Updated: Jun 28, 2021
It has been a long time since I drifted off into my own little world and started to type whatever comes into my head. To be honest, it was a planned outage because if you think I write drivel when we are on the move then whatever I write when we are tied to a dock would not be worth the calorie it would take for you to shut this page down!
What I have just written suggests that we must be moving again, and we are!
As a quick and painless way to bring you up to speed, this is what has happened over the last few months.
We got Altor to Fambridge on the River Crouch on the 5th November 2020. Asha flew back to Poland on the 8th of November and I flew to Palma on the 22nd November. Asha went home to visit friends and family and I went to do a couple of months work on a super-yacht that a friend of mine works on and then help deliver said super-yacht to the Caribbean. All went well and I arrived back onboard Altor on the 2nd of January 2021, wearing shorts, having flown in from Antigua. The shorts very quickly got swapped out for long johns and I hid inside the boat with the fan heater on for a few days while I tried to reacclimatise! Asha flew into the UK, after having three flights cancelled, on the 7th January and life onboard was underway once again.
Anyone who has a boat will be totally familiar with what happens when you leave it for a while. You do of course tie it up with plenty of spare lines and fenders and sure enough, she is still in the same place you left her when you return but that’s the only thing that doesn’t change. When you slide the hatch shut and disembark, a signal is sent out to the little army of gremlins to start their mischief. Honestly, they are intolerable little pricks! I got back onboard to find the hatch had started leaking (it has never leaked before), water had found its way in to the bilge because of a blocked locker drain, some woodwork was water damaged, some of electronics didn’t want to switch on and I had a seized cock. Altor is a lucky girl, she has ten cocks but that doesn’t mean that one is simply allowed to become impotent. If Altor wants ten cocks then she shall have ten cocks. I make a real effort to play with Altor’s cocks on a regular basis to make sure they all work as she needs them to but one was totally stiff. Now I know this is paradoxical but Altor doesn’t want stiff cocks, she needs them to be well lubed and able to slide open and shut easily. Two months of not working her cocks meant that one had seized up. There you go folks, proof if ever it was needed that if you don’t use it, you lose it. After a concerted effort and some hard hand work the lazy cock was back in fine fettle again. On the plus side, you don’t (or shouldn’t) buy a boat unless you love them. I do love Altor so flushing gremlins out from their hiding places and telling them to cock off is part of the joy of boat ownership. In addition to gremlin eradication the following projects were completed:
New diesel heater in the stern cabin
New stereo under warranty from Fusion
Insulation of the stern cabin and under the floor throughout the boat (a great improvement)
Successful clear out of the vee berth for mountain bike storage
Man cave ( starboard fwd bunk cabin) fully sorted and is as close as I can get to having a tool shed on my boat
New negative busbar project - home made special
New autopilot linear drive installed
Waterlock exhaust muffler removed, repaired and reinstalled
Camshaft oil seal replaced on engine along with new belts, filters, oil change and diesel pump retiming
Completion of soundproofing in engine bay
More, more, more impossible to recall jobs that take hours but only I would ever know that they have been done.
Basically, I feel that when I launched this boat in November 2019 after her refit, I was 85% of where I wanted to be. Asha and I then sailed off and enjoyed season 1 of Adventure Now and on returning from the Caribbean, having seen how a super-yacht is run, I was filled with enthusiasm to complete the remaining 15%. That is of course a 15% that will never actually get completed because boat work is never complete. Refer once again to the love of boats that is a prerequisite for boat ownership!
So enough of all that and on to some current affairs. Let's talk about the c bomb!
When you live on a boat you feel isolated from covid (sorry, I don’t like giving it a capital C) but both Asha and I had to deal with it when we travelled overseas so we felt the pain that every unfortunate soul has to tolerate everyday when you live on land but on a boat you can almost fool yourself into believing that it was all just a bad dream.
Over the winter we received a couple of comments on our YouTube channel about my / our attitude towards covid and I have to admit that we elected to delete those comments. We did this for a few of reasons.
Our channel isn’t about covid, it’s about adventuring now and living life.
We have learned that discussing covid can only be a peaceful affair if everyone is in agreement. Unfortunately we seem to be at a time when people have forgotten that it is OK to disagree. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned debate. If you don’t agree with someone then you should just accept that you don’t agree and skip along on your merry way believing whatever you choose to believe and not think ill of anyone who doesn’t share your beliefs. It’s fine but unfortunately some people seem to view disagreement with their opinion as a criticism of them when it isn't. It really is just an opinion and I believe that without differing opinions life would be as boring and intolerable as it will be if we all continue to accept this current state of house arrest. So, on the basis that I don’t think anyone can healthily agree to disagree anymore, we decided to remove the comments so as not risk entering into a swap-shop of heated opinions underlined by feelings of personal wounding.
Isn’t everyone just a little tired of hearing about covid now? Shouldn’t there be at least one place you can look without having it rammed down your throat (sorry - bad turn of phrase and also impossible if you are doing as you are told and wearing a mask). For this reason, going forward, we will try to keep clear of the c bomb and that also means that I will try not to make any flippant remarks about the c bomb so as not to stir up too much emotion, whether positive or negative. After all the sooner we, as humans, become mute, feelingless, emotionless, cyborgs serving the system without free will or choice, the closer the powers that be will have got to their ultimate goal. Whoops 🤭 There I go again. Sorry - I will stop it now!
Having said all of this, the fact remains that we don’t believe that covid should stop us from living our life. We do believe that too much control has been imposed and we also believe that too much freedom has been taken from the people. We intend to carry on with our life afloat and we intend to carry on living our dream. If this offends anyone, then I am sorry. If it inspires anyone, I am thrilled and if anyone is experiencing the stirring of any other kind of emotion then this, of course, is absolutely fine too.
One thing that everyone can be certain of is that we believe in keeping safe. That has to be number one on your priority list when you live on a sailing boat. However, the fact is that we believe there are plenty more dangers inherent to this lifestyle that represent a higher risk to us than covid does. There’s that little thing called drowning, that indiscretion known as sinking, the devil’s work that is fire onboard and we haven’t even mentioned the dangers that are ever present in mother nature when you live on a boat so, as you can see, if we put covid higher on the list than any of these things then, put simply, that would make us imbecilic.
Oh, bring back the days when terrorism was the biggest threat or Kim Jong Un in North Korea with a nuclear missile. At least you had more of an idea of who your supposed enemy was. Now, we are all to believe that it is Barry from number 44 or Ethel, that sweet old lady at number 32 who is coughing and not wearing a mask. It’s hardly Professor Plum in the study with a candlestick is it! Anyway, not to worry because that dangerous old lady called Ethel is probably destined to freeze to death as a result of being told to keep her windows open during winter and no one being brave enough to check if she’s ok….
Shit, sorry - there I go again!! I will chastise myself right now, say a thousand hail Mary’s and leave this alone! Anyway, it’s only my opinion and as we all know, opinions are like assholes, we’ve all got them.
In summary, I believe that everyone should do and act in a way that makes them feel safe and out of harms way, naturally. The problem comes when you are locked in your house, you do not have any good old fashioned face to face contact and you know longer enjoy the comfort, familiarity and affection that is touch and contact with your loved ones. Yes, you are safe and alive but are you living?
So, back to sailing! Last weekend we saw a glimmer of sunshine, the tide was right and we cast off those lines. We didn’t go far, just down the River Crouch and into the River Roach. We anchored for three nights and got right back to nature. We listened to the birds, we walked alongside a nature reserve, got blown around by the wind and felt peace, quiet and contentment. It was bliss! It never ceases to amaze me that whatever gizmos we surround ourselves with, however grand the house, however luxurious the car, however contemporary the food, wine or the clothes we choose, nothing makes you feel as wholesome, complete, connected, or as human as getting out there and breathing in some of that beautiful fresh air and becoming intoxicated by the elixir that is nature.
Season II of Adventure Now is almost upon us and we intend to grasp it, live it and feel alive. If you would like to follow along here and/or on our YouTube channel then that would be lovely. Thank you.
Beautiful sunset on the River Roach
Full moon over the River Roach