Posted by: Vegard Bleikli | 08/09/2012

Vlieland – Portsmouth

Vlieland turned out to be quite the place, with (few but) friendly people, a very nice harbour and an amazing atmosphere. But it did not offer the one thing we came there for; a repair for our broken hydraulic pump. The option of travelling inland looking for spare parts was disregarded the same moment we saw the weather forecast. Two days of north-easterly 15 knot breeze was like bacon. Irresistable.

The crew showing off their Vlieland caps.

With the backstay still in pieces we had to improvise a fix using what we had aboard. The mainsheet was removed and winched in place to tension the backstay. The mainsail halyard, some more ropes and two check-stays were used to secure and further tension our McGyver-rigging. This set-up would only allow using the genoa, but with the winds we were going to sail, that was no major issue.

Tuesday evening we left Vlieland behind to once again roam the open seas, and the Netherlands waved us goodbye with a spectacular fireworks display. A helicopter gunship rained fire, shooting tracers at the beach and dropping flares that lit up the night sky. We enjoyed the show while thoughtfully wondering what the sand ever did to deserve such treatment. From Vlieland Fabian and Fabienne from Switzerland joined the crew, upping the total number to six.

The white cliffs of Dover.

After a day and a half of great sailing, we reached Dover. Sunshine, warm weather and Vegard convinced August to hold a surprise man-over-board drill. After the remaining crew finished weighing their mutiny options, August was finally rescued. The drill was considered an unconditional success and everyone could return to their respective tanning-missions.

Man overboard! All hands on deck!

Halyard-swing chilling.

Aksel earning new fans from the pullpit-scene.

As we reached the narrowest of the channel the wind died and we hoisted the iron sail. The immediate forecast promised no improvement, so this was an opportune moment to look for the long-needed backstay repair. And so Værbitt motored on towards west, Portsmouth and the sunset.

Fabienne at the helm.

Some epic scenery along Englands coast.

Reaching the western hemisphere.

Some brotherly love before going on shift, with Eirik caught in the crossfire.

One of many magical sunsets.

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Responses

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