Monthly Archives: Wednesday August 31st, 2011

Many new pics (Channel, Biskay, Costa de la Muerte)

Bad weather outside – which means more time in front of the computer. And this time it’ll bring to you all the pictures of the last six weeks. Including a few more pics of

the North sea

the English coast and the Solent

our crossing of the Bay of Biskay

and the Costa de la Muerte. Have fun !

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They’re smart, beautiful, playful, fast… And most importantly the kids and the grown ups love to see them jumping in the bow wave. Here are a few pics from yesterday. Next time I’ll have my GoPro prepared and taped to our boathook to try a few under water shots.

Posted in Animals, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 2 Comments

Arrived in Ria de Arosa

Tonight we parked close to SY Chiloe in between the beach and some rocks not far from the Marina de Santa Uxia de Riviera. Shortly before midnight we threw the dinghy in the water to row over to our friends for a short visit – because the guest of the Chiloe – Antonia had her 18th birthday.

During the night the wind shifted (expectedly) to the South and we were woken early by the Rancho Relaxo bouncing in the waves. So we lifted the anchor at six in the morning and left to the next marina to the north that is Caramiñal. And here we are – having breakfast with Croissants and INTERNET. Hehehehe. We started about two hours ago and I’m still here typing and sipping cold coffee. In the meantime the harbourmaster arrived to greet us (and tell us we have to move to a different box). Erich who is an Austrian sailor now living here in Caramiãl came by to say hello and tell us a little of their own trip to the Carribean, Pacific and back via Cape Horn. His daughter is right now sailing the North-West passage together with her two kids (!)

We’ll stick around in this area for a few days – at least until the southerly wind will dissipate and we have our new main sail. There’s not too much to tell about the last passage we had pleasent weather but no wind. Ah, and som fishermen confused us by having a ‘meeting’ right in front of the entrance to the Ria. We tried to find out what’s that about but as usual none of them would answer the VHF calls…. Ah, and we saw loooooooots of Dolphins – pics in another post.

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Not Muros but Ria de Arosa

We’ve decided otherwise and will continue towards the Ria de Arosa. As the weather is not gonna be the best during the next few days, we think that we have more possibilities there. We’ll also pick up our new mainsail there (hopefully). Saw lots of dolphins today and I think we might even have catched one or two with our camera. Hehe. Running under engine is boring and stupid. Well, we’re making the best out of it. Eating fresh, homemade pesto. Music: ‘From dusk till dawn’ (Soundtrack) Yay !

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Am Ende der Welt

Das Ende der Welt. Als dieses galt fuer lange Zeit das Cabo Finisterre, welches gerade aus dem Seenebel vor uns auftaucht. Die Sonne scheint und wir haben kaum Wind, weshalb wir unter Motor unsere Freunde von der SY Chiloe und der SY Tamora verfolgen. Aber eigentlich sollte ich noch ein Woertchen zum gestrigen Segeltag verlieren: Wir liefen also den gesamten Tag mit Halbwind oder Raumwindkurs und stets ueber 6 Knoten (schnell) die Kueste entlang. Wie so oft verlief der gesamte Tag ohne einem einzigen Segelmanoever – bis kurz vor Camarinas, wo wir einmal halsen mussten. Und hier passierte es: Eine Welle befoerderte den Grossbaum etwas schneller als geplant nach Steuerbord. BLAMMM !!! Unser schickes, 30 Jahre altes Grosssegel ward zweigeteilt. – Ein vier Meter langer Riss verlaeuft etwa einen Meter ueber und parallel zum Grossnbaum. Tja. Es hat uns bis hierher nach Spanien gebracht und war immer gut zu uns. Heute motoren wir also nach Muros und von dort – einen ‘Ria’ weiter in Caraminal sollte dann eigentlich schon das neue Grosssegel, welches wir in Flensburg bestellt haben, auf uns warten. Die naechsten Tage werden wohl Suedwind und auch Regen bringen, weshalb wir vermutlich ein paar Tage am selben Fleck bleiben werden. Vielleicht fahren wir ja auch mit dem Bus rueber und holen unser neues Segel… So. Im Cockpit laeuft gerade ‘Elmundo Jazzfunk’ genauer gesagt: Asiko von Tony Allen. Ouuuu yeah !! Und es ist 12:00h – vielleicht goenne ich mir heute mal ein Mittagsbier ? Mal sehen. MAHLZEIT !

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Towards Ria de Camarinas

Sailing downwind around Cabo Villano with an average speed of 6.5 knots. The sun is shining, the crew is sleepy. ‘They shoot horses, don’t they’ from Quickspace is running high volume in the cockpit while the sun slowly is setting to the west of us. About 10 more miles to go and we’ll drop the anchor in the Ria de Camarinas. What a wonderful day. YAY !!!

Posted in Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 2 Comments

At anchor in La Coruña

Finally we’re anchoring again ! After spending five nights in La Coruña marina, we’re now not far away in a little bay. There’s a nice little beach with palm trees but the water is too cold for me to get in (17 C). Yesterday in the evening we had a big BBQ together with the crews of SY Tamora, SY Kira and another ship of which I do not remember the name right now. We had a great evening and the best was to finally have a fire on the beach (Bruno’s dream come true !). Going back to the ship in the dinghy we left a trail of light – magic !!

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Slow days in Galicia

After weeks of constantly pushing forward, forward to use every possible weather window to gain a few miles towards the west, it’s a real treat to finnally having ‘arrived’.  After all, our next date (family visit) is only on the 8th of September in Porto. Until then we can hang around and that’s what we do. A few little repairs on our ship, getting the neighbour’s shortwave installation to work, a visit to the Torre de Hercules. And of course doing groceries… but beside of that we mostly enjoy ourselves and glide along the coast (with the finger, on the map that is) – in search for nice anchor bays.

Today we have variable weather – or to say it differently: Rain. But I still only wear flipflops and T-Shirt and that’s definately an improvement after spending weeks and months in fleece jackets and oilskin. But why am I again talking about the weather ? Because otherwise I wouldn’t sit in front of my laptop and also we would’ve been gone already to drop our anchor in some nice bay. But there’s time for that tomorrow. And sometime during the weekend the wind will veer and we’ll be sailing slooooowly towards the south.

But still, I’ll have to get out now. To send my defective laptop battery from Spain to Germany after which my brother will bring the replacement from Austria to Portugal. To have no home address can sometimes make things a little complex.

Ah ! But I nearly forgot… two important things: First – we have a second mobile phone (bought for 6 Euro – WTF) – and we have a spanish phone number. Means: for everyone who want’s to be nice to us: call us on THAT phone. You can find the number on the ‘Contact’ page. Second – we again have credits for our Satphone. But we’ll not use it until we leave the coast. So don’t bother with that one until we’re heading towards Madeira.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo | 2 Comments

Pics: The Rancho Relaxo of the Seas crossing the Bay of Biscay

Thanks to our friends from the SY Tamora, we’ve finally got some pics of the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas under sail ! Here we are… in the middle of nowhere – well – actually in the middle of the Bay of Biscay.

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A first atlantic contact

Our first ‘bluewater’ trip is now history and as we’ve arrived in Spain, we’re now in the midst of a completely different (sailing-) world. Suddenly there are nearly no charter yachts but plenty of quite individualistic cruising yachts. We’re surrounded with ship’s with flags from England, Ireland, France, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and lots more. But actually I wanted to write about our trip through the Bay of Biscay. Well, I’ll start with a few numbers. So we sailed 525 nm in total from Brixham to La Coruña. Our daily runs were 139, 111, 120, 101 and 54 nautical miles. That gives an average speed of 4,81 knots. Yeah, we had a relaxed trip so to say. Hehe.

Under the coast of England, we crossed the field of the Fastnet Race and saw plenty of nice racing yachts. Of which most of them were underway with 3 or 4 times our speed. For the first two and a half days we had the wind from ENE and sailed butterfly (how’s that called in english ?!?) most of the time, which makes for quite a shakey cruise. The capitana was a little green around the nose and also the skipper was not always amused with the -15/+15 degrees rolling of the Rancho Relaxo. The second day our friends from the SY Tamora appear in our wake and bring with them a big group of Dolphins that stay with us for about an hour.

Having arrived in a high pressure area, at night we have a clear sky with stars all around and in a multitude I’ve never before seen. For hours I lie in the cockpit, staring around using our binoculars. But of course as it happens with high pressure – the wind vanishes and leaves us with a flat sea and a long, westerly swell that probably was sent to us by some icelandic low, faaar away. Lying at night in the bunk, it feels as if the ocean is breathing, lifting the boat up and down in an 30 second rythm.

On the third day, we get a visit from a whale about the size of our ship and shortly after from a group of Dolphins. Right after the wind is back and we sail through incredibly busy shiptraffic towards Spain, where the wind again disappears. With 1-2 Beaufort and riding along with 1.5-2 knots one is tempted to start the engine – but NO. We’ve got plenty of time and the wind will eventually come back.

In the morning a slight breeze pushes us more towards the coast where we see land at 0915 in the morning. Funny enough what we see is called ‘Cabo Prior’ – and only shortly after we find the famous Torre de Hercules on our starboard side. We’ve arrived in Spain !

After we’ve had a three-hour shower we take our folding bikes and pedal through the city in search for something nice to eat. And we find the perfect place in form of the ‘El Rey del Jamón’ where we have ‘Boccadillos de Jamón Ibérico de bellota’, queso manchego y pan con tomate y aceite and more. Gui has two ice cold beers and I two glasses of red wine. Wow, we’re really having a good time !! We meet a lovely venezuelian/english family, have an endless chat, another ice cream and finally leave for the playground. At 21hrs we fall into our bunks and are sleeping like stones. Yeah, with the sleep that’s still an issue on longer cruises. Because of the watches we only have four hours of sleep during the night and to make up for that loss during the daytime is not always easy with the kids also requireing attention. But we’re working on that. Right now we look forward to a couple of nice weeks in spanish and portugese bays, a visit from Austria and nice, warm weather !

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 6 Comments

Landfall in Espana

We just arrived in La Coruna. More later – after a shower and some Tapas…

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[Sailing] [Rancho] Wo beginnt eigentlich die Barfussrute ?

Es ist Nacht und eben noch unterhalte ich mich via Kurzwelle mit Norbert, der uns von Berlin aus mit den Wetterdaten versorgt ueber das nicht vorhanden sein von Wind. Die restlichen LosLocos schlafen alle und ich baume die Genua aus um das bisschen vorhandenen Wind irgendwie in eine Vorwaertsbewegung umzuwandeln. Als ploetzlich eine Briese leicht von hinten zu saeuseln beginnt… So gleiten wir nun als Schmetterling nahezu lautlos mit ca. 4.5 Knoten ueber 4000m tiefem Wasser der spanischen Kueste entgegen und ich ziehe erst meine Segelschuhe und dann auch die Socken aus. ENDLICH ! Im T-SHIRT nachts im Cockpit sitzen und den regen Schiffsverkehr beobachten – das ist eine kleine Sensation. Wenn uns der Wind treu bleibt, sind wir morgen Mittag angekommen und haben unseren ersten Schlag ueber den Atlantik hinter uns. Und der war schoen. Wunderschoen ! Ja, so kann es weitergehen. So, jetzt aber mal wieder ein Rundumblick und die Waerme geniessen. Bis morgen !

Posted in Rancho Relaxo | 2 Comments

[Sailing] [Rancho] Delphine und Wale

Sind 170 Seemeilen vor LA Coruna und duempeln in totaler Flaute mit unserem Diesel dahin. Gestern haben wir uns mitten auf See mit der SY Tamora getroffen, die uns jede Menge Delphine ‘gebracht’ haben. Heute zwei Wale gesichtet. Die Kinder sind ausser sich. Hehehe. An der Angel war aber bisher noch nichts – obwohl die Kinder Stundenlang damit am Heck gesessen sind.

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[Sailing] [LosLocos]

Endlich geht’s voran. 105 Seemeilen der Biskaya liegen bereits hinter uns und noch knapp 400 vor uns. Zur Zeit haben wir wunderbares Wetter und traumhaften Wind mit Staerke 4 aus ENE. Wir fahren Schmetterling und machen ein wenig Meilen Richtung Westen gut. An das Geschaukel hab ich mich noch nicht so recht gewoehnt, jede Taetigkeit wird zur Anstrengung aber die Kinder finden’s furhtbar lustig. Also allen geht’s super und wir kommen flott voran. Die SY Tamora verfolgt uns mit etwa 20-30sm Abstand.

Posted in Rancho Relaxo | 2 Comments

The Bay of Biscay and shortwave

Well – well, the preparations are running…. And instead of stiching up our main sail, I’m sitting here in front of my gadgets and am hacking away on the keyboard. But not for nothing: Just yesterday I finally managed to digitally connect ourselfes via HAM radio – thanks for many hours of help from Norbert !! And just now I sent and received my first emails using modem and antenna – and without the internets !! That not only satisfies the nerd in me but is actually really handy for us. That way we can keep you informed by using emails to post on our blog and we can reveice digital weather information – even when we’re out on the Atlantic.

And that’s what it looks like when sending emails via HAM radio (strictly for nerds !):

As of now you can not only see our position in the little window to the right (the SPOT messages) But also via Shiptrak and the Winlink page.

What else to say ? Well the weather in the Bay of Biscay is so so. But we should make it in about five days to Spain, La Coruna. I think today in the evening we’ll put to sea. YAY !!

Posted in Amateur Radio, LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 1 Comment

The steelboat owners nightmare

The hose that empties the water from 0ur anchorchain box was clogged so I used a thin wire to try and make it run again.

And run it did !! But it was not through the hose as supposed but somehow the hose broke right underneath the outlet and all the rust/saltwater soup emptied itself into the bilge. From there it flushed down until midships. Everything covered in stinky rusty mess !!! *AAAAARRRHG*

Well I cleaned it up again, dried it, put my LAST drops of BOB onto some parts where there could develope rust. And then I set to work to put a new hose. Of course I had to deconstruct moste of the kids’s cabin to gain access but in the end it worked.

The next day I put a bigger screw in the back of the steering wheel because the old one we wouldn’t trust anymore; the thread nearly gone. Put the track for the reefing lines 20cm more towards the aft (the ones on the side of the boom), deflated the dinghy, put away the anchor chain – in short: We’re preparing for our first bluewater trip.

Tomorrow we’ll stitch up our mainsail as the new one was not delivered in time and we’ll have to sail those 600 miles with our 30 year old main. *rrr*

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They keep my feet dry and at the same time clean out all dirt from the bottom of the bilge: David’s Diapershoes (TM). Hehehe.

(Pre-scheduled post for less boredom.)

Posted in It's funny ! Laugh !, LosLocos, Sailing, Work | 1 Comment

Field day in Brixham

Too much wind to sail against it, we spend a surprisingly warm day in Brixham. We climb through a replica of the famous ‘Golden Hind’ – the ship in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world in 1577 – 1580. Amazing for me is that (a) this ship with it’s really tall body and small masts actually sails and (b) how they managed to fit more than 70 people into it. Really impressive. – And I’m actually really into that early journeys as I’m right now reading ‘James Cook – the journals’. An amazing book, although for non seagoing readers it might be a bit boring because of it’s lenghty descriptions of maneuvers, winds, etc.
Where was I – ah yeah, oru field day. After roaming the streets of Brixham for a little while, we decided to go to Berry Head where there is a little lighthous and a great view. So we spent the afternoon walking through beautiful woods and along the coast. Wonderful !

In the following picture you can see our next destination – Spain (veeeery far in the background). Hehehehe.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Travel | 1 Comment

Rancho Relaxo – the Video (of the Solent)

Michael just sent us this great video he made during our last week’s trip through the solent. Uuuh, that really was a nice week. I’m gonna watch it again….

Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Video | 4 Comments

From Weymouth to Brixham

Yesterday we did the next hop and said good bye to Weymouth and it’s WiFi-less marina. The weather report is as always wrong and instead of having a smooth ride towards Falmouth with 2-3Bft, we have 4-5Bft and pretty ugly waves force us to do a detour towards Brixham. So we’ll save the passage to Falmouth for another day and wait for better weather in Brixham.
I say weather because with the wind, we already gave up. In the beginning we would still wait for a good wind to sail. After more than two months we now use any wind that is not too strong to gain a few miles to the west – even under engine. About 65 more miles to Falmouth and from then we *should* have the wind on our side – so to say. But as I watch the Bay of Biscay during the last days, it doesn’t seem that there are good winds there either. Hmmmm. Enough of the ranting…

Our friend Wolfgang just sent us an email with lots of corrections to our website. With his help the section about our ship will soon be nearly typo-free ! Yay ! (Well, at least the German version. ;-)

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