Today its forty days at sea. It has been cold and grey. Luckily, now I am on an latitude south of Ireland and it is already a bit warmer. Exlex worked fine during test sails. She pointed high. Then I got a lot of food. When I was going to load her there was nonplace for it. Bad planning. I wanted my food so I buildt more storage in the ends of the boat. Never change a drawing. The plan had been to keep the ends of the boat empty so that when I opened the hatches, spray would bee easy to get out. The world is full of surprises. Not all of them are good. Two things happend. Exlex lost her ability to go to windward. This is serious. When tacking I lost about 10-15˚ everytime. A lee shore would mean me being wrecked. The danger is still here. Those that seen my track might wounder about all the windlings. I can dump 80% of my food in the water and she will sail fine again. Dumping is not good for the environment. Also I am to greedy for that. The secound problem is that spray coming in is making the food packages damp and salt. It means that acces to the centerboard and foresail is restricted also. The main hatch have to be watched. Once a wave broke over the boat, when it was open, I got a lot of water in the boat that I was unable to get out. Also some of my clothes are wet. Its no use flogging a dead horse. I will build a new boat. However its a long way to my workshop and I have not that kind of money. But by dividing the task into small manageble parts eventually I get there. Exlex by normal standards is still a good boat after some fixing.
The short term plan is to sail to the Azores. Unfortunately its against the prevailing winds. Catch 22. However I have built up good searoom. I plan to sail south intill I get into the northerly winds and then south of Azores, sail west and up to the islands. Whats most worring is entering a harbour and being blown on the breakweater and there be wrecked. I do not know how this will work out. We will see. Luckily like most of the time moral is high. I am happy and I have good plans for the next boat.
I left Norway 27 of June so now 27 of July I have been at sea for one month. It takes me a month to adapt and forget the world and start my own. Corona forced me to leave from Ålesund Norway. 2018 I left from Dingle Ireland. That was more easy. It was a question of departing or staying at home. It was more than I asked for. Myself is much to blame. I loaded Exlex with far to much food. I am a packrat. Exlex would not go to windward. Bad and dangereous. I had to be careful.
As I was getting near the Fareoe Island, bad wather was coming from the north. I took a chanche and tryed to sail between Shetland and Faereoy. I did not make it before the wind changed. Threre was also oilfield west of Shetland that I was afraid of. I went north rounded The Fareoe Islands. Now I have pasted them.The weather up here is cold grey damph. It´s a lot of rain and drissle. There is no sun. The heroes are the Sunbeam System solar panels. They give me all the power I need. Luckily I had hoped to bee across the Bay of Biscay before August, before gales. From my present position north of Scotland it´s still a long way to. I can handle most tasks good. The good thing: moral is high and I am in a very good mood and shape. Before leaving many persons was worried that being 81 years old I was pushing my luck.
– Sven Yrvind
Update 28 – july.
Yrvind expecting bad weather coming thursday and friday.
Many followers of this website have been worried about Yrvind when they look at his tracker. His track looks sometimes as he is trying to send us some mysterious message from the sea.Has he fallen out of the boat, may someone ask, or is it something wrong with the boat? Yrvind is fine. He enjoy him self very much out there. He is at sea where he likes to be, a place he has been so many times before. Of course he struggle with tuff conditions, he is wet, it’s cold and he has a lot to worry about. But that is a normal situation for him.
One of the reason to his wobbly progress is that the boat can’t go up wind to an acceptable degree. The memorable follower of this website may remember that he just tested Exlex during last year’s sailings and the boat sailed acceptably against the wind. Yes, that’s correct. But now Exlex is heavy loaded. The weight balance is bad.
Too much weight at the stern. To much food, to much equipment etc. There is also a problem to lock the rudder from inside the boat. That’s very critical when it comes to make the boat going steady on course. The locking mechanism slips. He is very self-critical for all these short comings.
And there are calms. Remember, Yrvinds does not have an engine. When the wind is very light it happens that the current set him back. That was the case after he left the Norwegian coast.
Because how Exlex performs, he is also afraid of oil platforms and lee shore. He want to keep a long distance. That make him stop and wait for the right winds to take him safely away from these dangers.
But there are also good things. The boat behave very well in ruff sea conditions. There were two situations when he had a nock down, but the boat did handle that perfect. She doesn’t need any micro management and steer nicely without wind wane or rubber bands.
Yrvind lets us know that he feels good, he is in no hurry and he isn’t going anywhere. He just want to be out at the sea. And soon he is sailing warmer waters. He takes it as a stoic person, he says. He is also working on the next boat design and let us know he had make great progress with all new experiences he got so far. He greets and feel grateful for the interests people shows him.
Yrvind can write short messages with his tracker. This was received yesterday.
I am on my way. Plenty of food and water onboard. Unfortunatly most have to be stored aft.That immerses the transom. Decreasing severely speed and vindward performance. I have only made 110 miles good since 27 june. A conseqence is that I have to keep lots of distance to Shetland and Färöarna. Its cold here at lat N 62.
Good thing. I have no destination and plenty of time. I enjoy the sail plenty. I have 10 000 books, paper in plenty to draw and calculate next design. She be much faster and have more load capacity. I got already many new good ideas.
After some initial minor problems and very light winds with north going current,Yrvind is now heading west in good winds. He writes heenjoy himself and are very happy to be out at sea again , however a bit cold.
Today I uploaded a video on internet. It is self explanatory but a little clarification might not be out of place.
The praparations are now mostly done. Corona has caused a lit of disruption. I like to start my sail from a place with little marine traffic and close to open spaces. One such place and a beutiful one at that is Ålesund in Norway. At N 62° 28′ it is a high latitude place. The idea is to sail west round the Faeroe Islands and then south down to Saragosso Sea and spend time there until I run out of food in maybee November. Then to find a place to reprovision. Santa Maria in the Azores seams to be a good place. Few plans survive the first contact with the enemy but we will see.
I have a about 20 year old car that have not been running for over two years due to my bad economy. Our gouvernment have imposed a driving ban on her but I will try to start her tomorrow and try to get her past an inspection. Then I trail my boat to Ålesund. Frinds will drive car and trailer back to Västervik and when weather permits I be on my way hopefully within one month.
There is food and water in Exlex for about 120 days. I had hoped for more. Therefore my plan is to build a boat with better range when my economy so allows. In my spare time I scketch her. At present she is 7.2 meters long with a beam of 1.2 meters. Draft is 40 cm. She is a bigger wessel than I like on the positive side she has plenty of stovage and even a bunk for a small lady. There is also a flat space on deck 1.8 meter by 0.8.
She have a small 30X20 cm canard trimrudder that can be adjusted from inside.
She have a new type of ballasted centerboard 2.4 meter long that descends 20 cm to increase her stability a bit for windward sailing and help to prevent leeway.
It is of course a complication but life favors complication evolution is increadible complex. I might get away with it. Anywhay it is fun to experiment.
Thuse equipeded she can sail in 50 cm shallow water.
As always please help to support my research by donating on Pay Pal and Swish.
To those that already have donated. A great thanks it helps an old pensioner a lot.