The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.
It just looked so nice – oh summer wind….
I haven’t been around for a while. But now I am back thinking and thinkering.
Problem: It is time to do some major refitting to the jibs. Problem is that my number one Genoa is more or less 6 meters at the lower end sweeping the deck. Getting it down and secured is a major job. Changing from number 1 to number 2 is at best a challenge. I hoist number 2, tack and get the number one on deck. But if it is really blowing and waves are building in the North Sea while you are trying to master the damned large sail – which is not fastened other than in the forestay profile, tack and sheet – two arms are not enough. The only way to get rid of the beast is to get it down the hatch unpacked – which will make everything wet down below. Read the rest of this entry »
I like alliterations – I have to admit to this. However, Salt is a wane whale and we did go West.
She´s vane with new stainless steel ventilators and a new spray hood. The spray hood is the best investment in comfort for the creature in Salt since the diesel heater. Now it is possible to sit out of the spray even in heavy weather and rain. Read the rest of this entry »
Salt is on terra firma and low pressures are marching in towards the Norwegian West Coast – in short – it’s winter. I know I have been slow on this blog for some time. It seems that the Australians, the Freya double enders and a few international readers interested in Refleks diesel heathers that find this blog interesting. I truly understand you all. I will try to do better.
Let go.. Well – the race season was a nominal disappointment. I don’t think we ever did better than becoming number two or at the best one number one. Consequently, I have decided to forget the season.
To be remembered.. However, I will not forget this summer. We had a long cruise in Ryfylke sailing all day in the sun and warm wind. That is something I haven’t experienced since we sailed the Bahamas. Going downwind it was so hot we had to swim time and time again.
Every night we anchored in a new spot. Most of the time pretty much alone with few other yachters around. The deeper you go into the fjords the less other yachts you will see. Ryfylke really is an El dorado for us seeking nice natural harbors or appreciate the tranquil blond Scandinavian nights quietly hanging on the hook. A gin & tonic sun downer with Salt moving in harmony with the wind and waves – hanging on the anchor – is truly a nice experience.
Spring brings new possibilities…Next season I plan to try out the un boomed mainsail and a battened number two genoa, overlapping, and self tacking. Engøy Seilmakeri has redesigned two sailes to fit the above description. In theory this will make her more easy to
singelhand, more effective –particlaryly while reaching – and safer. Most sailing accidents involve the main boom. Getting rid of it will make things easier. The overlapping 130% Genoa will be boomed by battens, switch by the mast, and be regulated by one sheet only. Sounds to got too be true? Right. Even so, I did test it once this fall. Moreover, it all worked out. Admitting, it did not blow much – in fact next to nothing – and I had to take the sails back to the loft – but it did work. Both the fully battened main and Genoa tacked without problems. So this spring we will see.
Furthermore, I plan for a new trip to Shetland, Fair Isle, Scotland and through the Caledonian canal. I am afraid this so far is fireside sailing.
However, I do think a lot about it. Time will show.
Once more…Besides, I will participate in the Seilmakeren – the race from Bergen to Stavanger (Skudenes) and back. But this time in someone else’s yacht. Two races in no wind is enough in Salt. So I guess it will be a real blow this spring.
Best of x-mas to you all!
Finally – two Wednesdays in a row the wind has blown more than a trickle and we have won both races. I know, it’s just a race and nothing to brag about. But still, it’s good to know that there is life in the old whale when it comes to a blow.
It is annoying to make a third or a fourth place when there is no wind at all. However, considering the competitors up front who all have brand new high tech sails and are race boats by pedigree, it is fairly nice that 30 years old Salt still hang around and sails in her handicap. It is a fact of life that something has happened the last 30 years of yacht construction. I bet Salt weights twice, if not thrice, the weight of a few of our companions. And I have missed crew a couple of races so I have had to single hand and double hand a race or two. I am telling you that she is not easy to handle alone in a blow among hard-core competitors with no faint heart for the single handler.
I am just so pleased with finally winning a few races. And this weekend we are sailing a short hand races from Saturday to Sunday with the weatherforcasters promising rain and wind – the nicest flying whale weather you can think of. The assurance of winning a race makes me optimistic about the next one.
What a slow season so far. The weather in Stavanger – and most of the South and Western part of Norway – has been one long sunny day for a month. I don’t complain, but it would be nice if the sunny days also included a few races with more wind than a trickle.
When nothing else works, blame somebody
Somebody has to take the blame for the bad results so far. Why not the sun or my absent and unreliable mate and brother?
Salt has so far only been able to come up with thirds and fourths. The only Wednesday it has blown I was forced to singlehand. None of my trusty mates showed up for the race. I have to say though I was close to win or at least come in second. But I was forced of the finishing line with half the boat over the line by a fierce competitor coming in low on starboard tack. It was by the rules. I could do nothing but jibe out an come back. By the time I got the complete boat over the line several late coming competitors beat me to it. Fair and straight, but very frustrating. One more hand and Salt would have been first across the line. She beat them all to the weather marker, but could not hold the competitors behind during the spinnakerleg – I can’t set the symmetric spinnaker single handed when the legs are so short – so I had to watch them pass. However, Salt came hard back upwind. All in all a good race.
Bob Dyland weekend
This weekend we where supposed to sail Utsiraseilasen 2008. Last year it was postponed because of a storm, this year I had to postpone the race as a result of the lacking wind. Ugh – the result was a long weekend working in the garden.
Well – it could have been worse. Friday Bob Dylan performed for close to 20.000 fans in Stavanger. I was among the fans and enjoyed it immensely. Not as much as a windy race, not even Dylan can compare to that – but Dylan performing Like a Rolling Stone sure helps.
It took me less than ten minutes to make an “envelope” of the window fabric, with a double flip-cover on top of the laptop. I put Velcro underneath the laptop to tape it inside of the cover. I taped the sides of the cover, and used Velcro for the top panel of the envelope. The cord for the charger and the GPS comes out under the top flip. The cords are double bended – coming up under the flip, covered by the Velcro, and then down to the laptop. The laptop is secured by Velcro inside the envelope.
Underside of the cover has Velcro which mates with Velcro taped on to the chart table top. The hole thing just sits totally secure. It so happens that the small cheap GPS for the computer works fine under deck. All I have to do is to place the small GPS among by navigational books. This works fine.
During dark and rainy nights with hard landfalls, I can move the laptop out into the cockpit. The Tiki Navigator has a nifty night solution where everything turns read to keep your night vision keen and bright. The chart is so big that I have no trouble checking it out while sitting at the tiller.
My computer has a mousepad easily used through the cover. I can still browse the charts, change sizes and find my routes. The only problem is that you have to have dry fingers using the mousepad through the cover. So I have pad of paper towels in close reach. However, it’s hard to write with the cover on. But I won’t write much as I am navigating – particularly not during cold and rainy nights.
I was afraid the cover would make the computer overheat. This is not a problem. In fact the computer is no hotter inside the cover than without it. The reason might be that navigation is not hard work for the laptop. In fact it’s hardly using any brains at all. Just sits there.
I have a cheap charger connected to my main battery. The whole contraption sucks more electric juice than I expected and the battery for lights and electronics are to small, only 70 amps. It keeps the computer and everything else going for most of a day, and then I can run the navigator on the laptops internal battery for a few hours. It works, but 70 amps is not enough anymore. I will change the battery and install another to keep it all going and to avoid running the engine to charge.
That’s it – a fast and cheap answer to my computer problem onboard. It has worked since last spring. It has worked in heavy weather, in rain, hail, summer, sunshine and dark nights. What more can you ask for 32 dollars of waterproofness?
Going full blast from Korsfjorden outside Bergen towards Stavanger last week, spinnaker drawing, some ocean swell unsettling us, but with a nice breeze from behind, the fog set in. Woolen as cotton, cold and wet as rain. I could not see more than two or three boat lengths forward into the heavy ferry and ship infested North Sea. As nightfall set inn, I could even see less.
Boy, was I glad I installed the AIS I won last year in the Shetland Race. I didn’t have any positive expectations. In fact I was rather annoyed for having to install two new antennas and another peace of equipment drawing ever more electricity.
The Simrad AIS 150 sender and transponder really made me feel safe. You can spot ships 32 miles away. That is nice. But even better, you are telling them where Salt is, who she is and her call sign, plus our speed and course.
Even ferryboats reacted to our signal. I have never experienced this before. But with the AIS going I am convinced the ferry-skippers really made an effort not to run us down.
I guess the real secret to this is that the AIS will show up on their screens, alarms go off, and a possible collision will enter the professional electronic logs. Running us down will simply look bad on the officers CV and it will be possible to find out what happened. Using their powerful radar’s they knew we where out there in earlier days too. But as a cynic I must say the AIS makes the trick of being seen and avoided so much more easy and convincing as it makes tangible and lasting electronic records of our existence.
It doesn’t draw much electricity either. Even if it did – it sure is nice to know that commercial freighter skippers know where you are and are heading as their tall sharp bows are towering over you.