Cruising life starts again this week
At last cruising life starts again this week on SV Dream.
Last month Jen flew back to England to help our daughter move into her new home. We agreed for me to stay here to get a few jobs done on the boat. Our daughter was supposed to have got the keys to the house a couple of days before Jen was arriving, unfortunately there was a delay so no work was being done.
As a surprise, I booked a flight for the following Saturday and turned up unannounced to the delight of everyone. It was a good job because there was so much work that needed doing to the house in addition to painting.
My job’s included, plastering a wall, fitting wall tiles in the kitchen, floor tiles in the bathroom, replacing light fittings and plug sockets and a few other jobs that they wouldn’t have been able to do. We enjoyed our time and even got chance to take a couple of two night breaks away in our camper van.
Back in Crete
So we are now back on the boat and getting ready to set off this week. Looking at the weather window it looks like Thursday morning will be the day to leave the marina. We are still getting the force of the Meltemi winds which are anywhere between 20-38 knots even in the marina. Our plan is to sail to an anchorage a couple of hours away for the shakedown sail, spend a few days there, clean the bottom of the boat and then set off after the weekend for the Dodecanes or Cyclades depending on the most favourable wind direction. If you wonder what weather forecasting software we use here are the 3 main ones, Predict wind Windytv.com windy.app
We are really looking forward to getting back out there on the sea. It seems like a lifetime ago since we were coming back to Crete for the winter, but then again it was 10 months ago! At least we can get out this year. We had written any chance of cruising off this year because of the pandemic, let’s all hope that it will soon pass and things get back to normal.
I saw this quote recently and thought it fit our lifestyle and that I would share it.
“Can you believe that 5 years ago, I used to wear suits everyday!? It’s pretty funny, because now I have a hard time getter over having to wear shoes! It’s interesting how you connect with your environment and nature when you get to see, live it and eat it.
Life is not about how busy you are, it’s all about the intense moments, real friendship, love, skinny dipping and the crazy stories you get to take away when you’re old.”
Carl and Jenny
Well firstly we must apologise for the gap in updating our blog page. To be honest and frank, we didn’t think it appropriate to be posting about us while the world has been put on hold. We have paused our regular videos on YouTube (although our Patron only videos have still being going out), but now we think it’s about time we can start posting them again, now that the world is getting back to a bit of normality, albeit, still a different one to that which we had become accustomed to.
So what’s happening aboard Dream, I hear you say!
Well throughout the lockdown period we had been fostering a beautiful dog, Sam, who was waiting for the lockdown to lift so that he could be flown to his forever home in the UK. We became quite attached to him, and in all honesty, if we weren’t planning on sailing we would have kept him. The lockdown lifted for sailing in Greece came at the beginning of June, however Sam’s flight was booked for the 15th, assuming they were going to fly then. We decided that rather than him have to go into another foster home we would stay and look after him until then.
Two days before he was due to leave the couple who were going to have him pulled out. Now there is a waiting list for the dogs that are rescued here so rehoming him was never going to be a problem, however the 15th came and went. It wasn’t until the 27th June that we finally had to say goodbye to this lovely companion who turned out to be one of the most loyal, faithful and loving dogs we have had. After a lump in throat farewell we could get back to our sailing plans.
We needed a few days to get the boat transferred from its ‘winter living in the marina’ mode to “I’m a sailboat lets go” mode. Most of the jobs were done, just an engine oil change, a bit more fuel and some supplies and we could be off. Oh, not forgetting paying the dreaded TEPAI cruising tax and fetching our ship papers from the Port Police.
29th June and the TEPAI tax was paid online, the marina office printed off a hard copy of our receipt which we could present to the Police in order to get our papers back. 1st July, trip to the port Police, 10 minutes later we had our papers and were legally set to go.
I needed to complete the oil, filter and fuel filter service prior to leaving. Oil and oil filter done, engine started to run it through the engine and that is where the problem started. The revs started hunting up and down, there was a cloud of white smoke and then the engine stopped and refused to restart!
Now from my limited mechanic skills, I was adamant it was nothing I had done, or related to the oil change. I hadn’t started on the fuel system but I thought that it was a fuel starvation problem or contaminated fuel. The fact the smoke was white and not black indicated fuel issues. I removed the primary fuel filter, and there in the bottom of the collection chamber was what every sailor dreads, the signs of diesel bug. It’s actually a living organism that grows in the water content in the diesel, has a snot like consistency and doesn’t do your fuel system any favours. So all indications were that our fuel was contaminated.
Off to the chandlers where we purchased a 12v pump and a fuel polishing filter and some hose. Next we had to find enough jerry cans to empty our fuel tank. Two days later, the fuel had been emptied, cleaned and polished and was looking good. A check of the interior of the tank was pleasing, NO BUG! It looks like that the only bit of bug we had was in the bottom of the primary fuel filter casing. The fuel was returned to the tank. With new fuel filters fitted and the system bled we should be good to go. Ignition on, starter engaged……………Not starting. Try again…….nothing. Fuel was getting to the high pressure pump but no further!
The following day I spoke with a local mechanic who said it could be the high pressure fuel pump that was blocked. Specialist tools required, testing etc = big bill. And if it needed replacing €2776.00!!! What?
As luck would have it the following morning a boat near to us which had been vacant all winter had someone moving around. A neighbour mentioned they’d heard the owner was a mechanic. The sun was shining that day, yes he was a diesel mechanic with 30yrs experience under his belt. An hour later he was up to his armpits sucking diesel, blowing here, fiddling with that etc.
The diagnosis was hat the fuel lift pump was not delivering enough fuel and that a replacement would be required. I went online and found a place, not far from where we lived in the UK that had the part. A quick phonecall, a credit card and it was on its way. Only problem was it would take up to two weeks to arrive. No problem, we could get everything else ready to go.
That night we received a family phone call, without going into details here, we had to make a decision. Jen was booking a flight to return to the UK for almost 4 weeks, the longest time we would have to spend apart since we met when we were 16 and 18yrs old. Not something we were looking forward to but needs must.
The earliest flight was booked and we decided I would stay with the boat so when the new part arrives I can do the repair so when Jen returns in August we can more or less set off sailing straight away.
So, that’s where we are to date. I’m sat here on the boat doing a few little jobs and Jen is back in the UK with family. It feels really strange being apart but it’s only for a short time and sometimes you have to put other people’s needs before your own. I can’t wait for her to get back though.
Welcome to the Friday Podcast.
Welcome to the Friday Podcast. Well our podcasts are rolling out now, we are trying for two a week, one on a Monday and one on a Friday.
We are having a lot of fun recording them but could do with a few ideas on topics to cover, that’s where we could do with your help. Comment below, leave a comment on our Carl and Jenny Talk About Facebook page or just email us. Ask us a question or suggest a topic. We’ll be sure to answer everything.
As from next Friday the podcasts will also be available in video form so you can see behind the scenes of how a podcast is made.
Benefits for you:
Listen anywhere on your travels via podcast players
Watch the video when you can for a different experience.
Anyway, here’s todays episode. Hope you enjoy it.
We are really enjoying making these podcasts. As has been said to us, this is the real us. We come across in podcasts as we tend to be in real life. Discover our personalities and how we are with each other on a day to day basis.
In this episode we go to celebrate Burns night in the marina, roll into Carl’s birthday celebration and get down and dirty spillin’ the beans on each other.
Comment below if you’d like to see a video version of future podcasts. Or just topics you want us to talk about!
We are always looking to give our followers more content and enjoyment so we have put together something we have been talking about for some time… yes, we now have in addition to all of our other social media stuff, a Podcast!
Now this is something we have been thinking of doing for quite a while now to add a different aspect to our day to day lives, and to record something that might not always come across in videos.
So after much deliberation we have now posted our first podcast.
What’s different from our podcast in comparison to our video productions, is that our podcasts are going to be a bit more diversified in content, They are not going to be just about our sailing experiences, but more about our view and outlook on life in general.
We hope to keep it humorous and fun and hope you will get some joy and laughter from it, and may also pick up a tip or two on how to keep your marriage/relationship on the right lines. We have been married now for almost 28 years and have been together as a couple for almost 36 years, so we think we know a bit about living together as a couple!!
We hope you will enjoy this alternative content. We will still continue to post our videos but hope this is something you can listen to in different environments and still get enjoyment from (car, gym, walking etc).
Anyhow check out our Podcasting hosting channel. You can also find us on iTunes, Spotify and other Podcast outlets.
Let us know what you think, and feel free to send us questions or topics you would like us to cover.
The first episode is just a quick intro to the channel. We are aiming to publish one podcast a week so please subscribe on whatever podcasting platform you use.
Thanks again and we hope you enjoy the show.
The truth behind the myth
Sell up, buy a boat, set sail and set up a YouTube channel. Never work again! In this blog post we give you the truth behind the myth.
In the last couple of years sailing channels have flooded the market on YouTube. Probably one of the reasons is that a handful of channels got on the bandwagon really early and got a lot of followers who have remained loyal to them and as a result they make a good living from it. The problem now is that everyone thinks that if they buy a boat and start a YouTube channel they can give up their jobs set sail and they’ll never have to work again! What they don’t realise is that the channels who are making money from YouTube and Patreon are working as full time video producers. Not quite the retirement they are expecting. Editing footage that you have recorded, exporting it, uploading to YouTube, adding text, custom thumbnails etc all takes time, at least 8-16 hrs for a fairly short video.
For people who just want to watch sailing videos, life experiences and adventures then the market is flooded. Some really good productions and some not so good productions. There is something for everyone out there. Unfortunately for the video creators, getting noticed now is getting harder and harder due to the number of creators there are.
Whilst we love creating videos for YouTube it is not a cheap hobby. Yes we do get a small income from Patreon which helps with the costs a little but it doesn’t pay a wage. A lot of people are under the misconception that because adverts are part of YouTube playbacks then the creators must be making lots of money. In reality unless you are getting 100’000’s of views per video then we are looking at cents/pence per thousand views. Hardly worth it because YouTube take their 50% of anything you make. Hence the reason a lot of people now offer a Patreon page.
On our Patreon page we post our normal episodes earlier than they are released on YouTube, but we also produce our Patron only video series which we call our D-Log. There are currently around 40 D-Log videos on our Patron page at the moment. We also offer other perks depending on what tier our Patrons decide to join. All the funds we raise through our Patreon page goes back into video creation, whether it’s updating or replacing equipment or being put towards our ever increasing internet costs.
Photography/Filming gear on board
As YouTubers we need a fair amount of filming and photography equipment. We thought we would write a blog post explaining the Photography/Filming gear on board of Dream.
The equipment we use is what we have built up over a period of time. We were fortunate that we ran a wedding photography and film company and so had a massive amount of equipment. So much so that we had to sell quite a lot of equipment before we moved aboard as we just didn’t have room to store it all, along with the fact that we didn’t need it all any more.
We are not going to make this blog post too technical as it would go on forever. This is just to give you an idea of what we use to bring you the videos we put out.
So, lets break it up into different pieces of kit:
Filming and Photography
This is our main camera. This camera is a micro four thirds camera, good for still photography, but a fantastic camera for film use. It’s not too heavy so its comfortable for long shoots, has all the ‘Pro’ features you need. It films in 4K which is now the standard and has more features than most people would ever need. Combined with some ‘fast’ lenses this camera takes some beating. We have pre-sets on ours that can even film in slow motion to a good standard.
The canon G7X is a compact camera which is easy to carry around, is self contained and comes in a small package. It has a built in lens which has a built in zoom. The great thing about this camera is that it has a screen that can be flipped up so if you are using it in selfie mode you can see what you are recording. We tend to use this camera when we are out and about. The battery life is good and can last for a full day (not continuous). This model only records in High Definition 1080, the new model records in 4K so we may have to update at some point in the future.
The GoPro is the action camera we use. We have had this one a couple of years now which we bought to upgrade our older model, the Hero 3 Black. The battery life on the 6 is so much better. The Hero 6 Black is waterproof without having to use a special case so is ideal for boat life. Small enough to keep in your pocket and can be ready almost instantly to use. Downside is lowlight filming is a bit noisy, but the capabilities of where you can film with this camera is endless. It’s also voice activated, so you can fit it in a position where you don’t need to reach it, give it a voice command and you can film or take pictures without having to touch it.
This is another waterproof HD camera. No moving parts, slimline and also has a built in GPS. We don’t use the GPS. For quick, instant filming/photos, this is ideal.
This is a new addition to our kit list. The DJI Osmo Pocket is a 4K gimballed camera that gives excellent stabilisation. Just what you need in rough seas lol! We haven’t used this yet in any of our videos but we are looking forward to using it soon.
The Mavic Pro is a great Drone with some great features. We don’t use it as much as we should do and promise that next season we will be using it a lot more.
Sometimes we use external audio recording. if we have a noisy background or are further away from the camera then an external recorder and microphone is how we get around it. The other option we have is to use an external microphone on top of the LUMIX GH5.
The Zoom H4 is a portable recording studio you can carry anywhere. It has built in microphones and several inputs for extra microphones, headphones or even musical instruments. It records in MP3 and wav files. The sound quality is excellent.
The Zoom H1 is a portable recorder. It is a one button record system. Again built in mics and a headphone socket so you can monitor your recording and a jack plug where you can plug in an external mic. This one is really small so will fit in any pocket and is easy to hide from view.
This microphone has great audio qualities. It’s very small so you don’t even know you are wearing it. It is designed to be used with the Rode recording App on an iPhone. To use it with the Zoom or other recorders you need to purchase the small adapter plug by Rode. The iPhone has 5 terminals on a jack plug and the recorders only need 4. The adapter converts it from 5 to 4 so it works correctly.
This fits to the hot shoe of the GH5 camera. It requires a 9Volt battery. It plugs into the microphone socket on the camera. The downside to this mic is if you forget to switch it on, or the battery runs out you don’t get any audio recorded.
Similar to the Video mic pro but does not require any power. This is ideal because you don’t have to worry about batteries or losing audio. The quality is quite good, it’s also a small convenient size and it has a ‘Dead cat’ to cut down on wind noise.
We have used different editing software packages. Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X. Now we use MacBook Pro computers and Final Cut pro X for all of our editing now.
One of the reasons we no longer use Adobe as they moved over to a subscription only package.
We also require Hard drives for storing all the footage we record onto. The ones we use mainly for storage and editing now are the LaCie Rugged hard drives. These are shock proof and come in a nice rubber protected case.
We have quite a bit more equipment than this, extra camera bodies, desk mics, lights etc etc. Not to mention all the spare batteries, memory cards, mounts, tripods, monopods. The list goes on.
If you enjoy watching our videos and would like to help support the production of them you can become a Patron by clicking on this LINK. as a Patron you get access to lots of extra videos and other perks depending on what tier you join. There is a tier for everyone.
If you click on any of the links of the equipment we have featured and order anything from Amazon, we get a small commission from amazon at no extra cost to you. It just puts a few coppers into our Amazon affiliate account, which we use to upgrade and replace the equipment we use for filming. If you have any questions about any of the kit we use please comment below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Carl and Jenny
How to service a Lewmar Ocean ST50 winch
All sailboats are fitted with winches, some are self tailing and others are just standard winches. Some boats, generally larger yachts, even have electric winches to make life a bit easier. These are useful if single handing or when handling big sails. Read below on how to service a Lewmar winch.
On our boat we have a total of 5 cockpit winches. We have two Lewmar 42’s for controlling the mainsheet, topping lift, halyards, kicker and main sail furler. We have 2 Lewmar 50’s for the Genoa sheets and lastly a Lewmar 40 electric winch for the headsail fuller.
Winches are probably one of the most used pieces of equipment on a boat. They are built to sustain quite heavy work and will keep going and going without hardly, if any, maintenance. However, they really should be serviced once a year.
Many sailors don’t bother thinking “If it aint broke, don’t fix it!”
You might get away with it for some time but if it does fail due to lack of care and maintenance then the cost of replacement is massive.
So for us, we service our winches once a year, normally at the end of the season. To do it thoroughly probably takes a couple of hours per winch, but the benefits are well worth it.
If ever you have taken the roller off of a winch “just to have a look” you may feel a bit intimidated seeing all the cogs and gearing, yes it does look complicated but in actual fact they are quite simple and servicing is a job anyone can do.
Below is a list of things to go through when servicing your winch. Take a look, then watch our video where Carl services one of our Lewmar ST50 manual winches and what he found when examining it. Although this refers to a Lewmar ST50 winch, most winches are similar so you should still find this helpful.
Lewmar Winch Service
1. Prepare to service the Lewmar winch. You’ll need a large tray, a plastic sheet to cover your table (we use a bin liner), an old toothbrush, gear or winch grease, and gear oil. Some kitchen roll, a bin liner, protective gloves, flathead screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a solvent, we use petrol but you can use white spirit.
2. First job is to dismantle the winch. It’s quite simple, firstly unscrew the plastic top cap (some winches may have a stainless steel one). Then remove the chrome feeder arm, this just pulls up. Once done you can pull up and remove the drum. Be careful as there are two big sealed bearings inside. Sometimes they will stay on the shaft and other times they will lift out inside the drum. Place the items in the tray. If this is the first time you are doing this it might be beneficial to get someone to film you so if you forget where things go you can watch the video as a reminder. Next remove the pins that hold the gears, insert a screwdriver in the top and carefully prise it upwards, then you can pull them out. Slide out the gearing cogs. There will be a small plastic washer underneath the cogs, be sure to retain it.
3. We soak all the parts in petrol to remove the old grease.. Using a toothbrush and rag get all the old grease and grime off every part – cogs, bearings, rods, washers, winch base, winch cover – everything.
4. Lightly grease everything except the Pawl and Pawl Spring. You’ll want to use gear oil on that instead. Make sure to lightly grease every part – inside, outside, in the corners and grooves. You don’t want blobs of grease anywhere as theses can harden over time. Lightly goes is the key.
5. Put everything back together in the opposite manner than when you took everything off. Double check there’s no bits left in the tray…. If there is re-assemble 😉
Once it’s all back together give the winch a few turns with the winch handle which will ensure all the moving parts will have got grease on.
Thats it, you’re good to go.
Now you’ve read how to do it, click on the video below and watch Carl service one of our winches. how to do it.
Renewing our DEPKA
It’s time for our yearly DEPKA renewal!
One of the things an EU registered boat requires when sailing in Greek waters is a DEPKA. This is basically to show you have registered with the Greek authorities that your boat is in Greek waters. It is renewable every 12 months. The renewing is free.
Ours was due to be renewed on the 13th November, but as I had a spare hour this morning, I decided to go and get it done today. Jenny was busy doing her keep fit exercises with some of the other liveaboards in the marina, so what better time?
It’s quite a simple process. A trip down to the Port Police office (Coastguard) with the correct documents. It’s then just a formality of them photocopying your documents and stamping the DEPKA with a new date 12 months from now. I had to show the original DEPKA, TEPAI tax payment form (even though that expired at the end of October), the receipt for our SSR (small ships register certificate). We had to surrender ours to register the boat out of use over winter, otherwise we would have to pay the TEPAI for each month. My ICC and passport.
They will check and photocopy all of the documents. Once done they stamp your DEPKA and put a new expiry date which will be 12 months from the day they stamp it.
All in all it took around 10 minutes to get our DEPKA renewal and now we are good for the next 12 months in Greek waters. That is of course when we set off again at the beginning of the season and pay our TEPAI tax for the months we are in Greece.
Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual:
THE guide to fixing everything on your boat!
Well as you know, one of the things with boats is that because they are constantly moving there is always something going wrong, wearing out or just breaking. As a result a quick and good repair/replacement part is required. This is the guide to fixing everything on your boat.
Now when you’ve been doing it for a long time I suppose it’s like anything else, you get to expect and know what’s what! That’s how we gain experience isn’t it?
Well we have a book onboard that takes away most of the mystery, makes it easy to understand and offers advice etc on what and how to do things, explaining it so that even the first timer can understand. Yes, you do need to be a bit practically minded, but, the way it describes things makes it quite easy to understand.
To quote Amazon’s review : “This manual takes both novice and experienced boatowner through minor to major repairs of electrical systems, engines, electronics, steering systems, generators, pumps, cookers, spars and rigging.
When it was first published in 1990, the Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electrical Manual broke new ground. It was hailed as the first truly DIY manual for boatowners and has sold in its thousands ever since. There have been significant changes in boat systems since then, particularly electrical systems. This fourth edition has been fully updated to reflect these developments and expand its predecessor’s worldwide popularity.
‘Probably the best technical reference and troubleshooting book in the world’ Yachting Monthly
‘It deserves to come standard with every boat’ Yachting World”
This isn’t one of the cheapest books to buy if you are a boat owner, but I think it will be one of the best books you buy. It is available as a hardback or for download to Kindle. In my opinion the hardback book is better as its more practical to use in book format when carrying out repairs, however if you want to read it for reference then the Kindle format would suffice. We have the hardback book.
Should you buy it? Well if you are a boat owner now, or are going to be in the future then YES, without a doubt. You will turn to this book regularly, more than you know.
If you do decide to get a copy, we’d really appreciate it if you could click on the link below, that way we get a small referral commission from Amazon on any sales, which helps to go towards the maintenance of our boat.
Good reading 🙂
Carl & Jenny
Greek Resident Permits
Well it’s been a very heavy rain day here today, we have had thunderstorms for the last few days but todays has been for most of the day. We had a short spell first thing this morning where the rain eased off so we got on our scooter and headed off to the local Police station. It’s a week since we applied for our Greek residents permit and was told we could pick them up today.
We wasn’t in the Police station for more than 2 minutes and came out with our registration cards. We are now officially residents of Greece. How that will help us post Brexit is yet to be seen but it can’t be a bad thing!
Food Prep for our roadtrip
Our plan for this week was to take our camper van and do a roadtrip of Crete. The terrible freak weather that is hitting Greece and a lot of the Med has put a damper on that plan. We will wait till later in the week and cut it a bit short as it’s supposed to pick up a bit later in the week. We then start our roadtrip back to the UK on Monday so that we can get things like an International driving permit amongst other things that Brexit is causing problems for us!!
So to save time and make it easier for cooking when we are on our roadtrip, I have spent the day today in the galley on the boat making up various meals that we can then put into bags that are vacuum sealed and frozen. That way we can put the frozen bags into the fridge in the van, and then each night take out one of the bags that has two portions in and just heat up the contents. The easiest way is to put the bag into a pan of boiling water and heat it through. Less washing up and a nice meal at the same time!
The meals I have made today:
Chilli con Carne – 6 portions
Lentil Dal curry – 4 portions
Corned beef hash – 4 portions
Thai vegetable curry – 4 portions
Boiled rice – 10 portions
That gives us 9 days of evening meals of really good food. Even though we only have a fridge in the van the food will still stay fresh with it being vacuum sealed 🙂
We bought the vacuum sealer a few weeks ago and have been really pleased with it. It was recommended to us and we have already recommended it to quite a few other people.
The one we have was from Amazon, it’s and Andrew James make. Below is a link to our Amazon affiliate page and you will find the vacuum sealer on there along with some accessories. They make a great accessory to any boat, or in fact any kitchen!
We hope you enjoy the tips here what we are using.
What do you do to save time? If your a full time sailor what do you do to prepare food in advance? Please leave a comment and let us know.