The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

19 December 2016 | Gloucestershire
15 December 2016 | Gloucestershire
15 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
14 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
05 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
03 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
30 November 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
21 November 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
19 November 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
14 November 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
16 September 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
15 September 2016 | Poetto beach, near Cagliari (position: 39 11.755'N 09 09.808'E)
13 September 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
12 September 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
11 September 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
05 September 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
01 September 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
31 August 2016 | Capo di Pula (position: 38 59.346'N 09 01.029'E)
29 August 2016 | Capo di Pula (position: 38 59.346'N 09 01.029'E)

Buon Natale...Merry Christmas

19 December 2016 | Gloucestershire
Bruce and Caroline
Wishing all our family, friends and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

are we mad?

15 December 2016 | Gloucestershire
Bruce & Caroline
The picture above was taken at 9am whilst waiting for our taxi to Cagliari airport in Sardinia.

The picture below at 1pm on the same day at Stansted airport.....



Foggy, dull, grey and cold... some would say we're mad but we really wouldn't have it any other way! For us the true meaning of Christmas is sharing time with our family and friends.

See you all soon. ;-)

the panettone legends

15 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
Bruce & Caroline
At Christmas, Americans enjoy pumpkin pie, the English have plum or Christmas pudding and the Italians have panettone. Just the mention of this sweet Milanese bread conjures up the aromas of citrus, vanilla, and candied fruit.

This staple of Italian festivities dates back as far as the Middle Ages when to celebrate Christmas, people would replace their daily bread with a richer recipe, a practice clearly documented in a 15th-century manuscript written by George Valagussa, one of the Sforza family's tutors; however, many legends have grown up around the origin of Panettone.



The popular legend is that of a nobleman and falconer named Ughetto, who fell in love with Adalgisa, the daughter of a baker whose business had hit upon hard times. Ughetto's family were unhappy with his choice and forbade him to marry such a lowly girl. In a bid to continue seeing his lover, Ughetto in disguise took a job at the bakery where one day after selling some of his falcons, he purchased butter and sugar and added it to the bakery's bread mix. Ughetto's sweet bread became popular and the ailing bakery soon began to see better times, which pleased Adalgisa. To continue pleasing her, one day near Christmas, he added candied peel and raisins to the mix and the popularity of his bread surpassed everything the bakery had ever produced before - in fact it became so popular that his family relented and gave their permission for the couple to marry.



A traditional panettone loaf is cylindrical in shape with a cupola (domed) top. It should always be taller than it is wide, with a soft and airy interior beneath a dark exterior. Modern versions are now available with the fruit being replaced by chocolate, however traditionally it should be citrus flavoured fruit bread.

How you eat your panettone is entirely up to personal choice. Some Italians will have it with coffee in the morning, while others prefer it as a mid-day treat with a glass of Marsala wine and then, there's those who choose to have theirs after dinner as dolce with a good sparkling Moscato.



The second legend has to do with the name itself, panettone, which would literally translate in English as 'bread of Toni.' The actual translation is 'big bread,' from 'panetto' meaning dough and the suffix 'one' meaning large.

It is said that at the 15th century court of Duke Ludovico, during a Christmas celebration, the chef burned the dessert. When the Duke demanded that dessert be served, the chef became visibly distressed and, seeing this, a scullery boy named Toni approached him and explained that he'd made a sweet loaf out of left-overs and offered this bread to the chef who accepted and served it at court. The dessert was a success and the Duke called the chef to congratulate him in front of his guests, however, unable to take the credit, the chef told everyone who had really made the bread and that's how it became known as panettone; the bread of the scullery boy, Toni.



Panettone is seen by the Italians as an acceptable gift to take when visiting someone over the festive period and therefore, from the middle of November, Italian supermarkets and stores start to display the commercially made loaves. Packed in elaborately decorated boxes festooned with ribbons, this simple bread can command quite a high price. Very few Italians will make their own panettone, choosing to buy a ready-made loaf, however the internet offers plenty of recipes, ranging from the traditional to celebrity variations, so making it at home isn't beyond the reach of most competent home-bakers.

The third legend has a less romantic story claiming that the sweet bread wasn't created by Signor Ughetto, but by Sister Ughetta, a nun that wanted to please her fellow holy sisters one Christmas. The tale tells of a convent where the prospect of Christmas did little to lift the spirits of its poor and miserable nuns. One day while in the kitchen, it is said that Sister Ughetta fashioned a cake out of kindness for her fellow sisters and added fruit and peel and before baking she took a knife and cut a crucifix shape in its top. Once cooked, the cuts left by the knife opened up in the cupola crust making the cake a pleasing addition to an otherwise meagre festive feast for the holy sisters.



The traditional way of serving panettone is simply remove the paper liner and slice the loaf with a serrated knife as you would a cake, to get triangular wedges. A word of warning though, whichever way you choose to serve your panettone: it's worth noting that Italians consider it bad luck to remove the domed top and to consume it on your own.



Whilst the photos in this blog are entirely ours we can take no credit for the wording of "The Legend of the Panettone" which has been extracted from http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/panettone-legends

For information we like ours with a little salted butter and a cup of coffee. ;-)

‘ricci di mare’

14 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
Bruce and Caroline
One of Sardinia's delicacies, 'Sea urchins' are in season from November through to March.

Several 'Kiosks' have recently been erected along the coastal path all offering sea urchins, oysters, calamari and fried fish "al fresco" which are noticeably popular with the locals.



Sea Urchins are eaten raw and whilst on the outside they don't look very appetising, inside the orange 'roe' segments deliver a surprisingly fresh and unique flavour of the sea very similar to oysters.



Following on from this platter of prickly creatures we were then served 'spaghetti con ricci di mare' (spaghetti with sea urchins). This is cooked spaghetti with raw sea urchin mixed into the hot pasta just before being served - it was delicious!

It was only after we finished that we found out that sea urchins are believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac ;-)

stinky holding tank

05 December 2016 | Marina di Sant'Elmo, Cagliari (position: 39 12.082'N 09 07.622'E)
Bruce
holding tank re-installed & insulated...almost complete!

This season we've used our holding tank extensively whilst at anchor in all those beautiful bays and calas but unfortunately we have been plagued by the odd whiff or two.

After a little bit of research it transpires that in our case there could be a simple solution - proper ventilation!

Apparently two kinds of bacteria inhabit holding tanks: aerobic and anaerobic. I'm going to call the aerobic bacteria "good" and the anaerobic bacteria "bad". Good bacteria require oxygen to exist and reproduce and without it they die. Good bacteria break down organic matter, creating as a by-product carbon dioxide, which is odourless.

Conversely, bad bacteria thrive in a low or no-oxygen environment. The by-product they create is a variety of gases, including sulphur monoxide and sulphur dioxide which impart a pungent odour.

It is the bad bacteria that are responsible for any odours inside yachts and exiting external vents. In the case of the latter, foul odours accumulate within the tank and are expelled each time a toilet is flushed or the tank is agitated in a seaway. Because the odour-producing gas is extremely concentrated, the smell within the tank is so powerful that even a small leak can result in a very smelly cabin. Fortunately we don't have any leaks so odours inside the cabin only occur when everything is open and the wind sends it below from the vent above ;-(

Some cruisers treat the odour with a chemical - a bleach or similar cleaner or with a perfume that simply overpowers the smell. We don't like to use bleach because it isn't environmentally friendly, destroys the rubber seals in our toilet pumps and after all is only a short term solution. The bleach may succeed in cleansing the inside of the tank but because the environment is perfect for the bad bacteria they will quickly multiply and the problem starts again.

In order to provide adequate airflow, it is advised that vents should be larger than 16mm internal hose, ideally, 25mm on larger systems and if possible 38mm. Flirtie's vent is just 12.5mm (1/2") so well short of the minimum, in fact we would suggest pretty inadequate (*).

In an ideal world it is also suggested that there should be two vents plumbed to opposite sides of the boat which enables cross flow, in a direct line with as few bends and dips as possible. The theory here is great and makes good sense but unfortunately almost impossible to achieve on Flirtie given the placement of her holding tank.

...so our plan:

- Remove the holding tank
- Remove the old vent hose
- Remove the old 12.5mm through hull fitting
- Cut off the 12.5mm holding tank hosetail

- Weld a 25mm hosetail to the holding tank
- Install a 25mm through hull fitting
- Reinstall the holding tank
- Source & fit new 25mm hose connecting the two

Ok...it sounds pretty simple but like all things it proved more challenging than we anticipated.
Removing the tank was relatively straightforward, the biggest challenge being trying to keep everything clean. It will come as no surprise that we flushed the tank out first numerous times with copious amounts of water but still s*** was evident on all the pipes and hosetails. Suffice is to say it wasn't a pleasant job.

Once on the jetty the hose was put to good use once again and the tank flushed until water was running clean. It was only at this point that a closer inspection of the tank could be made. Despite being made of stainless steel part of the tank (the base and the outlet hosetail) which are permanently submerged in a caustic concoction of sea water, urine & s*** were showing some signs of corrosion. Oh dear, what have we started? Fortunately the local stainless fabricator was less phased and within a few weeks we had the tank returned suitably patched where needed and complete with two new hosetails - a replacement 38mm outlet and a new 25mm vent.


patched (top left) and two new hosetails

Removing the old vent hose and through hull skin fitting was straight forward as was installing the new larger skin fitting after we'd increased the size of the hole appropriately. We're always shocked (but very reassured) every time we work on Flirtie's hull seeing just how thickly she's laminated. I suppose it's just because she's so different to how our previous catamarans were built.

Sourcing new 25mm sanitary hose certainly proved to be a challenge with all the local chandler's failing to carry any in stock and when asked not forthcoming about ordering some either. It was starting to look like we would need to call Phil, our trusted chandler at Darthaven Marina http://www.darthaven.co.uk when we came across a Vetus agent "Riman" http://www.nauticariman.it here in Cagliari just a short bus ride away. Unfortunately Riman didn't have it in stock either but unlike the other chandler's suggested he could order it as part of his next weekly order. Having identified what we wanted from Osculati http://www.osculati.com/en/cat/MainCat.aspx (a major marine supplier here in Italy), we walked away with it the following week.

With everything now to hand it was time to put it all back together. We reinstalled the tank, connected all the hoses and gave everything a thorough test with fresh water just to make sure everything was water/vapour tight - the last thing we want is any seepages!!

Unfortunately though the real test will have to wait until next season when it will be used in earnest - fingers crossed!


* Flirtie was built in 1990 when holding tanks were virtually unheard of and at a time when the science wasn't really considered. Her holding tank was made just like her fuel and water tanks....i.e. with just a small vent/breather which allowed the tank to be filled or emptied without creating a vacuum.
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com
skype us: distant.drummer797
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?