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Barry's Blog #111 - Christmas 2019

It's Christmas eve 2019 and I'm writing this blog from our temporary office which we've set up at the boat yard in a studio apartment that we're renting while A B Sea is on the hard for maintenance.

The small family run boat yard called Livaditis, is 2km (1.25mi) north of the small town of Limni which is located along the north west coast of the Greek island of Evia. Click here for a link to their website.

Even though it's winter in the northern hemisphere the weather is not too bad, however it's a little too cool for my liking. Night time temperatures range between 4 - 8C (39 - 46F). Day time the range is between 7 - 14C (44 - 57F). The weather is mixed, the wind blows strongly, then not at all, there are rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days and the occasional electrical storm thrown in for good measure.

We do a lot of weather watching from the studio balcony, which facing south, offers us a wide open view of the Evia channel. There are days when I long to be out on the water sailing A B Sea. There are also days when I look at the waves and 40 knot winds and I'm thankful that we're not out there.

Christmas eve and Christmas day

Also staying at the boat yard apartments for winter are two other couples and two solo sailors and we've arranged to enjoy a Christmas eve dinner together at a nearby restaurant. One couple declined to join us but I'm sure that we'll have just as much fun with only the six of us.

Everyone here is polite and friendly and we have pleasant chats whenever our paths cross but there is no socialising like there was last year in Kaş Turkey. We really miss our Turkish extended family.

Our plans for Christmas day are simple. Some of our YouTube channel followers have very generously sent us some gifts from our Amazon wish list so we'll film the opening of those packages and then for lunch we will treat ourselves to a nice steak with a bottle of red wine. We bought the steak, wine and some chocolates from the local shops in Limni as a Christmas treat.

Q & A 2019

The Christmas season is a mixed bag when it comes to viewing figures on YouTube. Many people spending time with family and friends tend not to have spare time to watch videos, whilst others who have had enough of the whole thing are happy to escape for a while to live vicariously watching their favourite channels.

We still like to release a video on schedule and this week, instead of a sailing or boat maintenance video, we will have our end of year Q & A session. It's always fun having this interaction with our viewers and even though it's not live it is very much a one to one video.

I'll post the questions we were asked below and I encourage you to watch the video to hear our answers.

Until next week we hope that wherever you are and whatever you're doing that your heart is filled with joy and gratitude over the Christmas season.

The Questions

Frank Schwarz - My question is related to your energy management, i.e. how to charge the house and other batteries on board A B Sea? I saw that you had to replace the lead acid batteries just after a short period. Are you intending to upgrade to Lithium at one point?

Henrik Thystrup - 1) What do you do to pass time on a daily basis. On land people spend weekends and evenings with friends, family, theatre... all that is not so easy living on a boat so how do you cope with that?

2) How much time do you spend on maintenance on the boat. It seems that you guys often need to repair as things are broken is that due to the age/usage of the boat ? It seems to me that my friends who have boats don't spend so much time on repairs.

3) How to you plan which islands to visit and for how long ? There must be zillions of islands to visit and explore but finding the "right" ones must be difficult. Secondly on what do you base your decision on when to start your winter stay over and when to continue the journey - is it the weather ?

Denise & Bryan Keith - What has been the most unexpected negative you’ve experienced so far? Before you undertook this journey, you would have had some concerns. Have any of those concerns actually been relevant?

Boston & Piper Elmore - What do you do to protect the computers and the like from the high moisture on the boat?

Murray Westenskow - Have you two ever been to the US? If so - where did you go?

2 Moza - 1) Have you fitted any lightening protection to the Mast of your Boat or Instruments on board so as if you were hit it's not a total loss of said equipment ?

2) Will you be doing the Work on the boat or Farm it out to the Shipyard where you are on the Hard.

Low Light Guy - I’m curious if you guys are planning to do an Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean for 2020? For 2019 what has been your best sail yet to which city or country?

Sailing Étanche - How is living on the hard (till x-mas)

Noone Anybody Knows - Are you approached by strangers selling illegal substances? Is the use of these substances open and obvious or are they somewhat hidden from the authorities? Do you encounter openly aggressive individuals that make you feel uncomfortable or threatened? i.e. verbally abusive, unsolicited sexual offers (male/female).

Steen Kigerrider - How long did it take you before (in your own minds) feeling (more or less) confident yacht skippers after running aground in Spain?

Samantha Kerridge - What heating have you got? I'm wondering about economy and how well it works.

Anders Jakobsen - Is there any reason to haul out rather than for the maintenance?

Sail Ho - Do you need any extra insurance to stay in Greece for winter?

Henrik S Pedersen - Do you have a bucket list of dream destinations and will your son visit you?

Daryl Graimes - What size is the engine? And seeing as the boat is nearly 25 years old, how many hours are on the engine?

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

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