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August '04: Off we Start - Registration and Equipment

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The registration under Swiss flag can only happen if the necessary equipment is on board. It’s not a question of ‘if’ we get it, but it would have been easier for us to do the transfer with less equipment and buy everything when we have more time next year. But in this regard Swiss Maritime Navigation Office (SSA) is tough. We checked out the possibility to do the registration under another flag. That is however, not possible as all countries make sure that no foreigners sail under their sovereign flag.

Time runs out! At the end of August the autumn storms begin to rave in the Biscayan Sea and these we would like to avoid. Now some things must be organized in parallel: equipment, registration and organization of the passage from Southampton to the Adrian Sea. Marc is flying back and forth between England and Switzerland to get all documents in order. Unfortunately our expert’s prioritization on our report was somewhat wrong – a ‘cosmetic’ defect on the list suddenly became a structural problem. With this defect we cannot sail!

During his stay in Southampton Marc spends most of his time in a shop called Aladdin's, a large English boat supplier / equipment shop. We have to make some bigger investments: a life raft, a distress radio-beacon (EPIRB), a dinghy with outboard motor, a NavTex receiver, a longer anchor chain and a Sea anchor. In addition there are innumerable small things like: Anchor ball, engine cone, hand lead and line, horn, wooden plugs, flag pole, life belt with light, different flags, distress flares, emergency parachute flares and much, much more…

At beginning of August, after some hurdles (expert's assessment, Credit Card limits, etc.) we hold our Swiss Registration Certificate for our S/Y MELMAR Y in our hands. A special feeling to actually own a ship, and even more beautiful the thought going to actually life on this swimming home.

The organization of the transfer of our ship to the Adriatic Sea shapes up nicely. Approx. 3000SM are to be sailed. I do not know our ship yet, but because of different charter holidays I know that one can count on the average speed of 5 knots. The first passage would go from Southampton directly to Palma de Mallorca. Afterwards with a new crew to the South of Italy and then together (Marc and Melanie) to north Croatia or Slovenia. The idea is to find a winter camp, which is easy accessible from Switzerland, and does not cost too much. If the weather is on our side, MELMAR Y should be able to make it within 5 weeks to her winter camp – that would be by the middle of September. This would fit nicely, because at the end of September the annual boat show 'Interboot' in Friedrichshafen takes place. For that trip Marc tries to organize some friends or colleagues to sail with him. For the first two weeks Wieland and Herbert from Austria are sailing with Marc.

First week August I start cleaning up the ship. This means to take everything into my hands and decide if I keep it or not and what to throw away …. Dozens of ropes and lot’s of electrical and electronic material shows up. For the passage food needs to be stored. Since it’s not completely clear, how much fresh water the Amel Maramu holds, we buy drinking water for about for six weeks. Together with further beverages and food Marc drives back and forth many times between Tesco (a supermarket) and the port...

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