31 Dec News archive 2003
News archive 2003
31 December 2003
Dec 31, 2003 07:53 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
The cleaning of the bottom is almost done. We took out all the concrete that had been poured in in the past. On some places the concrete had come off of the steel, and the space in-between was a layer of rust. On one place we even have to replace a part of the hull, just a little part. There have been some delays, and we expect to be in the water at the end of next week. But today is a holiday; we will see the old year out and the new year in.
Happy New Year to all of you!
Dec 28, 2003 15:45 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is still out of the water. The new rudder has been placed, but we are not fully satisfied; it has to come off again for some last changes.
The refuse tanks have been taken out in small parts. That was a big job. We cut them up with burners and took them ashore. For days the ship had a smoky athmosphere, in spite of the many blowers and ventilators.
The leakage of these tanks filled the bottom with a lot of rubbish. After a whole day of chipping, scraping and pricking by the whole crew, we could take out many bucket-loads of an indistinct mixture of rust, fat, tar, cement and isolation materials. We hope to start preserving the bottom on Tuesday, and in the beginning of January we will place the new tanks. Then we can start the reconstruction of the area around, something that will be more rewarding.
From the shipping company (Dec 24, 2003)
The Oosterschelde-people wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Dec 19, 2003 12:16 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
The work on the ship is going well. Monday afternoon she was high on the slip. On Tuesday we had the hull cleansed and the rudder dismounted. The bottom has been surveyed, and thanks to the fair weather we were able to put on three layers of paint. Els, Sep and Maurits, poised on the scaffolding, have been de-rusting and painting the waterline. The new rudder is taking shape, and all kinds of small welding jobs on deck have been done.
In the inside, Alex and Stefan have removed part of the interior and put protection sheets in front of other parts. The electrician of the house Erné has diverted some electrical cables, Anthony and Gerben have taken away water conduit-pipes, bilge-pump pipes and such-like. Now we can start the job of removing the refuse tanks. Three of the four new ones are ready, and the fourth is being finished.
Master Jip talks to the surveyor, installs fire-hoses and a new hydrophore pump, and keeps an eye on it all in the meantime.
Dec 14, 2003 12:30 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
We left Amsterdam at 09:15 in strong winds. We had some showers and beautiful skies in between. We arrived in Urk at 15:00. Tomorrow morning the ‘Oosterschelde’ will go on the slip.
Dec 11, 2003 12:30 GMT
55°22.9′ N, 004°55.9′ E.
Last night we arrived in Amsterdam at 00:35. We take a rest for a few days and we will leave for Urk on Sunday morning.
Dec 10, 2003 14:13 GMT
51°47.8′ N, 003°33.0′ E.
We enjoyed beuatiful sailing until Alderney. Now there is not much wind and the sea is covered by fog. If the weather stays likes this, we might arrive at the IJmuiden locks soon. We will then go on to Amsterdam, and probably moor there at the head of the Javakade quay during the night.
Dec 7, 2003 11:17 GMT
48°16.75′ N, 004°35.31′ W. Compass 013.
A quick crossing of the Gulf of Biscay on a strong E-ly brought us to Camaret-sur-Mer in the bay of Brest, where we arrived yesterday at 16:00. The French customs were waiting for us and they did their usual intensive search of the ship. We will wait for the wind to veer to the south; we plan to leave tomorrow, via the Canal-du-Four. Yesterday St. Nicolas came to visit us with some presents.
Dec 5, 2003 13:19 GMT
45°56.48′ N, 003°30.48′ W. Compass 356, 7 knots.
We are 24 hours and 140 miles from Bilbao. We enjoy a E 5-6 Bft and the miles fly by. Yesterday, after the arrival of the ‘Endeavour’ and an exchange of fired salutes, we left in a blazing sun and with all sails set, just like when we arrived.
The Maritime Museum was satisfied. Some 8000 personsn visited the ‘Oosterschelde’ during the open ship events.
The voyage will lead us to Amsterdam, without a stop in Rotterdam. On Dec 15 she will go into dock in Urk.
Dec 3, 2003 16:08 GMT
This is our last day at the side of the new Maritime Museum. Tonight there will be a farewell party on board, with the people of the museum. We had lots of visitors during these days. The volunteers even spoke Basque while explaining the ship. Only a few people here speak English.
Tomorrow it’s off to sea again. The new passage workers have arrived and we will leave with 14 persons on the ship. The weather reports predict easterly winds tomorrow. Our departure has been postponed for one day, on request from the museum. Tomorrow the ‘Endeavour’ will arrive, a museum vessel from Whitby on the English east coast, known because of her performance in the movie ‘Master and commander’. We would like to welcome her before leaving.
Today the weather is fair, with a bit of sunshine. Perfect for some maintenance outside, in the rigging.
Nov 27, 2003 11:13 GMT
43°15.100′ N, 002°56.92′ W. Compass 043.
On Nov 19, the day after our arrival in Spain, we sailed with 8 persons and 10 sails set on the Ria de Bilbao, going under high bridges, sailing to the old docks of the new Museo Maritimo. There we lower the sails, bring our salute and moor. We are welcomed and we hoist the Basque and Spanish courtesy ensigns. The press comes to visit us. People are still busy preparing for the official opening of the museum.
On the day of the opening, Nov 20, we hoist all the sails while at the quay, the weather being great. After the lowering of the saisl in the evening, there is a display of fireworks.
We are a temporary part of the Museo. Many groups of noisy Basque and Castillian children come on board and learn about the ship. Volunteers from the nautical college are Spanish speaking guides on these tours. The crew is able to speak some words in the Basque language. Bilbao is impressive with its new and old architecture and culture; it is a dignified last voayge of this year.
ov 18, 2003 11:03 GMT
A short while ago, at 09:30, we moored in the Viscaya dock in Santurzi. The weather is nice and the formalities were concluded quickly.
Nov 18, 2003 01:13 GMT
43°51.86′ N, 002°49.25′ W. Compass 204, 1 knot.
We anchored at St. Martin, on Île de Ré, and it started to blow and rain. A nice occasion for updating charts and doing paintwork inside. We visited the nice old walls of the town the next day. Still a strong wind and the transport by dinghy was a big experience. In the evening the wind decreased to N 4 Bft, and we hoisted the sails again, under a starry sky with a beautiful moon. The wind decreased further, but the next day brought us sun, pilot whales and a lot of hunting dolphins. As soon as we lowered the dinghy and went out a bit, the dolphins came close, playful. We were able to take close-up photographs. In the meantime we do cleaning over all, because Bilbao is just 40 miles away. At 09:00 we pick up the pilot. We already see mountains far away. In Bilbao captain Eliane de Vilder will hand over the ship to Jip van Bommel.
Nov 14, 2003 18:39 GMT
47°00.13′ N, 002°42.76′ W. Compass 138. 5 knots.
We anchored near Camaret-sur-Mer, after lengthy conversations with the French authorities. The have new regulations and we are obliged to tell them so many, many things. In the night there was much rain and wind. In the morning we sailed in the sun and on an agreeable swell along the beautiful coast of Brittanny to Belle-Île, where we anchored again, to let the next low go by. This low resulted in a 11 Bft in the English Channel, but it passed quickly. So, after a day of walking around on the island and after some maintenance work, we sailed again, towards Pertuis Breton, our last stop before going directly to Bilbao.
Nov 11, 2003 11:12 GMT
48°17.47′ N, 004°41.08′ W. Compass 068. 7 knots.
This was great, with the lunar eclipse in a clear sky. We passed the Dutch and Belgian coasts in full speed, all sails set and a E 4-5 Bft. It was cold though, in our clothing we were like men from Mars.
In the meantime temperature has risen to 15 degrees, out here near Brittanny. We did the English Channel in a wink. Near Ouessant we had dolphins around the ship, as happens often in that area. For many of us it was the first time. The wind is increasing and S, so we decided to drop anchor for a while, near Camaret-sur-Mer. Prospects are favourable. We will do some maintenance in the saloon and in the main engine room; Bilbao will see a shining ship.
Nov 8, 2003 16:22 GMT
We left at 15:30. The sailing is delicious, with this strong E-ly. We have just passed Maassluis and we will be out at sea very soon now. We also look forward to the lunar eclipse, in the night.
Nov 7, 2003 20:25 GMT
We will leave for Bilbao tomorrow at noon.
From the shipping company (Nov 3, 2003)
In the weekend the ‘Oosterschelde’ will leave to do an assignment in Spain. On Nov 20 the new Maritime Musuem of Bilbao will be opened. The ‘Oosterschelde’, being one of the few still sailing historical vessels, is invited to be present in the city. The Spanish prime minister will perform the official opening. The ‘Oosterschelde’ will stay in Bilbao for two weeks and will return to Rotterdam in the beginning of December. On Dec 15 she will go to Metz’ shipyard in Urk for docking.
From the shipping company (Oct 28, 2003)
During the last couple of weeks, the crew have been busy on the maintenance. We expect to have to make a journey abroad soon, so we confine ourselves to jobs that can be done in one or two days. The date of departure is not final yet, so the programme of this journey is not either.
From the shipping company (Oct 13, 2003)
Although our summer programme is not final yet, a draft can be found on the page Programme.
Oct 13, 2003 21:25 GMT
This weekend we made a daytrip, possibly the last one this year. The weather was perfect for October; our guests, with dinner on deck, enjoyed a beautiful evening, the ship and the peculiar skylines of a big harbour. For the crew, it can sometimes be difficult to realize how special a small trip on the ‘Oosterschelde’ can be. Our guests remind us of this.
By now, all mainstays as well as the topstay of the schooner mast have been replaced. Maintenance and preventive maintenance always take more time than planned beforehand. For example: our gas installation needs to be checked. So we also replace the pipes and controllers for the installation. But while we are at it, the container containing the installation turns out to need a new coat of paint, and a new floor for the gas bottles is a good idea as well.
Oct 8, 2003 22:22 GMT
Oosterschelde has been moored in the Veerhaven the past days. The crew is working on maintenance and is doing small repairs. If the weather permits we work outside. If wind and rain are too heavy we find something to do inside. We sail on Saturday, so the coming days we expect a lot of provisions to be brought to the ship.
Oct 4, 2003 11:34 GMT
We are doing a daytrip with a Maaskring group of mentally handicapped right now. Fierce showers, sometimes with hail, and then a bright sun in between. We have a crew of TV Rijnmond on board; they make a short internet movie of the trip, which will be placed on their site (menu ‘Interactief’, button ‘Bij ons is het leuk’) coming Wednesday.
Due to the fair weather last week, we have been able to do a lot of outside maintenance.
Sep 27, 2003 15:23 GMT
This morning at 08:00 we moored in the Veerhaven harbour. Last night we spent in Maassluis. We had a group doing a group training on board, and yesterday afternoon we sailed out of Hook of Holland for a while with them, not all of them enjoying the waves. At the end we had a beautiful trip back in to Maassluis around dusk, sailing into the outgoing tide. A great moment.
The mentally handicapped youngsters had a lot of fun on Wednesday.
The new top-shrouds and their rigging have been placed and tightened. Fair weather accompanied us during these maintenance hours. Daytrips are becoming more rare now. The last two weeks of October we will spend at Urk, where the ‘Oosterschelde’ will go on the slip at Metz’ wharf.
Sep 20, 2003 10:43 GMT
Last Thursday we, just the crew, sailed to Amsterdam, where we had a daytrip with 100 guests of the city council of Amsterdam the next day. Which we sailed on the Marker Lake in a great SW 4 Bft. Very crowded on the lake, with many yachts and freighters, and everyone setting out to enjoy these Indian summer days. After disembarking of the passengers back in Amsterdam, we headed to IJmuiden, where we left the next morning to have a seagoing daytrip with guests, back to Rotterdam. At first the sea was rather bumpy because of a SW 5 Bft, but later on the wind decreased and a lot of sun helped our guests to feel comfortable. Exactly at 19:30 our guests disembarked in Rotterdam, in time for their dinner arrangements.
Coming Monday and Tuesday are reserved to replace the top-shrouds and their rigging, and on Wednesday we will have a daytrip with mentally handicapped children.
Sep 14, 2003 19:43 GMT
Last Thursday during the daytrip with the handicapped, we had beautiful weather and an enthousiastic group. We have grown in this kind of sailing, and with the help of a number of volunteers, we can do the job very well now.
Coming Wednesday we we sail to Amsterdam, where the city council has chartered the ‘Oosterschelde’ for a daytrip, on Thursday. On Friday we will have a daytrip back home, from IJmuiden.
New top-shrouds have arrived on board and we will use the time in the harbour to exchange them with the old ones.
Sep 9, 2003 17:00 GMT
With many guests we sailed the parade on Friday, together with 12 historic sailing ships, mostly from the Veerhaven.
Open ship on Sunday was very crowded.
Yesterday we did another daytrip with a group of handicapped. Thanks to the beautiful weather they had a great day. On Thursday another group of them will join us.
We hope to have some fair weather in between all these daytrips, so that we will be able to do some paint jobs. Last week we set the captain’s cabin in fresh white paint.
Sep 4, 2003 13:20 GMT
We are sailing on the Waterweg in Rotterdam, entertaining a company and their guests. On Monday and Wednesday we did maintenance and storage, and on Tuesday another company enjoyed a daytrip.
Tomorrow at 16:00 we will sail in the opening parade of the World Harbour Festival. This will take place between the Veerhaven and the Kop van Zuid. On Saturday and Sunday the Veerhaven hosts many painters, doing a tournament. On Sunday afternoon we will have open ship, and you are very welcome.
From the shipping company (Sep 4, 2003)
Many have asked for a daytrip for shareholders. We will have this on September 16, out of Hellevoetsluis, from 10:00 till 17:00, provided that there are enough interested.
Others will be able to join us; they will be charged € 45.
If you are interested, please contact us at the shipping company.
Aug 30, 2003 14:00 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
At 14:20 we moored at our place in the Veerhaven harbour. Last night we dropped a passenger at Den Helder, using the dinghy. We had a clear night and there were many stars. We had a NW 3-4 Bft, which allowed us to sail comfortably. Today on the Waterweg river, we enjoyed a WNW 4 Bft.
All our passengers have gone home now; in may cases they had friends and family to welcome them.
Aug 30, 2003 10:00 GMT
It is noon. We started sailing into the Waterweg, the river leading to Rotterdam. Beautiful weather and a strong backstay wind help us to sail all the way into the city.
Aug 28, 2003 22:42 GMT
53°53.05′ N, 007°36.91′ E. Compass 257, 6 knots.
In the evening of Aug 24 we left Travemünde for the crossing to Marstal. We tack for a night and a day on a calm NW-ly and, with veering winds, we arrive at Bagenkop for the night, on the southern tip of the Danish island of Langeland.
In the afternoon of the next day we are welcomed in Marstal by our 1rst mate Martin, who is doing a course at the nautical college there, and by Erik Kromann, managing director of the beautiful Søfartmuseum. We have open ship and entertain some former crew members of Oosterschelde’s old Danish days and their families.
On Wednesday we went to Kiel to enter the Kieler Canal. We spent the night at Rendsburg. Right now, late Thursay night, we motor on the river Elbe, going out to sea. There are waves but there is no wind.
ETA Rotterdam (Veerhaven harbour) Aug 30 at 16:00.
Aug 24.8.2003 15:55 GMT
53°57.28′ N, 010°51.85′ E. Compass 227.
The parade really was a great event. Half wind and backstay wind brought all the ships out, and on the shore there were huge numbers of people; so many we have rarely seen.
Afterwards we went back to Travemünde to disembark the 75 extra guests. In a minute we will have the officials along for the exit procedures, and then we will leave. Our destination is Rotterdam, by way of the Kieler Canal. We will first visit the Danish island of Ærø though, for an encounter with Oosterschelde’s history; she sailed as the ‘Fuglen II’ for a joint shipping company on this island from 1939 till 1954. We will have a reception on board for members of this collective and for representatives of the Søfartmuseum in Marstal.
Aug 23.8.2003 19:45 GMT
53°57.28′ N, 010°51.85′ E. Compass 227.
The race is over and we have collected our prize. We were first in our class, the B class.
After a day of backstay winds, the wind changed to W, with still some 70 miles to go. We had to tack. The wind was weaker and there were no high waves anymore. More and more race participants showed up on the horizon. The last part we sailed together with the ‘Pogoria’, that started at exactly the same time as we did. The finish was advanced 12 hours. At finishing time we were still 33 miles from the original finishing line. In the overall rating we were 32rd.
We are in Travemünde, where the fireworks will commence soon. Our new guests have arrived. Tomorrow we will do the Sail Out Parade with them and 75 other guests.
Aug 18, 2003 15:59 GMT
54°47.70′ N, 015°49.68′ E. Compass 249, 7 knots.
It is an exciting and interesting race until now, and we have some 120 miles to go. We have had all kinds of weather. It all started with showers and a lot of wind. Slowly we went in the direction of Gdynia. But the wind changed in time to enable us to sail westward along the Polish coast. We have to fight for every mile because we had unfavourable winds up until Sunday afternoon. In the night we even had to anchor to prevent the ‘Oosterschelde’ from going back. After 20 minutes we were able to sail again.
Right now we sail with the square foresail and the gaff topsails, straight towards our goal doing 7 knots. Everybody enjoys the fair weather and the easy course.
Aug 15, 2003 11:29 GMT
17:43 GMT 56°34.42′ N, 020°37.03′ E. Compass188, 4 knots.
We have left the beautiful city of Riga on Aug 13 and are now sailing the STI tall ships’ race. After a successful Parade we went back to Riga to pick up our guests, some new and some old, and then we sailed to the starting line, some 100 miles out of Riga, at the entrance of the Gulf. The start was not without problems. One hour before the start the sheet of the inner jib broke, but we were able to continue to use it. 15 minutes before the start the sheet-corner of the mizzen broke off; we used one of the other corners by reefing down. And then we made a mistake during the start, by entering the no-entry zone. We had to restart, and crossed the line one hour late. Our setbacks were not over yet: after one hour the topsail’s sheet-block broke and we had to make repairs again.
Last night we had many showers and much wind, at first from the south and now from the southwest. We hope for a change for the better.
Aug 12, 2003 16:34 GMT
Last night we were moored in Riga at 22:00. Today our guests go into town. The crew has to take care of the storage of water, fuel and food. We will have a safety inspection by STI’s Race Committee as a preparation for the race, and some other administrative jobs. Master Gerben Nab will hand over the command to Jip van Bommel, which will be Jip’s first time. His first action will be to attend the captains’ dinner, offered to all captains by Riga’s mayor.
Tomorrow our new guests will arrive.
Aug 11, 2003 17:44 GMT
57°03.45′ N, 024°02.05 ‘ E. Compass 129, 8 knots.
We are nearing Riga and we expect to be mooring there in an hour.
Aug 11, 2003 10:46 GMT
Soon after our departure from Tallinn the wind disappears; after an hour it comes back with a strong N 6-7 Bft. Soon we are able to steer a southerly course, because we pass the NW tip of Estonia, and we sail with the strong wind in the back.
Last night we entered the Gulf of Riga and this morning we dropped anchor at the small Estonian island of Ruhnu; we made a walk and arranged for clearance outwards. Some minutes ago we weighed anchor and set course for the last 50 miles to Riga. The weather is sunny with light winds, and the sky is ominous.
Aug 9, 2003 18:17 GMT
2.41′ N, 023°34.21′ E. Compass 255, 5 knots.
Thanks to the strong NW wind, we arrive at Tallinn as early as noon. We get the formalities and the drugs dog as we remember from the last time, but this is done rather quickly and we all go into town. During the night the wind gathers strength; even in the morning there still is a strong breeze. The fierce showers has disappeared though. After securing everything, we leave at 12:00. After a couple of hours the wind is gone, but it comes back at us in a strong NW. Right now, we sail with assistance of the engine. Some hours, and then we will be able to steer a more southerly course and stop the engine. Our goal is the island of Saaremaa, in front of the entrance to the Gulf of Riga. Still 200 miles to go.
Aug 8, 2003 06:24 GMT
59°54.44′ N, 024°51.18′ E. Compass 195, 8 knots.
We leave Bodö on Aug 7, early in the morning. At 10:00 we have finished the 21 miles to Helsinki, where we find the lost luggage. We go shopping and sight-seeing for the day.
This morning we left again, at 06:00. We set all sails already before leaving the harbour, because we want to take some special pictures. A big freighter wants to leave at the same time, and the exit is rather narrow. But all goes well, and we hope to have some nice new pictures of the ‘Oosterschelde’. We still have all sails set, and we are on our way to Tallinn, doing a comfortable 8 knots.
Aug 6, 2003 19:18 GMT
60°10.02′ N, 025°26.84′ E. Compass 108.
We leave Haapasaari at 18:00. After a couple of hours we try to find a place to drop anchor for the night. We end up at the small island Lilla Bergholmen.
The next morning we go on. The wind is strong, 7 Bft, with showers and gusts of wind. We take cover a bit by sailing between the islands. In the evening we drop anchor at Bodö. After finishing dinner, we rig the wooden boat and we enjoy some sailing until dark. Tomorrow we will set sail for Helsinki, to pick up Charles’ lost luggage, which we hope will be there.
Aug 5, 2003 14:30 GMT
60°17.16′ N, 027°11.18 ‘ E.
We arrived at Haapasaari at 13:00. On our way here we saw many water-spouts, we are in the middle of a passing front passing, quite turbulent. Tonight we will probably leave and find us a quiet spot at a nearby island and drop anchor.
Aug 4, 2003 20:37 GMT
60°01.56′ N, 029°26.26′ E. Compass 283, 5 knots.
We visited the residence of consul-genral Hemri Everaars. From the balcony we had an view over the Neva towards the Hermitage and the Peter and Paul Fortress. Then we said goodbye. The the last formalities, our agent, the customs and immigration. The pilot comes aboard and we leave at 21:05. We had great weather for weeks, but now it’s raining cats and dogs. It cools the ship down a bit. We go by engine, quite close to the pilot station. There seems to develop a light SE, so we will set sail and set a course to Haapasaari.
Aug 4, 2003 09:23 GMT
59°55.97′ N, 030°17.18′ E. Compass 266.
Yesterday we (the crew) had a day off. Except for our watch, we went into town. On Saturday we had a successful party on board, entertained by the Dutch consulate. Consul-general Henro Everaars even wore the Oosterschelde-tie we presented him with in Osaka, 6 years ago. We made some news friends as well: Ivan, whom we met at the party, offered to bring us to Petrodvoretz, location of the summer palace of the Russian czars. After a visit to the splendid fountain gardens, he invited us to have dinner at his place, and after that he drove us to several great spots in Sankt Peterburg. All in all a day to remember.
Today all our new guests will arrive. After dinner, we will depart and start our leg to Riga.
Aug 1, 2003 18:13 GMT
59°55.97′ N, 030°17.18′ E. Compass 266.
Sailing into Sankt Peterburg is astonishing: old and new in a mix, big ship-building industry, factories and ships from the soviet-age, disused fish-factories and modern cruise-ships. The first visits on board of some indistinct military remind us of those soviet days. But all goes fine. Lying at one of the finest spots on the Neva, all history around us, we have a good opportunity to see Sankt Peterburg and its riches.
We are almost at a loss for words to describe this beautiful city.
But, we have a guide that can, and speaks Dutch as well. We will have a tour to the main spots, and we will visit the Hermitage. Some of us in the evening go to a ballet. Some others prefer the dance of Cossacks. Tomorrow our guests will disembark. They will stay in town for two more days, before flying home. Having had a wonderful voyage.
Tomorrow we will host a party entertained by the Dutch consulate. On Sunday our new guests will arrive.
July 31, 2003 11:22 GMT
59°55.97′ N, 030°17.18′ E. Compass 266.
It is a very special feeling to sail into Sankt Peterburg. Exactly at 13:00 we are moored at the English Embankment, in the city center on the river Neva. All the formalities are taken care of in no time.
July 30, 2003 18:34 GMT
60°14.09′ N, 027°17.86 ‘ E. Compass 103, 6 knots.
We left some moments ago. Onward to Sankt Peterburg (which is the accurate name of the city).
July 30, 2003 07:26 GMT
60°17.16′ N, 027°11.18 ‘ E. Compass 219.
Helsinki also is worth while. We are moored in a kind of museum harbour. But in the evening everyone wants to leave, so we will be able to pay a visit to a last Finnish island. At 09:00 this morning we arrived at a small group of islands, Haapasaari, just short of the Russian border. We will have some paperwork to do, Finnish customs and immigration. Hardly any wind and great weather. We will stay here during the day.
July 29, 2003 12:52 GMT
60°10.22′ N, 024°57.72′ E. Compass 003.
Once we are in, Tallinn proves to be very much worth the trouble. We are all very impressed by the beauty of the old city, although this part is not very big. In the evening we again have an extended passport control, then the pilot joins the ship and we leave.
With a calm S-ly in the back, the square foresail, mainsail, topsail and topgallant-sail set, we plot a course to Helsinki. We arrived there this morning. Again a extended passport control. This time they want everyone on deck so that they can compare faces to photographs. We are moored at one of the nicest places of the city, in the background two famous churches. All the guests are in town right now. On our port there are 6 huge icebreakers, waiting for the end of summer. It is not always 30 degrees here, you know.
From the shipping company (July 28, 2003)
This summer we make a special trip for youth between 15 and 26, and there are still bunks free. Sail Training International every year organises races between the tall ships, and they all have young trainees between 15 and 26. This summer we will participate in the race from Riga to Travemünde. Both cities will have special events for the trainees, where they will be able to meet. And at sea of course we all have to work hard to make it a fine race.
Youngsters pay a special price of € 400 for the stay on the ship and the meals. Transfer to and fro is not included; we guess this will take some € 500.
Interested? Contact us at the shipping company.
July 27, 2003 20:02 GMT
59°28.07′ N, 024°49.24′ E. Compass 222.
We leave on Saturday morning, in high spirits: maybe to Tallinn! Once at open sea, the story changes. The wind, still very light, has shifted to SE, and that’s where we want to go. After a day of tacking, we have made just a few miles. So in the evening we start looking for a place to stay for the night. At the island of Jussaro, we discover an unused military jetty. That will do fine. One half of the island is still milita
ry, guarded by 4 soldiers. The other half is a nature reserve. No entry without a guide, the signs say. We are lucky: the guide happens to be on the island, and he takes us on a beautiful evening-walk. Fulfilled, but having suffered the attacks of the local predators (mosquitoes), we have a late drink. In the end the Finnish guide has to be sent home in the middle of the night. He didn’t seem to get tired.
Today the wind is still SE and we have rain. We decide to go to Tallinn by engine. Just 40 miles. During the last hours of the crossing we can sail again. Arrival procedures are difficult in the East-Europe way. And we are obliged to use a pilot. They try having an agent too, but we succeed in escaping here. Right now, we are moored in Tallinn’s harbour, with the outlines of the old city in the background. Tomorrow looks very promising.
July 25, 2003 20:05 GMT
We stay the next day in Mariehamn, mainly to visit the ‘Pommern’ and the Maritime Museum. The ‘Pommern’ is very impressive because of her size. In the empty hold are no bulkheads, so one can see all the way for almost 100 meters in this huge hull.
In the east harbourm, where we are, there is a party with music and old ships etc.; we enjoy.
We leave on July 24, after having said goodbye to Henrik Karlsson, who received us so kindly. Because of the SW-ly, we decide to take a route to the south of most of the islands. We sail into the night with all sails set. During the short night we see some strange clouds; moments later we see some water-spouts, but these pass next to us.
In the morning we arrive at Hanko. Bad luck: the harbour is full. We are not allowed to anchor either, because of the many military cables. So we go on, on sail between the many islands. The people on the yachts that we meet are all very enthousiastic when they see our ship sailing these narrow faiways. At noon we drop anchor at a nice spot near Byxholm, some 20 miles east of Hanko.
If the wind is still south tomorrow, we might go to Tallinn.
July 23, 2003 15:49 GMT
60°06.32′ N, 019°56.81′ E. Compass 192.
And it got better all the time: when we left we still had some drizzle, but during our slaloms between the islands, the sky cleared. Some wind came, enough to set some sails and stop the engine. We all agree: these waters are a perfect place to sail. We leave the archipelago of Stockholm. The wind changes to S and in a 4 Bft we cross to the Åland archipelago. There again thousands of little islands. In the evening, when we arrive at Mariehamn east harbour, the wind is gone. Welcoming us is Henrik Karlsson, managing director of Mariehamn’s Maritime Museum. We moor next to the wooden threemaster ‘Linden’; we met her for the first time when we visited Skärhamn on July 30, 1993, when she was on her her maiden trip.
July 22, 2003 06:03 GMT
The first day was a dream. We left Stockholm at 14:00 in lovely weather. At first we were careful, with all those islands and yachts, but we gained confidence and soon we had all sails up, going between the rocks and islands. In the evening we dropped anchor to the north of a small island with the name Porth. Sunrise was at 04:15, and we left at 06:00. There is some drizzle now, but in this breathtaking landscape that is just a minor detail.
July 21, 2003 11:04 GMT
59°19.45′ N, 018°04.60′ E. Compass 070.
After a short flight, all have arrived in Stockholm. A long trip by taxi to the town, and then there was the ‘Oosterschelde’, at one of the best places of Stockholm. On the other side there is our former schoolship ‘Chapman’, in front of us the schoolship ‘Georg Stage’. The weather is exceptionally fine, and we have a light southern wind. We will leave after lunch. We will anchor somewhere in the archipelago for the night.
July 20, 2003 04:19 GMT
59°19.45′ N, 018°04.60′ E. Compass 070.
We had been hampered by winds from the wrong direction, and decided to use one day more for the voyage to Stockholm. This gave us the time to visit Vastervik, a beautiful little harbour on the Swedish east coast (arrival July 18 at 08:25), just to the north of Öland. When we left again at 14:30 we finally had the winds to sail, and with all sails set we went to the entrance of Stockholm’s archipelago, near Landsort lighthouse. Thousands of islands and thousands of yachts. Saturday at 17:30 we moored in Stockholm, at the Skepsbronn quay. Our guests left early this morning. This afternoon the new guests will arrive for the next voyage, to St. Petersburg. Gerben Nab will replace captain Peter Borsboom, who says that he again enjoyed these months of sailing the ‘Oosterschelde’.
July 16, 2003 12:17 GMT
54°37.95′ N, 012°42.97′ E. Compass 054, 6 knots.
We are on the road again, and that’s what the ship likes. We left Delfzijl at noon. The wind was ESE 4-5 Bft, ideal for sailing the Ems. Out at sea we had the wind against.
On Tuesday morning at 05:45, on the Elbe river near Cuxhaven, the steering machine broke down. We weren’t able to steer, and we had to keep her pointing in the right direction by use of the bow thruster. We had to change into to hand hydraulics, before we were able to continue our trip. At noon we reach Brünsbüttel at the entrance of the Kieler Canal. In the evening, lying at a quay at the other end of the Canal, we do some temporary repairs on the steering machine, while our guests take a stroll in the environment.
At this moment, on Wednesday, we have the Mecklenburg Bight behind us, the wind is against NE 4-5 Bft. Some 450 miles to go to Stockholm.
July 13, 2003 17:00 GMT
Crew and ship are very busy during Delfsail. Every day we made 3 daytrips and hundreds of people have become acquainted a bit with the ‘Oosterschelde’. They enjoyed because of the warm and sunny weather, and because of the nice winds. Tonight we will make two more. The last one brings us in the Sail-out Parade of all the tall ships, after the fireworks. We will return to Delfzijl in the night to have our guests disembark, and tomorrow we will leave for Stockholm.
July 9, 2003 10:35 GMT
53°34.41′ N, 006°34.59′ E. Compass103, 4 knots.
We have almost arrived at Delfzijl, with 24 passengers from Groningen province. Quite a change from the parties we had on board during the receptions in Rouen, to have some people that stay on board for more days.
There was not much time for this voyage, but the gods of the wind favoured us once more. Right now we are entering the Huibertsgat with all sails set. This afternoon our guests will disembark, and we will prepare ourselves for the Delfsail events to come. Tomorrow we will join the other tall ships in the Sail-in Parade, with the city council of Delfzijl as our guests.
We hope to see you all in Delfzijl.
ETD to Stockholm: July 14.
From the shipping company (July 3, 2003)
A new and revised edition of Frits Loomeijer’s Oosterschelde-book has been published. A new cover, a new section of colour photographs, and a new chapter about the years after the restoration until now are some of the changes.
For more information, visit our page Shop.
June 30, 2003 12:10 GMT
49°26.5′ N, 001°04.4′ E.
Yesterday morning we arrived in the roads of Rouen. On Saturday the big festival ‘L’Armada de la Liberté’ started here, which will continue untill coming Sunday. After a trip of some 12 hours up the river Seine we arrived in Rouen at 23:30, during the fireworks. There are many tall ships here.
During the night the rain came, accompanied by some thunder. The weather is mild. The ‘Oosterschelde’ looks very well and is dressed overall; we did a lot of painting on the way. We will leave for Delfzijl on Sunday, with all berths taken.
June 26, 2003 12:00 GMT
We are on the Kieler
Canal again, near Rendsburg. We have entered the wide area of fair weather that the people at home enjoyed these days. Kiel was windy and we had some fierce thunderstorms. Making a daytrip in W 8 Bft is not always fun for the guests. Once a giant thunderstorm came over Kiel when the ships were all moored. A warp on one of them broke and a group of ships floated away, but it ended without damage.
Yesterday we went to the lock at Holtenau and this morning we entered the canal.
June 23, 2003 17:17 GMT
On Friday we sailed our first daytrips, which brought our guests to the Kieler fjord and to the regatta area. We have done seven now, and two more will follow before we will leave for Rouen, on Wednesday at the end of the afternoon.
June 22, 2003 21:00 GMT
After our departure from Rotterdam the wind is against and soon is almost zero. The weather is beautiful and since we have some time to spare, we decide to make some tacks. But also the current is against and we more or less stay at the same place.
Because the sea is calm, we take our guests out in the dinghy to shoot some pictures of the ‘Oosterschelde’ under all sails. In the evening we have to start the engine; we lower the sails one by one and set a course to Helgoland.
We stay there for the night. At the end of the next morning we arrive in the river Elbe and at the locks of the Nord-Ostsee Canal at Brünsbüttel. On the flat surface of the canal we make good speed, and just before dark we pass the lock at the exit and moor at Holtenau. After some drinks we go to bed early; for the next day a favourable wind is forecasted and we want to take this opportunity to sail in the Kieler fjord before going to Kiel.
The promised wind indeed is there and at 09:00 we start a day of nice sailing. At the end of the afternoon we arrived in Kiel, where the Kieler regatta-week will start.
June 15, 2003 20:45 GMT
After a busy week with daytrips, and a trip last night, today we had a little time to make the last preparations for our next voyage, to Kiel. We left Rotterdam at 21:30, with 8 guests, a weak NW and an agreeable evening ahead of us. We expect to reach the Kieler Canal on Wednesday and Kiel on Thursday.
From the shipping company (June 10, 2003)
Gerlof de Vries sailed on the ‘Oosterschelde’ from Ushuaia back to the Netherlands, as a passage worker. The interesting photo-gallery of his voyage is on the net (Dutch text).
June 8, 2003 11:40 GMT
We are on a daytrip in the harbours of Rotterdam. We just had the thunderstorms that concluded this serie of hot days. They brought no wind though.
Late last night, singer Tom Jones and party celebrated his birthday on board, after the concert he gave in the Ahoy, a big concerthall in Rotterdam. That was a nice party, and it went on far into the night; we even sailed a bit.
Tomorrow and Tuesday we will make two more daytrips with handicapped people.
June 4, 2003 18:40 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
We are back in Rotterdam. We made 4 daytrips out of Scheveningen. On June 1, 2 and 4 with interested people, on June 3 with handicapped persons from the Rotterdam area.
On June 1 and 2 the weather was very calm without almost no wind. On June 1 we said goodbye to the ‘Europa’ who left to make a summer-voyage on the Great Lakes in North-America. Our cannon sounded a salute. On June 3 the weather was ideal, warm and a E 3-4 Bft. Today it was very calm again, until a band of thundery clouds hit us, just before mooring in Rotterdam. We were prepared, and going on the rigging and with the help of engine and bow-thruster we succeeded in keeping our position and finally mooring safely. The wind rose from 0 to 10 Bft in a wink.
The coming three days are for maintenance, and then we do daytrips for a week. We will leave for Kiel on Sunday, June 15.
May 31, 2003 16:55 GMT
It was good sailing from Whitby. All sails set and much sunshine. We saw some pilot whales, and we took the opportunity that the nice weather offered, to paint the roof of the captain’s cabin. Arriving at Scheveningen in the beginning of the evening, we sailed right into the harbour, while we had a barbecue on deck.
Today is Vlaggetjes-day in Scheveningen, on the occasion of the first herring of the season brought in from the sea. During the Herring Race of some old loggers, the ‘Oosterschelde’ was used to fire the starting shot. Tomorrow is the first of 4 daytrips at sea; many people will sail with us, the trips being almost sold out.
May 27, 2003 12:45 GMT
53°55.78′ N, 002°05.95′ E. Compass146, 3 knots.
As we said, we left Leith on Tuesday, around noon. The wind apppeared to be a SE 1-2 Bft, so we started the engine and went to Whitby, a harbour in the south. They wanted 250 pounds for a pilot to guide us in, so we stayed outside and anchored. Maybe it was a good choice because Whitby was one big noisy holiday fair. We left at 17:00, we weighed anchor on just the sails, in a light SSE. During the night we were able to make good progress in easterly direction. This morning there was no more wind and we started the engine again. Right now we enjoy a light E-ly. After a MOB practise (man-over-board) we now float on a rather flat sea and we use the dinghy to go out and take some pictures.
ETA Scheveningen May 30 at 18:00. Out of Scheveningen we will make daytrips at sea on June 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you feel like joining us, check our page Programme.
From the shipping company (May 28, 2003)
Announcement to those registered as holder of a share certificate of BV Reederij ‘Oosterschelde’ en BV Rijnreederij ‘Helena’:
The annual meeting of holders of share certificates is on June 23. Location: KR & ZV ‘De Maas’, Veerdam 1 in Rotterdam (at the Veerhaven harbour, opposite the berth of the ‘Oosterschelde’). The meeting will start at 14:30 hrs. One of these days they will receive the official invitation by mail.
May 27, 2003 12:45 GMT
55°59.2′ N, 003°10.7 W.
On Sunday evening, the ‘Oosterschelde’ was the centre of a light show in the middle of the harbour. Wiuth some extra hands from other ships we set all our sails at the same time., and at the end all the sails all went down in one movement. There was not much wind, so this went nicely.
Yesterday we were chartered by a company, we did a daytrip, and in the evening they had a reception and a party on board. The weather was perfect for a daytrip: not much wind and an agreeable temperature.
Last night and this morning our 10 guests have arrived. Right now we are in the lock to go out to the Firth of Forth. We start the voyage to Scheveningen (ETA Friday) with a light NE.
May 25, 2003 08:59 GMT
We are in the Western Dock in Leith, with the ‘Astrid’ and the ‘Artemis’ alongside. Leith is the harbour of Edinburgh. We are here to take part in the Festival of the Sea. Now we are preparing for a daytrip in the Firth of Forth.
After Sunderland we visited pittoresque Berwick-upon-Tweed, where we moored in the Tweed Dock. The town has been English and Scottish alternatingly, which shows in the very impressive fortifications.
Tonight the ‘Oosterschelde’ will be in the centre of a light show, floating in the middle of the harbour.
Tomorrow we’ll do another daytrip and then we will have the grand finale of the Festival. In the evening our new guests will arrive and we will leave for Scheveningen on Tuesday.
May 21, 2003 08:41 GMT
55°35.35′ N, 001°38.82 W. Compass 003, 0 knots.
This morning we arrived in the roads of North-Sunderland, where we dropped anchor at 07:00. Our guests make a walk to Bamburg Castle and in the afternoon we will sail on to Berwick-upon-Tweed to pay a visit to a pub and to spend the night. Tomorr
ow morning we will continue to Leith, Edinburgh’s harbour. Our crossing went well and we were able to sail well, in S-ly and SW-ly winds. Now the wind is NW and the weather is rather calm. The last bit we had to do by engine. All is well.
From the shipping company (May 16, 2003)
This afternoon the second restored ship of the Rotterdam Sailing Ship Foundation was officially commissioned: the stevenaak ‘Helena’, built in 1875. We congratulate the foundation and our colleagues of the ‘Helena’ with the splendid result of their work.
Download photographs of the event (462 Kb).
Some copies of Frits Loomeijer’s book on the ‘Oosterschelde’ are still available. See our Shop.
May 14, 2003 23:05 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is home again. We arrived in our Veerhaven harbour, Rotterdam at 21:00. We sailed a fine three days out of Hellevoetsluis. Three daytrips with fysically and mentally disabled from the Rotterdam area, together with our freshly restored sistership ‘Helena’. Much wind, but we just put up less sail. And we sailed and they had fun. Yesterday we had a group that brought continuous laughter around the ship, today we had rather severe cases and that was again different. The three days were rather cold, and it was not easy to stay on deck for a long time for those in a wheelchair.
So tonight we went home. Tomorrow and Saturday maintenance and storage, on Friday we will participate in the official commissioning of the ‘Helena’ in the Leuvehaven harbour, on Sunday another daytrip, and then we are off again that same night, off to Edinburgh to participate in their Festival of the Sea.
May 11, 2003 12:35 GMT
On Friday we sailed to Antwerp, our guests were a company group, they met their Belgian collaegues in Antwerp. On Saturday we sailed back to Flushing where the group disembarked. We spent the night in Veere. Now we are in the Volkerak locks, on our way to Hellevoetsluis, where we expect to arrive in some 3 hours. A warm sun and a WSW 3-4 Bft favour us. The next 3 days we will sail daytrips with handicapped persons, together with the ‘Helena’, which is making her first trips after the restoration.
May 7, 2003 16:25 GMT
51°26.5′ N, 003°35.6′ E.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ and its 21 sailors (in 7 nationalities) this morning moored in Flushing at 08:10, where the first of many friends and family members already were present to welcome us. The last two days were without wind. We had a last night together anchored on a bank out of Oostende, and the setting sun lit our faces.
May 6, 2003 10:11 GMT
50°43.77′ N, 001°35.52′ E. Compass 295, 5 knots.
After two quiet days of sailing and a night on the engine due to little wind we arrived in Boulogne-sur-Mer at May 5th. The large coal depot combined with the drizzle gave our entrance a gloomy character. Next, it seemed there was no place for us: too big for the yachting harbour and too small for the commercial one. Luckely we were allowed to moor at an unused ferry-dock. Which by the way is heavily used by common gulls, who build their nests everywhere in the buildings and docks. Right next to a gigantic fish depot they have found their paradise. For us, the city is worth visiting as well. Some visit the enormous sea aquarium, others stroll around in the walled old city. We just departed at noon for the last leg of a long journey. We’ve travelled (from Ushuaia) over 8600 miles. The last 100 shouldn’t be much of a difficulty. At the end of Wednesday morning May 7, we hope to arrive in Flushing. For those coming to pick up passengers: we’ll moor just behind the lock, near the trainstation.
May 4, 2003 19:14 GMT
49°59.94′ N, 000°22.37′ W. Compass 084, 8 knots.
We left L’Aber Wrac’h on Saturday morning. Good sailing the entire day with calm weather and a bright, starry night. Today blue skies, but during the afternoon the wind turned in the wrong direction and decreased. At the moment we’re off the Normandic coast on a calm sea. At 20:00 we quietly remembered for 2 minutes the casualties of WW II, which fitted this D-day area. Around us big thunderclouds are forming. Around midnight we’ll celebrate our arrival at the eastern hemisphere with champagne. We hope to arrive at Boulogne-sur-Mer tomorrow morning.
May 2, 2003 9:45 GMT
48°36.04′ N, 004°33.82′ W. Compass 150, 0 knots.
Because of the forecast of a heavy southwesterly storm, we decide to stay in L’Aber Wrac’h. Though not the most pleasant of harbours, especially with the wind from the west, but it is preferable to 9 or 10 Bft at sea. Some of us explore the ships’ library, while others taste the local specialities, shellfish and, of course, crêpes. The predicted storm arrives later than expected, but this morning it blew here at full force. We hope it will calm down tonight so we can continue our journey.
April 30, 2003 15:02 GMT
48°36.04′ N, 004°33.82′ W. Compass 326, 0 knots.
Our arrival will not be in Rotterdam but in Flushing, because of new engagements.
Up until now it’s been an enjoyable voyage. Yesterday and today great and fast sailing with SSW 5-6 Bft, a lot of sun and sometimes heavy showers. We sailed with a speed above 10 knots for hours. Yesterday at 09:30 arrival at the continental shelf. Immediately we spotted gannets. Also, thousands of sailing jellyfish on the water, and they appeared to be young Portuguese man-of-wars. Today arrival in L’Aber Wrac’h, Brittany. We’re moored in the river since 13:30.
April 28, 2003 14:17 GMT
47°28.65′ N, 012°23.84′ W. Compass 079, 7 knots.
Sunday drizzle all day, little wind.The rRudderis on automatic pilot, typical weather for readinga book insid the saloone. Today a good wind,SWt 3- Bft4 and sunny, cruising towards the Egnlish Channel, many on deck. We’ve spotted sunfish, and some Norteren fulmars, always asure sign of entering the norteren latitudes. Storms east and north-east of us,but all we notice is thire swell. Maintenance, repairs and sailing theory fill our time.
April 26, 2003 13:29 GMT
44°44.43 N, 018°07.11′ W. Compass 028, 5 knots.
Yesterday the weather was great for sailing, a good backstay-wind and much sun. The exhausted barn swallow that landed on the ship last Thursday, has been given its seaman’s grave. So far, we’ve only seen some pomarine skuas, two terns en two juvenile great black-backed gulls. Last night offered plenty of opportunity to study the stars. Today the weather consists of sun and showers interchanging. The ships rolls heavily, with the wind coming from behind. We are halfway between the Açores and the continental shelf. A tear in the topsail force us to replace it, which is done right now.
April 25, 2003 19:21 GMT
42°09.31′ N, 021°11.77′ W. Compass 035, 8 knots.
Sailing has been great the last few days. The weather is changing continously forcing us to reef and unreef and change the sails all the time. We’re under the influence of a complex low pressure system, giving us sometimes sun, then again heavy showers with hail and thunder. It keeps us busy and we’re making good progress. By now, all aboard are adjusted to the movement of the ship, and none suffer from seasickness anymore.
April 23, 2003 09:39 GMT
38°13.83′ N, 024°31.95′ W. Compass 023, 4 knots.
Yesterday at 12:00 departure with 21 aboard. With WNW 6 Bft, coming from behind we’re sailing under a bright sun. After an hour we spotted a group of 20 dolphins, probably melon-headed whales. We paid a visit to a beautiful and very small island ,Ilheú da Vila, had dinner, then onward, into the night. Gusty winds and showers, many stars. This morning WNW 2-4 Bft. All sails up. Since departure Cory’s shearwaters are flying around us. Grey weather, from time to time some drizzle.
April 21, 2003 10:31 GMT
37°44.42′ N, 025°39.49′ W.
All new passengers have arrived; we’re now with 21 people aboard. Today most of us will explore this vulcanic island. Also, the customs need a visit; they were closed until today. After all formalities have been taken care of, we’ll be able to buy diesel tax free, probably tomorrow. Departure tomorrow or wednesday. The wind is strong, coming from the north. Sometimes rain, sometimes sun, 14 degrees Celsius.
April 18, 2003 09:46 GMT
37°44.42′ N, 025°39.49′ W.
After more than 7200 miles, we have arrived at the Açores. At 08:20 this morning we moored in Ponta Delgada.
April 17, 2003 18:36 GMT
36°49.54′ N, 025°49.30′ W. Compass 002, 5 knots.
The last bits. Today we enjoyed a bright blue sky, whales came to visit us, and we had a very beautiful sunset. On our starboard side we see Santa Maria, the most southern island of the archipelago of the Açores. The island São Miguel, where we intend to go, is 50 miles to the north of us. Compared to the 7000 miles we did since we left Ushuaia, this is very close by. If the weather stays like this, we will moor at Ponta Delgada tomorrow morning.
April 16, 2003 09:54 GMT
34°27.42′ N, 026°58.10′ W. Compass 058, 5 knots.
During the night we met the outer end of a new gale. One after the other deep lows pass over the northern Atlantic Ocean. There was a gale warning NW 9 Bft. The most we had was W 7 Bft, so we could sail a large distance. Heavily reefed, the ‘Oosterschelde’ did 9 knots. This morning we met the cold front: the sky cleared, the sun was shining and the wind veered to NW.
April 15, 2003 14:41 GMT
32°18.66′ N, 027°16.32′ W. Compass 354, 7 knots.
At last, the wind. This morning a W-ly hesitatingly arose. At this moment its force has grown into 4 Bft. We had to wait for a long time and we enjoy the sailing. All sails set and doing 7 knots. Today we washed the deck. It may seem strange but we have some sand e.a. on the deck, out here in the ocean. Despite the unagreeable weather of the last weeks, we are still on schedule. If this wind keeps on, we will arrive maybe a bit earlier.
For many of us the Açores is a kind of end. We have been at sea for 7 weeks now, apart from the 2 days at Ascension. It will be nice to be on solid ground again.
April 13, 2003 11:21 GMT
No luck for us because we still do not get the wind we would like to have. The gale that has been to the north of us for days now, just hit us marginally. Not much wind, high seas, high swell. 3 Bft now, the swell is 8 meters, and we roll like hell. And the wind is NNE too, still against us. Less than 600 miles to go in 6 days, so we are still on schedule. But that wind, where is it?
April 8, 2003 10:50 GMT
18°48.95′ N, 028°01.53′ W. Compass 349, 5 knots.
Still motor-sailing, more motoring than sailing. All areas ahead have N-ly winds, and this is straight against us. The air pressure and the forecasts do not indicate any changes. Our supplies have been eaten into. Our cook though is still able to make nice meals for us. He also has his secret stores, that we thought were empty by now. Chocolate, peanut butter, granulated chocolate etc. Our fuel supply is shrinking too. We hope that the wind will turn one of these days, we do not have enough to keep on motor-sailing all the 1100 miles that separate us from the Açores. We still have a lot of time; we have to arrive there on April 20, an average of 100 miles per day, which is feasable, provided we have some favourable winds.
April 5, 2003 09:07 GMT
13°02.13′ N, 023°51.58′ W. Compass 322, 6 knots.
The equator is well behind us. All of a sudden we have entered an area with different weather. The wind is cold, the sky is grey and just an occasional optimist is still wearing shorts. The NE trade wind is mainly N-ly here; we sail against the waves, with help of the engine. Everyone has to get used to this again. Coffes cups no longer keep the upright position, and on deck once in a while we have some spray. Cabo Verde is now E of us and the islands will not come in sight. No more fresh vegetables are left, except for some onions and cabbage; so we all long for a harbour. We make good progress and hope to be at the Açores rather soon; that will give us some days to tour the area. But, still 1600 miles to go. The (French) weatherstation that covers this area is on strike; weather reports are irregular. We hope they solve this in a couple of days, when chances of meeting foul weather will increase.
April 2, 2003 13:29 GMT
06°39.24′ N, 021°12.84′ W. Compass 350, 7knots.
For two days now we have to use the engine.
At first we had just a little wind or none at all. A smooth ocean with just a little ripple once in a while. Not much to do for the going, just one of us on watch. We use the time to do maintenance work. The inside of the bullwarks is scraped, touched up and painted. In the afternoon we had the surprise of a pod of spinner dolphins; in hundreds they were hunting for fish. The sea got wild as they gave us their – characteristic – show of screw-loops and turns. Very impressive.
Today we have a bit more wind, some 2 Bft from the north. It might be the first sign of the NE trade wind. The weather has changed too; for the first time in weeks no showers, and in the night a clear sky of stars. We still have not decided on making a stop at Cabo Verde. If this is goi9ng to be an ongoing NE trade wind, then we will probaby not, because then we will have go right into the wind. For the time being, we still are headed for Cabo Verde anyway. 550 miles to go.
April 1, 2003 09:27 GMT
03°41.31′ N, 020°28.29′ W. Compass 344, 7 knots.
No wind at all. We use the engine now to make some progress.
March 31, 2003 01:17 GMT
00°29.25′ N, 019°10.25′ W. Compass 322, 7 knots.
We passed a mile-stone. At 19:00 we passed the equator and we fired a salute. Neptune came on board right away and baptised 10 of the people aboard. They all got a certificate.
So we are in the doldrums now. No wind, then a little variable wind, then a shower, they take their turns. So far we are lucky because of a light S-ly wind. We are behind schedule though and we might skip visiting Cabo Verde and go directly to the Açores.
March 29, 2003 01:12 GMT
03°03.51′ S, 016°57.46′ W. Compass 338, 6 knots.
And then the wind was gone. Slowly rolling, we float on a rippleless ocean. We lost the SE tradewind sooner than we hoped for and expected. We have put up the awnings to protect us from the hot sun. Every movement we make is too much and we are very sweaty. After some time we started the engine to make at least a little progress. The captain’s cabin has floor heating now since the engine room is directly below; temperature in the cabin has gone up to 40°. During the night we see lightning, common for this latitude. Sometimes a tropical shower helps us to cool off a bit. We estimate the equator to be two days away.
March 27, 2003 21:50 GMT
05°16.59′ S, 015°32.06′ W. Compass 343, 5 knots.
Hot, hot , hot, 36°and a high humidity. We have lots of work to do on the ship but it is too hot to enjoy doing it.
March 26, 2003 18:26 GMT
07°42.88′ S, 014°31.30′ W. Compass 339, 6 knots.
Last night we went to have another look at the big turtles, as they came out of the sea to lay their eggs. It is a heavy job for them, hoisting the big body onto the beach, dig a hole, lay the eggs, closing the hole, and getting out again. And this after they swam for thousands of miles to find exactly this tiny spot in the ocean. Maybe 1 out of 400-600 grows up to an adult.
Today: morning became afternoon, but finally we got the promised fuel. Time to go. At 15:30 today anchor was weighed. A nice SE trade wind, all sails set; into the night we go. A lat
e sun and a quiet sea. Ready for this next leg.
March 25, 2003 22:14 GMT
07°54.86′ S, 014°25.09′ W. Compass 223, 0 knots.
Still anchored at Ascension. Normally it would be dry, but we have had rain for two days now, torrential. The vulcanic island is not capable to hold all this water and gray floods come down from the slopes and streets into the sea. The rain is as warm as the air: 32°.
Two of our passengers have decided to go home, we are now 14. The RAF has a basis here since the Falkland war, and sometimes they accept some extra people when they fly out.
It is quiet on the island. Although there is an American basis, nothing reminds us of the war. On the Inmarsat we get general messages though that warn us not to come close to US warships. They regard every vessel approaching them as hostile. We are advised to contact them by radio in such a case, otherwise we will be destroyed. We prefer to have a look at the turtles that lay their eggs on the beach; it takes our minds of the ugly things of the world. If we are lucky we will have some fuel tomorrow. This has to be borrowed from the RAF first, and next it has to be transported to the roads where the ‘Oosterschelde’ is anchored, in a container on a pontoon.
Many fish here. We take the opportunity to catch some grouper, blackfish (huge quantities swim around waiting for the turtle eggs to hatch), silverfish, red snapper and murene. The athmosphere on the island is easy, so we don’t know when or if the fuel will arrive. As soon as we have it, we will continue our voyage.
24.3.2003 13:44 GMT
07°54.86′ S, 014°25.09′ W. Compass 223, 0 knots.
We are anchored at Georgetown, on the island Ascension, in 30 meters of water. We dropped anchor this morning at 10:30.
March 21, 2003 22:21 GMT
12°20.08 ‘S, 017°52.38 W. Compas 032, 6 knots.
Since a few days we enjoy a nice ESE-wind. We steer a bit E of N because we would like to go to Ascension. We visited Ascension 5 years ago and after 4 weeks of ocean it was a welcome stop. If possible, we will load some fuel. Ascension has a British and an American military base, and maybe, because of the circumstances, we will not be welcome.
It still is hot. Coming closer to the equator, we see the sun almost right above us at noon. The days are relatively short: sunrise at 07:00 and sunset at 19:00. During the nights clouds grow and these clouds cause tropical showers and wind. In daytime the clouds disappear because of the heat of the sun.
Yesterday the connection of the waterstay to the bow broke. Last year the same happened. We can’t explain why it happened again. Repairs last year were more thorough than the calculations made necessary. Martin succeeded in repairing, hanging in a safety-harness above the sea (sometimes in it). This might sound easy but the weight of the connector and the chain is hundreds of kilos and we had to use ropes to bring these in position. We succeeded in a short time.
March 19, 3.2003 16:02 GMT
16°46.78′ S, 019°43.49′ W. Compass 348, 5 knots.
Since two days we have a nice and steady E-wind. All sails up and sailing. Fishing does not results in big catches, a bit disappointing. Two days ago we had a fire alarm. All persons that were sleeping, came on deck in their slpeeing outfit. But the alarm was not alarming: the engine room just was too hot. We improvised and put up a ventilation system with a old sail. Today we saw the 6th ship since we left Ushuaia. It is a bit cloudy right now and the heat has dropped to a 32°.
March 18, 3.2003 14:54 GMT
19°06.76′ S, 020°21.91 W. Compass 007, 5 knots.
During last night finally some real wind came onto our path, and we are fully sailing again.
March 16, 2003 10:21 GMT
23°16.82′ S, 022°40.36′ W. Compass 040, 6 knots.
For some days now we have a lack of wind. Not much, but we have to use another part of our fuel supply. Every day the sun shines mercilessly and there are no other living creatures in sight. We all have trouble sleeping because of the heat; even during the night the temperature does not drop below 30°. Yesterday we stopped the ship to cool off by taking a swim. The water was lovely (27°); a strange idea to swim over 5 km of water. We are halfway the South-American and the African continents, and some twee weeks to go to the equator. Today there is a slight wind, SE 1 Bft. Maybe it is the prelude to the SE trade wind, which we hope to encounter soon.
March 13, 2003 03:04 GMT
27°38.16′ S, 028°33.83′ W. Compass 009, 5 knots.
It is like summer: 30°. For the first time we have a bit of a set-back, as far as the course is concerned. Even during that storm we were heading the right way, but yesterday the wind turned to E and we had to sail close to the wind. In the afternoon the wind backed to NE, and that is where we want to go. We use the engine now to assist the sails, we are heading mainly in a northerly direction and we hope the wind will turn soon. All is well on board. Maintenance and maintenance. Not all of us were aware of the amount of maintenance on a ship like this. The temperatures of air and seawater are high: resp. 30°and 26°. Everything is a bit sticky because of the moist and the salt. Right now we have many electrical discharges in the air, and at the same time we can see thousands of stars.
March 9, 2003 20:15 GMT
33°14.57′ S, 031°54.54 W. Compass 032, 6 knots.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is sailing from Ushuaia to Rotterdam with 6 crew and 10 passage workers. All is fine. The water temperature has reached 25°, the air temperature 30°and the wind is NW 3 Bft.
Passage worker Frits speaks: “Five years ago I made the same voyage. Not in flight, but in search of a resting-point in a turbulent world of take-overs, a breaking down oil market, disappointing company results, reorganisations etc. My two kids have finished their studies and find their own way in life. Things that have not changed: the unpredictable weather at sea, always on the alert and even then enjoying. Two weeks ago we started with sweaters and heavy weather suits, now we go in t-shirt, shorts and sunglasses. The intensely blue sea, the fascinating starry skies, albatrosses and other birds, dolphins and whales. 16 on board, the oldest 60 and the youngest 19. This microcosmos will work fine. When I told some people about my voyage, they said: ‘How wonderful, I would like to do something like that, but busy busy busy, my job does not permit me, my family would not approve etc.’ Nonsense of course, afterwards the people at home will get a refreshed person back. I thank all those, family, friends and colleagues, who let me go and do this, without making conditions. I am a happy person.”
March 7, 2003 02:45 GMT
36°31.28′ S, 035°17.89′ W. Compass 042, 6 knots.
The ‘Roaring Fourties’ are completely behind us now. Most of the low pressure zones will pass behind us. We had two days of wonderful sailing. Wind and sun and a very blue ocean. Today the first shorts came out of the luggage. We have made good progress, although we would have preferred to be a bit more to the east, where the favourable winds are.
Right now the wind is completely gone. Under a beautifully starry sky we lower the sails and start the main engine because we want to have the average daily progress. We are a bit ahead of schedule. Weather reports predict nice weather, which of course does not say that the winds will be favourable. The fishing tackle is ready for use and we wait for the first tuna to be caught. During the day we do all kinds of minor repairs, we replace some blocks and make some new seizings. All our passage workers are used to the ship now. The crew does watches of 6 hours off and 6 hours on. The passage workers do it more easily; they do 2 watches off and 1 watch on. Up till now those who were not on duty, mainly spent the time sleeping. Now, more and more people stay on deck. The fair weather plays a
part in this.
March 5, 2003 17:08 GMT
41°27.37′ S, 040°23.79′ W. Compass 052, 9 knots.
After some breathing space, the wind increased again, like we said earlier. The ‘Roaring Fourties’ kept up their reputation. So we had another storm, but this time not for so long and not so fierce. No damage this time.
After the passage of the front we have a day with much sun and with ominous clouds. High breaking waves. The next morning brings great views, when the sun comes shining through the clouds.
During last night we have a major change: warmer, decreasing speed and a change in water temperature, going up to 18°. It seems we have lost the Southern Ocean current. Today we were able to hoist the schooner sail after repairs. The claw also has been repaired, and everything is as strong as before. We are all rather tired becauise of the events of the past days. But we had some rewards: first we met a huge group of pilot whales, and this afternoon the wind increased to 5 Bft and a favourable WNW. Under a completely blue sky we have a day of fantastic sailing. Everyone has a happy face, because this is what we like.
March 3, 2003 06:03 GMT
And here comes the next. Pfff…….
March 2, 2003 23:35 GMT
46°10.72′ S, 047°38.78′ W. Compass 050, 5 knots.
On February’s last day we left the ‘Furious Fifties’ behind us. Decreasing wind and a long swell. Then the ‘Roaring Fourties’ welcome us. At first the weather is still very friendly, not much wind and a bit sunny, we can take some sweaters off. The wind turns to N during the day, later NE, and our speed decreases to 2-4 knots. The barometer drops steadily, at first 1 point per watch (4 hours) and later 1,5 point per hour. At dinner time, 19:30, all is calm, but we don’t get the chance to finish our meal. Within half an hour the wind is SW increasing to 7-8 Bft and we take in sails with all hands. By the time we have taken in the main sail, the mizzen and the outer jib, we have a 9 Bft with gusts of 55 knots. The sea builds up, we roll heavily from port to starboard, waves break on deck and we connect the life-lines. Then the sheet corner of the foresail tears. We take in this sail rather quickly but the gusts already have torn the sail. A while later the same happens with the schooner sail; the gaff hits the rigging and its claw breaks. It takes us hours to take the schooner sail in. It is hard to keep on our feet and it is even more difficult to get a grip on the canvas in this wind. Luckily this sail does not tear. The wind increases even more. Using only the inner jib we run before the wind with 11 knots. On the poop-deck the helsman steers with his waist-line connected, while the waves play around his feet. Hard work, but the ‘Oosterschelde’ does fine. We start the engine to get more hydraulic power on the wheel, which makes it a bit more easy to steer her. Inside it is a mess, with the dinner on the floor and all over the kitchen. We clean most of it. During the night the barometer rises gain, but things are not over yet. When things happen, they tend to do this on the same moment. We have some water entered through a ventilation shaft, and this causes some problems in the power supply.
The next morning things have settled a bit. A beautiful sky and a lovely sun make everything look better. The damage: the torn foresail and the broken claw. Both we will repair during the coming days. Today, Sunday, we caught up the missed dinner.
March 2, 2003 18:43 GMT
46°30.94′ S, 048°09.17′ W. Compass 038, 6 knots.
We had a storm. More news later because we need some sleep now. All is well.
Feb 27, 2003 12:13 GMT
52°45.10′ S, 057°36.63′ W. Compass 068, 7 knots.
Everything is well on board; some are seasick.
Feb 26, 2003 16:31 GMT
54°17.26′ S, 061°08.66′ W. Compass 054, 10 knots.
We are on our way. At the exit of the Beagle Channel we had an at first rather calm but slowly increasing N, as expected. The mountain tops of Tierra del Fuego were beautiful in the glow of the evening sun, while everywhere around us there was heavy rain and hail. The wind increased to strong and even to a strong gale. Heavily reefed, we sailed into the first night. Under the cover of StatenIsland the sea was relatively cal, but once we had gone out into the open, we had a huge swell and a very disturbed sea. Of course we had our first cases of seasickness, while the South Atlantic current swept us to the east with a speed of 14 knots. Now the wind has backed to NW and has decreased a bit. We still do a 9 to 10 knots.
Feb 25, 2003 13:15 GMT
At 14:37: 54°55.29′ S, 067°29.49′ W. Compass 095, 8 knots.
We have left Ushuaia at 08:00. The weather is fine and it is sunny. But the prognosis is not so nice: NW-N 8 Bft.
Feb 23, 2003 00:32 GMT
54°48.60′ S, 068°17.87′ W. Compass 054.
We are busy storing all kinds of stuff: engine fuel, food, tools, drinking water etc. Everything has to go via our agent and the customs, which can take some time. Most of our new guests have arrived on board. The crew that has left, has prepared all very well, but there are always these small repairs and maintenance jobs that need attention. Tomorrow, Sundaty, we hope to have a day of rest. On Monday the last stores will arrive. It depends on the availability of a pilot when we will leave, but it will be on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
Feb 20, 2003 20:19 GMT
54°48.60′ S, 068°17.87′ W. Compass 054.
Sailing in a warm air with an nice speed; that’s how we arrived at Cape Horn in the evening. Thanks to the still rather full moon, the notorious cape stood out sharply against the sky. And we glided by, before the wind, with a glass of wine in our hands. Amazing how things can go. That morning, in the rising sun, we sailed between the first big islands, near the entrance of the Beagle Channel. To make it all complete: we were surrounded by Peale’s dolphins.
We had to wait for the pilot, but it didn’t matter. Anchored, lying in the sun, 16°. Almost like the Caribbean. We even had some naked torso’s and sunburn lotions.
We arrived late last night, 01:00. For some just in time to go into town for the well deserved beers. After 5 days of Drake Passage a man needs a beer. Today is shopping day, and packing and e-mailing and phonecalls. And yet we had enough time to go to the national park ‘Lapataia’, all of us, to have a look at another world: green, trees, the singing of birds. Tonight we will have dinner all together, Argentinian food. Tomorrow captain Eliane, after three months, will hand over the ship’s command to Gerben. Taxis will take those that go home to the airport at 08:00. Those that go to Schiphol Amsterdam will arrive there on Sunday morning at 11:15, in a flight from Madrid.
Feb 18, 2003 18:07 GMT
57°10.35 S, 067°03.48′ W. Compass 002, 7 knopen.
Finally we sail with all sails up, after some days of wind against and uneasy waves. The sun is shining and our speed is 7,5 knots. The swell is long, beautiful, deep and blue. 70 miles to go to Cape Horn. Wandering, black-browed and sooty albatrosses are gliding around the ship. Everything is fine now.
At first we had an unusual area of high pressure that brought us a N or a NW, but now we have a more usual low passing us in the north and that brings us a favourable SW. We plan to pick up the pilot, at the entrance of the Beagle Channel, at 15:00 tomorrow. He will go with us to Ushuaia.
Carolien speaks: “Force 4 Bft, the engine stopped, all sails set, and a halfwind course. It is a strange experience to see the sun going from the west through the north to the east. After our first rough days, everyone is up and about again, the conversations lighten up and there are many laughs again.”
Hans: “Today everything goes. Yesterday I couldn’t hold my food. Everyone is glad now because the seasickness has gone. Coffee and home-made cake on the poop, in the sun; that’s what
we do right now.”
Martijn & Kees: “After a rough start of this crossing, finally the seasickness has disappeared. Sails have been set and the engine is stopped. The only sounds are produced by the wind and the waves. All around us are the albatrosses, gliding along. We are all out on deck, enjoying the sunshine. We wait for Cape Horn to appear at the horizon.”
Feb 16, 2003 13:47 GMT
62°05.17′ S, 064°27.43′ W. Compass 004, 5 knots.
On Friday we sailed in heavy snow through the Neumayer Channel (SE of Anvers Island), between Anvers Island and Brabant Island, along the Melchior Islands and then out to the ocean. Before we were there, the sun broke through and some humpback whales accompanied us. For the last time we had a good look at the high white mountains and the almost luminous icebergs. Slowly the ocean swell started to rock us.
In the beginning we had just a light wind and it came from the wrong direction; so we used to engine to assist the sails, and some progress was made. In the evening our speed decreased because of the crossing waves, and some people had to go to their cabin. Always a bit difficult, the first day at sea.
On Saturday many Cape petrels around us on the high waves. A last penguin is seen.
Since sunrise today, Sunday, the wind direction has changed, the swell is agreeably long, and the progress is fine again. 375 miles to go to Cape Horn.
Anthony speaks: “What a childhood dream to sail to Antarctica with such a ship, to see with my own eyes what I had only seen in books or on photos. All the sights and sounds and smells came together in one awsome journey that will be difficult to explain to others that have not seen it themselves. A picture can capture the moment but not the real scene of atmosphere that surrounds you down here. It truly is another world, spectacular in every meaning of the word. PS: and a little bit cold.”
Feb 14, 2003 02:33 GMT
64°49.49′ S, 063°29.09 W.
Today is our last Antarctica day; we will go out into the Drake Passage.
On Feb 11 we visited Petermann Island, just SW of the Lemaire Channel. There we saw our first Adelie penguins; everywhere around us they glided on their bellies and we watched them for hours. The young of the blue-eyed cormorants tried almost to dive into their parents’ stomachs to have their food. Next we went back north through the Lemaire Channel, and we stayed at Doumer Island for the night.
On Feb 12 we went to Port Lockroy, via the Peltier Channel. Two British keep an old British station, and they run a small post office. They came to the ‘Oosterschelde’ and sold their stuff to us; we bought and wrote our postcards. Near Port Lockroy we climbed Jabet Peak, like real mountain climbers we were linked by ropes. Great weather, and great views from the top. Once we were down again, our caterers surprised us with hot chocolate and rum, prepared over a wood fire.
Sierra speaks: “What a fantastic way to spend our last day on Antarctica. After a delicious brunch we took the dingies ashore and walked across polished granite rocks to a hut, with pinguins always nearby. From here we roped up into 3 groups and set off to do a little mountain climbing on Jabet Peak. 9 of us climbed until the route became a little to unsafe. But from here we enjoyed glorious views of snowy peaks in all directions and our ship far below. On return to the hut we were treated to hot chocolate and cake, we are always so well taken care of. And now we sit in the warmth of our home, the ‘Oosterschelde’, celebrating with a toast with iceberg ice 100 of years old.”
Sep: “Anchor watch between Three Little Pigs and Indicator Island, Feb 11 and 06:00 in the morning. The pen almost produces no ink below the convergence zone; I have to hold it in the hot air of the heater to get it to work. No penguin in sight. The sky is covered by clouds. The rigging is humming in the wind. For some hours now some light shines through the thin plush of white and purple clouds. Below the powdered dark mountains, all gray turns into green, red and brown because of the lichens and the algae.”
Feb 11, 2003 14:19 GMT
65°14.79′ S, 064°16.05′ W. Compass 165.
At Waterboat Point, at the Chilean station ‘Gonzalez Videla’, we set foot on the main land for the first time. A bit later we do it again at another location, where we climb a mountain to enjoy a tremendous view of Paradise Harbour. Around us many huge glaciers stream down, but no breaking parts this time. Some us go back down on their behind, sliding in the snow. Because of bergy bits we have to change position during the night.
The next morning brings a shining sun and a blue sky. Everything lightens up. Everywhere one looks, it is great. The snow is like white pudding on the dark mountains, and the glaciers are like slow ice-rivers, whow. All morning we let the ship float between the small and bigger icebergs that came off of the glaciers during the night, our cameras clicking. In the afternoon, on our way to the Lemaire Channel, there is another humpback show, not as playful as the previous one, but the sun makes their backs so shiny. In the Lemaire Channel a minky whale plays around the ship like a dolphin. We pass oddly shaped icebergs in the diminishing light of the evening. Rather spooky. In the evening we have a party because of reaching the most southern point of our voyage: 65°15′, on the Argentine Islands. There is champagne and we have strawberries, served by ‘real’ penguins, and then there is disco.
Lisette: “Where do the whales come so close to your ship that you are almost able to touch them. Three times they came playing with us, and we ran from port to starboard. This is great.”
Albert: “I had anchor watch three times, with Hans. And it was necessary, because of a change in the weather and a dragging anchor. We had to wake up some crew.. The journey is great. Grettings to M, M, P en T.”
Feb 9, 2003 16:46 GMT
64°49.22′ S, 062°51.10′ W. Compass 011.
On Feb 7 we leave Deception Island’s crater at 18:00, to cross to Trinity island. At first we have a half wind at 4 Bft, but a while later, just after we hoisted all the sails, the wind goes and the fog comes. Lots of ice on the sea, small bergs and lots of ice cubes. At 16:00 we arrive at the narrow cut between Spert Island and Trinity Island, a place that is like a graveyard of grounded icebergs.
Paul H: “In the zodiac we go through a labyrinth of ice. The light shines right through the ice and lightens the caves that the waves have scooped out at the waterlevel. The effect is amazing: blue and turquoise light, and many other less definiable hues. Would it be possible to catch all these different colours on film? There are leopard seals, fur seals and a couple of penguins. It is a fairy tale, hard to take for real. Loaded with all the impressions, we return to the ‘Oosterschelde’, where another delicious dinner is waiting for us.”
The night of Friday to Saturday is not a quiet one: a strong wind and a dragging anchor. We leave at 08:00. Graham Passage is next, a narrow sound with great ‘ice-art’. But, a few miles before entering, some 4 humpback whales decide to give us a live show of 1,5 hour; they won’t be disturbed by our screams and the clicking of all the cameras. During the night, we anchor at Cuverville Island. In the morning some icebergs threaten to block our exit, and we leave early. Today we will visit Paradise Harbour. First we pay a visit to the Chilean station ‘Gonzalez Videla’, at the northern entrance, and we plan to anchor for the night in the southern part of this paradisiacal harbour.
Feb 6, 2003 19:43 GMT
62°58.49′ S, 060°35.61′ W. Compass162, 7 knots.
Winds of 0 to 7 Bft brought us to Half Moon Island; huge glaciers streaming through the dark mountains like whipped cream. Many humpbacks on our way. On Half Moon Island we discovered a rockhopper penguin in a group of chinstrap penguins. We also found a wrecked wooden boat, just to far gone to restore. D
uring sunset we were caught by a great array of amazing colours and some great lenticular clouds. Everyone gets a load of impressions, and in the evening all is reviewed on the videocameras.
On Feb 5 we payed a visit to Hannah Point, known for its many macaroni, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. We saw a hunting skua and giant petrel take a big penguin chick. Live and let live, in all its cruel consequences. We walked to a glacier wall, over the moraines. The icecold and ages-old water was poured out in waterfalls. The beach was almost blocked by a group of fat elephant seals, who had nothing better to do than to lie in their own excrements.
Today we left early for Deception Island, an old vulcano with a crater that can be entered by ships. First we visited Bailey Head, with its many chinstrap penguins. Then to Pendulum Cove, where at the beach hot water rises to meet the cold water of the crater’s sea, big clouds of steam covering the area. Where cold and hot meet, is a very agreeable place to take a dip. It didn’t take long for everyone to get out of the clothes. As an extra we also went to Whaler’s Bay today; on the shore a deserted whaler’s station.
Nothing to complain about; even the weather favours us.
Feb 4, 2003 15:20 GMT
62°24.69′ S, 059°44.41′ W. Compass 110.
Last night we arrived at the Antarctic Peninsula, we anchored at the Aitcho Islands, after a great and quiet crossing.
Just before that, we were greeted by a very blue iceberg, with chinstrap pinguins on it, by huge table icebergs and by humpback whales, who showed their tails. And all this under a blue sky, sunny and a moderate N. Next, we entered English Strait in the fog; heavy currents pushed us in, under sail. Very mysterious and exciting, all the mountain tops disappearing in the clouds and a big iceberg exactly in our way. Although we had some drizzle by then, we payed a quick first visit to the island, the pinguin smells showed us the way. And then we sat around the woodstove, drinking Glühwein and telling stories.
This morning again a very sunny day; the sun made the ice procude all kinds of light. We walked all across ther island, amidst belching and farting elephant seals, curious baby pinguins picking at our boots and giant petrels. This voyage is already successful.
This afternoon we will sail on a bit in the direction of Hannah Point, on Livingstone Island.. We have a W 4 Bft.
Download a chart of the Antarctic Peninsula, the area of our upcoming visits (zipped JPG, 228Kb).
Feb 2, 2003 11:29 GMT
58°40.89 S, 063°07.91 W. Compass 154, 7 knots.
We used the first day, in het Beagle Channel, for explanations of the rigging and the sailing, and for the security instructions. This was concluded by a fire drill, which is always also fun with everyone running around with life-jackets, the stretcher or hoses. Always useful, these exercises.
At Isla Martillo hundreds of Magelanic penguins look at us from the beach, and we look at them. A nice opportunity to give all those video- and photo-cameras the first test. A couple of hours later, when the Beagle Channel opens up to the ocean, we are welcomed by 15 Peale’s dolphins, playing in our bow-waves. While we go out into the open, the clouds are changing their colours in the setting sun. A great first day.
The waves on the first part were not easy for all, but a bit later the wind almost disappeared and the swell stayed low. So, at dinner time, all were able to be present at the table. We now are nearing the convergence zone (boundary between the warm water from the north and the cold water from the south); maybe tonight we will have the first icebergs,
Jan 31, 2003 16:02 GMT
54°49.16 S, 068°14.85 W. Compass 106.
We have left at 12:30. With a N 5 Bft we can sail comfortably into the Beagle Channel. A blue sky, exciting clouds and cold.
Jan 30, 2003 22:03 GMT
54°48.57 S, 068°18.03 W. Compass 002.
Our new guests have landed and have arrived on board safely. A nice and well-mixed group of people. Crew included, we are 32 now. Tomorrow (Friday) our last stores will arrive and the ship will be loaden with fruits, vegetables, drinking water and fuel. Ready for departure. We look forward to going to sea again, especially to the Antarctica.
Yesterday we took the afternoon off to visit the national park Lapataia. We saw huge beaver-dams, flooding large areas. And finally we saw a condor, gliding along a snowy mountainside. In the evening we had a farewell party for our leaving crew members Taco, Pieter and Bertus, and for the ‘Europa’, departing to the Açores. Many were late in going to bed.
And now we go for the ice.
Download a chart of the Drake Passage, the passage between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica (zipped JPG, 220Kb).
Jan 27, 2003 13:28 GMT
54°48.56 S, 068°18.03 W. Compass 167.
When working on the deck in a t-shirt, one gets distracted once in a while by the beautiful high snow-capped mountains around. The ship is ready for the voyage to the Antarctic, and for our new guests, arriving Thursday.
Next to us is the ‘Europa’, just back from the ice, and in a harbour is the Eef Willems’ yacht ‘Tooluuka’. We are very proud to be part of such a big Dutch delegation. All the crew, 39 in total, had dinner in the city together. On Saturday we went to the national park Lapataia. We made a walk through the beautiful woods with their distorted trunks, high grasses, orchids, and along the coast, looking for the condors which were supposed to fly around the mountain tops.
On Sunday we had open ship,together with the ‘Europa’. It attracted many Argentinians.
Download a chart of Tierra del Fuego (southern part), with Ushuaia and Cape Horn (zipped JPG, 415Kb).
Jan 23, 2003 19:42 GMT
54°48.56 S, 068°18.03. W. Compass 274.
The southern-most city of the world, Ushuaia. Without wind and on the swell, we went from Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) through the Beagle Channel, with high mountains on both sides, their tops in snow and their timber-lines straight. Everywhere the Magellanic penguins and the sooty shearwaters. Halfway the channel we picked up the Argentinian pilot (which is obligatory these days). In the evening of Jan 21 we moored at the quay in Ushuaia, at 22:00. Immediately six gentlemen in different splendid uniforms came on board for the necessary and prolonged session of signatures and stamps. Then we had some time for our arrival beer and for a cheese fondu. Some of us continued the beerdrinking in a local pub, until early in the morning.
Now we have some days for the maintenance. The schooner sail has been repaired. The stores have been tidied to be ready for the new cook Michiel. It takes a while to get used to a big city. Rio was our last.
From the shipping company (Jan 23, 2003)
Descriptions of the voyages of Summer 2003 have been made available on our page Programme as a PDF, as a link in the voyage’s name.
Jan 20, 2003 18:05 GMT
54°48.40′ S, 064°35.67′ W. Compass 097.
We have dropped anchor in Bahia Flinders, on the Argentinian Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), mainly because of the bad weather. Two of our drians gates on deck have been distorted by the force of the waves. The ship is doing well. The prospects are fine and Staten Island is great. We see the first trees since we left Ilha Grande (Brasil), there are huge waterfalls and there is snow in the mountains.
From the shipping company (Jan 20, 2003)
Those who flew to the Netherlands from the Falklands, will arrive at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam tonight at 18:45 (Iberia, from Madrid).
Jan 19, 2003 21:14 GMT
54°20.54′ S, 062°39.86′ W. Compass 234.
In the meantime we have almost reached Isla de los Estados (Staten Island). 30 miles ahead of us. We left Saturday immediately after the people who went home said their goodbyes. It was 13:00. We left with 12 on board. Again a deep low was ahead of us, but this time a rather northerly one, so we expected to have a N-ly and later an E-ly wind. Lots of wind though, but from a favourable direction. So the hatches were secured and we went. Up til now all is going very well. 9 knots all the time. We use the topsail, the schoonersail and the mainsail at two reefs, the foresail and the inner jib. A bit odd, to sail in this area of prevailing W winds in a E 8-9 Bft. We expect to arrive at Ushuaia tomorrow in the night. There we will have to repair the schoonersail, which tore a minute ago. And the usual maintenance. But firstly, we will have a beer.
Jan 16, 2003 23:30 GMT
51°41.50′ S, 057°49.36′ W. Compass 175.
The last part of the crossing had no wind but above was a clear and starry sky. And then there is the welcoming sign of some lights at the horizon. We dropped anchor at 01:30. Immediately the wind came, a NW 10 Bft. Because of the waves we couldn’t go ashore with our dinghy; the customs launch offered to ferry us. In the evening we had a party on deck, with dancing on the hatches and a almost full moon above.
Today we sailed along the rocky coast, in a comfortable N 4 Bft. Some hangovers took a while to disappear. Many cormorants and great skua’s; the skua’s came so close we could touch them, and even someone’s finger was bitten. We acnhored near a minefield, after receiving permission and getting some instructions. We made a walk around the bay and after that we sailed back to Stanley in a N 8 Bft. Tomorrow is the last day of those who leave by plane on Saturday; we will have a last minivan-excursion.
Jan 14, 2003 15:54 GMT
51°23.81′ S, 056°08.59 W. Compass 291.
Yesterday was a great sailing day: all sails set and a speed of 8 knots. But one can’t sit idle for a moment, the weather being so unsettled. One moment all sails have been set, and the next moment we have to reef down. Or the wind changes its direction. It keeps us busy. We are some 60 miles from Stanley, but a low is in our path. We have a SW 7 Bft, and in the relatively shallow waters this results in rather high waves (6 m). These waves are exciting, the sun shining on them. This morning we had a group of hourglass dolphins playing in the crests. The ship fits very nicely in the wave-length; we roll but we don’t pitch. We expect to have our anchor-beer sometime in the coming night. All considered we could call this an easy crossing.
Jan 12, 2003 11:39 GMT
52°17.30′ S, 040°56.01’W. Compass 279.
We sail in the fog and there are giant icebergs around us, big as castles. Rather thrilling, especially when it is dark. But, the weather is calm, the radar, enabling us to see them, is working fine, and we always have someone on the forward deck as a look-out. A show of hourglass dolphins marked our goodbye to South Georgia, and also the tails of diving humpbacks. Thanks to the favourable weather, we already have crossed the convergence zone, the line between the cold southern water and the warmer water of the Atlantic Ocean. We make good progress, although we have to use the engine to help the sails, because of a change in the wind direction. Inside we still have games of scrabble and cards. Outside the albatrosses seem to be the only other living creatures on the world.
Jan 9, 2003 14:38 GMT
53°52.10′ S, 037°42.52′ W. Compass 283.
We have left South Georgia and are on our way back to Stanley. S 8 Bft, cold, snow. And, we have a nice speed in the right direction.
Stromness we passed sailing. Yesterday we sat between the wandering albatrosses and giant petrels. They just sit there on their grass nests. In the air they are big, but here one can really see how big they are. And the many chicken, big grey furry balls as big as a goose. Beuatiful light-mantled sooty albatrosses were breeding on the cliffs. Fur seals were all over the place. We are more at ease when the bulls approach us; we just wave some hands or say “Boh” and they are gone.
We had the last, quiet night in Rosita Harbour. For the last time the sound of all the seals on the beach, and the kkrrr-sound of the terns who were diving in the green water of the glacier. This surely was a very special island; so many animals and a coast so impressive. A good memory for all of us.
Jan 7, 2003 17:06 GMT
54°13.32′ S, 036°27.07′ W. Compass 001.
After Larsen Harbour we continued through the Cooper Sound, with much wind against on our way to Moltke Harbour, where we arrived that night. The air was thick with thousands of Antarctic prions and albatrosses. The next day brought a lot of rain, and we decided to be a bit lazy and sit inside, doing cardplaying competitions, playing scrabble and watch a movie. The crew in the meantime sailed the ship to Maiviken. Because of the amounts of rain, huge waterfalls came down over the steep and green walls of the sound. Next morning we hove anchor at 05:00, to go to Grytviken. We had an appointment with Tim and Pauline Carr, and they were supposed to guide us in walking the last part of Shackleton’s journey. But the clouds were too low, no conditions for walking the pass safely.
Right now we are sailing to Stromness, to be at least able to see the spot where Shackleton for the first time met people again. Bill is learning to keep the Dutchies together. Gees, Teun and Dick were again chased by a fur seal (it always happen to these guys), and Pieter still is chasing the snowy sheatbills away from the sails that they are trying to eat.
Jan 6, 2003 01:09 GMT
54°31.47′ S, 035°55.98′ W. Compass 257.
In a heavy fog we went from Ocean Harbour to St. Andreews Bay. On its beach is the biggest rookery of king penguins, there seem to be millions, it is crowded like in a big city. When they come out of the water after eating, sometimes they are so heavy that they can’t get in a upright position.
In the afternoon we went to Gold Harbour, the weather very sunny. A huge glacier, high up in the mountain, drops big chunks in the bay with a tremendous noise. After passing through piles of romping sea-elephants, one reaches a group of breeding light-mantled sooty albatrosses, maybe the most beautiful of the kind. With their stately grey, they fit well on the tussocks.
On Jan 4 we we anchored in Cooper Bay. It was very cold and bleak. Some went ashore, and the rest sat inside next to the woodstove and watched some videos on Antarctica. The next morning was nice and sunny. and now everyone went ashore. There were rookeries of macaroni and chinstrap penguins. The we went on to our most south-easterly point: Larsen Harbour on the south tip of South Georgia. We sailed between beautiful icebergs with all their shades of blue. Larsen Harbour is a narrow fjord with impressively high walls, at the bottom of the walls there are Weddell seals.
Jan 1, 2003 18:05 GMT
54 20.22′ S, 036 15.73′ W. Compass 260.
Happy New Year to you all.
We had a big party indeed. Many cocktails and British games. After champagne and firecrackers, there was a private disco for 12 scientists and 24 seamen in a shed. On Jan 1 some of us made a walk to Maiviken. Some others went to South Georgia’s museum. It shows all of the island’s history, from its geologic origin up till Shackleton.
From now on we will travel along the coast to the south-east. In the afternoon we started by paying a visit to the Nordensköld glacier in the Cumberland East Bay. It is the biggest sea-touching glacier in the world. We all hoped for an big chunk to come off, but alas. We heard the pistol shots raging through its body though. And all those colours. One can’t stop watching.
We continued along the coast, sometimes high, bare and covered with sh
ow, sometimes green and sloped. We arrived at Godthul. In the old days, when they were not obliged to process every part of the whale, all the skeletons went here. The beache is covered with bones and elephants seals. In a corner there was a small shed with all kind of old fashioned tools, and there were some waterboats. On a hill we found a rookery of gentoo penguins, and a bit farther away we saw some 10 rendeer. Our present stop is Ocean Harbour, next to the wreck of the 1911 threemasted ‘Bayard’. Some of us couldn’t resist dreaming of her restoration. Again an inspiring place. Tomorrow we will continue along the coast.