Odelia in Serifos, Greece

2015

This is the log for our current cruise. The latest entry will be at the top like a blog.

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1 - 30 November 2015: We celebrated Tsipy's 65th birthday on 4 Nov. Our friend Miri shares her birthday so we celebrated together. We had a nice barbeque, lots of food, drink, and of course some dancing. Photos included.

7 - 8 Nov: We visited Jackie, Moti, and Netta for Shabbat. Liat, Timor, and baby Yuval were there as was Haddar, Shlomie, and Ariel. Jackie made an outstanding Shabbat dinner and Moti made Jachnun, my favorite, for Shabbat morning. We really enjoyed ourselves and reconnecting with our "northern" neighbors.

After numerous attempts to finish the new vacu-flush installation, I found out that the interior lining of the hose I purchased in Cyprus collapses under a vacuum. I have ordered new hose from Lewis and it should arrive by the end of the month. Hopefully that will solve my problems.

I celebrated Thanksgiving at Texas BBQ with Mike, Brian, and Kenny, our friends from Funair.

1 - 31 October 2015: I flew back to the east coast on 7 Oct and joined Tsipy at Ruti's house in Brooklyn. After that, we drove to NJ to visit Etty and Jan. I picked up all my boat parts and repacked them into our suitcases.

We then drove down to Solomon's Island in Maryland to meet up with Dave and Bev our friends from Cloverleaf. We spent Shabbat with them and attended a Krogen festival where I got to visit a Krogen 52 (my dream boat).

We returned to Ruti's house for Israel's 70th birthday party and then continued on to RI where we visited Bob and Suzy on their new boat (Barefoot II). Their boat is beautiful and quite spacious. We enjoyed seeing them and reconnecting with Steve and Sue. I visited my old company and got a tour of the WIN-T program (my last project). Tsipy was able to meet her old folk dance group.

We returned to Israel on 20 Oct. We enjoyed our vacation but are glad to be back. Now I am installing all the boat parts and upgrades. I will add some photos of the new vacuum pumps later.

Hodaya and Elad came to visit on thier anniversary, after lunch we took a dinghy ride.

1 - 30 September 2015: The first of September is our anniversary and I want to make a special dedication to my wife Tsipy.

Tsipy, you entered my life 33 years ago in the Souk HaCarmel. Little did I known that a chance encounter in a market would so profoundly change my life. We have been married for 32 years now, without a doubt, the happiest times of my life. Thank you for sharing my life, my lifelong dream of living aboard, and all the happy days cruising. Without you, my life would be completely different. Thank you and know that I love you.

We celebrated our anniversary with Hani and Ken at a local Italian restaruant (Mancini). Food was excellent and company was great.

4-5 Sep, the weather finally cooled off and we had our normal Friday gathering on the foredeck for the first time this summer. Ken came for Shabbat dinner and Dina, Eyal, Sevan, Harel, Odelia, and Na'ama came on Saturday for jochnoon and later, watermelon. Tsipy's friends from dancing (Ady, Eduardo, and Shirli) came in the afternoon for a visit.

13-16 Sep, Tsipy, Ken, and I celebrated Rosh HaShanah with Israel and his family. On 15 Sep, I flew back to the US to visit my family and get my annual medical checks.

In the first two weeks of my visit I completed all my medical and dental checks for the year. I visited Terry and Kathy and got a chance to see all the family, including a weekend in Portland visiting Brannon, Melissa, and Tuesday. We got a chance to eat at Brannon's restuarant 'the Boki Bowl" and had a great time. I have included some photos.

Back in Israel, Domus installed the new window treatments on 16 Sep, they are two layers that can be shifted to control the amount of light. The new uphostery was completed on 30 Sep and it looks really great. The salon looks like new. Photos included.

1 - 31 August 2015: I am trying to catch up on my maintenance work as preparation for my trip to the US in Sep. We are getting a new fridge and freezer for the galley in the next few weeks and I have to run 12V lines for them. The rest of the projects are on hold until I return from the US with the necessary parts.

7 Aug: We took the dinghy out for a test run and a swim offshore. The starter battery needed a jump to start the outboard and barely restarted it once we went out. After a full day charging it tested okay. I ordered oil and antifreeze to do my end of season oil changes and flushing.

13 Aug: Tsipy had her cell phone stolen while shopping in the Shuk HaCarmel. She is using my phone for now and I have a new number (see the Contact page).

21-31 Aug: We celebrated Ken's birthday on Friday and Tsipy made Jachnoon for Shabbat brunch with Mike, Ken, Nir, and Hane. On Sunday, we had dinner with Ilana, a relative of Tsipy's father, in Raanana. She is an artist and makes some beautiful sculptures. During the week, Aharon, Tova, and Nave (Shlomie's family) visited us and I took them for a dinghy ride. Shlomie's sister Sapir and cousin Noy visited us on 31 Aug. After a tour, I took them for a ride outside.

Work this month: Meir delivered the new 12V refrigerator and freezer and worked on our icemaker. With help from Mike and Nir, I removed the old refrigerator and installed the new ones. I installed a support for the left side of the units, paneled their left side with teak, and installed vent hoses from the condensers to the external vent to improve air flow. Finally, I added two stainless steel baskets on the door on the left side and have three more on order. See photos of the work in progress.

For the vacu-flush upgrade, I removed the old and installed a new vacu-flush hose from the aft head into the galley storage area, relocated the aft and forward vacuum tanks in the storage area, and removed all hoses to the large vacuum pump. I have two new S Series vacuum pumps with Etty and will complete this work when I return from the US.

1 - 31 July 2015: We left Limassol on 1 Jul at 0230. The weather was good for our trip to Karpaz Marina. At about 0330 we ran into an unmarked and unlit fish farm. Tsipy saw it just before we got into it and I cut the throttles and shifted to neutral but I wasn't quick enough. We caught one heavy (1 inch) line in the port prop. I tried to unwrap it in reverse but it stalled immediately. Thankfully we have a hookah rig and I dove down and cut us free. Once we restarted, I checked for any added vibrations or shakes and luckily didn't find any. We continued our trip to Karpaz and arrived at 2030. They put us on an outer T head for the night.

On 2 Jul, we checked into the marina and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. They then relocated us closer to the facilities. We are now along side on the dock we visited in 2013. Denis came to evaluate the repairs for our gangway and a repair to the engine room door handle. After he left, Tsipy and I gave the boat a thorough cleaning.

I reinstalled our Golan Telecom SIM card for my telephone and activated Tsipy's. From Israel, you can now contact us on our Israeli cell phone number. From other countries, you can contact us on Skype, WhatsApp, or email.

4 July - We dressed Odelia with flags in celebration of the 239th Birthday for the USA! I don't think there are other Americans here but we will find out today. We learned today that our friend Israel will be coming over around the 15th on his friend's Dov boat. He will stay with us until we return to Israel.

6 July - Liza Singer came to the marina and we had dinner together at Hemingway's and met for Happy Hour on Tuesday. We are hoping to convince her father (Yosi) to come at the end of the month for our return.

10 July - They removed the end of the gangway today, it was a project. We used the hydraulic ram and added wood blocks to increase the extension. They had to hit it with hammers to free it bit by bit. It is out for welding now and they are turning down the bearing surface on a lathe. Hopefully it will be able to slide in and out when it returns. They are also fixing the engine room door handle. We had Shabbat dinner on board with friends from Milos (Shimshon, Anya, and Mike).

We ordered a new Isotherm refrigerator and freezer for the galley. The new units use about a quarter of the power and run directly off the batteries (no inverter loss). They will be delivered in Israel.

14 July - They returned the gangway today and it retracts and extends again. The work was done very professionally, they even polished it after they finished the install. The new door handle is also back. They improved on my suggestion by drilling and tapping the retaining screw all the way through the shaft, so there is no play when it is turned.

15 July - We heard today that Yosi is coming for a visit next week and Nir is coming with him for the return trip to Israel.

22 - 24 July. Yosi wasn't able to make the trip, but Nir and Effy, one of Nir's friends, came over to make the crossing with us. We left on Thursday morning after getting duty free fuel and arrived in Haifa on Friday morning. After our check in, we cruised down to Herzliya and arrived here at 1430. We were greeted by Steve and Brian (friends from Funair), Israel, Gadi, and Yosi. We also had a surprise visit from Yanev (a friend from Forida). After the normal Friday gathering, we had dinner with Nir and Hane. We will clean up after Shabbat.

25 - 31 July. We did a detailed cleaning with Steve's help on Sunday (26 Jul). On 29 Jul, we took Odelia out for a cruise to Jaffa with Steve, Big Mike, and Brian from Funair. Our neighbor Yehuda also came along. We cruised down the coast and stopped for a swim. The sea was great, clean and cooling. On Friday, we had Yosi, Gadi, Shmulik, Gabi, and Big Mike aboard for the "knesset".

1 - 30 June 2015: After cleaning up the engine room from all the gearbox work, I returned topsides to put on a few more coats of varnish on the rails and outside teak. Tsipy and I polished all the stainless steel and washed away a ton of desert dirt. Odelia is looking good for now (until the next south winds). We also welcomed back Steve and Dave. Gadi, Yosi, Brian, Ken, and Dave went to the Hudson, a great steakhouse in Tel Aviv for a beautiful meal. Wayne and Brian returned home until next time.

We are happy that our friend Talya from Brunswick arrived for a visit. Hope her husband Dan can make it next year.

On 4 Jun we attended a wedding for Minor (Yaron and Etty's son) in Rehovot. It was in a great venue and we reconnected with most of the family.

We had our first Mexican Train game in quite awhile with Yehuda, Rachel, Shmulik, Cecilia, and Hani. Lots of fun as always. Thanks to Yehuda for the Morrocan Fish (excellent as always) and to all the other chefs.

We visited Liat and Timor in Migdal HaEmek to see their new born daugther Yuval. She is beautiful but tiny! She was only 1 week old.

We left Israel on 16 June for Cyprus and arrived on the 17th. Alon and Roni (they cruised with us back from Turkey last year) and their friend Hanan made the crossing with us. The weather was good for the trip. We checked in at Limassol and are now in the new marina. I had the life raft inspected and bought boat stuff.

We had planned to leave the marina on the 23rd and cruise along the coast to Larnaca but the weather has been horrible. High winds and waves every day. We have met a number of Israeli boats; including our friend Gabi on his new boat Tomer. Gabi, his two brothers Moshe and Michael, his brother in law Itzhik, and skipper Amir came in on their way to Turkey. The weather held them captive so we rented a limo and traveled to Aya Napa and Larnaca. We had a couple of outstanding dinners onboard Tomer (including Shabbat dinner last night) since Itzhik is a chef. They left early this morning on the 27th and we plan to leave after Shabbat today for Karpaz Marina. I have included some photos, more from Karpaz.

28 Jun. We left the marina after Shabbat and got about 2 miles offshore when the port engine overheated. The hose from the engine to the hot water tank split and gushed out all the anti-freeze. We limped back to the marina on one engine. This morning I replaced the ruptured hose, replaced the other side of the loop for good measure, and refilled the anti-freeze. It seems to be okay now. I ran it up to full operating temp with no leaks. I can't put it under load since we are alongside and there are lazy lines under us.

We now plan to leave Tuesday or Wednesday.

1 - 31 May 2015: I will finish up work on the gearbox this month. Brian arrived on 2 May with the new coolers. The new cooler differs from the original, it has two zincs and a bonding point. After I install it, I will have to flush out the gearbox until the oil is totally clear. I will also replace the portside cooler and keep it as a spare.

I also had a CO2 fire suppression system installed in the engine room. I finished work on it on 2 May.

On 7 May, I finally got the gearbox to work. I had flushed the system 6 times over the last ten days; including one with diesel and one with Automatic Transmission Fluid. Once I got the contamination out of the oil, I was finally able to remove the magnetic oil filter and found that the oil filter was really clogged which was reducing oil flow and keeping it from staying in gear. Success felt really good. Now to replace the portside system (before it fails).

10-12 May, my friend Nir and I removed the oil from the port gearbox, changed the oil cooler on that side, and then cleaned the gearbox oil filter. Today I refilled it with oil and we plan to do a test drive on Wednesday.

We made a test run with the boat on the 14th, it ran fine through the full hour outside but kicked out of gear in the channel on my return. I dumped the oil again and found a little emulsion and some sediment in the filter.

24 May, we made another test run today and everything worked great, no problems shifting and it stayed in gear as it should. The next day, I changed the oil once more and checked the filter. It was clean and I am declaring success.

Photos included.

1 - 30 Apr 2015: I returned from my reunion in New Orleans and immediately went to the family celebration of Passover at a hotel in Netanya, so this update is really late.

I flew into Houston on Turkish Airlines direct from Istanbul. I stayed with my cousin Dee Ann in Sugar Land. My aunt Jody drove down from Lufkin and I was really surprised that my cousin Rita also drove down from Dallas for two days. It was great to reconnect. I also got to met Dee Ann's husband Bill on my way back through Houston.

The reunion was great, the organizing commitee did an outstanding job. It started on Friday with a party at the beautiful lakeside home of Ted Baer. It was our first meeting and the prepared name tags were really crucial. I only recognized Ty and Suzanne! The food was spectacular. Saturday morning we went to the WWII museum. It would be worth a special trip to New Orleans just to see it. Really amazing! Saturday night was dinner at Arnaud's Grill in the French Quarter and Sunday morning was breakfast at Brennan's (a New Orleans tradition). Prior to and during any off times, I wandered around the French Quarter, ate lots of Cajun food and fresh seafood, and did sightseeing. I've include some photos from the trip.

I returned on Tuesday just in time to go to Netanya. Tsipy had arranged a Passover dinner for her whole family (92 immediate family members and 35 friends). We took over a small hotel. The whole weekend was great, good food, and really wonderful to see all our family and friends. I added some photos of the gatherings before the holiday (no cameras allowed during the dinner). I had planned to take a couple of day cruises with family and friends during the Passover holiday week but when I put the engines in gear, my starboard gearbox failed. I traced the fault to the oil cooler. It had contaminated the oil with seawater. I drained all the contaminated oil and ordered replacements coolers for both engines from the US.

Our Friday gatherings are ongoing, here are three photos from the 17th. Our friends Ofer and Netta took Ivy out for a test voyage. Ofer rebuilt the engine over the winter. It all worked great, even the weather cooperated.

On the 22nd, we went to the Memorial day services for Adi (Tsipy's brother killed in the 73 war). There we met his Tank Commander (Ehud) and his son. After the ceremony, we returned to Noa's house for lunch. I've included some photos of the family.

The 23rd was Israel's Independence day and we celebrated it with our friends Yosi and Ruti and their family and friends. Yosi makes the best lamb! Photos included.

1 - 31 Mar 2015: On 6 Mar, we celebrated Purim on the boat. As indicated, the theme was "Grease" and Tsipy's skirts were a hit. The guys dressed as John Travolta (sort of). I played 50s and 60s music from Sirius (Internet radio) and, of course, music from Grease. There was much dancing, lots of fun, and lots to eat. We brought falafel from Felafel Dvora in Karkar (Israel's best in my opinion), salads, and lots of desserts. I've included photos of the party. Thanks to everyone that helped us.

We went to an art exhibit in Jaffa on 9 Mar hosted by one of our friends, Judy Gonen. She is incredibly talented. Her sculptures are from concrete and iron and many of them include a window frame. The exhibition was called "Point of View". I have included some photos.

We had a reunion of Tsipy's class from Palmahim on 21 March. I've included some photos of the group.

I am leaving on 23 March to attend my 50th high school reunion in New Orleans. I am flying from here to Houstion via Istanbul. I will visit my aunt Jody and our cousin Dee Ann and her family while in Houston and then drive over to New Orleans for the reunion. We have a full three day schedule including dinners, a tour of the WWII museum, and brunch at Brennans. After that, I will drive back to Houston for my return flight. I will also do some shopping while I am there.

1 - 28 Feb 2015: Work continues on the boat, I installed the new fuel and water sensors and a sight gauge for the side fuel tanks. This should resolve a long standing problem with correctly understanding my fuel state.

We have had two strong storms (50+ knots of wind and lots of rain) in the last of January and early February. The last one deposited about a 1/4" of red dust on the boat. The winds blew from the south and west carrying dust and sand from the Sahara, Egypt, and the Sinai. I did a quick rinse afterwards and the runoff looked like a mud puddle.

Tsipy and her sister Lushi have been working hard on costumes for Purim (a Jewish holiday similar to Halloween). This year's theme is "Grease" and they made 12 "poodle skirts" (in this case Scottie skirts) and scarves for the women. The guys are supposed to dress like John Travolta. I added some photos of their work.

The weather has improved, turning to spring at last, and that means varnish is starting. I put one coat on the hand rails and outside doors. Normally I try to 3 to 4 coats every six months or so.

We had a birthday party for Netta on board on 28 Feb. Liat and Timor; Hadar, Ariel, and Shlomie; Noga and Ishay; Shira; Roi, Merav, Alma, and Abbigail; Netta; and Lushi attended. Tsipy made Jachnoon, a lemon pie, and several cakes. Even the weather cooperated with a beautiful sunny day. Photos included.

1 - 31 Jan 2015: This is the start of the 2015 log. We are in Herzliya for the winter and plan to cruise to either Turkey or Cyprus in the summer.

We spent New Years onboard. We are continuing work on the boat, new lights for the aft deck and dinghy davit, new USB chargers for iPhones and iPads, and repairs to the vacu-flush system. Varnish and teak deck work is still deferred for better weather. My friends, Steve and Mike, brought in our spares, new fuel and water senders, and other parts, so I cancelled my planned trip back for the boat show.