Island of stones

Cala de Algeyerens

All I knew about Menorca was that this place existed. Somewhere. All the more surprising is the encounter with an island where at first they don’t want to let me go ashore. Thursday evening, shortly before five. After the crossing from Mallorca, I radio Ciutadella’s marinas. I am met with sheer horror. At 11.99 metres, … Read more

Cat pee in the air

Sa paret des moro

Cleaning ladies’ island, Teutonic grill, alcohol corpses, mass tourism – when I enter the bay of Palma de Mallorca, I expect the most embarrassing place in the world (after Zurich and Las Vegas). Two months later, however, I have also seen a beautiful island. Only: Where does this penetrating smell of cat piss come from? … Read more

Big brother is watching …

Suspicious course and rescue

REYKJA carries AIS, Automatic Identification System. A transponder sends the data of my position. Vice versa, I see the positions of other ships, their names, speed, size, and much more. If I collide in the near future, the AIS will buzz poisonously, and tells me when and where it will be. This has advantages – … Read more

To be washed up

Tarifa from the sea

Two months in Algés, three days in Lagos, two weeks Almerimar. I didn’t seek the places I would end up in. The ship decides. It requires shipyard, locksmith, rigger, electrician. REYKJA dictates the course of the journey. I’m just getting washed up. Lisbon Algés is a district of Lisbon. There is no tram line 28E, … Read more

Crossing an ocean

Gale in Bay of Biscay

This is the minimum requirement for sailing pensioners: that they cross an ocean. At least one. Better three, then they could call themselves circumnavigator. This simple world looks much more complicated with a damaged ship and broken self-confidence. Already the crossing of the Bay of Biscay seems to me like a summit tour, three days … Read more

Travelling as encounter

It’s quiet. The engine is switched off. No breeze curls the water. Reykja drifts across the dark ocean. I want to sleep for a few hours. Suddenly a deep snout. Then breaths from everywhere. It knocks me over. I’ve seen dolphins in the past few days. Hearing them is something completely different. With my eyes, … Read more

Travel as a drama

A travel must contain dramas. Why else should we have started? Ideally, the dramas come well-dosed. Here a missing sap, there a clogged filter. If many dramas occur at once, the traveler switches to survival mode. Eyes closed and get through. When everything is over, he or she may realize: I am traumatized. These were … Read more

Staande Mastroute

Staande Mastroute

Sail a fully rigged yacht over Dutch fields. Pass through more than fifty bridges. Cross the city centres of Groningen, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam. Look down on highways. Enjoy locks until falling over. We hadn’t planned this tour. But a storm was in the making, the North Sea did not seem a good place to be. … Read more

Travelling on the spot

Cuxhaven

Big circumnavigators start in full stress. When Wilfried Erdmann picks up his Kathena Nui from the shipyard in August 1984, it is nothing more than a casco, a hull. Two months later, he starts fully equipped for the first non-stop circumnavigation of the world of a German. Donald Crowhurst is less happy. The Golden Globe … Read more