Monthly Archives: Sunday October 30th, 2011

Even more Dolphins !

On our way from Lanzarote to Teneriffe we had something in between 30 and 50 Dolphins circling and playing around the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas. I’ve made another underwater video as well as one from above. Enjoy:

First the dolphins from above:

And the new underwater video:

…sorry for the dalayed post but it took me a couple of tries and endless hours to upload the video.

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

Saying good bye to Victor and Oskar and workday

Today we had to say goodbye to Victor and Oskar who took the plane in the afternoon to get back to Berlin. We had a intensive but really wonderful week together and the farewell was hard for both Bruno and Victor who had to cry a lot. But the tears were soon forgotten as my parents now stay with us on the Rancho Relaxo. We actually wanted to sail towards Gomera today but as it was already quite late and we were in working mode, we opted for tomorrow.

We re-checked the cabling and tubing of the newly installed watermaker and found a broken O-ring, replaced it and everything now seems 100% right. We might give it a try next time, we’re out in clear waters. We also dismounted the windsteering and put a fitting in place that somehow slipped out of the pipe. That probably was the first service in 30 years. Go Windpilot, go !!!

So now we’re pretty much ready for take-off and if you don’t hear from us the next days, we’ll be in Gomera together with my parents, having a good time at the beach. :-)

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At the airport – second try

…and sucess !! I picked up Gui at around 11 in the morning and immediately afterwards went to IKEA and to the sports-shop (again). Then down the freeway towards the city centre to get two important but still missing pieces for our ship: the new liferaft and a replacement for our ancient refridgerator. Our old liferaft was only for coastal cruising and we missed the last inspection date (on purpose), so we replaced it with a new Zodiac 6-person raft for ocean passages. It comes with an additional ‘grab bag’ but nonethless we also have a watertight barrel that is filled with other important stuff. The old fridge is noisy and consumes 120W continuously so it has to be replaced by a more modern one. – This is a project for the coming days.

On the way back towards the south we picked up Oskar who was windsurfing near the beach. Unfortunately we were a little too late and could not see him jumping the waves… But there’s a nice youtube video if you’d like to see what windsurfing can look like.

We were back at the ship in the late afternoon where my parents spent the day with Viola, Bruno and Oscar. Together they collected more wood so we could have a nice bonfire on our last evening together.

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At the airport – first try

Today we were up to the north again to get Gui from the airport. Underway we payed a visit to the old home of Victor’s family which is a nice appartment near the beach and with ocean view. The town is really cosy and romantic, has it’s own small beach and is not yet to be found on any tourist maps. The kids were throwing stones into the ocean while the waves tried to get the kids wet in return.

North of Santa Cruz we spent the afternoon at the beach trying the new watersport gadgets (masks, snorkels, skimboard) while we let the time pass. I was at the boatshop to get my ordered parts and then – well then I got the call from Gui that the plane could not leave Buenos Aires and she’ll try to get on to another plane soon. Hmmm. Ok. Tomorrow we’ll give it another try.

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In the Loro Parque

Again park – but this time a full success ! In the north of Tenerife there’s a beautiful animal park that specialises on parrots and animals of the sea and since kids love animals more than most things we had an amazing day.

We spent the whole day in the park and also watched the shows of the Dolphins, Orcas and sea lions which were quite good.

On the other side – I can’t wait to see many of those animals in their natural habitat (no, not the sharks and orcas !) After the park we were at Dekathlon (a big shop for sport stuff) and got snorkeling equipment. Hehehe.

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At the surfers beach and campfire

What a relief. After yesterdays Siam Park desaster we’ve spent today’s afternoon at the beach watching the surfers glide through the waves. Oskar will go there tomorrow at sunrise – he even brought his own surfboard with him. – Sadly I’ll do breakfast with the children so there will not be any spectacular pics of Victor’s father.

The kids were strolling the beach looking for shells, fish and other stuff while their grandparents arrived to have a little fun with them. Later in the evening and back in the marina, we had a nice campfire near (no, not ON) the jetty. The kids fell into the bunks and were asleep only a few minutes later. That’s a sure sign for a good day !

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Siam Park – if you don’t wanna have fun

A little change for once: We wanna visit the big water-fun-park called ‘Siam’.

But somehow those ‘fun parks’ are all quite the same:

At the entrance you loose a lot of money and in front of every main feature you have to queue for endless minutes in the blistering sun – only to be sent back because the kids are too small. It’s 1,1m or 1.25m or sometimes even 1.4m. So there wasn’t much fun for our kids here… But lucky us: they have a little play castle for the smaller kids. The only catch ? You guessed it: No grown ups allowed. And it doen’t mater how much the kids would like or how much they cry. – No. No grownup’s allowed.

Another main attraction is the big wave-pool. But we were immediately sent back with the kids. – “Please don’t have fun here !”

No no no. Today we’ll go to the beach again. The waves are free for everyone and even the kids are allowed to have fun.

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Tenerife, beach

Two weeks on Tenerife – what else would we do ? Spend days on the beach with the grandparents of Bruno and Viola accompanied by Victor and Oskar. We dig holes in the sand and Bruno is trying to swim. This would be something to make me truly happy: if our children would learn to swim… But it’s not the time yet.

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Victor arrived !

After counting the days for four weeks, yesterday he finally arrived. Victor – Bruno’s best friend arrived at the airport. They’ll have each other for one week – hopefully that’s enough. There’s so much to talk about and so much fun to be had….

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The search for a new residence

Yesterday we (again) said goodbye to our friends from the SY Kira who are now at the neighbour island of La Gomera.

As we’re waiting for Bruno’s best friend to arrive today, we still are in the same (shitty) harbour of San Miguel in the south of Teneriffe. We *would* like to go somewhere else but that has prooven to be quite difficult: On the west side there is ONE harbour with a convenient location: Colon. But the harbour is full – really full. The next one would be Los Gigantes to the north. But that’s again too far from our parents who are in a hotel a little north of Las Americas. Up until now going for anchor was not a choice because I’m alone with two kids and getting them in and out of the dinghy several times a day is not that funny. Also there doesn’t seem to be any good anchorages in that part of the island. And finally – on monday and tuesday there’s gonna be west wind. Meeeeeh. So it seems as we’ll be stuck here for a few more days.

Next challenge: Gui wanted to apply for a visa for Senegal in Buenos Aires just to find out: there is no consulate in B.A. !! So she probably has to go to Las Palmas for that visa. But we might wanna go there anyway as a friend of Tim and Klaus will arrive there and we’ll have a Bud Spencer & Terence Hill evening. Hehehe.

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Visit from the parents and a lot of work

Yesterday at 0400h in the morning we got into the car and with two sleeping kinds on the backseat, we drove to Santa Cruz to get Gui to the airport. We didn’t actually sleep that night since our friends from the SY Kira arrived around midnight and – well after a welcome drink (or two) it was already time to leave.

Gui will stay a week in Argentina to visit her parents. For me it’s the other way around: on the same day in the afternoon my parents arrived to stay with us for the next two weeks. They brought LOOOOOOOTS of presents and a big bag of food: my grandmother made ‘bratknoedel’ and lots of cookies. We got homemade marmelade and my sister made gingerbread for us. After unpacking and a taste of good austrian food we fell into the bunks.

Today was work day: I installed the rapaired gooseneck, the Kira brought with them from Lanzarote and afterwards started with the watermaker. We actually bought it in Germany before leaving but neither had the time nor the need to install it earlier. But now that the trips get longer and the atlantic crossing is nearing it’s time to get independent of the water hose. I placed the watermaker underneath the saloon bench and my father did a nice little control panel and made most of the electrical installation. In the evening the installation was complete. Tomorrow I’ll check everything for errors and maybe give it a try (but not in the harbour)…

In the meantime my mother was playing Lego with Viola and they went to explore the marina area while Bruno was with Tim and Klaus, helping to repair their wind generator. And it looks as if they succeeded this time !

Oh – and if you think the photos look a little better – it’s because now we’ve got a new and really nice DSLR camera ! YAY !!!

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Work | 5 Comments

Enhanced map with position reports

Finally I found some time to integrate our Winlink position reports into our own little Google map. Now you can see all our position reports and spot messages on one map. Here’s a little illustration:

This little icon shows our current position, subitted via Spot messenger. If you see this, the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas is underway.

The little anchor shows up when we’ve reached our current destination. Subitted via Spot messenger.

This is a amateur radio position report submitted via Winlink. If you click that icon, it will show some additional info. Typically a short message with max. 80 characters.

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

160nm on the Atlantic Ocean

“Courage can’t be bought !” That’s a truth – and where our friends Hille and Markus took their courage, I honestly can’t tell. But we really had second thoughts when they asked us to take them to the airport on Teneriffe. But as it showed itself, our worries were quite out of place: Hille is one of the few people that are truly seaworthy. And we’re not sailing the lakes of Berlin. No. We’re out on the atlantic ocean with 3000m water under the ship and wind with 5 to 6 Beaufort. The waves got quite good at the end of the trip and the whole journey was done without mainsail but only with Blister or Genua which makes it more unsteady.

But despite that, Hille had no problem going inside and making sandwiches for everybody or reading Asterix in the cockpit. Markus also was quite unfearful and gave up his permaplace on the cockpitbench to go Dolphin-watching on the forepeak or to help stowing the Blister. And both have taken part in doing nightshifts, cooking or pulling ropes. Short: they were both well integrated.

While our guests had their first night at sea, we slipped past Gran Canaria and made our 3000th nautical mile. So if my general-plan works out we’ve already made 1/11th of our way around the world. Hehehe.

The next day we had a prolonged visit from Dolphins. And a big group it was this time ! As we approached the coast of Teneriffe, the wind increased and we were quite fast with only the Genoa set and travelling at a speed constantly greater than six knots. We rounded Punta Montaña Roja during sunset and our friends couldn’t hide their delight when slowly the marina came in sight.

Only 10 minutes after parking the ship we were on our way through the ‘Ballermann of the Atlantic’ in search for something to eat. Funny that the restaurants in this town seem to oscillate slightly. Anyway. One hour later we all sank into our bunks and slept like the stones at the end of mooringlines – only to be awaken by the alarm clock at 0600h ! Our friends have to get to the airport. Oh no ! The holiday is already over ?  Well, yeah. We were one week late because of the weather and so we had only four days with our friends from Berlin. But these were truly wonderful ! Many, many thanks for your visit !!

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The Oasis of Lanzarote

As we haven’t seen much of Lanzarote, we went on a little trip together with Markus and Hille. We explored the island in the rental car and were amazed by the beauty of the harsh volcanic landscape. The whole island is quite dry and when sailing past it’s coast we were astonished that someone would even want to live there. But during winter when a little rain falls, the volcanoes are covered with flowers and grass and everything is green. I would so much like to see that. But by then we’ll probably be on our way to the (green) carribean. ;-) There’s also wineyards on the slopes of that volcanoes and they don’t even need to be watered artificially, they live on the moisture of the evening damp.

So we were driving with the car around the island and I have to say: it’s really one of the best things to happen to this island that the architect Cesar Manrique persuaded the government to disallow the construction of high buildings and the ban of billboards. So you only see nice little villages with white, cubic buildings. And I guess – hundreds – of roundabouts with flowers and cacti.

The destination of our cruise was Puerto del Carmen, where we were invited by Heidi und Udo – friends of Markus. And so it happened that when the sun set we found ourselves in a beautiful green oasis in the midst of black volcano slopes. The garden – which consists of hundreds of plants, a playground, small guesthouses, a pool and much more is setup like a labyrinth with little caves and walls made of volcanic stone. One is surprised that it took (only) 16 years of work to build that wonderful place with it’s many little details and I won’t even start about the house itself or the music-cave or the appartments. It’s just amazing. So after an extended tour through the garden of eden we’ve had barbequeue, endless chats – and for the kids a box of Lego. Truly a perfect last evening on Lanzarote !

To see more pictures (or make a reservation for an apartment), please have a look at the website of Heidi and Udo !

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Gran Canaria querab

Schaukelig ist’s – ohne Grosssegel. Aber wir kommen voran. Zur Zeit leider nur mit gut 4 Knoten, aber wir werden noch heute Teneriffe erreichen. Und der Flug, der erwischt werden muss geht erst morgen frueh. Die Nacht war ruhig und dank beinahe-Vollmond leider auch sehr hell. Also nix mit Sternegucken. Sensationell angenehm war, dass Hille netterweise eine Wache uebernomnen hat, was die Schlafzeit der ansaessigen um 100% auf 6h/Nacht erhoehte. Markus war gar nicht zu bremsen und wollte gleich drei Freiwachen uebernehmen, welche er tapfer im Cockpit liegend absolvierte. Man merkt, dass wir uns hier in einem Touristen-Mekka befinden. Alleine letzte Nacht sind wir drei jahrmarktmaessig beleuchteten Kreuzfahrtsschiffen begegnet – und einem Frachter. Dieser fuhr einen knallharten Kurs und wir mussten mal wieder ausweichen. Ansonsten alles ruhig – bis auf das Funkgeraet. Waren es vor der Kueste Marokkos die spaetpubertierenden, die mit ihren vulgaeren Spruechen die Nachtwachen verkuerzten, so ist es hier der DSC-Alarm, der alle drei Stunden von der Kuestenwache ausgeloest wird Aber nicht, weil irgendwo eine Yacht sinkt, sondern weil sie das Wetter ankuendigen !!! Was fuer ein Schwachsinn. Und deshalb muessen hunderte Schiffe im Kuestenbereich zum Funkgeraet laufen und deren besch….. DSC-Alarm loeschen. DANKE ! Bin kurz davor, das Funkgeraet abzuschalten. Natuerlich verhindert diese Praxis auch, das Funkgeraet am Ankerplatz laufen zu haben, was wir ja normalerweise machen. Hmmm.

So, jetzt hab ich genug gejammert. Jetzt muss ich erst mal rausgehen und schauen, dass wir irgendwo ein wenig Wind einfangen koennen…

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Von Insel zu Insel

Es ist 20:40h UTC und meine Wache hat begonnen. – Oder genauer gesagt, der Rest der vergroesserten crew schlaeft. Gui mit Kindern in der Achterkoje, Markus im Cockpit, Hille im Vorschiff und die Hundekoje bleibt vorerst leer. Dorthin werde ich mich um Mitternacht zurueckziehen. Wir haben also heute um 12:20 Lanzarote verlassen um unsere Freunde nach Teneriffe zu bringen, von wo aus sie den Rueckflug nach Deutschland antreten. Der Trip ist 150sm lang und bislang ging es ohne Grosssegel ganz gut vorwaerts. – Ach ja: Das mit der Reparatur hat leider nur halb geklappt. Wir konnten zwar jemanden finden, der die Baumnock wieder schweisst (Alu-Guss kann man schweissen ?!?) aber das Teil wird wegen des heutigen Feiertages leider erst am Donnerstagfertig. So muessen unsere Freunde von der SY Kira einen kleinen Abstecher in die Marina Rubicon machen und die Baumnock fuer uns mitbringen. Tja. Na auf jeden Fall haben wir mangels Grosssegel heute endlich mal wieder den Blister ausgepackt und waren auch mit anstaendigen 6-7.5kn unterwegs. Leider aber auf Halbwindkurs und dieser war dann bei zunehmendem Wind nicht mehr haltbar. So fahren wir zur Zeit auch nur mit Genua, aber doch auch konstant ueber 5kn. Wir werden also morgen Nachmittag auf Teneriffe ankommen und koennen nochmal alle gemeinsam ins Meer springen, bevor wir dann fuer kurze Zeit wieder zu viert sind. Ach – und heute haben wir kurz vor Sonnenuntergang einen fliegenden Fisch gesehen, der ganze 8 Sekunden ueber die Wellen geglitten ist.

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Starting towards Teneriffe

We’ve hade wonderful days here at Lanzarote and it was topped by last evening which we’ve spent doing barbeque at a friends ‘house’ up in the mountains. It’s nor really a house but more a wonderful green oasis in the middle of the desert. A really magic place ! – I’ll do a posting with fotos on that on later.

Actually I just wanted to let you know, we’re off now towards Teneriffe, where our friends have to catch a plane and a few days later new guests will arrive.

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Dolphins leading the Rancho Relaxo towards Lanzarote

An nice littele Dolphin video. I’m really sorry that the camera was not ready (or I’m just too slow) but the video is really quite short. But nice water quality anyway. See for yourself:

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Uh, I think I feel sick…

When I’m writing that we’ve shakey sailing, it looks something like this. Enjoy (that you’re not on bord).

The kids of course don’t even think about the movement. They are looking a book about fishing while waiting for someone to cook dinner. Hehehe.

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The Rancho Relaxo of the Seas running ultra high speed

We’ve never been this fast. 157 nautical miles in one day ! Here’s the video:

Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Video | 2 Comments