NO WEATHER FOR SAILING

The weather situation seems stagnant. There is a lot of depressions out there moving the Acores out of its place. Also right here there is a high pressure with nearly no winds.

What wind there is comes from the south and is much to warm for a swede.

Too keep reasonably cool I been in the water polishing the hull. A stationary boat attracts slime, no good. I hope to be on the move soon.

Unfortunatly I most probably will be here an other week.

Best regards Yrvind.

COUNTDOWN TO DEPARTURE

Yesterday the last of three packages for my crossing to Martinique arrivied. This morning I filled up with the exellent Porto Santo water. I have now about 70 liter. More than enough for a leasury philosophical voyage. I will take my time enjoying the beutiful ocean life.

I hope the crossing will take a long time. I prefer the life on the ocean wave to life ashore.

I am testing the SPOT tracker to make shure you can follow me. It works.

I have rearranged things aboard. The anchor and the fender are now mowed from the forehatch to the back on the outside. I have mowed some sails to the forehatch. This has brought the center of gravity further back. Good for down wind sailing.

I will do some more diving scrubbing the bottom more and buy some more luxurary privisions like cakes and chocholate.

Before leaving my webbmaster told me I must use Mac not PC. The Mac gives less trouble but it uses a different system for pictures. It will take me a long time to relearn. Thats the reason for no pictures.

I hope to have learned to the Mac photo system to the next boat.

The wind is from the south it seams like a big depression is uppsetting the usual weather pattern. In the end of the week it may bee back to normal and then I hope to be ready to leave.

RegardsYrvind.

A DAY IN PORTO SANTO

To day I have written twenty postcards to freinds. I took a walk to the willage and posted them at the postoffice.

I also bought 3 extra five liter jerrycans with water. I have eight before. Now there is 55 liter water plus some bottles in my boat for the passage more than enough. If all goes well the ferry from Madeira will bring two boxes of grapefruits. The local resturant have promised to keep them in their fridge untill departure. The grapefruit is a gift from the commodore of the Madeira Yachtclub Vasco Bra’s. Manuel Silva and his wife has helped me with all the details here. Everyone here is extremely freindly and helpfull including the authorities.

Nelson The marina manager drove me to the dentist and waited and translated while a touth broken at sea was fixed.

The day before yesterday I dived and scrubbed the hull. I got a bit tired as I did not have any swimming fins on my feet also it was four years since I had been in the water swimming. It was when I sailed to Florida with my 19 year old Captain.

Most things are in place. Only the Garmin map of the West Indies is still somewhere lost in the Madeira post system.

I hope to leave in about a week.

I am longing for the sea. The life for me in port is more boring than the interesting days at sea. I am looking foreward to maybee two peacefull months at sea. Eating my musli and sardines drinking my fill of water, sleeping peacefully through the quite nights. Day after happy day coming, seemingly without end.

I am surprised at all the big boats that turn up here in Porto Santo. By far, I am the smallest. Most of them are longer than 40 feet and I can assure you they cost a fortune, first to buy, then to fit out, then upkeep and running costs. They also have to spend much time here fixing their complex machines and waiting for spare parts and lifting their boats out of the water to fix rudders, propellers and engines.

Often they fly the ARC-flag.  ARC is an Atlantic Rally. Between 200 and 300 boats start at the same time from the Canaries in the end of November bound for the Caribian. During the passage they have to daily report their position to the organisers.

ARC is an algoritm or cook book. Its a procedure where you are told how each step are to be taken. You do not have to make your own decision based on your own knowledge. It is like long division or baking a cake. If you do everything exactly according to the book the result will be excelent.

Like cooking and long division you will never know why certain steps are taken. Therefore the the people on the big ARC-boats are surprised and confused to see me in my little boat happily and unafraid sailing the same ocean as they. They foolishly think I do something dangerous. They tell me that the trade wind is not yet established. The do not study pilot and routing charts. Therefore they do not know that the trade wind blows the whole year and that its limets mowes north and south with the sun.

But why should they acquire knowledge. It is very much easier to follow the algoritm or cook book and do what they are told by their experienced leaders, people who know the ocean crossing buissness much better than themself. They listen to the professionals becouse an amateur can never be as good at something as a professional, on the other hand a professional can never enjoy something as much as an amateur. By definition amateur means “lover of”.

What pleasure a person gets from doing what he is told escapes me.

Of course and unfortunatly no one can buy happiness and satisfaction. The big ARC-boats do not experience the same joy as me who has designed, built and sailed my own boat. Therefore I perplex them. I try to explain, but fail. I can not make them understand that I am completly happy in my small boat. On the contrary all their modern conviniences and plenty of space would make my life dull and boring.

Regards Yrvind

A VOYAGE OF PLEASURE

Problemsolving gives me great pleasure. When I started to build the present boat my intention was to sail down to Mar del Plata in Argentina. From there east to west round Cape Horn to Valdivia in Chile from there to Japan.

However as building progressed she was becoming heavier and heavier and when launched I found that the mast was to far foreward, my mistake, but when experimenting, not always everything goes according to plan, but thats the pain of progress. The sea is the biggest touchstone.

However the boat was not useless. In fact, despite not being perfect, she is nice and pleasant. Therefore I decided to sail her across the Atlantic in a voyage of pleasure.

If a problem is to difficult, it is frustrating, if it is to easy it is boring. The metaproblem of solving problems is to find the right amount of difficulties. Designing, building,and sailing boats has for me the right kind of difficulties. It gives me great pleasure. Therefore I am still at work designing a small funtional boat capable of rounding Cape Horn from east to west, non stop from lat 50 south to lat 50 south, the classical clipper ship definition of a Cape Horn rounding. During the passage from Ireland to Madeira I was able to solve many problems which I had been working on for decades. I was able to do that by looking at them from different angles and going back to the fundamental principles.

A big big problem still exists. The life expectancy for the Swedish male is 78.59 years and I am 72.5 years old. That would give me 6 more years according to the laws of average. However I never been average. I never smooked. I never tasted alcohol not even beers and I am in eccelent physical shape.

Therefore even if it will take time to earn enough money to build the new boat, build it and sail it I have good hope of succeding.

IS 1.7 KNOTS A BORING SPEED

During my latest passage I averaged 1.7 knots. During a previus voyage From Baltimore Ireland to St Johns in New Foundland in an other 15 feet boat I averaged 1.9 knots. Many people ask me about my speed. When I tell them the true I see horror written al over their faces.

I am sure they think “how can he stand it” “It must be terrible to getting nowhere”

For me the ocean is a sacred place. I really enjoy being out there in the wilderness far from people and the mad hurried civilised life.

Once you are out there having a few thousends miles in front of you even if you are making 5 or 8 knots it is going to take weeks. Such long times will be boring. Even flying to Australia is boring. That is unless something happens unless your days are filled with something, unless you have a feeling of speed and progress.

On my small boat I feel the movement of the boat, I hear the water rushing by the hull, costantly every moment. I am close to the water. Also there is no dull moments. I have plenty of books with me. I work on the design of my next boat, which is a very rewarding and complex problem. As i have no selfsteering or autopilot I have to use my wits to balance the boat to the present conditions. Succeding in that also gives satisfaction.

So many thoughts and actions fill my days that there is no time to be bored.

It takes about a month for the body including nervcercuits to adabt to the life on the ocean wave. I argue that most people spend so short time at sea that they never really learn to enjoy it.

Also when with a fast boat they reach the other shore, what are they going to do? Sitting in a marina is that more fun than being out at sea doing the sailing.

For me 1.7 knots is not boring on the other hand going faster is not boring either.

TRIALS IS TEN HOUERS ENOUGH

Before leaving Ireland for Madeira the boat had only been sailed ten houers. Some people think thats to little.

However the conditions in the Baltic does not make a good test ground for a deep water boat.

For me the testing was done on the Bay of Biscay. The boat is more than enough safe. She is very strongly built. She got good hatches and a good heavy weather ventilation system.

The disadvantage of testing the boat in the Atlantic is that it is far from my workshop. Still I was learning much. I already knew that the boat was to heavy and that I wanted to build a new one.

The offshore milieu is very inspiring and I have created a fantastic new design, something I do not think I cold have done ashore.

Like my previus boats I was able to make YRVIND.COM selfster without windvane or autopilot.

Previus boats I have succeded with are 40 feet DUGA, 20 feet BRIS, 19 feet aluminum BRIS, 15 feet amfibius BRIS and 27 feet MAJA a production boat.

In fact when leaving Kinsale in Ireland a boat gave me a tow out of the harbour. When he had let go of the towrope and I had got up the sails YRVIND.COM just keept sailing strait if I remember right for about three days or more. the course was hard on the wind. The easiest, but even on other courses like downwind i very light conditions I had ny problems to make her keep her course.

Regards Yrvind

ARE SMALL BOATS DANGEROUS?

1962 in August I left Sweden on my first sailing voyage. The boat was 4.75 meter long and had two masts. Last week I arrivied at Porto Santo in a boat 4.8 meter long it has two masts. The new boat is 5 centimeter or 2 inches longer than the first one. For nearly 50 years I have been building and sailing small boats and reading yachting magasins and sailing books and from my experience I can guarantie that a small boat if well done is much much safer than a big one. Unfortunatly there are few small boats built for the ocean. And why should it so be when there is much more money in big boats. The true is however small boats small problems and thats no rocket science.

Many people look at my boat and tell me that I am very brave to sail such a small boat.

I laugh in my moustache, thinking I am not brave but the people looking at my boat are. Many of their boats are more than 40 feet long and weigh many tons. Fanny enough the boatbuilding industri in conjunction with open and covert advertising in yachting magasines has succeded in convincing people that bigger is safer.

The opposite is of course true. Even a child can understand that the bigger boat you have the more dangerous it is. The forces on a big boat is enourmous and if you lose control of them they can cause much damage.

To control those big forces the boat has to be equipped with complicated machinery and of course the more complicated a boat and its equipment is the bigger the chances are that something will go wrong.

The bigger a boat is the less control you have over it becouse there is always a lot of places often hidden where unwanted things happen often in the other end of the boat.

A big boat in heavy weather have a lot of things that can be thrown around including its crew.

Of course there is more money in big boats therefore salesmen do their best to convince worried women that they are safe. Few people tell the truth about the safety of small boats.

Of course it is nice when girls look at you and think that you are a brave man. Therefore when people stand on the dock admiring my bravado I do not usally tell them that it is my boat wich is safe and their boat is dangerous. Still there is no lack of stories in yachting magasins aboat big boats coming to greif.

Kinsale in Ireland is not far from Fastnet rock a later version of the disastrus race 1979 was going on the same time when I left Ireland even this year boats had to be rescued. I chose to mention Fastnet race becouse I was passing through those waters at the same time as the racing fleet.

Regards Yrvind

A black out

Despite taking good care I found that I had some leeks in the deck. It was not much but it was in the worst possible place above the solar panels regulators.

I have a battery monitor. It was showing less and less in my batteries.

As I was depending on GPS for navigation I decided to shut down everyting tht used power. This included the AIS-transponder. After doing that the situation got worse and worse. The panels charged even less.

Strange tings started to happen. After I had looked at the GPS for a few minutes. The panels started to charged the batteries for a short time.

Electricity and me dont mix. Anyway I thought it was mighty strange. Becouse I did not have the AIS-transponder on one night I found myself very close to a ship.

I decided to take a chance. I decided it was the battery monitor which did not work. I switched on the AIS-transponder and sure enough the panels started to charge.

The AIS- transponder is excellent. Big ships se you and keep klear. Before they could run you down and no one would know. Now the know that other ships see whats happening. Therefore they are more careful. The know that there may be witnesses.

I recommend an AIS-transponder to everyone. That and the GPS and electricity have made life at sea very easy and comfortable.

Above is a screen shot from the french boat Tim´Jak as I was getting close to Porto Santo. When he saw that the size was 4 meter by 1 meter he did not belive it ( the AIS gives no decimals) he looked out nothing. He looked again then he could see among the white horses now and then something white, my sails. Now we are tied up to the same ponton and he gave me the picture.

NEW COURAGE

After sleeping a night on my decision to end my voyage here I realesed that I would miss the sea to much. Therefore the new plan is to sail to Martinique instead to Florida.

I will probably start early in october.

There are two major problems with the boat. The first is that I got the mast to far forward. That means leehelm. That means that the chinerunners and the rudder are fighting each other. Instead of adding their forces they are cancelling them giving the boat very little lateral resistance.

I still think chinerunners are excellent but they have to be done correctly  like Matt does it.

The secound problem is that the boat got far to heavy. Thats because I have a tendency to overdo things, to make everything far to strong.

Vector a freindly German Yacht gave me a tow out of Kinsale. the weather was not good but it was getting late in the season so worse was to be excepted later.

The course was to windvard. When the other boats put up their sails they went much closer to the wind and of course also much faster.

Being heavy my boat took  much water over her but I had to keep fighting becouse I wanted to get outside the contenental shelf as fast as possible.

One night I was woken by heavy winds and rain. When I opened the hatch I was blinded by the rain on my glasses. At the same time a wave broke over her. I got a lot of water in the cabin.

To save windresistance I have no halyards. To get the sails up I use a stick. Unfortunatly now somehow the sails had got stuck. There was no other way to get them down than to climb the mast. It is not to difficult to do on land. In water, in calm water in a harbour it is also possible but more difficult. Now wind the wind blowing on a dark night half blinded I did not know what to do.

Unfortunatly there was nu volenters. I therefore took a deep breath and maneged to climb to the top of the mast and get the sails down.

Everything went well but later I was much more careful not to carry to much sail. Progress was therefore much slower.