Posted by: catamarantwooceans | April 13, 2009

Preparations for departure

 This is te time for me to tell you about “Two Oceans” crew for the voyage to the Marquesas. The composition of the crew went through quite a few changes. At the beginning it was Dani Kav and myself. Steve Breitstein was introduced to me by my good friend Baruch Nevo, a psychology professor in Haifa university, which is where they met.         Steve, who was born in Los Angeles and came to Israel as a young man, became the head of the maritime workshop  of the university. In that capacity he developed technical skills in all aspects of things maritime. He also became a diving instructor and is holding all possible licenses in that area. He teamed up with Baruch to write a book on the psychology of Scuba diving. He has a skipper license and is experienced mainly in motor craft. He retired about a year ago and was ready and willing to join the Pacific trip. Steve is married to Genoveba and has four grownup children.  



When Dani decided to give up the voyage we started looking for a replacement. With me sailing in Central America, the task fell to Steve. We had a few candidates that disappeared at one point or another and then Steve met Danny Schaffer, who is an experienced sailor, having done the Mini-Transat (a race for sailboats up to 21 feet long) twice. Steve asked him if he knew somebody who would like to join a trip like ours and Danny said:”Yes, my father, Zvi!” Steve approached him with the idea and he agreed to join. Zvi Schaffer,who came to Israel from Capetown, south Africa,is a mechanical engineer and a few years my senior. He has a Westerly Sea-Lord, 39 foot long monohull that is currently kept in Turkey on which he lives with his wife, Ziona, for about six month every year. The rest of the time he is working. He has a lot of sailing experience, having crossed the Atlantic twice both ways. We will be able to learn a lot from him. Zvi has three kids.



10.04.09 – Friday – After spending 18 hours in airplanes I arrived at San jose airport and sat down to wait for Steve, whose flight landed about 2.5 hours after mine. We took a taxi to Puntarenas, put our stuff on the boat, had dinner in the yacht club’s restaurant and fell into our beds, tired after the long flights.

11.4.09 – Saturday – I was not aware that this was the Easter weekend. Apart from the supermarkets, most of the businsses were closed. We had a lot of work on the boat. Zvi came around 1400 and fit right in. Not only is he an experienced sailor, he can also cook! We all went together for shopping at “Pali”, a big supermarket chain and came back to the boat with tons of food that was only a third of the lists we had. More shopping tomorrow.

12.04.09 – Sunday – The list of jobs we want to accomplish is long and things are being added to it as we go along. Early in the morning the guys “beamed me up” the mast to replace the main halyard. Steve was in his element, solving technical problems that bugged us for a long time. He replaced the fuel filters, checked all bilge pumps and then turned his attention to the starboard engine cooling system. Yesterday we replaced the raw water pump but the flow of water was still inaduquate. Today, while Zvi and I went for more shopping, he took apart the heat exchanger,found it to be partially blocked, cleaned it and presto! Good flow! He was less successful in tackling the watermaker problem. Although putting the new pressure relief valve spring back in place, the apparatus did not make water! We’ll try and find a technician tomorrow.

13.04.09 – Monday – In the morning we went to “Undersea Hunter” to try and find a watermaker technician. Alas, their specialist in that area, captain Jose, is with one of their boats in Cocos island. We may meet him there. Roberto helped us find a refrigeration service company that sent a man to check our fridge and freezer and top up the coolant gas in the system.                                                                                                                                                                                                       The rest of the day, from 1030 to 1530 was dedicated to the Costa Rican bureaucracy. Go to the bank and pay 20$ to the naval base, then pay 28$ to the municipality. Proceed to immigrations who will send you to make a few copies of your documents before stamping your passport. The next step is the Aduana, customs,in Caldera, 15 minutes away by taxi. The custom agent who took care of my case was working on his computer as if he feared the machine will bite him any minute. He studied the document produced by his coleagues closely and slowly while typing with one finger. I finally had the document in my hand and rushed to the harbour master, the last gate before freedom. Checking the customs paper, I was astonished to see that the agent wrote that the boat was under Israeli flag (it is registered in Delaware U.S.A). I was not going back into customs! Let’s see if the Capitania will make an issue of it. Luckily they did not and the nightmare ended.

In the evening we took Yossi and Roberto of Undersea Hunter to dinner. Those guys helped us a lot and are such good company!

14.04.09 – Tuesday –  Just before going out – Zvi is giving the boat a little wash, Steve is also doing some things to put the boat in order. In a hour we will go to the dock to top up our fuel tanks and sail to Cocos island 300 miles away. We will not have internet connection until the Galapagos but I might update the site by sat-phone through my daughter.

Until then – adios, thanks to everybody for their good wishes,                                                                                                             Zvi, Steve, Miki and Two Oceans.


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