Sans Souci Leaves The Dock

Yesterday, my delivery skipper (Jeff) arrived in Golfito Costa Rica to check up on Sans Souci.

Our goal was for him to take the boat out for a spin, and try all the systems. Before he could leave port he had to work out a deal with customs. My boat has been in kind of an unknown status, in that it was cleared out of Costa Rica, but then never actually left. Without me there we can’t re-import the boat to Costa Rica, so its’ status is somewhat unclear. After a long chat with the customs people, and harbor master, Jeff was cleared to take the boat out briefly.

This resulted in a series of calls to me. Jeff hadn’t run the boat is six months, so he had to call me, who hasn’t run the boat in four months, to ask how to turn everything on. Adding to the “fun,” because of the time zone changes, I was in a restaurant here in France having dinner, and we were talking via the boats sat phone which imposes a 3 second delay. I was trying to overcome the delay by shouting into the phone, which neither accomplished anything nor endeared me to the local french people.

It was funny how much I had forgotten about operating the boat in only four months. I have the ability to allocate any of the electronic devices to any of the screens. For instance, I can put the radar on any of three screens. It’s simple when you know how to do it .. but, not so simple when sitting in a french restaurant four months after having done so. We finally solved that battle and a few others. The toughest was when Jeff wanted to anchor the boat and neither of us could figure out why the anchor wouldn’t drop. After testing a variety of theories we finally discovered that the bow thrusters must be on, or there is no power to the anchor winlass.

Overall, Sans Souci exceeded all expectations, and seems to have been well taken care of. And, allegedly four weeks from now she’ll load onto a freighter for shipment home!

On a different topic, I received this email this morning:



The story on the garbage in the Pacific sounds like the story about the mail box on the Atlantic side.


By the way, I tried to post a comment on your web page and I could not get a cursor to show in the block where the comment should be typed. Just wondered if the problem was on my side or yours.


Also, have fun in Europe!


Jim E.

 Has anyone else had trouble posting comments? I just tried and it seems to be working…

I thought the same about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as Jim, and my initial reaction was also to compare it to the mailbox in the middle of the Atlantic. I started to say that but was afraid I’d be attacked by readers of my blog. There are people who take this issue VERY seriously. I noticed yesterday that the discussion on the mailing list where I first saw this topic has now turned nasty. So that I can hopefully get out of this discussion unscathed, I’ll say that I do agree that there is almost certainly floating patches of garbage out in the Pacific, and I certainly agree they should not be there. However, I do believe their size estimates are overstated.
For those not familiar with the “mailbox in the Atlantic” story.. 

There is a story that is often told of a floating mailbox sitting exactly in the middle of the Atlantic. Boats crossing the Atlantic are encouraged to find the exact middle and watch for the mailbox. Letters may be posted which are periodically picked up by the US Coast Guard (or, so one version of the story goes .. there are many others). In reality, no such mailbox exists… However, during our Atlantic crossing, we did indeed work at finding the middle as accurately as we could … and took a swim!

-Ken W

One Response

  1. From what I’ve read, the size is accurate. However, it’s not like you could run through there and pick things up with a net. What’s there is fine particles of “stuff”. The waves constantly batter whatever floats into smaller and smaller pieces. You could go all over the ocean and never know you were within this stuff.

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