August 2005

After buying Vixen II in 2005, we spend 10 weeks in Maine Boothbay harbor to get her ready for Atlantic cross over.

Many simple jobs got time consuming because she did not get the care that she needed for 3 years being layed up.

Rusted screw and bolds broke and as so many technical installations where hard to reach it was a nightmare time to time.

6 weeks later then anticipated we left for the south of England in the middle of the hurricane seizon by the end of august.

Allthough normally hurricanes do not move up so far north , 105 hrs before we where informed by satellite telephone that hurricane Maria was moving on the same path as us, forcing us to recalculate our direction.


 

We left with 4 sailors for the cross-over but Sjacco was forced to fly back due to a heavy back problem, leaving only 3 persons. The storm nightmare begun when we broke the construction of the auto pilot being forced to do all steering manually, around the clock.

Of all things I expected damages or other things not to work out, but changing the course to the Azores meant that we would not be able to finish the trip to Holland and leaving the boat on Terceira for the winter months unattended!

We had enough time to move out of the center of the depression to not experience the full force of the hurricane , we had up to 60 knots of wind , but the wave machine behind the horizon pump the wave up to 22m and sometime it looked that we where swallowed by water.

As one of the 3 crew being onboard did not dare to go out ondeck for 3 days we did all work with only 2, I remember hallucinating looking at the digital compass of the autopilotdisplay that functioned but unfortunately not the driver. 2 hrs up 2 hrs down.

2 days before we left the sails came back from the sailmaker without the storm main this got lost in the carib somewhere, leaving me with a compensation check of 250 dollars but without the practically unused stormsail.

Not being able to use a reefed mainsail and in the full wind riding the waves only with a reefed middle sail and a reefed foresail we could not get the boat high in the wind to make it to the Azores on only 60 miles further. We just moved up and down not gaining any distance to our goal.

After 4 days the wind died and we ran into the bay of Pria Victoria and that’s how we felt at the moment. This trip took us 20 days and being still in the middle of nowhere.

In the storm our backstay almost came true the deck and we broke our bowspreader, we where lucky Vixen II took us there save but we should not have been in this storm much longer.

Our fatique made us uncaring about the ships state , so for my 2nd leg I had to have a larger crew.

 

April 2006

 

In april 2006 we came to the Azores with 6 persons , all of them experienced sailers besides the cameraman it was his maiden trip.

In the winter time I had the electricalsystem looked after and the backstay was repaired.The bowspreader we had to saw off partly, hollow it and make a new fitting piece with wood and epoxy.Not speaking portugues and having no shipshandler in our village it was hard to get what we wanted but after 2 weeks we where ready to move out.

As we had a lot of leakage on our 1st leg a lot of time we spend with the sikaflex gun, in Maine we had hardly any wind to test sail her before departure.

Now everything went well although we had a storm 500 km south of Ireland and that’s where we had to lay the boat by, now having a storm sail with us.

The only problem that  occurred was that the barings of the 2 dynamo’s  broke and with taking it out all belts where to long so we had to improvise a new wheel to tighten the belt.

We took of a wheel of our broken 110v generator and with strips of iron that we took out of my transformer we got the 1 dynamo going again “and there was light”

2 weeks later we arrived in Ijmuiden , on the 30th of april a big festival because it was Queensday and exacty 1 year after I made the 1st offer on the VixenII

 

In the spring of 2006 I was able to organize the 2nd leg of our Atlantic expedition now knowing much more about



 

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