Sunday, June 2, 2024

Cyclades Spring Sail

On Saturday, May 25th 2024 my brother Andreas and I met our crew in Lavrio harbor north of Cape Sounion for our Cyclades cruise. In the spacious myMarket we bought a lot of provisions to be delivered to our boat. Then we went to Olympic Marine 3km south of Lavrio port to deal with the check-in procedures at Hermes Yachting

About 14:00 we boarded our catamaran Zoe and checked her condition. Besides some small items, which were repaired instantly, everything was in good working order. My crew moved into the 4 double cabins and started to prepare our first dinner on board: 




From left to right:
chief technician Felix Huegli,
chief cook Michael Marx,
first helmsman Alois Doerlemann,
fitness specialist Shirani Ediriweera,
assistant cook Andreas Nagler,
skipper Rupert Nagler,
co-skipper Kurt Drexler.






In a 6 bft rather strong Meltemi we left Olympic Marine next morning, rounded the south of Makronisos and set sail with 1st reef to the northern cape of Kea island. As the northerly wind intensified, we reduced sail again to 2nd reef and sailed south east to Fikiadas Bay on the west coast of Kithnos, where we anchored with 25 kn wind in the crowded bay and the crew started preparing dinner. Later we moved to a much more quiet anchor place in Apokrousi Bay and spent a silent night tranquillized by some gin tonics prepared by our barman Felix.

Next morning we started north, rounded the lighthouse Akra Kefalos at the northern tip of Kithnos and continued east with 2nd reef in a strong Meltemi. When the wind grew stronger up to 8 bft we reduced sail again and headed for Delfini Bay on the west coast of Syros, where we anchored in strong gusty winds. During our careful anchoring maneuver the gearbox of the anchor winch broke with a loud bang, but our anchor held tight secured by the strong bridle. We reported the event to the Hermes charter base and arranged for a repair for the next day in near Finikas port. We had a nice dinner: a warm vegetable soup and Thai style red lentils exceptionally prepared by our chefs. Strong gusts swung our catamaran, but the anchor held on during the night.




Tuesday 28th morning we enjoyed a healthy "geriatric porridge" with fruits and honey prepared by our fitness expert Shirani and after a refreshing swim we raised the anchor carefully by hand and motored with nearly no wind to the port of Finikas, where the friendly harbormaster Nikos (Tel: +30 693 714 7248) assigned a practical mooring place at the head of the harbor wall. Soon a skillful technician arrived and mounted a new gearbox for our anchor winch and we were astonished to hear that the same gearbox was repaired only a month ago. Our crew explored the small village, bought some supplies and bread at Ntanos bakery  and visited the Kafenion. We had a rather negligible dinner at ORA Baresto and spent a quiet night in harbor.



Next morning our chefs bought fresh fish from the local fishermen and then we continued with weak south easterly winds to the famous Kastro Bay on the east coast of Sifnos island. We anchored peacefully in clear turquoise waters, admired the view to Sifnos Kastro and the fresh fish prepared by our ingenious chefs.






Having slept through a quiet night we explored the Castle, the Church of the Seven Martyrs and the nice village with lots of bars. Before noon we lifted the anchor and set sail northwest to the east coast of Kithnos, where we dropped the anchor in quiet Levadakia Bay and enjoyed the evening swimming, dinner and drinks.


After an energy generating QiGong training directed by Shirani and a refreshing swim we rounded the northern tip of Kithnos again and sailed in 3-4 bft southerly winds passing to starboard Akra Tamelos - the southern tip of Kea - and finally south Makronisos. At 16:00 we moored at our starting place in Olympic Marine, where we refueled by a tanker crew and the boat was checked by the ambitious crew of Hermes Yachting.




We spent the last night on board and left the boat on Saturday morning, 1st of June 2024. 

For me it was a very pleasant cruise with a most ambitious crew on a sturdy catamaran in beautiful Greek waters.

We sailed 36 hours and logged 180 sm in 6 days.
You may download our track in gpx-format
or view it directly on GoogleMaps.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Experiences on board of a Container Ship

On Sunday noon, March 17th 2024, I went on board of M/V Katharina Schepers at the CTB Burchard Kai in the port of Hamburg, Germany. I was welcomed by second officer Konstantinov and captain Skrychevskyy, both from Ukraine. I was happy to move into the spacious owner's cabin with large bed, own shower, toilet and desk.

KATHARINA SCHEPERS (IMO: 9584865) is a Container Ship and is sailing under the flag of Portugal. Her length overall (LOA) is 151.72 meters, her width is 23.4 meters and her draft is 8.0 meters. She was built in 2012 in China, max. speed is 19 kn, engine power about 9000 kW, carrying capacity is 13031 t or about 500 standard containers and a crew of 12 men.

In the afternoon we moved to the Eurogate container terminal and next morning to Tollerort East to pick up some empty old cooling containers. At 14:00 we reached the western gate of the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal in Brunsbuettel and left the NOK at 23:00 in Kiel

On Tuesday 19th we passed Storeboelt bridge at sunrise and docked at Aarhus port in Denmark at noon. 




 Early next day with heavy fog we left Aarhus and reached Goteborg in Sweden at 16:30, got a full load of heavy crude oil from a anker ship. After midnight we left Goteborg and passed Helsingoer castle at sunrise. At noon our cook Mejeres from the Philippines served us an exceptional meal: oxtail soup, halibut steak, fried potatoes, mixed salad and some fruits.

Next morning at 5:00 we reached Gdansk in Poland, spent the whole day to get fully loaded and left at 21:15 for Norrkoeping in Sweden south of Stockholm where we docked on Sunday 23rd at 08:15. Half of the containers were unloaded and we left at 17:00 in heavy fog.

At sunrise next morning we passed north west of Ekeroe at clear sky with -3°C and a nice breakfast with scrambled eggs, Emmentaler cheese and grilled sausages. After noon we docked in the container port of Gavle north of Stockholm. During the night I visited the engine room with engineer Badillo from the Philippines and a lot of snow fell. 

After finishing loading operations we left Gavle on time at 10:00. We passed some ice sheets floating in the narrow channel and started our long journey back to Kiel.




After passing Oeland to starboard at noon of Wednesday with a lunch of tasty fish-soup and stir-fried beef filet and vegetables we passed the narrow and dangerous Kadetrinne northeast of Rostock at 04:00 on Thursday 28th. 

At 11:00 the pilot for Kiel came aboard. He changed at the eastern lock of the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal with 2 special pilots, who steered the boat carefully to Brunsbuettel, where we left the NOK at 20:15 turning north, passed Cuxhafen and then the famous Elbe lightship at midnight, and finally docked at the vast container port of Bremerhaven at 03:00 on Friday 29th, March 2024.

After a short sleep I left Katharina Schepers in the morning and enjoyed a nice day visiting Bremerhaven, went on to Hamburg to reach my flight back to Vienna.

Sailing 2200 sm during 12 days on board of this impressive container ship I got a lot of experiences. Large ships may use 20 ship-length to come to a standstill, so for example 4sm. Now I know, that it is very wise to always give way to an approaching large cargo ship, even though according to the COLREGs you would have the right of way as a sailing boat. 

You may download our track in gpx-format

or view it directly on GoogleMaps .

Saturday, July 22, 2023

S/Y Sea of Joy has been Sold

On Friday, July 21th 2023 we sold our boat to a very competent Swiss sailing family.


For 20 years we were very happy on board of Sea of Joy. We sailed her over 34,900 sm in all Mediterranean seas.


Now we wish the new owners many joyful cruises and a lot of happy experiences.




So we renamed this blog from "Sailing Sea of Joy" to "Joy of Sailing" to reflect all our sailing experiences in the past and future.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Sea of Joy Starts New Season 2023

As Sea of Joy is for sale now, we wanted to make sure everything is working ok.
After servicing the motor, changing oil, oilfilter, dieselfilter, and gearbox-oil we mounted 2 new V-belts and a new impeller.
For the stove we mounted a new gas pipe and a new regulator.

On Wednesday, May 25th my brother Andreas and I started south via Piran into Umag in Croatia, where at the harbormaster's we payed the boat arrival notification fee for 2023. It amounted to 87.60 Eur and is valid until 2023-12-31.
As Croatia is now member of Schengen there is no need for European boats to declare entry or exit anymore.
And the currency is now EUR, so it is much easier to sail in Croatia alltogether.


With nice northeasterly wind we sailed south, passing Novigrad and finally anchored in Uvala Sv.Martin, where we enjoyed the fine weather for 3 days swimming, working and reading.

Sunday 29th we sailed back north and without declaring exit for the first time we left Croatia again, rounded Savudrija lighthouse and moored again safely at our mooring place in Marina Izola. Everything worked fine and contentedly we had a nice dinner at Gostilnja Doro in the quiet village-center of Izola.

We sailed 11h and logged 50sm in 4 days.
You may download our track in gpx-format:
 or view it directly on GoogleMaps: