crazy4sailing – What About You?

crazy4sailing is not something I have made up (although I clearly am crazy for it). It is a wonderful combination of a couple of words. It is a state of mind. It is the problem of many spouses. And it is a pretty cool brand.

beautiful sunset at anchorage in Sejerø

Quite a while ago I have published a post on “Why do you like sailing“? This article has created lots of amazing responses, be it in the comments, emails sent directly to me as well as feedback on Google+ and Facebook. The range of thoughts was vast, mainly going in the direction of
– freedom
– peace of mind
– be focused (nothing else matters).

Are you a sailor?

Then you might recognise one of the following situations: Continue reading “crazy4sailing – What About You?”

Weekend Break On Als, Denmark

beach near SkovmoseNo surprise here: I love the Northern European landscape. It is not as lush, colourful, maybe impressive as the Alps or the Mediterranean. Still, the entire North in all its scarcity is great for being outside, and the island of Als (Denmark) is no exception.

Quite a while ago I have briefly described one of my beloved quiet spots, some friends’ summer cottage in Denmark. It is located in Skovmose, a beautifully quiet location on Als. A couple of weeks ago the four of us went there for a long weekend. This brief break was so fantastic that only two days later I took the chance to go back with the girls and spend another couple of days in peace and quiet. Well, whatever you might want to call “peace and quiet” with two young girls.

Hiking on Als

hiking place/hut for staying overnightThe entire island of Als offers lots of possibilities for one-day or longer walking trips. The cool stuff about hiking in Denmark is that you find those very basic huts (or whatever they might be called) along more or less every officially marked hiking trail. No need to put up a tent, simply throw your sleeping bag in there and have a rest. Another great thing both for hiking and sailing: barbecues can also be found almost everywhere, they can be used for free and are a perfect place for getting to talk to other folks. Continue reading “Weekend Break On Als, Denmark”

Beaches, Boats And Horses On Fehmarn

Keeping the kids busy and trying to avoid “death by boredom” (their wording) during school holidays can occasionally turn into a challenge. One week of this year’s Easter school holidays turned out to be as much fun for the parents as it was for the kids.

deserted beach on FehmarnOk, my kids are not really that bad when at home. They can go without parents for hours, only needing help when it comes to food and drink. This is usually fine for a couple of days, but two weeks can get very long in the end. So we spent one week of that Easter break near the Baltic Sea, an hour’s drive from home. It was on Fehmarn, one of my favourite islands round here.

It was the second week in April. Spring had not really arrived yet, sunshine and rain played hide and seek on an hourly basis. In addition to all that, a nasty cold wind was blowing – not really a combination to have the kids roam around outdoors. There was, however, not a single day with the kids asking for more action. The reason: horses!

Continue reading “Beaches, Boats And Horses On Fehmarn”

Catamaran ‘Seekuh’ Collecting Garbage In Water

How to get rid of all that garbage floating around in our waters? One of the ideas having caught my attention is the prototype of a catamaran called Seekuh (sea cow). It is currently being built and ready for its mission in summer 2016.

catamaran Seekuh (Sea Cow) (c One Earth - One Ocean)Plastic garbage in shallow waters, seas and oceans is omnipresent. Tons of plastic bags, fishing nets, bottles, cosmetic product waste and the like pollute our water. Three quarters of all the garbage in oceans consists of plastics. And those need a couple of centuries to decompose.

All that waste in water is a major danger to wildlife and, ultimately, humans. If you are rather new to this topic, check out these Basic Q&A regarding waste in oceans.

A catamaran called Seekuh (Sea Cow)

Worldwide, awareness to actually do something about all that waste in oceans has increased dramatically in recent years. Lots of projects and initiatives have been started. A pretty cool one I found to be a catamaran called Sea Cow (Seekuh). What is this supposed to be, or mean?

Continue reading “Catamaran ‘Seekuh’ Collecting Garbage In Water”

Lacking Vitamin Sea

stick on beach in WasserslebenMy “Vitamin Sea” level is down to zero. Not good. Something is not going the way it is supposed to, at least when listening to the prioritisation list of my heart. Just winter blues? Or a really bad case of not enough vitamin sea?

As usual in the first quarter, the kids are down frequently with all sorts of virus and God knows what infections. The sun is blocked by clouds, most of the times at least. And it is either raining, freezing cold or, on a good day, just not nice enough to spend a lot of time outside. Continue reading “Lacking Vitamin Sea”

Zero Emission Sailing Around The World

What a trip! Sailing around the world is one thing, nothing unusual for a couple of young chaps. The more than amazing element is that their sailing boat has not used a single drop of fuel. They were running on zero emission. Including cruising the 40 nautical miles along the Panama Canal. How did they do it?

The four guys from the Eco Sailing Project first had an idea, which turned into a plan, which turned into pretty cool reality. Wanting to tour the world they decided to go for the very sporty option: sailing around the world. And not just that. The boat should be self-sufficient in power and energy supply, surviving on re-usable energy only. Brilliant.

zero emission sailing yacht (c ecosailingproject)
zero emission sailing yacht (c ecosailingproject)

Once they had bought a 1978 built yacht, the old motor had to go, same as the exhaust system and the diesel tanks. Old stuff out and gone, lots of new equipment came on board. LED lights, solar power, wind turbine, e-motor. One of the items I found simply great is the propeller turning to hydro generator while sailing – how cool is that? An overview of their energy supply you can find in the little picture here. I love it.

Continue reading “Zero Emission Sailing Around The World”

Baltic Sea Calling

Some call it pond, for others it is already an ocean. Quite a lot of folks hardly know where exactly it is, and some sailors never even dream of leaving its sailing grounds. The Baltic Sea can be described in many ways, some of them are “gorgeous, diversified, underestimated”. As for me: I love it.

last couple of kilometresThe Baltic Sea is the largest brackish inland sea on the planet, covering 412.500 square kilometres. The deepest you could dive (theoretically) is 459 metres, the average depth, however, is only 55 metres. Along its coastline of 8.000 km something between 50-85 million people are living. That was it already with facts and figures, let’s move on to the interesting stuff. Continue reading “Baltic Sea Calling”

Three Weeks Sailing In Denmark’s Beauty

sunset, anchoring, fishing - what a dreamThe Danish South Sea, or Southern Fyn Archipelago, is one of my absolute favourite spots for sailing in Denmark. I have sailed and explored those waters on boats ranging from 18 to 44 feet. And I am always more than happy to read other sailors’ stories and experiences. One of them is Øyvind Hansen, a Norwegian living in Denmark. Here is a summary of his sailing tour on board S/Y Ramsalt, a Beneteau Oceanis 373 Clipper.

“I have heard countless stories about the beautiful Southern Fyn Archipelago, and this was also the highlight of the trip”, writes Øyvind in his final summary. “The island of Ærø has to be my favourite island in this region, with the interesting towns of Marstal and Æreskøbing.” (and I certainly won’t disagree with him on that one). Continue reading “Three Weeks Sailing In Denmark’s Beauty”

Restarting “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.”

Beginning of 2015 I was all fired up to get my project “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.” to the starting (and finish) line in 2016, maybe 2017 latest. After a quick start with lots of information, research, ideas and talks my enthusiasm had cooled down quite a bit.

The main reason for losing motivation and drive was the not so successful handling of my sponsorship ideas. In other words: Getting sponsors on board was a disaster. Last week I got re-inspired by a very interesting article on Herb Benavent’s website about his comparison of e-motor vs diesel engine. This was the igniting spark to finish my extended summer break for bspe2 and get back to some “doing” again. Continue reading “Restarting “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.””

Being Seasick Is… Yuck!

Have you ever been seasick? I mean, really really seasick? It happened to me once, and I can assure you I do not need a second round of that. Here is some background and advice on seasickness, how to avoid it and how to deal with it.

Hubert being seasickIt was the second night of our 230 nm nonstop sailing trip from Flensburg to Gothenburg on a 44ft yacht. My watch ended at 22:00h, next one to start at 04:00h. When I went to bed the wind had stabilised at something like 20 knots. The forecast for the next 24 hours showed slightly increasing wind speeds first, then dropping down to 12-15 knots.

Very bumpy and shaky it was when I woke up at 03:40h, and I was wondering a lot why a fellow sailor needed to sort the dishes by size. Then by colour. Then by size again. And that in the middle of the night. A lot later it became clear that this was the distraction he needed from feeling extremely unwell. Continue reading “Being Seasick Is… Yuck!”

Some More Thoughts On “Waste In Oceans”

The title of this article, Waste In Oceans, brings up something like 120 million hits in Google (as of October 2015). Looks like this topic is being talked about. Is there also something being done about it?

marine debris on Hawaiian coast (Wikipedia)
marine debris on Hawaiian coast (Wikipedia)

For some strange reason, my article about the problem of plastic pollution in oceans has been clicked quite regularly in the past weeks, referred to from search engines. Awareness for this topic seems to have increased – which is good news indeed. My follow-up article on potential solutions for all that waste in oceans has not been so popular by lenghts.

So, do we all love to hear about the problems, talk about it, shake our heads and go to bed? Is looking at the problem more interesting than finding or working on a solution for it? Especially for such a major topic?

Probably yes. What do you think, any scientific reason for that, and what is your view on it? Continue reading “Some More Thoughts On “Waste In Oceans””

Waste In Oceans – Basic Questions And Answers

How does waste in oceans get into the sea at all? What is so dangerous about plastic floating around in oceans? Why do animals eat our plastic garbage? Ten questions on the topic of “waste in oceans”.

waste dump oceans (c) Steve Spring - Marine Photobank
waste dump oceans (c) Steve Spring – Marine Photobank

NABU, a Berlin based organisation, has been looking after nature, wildlife and humans since 1899. Their manifold activities and tasks include the protection of endangered species, preservation of rivers, moors, lakes and oceans. And, last but not least, to get humans out into nature again. To enjoy it, to see how precious it is. Plus, to make them understand that a lot needs to be done to keep it all in a healthy state.

Every now and then, news will bring some information on waste in oceans. They cover its extent, apocalyptic future, and it is all our fault (of course). Many folks, however, would like to have a basic understanding of how this came about, the danger coming with it and – ideally – what to do.

NABU has put together a couple of questions and answers on this topic, and here they are. Continue reading “Waste In Oceans – Basic Questions And Answers”

Tired Of My One Percent Success Rate

fishing boat dragged ashore on RuegenIf there is one thing that really cheeses me off then it is keeping on trying and not making any decent progress. For the last ten months this has been the case with my Nikon D3200 – success rate of excellent shots below the 1% mark. Now I give up, I’ll get some books and do this properly.

I am, despite the intro to this post, still convinced that the Nikon D3200 is a fantastic camera to get into digital photography. Being a very analytical person (usually), I sat down the last couple of days and made some notes on why I was not that happy with the results of my photo shooting sessions. “Not that happy” is a major understatement, I am more than seriously annoyed. What happened? Continue reading “Tired Of My One Percent Success Rate”

Picturesque Flensburg Harbour Centre

classical boats at Flensburg HafenspitzeWhenever I spend some time in Flensburg, getting near, onto or into the Baltic Sea is a definite must. One of my favourite locations for breathing salty air is the so-called “Flensburger Hafenspitze” (harbour centre) – and this is where I went for a brief stroll last weekend.

Ok, it is not really the right place for a swim. For starting a sailing tour or simply going for a walk, however, the story is a rather different one. To be a bit more precise: it is perfect. It is the very end of the Flensburg Fjord (or, maybe, the beginning?), so if you started sailing, paddling or swimming you could get out onto the Baltic Sea, move onwards to the North Sea, Atlantic, round the world… Continue reading “Picturesque Flensburg Harbour Centre”

Fishing For Litter In North And Baltic Sea

Fishing for Litter - NABU - Class Schroeder
Fishing for Litter – NABU – Class Schroeder

In recent years, fishermen in the North Sea and Baltic Sea found that the volume of waste in their nets has increased steadily. To support them with disposing of that debris properly, the project “Fishing for Litter” (F4L) had officially been kicked off in the region of Schleswig-Holstein back in May 2011.

The initial talks between local fishermen, NABU and regional partners started in Burgstaaken on the island of Fehmarn. They quickly defined common goals and objectives. The speed of progress brought more fishermen, cities and their harbours in play.

In 2014, the counties of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) started supporting the Fishing for Litter initiative as well. With that, from a financial perspective, they made it a bit easier to organise and set up the infrastructure needed. Continue reading “Fishing For Litter In North And Baltic Sea”