Back to Kerpa part 2.

We came to Kerpa May 8 with the expectation that she should be, more or less ready, maybe just a few days to put some final touch on her. But she was not ready at all, we were told that end next week she would be ready. We now reading May 30 and we still have at least a week more before she is ready. Very disappointing but fortunately we have time and can change our plans, the change of plans also means that our son and granddaughter probably cannot come to visit us. The plan was that they should fly up to Halifax and sail with us in Canada, but now we do not know how far north we can get within the time frame we have and flight ticket prices has gone through the roof so no visit from them unfortunately.

The ballast keel has just been attached to the hull when we arrived.


Delamination that have not been attended


General chaos aboard

Kerpa has been painted with Alwgrip and a new boat strip that better represent how Kerpa floats on the water, but the copper coat has not been applied. 

A lot of things remains to be done and difficult for us to start with the work that we have planned to do before we cast off. But a few things we manage to do

The old anchor chain was running on over time so we

had ordered 400 feet 120 m of 3/8 inch G4 chain that we marked, and I pulled aboard with muscle craft as we did not have any batteries aboard.

Next project was to install the new batteries 8, 34 kg batteries, the old one was 110 Ah each, the new one bought from USA but probably made in China was on 135 Ah, so we increase from 440 Ah to 540 Ah. The brand is V-max and the price for this AGM batteries was very attractive compared with other AGM batteries, at least 1000 $ lower than 8 high end group 31 AGM. The spec for the V-Max is good and have very good rating from the one who bought them from Amazon. Next time we change it will be LiFePO4 batteries.

Installing the new wind transducer

Kerstin clean and wash the mast, much easier now when the mast is down, probably a decade since it was done last time.

A new block in the mizzen mast secured with a Dyneema loop, now I dare to go aloft in the mizzen mast with the Balloner halyard, before we had to take down the mizzen sail and go aloft with the mizzen halyard, very unpractical.

A new line cutter was ordered to replace the old broken one, but “of course” it was the wrong size so had to order a new one, but now the correct one is in place. Very good to have as we will sail up to Maine with lobster pots everywhere so very easy to get stuck on a Lobster pots.

Old instruments

Now place for the new ones

Numerous cables to be ripped out to be substituted by fewer NMEA 2000 back bone cable.

This crow nest of cables need to be tidied up

Some items now ripped out, but that is the easy part the problem is to pull all the new cables and connect them correctly.

Keeping a boat in ship shape demands a lot of skills, hopefully I will finish all the necessary work with out to many hiccups’, bruised knuckles and hopefully my self-confidence not to damage, if I’m lucky it might even get a boost.

It is difficult to work when the yard also is working on Kerpa so I only work on the boat during the weekends, so I make a mess inside on top of the mess they have made.

When we could not work on Kerpa we have to pass the time sometimes by eating, and finally we got to try the Chesapeake Bay oysters. We tested two types, the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island sound oysters. The Long island was better, but they lack the freshness of oysters from the open sea.

Now we sound like really spoiled sybarites but actually none of us have had oysters very often but even so we could judge the quality.

But Marguerites together with salt peanuts in the shell (can’t understand how they get them salty in the shell, but they tasted very good) is not bad either when waiting for a nice steak.

Or a beautiful Café Latte.

Rock Hall not fare from Georgetown were Kerpa is, soon it starts to rain again.

And when they are working on the boat we did some traveling. But before we could start our trip, we had to wait out really bad weather. It was torrential rain ca 300 mm in a few days, thunder storm and the weather system were very bad. Our idea was to visit some national parks on the way to Nashville and maybe travel all the way down to Key West, but the forecast for the whole stretch from Philadelphia down to Key West was BAD. One day we got mail from a cruising friend who was anchored in Key West, they had been hit by the lightening with severe damage as consequence.

So instead of going south we went north.

But first we had to visit US Boarder Control to get a new cruising permit (CP): Last year when we got the previous one, we asked how do we get a new CP, he said you and the vessel need to leave the country for 14 days, then you can enter again and get a new 12 month CP. I then asked if I only ask for a 5-month CP, can I they get the remaining 7 months when asking next time? Well I do not know he said different officers will interpret the rules differently. OK how wold you interpret the rules if I ask you next year? He thought for a while and then said if I had a good day I would probably grant you a new CP. With that in mind we called the US Border control and told them our intention, the officer was very friendly in his voice and said no problem just visit us and we fix it. Sounded good, but never take out a victory in advance. Finally, we got there, downtown of Baltimore after navigating heavy traffic and finding a parking spot. After passing security we then handed over our old CP, the officer looked at it and with a different voice he said I can not renew this on! Shit I thought, Why not? it expire tomorrow he said ( it was a year minus one day since we got our last CP). Well after some discussion I manage to point out for him that the old CP was only for 5 month and 7 month remains, he had never seen a CP of less than 12 month. He sat down in front of his computer for a long time and he looked very concerned, but finally we got a new CP for 12 month and we, who would be very happy with 7 Month, our fear was that we had to go direct to Canada. It was with a light hart we went out from USBC.

Next stop was New London close to Defender the boat equipment shop I use to purchase via internet most boating gears such as the chain, pumps, ropes etc, etc from. And of course, we did not get out from the store emptyhanded I can assure you that. The second most important place to visit was Cape Cod. We use Google Map to guide us when traveling and it is very convenient, I wonder how did one found the way in the old days?

The trip north took us close to New York with all the risk of traffic jam that could offer, but Google told us frequently about delays due to traffic jam and suggested alternatives directions we should take. We followed the advice from Google but that we should probably not have done. It led us on motorways that cost a fortune, we paid all in all 48 $ and the “Climax” was a trip over Washington Bridge for 16 $ in toll fee, that ended up on north Manhattan!!! (On the way back we toke a long detour well west of NY it added an hour or so nominally but we had a very beautiful ride back and as it was the Friday before the long weekend with “the memorial” day we guess we actually saved several hours by not getting stuck in any traffic jam)


Cape Cod

Cape Cod was on the list for last year’s cruise, but weather did not permit us to get there, so why not have a pre-visit by car on this remote place before we pas by on the way north this year I thought. Well Cape Cod is not remote at all on the contrary vert large motor ways leads out to Cape Cod. Numerous with exclusive mansions and a big part of the island is owned by the Kennedy family.

Just a small house down town Provincetown of course with a sea view.

Provincetown beach

It was a fantastic early summer day

With flourish gardens

With lilacs and

Lillie of the valley both iconic and essential early summer signs in Sweden after a fierce winter and a cold spring we adore these flowers as they are tokens of the nice summer approaching, a real treat for us Nordic persons to see on this side of the Atlantic

Maybe cold in the water not many took a swim.

The South East corner of Cape Cod very beautiful, anchoring in the bay is a possibility in good weather for the brave or foolish captain, it is tempting unfortunately I do not think we could enter even at high tide, with local knowledge it is probably possible but definitely not without.


This is old whaling ground most villages has connection with the old whaling industry, in New Bedford there is a large Whaling Museum where one can see this model of a hart from a Blue whale

Massive hart that pump a few tons of blood a grown man can crawl up into the chamber.

Herman Melville the author to Moby Dick has of course been here


First edition of The Whale or Moby Dick, I have nor read it yet, but I will definitely do it soon.

In Mystic one can see the last and still sailing whaling ship Charles W Morgan (1841) it was active as late as during the 1920th

The sleek boats they went out to harpoon the whales with

Captains quarter

The other crew had to share space

This is where the cook worked, a tough and probably not so rewarding task. I can recommend reading Wolf Larsen or the Sea Wolf by Jack London a story about a hunting vessel not for whales but for seals, where the cook a noble man and the ruthless but well-educated captain Wolf Larsen discuss poetry and Darwinism aboard the ship, a side character is Wolf Larsens brother Death Larsen who is far more brutal than Wolf Larsen and lack the interest in literature and poetry. Well worth reading.

When visiting whaling museums, one dismays about the slaughter of these magnificent mammals, how could they pray on these animals to almost extinctions? Well first one thinks they did not know better then, but then one realise the devastation of the globe is 10 fold worse today with enormous overfishing of the oceans, billions of tons of plastic waste in the oceans, massive deforestation one can go on and on counting to many examples of the over exploitation that occurs today. Some of them with the excuse of being environmental friendly such as oil palms on Borneo covering thousands of square kilometres where it previous was jungle only to produce “Bio-Diesel” to replace some of the fossil diesel fuel. Politicians could easily reduce the fuel consumption in a minute with legislation that drive the industry and consumer much faster towards smaller and/or more fuel economic cars……

Well that aside in Mystic there was a lot to see, I can recommend a visit.

A very big area is dedicated for old maritime history, many boats and ships being restored to historic glory.

Next in line was a traditional fishing vessel that fished the North Atlantic for Halibut and Cod with long lines with hooks, a potential “sustainable” method with very little catch of unwanted fishes especially compared with trawling. I remember as a very little boy seeing the movie Captain Courageous with Spencer Tracy in the leading role, fishing from such a sailing vessel, a very exciting and emotional film, the first time I cried when seeing movie, probably close to 55 years since I saw the movie and I still remember it, would love to see it again.

The cook had his place in the fore peak not the easiest place to cock in bad weather when fishing wintertime in the North Atlantic.

In Mystic they also had a guest exhibition from Uppsala about the Vikings. Nice to see.

Where to stay

As we can not stay on Kerpa we need to find an alternative. And a great alternative that we have discovered is Airbnb, one rent a room for a few days in someone’s private home, and rather often they are not home when you arrive, but they have left the key for you to find. You enter a private home and try to locate your room a very special feeling we have not get use to yet, it feels much better when the owner is at home when we arrive.

Here we stayed at an Organic farm, we use to have our breakfast on the terrace overlooking the


A posh house just at the water front, no one at home and opened the door when we arrived, we got a good laugh when we saw the toilette.

You might see the big “toilet roll” above, first we wonder why, then we realize everything is big in America especially some very big behinds so of course there is a need for some big toilet paper rolls. We had a very good laugh at that, no offence we hope.

Some living is very basic

Others are more magnifique place also empty, we had to find our way yo our room by our self, a strange feeling.

Warm and welcoming

So, we bought some lobster to boil, tasted good.

This is a Dutch barn more than 200 years old.

I can strongly recommend Airbnb, it is much cheaper than hotel, you meet a lot of people most of them interesting and or interested in you. But now we have lived more than three weeks with the rental car as the only fixed point carrying cloth, toiletry, food, etc in and out of more than half a dossing of Airbnb. Restaurant food most every day. This life is not only tiering it make a deep hole in our cruising kitty, we are really looking forward to moving aboard Kerpa

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Back to Kerpa

We had a ”little” detour on our way to Kerpa, we left Lagos, Portugal the 18/4 and flew to Stockholm were we enjoyed a fantastic spring weather.

That allowed us to have a nice picknick enjoying

A home-made shrimp sandwich in the sun and a cup of tea.  ”Smashing” as the Brit’s say I think?

A stroll along the sea side

Behind the  City Hall of Stockholm

Celebrating my fathers 90th birthday with my brothers and the rest of the family. I think my father looks rather OK given his age and that he fell a year ago and broke his neck and become totally paralysed, could not scratch his own nose. Now he can stand up walk a few steps, and the best of all take a Swedish Snaps when ever he likes, I think that has been the main motivating factors for him to train, At the nursing home they say he’s unique. I agree!

Over the pond

Norwegian has a low fare flight between Stockholm and San Francisco and as I always wanted to go there we decided to take the opportunity to go to San Francisco and explore the neighborhood.

Of course, we had to take the train across the steep hills towards Fishermans Warf

See the sea Lion

The fishing boats

And of course take a looooong walk to visit the Golden gate bridge

We ended up doing over 40.000 steps so our feet was really aching, but it was worth it

As there are many beautiful areas to explore

Kerstin with the Golden gate Bridge in the back ground and facing the chilly wind from the Pacific, it was a great experience.

Next stop was…


We had rented a car that we were supposed to pick up at the airport, we had landed at the Oakland airport and we assume there was only one airport. We dragged all our heavy luggage (three weeks trip and a lot of stuff for Kerpa) through the streets of San Francisco down to the subway. A train came in as we entered the platform and luckily the sign showed clearly that it was for the airport, quickly aboard and a deep breath now we could relax. After ca 15 minutes we both look out and conclude this was not the way we came in, we quickly came to the conclusion that it must be more than one airport in San Francisco. We took all our luggage and went of the train as we were heading towards San Francisco airport, the wrong one.  Luckily rather quickly it came a train on the other side of the platform, so we step on to that train. After having passed several stations Kerstin ask me, are you sure you rented the car at the Oakland airport? Well I felt rather stupid and after a few minutes I found my booking and of course we were on the way to the wrong airport, the car was booked at the San Francisco Airport. Quickly of the train and this time we had to wait rather long before the right train came. Much later than expected we sat in the car on our way towards Yosemite.  The landscape was very beautiful, a lot of very green rolling landscape it became a very nice trip by car.

The next day we were up very early and went to The Yosemite National Park, there was supposed to be a buss to Glacier Point from where one can walk back ca 12 km to the car in a very beautiful surrounding. To our surprise the road has just opened for the season, but was not cleared from falling rocks etc so no buss. They have winter in California and some roads are then closed during the winter and I who thought there is always summer in California. We Europeans often complain that Americans do not know much about Europe, as example they often mix up between Sweden and Switzerland, but there are so many things we European do not know about USA, so I think we are more or lesson pair.

Newer the less, we have learned a lot about California. And that aside we decided the hike up above the Yosemite Falls a trip of 12 km does not sounds that long, but the elevation gain is over 800 meters and the trail ends at over 2000 meters above sea level, it takes it toll from an “old” man like me.

Up there we go

It is steep and not always kind surface to walk on.

But a beautiful trail to walk.

Very rewarding to be at the top. Then one think that going down should not be so tough, well my toes was very sore already half way down, the last kilometers was painful.  But all in all, a very rewarding day.

After the walk we went to a new hotel to visit the

King Canyon

another fantastic National Park in California. There is a road along the valley you should not miss to travel, it is fantastic. Below follow a number of pictures without any text as they speak for themselves

This is bear country, so it was with some anxiety we walked about, but the closest we got to a bear was

Some fresh bear dropping we believed, whatever, close enough we thought, but it was fantastic to walk around among this beautiful creeks.

Sequoia national Park

No rest the next day we visited another amazing National Park in California the Sequoia N.P. with its enormous threes.

A small sequoia tree that fell down some time ago

A bigger one, this is severely burned, we saw large areas of forest that was burned down, but these massive trees survive most fires, without forest fires they would not exist.

An even bigger tree, the strange thing is that they grow very close to each other on very thin soil about a meter thick, the roots spread out just under the surface so they have to compete for the same water and nutrient and that at an elevation of around 2000 meters. Many of these big trees are 2-3000 years old, so they have survived a lot of forest fires.

As one can see they grow very close and

Get very big

The largest of them all the 81,5 meter tall “General Grant tree” diameter at 1,4 meters height is 8,8 m, and at 55 m height the diameter is 3,9 meters, total volume is 1320 kbm. Massive!

Further down in the valley it become green and the park offers many trails

Kerstin on the “Angels falls trail”

One must be very careful when walking sometimes the trail is very narrow as seen, there are several 100 meters before one reach the bottom of the valley, if one slip and fall, it would definitely be the last thing one did.

Grand Canyon

A long drive that took us to Grand Canyon, this time the landscape was less appealing, first mainly mono culture, wine, orange or avocado it looked as, then came the dessert landscape very monotonous.

Well the next morning we woke up to a surprise

It is snowing!!!!

It is cold

And not much visibility what a disappointment.

Will this be the only thing we will see of the Grand Canyon?

Well we decided to stay a day longer, and we were rewarded the next day offered fantastic weather.


We got a fantastic view over GC and the Colorado River.

But still some remains of snow, I did not expect to see cactus’s and snow together.

Could not either imagine that it has been a uranium mine on the steep slope either

The first explores was very brave, traveling down the Colorado river without knowing what was waiting around the next bend, it could be a violent rapid or a fall. Tough men!

Our trip continued this time to a place with a different target group

Las Vegas

We stayed in Las Vegas for two days, and we both concluded that it was at least one day to many, not our cup of tea, we prefer to have a cup of tea out of a Thermos jug rather than sipping wine in a rather artificial environment, but luckily, people have different preferences else all beautiful spots we seen so fare would have been equal crowded as Las Vegas.

One can find New York in Vegas

As well

As Venice with canals and plazas

Both photos are indoor, the “sky” was rather amazing

Rather fancy corridors

The hotel The Venezian has 3000 rooms, it was a long que at the check in all day, but still fast and efficient.

Final stop before seeing Kerpa again was Philadelphia


With its old historian quarters

But maybe most known for the Liberty Bell

If you want to know more about Liberty Bell click on the link above.

There are plenty mural paintings to enjoy as well as a

Beer in a relaxed out door bar.

We visited the Amish village not far from Philadelphia, but there we could not enjoy a beer.

Next stop Kerpa, but that will follow later enough now.

As she was fare from ready


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A lot has happened

Last time I wrote, the head line was not very much happens, well I can’t say that this time, actually a lot of thing has happened.


The main event in Annapolis was of course the boat show, Annapolis host the largest sailing boat show in the USA. And for most boat owners such event is almost like Christmas for a child, they can often not sleep the day before Christmas, and it is almost the same for an engaged boat owner. We had of course bought tickets for the opening day, they cost a little bit extra but instead there are less people and the exhibitors are not yet tiered of all the visitors. For the one interesting in buying a new boat there is an excellent opportunity to look at a lot of sailboats, did not count them, but someone told me there were around 200 large and small sailboats on display and I do not doubt that. There were a lot of sailing boats displayed. Jeanneau, Beneteau, Hanse, Lagoon etc had up to 6-8 models each on display

There must be a big job to arrange all the jetties and boats.

The only boat that we looked at was the Amel 55.

But for us who already have a boat, we are more interested in looking at all he gears, gears that we have used the last couple of months to convince our spouse are absolutely necessary and of course must be bought at the boat show as we then can make a very good deals on absolutely necessary items such as (I have not wrote anything here as for a boat junky almost everything boat related are “absolutely” necessary hence the list would be very long).

For us the Boat show was a big disappointment. The area for equipment was not very large at all and very few exhibitors with very modest booths. Even Gothenburg boat show has more boating gears.  The other strange thing was that the sales representatives that were working in the booths were, I must say substandard, one felt more that one disturbed them when entering their booth than as a valuable potential customer, very strange, there were of course a few exceptions.  The advantage for us, we saved a lot of money, but with some more professional sales persons the turnover could easily be doubled. I hope my American friends don‘t feel offended by this criticism but I have praise a lot of other things we have encountered in the USA, and everything can’t be perfect. When talking to sailing friends they had similar thoughts.

Well needed lunch break after a few hours at the fair with some of our B 50 friends also at the fair

We were 5 boats that meet up with Jimmy Cormell who was at the show to promote his new book 200.000 miles. We took the opportunity the get a photo of him together with us.

We had a great time in Annapolis meeting many old friends, making new friends attending dinners and other activities, so do not be put off for my criticism of the fair it’s a great place to visit especially in connection with the Boat show.

Everything is not fun, such as cleaning out all the lockers, all this things come from part of the cockpit locker.

Cleaned and treated with white vinegar to keep eventual mold away, but it was much tougher for Kerstin, She did the same with all lockers inside the boat.


We left Annapolis and went to Georgetown, Sassafras River where Kerpa will be hauled out for the winter.

Kerpa at the Marina in Georgetown, the marina looked a bit old fashioned and run-down, but we have been recommended to keep Kerpa there for the repair, they have done some very good job on other boats, and the impression from the employee was very good.

They had some run-down boats as well with a lot of ….

Mosquitoes on.  We washed Kerpa very thoroughly, but keeping mosquitoes and bird dropping from the boat was a battle one cannot win.

Vultures, did not know they were to be seen there, I wondered what they feed on and was told they feed  on dear killed by cars! Must be a lot of dears to feed all these vultures.

Kerpa being washed, one cannot see it very well on the picture, but the area above the water line was very dirty with yellow stain, we were a little bit worried that we would not have time to clean it off before we left, but cleaning was to our surprise included in the cost to haul out. They used a magic product on a sponge as seen on the picture, waited a few minutes and all dirt just vanished as a miracle, washed it off with water, it took maybe 15 minutes to get most of the hull almost shining, we often use a day or two to get it off, so of course I asked what kind of miracle product do they use?

Well it is Myraic Acid they said, I’m a Chemical engineer so I should know that acid but I have never heard about it, I just thought they pronounced it a little bit strange so I did not asked more, I just google it when I get home I thought. Via google I later found out it is hydrochloric acid! A very strong acid and a low cost chemical, but one should be very care full with it as it is a very strong acid that must be diluted. The question, is it safe for the vessel? I need to find out because if it is, it’s certainly a miracle product that will reduce the job the get the hull look much nicer with substantially less job at less cost as well. Now I start to understand why a saw bottles of hydro chloric acid in most chandleries in France.

The bottom did not look as I had expected, the front of the keel is painted with “normal” bottom paint and that part is less fouled than the rest of the bottom that has Coper coat as anti-fouling.

When the boat was launched after the temporary repair there was no fouling anywhere as it was pressure washed so the standard paint looks more efficient. We were launched the 30 of July so we have only been in the water for 2½ month, and I did not expect so much fouling.

The fouling on the rudder

Close photo on the bottom a lot of slime and beginning of “grass” the barnacle was on the slime so very easy to get rid of.

We have been in very murky water and a rather long time in brackish water, maybe that can explain the fouling, well not too happy with the copper coat now, but I will give our final verdict after a few years in more “normal” waters such as in the Caribbean.

One important thing was to get the damage after the grounding surveyed and for that I had appointed Olivier Beaute, probably the person who know the Amel boats best in the whole world. He has worked many years on the Amel yard before he started his surveyor business. I was pleased that the insurance company agrees to use him even though he has to fly in from Europe. I offer to pay half of his travelling expenses which they agree to which I think was fair.

The keel got a big blow and the keel bolts needs to be resealed and tightened

Not the easiest area to get to, there were other damages as well, but at least I’m rather sure Olivier has found all the damages, now we only has to wait for the yard to make a cost estimate and the insurance company to pay.

It was chaos in the boat the last days as Olivier needed to get access to all hidden places aboard to inspect for eventual damages. Not easy to cook aboard in this mess.

Fortunately there was a nice restaurant in walking distance from the yard witch served good food at very reasonable prices.

And of course the fantastic hospitality that one meets in the USA. Patrick and Diane who lives a few miles from Georgetown which also have an Amel SM, helped us a lot and invited us to dinner in their lovely home

Olivier the iconic Amel surveyor to the left and Patrick and Diane to the right, the “young” man in the middle are me.

Empty battery compartment, our batteries was totally run-down. The last days we had to shut down the fridge, the batteries could only hold charge enough for the light. We kept our fingers crossed the last weeks as we did not want to buy new batteries just before we should leave and then leave them unattended over the winter.

Kerstin did not need any work out that day, 8 times 25 kg to lift from the boat. Well, as a gentleman I did most of the job….

Last night we spent at Patrick and Diane as our boat was not very comfortable any longer, we are very great full for the help we got. But I must say Americans are very friendly so just that makes it worth sailing to the USA and of course the nice scenery and sailing ground.

What now?

We are in Lagos, Portugal since less than a week back were we will spend the winter.

Lagos, the large marina is just a few 100 meters up the river. We have been aboard a Swedish boat who soon heading for Madeira and then across to the Caribbean. Strangely both Kerstin and I felt a bit envy and wanted to cross we too again!

But we have nice beaches to do our morning walks on, just a few 100 meters away from our flat.

We have already made new friends, there are many Swedes in Lagos.

I have celebrated my 60 birthday with Tapas, the tuna was excellent.

And one thing is for sure, we will enjoy wonderful food in Portugal

Plenty of very nice wines

Fantastic cheese, and of course sea food.

There will not be any sailing for a while, but cheek the Blogg now and then, I will write a little about how we managed the need for electricity, good and bad gadgets, high and low lights, and maybe some other hopefully interesting reading.

The plan for next season is to go north to Nova Scotia and perhaps to Newfoundland, there is need for some more persuasion before Kerstin agree to Newfoundland, to cold and too rough she thinks, maybe she’s right.


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Not much happens

Not much has happened since last time, we left you with a small ”Cliff Hanger” as we did not told you where we ended up. Well we anchored in Sassafras river were we stayed for two days before we proceeded to Annapolis to meet some B50 friends, which have been in Annapolis for a while. We were a little worried if we would be able to find an anchorage as we planned to stay for a while and did not want to pick up a buoy for 30 $ a night.

Well after some looking we  found an anchorage in Back Creek on a spot we never would have anchored in, if we were in Sweden or in the Mediterranean as one get very close to the marina jetties. But as long as you are more than 75 feet from a jetty it is OK.

Of course we party again when we meet our old B50 friends, this time it was a charity dinner with some famous musicians I never heard about (such as Jimmy Buffett, Scott Kirby, John Patti and others), many of them have had a few No 1 on the US lists.

The man to the left with the mouth organ was really good

Us at an early stage of the evening, later it was difficult to stand still when the music started to swing actually very nice evening and music.


St Michaels

You have all heard about the Hurricanes Jose and Maria, they are active for a long time and difficult to predict where they will end up next. Maria threatening to get close to Annapolis with gusts over 40 knots. We decided to move around a bit where we could get more room to swing and to have longer scoop on our anchor rod. One of the places we visited was St Michaels, a small upmarket village with a very nice museum about the life on the Chesapeake Bay in earlier days.

It was very busy at those days when the oysters were unloaded at the small harbor

A lot of boats indeed

Most of them were of the type below

A boat in better shape but still in need for a lot of TLC

The boards are very crude

The bow is just a piece of solid wood, must be very heavy, but the reason for that was that there were no saw mills in the area so they just used logs and hand tools

Rather big logs

This “Skip Jack” as they were called was built as late as 1955 and was used until 1975 when it was sold to the museum

Even the smaller boats were very simple in construction

But obviously not all of them the little vessel above looks very nicely built and show crtaftmanship

The vessels were primarily “fishing” or maybe harvesting is a better word for how they got the oysters.

They were put in tins, I can’t really imagine to open a tin with a gallon of, of the shell oysters, can you? Well in those days it was a delicacy

May be not easy to read but recipes for, how to cook oyster from the tin.

Catching oysters was a harsh life, a Dutch photographer Robert de Gast toke the B&W photos below as late as 1969-70. I hope I not violate any copy rights law by showing you the photos that I toke of his photos at the museum, I do think they are worth showing, and it maybe make you interested to visit the museum  in St Michael if you would be in the neighborhood.

A fantastic face

At the end of the day probably

The kettle is on

It could be cooled as well

Others had time for more fun activities, and assume some of them got wet

They had a light house here as they had in The  Solomons Museum, but this looked more Spartan

Not too comfortable or…

Old fashion work bench and tools

But probably not the tools that built this vessel

As mentioned Maria was not fare away and that we could see on the high water which was pushed up by the hurricane.

Kerstin and I had to wade through the water to get to the dingy

Surprised to see such low jetties and streets, it was not a very abnormal high water, so in case of a direct hit the whole area would be submerged, the same goes for Annapolis which is a very low lying city that easily got flooded

After St Michaels we went back to Annapolis for some work, we are going to haul out for the season, so Kerpa need to be prepared for a winter on the hard, and it is better to start early to prepare, we are anyhow only waiting for the Annapolis boat show to start (5 of October).

Empty and clean all storage compartments outside as well as on the inside, final treatment is with white vinegar to avoid mold.

A lot of moist ropes hanging to dry

In the mean time I polish all the stainless steel on Kerpa, rather shiny!

Can recommend these two products, probably both based on phosphorus acid and oxalic acid, using them and the shine last longer is supposed to passivate the steel, and it works

Another tough job was to remove the fridge, it needs to be removed so that we can inspect the keel bolts in the water tank who has one of its inspection hatches below the fridge.

My first thought was to try to lift out the GRP fridge from the plywood sofa module, but it seems to be impossible, and it was. After many questions on the Amel Owners forum I found the solution

The whole module should be mowed not as difficult as it looks the tricky part was to locate all the screws and here the Amel Owners forum was fantastic, of course someone had done it and documented it very well with pictures of where to find all the hidden screws.

The inspection hatch is now accessible.

We have had discussion with our Insurance company and agreed that I can have the best Amel surveyor, surveying Kerpa. His name is Olivier Beaute, from France, we have to pay 50% of his travel cost, but we think that is fair.

He will come and inspect Kerpa the 12th of October and then we need to be on the hard and ready to be inspected, and now when the fridge issue is solved we feel a bit more relaxed.

But everything is not just work, we found this fantastic place in Annapolis who sold “snus” a Swedish type of tobacco one put under the lip. I of course bought a box of “General Snus”, but notice it was a while since I tasted it, become a little bit affected by the nicotine so I only took a few then I put the rest in the bin.

But they do not only have Swedish “snus”, they do have Swedish Coffee as well

Gevalia from the small city of Gavle in Sweden

Kerstin found it rather amusing to find this coffee in a pharmacy of all places, but we opted for a more roasted coffee from Starbucks.

We are fan of Starbucks, not cheap but very good and consistent quality coffee.


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Going south

You have all heard and read about the devastation the Hurricane Irma has caused. Places such as Barbuda, St Martin and Virgin Island have been totally shredded, no working infrastructure, no electricity or water, on top of that many families without roof over their heads. Looting has occurred in many places adding to the very uncomfortable situation thousands of families have to coop with.

Fortunately we have not had any impact of Irma, even though some forecasts, threatening with sustainable winds of 45 knots and gusts up to 70 knots, so we took the precaution to move south to Long Island sound to wait out eventual strong winds.

First stop was Block Island, which has a very secured almost land locked anchorage were we stayed for 4-5 days as the wind was rather strong and with shifting directions. The anchorage is known for poor holding and during a few windy nights we were lucky not being hit by dragging boats. Why do not boat owners learn? Get a good anchor and at least a scoop of 5 times the depth taking free board and tide into account.

The American Tow Boat a “organization” that you could subscribe to, to have free towing if somethings happened, and things do happens frequently, they were on standby in the anchorage at Block Island during these windy nights.

It was not only windy it was rainy and cold to. For the first time for long we needed socks on our feet aboard Kerpa.

But we had a few good days as well, above the Atlantic side of Block Island with beaches and a small nice town

Usually most buildings are grand or magnificent so nice to see this very modest hut on Block Island but not a very modest sized anchor

At an overnight stop in Port Jefferson we saw

this Maxi 108, which we have a very warm hart for as we owned one for 13 years, in which we sailed with our kids most weekends and holidays, an old but fantastic competent sailboat both for family sailing and offshore cruising.

New York Again

Port Washington is a good place to wait out bad weather, they have low cost mooring buoys and the bay is relatively sheltered. Port Washington has good train connections to Manhattan, so there are worse places to wait out remains from a hurricane such as Irma who threatened to send some bad weather towards us. We feared that we have to stay for over a week, but fortunately for us, probably not for others she took another way so we did not notice anything from Irma.

But we got a few days in NYC.

Brooklyn street view is very different from Manhattan, we liked it a lot

To our surprise it is a Smorgasbord every Saturday during season in Brooklyn. Smorgasbord is Swedish, this was a very free interpretation of the Swedish concept, but it was very nice and much appreciated by many and rather crowded.

The smorgasbord in Brooklyn consist of around 100 different stalls that served food from all over the world, too much to choose from one almost get confuse by all the options, finally we decided for Peking duck Sandwich

Not very colorful bread but it tasted good and the whole menu was very nice.

There are at least one similarity between Americans and Swedes we have very good queue discipline

Kerstin enjoying the day together with many others this very marvelous day.

Time for a selfi this magnificent day

And of course a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is a real tourist attraction and sometimes it gets jammed with pedestrians and cyclist, but no hard feelings from locals who have to pass and just not walk the bridge for fun.

A few days later we passed under the bridge and south of the Governor Island seen in the picture.

But before that we also wanted to see Manhattan again

Time square is a really busy place at least late afternoon and evenings

All kinds of way to attract tourists for a dollar or two, thought being more or less nude would not be appropriate for the prudish Americans but it obviously was as long as you paint over the most vital parts of your body.

Similar attraction maybe for both women and men.

Strand probably the largest book store in the world, my brother Thomas urged me to go there but this was as close as I got, close enough Thomas?

Central Park is always full of activities, but Christmas feels a little bit too early. Where is the snow?

The contrast between the park and the giant city is very visible in Central Park.

Going south

No strong wind was to be expected on the contrary hardly any wind at all, and we wanted to go south so after four days in Port Washington we decided to leave.

This time approaching New York from the north

Again we passed this very large prison vessel, someone said the whole island is a prison camp.

On the top of the vessel with the exercise area, a “splendid view” of New York

Approaching East River

UN building

Empire State Building in the back ground

Going south on East River one see the Statue of Liberty in distance

Brooklyn with the place for the Smorgasbord we visited a few days before

Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan with Governor Island in the fore ground

It has been very cold some days, and the night when we sailed towards Cape May was really cold

We had arctic style underwear, wind breaker and cap on, but it was still very cold so we had to wrap ourselves in fleece blankets to keep warm during the night. Not very much wind as can be seen

Passing Cape May after motoring all the way from Port Washington

The original idea was to anchor in Cape May, but as we arrived very early and the tide was with us for the passage up The Delaware Bay, we decided to continue and soon we was rewarded with  a fresh wind just forward of the beam that gave us good speed

A nice sail, often exceeding 8 kn with the help of the current, lasted about three hours, then the wind came on the nose and dropped down so the engine had to work again.

A lot of goods are transported by barges, this barge is one of the largest we have seen, but on AIS it is often only the tug itself that have AIS.

Rather big fenders!

The transom has a “garage” for the tug that pushes the barge towards its destination.

At very long distance away we saw smoke or steam, several hours later we could see this massive cooling tower. It is a nuclear power station. You see a lot of things when cruising Nuclear power stations are probably not prime targets for any cruisers to see

A lot of birds looking for food opportunities when big fishes hunting small fishes to the surface, life are tough escaping the big fish just to be eaten by the bird.


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