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`SAIL INDONESIA – 2007’ … 22 of 25 … `Inverter Failure’.

Bima, Indonesia … 23rd September 2007

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

I had a major electrical failure at Bima … the 1800 watt `Inverter’ decided to chuck-it-in (stop working).. 

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*** REPLACEMENT INVERTOR PURCHASED IN SINGAPORE. ***

An inverter is a very smart little electrical gadget that converts 12 volt DC battery power … to 240 volt AC household power, which then allows Yachties (or, caravaners) to run most household electrical appliances. My computer runs on 240 volts and this meant I was off-the-air with Sailmail … meaning I couldn’t communicate with daughters, relations and friends.

Except … I still had the great little Honda generator (which has an inbuilt inverter and will charge the computer directly) I bought in Brisbane!

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*** 1 KVA HONDA GENERATOR (WITH 1000 WATT INVERTER). MY STANDIN FOR CHARGING BATTERIES. ***

Further down the track another generous yachty friend (Bryan from SV Second Wind) loaned me his inverter and I could charge the computer from the ships batteries again. He’s a good man!

ooOoo

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 24 of 25 … Lombok to Bali

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

Lovina, Bali … 22nd September 2007 (Lat: 08º 09 S … Long: 115º 01 E)

LOMBOK - INDO SEPT 2007 047

*** `SV PIPING SHRIKE’ HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS! HARK, IS THAT A FOR’ARD HATCH OPEN? ***

On leaving Lombok, we expected a pleasant 50+ nmile sail to the NE corner of Bali … provided the winds were right and the tides gave us a chance!

You hear of tidal currents of up to 10 knots around Bali, but today wasn’t the day for them.

The wind was a good 15-20 knot SW’er … Déjà vu loved it and was going well … until about 14:00 hours. The winds just, lightened off, to 6-10 knots … too weak to lift my girl! So, come sunset I was motor/sailing for shallows almost on the NE corner of Bali. The night at anchor was acceptable, but a little too rollie to be comfortable.

Next morning was magnificent, with a 15 knot southerly blowing up along the island and we took off for Lovina … the most northern, major town on Bali.

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*** THESE FISHING PLATFORMS ARE SPRINKLED ALONG THE COASTLINES OF THE INDONESIAN ARCHEPELIGO. SOME HAVE FISHERMEN LIVING ON THEM. ***

About three miles north we took a 90º turn to Port and were on the final 14 nmile leg to Lovina. This was a good day … another thread-in-the-tapestry of the Sail Indonesia Rally … and I decided I could handle at least three jobs this morning, simultaneously:

(1) Have breakfast.

(2) Direct sail and navigation operations.

(3) Hard boil six eggs for consumption at future lunches.

Breakfast was a cinch with Weetbix, muesli and fruit … the yacht was sailing well … destination plotted on the Chart plotter and Déjà vu was steered by the wonderful auto pilot … and the eggs were being warmed in a saucepan with water covering them.

The breeze was 15 knots broadside on, a beam reach; with flat water due to the wind coming off Bali Island … the Cat loves a beam-reach! So I had breakfast on the for’deck away from the hassle of controls and other things … a real break!

With breakfast done, the only thing that caught my attention was the bad smell coming off the Island.

Bali, like the rest of Indonesia, has a poor system of rubbish disposal, it seemed … and now it was being burnt … and I was downwind of the smell.

Time to return to the galley with dirty dishes … and to the mess which had formed by six eggs boiling dry … and exploding … and then burning black in the saucepan!

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*** LOVINA BAY … THE ONLY BAY, NEAR CIVILIZATION, LARGE ENOUGH TO TAKE OUR FLEET OF 110 YACHTS. ***

 

I couldn’t believe it … what a mess and what a smell! It took weeks to get the smell out and I’m so pleased I didn’t have anyone on board who would be forced to share the disaster.

ooOOoo

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MALTA-1 of 3 … SEPTEMBER 2012

Hi Guys and Girls … Just a short report (well quite long really) from Malta.

I liked Malta; the people speak English … cars drive on the left hand side … there are businesses who fill gas bottles … Vodafone is easy to connect to … it would seem there is a business who will fix my Honda generator (have found it to cost €1200.00 to fix … not an option as a new Honda genny would cost around the same … and a `throwaway Chinese unit will cost around €250-300). 

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*** Seems this Hotel is the only business on the Island. ***

Comino Island, which is a small almost uninhabited island between Malta and Gozo islands, is where I anchored on arriving at Malta. Déjà vu’s created a record breaking sail (for DJV that is) from Marina di Ragusa marina, Sicily, Italy to Comino Island (50 nmiles in DJV 9 hours … averaging 5.6 knots in light conditions).

Next day I took DJV into Mgarr marina, Gozo, just a little over a mile from Comino island, to clear Customs into Malta (a pain-free process) and ended up paying to have DJV tied up for the day-light hours (€30.00) while I took a ferry from Gozo Island across to the ferry terminal on the southern shores of Malta (20 minute journey) then a bus to Valletta, the Capital city of Malta.  It has very ancient areas around the Grand and Marsamxett Harbours (which are wrapped around Valletta, the ancient CBD of Malta).

*** Marr’s and Christina leaving Malta on their 55′ catamaran. ***

 

48 hours later, on entering Marsamxett Harbour and nosing around the three arms of the harbour I was lucky enough to come across a 55’ cat owned by an Aussie, Marrs and his gorgeous Mauritian girlfriend Christina ( some guy once said I describe all females as `gorgeous’ … maybe that’s true) … and this guy had dropped an anchor in the most unlikely place a week earlier and nobody had worried him. I did the same alongside him with the same reaction!! A freak bit of luck.

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*** Mgarr marina, Gozo Island … rough water  and expensive. Not recommended! ***

The first day ashore was a working day and I had the generator to repair … the gas bottle to fill (near impossible to find anyone in Italy, Croatia, Greece etc.) and to connect to the Internet system of Vodafone. Supplies were also needed and my UK friend Bebe took care of these. Bebe had flown across from the UK to satisfy her love for sailing once again.

 

The following day we took an open topped tour bus (something I’ve done only once in my life, in London) to visit the highlights of inland Malta. It quickly becomes obvious the Maltese Civil Works Department has a very small budget … as many of the roads are very rough making the not-too-bad buses seem as though they have steel wheels and no suspension … a very rough ride!

Our following days were spent touring the island of Gozo, having returned to a two day booking at the Mgarr Marina … again by bus in calm conditions.

On the 7thOctober, 2012, we sail across the southern side of Malta to a harbour on the SE corner … Marsaxlokk Harbour. This is a large harbour and we attached DJV to a huge steel mooring buoy just half mile from the small town centre. Marsaxlokk was quiet and Bebe found interesting walks that kept her busy. We stayed here two nights before heading around to the north side of Malta and motoring back to Grand Harbour.

*** BEBE OUTSIDE A UNIQUE `HOME’ FOR DUCKS AND OTHER BIRD-LIFE ***

The day after Bebe left (three days early due to a lack of wind and therefore, lack of sailing) a 20 knot easterly blew in. Poseidon at work again!

ooOoo

 

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MALTA-2 OF 3 … 5th November, 2012

I didn’t really feel like writing this as my head was still sore.

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*** THE OLD HONDA GENERATOR … BOUGHT IN AUSTRALIA IN 2007 … RETIRED IN MALTA IN 2012 ***

Saturday 13th October, 2012 was a down-day for me, in fact it started the day before when I took DJV off the `free’ mooring at Marsamxett Harbour, Malta and into the open sea … it was blowing a 4/5 knot southerly, straight off the island and the water was mirror calm. The plan was to allow the vessel to drift away from the coast while I ran the borrowed generator, with open exhaust (no muffler) so as not to disturb the natives with the noise! The drifting worked alright but for reasons I will never understand the generator would charge for 10/15 seconds only, then free-wheel (not charge) for 45 seconds. I put up with this for three hours and the end result was … flat batteries.

*** GENERATOR LOANED BY GOOD FRIENDS BRYCE AND MARTHA (SV SLIVER FERN … NZ) … BUT PROVED A LITTLE NOISY! ***

Overnight I made an executive decision to book into the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) again and hook-up to the mains power and therefore, charge my monster-batteries via my `smart charger’. The RMYC was just five days away from hosting the Rolex Middle Sea Yacht Race (a very big deal down here involving 80+ yachts from all around the Med and further). Having tied up DJV by myself at RMYC (the fate of a solo sailor) and with the staff being sympathetic to my woes, nothing happened, their minds were elsewhere and it quickly dawned on me I wasn’t going to get any satisfaction here … so I cast myself off. A rare 20 knot easterly wind had developed and once again I steered for the open sea, turned left, hoisting the screecher and headed for the island of Gozo and more specifically the marina of Mgarr. It was just 13 miles west. I ran the starboard motor all the way as it has an alternator/generator that dribbles just 6/7 amps of power into the batteries. On tying up and doing a deal with the marina whereby I paid for one days berthing … and split this into two half day lots of usage. The reasoning was I would recharge the batteries now … go to anchor for two days and come back for a second recharge.

Some may ask … “Why are you staying around Malta when you’re paying for a perfectly good marina berth back at Ragusa, Sicily, Italy”?The only reason I was trapped here in Malta is I was waiting for an anchor to be galvanised … something I couldn’t get done in Greece or Italy.

*** NEWLY GALVANISED KEDGING ANCHOR. ***

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*** THE WONDERFUL, ANCIENT OUTLOOK FROM THE ROYAL MALTA YACHT CLUB ***

On connecting to the mains power at the marina I found nothing happened in the battery-charging department. The charger had decided to chuck-a-wobbly … so, now I had two dead-flat batteries (not even enough power to turn the engines over and therefore, no way to power away from the marina) and no way to recharge them. I was screwed as some would say!

 

It was time for `shore-leave’ and I grabbed the bike and headed for the local mini-mart. On riding to the shop I couldn’t help noticing the massive, coal-black cloud floating in fast from the south over the high hills around Mgarr. Minutes later the sky fell in and the steep main road past the mini-mart leading down to the harbour had turned into a river. Nobody from the mart was going anywhere for quite a while. An hour later it had eased and although a drenching was assured it was time to tackle the `river’ crossing and get back to DJV. Halfway along a rough road leading to the marina it became obvious, by the back log of traffic, that another river … only deeper and faster moving, was shooting mega-tons of water down the hill and into the harbour. Cars, utilities, trucks, cement mixers were slowly fording the gravelly stained river and with it being knee deep and me with a bike now loaded with groceries, it came time to punt on somebody doing me a favour.

“Hi, can you give me a lift across the river to allow me to get back to my yacht, please”?

“No way, it’s too deep and I might break my battery (?) on the rocks” came the reply! What utter bullshit!

This is the time I decided, for the first time in my life to deliberately get pissed (some people might better know the meaning of the word … `drunk’)!  There was a Café/Restaurant just 100 metres back from the muddy river and here I took refuge and downed the first of three half litres of beer. An hour later, just on sunset the water level at the crossing was down to 400mm, just below knee level but still running fast. I shuffled my way through with the bikes mechanicals submerged and made my way back to DJV. A new disaster revealed itself … I had left the hatch above my bunk open and my sleeping slab was drenched. It was time for my second and third beer followed by three gin and tonics … being almost a non-drinker, that did the job!

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*** OUTLOOK ACROSS THE MGARR HARBOUR (GOZO ISLAND) TO THE MINI-MART (BEFORE THE CLOUD-BURST). ***

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*** MADLY EXPENSIVE AND ROUGH MGARR MARINA (GOZO ISLAND) ***

Around 20:00 hours, in a stupor … I plugged in the battery charger to the mains power again … and all things electrical sprang to life. The charger ran all night adding to the struggle to sleep. Who had it in for me … God Poseidon?

 

(Poseidon is one of the 3 top Gods in Greek mythology, brothers who divided the world among themselves. Poseidon’s lot was the sea. As sea God Poseidon is usually seen with a trident he is the God of water, horses, and earthquakes and was considered responsible for shipwrecks and drowning’s.
Borrowed from www.about.com)

ooOoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MALTA-3 OF 3 … 24th November 2012

So … the plan was formed to take off for Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, (just 50 nmiles north) today. The weather forecasts for both Malta and Sicily were good. But, I had to do two things before I could leave:

(1) Scrape the barnacles from DJV’S hulls. I wanted to do this in clean water as I wasn’t too flash about the idea of swimming in the water of the marina. (People tend to empty their sewage into it).

       (2) Clear from Malta with Customs and the Harbour Police. Just a piece-of-cake really.

*** HUGE ROCK ARCH AND CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER AT `AZURE WINDOW’ … GOZO ISLAND ***

 

*** WONDERFUL TRICK OF NATURE … AN ARCH CALVED OUT OF THE MAINLAND BY THE SEA ACTION. WEST COAST OF GOZO ISLAND. ***

*** SUN WORSHIPER BARING ALMOST ALL. ***

I had almost finished scraping the barnacles (a two hour job) when some swine electrocuted me with a 3000 volt charge while I was still in the water. Never had that happen before … but it turned out I hadn’t been electrocuted at all, but stung by an invisible `stinger’ jellyfish. Having made a quick exit from the water in fear of a heart seizure (some stingers can cause this) I found I had to live with and treat the welt formed, for the next three weeks … just great!Then again a short motoring leg across to the marina of Mgarr, hook up to the mains power again … and off to the Customs office. Nobody home (when I was told there should be by the officers boss) … the officer had taken an extended lunch. Therefore, it was 14:00 before getting away from Gozo. It was late and I really should have stayed for the night … but, I didn’t mind doing a late night sail.

20 nmiles from Malta and looking back you could swear the island was being invaded by a huge black space-ship from the Star Trek era. A long, low lying coal-black cloud stretched the entire length of the islands and the space-invaders were sending down high voltage shafts into the island … and it was heading my way, fast. Gulp!

 

The thunderstorm moved NE and away from DJV … but, the wind caught up with us, pivoting from NE to E to SE and gusting between 20/35 knots.

 

These winds weren’t all that strong really; however, the water seemed to think it was being whipped up by a 50 knotter. The resulting erratic wave action had me reefing the main down to `storm’ size … and then I took the big-sucker down altogether. DJV was still doing 6.5 knots under a small jib … so I turned the tough-little-vessel down-wind to make our ride smoother all-be-it a little slower. In having done this three times DJV was now off-the-rum-line to finish at Marina di Ragusa … too far west … bugger again!

 

Around 0200 in the morning we were five nmiles off the Sicilian (Italian) beach just 1.5 nmiles west of the marina … and I fired up the engines to motor that short distance.  Well … I tried to fire-up the engines … neither engine starter motor would show a skerrick of life. An absolute power black-out … zero movement.  How could that be I had been using them all the way across to furl the mainsail.

I spoke to the God Poseidon for a short time and did the only thing I could … sail in toward the beach, still under jib power only and keeping a very close watch on the `depth-sounder’. At five metres (I had to pray there were no rocks … and encouragingly the chart plotter didn’t show any) I dropped my two large, parallel anchors and they grabbed as though super-glued to the bottom. DJV swung around into the 25 knot easterly and I let out 40 metres of chain and attached the bridle.

When approaching Sicily you couldn’t help but notice lightning forming in the west … another different storm. No worries I would have to dead-unlucky to get involved in that one. Dead-unlucky we were as the storm swept east along the Sicilian coast and smacked DJV right up the backside with a 45 knot westerly, sending her into a 180⁰ pirouette … and the anchors started to drag. She was soon being pounded by a 57.4 knot severe-cyclonic-storm force wind and only Poseidon knows what was blown from the cockpit. I was dead lucky the wind was travelling parallel to the coast (I had no mechanical power to take DJV out deeper and the surf was pounding on the beach just 150 metres away on the starboard beam) … Yikes! What is the procedure when caught in this predicament? Let out more rode (anchor line/chain/rope) and this was much easier said than done. First pull in the anchor chain four metres to disconnect the bridle … it was a miracle the power/electric windless was able to do this with the huge pressure being exerted by the wind … then let out the 16mm braided nylon rope (meant to be as strong as the equivalent thickness of mild steel) … then hang onto it for dear life as the rode wanted to peel off at a huge rate. One turn around the cleat on the foredeck effectively halves the effort required by me to control the rate-of-feed of the rode and I think I let out another 50 metres of this heavy string! The anchors stopped dragging even with the wind increasing to nearly 60 knots. Whew! Back into the protection of the cockpit and in my saturated clothing I tried to start the engines again. The power was back on and both engines burst into life … Whew!

(There’s an intermittent problem there which is new and must be fixed … when some sanity is restored).

PA080250

*** FRESHLY PAINTED FISHING BOATS. ***

So, in trying to ease the pressure on the anchors I selected both forward gears and powered forward at 2,000 RPM. What happened next was a total unexpected nightmare … DJV swung into a 360⁰ pirouette and being a passenger on-board was akin to riding a fast and furious merry-go-round. It was incredible and when everything settled down (as I quickly brought the engines back to an idle) DJV was still anchored hard and fast.The worst of the storm passed within 30 minutes although it seemed an eternity. The winds slowed to 45 knots and still held in the west and I was dead-tired. Therefore, with both engines ticking over at a fast idle this skipper went to bed and died until awoken by the sun … with DJV bobbing serenely on a glassy smooth ocean … still 150 metres from the beach sands.

PA170255

*** MARINA di RAGUSA, SICILY, BEACH AFTER THE STORM THE NIGHT BEFORE. ***

I thanked God Poseidon who had spared me and my nuggetty-tough Seawind 1000, from what seemed at stages through the night, the ending of our cruising life-style.

ooOoo

 

 

 

 

 

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SAILING DÉJÀ VU III … 2012

 

Who was it said “Sailing has its moments”!

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*** DJV AFTER SIX MONTHS ON DRY LAND AT PREVEZA, GREECE … 2011/12 ***

I returned to Greece from Australia on 3rd April, 2012 … still a month early I found as Preveza, Greece was still freezing cold (snow on the nearby hills) … plus, I was slowly dying with a throat infection I had picked up on an aircraft when returning from New Zealand.

Six weeks later with the anti-fouling paint and 100 other jobs complete, Déjà vu was lowered back into the water. It was now the 10th May, it seemed half the year had evaporated and I hadn’t sailed anywhere new in the Mediterranean.

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*** RAY AND ANNETTE, RECENTLY RETIRED YACHT CHARTERERS OPERATING FROM CORFU, GREECE ***

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*** DJV IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A VERY LARGE FRIEGHTER … DURRES HARBOUR, ALBANIA ***

With the loading-on-board of €277.00 worth of benzene and a heap of food/gas/water I pointed DJV north to the Island of Corfu, Greece. Spent a few days with friends Ray and Annette at Gouvia Marina and then took off again for Albania. No room to describe this trip just to say I sailed over many square miles of World War 2 marine mine fields hoping to hell that was an acceptable practice (large ferries and all sorts of vessels were doing it) … and stayed five days in the harbour of Durres, Albania … a very poor town/city.

Then to the town of Bar, Montenegro where I was refused entry due to not holding a `Certificate of Sailing Proficiency’!   “But I’ve just sailed from Australia; doesn’t that say something for my proficiency”? The Harbour Master was harsh … “No, our Law says you must have a Certificate, you don’t, so buzz-off” … or words to that effect.

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*** PULA, CROATIA … A SERIOUS SHIP BUILDING TOWN ***

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*** VLRUJE, CROATIA … A VERY PRETTY LITTLE TOWN WITH VERY LITTLE TO OFFER BUT TWO RESTAURANTS AND SHELTER ***

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*** THIS WAS A VERY SCARY TORNADO WHICH HIT THE MARINA DJV WAS BERTHED IN … LUCKILY I SAW IT COMING! ***

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*** THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF REPAIRING TWO VERY TIRED LITTLE YAMAHA OUTBOARDS ***

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*** A SERIOUS ITALIAN `SUN LOVER’, NICE! … BRINDISI, ITALY ***

Then northwest through Croatia to a town called Pula. Again I must shorten the story, but sufficient to say I was apprehended by the Coast Guard for not having a Permit to pass through Croatian waters … and was hauled before a bottle-blonde female Judge who was kind enough to fine me 4700 Kuna (AU$800) and send me on my way. This was proving tougher than sailing the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. I was starting to feel very `unwanted’ in these regions … so I sailed across the Adriatic Sea to Venice, Italy. Ten days in Venice (very nice) … surviving a really deadly tornado … and it was soon time to take off south to Brindisi, Italy … one of my Yamaha motors was telling me it was sick. By the time I arrived at Brindisi, they were both telling me the same thing.  Tied up at the `di Brindisi’ Marina, (no motive power as both engines were in many pieces) and spent two expensive month (from 1st August, 2012) waiting for replacement parts from the US and Japan via Singapore.

As well, a huge thunderstorm raged all night recently filling my dinghy with water leading to a torn seam on one pontoon. Bugger!

Then a waste/sewage blockage led to the need to replace a sea-cock (which is a very perilous task. Glub, glub)!

Just to top off my week, news from Yamaha-Japan … my replacement parts won’t be ready ‘til late September! Much, much more cursing!

I don’t really need to confirm … this lifestyle has its many tough moments”!

 

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Visit to New York … 1977

Early February 1977 my wife and I travelled from Western Australia to attend a Motor Vehicle Convention in New Orleans (NADA) … arguably the largest such convention in the world. A wonderful experience followed by time in Florida and then New York . The snow and ice was still a metre thick in places around New York … it was COLD! They were much happier days for the people of United States of America, as the Trade Buildings were a major tourist destination and we enjoyed the wonderful view from one of them … a sign in the lift to the top of one building reading: “You are travelling ¼ of a mile into the sky!” Just great!

image

* I'M SURE NOBODY NEEDS AN INTRODUCTION TO THIS STATUE! (Image compliments Wikipedia) *

The statue of Liberty was another favourite visit, as were the Plays on Broadway, although we didn’t have reserved tickets and had to stand at the back of the theatres for the duration of the shows. Better than not seeing them at all.

New York, I’ll go back there again soon!


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PUTTING `DEJAVU’ TO BED … RETURNING TO AUSTRALIA … DECEMBER 2011

I’ve now returned to Perth in Western Australia to spend the cold Mediterranean winter … in the hot Australian summer. Much more liveable for me as the `COLD’ of any winter just seizes me up!

*** GOOD SAILING FREINDS (SHAZ & TONY) FROM EASTERN AUSTRALIA ... SPENT A FEW WEEKS WITH `DEJAVU' IN CROATIA ***

 

My last four months on Déjà vu seemed hectic … with the new (to me) country of Croatia taking up a good part of time and energy to explore. I had many visitors through this period and they are always welcome.

#2-DUBROVNIK-2011

*** `DEJAVU' OFF THE `OLD TOWN' OF DUBROVNIK, CROATIA -2011 ...

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*** LIFTOUT AT `CLEOPATRA' MARINA, PREVEZA, GREECE ... NOVEMBER 2011 ***

I’ve put Déjà vu to bed at a town named Preveza, Greece (Just about 60/70 miles south of Corfu Island) on the far NW corner of Greece.

 

 

 

 

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*** `DEJAVU' HARD AGROUND AT CLEOPATRA MARINA ... FOR THE WINTER 2011/12 ***

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*** A SMALL BUNDLE OF ROPES/LINES/SHEETS/HALYARDS/PAINTERS ETC ... READY FOR STORAGE BELOW. ***

Also, I was employed by the manufacturers of my Seawind 1000 Catamaran … to tour the eastern states capital cities of Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) … followed by Perth, Western Australia …

… to give a talk to yachty types, on the experiences I’ve had from the time I bought Déjà vu in 2004.

#4-UKRAINIAN FAMILY-2011

*** A WONDERFUL UKRAINIAIN FAMILY MET WHILST HOLIDAYING IN CROATIA ***

`Seawind Catamarans’ want me to return to Sydney in January 2012 for another presentation … and are considering a deal to have me speak in New Zealand. This has been a new and very rewarding experience for me, which I have enjoyed immensely.

Hope all have a Great Christmas!

Lloyd Price

from Perth, Western Australia.

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A Look at Today … Latest News from Split … Croatia! ‘Til the 15th August 2011

Corfu Island, Greece … 29th July 2011

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*** THE SE CORNER OF CORFU ISLAND, GREECE. ***

I took my fold-up bike ashore at the CYC and rode into the main City area and around the shoreline to the harbour. Many Cruise Liners visit this port, along with scores of inter-island ferries.! The main City is a labyrinth of narrow streets/paths, as they had been in ancient days … and at night scores of restaurants light up to attract the tourists to town.

ART DECO-CORFU GREECE

*** ART DECO POWER BOAT-CORFU GREECE ... ANYONES GUESS AS TO IT'S FUNCTION? ***

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*** GOUVIA MARINA, CORFU, GREECE. LARGE AND EXPENSIVE! ***

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*** FOUR GORGEOUS KIDS WASHING THE DISHES AT A FIRE HYDRANT!! ***

So, with Déjà vu fully topped up with fuel, water and food … it was time to head north to Croatia!

Erikoussa Island, Greece … 1st August 2011

In attempting a journey north from Greece to Croatia, you must be very aware of the country of Albania … a non-EU country with a poor reputation for hospitality. In other words, they can be friendly, but, their past performances make everyone cautious! Therefore, I had planned to sail 20 nmiles off their coastline, to Montenegro (an EU country) which is tucked between Albania and Croatia ... then on to Croatia.

On leaving Corfu the weather was dead-calm for the first 26 nmiles, demanding I motor Déjà vu. Then a 30 knot breeze developed from the WNW … exactly the direction I needed to travel. I `tacked’ Déjà vu for 24 nmiles and this resulted in us moving just 11 nmiles towards our destination. It was hard, rough work and obviously, it wasn’t going to work. Therefore, I jibed Déjà vu and sailed (very quickly, downwind) back to the island of Erikoussa, Greece, and spent an excellent night in the lee … along with 20 other yachts.

At 06:00 the next day I took Déjà vu out into the same conditions, with the same result. Therefore, it was time for a MAJOR executive decision! I decided to sail broad-side to the wind (a broad reach) and land in Italy wheresoever this course took Déjà vu! Then I would take Déjà vu along the eastern coastline of Italy to Brindisi … and sail across the wind again to Cavtat, Croatia. A long way ’round but, I had the time and Déjà vu had the ability.

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*** `TRICASE', ITALY ... A TINY HARBOUR BUT WELCOMING. ***

The rough, but fast 56 nmile journey across the Adriatic Sea, took me to `Tricase’, surely one of the smallest harbours in Italy. And out rushed a power boat to shepard me into the last berth available. Just Great!

Brindici Marina, Italy … 4th August 2011

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*** SEEMED TO ME TO BE AN UNFORTUNATE PLACE TO SINK ... `BRINDICI' HARBOUR! ***

  • It has a major Headquarters of the United Nations situated here …
P7170216

*** A MYSTERIOUS FLYING BOAT ... SEEMED PART OF THE UN STABLE! ***

  • Brindisi is also a hub for the Italian Customs office called `Guardia di Fianza’.
  • And a hub for large Inter Island Ferries.
  • Also a Port for the Italian Navy.

    P7170221

    *** `CUSTOMS' VESSEL ... NO USE TRYING TO OUTRUN THIS ONE! ***

The next morning at 06:00 Déjà vu was heading north under motors in calm conditions.

15 nmile north and up sprung a 15 knot NNW breeze … so up went a full main and the screecher was unfurled. We were heading NNE again. With the Chart Plotter/Auto Pilot under `Wind Vane’ setting we sailed all day, very rare … BUT, the breeze slowly turned north and our course slowly turned south! At sun-set Déjà vu was 20 nmiles south of her rum-line to Cavtat, Croatia. That was OK as we were getting some easterly movement from the sailing journey … and giving the motors a rest.

From recent experiences I was confident the wind would die to a dead calm soon after sunset … and this it did! Down with all sails and the time was right to fire up the two `steel maidens’ (9.9 Yamaha outboards). A course was set directly for Cavtat, Croatia and kept ’til arrival at Cavtat 120 nmiles as the crow flies from Brindisi, Italy. (We actually covered 139nmiles with tacking … in 31 hours … an average of 4.5 knots).

One surprising and disappointing aspect of crossing the Adriatic Sea was to see such a large quantities of plastic in the water … very sad!

Now it was my turn to jump through the Croatian hoops of Immigration, Customs and the Harbour Master at Cavtat.

P8060008

*** THE HARBOUR-FRONT OF `CAVTAT', CROATIA. ***

Cavtat is 7 nmiles south of the famous old Croatian City of Dubrovnik … and the favoured harbour from which to enter and leave Croatia.

P8060005

*** THE `OLD TOWN' OF CAVTAT, CROATIA. ***

The Official side of entering Croatia was OK … although a touch expensive.

  • `Yacht arrival notification’ Fee: 1,205 CK (AU$216.00)
  • `Sojourn Tax’ Payment: 500 CK (AU$90.00) for one month, with another 500 CK for an extension of one month. A yachts stay is limited to three months.

The main stress with `clearing in’, comes from berthing stern-to at the quarantine wharf, in my case, without crew. This becomes extremely difficult and nerve-racking when firstly dropping your anchor mid-harbour, then backing in to nudge between multi-million dollar power boats. Thankfully, the owners and crew of these vessels keep a sharp eye out for slightly out-of-control vessels such as Déjà vu … and fend-off to keep things scratch free and legal.

#2-DUBROVNIK-2011

*** THE `OLD TOWN' OF DUBROVNIK-2011 ... WITH SEAWIND 1000

DUBROV-7

*** LLOYD BOARDING DEJA VU ***

 

I’m presently in Split, Croatia … and will update ASAP.

More, much more on Croatia in the Website from November, 2011 … www.svdejavu.com

***

Posted by admin in A LOOK AT TODAY ... and Recent Times ... Mostly Photos!,CROATIA ... Mediterranean Sea-2011,ITALY- Mediterranean Sea-2011 and have Comments (4)

Just an update on my recent happenings … ’til 30th May 2011.

MOSTLY ABOUT FIXING MOTORS AND SAILS!

I was trapped, through ignorance, (I’ve got plenty of that!) … to staying in Greece six months straight.

What I didn’t know … when you may stay in any EU country/s for 6
months, cumulatively … you must then get out for six months! Bugger,
Bugger!!

How stupid is that … `go off and spend your money in another
country’.

* THE BEAUTIFUL `BLUE MOSQUE' ... IN THE CENTRE OF ISTANBUL, TURKEY! *

Therefore, I’m now in Istanbul, Turkey, a city of 10 million(at the last count in 2007 … a little less than half the population of Australia) and it has the smog to prove it!
I’m here primarily to have a new Mainsail made … and to have a new UV strip put on the jib. The costs are OK, but, I have yet to see how the quality is, or how long I will have to wait for them?

* AN EMPTY SAIL-BAG ... WAITING FOR A NEW MAIN-SAIL! *

On the 25th May 2011 … at a great deal of expense and time, I visited the Doyle Sail loft and was suitably impressed. They are franchised to the Name … Doyle Sail-making Company, in NZ … and all their sails are designed by the NZ Parent company. I was relieved about that and feel confident about a good outcome. Again, the Turks don’t rush into hard work … but, can make all the `promises in the world’. Therefore, I’m skeptical about leaving Istanbul before June end. My Visa runs out then anyhow, so I can see a `Visa-run’ to Bulgaria coming up.

* A-TORN-MAIN *

They did such a great job to get me here (1150 hours each in 16 months) but now both exhaust manifolds have burnt out and I’m having them repaired (aluminum welding … I’ll see how long that lasts?) There are no parts held here! At the moment both my motors have been taken ashore … and I’m in the dangerous position, at anchor … with no `power’ source to move me! So, I could be here for a month, or two, or three?

* THE NEAR-NEW YAMAHA ... I DID EXPECT MORE FROM THEM! *

When I can remove myself from Istanbul, I’ll head for Croatia …

… (non-EU) for a few months … and then, at the end of September, onto Venice, down the east side of Italy and back to Marmaris, Turkey … to put DJV on-the-hard for winter of 2011/12. I’m going home for 4 months to try to get to know my Grand-Daughter better … and to visit my daughters, family and friends.

Look after yourself … and please drop me a note.

Regards

Lloyd

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