Much Ado about “T” Progress Update XPM78-01 Möbius 15-18 December 2020

A bit of a slow week progress wise on XPM78-01 Möbius this past week as our work week was unexpectedly reduced to four days due to a complete power outage at the Antalya Free Zone where Naval Yachts and about 30 other shipyards are located.  We are now entering the wet winter season here in Antalya and while we have been having some spectacularly beautiful blue skies and sunny days, the rain has also been arriving along with LOTS of thunder and lightning last weekend.  I assume this is what took out the power in the Free Zone and gave us all an unexpected “snow day” off as we used to call it when I was a kid growing up in various parts of Canada where we would often get so much snow overnight that the roads were all impassable and so all the schools would close.  Oh drat said all the parents, Oh Yayyyyyyy, said all us kids!  While I’m still very young at ❤ I was now saying “Oh Drat!” at not being able to work on Möbius at Naval but I just turned my bike around and pedalled back home to work from there so it wasn’t a totally lost day.

Several members of Team Möbius were not working on Möbius this past week but for those of us who were we did get lots done so I have plenty for this week’s Show & Tell for you and I also have some photos to share that I didn’t have time to include in the past few blog updates.  So grab a comfy chair and tasty beverage and let’s go see what happened onboard the Good Ship Möbius for the four days of December 15-18, 2020.

You will figure out this week’s Update title as you go through this posting where many of the jobs being worked on started wtih the letter “T” such as the dinette Table, the Tender, Teak shower floors and TreadMaster.  A bit like when Sesame Street would be “Brought to you by the letter T” perhaps? and you will soon see what the “Ado” is all about so let’s get going ……………………….

First though, we interrupt our regular programming for a word from our sponsor, well MY “sponsor” so to speak. 

PXL_20201220_102645870** Wayne’s “mushiness” Warning!!!  This next bit is NOT technical  boatbuilding stuff so if that’s what you are anxious to get to, scroll down to the next section please. 

For the braver souls and fellow romantics, read on……………

Happy 7th Anniversary of our First Kiss Captain Christine!

*  If you have not already done so you may want to read my previous post here on 22 November for some context.  It was titled “The simple comment that Changed My Life Forever Better”  which it tells the story about how Christine and I first connected thanks to this little character; “Barney the Yorkshire Terror” .
Barney-from-first-contact-my-talking-pet-video If you read that story you will already know that I’m a hopeful romantic (who would call romance helpless?!?!?!!?!?)  

Given our rather unconventional first connection and all the equally unique adventures that followed, we have a LOT of different “anniversaries” and we LOVE celebrating every one of them, every year.
2013-12-19 001

My favorite anniversary though is the one we celebrate today, December 19th of our very fist kiss on the very first day we met in person when Christine flew all the way from her sailboat in Florida to where I was on my sailboat in Fiji and I snapped this very fist photo of her as she walked into the Arrival gate at Nadi International Airport on 19th December, 2013.

PXL_20201220_102645870Christine says that for her it was “Love at first Skype”, which happened about a month earlier and I won’t refute.  However for me it was THAT FIRST KISS when we finally first met in person on 19 December, 2013 and I knew for sure that I had just kissed (and been kissed back I might add!!!)  by the woman who would become my best friend, my lover, my wife, my Captain and my partner in life, for life.

Happy 7th First Kiss Anniversary my Love!  Can’t wait to get started on our next set of adventures for the next 7 years together!  First though, lets start by enjoying this First Kiss anniversary day with these flowers in our cozy little apartment in Antalya.

OK, OK!  Now back to our regular programming ………………..


“T” is for Table

PXL_20201210_092310547.MPFor those who were not with us last week, we saw Ramazan get started building this ro$ewood Table.
PXL_20201207_091912418Which, when finished, will be mounted atop this very cool air assist height adjustable pedestal with that X-Y slider you can see in the background.

All this aluminium beauty comes from the Zwaardvis Pedestals company in the Netherlands and it is all “boat jewelry” in my eyes.
Zwaardvis Triton Deluxe pedestalThis Z-axis or vertical height adjustable pedestal has 2 stages for maximum height adjustment which is assisted by an internal gas lift cylinder similar to what you might have on the rear hatch of a SUV.  You order these by the weight of your table top so the assist is just right and changing the height an easy single handed operation by simply releasing one or both locking handles, moving the table up/down to the height you want and closing the levers.
Triton X-move slider The XY slider, allows us to move the table  200mm / 8” fore/aft and side to side to also get the XY position of the table just right. 

Up high and close in for eating or working and then down and out for more of a coffee table setup and then all the way down to put the table top and surrounding seats all the same height to create a very large bed for those rare occasions we have more overnight guests than our lovely Guest cabin with a Queen + Pullman bed can accommodate.

PXL_20201211_080236219This is where Ramazan started on Tuesday with the solid 50mm / 2” solid Rosewood edging all glued with biscuit joints around the circumference.  Then he has put a large 40mm / 1.6” radius around all the edges and given it a good sanding.
PXL_20201215_085302438Now the table moves up to the 2nd floor Finishing Room where Neşet here is inspecting all the surfaces with a very fine eye in order to ……
PXL_20201215_085318864……. find any remaining small spots that need filing in order to make them glass smooth after this first coat of clear Polyurethane “varnish”.
PXL_20201216_100829791Then it is “rinse & repeat” four more times to build up the five coats of PU that goes onto each piece of Rosewood cabinetry.

This is how it looks after the 2nd coat has been applied and is ready for wet sanding before the 3rd coat is sprayed on.

“T” is also for Teak Shower Floors

PXL_20201215_091731080.MPWe didn’t want any Teak on the exterior of Möbius, nor any SS, paint, etc. but we welcomed the use of Teak to make the removable floor inserts in both Showers.

Orkan is the Teak Decking specialist and Naval so he was the perfect guy to apply those deck making skills to these interior floors as you can see he has done masterfully here.
PXL_20201215_091749874

In keeping Low Maintenance as a top priority, we didn’t want to have a Teak grate style flooring so we came up with this self draining system where all the water simply runs off the four sides through these recesses and then runs over to the drain in the center of the fiberglass shower floor below.

These floor plates have a series of fiberglass “feet” on the bottom to keep the air/water space between the teak and the fiberglass and they can be easily lifted out to clean underneath from time to time.


Whale Grey IC waste pump systemThe shower drains use the relatively new Whale Gulper IC Intelligent Control automatic Gray water pumping system. (click for full resolution of this or any photo)

We use diaphragm pumps almost exclusively for all our water, bilge, crash pumps on Möbius as our experience has taught us that these are FAR superior to centrifugal style pumps in that they have that proverbial “suck a golf ball through a garden hose”  type of suction power and require NO filters or screens so they almost never clog.


Whale Grey IC smart manifoldThe IC or Intelligent Control that Whale has added to these pumps makes them work all the better by having a simple solid state water sensing probe embedded in the Yellow manifold you see here which automatically turns the pump On/Off as needed and allows you to connect 2 different sources of Grey Water which we use to drain both the Master Bathroom/Head and Shower floors.

Simple and efficient, what’s not to like?!!
PXL_20201215_084340067At the other end of the size scale of our diaphragm pumps is this brute underneath the Stbd/Right workbench in the Workshop.
PXL_20201215_084257360It does double duty being both our high volume/high water bilge pump and our Fire “hydrant” system that pumps sea water from the Sea Chest to a fire hose and nozzle stored in he Aft Hazmat locker.
PXL_20201215_084305422Several of you were curious about this pump so HERE is a link to the basic specs on our Feit PVM 1R diaphragm Pump.

*  24V 0.75 HP motor

*  120 Litres/min / 32 USG/min

@ 7 meters / 23 ft Delivery and 4m / 13 ft Suction

“T” is also for TreadMaster:

PXL_20201207_063914665Another job continuing on from last week’s Progress Update is the laying of the last of the TreadMaster on all the aluminium decks and stairs.  You can read all the details of the method in the previous posts and here is the TreadMaster Team; Faruk (Left) spreading the epoxy adhesive, Ali bringing the cut-to-size piece of TreadMaster to lay down on this epoxy, and Orhan following behind getting ready to cut the next piece.
PXL_20201207_064016342Ali in position with the piece of TreadMaster that Orhan has pre-cut as Faruk evens out the peanut butter consistency West Systems epoxy with his V-notched spreader.
PXL_20201209_080859251More “Rinse & Repeat”  and they soon have the Aft Deck fully covered with TreadMaster.  After drying overnight Ali covers all the fresh new Treadmaster wtih protective cardboard as these will continue to be high traffic areas during the rest of the build.
PXL_20201210_064932240Taking a quick tour around the boat to show some of the other areas getting the full TreadMaster treatment.

Treads on each of the Spiral stairs up from the Aft Deck to the SkyBridge ready for their TM.
PXL_20201207_064135108.MPet Voila!  Super safe, easy on the feet stairs up to the SkyBridge.
PXL_20201207_064242744And same going back down.
PXL_20201207_064147489.MPRough cut TM set in place down the Starboard/Right side of the SkyBridge with the 20mm / 3/4” spacers fast glued in place to keep the spacing just right while they are being epoxied down.
PXL_20201207_121819489With all the SkyBridge deck sheets of TM cut to finished size with their radiused corners, Faruk and Ali get busy gluing them all down.
PXL_20201207_064216072SkyBridge Helm Chair just set here for now.  Once the TM all dries it will be moved aft to the Helm Station and through bolted in place there. 

Hmmmm, with a view like this maybe a good spot for a 3rd or 4th Llebroc chair??
PXL_20201210_064241234Swim Platform done.
PXL_20201210_111528870.MPStairs on both sides going up from the Swim Platform to the Aft Deck all TM’d now.
PXL_20201207_064408498Side Decks ready to have their TM glued down.
PXL_20201208_074730490Front Deck all done and dusted!

Protective cardboard all taped down.
PXL_20201208_074632676Anchor Chain Stopper all mounted so this Anchor Deck can now have all its TM glued down.
PXL_20201215_084646829And the Forepeak Hatch has its Bofor Dog Latches all mounted and has received its full TreadMaster treatment.

Much “Ado” about Flooring!

PXL_20201218_094713345This will just be a preview to wet our appetite for next week’s Möbius Progress Update and will complete the rest of this week’s title riddle for you.
PXL_20201218_094730466This is a stack of the Ado LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile “click-in-place” floor planks that we are using in all the interior floors on Möbius.

Ado is a HUGE Turkish building materials company and one of their specialties is Luxury Vinyl Tile or LVT flooring systems typically used in very high traffic situations such as airport terminals, commercial buildings and residential homes.
Ado LVT tech spec  LVT is completely waterproof, Fireproof, made for use overtop of in-floor heated floors, quiet and eXtremely tough with life spans over 20 years even in very high traffic applications such as airport terminals so it seemed like the Goldilocks Just Right choice for Möbius.
PXL_20201218_094750753This link will show you the white highly textured “Aperta 2010” we have chosen to use from their “Viva Series”.   As per this label on the boxes, this is the “Click” type with a 0.7mm thick “wear Layer” as per the Tech Spec illustration above.
PXL_20201218_094927657Tough to focus on but this is my attempt to show you how the interlocking “Click” system works.  I suspect many of you will have installed flooring with a similar system in your homes and boats as this has been popular for over 20 years in the building trades and is a very DIY system.
PXL_20201218_094843849Difficult to show how well textured this flooring is, but think well seasoned and aged wood decks on boats and homes and you’ll have it just right.  We have tested samples with bare wet feet and it has proven it will be eXtremely non-slip throughout the boat.

Stay tuned for more as the Ado flooring installation begins next week.

”T” is also for Tender:

PXL_20201209_083134780.MPNihat (seen here) and Uğur only worked on Möbius two days this week but I have all of their work from last week to catch up with you on so still plenty to show you as they finished off their “hot works” stage of welding up the aluminium jet drive tender hull.
PXL_20201209_083146026.MPNihat has now had an eXtreme amount of practice at grinding down the welds on all the hull plates on Möbius herself so he was VERY fast at getting all the Tender’s welds flush and all the corners nicely radiused.
PXL_20201210_113734404meanwhile, inside the Tender, Uğur was busy cutting in this access to the area underneath the bench seat in the Steering Console.
PXL_20201210_153049653Like Nihat, Uğur is also very fast and he had this hinged seat lid all done in one afternoon from start to finish.

We will either just make up some rectangular seat cushions for the seat and back or perhaps buy some “bucket” style fish boat seats to go in here.
PXL_20201210_113752611.MPUğur was even faster at welding in these two Lift Bridle attachment points up at the Bow.
PXL_20201210_113802352And mere minutes later, these two matching ones at the Aft end corners down at floor level.
PXL_20201215_065420333.MPNext up was fabricating and attaching these two boarding safety handrails that go on either side of the flat Bow.  Uğur is a master at these nicely radiused bends at any angle which work out better than using a hydraulic pipe bender for small numbers of bends.

A series of evenly spaced cuts with an angle grinder make it easy to form these different radius bends.
PXL_20201215_084845756And then each cut is welded back solid.
PXL_20201215_122951659.MPAll the welds are ground down and sanded and you’re done!

40mm / 1.6” OD thick walled AL pipe
PXL_20201215_123320801.MPThese safety boarding hand rails needed to be removable so we played with a few positions and picked this one.
PXL_20201215_123325308We used the very simple bolted flange system that we have used throughout the building of Möbius.
PXL_20201215_144724345The thicker (10mmm / 3/8”) bottom flange is threaded and welded to the hull itself to create a base for the thinner top flange welded to the handrails to bolt to with NO penetration of the hull itself.
PXL_20201215_144714086All four bases get tacked in place with the Handrails bolted to them so we can test for just right position before fully welding the threaded bottom flanges to the hull.
PXL_20201217_105006972.MPSuper Polisher Nihat then comes in and cleans up the welds and the hull areas around them and it is all done!

I will probably pick up on the work to complete the Tender by installing the Castoldi 244 Jet Drive and the 4 cylinder Yanmar HTE 110HP engine, but that will all need to wait till after we launch Möbius so this may be the last you see of the Tender here for the next few months but do stay tuned for that and the test drive!
And that’s going to be a wrap folks for the 4 day week that was December 14-18, 2020 here at Naval Yachts and onboard the Good Ship Möbius.

Thank you SO much for taking time out of your busy day to join me here and hope you will do so again next week.  Love to get your thoughts, questions and suggestions on any of the above so please type them into the “Join the Discussion” box right down below.

-Wayne


The simple comment that Changed My Life Forever Better

Barney from first contact my talking pet videoSeven years ago today, this little fella, aka Barney the Yorkshire Terror, changed my life in ways and degrees that I am still unable to fully comprehend. 

More accurately, it was seeing him for the first time in the short 25 second video below that captured my attention, so take a look and a listen and then come on on back for the rest of this wonderful story.

Vuda Pt Marina Aerial-tight-Marina-and-SaweniFriday November 22nd, 2013 started out no different than any other of my days in Fiji at Vuda Point Marina, where I, ably assisted by Ruby the Wonderdog, was working feverishly to complete the latest and largest renovation on my 52’ steel sailboat sv Learnativity. 
Map Marshall IslandsAs with most such boat projects it was taking MUCH longer than expected and I was working non-stop because the Cyclone season begins in November and I should have left for Majuro in the Marshall Islands long before now.   (click to enlarge the map or any photo)
Map-Pacific-IslandsThese two maps will fill in some of the geographic information and the short story is that in general, as a liveaboard sailor, to be outside of the cyclone zone in the South Pacific, you want to be no more than 10 degrees from the equator.  Vuda Pt. Marina is on the far SW corner of Fiji sits at 17º41’04”S
177º23’02”E so it well into the Cyclone Zone and yes, you can ask me how I know!


Majuro Marshall IslandsThe atoll of Majuro, pictured here, is at 7.0667° N, 171.2667° E is well below the 10 degree limit and I had been there twice before to get out of the Cyclone Zone and just loved it so I was anxious to get back there ASAP.


Screenshot Vuda Pt to Majuro distanceIf it were a straight line, the passage to sail those 24 degrees from Fiji at 17° S to Majuro at 7° N is about 2895 km/1799 miles/1563 nm but the actual sea miles of this passage are about 2000 nm, assuming not much tacking, would typically be about a 14-15 day sail.
Rotuma island Fiji_mapBut for me, a stop in the tiny spec of an island called Rotuma is a must.  Rotuma is a much longer and fascinating story which I serendipitously stumbled upon when I read that it was still part of Fiji even though it is WAY up in the far NW corner about 500 nm from any other part of Fiji which meant I could wait till I got to Rotuma and still officially check out of Fiji.

So this stop over adds a few days to the passage and has taken me 17-18 days in the past.
OK, Wayne but what the heck does this have to do with the Barney video that changed your life so incredibly? 

Ahhh, right.  

So back aboard the good ship Learnativity, that Friday morning 7 years ago, Ruby the Wonderdog (my little Black Spoodle who had been with me since I started my single handed sailing adventures in San Francisco in March 2007), and I were up just after sunrise as usual for most sailors, had fixed my breakfast and was sipping my morning Latte and enjoying yet another beautiful sunny morning up in the cockpit of LTY (Learnativity). 

This was typically the only time each day when I could sit and relax a wee bit catch up with all the Emails and other online content that had come in the past 24 hours.  As I was zipping through all those Emails I came across an auto-generated one informing me that there was a new post on the Write on the Water blog which was of the several hundred blogs that I subscribe to on a wild range of topics. 

Little did I know that clicking on that link was going to be one of the most life changing events of my already VERY eventful life! 

Seeing that “Write on the Water” name, I vaguely recalled that I had been subscribed to this blog several years ago because, Christine Kling, one of four writers/sailors who wrote one post a week on Write on the Water (get it?), and she was not only an author of some very good best seller mystery novels, she was also a fellow single handed and very experienced sailor, currently sailing around the Caribbean islands on her sailboat sv Tale Spinner from her home Port in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

The link opened up the blog post fine, but there was no text, no story?  Simply the Title “Barney the Yorkshire Terror” and that little face staring up at me with a “Click to Play” button on his nose.  I hit Play and as I suspect he might have just done for you, Barney gave ma a good morning chuckle.  It also piqued my curiosity as to how this cute little animated dog video had been made?  So I quickly fired off a short comment to the author which just happen to have saved and it reads;

Wayne says: November 22, 2013 at 07:17 am  (Fiji Time)
Very cute and fun Christine. I too am out single handed sailing with my 6 year old “Spoodle” Ruby the Wonderdog and we are currently in Vuda Pt. marina in Fiji finishing up the latest refit in preparation for the next few years sailing through the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and making my way through Indonesia. I’d be interested to know more about how you made this little video if you care to share?
Also enjoying your books and have several loaded on my Kindle for upcoming passages. Thanks for all.
Wayne
 

I finished up my coffee and Email updates and got back to work on Learnativity.

Next morning, same routine and as I was enjoying my first coffee and going through the latest Emails, one was a WordPress comment from the Write on the Water blog, which thanks to the wonders of cloud storage and my somewhat geeky nature, I also still have a copy of so you can read it for yourself.

Christine's answer to my first question about Barney videoApparently two of Christine’s blog followers had asked the same question so as you can see her response was to both Wayne and Gerald.
Nice of her to respond I thought as so many such questions go unanswered, and so being Canadian and just doing what I think is important, I wrote back a short note to thank her for getting back to me and that I would try out this little “My Talking Pet” app and maybe use it to make one with Ruby the Wonderdog.  And then it was back to work for me and I never gave it another thought.

Well, as I was to learn weeks later, Christine was quite taken aback that someone had actually said “Thank You” ?  Apparently when she dutifully  answers all the thousands of questions a famous author receives, she rarely receives anything but more questions and never a Thank You.  Who knew??? 

And so she wrote me back, and the following Email was on my screen as I was sipping my first coffee the next day:  (click to enlarge if you want to read it)

Christine's first response to my Thank You on her blog with Barney video Pg 1

Christine's first response to my Thank You on her blog with Barney video Pg 2
No need to read the whole Email, but if you do, you will see what a catastrophic error she makes in the very first sentence when she starts off with;  “Hi Wayne,  Thank you so much for the interesting note full of info about you and your boat. I love getting long emails, so don’t ever
worry about writing too much.”

Oh the poor innocent dear!  She has NO idea that she is saying that to Mr. Neveraparagraphwhenasentencewilldo!  Though she might have started to clue in when I wrote back:

Wayne's first full Email to Christine after Barney video

I will spare my full response, lucky you!! and just share the first of my brief four page Email response.
Not to worry, I am NOT about to share ALL our Emails back and forth in the coming days and weeks, again Lucky, Lucky you!

Suffice it to say, that the Email exchanges got longer and longer and more and more often. 

Then Emails led to voice calls which followed my same “brevity challenged” arc.

Voice calls quickly led to Skype calls and let’s just say neither one of us got too much sleep in those first two weeks or so as we were living literally on the opposite sides of the world and I was on the other side of the International Date Line so we were not only many hours apart in different Time Zones, we were also on different days!  Hence  we were both on Skype calls in either the wee hours of our respective mornings or on very late night hours.  Our internet connection had quite literally become the “International Date Line”. 

Think about it for a minute and I’ll wait till you get it ……………………………….

OK, OK, enough already Wayne!! 

You know where this is going so let me just quickly summarize what happened from there.

Video calls are fascinating, especially when you start logging hundreds of hours of them with someone you have never met.  They pretty much cancel out any chances that either of you can be “faking it”, so you do end up learning more and more about the very real person on that screen for hours and in your ears and in hour head.  But it still isn’t the same as the “real thing” and so at some point we started to talk about how, when and where we could meet up in person and find out if all the sparks that were flying back and forth through the ether were really real or just our twitterpated imaginations?

It was now December and so my first suggestions had been that I would sail up to Majuro and get Learnativity safely moored there as I had done in the past few years and then get the short flight from Majuro to Honolulu which happens 3 days a week and we could meet there.  A bit longer but easy to get flights for Christine to fly from Florida to Honolulu and so that was the tentative plan.  Emphasis on “tentative” of course because WAYNE still needed to finish the work on LTY, get her all sea worthy and ship shape for a relatively long passage and only then be able to know what sort of dates we could fly and meet.

Of course things never go as planned, especially when it comes to big boat projects. I was working longer and longer days, as was Christine who was in the midst of finishing and publishing her latest book at the time “Dragon’s Triangle”  and we were both getting more and more frustrated that our “Launch Date” for this distant blooming romance seemed to be getting more and more elusive and later. 

Hmmm, why does that sound so familiar??

Several hours into one of our Skype calls at that time, partly out of pure frustration, partly for some levity, I said something like “You know what would be really crazy, would be if you just flew here to Fiji and we could have our first date be the sail up to Rotuma and Majuro”. 

Keep in mind that it is now only about two weeks before Christmas and I was sure that she would not want to be away from her family in Florida over the holidays so maybe Honolulu in the New Year would be best after all.  So we started to look a the calendar and figure out the likely length of my sail up to Majuro and what dates early in the New Year we might be able to fly there and meet.  So I simply asked “What date do you think you could fly?”    And surely she understood I was talking about her flying to Honolulu right? 

I had already learned that Christine can have some VERY “pregnant pauses” with her responses so I just patiently waited after asking what date she thought she could fly as I watched her eyes look up as if she was searching some calendar on the ceiling and then watched her lips moving a bit as she seemed to be doing some calculations in her head.  After several minutes of this, she looked back at me on the screen and said “Tuesday”.

Huh?  “Tuesday” I said?  What do you mean “Tuesday”?

Never missing a beat and with a very quizzical look on her most serious face, she said; “I can be in Fiji on Tuesday.” 

This was all happening late on a Friday night on Christine’s side of the International Date Line and in a very rare for me “pregnant pause” with my mind reeling with what I thought I had just heard I think I simply said “Are you kidding me?!?!?!”

2013-12-19 001She wasn’t kidding and while I don’t remember much of those next few days, I found myself standing in the Nadi airport early on the morning of December 19, 2013 intently watching the passengers of the just landed red-eye flight from LAX walk to the baggage claim when THIS vision of loveliness walked through those glass doors and into my heart.
IMG_2103_45340We drove back to the marina where I had Learnativity pretty much finished and waiting for her to see for the first time and we were both giddy with excitement, nervousness and disbelief that this was all REALLY happening?!!!
80444437

I had borrowed my dear friends Ian and Coleen’s car to drive the 25km or so to the Nadi airport from Vuda Pt. Marina as their beautiful big boat mv Summer Spirt and had been my dock neighbors as you can see here, for all the months I had been there in Fiji over the last few years.

This is our first photo together, thanks Coleen, on the aft deck of Summer Spirit.
2013-12-22 002Ian and Coleen invited us over to mv Summer Sprit for lunch and so they could meet this mysterious woman who their dockside friend Wayne had been talking with and about endlessly for the past month.

Fast forwarding through the months and years that followed:

IMG_2441We had a VERY eventful 18 day “First Date” passage up to Majuro and that’s a much longer story for another time.
2013-12-31 006Captain of my heart by now and the only REAL sailor onboard.
IMG_2463We made it to Rotuma for another longer story of our first New Year’s Eve.
80445112Crossed the equator for the first time as a couple after multiple times by ourselves.  And Wayne was FINALLY able to swim across the equator, yet another much longer story for another time.
Majuro from the airSailed into the atoll of Major with no rudder and no steering.  Another story for another time.

82626928Flew back to Florida to meet Christine’s family there, then flew to St. Martin to drop of Ruby with our dearest friends the Alonso’s who were living there on their boat sv Discovery.


80446861Took off a few days later for a whirlwind tour of Europe that Christine had previously all planned out as research for her next book that became “Knight’s Cross”. First stop the island of Malta
80448640Where I proposed up on a grassy hillside overlooking a little harbour in Malta.  And she said YES!!!


OK, OK OK!!!  Seriously this time, ENOUGH WAYNE!!!!

More of those stories for another time. 

Right now, I sit here in Antalya Turkey with my Beautiful Bride of six years making us another one of her delicious meals and we have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge that I’m about to go pop so we can celebrate the 7th anniversary of our First Contact.


Barney from first contact my talking pet videoWhich was all thanks to THIS little guy who is sitting here at my feet tonight.

Thanks Barney!

I am the luckiest and richest man in the world all thanks to YOU!
Happy Anniversary! 

I LOVE You Christine Louise!!

Flying high over a magical world

Flying high over a magical world

IMG 8200

As Wayne mentioned in his blog this week, we took a couple of days away from the boatyard to see one of Turkey’s most visited and photographed regions: Cappadocia, famous for the unique “fairy chimney” structures on the landscape, cave dwellings, and the underground cities first built by the Hittites around 3000 BC, and enlarged by the Byzantine Christians, the Romans, the Ottomans, and used by the Turks as food storage until they were discovered by archeologists who made several into museums.

I had started to be afraid that we would never get our chance to visit this magical place before leaving Turkey, but a surprise visit by friends made us decide to take the risk in these unsettled times. We didn’t want to go in a hot air balloon with over 20 strangers, but we were able to make a reservation for four people and a pilot.

IMG 8270

We were visited by our Swiss friend Philip, whom Wayne has known ever since they first met in Ecuador while single handing their very different vessels: Philip was aboard his Outremer 43 catamaran Blue Bie, and Wayne was on his Bruce Roberts Custom 52′ steel cutter, Learnativity. Throughout the next ten years, they would meet up in some corner of the South Pacific. And we had the much anticipated opportunity to meet our friend’s partner, Nancy, a fascinating American woman who met Philip at the end of her two year stay in Vanuatu with the Peace Corps. 

After a couple of days of local sightseeing around Antalya, we flew on a very short direct flight to Kayseri, the city with an airport closest to the Cappadocia region. There we picked up a rental car and drove for an hour to get to our hotel in Göreme, one of the small villages where there are cave hotels. Some of these are actually in caves, while most are just designed to look like caves. There are several other small towns spread among valleys in this stunning region, each known for something different. 

Turkey map

The reason this landscape has grown into this eery Middle Earth like place is because of Mount Erciyes, the highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit at 3,916 meters. I saw a huge mountain out the airplane window as we approached the airport at Kayseri, and I suspect it was the volcano that erupted thousands of years before mankind settled in the area.

IMG 0655

Several eruptions over the centuries rained thick layers of ash down more than 100-meters deep on the area we know as Cappadocia. The ash hardened into something called tuff, which is a very soft stone. Sometimes the different layers would have more hard stone in them. The oddly shaped towers came about because one layer would not erode and it would form a little hat or roof on top of the column of softer tuff, protecting it from the rain.

IMG 0722

And yes, one of the valleys in the region was named Love Valley by a Frenchman because of the resemblance between these towers and a part of human anatomy.

So the best way to show you the stunning beauty of the area is to take you along with us on our balloon flight. And you won’t even have to get up at 5:00 in the morning like we did!

Fair winds!

Christine

Video Tours of XPM78-01 Möbius; July 15, 2020

Merhaba as we say here in Turkey, to all our faithful blog readers.  Just for a change of pace, this is Christine here and I wanted to let you know that we have heard all your many requests asking for a video tour showing the current stage of construction of our new boat and home Möbius.  So it is with great pleasure that we are finally able to honour your requests.

It had been a year since the last full video tour, and lots has changed for sure. Wayne just loves to talk and write – at great length – about his beloved Möbius, so one day he just took the camera and spent the next several hours walking through the boat and talking about it. That was a few weeks ago now on July 15, 2020

Wayne is far too busy working on Möbius right now to do the editing, so I took it upon myself to learn a new program (DaVinci Resolve, for those who are interested) and start my new career as the Möbius World video editor. I apologize for taking so long to get this done, but it had been a long time since I had done much video editing and the program is complex.

Also, there was A LOT of footage to take on for my first project; thanks Wayne!  So I decided to divide it in half and create a two part series for you, Part I of the Exterior of Möbius and Part II of the Interior, both of which you will find below.

First, a few notes about what I’ve done to these videos so you know how best to navigate your way through these quite long videos to get at just what you want.

CHAPTERS:

For those who want to skip through and just look at the portions of the video that interest you, I’ve divided the video into chapters which you can access two ways. 

  1. When viewing these videos on YouTube if you look in the text area below the video window, you will find a list of the Chapters in this video.   Click on any of the topics in that list to jump directly to that Chapter in the video.
  2. When watching the video if you hover your cursor over the bottom of the video window the timeline will appear at the bottom of each video and  you will see some dashes or marks along that timeline bar where each Chapter starts/ends.  If you hover your cursor over any bar a pop up text will tell you the name of that Chapter and if you click it will jump directly to that point in the video.

Here is are the lists of the Chapters in each video to give you an idea of what you will find when you watch the videos by clicking on the two video windows below.

PART I:  The Exterior

CHAPTERS in this video:

  1.      00:00 –Intro
  2.      00:42 – We introduce ourselves
  3.      01:50 – The swim platform
  4.      04:10 – The aft deck
  5.      12:00 – The sky bridge
  6.      20:56 – The side deck
  7.      21:44 – The foredeck
  8.      27:02 – Below the waterline


PART II:  The Interior

CHAPTERS in this video:

  1. 00:00 – Intro
  2. 00:46 – The workshop
  3. 15:20 – The guest cabin
  4. 20:42 – The tanks
  5. 21:58 – Aft circuit breaker panel
  6. 23:32 – The super salon
  7. 24:22 – The galley
  8. 32:26 – The settee
  9. 34:50 – Lower Helm
  10. 44:28 – The Basement
  11. 58:44 – The Master Cabin

I hope you will enjoy the tours AND that you will send us your feedback, comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

– Captain Christine

Jiminy Cricket! Möbius is OFFICIALLY a REAL BOAT!

As you will soon see, Summer is not the only thing that is officially here.  Captain Christine has now officially registered XPM78-01 Möbius with the Jersey Ships Registry in the island Port of Jersey and I can’t resist the chance to start off this week’s update with this riddle:

Wayne-with-old-CDN-flag_thumbCan you find the TWO Canadian’s in this photo?
While you ponder that question and search the photo above for that missing 2nd Canadian, a few more details on our choosing to register our new boat/home Möbius in Jersey which should provide you with a few more clues to solve the riddle above. 

Jersey-Channel-Islands-_-JTs-Gigabit[2]Quick history & geography update;

  • Jersey is one of the Channel Islands which lie Gulf of St. Malo in the English Channel between the south coast of England and the North coast of France. 
  • Not to be confused with its neighboring island of Guernsey nor with New Jersey in the USA, as per this overview on Wikipedia Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (who knew Bailiwick was a real word?!?), is a British Crown dependency[8] located near the coast of Normandy, France.[9]
    Some other Fun Facts for you about Möbius’ new Home Port, the Bailiwick of Jersey:
  • Jersey was part of the Duchy of Normandy, whose dukes went on to become kings of England from 1066.
  • After Normandy was lost by the kings of England in the 13th century, and the ducal title surrendered to France, Jersey and the other Channel Islands remained attached to the English crown.
  • Jersey has a separate relationship to the Crown from the other Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man, although all are held by the monarch of the United Kingdom.[13]
  • Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems,[5] and the power of self-determination.[14] The Lieutenant Governor on the island is the personal representative of the Queen.
  • Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom,[15] and has an international identity separate from that of the UK,[16] but the UK is constitutionally responsible for the defence and international relations of of Jersey.[17]
  • Population (2019 estimate) is 107,000
  • Currency is British Pound sterling
  • Time Zone is Greenwich Mean Time UTC 0:00

    Jersey-location-on-map_thumb

OK, all very interesting Wayne but WHY register Möbius in Jersey?

Short list of reasons we chose Jersey includes:


  • Location of Jersey (green)in Europe (dark grey)
     
    • As a Canadian I am amongst the few who qualify to register our boat with the British Registry of Ships in Jersey and fly the Jersey Red Ensign flag.
    • When traveling under the Jersey Red Ensign flag we have the full support of British consular services and British Royal Navy protection worldwide.
    • VAT-free temporary importation into EU for non-EU residents
    • Renewal every 10 years with no annual charge

MVIMG_20200627_113738_thumbOK, back to the riddle.  Did you find the second Canadian in this photo?

Canadian-Red-Ensign-1921-1965_thumbThe second Canadian is the flag! 

You would have to know your flag history MUCH better than I do to have spotted this, but the flag I am holding is the Canadian Red Ensign used from 1921 to 1965 ……
Flag_of_Canada-Canadian-maple-leaf-f[2]…… until the current Red Maple Leaf flag was adopted in 1965.[1] The Maple Leaf flag also replaced the Canadian Red Ensign as the civil ensign of the country.
Way more than you ever wanted to know about Canadian flags I’m sure but for Christine, who came up with the whole idea,  and I this is the perfect Goldilocks just right flag for us to sail under on Möbius.

Getting back to where I started this latest tangent, to complete the formal registration of XPM78-01 Möbius in the Bailiwick of Jersey we needed to send them photos to prove that we had “marked and carved” as it is officially called, the transom of the boat with the correct sized and placed letters of the boat’s name and Port of Registration.

Printing-vinyl-Mobius-name-letters_t

Earlier in the week Christine rode her bicycle over to a printer she had discovered last year and they printed out a set of vinyl self adhesive Black block letters of Möbius  and Jersey.
IMG_20200616_152722_thumb3Meanwhile, I did a quick layout of our Official Number and Gross Tonnage on a piece of 5mm aluminium plate to be my guide as I used my fabulous little Milwaukee cordless router to carve these numbers. 
IMG_20200617_183119_thumb1I gave it a quick sand blast, painted over all the numbers with some Black spray paint and then sanded the surface to reveal just the numbers.
MVIMG_20200617_182937_thumb

Asper the requirements of the Jersey Ship’s Registry, “the official number and the tonnage calculation should be permanently carved or marked on a small plaque which should be fixed onto the main beam or on a readily accessible visible permanent part of the structure inside the vessel.  A plaque is usually approximately 20cms x 10cms and should contain the official number and tonnage figure.”
And there you go XPM78-01 Möbius is officially ship # 749887.


IMG_20200626_124836_thumbOn her weekly Friday inspection Christine brought along the vinyl letters and while everyone else was at lunch we carefully laid out and applied the letters on the Aft Transom.
MVIMG_20200626_131458_thumbThese vinyl letters are just a temporary stand in while we await the arrival of the CNC waterjet cut aluminium letters but were enough for us to take the required pictures to send to the Port of Jersey Registrar.
IMG_20200626_132429_thumbIn my youth I once had a job putting decals and lettering on semi trailer tankers so I knew the trick about spraying the surface with some water and dishwashing liquid so you can float the letters onto the aluminium plate and still adjust their position to line each one just right and we soon had the job done.


D8F19676-8B7C-400F-8383-884031A21980[2]We called in some cheap labour to do a bit of final cleanup.
IMG_20200626_133403_thumbAnd soon had our boat all officially named and ready for some photos to prove it.
IMG_20200626_135357_thumbFirst photos we needed are to prove the height of the letters of the boat name and at 160mm/6” tall we are well above the minimum 100mm requirement and that’s all the photos we needed and Christine has sent these on their way to Jersey and they will mail us the official paper Registration document. 


IMG_20200626_135231_thumbWith the stern of Möbius backed up against the aft wall of the shipyard it wasn’t easy to get a shot from the rear like this but I managed to climb up onto a little ledge on the wall and squeeze off this shot to send to the Jersey officials.
MVIMG_20200626_133401Lucky me; in my eyes and heart I’ve got the most Beautiful Bride AND the most beautiful Boat there is!

Our new “baby” is born!  Please join us in welcoming XPM78-01 Möbius to the world.

Displacing a mere 66.83 Gross Tons, little # 749887 in the British Ships Registry and our newest boat and home has officially arrived.

Did I happen to mention that this is an eXciting new milestone for both of us?!!

MÖBIUS will be all-PC, and we don’t mean politically correct

MÖBIUS will be all-PC, and we don’t mean politically correct

The first time I sailed across the Pacific was in 1975. This is a much younger me in Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas.

Generous Marquesans gifts

We navigated with a sextant and a chronometer that we kept in a velvet-lined box. Paper charts and pencil. The only pieces of electronics gear on that 44-foot sailboat were a Heathkit home-built digital depth sounder and a battery-operated multi-band short wave receiver. No radio, no refrigeration, and for entertainment, we usually read books by the light of a Coleman lantern.

My, how things have changed in 45 years.

While I’m really glad I got the opportunity to experience those early days of cruising, I have never longed to go back to the “good old days.”  Rather, most of my life I have been an early adopter of technology, from Loran to Sat-Nav, to GPS, to computer navigation, to iPads and navigation apps. So it just seemed right when Wayne was finding himself a bit overwhelmed with the work of ordering equipment and overseeing the build, and not finding enough time to work on our beloved Mr. Gee, that the job I could most likely help out with was in the area of electronics and networking. So I dove in to the deep end of the research pool and quickly found myself over my head. But, hey, I find it really exciting to learn new stuff, and that’s a huge part of what this building Möbius  is all about for us.

Over the next few weeks and months, I hope to write several blog posts covering my journey of learning and decisions we have made about our various networks, from NMEA 2000 to ethernet, to our Victron smart management system of our batteries, chargers and solar panels. Today, I’m going to start with our decision to go all-in on PCs.

Multifunction display chart plotters, or MFD’s have become the standard on most recreational boats. When I met Wayne, he had a single Raymarine E7 chart plotter on Learnativity, the boat we sold before starting this project. He had fitted that boat out 15 years before, upgrading the original electronics. Then he upgraded again many miles later when that plotter failed. Each time, it was rip out the old and stick in new hardware.

Today’s multifunction chart plotters show radar, AIS targets, depth, fish finder graphs, sonar, and night vision cameras. Some interact with the boat’s stereo system, can switch to internet browsing, and even take control of the boat’s drones! They are amazing, but essentially, they are closed black boxes that need to get sent back to the manufacturer for repairs.

As versatile as today’s MFD’s are, there is still much they cannot do. You cannot install any other software on them. At the very least, we knew that we wanted to have a pretty big and complex Maretron monitoring system on the boat, and we would need to run N2K View software. Plus, we wanted a permanent ship’s entertainment system with all our collection of photos, music and video on a Synology NAS hard drive system. We were going to need a ship’s computer anyway.

So then we started to look at the navigation equipment we wanted to use because that would, in part, drive our decision as to the navigation software we would use. Early on, we made the decision to go with Furuno for most of our electronics on the new boat. We started with what radar we wanted and Furuno won on that count, and their customer service is very good, their equipment extremely robust. So initially, we were looking at Furuno MFDs.

But one of the problems we faced was that we wanted lots of screens to see all those different systems all the time at two different helms. And given that we both wear glasses and are not getting any younger, we wanted decent-sized screens. Each MFD chart plotter has a powerful computer inside. These days most manufacturers also sell Black Box chart plotters allowing customers to connect them to their own monitors, but the Furuno TZT2BB while it has two Windows computers inside, only allows two monitors. And the 15” TZT2 MFDs we were looking at started at an MSRP of over $5000.00 each.

In the end the main reasons we decided to forego MFDs and go as a strictly PC boat were:

1. Cost

2. Upgradability

3. Versatility

Another thing we liked about Furuno was the fact that their navigation software that runs on Furuno MFDs is also available from Maxsea Nobeltec for PCs. Today, the program is called TimeZero, and while Furuno licenses the software for their MFDs, we can also run it on a Windows 10 computer. We considered OpenCpn, a free, open-source navigation application, but we read too many posts about people having the application crash, and it only will work with some radars, not all. When we investigated the TimeZero software, we were sold. The interface is beautiful and it works with Furuno radars. TimeZero comes in two version, Navigator and Professional, and while it’s not cheap, we decided to go with the Pro for all the extras, and we bought two licenses for just over $2000.00. Yeah, ouch.

Our first plan was to have our two computers be a permanent ship’s computer and then Wayne’s laptop would stand in for the second. It would give us redundancy, and we could do planning on the laptop.

Then I went on the forums and started to research computers. There is the Trawler Forum, the Cruisers and Sailing Forum, the Facebook Group TimeZero Navigation Software User’s Group, and the Furuno Community Forum. There are also lots of blogs we have mentioned previously as our favorites. I searched and read as much as I could, and of course, there was lots of disagreement.

Some folks are adamant that the ship should have a navigation computer with no other software on it, while others use theirs to navigate AND watch movies and check email, and they’ve been doing it for years.

Some swore by powerful machines, while others were happy to run OpenCPN on Raspberry Pi computers. Some said they would never trust a home-built, hack-job, while others said that nearly everything on their boats was DIY so they could fix it when it died. Some said you could buy a computer, but you’d save lots of money if you built it yourself.

When I talked to a Furuno rep about what specs they would like to see in a computer to best run TZ, I was told, “Our standard currently is an I7 CPU, 8/16 GB ram, gtx1060/1070, and a 250gb solid state HDD.”

In the end, I decided to do a bit of all of it. We will have two ship’s computers – in addition to our laptops. For the skybridge, we will buy a fanless industrial computer that will be kept pure as a ship’s computer and will run only TimeZero and N2K View. On the more powerful one at the main helm, we will not worry about contamination, and we’ll run whatever software we want. It will be our entertainment center as well. And this Apple fangirl decided I would build this Windows 10 box myself. While you can run TZ on older i7 processors, I didn’t want our system to lag while outputting to multiple monitors and running the graphics intensive charting software. So, I decided to spend the money on the 9th generation Intel processor in part because it can support up to 4 monitors, and that is what we have planned for the lower main helm: two 15” monitors at the helm, one 43” monitor to port and a 49” TV to starboard. TimeZero Pro only supports three “workspaces,” but we will want a permanent display for Maretron N2K View.

I really enjoyed the learning for the build process. I made heavy use of the website PC Parts Picker, and I started reading the forums where the gaming guys talk shop. I built this back in December 2019, and I decided to pay for a newly released processor so we could get some years out of it. When I opted for the “small form factor,” I thought it would be smaller than it is, but it doesn’t really matter. We have room on the boat for a full-size tower.

Here’s the parts list for my final build:

Intel Core i7-9700 Coffee Lake 8-Core 3.0 GHz (4.7 GHz Turbo) processor $349.99

Noctua NH-U12S – Premium CPU Cooler with NF-F12 120mm Fan   $59.95

Fractal Design Define Mini C MicroATX Mid Tower Case.  $79.99

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz Memory kit  $74.99

MSI MPG Z390M Micro ATX Motherboard  $155.00

MSI Gaming GEForce GTX 1660 Ventus XS 6G OC Graphics Card  $227.99

Crucial P1 1TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive.  $99.00

Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 120mm  Computer Case Fan  $15.99

CORSAIR TX-M Series TX550M CP-9020133-NA 550W ATX12V Semi-Modular Power Supply.  $89.99

Windows 10 Pro     $129.00

Total price: $1281.89 

IMG 0207

As you can see in the photo above, I’m not sure how they get away with calling this a MicroATX Mid Tower. For someone who is used to laptops, this thing looks huge. And when I compare this to what you can buy that is similar in power and design, I’m not convinced I saved much money. But the big advantage I feel is that I learned so much, and as time goes on, I can easily increase the RAM if necessary, add a more powerful graphics card, or switch the built-in power supply from 110 to 24 volts. In the photo, you can see it is running on an AC converter since we are in Turkey with 240V and the computer currently runs on 110V.  The 24V power supply I looked at was $330, and since we don’t have the batteries hooked up yet, I went with AC for now so I could actually tell if my creation worked and start up the learning curve on Time Zero Pro. Perhaps I will pop for the other power supply in the future.

Helm

This Mid Tower computer will reside in the cabinet on the port side of the main helm behind the TV in the main salon. You can see that cavernous area on the far left of the photo above. The TV will be mounted on a swinging door that can be opened to access the air handler and the computer, as well as other networking bits and pieces.

Here’s the sort of computer we intend to buy for our second computer:

Fanless PC Industrial Mini PC Windows 10 Pro 16GB RAM / 512GB SSD Intel Whiskey Lake i7-8565u, TDP 15W8M Cache, up to 4.60 GHz, Quad Core 8 threads Desktop  Computer with HDMI/TPC/EDP Ports, M.2 WiFi, BT 4.0, 4K HD, RS232 / 485 COM, SATA 3.0 for 2.5 Inch HDD/SSD

Total price on Amazon: $917.00

Screen Shot 2020 03 08 at 6 23 18 PM

And the size is quite different! It has an 8th generation Intel Processor, so it will still support three monitors, but that does push the price up. At the moment, we only intend to have two monitors at the upper helm, but it is nice to know we will have room to grow. Screen Shot 2020 03 08 at 6 24 54 PM

Also, these are just basically Intel NUC computers, so I know they are expandable in terms of adding a larger SSD or more RAM.

This one will go into a cabinet that is just to port as you go down the steps into the main salon. Both computers will have dual LAN ports. Furuno is fussy about insisting that their hardware needs to be on its own isolated network. We will have a FAR 1523 radar, BBD-S1 bottom discriminating depth sounder, and the Axis camera encoder for our FLIR camera, as well as some exterior cameras on that network. All the wifi, additional cameras, Synology NAS, and other non-Furuno stuff will be on the other network.

For monitors, after a fair amount of research, we chose Litemax Navpixel marine displays. At first, I searched and searched for regular monitors, but since we only had room for two 19” displays at the lower helm, the choices were few. We didn’t really need the waterproof aspect, but I wanted them to be able to dim almost to black easily, preferably with a hard knob, and I wanted them sunlight readable, even for inside. We have so much glass in our salon, and our eyes aren’t getting any younger. By going direct to the supplier in Taiwan, we were able to get two 19” displays, two 24” displays, and one regular non-waterproof 43” monitor for about $8000.00 including shipping.

Screenshot 2020 03 08 19 11 19

This is a photo of one of the 24” monitors from Litemax. This is a full multi-touch,1920×1080,1000 nits sunlight readable, IP65 sunlight readable Marine Display.

One 19” TZT3 ChartPlotter sells for $8,495.00. To be fair, that includes the sounder, and we will have to buy the sounder module ($500) for our TimeZero software.

In addition to the TimeZero software, we will also have Rose Point Coastal Explorer software. We will have CS on our laptops for planning purposes, and for back-up in case we lose both of the ship’s computers. In addition, we have tablets and phones. For redundancy and back-up, we feel we are covered.

In the end, we won’t know until we get out there, but we’re both pretty happy with our decision to make Möbius an all-PC boat.

We will carry very few paper charts, just a few large area ocean charts, but we will have paper pilot charts. And in the event we lose all electricity, we both have sextants, a copy of the tables, and a nautical almanac on Kindle (with a tiny portable solar panel).

If I have to break out the sextant, I think it will be just like riding a bike.

Stay safe and healthy everyone. We’re on a long passage with this Pandemic, but as Wayne and I always say to each other when things blow up on us — This too shall pass.

Fair winds,

Christine