Week 11. 3. – 17. 3. 2019

Captain:
Jaroslav Badinka

Crew:
Ondřej Beňuš
Jana Krnáčová
Karel Jelínek

We have started to watch, how often does the automatic system run bilge pumps. On Monday it dropped to every 2h. That means 12times a day. It is quite a lot. We decided to solve the situation, but unfortunately, after the departure of an old friend Jedlička and with the upcomming departure of Small Joseph, we have no diving equipment left (except three diving jackets, that are not usable, see below).

All of the jackets got thrown into the trash. And we started to look for equipment. Small Joseph exchanged with us some diving equipment for a canyster of oil. We suddenly got jacket, tank and he lent us an automatic for two weeks. So we have everything we need. Captain is a good diver and he gave me crush course on diving. in less than a half hour I was ready. That day we have repaired 3 big holes. There is one more, at the back of the ship, but it is under a fuel tank, so it will have to wait. And yesterday another popped up. What can I tell? It is Sysiphean labor. Or at least never ending story.

The whole week was all about holes in the hull. And when doing the first one, Jane has discovered a new pet. Wood-eating worm.

However, when Epicol was not mixed, the wedges were not made nor they didn’t guard me to drown, a lot of tiny things happened. Whether it was a new harness for boats, or, for example, the last wheel on an oven. We also tied a few ropes, simplified the wiring of solar panels, repaired some wires and the like.

I hope I didn’t forget anything.

Week 4. 3. – 10. 3. 2019

Captain:
Jaroslav Badinka

Crew:
Ondřej Beňuš
Jana Krnáčová
Karel Jelínek
Marcela Rešlová

This week, we had a very pleasant visit. Marcela Rešlová. She is a beautiful young woman sailing with the Chronos ship. She stayed with us only for two nights, but where she could she put her hand to the work.

With Jane, we are working on the front deck. However, not all of the filling material used to fill the gaps worked correctly (it was stored here for a couple of years, but the maximum storage time is set to 8months ) and the water was leaking. My big mistake, that we have used this old material and then we had a lot of work to remove it. I would love to thank Jane for an amazing amount of work she had done. She was grinding the floor so intensively, that I could not charge batteries fast enough for her to work.

Right front deck with new planks

We have also worked on repairings of ship attachment (ropes and chains). Last week we have fixed anchor pulley holder, so this task was just a natural continuation.

I did remove and did grind a part of the head of the ship. It was rotten and shortened before, so it needs to be extended… But in the upcoming weeks, I will not have enough time to continue, so we will see when I will manage to fix it.

The head part that needs to be extended

I just have a little trouble with the handrail. I did use epoxy according to the working process and it was beautiful. Golden wood, excellent. Epoxy is not a good surface material, but it conserves wood. However, after a couple of days, there was light rain in the night and the color got transformed. From this wonderful-looking wood became a grayish yellow thing. It is not visible well, on the photo, but the original color is visible only near the gap between planks.

Grayish handrail after light rain.

It got gray on each place where the drop dropped. So every single drop is visible. It is caused by insufficient polymerization. But the fix should be rather simple.

And we ran out of Sikaflex and other filling material. It was a quite productive week since Charlie and Marcela filled the almost whole left side of the saloon with sikaflex. Inside and outside. Great job.

Charlie got bored during one lunch break. So he started to fix outboard engine 5hp. A couple of days later, a few spare parts and a lot of love, and it got started. He happily goes around the ship in circles for… well, not hours, but for a long time. It is still in the testing stage, but it looks like it will as good as new, even though it is not a youngling. He also cleaned some of the ship, so we have more space now.

Week 25. 2. – 3. 3. 2019

Captain:
Jaroslav Badinka

Crew:
Ondřej Beňuš
Jana Krnáčová
Karel Jelínek

There is always something happening on the board. But only people here know about it. Only people on the board get the chance to experience it. And as a new man on the board, I have decided to change it.

So what happened this week?

Jaro, Janka and Charlie sucesfuly arrived. We are four people on the board now and the work is going great.

There are more tasks in the process of making, but I will mention here only those, that we have finished. We have changed anchor pulley holder. The original one was rusted and would not last for a long time.

The new anchor pulley holder.

Finally, now the Victoria stand still. There is still one more task, to change three screws for their inox versions.

At the same time, the front deck floor is in the process of making. I work on it together with Jana. The right side of the front deck is almost complete, but then, there is also a left side.

Another thing is the electronic thermostat. On the first sight a small thing, but it has many important effects. The most important one is, that our beer is not frozen anymore, just perfectly cold. Also, consumption of the electric energy declined and it is now possible to leave the freezer on the whole night and it is not necessary to turn it off (because of the limited capacity of batteries). I tried to stylize the control panel to fit here on the Victoria. But I am a mere technician and the art of esthetics is beyond my comprehension.

The electronic thermostat

Also, during the days there is enough electric juice to charge tool batteries and if there is some extra sunlight, we can use smaller electric tools directly from the outlet. Game changer. I am playing with an idea to buy a few more solar panels to increase the amount of energy we can make and then there would be very comfortable to work with the tools. Until now, we had to turn a gasoline power generator on every time we wanted to charge tool batteries.

A new man on the board

Today is the day. Day, when I was left on board of Victoria allone. But how that even happened?

In the beginning, as all the great stories starts, was a dream. I had a dream to move to some sea country, build a sailboat and travel around the world. As a target country I picked Brazil and my dream started to come true.

My job was amazing, I really love it. I was working as a scientist in the company called AtomTrace and in the CEITEC (Central European Institute of Technology. Every day was an adventure. You didn’t know where the path will lead. Based on the measurements of devices it could be breakthrough or a deadend in the given field. To this date it is not clear whether it has its own place here on Earth. But there is a place for LIBS technology in the space. Rover Curiosity, furrowing the plains of Mars, has this technology. And the results are amazing. With a heavy head I told them that I am going to leave in six months and will no further look for an answer to this question. I am going to pursue one of my dreams.

Day after day I was announcing my decision to my friends and in the end, there was my family. I had to tell them. Some day for sure. I do not have a wife nor children. But I do have caring parents and a brother. He is ten years younger and attending high school. It was suprisingly easy with him.
“Hey brother, I will be gone for some time.”
“Where are you going?”
“Nowhere yet, but in the end of the year I will travel to Brazil, build a boat and sail the world.”
“Brazil? They will shoot you there.”
“Yes, the possibility is there, but you know me. I will run as quickly as possible.”
“If you were smart, you would run. But I know you and you will stand there and stare at the gun. How long will you be gone?”
“Six years, maybe a littble bit longer. When I come back your highschool will be over and you will be preparing for your Bachelor’s degree.”
“That is a long time. Don’t get drown.”
That was it.

Parents for a long time thought that I am joking. My sense for humor isn’t the best one, but they understood I am serious when I came to visit them with a backpack full of book on boat construction. We didn’t talk much that day. And when my grandma got to know that I will leave, I had a couple of crying phone calls from her how much the world is bad and how can I do such thing to her.

But every good story has a reverse. One of my friends gave me a book he never opened. It was called “Fools on a sail around a world”. I devoured every single word of this piece written by Ivan Orel. So many adventures. And only thing they did was a decision and hard work. It took me over a month before I asked myself a question.
“Where did the Victoria end up?”
And my search started. It didn’t take long time and I found it. I was looking on a picture of the ship in a tropical paradise when it came to me. My heartbeat skyrocketed and I felt adrenalin pumping into my blood. I held my breath and my brain started to work. After few seconds that felt like a week was decided. I will not build my boat in Brazil and I will not sail around the world. It will be Martinique and I will put my sould into the Victoria.

Then it was quick. I wrote and mail to Joseph, man in charge, bought flight tickets and started daydreaming about the beauty of sailing. Time was passing and my head was always in the clouds. Not only at the workplace they recognized I am not there in my mind. But they didn’t mind, they listened patiently to my stories about the voyages of Victoria.

Saying goodbye was quick. I couldn’t wait and my legs were agead of me, running towards a adventure. I boarded a plane that took me to Paris and then next one carrying me over the ocean, to the Martinique.

I got out of the plane deeply inhaling wet and hot air. In the matter of hours I got from winter with snow drifts and temperatures a lot below zero degrees (Celsius, not Kelvin) to the tropical weather of 30°C. I always thought that my story will begin here, with my first step on Martinique. But to this day I am not sure when I started to live my story. But I was here, on Martinique. Just a couple of hours from the first night on Victoria.

The amount of hormones in my blood multiplied my experience. It was deep night and my hunter instincts woke up. Travelling with dinghy was an epic journey of a prince travelling through dark and deep forest to his castle. Everything was bigger, everything was more colorful and time was passing slower. With deep expectations I was looking at all the masts around telling myself that the next mast will be it. We were passing ten boats, twenty, then fifty. I stopped counting. Then we got to the point where all the boats were behind and we were flying towards stronger and stronger waves. We turned left behind a tip of the island and started to aim at the mangroves. I got a little bit nervous and looked back. Captain Joseph still had a smile on his face and that was a good sign. He slowed down, but not enough to stop before we hit mangroves. I was starting to prepare for impact when I saw it. One hundred meters away, behind the mangroves. The must. It is surely Victoria’s must. In the last moment ḿangroves opened up and small transit appeared. We passed only with a small bump and infront of us cove apperead with Victoria by right hand.

I do not remember entering the boat, but I remember smiling faces and welcome drink. We talked for a few hours and then went to sleep. It was night full of mosquitos. The way as all other nights were.

Following days were difficult. I was many times by the sea, but never on the boat. Joseph taught me everything from scratch. We were working from sunrise to sunset. Only couple of days were off and we went travelling around the island. Then people starting to leave. Firstly it was Iva and Zdeněk that came the same day as I did. however, couple of days later we had a new member. But sadly he left just a few days later. That’s how Peter left. Couple more days and Venca and Lubo left. Then there were only three of us. Joseph, Maribel and me. And in matter of days they were leaving as well. I felt desperate, not ready, in the beginning, but I knew I can figure out. In the last minute I was informed that I will not stay alone.

Day before Joseph and Maribel left, Jaro and Janka arrived. They came here for annual holiday. With them, Victoria wasn’t only work, but also fun. I like to remember time spent with them, even thought we didn’t do as muh work as we could.

Today also Jaro and Janka left and I am on the boat alone.

I am Andrew and my story begins now.

Czech National TV addendum

Czech National TV didn’t produce only one documentary around Victoria. Some time ago made also documentary about the founder of Victoria, Rudolf Krautschneider.

This world traveler is still doing something, but he will always have Viktorka in his heart.

Rudolfa Krautschneidera

Czech national TV

Czech national TV made an awesome document about the original crew. It was done back in 2007, but the spirit of original crew can still be felt on the ship.

The document is in Czech Language and without any subtitles. However, the pictures are amazing. Do not hesitate and take a look:

The list of repairs to be done in 2017/2018

  1. Make proper stairs woth handles, for less “movable” people to be able to get to board.
  2. Finish fixing of the entire deck above the rear superstructure. Where leaking, fix it with sikaflex. Change all iron brackets with stainless steel.
  3. Repair the bow thruster in front of the front superstructure and the railing.
  4. Fix all released floorboards and fix everything above the beam, ie. where there is one-shell cladding. Grind everything thoroughly with a belt sander and impregnate 2x (where necessary several times) penetration epoxy (diluted eprosine). Replace bad wood. Consider on the site whether we leave it painted over the deck only by ferment as a finishing coat (golden “color” ???)
  5. Paint and fasten the side strips with circular grips on the rope for the mast. Completely bad change for stainless steel.
  6. Make the front of the front body and continue repairing the entire front deck. Replace iron bars with stainless steel.
  7. Clean thoroughly and paint all the angles holding the railing on the lower deck.
  8. Completely vacate Viktorka for Victoria Service (VS), sort out the materials and throw everything unnecessary into the waste.
  9. Make a new mount on the mast in front, hanging the chain fastened to the front keel beam.
  10. Make bamboo ducts from the cover sail into the tanks on the top deck and solve the catching water from the lower sail.
  11. Add the cover sail in front od the mast.
  12. Repair the lower deck and paint thoroughly with ferment.
  13. Buy material, paint it, and wrap the left side of the rear body.
  14. In the meantime, it is possible to completely clean the bottom of the deck, to clean, and to paint all the metal parts, to clean and scrape the wood under the floor brush with wire brushes, and paint everything thoroughly, where necessary, several times.
  15. Do all the necessary electric work.
  16. Start doing three lower cabins.