Borta med Bengt

15 September 2019 | Aruba
15 September 2019 | Aruba
08 September 2019 | Aruba
08 September 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
05 September 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
04 September 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
30 August 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
28 August 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
23 August 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
21 August 2019 | Curacao
19 August 2019 | Curacao
19 August 2019 | Curacao
12 August 2019 | Curacao
12 August 2019 | Curacao
08 August 2019 | Curacao
06 August 2019 | Curacao
06 August 2019 | Curacao
06 August 2019 | Curacao
06 August 2019 | Curacao

The week that has past us:

15 September 2019 | Aruba
Wim van Blaricum | hot and humid!
15 September 2019, Aruba, Airport Anchorage, Sunday

Hurricane season seems to have started for real. There are quite a few disturbances on the Atlantic, crossing from the Cape Verdes to the West indies. Usually the ABC islands do not get hit by hurricanes but it has happened once or twice in the past. If a hurricane comes close the islands get rain, storm surge and southerly winds. But even this happens very seldom. Dorian destroyed parts of the Bahamas and now Humberto is of the Florida coast but turning east in the Atlantic.

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Our anchorage is close to the airport, the beach and the waste incineration plant (is this really the right word?) so Bengt gets very dirty. The last days we have had lots of sunshine and lots of wind so the watermaker is running many hours every day since we have plenty of power. We can clean the outside of Bengt with fresh water, a real luxury. Even after swimming we wash ourselves with lots of fresh water. Since it is very hot here we have little laundry because we mostly walk around without clothes on.

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The water in the lagoon is warm and clean so we swim a lot. The weather is hot and humid now because of a tropical wave passing us so we go ashore as little as possible. In the morning we often take a walk on the beach (with clothes) and swim from Bengt afterwards (without clothes). There are few other boats close to us but the ones that are anchored here are all American. When they go ashore they take a long detour around us and pretend that we are not there. They really don’t like nakedness. We do work on Bengt as well as reading, sewing, knitting, crochet, ponder about where to sail next and write. Elisabeth found out that she used the wrong stiches when crocheting (?) a sweater which she nearly had completed. She used solid stiches (?) instead of pole (?) stiches. She must take up everything again and start over with the right stiches this time.

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The greywater tank’s bilge-switch stopped working and all washing-up water found its way to the ‘hole’ under the mast foot. I have stopped counting how many of these switches we have used since we left Sweden three years ago, but they last only a few months. The tank’s cover had lost its plastic locking bits, so we changed the switch for an electronic one from Whale (best but also most expensive) and dug out the spare lock for the tank.

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The toilet was not working the way it should and that indicated a blocked toilet-hose. I could just write that we took out the hose, cleaned it and put It back. Easy! Not! We had to empty a few lockers and unscrew large parts of the toilet to be able to reach the hose and get it out. To do so we used a messenger-line so we could pull the hose back in place again after cleaning. It is quite long and lies under all our batteries. Elisabeth had to lie down in one of the lockers to pull out the hose and while doing so she damaged one of her ribs. A few years ago, in Les Saints, we worked on the engine and had the engine cover/steps of. We had a coffee break in the cockpit. Elisabeth forgot that we had no steps while going down below. She fell and broke a rib. Now she must take it easy a few days. Getting the hose out is one but getting the stuff out of the hose is another. We used all sorts of tools but most effective are banging with a hammer and bending the hose. We used lots of water (a whole ocean outside) and could finally get all the urinary stones and other ‘shit’ out. Getting the hose back in place was easy. We hope the toilet will function normal for at least one year or until we transited the Panama-Canal (sleeping guests/line handlers). Last time we did this ‘shit’ job was on Terceira in the Azores winter 2017/18.

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The parcel with spare parts for the watermaker arrived at the FedEx-office on the airport. Our friends Neill and Heidi were so kind to pick it up for us. It’s a long way from the anchorage and they are in the marina and have bikes. Unfortunately for us Marine Warehouse in Miami had used the wrong address and had not written the name of the yacht and YACHT IN TRANSIT on the parcel, so we had to pay an import-duty of 50 USD. Since we had given them the right address we tried to get them to pay us the tax back. Marine Warehouse is a fairly large company which, in their advertisements write about ‘a global chandlery’ but … no answer. We are not going to use this firm again in the future. They are very slow in answering e-mail and sending invoices. To get these guys going we had to contact Spectra’s support (our watermaker is a Spectra) who gave them a kick in the ass. They got 24 hours to fix it. Needless to say, we like Ben on Spectra-support very much. Neill and Heidi also passed ‘Budget Marine’, the chandlery, and bought waterproof connectors for us there. Even here no answer to our e-mails (the boss was on holyday). Since Neill and Heidi had payed about 100 USD in advance for us Elisabeth baked a yummy chocolate cake and then we took the dinghy the 1,5 miles to the marina to drink coffee, thank them, pay and pick up our stuff.

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Friday we had a tropical wave coming over which meant very moist hot air, so we did as little as possible. There is a lot of activity on the Atlantic with lots of disturbances being ‘born’ near the Cape Verdes. At least one of them will turn into a hurricane next week.

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Saturday and Sunday were windy. Good for the wind generator. Elisabeth still feels pain from the damaged rib, so we take it easy with physical activities. She sewed a wind-scoop after drawings from ‘Mylady’. The advantage of this one is that it can be reefed and behaves better in strong winds. One can also have the hatch partially open and still get fresh air in the boat. Since the boat was so dirty we got the hose out and cleaned the whole boat with water and soap.

Until next week!


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Veckan som har gått!

15 September 2019 | Aruba
Wim van Blaricum | Moist and hot!
15 september 2019, Aruba, Airport Anchorage, söndag

Orkansäsongen verkar ha börjat på riktigt här i Västindien, det är mycket på gång på Atlanten. Dorian förstörde stora delar av Bahamas och på väderkartan finns ett tretal störningar som förmodligen blir orkaner senare i veckan. Vid Cabo Verde, orkanernas födelseplats, har det redan uppstått flera störningar som ses som potentiella orkaner. De åker över Atlanten med i ca 15 knop så det tar en dryg vecka innan de kommer till Västindien. Vi på Aruba drabbas inte men kan få andra vindar, dyningar och regn.

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Regn har vi tyvärr inte fått hittills. Eftersom vi ligger nära stranden, sopförbränningen och flygplatsen blir Bengt väldigt smutsig. Den hårda vinden kombinerat med sol hela dagen gör att vi har mycket ström så vi kan köra watermakern i många timmar och det betyder att vi kan städa ute med färskt vatten. Även efter att vi har badat spolar vi av oss med mycket färskt vatten. Eftersom det är så pass varmt blir det, förutom sängkläder, väldigt lite tvätt, vi går mest runt utan kläder.

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Vattnet i lagunen är varmt och skönt så vi badar väldigt mycket. Det är för närvarande tryckande varmt här på grund av den tropiska vågen som passerar så för tillfället åker vi iland så lite som möjligt. På morgonen tar vi oftast en strandpromenad och sedan ett bad. Därefter jobbar vi på Bengt, skriver, funderar, planerar, läser eller virkar. Elisabeth kom på att hon använda ’fel’ sorts maskor till tröjan hon nästan hade virkat klart, bara ärmarna återstod. Hon gjorde fastmaskar (fm) istället för stolpar (st). Nu får hon dra upp allt och börja om från början. Som tur är har vi gott om tid.

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Gråvattentanken slutade fungera igen och det gjorde att diskvattnet rann ner i ’hålet’ (se bild) under mastfoten där det är svårt att städa. Nivåvakten gav upp (jag har tappat räkningen på hur många vi har använd sedan vi lämnade Sverige) och locket tappade sina låsflärpar så vi passade på att ta fram reservlocket och byta ut nivåvakten mot en elektronisk sådan (den från Whale är förutom bäst också dyrast).

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Vi fick inte den nya toalettdelen att fungera som den skulle och det betyder tyvärr stopp i toaslangen så den togs bort och gjordes rent. För det fick många fack tömmas på sina innehåll och en del av toaletten skruvas isär för att komma åt. Fördelen med att ta ut allt ur ett fack är att man samtidigt kollar om man behöver alla dessa prylar. Ibland hittar man också något som man hade glömt att man hade. Jag hittade till exempel reservdelar till watermakern som jag inte trodde vi hade. Det är visserligen gamla delar men som reserv bra att ha. Med hjälp an en ledlina drog vi ut den långa slangen in i ruffen. Det tog sin lilla tid att få ut alla urinstenar (och annat) ur den men till slut lyckades vi med hjälp av rensband, bankande, böjande och genom att hälla i mängder med havsvatten. Att få tillbaka den på plats var inte så svårt eftersom vi hade haft den på tork i solen som gjorde att den blev mjuk och len. Förhoppningsvis klarar toaletten sig i minst ett år. Sist vi gjorde det här ’skit’ jobbet var på Terceira vinter 2017/18. Elisabeth fick ont i ett av sina revben när hon låg ner i facket för att dra igenom slangen. För ett par år sedan ramlade hon ner i båten och knäckte ett revben eftersom hon hade glömt att vi hade jobbat på motorn och inte hade monterat motorhuvudet/trappan tillbaka. Hon får vila sig ett par dagar. Som tur för henne har hon inga besvär vid badandet.

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Paketet med reservdelarna till watermakern kom fram till Fedex-kontoret i veckan och skulle hämtas där. Neill och Heidi var så snälla och cyklade dit och hämtade ut det eftersom kontoret ligger långt bort. Tyvärr hade Marine Warehouse gjort fel med adresseringen och glömt att skriva båtens namn och ’YACHT IN TRANSIT’ så vi fick betala importskatt på drygt 50 USD. Vi kommer att försöka få tillbaka pengarna från Marine Warehouse eftersom de inte gjorde som vi hade sagt till dem. Inget svar såklart. Vi kommer i alla fall inte att använda de här företaget igen eftersom de är mycket långsamma på att svara på mejl (tar veckor eller kommer inte alls) och skicka offert. I det här fallet fick vi kontakta watermakers tillverkare Spectra för att få de här gubbarna att röra på sig. Spectra gav dem 24 timmar att svara på mejl och skicka en offert (Spectras support är mycket bra). Sedan gick det fort. Jag skickade adressen till dem men den använde de inte. Deras fel eller nonchalans kostade oss 525 kronor. Neill och Heidi cyklade också förbi Budget Marine, som inte heller svarar på mejl, och köpte vattentäta kontakter till vår vindgenerator. De la ut drygt 100 USD för oss så Elisabeth bakade en smarrig chokladkaka (Neills favorit) och sedan åkte vi de 1,5 sjömilen till marinan med Lillebengt på torsdag för att fika, tacka, betala och hämta grejerna.

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På fredag drog det över en tropisk våg som innebar mycket fuktig luft här på Aruba så vi orkade inte göra så mycket mer än att bada och göra lite småjobb. Eftersom det är så mycket aktivitet på väderfronten på Atlanten just nu drar tropiska vågor över med två till tre dagars mellanrum. De här störningar blir lätt orkaner om de få rätt förutsättningar ute på Atlanten. Vi på Aruba får oftast bara fuktig luft och mycket varm vind men, som tur är, inget mer.

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Lördag och söndag blev mycket blåsiga dagar. Bra för vindgeneratorn som producerar hur mycket el som helst. Elisabeth har fortfarande ont i revbenen så vi tog det lugnt. Hon började sy en ny windscoop efter ritningen från den som ’Mylady’ använder. Fördelen med den här är att den är revningsbar och att formen gör att den står lite lugnare i hårda vindar. Man kan också ha luckan på ’pinnen’ och få in luft.

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The week that has past us:

08 September 2019 | Aruba
Wim van Blaricum | Hot!
Sunday, 8 September 2019, Airport Anchorage, Aruba

ALL PICTURES ARE IN THE SWEDISH VERSION BELOW AND IN THE GALLERY (ABC).

Monday morning at sunrise we raised the anchor, rolled out the headsails and took up the course to Aruba, 53 nm to the east. We should have left last night to be able to arrive in the morning but a violent thunderstorm over Venezuela and the very strong wind made us sleep through the night and leave early in the morning instead. Seas were uncomfortable and the wind just below gale force so it felt good to have slept through the night. We had been at anchor for two months and our sealegs were non-existent. Bengt rolled and moved a lot in the high swell but kept good speed. The wind decreased about halfway to Aruba but Elisabeth felt seasick and went below to lie down. She soon fell asleep. Upon approaching Aruba we sailed into an area which the locals call 'the washingmachine'. The swell bounces back on the shore of Aruba and creates a nasty sea. Bengt got some water on deck and the wind increased to 35 knots but Elisabeth slept through it. Speed went to a max of 9,4 knots. Behind Aruba the wind shifted to the northeast, Elisabeth woke up, and we had some work with poles and sails. Because of the strong wind we rolled in both headsails, hoisted up the poles and rolled out the genua again after that. We had company in with a tugboat 'Colorado' and for a while went just as fast.

Clearing in on Aruba means that you have to tie up in Barcadera Harbour to a jetty with only 2,7 meters of water. Bengt draws 2,25 meters so this is, in combination with the strong wind and limited space, not easy. Fortunately some Venezuelan sailors helped us with the lines. They seem to be able to avoid the boycott by sailing to Colombia. Lots of cargo being taken onboard the small coastal traders. We went to immigration and customs where the paperwork went fast. Back on board we got visited by two customs-officers who did a quick search of the boat. Opening a few lockers and asking about how much alcohol we had on board. We showed them the drinks-locker. All well! Spirits are expensive here. After that we got some more help from the very friendly Venezuelans and left the harbour to anchor at the Airport anchorage. Here are few yachts but clear and clean water with a lot of seagrass and some turtles. It took us a few tries to get the anchor to hold. Its quit shallow in the lagoon, we are anchored in 3 meters of water. It is also very close to the airport so planes come and go over our heads. As we came in late in the afternoon the sun was low so we could not see where the sandy patches were. Elisabeth snorkelled and checked out the bottom for sand. Very windy so we let out 32 meters of chain. After a late dinner we went to sleep.

Tuesday we stayed on the boat. Elisabeth still felt sick. The watermaker started spraying water everywhere so it was closed off. This time I used another epoxy to glue the fitting in the end-cap. In the afternoon the sewing-machine came out and Elisabeth repaired the genua-cover. We received the invoice for the watermaker spare parts, payed and gave Marine Warehouse the address of our friends Neill and Heidi who are in the marina with their boat. We took the dinghy there to visit them. Wonderful to meet these two again and to be able to enjoy Heidi's 'special coffee' once more. They have worked hard on the boat and installed for instance a new fridge and a watermaker. We also met Martin, a Swede, who bought a boat in Grenada and sailed it here. Martin is from Stockholm and thinks he have sailed with Bengt, the builder of our boat, in the eighties.

Thursday was washing day. This time we had no problems with valves so no sweaty jobs inside the engine room. The watermaker has been on all day and only leaks very little after gluing it with 'super epoxy'. Nice!

Friday we took the dinghy to the beach and walked to town. Aruba and Oranjestad are very touristy and focused on American tourists. Here you will find many up-end shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Armani, Prada, Tony Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, etcetera, etcetera. They are all here and many more indeed. Walking around town one feels like walking in Disney World because of all the pastel-coloured dollhouse looking buildings but the people are friendly and all seems to be well organized. Aruba calls itself 'The happy Island'. No garbage on the streets here. We went the 3 kilometres to a very big supermarket which, once inside, was not so big. Few groceries and lots of empty shelfs but we got what we wanted. As in many other places supermarkets are located out of town and to get there you will need a car. The one we visited is within walking distance and not doing very well. All other ones are out of town. There are public busses here but we could not find the tourist-office to get a timetable. After a long sweaty walk back to the dinghy we were happy to jump in the water to cool down.

Both Saturday and Sunday were very hot which meant a lot of swimming. One of the radiators started leaking badly so we had to put a bandage around consisting of epoxy, a piece of hose and a few hose-clamps. We are going to ger rid of all radiators in Chile and replace them with steel ones. Saturday evening we had Neill and Heidi for dinner, always entertaining talking to them.

Until next week!




Vessel Name: Bengt
Vessel Make/Model: Bruce Roberts 44 offshore
Hailing Port: Wallhamn, Sweden
Crew: Elisabeth and Wim
About:
Vi är Wim och Elisabeth, båda i 50-års ålder som träffades vintern 2011. Tillsammans har vi sex barn. Segling, havet och öar är det som lockar oss. Hamnar undviker vi så mycket som möjligt. Vi ligger helst på svaj. [...]
Extra:
Vem är Bengt? Bengt är en Bruce Roberts 44 Offshore som byggdes av Bengt Matzén i Stockholm mellan 1987 och 2001. Bengts dröm var att segla jorden runt men det blev aldrig av. Vi köpte båten av hans dödsbo och gav den namnet som en hommage till honom. Bengt är byggd i stål och [...]
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Langör, samsö, denmark
Langör, samsö, denmark
Added 22 December 2015

Om oss

Who: Elisabeth and Wim
Port: Wallhamn, Sweden

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