Zurück in Europa!

Hallo Zusammen, hier sind wir wieder, zurück in der alten Welt, genauer gesagt auf den Isles of Scilly vor der südwestlichsten Spitze Englands. Man erkennt Nordeuropa zunächst vor allem daran, dass der Nordwind eine Prise Eis mit sich bringt, und dass unsere Schiffsheizung wieder läuft.

Auch brauchen wir keine ‚Atlantiküberquerungstage‘ mehr zu zählen. Yuana hat uns in den letzten Wochen hervorragend vor dem weiten Meer geschützt, und nun schützen wir sie wieder vor den Felsen der Küste. Das ist der Deal.

Wenn man den Zwischenhalt in den Azoren für den Moment mal ausklammert, so haben wir ab Karibik (Sint Maarten) bis hierher 25 Reisetage benötigt, und dabei fast 3‘600 nautische Meilen oder 6‘600 Kilometer zurückgelegt. Wie Winde waren günstig für uns, und alles ist störungsfrei abgelaufen. Das ist sehr bemerkenswert für mich, denn diese lange Etappe war stets die grosse Knacknuss an unserem gesamten Projekt überhaupt. Diese Nuss hat sich nun als durchaus knackbar erwiesen, und macht uns froh und dankbar.

Die Rückfahrt war trotzdem relativ kurz, wenn man die Rückreisezeit in Relation zur Hinreise stellt. Ab England bis in die Karibik (Barbados) hatten wir uns nämlich satte vier Monate gegönnt. Der Weg war das Ziel.

Der Weg bleibt das Ziel. Auch den nächsten Wochen wird es uns nicht langweilig werden. Nach den Islands of Scilly werden wir wahrscheinlich die Kanalinseln und die Normandie besuchen, und bei Gelegenheit noch den einen oder andern richtig gut englischen Yachtclub mitnehmen. Wir freuen uns schon darauf! Die Schweiz muss also noch ein bisschen warten.

Schöne Grüsse von Markus mit Familie

England, we love you, too!

England, we have visited you for half a month. The first glance of you included the cliffs around Dover, brightly shining in the morning light, plums the Dover Coast Guard who checked whether we could spell the name of our boat. Sure, we could. The following days brought us into lovely marinas. We enjoyed not only your fish and chips, but also the best burgers ever, with lots of onions chopped into the meat. Markus has particularly appreciated that Punk IPA beer from the U.S. (sorry) was available in every super market, different to other places visited so far, including our home country. We take away a large bottle of Plymouth Gin and many bold and bloody histories which the old stones have offered to us. We admire the relaxed talking of Brits, too.

The highlight however was meeting again with Simon and Kate. Yes, another Kate. Her great^n-granny must have been in the EU as well on said Vicking’s day (to whomever seeking a beautiful woman in England, we recommend looking for Kates first). Kate and Simon are friends we met first time in Korfu, Greece, back in 2014. Re-united in 2017, all of us have enjoyed a lovely evening in their marina club house. Same evening, Simon arranged for a yacht repair service who showed up next morning to do some work on our boat. And we got lots of hints from them, which finally brought us to nicest places such as Cornish Fowey or the magic place called www.edenproject.com. Many thanks to you again, Simon and Kate!

On our last day, we even made new friends from Vancouver Island, Canada, and we’ve had some beers together and a lot of fun. Kevin owns a Hallberg-Rassy too, and we will set sails together to cross Bay of Biscay, starting on Saturday early morning. What a great last day in the UK!

Was there anything which was not going as expected in the UK? Yepp, two things occurred which couldn’t be stopped by MI6, at least not in time: Firstly, we experienced two winter storms. We also do have winter storms in Switzerland, but here they seem to happen in summer, too. We even had to turn our heater on. Secondly, an awful misunderstanding happened on the way back from Pendennis Castle: imagine a family with hungry kids at a rainy bus stop with no bus for the rest of the day. Within seconds, a taxi was called over the phone. The friendly person who answered the telephone with “It’s me-e!” asked for the detail and informed that a taxi would be there within four to five minutes. That was at least what Markus understood. Thirty minutes wetter and when calling the cab company again, they say that this was forty-five minutes for the taxi to arrive. And so it was. Yes, sometimes one hears what he would like to hear.

Now that we are about to leave UK, we can state that we have reached the first big target of our voyage. It was ‘to be in Falmouth by the end of July’. We set this target in order to have enough time to wait for a friendly weather window, required to sail into our three-day long journey across Bay of Biscay.

We logged 528 nautical miles to get here, something less than conservatively planned. A big part of our traveling time so far was along beautifully-rough British coast lines. We are leaving to come back again later. Bye-bye and see you again, Cornwall, England, UK!

How to discover you are in UK?

So we have arrived in UK, and it was not really first time in life. A couple of things are different here, aren’t they? You’d wish some examples?

– Teach kids that cars appear from the other side when crossing roads!

– BREXIT, and the British Pound

– Cooler radio stations

– Kate

– “Lovely!

– Weetabix (urkh!)

And sure, lots of other examples how the Brits and their country could possibly be characterized. Some even say that the Vikings took all the nice women away, long time ago (Kate’s great-grandma was on the continent that day). I can live with almost everything.

One thing I will however never ever understand are the separated water taps in bathrooms and in any place where civilized folks would expect to choose their own water temperature for washing hands.

Not in the United Kingdom. They give you a noble choice of three options: Wash hands cold. Burn hands hot. Mix your own temperature in a bowl which is not always as clean as in the nice Brighton Marina.

I will perhaps never understand this unique thinking of housing investors. Incredible: They actually know how it goes! Imagine, they have a water mixer in the showers! So why not for the hands?

Spotting that bl…y pair of water taps was when I understood that I have arrived in the great UK 😉