Friday, July 25, 2008

Now for the fun stuff

Team Double Bruyn

A spontaneous suggestion from a work mate sparked the idea of bringing our sailing trip forward, and with keen approval from my bosses and cabin boys we set about making it happen.

Now i'm off for a birthday weekend in Friesland and on Monday set off back to Terceira and our beautiful Double Bruyn. Pretty exciting so much to do but I couldn’t pick better or more resourceful guys to do it with. Couldn't have timed it better as looks like i'll meet up with sailing buddy Dan from Barely Twisted - yee haaa having not seen him since the Bahama's i'm expecting it won't be a quiet reunion!

We plan to set sail on Thursday 31st and am hoping to get to Falmouth 11-14 days later. Then will head straight to Brighton and celebrate in the usual way.

Anyone keen or near by try head down to the Brighton marina for a party on the DB – Saturday 16th August. We should be in phone coverage a few days before so if you want to check we’re still on track call +44 7917 232722 or more reliably Nae Smart on +44 7824 667771

Right on, more to come before we sail ~~~___/) ~~~

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One year on...

People who sail often say its best to ‘Write your plans in the sand at low tide’. This is advice I think i give out a lot but could learn to use more myself.

After our time on the DB I followed many of my friends to the UK with the sole aim of replenishing the kitty and another long stint of cruising. Unfortunately I set myself high expectations based on the tales of other engineers, and after a one year holiday think it took a while to find my feet again back in the rat race. After being too fussy with electrical job offers and very strapped for cash, Richie and Jas taught me to survey and I became Jon the contracting dirt doctor! I had 6 jobs in 4 months, one I lasted two days and the longest lasting was one month. I spent my time living between friends house’s in London (thanks guys) and also stayed in Salsbury and Ipswich for a while.

In December I was offered a good opportunity back doing sub-station projects in Kent, and I’m still there. I’m really enjoying myself and get a good mix of office and site work, with projects all over the region. I have had a bit of bad luck with cars on this job though, I’m now on my 3rd with first blowing a head gasket one week after I bought it!
Around the time I took the new job I also managed to find some permanent accommodations when a room came available at Smarty and Nae’s place in Putney. An awesome flat, 11 of us in a 6 bedroom place I shared a room with Jas. Through that flat I met some amazing friends and had so many good nights / parties, a necessary combination one needs to survive a London winter..! The flat has now disbanded (a post lawn bowls / Ange’s birthday party the final straw before eviction) and I’m now living in Kent closer to work, all good.

My mission is now to bring the boat to the UK and hopefully live on it here. I figure a winter of working and living on Double Bruyn will be sufficient to get her back ready for cruising again. I’m lucky to have Jas and Smarty keen to help bring the old girl here and have set a departure date for 22nd August.
Paul and I went back to the Azores in May to start assessing the work required. We were actually a bit shocked at how much the boat had deteriorated over the year – everything had seized, anything steel inside was completely rusted and everything was salty and damp. I’m expecting 2 more trips back before she’s ready but am confident we’ll get it sorted.

Can’t complain, I’m having an absolute ball over here and am lucky to have such a neat crew to play with. LIFE IS GOOD!!!! Now I just need my boat………

The below few entries are of some of the trips we’ve been on over here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back on Double Bruyn

Following a 16 hour trip from London via Lisbon Paul and i returned to Terceira and the DB. We made the most of our stop over and with the help of 2 friendly local ladies stayed up all night partying in Lisbon - actually only just making the 8am flight to the Azores.

It was soooo good to see our beautiful boat again however one year of storms and sea spray had left the Double Bruyn looking a little worse for wear. "Where'd you buy this boat, a junk yard?" This was the first thing the mechanic who lent us some tools said when he came aboard. Although he had a valid point (sometimes i've wondered if we'd be better off leaving the boat in one) i found it hard not to be defensive.

Paul and i got sick of getting wet while sailing so we moved the wheel inside

We worked our ass’s off and although drank beer the whole time managed to get a lot done. We took out all the steering, removed the rudder and hopefully fixed all of the leaks that plagued us crossing the Atlantic. When the taxi arrived to pick us up for the airport the Paul was just finishing epoxying the rudder stock, and even though she had no steering was ready for the water.