Moving on board

Now that „La Ola“ is finally around the corner in Cuxhaven, the real work begins. The mill has to be cleared and the cat loaded. Lots of mucking out, clearing out, deciding whether to take anything on board, numerous trips to Cuxhaven and back to Langwedel.

We start on the Wednesday before Father’s Day with the first load in the trailer and manage to be in Cuxhaven in time for the high tide. We only have to negotiate the ramp to our floating jetty with what feels like 100 loads in the handcart on a slight incline. Within a very short time, the jetty in front of the boat is full and a little later boxes and crates are piling up in the cockpit. It’s just as well that our cockpit is so big! Then it’s time to redistribute.

As the boxes are not packed in the same way, I sometimes carry individual items into the port hull, sometimes into the starboard hull and sometimes into the saloon. It feels like I’ve covered another 10 kilometres. Meanwhile, Axel goes shopping in Cuxhaven because the first curious guests have announced their arrival for tomorrow’s holiday. Slowly but surely, the situation in the cockpit is clearing up and the cupboards below deck are filling up. Certainly not everything has found its final place yet and we will probably spend some time looking for some things because we have forgotten which cupboard something ended up in. However, until everything is on board, there is no point in drawing up a stowage plan. While we are tackling the last boxes before closing time, there is a knock on the boat and our friend Bernd is standing in front of us. He has just brought someone to Cuxhaven on board the Alexander von Humboldt and has taken the opportunity to pay us a short visit. After Bernd has made his way back home, we walk to the „Austernperle“ fish restaurant around the corner and enjoy a delicious dinner of matjes and schnitzel Hawaii. Back on board, we fall into our bunks more or less immediately and fall asleep, exhausted but happy.

Chaos in theCockpit

First visitors

The holiday starts with glorious sunshine. In the meantime, we have tidied up the cockpit so that we can have breakfast outside and enjoy our traditional breakfast egg with a view of the harbour. There’s already a lot going on here and the boats are queuing up in front of the bridge to set off on their Father’s Day excursion. We continue to tidy up and pack up and are ready for the first visitors on board at midday. Our friends Luer and Elke, Andrea and Pit and Axel’s sister Anja have arrived. We are greeted with a sparkling cold drink and then the cat is inspected. After a short break in the sun in the front cockpit, we move into the aft cockpit and fire up the on-board barbecue. The guests have provided the side dishes and it’s going to be a brilliant meal on board. Later, Torsten, Meike with her son Maxi and dachshund Karla join us and we move back into the sunny front cockpit. There’s plenty of room for ten people and we’re already looking forward to the many on-board parties to come! In the late afternoon, our guests leave us again and we also pack our things and head back to our mill. Lucky the cat is already waiting there eagerly and has to catch up on some good cuddles on my lap in the evening.

First barbecue

Next load

Just two days later, we set off again for Cuxhaven. We used the previous day to shop for yacht equipment at SVB in Bremen. At Metro we bought numerous plastic boxes for better organisation and at IKEA two new mattresses for the owner’s cabin went into the car. So the car and trailer are well filled again today and will be supplemented with two folding bikes at Decathlon in Bremerhaven. Unfortunately, the timing of the high water doesn’t work out so well this time, so we have to scramble up and down the jetty when unloading in Cuxhaven. In the end, first the jetty and then the cockpit are completely full again and we get back to unloading and stowing. The stowage system is slowly coming together and the new boxes are helping with the organisation. Hours later, we sit comfortably in the once again emptied cockpit and enjoy delicious asparagus for dinner. Afterwards, we watch the Eurovision Song Contest on the on-board TV, interrupted every now and then by a walk outside to perhaps see one of the auroras currently visible in Germany (unfortunately without luck). The next day brings more tidying up before we set off home again in the early afternoon.

Mill flea market

As we have to part with most of our things in the mill, we have planned a small flea market in the mill for Whitsun. The first interested parties are already coming round beforehand and some garden furniture, garden tools and kitchen utensils are already changing hands on Monday. In the meantime, we are still busy packing boxes and cartons to be taken on board. On the Whitsun weekend, the mill is teeming with people, although we have deliberately not advertised the date publicly and have only invited family, friends and acquaintances. Many things are in high demand and there is a lot of hard bargaining. The mill is slowly getting emptier and emptier and we are hopeful that we can make the planned move-out and handover date.

First remodelling work on board

After Whitsun, we are travelling to Cuxhaven again with a fully loaded car and trailer. We have now cut our new IKEA mattresses to size and are already looking forward to our first test sleep. We have also come up with a nice system for utilising the space under the bunks. Thanks to an intermediate level under the port forward berth and countless plastic boxes, the storage space is now easily accessible and everything is well protected.

Farewell to the Ocho

Shortly after Whitsun, I unfortunately have to part with my dream car „El Ocho“. You may think what you like about the colour (I really liked it!!!), but the BMW 8 Series Convertible was definitely the best car we’ve ever driven! Lots of fun cruising on country roads, lots of fun driving at 200 km/h on the motorway and unbeatable fuel consumption of 7.4 litres per 100 km. But, we didn’t buy a 45 metre catamaran and the car simply doesn’t fit on the foredeck.

Even more visitors

After my sister and her family have already been to the mill flea market, Nadja and Jens come straight back on Corpus Christi to pick up the collected works. We take the opportunity and drive to Cuxhaven together to show off „La Ola“ and eat a fish sandwich. As the jetty where we normally moor has to be repaired, we quickly move „La Ola“ to another berth. The manoeuvre works perfectly in ideal conditions and we manage our first mooring manoeuvre for two quite confidently. Well, with ideal wind and weather conditions and a line handler ashore, perhaps not such a great feat. Afterwards, we explore Cuxhaven a little and head back to the mill.

Conversion work on board

At the beginning of June, we start our conversion work on board. With the help of engine specialist Lars Wichmann, new separator filters are installed in the engine room and the engines are also given an oil change straight away. Electronics expert Kjell Hobert supports us with the installation of the new LiFePo battery banks, the installation of the larger Victron inverters and also repairs our anemometer and the AIS transmitter. So we can finally be followed on Marine Traffic again.

And the solar panels will each have their own controller so that they can now charge even better. Unfortunately, we are postponing the expansion from three to five solar panels until the autumn/winter in La Coruña due to time constraints, as well as the installation of heating and air conditioning. After all, we still have to have something to do in Spain, otherwise we might get bored!

Visitor flows

Curiosity is high and the stream of visitors on board continues unabated. Axel’s parents come round for a barbecue and manage the ascent on board with flying colours and with the help of a ladder. It’s not quite so easy when you’re over 80! Our golfing friends Torben, Katrin and Agnes follow, and a day later our friends Michael and Petra Bartscher. Between visits, we continue to clear out and work, so that week after week it looks tidier and tidier on board. At the same time, the mill is emptying and parcels with things for the boat arrive and other parcels with things sold on eBay go out almost every day. Sometimes you get the feeling that we are slowly mutating into a logistics service provider! Meanwhile, Lucky the cat is having his necessary vaccinations and is also having his teeth cleaned. I also work full-time „on the side“ and look after the mill garden. It’s just as well that there are 24 hours in a day and the nights are very short in the Nordic summer!

Final spurt

We are nearing the end of June at the mill. We make the most of the last rubbish collection with numerous bags of rubbish. We also go through the wardrobes one last time and sort out lots of clothes. It’s scary what you buy in your life and only wear a few times! The last auctions are running on eBay and the last furniture and household items are being collected by their buyers. It’s slowly getting uncomfortable in the mill and after our last plates and cutlery have been collected, it’s finally time for us to move to „La Ola“. A few more days of reverse commuting, cleaning the mill and putting the last things into storage, then the move with Lucky the cat on board.