Escape from the last cold days in NY (2) – Jamaica

When our magical time in Colombia came to an end we had a very early flight from Barranquilla to Montego Bay. At 5am in the morning I was not fully awake and left my mobile phone in the cab to the airport. Once you lose your phone you realize how important it is, on the bright side, I told everyone that I could not read any work emails so I had a really peaceful time until getting back to NY. I might have lost some of my contacts stored on the phone, I will reach out to you if yours got lost.

The reason to come to Jamaica was the birthday party of our friend Clive, he is also the manager of our the Airbnb villa in Ironshore (15 min from the airport). Check it out under Ironshore Villa with Pool at Ironshore. Vicky organized a great party with DJ and delicious food at the house.

The time was very relaxing and we spend a lot of time reading at the pool. We also were able to go one day Scubadiving with ScubaCaribe. This was the 2nd time diving with them and we strongly recommend that place.

Finally it was time to go home and get back to work. Jolanda spend a few more days in Jamaica but had to go back eventually.

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Escape from the last cold days in NY – Colombia

Last week we were invited to our friends Juanita and Andrea’s wedding in Colombia and were so excited to celebrate with the happy couple, their family and friends.

We took the opportunity to see more of Colombia too and spend some nice time at the beach. We flew from Newark to Panama and then to Barranquilla. After one night at an interesting hotel in Barranquilla we got a ride to Santa Marta. After acclimatizing we joined the wedding party for a pre-wedding celebration. Both the pre-party and wedding were amazing and the perfect location for such an wonderful event. We were so lucky to be invited to this special celebration.

It was one of the most magic places we visited recently, on top of that we had also an amazing accommodation La Mar de Bien
The rooms were very quiet and ceviche was delicious. See our hosts below.

We can’t wait to come back again.

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Finally we got our winter clothes

Some of you might remember that we put most of our stuff in storage (including winter clothes) when we moved out of our apartment at downtown Manhattan. The last twenty month we missed some of the things which were locked away. Finally today we got the items from the storage delivered. Of course not everything fitted onto the boat, so we needed to sort our what to keep and what to donate.

A lot of items which can break easily needed to go. We are so relieved that we managed to sort everything out and finally have all the valuable items back.

A special thanks goes to Dumbo Moving these guys are awesome if you ever need a moving company we strongly recommend them.

This week we have a little visitor, Candy from the neighbor boat is living with us until the owner is coming back. Even Luna got used to the visitor, she is defending her territory.

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Great Fender Company – TaylorMade

I made a great experience with TaylorMade Fender company. 3 weeks ago one of the fenders blew up, see picture below. I went to WestMarine to buy a replacement and saw that the label says “Lifetime” Limited Warranty, so I asked the sales person and he told me I need to get in contact with TaylorMade customer service. Next day I send them an email with a few pictures and got a prompt reply that I need to provide the mailing adress and my new fender will be on his way. I was a bit suspicious with the Lifetime warranty but that company really stands to their word of lifetime warranty. Excellent customer service. I went and bought 2 more from them!

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Taking a break in Mexico

Last week Jolanda and I went to Mexico City, where I had to go for work. Monday is a bank holiday so we are having a long weekend to explore the region. First we went with our new transportation vehicle (Lime scooter) all across Mexico City we managed to ride 5 miles from Polanco to the Old Town without getting run over by a car or hitting a pedestrian.


On Saturday we went for a hiking tour to the volcano. The hike was a total distance of 2.6 miles and an elevation gain of 6,300ft. In the end we were rewarded with a incredible view of Popocatepetl. Our group was amazing and after a little rest we went out in the evening for dinner.


Sunday will be a relaxing day in Roma with food and walking around the neighborhood also getting prepared for the cold weather when we flying back to New Jersey. We really enjoyed our time in Mexico City and the people we met. Hopefully we will come back soon again.

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Temperature Stresstest

So last weekend was -15C (5F) felt like -25C (130F), the question was how is “Sky’s The Limit” coping.

First exciting news: we have high speed internet on the boat, thanks to the engineer from Comcast who installed the cable on Saturday before the cold. We had 3 engineers coming but we are finally “online” and Jolanda does not have to work from the coffee shop any more.

On Sunday i had my 3rd lesson with Troy boat handling, as we progressed the wind picked up and it became a challenge to keep the boat upwind. One important lesson I learned was to back out from a dangerous position, rather than going forward and steering away. The bow (front of the boat) is much more difficult to steer than the stern (back).

On Monday morning the wind was blowing and the temperatures were far below freezing, as a result the fresh water pipe in the boat froze and I had no water.

It took me some time to find out what the problem was. The waterpump froze because I did not block the vents for the engine room. This was a stupid mistake I took the old foam mattress from the guest-room and cut it to use as insulation.

After that I borrowed my neighbors hairdryer and warmed up the water hose. Two hours later I had running water again. Also the ice and wind took his toll on one of the fenders, apparently they have a livelong warranty, let’s see if that is true.

A lot of people asking me if it is really worth it, I can tell you with a view like that and sitting next to our lovely and heartwarming cat Luna, it is..


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I took my first shower this year …….. on the boat

Happy New Year everyone.
Last weekend was DIY time on the boat for me (as Jolanda is enjoying the warm weather in Las Vegas). The goal was to be able to take a shower, without flooding the boat. A couple of things needed to be fixed first:

1. The water connection on the kitchen faucet was leaking because of a brass connector, I found a plastic replacement (luckily the boat came with a lot of spare parts), installed it, and voila it was dry.
2. Due to the leak above the water tank was empty, unfortunately someone on the marina used the water pipes but did not open the valves on both ends, so the water in the pipes could drain. As the result the water in the pipe froze and I had to wait until Saturday afternoon when it melted and I could re-fill the water tanks.
3. There is a pump on the boat to pump out the shower water (showers are below the water line), due to my lack of knowledge on the operation, I kept it on constantly and of course i burned out after a while. On Sunday the new pump arrived and I was able to install it with the operation switch. Now that I made myself familiar with the operation I hope it will be good for some time. Good thing is, if you can fix these kind of things it will cost you not more than $200 in comparison if a mechanic would come it would be around $1000. Also you would not believe it but it is fun.


The pump is the white round thing and the switch next to it

After all of that I had the most incredible Hollywood shower on Sunday night. Yes I have some water left in the tanks.

On Sunday morning I had my next docking lesson with Captain Troy. It started off like that: Every time you starting an engine you need to make sure that it is cooled correctly, to check that you need to see some cooling water coming out of the exhausted pipe (cooling water is the water outside of the boat, being circulated around the engine and pumped out again). On the port (left) side water came out, on the starboard (right) side only once in a while and only on high power. So we concluded that there is no proper cooling on the engine and the engine might overheat.

Now it gets interesting:

– First we checked that the valve letting water into the boat cooling system is open
– Now we checked that the filter (sea strainer) has no dirt which prevents waterflow
– Now we checked the little propeller (impeller) which pumps the water through the engine. This took us for ages as the 5 screws were very difficult to access and our big fingers did not help. We had to disconnect a fuel line and we got covered in diesel and seawater. After a long time getting everything open and realizing the propeller was in good condition we ran out of ideas.
– Ok one last try, we put some washing liquid into the filter (sea strainer), in case anything that is in the cooling system may dissolve. I walked to the back of the boat, Troy started the engine and immediately the marina was covered in soap foam (sorry forgot to take pictures) 🙂

So as a conclusion, the cooling system was running properly from the beginning, only the outlet of the cooling water was under the waterline so we could not see that. Drenched in oil, diesel and seawater we started our docking lesson. I successful docked the boat the first time on my own..

Here is a picture from Luna not being impressed with our service:

This post was not the usual “lot of pictures” post, but I hope you liked it and the boating friends might had a laugh or learned something.

Until then…..

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Merry Christmas

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a good start into 2019. This year was a though one but we came out at the other end.

We are off to Jamaica for two weeks to recharge the batteries for the upcoming year. As you know us there are more adventures ahead.

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Second week on the boat

The second week was as exciting as the first one. We still finding things out and learning a lot about the boat.
On Wednesday our favorite surveyor came to evaluate the boat for insurance purposes. After we have invested in so many “upgrades” we would like to insure the boat for a higher current value. Our curious cat Luna was constantly checking on the surveyor if he is doing a good job. Once again we were very happy with Jesse (http://www.baymarinesurvey.com/) and we strongly recommend his service around NYC and JC.

After installing a new battery charger my 2nd project was to replace some bathroom and kitchen faucets, I’m becoming a hobby plumber as well now :-).

On Friday it was time for the annual Christmas party, as you might know Jolanda LOVES to organizes parties with all our friends. This year we were a bit limited with space on the boat but we still had 30 people celebrating with us the Holiday Season. As there was not enough time to get all the food and catering, eEveryone brought some food and we are still enjoying the amazing leftovers. Getting on the boat and even more after a few drinks to get off was challenging for some people but we all had a good time and we can’t thank enough for so many good friends.

On the beautiful Sunday morning we had our first docking and boat handeling lesson with our Australian Captain Troy. He is very patient, calm and explains us things very well and we got to practice docking the boat on our slip. We are very lucky to have him. First thing we learned is that we should not hit things with the boat but sometimes it is unavoidable so it should be done in a controlled way. Here are some pictures of our first lesson:

Now we are preparing for our holiday vacation in Jamaica. Luna is at a boarding home and our neighbors will be looking after our boat. We are so fortunate to have the best people around us.

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First week in the new home

On Saturday we celebrated 1 week anniversary being back with The Sky’s the Limit. The boat is looking better every day. I installed a new battery charger, also did some minor electrical upgrades. Currently we want to make sure that no water pipe can freeze when we are away over Christmas in Jamaica.

On Monday I picked up Luna and she is clearly enjoying the boat, so many things to explore. Also we meet already our new neighbors, which are very helpful and always up for a spontaneous party.

But most important news is that we managed to get our waste tank pumped out. The friendly staff from Liberty Landing came over to empty our tank.

Overall we are very happy with our new home and we can even see the Statue of Liberty from the upstairs room and the sunset is incredible as well. The boat is currently decorated with Christmas items, more pictures to follow.

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