Happy new year!

Hello, sailors!

Have a good year! Dream a “big” and babystep it trough. One of my new year promises is to add one entry per month to the Famous microcruisers page. This means that by the end of 2016 I should have written twelve entries for that page. Sounds like an excellent plan, does it not. All other relevant posts about Kvark will still come trough as additional material. Anyhow, I start off January with Hugo Vihlen and his world record North Atlantic crossings on the extremely small 1.8 m April Fool and 1.6 m Fathers Day. The latter should still hold as the world record for the shortest sailboat to cross the North Atlantic. The boat was shorter than the sailor. April Fool is equipped with a seatbelt enabled seat for keeping the sailor in place in rough weather. Something to concider for Kvark as well. Have a good read and leave a comment!

Fathers-Day-0x350

Hugo Vihlen on Fathers day after crossing the Atlantic in 1993. Image courtesy of National Maritime museum.

Posted in Sailing blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

Happy holidays!

The title says it all – merry Christmas and have a very relaxing and happy holiday! Joosep is back in Estonia for a few weeks. A couple days ago we visited Kvark to see whether the autumn storm managed to pull the cover off the boat. Winds were strong. And there was little surprise in discovering that some of the lashings were ripped and and water bottles broken or emptied of water. What was surprising, though, was that someone had fixed the tarp back on the boat and improved our heavily DIY-spirited cover. Must have been Santas little helpers. Thank you! There is no snow in Estonia and it is warm, about 10 degrees Celsius (50 F). We could be sailing. But I guess the season has to end for a new one to start.

We cheer!

We greet and thank our readers!

And she stands, excited for season No. 2.

And she stands, excited for season No. 2, charged positive!

Posted in Sailing blog | 2 Comments

The vikings are calling

Hello!

Here we go again, sort of. Two, almost three years ago I tried to get a sponsored ticket to one of the legs of the “Clipper round the world” race. I really went to lengths to gather the votes back then. But they found someone better suited. It was their loss :)

I have found a new oppurtunity to explore the North Atlantic before attepting it with Kvark. The Draken Harald Hårfagre is the largest modern Viking longboat built. It is 35 m long, 8 m wide, has a draught of 2,5 m and weighs 95,5 tons. That is only about 150 times more than Kvark. Oh, and its sail area is 300 m2. That would make our 14 sqm sails a handkerchief or two for this Viking. Draken was hand made from scratch in Haugesund in Norway. Hand made means all the oak planks and all the 10000 nails of course. Okay, the engine it carries is not hand made. The construction started in 2010 and lasted until 2012, after which experiments with rigging and sailing started. Experiments had to be made, since nobody had ever sailed such a big longboat. And Draken is not a replica.

Draken-Harald-Harfagre

In the summer of 2016, she is to sail along the supposed path of the Icelandic Leif Eiriksson, arguably one of the first Westerners to set foot on North America. Leif tracked the route of the merchant Bjarni Herjólfsson, who claimed to have seen land west of Greenland after sailing off course for a while. At first, North America was named Vinland, since Leif found many grapes there, the source of wine. The voyage will start in May 2016 from Haugesund, pass Iceland, Greenland and end in the USA. The only shelter there is on deck is the tent you see on the above picture. Lovely!

DRAKEN_HARALD_HÅRFAGRE._9._BORDGANG_SNART_PÅ_PLASS

Construction photos have a philia thing to them!

Well, the point of it all is that Draken Harald Hårfagre is looking for volunteers, both on deck and on shore. Did I apply? Yes. It would be a beyond-real experience to meet all the people that built the boat and of course to sail the North Atlantic on such a special vessel, to be a part of something historic. I’m not sure if it is quite what Neil Armstrong and NASA achieved when stepping on the moon, but the journey definitely is something that has not been done for about a thousand years. I hope there will be no “but”‘ in the next email I receive from them :) This time no votes, no campaign for a textile company! Its all good.

Posted in Sailing blog | Leave a comment