport the old tubing back to the UK for a Devon firm to copy it but in a high quality material.

Cuttle and Kayak

Andy says it is like dressmaking. What does he know about that? Oh yes I remember now, he made me a maternity dress when I was a red cross volunteer 40+ years ago while expecting Nick! We bring the new tube back and glue it on. Simple –eh? Wait for an update in September………

From this………………………

From this

to this………………………..

To this

and a Ryan Air flight home!

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