As I am writing this on New Year’s eve 2022, I’ll start with a spoiler alert that it seemed only fitting for us to celebrate New Year’s eve in our last port on this side of the Atlantic and get 2023 off to a great start by leaving in the morning on New Year’s Day for our Trans Atlantic crossing over to the Caribbean.
OK, now that you know where we are headed, let’s rewind back to where we left off in the last Mobius.World update “On the Run” when we were still in Tangier Morocco patiently waiting for a good weather window to head down south along the West coast of Morocco to the Canary Islands. It all worked out as I had written in that update and we checked out of Morocco and left Tanja Marina Bay on Wednesday morning the 21st December. There was a bit more wind and wave on the nose than the forecast had predicted but it continued to settle down that evening as we made our way West and then turned South for the Canary Islands.
The conditions that first day gave us the opportunity to become more familiar with our Paravane stabilisation system to see how well it worked to reduce the rolling from the beam (on the side) waves and swell. This was the first chance I got to test out the latest rigging setup so I was keen to see how it would worked and very happy with the results in the end.
As you may recall from previous posts, Paravanes or “fish” as they are sometimes called are commonly seen on commercial fishing boats as well as a few recreational trawlers and provide a way to reduce the roll of a boat as it follows swell and waves coming at angles of about 45 to 125 degrees of the hull, which means on the beam or sides. I used this design from some Canadian fish boats as they were very well suited to a DIY project and would let me experiment with various sizes and setups to find the Goldilocks just right setup and then perhaps make a pair out of all aluminium. Here is what my finished version 1.o of these paravanes look like when they are all ready to go to work. Each paravane is suspended by fixed length lines of Dyneema from the end of the A-frame booms that we set out at about 45 degrees. These fixed length lines going down to the paravanes allow them to run about 6 meters/18 ft under the surface of the water. As the boat tries to roll to one side that paravane “dives” down and then as the boat tries to roll over to the opposite side the paravane resists being pulled up and thus reduces the amount and speed of the roll. Super simple all mechanical system. Deployment is very quick and easy, just let the A-frames out by easing off the lines going from the tip of each A-frame over to the top corner of the Arch and then lower the paravanes into the water with the boat stopped or moving slowly. The design of the paravanes is such that they automatically align themselves and dive down till the fixed length line stops their descent and they start “flying” through the water about 6 meters below the surface. My previous rigging was to have a retrieval line, the white line in the photo above, attached to the top rear corner of the aluminium “fin” and just let this trail through the water out behind the paravanes. It worked fine but the retrieval was purely manual by hauling in that retrieval line by hand and in anything other than very calm conditions was quite slow and laborious and potentially dangerous so I came up with a different design. Staying with the KISS approach, Keep is Simple & Safe, I simply used these aluminium low friction doughnut shaped rings that we use with our Dyneema lines in many other places on the boat. Easy to insert them into the orange Dyneema line going down to the paravanes such that this ring would be about a meter above the water and then run the White retrieval line through the ring. If you look carefully or click to enlarge the photo, you will see that I added a block to the middle of the A-frame and ran the retrieval line through this block and over to the Arch. Easier to see the whole thing when the A-frame is in its vertical stowed position here. You can see how that White retrieval line goes through the low friction ring, up to the turning block on the A-frame then over to the second turning block attached to the Arch and down to the horizontally mounted winch at the base of the Arch. Here is the best shot I could get of what the whole setup looks line when it is fully deployed and working. The White retrieval line is kept slack and allowed to trail out behind the paravane so it flies freely. Retrieval now became as simple and as safe as deploying by simply using the winch to pull in the white retrieval line which starts to pick up the tail of the paravane and put it in this neutral vertical position with very low resistance to bring to the surface. I just keep cranking the winch to bring the paravane above the water and up to about level with the deck of the boat where I can use a boat hook to grab the line and pull the suspended paravane onboard. The whole process was very controlled and safe and this setup allows me to retrieve the paravanes without having to fully stop the boat so the whole process takes less than a few minutes and then Christine can take us back up to speed and we continue on our way or head into our anchorage or port. So how well did these paravanes help stabilize the boat and reduce the roll you ask? I thought the best way to show this was with this screen of a Roll graph I created on our Maretron N2K View system you see here. This is a shot of the previous 4 hours and you can see the point a bit right of center where the paravanes went into the water and started working. Previously on the Left you can see that the roll on the vertical axis was much larger reaching up over 15 degrees side to side and then dropped off noticeably to about 5 degrees or less. At the time of this photo you can see that the roll was -1.3 degrees, negative being roll to Port, positive to Starboard. The best way I can describe the effect is that these paravanes don’t eliminate the roll, they dampen it considerably both in degrees of roll and in speed of roll. There is still some roll but it is now much slower and less “deep” which makes for a MUCH more comfortable motion that makes it easy to move around the boat safely. I want to be clear that were we to have active stabilizer fins or Magnus effect cylinders, the reduction in roll would be much greater, however that comes with a significant cost in both complexity, price and maintenance. For now we are very happy with these early trials of our Paravane system and we will continue to learn and test it in different conditions as we travel the world. If they continue to work as well as these early trials indicate then we’ll just keep on using them. If not, the hull has been fully framed for active stabilizers if we decide we want to install them at a later date. I will continue to report the real world data on how well the paravanes work as we venture forward.
I will come up with a more permanent storage setup for the Paravanes when they are not in use but for now it is working well to stow them safely out of the way on their sides like this, lashed to the very sturdy AL stanchions with their own lines.
As it turned out we didn’t get a chance to use the Paravanes after that first day of our 3 1/2 day passage down to the Canaries as the seas flattened out and no stabilization was needed at all. Weather WonderWoman Christine had found us yet another great weather window and the rest of this passage was smooth and comfy as could be. These were our typical sea conditions. Hard to ask for much better and we even had a bit of a following sea to help us along. As these two crew members can attest. For those interested in overall passage performance this trip, the total distance was 678.4 NM in 78.2 hours. Average SoG, Speed over Ground was 8.7 knots and average fuel consumption was 1.76 L/NM. All numbers which we are eXtremely happy with and will continue to try out different combinations of engine RPM, load and prop pitch to see how these numbers change as we log more and more nautical smiles.
Other highlights of this passage include numerous schools of different types of dolphins who joined us for various amounts of time to the squealing delight of the Captain from her perch on the Bow. We also picked up a few hitchhikers like this rather large squid but they didn’t travel too far with us before heading back to sea. We had originally intended to head for the northernmost Canary Island of Lanzarote but we were not able to find a berth at the Port of Entry there so we headed over to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria instead. A bit disponing for us because we had hoped to meet up with David, who we had met years ago on our previous boat Learnativity when we were in Vuda Point marina in Fiji. David has been following us for a long time now on the bloat and he very kindly reached out to us when he saw that we were heading to the Canaries where he was now working on Lanzarote. Sorry to miss you this time David but stay tuned for the next opportunity. And so it was that we pulled into the very large Las Palmas Marina, which is where the ARC rally starts from each year in November. Even with those 200+ boats now long gone, the marina still only had a few spots but managed to fit us in on the end of the fuel dock you see here. The night after we arrived another low front passed through with some sustained winds over 40 knots which caused a bit of problems for some of the boats inside and outside the marina so we had several of them come in during the middle of the night and this is what the scene looked like in front of us the next morning. Several more came in after this and we had one tie up alongside us to add one more spot for a few days refuge. All has been cleared up now but repairs are still underway for damage in the marina and on several of the boats. Seems like the Canary Island people like to get an early start on celebrating the pending arrival of the New Year and Christine was able to get this shot of the fireworks going off over in the city the other side of the marina last night. I’m guessing this was just a warm up for the big show tonight so should be quite the celebration for all of us this New Year’s Eve. Weather may change our routing but we are currently heading to the south end of the Caribbean islands to St. George’s on the West side of Grenada. This zoomed out view will help provide a better overall picture of the typical routing many boats take for crossing the Atlantic both directions. Who knows, maybe we’ll just keep going and do the whole loop and end up back over in Europe in a year or two? Our intended route from here in Las Palmas over to Grenada will likely be about 2800 NM and should take us somewhere between 13-14 days but of course weather conditions can change that both directions so we’ll just leave it up to Mother Nature to decide.
For now, we eagerly look forward to eXploring the many many islands and experiences awaiting us in the Caribbean which will also be a bit of “back home” for Christine from her many years sailing there since the 90’s. Fist though, we need to send 2022 into the history books and get 2023 started with our first Atlantic crossing in Möbius.
We have SO much to be grateful for from our experiences in 2022 so we look forward to tonight’s celebration. We’ll try not to stay up too late, which is pretty easy for us to do, as we intend to throw off the dock lines tomorrow morning and start making our way across the Atlantic. We want to sincerely thank each of you for all the time you take to join us throughout all our adventures with designing, building and now cruising on Möbius. It means a lot to both of us to know that so many people are ridging along with us and we hope we can continue to post updates that will want you to keep coming back for more. We will be off line throughout the crossing so the next update here will be from wherever we land in the Caribbean and I can provide you more details on the passage mid January or so. Wherever and how ever you celebrate the end of 2022 we wish that 2023 will turn out to be the best year yet for all of us.
It has been a very busy 17 days since I left off on the last update “Bye Bye Kalymnos” on the eve of us leaving Kalymnos Island in Greece and finally starting our travels westward across and out of the Mediterranean as we set up for crossing the Atlantic probably next month.
It was with the full spectrum of emotions that we put Kalymnos in our wake as we left on Oct. 30th after first arriving back on July 7th. This little island had been our home base all that time and we had definitely felt part of the community. However we were also eXtremely happy to finally be heading back out to sea and back the life we love of exploring the world on our latest floating home, Möbius. Fast forwarding to today, Wednesday Nov 16th, 2022, I am writing this update after we just pulled into a lovely little marina in the town of Melilla which is about 200 nautical smiles West of the Algeria/Morocco border. Interestingly enough we are actually not in Morocco as Melilla is as you can read in the link above “.. is an autonomous city of Spain located in north Africa.” So officially, we are in Spain! At only 12.3 km2 / 4.7 sq mi Melilla is not very large but has a population of 86 thousand and a very rich history that will be fun to explore in the next few days.
Hopefully you not as “geographically challenged” as I am and will have figured out that we have now travelled the majority of the Mediterranean from the far Eastern end in Antalya Turkey and are now only 200nm away from Gibraltar that marks the far Western end of the Med. I’ve put in an orange line on this map tracing our approximate path of this trip so far.That will give you some idea of how pleased we are to have made such progress and how well Mr. Gee v2.0 has been propelling us along.
Quick Statistics Overview:
Since leaving Kalymnos 17 days ago, we have put about 1600 nautical smiles under our keel and the all new Mr. Gee has now accumulated 194 hours purring away in his Engine Room. We are still breaking the new engine in so I’ve been keeping the loads at about 75% of the 100% continuous duty rating, which would be 150 BHP @ 1650 RPM that I currently have the fuel injection set up for. I am able to very accurately gauge and control the engine loads by varying the pitch with the Nogva CPP Controllable Pitch Propeller and then watching the EGT or Exhaust Gas Temperature gauge which is pretty much a direct proxy for engine load. Full load would typically generate an EGT of about 450C/840F and I’ve been keeping it below 330C/626F and running about 1440 RPM. At these settings our Speed Over Ground SOG runs between 7-9 knots depending on wind, sea and current conditions and overall we are averaging a bit more than 8.2 knots at these conservative loads. Over the coming weeks and months I will start to vary the engine loads with different RPM and pitch settings and record all this data to help me find the Goldilocks combination of SOG and fuel burn. For those interested, in the 1600 NM so far Mr. Gee has been consuming about 1.78 Liters/NM which would be about 0.47 US Gallons per NM for my Imperial measurement friends and followers. Our design goal had been to get about 2L/NM doing 200NM per 24 hour day which would equate to averaging about 8.3 knots SOG. So we are very pleased to have exceeded this already very ambitious design goal and we will see how this changes as Mr. Gee breaks in and we vary SOG and engine loads and encounter more varied sea and weather conditions. I will do my best to keep you posted as this data accumulates.
We have also been varying the length of each passage as we hop our way West across the Mediterranean with passages like the one today from Saidia Morocco to Melilla Spain being just 35NM in a bit more than 4 hours and our longest passage so far was our jump across the top of Algeria which was 625NM in just over 3 days (79 hrs)
But I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s jump back to where we left off back on Oct. 30th when we finally were able to motor out of the lovely little Greek Island of Kalymnos which had been our home base for almost four months.
For our very first trip with the all new Mr. Gee, after completing all the paperwork needed for us to leave Kalymnos and Greece we motored over to a lovely little anchorage on the South end of the tiny Greek island of Ios which was about 83NM away. We anchored in to the beautiful little “Never Bay” on the far Left in this photo at 23:00 under an almost full moon and it felt SO good to be on anchor and back at sea again after so many months. Next day, we got an early start and pulled up the anchor just after sunrise and made our way west to another lovely night anchorage on the South end of little Elafonisos Island which was about 120NM west. We averaged a bit more than 8.5 knots taking 14 hours and had the anchor down just before 22:00 for another peaceful nights sleep on the hook, aka at anchor.
Elafonisos was our last anchorage in Greece as we continued our way West and crossed into Italian waters on our way over to Sicily. Total length of this leg was 415NM which we did in just under 49 hours so average speed was about 8.45 knots. It was a great two day passage.
Captain Christine has acquired the new title of “Weather Wonder Woman” or W3 as she hones her skills using various weather software, most notably PredictWind, to do what I’m calling “No Wind Hunting” as ideal conditions for us have changed dramatically from our decades of sailing and we now ideally want no wind and flat seas or perhaps even better, following seas and winds which give us an added boost in speed. As you can see from the sunset photo above and this moon setting shot the next night, W3 has become the master No Wind Hunter!
We headed for Marina di Ragusa which is about 40NM North West from the SE bottom corner of Sicily. Our friends Matt and Cindy were there on their new Amel 50 “Speed of Life” and it was great to be able to catch up with them over several meals and good wine while we waited for the next good weather window for the next leg of this adventure to leave the EU and head over to Africa. When entering or leaving a country by boat, you need to do so at an official Port of Entry so we made the short 40nm trip up the cost from Ragusa to Licata which was the closest Port of Entry on our way West. We left Marina di Ragusa as the sun was rising and were docked in Marina di Cala del Sole at Licata just before noon and were able to get a taxi to the Police station where the immigration and Port authorities were located. This all worked out eXtremely well with neither the marina nor the checking out process taking any time at all or having any fees! So we were back on Möbius and leaving the dock in just over two hours. After the days and weeks and non stop fees trying to get our Schengen visa time extended in Greece you can imagine how delighted we were to have this final exit out of EU and the Schengen Area all happen so quick and easy. Africa, here we come!
As you can see, it is not a very big jump, about 195NM from Licata in Sicily to Bizerte up on the NE corner of Africa so an easy overnight sail in just less than 30 hours. We pulled in and were side tied for a nice change in the very nice Bezerte Marina by 14:00 on Tuesday the 8th of November. Tunisia has very good prices on diesel fuel, 0.66 USD per Liter, so we took full advantage and did our first filling of all six of our diesel tanks. We took on a total of 6792 liters and with exchange rates for the Tunisian Dinar and a credit card fee the total came to $4510.18 USD which at today’s fuel prices was a very good deal we think. We now had about 11,000 liters of fuel onboard and so we were finally able to see how well Möbius sits on her waterlines. As you can see, the hull was now eXactly on the lines! A bit closer shot as it is difficult to see where the 120mm wide Black Bootstripe on top changes to the Black InterSleek bottom paint but if you click to enlarge you will see that indeed sits eXactly on that line which is a great testament to our eXcellent NA Dennis Harjamaa! Well done Dennis and thanks for creating such a fabulous hull and boat for us.
Oh, and just in case you needed any proof that we are definitely not in “Kansas” anymore, check out this shot Christine took of the breakwater across from where we were tied up in Bizerte Marina. Yup, that’s a camel, well actually a dromedary with just the one hump, casually strolling along the breakwater. There was a small herd of them which we saw at various times during the day. While we were only in Bezerte for a few days before the next weather window opened up we did get time to walk into the the very colourful old town and enjoy the sights and smells of this waterfront city. We were also able to fit in a great date night eating some street food and then a delicious full meal at a little restaurant on the water. And enjoy one more beautiful sunset evening to finish up our all too short time in Bezerte and Tunisia. We had originally hoped to fuel up in neighboring Algeria where the fuel prices are even lower at about 22 cents per liter, but it turned out to be too long and difficult to get the required visa to allow us to stop there so we had to make the jump from Bezerte to Saidia in Morocco in one go and sail about 10nm off the very long Algerian coast of North Africa. It was a very smooth passage as W3 worked her weather routing skills perfect yet again and we had exceptionally calm seas with some following seas to help out several times. On one of her 6 hour watches Christine snapped this photo as she had fun surfing Möbius down some of the larger following swells and hitting speeds above 11 knots. Most of the time though it was more like this and we enjoyed some beautiful sunsets and sunrises along the passage. Christine had several opportunities on this passage to enjoy watching the large dolphins that came over to say Hi and play in the pressurized area ahead of our bow. I’m not sure who was having more fun, Christine or the dolphins but they all had a great time. This is a relatively busy shipping route and so we saw our share of other ships on this passage such as this little fella. We have a very good Class A AIS (Automatic Identification System) onboard, with several backups so pretty much all the other ships show up on our charts along the way and give us full information on each one including boat size, heading, speed, CPA Closest Point of Approach), etc. so makes it very easy to contact them on the rare times we need to and otherwise stay well informed of where they are in relation to us. I took advantage of the calm conditions to do the first test run of the Paravanes I had built. These are what we are going to try out for stabilizing Möbius in seas that want to cause us to roll back and forth sideways. The paravanes or “fish” as they are often called, are rigged to a fixed line of Dyneema off the end of each A-frame boom which is lowered off each side at about 45 degrees. The fish run about 5 meters or 18 feet below the surface where they “fly” through the water very smoothly. When the boat tries to roll to one side the paravane that is being pulled up resists this motion and the one on the opposite side dives down as its line goes slack and sets up for its turn when the boat tries to roll the other way. I particularly like iterative design and I start with the simplest approach and then adjust from there as I test. This first setup was a fully manual one with the orange line being the fixed length line that the paravane is suspended from and then a smaller Grey retrieval line attached to the rear of the tail fin. Christine slowed the boat and I lowered each fish into the water and they quickly zipped out and trailed behind the boom attachment points and then bring the boat back up to speed. A bit too busy to take photos but you can imagine how this works. It worked quite well but the retrieval required more effort than I thought was safe so I will re rig these lines so that the retrieval line goes up through a block mid way out on the boom and then over and down to a winch on the large Arch on the boat. I’m in the process of doing this rigging now and we will try it out on the next passage and let you know how it works and can get some better photos and details on their performance. We pulled into Saidia Marina which is just inside the border between Algeria and Morocco our longest passage so far at 625nm which took us just under 79 hours with an overall average SOG of 7.9 knots. As you can see, they had plenty of room for us! The marina is very large with an entire mall of shops and restaurants surrounding two sides but it has seen better days and Morocco had been closed for two years due to Covid restrictions so it was a bit sad. However the people and all the officials were extremely kind and engaging and we were quickly checked in and had fresh Moroccan stamps in our passports. We were about to loose the good weather we’d been having so we took advantage and made the quick 35nm trip from Saidia over to Melilla which as I mentioned at the beginning is actually part of Spain so we pulled in just after noon time and were quickly tied up and checked in.
As per my opening photos and comments, this marina and town is the opposite of what we found in Saidia, being very full and busy, very modern and diverse and is already proving to be a great spot for us to hunker down for perhaps as much as a week while we wait for the winter storms to pass through and provide us with the next chance to motor our way along the Moroccan coast as we get closer and closer to the Straits of Gibraltar that are now less than 150 nm WNW of us.
The other fun thing that recently happened is that we crossed the invisible Prime Meridian or Zero degree Longitude and so we are now into officially in the Western Hemisphere! Antalya sits on about 30.7 degrees East and Melilla is at about 3 degrees West so we have now traveled more than 33 degrees of latitude on Möbius. Looking further ahead, we are setting up to cross the Atlantic next month and will mostly likely take something close to the Southern route as shown on this map. These are typical routes for sailboats and thus based on favorable winds circling the Azores High pressure zone so we will just wait and see how that is positioned this year and figure out the best “No Wind Hunting” route for us to take across the Atlantic. Stay tuned for more as these Nauti Nomadic Grandparents do our best to continue to keep you all well entertained! Thanks and hope you will join us again for the next update to see just where Möbius is in a week or two.
Thanks to Christine and some tech support people at our web host provider, we now have all those technical problems worked out and I am able to post updates again. Yaaayyyyy!!!
My apologies for any annoyances you may have experienced with the test post and notification Email that went up here on the site instead of posting as a hidden draft only. I appreciate your patience and happy to be able to post this quick update on what’s been going on aboard the Good Ship Möbius the past two weeks.
Best thing that happened for me last week was that my Captain returned!
As you may recall, back on the 1st of the month, Christine flew over to Miami for some much needed Gramma time with our Grandson Liam, some visits with her family and friends and to look after a few medical appointments.
She had lots of fun outings with Liam, seen here goofing it up with a selfie of him and his Dad, Christine’s son, Tim. And timing was perfect for Liam’s first day in First Grade. Yayyyy Liam!
Meanwhile, over on the opposite coast near Los Angeles, our two Granddaughters Brynn (left) and Blair were also starting their first days of the new school year as well so school year 2022 is off and running!
Christine landed back here in Kalymnos on this ferry from Kos to Kalymnos on Monday (19th) evening after a two day marathon of travel. Being on this tiny Greek island adds several legs to the journey with three flights to get from Miami to Dulles to Athens to the neighboring island of Kos and then the ferry from Kos to Kalymnos. Oh, and did I mention that she was schlepping over 55 Kilos/120 Lbs of new bits and bobs for the boat and ourselves?! However, very happy to report that all went amazingly smoothly, checked bags went all the way from Miami to Kos without any intervention or loss, but it still requires lots of energy and time with not much sleep in between. She has slept VERY well the first two nights without any real sense of jet lag and we are both very happy to be back together and home.
One of the many bits of kit for the boat Christine lugged back with her, and one of the heaviest, was this Super Hole Hawg as Milwaukee calls their monster HD right angle 18V drill. Weighs in at 8 Kg/17.6 Lbs, has two reversable speeds and over 1000 FtLbs of torque. It is quite the beast and I was able to get a very good deal buying it through Home Depot with three of these super sized High Output 6Amp 18V lithium batteries which enables long continuous use between charges.
This is part of our style of doing prototypes of systems on Möbius that allow us to try out different ways of doing things and allow us to find out what is the Goldilocks just right way for us. In this case we are trying out this way of converting several of our manual winches to electric. I ordered this SS adaptor that fits into all our winches. Almost all winches no matter the brand, use this same star pattern for their manual winch handles so this adaptor enables us to try out this powered winch handle on any winch we have so we can see which ones would make sense to convert to full built in electric systems. As an added benefit, this power winch handle will also give us an emergency back up for any failure of our already 24V powered electric winches such as this hefty Lewmar 65 on the Aft Deck. Two of the currently manual winches we are most interested in trying this out on are these horizontally mounted winches on the Tender Davit which we use to raise/lower the Tender in the Davit Arch. Up to now we have been using the manual winch handles for this job which works well but we like to bring the Tender onboard every evening so this makes it much more convenient and faster. I will let you know how it all works out once we have tried it out a few times.
Much lighter and put to immediate use unfortunately, were six of these classic Victor rat traps which I was able to get delivered to Christine hours before she flew out of Florida. A few days earlier I discovered that I had a new and uninvited guest aboard and these traps are the best way I know of to get them to leave. Ruby and Barney donated a piece of their kibble for bait which I upgraded with a bit of peanut butter and had had several set out a few hours after we were back onboard Monday night. A few hours later we heard the distinctive and loud SNAP! of the trap under the sink and I escorted dead Rat #1 off the boat. Turned out he had two other buddies which were shown the same exit the next night and the traps have all remained undisturbed ever since. Whew!
Super Synthetics on Sale
For most of the lines we have onboard we use synthetic braided line such as Amsteel or Dyneema as they have SO many advantages such as higher strength that same size SS wire rope, very light weight, easy to handle and they float. As you might know or guess they are also quite expensive, especially when you buy them from Marine suppliers. But a tip I can share with you is that the same synthetic line is also now being used extensively in applications such as power winches for off road vehicles, emergency response teams and the like and buying these lines through those outlets is a fraction of the inflated marine cost.
So these two 30 meter/100ft lengths of 13mm/ 1/2” Dyneema also found their way into Christine’s checked luggage. These two are made for electric winches on the fronts of 4×4 and Overland vehicles so they come with a SS thimble on one end and a crimped on fitting for the end that bolts to the winch drum but it is easy to cut these off so I can tie my own eyes, loops or whatever ends I need. These two are going to be used for some of the rigging on our Paravanes which I now have everything I need and we can start testing out when we get underway again.
One of the other heavier items Christine brought back with her was this new stator coil for one of our 24V @ 250Ah Electrodyne alternators. Due to a manufacturing error, there was a short in the external rectifier and as you can see every third one of the copper coils was burned out. There are two of these coils in each alternator which produce the high AC current which then runs through the thick cables out of the Engine Room over to the external rectifier where it is converted into 24V DC current. Electrodyne quickly sent a new replacement coil several months ago and this was our first chance to get it brought over to Möbius. Fairly straightforward process to remove the old coil by first removing the aluminium Rotor that holds the permanent magnets for the alternator at this end. The holes in this Rotor provide good air flow to keep the alternator cool. These Electrodyne units actually have two individual alternators, one at each end of the Red housing but only the one on this end needed replacing. Once the old Stator windings are removed the trickiest part is fishing these three large gauge solid copper wires through the hole in the body of the alternator but just takes some time and holding your tongue just the right way.
Then I could bolt the new Stator windings onto the body. Rotor is bolted back on next and then all the wires inside the junction box up top can be attached to their respective studs.
This upper alternator is driven by a cogged belt system I installed, driven by the crankshaft and also powering the bronze sea water pump you see on the far Left. Further down, the second alternator is driven directly by the PTO shaft from the front Left of the engine.
Each of our Electrodyne alternators can provide up to 6kW of power and so with the pair mounted on Mr. Gee we effectively have a 12kW generator whenever he is running. Each external rectifier is connected to a WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulator which automatically look after balancing the two alternators and keeping the 1800 Ah House Bank fully charged.
Speaking of Mr. Gee, I am eXtremely pleased to let you know that I am flying up to the Gardner works on Tuesday to be there when the new engine is put through its paces on the dynamometer for the initial breaking in and to create a full data sheet and graphs of torque, horsepower, fuel consumption, etc. I will be sure to take lots of photos while I’m there and be able to share those with you in next week’s update.
The new engine is due to start its return voyage back to us here in Kalymnos next Friday and hopefully will take “only” 3 weeks or so to get here. Given that the shipping up to Gardner took over six weeks, that will actually be quite fast! Everything is relative right? Once the new Mr. Gee arrives here I will be able to provide you with more details of the installation and most excitingly the results of the initial sea trials so do stay tuned for that.
Thanks for all your patience with the change of pace the past few months and please do keep your questions and comments coming in the Join the Discussion box below.
Sheesh! Half way through the month of August already!
Time for a brief update on what’s been happening with us and Möbius over the first two weeks of August.
Weather here continues to surprise us with how ideally cool it is. This past week has seen the daily temperatures drop a few more degrees from their previous norms of about 32C / 90F down to about 28C / 82F as I sit typing this at about 3pm on Sunday. Evenings and mornings are even cooler and with the constant Meltemi winds blowing through the boat sleeping is very comfy and mornings are starting to feel downright chilly! Not sure why this area is experiencing such relatively cool summer when the rest of Europe, the UK and many other parts of the world are seeing record high temperatures but we’ll just enjoy and be grateful that we’ve got such ideal conditions.
Here is what else we’ve been up to the past two weeks.
Update from Kalymnos Greece
Christine and I have settled into a nice rhythm here onboard Möbius and in this lovely south end of Kalymnos Island that I showed you around in the last post. If you did not see that post, this map will help orient you as to where the small island of Kalymnos is at (red pin) in the bigger picture of this Eastern end of the Med. This satellite view of the island of Kalymnos (click to enlarge any photo) will help you see how arid and mountainous it is. Möbius is the south harbour at the Red pin. To give you a sense of scale, the coast road allows you to circumnavigate the whole island in just 68 km/42 miles. So not too big which suits us just fine.
Christine continues to be very dedicated to getting her knee back to full working order and goes for a swim each day where the surprisingly brisk ocean water is the perfect medium for her physio exercises. Progress is slower than she’d like but improving. This is but one of may swimming spots she gets to chose from every day. And almost all of them have a beachside taverna so she gets to enjoy a Freddo Cappuccino and water in the shade when she finishes her exercises. Thanks to her E-bike that she got before we left Turkey she is able to get to pretty much any of the swim spots on this end of the island in less than 10 minutes and with no strain on her knee, so all good. The town itself is small but lively with daily arrivals of Turkish Gullets and other sail boats as well as lots of ferries that bring people to and from the surrounding islands or as far away as Athens. Makes for good people watching including this very salty dog of a Captain. As with most small towns though there are some less savory characters like this one who manage to sneak in when no one is watching. In addition to swimming, Christine loves to use her E-bike which she calls her “Freedom machine” to explore further afield and she has been super impressed by how well the “pedal assist” of her trusty E-bike allows her to climb even the steep hills that are the norm everywhere on the island once you leave the waters edge. Her explorations down random little roads and alleys continue to produce finds like this old church. Which can often reveal surprise treasures such as this interior of the building above if you go up the stairs and push the door open. When not out swimming or exploring, Christine is hard at work in her office every day here aboard Möbius as she starts doing the heavy mental lifting of creating a whole new set of characters and timelines for the newest book she is writing. Stay tuned for more on that as it develops.
Meanwhile I am kept very busy with the combination of remaining boat jobs on the list and fixing the inevitable gremlins that pop up. Our Kabola diesel boiler suddenly stopped earlier this week after working flawlessly every day for the past year and a half so trying to sort that out. For now I’ve just turned on the 220V element in the Calorifier (hot water tank) for daily dishes and showers.
One of the unfinished boat jobs this week has been finishing building the paravanes so we can test them out when we next head out to sea. As you may recall from previous posts, Paravanes are passive stabilizers which work by “flying” about 6m / 20’ below the water. These help keep the boat level by resisting forces trying to roll the boat from side to side. As the boat rolls, one of the paravanes or “fish” or “birds” as they are sometimes called, resists being pulled upward while the other paravane dives down and sets up for its turn to resist being pulled up as the roll forces go to the other side.
The paravanes themselves, are suspended from Dyneema lines (super strong synthetic rope) that hang off of long booms extending out from each side of the boat at about 45 degrees. Here is a paravane in action from another boat.
If you’d like more details on our Paravane setup check out THIS blog post and THIS one from back in June when I was rigging the booms and starting to build the paravanes.
Before we left Finike in Turkey I had finished shaping and painting the 20mm / 3/4” plywood “wings” for the two paravanes and bolting in the T-bracket where the line goes up to the boom. Now I needed to cut these two aluminium plates to act as vertical fins that will help keep the paravane tracking parallel to the hull. Pretty straightforward to cut with my jig saw and shape with my angle grinder. Now just need to drill holes for the bolts that will attach the vertical fins to the T-bracket and the paravane wings. Like this. The holes along the top of the T-bracket are where the line going up to the boom attaches and provide adjustments for the angle the paravane will slice through the water at different speeds and conditions. Final step was to bolt on these two zinc weights that weigh about 15kg / 33lbs and create the nose of the paravane. This forward weight ensures that the fish will dive down quick and smooth when not being pulled upward. When the boat rolls the other way, the line pulls up which straightens out the fish and immediately start resisting the roll. Rinse and repeat! Here is the finished pair of paravanes all ready for testing, though I will probably put on another coat of epoxy paint for good measure.
Next week I’ll finish the rigging and get the lines attached from the ends of the booms to each paravane.
Not too bad a spot to be in and we are eXtremely grateful for just how fortunate we are to be here.
I’ll be back with more as our time races by here in Kalymnos and hope you enjoy these briefer updates. Let me know by sending your comments and opinions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I’ll be back with more as soon as I have it. -Wayne
Quite a momentous week for us as we finished all the critical remaining boat jobs and on Saturday, July 1st we checked out of Turkey. Seemed like an appropriate date being Canada Day and a day that at times we were not sure would ever arrive. Our whole experience the past year or so has difficult to capture in words as it felt like some surrealistic blended version of the song Hotel California (you can check in but you can never leave) and the movie Groundhog Day where time got stuck and every day was Ground Hog Day all over again.
However our dear friend Sherry came up with the perfect description when she sent us a link to this fabulous cartoon by Scott Johnston over on the Mathematics Facebook group that summarized it perfectly. As most of you would likely recall a Möbius strip is this truly fascinating shape created when you take a strip of paper, twist it 180 degrees and glue it together into a loop. As you may recall from high school math class a Möbius strip is a one sided surface with no boundaries. If for example you try to draw a line down the middle of the strip you will find that the line keeps going till it rejoins your start point. If it’s been awhile since you played with a Möbius strip do yourself and others around you a favor and create your own out of paper and have some fun with it or just watch this short video for one of the classic things to do with a Möbius strip.
Möbius strips showed up on the “first date” Christine and I had but I’ll leave that story for another time and just say that this shape has captured our relationship from the very beginning. So much so that I designed our matching wedding rings by playing around with some ideas based on a Möbius strip. With the help of my friend Ted, turned one of my designs into a 3D model, 3D printed the model in jeweler’s wax and then used this wax model to create a porcelain mold into which the White Gold could be poured. Capture a split raw cognac diamond inside the twisted top and Voila! Sherry knows this story well and so she just had to send us that fun cartoon as soon as she saw it and you can see why this so perfectly captures our life of late and from the very beginning. Thanks Sherry!
One of the bigger jobs we checked off this past week was the completion of our new Davit Arch and the launching of our Tender Möbli.
I’ve gone over the rigging in past posts but you can see how we lift Möbli up inside this Davit Arch and then let the Arch rotate off the Port side where we lower Möbli into the water. Time was short but I took him for a quick test run out of the harbour and back and little Möbli performed perfectly and then we loaded him back onboard Möbius.
Christine took some video of this maiden voyage but I’m not able to get it to upload for some reason so I’ll bring you more in future updates.
You may recall in last week’s update that I starting building the paravanes or “birds” or “fish” as they are commonly referred to, which we will use to reduce stabilise Möbius in rolly sea conditions on passage. The ones I’m building are based on the design you see here commonly used by Canadian commercial fishing boats that I’m familiar with from my many years in the Vancouver/Victoria area. These paravanes hang from the end of the long aluminium tube A-frames you may recall me rigging up a few weeks ago and they glide through the water about 6m/20ft below the surface. As the boat rolls the paravane on that side dives down and then resists when the boat tries to pull it up as the roll goes the other way. Very KISS and all mechanical so much lower maintenance and less likely to break down. Last week I got the plywood cut to shape, all the edges rounded over and two coats of white epoxy paint on them. This past week I got the aluminium plate cut and welded for the T-brackets that go through the plywood and create the lifting point for the dyneema line that each paravane is suspended by. The two plates underneath will form the tail fins to help keep the paravane tracking parallel to the boat. Drilled all the holes for the line attachment on top and the four holes for the through bolts to fasten these brackets to the plywood, and rounded over all the edges to help reduce drag and be safer to handle. Used my circular saw and some files to cut the slot into the plywood for the vertical 10mm plate to slide through. Routed out some V grooves for the welds to fit into and keep the AL plate flat against the plywood when bolted together. Used some marine adhesive to seal the T-brackets to the plywood and keep everything watertight. Unfortunately I only had Black Sikaflex on hand but I will be giving the paravanes at least one more coat of White epoxy so they will end up being all white, not that it matters to their operation. I didn’t have time to complete the last step to complete these which is to cut the vertical Tail Fin plates and bolt them to the vertical T bracket and the plywood. Once that is all done they should be easy to rig onto the ends of the Paravane A-frame poles and ready for their first test run. We are now underway so I’ll be doing my best to get them finished along the way and will be able to report back to you as to how they work.
Are We There Yet?
Christine has been watching weather for the past week and a great window was forecast to open up on Saturday morning so Friday afternoon she worked with the officials at Finike Marina and got all the paperwork filled out, stamped and signed and just like that we were finally officially checked out of Turkey and cleared to leave Saturday morning!
Could this really be true??!?
We awoke to ideal conditions on Saturday morning, no wind and flat seas and we just had one more job to look after before leaving. Up to now we have been running on the initial 2000 liters of diesel fuel we put into Möbius’ tanks just prior to launching over a year ago. Not the greatest timing to be buying fuel but we “only” paid US$1.61 per litre which is much less than anywhere in Europe so that helped a to reduce the sting of the current fuel prices a wee bit. Our six fuel tanks hold a total of 14,000 Litres/3,700 USG but we will wait till we get to Algiers where diesel is now 19 cents/litre to fill up completely so we just took on 4000 Litres/1057 USG which will be more than enough till we get to Algiers.
Look out Greece, Here we come!
And with that, we motored out of Finike marina for the LAST time, for sure we hope, and started making our way up the Turkish coast, again for the last time we hope. We are headed for Rhodes where we will officially check into Greece and then make our way over to Athens in time to meet up with our two Granddaughters and their parents. They will be with us for two weeks as we explore the Greek islands with them. As former sailors we are still working on making the transition to voyaging under power and the dramatic change in what makes for “ideal weather”. Somewhat the opposite of ideal sailing weather, we now seek out NO wind and flat seas and that’s pretty much what we had for our all day trip from Finike to Göcek. Not at all difficult to get used to mind you and our two crew members seem to agree, just very different from what we’ve been used to while sailing around the world the past few decades. Christine wanted to go back to the idyllic little bay at the top end of Göcek that she had found for us last month when we were up here which made for a longer day as we didn’t get the anchor down till about 20:30 but still in lots of light and we had our tracks from the last time. However the late afternoon sun comes pouring into the SkyBridge and so the Captain adapted with this very fashionable headdress made out of one of our Turkish towels and all was well. And all well worth it when you’re rewarded with a great sunset like this as we made our way to the anchorage. We will probably weigh anchor early in the morning to get some favorable motoring conditions to make the 50nm passage over to Rhodes and get checked into Greece there and start making our way West across the Aegean Sea to Athens. I’ll be able to update you on that passage in next week’s update when we are in Athens with our four new family crewmembers onboard so do stay tuned for that.
Thanks for taking the time to join us here again this week and we hope you’ll be back again for next week’s update. Don’t forget to leave your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Also sending out lots our very best wishes to all our fellow Canadian and American friends and family as you celebrate your July 1st and 4th independence days in style. Christine has a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for us to celebrate our departure from Turkey and arrival in Greece tomorrow so we’ll toast you all then.
Another very busy week here in Finike as we work our way through the last boat jobs that need to be completed before we can set sail (yes, we still refer to it as “sailing”) and finally put Turkey in our wake. In what feels a bit like some marine version of Groundhog Day (the movie), we thought we had left Finike for the last time about a month ago but life intervened with some new twists, quite literally. Christine “twisted” her knee and needed to go back to Antalya to get that operated on and when we first launched the Tender the overhead beam portion of the Davit Arch “twisted” and needed to be replaced. So we find ourselves back here in what was our home base for almost the past year to look after these and several other key items on our To Do lists. All working out very well as we know and like this area and have a good network of people we can call on to help find things we need which really speeds up the process and allows us to get these jobs done much faster than if we were in a new town.
Weather here continues to be outstanding and much “cooler” than past summers. Hottest we’ve been up to in the past few weeks is about 33-34C / 91-94F and nights have been down in the low 20’s / 70’s so makes for very pleasant evenings and sleeping and not too sweltering in the daytime though it does get toasty when you’re in the direct sun which I was for much of this past week and have the “farmers tan” to show for it. But we go for a swim in the ocean on the other side of the rock seawall behind us and that is a great way to cool down and good exercise for Christine’s knee which continues to improve and get stronger and stronger.
A good variety of jobs on the go this week including building DIY Paravanes, assembling and installing he new Davit Arch v2.0 and getting all its rigging in place. So let’s dive right in…………
Last week you may recall that I completed the rigging for the aluminium A-frames that fold out from each side of Möbius and have lines going down from their ends to a paravane of “fish” that glides about 6m/20’ below the water level. The rendering here is from when I was doing the calculations for line lengths so you are seeing multiple positions of the paravanes whereas there is only one on each side in reality. Paravanes are know as a “passive” system to help stabilize the motion, side to side rolling in particular, of the boat in large seas and in rolly anchorages. The other option is to use active stabilizers such as fins or gyroscopes which work very well and at more of a flip of a switch, but they require a lot of power, a lot of $$ and are relatively complex systems known to be quite prone to failures or at least a lot of maintenance and so we’ve chosen to go with all mechanical and very simple paravanes which are commonly used by commercial fishing boats. Our intent is to use this paravane system for the next year or so and if we decide we want to change to active stabilizers in the future, the hull already has all the internal framing and watertight coffer dams which will make the installation of active stabilizers relatively quick and easy.
FWIW, if we were to do go with active stabilization today we would probably chose to go with the Magnus Effect type of stabilizers as these can be folded inline with the hull when not in use. This greatly reduces the danger of hitting something with the fins that permanently protrude out much further and can add some risk when in areas with lots of coral, rocks or ice. And who knows what new systems might be developed by the time we might be looking into active stabilization? This is an example of the most commonly available paravanes from Kolstrand company and used by many commercial fishing vessels. Galvanized steel and work very well but very heavy and a lot of drag. However, some fellow Canadian boaters have been having very good success with these DIY paravanes built using plywood for the horizontal wings and a metal T-bracket to attach to the line above and a lead weight on the front, so I’m going with this design. Relatively low cost and easy to build and these will let me do a lot of experimenting in the next year of use to try different sizes of wing surface area, front weight, attachment line positions, etc. The ideal is to get the maximum roll resistance with the minimum drag. Over on the always helpful Trawler Forum, a trawler owner “Cold Smoked” had provided some photos of this type of paravane he was building and …. ended up looking like this. This is an example off this same style on the trawler mv Hobo all rigged up and ready to be tossed overboard. Here is a shot when this paravane is at work and helps to show you how the A-frame on this boat works. With the Paravane A-frames all rigged, this week I started building the paravanes or “fish” themselves. To my surprise, finding good plywood suddenly seems to be very difficult but on our trip to Antalya last week we were finally able to find a lumber shop that had some pieces on the side they were willing to cut for me. I worked out my best estimate of the various dimensions and scale for what I think will be close to the Goldilocks size of paravanes for Möbius and got to work cutting the plywood. My ever handy 18V Milwaukee router made it easy to put this bullnose profile on all the edges to help reduce the drag when these are flying through the water. Two coats of white epoxy to make the plywood waterproof and easy to see when deployed. I’ll add a third and perhaps fourth coat tomorrow and can then start attaching the hardware. Ideally I would like to have used a round lead fishing weight cut in half but could not find any here in Turkey so I’m going to use these large disc zinc anodes that I found in a marine shop when we were in Marmaris a few weeks ago. This one weighs about 7kg/15lbs and I will through bolt two of these to the bottom of the nose of the plywood.
Didn’t seem worth it to fire up Fusion 360 for such a simple bracket and fin so I just made this quick and dirty hand sketch as I worked out the dimensions and proportions for the T-bracket and the Tail Vane. I’m still tracking down someone in Antalya who has the AL plate I need and hope to have these here next week so I can finish building the fish for Möbius and start testing the whole paravane system out. Stay tuned as that happens. As I do with so many other systems, my intent is to use these first fish as prototypes and spend the first year or so experimenting with them to find that sweet spot of best roll resistance with least drag and all the tricks to deploying and retrieving them. This design allows me to easily change the size and shape of the plywood wings as well as trying different amounts of front weights with the different zinc anodes I now have onboard. And I can try different attachment points of the line to the fish to get the down angle just right and I try out different positions at different boat speeds in different sea conditions. Should be fun and educational so stay tuned for more as I finish building and start using these paravanes in future blog posts.
Mr. Gee 3.0 First Oil Change
Mr. Gee has now been thrumming away very happily for almost 50 hours now so this week I did his first oil change to make sure I could get rid of any particles that had gotten flushed out after the last rebuild. He holds about 28 liters and I use a 24V transfer pump to make it very quick and easy to pull out all the old oil and then pump in all the new. Mr. Gee has the optional hand pump for removing the oil so the oil pan is all plumbed for this and I just push on a vinyl hose and use the transfer pump instead.
Gardner recommends oil changes at about 400 hours so should not need to do this again until next year but I carry an extra 50 liters of 15W40 oil and several new oil and fuel filters so I can change these at any time.
Captain Christine’s Tech World
While I was busy with all the mechanical work this week, Christine continued her non stop game of Whack-a-Mole as she gets our complex set of electronic systems for navigation and monitoring all working and playing nice with each other. Not something that lends itself to much in the way of photos but trust me she works harder than I do! As just one example of hundreds, this is the screen she uses in Maretron N2K View to create the oil pressure gauge with all its settings, color coding, warning light, etc. It is a super system for monitoring everything on board but you pay the price in both cost and time.
Davit Arch Beam v2.0
When we first launched the Tender several weeks ago the overhead beam of the three piece Davit Arch failed and so we needed to have a new one designed and built. Fortunately Dennis, our awemazing Naval Architect at Artnautica in New Zealand, was kindly able to squeeze in my request to design this new version and have it fully tested by a structural engineer. As we had done with the design of Möbius, we were able to collaborate on the design via Email to exchange models and test results. Dennis was able to use some structural engineering plugins with Rhino3D that showed the various loads in all locations and guide us through the new design. Then Dennis sent it to his engineer colleague Peter who did the full set of structural testing and gave it his OK. All of this was then sent to Naval who also managed to squeeze building this new arch into their very busy schedule and had it build in less than a week. Next challenge was how to get this beam out of the Free Zone and trucked the 120km to where Möbius is in Finike. As usual the solution involved hiring a customs broker, paying lots of fees and completing lots of forms but eventually the bonded truck showed up at Finike Marina on Monday. Precious cargo inside. And we soon had it out of the truck and onto the concrete behind Möbius. The original two vertical legs of the Davit Arch were fine so it should have been a simple matter of bolting the three pieces together. However nothing with boats is ever easy and the new beam was 40mm too short. Grrrrrrr So I designed some adaptor plates to get the vertical legs in the right position and Naval kindly sent up a small crew with a welder and we were able to build and weld in the adaptor plates on Wednesday. With the new beam now fully bolted in place the next challenge was to get the new Arch lifted aboard Möbius, aligned with the hefty brackets welded to the deck and the 50mm OD SS hinge pins pushed in place. Fortunately crane trucks like this are ubiquitous in this area so Christine was able to quickly arrange for this one to show up.
Sure makes it easy to move heavy items from one spot to the next. The fit is very close so it took some time to get everything lined up so the hinge pins would slide into place as you have to get the bored pin holes lined up within about 1mm or the pins won’t slide in. But with some help by our local marina handyman Faik, we finally got everything lined up and the SS pins pressed in place. And version two of the Davit Arch was now in place and ready to be rigged. The rigging I had built for the first Arch had worked out fine but Dennis and I changed the Pivot Control Line blocks to be over on the far Port side (left in this photo) so that the angle the lines going to the beam were at the largest angle to reduce compression of the beam a bit. The lines you can see on the right going up the vertical leg is a 6:1 set of triple blocks which lead to the hand winch on each vertical leg. These lines lift the Tender Up/Down inside the arch to get the Tender up high enough to clear the deck chocks and the rub rail as it goes over the side. The Pivot Control Line goes through this 3:1 set of blocks and then …. ……. over to the big Lewmar 65 electric winch in the centerline of the Aft Deck. Davit Arch all rigged and ready for first test launch this coming week and I’ll bring you all of that and more in next week’s Möbius.World update.
And that’s a wrap for yet another week and almost another month! Thanks SO much for taking the time to join us and follow along on our adventures. Hope you will tune in again next week for the latest update and please continue to add your most appreciated comments and questions by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below.