The planned pre christmas sailing trip in December was unfortunately not possible due to ice. Instead we used the time to measure the masts and shrouds. The rig is already 40 years old and it is time to renew. Now the material is ordered and the next winter the new rig can be built up.
When the warmth of the sun opens first ways through the ice a test sail was possible. The perkins started well and is ready to support in a new year of sailing. Nevertheless there is still smoke coming from the cylinder head. Due to a stable temperature and low loss of cooling water this should not a problem to be concerned about in the next time. In the long term I must inspect it further and maintain the engine again.
Therefore and also for regular works I planned to take Sindbad to the shipyard in Rødbyhavn. The last time ashore and the big refit was already three years ago. Next to some further improvement such as installing the new NAVTEX receiver and improve the isolation and sound system in the salon, engine and heater must be maintained. Moreover the cockpit is planned to be finished and of course there will be a fresh paint for all over the boat.
In March the time has come and I could finally bring Sindbad to Rødby. Enjoying the athmosphere of the Trave river while calm winds I sailed the way to Travemünde despite the slow speed of about one knot. After arriving René joined and we spent the night in good company alongside to the Safier.
The next day a gentle southwesterly breeze made it possible to reach the port of Rødbyhavn at night. Supported by the guard vessels we found our way in the busy working area of the Fehmarnbelt until we finally arrived and made it to go alongside under sails. The morning after arrical the crane was ready and Sindbad was heaved ashore safely. Fortunately the hull looked still very clear and I was really happy. It felt good to be back in the company of the Bådeværft although I am really looking forward to waterborn Sindbad again to head for new horizons.
Faster than estimated we reach the border between Sweden and Germany. It feels good to set up the guestcountry flag and we are looking forward to enter the Swedish coast and meet its typical Northern inhabitants. As a tradition which already started in Denmark we celebrate setting up the guest flag by listening to the national anthem and thinking about the country we are heading to and its culture.
After two days of good wind and many nautical miles behind us, the wind is slowing down like every evening before. We start the night watches as usual. In our crew that means: about 1830 – 2230 Janos, 2230 – 0230 Leo, 0230 – 0530 Janos, 0530 – 0830 Leo. In the first watch a Cumulonimbus comes in sight. Those clouds are the mightiest clouds that are known in the world. They contain more than 100 million tons of water and are respectfully avoided by ships and planes. Turning winds much higher than 12 Beaufort can be found in and below that cloud. Next to that they can be the cause for a temperature drop of up to 20°C in a few moments. Especially dangerous are upwards winds which can be developed by the Cumulonimbus. Sometimes they are up to 20 kilometers high and look really frightening. In reasons of seamanship we reduce sails and keep sharp lookout for the cloud. After two hours it passes us many miles ahead and we can set up to full sail again and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
In the night the wind is giving way for a typical sunny windless day. We have about one Beaufort from the aft and we try the trade wind sails for the first time. This configuration works very well, we wish to not have forgotten the spinnaker-boom but even without we can sail up to 60 degrees to the wind direction at almost wind speed.
Two masts, two booms, a wooden cockpit, sliding hatch, the bowsprit and much more is made of wood and oiled in wood look. It looks beautiful but requires a lot of work. This time we want to make a full refit, so everything needs to be grinded and painted later. All the wooden parts are oiled with two layers of Sikkens with pigments and four layers of Osmo UV-protection oil, the masts get two additional layers of Osmo, because they can not be re-oiled that easy. The use of oil for onboard wood has the big advantage that it is more stretchable. Therefore it has less problems with the never stopping movement of the boat. The grinding is hard work and the painting afterwards requires a lot of patience. In contrast the satisfaction is even bigger after achieving a good result. The cockpit needs to be completely overhauled. René is working on it but it is going to take much more time. It will be made of mahogany wood again and I am excited for the result.