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Old 09-12-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
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A Krogen in Europe Ė A New Chapter Begins for Dauntless and its Intrepid Crew

A Krogen in Europe Ė
A New Chapter Begins for Dauntless and its Intrepid Captain and First Mate

Itís 09:00 a.m. and I just finishing my coffee and the very last three Costco oatmeal cookies that had been frozen more than two months ago and today, tasted as fresh as the day I got them.

The cookies were great crossing the ocean. Almost every morning, I had something to look forward to, but their time is now past. The Irish may not be known for their baking, but they certainly have some wonderful ďDanishĒ, which I am already looking forward to tomorrow morning, as I sit here and gaze on to a scene of evergreens and ferns that reminds me of western Washington, the islands of Puget Sound and Southeast Alaska (and of course, all points in between). IĎll be docked next to a fishing boat in the centre of Castletwonbere for probably my last week here. I have three things that need to be done in the relatively near future and if I leave here with at least two of them accomplished, I will be pleased. The three are: a new paravane pole, 2500 liters fuel and a diesel forced air heater. Already think the heater wonít happen, having been advised to look in Cork.

But I get ahead of myself. I slept from 22:00 last night to 8:30 this morning, after travelling yesterday from Leonieís house in Helmond to the airport, plane ride to Cork, then bus to Castletownbere, where I caught the ferry to Bere Island, where Dauntless was in my absence.

During all my travel time yesterday, I marveled that we are now living the accomplishment of the goal. The first part of the goal was to get Dauntless to Europe. We did that. This was the payoff for those rolling seas, tension, loneliness and having to pinch our pennies.

I must have been tired, but my trips to the Netherlands are always so nice. When my new friends here in Castletownbere, Karel and Mi Jong, said they were flying to Amsterdam last week for the boat show, I knew Leonieís birthday was the following Saturday and she takes those kind of things very seriously. So I flew down for the week and had a really special time, eating well and seeing most of my Dutch friends. I was reminded that I had not been in the Netherlands for two years, since before my mother died. Thatís the longest period in the last 15 years, but I suppose it has been a tumultuous two years. Being able to maintain these relationships over the last 38 years (I first arrived in Italy in 1976) has always been a first priority for me. Now, Iíve even added new Ireland friends, Karel and Mi Jong, have been so generous and helpful and really made me feel like part of the family. Also, staying with them really helped me get over that long, arduous 10 day voyage faster than I ever imagined.

Dauntless was just as I left here and best of all, the batteries were only down less than 200 amp-hours, over 7 days. Now those days have been mostly sunny, giving my solar panels the opportunity to put about 50 amps hours back into the battery bank each day. But the real pleasure in this is that the Vitrifrigo freezer and refrigerator both only use about 5 amps per hour on average, so thatís 75 amps per day. Having them 12v (really variable) allows me to turn off Inverter if Iím not on boat, so Iím so happy.

So now Iím back in Ireland and finally starting to put the boat back in shape so it doesnít look like it just crossed an ocean with a bunch of vagabonds. I am filling the water tanks now. I have to figure a better method to be sure when they are full, other than waiting to see standing water on top of the tank.

Iím also really excited about getting underway again, even if itís just two days to Waterford. I get to use my new Delta I got at Hopkins-Carter and while I have not finished reading that whole Fortress Thread and test, I appreciate their candor.

On that note, not to throw any fuel (contaminated or not) on the fire, but for all of you who rant and rave about your new age, $$expensive$$ anchors, trying to be as objective as I can be, I have noticed that virtually everyone who gets a new anchor, gets one far heavier than the last one. Now, I admit, I noticed this because I did the same thing. I got a 60 lb. CQR that replaced my 40 lb. Plow. For the first months I thought the CQR was much better, but then I realized it was just heavier and did un-set itself a lot. The Delta is far better, has never unset so far and is 5 lbs. lighter. Just SayingÖ

Iíd like to keep this thread focused on having an American boat, a Krogen, and me and Julie in Europe. Howís itís the same, how itís different. But to be clear, as much as Iíve wanted to return to Europe, itís not a case of it being better, itís just different. One thing I have gleaned from living all over the place the last 40 years, is that every place has its advantages and disadvantages. To be happy, itís best to not try to bring your old life to the new place. I used to drink a Coke a day and then in Italy as that became a bit more difficult, I switched to wine. Made my life far easier and turns out far healthier. In Italy, as times, I even had to replace my morning orange juice with, guess what? Wine! At first I was aghast, but also as it turns out, humans have been doing that for the last 10,000 years, versus orange juiceís, what?, 50 years. Madison Ave types were getting annual bonuses big enough to buy a Manhattan apartment each year, long before the financial industry learned how to squeeze us for every last nickel and dime.

So the above paragraph has nothing to do with having an American boat in Europe. Oh well, just goes to show you, to boat, you must be flexible.

So, Iím excited about the coming year already. Iím looking forward to the challenge of living aboard during the winter. Iím also excited about the Baltic tour. I think I will even leave Ireland in March, as to start as early as I can in northern France, the Channel Islands, then Belgium, Holland in April. In time for Tulip season. Maybe I can make a picture of the Krogen surrounded by fields of tulips. Later
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:35 PM   #2
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Will you head to Scotland after leaving Ireland? Some of the places up there look very interesting to visit. The Royal Navy has their sub base up there and it looks like you can get kinda close which surprises me. I would want to see how close I can get.

Can't wait to read of your time in Ireland. It is what we want to do...

Later,
Dan
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #3
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Rich-I hope you are enjoying Ireland! I have a very good friend from here in the PNW who has lived in Limerick for about 15 years, married a lass, known affectionately by us Yank friends as "The Lovely Irish Lass" (she can drink most guys under the table!). He has even acquired an Irish lilt! His stories of life in Ireland are legend. I envy you and Julie the trip and admire your determination to just get out and do it!
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:11 PM   #4
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Great plans Rich.Will your wife be joining you soon.I'm not married.(divorced years agao) My current girlfriend (the last 13 years),and our son (11), do everything together.It would be really difficult for me to not have them along.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:21 AM   #5
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Sounds like you have a plan as always and it sounds exciting. I love you quote about not taking your old life to your new place. Such a wise statement, and how long does it take for us to realize it.
Embracing the new for what it is, can fill your life with excitement and challenge. You obviously live by this. Here is a toast of that wine glass to you guys!
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:40 AM   #6
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We've already gone native


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Old 09-13-2014, 09:09 AM   #7
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Richard,
Looks like you are going to need a couple of cray pots or a net drum for Dauntless if you stay there much longer.
Cheers
Benn
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:15 AM   #8
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Well, it's only proper that after you drug us crew all along on your pond crossing that you not kick us back to our shores upon your arrival! Thanks for inviting us to stay on for the next leg!

I was very fortunate to get stationed in England for a couple years - what an amazing experience. I've been so fortunate to travel to dozens of countries and even spend significant time in some. You are right - one is not better than another. I just like to take note of the positive aspects of each and try to incorporate that into my own life wherever I am.

Great post - look forward to hearing more updates. One thing I haven't heard: How's the Guinness?!
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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Tasty.
Thanks all.
Just finished changing my engine fuel filters, the gen fuel filter and the fuel polishing filter again.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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Tasty.
Good! Guinness would be my choice for an Irish breakfast!

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Old 09-15-2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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dancc,
You can certainly get into the bay near to the sub base in Scotland but don't even think of going near the base unless you want to look down the business end of a 7.62 and have a thorough interview without coffee !
Richard, congratulations on your wonderful achievement, if I could make just one tiny suggestion, go to Amsterdam on the plane.
There is so much to see and do you would be ill advised to rush it, go to Keukenhof next year, it'll still be there waiting for you.
Just chill out and make some fine memories every day, if you are like fish you would do well to make friends in Castletownbere with the fishermen and stock up your freezer.
p.s Try the Tullamore Dew Irish whisky, you'll love it.
Above all enjoy every moment.
Well done.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #12
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dancc,
You can certainly get into the bay near to the sub base in Scotland but don't even think of going near the base unless you want to look down the business end of a 7.62 and have a thorough interview without coffee !
Richard, congratulations on your wonderful achievement, if I could make just one tiny suggestion, go to Amsterdam on the plane.
There is so much to see and do you would be ill advised to rush it, go to Keukenhof next year, it'll still be there waiting for you.
Just chill out and make some fine memories every day, if you are like fish you would do well to make friends in Castletownbere with the fishermen and stock up your freezer.
p.s Try the Tullamore Dew Irish whisky, you'll love
Above all enjoy every moment.
Well done.
Thanks for the suggestions.

I do need some Irish whiskey.

You know, I did live in the Netherlands among other places.

Julie and I did a bike trip that ended at keukenhof.

I'm already planning my spring and summer cruise.
Great info on the Kiel Canal today on Cruiser Forum. I'm guessing we'll be there in May.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:00 AM   #13
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dancc,
You can certainly get into the bay near to the sub base in Scotland but don't even think of going near the base unless you want to look down the business end of a 7.62 and have a thorough interview without coffee !...
Well DUH! Of course they won't give me coffee, it is the UK, err, well Scotland, but maybe still UK, or not, , but in any case, I would expect some tea as we had our discussion.

I did not realize the RN sub base was in Scotland until reading about the potential issues if Scotland votes itself out of the UK. I went on Google Earth to see the base location because I had spent quite a bit of time looking at the images looking for interesting places to visit. I had not noticed the sub base when we were looking at places to go in Scotland but I found it pretty easy once I knew it was up there.

What surprised me is that I did not see floating barriers far from the subs as you do at the US Navy sub base in the PNW. The PNW base had multiple layers of barriers, and on the day the sat photo was taken, there looked to be multiple patrol boats behind one of the barriers. The first barrier one would encounter at the PNW base did not look like it would be possible to pass by boat. Even a ship would be iffy.

That is why I was surprised at what I could NOT see at the RN sub base.

The peninsula across from the sub base is obviously where munitions are stored. The road and fences are rather obvious. What was interesting was that there are roads that have a view of the munitions base but the Google Street view has been disabled at key points.

I really do what to visit that area by boat. The place looks absolutely gorgeous but we will have to keep our distance from certain places. I assume the local charts tell you to stay the heck away. I really would rather have my coffee on my boat.

Later,
Dan
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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Awesomness!!!
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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danc. There are certainly some very beautiful cruising in Scotland and I've cruised all up the Western Isles in my Birchwood 33 before I headed down to the Med.
The security at Faslane may not be so in your face, but it's there.
Wxx3, if I may respectfully suggest that you chat to the trawler lads about fuel and you'll get the best deal.
If not, be aware that boats in Ireland and UK are allowed to use rebated fuel the same as the farmers/fishermen but mainland Europe does not.
Waterford's a great city and if you go to the town marina there's a very well stocked hardware shop just across the road, they might even have a starting handle for a model T ford as they seem to stock everything else.
New Ross is also worth seeing and if you go to the marina and need help ask for John Dimond and tell him you are a buddy of mine and you'll be well looked after..
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:50 PM   #16
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Wxx3, if I may respectfully suggest that you chat to the trawler lads about fuel and you'll get the best deal.
If not, be aware that boats in Ireland and UK are allowed to use rebated fuel the same as the farmers/fishermen but mainland Europe does not.
That is real good advice.

I thought the UK was having issues with EU rules regarding fuel taxes?

What I read was that some/many boat fuel suppliers were charging taxes on 50% of the fuel and not on on the other 50%. I think this was for pleasure boats and the reason they were only charging the taxes on 50% of the fuel was because fuel used to provide heat, not propulsion, was not taxed. Since it would be hard to prove/disprove how much fuel was being used for heating the suppliers were just going 50/50 on the taxes.

Is this no longer true? Is the fuel price still around $6 a gallon?

I am guessing/remembering that I read this on Noonsite but I could be disremembering.

Later,
Dan
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:45 PM   #17
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I'd tell you the price, but then I'd have to kill you.

Yes, the lads are very nice.
Yes, the old percentage game. Varies from 0 to 100% used for propulsion, with the rest of the EU being on a running battle with the UK about it.

Needless to say, I've made it clear that I'm not the Yank with deep pockets, I'm the Yank with empty pockets.

It helps that it's true. American credit cards are ever more an issue. Last year it was just in the Netherlands, now it's all over.

In over thirty years of coming to Europe, I've never traveled with more than $100 American, sometimes only $20. Knowing I was going to get local currency at any atm.

It's two way street. It's a combination of Europeans not trusting the security of US cc(and we know why don't we?)
& the US banks terrified of any European transaction. (Same comment and reason)

But Friday, I found a good lad who'll take my CC for €2500, so that will get me thru the winter and spring and maybe summer until I return to fill up again.:-) :-) :-) :-)
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:48 PM   #18
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And we've actually already been to northern Scotland on our friends sailboat.

Beautiful, but they say they Norway is even prettier and far cheaper.

Scandinavia next summer certainly, fall maybe? Winter ????????????????
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:55 PM   #19
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Hello Dan,
Yes the issue over fuel is an ongoing battle with the pricks in the EU.
Basically they want the UK & Ireland to abolish the rebated diesel.
Many of us would like to get out of the Evil Union.
When you buy the fuel you buy it at rebated prices, then you are supposed to tell the tax authorities how much you use for propulsion and pay tax on it.
Naturally it's too cold/bad weather so there's an awful lot of heating oil used.
Frankly ignore it, make sure the tanks are full to the throat before you leave Dover but you MUST keep receipts for diesel bought in the UK to show any European jobsworths.
Remember gas bottles and regulators are different in Ireland, the UK and Europe you will have to buy new bottles.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:12 PM   #20
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...

It helps that it's true. American credit cards are ever more an issue. Last year it was just in the Netherlands, now it's all over.

In over thirty years of coming to Europe, I've never traveled with more than $100 American, sometimes only $20. Knowing I was going to get local currency at any atm.

It's two way street. It's a combination of Europeans not trusting the security of US cc(and we know why don't we?)
& the US banks terrified of any European transaction. (Same comment and reason)
...
US credit cards are supposed to be chip based next fall. It is unreal that the CC companies have taken this long to implement more secure technology even though they will still not be requiring a pin.

Later,
Dan
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