Monthly Archives: November 2010

//November

Land of a thousand toothless smiles

After arrival in Dover, I started troubleshooting the engine. It turns out the water separator filter was totally stuffed with algae from the tank. I’m inclined to blame the Belgian uniforms again – having had the red diesel pumped out there, I only took a 100 litres of expensive white diesel in, as I was planning to once again fill my tank with red diesel in the UK.

Sounds like a big ironic joke, only it turned out to be one with a nasty side effect: What little fuel there was had been sloshing around in the near-empty tank, and together with the full steam ahead motoring around the traffic separation scheme, I had sucked most of the dirt out of my tank and into my diesel filter. So I started my search around town for alternator belts (can never have enough of those) and “Baldwin” diesel filters; sadly neither was readily available in the chandlery or car parts shops.

I […]

By | 2018-03-13T02:48:59+00:00 November 10th, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Escape from paradise

In Blankenberge, I first made an express money transfer to the ACAB account in Belgium to pay my red diesel fine, which they then couldn’t verify, so I had to sign more declarations and forms saying I swear I had definitely paid it up, bla bla. They say BOAT is an abbreviation for Bring on Another Thousand, and bring on another thousand I did. I was thoroughly entertained when the chief customs uniform gave me their official IBAN, which actually starts on BE666.. Coincidence? In any case, clearly a challenge to my superstition-rejecting atheism.

I then had my forestay done by a Wittevrongel guy called Steve, who reminded me of an old friend and seemed extremely competent. He also changed my anchor light and put a radar reflector on the mizzen mast whilst he was up there. Thanks, Steve!

Later, I had my diesel pumped off by a local boaty company. They were clearly going to use it for heating and […]

By | 2018-03-13T02:52:48+00:00 November 9th, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Nightmares in uniform

 

“It was all a dream”, as my local friend and occasional flatmate on monster Thibeaut pointed out (quoting the title of a Tupac song). And he was right of course. Only sometimes dreams turn into a bit of a nightmare. Especially when pirate vessels with half a ton of illegal diesel collide with the ACAB authorities.

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But first things first. Following a rather positive test drive with monster outside the Nieuwpoort harbour (my friend Ernst at the wheel in this pic) and some more fiddling on the interior, we finally set out for Blankenberge at the end of October.

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We had a lovely sail down without the Genoa making 6-7 kn in some favourable current, as the forestay was to be fixed in Blankenberge, and I was in a triumphant mood having finally started my hopefully epic journey following 5 […]

By | 2018-03-13T02:59:16+00:00 November 9th, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Reviving Monster

I spent the summer of 2010 refitting a steel ketch, working title monster, at VVW Nieuwpoort. Poor thing was in quite a desolate state following years of neglect. This did however allow me to purchase the boat for a very reasonable price.

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Luckily I quickly made some friends locally to help me with the paintwork – and most importantly party and keep me entertained! In July in particular the BBQ never got cold really.

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Of course this also involved encountering the local steel boat owning brethren, who were on the parking maintaining their boats for half the summer as well.. That’s steel for you!

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That’s my neighbour Jean welding up some windows we had cut into the long keel to assess the strength of the steel plates and paint the […]

By | 2018-03-13T03:06:34+00:00 November 5th, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments