A week has passed now since I have arrived on the boat. I would say it was rather frustrating in most aspects. We worked sunrise to sunset and it didn’t seem that we were very efficient. The new rudder bearing is working well, but it seems like it wasn’t the problem and it is rather the upper bearings which cause the friction and that we can’t really move it well. We still have to figure out what to do.
The other major project is the electric system and the solar panel installation. I have been staring at the mysterious wiring that goes throughout our boat from all possible angles. We have opened up every possible floor in the boat and I even spend 2 crouched hours in the starboard locker. And then today I had, finally, two breakthroughs. First, I dared to touch the batteries… I know it is only 12 Volt, but the cables are huge and would you like to put your hand on the cable of your car battery? Well, now I know, you can. You can even take a nap on them if you want. Just don’t connect the positive and negative with a metal piece in your hand. But if you are as brave as our neighbor (I am not), you can even connect the two sides with your hand. After being able to touch the cables, the second breakthrough was quick to come. The wiring of our main battery switches (the two positives, the negative and our 1,2,1+2, off switch) is pretty much non-standard and we want to separate our electrical system into two separate ones: one for the motor, and one for all other electrical demands (so that we don’t risk to empty the motor one by any chance). So here the second breakthrough, I finally dared to take off the cables (after labelling them) and then check them one-by-one to find out where they are leading to. Now we are starting to understand our electrical system, which is a psychological victory after staring at the cables for so long… and this is soooo “electrifying” that we feel really good tonight!
On the non-technical side: we met a lot of people these last days. A super nice Swiss couple, Beni and Daniela (yes, it seems like the B&D are good names for sailing couples…), who have a fantastic steel boat, with which they are aiming to go North to Greenland (brrrr) and perhaps even to do the famous North-West passage. Every year easier due to global warming, but still… a big challenge – I hope you guys will make it!! We’ll also go to Almeria together tomorrow to get our life rafts serviced and perhaps later to dive (as we really have to start a bit of vacation as well next to our boat slavery…). Then we met another Swiss couple with a boat called “Naima” – very good choice, I say. And finally, we were invited at Ivan’s boat where we met whole bunch of people. Manuel lent me his ultra-sound device today so that I could check the thickness of our hull. Everything is fine, no worries. And Albert, a really interesting sailor who has circumnavigated in the 90ies let me his battery hydrometer to check whether they are still ok (they are, not great, but ok). And then we met another Swiss couple, who have bought their boat 4 weeks ago and try to leave Almerimar, but it seems that they are cursed, as something happens every time they leave the harbor and then they have to return.
So, after a week of boat work, I think I have somehow arrived a bit to this new reality. Actual sailing still seems miles away, but there are at least some first successes with practical work. And after all, we need to be able to look after ourselves and the boat when we’re leaving to distant shores… Sorry for not posting better pictures, I promise to take more in the future…

Ela watching me while I take apart the boat…

Measuring cables…

Our new friend Matt…

… in his wonderful outfit sanding his boat.

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