Category Archives: english


Pechonality is the    il y a du monde au balcon    in Latin America. Being a combination of pechos and personality this is a nice combination to describe female features, that may also be known as ‘headlights’ or ‘Holz vor der Hütte’ in other cultures.

Aluminium Silicat in Tea powder 

Having heard quite some stories about pathological effects of aluminum to the human body I am quite astonished just having considered buying a package of instant tea of brand Tea of India containing – amongst others – non-dairy milk powder (which would perfectly support my vegan diet) and – shocking – aluminium silicate. So, while I am no longer using antiperspirants containing aluminium to put on my skin, I would  now get this substance by drinking tea into my body!? And even that not enough: tea of India is labeling that nutrition fact on their packaging, while on other products the consumers get no idea at all that tea ‘naturally’, contains/accumulates aluminium – according to several studies made on this topic: 

Is Aluminium in Tea bad for my brain? (The people’s pharmacy)

Differences in Aluminium content of various tea powders (European chemical bulletin 2012)

Aluminium content of selected foods – Springer 2011 

The old can and the sea

Recently I voluntarily payed double prize for a bottle of dishwashing detergent of the same environment-friendly pretending Belgium based company just because of nicely designed bottle and a label attached that was saying ‘This bottle is produced from plastic waste found in the canals of Amsterdam before it could reach the North Sea’. The limited edition bottle is the eye catcher for the company’s Ocean Plastic Project and attracted me even more after having read the truth about the bio-degradable potential of different kinds of waste that is continuously thrown into the sea, check out the article about Aluminiumcans in the ocean! What I did not know – waste_DKNorthseaCoast1hence not playing the environmentalist on board and rebuking my captain and friend for throwing beer cans into the North Sea – that these metal cans are not just oxidising quickly and decomposed after a short while lying on the sea ground, but taking around 200 years for that process! The reason is a plastic layer put onto the Aluminium to keep the beer from turning into a foul taste due to its metal turbidity character when canned. After that I hope my GFK boat will never sink, and That I can still use the content of the ocean-waste-recycled bottle for washing up onboard and from board with a quiet conscience.

The time it takes to put on nail polish

One month. And it is not really that I am so stressed with work that i cannot even finish some cosmetics on my toes to let them look like as shiny rebel blue as my company car. nailpolish-8502

I do nothing. Nothing but sleeping, checking the weather, paying harbour fees, getting a hungry stomach filled, and starting to put on nail polish. Just to make use of the things I brought with my luggage for a 12 weeks vacation using a so-called work time account.

The word itself seems to be misleading, as I bought time from a yearly bonus added to my salary to just do not what the word is expressing: work.

milva18-8802Instead, I am literally hanging around on my 18 feet measuring sail yacht, as the size of this apparently fast racing ‘mini cruiser’ does not even allow a 1.60m person to stand inside (with the sprayhood attached, it almost does), but is giving indeed more comfort than a similar sized tent for two. Especially in the occasion of rain falling. In addition to that, staying in a harbour on a boat of that size in the Netherlands is much cheaper than staying on a camp site. The most expensive marina charged 15€ per night with free parking of my car outside, while the camping close to the harbour charged 41€ for a tent, two persons and a car.

Besides the partially used nail polish, i brought with me an Ukulele, a Guitarlele, the GarageBand app on my IPad for amateur music recordings, DVDs, a race bike, my Carver longboard, 7 novels to read plus the obligatory two bibles of Belgian-Dutch waterways -the Wateralmanak, two books about sailing and one to get a better understanding about the weather. According to my efficiency in putting on nail polish, now guess the equipment I could have left at home.

The Oosterschelde and its underestimated tidal streams

N 51° 36.173  E 003° 50.686′  | Marina WSV Noord Beveland . Colijnsplaat

After a month hanging around at Delta Marina on the Veerse Meer, MILVA is excited to enter new seas. The weather forecast looked reasonable to go out at 3 Beaufort with less wind expected towards the evening. MILVAs former owner Jogi joined me on the trip, as i didn’t dare to mess up the manoeuvre alone in Zandkreeksluis lock, and felt enough challenged after having again touched the ground two days before and being unable to reef the main sail. So, this time more preparation.oosterschelde 1 Beaufort

My last night’s lecture about reefing in Steve Sleight’s Complete Sailing Manual gave me some idea, that the yellow rope coming out of the boom’s end might be the solution. For the first time I prepared life jackets and life buoy to be at hands immediately in case of an emergency situation, the line bound to the bath ladder (just to avoid the crew searching for it, and finally found – throw it out without having tied the rescue line somewhere on the boat) and the main sail prepared to hoist in a reefed state. The black cloud over Kortgene made me asking the harbour master for any weather warnings, which he assured being no problem, so finally we left Kortgene at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, two hours already after low tide at the lock, which I knew would be suboptimal, but having enough wind should work out, as I only saw a difference of half a knot in speed going out the Zandkreekpassage one week before at a similar point of time. This however turned out to be a misconception. 

It is always a question in front of the locks to decide to berth on the available berths, or to make some turnarounds until the bridge and lock are going to open. As the comfortable berth was already occupied by three boats, and four more boats more or less optimally bound to the dolphins plus a big tank vessel waiting in front of the lock, the decision was easy to make, but cost in the end 20 minutes of waiting and 25 minutes to get inside and out of the lock.

It is always a good advice to keep some distance to big vessels, as the water masses moved by a starting ship’s engine make quite some turbulence, thus difficult to hold a small boat and its spreader away from the lock’s wall.

ZeelandsbrugWe left the lock and set sails to get out of the small passage with the wind coming from behind in run and broad reach direction. The maximum speed of 5.2 knots over ground we made just during this short trip, competing against bigger yachts and regretting that we had reefed the main sail. At green buoy #Z1 we turned to beam reach towards Zeelandbrug, intending to take the path on the left side of the channel along the green buoys. Zeelandsbrug zeelandbrug-8462Until a red buoy appeared and wind and boat speed decreased rapidly. After a while we reached the green buoy again but still didn’t make any progress into the intended direction towards Zeelandbrug. Checking the Navionics app on the IPad showed 2.5 knots less speed over ground than what the log instrument displayed, and revealed to us having sailed a big circle instead keeping a straight course  towards the final destination. As Freddy – le vibrateur is meanwhile running without any issue, that was finally the solution to reach Colijnsplaat harbour within the expected time around 7 p.m.