Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Intermar e.V. Page 1 of 2

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 northerly. 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 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 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 Spaghetti 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…

World Amateur Radio Day

There are about 3 million licensed ham radio operators worldwide spread across many countries. Majority sits in US and Japan but Germany ranking number 5 (after Thailand and China) contributes with around 80’000 licensed hams to the community.
German hams are officially represented in the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC e.V.) with its approximately 35’000 members.
Although it seems for many people a bit outdated and old fashioned, new technologies have been developed over the years.
Vy73 & Fair winds…


I have now registered DL9BS in one of the world’s largest HAM Radio Operator’s Address Book.
Depending on the subscription level it provides services like e.g. the logbook for easy tracking of your ham interactions with others.
Vy73 & Fair winds…


Las Palmas to Santa Cruz – Logblog 1

We are approaching the TSS between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Not much traffic though and in about 4 hours we should reach our destination for the day. The weather is beautiful, some wind for motorsail but no jet effect so far. These jet effects, also called acceleration zones, are famous for 30kn winds out of nothing. You can first see them coming on the water surface before they hit you shortly after. At least these are sailor´s fairytailes spreading around but I cannot judge from own experience. For sure they exists. We have got changing conditions between 3 to 15kn wind, mainly from SE direction but it shall change after lunch to a more nothern direction. The ocean is taking some long breath today. 2.5m wave height at a period of more than 15 seconds. This long atlantic swell is fantastic. Sometimes you feel like sitting on a rooftop bar watching down into big dales.

A lot of HAM activities during the passage. Obviously I did another test on the equipment and the result was very positive. I believe the additional counterpoise put in place together with Lothar/EA8DES has a positive impact on the overall installation. I could talk to Uwe/DF5AM, fellow sailor Ralf/DM3RH/mm from SY malwieder, Uwe/DD1HUR/mm on his boat in Torreveija, etc.

Together with Lothar I am also exploring the HF Chat Funktion, which can be very usefull providing reliable connnections under difficult atmospheric conditions. It is basically a SMS Chat for HAM boys and girls but works via HF worldwide not depending on any telco sim card or wifi network.

Time for another cup of tea now.

Fair winds…


Following the Intermar e.V. morning net yesterday, Uwe/DF5AM, Lothar/EA8DES and myself agreed for a test connection from Gran Canaria to Lanzarote. Silvia/DM1SIL also joined  from the south of Fuerteventura.

I did run the calculation with VOACAP and a snapshot of the results can be seen in the picture below. It basically provides you with the best frequency to be used at a given date/time for the distance you want to cover. We agreed to try 7195kHz as we had a high probability that this should work.

It worked in one direction. Both Silvia and Uwe could hear me very well with a strong signal but vice versa was just noise and I could not hear anything.

This result is not a surprise as experience shows that receiving while at berth in a crowded  marina is hard. There are too many sailing masts absorbing the incoming signal. We agreed to run another test at the time we are out on the ocean again.

As a HAM radio operator on High Frequencies (HF = 3 – 30MHz) you depend on these external factors and the challenge is to “cooperate” with the propagation conditions of electromagnetic waves influenced by many factors. 

Fair winds…

⏚…Antenna Grounding…⏚

Lothar / EA8DES

As a HAM radio operator there is always something you try to enhance on your installation to improve connectivity. SSB antenna grounding on a sailboat is a science in itself, especially on a hull made out of GRP like ours.
Although the actual radio installation worked fairly well so far, I am up for even better results. Lothar and myself installed today 3.7 sqm of aluminum foil and testing is on its way.

Fair winds…

Before: Copper strap to grounding plate.
After: 3.7 sqm aluminum foil added.

⚠️…Calima Horn…📣

Calima at Lanzarote. ©️Uwe / DF5AM

?!?…Horn, Fog Horn, Signal Horn, Calima Horn…?!?

Some of our boats have a horn installed, which we mainly use under foggy conditions. On my passage from Póvoa de Varzim to Porto I had the fog horn in automatic operation all time as there was thick fog along the Portuguese coastline on that day. Visibility was min 50m and max 300m and my eyes became tired quickly during hours of sharp lookout. My main concern at that  time was not other big ships but the numerous fishing buoys in that area and small fishing vessels without AIS and radar.

Yesterday I heard the sound of some horns here in the marina of Las Palmas. They came form some big ships outside the port, where they lie on the roads or enter/leave the harbour.

The Southeast winds have arrived as projected and mentioned earlier. They will peak in the night from Sunday to Monday at around 30 plus knots. In conjunction with these winds the weather forecasts also issued a Calima warning bringing sand and dust from Africa to the Canary Islands. My naive assumption that Calima will stop at Lanzarote and Fuerteventura made some people laugh. Looking at the photos above it all becomes clear:

  1. Calima is spreading much further than I anticipated.
  2. Visibility at sea is down to couple of miles.
  3. Calima horns are on.
  4. Air quality is very poor.
  5. No biking during these days. Lazy sugar days! 🤪
  6. Boat & rigg washing after Calima gets on the To Do List.
  7. Beautiful photos with a Calima patina shared within the Intermar e.V. community, which always cares for any kind of weather.
  8. Et cetera.

As per the weather forecast the worst Calima shall be over although the peak winds are still expected. This is good news and hopefully becomes true.

Let’s capture the moment in line with our Mission“The mission will focus on going with the wind while enjoying time and its moments over and over again in constantly changing nature. The moment – and not the journey – will be the reward.”

Fair winds…


Intermar e.V. – Lunch Talk

Rainer, Lothar, and myself (RTL).

Today, I had invited for a Lunch Talk. Rainer (SY Geronimo) and myself met Lothar/EA8DES, a retired sailor and passionate HAM operator. Following his adventures as a sailor, Lothar lives in Las Palmas for many years by now. True stories, no sailor’s fairy tales we shared today – some quite dramatic.
Fair winds…

Farewell dinner – SY Hexe

©️ Volker - SY Hexe
©️ Volker - SY Hexe

It was a bit of a hectic day for Cornelia and Volker from SY Hexe as they are counting days towards their start of the Atlantic crossing. Straight from Lanzarote to Martinique is the plan but as we know, sailor’s plans can change.

Even for a 3000nm passage it is advisable to wait and increase the chances to catch a stable trade wind window, which ensures constant winds of 4-5bft from the northeast quadrant, the typical trade wind. This will not only ensure a faster crossing but also give comfort rather than fighting changing conditions.

Despite the hectic during the day we had a very nice farewell evening in Marina Rubicón starting with a dinner on SY Hullu Poro and followed by a couple of pints in the Flagship Pub.

As I will we throwing the lines tomorrow afternoon heading out to the ocean, it was time to say good-bye, wish fair winds…and work on a see you again!

Fair winds…

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