Hy guys, after 10 days sailing in Turkey, my conclusion is : that is an awesome part of the world for sailing. But lets start from the beginning. After arriving, again with a bag full of spare parts, on Friday June 22, we invested the whole day for to fixing / exchange the the new parts on Lifgun. In particular we exchanged the trotted lever unit from the Volvo engine, reassembled the Watt and Sea Hydrogenerator, exchanged the vhf unit with a new one which is fully n2k compatible, mounted the new Elvstroem Sails and exchanged the defective pressuring water pump. After that on Saturday June 23'th we started sailing, wow it's so amazing to sail in between all this little islands and to have the option to drop the anchor everywhere you want. It's a complete new way of sailing....after eating all this miles. So we spent the first night in a small bay opposite Turgutreis on anchor, enjoyed to swim and just chilled on the boat. On this point I figured out that the sun protection is not optimal on Lifgun. When you are on anchor, you really need something to make shadow in a efficient way. I think we have to integrate some sum shades in the lazy bag. Next day we travelled to a bay in between Turgutreis and Bodrum. Awesome too. Inflating the dinghy and enjoyed the cool drinks on the beach. So, all these days went over with very little sailing, which was cool too (you won't believe it!!). Lifgun is in great shape (thanks to YachtWorks) and it's pure fun to spend time on/with her. Btw, the water in this area is just amazing, you are able to see every detail on the ground with 6 meters water in between. Therefore the shower inside was never used during this trip. And the turkish government really takes care of the environment, the blue card which let them check out that no black water is going to the sea. A bit of paper work, but it seems to work. My conclusion is : Soon again.
The reason for this trip was a haircut......no serious, Lifgun went on the hard few weeks ago and I agreed with yachtworks (the shipyard at Didim) that I will be there when the new sails from Elvstroem Denmark arrived. However - in the meantime we also decided to replace the whole ruder because the stainless rudder shaft was somehow corroded and all bearings in the quadrant have been massive blocked, literally they were completely destroyed. But okay - let's start from the beginning, best with a list of the executed works :
a.) New Mainsail, self tacking jib and blue water runner ordered at Elvstrom, for everybody who never shipped something to turkey - I tell you....this is something which is really difficult. Therefore the new rudder was also shipped with the very professional help of Michael from the Elvstrom shipping department. However, due the fact that Lifgun is a Vessel in transit, the idea was not to pay VAT - which is not so easy - but worked at the end. The sails and the rudder arrived on Thursday 13.30 local time, together with 3 officials from the customs and a sealed truck. Under the eyes of the customs the seal get broken and some official paperwork took place. And here again, whatever you do, the most important thing on a boat is a stamp. After stamping several docs the office drove back to Kusadasi (which is 2 hours away) and the guys from Yachtworks started to treat the rudder with in total 7 or 8 layers of paint.
Beside this major rudder issue we did the following other works : refurbishing the cockpit table, enlarge the raymarine network, fixed all the reeling poles, install an open network for to display raymarine data in open source apps, antifouling, fixing the keel, polishing everything, refurbished the freezer compressor, replacing joints, servicing the engine and the genset and and and....
After a week with lot of work, Lifgun kissed the water on Friday morning again... like new and ready to sail. Hopefully the next posts will be from new sailing adventures again..... Thank's to Yachtworks for there professional help and work, Emre did a great job !
Dear Lady's - This entire page is dedicated to you. As you maybe know I always go when I reaching a new country, as one of my first duties, to a hairdresser. It's a very old habit and the background is that I strongly believe in the fact, that you nowhere get such a lot information in such a short time, then at a hairdresser.... Anyhow - this time I found a guy in the back yard of a shopping center and I was asking for the full program. In my case this means normally shaving and a haircut. So...what happened then is a unique story, I made some "first time experiences" and that's the reason why I'm dedicate this to all of you Ladies....
He was starting with the shaving.... first as usual with the foam treatment then he shaved the whole face as usual, then he was putting a layer of powder on my face, then he used a normal electrical razor machine then the foam procedure started over again..I thought wow - that is looking very serious.... After this 3 steps he was starting to cover my face with a kind of wax thing...I was surprised but...you know ..... I was sure that I will not die....Anyways this wax stuff was cooling out for a couple of minutes, then he was taking it away - HOLY SHIT WHAT A PAIN !!! I WASN'T SURE ANYMORE THAT I WILL SURVIVE THIS TREATMENT... Then he was starting to fill in two Q tips which were completely covered with hot wax to my nose and was also covering both of my ears. Couple of minutes later he pulled it away ....SHEEEEEZZZZ THAT WAS 10 TIMES THE PAIN OF THE FIRST REMOVAL...... No fucking clue how all the woman can do that waxing stuff on a regular base. Therefore my deepest respect to all of you.
Then he put on a fango cream or whatever which was drying on my face,,,during that process he was cutting my hair then washed my whole head, burned away the left over hair with a kind of flare (which also was looking very dangerous) and finally after around 50 minutes I was allowed to stand up.
Best ever Barber experience I ever had ! And once again to all my men friends - stay away from this waxing stuff - you'll not survive !
Sent from Didim (Turkey) Friday February 9'th 2018 16.07 local time
Its Tuesday morning, since 4 am UTC we are sailing again. Guess what angle...upwind )) for sure. Last night was quiet, almost no wind my iron friend was doing all the work over night. The sea was flat like a mirror, a high pressure system is moving down here and will bring soon some rather strong winds.... - Stephanie wrote the following mail :
D0602 msg 08:30utc
Hi Markus, latest model shows strong SE winds developing towards Aegean Sea
during tomorrow night and strengthening further Wednesday, perhaps up to
gale force locally and with some poor weather with it. Then looks like
easing again during Thursday.
However- the sails are working right now, the forestay looks stable and the self tacking jib is looking great. The good news about Stephs forecast is that the wind is turning to south east, that means wind from almost behind. Ill try to stay a bit on the south side of the med to avoid the worst, well see if this is working. ETA in Didim is somewhen during Thursday, hopefully ..... about 327 miles to go.
Sent from 33.01.037 N / 30.12.605 E - 10.10 UTC - February 6th 2018
Good evening All, first half of the Suez passage is over, Lifgun is docked in Ismailia alongside the yacht club and is as always the only yacht here. The passage was so fare breathtaking---first of all it's just cool to sail trough a desert, second - it's cool to have a pilot aboard, no steering work for me....third the cargo vessels are immense, 4'th the light and the ambience is amazing. I was enjoying every second of this journey. Now in Ismailia the (in the meantime) normal paperwork is taking place (I'm used to it already) and the upside is, that they have a cool restaurant in the club - was having dinner there for a total amount of 66 Pounds which equals 3.20 CHF or 3 Euros. That means : Salad, Soup, first courses - then chicken with veggie, french fries and rice, a coke and a bottle of water...Awesome isn't it ? First I was asking in the cafe area if there is a chance to eat something, it wasn't - but a guy offered me his lentils soup - which was awesome ! People here are really kind, and they very happy to see and to present them selves to foreigners...could be point to learn for us....As usual Lifgun is the main photo attraction from the first second on, a wedding was using her, now a not stopping flow of people taking pics in front of her - it's really fun. One thing which is really attracting me by sailing is that you normally reach places were no other tourists are, this gives you a unique view to the country and the people. Listening the sound of the mosque in the sunset and heaving a beer is just unbelievable ! Go sailing!!
Sent from Ismailia February 4'th, 2018 @ 17.00 h
Dear Friends, after 39 Days of sailing Lifgun arrived finally in Suez. The red Sea was difficult becaus of the oil and gas riggs, because of the traffic, because of 35 knots of headwind for more then 12 hours. That Lifgun was survive is amazing, she was fighting like a lion. Me too. There was literally no sleep, and tacking every couple of miles. The storm jib was working perfect - but Lifgun is limping. A first conclusion after crossing the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea is as follows : 1. I'm the first sailing boat in 2018 here in Suez 2. I didn't saw any signs of piracy 3. The qualition forces are working outstanding 4. You need to know the difference between fishermens and pirates ( I only saw fishermens) 5. I will post my experiences also in noonsite a bit later 6. People here are outstanding nice. Right now I'm working in the office of the CEO and owner of Sunrise Tours a country wide touristic company.... awesome. The paperwork is outstanding and needs a lot of time - but my agent Abdo (from Felix Agents) are doing a really good job. Yesterday the officals were messuring Lifgun to calculate the transit fee... 2 hours of work. The harbour is secured by the Egypt Army, so every time you go out or in you need to show your passport, and they will check your visa very precise. Nobody speaks english, which makes every taxi ride complicated. We have now cleaned Lifgun and tried to fix the main issues. The forestay is definitly damaged, hopefully he will work until Turkey...The sails were suffering too, I'm rigged this morning the self tacking jib and will use that sail for the last leg. The passage trough the Suez channel will take 2 days, I'll start on Sunday, which means on Tuesday I'll leave Egypt.
This is a nightmare. It started tonight at 2 am when the genua went down. I thought, okay, probably the halyard broke. I started to bring down the genua and tried to fix this big sail on deck. Because of the dark I decided to use the engine until sunrise. Shortly after sunrise I figured out that not the halyard was broke it was the top fitting of the furler thing. But the halyard is up in the mast. After thinking a bit, I decided to use the heavy weather fock without forestay - grab out the sail and hoisted it, this was working for a couple of hours then the fock was exploding in several parts and wend to the ocean. Shit, the second sail Ive lost. This fucking red sea turning out as a very expensive piece of water...Fact is, that to sail upwind only with mainsail is not really working. After thinking an hour and testing to sail only with the main I finally decided to try to fix the profile forestay and then to hoist the storm fock. Again gymnastic on the bow for 90 minutes in quite big waves, then hoisted for the first time in my life the storm fock. She is orange colored ))) - since then we are sailing again. My lord - this was really the worst day I ever had on sea. Hopefully this setup will now work until Port Suez wich is around 200 miles away. Stephanie forcasted strong winds for tonight - will see how we manage this, right now we have force 6 true wind speed - which is 7 aws....We keep fighting - I promise this to everybody.....
Sent from 26.50.226 N / 34.20.715 E - 11.44 UTC - January 29th, 2018
180 nautical miles until the start of the Gulf of Gubal. Tomorrow evening we should be there. The conditions have been terrible the last few days. I really wondering how Lifgun is survive....short step waves with a very short intervall - its a horor scenario... Full heel angle, spray allover and noise like hell. And the worst is, due of the tacking the progress is very slow. Its really unbelievable how exhausting this kind of sailong is - not only physically exhausting, also mental. We are now at day 37....and I really looking forward to have land under my feets. At least it seems that were able to do it, less then 48 hours until Port Suez. Im still debating with Stephanie from Meteogib the weather pattern which is really helpfully but even she is not able to change the winds, upwind stays upwind. This morning a fresh bread was coming out of the oven, which is always a big moment. Right now were sailing parallel to the coastline with north easterly winds, Ill pray that
they stay as long as possible, so we can reaching for a couple of hours. Sailed since Richards Bay 5398 nautical miles which is around 10000 km. Next news from the Suez Channel !
Sent from 25.44.450 N / 36.18.792 E - 09.50 UTC - January 28th 2018
Entered this morning Egypt, an Egypt Military Vessel was checking us out by radio. The usual questions are : Ship Name, Captains nationallity, home port of the vessel, MMSI number, call sign, number of persons aboard, next port of call, last port of call - after telling the officer that my last port of call was Richards Bay - 40 seconds of silence on the radio )))) - alone from South Africa to here ??? was the following question .....Anyhow they were sailing paralell to me for half an hour and watching me how I reefed the mainsail then turned away....Very nice guys ! Altough life is tough out here, beating upwind in force 4 to 6 is not fun. And the wind is turning all day long by at least 20 degrees. The gusty conditions, within seconds from force 4 to force 6 are just anoying. And the waves as well as the current are changing in the same speed.... less then 500 miles to go. Hopefully on Monday evening or Tuesday morning we shoud arrive in Suez. For tonight some strong winds
ahead...The generator is not working again - but so what )) Im within the range where I can use the engine for to fill up my energie needs...Lets keep fighting... fucking red sea !
Sent from 22.45.602 N / 37.40.690 E - 16.00 UTC / January 26, 2018
Winds are changing quick here in the Red Sea. In the night from Saturday to Sunday the Blue Water halyard broke. Force 5 winds, gusts 6...the sail went under the boat and riped....2 to 3 meters waves and pitch dark - I finally decided to let him go, thats the disantvantage of single handed sailing. Such situations normally turned out very crucial and dangerous. Anyways - life is going on and hopefully the insurance will share the costs....Monday was during daylight a perfect sailing day, after sunset the wind slowed down to 5 knots and this is the situation until now..Just get the info from Meteogib (Stephanie) that over the Med a low pressure system is building and probably from Thursday until Saturday there will be strong northerly winds up to gale force - worst should be Friday afternoon. We will see... Still some hunderts miles to go - most of them probably upwind. But Suez is coming closer. During the nights the sea is filled up with unlighted fishing boats - they only
switch on a white light if they see that we drive in there direction....Amazing is the technique they still use for fishing. Small boats, small engines - tons of people aboard. Today its day 32 probably we will end up with 37 to 38 days until Suez, depending on the conditions in the next days. Mood is good, I made the wash today (hopefully last time) and cleaned the bilge from expolded coke cans - Tonight Ill bake another bread and enjoy a hopefully quite night. I know that things changing fast and in 2 days I would like to be in calm seas instead of banging against the wind - but there is no way to change anything.
Sent from 17.39.636 N / 39.45.372 E - 13.54 UTC / January 23th 2018
Hmmmm....... Yesterday night was a nightmare. To reach the read sea wass freaking tough. Until dinner everything was under control, after an hour napping, I thought something is wrong with the boat and second something is wrong with my stomach....Stepping out and 5 meters behind the boat a red, green yellow flashlight was blinking. I thought, shit an attack or something is going on, and needed couple of minutes to orientate myself..Finally I figured out that I hit a fishing net, boat speed at that time 1.2 knots because of the net. However - Bluewater runner down, and resist the first idea to turn on the engine....due of the propeller...should I try to sail reverse ? Single handed in the pitch dark night...no ways. Maybe gybing helps... we tried that same same but on the other side...With the torch I regognized the ropes behind the rudder, with an telescope hook I was able to catch the line and cut it....one was gone another one was still behind the boat. I grabed the second
line with the same system and cut it apart same as the first one. Liberated. First to toilett, I really felt sick... then sails up again and start moving. Btw my dinner was first tuna sahimi and then tuna steak from the braii..Anyhow back to bed and tried to sleep. One hour later I woke up and again something was strange with the boat. Same story, different fishing net - fuck - its an nightmare to sail close to the coast line or in narrow spaces...Again sail down, cutting the ropes, sails up and so on. My stomach was at that time paining like hell. Ill tried to sleep for two hores more (until sunrise) no way - I was nervous and sick. At dawn, after spending some time in the bathroom....I started to clean up the mess from the last night. And finally at aroung 5 am UTC we entered the Red Sea.
2 to 2.5 Knot current northbound - thats cool. You sail 6 knots and you make 8.5 knots - free miles. The red sea is filled up with small fishing boats, nice people (they always were trying to sell me beer) - but tons of the small dinghies with 4 to 8 people aboard. Anyhow - based on the massiv traffic you have to stay in lanes, thats why my track is probably looking very straight. 10 more miles and then im out of the traffic seperation zone - and hopefully then I can sail a bit more free. My stomach is better now - the problem was (I only remembered this now) that if you eat very fresh tuna the proteins are extremely strong...so it was most likely a protein overkill.... So, guys until Wednesday the wind should be from behind, then from north again - that means every mile we eat now, we dont have to sail upwind later on.. 1100 miles to Suez. Lets keep fighting.
Sent from 13.43.884 N / 42.36.189 E - 15.51 UTC Sunday January 21th 2018 - Day 29 since Richards Bay....
My goodness, yesterday night was weired, after cooking Risotto and having dinner, the rod starts noising - something was on the hook. After 45 minutes fighting in the complete dark, I finally won, a big tuna, maybe around 18 kg was aboard. After killing him with my bottle of vodka which is allways ready in the cockpit I hung him up on the backstay and waited until the blood was gone. This takes about 1.5 hours and is a mess, even if I developed in the meantime a system which minimizes the mess. However, then I cleaned him and started to cut the tuna in pieces. Another hour later (still pitch dark) the tuna was in the fridge and freezer, its massive how much meet one fish has....After cleaning up I decided to go for a nap. Then around 3 hours later the AIS was sounding that somebody is on collision course, however it was a german cargo ship which was somehow lost and missed the lane. I decided to go out to have look, after my first leg was in the cockpit somebody was yelling
like hell. Jesus, I was completely shocked. A seagull was sitting next to the compannion way in between of ropes and stuff. However, she was obvious not in the position to fly away, there was no runway.....I used a towell to fight her back until the stern, were she finally felt down into the water... but believe me - this birds are agressive in such situations...another hour was gone....At least my dinner for today is clear, some sashimi and the grilled tuna steak ))))
Im now around 65 nm from the read sea away, heavy currents here, but luckily from the back. Right now we are doing with 11 knots of wind around 8 knots of SOG, 2 knots current from behind....It seems that we survived the Somalia waters with the pirates and stuff. Im happy about that, not that I was expecting something serious, but you never know...The forcast still says light winds and from around the middle of the red sea on headwinds... Until Suez its about 1300 miles....This will not be an easy leg, due the massive traffic which ist in this narrow sea....so what, we also will win this match ! Happy weekend to all land lubbers !
Sent from 12.10.906 N / 44.38.646 E - Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 11.45 UTC
First :It started this morning, the generator was again not working...take out all the stuff from the back compartement to get access to the generator, take away the box (sound proofing) from the generator, checking the oil level - was okay, checking all electrical connections okay, finally I decided to close the seacock and try to start the generator - until he has enough power to blow out the cooling water...that was working - The generator was running again.
Second : Then I tried to start the main engine - was not working - fuck - checking the starter battery - seemed to be on low voltage - okay - the search action for the jumper cable took me 30 minutes (but : I have one !) - then bridge the consumer and starter battery, the main engine was running again. Third : The anchor bracket was pointing from one moment to the other, in a wrong direction, the whole thing was loose. Took down the blue water runner, which is mounted there, demounted the anchor (25 kg in open water on
the very front of the boat - thats fun folks), figured out that I lost a 20mm screw, start thinking how to fix that again. Finally I found a screw (search and rescue time again 30 minutes) and started to fix this thing. Then hoisting the blue water runner again (Im sailiong dead downwind - no ways with other sails) and since then I pray that this provisional solution holds until Suez.....
Its now around 3 hours before sunset- since sunrise no food and only few cups of tee. It seems that Lifgun is limping, but at least we are sailing again. 295 nm until the end of the IRTC, then the red sea is next...Ahhhh - and by the way : In between of everything an air force plane was flying over me and was checking if I stand by on channel 16. Probably theyve checked if my position messages are correct..but its a cool feeling that at least somebody is flying around here. So, tonight its barbecue time - the t-bone went out of the freezer...Not sure, what the whole thing Im doing
here, has to do with sailing...but its fun anyway.
Sent from 24.777 N / 49.49.958 E - January 18th, 2018 - 11.04 UTC
Sneaking down the Gulf of Aden... light winds from behind. Was doing the wash, cleaned up and now Im just enjoying to hang out and watch the row of cargo ships which are passing me. Im literally driving in the middle of a two lane road, the middle section is 1 nm wide. This allows me to check the traffic on both sides. Speed slowed, due the light winds a bit down, but so what ... sometimes dolphines are swimming a couple of miles with us - otherwise its calm and relaxing. Will watch a movie now before the dinner preparation is starting. The new blue water runner on the pic is now working in butterfly mode, which is awesome....
Enjoy your day !
Sent from 14.01.174 N / 51.73.750 E - January 17, 2018 / 11.45 UTC
Since last night we are more or less in the Gulf of Aden. Jesus - what a relief. The swell is down, 3 to 4 Beaufort, gentle waves and 80 degrees twa. The heel reduced to 15 degrees - first time since ever a breakfast without jumping eggs and moving food. Now we are heading with 310 degrees toward the entry gate of the IRTC (internationally recognized transit corridor) trough the Gulf of Aden. Fuck - Im so happy that we did this leg from South Africa to here - that was tough shit, believe me. Until now weve been sailing 3700 nautical miles, aroung 7000 km. That Lifgun survived this trip is more than I expected. I mean... you cant imagine how many hits and bangs she was eating. The teak in bow part is washed out, trillions of liters probably were splashing over this part. Wow... im proud of her ! However, yesterday my most loved baby was again not working again.... this anoying generator is like a princess.... this morning I checked against the cooling water, the oil level
and decided that probably the oil pressure was a bit to high, therefore Ive drained 120 ml of oil and guess what .....genset is working again. This is important, then also my watt and sea hydro gen is a bit ill, no wonder after almost 18000 miles. He is still producing power but not the amount he is supposed. Anyways - better then nothing. The point is that the diesel engine just consumes to much petrol per kw/h. Worst case my fuel depot is not yet sufficent to produce enough electricity to get to suez, not talking about crucial situation or calm days... Until know we used the engine for about 10 hours during the whole trip, which is awesome.
Anyhow folks, Im cruising here in the sun with 7.3 knots of speed and 10 knots of wind and feel happy and proud. By the way ..... so far never sighted a pirate nor a fishing vessel.... Yesterday we meet a privat 155 feet motor vessel on his way to the Maledives, the captian was asking me for a weather forecast.... something is wrong in this world....
Im looking forward to a decent dinner tonight, rod is out - hopefully we catch a fresh fish for that )))
Sent from 13.13.013 N / 54.45.660 E - Tuesday January 16, 2018 - 07.55 UTC
This will be my longest upwind trip. My goodness...since 2350 nautical miles upwind and another 100 in front. No way to move around on board, its like mountain climbing... cooking is a nightmare, you ever tried to open a fridge when the whole thing is heeling 35 degrees and bumping at the same time ? Better not ))) Even sitting around. Even sitting around is exhausting, my neck is in top condition, therefore best is to lay around and not move to much....
The lndian Ocean is very lonely, no other ships, nothing. For the moment l'm really looking forward to have a few reaching days, to clean up an to become reorganized. During the last weeks l slowed down in the morning for 2 hours to run the generator and the watermaker, with the big heel the generator is sucking air as well as the watermaker.... during that time I'm also able to clean the kitchen, showering and shave my self.
Tonight we will passing the Suqutra Island, and then not far away the starting point for the observed corridor trough the Guld of Aden starts.
Im looking forward to the red sea.... (believe me)
The mood aboard is good, there's still fish in the freezer, but it's almost impossible to cook them during upwind sailing - I'll eat them during the downwind passage trough the Gulf of Aden. Slowly it becomes a little bit less hot out here, which is very comfortable and allows me to sleep better downstairs.
Happy greetings from the Indian Ocean !
Sent from 11.43.642 N / 56.24.238 E - 13.19 UTC / Monday January 15, 2018
Since this morning we are back in the northern part of the world again. The upwind beating which takes place since over 1500 nautical miles is hurting Lifgun a bit. The generator still makes problems and I couldn't figure out from where exactly the problems are coming. The watermaker was leaking, in particular his feed pump was leaking - this I fixed maybe in the afternoon. Everything which is not tight like hell is becoming loose. And it seems that we have another 850 miles of upwind sailing. But anyways, overall the situation is stable and it seems that we are on the right track. To be honest : Im tired of the banging, of the heel angel, of the noise - but no choice so far. We do around 160 miles every 24 hours, which is not bad, especially with the waves you find out here. Sleeping is almost impossible, its so hot and humid - every couple of hours you need a ventilation and dry break outside. The piracy situation seems to be stable. So far nothing happend. As usual I believe in the fact that the most storys are fairytales - but we will see what will be at the Horn of Aden.....
Hello from 0.25.797 N / 61.27.801 E / January 10th - 15.46 UTC
We are now out here since two weeks. Sailed almost 2000 nautical miles and well passing the Seychelles Islands today. As Stephanie informed me the cyclone is still sticking in Madagscar and reached hurricane force in the meantime. Good thanks Im not involved in this. Out here we have force 4 winds with moderate seas and we sailing on starboard tack since days or weeks. This morning we entered the high risk area (hra) which is under protection from some international army forces. Therefore the office work increased significant, because we need to keep in touch with the headquater in Ireland. This will stay until we reach the red sea. The plan now is to head a bit more north east (maybe 4 days) and then tack and try to reach the Horn of Aden and cruising west, direction red sea and Suez. So far Im very satiesfied with our progress, although its a lot upwind sailing which is just not very comfortable-but as always - nature is boss. Lifgun is in excellent shape - as I thought already in Richards Bay - she probably never was in better condition. Based on that, my days are more or less quiet, beside the fact that I live on a 30 degree slope )). Never been at the Seychelles and now... im just passing. But anyways - at least now I know where they are ! I have my own island. Small but well equiped.
Hopefully the waves getting smaller in the next 24 hours and then even the upwind sailing becomes cool.
Wish you all a cool weekend ! From 04.53.026S / 51.57.985E 10.53 UTC / Saturday, December 6th 2018
January 2th in the evening finally the Comeres Islands disappeared in our back ! This was a hard fight, with very low winds and still some current. In the following night the trades started up an gave us a fair boost to the north-east. With N to NW winds we were sailing with about 70 degrees true wind angel since then. The cyclone is still sitting in our south, therefore the wave pattern is a bit wired. This morning we had a cross sea with about 2.5 meter wave height, which is stille here right now. This means incredible banging, especially with wind over 20 knots. Showering at least once every 2 hours is a result out of this... Below a few pros and cons from the last couple of days:
Fishing: Very frustrating, to fight with Marlins from a sailboat....no way dudes. Lost 4 lures since Richards Bay. Finally I figurd out that I need to use smaller lures for smaller fishes. But I also learned that the lures have to smoke - that means the lure has to jump out of the water every few seconds and then producing an air tail below the water. My lures havent been designed for this air tail..... bad luck. The solution was finally a half cork which was bonded in front of the lure - today in the morning the test started - after 3 hours we were catching one 15 kg yellow tail and one 4 kg whatever fish. But it was a big relief !! And very important for my mood.
Safety: Since yesterday Im sailing without navigation lights - from tomorrow on - as soon as we reaching the 5 degrees south latitude, we entering the high risk area in the Indian Ocean. Since 10 degrees a daily position report to the army forces in this area is needed. Probably then the AIS will also be switched off - stealth mode.......
Mood: So far so good - Yesterday was a difficult day - I felt every bone in my body - and was tired to eat pasta all day long. The fishing issue was frustrating.
Failures : Yesterday night I lost the propeller of my hydro generator, first I thought it must be an wiring problem - but in the morning I figured out it was the lost propeller and mounted the spare one.
Sailing: So far its seems very clear to me why nobody is doing this way by sailboat - it is more ore less upwind sailing.
Waves: Different to the atlantic - worse - much worse!
Climate : Fucking hot - have you ever been completely wet after boiling a coup of tea ? Sleeping is almost impossible - its so unbelievable hot down there... with no air circulation.
Thats all for the moment ! Ill keep fighting!!
Greetings from 06.59.360S / 47.08.615 E - 17.44 UTC - January 4th 2018
Slow winds, strong current out here - our boat speed is not so bad, but we suffering about 2.5 to 3 knots conter current. Anyways a couple of days more and then it should be over, then maybe we can catch the current up north.... But this is not the reason for the escape status of Lifgun. Behind Madagascar a huge cyclone is developing. And it seems to be a really big one. With a bit of luck we can avoid him, therefore we are sticking a bit to the african cost to not getting into the clockwise turning cyclone. The sky shows that something is going on, thats by the way the big advantage of sailing, if you like to observe weather phenomens you should go sailing, the clouds are telling you a lot about whats going on up there. Im really happy for to have Stephanie from Meteogib which is observinbg the situation in a larger scale and consulting me what to do. This gives us a certain amount of security and makes routing decisions much more easier. I recommend such kind of consulting to everybody who is not meterologist nor has a fast satellite connection aboard. That means we will spend the next few days with observing heading and weather, probably not that much partying :))
Hereby her last mail :
Hi Markus, just to let you know that you might start to see some shower/
thunderstorm activity now as you head further North from your current
position, this associated with the developing LOW/ Cyclone.
Of concern is that the latest models show it deepening significantly next
week and no longer slipping SSW towards SE Madagascar but have it staying
close to the NE with seas building. It's hard to know what impact she might
have over your area or if the track may change so I will start updating
daily. If possible continue steering close to the African coast, as I said
yesterday the further West you are the better in terms of any impact at all.
Please acknowledge and wishing you all the best for 2018!
I wish everybody a Happy New Year and a successful 2018.
Sent from 14.52.312 S / 42.04.170 E 10.17 UTC - December 31.2017