Alita Anniversary

Yesterday night, around 11:30pm local time Turkey, it was a year ago,
that I first saw and set foot on Alita. Now, one year later, I still
have the same excitement when I see her, when I set onto her and when we
sail her. She is just a beautiful boat with wonderful cruising
characteristics. Having met so many other sailors and their boats in the
meantime, to me she has become even more beautiful. It is a true honour
to be able to sail the world on this beautiful boat and on Marcus' side
- a true professional sailor, where every tough situation always seems

This first trip that the 3 of us did together, sailing from Turkey to
the Canarian Islands, was to get to know each other, to find out
strengths and weaknesses to be prepared for the long trip that Marcus
had already planned (my participation was not part of the plan at that
time). That was such an exciting trip to me, anything that I had
imagined that might happen did in fact happen - but only for the good,
because it helped Marcus to prepare his trip. No big issues appeared
ever since then.

You would think we know her inside out by now, but in that case she is
just an ordinary woman. She never ceases to surprise us, but it has
gotten a lot more difficult for her. We, and especially Marcus, are very
well prepared, so nothing really leaves us without an answer. And the
constant maintanance after every trip helps prevent incidents very much.

Travelling with this interesting couple (Marcus and his Alita) has
turned my life upside down. 5 months and 5000nm (9000km) ago I left my
home to join them on their adventure starting in Las Palmas. And I don't
regret a second. A whole new world opened up to me as all of you, who
followed the blog so far, can tell from stories and pictures. Places
we've seen, people we've met, flora and fauna we ran into and of course
lots of sailing experience. What a difference between a year ago and
now. Where I started to get nervous last year now I am pretty relaxed.
Only thunderstorms above us are something I still do not want to see.
Winds up to 40 knots are ok now (especially if they come from behind),
the next passage in Patagonia will teach me winds up to 70 knots I
guess. Well, we have already practiced setting the storm sails. I now I
will be nervous, but I am very much looking forward to this beautiful
exciting passage starting after christmas.

Talking about the fauna we've met. My most memourable "meetings"on this
trip were of course the Dolphins in Fernando de Noronha, the whales on
the way to the Abrolhos, the monkeys on Ilha Grande (Brüllaffen und
Weikopfbüschelaffen, thanks for the information my dear friend
Cornelia!), the fish around the boat when we give them food
(Raubtierfütterung) (I hope I can upload the video of that soon), all
the different beautiful birds singing and the latest ones: Coyabara
(Wasserschwein) and Coata mundi (Nasenbär) on Ilha Anchieta. On tuesday
I finally managed to get pictures of them, which I'll post in
Florianopolis. The coata mundi are sooo cute. I sat on the beach reading
in my book as all of a sudden I had a feeling that somebody is next to
me. I am sure you all know that feeling. I turnd my head and saw one of
these guys about 10m away looking at me. At first it scared my and I
jerked and the poor guy jerked as well and then walked away. Damn, I did
not have my camera at hand. I took it out, just in case, and about 10
min later the guy was back. Closer and looked at me again. God, he was
so cuddly, I just wanted to take him in my arms. Soo cute. I was able to
make a portrait fotograph. Then he walked away again. I will never
forget tha look in his eyes, hoping to get some snack from me. Like
Marcus when he is waiting for me to cook ;-)
Ahh , also part of the fauna of course are those animals on two legs,
called humans, where we've met very nice and intersting species and
where we also watch a very different species - the
weekend-motor-boat-and-Jet-ski-species. They live in groups of at least
4 per boat and min. 2 boats together, the females always ly on the front
deck to give a nice view for the guys while steering from above; they
drink and eat a lot, love to take very close looks at Alita while
passing by closest distance possible at maximum speed; they come in the
morning and leave at night; they mostly have other 2 legged species
running around on the deck who are there to clean, watch out, serve
drinks and food and - when there was to much alcohol - drive.
All of that I would have missed had I not gone on this trip. Thank you
Marcus and Alita for a wonderful year!

I almost forgot the travel update: we raced the last around 280nm in
less than 2 days with wind of up to around 32 (almost 40 in gusts) knots
from behind at speeds most of the time 9,8 knots (sometimes over 10). So
early this morning, about an hour before sunrise, we arrived at the bay
just north of Ilha Santa Catarina, Enseada de Zimbras. We stayed there
to sleep for a couple of hours, had a great breakfast and went on to the
next anchorage, where we are now, at Enseada da Armaçaõ, just at the
entry of the canal de Ilha Santa Catarina. Tomorrow or tuesday we'll go
around the island and enter from the south to go up to Florianopolis, a
supposedly very german town. We can't go through the channel from the
north, because of 2 bridges at Florianopolis, one of which is too low
with its 17m for our Alita to pass through. That means a 50nm detour. Of
course, or anchorage is very beautiful. It was in no book, but for that
it's even mnore beautiful - once the 25 motor boats left who spent their
sunday here partying.

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