Pirates, Tornado, Thunderbirds

Moxie - Beck Family Adventure
Mike, Denise, Asia and Aranya Beck
Sat 14 Jul 2012 06:15
Headlines sell papers right?  Trouble is with a newspaper you really want one that gets delivered on a regular basis, much unlike this blog really.  Newspapers have editors too, whereas I just blurt it out and use spellcheck a bit, but Paraps not evin the right word sum times.  Tell ya wot, don’t pay.
Parapsychology, just spotted this gem on the spellcheck, I recon it's something Psychology - peraps, but maybe someone's just playing tricks in my mind.  Anyway, that reminds me of another weird one, Spermologist.  For those interested in researching further this trivial fact.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spermology . Err bit off track it seems..

We decided it was time for a bit of a blow out so coincided that with my 40th birthday (2nd- anniversary) and enter to see the Pirates show.  it was a pretty expensive excercise but amazing, both kids now want to be acrobats.  Check out the trampoline antics here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDcLIkWnEoA .  It is simply incredible that people can do this sort of crazy stuff day in day out.  The skipping was quite something else as well like four lots of nested skippers, how TF? 
Anyway this got me thinking, loads of kids have this gear at home, tramp, skipping rope, swing etc....If only i'd been inspired as a youngster to try this death defying craziness then we'd not have to endure mindless rambling sporadic blogs or be talking about any of my birthdays beginning with a four.  It's a 'dinner' included show but the meal was basic indeed, plain roast chicken a couple of chips and a spot of coleslaw, oh and desert came on a stick, except they forgot to give me one. :-( 
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Pirates was on Saturday night so on Sunday morning (my actual birthday) the girls dressed up as to welcome me into the new decade.
Can’t wait for my next 40th.

Forest fire

It's been getting pretty hot, like 34 degrees (feels like 40 and it’s brow mopping stuff) and the water is a splendid 26.  Going ashore the heat is far more noticeable with all the thermal build-up in the concrete and less breeze so getting groceries for instance is a fair exertion.  Our drink consumption (alcoholic and not) has increased tremendously in the past couple of weeks, this means very very heavy loads back from the supermarket.  Granny trolley toll YTD still just one, so we are doing ok.  
Anyway the other day we had a brilliant view of a scrub fire on the hill, it covered a couple of square kilometres and took quite a few hours to douse.  First of all helicopters and buckets were used but that all looked a token gesture, about as effective as a five second head start in the 100 against Bolt.  Then came the big boys, big fat bellied float planes that inched over the masts in the anchorage down to water level in the bay, scooped up tons of water and took off again without stopping.  Flying back to the blaze they released the traps and after a few rounds of this it was pretty much all over.

Hmmm, not sure if this one should hit the blog or not, perhaps if family please skip to Thunderbird 7 now please. 
So the other reader please carry on.  Every once in a while Mallorca gets so hot that they get what's known locally as cap de fiblo - a tornado. Listening to chat on the radio we heard that there was some pretty hairy weather out to sea, we looked, it was very dark out there.  Time to close the hatches, looks like we are in for a spot of rain and no doubt a bit of wind too.  Within 10 minutes we had 30 knots constant, it was a Sunday so all the little motor boats had filled the small gaps in the anchorage and things were pretty crowded.  
The gusts started and boats started dragging and or wildly sailing back and forth on their anchors all out of sync.  I guess it was a bit like being in a paddock full of spooked horses.  Thankfully most skippers seem to have been aboard, we had three yachts dead ahead of us all dancing left and right and banging into each other, and one small yacht behind.  The gusts were coming in thick and strong, quick glances at the gauges we saw 38kt gusts, others saw 55!  This was exciting stuff indeed, the little 20 footer behind us had all his chain out, 20 metres? so could not drop further behind so with each shift and gust we had to motor forward as we raced across his bow but could not lift anchor until the guys in front sorted themselves out.
Dinghies complete with outboards were being flown like kites behind some boats.  After 15 minutes or so we were clear, we lifted the hook and joined the flotilla seeking shelter across the bay motoring at full revs making about 2.5 knots into the breeze.  Behind us there were 3 boats on the rocks and one yacht tangled up with two motor boats, that guy had to resort to bolt cutters and cut his anchor free to escape.  30 minutes later all was back to normal and the clean up began, we lost a lilo and a dinghy oar so all in all we were pretty happy with that.  Grounded boats were retrieved and apart from a few scratches I think everyone survived OK.  
Thankfully the tornado itself had skirted around but was within a kilometre or two, plenty close enough for us and probably fortunate we did not see the waterspout.  I read that the emergency services got about 350 calls.

Thunderbird 7
We have a boat in the anchorage that looks like it could be Thunderbird 7, it’s certainly a head turned and has a constant procession of tenders and boats heading over to check her out.  Turns out it's the first solar powered vessel to circumnavigate and just completed a couple of months ago.
Definitely a Thunderbird!

Here’s some dude with too much money, these things (or something similar and a bit cooler actually) can be hired for 3000 Euro per day!  or if you want to buy the cheap version 94,000 Euro. www.jet-lev.es  Actually it looked pretty boring anyway.


Ok so I have given up being ANGRY over generator issues, I reached a plateau then decided that life was a bit short and all that.  Actually it's all my fault anyway and I should be greener and conserve more energy, therefore not needing a generator, actually like most other yotties do.  See Fischer Panda are helping to teach me a lesson and make me save the planet, good eh.
OK so here we are, 3 months to the day we arrived in Mallorca where we came expressly to have the very expensive Fischer Panda 4000i generator repaired, yet again, for the third year in a row, and it’s still not working!  We are close though I think.
Anyway after having been waiting a week or so for the agreed replacement different model generator to arrive I rang to enquire the delivery date.  Well it turns out that despite telling me it was on its way freight paid they were still wanting me to pay shipping one way so it was still sitting at Fischer Panda factory in Germany.  Then I double checked the dimensions and actually I don't see how they aware going to get it into the lazarrette in any case.  So in the end I got Fischer Panda to agree to send me the required parts to fix our 4000i, new sleeve, piston, rings, manifold etc.  Then I got Motech to agree to collect, make the repair and return the unit.  I uninstalled it, they fixed it and I reinstalled it.  Then after thanking Motech for turning it around I get a complaint that I was supposed to tip the engineers, WT?  Last year ! paid these guys 3000 Euro to repair the generator and it lasted 40 hours, now they want a tip!  Not where I come from mate, I tip for over and above service only and for all else I pay the bill.  Mind you they are probably not used to dealing with cruising sailors, most of us are so poor that we don’t even own a helicopter.
The configuration is very different now.  I have lifted the unit by 150mm, turned it 90 degrees and changed the water lock to an upright double lock vetus unit.  The exhaust now looks pretty bullet proof, I have a load more locker space and access for servicing is easier.  So after 2 days of sweat and hard slog the generator is back in and ready to go, all we need to do now is switch the battery on and push START...  And perhaps try START again, and again, perhaps one more time then?  Ok, so the control panel Is stuffed, after two days in our very hot lazarette come sauna you might say I was a little disappointed.  Spoke to Fischer Panda again, they are sending a new panel FOC but of course we need to wait.  8 days later it is still not here but the Honda is still working like a dream.olympus 224
New water lock installed
I found out today that the 'ever helpful' Fischer Panda team sent the part to Motech in Palma and it has been there since Wednesday last week.  This despite my discussions and email requesting delivery to the marina at Santa Ponsa.  The poor marina staff have endured my daily visits for a week now.  Hats off, they sure know how to waste my time and collect my money at Fischer Panda!  I'm off to Palma in a taxi tomorrow then.  Actually even with the new part I have no faith in my Fischer Panda actually getting out of super silent mode.

HA, new control panel collected she started up first pop, WOW!  Relief finally after exactly (this year so far) 3 months of hassle it’s working again, time for a well deserved dri...
Oh bugger, after 15 seconds I got and engine failure, oil pressure warning gosh did you hear me laugh?  So the diagnosis is that I need a new oil pressure switch now. 
You see the generator won’t run with a faulty oil pressure switch cause then it wouldn’t know if there was an oil pressure problem or actually everything is fine and it thinks I’d rather continue to have no generator than a warning saying that the pressure switch needs replacing.  
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Oil pressure switch, # months of frustration will be remedied by replacing this?  Let’s hope so.
A bit like your car not starting with a warning like dangerous visibility problem', because actually the window wiper sensor needs replacing and it might be raining but the car cannot tell’, so because it might be raining and it could be dangerous to drive without the automatic wipers coming on obviously everyone would want the car to not work at all and give a warning that indicated something REALLY bad was wrong so you can call one of those nice manufacturer service agents to come and sort it for you..  Anyway you probably wanted to stay at home because it might be raining and I doubt you’d be able to tell all by yourself.
This morning, knowing I was collecting the new Fischer Panda control panel that takes 5 minutes to fit, I ran the Honda generator for an hour, turns out it was a good call.  De ja Moo, I’ve experienced this BS before.

We have really settled in at Santa Ponsa and have a wee community of friends now, Tengy of course, and Elfin Lady from last year,  Samji (lucky Phil and Mel), Zachariah, with Paul, Toni and 12 year old Jordon.  The kids loved having Jordon around so we have had sleepovers, beach days, pretty easy school and dinner out this week.  It has been a particularly social fortnight.
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After Tennis dinner with Mandy & Mike (Tengy), Phil and Mel (Samji).
Mike off Tengy has been very busy helping with tangled up anchors, I think his tally is three now and he clearly needs to up his rates.  There are old cables in the anchorage and they are causing a bit of a problem down at the shallow end.  It certainly provides some entertainment though, even I find myself laughing at the ineptitude of many of these guys – and I’m certainly no old hand.

Watched Murray vs that Swiss guy with the nice hair play a spot of tennis at Wimbles.  We went to the Watering Hole which suited me because they sell beer, and the kids because the Watering Hole has a swimming pool.  In the UK Heath and Safety would be all over it, ooo no you can’t do that, alcohol & water don’t mix well with that lot.  In Spain though she’s honkey dory. 
Speaking H&S in Spain the tree surgeons were out in the main street the other day.  Tree surgeon is a nice marketing term used to triple your gardeners rates.  Anyway in the main street the all important shade trees were getting a haircut.  Pretty impressive actually they went from looking like trees, to looking like donuts on a stick, each one in an hour or so.
So there were two blokes, a ladder and a chainsaw.  One fulla up the tree with saw, the other on the footpath clearing debris and sort of warning pedestrians, no cordons, road closure, tape etc.  One thing H&S would be happy with is that the guy with the chainsaw was not standing on the ladder, see a ladder is a means of access and not a working platform.  Actually when I saw it. the ladder was being used as a trip hazard for pedestrians and Senior Chainsaw was simply standing in branches of the tree choosing his next victim.  All good.  I bet the Spanish don’t make anything that fails because the warning thingymebob is broken. 
Tennis, I was on a handicap before it finished, so not sure who won, was it important?

We recon that this cruising thing should allow us to decide for ourselves where we should be every now and then, so far of course Fischer Panda seem to have been calling the shots.  But Santa Ponsa really is very nice and it will take effort to tear away.  Sardinia is looking less and less likely now, we'll move on to somewhere soon though.  We have even spoken about spending another season in the Med but that means a winter and we have not had one for over 2 years now.
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A typical Santa Ponsa morning, 8:30 am, water 26 degrees.. why leave?
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My little mermaid becoming increasingly confident underwater.
For Sale Fischer Panda 4000i marine generator, now known as a Fischer Panda 5000i probably because the 4000i has a bad reputation (Google Fischer Panda 4000i, I’m 4th on the list) or because 5000i sounds more powerful, but actually it’s still simply the same machine that at the boat show can produce about 3.5 continuous kw and on Moxie has rarely produced anything but enormous repair bills and frustration.
This guy wasn’t too happy with his Fischer Panda marine generator either www.sailwhisper.com/logs/news_20080225.php
To be fair though and speaking with the guys at Fischer Panda there are many thousands of these units working perfectly out in the field in a variety of applications and my case it seems is extreme.  So just because I have had problems with my Fischer Panda this should not prevent you purchasing a (now) Fischer Panda 5000i marine generator.  And now that I have been through all this horror I do think that installation to blame, but the instructions given by Fischer Panda are hopeless three different professional installers claim to have done it by the book and it failed every time.  In hindsight what I should have done is measure the installation exactly to their given instructions.  Additionally if manufacturer receives the paperwork with the installation details then they should either check it and advise that it is incorrect or accept it as being correct and therefore under warranty for failure.  But perhaps though this manufacturer should read about single rotten apples and barrels and treat the extreme cases like me with hypercare.
So, anybody wanting a 3rd time reconditioned Fischer Panda 4000i /5000i marine generator please email me at yachtmoxie at gmail com, you can have it as an art showpiece and call it frustration.  15,000 GBP and it’s yours, it owes me that much in plain cash by now and I will gladly swap it out for another brand.
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This thing sounds like thunder, it’s basically an out and out drag car on the water.  Definitely a banker though.
Good story next blog, midnight boat thief / joyrider caught and subsequent Mike n Mike boat salvage operation services rendered.