We repaired our integral water tank a few months ago, here in Uruguay. This video is a recap of the build project from two years ago, and details of the recent repair. Overall, the integral water tank has been a vast improvement. It is easy to clean and fill. We are happy to make use of the space below our cabin sole that was filled with foam. The 65 gallon water tank makes long term cruising much easier.
Making landfall in Flores, Azores is special. The glorious, verdant island was a welcome sight after our 21 day passage from Bermuda. Even better, there are anchorages available, happy places for cruisers on a budget.
While in Lajes, we anchored in the best possible spot, right off the beach. This small area of the harbor only has enough room for a couple of cooperating boats; most vessels stay in the marina, or out beyond its walls. We set two anchors to keep our bow oriented to the occasional eastern swell that worked its way into our nook. We enjoyed three weeks in this setting. Lots of walking showed all of southern Flores, lots of bucket laundry helped us remember how to be good “housekeepers” aboard, and lots of time spent in one spot helped us make good friends on the island.
We slept regardless of the loud cries of mating shearwaters. We love these birds, their apparent strength always reassures us when on long ocean passages. Each night, they circled our mast, calling to each other, and nesting in the nearby cliff. One night we stirred to a new sound, rain, lots of rain, poured over Flores, but it was not the rain that woke us, but rapids. The tiny stream alongside the beach had transformed into a river, funneling out all the rainwater from the nearby peaks and their valley.
It was a good thing our stern anchor was our storm anchor, it was firmly dug in, and it kept us from being spun around into rocky surroundings by the rolling waves. However, our Fortress anchor became buried in a few feet of washed out sediment. Despite futile efforts to dig it out (these were mostly encouraged by stubborn Deb, who admitted defeat after a fun session of kicking and digging around the anchor chain with her sport sandals at low tide), it was stuck.
We left the anchor and it’s thirty feet of chain to sail around the island to Faja Grande. With an east wind this otherwise exposed anchorage was a wonderful place to walk from! We let out all our chain over the rocky bottom where our Rocna sat perched. After a few days of exploring up and around the cliffs of Faja Grande, we returned to Lajes, to our lost anchor, for one more reunion before parting ways forever.
Our stay in Horta, Faiel was also dictated by the wind. Ten days at the marina (anchoring was not allowed at the time, during Festival Semana de Mar), waiting for a bit of wind to take us further east. We made awesome new friends aboard a couple of sailboats, while trying to strike a budget balance. Marina fees plus proximity to town can likely equal overspending.
Terceira was our next stop. We anchored under sail in wide open space, enjoyed decent holding in sand, and returned to a rent free lifestyle. Two weeks there included swimming to the beach a good bit, a splurge to explore island caves with friends, and a bit of bussing around. We enjoyed having the boat in a good anchorage, and we felt free, until we didn’t. When we began to raise anchor, we suddenly felt stuck, because we were.
During our stay, we had spun around our anchor with shifting winds, causing the anchor chain to encircle a pipe the thickness of our mast. It randomly protruded about few feet from the bottom at a 45 degree angle. It was a bit deep to dive down and free the chain, so, we worked for a while with Brian in the water trying to free us, lifting a segment of our weighty chain with a buoy, Deb worked the windlass feeding chain in and out. Eventually, we abandoned this technique, and instead turned back time, driving the boat in two large counterclockwise circles with our outboard. Unwrapped, we moved on, thinking how much we enjoyed anchoring in the Azores. It made us feel good that we handled new challenges fairly well, and that we were able to stay at anchor so much in an island group where most skippers tend to choose marinas.
Lots of carless backroads made for nice walks
View of Fajazinha on the walk from Faja Grande to Lajes
Looking back on Faja Grande from trail to Ponta Delgada
A perfect job for last winter, the v-berth insulation project kept us working, and kept us warmer. Aside from cutting large sheets of material on the dock, we had an easy inside job. Once we decided on the materials, we finished in 2 days! After contemplating the options for too long, this was pleasant surprise! Continue reading V-berth Insulation
After adding our new Lewmar hatches, our dinghy is even more useful. It covers a Lewmar Ocean 30 that we almost always kept open on our recent Atlantic crossing. We created a video to show how junior can go from stowed to assembled in under 9 minutes. Continue reading Video: Nesting Dinghy, 9 Minute Assembly
Hello Everybody! It has been a while since our last post! Our major boat projects are completed and we have been sailing. We have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the Azores. As we travel, we are thinking about how to generate new website content going forward. We have a backlog of project posts that need to be completed, and some new ideas. We are excited to be sailing and exploring, and we look forward to sharing ideas and experiences. If you have any ideas or feedback, please let us know!
200 hours later, we finished the water tank! Parts 1 (Building an Integral Water Tank) and 2 combined for a rewarding job; now we have double the water capacity (65 gallons), more storage, and an easy to clean cabin sole.
Installing 3 inspection ports
Using an angle grinder to recess the inspection port to stand less proud
Brew coat on the bottom of the sole/tank top
Brew coat (second coat)
Third and last coat
After finishing the brew coat (a food grade epoxy coating), we prepared to epoxy the forward sole section and the main cabin sole/tank top into position. We applied epoxy to the tops of the flange from the old cabin sole, and to the new floors and baffles in the water tank.
Forward sole, to be glued down first
Forward sole section (future storage) with epoxy
Sole/tank top glued in! Filler pieces showing
Fairing/sealing tank top in
Aft plumbing for vent and supply
Bilge side plumbing: vent and supply
FInished border paint (interlux epoxy primekote), also cream color interlux perfection with non skid
We finished the project by filling and painting the border of our new sole. Our water system works great! Check out our galley post to see our bucket sink, foot pump, and water filter.