Kadey Krogen Rendezvous 2017

I had planned on giving a presentation at the Rendezvous, but it’s not to be.

So, here is the outline.  I will post this on my blog, DauntlessatSea.com

I have also posted, somewhat unedited, three galleries of pictures, you need to use these links:

  • The most recent videos from the Atlantic crossing,

https://dauntless.smugmug.com/Dauntless-Atlantic-2016-Videos/n-ddh7xF/

  • My northern Europe pictures and some videos from April thru November 2016, including the painting of Dauntless in the spring and a few of my side trips to Galicia and Veneto, Italy.

https://dauntless.smugmug.com/Dauntless-2016-Northern-Europe/n-6MSG6Q/

  • The pictures from most of 2017, including the Atlantic Passage, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and other things.

https://dauntless.smugmug.com/Dauntless-2017-Panama-Canal-/n-TWg5MZ/

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 has come so far

 

Dauntless’ Second Atlantic Passage

  • Four Legs from Europe to the Caribbean
    • Leg 1 Rota Spain to Rabat, Morocco, via Gibraltar to fuel up
      • 250 nm
      • 50 hours total
    • Leg 2 Rabat Morocco to Las Palmas, the Canaries (unexpected stop)
      • 600 nm
      • 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
      • 172 nm
      • 31 hours and 45 min
      • 5.5 knots
    • The last & biggest leg, the only one that mattered, the Canaries to Martinique
      • 460 hours, (19 days, 4 hours)
      • 2582 nm
      • 7 knots
    • The “Oh, BTW, you still have 2000 miles to go” leg, Martinique to Panama Canal and Mexico
      • 460 hours, (19 days, 4 hours)
      • 2582 nm
      • 7 knots
      • 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

Fuel Loss

  • What Happened
  • Possible Solutions
  • What I did
  • What I now think I should have done (hint: Much Ado About Nothing)

Hydraulic Hose for Rudder failure

  • What Happened
    • I was screwing around
    • Possible Solutions
  • 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.

 

Krogen Cruisers Rendezvous

My Contact Information:

 

Richard Bost

Dauntless KK42-148

1.212.289.7274

Wxman22@gmail.com

DauntlessNY@gmail.com

 

Link for the blog:

DauntlessAtSea.com

Follow Dauntless at:

Share.delorme.com/Dauntless

 

 

 

 

Hindsight & Foresight

I love Atlantic Europe.  The people, the cultures, the food, everything.  The fact that these are all very old boating

My approximate route. Most of the little black dots are stops

communities, ties them together even more than language, though all of them do have Celtic ties and culture.

For a fascinating discussion of genetics and human migrations in Europe and western Asia for the last 50, 000 years, check out:

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/maps_Y-DNA_haplogroups.shtml

So, my thoughts return to two issues:

  • Should I have stayed in northern Europe for another year?
  • The route I ended up taking between Galicia in the Northwest corner of Spain and the Canaries.

First the additional year. I love Ireland, the people, even the weather (you never got bored). But Ireland itself is not really cruising country. Getting up and down the coasts can be a bitch, at best.  I did love A Coruna though. Why not there?  That was Plan B after all.

Then Schengen reared its ugly head.  For those of you who still don’t know what “Schengen” is, it was the city in Luxembourg in which almost all the countries of Europe (nothing to do with E.U.) decided to have open borders in 1989.  Open borders meant just that. Prior to 1991 or whenever it went into effect, one had to stop at each and every frontier and show passport. On my many drives from the Netherlands to Italy, that meant 3 border crossings. But they were pretty quick (nothing like the USA-Canada boondoggle). They never even stamped your passport.  While the rule was, you were allowed in 90 days in each country, no one cared and as I said, no one stamped passports other than at airports and not even then many times.

But with Schengen and the open borders, they decided they still had to control immigration.  Therefore non E.U. people could only stay 90 days out of every 180 days.  So, before you could move from country to country every 90 days a stay within the rules, now, you had to leave the continent or go to the U.K. or Ireland.  That’s why Dauntless was in Waterford.

Ultimately, I realized that to keep Dauntless in A Coruna for the winter would not be feasible, since I could no longer go to NYC for 3 months and then return.

By the way. So, Schengen was written to keep people from overstaying, yet today the E.U. gets about 200,000 people a month from Africa and the Middle East.

But they got Dauntless out so all is OOOKKK.

And another aside.  While those morons in Washington debate who to let in.  NO ONE, Dems or Republicans, talks about we have no system to track who leaves.  Wouldn’t you think if we really cared, the first thing would be using one of the billion computers the government has to track people as they leave and compare that list to who came in.   What a clown show!

Now, sorry for the diatribe.  My route which took me down the coast of Portugal and around the corner to Gibraltar.  I didn’t even see the Gibraltar Apes.

I suppose the real issue here is that we were really beaten up almost the entire trip from Porto, Portugal all the way to the Canaries.  By stopping in Gibraltar, I added about another 360 miles to our trip.

I actually had a sailor in France tell me that I should go direct to the Canaries from Vigo in NW Spain. But I wanted to see Portugal and I am glad I did.

The route I should have taken

But southern Spain and Morocco, ended up being exactly what I expected, hot, dry and dry and hot.

I could have spent those weeks in the Canaries.  The Canaries reminded me of everything I liked about Galicia. Great people, food and a boating culture.

Oh well, I’ll have to go back.

 

 

2016 Retrospective

Looking for something else, I came across my 2015 Post Mortem of my First Atlantic Passage.  It’s fascinating.  Makes me feel I should write another one for this passage.  I will, but also think I would like to do a compare & contrast, a great teacher’s tool.

But this is not that.  This is more about the how and why I went the way we went.  In thinking about this post, I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the past couple weeks.  But even now, I go back and forth, would I or would I? That is the question.

Rainbow of Ho Chi Minh City

Not my usual rainbow and sunset picture, but appropriate none the less.  Being in Saigon gives me the opportunity to think, reflect and plan for the future.

Being away from Dauntless, longer than originally planned, but in fact, it’s worked out for the best.  When I am on Dauntless, short term takes precedence.

As I have reflected on the events of 2016.  I found myself racing through some places I really loved, like Galicia; while staying months in places I really didn’t, like Southern Spain, Morocco.

It was a tumultuous year, in every aspect.  The year started with Dauntless was in the capable hands of the Kehoe Boys in New Ross, Ireland, another place I miss very much.  I, in the meantime, was in NY and then Julie and I took a trip to Galicia in mid-February to see if we could keep Dauntless in A Coruna or Vigo, for the winter 2016-17.  We both loved Galicia as much as we thought we would.  Thus, Plan A to return to North America became Plan B.

Plan B: Ireland, Scotland for the summer, then France in August and Galicia by mid-September for the winter. Now, the Schengen three-month rule really puts a crimp on spending time (and money) in Europe for non-E.U. cruisers, but I’d spend the off times in NY and USA.

Then Life Happened and the Plan Changed, again.

Even before leaving NYC at the end of March I found myself going back to Plan A, getting Dauntless back to the New World.

So far, so good.  Plan A would get me to Asia sooner rather than later.  But I did not think about how much I liked the cruising in Ireland, Scotland, Atlantic France (Brittany) and Spain (Galicia).

The route from Ireland to Panama is dictated by climate and currents.  Not a lot of options, but I’m not sure I really thought about the choices I did have well enough.

And that will be the topic of my next post.

 

 

Q & A After the Atlantic Crossing

My Friend Alfa Mike asked the following, so I thought I would share with everyone:

Richard on Dauntless in Martinique, La Marin
Richard on Dauntless in Martinique, La Marin

>Do they speak a lot of English Language in Martinique or is it all French?

The Moon & Venus watch over us on our last nights
The Moon & Venus watch over us on our last nights
Until the very end, a story sea
Until the very end, a story sea
A little mishap while changing the oil just after arrival
A little mishap while changing the oil just after arrival
Mountain on Martinique
Mountain on Martinique
Driving thru the forest
Driving thru the forest
More Rainforest
More Rainforest
Even made it to the Kadey Krogen page
Even made it to the Kadey Krogen page
La Marin Marina
La Marin Marina
  • some English, once in a while, you need to know some basic French.

> What have you seen & experienced there?
This past weekend, we drove up north to see rain forest and volcano.  Inactive of course, so not much to see.
> What have you done in the boat while there.?  Repairs, upgrades?

at this point, there is still much to do.  Not helped that yesterday I spent all day to do a 1 hour job.  I hate working with wood, like the interior.

  • Working on electric in fwd bilge, adding small bilge pump.
  • Rewiring holding tank switch so that it can’t get turned on accidentally.
  • Micah patched dingy.
  • Rerigged paravane pole.
    • One pole needs to be replaced. Probably do that in Mexico or So Cal.
    • Also, rigged a preventer so windward pole will not go vertical when boat rolls heavily to lee side.
  • Finally finished 3rd 20# bottle of propane yesterday.  Those 3 bottles were filled in Tallinn in July 2015. That’s 7000 miles ago.  Luckily have two extra bottles that a sailboat boat gave me in northern France last summer as he was not going back to USA. I have not been able to get propane since Estonia last year, but am told I can in St Lucia.  But I can wait till So Cal possibly.
  • Must still replace 2 hydraulic hoses and bleed system for AP and helm steering.
  • Complete oil change, i.e. fill engine with oil.
  • We’ll fuel again in St. Lucia, only to half full about 250 gal
  • Repair bracket for wx instruments on mast, the following winds (when we were stopped for Hydraulic line) managed to wrap paravane line around it and mangled it, because I was so happy to get one problems solved, I created another one.
  • Winds also broke stern flag pole. Same happened to Sweden sailboat docked next to us.
  • All 5 fuel filters are changed (2 Racors, 2 engine mounted and fuel polish)
  • Replacing all screws in rub rail is proving to be a real PIA. As they are rusted and not coming out. These are Inox screws I bought in Ireland and again in Portugal. Big f…ing mistake.
  • General clean up, still finding flying fish on fly bridge (where else would they be 🙂
  • Spent $200 on stainless steel screws.
  • Another $200 on oil and ATF for rudder steering
  • $200 on rental car for 3 days
    Yes, everything is in increments of $200.
  • Finally took Icom VHF radio to shop, as my friend Pat in Waterford told me to do last year. It’s unfixable it seems. So, will take VHF radio from fly bridge and install in pilot house.
  • Need to still upload a billion pictures to http://dauntless.smugmug.com/

> How has the weather been?

  • Is it Humid? Hot, a bit muggy, yesterday was first day without wind, so then the boat really heats up.Did I tell you I don’t like hot weather?  Thus the 12 years in Alaska and two years with Dauntless in Northern Europe and now returning to first Southeast Alaska and then Japan & S. Korea.

>Now after all is said and done, In hindsight what would I have done differently?

  • In terms of places to go or not, it’s hard to say. Only having spent time in southern Spain and Morocco can I say that I would not have missed it.  But had I not gone, how would I know that?  It would have better financially and sailing wise to go direct from the bottom of Portugal to Las Palmas on Grand Canaria.
  • Should have spent some hard-earned money 3 years ago, to be able to use 230v, 50hz shore power to run ACs. I did try to get them to run off inverter, but the inverter produces a square sine wave and both the Splendid washer/dryer and the AC’s will not run on that.

I could have tried the transformer I use not for the water heater.  It would supply 120v, but 50hz to AC.  That swill probably work. But at this point, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.  Back in Southern Spain and Portugal when I was dying of the heat, I should have thought of that.

Yes, I could always run generator, by the 1 gal/hour at $5/gal fuel. Now, 8 hours is only $40 per day, but adding that to expensive marina at $55/day, that’s close to my desired cap of $100 per day.

  • Speaking of money. My average daily cost for all living and boat expenses is about $109 per day.  Though I still have yet to update the last month, I do not think it will change significantly.  This is also a few dollars below the previous year.  So, all in all, the expenses are about what I expect.  The proportion is also the same, 25% for each:
    • Fuel & oils
    • Marinas & docks
    • Food, groceries & eating out
    • , like cell phone, transportation, cars, trains, planes and automobiles.

> How do you like it in Martinique?

  • Love it. People, food could not be better. I am so lucky that I was told to head here when it became clear that I could m=not make the southing I needed to get to Barbados.  It was only a 20° more southerly course, but with the large seas we had, it was not worth being beaten up.
  • In hindsight, Martinique is a much nicer place to clear in, eat and drink than probably anyplace in the Caribbean. Martinique is a Department (like a State) of France.  Thus, it feels like France because it is France.  It’s not the bureaucratic mess that Portugal, southern Spain and Morocco are.
  • FYI in terms of how they treat boaters:
    • Northern Spain, Galicia is just like northern Europe and France, as are the Cana.ries.
    • Southern Spain and Portugal were totally different, and not in a positive way.
    • I was told that it’s because of the Arab penchant for bureaucracy.

> How long do you plan to stay?

  • until sometime next week. Then heading south, a bit before heading west to the ABC’s

> Any comments you would like to make about the trip you just completed now that your more rested up?

  • Very glad I don’t have to do it again for another 18 months

 

 

Alfa Romeo versus Kadey Krogen

Alfa Romeo Montreal alfa-romeo-montreal-1974-red

1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal
205 built in 1974
200 horsepower 2.6 litre V-8 engine
Designed by Bertone
Top speed of 137 mph (downhill!)
5-speed manual transmission
rear-wheel-drive
166 – inch length
2+2 seating configuration

 

Kadey Krogen 42dauntless-in-horta

1988 Kadey Krogen 42-foot Trawler Yacht
11 built in 1988
135 horsepower 6.2 litre I-6 Ford Lehman engine
Designed by James Krogen
Top speed of 9 mph (in calm winds and flat seas)
1-speed manual transmission
In-line shaft-drive
504 – inch length
2+2+2+2 sleeping configuration

 

A few weeks ago, I did another road trip. A quick three-day trip from Lisbon to A Coruna, 720-mile round trip.  It made me think about my travels, on land and now, by sea, and reflect on both the similarities and the differences between land and sea.

No, this isn’t one of those crazy dissimilar performance tests that Car & Driver became famous for back in the day.

As my life transitions from land to sea, I still savior those moments on the hard. Driving has always been a joy for me.  From my first trans-continental trip to midnight drives around Mt. Rainier in the middle of the night, driving has always been a skill that I continuously honed.

North America provides endless miles, from Florida to Alaska, the dessert southwest to the Gaspe Peninsula, all well-travelled roads for me.

Then Europe provided another whole different experience: unlimited Autobahns, miles of roads through hill and dale at even faster speeds. From France and Spain in the west to Romania in the east and oh so many miles just going north and south from Holland to Italy, a true cornucopia of roads, conditions and cultures. Finally add a few driving schools, including a 4-day school done by BMW driving school at the famed Nurburgring, and being a driving instructor at club events enabled me to further hone my driving skills.

What drove me to do most of these miles, these long trips with quick turn-arounds?

Women of course!  Well, maybe not all the time, but…

All these travels were done in the plethora of cars in my life: 3 BMW’s, 3 Alfa Romeos, 3 Jeeps and one Mazda, two motorcycles and many, many rental cars.

The best of the best was my Alfa Romeo Montreal. Built in 1974, never a big seller as Alfa’s only V-8 was introduced just when the first gas crisis was going on, but me oh my, what a car.

She was fast yes, but driving cars well is never about speed. It’s getting the most out of what that particular car could do.  She was perfectly balanced and so tough.

That was the Montreal. Perfectly balanced, she had no bad habits.  She felt like on rails no matter the speed or the conditions.  She went over jumps with aplomb and I’d had her brake discs red hot on a few occasions with nary a problem.

So why have I been going on and on about cars and driving?  Does it even relate to boats?  Boats are inherently much more complicated than cars. Is that it?

Driving a car well, to the best of the car’s ability and design, is about the knowledge and skill of the driver.  Ultimately, a cars performance is a function of what I can put into it.

Last year my Alaska friends, Larry and Karla, joined Dauntless to cruise from Ireland to Northern France. The crossing of the English Channel was rougher than one would like, you know with those seemingly ubiquitous 6 to 10 foot seas that Dauntless also seems to find.  Larry later told me he was a bit afraid. But after the first 12 hours he realized that Dauntless wasn’t fighting the seas, she was going with them.  No matter how big the wave, the boat seemed to ride along as the wave passed serenely beneath us.  Sure we pitched and rolled, but not in a harsh manner, just smoothly like she had been doing it her whole life.

And then my epiphany.

I understood the difference between driving the Alfa Romeo and being the Kadey Krogen skipper.

On Dauntless I am like a passenger. Oh sure, I have my Master’s license and as the Skipper I am responsible for everything that happens on board. I decide where and how to go and to do it in a safe manner.

However, this Kadey Krogen performs.

Just as the Montreal ruled the road; my Krogen does what she does as well, even better. In the last three years, I have done a number of things I would prefer not to repeat.  Has it been uncomfortable at times? Sure. Can I sometimes mitigate contrary winds and seas to get a better ride? Yes, I can do that.

But no matter what the conditions or what I do: beam sea, head sea, following sea, etc., my Krogen just does it, with never a complaint, never a groan nor shriek.

I point the boat in the direction I want to go.  Boat never says no, in fact, Dauntless says, “Sure, no problem, it’s just another day in the park for me”

And that’s what Larry meant when he said the KK just went with the seas, never fighting the waves, but being one with the environment. She does what we ask. And that’s why I have never been afraid; I’m going along for the ride.

James Krogen is the real driver.  He designed and built a boat for people like me who wanted to get off the beaten path in a boat anybody could call home.  All I do is point us in the right direction. The Krogen does the rest.

The real motto of Kadey Krogen should be: Performance is Built into Our Boats; She’ll Make You Worthy in Any Sea.

Kadey Krogen said this: “The late naval architect and designer, James S. Krogen, was a master of merging the tried and true with fresh, innovative concepts, creature comforts and convenience. His near-three decades of commercial design gave extra dimension and distinction to his offshore pleasure craft. Outstanding performance is inherent.”

Exactly.

You can visit my blog at: www.DauntlessAtSea.com

And you can track the location of Dauntless at any time at: https://share.delorme.com/Dauntless

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

 

 

Go West, Young Man, Go West

OK, I’m not so young anymore; well at least not physically.

The Atlantic Analysis for 26 September 2016
The Atlantic Analysis for 26 September 2016

Yesterday, I decided to tackle the laundry basket of papers, books, magazines and miscellaneous stuff that should have been thrown away last year.  OK, actually two laundry baskets, plus a few smaller bins.

My bicycle was also part of the melee, the last time I rode it was in Sweden, last September.  I really liked Sweden.  If I get back to Northern Europe, it will certainly be because Sweden has much of the best cruising grounds in Northern Europe.

Poland intrigues me also, but not for the cruising, but for the people and food. Both wonderfully warm and tasty.

But, now my vision is looking west. And there will be a westward component for a long time to come. So while Sweden is only 2,000 miles away, I’ll probably put 20 times those miles before I get back there.

One of my current homepages is the Atlantic Analysis from NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center. I don’t spend a lot of time with it, but I do like to check it out every time I am connected to the WWW.

The current map shows the large high pressure area that pretty much lives over the eastern Atlantic. That observation at 29N, 16W is the Canaries.  There will be a similar pattern when we finally leave in late November and I should be able to follow that 1020mb isobar for much of the way all the way to Barbados. The Kadey Krogen was born for following seas.  She must like her behind being pushed along.

Well the bicycle is attached to the wall as it was two years ago on the east bound passage.  Many of the papers have been sorted and put or thrown away.

I’m doing this now because I’ll be Missing in Action (MIA) for the month of October. I’ll be in the USA and Italy, so Dauntless needs to be ready in early November.  Leaving the boat for a month in southern Spain is not inexpensive.  At this point it looks like my best option is to pull her out of the water and let her be on the hard for 30 days.  I had previously not considered this option, but a little mishap in docking a couple weeks ago, made this option very attractive.

Yes, I have a 5-foot scar down the side of the new painted hull.  F…ing annoying.

Dauntless is Wounded
Dauntless is Wounded

I hardly spoke to myself for days!

Just writing about it is annoying so, that’s all for now folks.

 

 

 

Cruising Costs for the First 112 Days

It’s the 112th day since our cruise started May 29th.

The Full Moon Rises Behind Dauntless
The Full Moon Rises Behind Dauntless

Dauntless now sits easily in the Puerto Deportivo de Rota. Her new grey paint scheme fits in well being only a mile SE of the big naval base in Rota, Spain.

Rota Lighthouse
Rota Lighthouse

We’ll be in this area, between Rota and Gibraltar for the next month, so this is a good opportunity to get my data updated and I’d thought I’d share with you our cruising costs so far this season.

So far, compared to last year, I’m spending about $20 less per day.  Overall costs have been about $107 per day, that’s $27 less than last year and almost all of that savings are due to the lower fuel costs. I was able to fill Dauntless with fuel in Ireland at $2.30 per gallon.  Upon my return from Scotland in June, I was able to top up the tanks again.

I should be able to get reasonably priced fuel in Gibraltar, but when I top up the tanks in the Canaries, it will be $5 per gallon fuel.  I should only need a few hundred gallons; however, the Caribbean won’t be cheap either.

Total guest contributions to expenses have been about 11%; that’s less than last year.

Overall, I am pleased that expenses are staying just below my planned budget.  I need to get more proactive about Sponsorships; but that’s another story.

Dauntless will be pretty much stationary until the end of October, as I am going to NY during the first two weeks.  Since it will be my last opportunity until spring to visit some friends in Europe, I will go to Italy during the last two weeks of October before returning to D.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Triad

So in the last weeks I have posted very little.

Salon Electrical Panel showing the 120 v AC side
Salon Electrical Panel showing the 120 v AC side

I have written a lot; but getting it posted is another issue.  Issues related to no internet access or most recently just related to my lack of focus.

I try to write all the time, at least every couple of days.  But as I re-read my last half dozen writings, I am all over the place.  I’ve written about driving in Europe in in the 70’s and 80’s, some of the most wonderful cars in my life, women, countries, Italy, Portugal, and even Dauntless.

But the problem with these writings is that simply that, they are all over the place, so for the reader, it’s a bit disconcerting.  One moment he’s in Portugal and all of a sudden in Italy driving through the Alps, 30 years ago!

I wondered why have written so little and so unfocused?

Yesterday, having had a fantastic day with the family of Diogo, my new found Portuguese friend, we got back to the boat and in the ultimate downer after a wonderful day, it was hot and buggy.

Diogo and Anna at the Lobo Do Mar
Diogo and Anna at the Lobo Do Mar

Maybe for you in the Caribbean or Florida it would seem pretty good.  But for me and D, who have spent the last two years in the north, basking in the sun and breeze that have made Northern Europe the vacation capital of the world, it was HOT.

How hot you wonder?

Good picture this: 30 years ago, my Trevisiana and I went to the beach in Holland in mid-August.  I was now stationed in an airbase in the Netherlands and she had come for a short visit.  In August, what does everyone do? We went to the beach. In Holland.

Yum Yum
Yum Yum The Most Curious Cat I Have Ever Known

Picture this, as we parked the car, we thought it was a bit cool.  Luckily, we brought sweaters for that cool night time breeze.  As we walked from the car to the beach, we noticed it seemed even cooler than anticipated.

Upon gazing at the beach along the North Sea for the first time, we realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

Everyone was wearing overcoats!  The temperature was 50F at best. Maybe colder. No wonder the Dutch took vacations in July, when the temperature is up in the 60’s.  Clearly winter was over.

So now fast forward 30 years.  Remember those stories of Richard and Dauntless being so happy because he had heat on the first of September as he crossed the North Sea?

Gigi before he became a real big pussy cat
Gigi before he became a real big pussy cat

Remember how the heat percolated up to the pilot house and actually defrosted (demisted) the windows of the pilot house??

So now, only a year later, early September and I’m f…ing melting. It’s 90F at 9:00 and 105F at 14:00. Yes, these are real official temperatures, not the made up crap on TV.

So I’m dying. This is the August in NYC that I have avoided for years.   The heat that makes one want to jump into the river and never come out.  Now, the industrial foam that goes by four times a day slaked the desire somewhat, but if it was blue water, I’d be all in.

Now, I know you are wondering, why doesn’t he just turn-on the air conditioning?  Oh, it would be so simple.  Maybe in my old days, you know three years ago, it would be that simple.  But now?  Having spent the last three summers in the North Atlantic, the North Sea and the Baltic, nothing was simple. Hot weather was this animal that you thought you had tamed.  Instead you woke up day to find it eating you.

So all of a sudden, you were dying. You, everyone around you, the world. Dying in a way Al Gore never envisioned.

So being a man of action, I had been thinking day and night of solutions.  Dauntless has two air conditioning units.  How can we best utilize them?  Yes, we do think of the environment despite of Al Gore.

Well, the first step is to get them to work!  Yes, read the above; do you think in my jaunts in the North Sea I was running the air conditioning all the time? Or even once?? A Year???

The two A/c units, Fore and Aft, on Dauntless need 120 volt 60 hertz power. Period.

That power is obtained in two ways, from the shore in a country based on 120 v and 60 hertz, like the USA, or from the generator on Dauntless, aka Genny, a square shape, but with hips to get the job done, therefore a beauty in every definition of the word.

So Genny powers the circuits to get the air conditioning units to come on.  But in the last few days, since I have entered this inferno, no matter how much Genny implores, both A/C units have ignored her.

The forward A/C did not even wake up, just sleeping though it all, despite my pushing her buttons with the most delicate of touches.

Now, the Aft A/C unit, taking a different tack, was all talk and no action.  She blew, blew & blew, but when it came down to it, it was all hot air.  I would have died in her mistral if it was up to her.

After having talked to my electrical guru in Florida, David Arnold, a true Kadey Krogen guru, who luckily for us is a well-kept secret only known to a select few, (you did not get his name from me); I set out this morning to at least solve the forward A/C issue, how did she want to be touched that would produce the action I so desperately needed??

Now, the Policy of Truth (actually not, if you listen carefully) demands that I at least tell you the middle man here who was the true maestro.  The water pump, who depending on 120 v power was the key to everything.  Oh, sure, without him, you can get action for a bit, but within minutes you will realize you are taking a shower with a raincoat on.  In other words, No Joy; something ain’t working.

Rewind a few months, as we applied a new International undercoat (anti-foul) to Dauntless’ bottom, I noticed a thru-hull (a water intake) that had been painted over.  Umm, I wonder what that was?  I dutifully scrapped the old paint off and made sure it was clear.  I wonder why I had not noticed?

Now a few months later, Genny, having woken up the forward and aft A/C units, was getting no satisfaction in getting the water pump to do his thing.  Was he pouting having been ignored for two years?  Did he just get tired of pumping his life for a bunch of women and a clueless owner??

I certainly suspected the latter.  So this morning, I awoke with a plan and the first plan was to get mister water pump to put up or shut up.

But first, having this day well planned, after 60 years, I knew a thing or two and the first thing is that everyone needs a little foreplay, some more than others, even the Marina Captain, but that’s another story.

So first I checked the forward A/C and discovered that like on all boats, one thing leads to another.  I discovered the containers of spares and tools that were carefully stowed under the helm, had moved enough to disturb the RJ45 connector to the forward A/C unit.  This only controlled the control panel, but electrons are so picky these days, it was enough.  I spent the next hour making new connections that would not come off in the next storm.

Now it was time to put Genny to work.  Poor Genny, neglected in body and soul for months, no years, now she has to put out in seconds or else.  Or else what, I won’t change her oil for another year or two??

So Genny never complaining (we’ll just forget about the indiscretion in Maine.  But you know those Maine men, one touch, and all is right with the world.  Yes, George was masterful, but you would be too if you worked at the Bath Boat Works).

Genny powered up and making hay while the sun shines, I turned on all the breakers for the 120v circuits and the two A/C units.

Like before Aft A/C was blowing air, but it seemed like hot air to me, as in not really putting her heart into it; Are you done yet? As in just the Fan working.

But the Forward A/C was on, awake and actually cool.  I felt the water pump, it felt like it was actually working. I ran outside, yes, water was coming out for the first time in years!!  What a glorious emission!

I got my IR temperature gun, Aft A/C 75F, Forward A/C 55F.  Now that’s more like it.

For the first time in more than two years, at least one A/C was working.  I was on a roll.  Let’s figure out what’s going on with the Aft A/C.

I felt her all over.  Oh she ooh’d and ahd’d, but nothing changed. Her coils were as cold as fish, as was the compressor.  Maybe I was too abrupt in the past (sure, maybe in the middle of the night, I turned her on without realizing her buddy the water pump was not along for the ride?  I never said she was not kinky!  She is older after all and we all want something a little different.  She had knobs to turn after all; not push buttons like the little princess, the newer, younger forward A/C.)  maybe I boiled off her Freon?

So now I figured I needed to get even more kinky.  Both Yes, that meant both at the same time; then one, then the other, in every combination possible and a few that have been outlawed in 28 countries and 8 states.

But mister water pump did not want to play with the Aft A/C.  If she wasn’t playing, neither was he.

Umm, I ‘d dealt with this before.  I have had cats you know.  (maybe one day, I shall have to tell you the story of Yum Yum and Gigi, aka Blackie, aka Stockings, but I digress).

These A/C units had two relays that powered the three units: Forward A/C, Aft A/C and Water Pump.  Whenever either A/C unit was turned on, the water pump would come on.

But now it wasn’t.

Easiest step, but also one not without peril, for anyone who knows digital electricity meters, they also know that all those digits don’t mean a thing.  So I also had my trusty analog meter along for the ride.  Why, you wonder?  Because the digital meter will tell you no voltage exists if it doesn’t like the looks of it.  The Analog meter has no such rules; she just tells you what is and in this case, it’s enough voltage to kill.

If I die because of the digital meter, who can I sue?  OK I digress.

So now, I always check with both meters initially, so I don’t waste HOURS trying to figure out why what is supposed to be there is not when it actually is. Yes, do this at home.

In short order I figured out that of the two relays that power the whole system, one was not working.  Therefore, the water pump was only coming on when the compressor of the forward A/C unit engaged.

Once I figured that out, I then tried powering the aft A/C unit and sure enough, it was more than happy to cool off my hot body.

I put a jumper to the Aft A/C directly to the terminal block that runs to the circuit breaker in the salon, thus bypassing the relay.  The only issue is that if I want the Aft A/C now, I must also turn on the forward A/C to turn on the water pump.

Problems solved. Now I can focus and write and that’s just the way it is.

We’re Good to Go; but if you don’t like that book, check out “Triad” by the David Crosby and Jefferson Airplane.

A Utube link to Triad
Thank you.

Coming Up:

  • I Have the Need for Speed
  • Kadey Krogen versus Alfa Romeo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vila Franca de Xira

Dauntless Finds a Real Town

A Real Anchor
A Real Anchor

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.

The Market
The Market

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,

The Market
The Market

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.wp-1472724194208.jpg

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, wp-1472724195010.jpgprobably 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 Park next to Dauntless
The Park next to Dauntless

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

The train station of Vila Franca de Xira
The train station of Vila Franca de Xira

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.wp-1472900790670.jpg

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.

The park
The park
Next to D
Next to D

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.

I ended with a café and a grappa like drink.

It’s great to finally be in Portugal.

 

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Portugal Grows on Me

And not like a fungus.

Lobo Do Mar, Seisi
Lobo Do Mar, Sesimbra

That’s a good thing.

I have three blog posts drafted, but for all three they are incomplete as each one has gone wildly off on tangents.

Very frustrating.  I like communicating.

I had an adventure this past weekend driving all the way to A Coruna and return, a total of 750 miles.  But that blog post went off about driving cars and the best car of my life.  Then, as I thought about how to resurrect it this morning, it started going off on the infamous trip to Romania in 1980.  Needless to say, I got out, of Romania that is.  But it was an experience of a lifetime and pretty much ended the few leftist thoughts that I had left after having lived in Europe the previous 4 years.

A wonderful Dinner
A wonderful Dinner

I loved the people of Romania though and it’s such a beautiful country, I must make the time to go back.  Maybe next winter, that’s winter 2017-18, when if all goes to plan, Dauntless will be in S.E. Alaska, resting up for the next leg of the journey.

So yesterday, not having to return the rental car until nightfall, I decided to check out the three marinas on the south side of the river, across from Lisbon.  I’m paying 40 Euros ($45) per night here and that’s expensive.  I really must stick to the budget this year knowing that as I go south, the prices will only go up.

Lobo Do Mar, Sesimbra, Portugal
Lobo Do Mar, Sesimbra, Portugal

So I drove to Setubal. No room there, but the port captain was very helpful and gave me some more ideas. Next stop Sesimbra, a smaller, vacation town. They had room, but the price was 39 Euros.  But she did give me a great recommendation for a restaurant.

Yes, when your plans are stymied, go eat.

The restaurant was Lobo Do Mar, Wolf of the Sea.  When you enter, there is a large counter of fresh fish, the counter man asks what you would like and you pick the fish or fishes you want for your dinner.

I got three mackerel type fish. Everything seems grilled on a wood fired grate and they were delicious. With a salad, I washed it down with a half-liter of Vehno Verde.

Sesimbra harbor
Sesimbra harbor

After an espresso and a dessert, the only disappointment of the afternoon, I paid the bill of 14 Euros ($15) thinking that I had finally found the real Portugal, that even my Spanish friends had told me existed, but I just couldn’t find.

Great food and wine at an inexpensive price.  Once I leave Europe, I will certainly miss it.

In the next day or so, I will check out another place, further up the river, but with a dock close to town which more often than not is not the case.

To be continued.