The final preparations (for now)
We started very well with posting regular blogs, but then we got tied up in work again… So this post is about our final preparations. Yes, final, because the time we will be able to leave is coming closer and closer! But what we did first, was going away on a little break. We went away to the Markermeer and stayed anchored there for two days. Great weather and a great place to relax a bit. I won’t say too much about it, because there is a video coming soon(ish).
Painting anchor locker
A job that we wanted to do for a while now was to paint the anchor locker. It is not something that has to happen, but since we had a little more time than we thought we would have we decided to do it now. My plan was to finish this soon after starting, but it went slightly different than expected. I started with a primer, which had to dry for at least 16 hours. The weather was supposed to stay dry and sunny, but that changed, so after the primer, it took a couple of days before I could start with the paint. This paint needs to dry for 24 hours before the next layer can be applied, so as soon as the weather seemed to be better for a couple of days I started applying the paint. To be sure the paint would not get ruined when it would rain, I covered the locker with some tarp and plastic with some anchor chain on top of that. The locker isn’t too big, and one layer of paint took me about 1,5 hour. It felt like a job that could be finished soon, but since there was a lot of waiting time (and sometimes realising too late I should start painting again!) it took a while to finish this. The position (upside down) did not make this a very comfortable job but the result is quite satisfying. We hope we will be able to enjoy this for a while, but I have to admit we started to use the anchor locker before we were supposed to. The advice is to let the paint dry for 72 hours before using it, but since we wanted to leave, we only waited 48 hours. We will see how that affects it.
Getting rid of as much as possible
We tried to sell as many items as possible since we can not take everything with us. Our bikes are gone, some tools went away, someone else can keep an eye on her weight now since we sold our scale. Other items we did not sell, but we will give them away to friends/family or goodwill.
Make Saetta shine!
What a job it was, polishing and waxing Saetta. Miguel convinced my friend Jacq who was staying for a day, to stay longer and give us a hand. We went to a store to get information for the right approach. The advice we got was to first wash the boat and see in what state the gel coat was, in order to determine how to proceed. So that’s what we did: we thoroughly washed Saetta. We knew there were a couple of scratches (some deep, some not so deep) and fender marks. Back to the store, we went and we came back with a fine polish compound called Riwax 04 and Riwax 10 for the waxing. Our neighbour Wesley was so kind as to lend us his polishing machine. The store we went to did not have the right pads for it so we went on a little shopping expedition. After three shops we were pretty sure we had the right pads. It was time to start polishing. We started with the polishing. We soon figured out that the machine was too heavy for us, especially because the boat was still in the water. We took turns so one could hold us close to Saetta, the other was using the machine. When we were done we weren’t too happy with the results, it looked quite spotty. But it was done for today and we would continue the next day. In the evening Miguel started talking to a neighbor in the marine who polishes and waxes his own cars and boats. That’s the expert we needed! He advised us to go to a car shop close by, they sell the product he always uses and according to him, we don’t need the machine, polishing and waxing by hand goes pretty well. So after a night of sleep, we woke up bright and early to go to the shop. A friendly staff member asked if he could help us, and after explaining, his answer was: no, I can not sell you that. The brand you name is for old people, barely anybody uses this anymore. Plus, you should not use that product on a boat. The products I sell here are for cars, you really should go to a shop where they sell products for boats. Slightly disappointed we left the shop. We did decide to also buy medium grit polish compound (Riwax 02), so we could treat the bad spots on Saetta. We planned on setting the machine aside and applying everything by hand. Whilst searching for pads, we did find a machine that was much lighter than the one we used before and we decided to give that a go.
Our bag filled with cloths, pads, a machine and polish, we returned to the marina to start the work. Well, Jacq started. Miguel and I had to go to Amsterdam to get our last vaccines. But after that, I was ready to go! We soon found out that the machine we bought was too light (it is not easy to get it right ;)) but polishing by hand went pretty well! So all around the boat we went and after that, we gave Saetta again a good wash. The result was definitely better than the day before and we were curious to see how it would look after waxing.
Online I read to wax the whole boat with a cloth and then go round again with a microfiber cloth to buff. So that is what we did. Oh boy, that was a big mistake! By the time we went round for the first time, the wax was already too dry to work! I guess the advice came from someone with a smaller boat! So we decided to go around again, apply wax and start buffing straight away. This time the lighter machine came in handy: we used it to buff, although we also did plenty by hand.
On and all, we are very happy with the results! Since it took us a while to finish, lots of people passed us walking around the marina and it was nice to get their support and encouragement!
Next time we will do things differently. The ideal would be to let someone else do the job ;), but since that is expensive (and to be honest, I did like the work so I would not mind doing it again). We now know which products to use and how, and that saves a lot if going back and forth. I would definitely get the boat out of the water, that makes it so much easier! And lesson learned: don’t let the wax dry!
A massive thanks to Jacq, without you Saetta wouldn’t be as shiny as she is today!! Love you!
New anchor and chain
New anchor and chain
We ordered our new anchor a while ago: the Rocna 33. It arrived and the only thing we could think was: it looks massive, we hope it fits! Our new chain arrived as well. We ordered 50 meters of 10 mm galvanized chain, which we have added, using a C-link (both bought at CS-Rigging), to our existing 40 meters of chain. On top of that, we have 40 meters of rope. After adding nail polish on the 20, 30 and 40 meter mark (we hope it will stick, otherwise, we will have to use paint or clips for it) it was time to get the chain and anchor in place. Our anchor locker looks so full now with all this chain and we really hope our windlass will hold, because it is so heavy! But we are sure we will sleep safe and sound using this anchor.
We were very late with this, but I decided to call GGD Amsterdam to inquire about vaccines. We went to a consultation and both of us needed some vaccines. Luckily this was easily planned and now we are protected against yellow fever, rabies and some other nasty diseases!
On this blog, we mostly talked about our practical preparations, but especially lately, now we are close to leaving I realize more and more it is time to pay attention to the emotional side of it. Travelling the world sounds (and will be) great, but there are a lot of what-ifs! What if I get too seasick and I can not handle the sailing? What if something goes wrong at sea? What if one of us gets sick? What if a family member or friend gets sick or worse? Especially when we are out of reach. What if countries go into lockdown again and we will be stuck? Most of the days I enjoy our preparations, but sometimes I get very nervous about all of this. Mostly when I think about leaving family and friends behind. I do realize that there are plenty of people who do the same as we are going to do and there are plenty of ways to keep in touch, but I will be far away and not like now, just a train ride. I also realize that if I let these thoughts rule me, I won’t go anywhere and even when I stay put plenty of bad things might happen. So it won’t stop me from going, but I did want to share this with you because this process is also a part of our journey. The next days we will say goodbye to my family and our friends. It won’t be easy, but it is a part of what we are doing.
Next thing we do is to leave for Kampen, to say goodbye to family and friends there. Our to-do list is almost finished and it feels a bit like the start of our trip already. We will go back to Amsterdam Marina to finalize some things, groceries, and saying goodbye to our neighbors but that is pretty much it. We are still going back and forth about taking Saetta out of the water to change the anodes and clean the hull. We want to do it now, but we also want to leave and do this on the way. There are a couple of days left to think about it!