Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away… When we budgeted for a month of repairs we were rather optimistic about what could be achieved within the time limit. Two years later and we were still crossing our fingers and hoping that we would be able to cajole and track down the requisite technicians to get our classic Oyster into ocean hopping condition. Over this time, I developed a better understanding of the culture clash between Greeks and Brits, I have compiled a phrase book to help to translate some of the trickier communication breakdowns.
“I will come tomorrow” = I will come in about three days’ time
“I will come tomorrow at 9am” = I will come the day after tomorrow in the afternoon at the very moment that you have decided to have a siesta, will knock gently on the hull and then go away.
“It will be ready by Monday” = it will be ready by one undefined Monday at some time in the future hopefully this year.
“I have an emergency and will come to your boat after that” = I have a hangover.
“We can fix your windlass, don’t worry.” = We probably don’t know how to fix your windlass or any windlass but we will have a go, you never know.
“We will service the auto pilot” = We will open up the auto pilot and fill it with grease.
“I am 99 percent sure that your engine is OK” = I am 100 percent sure that I don’t want to work on your engine in 40 degrees heat.
“I have a lot of work but will find time to fit you in” = I have a nice lunch planned.
“You need to buy a new water-maker” = I know nothing about fixing water makers.
“It will be finished on time, don’t worry.” = It will be finished on time unless there is rain, a family party or my son is on holiday (which he is).
“I am over worked” = I am fed up of bloody boat owners constantly harassing me.
“ I will bring a trailer for you to fill with money for me” = I like you, you have a sense of humour. Cash only please, of course.