Photo gallery 2022

This photo-page covers our 2022 activities
Please scroll down to the bottom of the page for the narrative and description that accompany the photos...

Narrative accompanying our 2022 pictures above - Starting at the top left-hand corner...

The year started with Ngahue IV still being stored on land in the boat hall of Yachtservice Van Swaay in Bruinisse. Regularly someone from Van Swaay goes through the boat hall with a clipboard to check that all in-mates are still there and to ensure that a boat hasn't pulled up its keel to run away! Our "to do" list has shrunk in items still to be done. Team Van Swaay, on the other hand still has a fair number of items on their list for our boat, but you can see them busily working on boats that are nearer and nearer to us. Of course we did ask to be put in the water last, so they have until late April to get it all done. By early May we should be back in the water and ready to sail to new destinations. Meanwhile our own work continues , as it seems that owning a sailing boat and keeping her well-maintained is a never-ending job.

The beginning of January saw us attending a STCW medical refresher course of Medical Care at Sea. Attending this course for the third time in 12 years, things come back pretty quickly. We certainly have a stranglehold on the theoretical information involved, it's more the day-to-day practical application that takes some more time. But as Gert Fröbe says in one of his unforgettable movies, there is nothing a German office can't do without the manual. From one thing comes another, notably checking out the ship's medical stores. These were found to be woefully out of date for some things (stores bought the last century), or just recently out of date.

The navigator's seat get used a lot at sea and the way it is constructed, there are certain parts that really get quite dirty. To clean the seat and backrest properly, they were taken home, carefully taken apart, materials washed, and everything carefully re-assembled, and returned to the boat in those very handy IKEA carrier bags. A lot of work, but worth it as everything is now spankingly clean.

The winter time is a good moment to check what one has on board (in my case this usually leads to me discovering how much gear there is stashed away in lockers)and to make appropriate lists. Identifying and listing all the diving gear that we have on board was quite elucidating! As an experiment, I took the gaslocker lid home and completely redid all the caulking. It was a terrible job fitting the lid back as some retaining screws on the hinges refused to tighten! In the warmth and comfort of home, the two MSOS Distant Ocean Medical Kits were emptied of their out of date contents and replaced by new items. A special finishing touch was to find (it took 5 months) a new Silva Clinometer to replace the old one which with time and tropical UV had gone completely yellow.

Our dinghy (called Poutini - see About Ngahue page for an explanation on the firce Taniwha Poutini) had been sold in Tahiti. With the cruising plans we have for 2022 (hopefully going to the Faeroe Islands), it seemed like a good idea to acquire a new dinghy. By chance our HR43 neighbour "Becky" (owned by Achim in Germany) has the same davits as us (Batsystem) and he seemed to have a pretty useful dinghy that fits into them. We checked out Becky's dinghy, its size and purchased a slightly smaller model for Ngahue IV. The stern on an HR43 is about 10cm wider than that of an HR53, so we adapted our dress to the cloth available and shamelessly copied Achim's set-up... Our Watt and Sea hydrogenerator was also looking slightly worse for wear after 3 Atlantic crossings, half a Pacific crossing and lots of cruising in between. New parts were ordered to replace the essential plastic elements of our W&S which had worn away, or were seriously cracked.

The manufacturers of the Watt & Sea hydrogenerator have an excellent after-sale service; within days the parts needed were shipped to their dealer in Nieuwpoort, collected and fitted. And for once it was an easy "plug 'n play" type of job. So our Watt & Sea should be humming very contentedly on our first cruise in 2022. Meanwhile Team Van Swaay have worked on our Flex-o-Fold propellor which now again opens and closes as it should and it is well protected by 2 anodes. They also replaced the housing of the Airmar log/depth transducer (the safety mechanism that stops huge amounts of water enterring the boat when cleaning the transducer was missing!). Our two MSOS pelicases have now been completely renewed thanks to a quick trip to the UK (for a reunion of the SOLA - sailors of the lost Arc). Van Swaay Yachtservice has disassembled our bowthruster and removed all those nasty sea creatures that stick to all its parts; once reassembled, the thruster develops its full 8 (or is it 10?)HP potential. All our charts needed updating and correcting, a job that these days is spread over a week to make it less tedious and reduce the effects of, through fatigue, overlooking some essential correction! Given the price of each British Admiralty chart (£28 plus import duties and VAT) it doe pay to be careful with one's charts and to conscientiously keep them up-to-date. From late March/early April onwards, the boat hall used by Van Swaay Yachtservice slowly empties, giving you more space to work around the boat. This is just as well as the two plastic bushes on the bathing ladder need to be replaced and are currently quite inaccessible (April 2022).

As April drew to a close and Van Swaay Yachtservice needs to evacuate the marina's boat hall (it becomes a car park for berth holders), Ngahue IV was prepared for launching; her mast placed back and in the upright position; and all systems checked... With New Poutini now hanging in our Batsystem davits, we saw that some adaptations to the slings and holding lines were needed!

We described the return trip to Nieuwpoort as 'taking the scenic route', meaning it was supposed to include a visit to the Faeroe Islands. And indeed for 3 days Ngahue IV merrily and speedily sailed north, avoiding oil & gas rigs en weaving her way through Windfarms and TSSs. The weather was pretty chilly and the seastate on occasions reasonably rough. Ngahue IV dealt well with these conditions: she revelled in the moments of lesser seastate by sailing as if on rails - speeding ahead extremely smoothly. On occasions, the same wind strength generated more confused seas, leading to more rock and roll inside the boat. Nevertheless, there were a couple of little niggles around the boat (e.g. the staysail not really setting properly) and with the crew suffering progressively from the cold, we decided to turn back to Nieuwpoort before attempting the final 200M to Thorshavn in the open North Atlantic. On the 3 days back down the North Sea, we discovered a couple of other niggles, e.g. our AIS projecting us as a cargo ship! Difficult to rely on your priority as a sailing vessel when your AIS footprint is for a cargo ship... Pictured here is Ngahue IV in her new temporary berth in Nieuwpoort (her official berth should be at the A-Bis hammerhead; but this berth hasn't been finished yet when we arrived).

In June we attended the Hallberg-Rassy Connectie Pre-Party and the Nova Yachting 2022 Tour of the Grevelingen meer. Two days there in the first heat wave of 2022 - two days back again afterwards in what was the end of the heat wave and the typical thunder and rain at the end of a heat wave... During the heat wave we were stuck at the Vlake brug (a combined road and train bridge across the Canal through South Beveland) which the railway company was not keen to open as it might not close again afterwards - leaving train traffic stuck as a result). It held us up for just over two hours, meaning that when we arrived again in Breskens we had to deal with very strong cross winds which pinned us down to the visitors' pontoon. Fortunately next morning there was a temporary lull in the wind so we could motor off the pontoon with relative ease.

In August we managed to sort out 'holiday dates' for Laura and decided to give post-Brexit Britain a try... After spending a full Saturday morning preparing a profile and submitting a sailing plan for the Border Force people, we headed off on a Tuesday morning at the end of August. It was the last of the hot 2022 summer weather that we would experience. Hardly had we arrived in Eastbourne, than the weather for us changed completely: 10 degrees lower temperatures; lots of rain (which our teak deck appreciated to no end); and windy conditions. In fact, after a bouncy trip to Portland marina, we decided that we would leave the boat there and do any further sightseeing by car. So Agatha Christie's Greenway house was visited thanks to an automatic Toyota Aygo (I go slowly) we'd rented for a couple of days. Our friends of Kari of Lymington (met during our discontinued World ARC) stayed in the Solent area - so we will meet up with them again in 2023; better luck next time. Returning East, we stopped in Southampton's Ocean Village Marina (surprisingly the only marina that would take us around The Solent, despite the boat show being only days away. Here we learned that HM The Queen had passed quietly on to a better world. Dropping our courtesy flag to mourning position was easier than many fixed ensigns on neighbouring boats!! On our trip from Portland to Southampton, we had a bumpy ride through the Needles Passage on 25-31 knots of wind (we'll try to make and post a film on You Tube of this experience. Arrival back in Nieuwpoort several days later was interesting as we discovered that at low water there isn't enough depth in our berth: we remained stuck a couple of fee away. What comes down must go up (when a tide is involved), so 2 hours later (the length of a film we'd bought at HMV in Southampton) we could move the boat back on to our berth; albeit with the bow now pointing inland instead of towards the sea... a minor detail.

After returning from the UK, Ngahue IV remained immobile for about 9 days before we went back on board to take her to Bruinisse in the Dutch province of Zeeland. The trip is usually done in two days; the first from Nieuwpoort to Breskens at the beginning of the Westerschelde, and the second day reaching Bruinisse via a set of locks in Hansweert and passing 'through' two (opening) bridges in the Canal through South Beveland. From there it is a short hop to a final lock in Bruinisse to access the Grevelingen meer and sail into Bruinisse's marina. We had perfect weather in the first day and a meteorological mess on day 2! Mr Van Swaay came on board; discussed our needs for the 2022/23 winter and made a plan to sort out our boat and make her that little bit better for the 2023 sailing season. To finish off this page, a couple of photos of Ngahue IV in Bruinisse. We'll be carrying out some technical changes to the boat, which will be documented in the 'About Ngahue IV' pages.

Away from the boat, our Dutch sailing club, the Hallberg-Rassy Connectie, organised its annual Captain's Dinner (no Covid this time to cancel this exciting event at the last moment) on the ss Rotterdam in November 2022. This former Holland-Amerika Lijn passenger ship provided HRC with an ideal location to welcome some 170 people from the association for a pleasant get-together. Magnus Rassy and Dutch HR-representative Paul Hameeteman were the guests of honour. Magnus presented a new book - just out - on Hallberg-Rassy: its history and a short description of all the boat models built (including 4 that were never commercialized). The Connectie President, Robbert-Jan Poerstamper, used the occasion for us to present HRC with the "Ngahue IV Trophy", an annual prize that HRC will attribute to the boat & skipper who that year has sailed beyong his or her comfort zone! The first winner was Pierre Nysten of HR43 Flair for his solo sailing to the U.K. and back this summer and organising several get-together for HRC members. We were very happy for Pierre, who hails from Maastricht - the same town that is Ngahue IV's home port.

We end this year's series of photos with a 'Christmassy' shot of us in La Panne - wishing everyone a happy festive season and a wonderful 2023.

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