Categories
Latest News

Full Moon Rising

Yes, it is the same moon, here in the South pacific, and at your place at home. Only, I see it 9 hrs later rising than you see it in central Europe. Gerd the Gecko is still alive! His new home is under a pile of lines on deck, outside the cockpit. Dangerous place. I only walk around there secured with a tethering line. I think there might be another guest animal on board, i guess it’s a Panama Jaguar. I can tell by the smell …

Categories
Latest News

Raincloud Rally (2)

This is a typical deviation of my course caused by rainclouds. The red circle marks a rainy patch as seen on the radar. The direction of the wind changes around 70°. Easy is steering to the angle of the wind at the moment, and follows the new direction of the wind. This leads to a change of course as you can see on the plotter. I react late to this situation, and make quite a detour. (This is a screenshot of the mirrored image on my tablet. The double colour lines are artifacts, the app that links plotter and tablet is lousy, but the only one available.)

Categories
Latest News

Raincloud Rally

I try to find my way through the countless rainclouds. Only little rain, that does not bother me. But: Every cloud leads to drastic changes in the wind direction. I have to adjust the course frequently which keeps me very busy.

Categories
Latest News

Sunset

This is the view from my living room window.

Categories
Latest News

Crazy Nights

It is night. Partially overcast. Between the clouds the Southern Cross and Scorpion. The wind increases every night. At the moment 19-23 kn. Main in the second reef, jib. Waves from the side. Reaching. All of a sudden a meter downwards. Objects flying through the cabin with strange trajectories. Again a full deck wash. Needless to say, a teak deck needs good rinsing with seawater. The cockpit is a saline. I drive Easy below hull speed (whatever that may be, who knows how long the actual waterline is?). A sustainable speed above 8,2 kn is not realistic. The strain on the boat is far less below 7,5 kn. Then the ship does not get pushed to the side by waves so violently. Somehow, the current is mostly against me, around 0.3 kn. Sometimes it is pushing me with 0.8 kn. There is absolutely nobody around me for hundreds of miles. The isolated pink triangle on MarineTraffic, between Galapagos and Gambier is me …. Actually, I wanted to sleep. When I wedge myself in cushions and bla nkets it somehow works. At this noise level I would not sleep a wink at home, let alone in earthquake conditions like these.

Categories
Latest News

Something Is Wrong (3/3)

With a new steering line fitted, the windvane is working fine again and Easy is back on course.

Categories
Latest News

Something Is Wrong (2/3)

One of the steering lines was broken! The windvane could not turn the steering wheel any more.

Categories
Latest News

Something Is Wrong (1/3)

This morning I woke up because the boat speed had dropped and the waves were coming from a different angle. The wind speed had dropped from 19 to 15 kn. This could not explain why the angle to the wind was off! I jumped in the cockpit to check what was wrong.

Categories
Latest News

Bedroom Story

This is what my bunk in the aft cabin looks like. No, I did not tidy up for the photo, you see the naked truth. Sleeping is essential on a singlehanded ocean passage. When I explain the sleeping pattern, the mothers will remember and know what I am talking about. I sleep in segments of varying duration. Here, in the middle of the Pacific, I haven’t seen a ship for over 10 days. My AIS can detect a ship at a distance of more than 20 nm. I have two AIS alarms continuously activated. So here, I set two alarm clocks to 99 min. In dense ship traffic or in areas with fishers without AIS, I can occasionally only sleep for 15 min. I difficult situations, I can’t sleep at all for several hours. Sleep is different from at home. Automatically, part of my brain remains alert. I wake up when there is a change of wave pattern, wind noise, flapping sail, unusual noise or alarm. So I sleep in 6-10 segments every night. Crucial is, to be able to go to sleep immediately, even if you have been out in the dark, adjusting the sails. Even after a “space walk” with a safety tether, to the mast or the foredeck. Going to sleep immediately seems to be a mechanism you can train. I have regularly trained this in everyday situations after my first solo ocean passage in 2000. Also back in the years when I was doing night shifts at the hospital I had to learn to go to sleep whenever possible. Just switch off the brain and go to sleep. Adrenaline has a biological half life of around 2 minutes, so if you stop fiering adrenaline continuously, you have a chance to go to sleep immediately. Yes, I know, it is more complex than this. This does not work for everyone, I might just be lucky to have this ability.

Categories
Latest News

Navigation

This is the picture on my tablet I use for navigation all the time. Most importantly there is no other ship (AIS-signal) on the chart. I have set two courses (diagonally from the right upper corner to the left lower corner) which form a corridor I try to stay within. Note a slight change of course I have just made. You can see a slight bend in the track behind the ship symbol. In the segment below the chart you see the time-plot of TWD=true wind direction and TWS=true wind speed during the last 60 min. In the right panel are SOG=speed over ground, WASSER=speed through the water, AWA=aparent wind angle, TWA=true wind angle, COG=course over ground, WPT BRG= waypoint bearing, DTD=distance to destination, VMG CSE= velocity made good to destination, TTD= time to destination. How many of these abbreviations did you know?