There, But for the Grace of God, Go I

While I was stressing about my scratch, I got an email that referred me to this link about Ghost Rider, a Nordhavn 47.

http://mv-ghostrider.blogspot.com/2016/09/08-aug-ghost-rider-down.html

It’s a heart wrenching story; difficult enough to live though, probably even harder to write about.

So that ended my pity party pretty quick.

I had a close call with a submerged jetty in Florida.  We’d only had Dauntless 8 months at that point.  For something so dangerous, basically a rock wall just under water, the charts whispered Danger, instead of yelling it.  I slowed and finally figured it out in the nick of time.  It is one of the reasons I now travel with two navigation programs running.  When the situation gets complicated a second view is extremely helpful.

The chart data is not incorrect; it’s just our mind is not seeing what it expects.  Therefore, it tries to come up with a logical explanation based on its initial (false) assumption.  A dangerous false path.  A primary cause of aircraft accidents in fact.

And it happens in the classroom all the time, especially in science, even more so in Earth Science.  In Earth Science classrooms students are learning concepts for everyday physical occurrences that they see all the time, like phases of the moon or why the sun rises in the east.  But long before they step into any classroom, their minds have already developed an explanation.  Many times, that initial explanation is incorrect, though logical with a limited number of facts.

A Harvard study looked at this phenome using Harvard students, who presumably had had a good science education just to get into Harvard in the first place.  They found that students, even after having been taught the correct explanation for various physical phenomena, generally reverted back to their initial false explanation.  In other words, it is difficult to un-teach concepts that have been incorrectly conceived. (This was a major focus of my second Master’s, in Science Education).

Tragedies happen because even in the face of new information, facts on the ground so to speak, we ignore what’s in front of us and keep trying to fit what we’re seeing with our initial explanation.

Earlier this summer, cruising south along the coast of Ireland, we were cruising at night because of the tides and currents.  I see a red light in the sky off in the distance.  Looking at the chart, the only explanation I could come up with was it looked like a radio tower on land about 10 miles in front of us. I don’t see any other lights, therefore it’s not a boat, otherwise I would see some combination of red, green or white light, at least two out of those three.  There was nothing on the radar within 3 miles.

The seas were a bit rough, so we were bouncing around a bit and I attributed the movement of the red light to that, since radio towers on land don’t move.  I periodically look at this light for the next 15 minutes.  I’m sitting in my usual spot on the starboard side of the bench seat in the Krogen pilot house.

About a minute from impact, I realize it’s a sailboat coming directly at us. I grab the wheel, turning hard to starboard. He passes about 100 feet off our port side.  I hail him on the VHF radio, “Sailing vessel showing a top red mast light”.  He doesn’t answer, but his light suddenly turns white.  Yes, he was moron, but I let him get so close because initially my mind had decided I was looking at a light far away and it then tried to fit that assumption to subsequent facts as they materialized.

Most of the time we catch it in time; sometimes we don’t.

Ghost Rider, RIP

 

 

Day 1 thru 5, Kilmore Quay to Arklow, Dunloagharie & Glenarn Northern Ireland,

So it’s been an interesting 6 days.

I wanted to get to Arklow on time, so I had a bit of rough weather and seas, but nothing terrible.

For 6 months, I had planned all the work that needed to be done on Dauntless this winter and spring.

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Dunloagharie harbor, just south of Dublin

Almost none of it was done.

Why, you wonder? simply put, with the boat out of the water, with all the salon hatches open to the engine room and with the general disorder that comes with such work, I found it virtually impossible to do the projects that I had planned on doing. In hindsight, I did not anticipate the amount of turmoil the boat yard work would produce.

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My First Sunrise this Year at Sea

So, by the time I left the boat yard of New Ross, we were seaworthy, but a f…ing mess.   A salon full of stuff and parts that needed to be organized and put away.  A pilot house full of tools that had not been organized as I had planned.

Leaving Kilmore Quay, I was not on a northerly track for the next few weeks.  Out 2016 was underway for better or for worse.

Alone, more than I liked or had planned, friends were coming from the USA for the month of June and I felt an obligation to push as best I could to get to the ports we had planned to meet.

Day 2 Kilmore Quay to Arklow to meet Brian from USA.

In leaving New Ross so quickly, it meant even the paravanes, my stabilizers, were not set up. So I ended up rolling my way to Arklow. With winds on the NE bow, we were going into a bit of a head seas, not nice and we rolled a bit, not great, but livable.

Dauntless
Dauntless

Arriving in Arklow, the town has two places to dock on opposite sides of the river. Thus poor Brian went to the north side as I went to the south side.  Finally, we talked and he told me he could see me, therefore, I went to him on the north wall.

Remember the new paint job, well, it sustained its firs blemish.  Even after setting all the fenders (buoys) that we could, as the tide left and returned, the bow cap rail sustained it’s first scrape.

Another Crappy day
Another Crappy day. The graph on the left shows the pitching of the boat (that’s how much the bow bounces up and down) this is one of the worst days ever. The graph on the right depicts the rolling. While the rolling was not fun, this was without the stabilizers deployed.

Oh well, you can’t live forever and for millions species of things, they would be quite happy to live two days.  My new paint job should feel itself lucky.

Day 3 Arklow to Dunloagharie (just south of Dublin)

A relatively easy, short day, but I had to see the customs guy from Waterford.  He was scheduled to be on the Custaim boat for the next 8 days leaving from this port, Dunloagharie (just south of Dublin) so I had decided to make his job and therefore my paperwork as easy as possible.  We had arranged to meet him the afternoon after we had arrived.  Peter (seems like half the people in Ireland are named after my brother, so it makes it easier to remember their names), on time and meticulous as ever, I had the forms I needed checked, signed and embossed.  No European bureaucracy can resist the raised imprint of the embossed seal.  Does matter what it says, it’s only important that you have it.  Just watch Game of Thrones and it all becomes clear.  (though with a bit less killing, maiming and torture that is depicted in the GOT).

Day 4 & 5 Ireland to Northern Ireland

Where did this guy come from?
Where did this guy come from? Blackie, whose name suddenly changed after two years to Gigi. We never discovered who Gigi was named after.

Last year I vowed to never go out into head seas or contrary winds.

That determination lasted until Day 4 this year. Am I proud of it?  No, I was as sick as a dog.  A really sick dog.

I took my medicine. I felt good enough to function.  Winds were right on our nose, up and down, first you are looking at the sky, then the bottom of the sea.  We even got some spray on the pilot house windows.  With a strong 4 knot current running with us to the northeast, but with strong winds from the northeast at 18 gusting to 25, it produced high, 8 feet, steep waves.  The steepness of the waves produced all the spray on Dauntless.

Brian volunteered to take the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. watch and I relieved him at 2. Having a few hours’ sleep helped, but up and down every 7 seconds was miserable.

Brian was back before 6 a.m. and at that time, I had decided to head due west to a cove that may provide us some protection from the wind and seas.  About 7 a.m., I left him, but added that if conditions changed, we could continue to head north to Northern Ireland.

Eating in my bed in the forward cabin.  I luxuriated in not having to do anything but hold on as we bounced up and down.  My toes held the wall, while my arm under my head touched the opposite wall.  I felt so good with every up and down.  The Krogen handled it so well.  And being in bed, half sleeping, I felt fine.  No longer sea sick, by body enjoyed the roller coaster ride.

That’s the tings about our 42 foot Kadey Krogen.  It always feels secure.  No matter how bad the conditions, while it may feel like another ride on the “wild mouse it still feels secure, like we are on rails.

Soon after I went to bed, I could tell that the seas and winds had changed somewhat.  In my sleepy state, I thought about getting up and telling Brian to just keep going north as originally planned.  But I also knew that I had told Brian to “act accordingly” depending on conditions.  After a few hours of sleep, as the conditions stayed moderate, I thought I should just stay in bed until Brian got us to Scotland.  He was doing fine, or better yet, he didn’t mind the ride in the pilot house and I was happy in my bed.  What’s to complain about?

I finally did get out of bed and that afternoon we headed into Glenarm, on the northern coast of Northern Ireland.

The next day would find us under the high pressure that gave us fair skies and light winds, finally, easing our way into Scotland.

Tomorrow, Scots and Scotland

Phase I is Done

Dauntless after her second coat of primer
Dauntless after her second coat of primer

Phase I was doing he stuff that had to be done before Dauntless got her feet wet.  All done except for salt water pump.  For a competent person, this is a few days work; for me about three weeks.

  • Forward Bilge
    1. Complete hookup of New Vetus holding tank, with new fittings and electrical
    2. Install new bilge pump (old one becomes spare) with new check valve
    3. Make additional fresh water hookup and run hose to forward compartment for Raritan Purisan
    4. Check connections for salt water pump (new, hasn’t worked since installed)
    5. We found a bare wall bulkhead in front of old holding tank. Gary sealed it and put Gelcoat on it.
    6. Check all clamps for the multitude of thru hulls in this area
  • Anchor Locker
    1. Pull all the chain and rode out for both anchors
    2. Vacuum the bottom of chain locker
    3. Replace two deck fittings for fresh & salt water connections
    4. Re-mark and reverse anchor chain
    5. Add 90 feet polypropylene to end of chain rode (this is because it floats, making it easier to find should I have to abandon anchor with no time for anything else)
    6. Paint anchors
    7. Find third anchor for stern
    8. Make up a new, longer chain snubber

The Electrical list is untouched, but the first four items a-d, will be done in the next days.  The rest in the next two months.

  • Run new VHF cable to the two radios
  • Replace plugs for Navigation lights
  • Add Name Board lights
  • Install new Driving lights
  • Add USB ports in salon and second cabin
  • Add new switch and breaker panel for fridge/freezer in pilot house
  • Add switch panel for solar panels

Once D is out of the shed we will be able to re-rig the Paravanes and the mast.  Gary’s carpenter has made another bird that got broken in the North Sea and has repaired the doors.  The Rocker Stoppers are a work in progress.

  • Restring birds to new line, 3/16” Amsteel, so that I can modify the depth of the birds.
  • Boat Yard is making rocker stoppers for me to use while at anchor

For the Wood Trim, I can’t oil anything until all the sanding is done. I will do this next week, before we head out of the shed into the hard, cruel world.

  • Teak “eyebrow” around pilot house has been scrapped and sanded thanks to Leonie & Martin. I will put Tung Oil on it and see how that works.
  • Oil all the benches that have been sanded

Fuel tank is in the final stages of being done.  Sealant has been applied and new inspection ports are ready to be installed. Anti-Foul will be applied the last day, next Friday.

Most of the heavy lifting by Gary and the New Ross Boat Yard are done or will be in the next week:

  • Port fuel tank sealant and new inspection ports
  • New bottom job, with two coats of epoxy and one of a tie-coat
  • New anti-foul by International, a semi-hard coating that is made for slow boats like Dauntless and should last at least a few years.
  • Painting of the hull from the cap rails down, including the bow pulpit
  • Fixing on of the side doors that while latched open this past winter the winds ripped if off the hook and broke the entire frame. (winds this winter were higher than 100 knots or 110 mph.
  • New Bow thruster blades

Getting the forward cabin and compartments fixed, cleaned and put away was the big monkey on my back.  It was critical to get done and as long as it was unfinished the boat was unlivable.

I’ll start sleeping on board Friday.  It’s feeling like my home again.

My first glass of wine on Dauntless since October.
My first glass of wine on Dauntless since October. And looking forward to forward cabin.

Gary is just finishing applying the second primer coat.  That will get sanded tomorrow, then washed again with an Awlgrip wash (a solvent, like paint thinner) before the first finish coat goes on.  At that point we will actually see the final color.  I hope I like it!

I literally had my first glass of wine on board, the first since October (I’ve had wine, not just in a glass!). I do have rituals you know.

P.S.  Here is a bonus video of Gary applying the second primer coat today. ( I don’t post many videos because it takes hours to upload one video sucessfullly.)

Ireland Part 1

A Tunnel of Green, (one of the more meager ones)
A Tunnel of Green, (one of the more meager ones)

It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Ireland, the land is gorgeous, the people wonderful and the sun shines at least once a month to remind you what it looks like.20160515_173827.jpg

Today, I took a day off.  Every day I’ve been working on Dauntless, getting my little projects done.  The new holding tank is in and connected, the bilge pump also, so forward bilge work is almost done.20160515_141652.jpg

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Byrne & Woods, Roundwood

So, with the sun out and the buds on the trees getting bigger by the day, I thought it would be a good day to drive to the town of Roundwood, about 70 miles NE of New Ross, about 30 south of Dublin.

Well the drive turned out to be even prettier than expected.  The roads were even more picturesque and the traffic was actually minimal.

The restaurant, Byrne & Woods, lived up to expectations. Here is a link to my review:

Bryne &

the drive home
the drive home

Woods

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Out the side window, while I waited for the cows to go home.

Dauntless Gets a New Bottom Job

In October when we pulled her from the water, we found both old and new damage.

That long repair is the result of the second rock.
That long repair is the result of the second rock.

The new was from my second rock encounter in Finland.  In the first Finnish rock meeting, Dauntless rode up the rock on her keel.

But the second one was more egregious in that I hit the side of the rock with the side of the hull that left a four-foot scrape in the hull which was deep enough to cause a hairline crack all the way through the hull. Me Bad.

So in looking to repair that damage, we also

Her Starboard Side
Her Starboard Side

found some old damage that had been repaired, but not well or not completely.  How do I know?  Because in the three years I have owned her, whenever it rained, I had water entering the forward bilge.  In addition, the paint on the bulkhead that separates the forward bilge from the amidships, had peeled, since water was coming in behind it.

Both those issues have been repaired and even though Dauntless sat on the hard in the wind and rain all winter, only in the last days was she put into the shed for painting, the forward bilge has remained bone dry.

Dauntless in the Shed. The Shed looked much bigger before she went it.
Dauntless in the Shed. The Shed looked much bigger before she went it.

Now, the engine room bilge still has rain water getting in there, but I actually think that is as normal as one can expect in a 25-year-old boat.

I am also very pleased that everyone who has worked on the Krogen for the last 6 months has commented on the quality of: the workmanship, the design and the build.

I decided to paint the entire hull, since three years of docking was starting to show.  And the incentive of a new, different for a Kadey Krogen, paint job will make me both more careful and thoughtful.

In the next weeks, I will enumerate the other jobs we, I have done for this coming season.  That we have many, many miles to go, makes me feel even better about the preparation we are doing now.

The pictures show Dauntless outside when they had finished the bottom rehab, which meant repairing all the nicks and gouges, new fiberglass along the keel, gel-coat along the keel, then preparing the hull for two coats of epoxy and one of the tie-coat, which allows the anti-foul to adhere to the epoxy.

After two layers of Epoxy
After two layers of Epoxy
After two layers of epoxy, the beginning of the tiecoat (that allows the anti-foul coat to bond to the epoxy) is going on.
After two layers of epoxy, the beginning of the tiecoat (that allows the anti-foul coat to bond to the epoxy) is going on.
Gary applying the first layer of epoxy
Gary applying the first layer of epoxy
Keel got a new layer of gelcoat.
Keel got a new layer of gelcoat.

 

Glimpses of Ireland

Working on the boat this week, getting her ready for painting.  That story and pictures will come soon.

And in a sudden development, the Cruise Plan 2016 & 2017 has been radically altered.  I’m working out the numbers now, so stay tuned to this channel for the exciting details.

So in the meantime, here are some relatively random shots of Ireland taken over the last three weeks:

In the dry dock at New Ross Boat Yard
In the dry dock at New Ross Boat Yard
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The Lock at St. Mullins
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Waterford bridge and hill
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Wexford Harbor

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Getting My Mojo Back

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Driving on the “wrong” side of the road

So Thursday, I passed my first car in a roundabout (aka traffic circle, rotary) and today, Saturday, I passed a few more.

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That reflection of the arrow and line seems out of place in this photo because of the camera angle. In fact, by keeping the arrow near the center line, it helps me to not stray too far left as is the tendency.

What does that mean?  Simply that my terror of driving in a right-hand drive car on right-hand drive roads is slowly decreasing as my skill of using my right hand to shift and left hand to steer is coming along nicely.  I still let out the clutch a bit slower than normal, as there are still occasions of getting third when I want fifth gear or vise-versa. Even worse, in this car, reverse is to the right of forth and right where sixth is on some BMW’s), so when shifting to forth, I am really slow with the clutch just in case.

Crossing the Atlantic is still preferable, but while Dauntless is laid up, I need convenient transportation and that means renting a car. Knock wood.  (Should I die tomorrow, or anytime this month, I hope someone has the decency to remove this post and not re-post on Trawler Forum, with the title, “I Told You So”.

These days, I am stay in a wonderful B&B in New Ross, close to JFK’s ancestral home, and I had a great conversation with the owner’s son about movies and series.  The Unit by David Mamet came up, because for me, it is still the best depiction and most realistic military shows I have seen.  So in looking for the DVD’s I discovered Amazon Prime streams them.

Passing the time watching The Unit, by David Mamet and reviewing World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell
Passing the time watching The Unit, by David Mamet and reviewing World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell

I have been skimming through season four since yesterday and also grabbed my World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell from Dauntless.  A must has, it’s a great planner for any passage in which weather matters.

As for The Unit? A must see that reminds us of the sacrifices many have made for the sake of ours and much of the world’s freedom.

 

Climate Change, Immigration & Peter Pan

Peter Pan, yes, the story of someone who did not want to grow up. Having reached that magical age of awareness, he/she was now perfectly content to freeze that reality forever.

"Rene" the Bar in Budoia
“Rene” the Bar in Budoia.  The only changes in 40+ years are the owners.

These days, as I walk around my small little village of Budoia, population 2500, it is as it was when I first moved here to Italy 40 years ago, so I am reminded how things change and how they remain the same.

Nowadays, even in the smallest villages, it is not uncommon to see Africans and Chinese, here and there going about their daily business.  The Chinese are running many of the bars, where Italians get their coffee, newspapers, aperitif, etc. during the day, from dawn till late into the night.  Probably why the Chinese prosper, as the long hours no longer seem to appeal to the younger European generation. There are also Romanians and others from the Balkans, but Africans and Chinese stand out for obvious reasons.

With all the angst of the refugee crisis and immigration in general, I realize that for the 40 years I have been coming to Italy, I have always seen Africans here, even in small towns like Budoia. Chinese are a more recent phenomenon, first appearing in the outdoor markets 20 years ago and now in significant numbers in the bar business.  I have heard no complaints about the quality of their coffee and at least here, there is an acceptance that speaks to human migration.

Now, let’s rewind a bit.

From reading this blog, many of you know that Dauntless was docked right next to the Viking Tower in Waterford.

Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and was founded by the Vikings (actually Danes) in the 9th century. It was taken over by the Anglo-Norman invaders in the 12th century and was one of the most important ports in Ireland until just recently due to its deep water port.

Waterford is the only town in Ireland that kept it’s Viking name.  A few hundred years after its founding, The Anglo-Normans came to Waterford to kick the Vikings out, who in turn had dislodged the few Celts who lived there.

Who were these Anglo-Normans?  The Anglos were made up of Saxons, originally from Saxony in Northern Germany and Engels (from whence we get the name “English” and the language), who came from the area of northern Germany, Denmark (from where the Vikings came from) and a bit of Friesland Northern islands north of Germany and Holland). The Normans of course were from Normandy, the NW corner of France.

So, these groups of people from northern France and Germany, after a stopover in England, decided to kick the Danes/Viking’s out of Ireland or at least Waterford, since it was a good place to be.

Now the Vikings who had settled Waterford, really liked Waterford.  It was much warmer and nicer than where they came from.  So when the English/Normans pushed them out, they didn’t move far, just up the road about 3 miles north of town, to a neighborhood called Ballybeg.  Now, what is interesting about Ballybeg nowadays, is the number of times I was warned about the “that neighborhood”.  I’m guessing that people in Waterford have been talking about “those” people in Ballybeg for the last 900 years. The fact that Waterford kept it’s Viking name, which means large port and the Celts also called it, “Lairge Port” speaks to the fact that even after the Anglo-Normans arrived, the Vikings were more assimilated than replaced.

In fact, a recent issue of the BBC History Magazine talks about how the Vikings may have assimilated as much as raped and pillages over the years, throughout the northern world.  Who knew?

So to look at it as dispassionately as possible, as we go back in time, when did migration/immigration start? Yesterday? Last year? 10 years ago? 100? 1000? 10,000? With Columbus? With …? Get the picture?

Immigrants are so labeled by those who migrated before them. Humans have been moving to find better climates, better food, better jobs, better lives, for at least 200,000 years.

Now related to all those humans, is that this week 190 countries have “struck a deal over that weekend that ushers in a broad, new international effort to wind down the fossil fuel era to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

Being an Atmospheric Scientist myself, I marvel at the thought that mankind thinks we are so powerful.  Much like Prometheus bringing fire to humans. But with that fire, we also got evils.

Clearly, the planet is warming.  Mankind’s activities have clearly warmed the planet over the last 10,000 years.  We are presently about 2 degrees above the Ice Age temperatures.  And that’s my big rub, had humans not existed, what would the temperature be now?  Probably close to Ice Age temperatures, probably colder, as the inter-glacial period would have been ending, thus ushering in a new, 5th Ice Age.

Now, everyone of course, knows that 56 million years ago, the planet was 5 degrees warmer than today and there were no ice caps, with forests extending from the farthest north to Antarctica.

My point being that the planet has been far warmer and far colder.

Humans are a part of the environment, just as the whales or birds in the sky. With the rise of agriculture and industrialization, the planet has warmed and will continue to do so; without it, we could not have supported the population the world now has.

We also may have averted the 5th Ice Age.

No matter.

We can all sit back and marvel at the hubris of people today.  For having warmed Earth, the two degrees necessary for life to be successful; we now want to stop the planet warming and further interfere with the climatic processes that have been going on for over 4 billion years.

That’s hubris.

We want industrialization with only its benefits and not the disadvantages.  A warmer planet with more CO2 in the air will grow more food crops, but for those who are not hungry, that’s not a consideration.

Why do we differentiate between a political and economic refugee?  Evidently, we as a society have already decided that starving to death is a better outcome than being thrown in jail for one’s beliefs?

Migration was OK until it wasn’t. We can’t allow further migration because we, who have already migrated, are happy with the status quo.

The climate has always been changing, but now we must stop it. Why, because we like it just so.

I wish our society were debating these issues.

We can’t see the forest for the trees. So let’s cut them down.

But then, now, having re-read this countless times before posting; I see a third option:

We tackle those subjects we have no control over because it diverts attention from the true everyday tragedies that we do control and cause. Like Bread & Circuses. 

If we concentrate on changing the temperature 100 years from now, nobody pays attention to the hundreds dying every day from being denied basic human rights!

WOW. That’s too cynical for even I. So let’s just give them the benefit of the doubt.

We have chosen this moment to freeze in time.  Just like Peter Pan.

 

.

 

 

Ireland & Italy

Twelve hours from now, I will be snugged into an aisle seat on Delta Airlines, watching the minutes drag by like hours.

As many times as I have taken the red eye to Europe over eh past 30 years, I still dislike it, a lot. In fact, I’d rather go to the dentist.

Now, I do like my dentist, a lot. Sometimes I even dress us just for her.  One has to stay in the game, even if only in the dugout. When I stop flirting with people, it’ll be time to swim with the fishes.

Speaking of which, in spending more countless hours trying to get my pictures organized once again, I ran across some of our Atlantic Passage pictures.

The water was so blue even with the wind causing some white horses, as many Europeans call whitecaps.

August 28, 2014    250 miles SSW of Ireland
August 28, 2014 250 miles SSW of Ireland

I know it was only months ago when I was gazing at the map in dismay, seeing I have over 1200 miles to do, alone, in September. With summer long gone and autumn rearing it’s windy head I was not looking forward to those miles.

Now I miss it.  I can’t wait to get underway again.  Listening to the purr of the Lehman, the quiet swish of the Krogen hull cutting through the water like a hot knife in butter, is truly music to my ears.

But I still have 5 months for that to happen.

Tomorrow morning, I will arrive in Dublin, even rent a car, for the first time in years in Ireland.  I need to go to New Ross, check on Dauntless, so some winter stuff, minor stuff, defrost the fridge, etc. Talk to the people working on the hull making her look pretty again. And for the right price we will even paint below the cap rail.  On Wednesday, I’ll go to Waterford (about 20 minutes away, 3 hours by boat) for two days.

But as much as anything, I am going to Ireland for these four days just to be there, to wish a Merry Christmas to so many of the wonderful people I have met in Waterford.  I spent about half my winter last winter in Waterford.  IT turned out to be a good mix (half in US, half in Waterford).  This year I am already a bit bored in NYC.  There is only so much I can do here.

So the plan is New Ross tomorrow, Wednesday & Thursday Waterford, then on Friday fly to Treviso and drive to my friends in Budoia, the little town, very little, that is as much as my home as NYC is.

Three weeks in Italy, almost all with friends will be wonderful, though to mix it up slightly, Julie, who join me on the 23rd, and I will spend New Year’s Eve and day in Venezia. Then taking the water bus to the airport on January 2nd. That will be a first for me. I hope it’s foggy, fog is fun when someone else is doing the driving.

The pictures of interest column on the right posts my Instagram pictures and I will try to post a picture a day to give you an idea of my latest hi-jinks.

And the dollar is getting stronger and oil is in freefall.  Can’t ask for much better than that when you have a motorboat that still must cross two oceans and a few seas!

The Viking Tower in Waterford
The Viking Tower in Waterford

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

Alas the candlestick maker is no more.

Being back in Waterford is so much like coming home; though I just left home to fly here.

Umm, maybe I have two homes: wherever Dauntless is and wherever Julie is.  That’s simple enough!

So I’m back in Waterford to make plans for what needs to be done for winter.  Dauntless and I want to be ready to leave Waterford, probably forever, by early April.  Seems like months away; it is months away, but everything on a boat takes longer.

Dauntless at low tide
Dauntless at low tide on the Waterford waterfront. The crane in the background is still used.

So this morning I made my rounds.  Also walking in Waterford, being surrounded by friendly, warm people is the perfect antidote for the last day’s fiascos.  I have described Irish as like Italians and Spaniards, but they speak English; but have now come to the conclusion that they are on a level all by themselves.  Unlike pretty much everyone else in Europe, the Irish never had an empire, not even the inkling of one nor even the desire.

They use more terms of ___ then anyone else and they truly mean it.  Need something; everything stops while they try to solve your problem.

And they curse more than New Yorkers also!  Not like “F—k you”; but more like the exclamation, “can you believe we had a whole f—king day without rain!”  And they drag out the sound so it is more like “foooking”.

Cute.

At 3:15 p.m. the streets are full of uniformed kids of every age coming from school.  It baffles me how Americans, who pride themselves on being egalitarian, can’t see how important uniforms are for kids.  Umm, I wonder why those expensive private schools in New York, ($40k per year) make their kids wear uniforms and even limit technology in the classroom. Worst of all, they even make their kids learn the multiplication table.  There should be a law against that.  But I digress.

I made my little circuit of the town this morning deciding that I was going to make a wholesome dinner today.  Yesterday, arriving from New York, I had my coffee in the morning and an ice cream bar, a Magnum Black, for dinner.

The Bread baker on the left,the butcher on the right, John Molly's, is hidden behind the truck.
My bread from Hickey’s Bread on the left, my butcher on the right, John Molly’s, is hidden behind the truck.

I like cooking for guests, but today I had decided I needed real food. So my first stop was the butcher where I got 4 lamb chops and Brussels sprouts.  Then, the baker, where I got some crusty Hobbit bread. Then the second baker, the cupcake guy, as I love his apple pies.

Master of Cakes, Cupcake Colture
Master of Cakes, Cupcake Couture

I just finished making my coleslaw, No secrets there, real mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of Korean hot pepper paste with vinegar.

My Laundry. How could I miss it!
My Laundry. How could I miss it!

And in cruising through the World Wide Web, I found this link about mayonnaise which I thought to the point.

http://thedelicioustruth.blogspot.ie/2008/10/real-mayonnaise-vs-light-mayonnaise.html

 

OK. Gotta Go, my lamb chops are done resting.

 

 

Coming Full Circle

30 September 2015, 13:10 hours, we passed the track off of Dunmore East that we had made leaving Ireland 4 months and 5 days earlier on the 25th of May.

Bost in Vadrarfjordr.  The Only City in Ireland that Kept its Viking Name
Bost in Vadrarfjordr.
The Only City in Ireland that Kept its Viking Name
Dauntless in her New Spot in Waterford
Dauntless in her New Spot in Waterford

As I motored slowly up the River Suir, it is impossible to describe my feelings.  Much like crossing the Atlantic, this was another 4,000 nm, 7,200 km trip milestone completed.

Spread out over four months instead of one, was both a blessing and a curse:

A blessing in that time is spread out, so schedules are more flexible and the scenery is constantly changing, as is the places visited and the foods eaten.

A curse in that it’s almost exclusively coastal travelling and the stress that entails, rocks, narrow channels, and worst of all, expensive marinas.

And much like the Atlantic Passage, coming full circle was a culmination of years of dreaming and planning.  As soon as the Atlantic was planned, still years before we actually had a boat, I had moved on to phase two, the first full spring and summer in northern Europe.  So of course that meant the Baltic and those lands of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia that were almost totally new to me.

Arklow Inner Harbor
Arklow Inner Harbor

For the most part, if the plan has been well thought out, events unfold as planned.  As I look at the Dauntless Cruise Plan that was finalized in April, I pretty much stuck to the plan into September.

Arklow Inner Harbor
Arklow Inner Harbor

Sadly, as I cruised up the Suir, I was occupied with trying to get my cell phone on.  It had gone to sleep and never woke up.  No sign of life, even when being charged or when I changed its battery.

Today, 48 hours later, I have accepted that its demise is permanent.  And sadly today, I just realized that I had not downloaded any pictures since the end of August.

Still of the 600 that were on the phone,  I had uploaded a few pictures and videos to WordPress and I have the hundreds of pictures I took with the Samsung K-30, but I like the Note for its ability to take good panorama shots. All of the pictures I post with these blogs came from the Note. That’ll change now.

Now the previous week, I had talked to Johnny, the Waterford City Council guy in charge of the marina and I think a bunch of other things too, to find out where to tie up as the docks were almost full.  We had planned that I would call again coming up the river. But now I couldn’t., which always adds to the stress since knowing the spot I was going to is one less thing to worry about.

Trawler unloading in Arklow
Trawler unloading in Arklow

Spotting an empty spot at the end of one of the three floating docks (pontoons in British English) there was a sign saying it was a private spot, but any port in a storm, is a lesson I have learned the hard way. Also, there are a number of these marked spots on the dock, but they are not necessarily up to date and the owners had moved on long ago.  I was in such a spot all last winter.

Thus I took it, got tied up, changed to my street clothes and then the owner of the spot motored on up, with his wife and two daughters.

Oops.

I went out and apologizing profusely, asked him what I should do, telling him that I had not been able to call Johnny and dreading the response, to move to who knows where?

BBQ in Arklow
BBQ in Arklow

Instead he was really nice and said no problem at all; he would just raft outside of Dauntless until I found my place.  I thought that was particularly gracious since it meant he had to hang around until I got things sorted out.

Just then, I look down the pontoon, and who do I see walking towards us was Johnny, himself.  Now, I was surprised, knowing how busy Johnny is, as well as the fact that the marina (dock really) is just a small part of his job, very small.

Turns out while he had not heard from he, he had spotted Dauntless coming up the river on AIS.

What a relief.  I did not want to inconvenient my new found friend Danny any more than I already had.  Johnny did have a tight spot for me on the inside of the pontoon, one that I had not considered knowing the water was very shallow on the inside, but in this case it was deep enough.

So 15 minutes later, we were retied to the spot we are currently in.  Johnny also called the boat owner in my previous spot to confirm they were pulling their boat this coming Saturday, so I could move back there then.

A wonderful welcome back to Waterford.  There are simply no more friendly people than the Irish.  Virtually every encounter over the last 13 months had been of this sort.  Always willing to help, always friendly to all boaters.

Stopping over in Arklow, the evening before illustrates the point:

It’s a small fishing town. Everyone is so nice. We just stopped in Arklow for a few hours to wait on the tide to turn in about 5 hours.

There was a big sailboat tied to the wharf wall, a commercial dock, with large rubber tires and old timber. I told the sailboat skipper I just needed to stop for 5 or 6 hours. So he suggested I raft (tie up to his boat) next to him. As we were tossing lines, a guy came by on Kayak to tell me the hammerhead on the dock in the small inner harbor with fishing boats was open.

So realizing that was better I moved the boat there and after getting tied up, two different guys, working guys, came by to tell me the access code for the gate and we had a discussion about the tides and currents and the best time to leave.

And of course, this dock was free.

One thing you see in Ireland is that they really like everyone on a boat.
You don’t see the class warfare you see in many places. Fisherman always wave and talk with you. When I spent last September rafted to fishing boats in Castletownbere, Dauntless fit right in, in both size and the lines of the boat.  (I wrote about this in the post, “Now It’s Miller Time” sometimes we were rafted 4 or 5 deep.

Link to that post: https://dauntlessatsea.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/now-its-miller-time/

So my welcome home was better than I could have even hoped.

The Krogen Cruisers have their annual rendezvous next week, so of course I am going to that.  I like talking to other owners about our boats and its amazing prowess.

So Tomorrow I fly to my real home, but I’ll be back in a couple weeks to sort out what needs to be done this winter.

In the next weeks and months, I will backfill these posts with the events of the summer that I never had time to write about such as:  Cruising with Another Krogen in Holland, Estonia, Finland and Sweden and single handing thru Denmark, Norway and Scotland, the Caledonian Canal and of course, Crossing the North Sea.

 

Summer Adventure 2015 Begins

Yesterday.

We got up at the crack of dawn so  to be able to start engine at 06:15. The last line was thrown off at 06:45 and our Summer Adventure officially began.

Today, Sunday, 24 May, 2015, I awoke to the visage of Claudia III out the salon window, quite a change from Waterford.  But how did we get here?

THe Krogen's Salty Bow
The Krogen’s Salty Bow & a Few Irish Boats

Casting off yesterday morning, with our bow pointed into the flooding tide, Dauntless left Waterford with hardly a ripple.  A little left rudder, forward gear at idle, she glided smoothly into the oncoming 2 knot current.

I can’t begin to tell you the feelings of getting underway, cleaving the bonds that tied us to a particular place.  The steady purr of the engine, the big wheel turning a big rudder, Dauntless becomes frisky. Krogens are made to roam the seas and can bring their lucky owners to virtually any place they dare to go.

We had arranged to go to the New Ross Boatyard for haul out.  12 months and 4,000 miles after our last haul out, I figured it was time again.  The Waterford boatyard’s lift was too narrow for our Krogen, but they recommended the New Ross Boatyard.  Our departure from Waterford was predicated on two factors:  the need to depart into the current and the necessity to arrive at New Ross close to high water. That meant an hour downstream against the current and then an hour upstream with the current.  Turned out there was also a swing bridge to traverse, but we had three feet to spare.

On the Hard in the New Ross Boatyard
On the Hard in the New Ross Boatyard

Arriving at the boat yard, with a two knot current still running, made for an exciting entrance, finally on the third attempt, Dauntless was safely cradled in the lift.

The bottom was in much better shape than I had anticipated.  The previous haul out, half the anti-fouling paint was gone.  This time, there were just small areas where the old ablative paint was showing through.  So we, actually Karla and Larry, spent the rest of the afternoon touching up our bottom.  Now it looks a bit like a moth eaten leopard, but only the fish will know.

The two zincs were half gone.  I replaced the one on the rudder.  The one of the shaft is a combination steel cutter attached to a clamp on zinc anode.  It costs only $62.  It’s the second one I’ve put on and it works wonderfully.  Half eaten, it tells me it’s doing its job and no pieces of line wrapped around the shaft as had happened in the past. I got it from the Zinc Warehouse,

http://www.zincwarehouse.com/shaft-anodes/salca-line-cutter-3.html.

It’s about half gone, but I did not have a replacement, I’ll buy in bulk the next time.

We’re ready to go back in the water, but today is Sunday, so we will have a day of rest and just small jobs.  I must service and grease the Ideal Windlass and probably replace one of the solar panel controllers.

Dauntless Gets a Light Touchup
Dauntless Gets a Light Touchup

The Delorme InReach is now on, and my intention is to keep it on until Dauntless returns its 2015-6 winter home October 1st.  Therefore, you can find us at, https://share.delorme.com/dauntless  But unlike the Atlantic Passage, since we will have somewhat normal email and cell, I have alimited plan in the number of text messages I can send or recieve.  So, if you want to contact us, the best option is email, wxman22@gmail.com, or cell phone.

If there is not a current update on the InReach, either the boat has sunk or I have neglected to charge the InReach.

Thanks for coming along with us.

Dauntless as She Came Out of the Water
Dauntless as She Came Out of the Water
Cutter on the left, abuts the Prop. SALCA 2000 Anode is half gone
Cutter on the left, abuts the Prop. SALCA 2000 Anode is half gone
THe Krogen's Salty Bow
THe Krogen’s Salty Bow
The Krogen Prop and Rudder after 12 months and 4,000 miles
The Krogen Prop and Rudder after 12 months and 4,000 miles
Old and New Anodes (Zincs)
Old and New Anodes (Zincs)