Thursday, December 20, 2012

christmas 2012

We wish you a very good Christmas and a happy New Year. In New Zealand the red flowers of the Pohutukawa are out in abundance and the hillsides full of more promises.  It's gonna be a wet xmas but promises to be pretty.  Blessings and love.
Eelco and Mi-sA-lĂȘ

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back on Mylady on Kerikeri River, New Zealand

The crew of MYLADY are back on board in New Zealand.  I had a great time with my son and his family in Texas and Eelco had a good, productive time collecting freedom chips.  With the sheets and ropes and sails back on deck and in the rigging, we’re starting to feel and look like a sailboat again.  In the meantime the big man has started to demolish the boat from the inside in order to get to the main bulkhead under the floorboards where we have to do repairs.  Soon we’ll leave the Kerikeri River to go to Ashby’s Boatyard in Opua, Bay of Islands, where we’ll do most of the work.  Weather is good, chilly for us, but by all standards – good.
our backyard. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

mv SAMIRA freedom chips

Eelco left his previous ship in Ceuta and flew home for the night. His luggage showed up a few hours late. The following morning his pre-ordered taxi to take him to the train didn't show up.  On arrival at the port his new ship was in a complete different location than where his transport dropped him off.  All in all a smooth transfer with a lot of hick-ups. Fortunately he's a giant in body and in mind.  mv Samira is loaded with steel and they are underway to Sweden. She handles the rough North Sea well.  Less crew this time therefore longer watches.
photo credit:

Sailing voyages with mv Sirocco

They didn't sit stil.  Sailing loads of rice, or sugarbeet, or steel, or trash or urea. Sailing the Black Sea, the Mediteranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, passed the white cliffs of Dover, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.  In general, weather was fair. and onboard relations good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

mv Sirocco freedom chips

We were preparing to go to the islands when we discovered significant damage below the floor on the main bulkhead.  Combined with that a far gone rusted mast support and keel frame left us with no option other than to arrange for extension for Mylady and do repairs.  Whilst we do the visa dance, Eelco is collecting freedom chips for us again and I’m visiting in Texas.  When we’ll be back in NZ, we have to do serious structural repairs.    
This time Eelco works as relief captain on a Dutch cargo ship m/v Sirocco, the third ship of Dutch owner Geert Tilma.   Geert and his wife have captained and cooked for many years on his ships.  While discharging in the homeport of Delfzijl, in the north of Holland, the ‘family’, that includes other staff members who were on holiday, came all onboard to assist and share in the work and joy of new stores. 
Sirocco is a 2004 model with the vessel’s LOA 111.40 m, Beam 13.40 m and max draft 5,80 metre.  She uses 9 mt of heavy fuel a day if sailed at full speed.  With the wind on the bow the speed drops dramatically.  We can carry about 200 mt of fuel.  In the Mediterranean we can use fuel that has a high Sulfur level (cheaper) but up north in the North Sea and British Channel we have to use fuel with a low Sulfur level. Yes and that is a puzzle if you have only 3 tanks for fuel. Our fresh water tanks are each 25 mt.  This ship has two.  Normal use aboard is between 1,5 and 2 mt a day.  We have a water maker that can make about 2 mt a day so we have to watch the amount and if we go low we have to fill up from shore.
In every port is an agent who takes care of the whole shore organisation like the paper work between ship and shore and immigration and customs.  He pay's the bills like harbour dues etc. After the ship is gone he sends a bill to the operator of the vessel in this case "Wagenborg Shipping".  From the freight agent at the operator, the ship gets info about the cargo and from them the ship also get sailing orders.  The cargo loading plans are made by the chief officer aboard the vessel and captain has to approve it all and take responsibility. 
Next time more about the voyages...   Until then.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cruising New Zealand

A lot of time has passed.  Sorry for not keeping in touch.  Following is a brief summary of what’s been happening with us.  First and foremost – we are well.  After Eelco’s time on the Janette last November, we spent some family time in Holland.  No it didn’t snow. 
We explored the inland of Netherland by train and had a great time.  I fell in love with the quaint town of DelftsMaastricht in the south was super interesting.  For instance the ‘wall of Jerigo’ around the old city – fascinating.  I didn’t realize the walls were so wide.  We walked on top of the wall where they had veggie gardens and fruit trees growing between the canons.  They had bakeries where people queued in the streets and the bread bought by its weight – absolutely memorable delicious.

End of January we were back in New Zealand and did the regular haul out, scrub and paint.  Also some major maintenance like galvanizing the anchor and chain and installed a new anchor winch.  Yes, the old one said ‘ten years were enough’.  And then we could finally take off to explore the northern tip of New Zealand.  We enjoyed our cruising time there.  The Cavalie Islands were great, Whangaroa a sheer delight and Doubtless Bay fascinating.  In Mangonui was an art gallery in the old courthouse where I could stay forever.  The air, the feeling, the life of the place, the paintings, the crafts, were vibrant, different, alive and inspirational.  And there was this Maori goddess swirling from out of the sea with all kinds of sealife mingling with her long wavy hair.  Her features were fine, clear, delightful and powerful – Mother of the Sea.  

I loved it.


On our way back we were homesteading in sea anchorages.  In one such place we rode out a severe gale coming from the SSE.   However when the storm decided to turn to the west, we all of a sudden had a problem.  In wind of 50 kn(100km/h) and flattening rain, we scurried to weigh the two anchors back on board and motored to the leeside of the bay.  But there it was open to the sea and big swell was running.  Judged by the onlookers arriving on the beach in their cars in the pouring rain, seeing a yacht there, and especially in those conditions, was not an everyday occurrence.   We survived it all, thank God.   

We connected again with old time sailing friends, caught a few tuna and revisited beautiful bays.  Even Dingo from Oz caught up with us and we were honoured to receive a warm loaf of the best home baked bread.  Mylady is now resting quietly on the Kerikeri River in New Zealand.  I’m visiting my granddaughter in Texas and Eelco is collecting freedom chips for us. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Whangaroa New Zealand

Whangaroa, north of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.  It has a high and steep rock wall facing the ocean and guarding the entrance. Inside it opens into a big protected water with good depth and the bottom has excellent holding.  Anchoring can be done anywhere and the choices of bad weather bays are numerous.  We were drawn to the high protruding rocky outcrops on the west side with their eye catching lime green narrow plateaus winding from bottom to top.  Like that should somehow be the walkway enabling one to climb these mountains.  As we turned into this big finger of water, several bays indented it, so we dropped anchor smack in the middle to be able to see all around us.  It is beautiful here.  As the afternoon progressed, sport fishing vessels and yachts trickled in a steady stream passed us and by nightfall the big bay at the end had its own city of lights on the water for the night.  We keep busy with extensive upkeep of MYLADY while enjoying the luxury of the roving life we have.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


How time has flown...
I shall be back here shortly.