Bookmark and Share
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.
Along the South Coast

Most things in life are temporary. Isabelle woke me up at five in the morning for my watch and I had just enough time to see the sun rise behind us before the fog banks came rolling in from East. The next few hours gave me an intense practical exercise in radar plotting again. A bunch of local fishing boats and God knows what, gathered around us and was moving along at hour pace. For a while we were five boats within a 1,5 mile radius which is just a little bit too crowded for my liking when the visibilty is around 75 meters.

At 9AM the fog lifted again, revealing a clear blue sky indicating that the HIgh Pressure system is still around.

We were logging 3,5-4 knots dead downwind, leisurely spending time in the cockpit studying Reed's to figure out a nice place further west to go into for a few days. The Solvent seems 'too close' so we are considering Plymouth or Dartmouth or even Falmouth. That will sort itself out in time.

So it did. The wind died out and we motored to The Solvent where we anchored outside Bembridge on Isle of Wight in the dying daylight.

The White Cliffs

At 9AM having breakfast in the 'go' we rired up the engne again and went on,,, in fog so dense that on could see 50 meters. Still calm. Once in awhile the fog lifted termporarily, just enough to let us know that it was indeed very nice summer weather a few hundred meters above us.

At 3PM we approached Dover and called the port control in the VHF( marine radio) since this is a very busy ferry harbour, all plesure craft must wait for clearance to enter and exit through the entrys (i e the openings in the giant breakwaters. Just upon our arrival here the fog lifted, just to get over us so densely that we could just about see a boat length ahead. Add to this that we heard a huge ferry behind usm that we akready knew was supposed to enter before us, and the situation was a bit stressful. We turned starboard, heading to the shore just East of the brakwater just to see a HUGE ferry appear seemingly out of the fog just
some 75 meters behind. We had barely got our breath back before the famois 'white cliffs of Dover' materailized aboove our heads some 100 meters away. And as from a magician's stick a gust of wind from land, swept the fog away completely and allowed us to find our way into the outer harbour and further to the fuel dock without more horrors, Enough excitement for today,,,

After filling diesel and water and getting a weather forecast in the process we were soon enough out of the harbour again just to get into the fog and continue to westward. Since the easterly wind is supposed to continue we really want to move on. Next alternative is The Solent, with Isle of Wight and Portsmoth/Southhampton 85 miles away and a little mire than 20 miles further comes Dartmouth and Plymouth. We'll see how we feel about it tomorrow to start with.

At 8PM the fog lifted as we passed Dungeness and the sunset could be nejoyed in style in the cockpit, A half moon did it's best to make the scenery even more pleasant.

And more of the same

The fog was dense all nigth, and sadly staid dense all day long too. In addition to this, the sea was dead calm. After more than 24 hours of motoring, it gets a little boring. I am sure there was still sunshine somewhere over the fog, but it was less than enjoyable when the second drizzling cold night approached and with 34 miles left to Dover, where we now planned to fill diesel and water and check the weather forecast, we decided to simply shut the engine off and leave the boat slowly drifting in the tide during the night. This way we would arrive in daylight instead of 3AM. We took watches anyway though, checking the radar screen for hazards every ten minutes. By now we were in the coastal inshore zone away from the heavy traffic. At once today we had 11 radar echoes simultaneously on the 6 mile-radius screen. Interesting as radar navigation practice, but hardly in any other way. The barometer is still quite high, but obviously we expected more from this high pressure sailing than slowly motoring with close attention to the radar.

The North Sea

Most of last night was spent going far enough to the north to be able to turn westward well outside the TSS (trafic separation zones) a sort iof highways for the commercail shipping. Not too far from the island of Helgoland we changed course to 280 and kept going for another 100 miles. The wind was E from 6-24 knots approximately which provided us with opportunities for reefing a couple times.

Provisioning in Rendsburg and then to River Elbe

Needless to say, during this short trip to KIel, there were already a couple of small 'fixes' to be made on the boat before we felt ready to go out on the North Sea. Amongst them the door to the Head (toilet) that for some complete random reeason decided to not stay in locked oposition shortly after we left Falsterbo.

Then, being Swedish, with the rediculously overtaxed wine and bear, we choose to enter the charming little town of Rendsburg to somehow manage to lower the waterline of the boat a little more.

Left at 1.30PM to motor to Brunsbüttel at the other end of the Canal. Here we will await the High Tide at 4.30 tomorrow morrning to contiinue westwards on the river Elbe for the North Sea.

Having sailed in Scandinavian waters all my life, it's an entire new entity for me with tides. Not too complicated, but who on earth decided that the highs always seem to be in the middle if the night? Or maybe that wasn't somenone ON earth, but someone well elevated from it?!

Anyway once out there, we intend to keep going as long as the favourable winds stays with us. I might add that today it's blowing a steady 20 knots in the canal. Could that be because we are inside, not sailing? Hrrmm!

Arrival at Brunsbüttel at 8PM we could go through the lock right away. Ans alone. All in all a lot less traffic than we expected.

Anyway, once outside the lock - in river Elbe- the tidal stream was at least three knots. Our vague idea (since I have no previous experience with tides, was to anchor outside the lockl and wait for the next high water at 4.30 in the morning. It did not look very inviting to anchor here though and we met one sole sailiingboat that showed to be locals. They advised us to go on to the North Sea right away with the outgoing tide instead of waisting five ours here. So we did. An exhilirating sailing in 20 knots of E wind and the streaming water. Over 11 knots on the GPS close-hauled! Then, as daylight ran out, the busy shipping area fuly showed up. I have never seen so many bouys and ship's lights at the same time. I had the time of my life there, sailing the boat and navigating simultaneously, and I was so excited I dind't think of waking Isabelle until almost 4 in the morning, when I was soooo tired.

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
View Complete Profile »

Powered by SailBlogs