Well the weather this morning in Agios Nikolaos is beautiful..again! The sun is shining, the sky is blue. Days like this make you sit back and wonder why you took retirement instead of staying at work and live in a not so great climate….NOT!
If you follow our other social media outlets you will know that we are now settling in to this new lifestyle, we are loving it. Yes we are missing our kids, (well both adults now, but they will always be our kids), and yes we are missing family, but in all honesty thats it.
We have been moored up in the marina since we put Dream back in the water, but have a shake down sail planned pretty soon. We have been getting the boat ready for the sailing season. Dream is a beautiful boat and is a credit to her previous owner, but she has not been sailed much in the last few years so we have been spending our time getting her back to shipshape and giving her the once over, and making small changes to make her ours.
We still have a few jobs to do before the end of April. We are replacing the service batteries, all 4 of them. Two were on their way out and we are not too sure how old the other two are, but its best to have all new ones. The two good ones we have remaining will be fitted to our van to give us more available power in there. Also we have a spare solar panel on the boat which is also being utilised in the van. No waste here 🙂
Some of you who are Patrons, may not be aware but Patron has updated its mobile app. A nice little feature they’ve added is the “Lens” feature. Basically it allows us to post 30 second video clips via our mobile app. It then shows up in your app and is available for 24hrs. It’s a cool little feature that we will be using to put up regular short behind the scene/what we are up to clips. We will try to put one up each day while ever we have internet connection.
As you may have seen we have also introduced a “Fix It Friday” video which goes out, yes you’ve guessed it, on a Friday. From the feedback we have received it is quite popular so we will continue with it until we run out of jobs, but as we are on a boat that won’t be soon lol!
Don’t forget you can get regular updates to whats happening by our email newsletter which you can subscribe to using the form on this site.
Enjoy the day.
Carl and Jenny
A couple of days ago the weather forecast for the sea of Crete wasn’t looking too good. We use several different weather apps but find “Windy” is quite accurate for this area. According to Windy the wind on Thursday night was going to pick up to the late 40’s knots.
We spent the day sorting out our AIS system. When we moved aboard Dream we found an AIS receiver wrapped up in bubble wrap with a letter from the manufacturers saying it had been tested and was working okay. It just required re-connecting…or so we thought! It was re-connected and although power was showing on the unit, the channel lights were not flashing and the display on the Raymarine chart plotter was saying “no AIS”!
A neighbour of ours is quite a whizz with electrical stuff and after a thorough examination and exploration we deduced it was a fault with the antenna, either the cable or the antenna itself. So we had to lower down the aluminium mast pole that supports the radar and our antennas to investigate further. We made up a bit of a temporary antenna using just wire and after fiddling with the connector that sends the signal to the plotter we finally got boats showing up on the display..success!
The next thing was to put new cable to the existing antenna. Once done it was then the job of raising the pole, which I must add was straddled now between the rear deck of the boat and the pontoon. This is easier to talk about than actually do because of the angles it had to be lifted at and the leverage we had. We had Paeter on the pontoon, Jenny was at the rear of the boat pulling on a rope and I was on the rear deck supporting the full weight at the bottom of the pole. Jenny pulled on the rope, I lifted and Paeter lost his balance and was flapping his arms around trying not to fall into the water. It was funny, but could have had ended quite differently.
By now the wind had started to increase and the sky had started going really dark with rain clouds. It was as though someone had switched off the lights. No sooner had we got the top bolt into the retaining bracket on the pole than the rain started after a massive clap of thunder and a lightning bolt. A metal pole is the last thing to be hanging onto in a thunder storm so the fastening was expedited and we went below whilst the thunderstorm blew over.
We had a break in the rain and finished making the pole secure. By now the swell had increased and so had the wind, the rain was starting to get heavy again.
Paeter made a dash for his boat and we battened down the hatches in readiness for what was about to come.
Around 10.30pm the boat was rolling about a bit, but we were quite happy the boat was safe and we were safe. All of sudden we felt the boat roll to starboard and things on the side were sliding about. We knew we couldn’t go anywhere as we were securely tied up, I went up into the cockpit and looked at the wind monitor, we were getting winds of 46-48 knots constant. I checked the highest recording and we had just recorded 50.6 Knots! We were rolling around quite a bit but decided it was time to go to bed and sleep through it. We woke up the following morning at 10.30am!
Facebook the following morning had pictures from around the town and there had been structural damage to some of the restaurant fronts and seating areas, luckily everyone in the marina came out unscathed.
This morning, we have rolled up all the sides on the winter cockpit tent, sat here again in T-shirts and shorts, the sun is on my back and its warm with blue skies again. There is just about enough breeze to move the Greek courtesy flag we have flying. Jen has just got back from washing som clothes and now hanging them out around the boat to dry.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We are now a few weeks behind real time but catching up.
Have a great day,
Carl & Jenny
Whats been happening in Ag Nik?
Well Christmas is almost upon us, but here in Crete, it really doesn’t feel like Christmas to us and what we have been accustomed to so it will certainly be a bit different this year!
We have put lights on our boat to get with the festive spirit and we picked up an 18 inch high xmas tree along with baubles and trimmed it with some battery lights we brought from home so it looks nice, but it doesn’t have the same ambience that you get back home with all the excitement from everyone.
Having said that we went shopping today and got a couple of gifts. The thing is because we’ve moved onto a boat we got rid of all the stuff we didn’t need or use any more so just buying more “stuff” seems pointless. If we don’t need it we don’t buy it, plus we don’t have the same to store it now. So, for Jen, she has wanted to learn how to do calligraphy writing, so I bought her a beautiful calligraphy pen with interchangeable nibs, and of cause some ink. We will be getting a paddle board for her when the weather is right for it.
For me, there is a big live aboard musical interest with a few guitarists and drummers but no keyboard players, so although I have brought one of my guitars my Xmas present is a new keyboard/synthesizer that can be connected to my Mackbook Pro via midi to make some great music (hopefully). I had to leave three keyboards at home because they were too big and heavy to bring on the boat, but this new one is ultra lightweight as it uses the computer for its sounds. Plus side is that I can start to create our own backing music for our videos 🙂 I suppose Jen could use the calligraphy set to write down the music score 😉
It’s going to be none stop activities here in the marina over the next few days! Tomorrow we have a party in the clubhouse. Christmas day there are 40 of us going out for a Christmas meal, starting at 1645 and going on until Santa gets stuck up the chimney, Boxing Day there is another get together, then a few days rest.
So let us take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Carl & Jenny. x.
So we have now been in Agios Nikolaos for 2 weeks. So far we have been on the hard. Tomorrow we will be launching Dream back into the water. At last!
It’s not been as bad as we thought for settling into this new way of life,although I suppose you could say it’s not really started yet, not till we start cruising anyway.
We have made friends with quite a few people here from all nationalities and have been made really welcome. A few people we met earlier in the year when we first came down to get the boat surveyed. We now have our scooter for local trips around town, rather than keep using the van which I have now nicknamed my land yacht!
Jen has joined the marina walking club which goes out on a Thursday walking through the gorges, and then a couple of mornings a week she goes for a shorter walk with a few of the ladies from the other boats. The walk up to a local beach,a few exercises on the beach then a walk back, sets her up for the day.
There’s quite an active social calendar here, Sunday afternoons is BBQ time. You take a dish to share and whatever else you want to eat and drink. A few people bring down there guitars and everyone joins in with a bit of a song. It starts at 2pm and goeson until the last drunken sailor staggers back to their boat!
Friday evenings is what is called Happy Hour. The local taverna next to the marina puts on food for everyone who goes, all at no charge. While ever you are buying drinks the food keeps coming. At the end of the night you tell George how many drinks you have had and he tells you what the final cost is. Can you imagine a British pub operating like that, they’d be out of business in a night!!
The weather at the moment is beautiful. I am sat here in the cockpit in just shorts and t-shirt, not a cloud in the sky with just a very gentle breeze Jen has just gone for a short walk.
We have completed the jobs that we had to do before Dream gets splashed tomorrow. We’ve changed the two main seacocks along with the pipework, sorted through all the lockers and spent a couple of days putting a new anti-fouling coating on the hull. She looks as good as new.
Once we are on our berth and have direct connection to the water we will give the boat a good clean down using the pressure washer. At the moment we have mains electricity but no direct connectin to water so have been reliant on what was in the tanks. Our aft tank is now empty and we have about 40% left in the forward tank, so we can survive a few more days.
Well it’s time for another cuppa so time to sign off for now. We have another episode of our van conversion video ready for uploading to YouTube so keep an eye out for that. There will be one more episode of the conversion then the next episode will be our trip here. After that it will be boat life!
Have a great day everyone we are thinking of everyone back home but can say we are not missing the weather there!
Carl and Jenny
Just a quick update
Well folks, at long last we finally made it to Dream, and Agios Nikolaus on the beautiful island of Crete.
We are are bit behind on blog updates due the the van conversion and travelling to get here but those of you who follow our other social media updates will know whats been happening without us having to repeat it all here 🙂
We have been doing daily live broadcasts on YouTube during our trip here so it seems a bit strange now to revert back to our weekly one. The wifi we are picking up here is a bit hit and miss so we are having to use our data on the phone so just need to be a bit careful!
We will be doing our usual Sunday Sundowner chat tonight. We are 2 hrs ahead of UK time here but will aim to start at 7pm UK time tonight so be sure to check in.
Thats all for now, time for breakfast.
See you all later on YT.
Have a great day,
Carl & Jenny x
Well we did it!! We spent the week emptying the house, numerous trips to the refuse centre putting loads of stuff from the attic into the skips. It took us three days almost to clear the attic space, and a couple of days to clear the rest of the house.
The new van we have bought came into its own to help with the clearance, without it we really would have been struggling. We were starting early in the morning and finishing late on, it was non-stop. It was easier than we thought to get rid of some of the stuff and eventually we got to the point where if it didn’t have sentimental value and no purpose on the boat then it was going in the skip! It got easier throughout the week.
Friday morning came and we got the telephone call from the solicitor to say the money from the house sale had been transferred into our bank account. We could now pay for the boat! We gave the new owners of the house a phone call and arranged to hand over the keys at 5pm.
We continued emptying the last few things throughout the day and at 5pm the one of the new owners arrived. We handed over a key, the others were left on the table. The new owner didn’t want to go into the house until she was with her partner who was still at work. So she was quite happy for us to finish off and then when we had done, lock up and put the key through the letterbox.
We were homeless!! Well not quite, we are currently staying with our son and his girlfriend at their house, just while we do the conversion on the van. I am sleeping in the van and Jenny is sleeping in their spare single bedroom. As this week has gone on the insulation has been completed, the electrical wiring has been installed along with the leisure battery, fuse box, invertor and mains. Part of the roof lining has been installed and this week we are hoping to get it almost finished. We are filming it as we go so will put out a video of the conversion progress.
On Wednesday morning we paid the balance on the boat and were now the new owners of a Bavaria 47 named “DREAM” She is now our boat! We have now insured the boat, sorted out the registration with the Small Ship Register and sorted out the ships radio licence. We know there will be other formalities to sort when we get to the boat. We have liaised with the marina and let them know an approximate date when we expect to arrive at the marina and requested that our berth is ready for us to put the boat back in the water once we have anti-fouled it.
So that’s an update on the last week or two. Don’t forget to tune into our live chats on You Tube on a Sunday evening. We have had to schedule this weekends for 9pm UK time again due to hospital visits to see my Dad who is still there.
We have also put out a special offer draw on our Patreon page to draw out two names to come and stay for a long weekend on the boat. Details on our Patreon page.
Thats it for now.
Carl & Jenny.
Well it’s all official now!
We’ve just got back from our solicitors. There’s no going back now, we’ve just signed the contracts for our house sale!
Our completion date is next Friday. Once we receive the call from the solicitor on Friday morning to say our funds have been transferred into our bank that’s it. We are of no fixed abode! Although we do have a temporary residing address for mail and stuff.
The boat transfer is scheduled for the 1st November so from that day onwards we will be the legal owners of our “Dream”.
So where will we stay in the meantime?
Earlier today we went and paid for our new van, so we are now the official owners of a Nov 2014 Vauxhall Movano 2.3 CDTI High roof LWB van which we will be converting into a full camper van hopefully within the next two weeks. Side windows are being fitted today so once we pick it up tomorrow we have a trip up to North Yorkshire to pick up the carpet liner. Then once we get back the work starts on insulating and lining it out. We’ll be doing a video series about the conversion. We will be staying in the van until completion and then driving it down to Crete so we will have a week or so camper van road trip to get down to the boat.
When we get to Crete the first thing will be to antifoul the boat and get her back in the water. We’ll then spend some time getting used to boat life. Because we won’t be doing much sailing over the winter we are planning on doing a road trip a road trip to explore Crete. The beauty of having the van with us is that the only extra cost will be fuel. We are going to be land and sea gypsies!
We’ve been waiting all year for this and now it seems to have come around all at once. We’ve still a fair few things to get rid of, pass on, sell etc but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
On a final note, the weather here at home is now starting to turn quite Autumnal rapidly. The drizzly days have started, along with colder evenings, i’ve now had to pack my flip flops as i’ve had to start wearing socks for the first time since March. We are also starting to lose the light around 6pm, the sign of season change, so it won’t be quite so hard to drive off towards sunnier climes! The first few weeks are going to be rally hard emotionally we think, because it will be the first time we will have left the family for any time other than the holidays, so it may be easier for everyone if we all just say we are on an extended holiday. It will only be a few weeks till we are back visiting anyway, although this will be the first Christmas ever we wont have spent it with family. We will make sure we have Skype set up before we leave for our parents and kids so we can at least keep in touch that way.
Oh, and one last thing, just realised, this Sundays “Sunday Sundowner chat” will be the last one from our house, so we may have to open a bottle of bubbly. The ones following will be from on the road and then the boat, so join us for that.
See you all on Sunday.
Carl & Jenny.
A question i’m asked three times a year, what would you like?
The three times are Christmas, Birthday and Fathers Day, and normally each time I say, “oh suprise me”.
What happens? I end up getting a shirt that’s too small, socks that are too big or something that will probably never get used. Oh and then there’s always the “safe” present, a pack of beer or a bottle of rum. Well you can’t go wrong with those last two can you?
As we get further towards the end of this year, the adverts have already started, the “C” word jumpers are already starting to make an appearance, in fact just the other day I saw an advert for the latest thing this year, again the “C” word skirt! I can’t see many men buying into that, but hey in today’s society, one never knows!
Well we all know what it’s like shopping for someone else don’t we? We want to get something nice, something different, but we really don’t have a clue. Well put that behind you, because if you know someone who is a sailor, (and the chances that you do are pretty high otherwise you wouldn’t have got this far already), then read on!
We have spent a few hours trolling the internet, to save you having to do it, for what could be an ideal gift for your sailor, or even yourself.
So lets start off
Here’s a list of 5 gifts everyone would love
This is what an AWESOME Sailor Looks like SILVER Mug – A 14oz insulated stainless steel mug
2. Personalised Engraved Sailor Jerry & Coke Glass Mason Jar – Personalised Sailor Jerry & Coke Mason Jar
3. Headwear bandanas – Sahara Sailor 6 pack –
FUNCTION-Ideal used as a headband, cap, beanie, neck gaiter, wind or dust screen, balaclava, pirate-style cap, scarf or a helmet liner.
4. Password leather Sailors Notebook – Combination lock 112 page notebook
5. What Happens On The Boat, Stays On The Boat – wooden plaque for a bit of fun
So there you have it. No excuse now for not knowing what to buy the sailor in your life. A few suggestions we have found, something for everyone. Hope you like them.
And to make it even easier for you to order them, just click on one of the links below and it will take you direct to Amazon’s web site where you can place your order. A few clicks and you could have got your “C” word gifts before we leave October! Now there’s a plan.
Well this morning I was sitting in my makeshift office, well truth be told, on my couch looking out of the window of the lounge. As you know much of our house has now been emptied of what makes it a home as we get ready to move aboard our boat for a new chapter in our lives, so my office of 18 years has slowly been transformed into a storeroom as we have a daily routine of sorting what we’re keeping, whats getting sold and whats being given away. Anyway, back to the topic, so, I was sitting there thinking about how we could prepare ourselves for the sailing season, or more to the point, what tips we could pass on to you the reader on how to prepare yourself for the sailing season, it’s all about sharing. Well I started to do a bit of online research and found literally hundreds of pages from different sailors and sailing forums. I made notes, a lot of notes, put the kettle on, made myself a cuppa and then tried to put it together into some kind of order. So here it is, I hope you find it useful.
(small print – We do not accept any responsibility for you taking part in the following activities, unless you film it and it goes viral 🙂 )
1. Buy a case of beer. Any beer will do. Then place it next to a warm radiator for a few hours, invite a friend over, then drink it.
2. Apply low factor sunscreen to your face in streaks and sit in front of a sun lamp for 2 hours.
3. Sit on a park bench with large metal fixtures cutting into your legs, stare straight up into the sun for two hours, if there’s no sun look at the rain clouds until you get cramp.
4. Have a walk to the local pub and get very drunk, sleep on the floor for a few hours, then stand on a rocking chair for 6 hours. It is optional to sit on it every now and again.
5. Go to a cashpoint and withdraw £1000. -go into your local hardware store, pick up something for a couple of quid, put a sticker that says “marine grade” onto the item then hand over your £1000.
6. Sit in front of a large fan and have someone throw large buckets of salt water on you. Best if you cover the floor with polythene first if indoors!
7. Repeat number 6 in jeans and a sweatshirt and /or repeat number 6 with head turned sideways to ensure water lodging fully into ear drum. Continue until your lips turn blue.
8. Cut a branch off a nearby tree, tie ropes to it, stand on a rocking chair with tree limb and ropes – hold them over your head for 3 hours… at 5 minute intervals drop on your head.
9. Set your iphone alarm to 5-minute repeating counts … let it go off all day long.
10. Pour cold water in your lap and give yourself a wedgie, now alternate between sitting and running around bent over.
11. Tie ropes between 2 trees – push your body against them as hard as you can for 6 consecutive hours – don’t stop for pain or bruising.
12. Place sandpaper on your stairs, now wearing shorts, crawl up and down on your knees for several hours.
13. Make 12 sandwiches on white bread with bad meat and cram them into a bread bag – eat one a day for 12 consecutive days. Sitting on the bag between days
14. Tie ropes to rear tow ball of friend’s car, hold on tightly, but allow rope to slip through fingers as car drives away – TIP: works best with nylon fiber ropes, lengths in excess of 50′.
15. Upon completion of previous 14 tasks- sit down and drink 14 glasses of rum…. Well done!
So there you have it, a few quick tips to get you ready for the sailing season, or as it’s already getting towards the end of the season you could use these as reminders while you’re away from the boat over the winter. For you armchair sailors, try out the above, all the same fun but without the cost.
Have a great day everyone.
Well during our regular Sunday Sundowner live chat show this evening it became apparent that we aren’t the only people who are a little more than interested in producing their own drinks, whether it be beer, wine or spirits.
We have been brewing our own supplies for some time now, so due to popular demand we are going to put in an extra live show this coming Tuesday on how we brew our home supplies. Some of this will be hypothetical speaking as the distilling side of brewing is not exactly legal in many parts of the world due to tax reasons mainly, so we will be giving advice/instructions on what we have researched 😉 Whether you go on to process your own spirits is entirely left with you, we can discuss the method but don’t condone doing it whilst you are on land!
We are sure you will find this informative and may even be the start of a new hobby for some of you. And if you already live on a boat, then it’s really a must as you will be saving lots of money making your own.
We will discuss the equipment you need, where you can get your equipment from and the process from start to finish in each of the different types of brewing process.
This is going to be a special interest topic and not just for sailors, so whether you are just into sailing or are live aboard sailors, you will find it of interest. Even if its just how to save a few pounds/dollars each month.
We hope you can join us for this extra live discussion.
Starts at 2100hrs Tuesday 10th October.
Carl & Jenny