Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Intermar e.V. Page 1 of 2

St. Martin to Bermuda – Logblog 5

We got some further encouragement and advice from our Intermar e.V. weather team ashore.
Message ID: 860759DD8784 Date: 2023/04/16 12:10

From: DD1HUR #
Cc: DF5AM; 9H2RA
Source: DD1HUR Downloaded-from: RMS:VE1YZ

Subject: Atlatnikwetter 16.04.2023

Lieber Bernd,

was soll ich sagen, optimal, optimaler, am optimalsten – dass man sowas steigern kann, war mir überhaupt nicht bewusst…. Nun ja gestern noch 6 Kn, heute 7 Kn, nicht schlecht, die “Hulluporo” mutiert vom Rentier zur Rennziege…. 😀

Insgesamt ist das also sehr gut, wie ihr voran kommt. Andererseits ist das auch wichtig, denn der Wind wird nicht so bleiben. Inzwischen müsstet ihr schon ein leichtes Nachlassen verspüren und das wird sich so bis morgen weiter abschwächen. Der Wind dreht mehr südlich, das kann das evtl. ausgleichen, weil ihr dann mehr raumschots fahrt, aber wenn der dann ganz auf Süd dreht, wird es dann doch m.E. etwas schwach werden.

Also, die Empfehlung von gestern bleibt bestehen, auch die ungefähren Breitenangaben (das ist natürlich immer davon abhängig, wann ihr denn genau an der Stelle seid).

Draußen auf dem Atlantik nordwestlich der Azoren tobt ein gigantisches Tief, das in seinem Gefolge Potenzial für weitere (Sturm-) Tiefs in sich birgt.

Nach allen Vorhersagen scheint das aber nicht bis zu euch zu kommen, aber die Ausbildung einer neuen “wellenden” Front auf eurer Strecke ist durchaus drin, mit ähnlichen Erscheinungen wie bei der letzten Front. Es scheint keine stärkere Entwicklung zu geben, aber wir sollten mal ein Auge drauf halten. Nachfolgend kommt dann wieder eine Hochentwicklung und da ihr da nun an der Ostseite seid, kommt der wind dann von N.(Mittwochabend (UTC) erst). Auch das sollte relativ schwach werden, aber man weiß ja nie. Also, versucht an Strecke zu machen, was möglich ist, ohne euch dabei zu übernehmen und wir müssen dann sehen, wie es so weiter geht. Das Hoch selbst sollte langsam nach E ziehen und damit kommt ihr aus dem Gegenwindbereich wieder hinaus und da der Kern vermutlich südlich zieht, bekommt ihr dann sogar Westwinde, also seht mal zu, dass ihr nicht an den Bermudas vorbeifahrt :-).

Also, ihr seht aus dem o.a., dass die “richtigen” Entwicklungen (bis auf die zwischenzeitlich auftretende Front) erst Mittwoch am Abend einsetzen sollten, so lange habt ihr wohl südliche Winde (wie gesagt, bis auf diese Front, in der Nacht Dienstag auf Mittwoch), Also, ich vermute mal, dass ihr da schon in Schlagdistanz zu den Bermudas seid und da dürfte dann eigentlich nichts mehr schiefgehen. …

Macht mal weiter so,

gute Fahrt, gute Wache und
vy 73, Uwe

In the meantime we have reached the southerly wind zone between the two high pressure systems illustrated on the barographic chart attached. The cold front, or ”wellende Front” as Uwe mentioned above, is also clearly visible between the two zones. It shall be interesting. The local Bermuda Weather Bulletin give us further input on what to expect on our arrival but it only covers an area of 25nm around the Bermuda archipelago. Some showers will be nice to clean the lady from a salty crust.

On our daily call at 8pm AST we will try to connect with Sutje Jan, who is currently in St. Lucia and always supportive and availble for a discussion and exchange.

The Genaker is up and we are working hard to keep the lady moving.

Fair winds…


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…

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