Captains (b)log 004 - Shipyard and atlantic crossing 2024 05 Mar, 2024

Captains (b)log 004 - Shipyard and atlantic crossing 2024

Shipyard in Cape Verde

On 13 December we arrived in Cape Verde, Mindelo.
It was a pleasant and busy sail from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde, where a lot of preparations for the yard stay were made.

The list was long.

Since we set sail from Danish waters, actually since we picked up the ship in the Netherlands, NEPTUN has needed a thorough yard stay. Finances, logistics and schedule have continuously made this stay, which was originally planned in the Netherlands, difficult.

However, it was to NEPTUN’s great advantage that this shipyard stay waited until we called at a port in Africa. NEPTUN is an old ship and has many old systems on board - systems that in the western world have been phased out, lost the craft for again. This and the enormous difference in the price of labour gave us the opportunity to create a WHOLE new life for NEPTUN.

NEPTUN on the bed in CABNAVE shipyard

Without the help of CABNAVE’s fantastic craftsmen and their approach to shipwork, we would never have made it as far as we are now. All systems have been taken apart and inspected, repaired and reassembled. The hull has passed the test with sandblasting - surprisingly well indeed!

A sample of the work list that was carried out by CABNAVE:

  • Sandblasting of the hull, above/below the waterline and on deck.
  • Epoxy painting of all bare steel afterwards - painting system from HEMPEL.
  • Numerous welding tasks on deck and below deck
  • Service (removal, sandblasting, painting and new seats) of all sea valves (7)
  • Thickness measurement and service in the sea chests.
  • Removal and painting of diesel tank - installation of fresh water generator
  • Screw shaft traction, measurement of bearings and screw shaft and production (casting) of new white metal bearings
  • Dismantling of repair of rudder stem
  • New plates on hull.
  • New Zincanode system
  • Welding of new rig fittings for standing rig
  • Dismantling of Bowsprit and guiding in a new angle
  • New water stays on bowsprit
  • Shortening of outer splitter stay
  • New inner splitter stay
  • Installation of hunter boom
  • Installation of Fåborg pump (manual bilge pump)
  • Production and installation of bow pipe brake
  • Cleaning of Diesel tanks
  • And much much more!

Bow tube drag

Painting of the deck

A new crew member - Mindelo

While everything was going at the shipyard, the crew was expanded with a special member: Mindi (Mindelo), our ship’s cat.
Mindelo was only 3 weeks old when the neighbour (coincidentally a vet) knocked on the door. Louise opened the door and was handed a kitten. The neighbour said nothing more than, here it is, and handed over the first ration of kitten food & the kitten.

Mindelo had been separated from her mother and had unfortunately become an orphan - it was not a given that she would survive the situation as cats usually have to be somewhat older before they “move away from home”.

The Ship Cat Mindelo

Atlantic crossing

On January 20th (with a delay of 10 days) we got into the water again and it was time to get ready for departure for the Caribbean.
On 23 January, the ship and crew were ready to sail over the atlantic after testing and reviewing all systems.
It was a big deal to get the ship back into operation after such yard period, but the crew handled it with a straight mind!

Aske & Mindelo in the hammock. Ulla and Louise at the helm.

An absolutely fantastic trip across the Atlantic

After an hour of motor sailing out of Mindelo, we shut down the engine.
The new stern tube brake was tightened and the sails were set.
The sails remained up for 21 days until we arrived in Grenada.

Louise and the gold mackerel

Along the way, we experienced stable trade winds on the quarter between 10-20 knots on average.
With an average speed of 5.5 knots and a fishing rod on the aft deck, we repeatedly hauled a mahi mahi fish on board.

Beautiful sunrises, a deep blue Atlantic Ocean and our ship made up our life together on board.
Slowly we rigged more and more sails and experimented with some of the ideas we had had for a long time in relation to the sail plan for NEPTUN. The new (simple) yard did a good job with our new sqare sail (re-stitched sunsail), our Rafi (the old staysail) and a stun’sail (a smaller re-shaped sunsail).
The shipyard stay, the new paint, the new sail plan and the good mood all in all made for an impressive crossing across the Atlantic this time. First Atlantic crossing for schooner NEPTUN and first crossing for many of the crew onboard.

Practical seamanship on deck - long splice

The new sail plan for NEPTUN

On Tuesday January 13 NEPTUN arrived (2 days before scheduled arrival) in Grenada, Port Louis Marina.

Thanks for reading and fair winds from NEPTUN and the crew!