Sep 03, 2018 - Day 16 - 51º54'N 003º30'E to Dunkerque

Sea Area
North Sea, SW North Sea

Weather
Clear around midnight, then 4/8 towards sunrise, then clearing again, increasing to 8/8 in the evening. Wind ENE to NE 3-4 at first, in late afternoon shifting N. Sea 1.5 m, decreasing to 0.5 m. Pressure 1021 decreasing to 1018 in the evening. Min. temp.: 18ºC, max. temp.: 24ºC.

Nautical Log
01:05 - unreef genoa, course 245º mag
03:05 - course 195º mag
04:00 - course 230º mag
05:45 - course 270º mag
07:15 - course 220º mag
07:40 - motor on
09:30 - course 240º mag
10:50 - course 195º mag
11:10 - motor off
11:15 - motor on
12:05 - course 205º mag
12:10 - course 210º mag
13:00 - entering pilotage Dunkerque
13:20 - reef away genoa, take down jib 1, take down mizzen
15:30 - moored in Dunkerque, motor off

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
Dogs went independently and used the doggy yard for the first time.

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 65.2 nm
Total: 602.9 nm

Sep 02, 2018 - Day 15 - 52º55'N 004º35'E to 51º54'N 003º30'E

Sea Area
North Sea, SW North Sea

Weather
Clear at first, 4/8 in the afternoon, then clearing again. Wind ESE 4, decreasing to 1 at noon, then shifting NE increasing 4-5 in the evening. Sea 0.5 m at first, increasing to 1.0 m in the evening. Pressure 1027 decreasing to 1021 over the day. Min. temp.: 15ºC, max. temp.: 26ºC.

Nautical Log
00:30 - reef away genoa
05:40 - course 170º
07:10 - unreel genoa
07:30 - course 195º
08:15 - motor on
08:55 - course 205º
10:00 - motor off
11:40 - motor on
13:50 - course 235º mag/230º chart
14:15 - motor off
14:45 - course 240º mag/225º chart
18:00 - reef away genoa
19:00 - course 230º mag/225º chart
23:50 - course 250º mag

Incidents
Paint is pealing off at 2 spots. Needs to be repainted.

Sightings
13:00 - sighted group of min. 4 swine whales.

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 86.2 nm
Total: 537.7 nm

Sep 01, 2018 - Day 14 - 53º40'N 006º20'E to 52º55'N 004º35'E

Sea Area
North Sea, West Fresian Islands, SW North Sea

Weather
2/8 to 4/8 later clear. Wind NW 3 shifting SW decreasing a little, later shifting NE, increasing to 3-4. Sea 1-2 m, decreasing to 0.5 m. Pressure 1024 increasing to 1027 until noon, then stable at 1027.  Min. temp.: 16ºC, max. temp.: 25ºC.

Nautical Log
05:00 - motor sailing
06:00 - proceeding under sail
07:15 - motor sailing, course 255º
14:20 - hoist genoa, motor off, course 275º
15:00 - course 215º, motor on
15:20 - genoa reefed to jib size
16:00 - take down genoa
19:00 - course 210º
20:45 - unreef genoa
21:35 - course 190º
23:40 - motor off

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
Stbd and bb nav light replaced by led nav lights. Search light repaired.

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 84.4 nm
Total: 451.5 nm
 

Aug 31, 2018 - Day 13 - Helgoland to 53º40'N 006º20'E

Sea Area
North Sea, German Bight, East Fresian Islands

Weather
4/8 decreasing to 2/8 over the day. Wind NNW 3 increasing 5, later 3-4, shifting NW. Pressure 1020 increasing to 1023 in the afternoon. Sea 2-3 m, later decreasing 2 m. Min. temp.: 14º, max. temp.: 19ºC.

Nautical Log
05:15 - Departure from Helgoland
05:20 - Hoist main in pre-harbor
05:30 - Set course 260º under sail
06:00 - Hoist jib 1
07:20 - Course 250º
08:10 - Course 180º to avoid M/V
08:20 - Course 240º
08:35 - Course 250º
12:10 - Course 165º to cross TSS
13:50 - Course 260º
14:00 - Hoist genoa
16:00 - Course 265º

Incidents
21:00 - Stbd nav light unfunctional. Rigged temporary solution for the night.

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
Entered NL waters around sunset.

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 86.2 nm
Total: 367.1 nm

Aug 30, 2018 - Day 12 - Helgoland

Sea Area
German Bight

Weather
Overcast with shower squalls till noon, then clearing up to 4/8. Wind NW-NNW 4-5, gusts 6. Pressure 1014 rising to 1019 over the day. Min. temp.: 16º, max. temp.: 21ºC.

Nautical Log
No ship's movement.

Incidents
none

Maintenance Log
Purchased power cable extension and adaptors.

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 0 nm
Total: 281.9 nm

Aug 29, 2018 - Day 11 - Cuxhaven to Helgoland

Sea Area
German Bight

Weather
Overcast at first then clearing to 0/8. Wind SE 3 increasing 5, then stabilising at 4 over the afternoon. Sea 0.5 m on the Elbe River increasing to 1.5 m short of Helgoland. Pressure decreasing from 1017 to 1012, then increasing slightly to 1013 in the evening. Min. temp.: 14ºC, max. temp.: 23ºC. 

Nautical Log
05:40 - Departure from Helgoland
05:50 - Pilotage under sail (main, genoa, mizzen) Elbe River N towards North Sea
08:30 - Course 320º
10:00 - Course 270º
11:00 - Course 300º, take down main
12:40 - take down genoa, mizzen, approach under motor
13:15 - Arrival in Helgoland

Incidents
06:35 - Hit buoy 24. Damage to bow stbd. Just dent, no hole.

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
Paint dent and also other existing scratches

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 37.0 nm
Total: 281.9 nm



 

Aug 28, 2018 - Day 10 - Rendsburg to Cuxhaven

Sea Area
Kiel Canal, German Bight

Weather
2/8 overcast in the morning then overcast and shower squalls during the day. Wind W 1 in the morning then shifting SW increasing 3 till noon, then shifting NW decreasing a little. Pressure 1015 increasing to 1019 in the course of the day. Min. temp.: 13ºC, max. temp.: 22ºC.

Nautical Log
08:30 - Moved Seefalke to gas station at Schreiber Marina
08:40 - Start Diesel replenishment
08:50 - Stop Diesel replenishment
08:55 - Departure from Rendsburg, then pilotage under motor to sea lock Brunsbüttel
16:00 - Locking in to sea lock 'Alte Schleuse' Brunsbüttel
16:15 - Departure from sea lock 'Alte Schleue' Brunsbüttel, then pilotage under motor Elbe River N to Cuxhaven
19:25 - Arrival in Cuxhaven

Maintenance Log
Purchase 115 l Diesel. Moved water canisters, diesel canisters, gasoline canisters, 2nd anchor to port to balance tilt to stbd.

Sightings
none

Incidents
none

Other
Fired up gasoline generator to charge Michelle's computer.

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 52.5 nm
Total: 244.9 nm

Aug 27, 2018 - Day 9 - Rendsburg

Weather
Overcast the entire day with constant rain. Wind W-SW 3-5, decreasing in the evening to 1-2. Pressure dropping to 1004 around 10:00, then increasing to 1011 in the evening. Min. temp.: 12ºC, max. temp.: 18ºC.

Nautical Log
Waiting out storm front in North Sea. No ship's movement.

Maintenance Log
none

Sightings
none

Incidents
I think we have 1/2º tilt to stbd. Considering moving some equipment to port.

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 0 nm
Total: 192.4 nm

Aug 26, 2018 - Day 8 - Laboe to Rendsburg

Weather
Day starts with almost clear sky. Cloud over to 8/8 in the evening. Wind SW 4-5 in the morning, then decreasing to 1 in the evening. Pressure at constant level between 1012 and 1013, slightly decreasing towards the evening. Min. temp.: 13ºC, max. temp.: 21ºC.

Nautical Log
10:20: Departure from Laboe, then pilotage through Kiel Firth S to sea lock Kiel-Holtenau
11:40: Locking into sea lock Kiel-Holtenau
12:00: Locking out of sea lock Kiel-Holtenau
12:10: Mooring at fee station
12:25: Departure from fee station and pilotage under motor through Kiel Canal to Rendsburg
16:10: Arrival at Schreiber Marina in Rendsburg

Maintenance Log
none

Sightings
none

Incidents
12:10: Little paint damage during mooring manoeuvre at fee station, paint needed

Other
Rendezvous with 'Sunbird' in Rendsburg

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 21.4 nm
Total: 192.4 nm

Aug 25, 2018 - Day 7 - Laboe

Weather
Constant rain from the early morning till the evening with SW winds 3-4. Pressure dropping to 1005 in the morning, then recovering to 1009 by 22:00.

Nautical Log
Ship is moored in marina all day.

Maintenance Log
Main cabin bilge drained, making water through anchor chain box. Purchased and installed blocks to guide jib sheath into cockpit.

Sightings
none

Incidents
At 17:05 collision with training yacht 'ENOJA'. No damage on either boats.

Other
Replenished fresh food.

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 0 nm
Total 171.0 nm

Aug 24, 2018 - Day 6 - Heiligenhafen - Laboe

Weather
Day starts with rain and W-WSW winds 3-4. Later shower squalls and thunderstorms 6-7 gusts 8. Pressure at first constant around 1005 hPa, then slowly increasing. Max. temp.: 20ºC, min. temp.: 13ºC

Nautical Log
0820: Departure from Heiligenhafen, then pilotage under motor
0850: Exit pilotage, hoist main 2nd reef and jib 1, steer 336º
0945: Course 210º
1020: Hoist genoa
1430: 260º, main down, job down, continue under motor
1800: 270º
2000: Approach Laboe
2145: moored in marina Laboe

Mil. exercise area Putlos active until 1230, strong current setting E.

Sightings
none

Incidents
Water tank filled

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 48.9 nm
Total: 171.0 nm

Aug 23, 2018 - Day 5 - 54º22.8'N-011º03.3'E - Heiligenhafen

Weather
Clear sky at sunrise, later a little misty and 4/8 to 6/8 overcast. Wind 1-2 NW shifting to SW over N and E. Max. temp.: 26ºC, min temp.: 19ºC.

Nautical Log
0820: Hoist anchor, then 290º later 240º, then continue pilotage to Heiligenhafen under motor
0945: Moored at marina Heiligenhafen

Sightings
none

Incidents
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 2.5 nm
Total: 119.6 nm
 

Aug 22, 2018 - Day 4 - Warnemünde - Heiligenhafen

When I received the weather report this morning I immediately decided to depart that very morning. The wind was said to turn SE but only for this one day. SE 3 are perfect conditions for our destination in Fehmarn Sound with an easy down wind course across Lübeck Bight.

10:10 departure from Warnemünde, crossed sea channel shortly afterwards with all sails up. Launched drone at sea for the first time. Great footage but difficulty to retrieve drone. Assume interference with on-board instrument com.

Passed Fehmarn Bridge at 23:00. Decided to anchor NE of Heiligenhafen approach. Have never been in that harbor and pilotage at night is tricky due to lots of unlighted markers. Dropped main anchor and auxiliary anchor at 54º22,8'N 011º03,3'E.

Aug 21, 2018 - Day 3 - Warnemünde

Assessed damage at windlass: Chain stuck between windlass drive and deck. Also battery voltage gauge showed 0 V. Turned out fuse tripped. Need new 135 A fuse. Released windlass drive manually and could untangle chain. Nowhere in Rostock a 135 A fuse was available. So replaced 135 A fuse with 80 A fuse and put slip on the windlass coupling. Tested anchor windlass: OK. Bow battery voltage gauge in cockpit: OK.

Assessed damage at bow thruster: Fuse ok. Drive looked ok. Went in water to cut out sheath. Tested bow thruster: OK.

 

Aug 20, 2018 - Day 2: Darßer Ort - Warnemünde

Increasing winds to force 6 caused badly stuck anchor to drag. Anchor hoisted at 03:40. Chain got tangled and windlass blocked. Secured anchor manually and set course to marina "Hohe Düne" in Warnemünde to conduct repair. Proceeded under motor against strong current and winds force 6. Arrived in Warnemünde at 15:30. Port genoa sheath got sucked in by bow thruster. Bow thruster not functional. Anchor windlass not functional. Lost bowsprit walking boards in heavy breaker. Quite a damage.

Aug 19, 2018 - Day 1: Stralsund - Darßer Ort

As you can see the first day at sea started with moderate Westerly winds and nice temperatures. With 1-2 m seas the sea state was a little rough at times, especially since we had the waves against us with a general course West. We dropped anchor at Prerow Shoal when wind and sea calmed down. 

The first page shows weather conditions and the nautical log as well as the technical log. I am using a German template however the entries are in English. The second page gives information about the weather forecast used for the route planning as well as sail and motor usage and incidents/comments. 

The third page gives more room for comments and observations and shows the pressure and the temperature graphically. On the fourth page way points can be entered.

The last image shows my weather forecast log. It contains the forecasts, outlooks and trends for the sea areas that we will sail as I receive them. 

Logbook 1-2.JPG
Logbook 1-1.JPG
Weather Book 1.JPG

Upgrading Our Ship

Even though Seefalke already was a very seaworthy and reliable ship, we did some major overhaul and upgrade to her, especially on the electrical and power side, to make her fit for blue water sailing. Check out our latest video which describes all the details so far. 

Safety First - For the Humans and the Dogs!

We received a very important question from Pamela Vaughn, one of our Facebook followers. She asked, “For the dogs, do they make life jackets specific for sailing or did you have to engineer the tethers/fall protection?”

This is an extremely important topic, so we wanted to address it in depth.

We have taken TONS of precautions for the safety of the dogs. Rest assured...the Seadogs will be SAFE at sea! First, we have the Outward Hound Dog Life Jackets (https://amzn.to/2LMu6qz) and also tethers (https://amzn.to/2uY6iqq ) to keep them attached to the ship. These are not specific for sailing, but we did extensive research with other sailors who sail with dogs and this is the brand that was consistently recommended to us! We also have harnesses that can also attach be attached to the tethers. (https://amzn.to/2Ar3dnA).

Let me give you some info on our MOB (Man Over Board) safety concept. With minor adjustments we have been applying it for all our cruises in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. It is based on a three-layer-safety net:

1) First and foremost it is to be avoided that crew members (two and four legged) go overboard! It is the deadliest of all dangers at sea. During my time in the navy, I have experienced how quickly that can end fatal.

So we have a storm-worthy sea railing and a heavy duty sea fence. Also we have 275 N offshore life vests from Spinlock (https://amzn.to/2mVfdnY) and high-quality life jackets for our four-legged crew. The 275 N Spinlocks are SOLAS approved, automatic, twin chamber lifejackets and equipped with Luke-On automatic illumination lights. During heavy weather we span lines from stern to bow in which the safety lines will be clutched. This gives us freedom to move over the deck without losing connection to the ship in case a crashing sea knocks us off our feet. The dogs have their own lines, too, however during heavy weather they’ll stay below.

2) Once a crew member goes overboard it is essential that the rest of the crew is alerted IMMEDIATELY. 

We use a MOBi (Man Overboard Indicator) from NASA Marine (https://amzn.to/2mTCFSH ). It’s a fail-safe transponder system that consists of a base unit and up to eight active transponders for crew. As soon as the base unit detects a drop in signal level it sounds a high intensity alarm to get everybody on board aware of the situation. The transponders are named so a quick glance on the base unit shows who has gone overboard. On SV SEEFALKE all two- and four-legged crew are wearing the MOBi transponder.

3) Once the crew (on board) is aware of the MOB situation it needs to be made sure that they know the position of the person (or dog) in the water to be able to commence the rescue maneuver.

For this reason the two-legged part of the crew is equipped with a personal AIS (Automated Identification System) SART (Search And Rescue Transponder) emergency beacon. We are using easyRescue from Weatherdock (https://www.easyais.com/en/easyrescue-ais-sart/ ). It is certified by SOLAS and USCG (among others) and has a built-in GPS receiver and once activated it triggers and alarm on all AIS enabled chart plotters in VHF range. These are at least all commercial ships, but also most seagoing sailing vessels. The signal includes exact geographic position and the course and speed of the person in the water.

In case we need to abandon ship or the ship sinks we also have an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating RadioBeacon). We are using the EPIRB1 from Ocean Signal (https://amzn.to/2v2wArf ). Once activated it transmits position, name, MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) and call-sign of the ship in distress on 406 MHz frequency using communication satellite network. This signal is monitored by COSPAS-SARSAT, an international program that relays the information to the responsible SAR (Search And Rescue) organization for the area. To be precise not everyone on board has an EPIRB—there is only one for the entire ship. It is internationally registered and directly connected to the ship.

We have many other safety equipment items on board, and there will be a whole separate blog about it.

Thanks, Pamela for your question, and rest assured… we are taking every precaution to keep ourselves and the Seadogs safe at sea. Our vet at Magnolia by the Gulf Animal Clinic even prepared a very thorough doggie First Aid kit just for Cap'n Jack and Scout. We will be posting a video soon about some of this. It will include a detailed description of the contents of the First Aid kit!

Please keep the questions and comments coming. And be sure to let us know of any ideas you have for topics we should cover during our journey.

Planning our Cross-Atlantic Journey

Ahoy Folks!

As everybody keeps asking us about our route, Michelle talked me into launching this video even though it is not even a Beta version yet!

However this short video shows our route and some principle thoughts to it. Of course it is subject to change, especially since it seems we are running late getting the boat ready. Even though it keeps being one of the hottest summers we have ever had here in Germany, the days are already getting shorter and if we are not out of here by mid August, we may not be able to make it past the winter in this season - with the Bay of Biscay being the bottleneck. 

Also our beloved British friends take the dog stuff bloodily seriously so we may need to skip the UK in favor of France. Check out Michelle's Logbook for updates about that. Enjoy, and we are looking forward to your comments!

*Please excuse me for using the German symbol for 'depression' (T) and not the English 'L'.