Roberta and I are now back home in Seattle.
I had planned to do one or two more blogs, but nothing blog-worthy happened in the final days of our trip. The season went out with a whimper, not a bang. We stayed at anchor until the last possible moment, only a few miles from the marina. Each morning we would wake and say, “You ready to go to the marina?” “No.” “Me neither.” Finally, the fun had to stop and it was time to return to reality.
End of the season for Sans Souci. Time to go home.
In preparation for our trip home, we needed to obtain a health certificate for the dogs. We found a vet who spoke ok english, but he insisted we didn’t need health certificates. We’ve done this drill a few times, and are experts on what we need, so we insisted. Arriving at his office, on time for our appointment, he was gone to lunch, and had to be coerced via his cell phone to come in. We then guided him through the paper work, and paid his $15 fee. As we were leaving we asked if he wanted to see the dogs. He looked at us like, “Why would I want to do that?,” and we left quickly.
Our last two days on the boat were spent with mechanics. It was a strange feeling. For over three months the boat had been our home. It had transported us safely to some amazing places, and suddenly it wasn’t our home anymore.
Putting the boat away for the season
Jeff Sanson, of Pacific Yacht Management watches over our boat in the off season. Twice each year, Jeff Sanson, flies to the boat with his team. Once to prepare the boat for our cruising season, and another to “put the boat away” for the season. Jeff will be assisted this winter by Sanli Gulec, of Moda Yacht
Sans Souci has a seachest, which is central distribution point for sea water, used to cool the hydraulic system, the air condition compressors, and generators. It also provides water to the watermakers. The seachest is fed by dual 3″ hoses.
As you can see in this photo, the hoses are partially obstructed by coral.
The strainers themselves were caked with crud. This is surprising in that they were just cleaned a couple weeks earlier.
The seachest was also loaded with crud. I’m not sure I would have been running much longer.
This is the sea water intake, viewed from the bottom of the boat. Lots of crud! I had hoped that the cooler water in the Med (as opposed to Asia), and lack of life in the water, would translate into less clogging of my lines. Wishful thinking.
My watermakers have always been rock-solid and one of the most reliable appliances on the boat. However, this year, the quality slipped. I have two Village Marine 800 gallon-a-day watermakers, both of which ran fine, but produced bad water. In order to have water for showers I tweaked the watermaker to pass through water that it thought was no good, and used the water only for flushing toilets and showers. We drank bottled water.
This is one of the membranes, a long cylindrical filter through which water is pushed at high pressure. I’m not sure how it ocurred, but rust had worked its way inside the membranes. We’ll start next year with fresh membranes (and have clean water!)
I insisted on having twin engines, but it does come at a price. One of the downsides of having twin engines, each capable of running my boat at full speed, is that at normal cruising speeds, the engines are lightly loaded. One possible result of under-loading a diesel engine over a long period of time, is that the turbochargers can experience a shortened life. To counter this I run at full throttle 15 minutes a day. In this picture we see one of my turbos, which is now in need of replacement.
One of Jeff’s tasks is to exercise all of the various valves and thru-hulls on the boat. Here you see the valve which selects between two sea strainers, and the result when a valve sticks. I prefer doing this exercise when the boat is out of the water. One of my great fears is that someday I’ll turn one of these valves, while in the water, and the handle will snap off with water flooding into the boat.
These little pieces of metal, called zincs, are attached to the bottom of the boat, and are my first line of defense against electrolysis. The idea is that if there is electricity in the water, such as someone in a marina with an electrical short, that the zincs will be eaten by the electricity rather than my props or shafts.
Approaching the haul-out lift. The decision to haul-out was a tough one. I’ve always left my boat in the water during the off-season, but Gocek is prone to rough winters, and the boat took a beating last winter. This is an experiment to see how I like leaving the boat on shore all winter. My goal is that we put the boat away clean and ready to go, and that next year when I return, it will be exactly as I left it.
My bottom paint did an amazing job. Zero growth on the bottom of the boat!
Another experiment — shrinkwrapping the boat. The boat is freshly washed and waxed. Theoretically, because of the shrinkwrapping, the boat will look identical to when I left it when I return next year. The shrinkwrap was expensive ($4,500).
I had never seen the process before. It’s quite a project! Here you see them constructing a netting that goes around the boat, prior to putting on the shrinkwrap.
The Istanbul-based company (www.coverport.com.tr) that “won” the bidding to shrinkwrap my boat was a lot less happy when they physically saw the boat. Sans Souci may only be 68 feet long, but it’s a BIG boat.
Using a heat gun to seal the shrink wrap.
The package is wrapped, and all ready to be opened next May!.
Memories Of The 2012 Cruising SeasonI apologize for repeating pictures, but as I look at this blog entry, it’s depressing to see all of the effort required to keep the boat maintained and prepared for cruising each year.
Therefore, I couldn’t let the season end without a few reminders of what makes it all MORE than worthwhile:
Cave exploring and warm crystal-clear water, near Dalyan Turkey.
Making new friends, and seeking lattes in unusual places!.
Exploring hundreds of miles of coastline and islands.
Anchoring in amazing places. Sometimes, having entire bays all to yourself.
Seeing history, up close.
Roberta insisted there be at least one picture of me before she’d approve my sending the blog out.
Dropping anchor in the ancient port of Knidos, just inside the submerged walls.
Does life get much better than this?
Looking ForwardI mentioned at the end of my last blog that our GSSR group (Great Siberian Sushi Run – three boats that crossed the Pacific together via the Bering Sea in 2009) is back in discussions about cruising together. Those discussions are continuing, and it is looking good for the group to reunite. No plans have been made, and it is all just discussion at this point, but the idea tossed around most frequently is to gather in London, in 2014 or 2015, and head north. My fingers are crossed.
The Mandalina Marina, in Sibenik Croatia, will be Sans Souci’s base of operations for the 2013 cruising season.
Shorter term, Roberta and I are focused on the 2013 crusing season. Our plan is to traverse Greece and Albania, heading northwest to Croatia. I predict it will be a great year for the blog, and a longer season on the boat. We hope to return to the boat in mid-May and be underway by June 1st.
As always, the blog wouldn’t be what it is without all of the assistance and helpful emails I get from all of you.
Thank you, and I am looking forward to the 2013 season!
PS You don’t need to miss the blog this winter, check out this page for my books: