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On this page, you can find a list of all the blogs we've written. Scroll through the pages to see the older ones. To view them in their various categories, use the main menu bar above where you can find them grouped by the places we've visited and by year. On the Blog Posts menu you can select blogs by the following groups:

  • Life Aboard – our experiences of living on a boat,
  • Boat & Technical Projects – the upgrades and repairs we've made to Emerald,
  • Land Travel – experiences away from the boat,
  • Green Emerald Series – Colin's posts about making Emerald into an off-grid sailing boat,
  • Passage Reports – our experiences during the longer sailing passages.

Latest Blog Post

What Next for Emerald, Having Escaped Porto Santo?

After 20 months in Porto Santo, Emerald’s crew sailed south, docking at Las Palmas for essential repairs, and upgrades. The uncertainty about availability and the return of Med-mooring challenges had a happy ending. We settled into the convenience of marina life, pleasantly surprised by the peacefulness, despite the city setting.

All Posts

Take a browse through the many posts we've written over the last few years as we travel and live on the watery world.

Rebuilding a Boat Engine – Our Continued Adventures

With the cleaning complete, we were ready to begin the next step in our engine rebuild adventures. We had an overhaul kit for our water damaged Volvo Penta D2-75 engine that contained new gaskets, bearings and pistons. Some things went well, others, not well at all.

a dismantled Volvo D2-75 engine

Repairing A Water Damaged Boat Engine

We decided to attempt to repair our water damaged boat engine. With the engine out of the boat, we could begin dismantling to uncover the extent of the damage. After than it was cleaning, replace and repair.

looking inside a broken sailboat engine

What to do With Our Broken Sailboat Engine?

Having got as far as we could with repairing the engine in-situ, the next step was for it to be lifted out. This has allowed us to strip it of components to access the damage. What are our options for repair or replacement?

The result of a hydrolocked engine

A Hydrolocked Engine – Off With Its Head!

The likely explanation for our broken engine was a hydrolock – water had got into the cylinders of the engine block. With limited resources on the island, we set out to try and fix it ourselves.

A vie of Porto Santo harbour from above

A Sailboat With a Broken Engine

Following a boisterous sail from Portugal, our engine failed nearing Porto Santo, necessitating a tow into the harbour. Tests indicated we had salt water in the engine, causing major corrosion. We were left contemplating difficult decisions regarding repairs, resources, and our future in sailing amidst this unforeseen misfortune.

Sail to Porto Santo: Our Full Passage Report

On a sunny Saturday morning, we raised the main, and turned away from mainland Portugal. Our destination: Porto Santo, part of the Madeira archipelago, 435nm away. We initially had stronger wind than expected with a lively sea, but by day 2 this began to settle and enjoy the passage.

Portugal to Porto Santo: Position Report Day 2

The passage report from day two of our sail from Portugal to Porto Santo. We were finding our groove as conditions eased, allowing us to enjoy, rather than endure, the experience.

Boat Refit: At Long Last It’s Time to Leave the Boatyard

At long last, the time had come to leave the boatyard. After almost a year, far longer than we’d anticipated, the long list of boat jobs were finally complete. We just had to hope she floated once she was placed back on the water.

Refit Part I: Choosing a Boatyard

Part one of 2021 refit series. In order to get Emerald out of the water, we have to endure the heart-clenching experience of seeing your precious home be lifted into the air. We look at the factors involved in choosing a boatyard and the types of liftout available for boats.

Plans Are Written in Sand at Low Tide

We might as well write our plans in sand at low tide. Sailing plans can be fragile, easily broken by multiple factors – weather, boat problems or myriad unexpected issues. Sometimes the forced plan change can result in a good experience, sometimes its bad.

Springtime in the Rio Guadiana

April and May in the river saw a rise in temperatures and the drying out of the land. We fixed the galley cupboard floor – a job that’s been on the list a long time! And I become a water babe.