A Gaggle of Greece and Two Ugly Ducklings

It’s been an eventful few days.  Now into Day 5 of our 8 day Cruising Association’s 2015 Baltic Rally, having all those sail boats around keeps you on your toes.  The winds had been howling since Wednesday.  Therefore it was decided to remain in Kröslin until Saturday morning.

Dauntless in Ueckermünde with the fish boat restaurant to the left.
Dauntless in Ueckermünde with the fish boat restaurant to the left, not leaving me a lot of room for the U turn

But I needed to be in Ueckermünde, the next stop and our last in Germany, Saturday morning, as Ivan my dutiful crew member was returning to Italy that day and Eve and Nigel were scheduled to come that afternoon.

Therefore I decided to leave Friday morning in spite of the winds.

And they were howling, 25 knots, gusting to 38.  But at least, my position at the end of the “T” combined with the winds pushing me off the dock, made for a relatively easy launch.

Between Kröslin and Ueckermünde, there are two bridges with set opening times, a few times a day.

We got to the first bridge early, we had 45 minutes to wait.  After a few anxious moments, we got a line onto a large steel piling and made a bridle from the bow cleats.  Worked well and Dauntless kept her bow to the wind at about a 30° angle.  Easy Peasy.

We got to the next bridge, in spite of traveling as slow as I could, we still had an hour to wait.  There was a shallow anchoring area for boats waiting for the bridge.  Only 7 feet of water, (D takes 4.7 ft), but it was on the windward side, so that meant if the anchor did drag, we would at least be push to deeper water closer to the channel.  And the day’s winds meant there was virtually no one on the water except for us and two sailboats, one German and one Danish.

Dauntless flying the Kadey Krogen flag in Ueckermünde, Germany
Dauntless flying the Kadey Krogen flag in Ueckermünde, Germany

Anchor out; I also have an anchor buoy, which is attached to the anchor with a very thin, but strong Amsteel line.  Too strong.

An hour later, we weigh the anchor and get underway down the very narrow channels (much like the ICW in Georgia) towards Ueckermünde.

Arriving in the quaint town, my directions told me to proceed until the bridge, at which point one cannot go further and tie up along the wall close to the bridge.  Sounds easy; I was calmer than usual knowing Graham and Fay of the Cruising Association would be on the dock to help tie up.

As I come into the narrow part of the channel, towards the anticipated docking spot, I turn on the power to the bow thruster.  I try to minimize bow thruster use, but I will use it and would hate not to use it and hit another boat as a consequence of me being stubborn.

The 25 knot wind is now right on my stern. I know D turns well to the left and backs to the right, so I can usually do a 180° turn to the left within a 50’ circle.  With not winds that is.

I pull to the right as much as I can. But leaving room for the stern to kick out to the right and still miss the restaurant boat.

All went well, until about half way through, so now I was perpendicular to the canal,  the fish restaurant boat was just a couple feet from the swim platform, the dock wall just feet in front of us and the bridge, that effectively made this a dead end for us, about 50 feet away with the wind blowing us towards it.

Then the light on the bow thruster went off, which told me, it had blown the fuse.

I was actually unfazed about it, I try to minimize my bow thruster use in any case, just for reasons like this, and though the wind was now pushing me closer and closer to the bridge, it was still a boat length away.

Backing and filling like I have practiced many times, the Kadey Krogen with its large rudder swung her stern around quite smartly and we were parallel to the dock 30 seconds later.

Ivan on his last full day on Dauntless got us tied up and I thank the lucky stars for another good end to a stressful day with 25 to 38 knot winds, a narrow dock space and having to wait two hours for two bridges in winds in strong, gusty winds.

Now as for the 300 amp slow blow fuse, this had happened once before a few months after we got Dauntless. Then I did not have a spare fuse and since it powered the Inverter also, I had to resort to extreme measures. Don’t do this at home.

This time I had a spare, so I promptly found it and replaced the blown fuse.  I simply assumed it had blown because I had used the bow thruster for too long or continuously.

I had also changed the engine oil while in Kröslin. With Ivan’s help it went easily, too easily.

Ivan left on the train early Saturday morning, it was sad to see him go.  A great kid, and a real big help.

Eve and Nigel were there to replace him and I looked forward to leaving Germany on Sunday and entering Poland for the first time in my life and Dauntless’ too for that matter!

With a bit of a hangover from the night’s before bbq.  A comment about German bbq’s.  They are just that, meat on the grill.  By speaking to the cook in German, I even got extra meat.  Maybe too much meat.  Since there was virtually no salad or other fillers, I ate a lot of meat and washed it down with a lot of white wine.

Meat, wine and great company, one cannot ask for a better life.

So, the next morning Sunday, a bit hungover, but all seemed right with the world.

The fuse was replaced, the oil had been changed, and D was really for new places.  But one nagging problem.  Leaving Kröslin, having to stay in a number of narrow channels for hours on end, the ComNav autopilot did not seem up to its usual precision.  It was over correcting too much and also more noise than usual, usually an indication of air in the hydraulic lines.

So, we had a late morning departure planned for Ueckermünde and the two power boats would bring up the rear of our little gaggle of sail boats and the two ugly ducklings following behind.

The plan was to travel at about 5 knots which was the fastest speed for the slowest sailboat.

I knew it was going to be a slow day, very slow, in any case.  While Dauntless is not fast, nor even quick, she does like to travel around 6 to 7 knots.  Any slower and she starts to get ornery, below 5 knots, she gets downright rambunctious.

So I figured once I started the engine, I would be in no hurry to leave and would check the hydraulic fluid of the wheel and autopilot.  So we did, but discovered no great amount of air in the steering system, in fact virtually none.  That made me worry, if there was not air in the system, then why was the AP acting strangely.  The day before, even though I had it set on the highest sensitivity to keep us in the very narrow channel, it was not responding fully like normal.  As the heading drifted off, it was not correcting quickly.  On numerous occasions we had to quickly shut it off and hand steer to get back into the 5 mile long, straight as an arrow channel.  But then we would try it again and it would sort of work.  And then do the same thing.

So when we get underway from Ueckermünde, while I hoped I had fixed it, I also knew I had not done anything significant and this was more like a wish and a prayer.

Well we catch up to the fleet and now, the one power boat, Tudora, a beautiful maintained older cabin cruiser, came by to tell me I had a line in the water.

Now, I had remembered that a day earlier I had seen the small, thin line that is connected to the anchor buoy had fallen in the water.  I had forgotten to get it out and now, I was a bit embarrassed that another boat had to remind me.

As I pulled on the line, it was stuck; on what I didn’t know, but clearly it would not come up.

I pulled harder.  No change and it did not budge an inch.

I had a brainstorm. I fastened the anchor buoy to it and let it go.  I figured if it was stuck on the prop, it would trail behind the boat.  Now, I was sure I had purposely not had enough line for it to reach the prop, but then …

After a few seconds the buoy bobbed the surface; at amidships.

In a flash, it all came together.

The line had been in the water when I made my U turn.  I had used the bow thruster for a longer period of time, maybe 20 seconds versus just a few seconds normally.

The line had been sucked into the bow thruster, wrapped itself around the shaft, stopping the shaft from rotating and lo and behold, the fuse blew.

Sure enough, as I pulled on the line, it was clear it was emanating from the front of the boat.

Knowing that, I was not overly concerned, I don’t use it very often and now, my practice backing and filling would reward me, so in spite of my fellow travelers concerns, we’d be fine without it, until haul out at least.

What had made the day so difficult was that the autopilot was acting like never before.  In the past I had had problems, significant ones at that, with the compass connected to the autopilot.

I knew how to deal with that.  This wasn’t that.  That was the problem.

The last few hours, the autopilot went from bad to worse.  It was not even following its own commands.  This to me was a more serious problem. The end result was that Eve and Nigel had had to hand steer virtually all day.  The times we did try to AP, it would work for a bit, but then as the compass heading changed, first a few degrees, then 10, then 20°, nothing would happen.  I would lunge for it and turn it off so we could get the boat back on track and in the channel and the gaggle we were supposed to be following.

Pulling into the dock at Swinoujscie, it was good to be tied up, but it had been a long day that ended with two major problems, the worst being an autopilot that all of a sudden wasn’t.

I went to bed that night with two issues, not the best ingredients for a good night’s sleep.

 

 

 

Italy, Holland, Germany and the Tower Incident

IMGP1762 (1280x848)
THe Tower on Ruden

Sort of like the “Bedford Incident” but without Sidney Poitier, or a submarine or the drama, but let’s start at the end.

So, I just had a little conversation with the conductor of the train taking Ivan to Berlin for his plane to Venezia.  The fact that I could have this conversation in German reminds me how comfortable I am in Germany, in spite of a few glitches and now being locked in a tower.

This past year, having Dauntless in Ireland, afforded me the opportunity to spend much more time with my old friends in Italy, the Netherlands and now, new friends in Germany. Since September, I’ve spent five weeks in Holland and three weeks each in Italy and Germany. The most time in many years.  I do like Germany, maybe not as much as Italy or Ireland, or Holland, or Spain, or …, but I do like it.

I have some wonderful friends from Germany and being here this long actually makes me miss them more, but that’s a saga for a different day.

So it is with an understanding eye that I relate my incident in the tower.

Let’s set the scene.

For the last week Dauntless has been in the company of about 20 boats, all members of the Cruising Association which is headquartered in London.  We are doing a week long “rally” in Eastern Germany and into Poland.  I figured it would be a good way for me to wet my feet, figuratively, but hopefully not literally, for my first ever trip to Poland.

While all these travels are new to me by boat, before I became a boat based gypsy, I was certainly a car based gypsy and travelled extensively all over Europe, but never Poland or the Baltic Republics.

So on a windy, but sunny day, our little band of boats set off for Kroeslin from Stralsund, with a small stop for those who are interested on the island of Ruden.

Dauntless on Ruden
Dauntless on Ruden

Now, one pleasure I get out of being on a tour organized by others is that I don’t have to do any thinking.  I don’t have to worry about bridge opening times nor actual routes.  In fact, it was only after I was tied to the wall, just outside the little, very little harbor of Ruden that I realized only about half a dozen boats made this detour to check out Ruden.

OK, I was here now, so I figured I may as well traipse down the dusty path and check out the watch tower that looked south over the V1 and V2 rocket development area of Peenemunde and later as the observation post to make sure no one left the people’s paradise known as the Deutsche Democratic Republic (DDR).  It’s actually comical to write that.  You have to hand to the commies; they certainly have a sense of humor.

So, there was Dauntless, right at the entrance to the harbor, flying not one, but two Stars and Stripes, with of course the German flag, a large one mind you and my newest addition, a Kadey Krogen flag thanks to the great people in their Seattle office.

Thus while I was securing the lines and then changing from by boating clothes to my walk a dusty path clothes, a little German boat, carrying maybe six people came in and tied up in the inner harbor in a spot reserved just for them.

One of the Displays of a B-17 Over Germany
One of the Displays of a B-17 Over Germany

So an hour later, I find myself walking down the dusty path, past the island caretaker’s house, past the 1960’s style barracks, though it could be 1930’s, it’s hard to tell in the DDR, with not a soul in sight.

On the path just in front, I pass a German coming from the tower and figure he was with that little boat that came in after me.

The tower is basically a four floor, 20 feet by 12 feet structure.  Each floor had one room looking south towards Peenemunde.

Now, while I was alone in the bulding, I was making noise.  Under such circumstances, I usually talk to the photos and ask them questions.  I don’t get many ansers though. I was also humming a tune; rather loudly as no one was about and it turned out the tune was from the Victory at Sea soundtrack done by RCA Victor and Robert Russell Bennett.  It had been in my head for a few days as I had played it after some arduous crossing.  At the time, I had no idea what particular track I was humming, but did discover later it was “D-Day”.

On each floor they had some information on the wall about the history of the island and one floor was about the war years. There was a photo of a B-17 in flight over Peenemunde.  Now my German is not so great, but I could glean from the explanation, that they were not thanking the B-17s for liberating them from the madman who was Hitler.

And I really had no idea the tune I was humming was titled “D-Day”.

Really, I didn’t.

Having walked to the top floor, I figured I may as well go one more flight up to the open air roof.

It was open air and it was the roof.  30 seconds later, feeling my duty was done, I go down to the ground floor, but realize something is different; it’s dark.  The metal door, which had been propped open when I had entered, was closed.

I actually went to look for the stairs to go down one more floor thinking I had forgotten how I came in.

Nothing.  I go UP one floor, maybe I was in the basement?  No, I can see I’m two stories up.

The German Boat
The German Boat with Tower in the Background

I go back to the metal door, which I had tried to open initially.

I try harder this time, now 98% sure it was the door I came in, I push really hard and see that there is a chain holding the doors closed.  I push harder. Nothing.

Now, at this point, I am not panicked; but simply perplexed.  I am still thinking I had possibly come in some other entrance.

Now, folks, this is a simple building.  We’re not talking Taj Mahal.  So, I realize that someone has chained me in the place.

OK, I check out the windows.  Not only are they bolted closed, but the first floor has those iron gates covering them.  I do see an English couple walking up, so I go wait for them and they confirm that the chain is padlocked.

Now, my phone is on the boat.  Who would I be calling on this island?

I thought to myself, maybe I should have brought my chain cutter with me. The fact that it weighs 20 pounds and is three feet long was probably the main reason I didn’t.  I also am not sure why I even bought it, as I can never remember using it.  Maybe I bought it for just this occasion?

No, brute force will be my last resort.

Free at Last, Free at Last
Free at Last, Free at Last, the Eyebolt hanging down with the nut I put back

I look at the door and the eye bolt the chain is connected to on the outside has one nut holding it in place.  I pull on the end of the bolt hoping to relieve the pressure and maybe I can get the bolt off.

I do; it does and I unbolt the eye bolt.

Push it through and I am as free as a bird.

I consciously put the nut back on the bolt.

I start walking back to Dauntless, who is probably now wondering what is taking so long on this forlorn island.

Just before the harbor, I pass one of the Germans I had seen earlier, now sitting on a bench waiting, watching or maybe just plain resting.

He smiles. And it all becomes clear.

His smile gives him away.  He gives me that mischievous smile that explains the whole situation to me at a glance.

I give him my “we’ve beat you twice and we could do it again” smirk and continue down the path, back to Dauntless with her two American flags standing straight out in the brisk wind.

I’m proud to be an American.

And, I really didn’t know the tune was titled, “D-Day”

 

 

 

 

Germany, A Few Thoughts and Bugaboos Too

Yesterday, we arrived at the harbor of Stralsund at 23:15.  Jeremy from the Cruising Association was ready, waving a flashlight so I knew where to go and I cannot tell you how relieved I was having that last uncertainty removed.

Ruden the little Island North of Peenemunde
Ruden the little Island North of Peenemunde

We had D tied up and engine off in 10 minutes, surely a record.

Saturday started in a frustrating fashion and ended the same way.

I use my Kindle for most books and I use the Kindle app on my phone for magazines and newspapers.  The app works better because it’s in color and the newspaper I read, the Wall Street Journal is formatted far better for that medium.

Why do I like the WSJ?

As I moved around the world, the WSJ was the one paper that one could get consistently and I liked the mix of world, US and business news.  Since I’ve gotten it on my Kindle, I like it even more since the version I get is for NY and has stories of the NY sports teams.

During this past year, I have come to realize that after a long day or before a long day starts, I really like having my cup of coffee and the newspaper. On reflection, I realize that while Dauntless is my main job now, almost as important, is reading the newspaper in the morning.

I grew up that way and since my first job was delivering newspapers, a job that was setup by the upstairs neighbors who wanted the four morning newspapers and therefore found another half dozen customers for me to make it worth the while of a 10 year old. So, I had the paper every morning to read before school.  As I got older, work and organizing my day mentally took precedence.

But now on Dauntless, I find a satisfaction on sitting down in the morning with the paper and my coffee that can hardly be described.

With my Samsung Note I can take it with me anywhere has been great.  I’ve even gotten used to the fact that it is not available until just before 8:00 Ireland time; which means an hour later on the continent.

OK, fine.  But since I have been in Germany, my internet connections seem to have vanished. Last week I was in a particular foul mood all day, just because I could not get the day’s paper.  Now Amazon certainly has its issues.  About once a month, the kindle has a hissy fit and tells me something stupid like all of a sudden I have too many devices or there is no new paper today.

Peenemunde Brochure
Peenemunde Brochure

If you email Amazon support, they now give you the boilerplate answer:  cut off your pinky, use the blood to wipe the screen, say praise be to whatever god your believe in or not, and that should do it.

Well, not exactly, but it’s usually just as bad, erase everything on your phone, reinstall everything and it will work. Sometimes.

Yeah, I don’t do that either.  Strangely most of the time, within a few hours it starts working again.

OK, but now, it’s not Amazon.  It’s the many places that say they have Wi-Fi, but really don’t.  And that now includes the Telco’s.

So no paper, email for days.  I didn’t miss it crossing the Atlantic, but now people think when I don’t respond to their email I’m ignoring them.  Worse, Gmail manages to send some stuff, but other stuff sits for days in the Que.

So this weekend ended on a sour note for me.  No paper, made worse because it took me a day to figure out the WSJ had not published on Saturday, the 4th.

Then Monday dawned bright and first thing it was back to the O2 store that sold me a data only SIM on Saturday to find out why I still had no Internet.  Now, I had returned to the store Saturday afternoon, just before closing to ask why it was still not working and the response was many people are having the same problem.  That was confirmed by my German friends who had checked online for me.

OK, so off I was to the O2 store for a resolution one way or another.

But this time, when I inquired why still no joy, I asked the question, that I should have asked on Saturday, but naively didn’t, assuming I would be told the whole story from the beginning.

But I had forgotten I was in the former DDR.  Germans are a bit reserved, at least compared to Italians or Irish, but the denizens of the former DDR are even more reserved.  With extra information, words, even necessary information, comes the risk of saying the wrong words to the wrong people.  Living for three generations, 60 years, under the watchful eye of the Gestapo/Stasi will do that to you.

So I was understanding; I smiled and did not say what I was thinking as he finally told me I needed an APN (an internet protocol).  In Italy, and with Verizon, the phone needs an APN, but is not needed in the Netherlands, or Ireland.  But, behind my tolerant smile, you know, the kind you give your puppy after he eats your favorite shoe, I wondered how he could have neglected to mention this after I returned to tell him it still wasn’t working?

But little did I realize how my mettle would be tested just 36 hours later locked in an old watchtower on Ruden.

 

 

 

Deutschland

Well my faith has been renewed in the human race or at least my decision making whichever is lessor.

Dauntless in Cuxhaven
Dauntless in Cuxhaven

We had an uneventful night passage from Lauwersoog in Friesland, the Netherlands to Cuxhaven Germany.

Unlike the English Channel, which really whipped my ass, the currents north of the Frisian Islands were as advertised; we got a good boost for about half the time. This allowed me to keep the rpm’s low, 1400 pretty much the entire way, and thus fuel consumption low.

With the help of the current we still averaged 6.0 knots, and that is in spite of the outgoing ebb coming up the Elbe, which kept our speed between 2.5 to 3.5 knots for last three hours.

Ivan and Bas had watches of 4 hours on, 4 off, and I pretty much dozed in the pilot house bench ready at a moment’s notice to further confuse any issue that came up with my groggy head.

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When we left Lauwersoog Sunday morning, the winds we SW at 12 knots and pretty much stayed like that for our entire trip.  The day became grayer, as the clouds increased during the afternoon and evening, leaving us in that murky grey world.  Winds became southeasterly as a minor trough moved past us, and then stayed that way, so as we started up the Elbe estuary, the current was running with the winds, keeping the waves pretty flat.

Sunrise on the Elbe
Sunrise on the Elbe

Remembering the debacle that could have been in Oostende, Sunday afternoon, a few hours after departure, I looked hard at the numbers and realized that even with the helping current, our best ETA would be 03:00.  Being further north, and June, nautical twilight would be about that time, but still too O’dark thirty for me.  So we slowed even further, timing our arrival after sunrise.

Turned out a much more open, straight forward harbor than Oostende, but I was still pleased with the decision.

I am also getting excited about the Baltic.

Poor Dauntless looks like she has been through a battle, as she shows the battle damage of the over 30 locks and bridges we had to tie up to. Doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), but what is different is that one must tie to something, as the wait times for bridges that “open on demand” vary greatly and the “open on demand” in the Netherlands means, if you are waiting in front of the bridge, they will see you and at that point put you on the priority list, but every train, bus, bicycle and pedestrian has a higher priority and probably a few planes also.  But the real issue in the waiting is the tieing up to all sorts of things at all sorts of heights and materials.

It was frustrating two days until Marinius, explained these facts of life to me during the European Krogen Rendezvous 2015.  What you didn’t hear about the rendezvous?  That story is still in the making.

Anyway, all this results in the poor D refuses to have any close-ups made.  So pictures shall have to be from a discreet distance. I shall have to find a real gel coat master at some point.  And please do not tell me how easy it is and that I should do it myself.  I once painted a set of chairs; at the divorce, my wife reminded me of the drips I left.  How was I to know I needed to thin the paint!

Last night, I finally decided to re-read the Baltic material I had collected from the Cruising Association meeting we had attended in London in February.  Having that information reduced the anxiety I was feeling about the Nord-Ostsee Kanal (Kiel Canal).

So tomorrow we leave, three hours before high tide, go to Brunsbuttel and wait.  They too have a priority order.  We are on the sub-order list.  Yes, Russian submarines even have a higher priority, but then the Germans will pretend they did not see them as they do not want to provoke them.

Back to the topic on hand.

I also realize that as different as many of these places are from the sea, I have spent so many hours driving around Western Europe and Germany and the Netherlands in particular, that I’m ready for new places, faces and cases.

If you wonder what a new case is, so do I, but I needed a word that rhymed.

Yes, that is my biggest worry right now!

How Big is Your Anchor?
How Big is Your Anchor?

 

 

Travelers & Just Say Yes

We are in Lemmer this morning.  A town on the Ijsselmeer in the beginning of Friesland, which has a really Dutch flavor.

Dauntless in Lemmer, Friesland on the Ijsselmeer
Dauntless in Lemmer, Friesland on the Ijsselmeer

We’ve decided to stay here two nights, and will even move the boat into the inner harbor.

I like showing our colors.  The liberalism of my youth was quickly extinguished once I moved to Europe and saw that Europeans, instead of feeling oppressed by the imperialistic Americans, were actually grateful for the security America provided.

My visits to Eastern Europe, just confirmed that and the fact that virtually all the eastern European countries are now in NATO, attests to that fact.

So, I’m proud to fly the Stars and Stripes.  I’m proud Dauntless came across the ocean on her own bottom and I’m happy that Julie and I like travelling so much.

Our first date was just that.  We took a bus ride from the bottom of Manhattan to the top and returned on a different bus.  An activity I had done countless times growing up in NY and now I had a partner to join me.

Lemmer Fisherman
Lemmer Fiskerman

Our first big trip, driving across the country in a Dodge Neon to Seattle, San Francisco and back took 6 weeks, 10,000 miles and billions of hours of conversation.  We had brought many hours of tapes with us and we ended up listening to only about a half dozen hours of them.

We do like talking.

Back to Italy in the 1970’s, when my Italian girlfriend accused me of being a gypsy, even though I do not think it was said as a compliment, it was hard to disagree.  The real Gypsies, Roma or Travelers, did not seem to live such a bad life to me.  Travelling around in their caravans (campers), pulled by older Mercedes didn’t seem any worse a life than what the rest of us were living.

Burt facts are facts and in the 40 years I have known her, the Italian ex-gf, she has lived in three places and I have lived in 30. So there is no denying the data.

This morning as I sat in the bakery enjoying my appelflap, an apple turnover, and my little coffee, I thought about this whole travelling thing.  The crux of it is that traveling is easy for us because we can accept uncertainty.

The person in the bakery was speaking Dutch to me, she asked me if I want the coffee for here and I said yes.  Then she said a word I did not understand, ‘berief” or “bericht,” or something like that.

I instinctively said, yes.

The coffee ended up coming in a littler cup than usual for the Dutch, but it was perfect.

Lemmer
Lemmer

And that is the lesson I first learned way back in the ‘70’s in Europe, when faced with questions and languages you do not understand, you must put yourself in the hands of the host.  Invariably hosts want to do the right thing and it will turn out well.

I’ve been with people who insist on knowing exactly what they will be doing, eating, etc.  The problem with that is that they then end up only eating, drinking and doing the things they are familiar with. What the point of that?

These types of interactions have characterized my life in the last 50 years.  I am instinctually trusting. By being trusting, it also gives one the opportunity to learn.  Oh trusting has hurt a few times, but never in this context.

So, I’m doing something I am good at, like doing, learning and is

Lemmer Streets, the Dutch like bricks
Lemmer Streets, the Dutch like bricks

interesting and challenging.

Life couldn’t be much better.

 

A Stressful Extraction

Our Gelderland experience is coming to the, we left Arnhem this morning to head north along the Ijssel river.

I’m still feeling a bit under the weather and am now thinking maybe it’s related to walking into the pole on Friday.  But we need not go there.

Docked at Watersport Centrum in Arnhem
Docked at Watersport Centrum in Arnhem

This morning, I paid Robert, the owner of Watersport Centrum Arnhem, and I explained to him how I wanted to get out of our tight space. By the way, it’s really not a Watersport Centrum, but it is a great boat yard, popular because they let you work on your own boat and a large, well-stocked marine store.

Tied to the dock on our port side, stern towards the exit, with about 50 feet, 15 meters to a large Hatteras docked on the opposite side, I decided to throw a line to someone on the Hatteras and have them pull the stern out.

At the same time, I had a bow line coming from the starboard bow cleat, around a midships cleat on the dock and back to the boat near the pilot house door. Ivan held this light taught, not letting the bow get very far from the dock.

Bas, the son of our Dutch friends, Margriet and Sierd, had joined Ivan and I yesterday.  He will be with us until the end of the month.  He will be with us for the Friesland part of our journey, made a bit more personal as that is where his father grew up.  The Fries language spoken in Friesland is also the closest relative to English.  An English speaker will recognize about half the words.

Bas was at the stern and kept me informed of how much space we had left.  As the boat became perpendicular to the dock, I then used the bow thruster to about 45° at which point could use the main engine with full left rudder to complete the U turn.

The closest we got to the Hatteras was 1.5 meters, a little less than 5 feet.

Bas and Ivan did an outstanding job and I’m sure we will have a great time together.

Unexpected Noise is Never Good

I am striving to post twice a week.  Sometimes it will be more and sometimes less, but at a minimum I like to have a post out by Saturday morning.  I didn’t make it this week, because I’ve been sick with the flu or something these past few days, having absolutely no energy to do anything.

It’s even one of the reasons we are still sitting in Arnhem today, Monday.

Dauntless in Arnhem
Dauntless in Arnhem

Nijmegen and Arnhem are special places for me.  My ex-wife Leonie is from Nijmegen and her sisters have lived in Arnhem the past 30 years, so it’s like coming home.

So in spite of my feeling not the best, it was great to have people over every evening for dinner, since Wednesday, to see the D, aka Dauntless.  Dauntless does appear to have gotten bigger in Europe, either that or all the docks and marinas are smaller.

So after entertaining the Vinks all weekend, I awoke this morning, with a goal to sit in my chair and do nothing.  Doing nothing is really hard for me.  That Corona ad, where the guy goes to the beach and sits with his beer watching the sunset, looks like torture to me.

So this morning, I figured, maybe I would sit in my chair in the salon and organize the two large bins I have of stuff that keeps growing, yet seems unclassifiable, so I can’t put it where it belongs.  Maybe I’ll just store it and let Leonie sort it when she and her husband Martin come out in August.

Dauntless in Nijmegen
Dauntless in Nijmegen

Speaking of Martin, Dauntless has three battery chargers.  A Heart Inverter/Charger, A Neumar True Charge and another one with a yellow case.

The Neumar is the only one that can take shore power here at 230 volts and charge the batteries.  Of course when I spent that week in Horta, we were hooked up to shore power and I tried to get it to work and for the life of me, it seemed dead.  Would not even work with the generator, the way it used to.  In the Azores, I was also delayed in fixing it in that I could not find that female plug that is ubiquitous in the US for computer power supplies.

I had removed the cover that says, so not remove under pain of death, and even checked the fuses and everything else I could find.  Neumar sent me the wiring diagram and offered to send another selector switch.  This while helpful, ended up misleading me.

Even after I came back from the US in the fall, I had a cable and plug, I had labeled it all, ground, neutral and load.  Blah, blah, blah.  NO luck.

But with the solar panels and not really needing much 12 v power form the batteries while at the dock, it got put to the back burner.

So finally yesterday, while I am burning our dinner on the bbq, Martin seemed fascinated with this Charger, so not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I got him the electrical meter and found a plug we could use for the 230 system.

Locking with Willie carrying 1,000 tons of sand
Locking with Willie carrying 1,000 tons of sand

He gets it all wired up again and plugs it in.  I said this is how far I got, but once plugged in, I never saw any power past the plug pins.  He plugs it in and within a minute it starts working!

Frankly, I was as flabbergasted as I was grateful.  One less thing to worry about.

B y the time I finished washing up, I was exhausted, so I got to bed early, feeling not so good, slept on and off until 09:30 and frankly did not feel that much better, thus the decision to do nothing.

So I’m looking at the Victron battery monitor and see a draw of 7 amps.  Other than a phone charger plugged into a cigarette lighter outlet, there is nothing else on.  I take the flashlight to check the charger, and sure enough, it is not working, but then I knew that, otherwise I would not have seen the negative 7 amps (yesterday when working it was putting 20 amps into the batteries).

The back of Willie
The back of Willie

I check the fuel levels to write in the log and then I hear it. A slight whine.  But I can’t place it. It’s not the fuel polisher, which is much nosier.

It seems to be coming from the rear section of the engine room, near the charger.

I open the salon deck panel and look down into the bilge and see a foot of water flowing rapidly, almost like a garden hose full open.

My initial panic, within seconds gives way to measured panic.  At least the bilge pump is just keeping up with it as in the little time I’ve been watching it, it has not gotten higher.  But this also explains why the batteries were down 220 amps this morning.  That poor little pump had been keeping us afloat all night.

Of course, this was one of the topics of conversation over the weekend.  I explained that while Waterford is a great place to leave the Krogen, once I’m gone for two weeks, I start getting antsy and must return within three weeks.  And I gave the example of a thru hull failure that lets a lot of water into the boat that the two pumps can keep up with only so long as there is battery power.  So even though I have friends in Waterford who keep an eye on Dauntless, they could go by every day and see nothing out of place, then all of a sudden, the batteries finally go flat and D sinks.

So all of this is going on in my mind in the first minute.

I see all this water rushing around, but where is it coming from?  I turn off the generator thru hull, because it’s right there and I figure I ran the generator for the first time since October last evening and this started last evening, so maybe they are related.

No change in flow.

Look under the engine, see nothing, but close the main engine thru hull. No change.

I look all over the engine room, the stuffing box had been my first guess, but just it’s steady drip, drip, drip.  I can’t figure out how the water is getting there. So I decide to take the chance and turn off the bilge pump and then I can see where it is coming from.

Turn it off, run over to the hatch look down and it’s the same amount of water, just sitting there sedately.  Not getting deeper; now just calm.

I turn on the pump, the whirlpool starts again, turn it off, it stops.

So, I don’t have a leak, this is the water that has come from the stuffing box in the last 12 hours (I do need to tighten it, I like a drip every minute, now it’s up to every second).

I pull the hose up to get the pump out and the hose comes up without the pump.  That explains that.

Two hours later, I’m sweating like a pig (it must be the flu, the boat is not even warm), but I put a new piece of hose on the pump with a new clamp.  The failure was caused by the old clamp disintegrating.

At 12:30 I am finally able to sit and do nothing.

So I end up spending the next three hours trying to get my wxx3 email with yahoo to work again. It just stopped working last week.

And an hour writing this, it’s 18:30, almost time for bed.’

Another day done just like that.

Oh by the way, remember I said that I initially had the charger problem in Horta last August?

It seems pretty obvious to be now that the reason the charger did not work was that the solar panels put out enough power, the charger would not be able to see the true state of batteries with the solar panels on.  Here in Arnhem yesterday, not only are we much further north, but it was also cloudy.

So I will sleep tonight knowing that I spent countless hours on that charger looking for complicated problems when the simple solution was right in front of me.  All I had to do was turn off the solar panels.

 

 

De Echte Bossche Bollen

If you understand that you can not die and go to heaven until you have had an echte Bossche Bol your life will be quite simple.

De Echte Bossche Bollen
De Echte Bossche Bollen

The following was written Thursday morning.

It’s 08:00, I’m tied to the wachtplaats, waiting dock, for the Henriette Sluis just on the north side of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.  We have been here since yesterday at 18:00.  Turned out to be very convenient for some Dutch friends to come visit, as it is right next to the bicycle path, but then most things are in the Netherlands.

Yes, you think to yourself, he is a sly one, thinking we will not notice the use of “the Netherlands” instead of Holland, just because he is now not in the provinces of Zuid Holland or Holland.

Back to the De Echte Bossche Bollen.  So as I sit here, listen to the birds talking, (which they have been doing since 05:00) and savior the exquisite cream, chocolate and pastry of the Bossche Bol, I marvel that is was just last week that I was fighting winds, currents and local harbors in settings that were far from tranquil.

De Echte Bossche Bollen from the Jan de Groot bakery
De Echte Bossche Bollen from the Jan de Groot bakery

As has been said before, the most dangerous part of any ocean passage is entering and leaving port.  This is just my way of saying that if you ever find yourself in Oostende, maybe it’s best to pretend you don’t know me.

But Dauntless can slalom well, even if it’s between moving commercial boats.  And I’m sure their yelling at me was their way to congratulate me on such fancy driving.  Oh those cute Belgies.

Though I got into and out of Vlissingen without incident, a seemingly rare feat this summer so far, and Willemstad was an absolute marvel.  To be tied to a dock, really rafted to a Kadey Krogen 39, in a beautiful quint Dutch town, is a treat beyond words.  Restaurants, cafes, grocery and even a well-stocked marine store, within feet of the boat, make it all worthwhile.

The fact that this docking, with water and power costs only 2 Euros per meter or about $35, is even sweeter.  Docking in northern Europe, except for the U.K., is very reasonable.  For our KK42, the price usually ranges from 1 to 3 Euros per meter, that’s  $12 to $40.  And of course, the free places, which I covet, with only the rumble of the occasional passing barge, like this past night.

So, even at the worst case, if one was to pay $40 per night, every night for a month, that’s only $1200.

The Orange Windmill in Willemstad
The Orange Windmill in Willemstad

And $1200 is hundreds cheaper than our apartment in the Bronx, so one could envision, going from cute town to cute town forever and never seeing the Bronx again.

Our Night at the Waachtplatz
Our Night at the Wachtplaats

Don’t tell Julie.

Yes, it’s hard life, but someone has to do it.

 

 

It’s Dark at Night

Each circle is 30 minutes.
Each circle is 30 minutes.

As I look at the videos I shot with my phone conditions don’t look that bad.  Monday morning unfolded into seas that were still less than 6 feet.

With a “normal” day cruising, we should be in Vlissingen in 12 hours.

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The https://share.delorme.com/dauntless site is pretty nifty.  You can click on each circle and it tells you the time.  I can also see that I made the decision to abort and head for Oostende at 21:20 Monday night.  Only 12 nm away, it still took 4 and half hours to get here.

And those were the must miserable 4 hours.

The winds having built to 25 gusting to 33 knots, had built very steep, choppy waves.  Only 4 to 6 ft. early in the evening, due to the proximity of land, about 10 miles off our starboard beam, the waves were coming from a multitude of directions, having bounced off the close by land.

Pierre-Jean liked hand steering; he really liked the Krogen and I let him for the most part, though as the evening progressed, I preferred being on the ComNav Autopilot because it does really well in the worst conditions.  At a certain point it dawned on me that for PJ, this was a test drive.  He got to drive a Krogen in conditions that 90% will never see.  He was as sick as a dog, but I give him credit, he found a boat far tougher than he was.  He left happy.

Dauntless Docked. There was a Sailboat 10' in Front
Dauntless Docked 3 Days later. There had Been a Sailboat 10′ in Front

Me too.  PJ had left me with a bunch of wonderful French wine.  And if we have one rule on Dauntless it is all sins are forgiven with wine.

With the mixed up seas, Dauntless was being hit by the tops of waves periodically. So I not fixing the two problem areas, the warped pilot house doors needed new thicker gaskets.  The center pilot house window, that flips open, had a rubber flap, to stop water from directly hitting the gasket on the hinge.

I had removed that months ago, with the intent to replace it. I hadn’t.  Why, because I was looking for a white rubber mat, that would fit, be inexpensive and look good.  So periodically, as the pilot house got bath, water would splash down onto the helm.  Only a half a cup at a time, and looking on the bright side, I was happy that the water did not stay in the ceiling, but immediately drained down to the helm!

But still, a half assed oversight on my part.  So the helm was covered in wet towels.

The pilot house doors were another issue.  A lot of water was coming in, maybe a quart at a time.  There were a lot of times.

The Entrance to the Harbor From Shore
The Entrance to the Harbor From Shore. Just to the ld=ft of the tower you can see the two green lights that initially confused me

So for the last few hours that side of the pilot house floor was covered in soaked towels, mats and other materials so the water would not make a waterfall into the salon.

As there was no reason to move around, not so bad of a problem.   But as we were minutes away from the harbor entrance, I got soaked just moving around the pilot house.

Then to add misery to discomfort, I needed the pilot house doors to see what was where and get the lines ready.  So we had a 30 knot wind blowing through the pilot house it was cold, wet wind.  The Krogen has a tendency to stay at whatever the water temperature is. Thus, a 55°F water temperature meant at night the pilot house was about the same.  Add wind and being wet, just set the stage for a true disaster.

OK let’s set the stage.  I’m a mile from the entrance to Oostende harbor.  I see the red and green lights marking the channel, I also see two green lights, on the red side of the channel.  I see numerous Sodium vapor lights and the orange glow they produce.  With all those lights, I see no channel; only darkness and shadow.

But I have no choice.  I am in 20 feet of water, winds are up to 35 knots, waves are crashing into us from all directions, and there are all sorts of sand banks close to shore with all sorts of names, meaning they have a history, i.e. “remember when poor Jacques floundered on the Grote bank?”

The wind is pushing us fiercely to the south, to the right (green in Europe) side of the channel.  I am trying to keep the boat on the red side, but clearly still not seeing the entrance.

TheMarina Entrance
The Marina Entrance

Finally, I trust to the charts, C-Maps by Jeppesen, (did I ever tell you I was a Product Manager at Jeppesen?? you’d think I could get a discount on their charts!), aim for blackness just to the right of the last red marker and as soon as I enter the shadow, I can see the rest of the channel straight ahead and the seas flatten.

But this is big commercial channel.  I need to get the paravanes in.  Pierre-Jean has never done that before, so I must leave him in the pilot house, while I go to the fly bridge and winch them up. It only takes two minutes and I am thankful that all the tweaking I have done on that system works so well.

I race back down, and aim for the right channel which will bring us to one of three marinas in the harbor.

I am cold, wet and miserable.  I’ve gotten only a couple hours sleep in the last 24; but this is where I am pleased with my decisions.

As we motor slowing down the channel, maybe a mile, I am conscious of the wind pushing us along.  I want to reconnoiter the marina, but not get us in a position I cannot get out of.

Sure enough, as we get to the slips, mostly short (30’) finger piers, there are no “T”s and the left side of the marina which has longer docks is filled with small ferries.  I am adept at making the Krogen do a circle in about a 50’ diameter without using the bow thruster.  While docking I turn on the bow thruster, an electric Vetrus, but try not to use it as my experience has been bow thrusters are like banks.  If you need it, it won’t be there.

So on a calm day, no current, bow thrusters work great.  But this is not that kind of day.

The Dutch Boat on the right is tied to the dock right after the slip.  This is where I initally docked and let PJ off. In Hindsight, I too Could have stayed there.,
The Dutch Boat on the right is tied to the dock right after the slip.
This is where I initally docked and let PJ off.
In Hindsight, I too Could have stayed there.,

I decide there is no room here.  Though I keep in the back of my mind the possibility of rafting to one of the ferries.

We then proceed back to the other marinas, right near the entrance to the harbor.  It is a narrow entrance that widens after the opening.

The one long dock is occupied by one of those new plastic, three story, small penis boat. Clearly American, though it says Bikini on the back and flies no flag.

Turns out there was room on the opposite side of the same dock, but that would have meant I had to go around the end of the dock to an uncertain fate and after all I went through I was not about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

So we proceeded towards the third marina and a set of locks, which while closed did have a waiting dock that I could use.  We looked around and did see a spot, along the inner dock, maybe 55’ long, between two sailboats.  It was in cul de sac and just opposite the waiting dock.

We prepared a midships line and I tied to the waiting dock to think about what to do.  The bow is facing the lock and southward, the empty 55’ spot is 100 on our left beam and the wind is coming from the stern at 20 knots.

I figured I could stay at the waiting dock until early morning, but my problem in situations like this, is that I do not sleep, anticipating the knock on the hull telling me in a foreign language that I cannot do whatever I am doing

There was also a seaweed covered wall, 50’ high, but we saw nothing to tie to.

So, I decided the spot between the two boats was feasible.  But with one caveat, Pierre-Jean had to be on the dock.  I would then throw him the midships line we had prepared.  That way, once a line was on the dock, he could control my movement to the sailboat behind.

He was a bit dubious, maybe he thought I was going to leave him, but I liked it and it was the only way I would attempt that spot. (The waiting dock was connected to the other dock, like three sides of a box.

And it was a box I was going into to.

Plan A:

My first attempt was halfhearted.  The boat was facing south, wind from our stern and I thought just maybe if I put her in reverse, I could use the bow thruster to push the bow around 180°.  At about 90°, abeam the dock and piling I had just left, the wind was pushing the boat so hard, this was not going to work in a million years.  I gave it full left rudder, full throttle forward to kick the stern away from the pole and pier. No problem, just a little too close.

Plan B:

Let with wind take me in forward, I’d through the line to PJ, out her in reverse and PJ could pull us into the slip.  With the wind behind us, I was going too fast from the beginning.  When I slowed, I had no way and no control.  I backed up and got out, just narrowly missing that same f…ing pillar.

Plan C:

Just like in NY, I would parallel park.  After all the above shenanigans, this turned out to be easy.

A Diagram of the Three Attempts
A Diagram of the Three Attempts. North is on top, and the wind is from the North

I backed into the box at an angle aiming for the empty spot but wanting to keep the bow close to the sailboat that would end up in front of us.

When I was abeam the stern of the sailboat, I threw PJ the line and he put it on a middle cleat.  I yelled at him to watch the stern and I would watch the bow.  He would control how far back to let the boat go.

Worked as planned as and with less drama than anything else I had attempted that night.

Dauntless on the other hand looked at me when it was all over, yawned and thought, “All in a day’s work”.

And as I thought about it, happy to be lying in my warm bed, with no new scars to deal with, I realized though the worst of it, while I was certainly unhappy; there was no noise from below.  The salon, the staterooms, the engine room, nothing was banging, rolling around or otherwise out of place.  Books stayed on the shelves in all three rooms, and pother than the second monitor in the pilot house that I had to re-secure, everything was battened down.

A great boat is a sea way.

I hung up all the wet things and at 3:00 a.m. took a hot shower, crawled into bed and was ever grateful that I had remember to turn on the 12 v heating pad a few hours earlier.

With that, All’s Well that Ends Well.

 

Food, Fuel and Fools

Having left Honfleur, Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., we are through the lock to the Seine by 9:00 and we are cruising downstream at warp speed, 10 knots, speed over ground.

I’m finally enjoying my cup of coffee and morning croissant, though a faint order of diesel lingers on my hand.

We escaped, unscathed, so a little diesel with my coffee is acceptable.

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Monday Morning Dawns in the English Channel
Monday Morning Dawns in the English Channel

We are feeding off the starboard fuel tank, little used since leaving Ireland.  I want to balance the boat. I am running the fuel polisher, a larger fuel filter and water separator, which filters 90 gallons of fuel per hour.  The only downside to running it while underway is that it does cause a slight reduction of fuel pressure to the engine.  Though this has never been a problem.

As we exit the Seine, the color contrasts are marked. Brown mud color for the Seine outflow and blue-green for ocean water.  We turn northeast, speed slows to just above 5 knots, but the current will change in our favor in the next hour.

A couple hours later, the current is favorable, but not as strong as I had hoped.  At best, we are getting an extra knot.  I decide I better check on the filters in the engine room.

I am surprised to see another 2” of water on the bottom (it’s a glass bowl) of the fuel polisher.  I turn it off and drain the water.  There is also a little water in the primary engine filter (there are two side by side.  I can select either one or the other or both or none).  I switch to the other filter and also drain the primary filter.

Our speed has increased to 8.4 knots. We are north and east of Le Harve and have about 170 nm to go to Vlissingen.  I estimate our ETA of 04:00 Tuesday morning, using an average speed of 6 knots, which I think is on the slow side.

We are starting to roll a bit, only 8°, so we deploy the paravanes.  We lose about 1/3 to ½ knots, but the roll is reduced to less than 2°.

I go check the filters again and now am dismayed to see a lot more water in both the primary engine and the fuel polisher (FP).  In addition, the FP is showing a vacuum of 23”, with 10” being the point I should change it.  It is full of crap and must be changed now. I am worried.  It means there is far more water in that tank than I had expected.   I must change them again, while underway, at least I think that should be no problem.

I switch the Racor to the other filter, and within a minute I hear the engine laboring; then die before I can do anything.  I immediately think back to this morning when I had changed this filter and as I had primed it using the electric fuel pump I installed just for this purpose, I had not let the fuel spray out the top like I normally would to ensure the filter had no air.  Instead, I half assed it not wanting to get more fuel on myself.

Sitting there bobbin in the English Channel was sort of peaceful.  The engine room is almost cozy.  It’s warm, not too hot and very little boat movement is felt.  I think I should one day sleep down there, but won’t due to the little issue of possible carbon monoxide poisoning.  (For that reason one should not cruise with the salon doors open).

OK, I tell Pierre-Jean to turn off the key and thus turnoff the low oil pressure buzzer.  And I take my time changing the two filters and then priming all three again.

A few minutes later, all set, ask him to start the engine, it starts, I turn on the fuel polisher, the engine stops.  Now, Pierre-Jean is starting to show concern in his voice.  What’s happening?

I tell him, don’t worry, be happy, start the engine again.  He does, it does and as I fiddle with the valves, turning off the electric priming pump, I am slow to turn on the gravity feed valve, so the engine dies once more.

A few shenanigans later.  I reset everything, re-prime everything.  Go to start the engine myself, because I know it will need a bit of throttle and it starts, slow at first, but within seconds, back to its normal pitch and ready to go.

While doing all this, I also decided enough of trying to see what is going on with the starboard tank, now; it was a matter of not wanting any more problems with fuel.

I switched back to the port tank, turned on the FP and it ran until docked 36 hours later.  Vacuum never got above 3” no more water was seen in it or the primary engine filter.

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We were back underway.  The only problem with this kind of stuff is the anxiety it causes.  For those next 36 hours, every visit to the engine room was filled with dread.  Would there be water? Would the filter be clogged?  Did I have two tanks with water in them?

As things got ever rougher, every check increased my confidence that at least that problem was solved. That’s a huge relief.

With the paravanes out, we look like really trawler, so for the second time, we got buzzed by a French military plane.  I suppose wanted to make sure we were not trawling for real.

By Sunday evening, at 18:00 the winds were from the NE at 10 knots.  Going into the winds at 10 knots is not a problem, at about 14 to 15 knots it starts to become an issue.  Since one is going into wind driven waves the period of the waves from the boat’s perspective is reduced, causing the boat to pitch up and down more.  This up and down motion, besides being uncomfortable, also greatly reduces the speed of the boat and conversely increases fuel consumption.

Our speed was down to 5 knots, little did I realize that we would never go as fast again.

By midnight, we were down to 1.9 knots. This was partially due to a reduction in rpms because of the oncoming seas, but I made yet another mistake my not think this through.

I had the watch until midnight, and then Pierre-Jean took over until 04:00.  During that time I went to by cabin to try to sleep.  But we were pitching more and more and I found myself bracing by feet against the wall at the foot of our bed every few seconds.  I only got about one hour sleep in the four I was off watch.

As I came back on watch at 04:00 Monday morning, winds were now NE at 15 gusts to 20; seas were only 3’, but right on our bow and very short period.  We were pitching about 3° up and down and the rolling was about 4° to each side.  Speed was up again with the current to 4.5 knots.  But again, I was not understanding that when the current was with us, it would give us a one knot boost for about 4 hours; yet when against us, it would be a negative 4 to 5 knots for 6 hours.

The winds were acting just as forecast three days ago: Less than 12 knots on Sunday, increasing thereafter.

Monday morning, faced with these facts, I should have planned a port for an early afternoon arrival.  Pierre-Jean wanted to press on; but so did I. I simply did not want to deal with another country, Belgium.  Getting to the Netherlands would make my life easier; form a new phone SIM to better rail transportation.  Also, we would be in protected waters so it didn’t matter what the weather did.

All the right reasons for going on, but clearly ignoring the reality.

It had been 24 hours since our departure.  Fuel and fuel filters were now OK. But winds were gusting to 20 kts and I knew it was not going to get better!!!

As I look at my log, even now, I am having a hard time understanding what I was thinking.  The above rationale notwithstanding, by 14:00 our speed was down again to 2.5 knots, the winds were right on our nose at 20 gusts to 25, the seas were now 4 to 6 feet and our pitching and rolling had doubled from earlier in the morning.

Now was the time to bail out and head for a harbor.  We were 12 miles from Calais!  Going at our glacial speed it had been off the starboard quarter for hours.

We didn’t and paid the price for the next twelve hours.

A Picture of The InReach Route. Each circle is half an hour
A Picture of The InReach Route. Each circle is half an hour

 

A reminder, you can see the details of the route and the location of Dauntless at any time for this coming summer cruise anytime at:

https://share.delorme.com/dauntless