Category Archive

Solar Panels: A Great Energy Source Solar Panels: A Great Energy Source

Solar panels are a major requirement on cruising boats in today’s world. Why? They are a critical source of energy for maintaining the modern systems on board. Fridges, lights, batteries, computers and so forth all utilise the energy the panels bring on to Australis 1 – and Gratis, too. When we took ownership, Australis 1 […]

Westhoek Marina, Nieuwpoort to Diksmuide: Belgium Westhoek Marina, Nieuwpoort to Diksmuide: Belgium

Having exited our night’s berth, I turned Gratis away from the lock and motored her to the bottom of the marina. Turning to her to port we followed the channel down to the entrance of the Ijzer. Our destination of Diksmuide was only a couple of hours motor down the track. The peaceful river wound […]

KGWV, Gent to Schipdonk Lock, Belgium KGWV, Gent to Schipdonk Lock, Belgium

Exiting KGWV, one heads straight across the Ring Route Canal and immediately enters a very different Leie to that found leading from Deinze to Kortrijk. This is a meandering river that wends its way in twists and turns across the countryside for some 20km. Interspersed with small villages, farmland and tiny forests, for its contrast, […]

Kortrijk, Belgium Kortrijk, Belgium

Arriving at the entrance to Lock nine at 9am on this warm summer’s day, our delightful lock keeper was there to see us through. There is no VHF contact for these locks, so the mobile phone (+32 4789 6203) comes in handy for arranging passage. The lock hours for each gate opening are highly restricted, […]

Lauwersoog to Dokkum: Groningen, Netherlands Lauwersoog to Dokkum: Groningen, Netherlands

This morning Gratis took us along the Dokkumer Dijp, followed a few kilometres later by the Dokkumer Grutdjip Canals. With the bridge operators taking time off for lunch, we dined on the canal bank for the midday break. Upon the canals today white swans dined on their culinary delight of water weeds and small critters, […]

Into The Water She Goes Into The Water She Goes

The 2017 season in Gratis will soon be underway for us. Connected to the tractor in preparation. Bob keeping an eye out as the crane is readied. Up she goes and the last of the supports is removed. Out over the water goes Gratis. Down she goes. Fully down.

Gratis, The Beginning

  At long, long, last, the story and pics are on.

Onward we Sail

After a washing machine sail, we and Gratis had a night stopover in southern Sardinia whilst some stronger winds passed by. Heading out now for a 1.5 day sail to Sicily.

Le Cap d’Agde to Port Barberousse

Gratis was back on the water. Sadly, no the weather wasn’t as predicted. Wind on the nose and motored all the way. With winds strengthening up to 30+ knots we headed into the marina at Port Barberousse. On awaking this morning, the weather report predicts 35+ knots and up to 5m waves from the south. No sailing […]

Awaiting the Weather

  The wind ablew 25 – 35 knots during the past 24 hours: yet more is predicted. Gulls had fun catching food floating upon the water. Hoping to depart for Spain early tomorrow morning. Tom went diving to check the prop yesterday. This is what he found, compliments of the canal: no wonder Gratis had issues at […]

Sunday the 26th fully on

Click on the link below to view.  

Depart for Grenada

A pleasant day was spent discovering St Helena: a tip to all visitors, ensure you allow 1 – 2 weeks to do the island justice. With time short for us, this was only an enticement that ensures we shall return. We shall work on the images and spiels for our St Helena page during our next sailing leg. […]

A Quick Exploration of Cape Town

Sunday afternoon saw us taking a few hours off of our departure preparations: with the intention of returning to South Africa for further exploration, we haven’t been too concerned about the lack of time spent exploring. The countryside itself reminds us of good old Oz in may ways: rugged and dry. For our Carnarvonite friends, you will be amazed […]

Cape Town Arrival

Some pics from our arrival in Cape Town. How different were the waters: ten hours before we were in six metre cross seas with short fetch.

Safe in Cape Town

After an interesting sail, we moored in the yacht club marina early last night. Just a few pics to whet the appetite.  

Richards Bay Departure

Weather window not large enough: not departing tomorrow after all. We shall be moving round to Zululand Yacht Club to escape escape the effects of the tugs and the deafening noise that goes until 3am most Thursday to Sunday nights. Time for completing a few more jobs.


The sound of gentle pattering rain on the decks throughout the night. Imfolozi here we come!!! The rain brings with it hope of much more successful Big Five sightings as newly developed fresh water pools draw them out of the undergrowth.


Preparations for the move are coming along: food stowed, repairs made…… It’s now just wait for the weather window. Video editing has commenced. With some rain predicted, another visit to the parks is imminent: with water pooling in a region that is currently rain deprived, that’s when the animals appear. Our friends from Thor espied […]


Tidied the forward cabin and purchased the first of the food. Weather checks are now a daily job. Our new logo is well under way and is going to look fantastic. Tome is now revamping the blog itself. We are so excited.