Thursday, January 12, 2012

Returning to the Land of Not Enough Stuff

2012 01 12
London, ON

"Every time I come to Ontario I make sure there is room in my suitcase"

These words from my daughter Erin who lives close to the Naval base in Esquimault BC promulgate the beginning of an unfortunate situation for the crew of Meredith.

Not only do we lack the room to carry everything we need back to Europe but we are unsure how to smuggle 8 litres of maple syrup and 4 kilos of peanut butter into Spain.

It's only two voices in the choir, I know, but Spain does not have Peanut Butter and does not have Maple syrup.  What else does Spain not have? I am not even going to start on the mass of computerware that just does not exist in the EU (as in Tigerdirect real) :
  • Goldsource 3000 watt transformer/voltage converter to transform EU 220 volt shore power to 120 volt power usable on our very north american sailboat.  It will also isolate the ground wire and this makes us very happy.  We tried using a German made battery charger to keep our 12 volt batteries topped up but it was a half measure and half measures rarely work.  The transformers available in the EU cost upwards of €400 plus VAT of 18% in Spain (24% in Portugal scheduled to go up). In USA price was $104.
  • Logitech USB microphone so I can practice my Spanish in the Rosetta program. In Spain the mike was €40.  In Canada $18.
  • Toshiba Thrive and Blackberry Playbook with an Otterbox.  A separate blog will be forthcoming on the astonishing change in onbaord computing in the last 6 months.
  • Skullcandy earbuds for $10 CDN, not available in EU
  • new CISCO router for sharing wireless.  $15 CDN at Tigerdirect, no idea how dear in EU
  • Fuji camera to replace the old Olympus now lying at the bottom of the Atlantic in Almerimar 
  • GoPro Xtreme videocam with headband and assorted mounts for various boat mounting options.  $100 US in North American, selling for just over €200 in the EU. Plus VAT of course.
  • 2 tubs of peanut butter, one for a friend
  • 8 litres of maple syrup
  • two new fittings for the staysail track.  Custom made for us by Garhauer for $20 each.  The marine metal specialist in Almerimar told us it was impossible and could not be done.  Of course the chandler in Almerimar told us that Cetol had been banned and was not being made any longer.  He then told us we could buy it at the shipyard only 200 feet away.
So we leave home with a heavy heart and a heavier bag.

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