We have now been living on our yacht Tiny Nical for two weeks and with some time to reflect on it, it has been an interesting experience so far.
We are moored up in a shipyard on a canal in Pisa, which makes for picturesque views, clear waters and sounds of the sea – NOT!
Every morning we have been woken up by the banging, clanging, grinding and all other noises that a shipyard holds – usually around 7am. But it’s not only the shipyard noises there are also the planes coming in to land at Pisa airport, which is about 2km away - and planes start flying in at 6am.
The weather has been great in Pisa, sunny, with temperatures around 30 degrees. Awesome holiday weather. Unfortunately, we weren’t on holiday here. We made up a huge to do list before we came down to our yacht and now it was time to tick the items off!
We stowed all our belongings and made the forward cabin our wee sanctuary bedroom and even the salon and galley look quite presentable. The 2 aft cabins are still mainly storage. We changed halyards and sheets, mounted the bracket for the outboard (and heaved up the outboard too - twice), moved the 75kg life raft up top, filled up with diesel, cleaned the teak in the cockpit, mounted all fire extinguishers, First Aid Kit, EPIRB and everything Health & Safety, fixed shower pumps, bilge pump and the heads, installed the wind generator, and even went up the mast to mount a new windex and check on the VHF areal, and cleaned, and scrubbed , and polished….
Tiny needed a few days to get used to the boat life. She didn’t eat much and just lay in the coolest place of the boat. Now, she is doing just great – she is eating well (not too many treats anymore, so she actually is hungry), she drinks and does her business on her bit of SuperTurf. We gave up taking her for a walk around the ship yard, because there are too many nasty things lying about (sharp stones, glass, metal bits) and she didn’t enjoy these walks, really.
We hired a car for the first week which meant we could run some errands with IKEA being one of our closest and favourite stops for all things homely and the free wifi and also had trips down to Livorno.
We also finished our provisioning and are working on meal plans for the weeks ahead without needing to head ashore for a few weeks.
Living on a yacht in a ship yard has its downsides but also some perks. Luckily, we are able to use the water and shore power for free, which means we can run the air conditioning and the fan (the fan runs all through the night) and we can use the water freely(ish) and have showers every day.
On the other hand, the shipyard (like all shipyards) is loud and dirty and every time we come back on board, we drag dirt and stones with us. The water is dirty too, so no swimming in the canal when we get too hot. Before we fixed the heads we had to go for a 3 minute walk to get to the ship yard’s toilet. This made you think twice if you really had to go. As mentioned before the yard opens at 7am, which means we can’t have a lie in, even if we wanted (we usually managed to stay in bed until 7.30). And the mozzies, did I mention the mozzies? First night we made the mistake to have dinner outside – we came away with dozens of bites.
After our 1st week we received the NZ registration (which took all but 4 days!) but have since then been told that the de-registration of the Italian flag is still in process. And to top things off, our European Credit Card was cancelled (due to some suspicious activity) – a new card will be sent out within the next 2 weeks..!
After week 2 we finally received our insurance papers. We were now only waiting for the definite deletion of the Italian flag. We called WindService to get an update and the lady there said it should be still this day (Friday) or Monday…. Again, waiting!
We then found out that we do not need to wait for the definite deletion as we already have the Bill of Sale and the new registration.
That means, we are good to go – after 5 months of waiting and 2 weeks living on a ship yard in Pisa!
We all can’t wait to get out of here and finally do what we set out to do when we left our home in NZ.
More pictures to follow once we've sussed out some wifi :)
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.