Titles a bit all over the place as is this update – only two months to go till I fly back to Mexico though! Without further ado:

Brexit

One of the questions I’m often asked is ‘why did you fly back for the summer?’ There are actually a few reasons that I’ve explained here but one that needs a bit more explanation (and in fact was one of the main ones) was Brexit.

‘But how could something happening in the UK affect your travel plans? Also aren’t you Canadian??’

Well, I have two passports as I lived in the UK until I was 23. Vistors to French Polynesia get a 90 days visa when you arrive as well as having to pay a bond of 1500USD that is refundable when you leave. However, if you are a member of the EU, you get a massive 18 months in the country, with no bond! Seeing as though FP has literally thousands of islands spread over several thousand miles of the pacific, 90 days wasn’t going to cut it. So I was going to use my UK passport to get the 18 month thing, hassle-free.

Brexit kinda screwed that up, with the continuous farcical bungling meaning that nothing had been sorted by the time I was due to leave (March time) with the deadline in April, meaning I could have spent a month at sea sailing to FP only to find out I could only get a 90 days visa. So, plan was to wait till it all blew over and everyone worked out what was going on before I made the trip. As I sit here now, they still haven’t, and it’s pretty posed between a 2nd referendum (almost certainly leading to remaining) or crashing out without a deal in October. Anyway, once I know what’s happening I can plan for that by either happily turning up there with my UK passport (if the UK remains) or applying for a long stay visa if the UK leaves (which is a huge hassle and a blog post in itself).

Hope that explains it a bit better

Solar Cooking

As part of the ongoing effort to reduce usage of my propane as much as possible (see also: LifePO4 banks, electric kettle, etc etc) I got a solar oven. There are two main types here – the ‘black box’ ones like the All American Sun Oven

or vacuum tube based ones like the GoSun Sport.

The black box ones can hold a lot more food and you can use them for dehydrating stuff, the disadvantages are they take up a lot of space and generally are less efficient than the vacuum tube ones. The vacuum tube ones are very efficient (getting up to 450f even in slightly overcast days) and tend to fold up into a smaller space, but the size of the insert limits what you can put in them.

I ended up going with the gosun sport model – mainly because the storage space was a lot less, I could mount it on a rail while it’s cooking, and it’d be easier to bring back to Mexico with me.

I baked a couple of test baguettes in it and it worked great! (They tasted a lot better than they looked, trust me)

I’ll write more on this when I get back to the boat.

Also, if I had more money/space I would have probably got the bigger size GoSun Grill which is big enough to do proper loaves in!

Other stuff

My friend Phil is moving to Vancouver so I helped him go through some of his stuff as he as packing (by ‘helped’ I meant hung around and put dibs on anything he didn’t want)

Meaning I ended up with

More fishing stuff (mixed bag here of a couple of salmon flashers (that I am going to use to make an attractor to drag behind boat), some plugs/hoochies of various sizes and some misc hooks, light sticks etc.)

Spare lift pump for engine

two more winch handle holders (gonna stick one to the mast to hold the reef winch handle)

lee clothes (which I’ll either install on the side berth or/and on the shelves above the settees)

and last but not least, all this rigging stuff (4 snatch blocks, 4 misc blocks, 1 fiddle block, a line clutch and some misc stuff)

The blocks are larger than my current main sheet blocks – I am going to replace them and hope it makes it a lot less of a bear to adjust the main sheet (as I have to use a winch basically any time the wind is over 10knots) and snatch blocks are ALWAYS useful!

Well that’s about it – I’m counting down the days till I go back!

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