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January 2000 Diary

The arrival of our second baby!

27th January 2000 Two exhausting working days on the mast. The tang and spreader boots are now joined to the mast. It took alone 8 hours to adjust the new stainless steel tang. Luckily everthing was messured correctly and I was able to bend it exactly fitting around the mast. Today I was using a rivet to join it. I think the whole setup is a very strong construction and I am very happy with the result. The bad news is that I had a closer look at the rigging wire and saw two eyes broken and broken strands too. The rigging wire is splized (no terminals used) and I can exhamine all very closely. Replacement is nessary. (My rigging wire is all splized and the eyes join to turn buckles) At the moment I found only two places, but the rest seems now suspicious to me. Replacing the whole rig would bust my budget. I will have a very close look at all eyes now. With Andy, from the SV Maveria I will have a go and try to splize the wire. If I can do it myself I am able to replace the old wire for less cost, without expensive terminals, using wire instead of rod. I would replace the side stays and the forestay, just to be sure and use all of the old still good old wire for mast stays and so on. According to my boat building books , wire seams a better and cheaper option than rod, last longer and does not brake as fast tha rod....we'll see. It seems that on my boat refitting project I will have nothing left out at all. Maybe next time my diesel brakes apart and than I would repair that too, turning me into a boat refitting expert, like Don Casey in his book "This old boat":)

27th January 2000 AMBERELLA has now 4 crew on board. It is an amazing thing, a baby, such a little wonder. Selina is now already 10 days old and life on board is back to normal. The first 3 days after Selina arrived were spent in family. It rained and we did not leave the boat. We came to the conclusion, that Rhodos is not a very got winter marina. The swell rounds into the harbour bassin and the boats bouncing about, long after the wind has gone. It is impossible to leave the boat unattended for a few days.

making plans: I have started to copy charts and pilot books (cheaper way to get, and good quality, 2.5$ for a full chart scale copy, ) So far I covered most charts until the Caribbean. The decisions to cross the Atlantic depends on a few more factors, but we sort of get ready to do it. Money is the biggest factor and always a worry to think about. We have managed not to touch our savings this winter. That is a good development...

Finally the spreader boots and the new designed tang are finished. The wind is too strong to place it on the mast, but maybe tomorrow we get a little calmer weather. The tang is made of 3.5mm stainless steel and the boots are heavily welded on. The old boots had cracks and had to be replaced. As well the mast has tiny cracks where the old boots pressed against it. With the big tang (sleeve) covering the whole area and forming a tight compression around the mast, the problem should be overcome.

womans horizon: A funny anectdote: When I checked the charts today I mentioned to Nina, which route would be ideal to cross the Atlantik. I told her about the Saragossa Sea and that in the early days, ships got stuck there, becalmed for month and sailors would starve to death. Nina was half listening and her reply was dry: "Well why would they not call somebody than..." So much for Nina's communication advises:)

Despite all this dreaming and planning, we are aware of our big todo list. Those dreams keep the spirit alive:)

17h January 2000 With 7 days past schedule our second daughter Selina arrived today. It was a birth with no problems. Nina woke me at 0500 and insisted to walk the 2.5 km up hill to the hospital. This way she wanted to speed up labour pains. She was right. We checked in at 0630 and Selina saw the world at 0915. That was quick. She is beautiful.

Nina tried to persuade the midwifes to leave the hospital as soon as possibel, meaning the same day. (normaly the Greeks stay in hospital for 3 days). Nastasja was very excited, when I came back from the hospital, to pick her up. She would even skip her afternoon nap. She spent all morning with Andy and Breeze from SY Maveria and cold not wait until the afternoon to visit Selina. Proudly she held Selina in her arms. At 1500 we left the hospital all together.

(later more news) here some more pictures 1 2 3

13th January 2000 No baby yet. Nina is fine, the Doctor nervous and ME too!

The world stops in Greece,

Yesterday. I received my package of Video CDs from Video-CDs.Com It's a late Christmas present, so to say. The FedEx shipment from Malaysia made a real world trip. With the tracking information in the Internet I knew it started at 29.12.99 in Penang, had a stop over in Memphis, USA, another in Poyle, England and arrived on 5.1.200 in Athens, Greece. There it was and no further tracing could be found.
Today is the 13th of January and I decided to call the FedEx service.
In order to get the phone number from the FedEx I went to the local OTE office, the Greek telephone company, and inquired the number. I was told that I could call the free telephone information. Free?
When I put my card into the cardphone I was charged...and tic tic the units run down. While listening to Greek music in the background I finger drummed on the shelf. waiting. "How can I help you" I was ask. I told her I want the number of the Federal Express. After a bit more music I got a number, in Athens. Strange, I expected a 0800 number. So I called there. The person on the phone spoke broken English, but we could quickly find out that I had dialed the wrong number. This was the company TeddEx or something.. Okay, this can happen I call the Information again, explain the problem and spell the name, F like Florida, E like England..."please hold" another operator, "please spell the Name" F like... "please wait"..another operator..After all operators had finally written the name of Federal Express Courier, I got another number. In Athens! I call, its a courier service, But not the FedEx.
3rd call: I am a bit pushy now and tell the tale again. "Do you need a courier service" "No, I don't need any I need the FEDERAL EXxxPRESSssss!" This time, only one operator was needed and I was given a 0800 number. Bingo. I call, the opposite answers and I ask, "Is this the FedEx" "How can I help you?", he ask back, I tell the problem,"my parcel is still in Athens, stated the air bill number, name and all the detail...etc", He answers "You dialed the wrong number, this is not the FedEx". Damned!
I am persistent and call a 4th time the Information, scold like a fishwife and get the answer that there is no number listed for a company like THE Federal Express Service. Impossible, I slam the phone down and walk to the Internet cafe. I have no money with me, but am allowed to check for 5 minutes on a computer. I read the tracking information again. Exception in Athens (what ever that means, my dictionary does not explain in proper German) and have a number in Greece. The company that handled FedEx in Greece is called SpeedEx.
Its a number in Athens. I call, hold the line, finger drumming, Greek music, operator takes airbill number, "please hold", music, tic tic card is empty. I get berserk !
No money for a new card! I go back to the boat and think what I could do. I pass the yacht agency and remember that they would sometimes handle mail for sailors. I tell the very friendly secretary a little lie, that my package was supposed to ship to the agency, but got stuck in Athens. She says "It could be a customs problem" ooh no no, please not. I tell her it is of little value, maybe "We" could call? maybe? luck seems to turn,
Okay she picks up the phone. I read in her phone book different phone numbers for the FedEx. One in Rhodes!,
She seams to know the lady there and ask for the package, gives my details...than...the phone cut off.
She tries again, makes a fuss about the phone being cut off. finger drumming, The answer: the package IS in Rhodes! "Than why isn't it delivered to us" she shouts.
The answer" They will delivery at once! the yacht agency, of course!, and my lie turns out to be the truth;)
30 Minutes waiting and I hold my Cds in hand. Jubilation.

End of story: A package goes within 7 days around the world, but for ages trough Greece. It would be there for ever, if I had not called.
Thanks God we have (still) telefon service:)

Tracking Airbill Number : 817357887498

* Delivered To :
* Delivery Location : RHODES ISLAND GR
* Delivery Date :
* Delivery Time :
* Signed For By :
* Status Exception : In country transit
* Scan Activity :
* Pkg. Status Exception ATHENS GR 01/05 16:00
* Pkg. Status Exception PRESTWICK AIRPORT GB 01/05 20:45
* Pkg. Status Exception PRESTWICK AIRPORT GB 01/05 20:45
* Left FedEx Ramp POYLE GB 01/04 17:08
* Pkg. Status Exception POYLE GB 01/04 16:54
* Pkg. Status Exception POYLE GB 01/03 22:16
* Held at Sort Facility MEMPHIS TN 12/31 02:31
* Left FedEx Sort Facility MEMPHIS TN 12/31 01:53
* Pkg. Status Exception PENANG MY 12/30 13:22
* Int. Package Manifest Created PENANG MY 12/30 09:33
* Pickup Exception PENANG MY 12/29 19:14
* Picked up PENANG MY 12/29 19:24

6th January 00 Epiphany is celebrated in Greece with a special event. After the mass, the minister goes to the sea and throws a cross in the ocean. A crowd of young man will than jump after the cross and the one who gets it will get a special honor. As well the military saluts the day with canonfire. They actually shot fire rockets aimed to Turkey:). The people than take a twig, put it into the sea and consecrate their family and property. I have seen most of them doing it to their cars.

2nd January 2000 Wow wow, that is the new Millinium!!! When I woke up yesterday I had a look around and checked if my radio worked etc. THE WORLD WAS STILL THERE. I had no worries with the Y2K bug on my laptop, since it is a Macintosh, this issue will arise in the year 29940. Y2kProblems or Year 29940 complaiant? current Macs will have trouble in the year 29940 -- keep that in mind if your business plans extend 28,000 years or so.
Anyway we had a very quiet party, with some sailors on the boat etc. There was supposed to be a big show on Rhodes Palace Square, but the music was so bad, that we decided to go back to the boats. I shoot some old flares from our safety gear. In fact the are so old that I was wondering if they work at all. Some of them expired in 1977. The red flares worked well, but the parachute rockets did'nt. But all the other flares (some expired 1983) worked well. Maybe 1983 was a good year for flares? I will buy some new ones asap.

Nina was worried to have the baby right on the first day of the Millinium, but later the baby decided otherwise and keeps us wondering. It can happen anyime now. Maybe tomorrow?

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