31 Dec News archive 2012
News archive 2012
31 December 2012
31 Dec 2012 09:53 GMT
16°25.37’N, 023°45.70’W. Compass 132. Knots 5,1.
Update by our guest Bas Appelo:
"It is Saturday 29th of December and the light coming trough the window tells me that breakfast is not to far away. Around 7:30 am (standard breakfast time) the sun starts to shine here, a very friendly wake-up call. After a few days we are getting to know each other better, some growling from my right means cheese or coffee, it depends on what is not on his plate. Captain Floris explains what the plans of the day are. It will be a quiet day of sailing and if everything goes well we will arrive just in time for dinner. Because it is a short leg the watch system is not necessary, there are enough volunteers during the day to help. The first part we go on engine.
The funny thing about this group is the fact that we have many different nationalities: English, German, Australian and Dutch. This means interesting conversations. Temperature rises and before we know it our conversation is being ended by the captain because we have to set sail. After this we decide to learn how to tie knots. And as soon we mastered the knot I learn the English name, this way we all learn something. Our captain is testing the course and sails because the winds changes a bit and this is very rare because in Cape Verde you have the constant trade wind coming from one direction. We set the topsail and when it is all set, it’s decided that is should come down because the ‘Oosterschelde’ starts to drift too much. In the next hours the wind changes and we can set the topsail again to come to the conclusion that it is better to take it down.
During the day you go from conversation to conversation. Everyone has a story to tell, some about sailing, some about completely other things, as there are also guests that have no sailing experience at all. We arrive in time for a beer before dinner. Wouter has made a traditional Dutch meal with potatoes, vegetables and meat and as a dessert ‘spekkoek’ with ice cream. After dinner it is time for Wouter to take his daily dip (if it is possible) in the ocean. This time I can’t resist the pressure and also go for a swim, and what a great idea! The water is nice and cool, enough to freshen up. After dinner it doesn’t take long before the first guests go to their bunks for a good night sleep. The ship is perfect for sleeping, it is just like a cradle rocking you to sleep. And after a beer on deck it is also time for me to go to bed."
29 Dec 2012 03:22 GMT
16°53.04’N, 024°59.75’W. Compass 280. Knots 0,0.
“Sao Vincente, Mindelo 27 December 2012. At midnight I literally roll in my bed after the watch from 20-24. We made a lot of headway with 10-11 knots speed. Around five in de morning we arrive in the harbour of Sao Vincente: Mindelo. This is the biggest harbour of Cape Verde and there are many sailing yachts here waiting for the right moment to cross the Atlantic to South America. Today it is possible to join an excursion to explore the island, enjoy the view from the highest point: Monte Verde and to swim at one of the nice beaches that the island has. I decide to explore Mindelo together with Eddy and Tonny who have been here before and with Liz. We walk to the fish market to see what the catch of the day is. The people in Mindelo are very friendly and I feel very relaxed walking down the streets. You can see that there is made an effort to renovate the houses and buildings. Public gardens are laid out and brand new playgrounds are being developed.
After coffee we visit the vegetable market, buy some souvenirs in a shop and then walk back to the harbour for a lovely lunch. Here we are picked up again by the dinghy to go back to the ship. On deck the BBQ is being made ready for dinner and Wouter has prepared a great meal again. The music is on and it was a great night. The next morning we have to get up early to catch the ferry to Santo Antão.
28 December 2012. The ferry leaves at 8 am and within an hour we arrive on Santo Antão. We arrive in the new terminal and outside there are two minibuses waiting for us to take us to the edge of the crater. Santo Antão is very green with good roads paved with small cobblestones. On our way to the edge the view gets better and better and the vegetation is becoming more lush. When we arrive we have to walk the last part up to the highest point before we start with our 3km walk down towards Ribeira Grande.
Unfortunately there are low clouds hanging in the valley so we can only see parts of the view. On our way down the weather clears up and we pass by sugar cane, banana trees, coffee and all kinds of flowers. Sometimes you have to be careful with walking, but it is also magnificent because at every turn of the road the view is different. We run in to a group of Spanish hikers, that very kindly offer their walking sticks to John and Sheila, so they have a bit more of support walking the last part down. In the village at the end of the walk we go to a small souvenir shop and buy all kinds of grogue: limao, citron and peanut! The minibuses are there to pick us up and bring us to the village on the north end of the island where we have lunch. At 3 pm we have to return quickly to catch the ferry back to Sao Vincente. When we are back on board our local crewmember Bana has prepared the meal of today: different kinds of fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes, salad and fries. A fantastic closure to a fantastic day. Tomorrow we are going sailing again!"
"Merry Christmas! This was not going to be your typical Christmas day, particularly when you’ve been allocated the dogwatch hours. Liz summed it up perfectly: ‘So why are we paying to do this?’ The unexpected parcels of joy later in the day made up for the four hours of hard work.
You cannot wake up to a better view on Christmas day than the harbour of Tarrafal on the island of Santiago. As tempting as it was to go for a quick dip in the turquoise blue water, we made our way to shore to explore the island’s hidden treasures. Cape Verde’s dark past revealed itself in a tour of the political prison camp in Tarrafal.
We then travelled through the mountainous regions for spectacular views of the east/west coast of Santiago. We were taken down steep roads to see the island’s 1000-year-old tree with roots you could hide in. There was a quick lunch stop at a local restaurant for a meal of island delights, before making our way back to the gorgeous beach of Tarrafal. It was a race to the water to cool down after a long day. A select few decided to conclude the day with a swim back to the ship, with the sunset behind them.
Our very talented cook pulled out all stops to prepare a very fine five-course meal. To describe the delicious selection of goodies would be cruel and unfair to those who could not have joined us. There was a deafening applause for the cook as he stepped out of his tiny kitchen.
The festive continued with Christmas carols accompanied by the very talented Cathy on piano. The ghetto blasters were then pulled out onto deck for the young ones and those young at heart to party the night away.
Despite being away from loved ones this Christmas, it was a wonderful day spent with new friends!"
25 Dec 2012 13:22 GMT
15°17.04’N, 023°45.50’W. Compass 342. Knots 0,0.
Update by our guest Sheila:
"The excitement began as a group of multinational sailors gathered on the quay at Palmeira on the island of Sal in the Cape Verde Islands. A number of British and Dutch sailors were joined by those from the USA, Germany and Australia. Jana appeared in the rib to take us out to the ‘Oosterschelde’. Climbing up the rope ladder we were warmly welcomed by captain Floris along with other members of the crew. Once we and our luggage had been acquainted with our cabins we returned to the deck to enjoy a bowl of soup along with ham and tomato rolls and a drink. Getting to know the other passengers whilst sitting at anchor under a star studded sky was magical. We moved to the comfort of the main saloon to be instructed in the rules of the ship. Everyone was gently rocked to sleep in their berths by the roll of the ship.
On Monday we awoke to another glorious day. At 7:30 AM the bell summoned us to a typical Dutch breakfast. At the end of breakfast everyone helped to clear up, stow everything away and chain down the chairs in order to make ready for sea. We had an emergency assembly drill where we were given emergency procedures. We were also told which watch we would be in. The first leg of our journey will take us to Santiago. Once the anchor was raised, sails were hoisted ready for a downwind leg: outer jib, inner jib, staysail, schooner, mainsail, topsail and royal. The wind was from the N-NW and setting a course of 210° we were soon bowling along at 6.7 knots. Lunch at 13:30 hrs was a self service buffet; when the bell rang a lot of hungry sailors quickly made from the hatchway. As the wind freshened, the staysail was lowered and the forecourse sail was hoisted. The ship was now exceeding 7 knots. Several people took the opportunity to climb aloft much to the admiration of others. As the moon rose in the sky and the sunset thoughts turned to dinner, Wouter the chef once more did us proud: onion soup followed by spaghetti bolognese or carbonara sauce and to finish fruit salad. So we sailed into the night forward to Christmas day."
20 Dec 2012 17:40 GMT
16°29.40’N, 023°45.67’W. Compass 113. Knots 6.9.
Update written by guest Gemmeke:
"Wednesday, December 19, São Nicolau. Can you imagine this? Diving into the clear blue sea from the ship. Swim a few times around the ‘Oosterschelde’ and hear no other sounds than the water rippling around the ship. I see a small fishing boat returning from open sea. A bit later, in the harbor of Tarrafal, we witness how the catch of the day is immediately cleaned and prepared on shore. At first the fish are cleaned by two men, next a woman washes the fish is clear water and the next woman richly salts them. the brightly coloured tubs fill up, all waiting to be sold today. In a small shack piles of unknown vegetables are visible. I point towards a few dark red ones, the women start smiling and tell me the names. They are some sort of sweet potatoes, manioc, cassava and more. They also sell beautiful coloured papayas and I decide to go safe and buy a buck of bananas. They taste great and we have finished them before we enter the four wheel drive. We drive towards a beautiful coast, then up the Monto Gordo. the road up the mountain is brand new and beautiful, I never thought I would see beauty in tarmac. There is hardly any traffic. How would that be in ten years from now? The landscape turns greener after each mile. We drive almost vertically up the mountain into the national park. The scenery changes again, we now see dragon trees, eucalyptus, a papilio machaon (a swallowtail butterfly) flies by. We climb further up the caldera by foot, where women are harvesting, and where we see sparrows, lizards, more butterflies and a beautiful view over the coast, far down. Later we continue the road up and down and to Vila da Ribeira Brava. Here we find the earlier mentioned ingredients back in our catchupa, a local dish with corn and beans. Bana (the Capeverdian crew member) warned us to be careful on the pier pier, but my eyes already start to tear… After lunch we wander around, buy some cookies, look at the christmas barn on the central square and go back in the pick-up. We drive along the beautiful coastal road. Would we still…? After half an hour driving, we turn east and arrive at a white beach, looking over a lively sea and the basalt pillars in the back. We take a swim, snorkel, look for oysters and shells. What an island! We have seen so much, we could have easily filled four days. So long, São Nicolau!"
19 Dec 2012 12:00 GMT
‘Lobster’, by Wouter Roubos:
"Our Capeverdian crew member Bana has got a friend on Mindelo, who sells fresh lobster. They are caught by divers, who go out to sea by boat and ‘haunt’ for ‘lagosta’ on the rocky seabed. The lagosta are black and purple coloured, do not have scissors but have got a pointy back. I really look forward to preparing them for dinner. After visiting the local fresh market for vegetables and fruit, we continue to the fish market. Except for lagosta we also buy some ‘esmoregal’, a kind of sea bass. We quickly go back to the ship, I can’t wait to prepare our ‘catch of the day’. Bana helps me in the kitchen, so I learn some local cooking. The lagosta is cooked, cut in half, cleaned and rubbed in with garlic marinade and then grilled. The cleaned esmoregal was grilled, with some tomatoes, peppers and onions. The garlic rub contained olive oil, garlic, vinegar, coriander, pepper and salt. We finished the dish off with a dash of fish stock and a bay leaf. We bake the dish in the oven, about 25 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius. We serve the lagosta and esmoregal with potatoes, rice, fresh green salad, french fries and yoghurt-mustard sauce."
18 Dec 2012 17:50 GMT
16°36.38’N, 024°27.77’W. Compass 126. Knots 7,7.
Update written by Elvira:
"Yesterday we visited Santo Antão, the most beautiful island of the country, as stated by many of our guests. We hoped for clear weather, to have a great view from the highest point of the island. The taxi brought us to a volcano crater. After a short walk further up the hill, we had a stunning view on the other side of the hill. Breathtaking! We looked out over a green valley, with sugarcane, coffee and a small curved path down the valley. Three hours and about 1000 pictures later, we were picked up by the taxi. I cannot arrive back home without souvenirs, so we decided to visit a tiny local store with grogue (local rum, made of sugarcane) and other gifts. Time for lunch! Following a beautiful coastal road we drove towards Ponta do Sol, where lunch was served. After that, we drove back towards Porto Novo to take the ferry back to São Vicente. Back on board Wouter prepared quite a special dinner. More about that soon!"
15 Dec 2012 22:08 GMT
16°34.76’N, 024°27.41’W. Compass 331. Knots 6,6.
Update by our guest Hans Lankhorst:
"December 15th, in the afternoon. We are on our way from Santiago to São Vicente, during Oosterschelde’s second voyage in Cape Verde this season. This leg is almost 140 sea miles. We have been sailing for 5 hours now, with 6 Bft and a speed of 7 knots. It is sunny and warm, all in all great sailing conditions. We will arrive on the next island, somewhere in the night/early morning. We have been promised a nice tour to the next island (Santo Antão, 1 hour away by ferry), which seems to be a very nice daytrip. So far, I have really enjoyed all days! The first leg (Thursday) was downwind from Sal to Santiago, with good wind and sun. What I wondered about, was that many of the houses were not finished, but yet inhabited. The days on the ship are divided into watches. The meals are very good. We even had a BBQ on board. The ship is very comfortable and the crew is very friendly, work hard and do all to make a good atmosphere on board. And they succeed! I am happy to have made the decision to get on board."
15 Dec 2012 08:59 GMT
Update by Elvira Beetstra (office employee ‘Oosterschelde’):
"On all other days I am the one who is responsible for translating the updates of the ship and placing the news on the website (together with my colleague Manon). This time I am so lucky to write the update from my own experience on board. After a day of fantastic sailing from Sal to Santiago, I have finished my day with the watch of 8pm to midnight. After my watch I fell asleep so deeply, that I didn’t even notice the sound of the anchor when we arrived. The next morning I wake up and run outside to see our new anchor spot. The view is great, the island is green, and we see big mountains. We made an excursion to a former colonial political prison, a thousand years old Poilao tree and to Praia, the oldest and largest city on the island. It was quite a long ride but it really shows a lot of the island. Curly roads up the hill with great views down the steep slopes. At sunset, we arrive back at the ship. Today is Ted’s birthday, and we celebrate this with a barbecue on deck. We eat a birthday cake and after dinner we enjoy watching the fun of Wouter, Steven and Ewout diving into sea from the ship. Today we set sail towards São Vicente."
11 Dec 2012 09:15 GMT
Update written by guest crew member Coen:
"We have left on Sunday December 9th for a big crossing to Boa Vista. With a eastnortheasterly wind is was a long way. Time was spent tacking, relaxing and polishing copper. At night we could enjoy a beautiful starry sky. It was again a joy to be on board. Monday morning we arrived. The dinghy brought us on land, which took a while, since we had to anchor a mile from the coast. During the day we made an excursion by pick-up, visited beautiful beaches, we could swim and walked around. We visited the village of Sal Rei, saw a ships wreck and went to a turtle reserve. Back on board we were welcomed with a drink and a nice meal. The evening was used to show us a movie of a voyage around Cape Horn. Tomorrow is our last day unfortunately. We motorsail back from Boa Vista to Sal. The next morning our plane leaves back to The Netherlands. I have really enjoyed the voyage! Thank you."
10 Dec 2012 09:15 GMT
16°09.69’N, 022°55.32’W. Knots 0.0.
After a great day and night of sailing, we have arrived on Boa Vista, in the little harbour of Sal Rei. The wind shifted more easterly, therefore we had to tack and we motorsailed the last part. We wanted to be there in time to visit the island, with its sand dunes and white beaches. More news follows soon, written by one of the guest crew members.
9 Dec 2012 10:54 GMT
16°30.15’N, 024°21.44’W. Compass 159. Knots 7,3.
Update by our guest Sara:
"Once again the blue sky greeted us as we prepared the ship to leave the island of São Vicente. Suddenly we spotted a large funnel as a cruise liner came into view. The ‘Costa Fortuna’, a ship full of tourists, arrived and so we sailed by her, thankful that we would soon be under the power of sail again. The mist was just hanging on to the top of the mountains as we sailed by. Our journey to São Nicolau took us past three small volcanic islands that sat untouched in the middle of the blue sea. Our arrival was marked with an oriental banquet created by our chef. Dessert came in two forms: cake and a diving display by the crew (don’t think the dolphins need to be too worried). They found a variety of ways to entertain with their various methods of entering the water, some more successful than others! The crew were joined by the birthday boy Mark who, to celebrate his 60th birthday, decided to show the young guns that he still had it.
We awoke to another beautiful day in the bay of Tarrafal, São Nicolau. Yvonne and I had a lazy day exploring the colour of the town for ourselves. We found a deserted black sandy beach where we were joined by local children who took great delight in trying to communicate with us using splatterings of french and sign language. They posed for photos and then giggled excitedly as they saw them selves in the window of the camera.
In the evening we returned to the beach, we scrambled down a stony path and were greeted by an idyllic little spot with lights, a smoking barbecue and local guitarists strumming songs that had a hypnotic feel. The food was delicious and some guests found themselves dancing with Jana as the waves gently lapped onto the shore."
"Thursday the 6th of December.
Today was a very special day one of the most illuminating lessons in the human and physical geography imaginable.
An early start and ferry trip from Mindelo to Porto Novo on the island of Santo Antão was the precursor to an experience of a lifetime.
The minibus journey crossed the barren volcanic landscape dotted with a few hardy acacias and nothing else. As the road wound up into the mountains the vegetation changes and above 700 meters or so became quite green, and eventually became a pine forest. We stopped at the edge of the caldera, and a short walk down took us into a magical landscape. The centre of the crater is intensively farmed and there was the sound of cows on the clear mountain air.
The path crests the ridge at the edge of the crater and suddenly an apparently vertical descent appears below. The path is very steep and winds down the cliff. It is mainly well maintained but there are places where those with vertigo found it challenging. A good pair of walking boots is advisable. The path descends and reaches terraces cropped with maize and beans and, lower down, bananas, coffee, sugar cane, fruit and vegetables. The views can only be described as breathtaking – as the mist clears villages and roads appear 1000’s of feet below. After an hour or so of steady walking with many photo stops we reached the road, and the mini bus took us on the next stage of the journey.
The coast road is spectacular, with white surf crashing onto black sand beaches. At Ponta do Sol we wondered how the fishing boats enter the tiny harbour between the surf and the rocks. The final stage of the trip took us back through the mountains on an incredible road, with sheer drops on both sides in many places, as it follows the ridge. Human activity is everywhere, houses and terraces overlooking deep gorges, cultivating the land where it seems impossible.
The island is divided between the verdant north and the barren south, and is a textbook example of the impact of wind, altitude, fertile soil and precious water on human existence."
“From the plane above Sal we already could see the ‘Oosterschelde’ sailing. In two days we are getting on board but it is certainly not a problem to be on a warm island at the beginning of December. There’s a warm welcome for us when we arrive on the ‘Oosterschelde’. The next day we set sail and with the wind from behind we roll to the south, to our destination on the island Santiago. We are accompanied by a group of dolphins and flying fish.
Our first watch is the one from 20:00-24:00. It is pitch-black and we have to get used to how everything works. On Santiago we spend the night in the beautiful bay of Tarrafal. We visit the old prison, drive trough small villages and visit a local market while enjoying the beautiful scenery. The mountains are jagged with a beautiful green colour and lots of papaya, mango and banana. But especially one big tree of thousands of years old impresses us. The people on the island are relaxed and pure. After an active day watch on board it is time for dinner: wraps, salad, fries, schnitzel and an Irish Coffee as dessert (the Irish in our group didn’t want the coffee). Marvellous, Wouter!! Tomorrow we are going to Santo Antão, to visit a crater. It should be the most beautiful island of Cape Verde… we will find out tomorrow."
From the shipping company (4 Dec 2012)
‘Oosterschelde’ is sailing the first roundtrip in Cape Verde. There has not been much news from the ship, but also in rainy Rotterdam we are not fully unknown. Our ‘Yellowbrick’ sends us position details every four hours (see: http://my.yb.tl/oosterschelde, or look at www.dutchtallships.com). When clicking at the position, you also get more information on speed and temperature. The ship sails with 8 knots in the right direction. The temperature is 23 degrees is not bad at all, even if you consider that the sun went down hours ago. We do not have to feel sorry for our (guest) crew!
1 Dec 2012 17:54 GMT
16°45.06’N, 022°59.10’W. Knots 0,0.
After a long passage we arrived at Sal, our destination of the first leg of the voyage around the world. On November 27th at 19:00 we dropped the anchor. After a delicious dinner we decided that we had to celebrate our arrival with a drink. The next morning Floris went to customs to arrange visa for everyone so we can disembark the ship and discover Cape Verde. Finally land beneath our feet after 14 days at sea. Once we were back on board everyone was full of stories about what they had seen on shore. That evening we had a barbeque on deck, with fresh products from Cape Verde: fresh fruit and fish in abundance. On the 29th we lifted the anchor and sailed to Palmeira. We sailed close-hauled and managed to reach Palmeira at once. Our guests had the option to sail with us or to go by taxi. Except two guests, that had to arrange some personal stuff, everyone joined the ship. All we had to say was “we are going to set sail in a few minutes” and there was a whole trained team ready to get to work. After a beautiful afternoon sailing and lunch everyone went to shore to visit Palmeira. When we came back on board Wouter prepared a festive last dinner of the voyage. On the 30th the guest crew or how we call them now: our team has left us. It is always bitter sweet to say goodbye after spending so much time. Tonight we welcome our new guests on board, ready to explore these idyllic islands.
From the shipping company (1 Dec 2012)
The first leg of our around-the-world voyage has finished. ‘Oosterschelde’ has safely arrived in Cape Verde. Now that we have said goodbye to our fellow sailors, we prepare the ship for the next episode. The coming weeks we will make seven roundtrips through the beautiful archipelago of Cape Verde.
From the shipping company (28 Nov 2012)
Today the ‘Oosterschelde’ has arrived in the Cabo Verde archipelago. She arrived at Santa Maria, on the island of Sal.
25 Nov 2012 09:40 GMT
20°42.49’N, 020°05.28’W. Compass 219. Knots 8,7.
Update by our guest Robert Goodwin:
"Friday 23rd. We were on watch from 4am and made our way up to the bridge by the light of the moon and stars. In light winds and light seas we were making 5 knots. The sails were set for northerly winds with the schooner mast sporting its three square sails including the huge ‘breefoc’ or ‘big mama’ as our watch call it when we have to manhandle it on deck. It weighs a ton! We watched dawn break as we sailed gently down the Atlantic to Cape Verde. We were one third of the way there from the Canaries. The day was spent reading, sunbathing and chatting before being diverted to some light maintenance, sanding and varnishing some pulley blocks. Mark and I inspected our fishing gear and succeeded in losing our largest fishing lure to some unseen ocean mega fish. That makes three that have ‘got away’ now!
After I beat Wim at chess, we had an excellent dinner of baked pork chops with various vegetables, preceeded by asparagus soup as a starter. We went up for our 8pm watch and Floris asked me to steer. Suddenly I realised what it must have been like to be the night time helmsman of a sailing vessel such as Fitzroy’s ‘Beagle’ on which Darwin was the guest naturalist. With a following sea and breeze, we surfed on a succession of breaking waves under a bright moon. We were travelling across the ocean purely on wind power at 8 knots and I was at the helm. Amazing! This is really living. Later, taking a coffee in the bridge, we noticed the dozens of flags stored above our heads for all sorts of communication situations. These contrast sharply with the 21st century radar, computer display and the several communication monitors that have largely taken their place.
Saturday 24th. After sleeping and breakfast we were on the 8am watch. It was fine and sunny. There was little to do except steer the ship in a now less easy ‘rock and roll’ sea. The wind was pushing us west, away from the perfect course and the helm was losing the battle to keep a fixed course as the wind shifted. Eventually we gybed and headed back to the intended heading.
"Dolphins!" someone shouted and we watched a sizeable group of them hunting. At any one time there were 15 to 20 of them arcing out of the water as they chased some unseen shoal at high speed right across our view from port to starboard, before fading into the distance. It was truly a privilege to see this natural wonder. Later wind conditions became calm, so calm that a novel sail rig was hoisted either side of the viking or breefoc sail. Still we were then barely doing 3 knots at times. A turtle was spotted although I missed it, and later, as it was calm two people went up the mast via the rigging while we read on deck. I hoped to go up after them but the deckhand was busy with other duties, maybe tomorrow. Our midnight watch helped to finish hauling up a full complement of sail for the fresh winds that had sprung up. If the ten knots we were doing kept up we would be in Cape Verde early. The silvery moon lit the sea for us and we finished coiling the ropes as we sliced and swished through the sea and the night."
From the shipping company (25 Nov 2012)
Our voyage on the Celsius Scale:
* 3 Nov. Rotterdam: 8 degrees C
* 8 Nov. Falmouth: 12 degrees C
* 12 Nov. Vigo: 19 degrees C
* 21 Nov. Canary Islands: 24 degrees C
* 24 Nov. 400 Miles North of Cape Verde: 29 degrees C
“The day starts late for us with our first watch at 6 am. We are now about 160 nautical miles west from Cap Safi (Morocco). We are sailing along the coast of Morocco with little wind and the engine on. Because there is little physical effort to be expected the watches are decreased to a minimum of people. This means more sleep for the guest crew and less questions for the crew during the night.
The dark night changes into a grey morning. Later that morning the sky breaks open and with a blue sky above our head and warm temperatures we realize that summer has arrived on board of the ‘Oosterschelde’. Warm clothes are replaced for shorts and t-shirts. Meanwhile maintenance is an ongoing project. Our beautiful ship is getting a fresh look. Just before lunch, that welcomes us with wonderful smells from the galley, we set the mainsail. There is always something happening so there is no time to get bored. For instances this afternoon it is time for a simulated take over by pirates. This gives Floris the chance to explain what to do in case of an emergency. Especially Ben and Gerrit as pirates and David and Peter as hostages are very convincing.
Sun, blue skies, the ocean and spectacular cloud formations guide us trough the afternoon. In the evening we have a special surprise. In Vigo some extra guests came on board, a man with white hair and a red cape and he is accompanied by a friend with a painted face. ‘Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet’ asked to sail along, because of financial difficulties. Frits will be sharing his cabin with ‘Sinterklaas’ and Ben with ‘Zwarte Piet’ for the rest of the voyage. In the quiet night watch we sail on engine towards the end of the day and coming closer and closer to the Canaries.”
21 Nov 2012 10:00 GMT
29°20.07’N, 014°14.00’W. Compass 213. Knots 7,4.
Update by our guests Peter and Dagmar Sprung:
"Monday started with a heavy watch. It is heavy because it means little sleep, but we were rewarded for staying up late with lovely warm weather. With 20 degrees Celsius it was a pleasure to be on deck.
On our left, although we can’t see it, we have the Strait of Gibraltar. On engine we are cruising along the coast of Morocco with about 7-8 knots speed. Right at the beginning of our watch we hoist the mainsail, any chore is welcome at this time of day. Unfortunately we had to take it down after a short while because there is simply not enough wind. The rest of the watch went by quickly with nice conversations in the warm night. After the watch we went to bed and let the waves rock us to sleep.
Late the next morning we climbed out of our bunks (we decided to skip breakfast to get some extra sleep). When we come up we are looking at an unusually calm sea, the sun is high in the sky and temperatures are very comfortable. These conditions are unfortunately not optimal for sailing. Nevertheless everyone is enjoying this weather and is scattered over the deck, doing some reading, listening to music or just watching the ocean. Only the crew is working hard as always.
Directly after lunch there is a fire drill. Because we were prepared by the crew we knew how to handle and everyone gathered in his or her lifejackets by the mainmast. We were divided into smaller groups and Floris explains how the life rafts work. In the meanwhile Wouter and David bring provisions for the life rafts. Simultaneously Jana and Frianko prepared the fire hoses. After the drill the crew evaluated how it went and the guest crewmembers spread out over the ship again and enjoyed their free time. The afternoon was spent reading, listening to music, but also cleaning and repainting.
In the evening the first fish of the voyage was caught by Marc and Robert, who were gleaming with pride. It was a tuna (Wouters quote: “it’s a baby tuna”). After a wonderful dinner from Wouters galley we left Casablanca behind us."
“16 November. The day started right away with a watch from midnight to 4 am. The wind was blowing nicely, about 28 knots, but we had to sail close-hauled with reefs in our sails. The result was that we were sailing much to fast and also in the wrong direction. Fortunately we didn’t have any rain and the sky was cloudy with no moon and had the colour of the sky from a horror movie. Temperatures are much higher then when we left from Rotterdam. After my watch I had a good night sleep because the ship was hanging over to the starboard side so I could hang comfortably in my cabin against the starboard side of the ship. In the morning the sea was a bit less choppy but there was still enough wind to experience the real life of a sailor. From 2 to 8 pm I had my second shift of the day. The weather was calm but on the horizon we could see clouds with thunder coming our way. In the evening the thunderstorm was there and my compliments to the crew: there was no panic at all, they just acted calm and efficiently. The guys and Jana are all physically in good shape and can handle 8 Bft with heavy showers without any problems. At the end of the watch the worst was over. Wouter prepared a lovely meal: tagliatelle with salmond/broccoli sauce and cream cheese sauce. Overall the food is good, nutritious and solid with no frills.
17 November. Watch from 4 to 8 am. With the first daylight we shook the reefs and set the Yankee. After breakfast I am on deck again and the waves were bigger. The mainsail was down and with the jib and topsail we were sailing 9 knots. The evening watch was sensational. You could feel the ship being taken by the waves and bringing us closer to our destination. All and all for me this is a voyage of a lifetime!"
16 Nov 2012 00:00 GMT
42°03.89’N, 009°20.92’W. Compass 230. Knots 2,5.
Update written by guest crew member Marc Zucker:
"’Oosterschelde’ berthed@Vigo, Spain 13/11/12. At 07:30 breakfast bell rings, also time to listen to morning instructions of our captain Floris. Some of us follow the instructions less attentively due to the party celebrating after arrival in Vigo. Time is taken this morning to make our home away from home ‘ship shape’. Inspired by music, we follow the lead of ‘dynamo’ matroos Ben vacuuming cabins, changing buxer sheets, gathering clothing items: sailing gear, gloves and a few unidentified undershirts. Some of the guests leave by 10:00 to visit Vigo while Ben, always on overdrive, climbs with Peter to add another layer of varnish to the masts. Floris and Wouter (our chef) leave each alone, to collect a missing piece of equipment and local specialities for a meal. Frianko stays on board to order Spanish items for a gasket. Sun sets in the bay of Vigo while the always busy Jana folds the clean bedding sheets. At this time the rhythm of a Brazilian Bosa Nova certainly helps. Just before 19:00 Wim, Ria, Anthonie and Norbert return from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. This same evening Wouter had a well-earned holiday, thanks to the organization of Robert and Jana who invited the crew to a long seafood dinner at the restaurant ‘Don Quijote’. The crew thanked with a round of drinks which followed by another and another, that led Gerrit to finish late in the night with a barefoot dance in the main public fountain. The next morning we all rise in a very silent Vigo paralyzed by a general strike. Floris announces that we will remain at least another day here, since a depression is moving North. Crew and guest add the last touches that will make our open ship day for public. Unfortunately the local authorities inform us that access to our ship is limited for crew and guest. The open ship was therefore cancelled, making us aware of the difficulties of Spain. On Thursday Floris informs us that we are leaving."
From the shipping company (13 Nov 2012)
The ship arrived in Vigo yesterday at 11 o’clock in the evening. Tomorrow there is an ‘open ship’ in which public can visit the ship between 12 and 4 PM. We hope to be able to tell many people about our ship and our beautiful adventurous voyage around the world. We plan to sail away on Thursday morning.
12 Nov 2012 13:09 GMT
42°36.19’N, 009°35.77’W. Compass 122. Knots 4,6.
Update by our guest Yvonne Colgan:
"Friday 9th November: A busy day on watch. Winds and sea state building force 5 to 6 Bft, southwesterly direction, not exactly what we need but wind direction came round later in the day. The 14:00-20:00 watch was busy as there were loads of squalls necessitating constant sail work, best way to keep warm. Temperature still high for the time of year, 12 degrees is quite a treat when you are working out of doors.
Saturday 10th November: Was on watches from midnight until 04:00 (a bit of a killer) and 20:00 until midnight. The first watch was very busy. Ben had us working flat out mostly on the foredeck which was awash with waves and spray. He certainly knows how to get the best out of us. The skies cleared a little towards dawn but the seas continued to build from storms further out in the Atlantic.
Sunday 11th November: Was on watch 14:00-20:00 and then midnight till 04:00. Who would have believed, it is a November day with bright sunshine reminding us of warmer days to come as we progress south. The sea state was a typical Atlantic swell running mostly at 90 degrees to the ship. Many of the wave had huge white crests which made me wonder just how far they had travelled before meeting ‘Oosterschelde’. I saw little wildlife today, a small bird that took a short break on the rigging on the foredeck before heading off south. We also saw what we initially thought was a sea container which turned out to be a very large wooded casket. Given that there are estimated to be over a million sea containers floating mostly below the surface of the ocean, the thought that one day you will meet one is well placed in the back of one’s mind. The sea state caused a constant pitch and roll below decks, at times the noise was deafening. The sea always seems to know when you put food on the table and appears determined to take it away. We find endless amusement in trying to balance ourselves and preventing our food and drinks from ending up in other crew member’s laps. As you might have guessed we don’t always succeed!"
10 Nov 2012 08:47 GMT
47°18.88’N, 007°58.92’W. Compass 216. Knots 7,9.
Update written by our guest Sara Green:
"Thursday, 8th November: The day started with blue skies and the shipsbell calling us to breakfast. The ship was made ready to depart the pretty harbour of Falmouth which had been our host for a day. We hoisted the sails as a full crew. I was pulling the lines with the help of the crew both professional and guest. As my grip weakened I felt a strong hand next to me as Jana gave us some welcome help. It is a little difficult to give up when she is giving 110%, so I battled through till the mizzensail was up catching the breeze helping us leave the safe waters of Falmouth. All were glad to be on our journey once again and as we settled into our watches the ‘Oosterschelde’ majestically moved through the water. I’m still amazed that such a large ship can be powered by very little wind. Never will I grow tired of looking upwards and seeing the various sails fill with wind and power us forward. After lunch Ben took the time and patience to explain to Peter and me about trimming the sails using a piece of chalk; he drew diagrams which together with his explanations made it much clearer what each line was and it’s purpose of trimming the sails. It wasn’t long before the shout of dolphins was heard and the crew stood pointing towards the starboard bow as a shoal of Common dolphins played happily within the waves.
Later during the afternoon watch I got to get out on the bowsprit; harnessed and standing above the water breaking beneath me, I helped to secure the jib sail. Dinner was very welcome after an active watch. We were served soup followed by fish and chips; delicious once again. As usual, entertaining anecdotes were provided by Marc who seemed to be able to find fun in anything, even sewing a new pocket for the fuel pipe.
Friday 9th November: 4am and we are back on watch. We are motoring as the wind is in the wrong direction. Ben calls for some help and so we spend considerable time tying down sails and moving lines so when the strong winds arrive we keep them on board. The breakfast bell is a welcome sound as we finish our watch, eat, then back to my bunk for a welcome sleep. The day brings more wind and the ship heels over and it then becomes comical as we try and walk around the ship. Carrying a bowl of soup and a plate of bread and cheese becomes a highly skilled activity. I manage to make it to the table without loosing any of the vital ingredients. Wrapped up for the wind and rain we are back on watch. We are kept busy putting up sails as the wind has finally shifted. We work together pulling lines as the ship becomes wind powered again. Once again we are treated to a dolphin show as they swim with us playing in the waves. Suddenly the rain is insignificant as we are mesmorised by these beautiful creatures. "More sails" is the cry as we watch Jana climb in the top sails to release them. She doesn’t seem to be phased by anything, in fact the whole professional crew move like a well oiled machine no matter what nature throws at them. Finally our watch is over and we return to our ‘morning’ bunks to try and get some more rest."
8 Nov 2012 11:00 GMT
Update written by guest crew member Frits de Goede: "6th of November: During the red watch from 04:00 to 08:00 o’clock we set the compass on 265. Just passed the Isle of Wight, the wind decreases. The air feels soft and friendly. The last hour of our watch the wind turns and increases a bit, and makes the ship sail more than 8 knots. We are accompanied by 40 dolphins when sailing to Falmouth. 7th of November: During breakfast in Falmouth, we are being told that we stay in Falmouth for a day. We wait for good wind to sail towards Spain. The forecast is northwest 2/3 Beaufort. In Falmouth I visit some pubs for lunch. During dinner Robert plays the guitar and the atmosphere on board is great! The last time I sailed with ‘Oosterschelde’ was in 2003, except for some daytrips in between. There is a new generation on board, but the atmosphere is still as nice as before. We have sailed 500 miles sofar, and have about 2000 to go to our destination Cape Verde." (from the shipping company: ‘Oosterschelde’ left Falmouth on November 8, around 11 o’clock)
6 Nov 2012 14:55 GMT
50°18.50’N, 002°35.00’W. Compass 260. Knots 5,4.
Update written by one of our guest crew members, Niek van Hal:
"On Saturday morning we all came on board. Family members waved us goodbye. After a royal visit on board by Princess Margriet, we leave Rotterdam, with many people waving us goodbye. We enter the sea, and the forecast is southwest 5-6, with gusts of 7 Bft. The southwestern wind brings us to Great Yarmouth. There are many showers, and we await the expected northwestern wind before continuing. After a festive dinner, prepared by chef Wouter, we set sail and continue our journey. The wind had indeed veered to NW and we could make use of that wind and we try to sail towards the British south coast as soon as we can. The crew is very friendly, I had met some of them on an earlier voyage on board. The guest crew also seems to be very friendly, and they come from Belgium, Germany, UK and The Netherlands. After admiring the white cliffs of Dover on Monday morning, I went back to bed. We hope to arrive in Falmouth this afternoon (Tuesday). There is a good atmosphere on board and everyone looks forward to our adventure!"
From the shipping company (4 Nov 2012)
A short movie by Pieter Nijdeken of the departure for the around-the-world voyage has been placed on our page Movies.
4 Nov 2012 GMT
52°36.12’N, 001°43.57’E. Knots 0,0.
At the moment we are in Great Yarmouth, waiting for a depression that has entered the Channel. That will later on result in a NW-ly, which we would gladly use for the next leg of our journey towards the Cabo Verde archipelago.
From the shipping company (3 Nov 2012)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ has started her second circumnavigation this afternoon around 2pm. HRH Princess Margriet and Rotterdam mayor Aboutaleb and many, many others took part in the good-bye. The sun was shining and it was a lovely sight.
Some pictures on the ANP site (Dutch Press Agency) are here.
From the shipping company (2 Nov 2012)
It is enough! Maybe one is never prepared enough for a global circumnavigation, but this is it. Technically speaking the ship is ready. Besides one pallet with wine all the stock is on board. This morning we bunkered fresh water and took all the waste from the ship to the bins on the quayside. After that we will clean the ship from top to bottom so we will be ready for the new guests arriving this evening. Yesterday, at the last minute, it almost went wrong. We decided to go to the dry dock to move a few zinc anodes to a better place. The dock has a capacity of about 600 ton and could handle the weight of the ‘Oosterschelde’ easily but wasn’t build for the height of the ship. The centre of gravity of the dock and ship combined was so high that were afraid the ship would fall over together with the dock. While we were heeling over more and more we tried to let as much water as possible back into the dock, so the ship would get more stable. Luckily it didn’t go wrong and while we were recovering from this scare ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived around 9:30pm in the Veerhaven.
From the shipping company (30 Oct 2012)
The last mile is the hardest. But we have to go on. Today two pallets with soft drinks, a few big piles of rope, a new kitchen counter, the last blocks, a small freezer, two outboard motors and two fixed up inflatable boats. Meanwhile we were maneuvering from the small berth in the Leuvehaven where we worked over the last month on the ship. It all fits exactly so it a challenge to get out again. Because low tide we were also a bit stuck but with some ropes here and there and a bit of patience it all worked out. Tomorrow we will be welcoming a surveyor of Register Holland on board to check the last things. We have a lot of things to do still like cleaning, installing the new iridium telephone and we had hoped to paint the deck before departure but we won’t be able to do that anymore.
From the shipping company (25 Oct 2012)
With one week remaining before departure it’s getting quite exciting here at ‘Oosterschelde’. The masts are up but the rigging is not in place yet. The crew is working hard to get everything ready. There is still a lot of work to do and meanwhile we have to find a spot for all the stock that is being loaded on board. Nothing can go wrong from now on, and even then there is the question: ‘Will we make it on time?’
From the shipping company (24 Oct 2012)
At 7:30 AM the enormous cranes from Mammoet arrived at the ship. Building up the cranes and the preparations always takes a while but the important work went really quickly: At 10:00 AM we were yet two-masted and only half an hour later we were three-masted again! It took a lot of work but the masts are successfully placed back up. The next couple of days we will have to work hard to get everything back into place and to get the sails up again. We are not quite there yet, but again we have made great progress. Nine days left…
From the shipping company (22 Oct 2012)
Now that we are in the last period of our maintenance, the departure to Cape Verde is coming closer. On November 3rd, the ‘Oosterschelde’ departs from Rotterdam to Sal, Cabo Verde. We will make seven sailing voyages in the archipelago of Cape Verde. We visit six islands, and we combine sailing days with days to visit the beautiful islands. This season we also offer a shorter voyage; from 25-30 January we visit several upwind islands. This is a nice opportunity to combine your sailing voyage with e.g. a week of hiking, watersports (surfing, diving, snorkling) or relaxing on the beach.
From the shipping company (18 Oct 2012)
Good news! Luckily we are building up again! Thanks to Jaap Vreeken, who did some great repairing and has been so friendly to give his mast to us, so that his brother Ton could make our new topmast. The transport of this mast was quit special… We needed the mast a.s.a.p., and therefore decided to put one end of the mast in the back of a car, and the other end of the 16 meters long mast on a cart. on a slow pace we left the Old harbor and drove towards the Leuvehaven. We now hope to put the masts back on Wednesday, which is only two days later than we originally planned. There is some extra time pressure now, but when we all work a little extra we will still be finished in time for our departure. Only 2 weeks to go!
From the shipping company (15 Oct 2012)
Some days are well, and on some other days you get many setbacks. Today was definitely a day of setbacks. We found another bad spot on the mizzen mast. And on a very bad place, where all the important cables of the rigging come together. Also the place where spreaders are located and basically all important mounting is glued and screwed. To be able to repair this part of the mast, al mounting has to be taken off. After that we have to plane all the bad parts from the wood, glue new parts in, wait until the glue is cured and custom plane the new pieces of wood, before being able to put all mounting back on the mast. We earlier planned to varnish the masts coming monday, but that will probably be delayed. The repairing of the main mast is luckily going quite well. Today we glued new parts in, hopefully we will be able to plane and sand it on wednesday. All blocks have been checked, sanded and varnished. We certainly hope that this setback doesn’t give us too much delay, since our official departure is coming closer each day.
From the shipping company (5 Oct 2012)
Today was very exciting. This was the first day that the mizzen mast and main mast were lifted off the ship, since the restoration 20 years ago. With good preparation, it all went pretty fast. Without accidents, the two ‘monsters’ were lifted off the ship and placed on the quay side. It took us less than three hours. We builded large tents on the quay, to prevent us and the material from rain and to be able to do maintenance in all weather circumstances. Disappointingly we found a bad spot on the main mast, in a difficult place to recover. That will give us some extra work.
From the shipping company (4 Oct 2012)
‘Oosterschelde’ is in the Leuvehaven, next to our sister ‘Helena’ and close to our office ship ‘Salvator. We are doing huge maintenance on the rigging. To be able to inspect, two of the masts have been taken off the ship and are on the quay. The coming weeks we will sand them, check them and recuperate where it is necessary. On October 5, the masts will be taken of with a big crane. The crane is quite necessary, since the masts are about 35 meters long and weigh over 5 tons. After inspection, repairing and sanding, we will varnish the masts again.
1 Oct 2012 10:00 GMT
Last friday we have sailed during a very nice day of teambuilding for an international company in Rotterdam. We started in the ‘Veerhaven’ and sailed towards sea. During this trip we were accompanied by Lobke Berkhout, who was asked as a guest speaker. After that, we sailed out and spend a couple of hours at open sea for some active sailing. On the way back towards Rotterdam, our guests enjoyed a few drinks and had our ‘Oosterschelde-buffet’ for dinner. Now we start a maintenance period. We will do maintenace on the rigging. This week the masts will be taken off. More news follows soon.
From the shipping company (26 Sep 2012)
From the material shot during our first circumnavigation, Dick van Andel made a new short movie. It is the leg from New Zealand to Cape Horn, late 1997. The link is on our Movie page, in the lower half of the page.
20 Sep 2012 12:53 GMT
51°54.40’N, 004°28.72’E. Compass 090.
After waving ‘Europa’ goodbye on September 11, we sailed to Bremerhaven. The new propeller of the ship works well and is apparently quite efficient. The weather turned out to be as forecasted, northwest 6-7 Beaufort backing to southwest. This southwesterly wind with big waves brought us to Bremerhaven quick. From saturday morning we were hired by a shipping company to sail on the ‘Weser’ with several groups of individuals. On the sunday we were standby to possibly sail another day-trip. We did not have to sail and left Bremerhaven and returned towards Rotterdam in the afternoon. The southwesterly wind and swell was now against us. We motorsailed against the wind direction and slowly came closer to Rotterdam. Around Texel (one of the islands in the north of The Netherlands) the wind veered towards west and we were able to set sail. Even on the ‘Nieuwe Maas’ we sailed. On tuesday night we arrived back into our homeport. We will continue our maintenance, sail several day-trips and prepare ourselves for the voyage around the world.
From the shipping company (13 Sep 2012)
With special thanks to Peter Tetteroo and Kai Dieho of Tetteroo Media, we present you this trailer for our voyage around the world.
From the shipping company (11 Sep 2012)
Kick-off event global circumnavigation
This morning ‘Europa’ (one of the ships accompanying us during our voyage around the world) has left Rotterdam. ‘Oosterschelde’ and ‘Tecla’ waved her goodbye. Therefore we had organized a kick-off event for the circumnavigation. All crew met the night before and will meet again in Cape Town, when all three ships meet again for their adventure around the world, in May 2013. We also invited media on board. Several journalists, photographers and a film crew for local television paid attention to the official kick-off event.
From the shipping company (7 Sep 2012)
After a very busy week in drydock, we arrived in Rotterdam this afternoon. With extra efforts of the dock personel during the past days, we managed to be back in Rotterdam in time for tonights charter. The ship looks perfect!
1 Sep 2012 16:01 GMT
51°45.41’N, 004°15.48’E. Compass 096. Knots 2,8.
After an amazing time in Vlissingen during the ‘Michiel de Ruyter Festival’ it is time to say goodbye to Zeeland and slowly move toward our homeport. Before returning home we go to Hellevoetsluis and Stellendam. In Hellevoetsluis we have a few daytrips with special groups from our New Horizon Social Project. And we can see that everyone is enjoying themselves with tagging about 15 times in one hour.
We end our week in Hellevoetsluis with and evening trip for a guest who is celebrating his birthday on board. The weather is good and there is wind so we set sail quickly. We have two enthusiastic musicians on board who entertain the guests during the voyage. On Sunday morning we sail towards Stellendam for a week in a dock. We are going to install a new propeller, one with a complete new system but we will tell you more about that later.
From the shipping company (30 Aug 2012)
Sailing along during kick-off event
The departure of ‘Europa’ is our kick-off event. On Tuesday morning September 11, all three ships are in Rotterdam, Veerhaven. On 8:30 PM, press contacts are welcomed on board. Everyone is welcome to wave the ships goodbye from the quay. ‘Oosterschelde; and ‘Tecla’ will sail the first part with ‘Europa’ and you can sail along with us.
Date: Tuesday September 11
Welcome: 9PM, welcome drink on board ‘Oosterschelde’ and ‘Tecla’
Departure: 9:30 PM, Veerhaven Rotterdam
Arrival: 12:30 PM, Veerhaven Rotterdam
Costs: €40,- per person, incl. lunch
Bookings: please book in advance, contact the office
27 Aug 2012 17:18 GMT
51°49.22’N, 004°07.70’E. Compass 090.
The voyage continues from Cherbourg to Dover, which is a little more than one day of sailing. We have set sail when we left, and continued that all day, with a topped of 10.7 knots (with some help of tidal stream). With a good planning, we could profit from two tidal streams in the Strait of Dover. There was a beautiful sky at night, and another nice view during breakfast when looking at the white cliffs of Dover. After crossing the busiest piece of sea of the world, we sail into Dover.
Around midnight we left, so we would be back in Vlissingen in time. The main part we have been able to sail, only the last part we were supported by the engine. In Vlissingen we have had a nice evening with sketches and songs. Most of us stayed for the night, even though all our guests live in/around Vlissingen. We all agreed that it was a wonderful week! After saying goodbye to our guests on friday morning, we had to prepare the ship for a business trip on friday afternoon. It was good sailing along the boulevard of Vlissingen. The next days the ship was open for public, during the maritime festival. On sunday night we left towards Hellevoetsluis, to sail a couple of daytrips on the ‘Haringvliet’.
21 Aug 2012 14:41 GMT
49°56.03’N, 000°37.51’W. Compass 049. Knots 2,8.
Our visit to Alderney has been a bit blurry. We had to be close to a house to even see it. Guest crew members ‘Ietje’ and ‘Harm’ made a walk around the island and wanted to visit the Alderney Castle. The passed the castle pretty close, but have apparently missed it, because of the thick fog. Luckily they still made a very nice walk!
Just behind us the ship ‘Zephyr’ entered the harbor and anchored next to us. Sometimes the ship is clearly seen and sometimes it disappeared in the fog. The next morning, half an hour before departure, the fog disappears and we see what the island actually looks like. A nice and calm wind helps us to leave under sail while pulling the anchor. In the ‘Race of Alderney’, a narrow pice of water between Alderney and the French Coast, is a heavy stream (of 10 knots) during the current springtide. Therefore we make quite a bow aside, when sailing to Cherbourg. The wind and tidal stream bring us to our destination in 5,5 hours without use of the engine. We have a nice barbecue in the evening, with South-African Anton who ‘operates’ the BBQ. The French bread, salads, sate and fish taste great! It looks like almost half of Cherbourg is fishing on the quay. Many people take look at the ship and view our nice BBQ on deck. In the late evening it is still very nice on the terraces. This morning we left just before breakfast, to have advantage of the tidal stream. With the forecasted westerly wind, we might have enough time to make another stop before heading back to Vlissingen.
19 Aug 2012 14:59 GMT
49°43.74’N, 002°11.46’W. Compass 151. Knots 0,0.
An hour after we tagged close to Zeebrugge the wind stopped. On engine we sailed towards the English Channel. Among our guest crew we have a few former pilots. So when we passed the pilot station it brought back a lot of memories.
It is clear that the guests from ‘Stichting Behoud Hoogaars’ are sailing fanatics and then the ‘Oosterschelde’ is a good place to be. The southern wind that was predicted is a bit more easterly so we can sail all the way between Dover and Calais. It is a beautiful night with a starry sky, a few falling stars and sailing with about 9 knots. With breakfast we sailed by Dungeness. In the afternoon we enter a thick fog. The old seamen looked jealous at the new AIS, Automatic Identification System, that tells us about almost every ship in the area the name, size, speed, course and even more information. When we sail along the French coast we were asked three times by the shore stations where we came from and where we are coming. From the laughter in the background I get the feeling that they just want to know to pronounce ‘Oosterschelde’. At 07:45 we drop the anchor at Alderney at least that is what the map is telling us cause due to the fog we can only see some yachts. After breakfast we bring everyone to the shore by dinghy. Now and then the fog descends and we can see the harbor around us, with bunkers from the Second World War and a picturesque village. We have a bit of sun and that makes it all very pleasant. Tonight we have a party because it is Wicky’s birthday!
17 Aug 2012 10:52 GMT
51°24.88’N, 003°24.50’E. Compass 265. Knots 6,8.
On Wednesday morning we wake up with the sight of the beautiful cliffs of Margate. The wind is still east and we are waiting for it to turn to South as the forecasts are telling us. Captain Floris gives a lecture with slide projections about the ‘Oosterschelde’. During lunch the wind starts turning and it is time to depart.
The weather forecast tells us that the wind changing comes with heavy showers. For the area Fastnet they give a warning for 9 Bft with blasts up to 10 Bft. Via the VHF we even hear a few mayday-calls of small yachts around us. As a precaution we reef the sails. In the end we only have wind of about 6 Bft and not a drop of rain! With high speed we pass by windmill parks and we cross shipping lanes where big sea vessels sail thru the English Channel. During dinner we enjoy a beautiful sunset. We decide to anchor near Zeebrugge.
The next morning we sail to Vlissingen with a nice breeze and a beautiful sun. At three o’clock we are through the lock and it is time to say goodbye to the guests. Friday morning our new guest crew will come on board. This is a group charter with guests that are part of ‘Stichting Behoud Hoogaars’ and our destination is the Channel Islands. With a nice southeast wind we sail towards the Channel. A lot of enthusiastic guest crewmembers hep to set all the sails. Around three the wind turns to the west and we can practice to tack. With the sun and the high temperature it is also summer on the North Sea.
14 Aug 2012 22:33 GMT
51°24.56’N, 001°23.14’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
On Monday our new guests arrived on board that are joining us on our way back from London to Vlissingen. That afternoon we first went back up the Thames to see London. After three weeks of daytrips we now know a lot about all the sightseeing’s along the Thames: the O2-Arena, the ‘Cutty Sark’, the Royal Naval College and all the other buildings, statues, parks and artworks.
Today we sailed down the Thames to Margate, what is about 60 nautical miles. With little wind from East and Southern direction we didn’t sail to fast but with the current we still made enough speed. Around 6:30 p.m. we dropped and we could celebrate Arjan’s birthday with a nice barbeque. The sun gave us a stunning sunset to end the day. Tomorrow afternoon the weather forecast says that the wind will change to Southwest 4 Bft. That promises us a beautiful voyage towards the mainland.
From the shipping company (5 Aug 2012)
When sailing with so many ships, sometimes things do go wrong. Earlier today one of the other ships got carried away with heavy tidal stream and their stern hit our bow. Some paint damage and a small dent was the result. We have also had someone on board with heart problems earlier this week, who was collected by an ambulance and two days ago a colleague captain (of one of the other tall ships) got his fingers trapped in the ropes. He partly lost two fingers. Everyone was al little shocked by what had happened. Luckily the daytrips all went very well today, without any problems. We sailed three daytrips and two are planned for tomorrow. In the evening we sail from Woolwich to London city centre and the Tower Bridge will open for us.
From the shipping company (3 Aug 2012)
Yesterday we got some free tickets for ‘Holland Heineken House’. After cleaning the ship, most of the crew members went there to have a nice party. Therefore, we were a bit tired this morning and did only small maintenance on deck. In the afternoon we went to Hyde Park and watched a concert of Amy Mc Donald. Tomorrow will be busy, with three sailing trips. An sunday will be very special, since the Tower Bridge opens for us!
31 Jul 2012 13:25 GMT
51°29.81’N, 000°04.44’E. Compass 141.
We have been here in London during Sail Royal Greenwich quite a few days now, so we would like to inform you on what we do and what we see.
From Woolwich Arsenal Pier people embark. We first sail through the Thames Barrier. This is the world’s second-largest movable flood barrier, and is pretty impressive. Especially with London’s skyline at the background. When we continue we pass the cable cars, Gondolas over the Thames at a height of 60 metros, especially built for the Olympics. It would have been temporary, but they have recently decided to keep the gondolas anther the Olympics. We see the O2 arena right afterwards. It is situated in a nice curve of the Thames, so we can see the arena from almost all sides. On the other side of the river, we see the West India Dock, which berths several SuperYachts of Bill Gates and Abramovich. After this part, we see many old renovated warehouses on the Thames bank, many still with halyards on the walls, formerly used to (un)load the ships.
We sail through towards Greenwich and pass the London Transport Electric, a power station formerly used to supply the London Underground with power. Around the next corner we pass the Greenwich naval College (beautiful!) and on the hill we see the Royal Observatory, with the famous Greenwich Mean Time line. On top of the Observatory you see a big bowl, which was used as one of the first public timestamps and the system was copied in many other parts of the world. We see the HMS Ocean, a British aircraft carrier, on a mooring. A main part of the security handling in and around London during the Olympics is taken care of on this ship. Passing that, we feel very small… We see the buidlings of the London City Banking department, when the river narrows. We see the mouth of the Regens Channel, which was used to supply the inland on special Narrow boats, built for the exact size of the canals and their corners. There are small wharfs, to load the narrow boats. After passing the water police, we make a turn and see the Tower Brigde. A great view, especially when it is beautifully lit in the evening. Usually we don’t pass the bridge but turn just before.
We always try to set sail during our trips and everyone is being taken care of with some fine food & beverages. During individual daytrips, there is a little less time. We turn somewhere around the HMS Ocean, dependant upon wind and tidal stream. When we don’t have guests on board, we do maintenance or try to have a short look in town, and see what the Olympics do to the city. We might even get the change to see one or two matches in a stadium or on big screen.
30 Jul 2012 14:00 GMT
During ‘Sail Royal Greenwich’ we sail during the Olympics with fleet of 14 Tall Ships on the Thames in London. Besides several longer and exclusive charters for companies and organizations, we also sail shorter individual trips. Many people from in and around London love to come aboard the ships and look at the view from the water. There is a lot of interest in the Tall Ships. There have been sold over 10,000 tickets for the individual day-trips already and each day this amount increases. Our guests get on board in Woolwich Arsenal. The small pier is extended with two pontoons. Several ships are moored in the river. Just for getting people on board and off board we use the pier and the pontoons. Because of the many changes in guests and ships, it is pretty busy on the pier and we all have to stick to a tight program. In the beginning this didn’t always work out, but now we are all used to it and everyone sticks to their schedule, almost exact on the minute.
Today we have a day without guests. Good for us to do some maintenance, painting and administration. Especially painting is necessary, because of the many rain showers in spring and summer, we haven’t done much of that yet. The catering crew is off for the day and went into the city centre.
26 Jul 2012 09:30 GMT
51°27.89’N, 000°19.51’E. Compass 333. Knots 4.1.
We have started our London adventure! In a parade with 14 other Tall Ships and many smaller sailing boats, we have sailed up the Thames from Tilbury to London City Centre. The weather was beautiful (quite un-British sunny) and the guests had a great time, even though the sails were not doing much because there was hardly any wind. London is preparing for the Olympics and everyone in the city seems a bit nervous. All paperworks on board are being checked over and over again, sailing schedules are made, and changed again (and then still things end up a bit different from what was planned). The ships and their crew are used to these changes, but the harbor authorities, accompanied by military boats, police boats, helicopters and other safety authorities are a little less flexible.
Now that the first day has passed and all went well, we assume that the safety checks and authorities will become a bit more relaxed for our ships. So we can focus on our main goal: to make a big success of ‘Sail Royal Greenwich’!
From the shipping company (24 Jul 2012)
We have just seen on AIS (Marinetraffic) that ‘Oosterschelde’ has arrived in Tilbury (London) early this morning. We are preparing for three weeks sailing daytrips during the Olympics via the event ‘Sail Royal Greenwich’.
22 Jul 2012 09:23 GMT
49°00.26’N, 004°27.74’W. Compass 053. Knots 7,6.
Our last daytrip in Brest was on July 18, the ‘Parade Out’. Hundreds of ships sailed under full rig from Brest to Douarnenez, including ‘Oosterschelde’. Only, after the Parade, we had to carry our guests back to Brest. We eventually eft Brest in the early morning of July19. On July 20 and 21, we were in use of a big French company, who used the trips to invite their clients. Douarnenez is beautiful! Yesterday evening we welcomed 3 guests on board, who will be filming for a documentary for Dutch Television. This program deals with ‘lost’ letters from the 18th and 19th century, and about sailors who sent these letters. The goal is to deliver the letters to the descendants of the original letters. With these guests on board, we leave for London, UK. we have to (motor)sail 435 miles in 64 hours, which gives us a mean of 7 knots per hour. We start in Tilbury and then have an official "Sail Inn Parade" to London (Greenwich/ Woolwich area) on July 25th. They forecast a northeastern wind of 1-3 Beaufort for the coming days.
18 Jul 2012 18:30 GMT
48°22.82’N, 004°28.90’W. Compass 021. Knots 0,0.
Tomorrow is the last day of the festival here in Brest. We will have the Parade Out and after that we’ll sail to Douarnenez. We attract a lot of attention because during the daily trips we are one of the few ships that sail it all with all the sails up, from the moment we leave till the moment we arrive back.
16 Jul 2012 11:27 GMT
48°22.82’N, 004°28.89’W. Compass 090.
On Monday morning, we started our voyage from St. Malo to Brest; the wind came from south-west, so we had to tack all the way for three days. After these days the guests all knew what to do, we had a great team who knew all about our ship and sail handling!
When we arrived at the roads of Brest, we decided to anchor for a day in the beautiful river L’Aulne, just southwards of Landévennec, at the Abbaye Saint Guénolé. After lunch everyone left the ship to have a look in the village and the abbey (from the year 900), which is beautifully situated on a mountain and is still in quite a good shape because it is partly protected by the many surrounding trees. The next morning we left at 6 in the morning, to arrive in Brest in time for all train connections of our guest crewmembers. In Brest it was a great welcome, together with all other ships that awaited the start of the maritime festival. During the festival, we sail daytrips everyday, and have corporate hospitality parties on board in the evenings. The days are long, the nights are short, but it is a great festival and we feel there is a good atmosphere! We have groups on board until Wednesday the 18th and we will then leave for the festival in Douarnenez.
From the shipping company (11 Jul 2012)
We just contacted the ship. They have almost arrived in Brest, where the ship will stay this week for maritime festival ‘Les Tonneres de Brest’. Captain Floris told us that they were very lucky wind-wise. Almost the whole voyage from St Malo to Brest has been under sail. Only last night they have had some support from the engine. The atmosphere on board is very nice and they have done great sailing. More information on the voyage will follow.
9 Jul 2012 09:21 GMT
49°20.65’N, 003°12.26’W. Compass 340. Knots 5,8.
On Saturday afternoon our new guests arrived on board, for our voyage from St. Malo to Brest. We learned from the harbour authorities that we would be able to leave St. Malo on Sunday night. The Tall Ships’ Race would start on Monday at 09:00, for the leg from St Malo to Lisbon. Even though the ‘Oosterschelde’ would not join the race, we would sail out as a race accompaniment towards Brest and then leave the other ships to go towards the festival in Brest. Unfortunately we were told on Saturday night that the Tall Ships’ Race wouldn’t start until Tuesday, due to the weather forecast and that the official start would be near Brest. We were not allowed to leave the harbour earlier, to sail towards Brest a bit sooner. Therefore our guests have enjoyed themselves in St. Malo, enjoying the nice weather and looking at the ships leaving the harbour. After dinner, we had the pilot on board to accompany us out of the harbour. This morning we could set sail and tacked against wind and tide towards Brest. The forecast gives us a Southwestern wind of 3 to 4 Bft, veering West. The huge tidal differences (up to 11 meters between high and low tide) make a heavy current that heavily influences the navigation.
7 Jul 2012 08:21 GMT
48°38.57’N, 002°01.26’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
After lunch we set sail and sailed from Alderney to Guernsey. We wanted to use the evening wind to arrive around daylight in Guernsey. Together with the ‘Lord Nelson’ we sailed towards our anchor place where we arrived at 08:30 hours. After breakfast we brought the guests to shore to do some sightseeing. Just before diner they came back on board again. We decided to leave after dinner for St. Malo. The wind was coming from the NW, ideal for us! Later on it turned to the South and around midnight we had to turn on the engine to make our appointment with the pilot. At 08:00 o’clock the pilot came on board to help us enter the harbour of St. Malo. Then after breakfast it was time to say goodbye to our guests. For us this meant cleaning and preparing the ship for our new guests. In the afternoon we made some time to open the ship for the public that was visiting the maritime festival.
Today the new guests are arriving and they have until tomorrow to walk around and see all the ships that are in St. Malo. Tomorrow we will set sail for Brest because on Friday ‘Les Tonnerres de Brest’ starts, a maritime festival.
From the shipping company (4 Jul 2012)
Our other ship, the ‘Helena’, has made a very special voyage on the river Rhine, all the way from Rotterdam to Basel, in Switzerland. After several events in Basel, she has started the voyage back to Rotterdam, with stops and special events in many cities. Pictures, newspaper articles and tv reports can be found on her Facebook page (also open to those who have no Facebook account).
From the shipping company (4 Jul 2012)
If you made one or more nice photographs recently (the ship should at least partially be visible), please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We might put one or more up on the News page. Please mention the name of the photographer, the date and the location.
Thanks in advance!
28 Jun 2012 18:09 GMT
51°54.06’N, 004°27.01’E. Compass 273. Knots 4,6.
The voyage from Kiel to Rotterdam was pretty heavy. The forecast predicted NW 6-7 Bft and during rain 8 Bft. The strong wind and the short and high waves on the Elbe made the first part of the voyage bumpy. We considered waiting in Cuxhaven but we found out that the harbour was full so we decided to sail further. Along the way the voyage became more and more pleasant. The wind went down a bit to 5 Bft and the forecasts predicted that the wind would turn to SW. And this happened when we passed by Texel and it even turned more to W so we could set all the sails. On Wednesday at 17:00 we arrived in Scheveningen. Wouter served a very tasty festive meal. The next morning we departed very early in the morning at 04:00 hours and arrived at 09:30 in the Veerhaven in Rottterdam. We said goodbye to the guests and started right away with cleaning the ship and preparing for the guest that came on board at 18:00 for the voyage to Saint Malo. The forecast predicts SW 4-5 Bft. At the moment we are sailing fully rigged to Maassluis where we will spend the night.
25 Jun 2012 12:45 GMT
53°52.77’N, 009°06.81’E. Compass 253. Knots 3,5.
The ship and the crew worked hard to show the ‘Oosterschelde’ in all her glory during the Kieler Woche, tagging through the Förde. A really pleasant sight for the guests that were visiting the event. The weather conditions changed a lot during the week.
Now after a very rainy day we prepared the ship to go back to sea again. In the evening the guests arrived on board, they will join us on our way back from Kiel to Rotterdam. After a welcoming talk we dropped the anchor in the Förde, from where we had a great view on the fireworks in Kiel to end the Kieler Woche. The next morning we left early over the Kieler Canal. We try to plan it so that we would have the current with us on the Elbe towards the German Bight.
The forecast predicts SW turning NW 6 Bft, during showers 8 Bft. Until Tuesday night we keep this weather but on Wednesday it will change to 2-3 Bft. For us it is not ideal but you know what they say about the weather: it changes. The estimated arrival time is Thursday morning 10:00 o’clock. That same day we will depart at 18:00 for Saint Malo with a new group of guests on board.
21 Jun 2012 18:55 GMT
54°19.50’N, 010°08.74’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
From captain Bernt:
"The Kieler Woche is almost finished; it is so nice to be on board again. We sailed during these daytrips with about 100 guests through the Kieler Förde. And with sailing we mean sailing! During the first mile we ask our guests to help us with setting all the sails and the rest of the day we pass by the regatta-fields and other tall ships. It is very busy on the water. During the day we tag about 15-20 times and it is great to see that we are getting better and better in working together so now we can tack without any warning. First mate Frianko has the responsibility over the ship for the biggest part of the day and I am walking around on deck and talk to guests while also helping where I can on deck. The catering crew of 10 are taking good care of us. The guests enjoy watching our crew being so enthusiastic and admire the ship sailing. The great thing about the Kieler Förde is that there are no waves. The ship cuts trough the water so smoothly. Today we reached about 9,5 knots sailing back to the city. The weather changes a lot and that keeps us on our toes."
From the shipping company (16 Jun 2012)
We received this message from the captain:
“We had to fight for 24 hours against the wind, but then it changed. After breakfast we set all the sails and turned of the engine. We enjoyed the lovely morning. We had to tack and sail in the wrong direction for a while but after breakfast we tacked again and set course for Helgoland. The wind turned a bit in our favor and our speed went up to 7 to 8 knots and even the sun came out. Just before the dark the wind decreased a bit and we could also set the topsails. In the morning we arrived at Helgoland. We visit the island that day and ended it in the local bar where we watched the soccer game Germany-Netherlands. In the middle of the night we had to get up to catch the current to enter the Elbe. To our surprise we were able to sail a big part up the river. At the locks of Brunsbüttel we entered the Kiel Canal. We passed the lock at Holtenau at 20:00 o’clock because we had to wait for a big ship with heavy transport. So we decided to drop the anchor near the lock and we had a drink with the whole group on deck. On Friday morning after breakfast we lifted the anchor and set sail for the last 3 miles to the harbor of Kiel. The whole ship is transformed and ready for the Kieler Woche. We’re expecting the first guests on board any moment.”
From the shipping company (12 Jun 2012)
From the ship we get the message at the end of the day that everything is going great and that they are sailing fully rigged with a speed of 6,5 knots.
11 Jun 2012 18:55 GMT
52°27.50’N, 004°11.79’E. Compass 021. Knots 5,5.
“It is great to be on board again; yesterday I arrived on a very tidy ship in the Veerhaven. After a quiet night we welcomed the guests on board for the voyage from Rotterdam to Kiel. After the introduction we left the Veerhaven. On our way down the Maas we explained everything on deck to the guest crewmembers. When we were at sea we sailed for 1,5 hours but then the wind decreased and we had to turn on the engine. At the moment the wind is coming from the direction that we are heading so for now we will probably have to use the engine until we have passed Texel. The forecasts are good and we have hope that we can set sail again tomorrow morning.”
From the shipping company (11 Jun 2012)
Yesterday we were sailing a day trip in
Willemstad, together with our older ‘sister’ ‘Helena’. After the rain
and storm of the past days, the weather today was much better! Very
sunny, and not too much wind. Therefore both ‘Oosterschelde’ and
‘Helena’ could set all sails, even the gaff topsails! This
requested for a nice photo round with the dinghy. Unfortunately the
water police stopped us, since they were doing check ups on little motor
boats. Even though this is just a dinghy from a seaworthy sailing ship,
and we were not the target group (young people with small motorboats,
that go too fast and are a burden to others), we were still asked to
stop. A little bureaucratic, but rules are rules and luckily we did not
get a fine.
From the shipping company (10 Jun 2012)
Today a short daytrip with both ‘Oosterschelde’ and ‘Helena’ together. Unlike yesterday, the weather was beautiful and we had a very nice day. The ‘water police’ liked the sight of our ships even so much that they came for a check.
28 May 2012 10:27 GMT
51°53.94’N, 004°20.81’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
The wind didn’t increase and so we had to keep the engine on. Later we had thick fog and that didn’t clear until we sailed on the Maas. It was so dense that we couldn’t see the bowsprit from the wheel. We are now in Vlaardingen. We are a bit early and decided to make a stop here to have lunch. After lunch we will sail to the Veerhaven, where family and friends of our guest crew will be waiting to pick them up. It was an interesting group with all those sons and fathers. For us it was a great guest crew that could help us a lot and the atmosphere was great so we would love to organize this kind of voyage again.
27 May 2012 07:00 GMT
52°02.89’N, 001°09.71’E. Compass 088. Knots 0,0.
Hereby an update on the fathers-and-sons voyage. After all the fathers and sons arrived and said goodbye to their wives and mothers we welcomed everyone on board and explained about the ship and voyage.
The forecast for Friday and Saturday predicted wind from northeastern direction 3-4 Bft and later on turning to east-southeast; an ideal wind to sail to England. We decided to start right away and planned to sail to Ipswich. On Sunday night the wind would turn north.
When we passed by Hoek van Holland all the sails were set and we did about 10 knots. On Saturday afternoon we arrived at Harwich and we could sail all the way up the river Orwell to the lock of Ipswich. We attracted al lot of attention by sailing on the river. Around 19:30 we arrived in Ipswich. Our chef Wouter prepared a festive meal and after dinner we walked around in Ipswich.
We left around lunchtime so everyone had enough time to visit the town. On the river we had lunch and then we motor sailed the first part at sea. As soon as the wind would start blowing from the North, we would try to sail all the way back to the Veerhaven in Rotterdam.
25 May 2012 14:13 GMT
51°54.40’N, 004°28.73’E. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
During the past week we made three daytrips on the Maas. The people that we welcomed on board were a lot of fun. They are invited on board for the New Horizon Cruises. These cruises are especially for guests who are disabled or with a handicap; they sail along with us for a whole day including a nice lunch. The weather was amazing, which made the voyages even better.
Yesterday (Thursday) we didn’t have any guests on board and we had some time to do some work on the ship. We did some painting, oiled the mast and did some chores on the rigging. It was a long day of hard work; Wouter thought we could use a good meal and made us a barbecue.
Today we finished the last chores and after lunch we cleaned the ship. Tonight at 20:00 we will welcome the new guests on board. The guests will all be fathers and sons. Our goal is to go to England and with the Eastern wind that won’t be a problem. But for our way back we will need wind from another direction; for now it looks like we have a great weekend ahead of us!
19 May 2012 09:36 GMT
52°32.45’N, 002°05.02’E. Compass 090. Knots 7,9.
We are heading back towards Rotterdam. The forecast is very good; we have had northeast wind on the way to the UK and southsouthwest on the way back. Tonight the wind will drop and turn towards northeast direction. We now course in eastern direction. If the wind turns to northeast, we can easily sail to Rotterdam. It is a great voyage, with perfect wind and weather! The guests on board are already a very solid team. After a full English breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon and black pudding, we left the UK with the ‘Eendracht’ just behind us. Yesterday evening, when we were both in the harbour, we were invited to have a look on board of the ‘Eendracht’. Of course our crew and guest crew showed them the ‘Oosterschelde’. The (guest) crew of the ‘Eendracht’ was very excited when visiting the ‘Oosterschelde’. We are now sailing and expect to arrive in the ‘Veerhaven’ on Sunday afternoon around 4 PM.
18 May 2012 16:24 GMT
52°36.07’N, 001°43.59’E. Compass 090.
The wind came from east -northeast for the entire night, 3 to 4 Bft. We have been able to sail under full rig, and in the morning during sunset we could see land. We had to go around the sandbanks, and arrived in Great Yarmouth in high tide. We arrived at 8.40 AM (local time). Sailing ship ‘Eendracht’ has also just arrived. Yesterday during departure we also crossed them at the ‘Nieuwe Waterweg’. Apparently they have made the same conclusions, based on the weather forecast and chose the same course. It almost looked like a tall ships’ race.
17 May 2012 16:40 GMT
52°05.63’N, 003°55.33’E. Compass 303. Knots 5,6.
This morning we left Rotterdam with beautiful weather. We have 16 guest crewmembers on board for a short voyage to England for the long weekend. The weather forecast predicts southeast and east wind so we decide to sail to Lowesoft or Great Yarmouth. But when we sailed down the Nieuwe Waterweg and where at sea the wind changed and we sailed towards Scheveningen. We tack and the wind is now just right and Great Yarmouth is right ahead. Let’s see how long the wind will blow from this direction
From the shipping company (16 May 2012)
This morning, just after 10:00, the ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in Rotterdam. The weather forecast promised us a westerly gale on Tuesday evening, so we made some extra speed to get out of the German Bight in time. Once we had rounded Texel, the wind did pick up and we had a fast trip to Rotterdam. Tomorrow morning our new guests arrive for a short trip to England.
15 May 2012 02:02 GMT
53°54.00’N, 006°41.14’E. Compass 258. Knots 3,5.
The birthday of Hamburg harbour is greatly celebrated! Three days of festival, with around 100 ships in the water and also a nice festival and fair on shore, throughout the whole city. We have sailed several great daytrips with each 80 to 100 guests on board. Wouter, our chef, has prepared a very nice meal for all our guests.
A great firework show was given on Saturday, which almost all the ships could see from the water. Besides these 100 ships, there were also 3 gigantic cruiseships. Therefore it was to be expected that some ships would clash or crash into another. We have seen several ships with a shorter bowsprit after the festival. Now we sail north of the Dutch ‘Wadden’ on our way to Rotterdam. We left the harbour of Hamburg early yesterday morning. At this point there is hardly any wind, and from the opposite direction. For tomorrow the forecast is a fair wind from northwest direction. Therefore we try to pass Texel soon, so that we may profit from this wind.
12 May 2012 07:36 GMT
53°32.41’N, 009°59.17’E. Compass 090.
Our voyage to Hamburg was very nice and smooth. On monday night and tuesday during the day we sailed in a wind of 5 to 6 Beaufort and with a wind of 11 knots we passed the ‘Wadden’ Islands. Tuesday in the afternoon the wind dropped completely and we motor sailed the last bit towards the ‘Elbe’. We timed it quite well, so that we would go with the tide on the ‘Elbe’. At midnight, we celebrated Jana’s birthday (one of our crew members). We went with the tide during the whole night, so we went pretty fast. We moored in Hamburg at 6:45 in the morning. During the day we painted and cleaned the ship to make her ready for the Hamburg Hafengeburtstag. In the evening we had dinner in a restaurant for Jana’s birthday, where we also met her grandparents. (Jana is from Germany). Yesterday we have had the ‘Einlaufparade’, in which we sailed with around 100 other ship on the Elbe towards Hamburg. Of course this is somewhat chaotic, but everything went well and our group of 80 guests had a great day on board.
From the shipping company (7 May 2012)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in Rotterdam yesterday, where all guests left the ship. We look back on a very nice voyage. The ship just left Rotterdam towards Hamburg, where we will be joining the festivities of the Hamburger Hafengeburtstag (harbour anniversary).
5 May 2012 10:24 GMT
A short update from our Normandy and Channel Island voyage: The wind still came from the northeast, and would increase to 6-7 Bft. So after dinner, we decided to contact Oostende. Unfortunately, the harbour was full. Dunkerque was available, so we decided to stay there for the night. Now we have set sail towards Rotterdam, and we will arrive there in the afternoon.
4 May 2012 14:21 GMT
51°02.47’N, 001°42.51’E. Compass 039. Knots 6,8.
We have done great sailing to Guernsey. We sailed in between Sark and Herm and then coursed towards St. Peter Port. Just passed the harbor is a little bay (Havelet Bay), where we anchored. The bay is very small , so there was some maneuvering before we found a good anchor spot. No other ship would have fitted besides us in the same bay. We brought our guests to shore and started varnishing. Apparently Guernsey is a tax-paradise, so many guests returned with new iPhones and other gadgets, because of the lower prices. After a good but short night, we raised the anchor to go with the tide towards Cherbourg. There was hardly any wind, so we motor sailed most of the part. We were quick, going with the tide, so around 10 AM we anchored in La grande Rade in Cherbourg. Some left the ship for a nice cup of coffee and we said goodbye to Frianko, who left by train back home for his holidays.
After lunch we were all back on board and left Cherbourg. We set all sails, and moved from the harbor around 3PM. The wind dropped slowly and after a while we couldn’t sail against the tide into the direction we wanted. We tacked and tried to sail over port side, but that didn’t work, because of too little wind to influence our course. So we tacked again and left in the direction of the flow. In the evening the wind really dropped and the forecast gave us good hope for some wind after 24 hours, in the direction we need. So we motor-sailed towards Dover Strait, which we pass right now. The wind is slowly increasing, so we hope to set sail again soon. We probably stop in a harbor in Belgium tomorrow, before coursing back to Rotterdam. We expect to arrive Sunday afternoon.
From the shipping company (3 May 2012)
We have added a new voyage to our programme. This summer you will be able to see London from the Thames! After our daytrips during the Olympics, the ‘Oosterschelde’ will be sailing the Thames from london to sea and cross the North Sea towards Vlissingen. This 4-day voyage (August 13 to 16) can be booked from today! More information can be found in the voyage description in our program.
2 May 2012 08:10 GMT
49°36.62’N, 002°18.20’W. Compass 195. Knots 6,0.
As said there was a strong wind and the forecast predicted an increase of wind. That’s why we decided to find a good place to wait for better weather. After talking to the Cherbourg Traffic Centre we decided to anchor at Baie de Seine, close to the coast at Grandcamp-Maisy. There we arrived at five o’clock in the morning and dropped two anchors and got some rest. After breakfast the wind decreased already a bit and the forecast was good. After a bit of struggling to get the anchors up (they lines got tangled) and set sail. The wind turned east and we set the course. After a beautiful day of sailing we arrive at midnight in the harbour of Alderney. De next day the guest went for a walk on the island, visited a museum and a few even played a game of golf. Around seven everyone was back on board and we had an afternoon drink in the evening sun and then Job our chef prepared an Indian rice table. After dinner the children started a game of Pictionary, but soon the rest joined them fanatically. This morning after breakfast we left and set sail between Alderney and Burhou. Now we are on our way fully rigged and with a sunny sky to Guernsey.
From the shipping company (30 Apr 2012)
Before we were near Dieppe the wind turned. First to the southeast and then to the south and this made Dieppe hard to reach. We sailed on to Cherbourg close hauled. In a nice bay east of Cherbourg we dropped the anchor and waited for the weather to get better.
Meanwhile we have lifted the anchor. The wind has decreased and the forecast is good. Destination is Alderney where we will probably arrive tonight.
29 Apr 2012 08:22 GMT
50°20.86’N, 001°04.41’E. Compass 196. Knots 7,8.
On Saturday morning the ‘Oosterschelde’ left the Veerhaven for a voyage to the Channel Islands. A few minutes after ten in the morning the guest crew was complete and after a welcome word from the captain we departed for this nice voyage. The current was with us down the Maas so this went very quickly. Out at sea the wind was strong from the right direction. With an average of 8 knots we sailed along the Belgian coast and we are now 25 nautical miles north of the French town Dieppe. It is good sailing weather but we don’t mind if the rain would stop. The forecast is not so reassuring. It looks like we have to find a harbour along the French coast where we can wait for the bad weather to pass. Where we will stop we will let you know next time.
27 Apr 2012 10:30 GMT
51°58.18’N, 004°07.80’E. Compass 123. Knots 5,5.
With a beautiful sunset and with 4 bft wind it was a nice evening at sea. A few where seasick and probably where happy that we decided to spend the night in Scheveningen. This morning we left after breakfast and set sail for Rotterdam. This time no one was seasick. We just sailed around in the Europoort and on the Calandchannel where we can admire the gigantic oil tankers, bulk carriers and other sea going vessels. Everyone was impressed by how big everything is. Now we are on the Maas sailing back to the Veerhaven where we will arrive around 15:00 o’clock.
26 Apr 2012 15:09 GMT
52°06.44’N, 003°42.50’E. Compass 318. Knots 7,9.
This morning around 10:00 o’clock the guest came on board. Twenty-two youngsters between the age of 14 and 15 that want to experience a two-day voyage at sea on board of a ship. We will show them how it works at sea. We start with an introduction and explanation about the safety procedures. After that we divide the group is three smaller groups and start preparing the voyage. We look at the sea maps, the tide and the weather forecast. With a warning for southwest 7 Bft we decide to set a double reef and then we depart at 12:30 o’clock from the Veerhaven.
On our way to sea on the Maas we get a lot of rain and wind. The sea is luckily a bit calmer then expected and after the last shower we sky turns blue and the wind decreases.
A few pancakes that where eaten on the river now turned into fish food. It is very busy on the water so there is enough to see.
7 Apr 2012 16:53 GMT
52°22.02’N, 004°18.87’E. Compass 308. Knots 5,4.
It will be a very exciting finish. We are not the only ship that can’t reach the finish buoy at once and we have to tack along the Dutch coast. Strangely the ‘Morgenster’ that is normally much better in sailing close hauled is not far away. Also the ‘Ide Min’ and the ‘Flying Dutchman’ are close by. It’s only 5 miles to the finish, but the wind is coming from the complete opposite direction. The current that was with us the last hours is weakening and will be turning within an hour. Then the finish will be practically unreachable, so a lot is depending on the tacks that we make now. The wind has increased to 8 Bft and tacking is spectacular. Everyone is participating on deck.
7 Apr 2012 06:56 GMT
52°16.64’N, 003°11.36’E. Compass 095. Knots 8,3.
It is again a night with little wind or no wind at all. We dropped the anchor again when the current began to set us back. But in the end the promised wind is there. We are sailing with a good speed toward the Dutch coast. From time to time we have some rain with more wind during the showers and it is really cold. We still have the jib headed topsails on, but if the wind increases we have to take them down. Next to us are the Morgenster, the Ide Min, the Artemis, the Zephyr and the Gallant. The wind is more north then we hoped for, so we have to sail close-hauled. This isn’t a good course for the ‘Oosterschelde’. The other ships are better at sailing this course, but we are doing our best and maybe the wind will turn a little bit.
6 Apr 2012 15:07 GMT
52°03.51’N, 001°47.37’E. Compass 070. Knots 7,5.
We just started at the North Shipwash buoy. The wind is southeast and we are making good progress. It was a time start and we started after the big group. The disadvantage is that we are in the back but the advantage is that we can pass the other ships… We just passed the ‘Oban’ and we are now next to the ‘Thalassa’. We are also coming closing to the other ships. A good wind for the ‘Oosterschelde’ we hope that the wind stays this way.
6 Apr 2012 12:49 GMT
After a second night of partying it is time to leave Ipswich. It is not easy to wake everyone up this morning. All the dark sunglasses can’t hide the fact that a few of our guest crewmembers are a still a bit wobbly. Around high tide the lock gates to the dock are open and we can sail out in a row to the river Orwell. The weather is beautiful, very unlike normal British weather!
The start of the next leg is at the end of the afternoon at the North Shipwash buoy. The weather forecast is excellent. A light to moderate breeze from the west, that will turn in the evening to the northwest and tomorrow will increase a bit. At that time the wind will be a bit more north and maybe even northeast. Our tactic is to make some extra miles around north this evening and soon as the wind turns more to the northeast we can sail directly towards IJmuiden. We will see if this will work out as planned!
4 Apr 2012 20:18 GMT
52°02.53’N, 001°09.61’E. Compass 018. Knots 0,9.
It was a close finish. At the last moment the ‘Jacob Meindert’ and the ‘Thalassa’ passed us. But all in all we did not do too bad with our position in the middle, in front of faster sailing two-masters. The arrival party was a big success. It was a small wonder that everyone found their bed in the end and not literally got stuck to all the dirt. But now the ship is clean again and maybe the students have recovered a bit.
We are busy with some small chores on the ship and the students are preparing for the ball tonight by taking a nap.
3 Apr 2012 10:57 GMT
52°16.82’N, 004°18.55’E. Compass 262. Knots 4,9.
During the night we had little wind and after a while even no wind at all. We dropped anchor so that we wouldn’t go downstream back towards where we came from. All ships were still under sail, so that looked pretty spooky and special, with the anchorlights on. Around 01:00 we could sail a bit again.
This morning we started the second track at 09:00 with destination Ipswich. The wind increased a bit, and we are running 5 knots on a flat sea. For now the circumstances are very good. Later today the wind will increase. We shall see.
2 Apr 2012 17:09 GMT
51°59.87’N, 003°59.17’E. Compass 089. Knots 9.
The Race of The Classics has started! Unfortunately our start was absolutely not what we hoped it would be. We calculated the course and when we wanted to tack (15 minutes before the official start sign), we couldn’t make it. Therefore we had quite a bad start position. Before we got back on the way, jibed and coursed towards the starting line, we lost quite some precious time.
The good thing of this soft weather is that all the ships are still quite close to each other. And due to the slower speed, we will probably stay close to one another quite some time. And with a beautiful sunset, we sail in northern direction.
From the shipping company (2 Apr 2012)
This morning ‘Oosterschelde’ and her (guest) crew left Rotterdam. Accompanied by many other ships, they have left for the ‘Race of the Classics’. We have students on board from the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The students really looked forward to the race. In the morning they were accompanied by their parents, who could have a look on board and sailed along the first part. The parents will leave the ship this afternoon and then the race will really start.
From the shipping company (1 Apr 2012)
It was more work then expected to get all the jobs done and prepare the ship for sea again. But we’re ready now and looking forward to join the ‘Race of the Clasics’, which starts on monday.
From the shipping company (12 Mar 2012)
‘Oosterschelde’ is already back in Rotterdam for almost two weeks. We are taking it slow for a few weeks. With two or three crew members we are cleaning the ship and preparing ourselves for some more maintenance in the spring. Last week the inspector came around and we received our certificates for the coming year without any problems.
From the shipping company (28 Feb 2012)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ has arrived in her home port Rotterdam around 20:45 LT.
From the shipping company (28 Feb 2012)
ETA Rotterdam (Veerhaven harbour) is 20:30 à 21:00 LT.
28 Feb 2012 10:34 GMT
51°39.86’N, 002°34.30’E. Compass 069. Knots 6,2.
The so-called ‘channel fever’ has started with some of our (guest) crew members, some of us are calling home and looking forward to seeing their loved ones, since we are almost home.
We went through the Channel with little wind and sun, but still impressed by the huge Freighters. We sometimes turn on some extra lights, to make sure that they have actually seen us.
It is remarkable to see how the fishermen can actually fish in an area where sometimes 5 huge ships sail next to each other, even sometimes with cables in between.
We were very surprised by having the help of sailing upstream and downstream at the right moment. That is the lucky thing of being in Calais at the right moment, but is very extraordinary!
We hope to be this lucky again tonight on the ‘Nieuwe Maas’ and expect to be in the Veerhaven this evening around 8 or 9 o’clock.
25 Feb 2012 10:38 GMT
50°09.12’N, 005°03.67’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
Last night (Saturday morning) at 02:30 we entered Falmouth, after having experienced very heavy fog out at sea. The fog cleared just before entrance, so we were able to spot all the necessary lights. Some heavy freighters in the bay, all waiting to receive a destination. Very odd, not knowing where you’ll have to go.
We had a drink on the safe arrival. After breakfast we will fill the day with maintenance. The plan is to leave tomorrow after lunch. We expect to have the wind back in the evening, and next is the last leg to Rotterdam.
“A few days ago I wrote: “Hurray, we are sailing!” We did that until last night, but as expected the wind decreased. The combination of little wind, little speed and beam sea made it unpleasant to steer.
A different course after tack didn’t give any improvement. There was nothing left to do then turning on the engine and let down the topsail, mainsail and course. The wind will be away for a while so we keep on going on engine towards the Southwestern point off Cornwall. It is about 90 miles to Lizard Point.
We are at sea for a week now and of the seven days we could sail for five. Our rythm is being defined by our watches. Eating before or right after your watch (and always to much because it is so good) and sleep. Beforehand I didn’t think I had more time then that but it turns out we have also time to do something else. The books that I brought with me are already read, luckily there are still a lot of books on board.
And so the days go on and we are sailing closer to the Veerhaven."
22 Feb 2012 12:03 GMT
48°44.30’N, 014°45.92’W. Compass 082. Knots 8.
Since we have left the Azores 5 days ago, the weather was as forecasted and we are now sailing in a nice wind, with main sail, gaff top sail, course, top sail and top gallant sail. The heavy depression that was on the ocean, turned direction north and left west of the UK. We are sailing with a wind of 5 Bft on the edge of the high air-pressure area. Last night we have changed our course with 20 degrees and are now heading towards the English Channel, with a little curve. We are 325 miles southwest of the traffic separation scheme near the Scilly Islands. Sometimes we lower the gaff top sail and the top gallant sail, and as soon as we can we set them again. The watch of last nigth had 3 other ships on the radar, which has been the most busy night since a while. Coming days will be busier, now that we are moving towards western Europe and ‘the rest of the world’. A world that is hardly in our mind at the moment. For us at open sea, there is no euro crisis, no tax problems, just the view of a wide and open sea, dependent upon the elements, accompanied by dolphins and the fun of being together on board.
It is not really cold yet; even though the sailing suits and scarves are on, we haven’t used our gloves and thermal underwear yet. The cook prepares a very nice meal each day, yesterday he surprised us with hamburgers for lunch and a lovely lasagna for dinner with an ice cream dessert! Due to moist in the air, we started painting inside instead of outside. The stores and kitchen look great again. Last night we switched the time on board to Greenwich Mean Time, and therefore both the watch groups had half an hour shorter to sleep. We switched because it started to become dark very early in the evening.
If it stays as planned and hoped (and if the wind does what was forecasted) we will be able to sail along until we reach the English Channel and then the wind is supposed to turn west and help us in the right direction. NIce sailing is expected!
An extra reason for me to be happy is that I can make my steering hours. It is way too early to look back upon the trip because we have many days to go, but I can already make a small conclusion: we are very lucky with the weather (and the wind). It starts to become a little bit colder now, and until now we have not had many cloudy days. This morning it was 13 degrees, much better that I had expected for this part of the trip. If the weather turns out to be worse, we are in no trouble, the bay of Biscay is 600 miles to starboard."
18 Feb 2012 12:23 GMT
41°06.88’N, 027°26.11’W. Compass 027. Knots 7,4.
Guest crew member Jan writes: "After staying in the harbour of Horta, we are back at sea en since a full day all we see is water and sky. It is very calm, and there is hardly any wind. So unfortunately we have to use the engine to move forward. The weather at sea can change quickly, but at the moment the forecasts do not expect any wind soon.
Yesterday Sebastiaan took us through the weather maps and showed us the forecasts. We seem to be in a high air-pressure area north of the Azores. Therefore the lower pressure areas with a lot of wind will stay at a distant. Our course is based on two main factors: 1) our destination, the Veerhaven in Rotterdam and 2) do as most of the track as possible under sail. Our course is now based on reaching that part f the high air-pressure area to catch a useful wind to reach the south west of England mostly under sail.
I would like to tell something more about the Azores. In many shipping novels the Azores are mentioned as the final grip of islands that are visited before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. On Faial nothing reminded of that. But the island is crearly visited often by sailing yachts that make a long journey. The crew mainly used the first day of our stop to make the ship ready for heavy weather on the track towards Rotterdam. The second day was used for relaxing and exploring the island. We rented a van and crossed the island, with a very nice visit of a huge crater on 1100 meters."
17 Feb 2012 13:11 GMT
38°33.50’N, 028°35.08’W. Compass 020. Knots 6,5.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ has left the Azores. We enjoy a sunny day, which brings us 22 degrees of warmth
Last preparations for bad weather are being made; this might come up next week; for the first few days ahead though the prospect is fine.
We will start off in a northerly direction, and next we will follow the rim of the high pressure area and set for western England.
16 Feb 2012 16:08 GMT
38°31.80’N, 028°37.51’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.
Captain Sebastiaan reports:
‘ With 9 knots we sail towards the harbour, controlled we let down the sails and when we are almost there turn around to let down the mainsail. A few moments later we are moored in the Southern harbour (14th of March at 22:00 o’clock). After shaking the hand of my old friend, Duncan of Mid Atlantic Yacht Service, the maritime police came on board.
After a lot of autographs, stamps and searching through the ships papers we where declared bona fide. And we took a drink on the good outcome of the voyage and another one for the Queen. After that we went to bed.
We got up early to clean the whole ship; we did all the washing and hung out the sheets. We did some maintenance on the sails and we brought the jibb to the sail locker, we took apart the electric engine etc. We also welcomed the coastguard manager and four of his employees that is what you get when you have such a nice ship; they told us that they just had to take a look!
At night we went out to diner from the money of the tip box and today we are in a car to explore the island.
The weather looks good and tomorrow on the 17th of March we will leave at 11:00 o’clock local time, (13:00 o’clock Dutch time) because the sun rises a bit later here in the Azores.
From the shipping company (15 Feb 2012)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ has arrived in Horta, Azores.
14 Feb 2012 11:54 GMT
37°08.23’N, 028°18.81’W. Compass 002. Knots 10,1.
In a quiet watch at sea, where keeping track, making sure the sails are still okay and checking the radar are the main goals, we have some time to think. Especially for our guest crew, who are not as used to being away from home as we are.
Guest crew member Jan explains:
"At sea you become aware of the quick changes of the weather. It is fascinating to see how quickly it changes, which is of huge impact for a sailing ship. It reminds me of what sea philosopher and former crew member Anthony Goldsmith said: ‘ There are three kinds of wind: Too little, too much and head-wind.’ And there is the saying ‘the exception proves the rule.’ As far as I am concerned, these two complement each other in this voyage.
Practically we have had both, this Sunday. We started on the engine under a clear sky. Every now and then some clouds appeared and even some rain. In the afternoon we could set sail, due to some wind. In the evening the wind increased a lot, we had no sight and many showers. Around the showers we had to take extra care because of the wind, since there were many changes. As a precaution we lowered some of the sails, and variously had much wind and little wind, coming from several directions. Luckily the showers could be seen well on the radar, the night being very dark. Due to these changes, we had a lot of work to do during the night.
Now, on Tuesday, there is a strong eastern wind. Interspersed by sun and rain, we sail the last miles towards Horta on full speed. We expect to arrive tonight around 8 o’clock local time."
12 Feb 2012 14:01 GMT
32°08.38’N, 027°54.04’W. Compass 001. Knots 7,7.
Guest crewmember Jan ten Dam:
“It started Friday night around one o’clock. The wind thought: ‘Oh well I helped the ‘Oosterschelde’ on her way now. It is weekend for me now too, I’m going to take a break.’ So the wind was gone and there was nothing left to do then start the engine.
We are sailing in a high-pressure area. Saturday the weather was great: sunny and the temperature was really nice. Besides the daily activities everyone is busy with all kinds of lists; checklists and to do lists.
In the afternoon, there’s an alarm. It looks like we hit a container. We don’t know if we are making water but there is a wounded sailor below deck. Thank goodness it is a drill and Lukas is our victim.
It is a clear night and we are enjoying a starry sky. We can see the planet Venus. I don’t get much further than recognizing the Big Dipper. But Maarten shows me a few others. When the moon occurs we can only see the brightest stars.
With this steady speed we are sailing to Horta on the Azores. The estimated time of arrival is Wednesday morning.
Then is time for a drink and think about this great journey. Until that time I am going to enjoy myself.”
10 Feb 2012 12:27 GMT
26°28.77’N, 027°09.79’W. Compass 334. Knots 6,9.
Written by guest crewmember Jan ten Dam:
“Friday February 10th, we are on our way for four days now. This voyage will be the longest one yet for me on the ‘Oosterschelde’.
After departure from Palmeira we set all the sails and since then we didn’t have a lot of work to change them. We are comfortably sailing in the right direction. To top it all, the weather is also very pleasant at night and the rest will be taken care of by Wouter, our chef. No wonder that the atmosphere on board is excellent!
All the guest crewmembers are divided into groups with the rest of the crew to stand watch. This way I can contribute to the life at sea. Off and on I stand at the wheel and steer and this is for me the thing that is the most of the fun. The thing that intrigues me the most at sea is the sudden changes in weather. First one is sailing with nice wind and suddenly the wind is completely gone. But we have a solution for this problem: we start the engine and we motorsail a bit till the wind the returns.
All in all we are making nice progress towards our first stop: the Azores.”
8 Feb 2012 12:06 GMT
21°20.61’N, 024°55.32’W. Compass 347. Knots 7,8.
We have been on our way for days already; with water fountains on deck we make steady headway. Yesterday evening we took down the topgallant sail, because we where leaning over a bit too much.
This morning we cleaned the ship with the fire hose to rinse off all the desert sand. It was everywhere even the wind vane was red and the dust was in our eyebrows.
It was a surreal experience yesterday; the visibility was very poor with the ship in a red haze.
Now the weather is much better with the sun and less dust. Dolphins visited us a few times already and we even saw a turtle.
The weather forecast looks good for the next few days, the wind will be northeastern 5 Bft. We keep watch to see of the sails are set right and we clean in places that we haven’t cleaned for a while. There’s also time for inventory, updating maps and clearing away supplies.
Everyone takes turns in steering Her Majesty over the waves and we look out over the sea to see of there is any danger on the horizon.
The atmosphere on board is excellent!
6 Feb 2012 17:25 GMT
16°51.48’N, 023°04.13’W. Compass 331. Knots 7,4.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ left today from Palmeira, Sal. This morning we brought the last fresh vegetables on board, without boxes and rinsed off to prevent it from vermin.
We all put on our lifejackets and explained where the fire extinguishers are; this was easily done because our guests have already sailed with us a lot in the past.
We think we will arrive in Rotterdam in a month, but this will depend on the weather. Yesterday evening we checked the climatic maps and routing charts, the first part to the Azores it will be over starboard due to the North-eastern trade wind, which is blowing a lot of dust over the Atlantic.
The iron lady is longing for a downpour: the flags and banners are golden brown because of all the dust. I hear the humming of the propeller-shaft and we are sailing with standard rigging, topsail and topgallant sail, with for now only the ocean in sight.
4 Feb 2012 18:19 GMT
01°12.09’N, 022°56.09’W. Compass 020. Knots 0,0.
Written by sailor Anouk:
"Today it’s February 3rd, the last day of the voyage and of all the voyages in Cape Verde. It where three beautiful months, it’s a shame we have to leave, but luckily we will be returning next year! At the moment we are sailing and with the engine from Boa Vista to Sal, we expect to arrive there in the late afternoon.
Three days ago we where anchored at São Nicolau. There we got two cabs, it where pickups so some of us went on top in the back and a few sat in the backseat. This was a good thing for your rear end but for the view and taking pictures the back of the pickup is better. We saw a lot of nice things. On every island in Cape Verde you see a lot of colours. The houses have different bright colours and also the laundry that is hanging out to dry is very colourful.
The first stop was along the coast. There we could see what the sea does to lava. The sea carved beautiful layers in the lava. After that we returned to the harbour at the other end of the island, but not before we made a short stop at a gas station. An old man with a crooked back and a cowboy hat was trying to saw down a tree. The tree had only a diameter of about 15 centimetres, but it still took about 10 minutes before the tree came down. We assumed it was the type of wood that must be very hard or was it the chainsaw that wasn’t working the way it should?
During our drive we waved at all the people that were standing next to the road waving at us and even a little boy with a plastic electric guitar gave a guitar solo specially for us! A day full of nice views, colours but mainly beautiful people! Thank you São Nicolau!"
A story by sailor Lukas:
"Thanks to Bertoni, our Capeverdian guide, the island São Nicolau is one we will always remember. He organized a barbecue at the beach, it was great! Good food, live music and all this under a perfect night sky with stars. A great end to a great voyage. As Anouk already said, we sailed from Boa Vista to Sal the next day. The wind was not very favourable, so it was pretty bumpy and even the toughest sailor (me) got a bit seasick. Around five we anchored in the bay of Palmeira and our cook Wouter prepared a festive meal. Everyone toasted to a beautiful voyage and after a few drinks beautiful stories where told. This morning we already had to say goodbye to our guests. A lot of them where not very happy to go, because they already spoke to the home front and knew that it is very cold in Holland with temperatures below zero. I wish them good luck!
Now the ship is very quiet again and that is always a pity The crew is busy preparing the ship for her way home to Rotterdam. The cook is shopping for groceries, the rest is cleaning and putting up another old course because the old one had a big tear in it so we will have a lot to sow on our way back. Now we have to wait for our new captain and for our new first mate, who will take over from Frianko; Frianko did very well. When we are on our way back to Rotterdam we will send another update!
30 Jan 2012 13:20 GMT
16°51.55’N, 024°46.01’W. Compass 123. Knots 7.
On the 27th we left Santiago with a eastern wind, sometimes even a bit from the south. Therefore we could sail in the direction of São Nicolau. We were hoping to arrive in Mindelo (São Vicente) under sail, and set a course between Santa Lucia and São Nicolau.
Just below São Nicolau the wind dropped (as expected). With some help of the engine, we could sail again towards São Vicente, this time arriving from the north. While changing the watch, the wind dropped. We had already unpacked the mizzen topsail to set extra sail. But after a short while, this turned out to be unnecessary, the wind stopped completely. Frianko had to start the engine and we reached our anchorplace in Mindelo by engine. You can’t have it al, but we have had a good sailing day.
In Mindelo we have bunkered for our way back towards Rotterdam, which will start in a few days. Meanwhile, our guests have wandered around in Mindelo. The weather wasn’t very good, we even had some rain. On the next day, the guest crew went to Santo Antão, accompanied by Lukas, where they had a great walk! Halfway through the walk the clouds disappeared and the view over the valley was stunning. On board we had some doubts if we could start painting, but as soon as the sky cleared we did.
This morning we left Mindelo towards São Nicolau. With a nice flat ocean and a wind between 10 and 15 knots, we sail towards the other Tarrafal. We have planned our last excursion for this season on São Nicolau and expect a very nice barbecue with live music in the evening.
28 Jan 2012 02:32 GMT
16°48.63’N, 024°41.73’W. Compass 316. Knots 5,9.
Crewmember Lukas writes (this story covers a big part of our earlier message): After a whole day and half a night of sailing we arrived in Tarrafal at 04:00 o’clock. Our new first mate Frianko anchored the ship perfectly. We divided the anchor watches and then we went to bed, because the next day we where going to do an excursion on the island.
This excursion went to the prison, where between 1935 and 1974 Portuguese and Capeverdian political dissidents where held prisoner. After that we went to a park that is sponsored by the United Nations. We walked the mountain up with along the way beautiful panoramic views.
After a ride with the bus of an hour we had lunch in a little town called Santa Catarina. We ate some genuine Capeverdian food and it was very good. For me the nicest thing about the excursion was the enormous old tree, of about 10 metres broad and with a lot of twisted roots and as high as the ‘Oosterschelde’ the only thing that’s a pity is that a lot of people carved their names in the tree. Would all the couples still be together now?
Around 19:00 hours everyone was back on board and Wouter, our cook, surprised us with an Indonesian rice table. This was for a lot of our British guest something new but they liked it very much. After dinner some of our crewmembers ventured in to some swimming by night. First from the railing and later on also from the course.
Today we went further to São Vicente, with the harbour town Mindelo. We hope to arrive at 4 o’clock. We sailed close-hauled between the two islands Santa Luzia and São Nicolau, Tomorrow we are going to bunker diesel for our voyage back to Rotterdam and the day after that we have our excursion on Santo Antão.
26 Jan 2012 20:06 GMT
15°16.93’N, 023°45.48’W. Compass 170. Knots 0.0.
This morning we have dropped the anchor around 05:00 o’clock in the bay of Tarrafal, Santiago, after leaving Palmeira, Sal the morning before. We had a good sailing trip, with a fair north-eastern wind 4 Bft (which decreased a bit after a while). In the afternoon we were accompanied by a few dolphins. Our guest crew is a nice group, with a mixture of Dutch, German, Swiss, Irish, Scottish and English persons. We had an excursion today on Santiago, in which we visited a former prison, in the Salazar days used by the Portuguese for political prisoners. We visited the huge ‘Poilao’, a centuries-old kapok tree. We also visited the town Santa Catarina and made a walk in the national park. The forecast for tomorrow is good! With a wind of 4 to 5 Bft, coming from the east, later on turning to ENE, we are expecting a nice sailing track.
23 Jan 2012 17:22 GMT
16°45.12’N, 022°59.08’W. Compass 322. Knots 0,1.
The strong easterly made the roads at Santa Maria unsuitable, because of the swell coming around the south tip of the island. We decided to tack and to sail on to Palmeira. On the west side of the island the sea is more quiet. With two reefs and close-hauled we still do 8 knots. The sun makes the water blue and we all enjoy a few hours of great sailing, a great conclusion of a nice trip. We drop anchor at Palmeira at 16:10.
23 Jan 2012 13:30 GMT
16°31.31’N, 022°53.59’W. Compass 358. Knots 6,8.
The last few days the wind is strong and very easterly. The northeastern trade wind is of course not as stable as the name suggests. Sometimes the wind is almost north and sometimes, like now it’s almost east. Due to this we could not sail in one straight line from São Nicolau to Boa Vista. But now, from Boa Vista to Sal, we can profit from it. Also the clouds are gone and the sun is out. The high waves and swell don’t seem so threatening anymore, they are quite beautiful. Within a few hours we hope to anchor in the bay of Santa Maria.
21 Jan 2012 15:39 GMT
16°11.03’N, 023°58.51’W. Compass 120. Knots 4,4.
There was also quite some wind on land. After our excursion in pick-ups, we were sandblasted, tired and a bit cold. Therefore not everyone looked forward to go away for the evening. But as soon as we were on the beach with Bertoni’s friends, a barbecue with great food and live music, it turned out to be a very nice night.
While writing this, we are on our way to the next island. The strong wind has made the sea quite heavy, with many waves and a contrary swell up to 3,5 meters. With some support of the engine we make considerable progress, but every once in a while the speed is completely gone when the ship dips into a large wave. An ETA is therefore hard to tell at this moment.
20 Jan 2012 14:24 GMT
16°34.14’N, 024°21.80’W. Compass 108. Knots 0,1.
The voyage to São Vicente went prosperous. As soon as we passed the islands the wind decreased and the sea was calmer so we could get the reefs out. We had to sail pretty close-hauled to pass Santa Luzia on the upper side, but we succeeded and then we could sail with broad reach and with about 8 knots the rest of the journey was very pleasant. When the sun went down and we were almost there, a fish bit our line, but we lost it due to our speed. The sun sets very fast here, so when we dropped our anchor at Tarrafal it was already dark.
São Nicolau and Santo Antão are probably the most beautiful islands of the archipelago. Everybody was really impressed two days ago after the walk on Santo Antão. Today we have the opportunity to visit São Nicolau. With two vans we drive over the island. To the special lava structures on the southwest coast, to the top of Mont Gordo, the national park and the groque distillery that is situated on a beautiful spot and at the end of the day to the natural pool in the black rocks on the north coast. Tonight we are having a barbecue on the beach. Bertoni invited some musicians for the occasion, so it will be a nice evening.
On board we are busy with the strong wind. The wind blows strongly down from the mountains and with these gusts of wind the anchor doesn’t hold the ship in her place. On deck even the coffee cups blow away. We just lifted the anchor again to find a better place. We now dropped two anchors, let’s hope that this will work better.
19 Jan 2012 08:34 GMT
16°46.75’N, 024°39.78’W. Compass 128. Knots 6,1.
‘Superman’, the mechanic who we asked to work on our generator couldn’t finish the job today. Because a small piece of iron from a bearing caused a short-circuit, he has a lot of work to fix it. We are on our way to São Nicolao and we hope that he will finish the job this evening. With a bit of luck he can give some parts along with the ‘Mar Liso’, which carries cargo between the islands. The ‘Mar Liso’ is an old wooden Danish cutter. Probably from the thirties and is currently living its third life we think. Every voyage could be its last, or will be its last, that is what you think when you see this ship. But I have been thinking this for years now and its time-table is much more reliable than the one of the official ferry, of which you don’t know if it goes at all.
Meanwhile we are sailing near the islands Santa Luzia and Ilhéu Branco, these islands are uninhabited. There was a lot of wind and high waves between São Vicente and Santo Antão, but now we can sail straight to São Nicolao and we are having a smooth journey.
19 Jan 2012 06:11 GMT
16°53.05’N, 024°59.78’W. Compass 185. Knots 0,1.
The walk on San Antão exceeded all expectations. No matter what you tell about it beforehand; the landscape is more impressive than you can imagine. The weather was also good, so when the guests returned to the ship they were very fulfilled. Wouter prepared a barbeque and we enjoyed it on deck. It was a long day and soon after dinner a few guests returned to their cabins early. Around 22:00 o’clock only the watch was still on deck. At the moment we are preparing for our voyage to São Nicolau. Later on, after breakfast we will get clearance from customs and we will put a few reefs in the sails because the wind is pretty strong today.
17 Jan 2012 19:51 GMT
16°53.05’N, 024°59.78’W. Compass 185. Knots 0,1.
It was a pretty heavy night. When the wind increased, we let some sails down and when is decreased we set more sail. And this happened a lot. We were pretty busy with this and you could see that the guests were having fun with it. So was the crew until the wind really started blowing from the wrong direction. After all the hard work, it was frustrating to see that we were loosing the progress that we made. The last 20 miles of the 140-mile long journey we turned on the engine and this way we could sail directly to Mindelo. A few minutes before 20:00 o’clock we dropped the anchor in the bay. In the morning the wind decreased and the sun came out. While our guests were discovering São Vicente, we were busy with all kinds of small maintenance and repair. The old Murphy law has his eyes on the ‘Oosterschelde’ so it seems, because all the problems appear at the same time. But we are winning (we think), so we hope to finish the repairing tomorrow. For our guests there’s an excursion planned to Santo Antão. Maybe the highlight of the voyage. But we will tell you more about this tomorrow.
16 Jan 2012 13:29 GMT
15°28.38’N, 023°56.41’W. Compass 306. Knots 5,7.
During the night the wind increased to 6 Bft and soon we let down the topgallant. With waves increasing and with the wind in our back the ship became hard to steer and due to that the mainsail jibed. Luckily the line that holds the mainsail didn’t break but this was our cue to let the sail down. With just the topsail and course we surfed further doing about 8 knots. When the wind decreased a little and turned, we changed the course for the jib and set the main sail and the schooner again. We sailed the last 20 miles to Santiago and dropped our anchor at 04:00, in the bay at Tarrafal.
Today we sail further to São Vicente. The wind is still pretty heavy so we start with putting reefs in the mainsail, schooner and mizzen. We sail from the Leeward Islands towards the Windward Islands so this course is close-hauled. It is still overcast but it is nice and warm. The wind is about 5 Bft but more important, from the northeast. With this wind we can sail directly to São Vicente.
14 Jan 2012 14:19 GMT
16°37.67’N, 023°03.85’W. Compass 211. Knots 6,0.
It is not always easy to get to Cape Verde. Crewmembers Frianko and Anouk made an unexpected stopover on Santiago, but luckily they where able to fly to Sal the next day and everybody was on board in time for the fifth voyage. All the guests already had arrived a day earlier and spent a night in a hotel, so everyone was well rested when they arrived on the ship. A little bit uneasy the guests climbed from the dinghy up the ladder to the ship. Last night we anchored just outside of the harbour of Palmeira. After breakfast, the safety instructions and the explanation about the ship and the sails, Wouter (our chef) came on board with a fresh load of vegetables. At 11:00 we lifted the anchor. The wind is moderate, with 4 to 5 Bft and with this course we have the wind in our back. Beside the mainsail we set the course, topsail, and the topgallant and we sail softly swaying towards Santiago. Though it’s cloudy. the weather is good and while I’m writing this, I hear the bell announcing lunch and this also means the end of my watch. Life is good!
10 Jan 2012 19:11 GMT
16°11.81’N, 023°12.06’W. Compass 099. Knots 6,6.
Early in the morning we had breakfast and we left for Mindelo. On our way we made the last appointments with our agent so we can bunker. We arrive in Mindelo around 13:00 hours, it is weird being on quayside; the last time was nine weeks ago in Funchal, Madeira. After bunkering we decided to anchor because the first rope already broke. The guests had some time to go to town and to have lunch during bunkering. They visited the grave of the recently passed singer Cesaria and did some sightseeing in town. That night everyone went to bed early so they were well rested for the hike on San Antão. We took some more time so after the walk there was enough time to do the sightseeing tour over the island before returning to the ferry.
The weather reports for the next day are promising, with a nice northeastern wind of 10-15 knots. After departure we went on engine for a small hour and after that we set sail and with 9 knots we sail by Santa Lucia and São Vicente. Our destination is São Nicolau and we arrive there before sunset.
Yesterday we did another excursion; this one is for the most part by pickup truck. Everyone is still feeling their muscles for the hike on San Antão, but when they return everyone is full of enthusiasm about the different elements on the island, like the rocks and the influence of the sea on shore and the green paradise-like heart of the island. A few guests also experienced the local drink Grock. That night we enjoyed a barbeque organized by Bertoni.
Tired but fulfilled we returned to the ship around 24:00 hrs. This morning we left for Boa Vista and the wind is favorable. We won’t make it before sunset because the wind decreased along the way. The sailing is great and even our guests from Hamburg who experienced seasickness up till now are now enjoying them selves on deck. Our ETA is 20:30 hrs.
6 Jan 2012 01:24 GMT
16°35.25’N, 024°49.24’W. Compass 316. Knots 7,1.
This morning (Thursday) we left from Tarrafal. It took about 45 minutes before we had a steady wind and we
could set more sail. As soon as we are at open sea and further away from the island we sail with a speed of 10 knots. When we are near São Nicolau we drop back to 8 knots. We set some more sail and when we’re further away we let some down again, we stay very active this way.
The expected NE 15-20 knots is there and we prepared for the night and let down a few sails. With about 3 hours to go we sail to the southwestern bay right under the airport of Mindelo. The plan is to find out if it’s possible to anchor there until breakfast.
Our guests from Hamburg, Ute and her daughter Majda, are a little bit seasick. With crackers, bananas and water we take care of them and as long as they stay in bed they are fine. Hopefully they will get used to the movement of the ship quickly.
5 Jan 2012 20:16 GMT
16°11.94’N, 024°28.89’W. Compass 326. Knots 8,0.
Two days ago we left in the morning from Palmeira. We lift the anchor and set the topsail and the topgallant sail. We gave Peter instruction on how to lift the sails. With help of the other crew we set sails and at that moment the anchor came loose from the ground. The first watches are relatively quiet with wind around 3-4 Bft. At six the next morning we drop our anchor in the bay. During
breakfast plans are made for visiting Santiago. We visit an old Portuguese concentration camp from 1975, this gives us another view on the history of these islands.
After that we visited a really old tree, we don’t know for sure if it is a Baobab, pictures are being taken and we will try to find this out. The road to the tree was an adventure; the road was very steep and narrow with small
stones. After this visit we go to Santa Catharina and we have lunch there and visit the market. Selma, our cook, of course takes this opportunity to buy some fresh vegetables. The rest take a walk and the restaurant needs some time to prepare dinner. Jana explained to the restaurant holder that we don’t want 13 different dishes but if they make a mixture of meat, fish and vegetables it will be great. And this turns out to be a very good idea. After lunch we walked in the National Park and returned to the ship.
1 Jan 2012 18:59 GMT
16°40.54’N, 023°00.60’W. Compass 328. Knots 6,0.
We left Mindelo on the 28th of December with a lot of muscular pain due to the fantastic walk that we make every voyage on Santo Antão. The trail is only usable for people and donkeys and has been here for years and years. This side of the mountain is the humid wet side. The air travels up along the slopes and cools down with rain as a result. This is one of the few places that has enough water to use it for agricultural purposes. Everywhere you see small terraces with coffee plants, bananas, potatoes and all kinds of vegetables. It looks like they can harvest the whole year through. Marili (our physical therapist) has also hiked and can tell us all the Latin names of the muscles and joints. As soon as we are between San Antão and São Vicente we can set sail and with a few reefs we still have a speed of 9 knots and again a group of dolphins is joining us. At 21:45 we drop the anchor at Tarrafal on São Nicolau.
After breakfast, the next morning we drive with pick-ups over the island. Rough nature with rocks on one end of the island and of course the green heart; Monto Gordo. From the mountain a spring comes down in to the valley where there are papaya and banana trees and sugar cane grows. In the local distillery they make Grogue from the sugar cane, is a kind of very strong rum. When we arrive the owner is sitting and waiting for power to use the machine. Today no production, maybe tomorrow again.
We visit the National Park and mount Monte Gorde and drive back to the ship. We fresh up and are ready for the beach party organized by our guide Bertoni.
Not only the nice food, but also family and friends on guitar and violin playing the Capeverdian music make this in to a great party. When Hans finished his first plate he is suddenly between the other musicians playing on a borrowed guitar the well-known Sodade of the recently passed Cesari Evora.
The next morning we leave early for our voyage to Boa Vista. The voyage was a though one with a lot of wind but at eleven in the morning we arrive on the 31st of December. It is cloudy and there is a lot of Sahara sand in the air. Most of the guests make plans to discover the island. The party on the small island on the coast is cancelled because it is too dangerous to land with the dinghy with these waves. So we make a party on deck. And at twelve we pop the bottles of Champaign and fire the canon. The crew wishes everyone a happy new-year
From the shipping company (1 Jan 2012)
Shipping company and crew wish you a very happy New Year!