31 Dec News archive 2010
News archive 2010
31 December 2010
31 Dec 2010 GMT
15°27.69’N, 023°45.23’W. Compass 196. Knots 5,6.
As reported in our last message, the wind seems to have normalized here on Cape Verde and the northeasterly trade winds have been blowing pretty steadily lately. From Sal as the anchor was coming up we hoisted the mainsail in the wind. As the anchor left the ground we set the foresail and held it aback to slowly let the bow fall off. The foresail was tacked and the lower square sail set and so without the use of the engine and only with the sound of the wind and sea around us, we started our down wind journey towards Santiago. Shortly after departure a school of dolphins came on a quick visit and a little later a very large sea turtle was spotted. Some very nice Christmas gifts and a great way to begin our journey! We arrived to the bay of Tarrafal, Santiago during the night and anchored up. In the morning light we could appreciate the spectacular surroundings. A big swell came rolling into the bay gently lifting the Oosterschelde up and down and huge breakers was pounding against the shore line. An excursion was made to the National Park in the mountainous inland and in the evening we barbecued a big wahoo on deck.
The following morning we began the ‘big crossing’ of these journeys of 140nm high to the wind towards Mindelo on Sao Vicente. The trade winds did not let us down and we could keep a nice cruising speed of up to 8.5 knots with all sails ‘full and by’. After exploring São Vicente and the neighbor island Santa Antão for two days we set sails for another Tarrafal, this time on the island São Nicolau. Here we have just arrived after another great sailing day offering strong winds. The upper topsail and the outer jib was taken down and the first reef set in the mizzen and main sail. No sooner where we ready before the wind suddenly changed to very calm and everything was put right back up again. At this moment with very little speed a big pod of dolphins came along and were entertaining us with some spectacular acrobatics jumping high out of the water. As the wind had died completely, we motored the last few miles to the bay where we are now at anchor. Tomorrow an excursion is planned on the island and in the evening we will celebrate the new year.
From the shipping company (24 Dec 2010)
On behalf of all crewmembers we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
19 Dec 2010 09:52 GMT
16°34.23’N, 024°21.68’W. Compass 305. Knots 0,1.
Martin is reporting:
“An old saying goes ‘when it rains – it pours’. This saying is not applicable to the weather here on Cape Verde as we have only seen a rain shower in the distance one single time so far and are experiencing a row of perfectly sunny days. It is, however, applicable to the various technical challenges we have been facing lately. With the change of carrying common cargo to accommodating up to 24 trainees/guests the ship has also changed from fairly simple to rather technical. As examples we have two different engine rooms, at least 26 different pumps, 16 different tanks for water, diesel and grey/black water, 4 different diesel engines, several hydraulic systems, about 5 coolers and 2 freezers, a water heater, ventilation systems, a water maker (from salt to drinking water), loads of navigation systems and computers and properly several kilometres of cables running through the ship. Although we are constantly servicing and maintaining these systems, inevitably things will occasionally break down. This week a clog in the ventilating pipe from a grey water tank resulted in bad smell in some cabins. We tried to flush the pipes form outside yet in the end we had to open the tank and by hand remove the dirt from inside the pipes. Just finished a problem with our small generator, when a nasty grinding noise came from the dynamo part. It was shut down and problem shooting began. Advise was asked from colleagues at home, manuals read cover to cover and the problem isolated to a run down bearing. Our big generator took over the job of providing power to the ship yet at nighttime, when we run on batteries alone a block for light had given up on us and so had one battery charger… When it rains – it certainly pours! As we arrived to Mindelo, São Vicente, the generator had been disassembled and a local marine electrician was waiting on the pier. A ‘search party’ was dispatched for batteries and charger and ‘los tres engineros’ Mate Maarten, Engineer Max and deckhand Ewout were hard at work while our guests enjoyed a hike in the mountains of the neighbouring island Santo Antão. With a slight delay we departed from Mindelo yesterday as soon as the generator had been reassembled with a fresh bearing and new copper wiring, that turned out to be damaged, on the dynamo, new batteries and charger already installed. As the final touch was laid on the repairs and the ‘Oosterschelde’ back in perfect ship shape we heard the sweet sound from our fish line running out. Maarten, emerged from the engine room to pull in a beautifully coloured Dorade (also known as Dolphin fish, Gold Mackerel or Mahi Mahi) of 1.25 meters and 12 kilo’s! And so, overworked, tired, covered in oil and grease from top to toe and smelling like a fish factory our Mate Maarten, and everybody on board, still ended the day with a enormous smile on his face. Such is sailing life – as the waves around us – sometimes down, sometimes up!”
15 Dec 2010 06:46 GMT
15°49.44’N, 024°15.89’W. Compass 320. Knots 7,0.
Today we were anchored in the bay of Tarafal, on Santiago. The guests have made a tour on the island and visited the National Park, amongst other things. Others have made a walk around the village and ended up on a terrace with a beautiful view on the beach and bay. When everyone was back onboard, we lighted the barbecue and grilled a delicious dorade that we bought from a fisherman, who was passing by. After dinner en washing the dishes we set sail for São Vicente, where we will arrive somewhere in the evening. Unfortunately there is no wind, so we are sailing on the motor. But the expectations are that a small wind will come in the morning, so we can spend the day sailing. The next time we will let you know if we were successful.
9 Dec 2010 08:48 GMT
16°38.66’N, 024°41.26’W. Compass 128. Knots 0,0.
‘The first of the voyages around the Capeverdean Islands has ended. The ship is now again anchored at Santa Maria and the preparations for the next voyage have started. Not all guests have left the ship yet and in two days a part of the crew will also be going home. For me, this voyages has been something I would not have wanted to miss and I would like to tell about it. I am in Africa for the first time and the remarkably friendly and welcoming people impress me. In the middle of the mountains of Santo Antão three farmers allowed us to explore their houses, kitchen with an open fire serving as furnace, storage room and living space. Furthermore the provided us with a full plate of capucha to strengthen us for the three hour walk that lied ahead of us. In the mountains the landscape varies from beautiful palm trees to stone formations and bald rocks in all sorts of sizes and colours. That theses islands are rich in rocks can be seen in all the towns and villages. But
despite that the ground is not very fertile, it seems that the people are still very happy. The colourful houses, playing children, laughing people that walk around town and make music, make it that it is almost impossible not to relax yourself and enjoy the sunshine and life in general. It is so great that am back onboard.’
From the shipping company (7 Dec 2010)
On our Movies page we added links to some short Oosterschelde movies that can be found on the web.
5 Dec 2010 15:50 GMT
16°40.49’N, 024°43.89’W. Compass 120. Knots 6,8.
After all the guests had made beautiful walk on Santo Antão, we left for San Nicolau this morning after breakfast. It is once again a beautiful day. Wind 3 Bft., a calm sea and the delightful sunlight. Just above São Vicente a whale swimming by, about 20 meters from the ship. We tried to look it up, but we are not conclusive on what species it was. We have celebrated the Dutch feast of ‘Sinterklaas’ (St. Nicolas). We sang songs. We also read special ‘Sinterklaas’-poems to each other and exchanged gifts.
From the shipping company (1 Dec 2010)
‘I left you hastily last time as the wonderful smell of the barbecue became too much to resist. It comes with this tough job as captain: you have to be able to prioritize and last time I went for the food.Our last guests arrived in the night and were greeted by a thousand stars, the rhythm of the Cape Verdian music blasting from the local bar and the ‘Oosterschelde’ rolling gently in the swell in the bay of Palmeira. We took care of our last business with the local Cape Verdian authorities Monday morning and were ready to depart. They are surprisingly strict here and require
clearance in every single port we arrive. Yet, where some countries authorities are, well let’s just say, very authoritative, so far it is a pleasant experience here. The whole office comes for a chat and it is curiosity and friendliness we are met with. As a side note, today’s visit took place in a mix of Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese (all languages that I do not speak). But that is Cape Verde – half of the population lives abroad throughout the cities of Europe and the US and many speak a good handful of languages. At departure the wind was south western, pretty much exactly the opposite of the prevailing north eastern trade winds that blow almost constantly over the islands this season. We dressed the ‘Oosterschelde’ in white canvas all over and soon we were sailing along merrily towards the Azores – the exact opposite direction of our destination. A quick adjustment and we were heading to Boa Vista instead of Santiago. It is not only about where you go but also how you get there. Tuesday was spent exploring the many landscapes of Boa Vista from the dessert-like inland to the seemingly endless sand dunes. In the night, nearly wind still, we motored to the beautiful bay
by Tarrafal on Santiago. Our guests have just returned from a long hike in the mountains and are enjoying the always fantastic weather on deck. Tonight we celebrate the birthday of one of the guests.’
From the shipping company (28 Nov 2010)
Captain Martin writes:
"In ’97 I was crewing on a small Danish scouting ship and just as the ‘Oosterschelde’ we were participating in a Tall Ships’ Race from Hongkong to Japan. Due to some
‘scouting’ planning issues we pretty much ran out of food (and lots of other stuff) halfway over the South Chinese sea. As it was the only ship within the horizon we turned to the ‘Oosterschelde’ for extra provisions, which the cook Jan Korver was kind enough to spare us. This was the first time I came on board the ‘Oosterschelde’ and little did I know she would have such a dramatic impact
on my later life. After the race ended in Osaka I left the scouting ship and joined the ‘Oosterschelde’ as a volunteer crewmember. The next ten years I was involved with the ‘Oosterschelde’ only interrupted by a few periods in school and sailing on other ships. After an almost three year break now, where I mainly worked a regular job ashore, I find myself back onboard for yet another
adventure. Funny enough it was the same cook as it was then, Jan Korver, who was here to greet our new deckhand Thijs and myself with freshly baked bread and delicious soup when we arrived to the ship yesterday. It seems to me a lot of good people stick around on the ‘Oosterschelde’ and I was very happy to find a great crew and atmosphere onboard. We have now welcomed our first guests onboard and will get the last ones tonight from the airport. We plan to set sail for Santiago tomorrow around lunch, after clearing out with the authorities. The freshly caught fish we just bought from a passing fisherman is now on the barbeque and it is time for me to go. It is great to be back!"
13 Nov 2010 13:48 GMT
16°45.06’N, 022°59.02’W. Compass 091. Knots 0,1.
Quietly the ‘Oosterschelde’ is rolling on the waves, anchored at the picturesque fishing-village Palmeira, on Ilha do Sal. This morning we bought a yellow fin tuna of 20 meter and almost 20 kilogram from a local fisherman in a small boat. That will taste wonderful on our new self-made barbecue. The crew is busy with cleaning and painting. Here and there people are enjoying being onboard with a book, or by staring over the bay. There are many yachts, under which several Dutch yachts where we will probably het acquainted with soon. Yesterday evening we enjoyed the incoming fishing fleet. Afterwards the chef served us a delicious Indonesian rice table, we toasted on this wonderful
voyage and listened to a nice speech made by one of the guests.
12 Nov 2010 12:09 GMT
16°58.55’N, 022°56.81’W. Compass 211. Knots 6,2.
We have about 15 miles to go before we drop anchor at Ilha do Sal. It is really hot and we are almost sailing before the wind. We haven sailed wonderfully from La Palma: not a drop of rain, an entire school of orca’s and many dolphins. The flying fish race over het water on the lee. We are feeling melancholy because the voyage is almost over, however we are also happy that we are almost there. That’s life onboard.
8 Nov 2010 11:30 GMT
27°33.75’N, 017°57.62’W. Compass 200. Knots 8,0.
During a short stop on the beautiful island La Palma we have restocked the vegetables and meat. Luckily we got local help, so the goods could be delivered even on Sunday. The crew did some maintenance that is easier to do in the harbour and some of the guest-crewmembers rented a car and a good Dutch guide to explore the island. This island is the steepest island in the world. Here is
also the infamous crack that could overflow New York if it would collapse. Furthermore we heard that in the time of Columbus, this was the third biggest harbour. We have just passed the island El Hierro and think back of the pleasant Spanish holiday spirit that we experienced on a terrace. We have thrown
out the fish lines and set all the sails, while sailing towards the Cape Verde with 700 miles to go.
3 Nov 2010 13:45 GMT
37°01.11’N, 012°38.54’W. Compass 212. Knots 5,0.
We have just been visited by a solitary killer whale. It swam around showing off and making some impressive jumps. Every one move around from left to right to make pictures and enjoy the magnificent sight of this big and rare animal in the middle of the deep blue ocean. In this ocean we are now happily sailing further south, wearing a shirt, the sweaters can be stored away again soon.
1 Nov 2010 12:25 GMT
41°59.30’N, 009°08.27’W. Compass 208. Knots 7,6.
Today we left Vigo after a stop of a few days, for the second part of the voyage. Underneath a pleasantly shining sun, with wind-force 5 in our back, we are sailing south. Yesterday there was a stromg wind, so there is still a firm swell. However the swell on the Atlantic is so long that the ‘Oosterschelde’ easily slides through the water.
From the shipping company (29 Oct 2010)
From Vigo we received the following message from the captain of the ‘Oosterschelde’:
"In the morning of 26 October we arrived in the fishing-village Muros. After breakfast we decied to explore the town, while on of the guests paid a visit to Santiago de Compostella. The next morning we took in the anchor, before we dropped anchor again in Ria de Aldán that evening to spend the night. After a quiet night we were able to witness the mussel fishing of the local fleet the next morning. After lunch we decided to make the final miles to Vigo. In the evening we arrived in Cangas, a fishing-village at the north side of the bay of Vigo. Here we stayed the night at the fuel station. At eight thirty this morning the station opened and we could sail the last part to Vigo, where we moored in the yacht harbour not far from the old city centre.We cautiously watch the weather forecasts. They predict a firm wind and if all goes as planned it will be northern around Sunday evening, so we will be able to make good progress south on the next part of the voyage."
25 Oct 2010 21:34 GMT
42°52.92’N, 009°21.08’W. Compass 151. Knots 3,5.
‘Moments of (un)happiness’"Some clichés are eventually based on a sort of truth. To give an example: there are moments when you are out at sea, that you just want one thing and that is returning to the mainland. And after a period ashore you long to go back out at sea. These are not just my findings, but after some inquiring most of the crewmembers share these feelings.
Earlier this week – somewhere on the infamous Gulf of Biscay – there was a marvellous backstay wind that could have takes us to the sunny south in no time, if we would have been in the right position. Unfortunately in our position we hardly had any wind, but did endure the swell of this backstay wind. The consequence was that we had to surrender to the whims of the ocean and had to adapt to the rhythm of the swell. Full, half full and empty coffee cups that felt the need to roll off the table, shoes that where suddenly at the other side of the salon in a moment of inattention and kiwi’s that jumped out of the fruit basket to hide underneath the woodstove. Besides that it just could happen that you would find yourself at the lower side of your cabin, with your left leg in the wrong trouser leg and a sock around your wrist. This because you try to be on time for the next watch, but somewhere in the
process of getting dressed a gigantic wave that lets the ship make another movement then you expected and surprises you.
Even the actual sleeping, can give problems in these kind of moments.
While the ship rocks from one side to the other it is an adventure to reach your cabin, brush your teeth and put on your nightgown. Once you are in bed, your eyes feel heavy but the circumstances still keep the sleep away. Maybe you have seen them, photo shoots where a photo is taken every five minutes and shows a small difference in the environment each time. I can imagine that such a shoot can easily be done with the crewmembers in search of a comfortable position to fall asleep. Just as you are dozing of, the ship rolls on a new swell and you have just enough time to brace yourself without falling out of bed and the process starts all over again. And then comes the worst part, by the time you are finally asleep someone comes to tell you it is time to get up again.
From the bottom of my heart I can tell you that these are just a few moments on which I long back to my own little house with my own little kitchen table, where I can put down a coffee cup and leave it standing there for hours, days or even weeks without it ever falling. On the other side, when I am frequently thinking about the view down from the yard as I am home lying in my big not moving bed, as you see the ship gliding through the water. About the dolphins and pilot whales that follow the ship and play with the waves. Or about the beautiful moments when you are steering in the middle of the night with all the sails set, the engine of and stars all around. Or, my personal favourite, life out at sea without cell phones, internet and quirky TV-shows to fill your evenings. Instead you let your days be filled in by the rhythm of the big ocean around you."
23 Oct 2010 GMT
48°41.66’N, 006°32.19’W. Compass 196. Knots 9,8.
After a turbulent night heading in northwest direction, we are now swiftly sailing southwards with one reef, jip and topsail. Besides some regrets over some fallen soup plates, the atmosphere is really good. We are once again amazed what a good sailing vessel the ‘Oosterschelde’ is.
22 Oct 2010 21:00 GMT
49°55.22’N, 005°59.70’W. Compass 214. Knots 7,4.
We were able to sail west for a long period, but before we reached Falmouth the wind drops. The decision was easily made and we took the rigging down. As we did so, a few dolphins were watching us. At first light we were waiting before the harbour before we are allowed to go in and when the harbour master awoke we went in. We moored and stayed in Falmouth for a full day and night. After everyone got a chance to visit Falmouth and have a good night of sleep we left at 08:00 hours in the morning to head for the Gulf of Biscay. With the use of the engine we tried to go as much south as possible before the southwest wind picked up. The weather reports are not conclusive on the strength,somewhere between 5 and 8 bft., so we prepared ourselves by reefing everything tight.
From the shipping company (20 Oct 2010)
Monday at 13:00 hours we left the Veerhaven. Underway to sea we reefed all the mainsails and once we were out at sea we could maintain a northwestern course. After approximately 20 miles we tacked and could keep a south course. Slowly the wind started turning and we sailed through the English Channel, with a shower here and there and wind-force 6. Everyone is getting used to the life onboard: setting a jib, taking it down, holding your coffee cup, sleeping, steering. The weather is beautiful and we are making good progress. Maybe we will make a short stop in the south of England. Suspiciously we are following the weather to pick the right moment to cross the Gulf of Biscay.
From the shipping company (19 Oct 2010)
Yesterday afternoon at 13:00 hours it was finally time. After weeks of preparations the ‘Oosterschelde’ left the Veerhaven for the first leg of the voyage to the Cape Verde. A few guests will sail along across the autumnal North Sea, in search of better weather. Although there is a high-pressure area is underway, it will be a take some effort before we can profit from it. The coming days we expect mainly west wind and low temperatures. But anyway: we are sailing again!
From the shipping company (5 Oct 2010)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is back on her spot in the Veerhaven. The maintenance is progressing well and the ship is almost ready for departure on 18 October. Yesterday evening there was a special evening on board of the ‘Oosterschelde’ to inform people on the upcoming voyages to the Cape Verde. The new guests were very impressed with the ship and the people that have already joined the ‘Oosterschelde’ before were very enthusiastic. Everyone is looking forward to the voyages of the coming winter.
From the shipping company (28 Sep 2010)
Between the downpours we try to do as much maintenance as possible. The state of the deckhouse was a setback. Due to water damage there were several rotten spots in the wood. Now a large part of the room has been replaced. In the weekend we sailed to Stellendam,, where we haven been in dock since Monday.
From the shipping company (10 Sep 2010)
September has not been the Indian summer we hoped for, but yesterday evening it was very pleasant on deck, when we were sailing an evening trip through the harbour of Rotterdam. Today we are not sailing and we are trying to put on some layers of paint in between the rainshowers. Two of the yards are on the quai waiting for a layer of varnish, but it is still to damp. Besides painting we are also busy with other maintenance. Work that we would usually do later in the season, but we had to do sooner because of the voyage to the Cape Verde.
From the shipping company (7 Sep 2010)
The past weekend the ‘Oosterschelde’ has been very busy for the World Port Days. There was a sailing trip on the river with a large group of guests on Saturday. And on Sunday the ship was open for the public. The coming days the ship will be sailing trips with mentally and physically disabled people. Trips on which the guests and the crew will look back on with content.
From the shipping company (2 Sep 2010)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ has returned to its homeport. Last night at 19:20 hours the ship moored in the Veerhaven in Rotterdam. The coming period will be used for maintenance. But the ship will also be sailing trips with groups and companies in the waters around Rotterdam.
30 Aug 2010 10:27 GMT
53°32.96’N, 008°24.09’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
Yesterday Sail Bremerhaven came to an end and while the beer and German sausage booths are taken down on the quay the sun breaks through, we set sail and head for Rotterdam. There is a cool breeze and there are some fresh new guest-crewmembers on deck. The ‘Oosterschelde’ is prepared for another nice voyage.
From the shipping company (26 Aug 2010)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ made a rather rough ride to Bremerhaven. She did 10 knots with the wind in the back, just carrying the topsail and the square foresail. She arrived in Bremerhaven on Tuesday evening, after a 9 Bft squall on the river Weser to conclude the journey. The guests were a bit seasick in the first part of the trip but on Tuesday things were better, quite sunny and a lot of work done on the ropes. Now the weather has calmed down, so the food won’t fall off of the tables when we make a daytrip.
23 Aug 2010 19:28 GMT
52°38.36’N, 004°28.11’E. Compass 338. Knots 8,0.
After a windy Sail Out we moored in IJmuiden to wait until the powerful wind would decrease and to prepare the ship for the upcoming voyage. Now we are, fully reefed and well secured, sailing to
Bremerhaven with a admirable speed.
From the shipping company (23 Aug 2010)
After participating in Sail Amsterdam 2010, the ‘Oosterschelde’ today has left the city and is now in IJmuiden, preparing for a rough ride (SW 7-8 Bft) to Bremerhaven.
From the shipping company (19 Aug 2010)
Coming Saturday Dutch public television (Nederland 1, 5:30 pm) brings a documentary on the ‘Oosterschelde’. It was shot in August 1999 on a voyage from Oban to Aberdeen (both Scotland).
17 Aug 2010 17:23 GMT
The ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in IJmuiden today. She had a good race and her final position will be made official during the award ceremony. We are expecting to have made third place in our class. Naturally we are very proud of this! As soon as we know more, this will be made public.
14 Aug 2010 01:09 GMT
56°05.31’N, 002°38.90’E. Compass 049. Knots 5,0.
After a turbulent twenty-four hours with many downpours and changes
in the wardrobe we are enjoying the starry night. Yesterday there was a meteor
shower, but it was too cloudy for us to see anything. But this night we can still see some falling
stars. All the hard work paid off, as we are on third place in the race, behind
the ‘Stad Amsterdam’ and the ‘Eendracht’, both bigger and modern ships. We
mainly thank this to our fanatic guest-crew. Under the command of the
experienced crew we sailed with the entire wardrobe up close hauled in many
different types of wind. Now we are waiting for the northern wind for the day
after tomorrow, in the meantime we are doing small chores and try to sail close
hauled in the direction of the next waywoint.
11 Aug 2010 16:29 GMT
55°02.33’N, 000°44.61’W. Compass 043. Knots 4,5.
The Tall Ships’ Race has started and we are busy trimming the sails and keeping an keen eye on the other participants.
The days before were full of festivities. Huge crowds went by the many ships and the many attractions ashore. A Parade of Sail concluded Sail Hartlepool. We had a last quiet night in a very quiet Hartlepool, and the next day, today, the race started at 14:00 (local time).
This Tall Ships’ Race is won by the ship that sails the most miles within 120 hours, sailing via waypoints. Our progress and the progress of the other ships can be found here. At the moment we sail by the wind towards waypoint G, trying to stay close to the ‘Kaliakra’ in front of us. The weather is full of squalls and this certainly keeps the crew busy.By the way: in Hartlepool we were visited by those Scottish dragoones we wrote about last time.
6 Aug 2010 21:45 GMT
55°45.93’N, 002°00.47’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
We have arrived in Berwick-upon-Tweed. It is always quite adventurous to sail up this shallow river.
Last weekend, when we sailed past Duart Catle on Mull, people where re-enacting some old battle, with small cannons and muskets. We fired a shot with our little signal cannon, a huge blast went through the sound. One of them started waving a huge Scottish flag and we saluted them by dipping ours. No doubt we will meet them in Hartlepool, as may be concluded from their message on our Guestbook.
5 Aug 2010 2:07 GMT
57°28.24’N, 001°43.20’W. Compass 177. Knots 2,6.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is on the North Sea again. We sailed right by Peterhead with a very light wind and just enough speed to avoid the many fishers ships, who have their homeport here. Tuesday we visited Orkney. In the afternoon we sailed by way of the Hoy Sound into Stromness. Wednesday morning we looked around the area before we left. We washed along with the tide into the North Sea through Scapa Flow and the Pentland Firth. There we were accompanied for over an hour by an enormous group of dolphins.
3 Aug 2010 4:23 GMT
58°24.28’N, 005°32.12’W. Compass 041. Knots 9,0.
It is early Tuesday morning and we are busy making miles. This voyage from Oban to Hartlepool is a so-called mile maker: we make few stops on the way and sail as much as possible. There is a very nice southern wind (force 5 Bft) and with the square foresail and gaff topsails raised, we average around the 9 and a half knots. Since departing Oban last Monday morning we have already clocked 180 miles and we expect to round Cape Wrath before breakfast.
30 Jul 2010 7:33 GMT
57°00.82’N, 006°15.64’W. Compass 238. Knots 0,1.
We left Loch Dunvegan on Wednesday evening to sail to the south-west side of Skye with a very light wind. Early in the morning we were welcomed right in front of Loch Harport by a group of dolphins. Shortly after we anchored near the Talisker distillery in beautiful weather. With just enough wind we sailed on to Canna, underway catching a nice meal of mackerel. After dinner we made a walk on this beautiful island. Then we hung out in the local bar that was coincidentally (or not) run by a Dutch man. We sailed on this morning and are now anchored in front of the island of Rum.
28 Jul 2010 4:35 GMT
57°31.05’N, 006°37.90’W. Compass 185. Knots 0,0.
St. Kilda was very beautiful once more. We stayed the whole day and everyone had plenty of time to discover the island. In the evening we sailed through Stac Lee and Boreray and saw thousands of Northern Gannets that inhabit the cliffs. These 200 meter high cliffs towered over the masts and the sky was black/white with the birds. The next morning we found ourselves within the outer Hebrides. We visited the Shiant islands before we sailed on to Stornoway. In the relatively dry weather we saw the Calanish standing stones, supplied ourselves with gasoline and pampered the ship with some maintenance. Last night we sailed to the island Skye where we are now anchored. It is slowly getting light and through the retreating fog we can start to see the impressive cliffs and the bright green hills.
24 Jul 2010 15:42 GMT
56°58.97’N, 007°43.87’W. Compass 347. Knots 3,5.
We left Oban on Thursday evening, almost no wind. The next morning the weather was great and we visited the island of Staffa. Afterwards we hoisted anchor and sailed away without using the engine. After a great day of sailing, where we saw at least 5 basking sharks, we dropped anchor at Mingulay at the end of the day, again without help of the engine.
Today we have explored the environment, and we saw seals and puffins and many other species. After lunch we set sail for St Kilda, where we expect to arrive around midnight.
We are back in Oban and busy
with cleaning, supplies and maintenance in preparation for the next
Hebrides voyage that starts this evening.
The highlight of the last few days, and actually the whole trip, was our visit
to St. Kilda. This island remains fascinatingly beautiful and is, every time, a
sight for sore eyes! In the evening a couple of people from the NTS, who
research and maintain the island, had dinner with us. From the ship we watched
the Northern Gannet colony on Stac Lee with a pink evening sky as background. A
few hours, and many gigabytes of pictures, later we sailed the ship through the
Sound of Harris to the island Rum. The soft weather there added to a beautiful
and very fun evening on deck. Wednesday a nice eastern wind blew the
‘Oosterschelde’ back to Oban. We managed to do quite a few handlings with all the
sails. The soft weather is starting to look very much like summer. Over Oban
the sky is perfectly blue and no cloud in sight!
19 Jul 2010 2:22 GMT
57°52.11’N, 008°10.61’W. Compass 260. Knots 4,2.
Time flies when you’re having fun!
Regardless of the relatively bad weather, lots of rain and the chilly temperature (especially for people coming from 30+ temperatures), the voyage is going very well. We visited Stornoway on Friday, saw the wind-beaten plains and warmed up in one of the homely bars. A number of us visited the Hebridean Celtic Festival which took place in front of the castle, in a gigantic Harry Potter-tent with steep tips and large flags. Under sail we left the harbour on Saturday and made a short walk on the Shiant Islands before we anchored in the evening at Loch Seafort. Sunday we went to church…. and not any church. Just above the Sound of Harris lays a beautiful 14th century church (St. Clemens Church) just on the idyllic bay of Rodel. Old tombs and medieval sculpturing, almost completely washed away by the rain, and very thick granite walls. After dinner we sail through the Sound of Harris to the west on the Atlantic Ocean towards St Kilda. A light winds picks up and in between setting the sails we already see this beautiful island on the horizon.
The waves do crash
across the bow
The horizon weighted
by the clouds
the land a shadow
like a beast of yore
that is the shore
the wind is howling
the sails are full
the water exerting
a mighty pull
ropes are hoisted
and sheets are reefed
the groans of wood
a murmur beneath
the sound of the sea
singing her song
the creullest mistress
is you tack wrong
then the sun breaks through
and paints the sky
a seagull floats on
a breeze up high
the water becomes
a glassy lake
and dolphins play
within our wake
gold glistens across
clear blue sea
and ity becomes
a wondrous place to be
our hearts are held
by the beautiful, the glorious
July 10th 2010
15 Jul 2010 02:57 GMT
57°25.38’N, 006°49.11’W. Compass 028. Knots 4,4.
During our first voyage around the Hebrides we left Oban on Tuesday morning at sunrise, around half past four. It was wind still. Not ideal for sailing but definitely ideal for a visit to the island Staffa. Here you can land with difficulty and a quiet sea is a prerequisite. Staffa is mostly famous for the Fingal’s Cave. This impressive cave, consisiting of hexagonal basalt, rises straight up forming perfectly straight walls. The broken off pieces form the steps and tiles making them appear man-made. With the murmur of the sea from the cave still in our ears we sail to the North. In the evening we dropped the anchor in Loch Nevis. Along the way we spotted 4 to 5 basking sharks coming very close to the ship. In the clear water we could distinctly see the wide-open mouths of these plankton eaters. Wednesday morning we departed after a morning stroll. At first it was an easy sail along the coats of Skye. Later the northeastern wind (Bft 6) picked up and the speed increased up to 12 knots!! On the flat sea the ‘Oosterschelde’ was completely in her element. While the wind increased we sought shelter in Loch Harport and enjoyed a fantastic evening meal prepared by our chef Wouter. Around midnight we left again in the direction of Dunvegan. We will arrive there in the morning and visit the castle of the MacCleods and the seal colony.
10 Jul 2010 16:44 GMT
57°00.83’N, 006°15.43’W. Compass 227. Knots 0,0.
As is luckily often the case, the wind diminished to a
human measure and we were able to get people ashore by dinghy on Thursday.
Fortunately for us a large cruise ship was unable to reach the harbour of
Stornoway due to strong winds. This meant that, totally unexpected, there was a
tour bus available for us. Driver Dave took us all over Lewis and could tell us
all about pretty much everything! The standing stones of Callanish, the
blackhouses, peat stabbing, the amount of churches, local customs and the best
bars. On the west side of Lewis the wind was still blowing over the bare plains
and we saw huge waves pound the coast.
Friday started as it should: sailing at sunrise, past the lighthouse into the Minch. After several beat-outs and some heavy rain showers the sky above the island Skye turned clear blue and sunny. Truly ‘four seasons in one day’. The main attraction of the day is, next to the
MacCleod-clan castle, swinging off the square foresail and the inevitable dive
in the ice-cold water that follows. Refreshed we lift the anchor and sail on
during the night with a very light wind to Loch Harport and the Talisker
distillery. It was a little early in the day for whiskey but it was still
interesting to see how this is made. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the
sun and the windlessness.
We are now anchored at the island of Rum and move unto the Sound of Mull tonight. With the north-western wind that is starting to blow, we should manage to sail quite nicely.
We have seen little of the sea life (except for mackerel, which tastes fine when freshly smoked:-))
7 Jul 2010 05:29 GMT
58°13.74’N, 006°14.54’W. Compass 247. Knots 0,0.
It might be hard to image, but as the Dutch in the Netherlands are recuperating from yesterdays victory all warm and sweaty, we are anchored in a bay just north of Stornoway, while the wind is blowing fiercely. The manure of the sheep, for which this area is known, is figuratively and literally being blown from the dikes. In the relative cover the bay is providing us there is already a wind of 8 Bft blowing. A slow depression is pestering the entire Scottish westcoast and Ireland. That is why we have skipped a visit to Orkney so we can enjoy more of the Hebrides, once the weather improves. We sailed straight from Aberdeen, through the Pentland Firth, here as fast as we could. We will probably stay here the entire day until the weather improves. Today the sun shines and, besides the victory on Urugay, we can celebrate the birthdays of no less than three guest-crewmembers. Ton, Susanne and Corinne: Happy Birthday!
4 Jul 2010 20:34 GMT
57°08.74’N, 002°05.60’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
Saturday afternoon we moored in the harbour of Aberdeen. Almost all the guests have left the ship, but some will stay for the next voyage. All the new guests have embarked. Today the wind was blowing fiercely, so we will leave tomorrow morning and head for Orkney, when the wind has decreased.
3 Jul 2010 14:38 GMT
56°35.61’N, 002°06.21’W. Compass 356. Knots 6,0.
With 30 miles to go to Aberdeen, the milemaker is coming to an end. The sun is shining (not as fierce as at home) and a southwest wind makes the sails puff up nicely. Yesterday afternoon we were still at sea, listening closely to the soccer match of the Netherlands against Brazil. A few moments later we
reached Berwick-upon-Tweed for a short stop. We were warmly welcomed in this beautiful little harbour and we got much public. Early this morning we left for Firth of Forth. We have caught a batch of mackerel, which will be served as an afternoon snack.
25 Jun 2010 10:53 GMT
54°19.31’N, 010°08.62’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
From captain Bernt: "The Kiel Week is almost finished. For those who wonder what we do during these days, I will give you a description of our daily routine: at 08:00 we have breakfast and usually the foond and drink deliveries arrive during breakfast. We are moored with four ships next to each other, which have about the same routine. Up to half past 9 there is a lot of walking around of the crews, catering personnel and many more. Meanwhile we have a final check if the ship is ready:
cleaning up breakfast, hosing of the deck, checking the toilets, the final touch on all the copper. And of course making sure that the crew is ready by 09:45 hours. At 10:00 hours the guests come onboard. One of the crewmembers will be counting the number of guests, the agent and the captain welcome the guests and the catering provides some delicious drinks. When everyone is onboard we discuss with our neighbour-ships about which of the ships will leave first and which will be back first at the end of the trip. The weather has been wonderful this entire week, with little wind and much sunshine. Usually we put up the sails straight away so we can leave the quay with the sails up. After departure the host of the party gives a word of welcome and introduces the captain. I tell them about what makes the ‘Oosterschelde’ special and about the emergency procedures. Of course I invite them all to help. The crew works like a well-adjusted machine so we are fully rigged within 15 minutes. The guests enjoy participating and the enthusiasm of the crew. About 65 other ships join us, so it is a remarkable sight with all those sails. Around lunchtime we anchor to witness the races between the small boats, so that the guests can enjoy their lunches quietly and enjoy the view. When the lunch is done we find a good moment to hoist the anchor and set sail again, preferably a moment so we can leave fully rigged. The enthusiasm of the crew catches on and the guests are more than happy to hoist the entire wardrobe. Around a quarter to five we are almost back at the quay and try remove all the sails so we can properly moor next to our neighbours. As soon as we are moored the gangway is put out and by ten past five the ship is empty. The music goes on, the toilets are cleaned, the floor and deck are scrubbed, all the copper is polished and around i18:00 hours the ship is clean again and leaves a wonderful quiet. Then we sit on talking with the agent and the catering crew while enjoying a cold drink. Unless we also have a trip planned in the evening, because then the whole circus starts again from the top. I have to say, during this Kiel Week with this crew it is an absolute pleasure to be sailing on the ‘Oosterschelde’."
18 Jun 2010 13:46 GMT
54°19.31’N, 010°08.63’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
Captain Bernt Folmer: “We arrived in Kiel yesterday evening. Helgoland formed a pleasant stop on Tuesday. The wind turned from northwest to northeast and the sun was present the entire day. Wednesday morning we sailed in close reach towards the light buoy that marks the entrance of the busy Elbe. As we were sailing before stream we were making very good progress, so we could pass through the lock at Brünsbuttel at 14:30 hours. With beautiful weather we sailed on the motor up to Rendsburg, where we moored at a completely renewed quay. The last day once again brought beautiful weather and once we were past the sluice at Holtenau we were able set all the sails, so we could end the voyage with a afternoon of active sailing. In the meantime all the guests are underway back home and the ship is clean and ready for the Kiel Week. I have to say: it was wonderful to be back onboard! I had not been onboard for a while, but it did not take me long to feel back home.”
15 Jun 2010 04:26 GMT
54°03.20’N, 007°03.22’E. Compass 075. Knots 8,2.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is underway to Kiel, and how! We left Scheveningen with little to no wind. When we sailed above the coastal islands on Monday, a small breeze appeared and we made a few manoeuvres. Here a photographer in a small motorboat made a series of photos of the ship. We are very curious how they turned out. The northeast wind has now shifted to north and we are sailing fully rigged towards the island Helgoland. We have been sailing to the Kieler Woche for years and it seems as though the ship knows the way.
From the shipping company (14 Jun 2010)
After some daytrips on the North Sea out of Scheveningen, the ‘Oosterschelde’ has left for Kiel in Germany, to participate in the Kieler Woche, a huge regatta event in the Kieler fjord.
25 May 2010 01:37 GMT
50°09.59’N, 001°20.38’W. Compass 083. Knots 6,1.
Land ahoy! That is how it used to be. Nowadays people shout: Ýes! I have reception on my mobile! We were all ‘welcome in Great Britain’, according to the text message from the provider. The wind kept decreasing and we sailed past the coast of Cornwall. We held a fire drill, where the roles where turned around: the trainees were promoted to captain, 1st mate, machinist and cook. The smoke was discovered, mustered, put out and eventually the fire was under control. During the evening the sea turned into a smooth plate. Due to the good progress, we made a short stop in Salcombe, one of the many iddylic spots on the coast. After lunch we continued the voyage. It is now Tuesday morning and the sea is still very smooth, it almost resembles oil.
23 May 2010 03:29 GMT
48°41.64’N, 006°34.84’W. Compass 026. Knots 6,2.
Although it is not easy, we are making good progress. After a rough start at the Gulf of Biscay, the weather slowly calmed down. More and more we are getting under the influence of the same highpressure area as in the Netherlands, which causes pleasent weather. We are now at the entrance of the Channel. All the signs indicate that we are sailing north: the dawn starts earlier and lasts longer, on the radio we are receiving English and French broadcasts, the wind is slightly colder and the waves are lower now we have left the ocean behind us. We are now starting the last part of the voyage.
19 May 2010 00:55 GMT
39°15.57’N, 009°42.91’W. Compass 045. Knots 7,1.
In the meantime we are in the Gulf of Biscay and also there it is not easy. The last part past the Portuguese coast was calm, so we could make good progress. About 30 miles before Finisterre we were treated to some whales we got to see up close. Once we reached Finisterre the wind and the waves increased and we had a hard time staying on track. Now we are sailing on a rough sea and wind-force 6 to 7 Bft in the direction of the Channel.
17 May 2010 14:38 GMT
37°04.57’N, 009°01.20’W. Compass 020. Knots 5,1.
Saturday afternoon we left Malaga, with Ceuta as our next destination. Ceuta is a Spanish enclave on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar. First we spend the afternoon with some sailing practice and in the evening we motored on until ‘the rock’ doomed up ahead of us in the dark. The bunkering proceeded smoothly, so before lunch on Sunday we were almost through the Strait. The next night went even smoother: with an increasing northeast wind we made a speed upto 10 knots. So today we were able to enjoy lunch while looking at Cabo de São Vicente. And of course we celebrate the birthday of our guest-crewmember Ronald today!
15 May 2010 07:17 GMT
36°43.06’N, 004°24.80’W. Compass 216. Knots 0,0.
Since the last message we have kept on tacking. We have made a short stop near Almeria when the adverse wind increased, and then continued. Again we stayed close to the shore in order to remain in calm water. Every once in a while we encountered a barrier where the sea was higher and the current
pushed us eastwards. Than we would quickly tack and see how close we dare to come to the shore. This kept going until we slowly got shelter from the Costa del Sol. Friday morning we entered the harbour of Malaga, where we are moored at a beautiful spot. We enjoy the quiet, the Picasso museum, a terrace in the sun, the cathedral, McDonalds and tapas. All tastes are catered for. Saturday afternoon the voyage continues. First towards Ceuta to bunker. For Sunday the forecast promises an east wind to help us through the strait onto the Atlantic Ocean!
12 May 2010 01:34 GMT
36°49.37’N, 001°55.27’W. Compass 201. Knots 4,7.
The milemaker had an almost perfect start. Smooth sea, all sails set, sunshine, etc. Unfortunately that has changed somewhat, although the sun still shines. The wind has been southwest that past
couple of days and will probably stay that way in the coming days. Alert readers know that that is exactly the direction we are heading. That means we have to tack. Sunburned faces with a crust of salt due to the spray, sit at the dinner table. We stay close to the coast, because the sea is calmer there. We will be at Cabo de Gata in the morning and await a good moment to proceed to Gibraltar.
10 May 2010 04:55 GMT
39°25.46’N, 000°13.78’E. Compass 140. Knots 7,6.
Yesterday in the evening we welcomed the guests for the milemaker to Rotterdam on board. After a good night sleep, we have set a course towards Valencia just after sunrise this morning. There was a light breeze, so we were able to set the first sails at a beautiful red sky. A good start of the voyage.
7 May 2010 02:24 GMT
39°18.04’N, 000°36.84’E. Compass 285. Knots 8,0.
The last couple of days we have been exploring the east coast of Ibiza. The weather was, as expected, nice and ‘Mediterranean’. In the morning we hoisted the anchor to sail, in the afternoon we visited a
town or village on the coast or a remote beach. Yesterday we found a surfboard that we used, to everyone’s entertainment, to water-ski behind the dinghy. After a barbeque at sunset we have set sail again, back to Valencia.
3 May 2010 14:58 GMT
38°52.16’N, 001°17.22’E. Compass 102.
We are currently making a voyage with young people from the living communities of foundation Flexus from Rotterdam. Sunday afternoon 15 young people and their supervisors arrived onboard in sunfilled Valencia. We leave and after an explanation about life onboard, we hoist the sails and set sail for Ibiza. During the night, due to changing weather and lightning, we need to tack and gipe. After 100 miles, we finally reach the bay of Ibiza and at anchor. We are inside where it is warm and cosy playing board games, while outside it is very windy and even hailstones clatter on the deck. Tomorrow, when the weather has cleared, the voyage continues.
28 Apr 2010 03:16 GMT
40°02.58’N, 003°28.45’E. Compass 260. Knots 3,3.
Monday night we sailed into the bay of Mahón. Despite the pleasant temperatures the touristic season had not started yet in this beautiful port, so it radiated peace and quiet. At night we dined on deck and afterwards some decided to explore the town. The next afternoon we left for a small bay slightly north of Mahón, which had an island (Isla de Colom), beautiful beaches (unfortunately the water was still to cold) and a charming fisherman village where the entire guest-crew got to taste the catch of the day. At
departure the wind had finally turned and we could continue the voyage sailing, in the direction of Mallorca. We are not sailing fast, but the sea is calm, the star filled sky is clear and the moon is clear. Tomorrow we will explore the north coast of Mallorca.
25 Apr 2010 10:15 GMT
38°55.80’N, 008°43.65’E. Compass 135. Knots 0,1.
After a wonderful voyage from Trapani to Cagliari we say goodbye to 3 crewmembers, and a passenger from the previous voyage that can finally fly home now. During the day all the guests that could not reach Trapani come onboard. It was very pleasant. The next morning at 11:00 hours we set sail. The wind kept increasing and turned to an adverse wind, we tack and at dinnertime we anchor in a scenic bay 40 miles west of Cagliari, at Porto Teulada. This morning the guests explored this part of the island; at lunchtime we expect everyone back onboard and we will set course for Menorca, where we will arrive tomorrow morning.
23 Apr 2010 06:38 GMT
39°12.47’N, 009°06.82’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
By captain Gerben: ‘Cagliari! After a wonderful passage we have arrived on Sardinia. At the departure at Trapani on Wednesday there was hardly any wind and we glided over the water with 2 knots, under a clear blue sky. The night before yesterday it clouded over and the wind rose to wind-force 3 or 4. Sometimes we could set the square foresail and then would turn again and we had to take it down. So we were quite busy with the sails. Yesterday at the end of the day the wind increased to a staggering 5 Bft and turned northeast. Sometimes reaching a speed of 9 knots we were able to sail straight to agliari and at 03:00 hours at night we enjoyed the first arrival-beer. Now, one of the guests that were not able to reach Trapani has come onboard, so we have good hope the others will make it too. When Roelof (first mate) and Lukas (sailor) arrive Frianko, Jelmer and myself will say goodbye to the ship and the guests and crew. Roelof and Lukas are coming to reinforce the crew and Sebastiaan will finish the voyage as the captain.’
From the shipping company (22 Apr 2010)
The weather is changing: a halo around the moon and clouds coming from the southwest. A depression a rapidly moving in from the Balearic islands. The wind has now changed from east to south. We have a speed of 7 knots and are fully rigged, with the square foresail and the gaff-topsail. This watch will be dry, but we fear the worst for the next shift.
21 Apr 2010 16:19 GMT
38°01.07’N, 012°22.51’E. Compass 291. Knots 0,9.
About half of the guests have been able to reach Trapani and this afternoon we have left to start the new voyage. This morning, while we were making the last preparations, a part of the guests and crew visited one of the islands for the coast of Trapani. We therefore will not be anchoring here, but sail straight on to our next destination: Cagliari. The weather forecast promised a southeast wind, but at the moment there is no wind and we are drifting with all the sails set towards the evening sun. It is 180 miles to Cagliari, where will arrive on Friday to pick up the guests and crew that could not reach Trapani. After so many days in the harbour, the sea seems wonderfully calm and everyone is enjoying the quiet.
20 Apr 2010 06:59 GMT
38°00.80’N, 012°30.61’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
There is a person for this and a person to arrange that. And afterwards they all come onboard unannounced with their families or friends to visit the ship. Even when it is closed or when we are
very busy. Than can be very tiresome, but also much fun. The ‘Oosterschelde’ was a great favourite with the visitors. The president of the province for example came onboard with a group several times. At the official dinner, night before yesterday, I was frowned upon by some of the admirals and other military dignitaries, who welcomed us in full figure. And of course I do not own such a nice suit. Until the president gave me a warm welcome with a kiss on each check and a loud ‘My friend!’. All of a sudden I was a highly regarded guest. After so many days (and nights) in the harbour we are all a bit tired. But from now it will be quieter, because yesterday was the parade of all the departing
ships. A part of them, including us, returned to the harbour because we were still expecting guests. With all the problems the flights they will come, if they are able to come, by train or ferry. We expect that at least half of the guests will come and then we will leave for the next voyage, to Valencia.
From the shipping company (17 Apr 2010)
We are two days in Trapani now and we like the city. Even though a great part of it was destroyed during World War II. The festival is Italian Style. Warm, friendly and with a lot of people seeming to organise things although it is not always clear what exactly. We organise some activities for our trainess: rowing the sloop, gymnastics etc. Tonight we,ll have the crewparade enidng in the pricegiving ceremony. Tomorrow morning the trainees will leave the ship.
15 Apr 2010 06:53 GMT
39°08.85’N, 011°46.38’E. Compass 200. Knots 6,4.
Yesterday morning the race was officially ended. Each ship had to note their position at the set time. After some calculating the race officials came with the results: the ‘Oosterschelde’ was second in the A Class and second overall. Too bad, because we could have done even better. Afterwards we motorsailed further south. The weather has changed, the sky is gray and it is drizzling. The showers sometimes bring more wind, but the average is 4 BFT. On deck we receive some guests: birds that are lost and come to rest. Yesterday we encountered two Barn Swallows and a Willow Warbler. This morning we again saw the Willow Warbler (or a similar bird) and, which is actually special, a Hoopoe. Furthermore we spotted a Black Kite. Thanks to the calm wind of the past couple of days the sea is very still. We are closely looking out for animals in waters around us and saw astonishing amounts of Sunfish. Remarkable round fish with their fin out of the water, while they are sluggishly swimming
around looking for food: jellyfish. They have to eat a lot of those before they are fully-grown: 3 metres and 1500 kilos. During the night we hear a whale on several occasions, but we do not get to see any other animals. Also the fish line, that we use now that we are no longer racing, stays empty.
From the shipping company (14 Apr 2010)
By crewmember Sebastiaan: It was an exciting race, we did well with the light breeze. We passed the Kaliakra and were ahead, behind some yachts. During the night, near the island Elba, the wind became southern. While tacking we seemed to be drifting more that we were sailing and we tried to use each puff of wind. At one time there wasn’t even enough wind to steer. We took the jibs down, but it was too late. But after two attempts and even more attempts to wear, to get close hauled again, we succeeded. While grinding our teeth we saw the Tecla floating by, not a Class A ship but still. At daybreak the wind slightly increased, running free on course with 1,3 knots. We put up the square foresail and in the course of the day we sailed past the Tecla again. The entire day we glided forward with 1,5 knots in the right direction, we were ahead again. Unfortunately the Astrid was still first due to the handicap. If we could get some wind to increase our lead, we might win. However at 09:00 hours local time the race was ended. We finished at 41°27.70’N,010°42.40’E. We started the motor to continue our way. During the day we were busy with fishing, keeping the log, playing games and looking after the rigging. During this a nice wind has lit up, from the south. Meanwhile the wind has turned southeast and we motorsail ahead so we have enough time to sail the
last 100 miles. The spectacles of the lighting in the sky and a shower now and then keep us fresh. Slowly we learn some Italian and the Italian guest crew some English. At the awarding we still have a chance!
14 Apr 2010 07:32 GMT
41°28.44’N, 010°41.60’E. Compass 136. Knots 0,0.
The previous night we did not do very well. During the day we were expanding our lead on the competition, but at night the ship came to a stop. The wind was entirely calm and it became impossible to keep the ship in course, we even lost 2 miles in 5 hours. In the morning the wind reappeared and we could see that our pursuers had come very close. It is fun to see al the ships
close to each other, but it is bad for our results. After the time correction we are second in our class and fourth in the general ranking. Last night the same pattern occurred, a complete calm wind. With a lot of sail changes (removing and replacing the fore sails, bracing, jibing and tacking) we were able to keep the ship on course and even increase our lead on the rest. The ships are further apart this morning and we only see two sails on the horizon behind us. It is still 200 miles to reach Trapani and it is not probable that we will reach it in time. In an hour the race officials will do a
broadcast. We think the finish of the race will be advanced. Although we are now ahead in our class, the question is if we are enough ahead to win after the time correction.
12 Apr 2010 10:55 GMT
43°20.02’N, 009°28.55’E. Compass 157. Knots 4,8.
The first day at sea was a bit chaotic. We started out so well: exactly on time we left the quay and sailed out of the harbour of Genoa. Within a few minutes we had – as the only ship – all our sails up, to great appreciation of the audience. The plan was to conduct all the ship to a waiting area where we would wait for the flagship ‘Palinuro’, which would lead the Parade. And that is where everything went wrong. The Palinuro left us waiting longer that participated and at the same time a strong wind came up. Soon we had drifted out at sea more that was planned. Luckily we could join the parade again. At the moment the ship finally reached the starting line the wind had dropped, leaving a steep sea behind. This resulted in the first ‘sea-sicknesses’. The race officials decided to move the start further out at sea, the next morning. Last night we sailed to the starting line with a light breeze and finally started the race at 09:27 hours this morning. There is still a light breeze, but we are able to make reasonable speed and have just passed the ‘Pogoria’, ‘Tenacious’ and ‘Astrid’. The sun is shining and we have a good sight on the entire fleet. On the background we see the mountains of Corsica, at 25 miles. The ‘Kaliakra’ is sailing right ahead of us and seems to have the same speed. That will be our next target…
From the shipping company (11 Apr 2010)
After a first (confused of tongues) meal onboard we have worked out the tactics and plans for the race with all the trainees. In short: after the start we head for Trapani as fast as we can. Up to a few hours before the start the exact weather conditions will be unclear. The forecasts contradict each other, but it seems that a soft northeast wind will pick up. And that would be fine. Our direct opponent is the ‘Pogoria’. That ship is just a bit faster than the ‘Oosterschelde’, but who knows. Also the ‘Kaliakra’ is very fast. With a light wind we should be able to leave the ‘Den Store Bjørn’, the ‘Palinuro’ and the ‘Astrid’ behind us. The ‘Tecla’ has new sails and might be able to surprise us.
From the shipping company (10 Apr 2010)
Yesterday I arrived onboard of the ‘Oosterschelde’. After a long while I can sail with the ship again. The first guests are already onboard, today we are open for public and the ‘Oosterschelde’ is busy with visitors. Along with the other participating vessels we are in the old harbour (Porto Antico) of Genoa. A marvellous spot. Furthermore it is beautiful weather and everyone is excited for the upcoming race. Tomorrow we will first have the Parade of Sail. The start of the race will be around 15:00 hours. It seems that there will not be much wind, but in the Mediterranean that can easily change. On the website of the STI you can follow the fleet on their way to Trapani.Gerben Nab
From the shipping company (8 Apr 2010)
‘Oosterschelde’ is in Genoa now. Together with the crew of the other sailing ship’s we enjoy ourselves and prepare our ships for the race. We will have a mixed crew of Dutch, English and Italian people onboard, during the race. On the website of STI (www.sailtraininginternational.org), you can find some pictures of ‘Oosterschelde’ and the other ships.
4 Apr 2010 06:53 GMT
43°39.59’N, 007°47.52’E. Compass 058. Knots 5,3.
We have left Toulon behind us. The entire week the ship has been busy with visits from enthusiastic people. Yesterday at a quarter to five the last visitors left the ship and at five o’clock we left
the harbour of Genoa, under the supervision of a pilot. The wind was not very favourable, it was a strong headwind. This morning we have enjoyed a delightful Easter breakfast. We are sailing close to the coast and have just past Monaco.
From the shipping company (3 Apr 2010)
Today, Saturday, is the last day of our stay in Toulon. The city made us feel very welcome and many of the citizins of Toulon took the opportunity to visit the ship. At 17:00 hrs the pilot will embark and the ship will be closed for the public. We will leave shortly after and set course to Genoa. Here, all the ships that take part in the Garibaldi Regatta to Sicily will come together. It’s been quite some time that Oosterschelde sailed in a race and we are looking forward to it. The start will be the 10th of April.
From the shipping company (29 Mar 2010)
This morning, after a very busy week in which many people took the opportunity to visit the ship, the ‘Oosterschelde’ left La Seyne-sur-Mer. After a very short crossing the ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in Toulon. Here the ship was festively welcomed by a representative of the mayor and the harbour master. During this week the ‘Oosterschelde’ will also be open for the public.
25 Mar 2010 17:06 GMT
43°06.13’N, 005°53.29’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
We are still in La Seyne-sur-Mer en that suits us just fine. Monday we were welcomed by the mayor en from that we point we have had many visitors. We also have many school classes visiting us. It is a wonderful sight to see those little kids hoisting a fore sail under the supervision of sailor Maarten.
Everyone is very enthusiastic about the ship. We also have been busy with maintenance. We have hauled the schooner gaff on the quay and removed all the paint. In the mean time we have already applied new layers of fresh paint. Also the deckhouse and the shutters have gotten new layers of varnish. The sloop is lying ready next to the ship, but we have not had time to sail with it yet. Maybe tomorrow.
21 Mar 2010 17:54 GMT
43°06.13’N, 005°53.29’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
Yesterday we have left Cannes. We had planned to leave early in the morning, but we needed a diver to take out het anchor and we had to wait for him. Eventually our neighbours, armed with big fenders,
were able to say goodbye to us. We could set the sail straight away and we had a beautiful day of sailing past the French coast. In the evening we anchored, about five miles from the harbour of Toulon. This morning a pilot brought us in and now we are moored in the harbour of la Seyne-sur-Mer, directly next to Toulon. The rest of the week is used for maintenance and in the evening the ship will be open for the public.
From the shipping company (16 Mar 2010)
Last Saturday, early in the morning, the ‘Oosterschelde’ dropped anchor in Cannes. Yet another voyage complete! The last miles were mainly covered with use of the engine. Everybody was glad we reached our
destination. Making a sea voyage is wonderful, but after three weeks of standing watch at night in the harsh cold, spending the night in a warm bed is a wonderful vision. At 08:30 hours the ‘Oosterschelde’ moor at the quay. With the back to the quay and two anchors forwards, as it is custom in the Mediterranean. Today the MIPIM starts, the reason we sailed to Cannes.
12 Mar 2010 04:44 GMT
41°27.50’N, 004°46.24’E. Compass 042. Knots 6,8.
We are almost there! With just 160 miles to go, we are crossing the bumpy open sea between the Balearic Islands and the Côte d’Azur. There is a firm wind, we are reefing, hoisting and tugging. All in a quiet and routine like manner. Everyone onboard can do these exercises in their dreams. It is quite cold according to Mediterranean standards. Yesterday morning at first light we could see a heavy snowfall on the mountains of Mallorca. And during the watches at night gloves and hats are
no excessive luxuries.
11 Mar 2010 03:13 GMT
39°50.29’N, 002°37.80’E. Compass 057. Knots 7,7.
It is Thursday morning and we are sailing past the north coast of Mallorca.
The sun has yet to rise and in the moonlight we can only see the silhouette of
the mountains.Guest Jan ten Dam describes the past Wednesday: "This Wednesday it is sunny but
still very cold. The wind has decreased, so it feels nice on deck. At the end of
the morning first Ibiza and then Formentera come in sight. At a quarter past
four we sail through the narrow water between the islands. We are able to see
the bottom of the shallow blue water. To the disappointment of some we will not
make a visit to Ibiza and we continue sailing towards Mallorca and
9 Mar 2010 02:22 GMT
36°53.75’N, 001°58.76’W. Compass 327. Knots 0,1.
Again we made very good progress. We were sailing with a speed of over 9 knots again and of course that was too good to be true. In consensus with the Spanish weather report the west wind stopped at exactly 16:00 hours, only to return from the northeast. We picked out a nice bay to spend the night and enjoy some tapas and sangria together.
8 Mar 2010 02:52 GMT
36°20.13’N, 003°53.77’W. Compass 087. Knots 7,7.
After the last message we rounded cape São Vicente without any problems and continued sailing close-hauled. On Saturday the wind brought a firm adverse wind in the Strait of Gibraltar, so we decided to make a short stop in Cadiz. With a week of ocean swell in our legs and soaked from the many (warm) showers, the (guest)crew of the ‘Oosterschelde’ waddled into town, to sniff up some culture. In the evening we celebrated Martins birthday and the next morning we continued…Guest-crew member Jan describes this day, Sunday 7 March: "At a quarter to seven I wake up from the sound of the starting of the engine. That means that we will leave according to schedule, at 07:00 hours. I get dressed quickly to participate. The day starts with a little downpour. But gradually the day will get sunnier and warmer. We follow the coastline of Spain, in the direction of the Strait of Gibraltar. At 15:00 hours we arrive at the Traffic Separation Scheme and we tack the course for the traffic heading west. Over an hour later we join the course heading east. That is also the moment that we can sail for the wind, so we put up the square foresail and stop the engine. Sailing we pass Gibraltar at 19:30 hours. Just 750 miles to Cannes."
4 Mar 2010 20:36 GMT
37°26.29’N, 009°45.24’W. Compass 164. Knots 7,4.
At the moment we are motoring as fast as we can to round Cape São Vicente for the coast of Portugal before the strong south wind of yet another depression picks up. With a bit of luck (please keep your fingers crossed) we will be successful tonight and we can use that same wind to sail towards the Strait of Gibraltar.
2 Mar 2010 15:41 GMT
42°52.03’N, 011°49.34’W. Compass 177. Knots 7,7.
We are making good progress again, despite the constant changing weather. Every watch seems to bring a new direction and speed of the wind. This keeps the watches occupied with many sail changes and reefing. After which everyone falls upon the delightful food prepared by our new chef Wouter. And preparing those meals is not something to be taken lightly, because the ocean, and therefore the galley, is still actively moving. The nights are lit up by a beautiful full moon and during the day we attempt to catch some tuna.
28 Feb 2010 GMT
49°09.91’N, 009°04.36’W. Compass 199. Knots 7,0.
We are doing very well here. We have hardly encountered the storm, which also crossed the Netherlands today. We have waited in Falmouth long enough to leave at the right moment and to avoid the depression. We sailed so far west that the storm literally passed us by. We have not experienced a wind force harder than 6 to 7 Bft. And luckily the wind also came from the north. The weather today has softened even more and we even have painted on deck. Unfortunately, for the people at home it is not possible to move their home to better weather. So from a sunny ‘Oosterschelde’ we wish you good luck with the bad weather.
25 Feb 2010 14:57 GMT
50°09.15’N, 005°03.74’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
The voyage was going prosperously! Already in the night from Tuesday onto Wednesday the ‘Oosterschelde’ sailed into the bay of Falmouth and anchored there. The next morning everyone could see how beautiful it is here. After breakfast we entered the marina and moored at the quay so that everyone could see the city and explore the surroundings. On the map you can see that Falmouth lies at the end of the English Channel and, for us, at the beginning of the Gulf of Biscay. Here we wait for the right moment to cross the gulf and keep an eye on the weather reports (and the enormous depressions). Unfortunately, these are not favourable, so we will spend another night in Falmouth. At the moment we are not making much progress… you win some, you loose some…
23 Feb 2010 02:15 GMT
50°28.68’N, 001°07.94’W. Compass 268. Knots 6,2.
Everyone on board is now used to the movements of the ship. And all the guests are learning about the different sails and courses, thanks to the different directions of the wind that we encounter. We are now south of the island Wight and the watch is enjoying a ‘Oosterschelde’ that is sailing before the wind. We are making good progress!
From the shipping company (18 Feb 2010)
At the moment the last preparations are being made for the first voyage this season. The crew is busy with buying the supplies and stocking up the ship, but also with making the ship ready for the busy season that lies ahead. Coming Sunday the ship will set sail for Cannes, where the ‘Oosterschelde’ will be present at the annual event MIPIM from March 16 until March 19.
From the shipping company (1 Feb 2010)
The shipping company of the ‘Oosterschelde’ was present during the trade fair Boot Düsseldorf (22 January until 31 January) in Germany, a fair for all those interested in water and sailing related products. Together with other Dutch ships and shipping companies we occupied the ‘Sail Holland’ stand, to present our program for 2010 to the German public. Luckily, there was much interest in our voyages and we have made many interesting new contacts.
From the shipping company (4 Jan 2010)
The shipping company and the crew of the ‘Oosterschelde’ wish you a Happy New Year!
And of course we hope to welcome you on board during one of our voyages in 2010.