Category: Story

Working in Piedmont, Italy

I went back to Italy again, but this time for work.

It was to help a a friend and colleague from Italy to commission a power plant. This power plant is used in a PET bottle recycling plant. Before I could come in to this plant I had to visit a doctor in Milan on my way there. This company have this regulation that you need have a certificate telling that you are fit to work.

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So on my way down I did this. It was not much of examination I must say. The doctor checked my blood-pressure and the asked a few questions .. what my work was and if I was on some medication etc… but that was all. Then in the end when arriving onsite no one wanted to see this certificate!!!

As the medical center was in center of Milan I left from home in good time so that I would have some time margin. Milan are mors often quite full with cars and you can use hours just to reach your destination. Lucky me I arrived exactly at the time the navigation system told me when leaving Switzerland.

When finished i Milan I drove to a village named Villanova Mondovi where we had our hotel. My colleague had arrived a few minutes earlier. it was around 8pm so we headed out to a restaurant at once. For they day after we had to start working already at 6am. This due to the heat 35°C in the shadow and we should not work in the shadow. The aim was to finish before the temperature rised to much, which we managed.

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In the end I stayed for the complete week and even though we had quite some hot days and hard work it was a pleasure and a fun week.

Supriiiiiiise !!

Two weeks ago – Patrik and I indulged in the “dolce far niente” in our garden – the doorbell rang suddenly!

Who the *** could that be? On a Sunday afternoon?

However, it was a lovely surprise: My friend Claudia and her friend Fredi had come with their antique mopeds – hers is from 1965! A spontaneous decision – which are always the best!

Since we haven’t seen each other since the pandemic started, the joy was extra great! Naturally, we had to celebrate it properly with a nice bottle of Italian white wine. A lot of talking and laughing was done and suddenly it was evening.

We decided they would return their mopeds to Fredi’s garage, which is in Frauenfeld, and on their way home (in the Schaffhausen area) they would have a quick pit-stop at our place to show us his ride!

Said and done….. 40 minutes later they were back with a stunning beauty! A 1958 Cadillac, which Fredi restored by himself! 

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That’s his income actually, he owns a garage where he restores Oldtimers and rarities for private owners and companies. Sometimes he even has to produce parts because they are no longer available on the market! What an amazing job and, apparently, he’s doing very well and with passion 😎 

As a(-nother) hobby he also collects (?) and maintains old jukeboxes…. Well, his garage and apartment look a bit like a museum!

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However, Patrik and I were invited for a short ride, which we VERY MUCH enjoyed! It really was quite something for a at first ordinary Sunday 🤩

 

Bye Bye Chevy

A while ago we decided to sell our Chevrolet TrailBlazer. 

Mostly because Patrik still works 95% from home and we don’t need two cars AND a Harley.

On the few occasions he needs to be at the office, we can drive together, since our companies lie only a couple of kilometres from each other. So, it’s doable and it’s just a matter of organization and goodwill 😊 

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The check-up has been done in May this year and the Chevy passed it, so I immediately went ahead and published an ad on the net. 

I presumed it would take quite a while to sell a 20 year old car, even though it’s well-kept with a fair number showing on the meter.

Boy, was I wrong! The car was sold after not even thirty hours on the net! 

The nice thing is that the new owner is a real American car fan. He owns a couple of Oldtimers and rents his own garage with lift and everything, so he can fix his vehicles by himself. 

Perfect, so our “little one” will have a loveable new home, where he’s appreciated and well handled.

Somehow it was important to me 😉

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And our Harley Softail? It’s also waiting for a new owner….. We realized that with the boat we hardly had the time to take it for rides and weekends anymore – not as we used to anyway.

Plus, it’s a shame, if he’s standing around and getting bored, he deserves better!

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So let’s see who’ll be the lucky one!

Happy Golden Anniversary

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on March 10th and last Sunday the family had a get together, in order to celebrate this special occasion adequately.

It took place in a small setting, consisting of my brothers with family, my parents of course and Patrik and myself – a total of 14 people.

My mum organized the day a while ago, and so we met at 10 a.m. in the most beautiful weather in Weesen, in the canton of St. Gallen. A touristy town, which lies at the “Walensee”. 

From there we boarded the ferry at 10.20 and enjoyed a 40-minutes ride to Quinten. The view was spectacular and the breeze most welcome. The temperatures started to rise already – the forecast promised up to 38 deg. C!!! 

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Quinten is an absolute gem and worth a visit. The little village is car-free and a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. Many protected amphibians, such as different species of lizards and snakes have found a safe habitat there. 

The community lies remotely at the shore and is surrounded by grapevine and greenery. It’s accessible only by boat or by foot. Due to its high number of sunshine hours, Quinten is also called the Gandria of east Switzerland, which is a part in Lugano, a town in the Italian speaking canton of Switzerland. Quinten is also one of the warmest places in our country.

But back to our little family trip 😉

After we arrived, we had a stroll to the restaurant “Seehus“, where a table was waiting for us. Luckily, we could sit outside, under a huge tree, which protected us from the sun. 

Aperitif was served, menus chosen and the talking and the frisky atmosphere continued.

The food was tasty and was accompanied by a local red wine (the white wine was also splendid)! 

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Unfortunately, Patrik and I had to say good-bye earlier. He had to travel to Italy the day after and wanted to have a quiet and restful evening before the long drive. So, we needed to catch the 14.25 o’clock ferry (the next was leaving at 16.15) and after a bit more than an hour car ride, we arrived at home – absolutely drenched in sweat! The weatherman was right, and the mercury had reached the promised temperatures 😰

In any case we’ve spent a lovely evening together and let the impressions of the day steer our conversation! Thanks again, Mum and Dad & in-laws

Well, we wish you all a wonderful weekend with sunshine and some rain for the nature 💧🌼💧🌻

Back onboard Luna Azzurra

Then I am back again onboard Luna Azzurra. As we wrote two weeks ago, this trip were needed.

This to finish up a few things before our holiday later this summer:

I drove down Sunday which make life easier on the roads. No trucks allowed in Switzerland. So it took me a little more than 6 hours and then with a stop at the supermarker in Varese to buy food etc.

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Monday I was up early to start with the anchor chain counter. As the sky was totally clear and it should be approx. 32°C. It was better to start early and be finished before lunch. I had to change the sensor itself and install a new magnet on the gipsy on the winch.  This ment to take down the forward wall in the forward cabin.

Over all this went good and with no drama. When everything was correct installed came the time to calibrate the counter. to do this you measure the length of the chain around the gipsy, for us 25cm. Then feed this in to the remote. This done then test and see that it is correct in the real world too. Which is was. 1 point off the list.

Tuesday it was even hotter so I took the opportunity to install the inverter, two sockets so we can charge the epropulsion battery or our computers among other things.  I installed a shunt and a Victron BMV712  instrument this so we can see how much battery power we have left. This job was not that heavy so it fitted good a hot day. In the end everything worked perfect and I was able to charged the epropulsion battery.

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Wednesday the it was time for engine service. Started early with running the engine and get the old engine oil up in temperature.  Connected the oil extraction pump, which is of a vacuum type. You pump 5 times then it suction out the oil by itself. Installed new oil and fuel filter. Filled up oil again.

Then it was time to change the impeller in the seawater pump. As one bolt was broken I had to organise new bolts, But in the end that was everything which was not good. With everything done it was time to start up the engine again. To see that the water pump working and to check for leaks, oil or water. No leaks detected so we are good to go.

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Thursday was a more easy day, could sleep longer and just take care of some small stuff plus start writing this post and vacuum and clean the boat.

Friday I will leave for home again. Time goes quick when you have fun.

 

A Lovely Trip

Patrik and I decided to take the day off on Friday.

After the pandemic we were finally able to visit my 94-year-old aunt, who lives in “Brunnen”, central Switzerland.

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 It’s a very scenic village (or more of a small town these days), which lies directly at the Lake of Lucerne! As a child I spent quite a lot of time in this area, and I treasure many happy memories

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Here are some pics, we hope you enjoy them 🥰

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A Successful Week

Our week in Loano was very effective and we completed our (most important) tasks!

The old bench in the salon is finally gone and instead our new sideboard shines on its place! It took almost the whole day, since we realized that we had to cut the hight a bit. But it was worth the extra effort! 

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What a transformation it is. The galley/salon looks completely different and suddenly there is so much more storage 🤩 I didn’t have the time yet to organize it, but we are more than happy about the change!

Then the new Raymarine radar was installed! That also took its time, since first I had to haul up Patrik a couple of times. My turn came as well (still afraid of hights, though), as I had to feed the new cable through the small hole in the mast. It was too heavy for me to pull it down on deck.

Afterwards, Patrik had to get up again in order to mount the new radar. In the end – and after several tests – the case was closed, and the updated instrument works perfectly *check* 

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Patrik’s next job was to install the new depth-sounder. That work was also completed nicely and now we can measure the depth again, what a relief! It makes boating a lot easier

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A few other things were done, such as to find a good spot for our e-bikes *check*, stocked up basic supplies, such as coffee, pasta, some tins and 72 bottles of water! *check* I also prepared the guest cabin for the summer. Our friend Pascale will be joining us the first week of our vacation 😎🥂

Luckily, the weather was rather cloudy and rainy at the beginning of the week. So it was OK to do what we had to do.

It changed on Friday and especially Saturday when we had to drive home again. The sun came out and the temps climbed up to 33° C! It was such a shame that we couldn’t go out sailing like many others did.

Instead, we cleaned Luna Azzurra on Friday afternoon and went out for dinner in the evening. In the morning we quick-decided to visit Kla and Gualtiero, aka MALDIMARE, in Andora. They did such a fantastic job by re-doing Luna Azzurra’s salon, so we brought them a bottle of prosecco and thanked them personally! GRAZIE AMICI!

On Saturday morning we did all the laundry. Just after 12 lunchtime we said good-bye to our yacht and to Loano – alla prossima volta e ciaooooo 💖

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Patrik will most probably drive down one more time in June or July. We still have to fix the boat chain counter – also a huge help when anchoring 😅 Our chain isn’t marked with colour or some plastic clips, the way others do. For obvious reasons: We don’t want to pollute the sea with bits of (micro-) plastic 🐬 Therefore, we opted for the chain counter!

Aaah, and he’ll also mount the new pedestal for the table in the salon! It just arrived and looks very fancy The hight can be adjusted on this model, which will be very comfy (after we have a fitting matrass of course 😉).

I’m sure he’ll do this and that too….. One never runs out of work with a boat *haha*

Wish you all a fantastic week, take care!

 

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