Posts

Belgium to Portugal

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 Hola! We are now in Nazare in Portugal. It is famous for the largest surf waves in Europe.  My is trying to catch the dreaded 30m surfbreak. Along the way from Belgium to here we have stopped in innumerable harbours, some nice and some very nice. Belgium was like the Netherlands, flat, cold and rainy with headwinds as usual but once we crossed into France and the English channel the weather finally cleared up and we had good winds and sunshine along the beautiful French coast, a huge improvement compared to the terrible Norths Sea.  We found a decent weather window to cross Biscay. The choice was no wind or slightly too much wind so being very tired of motoring all the time we chose the latter. To make matters more interesting we were in a hurry to cross because a late arrival to Spain would mean way too much wind. We set most of our sails and just bombed down to La Coruna in Spain, the best distance was 165nm in 24h. We had to spend almost all the time indoors due to some waves break

Sweden to Belgium

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Hooray we are finally out of Sweden! It has been a somewhat frustrating time so far. 19 July we hauled Alice out of the water and onto a gravel plain in Strömstad Marina. Here the friendly but totally overworked mechanics replaced the propeller shaft that was bent in the engine disaster in June (you can read about that earlier in the blog). The work itself took 3 days or so but we stayed on the hard for 2 weeks waiting for spare parts and available mechanics. During this frustrating wait we also visited Marks relatives on the nearby islands of Trossö and Kalvö. Anyway on August 5 we finally got back in the water and set sail for Hirshals in Denmark. Since then we have sailed and motored on average every other day and are now in Belgium. The North sea lives up to its reputation by mainly offering a strong wind right in our face with rain liberally sprinkled in. I wouldn't say its been awful but it hasn't been very nice either. A bit like going to the dentist to find out your tee

Paradise at home

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After 26 intensive days Im happy to report we are still in Sweden. We are waiting for the second shot of the vaccine before we leave for the English channel. It's still unclear exactly what country we will aim for but the best case is the UK and departing 1 August. Before that we will haul out at Strömstad marina to get the propeller shaft fixed. It's a bit more bent than I hoped for and for a change I will get a professional to have a look at it. In general I prefer to fix everything myself but changing the shaft and aligning the engine perfectly is beyond my ability (or patience, take your pick). For now we are cruising around the Koster archipelago. You can see where we are by downloading an AIS app and search for MMSI 265517600 or clicking here   Our children Molly and My are enjoying themself a lot in the beautiful weather Birds on a wire at Koster Super swing at Väderöarna The adult are also having a good time: Goodbye party with Marks colleagues at Lilla bommen 

Sailing Alice on Instagram

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 My wife and captain Maria has an instagram page with our (mis) adventures Sailing Alice here: https://www.instagram.com/sailing_alice/

Disaster strikes

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A week ago, just as we were entering our berth, the whole boat gave a mighty shudder and almost jumped out of the water. For a second I thought we might have hit a submerged log but when we ran inside to check on the engine the problem quickly became apparent The engine had almost detached from the propeller shaft except for the last bolt and managed to leverage itself out of the mount and partly thru the wall. The shudder I had felt was 800kg of steel moving 10cm to starboard. All 4 engine mounts were scrap metal and it was quite possible the shaft was bent. My initial estimate was 20-100k€ of damage, outhaul and 2 months of work to fix this. We were devastated, it wasn’t a showstopper but very inconvenient.  However 7 days later and 150€ poorer I have replace all the mounts and the shaft seems to be mainly OK. It was a bit wonky already before the accident and it doesn’t seem to gotten worse. I will put in a flexible coupling to compensate.  Lessons learned: I shouldn’t be so up

Our old blog from the 2010-2013 circumnavigation

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I have to do a plug for our old blog, 2010-2013 we sailed around the world in a 27 fot Albin Vega from 1967. You can read about that journey here https://sites.google.com/site/salingaroundtheworld/

Preparing Alice for Cruising

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3,5 years ago we bought Alice because I loved her unusual lines and tons of personality. Also the cost/kg was very good. We wanted a large, cheap and unusual boat and she fit the bill perfectly. However due to the low cost there was a lot to do. To keep track of renovations and cost I used a simplified KANBAN board, this is what it looks right now. All the post on the right are finished jobs. Using a KANBAN board is so simple, when we got Alise we just sat down and wrote everything we could think of on post its and put them on the left "ToDo" side. Then as time went by we added new post its and moved the existing ones to the right side. Its not exactly rocket science but it takes almost no time and gave me and my wife a rough idea of what was done and what was left to do. That's around 70 different jobs ranging from a few hours to weeks of work. The total cost for the renovation was around 20000€ and Alice cost 32000€ so around 50000€ in total. In fairness I have proba