Boat photos on the Crouch today

We’re taking photos on the river crouch between Fambridge and Burnham today because why not. If you pass by give us a wave, we’ll snap some photos and post them…

We’re taking photos on the river crouch between Fambridge and Burnham today because why not. If you pass by give us a wave, we’ll snap some photos and post them here later.

Update: Yesterday’s photos below. Resolutions should be pretty high. If you’d like original full-size images to print posters let me know and I’ll send them over to you.

Free for non-commercial and non-profit use. The license is under the gallery.

If you like the photo(s) of your boat, say hi next time you pass by, subscribe or even better buy us a beer (right) and we’ll give you a socially distanced cheers 🙂

Gallery Saturday 16/05/2020
(Sunday 17/05/2020 is below)

Gallery Sunday 17/05/2020

Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial – CC BY-NC

Free for use to: Burnham-on-Crouch sailing clubs, Crouch valley festival any Burnham-on-Crouch charities or non-profit orgs.

Photos

If power please keep your distance if moving at speed, don’t worry we’ve got a pretty good zoom lens 🙂

Feel free to pass relatively closely if you’re in a sailing boat and we’ll try to get close-ups.

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Working for 20 Days at Anchor

Anyone who has been self-isolating will probably be beginning to feel like they know how astronauts on the ISS feel. From the 18th April until the 8th May, bar one…

Anyone who has been self-isolating will probably be beginning to feel like they know how astronauts on the ISS feel.

From the 18th April until the 8th May, bar one day, we sat at anchor on the river roach. That’s almost a full 20 days at anchor without going anywhere.

As full-time liveaboards on our boat, we’re no stranger to sitting at anchor and getting on with our lives but this was a little different.

Why we’re sitting at anchor in Essex

The main reason is probably cost. While the views are nice, I don’t think anyone would choose to spend weeks at a time without going ashore.

Staying in marinas out of contract is quite expensive and while we had previously been staying in London, that only made sense when we were both working FT.

Before the lockdown, Camilla finished the project she was working on and before she had a chance to find something new, lockdown kicked in.

In that interim period, we decided to move the boat out of London partly because it was getting hard to get supplies but also because we had no need to be there, I had been working at home for ±3 weeks.

We headed down to Burnham to pick up some supplies for the boat, notably a new chain, but also some solar panels, a small freezer and a few other things that we had on a list of fixes.

Lockdown

About 1-2 todays after we arrived, the lockdown was announced. This was a bit of a challenge as we were a little concerned about being stuck paying monthly marina fees.

We weren’t sure where we were planning on going after our first resupply but the original plan probably wasn’t to stay here. We considered sailing over to the Netherlands or elsewhere however, the general advice wasn’t to go too far if you didn’t need to.

After a chat with the RYA and our the local marine police unit as our boat is our primary and only residence they said we couldn’t be compelled to stay in the marina and that there was no issue with us coming back every couple of weeks to resupply.

What we learnt

We’ve done extended trips on the boat but not usually where we can’t head anywhere else.

General

  • Small stern anchor: While we have a great primary Rocna anchor and a secondary spade, we need something that’s smaller and easier to deploy aft to deal with wind over tide;
  • Exercise: Do some. We built a small gym on the foredeck using some spare blocks. We have a compound row/bicep curl and a lat pull down using a bucket;

Food and water

  • Water: We have more than enough water to last a month even if we have showers ever 2-3 days, about mid-way though we fixed out main tank meter which was very handy;
  • Fridge: We were lucky to be able to find someone who could regas our fridge, it hadn’t been done for 2+ years and they didn’t use a pump to drain it. Newly regassed it’s a dream! We also added a cheap ±£10 digital thermostat that has changed our lives;
  • Freezer: Probably not essential if you can catch fresh fish but it makes a huge difference, get one if you can fit it in;
  • Slow cooker: These things are awesome, they draw around 140W so easily run off the solar with an invertor on a good day, Camilla successfuly made bread several times!

  • Top tip, 1KG of parma vacume packed will keep for 12 months in a cool place.

  • Chocolate: You can never have too much period. Running out is a terrible thing;

Power

    • Solar: 600W of solar is probably more than enough for us most of the time, we also don’t really have anywhere else to add more;

    • Batteries: A monitor is essential, this 500A one was quite cheap and we’re going to ditch the lead-acid batteries in favour of LiPoe4 asap as we want more capacity;

    • Generator: Useful so keep it well serviced, when you need it you’ll really want it to start first time, add labels to remind service intervals, always carry spare filters and oil;

 

Working

    • Connectivity: We carry data sims for three networks, test the connection before you drop the hook, we’re also going to add a 4G antenna for our usb router;


Also these anker USB-C 12V adaptors are great!

    • Calm = good: We had one or two days where without a stern anchor and with wind over time the boat wasn’t very settled. This made working a bit harder.
    • Tech: Laptop stands, K380 keyboards and mice have been a lifesaver as having the laptops running on USB-C, much easier than always need invertors etc.

What’s next

Living aboard a boat you sometimes feel like you’re on your own little spaceship. No more than now!

We’re waiting for the lockdown to end. While that happens we’re going to keep up our regime of ±2 weeks at anchor and ±2 days at marina resupplying.

In the meantime, I’ve been working away on my current project and Camilla has been feverishly building MissionKontrol v1.1 and v1.2 getting it ready for prod.

It’s looking awesome!

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Update: Going Dutch, Christmas & What’s next

It has been a busy, tiring and expensive year but we can finally announce that Seraphina’s refit is complete. She has new sails, rigging, pumps, electronics and everything that moves…

It has been a busy, tiring and expensive year but we can finally announce that Seraphina’s refit is complete.

She has new sails, rigging, pumps, electronics and everything that moves or is mechanical has been serviced or repaired. It has been a pretty massive undertaking but we’re glad she’s finally ready to leave the UK.

Going dutch

It’s official, we’re going dutch. Seraphina should be reflagged this month to the Netherlands. We decided that we wanted to keep the boat within the EU for various reasons and as Camilla is Dutch the Netherlands was the most obvious option.

After sailing across the North Sea with Hurricane Lorenzo chasing us we made it to Rotterdam.

Probably one of the toughest crossings yet due to the ‘confused’ seas we managed to make it after around 36 hours non-stop sailing.

Winter in London

Assuming we find a break in the weather we’ll be bringing the boat back over to the UK and she’ll spend the Christmas months in UK.

As with previous years, we’ll be getting friends, family and some people from the London tech community down for whiskey and mince pies.

What’s next

The plan is to leave the UK at some point next year around April and August. That depends on a couple of factors around work, projects, and finances but we’re pretty excited to get moving.

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First weekend days racing at Burnham week

While speaking to a nice chap in the Royal Corinthians sailing club he reliably informed me that East coast sailors are some of the best in the UK. I now…

While speaking to a nice chap in the Royal Corinthians sailing club he reliably informed me that East coast sailors are some of the best in the UK.

I now know why..

We moved the boat to Burnham-on-Crouch a couple of weeks ago and were looking for a good way to get involved with the local sailing clubs.

Burnham week looked like an great opportunity to meet some new people as well as race Seraphina for the first time. So we got signed up and cracked on!

Prep

There was quite a bit of prep…we don’t race very often and given Seraphina didn’t even have a sail number we’re assuming she has never been raced in her life.

We had to…
– Sail number application (RYA)
– New insurance
– Repair foresail
– Repair forward hatch
– Get and put on sail numbers
– Crew kit (failed to materialise)
– Event sign-up

All in each piece wasn’t too hard, other than the hatch, but altogether quite a lot of work for a couple of weeks. Luckily a friend (Steve) who’s got quite a bit of experience racing onshore/offshore joined us.

Saturday 25th Aug, Day 1 – Relative calm

Perfect first day for everyone. We had good winds on the start and a patch of wind so light that we had to anchor to stop going backwards. We came 3rd out of 4 boats in our class, one retired.

We were a long way behind the pos 1 & 2 from a time perspective but to be honest were happy that we completed before the time limit!

Luckily some clouds came in and pushed us forwards…we managed to avoid the rains… good escape!

Sunday 26th Aug, Day 2 – Serious racing

From talking to other sailors we know that some clubs cancelled racing if the forecast was over 20kts. The east coast sailors don’t give up that easily.

With a forecast of 16-20kts gusting 20kts and building through the afternoon with a good dose of rain, the race was started an hour early to reduce race time in the worse conditions.


The clip above is a quick sample of the return let beating up wind. In retrospect it looks quite calm but it didn’t feel it at the time!

Update – 27/8

Day 3 of racing had so much promise…a lovely full breakfast onboard, a nice lie in.

However, it didn’t last.

Just off the start we noticed that there were a few stitches coming out on the foresail. We tried to repair while sailing but taking the sail down led to more rips.

So we retired and spent the afternoon servicing the sail and reinforcing seams.

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What does Chasing Mermaids even mean?

The idea of chasing mermaids has been around for a long time. Mermaids have origins in many cultures some as dangerous femme fatales who seduce you, steal your treasure and…

The idea of chasing mermaids has been around for a long time. Mermaids have origins in many cultures some as dangerous femme fatales who seduce you, steal your treasure and take you to the bottom of the sea. Others who will aid passing sailors assuming they have the right passphrase.

Whichever you choose to believe in they are rare and elusive.

For us the idea of sailing the world and doing what we love is a dream that we’ve had for some time. So to us chasing mermaids is the search for the elusive, the dreams the joys and rarities of life.

We’re planning on doing this on our sailing yacht Seraphina of London. The name of the boat was not given by us but rather by the previous owner. From our (light) research, a seraphin is one of the highest ranking angels. The Italian philosopher Pico della Mirandola had this to say in his book  Oration on the Dignity of Man”  (1487).

Pico took the fiery Seraphim—”they burn with the fire of charity”—as the highest models of human aspiration…

For us that aspiration is move a few steps away from convention and into a cadence of life that’s a little more in tune with how we want to live our lives.

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