Use only what you need (2)- cooking

Last blog we promised to show you that we only use the energy we need. First, we show the use of our equipment in the galley, the ship’s kitchen.

Here, Inge opens the microwave. On top the induction cooker, to her right is the water cooker and the bread baking machine, to her left in the corner the lit of the fridge/freezer. We will cover it all here.

Heating water

Before Ya, we always used a kettle and a gas stove to heat the water for our coffee and tea. The heat of the flame and fumes go around the kettle and… are still hot over the kettle. That heat is all lost. 

Now we use a water heater, a cooker. Let us have a look:

  • If you poor water in, you see a level meter. So, you only cook the water you need.
  • The heating element is built in the bottom, not at the side.This way it gives all the heat to the water to be cooked. So, you only use the energy you need.
  • The body of the heater and the lid are double skinned: insulation. The heating process does not lose heat to the outside.
  • It cooks fast, so there is hardly time to ‘leak’ heat. 
A water cooker with a level meter (not shown), the heating element inside, and complety double skinned. It saves you 80% of energy compared to a kettle on a gas stove.

Compared to the kettle on the gas stove, we save about 80% of the energy. While we only use what we need with the electric heater, most of the energy created by the gas combustion, ends up in the form of steam. You cannot use it to heat up your room, because the steam consist of water damp and CO2. So, this means you must ventilate your room well, for your own health and to keep your room free of moisture. 

Cooking with induction and hay box 

The induction cooker is high tech. The induction technique gives energy through a (safety) glass to the steel bottom of the pan, and then that pan bottom gets hot. That place is exactly the place where you need the heat. The induction cooker saves you about 50 to 55% of the heat if you compare it with cooking on gas stoves or the old-fashioned electric heating stoves.

Our induction cooker can heat two pans, but that is plenty because of the combination with the hay box.

But we can do better. We go from high to low tech. In Grandma’s time, before we had the overflow of fossil fuels, everybody was careful with the fuels, because they were expensive. So, Grandma cooked her rice and vegetables in a pan, and the moment it was hot, she took it from the fire and the pan went straight in the ‘hay box’ 

The hay box was a box with hay. It insulates. It keeps the heat in the pan. The rice or vegetables were cooked slowly. Most food is cooked in 1/3 extra time compared to the time it takes when you cook it on a stove. If you start cooking the things that need most time, you don’t lose any time. 

On a moving ship it has the extra advantage that the hot pan stays in a safe place.

Our hay box is a simple drawer with PIR insulation. You use the heat of the pan’s content to get it cooked. It saves us 30% on energy. 

We modernized it a bit. We took PIR foam, put it in a drawer, and with the pan inside we cover it with a ‘Hooimadam’, a cotton cover filled with good old-fashioned wool. This modern ‘hay box’ saves us energy again. We save another 30%. 

And finally, as we showed you some blogs ago, we use a pressure cooker to speed cooking up just a bit more, and save even more time and energy on cooking.

So, when we cook with the induction cooker, pressure cooker and hay box we can easily use 20% of the energy we used in the old, fossil days. That’s a reduction of, indeed: 80%.

How much do you use at home?

Heating up in the micro wave

About 70% of the electricity is converted to little radio waves. These radio waves make water molecules move. By moving and colliding, there is friction, and friction makes heat. 

It means that the water in the food gets hot. Water is generally the main part, so your food gets hot ‘from the inside’. 

This is ideal to heat up food. Because you don’t have to heat up a pan first. And, when mixing the hot and cold food in a pan, the lid is off, so much of the heat flies away.
Instead, the microwave uses 70% of the electricity input to really heat up your food. That is a loss of only 30%. And the job is done quickly.

The microwave has an efficiency of 70%, but this complete 70% is all used to heat up your food. This is much more efficient than heating up in pan.

Bread baking machine instead of an oven

For small, private use, the oven is a real energy consumer. But we like fresh baked bread. That is why we use a bread baking machine. 

The old-fashioned way with kneading the dough, etcetera, costs a lot of work and energy. Not with the bread baking machine. You simply put the water, flour, salt, yeast et cetera in the pot, push some buttons and off the machine goes.
The machine itself is closed, double skinned, is economic on the heat, so, it uses only what it needs to make the bread.

We tried to measure the difference in energy use between oven and bread baking machine and even though we could not pin it down to exact numbers it saves about 30 to 50%.

The fridge and the freezer

If you only want to use what you need when cooling (and heating), only 3 things are important:

  • Insulation
  • Insulation
  • Insulation

So that is what we did. Our refrigerator is surrounded by a 15 centimetre pack of PIR foam. The bottom has more than 20 cm of PIR insulation, and the lit, where the cold exchange is less, only 8. Now the cold stays en and we only use a tiny bit of energy. So little, that we even don’t notice it in our energy household.
In the tropics and subtropics, the 50 Watt equipment runs on 3 to 4 times an hour for 6 minutes. For the 35 litre fridge we note about 2-4 degrees Celsius, and for the 25 litre freezer we sometimes hit the 11 degrees. 

Please don’t believe designers automatically design a good fridge or freezer for you. They ‘economize’ on the insulation, to ‘give’ you more space inside. So, then you need a really powerful cooling device. The designers may well design this thing right under your refrigerator. So, the heat exchanger under it heats up your fridge again. To get all this idiotic power design effective, the cooling equipment has to be extremely powerful: about 4 or 5 times stronger than what we need for our complete fridge and freezer.

Sorry to tell you, but on the market, we only found bad ‘energy-guzzling’ refrigerators and freezers. On sailboats you see that some skippers, aware of their limited energy and batteries, have become the slave of their own badly designed fridges. They run the engine 2 times a day to make electricity. Or they buy an enormous surface of solar panels, to compensate for the loss of energy by the fridge. Energy wise, it is like filling up a colander with water. 

This is why some yachties simply stopped using fridges. A pity! We love cold yoghurt, a cool beer, and tapas. So, we cool only what we need.

Our fridge and our freezer box (just visible) are an arm’s length deep. In contrairy to the fridges and freezers of all yachts we know, ours is just a tiny consumer. The cause: our fridge and freezer box is packed by a thick (about 15 cm) layer of PIR foam.

The extra comfort of using only what you need.

Our galley, our kitchen, is widely appreciated for its comfort. Making tea water is done 3 times quicker than usual. The induction cooker is easy to use and safe. The microwave is convenient for heating food quickly, and the bread baking machine is a joy.

We have no gas, so no moisture getting into your upholstery. It brings comfort. 

We have no danger of too much fumes in a small space. We have no gas, so no risk on explosion or fire. So, this is safer. 

And by the way, we have no costs for the gas, and all equipment is cheaper or equally expensive as gas equipment. We did need to make a first investment in an inverter, that converts our battery power to the 230Volt that all the equipment needs. If you count the costs of the gas bottles you will use for many years, you will probably find a break even point.

And on top of being pleasant, more comfortable, safer and cheaper, it is better. It is the ethical thing. This way, we can live now without compromising the future of our children, of all next generations.Like most people, we like to use things.
But not more. We only want to use what we need.

You might also enjoy:

https://www.noonsite.com/report/insights-how-to-save-energy-when-cooking-onboard/

Three ways to sail and live fossil free for ever

We live and sail a rather comfortable and luxury life. But we live fossil free. But? No; it is And, not But. We only take care for three things and we advise you to put them into practice.

Three ways to achieve a fossil free life

First: Use only what you need.  That makes sense, doesn’t it? Second: Use only what you need.  Starts to sound familiar?

On ‘Ya’ we use so little, that we generate the energy we need. By solar, wind and hydro generation. (Photo: www.saltycolours.com)

Now guess what the third thing would be? Exactly. Use only what you need. You can stop reading now and bring it in practice. Because from here we only give examples on how we live fossil free, having adapted these three rules, or this attitude.  Or you can read more if you want to have a glance.

At a glance

Here under a glance of what we will show you in the next series of articles:

  • Cooking. In the galley we cook with 20 to 30% of the energy compared to the fossil way of cooking. So, we save 70-80%. And we still enjoy la belle cuisine.
  • Transport. When sailing our sailing yacht ‘Ya’ we save about 80% of the energy compared to other sailing yachts. (and about 99% compared to a motor yacht).
  • Heating. When in a mild winter, like here on the Guadiana when it occasionally gets below freezing temperature, the yacht does not need a heater or stove. 
  • DIY Energy generation. Because we use so little energy, we provide for it by ourselves (solar, wind, hydro). 

The benefits of using only what you need

First: we want to halt the deterioration of the Earth where next generations will live on. That is our main reason.
Using only what you need, brings other benefits. The fossil free life brings more comfort, with less noise, moist, fumes (toxic or not) and hazardous risks. And, autarkic life on energy gives us the freedom to stay at the most beautiful off-grid spots without polluting them.

You keep money in your pocket, because you spend less on (fossil) energy. It saves lots of tax money too. Tax money is now going to subsidizing fossil fuels, wind turbine parks and solar fields. If you don’t need to build those, you can spend it on other preventive measures.

All this motivates you to check the energy meter, to get energy awareness. We find this fun to do and we notice our guests find it fun as well. It feels better in the ethical way, especially towards your next generations. Realize, more and more children now are not primarily interested in inheriting money, but in having a good life on ‘Planet A’ (because there is no ‘Planet B’).

If we use only what we need on a large scale, the solar fields we think we have to build now, can be much smaller. Perhaps that surface would even fit on roofs of houses and buildings. This would mean more space for nature and less money to spend.

Three constraints in using only what you need

To start with the first constraint: man is a creature of habit. It is your attitude not to change things. So, you have to be convinced yourself. You must want to change your lifestyle in the best way you see fit, and preferably: like it. And last but not least, you must turn this new way of life into a habit.

Second constraint: consuming less means that you are a less interesting customer for many things. The voices telling you to consume more are presently much louder than the voices telling you to consume less, or differently. This means: don’t count on the market to tell you what to do, count on your own common sense. You have to listen carefully to your inner voice and buy, take and use only what you need.

Finally, thinking the government will help us out is a constraint. Using only what you need is a preventive action, and governments are usually not really good at prevention. When there is a problem, they tend to build things, preferably big things. They take the current energy consumption, although ex-treme-ly high now, as a given fact. They call it ‘Energy Demand’ and try to replace all fossil fuel use by generating an equal amount of fossil free energy. Mainly by subsidizing huge wind turbines, enormous solar fields, and then some more, on an ever larger scale. Although these things cost an awful lot of (tax) money, they seem worth it because you can see it in the paper, on TV.

Also, the media are less interested because you cannot see prevention of an issue. Prevention solves issues inherently, and that looks almost boring. Did you ever see a TV show or paper telling about a problem that has not existed? A fire that did not occur?

Only when every solution failed and the crisis is really deep, governments will finally take preventive action and the media will report on it.

If we only use what we need on a large scale, we would only need a fraction of the wind turbines we think we have to build now. This saves sea, it saves lost whales and other species sensitive for the low sounds the turbines make.

Let’s try to prevent that. Next week we tell how we use only the energy we need for cooking.

You might also like:

https://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Your-Energy-Consumption

Ya’s fossil free dinghy

Inge explains and shows Ya’s fossilfree dinghy

Friends came over to visit us. To reach shore, we had to row against the strong current in river Guadiana. Not an easy task, even with our extended oars. These experienced rowers advised us to start using an electric engine. As a matter of fact, they had one they did not use. So they sent it over.

And now we enjoy the luxury of a powered dinghy. A dinghy that puts a smile upon faces everywhere we go, because it moves magically silently. Even the guy who operates the dinghy gas station in Faro gave us a thumbs up.

Who is to blame for the CO2 emissions? You?

Many people say that the cause of the climate change is the overpopulation.  It looks like it, but is it? Other say simply: “It is China, by far the biggest polluter!” Or the USA, with the highest CO2 emissions per inhabitant?

Or could it perhaps be us? Like: you and me?

Let’s try to figure this out.

This picture is from an intelligent and creative interactive animation showing which countries of the world get bigger per variable you choose. (Here: consumption per inhabitant). You can play with it on https://www.carbonmap.org/

China is the biggest polluter

China has become the workshop of the world. In 3 decades the energy use for all the upcoming industries has risen exponentially – and so have the CO2 emissions. Did you know that until 2016 they built one coal power plant each week!

Now, China’s CO2 emissions have grown to over 10 billion ton (10.000.000.000.00 kg) per year, and this leaves the USA on a second place with about half of that.

China emits about 1/3 of the world’s CO2 emissions; USA for 1/6. This is an image from a little animation that shows the CO2 emissions per country from the year 1755. Click here: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-co2-emissions-per-country?

Now we only discuss CO2, but if we take all greenhouse gases, then China and USA share the first place, since USA is emitting a lot of the heavy ones, such as Methane.

Also, it is perhaps fairer to check per inhabitant. Because one should not point a finger to a country’s pollution simply because it has more people.

The wealthiest are the big polluters…

Let us check the statistics on CO2 per inhabitant. The average inhabitant of North America, Arabia and Australia is by far the biggest CO2 polluter with over 16 ton CO2 per year. And the average Chinese is only a small CO2 emittor with 7 ton/year. We leave little states like Mongolia and Kazachstan out of the equasion.

The average North American, Australian and Arabian is a triple A CO2 pollutor with over 16 ton/year. The Chinese do only a small 7 ton. See: https://ourworldindata.org/per-capita-co2 for more stats.

There is one thing catching the eye on these A-states: they have fossil fuels, like gas and oil in their soil. Therefore, the gas and oil is accessible and relatively cheap. The inhabitants of these states also have a high average income.

This easy availability of fossil fuel and these high standards of living create a high carbon footprint. And, it is even higher than you think, if you consider the next:

Importing goods and outsourcing CO2 emissions

In the last decades the wealthier states like USA, Australia and also Europe sized down or even shut down many industries. Now China, with lower wages, has these industries and exports the to wealthier countries where these products are consumed.

So the people with high living standards, buying also stuff from low wage countries like China (and India, Pakistan, et cetera) also create extra CO2 emissions in these states.

This 400 meter mega container ship can take 12000 containers and brings them to the wealthier states like North America, Europe and Australia. About the smoke: did they forget the ‘N’ before its name?

The inhabitant with a high living standard is the big CO2 emitter

We have to conclude that it is the wealthy inhabitant of the USA, Europe, Australia and Arabia who is the most responsible for the creation of  CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. These people consume goods in big quantity. Most of the consumption leads to direct emissions, but also a big part of it is indirect, through the industries in low wage countries where they get most of their goods from.

Now, could it perhaps be that you live in the USA, Europe or Australia? And do you have a moderate or high income, so you can live on the ‘normal’ high standard? With a house with a room for everyone, with heating and water, a car before it, and free weekends and vacations to go out and consume more?

In that case, you live like we can live. We have high standards of living, so we thought, why not take care for the high issues that are at stake? We can still avoid the worst-case-climate-change-scenarios for our next generation, if we consume less. Or perhaps better expressed: We can consume better, with more conciousnes. Not endlessly eating chips while binge watching on a couch, feeling unsatisfied, but more like enjoying a good, simple meal, cooked with love and care.

A solution on the Ya

What we do at Ya is simple and it works. We can easily and comfortably live and sail fossil free, by doing three things:

  1. We use only what we need
  2. We use only what we need
  3. We use only what we need

So why don’t you do the same? It is a way, a trick, a simple attitude, and it works this way, starting with Refuse:

Refuse is the difficult one, but the Rethink is the fun part.
Reduce is where the work begins, Reuse is often repair and remarket.
Recycle is a lot of work and costs, but it prevents the real problem, which is the Responsibly Containment work.
You can find a fairytale on it here.

Now you.

Sources:

https://www.carbonmap.org/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/21/countries-responsible-climate-change https://ourworldindata.org

https://ourworldindata.org

Cool down without heating the Earth

Air conditioning is so… oldfashioned! (source picture: Guardian, the airconditioning trap)

Did you know that air conditioners and fridges create lots of greenhouse gases and also consume lots of energy? Drawdown ranks the cooling (mainly airco) as no. 1 in their list of over 100 projects having impact on stopping climate change.

Source: Drawdown (2017)

The market of cooling yourself down

In the United States the amount of electricity used to keep buildings cool is equal to what the whole continent of Africa uses, for everything. The Chinese offices using air cooling grew in 1 decade from 7 to 95%. They will beat the USA. (source: Drawdown, 2017)

Source: Drawdown (2017)
A small airco unit cooling a single room consumes more power than four fridges A central unit cooling an average house uses more power than 15 fridges (source: Guardian, costs of cooling)

“Last year in Beijing, during a heatwave, 50% of the power capacity was going to air conditioning,” says John Dulac, of the International Energy Agency (IEA). “These are ‘oh shit’ moments.”

There are just over 1 billion single-room air conditioning units in the world right now – about one for every seven people on earth. By 2050 there are likely to be more than 4.5 billion, making them as widespread as the mobile phone is today. 

The scale of the impact to climate change

The International Energy Agency projects that as the rest of the world reaches similar levels, air conditioning will use about 13 percent of all electricity worldwide. It will also produce 2 billion tons of CO2 a year. This is about the same amount as India, the world’s third-largest polluter, emits today. 

The HFCs (HydroFluorCarbons), the gas in the ‘cooling fluid’ of the cooling units, worsen the problem. According to the IEA, these emissions will increase to 7-19 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if nothing is done to prevent this.(source: rolling stone, see below).

The scale of the impact to green house and global warming is getting immense.

The alternatives

Best is to rethink. First: to not use air conditioners. There are good alternatives. But in specific situations, you simply need good air conditioning. Systems based on the evaporation of water seem to be best. For example, Dutch Climate Systems makes “Icecube” which replaces airco units with radical energy savings and without harmful refrigerants.

Dutch ‘Icecube’ is a good alternative for the airco unit, creates zero HFCs and uses little energy.

The better alternatives

For cities the most low-tech solution is planting more trees. Architects rediscover nature and start designing with shade. They use sunlight, without direct sunlight that would heat a room. Also, they use natural windflows and use better building materials. Some find inspiration in termite mounds, beehives, and other things that exist in the wild. 

Inspiring example of a sustainable building, including natural heating and cooling: the Energy Academy Europe in Groningen (Netherlands)

The best alternatives on Ya

Ya is fully insulated and this saves us an airco, even in the tropics. 

If it is really hot, we splash water over our deck and over the solar panels to keep them cool. We invent more shaded places, have a swim. 

And.. we use fans.

Old fashioned? Yes! Fans. Simple and effective!

Did you know that electric fans reduce demand for electricity by 30 times compared with traditional AC units? “if people under 65] were to switch from air conditioning to fan (…) this would yield a 59 percent reduction in global HFK emissions and a 9 percent reduction in global CO2 emissions.” (source Rolling Stone). Imagine the reduction can be even more if you use the super- efficient computer fans we use on Ya!

Switching on the fan pays out double: it saves the planet for your kids, and it is cool

Sources, and for further reading/watching

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2021/07/24/air-conditioning-major-contributor-to-climate-change.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/29/the-air-conditioning-trap-how-cold-air-is-heating-the-world

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/25/air-conditioning-climate-crisis-global-heating

https://www.iea.org/news/ministers-ceos-and-other-high-level-leaders-stress-vital-role-of-energy-efficiency-in-reaching-climate-goals

https://campus.groningen.nl/en/onderzoek/topinstituten-proeftuinen/energy-academy-europe

https://energyacademy.org

After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort (Eric Dean Wilson, 2021)

Triple gains for climate on board of Ya

Last Monday the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued their annual report. 

The consequences of the climate change are more serious than earlier expected. The tone has changed from ‘gently warning’ to alarming.

  • The Earth’s temperature has already risen 1.1 degree Celsius.
  • The consequences are here and already noticeable. We have more extremes: heavy rainfalls, long periods of drought and massive forest fires.
  • If we don’t act in the next 9 years, we are going to get some serious problems (because of the ‘tipping points’).

But there is an up-side. We, you and me, can still make the difference for our children. We can reach ‘drawdown’. But we have to do it now. How? We think we set a good example at ‘Ya’. We use only what we need. And because we think really carefully about how much energy we need, we use less. A staggering 70-80% less. And because of this, we can live fossil free. 

Energy production causes one fourth of the greenhouse gasses in the world, making it the biggest polluter. So, if you reduce your energy consumption you really help solving the problem. And if you also abandon the fossil fuels, you double your gain. Or actually: triple. Because you also gain in quality of life.

How does this work? Our top 3.

1: Heating

Heat is the one of the best ‘tell-tales’ for energy consumption. What is hot in your house or boat? The stove. Obviously, this is where you can make a major difference. So, we cook our food on an induction cooker. We cook our food until it is really hot and then we turn off the heat. The pan goes into a ‘hay box’, a simple drawer with insulation. 

The pan goes into a ‘hay box’, a simple drawer with insulation. 

The food cooks in about 2 to 3 times the normal cooking time, but without using any energy. In addition, we use a small pressure cooker that greatly reduces cooking time. It enables us to cook dried beans and stews in 25% of the time that we previously needed.

raw pumpkin in the pressure cooker
pumpkin after 10 minutes high pressure cooking. We put it in the haybox so it would be really tender for the soup
and after half an hour, we had a delicious pumpkin soup

You can start using these methods on any stove. It saves 70- 80% of the energy. Easier, safer, healthier and tastier.

2: Cooling

Cooling requires lots of energy. In most boats, the refrigerator has to work hard and is a constant source of trouble. If it is not broken, it uses a lot of energy. On board of Ya it can also break down, but the chance is smaller. Because it is not working overtime. The compressor, the ‘cooling machine’, is very small. It does not use much energy. All of this because it is completely insulated with a thick layer of top quality PIR-foam. This way, it can even run a freezer. No generator needed for cold drinks. Cool.

Vinho verde is best served chilled. As you see, we can enjoy cool drinks even during a heat wave.

3: Speed

Speed is a major energy eater. We motor only 20 or 30 percent slower than most yachts, but that reduces the energy consumption with about 50%. The physical law: speed equals the square of the resistance.

As you can see in your car, energy consumption goes up exponentially when you pass a certain level. The same goes for our electric engines. If we motor slowly (say 2 knots) we can do it for 2 days. If we motor full speed (say 6 knots), we use up our entire battery bank within 5 hours. Just like most people like to travel in a car, we like to travel in our boat. Traveling can be relaxing. So, we plan carefully. We always check the weather forecasts, while you could check the delays of traffic jams for a relaxed travel. And leave in time. It saves you money and energy. You could try an electric car, like we have electric engines in the boat.

Electric engines are small, but like all engines, they consume considerably more when you make more speed. It is physical law.

Enjoy the relaxed and silent ride. Oh, and we would almost forget. If we don’t need to motor because we have enough wind, we use this speed to generate energy. Silently and efficiently. You could experience the same if you could walk or bike instead of taking the car. This gives a boost to your energy level.

So, changing to a sustainable lifestyle is not only good and necessary for the climate, but it also improves the quality of life.

Renewable energy on Rio Guadiana: hydropower

Sailing to Pomarao on Rio Guadiana, we passed a huge hydropower dam on the Rio Chanca. 

Hydropower provides 13 to 18% of Portugal’s renewable energy. Wow.

We also passed this hydropower dam on our way to Pulo do Lobo.  

Barragem do Chanca, Pomarao
The Location Barragem da Chanca near Pomarao on satellite (red line indicating the border between Spain and Portugal)
Barragem da Chanca on satellite, showing the wider area (red marker indicating the dam).

The Alqueva Dam was completed in 2002. The dam creates a large reservoir from which the water runs throughout the region. Its’ strategic water reserve has sufficient capacity to last at least three successive years of drought. Also, it enabled the introduction of 120,000 hectares (300,000 acres) of new irrigated crops in the Alentejo region. Finally, it was also aimed at improving the employment situation in the region (for example in tourism).

The biggest hydropower dam in the Guadiana itself is the Alqueva Dam,, a 518.4-megawatt power station. It is located some 135 km further north of Pomarao

The Alqueva Dam is the largest dam and artificial lake (250 square kilometres) in Western Europe.[2] Unfortunately, the dam also caused side effects, such as the loss of prehistoric engravings and habitat of rare and endangered species including eagleskiteswild boars, and the Iberian lynx. A Roman fort was submerged.[4] Also there are doubts on the efficiency of the irrigation project, like we saw at rio Mondego

The dams greatly contribute to Portugal’s renewable energy sources (between 13 and 28%). Renewables account for 72 percent of Portugal’s consumption in the first 5 months of 2021. Thanks to these efforts, Portugal drastically brought down the number of coal fueled power stations and greenhouse-emissions.

Work on your own paradise

We learnt how you can work on your paradise, right here and now. It started with a knock on the hull of our boat. “Hi guys, would you like some fresh vegetables?” Off course we do! Sailors quickly learn how to really appreciate fresh food.

 You would expect the man on the boat with the straw hat and his dog offered us his lovely vegetables on a tropical island. But it is Rio Guadiana, ‘el Paraiso natural’.

Chris once was driving instructor. Now a fellow sailor. For 20 years he has sailed around the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. He has found his paradise here. He grows his own vegetables. When he has more than he can eat, he prepares it for wintertime. For example, he dries some of his vegetables. And, if there is more than he can handle, he exchanges them for ‘non-vegetables’, for example pasta, oil or vinegar.

We exchanged Chris’s cherry tomatoes, courgette and ‘pepino’ for rice and lentils.

We wish we could share this bowl of delicious cherry-tomatoes with you. But we can share some of his wisdom. For example: “Since I once had no money, I hardly use or need it anymore.” “Working on the land is hard, but it is so rewarding”. Our favourite: “Search your piece of paradise and work on it, every day.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Fado and Flamenco

The most sustainable living is to sail globally and to act, buy, and enjoy locally.
We enjoy both the village Alcoutim on the Portugese border of the Guadiana river, as well as Sanlucar de Guadiana on the Spanish side.
Now the two sister villages prepared a special night of Fado and Flamenco.

Cuadro Flamenco Pura Esencia in Alcoutim on July 10th, 2021. Superb!

Fado singer Marta Alves and also the flamenco show with Cuadro Flamenco Pura Esencia offered high class performances. If you liked the Flamenco, also check out Marta’s fado  here. Travel globally, enjoy locally!