A lovely surprise awaited me in Samoa after 3 + weeks off-grid.
The crew of Bigdumboat (a.k.a Kathi and Dave aboard their trawler catamaran, Dyad) presented my blog with a Liebster Award in recognition of its cruising and sailing related content.
Honored to accept!
The crew posed ten questions for me (and nine other cruising sites they presented with the award) to answer. Here goes:
01. What kind of a boat is that anyway?
First, a bit of background. Amandla is not my boat. Effectively, I am hitchhiking my way around the world on other people’s sailboats. The Captain graciously welcomed me aboard Amandla in February 2013 for a two year journey from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to New Zealand with an option to extend.
Now, to answer the question…..
Amandla is beautiful navy and white 2002 Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 473 sloop rigged monohull sailboat.
She is so beautiful that she has inspired artists to create! I am in love with her.
02. What was it before? (Translation: What was it’s original purpose or function?)
Amandla is and has always been a sailboat. That said, I think that she dreams of being an airplane or a rocket ship, because she sure sails like one. She’s FAST!
Given that I am hitchhiking my way ‘round, I thought I’d ‘reframe’ this question a bit .
02 (a) Where were you before?
Before I had the good fortune to sail on Amandla, I enjoyed extended sailing passages (over 450 nm) on the following vessels:
November 2011 – Atlantic Ocean Crossing on S/V Milanto a Nautors Swan 46 MKII – Captain Valerio Bardi – 2882 nm
October 2011 – Villa Garcia De Arousa, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria via Madeira on S/V Ocean Wanderer of BOSS a Westerly Oceanlord 41 – Captain Jonathan Smith – 1055 nm
May 2011 – Hamble to Hamble via Weymouth, Falmouth, St Mary’s, Salcombe, and Yarmouth England on S/V Intuition of BOSS a Westerly Fulmar 32 – Captain Ben Bowen and beloved Yachtmaster co-student and now Captain, Fletcher Cox – 457 nm
July 2010 – Solomons, MD to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – S/V Quetzal a Kaufman 47 – Captain John Kretchsmer – 800 nm
December 2008 – Miami to Bahamas and Florida Keys on a Jenneau 50 – Captain Matty Hollands and my best friend Mary Davenport Cook (one of four wonderful sailing trips together) – 450 nm
….and let’s not forget two wonderful years sailing on Eclipse a J 24 with co-Captains Sascha Vucelic and Carl Prtizkat – I am certain that we racked up over 450 miles sailing the up and down the Hudson in the Tuesday and Wednesday night beer can races. I don’t include these miles in my logbook, but they definitely have a place in my heart.
03. Did you have it built? (Challenge: make sense of this fuzzy question.)
Okay, returning from memory lane…..
The Captain did not have Amandla ‘built’ per se, but he certainly has spent hours and days and months and years of elbow grease keeping her afloat (because that is the reality of cruising). It is almost as if he has rebuilt her since I’ve been aboard. Thank goodness he seems to be able to troubleshoot whatever problem that is thrown his way.
The maintenance and upgrades that I can remember since I have been on-board include:
– installing new batteries, new solar panels, and new wind gen blades
– replacing the rigging including the traveler and vang, wind instrument, genoa halyard, bilge pump and navigation lights
– sewing rips in the main sail, the genoa, the biminy and the dodger
– repairing the engine, watermaker, rudder, plotter, forward sonar, autopilot, dinghy, and a mast leak
04. Where was it built?
Amandla is a French girl, registered in London, and currently crewed by an Italian Captain and American First Mate (that would be me).
05. What’s it made of? or Is it stainless?
Her hull is fiberglass, her decks are teak, her interior is lovely wood throughout. Speaking of her interior, I should mention that I am sailing in style. She has a fridge, a watermaker, two freezers, two heads, three showers, and three cabins. Now we just need a maid to keep it tidy – oh wait, that would me.
06. Are you going to paint that thing?
Well, we did recently have Amandla hauled out in Raiatea to have the bottom painted.
I think that her hull is beautiful the way it is, She still maintains her youthful glow and is not currently in need of a ‘face’ lift, unlike the First Mate who decided to forego much needed cosmetic enhancements to invest her money in a sailing circumnavigation.
07. What’s the length, the draft, the width?
48 foot length, 7.5 foot draft, and 14.3 foot width.
My measurements are nowhere near as sexy as that. And my width has been steadily increasing with The Captain’s good home cooking and perhaps a bit too much grog since we got underway.
08. What’cha got for power?
A full batten main sail, a 140% furling headsail, a beautiful, blue, yellow and gold asymmetric spinnaker, a storm jib (rigged but never used), and a 100 HP iron genoa (Yanmar Engine) that is only used under protest.
And what powers that power? An Aerogen wind generator and four solar pannels to charge the six batteries on board. An external Honda generator and the engine are used if we are without sun and wind for an extended period (or shore power on the off chance that we are in a marina).
09. How fast does it go?
I believe that Amandla’s maximum hull speed is 9 knots but when we ride down the waves, she can go faster
10. Can I have a tour? (Translation: Can I come aboard and snoop?)
Kathi and Dave, you have an open invitation to come visit us on Amandla anytime! All friends welcome.
In keeping with the Liebster tradition, it is now my turn to nominate ten cruising or sailing sites I deem interesting. However, there are so many, that I can’t limit my love to just to ten. So instead of punting it back (borrowing from the eloquent words written by Behan Gifford on sailingtotem.com) I’m just going to say that there are some beautiful, inspiring blogs out there. I keep my favorites listed on my Sailing Links Page, and I hope you’ll turn there.