20 June 2000 Esbjerg, Denmark - Departure
John, in his beautiful Junker 26 called Amanda, followed me to the
northern tip of Fanø. When I looked back, watching him until he was just a
small dot, I was wondering when I'm going to see him and that approach
At the time of my departure, I was fed up (with) spending money. But my
dad insisted, maybe wisely so, that I needed a life raft. (And also paid
for it). I made two large compartments in the cockpit. One engine
compartment and the other, well, you can never have too much storage space
available. (At least not on a 22 ft sailboat). The boat had four beds, of
which two were quarter berths. I kept one and have made use of the space
for a card table (big), a smaller pantry and cupboards. Lots of cupboards.
I installed an 80 litre water tank and all kinds of other things, I
thought would come in handy. And to this date everything has been working
the way it was intended.
So how big should a boat be and what do you need? No one is probably going
to question that seaworthiness and your personal safety are the most
important factors? Though that is rarely the first thing you hear when
people are commenting on my boat. More is it the total lack of comfort (in
their eyes). And I truly am very small when I lie beside most other boats.
From my limited experience, I think that if the boat is seaworthy and your
personal safety is OK, it's more the level of comfort you seek and size of
your wallet that should decide what boat size to buy. But the first two
factors remain the most important. I have seen lots of big boats on board
which I wouldn't have felt as safe as I do on Trojka due to (their, edit)
construction or condition.
I heard rumours that during the (Gulf, edit) War in Kuwait, the GPS
signals were turned off and researched this for myself: The signals were
not turned off, but were on the contrary sent out without any error
signals to actually make them much more precise. The American soldiers
were equipped with small Garmin GPS's. Quite basic models that most of us
use as back-ups (today, edit), but (such, edit) rumours are hard to
I venture to suggest that it is easier to operate a bigger boat than a
smaller one. When the wind is rising, sailing a small boat is somewhat
harder and associated with more work. Quite often I have noticed bigger
boats passing me with ease, while I was working hard just to be able to
continue. A small boat is easily influenced by sea and wind. If I walk on
the deck while sailing, the boat changes direction due to the changed
weight distribution. I have tried sailing with only a tightly reefed
mainsail in a strong breeze and not being able to get the boat to go by
windpilot/autopilot - without my weight on the opposite side. Because of
this, I have been forced to sit in the cockpit the whole time, which has
been causing me annoyance.
I'm starting to have my doubts regarding my Ullermatic wind steering. It
looks as if it has its limitations, on my boat at least. And it is
extremely f...... noisy. It makes a noise every time it hits the outer
stoppers, which means all the time. I have got to buy some rubber chocks
to make it stop.
Because of the weather I went to Amrum and stayed there for a little week,
before arriving at Heligoland.