Monthly Archives: May 2015

Change of mind

Started writing something funny about me and shade and my wishes about colder weather. Ranting about sun and stuff but then during my afternoon watch yesterday a shoe and a toilet–seat floated past and the funny feeling was kind of lost.

Well let’s hope that it was remnants from one of the boats that they rescued during the big storm a couple of weeks ago. But it still makes you think a bit.

We’re fine and the wind has picked up and now we’re sailing with three reefs in our main and our jib only and are doing 5 knots stomping trough the waves. Will be back in a day or two with a new update.

N 27 57 W 055 23

One Week!

Captain’s log, earth date 201505281254LT, as we were chasing the favourable winds heading towards our destination we actually catch a strange wind enabling us to head straight for the Azores.

We have ok winds, not saying anything else, don’t want to jinx any more. Have anyone seen Das Boot? There is a scene where they are trying to go through the strait of Gibraltar, cannons, flares and craziness all over the place. Just like that it felt last night as we were passing between a couple of thunderstorms while being hit by a rainy squall. Started humming the lead-tune from the film as I hunkered down behind our doghouse.

Other than that it’s been slow, doing only 2 knots with no wind and too much waves knocking the wind out of our sails. Did a bit of maintenance on the reef-line for our genoa yesterday and humming old shanties as we sat there like some old scruffy salty dogs. No rhum ration for this crew today but we’ve put some sodas in the fridge for later.

So far the ocean is giving me a better treatment than it did last time I was out close in these waters, not going to write about that today but I might do a comparison between this and 12 years ago when we get to the Azores and can send longer updates.
Anyways, times up and I have to send this out before it’s my turn to go up and look at the horizon.

N 25 13.36
W 058 00.03

Jinxing it?!

Could one jinx the crossing while talking about too little wind? As of writing this it’s day two of motoring eastwards and it’s soon diesel checking time. After measuring, we can calculate how many more hours of fuel we’ve got left.
Our spirits are good and we are noticing that it’s not as warm as it was a couple of days ago so finally one don’t flow away just sitting here writing a blogpost.
It’s going to be nice actually getting to the Azores now but we have at least 1800 miles left. Would some nice northwesterly or southwesterly winds be enough to ask for, they don’t have to be strong, just enough to give us a 4-6 knot average speed.
If this continues we’re going to have to paddle the last 1000 nautical miles and that will be a bummer.

When the sun goes down the light shows starts out here in the middle of nowhere, we have the sea lighting up from bioluminescence, the sky lighting up from flashes of thunder on the horizon. Yesterday we got some rain and Trusty had a shower to rinse of some of the salt, I was hand-steering right then and stopped doing that and put our autopilot back on.

Btw, I got pictures to prove the weather situation, it can be calm on the big seas, where were this weather when we were stomping up and down in the Caribbean? Update in a day or two.

N 24 10.86
W 060 17.02

More than you! Again..

Every day I sweat, come out to sweat, wetter sweating more than you!
All of a sudden we think of one of the lines from Like a boss (look back in February and you’ll understand) out here on the big blue sea!
We’re having a great sail north but there is one problem, the sun… Sure you think that a bit of sun would just be great but when you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean there are not that much shade. Sure we’ve done what we can to give us some shade but as the sun pass from horizon to horizon even the shadiest place of the cockpit get a fair share of rays. Inside Trusty it’s not much better, the ventilation is not that good and the hatches we can open get spayed every now and then thus making it a bad idea.

It’s now day four on our crossing and we still feel ok with it, the gps tells us there are less than 2000 NM on the big circle to Horta, to bad we’re not following that circle so we probably got about 2200 left before seeing Faial.
Most of our sailing so far has been with one reef in our main and our jib fully out. The Genoa is a bit too much sail for comfort and something in-between would have been a good solution but this works great.

Yesterday evening we had some bad news but we continue on heading northish.

Tomorrow is towel day and then we all have to bring our towels to remember an author who didn’t like to write, Douglas Adams. I myself are going to spend this crossing with a good phrase in my mind.

Don’t panic!
Well that’s all for now, we’ll be back in a couple of days.

N 22 50.70
W 062 02.33

We’re on our way!

There, we’ve lifted our anchor and stocked up and now we’re leaving for the open water. We’ll do the same as we did on our way here, report to you about how it is and where we are. You just have to wish us fair winds and following seas!

Here we go!

Not to the temple of consumption but out on the ocean, for the second time this trip we’re going place ourselves in the mercy of Poseidon and his entourage for a couple of weeks. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be I guess, shopping for corned-beef is done, shopping contraband rhum for the trip home is done, water and diesel is not done but that’s the last thing we’ll do.

Leaving this side of the pond comes with quite mixed feelings; it’s going to be fantastic getting back to Scandinavia but we’re going to miss these islands like crazy. I think it’s a mix of the cruising community and the weather that make me want to come back again. Sure there is a kind of sailing community back in Sweden but I’ve never really felt at home there, for me sailing is a way of taking me places a way that let me travel at a pace my brain and body can cope with. I’m not the kind of person that go sailing for the experience of the sail, you’re not finding me tacking my way towards a goal up wind just because I’m on a sailboat. You see all that you pass when you travel this way (except for when you’re sleeping or the fog is to thick), every nautical mile we’ve travelled is a nautical mile we’ve seen and focused on. When you go by plane you’re up in the air for a couple of hours and then you’re in a different country, now we actually have seen the trip here. I’m not going to say that one way or other is a better way to travel and I’m really not going to say anything about the people who go by plane. Some of our fellow cruisers look down a bit upon the people chartering a boat here in the Caribbean, island hopping for two weeks and paying about the same amount as we do in three months just to be here. Sure we feel a bit smug when they look with big eyes when entering a bay and they are lured in to picking up an overpriced mooring that probably is as safe as our dingy anchor but that’s just because we’ve gone cynic. Cynic and sure one can feel a little bit good about yourself when you’ve crossed an ocean to get here but sometimes I’d like to change place with them. They’re heading home soon on a plane, the boat they sailed are going to be taken care of and they don’t have to worry about Atlantic weather patterns. Step on, get drunk, get tanned (or at least red), snorkel a bit, eat some local food, step of, take a shower and done. That’s all folks…

We on the other hand have to cross the pond again and getting to the Azores, we’re only halfway there. Halfway back to reality…

Yeah, back to travelling by boat, the best thing is that you have your home with you, all your stuff, and your own bed. You don’t have to pack and unpack all the time, your hotel room moves with you and at the end of the day you sure feel good about doing this trip. But why do we do it?
For me it’s not about the spiritual trip that some people talk about, I wanted to go back to the Caribbean and I wanted to be able to stay there for a while, thus sailing there because if I’d gone there by plane and hotel my budget would have been gone long time ago. Sure, some people claim finding their life meaning, getting spiritual, wiser or whatever floats your boat (no pun intended) the only thing I’ll take with me from this is that I can do it. No more, no less, I can cross an ocean under the circumstances that I did cross it.

I was going to write about the small patch of sand that is the most photographed patch of sand in the Caribbean but when I got there and saw that the beach was almost gone and all the touristy things there that thought went away. See if you can find some photos of the place today compared to a couple of years ago. Didn’t find Bourdains curve nor the shawarhma truck either, but that don’t get me down, I wouldn’t be a true pessimist if things were accomplished.

Now we’re getting the last things in place before we raise our anchor and sail out into the great unknown again.

Here we go, here we go, here we go!

TL:DR? Just go listen to “Stakka Bo – Here we go again” and just switch the consumption with ocean and you’re fine, you lazy…..

Slow days slow updates..

What are we doing? Why aren’t we moving?

Here we go.. We’ve stocked up on food, candy and toilet paper and right now we’re playing the waiting game. Sure we could leave St Martin today and sail north but that would cause us to use our engine quite a bit as the winds mid Atlantic are quite unstable right now.
We intentionally missed the last weather window but in hindsight that was a good thing, that would have placed us in the storm that caused 9 people to be rescued mid ocean and a six year old girl died.

What are we doing then? Well most of the time we try not to spend money ashore and do some maintenance on Trusty, a nice oxymoron that turned out to be. Well the toilet problem is solved two times over now. First we bought an electric pump with a blender to make sure nothing got stuck and that one worked like a charm, at least for a week until the electrical system realized that what we had done. Now it’s working again with a brand new cable and a nice new fuse. Good thing we had that problem here in the lagoon where there are some of the best stocked chandleries in the Caribbean. More than that we have fixed a bit here and there and taped a bit on our Genua.

Dingy Drifting

No, we haven’t got a faster dingy and we haven’t recreated scenes from any speedy car movie. We attended a mobile get together where you bring some snacks and beer and take about 18 dingies and tie together and drift trough the anchorage meeting new people and try not to end up on the shores. We were the slowest and smallest dingy (as usual) but we had a good time anyway and can recommend anyone who want a fun night to try it.

Fun as it was we’re sad to report that we had a smudge on the lens of our gopro so the pictures are completely blurred but we’ll see what a couple of hours of photoshoping can do. Being sunday it’s going to be a lazy day and we’ll probably spend it drinking tea and reading books.

Life in the Lagoon

It’s not easy living next to one of the most photogenic airports in the world. Princess Juliana international airport might be one of the better looking in the world, not because that some famous person designed the terminal but that its runway end and begin about 20 meters from the water. On the western side there is a beach that must be one of the most photographed in the world (just google it and you’ll see) and we’re planning at trip there to get some new pictures of us, it’s not every day that you can stand underneath a 747 that almost decapitates you flaring on the final approach. The eastern side might be a bit more boring with just a road and a bridge. We’re anchored out in the lagoon a bit north of the runway and we have a front row seat for all the take offs.

Our posible routes heading home.

Our posible routes heading home.

Renting a car will help us explore the island, and make it easier for some serious shopping; the new toilet pump as well as some reef lines and food for the trip home are on our lists. One place that I’d like to find is a piece of road that Antoine Bourdain writes about in his book “Medium raw, a bloody valentine to the world of food”. Apparently he spent some time here in his darker days of newfound fame, he played music Russian roulette with a radio DJ, finding that stretch of road, and the Shawarma truck that he ate from might be one of my small goals on this island. A bit of foodie questing for me to look into.

The lagoon have some serious warm water and it’s quite clear compared to other crowded anchorages we’ve visited on this side of the pond. I can see that this lagoon might be an easy place to get stuck in, I know I would if we didn’t have to go back home again.

It’s good to know that we’re not the palest on this island, even though we all are quite brown most people we meet tend to like the sun better than us or rather have the patience to work on their tans. But here we see some American and European tourists that are fresh from the plane and that make us not the palest bunch on the island. My biggest concern now is that I’ll be a weak excuse of a man when I get home, it’s cold now when the temperature drops below 20 and I’m used to lukewarm rain, not the ice mixed ones from back home. We can only pray that the Atlantic crossing back home make me a Nordic Viking again.