Janna almost ready to cast off Janna almost ready to cast off « The Joys and Sorrows Of a Life At Sea

Janna almost ready to cast off

A cold front just passed over Taiwan, it rained a bit (naturally in the most inconvenient time; I’ll get to that) and it turned cold. It’s actually quite warm even hot during the day, but the shower tends to be quite cold. We first thought that we’ll have to do something about. We could warm a cattle of water on the stove and pour it into our „sunshower“. But Jana, who gets frost bite even when taking a yogurt out of the fridge, proclaimed that it’s not necessary, that we can take it, so instead we got used to the cold water. It might turn even colder before we leave, so at least we’ve got a solution for the cold problem.

It’s overcast today and it’s looks like it might rain again. We didn’t feel like getting out of bed in the first place, so we decided that today is intellectual work day and we are catching up with backlogs.

Last few weeks we did quite a  bit of work. First we got few translation gigs. Jana spend a week in Hualian at a monastery with our buddhist artist friend Yu Hsi, who threw a jamboree for a few international poests including one of our own, Jiří Dedeček, and I’ve spend few days among lathes and boring machines in a factory near Kaohsiung. But most importantly we crossed off few items on our pre-departure TODO list.

Zbytek článku je komponován v duchu nevázaného exhibicionismu. Tak to, prosím, berte v úvahu.

The rest of this article has been composed in the spirit of unrestrained exhibitionism. Viewers discretion advised.

Wet settee

We have converted a pilot berth to a cocpit locker. The locker was ready since August, but we still needed to separate the locker form boat’s interior.

We managed that around the end of August. We used the recycling and woodbutchery method we became so fond of and spilled all our remaining pieces of timber and plywood on the pontoon next to Janna. For a while we just pondered, scratched our heads, then we measured a little and cut a lot and produced a cosy little nook, where one of us can retreat when on a watch without getting much water into the boat. Jana was in charge of the whole project and I was skilfully passing her what she needed.


Jana’s patchwork



Another project that was directed by Jana. She was working to diligently that I almost got an eye strain watching her. But no matter my health. Now we have a set of very useful shelves under the sink including a holder for mouth hygiene devices, which we had to fumble for on the bottom of one of our deep lockers and from time to time we would be too lazy to get those toothbrushes out… Are teeth are definitely well brushed everyday now.


The woman at work


Shelves under the sink


Toothbrushing equipment

Cockpit sole

Our friends  Míša and Ondra, who sailed with us from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung, will corroborate that our cocpit sole used to be slippery even when dry. When it got wet it was outright dangerous. We got a good taste of it when sailing in the North-East Monsoon from Hong Kong. Our genoa tracked leaked like hell and splashing around on those slippery slopes of the terra-not-so-firma of our main cabin.

At first we dreamed of the cork material which everyone speaks so highly of. But all the dealers in our vicinity stopped selling it or were out of business. When we went to visit our folks back home we saw a really beautiful linoleum which Jana’s parents used in their new kitchen. We started to look for something like that when we got back to Taiwan, but all we could find was a really ugly green or orange stuff with big dots on it, which one could probably use in a slaughter house or a machining shop. We almost gave up all hope when we almost accidentally asked a plywood dealer. He quickly produced a nice catalogue and made up take a pick. We picked, he made a phone call and told us that the company that is making those is out of stock and that the pattern we wanted was not popular and they won’t make it anymore. So we picked another, mahogany-like, not as rough the first one, but we had get something. We tested it before we glued it for good and it turned out perfect. Not only it is not slippery when dry, when this stuff gets  wet, it becomes almost sticky. Just perfect. And it looks rather nice too.


Gluing with Sikaflex


The gusts of Janna were interwoven with old corroded copper wire who knows how old. After a strenuous search we have located a shop which sells good tinned wire, which corroded much less and are therefore more suitable for boat installations. Jana went translating so I have torn out the old wires and slowly replaced them with the new ones. I was quite looking forward to this job, but after two days of splicing and crimping I got over my initial enthusiasm, but because the candle light is romantic only up to a certain point, I had to bite the bullet and finish it. That’s life they say.


The old mess


The new wire order

Part of the rewiring was also a construction of a proper battery box. We use two 6V Trojan T-105 batteries connected in series.

Battery box construction in progress

P1020050 (Medium)

Battery box in the cockpit locker

Water gauge

Sometimes small things make life so much easier. We can’t see into the water tank very clearly and estimating volume of that water inside was just pure guess work. Naturally the ware always runs out at the most inconvenient moment.

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Teak repairs

When we bought Janna it was obvious that someone ran with into something or someone ran into her. We had to look at the chopped off piece of teak for too long. When we were leaving Langkawi, we bought a big teak plank, which we finally used to replace the corner of Janna‘s stern toerail. The rest we had cut in half and used it under the winches in the cockpit.

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20121111-P1020255Anchor locker

During the above mentioned sail from Hong Kong during the North-East Monsoon, we realized that we can’t carry our slightly over-sized anchor on the bowsprit without consequences. Rocna anchor is quite large and the waves have a large area to hit, and also those 20kg at the end of almost 1m long bowsprit pull Janna‘s bow down, which is not what we want. Thus we have cut up the original anchor locker lid and stow our beloved Rocna in the anchor locker.

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000 004Chainplates a cleats

When one of our cap shroud chainplates broke in Hong Kong, we realized that we have underestimated the service life of stainless steel. So today I can say that all our rigging hardware has been changed and should be ready for a bit of hardship. At the same time we have also finished replacing our old aluminum cleats with new stainless ones including proper backing plates. When we were changing backstay chainplate, that’s when the squally rain hit. Bit wind and rain and naturally one lovely Taiwanese fishing boat decide that they have to test their engine today. And they tested it good. Rarely we see such a bit wake here. We had the backstay lashed down with two tackles and two halyards were backing everything up, but I was scared shitless anyway. Wouldn’t want to see the mast go down… so I was cursing and spitting fire, poor Jana had to listen to that insecure outburst.

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Stove railing

We always felt that the stock pot holders on our Force 10 stove are a bit unreliable. In reality they held quite good, but we still decided that we want post holders that are both much stronger and also look that way.

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Hmm, that tea smells good.

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