I must say, this was a leg full of experience!
Already on the first day I felt the transition: the international crew dropped me directly into a different world! For everyone of us, it was a pause from our normal lives and we quickly grew together into a great team. This was fantastic!
We sailed out of Inverness at the End of the Caledonian Canal in Scotland and headed directly towards the Norwegian coast. There was just that “small pond” called The North Sea to cross in front of us… It felt daunting and natural at the same time.
Lots of wind from behind with big following waves gave us a rough start. My body reacted with seasickness.
No, this is not a pleasure, I can assure! The first 24h were horrible, I must confess. The second 24h, I was at least able to react to normal life again but it wasn’t until the beginning of the third day at sea that I, at last, felt that my sealegs were finally growing.
This was the day when we entered Kristiansand in the evening and our crossing came to an end soon after I finally got to enjoy it properly… Too bad!
Leon was a great doctor, however, and I did feel safe, although being “out of order”. The crew took over my night shifts without any grumble whatsoever and this felt like a real team. I was glad, I was sailing on a safe ship, with people whom I trusted and who knew how to handle the boat. They all took very well care of me as well as the boat. Thanks a lot, guys!
After Kristiansand, I got back to normal life again, so I could really enjoy the second half of the leg. This was when we did coastal sailing along the Norwegian coast and eventually crossed the Skagerrak between Norway and Sweden, which was yet another night-sail. It was all no problem for me any more. I enjoyed every minute! What a relief to know that even the worst seasickness can come to an end after three days at sea. It’s just a question of hanging on…!
Especially the night navigation excited me a lot and making landfall in Sweden at night was an experience I will never forget! It felt so easy! We were really a good team onboard, each one had his job and Leon stood back, supervising, and letting us handle the ship on our own. Leon really showed us great confidence, trusting us that we could navigate his beautiful Hallberg-Rassy through the most narrow sounds and over big seas. Remarkable…
In Sweden we had time to sail to Ellös, where the Hallberg-Rassy yard is situated and where these fine yachts are being built.
It was Leon’s trust that made us grow! We quickly became very experienced; much more than I ever could have anticipated at the beginning. Somehow sailing with Leon is like learning on the fast track!
A wonderful journey & a great team & a great boat.
I am now ready for more…
Christian Pukelsheim, Germany, crossing the North Sea on Leg 14-2017 from Inverness, Scotland to Vindön, Sweden.