For years, we used Maxsea v22.214.171.124 interfaced with our Furuno NavNet 2 chartplotter as our main tool for all our navigation requirements. This amazing software allowed us to do route planning, optimize our route based on weather patterns, show AIS targets, overlay Furuno radar onto the charts, etc. Although working perfectly, the software is now quite old and MaxSea stopped all support for this software back in 2014. It was time to upgrade our navigation software and we bought the latest TZ Navigator v3 from Chris Metcalf, Bluewater Books and Charts. Chris has been most helpful and after calling him on WhatsApp, he sorted me out in no time. I've been testing the software for the past couple of days and I must say it is so much better than the older MaxSea v126.96.36.199. Here is a short introduction video of TZ Navigator v3.
It's lonely out here! So please comment as we love to hear from you.
We have a water maker on board Revelations - but with a rather sad history. Back in 2006, I met this guy, Robin who was building a similar yacht as Revelations. Robin was supposedly a marine engineer (what ever that means) and our discussions soon drifted to water makers. He show me a water maker he claimed to have built for himself and suggested that he built a water maker for us - for a fee of course. I duly paid the guy and after a couple of months, collected our "new" water maker. It was a sad looking machine, lots of second hand parts and the workmanship was a typical back street job. Disgusted, but with the knowledge that there was no way I was going to get my money back, we took possession of the machine and put it in storage. Several years later, I took the water maker to a company called AquaMarine in Cape Town who refurbished the machine at their workshop and demonstrated that it worked. Now looking much better and more professional, the machine was then installed on board Revelations although we never used the machine.
Years later, a month prior to our world cruise departure, we called AquaMarine and asked them to service the machine. The technician said they were very busy and that we should call them a week before we leave. They finally arrived, changed all the membranes, did some work and assured us that the machine is in good working order and condition. This was all a mad rush and they finished literally an hour or so prior to our departure. We left Cape Town sailing to St. Helena with 750 liters of fresh water in our tanks. With a total of 5 crew on board, all showering, cooking and drinking every day, on day five, we had around 70 liters of freshwater left on board - it was time to start the water maker and fill the tanks.
But the electrical motor for the high pressure pump would not run continuously, we had to keep the start button pressed in all the time - the moment you took your finger off the start button, the electric motor would stop running. Then a couple of high pressure pipe fittings leaked like crazy. But the machine made no freshwater and everything was dumped overboard - the salinity meter/switch rejected all the water. Unable to make water, only around 70 liters and with another anticipated 10 days of sailing left, we had to introduce water rations. Nobody was allowed to take showers or waste any freshwater. Needless to say, we were really pissed off at the AquaMarine technician who lied and did a lousy job.
Three days later, we all started reeking of bad body odors and with ever diminishing fresh water supplies, the situation became serious. Out of desperation, I tackled the water maker and virtually re-plumbed the entire machine bypassing just about all of the electronic sensors. Finally we were able to make water again - although we had to keep our finger on the start button for the entire 2 hours it took the machine to fill the tanks. We carried on like this for the next couple of months, planning for repairs to be done once we reach Trinidad. Then, after leaving French Guyana, on our way to Trinidad, we were struck by lightning. This caused major damage to the water maker, electronics were completely fried and some wires were burnt. With this, the water maker no longer worked and reached the end of it's life. Although we had the water maker machine for years, it produced less than 5000 liters of fresh water during it's life span, it was a total waste of money from the start.
Although we can salvage some parts and build another water maker, we decided on building a new water maker from scratch. For reliability, this machine will be mostly manual and with virtually no electronic sensors. We also opted for a single 8" membrane instead of the 4 x 4" membranes of the old machine. The new water maker will produce around 300 to 400 liters of fresh water every hour. We already bought a new 5CP6221 Cat Pump, flow meters, 8" high pressure vessel and a host of other components. Assembly will start once we have all the required components on hand.
I was going to redo the user icons for OpenCPN which I created a couple of years ago - fine tuning, better transparent background and resize them. Then Gene, Reflectionsv37 of Cruisers Forum, made contact with me about redesigning many more icons - to be officially incorporated in OpenCPN. This led to a flurry of messages on Cruisers Forum and I got stuck into designing over 280 vector icons for OpenCPN. The initial thinking was to render the icon graphics designed in CorelDraw to raster PNG format, but with the input of several other clever people, it was decided to render them in vector SVG format. Having vector icons means that no matter the scaling of the icons, they will always be crisp and sharp - whereas raster based graphics quickly become pixelated when view at zoom levels. Anyway, all this led to 2 days of intense graphic design work and then the odd fine tuning of some icons. Here is a image showing most of the icons which will be incorporated and released with the next upgrade of OpenCPN - there are several white icons not in the image below as it will not show on the white background. With the next release of OpneCPN it will not be necessary to paste icons in the Usericons folder anymore. OpenCPN is powerful and free navigation software which can be downloaded here: OpenCPN
Here is a new 216 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 decoratively dyed bundles of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi. The aromatic material, burned to mark life events and connect with the spirit realm, has been a hallmark of Vietnamese culture for thousands of years. 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.
Our existing plywood dinghy which took Jacque Basson, Cape Town around 4 months to build is literally falling apart and needs to be scrapped. Joints are pulling apart, joints weren't sealed, water got into the marine ply and started rotting - it is just another badly done job. In addition to this, we also found that the plywood dinghy is hard and causes damage to the paint work whenever the dinghy bumps against Revelations. So, I have been looking around for another dinghy and we favour the Highfield CL 340 inflatable dinghy.
- Valmex® PVC tube fabric
- Welded seams
- Flush mount non-return valves
- High tensile chromated & powder coated aluminum hull
- Bow locker (fit 24L fuel tank)
- Self-draining deck
- Integrated transom supports
- Removable seat
- Lifting points and towing eyes
- Tow bridle points
- Anti-slip deck
- Heavy duty rubbing strake
- Full length keel guard
- Tank strap kit
- Under seat bag
- Highfield dry bag
- Foot pump, oars, repair kit
We are about to order a new set of sails from Ullman for Revelations - mainsail, genoa and spinnaker. Considering all the available materials is complicated and complex - with no easy right or wrong answers, nor a "perfect" solution. For blue water cruising, sails simply have to last – it is false economy using a cheaper product if it fails mid ocean. Most of us have sailed with a spinnaker or cruising chute at some time and you may remember the sail is flying unsupported from the spars, hence occasionally the sail will fill and collapse. Often this can be be with quite a 'pop' and for this reason we want the sail to absorb some of that 'shock' and so we choose a slightly forgiving fabric.
We usually choose Nylon as it has a little more elasticity as a fibre and it's usually woven in a form these days that we call Ripstop. Which means it has a square weave pattern that is formed by periodically twisting a few fibre together to increase tear strength, or occasionally by added a larger fibre into the weave at even spaces.
So, Nylon downwind sail fabric is very light, a little stretchy and surprisingly strong. The fabric weight is usually expressed firstly within a generic weight category - such as '3/4 ounce', or '1 1/2 ounce' and then as a style name with a more detailed weight that may well now be in grams.
Most importantly these materials are available in attractive colours so you can personalise your sail and keep the crew entertained! Either of the weight categories will 'fly' in quite light winds even as smaller sails - but often the heavier wind range sails (or more all purpose sails) will be in the 1 1/2 ounce weight range. Because the lightest material comes at the expensive of some durability and tear resistance if the sail handling isn't quite as slick as you had planned for!
In cruising sails usually 3/4 ounce is good for light symmetrical shaped spinnakers and 1 1/2 ounce is best for heavy symmetrical shaped spinnakers, asymmetric and cruising chutes. There are also heavier weights of downwind sail fabrics for bigger yachts and for racing sails there are lighter ones ... some are more heavily coated with a stabilising resin to make a harder 'crispier' feel and support that unsupported flying sail shape.
Upwind sail fabrics are more complex and since there are more variations in weight and factors of construction to consider. The absolutely most robust and longest lasting sailcloth available in the world is Dimension-Polyant ‘Hydra-Net’. If the boat is going to be extensively cruised, particularly long offshore or in adverse conditions we recommend a style of material called Hydra-net. This material is a woven mix of Polyester and Spectra producing the most rugged and reliable sailcloth available. This material is very low stretch and provides ultimate reliability; ‘Hydra-net’ therefore provides the most rugged long lasting Blue Water sail cloth available on the market. ‘Hydra-net’ is also the softest fabric option available and is therefore the easiest to handle; this is relevant whether the sails are for roller reefing or folded into Lazy Jack systems. All other materials will be quite firm and therefore bulkier than your existing older sails and would be harder to fold away, however ‘Hydra net’ is soft and pliable and easily rolled and folded, this means that ‘Hydra-net’ is ideally suited for short-handed cruising. The final advantage of ‘Hydra net’ is that it has excellent UV resistant properties. Hydra-net is the fabric of choice for blue water cruising yachts. The ‘Hydra-net’ fabric comes in two different styles, one suitable for cross cut sails and the other for radial constructed sails. The cross cut version is fairly balanced with Spectra/Dyneema running in both directions. This fabric is the absolutely most robust and softest/easiest to fold/roll fabric available on the market, for a Blue water cruising boat or an aging family crew where soft and easy to handle sails are desired then the cross cut version of ‘Hydra Net’ is absolutely perfect. This material also has a unique to Dimension-Polyant a UVi coating in the resin that helps to protect the sail from harmful UV exposure and can increase the materials lifespan by around 15%The fabric performs better than most woven Dacron but is stretchier and therefore inferior in shape retention when compared to laminates or the radial version. The stretch that does occur is fairly elastic so any elongation that does occur is not permanent, but it does mean that although a high quality product this material is aimed at ease of handling rather than performance.
‘Hydra-net Radial’ has far more Dyneema running along the warp and offers far superior shape retention and therefore performance, yet the fabric is almost as soft and easy to handle as the cross cut version. ‘Hydra-net Radial’ out performs all other woven materials including ‘Vectran’ and most laminates. For a blue water cruising yacht where performance and shape retention is desired ‘Hydra-net Radial’ is the perfect material. The radial version is far better suited for high aspect sails and this is the style we have quoted for This material also has a unique to Dimension-Polyant a UVi coating in the resin that helps to protect the sail from harmful UV exposure and can increase the materials lifespan by around 15%.
It feels like an eternity since we postponed our world cruise some 19 months ago and a whole bunch of things has happened since.
- We have been working our arses off getting our company back into profits. The previous owners had no clue how to run the company and literally ran it into the ground - in addition to financially plundering the company for their own financial gain. It took months of hard work, extreme discipline, training and a bunch of money to get the company back on track. The company is now healthier and showing greater profits than ever before.
- After a long sick bed and deteriorating health, Sue's Dad (Britsie) sadly past away some three weeks ago.
- We bought a stunning 420 square meter luxurious penthouse at the coast, right on the beach front with the most amazing views imaginable.
- Whilst land locked, we used the time to gather tons more information, books, knowledge, music, videos, software and data for our eventual return to Revelations.
With all this, we are now once again starting to consider Revelations and the continuation of our world cruise. We must now sell the company again, finalize a couple of outstanding issues and off we go again! We cannot wait to get it all sorted!
We have now accepted the insurance company's settlement offer. Although it only covers about 50% of the damages sustained during the lightning strike and other major expenses incurred, I decided it would be best to settle the matter. We sustained lightning strike damages and submitted our insurance claim some 15 months ago and it has been a major struggle to reach a settlement. Failing this, the next step would have been to issue summons and due to the substantial amounts involved, the matter would be heard in the High Supreme Court. This would be a extremely lengthy and very costly exercise - and probably with no clear winner at the end of the court case. So although we did not get everything we believe we should have, the settlement goes a long way towards the repairs done.
Only if you are open and interested to learn more, do some reseach - only then will you find amazing human stories with direct links to Donald Trump. Despite many expecting a perfect human being, there is no such thing as we are all flawed in one way or another - so is Donald Trump also flawed. However, he remains a very special, talented and caring person. Here is one such moving and motivational story about somebody who received compassion and generosity from Trump.
50% of Adult American are NOT idots. This is the about half the United States of America population who voted for Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. Thank God for these people and that sanity did prevail on election day. Now perhaps for the first time in may years, will there be progress regarding the economy, the illegal aliens, unfair trade agreements which are bankrupting America, a stop to the endless wars around the world and it's devastating consequences. Perhaps it is also possible to normalize relations with Russia and the endless needling and baiting towards a war will stop. THANK YOU!
This could possibly be the best footage ever captured of mahi mahi and frigate birds hunting cooperatively for flying fish. Flying fish can be seen jumping out of warm ocean waters worldwide. Their streamlined torpedo shape helps them gather enough underwater speed to break the surface, and their large, wing-like pectoral fins get them airborne.
Flying fish are thought to have evolved this remarkable gliding ability to escape predators, of which they have many. Their pursuers include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger fish. For their sustenance, flying fish feed on a variety of foods, including plankton. There are about 40 known species of flying fish. Beyond their useful pectoral fins, all have unevenly forked tails, with the lower lobe longer than the upper lobe. Many species have enlarged pelvic fins as well and are known as four-winged flying fish.
The process of taking flight, or gliding, begins by gaining great velocity underwater, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) per hour. Angling upward, the four-winged flying fish breaks the surface and begins to taxi by rapidly beating its tail while it is still beneath the surface. It then takes to the air, sometimes reaching heights over 4 feet (1.2 meters) and gliding long distances, up to 655 feet (200 meters). Once it nears the surface again, it can flap its tail and taxi without fully returning to the water. Capable of continuing its flight in such a manner, flying fish have been recorded stretching out their flights with consecutive glides spanning distances up to 1,312 feet (400 meters).
50% of Adult American are TOTAL IDIOTS. This is the about half the United States of America population who supports Hillary Clinton for President. How on earth can any person with half a brain, support (and vote) for a corrupt and scandalous criminal like her!? Are these voters ignorant, blind perhaps, don't they care, are they brain washed - or are they just plain stupid! I doubt of there is anybody in the US who have not heard about her scandals, her corruption, her lies, her cheating .... and so many other devious ways. So, it can't be ignorance nor blindness! Clearly they are either brainwashed or simply don't care - and this, is what makes them stupid! BIG TIME IDIOTS!
Here is yet another incident of her corruptness! - by Kimberley A. Strassel
The Clintons don’t draw lines between their ‘charity’ and personal enrichment.
In an election season that has been full of surprises, let’s hope the electorate understands that there is at least one thing of which it can be certain: A Hillary Clinton presidency will be built, from the ground up, on self-dealing, crony favors, and an utter disregard for the law.
This isn’t a guess. It is spelled out, in black and white, in the latest bombshell revelation from WikiLeaks. It comes in the form of a memo written in 2011 by longtime Clinton errand boy Doug Band, who for years worked simultaneously at the Clinton Foundation and at the head of his lucrative consulting business, Teneo.
It is astonishingly detailed proof that the Clintons do not draw any lines between their “charitable” work, their political activity, their government jobs or (and most important) their personal enrichment. Every other American is expected to keep these pursuits separate, as required by tax law, anticorruption law and campaign-finance law. For the Clintons, it is all one and the same—the rules be damned.
The memo came near the end of a 2011 review by law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett into Clinton Foundation practices. Chelsea Clinton had grown concerned about the audacious mixing of public and private, and the review was designed to ensure that the foundation didn’t lose its charitable tax status. Mr. Band, Teneo boss and epicenter of what he calls “ Bill Clinton, Inc.,” clearly felt under assault and was eager to brag up the ways in which his business had concurrently benefited the foundation, Clinton political causes and the Clinton bank account. The memoed result is a remarkably candid look at the sleazy inner workings of the Clinton grifters-in-chief.
The cross-pollination is flagrant, and Mr. Band gives example after example of how it works. He and his partner Declan Kelly (a Hillary Clinton fundraiser whom Mrs. Clinton rewarded by making him the State Department’s special envoy to Northern Ireland) buttered up their clients with special visits to Bill’s home and tête-à-tête golf rounds with the former president. They then “cultivated” these marks ( Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, UBS) for foundation dollars, and then again for high-dollar Bill Clinton speeches and other business payouts.
Teneo’s incestuous behavior also included Mrs. Clinton’s State Department. The Band memo boasts that Mr. Kelly (while he was Mrs. Clinton’s State envoy) introduced the then-head of UBS Wealth Management, Bob McCann, to Bill Clinton at an American Ireland Fund event in 2009. “Mr. Kelly subsequently asked Mr. Mccann [sic] to support the Foundation, which he did . . . Mr. Kelly also encouraged Mr. Mccann [sic] to invite President Clinton to give several paid speeches, which he has done,” reads Mr. Band’s memo. UBS ultimately paid Bill $2 million.
American Ireland Fund meanwhile became a Teneo client, and made Mr. Kelly (of former State envoy fame) a trustee, where he “ensured that the AIF is a significant donor to the Foundation.” AIF then bestowed upon Mrs. Clinton a major award on her final trip to Northern Ireland in 2012, in an event partly sponsored by . . . Teneo.
Not that this is all one way. Mr. Band let slip just how useful all these arrangements were for Teneo, too, when he backhandedly apologized in the memo for hosting 15 client meetings in a hotel room rented by the Clinton Global Initiative.
The memo removes any doubt that the foundation is little more than an unregistered super PAC working on the Clintons’ behalf. Donors to the charity are simultaneously tapped to give Bill speech requests and other business arrangements, including the $3.5 million he was paid annually to serve as “honorary chairman” of Laureate International Universities. Mr. Band’s memo also notes his success at getting donors to “support candidates running for office that President Clinton was supporting.”
It’s now 2016 and Bill’s most favorite candidate is running for the presidency. There’s no question foundation donors are being “leveraged” for Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Band wants credit in the memo for prodding existing foundation donors to pony up more money, though the donation statistics he provides paint a different picture. By and large, donations to the foundation begin to spike dramatically in 2009 and 2010. Mr. Band didn’t form Teneo until 2011. What was happening in 2009? Mrs. Clinton was sworn in as one of the most powerful politicians on the planet.
The obvious question is where are the prosecutors? (For that matter, where is Lois Lerner when you need her?) Any nonprofit lawyer in America knows the ironclad rule of keeping private enrichment away from tax-exempt activity, for the simple reason that mixing the two involves ripping off taxpayers. Every election lawyer in the country lives in fear of stepping over the lines governing fundraising and election vehicles. The Clintons recognize no lines.
Here’s the lasting takeaway: The Clintons spent their White House years explaining endless sleazy financial deals, and even capping their exit with a scandal over whether Bill was paid to pardon financier Marc Rich. They know the risks. And yet they geared up the foundation and these seedy practices even as Mrs. Clinton was making her first bid for the presidency. They continued them as she sat as secretary of state. They continue them still, as she nears the White House.
This is how the Clintons operate. They don’t change. Any one who pulls the lever for Mrs. Clinton takes responsibility for setting up the nation for all the blatant corruption that will follow.
Sitting around at home, wishing we can be on our yacht and resume our world cruise, I just added our Easy Anchor Rope/Chain Ratio Calculator 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.
The Easy Anchor Rope/Chain Ratio Calculator 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.
UNBELIEVABLE but true! It is now more than 15 months after we were struck by lightning and our insurance claim is still not settled! You can read previous posts of all the problems we encountered with this rubbish insurance company. We received a 3 month visa when we checked into Trinidad & Tobago and due to the extensive delays in the insurance company settling this matter, we had no choice but to suspend our world cruise and return to South Africa. Neither can we move the yacht to another country as the damage sustained in the lightning strike rendered the yacht not to be seaworthy anymore.
With the yacht in Trinidad, we in South Africa, our plans are in a mess and we are incurring big expenses due to all this bullshit. Whilst we are paying marina fees in Trinidad, we also have to pay for local accomodation and have been renting a vehicle for the past 13 months.
In addition to other problems (some mentioned in previous posts), the insurance company is trying to squeeze their obligated pay out to the bare minimum. They are trying to undercut every single legitimate expense. They offer about 35% of the actual labour fee to repair the yacht. Despite stalling for almost the entire time, they refuse to pay the marina fees we had to pay in the interim. They do not want to pay for new equipment which were complete destroyed - instead, they want to pay a repair fee. This includes a sail which was lost at sea! How the hell do you repair something which no longer exist? So they keep stalling and stalling - obviously trying to wear us down and apply pressure on us to accept their paltry pay out.
Our attorneys have been dealing with them for the past 4 months and has made some progress but we are still too far apart. If we do not sort out this mess within the next month or so, we will have no choice but to issue summons to Mutual & Federal and AIB Insurance Brokers.
Whilst we are not sailing, posting regular stories and updates on this blog are just not possible. Right now we live a very ordinary life and there is not much exciting things happening - so we kind of have nothing really to write about. Boring stuff!
Our battle with the company is ongoing as we try and return the company to good profits. The damage inflicted by the previous owners was horrendous and far worse than what we ever imagined. It has taken us the best part of a year to recover and bring the company back to where it was when we sold it in 2014. When we took the company back in October 2015, little did we know what effort would be required to straighten the company and get it back in shape. The past year has been challenging in many ways, once again we have been tested to the limit.
But we have made some good progress. The work force is much more disciplined, we are once again selling at profitable margins, the company turnover has increased and things are starting to run much smoother than before. Hopefully, we can sell the company in mid 2017 and soon there after return to our world cruise. In the meantime, we have work to do.