The Papageno Diaries!

Finding Balance and Happiness on Papageno

We're nearly at our target to save Papageno!

Today is a sweaty day. Laura and I are trying our best to make arrangements for everything that is functioning on Papageno.

We have to leave the Marina on the 5th of November. I also need to compile a list of what needs to be done on Papageno to the workshop who is doing our rig. They pretty much fix everything and I like the idea of keeping things simple and getting everything done under one roof with people I trust.

My list of to-do’s are as follows.

  • Masts, rigging.
  • Wiring throughout with lights in aft cabin, galley, bathroom and back cabin.
  • Safety rail replaced portside.

These are the things that I can’t do myself. I want a professional to do them so I don’t have to worry. The other things such as:

  • Fix waterpump
  • Fit automatic bilge pump
  • Repaint kitchen
  • Fix refrigerator
  • Clean and repaint all bilges
  • Repaint interior
  • Sand/Repaint wood inside
  • Fit wind turbine
  • Repaint floors
  • Have mattresses, bedding and outside cushions arranged
  • (probably about a million other things to do).

However, these can wait until I get back in January to start repairs. I’m not sure whether the major work will start while I am here or when I’m away. I’m trying to get the workshop to start work on Papageno immediately, but the 12th still stands. I’m hoping I’ll be able to see her mast completion by the day I fly back home on the 15th.

When we get kicked out of the marina on the 5th, we have to move to the boat yard around the corner. It’s 375 euros a month. There she will be safe and sound and I’m hoping one of the mechanics will live on her from the workshop (he’s looking for a place apparently) in exchange for low rent and fixing a few things around Papageno. My worry is getting Papageno to a standard where someone can comfortably live on her. That, and hoping someone will actually want to live on her. It would cover some of the yard fees for me and would be nice to know that someone is keeping an eye on her.

It sounds like a small thing today, but I’m proud of myself. I fixed the shower bilge pump and started trusting myself a bit more. Turns out I just had to dismantle it and clean out all the muck- but bloody hell, I’m proud of myself! Now I just have to stop avoiding other jobs like the automatic bilge pump.

“It’s very easy,” everyone keeps telling me.

I’m going to have to get over this fear, I think!

These are just some of the simple jobs that I will be doing. There will be more expected of me. And I want to be competent. The waterpump stopped working today. Laura and I checked the connections in the kitchen and opened the engine room to check them there. There was nothing obviously wrong with anything.

As I was hanging over the side, touching the wires, I realised that I had no idea what I was looking for.

Edouard would know what he was doing, a voice said in my head.

But he’s not here anymore, another voice replied. You need to know how to do it.

It started working again 30minutes later, so Laura and I decided to leave it to the will of the Gods, praying that maybe some of my wiggling, disconnecting and reconnecting the connections had done some good.

(I doubt it.)

I’ve been very nervous about moving the boat to the boat yard. It’s only a 20 minute journey, but I’m nervous still to do it alone. Laura will be with her mother exploring Martinique and I’m hoping that I will get my confidence back once I achieve it. I just need to overcome this fear.

However, each day has been a positive one. Laura and I have been sleeping very well and wake up to a beautiful breakfast of eggs and toast. We’ve been through a lot together and I can’t wait for us to be back in our home town to enjoy the delights of cold weather, jumpers, woolly socks and gravy soaked dinners.

We’re content.

It’s a far cry from how things were before. When Edouard had left and I didn’t know whether he was returning- I was a mess. Now I know what is what and that I am the master of my own path, I’ve felt a lot happier. When our Kickstarter was taken down, I felt so numb to everything. The warmth, hope and achievement had vanished. What else could go wrong?

But then we turned a corner.

I’ve started to focus on the future, and hope has begun to grow inside once more. I really want to share Papageno with everyone so I’m really happy to have people enjoy their holidays on her whilst I’m back in England studying more courses and earning extra funds for her continued improvement throughout 2019. I’m still happy with my two months on and four months off arrangement to move her back to Europe. The four months off gives me time to earn money in the UK for her, edit videos and to pursue the British historical adventure dream that I’ve had for a long time- sharing our expllorations with you all of course. Castles and cream teas- I’m coming for ya! And Leela? Wait until I show her those endless green hills and trees of Blighty!

Whilst I’m at home for those breaks, I want people to share in Papageno, to create memories on her with their loved ones like we have so far. And then when I return for the two months on, I hope to be experienced enough to lead the crew and learn from my fellow sailors and peers.

Like I’ve said before- the most important thing to me is balance, confidence and education. To keep this balance, the Lizbef Diaries are going to be a varied combination of land and sea next year whilst I learn how to be a good Captain to my crew, make Papageno a safe boat, and also be able have my heartfelt adventures in Britain with Leela.

Welcoming people on Papageno for a holiday is not just yet however.

Right now, Laura and I are used to her little quirks- sometimes you have to hit this to make it work, twist that a certain way for this to start, only using water after flicking a switch, using a coolbox instead of a fridge and using a fender for a pillow in the cockpit.

We are aware it may not be for everyone.

Laura and I dream and fantasise when Papageno is finally comfortable. We talk about when the bathroom is tiled, when we have a new shower head, when we can have new sheets on the beds, new mattresses instead on sleeping on the 50 year old foaming and thin camping bed. We fantasise about making her liveable, beautiful and functional. When the walls are painted. Should we paint the wood or not? What tiles for the bathroom do we want? How should we paint the floor?

But those things are luxuries right now. The priority of course is the masts and rigging. Everything else can fall into place afterwards.

The entire structure is going to change when her masts and rig is up.

I think about it each time I walk down the dock towards her, seeing her so small looking next to the other boats.

“Wait till I have my masts!” she seems to shout in protest.

Shakespeare’s line comes to mind.

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Too right, Will.

I’ve been trying my best to stay focused, still achieving a task each day. I didn’t realise how much I wanted this until everything fell apart. Until we started to build everything back together. I still feel like everything is a bit up and down, but I haven’t cried in a long time, so that must be a bonus, right?

Edouard and I still talk together. He’s very happy with his life in Marseille. I’m glad for him. And whereas I feel like the waters surroundings me are story and murky at times, I’m glad that he has found steady ground.

I’m looking forward to finding that when I return to England, two weeks today. I need it so desperately, for everything to be still for a while. So, I can start making plans and see Papageno in a clearer light. Then I can enjoy Christmas and return in January to get stuck back in.

I really didn’t see my journey turning this way. I didn’t see myself walking this path solo. And I didn’t foresee that I would have so much support when everything started to crack.

But here it is. And here I am.

We are now at £4205. £2795 away from our target. My sister and I have been organising Papageno’s shop to send out the rewards to everyone who has taken part so far. Papageno’s second chance is taking affect and we’re so close.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone from my heart. I’m looking forward to you all getting your rewards and I just want to hug each and every one of you. Laura and I will be arranging a Papageno meet up in December, so at east I’ll be able to hug some of you!

Sending you all of our love, hugs and high fives as always.

Find “SAVE PAPAGENO” here!

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  1. It sounds like you’re back on track – mentally, emotionally, physically. Exciting times ahead, and there’s nothing more fun than daydreaming about how the boat will be – except when it is 🙂 Kudos on the shower bilge pump fix!
    The fears are totally understandable – but when you overcome each one you’re going to feel unstoppable.

  2. If you get that wish list on Amazon set up, I’m sure some of us could directly purchase and send you things like sheets, mattresses, boat workings to make things a bit more comfortable while your learning.

    I would LOVE to see you sailing Papageno into a port in England some day!

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