All You Need To Know About Celestial Navigation

When thinking about celestial navigation, the very first thing coming to my mind is a sextant. There is, however, a whole lot more to it than just that. Viki Moore has put together an awesome series of articles on everything related to celestial navigation.

sextant with explanations and details (c sextantbook.com)
sextant with explanations and details (c sextantbook.com)

Viki wants to sail around the world. If there is one sailor qualified to do so, then it is her. She has more nautical miles in her sailing books than most sailors I know. Right now, she is studying for her RYA Ocean Yachtmaster exam – and for her, one way to learn all the stuff required is to write it down neatly. Plus, share it with lots of other folks worldwide.

This she has done also for celestial navigation. Continue reading “All You Need To Know About Celestial Navigation”

Your Chance: Sailing On A Pogo 2

Have you ever dreamt of a pretty cool ride on an even cooler sailing boat? This is your chance: get onto a Classe Mini sailing yacht (Pogo 2) and race on the Atlantic. Lina Rixgens will take you out for a day you won’t forget.

approaching La Rochelle (c Lina Rixgens)
approaching La Rochelle (c Lina Rixgens)

No matter whether you are a novice or an experienced sailor, this is a great chance for something unusual. Spend a day on Classe Mini “732 mini doc” and see what it is like to sail on the Atlantic in a (more than safe) nutshell like this.

Starting point of your tour will be mini doc’s current home base, La Rochelle. Depending on tide, general weather forecast and wind Lina will plan (with you) the day’s approximate route. After some additional thorough preparation for the boat and yourself you will head off – and more than very likely have a grand time. Continue reading “Your Chance: Sailing On A Pogo 2”

Hansajolle – Back To The Roots

I have sailed on quite a few different types of dinghies. Now a planned tour with a Hansajolle on the river Elbe had me wondering whether this really was a good idea. The Elbe can be quite nasty, especially when tide runs against wind. The Hansajolle, however, had been planned and constructed with those challenging conditions in mind.

yes, that's me at the tiller
yes, that’s me at the tiller

With “back to the roots” I don’t really want to imply that sailing on very old or ancient type of boats is my cup of tea. The reference is more in the direction of keeping it simple, reliable and easy to handle. This is something that always comes to my mind when sailing with small boats. With the exception of Classe Mini racers, of course.

Continue reading “Hansajolle – Back To The Roots”

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”

Any Young Sailors Around?

No, I am not trying to set up a talent pool for the next generation of America’s Cup sailors. What kept the question of “any young sailors around” in my head was my own experience from ex- membership in two sailing clubs, as well as friends’ experiences from their clubs. A recent article by Judith brought this topic back to the surface and has led me to ask some folks all around the world what their impression is.

Back in 2008-2010 I was a member in two sailing clubs. One right next to the shores of the Baltic Sea, the other one for sailing on the Ratzeburger See, a large lake in Northern Germany. Club events we (the family) only rarely took part in, mainly because the “shock” of the first party had a rather negative effect on us. We were the youngest by many years – and we had already been in our mid-/end-thirties back then.

No other young families, no kids around, and this all made it a bit boring for us. Interesting stories to be heard, yes. But always being a junior by something like 30 years or so took the fun out of spending time at the club’s premises. Continue reading “Any Young Sailors Around?”

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”

Quote Challenge Day 3

sailing on the Baltic Sea - hard to beatToday’s quote, my final one for this brief challenge, brings me back to sailing, water and oceans. It is, however, not about the beauty of the oceans or the joys of sailing. I keep this in mind when thinking of (or doing something about) pollution, waste in oceans and environmental difficulties.

The quote refers to lots and lots of different scenarios. Meaning: for each and every time when we feel that what we are doing is nothing but a drop of water on a hot stone. Or, as Mother Teresa has put it, a drop in an ocean. However, every little action helps, every step, move and smile results in something positive. Andnd that’s why ‘doing something’ is much better than thinking “it won’t matter anyway”. Here we go:

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.     (Mother Teresa)

Continue reading “Quote Challenge Day 3”

Quote Challenge Day 1

sunset in SchleimuendeThe inspiring and admirable estelea has nominated me for a quote challenge. How does it work? Post three quotes on three consecutive days, and each time nominate three bloggers to do the same. Sounds like a pretty cool way to keep the data flowing all around the world… I’ll happily go along and post my thoughts here.

Here we go, my quote for Day One:

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.    (Seneca)

To start with, this seems to be an obvious one for a sailor. For me, however, this is not only related to sailing but rather about life in general. Continue reading “Quote Challenge Day 1”

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!”

Adventurous Lady DAGMAR AAEN

She’s rather advanced in age, and yet she can endure more than any one of us. She has worked hard most of her life and is now enjoying the pleasures of cruising the world – preferably in inhospitable areas. DAGMAR AAEN is her name, and she chose Arved Fuchs as her owner to get the extra dose of adventure in her sailing life.

DAGMAR AAEN and ice (c Arved Fuchs)
DAGMAR AAEN and ice (c Arved Fuchs)

I cannot really remember the first time her name came to my attention. Maybe it was while reading articles about Arved Fuchs’ “ice sails”. Or maybe it was when checking on the details of the “Arctic passages”. Whatever it was, she has since then been a synonym for me with regards to seaworthiness, tradition, adventure, challenge and reliability – an old school sailing boat.

A book has been dedicated to DAGMAR AAEN, and when quite unexpectedly I saw her “for real” in Flensburg (Flensburg museum-harbour) and laid my hand on her planks, all I wanted to do was sail and live on board. Phew. Continue reading “Adventurous Lady DAGMAR AAEN”

Why Do You Like Sailing?

Sometimes a question gets fired into your comfort zone, and the first idea of an answer is something like “That’s easy, because… ehm… it’s obvious!” That’s what’s happened recently when a friend posed a very simple question. “Why do you like sailing?”

sailing into the sunsetSo, what is it about that sailing business? Apart from a perfect chance to get rid of as much money as you can afford – and sometimes even a lot more than that – why can many sailors simply not get enough of sailing? I’ll try to put into words the first couple of thoughts that crossed my mind after I had been asked that question. Why do I like sailing? Continue reading “Why Do You Like Sailing?”

Sailing Rebels Leave Cancer Astern

wonderful sea and waves (www.segelrebellen.com)
wonderful sea and waves (www.segelrebellen.com)

After a successful cancer therapy the true challenge for many is to properly re-start their life again. Goal of the Sailing Rebels is to recharge batteries, build up mental strength and increase self-confidence for young adults with or post cancer. Their straightforward motto: f*ck cancer, go sailing.

Marc Naumann has been through it twice, his brain tumor is now hopefully gone for good. Despite chemotherapy having knocked him about heavily he finished his law studies – and is currently working as a skipper. He has set up an organization called Segelrebellen (Sailing Rebels), and this is their concept. Continue reading “Sailing Rebels Leave Cancer Astern”

Crashtest Dehler 31

Is fiberglass (or glass-reinforced plastic, GRP) really suited for cruising yachts? What about those submerged obstacles potentially damaging the boat beyond repair while under way? Quite a few years ago a Dehler 31 had deliberately been put in major agony, needing to cope with all sorts of floating menaces.

This video I have watched so many times already. I am still excited about the Dehler 31’s behaviour and how she handled everything thrown at her. For a brief overview, here are the film’s main characters, in order of appearance:
– Dehler 31 (protagonist, getting in trouble with all the other film characters)
– steel barrel, 200 l (1x)
– trunk (1x)
– steel platform, 1,5 t (4x)
– stone mole (yes – mole! 3x; starting at minute 4:03)
– speed: 6,5 knots.

Continue reading “Crashtest Dehler 31”

Cruising With Kids

Sailing around the world, kids on board, having the time of your life. Really? One who certainly knows is amazing Dini Martinez, s/v Happy Dancer. Enjoy her wonderful, inspiring and encouraging article.

cruising_with_kids_a_navigator_is_bornWe’ve been living aboard Happy Dancer, our Moody 425 centre cockpit sturdy sailing boat for over eight months now. We, that’s me, a 30 year old yogini from down under, a 34 year old Argentinean accountant aka Papa, and our 3.5 and 1.5 year old sons. The youngest one was a mere three months old when we sold all our belongings in Sydney and left Australia to sail through and from the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading “Cruising With Kids”