Back home. That was some great 14 months.

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It’s not that bad to be home as you can see from the picture. We had the movers coming on August 1, and Gitte has been working hard. After two days they came and collected all the boxes, but oh boy, we have discarded things as we did when we packed up in May last year. By now we are busy working on getting the cash flow to come in instead of out.

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Above some pictures from our last weeks of the trip, and this is the first time we sail in the full gear for the last 14 months. It was packed away on the Canary Islands and was not in action until the North Sea.

We have the most gear and stuff off the boat, which I will go and clean today. Apart from fading gelcoat, it seems to have stood up to the heavy usage just perfect.

And to our many friends still sailing in paradise, we will be back.

Back in the Baltic and almost home

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Sorry about the negative tone in our last blog, we ended up halving a wonderful sail up through the Ijselmeer in sunshine and tied up in the lock taking us to the wattenmeer, the shallow water between the mainland and the nord Frisian Islands. I stepped off the boat and got to see cars and trucks driving on a major highway below the locks……Holland.

We continued to Harlingen and stayed there over night up against the harbour wall with the fender board in action and a bucket full of water to take the slack from the lines at high water. Had a good dinner in the mainstreet just a short walk away. We know Harlingen very well from our outbound trip last year. A few errands next morning and then lunch in the cockpit in baking sun with Jan and Frouke, and a shopping raid to fill the fridge for our home trip, and we left at a low tide and took the sail to Teschellingen late that afternoon, and were well tied up on a German boat at 7 PM. Took a walk downtown, had wine and dinner in the cockpit and went early to sleep.
Next morning we went to the fuel dock and refuelled and went straight to work, a 175 miles dash in beautiful sun and 3 knots wind from E, and my god there is 10 miles before you are out in the North Sea. We got to follow a Pogo 40 on delivery from Biscay to Kiel, by a French and a Englisg girl.
Well out we sat the engine to 7 knots and a course to bring us to Elbe, and Brunsbuttel.
Beautiful night in moonlight and phosphorous water flowing around the boat.
Early next morning we were going through the anchorage for vessels waiting for orders, before we turned down the Elbe.image

My god it is 40 miles before you hit Brunsbuttel, and we had a strong counter current, and by Cuxhaven it turned so the last 20 miles were with good speed.
The locks were under maintenance so we waited for 40 minutes before we could enter the lock. Well inside the marina, we met with Heidi and family and son Sebastian came by train with new girlfriend Tea.
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We get to buy all the stuff that we have not had in a year….and carried on to Holtenau later next day.
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From Falmouth to Amsterdam

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We were more exhausted when we got into A-dam Monday at noon after having left Itchenor in Chichester harbor Friday at noon, having stopped in Calais and Scheveningen, than after any ocean crossing, we have made. We can not run watches as we are in heavy traffic and need to watch out for the 10.000 boys and beacons, and anchored ships, and platforms as we go north. We cant even do some reading and our AIS got hiccup when passing Antwerpen, Europort/Rotterdam and Adam, as it received data from thousand of ships with LAT/LON, range, BRG,CPA,TCPA,COG, SOG, cargo, destination, shipdetails and all with short intervals. I felt the same way.
It have been some depressing two days since we got here, its been grey and raining, and this morning it was blowing 30 knots in the north sea, same here with us, and although we will be in the Ijselmeer, we decided to stay another day and watch Holland against Argentina. We have acquired orange accesssoires and will sit in the small pub here in Sixhaven.
It seems as we are tired into the bones, as when we were here thirteen months ago, we had all the drive in the world and all the excitement of the world, and after some 14 thousand miles, it seems as the last 200 are the longest. We know that back home in Flens and in DK they have highpressure and the hottest day today, but here we can see a string of lows coming our way. It seems as we shall take the last bit of the Northsea on Sat and Sunday.
Yesterday a stream of boats were passing in the Amsterdam fairway heading for the canal to the Nortsea, all with a big smile as their vacation just started, poor guys to sail in the Northsea which is only for transportation, as water looks greengreyish and all the ports are ugly, not at all like the Caribean or even the Northatlantic, or the Baltic.
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Well we had a good time in lovely south England leaving Falmouth and spending two days in beautiful Dartmouth, where we were last year. We could have used the pictures from last year but we were so taken by the scenery that the camera got out again. As we are at a pontoon in the fairway and have no dinghy, we took a taxi back and forth. We had drinks with Caroline and Richard who was a retired doctor and we saw their boat again at Hayling Yacht Club. The second day we took a long hike along the crown jubilee trail. We must have walked at least some 14 km. Too much countryside for a couple of old salts…..
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We left next day at 10ish so we could gain some speed through the tides and round the Portland Bill in eastgoing tide. There was not much wind but a beautiful day out. When we got to the ledges around the Portland Bill, we were in a turmoil and were taken at 11 knots through high seas. We were allright in Weymouth an hour later, where we tried to tie up on a Nauticat 33 on the exact same berth as last year, they tried to lets us go by saying we were much to big, didn’t matter we said, then they should leave at 4:30, didn’t matter we said and they finally took our lines. We swapped later and they left at 4:30 next morning. We only got to take the picture of the squirrel and then our camera died as we walked the long way out to Portland and back. Amazingly, some 12.000 people live on that small place…. Portland is a major port that was constructed as a naval base some hundred years ago using stones from the quarry near the Bill (lighthouse). It is huge, but was abandoned by the Navy in 96 and has since been the home of the 2012 Olympic.
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Two days later we went at 6 in the morning to hit the tide and went for Lymington, so we passed another headland and were once again taken by current and waves and passed the Needles, and just across Yarmouth we turned for the river Lym, and this must be the highest density of yachts anywhere in the world as they were lined up everywhere and only leaving a small fairway for boats and ferries going in and out. We got a berth at Berthon for 51,45 GBP per night, can use state of the art washrooms, and stayed there for two nights. Lymington was an extremely nice place and we enjoyed the village with its Saturday market. Sunday we went to Cowes for one night, and also here we tied up exactly same place as last year. Also Cowes is a great place, almost entirely based on Yachting.

At noon next day we went into Southampon waters and went through the locks at Hythe, where we stayed a couple of days with Wendy and Gerry, friends that we got to know well during our cruising.
We got to see the new forest, with its villages, ponys, donkeys and great nature, and we got to meet their crew at the local Indian restaurant. Great.

On wednesday morning we left for Chichester harbour and got to sail some 6 miles out of 15. We tied up at a visitors mooring in Itchenor and Niels took us to the house. We spent some of next day in the town on our own, and had barbeque in the evening. we will need to come back asap.
We were to visit Alan in Eastbourne on Friday so we left at noon with 3,5 meters over the Chichester bar. We had to pass Eastbourne and carry on because of schedule, and had a nice sail all day and all night. We were doing 9,5 SOG for hours and at Dover we turned to cross the channel. While we were carrying on it started to rain and the visibility were drastically reduced. Navigating with the AIS and the handheld VHF at hand, ships were actually altering their course to pass us at safe distance.
The weather were lousy and we decided to rest in Calais, so we went for the harbour and we were at a mooring outside the bridge at 7AM, and bridge opened at 8. We had some teat and bread, and went through at 8 and tied up in a finger berth in 25 knots on the side.
After 4 hours of sleep we went for a walk into town, which was basically totally destroyed during WW2 (as Dunkirque), so really not very interesting. We had lunch in a French restaurant, and went back to get some more sleep.
In the evening we went to Carrefour for groceries, and slept all night. At 8 AM we were at the fuel dock and at 9AM we went through the bridge and into the main port. We called the port staff and were told to wait until the ferry had left.
It wass ailing in rain, low visibility and 11 knots from S. We carried on in the myriads of channels close to shore and could barely see the coast. Soon we started overtaking the boats that came out an hour earlier.
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There were beacons to look out for, other boats in same and other direction, and the Dunkerque ferries.
This went on all the way to Zeebrugge, where we decided to go out to sea, and sail farther off shore. Here the weather cleared and the wind picked up to 22-25 knots and we were doing between 11 and 14 knots for hours. Lots of anchored ships.
When we came to Europort entrance in the dark we had to cross in heaby traffic with the genoa poled out and still doing more than 11 knots. We were called by traffic control and were given instructions and we crossed safely in the heavy traffic. Two hours later we were tied up alongside a motorboat in Scheveningen and went to sleep at 2 AM after a cup of tea and some sandwiches.

We were out again next morning at 8, and had a slow sail in the sun and little wind to Ijmouden, where we went straight for the lock and the canal to Adam.

Back in Europe, a long crossing from the Azores islands

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We left Horta to go the 22 NM to nearby Island Sao Jorges to explore this island and to meet up with Far Fetched for drinks. There was a boat coming against us and we quickly came close, as we discovered it was Mogens and Dunja going the same way in their Grinde. Well we flew by but got to take some pictures of the smallest boat in the ARC+ (28 foot)
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When we got closer to Sao Jorges we were hit by the acceleration zone and had 25 knots the last 5 miles but landed safely in the small marina and were taking very good care of by the young harbour master. Hard to get out of his office, as he wanted to explain in detail how beautiful his island is and where to eat, local cheese……
We had drinks onboard Mathilde and went up town for the party, but were asleep well before midnight.
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Next day Far Fetched left at 6 so were gone when we had breakfast in the cockpit. We hired a car and drove around the island, had lunch and saw some quite nice sceneries. We got to buy some of their very good cheese right in the dairy, as well, even if this were on a sunday.
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We were ready to start the crossing back to Europe next morning, however could not locate the harbourmaster for clearing out, and as we called him he immediately showed up, and we left. Outside it was grey and we were driving north in 25 knots og acceleration zone. A white whale swam by our stern. We eased the sheets when passing the northern tip and went on course for England. Wind remained strong and we were running dead downwind. The island of Graciosa came up in the grey horizon, and we decided to take a night here as wind were over 30 knots now, and we went north on the eastside of the island and were hit by very strong gusts. The port has no facilities for yachts, and when we were inside one of the locals showed us to tie up alongside the harbourwall, whch gave us a scratch, and we backed out and went for a finger between some fishing dinghies and a motorboat, and got us good tied up there.
When sharing some redwine, the local official came by and as he could not do paperwork in the strong breeze, he asked us to come by his office when we had finished the redwine.
Graciosa has no tourism and is one of the smallest islands, but still have more than 6000 population (were 12.000).
Next day we had a good look at the gripfiles, as the island was covered in cloud and it was blowing 25 knots form SW. The gripfiles showed us following winds for days and high pressures moving in all the way to England, so we decided to go. In fact 20 miles out we were out of the island weather and had clear skies and 15 knots of winds.

The wind got ligther as we got norther and after 4 days it died away, so we would run the engine and gain some help from the mainsail. We were now in the high pressure belt that would stay so for days.

We engaged Gerry from Duplicat as weatherrouter, and we discussed the options. Much NE wind around Finisterre and Biscay, so we decided to stay way out in the Atlantic and to turn when we hit 48:30N, wher we could expect some Northerly breeze from the Irish high.

We motored on, and as long as the sea was flat we would be OK with fuel. When we finally hit 48:30 and pointed for the channel the wind did not come out of N but NE to E, right on our nose and very little. We tried tacking but everytime we got going the wind died away after an hour leaving swells, so we were back to motoring again. One morning we were fully powered up doing 8 knots in 12 knots breeze, the genoa came down and fell over the side. What a nightmare getting it back onboard, and the top of the furler was sitting at the masttop with the halyard. We motored on and the wind died away. Per went to the top of the mast but could not retrieve the top furler unit, so we tied a knot on the strap that came loose on one side and hoisted the genoa without furler, and the tack to the deck instead of the furler drum. When Gitte sheeted she was not aware that the sail was mot lower and pulled it right through the stanchions, leaving a rip through the bottom part. And after five minuted the sail came down again and over the side as the strap had totally parted with the sail (UV Rays kills seems).

We now had two halyards, and a defunct genoa, and was trying to tack with our no.4 genoa, but was way to small for the little breeze and the boat stopped in the swell.

We motored on but with the swell we had to run hard on the engine, and we saw we would not do the last 350 miles with the fuel we had left, so we rang Falmouth Coastguard and talked to them to arrange fuel from a passing ship. Unfortunaely they did not see the ships that we saw on our AIS, and talking to them during the night we decided to take matters in our own hand, and radioed a passing ship in the morning. The details that showed up on the AIS was a 180m. cargo called Kentucky Highway that would pass some 5 miles out.DSCF5588
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Although they replied OK to assist us wih fuel, we had some misunderstandings when they showed up (Japanese ship and crew), and in the end they did not have light diesel fuel onboard they stated after I found the specifications in the manual.

We said goodbye to them and immediately called the next, and got to speak to the Captain who immediately turned around and came to us, communicating all the time over channel 12. They needed a mile to stop, but in the end they took acourse that would lee for us and maintained 6 knots to be able to maneuvre while lowering fuel cans on our deck at the pilot ladder, where Gitte grapped them with the boathook. It all took only 20-30 minutes and they were very professional. After the last can was on our deck, we waved goodbye and thanked the captain over the radio, and safely took course to Falmouth knowing that we could go all the way.
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The sun came out and we had some fine days with high mood while steaming towards Falmouth.
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We got passed the Isles of Scilly late Wednesday evening and still had some 60 miles to Falmouth, where we came in at 7 in the morning. The tank said 54 litres on the tank as we tied up.
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We slept a bit and enjoied the town plus world class fishnchips, before we got to repair sails next day and get the systems working again. And yes, that is a drill and bolts through the sail and head strap, to see us get back to Flensburg (we are in lymington when writing this, so worked sofar), we used up the last of the sailrepair patches.

We had three days in falmouth before leaving for Dartmouth, where we were last year on the way out.
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Singlehanding across an ocean, our last time in the Virgin Islands, Life in Horta, Faial

Life cannot be better than here in Horta, on Faial Island in the Azores, where all boats coming across the Atlantic stop, so we meet up with friends, we are at parties, and whenever we step into the worldknown Café Sport, we are invites to drinks,people stop by when we were working on the boat to catch up, so a lot of socializing and laughs.DSCF5377DSCF5371DSCF5367

Gitte that had 3 weeks off while I singlehanded from the Caribian and came back last Sunday, is already 100% back and even asked East Rider if we could come along on ARC in November from Las Palmas to St. Lucia. That was a prompt yes, but I am afraid to say a bit unrealistic and might kill any careermoves.
Life is extreme easy and laid back here in beautiful Horta. We took a taxi out of town and asked the driver to wait for us and to take us back. He wanted 5 € for 45 minutes and was even a nice bloke. A dinner for two with wines and all is 25€, a super Portouguise beer is 1€, so and as the Islands are magnificent and surrounded by wildlife as whales and dolphins, this is truly sailors heaven. We benefitted of a haulout and the harbourmaster took the boat through the mainstreet to the boatyard and back again two days later, for 109€……
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Lets rewind a bit to our last week in the Virgin Islands, where we visited St. John (former Danish St. Jan), which is basically a Natural Park today, thanks to Lawrence Rockefeller who purchased the Island and gave it back to the US as a Natural Park, so its all natural beauty guarded by the park rangers. We took a mooring bouy in the northern bays on more occasions, and on one occasion we went to see the Annaberg plantation ruins, wher I was hunted by a bee and had to run for my life, feeling like Donald Duck on picnic.
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It costs 15 US $ per night to use the national park moorings, but they dont collect them. You have to put them in a box on a raft which is only present in one bay, so these were more an honesty contest.

Basically we like the BVI¨s (British Virgins) much better than the USVI, so we went back and forth, and on our last week we spent good time on Peter Island, where we anchor on same spot and knows the turtles, rays, pelicans and the hundred of fishes that pass under our boat each day.
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Peter Island is just across Drakes Channel from Roadtown, so we bunkered once more and went for medication shopping (no prescription needed), but the had not had the deliveries yet, so we left for St. Thomas.
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We anchore again in the harbour and spent two days provisioning everything for the passage across the Atlantic ocean and went back and forth in a semi flat dinghy. There was a carnival going on in Charloyye Amalie, and this was a black power version, with street races, looouuuddd music and reggae rave until 4 in the morning. Funny enough, they ended by telling everyone to leave and get some rest and meet up at 5 again, so they restarted an hour later.

I managed to get a haircut for 15 US in a Dom Rep barber shop. Great guys and girls.

On the evening before Gitte would fly out, we had an expensive dinner in the superyacht marina, as the town was in carnival mode and no place dared open the doors in town.

Next morning we had breakfast in the cockpit. After that I found out that we had no dinghy at the end of the line taht was hanging into the water. It had runaway once before in Charlotte Amalie where I had to swim after it. This time Gitte looked for it in the binoculars and found it over at Hassel Island where it was attached to a small motorboat. We took the boat over and simply took it back.

We decided to anchor closer to the airport due to the carnival, and went through the narrow gap between Hassel and Charlotte Amalie, and anchored infront of Crown Bay marina (much better that where we have anchored before and dinghy dock in the marina plus supermarket…anyway went in with Gitte and bags, took a taxi for 4 Dollars to the airport and got her checked in, and through customs. It was not funny standing there when she went by the custom officer and into the gate…..all the things we had experienced together, and from now on it was all on my own.
Whar a sad face that walked downtown and checked out, and took a taxi back to crown Bay marina, where a ship were loading yachts as cargo back to Europe-many which had been part of ARC (12.000 € for our boat was 12.000 reasons to do it alone.

When I had bought some rye bread in the marina supermarket, I went straight out to Mathilde and stripped the dinghy for engine, tank, oars, and prepared for the trip.
30 Minutes later I had hauled anchor and were under way to Bermuda.
I forgot about the dinghy, but when I was rounding the SW corner it suddenly stood up in the water and the line broke the eye out, that I had drilled into the aluminum bottom for the line, and so the dinghy got to stay in St. Thomas after all.

The sail up to Bermuda was a 890 miles straight north, that started with 15 knots from NE, should have been SE , but that gave a good speed all through the afternoon and in the evening the wind started to wear to E and picking up to 20, so put a reef in for the night. Boat speed is good but skipper has not got his sea legs, so nothing to eat apart from apples and bananas. Saw a catamaran with a strange course about 40 miles N of St. Thomas, motoring in a NW direction as if he was heading for Azores directly, into the waves and 20 knots of breeze!!!
Day two, I am getting NAVTEX weather forecasts from Puerto Rico, had tomato soup during the night and cut my thump badly on the tin, so there was blood everywhere and had to change the bandage twice, coffee and bread in the morning but still no sea legs and no sleep first night. Wind day 2 20 knots from E and daily run since St. Thomas is 174 miles.
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Day three, had a good sleep through the night with 25 knots of SE with two reefs, overtook a tanker that was heading N with only 5 knots, was on AIS all night and saw him at dusk, watched a cruise ship on AIS closing in from E, another yacht out there called them and they were chatting on channel 16, until Puerto Rico Coast Guard broke in and told them that 16 is for distress calls. Jeez we are 250 miles from PR and USVI, and still they hear us out here.
Had a huge breakfast and a good shower in the morning, cleaned the deck for flying fish, and wind moderated for the day. The terminal for the baby stay broke, stress from bending and with the running backstay set over the winch, could not take the load. Got the broken thread out and fitted the stay again.
Day four, no wind all night so motored at low rpm and it is getting cold at night. Beautiful morning and running through the day with the Genoa poled out and a S breeze doing 7 knots. Have had another yacht on AIS for 30 hours and can see him in distance from time to time.
Day five, cleaning the beanbag and the cockpit and doing all other small tasks. Wind from SW and 8 knots boat speed on a flat Saragossa sea filled with brown weed.
Bermuda Navtex says wind will go N and NW. Will head for Azores when the Northerlies set in, but will go as far N as possible to secure wind during passage. Lady B still visible on AIS.
Day 6, towards midnight local time there were thunder bolts visible on the sky west of us, an hour later we were hit by heavy rain and 30 knots sw breeze that lasted until this morning. Went through the night with only a reefed mainsail. Closed all hatches and got to sleep until 6 AM were the wind had turned into N. Have made very slow progress on an E and later NE course in little wind and confused sea. Must get north to meet the W turning wind systems, rather than head directly E to the Azores
Day 7, still 147 miles to Bermuda, have being motoring N all day in absolutely no wind yesterday. During the night slow wind from N-NW and sailed close-hauled and got 6 hours of sleep. When I was ready with coffee and bread the wind died and are now motoring towards St. Georges on Bermuda.
Day 8, good progress against Bermuda all night. No sleep, talking to Bermuda radio when 50 miles out, doing the registration over the radio. Slowing the boat down so will arrive in the morning rather than during the night. When I finally get there I am hit by a thunderstorm blowing 40 knots from W, with lightning bolts all over the horizon, and later driving rain that filled my mug at the wheel in no time. I have to lower the mainsail and put sail ties on, plus find shorelines plus fenders during the rainfall and cannot see anything, so is navigating via the chart, and when I enter Towns Cut the rain is gone and its totally quiet. Head through the towns cut and search for the customs dock. Checked in at customs and talked to the lady in the super yacht terminal who organized a berth at Smoke’s marina. Met Pekka and Barbro and had a short chat, before taking the boat the few hundred meters to Smokes. Arrived in Bermuda.
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Stayed in Bermuda 2 nights, long enough to have some good sleep. Man it was cold during nights, so I had to turn on the heater and use 2 duvets. Got to see a bit of St. George’s and talk to the ARC Europe staff, and when. I left in the morning of May 9th, there was a stream of boats coming in. I got to shout to easy Rider when I came out through the cut and they came in.

The trip over to the Azores was with westerly winds and days with very little winds. When I was midway there was a big thunderstorm approaching at sunset, with lightning all around the horizon, so I kept steering towards the lightest part of the sky. The wind kept building from N and during the evening I was sailing S with only the main up and doublereefed, with constant 42 knots from N gusting to 52. Ive had that earlier in the trip and it lasted for hours, but this one was clearly a very different beast, so when a ship came by in the morning I called them and they asked me to standby while they would download weatherfiles. After some 5 minutes they called up and said it was a stationary low pressure that would stay for 2-3 days, and that I better steer SE till I got to Lat 35, then I should be safe.
Later I talked to Gitte and Stefan over the satphone and they told me to steer direct S until I was out of the low, Gitte even siad down to 30N which is same latitude as the Canary isles. A few hours later I was called by Far Fetched that was 12 miles from me at that time, and they had access to gripfiles and were heading SE as the system would bear SW, and I followed them on a SE course. We kept talking on the radio with intervals, and gradually took a more easterly course.
When the wind was still piping 30 – 35 knots I steered E and had the waves directly on the side. I had to put in the third reef as huge amounts of water came over the boat and landed in the sails. Everytime the boat was hit by directly by a wave it felt and sounded like been hit by a car. So with three reefs in the main and a bit of unfurled genoa the boat went through the night. The autopilot did a tremendous job, much better that I could have done in these conditions.
By next morning it was down to 25 knots from NW, so I unfurled a lot of the genoa and took course on the Azores and by evening I had to motor in no wind but huge waves still rolling slow. I still had the triple reefed mainsail up but sheeted hard to avoid slamming, and slept for hours. The next time that I went into the cockpit, the main had torn from headboard to second reefpoint, and I still had more than 700 miles to Horta. DSCF5285DSCF5283DSCF5282

Wind picked up from the south and I managed to sail on the genoa alone for two days, and the wind died and had to motor. Far Fetched was always 5 miles from me and at night I could see their lights. During the last days I had light winds from NW and it was impossible for me to steer the boat only with the genoa, as the balance was wrong, and even the autopilot had a difficult time coping, so I hoisted a small genoa as makeshift mainsail, and sheeted it in the spinnaker sheet block on the starboard side of the stern. That helped alot.
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I took it down for the night as it was a nightmare to hoist and lower, flying all over the place ans slamming wildly.
So with 1500 RPM on the engine as support we did a good progress during the night and the next day the wind died, so motored for 36 hours until Flores, the westernmost island, where I landed at 5 in the morning with only fuel for 20 miles left.
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The harbourmaster arranged that the gasstation picked me up with the jerrycans, drove me to the gasstation in town and back on the boat. I cut the expensive hardware out of the mainsail and catched up on sleep, and had drinks with the other boats there. When I landed Fra Fetched helped me tie up and had a bottle of whiskey open for the nerves.
Two days later I motored the 140 miles to Horta and arrived in the most beutiful sunset with Pico just ahead, and Far Fetched just infront.
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Mathilde and brave Per almost at the Azores

Uh, what a journey my brave husband is going through!!! Sleepless nights for me worrying about him and that is nothing compared to what he has been through!!

Per arrived at Bermuda on may 7. in a thunderstorm with a lot of rain, 40 knots of wind so he had to navigate with the charts only. Lasted for 20 minutes – but he of course managed to get save into the harbor. He talked to Bermuda radio and did the registration over radio.
Per got soaking wet handling the mainsail and prepare for going into the harbor.

Ashore Per ran into Pekka and Barbro sitting and checking gribfiles:-) After cleaning the boat he ant into the beautiful town and had a steak for lunch. He was so cold in shorts and t-shirt and had to chance to jeans and a sweater:-)

He has sailed 988 miles since St Thomas, used half the fuel in the tank and 2/3 of the water in the tank. He is satisfied with himself and the boat.

already and may 9. Per leaves Bermuda heading for the Azores. Pekka and Barbro also left. In the entrance to Bermuda Per met Easyrider, who just was coming in with the ARC Europe fleet.

Per left with a nice wind and goosewinged sails. ETA 8 days and 9 hours. He is planning to sail in the middle of the south and the north corse having the opportunity to head north if no wind.

may 12: day 4 to the Azores, 529 miles away from Bermuda and still 1291 miles to go. wind from behind since sunrise. He got a good nights sleep and a nice shower in the morning. while he was in the shower the autopilot stopped and the boat was turning 90 degrees:-) quick out of shower and restart the autopilot:-) Per has baked bread for breakfast and is enjoying life with juice and a lot of coffee:-)

May 13: day 5, 700 miles and still 1130 miles to go. No wind so motoring at speed 5 knots. He has beeb sailing lay line for 2 days now and is wondering about going further north to catch some wind.

May 14: day 6 – Per calls me on the telephone and he is not happy – he has run into a storm with 40 knots of wind going to 52 knots at its high. Checking gribfiles I realize that he is almost in the middle of a huge low. I tell him to go south as fast as he can, and as he still is in the front of the low the wind is coming from the north. Per has talked to a tanker on the VHF and they have told him that the low will continue for the next 3 days – oohhh, my poor husband!!!!
I call Stefan Urban and we decide to sit together and help Per find a strategy to get out of there fast and safe. Per called us and told us that the waves was 6 meters or more – the largest he ever seen. He is sitting down below with everything locked going with 3. reef in the main only. The autopilot is doing a great job so he can stay down below.
And so he does for 2 days and 2 nights getting 265 miles south and out of lay line. Per is shaking all over – so much adrenaline in his body – horrible!!!
He managed to get some sleep, but the noise was so loud. everything in the boat moved around all the time and when a wave hit the boat he felled it like a car smashed into the boat. An experience he just didn’t need to have:-(

Per gets in contact with the British sailboat Far Fetched and together they make a strategy as they are able to get gribfiles every 6 hours. They are going SE and late in the afternoon they go more and more N as they come out of the low.

On may 16 the wind has gone down and there is now no wind. Per is going with the engine and the main sail. In the morning he realize, that the main has torn
from top to the reef line. the waves is still 4 meters high making the trip a bit uncomfortable.

He now is sailing with only the genua and hope that the wind won’t turn to W making it more difficult to keep speed.

It turned out, that the crew that was going to come to Horta and make the trip to English channel all had to say no due to work or illness – so I took a quick decision and is now going to Horta to meet Per and will arrive on sunday with our new mainsail. When Per called me on may 16 and was felling a bit down I told him my decision. that made him so happy and gave him good motivation to do the last days of sailing in a good spirit:-)

I am so much looking forward to see him again and to continue our journey for the next 2 month.

today May 20. Per is heading for Flores and the brittish boat is 5 miles to starboard too. He will go there for fuel and a good nights sleep before heading the last 139 miles to Horta.
He has only little wind coming from NE but is going 7 knots and more with only the genua. Mathilde and Per can’t wait to get in a marina and having a makeover:-)
We are planning to get a haul out on Horta and getting new antifouling. Afterwards having 2 – 3 weeks vacation there exploring the islands before heading for the channel and visiting friends in GB.

Life is good and I am so proud of my brave husband and our fantastic boat!

Mathilde and Per heading for Bermuda

May 6 position:
30.52 N
63.59 W
SOG: 5,7
COG: 339
Pers comments:
16 hours 53 min. to Jacks Flats, the entrance in reef to St. George Channel.
Must Call Bermuda radio 30 miles before and they Will track my movements. Will be there at sunset.
Sailed closehauled all night at 5 – 6,5 knots heading N in 6-8 knots NW breeze.
Since 7 am motored at slow revs.
Wind instrument shows 3,5 knots Wind from W – not to much use!

No ships visible, but two plotted on AIS.
Spending time reading, checking boat and rig, checking AIS, sailed with Genoa, rolled genoa away, drinking tea, check, do dishes, having lunch, reading, emailing, reading, checking navs…… Hard life!!!!

Gittes comments from Denmark:
Ups, hope he has enough books on kindle for the trip:))
Talked on the phone with Per and discussed the weatherforecasts – he desided to go to Bermuda for a couple of days and wait for good weatherconditions.

Missing him so much and looking foreward to see him in UK.
Today I been having the first Day feeling almost like a human beeing again – still a bit under influence of jetlag. But I managed to sleep 6 hours in row last night:))
Sunshine today and almost 20 degrees made it quite nice beeing outside.
Ordered a new iPhone 5s today and will get a new phonenumber!
It is so weared beeing back here without my brave and lovely husband.
Good that our sweet sons, daugther in law and my best girlfriend is taking so good care of me – Thank you very much guys for your hospitality!

Mathilde running home with Per singlehanded

Sunday may 04 2014 Mathilde is on th way to Azores with my brave husband sailing singlehanded – so proud of him!

Position may 4 2014 at 20.00 UTC was:
Lat: 26.41
Long: 64.41

Comments from Per:
He has sailed 543 miles since St. Thomas. Distance to St. George Bermuda is 342 miles (time to go: 42 hours)
Distance to Horta faial Azores is 1939 miles (time to go: 11 days and 9 hours)

COG: 341
SOG: 7,8 knots

Heading towards Bermuda to pass Saragossa sea, last 24 hours sea have been covered with brown stuff. Light winds all night and morning turning grin SE to S and now SW 15 knots.
Forecast will turn into N and back to NW and even W!!
Will start going E against Azores when wind is turning into N and maintain much N when possible to come into North part of Azores high pressure system. Will terminate San Juan and Miami Navtex messaging and remain Bermuda.

Very little shipping. 2 AIS plots per day /carriers and tankers) Haven’t seen any since friday!
Enginehours: 5
Fuel left: 290 liters