Monthly Archives: October 2014

The dreaded ice-berg!!!

Until now we’ve been behind the tourist season, in Scotland we were too late, in Ireland the summer had ended and we were too late, Galicia, they had almost closed the ice-cream vendors in Porto we were “bringing the autumn” one of the marina officials joked. Yup, even in Porto Santo we were a bit late and off season..

The point slightly north of the Canary Islands where the planes decide on where to go...

The point slightly north of the Canary Islands where the planes decide on where to go…

But now we are just right, there are Germans, Spaniards, Englishmen, French and I actually think I heard Finnish or Danish, hard to tell when your mind is set to grasping Spanish and English so that when you hear something you should recognise it sounds like complete gibberish.
But yes we’re in charter-land!!!

Anchoring in a bay outside a beach where you’re joined by glass bottomed boats, catamarans ferrying tourists and bathing toys to the beach and lots of other boats gives you a bit of an assurance. It’s a way of proving to yourself that the choice of anchorage you’ve made is a good one. Not necessarily a safe and calm one but a nice place to bathe and get your tan on. Being between 24 and 26 C in the water helps when you want to check on your anchor or just look at the bottom of your keel. Being anchored outside a lovely beach looking at all the people tanning and playing in the surf make you feel a bit of proud, I’ve taken this yacht here it was far and I can stay here for a couple of weeks and you guys on the beach are taking the disco-catamaran back to your hotels in about an hour. Sure, you might have your air-conditioning, showers, room-service and hotel pool-bars but you’re going home next weekend and I’m continuing my trip.

Graciosa, the northernmost Canary..

Graciosa, the northernmost Canary..

Playa Francesa is a well-sheltered bay in all conditions except in south-to-south-westerly winds. Ok hard west winds can be a bit of a hassle too but most of the time the trade winds stops that from happen. Except for right now, the winds picked up and we were in a rollercoaster.

Anchorage.. you'll be seeing more of these kind of pictures.

Anchorage.. you’ll be seeing more of these kind of pictures.

Well no worries, we just pop into the marina and spend one night there, stowing our dingy, up with the anchor, tuck the teapot into its hiding place and away we go. Twenty bumpy minutes later, we were heading into the safe harbour and all of a sudden there it was, the iceberg of my nightmares!

Holy S***** is that an Iceberg???

Holy S***** is that an Iceberg???

Seeing it as we entered the harbour I knew we we’re in of a bit of trouble and sure, as soon as we laid our eyes on a nice spot on the docks we heard a whistle, a guy in a uniform waved us in telling us there was no place in the marina for us. It’s full, he said and dismissed us with his clipboard. The uniform he whore stated that it was no use discussing so we headed towards our backup anchorage. But I promise you it was that effing icebergs fault. I hate icebergs, I had nightmares about them before Scotland and now they’re here to haunt me, to taunt me, to just give me a hard time..

From the mountain.. Not bad, not bad!

From the mountain.. Not bad, not bad!

What the sunset looks like when I've misplaced my glasses.. Graciosa it's not that shabby..

What the sunset looks like when I’ve misplaced my glasses.. Graciosa it’s not that shabby..

We plan on heading down to Punta Papegayo in a couple of days and hopefully we’ll bring you that story soon.


Now we’re anchored in the sound between Lanzarote and Graciosa. After a nice sail and a bit boring steaming we’re finally on the Canary Islands!
Waking up after sleeping an hour or two (waiting for the sun to come up) we see the bottom 12 meters under or little boat, the sun is shining on the red-orangeish mountains, the blue sea and other yachts bobbin a bit outside the smooth beach. Life is not to shabby right now!

So the crossing from Porto Santo to Isla Graciosa then?
26 in the water 30 in the air, saw a turtle or two and a couple of transport ships.. Well we’ll be back with more updates soon..

Bye Porto Santo

Today we’re leaving this sweet inverted oasis in the big sea. After spending a week here, sunbathing, snorkeling and riding scooters we are setting our course towards Graciosa, one of the smaller ones that we tend to forget when going on a charter trip (,_Canary_Islands). We will be able to e-mail in updates the coming weeks but the picture heavy posts have to wait. We’ll take a lot of pictures and probably upload when we get a stable wifi again but we don’t really know when.

The plan is to stay a week or two anchored out before we head south towards Lanzarote. The weather is acting strange right now and we can just bide our time and wait for proper winds before our crossing but that’s more than a month away and it’ll be better by then. The AIS signal is a bit strange with all the mountains on there volcanic islands so marinetraffic might not be able to track us all the time.

I promise that you’ll be the first to know when we’re safely anchored up outside Playa Francesca later this week.


Splicing ropes for dummies..


2014-10-11 16.38.51
Step one, tie a knot one meter up from the end you want to splice and make sure the the end is taped and not burned.2014-10-11 16.40.44
Step two, measure up a length of your splicing needle from where your loop should end, mark and call it 1.2014-10-11 16.47.15
Step three, open up the line at 1 and tape up the end of the inner core where you took it out mark and call 2. Now the fun begins. Measure it up with 2/3 of a splicing needle and call it 3, measure one whole needle and call it 4.2014-10-11 16.49.22
Insert the outer casing into a splicing needle and push the needle in at 3 and take it out at 4. Drag back so that the outer rope just disappear into the core again.2014-10-11 16.49.42
Now insert the core in to the needle and go into the outer casing half a centimeter from where the outer rope goes into the core. Proceed until you come out at 1. If you can’t do it in one go just open up and drag out the core and go back in again. 2014-10-11 16.52.21
When you’ve don it all you should end up with something like this.. Now tape and cut the inner core 1 cm from where it comes out of 1 and drag back the outer shell from the knot you tied in the beginning. The inner core containing the outer part of the rope will go back into the rope leaving you with a nice loop for your mooring line or what you might want to use it for.

We used it making our rig for hoisting our dingy.

Thada!! Good to go..

Thada!! Good to go..

We’ve painted something!!

So last post I told you about the tradition yachtees have painting on walls. Today we finished our new painting on the wall. Martina is the best painter so we gave her the task of putting a bit of color on the concrete. So here by I present to you our beautiful work!

Our masterpiece.. Naah just kidding, just something i drew on the wall..

Our masterpiece.. Naah just kidding, just something i drew on the wall..

Here comes the proper version..



More painting..

More painting..

Fixing the details

Fixing the details

Next to the old painting..

Next to the old painting..

Our true masterpeice..

Our true masterpiece, the face on the sail is our own Viking house-god..

The proud painters and designers with our new logo..

The proud painters and designers with our new logo..

There you have it, we’ve painted on the wall again, hopefully this one will still be there in 11 years time.

Pictures, photograps and images..

So we’re still hanging and chilling on sunny Porto Santo! After just calming down after our hard sail from Porto (yup super exhausting) we decided to rent two scooters and check out the island..

My drivers license don’t allow me to drive anything funnier than a car or a moped but here I could without any trouble rent a 125cc scooter and drive away in my swim-trunks and flippy-floppies.. I though out nice things to put on my Darwin-award application when zooming down the roads doing 75km/h. I have to be honest, it was hell of a fun and I wanted to extend the rental time for a year and do no more then drive the twisting mountain-roads in the sun listening to “born to be wild”. Martina sitting behind me on the scooter was not as thrilled about my new found love and we returned my precious the next day. We had time to do some shopping and go snorkeling on the south west end of the island.

Underwater selfie...

Underwater selfie…

Martina scaring the camera...

Martina scaring the camera…

Skipper's fins are as long as him (almost)..

Skipper’s fins are as long as him (almost)..

Ida 3 meters below the surface..

Ida 3 meters below the surface..

After spending a couple of hours playing in the surf and waves we drove the mountain road around the island enjoying the scenery.
Porto Santo is not as lush as its bigger sister Madeira, the greenest place is the golf-course witch can bee seen from the sky (or from Pico de Castello).

After returning our scooters we decided on taking a hike up on Pico de Castello, to look at the garden on the top of the mountain and look at the view from the top.

It's a bit up from the sea up to the summit..

It’s a bit up from the sea up to the summit..

But when you're up there it's worth the hike...

But when you’re up there it’s worth the hike…

Trusty's crew at the top of Pico de Castello

Trusty’s crew at the top of Pico de Castello

Walking up to the pico we got an entourage of dogs following us a bit of the way protecting us from other dogs and the dangerous lizards that have invaded Porto Santo.

Our possy, badass dogs..

Our possy, badass dogs..

Porto Santos true inhabitants..

Porto Santos true inhabitants..

There is a long tradition by yachtees to paint on piers on the Atlantic-islands as Horta (on Faial), Las Palmas (on Gran Canary) and on Porto Santo as well. What the difference between graffiti and this is people can spend hours discussing but hey you paint your boats name and your name and what year you where there. Last time Trusty stayed in the marina we painted the wall and today we started painting again. Tomorrow we’ll finish the painting and we’ll show it to you before we leave for the Canary islands.

Our old painting. The new one is till in the making..

Our old painting. The new one is till in the making..

When we leave Porto Santo we’ll sait sail for Graciosa (slightly north of Lanzarote) and I don’t know when we’ll have a stable Internet connection again. We can update with our location and how we’re doing using our satphone but we can’t upload any pictures and stuff like that. I promise that we’ll try and find places where we can give you some pictures and longer updates.

I’ve finished some projects on our to-do list and we’ll give you a post about that tomorrow. After we’ve updated our weather tomorrow we’ll decide on when to sail for the canaries or what to do. The good thing about being where we are right now is that we don’t have to rush anything anymore. We’re leaving for the Caribbean in mid November and before that we don’t actually have to be in the canaries, we actually don’t even have to be there (tough it’s helluva lot easer to shop for the crossing on in Las Palmas compared to here) to cross the Atlantic. We can start our crossing from here if we have to and that makes us more relaxed than we’ve been before on our trip. Now we’re out on the islands and now we’re just taking our sweet time doing what ever we want!!

From one Porto to an other.

Kind of…

Porto, a city looking right out of Assassins’ Creed with its six bridges, dozens of different architectural styles, small streets, plazas and Port-wine. If Ubisoft is looking for a new city for the game they can just do it in Porto, no one would complain. But we’re not here to talk about games. No we’re here to talk about sailing, yachting and being a dummy.

Our stay in Porto turned out mostly as we wanted it to, we played tourists for a couple of days and then we set about doing the hard work that needed to be done. We started working on our new dingy lines and finished that, our secret gift for Fairwinds was completed as well and we made a description on how to use it (we’ll post it as soon as they have gotten it). Being in Porto is like participating in a commercial for romantic vacations, every time we took a stroll down the river a wedding photoshoot took place with the city as a backdrop, at every restaurant there were couples looking deep into each other’s eyes and all that.

Stocking up on food for a month, we need a bigger boat..

Stocking up on food for a month, we’re gonna need a bigger boat..

Did you drink any wine then?, a curious reader might ask. Sure, we drank some, we had a good 30 year old Tawny at a restaurant, bought a couple of mid and low price bottles and went to a wine tasting and bought some more. Well, needless to say we did like it and now we have stocked up for the rest of the trip. (Word keeps telling me it’s unnecessary to write out needles to say.. hehe)
So if you’re staying in Porto and want a free Port Wine tasting just go to Churchill’s and say you’re staying in Douro Marina, but if you’re not actually staying there you might want to buy a bottle just to keep your conscience clean.

You have to keep reminding me to bring my camera more when we’re out being tourists then you’ll see more pictures.

50 shades of blue...

50 shades of blue…

So Porto to Porto Santo then?
600 something nautical miles of hindquarter wind just keeping watch, quite sunny and not much traffic. We let Aries do the steering and pointed our bow towards 220 degrees, after the wind had stabilised (about 5 hours in to the sail) we were done trimming our sails and didn’t change them until we rolled them in when we arrived. Easy sailing, we rolled out our genua to leeward and used a spinnaker pole to stabilise it reefing in a couple of square meters thus stopping the sail from moving from side to side in the wave motion. After that we set our jib to windward and used our old pole stabilising. It’s really dummy sailing, you don’t have to do anything almost. With the AIS the only boats that surprise you are other yachts without IAS and fishing-vessels.

Land hoy!!! Porto Santo!!

Land hoy!!! Porto Santo!!

As the miles on our gps slowly ticked down, we set our routines with three hours watch keeping and six hours of free time. After a while you are fully rested and start reading too much, I’m almost done with the Game of Thrones now (I’m past where the HBO version is right now so give me your monies or I’ll spoil the shit out of it 😉 ) and we have to start digging in our library soon. Our library is under the sofa so we have to lift mattresses, pillows, wooden lids and lots of pilot-books and other stuff before we actually get down to our books. Well enough about books…
When the gps told us 50 NM we got our hopes up, and during the night we saw the light from the lighthouse giving its three flashes every fifteen seconds way ahead in the dark. With dawn came the silhouette and soon came the last two hours of motorerhm I mean steaming in towards the marina. With our moorings tied up and our papers looked at by grumpy harbour-police (they are surprisingly nice but they look badass with their berets, guns and polished boots) we sat down in our cockpit smiling in the sun.

What my eye spy when I climb the pier..

What my eye spy when I climb the pier..

Porto Santo is a big step for our cruise; it is now we actually leave the mainland of Europe until we come back from the west side of the pond. Plus from now on we’re only staying on island as well so bye bye Europe!!

Now a week of just chillaxing on Porto Santo awaits and lots of swimming (it’s ‘round 24 in the sea), scooter driving, beach walking and seawall painting. When I post this we’ve been here a couple of days so I know what is going to happen in the next blog entry already.. I might even have some notes about what it’s going to be about… might even have done some of the photo-shopping that’s needed to be done as well…

Look how far south we are!!

Look how far south we are!!

Ok TL;DR version.. Porto, port wine, bridges, a city looking like out of a Assassins Creed game, splicing ropes, tourists, weddings, set sail, 600 NM, same wind direction, nothing to do, reading, arriving, harbour police, blue water, hints about spoliers and sunshine.




Hanging out in the sun..

Hanging out in the sun.. (Martina, Ida and Skipper)

(edit, the island we’re on)

In the middle of the ocean..

.. no one can hear your boat rocking..
Sorry to tell you all in this way, it should have been better prepared with champange and a youtube clip about us leaving the safety of the european continent setting out for a loooooong time on different islands.
But one can’t always plan, well we had it planned we just forgot to tell the blog about it. All of a sudden the winds were right and we just set out.

Writting this I’m standing watch waiting for a gribfile to drop in to my inbox with the latest weather. Last time i looked in Porto it looked great but that was early tuesday morning and who knows what the weathergods bring us now.
You’ll get a nice post about porto and what we did there and how nice portwine taste if it’s aged and much more but you’re going to have to wait until we reach the safety of Porto Santo before that. It’s kind of hard writing a blogpost while bracing yourself agains the boats motions as well as keeping my laptop from falling of the table.. 🙂

Well only 360 nautical miles left until we can shower again!!

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