Category: Story

One Week to Go!

Today, in a week Patrik and I are (hopefully) in Loano! We’ll be clinking our glasses to celebrate our wedding day, but also the start of our three-week vacation 🥂

On Thursday we’ll drive Odin to the cat hotel…I just hope it will be a tearless bye-bye (I’m the high risk….) 😥

http://Katzenhotel-grubhof.ch

Patrik will slowly pack our car during the week and on Friday morning only our bags will be left to be loaded. At six o’clock in the morning we’ll say “arrivederci” to our house!

My parents will be looking after our home, watering the plants if necessary and empty our letter box.

After this rainy and chilly “summer” we really, really hope we’ll meet the sun and high temperatures in Italy 🌞

Since we’ll skip Corse (again), Patrik figured out a new sailing route and we both are very excited to visit – among other things – the Leaning Tower of Pisa and see the famous coast of Cinque Terre.

Then, we’ll continue our journey further south to Elba, leisurely sail around it, with hopefully some beautiful anchor spots to spend the nights and swim during the days.

Slowly we’ll head north again in order to return to our home marina.

Naturally, we hope Neptune will be well-disposed towards us. Our ability to explore the Italian coast and the island of Elba, depends on the weather, of course ⛵

At this point we can’t say yet, when we’ll be able to present our next post. It all depends on having internet nearby. And this time we plan to spend more time anchoring, instead of sitting in marinas.

Nevertheless, we’ll do some filming and take a lot of pictures to be prepared for the next article.

So, stay tuned and enjoy your time, with or without vacation! 🌺

A Chat with Odin

Me:       Odin, here you are! Hello Sweetie, how are you?

Odin:     Good, I was sleeping, till you woke me….. *yawn*

Me:       Aw, c’mon, don’t be grumpy

Odin:     How about a goodie and I’ll think about it?

Me:       There you go…

Odin:     *munch-munch*

Me:       Odin, listen, I need to talk to you

Odin:     Yeah? What is it?

Me:       Well, you know….Dad and I are going on vacation soon

Odin:     Yes, I thought so. But our neighbours will look after me as usual, no?

Me:       I’m sorry sweetie. Not this time. They are going away too

Odin:     No problem, I’ll look after the house and garden. Nothing new here…

Me:       I know you can do that Odin. But who will feed you and look after you every day?

Odin:     Easy! Just put a huge bowl with food and water in the kitchen and I’ll be fine

Me:       I have no doubt you would manage for a few days. But we are going away for three weeks

Odin:     hmm….that’s quite long….

Me:       Exactly. So what about a lovely vacation for you as well?

Odin:     What? You’re not thinking about taking me with you, do you?

Me:       No, I don’t think you would like that. Especially not the long drive to Italy and six hours back again

Odin:     Good! So what’s plan B then?

Me:       Well, we found a beautiful cat hotel…….

Odin:     A WHAT?? You don’t mean that, do you?

Me:       Listen sweetie, it’s absolutely the best one I could find. The lady who runs it loves cats and the hotel ooks fabulous. We saw it! You’ll love it there!

Odin:     How do you know that? And what about the other cats? And I want to go outside, have you thought about that? And how about my beds and other stuff?

Me:       You’ll have your own room, with windows where you can see your neighbour cat. Maybe it’s a pawsome darling beside you…

Odin:     Ha! That helps a lot with a glass panel between us…. love the “pawsome”, though 😺

Me:       I forgot to mention that via a cat flap you have access to your own private balcony with a beautiful view over the fields and forest. And there, only chicken wire separates you from the balcony next door. So you can talk to your neighbour. How does that sound?

Odin:     And my stuff? And can I be outside during the night? Whenever I want?

Me:       Yes, of course. The cat flap is open 24/7. And your dad and I will take your beds, toys and even your cat tree there. You’ll have your food and your two toilets. Pretty much the same as you have at home

Odin:     ….. *sigh*

Me:       What do you say? Sounds still horrible to you?

Odin:     What about goodies? Does the lady there have goodies? Do I have to share them?

Me:       Of course, you’ll have your goodies you’re used to. We’ll give them to the lady as well, don’t worry! And no, you won’t have to share them!

Odin:     And you’ll pick me up again after your vacation?

Me:       But of course, sweetie!! How can you ask that? I wish you could come with us, or that our neighbours wouldn’t be away simultaneously…. As soon as we’re back from Italy, we’ll come and happily take you home again! Scout’s honour!

Odin:     Don’t exaggerate, I believe you!

Me:       And you know what Odin?

Odin:     What?

Me:        This will be the first time for me, that I really can enjoy our vacation. I won’t have to worry that  something bad could happen to you… you remember your brother….

Odin:     Yeah, that was a terrible time. Still miss him, though…

Me:       Me too, every day, believe me! So, this time I can be sure you’re in a safe spot! Sometimes, the nice lady will take some pictures of you and send them to me. That way I know how you are. Sounds ok?

Odin:     Yeah, yeah…. I guess, everything has already been arranged and I can’t object, even if I want to…

Me:       Yes, it is Odin, I’m sorry. We booked your room a while ago. But we’re 100% sure it’s the best solution for you and dad and me.

Odin:     If you say so………….

Me:       Aw, c’mon sweetie. You’re sleeping most of the time anyway. So before you know it, we’ll pick you up again. You’ll see…Time will fly!

Odin:     I just hope that the cat next door won’t be a kitten who plays all the time….

Me:       I’m sure the lady will take care who is beside who. So you won’t be disturbed. She will come and play with you sometimes, if you want.

Odin:     Yeah, maybe…but not too often, please! I need my naps, you know!

Me:       I’m sure she knows how to treat you well, Odin.

Odin:     All right, all right! Then that’s settled…. Can I go back to sleep know? What time is dinner, by the way…….? Please don’t disturb me before dinner is served, thanks *purr*   🐾

Ecosia vs Google

Who doesn’t need Google sometimes……..or often (like me)?

I bet it happens countless times, daily or weekly and often we won’t give it a second thought.

Got the needed info – done!

A few months ago, someone at work suggested to use Ecosia instead of Google. But why? Well, one good reason is, it plants trees! 🌳

But it not only shows how many trees have been planted totally by users, but you can also check, how much input your personal searching had so far.

Quite cool and very inspiring.

And since Ecosia generally does the same thing as Google…..why not switch?

Plus, what’s cheaper doing something good for our planet, than for free? Exactly!

I did it a while ago and – voilà – already about 90 trees have been planted with my name tag on them! (Not literally of course 😉.)

You also can get a lot of information about the projects and people behind Ecosia.

I hope I was able to inspire some many of you, dear guests, and wish you all a happy “searching week” 🧐

https://www.ecosia.org/?c=en

Top 7 Upgrades on Luna Azzurra

Recently, Patrik and I pondered about, which upgrades we’ve been done on our yacht.

Countless small ones of course, like sewing magnets on the shower curtain and glued the counterparts on the wall. Installing spice shelfs in the galley, buying new comfortable kapok cushions for the cockpit (not to forget my new hammock, still originally wrapped in its packing). Also new pictures and some deco stuff, in order to get our own personal touch in. Then rearranging the cabinets in the bathrooms with bamboo dishes and small reed baskets (instead of the ugly plastic ones)….. and so on, and so on!

Anyway, a few drastic changes have also been done. These are the – so far – top upgrades we did:

1.   New arch which serves as a dinghy & solar panel supporter (RS-INOX)

2.   Five solar panels, which produce up to 600watt power (VICTRON)

3.   New A.I.S., an Automatic Identification System, where other ships (with A.I.S.) can see us and we can see            them, even big container and cruise vessels (AMEC)

4.   Replacing plotter, wind indicator, depth-speed-log multi-instrument (RAYMARINE)

5.   Replacing anchor, 25 kg (ROCNA Vulcan)

6.   New inverter to turn 12VDC into 220VAC (VICTRON)

7. New electric outboard engine (EPROPULSION Spirit 1.0 Plus)

Certainly, we also did a lot of maintenance. Such as cleaning her hull and put some new antifouling on it, in 2019. A new bimini and sprayhood, also in 2019. Changed quite a few sheets and this year we did the service on the mainsail. Also, Patrik finally replaced the old gas hoses  and a new horseshoe buoy has been bought! And we bought a new matrass for the master cabin (one who lies on top of the existing one).

So, people writing about living on board are probably right, when saying, it never gets boring, there is always some work to be done! It seems to be the case, indeed!

Here comes a little more detailed explanation of the instruments:

  • p70 Auto pilot control head: Receives data from i70 and i60 instrument. The p70 tells the course computer which course to steer or which wind angle we want to have and want to keep
  • i70 Multi Instrument: True/apparent wind angle/wind speed, depth, boat speed, water temperature and A.I.S information
  • i60 Wind instrument: Wind angle and wind speed information
  • AXIOM 12 Pro chart plotter: Receives data as wind information, speed/temperature, A.I.S and depth. On the plotter you can lay out the course to steer

http://www.rs-inox.com

http://www.victronenergy.com

https://www.alltekmarine.com

https://rocna.com

https://www.raymarine.com

https://www.epropulsion.com

 

Upgrading instruments onboard

Luna Azzurra is 16 years of age now. It start to be time to upgrade all electronics onboard. With electronics I mean the course computer, autopilot, wind, speed and deep stunder instrument, radar and the GPS chart plotter including new charts for the Mediterranean sea.

To do all this is quite expensive, so we decided to spreed this over  2 or 3 years instead. All the instruments onboard is still working good but better upgrade slowly before we run in to trouble and some of them stop working. Then all expenses will come at once.

The instruments exposed to the hardest condition we decided to change first. These instruments are the which are mounted in the cockpit. In the cockpit they are exposed for UV radiation and salt water spray and salty air. The electronics we are talking about are the wind, speed/temp, depth  instruments, autopilot control head and the chart plotter. Plus the radar.

The course computer are mounted down below in a dry place and is still working good. We think it have 2 – 3 years more in it at minimum. One small problem is that with the new plotter the existing radar will not work anymore.

It is a pity but as long as we are sailing most under the days we can live without it for now. We still have the AIS which will show at least the bigger ships and yachts on the chart plotter. Just have to watch out for fishing boats and some smaller yachts which most often don’t have an A.I.S.

So our upgrading steps will be the following:

1: Wind instrument, Depth, Speed and temperature, Autopilot control head and a new chart plotter (2021)

2. New course computer (2022)

3. New radar (2022 or 2023)

To get everything to work together (new and old systems) we must convert the communication language between the two types. The old system are analog and the new system digital.

So I started to do a wiring diagram how to connect everything.

Thanks to Raymarine who produce the instruments have a converter for this translation (new to old). It should be straight forward I think. But in the end and on a boat even this can be a challenge. A few new cable have to be pulled. Most of them just short distance though. As we are not onboard right now we have to see when we are in Italy for holiday in July / August.

Then l if we have time for it too, we are onboard on holiday so this installation is not priority 1. If it end up in to much of work we might just change some of the parts. At least we have the parts ready and onboard for the exchange.

When we receive all instruments and cabling it was decided to connect them all together in the same setup of network we will have onboard. This to see that the parts  works fine together. If it due to one reason or another not working onboard it will much easier to narrow down possible causes.

At least we know it works which is a good start. But this have to wait until we have received the chart plotter plus we need a 12VDC power supply too.

Later when we have installed this first parts of electronic we will do a new post about this installation.

https://www.raymarine.com/explore/sailing.html

Nightly Hunt in the Bedroom!

Awesome title! Sounds like a crime thriller 😱

Easy, it’s not as exciting as it sounds. Although…..

On Wednesday night, just after 02.30 a.m. I woke up and started to read for a while, in order to get me sleepy again. Quite an annoying habit!

However, suddenly something brushed my arm. Yikes! What the heck was that?! First, I thought it might have been a moth. When I turned around and shone the iPad light to the floor, I saw “something” quickly disappear around the bed corner 🤔

I believed my intuition and let the moth be a moth.

Not long after, I heard tiny feet scurry on the floor. Well, THAT definitely wasn’t a moth! And sure enough, in my iPad glow I finally spotted a mouse. WHAT??? How…wherefrom…why…???

I jumped up and closed the bedroom door, so it couldn’t disappear and hide somewhere in the big house.

Meanwhile, it dawned on me how the mouse must have come into the bedroom: The night before Odin came home in the middle of the night and jumped on our bed. That’s not unusual. But he looked like he was playing with the blanket and my feet and dozily I hoped, he didn’t bring us a “present”. Soon he lost interest and went downstairs again. I quickly looked through the blanket, if I might find a dead mouse, but – luckily – there was nothing. So, I fell asleep again and forgot the unimportance 🥱😴

BIG MISTAKE, as it turned out! 🐀

Back to last night: After I woke Patrik and told him about our intruder, I went to the cellar to get some cardboard boxes and a pair of gloves.

So, the nightly hunt began…. and lasted 1,5 hours! The tiny creature actually kept us on the go. A couple of times, while Patrik and I crept around the floor, looking for the little bugger, he peacefully sat on our bed, grooming itself! 🐭

Once Patrik came up with a murderous idea: To get Odin and let him do the job!                                                            Of course, this bloody plan was immediately disregarded!

At long last we were able to throw a blanket over the beast mouse and immediately wrapped it in it.

While I wrestled with it on the floor *harrumph*, Patrik got a travel bag in which we carefully stuffed the blanket along with mouse (hopefully)!

Together we carried the precious cargo downstairs, in underpants (Patrik) and shortie (me). Through the winter garden, where – mirabile dictu – Odin lay and gave us a fake yawn, and further outside, on to the patio.

Then we opened the bag, took out the blanket and warily opened it. In the dark we caught a glimpse of the finally freed animal, scurrying away towards the lavender. Farewell!

Happy End at least, which was the main thing!

Since it was nearly 04.30 a.m., and I usually get up around five, it wasn’t really worth it going back to sleep. So, I read for a short while, before I went downstairs and got ready for work.

Odin was waiting in the kitchen to get his morning goodies and oat milk.                                                                           Did he blink and smirk at me……? I’m sure 😸

The day after I searched the net and found out what kind of mouse it was. A thoroughbred Apodemus Flavicollis, a “yellow-necked mouse”. Cute little things (when outside)!

Gardening

Last weekend Patrik and I did some necessary gardening.

Although, for the major work on the slope we’ve hired a professional gardener. Nevertheless, some small work still had to be done 🌺

Plus, we needed to replace the old edging on the bed. The old one was rotting away and therefore, looked butt-ugly. So, the new one is made of willow and it looks really pretty! Let’s hope it also lasts as many years as the old one.

We also planted some sunchoke (topinambur), which I got from a working colleague. I hope they like the spot and that we can harvest a few spuds until winter.

Weeding also seems a never-ending story when you have a garden. This time Patrik aligned himself to this task. Well done, darling 😅

On Sunday I took the opportunity and spent the afternoon on my sunlounger, accompanied by my book.

Along the way we continue to watch the development in Italy and its regulations regarding COVID-19 closely. So far it looks good 😎

 

Stop the Bloodbath

http://stopthebloodbath.afd.org.au/petition

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