Not in the right mood to write

is currently coming to me. I've had a toothache in a molar since Friday evening, and I'll finally have an appointment at the dentist in three hours. It's going to be a bigger thing, I'm just looking forward to a hole in my stomach. It always starts on a Friday evening.

We are so far through with the boat. We still have a lot of cosmetic repairs to do, but we're no longer doing them in Aruba. We have everything we need for the job on board. If we're in quarantine somewhere again, we'll finish it off. That's why we can take the weekend off as always. On Saturday our friend Dickie picks us up and wants to take us to the natural pool in the national park Conchi. He also has his day off on Saturday. We agree that the time is 2:30 p.m. The park entrance closes at 4 p.m., but we can stay in the park until 8 p.m. That's our plan, then we'll have the pool to ourselves. The normal tourists have long been back in their hotels.


Jens grabs our board bike and cycles to the butcher's shop. There he gets the ingredients for a lot of meatballs, which I then fry in the course of the morning. I've only finished five minutes when my phone beeps to announce an incoming message. It's 1:30 p.m. Dickie informs me that our friend Edward is also with him and that they are about to go to pick us up. We are happy to pack the meatballs ready for travel.

Dickie's car

It's 2 p.m. Actually, the two should come right away if they left half an hour ago. But you do not come, instead I receive another message a short time later. They are currently looking for fuel money because the car's tank is practically empty. I offer to help out with fuel money. You want to drive off immediately. At 3 p.m. Dickie and Edward arrive at the boat. They ran out of gas on the way, so they had to beg for a few liters of fuel. The typical Aruban excuse for being late - problems with the car. We're going to refuel. We leave Oranjestad at 3:15 p.m. At 3:45 p.m. we arrive at the park entrance. It closes at 4 p.m., but tickets are only sold until 3:30 p.m. Damn. On the other hand ... at the entrance there is a large sign that the pool is closed due to weather conditions. We decide to go to the other pool.

The east coast of Aruba

Dickie chauffeurs us down an off-road track. It's a little harder than the slope that goes to Conchi. But there are great views of the landscape. We have a lot of fun.

Small break to take photos

When we arrive at the pool, we are initially afraid that the group of ATVs parked by the ladder has just arrived. Fortunately, the opposite is the case, you are just getting ready to go. We have the pool to ourselves for most of our stay. The surf outside the protective stones is enormous, no wonder Conchi was closed.

The sea is rough

Inside, as always, it's nice and relaxing. We drift through the water. Since the tide is low, we can look really far into a small cave and swim. That doesn't work during floods, then you hit your head. A group of three American women with a tour guide arrives, the women jump into the water for a moment, a photo is taken, and five minutes later they are gone again. We have a lot of fun with the screaming women.

When we lose our appetite for the pool, Dickie wants to go off-road a little more. So we continue north along the whole beach of the east coast of Aruba until we get to California Lighthouse drive back on paved roads. We chug further and further along the beautiful beaches towards Oranjestad. We see on Eagle Beach a wonderful sunset. Then we drive to Sissi's and end the day with a cool, hoppy soft drink. You have to explain exactly to Dickie and Edward about the one (!) Beer. Otherwise the two stay until the refrigerator is empty. It was a beautiful day.

Sunchi and Socks

On Sunday I go to the donkeys. I will continue this ritual as long as I am in Aruba. I am delighted to see that the two cats Swa and Socks have finally come down from their roof. It really paid off to transport Sweety to the Netherlands.

Tiger and Woods

Unfortunately there is sad news about the little tiger. She keeps falling and then cannot get up. It seems like she has a problem with her knees. That's too bad. She was with the old donkeys for weeks now and could run around, jump and play with the oldies. That is over, now she and her mother are locked in a small stable again. Anneke recommended a dentist to me.

Unfortunately, the dentist cannot help me immediately. I have to wait for another patient to cancel an appointment. So I drive to Budget Marine to see if they have suitable LED position lights there. You do not have. On the way back to the bus stop, I kink on the zebra crossing and fall right in front of a car. I drag myself to the side of the road. For the first time in days I can't feel the tooth, the ankle is clearly the loudest. The lady, whose car I was lying in front of, drives me straight to Sissi. Only after a 10 minute drive can I have some conversation, before the foot was too loud. I can't sail like that. Aruba is sticking badly right now.


Soraida is really big cinema with her bus. Because I couldn't and didn't want to hobble to the bus stop, she picked me up in the marina and dropped me off right in front of a boat supplier, picked me up again later and drove to Sissi's. I am infinitely grateful to her. I didn't get the position light, but I got a pot of red paint that we want to put on the outside wall. Now there are still two hours until the dentist's appointment.

Here comes Soraida

The refrigerator

The idea for this post came up when I was desperately looking for a can of beer in the fridge and only found cola, iced tea and lemonade. In between I came across a storage jar with goulash that had been hiding in the fridge for a few days and smelled delicious, but had to be put in the organic waste bin due to its age.

Sissi's fridge

Most of the electricity that we generate with our two power plants goes into this refrigerator. That's fine because we love the convenience the refrigerator gives us. However, an on-board refrigerator is a completely different number than the refrigerator at home in the kitchen.

Fridge - the horror film

A movie poster for the film “The fridge - ice cold, bad and mean” hung over my office fridge for years. My colleague Uli brought it with me shortly after I carried the refrigerator into our joint office.

Every sailor knows the problem. At the beginning of the trip, the refrigerator is scrupulously clean, empty, clearly arranged and does not smell.

Then comes the first big purchase. Drinks and food for several weeks are procured, dragged on board and the refrigerator is loaded. One is very concerned about the order in the realm of the cold. Nobody wants to have to search in the fridge, all the goods they want should be within easy reach.

With a lot of care and brainpower, the sailor builds the refrigerator as full as possible, because a full refrigerator works better than an empty one. There is also a lot of stuff to stow away at the start of the trip.

Most of the sailboat fridges I've seen in my life are top loading. That is practical. If we had a refrigerator on the sailing boat like at home, all food would fall to the floor when the refrigerator door was opened, depending on the angle. Okay, that's not entirely true, there are also front loaders for sailboats. However, they are very expensive and installation is not always easy. With us on the Sissi we couldn't install a front loader, because what still looks rectangular in the photo follows the shape of the drop side on the rear side.

Top loader

Then the first evening comes on board. We haven't sailed a meter yet, we haven't untied the ship yet. A first handle in the refrigerator reveals a beer. After the second handle and closing the refrigerator lid, you can hear a rumble in the refrigerator. The third beer has now disappeared under an avalanche of coke cans, blocks of cheese and vacuumed steaks. In search of the third beer, a can of crème fraiche falls upside down on the cork of the wine bottle that has been refrigerated for tomorrow's gourmet meal, the foil on the lid is damaged and the crème fraiche is noiselessly distributed over the coke cans and between the sausage packs. Meanwhile, the Camembert takes over olfactory sovereignty over the entire refrigerator.

Now the fridge is being emptied in a panic, but now neither the traces of the crème fraiche can be found, nor the beer that was guaranteed to have been put in the fridge the night before. There is a can with the label “Vegetable sauce, April 13th, 2018”. Where has she been hiding all this time?

Sissi fridge inside

However much care you take when loading the refrigerator, order is destroyed the moment the first food is removed from the refrigerator. If you don't take any food out after filling but set sail straight away, there is guaranteed to be a wave that can heel the boat so much that the inside of the refrigerator is immediately rearranged, thus restoring the regular mess in a sailing boat refrigerator.

Where else did I bury the pork loin for tonight?

The countdown before departure

If we have tied up somewhere, then the boat is really tight. This is not meant literally, every boat needs a certain amount of freedom of movement on the jetty. Otherwise it's not good for the lines, the cleats and the nerves of the crew. I mean the conversion of the mobile, sailing Sissi into a holiday apartment in the harbor and back again. It's all routine now, but it's exhausting and that's why we only do it when it's worth it or when we're thoroughly fed up with the old place. In addition, some places develop certain adhesive forces that hold you in place.

We often lie in one place for a long time. When things are finally supposed to go on, there is a countdown in our heads and in reality that is exercised at least as precisely as when a rocket is launched into space. At least most.


-86400 seconds
One day before the planned departure, we check the weather again. We actually check the weather all the time, but we do it a lot more often before we leave. We look at which supplies still need to be replenished and then buy them in. Of course, we keep forgetting important things in the store, which somehow we can't prevent. Even if we plan shopping well and write a shopping list, we forget the note on board.

-43200 seconds
We clean up twelve hours before the planned departure. Even if Sissi has only been lying on the jetty for ten minutes, objects are scattered around the ship, all of which want to be cleared back in their place. If we lie down longer, it gets worse and worse. We're not the only ones feeling this way, everyone has this problem. Should we still need bread, we will bake another bread. Sometimes we cook food in advance, sometimes we plan meals to be prepared at sea. That depends on whether we are only planning a short trip of less than 24 hours or a longer trip lasting several days.

-7600 seconds
Two hours before the planned departure, we are slowly starting to make Sissi really clear to sea. We bring the garbage to the dumpster. We often shower again. Dishes are still being washed away and put away. The hatches are closed, laundry is collected and cleared away. We have a critical sea valve that needs to be closed. In addition, the sun protection tarpaulin often hangs over the tree, which needs to be removed, folded and stowed away.

-3600 seconds
One hour before the planned departure, we collect the power cable for the shore power and stow it away. We start to convert the lines that hold Sissi to the jetty so that we can take them with us from the boat. We say goodbye to the neighbors. Possibly. a reef is tied into the mainsail. We regularly check the engine (engine oil, coolant, V-belt) before departure.

-300 seconds
We start the engine a few minutes before departure. It can hum a bit before we ask it to perform.

-60 seconds
We untie the lines. One, another, another, and another. Only a line holds us at the end. Often we already have to shift into gear, engage the gearbox, because the situation is no longer stable with a leash.

-10 seconds
One last panorama, are other boats in the way? Can we drive out of the box?

-9, 8, 7, 6 .... 3, 2, 1, 0 seconds
The last line is loose, we're moving.

+60 seconds
Now the fenders and lines are stowed away. Meanwhile, the diesel is humming and pushing us out to sea.

+300 seconds
When all the fenders and all the ropes have been stowed away, the question of conscience arises: Is the wind enough? Then we pull up the sails. If there is not enough wind, the engine will continue to hum for a while. We always try to drive out of the harbor only when we expect usable wind.

+1800 seconds
The sails are up and the engine is stopped, the ship is running on the electric autopilot and the wind vane control needs to be adjusted. Once that's done, we switch off the electric autopilot and drive under wind control.

+2143 seconds
Already finished! It's that quick and easy. Then we sail and can theoretically do it for an indefinite period of time. We can travel any distance because our fuel never runs out. This is what real freedom feels like. We make a jump of one to four days and have a new parking space for our mobile home.

When docking, everything works in reverse order, only we don't get fresh rubbish out of the container. We produce it ourselves. The countdown to create is much shorter. The sooner we finish, the sooner we will have the investor beer we deserve.

Then we are solid again. For a few days. Or for a few more days.