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s/y "Tatt av vinden" cruising 2013
It takes some time to prepare for a cruise
We started the preparations long before we knew if our wishes could come true. Just in case... We (or mostly the captain from the start) started the planning and work on the boat two years ago. Only the last week before departure will the last upgrading of the boat be finished. Or actually it started three years ago, when the captain took an open water certificate. That was part of the plan... And the reason is that we learnt that being able to dive is adding to security. But then it is fun also of coarse.
Upgrading the boat, we have concentrated on having enough electricity. So we have installed a diesel generator. We imported it from Germany. This became the most difficult instalation the capatain ever did. No because of the generator. The reason was that we wanted to have it under the deck in the cockpit. Jeanneau had prepared for that on some boats of the same model, but not on ours. Jeanneau could not supply the hatch any more either, so it had to be made. Jeaneau found som old pictures of an installed hatch and provided a couple of esencial measures, but it had to start from there... The captain did it himself. luckily he did not know how many hours this would take. Luckily he started in good time, in February 2012, and was finished the summer the same year. And the planning also took a lot of hours in the autumn 2011. The captain is quite proud of this work, so we show some pictures.
And we also have upgraded the safety equipment. The boat has got an inner forestay with a cutter sail on a furling system. The last outfit was a furling system for the genaker. This needed a new bow sprit, and we designed it at got it made. (See the picture further down.)
It would be just boring to tell about the whole process. Doing almost everything ourselves, it has taken not several, but many hundreds of hours. But the preparations are rewarding activities on their own.
The boat is in the water. It has been polished, but a lot of work still has to be done. But warmer weather and time off from work means that there should be no stress.
Of course it is stress to get ready in time. The date has been fixed. We shall leave our home harbour the 25. June. And there are still jobs to be done...
We have the necessary crew down to Las Palmas, but we still need crew for the Atlantic crossing.
Almost ready! A new "bowsprit" for the genaker is in place, and so is a furling system for the genaker. Souther Cross spars in our home port has provided the furling system, and Metax in Hurum has made the "bowsprit" after Bjørn's design. Excellent work. The snuffer will be left at home. Most of the equipment has been tested. We shall have to replace our wi-fi bat. A new one is on it's way from Mailasail. They have an excellent service.
We expanded the battery capacity to 440 Ah for domestic use. We also installed a new inverter - 2 kW so we can use a hair drier and and electric water boiler (saves gas). The inverter we also imported from Germany. An additional battery charger was imported from France, because Cristec had no representative in Norway.
We were not quite happy with the whip we had for the SSB radio. It was only 4,9 m. So we wanted a longer one. Via a Norwegian vendor we got a 7,3 m long one from New Zealand.
We had to get a new satelite phone, and we imported it from UK. And we reopended our blog at Mailasail, and did all the necesary installations on a new PC. We also upgraded our Pactor modem to the new Dragon P4 model. This we bought from Permo electronics in Norway.
We put on two layers of antifouling and optimistically hoped that this would last for almost a year. But we also brought some ice scrapes (those for the car window), because we had experienced that they were good for cleaning the bottom when snorkeling or diving.
We stocked up with filters for the water maker, for the compressor and for the engine. For the engine and for the generator we also checked that we had impellers and belts.
For the Atlantic crossing we brought 8 jerry cans of 20 liers each. This gave us a total fuel capacity of 400 liters.
We needed some new Cruising guides, and we were happy to find Frank Vergintino's free cruising guides on the internet. (Highly recomendable.)
We love brown bread, and we bake it in the stove. We carry a ready flower mixture, just without the fine wheat meal and seeds. The flower mixture we put in the freezer for three days. That does away with any small creeps. The fine wheat meal we can buy in all supermarkets. Dry yeast is also pretty easy to find.
We repeted our first aid courses, renewed the certificate for the life raft and updated all the safty equipment, following th elist from the ARC.
We needed new boat insurance, and we had to do quite a lot of researh to find the right one. But if you are going for just one year and join the AC, they have some very good offers. We also have a comprehensive travellers insurance with worldwide coverage. This we got from a Norwegian company.
We should have made sure that the water maker was ok, and it was not, and we did not know before we were in Las Palmas.
We joined the ARC, and booked it already in 2012. That meant among other things, that we did not have to worry about having a berth in Las Palmas or in Rodney Bay (St. Lucia). We had decided to leave the boat in Curacao - by recomendation of friends. And we booked before we left home.
The last three weeks in Las Palmas we made a lot of preparations. Two weeks of seminars with the ARC. We had done it before. But it was still good for us. We had the provisioning list from 2008, so we just multiplied by 1,5, since we should be 3 crew this time, and last time we sailed double handed. Las Palmas is also the best place to buy all the curtesy flags for Caribbean.
We overlooked everything, maintained the winches, the watermaker, tested all communications and repeted the safety procedures for the boat. We agreed upon the watch system and the food.
Before we could leave we had to find crew. Eva could only join Bjørn from Göteborg to La Coruña, and Bjørn needed crew. For the Atlantic we wanted to have an extra crew menber. We had family crew on two legs, two others were recomended by people we knew, and one was recruited over the internet. Two were people Bjørn knew a little from working together. (Afterwords we can say that we had only good experiences.)
We planned to go to Puerto Rico. Going to the US on your own boat equires that you have a proper visa. So we were to the American embassey in Oslo to get ours. Luckily they last for ten years. To the other countries we plan to go to we do not need visas, except for Cuba, when we shall go there.
In Caribbean we had to decide when our children should visit us, so tickes could be bought. We also booked flights Curacao - Oslo (roundtrip) before we left home in 2013. Eva and I had never been to South America, so we decided to leave the boat in St. Martin and go to Argentina and Rio de Janeio. We prepared it all at home via an Argentinian travel agency.
We should not leave our appartment at home empty. Eva's daughter should live there. Good for us, good for her.
For the last days before any crossings we checked the weather forcast for the area. For the Atlantic crossing we spent all three weeks in Las Palmas learning about the Atlantic weather for the crossing.
The new generator has arrived:
Making a hatch for the generator in the cockpit floor was quite some process...
The new bowsprit for the genaker:
And the general chaos in the preparation period...