Renovation progress and reflection

Our longest stop so far was in Belfast where we ended up staying approximately two months. It was a great city, nice marina and very friendly people. However, the stay was not voluntarily chosen and I thought it was time to ponder a bit on why we got stuck there and what can be done to avoid future problems.

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So, the reason why we got stuck is because our batteries were destroyed by sea water entering the boat. The way I see it there was two failures that caused the boat to flood. The first was that the buckle to the anchor chain locker hatch broke and allowed water to fill the hatch. Normally this hatch is completely sealed from the rest of the boat but in our case I had violated this property by drilling a large hole to fit the air ventilation hose from the compositing toilet. As long as the hatch remains closed this should not be a problem. But we discovered the hard way what could happen if it did not.

When we learned that the batteries were too damaged to use, one of our first thoughts was that should not batteries intended for marine use handle a bit of water? But, as described in the paragraph above the problem was not really with the batteries but rather that water was allowed into the boat in the first place. And for that, there is really nobody to blame than myself. With that acknowledged work begun to make sure water would not enter the boat again. Besides fixing the obvious like installing a new buckle on the hatch and a ball value on the air ventilation hose I also started to think about what other ways water could enter the boat? Here is what I found:

Breaking waves could crash the companionway doors leaving the cabin fully exposed to the next wave. Luckily it is very uncommon having breaking waves crashing into the cockpit and such weather conditions are best to avoid. But given the state of our old doors they could not withstand even a moderate hit and thus I thought we might fix them right away because sooner or later it is going to happen no matter how carefully we plan. After walking around the marina looking at all different kinds of companionway doors we decided to keep the current design with two swinging doors but reinforce them heavily. Water roughly weighs 1.000 kg/m3 and our doors have a surface area of 0.54m2. So if a big wave comes crashing it will be something like 500 kg of waters throwing itself against them. I have not bothered about calculating what force they need to withstand but simply figured quite a lot.

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I found that our old doors suffered from two big drawbacks. First, the doors opened outwards towards the cockpit but if they are pushed inwards they are too weak not to swing inwards. Second, if they were supported from the inside and thus prevented from swinging inwards the small screws keeping the hinges in place would be ripped out from the doors and again they would be pushed into the cabin. Therefore, the new doors are made larger and rests outside onto the plastic of the deck of the boat spreading the load of a hit onto the entire perimeter of the doors. This way the hinges does not need to cope with any load at all. To prevent them from swinging the wrong way (into the cabin) two bars are placed across the doors giving the centre of the doors support. These bars will only be placed there during bad weather. For several reasons it would have been better to place these bars on the inside of the doors but there is simple nothing strong enough to hold the bar in place on the inside so instead I bolted some U-bolts, with big backing plates on the inside, through the door. So even if the bars are placed on the outside they will now prevent the door from opening inwards even if a big wave hits. The doors themselves have also been made a lot stronger. I used two 12mm marine plywood sheets and laminated them together with epoxy and a piece of glass fibre mat in between. The total thickness of the doors is now 26mm. The glass fibre mat is probably unnecessary but what the heck. Besides being stronger the new doors have a lot better fit, they are also warmer and, as a bonus, they even look better 🙂

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Another weak point found was the front cabin hatch. When the hatch is closed it is held in place with a screw. This screw is old and the threads have been worn so occasionally it could no longer hold the hatch in place. This imposes a great risk of flooding the boat again. So, two new fasteners have been installed keeping the hatch securely in place.

Open for debate is whether the cabin windows are strong enough. For sure they are strong enough for most situation but again water is heavy and strong windows have been known to break even on big ships several stories up. If a massive wave should hit one of three things can happen; nothing (obviously the best option), the window breaks (do not think that will happen) or the frame breaks (believe this is the weakest point). The frame is built from two slender aluminium brackets screwed together with the window in between. When the window is pushed inwards it will push on the inner aluminium bracket. The inner bracket is screwed to the outer bracket which rests on the outside of the hull. If the force is too big the aluminium will deform and the two brackets separate and the window will fall into the cabin as a result. There is no documentation or test data available so there is really no way of knowing whether the current window setup is strong enough without doing a practical test. Such a test will destroy the tested window which is not preferred since these window frames cannot be bought anymore. Right or wrong, necessary or not? I do not know, but what I did was to custom order 3mm stainless steel sheets to cover all windows from the outside. These sheets will rest on the outside of the hull taking the first hit of the waves. They are not in place just yet but I imagine they will make the boat look somewhat like a tank. Maybe not the prettiest look but definitely strong. As a bonus I image they can also be used to shade the windows in the sun gets too strong. Given the weather for the last five months that would be a nice problem to have J

In the cockpit there are several hatches to access storage under the benches. These storage compartments are not sealed so if water finds its way into them it will continue down to the bilge. There are four hatches and they rest in place solely by their own weight so if the boat heels 90 degrees or more they will start to open by themselves creating a danger of water coming in. A properly designed ocean going yacht will handle a knock down (when a strong gust of wind pushes the mast down into the water) without water coming inside the boat. Due to the counter weight of the keel the wind can never heel a properly designed yacht more than 90 degrees. But, in combination with high waves it may end up with the keel pointing towards the sky and the mast down towards the bottom of the sea. This is a highly instable position so it will not take long before turning back up again. But, if this happens all hatches in the cockpit will open and seriously flood the boat in just a few minutes. So again, the probability of this happening is minimum but the consequence is too big to ignore the risk and therefore, in my opinion, this needs to be addressed before crossing the big oceans.

If there is anything else that I have missed that also needs attention all suggestions are very much appreciated.

Getting the new batteries approved by the insurance company and shipped to Belfast took quite some time so we could do a few more things on the boat as well. I am not going to bore you by describing them but simply list them so you can get a feel for the development in our home (pictures found further below).

  • Fixing a leaking window
  • Finding a 10m RG58 GPS-antenna cable
  • Finding and soldering TNC connectors (a lot harder than it seems)
  • Making a nice bracket to fix the GPS-antenna to the push pit
  • Making another bracket attached to the backstay instead
  • Installation the AIS, GPS-antenna and VHF to work together
  • Installation of a remote microphone in the cockpit to the VHF-radio
  • Installation of the radar reflector at the top of the mast
  • Making templates and order stainless steel shutters to the cabin windows
  • Changed both bowsprit chains to more heavy duty
  • Adding a stainless steel mesh on the bowsprit platform
  • Raising both starboard and port side berths 50mm
  • Making new battery beds under the berths
  • Making new power cables to the batteries
  • Installing and programming of the new batteries
  • Finally fixed the battery charger lid and reinforcements
  • Made a custom sized cutting board that fits in the sink
  • Added thermal insulation between the motor compartment and cabin
  • Made a thermal insulation inner door to keep the heat in the cabin
  • Adding carpet with a rubber backing to the hull sides by the berths
  • Making a cover to the mattress (possible to roll it up to a long pillow back rest)
  • Making a waterproof cover to the battery charger
  • Added a floating switch with a buzzer in the old battery compartment
  • Making a hatch in the galley to store pots and pans
  • Various paint jobs in the cabin

Still plenty of more to do but slowly our home is getting transformed one project at the time and more and more fit for purpose. So two months may seem like a long time but for me I was fully occupied and time passed quickly.

– Jens

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Bits and pieces of 2016

Approaching the new year, it is time to reflect and see if we are heading in the right direction. This year has probably been one of the more exhausting one’s in our lives, but in the same time so rich in experiences. So what really happened this year? We will give a summary of the different steps on our journey, and in the end you can find a map that shows our track across the oceans so far.

 

In the first half of this year, it was all about preparations. We moved two times, spend hundreds of hours going through all of our stuff and thinking about the life on the boat and what we would need. I was working to fund our adventure and Jens worked hard on renovating the boat and managed to do a skiing expedition he dreamed about for years. There were several big jobs that he managed to do during the winter and spring – changing from diesel engine to electric propulsion, designing and building a bowsprit and moving the toilet to the forepeak to mention a few. In the spring we also discussed with our workplaces if it would be possible to get a leave from work and discussed a lot with friends and family about what it was we wanted to do and how we could make the dream come true.

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Renovating Mouni on land, in the water and on the inside with the help of friends. The new and shiny engine room got a lot more spacious with the electric motor.

In the early summer we moved aboard Mouni, while also increasing the pace of the renovation. June, July and almost the whole August past before we felt about ready to throw off the bowlines. During this summer, while we had high ambitions on what to be able to complete with the renovation, we also promised ourselves that we would never say no to someone who wanted to come visit us. So in the middle of the big renovation mess, we did meet a lot of our friends and family and had a wonderful goodbye party that will stay as a precious memory for us. It is hard to say goodbye, but nice to know it´s rather “see you later”. Even if we left a couple weeks later than we had planned for, the summer was rather hectic and we were quite drained of energy when we left.

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Farewell party with friends and family before leaving our home port

 

The first phase going around Sweden was also spent visiting a lot of friends and family along the way. Sweden is such a beautiful place to sail and we really enjoyed exploring the coastline from the sea. It soon became clear that even this first phase was a big test on our vision about “sailing for harmony”. Leaving the stressful life behind, we still brought it along in our minds and had trouble deciding what was most important – progress in distance, fixing the boat or enjoying life. We still haven´t learned how to always sail in harmony, but we do know not to measure progress in miles. Because this is not what this journey is for.

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Sailing the Swedish archipelago visiting friends and family along the way

Nevertheless, it was a milestone to sail to our first foreign land – Denmark. The reason for this detour was specific, we wanted to meet the supplier of our electric motor to do some tests and discuss the future. Besides helping us to trim the motor, we also got a sailing lessons and had some wonderful days in Copenhagen with our friends. We were really impressed with the ambitious sailors in Denmark who sailed all the way in and out of the harbours

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30 degrees and engine testing in Copenhagen, Denmark

By the time we got to Norway, we could really feel that we were on our way. This was also where we had our first experiences of hard weather. While we did sail in harder weather than we ever did before and really could put Mouni to the test, we also got land-bound several times. From that point the gale warnings would constantly follow us for the rest of the year. In Norway we also had our first crew aboard – a lovely couple of weeks with Jens mom that took us across the North Sea.

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New crew and big heights in Norway

 

The sailing through the UK – Shetland, Fair Isle, Scotland and Northern Ireland has really shown us what a great hospitality there is here and that it is actually not so hard to make friends (at least if you get stuck :-)) We have sailed in cold and rainy weather week after week, learning how to deal with the tides (we´re not quite there yet) and learned the hard way how easily things break. The last month we have settled in Belfast and spending most of the time making Mouni safe and pretty.

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Sailing from Shetland to Northern Ireland before settling at Belfast Harbour Marina for renovation work and enjoying the company of neighbours

One of the wisdoms from our guest book onboard says – “It’s not about the miles, it’s about the smiles”. So what did we really think about 2016?

What was the best with 2016?

Petra: Finding a new pace in life, getting to know lots of new places and friendly people. I have really enjoyed getting to know the sea and having that nature experience every day. I didn’t expect to feel safe on Mouni in the wide range of weather we have sailed in, but she handles the waves well.

Jens: 2016 was the year when we got to taste the first bites of the sweet fruit after spending so much time figuring out how to change the direction in life. It has taken several years to get here and as always when starting to learn something new it takes a lot of time. I can still remember all the thousands of different boats researched before before deciding on this one. All the reading required to learn about plastic work, rigging repairs, bow sprit designs, engine propulsion, marine wiring, thru hull fittings and so on. All the sleepless mornings figuring out how to do all the required changes and all the late evenings trying to finish one more piece of the puzzle before going home. This was the year when it all paid off and the feeling to finally set sail was definitely something special.

What was the hardest during 2016?

Petra: All the decisions. Where should we sail? How? What is more important – getting ahead, renovating for comfort and safety or having fun? Just having each other makes it really important to get along and agree. I´ve never been really ill during these months but have spent a lot of time with some type of physical problem that have drained a lot of my energy.

Jens: Long distance cruising can be done in so many different ways. Not too long ago cruisers still circumnavigated our globe without any engine or electrical gadgets at all. Some still do even today. But the development, especially on the technical side, has been tremendous last few decades so as a fellow cruiser put it – Today you can have your yacht automatically sailing around the world without even leaving your kitchen table. The hardest thing was definitely defining where on this scale to position us and Mouni. So far the philosophy has been to start off simple and let our own experience guide us in what kind of equipment to acquire. Hopefully this will end in a boat much more fit for our purpose and financial strength than listening to skilled sales agents.

What do you look forward to in 2017?

Petra: Sailing in warm weather and always being able to jump in for a swim! Anchoring in a bay with my love and enjoying some Mediterranean food. I am also looking forward to taking off from here and enjoying all the improvements we have done on Mouni. Hope I will improve my sailing skills even more!

Jens: We have discovered that sailing can be both exhausting and relaxing. The weather of course plays a big role in how the sailing is perceived but I also think that with the right knowledge, experience and mental attitude you can find most circumstances relaxing. In 2017 I am looking forward to increase my comfort zone and taking the first trembling steps to master the ever changing seas. Sometime in the future I hope that even fast moving tides, swirls, moving sand banks and technical malfunction still can be comfortable handled in sharp but yet relaxed manner.

Finally, here´s the map of the track we have made so far, we will update it as we go along!

We wish you a really happy new year, cruising through life in harmony!

– Petra & Jens

Life continues at Belfast harbour

Hi everybody! If you haven´t found us at Facebook yet, you might not know how we are getting on so we thought it was about time for an update! We are still hanging out at Belfast harbour, waiting for the delivery of the new batteries that we have ordered and that the insurance company will help us with. They are getting shipped from Holland to Sweden first, where our supplier will add some cables and other supplies we need and then send them here in one big package. So, probably another week until they will get here and then there is some work to get them mounted in place and installed in a proper way. The short version is that we have focused on reparation, renovation and getting to know our neighbours!

Learning from this experience we of course started to think about what we can do to make sure the sea water stays outside the boat in the future? Here are some of our ideas:

  1. Making sure that each chain holding down the bowsprit can take at least as much load as the forestay.
  2. Changing the permanent design of the bowsprit and replace the current board with a stainless steel netting so that there will be less force when the bow crash down into the water. Or, another possibility is the make our own mesh using dynema rope (similar to what many catamarans have in the front between their hulls).
  3. Putting a new buckle on the anchor chain locker, so it won´t break open again despite big waves.
  4. Installing a sea cock and through hull fitting where the air ventilation goes into the anchor chain locker, so that we can close it while under way – making the anchor chain locker completely sealed from the rest of the boat
  5. Installing a floater in the bilge where the batteries were mounted, so that we get an alarm if there for any reason gets water down there again.
  6. Possibly move the batteries and make a new mount higher up and thus more protected from any water entering again.
  7. Get stainless steel covers for all windows making sure breaking waves will not crush them.
  8. Another weak spot is the companion way entry which could definitely use some reinforcement or possible a complete new design. The current doors cannot take the massive force of a breaking wave so the question is how to find a suitable solution. It must be easy, even with big bulky clothes in big seas, to get in and out. Opening and closing must be possible to do quickly, preferably with one hand only. If a big wave forces you to let go no parts should be lost (a common sail yacht solution is to have two or more sheets that you slide into place but if you drop one of those sheets wind and waves can easy wash them over board making it hard to seal off the living compartment). And, of course not too pricey, ugly or complicated to make 🙂 This part still requires some pondering.

Belfast is a rather large city, so we have spent some time walking out to the industrial districts to buy new 10 mm chain and some stronger shackles to connect it to the bowsprit. We also rented bikes for a couple of days to be able to go to a ship chandlery between Belfast and Bangor.

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Biking to Down Marine, and fitting the new 10 mm chains to the bowsprit

Except installing the new chains, the through hull fitting and new hatch we are also taking on some more renovation projects onboard. The communication station is complete and Jens is almost done with installing the AIS, so everyone can see where we are (and we can see them). We are still hunting for a coaxial cable to be able to connect it to the GPS antenna, we´ll let you know how it works after that ;-). We also started to think about how to make a new door to the boat, and maybe changing the bunks so that we could keep the batteries a little bit higher up in the boat. Installing all the appliances connected to the VHF and AIS is harder than you might think!

While Jens have been busy with the more technical aspects of renovation, I have made sure to get some holiday spirit into the boat with a little Christmas tree, picking some ivy and making an Advent candle holder (of the piece that was left after adapting one of our cuttingboards to fit over the sink). Now I just need to figure out how to be able to bake some gingerbread cookies and saffron buns without an oven aboard?? Maybe I can find help with that here in the harbour? 😉

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Watching the Swedish Advent calendar show online together with some christmas porridge

Let me tell you, the people in Northern Ireland are a friendly bunch! Here in Belfast we already made friends with a bunch of people. There are some that live on their boats some of the time and quite many spend at least one day a week on their boat. Early on we got to know Elliott, the poet, who spend a lot of time on his boat together with his cub writing a play. He helped us move the boat over to the sunny side of the harbour together with Ian. Ian is also dreaming of the blue water cruising lifestyle and will head off south in the spring. Besides the fact that it´s nice to have some people to chat with as we are stuck here fixing the boat in some weeks, we have also got a lot of help and ideas from the gentlemen in the harbour.

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Elliott and Ian helping us to pull Mouni over to the sunny side of the harbour

After our closest neighbour Ians boat, lies Sylvana with Simon and Paula onboard. They invited us over the other week to discuss different options for routes down to France, since they have sailed over there several times. They are also planning to go cruising next spring. It is great to listen to the experience from the people who have local knowledge on the routes we are planning to take south.

One day earlier this week, we heard about a Christmas dinner being organized by Simon to gather all the people who have boats in the marina. We asked if we could join and that was fine! We walked into town together with Elliott and met up with all the others at a bar to take a drink before we headed to the restaurant. The crew from most of the boats had joined and there were about 35 people on three tables in the restaurant celebrating the holiday season approaching. When Elliott thanked Simon with a speech he also mentioned the Swedish guests, and we felt we should introduce ourselves and thank them for letting us join. Of course, we couldn´t help but sharing a piece of Swedish tradition, and told the story about the French monk that in the 1600´s wrote down the lyrics to a song he heard the Swedes sing so engaged, that he knew it must be the national anthem. Years later it was revealed that it actually was a drinking song called “Helan går”. So, now at least part of Belfast know the most common Swedish drinking song, and that cheers in Swedish is pronounced “Skål”! The evening ended with some rum and tea onboard Ian´s boat, which is nicely decorated for Christmas.

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Christmas dinner together with all the nice folks from Belfast Harbour Marina

Since that evening, it feels like we know everyone in the harbour and it´s great to have a nice community surrounding us. Most of the people here expect us to stay over Christmas, only time will tell 😉

– Petra

Progress when wind-bound

So, once again we are wind-bound due to the stormy weather that lets us know that the autumn has arrived. First we got stuck in Grebbestad for some days, and now we have been resting and waiting for our window of opportunity in the weather to continue west. Restless and full of ideas, this does not mean that we lay in bed all day and relax, nope! So what have we been doing?

In Grebbestad, we focused a on making the boat a more functional and nicer home:

  • Painting the ceiling in the boat white. In the long run, we want to isolate it from cold/heat and sound by a putting up a carpet or cork, but the white colour makes it much lighter and prettier until then.
  • Repairing the fridge. New plastic surface inside that cover the hole made when we moved the compressor. The fridge is mounted on a sliding shelf under the kitchen stove. We also painted the lid and some new additions to the sliding shelf.
  • Replacing the galley pump. We have had problems to get enough pressure for a decent water flow in the tap. Finally, when Jens installed a new pump for the third time it  works well! We use a bilge-pump instead of a ordinary galley pump, since it gives us  a lot more capacity for a cheaper price (400 SEK instead of 2500).
  • Cleaning the bilge. When shopping all that food for the weeks to come, we are storing food also in the bilge – perfect for canned food and beer 😉
  • Putting up an isolated drapery. We now have a drapery that separates the living area from the storage and toilet in the forepeak. This makes it easier for us to keep it nice and warm where we sleep even though the weather gets colder.

Besides this, we made another try sealing the mast so that no water can get into the boat and we finally finished the tiller. Big milestone! I have been working on the tiller from time to time since we left Västerüs, might go through all the steps with you at some point.
dsc_0660-copyHere in Lillesand, we haven´t spent much time relaxing either (even though that was the idea). Jens have focused a lot on making the boat even more safe, for the crossings and rough weather that will come sooner or later:

  • Installed safety deck-lines. On our life-vests we have a safety harness that will be connected to the deck lines and preventing us from falling of the boat, even if there are big waves or if the deck is slippery from water.
  • Adding a cleat next to the starboard winch to secure the genua furling line.
  • Modifying the genua rail setup so that we can easily switch between the genua and jib.
  • Installing the sun-ventilator in the forepeak hatch (to ventilate the toilet) and installed an old style robust steel ventilator which can be properly closed, preventing water from entering the boat.

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Inside the boat, with some adjustments we were able to hang up our fruit hammock! It is a classic feature in blue water cruising boats, since you need to stack up a lot of food and the hammock helps keep the fruits and vegetables fresh in the net and it can also swing as the boat leans back and forth.

2007-01-11-08-57-33We have never been so ready for the big seas! 😀

But of course, it is not only the boat who has to be in shape. All that sitting when we´re sailing needs to be balanced with other type of activity on land. We haven´t been so good at that, besides taking long walks. But here in Lillesand we ran up the hill and around the little lake, stopping for some strength exercices before we went back to the harbour. Even gave Jens a haircut, so now we are on the right track inside and out.

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Hope you all enjoy the autumn sun, storms and crisp weather!

– Petra

 

 

 

Changing the state of mind

The first week of our journey has come to an end. This week we have traveled from Västerüs to ArkÜsund, a journey both in distance and in state of mind. We decided long time ago that if we would do this journey, the goal would be to change the way we live our life into a life with less stress, more precence in the moment and prioritising health and harmony before ambitious goals. Changing the mindset has been the most challenging this week. We are still rather stressed and worn out from trying to renovate the boat fast enough to leave close to the deadline we had set out. Even after we left, the thought of sailing in autumn storms has left us with a sense of urgency of sailing around Sweden to make some of the crossings before the autumn arrives. But the goal has always been to sail in harmony rather than travel far, so yesterday we made a decision. Drop all deadlines and plans and take each day as it comes. There are things to discover, interesting people to meet and great sailing opportunities wherever we are!

But lets take a peak of what we have been doing the last few days. After leaving SĂśdertälje, we have had rainy days and fog on the way to Trosa and sunny weather when we left…

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Enjoyed some of our favourite swedish things, such as rice pudding, blueberries, and crayfish party with Jens family…

 

We stayed in Dragsvik outside NykÜping a couple of days to fix some last things we wanted to get done at the boat with the help of Jens parents. Like working on our new tiller (Swe: rorkult) that will replace the broken one. We also installed the tap and pump in the galley, cut the mattress to suit our bed, cleaned some rope that will cover our mast inside the boat  and started building the last closet for our boxes.

 

 

SÜren sawing the tiller in roughly the right shape, and me scraping it round and even.

The last day we decided to move the work station to one of the nice islands right outside the harbour, in the popular area of “StendĂśrren”. Awesome place to work! 🙂

Thank you also to Rolf Grossman, who paddled up next to us and took a great shot of Mouni. Hope your cruising dreams come true one day!

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After dinner with friends in the ArkĂśsund harbour yesterday, we are now heading for the baptism of little Iris. Hope you are all enjoying the weekend in the sun!

– Petra

 

(Oh) we get by with a little help from our friends

We knew that this last month of renovation while living aboard would not be easy, but with the end goal in mind we were sure it would be worth it. Since my vacation started, we have worked on the boat every day. But not all the time – we have been fortunate enough to have lots of visits from dear friends and family! We decided early on that we would not say no to anyone who wanted to come visit us, even though it would slow us down with the renovation. Some have you have even come by to help!

We are so happy for all of you who have come by visiting us – bringing some snack, lunch or even breakfast just to see us and the boat before we leave. I think we have met more of ours friends this last month than the whole last year!

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Earlier this spring we also decided that we wanted to have a farewell party before we set sails, so that we could gather as many friends and family as possible and celebrate the start of our adventure. The invitation was sent out: bring your family, something to put on the grill and we will make a big cake and let you know about our plans and dreams. We were happy to see so many showed up, over 40 people!

 

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We invited everyone to share their best advice with us and cheer us on in the guest book – friends of sailing for harmony. So what did our community want to tell us? First some advice:

  • Jens grow your beard! Petra let Jens grow his beard! -David
  • Make sure that your partner is not hungry and follow your moral compass -Kenneth & Sara
  • Seagulls are fun when you look for land but not when you´re on land –Emelie and Andreas

Remember that..

“If you miss home, remember that you brought your home with you” -Nina

“There is no adventure without smaller mishaps” -Cissi

“Even if there is stormy weather, the relationship doesn´t have to be” –Dan

Thank you guys! Now we have a book of wisdom from all the people we will miss.

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We are still busy renovating, and have postponed the start of our journey a couple of days waiting for our contact to help us configure the battery charger settings. We´ll let you know when we are on our way!

-Petra

Sail away – rig work

When starting a project there is often a mental picture in ones head about the procedure and how it will end up, i.e. the goal, the finish line. The dream. For me that goal is a serious downshift; throwing the watch and clogged schedules out the window and instead sailing away to distant shores and exploring remote islands. Often one finds out there is a big discrepancy between the dream and the reality, or at least I do 😉

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One of these discrepancies is rigging the boat. In my head it all sounded very easy – it’s just to add a second forestay, build a bow sprit, buy a new boom, make a new boom bracket and move it further up the mast, change the all cables in the mast and replace the navigation lights with new energy saving LED ones and then sail away. In reality minutes, hours and days were consumed by what many engineers would call compatibility problems. In other words; the different parts just simple does not fit together. Especially not when the original mast and rig were built in the seventies and spare parts are not easy to find. After stepping the mast, taking it down again, restepping it again and after that taking the backstay down another four times the good news is that finally everything is in place.

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The bad news is that the backstay needs to be taken down a fifth time to change a toggle up in the top (when the part hopefully arrives later this week) and the new boom bracket really should be moved down closer to the deck about 250 mm or so. But during the process I really got to know the rigging of the boat and that is a nice feeling.

A few words of caution for everyone taking on a project to change the rigging: If someone ensures you that a particular part for sure fits your particular boat never trust them until you have verified this on your own, twice!

Do not let a few problems stop your dreams
– Jens