Photo gallery 2019


Selected pictures from our activities during the first half of 2019, prior to our second departure from Bruinisse in the Netherlands - Please scroll down for the narrative and description of what we got up to...

Narrative accompanying the pictures above - for the first half of 2019 - Starting at the top left-hand corner...

At least once a week, we try to spend a day working on the boat. As you can see, after removing the plastic sheets that 'Team Van Swaay' put over the boats they keep in the 'bootloods' (= boatshed) in Bruinisse, the general mess on deck becomes quite clear to see. Although I do spend regular hours trying to clean up the deck and cockpit so that you get a better overview of what is where. In addition, we go to the boat "armed" with a to do list for the day, so that time in the "loods" is spent as efficiently as possible. Lots of bigger and smaller things have been improved over the 2018/19 winter (see the We're off circumnavigating page number 6) for extra details. Like screwing down the strips in our entry gates again and putting more m¨odern and cleaner deck filler caps on the boat.

As we moved into the second half of February 2019, Yachtservice Van Swaay reassembled our propellor and fitted a new PSS Shaft Seal from PYI Inc in the US; as described elsewhere, the old seal leaked when you put on full power. I changed the membranes on our Jabsco & Henderson bilgepumps, and I contacted a specialised yachting company in Belgium to see whether we could improve on the connector pins for our hydraulic steering rams. We're on to a good and solid solution with them. After a lost of faffing around, we finally managed to sort out our cockpit charttables, which now have new base plates and 6 layers of varnish.

The old Victron battery charger took some work to be removed from under the central berth in the aft cabin. To facilitate installation of the new (and identical) charger, I prepared the unit at home (see photo) so that inserting the existing wires into the right slots in the charger shouldn't be a complete nightmare. It thus became an manageable job and the new charger sits where the old was, with as only difference that it has been through-bolted to the bulkhead... Bulbs in the steering pedestal, though, are proving a bit of a problem: to find, identify and to renew... So what we've done is replace the one (green) bulb for the bowthruster on/of switch with its LED "brother"; and we will fit a separate small directional LED bulb (seen here lying on top of the pedestal) that will light up the sail furling buttons. That way, at night, when the compass light comes on, we can also easily see which buttons to push to furl or unfurl the main or genoa. This was a bit of a problem on our previous Atlantic crossings.

Yachtservice Van Swaay is also replacing a number of not so-fresh-looking through-hulls and seacocks and adding a completely new through-hull/seacock combination for the Westerbeke generator so that it will get its own seawater inlet (and no longer have seawater cooling issues)! Meanwhile I have removed the bronze fitting around the rudder stock so that it can be adapted by a specialised company in Deurne (Belgium) for taking heavier and more solid connector pins with the steering rams. Twice a year you regret the size of your boat: once when polishing the hull (there is lots of it) and once when anti-fouling the bottom (still to come - and there's lots of that too). But the resulting shine gives you a great sense of accomplishment. In March we also drove through heavy rain and pretty stormy winds to go to Eemnes near Utrecht in the Netherlands for a weather at sea course. When you start to find that you don't learn too much from a course which was pitched at the higher level of knowledge, you can be confident that you're beginning to get things under control!

Whilst we were improving our met knowledge, Yachtservice Van Swaay was busily improving our gas installation, using some of the parts we had brought back from Sweden in September 2018. This'll now be OK for at least two years - we just need to keep the seawater and moisture out of the system (copious use of WD40 to spray on a protective film on the various parts. We then spent one of our Bruinisse working days, polishing the boat's stern and all the stainless steel things attached to it. Quite a job. Also, all nav lights have been removed, cleaned, and given new wiring through new deck fittings. The sacrificial plastic sleeves that Hallberg-Rassy fits at the Yard had either disappeared or hidden themselves inside the pushpit or pulpit tubing. After a lot of unhappy moments, merrily punctuated by the appropriate language, everything has been cleanly fitted. All blood from a gash in my left finger (a screwdriver went through said finger) was removed as well. HR hides its wiring runs well, and it is only at the final point when wires have to go through a bulkhead to reach a connection box inside that you can actually see your wires - here's me sitting in (or more accurately, wedged into) the anchor well to lead the wires to their destination. The result on both sides is very satistying, with a new and thicker sacrificial used used to stop the eletric wire rubbing against the pulpit and/or pushpit. Two white plastic bushes have been fitted to the bathing ladder - surprisingly, the screws holding down the clamps just seem to be screwed into the hull. Anyway, it works and the ladder is now firmly fitted with two new bushes so that it doesn't rattle in the holders anymore! Another job on the "todo" list to tick off...

Bit by bit we are truly improving our boat and getting her ready for our renewed circumnavigation, even if our jobs-list is like a mirage in the desert: always just out of reach.



Note: All our further activities in 2019 are - from July 2019 on - on our Circumnavigation pages - please refer to this link We're off circumnavigating Page ...


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