SeaBelow auf der Hanseboot 2015 in Hamburg

Cockpit vollIch möchte alle Leserinnen und Leser zu meinen Vorträgen auf der Hanseboot 2015 in Hamburg einladen, die von Samstag, dem 31. Oktober bis Sonntag, dem 8. November 2015 in den Hamburger Messehallen sattfindet.

Dort werde ich über meine Erlebnisse während meiner Atlantiküberquerung berichten, eine Crewbörse veranstalten, etwas über die Kosten eines solchen Segeltörns erzählen und als Interviewgast darüber berichten, wie man sich auf so eine Reise vorbereitet.

Real-Life Crewbörse für LangfahrtseglerInnen

Etwas ganz besonderes gibt es am Sonntag Abend, den 1.11. um 17:00 auf dem Forum „Leben an Bord“ in der Halle B1 im Obergeschoss. Dort werde ich über meine Erfahrungen mit der Crewsuche auf diesem Langfahrttörn berichten mit einer anschließenden Crewbörse in Form eines zwanglosen Come-togethers.
Die Idee dabei ist es, daß sich LangfahrtseglerInnen und MitseglerInnen bei Gesprächen kennenlernen und wenn sich gegenseitige Sympathien erkennen lassen, darüber reden, ob man eventuell miteinander Segeln gehen möchte.

Die Langfahrtseglercrewbörse wird während der ganzen Messe auf dem Stand D 300 / D302 im Obergeschoss der Halle B1, gegenüber dem Forums „Leben an Bord“, weiterlaufen. Dort werden Pinwände sein, auf denen LangfahrtseglerInnen und MitseglerInnen auf Karten angeben können, ob sie bei einem Langfahrtsegler mitsegeln wollen oder ob ein Langfahrtsegler Mitsegler sucht um sich dann auf dem Stand verabreden zu können.

Das Gesamtprogramm:

Hier noch einmal alle meine Vorträge in zeitlicher Reihenfolge:

Sa. 31.10.          Vorbereitung, Routenplanung, Klimanavigation
bis So. 8.11.       Robert Eichler & Jan Prahm, Yachtschule Eichler
12:30 -13:00

So, 1.11.             Langfahrtsegler trifft Mitsegler – Erfahrungsbericht zur
17:00 -18:00       Crewsuche mit anschließender Crewbörse

Sa 31.10             Man muß kein Millionär sein – Finanzierung einer
Sa. 7.11.             Atlantiküberquerung, Jan Prahm
So 8.11.
17:30 -18:00

Mo. 2.11. –         Erlebnisbericht: Kulturelle Begegnungen auf dem Atlantik
Fr. 6.11.
11:30 – 12:00

Alle Vorträge finden in der Halle B1 im Obergeschoss auf der Bühne „Leben an Bord“ statt.

 

 

Fluchtursachen bekämpfen – CO2-Kompensation über Atmosfair

Die Organisation Atmosfair bietet die Kompensation von CO2-Emissionen an. Das Prinzip ist einfach: CO2-Emissionen, die z.B. durch eine Flugreise verursacht werden, können rechnerisch dadurch kompensiert werden, dass irgendwo anders auf der Welt jemand anderes in die Lage versetzt wird, im gleichen Umfang CO2 einzusparen. Atmosfair tut dies, indem in Entwicklunsländern Energiesparmaßnahmen durchgeführt werden. Konkret passiert das zur Zeit dadurch, daß in Kenia einfache Biogasanlagen mit örtlich vorhandenen Materialien gebaut werden. Dadurch wird in mindestens zweifacher Weise das Klima geschont: (Bio-)Gas ist sparsamer als eine Holzfeuer und die lokalen Wälder werden geschont und können weiter CO2 aus der Atmosphäre binden.

Atmosfair wurde unter anderem von der renommierten deutschen Nicht-Regierungsorganisation Germanwatch gegründet und seriöse Einrichtungen wie z.B. die Stadt Hamburg kompensieren hier komplett ihre Dienstreisen.

Ich habe meine Flüge von St. Thomas nach London über Atmosfair kompenisert und dadurch 50 Euro für solche Projekte zur Verfügung gestellt.

Wenn die Lebensbedinungen und die wirtschaftlichen Aussichten der Menschen in ihren Heimatländern verbessert werden, sind sie auch weniger gezwungen, ihr Land zu verlassen. Denn kein Mensch verlässt gerne ohne Not seine Heimat.

ZertifikatSt. Thomas London

The poetic dimension of the problem of energy

Under spinaker

Under spinaker on the Atlantic Ocean towards the Carribbean

This was the motto under which the Atlantic crossing from Mindelo on Sao Vicente of the Cape Verde Islands to St. Lucia in the Caribbean stood. Marcos was the first 10 days almost completely, at least mentally, occupied with a report about his PhD he had to send in by the 2 February and this was the tiltle of the paper.. So he made also Sören and me work on it by either lending him a computer, or the satellite phone to communicate with his professors or friends or the administration of his university or by running the engine to charge his computer or to ask sometimes what we thought about certain aspects.
But let us begin at the start. We left Mindelo on 22. January in the afternoon on a sunny and as usual quite windy day. When we backed off from the pontoon we caught one of the mooring lines behind the skeg and I had to dive to free it. But that was quickly done. At first we had only half the genoa and no main sail. Only from the second day we added the main sail after the wind had gone down. That were for most of the time our sails.
On the fourth day we heard the thunder of a distant thunderstorm but we also saw it coming closer so we prepared for it. We got the main sail down and reefed the genoa to one third of its size, everybody got his foul weather gear on (Segelkleidung) life jacket and life line and I disconnected all radio antenna cables. Luckily the thunder storm just passed by with only a little increase of the wind.
During the next night and day and the night after this day we saw in the very distance and sometimes up in the clouds lightning but never heared the thunder but in the night of the fourth day we had almost all the time a light rain. Unfortunately it was not enough to rinse off the salt from our clothes and the deck but it was enough to make everything wet.
Luckily after that we did not have any rain or thunderstorms any more, it got gradually every day warmer and warmer. At the beginning it was 21°C in the night and we were wearing our sailing jackets and trousers and several pullovers but later it was also at night 25°C warm and the wind was lighter so one pullover without a jacket was enough. Because there were no clouds we had beautiful moon lit nights.
On 30.January, my birthday we also had arrived in the middle of the distance so we had two good reasons to celebrate and opened a bottle of sparkling wine. Despite it was not cooled because we did not run the fridge to save electricity, we enjoyed it.

Geburtstag und Bergfest

Birthday and half way celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 24-hour distances varied between 150 nm on the best days and 80nm on the worst days when the wind was especially calm but on the average it was somewhere between 110nm and 130 nm.

Soren and Marcos greeting

The SeaBelow crew showing their respect to their captain

Marcos playing guitar

When Marcos was not writing on his text he was practicing on his guitar

Marcos playing guitar with sea weed on ears

and he was making fun of the sea weed that was floating around us everywhere

Marcos after the rain

We used to have our lunch at 16:00 because until 12 always somebody was sleeping and it is not nice to start your day with a lunch. You rather want a breakfeast. So during the afternoon everybody is awake and nobody is disturbed when a meal is cooked. And because the cooking takes time and to leave some time between the last one´s breakfeast 16:00 turned out to be a good time. It was then also possible to wash the dirty dishes before sunset which was usually around 6:30, depending on how we decided to set the clock.

Marcos am Bergfest
From almost the first day one of the highlights during the day was the daily radio round on SSB (Single Side Band) (Kurzwellenfunkgerät) with several other fellow German sailors but namely with the reliable Dietmar on his saling yacht Summer on the Canary Islands. He always provided us with the latest weather forecast. This way of communication had two advantages. The first is it is nice to talk to somebody out in the world so you do not feel so alone on the big wide ocean and secondly it saved me from starting my laptop and setting up the satellite phone to get a weather forecast by e-mail which also costs money for the phone connection. Sometimes other yachts participated and often people sitting in Germany, e.g. in Dresden, telling about the winter weather in Germany and we made them envious with the weather we had. It is incredible to have a conversation with a group of people thousands of kilometres apart. E.g. from Dresden to the Canary Islands it is 3800 km and from the Canary Islands to us was 4700km, so from Dresden to us it was 8500km. And the quality was better than on skype in the respect that the connection was not disconnected as it with skype often happens due to poor internet. Although it has to be admitted that on SSB the conditions were varying and not always a good communication was possible, sometimes impossible. But then often someone in between could make a relais, meaning he or she passes the information on. So all in all I am happy that I made the effort in Las Palmas to get my SSB working and therefore thanks again to Alfred Deubler who told me how to do it and who repaired the actual SSB radio.
In the last third of the journey it go really tropically hot with over 30°C during the day and not less than 25°C at night so we were only wearing shorts and taking a shower with sea water every day. We were soon run out of sun screen (Sonnencreme).
Talking of which, we were a bit short on fresh fruits and vegetables. They were almost all gone after the first ten days but we still had potatoes, yams (Süßkartoffeln) and onions. We also should have bought more eggs. But that are only side aspects and luxury problems.

 

 

 

What do you do all day on the ocean? Good question. First of all you have your watches which make up 7 to 10 hours of the day, depending on which watch you have. We used the so called Swedish watch system where you have watches of different lengths. As on the leg from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde Islands we had 4 hours during the day and 3 hours at night.
So after sleeping you get up and have breakfast. That takes up to two hours, because such a simple thing as to heat the water for coffee or tea takes time because every hand move has to be planned because nothing stays in its place. Also filling the cup with coffee, milk and sugar needs a lot of thinking and routine. First you put in the sugar because it is not much volume in the cup and does not spill when the cups moves, then you put in the milk, which also is not so much volume and then you add the coffee to fill up the cup to the possible maximum and then you have to keep in your hand until it is empty. The possible maximum is determined by your ability to balance the cup in one hand while climbing up the companion way (Niedergang) with the other hand. If you filled the cup too much, the sea takes its share and you have to clean up the mess afterwards. To eat we often had muesli or porridge which of course had to be prepared before the coffee because with a cup of coffee in your hand you can do nothing else any more. Porridge was more useful because it is thicker than muesli where the milk could still easily spill when the boat was heeling (Krängen) over.

making pancakes

Frying pancakes

Having a salad

Salad (note the pullover, this is a picture from the first half of the trip. Later is was so hot that during the day we were not even wearing a t-shirt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there was navigation to be done, either by plotting the position from the GPS into the sea chart or as in my case I enjoyed to determine our position also by sextant which again involves a lot of skilled climbing on the boat with the precious high precision sextant in your hand. You don´t want to drop it nor to hit it somewhere. And if you know how often you hit your own elbows, knees and head somewhere you can imagine what a stressful action it is to climb with a sextant in your hand over deck to a place where you can see the sun and the horizon without an guard rail or the sails obstructing the view.

An Deck

Ready to measure the angle between the sun and the horizon with the sextant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sextant

And the result is: 54°45`

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The the daily rigg check where I checked the conditions of the shrouds (Wanten) to make sure no damages leading to the loss of the mast remain undetected.

Riggkontrolle

During the daily rigg check. Here I am checking the shrouds (Wanten) and the screws (Spannschrauben)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we had to empty the water out of the bilge every day, cooking dinner took two hours for cooking and one hour cleaning up and often something small has to be repaired like the locking mechanism of the front hatch.

Jan and Marcos on repairs

Doing little repairs

Atlantikueberquerung
And yes, then I collected six samples of sea water to be analysed for how much micro plastic it contains. Microplastic are all plastic particles smaller than 5mm which means also the ones that are so small that we can not see them any more but which are still in the oceans. Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental problems of ocean pollution of which unfortunately most people are unaware. Plastic that has found its way into the ocean is rubbled to microscopic small pieces by the sunlight and the movement of the waves. Sea animals like fish eat the plastic and by this way enters the food chain.
And for us sailors the plastic comes quite directly into our food when we cook our potatoes with sea water or wash our dishes with sea water. Reason enough to be concerned about the problem. I collected the samples for an initiative called “Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation” which resides in Stonington, ME in the USA. The bottles with the sea water will be sent there by mail and they analyse them and by that they get an overview where how much micro plastic is in the water.
I learned about the project from Marjo and Edwin and their organisation “Ocean Conservation” in Las Palmas. They had already supplied 100 sailing yachts of the ARC 2014 with six sample bottles each.

Filling the bucket

Rinsing the bucket to take a sample of micro plastic water. Because the bucket and the bottles are of plastic themselves they have to be rinsed before taking a sample to make sure to micro plastic particles from the bottle or the bucket end up in the sample. So first the bucket is rinsed three times, then the bottle three times and then the actual sample is taken. So the bucket is filled seven times. The bucket is necessary because the deck is too high over the water that you can not reach it with your arm, even me with my extra long arms can not reach it.

The first sample

Every bottle got a label stating the date,, number of the sample and the ships name. In list the position, water temperature, wind strength and direction were added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, long story short, there is a lot to do and no real boredom. We read our books, look into the waves, sometimes we see flying fish, once we saw one or two whales passing by in the opposite direction. Sometimes sea birds show up and we ask ourselves how they can survive so far away from land. How do they for example drink? Where to they find sweet water? In the sea weed (Seetang) which is floating around everywhere on the last third of the trip?

Seetang

A picture of the patches of sea weed that were floating around all over the ocean during the second half of the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We opened a second bottle of sparkling wine after Marcos had sent away his text on 2. February because now we where relieved from the stress he was creating and also he himself felt very relieved because only now he could start to enjoy the trip.

 

Marcos on sat phone

Marcos at a typical task. Phoning via satellite phone to his university colleagues to arrange things for his paper.

One day we had very little wind and there was a lot of sea weed caught behind the skeg and we decided to the boat by taking the sails down and take a swim in the ocean using the occasion to clean off the sea weed from the skeg. But actually it had already fallen off when we had stopped the boat.

Online in the ocean

Online in the middle of the ocean

Marcos with sea weed on head

Marcos with sea weed on his head (no further comment)

Wind vane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is really a big joy to take a swim in the middle of the ocean.
The journey went on with light winds which brought us around 110 to 120 miles per day, the nights usually moon lit and clear. Only the last two days we had an overcast sky and some drizzling rain.

Sun over the horizon

One of the many sunrises and this was the last one at sea.

Rainbow

A rainbow (under the boom) after light rain during the sun rise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the last day of sun I had very successfully got a position using the sextant. Successfully means the position I got was only 4,7 nm differing from the GPS position. But when I tried it a second time three days later when the sun had come back after the rain I got it 100 nm wrong. So I need to practice much more to make it reliable.

Two days before we reached St. Lucia we printed the SeaBelow name and logo onto shirts for Marcos and Sören.

Applying ink to sieve

Applying ink to the sieve to print the SeaBelow logo and name onto t-shirts for Marcos and Sören

the ready shirt

The ready print

Shirts haning on guard rail

Drying the ink on the guard rail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had hoped to make land fall on 8. February before sun set but due to the light winds we were not quick enough. Instead we were rewarded with a nice sunset over St. Lucia.

St. Lucia in the sunset

The last sunset at sea with St. Lucia already visible at the horizon.

 

 

 

 

 

Angekommen

The proud skipper and equally proud crew on the morning after arrival.

Angekommen 2

At anchor in Rodney Bay with St. Lucia in the back ground.

 

So it got night but I was not worried to arrive at night because I knew the place and that there were no navigational obstacles except the other anchoring boats. Normally everyone should set an anchor light but not everybody does so when approaching the anchorage we had to be very careful to detect the unlit boats. Eventually we arrived at 1 a.m. local time on 9th February in the Rodney Bay of St. Lucia where we dropped the anchor and then just slept.
The next morning we were very curious to see how the bay looks like. It is all green, many other boats anchored there and we took a swim.Afterwards we went into the marina to get rid of the rubbish, wash our clothes, stock up with food and water and to register at the immigration office.
On arrival at the pontoon we met two Germans with their catamaran Blue Note who I had met before in Lisbon. That was a very nice coincidence.

Mindelo / Sao Vicente / Cape Verde Islands

On our first day we just roamed through the city of Mindelo. The wind was all the time blowing like hell with very strong gust. According to the sailors who had been here for some longer time already this is not the normal wind speed.
We came to a market where they were selling all sorts of things among others we got a new 12V-Charger to charge our smartphones via USB cable. The one I had broke on the trip here.

 

Market in  Mindelo

Market in Mindelo

The next day we spent with repairing the toilet and the holder of the lee board (Leebrett an der Koje) on port side.
Many of the other sailors we had met between Lisbon and Las Palmas are here as well. It is always a joyful feeling to see an old acquaintance and to hear their story how they got here. One boat for example experienced a knock down (when the boat is heeled over by a wave or wind gust to 90°) and got 250 litres of water into the boat.
We also went to the immigration office and the marine police to fulfill the entry formalities. But that was an easy and straightforward proces, if you had your papers in order. Meaning you need the ships papers, the passports of all crewmembers and two crew lists (one for each authority). I had only one so I had to quickly fill out another one.
Then we explored the local beach. The water is beautifully turquoise green and the sand quite white but it was also very windy. So when you laid flat on your back in the sun, in the wind gusts the sand was blown against your shoulder and it felt like sand blasting (Sandstrahlen). Thanks to the hot tropical sun it was warm enough during the day despite the water is here only 20° C warm.
On Friday evening a swiss sailor and I had set up a Couchsurfing meeting but only one local showed up who was actually Portuguese.

Life music in a Mindelo pub

Life music in a Mindelo pub

But some other sailors were there, for example two you Danish sailors who had just arrived from Las Palmas that afternoon and an Austrian couple who are our neighbours in the marina. The local guy later showed us around to some nice pubs and a discotheque on the beach. Because that evening a popular DJ was playing many people, mostly women were queuing. We took a table in the first row of the bar that was above the discotheque and where everybody had to pass along because that was leading to the entrance. So we got a good impression of who would be in the discotheque. Many beautifully dressed up women.
Being in a place like this with a boat takes all your mental power to get accustomed to the place because one has not only to orientate one self in the new environment but at least in our case we also had to take care of certain things on the boat and we had to plan the next leg of our trip. It is not like with a plane or ferry where your only worry is to be there at the right time. No, every decision you have to take yourself and it is absolutely down to only your responsibility when you leave.
The result is that walking again and again the same streets does not become boring.
But on Sunday Markus, a fellow sailor from another boat, and I checked out two places where people were preparing for the weekly Sunday pre-carneval parade. It was a really poor neighbourhood without any cars, no paved roads and not many streetlamps. But the people seemed to enjoy their Sunday afternoon with some guys practicing the Samba drums.

Street Pre Carneval Drums Dressed up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on Monday Sören and I went by taxi to the other side of the island and climbed onto a quiet volcano by taxi. A young man of 19 years had recommended us the taxi. It was one of his friends. The young man had talked to us in the street asking whether we could buy him some writing blocks. At first I was astonished about this to my mind a bit peculiar wish but he explained that he has not much money and that he really needs the writing blocks to finish his A-levels (Abitur). He pointed out that he did not want to ask for money to buy the blocks himself. It was important to him that I see that the money was really meant for the blocks. He later explained that he has already a 4 years old son and that he has to support the child, the mother and his own mother who is blind. He was dressed in neat and tidy clothes and spoke an excellent English. He lives in a village 12 km away from Mindelo and walks this distance every day which takes him 2,5 hours each direction. I asked whether he has a bicycle. He said yes but that he has a problem with it. He said he needs a new tyre which costs 7 Euros which he does not have. The house he and his mother are living in consists of two bedrooms and a kitchen and costs 50 Euros rent per month which they get as social welfare from the state. It shows how poor some people here are but he was very determined to finish his A-Levels because he wants to study medicine in Toulouse in France and become a radiologist. He said he would get a grant from the state of Cape Verde for which in return he will have to work as a physician for the State of Cape Verde afterwards.
Whether that is all true or not I do not know but it sounded credible (glaubhaft) so I agreed to buy him two blocks for 2,80 Euros each.
It makes in so far sense if you know that the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is 3810 US-Dollars in Cape Verde http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/capeverde_statistics.html
compared to 44000 US-Dollars in Germany http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/germany_statistics.html
. That is 11,5 of the income in the Cape Verde Islands. And that is only the average, meaning that there are many people who earn even less than that.

The village next to that volcano was also very basic. No paved roads and more surprisingly literally no cars although there were some 30 houses. Only occasionally a Toyota bus showed up, apperantly some kind of bus service. But there was a little restaurant where after our climb we had dinner.

 

in the Taxi dwellings dry landscape street of village view from the volcano the volcano we climbed on the volcano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday there was a holiday here, the day of the national here Amilcar Cabral, who played a role in the fight for independence, so we could not make our shopping. Instead we just hung out a bit with the other sailors and read in our books.

So Wednesday 21. we did the shopping and went to the immigration office and the maritime police to declare our departure. And I dived the hull to clean it from algies so that we are faster.

And now, Thursday noon as I write this, we are about to leave to Rodney Bay on St. Lucia in the Caribbean where we normally should arrive in 17 to 20 days, i.e. between 8th and 11th February 2015.

Good bye Las Palmas

After almost two months, many nice people met, many repairs done and a lot of money spent SeaBelow will now leave for Mindelo on the Ilha de Sao Vicente of the Cape Verde Islands. We reckon we will arrive there in 7 to 10 days, depending on the wind.

Afloat again!

In the Doca de Alcantara in Lisbon.

In the Doca de Alcantara in Lisbon.

SeaBelow is back in her element and we are now in the Marina Doca de Alcantara or also known as Doca dos Espanhol. We were first at the Marina Parque dos Nacoes at the former Expo area of the 1998 Expo. There it was very nice and quiet, here in the Alcantara we are closer to the ship chandlers and the like, so I could do some shopping today, e.g. equipping the boats pharmacy. Besides that we are exploring Lisbon, went out for dinner in the Barrio Alto and attended a walking tour on street art and thus learned a bit about Portuguese history, e.g. that this year it is the 40th anniversery of the (peaceful) revolution which brought down the Salazar-regime. Many street art and murals were newly made this year commemorating the revolution. We are now waiting for Maria to arrive and for a good wind to sail to Madeira. It might take a few more days until we get the stable north wind for that.

Savoir vivre en France!

In Honfleur Elke from one of my sailing clubs in Hamburg came on board in the afternoon to sail with me for two weeks.

Elke

As an interior architect it took her only five minutes to work out a simple solution for a cockpit table out of things already on board:

The new cockpit table: A plank from under the bunks in the saloon and hung up on lines from the boom with stabilising lines below and / or side ways. The size of the table can be increased by using a bigger board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honfleur is a very beautiful and pittoresque town. The atmosphere around the old port with its restaurants all around it right on the quay side and the historic houses from different periods of the last several hundreds of years is almost unreal. Because we liked it so much, we stayed also the Saturday.

Der Hafen von Honfleur

Der Hafen von Honfleur

On Sunday early afternoon we left with our Dutch neighbours and set course to Port en Bessin. It was a very nice sail although we arrived late at night at 1 am. But everyhting was as the hand books and the charts had promised. The harbour doors were open, the lock master on duty and I also well understood his french. We rafted up next to another yacht at a small pontoon that has only place for 4 to 6 yachts and the whole harbour was lit with orange street lamps. It was so quiet you could hear a key fall on the street. After an arrival drink we went asleep.
The next morning,Monday, woke us up with nice sun shine and the boulangerie within in eyesight. We had the premium place for our breakfeast, The even better thing was that this port was extremely nicely priced, just 0,75 Eurocents per meter and night. And because we had arrived after midnight, the friendly lady at the Office de Tourisme did not charge that night. For the 3 Euros per head for the showers we got the best showers so far. All newly refurbished, big cabin, clean, hot water and no queue.
For dinner we got a dorade directly from the boat of one of the fishermen. It was delicious.

The delicious dorade as fresh as it can be!

The delicious dorade as fresh as it can be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 29.7.2014
On Tuesday 29.7., we left for Grandcamp Maisy. We had plenty of time because we had to leave before the locks closed but because we had a fair wind and not a long distance, we were early in Grandcamp Maisy where we had to wait 4 hours until they opened the lock. It was sunny weather so we just drifted forth and back before the harbour. Here I tried my first serious attempt to catch a fish because I had the time to fiddle around with the gear and we did not make a lot of speed. I did not catch a fish but a plastic bag! It is really a scandal how much plastic is floating around. It stays in the water for 400 years, it is rubbled to invisible pieces and via the food chain we even eat it with fish.

5.7.2014 Lock of London Limehouse Marina

Plastic rubbish in the lock of Limehouse Marina in London, which I mentioned earlier.

20140730_Grandcamp Maisy

Plastic rubbish in the port of Grandcamp Maisy

Plastic bag caught with my fishing rod off the Normandy Coast near Grandcamp Maisy

Plastic bag caught with my fishing rod off the Normandy Coast near Grandcamp Maisy

And this is not a problem restricted to coastal waters. There are huge patches of plastic floating in the middle of the ocean where the currents have taken them. In the harbour we were lucky to get the very last berth. All in all Grandcamp Maisy is not a nice place. The mud is evaporating a lot of methane so especially at low water it smells considerably in the port and the town is not very nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 30.7.2014
So as soon as possible we left the next day to go to St. Vaast La Hougue. Again we had extremely fair winds, we could sail directly there passing the little island of St. Marcouf with a napoleonic fortress on it. St. Vaast is a very nice place, with the small Ile de Tatihou next to the harbour entrance. At low water the next day we walked across the Oyster banks and strolled along the old hospital which is now a hotel.

 

The fore port of Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue which falls dry.

The fore port of Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue which falls dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fishing boat of St. Vaast fallen dry at low water.

The fishing boat of St. Vaast fallen dry at low water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ile de Tatihou seen from St. Vaast

The Ile de Tatihou seen from St. Vaast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Oyster banks between St. Vaast and the Ile de Tatihou at low water.

The Oyster banks between St. Vaast and the Ile de Tatihou at low water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this funny amphibic ferry people were taken to the Ile de Tatihou. When there was water is was acting as a boat, al to low water it was driving on its wheels across the sea bed like a bus.

With this funny amphibic ferry people were taken to the Ile de Tatihou. When there was water is was acting as a boat, at to low water it was driving on its wheels across the sea bed like a bus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing I stumbled across was this bunker which looks like one of the German Wehrmacht from the Second Worsld War.

The first thing I stumbled across  on the Ile de Tatihou was this bunker which looks like one of the German Wehrmacht from the Second Worsld War.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But also other armys have built things here.

But also other armies have built things here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the tower of the Ile de Tatihou, the first thing you see coming from sea and it makes an excellent navigation mark because it is so unique and massive you can not be mistaken.

This is the tower of the Ile de Tatihou, the first thing you see coming from sea and it makes an excellent navigation mark because it is so unique and massive you can not be mistaken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the buildings of the former hospital on the Ile de Tatihou which is now a hotel.

One of the buildings of the former hospital on the Ile de Tatihou which is now a hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the day we lay on the beach but I also went to the local chandlery to get some spare parts. Because the local boat yard was right next to our pontoon and specialised in wooden boats I had decided that they would be competent to drill a whole in my beautiful tiller (Pinne) for the tiller extension (Pinnenausleger). And so it was. For 12 Euros I got the whole drilled perfectly and the holder for the tiller extension mounted.

Friday, 1.8.2014
This day we were bound to Cherbourg and around the famous Point de Honfleur with its strong currents. After careful calculations of distances, tides and speed, we set sail. At the start the wind was very low, but it picked up two hours later and got just the right force to provide the calculated speed. The peculiar thing and for Elke as helmswoman not so easy to steer upwind,was that the wind was around 10 –15  knots, we were doing 5-6 knots through the water but the tidal stream gave us another 3-4 knots, so we ended up with sometimes over 10 knots over the ground. At Point de Barfleur this meant when the boat had slowed down you could steer much more upwind until we had reached our normal speed when you had to bear away (abfallen) because now the appearent wind did not fit at all the ruling wind speed. The apparent wind was the of a wind of  ca. one Beaufort more due to the current. So Elke sometimes got confused where to steer but she always found her way and steered well around all obstacles on the way. The newly mounted tiller extension proved to be very handy in this situation. Once round the last corner it was easy to find to the eastern entrance of the Cherbourg port. We were welcome by a charming young lady in a motor boat who directed us to a free berth.

The sea museum in Cherbourg.

The sea museum in Cherbourg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 2.8.2014
This day started with quite some rain. While Elke explored the sights of the city I had decided to let done some important work on the mast. There was one cleat (Klampe) for the spinaker halyard (Spinakerfall) which was so much in the wrong place that it was difficult to use and I needed an additional cleat for the spare genoa halyard. So I went to one of the several boatyards and found a mechanic. He came round the afternoon, meanwhile we were back to sunshine and he changed the cleat.
In the afternoon Elke and I walked through the lively streets of Cherbourg and bought Crevettes (Garneelen) for dinner.
After the dinner we went to the cinema to watch the movie “L´homme qu´on aimant trop” (The man who was loved too much). A story about a woman who falls in love with her bodyguard and is than dragged into a bribary act against her mother. We did not understand every detail  because it was in French, but it was any way a suspense movie and it is based on a real case.

Sunday, 3.8.2014

From Cherbourg our next destination was our first Channel Island, Alderney. It again took careful calculation of tides, distances and times. This time the challenge was to cross the Alderney Race between the Cap de la Hague (known for its nuclear power station and nuclear waste recycling plant) and Alderney. If you do not get your tides right you are sucked into the race and you end up in Guernsey because you get up to 8 knots of tidal stream against which it is impossible to make any ground good.
So we stayed far out and had a stream pushing us the right way. Approaching Braye Harbour on Alderney was easy but we had to steer a big angle to the side of the entrance so that the tide would not sweep us past it. It was like on the Elbe approaching the Cuxhaven Yacht harbour with the tide running at highest speed.
The young harbour master welcomed us and directed us to a free mooring. It was quite big and had to enormous ropes tied together. But they looked very reliable.

Monday, 4.8.2014

Without knowing we had picked exactly the right days to be here because Monday 4.8.2014 was a public holiday with a parade and village festivity under the motto “Treasure Island”. So we saw a lot of floats (geschmückte Wagen) with a lot of pirates on them.

Pirates Little Mermaid Miss Alderney Miss Jersey Papagei auf Motorrad Pig hurdle race Pig Race 1The funniest thing was the pig race. We bet on two of the three races but did not win anything. But it was very good entertainment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 5.8.2014

On Tuesday morning we made use of the water taxi in order to get some fresh bread but we had to note that this is not France so the bread we got at the local grocery did not turn out to be fresh or crunchy. In the afternoon we set sail and sailed without using the engine from our mooring off to Guernsey. Unfortunately the wind died during the evening so we motored the last two hours to St. Peter Port on Guernsey. Originally I was a bit afraid of approaching this harbour at dark but I have to admit that Tom Cunliffe in his Channel Pilot is right that the approach through the Little Russel is well lit from the north and it is very easy and without difficult obstacles to get to the port. The only downside was that it started pouring with rain just after we were moored at the visitors pontoon.

Wednesday, 6.8.2014

This day while Elke was exploring the island by bus I walked around the city and luckily found the “Rock Box”, that is a little loudspeaker by which I now can play via BlueTooth or cable my music stored on my phone and computer. Up to now I only had the normal radio and two CDs because the built in car radio did not have a connection for USB or auxiliary devices. And the good thing about the rock box is that it can be put anywhere so the boat now also has an outside loudspeaker in cockpit, the foredeck, on the loo, in the fore cabin, just anywhere you want!
In the afternoon I met Kasia and Malvina, two polish girls Ewa from Brighton connected me to. Over a cup of coffee on board I showed them the boat.

Coffe with Kasia and Malvina

Coffee with Malvina and Kasia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 7.8.2014

This was a lovely day and we started the last leg of Elke´s stay on board, to Carteret on the mainland France. Due to the 30 mile distance and the fact that one can get into Carteret harbour only around high water we had a tight schedule. The wind was very light at the beginning so to my greatest regret we needed the engine as support to maintain an average speed of 5 knots over ground. At first the tide was a little against us, then a little bit with us and for the last few miles even strong against us. So although the wind had increased in the afternoon, we still needed the engine because only an hour too late would have meant to wait for 12 hours outside on the water and there was no anchoring ground because it is all a rocky underground. But we got there in time and spent the evening in the famous Bar du Port with friends of Elke and live music!

 

 

 

 

London!

Seit dem letzten Bericht ist viel passiert. Inzwischen bin ich mit SeaBelow in London.

Von Cuxhaven sind Boris und ich bei zunächst prima Segelwind nach Helgoland gestartet, aber ca. 10 Meilen vor Helgoland schlief der Wind ein, so daß wir motorten.

Cuxhaven - Helgoland

Cuxhaven – Helgoland

Die Vorhersage versprach auch keine Besserung, so daß wir nach einem Hafentag mit vollen Tanks und Kanistern unter Motor Richtung Ameland gestartet sind. Es war durchwachsenes Wetter mit Regenschauern, manchmal diesiger Sicht, relativ kalt, aber kein Wind. Wir motorten die Nacht hindurch, am Morgen kam dann Wind und wir sind die letzten Meilen bis zum Seegatt zwischen Ameland und Terschelling gesegelt. In der Annäherung an Ameland war es nicht einfach, den richtigen Tonnenweg zu finden, weil die Seekarten sich nicht einig waren, wo die Tonnen nun sind. In der einen waren sie richtig eingezeichnet, in der anderen falsch, obwohl sie beide vom selben Datum waren. Aber das wichtigste Navigationsinstrument im Wattenmeer ist ja sowieso das Echolot und so haben wir immer die Fahrrinne gefunden. Total müde nach der durchwachten Nacht, aber bei bestem Wetter kamen wir auf Ameland in Nes an. Nach einem Gang durch die mit vielen Cafes belebten Ortschaft

Helgoland-Ameland

Helgoland-Ameland

haben wir nach einem nachmittäglichen Essen Abends das Hollandspiel geguckt. Zunächst war die Stimmung unter den mit orangenen T-Shirts, absurden Hüten, Schals und Fähnchen bekleideten Holländern gelangweilt bis niedergeschlagen, bis dann Holland ein Tor schoß und dann noch eins und am Schluß waren sie alle ganz aus dem Häuschen und tanzten auf den Tischen!

Holland bei der Fußball WM

Holland bei der Fußball WM

Am nächsten Tag sind wir nach Harlingen gestartet, nachdem wir uns unter Motor gegen den Wind durch das Wattfahrwasser und das Seegatt gekämpft hatten, segelten wir Terschelling entlang und in den Sonnenuntergang auf Harlingen zu. Dort lagen wir sehr idyllisch in einem historischen Hafenbecken neben einem Plattbodenschiff.

Danach ging es durch das Bontjes-Fahrwasser nach Kornwerderzand und nach der dortigen Schleuse ware wir auf dem Ijsselmeer. Mit idealem Rückenwind waren wir in null komma nix in Enkhuizen, einer für mich schönsten holländischen Städtchen am Ijsselmeer mit seinen idyllischen Grachten.

Einfahrt in die Schleuse von Kornwerderzand

Einfahrt in die Schleuse von Kornwerderzand

In Enkhuizen kam Leo an Bord und wir starteten nach Amsterdam. Leider war kaum Wind und da wir es bis Abends bis Amsterdam schaffen mußten, motorten wir mal wieder. In Amsterdam lagen wir ganz zentral und sehr ruhig im Sixhaven, direkt gegenüber des Hauptbahnhofs. Mit einer kostenlosen Fähre, die alle 5 Minuten fuhr kam man ganz easy rüber. Wir haben uns ins internationale Menschengewühl gestürzt und astiatisch gegessen.

In Amsterdams Grachtenviertel

In Amsterdams Grachtenviertel

Boris ging hier am nächsten Tag von Bord und Leo und ich machten uns auf den Weg nach England. In Ijmuiden kamen wir durch die Schleuse und als wir für die letzten Vorbereitungen noch einmal hinter der Schleuse anlegten, kam nach einer Stunde der niederländische Zoll an Bord um, wie sie sagten, eine Routinekontrolle zu machen. Also mußten wir unsere Ausweise und Schiffspapiere vorzeigen und noch ein paar Fragen nach dem Woher und Wohin beantworten.

Um 18 Uhr Abends stachen wir in die Nordsee. Ursprünglich dachten wir, der Wind käme genau aus der Richtung, in die wir wollten, aber er drehte sehr schnell immer weiter südlich, so daß wir bei angenehmen 3 bis 4 Bft. fast genau auf die Themsemündung zuhalten konnten. Die Überfahrt über die Nordsee ist hier ziemlich stressig, weil es andauernd Windparks, Ölbohrinseln und jede Menge Schiffe gibt. Der Schiffsverkehr ist zwar nicht ganz mit dem in der deutschen Bucht zu vergleichen, aber es gibt mehrere Verkehrstrennungsgebiete, so daß man nicht nur eine „Autobahn“ zu überqueren hat, sondern mehrere. Zum Glück war immer viel Abstand zwischen den Schiffen, aber sie nervten einfach, weil man sie erst lange kommen sieht, dann muß man ständig peilen, ob man auf Kollisionskurs ist und wenn dann das eine durch ist, sieht man am Horizont schon das nächste. Also nix mit Entspannung. Wir waren nie auf Kollisionskurs, weil die Schiffe den Passierabstand aber immer auf das Minimum begrenzen, kann man sich darüber erst ganz zum Schluß sicher sein. Leo hat seine Wache bestens gemeistert, nur bei einer Bohrinsel war im die Sache nicht ganz geheuer und hat mich geweckt,  aber er hatte alles richtig gemacht und wir fuhren in ordentlichem Abstand daran vorbei. Die Windsteueranlage leistete beste Arbeit, ohne sie wäre das gar nicht möglich gewesen. Am nächsten Tag kamen wir in die Themsemündung. Leider zu Hochwasser, so daß wir die Strömung voll gegenan hatten. Da es noch 75 Seemeilen bis London waren und wir sie selbst bei optimalem Wind nur ganz knapp schaffen konnten, mußten wir die nächste Nacht hindurchmotoren, denn der Wind kam genau von vorne.

Auf der Nordseen zwischen Holland und England

Auf der Nordseen zwischen Holland und England

Auch hier hat Leo weider viel über die beleuchteten Tonnen gelernt. Zum Glück war fast kein Schiff unterwegs, die Gegend wirkte trotz des großen Hafens Londons wie ausgestorben. Im Morgengrauen kam uns ein großes Containerschiff der Hamburg-Süd-Reederei bei seinem Ablegemanöver in die Quere, so daß wir ausweichen mußten. Unter grauem Himmel und bei Nieselregen folgten wir den Mäandern der Themse

Auf der Themse

Auf der Themse

bis wir schließlich erst das Themsesperrwerk, dann den 0-Meridian überquerten, an der Sternwarte von Greenwich vorbei

Die Sternwarte im Hintergrund im Greenwich Park und im Vordergrund die Seeakademie

Die Sternwarte im Hintergrund im Greenwich Park und im Vordergrund die Seeakademie

und dann schon die Hochhäuser der Londoner Innenstadt sehen konnten. Eigentlich wollten wir ja ins St. Katherines Doch, aber da hätten wir noch 8 Stunden vor der Schlause warten müssen. Im Reeds Nautical Almanach stand zum Glück die Telephonnummer der Limehouse Marina, an der wir gerade vorbeikamen. Wir fragten, ob wir „jetzt“ durch die Schleuse könnten. Die nette Lady am Telefon hat kurz mit ihren Jungs gesprochen und dann gesagt, daß es ginge. Da ging auch schon die Drehbrücke auf und wir mußten uns beeilen, daß wir die Fender und Festmacher klar kriegten. Bei der Einfahrt in die Schleuse mußten wir durch eine unglaubliche Menge Müll fahren, der im Wasser schwamm. Normalerweise wird so etwas per UKW-Funk geklärt, aber auf dem  Kanal 80, der hier dafür vorgesehen war, gab es ein derartiges Rauschen, daß man nichts verstehen konnte, weshalb wir telefoneirten.

Plastikmüll, der vor und in der Schleuse herumschwamm. Das landet alles im Meer und dann in den Fischen, die wir später essen!

Plastikmüll, der vor und in der Schleuse herumschwamm. Das landet alles im Meer und dann in den Fischen, die wir später essen!

Nach der Schleuse bekamen wir einen Liegeplatz zugeteilt und waren froh, uns nach zwei durchsegelten Nächten endlich richtig ausruhen zu können. Es ist eine sehr gut gelegene Marina mit quasi direktem Anschluß an den öffentlichen Nahverkehr an der Limehousestation. Abends sind wir dann in der Nähe der Tower Bridge

Auf der Tower Bridge in London

Auf der Tower Bridge in London

ein Bier trinken gegangen und danach haben wir wie die Steine bis zum nächsten Morgen geschlafen.

SeaBelow fertig zum Slippen!!!

Heute endlich ist SeaBelows Unterwasserschiff fertig geworden und morgen Vormittag kommt sie zu Wasser. Dann stellen wir den Mast, hoffen, daß der Motor anspringt und dann müssen noch die elektronischen Helferlein wieder angeschlossen werden. Wenn alles klappt, können wir Samstag einen Probeschlag machen.

SeaBelow fertig zum Wassern!

SeaBelow fertig zum Wassern!