At this moment (9.7.2018) we are floating at the guest harbour of Gdansk. Jussi has just set the presso coffee coming and we’ve cleaned a bit. Ville left back to Finland a couple of hours ago. Our ears are filled with the noise of the house project near by.
It feels like I need to take a breath for a while. Last few days have been hectic.
Me, Jussi and our friend Ville cast off the ropes from our home harbour in Helsinki a week ago. The weather was cloudy and they had promised rain. I can’t say that we were thrilled. The atmosphere was somewhat waiting, a bit tense.
Our goal was to sail directly to the Danish island of Bornholm, several days away in the best case scenario. We hadn’t been at open ocean for days in a row with Liberta, so we were not sure how it would go. Plan B was to go to Gotland in Sweden if something went wrong.
Our mission was to test out the sailing of several days in a row and test and practice the use of our new gear at the same time.
The first two days were rainy. The moisture was making it’s way everywhere. And the heater was not working, which didn’t make things easier.
Little by little Gotland was getting bigger in the chart plotter screen. Otherwise there was only the horizon to be seen. And occasional cargo ships.
Hurrah, The Windvane Is Working!
On the third day the sun came out and not only cleared the skys, but also our minds. The moist surfaces were drying and all our clothes were out hanging. Cold and wet suddenly changed into a warm July.
Perhaps, at this stage at the latest we realized we can do this. And we felt as if we could do it for weeks, not just days.
Another big mood booster was the windvane. When we got it working it kept it’s course like a clock! More accurately than the tiller pilot, who could now take a rest for a while.
It was time to decide what to do with going to Bornholm. We gave it a chance for a few hours. The wind was going around the tip of Öland making the wind as opposite as it could. We continued south and tried again a few times further away from Öland. But it was so straight headwind all the way that we counted that it would take too long. Last summer Ville had to fly home almost directly after coming to Gotland. We wanted to have at least some time ashore as well. So we decided to go directly to Gdansk in Poland.
The Big Waves of Poland
The harsh weather on the fourth day added excitement. That night I couldn’t sleep in the front cabin because of the noise coming. At last I decided to give a lecture for the watch. Why don’t you do something, like roll in the genoa! When I climbed up I met two serious faces and a frisk wind.
Genoa was already as small as a napkin. The wind had risen fast during Ville’s watch and now Jussi and Ville were planning on reefing the main sail. Luckily we were training it yesterday as we adjusted the new reefing lines. But now the wind and the waves were of another class.
My watch was from six in the morning till ten. I was so tired I was about to fall asleep. But the huge waves rolling over the banks of Poland kept me awake. They tried to turn Liberta and on some surfs I felt as if we were going sideways. But our dear windvane kept us on course, luckily. Well, as far as we know, it has gone around the world once and several times over the Atlantic ocean, so we figured he was only waking up. At first I was very nervous, but as I saw we kept our course, I just decided to take what ever is coming.
The same kind of weather lasted almost to the end. We weren’t able to go to Gdansk after all. The port was closed due to the Baltic Sail event. Fortunately there was space at Gdynia. Arriving there after five days out at the sea felt amazing. As well as the coming to port drink! 🙂
We spent two days going around Sopot and Gdansk. Yesterday we motored our way here to Gdansk. Now were planning on a two day trip to Warsaw. The summer vacation has just begun!
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