Chaos aboard

Chaos aboard

A warning, this blog is about boat job no fancy sailing adventure.

Long time since last blog, mainly due to a lot of parallel and unfinished boat projects, this has resulted in some chaos aboard. Add to that, lack of knowledge/competence and waiting for parts and services that have been delayed, thus not much to write about then. Covid has of course had a major impact on our life as well. In Lagos, Portugal where we live, the restrictions have been very firm, restaurants been closed, as well as shopping centers. luckily DIY shops and the chandlers have been open. Restrictions on if and when one can leave the local community, limitations in meeting friends outside, beaches has been closed etc. So very pleased that we have had Kerpa so close, else we would have not to much to do, been working on Kepa more or less on a daily basis. We have been in Sweden two times during this period, visiting our kids for Christmans, and meet our latest grand child this spring, a delight . There is a remarkable difference in how Sweden and Portugal have handled the Covid issue, In Sweden from our perspective, life had continued as normal, very few with face mask, restaurants open, the total opposite to the rest of Europe. Cruising plans has be changed several times. The latest plan? is that we will cross the Atlantic from Cap Verde late Oktober for landfall in French Guyana, slowly going north, maybe Christmas in Tobago.

The main project for this season was to install an DIY LiFePO4 battery pack. A project at the edge of my knowledge and capability. I had a relatively clear idea what components I needed, but only a vague idea on how to design it, most of the design was made as the project proceeded and resulting in some redesigns along the way as I found out smarter ways for layout. All this of course added to the chaos and to some frustration.

I ordered 16 LiFePO4 271 Ah cells from China, they were offered including freight, customs and VAT, and about 40 days after order they arrived, and appeared in good conditions, one had a very small dent and one had slightly different color on the negative terminal. If that is of significance or not future will tell. I have read in various forums of poor second-hand Chinese Li cells, as well as I have read about them who have bought and used Chinese cells successfully for many years. The difference in price buying direct from China instead via an European distributor is at least a factor two. I really hope we will be pleased with our cells and installation. The cost for the 16 LiPO4 cells was about the same as for 440 Ah 24v Victron Gel batteries

In the picture I have taken out half of the old battery bank and placed the new Li cells (540 Ah, 24v) in what I thought was the best place. Already now obvious how much less space they require.

But before proceeding I had to trace what users all the old main cables from the battery switch are supplying, that was a rather time consuming and tedious task!

And of course, one of the terminals on the main switch broke off in the process

“Luckily” Amel have the switches in stock, but it set you back 330 Euro!

We have two switches on for the positive side and one for the negative side of the system, and as you might notice it is 4 terminals, each switch handle both the 12 and the 24 v side. Instead for all the main cables going direct from the Main switch direct to the consumers, I installed fuses on each of the main cable.

Fuse work in Progress

The hart of the system is the Battery Management System (BMS), I chose one from a Swedish supplier, the MasterLi, it came at a price, that made my hesitate a bit, but in the end I felt I made the right decision, I got a lot of help from Thomas the seller when installing the system, very grateful for that. And it is also a very well thought out concept.

The two 75 Ah batteries to the left in the pictures are the AUX battery, the one in the centre is the starting battery.

One of the benefits with this BMS is that it support the use of an Auxiliary (Aux) battery, when the LI pack is fully charged the Charge relay opens the charge goes to the Aux battery, not only protecting all chargers from being damage when exposed to an open circuit, it also a give redundancy in case there is a problem with the Li Pack, If that happens, we still have 75 Ah capacity to run navigation and communication, an important safety aspect. Some other feature is that you can control other equipment’s by the BMS, such as an Victron Multi Plus charger/inverter and control the field winding on your alternator to avoid damage to the alternator regulator.

When using Li cells with Aluminium casing one need to place them in a compression box to prevent them from swelling in case of overcharging them. see video clip below

The most common way to arrange 16 cells in a 24 v system is to connect two cells in parallel and then the 8 pair of them in series, called 2p8s in Li language.

above you can see the 8 pairs of Li Cells and the wire for balancing

Work in progress placing Solar controllers, contactors and fuse-boxes etc, not so easy to bend the thick cables and place them on the studs, and also have a logical routing for all the cables.

But finally, I got all things in place.

More solar power

Now with the new batteries I wanted to increase the solar power on my solar arc, so I ordered 2x400w Sunbeam panel supposed to have the highest efficiency, they give a few advantages towards the old 3×150 watt set up, that was in series. In general if you put your panels in series they will be much more sensitive for shadow, compared to have them in parallel. The old panel was nominal 12 v so need to have them in series to charge a 24 v system, the new panels reach over 60 volt, and I have one MPPT controller for each, so eventual shadow on one panel have no effect on the other panel. Now I have 800 w on an area just a fraction larger than what the old 450 w panels required.

The new panels were stored under Kerpa while working on the Li project.

The arc after removing the old panels.

A bit dangerous job high up from the ground

Safer to work from the platform.

Ready 800w, total area 210 cm by 170 cm.

While I was at it I decided to replace the 2x100w 12 v panels that we had on the bimini, with custom made semi flexible panels from Hovall in China, sounds expensive to purchase custom made panels, but it does not need to be. The panel it self 2×150 w 36 volt cost less than 400 euro, but freight in Covid times, customs and VAT, and some miscommunication that caused the panels to be sent back to China!!!, made the logistic cost close to 900 euro!!

The arrived well packed in a wooden box.

And looked rather well when fixed to the bimini, but doubtful if i would do it again.

Now we have in total:

2×400 watt on individual MPPT controller, ridged panels on the Arc

2×180 watt in parallel on one MPPT controller, ridged panels on the rail

2×150 w in parallel on one MPPT controller, semiflexible panels on the bimini.

We have had the system up and running for a few months both while on the hard and now lately living aboard. Only have part of all the solar panels activated at the same time as it gives more that we consume now. Guess it will be different during wintertime in the Caribbean when days are much shorter.

But if any other solar nerd reading this, below follow some interesting numbers so far for each set up

The 400 w Sunbeam panel have produced 2,91 kwh at best, and 2,7kWh is standard during a normal day in the Algarve during the period late May early June.

The 2×180 w on the rail gives about 2,3 kWh/day

The 2×150 on the bimini only around 700 Wh,

Total if running all panels, we would exceed 8kWh/day. Normal voltage is 26 v, so 310 Ah /day.

Electric consumption

With all this charging we now need to consume the electricity generated. Therefore, we have installed an induction hob on top of the Gas stove, it is semi-permanent, quite easy to convert back to gas. The reason for this set up is to; Be more independent, do not need gas. Low investment a two-burner induction hob does not cost much, and by placing it on top of the old gas stove very easy installation and maintained gimbals function, still able to run the oven on gas if we so desire.

The silicon pads on top of the hob work as a very efficient anti-skid without interfere with the heating.

We consume about 30 Ah when making Spaghetti Bolognaise, which require a lot of simmering, so definitely above average for a dinner aboard Kerpa.

We have now also a baking machine. Consume ca 18 Ah for a loaf of bread, a loaf last ca 3-4 days, so we bake about two times a week.

 More electricity work/issues

I have mounted shunts for each fridge & freezer.

Now we can see how much energy each unit consume.

The small 35 l freezer on average about 15Ah but that varies a lot, dependant of how often we open it and of course the ambient temperature. We have had reading from 10-21 Ah a day the low numbers when not open it at all a less hot day, the 21 Ah when loading it with goods and taking things in and out several times during a day (making drinks, ice is nice to have aboard).

The larger box +/-85 litre between 20-30 Ah a day, but we do not open that very often.

The front opening fridge (110l) consumes 25-30 Ah, but that will be replaced, more about that in next blog.

I have an energy meter also for the inverter to see how much energy we consume from that source, I’s only been in operation for a few days but so fare we consume about 80 ah/day that way.

We have no problem in making hot water by running via the inverter. Still plenty of energy in the Li batteries. Another of the great advantages with Li technology is that they take full charge more or less until they are fully charged due to very low internal resistance, and you can run them down to 20% SOC without any problems.

Boring reading? Probably yes unless you are very much into boat electricity.

More boring stuff to follow.

Replaced my old 24 v to 12 v converters, the big old green ones are rated at maximum 8 A, the new small blue ones are rated for 20A and more efficient. If you have followed the blog, you might remember that when we crossed the Gulf stream in rough weather, Kerstin felt the smell as from a fire, it was not a fire, but it was one of the 24v to 12v converters that was very hot, I measured 130 C with my IR thermometer. A bit critical, it was pitch dark, very rough conditions and risk of shutting down our navigation system. There were two reasons for the overheating. More and more navigation equipment been added over the years, and to much things in the cupboard where they were placed preventing proper ventilation. A portable fan was the remedy at that moment it cooled down the converter enough. Now we do not need to worry about that any longer.

New Propshaft Bushing and lip seals installed this time I had a 316 stainless-steel bushing made.

The Autoprop has been overhauled new bearings and seals.

The copper coat has been upgraded with a few new coasts.

Bow thruster

The bow thruster once again has been overhauled, now it looks as it works, we have used it a few times, but still keep my fingers crossed.

Last year I replaced the two gearboxes for furling of the main sail. Unfortunately last fall I found that the gear box shaft already has started to corrode, so I had new shaft made in 316 SS

It was a great disappointment to notice the corrosion, look at the shaft to the right it has corroded already at the top and the bottom which are exposed to moist air. I had a lot of job and cost last year to install new gear boxes, and thought it was long time to next major overhaul of the gearboxes, but no.

While I was at it, I installed grease nipples, before it was oil inside.

The head furler also need to be serviced with new lip seals and bearings, but that I outsourced, as well as replacing the timing belt and raw water circulation pump on the VP TMD 22 engine

Found this when taking of the cover, there was some Sikaflex like substance on the cable, when removing that, the cable cover just fell off? More work! but in the end a rather easy job, a high quality shrink tube made the job

Now back in place and with new paint as well

It is a heavy piece to put back total weight well over 20 kg

A major challenge

The cutter stay is going down and is fastened to the floor in the bow locker. Probably due to a too large and too weak inspection hatch the floor has started to bulge. How to fix that? After a lot of thinking and a few sleep less nights I decided to have some substantial beams made to reinforce the floor and to spread the load to a much larger area.

The beams they go from side to side under the locker floor and there is a flange at the edge of the floor that support not only the floor but also the new beams. The beams are made by 3×18 mm plywood epoxy glued together, rather heavy stuff.

I can tell you it was many uncomfortable hours in the bow locker passing them through the hatch assemble them and trying to hold the beams with one hand and screw them into place with the other hand, Houdini himself would have struggle to do the job.

Finally, I got them in place, now the attachment point is bolted through the locker floor, the beams and the previous substantial backing plate.

Feels very strong, but guess the floor itself has to be replaced in the future, not uncommon on Super Maramus that the bow locker floor rotten due to the moist environment in the chain locker below

New cushions

We decided to replace the upholstery.

Looks very nice and bright.

Some plumbing job

Old AC pump, the capacitor has melted down, I had a spare pump to install, while waiting for new capacitors to be delivered.

The New AC Pump, as well as a new fresh water pump, the old Marco pump felt unreliable

There is a huge difference in size in favour of the “old” Marco, which work with variable speed and should not need any accumulator tank, but I’m already in to the second one I a few years so went back to the original Amel set up, I had both a spare pump and a spare motor so decision was easy.


one of the plans for this year was to go to Nordkap, Norway, so I had long gone plans to install a heater, but I hesitated it’s a major projekt on an Amel with several water tight bulkeads, and also costly. We decided to only install a heat exchanger to get heat from the fresh-water cooling system from the engine.

This Isotherm heat exchanger is good for 10 kw heat, but now we have decided to go south so will not get much imminent use for it

I used PEX tube for the installation, looks very solid, used an ordinary bicycle pump to pressurize the system to identify any eventual leak.

the hot water from the engine first pas the boiler for domestic hot-water, then to the heat exchanger for the cabin. The cabin heat exchanger can easily be isolated by two bal-valves in case any trouble occur in the installation, not to jeopardize the ability to run the engine, again I used my bicycle pump to pressure-test the whole system

New anchor

The Rocna anchor has beet retired due to poor resetting properties.

It is a rather big beast of anchor weigh 40 kg, one see it when in the car both, it has been replaced with a 45 kg Spade, and that after a lot of research on the internet for a more reliable anchor. Theed 45 kg Spade anchor fits very well on the anchor roller, no amendments needed.

This is not the complete list of works but I think I have bored you enough with the jobs we have done. It has been good to have Kerpa close to home and doing the job during Covid times, most other activities has been restricted. Our main activity has besides working on Kerpa, has been work-out to keep reasonable fit and to be able to work in extremely uncomfortable positions. Coming time we will spend between Lagos and Portimao for some remaning smaller jobs, and later we will go Vilamoura to replace the standing rigg, after that we are well prepared for extended cruising inclusive crossing the Atlantic again

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On the hard working hard

Been on the hard since end August and as we have a lot of project during this off season, we started right away with boat job.

As we did not stay away as long as we had planned there were lots of food and wine to unload

Together with all other zillions of things aboard, we want the boat to be more or less empty as we have a lot of projects planned for the off season. After emptying the boat, we treated our self with a nice sushi

Eat as much as you want for 12 Euro a person, not bad.

But not rest for long, first major job  was to dismantle the gear boxes for the main furling system as I discovered that these super expensive gearboxes shafts were of a not so good stainless-steel quality already after a few months they started to corrode.

See the corrosion on the exposed parts of the shaft already after 3 months in action

For you who have reed my previous post know what a hard work it was before I got the new one in place. Also dismantle the head sail furling mechanism as time to service it.


Picture from when we took it of in Bermuda to service the top swivel. The whole lump weigh about 25 kg.

The electric motor has a poor cable hope I can fix it with a heavy-duty heat shrink tube, else I have to take it to a professional workshop. I have taken the head furling gear to a workshop as it is a very expensive peace of equipment and I do not want to risk damage the aluminium casing. I was recommended a workshop in Portimao who serviced the same type of furler on Lady Annila another Amel SM, which we know.

A bit more heavy duty workshop than many other marinas has , they will also make the shaft for the main furler gearboxes and some other things while they are at it, one problem they are loaded with job and they said “might be ready beginning of December”!!!. Keep my fingers crossed

You who follow, you know that I replaced one of the toilets but when we went out sailing it did not drain, well I found the reason for it.

The stud to the right is the cleaned one the other one is from the other forward lo

The hose between the bowl and the holding tank was totally blocked., I took apart the forward loo hose as well and it  was not long before that one also would have been blocked.


From the copper stud that is glassed in to the holding tank there is a hose attached inside the tank, that was on its way to get a lot of deposits as well, If you want to know how I fixed a hose inside a holding tank? there is a YouTube film, me sorting the whole thing out

and by the way tell the female part of the crew to newer, I say newer put hair in the bowl, it will clog up your pump and destroy the seals.

We have bought new solar panels 2x400w to replace the 3×150 watt on the arc, so 800w on almost the same area as 450w, will be a great improvement. Waiting for two 150 w semiflexible tailor-made 36 v panels from China to put on the bimini, that with the current 2×180 watt on the rail will give total 1,46 Kw of Solar. I have 16×270 Ah LIFePO4 cells soon to arrive from China, but that will be a blog on its own

The Turbo and elbow needed service/replacement

Cleaned out the Turbo

This is how it spins when attaching a vacuum cleaner to it.

Some say it should spin faster and longer after shutting down the vacuum cleaner others say it has no lubrication when not attached to the engine. I decided to just clean it and put it back again, Parts4Engine deliver very fast so if I need to replace it, I just order one for deliver wherever I am, and mount the new one. less than a half day job now when I have done it ones.

Elbow certainly needs to be replaced, I have now a new in Stainless steel to mount

Heat exchanger and oil cooler needed to be cleaned

Strange that the engine does not get over heated when running. The above are example of some of the job going on

Like to see how I cleaned to cooling system, and how a normal day are for us when in Lagos? Click on the link

While I work on the engine Kerstin is cleaning out our drawers, they are lined with some white fluffy fabric, smart solution? Not sure, the fabric stop noise from things rattling around in the drawers but as the fabric is glued fast, it is extremely hard to clean. Kerstin has a hard work cleaning the drawers and restore the waterproofness of our cockpit enclosure

I am not the only with work to do, do not want to swap with the fellow owning this boat

But not only work, we got a very sought-after visit from our daughter with family so for the first time we meet our grandson Alexander

They stayed for two weeks which we spend showing them the delight of the Algarve

We went babysitting so they could for the first time since the baby was born, go out and have a dinner and drink on their own, highly appreciated we believe. Now they are back in Stockholm and we proceed with our boat job.

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Leaving Gibraltar

From Gibraltar we decided to sail back to Portimao again, prospect for good winds at start and by taking a wide curve out at sea there was also prospect for some good sailing most of the way. Taking a straight line the wind would have died out very quickly. The direct distance was 145 Nm but our way became 195 Nm. We started from Gibraltar at the same time as Zultana another Swedish boat, which was a bit faster than us at start and she took the straight line. We arrived Portimao a few hours earlier than Zultana, our choice of way was for ones the right one as we could sail most of the way, for Zultana the wind died away rather quickly.

A you-tube (7 min) movie in ”Swinglish” from our trip to Portimao/Ferragudo from Gibraltar, klick on it if would like to see it.


Ferragudo/Portimao Anchorage

Portimao is just a few Nm from Lagos our hometown so we decided to make a short trip there to pick some delivery we had got at the marina office including the Furler the sail-maker forgot to include when delivering the sails. When docking at the reception pontoon the bowthruster started to give some strange noise and the motor increase in revs, not a good sign at all.

We have a retractable bowthruster that can be serviced when in water

A short video clip on how it looks from the inside with a large hole in the boat and how a retractable bow thruster looks like.

It was the gears inside that was worn after 20 years of service, so it did not pay off to dismantle the whole thing, just had to put it back and order a set of new gears. We were on our way to pick up my son and fiance in the neighborhood of Porto for a trip in Galicien so did not know were to have the parts shipped.

After putting the Bowthrsuet back in place to seal the hole in the bottom of our boat we sat sail towards Cascais a trip of about 130 Nm which go passed Cabo De Vicente the South West corner of Europe

Cabo de Vicente


Arriving Cascais

We explore the posh suburb to Lissabon

The square by the seaside offers a nice café named Paul which we of course must visit

They have particularly good pastry that we enjoyed on Kerstins nameday

After Cascais the idea was to sail up to Galicia about 220 nM to meet my son. We made a try but after slamming into heavy seas and strong wind for half a day we gave up and headed back to the anchorage, where we a few days later had to ride out a few days with very strong northerly wind

A clip from the windy anchorage of Cascais

Instead we rented a car to pick up Kristofer and Karin at the Airport in Porto about 360 km one-way car ride. We had not meet each other for a while and had a lot to talk about so I forgot about petrol, suddenly on the way back to Cascais the car stopped on the motorway!!! There are usually 30-40 km between the petrol stations so this could be a major issue. Guess what? There was a station just 300 m in front of us, aren’t that luck?

My surprise to realise no petrol

It sat us back maximum 30 minutes so no big deal, but now my son has one up on me!

Back in Cascais we sat sails towards Lagos again. The crew was tiered after a very early morning and a long day so with a bit of seasickness they were soon knocked out in the cockpit.

Tiered and seasick crew

When in Lagos we anchored outside the beach Meia Praia for a nice barbecue lunch

We took a tour exploring the caves and the youngster also explore the town of Lagos. I picked up the spare part to my bow-thruster that I have ordered to the marina in Lagos, and then we continue the short way to Portimao

Kristoffer examine the anchorage when we entered into Portimao/Ferragudo

Portimao is the “larger” town on the west side of the river and Ferragudo is a very nice Village on the east side of the river

Portimao offers very nice and long beaches with bars and restaurants and is visited by many tourists

Ferragudo is a genuinely nice village well worth extensive visit.

Kalu beach bar offers nice and tasty burgers, The Sangria is also well worth to try

Walking along Praia Grande watching the anchorage

Or the small streets of Ferrgudo

Looking for street art that are quite common in Portugal

After that a sun-downer on deck

Or a wobbly tour on the SUP

Next stop Rio Formosa/Culatra

We had a nice gentle sail towards Culatra, when approaching the narrow inlet it was close to slack water but still some current, one should go in on a rising tide to get the current with and because it is patches of shallow water on the way to the anchorage. Just outside the inlet there was an alarm from the engine, it’s overheating, quickly shutoff the engine, I opened the hatch to the engine room to locate the problem. A bucket of saltwater below the engine. Soon I found the cause, a circulation hose to the water heater was worn just at where it connect to the stud, by adjusting the hose clamp, fill up the engine with water and glycol and we were soon on our way again to the anchorage for proper repair later. Luck again it would not have been fun to have the engine overheating in the narrow inlet with the current, much better a few 100 meters before.

Moment like this one is very happy of the easy access to the engine, it took maybe 5 minutes before we could start the engine again.

Rio Formosa offers a vast area to anchor at and many long and fantastic beaches and good restaurants

Kristoffer and Karin enjoyed the beaches and food for a few days. As well as some genuinely nice beautiful sun sets

 We also visited Olhao

Where we took our guests to a traditional Portuguese fish restaurant, but not really their “cup of tea”

Times passes quickly when one has dear visits of the “kids” so home they went much to soon.

We stayed over a week more relaxing and repairing the Bow-thruster while at anchor, If you interested in how to do it you find a link to a video under Technical & equipment

Further we bought some Oysters from the local water-man selling water and oysters

Tasted wonderful with a glass of champaign

If you would like to see how an amateur open oyster have a look at the clip below, a wonder i did not cut my hand

After that we went back to Ferragudo anchorage enjoying hamburgers trying our new sails especially our new Code D

Us with our head set a very good tool when communicating over longer distances, now we are discussing how to set the Code sail. Must say we will be very pleased with the sail very easy to set, furl and unfurl, very versatile we have tried it from 80 degree to 170 degree apparent wind angle works great, sure it will be a good sail for our future trips. Now we are waiting to be hauled out at Sopromar in Lagos, I have ordered prismatic cells to convert to lithium 16×270 Ah cells all in all 540 Ah 24v. Guess we will have busy times with maintenance and improvements for out next trip.

The Plan is cross the Atlantic next year to Soure Brazil for a Rally ca 500 Nm in to The Amazon

Kids in canoe from last time I was there as crew on a Sweden Yacht 42 a fantastic experience

After The Amazon we go north to French Guyana, Surinam, Tobago, but as they say a sailors plan is like a “love letter in the sand at low tide”

I will post about my LiFePO4 project for the one interested

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Gibraltar & New sails


In November last year I ordered a complete set of new sails to Kerpa, My “old” sail I bought in Turkey 2016, did not last as long as expected, on the contrary the genoa is already beyond repair. When we arrived to Horta last year we used several square meters of repair “tape” to fix the worst and luckily it has worked until now, the main is repairable, and the mizzen has probably  a few more years in service. The stay sail did newer work properly it was a great disappointment. So I decided to order a complete set of new sails from Incidence Sails in France including a Code sail on a furler, they have made many sails to Super Maramus and other Amels so I expected better performance and durability, the cloth we chosed this time was Hydranet . We were supposed to pick up the sails early April this year in Gibraltar, but Covid 19 put our plans on hold. Gibraltar opened of July and the only marina to host foreign boats are Queensway Quay Marina. We booked a slip and sat sails from Rio Formosa the first of July this year for the 149 Nm to Gibraltar. We arrive to the Marina in the afternoon the 2:nd of July.

Quensway MarinaQuensway Marina 2

We usually do not sleep very well during a one night passage so we were rather tiered and also hungry, so now on British territory we walked down the streets of Gibraltar to get some good Fish and Chips, Gibraltar felt like a deserted town, very few people on the streets, many shops were closed. But we got our Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips

Tasted good but not excellent.

A Few days later we ordered shrimps at a local restaurant, to our surprise this is what we got


Very very small shrimps in some dough, deep fried, tasted OK but contained tons of fat, so we did not eat much of it. So, our experience from last time was repeated, you do not visit Gibraltar for the food, there are probably several restaurants with good food, but for sure several more with average or substandard food.

Two days later when we were on the pontoon, we were invited to celebrate 4 of July with some other boat owners. It became a very pleasant evening we got treated very well with booth food and drinks. That is one of the beauty with cruising, very often we meet new people and hear about their stories and can tell our own story

Pina Colada

Kerstin with a Pina Colada

Have a lock a the short video clip of our nice 4th of July pontoon party, did not expect to be served a water melon in which they have “pored” in one liter of Vodka, a few sore heads the day after!

A trip up the hills of Gibraltar

It was very warm while we were there, but it is a must to have a walk up the steep hills of Gibraltar, much more pleasant this time as it were very few tourists now.

The narrow streets on the way up the hill

Further up this view over the Marina

And here the view over the airstrip separating Gibraltar from Spain, on the other side is the small town La Linea. We were told that ca 10000 Spanish citizens work in Gibraltar, so Spain is very keen to keep the border opened now and after the Brexit.

It was hard work to climb these stairs in the heat, and it was more to come

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I was not the only one who thought it was hot, The Monkeys too took a rest in the shade

On the top we were well rewarded by the view

For the brave one can walk out on this glass bridge

You must look at this cute little baby monkey

Back to the marina we enjoyed a café latte at the quay taste good after a long day walk in the sun

The streets filled up more and more with tourist during the 10 days we stayed in Gibraltar. The reason for staying that long was due to delay in delivery of the sails. They were scheduled to be delivered the 6th but nothing arrived, not very much info from the seller or agent, Wednesday after noon I got a bit angry and send a few angry mail, finally the 10th they arrived, then we found out they had forgot to include the furler for the code sail in the delivery!!! Not happy about that, they promised to send it asap, so we asked for it to be sent to my home port Lagos. No photo but I made a short film about receiving and testing our new sails

After hoisting and testing the sails we sat course towards Lagos.

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Rio Formosa

Finally, we could go sailing after all the boat work, first stop was Portimao just around the corner from our home port Lagos, which we wrote about in last blog. Next, we went to Rio Formosa.

Rio Formosa Approach

Kerpa approaching the entrance to Rio Formosa, a national park, a rather large area sheltered by barrier sand islands with a few places to anchor a boat. Enjoying the tidal-area who dramatically change face two times a day, well worth watching.

Rio Formosa

At low water, a big area emerges where local fishermen quickly use the time to harvest mussels and sea snails.

Rio Formosa 4Rio Formosa 3Rio Formosa 2

And just a few hours later vast areas are again covered by water and it is almost water as fare as one can see, as in most directions the surrounding land is very low

Rio Formosa anchorage

Rio Formosa 6

Interesting to explore by dingy a calm day

Many odd boats can be seen

Rio Formosa Boat 2Rio Formosa Boat 1

As well as several villages where Culatra probably are the most interesting


Culatra harbor 1Culatra harbor 4

Just entering the old harbor is a treat for the soul.

Culatra Village 3

Walking around exploring the village

Culatra Village 5Culatra Village 2Culatra Village 1

Seeing some quirky houses and gardens. Across the island fantastic beaches meets you with white beautiful sand

Culatra beach 2Culatra beach 1

They have become more popular lately so when opening after Corona there will soon be rather many people on them, but as they are very long no risk for crowding

There are several cafes and restaurants where one can enjoy good food and wine to attractive prices

Culatra Kerstin

Here with full view of Kerpa

Culatra Kerpa

And at night the most stunning sunsets


It was midsummer when we were there and of course we had to celebrate that with a Swedish Smorgasbord

Culatra Midsommar 1

Size small but tasty, followed by

Culatra Midsommar 2

Coffee, Swedish homemade cinnamon bun and traditional Swedish Punch (a very sweet drink based on vodka, sugar and arrak), usually consumed in large quantities by students at the major university cities together with other alcoholic beverages followed by a hangover “category 5”



Is a small and lively town about 3 Nm by dingy at low water but only 1 Nm at high water. Before we started the trip I filled gasoline in the tank, I thought the two stroke oil looked a bit strange but well it was a new bottle so assumed no problem. Just 50! meters from a pontoon at Ohlao the engine stopped! I could start the engine again but it stopped as soon as I gave throttle. At least we got enough power to get into the pontoon.

Usually Portuguese people are very friendly, but this time they claimed we needed to move, I explained the situation about our engine not working properly, I insisted and was allowed to stay for a short period. The cause of the problem was dirty fuel probably from the oil, so get rid of the old fuel and get some new, but where to dispose the old fuel? I was directed fare away, but it was a hot day and I was not in mood for a long and maybe unfruitful walk. To make a long story short I found a shop where I could buy a jerrycan and a funnel, back to the jetty where there was a small fuel station, pored the dirty fuel into the jerrycan, the care taker for the fuel station was more than happy to take care of the old gasoline and the new jerrycan. New gasoline and new oil, and the engine was alright again, no residual in the carburetor (sometimes one is lucky, the engine have now worked fine for several weeks). Now we had to find a place to put the dingy, but again we were not welcomed at any place except the major wall, difficult to climb from the dingy, but we managed. A short walk and we found a very nice plain restaurant for lunch

Ohlao Restaurang

The RestaurantOhlao Chef


The ChefOhlao Fish

The Fish

Ohlao Guest

“The Kerstin”

Three beers a lot of fish, potatoes, salad, bread, olives, forgot the cost but ca 20 Euro, excellent. On the way back we found a shellfish shop, which solved our evening dinner problem

Ohlao Crab

A crab, bread and wine, delicious.


Faro is the major town on the Algarve coast with about 60.000 citizens with the airport to use when visiting Algarve, the southern part of Portugal.

It is a longer trip with the dingy around 6 Nm. Further up there are some narrow anchorage, but mainly permanent moorings, nothing for us with our draft.

Towards Faro 1Towards Faro 2

Rather low tide when we approached Faro

Towards Faro 3


Faro mooring 1

Not always easy to find a place for the dingy, very shallow, but tide was rising so no problem this time, sometimes tide cause more problem parking the dingy than anchoring the mother ship. The stairs where we landed was very slippery, but we managed.

Faro mooring 2

High tide when back.

Unfortunately, we took no photos when in Faro, the main objective with the trip was to visit Decathlon a major retailer for sports and outdoor activities (probably the best). Unfortunately, in Corona times the shelf’s were rather empty, but we found at least one important thing, a pocket shower

Pocket solar shower

We are very keen on saving  water on the boat and we do not like to shower inside. It was good we found the pocket shower because our electric motor for our water-maker would not start any longer, do not know what the problem is, save it for later when we are on the hard.

Pocket shower in action, it is definitely a water saver we can recommend for water consumption concerned cruisers

Next stop will be Gibraltar to pick up our new sails, will follow soon


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