Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Trans-Ocean e.V. Page 1 of 7

…known neighbors …

I had new neighbors over the last two days. Biggi and Jan moored up with catamaran Rare Breed just next to us. What a pleasant surprise! We have met first time for a sundowner in Brunsbüttel at the time this adventure started. Unfortunately we only made it for a coffee as their stopover on the way South was short but that‘s how sailor‘s life works.

Wishing them both fair winds and hope our wake lines will cross again!

Fair winds…

SY Rare Breed - Broadblue Prestige 38

GGR – the girl !

The Golden Globe Race started 4th September last year and is in its final phase. More than half of the participants dropped out and the leading group is currently fighting for glory in adverse winds down in the South Atlantic.

The girl – Kirsten Neuschäfer – is still leading but under the gun from close competitors. To me, she is the winner already, having rescued one fellow sailor’s live and helped one while hitting the shores of Fuerteventura.

Lennie Gallant has dedicated a very nice song to Kirstin and her boat – Minnehaha. Very nice and inspiring.

Soon, we will also be on serious ocean sailing again and I look forward to the days out at sea, although nothing comparable to the GGR. Nevertheless, we have more than 3500nm ahead of us within this year.

For now, cross fingers, Kirstin brings the victory home to Les Sables D’Olonne and writes sailing history along the same lines Ellen Mac Author did in 2005.

Courtesy to the producers of this fantastic video. Enjoy!

Fair winds…

…a night à la Avicii…

Yesterday was one of the frequent evenings we have spent together with Cornelia and Volker from SY Hexe, either on their super spacious comfortable catamaran or on our tiny cosy monohull. Both boats create a homely maritime environment.

It reminds me at DJ Avicii’s song “The Nights” and if you don’t know the lyrics you might check them now! An ultimate ode to living life.

Fair winds…

…sorry, another one…

Another sunset during today’s Champagne Friday with Cornelia & Volker over a delicious risotto.

☝️…Appel à Tous…👌

It was one of the many evenings we spent together with Cornelia and Volker, either on SY Hexe or on our boat.

Driven by a sms message Volker received just in time, we explored “Appel à Tous”, a new start-up company  committing to deliver groceries to your boat at anchor. Obviously some personal and close friendships back in Europe involved. We were in the mood to place a small pilot order via the App, paid in advance and hoping it will be delivered as promised by this young and dynamic, visionary company.

Antonia and Mike, representing “Appel à Tous” on Martinique, were very much on time with the delivery only 24 hours after order placement, as committed and agreed. With a highly motivated and very pleasant approach our fridges got replenished. Well done! Thank you.

Some more brainstorming and feedback was provided over dinner and drinks. We wish the company and its team all the best on the way to turn the business plan into reality. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ five stars for the service provided.

Fair winds…

…days in Saint-Anne…

Our days in Saint-Anne passed by quickly. Logistic rides and some boat work while spending time with Volker & Cornelia from SY Hexe filled the days. We ensured enough time left for the afternoon nap and a Caribbean sundowner at our favourite bar.
Fair winds…

…5x morning tour…

There are currently some stronger trade winds going through peaking above 30kn but we got used to it in the meantime. It is still a very pleasant anchorage here at Saint-Anne.

There are only two downsides: the water is a bit choppy and does not invite for a swim and our dinghy is not suitable to go ashore under these conditions from our current location, which is 0.7nm away from the closest dinghy dock. Perhaps we go a bit closer tomorrow. 

There was a job on the list. The first SMS from Volker came in at 5:57am asking to remain on stand-by. It was still a bit dark and we were looking for a place to shade from the wind to take the foresail down, which was scheduled for the Sailmaker today.

Shortly after that Volker picked me up, we lifted the anchor and motored to a place nearby…sail down, back to anchorage while enjoying tasty Cappuccino and cookies, sail delivered.

On the way we also dropped some of the old batteries, did some grocery shopping and refilled the outboard engine.

At 10am we called it a day, ready for the weekend.

Fair winds…

…running low energy…

Our sailing day became as dramatic as the cloud looks like covering La Soufrière, at the northern tip of St. Vincent, an active Volcano since April 2021. It appears to me that St. Vincent is a very interesting island to keep on the list for the future.

It was clear that all the way up North was clause hauled sailing against the north easterly trade winds but the cape effects at the northern tip of the islands can add another challenge. The waves are rolling in from the Atlantic at times straight onto the nose. Hitting these relative steep waves at 25 to 30kn wind gave the lady a good wash all over. Some squalls added a bit of an extra topping and we felt everything against us on this passage. 

On the other side, we motored along the shorelines of the islands as close as possible. Therefore the engine was running for some hours charging the battery bank constantly.

Pitons @ St. Lucia South under engine
Cruise ship @ St. Lucia North under engine

Watching the batteries closely, one of the four service batteries reached cooking stage with the other three being at higher than usual temperatures. We also had acid smell inside the boat. I called Christian from Gesang Yacht Elektronik and we got the plan of action confirmed. Disconnect and control the load into the remaining batteries.

Tested in Oct. 2021. Excellent conditions.🧐

I have learned in the meantime, that the way the test on the batteries was conducted by a certified Volvo dealer might have given a misleading picture on the real SOH (Status of Health).

As we still needed the engine and the Volvo charger is not smart at all, we had to control the battery charge load through consumers. While sailing, – minimise consumers, while motoring – maximise consumers, to prevent further batteries to heat up. Sailing into the night required to adapt the settings as we need more energy at darkness. Totally pathetic but worked.

We arrived around 10pm at our anchorage in Saint-Anne on Martinique, just in time when another squall released its fierce force on us. We accepted by now, it can only get better. With a hefty grip, the anchor did bite into the sandy ground and after a short while we felt first relief after quite some hours of excitement.

We cleared the mess trying to catch some sleep. It became a short night. Susan had to work 3am in the morning and managed very well.

After all, one more time I feel, that my nose smashed finally into the cream!

We were planning to meet Cornelia and Volker from SY Hexe, very good sailing mates from Puerto Calero/Lanzarote. Our anchor dropped just behind their stern!

With great help and little push from Volker (I was still energy low) we picked up new batteries from Yachting Engineering Services, one of the shops you can reach by dinghy. 

The new battery bank was installed by 1pm and put on generator loading.
What a final relief. Thank you Volker!

After a nice get together dinner on SY Hexe, we had an early night to catch up on some quality sleep.

Special Dinner

Curtis came 6pm sharp to pick us up for the dinner. Super reliable, helpful, friendly and funny.

We had a chat with Rosi and Orlando and acknowledged, that this is a special TO Base, no doubt. The overall arrangement is well thought through, the dinner delicious in a perfect sunset environment. Thank you!

Fair winds…

St. Vincent – TO Base

Rosi and the boat boys, well organised.
Keartons Bay and the Rock-Side-Cafe.

We have left the Grenadines against our plan as we need to fix a technical issue on the boat. Return is open at the moment.

In short, our service battery bank has aged quickly over the last couple of weeks and we are now at 12.0V only at 95% SOC (state of charge). This is despite the fact, that they have been declared in Puerto Calero three month back to achieve a 95% SOH (state of health). They are now under ICU management to prevent total breakdown before having new ones at hand.

We are heading back to Martinique to get them replaced. This gives us the great opportunity to visit the TO Base on St. Vincent Island. It is run by Rosi and her husband Orlando. A special arrangement in a very small and picturesque bay with very few mooring buoys, sunset dinner, rubbish disposal, immigration service. We opted for all of it! Pick-up for dinner is at 6pm sharp. Fish or Chicken? We pre-ordered one each and are now hungry after another pleasant sailing day in moderate trade winds.

Fair winds…

Susan on the way to the immigration.
Open only during overtime hours.🤑

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