Latest position:
(show on map)

44° 50.5' N
13° 50.5' O
Veruda Marina, Pula, Kroatien
12:15 UTC+2
Weather report:
13.08.2019 11:45 UTC+2
88 °F
Gentle breeze from Northwest

The ship's log is available in german only. Try Google translator and enjoy the pictures.

Ship's log for the tag Wetter

22.04.2019 - Khor Shinab, Sudan

Storm at anchor

Easter Bunny has been visiting

Yesterday in the morning the boys have been waking us up as they stumbled over coloured easter eggs and even found easter baskets. Apparently, the Sudanese bunny somehow made it on board. But the basket didn’t contain chocolate eggs or chocolate bunnies. They must have melted on the way through the dessert. The boys still had a blast. The day before, we had jointly been baking easter nests, easter bunnies and chicken. They were supposed to be presents for the easter bunny, but must have been overlooked. This way, we had some variety, when having breakfast, as our supplies are slowly running low.

Trapped on board

It’s time to leave this place. For one week, since we arrived in the marsa, we are sitting on board and haven’t been ashore. Everyone is well now, but the wind still is blowing full force. I just read 38 knots on our meter, which is not even measuring the gusts. It really is stormy. Even without hoisted sails Moya is slightly tilted. Our wind generator usually is barely hearable, but now is making noises like Moya soon is going to take off. We are therefore switching it off most of the time. But when we are making water, it is switch on to refill our batteries. Our dingy is lying at the foredeck. It’s impossible to launch it currently. Winds even were forcing a plate out of Christians‘ hands, when he wanted to dump potatoes peel into the water.

Our hook was holding well, until winds strengthened further. We noobies had missed to drop our full anchor chain. It’s quite embarrassing. Moya first moved sideways to the wind, then slowly began to drag towards the reef. Before the anchor alarm started peeping, I was in the cockpit and Christian at the ignition key. We lifted the hook by show of hands. Outside, communication by talking and even shouting hasn’t been possible for days. The howling of the wind drowns out everything else. Two years practicing at the anchor payed out. After 30 minutes Moya safely lies at anchor again, full chain out, in some distance to the reef. As tomorrows’ forecasts is similar to today, we are planning to tie our second anchor to our main chain for increasing the weight and reducing the force pulling at our main anchor. Usually, winds are slightly decreasing before sunset. That’s gonna be the time. Equally strong winds over such a long period of time, we just experienced in Columbia, over one year ago. Considering the constant flow of air, one might wonder whether in the mediterranean has some air left, at all. We are crossing our fingers, that we are out of here in three days from now.

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19.04.2019 - Khor Shinab, Sudan

Preparing for Eastern in the dessert


Winds arrived as scheduled and are blowing at full force ever since. With these winds we haven’t been leaving Moya. Despite sitting in a lake like Marsa, waves are building in the short distance from shore. The dingy ride would have been wet for sure. Our current situation is more like a passage with getting some sleep.

Raiding our medicinal cabinet

Not only the weather held us on board. It was Joshua, too. Since we arrived he dragged himself from his berth to the salon and back again. First he was complaining about a headache, later also about a sore throat. Indeed his tonsils were covered with white pus spots and he was boiling. I put him instantly on antibiotics. Yesterday in the morning, his condition was more or less unchanged and we decided getting a consultation from Medico in Germany and started working on emergency plans - again. Tacking between the reefs into the strong wind towards egypt we consider difficult or maybe even dangerous, going back to Port Sudan would be a safe alternative, however we would loose several days and still remain in Sudan, depending on its health system. Calling a car to the street behind the Marsa for getting to Port Sudan would have the same downside. Probably, we would have crossed the Red Sea to Jeddah. Saudia Arabia usually is out of limits for yachts, however in an emergency situation we would have been allowed to enter the country, which probably has an improved health system as compared to the Sudan. But it didn’t come to that.

Calling the physician from Medico was a big relief. He confirmed my layman diagnosis, as well as the medication for Joshua. Moreover, he promised us professional help in case the antibiotics would continue failing to work and Joshi would need a doctor. Medicos main task is to medically consultant commercial ships, therefore they are well connected with similar institutions around the world. In the end the call worked fine, Joshi felt better within a few hours and today behaves naturally already.

Good Friday on the water

Winds are covering Moya in sand and we continue remaining below deck. Whether the easter bunny will find his way into the dessert and is able to come on board, is far from sure, but if he does, he would be glad. The boys were drawing pictures, crafted cups to hold the easter eggs and coloured some eggs to decorate our saloon. Let’s see what we are coming up with next.

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16.04.2019 - Khor Shinab, Sudan

Hiding in a Marsa

Marsas are large, river like clefts of the sea into land. On both sides they are lined with fringing reef. Khor Shinab is a large Marsa leading several miles into land and even beyond hilly chains. Late afternoon, after several hours of poking around, we dropped anchor here.

Already at Sanganeb reef, yesterday at a little stop over at the Talia island and now today we had serious difficulties finding a suitable spot for dropping our hook. Apparently, the bottom of the Red Sea is covered with coral, which are building canyons below the water surface. Grounds are uneven and mostly are far too shallow or far too deep for anchoring. For biological reasons, we don’t want to anchor on coral, but even if we took aside our ecological concerns, the anchor wouldn’t hold well and there would be significant risk that we would loose it, as it easily tangles and is getting stuck around the coral. The Red Sea has the most terrible anchor grounds of our voyage. If you were here, you could see the relief in my face, each time the hook eventually is holding.

Currently, the anchor is holding well, and it needs to, as tonight strong northerly winds are forecasted to rise and will be blowing for 10 days in a row. At the moment, Moya lies in a calm and the weather change is hard to imagine. But recent experience told us that winds can change as quickly as by a switch. Also tonight winds are supposed changing direction 180° within an hour. We had hoped to meet Windchase here again, but we are all alone. There is also no village, just water, dessert and Moya. I guess the 10 days until our departure might be getting long, but there is barely an alternative. 30 knots of winds on the nose are better being sit out.

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07.04.2019 - Entaasnu, Eritrea

Day 24: Head winds

In case you carefully tracked our position, you surely noticed that we already passed Massawa, our initial destination. We didn’t skip Massawa for touristic reasons, the city actually has a dense and interesting history, we continued sailing once again for the weather.

Generally, the macro weather situation in the Red Sea is predictable. During the winter in the southern part southerly winds are prevailing, whereas in the northern part winds are mainly blowing from the north. In between, approximately at the boarder of Eritrea and Sudan, winds are converging resulting in any kind of weather. During the summer, in the whole Red Sea northerly winds are prevailing. In other words head winds if one is traveling northbound. Additionally, a number of local less foreseeable effects are common: the Khamsin is occurring in the northern part and is carrying dust and sand from the Sahara; the Belat is a phenomenon of the southern part, blowing in up to gale force from the arabic peninsula resulting in big seas; the Haboob, a gale force wind, occuring at the Sudanese coast; and the Kharif a northerly wind originating in Somalia. Mildly speaking, the weather in the Red Sea is a real challenge.

Therefore, we are currently trying to make use of the last bits of northerly winds, avoiding the head winds as long as possible. Yesterday, northerly winds were predicted for tomorrow, which is for this longitude and time of the year rather unusual. Thus, we decided to straight head for Suakin in Sudan accepting the downside to cope with our empty pantry. Today, it is rather unclear whether the northerly winds will indeed reach us.

We already sailed to the island of Harmil, seeking for shelter against northerly winds and swells. Our hook barely touched the water surface when a little boat rushed to us. Three man were on board asking for our papers. Apparently, the situation was new to them and they were uncertain what to do with us. Finally, the went away with our documents promising to return. I was a little wary about that from the start, the captain however absolutely relaxed from hair to toe. Just before sunset they finally returned making us move. Harmil is supposed to be a military restricted area, but we were welcome to anchor on the neighbour island Entaasnu, where we are currently located, not so well protected against winds and swell.

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Comment from Gabi
Super gemacht bisher, aber ihr denkt schon an den Krieg im Sudan. Wenn ihr im Sudan Proviant bunkern wollt, befürchte ich, dass ihr eure letzten Dosen an die hungernde Bevölkerung spenden werdet. Hoffe, dass ich zu schwarz sehe. Weiterhin gutes Gelingen. Gabi
05.04.2019 - Red Sea, 15°46' N / 41°21' E

Day 22: Leaving the pirate alley

Today we are leaving the military controlled area, also known as high risk area or pirate alley. As we invested quite some time and efforts considering back and forth whether or not sailing through this area, I wanted to take the opportunity to sum up our views:

In our opinion it wasn’t coincidence, that our passage from the Maldives to the Red Sea went smoothly and secure. The Anti-Pirate Coalition is doing an amazing job in this area. A few nations are jointly and systematically ensuring security in a narrow corridor through the Golf of Aden into the Red Sea. The corridor, IRTC, together with the extending shipping lanes has an approximate length of 650 nm and is strongly used. During our 5 day transit we have seen hundreds of ships within the corridor, mostly tankers and freighters, but also yachts and cruise ships. Every day a navy air craft flew over us at least once, seeking radio contact and asking for the conditions on board. War ships we only saw one in real life and none on the AIS, which for two reasons make sense: Firstly, transmission of AIS signals would be contra produktiv informing pirates about the location and absence of war ships. Secondly, war ships patrolling northerly or southerly outside of the corridor is more effective in comparison to going in between the heavy traffic in the lanes. There can be no doubt about the abundance of war ships, we heard them daily multiple times on channel 16 or 8 radioing with freighters. Also reception of high distance AIS targets might have been related to the presence of ships or air crafts and usage of repeaters. For years, there haven’t been successful pirate attacks (also not against freighters) within the corridor, whereas pirate attacks have been prevalent outside this area. For example, during 2017, there have been 11 reports of attempted or successful pirate attacks against freighters along the Somalian east cost, all of them outside the corridor. Most likely, piracy also within the IRTC would undergo a renaissance in case of the termination of the military mandate of the anti piracy coalition. However currently, the watchkeepers seem to control the corridor effectively due to systemic, continuous monitoring, 24/7 communication with transiting ships and their military presence.

Overall, piracy against sail boats is a topic discussed heavily and emotionally between cruisers. Of course, that’s no surprise, as pirate attacks are affecting the well being of crews and ships. However, a glance into the statistics tells that less than five cases of attempted or successful pirate attacks have been reported yearly in recent years. Defining theft not as piracy, but cases of unauthorised boarding and violent robbery. Finally, the risk assessment is lying in the hands of the captain of each vessel, who has to judge about the relevance of single, but terrible cases on his ship and crew. Under the same circumstances, we would be starting again on passage to the Red Sea. During the whole duration of three weeks in the high risk area, we felt safe.

Currently, we are sailing full speed northbound. The northerly winds have been switched on in the morning and are now blowing at 30 knots, again much more than forecasted. Moya is flying over the waves of the disturbed seas, without main sail, just going with genoa and jib. Weather in the Red Sea is challenging, indeed.

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Comment from Martin ( Schwiegervater von Sarah)
wünsche euch eine gute Fahrt durchs Rote Meer.....der Wind könnte laut Vorhersage sich mit eurer Fahrt zu euren Gunsten wenden...