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Sailing Vessel (SV) JOANA and her Crew
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Last Update:   

17 September 2014 Curaçao - Seru Boca Marina

We’re still at the dock and working away at jobs in preparation for moving to the anchorage and then sailing west to Colombia. Our departure will be “soon”, estimated to be in less than a week.

One of the jobs I tackled was replacing the fuel polishing pump. Way back when we were in Venezuela, dockside, our fuel polishing pump “burned out”. This is a small, low pressure diesel pump, used to circulate the diesel through our Racor filters. If the Volvo hasn’t been running for a few months, this is a handy way of self cleaning the diesel fuel. The problem is that its difficult to find just the right pump. When this pump burned out about 10 months ago, I just put it on the list of things to acquire when we were in Canada for the summer. Before leaving, I ordered one from an Internet supplier and presto, it was waiting for me on arrival in Ottawa. This model is a Walbro FRA-1 industrial fuel pump and much more suited for the task than the last pump. I’ve been running it for 10 hours at a time. It doesn’t heat up and is “pulling” the fuel through my dual Racor filters just nicely.

Diane and I do a lot of reading, nearly all of it using electronic books on our Kindles. Earlier this year, I finished reading ALL of Stephen King’s novels. That’s a lot of books! This past week I finished novel number 20 in the Master and Commander series written by Patrick O’Brian. The Hollywood movie “Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World” was loosely based on number 10 of 20. I found them to be a very good read, although I did have to use the Kindle’s built-in dictionary quite a bit for the old-English vocabulary. These books should be read in sequence.

1. Master and Commander

2. Port Captain

3. HMS Surprise

4. The Maruritius Command

5. Deslation Island

6. The Fortune of War

7. The Surgeon’s Mate

8. The Ionian Mission

9. Treason’s Harbour

10. The Far Side of the World

11. The Reverse of the Medal

12. The Letter of Marque

13. The 13 Gun Salute

14. The Nutmeg of Consultation

15. Clarissa Oakes

16. The Wine Dark Sea

17. The Commodore

18. The Yellow Admiral

19. The Hundred Days

20. Blue at the Mizzen

Now I’m reading “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson and Sue Grafton’s detective series “A is for Alibi”, “B is for Burglar” etc (I think there are 22 in total).

I’ve installed a new “lighting option” in the cockpit, now making four options. The new one is an IKEA LED strip light, 12V DC, without the power puck. It is neatly installed with marine silicone to seal the joints and adhere the strip to the underside of the steel dodger. It brings a lot of light into the cockpit, particularly welcome during mealtime.

I think I’m finally finished repairing/overhauling the mainsheet traveller. Years ago, I bought an Australian-made FICO mainsheet traveller, car/track/end stops from a reputable chandler in Canada. In time, I discovered that although this was the largest system produced by FICO (which has now closed its business), it was still undersized for our boat. In fact, looking around at other boat’s equipment, I have yet to see what I would consider appropriate. The car “came apart” when we were sailing from Halifax to Bermuda five years ago and I undertook a repair while in Bermuda. Now, the end stops have split in half because the assembly is a composite of aluminum and stainless steel, and dissimilar metals never do well in salt water.

I bought eight stainless steel Suncor sheaves off eBay a few months ago and hauled them back from Canada to complete the job. Here they are on the stairs, awaiting service. Aren’t they shiny?

Here are photos of the completed traveller car and end stop, with the new sheave wheels and fitted to the deck. No water leaks and I’m hoping it is a sturdy enough installation.


We had some distressing news a few days ago. We have been slowly following in the wake of some Australian cruising friends of ours (Steve and Liz Coleman onboard SV Makoko) that we met in Trinidad last year. Here is an excerpt from their recent email:


“Hello there from Sydney.  We have some bad news for you about Makoko/Amiable

that has cut short our sailing this year.  Briefly, this is what happened:

In the early hours on Sunday, 3 Aug, in a confined anchorage at Anchorage

Island, Suwarrow, the Cook Islands, with driving rain, zero visibility, and

winds gusting 35 to 40 knots, "Amiable" broke her anchor chain.  To avoid

hitting other yachts anchored around us, we decided to follow our GPS track

and head out to sea. On the way out when a 40 knot gust hit Amiable we then

hit a reef.  

We tried for an hour to get off the reef, but our winged keel was wedged

tight.  We packed our grab bags and put life vests on and called for other

yachties to come and get us.  They decided it was too dangerous to come so

we had to sit there until daybreak came some four hours later, before a

dinghy came the 400 metres from shore to collect us.  Without doubt it was

the worst four hours of my life.  I really feared for my life.

I hitched a ride to Pago Pago in American Samoa to try and deal with the

insurance company, as communication in that part of the world is

non-existent.  Steve stayed in Suwarrow for 10 days making sure that

everything was taken off the boat and to minimise any potential damage to

the reef and waters, as Suwarrow is a national park.  Then he jumped on a

friends boat and was taken to Apia (Western Samoa) before flying to Sydney.”


Incredible, our friends Steve and Liz have lost their boat, thankfully, they are alive!

It has now been 5 1/2 years since we sailed away from Canada. Since that time, we’ve met a lot of interesting people from many different countries. Some have sailed a lot (around the world) and some only a little (Florida to Bahamas). Unfortunately, we can now say that we have met people that have been robbed, shot, became ill and postponed cruising, became ill and stopped cruising, returned to work to boost the cruising kitty, were lost at sea (and presumed dead), lost their mast/rig (storm), lost their boat due to sinking, and / or died. After much deliberation, we have decided that unless a fresh obstacle arises, we will now establish our next cruising goal - to reach New Zealand by November 2015.

To see previous log entries, just use the tab at the top. 


SV Joana is listed for sale at this site (in case you're wondering why, we're not planning to give up the cruising lifestyle or our home, but most things are for sale and since we've met many cruisers who have listed their boat, we figured we'd do it too).



Countries Visited:         (Departed Canada: May 2009)

Antigua: May 2011
Bermuda: June - August 2009
Bonaire: February - April 2014
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Barbados: March 2012
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
Cuba: March - May 2010
Curaçao: May 2014 - 
Dominica: May 2011, April 2013
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Grenada: June-November 2011
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
Puerto Rico: April 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
Venezuela: November 2013 - February 2014


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