Cover art by MidJourney. For those interested the prompt was based off a screen grab from the video. drawn in a Ukiyo-e style a salt and pepper short haired well muscled, handsome mature white male with sun and sea tanned laughter lines around his sky blue eyes. He is installing a new under-counter fridge in his sailing catamaran’ galley. Outside it is a storm tossed sea with the late afternoon sun shining on the white sand beach. –aspect 7:4 –v 5 –s 750
This weeks video I install two Engel fridge/freezer units into our new galley onboard our 55 foot Wharram sailing catamaran. Has been many, many years since we have had reliable refrigeration onboard.
Previously we relied on buying very large blocks of ice and storing them in two cool boxes on deck, but as we started cruising more remote places, finding ice sellers became more and more problematic, both with the availability and the distance from where we were anchored or tied up.
So with the new galley upgrade it was finally time to install some decent refrigeration, cold drinks and ice-creams.
I chose Engel as it was the only choice available in Japan that was both affordable and could fit the limited space available.
Plus Engel have a great reputation on reliability and low power consumption. A winning combination for me.
Now Tiare is out of the water, I take down our Sillette Sonic Drives to replace the anodes, bellows, shaft seals and clean and fill the corrosion pitting on the lower legs, then give acid washing a go before acid etching and a repaint.
Last winter I discovered that the SB side leg had water getting into the shaft so hoping it was just the shaft seals that needed replacing.
The PS leg pins were getting sloppy in their brackets, the answer was to fit some steel sleeves into them. Along with adding some high wear aluminum epoxy, to replace what the corrosion had eaten away around the pins.
And finally, time to grind off the 5 year old bitumen I had put on in Malaysia, and give the legs a good clean and fill up the bad pitting. Replacing grungy black/brown with a nice bright white.
Well it has been a few months since the last video.
Quite a few things have happened. Winter has gone, Spring has been and gone and we are now into the rainy season.
Sam our eldest son is now in living in Japan, Tom has gone up to Hokkaido for six months as an IT intern. And Tiare our 55 foot Wharram sailing catamaran was hauled (dragged) out and ready for a 12 month maintenance and makeover.
There is a very long list of jobs.
Would have liked to take more video of Tiare as she was hauled out but totally forgot about the video until she was out. Shame.
But the biggest factor that makes taking kids cruising and the level of success is you.
Its how you approach the issues of safety, health, education.
And it’s your OWN expectations that are going to influence your life afloat.
In my mind, there is no doubt that taking your kids for an extended cruise is beneficial on so many levels.
Kids will accept things readily and adapt. It’s your own values and actions that often bring the conflict, especially as kids get older.
If you are the type that is constantly stressed, has a “my way or the highway” attitude or find it difficult to adapt, then cruising with older kids is going to be challenging.
Especially when it comes to what you consider to be the right way. As you know better, cos you’re an adult.
YOU’RE THE ADULT SO YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO DEAL WITH IT.
We have seen a number of cruisers with teenagers that have given up simply because they couldn’t deal with the kids “attitude”.
From where we were it was more a parent inability to just let it go. Laugh it off.
And I know it’s not always easy to be so relaxed. There is so much for you to worry about their imagined future.
What I have learnt is that cruising kids have a pretty good grasp on what life is really like.
After all they are traveling the world by sailboat, they learn that most people are poor, by our standards, that most people don’t have the opportunities they have, that most people have to work very very hard just to get by and that the world is a really big place and to succeed takes an effort. All this while they mumble, yell and say life’s unfair and sucks. Of course not all teens are like this 🙂
Safety is a biggy. For us the biggest concern is falling overboard while underway. Setting an example is key,
If they need to wear a lifejacket outside of the cockpit at all times, so should you.
If they need a lifeline attached, so should you.
Other than falling overboard, learning to swim and gaining confidence in the water is a must.
Being able to climb back onto the boat unaided
Swimming around with a fitted life-jacket is a great way to build that up, along with a knotted rope over the side.
Most other safety issues are obvious. you’re surrounded by water and often in a strange country, where language and customs are not like back home.
We have found that most places are “more” relaxed about children and they are more openly accepting of kids.
Being able to read the sea state, understanding waves, rips etc on beaches is also important as a lot of time will be spent hanging out at these places.
The “look” don’t touch Rule, which is not only good for their health but also good for the environment. Lots of pretty looking animals have parts that break off inside you, should you pick them up.
We found an essential piece of equipment was a good pair of jewellers tweezers and a freezing spray. Digging out see spines is difficult and painful without these.
Can use an ice pack but takes longer. Stainless Steel flat head and sharp nose tweezers. A sense of humour.
Get yourselves immunised. Lots of weird diseases.
Fortunately being on a yacht you can anchor off far enough that the worse of the mosquitos.
Although we did learn that an on-shore breeze bought the mozzies out as they knew they had an easier* time to get back to land.
So the usual cuts, grazes, sprains and broken bones.
Taking a first aid course is a good idea. Along with books that show you what to do. Have them available for the kids to look at the pictures or read.
The biggest health issue for us was infections from scrapes and ear-ache. Making our own ear drops for after swimming, a solution of alcohol, vinegar and water.
Things we have dealt with
Cuts n Grazes
Learn first aid. Let the kids be a part of it. Don’t make a drama about it and be prepared. And a sense of Humour
This is again more about the parents than the kid
Any of the established systems, like GSCE, Calvert for younger and the various Govt’ school systems will do well, it’s up to you.
We found that our kids did well, got through the work with high grades. Sometimes a day at school would take three hours, others 8, totally depends on where we were.
Friends and the beach, snorkelling close by and school would be done in dusted in 3 hours, other days it would be getting close to “ Dinner not ready until you finished your school work” 🙂
When we started out there was not the choice of internet-based schools we have now, also the internet was not as well developed.
We used Calvert, which we found to be fantastic, truly impressed with the material that arrived and the feedback from the onshore teachers.
When they out-grew that we moved on to Wolsey Hall and the English based GSCE system.
Did they miss out on areas, possibly, chemistry labs?
But that was made up for being in places where they could see geography, physics, history, biology, maths, reading etc had direct practical experience.
Obviously, everyone has different abilities and skills. Our middle son never wrote anything down, no notes nothing. But he always did well, passed with high grades, even today he still doesn’t write notes!
Cruising is as much about the community of cruisers as the places you visit.
With kids onboard, you meet others and friendships amongst the are made instantly.
And not just within their own age group, everyone helps everyone. It was great to see my own kids look after and play with younger and also get on and be part of a much older group as well, no peer pressure.
Also, they learn to talk and work with other adults, Helping cruisers with tasks and being treated as equals is great for their personal growth.
And as you cruise you meet so many different people with totally different lifestyles, from “freedom fighters” to owners of large global companies and everyone in between.
The old saying “that it’s as much about what you know as who you know” is very true, and you do get to know a lot of interesting people.
Cruising kids seem to turn out as well balanced, rounded kids with a good sense of what’s right.
You have a unique opportunity, no bubbles of peer pressure, allowing them to explore different ways to think. Listen to others.
Cruisers come in many many different shades, often shades that you would not normally have the chance to associate or hang with
This week I go over some of the myths and questions about Catamaran compared to Monohull sailboats. Based on my own experiences living and sailing on both.
1 • COST more $$$
2 • NEW KID on the block?
3 • Cant SAIL upwind
4 • Can’t handle the WEIGHT
5 • In marinas = $$$
6 • Maintenance are 2 X $$$
7 • CAPZISE!
8 • Motion … BAD
9 • Downright UGLY!
10• ARE more Comfortable
Cat or Mono
Are Catamarans faster?
Are Monohulls more traditional and romantic?
Are Catamarans more expensive to buy and maintain?
Are Cats nothing but a modern floating apartment block or the safest way to cross an ocean?
Can a Catamaran out sail a monohull upwind?
Self-righting, sinking or floating?
Opinions are based experience cruising/living on both a monohull when I was younger and on a catamaran with my family, as well as working on both as a tradie doing repairs for others.
I’m not talking high performance or racing boats but cruising, safe passage-making, live-aboard i.e. Cruising boats for everyday folk.
Nor am I talking about the big sparkly new ones either, although a lot of what I say covers them.
Obviously not all mono or cats(multihulls) are the same, different markets, price ranges, performance and comfort levels, and underwater profiles. But am happy to over simplify and make broad a generalisation to prove my point.
Why give away everything that we had built, for something as unstable as a sailboat? With no job and no real plan on what to do once the initial savings were exhausted.
The question why?
Is still something I think about.
At times it seems obvious, the shared experiences, stories with other cruisers, of seeing the kids mature, and in our own personal growth. But these are just the results of our decision. Not the reason why.
Even today I am still trying to understand the why?
What follows is unscripted & unintelligible.
Just like life.
As usual with a Wharram catamaran this is not complicated.
With a few basic tools, a simple homemade (boatmade) tripod and one of the mainsail blocks, plus plenty of humour, it makes for an enjoyable day, well at least for me !
Taiga helps me pull out the motor and the Beast add his muscle to get the motor onto the cockpit table so I can work on her over the next month.
Main reason to pull the motors out is to install better sound insulation in the engine bays, redo the electrical cables on and around the motor and also move the instruments to a new location.
Engine is a Kubota 3 cylinder 24 Hp, marinized by Diecon and weighs around 120kg or 264lb. Enough to make it a three person job.
Also SV Freelancer drop by on their way out of Japan. Nick and Rika spent a few days here in Yuge and we introduced them to Yuge Island and of course the sun shined 🙂
Next weeks video will be a “Introduction” or “About us” type of video, not decided.
This years winter projects and beaching a power catamaran.
I go over what I hope to achieve over the next four or five months aboard Tiare as I get her ready for another season in Japan.
Australian cruising friend Graham visits Yuge Island and beaches his Malcolm Tennant power catamaran for a prop clean.
Beautiful clear day with light winds along with a good tide window make it a great opportunity.
Trying to find my “style” in video. Pushing myself for weekly uploads to force myself to learn the video, editing and organisational skills needed to make this work.
I’m still treating this as a diary for myself and my kids to look back on. yes its edited, so not “real” but it is as real as it’s going to get given the public nature of it, still, I hope to show a little of who I am.
Decision time. Do we wait for a weather window or give up and truck her down to Osaka?
The last episode on the frustration to sail SV Freelancer, a 28 Bristol Channel Cutter out of Hokkaido and down to the warmer seas of souther Japan.
While waiting for a weather window to open I spend time around Esashi town and learn what it is like to live in a cold climate, plus experience big seas, high winds and freezing cold snow from the comfort of shore.
Next week back to normal with updates on Tiare’s overhaul and looking back on how we have managed to survive sailing and cruising with kids and dog onboard without a fixed income.
Waiting for the break in the weather before winter sets in and it gets too cold. The break never came.
The adventure of sailing down from Hokkaido in the top of Japan to Kagoshima at the southern tip of Kyushu wasn’t to be.
The weather beat us and ground us down. Weeks of waiting for a window that would allow us to beat the lee shore didn’t happen.
Frustrating for the owners Nick and Rika who were hoping to set off on their new life.
However as much as the frustration was at not sailing down the option to truck her down was still available.
As long as winter didn’t arrive too early and make the roads impossible for such a journey. But that is for next weeks video.
Video put together on my phone as we wait for a weather window to sail south from Hokkaido to Kagoshima. Test the new Pelagic autopilot do some last minute maintenance and repairs. Go for a test sail and wait out a monster storm. And finally get that weather window.
Has been a slow week as we wait for a 24-36 hour weather window so we can set off sailing south from Iwanai on the Japan Sea side and get through the Tsugaru Straight and into the Pacific.
Once through to the Pacific Ocean side we have better weather and generally away from a lee shore. Plus a lot more ports to run too if the weather packs in.
Sailing south down Japan in November is not the best time of year is cold and the weather doesn’t give us much of a chance.
Have done the last prep on the boat. All stocked. Fueled up. Sails tested. Autopilot is working (we think) and have a 24 hour window to get down as far as Esashi (95Nm) before the window closes. Then a wait of 24-48 hours before we can duck around the corner and heading for the pacific and the east coast of Japan.
Just a few more days until I fly to Hokkaido and sail a 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter through the Tsugaru Straights between Hokkaido and Honshu, the main Island of Japan and then head off down the Pacific side of Japan keeping close to the coast so as to avoid the fast flowing “Kuroshio” current that runs up the Japanese archipelago. Total distance around 1200Nm and expected passage time will be / maybe 10-14 days.
The episode is just me talking with a few pictures and sailing routes, plus a bit at the end about how it felt spending time watching my kids grow.
Next Episode will have lots of sailing and boaty stuff.
This week we remove the sails, survive two very wet typhoons and I get ready for a 1200 Nm adventure sailing from one end of Japan to the other, Hokkaido to Kagoshima, on a newly refurbished 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter.
The sail from Hokkaido to Kagoshima will be a true adventure for me! I don’t like cold weather or water, it is a 28 foot traditional sail boat and we are on the wrong side of Japan with sailing through the “missile testing” grounds for North Korea.
But am determined to make the most of it. Will be a fantastic experience to sail this coast line on a traditional classic small boat.
Last tour for 2017
Wet, windy and wild weather as we try to head off for a three night sail around the western side of the inland sea of Japan.
Plans made a few weeks before certainly don’t hold up to the reality of a strong North Easterly and with the largest typhoon of the year just a couple of days away I make a dash back back to the safety of Yuge Island as soon as the tour finishes.
It was a very wet and windy few days.
I have altered my idea of an enjoyable and stress free (for me) cruising holiday around this area.
Starting next year cruising tours will be more focussed on the practical aspects of sailing. This is not only from a simple safety point of view but also to enjoy the sailing experience. Tiare is an awesome “sailing” vessel and being able to tie basic knots, know how to make off on a cleat, safe use use of a winch, as well as the physical dynamics of sailing will go a long way towards keeping safe and everyone getting the most out of their time aboard Tiare
This video is a few days early as I will be away most of next week on tour.
This week we have another group of girls onboard, we put down a new mooring (the third leg) build a couple of Fender Boards and then get Tiare ready for next weeks adventure, a sail around the western end of the Inland Sea of Japan.
explore – relax – recharge
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.