2009.07.16 – 2009.08.14 (720 nm, 29 days)
- everything depends on the wind –
(translated by Laszlo “Fred”, AA7UY)
After nearly 3 years I am in Europe again, where – interestingly – I became somewhat of a stranger.
Route plan: WP1 (31-25.06N 32-24.01E); WP2 (31-42.7N 23-24.03E); WP3 (35-15N 22-53E)
Or sailing south of Crete. OK: This time of the year the Meltemi, (lasting, strong wind) is expected north of the island. Weak headwinds are expected south of Crete. Strong winds prevailed at the East and West coasts for about a day while I was transiting .There are also 3 islands south of Crete (Konfonisi, Gaidouronisi, Gaxdos), I’d like to pass south of them as well for easier navigation, less coastal fishing boats. The goal after Crete is Katakolon. WP4 (36-37N 21-47E); WP5 (37-02N 21-30E); WP6 (37-38.8N 21-19.5E)
The plan was changed while underway!
Tied up in Kalamata instead of Katakolon POS (37-01.4N 22-06.3E). OK: there’s a marina here for easier ship repairs. They waived the port fees and the local newspaper came out for an interview. I had a very pleasant time here, thank you!
Route to the harbor: (35-10N 023-21E); (36-25N 022-11E); (36-54N 22-02E); (37-01.376N 022-06.242E)
2009.07.16 (day 1027)
Sisa: traditional Egytptian pipe. The tobacco is usually apple-, peach- or sour cherry flavored. The amount of nicotine in one pipeful equals to that of a pack of cigarettes. Cost: 1.5-3 LE and could last 30-60 minutes.
Managed to get up at 8 a.m. This morning I’m going on. If I delay until the afternoon I’ll have to pay more! Egyptian towns get moving later and slower.
Shopping: 10 eggs, fresh pastry, cantaloupe, hibiscus petals (for refreshment). Changed money in the bank, everything for Euros. I won’t need dollars or LE anymore.. Returning to Old Europe after 3 years, with 65 Euros in my pocket.
Met with Abdul & his friends on the ferry in the morning. They came out to say good bye. The ferry is free between Port Fouad, Asia and Port Said, Africa and runs all the time. Saying good byes again. Am I ever to return? I have said good byes many times, it’s always sad and I don’t like it. I remember saying good bye after half a year to Ruben in Fiji. It was hard. We were both smiling of course, as if we were enjoying it, but saying good bye is not good! So long Egypt!
The security guard stopped me at the club and didn’t want to let me in. I suppose he wanted baksheesh. He spoke no English, not even a little. He didn’t understand my visa either. My agent came, shouting and telephone calls. Abdul translated everything into Hungarian like a synchro-translator.
(Egyptian policemen are paid 200 LE, 36 USD, the agent gets 600 LE, 100 USD! That’s why the real, “non tourist” Egypt is so cheap!)
Cleaning the ship’s bottom, algae grows fast here! Said good bye to the neighboring French yacht. They’re heading where I came from, the Indian Ocean, I’m heading where they came from, the Mediterranean.
12LT departure with motor and sail. I want to transit the heavy traffic area during daylight. 20 nm and the sea is gradually getting cleaner, can even see dolphins that follow CARINA and are frolicking.
Dinner: cheese, bread, cucumbers, onion.
Wind weakening at night. The current pushes me slightly to the south.
Sailing ‘round oil drilling rigs. My navigation lights are faulty. Replace the wiring, they’re OK again after and hour’s work! Not much sleep at night because of the ship traffic
2009.07.17 (day 1028)
Recommended weather page in the area: http://www.eurometeo.com/italian/meteomar
Life is more modern in northern Egypt than in the south. In Port Said many people wear European style suits and their lifestyle is more European like. Faith is strong, they’re practicing the daily five prayers. Port Said is said to be Europe. Life is more traditional as you go southward. Less modern clothing, the young ones cannot be with their lovers before marriage, a chaperone is always present beside the girls.
They smoke cigarettes and hashish, but consume less alcohol. There’s no alcohol in south Egypt and Sudan!
Yemen is very special in the Arab world, the motherland of all Arabs. The local legal drug is the kat (green leaf). The locals are looser and friendlier compared to other Arab countries. This is my opinion.
1000 mb, 37°, NW Bf.1
Brief motoring in the morning. There’s no wind. I see the white sails of a yacht in the distance.
Reading: István Korda: A Nagy Ut (The Long Way, the biography of Kőrösi Csoma Sándor). It is very good.
Thanks to Magdi.
Trying to sleep and rest. I can’t sleep much at night because of the ship traffic.
Lunch: Egyptian pastry.
P.m.: Bf.2, steering 330 at 1-2 knots.
14.292 MHz POS (32-14N 32-24E) 509 nm to WP3. HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5APK; HA2TX, Misi
Forecast: Weak NW next few days: the usual.
Dinner: noodles in cheese sauce.
At night: reading, brief naps, a few large ships in the distance.
2009.07.18 (day 1029)
An acquaintance was in Somalia a few months ago (not by ship). He also visited the port of Berbera, where the harbormaster told him there were no pirates in the vicinity. There used to be a few a year ago, but they caught them all. A local soldier escorted him everywhere for $20. He experienced no danger, he wasn’t in a very dangerous zone though.
1003 mb, 34°, Bf.0-1 W, almost standing still; morning calm.
Breakfast: dinner leftovers
Lunch: Egyptian pastry.
Making 1-2 knots on cse. 350°. Should be 290, but the wind is coming from there !
16UTC: 14.292 MHz: POS (32-51N 31-58E). 34 nm made good in a day.
‘Presently making 1-2 knots on course 340’.
Forecast: weak NW winds next few days. Possibly N wind from the 23rd, then I could sail westward!
Tomorrow’s radio schedule at 06UTC again. The frequency was noisy.
Dinner: scrambled eggs with onions and Egyptian bread.
At night: reading, short naps, watching. Weak winds and a few large ships in the distance.
Today’s reading: Jules Verne’s: Around the World in 80 Days (I’ve read it in Hungarian as a child, but it’s always a little different reading an adventure in English)
2009.07.19 (day 1030)
Port Said is a 24 hour town. You can always find an open café. Many people stay up until 4-5 o’clock. Life – work, commuting, markets - begin at 7.
1002 mb, 35°, Bf.2-3 NW
06 UTC 14.292 MHz POS (33-18N 31-47E) 458 nm to WP3.
‘Currently sailing at 2.5 kts on 345°’
Forecast: NW variable winds.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA1YA; OE3BCA; HA5CDM (Attila, Xth .distr. Bp.); HA5FHS (5,9);
Today’s reading: Adventure Story by Terence Rattigan (the life of Alexander the Great)
Weak winds or calm all day!
Dinner: bulgur, canned chicken, onions, cucumber.
The gas bottle is empty, will have to change it tomorrow, it’s too dark now.
At night: brief naps, on watch, two ships in the distance.
2009.07.20 (day 1031)
1005 mb, 35°, Bf.1-2 NW, 1-2 knots on 350°
Breakfast: last night’s leftovers
A.m.: swapped gas bottles in the rear cabin.
I have 80 liters of fuel left, can’t use the motor too much. The outboard couldn’t even take it.
Lunch: Egyptian pastry, orange.
P.m.: Hot and calm. Sitting on the bow taking frequent showers to make it more bearable!
Small fishes have been following me for days.
Drinking coffee and reading. Resting all day to be able to stay awake at night! Keeping a good watch in the Mediterranean is important, there are many large ships.
The air is humid, not dry, like in Egypt.
Cyprus is 60 miles to the East. I sailed there in 1996. We tied up in Cyprus then - not planning to now.
1-2 knots on 350°
16UTC 14.292 MHz POS (34-13N 31-31E) 431 nm to WP3.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5FHS, Gyula, Pécs, 5,9; HA8RJ, Attila, Soltvadkert; HA5JZ, Zoli, 5,9; HA1YA;
Forecast: weak, variable strength NW winds few days. Stronger, Bf.5 N after the 23rd.
Talked about tacking tactics, which tack is better, what should the strategy be. A hard case!
Dinner: Feta cheese, noodles in tomato sauce, tastes about like noodles with cottage cheese.
At night: not much sleep. Standing watch! Weak wind and not much traffic.
2009.07.21 (day 1032)
1005 mb, 32°, Bf.1-2 NW-W, sailing @ 1-2 knots on 200°
Breakfast: dinner leftovers and chocolate.
A.m.: checking and re-packing food supplies, then reading.
Trying to sail as sharply as possible against the headwind. Sharpening and speeding up, but CARINA is not built for this.
Lunch: pastry, chocolate.
P.m.: 2.5 kts on 210°
16UTC: 14.292 MHz radio: POS (33-36N 31-08E) weak NW-NNW winds expected.
HA5CAR; YO2AAG; HA5HS
Dinner: Feta cheese, onions and the last of the Egyptian bread.
At night: reading, occasionally dozing off.
Adjusting the tiller and the sail, trying to sail sharp. Fewer ships in the vicinity at night.
2009.07.22 (day 1033)
1005 mb, 32°, Bf.2-3 NW, 1-2 kts on 230 (target is toward 290°)
Breakfast: pastry, multivitamin.
A.m.: re-packing and reading.
The large seas are coming from 50-60°, pushing CARINA’S bow sideways slowing me down.
My max. speed is 2-2.5 knots. If I reach 3, an opposing wave is sure to come.
Lunch: egg soup, chocolate.
Two large ships went by near me toward Port Said. Am I in shipping lanes?
16UTC 14.292 Mhz radio. POS (32-57N 30-31E), or 18 nm made good in 24 hrs!
Forecast: weak NNW-NW next few days. There is a 1-1.5 knot counter current in this area!
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA3TBL Laci, Marcali (5,7); HG7CZ;
Dousing myself with a few buckets of seawater in the bow every evening, this is my shower. I have no problem with salt water, I like it.
Dinner: rice, canned fish, onions, paprika.
At night: Bf.3-4, 2 knots on 230
2009.07.23 (day 1034)
1005 mb, 30°, Bf.1-2 NW, 1-2 knots on 250.
Breakfast: last night’s leftovers enhanced with canned corn.
0530UTC: 8.101 MHz Med Sea Net. The controller couldn’t hear the other ships due to bad propagation conditions today, the net fell apart and ended quickly.
06UTC 8.101 MHz POS (32-43N 29-57E) talked with my acquaintances in Silver Heel II, Vantana, Seranity. They recently departed Port Said for Turkey calling at Cyprus on the way.
A.m.: weakening wind, reading, then calm. The counter current remains and pushes me slowly backwards of course. I’m somewhat depressed. When am I to arrive anywhere if it remains so??? The situation is hopeless. Waiting for the wind!
Lunch: pastry, chocolate, orange.
16UTC 14.292 MHz radio POS (32-51N 29-57E).
Forecast: varying strength NW for the next few days. HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5VQ Pista;
Dinner: spaghetti, chocolate, desserts
At night: reading, brief naps, a few large ships in the vicinity, no problem.
2009.07.24 (day 1035)
1009 mb, 31°, Bf.2-3 NW, making 1-2 knots
0530UTC 8122 Med Sea Net. Many yachts checked in, myself included. POS (33-11N 30-06E)
A.m.: some of the honey poured out, food re-packing, cleanup.
Weakening wind, afternoon calm, counter current only.
Lunch: Egyptian bread, Feta cheese, onion.
16UTC 14.292 -> 14.297 MHz POS (33-29N 30-09E). 3 nm toward my goal in 24 hours!
HA5CAR; HA5HS, the propagation went down. Gave position and ‘all’s well’.
Finished Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations
Dinner: egg soup, feta cheese, onions, Egyptian bread.
2009.07.25 (day 1036)
1008 mb, 32°, Bf.2 NW, heading N at 1-2 knots
06LT POS (33-47N 30-10E)
Breakfast: the last of the Egyptian pastries, multivitamin.
A.m.: patching main sail, the old one is still up and tears often, I also have a very old sail, but I think this one will do for the time being.
Listened to the other yachts on 8.101 and 8.122 MHz in the morning, but didn’t say anything.
Checking the radio, measuring and cleaning cables. All are OK.
A.m.: refitted the fishing gear. Trying a good artificial fish bait, but my speed is too slow for the fish to bite J
Lunch: the last of the Feta cheese (didn’t want to keep it w/o refrigeration any longer) and Egyptian bread.
The ship’s bottom is getting covered with algae again.
Weak winds all day, sailing @ 1-2 knots on 360° (330 per compass but actually 360 per GPS because of the current)
Briefly listening to the BBC to hear what’s going on in the world.
Dinner: cream of lentils, onions, the last of Red Gold (popular Hungarian flavoring paste made mainly of paprika & other seasonings/tr).
Late p.m.: cleaning the hull and swimming around the ship, possible with such slow speed.
Dead calm again – p.m. – evening – night.
16UTC 14.292 MHz POS (33-58N 30-03E). 13 nm made good during the past 24 hrs.
All frequencies are occupied. HA5CAR; YO2AAG
Forecast: the usual weak NW wind and variable. Strong winds from the 29th (forecast 20 kts plus but actually it always turns out stronger). Tomorrow radio sked at 6UTC again, hopefully better propagation and less interference.
Used the last of my Berehovka this evening. Thank you Imre, it came in handy and sure hit the spot!!
Weak winds all night, saw no ships.
2009.07.26 (day 1037)
1008 mb, 32°, Bf.0-1 NW
Breakfast: dinner leftovers, multivitamin.
06UTC 14.292 MHz POS (33-58N 29-44E) 352 nm to WP3, 12 nm made good..
Forecast: weak NW wind, increasing the day after tomorrow and veering more northerly. I could have stronger winds more to the south. There will be stronger winds after 28E and can sail more northerly after the Meltem zone (25–30E).
A.m.: dead calm, swimming around the ship. Burning sun, and the ocean pleasantly cools.
Brief motoring, don’t have much fuel, rather wait for the wind!
P.m.: Bf.1-2 SW wind, sailing on 300° @ 1-2 knots (GPS 330, current pushing me sideways)
Baking bread then reading.
A large ship passed near me.
Patching main sail.
16UTC 14.292 -> 14.286 MHz POS (33-59N 29-36E) 341 miles to WP3. HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG
Radio sked at 15UTC from now on for better propagation. Backup times 06 and 07 UTC.
Later the wind died.
Dinner: spaghetti in cheese sauce.
2009.07.27 (day 1038)
1005 mb, 32°, Bf.0, morning motoring.
0530UTC 8.122 MHz Med Sea Net, listened to weather info.
A.m.: sorting charts, found two I’m on already. One of them is the whole-, the other the eastern Mediterranean. Not too detailed. Re-packing foods and garbage. Refitted the fishing rod with hooks only.
Gymnastics. I don’t move much, there isn’t really enough room here. I’m either sitting or standing.
10LT POS (33-44N 28-58E)
13LT NW Bf.2 – strengthening, quartering with set tiller.
P.m.: cleaning the side of the hull with a small brush, the algae are gaining, since the side of the ship is under water quite a lot. Cleaning the cockpit and rear compartment.
The autopilot got stuck last night, so cleaned the connector. Everything is rusting in this high humidity, more so than in the Red Sea.
Later: reading and resting.
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.296 MHz POS (33-36N 28-42E). 306 nm to WP3, 35 nm made good past 24 hrs. This is the most I made in this section yet: a recordJ Sailing @ 1-2 knots on 240°
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG
Forecast: strengthening NW winds from tomorrow, around 20 kts, which, in reality, will likely be more.
Wind increasing at night. I didn’t reef in, galloped instead, and was hoping for still stronger wind! This way making 3 knots on 280. Laying on my bunk in the dark, wearing oil skins and ready to get out of the cabin to reef in, if the situation gets too dangerous. Finally making progress ! ! !
2009.07.28 (day 1039)
1010 mb, 28-31°, Bf.5 NW, making 2-3 knots on 270
Breakfast: rice with preserves, orange.
A.m.: dozing off, reading and listening to BBC. Tired from last night’s gallop.
Have been sailing with set tiller since yesterday evening. It’s better in stronger winds. Quartering upwards of Bf.4 (my keel is elongated).
How is sailing?
The usual quartering run. The ship is rocking back and forth, shaking and rolling. The seas often spill into the cockpit, unfortunately even into the cabin as well. Half of my sleeping bag is wet, but it doesn’t bother me right now, the weather is warm. Secured the outboard motor with a rope because it kept toppling over when falling into the troughs. Heavy seas, sometimes breaking under- or next to the ship.
Lunch: rice, canned fish, onions. Hot sauce and chocolate for dessert.
Windy run, keep having to adjust the sails and tiller from time to time, as the wind changes force and direction. Fortunately not too often necessary, fairly stable run at the present.
15UTC 14.292 MHz POS (33-27N 27-31E); 254 nm to WP3, 54 nm made good past 24 hrs. Very good!!
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5ALE; HA5APK; SA0BDC, Rudi, Sweden (5,7); YO2BM Leo;
Sailing @ 2-3 knots on 260
Forecast: Wind weakening after July 31. CW radio mode is inoperative, the Morse key socket is faulty. Used it when tuning, but no big deal, I can whistle in SSB mode J
Received some recipes:
Finger biscuits: 25 dkg flour, 1-2 eggs, 15 dkg sugar, 1-2 tbsp baking powder, not complicated, will bake some when the wind abates.
Plain cake: 1-1.5 dl water, 2 tsp oil, 2 tbsp sugar, salt, 6 dkg flour, 1 tsp yeast, 1 egg, vanila sugar and raisins.
Thanks Jutka and Rudi J
Evening: a few large ships in the vicinity. .
Later the wind weakens with the seas remaining. The set tiller doesn‘t work anymore, switched to autopilot.
Calm at dawn.
Caught one and one half squid (the second one got torn in half)
2009.07.29 (day 1040).
1010 mb, 34°, Bf.0-1 S-SW wind
Breakfast: squid prepared with lemon and coconut, Pacific Ocean style
Hot sun, I’m burning!. Hat and sun-cream every day of course. Reading, later adjusting the anchor, it got loose during yesterday’s high winds.
Lunch: noodles and squid leftovers.
P.m.: reading and resting.
Bf.1 NW, making 1-1.5 knots on 240°
15UTC: 14.292 MHz POS (33-41N 26-56E). 222 miles to WP3. 32 nm made in 1 day.
Battery: 12.8V (The solar panel is charging well).
Forecast weaker wind today and tomorrow, strengthening later. CARINA’S voyage also was blessed on St. Christopher’s Day in Budaőrs. Thanks Péter!
HA5CAR; HA5HSL; YO2AAG; HA7JZ;
Today finished reading Charles Dickens’: A Tale of Two Cities.
20UTC (33-39n 26-48E)
Weak winds all night then calm. Made 5 nm in good direction until morning. Not bad. The autopilot doesn’t work in weak or calm winds. Keeping approximate course with set tiller and sails.
2009.07.30 (day 1041)
Departed Port Said two weeks ago!
1010 mb, 28-31°, Bf.0-1 W; Sailing NW @ 0.5 knots, there’s no counter current here!
Breakfast: sizzling magnesium pill, rice with preserves.
A.m.: washing the deck.
09LT POS (33-46N 26-48E) 212 nm to WP3; almost calm, making ½ kt on 340
Entered the water several times and cleaned the hull with a brush. The algae are gaining, there’s hardly any anti fouling left on the bottom. (Last painted it Aug. 2008 in Australia)
Few ships in the distance, baking plain cake.
Resting, reading and listening to BBC news (Alas the bad news items always outnumber the good ones).
Lunch: rice, half a can of chicken, onions, tea.
P.m.: Sorting and cleaning fruits and vegetables, (they last well, only the lemons dry fast).
38° at noon today! Hot ! And dead calm of course. Set tiller and sails, slow progress on course!
Patching main sail;
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.286 MHz POS (33-50N 26-46E) 11 nm made good in a day;
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5APK; HA5AFB
Forecast: weak NW winds, increasing later.
Dinner: fried potatoes, (2 month old potatoes from Port Ghalib, now all three are gone), and canned chicken.
Evening: weak wind briefly, steering, then dead calm again after 3 hours. Wind: no, seas: yes, rocking back and forth, shaking. No speed. Hard to keep course this way, yet somehow possible.
2009.07.31 (day 1042)
1002 mb, 37° at noon ! Bf.0 all day (They did forecast winds!) There are waves though, rocking.
Breakfast: rice with preserves
There are 2 large infections on my foot, which started two days ago. Treating with antiseptic/antibiotic ointment, I hope it helps. They hurt and I can hardly stand on my foot.
Lunch: rice with preserves, lemon water.
P.m.: swimming, the saltwater is good for the infections and a must in such heat! J Then reading and BBC.
15UTC 14.292 MHz radio: POS (33-57N 26-39E), made 9 miles in 24 hrs on course.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA8KT, Matyi, Békéscsaba (5,9);
Dinner: noodles in cheese sauce,.
Evening: 2 hours of weak Bf.1-2 SW wind, making 1 kt NW. Then calm. No ships in the vicinity. Lowered the sail to avoid tears from flapping.
Two hours later weak NW Bf.1-2 wind, so sailing west @ 0.5 knots. The wind isn’t stable, dies out sometimes.
2009.08.01 (day 1043)
Happy Name Day Tesó and every Boglárka !
1008 mb, Bf.1-2 NW in the morning, so sailing @1-1.5 knots on 240. (WP3 is on 290).
Yesterday my foot hurt so badly, that I had to take a couple of Tylenol to be able to sleep. It recently came to light that it isn’t good to take too much of this medicine. (Read it in the middle of August, Fred sent me the article).
Breakfast: dinner leftovers, that is macaroni & cheese and fried onions.
Caught a 6-7 kg tuna, and the leader broke while I lifted it in !! I wasn’t quick enough because of my aching foot!
Patching main sail.
My foot hurts, resting, not moving around, lying down in the cabin only. Must cure it ASAP!.
10LT Bf.3-4 making 2-3 knots on 270 - 280 with set tiller.
P.m.: wind weakening. Fishing again. Tied on a new hook. There aren’t many left, lost too many during the past months.
15UTC 14.292 MHz POS (34-00N 26-00E) 172 nm to WP3, 30 nm past 24 hrs in good direction.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; UT1DX, Gyuszi, Ungvár; HA8VW, János, Békéscsaba; (5,6); HA9QT, Matyi, Békéscsaba; HA5TGY, Gyuri, (5,5); DG0MEX, Geri, Germany, (5,9); 5Z4JC, Jeon, Garisa, Kenya;
‘Presently sailing @ 3.5 knots on cse. 270°’
Forecast: Bf.4-5 NNW
Dinner: grits-dumpling soup, last of the Egyptian pastries.
Evening: wind increasing. Bf.5 after sunset, even stronger an hour later. What is in store yet? CARINA is heeling over, water entering the cockpit. Full sails rigged. I can feel the ship is over powered. Should reef the mainsail, that is in pretty bad shape already, tears even at a little flapping!. I has to be done, I’m trying to do it quickly.
Already secured the outboard motor with an extra rope, so it won’t topple into the water when the ship drops into a trough.
Before reefing: 4 knots plus on 290°
After reefing: 2.5 knots on 250
Slipping badly, the seas are shoving me constantly. Used to skip over these waves before reefing in. That’s why I don’t like to reef when quartering.
Winds weakened after midnight, let the reef out.
The winds strength and direction are changing every 10 minutes. Must keep a good watch and keep adjusting the tiller.
I was on my feet too much today and it hurts even more.
2009.08.02 (day 1044)
„Most minden festék, látszat, porladó
Szívemre porzó csendes hó, halál,
Csak egy való van, síró, görbe szám
És ködbe nézõ két ködös szemem."
Pilinszky: Kikötõben (részlet)
(partial quotation from János Pilinszky’s: In Port in Hungarian/tr)
1010 mb, 30°, Bf.0-1 NW; Sailing @ 1 kt, cruising on 240 or 360, as usual
Two large ships passed nearby in the morning.
Breakfast: dinner leftovers.
A.m.: reading Graham Swift’s Last Orders. Quite good!
Weak wind, then calm. The seas stay rough. The ship is rocking, very uncomfortable.
There should be more books of poems in the ship. I have only one by Szabó Lőrinc. Strongly recommended in every ship.
Dinner: scrambled eggs with onions, crakers.
P.m.: weak wind, subsiding seas. WP3 is on course 300 and the wind is blowing directly from there, as always! Sailing @ 1 knot on 360
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.284 MHz radio POS (34-02N 25-19E; 141 nm to WP3, 31 nm made good past 24 hrs.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA7UN; HA5APK; YO6GUO, Zoli, Sepsiszentgyörgy, (5,5); EA3BSG/PM, Laci, Spain, (5,9); IT9ZHS/PM, Palermo, (5,9);
Dinner: lunch leftovers
Evening: wind is picking up, galloped at 4-5 kts for 2-3 hours, didn’t have to reef this time.
Everything is shaking, about every fifth wave breaks into the cockpit. Once even spilled into the cabin.
Later the wind diminishes and is nearly calm after 01LT. Sailing @ 1 knot on 010°
The infections on my foot hurt, so I couldn’t sleep well. Took no painkillers today.
2009.08.03 (day 1045)
1005 mb, 37°, Bf.0-1 very weak wind morning and forenoon.
Breakfast: a little chocolate.
A.m.: reading and BBC.
Two large vessels in the distance.
Unable to measure the battery voltage from now on, my multimeter is broken, probably got soaked. Bought it back in Fiji, lasted a year. So, will have to use energy sparingly from now on. (I’m assuming 12.1V).
Making 0.5 kts on 000 - 020°
12LT sighted Crete’s mountains, the first European island after 3 years.
Lunch: macaroni with goulash and mushrooms.
Passed, but didn’t see Konfonisi and Gaidouronisi island. Gaxdos island is 60 miles ahead.
P.m.: calm. Swimming, reading.
Cleaning, treating and dressing my infections twice daily.
15UTC 14.292 MHz POS(34-29N 25-05E) 119 nm to WP3, 22 nm made good last 24 hrs.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA7UN; HA2NEP, Péter, Devecser, (5,9); HA7JZ; OE6RLF, Lajos, (5,9);
Forecast: NW, NNW, N Bf.2-3-4, evenings strengthening to Bf.5.
Dinner: lunch leftovers, dessert: Halawa (Egyptian style)
At night: weak wind, then calm.
2009.08.04 (day 1046)
1012 mb, 28-32°, Bf.0, later Bf.1 SW
Breakfast: Halawa, orange, last of the Sudanese dates.
Often dolphins are swimming ahead of me in the distance, but they do not come near to play.
A.m.: calm. Sitting in the cockpit and steering, speed ½ knot !
Lunch: rice, canned beef.
(My diet isn’t very diversified, hurried my shopping too much in Egypt).
P.m.: Bf.1 SW, then Bf.2-3 W. Steering NW at 1.5-2 knots
Crete is near, I must change tack to 235°, at 1-2 knots.
Spending my day baking cookies, steering.
15UTC 14.292 MHz POS (34-50n 24-43E). 93 nm to WP3, 25 nm made good past 24 hrs.
Currently steering 230, @ 1-2 knots.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA7UN; HA5ALE
Forecast: NW-WNW varying between 10 & 18 kts.
The wind picked up during the radio schedule, but diminished again. Calm evening and night.
At night: reading, briefly listening to BBC. Heading NW with set tiller and sails at half a knot.
A small local fishing boat came very close just before dawn, I didn’t know why. Turned on all lights, VHF radio. I was practically standing still – there was no wind. They started circling next to me, then away and returned, then finally left. At first I thought the captain was drunk J
2009.08.05 (day 1047)
Dolphins swimming by.
Breakfast: rice with preserves, canned peaches, chocolate and lemon water.
A.m.: a ship nearby, then several military fighter planes flew above me. USA base on Crete. Bf.0-1 W, later SW. Heading NW with ½ knot speed!
Lunch: liver pate (still from Hungary J) on Egyptian crackers, spaghetti in tomato sauce with beef.
P.m.: wind strengthening to Bf.3->4->5 from 290° (where I’d be heading!), making 3-4 knots on 230°
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.300 MHz radio POS (34-39N 24-20E) 80 nm to WP3. 13 nm made good past 24 hrs.
Forecast: WNW Bf.4-5 next few days.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA8DN (5,9); HA3MQ Feri (5,9); HA7UN; HA7JZ, Zoli;
P.m.: evening the wind gradually increasing and the sky is ominously cloudy. Should reef in sometime soon.
Lost the bucket of the anchor chain – it tore out of the rope coil. The anchor chain is temporarily in the cockpit.
Serious ship traffic at night, I’m in shipping lanes. One came very close, I had to turn, luckily I was looking out of the cabin. I’m sure she didn’t notice me !
18LT POS (34-45N 25-15E), heading 230° at 3-4 knots.
2009.08.06 (day 1048)
1010 mb, 30°, Bf.5 NW (headwind !)
Breakfast: dinner leftovers
A.m.: windy, spilling waves, increasing wind, wet going.
12LT POS (34-44N 24-02E). Tacking because I’m too close to Gaxdos Island.
Lunch: meatballs in tomato sauce, (canned in Hungary!), onions, Egyptian crackers.
Two large ships nearby; then the usual flyover by fighter planes above me. Later a large vessel came near and I had to alter course.
The main sail is torn to pieces. Reefed in still OK, but otherwise I can no longer use it. Will swap it for the mainsail Jóska sent me.
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.296 MHz radio POS (34-30N 23-48E). 63 nm to WP3. 17nm made good past 24 hrs.
HA5HS, YO2AAG; HA7RW;
Forecast: WNW-NW 18 knot winds next few days.
Dinner: rice, canned beef, onions.
Evening: weakening winds, Bf.4-5 – let out the reef.
Sailing with torn mainsail, I have experience with this. Six large tears ! Even I could pass through it. Luckily the tear is lengthwise and manageable. Very rough looking, tears where are no patches, more than a hundred…
At night 0300 large ship too close, I had to turn. POS (34-40N 23-46E)
2009.08.07. (day 1049)
1010 mb, Bf.3-4, 2-2.5 kts on 240°, the seas are slowing me down.
9LT POS (34-40N 23-25E)
Breakfast: rice with preserves, orange, CARINA pastries (I baked them).
A.m.: Fishing again, meanwhile resting in the cabin, reading, listening to BBC.
The sun is very hot, hard to stay in the cockpit. A bimini would be nice J
Night watch, staying awake tired me out, so I must rest.
Morning, a.m.: set the tiller after using the autopilot earlier. (It’s more effective in weak wind, I can sail sharper).
Lunch: rice, spicy beef goulash from canned beef (the last of it!), chocolate for dessert.
P.m.: reading, then re-packing food supplies
1330LT changed tack from 250 to 020, 2-3 knots.
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.296 MHz radio. POS (34-22N 23-03E). 53nm to WP3, 10nm closer to my target past 24 hrs !
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA7JZ; HA7RW/MM, Balatonföldvár, Laci, he is sending with 10W only but I can hear him well. YO2MFM, Gyuri, Arad;
Forecast: WNW-NW 12-14 knot winds; weak in the Ionian sea after I passed Crete westward.
Evening: Bf.4-5 steady wind.
Dinner: rice, canned beans, canned fish, onions, beer (the second and last one on this trip).
At night: reading, a little BBC, standing watch with brief naps.
01LT the jib got torn, replaced with a smaller one in very good condition. Will slow down from now on because of this. The tear is all the way crosswise! Will take a long time to sew that one.
The small port side turnbuckle loosened and the stay slipped out of my hand as the original clamp got rusty. Tack change. Will look at in daylight and make temporary repairs.
01LT POS (34-30N 23-08E), presently I sense a strong SE current pushing me backward.
2009.08.08 (day 1050)
1011 mb, 28-32°, Bf.3-4 NW; the present jib is too small for this wind.
Breakfast: pastries with preserves, orange, coffee
08LT POS (34-19N 022-51E) tack change.
The upper mount holding the HF antenna broke overnight.
Lowered the antenna, repaired the end and hoisted it back up.
Temporarily repaired the port forward stay – not very elegant but durable solution.
Checking the fishing lines. No fish. Checking them twice daily. The reel will indicate a bite.
I can still feel the SE current.
Quartering with the tiller set while reading.
Heard on BBC that a ferry sank in Tonga with many lives lost. Those ferries are discarded Greek ferries and their engines are very rickety. Their speed is 5-6 knots.
Lunch: spaghetti, sardines.
14LT POS (34-26N 23-03E)
Bf.5 from 330°, my heading 030
Wind increasing to over 20 knots, but sailing comfortably with the small jib. The ship is vibrating, tossed by the waves. Everything is shaking. CARINA can’t stand much of this, I should be reefing in. I don’t like to reef CARINA while quartering.
15UTC 14.292 -> 14.300 MHz radio. POS (34-27N 23-12E)
One mile made good during the past 24 hrs.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5APK; HA8WV; HA5MG; HA7UN; HA5ALE;
I hear Csilla and Anna both gave birth. I’m very glad and congratulations.
Forecast: NNE-NW 2-3-7 knot winds next few days.
Dinner: lunch leftovers.
At night: strong, Bf.5 winds, rough seas, causing a speed of 1-2 knots.
2009.09.09 (day 1051)
1012 mb, 26° in the morning! and 32 at noon, NNW Bf.4-5
Breakfast: noodles with preserves and cinnamon.
1030LT (34-40N 23-30E)
Wind: Bf.5 from 340°, my heading is 280 or 030 @ 1-2 knots, wet sailing, seas spilling in.
Reading and resting because I had a backache since yesterday,. Must keep it warm and at rest. Leaks in a few places, seas breaking over the deck, even the cockpit.
Re-packed the food supplies and coffin bunk.
Sunday lunch: rice, canned beef goulash, boiled eggs, onions, dessert: chocolate and orange.
17LT POS (34-48N 23-38E)
Heading 270 @ 3-3.5 knots, or less often – 040 @ 2 knots.
15UTC 14.292 MHz radio POS (34-49N 23-34E) 11 nm made good in 24 hrs.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5APK; HA7UN; HA8DN, Laci, Szeged; SA0BDC. Rudi;
Forecast: N-NNW 14-18 knot winds next few days.
I can sense the strong SE current, over 1 knot!
Dinner: lunch leftovers.
2009.08.10 (day 1052)
1018 mb. 26-31°, Bf.4-5 NNW, sailing @ 2-3 knots on 290.
07LT POS (34-52N 22-45E)
Breakfast: rice with preserves.
Cruising, slow progress with SE counter current.
11LT 34-55N 22-48E)
Sewed the jib all morning.
Lunch: meat turnovers by new recipe, made it for the first time.
P.m.: replaced the jib with the larger one.
Stronger wind for 2 hours: Bf.5-6! Torn again. Not completely across because I took it down fast.!
A side stay got loose because the turnbuckle lost an eye. Sometimes it happens, I do know the reason. There are protective coverings on all.
Two large vessels nearby.
Finished reading: Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor.
One guy of the wind generator broke, repaired it.
15UTC 14.292 MHz (34-59N 22-38E) 31 nm made good past 24 hrs. 88 nm to WP3.
Forecast: NNW 10-17 knot winds next few days.
HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5ALE; HA1DFN, Attila, Győr,(5,5); M6UAV,Zsolt, London; YO2GL, and Karcsi from England.
At night: diminishing winds and heavy ship traffic, but they are yielding to me.
Not much sleep, reading and watching the ships.
2009.08.11 (day 1053)
1015 mb, 32°, Bf.2-3 NNW, steering 290-300 at 1-2 knots.
Breakfast: what was left of the self-made cookies, with grape jam.
Ships are coming and going in the distance, these are shipping lanes.
Patching the mainsail in a few places that I can reach. Not much glue left.
Lunch: noodle soup.
Had to enter the water because my fishing kine got caught in the rudder again, it can happen after turning.
15UTC POS (35-20N 22-09E). 22 nm made good in 24 hrs.
14.292 MHz radio: HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5ALE; HA7UN; HA7JOK, Károly, Veresegyháza; YO9BRT, Áron, Rosiori; YO2BF Oszkár; HA1DFN, Gyuri; HG4GHJ, Jóska, Dunaújváros; HA8UT,Pista, Kiskunhalas; YO2GL; HA7JZ; HG7CZ;
After radioing, entered the water to find out what kind of screws are needed to replace the 2 lost from the skeg to rudder mount. This way it has no support and no lower fasting. I don’t want to loose the rudder, so I’ll have to do something about it.
Evening: weakening wind, then calm. Few large ships in the distance.
Wind S, later W at Bf.0-1, then dead calm again.
Sailed 10 nm toward the north overnight.
2009.08.12 (day 1054)
1012 mb, 32°, 10LT weak Bf.1 N wind, later NE Bf.2-3. Heading north @ 2-2.5 knots.
Breakfast: spaghetti leftovers, last of the chocolate, crackers.
A.m.: threaded a rope under the rudder to be sure. Will reinstall bolts in port.
Reading, briefly listening to BBC.
Lunch: noodles and curried mushroom.
15UTC POS (35-45N 22-14E). 25 nm made good last 24 hrs. 14.292 MHz radio: HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; HA5ALE; HA8WV; HA8DN, Laci, Szeged; HA1DNF, Attila, Győr;
They told me today my battery was weak.
Forecast: weak, variable winds.
Dinner: scrambled eggs with onions (last of the eggs), crackers, muesli.
Evening: E Bf.2-3-2. Sailing N @ 2-2.5 knots.
Heavy ship traffic, many lights around me.
Not much sleep, brief naps – keeping watch.
The autopilot switched itself off – weak battery!! Lights or no lights, I turned off everything and am sailing half-wind on course with a set tiller. My multimeter is broke, unable to check the voltage.
Coffee and a little vodka.
2009.08.13 (day 1055)
Left Port Said 4 weeks, 28 days ago.
Sighted the Peloponnesos peninsula at sunrise.
1016 mb, 27-32°, Bf.1 E, Sailing north – good direction -at 1.5 knots
Breakfast and lunch: sardine turnovers.
A.m.: calm and heavy ship traffic.
The mainsail is in tatters, replaced with the one Jóska brought me
Later SW wind Bf.2, so sailing north @ 2-2.5 knots
15UTC POS (36-34N 22-09E), 50 nm made good past 24 hrs.
14.292 MHz radio: the battery must be weak, maybe that’s why Karesz, HA5CAR; Rudi, HA5HS barely heard me. HA1DNF, Attila heard me well, and relayed the wind forecast. Northerly headwinds will return by dawn tomorrow. Until then: weakening SW-W winds.
HA0DKA, Laci, Debrecen, 5,9;
The autopilot is running on the spare battery, but I often set the tiller or steer myself.
Dinner: noodles, canned beans.
Only a few ships in the bay at night, dozed off in the cockpit, all together 2.5 hours all night.
Didn't enter the bay because of the traffic. Who knows the habits of local fishermen?
Motoring from midnight, very slowly at 3 knots, I’m in no hurry: 16 nm to the harbor.
2009.08.14 (day 1056)
Zac Sunderland, (17, California, USA) sailed around the world (28,000 nm), in his 36 foot boat Intrepid in 13 months. He left when 16 from Marina Del Rey, Calif. He is the youngest yet to accomplish this feat. Broke the record of an 18 year old Australian, who set it in 1996. Now a young Englander is trying to break this new record. Basically it isn’t important who holds the record, but that teenagers too can sail alone on the oceans. The other side of the coin also is important: 70-80 year old people are capable to do it as well J
1017 mb, 26-32°, Bf.0-1 N
Morning: cleaned the cockpit, put away the sails, organized the cabin and took a good shower. Now I’m ready for the arrival.
Slow motoring at dawn, a few ships nearby, but the traffic isn’t too bad.
Tied up at 8LT in the morning at Kalamata Marina. Finally on dry land after 29 days of continuous sailing from Port Said, Egypt. It was a long stretch because of the many calms and headwinds.
24 100 Kalamata, Greece.
Tel: +30 (0) 27210 21054/21037, Fax: +30 (0) 27210 26079, VHF channel 69 “Kalamata Marina”
Call via VHF prior to entry. 250 berths, 25m maximum length (stern berthing), 3m maximum draft.
Water, electricity, showers and toilets, Wifi. Restaurants adjacent to marina.
Cafe/bar, chandlery, supermarket and launderette on site. 24 hr security and 60 ton travel hoist.
A southerly gale can create an unpleasant (but not dangerous) surge in the marina.
There is the original Port of Kalamata and a new marina just to the west of it.
The entering the marina can be difficult in strong southerlies. Berth where directed.
The shelter here is excellent. Clearance is much smoother if all the papers are in order.
The Port Police office is at the marina.
They’ve heard about me at the Marina, Dad wrote them so well, that they offered free space for CARINA. Thank you! This important, because there isn’t much money left and have to allocate carefully every euro. (Restaurants are out, even cheaper meals are 5 – 10 euros, that’s presently too much for me. In Egypt it was less than a dollar!).
The Marina called the local newspaper and we had a long talk in CARINA with Nicoletta, a very nice reporter lady. Talked also about my [sailing] style: that I let my hand hang into the water while steering, so that I feel the ocean with my fingers (and perhaps the ocean feels me as well) J
P.m.: bought 100 liters of potable water, waterproofing the bow section - there wasn’t too much water; laundry (T-shirt, towel); had about ½ bucketful of bilge water (midsection) - not bad; started charging all batteries: (flashlight, spare batteries, video camera etc).
Walking about in town: its beaches are several kilometers long. Went browsing in several large grocery stores to see what’s cheap J. Well, the euro prices are fairly high compared to Africa. Walked about in the old section of town, also visited a little church, several hundred years old. Small streets, pleasant mood. Walked on the town’s “promenade”. (Not many people speak English, but if a pretty girl is trying, one is likely to forgive small mistakes and slow, broken-up sentences). Bought some contact cement for the sails at the hardware store (6 euros). The long walk felt strange after the month-long idling, my foot still hurts, even now…
Evening: a neighboring italian yacht invited me for dinner: spaghetti, fried fish, fine wines. Thank you!
At dawn: interneting at a café until nearly 4 a.m. Ordered a small coffee (3 euro), this way I can use the Wifi as well. Cost 2 euros per hour! Where have the 0.40 USD cafes of Port Said gone?!
2009.08.15 (day 1057)
Webpage of an acquaintance: http://onkudu.com/ (The Adventures of Kudu). Nathan Withworth, who is rounding England in a 6 ½ meter boat, and perhaps sails farther next year!
Morning: patching the jib, laundry (towel, blanket). entered the water and repaired the loose lower mount of the rudder. (The fastening between skeg and rudder got loose because the two screws holding it fell out. The thread of one is OK, but the other one is not. I think one screw should be enough. Found a 4 mm stainless steel screw and put it in underwater). Selecting pictures and writing the log.
Went to the reception too, and the nice hostess lady translated what Nicoletta wrote about me in today’s paper. Half a page of quality reporting. Thank you!
P.m.: A swiss yacht, Yavana di Basilea is tied up next to me ( www.yavana.ch ), we talked some. This ship is similar to the Baloo I met in Fiji. Very nice and strong yacht. He loaned me his Adriatic Pilot for copying.
Recommended: Adriatic Pilot, by Trevor and Dinah Thompson (Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, east Coast of Italy and Albania), Imray
Everything is closed today because of the great holiday, Mary’s birthday. Couldn’t find a copier, but photocopied a few important pages at a hotel. Many thanks to the lady at the reception for her help!
Patching mainsail, cut it off till the first reef line, will use it in strong winds only from now on instead of reefing the new mainsail because it can not be reefed.
Evening: logwriting in the ship, then went over to the neighboring Italian ship again and drank Metaxa with captain Carlo. They’ll be leaving tomorrow and that was how we said good bye..
At night: interneting (Wifi) until 3 a.m. at the café in the Club.
2009.08.16 (day 1058)
Got up at 10 a.m. Read Jóska’s book-outline, added comments and wrote in it in one or two places (jointly written book). Then finally finished patching the mainsail! It’s nearly 40°!! Cold shower at the marina. Further log writing and laundry.
P.m.: Log writing and laundry. Sealing in the bow, one of the rope guides broke (back in Port Said marina). Great forces from large waves, old, corroded aluminum fitting. The other one also is getting weaker and the seal fell out from around it.
The port forward stay’s turnbuckle is completely rusted away and broke, the small clips holding the rope together after the eye, fell off. Installed a new one here (see photogallery).
Guy came over from the neighboring French yacht and helped me change the gear oil in the outboard motor. Last oil change was in Bali.
Evening: writing log, uploading videos and drinking coffee at the café.
At night: laundered my sleeping bag. It was time.
2009.08.17 (day 1059)
Morning: shopping for food, hardly any left in the ship. Went to three different large grocery stores and familiarized myself with the prices.
Wrote an article for the press, it took time as well.
Log writing. Packing things away in the ship.
I couldn’t climb the mast, the longest ladder is only 4 m here. Can’t reach it even from above. What to do?
Must take out the mast, but I need help for that, and there’s no tool for it either.
Laundering T-shirts and shorts.
Evening and night: neting at the café as usual.