Author Archives: Maria Hammer

Biscayen

It took two days and 10:45 h, on the 15-17/8-2015,  to cross over the huge Biscay bay and reach La Coruña in Spain. At 8:03 we sail out from the outer cay of Camaret-sur-mer after fuelling 2 times 200 Litre diesel. Thank`s to the men catching squids that help us moor at the fuel-station. From the start we struggled with heavy swells and it continued the first 24 h. After one hour we set main and jib and sail for 1½ hour before the wind turned more against so we rolled in the jib and took a reef in mainsail and had to start the engine. The nature were ruff and beautiful at the same time as we rounded the last cliffs of Brittany. Soon there were water, and only water, as long as we could see for 2 days. We had seen a couple of  sailing-boats heading out the same way and at 17:30 we got a VHF call from” Just So” that wanted very much to have us taking a picture of the boat going for gennaker. We were to far a way but “Infinito” were closer to take pictures. Now we were three boats out there having contact and it was nice (AIS / VHF). Later on a we got contact with a Dutch boat also. Before sundown we got visit of a couple of dolphins at a start and a lot of them after a while. So beautiful animals. We decided to enjoy seeing them jumping and diving around the bow, so no pictures or movies were taken. Twice a day we send mail home to our to sons, using Inmersat. We wanted to be able to have contact with our sons durring the passage of the Biscay. The second 24 h was not much fun because of misty and foggy weather and no sight of the Dolphins. Most of the time we could see at least to of the three boats following us. 01:19 the second night we met a sail-boat on the opposite direction and he flashed at us and I was unhappy for not being prepared to flash back. The third morning at 9:30 we could see land , Galicia, in Espania.  Suddenly it cleared up and we could see the other three boats heading for La Coruña. Unfortunately one of the boat got coaght in a fishing net and called us for help on the VHF. We turned around but “K’Dans” was closer and dragged the unlucky sailing-boat al the way to La Coruña. Afterwards, in the harbour, it was nice to meet al the people from the boats. Next day a diver cleared the boat from the net and we got some net for fruits and vegetables.

Guernsey to Camaret sur mer France

133 Nm started in Guernsey 10:30 10/8-2015 and arrive 11:30 11/8 after 25 hour. We thought the forecast current was good with later on winds from north-east when we were going south-west. Unlucky again the wind and current against so a lot of boring motoring. After 2 hours we sat main sail with a reef and stay-sail and sailed upwind for 8 hours. We had haze and drizzle rain al day long. The rest of the sailing was motor and main with a reef. We moored, with nice help from French sailors, on the inside of the outer cay in Camaret sur mer, that did not show its best face because of the bad weather. A tourist attraction it is though, with a cemetery for old ships, an adorable little old church and a very popular place to fish from the cay. The village has a lot of restaurant and an artist-street. The sailing school is very active with optimists, hobycats and others.

Cherbourg to Guernsey The channel island

43 Nm started in Cherbourg 14:00 8/8-2015 and arrived in Guernsey 23:00 after 9 hour of sailing . We had a lot of current against us and did not get the “Alderney race”. Also wind against and not much of it. We triad anyway to sail for sail. It was dark entering the pontoon outer harbour and we got to moor alongside too motor-boats on a pontoon not connected to land. Next day we got to move so we were connected to land. A long walk op to the highest part of the village and afterwards a nice treat with fish and ships and beer from drought at The Boat House on the harbour was nice. No shopping here because it was so expensive so glad for having filed up in Cherbourg. On the way to the outer harbour we inspected the inner harbour that had a “sill” at the entrance and a scale showing the water level above the so cold sill, a stone plate. We woke up, in the middle of the night, by the sound of firework and it was not a small one, right in front of us in the harbour entrance with the lightened up castle at one side. I have nether seen anything like it.

Dieppe to Cherbourg in France

107,6 Nm started in Dieppe 9:30 5/8-2015 and arrived in Cherbourg around midnight after 14,5 hours. After a few hours the wind disappear so we had to go for motor. Lars tried fishing and got lots of as he thought was too small mackerels) and Maria worked out. Cherbourg have a large outer harbour so we thought it would be easy arriving during night but was the opposite because there was so many entrances to different harbours, so many lights. We easy moored on a waiting pontoon until next day when a nice harbour captain in a rib gave us a direction on where to moor. We got excellent help from a nice couple from England, Hamble river, to land and had a very nice stay in Cherbourg, mostly working on Alexandra but a nice guided walk threw the city and a sundowner with  Maggie and Tim was there time for.

Boulogne sur mer to Dieppe in France

53,6 Nm started in Boulogne 12:00 1/8-2015 and arrived in Dieppe 22.00 after 10 hours of sailing. After calling the harbour we got permission to enter the harbour (they have a ferry priority) and while the marine did not answer we moored at the end of one of the pontoon bridges. Next morning we were advised another place further in. It was magical to come in to Dieppe in the night with the harbour lighted up, on high tide, following the fisherman’s hard work running the steep stairway up the cay and arranging to hoist up the big basket with today’s catch of fish. For the first time since we left Denmark we had a great meal of Moules mariné a frit at one of the many restaurent on the cay. The coastline, with the stony beach to overcome before reaching the sand and water, was beautiful and a Mecca for the inhabitants of Dieppe. A somewhat dangerous bike-ride to the outskirts of the village gave no results concerning boat equipments but a large supermarket could fill our bike bags with good French food.

Scheveningen The Netherlands to Boulogne sur mer in France

130,6 Nm started in Scheveningen 06:30 30/7-2015 and arrived in Boulogne-sur -mer 07:30 31/7-2015 after 25 hours. The first 2 hours sailing for motor upwind with very high waves, were not nice at all. Happily we could set sail and we had wonderful sailing all the way to Boulogne. After sunset we enjoyed the moon and the stars along the French cost the whole night. Sailing into the harbour was easy and we mourned on a floating bridge like al the other places here in northern France and excellent help from a Belgian sailor. Six meter low tide was amazing and we decided not to go to bed but take the steep gangway up and the bridge over to the village and get baguette at a boulangerie and delicious Rochefort cheese at a fromagerie to enjoy for breakfast on board. Very good harbour with fine service like a recycling station close by, so we could get rid of special oil waste, cans, plastic, hard paper. Also very helpful when we should tank diesel next day at 11 hour at high tide. We needed high tide in order not to hit some dangerous rocks near the fuel station.

Sailing in The Netherlands

Next stop was Hindeloopen in Friesland out of IJsselmeer and we looked forward to visit there again. Alexandra was built there on the Aluboot boatyard in 1989. Sailing from Harlingen, on the 16 of July, to Hindeloopen was an easy ride with good weather, following the other boats threw the narrow sound in the  Waddensee to the Lorentzsluizen. We spent 3 fairly relaxing days in Hindeloopen and this time Lars had time to see the charming village. Lars made a very important finding, a reason for our problems with starting and stopping the engine. After changing the expensive starting key and holder, he found out that changing a fuse, underneath the day-tank, that he did not know existed, was solving a lot of our problems. The last evening there were harbor feast in the old city so we got ice-cream and draft-bear when listening to live music.

Hindeloopen

From Hindeloopen we sailed to Amsterdam on 19/7-2015 08:30 and arrived 19:30. We had the wind against us so went for motor except for a short time close to Stavoren were we sailed with stay-sail. Enkhuizen with its sport lock we passed with no trouble. It was different to pass the lock into Amsterdam because of motor trouble. That was solved by Lars alone but he had contact with Bjarne on messenger though the problem turned out to be the same as last summer in Göteborg Sweden. Also  getting service of the water-maker by the man that had installed it in Alexandra in 1989 was made possible by contact with Hans, the former owner of Alexandra. Another thing that trouble us was finding a place to fill up our to gas-tanks we had on Alexandra. It turned out to be very troublesome and we ended up buying a camping-gas tank just to have something and it can be exchange all over Europe but we wanted something to be used all over the world. The last day we took a commute ferry to the city and enjoyed a few hoers walking around finding a marine bookstore to update our pilots. Amsterdam marina was a good harbor to stay at not forgetting the bathtub with a view. We stayed there for four nights until 23/7 when we sailed to Scheveningen to meet Hans and Mariët, the former owners of Alexandra.

  Q

It turned out to be nice 36 Nm of sailing to Scheveningen, close to den Haag. After a bridge opening and a lock we set main sail and jib and sailed nice upwind all the way to the harbor entrance and arrived in the early evening. The next day we got on a tour to Rotterdam with car, tube and walking around the beautiful city ending up in the almost newly built central station, guided by Hans and Mariët. Also, on a stormy Saturday evening, enjoying being invited to dinner and meeting interesting dutch all a round the world sailors. We ended up staying in Scheveningen until 30/7 because of the rainy stormy weather, fixing a lot around the boat, shopping at the to marine shops and provisioning in the inexpensive dutch supermarket. The most important event was Lars got connected gas to the new gas stove. The oven were so tested by baking sand cake, white bred, rye bred and rhubarb pie. Also, an LPG gas tank was delivered to Hans and he came with it to us on Alexandra. Now we have a gas tank that we can fill up our self at a gas station.

 

 

From Danmark to Holland

First we want to say thank you Marie, Jamilla, Mathilda and Henrik i H-boat for farewell on the water. First stop was Helsingør were Selden had to fix a couple of things in the top of the mast on behalf of Lopolight  before we were very satisfied with the rigging Job.

Second leg was to Hals in the North of Jutland and this leg turned out to be the best leg sailing wise. We had a lot of wind from the preferred direction and the current with us most of the time. We sailed fast and enjoyed the sundown and the sunset. Arriving in Hals after approximately 14 hours at 04:00.

Third leg was from Hals through Limfjorden to Thyborøn passing threw four bridge openings and underneath one bridge. The latter bridge at Sallingsound was scary because the bridge were 26 m high and Alexandra’s mast are  23 m. It was very  foggy the whole day except for passing  Aalborg and the two bridges there, se pictures. After passing beautiful Løgstør we could set sails. It took approximately 16h and we sailed out in the fjord at 04:15 in the early morning.

We stayed in Thyborøn for a week because of strong winds and the next leg had a long distance. Good though that Lars had time to install compressor and evaporator to refrigerator and freezer boxes and a compressor to a little refrigerator.

Forth leg started early in the morning 05:04 UTC 11 of July from Thyborøn. It was our longest leg but not the toughest. We were so happy to be sailing again so we tried with all means to sail for sail. The wind shifted all the time in direction and strength. A dove took an over night free ride on aft deck so it was not so bad. After 163,37 Nm we arrive at 11:53 UTC the 12 of July at Helgoland and moored outside two boats, as is common at Helgoland, after a 30 hour long sailing leg.

Fifth leg started the next day after provisioning at the high quality Spar and off cause a couple of bottles of Gin extra strong at a tax free shop at the harbor. Also bunk up with lower price diesel. Now we had a tough leg to sail for the engine against the wind and a lot of rain. Sailing into Borkum in the middle of the night with very bad visibility, because of the constant rain, and high traffic of small fishing vessels trawling in the canal, was very tiresome. The leg took approximately 20 h for Engine. We arrived at 6 in the morning. During the day we solved the fresh water leak problem and filled up all three tanks. We also pumped air through the overflow pipe to make sure they were working. We also checked the steering weal and greased the chain. The village should be nice but 4 km away so nu time for a visit.

The six leg started  at 4 in the morning by weakening the boat owner outside as we had agreed. It was a lot easier to sale out sf the sound close to sunrise then in the dark night. Soon we got over to the Dutch side of the sound, but also on this side we had to hold track of the small fishing vessels trawling though it was much easier now in daylight. With one reef in the main sail and a jib we sailed towards Harlingen in very bad weather and visibility most of the day Sailing into the Waddenzee we had to take down the main sail but could role out the jib once in a while. Lars find out that some of the beacon were moved so a little tricky to sail here when you are not used to it. Lars had red about it so he was prepared for it. When reaching Harlingen the weather were wonderfully warm and sunny for the first time. Provisioning and relaxing in the beautiful town and harbor stood for the rest of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farewell to Rungsted

Sunday the 28. June at 15 hour we said good by to family, friends, neighbors and KDY cruising friends at Lars´s home harbor for 50 years, Rungsted. We put “Flag over top” with the help of Lene E P. Thank you all for gifts and coming to wave us off. It was a lot of fun and we hope  to see many of you aboard Alexandra out there in the world. Thank you Morten for the pictures!

See Mortens photo here

After a couple of days in Helsingør we took a final farewell with the close family on Alexandra. It was off cause difficult for us because we will miss them a lot but look forward to see them in October in Denmark, November in Las Palmas and spend Christmas together in Caribbean.

Getting things on board to finishing several projects like cooling compressors for freezer box, refrigeration box and refrigerator and gear for sailing in warmer climate likedifferent kinds of sun-cover, kayak, wind surfer, was made possible by the great help of our neighbor for 30 years Jens and Lene with there contribution to fill up there car with our gear. Also unloading and transporting the gear to the the end of a bridge were Alexandra was docked!

Also, in the last minute, we received a new EPIRB with our MMSI number coded into it. Thank you Lars B. Next day we took of after Lars had made sure that the HF/MF radio ICOM 710 received from Hans B worked well. In the afternoon we were nicely downwind sailing to Hals in Limfjorden in the north of Jutland were we entered the harbor in the early morning.