The first day of LEG 2. New crew, new skipper, new country to explore. We are leaving marina Gouvia in early afternoon to catch some nice breeze. We go out with the full sail to escape from a thunderstorm building up over Corfu. Roman and Blanka get initial training with sails. For the first night we chose to stay in a beautiful Blue Lagoon, an abandoned bay with turquoise water on N. Sivota near Mourtos.
23/6 N. Sivota – Lakka (N. Paxos)
The second day comes with overcast and light rain. We see a thunderstorm over Corfu again and decide to stay in Blue Lagoon till the afternoon and use some afternoon breeze to take us down to Paxos island. Clouds break up and we go motorsailing with a light NW wind on beam reach to drop our anchor soon at another beautiful blue bay on Paxos island. On the way we switch off the engine in the middle of the sea and take a nice swim.
24/6 Lakka (N. Paxos) – Gaios (N. Paxos)
There’s not much wind predicted for today, so we don’t rush with waking up. We enjoy some swimming in the bay and because our French neighbors seems to be very annoyed when we switch on the engine to charge batteries, we are leaving to another amazing bay with beach, full of cyprus trees and nice bungalows. We clean a boat a bit, enjoy the water, sun and rest.
Increasing wind in the afternoon says we should move on. Our water tank and batteries are almost flat, so we head towards Gaios port.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to get water and electricity here because all chip-cards are already distributed… Maybe tomorrow. We plan to stay here for one more day anyways. Clouds and some more rain is coming, so we’ll enjoy this gem island by our feet or wheels.
In the evening we have our first dinner outside. We are attracted by a grilled pork fatback (true Czechs, haha), and then we finish ourselves with insane waffels with icecream. This night we are all guilty of gluttony!
We are almost done with the engine restoration process! Enjoy the photo report.
Engine: Ford Lehman 2712 E, 4-cylinder 4.15 l, 58.83 kW (~79 HP) at 2500 RPM
Transmission: Velvet Drive Model 10-17-010 with ratio 2.10:1, manufactured in Indiana, U.S.
Ford Motor Company Ltd manufactured 4 & 6 cylinder diesel engines to fit primarily into their Thames Lorries. The 4 cylinder diesel engines also fit into their Fordson tractors. Some of these engines were also fitted into rock crushers, harvesters, and other equipment by various manufactures around the world. The Dagenham engines were built in Ford of Britain’s engine plant in Dagenham, a suburb east of London, and the Dorset engines were produced just east of Dagenham at Ford’s plant in Essex.
Ford themselves did not produce a marine version of their engines until the Dover Series, however many Ford of Britain engines and a number of Ford licensed Spanish (EBRO) and Turkish (Ford Otosan) versions of these engines were marinised by third party companies or by individuals, and installed in various vessels, especially Asian Trawlers. Most all of these engines were factory new, but there were also a few used engines that had been taken out of trucks, tractors, harvesters, etc. and marinised.
We will be sailing from Trieste along Croatian islands to Montenegro, then skipping Albania by a night passage to Corfù. Along Ionian Islands, around Peloponnesos peninsula up to Athens. Then circumnavigating the Aegean Sea in the clockwise direction, visiting Sporades islands, Dodecannesos islands and finally leave the boat in Kos for the winter. Find more…
The total length shall be over 2.200 NM and for such a cruise we must take the preparation seriously. Many incredible jobs are being done this winter. Let’s take a sneak peek to the workshop at some of them:
Major overhaul of the engine is under way. It has been taken out from the boat, totally dismantled to pieces, cleaned, refurbished and will be assembled soon again.
The galley gets a major refit too. New cooker, oven, working desk, drawers, bigger refridgerator, drinking water tap etc.
Anchor windlass received complete overhaul too, as well as the hydraulic steering system.
Watermaker (desalination unit) is being installed for a total independence on water sources. New black-water holding tank will be accompanied by a new toilet with electric flush.
Rigging gets some attention too. The sail traveller has been installed to raise and hoist the mainsail with ease. Two new halyard winches are already on the mast. The others will undergo the annual cleaning.
Woodworks on the deck will continue during the whole winter – three new benches and fixed folding table will be installed in the stern deck cockpit. Two new big hatches will improve the airflow to the single cabin and the galley.
And the best to end up with – new full-batten sails are in production!
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For the last week of the 2017 cruise we had a difficult task – to transfer “La Bum” from Zadar to Trieste in the weather of late September. Everyday raining, sometimes jugo from S blowing 30 knots, raising 2 metre high seas, sometimes bora from NE with its violent gusts, 15°C outside.. All that watching with a cup of tea from the comfort of our dry pilothouse, heated up to a nice living temperature of 20°C.
After this week I must assess La Bum to be capable of safe and very comfortable winter navigation.
La Bum hosted a group of my friends and colleagues from SoMe (social media) department of nydrle, creative agency based in Prague. The cruise took only 4 days but there was so much fun and exciting moments that it felt at least like a week!
Day 0: Arrival
My aweSoMe crew (Kristina, Danca, Zuzka, Vojta and Roman) arrived to Trieste at midnight of Wednesday, June 28th, together with terrible stormy weather. After 10 hours long car trip everyone was happy to be finally at the boat – even though La Bum was rocked by waves and by boarding of 6 people, theirs’ stuff and a 30 liter keg of good Czech beer.
Once boarded, we went downtown for welcome drink and to celebrate the beginning of a big adventure. It was around 1 am, but we found one bar open, and had few glasses of good wine (we couldn’t come back to the boat, because we were caught by rain, of course :). And the weather for next day was not looking really well neither. Forecast showed 20 kts of SW wind (gusting up to 35) and 2 meter high waves. I was praying the wind would slow down or something else would come about to stop the waves, but it didn’t happen. Everyone was so excited and horny to go out, but I knew it’s not a good idea. However, I found a solution – to not cross the Savudrija cape in Croatia but to stay in the gulf of Trieste.
Day 1: Trial in the Gulf of Trieste
Trieste San Giusto – Miramare Castle – Trieste San Giusto (log: 7 NM)
After morning shopping and some formalities at Maritime Police we set out towards Miramare castle. As soon as we left the shelter of marina, we encountered 1m waves, and going on full steam against them made my awesome crew feel the power of the sea – a long awaited moment for everyone.
At Miramare castle we turned back and opened the sail to go on close reach against 15 kts, but the wind gradually rose to 23 kts, so we even tried the lifejackets on. Some were excited, some were a bit sick, but everyone was happy. Even I was happy that I hadn’t decided to make the passage to Croatia in that bloody waves.
When we arrived back to Trieste, we took a swim and enjoyed some sun in marina. After the sunset we had a splendid fish dinner at Marinato restaurant.
Day 2: Going out for an adventure
Trieste San Giusto – Piran (log: 15 NM)
The forecast for Friday was much better. Only 15 kts of SW wind and waves decreasing to 0.5m.
After an awesome breakfast (eggs with bacon) we headed SW and spent some hours crossing against the weakening wind, training and practising tacks. My crew proved to be very handy at all maneuvres, but it was not enough though to deserve enough wind to reach our destination without the engine. Around midday it fell down to 3 kts so we went swimming and tried to pull ourselfves in a donut behind the boat.
We continued with engine up to Piran, where we anchored under the northern wall of church, which looked to be a good anchorage, 6m with good holding, well protected from the waves going from south.
Our boat and crew was admired by all anchored boats around. All of them went soon away though, maybe they were so green with envy they couldn’t watch us partying on the boat or they just had seen the arriving storm… We didn’t care so much and crew went downtown with dinghy. They asked me to go as well, but I stayed at the boat, one never knows what will happen. And it proved to be a good idea…
Around 20.00 a huge cloud arrived and wind increased to 20 kts. I was watching the storm on the radar and saw it was passing maybe 10 miles to the north, so we were fortunately on the edge of it. In its center, as Luigi told me later, the wind reached 70 kts. Nevertheless, I had to leave this peaceful but not very safe anchorage. The only problem was that I was in the boat alone.
Thanks to the anchor winch control at the inside helm station I was able to do the maneuvre alone. The fuse burnt up later as I was pulling it hard, but I managed to take the anchor out and moved the boat to the port of Piran, where my crew was already waiting to help me with landing. What an action for the first day at sea!
Their only concern when I arrived was: “But we have a dinghy on the other side of the town!” To hell with dinghy, I had to save the boat first… So, when we moored the boat safely, male part of crew went for a dinghy rescue mission, and female part went for shopping. Classic.
On the way to the beach on the other side of the town the storm finally caught us. We didn’t care about getting wet, but boys were in slippers and the terrain of distorted castle wall was quite rough. But we made it and dinghy was still there.
The easiest way to come back was by the sea. “Roman, you have the key to start the engine, don’t you?” “Fuck, I don’t have it.” When we were there, all wet and desperate, we decided to take the dingy on our shoulders and use the dry way.
People were just looking weird, when we crossed the main square with dinghy on Roman’s head and engine on Vojta’s shoulder. But why not, there was so strong rain that a dinghy might be of some use even downtown. 🙂
Day 3: Hunger and games
Piran – Umag – Lovrecica (log: 19 NM)
The next morning we were so tired that nobody wanted to get up. Hunger forced us, so we got up for breakfast and saw the bad weather is gone and beautiful day of sailing awaits us.
After morning stroll around the centre and city walls, and some photo shooting for our clients, we set out around midday. Wind was blowing 10 knots from W. We sailed for two hours, but crossing against the wind at speed of 3 knots made the crew hungry again, so we kicked up the engine and went straight towards Umag.
At Umag I quickly made the entrance procedure and soon we were sitting at a seaside restaurant. We were all so starving that we ordered twice as much food that would be needed. This outrageous meal took us few hours, but even completely full we had to take a good icecream after and buy some alcohol for the last evening. Aren’t 5 bottles of wine too much? Nope.
After 19 o’clock we left the port behind and headed towards the closest possible bay, which was U. Lovrecica with a nice church of San Lorenzo. As soon as we anchored we went swimming under the setting sun and then played some funny game with totem. And wine.
Around 2 at night La Bum was still boozing in the middle of an abandoned bay, with naked crew taking bath in the cold night…
Day 4: We want more!
Lovrecica – Novigrad (10 NM)
Last day was relaxing (after the previous wild night), but quite sad as well, as no one wanted to go home.
Around 11:30, after some more photoshooting and pulling ourselves up to the mast, we set out with a little bit of engine and two main sails, to arrive in two hours to Novigrad. There we had an appointment with Luigi, who brought Roman’s car from Trieste.
Last lunch together, last icecream and then the awesome crew left for boring way home to Prague.