Boating & Biking Adventures

Author: Bernd via DL9BS/mm Page 1 of 4

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 10

From here onwards there is a bit zig-zag proposed by the routing software. It is qtVLM, which I am using and we have already started to move more westerly than notherly. We will stay close hauled all time and if the wind drops use the engine to support on a straight line towards Santa Maria until sufficient blow is back. All going well, I have a chance to arrive in Santa Maria 2nd July early hours but a lot will depend on the extend of engine usage. It could be earlier. I would not put a bet on either of the two options. 🙂
We have another 150nm left and if minimum wind of 10 – 12kn will stay (considering the extra 5kn, which www.wetterwelt.de never considers) we shall be good to sail, even in the blue coloured areas on the map. I hope you can see the picture. If not, it will be added later.
Talked to Uwe/DD1HUR from Intermar e.V. and his support is exceptional from the beginning of this passage. Besides talking every day in the evening hours at 16:30 UTC on 14313kHz, Uwe also provides me with detailed views on the situation by e-mail. It includes not only encouragement but also dos and dont’s. Thank you Uwe, very much appreciated and by far not a given.
I am going to watch a film tonight. Second time actually: ”Die Azoren – Grünes Paradies im Atlantik”. You can find it in the ARD Mediathek but it will only be in German. If half is true what is shown in the film, this journey might get rewarded soon.
Otherwise, I will have a cold, non-alcoholic beer while enjoying the sunset.
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 9

The night was pleasant, perfect wind and movements so I could take good rest. Apart from the vessel not shown up on AIS but with clearly visible position lights, there was not much going on. It appeared on the radar and the alarm sounded to announce the arrival. Finally we passed each other in less than a mile distance, which is a bit close, but I was also not in the mood to change direction. I heard that some boats of the Far Eastern Fishing Fleet make use of to this practise for whatever reason. A few more signals appeared on the radar but no lights at all. I believe these are false alarms from the waves but that is exactly the high science to determine what is real and what is weather related signals on the screen.
Having the second pot of tea now while we are running under motor sail. The wind dropped to 5-8kn and that is not enough to keep stability in the boat with the waves around. We also need to get some hot water made by the engine, so I felt, let the diesel run for a while and we will then see how it goes. I admire sailors like Didi (Skipper SY Lepedija) and Yoshi (Skipper SY Dayo), who strickly wait for wind and keep the engine off until approaching the marina. I do not have that patience yet. Perhaps never. On the other side, I am not tempted at all to motor sail up to Santa Maria, another 170nm. We got the diesel but that would also be a bit painful. The other option is to get the 140% Geneo out and replaced with our current 110% foresail but I am not volutarily getting me into this trouble either! Let’s see. Headache is over and we are all good.
The new foresail halyard had settled in a bit, so I gave it another tweak on the mast winch this morning. Now it shapes up again without wrinkles.
Time for lunch. Chicken chunks in pasta again, home cooked in cream cheese with tomato bites and spiced up with black pepper, chilli flakes, rubbed rosemary and a pinch of salt.
Oh the wind seems to be back 12kn plus…I think we got hot water! Let’s stop the noise.
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 8

Breakfast was not enought – one hard boiled egg followed by two ”heather sand cockies” and a good cup of fresh tea. Two hours rest and then the appetite called in again. That is a good sign for me showing that body and boat are accustomized. One big roll with soft cheese together with fresh tomatoes and carrots from local Madeira market. This should bring me to the evening apart from the afternoon tea, which will be served with some homemade Nutcake, choclate topped, based on a receipe from Susan’s grandfather Karl.
We have done 168nm right now, so I guess an etmal of around 140nm, which is okay. I don’t want to push the lady throught the seas with all the water coming over and tear and wear on the boat. Hitting 8.5kn through the water yesterday evening, I thought enought is enought. While the boat ploughs better through these waves at slighly higher speed it will be paid of by heaps of water flushing everywhere. I am not on an escape. Around 320nm to go to my waypoint set in the South of Santa Maria and what does it matter, if I arrive a day earlier or later. Looking forward to my landfall on Santa Maria.
Will take some rest now to be ready for teatime. 🙂
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 7

The wind has ceased a bit now, the sun is out but the sky is six out of eight cloudy. The night lasted 7 hours in pretty intense darkness, no moon and hardly stars. I tried to get maximum naps to be as fresh as possible this morning. Increased the interval to 30min as we were with 5 to 6 knots not that fast and there is hardly traffic out here. Still a bit absent but that will improve over the days, I am sure. Breakfast!
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 6

I have just talked to Jan from SY Sutje on 4Mhz Marine Radio. They are 48h ahead of me and have the same target destination – Azores. Also got hold of Ralf-Dieter from SY Charisma on 12Mhz Marine Radio Band. First time we connected via the radio. They have anchored in Menorca/Spain. Unfortunately Cornelia from SY Hexe also wanted to connect from Chesapeak/US but that did not work out for some reasons. In the afternoon hours I talked to Uwe from Intermar e.V. and got latest weather information and some additional views on the interpretation of the forecast. Good to catch up with all all while out at sea.
We are pushing through the night. The wind has increased a little bit again around 18 to 23kn. THis should stay for another few hours and then slowly go back to 15kn, which would be nice. The first 6 hours after sticking the nose out at the west end of Madeira was a bit rought. Acceleration zone with up to 33kn and spagetti waves from all angles. Glad it got better now.
I have put up the cockpit tent and reefed both sails, main and foresail.
Will take some rest now.
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 5

Less than 15nm towards Funchal. Cruising along the yellow dotted coastline of Madeira with 3kn boat speed. One fishing vessel on collision course, otherwise no traffic. Took a couple of short naps and a hot instant noodle soup. Afterwards a fresh cup of tea with a tiny chunk of chocolate.
 
Completed my sourcing of new halyard line. Hallberg-Rassy Parts seems to have them on stock for each individual boat model – great! We have got wire ending into rope. I will check tomorrow but my e-mail to Ludvig from HR Parts sits in his inbox.
 
I think the staysail is an excellent sail, which I have undervalued up to now. Will have to work more with that set-up in future.
 
Obviously some disapppointment that I have to return back but again I am falling with the nose into the cream. Glad it did not happen half way to Azores or in tougher conditions. It could have been managed but better address it early and get these type of things sorted.
 
I enjoy the learning curve and better address the fishing vessel now.
 
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 4

We are good on the way. Madeira disappeared at the horizon and we tacked a bit later compared to what the weather routing software proposed. I guess “tacktics” out of personal preferences and comfort come here into play. My main reason was, that I wanted to have a bit more clearance from the island tonight.
 

The four night stopover in Funchal was great and the right decision. Chatting with the harbour master and his team, meeting some old and new sailing friends and getting the lady back into shape. I am now looking forward how this passage will evolve. Got time to get there until 2nd of July to arrive in Ponta Delgada, which comes as a hard stop with Susan touching down at the airport! I plan to arrive there much sooner but let’s see how it goes and what the high pressure system currently building up NW of the Azores has got in mind.

Got a short interaction with Intermar e.V. on the HAM radio after dinner, which was some bread with cheese and a carrot only tonight. My lunch after having left Funchal was delicious. I was fortunate and got offered some Indian egg curry made by Petra from SY Sutje. Very yummy, I could not deny. Pretty sure that I will need some more energy in terms of food during the night which is quite common for me during these passages.
 
The ocean is breathing in the way of long waves and same time slightly choppy from the wind…
 
+++hot from the press+++hot from the press+++hot from the press+++
 
While finishing the lines above some unusual noise kicked in. Looking to the bow, I see the foresail hanging loose. Oh oh…not good! The foresail had slided down a little bit and my immediate thought became true: jib halyard broken, damned! It is one of the few pieces we have not replaced on this boat. The running rigging has been inspected and found in order, until just now. However, there are worst things, which can happen and we need to deal with it. 2 hours work. Somehow I got the sail down and pressed into a sailing bag, not easy, not nice but out of the way. I first considered to lift it up again with the halyard of the Spi but I am not sure this is a good idea or if chafing will kill it in no time. So I waived this option. We are now under lovely staysail instead together with reefed main heading back to Funchal, ETA tomorrow morning at sunrise. I found it irresponsible to proceed under these circumstances especially as we have time and perhaps just have to change a flight from Azores to Madeira for Susan. Sorry.
 
Need to get a new jib halyard now. Sourcing has started.
 
Otherwise we are sailing into a peaceful night.
 
Fair winds…

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 3

Last night was heavy, at least something, I have not experienced before. Under a close hauled sail setting I was constantly getting 25kn of wind, which peaked at 30kn at one point in time. Besides a good reef in the mainsail, the foresail was also reefed to its max and we were still pushing through against the waves, which ended up perhaps around 3-4m. The funny thing is there were stretches, where the waves were moderate around 2m and then we had at the same winds periods with significant higher waves. I guess, this is sailing an ocean, where the waves come from somewhere and the wind from somewhere else and they meet exactly at your place. The predicted winds and waves were lower and in future I will be more concious with a safety margin to be applied.
 
The water was flying everywhere although I tried to take more and more speed out of the boat while reefing to max extend. It took me a good hour today to remove the majority of the salt from the cockpit to have at least a cosy place to sit. Some items will defintely have go into the washing machine to get rid of the salt again.
 
My three learnings:
1. The lady loves this type of sailing. Climbing the mountain and sliding down on the other side, again and again. This happens in a very smooth manner. Only sometimes the bang goes through the ship when a wave tries to attack and impress but gets expelled and pushed aside with an arrogant smile from the top. Nice try. Out of my way please.
 
2. If it get’s rough, better put up the cockpit tent to keep the splashing water and salt out of your living area. I believe it will provide much more comfort against the salty and sticky air drops going everywhere otherwise.
 
3. Fix the staysail if wind is predicted 20kn and more. Prepare it in the marina, out at sea it will be too late. This is something I have to try next. Expert opinion is that from 25kn onwards the staysail provides additional comfort compared to the foresail especially on clause hauled and close reach sail settings.
 
At no point in time I felt uncomfortable. It’s the opposite. Impressed, how this lady performs under slightly tougher conditions. Let me quote Rene here, skipper of the HR46 Momentum of Fal: “Our ladies of the sea turn into beasts under these rougher windier conditions. Very impressive.” I totally agree.
 
I might have to change the subject of the current logblogs. Rather going strainght to Azores a stopover in Funchal comes into play. I have droped the harbourmaster office an e-mail asking for a berth tonight or tomorrow morning but most likely there will not a reply due to weekend. Therefore I have to call Sergio directly once I am in the GSM network coverage. If I can get a berth, I will stopover in Funchal to see Petra and Jan from SY Sutje and also Babs and Rene from SY Momentum of Fal. My plan is for a short stay only and proceed North to the Azores rather sooner at the next weather window, which I will select again to further enhance my sailing skills on the ocean. 30 miles to go until Funchal. If I cannot get a berth, I might move on.
 
The past three days/two nights did fly along like hours. There is always something to do including taking rest, rest, and again rest keeping in mind that as a solo sailor you have to cover all three shifts of one job yourself.
 
Fair winds…
 
PS: Some windows need a check as drops of water made it to the inside. The teak deck got a brilliant free wash!

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 2

The SailinGen is working again after tightening the screws much harder than before. It has now generated 5 Ah in 1 hour at an average speed, lets say 5-6 knots, which is in line with the specification. We got enough free generating power now to keep the batteries in healthy conditions at any point in time and perhaps consider getting a big TV screen added. 😅
 
Otherwise…just relaxing.
 
Fair winds…
Passing by Selvagem Islands in a safe distance. Perhaps next time we pay the rangers a visit.

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 1

We are almost 24 hours on the passage and there is absolutely no disappointment. A bit more wind than projected, slightly higher waves than promised but the directions have been okay. Therefore we are making good progress, sailing in Safety, Comfort and Style. My body had to accustomize a bit and I took it very slowly, therefore this update a bit late… It is also amazing, as soon as you disconnect from GSM network everything calmes down.
 
The windpilot is working since we left the shallow waters of Lanzarote. He is doing his job without complains, neither requesting food or anything else, The lady and the pilot are already great friends and silently agreeing on the smoothest way to get us through the seas – sometimes a bit rought and choppy.
 
The SailinGen producing some of our electricity worked initially and then went on strike. I take the blame for that. The bolts and nuts are not tighthen enough as they also function as a potential collision release. If you fasten bolts and nuts too much, the collision protection will not work, if you make it too loose, the water flow hitting the prop will turn it up although it has to be perpendicular to the water. Finding the right setting for the bolts and nuts is now my challenge. I will work on that as it will be a great source of energy.
 
I have never seen such a big swarm of dolphins. Normally is a dozen or two but yesteray there were suddently dolphins everywhere on a 360 degree lookout. They were playing and jumping, perhaps three minutes, and off they go. A very short performance but they know it is impressive!
 
One advantage of a solo sailor I came across yesterday. The navigation light at the pullpit has been pushed out from its holder from a nasty wave. The fixation is a bit poor designed and we had this before. Now the light was flipping around just fixed by the cable and swinging and banging against the pullpit now and then. I had to take action, otherwise it would have been a complete loss. The minimum dresscode in such a situation for a solo sailor is the safety harness as you get completely wet anyway based on the state of the seas at that time. Hooked into the safety line, I crawled to the bow, got it fixed and made my way back, where a sweet water shower was waiting to get the salt washed off. Fresh and relaxed I had a hard boiled egg, which I prepared for departure. It is a good snack on the way!
 
Spoke to Intermar e.V. and Jan from SY Sutje yesterday evening as well on the ham radio. Short talks as I was still in a mood to take it easy.
 
I feel very good this morning and will now enjoy breakfast to start another sugar day.
 
Fair winds…
My main view during this passage...although very often with closed eyes.

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