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Barry's Blog # 25 – Daylight saving is messing with my mind!

I don't know why, but these last two weeks I have not been waking up until 7:00am. The only possible explanation I can think of is this whole daylight saving malarky. In Queensland, Australia there's no daylight saving and after living there for 20 years I had a fairly good grip on being able to accurately tell the time of day from the angle of the sun. That's not so here on the east coast of Spain. I'm sure that once we start sailing we will really appreciate the late setting summer sun, as it will give us plenty of time to find and settle into an overnight anchorage, but right now the sun doesn't set until 9:00pm and it's totally messing with my mind and my internal clock. I'm not sure how I'll cope when the clocks go back an hour in October.

Shopping never ends!

This week has been full on with yet more shopping trips, some successful, others not so much. The biggest hurdle we are encountering is finding a shop that sells what we're looking for. For example the other day Aannsha wanted to purchase some art supplies like good quality paints, small framed canvases, a compact easel and decent paint brushes. After trying three suggested Google search locations locally, which turned out to be nothing more than office and school supply shops, it now looks like we'll have to make another trip to Murcia. Fingers crossed on that one.

Back from another shoping trip!

The one big shopping list that is still to be tackled is the marine chandlery list and I'll admit I've been putting it off because from what I've seen so far, the moment you put the word 'marine' in front of anything it doubles, triples or quadruples the price. So I think that certain items may be bought on the Internet and delivered to the marina where we are staying. Some of the items on the list include a hand held depth sounder, safety flares, 4 x fire blankets, several 12 volt fans, 2 x Spinlock life vests, 2 x hand held VHF radios and a decent first aid kit. I'll let you know how that all works out.

On Board Cinema

We were never really watchers of TV in Australia, we can't stand all the BS propaganda and blatant bias from the news outlets, the dumbing down of everything to the lowest common denominator or the horrendous reality TV shows. There was even one reality TV show in Australia where you watched other 'every day' people watching Aussie TV shows and making comments about what they were watching. I know it's popular, but I just don't get it, I'd personally rather watch paid actors working their craft. We do however like to watch decent movies and TV shows like The Walking Dead, Games of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Orphan Black to name a few. All made that much better when there are no crappy and condescending adverts interrupting the flow.

Our on board cinema experience!

We started out watching movies, TV shows and YouTube videos on our 17.5" laptop screens, but we wanted a comfortable place to relax where we could watch the aforementioned TV shows together and on a bigger screen. After some deliberation it was decided that the port side shelf in the forward Princess Suite would be a perfect spot to install a monitor. We measured it up and went out on yet another shopping mission. After trying 3 stores we finally found a monitor the right size to fit the available space, a 24-inch Samsung high definition LED monitor. Perfect. I attracted the attention of one of the staff members from a group of five that were huddled together and talking about their plans for the evening. Pointed to the display model and said in Spanish "I'd like to buy one of these please." She rummaged around under the display stand and said she couldn't see one and that she'd have to check the stock list. A minute later she regretfully informed me that they had none in stock. Not deterred I asked if another of their stores (they are a big Spanish retailer) had any in stock or how long it would be before new stock arrived. She checked her computer again and told me that none of their stores had that model in stock and there was no ETA on any new stock for the foreseeable future. I felt a moment of despondency and then glanced over at the display model. It didn't look marked or damaged in any way, so I asked if I could purchase it. She looked utterly horrified at the very thought. It was as if I'd asked to take a leper home with me. I insisted that I was happy and she acquiesced and wandered off to the back office to get the cardboard box. After about 7 minutes or so she returned triumphantly and then attempted to dismantle the display model. If you've ever put together a monitor you'll know that it generally consists of three parts, the screen, the flat base and an upright piece of plastic that connects the two. After 15 minutes of pushing, pulling, prising and pouting I figured she wasn't going to win the disassembly battle and told her that I was happy to take it as is. Her look told me that she thought I'd ordered a second take away leper. Getting back to the boat and disassembling the base myself in 60 seconds, I triumphantly slid the monitor into its new home and it fitted perfectly as you can see from the picture. Now Aannsha and I have a very comfortable spot to watch our shows or even watch YouTube videos when we have Internet connection.

Cooking with electric

Talking about YouTube videos, I had an aha moment the other night while browsing a few YouTube sailing channels. I noticed that quite a lot of the yacht owners that spent a lot of time in marinas were all cooking on portable electric stove tops and by extension not using their limited gas supply for cooking. Here in the marina where we are berthed the 800 Euro (AU$1,275) a month 'rent' includes electricity, water and WiFi, so we went out and bought ourselves a nice stainless steel double hob electric stove top. I was very impressed by how quickly it heats up, plus it's lightweight and quite small for easy storage.

I've just glanced at the time and it's 8:15pm and although the sun is still shining well above the horizon, my stomach tells me that it's definitely time for dinner, so I'm off to cook some homemade spicy Italian meatballs and pasta on our new electric stove top, pop the cork on a bottle of red wine and settle into the Princess Suite for an evening of viewing pleasure on our new 24 inch big screen. I'm also locking the companionway hatch very firmly in case any lepers try to get in, they love meatballs and pasta!

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