Monthly Archives: Monday June 30th, 2014

The last trip

Oh, the day finally has come. Today in the morning John and Nia from the SY Zeitgeist cast off our mooring lines and we left the beautiful anchorage in Brisbane centre. The timing was important because we wanted to catch the outgoing tide to sail down the 12nm to the river mouth and also because we wanted to arrive in Redcliffe during daylight.

Chillin' in the parkThe botanical garden - our garden for three weeks.Bruno at the playgroundViola in action

So we left at 10:45 with the high tide being at 11:20h. We sailed down through Brisbane in a beautiful, sunny but slightly cold day, took some fuel at the Rivergate Marina on the way out to the bay and started sailing just after noon. The weather was perfect: sunny and a steady 25-30 knots from WSW. We just flew up the bay and when initially we thought we would barely make it in daylight we actually arrived at 3:40h in the afternoon. Most of the time doing 7 to 7.5 knots with double reefed jib. Heh. Cool last sailing trip !

An Iguana in the middle of the cityNot afraid at all (both Gui and the Iguana)Shopping crazyness at Woolworth'sKangaroo meat (nice !)

In the marina (the second we entered in two years) it wasn’t too easy. We got a berth that was at the very end and in a small corner and maneuvering the 15t Suvarov into place took a few helping hands and long mooring lines over winches. But we made it !

Going to town with my beautiful ladySkyscrapers in BrisbaneIn the public libraryLast day at the moorings in the city

Now the Suvarov has reached her final destination, we’re in Scarborough Marina on jetty E1 and here she will stay until her next owner will take her out for a ride. Hopefully soon. And the los locos are emotionally a bit shaken and tired from packing and organizing all our stuff. But everything is in bags and suitcases and ready to go. Tomorrow we’ll clean the boat one last time and on wednesday at 2pm we take the plane to Bankok, then to Istanbul, then Munich. Yay !

Fast sailing in the Moreton Bayleaving Brisbane behindReally nice, really fast sailingRedcliffe, the final destination of the Suvarov

Posted in Animals, Freedom, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 9 Comments

Brunos third birthday on sea – and we start to move out

More than three years ago when we startet our voyage Bruno was just four years old. His very first birthday at sea we celebrated in Glowe on the german island of Ruegen, together with his best friend Victor. Now, his eight birthday we party in Brisbane, in the winter – but still barefeet and having a nice BBQ in the park.

Birthday cake with lots of berriesIn the parkExcitement !The gang

Together with our neighbours and their kids we have a big feast and only when we hardly can move anymore we start to walk back towards the botanical garden. But we go past it and into the city where the kids get a bag full of tokens and have endless fun at the arcade games. One hour they shout, shoot, steer and are excited without end. Then it’s time for cinema. We watch ‘How to train your dragon 2′ in 3D and of course it’s a huge success. After the cinema it’s only thanks to the endless sugar in their bodies that the kids can still walk back to the boat. It was a wonderful day and everyone falls into a deep sleep only minutes after arriving back at the boat.

at the gamesAnd Pacman also still exists !Moving our householdFirst of three dinghy runs

The Suvarov slowly get’s emptier. We packed nine boxes and filled them with endless books, kitchen stuff and Gui’s enormeous collection of fabrics for coquito. What’s still on bord has to go into our bags and on the plane. But we got an allowance of 120kg and 32kg of cabing luggage on top of that so that should do.

Posted in Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Suvarov | 10 Comments

The first days in Brisbane

The first days were cold. Incredibly cold ! We packed away all our warm stuff after the crossing of the Bay of Biscay – that was in August 2011. Nearly three years later now we search the boat for warm clothes and find long trousers, T-shirts made from wool with long sleeves and funny and colorful pipes that you can put on your feet. The kids find all that new stuff hillarious while the skipper tries not to remember the times, we had to use all those items.

The warm clothes come out after three years...Prepared for the coldAfter shopping at the 'big W'A little green in the city centre

Packed into our winter gear we enter Brisbane in search for more of these amazing ‘clothes’ and most importantly: shoes for the kids. Once equipped, we’re able to handle the temperature of Brisbane and our strolls through the centre and through these beautiful parks are more enjoyable.

The Suvarov moored at the botanical gardenBruno and Viola having fun in the parkYeah, that's really an AC/DC pinball machine !Winter bloom

We like the city. – Not that we prefer it to a tropical island but life is easy here. One can get high quality food around the clock and at every corner. Prices are higher of course and after filling one garbage bag during the 9 days of our crossing we can easily fill one a day now. Yay to the consumer-life.

Ella's pink ladyOcean going rowing boatThe tiniest ocean going vessel - for the *really* crazy ones !A vewi upriver from the footbridge at the botanical garden

Other than that we’re organizing the transport of our stuff, getting the boat ready to be left for sale with our agent, enjoying the company of John and Nia fron the SY Zeitgeist and spending endless hours using the fastest internet connection we had in years. Heh.

Posted in Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Suvarov | Comments Off

Dates and numbers on the last trip

This is a post for the sailing nerds – so to say. I like to look at the numbers and as this was our fastest trip of the last three years it’s even more fun.

Crossing the Landsdowne BankApproaching Brisbane (the distance from the lighthouse to the river entrance is about 40nm)Tacking, tacking, tacking. Against 25knots. *rrr*And under engine up the river - at night.

Ok here comes: From Tanna, around NewCal towards Brisbane we travelled a total of 1238nm and it took us 219 hours to do that. This gives an awesome average speed of 5,70 knots ! Top speed (with a wave pushing from behind) was 9.9kn. The daily logs (24hours from noon to noon) were: 141, 144, 150, 126, 136, 142, 125, 130 and 123nm.

Lovely ripple cloudsA tanker passingInto the wind. Always into the wind...3rd reef

The wind on average came from SE with a force of 5. Minimum of S2 and maximum of S9 (measured: 42 knots). We never met more ships than on this trip. Out on the open ocean we met two fishing vessels, two tankers and one cruise ship. And during the approach to Brisbane we met another six ships. The drive up the river was a whole different story. We that we have stayed on tropical islands for these last years and never saw a real city… now suddenly we have to navigate a river with speed ferries zomming in and out, hundereds of ships anchored everywhere, buoys, moorings, jetties…. a lot of current. And everything is so bright ! And the eyes as well as the skipper who hasn’t slept the last 48 hours are a bit overwhelmed… But everything goes well, we find a nice spot to anchor and sleep the best sleep ever. The one of sailors who arrive in a safe harbour after a rough trip.

Oh. And I’ve got a little video too. It’s a bit boring but sailors might enjoy it anyways…

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov, Travel, Video | 3 Comments

From Vanuatu to Australia – the pictures

And here come the missing pictures… have fun !

We leave Tanna and wave good-bye to our friends on the SY Kira...past that beautiful beach we've been hanging out a few times...And around the corner where the wind picks upSailing on the wind for many days...

The first sunrise out on sea - and one of the last ones for us.And again: beating against the windUntil everything is encrusted in a layer of salt.The capitana on the wheel during a gust

The cirrus uncius clouds predict more wind !And the wind comes......with frequent squalls...But the kids still have a lot of fun. Heh.

Storm petrels are the other species out here having fun with 40knots of wind.I watch them for hours gliding 30cm above the waves.Finally we aproach the entrance to Brisbane.For the first time since the North Sea (!!) we're wearing the foul weather gear.

Right in the harbour entrance a big freighter wants to overtake.Wow ! A real harbour !...and a real city !!A lot of industry down at the river entrance

But we continue up the river towards the city.Entering Brisbane at nightfallIMPRESSIVE  - especially after two years spent only on tropical islands.A different view in the morning (from the kitchen window)

Posted in Animals, Freedom, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov, Travel | Comments Off

A few more pics from Tanna / Vanuatu

A few more pictures that I couldn’t upload when we still were in Tanna. One of my favorites is Viola with the parrot. Enjoy !

Unser Ankerplatz in Port Resolution - 250 Jahre nach James CookDer 'Yacht Club'Zwei Holz-Statuen am Eingang zum DorfEin Teil des kleinen Dorfes

Ein neues Haus wird gebaut...100% Naturmaterialien, 100% recycling-faehigKosten: 0$ (alles waechst in der Umgebung), Dauer bis Fertigstellung: ca. 1 WocheFussball am Fusse des Vulkans

Riesiger Bayan Tree - wer versteckt sich da ?Haensel und Gretel ?Die Dorfschule wurde beschenkt mit zwei grossen Tueten Material aus dem Bauch der SuvarovClaus, Bruno und eine Backpackerin - unterwegs Richtung Yasur

Ein Arbeiter kommt uns aus dem Wald entgegenUnd hat einen bunten, zahmen Papagei mit dabeiDer fluestert Viola irgendwas charmantes ins OhrDie kleine Piratenbraut macht ganz auf lieb

Posted in Animals, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Plants, Sailing, Suvarov | Comments Off

In Brisbane angekommen

Der letzte Segeltag war feucht, windig und hart und die Nacht aufregend, als wir bei 25-30kn Wind zuerst die Ansteuerung meisterten und spaeter im Fahrwasser einen ganzen Tag lang Richtung Brisbane aufkreuzen mussten. Alle paar Stunden auf Funk die Sturmwarnung der lokalen Wetterbehoerden und wir hacken durch die See und stampfen mit der Suvarov durch die Wellen im hellgruenen Wasser hinter Moreton Island.

Am spaeten Nachmitag erreichen wir endlich die Flussmuendung und machen kurz darauf an der Tanke der Rivergate-Marina fest. Nach nur wenigen Minuten kommen zwei sehr nette Offiziere vom Zoll und klarieren uns ein, ein paar weitere Minuten spaeter gesellt sich noch der Herr von der Quarantaene hinzu. Kurz vor Sonnenuntergang koennen wir die gelbe Flagge bergen und sind nun willkommen, das Land zu betreten. Wollen wir aber gar nicht ! Wir legen augenblicklich wieder ab, fahren in der Dunkelheit eine Stunde weiter den Fluss hoch und um ca. 19h lokaler Zeit werfen wir den Anker in den Fluss – im Zentrum der Stadt ! Umgeben von Wolkenkratzern, nahe dem botanischen Garten. Voellig surreal.

Die letzte richtige Stadt, die wir sahen war Panama City vor ca. zwei Jahren. Und nun – nach Fiji und Vanuatu kommt die westliche Kultur echt ganz schoen schraeg rueber. Aber wir machen natuerlich das beste draus: werfen das Dinghy ins Wasser, paddeln an Land, wo uns ein paar Leute von einer Parkbank aus interressiert beobachten waehrend wir unser kleines Boetchen irgendwie an der Uferpromenade festtuedeln.

Und dann geht’s zum naechsten Diner auf einen lecker Ozzy-Burger mit allem drin und einem grossen, kalten Bier. YAY Australia !!

Posted in Sailing | 4 Comments

Approaching Brisbane

The last 24 hours of sailing…. and it seems we’ll remember those a long time… Up until a few hours ago we sailed as southerly as possible, to have a better angle for the bad weather that was predicted. And then it came: during the last night the wind increased first to 25 then to 30 knots and during the sqalls of which we had about fifteen so far, we got up to 40 knots. But thanks to our southing we could alter our course and now, the last 50 miles we’re going downwind with the nasty weather pusing us towards the north of Moreton island from where we will take the well buoyed sipping lane towards Brisbane.
Right now we’re sailing with the genoa in the third reef and the lighthouse should become visible in 4-5 hours. If all goes well, tomorrow afternoon we should be moored at the quarnatine dock in the Rivergate Marina. Yay !

LATITUDE: 26-52.18S, LONGITUDE: 153-52.27E, COURSE: 278T, SPEED: 5.3, WIND: SE 6(7), DISTANCE TO DEST.: 34nm (+46nm to harbour)

Posted in Sailing | 2 Comments

Tag neun nach Australien

Gegenan, gegenan…. Ist es nun der vierte oder fuenfte Tag, den wir hart am Wind segeln ? Keine Ahnung. Meine Knochen und die Anzahl der blauen Flecken sagen fuenf. Wie erwartet hat der Wind waehrend der Nacht auch etwas zugelegt, was die ganze Sache natuerlich noch schicker macht. Wir sind also mit Genua und Gross im dritten Reff unterwegs und versuchen so, unseren Kurs nach Brisbane zu halten – was auch gut gelingt. Normalerweise(TM) wuerden wir ja so segeln, dass wir tagsueber ankommen, aber bei dem Wetter (und der Wind soll ja nach wie vor mehr werden) vergeuden wir keine Zeit und kommen gerne auch im Dunkeln an.
Ist ja nicht so, wie ein Suedsee-Ankerplatz, wo man hinfaehrt und seinen Anker fallen laesst, nein hier muessen wir erst mal hinter der Moreton Island durch ein Fahrwasser, queren die gesamte Flussmuendung mit vielen Flachstellen und tuckern schliesslich den Fluss rauf bis in die Stadt. Insgesamt ca. 46nm, die aber vermutlich etwas geschuetzt sind.
Naja. Also bleibt’s spannend bis zur letzten Sekunde, heh. Aber so wie’s aussieht, kommen wir wohl kurz vor Sonnenaufgang an und haben dann den ganzen Tag fuer diese Fahrt durch die Flussmuendung.
Sonst alles klar an Bord. Es ist bisher nichts kaputgegangen, und alle sind wohlauf (bis auf die erwaehnten blauen Flecken).

LATITUDE: 26-24.23S, LONGITUDE: 155-03.20E, COURSE: 242T, SPEED: 5.8, WIND: SSE6, DISTANCE TO DEST.: 101nm

Posted in Sailing | 1 Comment

Day 8 towards Australia

A bit rough it was these last hours – or actually days. Now the wind has calmed down and our speed decreased. It’s a lot nicer when the place you live in isn’t shaking and bouncing and banging into the waves every few seconds. And did I mention before: there is more wind coming…
Yesterday the sky was filled with those ‘Cirrus Uncius’ clouds and then at night fall we had a wonderful halo around the moon. Both signs that the weather is about to change. I’m downloading the forcast this moment, let’s see what the grib file says…
We also found a solution to our energy problem: Since we were sailing on the wind all the time, the wind generator was working overtime and even during the night the batteries were at 14.4V, the fridge at 3 degrees, the laptops all charged – where to go with the excess energy ? Loud music is the answer ! Party all the day. Hehehe. (To answer the comments, whether we enjoy our last days out at sea…)

LATITUDE: 24-52.45S, LONGITUDE: 156-39.18E, COURSE: 239T, SPEED: 4.8, WIND: S3, DISTANCE TO DEST.: 218nm

Posted in Sailing | Comments Off

Siebter Tag auf See, dritter Tag gegenan

Huiii. Auf unserer letzten Reise mit der Suvarov poltert’s ganz schoen. Seit drei Tagen brettern wir hart am Wind gegen vier bis sechs Beaufort an. Genua meist im ersten, Gross im zweiten Reff hetzen wir nach Sued, so weit wir koennen. Das Schiff brettert in die Wellen, die Gischt spritzt bis zum Heck und alles an Deck ist unter einer dicken Salzkruste erstarrt – fast ein bisschen wie Winter. Ach. Apropos: Die Kinder laufen schon mit Socken rum und finden das unglaublich lustig. Der Captain wehrt sich noch dagegen, bekommt aber auch langsam kalte Fuesse.
Oh. Genau und von wegen kalte Fuesse: Soeben hab ich wie jeden Morgen kurz vor Sonnenaufgang die Wetterdaten runtergeladen und das gefaellt mir gar nicht. Ab Anfang der Woche dreht der Wind dann nochmal richtig auf. Auch mit ein Grund, weshalb wir nun jede Meile nach Sued gut machen wollen, um spaeter dann bei 6-7 Beaufort und entgegen laufender Stroemung vor der Kueste nicht gegenan, sondern zumindest Halbwind segeln zu koennen. Nun ja. So der Plan.
Sonst soweit alles Gut. Die Capitana hat auch langsam wieder Appetit und den Kindern geht’s wie immer praechtig. Der Captain kocht fuer alle taeglich Pasta und backt Brot und sonst laeuft auch alles rund.

Latitude: 23-28.54S, Longitude: 158-21.03E, Speed: 5.7, Course: 222T, Wind: SE4-5, Distane to dest.: 341nm

Posted in Sailing | 2 Comments

False alarm

Just in case someone finds a 2m high, yellow man-overbord-buoy with a strobe light flasing on top floating around position 20S, 162E. It’s ours ! A wave tore it from the mounting yesterday in the night.
As for the rest: all is fine. Not much happening as you might expect here in the middle of nowhere. Well – that’s not exactly right: Just a few hours ago during my nightwatch, the cruise ship ‘Paciic Dawn’ was passing by at our port side. I was siting in the cockpit and watched the ship pass while wondering whether one of the guests would look to our side and see those poor little sailors that get shaken and stirred while most on that huge ship wouldn’t take notice of the waves anyway and probably hang out at the casino with a martini in their hand….. I had a little chat with one of the officers on VHF and found out that they were also in Port Vila when we were there and now they’re bound for Brisbane just like us. Except that they probably will be there two days ahead.
Our journey has been quite fast so far, we did 150nm during the last 24 hours and passed all shoals and reefs unharmed. Now it’s open ocean between us and our destination. The wind so far is quite steady and instead of turning to the south as predicted, now it seems it’ll turn more easterly and increase a lot on monday. We’ll see… Maybe we’re already in Brisbane then.

Latitude: 21-51.45S, Longitude: 160-05.02E, Speed: 5.2, Course: 223T, WIND: SE4, DISTANCE TO DEST.: 499nm

Posted in Sailing | Comments Off

Kurs Brisbane liegt an

Neu Kaledonien und das ‘Grand Recif de Cook’ haben wir hinter uns gelassen und ein paar Stunden lang hatten wir auch ein bisschen weniger Wind in Lee der Insel. Seit einer Stunde ist unsere Antriebskraft wieder in urspruenglicher Staerke (20-25kn) zurueck und wir steuern mit gut sechs Knoten Richtung Suedspitze des Bellona Riffs. Morgen sollten wir die ‘Landsdowne Bank’ queren. Da bin ich mal gespannt, wie sich die See verhaelt, wenn’s ploetzlich von mehreren Tausend Meter Tiefe auf 20-30m ansteigt. Das macht mir ganz schoen mulmige Gefuehle, wenns da so ‘flach’ ist. Naja. Kann man nix machen, da muessen wir drueber. Auf jeden Fall werden wir Angeln, denn so eine Flachstelle ist die beste Chance fuer frischen Tunfisch !
Schoen ist, dass diese Zwischenziele quasi in einer Linie mit Brisbane liegen und wir also nun auf unser Ziel zusteuern. Und mit unserer derzeitigen Geschwindigkeit wuerden wir auch schon in fuenf Tagen ankommen. Aber das kann sich ja noch aendern. Soeben lade ich die neuen Wetterdaten runter…

LATITUDE: 20-03.08S, LONGITUDE: 161-48.54E, COURSE: 216T, SPEED: 6.4, WIND: ESE5-6, DIST. TO DEST.: 642nm

Posted in Sailing | Comments Off

Inside the ‘Grand Recif de Cook’

Damn that reef really forced us to do a jibe – after three days. We busy sailors…. Heh.
Right now as I’m typing this, we’re right inside the ‘Grand Recif’ and the little motu to our starbord side is called ‘Atoll de la Surprise’. I don’t wanna know what caused that name but I really had to laugh out loud as I read it. So – anyway – we’re ‘past’ New Caledonia now – which means we’re in the reefs and have to navigate with great care. *rrr* This really makes the captain edgy: to sail through reefs in the pitch dark. But there is no other way, the area we have to cross is way to big to do it in daylight. And we have plenty of space, the ‘pass’ is gigantic and the sea state is perfect.
Speaking of: This is the kind of weather that makes a captain smile. – Since we left Tanna, we had absolute rock-stable wind from the east with 20-25 knots. That’s our ideal weather and thus we’re sailing daily runs of more than 140nm. Fast sailing for once !

LATITUDE: 18-47.98S, LONGITUDE: 163-19.58E, COURSE: 242T, SPEED: 6.1, WIND: E5, DISTANCE TO DEST.: 757nm

Posted in Sailing | Comments Off

Zweiter Tag nach Australien

Auch am zweiten Tag tut sich nicht viel. Und das ist gut so. Denn der Wind passt haargenau, unser Kurs ist perfekt. Die Geschwindigkeit ist super und das Wetter fein. Ich will gar nicht, dass sich hier dran irgendwas veraendert ! Einzig unsere Position. Die wandert jeden Tag etwas nach Westnordwest. Ja. Nord. Ich hatte ja Gestern bereits erwaehnt, dass die Neu Kaledonier ihr Land da mitten in den Weg gepackt haben. Und als ob das noch nicht reicht, findet man dahinter noch jede Menge Riffe und Flachstellen. So segeln wir also nicht den direkten Weg, sondern erst mal eine Schleife um NeuKal herum. Die Entfernung von Brisbane: 840nm stimmt natuerlich auch nicht wirklich, da fehlen ca. 200 Meilen. Aber irgendwo muss man sich ja orientieren, oder ?

Sonst alles gut hier. Die Capitana wie immer die ersten Tage gruen um die Nase, die Kinder dafuer putzmunter.

LATITUDE: 19-13.91S, LONGITUDE: 165-37.95E, COURSE: 297T, SPEED: 6.2, WIND: ESE5, DISTANCE TO DEST: 840nm

Posted in Sailing | Comments Off

Day 1 towards Brisbane

After waving goodbye to the SY Kira, we left Tanna on sunday afternoon. We first sailed around the south tip and now we’re heading towards the north of New Caledonia. Yeh – sailing to Brisbane isn’t exactly straight forward. NewCal is completely in the way and there are several huge banks and reefs on the way. So we’ll use the ‘Grand Pass’ in the NW of NewCal and then go south, over the Landsdowne bank, around the Bellona reef and finally towards our destination.
We have good wind and make fantastic progress on our final voyage.

LATITUDE: 19-30.87S, LONGITUDE: 168-07.04E, COURSE: 269T, SPEED: 6.5, WIND: ESE5, MILES TO DEST.: 946nm (minus NewCal)

Posted in Sailing | Comments Off