When one door closes, another one opens…


A sad day indeed when Aquarella was sold.

It hurts to think that I will never be sailing Aquarella again.
In 2013 when my husband died and I decided to try to sail alone around the Greek islands I was 67 yrs old. Now, after doing just that for ten years I am 77 and its time for new challenges and adventures.

Aquarella has given me so much I had never imagined, amongst other things:
  • A lot of self confidence and self esteem.
  • The feeling of total freedom, sailing silently towards the horizon.
  • The challenge of getting all systems in working order and the feeling of accomplishment when they did work.
  • The magic of lying alone under the dark, starlit nights.
  • The sheer panic of hanging on in a storm for hours on end but knowing Aquarella would stand for it if I could.
  • The feeling of strength, both mentally and physically after hours, days and months of doing things I never imagined I could.
  • The unexpected encounters and warm friendships with people I never would have met otherwise.

  • The pleasure of seeing the result of hard work and loving care for this beautiful classic sailboat.

Thank you for taking care of me Aquarella!

PS Aquarella will be sailing on under a new name:
WAKATOBI  of Rotterdam.
PPS. I will still be on the water writing, painting, photographing and filming with a new boat and a new partner. You can keep up with my new blog here: https://solar-at-sea.blogspot.com/

Update: My boat is now sold!


As I am about to start a new chapter in my life with new challenges 
My boat, Aquarella is now sold!

About the Monsun:
Designer Olle Enderlein
Hull length:    9.36 m / 30' 9"
Length water line:   7.50 m / 24'  8"
Beam:   2.87 m / 9' 5"
Draft:    1.40 m / 4' 7"
Displacement :   4 200 kg / 9 250 lbs
Keel weight:    1 900 kg / 4 200 lbs
Sail area with jib:    39 m² / 430 sq ft
Engine:   Yanmar: inboard diesel installed january 2000
kW / HP  17 / 28. Double diesel filters.
Diesel tank    120 litres / 32 US gallon
Water tank    160 litres / 43 US gallon
water taps in pantry for both fresh water and salt water.


About Aquarella:
Currently kept at a secure boatyard in Greece, she is a Hallberg Rassy Monsun from 1976 modified for the climate and special demands for sailing in the Mediterranean.
From the bow there's a retrofitted bowsprit which moved the original position of the forestay with furling genua forward about 70 cm. This made her easier on the tiller under sail. It also enables easier access to the boat with an integrated hinged ladder. The anchor is stowed under it. Theres an electric Lofrans anchor windlass with remote control. 
80 meters of galvanised anchor chain and a 16 kg CQR anchor.
Spinnaker pole and spinnaker halyard
Aft anchor (Brittany) mounted on pushpit with 40 m ankorolina.
The Monsun has a rolling boom, useful for reefing and stowing the mainsail.
Plastimo offshore liferaft for 6 persons. ( last service 2012)
5 solar panels, 2 on coach roof plus 3 on top of the bimini.
The aft part of the bimini is fixed for the season and only taken down in winter. The forward part can be easily dismantled when under way.
Hydraulic powered steering wheel. (had major service in 2020)
Radar ( Raytheon)
Raytheon ST6000 autopilot, connected to the radar and GPS.
Epirb (Mcmurdo)
self tacking jib rail.
Stainless steel handrail on coach roof and around sprayhood
stationary VHF
steps (fiberglass) on mast.
radar reflector.
fixed bathing ladder
Navtex for on-screen weather forcasts and emergency messages.
Echo sounder (Raytheon)
2 fire extinguishers
All lines and halyards extended to cockpit.
Extra skylight and 2 dorade box vents .
6 batteries 70 amp each. 4 of them new 2022
Eberspächer central heating ( not used since 2011)
Furling genua (Furlex) with new sacrificial UV strip
All wiring has been renewed by an electrician in 2004
In the pantry is an Origo gimballed spirit stove with two burners.
Water taps for both fresh and salt water
Cabin sole in teak laminate mounted by a boat builder. (instead of the original carpet)
Many spare parts, tools and manuals.

extra accessories:

Dinghy 2.3m ( only used 2 seasons) with new electric outboard motor which charges from the boat's solar panels.
2 fridges, Isotherm with compressors
Sewing machine for lighter sail repairs.
Pressure cooker
Extra mainsail and unused storm jib.
Boatsman’s chair.
Additional memory foam in bunks.
Reserve Bruce anchor and dinghy anchor.
Charts for most of the Med.

Aquarella has been well maintained and the engine serviced every year by a professional.

All equipment is in working order except the diesel tank which needs major service.
Also the remote control for anchor windlass needs mounting.
One of the mainsail’s top ring needs renewing.

contact Jonty at jonty@williamsandsmithells.com for price and more details.

A short presentation video about Aquarella
click here: https://youtu.be/c2RULt49Q4g
scroll down for more photos

The L shaped galley has a stainless steel sink with taps for both fressh water and sea water. Under the work bench is a cooler box connected to an Isotherm compressor. The gimballed  two burner Origo spirit stove hangs in a custom built stainless steel  compartment.

Under the floor between the forward two V berths are the hoses for fresh water from the 160 l tank. The through hull sea water ball valve for the head and protecting hose for the wiring from the through-hull echo sounder tranducer.
Mounted beside the navigation table are the controls for the 5 solar panels. The top left panel ( installed 2019) is designated for the dinghy engine battery. It can be programmed to give priority to this battery when needed.
The head (toilet) is a jabsco marine toilet with hand pump. The holding tank is hidden behind the locker on the  left. The wash basin slides out from under the lockers.
The toilet compartment is separated from the main cabin and forward stateroom by a sliding door on one side and a folding door on the other.
The table in the main cabin can be lowered to
create a double berth and the backrest can be lifted
for more space. Length of berths 2m.
Under all berths are radiators for the Eberspächer
waterborne heating system

Extra fridge Isotherm installed 2018

Starboard berth with backrest lifted.
The inside of the hull above all berths is paneled with mahogony.

starting the electric engine in dinghy

The dinghy battery is kept under the bench
while in use or charging

With the table folded up and the starboard berth backrest lifted there's
plenty of space for creative projects.

Another point of view...

Not the usual view of the Mediterranean sea from my boat but the view of a beautiful Swedish lake from a campervan.
In case anyone is wondering what I’m up to in these Corona times I thought it was time for an update.
I had planned on returning to the boat with my partner in February. Aquarella is standing on dry land at the Basimakopolou shipyard in Kilada Greece where I know she is safe, which is a consolation. However when all the borders closed I knew it would be impossible to get back for quite some time. As my partner and I are in the risk group ( we are both 74) it is especially important to keep to the rules of social distancing. We stayed in the house for nearly three months and even though we could enjoy the fresh air in the garden we longed to get out and see something else. Being privileged of having a partner with a camper van this was an opportunity to get out and about without getting near other people. We can still not cross any borders and we are not allowed to travel more than two hours from our home district but even so its possible to see and experience some of Sweden’s unique and noteworthy nature from our own secure bubble of the van.
In Sweden there is a law called Allemansrätt.
This means in brief the following:
       • You are allowed to access any land, except private residences, the immediate vicinity (70 meters) of a dwelling house and cultivated land.
You can put up a tent.
You are allowed to collect flowers, mushrooms and berries.
Driving on private roads is allowed unless there’s a sign saying otherwise.
Swimming in lakes is allowed.
You can access any beach as long as you stay away from private residences.
You are allowed to catch fish in the five big lakes and along the entire coastline.

Source: The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

So instead of another solosail on my boat in Greece I am on a road trip in Sweden with my partner. One overnight stay was on a tiny peninsular with just enough space for the van. We were surrounded by the water of a lake on three sides and while we listened to the creaking and swaying branches of overhanging trees, the van was even rocking slightly in the wind, it was ALMOST like being on board my boat. The sound of a nearby passing train was no worse than listening to a passing cruise ship.
As often before I am producing a video about my painting techniques. This time its been necessary to choose a smaller body of water as subject matter. Instead of the crashing waves of the open sea I have been inspired by the trickling water of a forest stream. The acrylic painting in progress will be available soon as streaming video, more about this later.
Not painting the bottom of my boat in Greece
but using an upturned boat as an easel amidst midges
 mosquitoes and ticks.
“Midsummer night” a watercolour I painted at night of the view over lake Fegen.


I was asked by Jackie Perry from Sistership magazine to participate in this podcast about facing fear at sea. It is the first time I've tried this but I think it turned out well. Thanks to Jackie for editing out all my bloopers and coughs

Listen here:  podcast about facing your fear

New season- new problems

This year I arrived back to the boat in Kilada over a month later than usual. My brother in law Uffe came with me to help get Aquarella ship shape and ready for launching. He could only be here for three days so it was a matter of working effectively all the daylight hours. The day before launching I tried to raise the anchor chain that had been lying under the boat on a pallet all winter. The remote control to the windlass responded when I pressed “down” but not “Up”. I tried my usual solution with contact spray, cleaning the plug and using fine sand paper to remove any corrosion. Nothing helped.
In the end Uffe pulled the 80 meters of chain and the anchor up by hand while I continued the work of painting the antifoul on the hull.
When Aquarella was launched we could tie up to a mooring buoy in the middle of the bay so fortunately there was no need to anchor.
However I had to find a solution to the windlass problem. Uffe had gone home and I was now alone on board. If I needed to anchor anywhere I could easily drop the anchor but there was no way I could pull up to 80 meters of chain and a heavy anchor up by hand.
I rang my ground crew/backup/support/ dearest friend, alias Rolf in Sweden.
He suggested he took me, step by step, through the procedure of rewiring the plug under deck instead of the vulnerable position it was in on the foredeck.
I had never undertaken a project like this before so it was outside my comfort zone. Rolf told me which tools I would need: contact spray, a pair of pliers, a wire cutter, a multimeter, a stripper, ( I thought they only had those in night clubs) a small screw driver, electric tape and cable ties.
He told me to find the place from below where the wires went up through the deck. That was the first problem as they were completely hidden and baked in the head lining.
I eventually found a place where they were exposed but I could only get to them by lying on one elbow under a shelf over the V berth. Add to this the fact that it was dark and the boat was heeling over and bouncing up and down in the strong wind and waves, it was not going to be easy. I was then told to carefully and precisely cut the red wire without touching any other metal bits, then the same with the blue and brown wires. I could only use one hand as I was leaning on the other elbow. As the sweat was running down my face in the afternoon heat I thought the situation reminded me of the classic cliff hanger in an old action movie where the hero has to choose the right wire to cut off and neutralise a dangerous time-bomb while the seconds ticked away! Rolf told me to turn the switch of the multimeter to Ohm. Wheres ohm? I asked, feeling stupid. The greek omega sign he said. Ah, that one.
After checking that the different wires were not broken and connecting the multimeter pins to the metal plates on the windlass’s control box I could actually get the chain to go up or down, fantastic!
Now it was a matter of making the new connections hold under strain.
Following Rolfs precise and patient instructions I connected the three wires to the remote again in a connection box and screwed them tightly in place. Up on deck I checked that everything worked and triumphantly announced that the mission had succeeded!
However when I had pulled the coiled wire of the remote as far as it could go towards the anchor well, it was dead again! I had to undo the electric tape, cut off the cable ties and start screwing again, this time I used all the strength of my fingers, hand and wrist. But this time it worked!
I could then embark on the seasons first voyage knowing that I could anchor up should it be necessary  along the way.
I did have another problem though.
The outboard engine for my dinghy didn't work. Black oil was pouring out of the cooling water intake. I rowed ashore and asked at the boatyard if they could fix the problem. Expensive they said. After receiving a second and third opinion I decided it wasn't worth repairing. The engine had worked well for 22 years in 9 different countries so it had had a good innings. After the 9 hour sail to Poros I arrived to the mooring buoy I usually use there. The owner of the buoy had told me I was too late this year and he'd let someone else have it. But on arrival he undid the ropes of the other boat and towed it away so I could have my buoy back, great service for a regular customer.

This was fortunate as its the only buoy near enough to be able to row ashore. So this is what I will do until I get a new engine.

rowing ashore in the dark with my headlight on
  photographed by Sarah Bridges


Through time my paintings have won several prizes and awards but for the first time in my life my writing has also received recognition. Firstly I was given an honorable mention in a writing contest organized by the international Sistership Magazine based in Australia. The contest was eligible for women only and the theme was Facing your fears. Not only was it a writing contest but Sistership also published a book called Facing Fear Head On. The book consists of an anthology of short stories about fear written by 46 women on the water, from all over the world.
I felt it a great privilege that my essay “ What If” was included in the book. It is now available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Facing-Fear-Head-Stories-Women-ebook/dp/B07HFTQ7JM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544103864&sr=8-1&keywords=facing+fear+head+on
 In November I also received an honorable mention for an article called “Report from a sailing widow” I had written for the Swedish sailing magazine Odysse. Their motivation was: “A well written story about the authors development from passive passenger to competent captain on her boat Aquarella.”

Then, in this months Odysse magazine there was yet another of my watercolours reproduced to illustrate an article about the recent "medicane" in Greece. 

Trailer for my new full length video

This post is more arty than boaty but I hope sailing enthusiasts might also like to see it.
I know I have promised this several times but here it is, actually finished at last!
This is the video I have been working on for months. Now called Sailing Through Watercolours the 71 minute film closely follows my work as I paint four different watercolours. Three of the paintings were done in the heat of the summer on board my boat in Greece and one in the middle of winter on a frozen beach in Sweden.
This is my fourth film produced for Pulsar Productions in Australia. They source the best art instruction DVDs and films from all over the world and it is a great honour to work with them. The full length video can be bought to watch online and download via Vimeo as VOD ( video on Demand) or as a DVD disc.

The trailer for the film can be seen here:
Sailing Through Watercolours
The cover for the DVD which is produced in both PAL and NTSC versions