Most galleries are in chronological order. The date time group is also embedded in the file name. Please forgive all the redundancy. It’s always easier to take too many pictures than not enough, though it makes sorting after the fact a real PIA.
Also, should you see anything and have a specific question, please feel free to email me.
Kadey Krogen Rendezvous 2017
Richard on Dauntless
Dauntless’ Second Atlantic Passage
Four Legs from Europe to the Caribbean
Leg 1 Rota Spain to Rabat, Morocco, via Gibraltar to fuel up
50 hours total
Leg 2 Rabat Morocco to Las Palmas, the Canaries (unexpected stop)
4 days, 1 hr., 35 min
Avg speed 6.1 knots
Leg 3 Las Palmas to Heiro, the western most island in the Canaries, Fuel top-up
31 hours and 45 min
The last & biggest leg, the only one that mattered, the Canaries to Martinique
460 hours, (19 days, 4 hours)
The “Oh, BTW, you still have 2000 miles to go” leg, Martinique to Panama Canal and Mexico
460 hours, (19 days, 4 hours)
Same strong easterly trade winds; same large, mixed seas
Avg roll +13°/-09° ext 22°/-10°
Overall Winds & Seas
Conditions are Very Different than the North Atlantic
Trade winds prevent turning back
Constant wind speeds of 20 to 35 knots
Direction varied over 90° from NE to SE
3 wave sets produced large 25° roll every 8 to 10 minutes for 3 weeks
NE & SE wave sets, smaller, longer period
wave heights predominate 10 to 15 feet at 8 seconds
3 different wave sets produced large 25° roll every 8 to 10 minutes for 3 weeks
First week very disconcerting to have stern fall to stbd so suddenly every periodically
Since leaving North Africa, until the Panama Canal, more than 5,000 nm and more than 60 days underway, all but two of those days required the paravane stabilizers.
Entering the Pacific and turning northwest from Panama City, in the first four days we had no need of stabilization. They call it the Pacific for a reason.
Crises In the mid-Atlantic
What I did
What I now think I should have done (hint: Much Ado About Nothing)
Hydraulic Hose for Rudder failure
I was screwing around
What I did
First fix did not work
Spares, spares and more spares (but not the right fitting)
What I now think I should have done
Overall Summary of My Second Atlantic Passage
Considerably harder than I had expected
I’m still organizing the data, but the big take-away, is that the fuel consumption for the last two years has been about 1.5 gal/ hr. or a little above 4nm/gal
Average cost has run between $75 to $133 per day when I’m on the boat. Even during the most recent passage, cost was $104 per day, with fuel being $80 a day.
Having some time on my hands for another couple of weeks, I thought I would share with everyone what the Cruising Costs have been for Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen Motor yacht over the last two years.
I’ve broken out the numbers, so for instance, if you only go to a marina 10% of the time, you can adjust the numbers accordingly.
If you have any specific questions, I will be glad to answer them, but please email me vice PM.
The number don’t add up to 100% because there are some personal travel expenses, which I track but are not pertinent to the story.
Also, the significant difference is that in 2016 I was able to buy 900 gallons of fuel in Ireland for very reasonable prices (far less than UK “red” diesel).
In 2015 because Dauntless range under such conditions, I had to refuel with very expensive fuel in Finland, Sweden and Norway, arriving back in Ireland with almost empty tanks.
Marina costs were significantly higher in 2016 because Portugal, southern Spain, Atlantic France are significantly more expensive than many Baltic and North Sea marinas.
Food costs are pretty much for a couple.
In the next weeks, I will update the latter half of 2016, the trip from Rota Spain to Gibraltar, Morocco, the Canaries and Martinique.
2017 update will be from Martinique to Panama Canal, Costa Rica and up to Mexico for the winter.
Portugal has been a mixed bag so far. Wonderful, warm people, always trying to help, who sound like they are speaking Russian to my English ear.
But the two largest cities, Lisbon and Porto, coupled with the location of the marinas in those cities has been a disappointment. I know I should know better. My mantra over the years to anyone who will listen is to always avoid the large cities of Europe if your goal is to really see the culture and people of any given country.
Doesn’t matter if you are in Ireland or Italy,
Dublin and Rome are more about the tourists and their expectations than the locals. This became even more evident last year in the Baltic. I saw the same tourists in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Tallinn. Between Ryan Air and the high speed ferries, they transport the same group from city to city. And the effect is that the food and expectations in those places start to look more and more the same.
Much like the street fairs of NYC. They used to be a celebration of the neighborhood in which they were located: Italian in Little Italy, Greek in Astoria, Polish in Greenpoint, etc. But about 20 years ago, the City in a move to further commercialize, tax and regulate, increased the number.
Looked good on paper to the politician’s, probably even looked good to the clueless who just arrived in the City from the hinterland, but to New Yorker’s, the damage was done. We now have the exact same vendors every week in different parts of the City. New York, known as a city of neighborhoods, is becoming a city of Blahness. Every place you look looks the same.
OK, moving on.
The above is why I have not written a blog post in the last week. Oh, I’ve written plenty of drafts, I’ve started at least four. But they have all digressed to a point in which even I don’t see the point.
So, ignoring my own advice, since getting to Portugal, Dauntless and I have spent 90% of our time in Porto and Lisbon. And both marinas have been relatively expensive ($45 per day) and a half dozen miles from the
town’s center. People have been wonderful, especially in Porto, where the marina people made me really feel at home and we managed to make a number of new friends.
Now Porto does have different feel than Lisbon, but still.
So, when I found out about a little marina about 20 miles upriver from Lisbon, I jumped at the chance. The home of my new found friend Diogo (the star of another blog that’s yet to be published), Vila Franca de Xira, has been a wonderful little spot.
On the river, attached to a little park and only minutes away from town, it’s like being home; and I just got here.
Numerous cafes, European bars, simple restaurants and an indoor market, full of fish, meat, poultry, vegetables and fruit stalls, it’s the kind of place that makes Europe, Europe.
Very few people speak English, I get by with my few words of Portuguese, a little more Spanish and when desperate some Italian. The other day, for my main meal, which is early afternoon, when the waiter asked my desire, I just pointed to a nearby table and made the international sign for “everything he is eating and drinking”. That sign by the way is waving one hand in a big circle, while smiling foolishly and saying, “Si” (yes).
It worked and ended up with my normal 375 ml white wine, a mixed salad (tomatoes, onion and some lettuce, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar) and a half dozen little flat fishes.
Light winds, flat seas and we even saw a whale. The first whale I’ve seen since the Atlantic crossing two years ago. Sorry no picture.
The beautiful conditons make the miwery I went through to get up to Scotland in those ferocious winds and wnaves worth while.
Scotland is one of the most beautiful cruising areas in Europe. Green hills, many isolated islands, and a lot of sheep; what more can one ask for?
Brian, another Kadey Krogen owner, and I have spent the last week getting Dauntless ready for action. This was made harder by the fact that we were underway as often as we could be to get to Scotland sooner rather than later.
And while I have not eaten haggis yet, I have drunk more scotch whiskey than usual and am even drinking the ouyde jenever that Henk and Ivonne brought me last year. Honestly, I like it as much as most whiskeys.
Tonight we are on the hook for the first time in 2016 in a quiet cove on the island of Coll called Arinagour. Yes, the home of the first men, or close to it!
So I am sitting in my little B&B in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, watching a Korean Drama called “Marriage, Not Dating”. An apt title for a cutesy drama.
Korean Dramas are my one reliable escape; giving my brain a rest from the planning of tomorrow and the reflection of yesterday.
There is still much to do on Dauntless, and while the bigger jobs are getting done, I do the small things that have been on the to do list for too long, such as:
the installation of a new set of “driving” lights,
adding USB and 12v receptacles in the pilot house and cabins, so I don’t have to lug the different chargers from place to place.
Remarking the anchor chain and cleaning out the chain locker,
Replacing a float switch for the forward bilge pump as well as its check valve,
Finish the installation of the Wallas heater, yes, that heater I told you I finished years ago!
Getting the salt water pump, though new, has never worked. I think it’s not connected in the electrical panel in the engine room.
We should be back in the water mid-May, then I will mosey on down to Waterford before heading north to Scotland at the end of the month.
Then, returning to Waterford in mid-June for a couple of weeks, as I have a quick trip to NYC, before leaving Ireland for good in early July.
I’ll miss Ireland; for such a well-travelled person, I am still amazed that for all the years I have been coming to Europe, 30 plus years at that, I only found the gem that Ireland is just recently. A really shame, considering the amount of time I have spent wondering where I would live if I could live anyplace. Italy and the Netherlands were always near the top of that list, then Korea jumped up in the last 10 years and even Spain has interest. But for an English speaker, Ireland is just like Spain or Italy, except I’m fluent in the language. And maybe because it is such a small country, like Latvia, Ireland is full of wonderful, helpful, friendly people.
The fact that they talk like New Yorkers just makes me feel even more like home. Now I can also see why the Italians and Irish of NY did not always get along so well. They are virtually identical and we all know that similarity breeds contempt.
With Dauntless entering my life, I no longer have to decide where to live. Dauntless has given me the ability to live the life of a gypsy. Don’t like this town, go to the next one. Don’t like this country, go to the next one.
I’m not a negative person. In my life I have fought for those who cannot fight for themselves, kids, students, old folks in particular, but for myself, not much. I don’t like conflict. I’d rather move on. Just another aspect of living on a boat that at least for me makes life easier, not harder.
Seeing the world, being immersed in nature, whether you like it or not, are all benefits of being on a boat and crossing oceans.
Some of you may remember the long term plan was to do to Northeast Asia, Japan & Korea, after my time in Europe was up. That time is finally almost here. Earlier I had thought to spend another year in Europe, in Spain, but now realize it’s time to move on. Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Corny, but true, much like many of the Korean dramas I watch.
Therefore, I’m excited that in just weeks’ time, we’ll be back in the water, looking a bit different and living up to the name Dauntless.
And with the end of summer will also signal the end of Europe for us for a long time. Oh, I’ll still fly here to see both new and old friends, but Dauntless is heading to places only dreamed about.
10 oil changes, 145 quarts, 140 liters or 36 gallons of oil,
I like making a plan, executing the plan; sometimes even changing the plan.
Dauntless will have a look befitting her name in just a few weeks.
Then, in the water, fueled up and ready to go.
Friends for the US of A join us for a little jaunt to Scotland mid-May returning to Waterford Ireland in mid-June.
Then around the 4th of July, I’ll say goodbye to all my wonderful Irish friends in Waterford and New Ross.
Dauntless will turn south, putting Ireland behind us heading to France, then northwest Spain and Galicia. I hope to be in San Sebastian in August, then heading west to A Coruna for September and October.
November will find us heading south, enjoying the fortified wines of Portugal and southern Spain.
Then it will be tackling the Straits of Gibraltar, yes, I have seen the film Das Boot, so I will be prepared.
After checking out the monkeys, we’ll fuel up and really begin an Odyssey.
So far, as I learn something new every day; I’m sure to keep on learning and even on my last day on Earth, I know I’ll learn something new; like how I die!
Having kicked the cans down the road of Greece and the Ukraine, we can now talk about boats again.
So, what have I learned up to now living on Dauntless in Northern Europe:
Waterford has turned out to far exceed my expectations and at this point, it is hard to think that I could find a better place anywhere in Europe for next year. I have 10 minute walk to the bus that whisks me to the airport in Dublin for only 20 Euros. In NYC, it takes 90 minutes to go 12 miles and that includes three train changes, which means many staircases, up and down. (We got a man to the moon 50 years ago, but NYC still cannot keep an escalator running more than a day or two before it breaks down for three months).
The Waterford City Marina, being right downtown, has given me the best of all worlds. On one hand, I am five minutes from downtown and only a 15 min walk to my favorite bakery and butcher. Yet the dock itself is very secure with a gate that is electronically activated, but it also has a chain and lock, making it really secure. The first few times I left Dauntless for any length of time, I was really nervous, but now only a little bit.
The people in Ireland are very nice, like Midwesterners, but with a NY attitude, meaning they are loud, talk fast and curse a lot, and really nice in doing it and helpful all the time.
Having Julie in NY, Dublin is only a 6 hour plane ride away and the tickets are about 60% of the cost of flying to the continent. So it’s terribly convenient and already, while I like exploring new places, for our next and last winter in Europe, I will be hard pressed to find someplace that has all that Waterford and Ireland offer.
I’m fluent in the language, for the most part. There have been a few times, that not understanding something and having them repeat it three times, I am still clueless and just hope for the best at that point. The first time this happened, one of the passengers on the bus could tell that I did not understand and explained in words I could understand.
I haven’t gotten run over yet crossing the street, only because I look in both directions three, that’s 3 times, before I step off the curb. And every time I do, I think of all of those who thought crossing the Atlantic was dangerous. I’m far more likely to die crossing the street here.
The Lexan storm windows that Julie, Richard and I made and installed in the last days and hours in Rhode Island, have really made a difference. While on the ocean they gave us peace of mind, since I have been here, I am so pleased that they really insulate the boat. Dauntless is far warmer, having the double pane up. In addition, I so not have any condensation problems, as the glass windows stay just warm enough. Two of the storm windows in the pilot house are 4 inches short, and it that one spot, I do get some condensation on really cold days. Well, I did, but have not seen any in two months.
Even without the Wallas heater, this Krogen stays warm and dry. I have been using a little 2000 watt electric heater when I am on the boat. But I have been so pleased that I do not have the dampness and condensation problems I have read about by many who live on their boats in the winter.
I have like 10 lines on the boat, all 5/8” thick. The Fastnet boat docked behind me, a steel boat used to ferry crew to the oil platforms, about the same size as Dauntless, has 4 lines, and they are not even ½”, probably 3/8”.
I suppose that’s the difference between docking a boat that is also our home and a work boat.
As I laid myself down in bed, this intense loneliness came over me. Hadn’t talked to any friends in a few days, and was reminded again that so far the only down side of this boating, moving home life, is being seemingly cut off from those close to me at times.
And as I’ve lamented before, even those close to me seem fewer, are fewer.
But then as I write this, being objective, I am forced to remember the wonderful times I just had in Italy: an abundance of time, connecting with those whom I have known more than half of my entire life, the true intimacy of friendship. People I can be so open with, because they have truly seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my life. But I wasn’t thinking of that last night.
No, last night, I had a terrible headache and just thinking about why seemed to make it worse, as it usually does. Especially since I knew it was due to drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate.
Then finally I said enough of the pity party.
I’ve just a wonderfully hot shower, I lying in a warm, cozy bed and I have enough fuel to go 2300 nm, 4000 km, that’s all the way to Nova Scotia, or north of the Yuzhny Island (Banana Island for those in the know), or the Cape Verde Islands, or the west coast of Africa.
The world is my oyster and I only have to open it.
So, give yourself a pat on the back and go to sleep.
And this morning the Lyric FM, a wonderful Irish classical music station,
Already the plan has changed; not significantly, but it will give me more time in Ireland.
I’ve realized that it makes more sense not to depart Ireland, until I’m ready for the Schengen clock to start (my 3 months out of every 6). Therefore, we will use April and May to explore Ireland. Julie only has the 10 days Easter break during that time, so actual cruising will depend up who is aboard.
To that end, I’ve also put a posting on Cruiser’s Forum, for a Crewmate/roommate/conversation mate for winter and spring. We’ll see, the winter months I don’t have much to offer, but April and May could be nice. I have a number of projects that need to get done this winter and realize I just work better, more efficiently, with someone to bounce ideas off, help pull wires and just be around to help.
I have a few friends who have expressed interest in leaving Ireland with me in June as we start our odyssey on the continent. We’ll see. Dauntless is pretty well booked for the high summer months of July and August, but by September 1st, I expect to be back west, in Denmark and will need someone to help me get the boat back to Ireland, via Norway, the Shetlands, the Orkneys, Scotland and finally Ireland by month’s end.
As I am in Italy for another few days this holiday period, today, the 4th, Befana starts. Every town had built a big bonfire, 30 feet wide, 40 to 50 feet high, that will be burned tonight to symbolize the burning of the witch. Even small towns. One of the pagan rituals that has survived Christianity. I wish I could see a satellite shot. Maybe I can find an IR satellite picture tonight, but it would probably need the resolution of a polar orbiting satellite, not the ubiquitous GOES.
But the real point of this story is that I get so excited talking about our future plans with Dauntless, 2015, but also 2016 and 2017. This is where I must manage my expectations, so that I do not take away from the present Baltic trip, because I am thinking of the Pacific crossing. On the positive side, by having a plan in the back of my mind, it allows me to refine and think of contingencies well before we ever execute it.
Currently Dauntless is wintering over in Waterford, Ireland, a wonderful town in the southeast of the country, full of really nice, interesting, outgoing people. Ireland has so exceeded my expectations, it will be hard not to return next winter, but we have six months of exploring and cruising before that decision must be made.
As of now, I am subject to the 90 days out of 180 days Schengen Visa requirements. Worst case, this means I can only be in the Schengen area for 90 days and I would then plan those 90 days to be 1 June to 1 Sept. There is a possibility that the Schengen area countries will offer a 180 day Visa in the near future. That clearly would solve my issues and I could stay in the Schengen area for April, May and September.
Ireland, Scotland, the U.K. and the Channel Islands are all out of the Schengen area.
So worst case, only 90 days,is once I leave Ireland in the spring, stopping in France and Belgium only for a week or so, before retreating to the Channel Islands. Then by the end of May, start heading east, first into Holland, then Germany ending up in Gdansk by mid-July, starting our Baltic explorations as described below.
Spring and Summer 2015 Cruise Plan
Prepare Dauntless for the cruising season
Depart for France/Belgium
Channel Islands, enter French Canals, Dunkerque-Escaut, in NE France or go to Belgium direct
France/Belgium or Channel Islands
Explore NE France & Belgium Canals, subject to our Air Draft of 4.5m
Head NE, Belgium, Holland and Germany
Find the most interesting route to the Kiel Canal, the Baltic adventure begins
End of July
Germany and Poland
Eastern Germany and Poland, Gdansk last two weeks of July
Yes, I am sitting here, still, on the Miami River, watching the sun rise and feeling miserable. Why? You ask yourself, he is in this almost idyllic setting, yet feels miserable? Because he tells you, he is an impatient, spoiled American, whose patience was never very much in the first place. And he adds, there is one of those noisy birds, I think of the magpie family, who sounds like a whole flock, but is just one plain noisy, and probably horny, bird. Every few minutes, my idyllic setting and even noisy bird, is interrupted as a plane takes off from Miami International Airport. Not good noise. Unpurposeful.
I used to have a T-shirt which proclaimed, Jet Noise, the Sound of Freedom. It was, but we were referring to a pair of F-4’s flying over your head at 300 feet. In the 80’s in Europe, it was, and the little left wing meteorologist that arrived in Italy in 1976 and had just voted for Jimmy Carter, saw that world as it really was, and it was not as depicted in the American press. Europeans liked, loved the sound of freedom. I learned to appreciate the goodness of the US, (though still annoyed at our bumbling sometimes) and have not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since!
By the way, those too young to know or too old that you already forgot, should read Robert Gate’s book, From the Shadows, a fascinating account of the White House politics and the world from the Nixon years thru George Bush one. And surprise, surprise (actually I was) that the Russians, yes, the same peace loving, respectful people they are today, actually did promote and fund all of the anti-American protests of the 70’s and 80’s in Europe. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006L9B616/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title
OK, I’m really not miserable, slight (gross) exaggeration. Just a bit bored and impatient, as the paravanes stabilizer project proceeds at a glacial pace. I’ve actually been assured it will be finished in three days, but Felix, the guy I’m renting the dock from, thinks three weeks is more like it. Also my back hurts, since the painting project almost three weeks ago and it’s hard to think of witty things to write when in pain.
Then, eerily, for just a few seconds, I hear one of those birds that is on the soundtrack of every Hollywood movie scene in a jungle. Distinctive, loud, but quite short.
Did I mention the dolphins? Yes, dolphins swim by. Julie and I went kayaking Saturday morning and they swam right next to us. Same one, (Who knows?) came by this morning. I threw him a piece of salmon from my breakfast, but I don’t think they like it cooked (smoked, processed whatever). A less picky sea gull soon took care of that piece of offal.
What you think, kayaks? Yes, as we wanted a way to get to shore, without having to use the humongous dingy (I’m also dealing with that issue).
Lastly, yesterday evening, I rode by bike to the cutest Dairy Queen, I’ve seen in a long time. Old time, with only ice cream. Getting into a conversation with another patron, he told me he was coming here to this same DQ 50 years ago.
OK. John, the Rigger and Red, the Fabricator, should be by any day now, so I better get dressed.