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Tiama’s Adventures, Update 2019-12-27. 

 Alvor  Portugal

Dear Friends

This is a short update of our summer travels 2019, maybe they are not as exciting in the sense of going to remote colder nooks of the planet but they  are adventurous  in the that we, Bunny and I managed to go sailing together just the 2 of us.

Tiama in the Nieuwe Meer, Amsterdam Zuid

After 32 years of service I managed to pry Bunny out of the claws of Greenpeace. She finished work on 1 of August and we departed Amsterdam on 14 August heading for warmer clime’s.  

2019 is the first year since the launching of the boat in 1997 that we have not done any charters.  Instead we have been working the winter and some of the summer months on the endless and mostly joyful maintenance program, doing some of those nice to do job’s as well. Keeping Tiama  in good shape and in the style she is accustomed to.

We did a haul-out to refresh the antifouling and I had another discussion about the weight of Tiama (as this relates to how much you have to pay the yard) and, although I never admitted it to the yard owner, I do think that Tiama has gained a few more pounds since leaving NZ in 2017. I miss my workshop on Waiheke island where I could dump (but definitely not throw away) semi useful bits, for later evaluation. 

Brother Wim and Grandson Luke in action on the antifouling.

And here is the evidence of a too close encounter with some rocks, at Bear Islands south of Spitsbergen from the summer 2018. But no real structural damage done to Tiama only a few dents to the skipper’s pride. You have got to love a good, strong steel boat.

Departing Amsterdam

In land water way canals in the Netherlands

From Amsterdam we took the standing mast route through the Netherlands.  It looks very different sailing in the channels close to windmills and through small villages,  with even smaller harbours, giving the skipper a few adrenaline shots when parking in those  oh so busy harbours with  plastic-fantastic boats all around us that would not appreciate a close encounter with a solid handsome lady like Tiama

Then crossing the English channel on an appropriate cold and miserable day, to land in Dover which has tides ??? big ones.  It took a bit of coming to grips with all of that again after the Netherlands which is mostly non tidal thanks to lots of locks that keep the country from flooding.

Falmouth Harbour, Uk south coast.

We spent a month on the South coast of the U.K.  sampling  pub meals, a few walks, bad weather and seeing family and friends. Then we headed further south towards Portugal and Spain, with  a nice 3 day crossing of the Bay of Biscay, mostly following winds. This was the first time in a wee while that Bunny and I sailed the boat just with the 2 of us  for overnight passages.  

The north west corner of Spain has some fiord like features and nice harbours with the obligatory picturesque villages

Spain Westcoast

From there down the Portuguese coast, entering into old harbours, mostly built around river entrances  with a bar entrance  and open to the big Atlantic swells rolling in, keeping life interesting for a sailor.

We stopped in Lisbon for 2 months where Bunny got to wake up her past creative passion for pottery. 

Now on the southern coast of Portugal. It is a bit more relaxed in terms of weather, temperatures are warm during the day and cold at night, perfect.

Small traditional fishing boats, Lisboa Portugal

This is the winter season here and it is quiet, most shops closed a few days before Christmas, something unheard of in New Zealand, a nice change.

From here where to go ?  We are also considering Morocco and the Mediterranean, although this was not on the cards before we left Amsterdam but it sounds like a good idea now.

It also depends if there is some interesting work we could do with Tiama, neither of us have quite finished working on trying to make a difference yet,

Repainting the main saloon.

I’m happy to report that we are managing to adjust rather well to the cruising lifestyle.

Or,  if there is too much energy then we just work it out by repainting the interior.

Crossing the bay of Biscay, East Atlantic.

It is nice to just sail with the wind direction, if and when there is wind, otherwise just hang behind the anchor.  Tiama’s diesel engine is living an easier life now as well.

Fair Winds

Henk and Bunny

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