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Luna - Sailing around the World 2005 - 2008
A great adventure begins in October 2005 (by Dagmar)
In summer 2005 we bought a 44ft Trintella. For several weeks we lived on our yacht in Parkhaven in Lelystad, get it ready to leave with us in October to sail around the world. We had to upgrade all the technical equipment on board, order a set of extra sails, paint the underwater ship, adjust the rigging.
While we were there, we had some guests on board: my mom with grand daughter Kim (Soleil's cousin),...
my sister with kids,....
and my windsurfing friends with kids.
My friends gave us a whole box full of goodies you can't miss on a crossing including our first log book.
A week before we left, Soleil's 7th birthday came up, September 21st. Lucky her, she had two parties, one on board our yacht in Lelystad, ...
.... and another one at my mom's house in Muenster, were our friends family Eselgrim joined us..
While we were celebrating in Holland we baptized our sailing yacht "LUNA".
Finally we were ready to leave. On October 3rd we left Lelystad for Amsterdam. My mother-in-law Meke joined us for that trip. From there we continued through the channel towards Ijmuiden. From here we wanted to leave on the 5th towards Portugal. In the evening before we left Hizkia, Leonor and Leilani said good bye.
The next morning family and friends passed by in the harbor to say goodbye and wished us well. We were so excited, that the big day was finally coming.
In the afternoon of October 5th 2005 we left Ijmuiden harbor in Holland direction English Channel and the Golf of Biscay. My father -in-law was joining us during the first trip to Portugal. What was actually a big relief for me, because I had to get more experience in steering and navigating the boat. I had to learn all about the navigation-lights on the ferries, tankers and freighters, too.
That was quite a challenge in the night, because already in front of Rotterdam harbor, one of the biggest ports in Europe, there where container-ships, ferries, sailing-boats, speed-boats.. a lot of traffic on the water in different directions. Leaving Holland we had to sail day and night. My night-watch started at 0:00am till 3:00am. I had to get used to that, too. We had tough wind - and weather conditions, what we new before, because this is known as the most difficult time during the whole trip, only some time under sails, most time under motor, because we had wind from the front, high waves from all directions. Our bodies had a hard time to get used to it.
When we made it almost thru the Golf of Biscay, a pretty hard storm with 55knots came towards our direction...we had big waves crashing over the boat, some salty water came inside, 2 tough hours... Bart had a hard time with sea-sickness, but he just continues sailing, doing his work on deck. Soleil got sea-sick the second day, but just for some hours. I had one really bad day, staying in bed the whole time, completely out of order. I can't remember, when I felt so nauseous the last time and then you can imagine, when people are feeling like this for several days, why they think about jumping overboard.
This night I felt better and could start my night-watch at 1:00am. that was the most beautiful night I can remember: almost full moon, falling stars, and a dolphin-school joined the boat for several hours. You could tell, how much fun they had diving under the boat and surfing the front-wave. Then you know, why you are doing this trip, for the special moments you won't forget.
Finisterre, Spain, October 13th 2005 (by Dagmar)
On October 13th we sailed into the first harbor: Finisterre at the Spanish West coast, an old village with wonderful old houses and a beautiful lonely beach next to the town-center. Due to the high waves crashing over LUNA we got lots of salt water inside. Through the heavy weather several coca cola cans popped as well as all our canned food lost its paper labels, as the whole bilge got huge amounts of salt water in. So my father-in-law with Soleil's help labeled all cans and tins with marker now.
Porto, Portugal, October 14th-15th 2005 (by Dagmar)
Some days later we set sails again, direction Porto in Portugal. I am so glad, that my father-in-law was joining us. So I could easier adjust to the sailing, as we had extra support with the night watches.
As the marina was closed in Porto, we had to raft with to a trawler in the fisher harbor. Staying there for one night, we went to shore, took a bus, walked around town and had dinner in one of the restaurants.
Figuera da Foz, Portugal, October 16th-22st 2005 (by Dagmar)
Big waves were rolling into the harbor entrance of Figuera da Foz. One wave we were actually surfing coming in. That was scary and not an easy entrance for us, but out of that channel and finally inside the marina, the water was very calm. What a relief.
For several days we stayed here, relaxing from our hard days on sea. I started home schooling Soleil again. On the passage it was to rough to even think about school for us both. My mother-in-law Joke, was joining us from there, too.
Cascais, Portugal, October 23rd 2005 (by Dagmar)
On October 23rd we reached Cascais, close to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The center of the town is historic, old wonderful buildings, narrow alleys, wonderfully tiled houses, looking a little bit Arabic already. Finally Soleil and I had some quiet time to paint. We love to do that, but while sailing it was to rough inside "LUNA".
We left Lisbon by plane on the 28th, and went thru Germany to Cape town in South Africa. Like every year Bart had to work 6 weeks for the German SURF-Magazine. This time Soleil and I were joining him. My father-in-law and his wife Joke stayed with our boat, spent 4 more weeks sailing on "LUNA" and were leaving it for us in Albufeira, in the South of Portugal. We would be back by December 5th, leaving some days after this for the Canary Islands to start the Atlantic-Crossing by end of December.
Langebaan, South Africa, October 30th - December 4th 2005 (by Dagmar)
Coming into Cape Town with the test team of the German SURF magazine always stands for a huge amount of equipment at the airport...board bags, sail bags... Anthony and Esti, the owners of Cape Sports Center always make sure that we, as well as all the equipment gets to their windsurf center in Langebaan as soon as possible.
We stay at Club Mykonos, a bay further north then the windsurfing center.
One of the first days at the center Soleil meets her friends Maura and Julie again. They live with their parents Yvette and Gerardo in Belgium, but spend always some weeks a year in Cape Town, were they own a house. Bart met them the first time he came to Langebaan, and we are friends ever since.
Soleil loves to dress up in Bart's or mine clothes. She enjoyed the kids fair at Club Mykonos, the rides and the face painting.
Elena, Claudia, Soleil and myself went several times to Cape Town, to the Green Market, the Malls as well as down town to by beads at "Beads of Africa" for our jewellery making. We enjoyed the local arts and crafts at the markets and stalls along the road as well as the flea market.
Soleil and I joined the team at Swartriet, were Stefan, the test leader was taking windsurfing pictures from top of the ruins. Soleil and I collected a variety of shells.
Elena, Soleil and myself went on a trip to the Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, the most southerly tip of Africa.
We have seen a lot of wildlife, a cape cobra, the world's biggest bird - the ostrich, baboons, and daisies - a kind of marmot.
On our way back along the east side of the cape we passed through Boulder, were we watched a huge penguin colony on the beach.
Volvo Ocean Race: The team of ABN AMRO came into Cape Town.
Claudia, Elena, Sonja and myself went to "FROGGIES" for dinner. The following day Claudia prepared a surprise for us: an "Advents" Tea in her apartment with some goodies for us.
Before we all had to leave South Africa again, Stefan, the test leader, invited us for a "Captains dinner" at "Boesmansland", a restaurant with traditional African food, prepared buffet style. You serve yourself out of big iron pots from the coal fire...fish, meat, very delicious...a feast for everybody....
On the 5th of December we left from Cape Town to Germany. Ernst was waiting there for us and we all drove to his and Jokes house in Maarn/Holland. We had just some hours there before early the next morning we had to leave from Amersfoort by train to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam for Lisbon in Portugal.
Albufeira, Portugal, December 6th-7th 2005 (by Dagmar)
This morning we left Amsterdam in Holland for Lisbon in Portugal. We were just in time at the railway station in Lisbon to catch the train for Albufeira. "LUNA" was in the marina their waiting for us. When Joke and Ernst finished their sailing vacation in Portugal, they sailed "LUNA" into Albufeira, a perfect place to leave a yacht for some weeks.
As there was a "Lidl", one of the really affordable supermarkets, in town, we stocked up with groceries for the next weeks.
Lagos, Portugal, December 7th-9th 2005 (by Dagmar)
In the afternoon we enter the marina in Lagos coming from Albufeira, just 20sm away. Meke, my mother-in-law was spending her holidays here with, brother Kees and his wife Loes. In the afternoon Meke joined us on board and together we had dinner in a local fish restaurant. One of the yachties had a "Santa Claus" figure on board, illuminating it in the dark....looked as if Santa Claus came sailing by.....
Everything we prepare for our departure to the Canary Islands. We were still waiting for our anchor, we had ordered from "Navimo" in Holland. We needed a new one, as we lost the old one in the harbor of Cascais, as the anchor chain was not strong enough and the connection broke, leaving the anchor stuck in the depths of the harbor. It was supposed to come in by Friday. That will be tomorrow, and then we would be ready to leave. The afternoon we spent with Meke, strolling through town, eating ice cream. I went running, did some laundry. The anchor arrived on Friday, so we were ready to leave. Late afternoon, just before sunset, we left for our first crossing. Meke, Loes and Kees were standing at the light house at the harbor entrance waving us good bye. The sun set with a beautiful illuminated purplish sky......
Canary Islands, December 14th-26th 2005 (by Dagmar)
Since last Wednesday we are on the Canary Islands.
We left Portugal on Friday, December 9th for our first trip all by ourselves to the Canary Islands. On the trip from Holland to Portugal weeks ago my father in law joined us. Now we had to divide the night-watches between us two.
The first day and night we had really good and strong winds from the back and big swell. There it was again,...our sea-sickness..., but you get used to it and it gets better day by day. For the next 4 days we didn't see a boat. The strong winds stayed with us.
Therefore on the morning of December 14th, Wednesday, we saw the lights of Las Palmas. Oh, we were so proud and happy.
When we sailed into the bay, we saw our friends again, she, Iris, is German, he, Vincent, is Dutch with their boat "de Pelikaan" . They are having 2 kids, Roxy 8 years, River 9 years, Soleil's friends since some weeks.
Soleil's biggest wish since 3 days were "pancakes", and Iris made some really big and tasty once for us.
As X-mas was coming up, Soleil, Roxy and River started baking cookies on "LUNA". A delicious treat for all of us. They created a huge variety, decorating them very colorful.
Now we are still here in the bay waiting for wind to start the Atlantic-Crossing, but since 5 days we have wind from the South and we gone need wind from the North. We are really busy stocking up our food and doing reparations on the boat. Yesterday it was really cloudy, today it rained the whole day.
The weather-forecast is predicting North-winds for Sunday, so we still can celebrate X-mas here in the bay. We made several shopping trips to the supermarket "Hiperdino" in town. The biggest amount we were buying they even delivered to the marina.
X-mas we celebrated first on "LUNA" together with "de Pelikaan-crew", with coffee, tea and cookies in the afternoon, then we went over for dinner to "de Pelikaan" and celebrated there with Iris, Vincent, Roxy, River and Joan and Sandy from "Zefrin", a couple from New Zealand.
The following day, December 25th Iris, Vincent, Roxy and River were leaving for Teneriffe to see some friends. From there in some days they will start their crossing to Guadeloupe, were we will meet in about 3 weeks to celebrate Rivers birthday.
On December 26th we did the last shopping trip, fueled up with diesel...and we were on our way, under motor around the southern tip of Gran Canary. The Crossing will take us at least 21 days.
Antigua, Leeward Antilles, January 15th 2006 (by Dagmar)
We did it…we did it..
January 15th 2006, 4:20am in the morning, hurrah, the first time after almost 20 days, that we saw land, the lighthouse of Antigua. One day before we decided to sail to Antigua instead of Guadeloupe, because we wanted to reach an island in daylight. That was not possible for Guadeloupe, because we would have reached the island earlier, while 30sm more south and surrounded by reefs, what’s not recommendable for a night-entry.
At 8am we entered the
bay of “English Harbor” in Antigua. We were super-proud, tired, I was
crying, because I couldn’t believe that we did it… We crossed the Atlantic,
faster as we thought, because of the strong winds, 25-35 kn., current and the
high swell we had.
The first nights of the crossing, it was very dark, the moon a small sickle, wane… At the night watches we heard the wind howling, the boat gliding thru the water, we hardly saw a thing. We had to get used to that situation. The last thing we saw of Europe on the morning of December 27th was the snow-covered 3718m high mountain “Pico de Teide” of Tenerife Island. I saw a whale jumping. Some dolphins were following the boat, but the further we went out on the Atlantic, that would stop and we would see a lot of flying fish.
No boat to see, a lot of wind and waves were waiting for the “ LUNA”. The first days we were all seasick, Bart got it the worst. Soleil and I were getting over it pretty fast.
But after some days we got hungry again. We were catching a lot of fish, Mahi Mahi and Ahi, tuna fish. We loved it grilled or as Sashimi, yummy, yummy…
We were coming closer to the Cape Verde Islands, but were to far out at sea to spot them. The weather was getting warmer and to take a shower on deck was a pleasure now, without goose bums.
During the nights we had a lot of squalls, dark clouds were suddenly appearing at the sky, when you couldn’t see lighter spots between the water and the cloud you had to watch out, a lot of wind was coming, often between 40-50kn.
During the night we slept in the living-room, so we were faster out on deck in case a squall was coming and the boat was way calmer here. The mornings I spent with Soleil doing school, but when the boat started rolling to much we had to stop. We read, ate, navigated…at 5 pm, we had “borrelen’, the typical Dutch afternoon snack, with a coke and chips or nuts, we had dinner at 6pm and went to bed at 7pm. My night-watches were from 7-9pm, 0-3am, 6-9am. Bart did all the watches in-between. But due to the squalls we often had to be up both, during the night, so especially the last week we sometimes slept just 3 hours a night.
During the last week on the ocean, one night during one of the squalls we had a problem with the steering. The steering-wheel wouldn’t move anymore, the autopilot stopped working. We had to use our old autopilot, which didn’t work as proper as the new one did. But at least we could keep nearly the same direction during the night. Bart worked on the steering-shaft for the next day and after a lot of work the steering-wheel came free again. The autopilot didn’t work anymore, but lucky us, Bart bought a spare one before we left the Canary Islands.
The best thing with the
crossing is always the arrival, the island you want to visit on the
horizon...and then in the harbor, buying nice warm bread, fresh fruits…that’s
what we did first thing after immigration at the harbor-office in Antigua.
The bay was surrounded by mountains. On one of the mountains, Shirley Heights, was a restaurant. For this night they where offering “steel band-music” and a BBQ. What can be simply better for an arrival-dinner!!!!!
Several yachties were joining the BBQ, listening to the steel-band music, watching the local people presenting their arts and crafts.
Barbuda Island, January 19th-24th 2006 (by Dagmar)
3 days later we decided to leave for Barbuda, ( see the pictures) an island 40sm to the North of Antigua, a dependency of Antigua, a low flat island, its shores almost free of buildings, is ringed with a lot of sandy beaches protected by coral reef. It is off the usual route and while surrounded by so many reefs ( more then 200 wrecks around the reefs), it isn’t often visited. A rare enough experience in the Antilles.
That’s what we where looking for to relax from the crossing. It was worthwhile sailing against the wind, even when we got seasick again. We had to approach the anchorage by eyeball and had to watch out very carefully to have a sharp lookout for the coral heads.
2 catamarans where anchoring in the bay, one with kids of Soleil’s age, her playmates for the following days. We stayed 5 days in the bays surrounding the island, swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing.
Soleil went as often as 15x snorkeling and swimming a day. She had to use her fins, because we had strong winds, 30-40 knots, and current all the days.
The first day the wind dropped, we left for
Guadeloupe, a quiet sailing during the day, but again very strong gusts in the
night, all unusual for the Antilles at that time of the year.
The first day the wind dropped, we left for Guadeloupe, a quiet sailing during the day, but again very strong gusts in the night, all unusual for the Antilles at that time of the year.
Last modified: September 02, 2008