She is a young female sailor, she is talented, and she is focused. Lina Rixgens is aiming to become the first German female sailor to complete the Mini Transat. And well on the way she is indeed.
She will be all by herself. On a boat smaller than some cars. Racing across the Atlantic. She knows that it will be her toughest race to date – and that is one of the great positives about Lina: She is realistic in seeing what she is getting herself into.
On a sunny afternoon in May 2014 it got a little crowded in a Dehler 31’s cockpit. That was, however, exactly what we had in mind. It was the start of a wonderful sailing week in the Danish South Sea.
The idea was quite simple: Two days of getting to know the boat, family sailing and relaxing on the water. Then reducing crew size and heading off to adorable Danish islands, enjoying some brilliant sailing in Denmark. Simple plan, simple actions (one tends to think).
We started off with the usual activities when chartering a boat: Handover, shopping food and drinks for the week, unpacking bags and playing around with the electronic equipment. Luckily – and that was exactly what we had been looking for – availability of this electronic paraphernalia was very limited: GPS, radio, small fridge, lights. Nothing else. Perfect.
When spending time sailing an old “15er Jollenkreuzer” (wooden dinghy cruiser, P-Boot), and that in a beautiful setting like the Havel Lakes, you can very easily forget the noisy and fast living high-tech world.
What is it that makes sailing in an old, wooden boat such a pleasure and joy? Maybe its history, being older than the sailor itself. Or the material it is made of, wood, a renewable resource that has been used for centuries. Those are just two reasons out of many for choosing to travel with an old wooden dinghy cruiser.
Here is the beauty I had the pleasure of spending two long weekends with. This type of boat that keeps me dreaming about longer journeys in a dinghy cruiser, in a simple fashion:
Class: 15er Jollenkreuzer (aka P-Boot, cabin dinghy cruiser)
Length: 6,50 m
Beam: 2,50 m
Draught: 0,20 / 1,15 m
Displacement: 550 kg
The Mini Transat is one of the most exciting and challenging races you can take part in. The big question is: How much money do you need to sail over the finish line? What are the costs for a Mini Transat campaign?
Before going into monetary details, a couple of important assumptions need to be made:
– this is amateur’s talk (i.e. not a professional, fulltime campaign)
– for a production (series) boat
– for simply getting there (i.e. finishing)
– and with a very, very conservative budget calculation.
From a sailor’s point of view…
the Mini Transat is one of the ultimate challenges and adventures. Single handed racing across the Atlantic. In a boat just 6,5 metres long. And anyone can participate as long as qualification has been passed (and that is achievable when concentrating on it). In addition to that, it has been the “cradle” and starting point for many successful ocean racing professionals.
From anyone else’s point of view…
the Mini Transat is a near crazy event with boats way too small for an Atlantic crossing, and everyone taking part is more or less on his way to finish his days amongst the living.
The 2015-edition of the Barcelona World Race has started. One boat, two crew, ninety days of exhausting sailing. What it also means: Ninety days of excitement following those courageous sailors in their quest around the world.
There is no point in me trying to explain what the Barcelona World Race (BWR) is all about. Quite a few professional sites can do that much better than me, for example the Barcelona World Race website itself. The boats, IMOCA Open 60, are real sailing beauties – and fast. The circumnavigation and its approximately 25.000 nautical miles they will very likely complete in round about ninety days, meaning an impressive average boat speed of 11,5 knots.
Wind almost perfect, lots of sunshine, good company and excellent food. There is hardly anything else you can ask for when sailing a 18 ft boat in the Lübecker Bucht (Luebeck Bight) for a very long weekend.
How is that for starting a sailing weekend: air temperature 28° C, wind 2 bft, blue sky, and the forecast not seeing any major change coming. The only unknown for us (two chaps) was the boat, a Varianta 18, which we both had not sailed before.
A couple of days sailing in Denmark can make such a difference. And being on a tiny sailing boat while cruising the mighty seas of this planet automatically brings a major danger along with it: You could get addicted to this kind of sailing.
Capriole had been my sailing boat (well, enlargened dinghy) for three years already before I went on this trip along the beautiful Danish island of Als, near the fjord of Flensburg. For sailing on the Baltic Sea, or rather sailing along the coasts of Germany and Denmark, Capriole was a rather tiny example of a sailing boat.
Millions of people could, only a small percentage manages to do it. It is indeed rather easy to spend an afternoon in the forest. Also for me?
Am still struggling with my breakfast, had too much coffee, or not enough tea, my feet are cold, need to do the washing up, and what about lunch? Wasn’t it supposed to be raining this afternoon? Quite a lot of things (excuses, namely) can stop me from a wonderful time in the forest. Looking at it more honestly, there is only one major hurdle to be taken: the doorstep. Continue reading “Sunny Afternoon In The Forest”
Spending five days in St. Peter-Ording – this certainly sounded like having fun. Hiking in the muds of the Wadden Sea, building sandcastles and letting the kids’ kite fly high. Well, that was the plan.
The North Sea and its beaches have their very own enchanting atmosphere – also, and especially, in autumn. Funnily enough, this inspirational thought is not something I came up with as the only person in the world, as restaurants and bars were still rather crowded. Lots of people walking along the sandy beach, showing themselves and everyone else around: We do like water, we do like the sea, even when it all is a bit colder in autumn.
This is the very first entry in this blog – Hello World!
What will this here be all about? Being active outside, enjoying fresh air and nature around us. The aim is to get active outside and talk about it. Or, in some instances, dream about an outside activity that might be out of reach at the moment…
What is Active Outside about?
The exact scope of the content will very likely be a moving target. Whenever something strikes me worth telling you I’ll set up a post. The plan is to include the occasional pic as well, to make it more fun reading.
Currently I am thinking of mainly targeting nautical topics such as sailing, yachts, classical boats, trips, events, plus more of the sailing stuff.
I will also write about hiking, though I’ll need to see what is really of interest for you. Lots of other sites cover hiking topics already, so I’ll need to ensure to not bore you too much.
Oceans & Environment is another topic close to my heart. Pollution of oceans, waste in water, marine debris, microplastics. I will write a few articles on the background of ocean pollution, potential solutions, etc.
Your feedback? Appreciated!
Comments and discussions I do welcome. Also, if you are interested in publishing a guest post or becoming a co-author – please get in touch with me and we will talk about it.
The kick-off has been made – let’s get “active outside”!