Time Bandit

We’ve loved South Africa but it’s time to move on. In this last third of the year we’re heading for Namibia, St Helena, Brazil, Surinam (wherever that is) and the Caribbean. Come along for the ride. YouTube: SV Time Bandit

28 September 2022
28 September 2022
20 September 2022
14 September 2022
12 September 2022
12 September 2022
12 September 2022
05 September 2022 | The Ludicrous Afternoon Thermal
01 September 2022 | Our manky mainsail
28 August 2022 | Leaving Cape Town (Thanks Ed for getting up and pics)
25 August 2022
25 August 2022
24 August 2022 | Fleece bean bag. Tempting!
22 August 2022
08 August 2022 | Another Tough Winter’s Day In Cape Town
30 July 2022 | Hingham, Mass
22 July 2022
01 July 2022
26 June 2022

Direct Correlations

28 September 2022
Long term blog followers might recall a piece I wrote describing my research preceding our move from one, to two hulls. To recap, in an anchorage I'd dinghy over to the nearest catamaran with Anne going, “Oh, please. Not again”. Pulling alongside I'd knock on the hull and, when the occupier appeared at the guard rails I'd say, “Hi. Sorry to bother you but would you mind if I ask you two questions?”

They'd give me a guarded look and hesitatingly say, “OK”.

“Thanks,” I'd say. “Firstly, did you own a monohull before buying your catamaran?” And the answer was always, “Yes”.

“Second question, would you ever go back to a monohull?” At this point, the owner would look at Anne as if to ask, “Are you his nurse?” while answering with an emphatic, “No way”.

And so, having further strengthened my case we'd dinghy off shorewards, me dreaming of a life on two hulls. Anne dreading another two years living on a damn boat.

Two years has turned into four and nearly twenty five thousand miles on two hulls………and it was all going so well. “Look at us! It's blowing twenty five knots, we're doing ten to fifteen, the boat is flat as a pancake AND look at the tea, it’s like a spirit level; hardly moving and still in the mug”. We wish.

You see, the South Atlantic hasn't turned out to be the dreamy, ten to fifteen knot pleasure cruise we'd anticipated. “My toothpaste tube stood on end the whole way” said…. best remain nameless (but you know who you are). Altogether, ours has been a different experience and I might possibly be the first person to go back to a monohull - because of course, that grass is always greener. Or stop doing passages in winter.

On my newly developed scale denoting cruising comfort, since Cape Town, two thousand or so miles back down the track, we've spent an inordinate amount of time on Levels 7 and 8.

1. Ghosting
2. Gliding
3. Easing
4. Creaming
5. Powering
6. Barrelling
7. Hurtling
8. Crashing
9. Sinking
10. Claiming

There’s also a direct correlation to this scale which relates to the amount of sleep one can get and, having been “Hurtling” and “Crashing” rather than, say, “Easing” right now, about a hundred miles south of Ascension, we are, well, pretty knackered and looking forward to a few nights sitting gently at anchor before going ashore to frighten the locals.

Having written all this, my self appointed editor, reading over my shoulder and always worried what I'm putting online, has just pointed out that on my new scale, there's also a direct correlation to the number of reefs.

Hhhmmmmm. I wonder.


Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

Direct Correlations

28 September 2022
Long term blog followers might recall a piece I wrote describing my research preceding our move from one, to two hulls. To recap, in an anchorage I'd dinghy over to the nearest catamaran with Anne going, “oh, please. Not again”. Pulling alongside I'd knock on the hull and, when the occupier appeared at the guard rails I'd say, “Hi. Sorry to bother you but would you mind if I ask you two questions?”

They'd give me a guarded look and hesitatingly say, “OK”.

“Thanks,” I'd say. “Firstly, did you own a monohull before buying your catamaran?” And the answer was always, “Yes”.

“Second question, would you ever go back to a monohull?” At this point, the owner would look at Anne as if to ask, “are you his nurse?” while answering with an indulgent, “No way”.

And so, having further strengthened my case we'd dinghy off shorewards, me dreaming of a life on two hulls. Anne dreading another two years living on a damn boat.

Two years has turned into four and nearly twenty five thousand miles on two hulls………and it was all going so well. “Look at us! It's blowing twenty five knots, we're doing ten to fifteen, the boat is flat as a pancake AND look at the tea, it’s like a spirit level; hardly moving and still in the mug”.

However, not that I'm one to complain, I may be the first person to go back to a monohull.

You see, the South Atlantic hasn't turned out to be the dreamy, ten to fifteen knot pleasure cruise we’d anticipated. “My toothpaste tube stood on end the whole way” said…. best remain nameless (but you know who you are). Altogether, ours has been a different experience.

On my newly developed scale denoting cruising comfort, since Cape Town, two thousand or so miles back down the track, we've spent an inordinate amount of time on Levels 7 and 8.

1. Ghosting
2. Gliding
3. Easing
4. Creaming
5. Powering
6. Barrelling
7. Hurtling
8. Crashing
9. Sinking
10. Claiming

There's also a direct correlation to this scale which relates to the amount of sleep one can get and, having been “Hurtling” and “Crashing” rather than, say, “Easing” right now, about a hundred miles south of Ascension, we are, well, knackered and looking forward to a few nights sitting gently at anchor before going ashore to frighten the locals.

Having written all this, Anne has just pointed out that on my new scale, there's also a direct correlation to the number of reefs.

Hhhmmmmm. I wonder.

Living The Dream - Or Not.

20 September 2022
It was another wild ride from Luderitz out to the speck in the ocean that is St Helena. Other than the other speck to the north, it's sister island Ascension, or the speck to the south, Tristan de Cunha, the nearest proper land is over a thousand miles away. Leaving in mid winter wasn't the greatest passage plan. However, we did get here quite fast.

As per Murphy's Law, we arrived in the dark, the first sighting being the red lights on the control tour of the island's new, three hundred million pounds plus airport.

Just a quick tack on the subject of the airport - after the contractors dug up half a mountain to create a level runway long enough to take your average tourist plane, tarred it, painted all the white lines, put in the lights and built the terminal buildings did they discover that it's actually quite windy on St Helena. Not much gets past these engineer types but on the St Helena project I think maybe the windiest it got was in the air conditioned offices of the consultants in London.

On land, in real life it turned out to be so windy that in fact the planned weekly arrival of three hundred excited, wealthy tourists bringing much needed cash to the island, onboard the likes of Boeing 737s had to scrapped. The blustery winds make approach and landing something of a challenge to pilots, passengers' nerves and insurance companies. The plane about to go into operation is the ninety eight seater Embraer which some readers may have squeezed into at some point in their commuting life. One third as many tourists as originally planned. There goes the business plan! No doubt those in charge will be arranging a refund to HMRC.

Anyway, back onboard Time Bandit, we sneaked under the cliffs at the airport, heading for the island's main conurbation on the north side of the island. Following our noses we found the cleft in the cliffs that is the entrance, marked with flashing red and greens. Cautiously we started our entry, rising and falling as we motored in the Atlantic swell through the narrow channel, volcanic cliffs on either side towering into the dark sky. To our amazement, after about two hundred metres, the channel opened into the mill pond calm caldera of a now defunct volcano with Jamestown, the island’s capital nestling at the foot of the steep volcanic walls. We tied up to the new marina pontoons as dawn broke and within minutes were tucked up under the duvet snoozing in the luxury of the silence and flat calm of the early morning.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

REWIND……

That was last night's dream. There is no caldera. There is no mill pond calm. There are no pontoons. There is no sleep. Not a flippin’ wink.

There are however moorings. Laid on trots off the harbour wall, to all intents, right out in the middle of the South Atlantic, I mean, a whale swam past us this afternoon. The sturdy moorings come complete with katabatic winds blasting down the cliffs while the ocean swell induces a gunwhale to gunwhale roll or teeth jarring jerks for monohulls and catamarans respectively.

Not that I'm one to complain.

And so, tonight, we've lashed ourselves fore and aft with twenty metres of old rope extravagantly using two moorings to keep us nose into the swell.

Let's just hope no one else arrives in the dark and yachts themselves into our spiders web. That will disturb my beauty sleep.

Test Card

14 September 2022
Remember in the old days when, before programmes started there was a “test card”. A screen of LubyLoo with a teddy if I remember correctly, surrounded but grid lines and squares and half tones.

Well, as Matt rightly commented, there's as much chance of me uploading our last 2GB video as Scotland winning the World Cup. (I might even settle for qualifying).

So, with apologies, the latest video won't get live until we find WiFi, probably October.

Meanwhile, here's some music…… G. Em. D. F. Bm. F. G.

Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

Envy

12 September 2022
Living together in the confines of a small boat, all day, every day for over ten years would stress any relationship. Precede that with ten years working together, in the same business, in the same office and tensions are sure to erupt at times.

Excuse me for laying this on you, but perhaps it will be cathartic. You see, the deadly sin of envy has crept into our relationship. Imbalances in what's mine and what's Anne's. What's fair and what isn't.

And so, last time we were home we sought some counselling from long time, childhood friend Dougie the Woodman.

After listening to us tell both sides of the story, Dougie thoughtfully considered our positions for a while and then said, “You need to take positive action. Get things equalled up. There is help but whatever you've been considering, of all the options, forget Tinder. You're too old. Don't bother with eHarmony; you need computer skills for that. What you need is eWincher”.

And, wow! Thanks Doug. Thanks eWincher. You saved us.

You see, on Time Bandit all the sheets and reefing lines lead to both sides of the cabin top. They're ambidextrous if you like. Now, inside the cabin, we have a TV screen that nicely slides away into a hidden cupboard. Right where the gubbins, wires and motor for a second electric sheet winch should go. However, you can't have both a second electric winch AND a TV cupboard. To save weight or cash, or, just to get the TV cupboard, the previous owners spec'd just one electric winch….and it's on “my side”. Hence the envy.

While I can just sit and sheet in, hoist sails and reef the luff at the push of a button, Anne, usually at two in the morning when it's pitch black and howling, has to wind and wind and wind and wind the leech reef lines until she's collapsed in a sweaty, exhausted envious heap. I then nip over and wind in the last few turns. (What a guy). But it's the source of our “issues”. Anne covets my electric winch.

However, following Dougie's counselling, eWincher has saved the day. Anne now has a button to press. Well, another button. She already knows several of mine and when to press them. But that’s another story.

So, armed with her eWincher powered winch handle, all is sweetness and light again on the good ship Time Bandit.


Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

Envy

12 September 2022
Living together in the confines of a small boat, all day, every day for over ten years would stress any relationship. Precede that with ten years working together, in the same business, in the same office and tensions are sure to erupt at times.

Excuse me for laying this on you, but perhaps it will be cathartic. You see, the deadly sin of envy has crept into our relationship. Imbalances in what's mine and what's Anne's. What's fair and what isn't.

And so, last time we were home we sought some counselling from long time, childhood friend Dougie the Woodman.

After listening to us tell both sides of the story, Dougie thoughtfully considered our positions for a while and then said, “You need to take positive action. Get things equalled up. There is help but whatever you've been considering, of all the options, forget Tinder. You're too old. Don't bother with eHarmony; you need computer skills for that. What you need is eWincher”.

And, wow! Thanks Doug. Thanks eWincher. You saved us.

You see, on Time Bandit all the sheets and reefing lines lead to both sides of the cabin top. They're ambidextrous if you like. Now, inside the cabin, we have a TV screen that nicely slides away into a hidden cupboard. Right where the gubbins, wires and motor for a second electric sheet winch should go. However, you can't have both a second electric winch AND a TV cupboard. To save weight or cash, or, just to get the TV cupboard, the previous owners spec'd just one electric winch….and it's on “my side”. Hence the envy.

While I can just sit and sheet in, hoist sails and reef the luff at the push of a button, Anne, usually at two in the morning when it's pitch black and howling, has to wind and wind and wind and wind the leech reef lines until she's collapsed in a sweaty, exhausted envious heap. I then nip over and wind in the last few turns. (What a guy). But it's the source of our “issues”. Anne covets my electric winch.

However, following Dougie's counselling, eWincher has saved the day. Anne now has a button to press. Well, another button. She already knows several of mine and when to press them. But that’s another story.

So, armed with her eWincher powered winch handle, all is sweetness and light again on the good ship Time Bandit.


Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

Envy

12 September 2022
Living together in the confines of a small boat, all day, every day for over ten years would stress any relationship. Precede that with ten years working together, in the same business, in the same office and tensions are sure to erupt at times.

Excuse me for laying this on you, but perhaps it will be cathartic. You see, the deadly sin of envy has crept into our relationship. Imbalances in what's mine and what's Anne's. What's fair and what isn't.

And so, last time we were home we sought some counselling from long time, childhood friend Dougie the Woodman.

After listening to us tell both sides of the story, Dougie thoughtfully considered our positions for a while and then said, “You need to take positive action. Get things equalled up. There is help but whatever you've been considering, of all the options, forget Tinder. You're too old. Don't bother with eHarmony; you need computer skills for that. What you need is eWincher”.

And, wow! Thanks Doug. Thanks eWincher. You saved us.

You see, on Time Bandit all the sheets and reefing lines lead to both sides of the cabin top. They're ambidextrous if you like. Now, inside the cabin, we have a TV screen that nicely slides away into a hidden cupboard. Right where the gubbins, wires and motor for a second electric sheet winch should go. However, you can't have both a second electric winch AND a TV cupboard. To save weight or cash, or, just to get the TV cupboard, the previous owners spec'd just one electric winch….and it's on “my side”. Hence the envy.

While I can just sit and sheet in, hoist sails and reef the luff at the push of a button, Anne, usually at two in the morning when it's pitch black and howling, has to wind and wind and wind and wind the leech reef lines until she's collapsed in a sweaty, exhausted envious heap. I then nip over and wind in the last few turns. (What a guy). But it's the source of our “issues”. Anne covets my electric winch.

However, following Dougie's counselling, eWincher has saved the day. Anne now has a button to press. Well, another button. She already knows several of mine and when to press them. But that’s another story.

So, armed with her eWincher powered winch handle, all is sweetness and light again on the good ship Time Bandit.


Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

The Last Post

05 September 2022 | The Ludicrous Afternoon Thermal
Stuart Letton | Honking.
If you thought our attempts at a next video were a bit pathetic that can be attributed to an absence of WiFi, here in Luderitz.

Plan A was to head ashore for opening time and try again but, as it’s blowing 30+, you may have to wait until we get to St Helena or even Brazil.
A huge disappointment I know, but please bear with us.



Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer 51
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with a super sleek cat and still cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: Next up....the Caribbean. We've left South Africa in our wake and now off to Namibia, St Helena, Brazil, Suriname and into the Caribbean. Well, that' the vague plan. We'll see what happens.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/profile
Social:
Time Bandit's Photos - Main
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Created 26 May 2022
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A few pics of Maldives so far.....
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Our escape the the wild mountain thyme
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Selayar
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Some pics from Debut and the Kei Islands
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From the north of Australia to Debut Indonesia
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Created 19 October 2018
1 Photo
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7 Photos
Created 23 June 2017
An interesting perspective on evolution in the Galapagos.
23 Photos
Created 7 March 2016
18 Photos
Created 30 September 2014
Mediterranean Spain to the Arctic Circle
67 Photos
Created 12 August 2013
Scraping and sanding hull back to gel coat for epoxy and Coppercoat treatments.
6 Photos
Created 3 February 2013