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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders

Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.  

November 26, 2009
Position: Nelson Marina, D27, Nelson, NZ

Crikey dix mis amigos, lets get right to it because you don't have much time.. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and we are near one of the busiest times of the year. First it is the family dinner, then the admiral or admiral to be will be off to melt plastic* on Black Friday (*overheat the credit cards). However, before she sets off perhaps it would be best to talk about boat tings instead of traditional holiday baubles. After all, what's wrong with new docklines being given to each other, perhaps an Eprib, or other practical nautical item? Mary got a new diesel heater for Christmas, 2005, and new, (soooo soft on her hands) docklines for Christmas, 2006. Christmas 2007 was spent cruising the Chilean Channels on a beautiful sunny day (our Christmas gift was calm and sun after getting killed by weather days before). Christmas 2008, Mary got a new dinghy. Who says boat tings can't be romantic? (It would be interesting to see how far you would get.......perhaps a crystal ball into the future?) Along those lines, November is Mary's and my birthdays and anniversary (41 years with that wench). This year, initiated by our friends on N55 New Paige, the Egret crew is entering the 21st century. Yup, we are soon to be techno wizards and have an Ipod for music. NPR (New Paige Roger) is loading about a zillion songs on Mary's new Ipod, NPP (New Paige Paige) will do the programming and NPJ (New Paige Joan) is keeping the project on track. So, being the big spender, YT bought my sweetie a docking station with remote speakers. When I told MS I wanted to keep the 12 year old boom box in spares it got noisy for a bit. While in the States we treated ourselves to what I call a 'picture dealie'. This is one of those framed electronic picture displays. We have about 300 pictures loaded on a memory stick that rotate randomly on a 10 second basis. We reduce the pictures in file size to 40% and still have great resolution. We added pictures to it twice and will again with a few favorites from yesterday's trip. We CAN'T STOP looking at it. It runs 24/7. One of these days I MAY (read lazy here) get around to going thru our pictures from the Med to date and make a new file of our favorites. Talk about memories!!

Yesterday was another Nelson special day. We went to the 118th edition of the A & P show (agricultural and pastoral) in nearby Richmond (home of world famous Dick Anderson, Egret's crewman for the jaunt over to Oz). The A&P show was an eye opener for us. There were prime examples of everything from swell chickens to goats to cattle to sheep to lambs to alpacas and probably things we missed. We saw dirt dweller kid's lamb judging, alpaca judging, flower judging, fruit and vegetable judging, alpaca shearing and our favorite, sheep shearing. Of course we spent a lot of time in the local camera club's exhibition. Between the two of us we took nearly 1000 photographs. The far majority of pictures were taken at the sheep shearing contest where the New Zealand world champion was going head to head in a 9 sheep apiece shear off between he and another professional shearer. (The other guy won by half a sheep) It was interesting how they sheared the sheep with no wasted motion. Even at the end when they are shearing the behind of the sheep, the sheep is pointed toward the down chute. Exactly as the last stroke is made the sheep is shoved forward down the chute and the shearer turns for the next sheep in the stall. The camera motor drives got a workout. Unfortunately the light was poor so we ended up with just a few good photographs of the sheep shearing contest out of 6-700. (We need two better lenses, 24-70mm Nikon professional, but they will have to wait their turn) In addition, there were motorcycle trials bikes climbing impossible obstacles, horse jumping and trials, and even an old U.S. wild west stagecoach complete with a 6 horse team, driver and guard with a rifle. This was the local kid's favorite. We finally made it to the flower display and judging at the end of the day. Guess who was given all the flowers we could carry when we left? So it was another special day. That evening we were invited over to a local's home for dinner. They are former long distance sailors turned local powerboaters. They also invited an ex-pat American couple over as well. The ex-pats were former sailors who sailed from Panama and stuck in NZ. We talked about boats a bit and told them we never sailed and decided power boating was much easier than sail and we toodled around a bit, so basically, here we are. The ex pat admiral took exception to how easy it was to power vs sail so lets just say that discussion ended there. All in all it was a pleasant evening with great food and good company. We really enjoy meeting locals and this was no exception.
Most of our boat work these days is Mary doing brightwork (varnish) on the new dividers for the pilothouse storage and I have been buffing gel coat. In an e-mail to N47 Bluewater's Milt Baker, I mentioned buffing. Then IT started AGAIN!!! Both Milt and I are opinionated about gel coat maintenance and both keep our boats sparkling. However, we both have different approaches. So THIS TIME I will finally prove to myself.........again........what is best. We have been using 3M's new (kinda old these days) series of compounds and polishes. Egret has never been waxed except when I tried Milt's approach on small parts as a test. Once a year or so we buff the gel coat with two different compounds, one coarse and one finer. She sparkles. Egret has not been buffed properly since March 08. She still shines but does not have that new boat look. The hull is done and now we are starting on the house and foredeck. Before buffing, Egret did not look like she was delivered in August, 01. Perhaps August, 07. Both Egret and Bluewater have exactly the same gel coat and are exactly the same color so the test will be accurate. Below is Milt's well planned buffing program. In a nutshell, Milt waxes well prepared, already shiny gel coat. In Milt's case as well as Egret's, neither are waxing the porous surface of an oxidized gel coat. We will wax both sides of the bulwarks, except for the buffed only spacing between two stanchions, and will wax a portion of the flybridge. Thinking about it, we will wax a portion of the cockpit area out of the salt spray as well. The upcoming crossing of the Tasman will be a good salt spray test. We'll see.

(Milt)The waxing formula which seems to work for us:

  1. Wash the boat well with a mild solution of boat soap. If we've taken lots of light spray, we mix in white vinegar (about 1/2 gallon per bucket) to cut the salt--works great.
  2. Where needed (usually no more than 5-10% of the surface area), buff with a mild rubbing compound with a polishing wheel.
  3. Where needed (usually about 30-40% of the surface area), buff with 3M Finesse It with a polishing wheel.
  4. In areas where we did not need step 2 or 3, apply Collinite 870 cleaner way and remove by hand with a terry cloth toweling turning it frequently.

5. For the entire surface, use Collinite paste wax, applying by hand in small areas (maybe 4x4 feet) and remove with terry cloth toweling, turning or changing frequently, before it dries. Removing before it dries is according to the instructions.

Enough work, it was time to play so yesterday we took a looooong road trip to the South Island west coast to see some limestone arches. The trip includes one of our favorite drives from Nelson thru the high hills to the west coast. At the west coast town of Westport you turn north nearly as far as the road goes then back east on a gravel road to the DOC (Department of Conservation) arch display and the trails leading to the arches. Included in the arch area is Mirror Lake, a small, still lake with reflective scenery. The plan was to arrive in low afternoon light for photography, return to a small town and get a room then return to Nelson the next day (today). Well, we arrived in good light but the arches were a yawner and Mirror Lake was full of pollen and small leaves. After shooting we decided to head back to Westport for fuel and get a room. Let's just say the trip back to the Westport was a bit tense trying to nurse the nearly empty tank back to town. The next hurdle was finding a gas station that was open. NZ basically closes at 8:00PM. (so you Kiwi's don't get excited, yes there are exceptions) At 8:55PM we found the green glow from a BP station sign. And it was open. For some reason most motels were full. Those we did stop to enquire wanted Auckland Ritz pricing. In the end we did a red eye and drove back nonstop. The road trip was 720k's in all. It was still a good day and a good thing we came back early. The past few weeks have been windy and early this morning it was puffing to just over 40 knots. We added a second aft spring line and rearranged the bow and stern lines as well as fenders. We use oversize inflatable fenders from Aere'. They are great and have never failed. Mary does the fender work. Handling these super light fenders is so much easier than the giant traditional fenders we used in the past. Enjoy yourselves this weekend. For T Day we have the New Paige crew and a couple stray Americans over for Turkey and the rest. Then it's a D Dock Xmas party on Sat and over to friends on Sun. Yes, it will be tough to leave.

Today we mail our visa application to the Australian embassy in Auckland requesting a one year visa.
And so it goes. Ciao.


November 17, 2009

Position: S41 15.62 E173 16.86 Nelson Marina, D27, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

This VofE's pictures are interesting. My favorite is of Mary sipping a glass of wine after a work day in the yard. The wine glass is from a wine tasting in Barcelona. The memories never end.

The picture of Six String is interesting as well. It goes to show you don't HAVE to have an ocean capable powerboat to enjoy exactly what we see. This young couple are doing their deal and are berthed 2 slips from Egret. Goodonem.

Picture 1. Mary the Yard Dog cleaning thru hulls.
Picture 2. Mary the beauty queen sipping red after a hard days work.
PictuMary the beauty queen sipping red after a hard days workeland, Colorado, USA

Crikey dix mis amigos, the Egret crew is on the hard, at least for a few more hours so we're killing time writing this drivel while the travel lift crew works on being late. In all fairness it's Monday and they are super busy. Some dirtbag foreigner snuck into our slip so it appears we'll have to motor to Torrent Bay overnight until a place can be found for the sneakeriner. The marina is refurbing one dock so berths are at a premium. In the end it doesn't matter. The batteries are down 300 amps after 4 days on the hard and no shore power (we have about 475 amps usable). We had enough sun for the solar panels to do their deal keeping tings going in the interim. We also need to do laundry and it is easier to run the generator out of the marina and give the watermaker a go as well. Plus we need to do a paravane refresher course to get us up to speed. At sea in a big slop is not the time to figure things out.

Speaking of paravanes, we promised some folks who wrote in we would forward pictures of Egret's paravane set up using our unconventional paravane retrieval winches. Patience mis amigos. We'll get to it. One advantage of the unconventional set up is we don't have to rerig the boom/winch set up for dinghy launching.

The new inverter install went well. Egret's main inverter is now a Xantrex PROsine 2000 watt inverter/charger. In the menu we made the inverter the primary charger hoping to be able to add the 100 amp Victron 50/60 cycle battery charger as a second charging devise complimenting the PROsine 100 amp charger. We sent an e-mail to the Xantrex folks asking a few questions about this n that. It has been our experience Xantrex has good products but not so good customer service. We have yet to hear back. Perhaps they were busy this past week. Who knows? So I guess we'll have to call them on Skype and go on the usual 20 minute hold before a live person answers. Grrrrrrr. Incidentally, if any of you need the same charger, now is the time to buy. West Marine had 7 left when we bought ours. They are replacing the model we bought with one that has a built in GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) Egret has GFI's in the right places so we don't need
the upgraded unit. You'll save over $500 vs the new unit. If you are heading offshore it would make a great spare.

While on the hard we painted the bottom, replaced the zincs and gave our beautiful little white fiberglass ship a hull buff. She sparkles. No matter where we are she draws a crowd of admirers and folks wondering about the Naiad fins, wing engine shaft and prop and general questions. Nelson folks were no exception. Our Nelson friend Dick Anderson helped with buffing and took the keel cooler away for a hot steam cleaning inside the 4 cooler tubes and dipped the ends in acid. The cooler looks like the day it was installed. Having new cooler O-rings and gasket in spares made tings a lot easier. Mary did her usual small part cut in (paint), bow thruster tunnel, thru hull interior cleaning/painting and did a major stainless cleaning. She also made the boys their morning and afternoon tea. Yea, I know hot tea is a girl drink but what can you do in the land of pomies*, and colonials? We Americans threw our tea in Boston Harbour a while ago. *prisoners of Mother England

Then it was time to go overboard. And yes, the wind was gusting over 25k. Next, the pre planning brain trust put a small flash boat on the dock directly behind the travel lift pier. Duhhhhhhh!! Two guys aboard Egret later, three guys ashore with lines, one on the bow of the flash boat they now swung sideways across the back of the dock, but STILL sticking half way out in the fairway, it was time for an attempt. OK, now we made it past the first hurdle (flash boat anchor) but now the wind is smoking and we still have two guys aboard. We made three attempts to go bow in to a dock and drop them off but each time we were caught by the wind and had to back off early. In the end we dropped them on the back of a fishing boat upwind across the creek. They had a well deserved hike back. Actually they were really nice guys and innocent bystanders. The whole fiasco started up the line with someone else.

To top it off, foreign sailboat guy left on his bicycle for town and is STILL in our slip. As long as he is gone in the morning it doesn't matter. Docking in smoking wind is a bit of excitement we'll pass. There is a dinghy on the end of the dock across from ours so the turn into the slip is tight and we would really hate to hit our neighbor on the port side. We'll give it a go in the morning when the wind is still (at least most mornings). Oh well, here we sit on anchor in shallow water near the harbor. We took a quick look around and the boat is NOT prepared to head offshore 3 hours to Torrent Bay in wind like this. There are too many loose items not put away or tied down. We are doing laundry and charging the batteries. It is too silty to run the watermaker and give that a test. Perhaps later at high tide we'll fire it up.

It's not all bad. An ice cold Steinlager and a few nibbles make everything better. It is too bad we watched Le Mans with Steve McQueen last night aboard N55 New Paige (we have been staying aboard New Paige while on the hard). What a great movie. Best racing movie ever. The 917 Porsches and 512 Ferrari's REALLY do sound like that. The real deal. We did 8 of those 24 hour races (Daytona-Watkins Glen, but not LeMans). We finished 6. Perhaps we'll watch it again tonight (we just got the movie while in the States). To go from racing speeds to 6.1 knots is a bit different.

Egret is back in good old D27, a Marina Queen (MQ) once again. It was nice to be on anchor and AGAIN we learned a lesson we'll pass along. After every lay off we are NOT ready to go to sea. The boat is not ready and we are not ready. It takes a day or so to get back in the rhythm. Here is a list of our shortcomings. The anchor snubber was not ready and the fire hose chafe protector was near the tail end making us re-snub. We added a second snubber as a precaution. 30 knots of wind is no time to have snubber issues. We had a cockpit full of loose tings as well as inside the boat. Like flowers for example. In the morning it was calm so we went offshore to drop the paravanes in the water for the first time since testing in the Med after installation. It went well. It was also the first time we tried the paravanes with spectra type line replacing the chain. The line has a lot less drag than chain but it does hum, not badly and is
acceptable. We ran the engine up to 1600 rpm and the hum increased but at our fuel stretching/ocean crossing 1350 RPM it was barely noticeable. In all fairness we ran with the paravanes for less than a half hour so as a definitive test it was short. Mary swung the boom 45 degrees off each side while I used the sailboat winches to crank up the birds. Two speed winches would be a BIG improvement over the small, single speed #16 self-tailing winches we bought in Turkey. YT (Yours Truly) was huffing and puffing by the time each bird was at the surface.

The List is getting smaller as we have been steadily preparing (between playing) for the upcoming jog over to Australia. Mary has been varnishing the new divider set up replacing the mattress behind the pilothouse settee. Items will be better secured and organized than before. When it is done and in place we'll post a picture on VofE. A new table and storage is done in the salon as well. As you enter Egret's salon, immediately on the right is a floor to ceiling locker. The new teak table is attached to that and looks exactly as if it were made in the factory. Now, if YT can match the stain and varnish we'll be all set.

On a personal note, our oldest son FINALLY found the girl of his dreams. They ran away and got married in front of his alma mater (Florida State). They went to a football game on their honeymoon. Like his mother, his sweetie is a corn fed, small town mid-westerner. And she likes sports. So life is good for the kid.

So there you have it. A few more days in The Life. Ciao.


November 9, 2009
Position: S41 15.62 E173 16.86 Berth D27, Nelson Marina, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Crikey dix mis amigos, the Egret crew is back in Nelson, New Zealand after the usual numbing flight. The FLL (Ft Lauderdale) visit were rounds visiting family and friends. And of course the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show.

First I would like to clarify a couple items from the last VofE. We mention from time to time we rebuilt this and that. If the word rebuilt is intimidating to those of you who are new or will be new to cruising let me give you an idea of what it is to rebuild something and put the task into perspective. To me the word download is a mysterious geeker something to be wary of. To normal people the word download doesn't mean much because you understand what it means and is a part of everyday dirt dwelling life. Rebuilding a simple item is the same. We mentioned we rebuilt the Naiad in-line 12V cooling pump. In this case the water seal was leaking (shown by a salt crust on and below the pump). Rebuilding the pump takes these steps. SHUT the sea water intake seacox (valve). Remove the two pump hoses (intake and discharge). Remove the 4 screws holding the pump head to the pump motor. Remove the pump head from the motor (slide it off the shaft). Remove the 4 screws holding the pump face plate on the pump. (The impeller will come off the shaft when you remove the pump head from the motor). Using a proper size socket as a punch, tap out the old water seal. Tap in the new seal from spares. Reverse the disassembly process. OPEN the intake seacox and check for leaks. Run the pump and check for leaks. Done deal. You have rebuilt your 12V centrifugal cooling pump.

Another thing we said in the last VofE was the N46 and N62 were dead items. Please understand these are both GREAT boats. We certainly love Egret as do all N46 and N62 owners. It was meant in the context of new build salability. Now let's put fuel mileage and costs into perspective vs these two efficient designs. By squaring off the transom vs a more efficient rounded type transom you LOSE about 20% efficiency. You GAIN a more stable platform by having a larger wetted surface at the stern reducing pitching. To make up for the loss of efficiency you simply add more fuel capacity. In fuel burn costs we'll take Egret's fuel usage. Of course this is only applicable to smaller boats but the theory applies to all sizes. Egret cruised about 45,000 nm over the past 8 years for a rough 5,600 nm per year average. ) Egret tends to pound out the miles then sit a bit. These past 13 months (since arriving in Opua, NZ, Oct 08) for example, Egret traveled only 2212 nm. Earlier (from April - Oct 08) Egret traveled 9620 nm. She gets about 3.5nm per U.S. gallon at her ocean crossing speed of 6.1 knots @1,350rpm, or burns about 1 liter per nautical mile. 5600 nm divided by 3.5 nmpg is 1600 gallons per year average fuel burn (not including generator burn) 1600 gallons times 120% = 1920 gallons, or 320 gallons more. Bottom line: the inefficiency of a square transom design adds +/- $1000 per year in average fuel costs on a similar waterline length boat (N43 comes to mind, however they are lighter and more narrow so mileage may be better than a 20% loss in efficiency 2212nm.

If we could describe the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show in a single word it was enthusiasm. After the past dry spell things were starting to slowly happen for a number of manufactures we knew from another life. The N owners and owners to be we met at the show were FULL of enthusiasm. We got to see the new N75 Sport Fish, N60 and N56 motorsailor. We took a number of highly detailed pictures of the MS for our friends back in London where we stayed before arriving in FLL. One of our highlights of the show was getting together with boating friends we keep in e-mail contact with during the year. It really is about people and is the biggest reason we choose this time of year to return. On a personal note we were encouraged by the reception of folks following VofE. We had the privilege of meeting Bob Conconi, a current N86 owner. Bob follows VofE as well. That says a lot for long distance large boat crusiers who have the enthusiasm for cruising as we smaller boat folks do. It certainly gives us the incentive to keep pounding out this drivel beating the cruising drum.

Arriving in Nelson we had a bit of a fright. We have never, ever had an issue leaving Egret for our short visit back each year. This year was different and the incident happened the day we returned. Our sailboat neighbor heard a bow thruster running early in the morning. He shot outside to see who was getting ready to ram his boat. It was Egret straining at her docklines with the thruster running. In a nutshell, the fellow who is doing woodwork inside Egret and has the key was located. He dropped what he was doing and made a high speed dash across town to the boat. He didn't find the bow thruster shut off until after the fact so he disconnected the battery cables to the unit. The motor was so hot the insulation around the battery cables was MELTED and filled the forward stateroom with heavy smoke. We could have had a FIRE. Needless to say we weren't happy the breaker didn't trip and shut off the power to the thruster. Obviously there is a short somewhere. First I'll check the flybridge thruster control and go from there. Electricity is my weakness so if I can't find the problem FOR SURE we'll get some professional help. More on this later. On a happier note, we cleaned the fuel tanks soon after getting back. Both tanks were near spotless. Now they ARE spotless. Again there was NO water in either tank. This says a lot for well insulated fiberglass tanks. All we found was a little dirt accumulation at the low point of the tanks and well away from the fuel pickups (perhaps a tablespoon full on the port tank and a teaspoon full on the stbd). Only if we were nearly out of fuel in pitching seas would the dirt be put in suspension and migrating to the day tank. THEN the dirt would settle at the bottom of the day tank. THEN the dirt would have to accumulate to about 10" deep before it would enter the intake for the main. (This isn't going to happen because the intake for our fuel circulating/polishing pump is at the bottom drain of the day tank) THEN the dirt would have to pass thru a 2 micron Racor primary filter. THEN the dirt would have to pass thru the secondary filter before any nasties would head to the injection pump. So you can see how Egret's happy little Lugger went 7000 hours on her original injectors. While in the States we bought a Balmar smart regulator to add in line between the Lugger alternator and the battery buss bar. We also bought a Xantrax Pro Sine 2000 watt inverter/charger to replace the back-up Xantrax inverter/charger we are now using. (The back up unit is not programmable) The original Trace (Xantrax) SW2500 inverter/charger is now residing in a nearby dumpster because we couldn't get it repaired in New Zealand. The local Auckland distributor repair person was clueless. For the approximate price of a repair in the States we bought the new unit. We don't need 2500 watt capacity since changing to 12V refrigeration. All this because a whale type fresh water fitting let go and sprayed the inverter with water. Grrrrrrr. Oh well, it's less painless than watching the 6:00 news. More on these installations later.

Also while in FLL both Mary and I were given a clean bill of health by the doctor......again. Ho hum, clean air, better food, no stress, etc. You get the picture.

While changing the mast head running light bulb I noticed a shackle on the paravane set up had a hairline fracture nearly 100% around one side. Had we dropped the paravanes the shackle would have instantly let go leaving us with a real mess. We would only drop the paravanes in REALLY rough seas because we can comfortably run on one Naiad fin (about 75% efficiency) if we had a problem with one side only. It was NOT a Wichard shackle but one we had in stock when we installed the paravanes in Turkey. I'm sure the PAE folks use Wichard (the best) shackles for a factory installation. Nevertheless, it would pay to take a few minutes and check ALL your shackles if you are paravane folks. We haul in a few days for routine bottom painting, zincs, a bit of buffing and so on. So there you have it. A few days in The Life and a little food for thought. Ciao.
*What's wrong with this picture? The dockline is the problem. This beautiful N56 Motorsailor needs to be at sea. (Actually this was the FLL show boat. It needs final commissioning, extras added like electronics, personalizing, spares, provisioning and a loose plan before heading out.) Check out how the mold tooling included a receiver (depression) to install the hawse pipe so the top of the hawse would be flush with the bulwark. Yagottaloveit.


Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.





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