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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!
Aug 16 2020
By now we are in Loano, on our beloved SY “Luna Azzurra”!
This time we drove a different way, more westerly. This in order to avoid Genova’s surroundings with its numerous building sites!
It took us 1.5 hours longer, but at least we could drive on and didn’t have to sit in traffic jams.
As usual we drove to Albenga’s shopping centre first to stock up on provisions. Of course we were wearing our face masks and followed the regulations.
It took us about 1 hour, which is quicker than other times! Well, probably because we prepared a shopping list already during the week and we start to know where things are in the shop.
Then we stowed away the food, water and clothes…. Well, most of it. We also started to mount and install a few new things, such as our new spice shelf and another storage rack, which is hanging above the sink now! Then we finally bought a magnet strip for the knives. Suddenly the galley looks very neat and organized – I JUST LOVE IT! 😊
Today is Sunday and the weather does what it’s supposed to do: It’s sunny and hot – exactly as it should be in August and in the Med!
My brother André with his two daughters Michelle and Jacqueline will arrive later in the afternoon. They drove to Monaco yesterday, spent the night in Monte Carlo, and visited a few places of interest. We look forward to have them with us for a few fun days together! The weather forecast looks good, so we will be able to sail out tomorrow and hopefully spend the night at a nice anchor spot! But let’s see, how they like the life on board first!
Aug 02 2020
Yesterday Switzerland celebrated its 729th birthday and usually all big (and small) cities in Switzerland organize festivities for their citizens. There you’ll find (primarily) crowds, food stands, politicians holding speeches and amazing firework shows.
This year, though, due to Covid-19, all big celebrations have been cancelled.
Well, in my opinion, by not having these huge fireworks, it did something good for the environment and also for a lot of animals. But that’s my personal point of view.
Anyway, Patrik and I celebrated together with my parents at our place.
We invited them for dinner and – traditionally – had raclette. It’s cheese, melted in tiny pans, served with new potatoes and all kind of pickled veggies and spices.
On top of the raclette oven we fried some cherry tomatoes, tofu, veggie sausages and other goodies.
I for myself ate vegan raclette cheese, which actually comes quite close to the real thing. My parents tried it as well, but weren’t very convinced. Yeah, well, each to his own 😊
Accompanied was our feast by a nice bottle of white wine, which suits this meal perfectly!
We had a lovely evening, a lot to talk and many good laughs! As it became darker some private fireworks started in our surroundings, but we’ve made sure earlier that Odin is inside! He isn’t super scared of these firecrackers, but better safe than sorry…
Around … o’clock my parents started to get ready for their journey home. It’s about a 30 minute drive, so no big deal!
And today? Well, it’s the Sunday before our holiday begins! The last few days Patrik and I were preparing, ordering and buying the last few things for Luna Azzurra! Suddenly the time went quick to our delight, of course!
Next Saturday, 05 o’clock we want to leave and – hopefully – arrive in Loano around lunch time. Never know with these building sites around Genoa….
My brother André and his two girls (Michèlle 17 and Jacqueline 15) will join us on Sunday! They spontaneously accepted our invitation to spend a couple of days with us on our boat! So we are even more excited and look very forward to the following week(-end)!
We’ll try to do a (at least short) post next weekend. But, nonetheless, we have all our equipment with us to let you know where we are and what we do!
Cheers everyone and be good!
Jul 26 2020