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Aannsha’s Blog #113 – Unboxing gifts and the weeping keel

Last week I celebrated my toy boy’s birthday. Now instead of being 3 years older than him, I’m only two! This week, along with opening gifts sent to us by Santa and his Amazon helpers, we got some advice on what looked like a weeping keel.

Why’s the keel still wet?

After standing on the hard for a month, we expected A B Sea’s keel to be dry as a bone. For the most part it was, but there was a patch on each side where water was obviously still leaking out from underneath the paint and antifoul layers.

We were concerned because it may be pointing to water ingress between the keel and hull.

Do you remember way back when we were beginning our sailing in Spain and the mooring ball we were tied to at Javea failed and we ended up hitting the rocks outside the harbour wall at around 10.30pm one dark and windy night? It scared the hell out of us at the time, but Baz scuba-dived the following morning and apart from scratches on the bottom of the keel bulb, there seemed to be no other sign of damage. The seal between the keel and hull seemed intact and there was no cracking or obvious signs of harm to the fibre glassed keel boats, nor any water in the bilge.

We continued sailing across to Turkey and then this season to Greece without hauling A B Sea out of the water. So if there had been some unnoticed cracks in the Sikaflex joint between the keel and hull, then water could have gained access to the hull and there could be some bad water damage that we weren’t aware of. If that were the case, we’d have to drop the hull and fix the problem. We were a tad anxious to say the least.

Enter Xaris (pronounced Harris), the boatyard owner who knows a lot about boats. We asked him to take a quick look and give us his opinion based on his many years’ experience working with yachts. He came and inspected A B Sea’s keel and after telling us that she looked like a new boat and was in great condition for her age, he said that this water seepage was quite natural.

What’s the fix?

Scrape out the old Sikaflex and let the whole thing dry out some more before sanding it all back (when we renew the antifoul) and seal it with new Sikaflex.

Baz and I both blew out a sigh of relief. If it didn’t dry out after doing that, then we’d have to investigate further, but we felt buoyed up by Xaris’s comments.

Santa comes and fills our stockings

Gifts from Amazon Wish List

It was a few days after Christmas day and I was hopping about with agitation, impatient to open all of the gifts that had been arriving from Amazon over the past few weeks. Some were things we’d ordered, some things had been sent to us from generous subscribers and patrons who’d asked us for an Amazon Wish List. I kid you not. People actually have these things. And according to some of our followers, quite a few other sailing channels have them! Maybe it’s because we’re dinosaurs eking out an existence in the 21st century that Baz and I hadn’t heard of this, but we were quite excited about the idea, once we got over feeling embarrassed putting our list up there on

We’d been waiting for our son Luke’s box of goodies to arrive from Australia before we opened all of our pressies. We’d originally thought Luke was coming over for a holiday last summer, but sadly was unable to and the things we’d bought and had sent to his house so he could bring them over with him were cluttering up his bedroom and I think it was with relief that he sent them over to us when we asked. I asked him to also purchase some Agar Agar and Nutritional Yeast Flakes that are expensive anywhere but only available on line from Athens and the delivery cost is silly. I figured if Luke bought them and put them in the box they’d be coming over for ‘free’. We paid Luke for the cost of items he purchased and also AU$98.10 for the P&H from Australia to Greece.

Because we didn’t ask him to send it until the 13th of December, it didn’t arrive until after Christmas. So after Baz peeled me off the wall that I’d just climbed while I was waiting patiently, we set up a camera, bundled all of the parcels on the table outside in the welcomed sunshine, and began opening our gifts.

A wish list of her own

Do you honestly think I’d make out a boat wish list on Amazon and not create one for me, that I’d fill myself? I may be a deck hand but I’m also a female and that’s enough justification lol!

The first few items we opened were for me from me, being bits and pieces to make my Mermaid’s Treasures beach find jewellery. One package I was happy to receive was a pack of 100 key rings which means I can now make more items for blokes – calling them Neptune’s Bounty. Here are some I’ve already made.

Three keyrings I made from beach finds

Before Baz’s eyes glazed over with my treasures, our Amazon Wish List gifts started to emerge, many thanks to Frank Schwarz, Jim Furness and Heather and John Drummond aka The Old Travel Bums. Huge thanks to you all.

In no particular order, these are the Amazon gifts we received:

  1. Selfie Stick Monopod, Fotopro Waterproof Flexible Hand Grip with Bluetooth & Phone Mount

  2. Camera Phone Tripod Fotopro 12” Waterproof Tripod with Travel Tripod Stand Phone Mount & Bluetooth Remote Control & Sport Camera Adapter for Portable Compact Lightweight Smartphone Tripod

  3. Selfie Stick, SYOSIN Extendable Bluetooth Selfie Stick Tripod with Detachable Wireless Remote and Tripod Stand Compatible with Samsung Galaxy Smartphone

  4. Distianert Lens package which includes 6 lenses and flexible tripod, cleaning cloth, manual and protective carrying case.Lenses:

  • CPL lens (polarised)

  • Starburst lens

  • 12x Telephoto lens

  • 235 degree Fish Eye lens

  • 20x Macro Lens} v. and vi. are attached together

  • 0.62x Wide Angle lens}but the Macro lens can be used as a wide angle lens

  1. Dremel Diamond Tipped Drill Bit for Drilling Glass 3.2mm #622

  2. Bamboo Wood Washing Clothes Washboard for hand washing laundry on board

Items 1) and 2) can be used separately or together, to give a flexible, sturdy, grippy camera mount with 360 degrees of range. Before we received this, we had limited mounting areas on the boat available, partly due to the limitations of the gorilla ball and socket type camera mounts (which do break). This will allow us to give you the watcher, a better variety of views as we sail and work on board.

Item 3) is a selfie stick that I will be able to use with my Samsung Galaxy smart phone. I love the simplicity of use of my phone camera and it does take good photos and video. This selfie stick also has a detachable wireless remote control, so it will give me a lot stability and filming options.

Item 4) is going to give me great flexibility with filming using my smart phone camera.

Item 5) will make drilling sea glass for pendants so. Much. Easier.

Item 6) is going to make hand washing on board more effective! It’s light and small enough to store easily too.

Items that we purchased and sent via Luke include:

  • Fuel filter funnel to ensure we put clean diesel into the fuel tank.

  • Laser Range Finder which will assist us when we Med moor so that we know where to drop the anchor and don’t run out of chain before we arrive at the dock.

  • Box of O-Rings. You can never have enough of these. But we do now.

  • Glass suction cup which will allow Baz to hold onto the bottom of the hull with one hand when he’s cleaning it with the other.

  • 12 volt portable kettle with a cigarette lighter attachment.This will allow me to make cups of tea and coffee without using our limited gas supply.

  • GoPro strap mount plus attachable plastic handle which we will attach to our drone so when I have to catch it (you don’t think I’d trust myself to fly the thing do you?), I won’t lose any fingers. I was secretly trying to find ways to emigrate to a faraway continent before we got the strap. I’m actually looking forward to the whole procedure now.

The best deck shoes from Decathlon

When we were in Spain two years ago Baz and I each bought a pair of Subea Adult Aquashoes 120. We like them because they had white, very grippy soles, were lightweight and made for wearing in the sea. And they were reasonably priced at around 8-10 Euros a pair. It took two years to wear out, but eventually it was time to get another pair.

Subea adult aqua shoes image from Decathlon

We weren’t near a Decathlon store so I ordered two pairs each from the Greek online store. You can access your nearest store/online store if you do a Google search for Decathlon or go directly to Decathlon's store finder.

After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing by email with a very helpful assistant, to ensure they’d be delivered rather than me have to pick up miles away in Corinth, the order was placed and paid for, and the shoes arrived in super quick time. We now have deck/beach shoes that will probably last us for four years!

We have also been gifted with a few very generous donations via our “Shout Us A Beer” button on our website and along with new Patrons, we are saying big individual thanks to you guys/gals on our videos.

So what’s next? Well, I think I’m going to keep you in suspense until next week!

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