OLD FRONT PAGES 2012
 
Job Application Job Application Job Application
Job Application Job Application Job Application
 
WILL ARRIVE HOME PORT
IN OSLO
3rd NOVEMBER
2012
kl 12 00 >>>
 
 


Getting close...(photo Roy Thoresen)



Just after...
Oslo -  4. Nov. 2012 - Pos 59°55N 010°40E -
sailed dist.from Oslo 64360
nm

THANK YOU VERY MUCh!!!

Empire tied up in Oslo Motorbåtforening, Bestumkilen in Oslo Saturday 3rd November kl 1200 – after exactly 7 years and 4 months on tour!
A lot of people waited at the pier and gave us a fantastic welcome. We were probably a bit nervous about what to expect. We are probably still a bit nervous – to find out what to expect in the weeks to come…
On our way toward Bestumkilen we were boarded by pirates. The pirates were the nearest family welcoming us in a RIB. A big Norwegian Flag was hoisted – with the “Pirates flag” above. Also three sailboats met us out in the Oslofjord, escorting us safely to the pier in Empire’s home port.
On the dock we had a lovely reunion. Most people we hadn’t seen for a long time, some people had visited under way. It felt unreal but good to hug so many good friends and family – but it also feels sad that the trip has come to its end.
The weather was dark and threatening, but the rain stayed away until everybody got their hugs. When it started to rain we all gathered under the canvas on the terrace of Oslo Motorbåtforening. Sausages were put on the barbecue and we had a nice reunion.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR A FABOLUS RECEPTION !!!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH ALSO TO EVERYBODY THAT HAVE FOLLOWED OUR JOURNEY !!!

The voyage has come to its end, but we will post more letters and pictures in the time to come. We hope to do several talks from the trip. KNS (The Royal Norwegian Sailing association), the Maxi owners club and the Norwegian Bavaria owners Club have already ordered their talks to coming club meetings… In the time to come, we also plan to use our web pages for new projects – stay tuned, stay tuned!

View what Seilmagasinet web writes 16.03.2013>>>
View what Osloby.no/Aftenposten writes>>>

View Aftenposten Aften 09.11.2012>>>
View Nordre Aker Budstikke 08.11.2012>>>

View NRK Østlandssendingen 07.11.2012
(from about 2/3 out (time 1852
))

View what Seilas web writes >>>
View what VG writes Sunday 4th November >>>
View what the local newspaper "Ditt Oslo" writes >>>

Nord for Steilene ble vi bordet av sjørøvere. Sjørøverne ble "tatt til fange" i Empire og måtte pent bli med til Bestumkilen. Søndag morgen våknet vi til tørkende festflagg - og Heidis bursdag. Sist Heidi feiret bursdag i Norge var i 2004. GRATULERER MED DAGEN! Søndag begynte vi den "tunge" jobben. Båten skal tømmes - og båten skal vinterklargjøres for første gang siden vinteren 2004/5!
Homborsund - 28. Oct. 2012 - Pos 58°16N 008°31E - sailed dist.from Oslo 64214 nm


Eirik had never seen thin ice
like this...
ETA OM, Bestumkilen Saturday 3.Nov kl 1200

REUNIONS ALONG THE COAST!


We had exciting days and lovely reunion with many friends also in Stavanger. Geann was one of many visitors when Empire was moored in Vågen downtown Stavanger. We got to know Geann when we sailed in Malaysian waters in 2009. Now she is studying and working in Stavanger. After shifting to Grasholmen, there were more reunions. Sverre Erik in ”Vagabond Virgin” – we got to know him in the Pacific Ocean and in New Zealand 2007/8 – grabbed our lines when we docked. Kjartan had been out hunting and came directly from the forest – with dear meet for Empire’s fridge. Several fantastic reunions – reviveing many good memories.
A slow sail took us past Jærens Rev and Lista. After a short visit in Farsund we headed toward Kristiansand.
Safely moored in Auglandsbukta just south of central Kristiansand, we visited Anne and Jørgen from "Vanvara" – that we got to know along the European coast and in Caribbean in 2005/6. Our loyal crewmember Bjørnar also visited in Kristiansand – We had fantastic days with reunions also in the “capital” of Southern Norway.
The winter is getting closer. When we threw off from Kristiansand, there was a thin layer of ice in Auglandsbukta. Sailing north through Blindleia we had to “break” the ice a few places. It is a good thing that Empire is well experienced from colder water…

View article from Seilas web 02112012>>>

Most read on Seilas web october>>>

View article from Seilas web>>>

From the link on the left side you can see our position...
We are back east of "Cape" Lindesnes. More than 7 years have passed since last time we were there. If we should have made any complains - it would have been about not enough wind along the Norwegian coast... Since "last time" the crew has increased by 2 young sailors, both in exVanavara and in Empire!
Stavanger - 21. Oct. 2012 - Pos 58°58N 005°44E - sailed dist.from Oslo 64047 nm


With a little help Marius
managed to blow the
lights - before he ate the
sweets on top...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARIUS!

Marius was born 2 years ago - in Yamba, NSW, Australia. Today after sailing 22000 nautical miles he arrived in Stavanger. Stavanger was the last place Empire visited in Norway in 2005, before she headed off for Scotland.
We had very nice days in Bergen. Also in Bergen we met friends we hadn’t seen for a long time. We also enjoyed a tour onboard the Norwegian submarine HNOMS Utstein, when she was moored at VSF Verftet for the premier of the movie “2 liv” (2 lives).
From Bergen we followed the to us well known lead south, before we tied up at Sunde where Heidi has relatives. A nice reunion for everybody.
From Sunde we headed out the Hardangerfjord, across the notorious Sletta and to Haugesund. Also in Haugesund we had several friends on board. Saturday turned out to be Marius’ and Eirik’s best days, since they during the day had 4 kids their own age visiting on board.
The birthday celebration started before we departed Haugesund. As we sailed through Smeasundet cake was served and presents were opened.
Light showers in the morning left turned to sun and almost no clouds. For once it was not necessary to dress in long underwear. It felt almost like summer when we arrived in Stavanger.

Empire live in Stavanger (when she was there)>>>

From the link on the left side you can see our position...

Eivind once worked on board the Kobben class KNM Utsira - the rest of the family got to see what today is closest to a good old submarine!! When we arrived in Haugesund Eirik was on the helm! No problems! LEGO "helicopterplane" and LEGO "upanddown" (crane) was what he wished for...
Bergen - 16. Oct. 2012 - Pos 60°24N 005°20E - sailed dist.from Oslo 63936 nm


Lovely Norwegian water
temperatures and excellent
view - we enjoy being back
in Norway!

THE DATE IS SET

There was no family expansion in Rugsund while we were there. The new family member waited until we were approaching Bergen Tuesday. Welcome ! to the little girl – and congratulations to the new parents and grandparents on Rugsundøy!!!
A couple of days in Rugsund turned into 5. The Captain helped rebuilding one of the buildings in listed Rugsund and the next article for the sailing magazine Seilas was written. We also had time for a dive near the pontoons. It was lovely to dive in Norwegian water again!
From Rugsund we headed for Vågen in Fjaler, where we met Yngve and Kjell. Yngve is a friend of Eivind and sailed on a long voyage with La Familia 2003 – 2007.
Very early Tuesday morning we departed Vågen. We motored across many long and narrow fjords and under many bridges and overhead cables. With 2 knots of wind – just in the face – the “ocean was flat as a table.
Except for all crew having caught a cold, we fully enjoy the days. Still - it is a bit annoying that we are closing in on our home port too quickly…
Tuesday late afternoon we arrived in Bergen and tied up at the inner end of Vågen. It is a strange thought that in just a little more than two week’s time we will arrive in our “home port”. At 1200 Saturday 3. November we will arrive in Oslo Motorbåtforening, Bestumkilen, Oslo!

Empire live in Haugesund (when she was there)>>>

Empire live in Bergen (when she was there)>>>

The Captain has sold himself...
From the link on the left side you can see our position...

"What's the name of the island where we are heading?",Eirik often asks in Norwegian. This day the "island was named "Bergen"... We have only met a few yachts on the voyage from Tromsø and south. Most of the time we are the only one out there. Heidi and Eivind have both been in Begen by boat several times before - the 2 sailors have not.
Rugsund - 10. Oct. 2012 - Pos 61°53N 005°19E - sailed dist.from Oslo 63822 nm


Last time Empire visited
Rugsund was the summer 2004.
Eivind also for years organized
diving trips to Rugsund for
friends every Easter, last diving
visit was Easter 2005.

BACK IN KNOWN WATERS

From Ragnar Thorseth's Håholmen a bit south of Kristiansund we headed over Hustadvika. In almost no wind we motor sailed the inner lead across the exposed stretch of water. The promised gale did not show up, so we kept on sailing until we arrived in Ålesund.
Heidi's friend Silje with family welcomed us to the city. We were invited to their home and we were “given” a car. We visited Ålesund Akvarium (aquarium) and we exercised our legs up the 418 steps to Fjellstua. Eirik and Marius found new friends in the family’s children Hedda (2) and Nora(5) – and would later absolutely not leave town…
When we Monday departed Ålesund , it was with 20knots of wind against us and the rain was pouring down. Therefore the trip went only across the fjord and to Fosnavåg. After the (for Empire) first frosty night, we continued south. In almost no wind we motor sailed around Stadtlandet, another exposed bit of the coast, in bumpy old swell from south west. After crossing Sildahavet and after sailing east of Vågsøy, we passed Måløy before sailing eastward in Nordfjorden.
Tuesday afternoon we tied up at Rugsund Handelsstad at Rugsundøy. Rugsund then became the first place in Norway we also have visited before we headed off on our long journey. Later in the afternoon we met the owner family of Rugsund Handelsted, and none of them had changed worth mentioning during the passed years. Except the daughter in the house, that has a bun in the oven almost ready to leave the oven. Maybe we will be midwifes before we depart Rugsund…

From the link on the left side you can see our position...

If you look very closely you can see Empire in Ålesundet - together with 4 other Bavarias...!

A lot to see at Ålesund Akvarium!

A lot to see at the docks in Ålesund...

Håholmen - 4. Oct. 2012 - Pos 63°01N 007°24E - sailed dist.from Oslo 63700 nm


With Peder as a guide we did
a nice walk to the peak of
Vættaheia. It was lovely to stretch
the legs in beautiful Norwegian
hiking terrain.

IN THE ADVENTURER'S FOOTPRINT

Luckily, so far we haven’t seen much to the well known Norwegian autumn weather. A bit too light winds have more or less been our challenge – except for one of the days when moored in Henningsvær.
In Sandnessjøen we met Helge and his family planning for a long trip in their Collin Archer ”Josefine”, departure 2014. We also met the French singlehanded sailor Gerome. He has fallen in love with Norway and his boat has a regular berthing place in Sandnessjøen.
Next stop on our sailing south was Brønnøysund Båtforening's (yacht club’s) outport at Straumøy. Beautifully situated among the outer islands just hidden behind a few small reefs, we found two small floating pontoons and a little playground. For our young sailors the playground made the day.
One night’s sail from Straumøy we arrived in Skipnes on Skarsøya, just south of the entrance to Trondheimsfjorden. Peder (Eivind’s son) visiting his grandparents during the autumn holydays, took our lines together with his cousin Else when we came alongside.
After we got to know the Norwegian adventurer Ragnar Thorseth during our second Australia visit, we were excited to arrive at Håholmen. Ragnar’s little paradise on the old fishing station Håholmen is today a hotel and conference center, where the remains of the Viking ship Saga Siglar and other of the adventurer’s ships and excursions have a main position.

The Captain has sold himself...
From the link on the left side you can see our position...

Last time we had the BIG genoa on the forestay was probably in Indonesia in 2010...

There is nothing wrong with the young Empire sailors' balance...

20-20 people lived regularly on the fishing station, up to 200 fishermen lived there during the season.

Sandnessjøen - 27. Sep.2012 - Pos 66°01N 012°38E - sailed dist.from Oslo 63429 nm


Beautiful beaches at
Sørfugløy did not go unheeded.
“Bathing” both young sailors said
at the same time – and so it
went. Later they both said
“COOOLD”…

THE BEST FOR LAST

The Norwegian coast is fantastic! The fjords and mountains are mighty. And we are heading toward Oslo to  w o r k...???
From Henningsvær we sailed to Kjerringøy, where our friend Mr. Brox in Tromsø had given us the key to his “rorbu”. "You may need some vacation", he said.
Next stop was Bodø where we met friends and family. Tove and Finn – from the Norwegian yacht Xanadu that we met in the Pacific Ocean – welcomed us on the pier. Our friends took us to the Airplane museum, the Turist Hytta and to Saltstraumen – in addition to making a big dinner for the Captains birthday. Eivind on the other hand finally got the chance to work on “other people’s” boats. Xanadu got a new engine lifted aboard while we were in town.
From Bodø we sailed to Sørfugløy on Fugløy, before we via Holandsfjorden and Nordfjorden tied up at Klokkergården on Rødøy. Later we sailed via Melfjorden and Nordfjorden (a different Nordfjorden than the first one...) to Selsøyvik Handelstad at the island Lille Selsøy.
We were only ashore to stretch our legs, when Tone welcomed us to the island. Suddenly we were at the honorable café – with the Bishop and his men on episcopate visitation. Very interesting - and we got many new friends.
As we threw off from Selsøyvik the Hurtigrute “Midnattsol” sailed through the narrow passage on her way south. We followed her and put up all sails - toward Sandnessjøen. Finally we could enjoy nice sailing in easterly wind through some of the fjords.

View the article from the newspaper "Avisen Nordland"

When "Anna af Sand" came within hailing distance as we headed toward Kjerringøy, we heard from the boat ”Welcome home!”

The white water in the background is Saltstraumen, the strongest tidal current in the world.

Both from the first and second Nordfjorden we had a magnificent view to the biggest glacier in Norway – Svartisen.

Henningsvær, Lofoten-16. Sep.2012-Pos 68°15N 014°207E-sailed dist.from Oslo 63214 nm


Hurtigruten can hardly turn
in Trollfjorden - Empire on her
side had plenty of space.

BEAUTIFUL NORTH NORWAY

Empire stayed a few more days safely moored behind the breakwater at Stø, Langøy, after the crew returned. Calm days in the family house a short distance from the harbour was necessary after hectic days in Oslo.
Before we set sail further south we had time to meet up with family and friends in Vesterålen and Harstad. First stop after Stø was Sortland where we tied up in the middle of the city at Torghuken. Article from VOL
Next day we continued south through Raftsundet, Trollfjorden, south of Svolvær and westwards to Henningsvær. The passage south was mainly motor sailing. The nature is mighty and beautiful with peaks all aorund. We have "saved" the best for the last! Sailing into Trollfjorden the landscape showed its best - dressed in sunshine and colourful autumn.
We will probably stay a few more days in Henningsvær waiting for yet anoyther storm to pass.

Article from the newspaper "Avisen Nordland"

If we had sticked to the plan of "only" 5 years on tour, also Marius could have met Great Grandmother... The Litlle Sailors are enjoing calm days in
the protected North Norwegian Fjords.
Stø, Vesterålen - 10. Sep. 2012 - Pos 69°01N 015°007E - sailed dist.from Oslo 63138 nm


During  Marius` and Eirik`s
short stay in Oslo they managed
to say hello to Auntie Sadie and
Uncle Øyvind (Heidi`s brother)
and to inspect the playhouse
that Grand Dad Tore (Heidi`s
father) had renovated. Both
sailors were impressed when
they saw the big spacious
house!


BACK IN NORWAY

Beautiful sailing east, north of Lofoten and Vesterålen toward Tromsø, gave a fantastic welcome to Norway. When we arrived in Tromsø Johanna took the lines. Later we didn`t have a spare second. “Regular" friends and friends from the Pacific Ocean showing up at the fish soup at Sissel`s and Hans Olaf`s place made a beautiful setting after the arrival.
Nina took us up the cablecar Fjellheisen with a great view of Tromsø and Martin showed us his cottage at Kvaløya. Eivind also found time to do some work, since Hans Olaf wanted an expert to inspect the standing rigging on his Bavaria 40. Also some of the magazine Seilas` and Empire-web readers found their way to the dock during the days in Tromsø, to welcome us back in Norway. Thank you very much!!
After departure Tromsø we sailed by the ex navy base Olavsvern, where Eivind years ago spent some time when he was working onboard the submarine KNM Utsira. Later we easily sailed through Rystraumen with the tide running 6 knots against, by sailing close to the shore. First stop was Engenes at Andørja, the following day heading for Stø, Langøya, Vesterålen.
On the way south things happened quickly. Eivind`s father invited to 75 years birthday celebration and Lunde Båt – where Eivind before the departure in 2005 worked as a service manager – wanted extra crew for the boat show “Båter i Sjøen”. Already Wednesday Eivind landed in Oslo for exhibition work with the rest of the Empire crew heading the same way Saturday for birthday celebration. Sunday we headed back north in different planes. After finishing work at the boat show, Eivind landed at Evenes as the last Empire crew just before midnight.
Even though Eivind worked for his previous employer at the boat show, he - and also Heidi - are still available on the open market...
Suddenly – for a few days – we tried the “regular life”. Most probably the knowledge that Empire was waiting at Stø saved us during the short sudden change!
- View the article from the newspaper "I Tromsø"!
- View the article from the local newspaper "Øksnesavisa"!
Last time we met the Norwegian cruise ship "Hurtigruta Nord Norge" was in Patagonia, Chile, South America - this time we met in Vågsfjorden, Vesterålen, Norway. We tried to sail in to the submarine tunnel at the ex navy base Olavsvern, but Empire`s mast is too high. The civilian guard at Olavsvern was not particularly happy... We spent the days in Vesterålen visiting friends  and family. Visiting Erik Tendeland Heidi picked up ideas for future projects.
Tromsø, Norway-30. Aug. 2012-Pos 69°39N 018°58E-sailed dist.from Oslo 62997 nm
DAY 6
30. August kl 1120 (UTC+2) Pos 69
°39N 018°58E, course -, speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Djupivogur, Iceland 873nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 0nm.
Safely moored outside Norges Råfisklag in Tromsø after a superb voyage from Iceland. Johanna that sailed with the Norwegian yacht Go Beyond across the Indian Ocean took our lines when we arrived. Since we had a anchor toast... We are back in Norway! View the article from the Norwegian newspaper "I Tromsø".

DAY 6

30. August kl 0001 (UTC+2) Pos 69
°35N 016°50E, course 064, speed 6,5 knots,
sailed dist. from Djupivogur, Iceland 820nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 59nm.
We are soon entering protected water. Will arrive Tromsø from the south.
We did not notice anything when we early last morning saw the mountains in Lofoten. First after speaking with Bodø Radio later the same morning we started shaking. HELP! We are actually approaching Norway.
ETA Tromsø Thursday kl 1200 local time.

DAY 5

29. August kl 0800 (UTC+2) Pos 68
°40N 011°48E, course 062, speed 5,8 knots,
sailed dist. from Djupivogur, Iceland 707nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 175nm.
Finally the wind came back, with more than we wished for. The last 1½ day we have had 30 – 35 knots of wind, first from ESE which gave close hauled headwind sailing. Later the wind has shifted more towards the south giving more comfort on board. This morning the wind is down to 20-22 knots. We expect to see Norwegian bedrock before dark to night.
Last night gave an almost-collision with a biiig freighter. Luckily the freighter saw us – in time…
ETA Tromsø Thursday afternoon/evening.

DAY 3

26. August kl 2000 (UTC+1) Pos 65
°51N 001°32W, course 065, speed 6,8 knots, motor sailing,
sailed dist. from Djupivogur, Iceland 345nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 538nm.
After motor sailing a few hours after leaving Djupivogur the sails could do the job alone.We first enjoyed close hauled sailing eastward, before the wind shifted and we could give some slack in the sheets. This afternoon the engine is again running to give us an extra push.  Empire is a "happy ship" and also Wilhelm has found his sea legs. Eirik is training to show us where  Norway is on the chart - and Marius doesn`t bother to much about this "arriving in Norway" thing...
ETA Tromsø Thursday 30. August.

DAY 1

24. August kl 1100 (UTC) Pos 64
°00N 22°33W, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Djupivogur, Iceland 0nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 860nm
The weather and wind prognosis looks very promising. If the wind becomes what the gribfiles tell, we are very lucky...
Djupivogur, Iceland - 23.Aug 2012 - Pos 64°40N 14°17W-sailed dist.from Oslo 62124 nm
DAY 3
23. August kl 1300 (UTC) Pos 64
°40N 14°17W, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Keflavik, Iceland 310nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 860nm.
Then there was one more stop at Iceland - in Djupivogur in Bedufjoerdur at the east coast. Mostly motor and motorsailing from Keflavik. We are probably heading of again Friday, when the wind is supposed to come from a nice direction...

DAY 1

21. August kl 0755 (UTC) Pos 64
°00N 22°33W, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Keflavik, Iceland 0nm - dist. to Tromsø, Norway 1144nm
There is a chance that this trip goes all the way to Tromsø - but we may as well stop somewhere on the east side of Iceland. The winds will be decicive when we have rounded the southern part of the Sagaisland... Our crew Wilhelm has put the anti seasick-bandaid behind his ear and is also ready for the possible long leg!
Reykjavik, Iceland - 18.Aug 2012 - Pos 64°09N 21°56W-sailed dist.from Oslo 61793 nm


"Litli-Geysir was pretty ok",
Eirik said. Stokkur was a bit
more frightening...

WITH NEW CREWMEMBER!

Safely tied up at Brokey Siglingafèlag (Brokey Yacht Cluc`s) pier near the Opera in Reykjavik, our new neighbor was a Norwegian/Swedish sailboat. La Pinta sailed from Sweden to circumnavigate Island with a stop in Greenland, soon heading back toward Sweden.
We hooked up to the yacht club`s wifi internet connection – and suddenly we were one more crewmember. Wilhelm, a former colleague and also a friend of Eivind, asked if we had room for one more crew on board – and in the next email he had ordered his ticket to Reykjavik. For how long Wilhelm will join us we don`t know, but at least to Tromsø – if that is where we are heading. Welcome aboard!
We managed to do a couple of days of preparations for the next leg before picking Wilhelm up at Keflavik Airport – for a long day of sightseeing. Gullfoss (waterfall), Strokkur (the neighboring geyser to the “not working” Geysir) and Alltinget (the place of the Norsemen`s/Viking`s old parliament) were all visited. Also a couple of the hot baths in Reykjavik have been tested.
We will probably head one way or the other toward the north east “corner” of Island sometime during the weekend. From there the course will be set home toward our native country. HELP!
Gullfoss is one of Island`s big tourist attractions - of course we had to visit the huge water fall! Empire is moored at one of Brokey Siglingafèlag`s piers  near the new opera building in Reykjavik. Every year the gap between the Europe plate and the America platen increases with 20mm - and we walked "safely" in the gap...
Reykjavik, Iceland - 12.Aug 2012 - Pos 64°09N 21°56W-sailed dist.from Oslo 61793 nm
TOWARDS ICELAND
DAY 5

12. August kl 1430 (UTC) Pos 64
°09N 21°56V, course -, speed 0,0 knots, wind E 25 knots,
sailed dist. from Augpilagtoq, Greenland 698 nm - dist. to Reykjavik, Iceland 0 nm.
Calculation or luck - The wind stayed steady between SW and S until 2 hours before arrival in Reykjavik. Then the wind shifted to 25 knots from E - but then we had only a short distance to go...
We are back in "warm" waters, the seawater is now 12
°C.

DAY 3

10. August kl 0400 (UTC -1) Pos 62
°10N 35°22V, course 064, speedt 6,6 knots, wind S 20knots,
sailed dist. from Augpilagtoq, Greenland 310 nm - dist. to Reykjavik, Iceland 360 nm.
Sailing through Prince Christian Sound we got an amazing view of Greenland. The fog disappeared and the sun was reflected by glaciers in the beautiful fjords. The coldest sea temperature measured was chily 0,8°C! The wind was blowing from SW, but as we left the fjord the wind died and the fog encapsuled our boat. After 8 hours by motor the wind came back and we got glimses of the sun. Since then the wind has been between 20 to 30knots from between SW to S. Empire is sailing towards Iceand like a speed cargo train...


DAY 1

8. August kl 0630 (UTC -2) Pos 60
°09N 44°17V, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Augpilagtoq, Greenland 0nm - dist. to Reykjavik, Iceland 670nm.
Yesterday we decided to set sail for Iceland already today – the weather forecast was to tempting, even though we would have loved to spend more time in Greenland’s amazing nature. If we had decided to wait for the next weather window it could have been more than a week for the winds to be favourable again. And soon it will be autumn in the Northern Atlantic Ocean...
Before we left Augpilagtoq, a tiny village with 120 inhabitants, squeezed in between rocks and high mountains in Prince Christian Sound, we visited Ikigait. Across the fjord from Fredriksdal we anchored of the old Viking place, the first and last place where the Vikings/Norsmen lived in Greenland. There was not much to see, but we could feel the historic vibrations.
Nanortalik, Greenland - 5.Aug 2012 - Pos 60°08N 45°14W-sailed dist.from Oslo 61053 nm

Also Norsemen (Vikings) took
a bath in the hot spring at
Uunartoq – about 1000 years
ago. ”Hooot!” Marius said, when
he lowered his feets in the
35°C water.

FANTASTIC NATURE!

Vårt første møte med Grønland ble veldig hyggelig. Narsaq (Sletten) er en stille og rolig by der det ikke skjer så mye, men naturen er storslagen. Sammen med sin kjæreste serverte Politimannen Lasse som vi møtte på bryggen ved ankomst kaffe og kaker i deres hus neste ettermiddag - som etter en omvisining i Empire endte med middag om bord.
Seilasen sydover gikk innenskjærs til Qaqortoq (Julianehåb), den største "byen" på sørkysten av Grønland.
Da vi la til var det stor ståhei - ikke fordi Empire ankom byen, men fordi et cruiseskip lå ankret i bukten. For noen få timer var innbyggertallet i Qaqortoq doblet, med mye mennesker i gatene...
Fra Qaqortoq seilte vi til øya Uunartoq der vi fant en lun bukt på vestsiden, hvor vi ankret i le av en halvøy av grus som isbreen la igjen for mange år siden. Da vi fulgte stien sydover på øya fant vi de varme kildene...
Da vi neste dag lettet anker møtte vi sansynligvis alle de andre seilbåtene som ferdes på Grønland. På østsiden av samme øy som vi forlot fant vi den amerikanske båten Ramshackle, som vi ble kjent med i St. John's på Newfoundland. Senere møtte vi enda en amerikansk båt i en av fjordene - og så veldig mange flere er det nok ikke som ferdes under seil i disse farvann... Grønlandske seilbåter finnes visst nok ikke!
Utpå ettermiddagen fortøyde vi ved kaien til fiskemottaket i Nanortalik.
Amazing sailing grounds!!! Eirik is getting tougher and toucher – 5 minutes after arrival he was playing with new friends on the wharf!
Narsaq, Greenland - 29.July 2012 - Pos 60°54N 46°02W-sailed dist.from Oslo 60961 nm

Skovfjorden 2012 - Last
time Empire had icecubes
near her hull, was in
Patagonia, Chile, in 2007.

FOG, ICE AND RAIN

Mum’s nerves and kid’s fever came under control. The forecast promised more than enough wind the first day – and that’s what we got.
No icebergs were present in the vicinity when we departed Newfoundland. At least we we did not see them, until the fourth – and last – night toward Greenland. Even in thick fog the icebergs at night seemed to glow in a weak blue/white color, even before we actually could see them. We had good use of the radar, even though it can’t “see” the smallest bits of ice.
When we contacted the Ice Central we were told that Bredefjorden was so full of ice, that it was not a recommended route. Skovfjorden on the other hand, would give better odds.
We were heading for Narsaq, positioned in a cross fjord between Bredefjorden and Skovfjorden. We sailed in the fjord zigzagging between spread out icebergs in different sizes. There was more than enough room for Empire to slip through, without putting the ship or her crew in danger. As we closed in on Narsaq, in the western part of the cross fjord we saw a cork of icebergs. No wonder why the Ice Central recommended Skovfjorden!
The icebergs were positioned in rows and they were BIG!!! In the bay near Narsaq smaller icebergs were afloat near the dock – but on the inside we could tie up safely.
The Police officer that was originally in the harbor to take notes after a beer burglary the night before, welcomed us. Formalities – “no, this is Greenland”. “Before you come for coffee and cakes at my wife’s and my place tomorrow, you can drop by the Police station to get your passports stamped”, he answered after Eivind told that it could be a good idea to be able to prove that we had left Canada in time…
Welcome to Greenland!
St. Anthony, Newf.land-24.July 2012-Pos 51°21N 55°34W-sailed dist.from Oslo 60301 nm

The last 2 days the chef from
CCGS Harp delivered
Newfoundland specialties
onboard Empire for us to taste.

POSTPONED DEPARTURE FOR GREENLAND

The plan was to throw off and set course for Greenland last Saturday. The combination of an apparently short weather window, a bit of mother’s anxiety , Marius with a viral infection giving blisters, fever and no appetite – in addition to that we had a few more things could fix, makes us postpone the departure a few days. At least until Marius’ fever has come down.
In St. Anthony there is a “Come Home festival” going on this week, a party where one has tried to get as many as possible that has left town to come back for a week – with celebration. On the long term the hope is to get more people to return to St. Anthony to settle. About 2800 souls live in St. Anthony, this week it is estimated to be around 6000.
Also in St. Anthony the people are extremely friendly. The chef on the Coast Guard ship that is berthed at the same wharf as Empire, has invited us to use their little house on the dock – washing machine, shower with hot water and even TV if we had a wish for that. Since the electricity in Canada is 120 volt, especially the hot shower is extra very welcome. Empire (‘s hot water boiler) prefers 240 volt… The service is really too good for us to leave town…
We are probably throwing off Wednesday.

Empire is playing with the bigger ones...

Flora just like home (in Norway)!

"Welcome home".

St. Anthony, Newf.land-19.July 2012-Pos 51°21N 55°34W-sailed dist.from Oslo 60301 nm

By car we visited L'Anse Aux
Meadows, the small village
where Mr. And Mrs. Ingstad in
the60’s excavated a Norse
settlement probably after Eirik
the Red and Leif Erikson. Very
interesting!

ONLY FOUR ON BOARD

Eirik is no longer complaining about “ants in the pants”. It seems like the pills killed all worms in our youngest sailors!
St. John`s is a very pleasant city dominated by oil- and offshore industry. The transient berths are centrally located downtown, and we have had many curious visitors on the dock. The conversation has often started like this: “When did you come over (from Norway)?” – “Well, we sailed from Oslo 7 years ago…”
When Ed and his father John in the yacht Rol’n Rose “finally” arrived in St. John’s, Ed took us around for sightseeing in St. John’s and surrounding areas. The scenery is a bit like the western part of Norway, though not that steep. The village Quidi Vidi is a very beautiful place in the small cove just north of St. John’s, where we really would have loved to spend the winter if we had been able to find work…
Ed's mum invited to a barbeque at her house, where we also met other family members. Oliver (3) quickly became Eirik’s new best friend. Tears came when the afternoon came to an end. “I will never see him again”, Eirik cried when we came back to Empire…
He voyage toward St. Anthony was cold. It takes time to get used to sea temperatures down to 9°C – and it will get even colder when we head further north!
The Newfis are very hospitable and all over we meet helpful and friendly people. Sadly are we probably throwing off heading toward Greenland already Saturday.

St. John's' harbor is safe whatever weather. It is located in a tiny fjord with a very narrow inlet.

The real Norsemen (Vikings) come from Norway!

Cape Onion – we saw several big grounded icebergs in the horizon, just off the coast from the northern tip of The Great Northern Peninsula!

St. John`s, Newfoundland-11.July 2012-Pos 47°34N 52°42W-sailed dist.from Oslo 60025 nm

Halifax is a very lively city with
transient berthing located
downtown.

 

HELP! WE GOT WORMS ONBOARD

From Lunenburg we headed toward Halifax, where Bjørnar signed of after three weeks on board. Many Canadians with and without Norwegian ancestors and several Norwegians came by to say “welcome”. The east coast Canadians seem to be very hospitable and friendly!
The second day under way from Halifax toward St. John`s, Newfoundland, we discovered worms on board. Luckily Empire is no wooden boat… First Eirik complained about pain in his as. We thought he just got a “hard stomach” until his deliveries were examined. Lots of worms were discovered in our oldest sailor`s deliveries and on his as.
Luckily travel Doctor Otto at Tåsenklinikken in Oslo gave us a wide specter of medicines for our Ship`s Pharmacy when we left in 2005. All on board were immediately put on a Vermox treatment. We also found worms on our youngest sailor, but mum and dad seem to have gone clear so far…
Worms infect easily from person to person. Instead of clothes nappies we now use disposables from the “emergency stock”. In addition the on board hygiene is strengthened, which is not very easy with two small children that want to touch everything all the time…
In Halifax we also met Ed, who sailed from Texas in his 28” sailboat 11 months ago. First south in the Caribbean Gulf, then north toward his hometown St. John`s. He calculated he would spend a few more days on the voyage than Empire, so he told us his sister would take care of us until he would arrive home…
Honorary Consul Steinar Engset welcomed us to Halifax and later delivered scrimps for a whole battalion on board! East coast Canadians have many strong ties to Norway. We got to know thee Canadian long voyage sailor Ian in the Pacific Ocean in 2008. By road Ian and his girlfriend Yasmeen visited in Halifax.
Lunenburg, Canada - 3.July 2012-Pos 44°22N 64°18W-sailed dist.from Oslo 59518 nm

At Fisheries Museum of the
Atlantic in Lunenburg, Marius
and Eirik tried out old ship
building methods.

HAPPY CELEBRATION

We got time to do one more visit before leaving USA. After almost three weeks with Betsy and Nat in South Freeport, we headed north to Linekin Bay. There we met Nathaniel`s (who sailed with us from New Zealand to Vanuatu in 2008) family. Bayville is a beautiful place and we were serviced at higest level.
Thursday we set the course over Bay of Fundy, arriving in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Friday afternoon. Our trip`s so far nicest Customs officers welcomed us to Canada later same evening.
1st July we celebrated the Canadian national Day together with the citizens of Yarmouth. Something was going on at the dock the whole day – that had deserved more people showing up. Though in the afternoon there was lots of people dockside. The fireworks at dusk made full score in the beautiful weather.
Monday we headed south and passed around Cape Sable in beautiful sunshine – aiming for Lunenburg further north on the east coast of Nova Scotia. When we arrived in the city where famous “Bluenoose II” is rebuilt, we could celebrate 7 years on a long voyage!
Eirik still remembered the celebration of the Norwegian national Day the 17th of May – and wondered why they didn`t parade in the streets on their national Day… Empire`s boys (the two youngest ones) got one more girlfriend at the pier in Yarmouth. The rebuilding of the replica of the Canadian flagship “Bluenose” is soon to an end. She will be ready to launch before end of July.
S. Freeport, Me, USA - 24.June 2012-Pos 43°49N 70°06W-sailed dist.from Oslo 59197 nm

Eirik and Marius are fighting to get the neighbour girl Lyman`s attentiont...

WORKING HOLIDAY

The talk we did from our trip at Harraseeket Yacht Club was good training for possible future events (when back in Norway?).  40 members showed up on the club`s “new member evening”, and got to hear a little bit from our experiences over the last seven years. Marius did not understand why he should calm down when there was so many to play with… Our friend Nat did a splendid job as technician, until Betsy was able to take over as nanny and Heidi could go back to the “levers”…
Bjørnar landed in Portland, Maine, June 18th, to sign on board for the 13th time – since Empire departed Oslo in 2005. Bjørnar is sailing with us to Halifax, Canada, but first work had to be done while moored in Haaraseeket River. After a severe misdelivery Selden America on the second attempt managed to deliver almost all parts correct Friday, just in time for the rigger to press the terminals before his working day was over… Saturday Bjørnar and the Captain did the finishing touch replacing the standing rigging. Empire is again ready to head on!
The yacht again remain heavy in the water. With two children “as helpers” Heidi has visited several supermarkets. Empire is stocked up and ready to go. Soon we will be heading “down east” as they say in Maine – or north as we would have said.
When he`s not occupied with rig work onboard Empire, Bjørnar enjoys the freedom biking around South Freeport. We are not impressed about Selden America`s accuracy in delivery times or picking part! Birthday celebration in South Freeport. Betsy`s ...2 years birthday was celebrated with Empire-pizza!
S. Freeport, Me, USA - 12.June 2012-Pos 43°49N 70°06W-sailed dist.from Oslo 59197 nm

As usual when Empire is on the
hard, 8 hours shifts are not
enough...

BACK IN THE WET ELEMENT

The Captain`s arms are almost paralyzed, but the ship is shining as if she was brand new. It was about time that we gave Empire a real shine-up. Even though she has been shined now and then, it was in Thailand two years ago we last gave her a real face lift. In addition to the visible, we have replaced the rubber seal around the sail drive and looked after several other things. We – that means the Captain. Heidi has been busy keeping track of two small sailors on shore leave.
At the same time we are visiting Betsy and Nat, which are hospitality itself. While we are in South Freeport we live in a house on land! We spent the weekend on Yarmouth Island where Nat and his family owns half the island. The houses on the island are kept in the about 100 year old style and are beautifully situated in untouched old forest. We (=Nat and Eivind) also got time for a swim in the sea. It is better to get used to "cool" bathing temperatures sooner than later...
With Empire Tuesday finally back where she belongs, it was confirmed that the Captain still knows his business. The newly mounted rubber seal did not leak. We still have some maintenance work, washing and cleaning to do. It is incredible how much we don`t manage to do with two small sailors onboard.
The only bigger work left is replacing the standing rig. Norwegian Jan Pedersen that immigrated to USA 45 years ago runs Bayview Rigging in Yarmouth. Hopefully he can deliver the wires so that we can put them in place this weekend. But first we are going to give a talk about our soon 7 year long voyage at Harraseeket Yacht Clubs new member evening Friday.
Eirik is getting pretty good in English - Eirik and Marius are almost fighting for "aunt" Betsy! Cozy evening on Yarmouth Island - the picture does not tell wheter Nat is awake or not... Finally - with an ebbing tide everything had to go by the book!
S. Freeport, Me, USA - 7.June 2012-Pos 43°49N 70°06W-sailed dist.from Oslo 59196 nm

To be able to get the sail drive
out, the engine has to be
moved...

ON THE HARD

From Newport (RI) we sailed to Pocasset Harbor just south of the southwestern end of Cape Cod Canal. Wednesday we sailed through the canal and north to South Freeport. Our friend Nat met us in his rubber dinghy and piloted us in to South Freeport and Harraseeket River.
Very nice to see Betsy and Nat again – last time we met Bahati and crew was in Thailand in the beginning of 2010.
Friday Empire was put on the hard for necessary maintenance. Already painted with new antifouling she is longing to come back in the water, but first the sail drive with new rubber membrane and the engine has to be put back in place. Later all standing rigging is to be replaced.
 South Freeport is a small village. "Everybody" knows that the Norwegian yacht on the hard at Strouts Marine belongs to some strange Norwegians that have been sailing for almost 7 years…
After long working hours we are enjoying land life together with Betsy and Nat. They have generously opened their home to us – and they enjoy “peaceful” days with two active children.
June 15th  we are giving a talk about our travels in Harraseeket Yacht Club - welcome!

S/v Bahati on her mooring in Harraseeket River - it is 2 years since mpire and Bahati sailed in same waters.

Eirik is excited to watch and ready to help. The little sailors are also working - here in the nearest kindergarden.
Newport, RI, USA - 27. May 2012 - Pos 41°28N 71°20W - sailed dist.from Oslo 59031 nm

Concentrating hard during training is important... Eirik still has a few more classes to attend before he is able to keep Empire on course!

FURTHER NORTH

We would have loved to stay longer in New York City, but economy and “lack of time” make us push on. Hopefully we will see more of New York City next time… Before we head north to Nova Scotia we are planning to haul Empire in South Freeport, Maine, for antifouling. Also the rubber membrane around the S-drive and all standing rigging are to be replaced! Same place we are also going to visit our friends Betsy and Nat from s/y Bahati.
We headed northeast from New York, between Manhattan and Brooklyn thru East River in to Long Island Sound. The first attempt to depart NYC ended back in the anchorage outside 79th Street Boat Basin. The fog got so thick that we couldn`t even see Brooklyn Bridge when we passed under it. On our second attempt the visibility was a bit better, but Empire State Building was still hidden in the fog.
A few nautical miles ENE in Long Island Sound we found a nice anchorage in Oyster Bay. Next day we motored the 20 nautical miles to Port Jefferson, a narrow little fjord cutting into Long Island.
Also the next days were very foggy. It is a good thing that we have radar, AIS and GPS! The leg from Port Jefferson was planned to go overnight but when it started to get dark and we hardly could see our navigation lights on the bow, we found it better to anchor for the night. Luckily the current was on our side when we between fast ferries and other ships “blind” navigated across The Race and in to West Harbor near Fisher Island.
The last leg toward Newport, Rhode Island also started in thick fog. Luckily the sun came thru later Saturday, and we had a beautiful sail in the fjord to Newport - the base to many sailing races, among them Americas Cup.

Under prevailing conditions good to have a real fog horn on board...

New York, USA - 20. May 2012 - Pos 40°47N 73°59W - sailed dist.from Oslo 58903 nm

17th of May 2012 -
Manhattan, New York City, USA.

HIPP HIPP HIPP HIPP HURRA!!

MANY WET EYES!

The Norwegian Constitution Day was celebrated together with the Norwegian Church Abroad in New York. We visited also the day before to say hello to the priest Hilde and the others at “Sjømannskirken”. The preparations for the big day were well on its way. Lots of people were expected.
When we arrived at the premises the 17th of May it was just enough room for us to get in – many had to participate from the entrance and from the street. After the preach it was a touched group of people singing the Norwegian national anthem “Ja vi elsker”. Also after Bjørn Eidsvåg`s words in memory of those killed by the terror actions in Norway 22. July last year, all eyes were wet. Celebrating the 17th of May abroad – and especially in New York – was very emotional!
A street party was on after the service. The Norwegian Church Abroad was for the first time allowed to close of 52nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue where the church is situated. After games for the younger ones and sausages, ice and Solo (a Norwegian brand close to Fanta orange) for everybody, Birkenes Hornmusikk played up for singing – and for a 17th of May parade around the block. It was a fantastic experience. It was not only Heidi and Eivind that had a lump in their throat, when we outside the church sung “Ja vi elsker” one more time.


           HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY!!!!
                   You can call us on our USA phone number !
A visit to "Ground Zero" gives time for reflection! A beautiful monument in memory of those who lost their lives 11th September 2001.

We met Nat, captain on American s/y Bahati, first time in Galapagos in 2007. He drove from Maine to visit us on the Norwegian National Day!

Air, sea and space museum aboard aircraft carrier USS Trepid in New York Harbor. Marius is very into planes these days and had a lot to learn – the rest of us, too!

New York, USA - 14. May 2012 - Pos 40°47N 73°59W - sailed dist.from Oslo 58903 nm

Pretty amasing to see from your own yacht...

NEW YORK, NEW YORK...

116 nautical miles of sailing north brought us to Sandy Hook. There we spent a few calm days anchored inside the breakwater near Atlantic Highlands.
Monday we set of for the final leg toward New York. First through The Narrows and under Verrazano Narrows Bridge, connecting New Jersey and Brooklyn. Then further north through Upper Bay and past Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty before we with Manhattan on starboard side sailed further up Hudson River to 79th Street Boat Basin, a rattling municipal marina near Central Park.
Eirik and Marius have been hanging over the railing all day, not to get a good view of Manhattan Skyline but to see all the planes flying over!
We were just about finished making Empire fast to the pier at 79th Street Boat Basin, when another Norwegian yacht entered the marina. S/y Esther with Maiken and Aksel had finally come loose form the shallows in the Inter Coastal Waterway and made their way to “The Big Apple”. Maiken and Aksel are also going to celebrate the 17. of May (the Norwegian National Day) in New York, before they head on – and head on is also for them the cold northerly way toward Norway this year!
We now have a USA phone number if you wish to make a call!
No longer tropical temperatures!

Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA!

Cape May, NJ, USA-7. May 2012-Pos38°57N 74°53W-sailed dist.from Oslo 58761 nm

Also Marius and Eirik had to
dress in more than only under-
wear or nappy, which was the
dress code until three days
before arriving in USA.
The “Marius pullovers” are strikket by a friend and Grandmother in Norway!

FANTASTIC WELCOME

Eivind`s father`s cousin Doris (86) and her friend Joan (89) from New Jersey in USA have followed our little sailing adventure via internet. Underway we have had some contact via email. When we made the decision to sail the northerly route toward Norway, Doris immediately invited to a stopover in New Jersey (NJ).
When we threw the anchor in Cape May Canal in NJ, we hoped that the clearing in process would be a quick one. Doris, Joan and Fred (Doris` son visiting from California) were expected at lunchtime same day.
The formalities turned out to be easy. One telephone call to Customs was all that had to be done, before we legally could go ashore.
When we by dinghy arrived at Corinthian Yacht Club, Doris and company had just arrived - and we got fantastic days together. By car we have been guided around in Doris` childhood vacation area and we have seen what`s worth seeing near Cape May. We also learned a lot of the Bogerud family history. Doris has the last 50 years done research on the Bogerud family ancestry. Now she even met the newest spouts on our branch of the family tree. Despite the family ties we earlier never met “cousin Doris”.
Marius and Eirik quickly became friends with their very fit “aunties”, and with “uncle” Fred. We really feel honored to receive such a welcome.
Also the official side of arriving in a new country gave us a positive first impression. Late afternoon the first day three Customs officers arrived in Cape May to issue the Cruising Permit! Welcome to America!!
Officer Feil, officer Gordon and officer Feil met us in Cape May center, to issue the Cruising Permit. Excellent service from “Customs and Border Protection” when we arrived in USA.

Sprekere damer ennn Doris og Joan skal man lete lenge etter – from right; Doris, Fred, Joan and 4 pcs "Empire`os".

Cape May is one of the oldest holiday destinations in USA. The small town has the biggest collection of Victorian style houses.

Cape May, NJ, USA-4.May 2012-Pos 38°57N 74°53W-sailed dist.from Oslo 58761 nm
Desert one of the days underway - tinned ananas!!! A last swim in tropical
waters before leaving
U.S.V.I.
The last two days toward Cape May was very calm!!
DAY 12
4. May kl 063 (UTC -4) Pos 38°57N 74°53W, kurs - , fart 0 knop, fog thick as mud,
sailed dist. from U.S.V.I. 1385 nm - dist. to Cape May 0 nm.
If we thought 18°C was cold water, the seawater thermometer now shows 13°C! After an exciting entrance to Cape May, New Jersey, USA this morning, we threw the anchor near the Coast Guard station in Cape May Canal. One phone call to Customs, and we were in the theory ready cleared in. Only a Cruising Permit is missing, but that will probably be sorted later today.

American relatives to Eivind were waiting on shore when we at Corinthian Yacht Club stepped ashore from the dinghy...

DAY 10

2. May kl 0001 (UTC -4) Pos 34
°59N 73°05W, kurs 341, fart 5,7 knop, vind SW 18 knots,
sailed dist. from U.S.V.I. 1111 nm - dist. to Cape May 255 nm.
The last days have given winds between 2 knots and 22 knots from different directions. The weather forecast promises nice conditions in the days to come. We are heading for Cape May in New Jersey as the first port of call in USA. ETA 4. May.
Our current position is about the same latitude as Cape Hatteras, where the warm Gulf Current from the south meets the cold Labrador Current from the north. The sea temperature is down to 18
°C. Brrr...
The sun is shining in daytime and the ocean is full of seaweed, which makes trolling for good fish impossible. Marius and Eirik are getting a bit restless to see "the new island America" - and to run a little more than 7 meters... Luckily they find a lot of fun inn each other.

DAY 6

28. April kl 0800 (UTC -4) Pos 27
°57N 70°06W, kurs 326, fart 4,1 knop, vind ENE 9 knots,
sailed dist. from U.S.V.I. 636 nm - dist. to Chesapeake Bay 623 nm, dist. to Cape May 700 nm.
After one day with a little bit more wind, we are again back in (a little bit too) calm conditions. Slowly but steady are we drifting toward the destination. We are surrounded by exceptional radio conditions. On the VHF radio we can hear the North Carolina Coast Guard  and Bermuda Radio, up to more than 600nm away. It is getting cooler. The water is "cold" with a temperature of only 22,7
°C. We have dug out fleece trousers and jackets. Only underwear is no longer enough! Ship O`Hoi.

DAY 3

25. April kl 0400 (UTC -4) Pos 22
°25N 67°07W, kurs 328, fart 4,7 knop, vind NE 5 knots,
motoring.
sailed dist. from U.S.V.I. 235 nm - dist. to Chesapeake Bay 998 nm, dist. to Cape May 1068 nm.
Calm conditions at sea.  The first 1½ day gave light wind from SSE. Mid day Tuesday the wind shifted to WSW, then in the evening shifting again to NE. We are heading slowly towards "Amerika". Soon we will get more wind...
Eirik and Marius are happy to be under sail again. Eirik is also qurious about "the new island America", he is counting his fingers to see how many days we are to remain at sea. Marius focus is on the fishing rod, even we only have had seaweed on the hook so far.

DAY
1
22. April kl 1200 (UTC -4) Pos 20
°41N 66°08W, course - , speed 0 knop,
sailed dis. from U.S.V.I. 0 nm - dist. to Chesapeake Bay 1290 nm, dist. to Cape May 1380 nm.
Sunday we hoisted anchor after nice days in Caneel Bay on St. John. Most of the time we spent working, finishing our next article for Seilas and putting together new pictures for the web site - but also some drama.
Eivind became part of a rescue opperation. He helped bringing up a lifeless man from 15 meters depth. The man had probably been skin diving when he got "shallow water black out". What happened after the man was hoisted on board to the national park rangers boat, we do not know...
We are heading for the US east coast. Exactly where on the coast we do not know at the moment. Maybe we will make landfall in Chesapeake Bay, Cape May or Atlantic City. The decition will be made when we know more about the wind and weather in one week`s time.
Peter Island, B.V.I. - 19. April 2012 - Pos 18°25N 64°37W - sailed dist.from Oslo 57376 nm

4 Norwegian yachts side by
side, one on the next pier and
Empire anchored just off the
marina.

NEW PLANS–AND ALMOST AN INVASION

The idea was to sail towards Bahamas, but late Monday evening we finally got the chance to read the latest news on “noonsite” regarding visa for the USA. Instead of Bahamas we travelled to U.S.V.I (the American part of the Virgin Islands) with the fast ferry. In Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas we got our passports stamped, USA visa valid for 90 days and allowing for the yacht on next visit. This solution is much easier and much cheaper (apx 700US$) than applying on the internet for a B1/B2 visa where you also have to arrange for a meeting at an US embassy ( for our part in Nassau, Bahamas)...
When we soon depart B.V.I. we will sail to St. John in U.S.V.I, where we check in to the USA. From there we can sail to mainland USA without further formalities. It only remains to see if it really works that smoothly…
When we arrived back in Road Town on Tortola (B.V.I.) after the ferry trip to U.S.V.I. Village Cay Marina was almost taken over by Norwegian yachts. S/y Nostra Vida and s/y Le Compromise was already berthed in the marina when we left Road Town earlier that morning, When we in the afternoon arrived back in the marina, also s/y Afrodite, s/y Fri Flyt and s/y Honningpupp had found their way to the marina. 3 of the Norwegian yachts are heading back to Norway on a transport ship, two are sailing via the Azores and Empire is first heading north along the east coast of USA and then east…
Kresten and Eirik in "the Exabyte swing".

It did not take Eirik long time to get to know the kids on board s/y Nostra Vida.

For Empire the meeting with "all the Norwegians" in Road town was a short one, since we are heading in a different direction.

Peter Isl., B.V.I. - 15. April 2012 - Pos 18°21N 64°34W - sailed dist.from Oslo 57360 nm


Conrad lives on Peter Island,
where he earlier worked for the
Norwegian resort owner. Now he
is 77 years old, retired and
blind – and the resort takes care
of him. That was in the contract
when the resort was sold to
the new owner…

RELAXING DAYS IN THE CARIBBEAN

British Virgin Islands consists of 4 main islands and several small islands. There are numerous anchorages and the water is clear and warm.
We have explored some of the B.V.I. together with Kirsten, Kresten, Jørgen and Jens in Danish s/y Exabyte. We also met Norwegian Kjersti and Danish Thomas in Danish s/y Frøja in The Bight on Norman Island. Thomas is a diver and has seen more of the B.V.I. Thomas showed us many nice diving sites, among them the wreck of RMS Rhone. We hope to meet Kjersti and Thomas again – maybe in 2013 on the Norwegian coast.
Our visitors have signed of after three nice weeks together. Peder, Grandma and Grandpa experienced some of the life on board – and they are all looking forward to visit us again – in Norway…
To our great surprise s/y Deep Blue with Stian and family on board visited us in Great Harbor. Stian and Eivind know each other from 25 years ago. In our guest book Stian wrote: “ I recognized Eivind, but he hardly recognized me…” Sadly the meeting was very short. Deep Blue is also heading east across the Atlantic Ocean this year but are aiming for the Mediterranean while Empire is planning for “the northerly route”.

Saturday there was a Scandinavian celebration of Kirsten`s birthday. S/y Panacea, Exabyte and Empire hoisted all flags on display. With many lights on the cake and with Danes, Swedes and Norwegians around the table in Exabyte it was a great celebration.
Monday or Tuesday we are heading of - toward Nassau in the Bahamas.
Bathing, dinghy and food - three things that makes Marius very happy!

2 happy sailors - in Great Harbor, Peter Island, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean.

Stian is sailing in s/y Deep Blue, a Swan 57 - the sister ship of Berge Viking, the first Norwegian yacht to participate in Whitbread Around the World.

Tortola, B.V.I. - 4. April 2012 - Pos 18°19N 64°37W - sailed dist.from Oslo 57348 nm


It was a small fish, but it had to
come aboard. It was long time
since last we caught anything...

FULL SHIP

After a few more days with sightseeing in Prince Rupert Bay we hoisted the anchor the 31th, heading for St. Maarten. Calm winds on the leeward side of the islands and nice wind between them, gave a relaxing sail WNW.
St. Maarten is divided in two. The southern part belongs to the Netherlands and the northern side is French territory. The average size of the yachts in the lagoon inside Simson Bay was far more than 100 feet. St. Maarten/St. Martin is payground for the rich ones.
We have met several Norwegian yachts since we arrived in the Caribbean. In Simson Bay we met three more. S/y Afrodite, s/y Milla and s/y Time Out were all on their way back to Norway, just as us. Afrodite, Milla and Time Out are planning to sail via Azores, while we are planning a more northerly route.
After a short stop in Simson Bay for "taxfree shopping", we headed for the island group of British Virgin Islands. The voyage toward Tortola in B.V.I. was a motorsail since there was no wind. We arrived in West End and Sopers Hole south on Tortola with fully charged batteries Tuesday. No seasickness was seen aboard during the voyage from St. Maarten…
After check in we sailed to The Bight on Norman Island, the BVI answer to ”Dinner Bay” in the inner part of the Oslo Fjord...
Pay day for Empire`s young sailors!

In Dominica they take it easy. Today there is no international airport on the island.

Marius doesn`t understand much of the game, but Eirik and Peder have become very good UNO players.

Dominica - 27. March 2012 - Pos 15°35N 61°28W - sailed dist.from Oslo 57073 nm


Peder celebrated his 4th birthday
in Chaguaramas in 2006. This
time he celebrated his 10th
birthday – in Martinique.

NORTHWARD

With Peder, Vigdis and Tore safely on board we sailed the short distance to St. Anne just south west of Le Marin, to celebrate Peder`s birthday.  With the crew from Danish Exabyte and German Blue Callalloo as guests it was crowded in Empire`s cockpit.
After a quick shopping back in Le Marin – in well stocked French grocery stores – we headed for the island of Dominica. The night sail north brought us to Prince Rupert Bay outside Portsmouth, on the north west corner of the island. In the afternoon we also piloted Exabyte in to the anchorage.
Our visitors are enjoying themselves and Peder has found good playmates in Eirik and Marius as well as in Kresten and Jørgen from Exabyte.
Tuesday we saw some of Dominica from a hired minibus. The scenery is lush in green covered volcanic terrain. A walk in the rain forest gave well deserved cool hours with light training. Eirik was very happy to run around on the “hard” after the many long voyages lately.
The people of Dominica are very friendly. The ”boat boys” in the bay are organized so that only one of them approaches you – then we can relate only to him if we want help or have other needs. The sometimes annoying hassle we know from other places in Caribbean don`t exist here. By the way, Dominica means ”Sunday” – in Italian.
Underway toward Rupert Bay we had a close encounter with whale. We almost had to wash the deck after the happening…

Marius is really starting to enjoy the wet element.  And Eirik can soon swim on his own...

Also Norwegian Hans (80)(right), a single handed sailor in s/y Trekkfuglen from Soon, found his way to "sun downers" aboard Exabyte in Prince Rupert Bay.

Martinique - 21. March 2012 - Pos 14°28N 60°53W - sailed dist.from Oslo 56971 nm


Bosse visited in New Zealand and in Australia, after we first got to know each other near Cape Horn. This time also Marius got to know s/y Sawubona`s Captain.
SINCE LAST TIME

It is almost 6 years since last time we dropped the hook near Martinique, the first time we visited Caribbean. Not much have changed since then...
Our friend Bosse in the Swedish yacht Sawubona suddenly got in a hurry when we arrived in Le Marin. We managed to sneak almost all the way to Sawubona before we were discovered. After a quick trip in his dinghy, Bosse served breakfast with champagne on board Empire – including sweeties to Marius and Eirik.
Later the check in was easy work. Eivind typed in the necessary data into the Customs` computer. Then the clear-in paper was printed, stamped and handed over to the Captain. Neither passports, ships papers or clearing out documents from last port had to be seen. It was not that easy 6 years ago!
Vigdis, Tore and Eivind`s son Peder (10) signed on Monday, for a three week sail with Empire. Eirik has lent his bunk to Peder and moved himself to the upper bunk. It is exciting to have big brother on board.
Our guests arrived with new intermediate shrouds in their luggage. As soon as the intermediates are in place, we will head north toward British Virgin Islands and Bahamas...
We had many guests on board  across the Atlantic Ocean - but no one that could fill our stomachs... Land O`Hoi! After passing both Fernando de Noronha and Barbados, after three weeks we spotted the target"! Checking the standing rigging after arrival was more exciting than usual after the accident we had underway - but everything looked good!
Martinique - 14. March 2012 - Pos 14°28N 60°53W - sailed dist.from Oslo 56971 nm

DAY 22
14. March kl 0800 (UTC -4) Pos 14°28N 60°53W, course -, speed 0 knots, wind NE 12 knots, sailed dist. from Ascensi5n 2997nm - dist. to Martinique 0nm.
We have arrived!
Latest news from the fishing: A broken fishing pole over board. We fought the fish for one and a half hour. 100 meters of fishing line out, then a few meters back to Empire followed by several meters out to the fish… We never saw what was on the hook or how big it was, but there is no doubt that it must have been one of the biggest fishes in the ocean playing with us. We had tinned food for dinner also the rest of the voyage.
At 0745 (local time) today we dropped the anchor in Cul de Sac du Marin at Martinique. There Bosse in Swedish s/y Sawubona – who we got to know when we sailed around Cape Horn - was waiting – with fresh baguettes, delicious French cheese, fresh fruit – and sweeties for Marius and Eirik. A lovely rendezvous with Bosse and a nice rendezvous with Martinique. 6 years ago we were also anchored here....

DAY 20

12. March kl 0800 (UTC -4) Pos 11°33N 57°33W, course 307, speed 5.1 knots, wind NE 14 knots, sailed dist. from Ascension 2707nm - dist. to Martinique 263nm.
Our fishing lines are ready for retirement... We have not managed to bring even one single fish on board since Ascension Island, but many are swimming out there with colorful hooks in their mouth... The last days there have been lots of seaweed preventing us from fishing and using the Duogen generator. If we try fishing, the hooks look like a seaweed Christmas tree within few minutes.
Wind and sea have calmed down, and we are having a more pleasant sail. We are experiencing varying current. At the moment of writing we have 1 knot of current against us.
Yesterday we had ”table over board” exercise. When the Captain was cleaning Marius` child chair table the table fell overboard. We quickly furled in the headsail and turned the ship. After a couple of attempts we managed to rescue the table. Good exercise…! We are closing in on Martinique and expect to drop the hook in Cul de Sac du Marin Wednesday.

DAY 16

8. March kl 1600 (UTC -3) Pos 05°58N 50°26W, course 303, speed 6.8 knots, wind NE 18 knots, sailed dist. from Ascension 2171nm - dist. to Martinique 807nm.
That was close!!! We are lucky that the rig is still standing!! This morning at 1030 Heidi woke the Captain with the words: ”Now I know what that noise was…!! The Captain rushed on deck and could only conclude that the 1. Mate was right. The intermediate shroud on windward side was hanging from the lower spreader. At midnight both of us had heard a noise without being able to identify it – and for some strange reason without connecting the noise to the rigging… Luckily - the rig was still standing though with an ugly swing near the upper spreaders. The rig was stabilized and the tipple reefed main was lowered. A ”new” old intermediate shroud from the ships stores was mounted in place - in 22knots of wind and in a good swell. Again the rig is standing like a pole! And thanks for that... All well aboard! See also www.seilas.no!

DAY 13

5. March kl 0300 (UTC -3) Pos 0°54N 42°25W, course 295, speed 6.5 knots, wind NE 15 knots, sailed dist. from Ascension 1633nm - dist. to Martinique 1376nm.
Sunday 4. March at 0411 (local time) we crossed equator near 40°30"W – that was the 4th crossing since departure from Bestumkilen, Oslo, Norway in 2005. Later the same day we also celebrated Eirik`s 3 years birthday, Marius` 1 year Christening day and 1. Mate`s and Captain`s 1 year wedding day! The events was celebrated with cake – and ”fireworks” in the evening.
The wind eased a bit toward Saturday, but the current continued giving us a good push. Saturday afternoon we arrived in the “Doldrums”, which after all is not that calm but full of windshifts and gusts. – but it would not bite. The Captain was neither quick enough with his spear gun. Another fish ran off with half the hook – we are dreaming about the stainless steel Mustad fishing hooks that we have run out of!!

DAY 9

1. March kl 0400 (UTC -2) Pos 3°25S 33°31W, course 300, speed 7.9 knots, wind SE 21 knots, sailed dist. from Ascension 1102nm - dist. to Martinique 1991nm.
Yesterday afternoon at 1913(UTC-2) in position 3˚56S 32˚31W we crossed our own wake - from 27. Mai 2006. One round around the world was celebrated in cockpit - sharing one can of beer. The round around the world took 44957 nm and almost 6 years!
The wind has picked up a bit the last few days. Between 18 and 20 knots of wind gives nice speed. In addition we have for longer periods had more than 1 knot of current the right way. Still no fish. Until yesterday night we have been all alone on the ocean. We met 2 big tankers on crossing courses the night between 28. and 29. – for a moment it seemed as we all three had plans to meet in the same spot...

DAY 6

27. February kl 0400 (UTC -2) Pos 5°41S 26°04W, course 280, speed 6.4 knots, wind ESE 17 knots, sailed dist. from Ascension 686nm - dist. to Martinique 2450nm.
A few fishes have bitten on our hooks – but none have been hanging on long enough for us to take up the fight. At the moment we have four lines behind the boat… We want fish!
The trade winds are blowing steady with 15-20 knots from ESE. During short periods the wind has been down to 10 knots. The Monitor windwane is doing an excellent job steering Empire toward west northwest. Destination is set to Martinique, where we look forward to meet our Swedish friend Bosse from s/y Sawubona. We got to know each other when we sailed around South America. Maybe we also get visitors from Norway when at Martinique.

DAY 3

24. February kl 0800 (UTC -2) Pos 7°17S 18°59W, course 283, speed 6.7 knots, wind ESE 15 knots, sailed dist. from Ascension 268nm - dist. to Barbados 2785nm, dist. to Martinique 2900nm.
1½ hour after departure there was a fish on the hook. We only barely started bringing the line in before the fish danced on its tail, elegantly waving good bye - before spitting out the hook. Heidi managed to see that it was a Marlin...
Our sea legs are in the right place. Wind and weather forecasts look promising the coming 7 days. We are sailing south of Fernando de Noronha to take advantage of the current along the northeast coast of South America on our way towards the Caribbean. If it will be on Barbados, Martinique or another island that we will make landfall, are still not decided.

DAY 1
22. February kl 1225 (UTC +0) Pos 7°55S 14°24W, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Ascension 0nm - dist. to Barbados 3080nm, dist. to Martinique 3205nm.
After beautiful days at Ascension Island we hoisted the anchor. We are still not quite sure where in the Caribbean we are heading, but we think it might be Martinique... - or Barbados.

Ascension Island - 17. Feb 2012 - Pos 8°05S 14°21W - sailed dist.from Oslo 53974 nm


Green Mountain er godt bevokst
takket være menneskelig
påvirkning (les beplantning) i
gamle dager.
A DIFFERENT ISLAND

The sail toward Ascension was slow and calm – light winds and not too much old swell.
By first look the island felt a bit without “soul”. Maybe because nobody is allowed to call the island “home” - if you live on Ascension Island it is because you are working there. Still, several people have been working there for 20 – 30 years!
Four sailboats were anchored in Clarence Bay outside Georgetown when we arrived. Later several yachts have arrived. With a hire car we have seen some of the little island. The landscape and the antennas is what make the island special. The whole island is black from lava, except from Green Mountain that sticks up as an oasis in the middle. Because the island is dominated by Royal Air Force (UK) in addition to being a relay station for BBC and a base station to the Ariane rocket program there is many interesting looking antennas spread over the island.
Eirik and Marius have met many local children, on Green Mountain, in a local playgroup and in the swimming pool. The encounter with a big Green Turtle on the beach early one morning is also one of the highlights Eirik is talking about. Marius does not say that much yet...

Marius and Eirik hardly had time to sit down - it is long time sice last they saw that many toys and children as in the playgroup "Laidybird". In daytime we hardly met any people  out on the street in Georgetown. About 100 Green Turtles came ashore at  Long Beach every night. A little later in the season 200 are expected - every night!
Atlantic Ocean - 12. Feb 2012 - Pos 8°05S 14°21W - sailed dist.from Oslo 53974 nm

DAY 6
12. February kl 0800 (UTC +0) Pos 8°05S 14°21W, course 322, speed 4.2 knots,
sailed dist. from St. Helena 631nm - dist. to Ascension 16nm.

Land in sight! It started with a few lights around six o`clock this morning. Now we can see the whole island, except from the peak which is hidden behind the clouds.
The last days sail has been calm, with almost too little wind. We almost caught a big Mahimahi, but it shock itself off the hook at the last second. Too bad – because we had already “seen” it in the frying pan! We are wishing for just a little bit nicer Eirik. Unfortunately none of us can sneak away to work... The sea temperature is up to 26°C.

DAY 3

9. February kl 0001 (UTC +0) Pos 12°33S 9°03W, course 314, speed 5.7 knots,
sailed dist. from St. Helena 241nm - dist. to Ascension 424nm.
When we set sail from St Helena the 2. reef line came loose inside the boom. Down again with the mainsail, and the boom was taken apart. After one day of work fixing it all back together, including a similar operation on the 1th reef line which also was about to come loose, we again hoisted the mainsail. We were lucky this happened while in smooth seas and light winds.
On board life is good both for young and old.A full moon and a clear sky dotted with stars is wonderful at the ocean. If there are something we wish for, it would be a little more wind and a nice fish on the hook.

DAY 1
6. February kl 1100 (UTC +0) Pos 15°55S 5°43W, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from St. Helena 0nm - dist. to Ascension 708nm.
We did not really want to leave St. Helena. As always when we meet extra nice local people, it happens the day before we are supposed to depart. We checked out already on Friday to depart Sunday – so we found it better not wait longer than Monday before hoisting the sails.

St. Helena - 2. Feb 2012 - Pos 15°55S 05°43W - sailed dist.from Oslo 53343 nm


Jamestown is the only town on
St. Helena. Empire is anchored
just outside the town together
with several other yachts.
A FANTASTIC ISLAND

With a rental car we have toured around St. Helena. The scenery varies from dessert on the east side to lush “rainforest” on the middle of the island.
Napoleon lived his last years on St. Helena after he was deported there by the English. We visited the two houses he lived in. Also Napoleon`s original grave is situated on the island. Today it is only an empty grave, since his body was transported to France a few years after his death.
Tuesday RMS St. Helena anchored close to Empire. The ship is the island`s only regular connection with the outside world. RMS St. Helena is a passenger and cargo ship. Again the shops are well stocked…
Wherever we travel on the island we meet smiling and friendly people. A “hello” and a wave is the minimum whoever we meet.
The Captain wants to settle on St. Helena, but if 1.st Mate gets what she wants, we will be heading toward Ascension Sunday…

Marius and Eirik enjoy meeting other kids the same age. We met Gabriella and her little brother outside Napoleon`s house. Diana`s Peak 823 m is the highest point on St. Helena. Lush and beautiful nature surounds the peak. Sandy Bay - at this time of the year turtles come to this beach to lay eggs.
St. Helena - 28. Jan 2012 - Pos 15°55S 05°43W - sailed dist.from Oslo 53343 nm


The stairs to the upper part of
Jamestown is called Jacobs
Ladder. It took the Captain around
6½ minutes to get to the top of the
699 steps - but it gave the taste of
blood in his mouth.
BACK IN TIME

”Napoleon`s Island”, in the middle of the southern Atlantic Ocean. From 5000 meters deep a small island 10x17km is penetrating the ocean surface. It is only possible to arrive by boat – on your own sailboat, with the mail ship RMS St. Helena or on board one of the few cruise ships visiting the island. There are about 5000 people living at St. Helena.
Thursday at 1230 (UTC) the anchor was securely set outside Jamestown, St. Helena. To step ashore was like walking back in time.
There were five other sailboats anchored in the bay when we arrived. After our arrival four more yachts on a long voyage have arrived. More boats are expected to come since “everybody” sail by South Africa these “pirate days”.
At St. Helena people are smiling and greeting us while walking around Jamestown. The buildings belong to the 18th century and credit cards are hardly accepted. There are no cash machines – something we have found all other places we have been on our voyage. At St. Helena you have to enter in a line in the fashionable bank and fill out PAPER documents to get local St Helena Pounds – or Sterling £ of same value.

We rounded Seaborn Quest on our way to the anchorage outside Jamestown. The cruise ship is designed by Yran & Storbråten Architects in Oslo, where Heidi worked some years ago. The Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen took a 360 ̊  turn of honour as close to Empire as he deared, before heading to the next harbor. Dolphins showed us the way around the northern end of St. Helena to the anchorage outside Jamestown, on the west side of the island.
South Atlantic Ocean - 26. Jan 2012 - Pos 15°29S 5°26W - sailed dist.from Oslo 53324 nm

DAY 15
26. January kl 0800 (UTC +0) Pos 15°29S 5°26W, course 292, speed 5,9 knots,
sailed dist. from Hout Bay 1726nm - dist. to St. Helena 19nm.
We can see St. Helena in the horizon. ETA 1200 (UTC+0). If we are going to catch more than one single fish on this leg we are in a hurry to catch one... All well aboard. We are excited soon to explore St. Helena.


DAY 10

21. January kl 2100 (UTC +0) Pos 22°11S 2°23E, course 307, speed 5,0 knots,
sailed dist. from Hout Bay 1163nm - dist. to St. Helena 596nm.

Small winds and several hour for motor the last two days. The wind came back this evening, hopefully to stay. The grib files promises between 10 and 15 knots of wind for the days to come. That will probably take us all the way to St. Helena.
Today the Captain wanted to divert Eirik from what he was doing and said ”Eirik, look! A big ship”. As Eirik turns to find the ship and the Captain sais ”Oh, no, there it is gone” because there was no ship to see. “No, look, there it is” Eirik says, pointing to a sailboat 2 nautical miles away that neither of us yet had seen… We altered course and sailed over to the yacht: "Freebase" was underway from Port Elisabeth in South Africa maybe direct to St. Lucia in Caribbean, which was also her home port. Nicolas sailed singlehanded and all was well aboard. We hadn`t seen people for a long time and Nicolas hadn`t seen people for even longer time – we both enjoyed the meeting on the ocean.

DAY 8
19. January kl 0000 (UTC +1) Pos 24
°47S 7°44E, course 290, speed 4,0 knots,
sailed dist. from Hout Bay 856nm - dist. to St. Helena 904nm.
The last days the wind has eased and the ocean is almost like a mirror – considering that we have 4 - 5000 m of Southern Atlantic Ocean under the keel. We haven`t seen any big ships for several days. Even looking at the AIS there are none nearby.
The sun is hiding behind a thin layer of clouds and the days are getting warmer and more humid. The water temperature is 20°C and increasing. Marius and Eirik are enjoying refreshing bucket baths in the cockpit.

DAY 5

15. January kl 2200 (UTC +2) Pos 27°57S 12°56E, course 316, speed 7,0 knots,
sailed dist. from Hout Bay 503nm - dist. to St. Helena 1290nm.
The wind increased the third afternoon as promised. Through the night and next morning the wind blew with about 30 knots. During the following afternoon the wind eased a bit, and has since stayed around 22 knots – which gives a nice ride and relatively smooth conditions on board. Just before sunset yesterday the first fish caught the hook. A beautiful Albacore (a very nice Tuna) at 6kg.
Marius and Eirik have found their sea legs, after long time tied to the dock in Hout Bay. Maybe we manage to train Eirik to not use nappies by the time we reach Caribbean???

DAY 3
13. January kl 2000 (UTC +2) Pos 31°12S 17°25E, course 310, speed 3,5 knots,
sailed dist. from Hout Bay 214nm - dist. to St. Helena 1578nm.
The day of departure gave only very small winds. Just after midnight we could switch off the engine. The weak wind from NNW gave headwind sailing – and slow progress north west. This afternoon the wind shifted slowly to west and then to south – as promised. If the weather forecast is correct, we will get more than enough wind from SSW sometime during the night.

DAY 1
11. January kl 1130 (UTC +2) Pos 34°03S 18°20E, course - , speed 0 knots,
sailed dist. from Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa 0nm - dist. to St. Helena 1760nm.
With Lisbeth and Vegar in Norwegian Pomona tied up to the dock beside Empire, we were not in a hurry to leave. Even though the wind eased a bit Tuesday, we postponed the departure until Wednesday. Then we could spend one more day with Lisbeth and Vegar...
With the last groceries on board and with friends waving from the pier in Hout Bay, we threw off – with the feeling that we really could have seen even more of South Africa.
The Danish yacht Exabyte threw off a few hours before us, also they with a course for St. Helena. It is looking like it is going to be a regatta...

Hout Bay, S.Africa - 9. Jan 2012 - Pos34°03S 18°20E - sailed dist.from Oslo 51598 nm


Rune sailed from South Korea to
Cape Town in the drilling ship
Deepsea Metro II. We got to know
Rune when he and his family
were sailing in the Caribbean in
2005. Blue Marlin visited New
Zealand the year before Empire –
and also visited Yamba in
Australia the year before us.

READY TO HEAD OUT TO SEA

When Rebecca signed of we gave ourselves more time to do some cosmetic maintenance on Empire before leaving. Empire is now clean on the inside and on the outside. It is always a good feeling to leave port in a clean boat!
Friday our good friend Mike took us to Pardon Island, to guide us to the right shops to get the last spareparts. We also got time for a visit over the mountains to Simon`s Town in the hire car, before Norwegian Rune from the yacht Blue Marlin visited in Hout Bay.
Departure was scheduled for Saturday, but strong winds put a delay to the departure. When Lisbeth and Vegard in s/y Pomona told us they soon would be arriving in Hout Bay, we postponed the departure even more. We wanted to see Lisbeth and Vegar one more time before our courses take us in different directions (at least according to today`s plans). Next time we see them will not be until Norway...
We will depart Hout Bay Tuesday. The course will be set for St. Helena, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. From there we will aim north of Equator toward Caribbean. THERE we will have to count the travel account, to see whether we can stay the winter somewhere on the American east coast before sailing to Greenland and Spitsbergen and Norway – or if we have to take the shortest route eastward across the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean to Norway… Sadly it today looks as it will be the shortest alternative.

2 1 3

Eirik almost followed the kite to the sky. The locals call it summer...

Eirik and Marius (and also us a bit older) are still fascinated of the life in the sea!

Hout Bay is well protected from the swell. But when it is windy the drop winds from the mountains can be strong.

Hout Bay, S.Africa - 2. Jan 2012 - Pos34°03S 18°20E - sailed dist.from Oslo 51598 nm


New Year`s Eve was celebrated
in Danish eXabyte, together with
Kirsten, Kresten, Jørgen and
Jens – until the really late hours.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Christmas Eve was celebrated together with other sailors onboard Empire for Christmas porridge – and with traditional Norwegian Christmas food in the evening. Our Norwegian friends Mogens with family delivered sheep`s ribs when they visited in Hout Bay a few days before the big evening.
Soon after we docked in Hout Bay just before Christmas, Norwegian Katrine welcomed us. She lives in Johannesburg, but was visiting her parents in law in Hout Bay. Later we enjoyed a real South African “braai” home at Sally and Gavin`s place, where Katrine and her boyfriend and other friends were visiting. We are lucky to experience fantastic hospitality like this.
Hout Bay is a lively and nice harbor – though sometimes maybe a bit windy. 1st Christmas Day the wind meter showed 50 knots of wind and the sea was so choppy that Empire was jumping around in her berth. The new berth we took the next day is a bit better protected.
We thought we were going to be 5 crews on board Empire across the Atlantic Ocean. 21 year old Swedish Rebecca that signed on just before Christmas got cold feet - or maybe tired ears. Too much noise from kids – she said – is the reason she now signs on another yacht. That she there was given everything for free, was probably also a reason...
The preparations for the next leg are well under way. Only diesel and a few other things are still on the “to do” list before we are ready to throw off. Most probably we will be leaving for St. Helena Thursday.
2 1 3

There are many nice peaks around Hout Bay. The plan was to walk up to the 1000 meter peak, but we only managed to get half way up...

Who was screaming highest?

You can probably not see it, but Cape Town is down there in the background. Eirik (2¾ years old) walked almost all the way to the top of Table Mountain on his own legs.

 
MAIN>>>