The Voyage of 'S/V Röde Orm' - Sweden

Come on board and take part in our adventures while exploring the world at the slow pace of a sailing boat. We left in June 2009, heading south to escape the northern winter... to start with. Currently in Algarve/Portugal taking it one day at a time.

13 September 2010
11 September 2010 | Nantes, Bretagne-France
07 September 2010 | Bretagne (or Normandie?)
02 September 2010 | still the same...
31 August 2010 | Rezè- Bretagne (boat in Rio Guadiana)
09 August 2010 | Rezé//Bretagne//France
18 July 2010 | Clisson/La Sèvre
15 July 2010 | Nantes/ Brittany
14 July 2010 | Nantes/Bretagne/France
25 June 2010 | Gamleby- Sweden
05 June 2010 | Mértola// Minas San Domingo
27 May 2010 | Alcoutim
24 May 2010 | of the River
21 May 2010 | Alcoutim/Sanlucar
21 May 2010 | Alcoutim/Sanlucar
16 May 2010 | Alcoutim
10 May 2010 | Alcoutim/Sanlucar
30 April 2010 | Alcoutim-PT// Sanlucar- ES
24 April 2010 | Ayamonte - Andalucia - Spain

Anchor Retrieval - the 'do-or-die-style'?

31 March 2010 | Alvor
Today it had to be done.

What? Why?

While I was still back in Sweden in Febbruary, the storm that was afterwards to be known as Xynthia approached the Algarve and Isa moved the boat from being riding to her anchor, to a mooring bouy. Since she couldn't get the status of the mooring verified, she set our main anchor too, just in case the mooring would turn out to not be good enough.

After a few weeks of tidal shifts and windshifts the anchor chain was firmly 'stuck' to something on the sea-bed.

We had already tried untaangling it by hand (at slack water and becalmed) a couple or times and with the engine too, so nothing left but to dive on it.

This morning, it was Spring tide low water and close to the equinox this means a VERY low tide. Around 2,5 meters under the keel and not much wind. So what's the problem? Well, the water temp. is no more than 14 degrees so even with the wetsuit I was less than happy to dive, especially since the visbility was close to none.

Well, two of our good neighbours came to help us with this little mission. The Belgians, Jaques and Ludo. Jaques having encouraged me with this diving business for weeks and also sold me a surplus lead belt, and a spear gun from his onboard stock. He even promised to go down there with me to help me overcome my reluctance. That was yesterday though, today he showed no intentions of leaving the relative comfort of his dinghy. Who could blame him?

I have no problems skin diving and snorkling as long as the water is reasonably warm and CLEAR. Clear is a key word here, I feel quite bad when I have to feel my way in complete darkness. Good to have the confession done.

Anyway, Ludo and Jaques stayed in the dinghy on top of the mooring. Isabelle on board Röde Orm to operate the windlass and if needed the engine.

I went down by the chain to try and figure out what it 'looked like' down there.

Of course I couldn't see anything at all, and I found a 'birds-nest' -like mess of thick line the size of e medicine ball. For anyone who are not familiar with those balls, they are a LOT bigger than basket balls. After several dives I could still not find out where the chain went trom that nest, just that it was tangled around it.

Just about when I was ready to give up, Ludo came up with a bright idea. He untied the line that goes from the bouy to the concrete block on the seabed, and then pulled as much as possible of it into the dinghy together with mussels, and LOTS of mud. After this it was easier for me to dive again and figure out which way the the chain was tangled around the line.

And from there on, it was just a matter of me, with my large fins, acting like a tug boat dragging the dinghy around the chain in an anti-clockwise motion.

After some 6 or 7 turns, Voilá! the chain was free!

Yeeeehaaah! Victory.

Now we are free to leave Alvor as soon as the weather and our plans go along those llines.

Thanks a lot guys! Vive la Belgique!
Vessel Name: Röde Orm
Vessel Make/Model: Laurin 32 ketch built in 1965
Hailing Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
Crew: Magnus & Isabelle
MAGNUS, Swedish skipper. Navigation teacher and a Commercial Yachtmaster. After many years of dreaming, recently sold off his business since over 20 years. Left swedish waters in June 2009 and hasn't yet looked back ISABELLE, Born in Brittany/France & First Mate. [...]
During 2008 we cruised during two and a half months in the Baltic Sea as covered in the older posts on this blog together with Magnus's 2007 cruise to 66 degrees North in the Baltic Sea. During this spring of 2009 we completed an extensive exterior refit of Röde Orm, and untied the docking [...]
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