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Nov 08 2020
At the moment Patrik and I are trying to find a carpenter (one with reasonable prices…).
Our plan is to remove this bench from Luna Azzurra’s salon and replace it with a sideboard.
The lower part of the bench will be kept, though. The idea is that the new furniture will simply be fitted over the existing part. That way it will have a solid plinth, plus we won’t have to think about ugly marks on the flooring.
Last time we were on board, we measured everything and did a draft.
It will be a rather simple cabinet, with two doors towards the galley part. The counter top will have a small rim, so we can safely place something there, a coffee machine for example.
The inside will be equipped with two to three shelfs.
In case we won’t find a carpenter, Patrik will have to build it (luckily he’s a proper handyman 😉). Another challenge is of course, to get hold of the correct type of wood. It must be suitable for the marine air and stand a certain amount of humidity.
The classic type is teak or mahogany. But I refuse to buy tropical woods, for obvious reasons.
So, we already learned that oak, beech, ash, cherry, birch, walnut and maple are suitable. I would like cherry I think, since it would fit nicely with the rest of the wood in the salon, with its reddish colour.
Cedar would be a very good choice, since it is quite resistant against fungal decay. It’s pretty costly though….
Well, beside other things we’ll be occupied, finding a solution for this project! Doesn’t get boring, that’s for sure 😊
And, hey, I almost forgot: It’s my birthday today! So, let’s open a bottle of prosecco – CHEERS! 🥂
Oct 31 2020
Although we all have more than enough of this virus, I thought of doing something different and did an imaginary interview with COVID-19.
This is what came out:
D: Good afternoon and thank you for your time. What should I call you, COVID-19 or CORONA?
C: My pleasure! Well, I simply prefer COVID, otherwise you get the impression that I could be a yellowish drink, in which you might even stuff a slice of lime….*shudder*
D: …. um… but that really exists….
C: Oh really…? Well, anyway, I’m not a drink.
D: Indeed, we have all noticed that much by now. And you are not exactly pretty either. How did you get that look?
C: Ehh… Hello?! Excuse me!
D: Anyway, back to our interview: Where do you come from? Are you even from this earth?
C: I definitely am. But to be honest, I don’t know exactly how I came into being. *plop* and here I was and did not know exactly what I should do now….
So, I just bumped around for a while and had a look at the nearer surroundings. Finally I decided to explore your whole planet.
D: You’ve done quite a lot of mischief, and in a very short time….
C: Well, that was an unfortunate side effect…no idea what happened there.
However, in my wildest dreams I could not imagine how fast I would travel! Swish, and off we went!!! Unbelievable, in just a few months I already made my way around the world several times and experienced a lot!
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all!
D: Why thank us? What do you mean?
C: I soon found out that in order to travel I need you people.
Well, and look how many of you there are and at what pace you guys travel around the world. It was child’s play for me to get around in the shortest possible time.
To explore, visit the most remote places and of course get to know you people. You have really made it very easy for me! *chuckle*
D: I am speechless…. Are you saying that we are ourselves to blame for the current situation?
C: I leave this question open. Besides, I have no answer anyway, sorry!
D: And how much longer are you planning to stay?
C: Frankly, I’m getting slightly bored here…. *yawn*
At least your imaginative ideas about how you could protect yourself used to amuse me. Or the more or less original masks you put on. But now…. Oh, I don’t know…
D: Then we can only hope that your boredom will soon be unbearable!
C: Haha, well, how do you say it? Hope dies last….
D: And fortunately we still have plenty of that! In spite of everything I thank you for this interview. Hopefully it was the last one!
C: Good for you guys, and you’re welcome, you’re welcome!
Right, now I’m going to test this yellowish drink with the lime slice… Where did you say one could get something like that……………..?
Oct 17 2020
It’s October and we are amazed how quick this crazy year went so far….. despite Covid-19 and its consequences!
What had sneaked its way quietly and slowly into our lives, suddenly became a massive worldwide pandemic. No-one expected it would last that long! And to this day, scientists are still trying to find the source of it and how to get rid of it again.
What’s the best method to fight it? Sweden had its own way, whereas other countries did the opposite and yet others panicked. And yet, to this day no-one knows which strategy is successful – if ever one exists!
My personal opinion is that we must learn to live with Corona. I believe in nature law and its logical way, that only the strongest survive! And we humans belong to the nature even if it’s not that obvious sometimes! It’s hard of course, especially if you loose a loved one due to this pandemic…. But what’s the alternative?
The future will answer questions and maybe show us a way…
However, I don’t want to write too much about this unpleasant topic! There are still plenty of positive things not to be forgotten, such as the past summer and our time with Luna Azzurra!
As many know, Patrik and I were more than ready to travel to Italy, when it finally was allowed!
That was from 09th – 12th July and our friends Pascale and Lynn from Luxembourg joined us! We’ve had a fantastic time together, despite Corona and mandatory face masks. After all, we didn’t need a hotel or restaurants, since we could “isolate” ourselves on Luna Azzurra!
The weather was on our side and we enjoyed swimming and anchoring in Punta Crena! Although we only had a few days, it gave a lot and it was fun spending time together!
We even fished an abandoned air mattress out of the water! It was still intact, but disgustingly filthy. It probably was floating around for quite a while. Back at the marina in Loano we happily destroyed and disposed of it! A little bit less pollution in the oceans! (Sadly we have no pictures, we were so occupied to get the damn thing on board!!)
After these days we looked even more forward to our big holidays of course, which were planned for week 33-34. We had a few worries though, if travelling to Italy would still be possible, without ten days quarantine afterwards. Or what would we do, if Italy suddenly was on the “risk list” again, while we were there?
Luckily, our concerns were needless and we enjoyed every single day on Luna Azzurra!
The first few days, my brother André and his two teenage daughters Michèlle and Jacqueline joined us! Again, the weather Gods were on our side and we sailed twice to Punta Crena, once we even stayed overnight! We went swimming, ate splendidly and had a glass of wine or two (or the odd beer for the boys 😉)!
Afterwards, my brother and the girls travelled a bit further in order to spend the following days in a hotel at the beach!
Patrik and I also left the marina and sailed towards France, visiting San Remo, enjoyed anchoring and swimming and lived in the “dolce far niente” mode.
While paddling around on my board I collected all kind of rubbish – amazing how much I got together within a very short time! We even found “Spiderman” (a huge balloon, incl. its string) and were able to get it on board (to be destroyed afterwards).
I know it’s a drop in the bucket, but every piece of plastic less in the oceans is a good thing!
After San Remo we sailed back to Loano, spent two days there, due to uncertain weather conditions. We then went towards Genoa, spent one or more days at the same anchor spot and just enjoyed to travel without hurry.
We came to Varazze and after a couple of days there we returned to Loano. The weather was about to change again and neither of us wanted to experience a stormy journey back.
The decision was paid off by seeing whales (probably pilot whales)! Although, they were quite far away, the magic of this unique experience was incredible!
As everything, also our vacation came to an end and on the 26th of August we were ready for our six hours journey home! Well, ready and ready….not in our minds naturally!
Since then we were busy with our work and doing the last few posts and movies! It was so much fun, experiencing our holidays again, clipping the films, putting them together, choosing the music and find the right words!
It’s Patrik who is responsible for the movies, he became a real expert, I must say 😊 I’m usually doing the long texts which I love a lot!
All right, that was our review of the summer 2020! An unusual one, but not only negative! Less travellers, less airplanes and almost none of the cruising ships left, means less pollution and I bet the environment says “Thank You”.
In my point of view it could stay like this! To close down a bit maybe helped some to catch one’s breath and perhaps was a chance to pause and find to oneself…… ?
It might even help to see a positive side of every misfortune, it possibly has a reason for happening!
Sep 13 2020
Our house has been built in 1995, which means it’s 25 years old.
Overall, it’s in an excellent condition. The pre-owners apparently made sure to use high quality material, which pays off in the end.
Nevertheless, since we bought the house in 2008, we’ve done quite a few things. Like we replaced the 50 square meter wooden deck a few years ago. The old one started to rot away and we re-built it with WPC boards. It’s is a mix between wood (70%) and reinforced synthetics (30%), which makes it maintenance-free! We are still happy with our decision.
Then we built the winter garden in the summer 2014. A wise decision and we only regretted that we haven’t done it earlier! It stretches the time to be able to be “outside” for several months! Plus – provided the sun is shining – we even use it in the winter, although it is not isolated.
In Winter 2014/2015 we decided to say good bye to the oil heating, which we shared with our neighbours. We wanted to have something more environment friendly and we found it with the new NIBE air/water heat pump. During the summer of 2015 the new heating system was installed. Again, we are still happy about it and the running costs are even lower than before!
Well, now we thought it’s time to steer our attention to the house façade. With the years it looks more grey than eggshell colour. And we also learned that, in order to avoid serious damages, it’s recommended to keep an eye on it after, say, 15 years maybe.
Already before our vacation started, we took in a couple of offers and we even managed to settled for a company. And, since we’ll paint the house new anyway, why not choose a different colour? Mint-green was our choice and after checking with our community we got the thumbs up and were more than happy! So that was done!
Now, the work has started last Monday morning, with perfect weather which – luckily – continued the whole week!
First the crew cleaned the hole façade and let it dry, then they removed more persistent stains with some suitable agent. Painting and mending the wood under the roof and around the windows is included in the work.
If everything goes according to plan, the job should be finished end of next week. We look so ,so, so forward to the new and fresh colour, we hardly can wait to see the result! 😊
Sep 06 2020
Well, well, meanwhile it’s Sunday, 6th September and Patrik and I have started working again!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
After our rather rashly return to Loano on Saturday, 22nd August, the weather continued to be sunny and hot, despite of the forecast! A few raindrops during the night and some clouds and waves on Sunday was all, instead of the expected thunderstorm!
Well, rather like that than regretting some silly decision. Plus, the anchoring spot we had would neither been comfortable nor safe, in case of a storm.
We didn’t do too much during the weekend. Went grocery shopping for the last time and simply enjoyed our last days on board Luna Azzurra!
On Monday we visited the upholstery store in the marina, called ATEMAR.
Before we sailed away a few days previous, we went there in order to ask for an offer for a new mattress in the master cabin. Let me tell you, it took us a little lot of courage to contact them. It’s an elderly couple, very sweet and affectionate, but – as we feared – they “only” speak Italian! (Well, we’re in Italy, obviously).
So, armed with my dictionary and having prepared some phrases we went there for the first time. Soon we discovered that we understood each other better than expected……
finally we came to an arrangement and in the evening the owner visited us to have a look at the size of the mattress.
Afterwards we agreed that an offer would be waiting for us, after our return.
Said and done, and so we showed up again on Monday. The offer wasn’t ready yet, but would be in the evening. Well, no problem for us! We decided to prepare some lunch and did something else.
In the evening we got our offer (their grandson was in the shop as well, helping with the language 😉) and we happily agreed on it. For the production they have plenty of time, since we wouldn’t return to Loano before December (if possible somehow, otherwise next spring only….). Matteo Barbaro from Dottor Yacht – who still looks after Luna Azzurra – still has the key to our boat. And since they know each other, it wouldn’t be a problem for the upholsterer to get access if necessary.
Since we were so pleased with the couple (sadly we don’t know their names – yet) and their service, we asked to get another offer for a new upholstery in the saloon and the three benches in the cabins. But no rush with that either, he will send it to us by email.
The fabric was already discussed – it’s some kind of Alcantara, suitable and strong enough for cars and boats – so was the colour (mint green).
After we’d paid for the new mattress (it was my wish to have this settled, I hate debts!), we exchanged our best wishes and “see you soon’s”, and left the shop! We were so happy about our decision to firstly having contacted them and secondly, giving the job to the couple!
Well, the following days weren’t very spectacular: We cleaned the whole boat, outside and inside, started to pack and mothballed Luna Azzurra!
On Wednesday lunch time we left Loano and had a smooth journey home. It was around 6.30 p.m. when we arrived at our place! Luckily, the weather was still summerly, but the forecast for the weekend was anything but after our gusto! The temp were about to drop and heavy rainfall was promised….. GREAT!!
Odin showed up later in the evening – finally! He – of course – was showered with hugs and kisses…… (to his disgust, I’m sure).
Yeah well, at least the nasty weather “inspired” me to spend some time in the laundry in order to do the mountains of washing.
My vacation included also Monday (poor Patrik’s ended on Sunday evening), and in the evening it was time for me to visit the Italian course again – after a three weeks break! It went quite good actually and apparently I’m not too far behind as I feared (I did the homework, though 😉)!
However, on Tuesday my “real world” started again (gently) and the week disappeared real quick! Since last weekend the weather was really autumnal, with torrential rain, especially in the east and south part of Switzerland! The temperatures were between 16 and 18 deg. C, which was a bit of a shock for us actually! Luckily, on Thursday it began to change and the summer was fighting itself back!
But it’s unmistakable that the hot days will come to an end soon. Thoughts of having to change to winter tires soon pop up and the notedly shorter days are proof enough….
We wish you all as many sunny and warm days as possible – enjoy them!
Aug 30 2020
After we left San Remo on Sunday (16th Aug.) lunch time, we decided to anchor somewhere on the way to Loano, enjoy the sun and go swimming. Funnily, we ended up in Diano Marina again.
This time the sea was calm and after eating our dinner we had a good nights rest! We even planned to visit the city the next day and to stay one more night, returning to Loano on Tuesday, 18th August.
Visiting Diano Marina was a good idea. We took the dinghy into the tiny marina, found a safe mooring spot and headed into the city! A very nice one, as it turned out, we also had a little lunch in a small restaurant.
When we headed back to Luna Azzurra, we sea became rougher and the sky started to look quite dark. We even heard some thunder…. After a short discussion what to do, we decided to head straight home, to Loano. It was three o’clock and the journey shouldn’t take longer than three and a halv hours.
It seemed like a wise decision! Although we finally had (almost) perfect sailing weather, with 7-10 knots (!), we were happy to be on our way to a safe harbour!
So it was Monday, 17th Aug., 6.10 p.m. when we arrived at the marina and at seven we were berthed and settled! Inside the walls it was calm, but outside….boy-oh-boy!! Black clouds lingered around, although the sun was shining again. But we could clearly hear the rumbling from the land!
During the night we had some rainfall and around 4 a.m. I got up and closed the hatches. But in the morning the sun was up again and after doing some laundry, changing bedding, towels etc., we went quickly grocery shopping.
Afterwards we went to the little bar in the marina, called “Gavioli” and had some bruschette and a glass of prosecco / white wine. Back at the boat, Patrik installed doorstoppers, while I started to write this post.
We stayed in Loano until Wednesday (19th August), then it was time for us to head out again. This time we wanted to explore the east side of Loano, passing Savona and continue a bit further, towards Genoa.
Our first stop was at Punto Crena again, where we stayed with André and the girls the week before.
Since the weather was after our gusto, we stayed there two nights. Swimming, reading and enjoying was the slogan.
On Friday, 21st we decided to continue our journey. The weather was still hot and sunny, but sadly no wind. We read that anchoring on this side would be even more hopeless, than westwards of Loano. So we were prepared to stay in a marina, either Varazze or Arenzano.
Around 11 a.m. we left the bay and after lunch time we passed the big city of Savona, with its container ships and ferries.
Further we went, passing Varazze with its newly built marina. Patrik even had written to them, asking if they would have berth for us and what the price would be. They had and the price was EUR 82.- per night. Reasonably in our eyes, but we still preferred an anchor spot if possible.
Surprisingly, we did find one, just east of the Varazze marina. It was a bit crowded with yachts, but we quickly found a suitable spot and dropped the anchor at 14.15. We decided to stay here for at least one night, maybe two.
The night to Saturday was a bit bumpy, though. But otherwise it’s a beautiful spot with a lovely view, and many costly villas to admire.
We used our paddle boards, were swimming and….well….again, enjoyed “la dolce far niente” !
On Saturday, after my cleaning up round with my paddle board, just before three o’clock, dark clouds were building up and the waves became bigger and more uncomfortable. So, with some regret, we decided to leave the bay and sail back towards Loano. The forecast promised another bumpy night and how the weather would be on Sunday was a bit too much of a poker game for our taste.
The journey back would take around 3.5 hours, which seemed ok.
On the way, from a long distance we even saw the dorsal fin of a (or more) whale(s)! Oh wow, THAT was a real highlight. I’ll have to look up, what kind of cetacean we saw, I guess it was a pilot whale…. Amazing!
It was around 6.30 p.m. when we were at our berth and 20 minutes later everything was done and secured. The sky is was still cloudy, but not as bad as we expected. However, we were glad to be safely back!
Being back so early means, we’ll have plenty of time, preparing our journey back home to Switzerland and to Odin. Seeing him again we look very forward to, naturally! =^.^=
A presto e baci!
Aug 24 2020
As you’ve realised we’re one week behind with our posts…..
Lack of WIFI connection was the reason, so now we take the opportunity to write about last week!
My brother André and his daughters Michèlle and Jacqueline arrived late afternoon last Sunday. After parking his car, unload it and got settled we finally clinked glasses and welcomed them on board Luna Azzurra!
According to their reaction they were very pleased with their accommodations and felt at home immediately.
That evening we ate out, unfortunately a bit too late, since we almost couldn’t find a table for five. But we were lucky in the end and enjoyed a nice dinner. Afterwards we did a bit of (window-) shopping and strolled around Loano and the promenade along the beach.
The next morning, while eating breakfast, we decided to take the chance, sailing out, eastwards to Punto Crena. There we could swim and spend the night. No sooner said than done, after 11 a.m. everyone was ready and we left Marina di Loano.
Sadly, the wind was too poor to sail, but it didn’t dampen our high spirits nevertheless! After approx an hour we were settled, the anchor (our NEW Vulcan!) was in the water and so were the paddle boards.
Needless to say that all of us enjoyed the “cooling” water (27°C), by swimming and fooling around! Happy people altogether!
For dinner we made a ratatouille with couscous and sallad! Everyone loved it (unless they were lying ;o) and after a bit of chatting and another drink we were ready for bed!
The next day was about copy-paste! Sun, fun and laughs! Around 3 p.m. we were ready and slowly sailed back to Loano (without wind again….).
After five we were safely secured at our berth, had an aperitif, showered and went to a nearby restaurant for dinner – earlier than last time! Everyone was keen on pizza, so the menu was chosen in no time!
Afterwards a stroll into town again, an espresso, grappa and ice-cream and it was time to return to our boat…
On Wednesday, around lunch time, it was time to say good bye to my brother and kids! Patrik and I wanted to see San Remo and they had booked a hotel room in Diano Marina until Sunday. School would start again on Monday for the girls.
After they’d left we did a quick cleaning and washed the bedlinen etc. We planned to leave Loano on Thursday before lunch, spend the night anchoring in Diano Marina (maybe meet my brother again ;o) and then continue to San Remo.
And so we did, except that we haven’t met André and the girls again.
Unfortunately, Patrik – somehow – managed to lose the bench from our boat into the sea…. Damn!! We even turned around in then hope it would swim…. Well, it didn’t and after 20 minutes of searching we gave up and continued our journey. The mood had dropped a few degrees…..
The night outside Diano Marina was very bumpy and unsettling, though! Never ending swells made it almost impossible to sleep.
Off to San Remo the next day (Friday)! We even made our contribution to the environment and fished a big “Spiderman” balloon out of the sea! It got destroyed of course and would be thrown away, as soon as we would have the chance.
Patrik booked a mooring berth in Portosole for two nights, so instead of entering the marina already at lunch time, we dropped the anchor just outside the marina and went swimming and tried to cool down a bit.
Around five we entered the marina and were shown our berth. Missing the bench, we had to fiddle a bit with the gangway *grrrrrr*
We soon discovered that the showers and toilets were too far away, so we used our own on board!
Dinner we had in town, after exploring a bit of it. And what a lovely dinner we had – it was simply fantastic, both the food and the service. It’s called “Vela d’Oro” and we warmly recommend it!
The next day was simply planned to play tourists. Taking pictures, do some shopping, have a bite to eat…. you know “goditi la vita”, as the Italians say!
The second evening we ate on board Luna Azzurra and stayed there. Pleased with our time in San Remo and our vacation so far!