Donnerstag, Juni 07, 2007

Two nights on anchor... just about

Time is passing by so quickly for an Americas Cup junkie that it is difficult to cope with updating this blog about my own sailing experiences. The time is lost in the workshop, preparing the new rig for the Bull but I want my weekend to go out into the Baltic Sea to get back some sea legs on the 36 footer, "Samantha". And difficult it was. No, not to get free from work, it was difficult to cope with the grey Saturday and the chop and waves, created by the eastern wind, once out there. I did not feel good and asked myself: Why am I not using the dinghy inside on the "pond" instead. But this was a cruising weekend. Therefore let's start at the beginning: It was our first weekend with "SAM" this year. In May I had chartered it out to a couple to let the boat make some Moonies.

So, on the first weekend in June, we were greeted with a marvellous sunset in the big marina in Maasholm. This is a 40 min drive from home. Too many boats, too close together, narrow passages. All things which I do not like, so normally we cut lines immediately after having stowed the goodies and filled the tank with fresh water and sail "out of this place". (Eric Burdon's song jumps into my mind) Around the corner there is a nice bay where we dropped anchor for the night. Cosy to say the least. I had admired German Circumnavigator-against-the-wind, Wilfried Erdmann, who once dropped anchor in this bay (the only boat at that night) after a hectic schedule which he must have had in Kiel during the Volvo Ocean stop over, where he had a promotion job with his 11m aluminium sloop. Some readers might remember the thousands and thousands visitors and Erdmann's boat was cramped with people. People who could familiarize more with this boat instead of the "Illbruck" or the other V60´s. Me, coming back from the Volvo Ocean flotilla, my guests being unloaded in Kiel-Schilksee, who had greeted the boats at the Kiel Lighthouse and putting the boat straight into the marina berth, driving home, had to stop on the road and look at the lonesome boat "Kathena" on anchor in the bay with the sun setting nicely. I put in thoughts if I am doing it right here. Not staying on board for another night. On anchor. And going to work early next morning after putting the boat away. He seemed to do it right. You do not need to have an anchorage far away, in the Caribbean or the South Pacific, it can be here. Right at home. And I know from the books Wilfried Erdmann had written, he had been there, seen most of it, living an ocean cruiser live and I haven't been there. Just dreaming about, following the routes of my brother, of Moitessier, Erdmann and many others in my reading. But, I had developed into a sailboat racer early on, not a cruiser and I am now slowly enjoying the cruising part of sailing.

This story got an awful bend I just realize. But those are the thoughts. Nevertheless, it was good to drop anchor last Friday night. The next day, we sailed some 25 miles in a grey and lumpy sea and dropped anchor again in Denmark's nice Horuphav bay. The wind started to shift away from land at around 23.ooh and I decided to lift anchor and to move into the crowded marina. We were greeted by a couple at the entrance who were taking a "night stroll". They gave us a tip to berth the boat at the rigging crane which we did. The boat just squeezed in there and I felt relaxed for the night. Next day the sun greeted us and we had a marvellous sailing day with some messy manoeuvres using the spinnaker and the code zero. But that is something we could improve. We must improve for the upcoming double-hand-challenge end of this month.

Wednesday (yesterday) night again sailing Jürgen´s Melges24. Being first ship home (just about) but not on corrected time, I see my windspotting and crew-handling a bit weak at present. No wonder with so few sailing time only. One does not get better from watching it on the computer or TV. One has to go out there and to do it!

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