One Cold Crew

Red Head starting pulling anchor before it was first light. Good to be underway after weather delays and then a few more days while Mom and Dad got over colds. The plan is to do a double overnight ending up in Key West Wednesday or Thursday. Perfect conditions so far.

But it was COLD when we got up this morning. In the 40’s at 5 am. Only slightly better with the sun behind clouds. Dora has been huddled under a blanket since she finished her breakfast around 5:15.

Even Dee Dee wanted to be under cover. The whole Red Head crew was looking for some warmth.

Except, of course, Dylan who is never cold. We really need to get south. ☀️☀️☀️☀️

Kar-Tech Mini Guider Proportional Calibration

The Kar-Tech Mini Guider is a good wireless remote control for the Steelhead ES-series of cranes including the ES-1000 and ES-1500. It’s easy to use and works quite well. For install instructions, see Steelhead Wireless Remote. Part of the installation is configuring proportional control, and the Kar-Tech instructions are a bit opaque. But once calibrated,…

Amsterdam First Two Weeks

During our first two weeks in Amsterdam, we enjoyed being back in familiar territory with the city already lit up for the winter. We revisited some of our favourite restaurants, found some new ones, and stocked up on supplies and parts from known vendors. We also completed a fair number of larger boat projects, including…

Return to Amsterdam

We normally prefer not to return to the same location, particularly for a long-term stay. But in looking at stop-overs for this winter, where we would make a couple of return trips to the US, we couldn’t find anything that came even close to Amsterdam in terms of marina location, restaurant and entertainment choices, and…


We’re home in Auckland and Envoy is in Greece’s Lefkada marina. 
Our involvement with Envoy is over as she’s now under the control of her new Australian owners, Larry and Catherine.
We’ve been looking at buying a new (pre-owned) boat and have taken one to survey stage, so if we proceed with this boat I’ll give more details next week.
It’s early October and we’re back in Lefkada marina with my brother Charles aboard. It’s fitting that he’s with us for our final days aboard Envoy as he’s the reason we’re here. In the early 2000s Charles and his French wife Marie sailed their 34ft yacht Acrobat from Brisbane to Turkey and invited us to join them there  in 2004 for a couple of weeks cruising. It was during that time Diane and I decided to do this Med cruising.
We came into the marina two days early because a “destructive thunderstorm” was forecast and we didn’t want to take any chances – we’ve seen what they can do! However despite our caution this time the storm doesn’t materialise.
The day before we come to the marina the generator fails to start – it turns over OK and runs provided the glow plug pre-heat switch is kept activated but stops when this switch is let go. 
Charles and I check it over and change a few relays to no avail. 
Sailand’s electrician Velissaris comes aboard and when we explain the issue he nods his head knowingly, saying that probably the oil or coolant level is too low. I’m skeptical as I’d checked the coolant level the same day, however we check it again and find it’s slightly low. We add coolant then lo and behold all is good.
The generator has always needed a very small amount of coolant added every couple of weeks, however we ask Velissaris to check the generator’s cooling system during winter and the exhaust system while they’re at it.
We have six days before catching the bus to Athens and this is plenty of time to prepare Envoy for winter. Our final short cruise is from our marina berth to the haul-out area – how many times we’ve stood by watching Envoy being pulled out or launched!

We watch Envoy being positioned on the hard stand for our final time

Maybe this will be our next boat?

This year’s cruise has been great and we’ve enjoyed sharing it with Chris, Larry and Catherine and Charles. We’ve visited Greece, Albania and Italy and cruised 964 miles. 
We recall some of the challenges we had making this an interesting cruise: a leaking bilge that took Sailand about a week to permanently repair, the major storm in the marina at Taranto, a large motor vessel hitting us in the marina at Gallipoli, getting our anchor stuck in a bay in Italy, a storm in Ay Eufemia harbour with other boats adrift, being detained by Coastguard for a week after our EPIRB inadvertently activated, losing and then finding our RHIB in Albania and being anchored in Vlikho Bay when an adrift yacht nearly hit us. All good fun!
So folks I see that our first post was in late 2006, so after 13 years that’s the end of the Envoy Blog, although I will post a bit more material here, particularly regarding our new vessel. 
Envoy was perfect for this Med adventure, but our next boat will be somewhat different!
Thanks for following us.


The 82-ft-long (25m) Veluwemeer Aqueduct, opened in 2002, is one of the shortest in the world. The water bridge carries boats with a draft of up to 9.8 ft (3m) and unlimited air draft over the road connecting mainland Netherlands with the province of Flevoland, the world’s largest man-made island. Other possibilities considered were an…

What Has Christi Been Up To?

People frequently ask Christi what she has been doing over the last few years. After all, she didn’t go back to work after the circumnavigation, and her last book was published in 2011. If she’s not boating or writing, what … Continue reading

Windlass Maintenance

Our Maxwell 3500 windlass has performed flawlessly for us in a decade of use across thousands of anchorages around the world. To keep it that way, we disassemble and grease the top end every twelve months and change the oil every two years. Both were due recently. In taking the windlass apart, we found far…

It’s So Embarrassing

Time for a confession. Mom has privately mocked dogs who run around in little outfits. How silly. OK, there was that time when Dee Dee had to wear little t-shirts, but that was for medicinal purposes.

Now there is Dora who is cold if the temps drop out of the 70’s. It’s really no wonder when you look at Dora’s practically naked belly…

Compared to Dee Dee’s furry one.

Mom broke down and bought Dora a winter coat. She loves it. But it stops here. There will be no frilly tutus or cowboy outfits worn by the Red Head crew.

Apologizes to all the fur deprived pups out there.

Steering System Maintenance

Here we step through the steering system on the Nordhavn 52, showing some of the wear points and the changes we have made to minimize these issues. Finally, we show the removal and replacement of the hydraulic steering rod end. This is the part that transfers force between the hydraulic cylinder and the steering arm….