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:
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
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.
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!
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.
Travel gadgets now sailing gadgets
So as you know we have started our new adventure. Last November we sold up in England and moved to Crete for the winter, where we now live aboard our sailboat, Dream. We soon realised that some of our favourite gadgets became useful items on board our boat, especially for when we start cruising in a few weeks.
Storage on a sailboat is a premium, one of the hardest things for us was weeding out what we were keeping and what had to go. It was tempting to try and take as much as we could and cram it all in using every nook and cranny. However, we have had to stick to must haves.
Here’s our take on some of the gadgets we think are invaluable for not only travellers but for a life on board.
This iBeani tablet bean bag securely holds all iPad, tablet and eReader devices currently on the market, from the smallest Kindle to the largest iPad Pro. Prefer a book? iBeani will hold that too!
Thanks to its unique design, your iBeani tablet cushion will hold your device securely on any surface, at any viewing angle, portrait or landscape, with or without a tablet case. The perfect tablet accessory to use on your lap whilst relaxing & browsing on the sofa. It’s also a great iPad stand for your bed when catching up on the latest box set or movie. If you’re looking for an excellent iPad and tablet or book stand for the kitchen, iBeani is also fully washable allowing you to follow recipes hands free… It really can be used anywhere!
iBeani tablet bean bag cushions are also multi-functional and can double up as a book stand, steady camera mount or a travel pillow / camping pillow.
Want to get your hands on one of these? Follow this link to GET YOURS!
We have Kindle Paperwhites. In our opinion, these are so much better than the Kindle Fire if you want an e-reader. The light-up screen allows you to read both in the dark and in glaring sunlight, so they are awesome for overnight travel, lounging on the beach, or swinging in a hammock on the foredeck. And the battery lasts for weeks on one charge.
If you like reading and want to have books at your fingertips get one HERE!
These are the things we know and love for travelling and now sailing, but we’re sure you know of more. If you can think of anything that you think should be essential for every traveller, add it to the comments below, and we’ll add it to the list.
We hope you have found our list useful and find time to visit the links and hopefully grab yourself something useful.
Have a great day.
Carl & Jenny
A few weeks ago whilst we were on the boat in Crete, totally out of the blue, we received an email from the web radio station Elastic FM asking if we could appear on a Saturday Hours Live.
They are based near Chesterfield, our home town, and asked us if we could appear live on their radio station for an interview about our journey so far into our experience of selling upend moving aboard a yacht.
After a few emails we finally agreed on a date when we were back in the UK visiting.
Well the time is close. We will be live on Saturday 7th April. We will be on from 5pm – 6pm so if you can, tune in online and join in.
The show is live between 3pm-6pm and can be listened to through the elasticfm.co.uk website or by downloading the Tunein app and search for “ElasticFM”. Also follow them on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @thesaturdayhours
We are really looking forward to this so let us know after the show what you think. Please share this post, its a fairly new radio station and the more listeners they can get the better for everyone.
See you Saturday.
Carl & Jenny
Well today is the first day of Spring. The snow is melting away by the hour, the daffodil heads are starting to push through, the sky has turned blue again with hardly a cloud in sight. For those of you who are still landlubbers no doubt you will be getting odours of freshly cut grass this coming weekend as people start to get ready for the better weather. For those of you on the water, it will be the sound of a boat engine, maybe even the smell of 2 stroke as outboard engines are brought out of hibernation and given their first bouts of life this year. We thought we would share our boaters checklist with you.
It doesn’t matter whether your boat sports the latest engine or an old favourite, the Volvo Penta. One thing to remember is that they all need a bit of TLC to keep them in optimum condition and to preserve their reliability. Not forgetting though, it’s not just about the engine, the whole boat needs its regular maintenance program which mist cover all off the crucial areas including the deck, the hull and safety gear.
We put this checklist together after speaking to other boaters, researching online and from our own experience and want to share it with you. It’s something everyone should have to hand when getting their boat ready for the forthcoming season. To ensure that your boat is safe for you, your crew and your guests, complete each of the points covered in the list. It will also help to extend the value and life of your boat and avoid any unnecessary and unexpected costs in the future.
We know, cleaning isn’t the most exciting of things, but, in our opinion its the one to get out of the way first (eat a frog for breakfast!)
Mark Twain once said “if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!”
A good clean and polish will not only make your boat stand out from the rest but will make the remaining steps a bit easier and certainly less messy.
Okay, so its time to get out the hosepipe and buckets, if you have a jet wash you can use that but go carefully, especially if you have teak decks. Start off by giving the hull, deck and topsides a clean. Use a mild detergent and don’t be afraid of getting on your hands and knees and giving it a scrub with a soft sponge. Read the label if using detergent to make sure its compatible with the material of your boat, we don’t want any loss of colour now do we?
Once all that winter muck and grime that has built up over the last few months has been washed away it’s time to apply a loving coat of wax. If you choose carefully you will be able to find one that helps to prevent the damage caused by UV light which can fade your graphics and hull. There has been many a pub discussion over whether waxing the hull will make your boat faster by reducing drag in the water. Maybe some of the racers out there can comment!
While we are in the cleaning mood, don’t forget to give the Bimini, spray hood and any other canvas and cushions a good wash. Take time to check the stitching and re-apply one of the solutions which re-waterproofs and UV protects the material. If there are any minor repairs that need doing, now’s the time to get them re-stitched.
It breaks your heart to find that there are scratches or gouges in the gelcoat. That weekend away when someone came and moored up next to you, not paying attention, or maybe the strong winds over the winter, all take their toll. So although it may have been unavoidable and however deeply pained you may feel, the thing to do is get it fixed asap.
Whilst we are looking for any signs of damage, don’t forget to check for any unseen damage, or wear and tear. Deck joints, stanchion mounts, winches, lines etc are all vulnerable to damage, either accidental or through general usage. Make sure you check them all. Giving the winches a service is always a good idea at the beginning of each season, replacing the grease.
If you are lifting your boat out of the water then now is the time to re-apply your antifouling and at the same time check your sacrificial anodes and if required change them.
Again it is easy to become complacent and think, “oh it will be okay” but these are probably the most important items you have on board your boat, and the ones that can mean the difference between life and death.
Life raft – Make sure its in date. Its difficult to check the condition of it with it being in a sealed unit, but you can check its still within the recommended service time, it’s secure to the deck and there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the casing.
Life jackets – Make sure the gas cartridge is still in date, if not get new cartridges and rather than waste the old ones give them a try, just make sure you can repack your lifejacket afterwards once you have fixed in the new gas cartridge. Make sure the lights work, the whistles are attached and the reflective patches are clean, also check the straps for abrasion damage.
Fire extinguishers – These will have a date stamped on when they must be either changed by or recharged. If you have a gauge on the top make sure it read in the green, if not get them serviced or changed.
Flares and EPIRB – These will also need checking to make sure they are still in date. Expired flares must be disposed of carefully. Marina’s and some chandlers will have a way of disposing of them. It has been know for people to keep them for bonfire night just to test them! One of the places we have bought safety equipment from is Force 4 Chandlery.
So thats about it. We hope you have found our boaters checklist useful. If you have please leave a comment below. You should now be ready for your summer sailing season. Your boat will be looking top dollar and you should be confident you are safe. Now go out there and enjoy your time on the water.
Don’t forget to watch our latest video
Have a great week
Carl & Jenny
We decided a few weeks ago, well probably a bit more than that, that this year we would get into the sport of stand up paddleboarding.
We tried it out on a friend of ours paddleboard in the marina. Jen took to it really quickly. I was a bit disappointed as I was big into windurfing a few years ago and to be honest found it not as easy as I thought. Maybe due to a long term ankle injury I have which affects my balancing skills now. However not being deterred we decided we would get a couple of boards.
We obviously needed inflatables as storage space on the boat is somewhat restricted. We actually researched them when we were at the boat show in Sept 2017 just before we went out to the boat. After looking at what was on offer we made our minds up that we would buy the RED brand when we were ready.
Now the time is here we researched again and found that the RED paddleboards, although one of the best, were probably too much money bearing in mind we were buying two. So after a lot of reading reviews etc we found that Decathlon had a few boards in their line up and one of them had reviews where owners had put them on a level with RED but at only a third of the cost. Well we’re not naive enough to think they will be quite as good but as beginners in the sport the cheaper ones would suffice, so a couple of days ago we went to Decathlon in Sheffield to pick two up.
We have already booked them in to our flight back at a cost of £28.00 each so not too bad.
Today we gave them a test run!
Let us know what you think, and if you don’t already follow us on instagram you can follow directly from this page.
We are looking forward to getting them out on the water.
Love & Peace,
Carl & Jenny
As many people know who visit our various social media pages we now live aboard our yacht which is currently moored in Crete. In addition, we also have our camper van that we converted just before leaving for Crete.
Over the last few weeks, we have been getting quite a few messages asking when we will be sailing, so we thought we’d take a few minutes to talk about it.
We moved down to Crete at the end of November, arriving there on the 1st December by driving down with all of our possessions after selling up in England. We had bought the van and spent just over two weeks converting it to a camper van, the idea behind that is that we had somewhere to stay/sleep on our way to Crete without having the costs of hotels, and also the other thought was that once we had it back in the UK, we would have somewhere to stay and transport when we returned back without having to impose on other people. The fact that out of sailing season we can roadtrip around Europe was also something that made up our minds on buying the van.
So, at the beginning of December, after a week long roadtrip, we arrived in Crete. When we arrived ‘Dream” was on the hard standing as we had her taken out of the water for the survey. It was agreed with the seller that it would be better leaving her out of the water until we returned upon completion of the sale.
On our arrival we were told by the marina that we would have to wait a couple of weeks before our berth would be ready on the pontoon, so this gave us time to antifoam the hull as well as doing a few other jobs such as changing the seacocks and thru deck fittings.
Our boat, DREAM, was launched in the middle of December. Because she has been used over the last few seasons as a holiday home, and not done much, if any, sailing we had a few things to do to get her back to daily sailing status. We have had to renew all of the safety equipment as it was all out of date and to legally sail in Greek waters these had to be done. So we have been waiting for some of the replacement safety gear to be delivered. A few more jobs left, one of which, we still have the flares to replace which will be done on our return. Almost everything else is ready. Our plan is further down the page!
With regards to our van, we wanted to take it back to the UK at the beginning of March. Once it has been in Greece for 6 months then we would have to register it there which can be a minefield and an added expense. We also didn’t want it sitting on the marina car park while we were off sailing for the summer. So, we decided on March to take it back. A few reasons; It was both of our Mum’s birthdays in March, Mothers day, and wedding anniversaries. It’s also Carl’s grandads 106th birthday and we wanted to be back for the celebrations of that.
You can watch our live updates of our roadtrip to Crete here.
The roadtrip begins! We set off and got the ferry from Heraklion to Athens. We then spent a couple of days parked up on a sandy beach, just a few metres from the waters edge. It was great. A nice beach front bar a minutes walk away serving beautiful food and drinks, free use of their facilities whilst we were camped even during the night. We then had to head up to Patras to get the next ferry which would take us all the way to Venice.
The next couple of days were spent in Venice and then decided, as it was still snowing in the UK, to drive down to Monte Carlo, Monaco and Nice. We saw some of the sites and camped out right next to the waters edge again. Great scenery and good weather.
In a couple of days it would be Mothers day. We had planned to be back at the end of that coming week so that is when everyone was expecting us. We looked at the map and worked out that if we set off that afternoon, drove for a few hours we could get up to Calais by Sunday morning and get on the Eurotunnel. If we didn’t hang about we could be back in our home town by Sunday afternoon! What a surprise for our Mothers’ day! We got rolling.
The crossing went without problems and after a short stop near the Dartford crossing to drop off a pedal cycle we were bringing back for a friend we were soon on the M1 motorway heading North. Luckily all the snow that had plagued the UK for the last week had gone and it was clear bright weather all the way.
We arrived at Carl’s Mum and Dads just after 4pm. A big surprise, and worth making the trip for. A couple of hours later the same experience at Jen’s parents.
We are now parked up at our son’s on his drive, camping still in the van. The trip was made all the the better when on Wednesday he passed his driving test. He has suffered from epilepsy since birth and didn’t think that he would ever be able to drive. Two years ago we went through a massive stress flu situation where he had to have part of his brain removed to stop his seizures. The operation is only carried out a couple of times a year as the risk is so high, and is only done if the life change improvement outweigh the risks. His operation was a complete success and now he has been fit free for over 18 months which meant he could have a driving licence and learn to drive. The world is now his oyster 🙂
So onto the plan for the summer;
We will be setting off at the beginning of May and heading to Rhodes. Mid May we will be picking our daughter and partner up who will spend the next week with us exploring a few of the local islands there. We will be dropping them off in Kos. The plan is to then continue up the Eastern side and getting as far North as we can before the Meltemi wind starts. We will then cross to the western side and then go with the wind back south exploring islands as we go. The plan is to get back to Crete mid September/October.
We will continue to update our YouTube channel with our adventures, as well as our blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages so please continue to follow.
We are looking forward to the summer and meeting lots of people on our travels.
You can see our latest video here
Love and Peace,
Carl & Jenny
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.
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Have a great day,
Carl & Jenny