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Barry's Blog # 33 – Oh just one more thing...

"How much do you want?" Jose asked.

"Forty or fifty metres should do it." I replied.

Adding an extra 48 metres to our anchor line

This was going to be the last job on our seemingly never ending list of things to replace, repair or modify on A B Sea.

Attached to the shaft of our shiny new Mantus anchor is 50 metres of 10mm galvanised anchor chain which will allow us to anchor in water depths of up to 12 metres (39 feet) using a scope of 4 to 1. Roughly translated that means we let out four times the amount of chain relative to the depth of water the anchor was dropped in. With 50 metres (164 feet) of chain we were generally OK for dropping anchor in most coastal areas of The Med but we plan on also anchoring around Greece where anchoring can sometimes be in deeper water, so we added and extra 48 metres of warp (rope) to the end of our anchor chain. I always prefer to have too much and not need to use it, rather than finding out that I don't have enough to anchor just where I want.

As I said, it was meant to be the last job on the list, but over the last 10 weeks of getting work done we have found out that on boats one job generally tends to lead to the creation of several new jobs. This time was no exception. When our new Mantus anchor is hauled up and sitting snugly on the bow roller it sits very very close to the fibreglass prow of the hull, too close for our comfort. Taking a close up look at that area we can see evidence of previous accidental contact between the anchor and boat. This is not good, so to protect the prow we have asked Paco (the stainless steel guy) to manufacture a big stainless steel shield which will wrap around the prow and provide 100% protection against any knocks that are bound to happen. I'll keep you informed about how that works out.

The anchor is too close to the bow for our comfort

The final invoice

We have mentioned in previous blogs and our YouTube videos about how generous Jose (our broker) has been in the negotiation process of which repair/replacement jobs he would cover at his businesses expense and which we would be paying for. The only major unknown cost was the labour component in several of the big jobs like the davits and solar installations. So when Monday morning rolled around we were a tad nervous as we walked over to Jose's office to go through the final invoice. In the end it wasn't too bad and we have made the final bank transfer, so by the time you're reading this we are technically the proud owners of A B Sea. Now the race against time really is on, because everything in Spain shuts down for the whole month of August, therefore we need to get the paperwork processed as quickly as possible before then. Once we have legal (paperwork) ownership we can suss out which insurance company will be best for us and get that sorted too. Tick tock, tick tock.

Reviewing the final invoice with Jose & Marina

There will be a separate blog and YouTube video where we'll break down all of our costs item by item because I know quite a few people have expressed an interest in seeing what things cost in getting them completed in Spain. There will also be a walk through video of the complete interior and exterior of A B Sea at some point before we leave the marina.

Hook me up Bro

The ongoing quest for Internet connection is just that, ongoing! Trying to find a sim card which will give us enough monthly data allowance at a reasonable price, which will also allow roaming (without penalty) throughout Europe has been a challenge. My brother Steve, who lives in the UK, came up with a solution. He added an extra sim card to his Vodafone account and for UKP30 (AU$54) we get 40GB of data per month. It all sounds simple enough but when the sim card arrived at the marina and we slotted it into our mifi device we got nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Steve is currently in communication with Vodafone and fingers crossed it will all get hooked up before we leave the marina.

Fun with fridges

Before we took the rental car back we did a final big shop for meat and fresh fruit and vegies; one of the things included in that shopping was a packet of frozen pulpo (octopus). Two days later the pulpo had defrosted and through a small hole in the packaging it was leaking seafood juices into the bottom of our fridge. The smell was pretty bad, so at 9.30pm one evening we decided to get the mess cleaned up. Everything had to be removed to allow for a proper clean up and sometime during the clean up the cold plate which cools the fridge must have been damaged because all the ice melted off it and even with the dial turned up to 'sub-arctic' the fridge was not cooling at all. It took two days to get a guy to come and look at it and of course during that 48 hour time frame all of the fresh meat went bad and had to be ditched. The repair guy injected some blue coloured liquid into the cooling system which did seal the leak and once the system was re-gassed it started working normally. So we managed to dodge what could have been an expensive part replacement.

Let there be light

Soft white LED strip lights

Most of the lighting inside and outside of A B Sea has been converted to LED's because they use a fraction of the amount of electricity that normal incandescent lights do and they don't produce much heat. So the other day whilst wandering around one of the big Chinese bazaars in San Javier I came across some soft white LED strip lights which were compatible with 12volts DC. I was ecstatic. Initially I only wanted them to illuminate the nav station area, as the incandescent lights fitted there were intermittent in their commitment to carrying out their assigned task. The LED strip was 10 metres (33 feet) long and an executive decision was made to do two 5 metre long strips hidden behind the wooden facia of the saloon and galley area. They look very attractive at night and provide a perfect amount of illumination and they're not harsh on the eyes. The bonus is that the two small LED lights that were in the galley can now be reused to replace two incandescent reading lights in the princess suite. I love being able to repurpose stuff.

The end is nigh

I know that we're now coming to the end of the work on A B Sea because all that remains to be done are small tasks. For example we fitted the dinghy anchor with 35 metres (115 feet) of rope and Aannsha made a small storage bag for it out of the cut off legs of a pair of jeans. The grab rope and reflective strips were also replaced on our two life rings. We've had a good look through what size lines we have on board for tying things down and for mooring. We have the British red ensign flying off the transom and the Spanish courtesy flag flying from the mast.

Sprucing up our life rings

So now that things are almost complete (paperwork, bureaucracy and red tape notwithstanding) in preparation for casting off the lines and heading over to the Balearic Islands, I might finally have the time to actually unpack the DJI Mavic Pro drone that was delivered to us a month ago and learn how to fly it. I'll let you know how that works out.

Thanks for reading and take it easy.

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