On the move again with the Caroline ‘HR62’ week 3!

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The third week in Norway is over. We really wanted to visit the longest fjord, the Sognefjord, and we did. Not only that, we were also very lucky with the weather, which made the beauty of the area overwhelming in every way.

Apart from photos and descriptions of places, I would also like to share some practical information. This report about “the Walder” and next weeks about the role of observer and weather guru and route finder Ruud Kattenberg in the planning. No advertising for stuff or people, but nice to share with whom I have contact.

And of course from now on I will write Hallberg-Rassy and no longer Hallberg Rassey!

In that Sognefjord we sailed half motor and half windward. The wind was very variable in direction, but also in strength. One moment 10 knots and the next 25 knots. Sailing for hours on end on the jib. This brings me to what we call on board “the Walder”. A brand name for a boom brake. We can use it well off the wind and on the leeward side. We also use it intensively when overtaking sails, when we are close to the wind.

This all came about after the accident that happened to Caroline in 2019. We were then 70 nm north of the German Wadden Sea, 23:00 in the evening and on our way from Den Helder to the Lymfjord. When rolling in the mainsail, with the boom still flapping, Caroline broke her arm. Not by a blow from the boom, but by a blow from the sheet. The May Day operation went well and two hours later we had the German coastguard boat Seefalke nearby. Caroline was taken off board with a small FRC (Fast Rescue Craft) and examined by doctors who had flown out to the Seefalke by helicopter. They concluded that Caroline needed to be operated on quickly. The returning helicopter took her to Heide where she arrived at 06:00 in the morning and was operated on immediately. We sailed behind her to Büsum, north of Bremerhaven. An enormous shock, and a lot of respect for the German Seenotretter organisation, the Bremerhaven coastguard centre, the helicopter people and the doctors in Heide. 7 hours after the accident on an operating table. Hats off. The fracture has healed well and Caroline has almost all her strength back.

But it has also taught us a lot. About being my skipper, about the absolute command we now give to crew not to do something that doesn’t feel safe (despite a compelling skipper), and more. But what is also crucial for us now, is to avoid boom flapping or making snap jibs. And the Walder is fantastic for that.

The Walder under the boom, just before the hydraulic vang. The Walder runs backwards at port side. At SB fixed on an eye next to the wall.

Click here for movie in Sognefjord with at the end the Walder and the gunwale.

On the film you see, (except for the beauty of the Sognefjord) the Walder hanging under the boom. Just behind the pivot point. A fixed line to SB and the running part via blocks on port side to the back of the winch. On the deck we attach the strong eyes. When setting and hauling the sail, and with tension on the Walder, the boom is now well fixed. And when we jibe, we can dose the jibe very well. The Walder squeaks and creaks a little, but… no blowing.

By the way, I always put up a gunwale in the fore and aft winds (see the film). And with more than 25 knots of wind we make stormy rounds. But up to that wind, and with a good crew, we can make controlled jibes.

And now the trip:

Sunday Easter Sunday to the island Fedje. Fishermen and holiday island.

The beauty of the Sognefjord.

Monday Easter Monday from Fedje to the Indrafjorden. Halfway up the Sognefjord on the south side. Anchored under the roar of 6 waterfalls.

Church in Indrafjorden.

Tuesday to Balestrand at the jetty.

Wednesday out of the fjord again to the north side to the island of Bulandet. A fishing community with 250 inhabitants. Very welcome. Also by the Belorussian lady of the supermarket.

Moored Bulandet.

Hurtigrutten? No, our own Caroline groats. Crew week 3 Hans Schotel, Caroline van der Graaf and Rutger van der Kloes.
Thursday to a beautiful quiet bay on the island of Uttoshavåg.

In the idyllic bay on the island of Uttoshavåg.
Tomorrow the new crew will arrive to sail the ship to the Shetlands and Orkneys. The weather looks good. See you next week.

SY Caroline
Jan Willem and Caroline van der Graaf

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