Delivery of the vessel Moana Nui – ex. Sørøy.
It's summer, July - and we are in the North Sea on the way to the other side of the world.
Outside it's 13 small degrees and inside everybody's mind, the hope is warmer latitudes.
Even though our destination is on the South hemisphere and winter now it might be a warmer climate than here.
The last 24 hours the weather has been rough with a near gale from S and SW. 25 to 35 knots.
Nothing is worse than setting to sea and have a gale the first days. Sea sickness and mechanical failures often happens the first days.
For us we had to return to Tananger already after 2 hours. The level glass on the lub oil tank is broken and with the ship’s movements
we might loose all our stores of 1000 litres.
Back in port we had to decant the saved lub oil to another tank. Tried hard to get a new special glass tube for the tank.
But, helas not possible – 3 days delivery.
Never mind we have control of the oil now and set to sea again.
Well from shore, after 5 hours - the engineer came up and informed us that the fuel oil separator and its transfer pump is dead.
Well, no more fuel separation till this is repaired.
We – a crew of 8 persons from various places on the globe continued – next port of call is Falmouth in the South West of the Channel.
Only 870 nm more to steam.
We are : Naoko from Kumamoto, Japan as cookie, Owen from Auckland, New Zealand and chief engineer, Graeme from Brisbane, Australia as
electrician and electronic expert, Ian and Leslie from the Isle of Man, Hilary ex pat from the UK , Taputu from the Cook Islands as mate
and myself from Tananger, only Norwegian on-board this little ex ferry from Hammerfest.
This afternoon, both toilets have stopped working. No water comes to the cisterns to fill them up.
Something on the waterline are not giving water. Let's see if the engineer can fix this challenge during the next hours.
Meanwhile we have to use buckets of water from the galley to flush after we have done our visits..
It's always a bliss to have contact with the outer world when one is on the sea. It's a feeling of security and to be a part of this
This morning we had a shed at 10:30 and I was so surprised to hear that we had 9 ham amateurs in Norway listening and wishing us
bon voyage. Most of these are ex sparks from the ex Norwegian commercial fleet.
For many years our fleet was the 3rd biggest in the world.
That was before they found gas and oil in the North Sea. Now the main revenue for our little country is not the shipping, nor the
fish nor wood industry but the oil. The little rural and wood forest country has been changed to a very sophisticated and specialised
society – oil and gas seems to be the main occupation directly or indirectly in the country where this little ferry of Hammerfest is
Hammerfest, once the Northernmost city in the world changes her character.
Multinational society have invaded and hunting for money.
One of them has bought most of the buses and ferries in Norway. As this little ferry from Hammerfest to all the small villages and
living communities in its vicinity as the island Sørøy and Seiland, Stjernøy and in the Altafjord was not feasible it was decide to
sell the ferry and let the small communities slowly die. No facilities to ship their fish products to the market or the have contact
with the centre town, the people have realise to move where it's possible to have a living future for their kids.
Hammerfest has become the most important town for the Barents Sea oil and gas exploration and production.
Here we are taking this umbilical from North Norway and try to attach it as a new vessel for a shipping line down under.
Between the 15 islands of the Cook Islands.
This is ship no 5 which I sail down to Taio Shipping in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Most of them have done their duty, ended up on a reef or sunk during the last 24 years.
Only the last one I took down – an ex navy torpedo fisher – is still in action. A very important vessel for the islanders.
This one should have been an easy story as the broker wrote in his report that it's really a mint ship and ready to sail off to the
end of the world.
The word mint may mean a spotless for an English speaker. But this was just a joke for us.
3 and a half months of hard work and lots of challenging surprises have now made the vessel to a seaworthy going vessel – but still
she far from mint condition.
Time is one thing but money is another.
5 mill nok has this adventure costed so far the hopeful and optimistic ship owner.
Behind him is a small island nation which struggles for survival in this modern world. Where everybody must eat bread, have a TV and
live like a citizen from an industrial country.
All the islands of the North Cooks have now been powered with solar plants from Japan. No fuel needed any-more to drive the thirsty
Next project is to power the Southern group with the same solar system and this little ferry will be a key transporter in this project.
Moana Nui ( Big Ocean) is 37 m long, a beam of 8 m. Powered with a 750 HP Mitsubishi engine marinised by Volvo Penta and spay painted
with the dark green Volvo colour.. Gives the vessel an economical cruising speed of 8 knots. In flat water and full ahead it may do 10
to 11 knots but the fuel consumption will be doubled.
She carried in Norway 12 cars and 12 passengers. Has a freezer of 9 cubm and a cooler room for fruit and veggies.
Most important is however the crane of 8 tons swl.
To run the crane we have 2 Perkins diesel engines each of 45 kWA. 3 phased 230 VAC. Another Norwegian speciality. I think in Europe
it's only Albania having the same electrical specifications.
She has passed her 50th birthday. In 1966/67 they know how to build strong and long lasting vessels in Leivik in Sognefjorden.
Today it's the 16 of July.
We hear in the radio that Turkey has had quite an eventful day.
But that is very far from us struggling ahead in the SW force 6 winds. Some crew is sea sick and no way to escape. Normally it takes 2 – 3 days before the body has been used to the new movements.
The wave white horses runs in rows with the bird “havhesten” (sea horse in Norwegian) just skim over the wave top with a few cm between the breakers and their sturdy wings. I have never seen a bird involuntarily crash into a wave.
The sun is out and warms up our little vessel. Dinner is postponed till tomorrow. We all struggle to keep what we have inside. The only hope now is to see a smoothed sea and no wind..
wishful thinking but not impossible..
During the evening watch this afternoon, the weather improved. Wind only 12 knots from SW direction. Radio shed at 22:30 with many of our ham friends on the air.
Also managed to set up the Pactor winlink connection was a menu to be used not showing on the menus but to a hidden place on the line..
After the watch the engineer came with bad news from the basement. He reckons that the cooling liquid for the M/E is mixed either with salt water or oil. The liquid has a froth on the surface and it's mixed with another product as it's not transparent as before.
Not much we can do here in the North Sea before we reach England.
The option is of a port of call in East Anglia to anchor and check out the situation before we continued our planned delivery voyage.
So let's see how this develops during the night.
At least the weather forecast is good and we should take this to our favour.
Sunday 17 of July.
Long night sleep of nearly 6 hours. Feeling ready to meet new challenges to-day. Hopefully not to difficult. He, he..
During the morning watch it became clear that we have to look closer why the volume of the coolant water rises and bubbles.
Decided to steam for the port of Lowestoft and anchor outside to find out more what might be the cause for this abnormality.
The weather is beautiful with a slight wind of 15 knots from the South.
Sun shine and 15 degrees now. Nearly summer temperature.
Arranged with the Humber Coastguard to take contact with Lowestoft harbour when we're closer and they'll certainly advise us to a nice anchorage.
We expect to anchor at 17:00 this afternoon. Most likely the coolant will start to overflow when we slide in for anchorage. In such a case it'll be just in time for a pit stop.
Now it's time to concentrate to make the toilets to work again. The engineer is in full charge to find out how to restore life in the old toilets.
The water coming to the toilets is very brown and murky for a reason we do not understand. Same with the water filters to water maker. There is another water inlet for this machine, but still the first filter is brown and very heavy.
Perhaps the Sea water is so polluted in this part of the world ?
Well, life is learning and every day we get wiser..
Let go the stb anchor at 17:10 Norwegian time. 2 shackles out.
Flogged the clock one hour to BST. (British Standard time)
During the evening we learned that most likely we'll need a proper lab test of the coolant to determine what is the situation with our engine.
Well the plan is to continue the voyage to Falmouth tomorrow morning. We'll get up before the roosters and steam on.
Monday 18 July.
Woke up 15 min before 4 in the morning. Daylight was just coming. Very beautiful morning.
The sea was glossy like a mirror and when we aweighed the anchor it was like steaming in a milk pond.
Through the VTS separation zone called sunk.
Our course passed 2 huge energy maritime wind mill farms.
We were just told that it's forbidden for all vessels to come closer than 2 nm. I had just heard a story that a little sailing boat cam closer under sail and they got fined to have stolen wind from the wind mills. Apparently less wind pressure for the wind blades. The poor yachtsman got a fine of 500 £ as he had intruded into a No Sail Zone.
At 13:00 we passed the white cliffs of Dover. Hazy and not a good sight. At one stage we had 6 ferries crossing the Channel around us. Less normal vessels than last time we passed in May.
The Dover straight is still only 21 nm across.
Most important is that the M/E perform ever so sweet, no bobbles nor froth – yet ..
Perhaps it comes only when the ship is rolling and puffing into the sea waves ?
Had dinner after my watch and now it's going to be a nice beauty-sleep for one or two hours.
Sleeping times goes so fast sometimes when one is tired..
Woke up to the living creatures and had a nice warm shower to wake up.
The weather is just fantastic, smooth sea and only the tide ripple which we are now heading into for the next hours. Speed is dropping to 7,5 knots but who cares as long as the M/E performs its best..
At 20:45 we passed the Meridian. But no champagne and no party. It was so fast and we didn't even see the 00,00.. Now we're on the West side and will go further and further west as we progress towards our destination in the SW Pacific.
This line was lonely disputed around the world. The Spanish had Hierro in the Canarias as the 0 line. The French had Paris (of course) and the Norwegians had Oslo / Christiania. We can still see on Norwegian Southern part charts from the 1980 both medians are written.
However, it was the Britts who won the competition and IMO annected it around 1880 if I remember well my history story.
On the other side all nations agreed very early upon that the circle around Equator has 360 deg. And that 1 deg has 60 minutes. 1 min on Equator is 1 nm.
When we take the circumference divided with 360 and divided again with 60 we get a distance of 1852 m for a nm. Easy and everybody agreed.. Not bad in pre-internet times.
Evening watch was smooth as the sea. Had a good connection on the ham radio system with Norway stations on 5347.
Got telephone number to a lab in Falmouth which may have the equipment to analyse our coolant if there is any significant abnormalities with our little M/E.
Ham operators have lots of contacts world wide..
Now, it's pitch dark at nights and the darkness is more than 6 hours long. Temperature is 14 deg this evening and the glass shows 1020 hPa. With other words a perfect night ahead..
The wind and weather were stable this night and we advanced with 7,5 knots against the tidal current and 12 knots with a following.
During the morning watch, sun shine. The thermometer was nicely exposed to the sun and we read 26 deg. Well, one day in not so far we'll have this temperature in the shade as well..
We used to say sail South till the butter melts on the steel deck then weer West. After a week or so you're in Caribbean. Not too far from the truth I suppose.
Our ETA Falmouth is set to 18:00 this afternoon. This might be just after office hours, so our country clearance might not be done before tomorrow morning.
The weather is fabulous with a slight E wind, force 3. Sunshine.
The plan is to see the Volvo Penta dealer tomorrow and let them organise a coolant sample test.
There are still small bubbles in the see-through-glass, but no froth as the other day when it was rough sea.
The Alpha Laval fuel oil separator has now been dismantled to bits. A small X drive has been worn out from years of use. We really need to buy a new one to be able to have a fuel oil separator operational, but could such be found in the little town of Falmouth ?
Our mechanic has a temporary repair plan that might work. We'll see when he has implanted the repair idea...
For lunch we had spaghetti screws and pasta with lots of veggies. Meat paste sauce and veggies for the carnivorous onboard..
As for myself I do not appreciate too much to eat two hot meals a day. I love simple food during the day and a nice dinner towards the end of the day.
On the tall ship Sørlandet where I worked for 7 years our captain introduced the life onboard for the new comers – that here on this vessel we have lovely food.
During the first days you are here we have 6 hot meals a day.
Everybody were amazed and surprised.
Then the captain continued : 3 down and 3 up !
The trumpets are over there - and pointed over where it was appropriate to feed the crabs.
Nice memory from a period in my 40'ies..
At 18:00 we glided slowly into the port of Falmouth. Our little vessel arrived in a big flotilla with sailing boats in a regatta I suppose. Only one of them had to give way for us.
Guess they were swearing afterwards..
In beforehand we had arranged with the port to use the Caldy mooring buoy. Attached the stern to the buoy and now we're swing with all the other sailing boats around us. All this expensive plastic only a few meter from us.
Let's hope the moorings hold.
When we had moored we had a lovely dinner followed with scones and raisins. Really British food.
The weather is calm and humid. Had a little shower when we arrived but not much water in it.
The Cook Islands flag together with the Q-flag is up. Declaration into the country will be tomorrow morning at the harbour office. Total distance Tananger – Falmouth : 764 nm.
Wednesday 20 July
It was raining this morning and wind from the West- force 4. But we hang safely with the stern to the mooring buoy..
After a short breakfast lowered the MOB boat. Started and drove around the vessel. Towed up on the port side aft where we have a little port door in the gunnel.
When I came back with survival jacket and the bag of papers and passports the outboard engine had stopped. Never to start again.
The story ended up with swinging the mob onto the aft deck and right now the mechanics are working on it, like surgeons working to get life into a dead body.
We can read that miracles have happened before and perhaps it'll happen again !
Found lots of fuel in cyl 3 and some water in the air filter unit. But still no life..
Spark plugs, coils and plug cables are brand new.
A guess is now that the engagement solenoid should be replaced as it doesn't free the engine.
The harbour office took it very calmly that we are not coming straight away into the office due to this challenge.
The Volvo Penta people can not come on the vessel before 15:00 when we have high tide, as they are stuck on the mud right now. So I guess another day of waiting.
Some crew are moaning because no more milk on the ship and we're out of English cheap blended tea.
We have only Earl Grey, Green teas and fruit teas left.
Well, it's always good to have some excuse to make life miserable. He, he.
Suddenly no more light in my section of the vessel. The fuse is tripping without any warning.
The poor electrician checks everywhere where the tripping challenge might be. Right now he's walking around like a question mark. But never gives up. The hidden rabbit must be hidden somewhere onboard. I guess it's only a time question before he finds the cause.
Light is back but the cause isn't found. Suddenly the fuse didn't trip any more. Guess the rabbit flew away..
But he came back some hours later. No more light in the captain's and mate's cabin.
Ended up to take a water taxi into the town with 4 of the crew. Up to the harbour office for the in declaration. But new regulation, no more stamping the passport nor check last port of call nor the vessel's documents. Absolutely nothing from us. New Border Control regulation...
Well, couldn't be easier. We walked happily into the town.
I returned at 15:00 to meet the representative from the Volvo Penta. When I arrived he had already done his checks and nothing was found. They had decided to change the coolant in the engine system. But not such quantity was available in this region of England. We'll get it on a special order on Friday.
Got the new part solenoid for the outboard Mariner 60 engine. It started and stopped. Not very happy engine.
Decided to take it to a service tomorrow and see if the specialist could get some life into this old banger from 2001.
To be transported to and from the city we have to pay 90£ sterling for 5 return trips.. This money could have been saved if the outboard did behave..
Went on the internet but the connection is too slow to get anything. I guess it's the roaming which slows down the speed. Will try to buy another UK simcard tomorrow and have faster connection, to be able to pay the bills and similar where speed is required..
Before 17:00 the 2 engineer went onshore and now it's only me and the mate left onboard.
Wind is strong from the West and I'm so happy to be here and not in the Bay of Biscaya.
Hopefully on Saturday when we plan to leave it has finished to blow and we have the after blown calm to cross this famous ocean stretch..
Thursday 21 July
Calm and a beautiful sunrise this morning. The sky covered over during the early morning hours.
At 06:00 the full shit tank alarm started to bell. I heard the 2nd engineer run to switch on the pump to empty the tank. 15 min later it was empty and the calm came over the ship again.
However, most of the crew were up and about preparing for a new day in Falmouth.
It's always interesting to see how an unused day develops. What kind of happiness it gives and what kind of challenges.
At 09:00 sharp the Falmouth Yacht Brokers came and picked up our MOB boat for service. Towed it away and hopefully it comes back as new !
15 min later the food shopping gang onshore with 400 £ in their pockets. It's going to be interesting to see if they can get all what was on their food shopping list.
Finished transferring fuel from the garage. The lower cargo-room are now full with 61 containers with fuel. In one tank there was about 25 litres with sludge fuel which was of course separated away. Some of the tanks not 100% cleaned and dried before fuelled up.
Totally we have now used 9500 litres since we fuelled up in Kristiansund. 128 hrs. steaming and 2 weeks with generator in Tananger non stop. It seems the main engine is very economical to run.
Found the reason why blowing hot air into the ventilation system. There are electrical heaters connected well hidden behind a panel. Our electrical engineer disconnected and demobilised all those heaters. So now hopefully we'll have only cool air into the ship and not hot air..
see the pictures enclosed.
At 12:30 the engineers escaped to shore to do ship's business and personal things.
Around 16:00 the food lifters arrived back with the taxi boat full of food. I think I counted 23 cartons.. Amazing what one can get for 515 £ about 5300 nok.
It took us quite a time to sort and store this away, Dinner was English style. Baked potato, beans in red tomato sauce, steamed green beans and grated white cheese. And a curried tuna fish.
A funny mix but the crew recognised it and lots of humming and contentments.
19:40 the engineers back again with the latest news.
3 main issues with the MOB boat. Switch key had to be changed. The new steering and engine cable we bought in Norway didn't fit. Something wrong with the bottom carburettor that need some repairs,
No spares collected to-day because the shops closed early but they know now where to get the parts from. Apparently the 80 litres of Volvo coolant will arrive tomorrow at 11:00.
Not possible to find spares for the Volvo Penta in the UK. They say that the parts are in Sweden and the Swedish say that it's a Mitsubishi engine so spares have to come from Japan.
With other words, nobody wants to sit with a dead capital of spares that might or might not be sold.
In my humble opinion it would be the best to find a second hand engine like this one and use it as for immediate available spares.
Perhaps use our direct Japanese connection to find an engine.. In life money talks of course but also a lot depends of who you know..
The day comes to and end. Galley slave is on her last clean up and will soon come into my cabin.
well, it has not been a Friday the 13th but it feels a bit like that.
In the morning at 9 we all of the crew left the ship and were taken ashore with the water taxi boat.
The engineers and me took a taxi to the work repair shop. Bad news. Not possible to get the 60 litres Volvo coolant before Tuesday. Well, stuff it. We'll continue without changing coolant.
Concerning the Mariner outboard same song – Tuesday next week for spare parts. OK, we'll take it with the repairs done and that's it. It was launched back to the river immediately as the tide was falling fast now. Drove it back to the Moana during a strong shower. Changed clothes and back to the marina close to the town. We met up in a restaurant and had lunch. Back to pick up some parts for the Perkins which had arrived at the harbour office.
Taputu, our CI crew wanted to go back to the ship and I drove him back. Then we met up in the maritime museum where it was an exhibition about the Vikings – and specially in this area of the world. Gee, seems that my ancestors pillage, plundering and rape started very early.. Good to know that I'm not the first Norwegian here.. However, we feel a bit plundered and raped by the workshop which charged more than 7.000 nok for their service.. But it's just to pay with a blunt smile and be happy for the assistance..
This evening one of the generator suddenly stopped. A little later it started up again. Seems that there must be something onboard who wants to play with us.. Who knows.
The radio QSO had very good modulation to-night. So much better than yesterday's.
Quite a lot of amateurs around the South and West coast are interested to hear about our progression.
Most of them are old sparks who want to revive their youth memories and assist us with anything when and if we need. So good for us to know that we have a strong body of helpers in the back ground.
Well, soon 8 glass and time to hit the bunk.
We have the bell on-board but we do not practise to sound the glass every half hour.
Saturday 23 July.
Everybody up at 05:30. After a cup of tea the engines are cranking up and soon we're ready to leave Falmouth.
A little pin the shackle got stuck and it took 15 min to get it out. Amazing how such a small object can stop a movement.
Sky covered with low clouds when we're steaming out of the port. Several tankers are anchored outside the port. In fact we met many empty tankers anchored or just lying waiting for cargo during our morning watch. Even long way to sea they are just scattered around and waiting for orders as the AIS messages say.
Tried the RMS Express program and got it up and working. Not fabulously but it works steadily with the Pactor modem. Sometimes at 200 bps and sometimes a bit faster.
For lunch there was a full dinner with roasted veggies and potatoes + a huge chicken.
Personally I prefer a slice of bread and some brown cheese. He, he..
Had just gone to sleep in my little afternoon nap when the electrician knocked on my cabin door.
GPS compass not working any more. And no signals from the magnetic compass either.
I dug out an old GPS compass, but that's no good as I was told that the inter-phase unit doesn't work. Apparently it had been faulty since we left the ship-yard in Norway.
Digging further in my little larder I found a magnetic compass which they'll try to fit as a secondary unit.
Well, a working compass is the most important instrument we have on a ship.
I can't understand why a relatively new compass packed up. I must be a reason or are those GPS compasses very fragile ?
This vessel is full of hidden surprises. But one day hopefully, we'll get on top of it as the story continues.. For sure with an electrician wizard as we have in our crew team, we ready to meet lots of challenges.
At 14:30 we're on the way again. The magnetic compass rigged up close to the floor and cabled to to Robertson AP-9 autopilot. As the GPS compass has a magnetic reference it started to work again.. After having done a complete set up of re-programming..
Well, I do not understand all this but it works.
Well, let's hope this system will last all the distance to the Cook Islands.
Evening QSO was very clear for many of the stations. Best ones as always are LA3ZH and LA5ZO in the North Sea. Nice time to be able to speak Norwegian again, as onboard the lingo is English.
Seems to be a full moon to-night or just a night after the full moon. climbing up from the horizon just before midnight.
Sunday 24 July.
Another day goes towards its end.
We are in the middle of the famous Bay of Biscaya. Slight sea winds from the W direction force 3, about 12 to 18 kts. The vessel is just bobbing comfortably in her crossing.
1022 hPa on the glass and 17 deg on the thermometer.
The days are getting shorter and the nights longer now.
Of course there has been some unexpected to-day as well. During the morning watch about 10 o'clock the look-out knocked the end of the binoculars slightly into the throttle handle.
The engine and the crew reacted immediately.
Very quickly the rev was set down again to the normal 1100 rpm. One minute later a crew member arrived on the bridge to find out what's going on..
Sent off some e-mails this morning. Difficult to find a winlink station which could read our call.
Ended up with a Swiss station.
A little later during the same watch we suddenly lost the power from the rudder engine.
It turned out it was the engineers spanner in his back pocket which got hooked onto the switch on the main electrical board..
For lunch a full dinner meal. A huge tray of roast potatoes, celery and cauliflower in a white melted cheese sauce.
Served with plain heated green peas.
This was eaten with a HP and a Worcester sauce on a plate where everything was mixed together.
Must be a special English dish.
Well, this is what the crew like and the cook she works only on their instruction now.
Very easy she says, because no need to plan dinners. She just prepares as she's told and shown how they want it to be done.
At 16:00 we let the general alarm go. Had a session of abandon ship with all the crew.
Try to set up a system what to do in such emergency and what to take with us onboard the raft, in case the vessel sinks under us.
Started the new AC (air con unit) Under the vent pipes it's so cold that nobody want to sit there any more. It works like a beauty.
This dinner is with scrambled eggs with fried bacon.
I had a little bit of the eggs and some special smoked salmon in cognac and geniver. However, I'm the only one who likes this kind of smoked salmon.. Well, more for me.
I ended up the meal with a beautiful French Camembert and a slice of bread. Only missing a French full bodied red wine.
Still the nice slight sea and a wee little breeze - now wearing from W to a NW direction..
Hopefully a beautiful night in front of us..
The shed last night was very interesting. We continued with the 60m band on 5347 and then for a try went up to the 20m band at 14328.
Gee, what a difference. Even small stations with only a little long wire came through with their message and comments.
Now we know all the weather situation in the South and West of Norway. He, he.
Even though the radio condition was favourable it was impossible to get through on the winlink stations. I tried more than 10 of them on different frequencies, but in vain.
But the Sail Mail station got hooked up immediately and messages sent out. So good to have a back up possibility in such cases.
Monday 25 July
Another grey morning. It got light around 06:15 LT. The sky was very red this morning. What is the word saying : Red sky in the morning – sailors warning. Red sky at night - sailors delight.
With other words we just have to wait and see what comes from the surprise box during the day.
During the day the winds got up from the NE and in the afternoon lots of white horses around us, breaking and white strikes in the same direction as we're steaming now. So good to be in the following seas and not beating against..
Very difficult to obtain a station on the winlink system. After several times I got an answer from the agent in La Palma. Impossible to supply us with fuel and advice us to contact their agency in Tenerife for refuelling. Answered, but then the only way to get through was with the Sail Mail system.
Now it's just to wait and see what they say.
In worst case we could wait till in the Caribbean and refuel there.
Dug out the sextant from the transport box. Did a few sun trials when the sun was visible and it worked well. It was however so dusty so I cleaned the mirror and the glass very slightly. But something must have happened because now impossible to bring the sun down again. Well, we only see one sun and not two which is normal - when one bring down the astronomical object.
I'm sure I didn’t move the mirror nor the glass, but never-the-less impossible to find and bring down the sun to the horizon.
I wonder if half of the glass reflecting film was taken off. I can not see a dividing line on the glass.
I have no idea how to get it on again.. But that must be possible as the instrument is moving as it should do..
For lunch there was a full meal. Pork pies in brown sauce with carottes green beans and pommes frites. The crew really enjoyed this food and it was devoured fastely with lots of smiles and contentment.
Good job from some of the crew to help the cookie to produce this very special British dinner which we had never seen before.
Personally I like better my slice of bread with some mackerel and a left over green salad from yesterday. He, he – we are all different..
The wind gets stronger during the afternoon and towards the 20:00 watch we have 35 knots tail winds. The waves build up and keeps the aft deck wet all the time.
The met prognosis is that this situation will last us for the next 48 hrs. due to a very strong High pressure over the Azores.
Just watching the waves moving the aft of the vessel from a course swing of 10 to 12 deg from one side to the other. It must be quite a strain on the autopilot to keep up with the movements. I'd better to increase the parameters on the autopilot on higher sea/ weather condition.
Latest from the sextant. It works well now but one has to have a strong filter for the sun and no filter for the horizon. I wonder if it has been like this all the time, but we as users, didn't use it properly..
Supper was fish and veggies fried in a batter called tempura. Apparently a Japanese way to stir fry food. Fried were : fish, kumara (sweet potato), onions, carottes and potatoes.
Nice taste but hard to digest.
I finished the meal with a plain “knekkebrød” with a little of mackerel in tomato sauce spread on it.
Wind force 7 from behind. White crests everywhere and their foam strikes in the same direction as we move. If this vessel was a square sailor, we should have been skimming along with fore-course and topsails on the fore mast and on the main mast only the main course and nothing on the mizzen mast. Outer jib just to straighten her back on course.
Well, the time of sail is finished and we have the iron sail well placed in the cellar.
The fuel consumption is very moderate towards these weather conditions. Less than 1500 litres a day for sure. The measurements will be done upon arrival Canarias. My guess is about 1300 litres for the main engine + a generator which has to run all the time as we have no shaft generator in this vessel.
Last night's QSO showed that many interested ham operator want to follow us during every evening shed. I'm just amazed to find out that some stations have very powerful transmitters of up to 900 W, with beaming antennas. With most radio condition they'll follow us all the way around the world I suppose.
Tuesday 26 July.
Same very strong tail wind. We're getting used to the vessel's movements now and it's quite a comfortable ride.
Light came at 06:20 today. The sun is later and later these days as we struggle further South.
The late morning watch of 4 hours went fast and soon it was time to have a bite. The cookie had made a big Japanese curry with fresh boiled rice.
For the first time the TV video films was on and many of the crew ate outside the mess room. Not interested to see and sit in all this violence and noisy films scene whilst eating. It seems for me that these kind of film media is as addictive as chocolate, tobacco, etc. Like a modern drug.
This is the first ship delivery I do with a huge TV screen. Well, since it was switch on it has become an escape from reality. Before the crew was reading or playing cards or just talking. But now there is no social life as before. No talking just staring into a flat screen.
A bit like when one goes into a bus or any common transportation, when the travellers all are steering into their little smart phones..
Where is this world going to ?
The strength of humanity has always been that we work and act together.
One by one we are weak but together we make a strong unit.
Still wind of force 7 or more. The enraged waves crushes behind and this little vessel been ejected into wave after wave.
It must be a big strain on the propulsion system, the rudder and the auto pilot steering. It seems the alignment work in the ship yard was done well, otherwise we would have started to have stern tube leaks, etc.
For us it is clear that the construction of this vessel has been done very well. In this kind of swell where the waves are about 2 height of a man, say 4 m roughly, the stern of the vessel bobs up the right time and not one wave cruses into the aft deck.
Most of the water on the deck comes from the scabbard hatches we opened before departure. Well the water runs out easily from them as well.
Perhaps that was the reason why they were welded when she was operational in Norway..
The sky is grey and we haven't seen a ray of sunshine since yesterday when the sun peeped out for an hour or two. But it isn't raining like I heard it was doing in Bergen yesterday..
Temperature is 17 deg. No need to say that's in the shade, he, he
Right now we're West of Lisbon, about 60 nm from the coast. Course is South and hopefully when we leave the Iberian Peninsular the weather might change. To calmer and warmer climate.
This morning had a new message from the agent in La Palma, telling us that he has sent the info of our arrival to his colleges in Tenerife. Concerning fees. If we decide to come to Palma afterwards we have to pay harbour and arrival fees again. They have the same tariffs as on Tenerife. However, he didn't say anything of the prices nor was there a message from his college about our eventual arrival.
Message from the engine compartment that now we have burned 15.000 litres since we left Kristiansund the 27th of June. Having generators running all the time.
Our speed the last 24 hours have been around the 9 knots. Last night they logged 10,8 for a while.
218 nm the last 24 hours is a very good run with only 1100 rpm and 80% pitch. I.e. about 70 % of the M/E's capacity.
Our daily Fresh Water consumption is about 500 – 700 litres a day. Depends how many washing there are in the washing machine. Some days it goes nearly all the time. Amazing how much dirty washing there is on this ship. I've never seen the like..
The shower works well, but it still take several minutes before we get warm water in the shower.
We I'm in the shower and watch out of the white sea, it's a bit amazing to think that only 3 months ago it was so cold that we couldn't keep the shower window open. A few morning we had all white decks..
Only a few degrees from 0 to 17 makes such a big difference of how we feel, act and eat. Wonder how it'll be when we have temperatures over the 20 or perhaps 25. Will everybody cope or will they sit under the AC to cool down. Half of the crew is already running around in shorts and t-shirts now. Whilst myself still having 3 layers of clothes. But no socks any-more ! He, he.. In fact I bought a new pair of good leather mountain track sandals in Falmouth.. Prepared for the warmer climate..
Evening QSO on 14328.
Very good radio conditions. Some new ones.
Some with very poweful transceivers and beam antennas break through as it was VHF signals.
But sometimes even those with the less powerful but good antennas come through to us in this position.
Wednesday 27 July.
Sky still covered, no sun and the same strong wind from NNW-7 to 6 during the night. The small vessel runs through the waves like a small dolphin. And we are in it waiting for new adventures.
During the morning watch the wind got less harsh and is now down to force 5, but still the same deep following seas.
We met one heading the opposite direction than us. A research vessel with a Vanautu flag registration. She was struggling with 4 knots. Digging her bow into the waves and coming up again full of water running off to each side. 57M long and fitted with a kind of tower midships. The info we got from AIS said : dredger.
Glad we are not onboard there. Must be very uncomfortable.
Had an e-mail on the Pactor system from a agent in Tenerife. To be able to have Tenerife as a port of call will cost us about 1075 €. But they need to have the money on their account 3 days prior to our arrival and we must bring with us a bank copy of the transfer.
I guess they have been screwed so many times before of running away ships. Together with Bergen bunkers we try now to arrange refuelling without going to shore. Done with a bunkers boat.
We only need 12.000 litres of marine gas oil !
A little more is the need to buy 10” cotton filters, 20 micron and 5 micron, for the water maker. Not possible to find any in the Falmouth surroundings. All kinds of these filters are done now from Net orders. Not one shops sits with filters on stock these days..
Well, we learned something here to be remembered. The world has changed.
Changed has also the port of call facilities in the Canarias, where they require ISPS certification. We are just a little tub in a caste ocean and have no such certificate. No sure even how to obtain those kind of clearances. Even impossible to get a harbour master clearance report from Falmouth. They do not issue such documentation any more the harbour office said. New regulation since March this year by the Government Border Force establishment system.
I have now asked permission to anchor outside the Santa Cruz port of Tenerife and send our little rubber boat onshore with hard copies of the vessel's papers. Let's see what they say.
Nothing should be taken for granted.
Perhaps do as Columbus, anchor at the South shores of Gomera, baya los reyes , and enter the shore from here. But then no filters for the water maker here I suppose.
Well, let's see what the answer is from the Tenerife agent.
Our ETA is Saturday morning.
Noon position was N 36*12' W 11* 01' speed 8 knots and COG was 204*
With the current and the wind we cover now between 36 to 40 nm during each watch. Last 24 hours 218 nm. I think to remember it was about 550 nm left to Tenerife at noon. That will take us in early Saturday morning.
For lunch it was a lamb steak.
The entire galley was smelling so strongly from the sheep meat.. Nearly feeling sea sick when I passed.
I understand why the Swedish people do not eat lamb meat. It really stink. The cookie says it takes 2 days of hard washing before the smell is gone.
But the crew loved it with fried potatoes and veggies.
Better with horse meat I said because that doesn't stink like this.
But the answer was : we do not eat horses, we ride them. He, he society differences and habits. In China they love dog meat and Peking Duck. I have been told that the peking duck isn't a duck at all. Perhaps an old sea gull..
In the Comoros which is a Muslim society, they love goat meat. Really tough and smelly in my humble opinion.
To be a carnivorous person or not to be is perhaps the question.
Personally I prefer a simple cold lunch and for evening a warm dinner : nice steamed veggies and a good salad. With a slice or two of spelt bread.
Yeah, we are all different.
To have a happy crew there are so many factors that are involved, but the feed is so important. May the crew eat what they like and then happiness follows slowly behind.
Salary is a second well being for the crew.
To feel con-tempted with ones salary I also an important well being feeling factor on a ship, I think.
Thirdly is the watches we do, the buddy we have during the watch and the time of the day and night.
On this vessel we are very fortunate to have a 4-8 watch system on the bridge. That means 4 hours on watch and then 8 hours off between each watch.
The engineers have 6 on and 6 off. But they seems to shift following what they feel for. They do their engine round once an hours. Refuel when it's needed. Making FW every so often. Small jobs here and there. Even painting in the engine room. The engineers' jobs are the most important for our safe progression and arrival..
A Japanese car carrier just passed 1 nm behind us. Talked to the vessel, but no Japanese onboard. Filipino crew with Russian officers. Bound for Jackson in the USA with a load of cars from Spain.
QSO this evening on14328. We talked about the prearrangement to take fuel in Tenerife, eventual with a barge if they allow us to anchor outside the port. Also how to get more filters for the water maker as we seem to run very short in a few days.
I sent e-mails to the sellers of those filters in Spain and France to be able to find out where we could more supplements. If the sea is dirty these filters get clogged up very quickly.
Had a follower vessel at 3 nm behind on the port quarter. During the hours he seems to be hauling closer to us. At midnight he was only 2,8 nm away from us.
Thursday 28 July.
Longer nights now. Got light around 07:00 this morning at BST time (British Summer time).
The wind is still persisting from a NNW direction, but has mellowed to force 4 now. However, we still have the “old waves” from behind. The vessel is heeling more over from side to side as it isn't directly down wind any more. With these movements seems to be a little more bubbles generated in the coolant see-glass. It could be that the previous frothing is related to the vessel's movements.
Another theory is it comes from the thermostat aperture. Well, we have all kinds of speculations. I guess there is some truth in all of them.
Got a nice message from the potential agent this morning..
Message ID: NVDHG0RD54G3
Date: 2016/07/28 08:50
Subject: RE: //WL2K Re: WL2K MOANA NUI TENERIFE PRE ARRIVAL DOCUMENTS
Dear Capt. Magne Risa good morning,
Regrettably we couldn't assist your good ship during your intended call at Tenerife for refueling because as mentioned in our earlier email our Company's policy obliges us to receive the funds to cover any cost involved in our Bank account in advance to ship's call , moreover if fuel supply is involved, therefore we regret but we have to decline the attendance of your good ship.
Á. Pérez y Cía., S. L.
René Verstraete Biscayar (Mr.)
A. Pérez y Cía., S. L.
Rambla de Santa Cruz, 155,
Edificio Patty bajo,
38001 Santa Cruz de Tenerife
NUEVO/NEW EMAIL: email@example.com (Siempre responder a este email /Always reply to this email)
Direct phone number: + 34 922 165160
Móvil/Mobile: + 34 619 219 940 (A. O. H.)
Well, money talks all over the world. Some places more than others..
At Noon our position was N 32*53' W 12*23' speed is 9,1 knots and the course is 218*
Last 24 hrs. we have done 210 nm.. It seems that our normal runs are all 200 nm and above in
normal weather condition.
Weather wise the sea has mellowed. Only the odd breakers now and the wind is warm. The termometre shows 23 deg in the shade . Still low clouds hanging over us but the sun tries to peep out now.
For lunch to-day was a British Cottage pai. Mashed potatoes with mints-meat mixed with veggies in a brown sauce.
One of our crew made it and our cookie noted down eagerly how to make this dish.
So many new receipies she has never heard about before. Doing her best and try to learn quickly as possible to please the crew.
Part of the afternoon was passed to fill in and write arrival forms. In Falmouth they didn't want to see any forms nor to stamp any passports. It'll be interesting to see the procedures on this island – if there are any.
We know now that agent isn't possible. I have to try to do it myself on a Saturday morning. Perhaps an easy day to declare into the country. Who knows.
The evening QSO on our frequency 14328 was good last night. Many listen in the back ground and those with more sophisticated and powerful units – went through like a dream. Easy to talk when we have radio conditions like this.
A little bit less wind, force 4 - now but still the same moderate sea.
Friday 29 July.
To-day is Olavssøkja in the Ferroe Islands, their national holiday. Celebrated with rowing competitions in Tórshavn and drinking parties. Happy people everywhere.
That's how I remember the “Land of May Be” as the Britts called it during the last WW. No definite as the English see the world and living, but here everything is “kanska” = may be. An English writer called it the land of may be in on journal he did during the war when he lived there.
May they have a wonderful day.
For many years ago I met a little steel sailing boat called Salka Valka from Eustrey, Ferroe Islands.
Our meeting was in Rarotonga. Here in this port, the lady skipper met a Norwegian skipper from another sailing boat from Egersund. They mated and a little girl named Freya was born in New Zealand 9 months later.
4 years ago I met that little girl, who is a grown up now, in a little mountain village near Grenada in Spain. The world is just amazing and not so big as one thinks..
Life-wakes can cross on the most unexpected and surprising spot.
Now we are approaching the Canary islands. The name comes originally from Latin and mean canis = dog. Apparently the first sea farers who set their feet on the islands met a lot of dogs cobbles, hence the name the Dog Islands.
At noon we were in a pos of N 29*41' W 014*34' our cog is 222 and speed is 8,7 knots.
We have to slow down as the plan is to arrive in the morning about 08:00.
So far no mob telephone nor VHF connection to tell the Traffic Control or the port of our arrival.
Have to have patience there...
Lunch to-day was an omelette – tortilla style – with lots eggs and veggies & spices inside
At 15:00 we slowed down the speed towards 5 knots. To be able to have a morning arrival.
In general I do not like to arrive a foreign port in the dark. Better to have patience and pace in slowly under day light conditions.
Coming to a new port is always exiting and frightening at the same time. One never knows what to expect of the bureaucratic corps. At sea it's different. One can predict from the barometer, the clouds and wind direction + good weather forecasts. But a port there is no prediction at all. Most of the time it's a smooth forward forms of papers and passports, etc.
I've been arrested a few times. Kept in interrogation for many hours as we had a cement cargo onboard. Nobody brought cement this way.
Or promised prison for a longer time if we don't pay VAT for the cargo ship and the stores we have used to come to their country. The agent was arrested to have given us false papers, etc.
Or chased out / had to leave the port during the next 30 min before it was dark...
One time in an official court I was given a fine of equivalent of 50.000 nok.
The crime was to have anchored in a bay and only contacted the harbour authorities and not the customs office. The harbour office said that it wasn't needed to go to the immigration nor the customs.
In the court I said sorry Sir, but I do not have that kind of money.
After some conference them together they came back and smiled. Fine is halved to only 25.000 nok.
Sorry to say Sir, but I do not have this amount either. We're on a budget and ship owners have not trusted me so much money.
The judge was quick and took the parole. How much cash to you have in the ship ?
I said 10.000 nok. Then he knocked the little wooden hammer into the table.
Fined 10.000 nok. Pay and we let you go.
They gave me a nice official receipt when I paid them all the cash onboard.
What can be expected in Tenerife ?
Last time we called in to this port it was “Sweet-As” as they say in New Zealand concerning clearances and official papers.
The challenge was to expatriate (send home) the mate as he could not stop drinking. Pissed as a nute from morning to night. Needed firstly a Schengen visa and then one way air plane ticket from Gran Canaria.
Our plan is to get 12.000 litres with fuel, buy 2 cartons of water filters and buy some food for the next leg to the Caribbean.
Easy an straight forward. Hope to leave early Monday morning.
The QSO this evening was clear from the powerful transmitters in Norway.
Recap about weather prognosis and long range into Thursday next week.
We used the 14328 band on the shed time which is 21:30 BST or 20:30 UTC.
Just over midnight we had contact with Tenerife Trafico on VHF ch 15.
It was stated clearly that not possible to enter Spanish waters unless we have an agent. No anchorage permitted. Stay away from the coast with 12 nm.
Told them about our experience with the agent refusal unless money on their account 3 days before arrival. The answer was clear : we have many agents in Tenerife.
You have to steam in a NW direction now to be able to follow the S bound Western separation line.
For those of you who follow us on the AIS you can see that this was nearly a 90 deg course change.
Course was changed and the rolly poly started. Waves on our beam. She rolls as any other vessel.
Most of the crew was out of their bunks and trying to compensate with this rolling.
Kept the speed low till we get closer to obtain telephone / internet contact
At 04:30 we have internet connection.
Managed to screen information from the net and contacted by telephone an agent at 05:00 - called Tenerife Offshore Agents. Mr Terry was so helpful and calm. Not the first time he has assisted an ad hoc vessel into port.
To be able to proceed he needed an e-mail from us with crew list, ship's particulars and insurance document.
Nothing easier than that. E-mail sent and soon after the Tenerife Trafico called us on ch 15 to verify that had got the message from our new appointed agent.
New course made and heading for the Santa Cruz Marina . Port control came in and wanted to know when we were one hour from the entrance.
HW Tenerife : 11:02 today. Wind got up and blowing hard now. Force 7 from a NE direction.
She rolls uncomfortably again.
Agent will meet as soon we are in the port.
So nice to enter calm water. We moved along the inside of the long commercial dock towards the pleasure yacht marina.
As I was going to the wharf a call on the VHF. Go further in around the pontoon.
Gee, not easy with this ship and no bow thruster. A proper slalom to wiggle in.
One main problem is that I can not see the aft of the vessel. Just guessing where it is.
Here alongside no fenders. So very careful moving in. Luckily there was a line handler on the wharf to grab the first line. When the spring is on then it's relatively easy.
As soon alongside the agent was here. Him and his lady came onboard and the engine department gave them their shopping list. 4 of the other crew now sit together and discuss food provisioning.
An agent car is booked for 14:00 and then they'll go for the shopping expedition.
Seems that everything fall into its places and the crew is happy and tired..
The shopping was huuuuuuuge. 7 big trollis full. Unfortunately no camera when the trolley convoy moved to the till lady. The total sum cam to 550 € only. I say only because in Norway we would have paid triple that amount.
Managed to pack everything into 4 trolleys and moved the to the taxi waiting for us. He took down all his back seats and we filled up the aft car space. The shopping story doesn't finished here. As we couldn't find the shopping list one of us went into the Carrefour Supermarket to see if it had fallen to the floor somewhere. In the supermarket she found the shopping list but on a forgotten full trolley of veggies and fruits. Dangerous to shop so much that one looses the overview. He, he
The price for this trolley was 75€ so the shopping is now 610 € and not finished as the carnivores need to buy some horse and donkey meat tomorrow.
Towards the evening the harbour police and the national police came to the ship. Quite serious as they have found out we have non community members on the vessel from our crew list.
They took me in their car to the police station with all the passports. Passports were scanned one by one, they found the life story behind each person and checked passport stamp when each of them had entered the Schengen border. Apparently only me, who is legally in Spain as Norway is member of the Schengen community.
Well, lots of explanation what we're doing, the delivery etc. They were interested to hear more about the Cook Islands and the Isle of Man..
Language wise in half English and half Spanish. But it came to a happy ending and in the end I was escorted back to the ship with their best police car.
In the mean time my old friend Heiko, from Los Cristianos had arrived the ship with his new partner from Falmouth. We had a very nice meeting and lots of forgotten memories. It was 8 years since last time we met. Inside it just felt like a year..
He has still his old wooden ship, the Katrin, doing regular dolphin trips every day. Max passengers are 31 persons.
Had a quick shed and QSO to Norway this evening. But not the same conditions as when I'm at sea.
Sunday 31 of July
The days go so fast and even faster when one is alongside.
Yesterday was one of these days.
Early in the morning I discovered that all my accounts for July had disappeared and it was a long time since I'd done a back up. About 120 invoices to reconstitute. That took me all the day till 17:00.
At the end the eyes were crossing and the head not very clear.
In between the mate moved the Icon tuner from an inside position to be set up outside, on the false funnel. Nice job for a beautiful day. It was a very windy day with gusts over the 9 Beaufort.
However, alongside no worries – just a small surge.
The surge broke off an aluminium welding on the gangway.
The guys in the engine department were very busy all day. Amongst others the water maker. It was flushed and cleaned. Topped up the FW tank with real Tenerife water. When the tank was full and a bit more the pressure came up through the goose neck but also through the little see hose outside. It suddenly bursted out water like a fountain under a very hight pressure. The crew standing in its approximity got a nice fresh Sunday wetting.. Temperature is now 24 in the morning..
At 19:00 the crew minus 3, gathered in a little restaurant on the waterfront and we had a love meal and wine. Happily back onboard at 22:30.
Monday 1 of August
The morning is calm but still a nice surge taking the ship along the wharf, The mooring ropes chafe a little bit when the vessel moves like this.
For breakfast lovely water melon, so sweet.
Open up the garage door and make it ready for the fuelling.
Several calls from the agent during the morning. But that's their work as well.
At 10:30 a competition fueller came. Good price with only 0.32 € a liter – he wanted cash payment.
Not that easy to take out that kind of amount without in forehand having arranged with my bank in Norway. So I let it go. Our agent price is 0.38 € and not negotiable. They say that's to-day's price.
I'm so happy we got all our fuel in Norway before departure. To refuel in a foreign country is always a hazzle with money, quality and delivery.
Now the delivery is set to be tomorrow morning at 07:00. Inch Allah as the Arabs use to say...
The Volvo coolant of the 80 litres won't arrive Tenerife before tomorrow lunch time says the agent.
Water filters, etc. delivered just after 13:00 to-day.. So far so good.
Engine department crew has gone ashore to see the natives and won't come back before later to-day.
The other have gone shopping the restant of the food supplies. I guess they should be back during the afternoon with a taxi.
Wind screams now from the North. The wind propeller spins around with 35 knots.
We surge back and forth alongside the quay.
Walked on shore to send the used charts back to Norway but had a surprise coming to the post office. Summer closing. Open from 08:30 to 14:30. That's all. Talked OT some taxi drivers if there are any post office not having summer closing hours. But they all are under the same regulation.
Well, come back tomorrow is the answer. Easy enough..
The fuel truck arrived just to inspect the filling we have and confirm that he'll arrive at 07:00.
Is that real time or Spanish time ?? Tomorrow morning will show.
On several occasions the stb auxiliary engine has started by itself. This morning it happened again.
The engineer asked us who had started it ? As the operation panel of it is back and no surveillance of the running.
It might be the ship's ghost running around and doing trix on us ? But not superstitious engineers have a better explanation. It might be an electrical failure from humidity in the control panel. It isn't possible to open this control panel but to avoid such unwanted and uncontrolled starting it might be a better idea to take the electrical cable off the starting battery.
Can a ship be ghost written ?
Some years ago there was a little cargo ship in Norway where an engineer hang himself. Perhaps not enough salary, he, he..
Well, the second found him dangling. Cut him down and the corps was brought to shore.
In the same engine room a little bit later another engineer turned nuts and had to be taken to a Psychiatric hospital for a longer treatment.
The owner, being very superstitious and religious meant it must be maudit spirits in the engine room as there had also been similar cases before he bought the vessel.
Well, he contacted the Catholic Church and asked if spirits exist and if they can harm humanity in any way.
The answer was very supportive and affirmative. Of course there are many spirits around us all the time. And some haven't found their way back home to God yet as their spiritual helpers might not have come to their rescue and showed them the return path.
But of course we can help you with some holy water and some special excoriating prayers.
The specialist came with a bottle of water. Did his job and promised all the crew that now no worries. Engine room and the entire ship is cleaned now for evil spirits. Please sail off in peace and happiness.
All so good till the shipowner got the bill.
One litre of holy water 16.000 nok. Driving expenses 200 kroner. Salary priest 800 kroner.
Total 17.000 nok.
He did pay the bill..
Tuesday 2 August.
It's 07:30 and no fuel truck has arrived yet. We wonder if he meant to-day or another day ?
We walked over to the post-office this morning and sent some parcels. The cook had pre-paid some postcard to send to friends in Japan and a parcel. Somehow the posties got into her parcel to Japan and it was sent off.
When we discovered it we had to laugh. Cheap way to send postcards. Send a parcel to one of your friends and let them forward your post cards to the other friends.
The agent came about 11:00 with the Volvo coolant. But not 100% concentrated as requested.
80 litres of the 40 – 60 % mix. The engine takes 160 litres and this was the reason to have 80 litres to be able to mix it ourselves. 50 -50. Well, not worth the time to wait some more days for this.
The litre of the compass liquid didn't come nor the dice nuts of 19, 25 and 30 mm.
Too difficult to find apparently..
Finally at 12:00 the tank truck lined up. It took one hour to fill up the tanks with the 12.000 litres.
Everything went smooth.
One of the crew went to the dentist with a broke tooth at 13:30. The taxi came and picked them up.
The plan was they should be back after the dentist treatment and then we would all go top up the food shopping.
At 15:30 some of the crew wouldn't wait any longer and went onshore for other shopping.
At 17:00 I telephoned the taxi. He was still waiting for them.
He contacted the dentist. Apparently they left the dentist clinic at 14:45 and since then nobody have seen them. He, he..
The taxi drove home.
In the ship we're still two persons waiting for the food shopping. We hope that they'll go food shopping on their own.. Well, time will show what happens.
The sun is shining and the plan is to leave tomorrow morning.
Be happy and keep smiling..
They came back 17:50 with no shopping.
We jumped into a taxi and started to shop. 300 € later we had everything from now and to the Cook Islands. Just managed to store everything away before the agent came with the dice requested, but not the right ones. Apparently they do not sell refresh dices in this country ?
The agent and his lady took us to a very nice fishing village. We had the most beautiful fish meal ever thought of with local white wine. Such a please to experience the right local atmosphere. The real Canary mentality.
Tenerife has about 1 mill local inhabitants these days. Apparently every 6 min there arrive an air plane to this island. Shifting 1 mill tourists every week.. . Must be a good business to treat all these tourists with what they want.
Well, a beautiful evening and let's hope we can leave this island with nice souvenirs tomorrow morning.
Wednesday 3 August.
Eaten too much last night and woke up at 5 o'clock with the shits. Good it isn't a long way to the toilet.
The agent came here already as promised at 07:15. Got the passports and the crew list. They drove over to the immigration and came back with the passport freshly stamped.
Meanwhile we lowered the garage door, lifted the gangway from its position to its home on the upper deck, nicely tucked in under the crane. The crane is supported in a nice cradle.
Our agent is : Tenerife Offshore & Shipping Agency.
Thierry as managing director and & Lidia as office manager.
Their e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
We found out that we have common friends in the sailing smacks of Anna Rosa and Anna Kristina.
Hans vd Vooren, owner of those two vessels bought later a property (finca) in the South of the Tenerife island when we sold his assets in Tysnes, Norway.
Those ships I sailed to Spitsbergen with passengers in the summer of 1985. One of the crew now on the Moana Nui was also a crew on the same voyage to Spitsbergen (Svalbard)
M/E started and at 08:00 sharp we left Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Had to turn the vessel in the little bay but as there was hardly any wind so early in the morning it was easy.
I had asked the marina to have a little tender stby in case something unforeseen happened. Their reply was that the tender didn't start this morning so no help from them in case of an emergency.
Just when we going slalom around the colons and through the small gate the telephone ran, there was a call on the VHF and even the Iridium telephone bell sounded. In all this the AIS started to pip as it wanted some attentions now. It had recorded we were under-way and not alongside any more.
A real cacophony when one try to concentrate to get the ship safely through the marina exit.
Well, when the mate came up on the bridge he started to help with all these issues.. Soon we had peace again.
When break water well cleared, the wind picked up to a NE-7 during the first hour of steaming.
Waves breaking and some water on the aft deck. The engineer has to well judge his moments if he wants to have his toes dry...
We're steaming around Tenerife and at lunch time we took the bearing for la Gomera. Like Columbus did in 1492. But he had no Volvo in the cellar like us.. Instead he had lots of hands to help with the sails.
La Gomera is behind us now. The wind has mellowed to NE-5 but the ship is still rolling a bit or perhaps I've forgotten the vessel's constant movements.
The sea watches started as soon as we left Santa Cruz.
Life goes into its regular form as before. Some of the crew has to have the TV on all the time, in the mess room. It's dark there like in a cinema and we others “non -TV slaves” eat our meals outside in the passenger saloon, where it is light and sunny.
For dinner to-night I had two helpings of salad and a slice of bread.
That's enough for a tender stomach. Feeling really full and comfortable now.
QSO'n tonight was cristal clear. Nice to talk to the regular ham operators in South Norway again – after a 3 days break whilst in port.
The e-mail to the Norwegian general consul in St Kitts bounces back and we wonder if the e-mail have changed recently. La3zh will check with the ministry of foreign affairs tomorrow if they know anything there.
Just at the watch turn-over at midnight the engineer came and reported that the stern tube oil expansion tank is overflowing.
Must have been water coming into the stern tube and squeezed the oil away. Perhaps from the ride from Tenerife to Hierro. Now as we're shelter in Hierro the ship is nearly as alongside.
We decided to play safe and reduce the rpm to 900 through the night and if similar in the morning to stop and drain out all the water in the stern tube system, then fill up with new oil.
Thursday 4 August
Heard that the mechanics have been down and pressurized the system. The oil ran down to the tube afterwards and little by little filling up to normal level.
In the morning we gave more throttle and speed picked up to normal 8,5 – 9 knots.
Noon it was decided not to stop and drain out eventual water as everything seems to function as normal now.
During the morning a huge turtle was sighted close to the ship. Perhaps she had a morning doze.
Not many of those left here in these waters as the international fishing fleet hooved empty the sea from all kind of life.
A few years ago when we came into the Comoros Maritime territory they were all there because the Comorians have no navy or any power at all to keep them out from their waters.
This morning I heard that they want to shift to the Pacific Ocean. In the South Cook Islands there is no more fish any-more due to the government's selling lots of fishing rights to international seiners.
Now the local population in Rarotonga buys their fish from the Northern group. Which is excellent for this vessel as she has a 9 cubm freezer hold. Bring ice cream and chicken to the North and fish back to the South.
Even the wind has backed to NE – 4 as predicted but still strong swell from yesterday.
The sun is up and shines from a cloud free sky.
Our noon position was N 26*22' W19* 22'
The crew is having dinner at 13:00. Fried chicken breasts and potatoes. For myself I just had a quick lunch of 2 “knekkebrød” with beautiful Camembert cheese. Eating site is outside the galley as the mess room is converted to a cinema. All dark there with films continuously on playing..
Well, we're all different but living on the same ship. Some of the crew eat outside now in the sun shine..
The little baby steams on into the afternoon.
Dinner : Polluck from Alaska. Salad from Tenerife and Ice cream from Spain.
Long way travelled food is cheaper than local grown these days.
In Norway we can only find garlic from China these days. No more European.
The only fact is that the Chinese garlic is of such a poor quality – not really worth to eat.
On my travels around in China they showed me how they was making it, I was just stunned.
Same with the scampi basin elevation. They feed the scrimp and scampi with dead chicken, cats and all kinds of animals they come over because the engrained feed is quite expensive. The scampis seem to eat what's given and they grow nice a beautiful..
This afternoon the wind has behaved from the aft sector. i.e. NE with intensity of 10 to 12 knots only. Still nice following waves from yesterday. What we in Norway call “old” sea.
The expansion stern tube tank has stabilised and works as normal. Main engine purrs as a kitten and the engine departments crew smiles..
Now the cinema has started up again after we had dinner in the mess room to-day. Horrible sounds from screaming car tyres and tatata from guns.
Well, in an hour it's our watch. From 20:00 to 24:00.
Hopefully some good news from Norway to-day : as always..
At 21:30 had the regular radio shed with Norway. Good to have helping hands here.
la3zh will take contract with the Liaaen machanical factory and ask for their advice of how to handle this situation.
The engine speed was slowed down to 5 knots at 850 rpm.
Most of my watch was concerning with this new challenge. We have now gone through 40 liters of the stern tube oil and it's just flushes through the system now.
Friday 5th of August
Later this morning at 05:00 I was called out. Worse and worse. We decided to stop the propulsion and drift till day light.
The weather situation is good. A slight breeze from N'ly direction and she lay sweet and rolls. The
odd hard roll over but in general very stabel.
Now - we can see that the oil spillage is there all the time, coming up from the stern quarter. Nice a colourful oil blobs to the surface and then widening out and disapearing.
Well, in a few hours we'll know what to do and where to go.
In this position we are about 340 nm from Las Palmas in the Canary islands and 530 nm from Mindelo in the Cape Verde.
These two places have docking slip yards that can handle our challenge.
Dry dock the ship, rudder down. Prop shaft drawn and dismantle the old rubber bearings and fit new ones.
Hopefully the stern tube itself with the white metal is not damaged to much.
In such a case new parts have to be ordered and perhaps a repairer from Norway has to come to oversee the work.
Just speculation from my side. What has caused it is a mystery. Could it be lots of fishing lines and nets we saw floating between la Gomera and Hierro when the vessel was rolling a bit.
That's really the only explanation I have so far..
Unless there has been a big pressure from the inside of the gravitation tank. But that's also impossible as the tank is not more than about 2m over the water level.
Well, time will show how this situation turns out. My feeling however, is that this repair is going to be expensive where-ever it is done.
Little by little we got news from the Liaaen mechanical which is taiken over by Rolls Royce group now.
The advice from them was you can drive slowly and as long the stern tube doesn't overheat it's ok.
Instead of filling up the little tank several times an hour we got one of the big fuel tanks out from the lower cargo room. Even to open the flush hatch was quite a challenge in the moving seas.
Went through the entire garage cargo room and found about 15 cans of stern tube and gear oil of all sorts.
Mixed all together in the big tank, so now we have a reserve of about 300 litres which can be monitored of how much we put into the small gravitation tank every so often.
If we use 3 litres a hour we have 100 hours of steaming, which is close to 4 days.
From the shore side we had an offer from a tug company to come out here and pick us up and tow us to Las Palmas for the price of 48.000 €. Well, good to know that we have such a possibility if we had that kind of funds available.
The ship yard in Mindelo, Cape Verde is shut down and it was good we didn't steamed down there.
That would have been a disaster to arrive and no help of this kind could be given.
Our agent in Tenerife appointed another agent colleague in Las Palmas, so now we have everything correct on the agent side anyway.
At 17:30 the main engine was cranked up and we started to steam slowly for Las Palmas.
Wind from the N-ly direction about 10 knots. We are heading into the Canary current of 1 knot.
The ideas is now to steam slowly and surely towards docking and repairs in Las Palmas.
The ghost played with us again to-day. Suddenly he or she started up the big generator. It fired and went on happily by itself. The engineer says this is really a mystery he has never experienced before in his career. Perhaps he hasn't been on a ship with a ghost before. He, he.
The weather forecast for the next two days are in our favour. Slight winds from W wearing to an E direction. 5 to 10 knots. Let's hope that the prediction will be true as long as we are limping on to Las Palmas.
QSO this evening at UTC 20:30 on 14328 Mhz. Very easy to read those with directional antennas and a bit more power than the usual 100w.
The reports from the other side they ready me 5of 9 and even better..
We chatted about the situation, the oil leaking stern tube, the cause and repairs.
The agent in Tenerife has found a ship yard in Las Palmas called Zamakona Yard where they have the facilities to do such repairs a required.
After the evening watch it was nice to go to sleep for at least 5 hours.
Saturday 6th of August.
Slept soundly till 6 o'clock this morning. Sill pitch dark outside.
Good to to some yoga exercise before the day starts. The morning is really my best time. Just embracing the new and unused day which lie in front of us..
Hazy and visibility of less than 6 nm this morning. Variable puffs of winds in all directions. The anemometer shows 5 to 7 knots. The sea vivid from old sea make the ship toss and turn in all directions.
The oil container slowly furnish the gravitation tank with gear oil of different brands an quality.
The engineers have now connected and started to use our lub oil reserve to be able to have enough to reach Las Palmas. The consumption flow is more than 150 litres a day now. Perhaps closer to 200
At noon we had done 108 nm the last 24 hours. But taken into consideration we didn't start before late in the afternoon. ETA will be Monday during the morning if this weather continue in our favour as now.
Got a message this morning that Liaan mec which is Rolls Royce now, doesn't have any spares on stock for this old unit. Well, I guess a search must be done when we come onshore and have internet connection again.
Lunch is a full dinner with heaps of porc sausages, lots of veggies and mashed potatoes.
The crew loves this kind of food even when It's 25 deg now outside.
Some is eating outside and some in the cinema room.
The owner of the ship rang and worried if we all are ok. What is the situation, etc.
It must be difficult to have this ship and suddenly we have an unexpected problem like this.
To-night's QSO was short and clear.
Updated the listerners concerning our progression and ETA Las Palmas on Monday.
It was a dark night tonight a very low viz on the sea level but we could see the stars above us.
Sunday 7 August
I was called up to the bridge about 06:00 concerning 3 mysterious radar echos that were coming
closer and closer to the ship.
Now 3 nm off on our port bow. When I come up these echos were still visible but somehow they
disappeared and vanished.
We could not see any lights – just a dark night in front of us..
At the same time the ship owner rang concerning his worries of the leakage.
The leakage is now about 400 liters oil every day.
He's guess was that it comes from a grease deficiency. The grease cap goes to the rudder stock with apparently a fork pipe to the prop shaft. This is not on any drawings..
Well, when we get her on the hard we'll know more about this.
The agent sent me an e-mail this morning concerning arrival information of Las Palmas.
He'll be there together with his collegue. We might need a port pilot to take to the a free wharf
before the docking can start.
During the moring the sun peeped through the mist and with the sun came the wind. NE wind
growing during the afternoon to about 20 – 25 knots. The speed has dropped to 4,5 knots now.
Thumping into the waves.
At noon we were still 128 nm SW from Las Palmas. ETA might proabably be Monday afternoon.
In the ship's files there is no docking plan as such – the only thing we have is a mid spant section.
I took some pictures when the ship was on the slip in May at Kvernhusvika.
Preparing new crewlist for our arrival in Las Palmas this afternoon. I guess the agents will have all the other necessary forms to be filled out when they arrive onboard.
QSO last night was interesting as one Norwegian ham operator station was operating from Alicante in Spain. He has taken his ham radio with him for his holiday stay in Spain. Just with a little antenna it was possible to obtain contact with our small 100 w stations.
It was a very windy night and the port anchor went dump, dump now and then. Very noisey for those having their cabins just behind the anhor. On person had to move out from th cabin and sleep in the pax saloon where the sound wasn't so strong.
The wind passed 30 knots and the speed down to 4,1 knots.
Monday 8th of August.
When we got in shelter from Gran Canaria the waves were les and less and from 6 to 8 in the morning it was a grey sky and harlyly any wind. As if the nature prepare for the next game.
08:30 Las Palmas radio called us from the Las Palmas Trafico. We had to steam 4 nm from the coast . At this moment we were abt 3 nm to shore
Course change and at 10 came the sund and the wind. Gusting 30 knots with an average of 25+.
From the agent we were promised to received lots of new forms to be received as soon as we got in mobil telephone reach.
As we're loosing more than 30 litres of oil now every hour his concern was also this oil and oil
pollution of the harbour. Better to require a small harbour tug and a port pilot to avoid big pollution fines. When one hour of the port arrival I should contact the harbour master and order these helpers
In the galley there is also some friction as one of the crew require the cook to wash under the plastic mats twice a day. Everybody seems to be very tense these days. Not a relaxed atmosphone onboard any more. I guess the situation to return to the ship yard makes everybody very tired and unhappy.
My feeling is that we won't stay too long otherwise a few of the crew might leave the ship..
Time will show what happens.
All morning and early afternoon we were struggling N-wards on the Easten side of the Gran Canaria island. Rounding the NE place it went faster and soon we had contact with the Las Palmas Port. Had to wait outside break water for one hour till the regular trafic cleared.
Two small tugs were steaming toward us at the same time the port gave us the clearence to enter.
Assisted with the two tugs we steam for our own power to close to the whaft where we had a space.
Switched off the oil fuel line to the stern tube a little bit before and then stopped the M/E. The tugs glided us into position.
As soon as the gangway was onshore the agents and ship yard people onboard for discussion of further movements.
There is a bar only 20 m from the ship.
We had a crew meeting there later in the evening as the crew isn't very happy with the situation.
There were a few complains and it goes on me as master of the vessel for sort this out they said.
The food isn't as it should be. The vessel needs a professional cook. The lady we have is doing more than she can but her menu isn't after what they need of proper food. And she isn't a cook..
To be able to continue the ship need a new cook.
Secondly the crew needs a place to live onshore when the ship is on the hard stand. To hot to live on the ship.
3 of the crew haven't been paid following the contract of weekly payment..
They wonder if the company will pay their medication insurance since this delivery takes so much longer than planned.
2 of the crew is leaving the ship as this delivery takes to long time to fulfill. They have been on the ship for 17 weeks now. Can not afford to stay any longer – as the condition was to stay on the ship for food and lodge for the delivery to the Cook Islands.
Does the company pay for their return flight and for a dental repairs in Tenerife ?
A 3rd engineer is required for the continuation as it is to hard for the engineer to have 6 x 6 hrs
Not very happy with this blog and how it is written.
No credit to the good work the crew is doing every day.
All together a very aggressive atmosphere towards me.
Well, the last days frustration needed an oulet and it's easier after a few beers as well..
Tuesday 9th of August
This morning we had an unexpected visitor.
He came dressed as a ship yard worker with a helmet and a nice clean overall.
I thought firstly he came from the ship yard and wanted to take some measurements.
But he said he was coming from the Port State Control . I couldn't believe that they use resources on a little ship of 33,5 m and a GT of 338 . In a delivery in ballast from Norway to the Cook Islands.
What is a port state control ?
This is very much a European thing. Specially in North Europe.
In the rest of the world, ships can come and go pretty much as they please, but in Northern Europe, Great Britain and the United States, ships that call their ports, regardless of their flags, can be subject to rigorous inspections by shore authorities, and if the inspectors find anything they don't like – hull condition, crewing, equipment, anything – they can detain the vessel and prevent her from leaving. Since nobody can tell a country which ships can leave its ports, there's no appeal from a Port State Control detention, no matter how unreasonable.
Standard for ships vary wildly from country to country, and even from port to port within a single country. F.ex the Miami Coast Guard is known to be reasonable about the ship condition, but Mobil Coast Guard inspectors are wild dogs.
Even if the ship's own flag-state surveyor can not tell them that there is nothing wrong with the vessel.
Sometimes it might be negotiated to tow the vessel out to international waters, with the understanding that she would never come back to the country again.
A problem with the USCG's officer is they do not know anything about ship construction or condition. Many are s-called “Ninety-Day-Wonders” who come out of the USCG three months training course- some of them from inland as Iowa or even Montana. They have never seen a ship before nor pissed in the sea . These guys are immediately able to go aboard ocean freighters in the national ports and bankrupt the owners.
The same is for many of the European inspectors as well. Mostly they have here a nice University education but no ship experience. The book of SOLAS is their bible and guidence.
Holland and Belgium also have reputations for being unreasonable about detaining ships, but for different reasons. It's well know among port states that no one onshore will make a Euro once it leaves.
Tramp ships can go their entire lives and never return to a particular port. So everybody ashore knows that their only shot at making money off a ship is keeping her in port.
Even if Port State Control inspector doesn't directly profit from detaining a ship in port, his relatives and friends, and even the general population will. And since there's no appeal from an unreasonable detention, he's perfectly free to do it.
Well, this is also our situation.
The inspector came up with a few unrealistic recommendation which shows their understanding of this world of practical shipping. The funnel of the vessel does not comply with the SOLAS. As it restricts the emergency exit from the engine room. Well, the ship has been in operation for 50 years now and the inspector perhaps for 2 years..
There were several recommendation to be discussed. However, no detention has been made on the ship yet, so normally we should be able to proceed to sea when the prop shaft is repaired.
Wednesday 10 August
The ship yard people came onboard at 08:20 and started to tow us over to the slip.
Just amazed to see their system. There were at least 25 person on our little vessel. They were pulling ropes attached to each corner of the ship. 3 divers were down and organising the position of the vessel.
At 11 the vessel was high and dry.
Workers came like bees and at 13:30 the rudder was down and the dismantling of the prop shaft started.
We, the crew left the vessel at 18:00 and stayed overnight in a hotel in town as we didn't have the permission to stay on the ship yet.
Due to the Port State Control and the ship yard time in-front of us, two deck crew left the ship.
I don't blame them, this is the 3rd shipyard stay since they arrived onboard to do a delivery voyage from Norway to the Cook Islands.
The PSC emphasised that 2 of the deck crew need to have a STCW-95 manilla agreement certification, which the leaving parties do not have.
Thursday 11 August.
High and dry. This morning was cool, overcast and 20 degrees centigrades..
At 10:00 the prop shaft was out and an hour later flanges, etc was out..
During the day it heated up a bit towards the end of the 20 deg but not overwelming hot.
We have a theory now why this happened with the prop shaft seals.
a) seals are 6 years old and the rubber is a bit briddle.
b) faulty main engine alignment done in Hitra before departure
c) inner crack leak of water from AP ballast tank to the stern tube
d) the propeller has hit something in the water and following the impact has unsettled the rubber seals tightness.
Well, we are looking forward to get the spares and put the vessel back to sea as soon as possible.
The ship yard has an “aseos” – toilet for the visiting crew like us. We got the key for it and I was quite surprised during my first visit.
No toilet paper. Squatting toilet, ie. Just a hole in the ground as we often see around in the world. But the locks on the doors were ripped off.
3 shower units with cold water only. No shower heads only a pipe. I guess nobody takes a shower here any-more..
We complained to the agent and he transmitted our unsatisfactory feelings to the administration. But I'll be very surprised if something happens. We are close to Africa and the toilets keeps the same standards..
We were granted the possibility to stay on the ship. Half of the crew sleeps onshore and the other half stay on the vessel.
Friday 12 of August.
Gee the days on the calender are running so fast. Soon we have the hurricane season in the Caribbean region. I was so happy in May that we would be out of these sea waters before they arrived.
They do arrive – every year – with lots of havoc and challenges for the ships inside such a nasty wind system..
This morning on the slip it was 19 deg in the air, No sun yet and very cloudy. The locals here says this is normal for the month of August, in September their air is different and clear.
As the ships besides us are grit/sand blasting the air around us is very foul. Our cookie has got back her allergy with running nose as if we were in the far north of Norway. He, he..
The propeller is now dismantled and all the blades are inspected for any damage or deficiencies..
Still the theory that the blades have hit something and this has had an impact on the system, as perhaps sea water has entered..
The broken seals are taken out and new one are in order.
Unfortunately coming Monday is a public holiday and nothing will be done before Tuesday and onwards. With other words most likely we'll be on the hard for the entire next week for sure. Hopefully splash on Friday.
There are other rectification to be done as well. Since the port state controller was onboard we have sent the survival suits to be re-certificated again. Moved the Epirb from the monkey island to the funnel as directed. Done translation on the muster list, etc...
The day finished at 18:00 when 3 of the crew took a taxi back to the hotel and we, the other 3 stay on the vessel. We find it much more comfortable and homely here than in a non personal hotel room.
In the evening we took a taxi to a little taverna for a nice little meal and back to the ship for the night.
Saturday 13 of August.
Grey and cold morning. 19 deg and N-ly wind.
Normally the Zamakona Ship yard should be closed to-day. But still about 20 people working here now on different ships and work-shops. This place never stops..
Got an urgent call from town. As the crew is shifting hotel in town they have to book into the new place and I have the passport for one of them in the vessel's safe.
Got hold of the local agent, Santiago and together we drove down to the hotel and delivered the passport in the reception. This hotel is nicely located with view over the beach and in the beach front. Must be an expensive hotel was my first feeling.
Afterwards my partner and I walked along the street and did some small shopping.
Suddenly out from a little bar came a local lady screaming out and after us. Oh, you are my favourite customers. You made my day this other evening when you ate in such and such restaurant.
A long time since we have seen such a happy face.
The situation was when we were eating in her restaurant the other evening she was doing such a good job with all the customers. Taking and pleasing. Advice and controlling their happiness.
We were so impressed that when we paid, with hardly any tips, we wrote a little message of how we had observed her excellent work. Thank you so much and lots of courage..
For her this was the best appreciation she had ever received from any customers. And when she saw us passing she had to see us and thank us so much.. Apparently she had showed the little note to everybody in the restaurant.
He, he so little to create happiness in life.
Where are you eating to-night ? Come to my place she said. But as it was quite exposed to the cold on shore wind tonight I felt it was not such a good idea.
Then I'll direct you guys to the most popular local place in this area she said.
Tasca de Galeleo was the name in calle such and such. We found the street, but not the place.
We asked a few locals and then it just happened. We were standing outside the restaurant. It opens in 5 min. at 20:00. It was a really old fashion taberna with lots of history and very rustic environment. The waiter from Columbia was a smart man. Also one of these dedicated servants.
2 € for a good glass of wine and each dish was 6€. We had bacalao with an omelet around it. Hmm, quite an interesting way to serve cod.
Sunday 14 August.
Woke up early this morning and walked over to the toilet on shore.
When a ship is on the hard we have to use the toilets on shore.
I guess it's only on trains the toilet visit goes on the rail lines, even sometimes in the train stations.
The ship yard was empty at 5 in the morning. First time I've seen it empty..
During the morning the crew came back and took the mate with them for an excursion to see the island. Good planning from them. And very clever to find a place where to rent a car. I tried on Friday but there was no single car available this week-end from Las Palmas.
Activity here was still to try to find new crew who want to sail with us from here to the Cooks.
We need 3 persons. At least 2 with stcw-95 to be able to fulfil l the manning list from the MCI. (Maritime Cook Islands)
Hours and hours in front of the PC. Well, not so easy to find so many crew members in a foreign port. Well, I guess there will be a solution in the next few days.
Had a QSO with several ham radio operators tonight. Of course not so good as when we're at sea but one station was far stronger than any I've heard before and that was well inshore up in a South valley, at Kornmo where the temperature was only 9 deg this evening.
Here we have 19 but it feels a bit fresh so it'll be good to go into a nice warm bed very soon.
Monday 15 August.
Same nice cool weather of 19-20 deg. Wind from the North force 2. overcast.
This morning another 25 new CV arrived. But still the message is hard to get through that we need somebody local and not from South America.
So far nobody is really shows that these are the right persons we need.
Many of the potentials who have been contacted, but they all have notices from 2 weeks to 2 months from their actual job situation.
Well, keep searching..
As the anti-fouling Hempel Globic we put on in May, only two months ago - flakes off now.
We have booked a Hempel agent to come and inspect what might be the reason why the result is so poor after only 2,5 months in the water. I guess he'll say – sandblast and start again.
Nice atmosphere onboard now when the ship yard is so calm.
The engineer was on board this morning and emptied the sludge water under the engine. He want to pressure test the stern tube to check that there is no contact between the ballast tank and the stern tube. Good idea.
Still a suspection that water might leak into the stern tube. Specially after the yard workers tried to remove the stern tube itself.
I have a Digi mobil sim card from Spain with only 0,11 € in the credit.
The top up credit isn't possible with a Norwegian Visa card, the information help desk told me.
So what to do ? Here in the Canarias we have a nice agent who can do miracles in many ways. Made him a short call and he went into action straight away.
For many hours. He, he - and he tried all his 5 different Spanish visa cards but no luck. So now we are 2 frustrated Digi mobil persons.
But challenges are to be solved.. Perhaps there is a telephone guru somewhere coming to assistance tomorrow when it's a working day.. Gurus need to respect the public fiestas...
46 new applicants this afternoon. Sea farers from all around the world.
The ads goes as follows :
Se necesitan Tripulantes con cualificación STCW-95 para viaje de entrega de buque entre Las Palmas (España) y Rarotonga (Cook Islands) – Una oportunidad única !!!
Small vessel of 37 m on a delivery voyage from Las Palmas to Rarotonga ( abt 2 months) are looking for specialised crew with stcw-95 ..
Prefer somebody now in the Canarias Islands.
Advanced English spoken – non smoker.
age : 23 – 40 years old
one male assistant engineer.
one female/ male cook with sea experience.
Half of the Hispanic world wants to work for us. From high up in Peruvian mountains to the South-est point of Chile: Punta Arenas.
I feel so sorry for all those well qualified sea farers. Good education but no ship to work on.
What is happening in the world ?
We all need to have a work to be able to have a decent life.
Not enough ships or is it an overproduction of sea farers..
For us it's a different matter. We have a crew but the Port State system does not recognize some of us as our ship is not a private yacht but a very small cargo ship. 38 GT over the limit.
We are in ballast and no commercial cargo but we are treated at the same manner as we were a 5000 GT vessel. Need 3 navigators, 2 Abs, etc following the manning listing from the Cook Island flag state.
When the vessel is in the Cooks, she'll have more and different crew requirements, I suppose.
Well, first we have to get there !!
For lunch we had sushi and tamagoyaki to-day. It was devoured. How I like the Japanese kitchen's specialities.
What do you do when the stomach is full ?
Lie down,roll over and fall asleep.
I slept for more than two hours this afternoon, to the accompaniment to the nice snoring sound from the next door cabin.
Sleeping to get ready for the next feed. What a life..
Tuesday 16 August.
Grey morning as if it's going to rain. 20 deg. Life is slowly coming back to the yard. When I passed the workshop this morning the propeller blades were taken to be rectified and polished.
The mate started to scrape off the loose antifouling on the under water hull.
Now we're waiting for the local agent to appear. To be able to know more how our day will be.
The name manana is very much used in this part of the world and with rights.
The Hepel man came, but to-day on Wednesday.
He'll give us some specification of what is needed to be able to patch up the hull's underwater painting deficiencies.
However, it pointed out that we are not allowed to work on our ship ourselves. The yard or sub contractors have to do this work for us. I guess it's akin of protection to have local employment.
Yesterday not much on the go. We lost electricity for a few hours. When I rang the agent in Tenerife he jumped to action and 10 min later we had electricity again. Amazing what talking can do in such situations
We're getting a new neighbour this afternoon. A Japanese fishing vessel.
Wednesday 17 August.
Sitting here at the end of the day and looking for the hours that have passed to-day. Hectic and 80 % of the day on the computer writing e-mails all over the world.
And more important it is my son's birthday to-day in Norway.. He's getting on towards 30 years now and with 3 kids and a wife to feed.
Here we are 3 adults on board and 3 of the crew live on shore in a hotel. So the ship owner feed 6 people these days.
He rang this morning, very early.
Not possible to transfer funds from the Cook Islands to the small bank here in the Canarias. They have none corresponding bank in New Zealand.
What to do ?
The amount here on the dock climbs up to 500.000 nok and I'm sure that “no cash – no splash”
Having said that there won't be a splash this week as the spare seals haven't arrived yet. La mañana por seguro, they say. Then the conclusion is also another week-end here on the hard, por seguro !
Amazing it takes 2 weeks to have some small spares here.
We send the request through the ship yard even before we arrived Las Palmas. Seems that they want to keep us on the hard as long as possible. After all they get 400 € a day + + when we are here..
For the bank we'll try a plan B. transfer the money to Norway and then next step transfer them to the Canarias. We'll try to express transfer and see if that work out any faster. Costs about 1000 nok extra per transfer.
During this morning the potential 2nd mate arrived. Showed him the vessel and he was very happy. He has about 14 months experience at sea and need more sea time. His English was not the best but that'll do for the delivery. Hopefully he'll catch up quickly when has to speak English every day.
Had also a young engineer lined up from Bilbao. But when I contacted him early this afternoon he had got another job for the next 10 months on a chemical tanker. Longer term sailing and perhaps a better salary as well, I suppose.
Well, for me it's to start from scratch again – keep looking for a ship cook and an assistant engineer..
Do you know anybody ??
During the morning the final report from the Port State Control arrived in a written e-mail.
Very different from the hand written original after his visit, which was not really readable..
Just amazed that official reports can change like that.
Shows a bit of the entire PSC system. Just to earn money for the local ship industry.
Well, the biggest and most difficult recommendation was taken away :
- Exhaust engine funnel is blocking the emergency exit escape -.
After 50 years of steaming this vessel had to change the funnel direction. Why hasn't this been mention before.
Because it is following the norms of the classification society that has controlled the vessel during all its years in Norway.
The vessel is under 500 GT but over 300 GT. For this reason the SOLAS requirement isn't the same as we say in nautical terms that this is a “non conventional vessel.”
Still I do not understand why the MCI wanted and insisted this vessel to have a status as commercial cargo ship and not a pleasure yacht for the delivery voyage, as we required initially.
We had the possibility to delete the CI registry and put her as a pleasure yacht under an African flag for the delivery voyage. However, the cost was quite high ( 25.000 nok) and to save money we decided to keep the Cook Island flag registration.
Learning by sailing is perhaps what can be concluded from this.
Still not the stunning heat of the tropics. It's nice with the cool evenings of about 22-24 deg.
In the day it might climb up a little more but well under the 30 deg, even in the middle of the day.
This is the climate I like, only that the air pollution is a bit to high. But Las Palmas is a big place with lots of industry.
Thursday 18 and Friday 19.
Still no spare parts have arrived. We're getting very frustrated with the situation.
And the taxameter goes, 400 € a day on the hard and nothing happens.
Yesterday we last the electric power and the ship became black. The fuse on shore tripped.
After lots of research found that two of our electric engines running the ventilation were faulty and need repairs eventually to be replaced with new ones.
Today we got the price for the Mobil lub oil. Just trippel the price compared with Norway.
46 nok a liter here and in Kristiansund we paid 16 nok.
I saw that the propeller blades were polish during the day but the prop shaft hasn't been in the machine yet to be polished.
To patch up the under water with cost 1500 € for 3 pots of antifouling. All what we put on for 2 months ago in Norway has gone. A very bad result. We do not understand why. Here the yard say we have to sand blast and built up again the protection. The price estimation for this is about 150.000 nok all included. But now the most important is to the the spare parts in position and back to the sea again.
It was also a question about overtime work for Saturday and Sunday. But we do not understand why as there is no spares yet. Prop-shaft etc can be done in regular hours for much less.
Now it is Friday afternoon and everything is calm again here on the yard. 3 of the crew lives in the hotel and 3 lives on the ship.. Hopefully next week we'll get two or three new Spanish crew members.
Saturday 20 August.
This morning yard workers arrived to do the stern tube testing. We were amazed because we hadn't heard about this. The measures were in position when they left the ship at 16:00. The plan was to continue on Monday, we thought. Just hope we won't get the bill for the overtime work which is very high..
After the test, it shows that the stern tube in not leaking and no cracks. Luckily..
The crew from the hotel reported this morning to me they have not been paid weekly as following the contact terms from the Taio Shipping Company. It is very irritating for them in these difficult conditions. How to handle this situation ?
Well, firstly let's concentrate to get this vessel back to the sea.
The spare seals didn't arrive this morning either.
So the translation of mañana must be sometime in the future. As said in Arabic : Inch Allah...
(if God wants it to be like this – free translation)
I guess the ship yard won't let us out to sea before all the bills have been paid for.
This afternoon we went to a special farm on shore. A farm where Aloe Vera is produced. An upcoming industry in this part of the world.
The lucky, ugly plant
There was a time when few people paid attention to the Aloe Vera plant. It was not that way, however, in ancient times, as we know that both Cleopatra and the most beautiful women of ancient Rome cared for their skin using extracts from this plant.
However, there was a time when Aloe Vera was forgotten about, and the properties that it contained were suddenly of no interest. And it wasn’t helped by the fact that as it was not exactly the most striking plant within the strange variety of colourful flora of the Canaries.
However, it turned out that nature, which had always been kind to Gran Canaria, was also generous with the variety of Aloe that grows on the island. Because the pointed plant, which used to grow in many ways on the sunny hillsides, contained extraordinarily valuable ingredients for skin care.
Although not native to Gran Canaria, there are 10 different types of aloe vera growing on the island (550 worldwide).
The one we saw is aloe barbadensis miller.
Nowadays it has been proven that Aloe has an endless range of beneficial properties for hydration and skin care. That is why it is used in the manufacture of hydrating creams, soaps, shampoos and even makeup. It is also used in the pharmaceutical industry because of its healing and soothing powers. Quite a set of health benefits, then, that are also reused in the treatments offered by the wellness centres of Gran Canaria. Treatments that use the exceptional quality of the Aloe variety that is grown on the island, which is considered one of the best in the world because of its high purity.
Well, the legend says that it was Christopher Columbus who introduced the plant to the Canarias in 1491 when he came with his 3 small ships to Las Palmas. It was a kind of water reserve for the crew in case they ran out of drinking water.
In any case it's very interesting to see how when you cut the plant and it shows up its slimy gel. Tasting a bit between a garlic and an onion. Apparently it's the same family. Not in the cacus family as we thought.
The smell and the jelly yellow oxidant made it disgusting for the insects, animals and even humans.. So it was let in peace.
It may take a wee bit of water only every 3 months and its happy. Sometimes only once a year.
All though, give off a pungent whiff when opened up with a knife. . A nature's smelling salts.
Best growing place is in slopes where the water just passes when it rains. It takes up nutrients from the volcanic soil and transforms it into antioxidants and more well know minerals.
We started applying the fibrous membrane to our arms, rubbing it in like when we are soaping ourselves in the shower.. And, I have to admit, the odour does die down as soon as the aloe vera dries onto the skin. Aloe vera is like a balm and it is indeed used to treat sunburn, as well as cuts and mosquito bites
A one-litre bottle of aloe-vera sells for 20€. It saves on multivitamin pills, though, containing many vitamins including A, B12, C, and E. As well as 20 minerals such as calcium and iron.
Well, the best is to google it and find out more if you are interested.
Sunday 20 of August.
It has been raining a little bit to-day. The sky has been cloudy but it's still about 24-25 deg. Very nice and pleasant temperature. The ship yard is deserted and nothing goes one here. Just waiting for the spare parts and the workers to complete the repairs. Good to know that nothing is wrong with the stern tube. There is not possible to obtain Mobil stern tube oil here in the Canary islands, the agent informed me. What a shame as we have about 60 litres in spare in the vessel now. They reckon it take perhaps 65-60 litres to fill up the system.
We can buy CEPSA stern tube oil to a price of 222 € a 20 litre can. Must be a very good oil for this price.
Not sure how the engineer wants to handle this situation. Put in the Cepsa which we can not get anywhere else or use the Mobil we have and if necessary just to top up with the Cepsa if needed.
I'm not a mechanic so I'll let the experts decide.
Agent rang and he says he is now working with the total cost of this repairs, as the bill has shot up due to longer on the hard stand, repairs of the electro motors, etc.
My only concerns is : Does the company have enough resources to pay all these unexpected costs in such a short time. We know that the Cook Islands is really a developing country with its 14.000 inhabitants in total. They struggle for every cent there. Salaries for mariners are under the 500 nzd a week. (That is around 10.000 nok a month)
The cargo price rate has not been revised the last 8 years. This is a Ministry of Transport which has to set the rates. Perhaps now there will be an issue – if they want to have a domestic shipping line between the islands. Many companies have tried during the years but only Taio Shipping has survived. All the others have gone broke or gone on the reef.
No banks in the Cook Islands give bridge loans to the shipping industry.
This little vessel might be very important for sustainability of the entire little nation.
Monday 22 of August.
Nice sweet morning. 20 deg and 1017 hPa. A nice cool breeze from the North makes it very pleasant to be outside.
At 06:50 the first siren calling the workers to get ready and at 07:00 the work starts. A bit later at 09:00 the breakfast siren goes for a 10 min break. For a coffee or just for a fag for those who smoke. Quite a lot of smokers here on the yard. Perhaps it's a macho thing and you have to smoke it you will be accepted amongst your working camarades ??
We have no FW left in the ship as the electrician is going to change the faulty ecco-sounder transducer with a new one. To access the position the FW thank has to be drained.
Apparently it's quite normal that some transducers fails after a weeks operation. They are now made in China under licence from Furuno as ours. We all know that Made in China doesn't mean high quality but cheap price. Perhaps in the future it won't be made in China any more but in another even a cheaper country but hopefully a better quality..
Around midday the new transducer was fitted. But it was a bit complicated to organise the FW hose.
Firstly they said that the fire hoses are giving salt water. Then the Ship yard said we got 25 tons of FW on Friday and why we want more to-day. Apparently the AP ballasttank was filled with FW. I didn't know about that. 200 € for that water into the ballast tank.
After working hours we connected the same hose to our small garden hose and little by little the water is filling up the FW tank again. It'll take most of the night to fill up the 10 cubm. But time we have, so no worries there.
The new mate signed on this afternoon. He is born and bred in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Has about 2 years of sea time and seems to be a very nice guy. Not so much English but he has to learn fast.
The plan is that him and the chief mate will do some maintenance paint work when we're here on the hard stand.
Another man came as well for an interview as ass engineer. He had good papers but only working on oil riggs. Never been to sea. So not really appropriate for our needs. He was not so happy but we need people who have been on the sea before.
Now we hear that 2 tropical storms might brew up in the Atlantic Ocean where we are going. But only time will tell if this is the situation when we come.
The spare parts are not here yet. Manana they say every day . I.e some times in the future.
The agent says the parts are at the customs. Why customs when we are still in the EU ?? Most likely excuses to us to be patient. Why do we have to wait nearly 2 weeks for some small rubber gaskets to arrive from Holland ?? Is it a tactical move from Repnaval to let us wait and pay more. They charge 400 € every day for the hard stand + garbage and for a fire hose onboard. How much I do not know yet. But agent says the figures will most likely be around 80.000 €. I hope this includes the rubber seals as well. A part of these expenses comes from the PSC recommendations..
I've hear about several ship owners gone broke because they can not pay for all the recommendations given by these PSC inspectors.
Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24.
The days are running so fast that hardly time to sit and write in this blog.
Biggest event yesterday was that the prop-shaft come back about 15:00 and at 17:30 they left the ship. Rudder back and only to fit the inside flanges and bolts.
This morning at 07:10 they came and at 09:00 everything is ready to be put back to the sea.
Went up to the ship yard office this morning and asked for a copy of the invoice from them.
They told me that this is not possible as it is confidential and I should get it from the agent. They emailed him the invoice yesterday.
They were very kind and telephoned the agent.
He confirmed that the transfer funds from Taio Shipping in now in Madrid and in 24 hrs he will have all the funds in his account.
So far so good.
The ship yard says they'll will give me the invoice in 1-2 hours time..
The ship yard started to water blast the hull under water line just now. Why ?
The agent says that Hempel advice it'll take 4 more days to do the primer and anti-fouling patch work.
I said no - stop that plan. When the hull is dry put some anti-fouling on, so we can come out into the sea asap.
At 15:15 today the anti-fouling pots are there but no workers to roll it on. Why this attitude ?
At 14:30 the bill arrived 33.600 € to change the rubber seals and rectify the system. Included docking and 16 days on the hard. € 649 per day they charge. That is about 6500 nok per day.
I feel we are corned up in something which is very difficult to get out and afloat.
The yard said as soon as when they have a TT copy they will put us into the sea, no worries.
The worry is that the agent has not received the money before tomorrow and and can not guaranty for the funds before he has control of the transfer.
The initial plan is to splash tomorrow morning.
When afloat we'll save 649 € a day on the hard + hotel and restaurant for the 3 crew living in the hotel.
No cash – no splash as they say in Australia.
Just amazing there should be so many economic challenges with this little vessel.
When the workers had gone home we took the anti fouling ports down and rolled the 40 liters of anti-fouling on the hull in the dark. To-morrow morning we'll see the result, he, he.
Better its on the hull than in the pots.
Something has happened when we were up last time in Kvernhusvika. The binding layer of paint is not there. It flakes off very easily and no anti-fouling hardly was left. It seems that the paint layers sprayed on were not compatible at all. To have a good result now the hull has to be water blasted or grit blasted then new coatings on. But that will be a long and expensive exercise.
We finished before 22:00. Quick wash and then to bed.
Thursday 25 August
Same fine weather to-day. Cloudy and 20 deg in the morning. Barometer a little less than yesterday 1012 hpa.
Had a protest from the ship yard this morning that crew are not allowed to do any work in the ship yard. Well, it's done and the protest is received..
This morning we got an e-mail from our agent and my answer which goes as follows :
Good morning Thierry,
Thank you very much for your e-mail.
Have tried to tel you a few times this morning without success..
If I understand you right. You have received the prefunding from Taio Shipping of 38.000 € as you requested initially, but you do not want to use these funds to pay REPNAVAL the outstanding of 33.000 €.
On 25. aug. 2016 10:56, TENERIFE SHIPPING AGENCY wrote:
Regarding your e mail, and as per our first preliminary list of numbers given, requesting prefunding adjusted for all services ( not only for the yard ), we have seen that the yard bill has been increased due to the number of services requested
Also, and as stated before (At the beginning/on arrival, I told you clearly to stay on wet until the spares arrived, after checking on dry what was needed, but vessel remained on dry, it was not my decision,
even after repeating to you such thing many times) stay on dry cost money which I was repeating many times, with no actions afterwards
As always, when a sea going vessel arrives for repairs, prefunding is required in force before arrival always never after arrival, which have been the case to be in funds in ALL respects for ALL possible services, not only for a specific one,
you very well know, that we have assisted even without prefunding due to the repairs in the shaft, propeller and rudder only, now we have seen that many other issues appear, apart from the PSC issue, which we have handed in the best possible polite way with the Inspectors, to sort out the number of deficiencies duly determinate
Therefore, and as per my conversation with Mr Taio, payment of the yard invoice must be effected directly to the yard, as far as we know very well how to act in our side, and it is not required that anyone tell us how to act, therefore send by mail to the yard the wire transfer document without delay, for them to take the vessel to wet
We will settle with local sources their bills after received, and remaining funds shall be sent to Taio Shipping account as required
Well, what to do in circumstances like this. We had a crew meeting about it and the advice is not to confront the agent but stay friendly with him. He is working for us in many other ways as explained in his e-mail this morning. There must be a reason for his behaviour now as the funds have arrived.
Next to us is a Chinese fishing vessel, named Jing Feng no 3- Or a disguised fishing vessel. He, he. I have never seen a ship with so many antennas in all directions. For me it looks like a disguised spy ship. Behind on the bedding is Jin Feng nr 1, a bit smaller vessel and a bit less of antennas.
They have started to sand/grit blast the nr 3. The noise in unbelievable and the grit dust goes everywhere. We have closed all port holes, etc - but still our little ship getting a good dose of this shit. The blast the fore part of the vessel and it seems for me that they are going to blast the entire ship. Must cost a fortune. How can a small fishing vessel afford such an expense ?
Enclose a few photos in this blog. Sorry, we can not put in the noise in these kind of media yet. Perhaps in 10 years time we can get noise and smell through our computers. Who knows..
Do you believe in miracles ?
They do happen from time to time.
Just read this one : Good afternoon,
Tomorrow morning (7 am) we will be making the move to launch the boat into the water.
Thank you very much
Best regards Repnaval.
The funds didn't come from the agent but from another friendly source...
Then, half an hour later the local agent in Las Palmas sent the following :
Dear Captain, Gd afternoon
Pls note that we have booked for tomorrow 26th until 31st Aug. bollards 6/9 at Muelle Santa Catalina Poniente Interior.
For this manoeuvre a tug will guide you, but beforehand, you should call to morrow at 08:00 hrs Port Control (Ch.12) to advise the pilot.
Pls confirm safe receipt.
With kind regards, Santiago, Agmar SA
Well, life is full of ups and downs. For us this is excellent to get away from the noise and grit, from the expensive hard stand place.
Friday 26 of August.
Crew back onboard from the hotel at 06:45. Ready for a British breakfast with fried eggs and bacon + beans. It has rained a bit last night. First drops we have seen since we arrived.
At 07:30 movements in the yards but still nobody around us. Anyway we prepare to splash soon and just stay zen and wait. Getting ready on deck and in the engine department.
At 08:10 the Moana Nui started to wag down the slip. Like a whaleross on land. Bump by bump.
Passed the inferno of grit blasting of the ship-neighbor. Horrible noise. Finally we reached the sea. Had a stop for the engineer to check everything ok and a little more to get electricity for the generator. Started up engines. Everything perfect.. A tug came and attached to our stern to be able to tow us out and swing us around as there were quite a few metal big mooring bouys.
The tug capt must have been a bit unconscious as he swung us around quite fast without to notice that he pulled us straight into such a mooring bouy. It hit us aft in the mid section. Very worried of the rudder and propeller.
After this shalted in the prop and tested the rudder. Seems to work ok.
Steemed for our own engine to the wharf where we'll berth. Nice place but very little space . Came in all right. Got the gangway out.
Welders were waiting for us on the wharf to start a few small jobs for the engineer.
Just after the siesta came a wagon with 4 or 5 divers. They set up their equipment and dived down. Took photos. Luckily the rudder and propeller were not touched. But there was a long stripe scratch on the port side. See pictures.
During the afternoon the ship was washed down with seawater. All the grit and dust gone. When to rince off with the Karcher something wrong with the screw attachment for the hose. Water a bit everywhere. Changed the rubber seal o-ring but still the same. Engineer means there is a need to change the pipe thread piece. We'll see tomorrow if there is a Karcher maintenance shop.
After dinner we walked into the closest shopping center and bought a little bit of food for the crew and litre of lemon ice cream..
Wonder what challenges Saturday will bring us?
Saturday 27 August.
Saturday came and went – as all days. Plenty more days are queuing up in front of our lives. What we get out of a day depends the circumstances where we are and perhaps a bit of destiny if you believe in such.
During the morning I had a long session on telephones and on e-mails trying to find crew for the continuation of this vessel. But not so easy as I thought it should have been. But now as the ball starts rolling and the word get spread around the world I'm sure something will come up very soon.
The new expansion tank for the stern tube oil is now up on the wall and only need to be connected. I guess the mechanics will come on Monday and finish this job. Then there is only one more thing to do. The flukes of the anchors which knocks into the ship's side when we steam into the trough.
Feel so sorry for the Taio Shipping having all these expensive challenges only to get their little vessel home to help with the domestic trade to secure the existence of the islanders on the remote islands.
The only hope is when the vessel is seaworthy and ready for the ocean passages, it'll be without any technical surprises and we can concentrate our energy towards the daily running of the vessel.
In the evening part of the crew went onshore for a concert in town. But it was rap music and a bit to advanced and loud for my liking. After 30 min we left and went to explore a shopping mall instead.
When we walked back to the ship rain drops started to fall. The first rain we have felt for a very long time. In the morning the decks were nice an wet. It was a cool night – I had to put a cover on in bed.
Sunday 28 of August.
Overcast and 21 deg this morning. Barometer in fall with 1008 hPa.
The crew from the Japanese boat next door came over with tuna fish and Japanese rice.
Our cookie was in heaven. For lunch we had sashimi and sushi as much one can eat. The new Canary crew member had never tasted this before. Specially with the strong Wasabi and the soya sauce. Very curious about everything. First time he tried to eat with chop sticks.
However, gave up after a while and used the fork towards the end.
Part of the day we passed in a scientific museum called Elder. I think we passed 4 hours here and still there was more to be seen, but our brains couldn't take any more. It's like when you eat – at one stage you can not swallow any more. We walked to a little payment place and had a summer wine. Which is a red wine with ice cubes and some lemon. Refreshing..
Monday 29 of August.
Good news as the Taio Shipping rang. They'll send two of their engineers to replace ours who is leaving us here in Las Palmas.. Now we can plan ahead for a departure this week..
On the lower cargo deck the boys grinding the big surface of the deck and the plan is to primer afterwards before the evening is here. Tomorrow continue with work. Hopefully all the deck can be done before we go to sea. Because most of the time this deck has sea water on it. If the treatment is done correctly no more rust strands developping.
Nice spaghetti for lunch.
Lots of e-mails to answer during the afternoon. It's like I do nothing else than sitting in front of the PC as if it was a magnet keeping me nailed to the keyboard.
We had beautiful Norwegian sei for dinner. So tasty. With a little salad and raw rice..
This evening we have to go and do more shopping. Low on potatoes, carottes and vegetables. It'll be nice to have a walk about.
Tuesday 30 of August
As most mornings I get up about 05:30 and had a session of kundalini yoga/meditation for 90 min changes the sleeping body to a new day facing spirit with new vitality.
First message was that the travel agency had not managed to sort out any reasonable airplane tickets for the coming engineers. 98 hrs travels to arrive in Las Palmas seems to be very slow Of course the shipping company didn't accept and wants to have a new routing which is quicker.
My suggestion is from Auckland to Tokyo - Madrid and finally Las Palmas. 2Stops if one doesn't count the stop in Auckland..
Well, not so easy as apparently there is only one travel bureau now in Rarotonga.
During the morning helped the boys to grind down the aft deck for rust and open the paint for attachment of the new primer and top coat.
Wednesday 31 of August.
Good news from the Cook Islands this morning. We'll get 2 engineers from Rarotonga on Monday evening. If everything goes well hand over on Tuesday and departure will be on Wednesday coming week. Gee it'll be great to be at sea again.
More grinding of the aft deck. Finished about 15:00. cleaned the deck with fresh water. Of course there were dust everywhere on the ship now.
For dinner we had a Spanish tortilla. Nice food. We planned to go shopping but got some visitors from a Japanese ship next to us. When we told the old Japanese captain that we are on a delivery trip to the SW Pacific his comments were : Delivery voyages are some of the most difficult and dangerous one can do with ships. Most of the ships sold are worn out with lots of hidden vices and secrets which might appear during a delivery voyage. I estimate to dangerous for me to do deliveries.
He has on a tuna fish vessel which picks up frozen fish from the other Japanese fishing vessel in the area and transport it to shore for immediate sending to Japan by air plane.
The plan was to go shopping tonight but when they left the supermarket had closed.
Thursday 1 of September.
This morning the deck crew walked over to the food supermarket and did a big shopping as we are many arms to carry back the plastic bags. We shopped for nearly 1000 nok. In Norway not a big shopping but here where prices are at least half, we got a lot of food for this amount.
Well back to the ship started to paint the first layer of primer.
Had lunch at about 12 o'clock. When we started again at 13:00 the paint left in the buckets was getting hard. Tried to use a bit of thinner to blend it – but not a big success. Painted most of it on but the quality isn't the same as it should be. What we learn from this is always finished the pot of two component paints before a break or a rest.
During the morning transferred all the fuel in the garage to the lower cargo room.
In this cargo room there are no sprinklers as in the garage. But we have foam and co2 extinguishers in case something should happen. Of course no smoking in this cargo hold..
Had dinner about 18:00 and went to town where it is a big food festival. Food from many countries, but very expensive. We tried a few but not so good as in a restaurant.
Back to the ship had radio shed with LA3ZH. However, some German ham operators occupied “our” frequency of 14328. We were on 330 but very poor radio connections to-night.
Friday 2 september
This morning second coat of primer on the deck. 10 liters mixed up. When all the deck surface was done still some litres left. Learned from yesterday and we continued to paint all those rust spots which needed love and care till no more paint in the tubs.
Then had lunch...
After lunch hired a taxi and picked up the High Pressure water blaster. The repairs came to 115 € and the taxi bill to nearly the same.. At least we have now a good Karcher with a long hose which reaches all over the ship if needed.
Set up a list of what kind of paint we have onboard. And a plan how to use it whilst under-way.
Need to buy a few more small rollers and 5 more wire brushes. That's it.
Hopefully this will permit us to arrive at the final destination with a beautiful painted vessel.
The local agent came onboard just after 17:00 and told us about how to declare in the new crew and how to declare the old crew out. He needs about 48 hrs before hand to be able to organise with the authorities here in Las Palmas..
Quite simple when we follow the rules and regulations..
This evening onshore to look at the cine food festival. Tried a few more things, but very disappointed with the quality and the expensive price. Only the beer is cheap. 2 huge glasses for 3 €. But it's Heineken beer, which I do not like too much.
Back on the ship for the evening radio shed. Very poor radio connection to-night. We talked a little while but as nothing much new, decided to see tomorrow if any better radio condition.
Apparently too much sun activity the last 2 days, Northern lights over Norway which puts a big strain on the radio signals.
Saturday 3 September.
To day was another painting aft deck day for the deck crew. Started up in the morning with the first layer of light blue. Looks differently than conventional deck colours. At 11 the job was done. We took a taxi to the paint shop to buy some more rollers and wire brushes for the disc grinders. Tried to get 10 of Hempel paint but the shop was closed. Not many industrial shops have open on Saturday any more. Workers prefer long week-ends with their families.
While we were away the engine department showed the new engineer how to use the water maker. Of course the water in this port is quite polluted and the result is that the filters cloggs up quickly.
After lunch we looked at the hatch coaming on the middle deck. A major facelift is needed here. Most likely a day's work with 3 people. We did some temporarily chipping only before attacking the second coating of the blue pain on the aft deck which was already hard. The sun heats fast up the steel plating and accelerate the paint curing process.
All together we used 10 liters of paint for every layer.
It'll be interesting to see the results in 2 months time when the sea has been washing over the deck when we're underway.
Sunday 4 September.
Day off – to day. Just watching and planning all the jobs for the coming days.
This morning we walked to a kind of cheap Sunday market. Where one can buy 3 pair of socks for 1 €. Taputu and I bought a small radio / speaker each for 10 €. made in china of course.
In the evening we had a cold beer and tapas. In the food -cenema there was a film from the colony that Spain had before in Equatorial Guinea. Apparently the only Spanish speaking place in Africa.
The film was sub titled but in Spanish. They talked Spanished and sub titled in Spanish.
Monday 5 sept.
rted the day to grind off all kinds of rust running around on the main deck. While we were in full action the agent came over and we drove over to the harbour master office. Sorted out a few things wit the port authorities and after this meeting they promised us that no worries we can leave the port on Wednesday as planned.
Gee, it was so good to hear this after all the port state control's second inspection and verification of recommendations.
Continued to grind down the rust spots on the main deck up to lunch time.
Plumbers from Sanper on shore arrived to rectify and finsih the work from what the other
workshop hadn't done or not done properly.. Completely different mentality and professional speed.
From this we can learn that sometimes it's better to find workers ourselves that through an agent.
Took a taxi and bought some more Hempel paint for the railings.
With the taxi driver and the Spanish crew tried to find a NOR coupling for our fire hose. But such couplings they had never seen and not exist here in Spain. But it was a good try !
Patchoing primer on grinded places during all afternoon.
Hilary & Graeme left the ship. They had joined us in Kvernusvika in Norway but now it didn't work out and they reseigned and left the ship after a week's notice.
Chief eng Owen later at abt 18:00 after 2 week's notice.
Their cabins were cleaned and now we're wanting for the new crew to arrive from the Cook Islandss.
Mate Taputu moved cabin.
Later this evening around 21:30 went to the airport with the agent and picked up the 2 new crew coming from Rarotonga direct via LA and Heathrow, London..
The airplane from Bilbao was cancelled. The new ass cookie Elixabet telephoned and said she will arrive tomorrow around 11 o'clock.
The new happy crew were talkeing till nearly 3 in the morning. Apparently so much new to catch up. Well, for myself I went to bed half an hour after midnight.
Tuesday 6 of September.
Mornigns are always the same here. Wind N-2, baro 1017 hPa and 21 deg. Very cloudy and grey
Started the morning to paint white on the railins and the garage door. The 5 liters were gone very
fast and what to do next ?
Eating lunch was a very good suggestion...
The chief engineer was here and the others followed him like small ducklings following the mother duck. They went through all procedures how to start the engines and the various other systems we
The cookie arrive as planned at 11:00 Sharp. The agent came and took their passport to the harbour police for registration. I could see no stamp nor any comments on their books afterwards.
Must be a Spanish burocratic thing to do.
During the afternoon the main deck got a nice light blue colour. Finishe off around 17:00. Set the MOB boat on the water. But it didn't start in the water. We ha tried it in the cradle and everything was ok. Must be a very moody Mariner engine.
It was working after Miro had looked a bit closer to it. But when we tried it in the basin the engine stopped again. Managed to paddle into the wharft and got a hiving line onboard and towed back to
the mother ship again.
Started up again but now the starting motor wouldn' cut out. The starting spindle was stuck as the
engine didn't start. Had to release the starting spindle and tried again. But no start. Decided to take
the boat up into it's cradle and work from here. At dinner time Miro said he had taken off the
spindle, given it a good grease and now everything with the starting should be ok..
Well, the verdict is that the MOB boat should never be used in an emmergency, to unreliable to be
After dinner we rush all to the supermarked and bought provisioning for the next sea leg.
12 -14 days underway with 8 people.
2 trolley full and the price 250 €.. Food is so much cheaper in this country than in Norway...
Had a quick shed on the radio with Norway this evening.. Got the latest weather prognosis for this week.
It was stated that 3300 visitors have been into this little web site story.
During the evening the last bits of the main deck was painted nice and light blue.
Wednesday 7th of September.
D-day. Been here more than a month now. It has been a very special month in the delivery saga of
this little vessel.
The new engineers chatted most of the night – and went to bed around 4 in the morning. Jet lagged and excited about this voyage.
At breakfast only one of the surfaced for a good strong coffee. The reseigning engineer arrived and
two of his ducklings followed him around in the vessel. The last one was missing. Eaten by a
hungry sea-gull ?
The work was to make the ship ready for sea. Stow away paint pots, folding up shade tarpaulins and many small things which have been spread during one month on shore.
Our agent came and wished us happy sailing – see you in the Cooks he said. I come for sure. My
aim in life is to find a nice spot on this planete where to grow and develop physically and spiritually.
Well, it'll be nice to show him the Cooks one day in the future, if we're still there.
At 10:30 main fire alarm sounded – all crew came except one duckling missing. He was sleeping and hadn't heard the alarm he said..
But now he's among us.
The crew is now : Enoa and Miro – the two new engineers from the Cook Islands. Then the chief mate Taputo also from Raro. Victor, ass engineer, a young and fast learning boy from Tenerife. 29 years old. With engineer school and 4 months on a tug..
Javier, 2nd mate also from Tenerife, 36 yrs old with all certificates and some sea time experience.
The youngest of the crew is Elixabet from San Sebastian, the heart of the Basque country. She has taken on the job as assistant cook. She has also a maritime school with all certificates and stcw-95.
Then Japanese Naoko as cook and me a the captain. The only Norwegian onboard.
The fire drill was conducted by the leaving engineer. His soul and mind is still on this ship. It's always very difficult to leave a ship. One get very attached to a vessel. Specially a little one like this one.
We tested the foam making unit. Works perfectly and the entire aft deck was soon foamed.
The auxiliary and portable little pump was ceased. The rust had attacked the bronze impeller and we need to open the pump house and get some lubrication into the moving rotating pumping parts.
At 11:30 LT let go all mooring ropes. She came beautifully from the wharf, turned around and steamed out the port.
Freedom is back to the sea. In front of us was a nice 4 master barkentine: They called her Gloria but on the AIS there was another name. JR Culeno..
Nice dinner curry for lunch. Happiness is going back to sea after such a long time in a port.
The ship owner was contacted that now finally we were on the course again to the SW Pacific Ocean.
Everything works very well..
If you like challenges in life - this kind of environment is really for you. One can never plan the next hic up.
At 14:15 the 2nd mate called. No more steering. Please come up on the bridge.
Steering pump had stopped. The UPS had taken over the charts and alarms everywhere. Bib – bib in all kinds of sounds and style.
I wanted to reduce the engine speed, but no more connection with the main engine, nor the pitch controller. No power for anything.
But the ship had inside power so something was working. The engineer changed generator hope this would fix it , no wishful thinking.
Luckily the manual steering worked and we managed to keep the sea swell aft. She was sliding along with about 3 knots.
Mystery. This has never happen since I came onboard. It was like the main guiding electric course didn't work any more.
45 minutes checking. Batteries, chargers, etc.
Nothing. Main electric board – all fuses ok.
On the side wall the engineer found one small tripped fuse, marked charger.
Switched it on and voila, everything started to work again.
Gee, so little to stop a big ship. In 5 min everything was set again and happily moving Southwards with 8,5 knots speed..
The charger seems to overheat and the engineers have to switch it on and off following its voltage.
Now they study the description of this device to better understand its function and automation switching circuit.
Well, this story stole my afternoon beauty sleep. But it gave me another story to share with the readers.
Dinner tonight was the first meal made by the new cook. A salad from couscous base and veggies.
Followed with a fruit or some cheese. Simple and easy to digest after the huge lunch dinner with rice and meat-curry.
Beautiful evening with a 15 to 20 knots tail-wind. A very comfortable steaming Southwards.
Thursday 8 of September
Dark this morning when I woke up at 6 o'clock. We are now at W17* and need soon to flog the clock one hour so we can follow the day light.
Well, a few more days till we are West of Cap Verde would be the right position to change one hour.
We're heading towards N18* before turning a Westerly direction. Like this the ship will follow the predominant wind and sea systems in this region. Normally very stable weather condition in this part of the world. Winds from the NE 15 to 20 knots at the most. Sunny and 23-24 deg in the air.
With other words perfect sailing condition.
Just before 8:00 it got light.
The morning watch was uneventful. Only one tanker of 100.000 tons passed in front of us with a distance of 2,5 nm. His destination was Brazil.
Cleaning up in the wheel house, organizing the speakers and small jobs I always wanted to do.
Soon lunch. Pasta, curry and fried veggies. Light food as the menus have changed from the heavy British food system to a more Mediterranean style.
The washing machine came up with a stop and in the display it was marked E-4. Victor clean the water filter and the display fault disappeared but still the machine doesn't work.
Too many people handling the machine. It should be only one person doing the laundry and split it up to different categories, such as white and delicate, normal and heavy dirty working clothes.
Sometimes I've seen the machine running with only a few T-shirts and heaps of washing soap.
When it's up and going again we should appoint one person responsible for the machine.
Did a few electrical translations from Norwegian to English. Sometimes not easy to find the right technical word which covers the specific system.
My sextant has lost it's mirror and the glass is just clear. The last days in Las Palmas bought a little pot of mirror paint. Tried to paint it on half the glass to-day. When the paint has dried I wasn't very happy with the outcome. A metallic surface like but not as good as a mirror. Well, when the paint has hardened properly tomorrow I'll try to polish the surface and see if it'll be better.
I can not really understand how the sextant mirror can disappear with the years.
But it would be great to take up the practice system to take the sun at mid day and the stars at nautical twilight in the evening and morning.
Tortilla for dinner. Naoko is now always worried that people do not get enough to eat.
Why some of the crew doesn't eat at eating schedule time ?
Why they have to keep the dinner warm for more than one hour till the last person has eaten ?
The new cookie doesn't seem to worry to much about this. Perhaps the younger generation seems to be easier with feeding times, etc.
Well, the weather is beautiful. Tail wind and 24 deg.
The rails on port side got a nice fresh layer of white paint. Just amazing what a little of paint does of the impression when one enter a ship. If a ship is nicely painted it give the impression of good seaman ship and well maintenance all over..
Had radio contact with Norway this evening, but not so good HF radio conditions as yesterday. Our frequency is still 14.328 kHz A good frequency that goes very well with all sorts of antennas.
Wind picking up a little bit tonight. 15 kts and a falling glass. 1016 hPa. More clouds now but the growing half moon is still clear. On the Northern hemisphere a growing moon can be place as a C
in the right hand. Between the thumb and the index finger. Since we are quite South now the moon is inclined towards a more horizontal position. In the North it stands up – and further South one travels the more inclines the moon. Around the equator it's a laying C
South of equator it's tipping the other way and a growing moon's C can be set tin the left hand..
Confusing ? No it's logic and this is how it has been as long as our Earth has had the moon.
* Friday 9 of September
The engine humming like a kitten. Mile after mile.
Last 24 hours we have done 207 nm. This morning it was not light before 8 o'clock which means we should really change an hour tonight. Planning to do it just before midnight. With other words one hour longer watch for me but that's ok when one can sleep one hour longer in the morning.
The morning watch went fast as always. Mid day position was N23* and W20*. In two days we'll pas Cap Verde islands and then if everything goes well - the next waypoint will be St Kitts.
The sky is covered with clouds now most of the day, but the heat comes through. Tail winds of 15-17 kts and slight sea. Quite choppy for such depths as here of 3000m. Must be only surface wavelets because no swell at all. The Monana Nui move slowly from side to side as she was only in ballast, despite we still have 80.000 litres of fuel onboard.
If this old ship could talk it would have been a nice story to hear how a 50 year old ship feels in the tropics. In the wheel house we have the small aircon going. It is a bliss for the instruments as now there is no salt air to slowly destroy all the electronics such as radar, autopilot, etc.
On my previous vessels the air has been the death of many beautiful instruments. New ones get in but they do not last long in the salt environment. To open door and windows should be forbidden but the the crew inside would be roasted in a few hours.
Hopefully with this ship it's different. Nice cool air inside. No doors or windows open..
To-day I've been looking everywhere for a plastic bag with lures and fish hooks. Last time I saw it was in Norway. It was put somewhere on a safe spot which was under my bunk, I though. But no it isn't there. Went to sleep and saw it in my suitcase. When I woke up - rushed to the suitcase, but nothing in them. Hmm, mystery where that bag has gone. One day it'll surface and hopefully we haven't arrived our destination at this stage. In the mean time keep thinking where it can be..
Dinner tonight was like a Russian salad with tuna fish followed by a nice cabbage salad in dressing.
Kai-kai (food in Polynesian) time is always a nice time to sit down and relax with the other crew.
In the evening short QSO with Norway. Relatively good connection with different ham radio operators.
The evening watch was one hour longer as we flogged one hour. Now we are at UTC time onboard.
* Saturday 10th of September.
It was nice to sleep until the day arrived. No cookie this morning to make coffee or tea. The new cookie might have problems to get up in the morning. We are a bit surprised. Normally new crew in general are always working hard the first week or two before the real personality shows up.
Well, let us see what happens in the future.
Lunch was well prepared and lots of it.
Around 7 o'clock in the morning the autopilot had an alarm warning saying too much differences between the compasses. We changed the difference to a higher settings and it seems to behave again.
However, there is a warning of low battery power of the Furuno GPS compass. The manual says that such a prom battery should be changed by a technician. Well, we do not have any battery onboard at all to give it a change. Have to organise and book one for Panama. Surely there are technician who have such batteries and knowledge to change. Just lets hope the compass will last for another few weeks.
Always something we have forgotten. If we had known in Las Palmas it would have been so easy to change. Following the manual book it says that once a year a special test should be done for the GPS compass to check it's status. Well, this is the first time we read this manual and of course we haven't done this test.
The only thing is that some of the diodes on the screen have stopped working.
We have been talking that in the future sometimes a new unit should be purchased. Perhaps it is better now to buy a new one that just to replace the batteries. There are apparently two kinds of batteries.
A little bit of painting of the rails on the stb side. Little by little the paintwork is coming along.
But to sporadic and no continuation.
However, the ship misses a chief painter : a dedicated person who only works day time and do rust picking and painting as the major task.
It seems to be the best way for a ship's maintenance to keep up with the aggressive sea air and sea spray.
For dinner we had a few of those flying fish that crash landed on our ship the last day. Crisp fried, like a snack. A good taste much better than potato chips.
The QSO with Norway had very poor radio signals this evening. Short chats with the latest happenings and weather. We made it very short as the radio conditions on 20m was very poor.
Sunday 11 September.
Smooth night, half moon, cloudy sky and following winds and sea during all night and morning.
At 10:30 we had arrived the N18* and the course was changed from 230* to 270*. Straight West.
Towards an island called Mont Serrat.
Only 2320 nm to go and then we'll go around towards Bassterre, St Kitts which is our final destination for this leg.
If we manage to keep 8,5 knots in average that'll be ETA the 22nd of September.
Then we have crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Only one more Ocean to cross – Part of the Pacific Ocean. We should be able to do it in less than a month as we're only crossing a part of it to the Cook Islands.
This afternoon it was like a rain in the air. Very humid but no precipitation. No sun and the wind is still from NE about 15 kts.
Our AIS transponder has stopped to take signals from other ships. Only transmitting. We have tried all kinds of menus but avail. This Saab R4 unit has not very user friendly menus either.
I'm sure it might be a parameter that is blocked and avoiding us to receive signals from the other ships around us. We have gone through all the menus. Restarted the unit, but still the same clean list of no ships around us. Not sure what to do – perhaps send an e-mail to the technician in the Saab support department, if the company is still up and going..
At 16:00 sounded the general alarm.
Very quickly all the crew came to the muster station.
What to do if somebody falls over board into the sea ?
Fishing line up – 2 persons on the monkey island with binoculars, navigator presses the MOB knob on the GPS and the chart plotter. Life bouys out. Preferably with the smoke signals in the day and light strobes in the night.
Then turn the vessel to a contrary course and steam in the luv side for the person in the water.
Stop the ship and let the ship drift down to the person in the water. Easy to describe but very difficult to do.
Our MOB boat is to dangerous to set on the water in the open sea.
On paper and certificates it is ok - but in real life not realistic to use.
The ships rolling will make it very dangerous for the mob-boat operators when the launching is going on. It'll slab several times to the ship's side before it reaches the sea.
Secondly the outboard engine is to unreliable and fragile to jeopardize two persons' lives.
There was a great participation from all the crew members in this drill.
Main lesson : Do not fall overboard.
Not easy to find and pick up, specially during the night. If heavy sea it'll make it even more complicated..
If lots of vessels in the area it could be a help to make a VHF pan-pan call to have others to assist to localise the missing person.
The crew was telling stories when people was lost overboard and how they were rescued. More chance and luck than anything else.
This little intermezzo lasted only 30 min but I hope all the crew members will have their own reflections about the danger if falling into the sea. A very serious situation.
This evening the QSO was very clear and easy to read most of the radio-ring participants.
Got the good news from home that they have a real Indian summer days. But the L pressures with rain is lurking slowly towards the coast..
Decided to have the shed a bit earlier tomorrow at 19:30 UTC. Might be better radio condition at that time of the day. Well, time will show.
We did another clock flog to-night. Now we're in zone Z-1 from midnight.
Monday 12 of September.
Wind from the aft quarter, 10 to 15 kts, sky cloudy and the odd white horse on the sea. The temperature is creeping up. 25 deg now in the night.
Just a reflection that the English says the sea has many horses when the wave breaks into white caps.
In French they say that the sea is “moutonnee”. Which might be translated to : the sea has many sheep. No horses in French.
During the morning watch tried to shift the AIS VHF antennas around. But they had different connectors so this is not possible. However, when one antenna was disconnected some alarms came and when the other was disconnected, different alarms.
We had one ship echo when it passed us this morning. It disappeared from the AIS responder when it was 30 nm away from us.
Sent a few winlink.org e-mails with the Pactor modem on the 20m band this morning, using a Bern, Switzerland station. Very strong as it has the antenna turned in a Westerly direction.
Fantastic speed. Most likely the best contact I have had for a long time. 3200 bits/sec most of the time.
There is also a station in the Canarias but not so strong. Many times it is very slow and it can take half an hour just to send a small e-mail.. Pushing with 200 bits/min.
The sun is covered by clouds but it is there and we feel the humidity and heat. Very humid now.
Luckily we have a good air con system in the wheelhouse and in the entire ship. Keeps the accommodation dry and cosy to be inside.
Working out with the sextant now. Takes a little bit of time to reset the brain to take astro observations. Worked out the sun's mer passage and set it up with our W28* GPS position.
Meridian passage is always the easiest observation. One get the latitude position directly.
Measure the sun culminates in 75*56' – its meridian passage - before it started to go down again.
Our DR Lat is 17*47'.
Calculated and came to a very wrong answer.
What the heck was wrong. Checked and rechecked.
Found out that we had been on a completely different day in the Nautical almanac with of course a different declination.
To-day's decl is N3* 54'. Set that in and a good result. Less than 2 nm from the GPS latitude position.
At least now we are on the good track to be able to use the sextant in the mer pass of the Sun.
Next step will be to repeat the sun's observation in the morning and afternoon to get a position line.
Loaded down and paid for a small navigation program on the mobile phone just before leaving Las Palmas. It'll be interesting to see if it really works.
For 25 years ago I had a Psion pocket computer with an excellent and simple program. It worked so well. But that machine is phased out now for a long time ago and so far I have not found another good astro nav program like this one..
One could take any observation of the sun. moon, planets or stars. Noted down the exact time and the observed height. Set these figures in the form together with the date and dead reckoning. Out came a position line.
Did the same with a few more - and a few more position lines.
Where they were crossings, one had a very good estimation of the actual position.
Easy and simple..
But today the entire world is dependant on the GPS global system. If this nav system breaks down what will happen to all the ships in the world ? With all the cars which uses GPS nav for driving in unknown towns and countries.
Air planes have perhaps also shifted over to GPS ?
They might still use the beam navigation system which is very reliable in case the GPS signals fail.
Our main compass is a GPS satellite based one. Of course there is a magnetic back up compass but still we have no other secure navigation than the GPS.
Chart system is electronic as well. We use Open Cpn program. It is a free version and meant for yachties only. But it is very advanced and much better than the C-Map we have in back-up in case something happen with the Open cpn.
However, we have paper charts for the entire route to be able to mark down and track on the old fashion way. Good for the mates to plot down our position on the chart every so often during the watch.
* The QSO was at 19:30 UTC tonight. Cristal clair radio connection. Got the latest weather prognosis from la3zh and information of the Indian summer in South Norway the next coming days.
Just want to thank everybody who reads this blog as the reading figures have passed 4000 now, from many places around in the world.
You are wonderful people and through you I keep the inspiration to write more. Hopefully not too boring as every day seems to be quite the same on the surface, but when digging further down every hour is different.
Tuesday 13 of September
Every month has a 13th also this month. Superstition says that the 13th isn't a good day and specially if it arrives on a Friday.. Why all these superstitions – for us it has been so far a very normal day. Wind from the NE 15 kts, the sky seems to be a little easier now and we feel the heat from the sun. 28 deg in the shade.
12 o'clock position was N 17*38' W 32* 07' we steam at a course of 270* and the sog is 8,5 knots.
Since we left Kvernhusvika Slip yard in Norway we have done 4650 nm.
To arrive St Kitts just another 1725 to steam.
So after all a good day to-day.
The Sun's mer pass will be at 13:06 ship's time and it is time to flog again another hour to night.
We're getting used to flog now and one hour longer watch in the evening does harm at all.
Evening came and the hour was changed. Now we're in Z-2, also called the mid-Atlantic zone.
Wednesday 14 of September.
Discovered lots of sea water washes in and out through the scupper on the stb side.
The scupper lid swings freely in and out. The welded stoppers on the board must have fallen off. All three of them. Well not so much we can do now before the ship is in anchorage or in very quite waters so we can take it loose and weld on new stoppers. Hmm the board was newly made in Kvernhusvika Slipp yard when we were there. Perhaps something wrong with the welding machine since all 3 of them have broken off ??
Still working to get a good sextant meridian passage. To-day 1 nm different compared with the GPS.
That is a good result consider that we are in the open sea.
The Pactor modem radio condition not the best this morning and there were 10 e-mail just for one crew member. My fault as I have told them that they can send e-mails to friends, so people know that everything is ok with us. I told that no attachments nor any pictures can be sent or received as the system is too slow for that. Well, it took nearly two hours to download the 10 e-mails this morning.
Mid day temperature was 32 deg and very humid. Great to be able to escape into the wheelhouse were the air-con is set to 25 deg and it feel very cool.
The discussion topic this morning was the crew constellation in general. We seem to have two groups on board the CI group with 3 persons and the Spanish group with 3 persons. Then we have the odd Japanese and the odd Norwegian.
For the future the ideal would be to have only two persons of each nationality as that would make a better group team of the crew. Well, there are so many factors to consider when one set up a crew team. Professionally – experience might be the most important ones, then come language, social, cultural and nationality.
If too many of one group, the group takes over the dominance of the ship's daily running and the atmosphere onboard.
Some deck work goes on. Chipping heavy rust in a gutter just over the air con unit on the main deck. Big cake flakes come loose. The needle gun does its work and soon we can rust wash and paint a few layer of primer to soak into the rusty steel cells. Hopefully tomorrow.
In the accommodation the toilets and shower room had a good monkey shine during the morning.
Spik and span now for the next days.
We are so happy that this important job is done regularly.
For lunch : chick peas and spinach. A carrot potage soup and rolls of bacon for the meat seekers.
Easy to digest and good in the heat of the day.
The watches in the wheel house and in the engine department turn well. Always something small things to improve and repair.
Our latest is the temperature gauge pistol. One point and a infra red beam goes to an area and we can read the surface temperature when the beam hit. The boys says the battery is dead. Shifted with a new battery, but still the same dead pistol. As if there is no life in the pistol unit screen. It is a Biltema product and it was quite expensive as well. But still it doesn't work. The boys in the engine department have no knowledge now of the temperatures any more. With the hand they can tell cold, little hot, quite hot and not to touch.. It might pay to get a new unit when we get to the next port. As it is now we can not monitor the installations in the engine room. Specially now as the sea water temperature arises quite a lot.
At 17:30 a good shed with Norway. I had set the Noise Blanker and the Automatic Gain Control on automatic which made the beginning of the signals to be good then just fading out. Not a good idea to use these parameters.
For dinner we had a home made pizza and a potage soup. Just enough to feed us all.
Normally I like a Camembert cheese with a slice of bread afterwards, but to-day it was no space for any more cheese.
Lots of rain storms around us this evening and some bucket of rain fall. Nice and warm rain. Cleans off all the dusts and the salt layers on the ship.
The only thing I do not like is the heavy lightning between the clouds. We have no anti lightning device set up. If one hits the ship it might blow out all our electronics. But let's hope this won't happen.
No moon to be seen as the sky is totally covered now..
A strong tropical thunderstorm started about 21: and lasted to 23:30. At some stage it was like daylight from all the lightning flashes. I was a bit worried that we might have a direct hit and blank out all our electronics.
But luckily nothing happened.
Thursday 15 of September.
Beautiful weather, course still straight West. The odd white horses on the sea surface. Sun is out and warms the air and the ship. We have air cond so inside the accommodation nice with 26 deg. Outside the mercury went up to 35 before lunch. But then came the breeze and stabilised the temperature around the 30 deg.
This morning watch was into scrape and primer around the wheel house doors and the construction outside where we clearly could see brown rust started to form.
Same procedure around some electrical box junctions just over the outside aircon we tried the rust transformer and it became black as soon as the acid reacted with the rust. In this temperature the chemical reaction is very fast, much faster than we're just to in Norway.
Tried to connect with the Pactor modem during the morning watch but our position gave us very poor connection. When we had, it was very slow. More than two hours to download some small e-mails from one of the crew's mother and girlfriend. One e-mail from a ship chandler in Panama.
We need to replace 2 batteries in the Satellite compass unit. One battery is a small round flat one and the other has a special Furuno number. The 2050 battery which cost in Norway 10 kr they asked 160 usd and to come and change the other one would cost us about 2000 usd. Having a Furuno technician coming from Panama city to the ship.
Better to write to our supplier in Norway and ask if they could send us the batteries with DHL or even better an entire new display unit which might be in the range of 2000 usd.
Well, this is a case to be followed up..
The noon position was N 17*23' and W039*28.
A 24 hrs run of 206 nm and 5067 nm since Kvernhusvik Shipyard at the island of Hitra.
For lunch it was a full dinner with chicken legs and meat rolls. Fried potatoes in olive oil.
I had some none meat left overs from yesterday and peace of nice Gouda cheese.
After lunch set a new dough of bread. White wheat bread as one of the engineers have poor teeth and can not eat my brown rye / spelt bread. He, he.
Set the dough too close to the air con vent and it rose very slowly. Kneaded it down and placed it in my cabin where it is nice and warm.. Hopefully there will be wonders during the next hours..
For dinner was a Venezuelan dish called Caballa. A kind of small hamburger bread, with special fish, onions, salsa verde, mejillones, tomatoes and spices. Apparently a dish very often eaten in the Canarias. At least once a week in some families.
Very nice taste and a interesting to try something new.
At 21:15 the engineer came up on the bridge and said please shalt out the propeller, we're loosing lots of oil.
Took the engine to idle speed and prop out, pitch on zero. Autopilot into hand steering and waited for the next report from the basement.
After a while it was clear that the thermostatic meter for the gear box had sprung leak. The solenoid didn't shut the valve as supposed to and the oil squeezed out. Luckily not all oil was gone.
They poured in about 16-17 litres to bring the dip stick to the mark. Disconnected this thermostatic meter box and we've away again. Why no oil pressure alarm on the gear box oil flow was the question the engineers were asking themselves after this exercise. If it had been the alarm would have sounded as the gearbox was loosing the oil. Luckily we have a routine to go down in the engine room every hour for a visual check. Temperature checks are more difficult as the instrument doesn't work any more.
In this turmoil nice braked bread made a lovely sent all over the vessel.
From the QSO we learned that there is perhaps a rotating low pressure under development. 1012 right now but it has the possibilities to grow. Prognosis is that's this low is coming after us in more or less the same track. We are advices to take a further South bound routing. Now heading for N 17 deg and wait at that latitude to see what happens with this pressure. Should it develop and deepen we'll go South to the 15th parallel. From here steam west, South of the low pressure. If no development of this
potential low we'll continue from N17 to St Kitts.
At midnight it was nearly full moon, scattered clouds, slight seas wind from NE 10 kts and the barometer 1016 hPa. We are now W041* 30' and close to N 17* 06'.
During the next watch we'll pass the half line of the Atlantic ocean. Between the Cap Verde islands and the Antilles.
Flogged the clock one hour. Now we're in zone Z-3.
Friday 16 September
Same nice weather, same speed of 8,5 knots.
Very poor radio conditions for the Pactor/SSB connections.
Lunch time pos was N 17* 00' and W 43*00' Easy to remember.
A depression behind us deepens to 1009 they say and will move after us. But hopefully it'll take 4 days to catch up. The 5th or 6th day we'll arrive St Kitts and hopefully anchor up in the bay outside Basseterre.
More rust washing and priming this morning around on the wheel house deck and on the main deck.
The primer gets hard after two or three hours in this heat – so not to mix to much in one go.
The afternoon was warm with some small deck work and painting.
In the afternoon QSO with Norway. Good radio connections. Had a new station on la2ana.
With only 100 w and a vertical antenna on an island in Ryfylke.
Amazing how well sometimes signals go..
This night we'll steam further South to N16* to get out of an eventual storm track if it develops to something stronger.
That means a little longer to St Kitty but out of the wind eye of the low pressure hunting us from behind.
As we are in z-3 zone now the darkness came very early, at 18:30. I miss already the long light summer evenings in Norway, where it's light until 23:00 and the sun comes up again before 3 in the morning. Well, this was the case in Kvernhusvika Shipyard where we staid so long to prepare for this delivery voyage.
Saturday 17 September.
The sun rose early to-day, 15 min before 6 in the morning. This is how a perfect day starts.
Wind 10kts from the N and moderate sea with some white caps..
Breakfast time these days the cookie sleeps her beauty sleep. Young people needs more dream-time that us who have passed the 60 yrs for a long time ago..
Well, none of us drinks coffee and nobody in the morning watch wants to have bacon and eggs for breakfast.
A humble slice or two of bread, some water and the morning happiness is there.
In general in the tropics one eat very differently than in the colder climate. If you keep the same menu the body has problem to get rid of all the heat. The person sweat and lot, feel fatigued and suffer from the heat.
We have winter food and we have tropical food. Easy as that if one can choose what to eat.
Isn't it a saying that during the warm afternoon in the tropical region, only Englishmen and mad dogs can be seen working or walking in the streets.
The locals having their siesta nap until the peak heat has disappeared.
At noon the position was N16*08' and W 046*20' Course 290 and speed 8,9 knots.
Temperature in the shade 28 deg and very humid.
The low pressure follow us behind with 1009 hPa.
Still it is a safe distance of 300 nm. Following our met specialist in Norway it is not deepening but move after us with a little higher speed than us. The prognosis are that it'll fill and disappear. But in these waters one never know. At least we are in the safe sector of it now.
Noon coincide with the sun to-day. The meridian passage was 11:59. closer than that is not really possible. Sextant height was 76*38'. which turned out to be very close to our GPS latitude as well.
The sun's declination is now less that N 2* and very soon we'll have equinox where the sun's declination is 0. Where day and night have the same length. Then starts the shorter days and longer nights in the Northern hemisphere whilst on the opposite side of the Earth, it's the contrary.. The days are getting longer.
Afternoon radio QSO had clear and strong signals. Easy to talk when the situation is like this.
Got the latest news concerning the low pressure behind us and info that a new and fast deepening one has started close to Cap Verde. This one has all the ingredients to become a strong tropical cyclone. Most likely we'll be safe at anchorage in St Kitts when it has reached the mid Atlantic position and hopefully it'll track a NW routing. Hopefully we won't have any contact with it.
The evening watch was dark and warm. Full moon and some showers towards midnight.
All together a beautiful night.
Sunday 18 sept.
Sunday is a day where nobody does any major work unless there is a specific need for the safety or the continuation of the vessel.
A day of reflections. Theme one this morning is the room where we have the water maker. This room is a part of the exhaust funnel system for the main engine. Sweltering hot here now as the heat from the funnel has no way to escape, unless downwards through the door which is open. As warm air is lighter than the colder this room is really an air trap.
Looking into solutions here there should be cut an opening on the top so the air can go out.
If we have bad weather and have to close this door the water-maker plastic filters may melt just to tell you how hot it is in this room..
Perhaps in St Kitts the engineers will cut an opening hatch and weld on a grill to stop the water and rain to splash back into this opening. Something should be done here as our Fresh water maker has a restricted operation due to this hot air trap.
The noon position today was N16*15' W049*55' course 290 * is set to Mont Serrat, which is the island just South of St Nevis and St Kitts.
Wind 10 kts from N and the sea is moderate with several white horses. Baro 1016 hPa and 28*C in the shade.
This is the peaceful Sunday afternoon onboard the Moana Nui.
At 16:00 general alarm. MOB (just a dummy this time. Simulated it was the capt who fell overboard, what to do now ?)
Last Sunday we had the theoretical part of it, now it was the reality.
MOB knob activated. One person on the monkey island with a set of binoculars. Speed down, course change. Some ready to fish up the person in the sea.
The vessel returned and in the 3rd trial the floating dummy bouys was retrieved and taken onboard.
In max condition with day light and not to strong wind it took about 20 min. In a stress situation it might take the double.. We had a debrief and what could be done better and different. Very important to train in a situation to get more efficient and fast.
QSO with Norway. Excellent radio condition this afternoon. 3 hours before it was not possible to get any Pactor connection to send off outgoing e-mails. Even though the propagation was very positive. With radio one never knows.. However, the conclusion so far is that in the middle of the day not very favourable radio conditions.
Dinner was couscous, squid and sardines. Beet root and some salad on the very last leg..
We had a talk and everybody was asked to come up with their wish list to the cookie. So she has an idea what to get more of. White bread, fruits, sardines, fried eggs were some of the desires expressed orally.
Just before the evening watch I set a new dough of spelt / rye bread..Seems that many of the crew like this heavy and special bread. But of course the white blotting paper bread has also its consumers..
Monday 19 September
The long time wind pattern is breaking up. The wind is backing to a more West direction now. Nearly headwind but very light with less than 8 kts.
Our course over ground is 290*.
The sky is half clouded but the sun shines through.
During the morning we spotted the first bird. A kind of booby bird. Naoko took her camera and went out on the bridge wind to memorise the first bird we have seen in nearly 12 days.
This bird flew over the ship a few times and then it dropped its excrements.
Bingo, the shit hit poor Naoko in the face and along the right shoulder and arm. Even the camera line got a part of it. Not so smelly. He, he. One has to see the positive side of it. The chance to get hit like that must be one in a hundred, I suppose.. So after all it was a lucky incident and a welcome to the Caribbean waters. We are now 450 nm from the nearest island.
I wonder how Columbus crew felt when they saw the first bird after so many days in the unknown sea towards India.. The close one come now the more debris we'll see from the shores. Hopefully not plastic and rubbish from the civilised world.
One beautiful island I visited once in the China Sea had the beach full of plastic from the fishing industry and from general household. It was like walking in a tip heap and not along a natural beach. Not many birds left either. Just amazing how fast it has gone to pollute our Planet. Less than 50 years, perhaps even less than 25 years to arrive where we are now.
Just wonder how many years it'll take to break down all this rubbish if nothing more came to supply this polluting mountain.
At noon our position was from the GPS N16* 22' and W053* 36' SOG 8,7 knots and COG 290*
Tried the sextant reading. Sun mer pass at 11:29at our local position, estimated to W 053* 40'
Ho 74*47' and the declination is now only N1*09'. This gave us a nice Lat of 16*22'. Spot on..
Feeling more and more comfortable with the lat in the mer pass position. Well, this is also absolutely the easiest to find as well.
Now, it's left to study and repeat old knowledge to take the height of the sun during the morning watch and later in the afternoon . Little by little focus on the stars and some of the visible planets.
QSO is now at 16:00 LT onboard. We're in zone -4 now.
Good radio condition today as well. Had several radio amateur contacts in Norway.
Tried the ICOM transceiver, but the signals are weaker than from the Yaesu station. Perhaps it's an antenna tuner issue. Had recommendation to go to the upset menu and see if there was a paramter to shift the mic and power to a higher level.
Dinner to night was a huge mountain of mayonnaise-salad. In the mountain there was tuna fish, potatoes, all kinds of veggies. Besides cold rice, noodles and couscous.
The engineers are working with the water-maker tonight as the unit doesn't get enough water for production they say. Perhaps an obstruction somewhere in the sea water supply.
They complain that it's far too hot in the water-maker room. The water-maker should have been mounted in another place where it is cooler –
Well, we have to make a plan here how to get this situation better. Perhaps as mentioned previously, to open up and having a better airflow of the warm air from the funnel. This is a major job and should be done at anchorage or alongside.
Darkness came already at 17:45 to-night. Some of the crew ask why it's dark so early to-night. Like in the winter..
The answer is we are in a new time zone. Very much East in this zone. Meridian passage was 11:29 local time earlier to-day. Tomorrow we are in a different position in this time zone. The noon might be half an hour later and the same will be the evening dusk.
When we arrive we'll still be in the same time zone but very much in the West of it. With other words it won't get light before 7 in the morning and dark at 19:00 in the evening.. So far south now that the days and the nights have the same length. The darkness arrives in 30 min and the same with the morning. Daylight comes in less than 30 min. The sun climbs right up and sets right down.
That's it – has always been like this and hopefully will continue for many more years like this..
* Tuesday 20 September.
Choppy sea and wind from the West. The chance to have Westerly wind in this area is less than 1%.
Wind is followed with frequently rain showers.
At noon our position was : N16*28' W057*07'. Course 290* and head wind of 20 kts.
Last 24 hrs we have done 202 nm.
With the rain outside only painting inside. This time it was the toilet to get a paint coat. Open up the doors to have a nice wind flow through the ship to take out the paint smell.
After half an hour the fire alarm sounded. Accommodation circuit. We checked everywhere else in the ship. But no smoke and no fire.
It turned out to be the moist air flowing through the vessel ignited the fire detectors. Closed the doors and set the air-con to work – and everything fine again.
Very moist outside now and 30 deg. The barometer is 1013 hPa and surely there is a front passing us now. The same baro reading the last 2 hours. Presume it's a stable front and soon as the pressure goes up the wind will back back to E or NE again. Heavy occasional rain showers during the afternoon.
Had one hour QSO with Norway this afternoon on 14.328 kHz. Nice and warm weather in South Norway now. A real Indian summer.
The blog master indicated that the blog site has now more than 4500 readers. Every day around 200 readers from all over the world. Gee, I'm so happy to know that so many of you read about our little ship and how we steam over half the world in a few months.
The barometer stopped at 1012 around 16:00 and then started to climb slowly towards midnight to 1016 hPa. However, the wind was still W 15 kts, but slight seas. The sea waves from the wind are contrary to the swell and they seem to flatten out each other.
Prognosis for the next 24 hours is winds from the South sector.
Dinner to day was chicken legs and chips. Salads from different tins and couscous.
Naoko baked a beer bread and that was very popular. Even Miro with his bad teeth said : I want more of that bread. The bread reminds me of home in the Cooks.
Well, need another can of beer tomorrow if there is going to be another loaf of bread !
2 ships during the evening watch. Both contrary courses steaming for Europe. AIS works till the ships are about 22 to 24 nm away, then the VHF signals are to weak to receive the transmission.
At midnight we sailed into a new chart. Midnight pos is N16*31 and W058*56' Speed is now 8,8 knots. We have certainly to slow down during the day tomorrow as we would like to see Mt Serrat in the morning twilight . From the island of Mt Serrat to Bassterre, St Kitts only 6 hours steaming.
What is so special with the island Mont Serrat ?
Wednesday 21 of September.
Still Westerly winds here in the tropical Trade wind area. The chance to have this direction is less than 1%. Swell from the East as normal but the waves from the wind comes from the West.
Afternoon the wind backed even more to WSW 18 kts. Sun is out now.
1013 hPa on the glass at noon.
Noon position : N16*39' W060*31'.Less than 100 nm to the island Montserrat.
The speed is set down to 6 knots now to be able to see the island in first morning light.
The temperature is now 32 deg in the shade and poor air con is working well to keep the inside temperature at 26-27 deg now.
There have been many volcanic eruption at Mont Serrat the last years.
One not so long ago the magma swept away an entire town. Not sure if the population have moved back again. Well, if you look it up at the internet you might know much more than us here on the ship without any internet connection.
For lunch we had a full dinner of a Spanish paella, clams and mussels, scrimps and a little of tuna fish. More than enough for everybody.
The VHF has woken up from its hibernation and every 3 hours we hear safety warning in French. Appellation a tous – appellation a tous!
For sure we're getting closer and closer to civilisation again..
At 16:30 LT we could see Guadeloupe in the South horizon. About 25 nm away.
With the warm wind in the face makes this moment a very special feeling. We have crossed the Atlantic Ocean with this old 50 year old lady.
Thursday 22nd of September.
Had my alarm on this morning at 05:30. First time I used the alarm for a long time. Half awake tried to switch it off but without glasses must have hit a wrong knob. Deleted the alarm time but the alarm continue to sound, stronger and stronger. How to switch it off ? Tried to find the general power for the telephone but that switch didn’t react either and the alarm continued.
Found the glasses and looked of a menu where to find the alarm, but in vain.
A general pull down menu where the loud alarm was mentioned. That finally solved the problem after several minutes of search. Well, it worked well !
Outside the sun was just in the horizon and the landscape of MtSerrat could be seen. Still some street light shining bright higher up on the mountain side.
If street light there mus also be people living there now.
Many houses twisted and buried in the lava flow. Must have been a few years ago because some green vegetation around.
Towards the other side the houses seemed to be unspoiled but difficult to see if anybody still lived there. No sulphur smell. But not a single tree to be seen with the binoculars..
Steaming passed and just after noon let go the hook at Bassterre, St Kitts.
It took 90 min to get the mob boat ready and to meet the agent onshore.
He took me to the Port office for clearance and later the immigration. This was done in less than 2 hours.. Smooth and expensive..
Fees were as follows in USD : customs 27, Port fee: 251, Clearance fee: 200, marina fee 45. which adds up to USD 523. Anchorage is free though.
They tax us as a commercial vessel and not as a “super” yacht.
The agent, Richy Browne, did a good job. Helped and drove us around a lot. His fees was only 300 usd. A lot of this goes into his fuel bills. Petrol costs 9,95 Caribbean $ for one imp gallon.
Which might be in real Norwegian money : 6,60 nok per litres.
They told us that diesel is the same price.
Friday 23 to Sunday 25 of September
At anchorage Basseterre, St Kitts.
This experience will follow later as it was very so time demanding that I have had no time to write the stories yet.
Sunday 25th September.
At 07:30 morning meeting with the crew. Plans for the day, food purchases, brewing cyclone in the Atlantic and the sightseeing tours ahead of us this morning.
09:00 all crew on shore.
Met Christian the tour-guide with his little open truck. Zik-zaking a bit in town before we drove out and North of the Caribean side
First pit stop was a closed down sugar cane mill.
There we could see and understand how labour intense this production was.
The sugar cane industry is now history on the island since 2012. From 2007 the sugar cane production was subsidized by the government. The country should deliver 25.000 tonnes every year to the EEC and themselves they had to buy sugar from Guyana as all was exported.
This became such a huge expense that all the sugar cane factory had to be closed down.
Now main income for the country is tourism.
Every second day there is a cruise ship visiting St Kitts. In November one ship a day..
This pays much better than any sugar cane factory and easier work too.
We learned if you have 400.000 usd for investment in property in St Kitts or St Nevis you can get a St Kitts citizenship for lifetime for yourself and the family and all the rights which follows.
Many Chinese and Indians have done this the last years.
We observed also the situation of this, that the bigger supermarkets and whole salers were Indians and Chinese operated. Most probably in their administration as well.
The sightseeing tour continued.
Next stop the bloody point and bloody river. Where the French and British seized all the native Indians on the island. Shot them all dead more than 4000 of them. The river was red from the blood stream. Only 100 Europeans died in this battle, it was told.
When Columbus came to the island in 1492 he was greeted by the Indians on the beach. They had been on the island for perhaps 1000 years. Most likely they came from South America and spread out to the windward islands. Living happily till the European imperialists came and killed most of them.
The next stop was Broken Hill Fortress.
A living museum with a fantastic history.
It took 100 year with heavy slave labour to construct it. Now it's a national monument and a museum.
* To continue.
This fortress is situated on a volcanic top with fresh water coming up fro the ground.
In fact they had 250.000 gal of water in 3 cuves.
In 1782 the French invaded the island of St Kitts with 8.000 soldiers.
The fortress was defended of 600 British soldiers and 350 free slaves for one month.
Then they were give free departure with their flag and pride high.
The French took over the fortress but only for a year as in the peace treaty in Versailles in 1783, the following year, the fortress was given back to the British.
That's the unjustified war – give and take – no rules it only depends the rulers..
Later on the little truck to us to a place called shipwreck beach. Completely different landscape.
Lots of relatively wealthy people having their lunch and several visitors swam in the sea nearby. Our crew said the sea must have been more than 30 deg – and very salty.
We had a small luncheon here and soon heading back to the ship for the deprived siesta.
At 19:00 met the agent again. We drove to at least 7 different ATMs and tried to take out some cash to be able to pay him. But no connection out of the country..
Ended up in a casino/hotel place where there was an open bank. The lovely lady took my Visa card and swept it in their system. No problem there. She wanted an ID. Took out my CI driver licence.
This licence has saved me many times around in the world. Photo, name and issuing institution from the Cook Islands. No problem this time either. Accepted and soon after came the cash. However, the local bank fee was 46 usd for this operation.
The bank lady said the ATMs in St Kitts are moving into another operation system for for this reason one can only take out 100 usd a day. About 250 EC$.
Paid the agent and we shook hands. Hoping to meet again sometimes in the future.
Jumped into the MOB boat and sped back to the Moana Nui.
At 22:00 on Sunday the 25th the anchor came up and in the dark we set course for Colon, Panama.
As soon as the anchor was home a torrential rain shower came and washed the ship down. No wind but it was like somebody just poured a bucket of water over us.
10 min later the tap was turned off and we steamed along in a beautiful tropical night.
Quite busy now. Had a tanker on the starboard quarter in such a direction that we had to come hard over to starboard and we passed each other in a safe distance of 6 cables.
An hour later a strong echo on the radar screen. Another vessel crossing our course. But no nav lights to be seen. No AIS. Just a dark Marie Celeste. It crossed our course with less than 2 nm but not to be seen with the eyes, only by the radar. 8 knots speed.
In the next hour a huge lightened passenger vessel came up, also on our stb bow. From the AIS we could read 311m loa. But not how many persons onboard. Secret of the trade I suppose...
The evening watch ended before the crossing of our courses.
Monday 26th of September.
Slept all night like a log. Very hot now. The deck above heats up and radiates the heat to the cabins under. The mates and my cabin.
Early morning already passing 30 deg and in the afternoon it is 35 deg with the air con blowing cooler air into these accommodations. But still those temperatures.
Outside on the deck, it smells burn rubber from the rubber mat. Sure if we crack open an egg on the deck it'll fry slowly..
The air temperature in the shade is now passing 34 deg..
A nice slight E wind of 3 kts tries to cool the ship down, but the results is rather meagre, he, he.
Wonder what is the sea temperature now ?
Engine is happy, steaming along with 8,5 knots and an exhaust temperature of 330 deg. But the engineers say they can only be down there a short time before they have to get out.
Noon sight was N 39*39' W064*33'
Check the meridian passage with the sextant and the GPS was only 1 nm out !
The afternoon was so hot. 36 deg at sea is quite warm.
Tried to sleep a few hours and woke up wet and sweaty as if I had had sex for several hours or been in a Finnish sauna.
Quick shower and life is good.
The plan was to write more about our stay in St Kitts, but some of the ideas just evaporated away.
At 16:00 LT (20:00 UTC) had a QSO with Norway – good signals but not so strong.
We had a talk about evacuate and abandon the ship. What to bring with us.. How to behave, etc. Next time we'll do a proper drill and not only talking.
The sunset was fabulous and now the tropical evening sets in. Just a bliss.
* Tuesday 27th of September.
Good morning with following winds abt force 3 and slight seas.
Half cloudy and warm.
We rigged a tarpaulin over the crane to give shade to the deck under, which is the roof of the two cabins underneath.
I think it might work, it's only 32 deg in my cabin now and the sun has just passed the meridian.
The mer pass (zenith) was measured to Ho 72* 37' on the sextant. Which tells us that we should be around roughly 17* 23' North of Equator. As the declination of the sun is to-day S 1* 58' gives us the Latitude of 17:23 – 1:58 = 15*25'.
The GPS says that the noon passage is N 15* 29' and W 067*40'. Not so far off.
Only 795 nm to Colon. With a speed of 8 knots that is 100 hours. Which is 4 days and 4 hours.
With other words, if everything runs smooth we'll arrive on Saturday at noon-time.
Our 3 engineers go 4 hour shifts and they have rounds every so often to verify the safe operation of the steel sails in the “basement.”
Besides today greasing up all the loose jack straps which have corroded a bit from the salt and the sun.
Too hot to paint this afternoon. The best painting time is early morning before the sun starts to fry the ship and the working painters.
I miss a full time person who only to rust removal and painting. On previous voyages have had a Mr chief painter. The result is just amazingly effective.
As crew with other tasks it is only a few hours a day which can be used to maintenance. No continuity and not enough to keep up with the sneaking aggressive sea air, which tries to let the steel rust fast if not enough protection.
At 16:00 LT (20:00 UTC) had a short Qso with LA3ZH. Very poor radio signals this afternoon, barely readable for both of us. Got the latest development of the cyclone coming into this region. The prognosis is about 80 knots wind and probably the centre will move NNW-ly and hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti (Saint Domain). We are very fortunate to be about 2 days ahead of this big blow brewing from the hot sea.
For dinner was lentils and rice. A funny concoction. I guess a special Spanish dish with Gofio and raw onions mix.
Missing fresh salads and puddings already.
An idea is to put the veggies and fruits under the air con unit in the wheel house where it is certainly the coolest place on the ship these days.
At midnight the air temperature had gone down to 27*. A beautiful star-y tropical night.
Wednesday 28th of September.
More E-ly wind, 20 kts, lost of white horses around us. The speed has improved to 8,5 knots and more. We are so lucky to have this wind behind, it's like we're flying along. The vessel wags lazily from side to side but not uncomfortably.
During the morning a second layer of primer patching, done by Victor the ass engineer as he was helping the mate who has some problems with his back these days.
The temperature is not too high, only 32 deg but very humid. When one opens the door from the wheelhouse it's like stepping into a nice warm sauna. Luckily the wind keep it cooler or it seems to be cooler.
No answer from the Pactor winlink station WG3G today. But got another in very strongly on the 14Mkz. That's the beauty of the winlink, there is always a ham operator Pactor modem to be activated.
Many of you might ask what is this Pactor thing ?
It is a modem set between a PC and a SSB radio transceiver. Here the pc signals are translated to a kind of Morse code signals system and sent through the SSB transceiver.
Same when receiving this special Morse code and it's translated into text on the PC to be read.
The difficulties is to find a station to link up to where the two modems have a good contact and can handshake and start to talk to each other.
This is how we send this blog and receiving news from friends. As you understand photos and attachment can not really be sent – it would take a very long time as the dash and dots do not go that fast. From 200 to max 3200 bits/min.
Noon position to-day was N 14* 22' and W 071*02' speed 8,6 and the course COG is 260*.
As there is little air flow in the wheel house I found a little box with 3 fans which we got from the skip in Kristiansund. Now they will work, but firstly the crew has to find plugs for them as they all have English plugs and not standard European plugs.
In the world we have several standards of electrical plugs. European and English. NZ/Aus and American. Well, the Americans have also different voltage 110 VAC and 60 Hz while the rest of the world has 230 VAC and 50 Hz..
Countries which the USA occupies such as Latin America and Japan has the same American system.
Amazing world and when one travel from one part to the other it is a wise thing to have different adapters.. At least to be able to charge the mobile telephone.
The radio condition this afternoon was so poor that not possible to receive any qso from Norway at all. Waited and called about 15 min but in vain. However e-mail with the pactor went through to a station I've never tried before KB.... on 14 kHz with a good speed of 1400 kb/min..
Dinner was a veggie soup. In addition a dish with brown fried mushroom and onions.
Naoko and I made a quick spinach salad as the spinach leaves are getting a bit tired waiting in the fridge.
A nice cake was baked during the afternoon and consumed after the dinner meal.
During the evening the wind got up to 25 – 30 knots from the East. The evening watch was 5 hrs long as we flogged one hour and now entered the z-5. Only 5 more zones to flog before we're in CI time. He, he..
Thursday 29 of September.
The morning came early this morning... Light already at 06:00: The strong wind from last night has mellowed and no white horses any more.
Last night we had to take down a sun screen tarpaulin as the wind wanted to trash it to bits. We need to have these kind of sun protection so the deck space won't be too hot.
In fact the best would have been to take it down every night and set it again when the sun comes up.
Now when I came on watch we set it up again. Easy job as the wind was only 7 knots now.
The wheel house is nice and cool now. When one opens the door to go outside it's like hitting a warm wall.
The noon position was following the GPS N13*08' W074* 40' Speed is 9 knots now as we're well into the Caribbean equatorial current which gives us easy an extra knot.
Took the mer pass with the sextant. Ho = 74*04' decl of S 2*46' gave us a lat of 13*11'.
About 3 nm out is very acceptable in the open sea..
Now we have only 382 nm to Colon. Saturday morning if the wind and sea stay the same as now.
For lunch we had kumara (sweet potatoes) and fried bananas with coconut milk. Chicken legs for the meat eaters. Accompanied with fried red pepper in olive oil. Nice and easy hot meal.
It's so warm now that the steel insulation melts and runs down on the sides of the wall just in front of the toilet doors. Have to cover the deck better as now it's not possible to touch the deck at all. The wall can be touch on the inside but surely it's more than 45 deg.
Well we have to sweep up the rust prevention oil as it is slowly running down the wall.
Good all the crew is used to these kind of temperatures just under the 40 deg and nobody is suffering from the heat. On the Pacific side, even on the equator, it'll be cooler than here.
Had a short call from Taio Shipping at lunch time. It's going to be a warm day in Rarotonga as well.
However, not so extreme as here. He, he..
So many people are looking forward for our arrival. Lots of people want to travel between the islands to visit families and friends. Many hundreds are on a waiting list.
Perhaps this ship will be to small for the need.
Next ship to bring down should be a passenger ferry with nice cabins for 100 passengers + economy deck passenger space and which can take a little bit of cargo only.
The question is would it be feasible -
as the Cook Islands government doesn't want to be involved with shipping fuel subsides or anything that might reduce the operation costs for such a vessel.
As it is today people travel with the cargo such as tons of diesel, petrol and gas bottles. All kinds of what we call dangerous cargo.
So far there has been no major accidents from such a mix. Let's hope there will never be.
In other places of the world we have seen explosions, fires and abandon ships due to such accidents.
During the afternoon we had a few lovely rain showers. All the overheated steel plates got a good wash and the temperature came down quickly. The running of the rust oil stopped and everything became as normal again.
QSO time came. Turned on the SSB radio. Gee, a terrible interference on all the frequencies, overpowering all reception. Tried the other radio, but still the same cracking noise.
What has come on of electrical devices since this morning. And is still on. Many trial and errors. Finally found it was a little screen and telephone charger.
When that was taken out of the electrical plug the interference stopped straight away.
How can such a small telephone charger upset the entire radio system in a ship ? Well, many things we do not understand.
Pril as we took over
But no contact with Norway to-day either. Heard a German station on 14.325 kHz transmitting very loud and clearly. So the system is not completely dead. Perhaps solar activity disturbances are stronger further North of Europe ?
18:00 Kai-kai - food time.
The mate got a relief time to eat.
Came back 20 minutes later with a smile as he said : lovely tortilla and a cabbage salad with some mais corns.
The wind got up during the evening and towards 22:00 had a tropical thunderstorm. Lightning and sometimes thunder. A few drops of rain. Temperature down to 26 deg and the barometer is now falling to 1012 hPa. Gusts of wind of 20 kts from the North, moderate sea. Speed over Ground is steady 9,2 and more. 37 nm on the evening watch.
It has been a nice day with sun and rain. Wind and tropical climate. For every hour a wee bit closer to Colon and the Panama canal.
Friday 30th September
Last day of this month.
Who would have believed that on the 1st of April when we took over this vessel that this day we'll be so close to Panama.
Passed the Panama canal into the Pacific Ocean – we are half way to the Cook Islands from the departure point in Kristiansund, Norway.
At that stage we dreamt that in September the ship would be on it's 2nd or 3rd voyage in the domestic trade.
Well, work with old ships takes time and money. Especially the last. Double the amount planned and one would be closer to the reality.
To set up a 50 year old so called “mint” ship has been a very long and demanding purgatory process.
So far we are only 2 who have been on the vessel all the time.
Enua, the engineer joined the ship again in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria after a 2 months break.
So 3 of us are the old crew – whilst all the others are new re-enforcements joined the vessel on her the delivery routing.
Will this selected crew survive all the way – well, time will show.
ETA Rarotonga will be November. A beautiful time to arrive. The beginning of the summer and nice temperatures on shore and on the sea.
Wind is now NW 17 kts with moderate sea & swell. Last 24 hrs we have done 215 nm which is more than average. Thanks to good wind and current.
The noon position to-day was N 11*57' W 078*05' course still 252* and 8,0 kts when the glass stoke 12. Before that was 4 double gongs on the bell.. gong-gong gong-gong gong-gong gong-gong.
Every half hour a gong on the bell.
One watch is 8 gongs. 1,5 hrs of the watch was one double and one single gong. Half watch was 2 doubles. Next half hour it was then two doubles and one single stroke.
Seamen at those years didn't have fancy digital watches as we have these days.
The chronometer was so important in a ship's daily life and also in navigation.
To-day the sun was at its highest at 12:02 at our position which is W 078*05'. The local meridian passage time. The sextant said Ho=74*43' and our dec is S 3*09'-
I learned that 2 min wrong in the index determination is 4 nm out of position. I had never expected that to be such a difference..
Well, the sun is shining and we're steaming on. Have seen quite a few floating plastic bottles in the sea during the morning watch. More and more rubbish floating around in the sea these days.
It'll take ages before the UV rayons from the sun break them down. Meanwhile we're polluting our mother earth faster than nature can get rid of it. I wonder how it'll be here in 30 years if the pollution continues in the same manner as now.
On board we split the garbage in several category such as paper and cartons (goes back to the sea in small bits), metal tins we rinse we take with us and same with glass bottles.
Plastic is washed and stored for disposal in a port. Natural garbage goes back to sea to feed the fish or the sharks if any left.
The qso with LA3ZH was so weak that we decided to try again tomorrow. At least we could hear each other now. Solar Factor Index (SFI) to-day is 0,83. Yesterday it was even higher.
From the engine department they say that the sea water to the water maker is very dirty.
They think it is the ship's salt-water pipe that is old and rusty, besides it has a too low diameter to supply sea water for the air con, the toilets flush system and the water maker.
There should have been a special pipe just to supply the water-maker's need for salt water.
One of the several improvements to be done when the ship is well home.
Saturday 1st of October
Huge following swell, the wind is backing to SW force 2-3. Glass is 1011 hPa temperature 27 deg and plenty of rain clouds as far as the eye can see.
A grey and cool day to-day. No rain on the ship this morning.
On cargo ship of 116 m loa crosses in front of us, abt 6nm, - during the morning watch. He has only 10 knots speed, which is slow for a ship in this size.
We must be in a kind of counter-current because even with the sea from behind our own speed is only just above 7 knots.
Noon position N*57' W079*52' and we are only 34 nm from Colon breakwater. Still 100 % covered sky but no rain. Last 24 hours we have done only 180 nm. That is one of the lowest 24 hrs run we have done in normal tail weather running condition.
Well, now only a few nm before arrival.
Always exciting to arrive into a new port.
The sea and weather one can predict - but the port's inspectors are unpredictable.
It's a bit like to walk into a tigers' cage and one never knows how the tigers will react. Are they in a good mood or are they very hungry ? Or are they just showing off their power to pacify the pray before attacking or simply let it go. It's a game and we are part of it – in every port a ship arrives.
At 15:45 we had VHF contact with Cristobal Signal station. It was Javier who had the first contact – in Spanish. The operation lady switches between those two languages as it was one language.
Orders to move towards Breakwater on the North side.
Watch change at 16:00 and Taputu took over. We passed the breakwater at 16: 35.
The lady in the signal station told us to move ahead to the F – foxtrot – anchorage. Keep North of the green bouys, she said. Here on this continent as the only in the world the bouyage system is opposite that the rest of the world. We call it the American system.. or ILO B -system.
Anchor dropped at 17:25. Two shackles out at 12 m draft.
18:00 crew meeting and setting up anchor watches for the night. Same list as before.
Now it is just to wait for the immigration, sanitation, canal control, etc. They will come I suppose tomorrow, one after the other.
Meantime the famous Panama mosquitos will come and visit the vessel this evening.
What is the Panama canal ?
Some people say it is the 8th wonder of the World when the 80 km long waterway was opened.
A height difference of 26m from sea level to the Gatun lake and down again.
From early 1600 the Spaniards have had the idea to make a short cut to the Pacific Ocean but 200 years had to pass before the French tried to start digging. The French had lots of experience of excavation canals but the failed completely here. Due to epidemic diseases such as Malaria and Yellow fever. The canal goes through vast areas of tropical rainforest.
Legends says that at least 25.000 workers died under the French construction project.
They sold the rights and left in 1889.
The Americans took over and establish a country called Panama, what was then a part of Colombia.
They ran the canal until 31 Dec 1999 when it was given to the Panama authorities. This was the day Panama took over ownership and full operation responsibilities.
Today more than 10.000 people are employed with the canal. More than 40 ships pass a day.
Tonnage fee is about 3 usd per ton.
Biggest tax record has a Norwegian cruise ship called Norwegian Pearl. It was paid a canal tax fee of 2 mill nok ( abt 280.000 usd) - just to be able to pass the canal.
The old canal has a restriction of 294m length, beam max 32,2 and max draft is 12,04m Panamamax.
In June 2016 a second bigger canal opened. It took 10 years to build it.
I have heard prices like 6 bill usd for the construction, but not confirmed.
The new can take bigger ships, but I have not had any figures yet.
Dinner this evening will be tuna fish from Las Palmas..
It was a huge kai-kai this evening in relation to a special birthday party for me and the passed forgotten birthday of Taputu, the mate.
Sushimi in abundance, chirashi sushi, egg sesami soup and fried albacore. To accompagne this a beautiful bottle of red wine.
We ate till we could walk any more – just stuffed. Sometimes I wished I was a camel - and could eat for 2 weeks. He, he.
At 20:30 anchor watches took over. 90 min each during the night. Very important to have a guard in case something happens. Which permits us others to sleep a secure sleep.
Sunday 2nd of October.
My anchor watch was early in the morning just when it was getting light.
At 08:00 the signal station called us. Could we move to another anchor position 5 cables to the South as a dredging barge would arrive in half an hour to out position and start to dredge the area.
No worries, engineers are always ready. The M/E cranked up, fire pump on to rinse off the chain when it comes up. No need to stuff plenty of clay into the chain locker..
The big generator started and electricity shifted over.
To drive the anchor winch and the crane the bigger generator is needed.
The nice small Perkins of 4 cylinders can not give the power needed to these power thirsty electrical pumps. When we switch one of them on, there is a high power jump.
Well, up came the anchor and we shifted position.
All done in less than 15 min.. Good to have a crew where things works smoothly and everybody knows what to do.
After this, stand by on the radio. But no more messages from the Colon Signal Station.
Did a summary of how much fuel left in the vessel. 53 tons + 12 tons in the two fuel tanks.
Which gives us a range of 60 days. Or 12.000 nm if the consumption stays the same.
With other words no problems to reach Papeete where we're going to take more bunkers.
Well, we have had following sea and winds so this is certainly the reason for the low fuel consumption.
During my morning watch started to plan the next legs from Balboa to Nuku Hiva.
Planned the routing and later set out the way points on the chart plotter and into the Furuno GPS.
About 3800 nm. My estimation here is 22 days from Balboa Flamenco Signal station to Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, the Marquesas archipelago.
Food wise we'll need some fresh bananas, apples, tomatoes, red peppers, etc..
+ fishing gear.
Double hooks nr 8 and 7 and wire string with crimps. The fish has very sharp teeth and from the hook to the swivel a metal thread is needed - otherwise their teeth would just snap off a normal fishing line.
We need to prepare equipment for fish up to 50 kg.
In life one has to be an optimist. Always hoping for the huge catch of 50 kg or more..
For lunch we had a chickpea soup, boiled potatoes and kumera, assisted with a salad mixed with tinned corns.
Well fed it nice to lay down. Like a cow as they say in Japanese. In the Japanese culture not well seen to lie down after a meal.
In life one should not eat too much because work is more important.
Hard work is the blessing in life.. Hard work give you freedom and happiness..
But I'm a coward cow and take a little snus for one or two hours now.
At 15:00 LT (20:00 UTC) tried to contact LA3ZH in Norway but in vain. The sun activity might still be high and not possible to connect on the14.328 kHz.
At 16:00 general alarm.
It's Sunday and a time for drill.
Abandon ship. Action. Get form the brige certain things in the grab bag, from the engine 2 containers with newly made water and from the galley food for some days.
All the items came quickly in place. Next drill put on your survival suit.
Lots of trial and puffing. We found that 3 of them do not have a comrade line. The same ones didn't have separate gloves either. It happened to be all the suits for the engine crew.
They were all approved by BV in Las Palmas. We paid about 120 € for each approval.
Later we found others in the vessel's stock that fulfil the specification of what we find as a minimum of safety for a survival suit.
As the sea is quite filthy here in port we didn't want to test them in the water.
Made a recap of what we had done and brought to take with us. Flares, emitters such a SART and sender on 131,8 & 256 mhz. Discovered that there is none GPS hand held to take with us in case of emergency.
New drill. Go down to your cabin and put on your life jacket. They are all new with the strap under the crouch and with a hood. The old ones are not allowed any more in Norway.
All this lasted for 1 hrs.
Now the dinner is delayed with two hours until 20:00. Well, it's Sunday and we'll have a nice pizza for everybody.
So no worries, life goes on and it seems that all the crew is very happy. Smiling and laughing.
Waiting seems to be a part of life..
18:00 Sun sets soon. The sun is falling quickly down from the sky now. In 30 min it'll be tropical dark again. It is such a blessing to be here in the nice and warm climate. No gloves and no scarves.
No long Johns and no woollen socks.
Sending you in North Norway many warm thoughts to melt your cold surroundings.
Dinner was later to-day. At 19:30. nice pizza with an ice cold rose wine.
Sunday life is good.
* Monday 3rd October.
Calm night. Anchor watches goes on. 90 min each of the crew. Morning came fast as in the tropics. In less than 30 min from night to day light.
Half-ly I expected a VHF call from the agent or the signal station during the morning. But nothing.
At 11:30 send the agent a small e-mail. Nobody has approach the vessel and hoping we're not forgotten. He, he.
Sent this e-mail to the agent just before lunch.
From: LA4BNA@Winlink.org [mailto:LA4BNA@Winlink.org]
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2016 11:30 AM
To: CB Fenton - Operations Department
Subject: //WL2K Any News
Message ID: 6T5BAACSH3E1
Date: 2016/10/03 14:41
Subject: //WL2K any news
Here is the Moana Nui.
Any news when we may have the canal passage ?
No authorities have boarded the ship yet.
Hope we are not forgotten, je, je
Any news from a ship shandler ?
The temperature went from 22 deg in the morning to 32 lunch time.
Victor and Taputu painted the little deck in front of the wheel house. A place to dangerous to paint when at sea when the ship is rolling. Light blue. It really look nice after the pain has come on. As always 2 top coats and 2 primer coats for everything that is outside and exposed to the salt and weather.
For lunch dinner it was a pumpkin soup followed with couscous, fried paprika & onions + a salad with tomatoes, lettuce and mais.
While we wait a short call from Rarotonga. Beautiful morning there. Roosters are doing their jobs very well in advance for the sun rise. For us : just waiting for the canal authorities and the passage.
We have no news yet when we'll transit – hopefully very soon.
I have asked several times after a ship chandler who can supply us with some fresh food and 15 loaves of bread. Not much.
But no answer yet from a local ship chandler who takes plastic money. Our agent is searching the right one, as we have no USD cash onboard.
Hopefully there will pop up somebody this afternoon..
Vamos a ver !
So came the answer from the agent as follows :
Message ID: P8AE0XXR41GR
Date: 2016/10/03 16:39
Subject: RE: //WL2K Any News
We are procuring the inspection for today, based on inspection results, then program will be announced.
Chasing chandler as well.
Rodrigo J. Sanchez | C. B. Fenton & Co.
AS AGENTS ONLY
A Direct +507 202 0717 | ?Mobile +507 6227-0794
However, during the afternoon no inspectors appeared and no VHF contact with us from shore.
I think we are forgotten..
Rain showers this afternoon, so no painting possible. Nice to wash down the ship with clean rain water.
What do we do if no ship chandler and no food supplies ?
Well, we have to see how long time this will take to clear the ship ready for the canal passage.
In the Suez canal money could talk the most difficult situation, even getting new classification certificate for a reasonable price. But here I do not think bachisse or bribes are possible. Especially as we have no cash usd..
Yesterday, Sunday we received the following message from the agent :
Message ID: 88D2CCXAGX7W
Date: 2016/10/02 23:53
Subject: Re: //WL2K RE: Moana Nui - Colon - for canal passage
Dear Magne Risa,
We have forwarded your below list to local supplier.
Will revert with availability and prices within tomorrow.
Will get back with further information.
CB Fenton & Co.
Today is tomorrow - and the news are that they are still chasing for a ship chandler.
Let us see what will happen Tuesday. 3 days after our arrival.
Tuesday 4th of October
23 deg during the nights now. The mornings are always nice and cool before the sun comes up about 6:00 in the morning.
At 09:10 the Colon signal station called Moana Nui. We answered straight away.
Please shift anchor position to E-4 as this is closer to the inspectors.
M/E started and up comes the anchor.
Well, at one stage it didn't come up at all, as the chain was stuck in the mud.
But with pressure and the vessel's movement it came loose from the clay grip.
Very dirty chain.
Fire hose on full blast to clean off most of the clay. Finally it was just the anchor which was a huge blubb of clay.
Steaming slowly at 4,5 knots, just in front of the signal station to our new anchorage site.
More ships here.
We managed to squeeze into an anchor position close to where the lady in the signal station had indicated.
The anchor got washed again.
8 m draft. One shackle out. (one shackle is 15 fathoms = 27,5m)
The ship swing nicely in her new anchorage.
Then waiting again..
Kai-kai time.. in the intercom.
As I walked down to eat, a launch came with two ladies from the CB Fenton agency and three minutes later another launch with the canal inspector.
12:10 sharply in the meal time..
That's the time when most officials come – in the eating hours.
Before when the Norwegian Seaman's Church was active the representatives came always half an hour before meal time. With other words they could eat with the crew and this way have an informal connection with many of the crew and a free Norwegian meal..
The ladies left after half an hour but the inspector took measurements, information, pictures, etc.
Just amazing how many documents he has to fill out for such a small ship.
He says that there are a canal passage payment in categories :
small ships up to 125 feet. Called as a yacht class.
More the 125 feet can be research, cargo or super yacht.
Moana Nui is 123 feet.. 37,5m loa.
He was very surprised as we have no gyro compass onboard,.
A GPS compass is not what ships are using here. Asked several times if there had never been a gyro compass.
Only a magnetic compass..
Secondly the AIS pilot plug was not a standard one. We had to get the instruction and installation manual to prove that it is a certified AIS class A.
The Management System Certificate missing : which we have not received from the Cook Islands. Luckily I found an old one from Norway that was still valid and then he was happy.
The chock-bitts not after the standard regulation from the canal authorities. We have to use mooring ropes. The mob boat sticks 40 cm out on starboard side. We might have problems there if the fenders are not big enough.
Well, a few other issues as well. But the inspector was writing and writing. At 14:40 he was finished and called his launch to come and pick him up.
Now back to the office and write more reports from this visit to the pilot head quarter and the canal passage planning office.
We might get a passage in one to two days from tomorrow.
Very hot today. Close to 35 deg and so humid. We sweat and smile.
15:00 tried a qso with Norway but no contact on the 20m. Perhaps better on a higher frq ? To connect the Pactor modem to a station in Florida I use 18.125 now with good connection.
After the inspector had left we try to repair the signal hooters. The air one was easy, just to have air in the tank filled up, as it was empty.
The electric one was a little more to repair. Onboard we have many Mr fix-it and soon the hooter which had been filled with water from rain and spray, was louding strong and clear.
The agent called and wanted to know if we need more mooring ropes. As the inspector suggested we take 2 more ropes onboard. Each 125 feet. Learned to-day that this is 37,5 m.
He did only see 2 sets of mooring ropes. We have 3 sets more..
Sun set at 18:00 and 15 min later darkness came over us.
Switched on the decks light and the anchor lantern.
Dinner to-day close to 19:00. The 2nd mate Javier and the cookie Elix have been working since this afternoon with the dinner. Boiled rice, gofio from the Canarias, cabbage/onion salad and some fried bananas. For dessert a kind of chocolate cake-paste.
Very filling food and took me quite some time to digest.
They are doing their best to feed us all with nice food from Spain/ Canarias.. In the evening washing and cleaning the galley so it shines like a white tornado has just passed
Anchor-watches from 20:30 – as always.
The South wind is getting up this evening. At 20:30 12 kts wind. The ship lies well in her anchor well dug into the mud, but she swings with the tidal current. Only 8 m depth here on low tide.
Wednesday 5th of October
It got light between 05: and 06:15, as usual here at anchorage in Colon .
During the morning we hoped to have news concerning our canal passage. But helas nothing was announced for us.
However got an interesting e-mail from the agent :
Please note that we found a local supplier that is able to rent lines to subject vessel. Please find related costs for this delivery:
- Rental of lines $450.00
- Labours (to embark and disembark lines) $320.00
- Launch service (to embark and disembark lines) $1260.00
Please confirm if master can cover this costs onboard or if Taio Shipping can proceed to remit funds for this delivery no later than tomorrow in order to proceed with arrangements.
As per canal officials, vessel will not be able to transit until this lines are onboard.
Flaviola Espinosa | Ship Coordinator | C.B. Fenton and Co, S.A | As agents only | email: email@example.com |Phone: +507 2020710 | Mobile: +507 66748558| Add: Av. Las Brujas, Howard, International Business Park Tower 3815, Suite 210-A Second Floor, Panama, Republic of Panama
“ When the cow is here we have to milk as much as we can” this must be the philosophy.
Conclusion is we have to take those mooring ropes just as stand by but we'll never use them as we have plenty of mooring ropes. This is a part of the transit costs.
For lunch we had pasta screws, fried pepper and onions. A chicken soup.
The left of the water melon was sliced up but unfortunately it was too late.
It was fermented and not eat-able.
No more bread and Naoko made scones to accompany the meal.
12:30 the sky opened and empty itself over us. Buckets and buckets of tropical rain.
It rained intensively for 1,5 hour. The full stop. The crane was turned off. Nice and cool now. The air was changed and it felt fresh.
Somehow during the rain storm our GPS position shifted as the anchor chain must have stretched 10 or 12 m in one direction. However, the tide flow will take us back again to the initial position I hope.
15:00 qso on 14328khz. Got a clear station from Columbia. A German feller who use to talk to Austria and Germany on the frq on this time. But to-day he didn't hear anybody – only me.
We had a little talk but he had to switch off the transceiver as a heavy thunderstorm was coming his way.
Got an e-mail from Norway telling that now there had been more than 7000 hits / persons reading this log. I'm amazed and gob smacked.
Thank you folks for following us on this little delivery around half the world.
How to get rid of the waste in Panama ?
This is my e-mail to get more information and prices :
De: LA4BNA@Winlink.org [mailto:LA4BNA@Winlink.org]
Enviado el: miércoles, 05 de octubre de 2016 09:55 a.m.
Para: Flaviola Espinosa
Asunto: //WL2K different garbage
This is the Moana Nui.
Question concerning different kinds of garbage and how to proceed.
we have a small bag of metal ( tins, etc) - 1 kg bag of white and green glass - 3 kg a bag of plastic - 0.5 kg and a bag of general waste 1,5 kg
Forgot to ask your representatives yesterday about the garbage policy here in Panama.
What can we take on shore and what must we keep onboad ?
The answer came a few hours later as follows.
Message ID: QFZRLRMTW42Q
Date: 2016/10/05 16:02
Subject: RE: //WL2K different garbage
Yours below well received and duly noted.
As per local regulation, the garbage disposal must be performed by an authorized company by Panama Maritime Authority.
They will be in charge to collect, dispose and incinerate garbage. Also they will arrange authorities and issue the certificate for this service.
Costs for the given qty is around $550.00 (collection, incineration, authorities and certificate) + boat service $400.00
Flaviola Espinosa | Ship Coordinator | C.B. Fenton and Co, S.A | As agents only | email: firstname.lastname@example.org |Phone: +507 2020710 | Mobile: +507 66748558| Add: Av. Las Brujas, Howard, International Business Park Tower 3815, Suite 210-A Second Floor, Panama, Republic of Panama
Well, this was 950 usd for total 5 kg of waste. Do you know how much that would be pr kg ?
Think if we had 50 kg ? Would that have been 5500 usd + 400 usd boat service ??
I didn't dare to ask silly questions like that. He, he.
Well we take the glass, tins and plastic with us to the next port of call.
Paper, cartons are torn up into small bits and dumped into the sea as well as natural garbage.
If the intentions are to take care of mother Earth we need to have another international policy.
In one country I've been all garbage is sorted such as : glass, cartons, paper, plastic, metal - nearly for free.
One has to buy special colour bags for each category. Each bag must be named and tagged.
Family name + a waste number.
General waste ( also marked and tagged) is weighed and one has to pay a fixed price per kg.
Perhaps such a system will be the future how to recycle our waste.. If not the world will soon drown in its own garbage.
Thursday 6 of October.
Waiting day no 5.
At 11 o'clock LT a launch boat came with 4 small rental ropes. Just a joke. For this kind of vessel they are far to thin, even though plattered so the strength should be higher than normal polyprop of the same diameter.
We are in the mercy of the canal and agent people.
Sent an answer back to the agent this morning concerning the situation :
Message ID: CG9F35OZSS2Z
Date: 2016/10/05 23:06
Subject: //WL2K RE: MOANA NUI - PANAMA CANAL INSPECTION
Dear CB Fenton,
The additional rental mooring rope funds of 2030 usd have been transferred to you to-day from the Cook Islands.
Thank you very much for your info concerning PM tomorrow.
Will that mean that we might have a shed to the canal transfer tomorrow as well ?
Concerning the little sorted garbage we have.
It'll be too expensive with 950 usd for the few kg we have.
We'll keep in onboard till next destination port.
Anyway thank you very much for your information.
Now we are just waiting again for a shed time passage.
Perhaps to-day, perhaps to-morrow, perhaps later. Hope it'll be in day's time this time..
Lunch hour arrived. Dinner meal.
Beautiful mahi-mahi fish with boiled potatoes and some noodles. For dessert an ice-cream.
Now, it's time to relax for 1,5 hours till the qso time at 15:00. This morning it was possible on the 18.125 but soon after 08:00 the signal faded away and there was a disturbing interference sound coming and going.
It might come from a drill battery charger that was on a lower deck. Discovered that later. We have had issue before with chargers that interfere with the radio reception signals.
Temperature now is 37 deg and the sun heat well the decks..
At 15:00 had a short qso with LA3ZH on 14328 khz. There is still a continuous noise that spoils the reception. I've been looking through the ship but nothing visible that catches my suspicious mind to give interference to our radio. Having said that, anything could interfere - as the other day just a mobile tel charger made a big difference.
This afternoon most of the crew is sleeping. Except the watchman.
Spread all over the ship where there is a cooling breeze or where the air-con has an outlet.. To hot to do anything. Just relaxing and let the time pass.
Onboard, in the galley, we have a water filter and cooler machine.
This machine is really a bliss. Cold and tasty water comes out of its spout, every time one press the cup filling knob. We don't know what we should have done without.
Friday 7th of October.
Waiting day nr 6.
Why so long waiting ? Perhaps we have chosen the wrong agent ?
More interested how to make money from us than to help us with a swift passage.
Many thoughts come to our heads.
The agent knew one week before our arrival, then 3 and 2 and 1 days before we steamed into Colon harbour.
The colon signal station knew exactly our coming. We steamed in - passed the break-water and they guided us directly to a nice anchorage. No waiting anywhere.. Why didn't the agent arrange a canal inspector to arrive on Sunday, as the agent knew for many days we would arrive on Saturday afternoon.
Many questions with no answer yet.
This morning I got a message from a Panama pilot friend. He said that pilot will board Moana Nui at 14:00 tomorrow.
3 hours later the agent came with the message but now the time it was 15:00.
see Message ID: BLTAGA9ZQPZK
Date: 2016/10/07 15:28
To: LA4BNA; CB
Subject: RE: //WL2K RE: MOANA NUI - PANAMA CANAL INSPECTION
Good Day Sirs,
Please find below your vessel´s transit schedule published by PanCanal Authorities:
1500/08th Expecting Pilot onboard
1601/08th Entering Gatun locks
1716/08th Clearing Gatun locks
2026/08th Entering Pedro Miguel locks
2101/08th Clearing Pedro Miguel locks
2121/08th Entering Miraflores locks
2221/08th Clearing Miraflores locks
2330/08th ETD Balboa
Hope this plan will have no changes – In this case we might see some of the Gatun lock in day light.
ETA Balboa around midnight.
The we'll anchor in Balboa to be able to go ashore and buy more provisions - as no ship chandler wanted to serve us here in Colon. Since we have no usd cash.
Very humid this morning, it might rain in the afternoon.
For lunch we had boiled rice and safron , spiced with some kumera and veggies.
Found a scale in the passenger compartment.
Gee, I've put on 4 kg since Canarias. Nice surprise. Well, so much less bread now.
2 or 3 slices a day only.
Before 7 or 8 slices with bread or (Knekkebrød) Ryvita every day.
Since we have Spanish food menue with two dinners (hot meals) a day, only 2 or 3 slices a day.
Two of the other crew climbed on the scale and they are both still same weight as before..
At 15:00 tried a qso with Norway on 20m band, but not a sound from the ham operators in South Norway. SFI = 123 today, so that is perhaps the reason why the radio is so silent to-day.
During the afternoon got the information that the marina is open on Sundays but the immigration office is closed.
Apparently most shops are closed on Sundays. So if this is the case, provisions have to wait till Monday. However, it'll be so good to be on the other side.
It is said that the marina has wi-fi so the young crew can use Skype and this kind of programs to contact their friends and families.
Dinner was a little later to-day, about 19:00. Rice and fried potatoes and a cabbage salad.
After dinner we had a crew meeting, where we went through the coming events tomorrow.
Lines and fenders. Engines, air and steering pump on all times.
When we come to the other side about the anchorage, anchor watches, etc.
We all look forward to move away from here.. It has been too long time just waiting.
Saturday 8 Oct.
Waiting day nr 7
qso with LA4HC in Bergen on the 18.125 khz. Good readable but no so strong signals.
Beautiful autumn weather I Bergen, sunny and no wind but only 6 deg during the day.
The silver birch leave have not fallen to the ground yet. As if the summer grip won't leave the country yet.
But here in Colon it's very different.
This morning it was cold. 19 deg - during the day the temperatures arise to 28 deg at lunch time.
At 10:30 agency CB,.Fenton called us. Pilot boarding at 14:45.
Confirmed our anchoring when on the other side in Balboa. A representative from the C.B. Fenton agency will meet us at the marina at 09:00.
The voice asked if we could take with us the rented mooring ropes to the shore with our dinghy.
Confirmed that no problems for us to do this.
In the West big black clouds are approaching. It might be a thunderstorm this afternoon...
Lunch meal was punctual as always. Veggies soup and saffron rice. Wooden spits with mink whale meat and many other things. Lots of work to do these spits.
When we eat now there are two groups. One group is in the passenger launch ( the maori speakers) – perhaps it's a cooler place - and the other group (the Spanish speakers) is in the mess room. Naoko and I eat normally in the mess room.
I feel more and more that the crew is divided in 2 language groups. Language is certainly an important factor but perhaps also age is important ?
The members of the Maori group all are over the 50 - and in the Spanish speaking group two is under 30 years of age.
Well, we're all in the same boat and work for the same goal – to steam this vessel safely to its new home.
What kind of wisdom can we learn from this ? If the crew is not a homogeneous national group the best would be to have maximum two of each nationality/language speakers.
The same will be in the food sector. Not easy to be a cookie to consider all kinds of tastes and county foods.
At 14:30 the pilot came onboard. Anchor up 10 min later.
Just when we were happily steaming to the first lock, alarm and no steering power.
The generator stopped by itself from a program fault apparently. Started the other generator and we continued.
A bit rain in the air but nice and cool and no mosquitoes.
The Spanish mate and the nautical cadet cookie Elix did the steering and the engine control under the command from the pilot.
On our way we met 3 “monster” vessel of 300 to 350 m loa. The new panamamax ships.
They are huge !
Enter the 1st Gatun lock at 16:38 About 20 min on each and 17:40 cleared the 3rd and last level of the Gatun. In front of us the beautiful artificial lake. Calm and peaceful.
Full ahead, 1150 rpm with 80% gives us 9,5 knots – and exhaust temperatures of 400* C
That is the most we can give the engine under normal conditions.
At 19:30 , passing Gamboa we had a pilot change. Simons left and Louis came onboard.
20:00 Javier came up on watch and I went down for a relax.
Now it is dark, but the red and green lights of the canal fairway lead us through the darkness of the night. Red on the stb side. When occulting red it means new course change.
At 20:50 we entered the Pedro Miguel lock. Firstly we had to wait outside the lock before we could enter. Stb side to the wall.
Had to shift all the fenders over to this side.
The heavy duty fenders we bought in Norway are really good.
Keeping the distance and also so strong that they code with the coarse cement wall.
These walls were built for more than100 years ago. No mesh and no steel in those days. Only stones and human bones the pilot said with a grin.
The most interesting was they used a new formulae of cement, which had never been used before. When it was hard it was very hard. Even 100 years later.
Left the Miguel lock at 22:35 and a little steaming to the next and last one : the Miraflores.
Here port side to the wall.
The vessel doesn't like to dock with this side to as the pitch prop I right turned and swings the aft hard to starboard.
The first chamber went ok and the pilot got the ship under control when she swung out to statboard with her aft. The speed was not to high and it was easier to ease forward to get control.
The untrained Javier was at the helm as all the orders were now given in Spanish.
But the next and last chamber of the Panama canal was a disaster.
Bad judgement and high speed from the pilot and suddenly the vessel was diagonal in the chamber. Luckily the vessel is longer than the chamber is wide.. Other wise she would have swung completely around with no control. Specially as the current flow strongly from our aft from the last chamber.
Here we were. Stuck diagonal into the chamber. Poor pilot tried all trix he had up his sleeves but in vain.
The vessel was hard stuck.
Worse was that now the forward part of the vessel was in the area where the doors opens and glide into the hidden position. As the situation was the chamber couldn't open the last gate.
The pilot tried with ropes to the starboard side of the chamber.
But nothing worked.
Some cement released on the aft deck of the ship as she was rubbing harder and harder into the concrete wall.
The forward spring was now very tight.
Last solution was to drive the bow hard into the wall with full speed and the rudder hard over to starboard. Pilot didn't like this but accepted. He had tried all his trixes.
More and more power on.
Suddenly she made a jump, came loose and started to righten up.
Little by little now she swung in the left direction and soon the aft came towards the port wall. Lines out and then astern to get the vessel into the chamber again –
a bit astern to get her out of the swing door area.
This was the end of the challenge.
Ships paint scraped in the aft and in the bow another dent and paint scraped off.. Some relics of cement on the deck.
We were very lucky with this one. It could have gone much worse.
The pilot excused himself that the vessel had no thruster, She is not twin screwed and has not winch in the aft section. With other words a very rare bird.
Steaming out of the canal into the Pacific ocean. Like being home again ! Following the fair way until the pilot left us at 00:33.
As we were going the change course and go around the Flamenco isle head the telephone rang from Rarotonga. Even though we were very short in the phone,
I missed the turning in the dark and had to creep back around the island.
But no problems. After the chamber challenge this was a piece of cake.
Very dark. Many ships anchored in the bay. Worse is that they do not have any anchor nor deck lights on. Just dark silhouettes.
The radar detect them though as they a big ships.
Slowly steaming to a position just outside the Flamenco Marina. One shackle in the water. 8 m depth.
Set anchor watches. 90 min each. Sleep. Exhausted..
This is the end of the Atlantic side adventures.
Now comes the Pacific side story in the next chapter of this blog.
Up to now we have had 7700 hits. From more than 20 countries.
There must be many sofa sailors around the world who follow our progression.