Way back in August 2018 (17 months ago as at the time of writing this blog) A B Sea was dashed onto the outside seawall of the harbour/marina at Javea in Spain when the mooring, she was tied to, failed on a moonless Friday night at 10.30pm. Read the blog by clicking here. Watch the video by clicking here.
An underwater visual inspection the following morning showed that the only part of her that actually hit the huge concrete blocks of the seawall was the base of her iron keel. The hull/keel joint looked evenly spaced all around and an inspection of the fiberglass encapsulated keel bolts in the bilge showed no signs of cracking or crazing and most importantly there was no water entering the bilge.
Fast forward to December 2019 and a little over a month after being hauled out in Greece for winter maintenance there was still some dampness showing outside at the hull/keel joint. I'm not talking about gushing or trickling wetness, just a damp to the touch wetness. It was concerning because the rest of the hull and keel was bone dry.
The big question running through my mind was both simple and complex at the same time. Casting my mind back to when A B Sea was hauled out for anti-fouling in Spain in June 2017, I have a vague memory of looking at the hull/keel joint and thinking "I hope they're going to replace the Sikaflex at that joint." From memory I don't think they did.
Now I have the nagging question of whether seawater was able to get between the hull and keel because the Sikaflex was old and not replaced in 2017 or maybe there was some displacement of the keel when she hit the concrete blocks of the seawall?
Either way the other nagging question is, has there been any corrosion to the keel bolts? I'll get back to you on this one as soon as I've done some more investigating.
We are always overwhelmed by the support we get from our viewers, subscribers, patrons and friends. We've especially had a heap of knowledgeable people share their advice and expertise in the comments section of our videos and it really has helped us make decisions based on information we'd never have thought about. We were even more surprised when, just before Christmas, a long time subscriber and patron of ours asked if we had an Amazon 'wish list' publicly available so that they could send us a Christmas gift. We had no idea that an Amazon 'wish list' was actually a thing, but it turns out that quite a few YouTube sailing channels set up Amazon 'wish lists'.
Not sure what to expect, the packages began arriving on an almost daily basis soon after setting up our 'wish list' and we decided that it would be more fun to open all of the packages on Christmas day and to film the whole process.
As well as packages from generous supporters we also had a few packages arrive from things that we'd bought online ourselves and we were also expecting the delivery of a package from Australia with items we'd purchased there in the hope that our son Luke could bring them with him when he visited us for a holiday. As it turned out his work and a few other things got in the way and his holiday never happened, so we asked him to mail the items over to us in Greece.
Mail from the other side of the planet during the Christmas period can be a little slow and the package didn't arrive until December 28th. By that time Aannsha was beside herself with excitement about what was in all of the packages and the opening began as soon as she'd finished her usual morning cup of tea.
We actually had some warm and sunny weather that day which allowed us to film the mass opening outside on the balcony. It really felt like a very special Christmas opening everything, even the things that we'd ordered for ourselves. Now we've got to find places for all of our new items to live on board A B Sea and we're sure we'll have a lot of fun testing out all of the new camera accessories and various other items.
Thank you so much guys and girls, you're generosity is heart-warming.
Winter in Greece
I'm writing this blog on the afternoon of Monday 6th January 2020 and this morning at the local town of Limni they celebrated the annual fetching of the holy cross from the water to observe the Greek Orthodox epiphany (Theophania). We had grand plans to drive the boat yard scooter the 2km (1.25mi) into town to film the event. Apparently a number of folk from the town strip down to their bathers and dive into the waters of the Evia channel to retrieve the cross. The person who brings the cross back to shore will have their year filled with blessings.
However our grand plans were cancelled as soon as we opened the balcony shutters this morning. The grey clouds hung low in the sky and delivered a continuous downpour of rain. The wind blowing intermittently still managed to gust up to 35 knots causing the rain to go momentarily sideways and the really big turn off for us was the temperature, a very chilly 3C (37F). God knows what the wind chill factor would've been on the scooter.
The next several days offer more of the same with night time temperatures predicted to drop as low as -2C (28F). I've been pondering the theory that we (A B Sea collectively) might be some sort of weather jinx because last winter in Kaş, Turkey they had the wettest, coldest winter they can remember for 5 years and this year, where we are wintering in Greece, our friend Nikos said in an email "Guys you have been unlucky with the weather. Not only is a cold spell lasting this long uncommon, and it will last until at least January 12th, but last year we did not ever get temps this low. I have burned more heating oil these last few days than I burned in the whole of the winter season last year."
And this in the news, weather prediction models show that from the 13th January, Greece will be the coldest place in Europe in terms of variation from normal temperatures for the season. Western and Northern Europe and Russia will be warmer.
Next winter we plan to pick a drought affected African country to park up A B Sea and see what we can do to help bring them rain.
Have a great week wherever you are and please do us the favour of sharing this blog to at least one of your friends of family members who you think will find the story of our journey interesting and entertaining.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.