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I received some images from Garth Walker, Trinidad showing some of the fittings being refitted to Revelations. Garth is now almost done with all the work he was commissioned to do on Revelations and he should complete the project by end of August 2106. There are still other work we have to do on Revelations but this will have to wait until we can get back to Trinidad.


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Anti Skid almost done

Garth Walker from Trinidad emailed me some images of the anti skid work they have done on Revelations. As yet, I haven't seen the work but it seems like Garth has done a very professional job on Revelations. By sounds of things, they seem to be almost done with the anti skid and the next step will be to refit all the deck fittings they removed. According to Garth, all the work on Revelations should be done towards the end of August 2016. I certainly hope so as the Rand to US Dollar exchange rate is most certainly killing the available budget in leaps and bounds. 

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Brian Sellier, Caribbean Marine

The new MasterVolt Mass 24/100 charger bought from Marine Warehouse arrived in Trinidad last week sometime and was collected by Brian Sellier from Caribbean Marine, Chaguaramas, Trinidad. A couple of days later Brian fitted, tested and completed the charger installation on Revelations.

We are very thankful to Brian Sellier for all his support and advise he offered during the past 10 months. In particular, within days after arriving in Trinidad, Brian Sellier loaned us a temporary charger until this very moment. He offered the loan of his charger without asking for any money nor any favours in return - this is indeed remarkable generosity, bearing in mind that he was a total stranger at the time. Most generous, helpful and REMARKABLE!

Thank you Brian! We will not forget this!

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Spray painting continued

Based on a timelime previously received, I thought that the spray painting would be done be now. But it is not. Unbeknown to me (or perhaps due to lack of clear instructions), besides respraying the entire topsides, Garth Walker also started spraying the targa bar and bimini. Perhaps the targa bar and bimini looked bad to the rest of the newly sprayed yacht. Anyway, he is almost done with the bimini, and targa bar, he also did a bunch of other small repairs and patch ups. He taped off the anti skid areas and will be applying the anti skid within the next couple of days. Here are some images he emailed me today.


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Caveman video intro/logo

I found this After Effects video template, thought it was funny and quite descriptive of us "Flintstones" trying to sail around the world. Hahaha ....

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Spray painting - more images

We received some additional images from Garth Walker of the Awlgrip spray painting job under the bridgedeck.


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Recent Comments
That's a LOT of boat to be painting with a little spraygun like that
Monday, 04 July 2016 17:56
Howzit Colin! Are you well? Yeah, that gun does seem small for the job ... but then, what I know about spray painting is dangerous... Read More
Monday, 04 July 2016 19:11
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Spray painting

We just received an update and images from Garth Walker in Chagauramas, Trinidad about the progress of the spray painting job on Revelations. They are now busy spray painting the upper deck and it should all be done withing the next week or so. After this, they will apply the anti skid on the upper deck - which will help with not slipping/falling when walking around on the yacht. This requires a lot of careful taping and masking to create the anti skid deck patterns. Once this is all done, all the deck hardware will be refitted.

This has been an expensive, long and tedious job stretching over the past 8 months. It would have been much cheaper for us to rather bring the yacht back to South Africa and have the job done locally. However, besides all the damage caused by the lighting strike making navigation difficult, we certainly did not fancy the long voyage of around 6 to 8 weeks across the southern part of the Atlantic ocean. So it is what it is and the work will soon be done.


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Media bias

Media bias - far beyond reasonable! Quite despicable!!!


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Caribbean - GPX file crime on yachts

Have a look in the DOWNLOADS section of this website for the GPX file depicting various crimes committed against yachts during the past three years. The information was extracted from the Caribbean Safety and Security Net website as at 30 May 2016 and then converted to a GPX file. You can import the GPX file into your navigation software showing each and every reported crime - including a short description.


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White paint to follow

Here are some pictures showing that Revelations is prepped and almost ready for the white Awlgrip spray painting job. It is taking far longer than anticipated, the work is going very slow, it is costing us a fortune on a monthly basis - but hopefully the job will be finished soon. But is fairness, there were lots of wet and soft balsa which had to be removed due to bad workmanship when Revelations were fitted out in Cape Town, South Africa.

Not only did they have to cut open large sections all over the yacht to remove the wet and soft balsa, all of this had to be repaired, filled and faired. A very big job indeed and hopefully never to be repeated. Garth Walker repeatedly stated that the spraypaint job cannot be rush, he seems to be quality orientated - so we hope the finished job will reflect these values.



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Renata and our Isreali friends

We just received an email from friends we met in Cabedelo, Brazil. It is Tanya, Oren and their beloved cat who twice sailed around the world with their yacht Renata. We again met up with them in French Guiana where we spend a couple of evenings together talking about a range of topics.

In the morning, after checking out in Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana we saw this small yacht sailing towards us as we were sailing down the Maroni River, French Guiana on our way to Trinidad. As the small yacht got ever closer we could see that there were people in the cockpit. As we passed each other, sailing in opposite directions, we saw that it was a man and a woman with faces heavily covered up to protect themselves from the sun, they waved in what we thought was a bit over friendly. So we waved back as we continued our journey to the sea. The woman on the small yacht stared back at us as the distance increased between our yachts.

In the late afternoon, after encountering difficulties at sea, we decided to return to Saint Laurent du Maroni - which involved sailing up the unmarked river at night. The next morning, we once again saw the small yacht we passed on the river - now tied up to a mooring. Then to our surprise, Tanya and Oren emerged from the yacht! We passed our friends on the river the previous day without recognizing them nor their yacht. We felt foolish, apologized and took up on our friendship where we left off in Cabedelo.

Another week later, we left for Trinidad and they followed a couple of weeks later. But by the time they got to Trinidad, we already suspended our world cruise and were back South Africa. Since then, they sailed the Caribbean and visited places they did not visit on their first world cruise - Montserrat, Nevis, St.Kits, Statia and Saba. They have just completed their third Atlantic crossing from the Caribbean and have now arrived safely at Horta in the Azores.

Tanya and Oren must surely be some of the most down to earth people we ever met and we immensely enjoyed their company, stories and tales during the times we met. On one such visit, Tanya prepared the most delicious Humus we ever ate - a simple dish, but it was so much better than the store bought variety. We miss you guys and hope we can meet up again in the future.


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New MasterVolt Charger


Despite the unsettled insurance claim we have with AIB (Associated Insurance Brokers), we have been repairing Revelations at our own expense. We have already replaced the MasterVolt ChargeMaster 12/35-3 battery charger and the MasterVolt Mass Sine 24/2500 Invertor - we are now replacing the MasterVolt Mass 24/100. It is a damn expensive piece of equipment trading at around US$2800 (R42,200) pre shipping. Whilst one can certainly buy cheaper, the quality of the equipment is superb.

Nom. output voltage 24 V
Total charge current 100 A
Number of battery outlets   1
Battery capacity range   200-1000 Ah
Nominal input voltage   230 V (180-265 V) 50/60 Hz
Supplies your system without battery   yes
Display/read-out   LED display
Dimensions hxwxd   420 x 318 x 130 mm 16.5 x 12.5 x 5.1 inch
Weight   7.7 kg 17.0 lb
Approvals   CE ABYC A-31 RRR RS Lloyds DNV
Charge characteristic   IUoUo automatic 3-step+ for gel/AGM/wet/Lithium Ion
Charge voltage Bulk   28.5 V
Charge voltage Absorption   28.5 V
Absorption time   4 hours
Charge voltage Float (wet batteries)   26.5 V
Charge voltage Float (gel/AGM batteries)   27.6 V
Temperature compensation   -60 mV/ C -33 mV/ F
Voltage compensation   voltage drop compensation in DC cables up to 3 V
Power consumption (DC side)   < 1 mA
Full load consumption (230 V AC)   3500 W
Power factor control   > 0.95
Temperature range (ambient temp.)   -25 C to 80 C derating > 45 C -13 to 176 F
Cooling   vario fan
Sound level   < 48 dBA at 1 mtr
Protection degree   IP23
Protections   over temperature over load short circuit high battery low battery
MasterBus compatible   yes
CSI/DC alarm   integrated in the battery charger as standard
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Yacht Insurance Problems

For many years prior to going on our world cruise, we did not have any insurance on Revelations. This stemmed from calculations we made which showed that it would be more economical for us not to insure the yacht and that it would financially be better for us to pay for any mishaps or possible damages to the yacht. Having done that for around 5 years, weighing up the costs (what insurance would have cost us versus the actual money spend on damages), we were right. It was around 30% cheaper for us not to insure Revelations.

With our imminent world cruise, we again looked at the various risk factors and also the cost of possible repairs in a foreign country which will have to be paid in US Dollars. This is a massively complex situation, with millions of variables and unknowns, also that it is impossible to even remotely arrived at any accurate calculation - this time around, we decided to take out adequate insurance on Revelations. We finally signed up with AIB, an insurance company in Cape Town, South Africa. We received great service, a good and fair insurance policy and all our questions were promptly answered.

Fast forward many months later. On one gloomy dark night, sailing from French Guyana to Trinidad, we were struck by lightning (see previous blog postings). We sustained a lot of damage as most of the electric and electronic equipment were knocked out. Using backup systems, we limped along to Trinidad at which time we made contact with our insurance company advising them of the situation. Once again, we received friendly efficient service and we were advised that an assessor will be appointed who will contact us. We were told to start getting quotes from suppliers/contractors for the repair and replacement of the defective goods.

Within days, Mr. Dave Miller from D.W. Miller & Associates, Durban, South Africa made contact with us regarding our insurance claim. He requested that that we source the names of a couple of marine assessors in Trinidad and that he, Mr. Miller will then liaise with the Trinidad assessor to inspect the yacht.


After about a week or so, Mr. Robert Ferreira from Robard Marine Recovery Services, 48 New Street, Port Of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago was appointed as the Trinidad surveyor and he made contact with us to meet and inspect the damage. We met on board Revelations and our meeting was friendly and cordial. We discussed the extensive list of equipment which was damaged whilst Mr. Ferreira took pictures and made notes. He also asked that we obtain quotations from various suppliers and contractors and that this should be forwarded to him.

Throughout the next two weeks we obtained quotes from a number of contractors and suppliers - all of which was forwarded to Robert Ferreira. Seemingly Mr. Ferreira was a layman himself for he in-turn appointed so-called experts to come and look at the various damaged items on board Revelations. This is where things started going badly wrong resulting is a long drawn out and unsettled claim with every possibility of legal action against the insurance company.

Mr. Miller, taking instructions and guidance from Ferreira, have in the interim made proposals to settle the claim. However, this settlement is fraud with mistakes and only accounts for about 60% of the damage sustained. We have refused his settlement offer and have since employed the services of our attorneys in this matter

Here are the remaining issues and disputes;

Water maker
After the lightening strike, there were numerous electronic functions of the water maker which no longer worked. These functions and problems have all been detailed in several communications to both Ferreira and Miller. Ferreira and his so-called "experts" could not have properly tested the water maker as the yacht needs to be in the water. His expert looked at the water maker whilst the yacht was (and still is) on dry land.

The water maker was manufactured by Aqua Marine in Cape Town, South Africa and they are willing to look at the machine with the view to repair. However, Aqua Marine is unable to provide a repair quote unless they have the machine in their Cape Town workshop for assessment. The water maker is a large machine weighing around 200 kilograms and the shipping cost from Trinidad to Cape Town and back to Trinidad exceeds R50,000.

There is a company called Echo-Marine Ltd. based in Trinidad who manufactures their own brand of water makers. However, they are not at all willing to work or repair any machine which is not theirs. There is no other company in Trinidad capable of working on the water maker and it is for this reason why all the quotes received made provision for a new water maker machine. Miller's settlement offer does not make any allowance for a new water maker nor any repair cost to the existing water maker - replacement cost is in excess of R150,000.

Asymmetrical spinnaker
When the lightning bolt struck Revelations, the entire asymmetrical spinnaker sail "exploded" into many pieces. The result was a entangled mess of torn cloth and rope. Most of this ended up in the water below the yacht entangled around the keels and even as far back as the rudders. We could not salvage the sail and with knives we cut most of this tangled mess away which was abandoned at sea. All that remained of the entire spinnaker was a few pieces of badly torn cloth which we stowed away. Ferreira was informed that we abandoned the sail at sea - to this day he has never seen the sail nor any of the remaining pieces of sail cloth. He therefore did not inspect the sail in any manner what-so-ever. Knowing that the spinnaker no longer existed, his report to Miller was for the repair of the this non existent spinnaker and not it's replacement. Millers settlement offer therefore compensated only about 15% of the actual replacement cost! After arguing this issue, Miller has since revised his settlement offer which now includes the replacement cost for a new spinnaker. Although this issue is no longer in dispute, it is worth mentioning this as it is indicative of Ferreirra's sloppy work and lack of proper inspection of the damaged items.

Fleet Broadband Sailor 250 satellite phone
The satellite phone system consists of two main components – antenna dome on the mast and the below deck terminal. Like the TV antenna fixed to the mast, the satellite antenna dome was blown to pieces by the lightning strike, is completely beyond repair and only the metal structure remains. Ferreira and his expert saw the physical damage and both agreed the the antenna dome needs replacing. Ferreira's expert who looked at the complete unit, claimed that the below deck terminal worked after taking it to his workshop. However, when he brought the below deck terminal back to the yacht, I challenged him to show me that the unit work and he could not do so – even after repeated attempts and efforts. The terminal did not even power up! It was as dead as a door nail! Despite this, as witnessed by the assessor’s expert himself, Ferreira and Miller maintains that the unit is working perfectly and refused to make any compensation for this. Replacement cost is in excess of R90,000.

Air conditioner
Prior to the lightning strike, the main central air conditioner unit and all the water cooling units located around the yacht worked perfectly – all of this no longer worked after the lightning strike. The central air conditioner pumps sea water through its cooling mechanism which is thereafter again pumped overboard. Ferreira had somebody look at the air conditioner in my absence and whilst the yacht was on dry land. However, it is impossible to have tested the air conditioner as it needs to be in the water for it to work. Due to sensors within the machine, it cannot be started unless there is coolant sea water available! It is therefore impossible that the entire air conditioning system could have been checked! Miller's settlement offer does not make any allowance for the air conditioner. Replacement cost is in excess of R250,000.

Furuno NavNet v2 Chart Plotter
After the lightning strike, working for around 60 minutes and longer, when the unit has properly warmed up – it then starts flickering on a regular basis. The screen will flash blindingly white for a split second every minute or so and this is extremely discomforting and dangerous. When the screen flashes white, one is completely blinded until one’s eyes again adjust to the dark of the night. One’s eyes are hardly adjusted when the screen flashes white yet again. The chart plotter is vital and critical piece of navigation and safety equipment upon which all the navigation information, AIS and radar imaging are displayed. Whilst sailing, the skipper stands in front of the chart plotter and monitors it on a continuous basis – only to be continuously blinded. Extremely dangerous at night!!!!

The so-called expert appointed by Ferreira barely looked at the chart plotter and was EXTREMELY dismissive of the problem. Probably pissed off that he was not invited to quote for the repairs. Despite clearly hearing that the problem start after the unit has properly warmed up, he switched on the unit, looked at it for about 20 seconds and declared that it was working! That's it?!

A new problem has developed since my dispute started with Mr. Miller. The Furuno NavNet v2 Chartplotter is no longer available as they have now discontinued this product. They do have an alternative product but the dimensions are different. The newer model is smaller and this means that it will not fit into the cut out cavity of the existing chart plotter. To make it fit, fibreglass work is now require and extensive refinishing/paint work is required. Miller's settlement offer does not make any allowance for the chart plotter. Replacement cost is in excess of R80,000.

Handheld Icom Radio
Despite reporting that the handheld radio was not working, despite submitting quotations to replace the radio – the assessor completely ignored the radio. Miller's settlement offer does not make any allowance for the Icom handheld radio. Replacement cost is around R5000.

Hella Marine LED Navigation lights
Despite reporting that the LED navigation lights (4 lights in total – port, starboard, aft and steaming lights) were damaged and not working, despite submitting quotations to replace the navigation lights – Ferreira once again choose to completely ignored the navigation lights. The navigation lights were less than 18 months old at the time of the lightening strike - which lights are guaranteed to work for over 30,000 hours. We probably used the navigation lights for around 600 hours only. These lights are NOT cheap! Miller's settlement offer does not make any allowance for the navigation lights. Replacement cost is around R11,000.

The above are the outstanding issues and which is my dispute with the settlement offer made by Miller representing AIB Insurance. The claim was submitted during October 2015 and as of date, it is still not settled in any which way or manner. I’ve written numerous emails during and after the inspections to Ferreira, Miller and AIB about the above issues. Whilst AIB remain friendly and helpful, they are guided by Miller's recommendations. Miller continues to stonewall and despite overwhelming evidence that Ferreirra did a terrible job inspecting and assessing the damage, he refuses to consider/acknowledge that there is a problem. An expensive problem which needs sorting out! AIB needs to accept responsibility for their appointed assessor. In view of this, it is impossible for me to recommend AIB as your marine insurance company.

AIB - Associated Insurance Brokers (Cape) 2006 (Pty) Ltd.
Glacier Place, 1 Sportica Crescent,
Tyger Valley, Cape Town,
South Africa.

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228 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle


Here is a new 228 piece Interactive Jigsaw Puzzle for your pleasure - added in the DOWNLOADS section of this website. While you are there, have a look at the growing list of other downloads.

This fun jigsaw puzzle is about a lush and stunning tropical island in beautiful blue waters. The executable file is guaranteed to be 100% virus free and poses not risk to your device. Download the jigsaw application to a folder of your choice, double click and VIOLA ... be entertained for hours. It works on any Windows PC or Laptop.

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Easy Crew List


I just added our Easy Crew List in Acrobat Reader interactive (fill-able) format in the DOWNLOADS section of this website. While you are there, have a look at the growing list of other downloads.

  • Fill in the information in your language.
  • Your information will automatically be inserted on the other language pages.
  • Print the Easy Crew List in the language you require.
  • Save the Easy Crew List to your device for future use.

The Easy Crew List is supplied as freeware and you can use it or modify it for your own needs. In addition, the Acrobat Reader file is not encrypted (password or otherwise) which means you can add further functionality if you have Acrobat with Form Designer.

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