At this very moment, June 25, 2020, 01:00 p.m. SY Faule Haut is leaving Cala Portinax, Ibiza Island to sail the last leg (95 nm) of her circumnavigation to her home port in Vinaròs, Spain. On board are Skipper Ingo and his best sailing buddy Skipper Benno. Benno joined FH on June 13, 2020 at Portimao, Portugal to accompany Skipper Ingo on his final leg.
May 15, 2020
While Suzana and Skipper Ingo were sitting on the foredeck to patch the mainsail, Benno was in the cockpit at the steering, when all of a sudden he shouted: “Something is smelling here. Smells as if something is burning. There must be something burning inside.”
Being 10 nm off the coast, it was sure that that burning smell must have come from Faule Haut.
Fire on board is really the worst case scenario on a boat. Terrified, we all hurried down the companionway. And in fact, it smelled as if some plastic was burning. Skipper Ingo turned off the power supply from the batteries. This of course killed the autopilot, so he ordered Benno to take over the steering while he and Suzana kept on looking for the source of the smell, putting their noses in every nook and cranny. They expected to find a short in some wire someplace. Skipper Ingo checked the house bank (batteries) under his bed. All ok.
It took them several long minutes to find the cause. It was the electric water boiler which in fact, got SWITCHED ON BY ITSELF, (nobody was using it) without having water in it, and then the thermostat didn’t switch it off. It started to melt the plastic what made that nasty smell.
The crew was relieved, that there was nothing wrong with the boat.
By the way, that water cooker comes from China (like the corona). It was bought at one of these China stores at Vinaròs. No more Chines crap on Faule Haut.
Since the needle had to be pushed through up to seven layers of sail cloth at the edge, Skipper Ingo used a drill to make holes for the needle. Then, Suzana did the stitching.
The sail is ready, but it’s getting dark. Skipper Ingo will install the sail tomorrow.
June 14, 2020
Faule Haut is experiencing new problems
The forestay is breaking for the third time on her circumnavigation, due to the foresail furling system which doesn’t work properly. The pipe on which the Genoa rolls up got jammed. It doesn’t turn freely around the forestay but turns the forestay steel wire as well. This of course puts force on the wires and they have started to break. Already four of the nineteen strands have broken.
In order to fix this problem the entire furling system has to be dismounted and taken apart. But you need to be in port or in a boatyard to do that and you need certain spare part like pipe, connectors and more. Today the crew motored from their anchorage to a place right opposite of a boat yard and dropped the anker. They had the intention to to ask for some help next morning. During the wait, Skipper Ingo got up the third time on the mast and worked on the jammed furling system. He could do some fixing, but this is only a temporary solution without having the necessary spare parts.
Due to the Skippers repair job the crew decided to change their plans and forget the boat yard. They startet the motor and tried to get the genoa rolled out. It worked, even thought the furler jammed a little. After motoring for 5 hours good wind came up and they got 96 nm closer to Gibraltar.
Losing the Genoa
Right now Faule Haut received cellphone network from the southern coast of Portugal and is able to post this latest news about what had happened on her leg between the Azores and Portugal.
Another setback for Faule Haut on her last leg so close to her home port. Her foresail/genoa has been ripped to pieces in a storm.
Skipper Ingo had not intended to stop in Portugal but he will have to. He can’t sail anymore because he hasn’t repaired his mainsail yet, and unfortunately he lost the genoa in a storm yesterday. It had blown apart – unrepairable – a total loss of a 3,000.- € foresail. Like the breaking of the last whiskerpole it happened while he was sleeping. After cruising for more than two years and seven months he got so much used to live and sleep on a rocking and rolling boat, that he hardly wakes up in a storm not even if the rocking gets violently. He woke up too late by the noise of the flapping remnant pieces of genoa. The genoa tore into two parts and they were flapping violently at the furling system. There was so much force on the sail and the sheets, that it took him four hours to secure the cloth and get it wrapped around the furler. He was scared that the furling system with the forestay would come down, so hard was the wind power working on that forestay in 40 knots of wind.
He was sailing with the genoa and the storm sail together and from then on only had the storm sail. With that alone he only made one or one and a half knots of speed when the wind calmed down to 25 knots.
He will have to take the genoa down as soon as possible and install the spare one. But he can’t do that on the open ocean, especially since he is sailing singlehand. So he decided to make an unplanned emergency stop at the port of Ponta Delgada, Portugal. He hopes to find some help there to pull up his second genoa. Also he will have some time to keep sewing on his mainsail, which could not have been used for over two weeks now. He hopes to finish his stitching and be able to leave the port with two working sails.
In spite of these problems Skipper Ingo is of good cheer, for here he has experienced another protection because the loss of the genoa happened so close to the coast of Portugal, about 80 nm offshore. If this had happened on the middle of the Antlantic, it would have been much worse (having neither the main sail nor the genoa). Being so close to a port, he decided to use the motor to get to Ponta Delgada. Since he left Guadeloupe he has sailed 3,822 nm and wisely has only used the motor sparingly only for eight hours. Thus, he has enough fuel to make it to the next port under motor.
When he was securing and fastening the remains of his genoa, the jib sheet on the starboard side fell into the water and wrapped around the prop. This scared the the skipper because now he was partially unmaneuverable. He could neither sail properly with just a six square meter storm sail, nor could he motor. He had to wait till daylight next morning to dive down and clear the prop. To his surprise, he found another rope blocking his prop. So somehow, it was good that his jib sheet fell into the water. He would not have noticed the other rope blocking the prop.
Next stop, most likely, will be Queensway Quay Marina at Gibraltar for refueling. Supposedly, the diesel there is tax free and cost only 48 Cents.
Crossing boats have to yield to the ones inside the TSS. Faule Haut just sneaked in before three other boats got close.
May 29, 2020
Jellyfish and dolphins
Over the last 1,000 nm Skipper Ingo saw lots of jellyfish passing by Faule Haut. He got curious what they exactly look like and caught one with a bucket. It’s one of the most poisonous jellyfish that exists. It’s a Portuguese Man o‘ War (German: Portugisische Galeere)
(The Skipper swears, its not a blown up fancy Billy Boy Condom in the bucket.)
It had long tentacles of over 6 m which glued to the deck when he pulled it on board. Its tentacles are poisonous and can do really harm to your skin. He had a guest on board at the Mediterranean once who suffered severe burn on her legs. There are people who are so allergic that they even can die if they get in contact with these tentacles. But they look kinda pretty, don’t they? It looks like it is filled with air because it’s totally transparent, but actually it’s full of jelly. When Skipper Ingo poked in it with a screwdriver, it didn’t collapse strait away (like an air ballon) but took some time for the jelly to run out. Well – they are called jellyfish -that says it all.
After that, some dolphins showed up and where playing at the bow. I shot a video but can’t show it here yet.
May 21, 2020
A reinforcing strap came loose at the genoa and has to be sewn back on. Also some tears have to be patched before they get even bigger.
The needle has to go through three layers of white sail cloth, four layers of blue uv protection cloth and two reinforcing straps. Nine layers all together. No wonder it broke on the first stitch.
May 14, 2020 on the Atlantic. Close encounters with a tanker
Close encounters with a tanker of 333 m length and a beam of 58 m on the Atlantic.
Having sailed 1,200 nm over the last 13 days and not seen any ships at all, Faule Haut’s AIS (Automatic ships Identification System) collision warning went on in the middle of the night and disturbed the skipper’s slumber. His iPad and iPhone screen showed a tanker who was about to cross his path and said that a collision would most likely occur (if none of those boats would alter its course). Well – good to know!
The tanker, making 15.1 knots of speed, was still ten miles away, so there was no danger whatsoever – thanks to the warning of the AIS (Skipper’s sweetheart).
So Skipper Ingo got off his berth and started watching what that sucker would do, because according to the IRPCS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) the tanker, being motor powered, has to yield to a boat powered by sail.The Skipper decided to wait and let it come close to no less than 500 m before taking any action, if need be.But then – early enough- the tanker changed its course to port to let Faule Haut pass in front of it. Thanks – Captain!
Almost exactly the same thing happened when Faule Haut was sailing from Panama to Pitcairn. Over a distance of 4,260 nm miles, and 39 days of consecutive sailing, the skipper saw only ONE boat and had collided with it if none had changed its course. There, the distance was even closer. It was also a tanker of 330 m and passed Faule Haut at a distance of only 360 m. There as well, the tanker changed its course correctly to avoid a collision.
This is proof again, that singlehand sailing is only possible with AIS and/or RADAR on board.
May 10, 2020 on the Atlantic.
After sailing 900 nm over the Atlantic, Faule Haut ran into the second heavy thunderstorm on her third Atlantic crossing with such strong winds, that her whiskerpole broke again. This was the fourth whiskerpole that broke on her circumnavigation (one aluminum, two bamboo, one wooden). This is another great loss, because so far it has been used for half of the sailing time during this crossing and without it it will slow down Faule Haut quite a bit now.
Skipper’s guess: It will add about three days of sailing time on the Atlantic crossing.
This happened early in the morning while Skipper Ingo was still sleeping. He woke up too late to prevent this damage. In fact, he woke up by the noise when the pole hit the deck. Luckily the thunderstorm didn’t last very long.
Somehow it’s good that the Skipper didn’t realize that thunderstorm earlier.In a storm you can’t sail with a pole. You have to take it down. If that pole had broken while the skipper was trying to dismount it, it could have injured him severely. Look at that pointed pole and imaging it breaking right while you are trying to dismount it and get spiked or impaled. You have to be on a small sailing yacht in a storm to understand and see what strong (sometimes uncontrollable) forces are working on the sails and ropes in high winds. It’s a tough thing to dismount a whiskerpole in high winds when you are alone. Reflecting on this, the Skipper is thankful that he has been protected again and comes to terms with the loss of just the pole.