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December 1999 Diary

25th December 1999 It was a very nice Christmase Eve. We sang the whole night songs with the guitar. Today we will have a german cocktail called "Feuerzangenbowle". Its a punch where you use redwine and herbs and you burn a sugar loaf with rum on top of the bowle. The burning and melted sugar ends up in the punch and it will be real tasty.

24th December 1999 We spent Christmas Eve at the neighbors SY Maveria with Skipper Andy and girlfried Breeze. Among the guest are SY Tamo from Holland, who provided the salat and desert. Andy and me did the roastbeef, since we had not enough space for a turkey in the ships oven. We wanted to do German Knoedel with it but they ended up as pancakes, because the dough was to soft.

20th December 1999 Finally I started the work inside with putting up a sky in the boat. I cut 4mm plywood and cover it with venyl, artificial leather. It looks nicer than been painted and has a warm feeling to it. Every day I manage to finsih about 4-5 m2. It is a boring job with lots of checking and double checking etc. I dont like it at all. Maybe thats the reason why I waited so long:)

18th December 1999 It is crazy. Since 5 days I wait for the smith who does the stainless steel sleeve, but he would not bother to come. I ask daily and reminded him, but every day he has a different excuse. This is Greece. I went to another one, who would come immediatly but he can not finish the project until middle of January, because he has to much work.

In the meantime we have some storm and rain and my mast gets hold up only by one set of spreaders, plus the top stays. It bends visible with every gale that hits the boat.

11th December 1999 Today I took off the spreaders from the mast. I was hesitating long if it was really nessesary, because they looked fine from my amateur point of view. But now I am glad that I've done it. The spreaders are made of oak and startet to rott where they're joined and bolted to the mast. As well one of the stainless steel pockets, which hold the wooden spreaders had visible cracks. I will built a big sleeve that holds those pockets, in order to reinforce them and distribute the pressure to the mast in a bigger area. I saw a little crack, where some punctured force pressed against the mast. I got the advise to drill two little holes at both ends, which would stop the crack from going any further. The new built sleeve would than cover a lot more area and there should be no problem with this area. I am a bit worried though. After I took care of those spreaders I will have a closer look at the top spreaders. They are much better joined to the mast and they have a big sleeve already, covering a big area. I guess the main pressure on the mast is up there. I will check them out as well and think about replacing them with aluminium or steel spreaders.

8th December 1999 Nina wrote today in her diary: What a day. Seven o'clock and Nastasja was already swimming. She fell in the water...I was laughing a crying together. I was in the cockpit taking care of Skipper, our boat cat. (by they way we have it for some time already, I should add a picture:))

Nastasja was trying to slip with her oversized "dog-slippers" into my own ones. I thought by myself that this is not a good idea, but went on with my work. Frank was standing completely nacked in the bathroom and prepared for a shower, when I heard a splash and saw Nastasja paddling in the water. Amazing this little girl could hold herself above the waterline with clothes and shoes on. But no 10 seconds later Frank was jumping after her and pulled our little fish to land. After tears followed laughing and Nastasja is now mighty proud. The "little Mermaid" and "Neptun" are now having a hot shower. What might the day bring today?

5th December 1999 There are no exciting events in Rhodos so far. While we hear of devastating storms and freezing temperatures in Northern Europe, Nina and the other sailors women go swimming in the Mediterranean waters every morning. The 19 ° C (66 F) warm water is a little to cold for me, but Nina who is usually the spoiled one doesn't mind.

I was working on a hatch cover for the entrance sliding door. After 3 days of sanding and filling I am a bit disappointed by my brush painting skills. It looks very obvious brush painted and all the effort in smooth sanding was wasted. I tried the brush, because the roller did not work with this paint either. To many little blisters. But I got an idea from another sailor. He suggested to paint the first layer with the brush, than water sand it over and use a spray can for the finish. The acrylic paint which is usually sold in cans is supposed to be okay for the polyurethane under coat. Maybe I try it, if my second go with the brush is as bad as the first one.

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