News archive 2011

News archive 2011

News archive 2011

31 December 2011

From the shipping company (31 Dec 2011)
The Shipping Company and the crew of the ‘Oosterschelde’ wish you all a Happy New-year!

28 Dec 2011 01:35 GMT
16°52.80’N, 024°59.88’W. Compass 000. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Our arrival at Tarrafal (Santiago) was eventually at 04:35. During breakfast the guests made all kinds of plans with the guide for the day programme. Our ‘lost’ other two guests called and where already ready to go on board. They spend two nights in a small bed and breakfast on the beach of Tarrafal. A few guests took a walk from the mountain Serra Malagueta through the Gom Gom valley to Ribeira Principal. A beautiful but heavy walk through rough nature. The others took a cab to Cidado Velha, after a short walk it was time to lunch at the beach with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. After lunch we drove with our drive Cha to Praia where we walked through the old Portuguese Centre and the marketplace. On board diner was ready and there was a nice Christmas atmosphere and only a few guests decided to go on shore to see how Christmas eve is being celebrated on Santiago. It was busy in the streets and the park was filled with young people and the bars with elderly. The mass took part in the outdoor church. On the first day of Christmas we sailed to Mindelo on São Vicente. We lifted the anchor and under leadership of Sarah the sails were set. On our way to Mindelo we had some company of a big group of dolphins that where swimming and tumbling around the ship. On the 26th at 8 o’clock we dropped our anchor in the bay of Mindelo.

23 Dec 2011 23:58 GMT
15°50.08’N, 023°30.88’W. Compass 208. Knots 7,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
This afternoon we left from our anchor place at Palmeira on Sal. After the arrival of the new guests we noticed that we missed three of our new guests. This morning we still didn’t hear from them and so we called the office in Rotterdam. After some searching and calling around we found out that two of them where on Santiago. The flight that they took had to land on another island because of a sandstorm. Luckily this is our first destination on our voyage so we will pick them up tomorrow. The third wasn’t clear he was in a meeting when we called him. Hopefully he will be able to get on board later. Yesterday we said goodbye to the other group of guests in Santa Maria. Because a lot of our guests where staying in another few days in Santa Maria we decided to sail Sal Rei, because we had headwind we had to tack what made the trip a bit longer. At six o’clock at sunset we dropped our anchor at Santa Maria. Jan thanked us on behalf of the whole group for the great voyage and gave us a bottle of local liquor and the Capeverdian Flag.
The new guests that arrived that evening where picked up by the dinghy in the pitch-black night. The ship was fully lighted and this was a good start. John and Janet Vickery were very impressed and John was over the moon, because this was Janet’s Christmas gift to him. Our plan is that we will be sailing on the first day of Christmas. We expect to arrive on Saturday morning around 04:00 o clock in the bay of Tarrafal.

21 Dec 2011 09:22 GMT
16°09.78’N, 022°55.38’W.  Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
When leaving Mindelo on December 17, we have a East-North East wind, 4 Bft. Between Santo Antão and São Vicente the wind increased. We left around 8:30 in the morning and left the harbor by engine. The wind turned out to be a little more eastward than expected, so we sailed onto the ocean by sail and some support of the engine. In the afternoon our position is perfect and we set more sail.
      When approaching São Nicolau, we notice the effect of the ‘Mote Gordo’. We almost arrive fully on sail, but just before arrival the wind dropped, due to the steep hills. We arrive around seven in the evening in Tarrafal, São Nicolau. Even before arriving on land, we hear that the Cape Verdian singer Cesaria Evora passed away. The country is in mourning, but different as we would expect. The village is alive, with (live) music and dancing. We are kindly invited to join a live performance of musicians, in a private garden. The next morning, Mr Kusters, (a Dutch man who lives in Cape Verde and runs a guest house) brings us to impressive mountains on the north of the island. After Santo Antão, many thought that there couldn’t be anything more beautiful in this country, but this is not true. Such a small island as São Nicolau is surprisingly beautiful and diverse. As evening falls, Bertoni expects us on ‘his’ beach, just outside the village. There is a terrace, eucalyptus trees and a wind shield. The table is set, and they serve great salads, fresh fish and meat from the barbecue. The atmosphere is great, especially due to family members who play Cape Verdian music. The food is fine and the music makes it great. This is a night to remember.
      On Monday we depart around 11 in the morning from São Nicolau to Boa Vista. The wind on the eastside of the Isle has increased to 30 knots. The wind doesn’t seem to be very good for the track to Boa Vista.  Therefore we sail, supported by engine, to the for eastern tip of São Nicolau. After that, in the afternoon there are great conditions for sailing South East. This track is quite a bit, we arrive on Boa Vista early next morning. The island is completely different from the earlier islands we visited. People enjoy walks on the beach, cycle trips, but also the white bounty beaches, cocktails and relaxing. In the evening we grill some fish and meat on a little island just outside the coast. Nice to have a camp fire on a private island!

17 Dec 2011 07:02 GMT
16°52.85’N, 024°59.77’W. Compass 000. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
As expected the wind was still favourable and so we sailed on to São Vicente. Just before we entered the two islands São Vicente and Santo Antão we let down our sails and we prepare everything for a heavy sea. Between the two islands the wind increases a lot due to the Venturi effect. Everything went very well and we kept our speed. At five in the morning we dropped our anchor at Porto Grande. During the day we visited Mindelo; we walked through the town and the marketplace. The market is always a good place to have a taste of the atmosphere.
At the end of the afternoon the guests came back on board and after a fantastic dinner some of the guests went ashore again to experience the nightlife. The next morning we could see that this had been a success because the people looked pretty tired. But we had no time to lose because we had to take the ferry to Santo Antão. We were in time and we already had arranged the tickets so we went directly onboard. A few bought a cup of coffee, a few others enjoyed the view and some closed their eyes for a while during the voyage. Upon arrival in Porto Novo there was a minivan waiting for us and we drove to the mountains through the fascinating landscape. At the edge of the crater our walk started. First we walked over the crater wall and then up to the top of the crater. From here we had a spectacular view and we could see a footpath going down, this was the path that we were going to take.
Once we returned we enjoyed a well-deserved beer and then we boarded the minivan and drove to Ponta do Sol. This is the most northern part of the island and there we had lunch. At the end of the day we returned to the ferry to go back to São Vicente. There’s a little discussion going on about which island is the most beautiful; Santo Antão or São Nicolau. Tomorrow we’re going to São Nicolau, so we’ll find out.


15 Dec 2011 01:00 GMT
15°46.56’N, 024°12.71’W. Compass 330. Knots 8,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On sunday the 11th, we started our second trip in Cape Verde. At 8 in the evening all guests were waiting for us in the harbor of Palmeira and were eager to get on board the ship. ‘Oosterschelde’ anchored just outside the harbour. We couldn’t get closer, because people were scuba diving in the harbour (probably for maintenance). Most guests were pretty tired after a day of traveling, and went to bed early, after enjoying a cup of soup and some sandwiches.
Next morning at breakfast everyone was well awake and ready for the journey. We used this moment to give the guest crew information on the ship and the habits on board. After arranging custom clearance we left Sal. The first day would bring us southward to Tarafal, Santiago. Right after departure we set sail and left with a nice wind. Flying fishes accompanied us soon, which looks great! After 20 hours of sailing, with some jibes, we arrived in the bay of Tarafal around seven o’clock in the morning. This was a great view for the guest crew members who just awoke. A nice village with the beach in front it on one side, and the beautiful great steep cliffs on the other side. Small fisher boats float around and one of the fishermen showed us proudly the shark they catched. Quite impressive since the shark was almost the size of their fisher boat. After breakfast the guest crew was brought to shore and went to Praia by bus and afterwards went to Cita de Velho (the first settlement in Cape Verde). Very nice and authentic, with hardly any tourism. After another night of rest, we raised the anchor and sailed out of the bay. Now we are heading towards Mindelo on Sao Vicente. We are sailing very smooth at the moment under full rig and it looks like we are arriving in the night.

12 Dec 2011 10:12 GMT
16°38.58’N, 022°54.60’W. Compass 000. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On the 8th of December on 06:00 o’clock in the morning we departed from São Nicolau. The captain put the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) on the notice board of 22:15 hrs. This was a good reason for Pauline to start up a bet. Weather and wind forecast, distance, engine power, etc, etc were asked and the crew were heard for inside information and secret tips. Everyone’s estimates were put on the board. Eventually the wind was better then expected and we dropped the anchor at Boa Vista at 22:20 o’clock. That the captain received a small gift later had of course nothing to do with it.

On Friday we spend the day at Boa Vista. After the barbecue, at night, the whole group went to the small island ‘Ilheu de Sal Rei’. Maarten and Laurens collected driftwood earlier that day for a campfire, but the wood didn’t want to burn. Claudia, a local guest, brought the solution and managed to start the fire and surprised us with a singing and dancing performance, Stephanie and Wanda sighed: ‘with us our buttocks are just stuck to the rest of our body’.

Saturday morning we left for the last leg to Sal. Santa Maria is the most touristic place of Cape Verde and the contrast with the other places that we have seen is big. But the sphere here is also very friendly and relaxed, like on the other islands.

7 Dec 2011 23:39 GMT
16°34.28’N, 024°21.91’W. Compass 000. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Last Sunday and Monday we anchored at Mindelo. Most of the guests stretched their legs on Sunday in this beautiful town with a lot of Portuguese influences. Sunday is a very quiet day and if you want to arrange something it’s better to return on Monday afternoon (Monday morning is still a little bit of the weekend of course). So to get clearance wasn’t possible and we also couldn’t buy tickets for the ferry for the next day.
Monday morning we had an early breakfast, because today the hike to the old crater is on the programme. Our old friend Amandio organised this excursion on San Antão and with success. At the end of the day the deck was filled with very enthusiastic guests that were very impressed by the beauty of the populated crater. They described it as a ‘Lord of the Rings’ kind of landscape. A surrealistic world with a green crater surrounded by trade-wind clouds. At the end of the trail Amandio organised a lovely lunch. After lunch we continued the hike and saw another impressive side of the island. Tired but very fulfilled everyone return early to his or her cabin. The next trip is on the menu the next morning. A daytrip to São Nicolau. We took this opportunity to use this trip for a photography session. There was a heavy sea so only our experienced photographer made a lot of pictures. Of course we needed to make some action photos so we did some special manoeuvres. And under the leadership of Pauline there was a complete team active on deck to organise the sails. It was a beautiful day with a nice wind and with speed of 8,5-10 knots. At eight o’clock at night we let down the anchor at Tarrafal (São Nicolau). That evening we looked at the photographs of Arthur there we a lot of spectacular ones.
Today after breakfast it’s time for the next excursion. We thought nothing could top San Antão but this wasn’t the case. Bertoni, our Capeverdian crewmember lives on São Nicolau. We discovered the island by open van. Everyone was impressed with the nature, rockiness the natural baths and a fantastic lunch. Compliments for Bertoni! Tomorrow Boa Vista is on the programme, the wind is pretty heavy, but with this team it won’t be a problem.

3 Dec 2011 23:49 GMT
16°13.08’N, 024°43.74’W. Compass 330. Knots 4,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We just let down all the sails except the mainsail and the course and started the engine (we almost forgot that we still have one). The wind has shifted north after two hours of windshifts and gusts of wind. This morning after lifting the anchor we set a lot of sail and with a nice NE 4 Bft wind we are sailing clausehauled to São Vicente. The sun is shining and the wind is increasing a little bit. Around five o’clock the wind started to change, it turned and was gone. Most of the guest are enjoying the weather and lie down. Even the most fanatic helmsmen don’t like this, so we set the autopilot and wait for better wind. Old college buddies Malcolm and Steve stay on watch. With help from Fabiënne, Malcolm sets out positions in the map and calculate the course and speed in relation to the last position. Steve is hanging out in the cot and enjoys some nice drinks. The third college buddy, Mike is not participating at the moment. Outside there’s less sight and the salt spray is flying over the deck from time to time. Hopefully it will get a little bit better between San Antão and São Vicente and we won’t have the Venturi effect. We are not making a lot of headway with an average of 4 knots and sometimes 5 knots. With 55 NM to go we don’t want to sail another eight hours with headwind of 7 Bft. But: Mindelo will make us forget all this.

1 Dec 2011 21:39 GMT
16°05.10’N, 023°11.59’W. Compass 225. Knots 5,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
With Boa Vista on port side, a little bit of hazy weather, the crescent moon right above and a few stars in a
milky sky, we are sailing again. This afternoon at twelve we lifted the anchor for departure. With the starboard anchor we also lifted a very big stone of 100 x 50 x 40 centimetres. With a rope around it we lifted the stone and we then dropped the anchor from underneath and placed the stone back to where we picked it up. Our British guests arrived last night at 20:00 o’clock and the other ones from the Netherlands arrived late at night and that is noticeable. The time difference, long flight and probably a light climatic shock seemed to get the best of these guests. The light sea that we have is already causing seasickness for a few of them. Sleep is the best remedy. The wind is remarkably Northerly, 10 to 15 knots. We expect to arrive in Tarrafal on Santiago at 6:00 o’clock, a good time to start the day. A few guests would like to hike from Serra da Malagueta to the coast down the valley at Ribeira Princepal. The rest will make a trip to Praia and Cidade Velha. We will keep you updated.

30 Nov 2011 09:54 GMT
16°45.16’N, 022°58.78’W. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
As said before we have spend a few wonderful days in Santa Maria. It’s a lovely town with a lot of
possibilities. Everyone sailed with the small boat, Camiel took dive lessons, Marnix hired a surfboard and almost everyone enjoyed a few Caipirinha’s on the beach. Some even discovered the nightlife.
But all good things come to an end. Wouter prepared an excellent barbecue and Liesbeth also joined the group for a while. After diner Stanley gave a speech. What a great speaker that man is!
A few guest disembark that evening and the rest left after breakfast. The voyage is really over. Today we sailed back to Palmeira and cleaned the ship for her first voyage around the islands of Cape Verde.
We are looking forward to it!

27 Nov 2011 16:43 GMT
16°35.52’N, 022°54.61’W. Knots 0.0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Here we are, we have arrived in Cape Verde. Palmeira is not very big, and seems to be a typical Cape Verdian village without any hotels and resorts. There is a harbour,  a lot of fishermen and people selling clothes and vegetables. Not all (guest)crew members were very enthusiastic about Palmeira. Despite the absence of hotels, quite often groups of tourists are dropped of in Palmeira for a day of sailing on a catamaran, organized by hotels and resorts.
Since Palmeira is quite small, we left to Santa Maria (also on Sal, southside of the island). Before departure, the chef went for some grocery shopping. Marino tried to change his flight ticket on the airport, but since there are no flights in the morning, nothing was open. At 11 o’clock we left and sailed to Santa Maria, where we arrived just after lunch.
In a few days, at the end of our Milemaker period, we sail back to Palmeira. We can look back on a very good milemaker,  without too much trouble, and quite some parts of very good sailing. Especially the latest part, from Madeira to Cape verde was great.

26 Nov 2011 05:55 GMT
16°45.09’N, 022°59.15’W. Knots 0.0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
As we said earlier, we have had a couple days of nice sailing. We saw the Swedish navy training vessel ‘Gladan’ on the AIS. Not much later the ship started to come closer. Because we didn’t want to be passed by another ship, this created a racing- spirit on board. We directly set the mizzen. As soon as the wind dropped a bit, we also set the jibheaded topsail. Soon it became clear that the Swedish were no match for us, and they disappeared at the horizon. They asked us through AIS whether this was a race and they had to conclude that eventhough they tried, they would not be able to pass us. After some more striking and setting of sail, we finished our last miles and dropped the anchor on friday November 25, at 11:25 in Palmeira, Sal, Cape Verde. 

In the last days of sailing, it became more and more clear that we approached a warmer area. Trousers were replaced by shorts and even at night, we didn’t see many sweaters anymore. Heading more southward our sight changed, We were accompanied by several kinds of dolphins, many flying fishes, and just before reaching Sal, we were greeted by two glossy ibisses. Nature is still amazing! 
Today we did some paper work in Palmeira, and celebrated Marino’s birthday with birthday cake, champagne and a very nice dinner. Tomorrow we will have a look in Santa Maria and see if many things changed since oud departure last year.

From the shipping company (21 Nov 2011)
In Lisbon the ‘Oosterschelde’ had some special neighbors. The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team, one of the contestants in the Volvo Ocean Race, dropped out of the first leg of the race due to problems with the mast. We welcomed them on board for a beer and of course our crew could visit the race ship. It’s a very impressive ‘Formula 1 ship’. Visit our new facebookpage to see a video of the race team and the ‘Oosterschelde’.

20 Nov 2011 17:30 GMT
29°46.67’N, 019°18.01’W. Compass 158. Knots 6,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
As said earlier we had a flying start with about 9 knots full rigged, but that wasn’t all. Quickly the wind started increasing and we took down the gaff topsails. We kept our speed at about 10 knots. A little bit later we decided to let the topgallant sail down and we where still running 10 knots. Then the outer jib down and a reef in the mizzen and a result of that: 11 knots at times! Slowly the wind started to turn and we had to turn also to keep our speed. But of course this couldn’t go on forever and as expected the wind started to decrease and for the first time since our departure we where sailing at about 8 knots, and this seems really slow! The results are something to be happy about. In the first twelve hours after departure we covered a distance of 120 nautical miles. At the moment we are sailing with a wind of about 4 Bft with the main sail and its gaff topsail, course, topsail, topgallant sail and the outer jib on. The heavy swell that we had yesterday has decreased and as a result the ship is sailing easily. The sun is shining and there are only a few clouds in the sky, so we started painting. Marnix for instance is busy with the railing at the back and makes sure that it has a fresh layer of white paint. Martin, Sieb and Marino keep each other busy with all kinds of calculations and interesting information during their shift. Together with Klaas they keep a tight schedule, everyone can steer for half an hour and not a minute longer or shorter: ‘No, it’s not your turn yet for another two minutes’ and ‘Your time is up!’ are words we hear a lot. To give an impression of how it works, here a piece of conversation.
Sieb: Marino, what’s the square root out of thirty?
Marino: I’ll take a look on my iPad

Maarten van E.: Roughly 5,5

Sieb: No that is too much

Maarten van E.: 5,4 then?

Marino: 5,477

Maarten van E.: So 5,5

Maarten de J.: What do you need that for?

Sieb: I’m just calculating from where we can see La Palma.

Marino: Then we know where we should steer

Maarten de J.: I would like for you to steer 170

Sieb: That doesn’t make a difference!

And this goes on and on! If we listened to them will be sail on forever and pass by Sal at 32,5 mile.

19 Nov 2011 13:00 GMT
32°27.28’N, 016°54.88’W. Compass 177. Knots 8,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a beautiful day of sailing, the wind decreased and almost stops entirely. So, we had to use the engine to continue. For a while we were not entirely sure whether we cold make a stop in Madeira to pick up one of our trainees, and therefore we coursed just under Madeira to have all options available. As soon as we heard that we were welcome in the harbour of Funchal, we coursed towards Madeira and had some extra wind from the north. This was a nice gesture from nature, to set sails and turn off the engine.
When we set sail, everybody got enthusiastic and wanted ‘more’. And we got more! Besides a good wind, we were adjoined by minke whales. The next day we could see some large tunas following a group of smaller fishes. The beautiful thing of nature is that you never get bored from seeing this. It is still fascinating, also after seeing it for many times. After some great days of sailing, we almost reached the harbour of Madeira, but just before getting there, the wind shifted and it was impossible to sail. Therefore we had to do the last bit by engine. When arriving in the harbour, Maarten welcomed us and could help the chef to get to the market for fresh vegetables and fruit. We got registered in the harbour, and in the mean time, we cleaned the ship.
On board we have a list of wanted dinner suggestions, and Wouter tries to make something of this wish list every now and then. Since deep-frying is not possible at sea, today we make the deep-fried Calamaris for Marino. We also made Laurens’ favorite garlic chicken.  Anouk and Fabienne made a beatiful wall painting of the ship, which is a habit in the harbour of Funchal.
This morning we prepared the ship for (probably) the last part of our tour towards Cabo Verde. We now sail on full speed (9 knots) over a lovely deepblue ocean, accompanied by a warming sun and have already spotted the first dolphins.  Weather forecast is good at the moment, and we seem to be sailing rapidly to Sal. We will keep you posted! 

From the shipping company (18 Nov 2011)
This morning at 9:10 hrs the ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in Funchal, Madeira. This is the last stop before Cape Verde. Here we will bunker enough food and other groceries. Between 12:00-17:00 hrs the ship is open for visitors. Everyone interested can visit the ship.

15 Nov 2011 12:00 GMT
35°59.80’N, 010°05.30’W. Compass 208. Knots 6,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After the departure from Lisbon there was still heavy weather with heavy showers and tough gusts of
wind. In the morning it turned for the better and into fantastic sailing weather. The nightshift had a hard night due to wind changes and a heavy swell, with flapping sails as a result. At daybreak and when the nightshift ended the wind became more consistent and a bit more favourable. Because the sea becomes steadier it becomes a lot more comfortable. With a light tilt and a visible easiness the ship blows away with 9 knots during a shower and slows down a little bit to 6,5 knots after. Sieb and Marino are even doing double shifts now in their enthusiasm. The rainwear and all the layers of clothing have gone, boots made room for sneakers and a few flip-flops. Sunscreen and hats are on deck. The forecast is that the wind will decrease to 10-15 knots during the day and at night to variable wind so the nightshift aren’t lucky again.

13 Nov 2011 21:00 GMT
38°41.55’N, 009°10.35’W. Knots 0.0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are almost ready for departure and after three days in Lisbon we are looking forward to a bit of sailing again! The last few days we had some thunderstorms and there’s still is a little bit of thunder in the air. Last night it was a true spectacle, some guests slept right through it but others thought a load of containers fell over. There was a lot of thunder and heavy wind.
For tomorrow the weather will be a bit better and we arranged for a pilot at 06:00 hrs. At the time we are out at sea the swell will be NW with waves of 3 meters but these will flatten with the 20 knots of WSW wind. The forecast is that the wind will turn to the NW and unfortunately will decrease after a few days. But the forecast is the best of the last few days: we were forced to stay in the harbour because of the head wind of 25-30 knots. The last few days everybody enjoyed Lisbon. We’ll now depart in southern direction to Madeira and after that straight to Cape Verde. We will use every bit of wind to get ahead. We still have 1520 nautical miles to go.

10 Nov 2011 01:21 GMT
39°45.71’N, 009°17.99’W. Compass 197. Knots 6,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
As expected the wind decreased and at 2 o’clock at night we lifted the anchor and set sail for the South. Before hand we put a reef in the mainsail, so we wouldn’t have to do that at sea when the weather isn’t as good as expected. At sea it turned out that the reef wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately there was far less wind then we hoped for. And it was a bit of a puzzle to find the right course. Now we are still going on engine and we make a lot of progress. We expect to arrive on Thursday afternoon in Lisbon. Here we will pick up a new guest crewmember and get some rest for the rest of our voyage. Besides the wind is 35 knots from the South, so as soon as this wind is decreases or turns we will be ready to pursue our way. This might sound a bit boring but this certainly is not the case. Everyone is enjoying the sun, reading a book and chatting and others help out with jobs on deck. Sieb for instance changed a line of the davit and decided to take the whole davit on. With the result that the davit is scraped, sandpapered and painted and looks as good as new again! Also the deck has been
scrubbed, the copper on deck has been polished etc. This with the pleasant Portuguese sun, some dolphins passing by once in a while and a fantastic ham cooked by Maarten, makes this voyage really lovely!

7 Nov 2011 23:18 GMT
42°07.21’N, 008°50.20’E. Compass 332. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Monday starts out really well. In the early morning a nice wind came from the northeast after a night without enough wind. Full rigged we sail with about 7 knots towards Cabo Finisterre. Later in
the day the wind disappears what makes starting up the engine inevitable. The forecast that there will be a little bit of wind from the south down the Portuguese coast, changes to a forecast of 25 to 30 knots from the south. Not very pleasant. We change our plan and won’t be sailing directly to Lisbon. We wait the coming 24 hours in the Bay of Baiona. The same bay where Columbus also dropped his anchor during one of his voyages exploring the world. Here we can stretch our legs and wash our socks. When the wind decreases we will depart for Lisbon. Here we hope for more favourable wind for the rest of our journey.

7 Nov 2011 01:10 GMT
44°56.89’N, 008°35.67’W. Compass 200. Knots 7,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a few fantastic sailing hours on the Bay of Biscay the weather reports completely change and unfortunately the last ones are correct. The wind that should take us to Spain isn’t there anymore and this change happens much earlier then predicted. The weather forecast predicts little wind or no wind at all for the coming days. We go by engine and a few sails for good cheer. We forgot all about the record time that we hoped for and now all we hope for is a smooth sea or wind. Without wind and by engine and also with a heavy swell is not very comfortable. It’s a miracle that the chef managed to keep the soup in
the pan. This afternoon we met the ‘Kruzenshtern’ that was sailing up north by engine and we honked to each other. It’s always nice to meet a familiar ship at sea. Everyone is in a good mood and almost no one is seasick anymore and we hope the last one will be feeling well very soon.

5 Nov 2011 18:00 GMT
47°58.95’N, 005°49.87’W. Compass 210. Knots 9,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Just after dinner, we weighed the anchor and departed in the direction of Ouessant on the engine. We wanted to make many miles into that direction, because the weather forecast told us that there would be a perfect wind from the north for two days. That is perfect for crossing the Bay of Biskay. And after two days the wind would turn southwest. Of course we want to reach Finisterre before this wind starts turning southwest. When the wind from the northwest starts, we set some sails. The wind increased and in the night, around four o’clock, we could sail without support of the engine. The weather is lovely, and we’re sailing at a nice speed. Next day around lunch we pass Ouessant and sail with main sail, schooner, course, top gallant sail and outer jib with a speed of 8 to 10 knots! Accompanied by the sun, we quickly pass the Bay of Biskay.
The wind is now slowing down as we make up for the night. We might sail in record time between Ouessant and Finsterre.
The forecasts for the heavy southwesterly wind has changed, the wind will probably decrease considerably. We hope to reach Portugal beforehand and might be able to make a stop at Lisbon. For now we enjoy the current circumstances and the high speed.

4 Nov 2011 GMT
50°27.24’N, 003°31.80’W.  Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On Wednesday the second of November the time has come to leave the Veerhaven in Rotterdam. After a long period of maintenance everyone is very excited to set sail for Cape Verde. At ten o’clock
the first guest-crewmembers arrive and after a cup of coffee and a lot of goodbye kisses it’s almost twelve and time for departure. By engine we travel down the Maas, meanwhile our guest crew gets some safety instructions and explanation about the ship. Once we are at sea we set sail and when the wind increases we can turn off the engine and with about nine knots we sail into the night. The wind stays favourable and we sail on to Calais. When we arrive there we cross the shipping lane as soon as possible to get in to the southwest leading lane. Close-hauled we sail on and without any problem we pass by Dungeness. After that we sail along the southwest coast of England and the wind starts picking up. This means there’s a lot of work on deck. Of course the outer jib and top gallant sail go down first, but the wind keeps increasing and we reef the schooner, mainsail and the mizzen. The ship sails a lot more gently this way and our speed stays almost the same. In the beginning of the afternoon the wind decreases a little bit, but as the weather report says that the wind will pick up again, we decide to leave the sails they way they are. The weather report is not very accurate so in the evening we shake the reefs and we sail full rigged through the night. When the wind keeps decreasing and we don’t make a lot of headway we decide to search for a nice bay so we can get a bit of rest before we enter the Bay of Biscay. Because the last bit of wind changes direction we naturally sail to the Tor Bay at the south coast of England. Here we drop the anchor and we let our guests enjoy the English weather. Grey and wet. A few guests don’t get discouraged and make their way to the pub as soon as possible. Spirits are high and everyone enjoys this great start of the voyage. All the weather reports predict a northern wind from tonight. Starting slowly but gradually building up to 25 knots. This sounds great but whether it really turns out this way we will know in a few days. We will keep you updated.

3 Nov 2011 06:41 GMT
50°44.39’N, 000°48.71’E. Compass 246. Knots 7,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
During the night he ‘Oosterschelde’ has entered the English Channel. Early this morning her position was just south of Hastings (UK).

From the shipping company (1 Nov 2011)
After a period of maintenance, the ship is ready for departure. Tonight we will welcome the guests and tomorrow the ‘Oosterschelde’ will leave the Veerhaven. In four weeks, we will sail to Cape Verde where we will make six 12 day-voyages. We will return to Rotterdam in four months.

From the shipping company (29 Oct 2011)
Today we returned in the Veerhaven after an intensive working period in drydock. As usual we spent a lot of time overhauling valves, replacing pipes and – of course- painting. The weather was quite good and we managed to finish all the planned works (and more) in time. On Monday and Tuesday we will get al the stores on board for the long voyage to Cape Verde. Everybody is looking forward to departure, next week.

17 Oct 2011 09:00 GMT
The last few weeks we have been busy with maintenance on board. A few of the maintenance jobs we have done sofar:
We have taken down the yard arms and put them ashore for a new layer of varnish. Four sails have been brought to the sailmaker; the topgallant sail, the fore mainsail, the topsail and the mainsail have been repaired. All three masts have been set straight. The bob stay was blasted.
The main generator got a new damper; after almost twenty years of salty sea water, that was necessary. The bow thruster was revised and got new heads. The fore peak and engine room were painted.
The water storage tank got new level gauges and valves, man holes were taken off, the storage tank was cleaned an cemented. The showers in the back of the ship have been renewed (new floors and tiles), so that looks clean and fresh again. There was plenty of work to do.
The whole ship has been cleaned and prepared for our three-day journey with a group of young people, which starts today.

From the shipping company (3 Oct 2011)
Last Thursday the shipping company held an information evening for the Cape Verde voyages. At seven
o’clock the first guests came on board to see the ‘Oosterschelde’ and meet the crew.
Gerben Nab, captain of the ship, gave a presentation. With beautiful pictures, maps, the route and information about what to see and what to do on the different Islands, he painted a picture of the voyages. After the presentation questions where answered and some travel stories where told from first hand. And even a few bookings where noted.

Were you not able to come to our information evening, but would you like more information? Please contact us because we are happy to answer all your questions. Click here to order the Cabo Verde brochure.

From the shipping company (20 Sep 2011)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ attended several nautical events in the area. She attended Vlissingen Maritime. During the World Port Days in Rotterdam she was booked by several companies who wanted to sail during this event. This weekend the ‘Oosterschelde’ visited a three days maritime event in Dordrecht, called ‘Vaart in Dordt’. The ship was open for visits and also sailed two short trips with guests, attending the maritime event.
Upcoming period the ship is booked several times for daycharters. And of course the ‘Oosterschelde’ is already preparing for the voyage to Cape Verde.

9 Sep 2011 15:00 GMT
52°36.00’N, 001°43.60’E.  Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After hearing the weather forecast for the North Sea, we have made the decision to leave for Great Yarmouth a day later then planned. The forecast promised us a wind speed of SW 9 Bft. It turned out to be even 10 with gusts of 11. The forecast for Wednesday was a wind speed of WSW 7 Bft. Not a very nice forecast when you have to leave to the UK. But we decided to go for it. Double reefed sails and the engine brought us there. It was far from comfortable, but after 30 hours of bumping on the waves, we arrived in Great Yarmouth on Thursday afternoon. The whole Maritime Festival was delayed with a day. When we arrived, we were actually the first ship to arrive.
Today was dry and still very windy. While writing this message, we prepare for our third trip of the day. Great Yarmouth is situated on the bank of a river with a tide difference of 1.5 meters, so that gives us a pretty heavy current. Sometimes we even have to use the anchor to get the ship into the right direction. The English guests are very happy to have us here and make good use of the couple of hours that we are sailing along the coast of Great Yarmouth. Tomorrow we have ‘open ship’, so everyone can visit us. There are also many festival stalls along the bank.

From the shipping company (5 Sep 2011)
Due to a rather busy period we’ve not been really keen on updating our news on the website the last
few days. After the festival in Vlissingen the Oosterschelde set sail for Rotterdam. During our days there we had a lot of daytrips. Also during the World Port Days the Oosterschelde sailed around. Today we visited the Tweede Maasvlakte. This is a big project for the expansion of the Port of Rotterdam. This piece of new land is so new that it is not even on the navigation charts. For this occasion we could use the survey maps of the dredging companies to find our way. If we where really the first ones there we’re not sure but besides the dredggingships there couldn’t have been a lot of other ships before us. Unfortunately for the people from the company that hired us the weather was not that good. Tomorrow we will head for England. Our destination is Great Yarmouth.

27 Aug 2011 10:29 GMT
51°26.71’N, 003°34.68’E.  Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a great night sailing on the North Sea, showers came along with some more wind in the morning, so the last piece went pretty fast. As planned, we sailed in the morning on the River Orwell. This is always a nice view of the river with many boats, birds and rolling hills on the back. Just after lunch we went under the bridge and through the lock in Ipswich. All guest crew went into the village and in the evening everyone was back on board. After dinner we enjoyed some music and a drink with a couple of our guests.
The next morning everyone had some time for shopping and then we left. After the lock and the bridge we passed the village Pin Mill with the "world famous" bar "Butt and Oyster". This is a pub since 1535. Even though the pub has been re-built several times, the pub is still named Butt and Oyster. Of course, we had to have a look there. So we tied the ship to some old buoys and everyone stepped on land. Some people immediately went to the terrace, where others first began exploring the village. In the evening we departed again. Just before dark, we have been able to hoist the sails and sailed into the night. The wind turned a little, so we went a little too far north. After a little help of the engine, we were back on track with full sails into the Westerschelde. Just before the port we lowered the sails and net through the lock at Vlissingen. A few people were in a hurry to catch their train, and therefor left us right after arrival. The others have had a delicious chicken meal and we have all had a very nice farewell to the host crew.
Now we are in Vlissingen. Yesterday we have sailed two short trips and today we host the ship for everyone who is interested in visiting the ship in the harbour.

22 Aug 2011 23:58 GMT
53°46.13’N, 005°01.76’E. Compass 187. Knots 1,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We have left Harlingen after two days together with the ‘Europa’. Even before we left the harbour, we could switch off the engine and sailed out. After we hoisted the sails, we soon came closer to the ‘Europa’, who is celebrating their 100th birthday. Just before the Blauwe Slenk we passed them.
Now we are enjoying the beautiful stars. We slowly sail southward (2 knots) and are waiting for the wind shift.

From the shipping company (21 Aug 2011)
This weekend we were in the Frisian port of Harlingen. The reason for the visit was the anniversary of the barque ‘Europa’. We share office with the people of the ‘Europa’, but there are many other reasons why we feel connected with the ship and crew. Besides, it ‘s not often that a ship gets one hunderd years old!
Both ships were open to the public and especially on Saturday, there were quite some people on board. Sunday we left again. We will make a stop somewhere on the English coast and then sail to Vlissingen at the end of the week.

9 Aug 2011 07:43 GMT
54°59.64’N, 012°33.24’E. Compass 159. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a great festival in Halmstad where the ‘Oosterschelde’ made a few daytrips, we are now on our way to Rostock. Last night we passed Copenhagen. Now we dropped anchor nearby the impressive cliffs
of Mon, a Danish island. When the wind decreases and turns to the West we will continue our voyage to Rostock. During breakfast a colleague who earlier passed us returns so there must be a fierce sea around the corner. A few crewmembers already explored the beach and after rinsing off the shoes we admired the flint that we took from the limestone. We all agreed that these cliffs are more beautiful then the ones nearby Dover.

5 Aug 2011 13:15 GMT
56°39.53’N, 012°51.22’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
As expected the wind wasn’t like we hoped. The fairway got narrower and we spotted the other ships.
With an increasing southeaster wind, but with high temperatures we sailed toward Halmstad. On August 5th at around 02:30 hrs we entered the harbour and within 30 minutes we where moored. The trainees stay onboard for a little while. Today we’re joining the activities at the waterfront en tomorrow there’s a closing crew parade and crew party.

4 Aug 2011 06:07 GMT
57°51.42’N, 010°45.81’E. Compass 062. Knots 5,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We where not the only ones that had to give up the race, but the ships that didn’t and continued got
rewarded for their effort. The race committee decided to shorten the race and take the position at 12:00 o’clock as finishing time. That means the ship that was closest to the finish line won. Last night we sailed in eastern direction to the Skagerrak. Like the law from Murphy the wind also turn against us. Now we’ve set sail. We’re not sailing in the right direction, but sailing is nice especially without the noise of the engine. Now we have to get in to the Kattegat and travel a more south-eastern course. And yes as expected the wind also turned and comes from the southeast now. All the ships have to be in Halmstad on Friday morning 01:00 o’clock. This will be a challenge for a lot of ships.

3 Aug 2011 05:58 GMT
57°57.49’N, 006°44.10’E. Compass 095. Knots 5,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Unfortunately it didn’t get any better… Even with a little bit more wind the race doesn’t go well for us. No matter how hard we try to get a little bit more south, we don’t succeed. We set the sails the best we can and steer as accurately possible, but nothing helps. After a long haul further from shore we tack and at the end of the day we ended up at the same place we where yesterday. As said there where more ships that made the wrong choice in the beginning, but they seem to get on pretty well. It’s peculiar to see that the ‘Oosterschelde’ is not able to sail as close-hauled as the other ships. Either way it’s clear that where not able to reach the waypoint that we should pass and so at midnight we decide to give up.
We’ve started the engine and are now heading to Halmstad. The weather is nice and we hope to win some time today, so we can sail the last day. On Thursday we have to be in Halmstad.

2 Aug 2011 07:19 GMT
58°14.29’N, 005°02.52’E. Compass 237. Knots 6,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The last few days we worked very hard, but unfortunately without much result. Slowly we’re getting
further back with the rest of the fleet. Only the small group of ships near us have the same unfortunate weather circumstances. The wind yesterday was very light. Often there was no wind at all and at times we where not able to steer at all. What especially was a pity
is that the wind came out of the direction that we are heading. Head wind it is and that means we have to tack and that is not our strong suit. Last night there was no wind at all. We drifted a few hours close to shore and we tried to tack. But that was not possible so we tried to turn the other way around but to our surprise and frustration this didn’t work either. After three hours of hard work and a lot of different manoeuvres we got the ship in the right position and we could steer away from the coast where we gotten far to close to. At this moment there is some wind again but still not from the right direction and that means we’re also not going in the right direction. It’s a little demotivating to know that the ships that choose a more western course are now having a more favourable wind. The differences will get a lot bigger between the head group and us, so a good classification is probably not possible anymore. We now focus on the other ships around us like the Morgenster, the Europa, the Eendracht, the statsrad Lemkuhl and the Gallant. These ships are all in the same boat so to speak.

31 Jul 2011 21:32 GMT
58°50.08’N, 005°10.73’E. Compass 182. Knots 1,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
This morning at half past eight we welcomed a group of older people on board for a short sailing
trip in the fjord. Together with the trainees we did our best to give them an enjoyable trip. At half pas eleven we moored for the last time in Stavanger. All the Tall Ships that where entering the race where called one by one to depart. The ‘Parade of Sail’ passed nearby the coast. Especially on the
water there where hundreds of bystanders. With their boats trying to make some nice shots of the ships, this sometimes leading to some dangerous situations. After the parade all the ships sailed
to the start. Where the race started at six o’clock. After an average start we where a little bit in the back of the group. But the wind was pretty good for us and slowly but surely we where able to pass by a few ships. It was very nice to see all ships so close together in action. Now the wind that was 3 bft, completely disappeared and we are doing 2 knots.A cold comfort is that the other ships have the same problem. Soon we will enter a junction where we can choose two routes. We choose the one that is a bit longer, but we are hoping to catch some more wind there. Tomorrow morning we will know if we made the right choice. On the website of sailtraininginternational you can find the pictures of the start and the current positions of the ships.

30 Jul 2011 22:08 GMT
58°58.29’N, 005°43.70’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We had some busy times the last few days. Yesterday we had a daytrip with a Norwegian Company. The
wind was pretty strong and especially during the evening it was a challenge to try to keep the glasses in one piece. Today we have a wedding on board. After a few wonderful hours of sailing we are now back in the harbour where our guest are enjoying a nice diner. At the same time our trainees for the next voyage to Halmstad are arriving. The ship is still occupied so Anouk and Amaury took the mainly Swedish trainees for some diner in Stavanger. Luckily the weather today is nice. Before we depart tomorrow for the race we have another daytrip. About 100 older passengers from a cruise ship will sail with the ‘Oosterschelde’ for a few hours. At 11:30 hrs they disembark and we will depart for the ‘Parade of Sail. The start of the race is at sea at around 16:00 utc (18:00 local time). On the website of the STI (sailtraininginternational)you can follow us and the other ships. Each ship has a satellite responder and on the website you can find the up to date positions of the ships. Stavanger is fun, but after the fireworks tonight and the daytrip tomorrow we are happy to join
the other ships.

28 Jul 2011 16:17 GMT
58°58.29’N, 005°43.70’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
In the meantime our guests have left and we are preparing for the festival here in Stavanger, its official start being today, Thursday. Because of the tragical events in Oslo, the festivities are a bit reserved. The mayor has decided to shorten the evening fireworks, all artists are asked to perform wearing a mourning-band and all crews are advised to behave respectfully. Pubs and restaurants will close early.
The small harbour is packed. Many beautiful small wooden boats from all over Scandinavia and also other tall ships like the ‘Sedov’, ‘Kruzenshtern’, ‘Mir’ and ‘Statsraad Lehmkuhl’. Before our guests for the Tall Ships’ Race will arrive, we will make some daytrips and there will be a wedding on board.
We’ll tell you about that later.

25 Jul 2011 16:20 GMT
We left at 06:00. It was a beautiful morning, but just before arriving at Stavanger we had a really thick fog, we hardly saw the quay before we moored at 07:45.

24 Jul 2011 21:10 GMT
59°04.45’N, 005°40.25’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
In Ålesund we learned about the bomb attack in Oslo. People standing in front of tv screens, in the lobby of hotels and in the streets talking in groups. When we asked what was going on, we saw they were shocked. Noone at the moment knew anything of the attack on the youth camp island Utøya.
Our stories of the voyage of course are of seconday importance in the light of those events. But, when you are at open sea in a storm, it is different. We left Ålesund at 06:00. We planned a short stop at the island of Runde, but when we came close it was clear that this would not be possible at all, the waves being much to high for a safe landing. The forecast promised us a notherly 6 Bft, which would make it a fast crossing. First we went 8 knopts, then 9 and then 10, even while taking away sails. At the height of the wind (40 knots, with 55 knots gusts). In the end we just used the staysail and the topsail, going 9 knots. At midnight the worst was over and after 02:00 the wind decreased to almost nothing. We even had to start the engine to make some progress. In the afternoon we went ‘inside’ again, entering the Haugesund. And now we have our last stop of theis voyage, in a small bay on Mosterøy, close to Stavanger. Tomorrow at 06:00 we will hoist anchor and go to Stavanger.

23 Jul 2011 GMT
61°20.19’N, 003°46.99’E. Compass 158. Knots 8,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
(When they composed this message, the crew was not yet fully aware of the gravity of the sad news from Oslo. They have been informed since.)

 Our visit to Ålesund was worth it. The bigger part of the town burned down in the beginning of the previous century. It was rebuild in a Jugenstil way. And of course, the buildings offer a certain shelter, the wind being a nasty northerly. We knew we were heading North, but 11 C is a bit meagre.
Today though we enjoy that northerly, having it on our tail. We have started the journey back to Stavanger and we will be out at open sea for a while to make a big leap south. We even get a bit more then needed: a Beaufort 7, with gusts on top of that, and also a rather wild sea. But, we make miles. Lots of them. At the moment we do 9 knots, just the topsail and the staysail.

22 Jul 2011 15:52 GMT
62°28.41’N, 006°09.22’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Today we arrived at Ålesund at 11:00 GMT (13:00 LT).

22 Jul 2011 07:01 GMT
62°12.61’N, 005°56.39’E. Compass 255. Knots 1,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a quiet night we enter the Aurlandsfjord just before breakfast. It is a branch on the south side of the Sognefjord, beautiful and steep rocky walls on both sides, and many waterfalls, narrow and very deep. Next we enter the Nærøyfjord, taking another route as the cruise ships do, they all go to Flam.
At the end is Gudvangen, a small village of 80 inhabitants, 1 hotel and 3 souvenir shops. Some take the bus to Flam, others hike in the area. After dinner we leave Gudvangen and sail out of the Sognefjord.
The next day, after lunch, we drop anchor at the small island of Askrova. We leave at 4 in the morning; by then it is daylight. We pass Maløy, decide not to make a stop there. In the afternoon we see local men fishing. We drop anchor at Grøneskjeret and try our luck. No luck. Some make a short walk ashore. We leave at 4pm, and some hours later we arrive at Lid, in the entrance of the Voldsfjord. We drop anchor, throw out the fishing tackle and very soon the first catches come up. After a while we decide that the very small concrete quay would be a better place for us, so we move. We fasten the ship, using 1 anchor, a line to a rock, a line to a tree and two lines to the quay. In the evening we make a fire on the rocky beach and have some drinks.
Today, just after breakfast, we cast off, en route to Ålesund.

18 Jul 2011 16:44 GMT
61°00.04’N, 004°48.88’E. Compass 055. Knots 5,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On Saturday evening we dropped anchor in a small bay at the village of Eltravåg, on Sveio. Fishing with some rods we caught a few cod and some pollocks.
Sunday morning was grey and we had drizzle and no wind. No reason to linger around, so we hoisted anchor at 08:30 and went to Bergen, where we moored at 16:55. In weekends Bergen is not exactly a metropole, but the sky cleared a bit and we went for a walk to the old wooden houses of ‘Brykken’.
This morning we woke to a blue sky, sunny and warm. We hardly had left the quay, when we hoisted the first sails and slowly we sailed into the sound. Sailing is always a bit difficult in these areas because of all the wind shifts. But we tried, and we used all of the sails today, even the big fore square sail and the gaff topsails. In the afternoon things changed. We had some thunderstorms, the blue sky disappeared and we had to start the engine.
We now have entered the huge, 200 km deep Sognefjord. We will probably continue sailing during the night.

16 Jul 2011 14:56 GMT
59°27.29’N, 005°13.36’E. Compass 350. Knots 4,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Lovely sailing, a speed of 4 knots. All square sails and the main sail have been set this morning, in a light SE-ly. Our destination today has not yet been decided. The weather is too nice to not keep on sailing. No sun, but it still is t-shirt weather.
Last night, after the last arrivals, we left Stavanger at 21:15. We sailed to Vikevåg in daylight, the days being long. This morning we first made a walk on this island (Rennesøy), and now we have been sailing all day. A fishing line at the stern brought us some mackerel. The voyage has begun.

13 Jul 2011 13:41 GMT
60°23.75’N, 004°38.93’E. Compass 173. Knots 6,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a nice meal with the ship tied up to the quay in Gudvangen, we cast off to sail out of the Sognefjord. It is still a beautifull sight to see the enormous mountains and the many waterfalls. Regrettably there’s no wind so we are on engine all night. In the morning the wind comes up and all day we play with it, or the wind with us. Wind, no wind, wind again and gone just as fast. Just before 4 in the afternoon we pass the bridge of Måløy. Again there’s no problem parking the ship alongside, but when the first people walk the gangway, the clouds open and it starts raining cats and dogs. Some people turn around instantly but some tough ones just keep going. With a tent over the scooner boom it is pretty cosy and people start with a drink and a talk. After dinner this behaviour continues and slowly it becomes a party. People start dancing and hidden talents emerge when two are rock’n’rolling on the quay and even the salsa is no problem for most.
The next morning at 7 o’clock it’s quiet on deck when we cast off for the last bit northward, to Ålesund. Slowly more and more people come on deck and we hoist the sails. We have to go to sea for a little part, but most stomachs are not strong enough for the rocking motion of the ship, so we tack and head for the first possible opening to innshore waters again. Soon the waves are gone and around lunch most are up and running again. We can do a bit more sailing, but then we have to go against the wind so we start the engine. In between the showers Norway shows her beautiful landscape once more and we enjoy every moment of it. Just before dinner we tie up in Ålesund and prepare for a quiet, early night.
On the next day, Tuesday, we leave at noon, so everybody has the morning to explore this little town and then we set course for the highlight of the trip for our birdwatchers, the isle of Runde. At around 4pm the cliffs full of birds come in sight and we put the ‘Oosterschelde’ at anchor as close as we can to all the Gannets, Puffins, Great skuas, Shags, Kittiwakes, Great Black-backed gulls and so on. After a few hours of birdwatching we heave the anchor and start heading south again. At first we go under full sail, but then it becomes a running wind and so we rebuild to square-sails only. But, since we find that that’s not enough we make lee-sails out of the gafftopsails. This works pretty good, untill the wind picks up and we clean up our ‘toy-sails’.
Now still with a running wind and all the square-sails up we are ahead of schedule, so we might make an overnight stop at Utsira.
But that’s for next time.

10 Jul 2011 02:23 GMT
61°05.06’N, 005°30.59’E. Compass 249. Knots 8,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a quiet night in Uskedalen we left for Bergen, the wind in the back and lovely sailing. A white-tailed eagle sails by to the delight of our birdwatchers. The wind keeps turning and we have to change the sails very often. Drawings are made on the dek to explain the use of all those sails to our guests. In Bergen we get a great berth next to the old town. At dinner we sing to Vladimir and Ton, who have their birthday.
The next morning we leave at 07:00 to visit the huge Sognefjord. A day without wind, so we do a man-over-board exercise. After dinner a dolphin joins us for a while. Around 21:00 we drop anchor at Hellevik, in a small fjord on the northern side, the Lånefjord. A great bay with lots of falls and hundreds of kinds of green.
Around breakfast we hoist anchor and sail further into the Sognefjord. Later in the morning we enter a fjord on the southern side, the Aurlandsfjord, walls of rock around us and lots of waterfalls. In the afternoon we moor at Gudvangen, at the end of the Nærøyfjord, a small village of about 80 inhabitants. We go ashore to explore this ‘metropole’.
After dinner we leave and sail back to the exit of the Sognefjord. Our next destination is Måløy.

6 Jul 2011 19:21 GMT
59°55.91’N, 005°51.31’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a nice day in Stavanger’s city center and the reception and introduction to the ship of our new guests, we left for the island of Rennesøy, where we moored at a former ferry pier, around 11pm.
At first light, at half past 3am, we left in the direction of the Haugesund, a sont with a narrow and exciting passage in the middle, with a 45 meter high bridge. In the afternoon we reached the Bømlafjord and next the huge Hardangerfjord, where we found a suitable pier at the pittoresque village of Uskedalen. We got a very friendly welcome.
Now we are enjoying the evening sun and the great view of the snow-capped mountains.

4 Jul 2011 11:18 GMT
59°01.77’N, 005°52.62’E. Compass 187. Knots 4,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are sailing around in the fjords east of Stavanger. Last night we anchored in a bay close to the island of Mosterøy, called Dysjalandsvågen.
This afternoon we will go and check out an anchoring spot at the island of Sølyst, opposite downtown Stavanger. The harbour is full at the moment.
People on the ferries wave, the ferries themselves making detours for them to have a close look while we tack between the islands.

3 Jul 2011 09:47 GMT
58°26.89’N, 005°59.44’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
In Mandag we had to wait for the customs people who had to arrive from Kristiansand. Around noon we left for Egersund. We arrived here late in the evening and we are exploring the surroundings now. It is so beautiful here.

30 Jun 2011 07:51 GMT
57°57.55’N, 010°10.92’E. Compass 271. Knots 7,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a warm welcome and a beautiful berth (that belongs to the ‘Atena’), we had a nice evening with the families of the previous owners: Sam Petterson, who has died, and Denis Inberg. Denis Inberg was on board in person.
The engine room had the same smell and the anchor winch tanks and steering gear are still there.
Also some former crew members came by with their seaman’s books.
We presented the families with some books. They were impressed that we did a circumnavigation since we visited Skärhamn in 1993, when we came to show them the results of the restauration.
Tomorrow we will arrive in the Norwegian town of Mandal.

28 Jun 2011 18:45 GMT
57°03.52’N, 012°16.20’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We had a fantastic day of sailing today.
This afternoon we arrived at Träslövsläge, a small fishing harbour 3 miles south of Varberg.
The local fishermen were very friendly and showed the chief mate a place to moor (the harbour master could not be reached). He went in in front of us with the dinghy to investigate. When moored we were kindly invited to the local icecream parlor to come and have an free icecream, which we did.
In the evening sun we had dinner: an Indian rice table.
At 5 in the morning we will be leaving for Skärhamn to meet the former owners of the ship.

28 Jun 2011 06:47 GMT
56°23.77’N, 011°33.91’E. Compass 040. Knots 7,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
This morning the ‘Oosterschelde’ is sailing nicely in Danish waters.
After the fireworks Sunday evening we left Kiel. There was no wind, so we went on engine to an former homeport Marstal on Ærø where we arrived early in the morning. We saw pictures of the ship in the local museum, pictures of her life here from 1939 until 1954.
After lunch we left again and rounded Langeland and are under full sail since.
The next stop will be Skärhamm, where we will meet the former owners, who took care of the ship from 1954 until 1987. We are looking forward to that.
(Update at 12:19 GMT: Halmstad will not be visited. ETA Skärhamn changed to tomorrow afternoon.)

From the shipping company (27 Jun 2011)
Captain Sebastiaan tells us that they left Kiel on Sunday evening, right after the concluding fireworks. Marstal on Ærø was reached in the early hours of Monday. Here they left after lunch. The ship is now (19:00 GMT) near the bridge over the Storebælt, a beautiful evening and a NE 3 Bft. Next destination is Halmstad  in Sweden, where they expect to arrive tomorrow evening. After that a visit to Skärhamn is on the agenda; from 1954 till 1987 the ‘Oosterschelde’ had two owners there. We hope to see some of the ship’s old friends. ETA Skärhamn is Wednesday evening.

22 Jun 2011 15:15 GMT
54°27.68’N, 010°15.09’E. Compass 173. Knots 6,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Captain Bernt:
"It has been a year since I sailed the ‘Oosterschelde’, during the 2010 Kieler Regatta Week. Lovely to be on board again. 50 to 60 big sailing ships, mainly Dutch, go out each day to see the races out at sea. Each morning some 100 guests arrive. Before the last mooring line comes off, our first sail has been set. Within a mile we sail with all up and every day we are first out of the harbour. The weather is not as nice as last year’s, but there is a nice wind to sail in. The ‘Oosterschelde’ is great to sail, especially with this awesome crew."

18 Jun 2011 14:15 GMT
54°24.19’N, 010°12.13’E. Compass 196. Knots 6,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The passage through the Kiel Canal went smoothly. We exited the Brunsbüttel locks at the entrance at 15:00 and moored in Rendsburg at 20:00, where we celebrated two birthdays: Eddie’s and Leen’s.
The next morning we did the last part of the canal and enjoyed a nice day of sailing on the Baltic side. Mooring in Kiel was around 16:30. Our guests left.
In the meantime we have been making our first daytrip today. Beautiful weather, intermittent sun and some torrential rain.

16 Jun 2011 10:00 GMT
53°59.30’N, 008°13.80’E. Compass 088. Knots 8,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We passed all the Dutch and the German wadden islands one by one. Lovely weather, clear sky. Durting the day the islands are visible, during the night there are all those lights of light houses, ships and gas rigs. We had time to visit Helgoland, a German rock in the entrance of the German Bight. Taxfree shopping and nice walks.
We now are entering the river Elbe and expect to reach Brunsbüttel at the locks at the entrance of the Kiel Canal around 15:00.

15 Jun 2011 03:50 GMT
54°05.30’N, 007°51.33’E. Compass 027. Knots 5,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are nearing the island of Helgoland. We will stay here today. Tomorrow we will leave for Brunsbüttel, at the entrance of the Kiel Canal.

13 Jun 2011 21:15 GMT
After the last daytrip we quickly left Scheveningen, we wanted to take profit of the still SW-ly wind. Our new guests were eager to help along with setting of sails. Now the wind has decreased and veered to N, so we had to start the engine for an extra push.

From the shipping company (13 Jun 2011)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ spent the weekend of Whitsunday in Scheveningen, a.o. sailing two daytrips at sea with individual passengers.
Tonight she will leave Scheveningen to sail to Kiel (D).

9 Jun 2011 11:50 GMT
51°54.40’N, 004°28.73’E. Compass 160. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Our trip was much faster than we had foreseen. Winds favoured us. And the currents helped us along: rising tide brought us to Dover Strait and the turn of the tide came when we had passed. We decided to pass the extra time by making a stop in Rotterdam, our homeport, before proceeding to our next destination Scheveningen.

From the shipping company (7 Jun 2011)
Peter Doorenweerd had rented a house in the Golfe du Morbihan and saw the ‘Oosterschelde’ pass several times every day. He was kind enough to make some pictures and sent them to us. Click on the photos to enlarge.

6 Jun 2011 16:04 GMT
48°43.72’N, 004°36.63’W. Compass 055. Knots 8,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The festival ‘La Semaine du Golfe de Morbihan 2011’ was totally great again. Five days of clear, sunny sky, nice french people, lovely food, beautifull boats and really fast sailing. Once again it became clear that the ‘Oosterschelde’ was made for sailing. Actually it were only modern yachts, and then mainly multi-hulls, that could keep up with us. And if the french like anything, it is overtaking other big ships. And by the way, the crew loves that as well… The crew thanks Renske and Jelle for their few ‘holidays’ and help on deck. Further more, we found out that even the cook starts to get the hang of sailing; he was pulling on lines and could manage the foredeck when tacking or jibbing like an AB. Now we have to find a way to get him back into the galley… Also the sloop has showed her beauty again and she enjoyed all the attention and jealous looks when she was effortlessly sailing agains the current. It always is a beautifull sight to see her under sail.
But on Sunday afternoon, after a reception for all organisers and crew of the festival, it was really over and we set sail for Scheveningen. Now nicely sailing, with the sun high in the sky. We are all regaining our energy, doing maintenance and getting ready for Flags Day in Scheveningen.

From the shipping company (5 Jun 2011)
Last week we spent in the Golfe du Morbihan.  This bay is situated on the coast of Brittany, in France. Narrow waters, lots of little boats and a strong current make challenging waters to navigate in with a big ship.The organisation of ‘la semaine du Golfe’ invited ‘Oosterschelde’ as Flagship for this years event. Today is the last day and if the weather stays good, Sebastiaan will probably decide to start the return trip to the Netherlands tonight.

29 May 2011 07:24 GMT
47°36.27’N, 002°51.25’W. Compass 123. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
In the end we went ’round Ouessant without any difficulty and we kept on going full speed.
The wind stays in our favour and the few showers we see pass us by. After rounding Pointe de Penmarc’h we take down the mizzen and put the fore course up and like that we go into the last leg. To amuse the guests and keep us sharp we do a fire drill just after dinner. At sunrise we see Belle-Île and we know our trip is almost at an end. Even getting into the Golfe du Morbihan goes without any trouble and around noon we are tied up to the mooring reserved for us. This means we have all afternoon to explore the beautiful island Île aux Moines and enjoy the marvelous weather on a terras. After a journey with lots of wind, mostly headwinds, the guests relax a bit and the crew, especially the cook, is busy to prepare a magnificent last dinner. With the morning comes the end and we say goodbye to the guests. It has been an impressive journey with a beautiful end.

27 May 2011 08:48 GMT
48°55.11’N, 004°33.31’W. Compass 234. Knots 6,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
At the 20:30 low tide we left Alderney. After 3 tacks the wind creeps to the Westnorthwest and we plough to against the westerly swell with one reef and the stormjib on the outerjibstay. Now we are sailing fully rigged full and by. Thirty miles to go to Ouessant.

26 May 2011 10:41 GMT
49°43.66’N, 002°11.61’W. Compass 355. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a sunny day we anchored in the harbour of Alderney last night. The local pubs were visited and the party continued on board  In the night the West 8 Bft came by and now it is still West 7 Bft. The prognosis is good though: Northwest 5-6 Bft tonight. So today we are exploring the island and from the ship we can see the waves crashing over the harbour wall, a magnificent sight.

24 May 2011 08:26 GMT
51°19.71’N, 001°25.43’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
This morning at 03:00 local time the ‘Oosterschelde’, in rising tide, entered the harbour of Ramsgate.
Everyone enjoyed eggs and bacon and had a strawl through town. When the water rises again at 13:30, we will sail out; at the moment there is just 2,5 meters of water in the entrance.
The past 36 hours we have spend tacking on the North Sea and the waiting is now for the predicted NW-ly to sail along the magnificent white clifs of Dover.

23 May 2011 07:54 GMT
51°49.62’N, 002°26.66’E. Compass 223. Knots 3,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday the ‘Oosterschelde’ left Rotterdam for Morbihan in Brittany. With reefed sails we flushed out of the Maas entrance. Close hold we made our way to the Northwest. We kept course until we were free of anchor areas, shipping roundabouts and windmill parks.
On this moment we are making Southwest against a southwesterly. It’s not easy; we are doing 3,7 knots and it is 40 nautical miles to go to Dover.

15 May 2011 20:00 GMT
51°54.40’N, 004°28.73’E. Compass 165. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Last night (Saturday) we arrived in Maassluis. We spent the night there. This morning at 10:00 we arrived back home, in the Veerhaven harbour in Rotterdam. The passenger disembarked here.

14 May 2011 09:00 GMT
51°31.50’N, 002°26.40’E. Compass 046. Knots 7,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
In the English Channel the wind dropped away for a while. Sometimes we sailed and some bits we motored. On our telephones the messages ‘welcome to France’ and ‘welcome to England’ alternated.
We sailed through the Dover Strait at night. Bright lights on either side of us. When we came out of the narrow bit, we were sailing with a nice force 3 Bft westerly wind. Suddenly the wind changed to Northwest 5 Bft. So, a great last day of sailing ahead of us.

12 May 2011 08:23 GMT
49°57.79’N, 004°19.55’W. Compass 076.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
South of Plymouth, in a NW 4 Bft.
Helen Patricks, of Liverpool, recalls:
"May 11th, 8pm what a fantastic sight. Just after our evening meal, Frianko shouted: "Dolphins". We all rushed up on deck to see a pod of dolphins enjoying the spray of the ship no more than 10 feet away. We all watched a while then rushed to get our cameras but the game was over and the dolphins had swam on.
This is my first voyage on the beautiful ‘Oosterschelde’, indeed my first journey of any kind on a tall ship. I have had 24 hrs of seasickness just after leaving Liverpool but have not got my ‘sealegs’ and today I polished the compass house brassed.
Am enjoying the ship life and the watch today was quiet we have sailed to see the coast of Cornwall come into view. Nothing will improve on the dolphins though."

12 May 2011 06:45 GMT
49°52.90’N, 004°42.00’W. Compass 070. Knots 6,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
In last two days we have been tacking across the Irish Sea. One tack going in the right direction, one tack almost going back to where we came from. At one point during the night we crossed a ship going in the opposite direction. On the AIS (Automatic Identification System) we learned that the ship was also heading for Rotterdam, reaching it in two days time. It did puzzle Patricia (one of the guest crew) a bit that we were going the other way, while still having the same goal. That is why motorships won over sailing ships, in the economical race for cargo in the last century. But we look better and have more fun. 
With the wind between force 5 and 7 Bft, the sea has been quite bumpy the last couple of days. Last evening the wind decreased to force 4 Bft. Either our guests have gotten used to the movement of the ship or maybe because the sea has gotten smoother, but last night’s dinner has been eaten till the last crumb. Smiling faces all around. As extra dessert we had a group of dolphins jumping and playing around the ship.
Now we have entered the English Channel with the wind in our back. With the fore course up, we are making good speed.

10 May 2011 05:40 GMT
53°05.20’N, 005°10.10’W. Compass 248. Knots 4,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The Liverpool Festival has been fun. Actually it is always fun to be in a harbour with a lot of ships. You get the chance to meet the crew of other ships. The festival even attracted a few new guests that will sail with us to Rotterdam. 
After 10 days of festival, people walking around the ship all day and watching every move you make, it is nice to set out to sea again. On Sunday evening our guests came aboard. Wouter had prepared a nice indonesian curry. That night, Monday 9th of May at 3 am we set sail. We left that early to catch the outgoing tide on the Mersey river. The predictions were pretty rough, but when we reached the Irish Sea the day started beautifully. With the sun in our back and a wind force 4 to 5 Bft from the southeast we had a great sail. 
Later that day the wind veered and got stronger. The sea is building up and our guests’ appetite is going down. Some don’t appear at dinner. 
After dinner, with the wind at force 7 Bft we shortened our sails. Motorsailing through the night to make our way south, tacking across the Irish Sea. With the tide against us, we are not making a lot of speed. Luckily the tide always changes. At the moment we have got the tide with us and we are making way south again.
There is a area of low pressure just west of Ireland, which is controling our weather. The system is slowly moving north. This afternoon the wind will get less and veer to the West. Good for us.

9 May 2011 08:01 GMT
53°34.28’N, 004°13.06’W. Compass 272. Knots 7,8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We said goodbye to all our new friends and early in the morning, at five to 3, we left the Albert dock in Liverpool. A gentle breeze was blowing from the southeast and immediately after hoisting the sails we made 7 to 8 knots. Wonderful! We expect the wind to back to south and increase, but for the moment it is perfect sailing.

From the shipping company (30 Apr 2011)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in Liverpool last Thursday and moored in the Royal Albert Dock, just in front of the Maritime Museum. The ship will stay here until May 8th and will be open to the public every day except during some receptions that are held on board. That gives us the time to repair our main engine. We noticed some seawater coming into the coolingsystem, which was caused by a leak in the heat-exchanger. We’ll have a spare one sent to Liverpool and we will replace the old one.

25 Apr 2011 07:57 GMT
51°19.87’N, 005°51.33’W. Compass 002. Knots 5,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Underneath the wonderful morning sun we are gliding into a new day. Yesterday we sailed beautifully around Lands’ End. And everyone got the opportunity to make pictures of the ‘Oosterschelde’ sailing 6 knots under full sail below the coast of Cornwall from the dinghy. However the wind is coming from the north and since the traffic separation scheme at the Scilly Island we have been using the motor. The wind is 2-3 Bft, not enough for nice motor sailing.
Our stomachs are filled with the delightful meal made by our chef during the holiday. And this morning seemed like another Easter breakfast!

We are waiting for the wind to shift or increase; our hands are itching to put up the sails.

24 Apr 2011 07:14 GMT
50°05.79’N, 004°10.09’W. Compass 247. Knots 7,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
This Easter morning we set sail from the anchorage in Salcombe Harbour, accompanied by delightful weather. Now we are sailing with a beamer, in westerly direction. What a joyful morning.

22 Apr 2011 02:45 GMT
51°35.00’N, 002°59.00’E. Compass 053. Knots 6,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday afternoon at 12:45 hours the ‘Old Lady’ left the Veerhaven again, for the voyage to Liverpool. A place she hasn’t visited since she was young. Gently, in a light breeze and doing 6 knots, we are sliding west-south-west towards the Strait of Dover. What a night.

From the shipping company (23 Mar 2011)
Now spring is finally here we are preparing the ship for the new season. One of the bigger jobs is maintenance on the main engine of the ‘Oosterschelde’. Also on the ‘Helena’ we are kept busy. Sep and Clicia are back onboard and are now checking everything to see if there are things that are not yet in tip top shape.

From the shipping company (24 Feb 2011)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ is now back on her spot in Rotterdam. Yesterday afternoon the ship was welcomed back by a group of family, friends and colleagues. As soon as the ‘Oosterschelde’ was properly moored everyone came onboard to welcome the crew and guest-crew back home. The coming period will be used for maintenance to prepare the ship for the season.

22 Feb 2011 20:29 GMT
51°15.50’N, 002°12.84’E. Compass 053. Knots 6,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
While sailing into the English Channelwe still had a good wind to sail. We had actually thought to stop in Bretagne or the Channel Islands, but the wind brought us to the English coast. We anchored at Lulworth Cove (partly chosen because of the name) to await the tide. With the dinghy we briefly went ashore to stretch our legs.
At the start of the upcoming tide we weighed anchor and continued our journey towards Rotterdam. Because of our meticulous planning we had the tide with us twice at Calais-Dover.
We just celebrated my delayed birthday, with an elaborate dinner and a fantastic cake.
The voyage is going so well that we expect to arrive half a day early. Probably around 12:00 on Wednesday the 23st we can tie up the ship in the Veerhaven.

From the shipping company (21 Feb 2011)
We just received word that the ‘Oosterschelde’ anchored at Lulworth Cove, on the south coast of England. This means the ship is slightly ahead of schedule and is expected to arrive at the Veerhaven on Wednesday morning, 23 February.

20 Feb 2011 02:58 GMT
48°13.61’N, 007°53.20’W. Compass 055. Knots 11,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The past couple of days everything has calmed down. After two days of being sharp-edged, everyone could use a bit of rest and sleep. In the meantime everything has been cleaned, the beds have been made and the laundry has been done. Koen, Jana, Jacob and Thijs have replaced the torn topsail by a spare topsail that was kept onboard. That is good, because the hole between the topgallant and square foresail looked like dentures missing a tooth.Yet another depression has crossed over, as a school
example for the course of the warm and cold front. First the high clouds that keep come lower, drizzle and then harder downpours. Finally it clears up with a beautiful clear sky. Wonderful weather for sailing. We have amazed ourselves on how fast the enormous swell of the past couple of days cleared away. We are now sailing fully rigged with 5 Bft through a clear night with a full moon. Probably the last good night of sailing until we reach Rotterdam. The GPS just indicated 12 knots (22 km/h). The traffic is starting to get busier. Every now and then a ship comes closer by to look at
us. Less then 100 miles to go to the entrance of the traffic separation scheme off Ushant.

17 Feb 2011 05:50 GMT
43°16’N, 015°08’W. Compass 045. Knots 6.8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
A birthday to never forget. We got our butts kicked. The build of the ship is such that the less important parts break earlier than the more important parts. The stern is the strongest. The masts are stronger than the booms and yards, the yards are stonger than the sails, the sails stronger than the lines. This principle was tested in the past storm. Around 11:00 on my birthday we removed the double reefed mainsail and tightened everything. We left up the topsail and storm foresail. With the topsail you can sail up to windforce 10, the storm foresail will hold up even to windforce 12. Windforce 10 is already quite a beating, not something you wish for your birthday! But, the windforce 10 presents itself around lunch time. We politely ask the guest crew to not come on deck. We are going to run (sail) along with the wind. The wind increases as the day goes on. Around 18:00 I see the first wave of windforce 12, easily recognizable because the sea surface changes into a white mass. The topsail sheet did what it had to, it broke. That corner of the sail we then tied to the yard, creating a triangle. A method that was used in the early days as a sort of reef method. The life on board continues as it always does. For my birthday meal I asked for a Indian rice table. Wouter simplified it to rice with a lamb stew. Something I will not hold against him. He does still owe me a birthday cake! Around 3:00 there is a moment of calm. A nice windforce 7, but we expect that this is just an intermezzo. Luckily we see at that moment that there is a tear in the topsail. Your guess is probably right, there have been gusts over windforce 12, a force that even the topsail is not prepared for. In this moment of peace we have just enough time to bunt up and furl the sail. Then part 2 of the storm breaks. The storm foresail also does what it does, helping us through the storm with sometimes 10.5 knots. Around 16:00 on 16 Feruary the wind is slowly winding down. It feels like it is practically wind still but when you read the wind meter, it is still windforce 7. A storm like this show you the relativity of it all. The pants that you found wet yesterday because the legs were a little damp, now feel pleasantly dry. The guest crew, who found it difficult to sleep with windforce 7 only yesterday, are now sound asleep. Around 14:00 this afternoon we will resume the assignment game. Only 540 miles until the entrance of the Canal.

15 Feb 2011 11:30 GMT
42°30.8’N, 020°56.9’W. Compass 059. Knots 6.9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
You can study the weather charts all you want but the if the predictions change from day to day, then you still pick up a nice wind.
Since our departure from Terceira we have had strong winds. An average of 7. Once in a while some sun and then heavy rain. At night the star-filled sky shows its best side at one moment, while an hour later it is pouring rain and the bowsprit can no longer be seen.
Today it happens to be my birthday. What did I get for my birthday? Wind force 9 with a clear blue sky. A piece of the larger depression came loose and is coming down towards us to show us whta the North Atlantic Ocean can do in the winter. The evening after departure this was already predicted. In earlier predictions it looked even worse for us. We have looked at alternative options, like goign back towards the Azores. Slowly the signs improved and we could move on.
We completely prepped the ship. Everything is fastened (extra) tight what needs to be tightened and everything is closed what needs to be closed. We just took down the double reefed mainsail in one tight move. Now we are sailing with the topsail and foresail with the wind in our back nicely towards Rotterdam. We glide beautifully through the high waves. I just tried to film this, but this should really be done from a helicopter! Who wants to stop by for a shoot?
The assignment game is put off until better weather, which should be in a day or two. The guest crew is havind some difficulty sleeping while rolling back and forth in their beds, but the mood is excellent. Nico is reading. Peet stays around the steerhous to light our cigarettes. Dre is braving the deck to shoot lines for us. Lodewijk is sound asleep ready to get to work later on.

13 Feb 2011 17:43 GMT
39°37.10’N, 026°10.70’W. Compass 025. Knots 7.2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The journey to Terceira went very well. With a nice strong wind in our backs we completed the journey very fast. Sometimes we reached 10.5 knots (about 20 km/hr). Maybe we did it a little too fast.. When we arrived in the harbour at 6:30, instead of the expected 12:00, there was no harbour authorities present. It took until 09:30 before we finally had permission to sail into the bay and drop our anchor.
Everyone could stretch their leg on the quay. Charming little cafe’s on the harbour, some of which we aso visisted later in the evening. On the internet we looked at the latest weather charts and a decision was made. We leave early tomorrow morning. Then we can sail along the bottom side of the depression that lies North of us.
We have now lifted the anchor and have turned our bow towards Rotterdam. The sails are ready to start ticking away the miles with a nice wind in our backs. 1111 Miles to go until the Channel.
Among the crew an assignment game has been set up. Everyone made 5 cards with assignments. These were shaken and passed out. At any moment we can receive a card with an assignment. So far, Koen has gotten a jar of red beets instead of dinner. Jip has stowed the anchor chain. Jacob did two anchor duties. And I get to do the dishes by myself. Guest crew Peet is the impartial referee who keeps an eye out if the assignments are reasonable and if they are done correctly. This will keep us quite busy until we reach Rotterdam.

11 Feb 2011 09:45 GMT
37°08.90’N, 025°09.00’W. Compass 022. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Those last 100 miles to the Azores… Delightful sailing with a small wind in our back. In the early morning we could see the lights and shapes of Sao Miguel. The square foresail ensures our manoeuvrability. A little shower approached slowly, and then quickly. All sails, except the main sail, were removed. With only 10 miles to go, the rain came down on us. We suddenly could no longer see the island. We waited out the rain and tried to establish contact with the island for a place
to berth. Right before we were about to enter the harbour, the word was out. For only 2000 euro we could stay in the harbour. Obviously we were extremely surprised and taken back as we expected a fee between 50 and 300 euro.
A sure sign in any case, we are going to a different island! We decide on Santa Maria. A small island where they are happy to have us. On the way we encountered another shower that shoved us onwards at 10 knots. At a quarter past nine we dropped anchor. We have arrived in the Azores. On Santa Maria we had time to look around for a bit. A lovley sun and a pretty little village; Portuguese style. It is really too bad we have to leave tonight.
A south-western wind is coming which will change our, reasonably protected, place into a lee shore with a huge swell. We go around the corner of the island, in the northeast, where there is a nice sheltered bay. The next morning the bay turns out to be a beauty with sharp cliffs, little waterfalls and a green vineyard. We are perfectly protected from the south-western and
north-western winds and swells. Unfortunately, there is no way to go ashore.
The last few days we have been busy with planning the rest of our voyage. We kept a close watch on the weather charts. For those who are interested in the weather: a phenomenal depression is developing southeast of Greenland. The expectation is a low-point of 935 mbar, with winds of 80 knots (for your information, anything above 65 knots is called hurricane-force). It is travelling towards Scotland and Norway. We suggest you also close your windows in The Netherland when this comes by. We truly hope nobody is at sea over there!
Luckily we do not have to deal much with the depression. We are keeping our eye on another depression, with also a powerful wind. We possibly could try to pass right before it, but betting on sea is never a good idea. We simply postpone our trip towards Rotterdam for a little bit. We are in no hurry so we politely let the depression pass us by.
Early this morning we went anchor up and are travelling with perfect weather and dolphins towards an island located towards the north, Terceira. There we will also find a sheltered bay where we can go on land.

7 Feb 2011 18:00 GMT
36°07.30’N, 026°25.70’W. Compass 022. Knots 6,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After we turned the motor off on Friday, we had two wonderful days of sailing. On Sunday the wind completely dropped and the weather became chaotic. A few big downpours have cleansed the ship and
tested our sailing gear. The wind has been in all the corners of the compass. Turning from southwest to northeast, back to west and to northeast and east again. At night the sky cleared at some moments to give us a view of the stars, but we haven’t seen the Southern Cross again since the first night after our departure. In the meantime there are many chores to do onboard. Someone has polished up the compass to make it shine. The white on deck is white again and the black is black again. The blocks have been varnished and flags have been repaired. Shipshape and Bristol fashion, ready for the stop on the Azores. We have chosen São Miguel, Ponta Delgada. The coming night predicts a good stretch
of sailing with a southwest wind of 5 Bft in our backs. 100 miles to go to the Azores.

5 Feb 2011 04:38 GMT
29°36.60’N, 026°37.60’W. Compass 349. Knots 6,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After three days of motorsailing with a northeastern wind of 5-7 Bft, it was a pleasure to be able
to turn of the motor this morning. The wind has turned east and has slightly decreased. With all the sails up we are riding the swell with 8 to 9 knots. With some delightful sunlight and a blue sky it is pure enjoyment. Wouter, the chef, had not been looking to well the past couple of days, but he was walking around with a big grin on his face today. In the afternoon the door of the galley was closed and through the hatch we could hear the loud sounds of music. Then you know that good food is coming. And indeed, a wonderful meal off carpaccio, pasta carbonera an chocolate mouse with white chocolate and a caramel sauce. At the moment we are sliding through the night with a clear sky above us. We are sailing on the stars, with the Polar star at starboard. One of the guest-crewmembers has now learned that steering goes best when you hardly touch the steering wheel. We now have less than 500 miles to go till we reach the Azores.

4 Feb 2011 10:22 GMT
27°29.13’N, 025°54.58’W. Compass 350. Knots 6,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
One of the guest-crewmembers
‘The four guests onboard all got the question from friends and family on what possessed them making a milemaker onboard of the ‘Oosterschelde’. That question has also been going through my mind the last couple of days. What was again the fun of being thrown around on a stamping ship that has to compare to the restless waves and the constant changing wind, for seven days in a row? Until after three or four days the restless rhythm of the ocean becomes part of your own biorhythm. You no
longer experience the movements of the ship as inconvenient but as a ‘pas de deux’ with the waves, where the ‘Oosterschelde’ and the waves frequently step on each other’s toes. When the dynamics of the ship and the elements are part of your own system, you start to experience the peacefulness of the apparent restlessness. That seems contradictive, but it is exactly that combination of dynamics and peace that makes sailing so attractive. With a bunch of enthusiastic young crewmembers around you, that patiently answer all the obstinate questions of the retired adventurers (except for one, sorry Peet) and pretend that our contribution is indeed as valuable, even the most rooted landlubber has to get the idea that an ocean crossing is not as crazy as it appears. Right?’

3 Feb 2011 17:58 GMT
25°27.66’N, 025°27.66’W. Compass 346. Knots 7,8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The time and miles fly by. The last couple of days we have made good progress sailing. The wind variates between 5 Bft and 7 Bft and north-north-east and east-north-east. Every now and then there is a rain shower. The Sahara sand and dust that we collected all over the ship on the Cape Verde has been rinsed off. We pound against the waves, so walking on deck between the lower deck and the entrance of the hold can be quite tricky. Will you or will you not keep it dry. Dare I go without my
gear, or not. The swell has increased to waves up to 5 meters and our speed sometimes reaches 9 knots. Yesterday we reached the point that it was just 1000 miles to go to the Azores. At this moment we have reached the same degree of longitude and latitude. The masthead light is red, the masthead light is green, out at sea there is always something to do. The atmosphere is good.

1 Feb 2011 18:20 GMT
20°03.40’N, 022°50.60’W. Compass 335. Knots 8,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On the 30th everyone was onboard at 18:00 hours, ready for departure to the Azores. We immediately left for Palmeira, at the most northern point of the island. Here we could arrange customs clearance the next morning. At 11:00 hours the formalities were arranged and the final errands were made. We were ready to leave. A beautiful blue sky and sunshine to warm up the chilled Dutchmen. There is still little wind, but the last forecast promises good wind.
The last day of January did not bring the wind, but it provided us a beautiful night filled with stars. At 04:00 hours at night we could see the Southern Cross for the last time. As the sun rose at approximately 06:30 hours on February 1st, the wind was also ready. We set the first sails and motorsail with 8 knots in right direction. In the meantime the wind has increased to 5 Bft. The sea is starting to build, with a swell of 4 meters. The first reef has been set. Every now and then a downpour followed by the sun to dry up. Just now there was a group of dolphins that joined us. Life is good out at sea.

29 Jan 2011 12:11 GMT
16°35.58’N, 022°54.25’W. Compass 359. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday the entire day was spend on Santa Maria. In comparison to the other islands Sal is
a very touristic island. The mostly Senegalese street vendors are pushy and try to get you to buy an African mask or other souvenirs. Some of them are very nice, but it has nothing to do with the Cape Verde. But, as they say here, “Cabo Stress” (don’t worry); if you keep walking they will leave you alone. It also has its benefits. There are many restaurants, terraces and ice-cream shops. With the beautiful coloured ocean on the background you don’t want to get up. Today the voyage ended. This morning at 10:00 hours we said our goodbyes. Some will fly home this afternoon, others this night and a lucky few will spend a few extra nights on Sal. There will also be a crew change and for the ‘Oosterschelde’ it is the end of the season here. In a few days, the voyage back to Rotterdam will

From the shipping company (28 Jan 2011)
Although the weather is always good here, we have had much luck during this voyage. We were able to make the crossing from São Nicolau to Boa Vista with the same wind as the previous crossing. Furthermore, the wind was northerly so we could reach our destination fast. With the NNO-breeze of 3 to 4 Bft all the sail could be set. Even the gaff topsails that actually perform well in this close-hauled course. It is, probably due to the light breeze, still very clear. With a stronger wind the desert sand blown here from the Sahara usually reduces the sight. But this night we were able to watch the stars. Sometimes at some unknown constellation, but also the Southern Cross can be seen. At 06:00 hours we dropped anchor at Sal Rei, on Boa Vista. During the day we made a tip to the big sand dunes and swam from one of the great beaches. At 22:00 hours we left for the final crossing. On the crossing from Boa Vista to Sal we always had to sail on the motor. The wind was almost completely in the opposite direction. Luckily the wind was still light, so we could drop anchor at Santa Maria. Lying in the warm turquoise water with a view on a white beach, that is not at all a punishment…

24 Jan 2011 22:41 GMT
16°34.09’N, 024°22.03’W. Compass 052. Knots 2,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
It is very quiet on board. The wind is almost completely gone from where we are, anchored right behind the island. There are also no waves, just a very slight, long swell. Last night we had a beautiful star-filled night. Without light from the background and with a clear sky there were more stars than ever. That the view was excellent could already be predicted during the day: we could see the island Fogo, that lies 150 km to the south, clearly visible on the horizon.
Everyone enjoyed the excursion on São Nicolau yesterday. Magnificent worn out sand-stone formations, a visit to the national park Mont Gordo (the high mountain on the island), a ‘dive’ in a natural swimming pool on the rugged north coast of the island and after a visit to a very idyllic located grogue distillery we finished the day wih a bbq on deck. The self-caught fish tasted just fine! After breakfast we will lift the anchor for the 90 mile track to Boa Vista.

24 Jan 2011 20:26 GMT
16°35.19’N, 024°30.56’W. Compass 099. Knots 4,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The sun has set and the moon is not yet risen, so in the pitch-dark we are sailing the final miles to São Nicolau. It was a beautiful day of sailing. With a soft wind of 3 Bft we could set all the sails and there were hardly any waves. Below the uninhabited island Santa Luzia we launched the dinghy and
sailed around the ‘Oosterschelde’ with all the guests. Even when you see the ship under full sail for the hundredth time, it remains a spectacular sight. Yesterday we made a walk on Santo Antão. Usually this is the highlight of the voyage. However this time we made the three-hour walk down from the top of the volcano in the pouring rain. It was mysterious and beautiful; we but had to miss the spectacular view over the valley. We are hoping for better weather for tomorrow, on São Nicolau.

21 Jan 2011 19:25 GMT
16°05.99’N, 024°31.49’W. Compass 325. Knots 7,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday morning at 04:30 hours we anchored in a beautiful bay at Tarrafal, on Santiago. With a visit to the oldest tree on the Cape Verde (a really enormous baobab of a few centuries old), a visit to the oldest town (Cidade Velha) and a delightful lunch under the palm trees on the beach it was a day well spent. This morning we left at 09:00 hours. Manoeuvring with the sails and without using the motor, we left the bay and in the meantime we have been sailing on a beautiful ocean the entire day. The wind is still not to strong, 4 Bft, so we are sailing fully rigged. The destination is Mindelo, where we hope to arrive tomorrow morning.

19 Jan 2011 13:57 GMT
16°27.33’N, 023°07.78’W. Compass 214. Knots 5,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Gerben Nab:
"After a long flight, or rather two flights with a long stopover, I arrived on Sal at night. It had been two years since I was on the Cape Verde, but as soon as I got of the plane the fun memories came popping up. And although I was tired and the line for customs was long, I immediately was in a good mood. I arrived in Palmeira in the middle of the night and found the ‘Oosterschelde’,
swinging on the swell behind the anchors.
Today started of wonderfully. The strong wind has decreased
a bit and the desert dust that limited the view yesterday has cleared up. With wind on the quarter we are now underway, sailing on a beautiful blue ocean."

15 Jan 2011 03:37 GMT
16°25.89’N, 022°56.36’W. Compass 12. Knots 4,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Sailor Ewout:
"After our visit to Santiago we left for the longest crossing of this
voyage at 09:00 hours. It was 130 miles to Mindelo on São Vicente, about
24 hours of sailing. With 6 Bft coming
from the northeast, it was a bit difficult to maintain the right course.
As Maarten and the watch took over at 14:00 hours, the question rose if
we should motor or not. After we adjusted all the sails, we agreed that
we were staying on course enough. In the shade of the island underway
the swell decreased and it became easier to keep course. It appeared we
would be able to sail the
entire route. As the watch was assigned to the next group, we were even
above course line. When they woke us up at 02:00 hours, the wind had
increased to 7 Bft. The log reported a speed of almost 10 knots (9,8)!
Mindelo is on the Westside of São Vicente. To get there we had sail
between the islands São Vicente and Santo Antão, in northeast direction.
And the wind just happened to come from
that direction. Before the bend to the right we took the sails down,
with the help of the guests. Then we had to motor against the wind, with
a mere speed of 2 knots. In the narrow between the two islands the wind
even speeded up to 8 Bft, the Venturi effect. The swell returned and we
were slowed down to half a knot. We had only a few miles to go, but it
would still take some time. The guests that had stayed up to watch the
arrival, decided to get some sleep after all.
As the sun rose over the mountains, we were happy that we could drop the
anchor. We had some breakfast and went of to bed.
During the day, the guests visited the island. For the ship we had an
appointment to bunker diesel. At the pier we lied before an English
super-yacht of over 40 meters, with a single mast that stuck out far
beyond ours. After bunkering we returned to our anchor
The next day the trip to Santo Antão, known as the most beautiful island
of the Cape Verde, was planned. In the morning, on the ferry, we met
Joke, a Dutch lady who was immediately integrated in the group. At the
return to the ship a barbecue on deck was organised. Everyone could rest
his or her feet after the long walk on Santo Antão. Besides us the
Swedish threemaster Alva had anchored, all those on board enviously
looking at our barbecue. After dinner everyone went ashore for a visit
to Club Nautico, a local bar where frequently live-music is played
(unfortunately not that night).
The sun woke us for a beautiful day of sailing to Sao Nicolau. Underway
we passed some uninhabited islands. At the beginning of the evening we
dropped anchor. The next day there was an excursion on the island with
Henny, a local Dutchman. Some of the guests also enjoyed a dinner with
him that evening. Onboard the remaining guests and crew got to enjoy
chef Wouters’ rice table. At the moment we are sailing towards Santa
Maria, the final destination of this beautiful voyage."

8 Jan 2011 02:49 GMT
15°27.69’N, 023°45.23’W. Compass 196. Knots 5,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Sailor Thijs:
‘After the arrival on Sal, the final destination, we got to enjoy the
meals of Jan, who has let us enjoy his meals since the departure from
Rotterdam, for the last time. He finished his time onboard in style: an
Indonesian rice table decorated the table on deck. Together with the
last remaining guests he left the ship to enjoy a few days on the Cape
Verde. For the crew it means back to
business as usual. After cleaning the ship, we visited a local Italian,
where we had been before and were greeting most affectionately. A
wonderful evening filled with antipasti, sausage, lasagne, pasta and
fish. We were gathering strength for the upcoming voyage, a very busy
Now, in the bay of Tarrafal on Santiago, we are looking back on a good
start. Last night we sailed here from Maio, an island east of Santiago. A
flat island with a new pier that is a big contrast with the entire
shore. After climbing rusty stair stars and a concrete pier, we arrived
on a wonderful beach and a beautiful village. It was bare, but the water
was sky blue, the village sloping and pleasant. Unfortunately we could
not stay too long, because this extra visit made the schedule for the
voyage stricter. Later on the guests will return from a visit to the
capital Praia. Wouter, the chef, will hopefully welcome
them with a barbecue if the wind does not pick up. With a new chef and a
new voyage we are underway again. Cabo Stress.’

From the shipping company (2 Jan 2011)
Captain Martin:

"We celebrated the New Year in Tarrafal, São Nicolau. We made a
well-meant attempt to stay alongside in the tiny harbour for the
evening. This was rather unsuccessful since the invisible yet very real
swell that came rolling in quickly resulted in two broken mooring lines,
a broken fender and a
paint job on the hull created by the friction of the big tire fender on
the quay. At least our guests could come onboard easily after their
excursion on the island but we quickly went back at anchor, nice and
quietly, and pretended we never left in the first place! At twelve
o’clock sharp our mate Maarten, dressed in his best party outfit (as a
banana!), fired the ships’ canon and the
enormous bang created a big rumble throughout the valley ashore. The
champagne was opened and we had a nice party with music and dancing on
deck. At nighttime in the clear water at Tarrafal, our deck light
attracts little sea creatures around the ship that on their turn attract
bigger fish. We had our own saltwater aquarium experience with lots of
flying fish swimming and sometimes flying around the ship. As dark
shadows some small sharks were swimming below them at great speed and
would once in a while attack and come to the surface. A few elongated
bright red octopuses came swimming by elegantly – the sharks made a few
rounds around them but did not attack. Maybe a bright red swimming trunk
is a good idea to keep the sharks from nibbling at us when swimming? It
to work for the octopus at least. With a bit of a late start we set
sails from Tarrafal towards Sal
Rei on Boa Vista, our second last stop on this journey. The
north-eastern trade winds soon picked up and with a strong wind and full
sails set for high to the wind we were racing at high speed across the
waves. Very spectacular sailing, yet it took a toll in the shape of some
seasickness on a few of our guests. At night the wind became a little
less and we motored up wind for the last miles
to our destination. Further more on our crossing our Maarten proudly
caught another fish of around 30 cm and 300 grams, certainly nothing to
brag about. Still he claims to be ahead with one fish in the
Captain/Mate fish competition, yet there is insufficient proof according
to me, the captain! Today we are enjoying another perfectly sunny, day at
anchor at Boa Vista. Our guests are off to explore the island and on
board the daily work continues. Tonight we will set course for our final
destination: Santa Maria on Sal. It is merely 30 miles away yet against
the prevailing trade winds, so we are hoping for light winds and smooth