Following 2016 I ended up setting up my personal business (www.das3Dstudio.de) in visualisation, 3D design and
360 degree photography. So unfortunately there was no time to go onboard.
Still in 2018 we are back.
Crossing the bay of Biskay had to be postponed by a year though, as my brother expressed the wish to join the boat with his family during the summer holidays. So it looks like a lively summer ahead.
More below. All in chronological order. Latest on top.
Here we go, first handcut video. Room for improvement, but no automatics here.
I used the fabulous open source program "Shotcut" for this. https://shotcut.org/
Our new homebuilt dinghy in action.
Spindrift 10 hull with Laser deck.
Sail, row or motor - lots of fun.
Music kindly provided by HookSounds: www.hooksounds.com, Artist: Nazar Rybak, Piece: Feel the waves
Cordemais (France) - Panschwitz (Germany
On our 1600km trip home we do take advantage of some sightseeing though. We visit the Chateau de Versailles and its gardens as well as the cathedral of Strasbourg. What a nice end to such a great trip.
All works flawlessly and around 10 in the morning we are back high and dry. What a lovely time we had. Fabulous weather and many nice memories. Now all there is left is to roll everything back into storage mode. We have to do it, but, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Lets stay healthy and fit.
When wrapping things up we discover one really bad thing though. Dry rot in the starboard bilge. So the next repair trip is scheduled for spring. Not quite as complicated as on the aft end but still annoying. I had hoped the major issues are about sorted....
Le Croisic - Cordemais (France)
I hardly can believe its the end of this long awaited cruise. The winds have died down a fair bit and we have the dinghy secured on the aft arch. Still a bit choppy out there.
We make a stupid mistake though, left over tasty but greasy pancakes for breakfast. Neptun surely likes those, at least the ones Eugen has eaten.
So the acupressure bands do not work very well today.
Apart from some squalls we are getting on well and drop the hook for a last night on the river. Tommorow morning Bernard and his towing rig are waiting for us.
Golfe du Morbihan (France)
In the morning we cast of the mooring ball and sail to the famous Golfe du Morbihan. A little bit akin to the Swedish skerry islands. A lot of rocky islands very close to each other with a lot of current (and a LOT of tiny fishing boats) in between. Unfortunately we have rain setting in inthe afternoon. Once its gone I reglue a window in the superstructure while Eugen fixes some wiring issues.
The next day is grey and we sail to Le Croisic to pick up another rigging screw which we had ordered. Unfortunately they did not get it. So we enjoy once more the beautiful Cafe de la Marie before catching some sleep.
Btw. We have an onboard TV lounge now. Eugen fixed the TV to one of the aft bunks bulkhead.
We rarely use it, but on a rainy day its nice to watch some DVD’s.
We spent another day and night here and wait for the force 8 to abide.
La Trinite (France)
The following day sees us heading to La Trinite, wonderful sailing in sunny weather. We grab a free mooring ball opposite of the harbour, just out of reach from the waiting harbour master launch.
When heading towards town we take a detour and right a capsized Hobie 16, much to the delight of the two buoys sailing it.
Surely they would do the same one day later in their life.
In port we admire the huge round the world trimarans and have nice drink.
Once more we use the big “boot” of our dinghy and ferry 160liter freshwater onboard.
Apart from that we pay a visit to "Greement Technique", but they do not have the proper toggles for our turnbuckles onboard either.
Sauzon/Le Palais (France)
The weather has cleared, the white horses seem to be back in their staples so we head to the small tidal harbour of Sauzon the next day. Mainly under engine, there is hardly any wind.
Sauzon is a very clean and well sheltered natural harbour on the islands north western shore. The water is so clean, it looks like floating on air. Many French look for oysters in the harbour as the water is gone.
Our small draft allows us going deep into the harbour and anchoring there. We still need to pay 13€ a night though. Nevertheless its well worth it.
The next day we hike almost all the way to the island capital of Le Palais. Unfortunately Eugens knee forces us to take the bus for some of the way. In Le Palais we have lunch, hunt down an anchor swivel and visit the very impressive Vauban fortress. While well maintained and with agood museum you still get a good impression how hard it must have been in the 17th century. In some of the cavern its very cool and damp. Guess soldiers needed to be quite tough back than.
After a little Pastis (French aniseed liquer) the bus takes us back to Sauzon.
Hoedic - Belle Ile (France)
Initially we wanted to explore the island today, but the forecast calls for rough weather in the next days so I take the decision to head for a sheltered anchorage on Belle Ile instead. Hoedic offers only limited sheltered and even that is surrounded by rocks.
A lunch stop at the south eastern tip of Belle Ile is nice before we tack up to Plage d’Herlin on the middle of the southern coast.
Its a pretty rough looking coast with big rock walls around and few sturdy cruising boats anchoring there. Very pretty, tough and pure nature.
We spent the next two days here. Relaxing, baking bread, reading, dinghy sailing just hang loose and enjoy.
Eventually we row to a small beach and head to the next village. Still to get there you need to scale the cliff with a rope. Not quite climbing, but surely not far from it.
Along the way we enjoy classic music trials in the chuch of Bangor and shop fresh food. The island towns are very tidy and most houses are very well kept.
Looks like a lot of holiday houses though. Whats nice is that they are all in local style and tastefully integrated into the landscape.
Shame we have no time to listen to a rockband in front of the local pub.
Tide is coming in and we cannot leave the dinghy alone too long.
Le Croisic - Suicinio - Hoedic (France)
The next morning we leave with a calm breeze towards the islands. Forecast is for fairly strong winds though, so we keep in mind that we might need a sheltered alternative. Around lunchtime we have put the second reef in and head for a small wave protected anchorage called “Suicinio” instead. The wind is showling but apart from that its fairly calm. Our tender behaves well while we are towing it.
Our new location sports a pretty impressive castle so we head to shore in the morning and take a look. Beautifully restored its home to an equally well done museum. Shame the kids are not with us anymore, they’d loved it. Lunch with Gallettes (Local pancakes) & Diabolo (Mint flavoured lemonade) to follow.
On the way back its the first time we are happy to have the dinghy wheels.
The afternoon sail to Hoedic is nice and relaxed with steady winds.
We anchor beside abeautifully restored “Lousiane” which Cressida and myself met 2016 in Brest.
Le Croisic (France)
Next day in the afternoon Eugen arrives by train, he’s exhausted but very happy to be onshore and meet Lady Rover & myself in such a pretty place.
He even managed to get us the needed engine spare part. A very friendly dealer (www.der-wassersportladen.de) removed it from a new engine for us! Incredible!
In the evening we celebrate our reunion with “Moules Frites” tasty, but the next two days we are spending a lot of time on the boat close to the smallest room on board.
On the day of the final of the soccer world cup fe feel a lot better, so we can safely head into town. France is in the final and so all bars are brimming with folks & excitement. We only get to see the game in a mirror. It’s far better to see all the people though. Two miuntes before the end they sing their anthem, the famous “Marseillaise” two minutes later they celebrate in the fountain and light up toches. What a joy to see everyone celebrating their “on et champion”!
We celebrate our regained health with pizza.
Le Croisic (France)
Time for a crew change and a surprise for innocent bystanders on the dock. The pile of stuff we empty out of the dinghies “boot” is quite impressive. Guess some think this is candid camera and a diver hands more bags from underwater through the hatch.
Around lunchtime I’m on my own again.
Time to finally install the new flooring. Fake wood, but nice on the feet and looking reasonably good without creating a huge amount of work.
When done the interior looks have vastly improved! The old damp & dirty carpet is history at last. I’m so happy!
Le Croisic (France)
The next few days the weather forecast is calling out rougher conditions, so that we only sail towards the huge beach between Le Croisic and La Turballe. Nice, but a nudist place as it turns out. My brother and his little son are not keen on this. Still I enjoy a first sailing afternoon with the dinghy. Good fun although the Laser Radial sail is a tad to big and the rudder a tad to small.
Julius joins me for a while before we head back to Le Croisic.
Sun still shining, we have breakfast in town in a small bakery. Tasty croissants & friendly service. I have wet feet though, broke the shearing pin on the outboard. The harbour falls well a dry! Good that Suzuki puts a spare under the bonnet and a oung employee of the town lends me some pliers.
Later we explore town and head to the big Aquarium. They have huge basins with sharks, others with penguins and a small nursery with tiny new born animals.
Well worth a visit!
Late afternoon we enjoy very tasty “Moule frites”. This time without following problems, that will come few days later.
In the evening I take the lllllong walk along the beach to La Turballe to get the car, so that they can leave tomorrow as planned.
Meanwhile my brother and Julius catch some crabs on the sandbank. Exciting stuff!
La Baule - Le Croisic (France)
In the morning we raise a bit earlier than usual weigh anchor and use the stiff brise for a lovely sail towards le Croisic.
Glad its high tide so we can stop at lunchtime for a 2 hour beach and dinghy sailing break. It seems not advisable to enter the small coves at low water though. Razorblade rocks in abundance everwhere.
A bit more sailing and we reach the very pitoresque port of Le Croisic. There are properly maintained mooring balls behind the sand bank and after motoring through the inlet (narrow and very strong current of up to 6kn) we catch one of them.
The evening is relaxed until some excitement sets in.
Final step another boat arrives, distracts the guy in the water and we approach him from his back
“My” officer grabs him by his shoulder and after some struggle and another officer jumping in the water we get him onboard the other vessel
So our new dinghy can even work as police boat! The guy actually tried to avoid a police control by jumping in the water.
La Baule (France)
The next day Julius (6 years old) gets to decide what to do and we head towards the huge beach of La Baule. It’s jam packed with people but is sandy and seems to fulfil childrens holiday dreams. I row them ashore, but stay put on the boat to keep an eye on things.
It’s scorching hot! So not a lot of things than sun bathing happen.
The evening sees me feeding alot of hungry mouths with home made pancakes. Lovely. How do you like yours? My all time favourite is lemon juice and sugar.
Paimboef - La Baule (France)
After a visit to the shore for provisioning (huge supermarket very close to the wooden playground/art piece) we picnic next to the big wooden art park and climb up on its many liitle towers. Nice, although I’d wish they turned it a little more in a childrens playground.
Around lunchtime we pull up the anchor, head down the river and a little past the huge bridge of St. Nazaire we hoist sails.
A first nice sail with 15kn true follows before we anchor in front of the little “Les Evens” island in the bay of La Baule for the night.
Few dinghy rides and and we have CousCous Franziska style on the beach.
When the family is asleep my brother joins me on deck for star gazing and talks. We rarely find time for this.
Cordemais - Paimboef (France)
Heading out of Cordemais channel is a bit exciting we have a strong current from behind, boats in front of us and only one engine very much off center. Needing speed for the rudder to work surely doesn’t help. So glad as we are finally on the big river.
The kids get their first lesson in steering and under motor we head towards Paimboef and hitch a buoy.
Shortly after arrival we test the new dinghy with the 4hp engine. Two kids and one adult do not get it up on a plane. Still we have fun, but I am contemplating attest with a 6hp engine
The next morning Bernard orders everyone on the bows and lifts Lady Rover gently with his hydraulic chariot. About 1200m to the slipway. The kids are impressed and after about an hour we are afloat. Horray.
The little family heads to Nantes, still got to adjust the engines myself. To my great dismay the portside engine does not start again.
Two days fixing things does not help and on the third day a I call a mechanic. Turns out that the electronic revolution sensor is damaged and that its not available in Europe at all. So, after a big session of shouting out a lot of bad language we leave with only one engine.
I’m glad that my brother and family did use the time though to explore Nantes and the area. The drooping boat and the famous mechanical steampunk elephant are amongst them. See pix below!
Early afternnoon and the family arrives. Lots of stuff to put onboard, lots of excitement for the kids (4&6). Glad they did sleep at my cousins place in Paris for a while though, especially as Marie is 7th month pregnant. Great that she joins us anyway. Not everyone would dare that.
The evening we head to the “Ancre” a near by pizza place. Unfortunately we learn that it has odd opening times. Pizza baker is only around Friday and Saturday and they usually close at 20:00hours in the evening. Odd for a restaurant at a quite nice location.
So instead its a pizza “container” in St. Etienne de Montluc (next to the big Super U market). If you promise pizza to the kids you got to live up to it!
At least the pizza is very tasty there!
The night lets us experience the only strong thunderstorm of the holidays. Nice to be still ashore for this.
The morning the rain stops & the forecast looks good. No more rain for the coming weeks.
Whats pretty bad though are the transoms. The joiner I had asked to take a look at it opened them up and now its not a lot of time to fix it.
Unfortunately his offer I double of what we had talked about in spring. Guess I should work on my negotiating skills, or prepare to do all work myself in the future.
If there would not be my brother with his family bound towards Cordemais soon I’d choosen this in any case.
Clever way to get the max out of the client. I’ll end up paying the max and doing half of the work myself.
The next few days see me unloading the car, cleaning the boat and taking everything from a storage status to fully operational and fixing lots of things along the way.
3 days later the joiner starts replacing the transom panel and fixing the keel while I focus on replacing transom stringers and laminating stuff. Luckily the weather stays hot and dry and I can keep working almost without interruption. After the first week the woodwork and lamination is terminated which leaves enough time to laminate and paint everything before the family arrives.
Despite this I still have engine issues to fix. One is that the upper shift lever can not be properly moved on the starboard engine and another that the port engine fails to start.
So happy that there are still some kind folks around. Gilles an ex merchant-navy mechanic lends me a hand and at least on the starting we find the issue. It had been wired with reverse polarity when rewiring the charging side in spring. Too bad, but we did A LOT of work on this in spring and people do and can make mistakes.
On the gear lever it turns out that the bracket hardest to get at is stuck. Glad its not the gearbox though. Felix from LNS manages to free it. Good job. Thanks to both!
Few days short from leaving for France the paint on the new dinghy is dry, the bumper (1.5inch Garden hose !) is attached and I’m getting ready for 1600km with my trusty little Ford Ka.
The Spindrift turned out well, but is a bit overweight due to the added 100g/m² glasscloth. Should have used 4mm plywood instead of 6.
We’ll see how it will behave on the water.
Sunday morning I hit the road at 6 in the morning. GO WEST until the sun stops shining and you hit the Atlantic shore. Cool! Something I always wanted to do.
The car is jam packed though with tools, spares, the repaired genset, the new genset box and dinghy gear. It’s a lot. No place for passengers this time around.
My brother will bring the dinghy on their bigger car in about two weeks time.
The road takes me passed Verdun in France where I meet up with Cressida for Coffee & Ice Cream. We both really enjoy seeing each other. It’s been a while!
At nightfall I pass Paris and in the morning a 1 o’clock I reach the boat. It’s raining ;-( and I’m exhausted. Not 21 year old anymore I guess.
While we are not at the boat right now, still proper "boaty" things are happening.
Apart from salvaging the Genset by replacing the rusting rubbish switchpanel and buying a 1959 built Pfaff 130 sewing machine for all the canvas work ahead, franziska has built a rathe peculiar dinghy.
Two weeks building time until the first splash, horray!
Peculiar you ask? Well its a Laser Deck on a Spindrift 10 hull. The aim is to be able to use her with oars and engine and also use her as a fun sailing dinghy.
Fran loves Laser sailing, so beeing giftet an old Laser helps. All fittings and the deck are resused and combined with a 3.20m Spindrift hull. Add a big deck hatch up front and a main bulkhead and you have a great vehicle to ferry supplies dry to the boat and enjoy proper dinghy sailing once in a while.
Have a look below. Two weeks building time. Now I'll get into finishing everything off.
One thing will change, my hatch looks nice but is not tight. I'll fix a yacht hatch instead.
Friday 30th March 2018 - Monday 09th April 2018
Friday morning Eugen arrives by plane and after a brief coffee at Cafe Croix Morzel we jump right in!
Georg graps the pressure washer and hoses the whole boat down until shes a clean and pretty Lady again.
Eugen starts rewiring the charging electrics and batteries, while I start replacing the shrouds. After an unknown number of years its about time to do this.
The list of works is long:
Of course there are the usual surprises, like a to short tibe for the wind generator (I had planned initially for a different model), delivery of the wrong type of Sikaflex for the windows,, a
rotten transom reinforcement...
Still, with a lot of elbow grease and persistence we progress well. It helps not to be alone in this!
In the evenings we got invited twice by our host and now friend (!) Michelle and her family. Her brother himself went to sea to catch a huge tray of delicious Oysters for dinner. Perfect!
Michelle showed us the full warm heart she has. Thank you so much!!
By saturday most jobs are completed and we are about to leave as in Nantes our tire gets damaged on the curb. Bummer, it's raining. Saturday and 19:30. So a while later we find ourselves back onboard. There are no tire services operational before monday morning.
Sunday sees me taking the lower leg of the portside outboard to check why the gear shift leaver is stuck. Turns out the lower leg, its impeller as well as the gear shift rod are fine. Must be in the upper works. I'll have to give it another shot in June.
Monday morning we get our wheels fixed and have a loong ride back home. Thankfully its not boring as we have another friendly passenger from paris to Offenbach.
Thursday 29th March 2018
Its Thursday morning and way to early but we need to get going. Roughly 1500km of road ahead.
The car is jam packed with gear from battery terminals to a wind generator, epoxy, paint,.... Oh and we share our ride, so we need to leave some space for a passenger and his luggage too.
Last night I received some very welcomed and friendly support by Mr Ehlert, the local rep of Multicontact/Stäubli, a company specialising in solar cables and the specialised high amp connectors associated.
He was so kind to crimp waterproof connectors onto the wind generator cables. Thank you!
We are lucky, traffic is low and our passengers between Dresden and Reims are very friendly and interesting people. Thanks to Nina we know now the details on what cheese the French and Germans prefer. They are not the same. French prefer the (usually better!) yellow, runny and smelly types.
The third passenger is a bit of a bore, but you can not be always lucky.
Around 23:00 hours we arrive in Cordemais and are greeted by our very friendly AirBnB host Michelle despite the late hours.
Spring is approaching and I am looking so much forward to join Lady Rover again.
In early April my boyfriend Eugen, my twinbrother Georg and myself will head for Cordemais to revive Lady Rover from her loong sleep.
In May I plan to built a new sailing dinghy to replace the "non"-sailing dinghy we have currently. The base will be the Spindrift 10 by bandb yacht design (http://bandbyachtdesigns.com/spindrift), but mine will be modified by reusing a lot of parts from an old Laser dinghy which I have been gifted by a friend.
Further I plan to built a generator box with table for the cockpit, which will allow easier starting and maintenance of the genset.