Dauntless Turns 28 years-old as She Passes 5000 Hours

I really did not have time to celebrate as we were entering the inlet to Ilha de Coulatra.

Our track inbound as we depart outbound
Our track inbound as we depart outbound. A much less interesting departure

Conditions were far from ideal: a two knot current against us, 20 knot winds behind us and ocean depths shallowing from 400 feet to less than 20’; it was not the time to get the cake out.

But Dauntless handled the conditions like she always does with a nonchalance that says, if this is what you want me to do, I’ll get it done.

As you can see from our inbound track, we waggled a bit, but that was the extent of it.  We then proceeded to head up the well-marked river channel, only to discover that the marina was full.  Now in the USA, we are accustomed to a marina being full. Making reservations, calling ahead are sometimes critical and done pretty routinely.

Instead in Europe, at least in Northern Europe, first talked about in the Cruising Forum and later confirmed by experience over last two years, is that there is always space.  And if space is not readily available space will be found.  Sometimes that means sailboats will be rafted together two or three deep.  For the most part this Krogen escaped that inconvenience because of our large bow rise.

I think this difference in marina culture is more about the culture than anything else.  I mean in the north, there is a very evident culture of the sea. Thus seafarers are accommodated pretty much no matter what.  It carries over to prices also.  Throughout the North and Baltic Seas, marina prices were in the $20 to $35 range; with only Helsinki being out of the normal at $50.  Even with the two weeks I was in Helsinki last year, the average marina cost was only $25 averaged over the four months for our 42 foot (12.7m) Kadey Krogen.

The same inlet from Google
The same inlet from Google

This year, as we came south, I expected prices to rise.  Prices in the west coast of France were in the $30 to $40 range and that continued into Northwest Spain, Galicia.

But as we turned south, as the temperatures got higher so did the prices.  $40 becomes the going rate and other than the little gem of Vila Franca de Xira up the river from Lisbon or the Marina do Freixo, upriver from Porto, everything costs more.

The bigger disappointment however is not so much the prices, but that’s to be expected.  Similar to what I noticed along the east coast of the Untitled States, the seafaring culture is alive and well in New England, but every place else it’s simply a commercial venture.

And that seems to be the attitude here.

Certainly I have always shown a preference for the cooler, off the beaten track places, Maine instead of the Bahamas, for instance, but none the less, the No Room in the Inn sign is a disappointment, especially since I must turn around in a small distance in a 20 knot wind.

Sunrise
Sunrise at our anchorage

 

 

Published by Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

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