[KensBlog] Serendipity

Roberta always says that her favorite word in the world is, “Serendipity.” It means an unexpected happy event.

And, that describes our day yesterday…

We woke up at 6am, at anchor at Formentera. We knew bad weather was coming and that we were going to be moving somewhere better protected from the swell.

Step one was to look at the weather services. Reports tend to be updated every six hours so we wanted the latest information. I looked at the reports before Roberta and said to her, “We’re in deep doo-doo. There are no safe places anywhere. Expect a miserable five days.” Roberta thought I was being overly dramatic and did her own analysis. Minutes later she said, “What do we do?”

We were suffering from Roll-Fatigue. I don’t know if that’s really a disease, as I just made it up. But… it was certainly dragging us down. We were tired of trying to sleep while hanging onto the sides of the bed. Some of it was just being unlucky with the weather, and some of it is Ibiza. There aren’t, or more likely, we didn’t find, well-protected anchorages. We were looking at nearly a week of being hunkered down waiting for a storm to pass with constant rolling.

“Maybe we should go back to Mallorca?,” I suggested.

“What good would that do? It’s going to be rolly there too,” came the response.

“Not if we go into port.”

“We don’t have a slip until September 1st and it’s too early to call the marina.”

“We could go into a port here on Ibiza”

“Nah. If we’re going into port, I’d rather try for Mallorca.”

“OK. Let’s go.”

“But, it is 70 miles, and the wind is from the East. It will be a messy ride.”

“OK. It will be a messy ride. Let’s go.”

So, at 6am, in the dark, we put up the tender, pulled in the flopper stoppers, and headed to sea with no clear destination in mind other than “Mallorca.”

When people talk about the cost of boats, I always ask them what waterfront homes cost. Pick anywhere; Miami, San Diego, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Mallorca, etc. Waterfront homes are not cheap. And, now, imagine there was a portable one? If you are in the mood to be elsewhere, what if you could just move your home? What premium would that command? Well ..that’s what we were doing. We wanted a change of landscape, and in minutes had our home back on the road.

I still have 1,400 gallons of fuel on board, so I decided to experiment with kicking the boat into high gear. We always cruise at about 8.5 knots, because it is very fuel efficient. At that speed I burn around 9 gallons an hour. Kicking it up to 9.5 knots costs eats WAY more fuel — closer to 15 gallons an hour. But… why not? I had the fuel, so .. I wasted some fuel.

To our surprise, the sea was dead calm. We have not had a rough ride this year! We’ve spent some rough days and nights at anchor, but every run we’ve made has been on glassy seas.

At 9am I phoned Port Adriano, a superyacht marina in Mallorca (www.portadriano.com) and asked if they could take me. At first the answer was no, but then after a bit of pleading space opened up! We were not only going to Mallorca we were going to an amazing place.

Port Adriano, Mallorca, Spain

Wow! What an amazing marina! We have seen a lot of marinas, and the initial impression may not be as good after we’ve been here a few days, but .. .my first impression is that this is the best marina we have ever been to. There are a large number of excellent restaurants, and shops, and a market — all literally behind our boat. I have 150 amp electric service to the boat (seriously!), wired internet, etc. At one point Roberta and I talked about staying in a fancy hotel for a few days to spoil ourselves. That talk is long gone. This is better. We had a fantastic Italian meal at a restaurant overlooking the back of the boat while watching a variety show that the marina puts on each night (comedians, singers, dancers, etc)

We had a good seat for the show (that’s Sans Souci in the background) — but, given that there are two levels of restaurants behind us, I won’t be putting water in the hot tub. The girls are enough of a show for the diners.

Entertainment at the back of Sans Souci – a great show! We are the shortest boat on this side of the marina, but also the tallest (except for the sail boat masts). But, we seem to collect lots of picture takers who think we are much bigger than we are. What we lack on longitude we make up for on latitude

Here’s a video we made of one of the acts from the show while we were having dinner. Roberta pans the camera over a couple times to show our boat in the background. It’s a bit long, but gets cuter as it goes.


The boats on the dock light up at night creating a show for all the tourists, who are dining at the restaurants in front. We didn’t light Sans Souci because it needs a good cleaning. We’re cleaning today, and tonight we’ll turn on the lights.

Last night was incredible, and this morning I didn’t want to get out of bed, it felt so good. A very serendipitous day!

After nearly three months on the boat, with the past couple of months almost entirely at anchor – it felt SO good this morning to feel civilized for a change. Here you see Roberta with her Café Latte Macchiato. (This is one of the many cafes right in front of our boat.)

We’ll now rent a car and explore Mallorca for a few days — so, no more blog entries for a bit.

Next up — GSSR reunion, sometime in the next week!

Thank you!
Ken and Roberta Williams (along with our crew-dogs; Toundra and Keeley)
Nordhavn 68, Sans Souci

PS – I just received this blog entry from an acquaintance now cruising in Greece. The last part of the article talks about what life has been like cruising in Greece during these times of financial instability there. I found it interesting and if you’ve been following the situation there you will to!

Click here to read it -> http://whereisleeze.blogspot.com.es/

4 Responses

  1. Wow! I just finished re-reading your blog from the end of the NAR 2004 through 2014 as I’ve been following along with this year’s blog. It took me about three months reading a couple hours every night in the evenings. What an adventure! As I’ve said on Facebook, my daughter started reading and has continued to read steadily off and on as she’s caught me reading in the evenings. She has even asked me a few times, “Tell Ken I said “Hi”” and did so again tonight before she went to bed, so “Hi!” from my daughter! Gotta love the innocence of an 11 year old! I hope you enjoy the rest of your cruising season. My daughter and I are already looking forward to next year.

  2. SUBJECT: Stabilization

    Hi Ken,

    I”m a big fan of the blog and enjoy following your escapades. I”m sure it”s time-consuming, but please know it”s appreciated. I find it very interesting from both a personal and professional perspective.

    My wife Jenny has been with PAE for more than 15 years so I consider myself an extended member of the Nordhavn family. I work for Imtra Corporation and, with our Sidepower, Besenzoni and LED lighting product lines, we have a lot of product that gets installed as standard on a new Nordhavn build. I”m also quite familiar with Jeff Sanson and worked with him on the LED lights that he installed on Sans Souci.

    The reason for my email, besides wanting to thank you, was to offer up one of my colleagues for information on stabilization if you revisit that in the off-season. I think you got to the heart of the matter in saying you wonder if the work to install it is justified by how often you feel it”s needed. Like you said, in past seasons you haven”t had “Roll-Fatigue” by anchoring, so it”s somewhat unique to the area where you were cruising this season.

    We are familiar with the Seakeeper approach and have nothing but positive comments on that approach to stabilization. We do know the challenge is retro-fitting these to certain boats and I think you said as much in your blog, something about working best when designed in at the build stage.

    Sleipner Motors, who does the Sidepower range, has been focusing on stabilization for the past 4-5 years. They got a lot of experience on installs in markets closer to their manufacturing base (Norway) and then started offering that to their distributors. We”ve been selling these since they became available and typically the installs have been on boats in the size range of Sans Souci. It”s a different approach than Seakeeper with stabilizer fins and actuators, so the benefit is that it takes up less space on the interior of the boat, which in theory makes it easier to retrofit. It won the prestigious Dame Award, at the METS show in 2013, as the best overall product.

    Is it right for Sans Souci? Is stabilization beyond flopper stoppers something you”ll need in future cruising seasons? I won”t pretend to know the answers to these questions, but if you do revisit the topic, please don”t hesitate to reach out and I”ll put you in touch with my colleague at Imtra that handles this product line. He can give you some background on the system and answer questions…. More consultant than salesman.

    Best regards,

    Derek Stern
    Director of Sourcing
    Imtra Corporation
    (508) 207-1661

  3. SUBJECT: REPLY TO;;;RE: [KensBlog] Serendipity

    HI KEN.

    YOU SEE THE RIGHTEOUS DO GET REWARDED, Roberta not you I mean, t/hee.
    so pleased somethings going well,

    be safe and well and god bless Roy and Leanne Palmer in London ,England

    Message Received: Aug 22 2015, 06:21 PM
    From: “Passagemaking with a Nordhavn”
    To: snowgoose@f…
    Subject: [KensBlog] Serendipity

  4. Hi Ken,
    I just wondered if you have ever considered the FLIR Thermal Imager cellphone attachment as an adjunct to your engine room checks.. http://www.flir.com/flirone (http://www.flir.com/flirone/display/?id=69324)
    I doesn’t replace an infrared thermometer, but it does have the advantage of giving a good overall picture of the heat signature in a large space in one glance. You can also store the images and use them for later reference if any questions arise…

    ————Reply by Ken — August 23 2015 —–


    I did buy the Flir one for my cell phone, and was impressed! So, I upgraded to their hand-held model which is basically the same technology without the iphone — the Flir I7.

    It has replaced my IR gun and works great. It gives both the individual point temperature plus a quick visual indication. I use it on every engine room check.

    -Ken W

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