A special break in Barca

This year we had a wonderful opportunity, thanks to Keira & Brett, of spending ten days with our granddaughter Aaliyah in and around Barcelona. We flew down to Southampton, picked her up, stayed overnight with her at the airport hotel and then flew out the next day. We arrived back at the club late afternoon/early evening and after a bit of a kerfuffle got everything stowed away, beds made etc.

This was Aaliyah’s first time on-board Sun Dog, and after a walk to stretch our legs, she settled down in the forward cabin and had a wonderful sleep, despite the rocking and rolling of the boat on the pontoon. I’m not exactly sure why, but there are times when the boats suffer a fair bit of wash – might be reflected waves from the fishing boats in the other side of the harbour, as they seem to have their own rules wherever they operate; and (the majority) never seem to stick to speed limits.

Next morning I couldn’t help grabbing the camera when Aaliyah asked me to lift her down from her bunk……………I love this “I’m just awake” photo!

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With the club having a swimming pool, we spent a lot of time here as Aaliyah is a bit of a water baby and was keen to learn to swim, which she successfully managed by the end of the holiday – both under and on top of the water.

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I could witter away endlessly about our time with Aaliyah, but will not bore you this time – instead for the benefit of family and friends I will simply attach a selection of photo’s………….

Practicing counting to ten in Spanish, during a break from the pool – Uno…….

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At the “dinosaur tree”

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Aaliyah with a prehistoric creature – and also a Mammoth !!

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Inside Aaliyah’s favourite cafĂ©; Bosc de les fades (Fairies Forrest)

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Getting framed on La Ramblas

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Olympic moment

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Nana, Aaliyah and Pony

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Aaliyah with an old goat……..no not me!!

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Sara and Aaliyah enjoying a meander along the beach on one of the days when the weather was not so good.

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Who needs sunshine to have fun?

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Captain Aaliyah – note the relaxed foot steering style!

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Captain Aaliyah checking all is well on the port side.

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Poppet & Papa at the market.

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Aaliyah and Columbus in harmony.

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Don’t believe we need to add anything else, other than to once again say a big thank you to Brett & Keira. It was a very special holiday, with a very special young lady.

“UltraSonic” update August 2013

Since having the hull cleaned (but not re anti-fouled) and re-launched back in May I have been keen to revisit and see how effective the Ultra Sonic kit has been working. I’m delighted to say that we are just back from Barcelona and I am pleased with the cleanliness of the hull as can be seen from the pontoon – such a difference to the situation prior to me fitting this piece of kit.

Nothing can be 100% perfect and there is some barnacle (?) growth that can be seen through the water and a bit of slime but virtually no weed growth is visible. Based on this three month spell I am convinced that the investment is proving to have been worthwhile. Final verification will be when “Sun Dog” is next lifted out the water later this year/early 2014 and we can see the extent of fouling and also if there are any parts of the hull isolated from the effects of the ultrasonic.

It’s fair to say that I was a wee bit sceptical of ultrasonic antifouling at the outset, but given the results so far on a hull based in Barcelona (warm water) I am more than a happy bunny.

One clear and tangible bonus that the system works, is that in moving the boat this time, the bowthruster tube was sufficiently clear and thus worked perfectly – now that did put a smile on my face – as previously it has been blocked with weed growth. This is normally a pain in the rump given the limited manoeuvring space my current berth affords.

Even though we were chuffed at this working so well, I did have reservations about running this ultra sonic antifouling system 24/7/365, but when I called the company I was reassured by Nick Griffin that their system can be left running with no detrimental effects to the hull. He directed me to the testimonials page on his web site which I found extremely comforting, especially the testimonial from Miss Behave a Beneteau 50 based in Hong Kong.

Check out this and all the other testimonials – as they do back up my own findings thus far.