space and time

What day of the week is it today? How long have we been on the road? Has the sausage that is in the lower left corner of the refrigerator expired?

Questions I never had to ask myself at home. Jens and I have been living on Sissi for almost a month now, and it sometimes seems to me as if we only left yesterday. At other times, it seems like we've been on the water together for half an eternity. On longer sea passages, such as when crossing the North Sea, the changed day and night rhythm makes things even more difficult, because we sleep at every opportunity that presents itself.

The date and time only become important when it is necessary to consult the tide calendar. The tide relentlessly sticks to its timetable and is more reliable than the Swiss railways. If we miss the tide, we can't drive until 12 hours later or we burn a lot of diesel so that we can drive against the current.

All in all, it's exciting to see how our attitude towards the outside world changes. When the train wasn't running at home because lightning struck a signal box, I always thought about how I could get out of the mess as quickly as possible. Today I'm above Neptunes staircase and can't go down because a railroad bridge below was struck by lightning and has to be repaired first. It is not certain whether we will come down tomorrow. But I don't care, because I don't have to stress myself and nobody stresses me.

Jens said to me today that he hadn't eaten any fish & chips on this vacation. I think the term “vacation” is inappropriate for our tour, but what else should you call it? No matter what we call it, we'll just go to a less greasy restaurant these days and eat fish & chips. Where is the problem? We don't have to be home after a few weeks and then go to work, but are somewhere completely different and look at the country and the people there.

You have to approach people. The Scots do not just speak to a German like that, that may be because they may expect language difficulties (there are) or whatever. But when we approach them, the result is usually a friendly, good encounter. That's why we're on the road, we want to get to know the country and its people. All over.

Today at the Coop in Corpach I noticed how much time and space have run away from me. I was looking for a remedy to relieve the itchiness of midgee bites. Although they had an anti-midgee drug, they had no anti-itch drug. So I asked about a pharmacy. The seller explained the way to me and said afterwards that it was closed on Sunday. I beg your pardon? Naturally! Today is Sunday!

How will this go on? In the logbook of our trip there are the date and time for each day, but that is easy to write down and is quickly forgotten. Habit alone dictates that a new day should begin at midnight. But midnight is often a time when we are out and about. We sleep for it the next day. If we arrive at the port after midnight, sleep in, then pay the port fees and then explore the area, we get a second night for free because we only pay for calendar days. It's funny, then one day suddenly turns into two days. It definitely feels that way. The second night sleeps just as well as the first.

I'm curious what this trip will do to me. Jens feels the same way.

Sailing is boring

Once again, I'm the one on the first watch of the night. Jens sleeps downstairs and I try to hold out as long as possible before I wake him up. I will wake him up at 2:30 a.m. at the earliest, as I promised him.

The AIS screen is blank, I saw the last fisherman an hour ago. I feel really tempted to sit in front of the TV in such an hour and watch one film after another. But that wouldn't be good. So I always look out into the surroundings.

While playing with the mobile phone, I noticed that it has a night photo mode. I'll try it out once:

Night on the North Sea

The photo was taken shortly after the moon rose at 1:30 a.m., also here in the north a dark hour. I am amazed. On the horizon you can see the lights of some oil rigs. The exposure lasted several seconds, apparently the mobile phone superimposes several pictures and turns them into a pretty good result. My “good” digital camera couldn't do that. Wow.

We have arrived on Sissi

The day before yesterday we had our last (half) day in Frankfurt. At 1:29 p.m. our train left for Amsterdam on time. Before there was a tearful but somewhat painless farewell to our parents.

The ICE called Würzburg brings us to Holland

When we arrived on the ship, we were just flabbergasted. Flat from the hardships of the past few days. Nevertheless, we did two things on the first day: First we clamped a new measuring shunt for our battery monitor to the wind generator, and secondly we installed the AIS. We were both curious. How much yield will our wind generator bring and what does the AIS look like?

The battery monitor

We are consuming a lot of electricity at the time of recording because we are testing the Watermaker. And we also test whether the system manages to press a few ampere hours into the batteries despite Watermaker. It looks very good on the photo, but the sun is a bad ally today. But it blows quite well in Stavoren.

About AIS: Here we decided on an AIS transponder that can both send and receive. This way we become visible to the big pots and at the same time we can avoid conflicts with the “big ones”.

The AIS transponder - you can also switch it off.

We are up just two hours after installing and commissioning the device visible. At the top of the main menu is the link we can use to be stalked.

For us it looks like this. The surrounding ships are shown to us, you can see distance, direction and speed.

AIS screen

Of course, this representation is rudimentary. It also looks confusing with the ports and the ships in them. This will happen suddenly when we are in the middle of the North Sea.

In the coming days we will do our remaining work. Then we drive off.