I completely agree with your comments made regarding the so-called Palma International Boat Show. I have been helping on a voluntary basis, the Joves Navegants yacht Galaxie to prepare her for taking children on sailing outings. It was suggested that we take the yacht to the boat show to promote interest for fund raising. It would have been an ideal time to let the local public know what we were doing. Together with helpers, we worked hard to get the yacht ready for the show and it was with great disappointment that we learnt that no one was interested from the boat show organizers to have the yacht at the show.
As Joves Navegants is a local Fundacion for children it should have been supported by the boat show. I can only assume that the all prevailing apathy from the organizers continued down to us.
Nevertheless we hope to show the yacht in the coming months and soon to provide sailing for youngsters
Acting Captain Galaxie
p.s. On my regular calls to yachts regarding special applications of Belzona I was asked if Belzona can fix a difficult problem that other products failed. The yacht in question was SKAT, which has a large space below decks where yacht tenders are stored while at sea. These tenders are anchored to the steel floor with strong bolts. These bolts have protective 3" stainless steel washers which are glued to the floor. This washer does not adhere well to the metal floor and I was asked if Belzona would solve the problem. Belzona Marine Metal was used and all the washers removed, abraded and degreased. The Belzona applied and left to harden for 24 hours.
On returning the following week to see if all went well, the engineer told me that it was total a success and could I supply them with a full Belzona kit as they were leaving the next day. Another happy customer.
I am writing this in response to the rumours doing the rounds regarding my departure from MY Smoke Dragon (Ex Aguirre).
I had become more and more disillusioned on the vessel in recent months for many reasons.
It is not necessary to divulge these for the purposes of this letter but I have them catalogued and they do make some interesting reading...perhaps another time!
However the straw that finally broke the camelīs back was a potential charter for 20 guests booked for Friday the 25th April from Puerto Portals to Andratx and back.
When I first heard about this, maybe 1-month prior, from the boatīs manager I said to him that even if we got our own coding (we were in the process of acquiring our MCA Cat II certification) it is too many people and a second vessel should be used.
His response was that it would not be worth doing the charter if we used two.
I mentioned the charter to him in front of the surveyor responsible for taking the boat through the coding process. The managerīs response was that it would probably be cancelled anyway.
The charter was confirmed to me 4 days prior to the 25th and still with 20 guests.
I was in a catch 22 situation- do I go ahead and gamble with my licence and a hefty fine or do I say no and risk losing my job?
Either way it made me think how little respect the owner had for me and my licence.
I took advice and spoke to several more qualified captains than myself- all of whom instantly said under no circumstance risk the charter.
With this advice I then went to the charter agent to see if there were any ways round it, bearing in mind that we still had not received our MCA certification so even a charter with 12 guests would have been illegal.
I got very little positive response; comments included, itīs only for three hours, there will be a good tip and that there will be some good īfreebieī perks- I believe the guests were something to do with Nikon and a hint of a free camera was made.
Yes, they would all be very nice but hardly a replacement for my licence and a livelihood.
On Thursday 24th at 2pm I rang the boat manager and told him that I had removed myself from the vessel and that I had taken the ignition keys as surety against what I was owed to that date.
He was at the vessel within 15 minutes, but in that time the charter agent was on the phone to me saying that I had cost them the charter and asked me what my problem was and that I must have done some black charters in the past.
However, in the words of Bob Dylan, "The times they are a changing".
Whilst I was on the phone the boat manager arrived and promptly told me that I was sacked.
I said to him to look where I was standing- on the quay; I had removed myself from the vessel and re-iterated my demands.
If I needed convincing that I had made the right decision it came at 10pm when the owner rang me and threatened me with, amongst other things, arrest (this was for, as he put it, immobilising his boat).
I informed him that I had merely removed the keys and that they would be returned when the money owed to me was in my account.
The money was in my account first thing Friday morning.
I went straight from the bank to the boat and at 9.15am returned the keys to the boat manager- incidentally the charter was already underway at this point although they stayed in the port for the duration!
I may now not have a job but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I still have my licence with which to look for a new job.
Yours Andrew Davey Ex- Smoke Dragon