Monthly Archives: April 2009

Settled in italy – 772nm

Not off to the flying start that we had hoped for!
We left Palma on the evening of 22nd at around 18.30.  We were nicely chugging along when the skipper called me up from the engine room.  As i emerged from my gloom into the wheel house i noticed that the land was on the wrong side of the boat!  Maybe, i thought, we were zig zagging between mallorca and minorca but then the skip showed me the rigging and told me we were going back in!  It really shouldnt have been a surprise really, all of the work we have had done in mallorca has been shoddy, at least this time, the riggers were waiting for us on the dock when we got back in.
They worked at fixing their error and by 01.00 we were leaving palma once more, Tunisia bound.  It would be the first real sea trial that the boat would have and we were heading to North Africa to give it its trial run.  Initially i opted out of the watch rota in favour of watching the engine room until we hit tunisia but i felt guilty about leaving the others to cover everything so i ended up on the rota anyway.
The first 2 days of any voyage are always tricky.  Your body isnt really tired and doesnt want to fit in with the 3 on 6 off watch rota. By the end of the second day, you are just so damn tired that you have to sleep.  As the first day drew to a close, i sat in the crew mess listening to music watching the sun set and the waves wobble by through the 40 x 20 porthole.  As the boat waddled in the wash, the horizon would climb to the top of the window so all that i could see was sea, then drop to the bottom of the window exposing the evening sky and sunset.  Ben Harper was on my headphones, singing ‘walk away’ and it just seemed to fit the moment perfectly.
Serene moments seem to be abundant at this age of life, along with nasal hair instead of zits but i still enjoy those ‘ahhh’ moments, it makes all the hard work and effort worth it.  I am lucky enough to be paid well to travel and have these moments all too often.
Tunisia was hot and disorganised.  We arrived at 10am – bang on schedule and then waited for 5 hours for the fuel truck to arrive.  They of course turned up without the correct nozzel to fit our boat and then eventually came back with a normal car fueling nozzel – we were taking on 13,000 litres of fuel!!  A 2 hour fuel pit stop followed!
Then, the customs wouldnt release our papers until we had the mayors daughter on the boat who gave them a jolly good telling off and we were on our way again.
On sunday afternoon, we arrived.  Genoa once more !  Should be in italy for about a month.  Later this week we will be moving south ever so slightly to Portofino and from there onto the island of Capri.  Italy is full, and i mean full of beautiful women – even the munters are gorgeous.  I like it here, even if genoa is a grimey city, it is still full of that italian flare.
I received today, by the magic of electronic mail, an invite for Junior Gurnseys wedding.  Being organised, i already have the hotel booked for the end of the year and may even make it a three day stay over.  I am looking forward to that one too – will be one of the last chances to see many of my friends all in one place.  Problem is, most are married now so all of the wedding parties are almost over.  Soon it will be 40th birthdays galore – there has already been a few – most memorable would be my older sister, who was forty a couple of years ago.  Getting old is generally quite alarming.  You start to realise that everything you were told as a child by older people is infact true.  Everything that was said that you considered to be wierd is now slowly coming out of my mouth with the same patronising tone that i once had it delivered to me.  I wonder what else I will experience ?
One last thing to do – upload some photos from the last voyage

Tunisia bound


Looks like we are ready for the off, first shake down out of the way, hopefully one mnore before we head out to Tunisia and then onto Porto Fino in the north west of italy.

All being well, shoul dbe in Tunisia for the weekend and then onto Genoa by mid next week.  The work starts here!

ALl things considered , i am ready to get out of palma but i seem to remember feeling like this each time i come here – 6 months is the maximum i can manage.  I really struggle with the attitudes of the ex-pats that provide service to super yachts.  They seem to have forgotten what service is all about.  You spend in excess of 300,000€ on a paint job and they try to palm off shit on you and give you grief when you complain – or you give a computor company 6 months to fix your networks as per their own advice and when you hit the water , nothing works.

Its almost as if they believe they can blag you for long enough, eventually you will leave and their problems leave with you but they have charged a hansome sum for their ‘efforts’ .


Anyway, enough for now, i have work to do




It has arrived – tomorrow i will leave the apartment in downtown Palma and head to the boat, my new home for the next couple of years.
Now begins my latest and best yet adventure – who knows what lays ahead ? Meet the boss, travel the med (again!) and hopefully in autumn, head back to the caribbean, maybe even the bahamas, onto the states and if i am a very good boy, i hope a trip into the pacific, New Zealand, Asia and the likes……….the new adventure is here.
There is a down side to all of this excitement though – limited internet access to tell you of my travels.  I promise to keep you up to date as much as possible but it will not be easy.
We start later this week with a big sailing event here in Palma – The Palma Vela.  Immediately after that, we are heading to north western Itay via Tunisia.  From Portofino to Capri and after that, it is still a bit sketchy but St Tropez is a possibility before returning to Palma in August for the Copa Del Rei…….after that one , i hope we will head west across the atlantic once more.
Stay tuned

Don’t you just………

Hate it when people state the obvious to you in a way they might tell you about north koreas nuclear secrets?  What is it with these people?  Do i look so stupid?  Am i mentally challenged ?  Retarded? Forgetful ? no, so please don’t treat me as though i am.  Infact, you should go and sit in the corner with the ‘D’ hat on.  I am infact very intelligent, smart, clever, knowledgeable ( i hope i spelt that right ) and worth every cent of my obscene salary that i get paid each month, so all you shore based loosers that dont have the balls to do what i do can just go and take a dump so big that your ring piece stretches until it tears.
Now, on a lighter note, i would like to talk to you about decimilisation.  Sadly, this time , unlike my maths/math rant earlier this month, i cannot blame the yanks for this one, but please let me tell you………….
For all the good that decimilisation did ( my typing speed slowed dramatically when i typed that word), when computors came of age, it made a big mess of something.  Yes, of course i am going to explain.
You see, in europe, we have the metric system, in england you have metric and old school english ‘imperial’ for those of an age and in america (fuck yeah) they also have the imperial system but of course they have a different name for it even though they stole it off us , i think they were jealous of our nations engineering prowess!!
Now, i can very happily work in both, 13mm is around 1/2 inch – 1/8 inch is around 3.2mm and so on but, and a very big BUT you cannot mix both!!!
This week, i saw something that is as wrong as saying ‘math’ instead of ‘maths’.  On a roll of lock wire was the measurement of the wire.
Imperial – 32 thousandths of an inch but they had expressed this as follows – 0.032” – yes – the sharp eyed amongst you would have noticed the decimal point.  Now the fact that there is a decimal point suggests clearly a metric system is present………and why do they do this?
BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID !!!!!  Plain and simply, they do not know how to get the fraction keys to work on their computors – so instead, they fudge it.
Can you imagine picking up a half inch spanner and instead of seeing  ‘ 1/2 ‘  stamped on the end, you saw    0.5”   instead?  It is just wrong, plain and simple.  If you don’t agree, you are wrong too!  Keep metric and imperial separate as they should be and educate yourselves a little more.
Now, all of that out of the way – the boat was painted again today.  Tomorrow morning we can check it.  This may sound no mean feat to the uniniciated but it is so close to missing the first trip of the year – if the paint is good, we can hit the water on wednesday, if we make the water and sea trials go well, we will make the boss’s trip on the 17th.  If anything is out of line, then the boss will be unhappy – and that simply shouldnt be the case .
Authors footnote – Big shout out to Junior Gurnsey who will be getting married at the end of this year.  being organised, i have had a hotel room booked for 6 months already.  I am just wondering where in the world i will be travelling from to get there.

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