Nordlys report, Date : Monday the 26 of October 2016
As the sky state can warn us
A low pressure is heading to our position
Tomorrow night will be sailing trough the Skagerrak
The strait in between Denmark and Norway
The ship is ready, the crew is ready
The last days we did wear all canvas we have on board
Getting the best speed of the good ketch Nordlys
We’ll pass in front of the cold front
Position : 55*27.2’N 5*23.8’E
Speed & course : 4 knots to North
Wind speed & direction : South West 10 kts
Sea state : calm with a long swell growing from west south west
Sky state : some cumulonimbus with more and more cirrostratus
Date : Sunday 25 September 2016
Position : 53*50’N 3*41,4’E , 65 nM North north west of Den Helder
Speed & course : 7 kts to north north east
Wind speed & direction : West 15 to 20 kts
Sea state : calm to moderate with short 1 m swell
Sky state : mostly cirrocumulus
Sunday on Nordlys is holly day, nobody work
All crew can practice his hobby: sailing
Last night with 25 kts back wind
Flying and Outer jibs fitted with one reef in the Main
The port side watch did put the top speed at 10.14 Kts
Today half wind, to get more speed and better balance at the helm
we did built a mizzen fore stay sail
no more canvas in the hold
We sailing to reach the Skagerrak as soon as possible
Date : Thursday 22 september 2016
Position : 50*19’N 2*41’W , 15 nM south west of Portland
Speed & course : 3 knots to south east
Wind speed & direction : west 2 Beauforts
Current : Tidal, 2 knots to west
Sea state : calm
Sky state : Altocumulus 6/8
Sailing down wind in the Channel
The Altocumulus are growing, a front is coming on us
A cold front, with his rain followed by showers
With his quick wind shift
“Hey steerer, watch the flag, keep the sails full
Later we’ll jibe, with control on the sheet and the preventer
But not now, our old Lady don’t like we slam her boom”
Date & time :Sunday 18 September , 1800 UTC
Position : 49*06’N 7*05’W , 55 nM south west of Scilly Islands
Speed & course : 6 kts to North
Wind speed & direction : west 10 to 15 kts
Sea state : calm with long north west swell
Sky state : total overcast of cumulus , showers
After a long and treacherous way into Douarnenez and a sweaty bruisy box stacking week in port loading wine we are finally heading North, hoping to make it East into the channel tonight. Our hold is full to the top with fine french wine for Copenhagen. 3 barrels that did not find a space in the cargo keep us company on the deck, reminding us constantly of our mission: Sailing Cargo!
Apart from loading the ship, we took a lot of time in the last weeks to upgrade our rigging, fitting new blocks and having our mainsail fixed. ALso, the new jib boom and the gaff received some love and linseed oil. Some new friends who just started their school year in boatbuilding carpentry made us a mast for our dingy, which is now dubbed “Het Bootje” in honour of their ship “Het Boot”.
Leaving Douarnenez, we said goodbye to our captain Gerard and trainee Ed and our local friends and welcomed new crew members. By now, our crew is well tuned in, not only because we have all the same melody stuck in our heads, planted there by our new captains guitar practice. Some of us are detoxing from their bad harbour habits and everybody is getting fat and happy thanks to our awesome cook Jeroen.
As we are sailing, our thoughts go across the ocean to our brothers and sisters on the good ship Tres Hombres. As you are busy with your own adventures, we send you our love and respect and wish you a save journey home, were we will wait for you.
Shimi and Rosa for the Nordleak Puppies
Date : Friday 16 September 2016
Position :15 nM South west of Ussant French Brittany
Speed & course : 4 kts to west
Wind speed & direction : North west 4 Beauforts
Sea state : Moderate, 1 m swell
Sky state : Cumulus 4/8
24 hours ago, we did cast off our moorings lines, the Port Rhu peer
Many people from Douarnenez was there to wish us good voyage
A local band was playing sea shanties with an accordion and other traditional instruments
I heard in town that Nordlys’ crew is now Douarnenez’ peoples
Every time we come to load or unload cargo we had warm welcomes
Such a beautiful city and enjoyable habitants
Thanks all of you
Marcus, Greyhound’s skipper did salute us with is cannon
With Lun II, it was 3 sailing cargo ships moored along side
FairTransport is growing, the Tres Hombres’ spirit is branching all around the World
For now, Nordlys is sailing full and by
We did sail out of the bay within 4 tacking
On my fellow ocean we are sailing, latter will enter the Channel, bounding for Denmark
The bow sprit in the water waves after waves
What a strong ship, 143 years old and still powerful
It’s amazing to see how she was well refitted by the Tortuga Team
With the cargo full, she is well balance and a little rope on the helm did steer all day long
2 reef in the main and 2 reef in the mizzen she beat up one and half meter waves at 4 knots
Have a nice week end and see you soon
The good sailing ship Nordlys is in Douarnenez since two weeks now.
Last monday we start to load the yearly cargo of French wine to Denmark.
The past years Tres Hombres was doing the trip, and now Nordlys took over.
For the first time our old lady have is belly full of goods. From the bilge to the ceiling.
That how we load ships at FairTransport.
The water stay is almost in water, she look like real sailing cargo.
It took us four days to load in 10 000 bottles of wine.
Fitting square boxes into a rond ship was tricky.
Henk our first Mate did great work, then it’s now more than 25 tons of goods that we gonna deliver in Copenhagen.
Saving tons of CO2 and suffer release in our atmosphere.
Thanks all of you to believe in FairTransport.
Thanks to help us making our dreams come truth.
It took a while before our old lady Nordlys was back on track. One of the reasons was a broken bowsprit, and to find another one was not easy. Deep in the forests of France we found one.
After some great craftsmanship by our crew Nordlys is finally sailing again.
A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not where ships are built for. Rum, wine and olive oil will reach you soon.
It’s possible to track the real time possition of Nordlys on our website http://fairtransport.eu/ships/nordlys/
But not wanting to give up so fast a new plan of battle was prepared. We tried to tighten the bowsprit with several handy-billys hoping to stop the wiggling and to fix it into place.
After some sweat breaking attempts in tightening everything we set the flyer for the third time in one day and hurray, it finally worked! Although we made jokes about our beautiful Nordlys being only held together by quick fixes at the moment, spirits where high and we enjoyed speeds of over seven knots which was something new to us on this so far mostly windless journey.
The mood on board went up even higher when our mate Henk came up from the chartroom with the message that, should we be able to hold this speed we would be across half the Biscay in 24 hours.
It turned out this kind of delight would only be granted for about 12 hours.
Some minutes after watch change the next day, our crew member Martin who had just vanished in the foxhole to get some rest stuck his head out again, “What was that noise?” he asked evidently worried. But the wind hat picked up and our ears filled with its blowing nobody on deck had heard anything.
We went about our business unworried. The boat making strange sounds was normal and especially in the foxhole it sometimes screeched and rummaged all over.
Some minutes after that, a movement caught my eye and looking up I could see tangling lines filling the air next to our mainsail on starboard. After the fraction of a second I had seen them and started to ask myself what was wrong and why, a mess of steel wire, blogs and twisted ropes came crashing down on the deck.
Finally we had wind again and were almost out of the channel.
Still we where unable to make real speed. The deep Atlantic waters with their nice long waves where still hours ahead and the small channel waves slowed us down immensely, breaking every attempt of building up speed.
There was only one solution: we needed more canvas in the wind!
Only setting the mizzen sail would make our boat hard to steer and unbalanced but in combination with the flying jib things should be fine and also a lot faster.
None of us had set the flyer before and our first attempt failed spectacularly.
But after some reorganisation it went up smoothly and we where at once able to feel the difference in Nordlys’ behaviour. The waves didn’t bother her so much any more and together with the mizzen sail we immediately made more speed.
There was only one problem, however. With the additional force of the flying jib on our bowsprit it started to shake and bend upwards like a banana. Every new wind gust risked breaking it further and so we had to take the flyer down again. Frustrated we wondered how this was possible since the bowsprit should be designed to take the force of jib and flying jib easily after all, that was it’s purpose wasn’t it?
Even more frustrating was, that without the flying jib our chance of still reaching Portugal in time had diminished into nothing.
When we finally came into proximity of our destination, Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight our course on the AIS looked like we had attempted to write “Nordlys was here” in the English channel.
Still mostly drifting around it became clear that if we made it into Yarmouth with the little wind we had we would be stuck there for at least another week. So we headed on in the direction of Brixham to make a short resupplying stop there instead.
Shortly before we reached Brixham harbour however the weather frogs responsible for the grip files seemed to have decided that the everything goes crazy days where over and provided some accurate information for the first time in a long time. The wind would pick up! And really, some hours after this promising message we were to do some real sailing and happily watched Nordlys gracefully cutting through the waves.
Stopping now at the chance of catching up with the schedule was out of the question so our new and for the next days final destination was Portugal.