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Sweden to England

Leg 4-2008  Update 1

July 17 2008, 1900 hrs, 59.04 N, 010.46 W, Log: 117,407 miles
Broad reaching at 8.1 kts with WNW 25 gusting 29, double reefed main and headsail
Baro: 1001.8, Cabin Temp: 65F , cockpit 65F


Sunset over the Skaggerat
Nigel and Terri’s new Nada

Dinner with Terrie, Nigel and crew
It wasn’t in our plan to sail north back to Norway, but if we didn’t, we would have to pay 25% VAT tax on our boatyard and parts bill. Fortunately, near-gale force WSW winds have meant that we’ve had very fast reaching conditions all day. The passage from Ellos, Sweden to Fredrikstad is 78 miles, and though we didn’t leave Ellos until 1100 this morning, the strong winds have really scooted us on our way so we should arrive before 2200.

Backing up a bit, at the end of Leg 3 Amanda and I enjoyed a couple quiet and very warm days anchored south of Gullholmen with time for some kayaking, swimming, long walks and runs and writing. We made connections with Nigel and Terrie Calder and heard that they would be making their first trial run on their shiny new Malo 45 with radical experimental diesel electric propulsion. They planned on anchoring in sheltered bay not far from the Malo boatyard, and also near Brothers Martinssons boatyard where we were due Sunday night. Saturday night we rendezvoused and rafted up for a tour of their new boat and dinner. Nigel has pushed the experimental edge to the max and is still sorting out lots of new systems plus installing more gear.

Sunday noon we arrived in the boatyard and started unloading the entire forward cabin; bicycles, scuba tank, storm sails, extra line, winter clothes, etc, etc. in order to prepare for our long-awaited bow thruster installation. Vickie Vance at HR Parts & Accessories had ordered the same Side-Power 10 hp thruster used in the HR 48, and we were all ready to go. Roland Olsson, HR sales manager suggested we consider installing batteries in the bow, close to the thruster instead of running heavy electrical cables from our 24 volt battery bank which is located in the stern. He mentioned that HR is currently testing this idea, and said it would make more sense on a retrofit such as ours. Nigel Calder concurred. Fortunately this was Ingvar’s (boatyard co-owner) intention as well, so that was settled. To charge the two 12 volt batteries (connected together to make 24 volts) Roland suggested installing a Balmar Duo Charge, a very small battery charger that would take its power of the heavy gauge windlass wire leads. The challenge was to locate a Duo Charger, but Vickie at HR Parts found one in Stockholm and got it in time.

Another challenge was weight. We now had to deal with the 80lbs of two batteries, the weight of the thruster, and the loss of buoyancy created by the thruster tunnel. I removed 75 lbs. of extra chain from the anchor locker, a 40 lb. anchor from the mast pulpit we have rarely used, and we gave our beloved bikes to Nigel and Terrie. We gave away tons of books, my scuba tank, spare line and nearly filled a rubbish bin at the boatyard, hoping MT would still float on her lines.

By 1000 Ingvar and Jens had hauled MT and within minutes Jens started complex measurements before drilling the pilot hole through the bow. Jens explained that when he worked at Najad for several years before coming to Martinssons, one of his jobs was installing bow thrusters, so he really knew what he was doing. In fact, he had a special tool box with alignment calipers and a dedicated router to cut the hole. It took him all Monday afternoon to cut the hole, and when we saw how incredibly thick the hull was where the two halves were glassed together, we knew that we don’t ever have to worry about damage from impact in this part of the boat!

Jens cutting the thruster hole

Amanda looking at Mahina Tiare’s hull thickness

Jens and Inge work on the thruster
Tuesday morning Jens fiberglassed in the bow thruster tunnel then bogged on some fairing while Inge worked on the motor installation.

I had also decided to have an AIS transceiver installed, and from the manufacturer in Stockholm Vickie ordered a True Heading unit, the same as HR installs as an option, In order to install it, Martinssons called in Freddie, a former HR employee who does freelance installations. Although he had installed a dozen Raymarine AIS receivers, this was the first time he’d installed a True Heading transceiver. He repositioned our Raymarine GPS (which feeds signals to the C80 chart plotter/radar) from our radar mast to a new small fitting on the stern pulpit. This took several hours of us working together, re-running cables and reconnecting wires. The True Heading AIS requires a dedicated GPS/VHF antenna which we mounted the now-empty horn of the radar mast, running its cable to the nav station. A diplexer and multi-plexer were also required, so Freddy wired them up, followed by the AIS. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

In order to sort out the new AIS glitches Freddy spent several hours on the phone to the technicians in Stockholm. It could be the antenna, the diplexer, or in the AIS unit. True Heading generously offered to rush a replacement AIS unit (they didn’t have another antenna available for a few days). It arrived Tuesday afternoon but without the diplexer, so Freddy elected not to pull things apart again and we returned both units. Instead, he reinstalled our Raymarine AIS (which I had not been able to get working after I installed the unit myself). He showed me a red wire in the cable that he said they always cut (this was not in the directions) at HR, and sure enough, the unit worked so well that it picked up ships halfway to Norway!

We visited Nigel and Terrie for dinner several times during the week and were surprised to hear Nigel was having similar problems with several electronic components. Lack of documentation from the manufacturers and incompatible NMEA sentencing meant that installation of many units was far from the “plug and play” suggested by manufacturers.

The bottom line for us is we will wait until we find an installer who has installed several of whatever AIS transceiver we end up with, and is sure of the compatibility of the unit with our Raymarine display. Why Raymarine doesn’t offer an AIS transceiver is a mystery to me, but I expect they will shortly. Furuno’s AIS transceiver receives high marks from Steve Dashew and several other people I’ve talked with, but then I expect there will be the NMEA language compatibility issues between Furuno and Raymarine.

Anyway, we got nearly all the jobs crossed off our list soon after Ingvar and Jens relaunched us. There was still the internal housing around the thruster and batteries to complete, a new cupboard at the nav station to install and the valves adjusted and engine aligned before the yard closed on Friday afternoon for their annual four week holiday.

MT gets relaunced
Our weekend was quiet after a busy week in the yard and Monday was taken up driving up to Norway to pick up a part for the bow thruster which wasn’t working properly. It kept switching off after one press of the remote. We had elected not to hard-wire the thruster controls at the wheel, instead, having only a wireless remote controller. Amanda came up with the idea of disconnecting the Duo Charger, and sure enough, the thruster control worked perfectly. I then changed the power source wiring so that the Duo Charger and the thruster remote were on different circuits and everything works perfectly. The bow thruster is so powerful that we will have to give anyone on the foredeck a “heads up” before using it so they don’t get knocked off balance. It sure will take the drama out of docking in strong crosswind situations.

We had planned to go anchor out in a quiet bay, but the now deserted boatyard with dockside moorage, power, water, washing machine, plus plenty of room ashore both inside and dockside to work on projects, and the generous loan of a car for errands proved irresistible. Freddy finished up with the AIS Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon when we motored six miles south to the Hallberg-Rassy marina to meet our Leg 4 crew.

As we would need an early start for our 76 mile dash up to Norwegian customs in Fredrikstad, we started orientation Wednesday night and our crew joined as at 0900 this morning.

The bonus for them has been a sleigh ride broad reach in near-gale conditions with some great surfing action. If we would have headed south as originally planned, it would have been slow and wet going, tacking into headwinds.

Ship traffic (cruise ships, tankers, freighters and fishing boats) has been fairly intense, and the AIS receiver has totally proved worth the time and money. Every ship within 20-30 miles is shown on the radar screen, and moving the cursor on top of the ship provides us with the name, radio call sign, course, speed, type of vessel, destination, and most importantly, CPA (closest point of approach) and TCPA (time to CPA). I can see that there is a learning curve to using AIS, but it really takes the guesswork out of calculation as to whether or not we need to change course to avoid ships.

July 19 2008, 06500 hrs, 57.07 N, 010.51 E, Log: 117,562 miles
Closehauled at 6.4 knots in 8.6 kt winds, glassy seas!
Baro: 1005.0, Cabin Temp: 65F , cockpit 58F

Denmark surrounds us! We have just passed Laeso Island and Anholt Island, our destination lies 35 miles ahead. It’s a brilliantly sunny morning, and we’re sailing along nicely in totally flat seas. Laurie seems to have the magic touch with the weather, as every time she comes on watch the winds either return or have ceased to be on our nose.

After getting our papers stamped in Norway, we started the 160 mile passage south to (hopefully) Anholt Island right away, as stronger southerly winds were forecasted for this morning. As it turned out, we had 12-15 knot headwinds and closely-spaced seas making it a real bash for the first several hours, but slowly the wind moderated, seas flattened and we ended up having a nice sail for in the early hours this morning and again recently. It never got totally dark, and the sunset lingered for hours as we passed Skagen, the very busy northern tip of Denmark. The AIS was fantastic, allowing us to sort out up to 30 ships on the six mile screen at once. We were surprised to see several European yachts were transmitting AIS signals as well.

Anholt, with miles of white sand beaches, few cars, and only a small village was one of our favorite stops in Scandinavia on past expeditions. Much of the island is a nature preserve, so we are looking forward to hikes and runs on the beach. With fresh southerly headwinds forecasted, we may stay more than the one night originally planned, but what a neat place to be storm bound! That would also give us a great chance to get ahead on our teaching schedule.


Leg 4-2008  Update 2

July 30 2008, 1100 hrs, 50.44 N, 000.02 W, Log: 118,348 miles
Broad reaching at 5.1 kts with 9 kt ENE winds, flat seas and SUN!!!
Baro: 1017.8, Cabin Temp: 70F , cockpit 74F

Aaaaah, Summer has arrived and with Brighton Marina is in sight ahead, it’s now the end of what seems like a very fast Leg 4.

As we arrived in Anholt Island, Denmark, around noon on Saturday the 18th, we saw a band of thunderclouds roaring down on the island from the south. The small harbor that had been nearly empty when we stopped 11 months earlier was now totally packed with hundreds of sailboats moored in all directions. We cautiously looked for a place to squeeze into, but instead choose to raft to a fishing boat. The harbormaster gently suggested it might be better if we moored elsewhere as he was expecting many more boats later that afternoon. He then offered to use his RIB to run a bowline out to one of the few mooring buoys left so we would be able to back the stern to the dock. Just as we headed for the space, two arriving boats made a beeline for it and rafting beam-on to the dock. We then ended up nosing between two boats to where we could jump ashore from the bow, taking a line astern to a mooring. During this the heavens opened, thunder boomed and lightning struck the water around us. The harbormaster got totally drenched continually whilst helping boats arriving in the middle of the squall, as did our crewmember Laurie who was waiting to take our lines. The interesting thing was, no one ever raised their voices or got excited, and people seemed always ready with fenders to help yet another boat squeeze in or raft outside of them.

Anholt Harbour
Kent and Elisabeta keep watch
Aeroskobing Harbor
Historic Street on Aero

It poured buckets that evening, and the following morning it was still blowing a near-gale out of the south. We decided Grenaa, about 32 miles to the WSW, would be a closer and better option than Ballen which lay 30 miles further south. Grenaa’s small marina was totally chocka with boats waiting out the strong winds, but thanks to our new bow thruster, we could maneuver MT in a very small area and raft up next to a friendly Danish boat. We enjoyed sunshine and long walks to the town, plus visiting with the friendly Danes filling the harbor.

Monday, July 21st we left Grenaa at 0530 hoping to make the long 95 mile passage to Nyborg before dark. It turned out to be our most difficult day of sailing this year. The winds were only in the 20-30 knot range until late afternoon, but with 1.5 – 2 knots of current opposing the winds, plus relatively shallow depths, the seas were less than half a boat length apart. We kept reefing down until we were triple reefed and had only 50% of the genoa out, but MT still charged along at 8.2 knots on a close then beam reach. We stayed just out of the very busy main shipping lanes and finally sailed under the huge bridge connecting Denmark around 1700, when the wind died.

We knew very little about Nyborg, but found a very attractive and friendly port and city with ample room for visiting yachts right in the heart of this very old city. A large and well-kept castle-palace was nearby as well as very interesting and very old architecture.

In contrast to the previous day Tuesday brought our best day of sailing in years, or most unusual, anyway! We sailed on a beam reach in absolutely flat waters at 6-8 knots for 18 miles between Fyn and Landgeland islands, passing literally hundreds of sailboats, most heading north. Everyone looked to be having a wonderful time – many of the boats had children playing in the rigging, and everyone waved as they sailed by.

Our destination was Aero Island, one of the southernmost Danish islands, not far from the German border. Last summer at Open House in Sweden I asked many German and Danish sailors who came aboard MT for anchorage suggestions. Many said that Aero Island was the most beautiful in the entire area. However, the shortest way to get there is to pass through a series of very narrow, very shallow channels. We hadn’t been able to find a place to purchase charts for this area so we borrowed and scanned charts from a German boat in Nyborg. Amanda printed them out and, along with the excellent coverage provided by our Nobeltec Passport electronic charts, we decided to give it a try!

We passed only one German yacht aground before finding our way into Aeroskobing Harbor, located in the middle of the island. We’d been warned that in mid-summer the small harbor fills up by noon so were pleased to find a good anchorage outside the harbor within easy dinghy distance. I was certainly a great treat to explore the historic harbor and village that recently held its 750 year jubilee! It was obvious that the home and shop owners took tremendous pride in restoring and maintaining their properties.

Racor fuel filter
Cleaning Racor water separator/fuel filter
Draining water from engine fuel filter
Sump pump

We got another early start Thursday morning, hoping to sail south to Kiel, Germany, and at least part way through the Kiel Canal. First we had to thread our way south along Aero through an even narrower, shallower channel which the charts showed as having a depth of 2 meters. As MT draws 1.87 meters, we knew it would be close.

Just as we approached the skinniest shallowest section I popped down to the engine room for one of my every-few-hours engine room checks. When I looked closely at the Racor water separator/fuel filter clear plastic bowl I was horrified to see it nearly full of water!

We immediately anchored just off the channel and I set to work. First I drained the Racor, then removed and drained the secondary engine fuel filter, which also was nearly full of water. Why the engine hadn’t stopped is a mystery.

Hallberg-Rassy installs a fuel sump pump in all of their boats, something few if any other builders do. This makes it was easy to place an empty six gallon jerry jug in the engine room next to the sump pump and pump out the bottom of the tank.

I next checked the deck fill fuel cap and found that I must not have tightened it properly when we fueled, in a hurry, before hauling out in Sweden. That was sure dumb! - I was soon to find that this small mistake would cost me a lot of hours over then next two weeks as I repeatedly (morning and night) pumped the fuel tank sump plus emptied and cleaned filters.

Our incredibly reliable Volvo TMD 31L started first time, never missed a beat, and we raised anchor and threaded our way through the passage, passing the ship building town of Marstal at the far eastern tip of Aero before setting sail for Germany.

The day was clear and sunny day, and the beaches lining the entrance of Kiel were crowed with colourful beach goers while dozens of boats sailed by, interspersed with large ships barreling down the channel.

On our previous Keil Canal transits we’ve spent the night moored to waiting floats at the entrance. This time we arrived at 1500 so we waited at the entrance with a dozen other pleasure boats and one small cruise ship. Large ships have a separate lock to the south.

After a few minutes, the lock gates opened letting out a flotilla of vessels. We then queued up with the waiting boats and moved into the lock chamber, mooring up to a low floating walkway at the chambers wall. In an hour or less everyone had visited the lockmaster to pay the very modest fee ($30 Euro for MT) the gates had closed, the lock filled, and we were on our way along the very busy canal.

Commercial ships of all sizes passed us in both directions, a few yachts were headed towards Kiel, but the most interesting was classic paddle wheel steamer, loaded with people having a great time.

About halfway through the canal when there wasn’t much traffic crew unrolled and dropped the genoa. We partly shoved it through the saloon hatch so that Amanda, Abbie and Laurie could repair a small tear that had appeared on the foot of the sail a couple of days earlier. In no time we had the sail rehoisted and furled.

Entering the lock
Tied up in the lock chamber
Approaching container ship
Yachts and ships share the canal
Classic steamer in party mode
Amanda patching the genoa

Pleasure boats are only allowed to be underway within the canal during daylight hours and the published stopping time was for July is 2230 so we did not expect we’d make it all the way through to Brunsbuttel before dark. There are only a few places where yachts are allowed to anchor or tie up for the night so when we saw a group of yachts anchored and moored to pilings in a small cove, we quickly ducked in and dropped anchor in the last minutes of twilight at 2105.

Our evening anchorage in the canal

What a peaceful place we found, and how much it reminded us of the week we spent moored beside the Pedro Miguel lock in the middle of the Panama Canal a few years ago. Brightly lit ships glided (rumbled according to Amanda who did not sleep well that night) past every few minutes, and birds sang in the surrounding forest.

Nearly trapped in a dockyard by a pile barge
Helgoland and marina

Early the following morning I went through the routine of pumping the fuel tank sump and draining both filters before we got underway at 0600. By 0700 we reached the Brunsbuttel lock and before long we had locked through to the seemingly always windy North Sea.

We motored around the docks at Cuxhaven for and hour to try and top our fuel tanks and were nearly trapped by a giant pile-driving barge before learning that the only way for yachts to get fuel in Cuxhaven was by hiring a taxi and taking jerry jugs to the nearest service station. So, we hoisted sails and set a course for Helgoland,, a German duty-free port and island 25 miles NW that we had previously enjoyed visiting.

We arrived at Helgoland’s one and only small fuel dock with 30 minutes to spare, got our tank topped up, and rafted in the very crowded harbor to a nice Dutch couple who filled us in with anchorage possibilities in their home country while our crew enjoyed a tasty seafood dinner ashore. We had read somewhere that Texel, one of the NW islands of Holland coast was supposed to be beautiful, but our neighbors said they much preferred Vlieland which was closer and easier to enter, so that became our destination.

Helgoland has great hiking, and what a surprise to find dozens of recently-hatched fluffy gannet chicks in the cliff side nests, easily viewed from the trail.

We got underway after a leisurely lunch and class of provisioning plus storms. Not long after clearing Helgoland’s breakwater, Kent remarked that the steering seemed stiff. I noticed our speed 3 knots when it should be 6, remembering our incident of Fastnet Rock. Richard looked astern and discovered a trail of fishing net buoys which he and Amanda hooked with the boat hook. It was very slimy and felt like it must have had an anchor attached and as they could not pull it aboard they had to cut it away. We came up into the wind, dropped sail and anchored in 60’ of water. The water felt surprisingly warm (well at least it wasn’t freezing) when I jumped in with mask and fins to clear the line. It had caught on the rudder this time, not the prop.

Remains of the fishing net
Downtown Vlieland
Vlieland anchorage

Finally, we were off on a nice reach, headed toward Holland, 135 miles away. We had good winds until 0900 when they dropped off, leaving us to motor the last few hours in hot flat calm haze.

Vlieland was hopping! Sandy beaches with lots of people and several traditional sail-training ships glided past as we threaded our way into the channel. We had been hoping to anchor out, vs. rafting up in the packed harbor and were delighted to see 20 or so boats anchored in and along the narrow channel. We chose an anchorage that was just outside the channel, realizing that MT would swing 180 degrees on the 2 knot tidal current. As long as the wind didn’t come up strong out of the east, we’d be fine. Before long we all hit the beach and went off exploring. Cars are not allowed on the island and we certainly weren’t prepared for the hundreds of bicycles of every size, color and shape (and bicyclist)– zooming about to catch the ferry as we walked through the historic village toward the hilltop lighthouse.

When we returned to MT several hours later, the tide had dropped 1.5 meters and dozens of boats, either classic Dutch leeboard classic steel or wooden yachts, or centerboard boats were aground, surrounded by mud and sand. MT was fine, but shortly after when we were preparing dinner a humdinger of a thunderstorm/squall bore down on us from the east, and in an instant, a 30 kt. gust heeled MT over sharply, swinging us around until our stern was facing the edge of the mudflats. In seconds we had the engine on and Kent was raising the anchor, but it wasn’t fast enough. I felt a thud through the wheel as the rudder struck the mud, as we got pinned against the bank. All the time the wind was screaming, the sky was black, lightning and thunder surrounded us, and the skies had opened with a deluge.

The bow thruster! What if I gave a shot to port with the bowthruster and put the engine in forward as Kent continued to pull in the chain? It worked! The thruster spun the bow into deeper water, and the pull of the windlass along with the push of the prop quickly got us back into the channel without any further trouble.

We reanchored in the edge of the channel and in a few minutes the skies cleared, the wind stopped and we enjoyed dinner. Whew, survived another exciting incident unscathed!

We raised anchor the following morning at 0600 before threading our way out the channel into a sunny and flat and nearly calm North Sea. The Raymarine AIS receiver really paid for itself on the passage to Ramsgate, England. The unit frequently was tracking its maximum of 100 ships at a time, and there were so many AIS icons on the screen that on 12 mile or higher range, they blended together. We stayed just outside the edge of the shipping lanes, but twice we came to junctions where multiple shipping lanes converged, and it was like a four lane roundabout. Several times we slowed and waited to pass astern of ships.

View of AIS icons on Radar Screen
Where the party? Laurie retrieves a gaggle of balloons that could have proven a problem for sealife
Storm drogue practice

We used the calm weather to cover our storm sailing seminar and catch up on testing.
Abbie and Laurie hoist the staysail

By 0900 we arrived at Ramsgate,, and slowly motored around the guest docks looking for a space that would be easy to leave from early the next morning. As we turned to head into an inner harbor area, the engine started performing very oddly. There was minimal power in forward or reverse, and lots of smoke. We carefully limped into an open spot, tied up and Sir Richard the Ready volunteered to check the prop. He found a ball of fishing net which we must have picked up inside the marina only minutes before. It was so caught on the prop that he asked for help, and together he pulled and I cut free the abandoned net.

Sir Richard the Ready clears the prop
Ramsgate Marina
Dover Marina

Ramsgate is an interesting town. It was from here that many of the “little ships” (yachts) went to rescue over 300,000 Allied troops from the beaches at Dunkerque. The harbor is ancient and ringed by small marine businesses and some nice little restaurants. We enjoyed an excellent Italian dinner ashore together at an Indian restaurant, (just kidding, we had curry) that had an amazing view of the harbor.

Our plan was to sail about 70 miles to Sovereign Harbour near Eastbourne,, which would have been a new stop for us. It wasn’t to be! We got an early start but ran into 20-30kt headwinds and very rough, closely-spaced seas. Although we were making headway, it was not pretty. We decided to pull into Dover;, the busiest port (by far!) in England. The harbor, marina and ferry ports are all inside a massive breakwater with two openings. Vessel traffic maneuver in and out of Dover only with permission of Dover Port Control and we were told to wait a few minutes at the east entrance while one of the high speed ferries to France departed. We were then asked to hurry across the harbor to the lock waiting area for the yacht harbor situated on the west side. As it was nearly high tide the marina tide gates were open and we only had to wait for the bridge to swing open to allow us to enter.

The very efficient and helpful harbormaster said it was their busiest week of the year. The only space he had for us for overnight was in the inner harbor, which we wouldn’t be able to leave until 0830 the following morning. Later that evening, I spoke with the office again, and they found us a slip in the outer harbor, from which we would be able to leave at any time.

Dover castle and keep
Kent takes a sun shot

In the meantime, Amanda taught winch servicing, going aloft and splicing double-braid line and I completed communication options and clearing customs worldwide, then, it was time for exploring!

The large and impressive Dover castle ( strategically overlooks the harbor and city, and was just waiting to be explored. What a view it has, you can clearly see the coast of France. Henry II had greatly enlarged the fortification adding a massive keep that was highly decorated in the latest Tudor fashion and used only when he and his court visited a few days per year. Under the white chalk cliff faces there are miles of command post and hospital tunnels, dating back to the WWII, but we ran out of time to explore them.

I think we set the record for an early departure Wednesday morning with the dock lines off by 0300. We had 68 miles to go to Brighton,, where Leg 4 would end, and I knew, from earlier emailing the harbormaster, that if we wanted to get a slip we needed to arrive not long after noon on this, there busiest week of the year.

What a difference a day made to weather. When the sun started lighting up the eastern sky around 0410, it looked like it would be a gorgeous day. We weren’t disappointed. The winds filled in, we shut off the engine and had a great sail with the perfect opportunity for celestial nav practice.

Before we knew it we were at the marina – tied to the reception dock with an allocated slip for us for our week between expeditions. Everyone in the marina said this was the first really sunny and hot day of the year Dockside restaurants were mobbed but Jeremy managed to get us reservations at a first class Italian seafood restaurant. Wow – where had two weeks gone!


crewHere’s our Leg 4 crew:

Kent Riedling, 52 hails from near Raleigh, North Carolina and looks forward to retiring in less than one year. He is looking forward to moving at his own speed and is excited about watching his dream become a reality. Kent is fascinated with metal pilothouse boats and eyed the many Ovni aluminum boats we passed.

Laurie Michel, 41 is from Northern California and is a homemaker and real estate investor. She has owned various boats and sailed Southern California to Catalina Island and on SF Bay over the past 12 years. She recently became serious about advancing her sailing knowledge and skill for her upcoming empty-nester status. She and her husband Michael hope to be able to go cruising one day. (Michael was a consultation client, they recently purchased a Bristol 41.1).

Elisabeta Buttu, 60 is a recent retiree from the IT business in Geneva, Switzerland. She and her husband were refugees from Bulgaria when they arrived in Switzerland 29 years ago. Andre discovered sailing 15 years ago and since then they have had the dream to sail the world on their own boat. They have sailed their current boat on Lake Geneva for several years plus charted worldwide but are looking forward to May 2009 when they will pick up their new Hallberg-Rassy 40 in Sweden and set sail to explore the world!

Richard Baker, 56, of South Africa joins us for the fourth time with the goal of trying to decide whether or not to order a HR 48. Go for it Richard!

Jeremy Westerman, 40 is originally from the UK but now lives near San Jose, California where he works in the tech industry. He has been sailing on San Francisco Bay for five years and this is his second expedition aboard MT. Currently between jobs, this is the first of many sailing adventures planned for the rest of 2008, including a transatlantic passage with the ARC.

Elisabeta leaves us with this poem which Andre found on the internet:

A small boy heard the ocean roar,
There are secrets on m distant shore,
But beware my child, the ships bell’s wail
Wait not too long to start to sail.

So quickly


Revist Leg 3 or Sail onto Leg 5

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