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.
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:
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.
- 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;
Summary video of crew and this year’s highlights:
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 things you can do with a phone these days; time lapse, slow motion etc. Combine that with the good eye of Alex and you get a nice impression of our final leg to Germany.
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.
This is where the 1972 Olympic sailing event took place and Kiel Week every year hosts one of the largest sailing events in the World. The 70’s concrete buildings are not necessarily picturesque, but the facilities are very good. Lot’s and lot’s of boats, dinghies, yacht clubs etc.
This is where skipper Philip learned to sail a while ago and where our German families and friends celebrated our arrival.
Thanks to Andrea’s and Ernst’s preparation we had the basic equipment and drinks to enjoy the evening.
Very nice to see all our friends again…
After our arrival in Kiel, the local newspaper, Kieler Nachrichten, posted the article below in their Friday edition:
The Kiel Canal is 61nm long and saves about 250nm compared to going around Denmark’s Jutland. It is the busiest canal in the world, based on number of boats going through (the Panama canal handles the most freight in the world, but less ships).
We arrived at the locks, closed the loop with the lock operators and were tied up inside in less than 20min. It was nice to motor in protected waters for a change and we truly enjoyed the scenery. As it is only allowed to use the canal with a sailboat (under engine) during the daytime, we made it as far as possible and then anchored in Flemhuder See, just an hour from Kiel (where the canal ends and the Baltic Sea begins).
On the next day we had a nice reception by Inne, Hans and Kai on the North Shore and Herbert on the South Shore. Of course it rained while we went through the locks in Kiel where we also paid the 35 Euros for the passage.