Hoist the main!

Hoist the main!

After two weeks of hard work in the world of landlubbers, it was time for a trip with Little Titan. I arranged a crew member who would come over for a day, but stayed for three nights. Kind of weird to have a guest in my tiny home who I did not know at all, but it worked out really good.

We decided I would try to do everything solo. It was a nice idea to have someone around in case of shit hitting the van. We started easy after a night of way too much wine and enjoyed a sunny day with little to no wind at a tiny island at The Grevelingen. We cooked, build a camp fire, added a sound track and drank more wine.

The next day there was a lot of wind; squalls of 5/6 beaufort. I sticked to my plan to hoist the main by myself on the foredeck. The helm was unattended but fixed with a line to both port and starboard winches and I left the motor running to keep the bow windwards. It worked! Another goal achieved. It was an exciting trip with few other sailboats on the water. We sailed about 15 nautical miles and landed at the other end of The Grevelingen. It was quite a thrill!

After helping two surfers who got caught on lee shore, we went for the beach, spotted some seals and drank some wine (of course). Next day I woke up with hundreds of jellyfish surrounding the boat. The water was really still and it was such a pleasure to watch them during my morning coffee. Never a dull moment. Nature is a wonder and it is so much fun to be in the middle of it.

Time to go home. After a full day of sailing, it was awesome to arrive at the harbor again and take a hot, freshwater shower after three days of salty air, sand and cold sweat. Doing the dishes with hot water was also a luxury I really learned to appreciate. 


Photo gallery from the trip. Click picture to enlarge.

Why?

Why?

After spending my college years in Spain, the winters in my home-town Rotterdam got the best of me. Last year I decided I would spent the cold months in a sunnier place. I wanted to go to Chili. And since sustainability and a new way of living have my interest, I would visit some eco-villages that are self-sufficient. Next step was to go there by boat. As it turned out, not that simple...

At the harbor of Lowestoft.

I opted for going across the Atlantic as a crew-member on a sail yacht. I started to make sailing buddies and my first trip was a disaster. No wind and no click with the captain. Being on the water though, felt like coming home; I loved it. And maybe it was a good thing, because I realized I could buy a sailing yacht myself. More investigation followed. I had a limited budget and had to learn a lot about the specifics of ocean sailing. I believe it was meant to be. I met the right people and within two weeks I found the perfect vessel. 

It took a while before the boat was officially mine. The day after the contract was signed, I sailed across the Canal with my favorite sailing buddy: the man who helped me getting my boat. We had a blast. I learned a lot, was not seasick and Titaantje rode the waves easily at 6/7 beaufort.

The only downside of the story is that my plan to be in Chili next winter got swept away by owning a sail yacht. I had to study for my ICC, VHF, do maintenance and learn as much as possible about all the aspects of sailing. But now I do own a sustainable, mobile 'home' and within a few years we will be sailing the oceans. Collecting special encounters, adventures and milage. That is if I do not get ship wrecked. But if so, at least I tried.

Spring means 'jump' in Dutch

Spring means 'jump' in Dutch

Spring is here. So what do you do? 

What you could do:

Get rid of all your stuff (keep some in your car/ some on your boat) and move aboard a beautiful, somewhat tiny yacht in a country where spring can be quite frosty.
Sail out solo for the first time. Of course I was hungover so add a first time for puking overboard. At least it was not seasickness. Use a head lamp for the first time and be glad you have it when you run up the deck at 03:00 in the morning to save the jib from a passing storm. All this in your panties, nobody's watching and there is definitely no time to find your trousers. Waking up on a deserted island with birds and bugs makes it all worth it.  Build a website and do some social media, because it is all too good to be true and I want to share the long journey of becoming a seaworthy sailor. And maybe, just maybe... Next week I will find a new passion. Linearly seen it would have to be a rocketeer.

Keep you posted. 

PS: I have a small bucket of older stories. Not older than last June, it was only then I realized I had to become a skipper. If you would like me to share them, please let me know. Last thing I want, is to bore you with some narcissist adventures. 

Best regards,
Skipper Smit and SY Titaantje

Heating system (beautifully placed in front of sunset)

Heating system (beautifully placed in front of sunset)