Hacking hardware store

The headline for this post has been buzzing in my head for a few hours. But I still don't really know how to start it. It's best to start at the beginning.

Speed dinghy with a firm roof and firm floor

In the beginning was the car rental company. We ended up in Marina Puerto Calero, which is pretty far from everything we want to see. Only the way to the bus stop is somewhat short, but the bus only runs once an hour. There is only a small supermarket in the marina, the nearest supermarket outside is already four kilometers away. We also want to see the island. So I went to the local car rental company and rented a speed dinghy. It has room for four or two people and our damaged genoa. I don't think the price of 110 € for a week is excessive. This is what you pay here on the island if you get a cart outside the marina - you just have to take the bus to pick it up or bring it back.

The car rental company is a lazy person. After pulling my credit card through the device, he hands me the car key. I ask for a handover, he tells me that the car is behind the house on the right. All right. Then I find a lot of damage from the previous tenants that I photograph. I go back to his office, disturb him with his cell phone while paddling and ask him to note the damage. He replies with the words “It's okay. It's full casco ”. All right.

Hui, how fast!

We don't find mooring lines or fenders, but we come out of the marina well. We also miss the mast and I especially miss the autopilot in the car. But Navionics shows a very good speed. A motor boat stop. Jens and I have been in a car for the first time since Frankfurt.

In a frenzied drive we pass Arrecife, the largest town on the island, on the bypass and see a hardware store, an IKEA and other large shops. We agree that we have to go there again.

We have to go to the hardware store anyway, because our 10-key went diving in the Lagos harbor. We also pulled a trail of lost screws in the Atlantic. They vibrate at Sissi just as quickly as on a motorcycle from Milwaukee. In Lagos they were still at the controls, in Puerto Calero they were already missing. Gone stupid. We are slowly running out of M6 screws. We don't have many of the M10 either. But first we want to do some sightseeing.

View of the sea from the mountains

We have seen so many beautiful green landscapes that we are happy about the completely different ambience in Lanzarote. It is something very special, the colors brown, black and dark brown dominate everywhere. Ash, lava. In between the villages are always kept white. At first we thought it was just a cottage area, but then we learned that there was a great artist here, César Manrique, who saved the island from castles and mostly from high-rise buildings.

Mirador del Rio

The viewpoint too Mirador del Rio is a work by César Manrique. From here you have a great view of the neighboring island of La Graciosa. There is also one of the few beautiful anchor bays. Maybe we'll go there again.

La Graciosa

I definitely have to photograph one of the white villages. On the way back to Sissi we drove along the beach. Also very, very nice. I really like the island.

At the beach

Now we are on the way back and I now come to the history of the hardware store. Armed with a long shopping list, we climbed through the rows of shelves. Screws, nuts, wrenches, an extra set of wrenches for recessing, coffee pot holder for the cockpit, clothes pegs, clothesline and and and ...

We see floor mats on a shelf and grab them immediately. A neat industrial mat that can be soaked in salt water (against the cockroach eggs that you may have stepped into) and that can be placed above the entry ladder. She is in the shopping cart.

Optimus hardware store in Arrecife

Every part is scanned at the checkout. The sticker with the barcode is missing on the doormat. I want to go and get another because a line has formed behind us, but Jens holds me back - it was the last doormat of this kind. The cashier calls a colleague for help. She goes to the floor mats and comes after a few minutes with a big question mark on her face. That strikes me as Spanish.

The cashier's colleague disappears into the back room. Then she comes back. On a PC, she begins to browse through the hardware store's online range. Then pictures of floor mats are looked through with the Google image search. Then Amazon is called. It is discussed again. The line behind us grows and grows.

The action at the cash register now takes just under a quarter of an hour. The cashier "parks" our purchase and first dismantles the queue. Jens makes the suggestion to simply take the price tag off the shelf. The proposal is not bad in and of itself, but there is no price tag for exactly this doormat. Ultimately, the price of any doormat is entered into the cash register. The price is okay.

After half an hour at the cash register, we knew almost all of the DIY store employees. And we had the idea of hardware store hacking. You buy an object from OBI and carry it to Hornbach at the checkout. It must be an item that Hornbach does not have in the range, but is common in hardware stores. In Arrecife we could inadvertently employ six people for half an hour. How can that be with Hornbach ???

Phantom hair

People with amputations often still feel pain in the amputated limbs. This is called phantom pain. A part of yourself that has always been there is missing. But it feels like it is still there.

I have phantom hair.

The other night I caught myself pulling the hair tie out of my hair. When I put on a T-shirt, my hands move automatically to the collar to pull my hair out. I put my glasses on so that no hair gets caught in the temples. When I take a shower, I try to be careful not to get water on my hair because I don't want to wash it. Jörg reports of similar events.

Speaking of showers - after my first shower after shaving, I was surprised to find something. I felt something like the shock of power. My sack hair is now longer than the one on my head

two bald heads in front of the tram

In deep grief

We suffered and tortured ourselves. The sun burned hot in Galicia. Sweat ran down our t-shirts. Decisions had to be made. What should we do? What could we sacrifice, what could we do without.

Can we dare to do the unspeakable? Is the risk accepted? Can we accept the drastic change in our lives without complaining? Is the decision correct? Is the timing right? Humidity? The wind force and the tide? Should it really be that far now? What are the alternatives?

A sailor's life is full of decisions that cannot be changed afterwards, for which correction is no longer possible. Once the ship is lying on the rocks, any rescue is often too late. How nice it would have been if you hadn't steered the course up the rock beforehand. Do we steer Sissi into the reef this way? Will we soon be on the ground? Do the sails tear us apart? Do the food spoil? Will we soon have a fishing net in the screw? All of these questions need to be considered. This is the only way we can avoid driving on the rocks.

And so it is now. The decisions were made. The consequences are visible. We have gained an experience.

We have witnessed an event that has not yet taken place in this form in this millennium. We do not want to unduly exaggerate this event, but no other words can be considered here. It was a big event.

We are sad. We have lost it. They're gone.

We have to get used to it. But a light shines on the horizon. It gets lighter every day. It will glow unfiltered on the day when I no longer pull the braid out from under the camera strap.

The swinging oven - episode 3

Another cooking video? Yes, it has to be. Cooking at 6-7 Bft on a downwind course is a completely different number than the upwind course between Guernsey and Roscoff. We also did it a little differently this time. When Sissi rolls in the waves, eating the food is also a challenge. Wet tea towels were used as anti-slip mats, and it works just fine. In addition, the towels are easily washable if something comes off your plate.

Cooking somewhere between Spain and Portugal

In Porto

We have been in Porto in the Marina Porto Atlantico in Leixoes for a few days. We will also stay here for a few more days because we want to do the painting work that we have been putting off since Stavoren. Slowly the effect spreads in the southern sun that the dark wooden floor in the cockpit heats up. So strong that we can no longer stand barefoot there. So there has to be white paint on it, and that worked just fine for the benches.

Sightseeing is still popular, Porto has a great historic old town. Here it is fun to stroll away in the afternoon.

Tram line 1 in Porto

I particularly like the fact that I can still photograph historical trams. It wasn't until we arrived in Porto that I found out about these trains when I read the article in Wikipedia to prepare them. Great. Jens does not share my enthusiasm for 100%….

It is funny that there are still old acquaintances here in the harbor - you have to say it now. The Milena Bonatti, which we have already met in Camarinas and Roscoff, is two boxes away.

The morning after…

Wow. I haven't slept so well in a long time. Jens also crawled out of his bunk in a good mood in the morning. It was a fantastic decision to extend the stay in Vigo and buy the mattresses.

It is a wonderful feeling to be able to lie on any part of the mattress and not to slip into the hollow in the middle. The feeling in the back is great, which no longer pinches when you wake up. And we were able to sleep a dream long time, even though it is quite warm here by German standards.

What am i writing Here it is only 30 ° C in the evening, we have heard completely different values from Germany in the past few months. It's kind of part of it here, people are prepared for it.

Care in Vigo (II)

No, we still haven't equipped Sissi with torpedoes. We have not yet found the supply ship. However, today we have improved the comfort on board by several orders of magnitude.

As every morning, my back reminded me this morning that we still want to equip Sissi with new mattresses. The old ones were still from the previous owners, although much more comfortable than the guest berths, but still shabby and worn out. So we said to ourselves that we're going to look for a mattress shop.

On the internet we could find a store just 20 minutes walk from the marina, Marco Evaton.

Marco Evaton

The siesta ends at 4:30 p.m., we were in the shop at 4:35 p.m. With the help of our profound knowledge of Spanish, we asked for two mattresses measuring 90 cm by 190 cm (“el colchón"). We also have perfectly working index fingers, can exchange a few words of English with the shop owner's daughter (approx. 12 years old), paint the sailing boat as a home address on a sheet of paper and tick the berth in the marina on the city map. The plastic card for payment works internationally.

Happy in the mattress shop

We have of course thoroughly tested the mattresses. Every mattress was better than the old things on the boat. So we bought those that certainly fit in the bunk. The shopkeeper promised us the same day delivery.

The old ones have to get out!

In order not to waste any time, we have already taken the old mattresses out of the boat. Things were stubborn and twisted and resisted. Of course, in addition to delivery to the boat, we were also offered the disposal of the old documents.

Nevertheless, there were a few complications with the delivery address, which could be cleared up with the help of a friendly Spanish woman on the roadside. The shopkeeper called me, I only understood so much that he didn't know exactly where to go by car. The nice Spaniard spoke just enough English that I could explain to her that she should explain to the man on the phone where he had to go. Perfect. Worked.

New, beautiful, comfortable.

In record time, Jens and I got the new sleeping pads on board and into the berths, freshly covered them and then found that we hadn't even photographed the new, originally packed mattresses. Bad luck. I plucked the sheets down again for the last photo. Today I go to bed early.


The Way of St. James is made of steel and has a track width of 1668 mm. We drove it from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela.

Pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostela

For a day we made the place of pilgrimage unsafe. Here is my story.

Supply in Vigo

Admittedly, the shopping opportunities near the port are very limited. We only found a small savings market within walking distance. Nevertheless, I had to choose this title for the blog post, because that was also the case with U96 in the film “Das Boot”. Already in the film I was impressed by the nightly entry into the harbor, the fishermen who had to avoid the boat. We also entered the harbor at night, but did not have to dodge any mines. When viewed in light, we are in the lively port of a big city.

Vigo harbor with marina in the foreground

There was a reason that we drove straight to Vigo and did not first drive around the rias north of it. After three weeks, our co-sailing friend Christoph leaves us. He has to go back to work on September 2nd. We also work, but only on the boat and only for us.

¡Hasta otra!

While these lines are being written, Christoph is sitting on the plane home. Together we drove 672 nautical miles, had a crack in the mainsail, saw two whales and a lot of dolphins, visited three countries, had everything from wind force zero to eight and wave heights from zero to five meters. We made boat trips on Guernsey, in Roscoff on the Île de Batz and to Santiago de Compostela. It was a nice time.

Extreme sports on the coast of death

I had planned to take the bus to Muxía for that day and then hike back along the Rias to Camarinas. That is about 25 kilometers. The sun burned from the sky and I got out of bed late as so often. So I rejected this plan and decided to go on a bike tour. Our bridge neighbors from Milena Bonetti borrowed mountain bikes and enthusiastically told us about the beautiful bike routes. So why not. Jörg said I could take the on-board bike, a Brompton folding bike. I don't have to walk to the rental. As it turned out later, it was a really good idea.

The bike was quickly opened and the tires inflated. I had two cold cans of cola and a bottle of water in my backpack, sunglasses on my nose and safety sandals on my feet. My goal was the lighthouse “Faro de cabo Vilán” on the Costa da Morte. I drove off.

The road climbed steeply just beyond the marina. A little foretaste of what to expect. The asphalt ended behind the first curve. It continued on a forest path. Time to take a breath, because it became flatter again and because of the many stones and potholes I could only drive very slowly. At a fork I turned left to take a break at another smaller lighthouse.

Faro da Viulleira
Faro da Viulleira

After a short rest we continued. Brompton crawled over stick and stone at a snail's pace. If I jogged, I would be faster. Wanderers looked at me and my vehicle in amazement. When I got to a beach I had to get off and push a bit. The tiny wheels just got stuck in the sandy slope.

Sandy beach

From here on it was all uphill. It occurred to me that I had only seen these bikes before on the subway or on the train. Before e-scooters, this was a popular choice for commuters to walk the last hundred meters from the stop to the office. In the Taunus, on the single trails, nobody rides a folding bike. Why not? Sport is supposed to be contagious. With a mountain bike and 300 gears, it is much too easy. I drove in first gear. Of the three courses, this seemed to me to be the right one. After kilometers of agony, the path led me back to an asphalt road. A little relief. My thighs and lungs were burning. I rested for a moment on the side of the road and got a first look at the lighthouse.

Faro de cabo Vilán mit Windmühle
Faro de cabo Vilán with windmill

I now understand why Don Quixote's fight against the windmills was so hopeless. The things are here on every corner along the coast. They just don't turn. I would have liked a little cooling wind. Inspired by the thought that I am almost there now, I drove on. My effort should be rewarded with a great view of the Costa da Morte.

Costa da Morte
Costa da Morte

The way back was a feast. After a short time I turned into a forest and the road went downhill. I shifted into second gear. The cool wind gave me new energy. Third gear. The Brompton shot across the street. In the drift, the tires painted black stripes on the asphalt. Potholes were no longer a danger. I just flew over it. At least that's something I remember. I returned exhausted that afternoon and took a cold shower.

im Rausch der Geschwindigkeit
in the frenzy of speed