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”

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”

The Race Is On… Lina’s Got A Boat

Woohee, she’s got a boat! Lina Rixgens is now ready to tackle the intensive and challenging Classe Mini regatta scene. She will sail on 732, a Pogo 2, and is well on her way to close in on her main target: the Mini Transat 2017.

Lina Rixgens all smiles on 732 first sailingFor more than a year she had talked to sponsors. At the same time Lina had looked at boats, trying to figure out how she could get out onto the water with and on a Mini all by herself. As mentioned in previous articles, she does not only want to sail around for leisure and pleasure. Her main objective is to complete the Mini Transat 2017 as the first German female sailor.

Things look a lot brighter now for this young sailor. Lina has already been on her first sailing weekend in Lorient and has enjoyed a marvellous couple of days on 732 mini doc, a Pogo 2. Where did this boat come from, and what are her immediate plans?

Continue reading “The Race Is On… Lina’s Got A Boat”

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”

The Magic Of A Sunset

sunset on SyltSunsets are magical (at least for me, that is). No matter where I manage to see them they are always fantastic to watch. Although it could be said that it is the same stuff every night I find each sunset to be a unique experience.

In the mountains, on the beach, in a city park with the skyline in the background, on a yacht while anchoring, in front of a tent camping in the middle of nowhere – sunsets are everywhere. My photographic skills do not really allow me (yet) to capture each one the same or even similar to what my eyes are actually seeing, but I am getting there (I hope). Continue reading “The Magic Of A Sunset”

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”

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”

Sailing Boat: Motor Or Not

After having read yet another great article by Viki Moore (Astrolabe Sailing) I could not stop thinking about a topic that had been at the back of my mind for quite a while: “motor or not” on a sailing yacht.

Lin & Larry Pardey have sailed around the world without one. Bastian Hauck on his folkboat Tadorna has completed his second half of the tour around the Baltic Sea without one. And the 12mR s/v Anita has sailed the seas for many years without one: a motor. I am sure there are many more examples of sailors solely relying on their sails, not only for day trips but also for cruising. What is it then with that motor-thing on board? Continue reading “Sailing Boat: Motor Or Not”

BSPE2 – Energy Project Initiated

The budget nowhere near being covered. Showstoppers all over the place. Support and timeline on very shaky grounds. This just sounds like the ideal project for me! The topic is twofold: self-sufficient power supply on yachts (including e-motor), plus view of renewable energy projects along the coasts of the Baltic Sea.

How did I come up with the idea for such a project? It was the initial project a couple of years ago, “baltic sea. pure energy.” (website in German).

It is more than just appealing not needing to rely on external power sources on a yacht (including an e-motor). Also, I wanted to check out the status and progress of renewable energy projects all around the Baltic Sea. What has happened since then? Can it be applied to larger yachts for the ordinary yacht owner as well? How are the renewable energy projects doing five years later? Are new ones all over the place or has enthusiasm died off? Continue reading “BSPE2 – Energy Project Initiated”