Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wale, 10 m high waves, storm.

Light show in Atlantic

I spent one week in Spain, where I waited for good weather forecast to head for the Accores. I left alone out to the Atlantic ocean. It was good wind and nice weather when i left. In the middle of night i reached the shipping line where all commersial ship go, the wind increased a lot and got 3 meter high waves. It is unbelivebele many ships in the line, I think saw 20 of them, and they go close to each other. I switched on every light on my boat, and drove slalom between all the big boats. It was not easy because of the waves and wind. Sometimes i thought i had time to go in front of them, but i had to turn and go behind them many times. It took me three ours to cross the shipping line. After this i got the wind from behind and i just followed the wind.

Three days later i saw two whales far away, i run down after my camera and try to movietake them, but they was gone. People in spain told me not to worry about whales, they was not like dolphins who came close to the boat. The only danger with whales was if i came betwen a mom and baby, or drove on one, then they maybe could attack. They told me it never happens. Few minutes later i hear a high blowing sound in the front of my boat. I turned around and saw a big whale was up breathing, it was longer and more wide than my boat. I was sure that i would crash with the wale and held on to the boat, my heart knock like hell. But it went under water again and i didnt hit him.... Now what??? Will he attack me??????? Where is the other one??????? Did he swim away??? Put on one more safety line on me and start to movie, maybe he came up again. 30 second later it come up 10 -15 meter from my boat and swam beside me. I started to movie and tried to look for the other whale, still scared for what they could do. The wale swum together with me for about 4 -5 minutt and disapeared, the other wale i never saw again. The movie was not so good, to afraid to get good focus :)


Had a dream to sail in sunny and nice weather, but most of the time i had weather like this (movie). Had one night with lightning, one with rain, few our with big whawe over 10 meter (picture under), and of course one day without wind.


After 9 days i was 130 nautic mile from Acores, 3 of these day i fight against the wind in front, some days i only get 30 nautic mile a day. It was terribele, big waves and much wind, i dont want to give up. But on the 9 day, it start to blow up like hell, and the wind come from west. I take down all the sail and let the boat just follow the wind. But at night it get more and more wind, and bigger and bigger waves, it was so dark that i couldnt see the front of my boat. The waves hit the boat all time and shower the boat, and the wind make at terrible sound on the mast, it was like at lady was up there and screaming for life.
After trying calling up ship for long time, i finaly get answer, it was a american company ship. I ask him abaut the weather, will it be more wind or smaller wind. He said " What a hell are you doing here? you just turn the boat and get to hell away from here. The wind is going to be more bad, and the stom will be for 3-4 days, and after that it still will be wind from west"
Then i understand that i never will come to acores in time, so i turn the boat and start sailing to Madeira.
I was so sad..... friend should wisit me on Acores, Tom should come and sail with me to Canada, my brothers visum in Canada was going out soon.... everything was shit..

Listen to short wave radio, have a deal with Sylvia og Arne, og Hans i Sverige that they should tell me abaut the weather. Was difficult when i could not tolk to them, only listen. They have to guess where i was, and tell abaut the weather where they belive i was. But listen to this amatour radio one our every day was the highpoint, sailing many days and didnt tolk to nobody, then it was lovely to hear some people i know.

No women here :)

After the storm i start to be empty for sigaretts, and i had only bad english food on box. I call up a ship(Container ship, think it was 300 feet long) on my vhf and told them my problem, in the beginning they dont whant to help me, so i had to lie and say i dont have much food left (it was sigaretts i want) Then they help me, the ship turn and drive 20 nautic mile back to me. It was to big waves to go close to me, so they put the bags on a 200 meter long rope after theyr boat, and i must drive after and find the rope ( it was not easy, big waves and dark and in speed)) and grab the bag and cut the rope. When i after long time sudenly get the bag i was in heaven, its the best present i ever hav in my life. I think they understand it was the sigarett i want, it was not much food in the bag :)

Present in atlantic :)

After 13 days at sea, i finaly see Madeira.

My family on visit.

My brother Rune visum in Canada was going out, so he must take plane to Madeira. He is working there now and will live on my boat.

Me and my brother in Madeira

I am now home in Norway now and work. Dont know when i go back and sail, need more money before i can sail. its not cheap to sail :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Finally Across Bay of Biscay

Bad bad bad weather all time when i was in Brest. This bad weather in south England (picture) moved over to Biscay. Much wind and 10 meter high waves

I didn’t like to be in the marina in Brest, it was far away from town and people there don’t speak English. Use the time there to train and fix my boat. And i spend a lot of time with Arne and Sylvia from Sweden, i call them mommy and daddy now :) They help me with everything and make dinner to me every day, lovely people.

Arne and Sylvia

Marina in Brest, picture over and under is taken from same place, higher tides here than in Norway :)

I get tired of all these codes you have to enter everywhere in the marina, if you use the shower, you must enter a 8 digit number to get in, and inside you must enter a new 8 digit number to shower. Same when you need to wash clothes, surf the internet. And it was always something wrong with the system. Call the marina for the "codemarina"

Arne and Sylvia look at a big triamararan.

French people picking snails on the beach.

After three weeks in Brest the weather was good enough to leave, wind from north and small waves. Was leaving with Arne and Sylvia, but they get problem with the autopilot and have to drive slow. After one day with them i drive from them and sail alone.

The weather was good, but i was little waves, and i get seasick again, 1 day i feel bad, 2 day i throw up everything i eat, last time i throw up like this, was when i was 15 year and drink home made vodka. 3 day i lie only in bed, have no power left. All i was thinking was "it will go over, it will go over".... And it did :)


The last day I feel fine and I see dolphins jumping in front of my boat, it was fantastic, have only seen them on movie. Some people told me I should talk and make movements if I saw dolphins, and I did that, then they jumped more and more. Feel that was my present after I was seasick for 3 days. :)

Saw Spain for first time

I am proud and happy, I crossed Biscay alone :)

La Coruna in Spain.

La Coruna

Some crazy people i met from Sweden, they try to go to England from Azores, but they met bad weather. After trying to cross the bad weather for 4 days, they gave up and go down to La Coruna. It was not what i wanted to hear, i should go to Azores :) The man to the left on the picture have special hobby, he fish all kind of fish and eat them, but home he have a pool with expensive carp fish, one might cost over 1000 euro...... crazy :)
He has my e mail address, he said "maybe I get bored in Sweden and I come to sail with you" Wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

Every sailor I meet, I ask them about how they do different things. Here they draw for me what I should do it if I meet a storm. Maybe danger to do what they say, it was consume at lot of beer here. :)

A German on the neighbor boat invited me for some schnapps. He work one month and sail one month.

Now I wait for better weather again and fix a few things on my boat, there is always something to do on a boat.

4. Biscaya, rescued by Helicopter

After 8 days in Falmouth, time had come to head for La Courana in Spain. Checked with locals and a weather specialist from Norway, forecast was good – maybe a few calm days towards the end. The voyage started well, weather was in my favour. Managed to do a few repairs on the boat and bought lots of good food. The wind picked up at nightfall and the waves grew larger and larger. Took down most of my large sails. During the day the wind picked up even more and I ran into some thick fog. Did not sleep the night before and I started getting seasick and feel bad. The plan was to sleep during the day, but due to the fog I could not. That evening the wind and fog increased even further so I decided to head for France about 100 nautical miles away. I did not have a map for France, I thought I would radio in and have the coastguard send a boat with a map or guide me in to shore. When I was about 40 nautical miles from shore, I called someone on the radio and expressed that I needed help to get to shore. Unfortunately, French people are not that fluent in English, but they understood that I needed help to get to shore.

Tired after 2 days without sleep..

I expected a small vessel that would come and help me, instead a supertanker (picture) came up next to me. There were a lot of people on the bridge that waved to me and told me to climb the ladder hung on the side of the tanker, I thought OK. I guess this is the way they do it. I climbed the ladder and expected someone to tie my boat to theirs and tow it behind. After coming to my senses and relaxed a bit down below deck, I went upstairs to see the captain, I got the feeling that he was surprised to see me up already. I asked him about my boat and was told they left it behind in the ocean, not often this happens but I could not believe my own ears. I just about freaked out and demanded that he return to pick up my boat. To my great dismay he had been given instructions to rescue me and not my boat, and by the way he was en-route to Spain. Another reason was that there was a helicopter on the way to pick me up in 20 minutes. I asked them to call the coast guard and explain to them that I was not dying and that I had asked for help for me AND my boat and I wanted them to bring me back to pick up my boat. They refused to return to pick up the boat but after a long discussion they agreed to contact the navy to find out if they would pick up the boat. I think their attitude was that the boat would eventually reach shore or sink.

The mood on board improved when I found out that the navy would pick up the boat. Here is the captain and some of his crew from the Philipines.
After a while, a huge military helicopter arrived and lowered a rescue personnel and a stretcher, they waved me over and placed me on the stretcher and hoisted me up to the helicopter (things like this only happens in movies, unfortunately I was the star of the show). Once inside the I was placed on a hospital cot and the doctor gave me an intravenous injection and they worked on me as if I was seriously injured. When things calmed down a bit they finally realized that I was not seriously injured :)

The doctor and the rescue person.

There were a few jokes when they realized I was in good shape. They wondered if they should fill the intravenous bag with Vodka and take me downtown to the bars. :)

Doctors and nurses that looked after me in the hospital. Was there for 24 hours, slept all the time.

A representative from the Norwegian embassy came and got me at the hospital and helped me with a hotel room. He explained that at the same time I made the emergency call, a fisherman had an accident on another boat and received a serious head injury, that is when the misunderstandings started, I can recall now that all doctors asked me where in the head I got hit. :)

The guy from the embassy kept in contact with the navy to hear if they found my boat.

Finally, after thre days, my boat arrived on shore. The navy found it about 50 nautical miles from where we left it. It was three nervewrecking days, I thought the boat was ransacked, but it was still in one piece and nothing was missing. :)

This is the vessel that picked up my boat.

Camera shy Navy staff. I had to sign a rather large pile of papers, the word insurance was mentioned more than once. The embassy person told me not to worry, I should not have to pay anything – it was all a misunderstanding.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Contact me.

E mail.
Stig Monstad

Monday, April 23, 2007

3. Alone to Falmouth.

When we got to Newhaven, Tom had to return to Norway. From there I continued alone. Had a lump in my throat when I thought about the traffic and the fog. Decided I would sail a day or two and then go to shore and rest for a while.

When I left Newhaven I was hit by fog that lasted the entire day and night. I think the fog was worse than the storm I went through, I had to stay up all night watching for other boats due to all the traffic in the English channel. Have to get a radar as soon as possible.

Lighthouse and foghorn, first time I heard the foghorn I thought a ship was approaching, and that the horn was a warning me to stay away. In panic, I looked in all directions an expected in any second that a large tanker would crash in to me, my heart got quite a workout...

The fog lifted the next day, no wind and I had to go by motor to Isle of Wight to a place where it said on the map there were places to tie up the boat. Arrive there and found a buoy near the beach that I tied the boat to. Crashed on the floor to finally get some sleep, and was abruptly awakened by a fisherman three hours later. He was there to get his lobster pot that was tied to the buoy OUCH! Took a while to get the boat untied, the fisherman shook his head and rolled his eyes the entire time, took me an entire hour to get my anchor unstuck. Felt like a freak show to the people watching it all unfold on the beach, left in a HURRY… :)

Arrived in a marina on the other side of the island, lots of expensive boats there. (See picture of the boat next to mine) Was assigned a location, not much room , two people tried… to help me with the ropes, ended up crashing into another boat. The weather was great so all other boaters were sitting on deck watching it all unfold, pretty embarrassing… Luckily there was no damage to either, my Norwegian pride got a bit damaged that’s all… decided to spend the rest of the day in my cabin, was my birthday and all, very lonesome – worst birthday party EVER !!! :)

Isle Of Wight.

Lots of traffic in the English Channel, saw up to 10 boats at a time in addition to all the fishing boats.
Realized that all the fishing boats like to be ahead of me so that I had to yield to them, think they did that to annoy me.... There is only me here but for some reason they place themselves, so that I have to turn all the time...Of course there was a fishing boat ahead of me again, to the right, so I decided to get up front in the boat so they would realize that there were nobody steering the boat. They started yelling at me to turn, but I pretended not to hear them. They started waving their arms but I just stood there watching them. After a wile they raised their gear , yelled a few profanities at me and let me pass without me having to turn my boat. I was impressed with my tactics, wanted to show them a “select finger”, but figured out that they would probably board me and beat me up. Spoke with people in Falmouth and understood that fishermen like to irritate sailors

Another Sunset.

Finally in Falmouth.

Some people are extremely friendly, a couple I met helped me with boat repairs, shuttled me around town and even helped me with repairs in the boat. Allan is 60, partied like a 20 year old :)

Wanted to have lights, antenna, and Windex in the top of my mast, and a lazy jack for easier lowering of the. Here a professional mast climber is lending a hand. The boat is almost ready for the next leg of the journey.

Friday, April 20, 2007

2. Storm in the North Sea

Departure started well.
After further preparations in Arendal (south coast of Norway) we finally left for England. The forecast called for 12 m/s wind but we figured it would pass.

Big waves.


Wind picked up the first night. We took down the mainsail and the autopilot kept the boat in the right direction. Wind was between 16 – 20 m/s. We decided that if the wind picked up we would put out the brake anchor and bar the hatches, fortunately we didn’t have to.

The vessel and equipment handled the weather a lot better than the sailors, I got seasick and could not eat or sleep while the storm raged, time passed by at a snails pace.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a rather large BANG ! ! ! I jumped up and screamed out to Tom to find out what happened, could not find anything wrong. We ran to the front of the boat to find out if the boat was taking in water and found all our equipment soaking wet, we threw everything to one side and expected a large leak, imagined setting out the liferaft and watching the sailboat sink. We checked the entire boat but could not find a leak anywhere. After we calmed down a bit, we found out later that the front hatch was leaking and the waves must have got the water in. What exactly hit the boat we don’t know - could have been a log or a whale.

In the midst of the storm a large tanker ship stopped about 300 M in front of our boat, did not want to wave to them in case they thought we needed help, did not want to start a rescue situation. They finally left after a little while; I wonder what they were thinking.

Everything up front soaking wet.

After the storm we had great wind, 5-7 knots all the way.

A lot of gas rigs north of England, zigzagged through them. Radioed to one of them and asked them to call home to let them know we were still alive :) They normally did not do that but made an exeption to accommodate two crazy Norwegians.

The best observation during the trip was made by Tom, he thought the reflection of the moon was a sailboat with lights in the mast.

Had a surprise visitor, figured the gull hit the sail and fell in through the front hatch. Though briefly about having the gull for our supper.... We set him free.

White cliffs of Dover

Finally in Ramsgate, not far from Dover. Took us five days so we figured a little rest and a few beers were appropriate.

The septic pump failed in the North Sea, the tank was half full, the railing was our only way to… We agreed that we would give each other privacy while we were doing our “duty” :)

Tom agreed to replace the septic pump in England, I think he regretted that decision, have a close look at his arms…