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Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
It's lonely out here! So please comment as we love to hear from you.

JUN
15
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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.

CaribbeanCrime

  719 Hits
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719 Hits
DEC
03
0

Position reporting

I know there is still a few weeks to go, but ... if you want to follow our voyage around the world and would like to know where we are, you can do so right here on this website. Whilst en-route to a location, there will be the minimum posting of messages on this blog webpage (here). Instead, you need to follow messages posted in the Google Maps area. On the top right of this webpage, you will see a menu item called "Location" - simply click on that and you will be taken to a webpage with Google Maps. You can zoom in on the map to see our exact location and if you click on the red star icons layered on the map, our message for that location will appear.

So give it a spin! Cool

Position1

Position2

  1207 Hits
1207 Hits
OCT
30
0

Making our own Jacklines

We bought 4 stainless steel shackles today for the safety jacklines I need to make. For those who don't know, jacklines are very strong safety lines one will rig to run on each side and for the length of the yacht. In rough weather, all crew will wear a chest harness and a strong cord of about 2 meters attached to the harness. When going to the foredeck, crew will clip this cord onto the jacklines. If they fall overboard, they will be dragged along by the boat but they will not be lost at sea. This is a vital piece of safety equipment as in history, many sailors have fallen overboard and drowned or was never recovered.

It took more than 3 hours to hand stitch the flat dynaeema ribbon to the shackle - one end only. Fingers are now tender, I jabbed myself a couple of times with the needle - once very deep. This drawing shows all the details of how the flat ribbon was stitched to the shackle.

Jacklines

  1214 Hits
1214 Hits
OCT
03
0

Flag Protocol - Arrival

FlagProtocalTalking about national flags of the countries we will be visiting; One is expected to fly the correct flag or ensign of national origin/documentation so that, in a foreign port, local Customs and Immigration Authorities know what they are dealing with before they come aboard.

One flies the yellow Q (”Quarantine”) flag upon arrival in a foreign port to indicate to others that the yacht/ship has not been cleared in and that vendors, etc. may not approach the yacht/ship. It also indicates to Customs/Immigration that one is seeking “Free Pratique” or clearance and admission to the country. Once “cleared in”, one then flies the “Courtesy Flag” of the host country to indicate that the yacht has cleared in. Called “courtesy flag”, but is ain’t just a courtesy.

Many countries have a relaxed view about the size and position of their national flag displayed on the yacht/ship, but some countries are steeped in tradition and etiquette. Some officials feel highly offended if their national flag is smaller in size than your home port flag or if their flag flies at a lower position on the mast as your home port flag. Show the adequate respect and make sure that your home port flag is not larger that the national flag of the country you are visiting. That their flag is flown at a higher elevation than your home port flag. You certainly do not want evoke the wrath of the officialdom, so make sure that their national flag is in good condition and not torn or tattered.

Download FREE Arrival Flag Protocol - in Acrobat Reader format.

  1484 Hits
1484 Hits
SEP
04
0

Delayed but still on track

Selling the company was by far the biggest and most formidable hurdle we had to overcome. It's now done and dusted, we are elated and certainly looking forward to the next phase of our lives. Now that our company is sold, I'm happy to announce that we are still on track to go sailing at the end of the year. We were somewhat delayed and now behind schedule, but we will certainly catch up and make damn sure that we are ready on the big day.

  1175 Hits
1175 Hits
SEP
04
0

Hectic times!

Things have been hectically busy the past 2 months. There has been no time to visit this website never mind still write things. So let me bring you up to speed what has been happening.

We could not find a buyer for the company and after wasting a lot of time, effort and energy with business brokers, we called off the entire process. A couple of potential buyers did show an interest, but in the end, either they did not fit into the company or had no finance to buy the company. This led to numerous meetings and discussions, revealing confidential information and we just got "gatvol" (fed up) of all this shit. We then had discussions with Martin, a good friend and employee, to possibly buy the company. We had a verbal agreement in place and the payment terms were all sorted. The lawyers were instructed to draft the purchase agreement and we slowly started let go, handing the reins over to Martin. The lawyer certainly took his time to prepare the agreement and we finally met to discuss and amend the draft agreement.

Then there was a dispute in the company which quickly became a massive issue and emotions were running high. Due to all of this and many other issues, we no longer had any desire to sell the company to Martin. Agreements were made but broken, one employee was victimised with the hell bent view of dismissal, behind the scenes pollicticking made things uncomfortable for most, situations were getting played, employees were exploited, company systems were compromised - all of this caused huge concern on our part. Considering that the purchase price were to be paid off over 40 odd months, all this commotion, upheavel, obnoxious disrespect, disregard of good business practices did not give us any confidence.

Anyway, soon after the dispute, Martin announced that he no longer wished to buy the company. This suited us perfectly but this also meant we faced a massive dilemma. We had to make a huge decision - either carry on with the company or shut it all down. If we carried on, our around the world cruise would be off for another couple of years. Shutting it all down, would mean losing substantial amounts of money let alone retrenching staff members and killing a vibrant company. In the end, we decided that our world cruise was more important to us and to rather close down the company. We met with the attorneys the very next day to start the unfortunate but inevitable liquidation process.

The attorney was not happy with this flow of events and recommended that JEFF KALINKO, a broker friend of his, contact us and at least see what he could do to salvage the situation. So we met Jeff the very next day and discussed our situation. Jeff wanted a sole mandate for a 3 month period but was told in no uncertain terms that he had a maximum or 2 to 3 weeks only. He was welcome to try and sell the company, but that we are also proceeding with liquidation proceedings. That we would run with which ever option materialized first.

The very next day, Jeff arrived with a young married couple to look at the business. They asked questions, we answered them as best we could, we chatted for about 90 minutes or so and then showed them the factory. Within days from this, Jeff announced that he had a signed written offer to purchase the business. Wow! Unbelievable! This is indeed a miracle!

Yesterday, the purchase agreement was signed and the money was paid into the lawyers trust account. Michelle and Sandro (the young couple) arrived at work today and took their rightful place as the new owners of Weizter Kitchens. From start to finish, everything was done and dusted within 9 days.

Michelle and Sandro, God bless with your new venture! Best wishes and every possible success!

  1258 Hits
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1258 Hits
MAY
11
0

Powered Alcohol - Make you own

Some truths we rarely question. The sky is blue. The sun rises in the east. Cocktails are wet. But a new product, called Palcohol, aims to crumble our everyday expectations. It's an alcoholic beverage -- in powder form. Carry a convenient lightweight packet of powder with you anywhere, and reconstitute it with water whenever you want a drink. Palcohol will be available in vodka and rum varieties, as well as mojito, margarita, and other premixed cocktail flavors. It was officially approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the USA earlier this month. It's creator, says we can expect to see it in stores soon.

Palcohol1
Palcohol2

But how does one make powdered alcohol?
Here is how to make your own.

The only way to make unadulterated alcohol into a powder would be to freeze it solid. The temperature required to do that would destroy your tongue when you ate it though, not to mention certain other logistical concerns. The trick, therefore, is to start with a highly sorbent powder as a base, and add alcohol to it -- just enough so that the alcohol is fully soaked up, but the powder remains powdery.

The best easily obtainable powder I've found for this purpose is a specially modified starch, a maltodextrin made from tapioca and sold under the name N-Zorbit M. Each granule of this light, fluffy starch has a micro-fuzzy texture that gives it a great deal of surface area so it adsorbs liquids very well. It's popularly used in high-tech cooking to soak up fats, for instance in the "olive oil powder" recipe that appears in Modernist Cuisine. But it can also soak up alcohol pretty well.

Palcohol3It used to be hard to find in reasonable quantities for home use, but now you can buy it affordably from suppliers like Modernist Pantry or WillPowder. There's plenty of other maltodextrin out there, but those won't work for this purpose -- N-Zorbit is the one you want. (Other starch derivatives, such as cyclodextrins, would probably be even better for this task than maltodextrin, but those aren't as easy to find. Yet.)

  • Weigh out 100 grams of N-Zorbit into a mixing bowl. Because the powder is so fluffy and light, this will be a sizeable mound.
  • While whisking steadily, drizzle in 30 grams of high-proof spirit. I use Lemon Hart 151-proof rum. After you've stirred it in completely, the powder should be dry, but somewhat chunky. If it's still moist, sprinkle in a little more N-Zorbit.
  • Sift the dry liquor through a fine sieve to break up the chunks and make a nice powder. If you're making a larger batch, you can do it in a blender and step 3 won't be necessary.

Voila! You've got powdered booze. It will be a slightly moist powder, because of the water in the liquor. You can stir the powdered booze into a mixer, to taste, to make a delicious sippable; sprinkle it on food (rum powder is great on desserts); or just lick a little bit of powder off your finger for the novelty. Be careful: it's highly flammable! Don't get it anywhere near a flame.

You may be able to use a lower-proof spirit, but that will require significantly more N-Zorbit to soak it up, and produce a damper, clumpier powder. And the more powder you add, the more weakly the flavor of the spirit will come through. On the other hand, if you have access to 190-proof neutral grain spirit, you can make a very strong powdered booze indeed. If you store your powdered alcohol in a sealed container with one of those (non-edible!) silica gel packets, some of the water will be selectively absorbed by the silica, and the powder will become more powdery.

I don't know if this is similar to Palcohol's secret method, which (according to the leaked label above) has close to a 1:1 ratio of alcohol to non-alcohol content by weight. But I look forward to trying their product when it's ready!

  1660 Hits
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1660 Hits
MAR
27
0

Revelations position reports

For awhile now, I have been looking at ways to show our daily live GPS location on a map - preferably Google Maps. There are a number of services one can subscribe to which will do this for you at a fee. Over time, I looked at many of these services and found them all lacking in one way or another. It was either too expensive which monthly fees will simply diminish our cruising kitty. Others were too restrictive in that you could only post your GPS position and a very short text message of about 100 characters. There are a couple of free services which work on the AIS system (read more here) and VHF radio frequencies - this is also restrictive in that you need to be near a radio station and it is only available at selected coastal locations and not global as we require.

I finally made contact with Dmitry Zhuk - a damn clever developer and project manager on information systems, based on Oracle RDBMS and it's tools. He is from St. Petersburg, Russia and does web programming on maps (Google, Yandex and Baidu) as a hobby. Not only is he a clever programmer, he is helpful, creative and a very nice guy. Dmitry is the author of software extensions specifically created to show Google maps and a whole range of other things within a Joomla based website. We exchange a number of emails detailing what we required and within a matter of days, Dmitry created a complete yacht position reporting system for us.

We are now able to send a normal email to one of our own email addresses. This email will contain the decimal coordinates of Revelations which will then be accurately shown on Google Maps here on this website. This email can also contain more than 5000 characters of plain or formatted text, attachments and inline pictures. With this clever programming, we can now send a email via SSB radio or satellite phone to a specific email address of our own. A script (called a cronjob) will then run at a specified interval (every hour or every 2 hours or every day, etc.) and will fetch the email and convert this to a place mark on Google Maps. So we are now able to send daily position reports of our location, together with ample text and images (if we wish) and it will show our location here on this website. With this new system, we no longer need to access the admin section of our website to manually alter or post our location. This is now all done automatically from a simple email.

Thank you Dmitry! You have help us and we have very satisfied with what you have done!

See the image below but Click here to see the proper map and infobox.

svRevelations.com

  2504 Hits
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2504 Hits
MAR
15
2

Cruising books and guides

In preparation of our departure date for our world cruise at the beginning of January 2015, I have been buying some cruising books and guides. We plan to briefly stop over at St. Helena Island for a few days, check out my long deceased buddy Napoleon and then to proceed to Brazil. This is a vast country with a huge coastline and as yet, I'm not sure where we will be headed. Hopefully once we read the guidebooks we will know where to go. One thing is for sure though, there is no way in hell that we are going to miss the carnival in Rio de Janeiro! It will certainly be quite a spectacle to see me swinging my fat arse and bulging stomach around. Hell, if those oiled dancers in their fancy costumes can do it, so will I! But will be a story for another time.

But back to the books. I ordered these 5 books from Amazon.com at a total cost of ZAR4400 (£220 UK). Damn, the South African currency is now worth shit and getting worse by the day! Cry

The author, a Frenchman, sailed his 47-footer, Izarra, across the Atlantic, with the intention of spending just a short while in Brazil ­ and simply stayed on, and on, for several years, sailing from port to port, anchorage to anchorage, and island to island, gathering experience and knowledge. So, he knows the Brazilian coast better than most, all 3000 plus miles of it, and he does for that part of the world what the likes of Rod Heikell have done for the Mediterranean or Caribbean, with their well-researched, comprehensive guides. His format is similar to other books of the guide nature, leading off with general information, which includes a history of Brazil, its geography, flora and fauna, language, religion, health, safety, cuisine, customs and formalities.

Then he divides the country into states, providing interesting information on each place, and vital practical advice on navigation, and how to make your stay as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. It is the first guide I have seen devoted exclusively to Brazil, and it will no doubt be well received in South Africa, whose maritime ties with the South American country go back a long way. It is the perfect book for anyone thinking of doing the Rio race, or going cruising on the other side of the Atlantic. And if you are still undecided about taking the plunge, the superb colour pics in this publication will surely give you a decisive 'shove'.
  Long established as the bible for long-distance cruisers and a bestseller for more than 25 years, World Cruising Routes is the indispensable planning guide to nearly 1,000 sailing routes covering all the oceans of the world from the tropical South Seas to the high latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctic, geared specifically to the needs of cruising sailors. It contains information on the winds, currents, regional and seasonal weather, as well as suggestions about optimum times for individual routes.

The 7th edition assesses the effects of global warming on cruising routes and provides over 6,000 waypoints to assist skippers in planning individual routes. It is the perfect one-stop reference for planning a cruise anywhere in the world. 'The most important book for long-distance voyagers to come along in decades.' Cruising World
  Jimmy Cornell is the undisputed authority on long distance voyaging. In his new book, he helps the would-be voyager plan their trip step by step. Aimed at those seriously contemplating an extended cruise (and those dreaming about the possibility), this book will give an idea of what is involved in developing the right strategy. Amongst many other aspects, Jimmy looks at:

- World weather systems
- Strategies for sailing long or short circuits in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans
- The pros and cons of different routes at different times of year (taking into account weather, timings, wind directions and strengths, likelihood of fog, icebergs, gales, etc)
- The pros and cons, attractions and dangers of different routes (such as the problem of piracy)
- Practicalities (repair facilities, common gear breakage on extended voyages, places to leave the boat to fly home if necessary, health considerations, provisioning for a long trip, personal safety measures, and much more)
- Jimmy's top ten list of common things that ruin a voyage

Written from an international point of view, Jimmy Cornell's World Voyage Planner can help sailors from any country going to any other to achieve a safe and enjoyable cruise.
  'What Jimmy Cornell doesn't know about cruising isn't worth knowing' - Yachting World. One of the most influential cruising yachtsmen writing today, Jimmy Cornell has sailed over 200,000 miles on all the oceans of the world, including three circumnavigations and voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic. His successful guide to sailing around the world, World Cruising Routes, has helped many aspirational voyagers turn their dreams into reality and follow in his footsteps. This substantial new handbook profiles every cruising destination in the world and is intended as a partner to Cornell's bestselling World Cruising Routes.

Every destination is detailed comprehensively, with information on cruising attractions, history, culture, climate(including average monthly temperatures and rainfall, plus tropical storm seasons), local laws, regulations and formalities, facilities available, plus public holidays and events, emergency telephone numbers, and much more. Lavishly illustrated throughout, it is not only a must-have onboard reference work for long distance sailors, but will undoubtedly inspire the adventurous to sail where they have never sailed before.
  Cornell's Ocean Atlas is an atlas of 129 up-to-date pilot charts aimed at sailors planning offshore voyages. The charts in Cornell's Ocean Atlas are based on the most recent weather data gathered by meteorological satellites over the last twenty years. This new data highlights the changes that have occurred in weather conditions throughout the world as opposed to the pilot charts that are still in circulation but have not been updated for many years. Sixty monthly pilot charts of all oceans for the world show wind speed and direction, current speed and direction, approximate extent of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, the most common tracks of tropical storms, and the mean location of high pressure cells for each hemisphere.

Sixty-nine detailed charts of the most commonly sailed transoceanic routes make it easier for cruising sailors to plan a route that takes best advantage of the prevailing weather conditions at that time of year. Sidebars with tactical suggestions have been added to the months when most passages are undertaken. The comments and tips on tactics, as well as weather overviews for each ocean, were contributed by meteorologists and routers specializing in those oceanic areas.
  3881 Hits
Recent Comments
You may want to register here and try download a few anchorages that are recomended http://www.goodanchorage.com/
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:58
Hi DXmail - Actually joined them just over a month ago. Certainly looks like the makings of a great source. Thank you!
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 03:29
3881 Hits
JAN
17
0

OpenCPN User Icons

I required some user icons for OpenCPN which are slightly larger and more colourful than the standard ones - so I created my own in .PNG format. Previously OpenCPN only allowed user icons in .xpm format which was cumbersome to create. Now OpenCPN v3.xx allows user icons to be in .png format and this is a whole lot easier to make. These icons were designed in CorelDraw, exported to Corel PhotoPaint where it was edited and then exported as PNG image files with a transparent background. These User Icons are compatible with OpenCPN v3.xx and onwards. You can download these icons for free and use them for whatever purpose you want.

To use them in OpenCPN;

  1. Create a directory called "UserIcons" in the same place that holds your opencpn.ini (config) file. (In Windows 7: C:\ProgramData\opencpn)
  2. Download the UserIcons and unzip/unrar in your new "UserIcons" folder.
  3. The name of the icon file becomes the name of the new waypoint icon. These new icons will appear on the Waypoint Properties dialog, and can be assigned to any waypoint. They can also be assigned in GPX Import files.

Download - WinRAR
Download - WinZip

OpenCPNIcons

  5191 Hits
5191 Hits

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