Embedding PhotoSpheres

At some point in the fall of last year (2015) Google changed their technology and it was no longer possible to embed Google Spheres in other websites.
That technology changed again in January, from what I understand, and thanks to some very smart people it is again possible to embed a sphere.
As it takes a while for my spheres to become a formal Google Maps contribution, it takes a while to embed them in a blog post – but better late than never.

Below is a sphere taken at Quarr Abbey, close to Rye on the Isle of Wight. Alex, Thomas and I enjoyed the bicycle ride there from Cowes.

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France to Germany – video

The last leg of our 2015 transatlantic tour took us from St Malo, France, via Guernsey (Channel Islands) and Cowes (Isle of Wight, UK) to Germany.

The Channel Islands are a destination in their own right and in three days we barely scratched the surface. Taking the ferry to Sark was a great experience and we wished we had more time (and less rain).
Sailing across the Channel past the Needles and down the Solent to the sailing mecca, Cowes, was a special experience (especially, when 400 boats participating in the Fastnet Race are going in the opposite direction).
On the Isle of Wight we enjoyed our daily exercise riding bikes up and down the rolling hills.
Finally pushing off to the final sail took us past the cliffs of Dover, lots wind farms and oil platforms and endless lines of freighters. Going through the locks to get into the Kiel Canal indicated that we were getting close.
A large reception with family and friends topped it off before we took Tioga out of the water in Kappeln.
All basic repairs are done by now and the more significant work is in progress. The new mast was ordered.

Distance traveled: about 680nm.

Life is good… (don’t wait too long to live it to its fullest 😉  )

Again, an attempt to provide access to the same video in countries where YouTube blocks this video:

 

Tioga slideshow and presentation at Dory Club

The number of chairs squeezed into our clubhouse last night might have broken a record. It was nice so see such as large and interested crowd during our presentation of this year’s journey across the Atlantic.

Given the close connection between our tour and the various people and places in France we visited, it was good to listen to Commodore Manny’s opening statements where he found the appropriate words to address the tragedy in Paris.

Manny handed over to Philip and we continued with a couple of photos summarizing the highlights of the tour, giving us the opportunity to explain the bigger picture in words and answering questions.

Fun facts:

  • preparation took about 5 years
  • 15 people sailed the boat this year, spread over three legs, supporters: many, many more
  • we sailed about 4000nm, roughly 1/3 of the entire tour
  • highest waves: about 45ft, strongest wind: low 50s kn, highest tides: approximately 40ft
  • sailboats seen between Nahant and Azores: 0
  • near collisions with whales: 3
  • time to paint mural in Horta: 3 days
  • number of significant storms: 3
  • highest number of concurrent AIS targets: 86 (North Sea)

After that, Corinna, Ellen and Peter presented the burgees to the Dory Club that we had exchanged at various places:

  • Peter  Cafe Sport, Horta, Faial, Azores
  • Guernsey Yacht Club, Guernsey
  • Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes
  • Island Sailing Club, Cowes

Videos for each leg followed, showing live at sea and the various places we visited.
Comments about Philip’s choice of music were minimal 😉

Photos we presented to explain overall route;

when you see dolphins jumping in deep blue water, life is good  our mark in Horta  Overall plan  Islands of the Azores we visited  Britanny and Channel Islands  Solent, Isle of Wight  A busy day on the Northsea  for 2 days we had to take every 90 min against wind in the high 20s  Kiel Canal (about 60nm)  crew of the first leg in Horta

Summary video of crew and this year’s highlights:

Where is Yahoodi?

As most people lose interest when watching hundreds photos of someone else’s trip, here is a very quick slideshow to get an idea of what this year’s trip looked like.
A teaser to our upcoming video night at the Dory Club…

The crew from Cowes to Germany

The longer sail from Cowes straight to the Kiel Canal was quite different from our other European daysails as we sailed day and night, had our watch system going etc. It was also very different from the “usual” long distance trips in that we were always relatively close to shore and had to deal with a lot more navigational hazards, such as oil platforms, wind farms, traffic separation schemes, tidal currents and lots of traffic. Going through the Canal for a day added yet another dimension to this interesting journey.

Alex, Bjoern, Corinna, Ellen, Thomas and Philip

Alex Bjoern  Coinna Ellen  Philip Thomas

Kappeln

Kappeln is our final destination for 2015. This is where we keep Tioga over the winter (at Ancker Yachting).

We left Schilksee in the morning (with our special guest, Helmut, a friend from Kiel) and had a nice and windy broad reach down towards Schleimuende, took the sails down, passed the lighthouse and motored against the stiff breeze up the Schlei. Going up the narrow channel of the Schlei is always something special. Lots of thatched roofed houses, a mixture of green forests and yellow farmland, various marinas and lots of shallow water.

Ancker had reserved us a very nice spot and it happened to be next to friends of us that we had met 2 years earlier during a sailing trip. The skipper bought yet another SIM card to keep his internet speed up and the crew (Ellen, Corinna and Thomas) get going packing up the equipment.
As before, it was good to have friends. Urte organized us a Mercedes Sprinter for the next day and Helmut drove it from Kiel to Kappeln and helped us throughout the day to move equipment to winter storage. Thanks a lot!
In the afternoon the mast was pulled and Tioga lifted out of the water. She now sits in the temporary spot where dirty water can be collected after power-washing etc. The engine is winterized and all the remaining equipment is taken off the boat.

We can now focus on fixing the fridge (that had stopped working after the wet sail along the North Sea coast) and more importantly, replacing the mast. This is a big deal and will take us quite a while to sort out. The mast has developed a significant crack and can no longer be used. We were very lucky making it to our winter storage location in one piece. And again, good to have friends. Bob is already connecting us with friends with similar experiences as well as other mast manufacturers in Europe, while Kevin is making sure we are buying the right equipment for the boat.
While this sounds like a very expensive endeavor, we are hopeful to have this sorted out by spring 2016.

Our dinner at the Missunder Faehrhaus was a nice finish to our third leg.

Schlei Kappeln Ancker Yachting