Beginning of sailing season 2013

We could not have hoped for better conditions to start our sailing season in 2013. After a wonderful new years eve watching the fireworks we had a calm sleep and got up early on this January 1st, 2013, to start our journey south. Due to weather reports we decided to just move to the end of the Bay of Puerto Madryn and throw the anchor there for the night. The wind was supposed to calm down and then change direction from south to north. During that transition period you have changing, low winds and the swell still high from the old wind. That makes an uncomfortable ride, where in the worst case you have to motor and your sails get stressed out by the waves, cause you don't have enough wind in the sails to keep them on one side.

Sailing to that anchorage two dolphins came to swim with us, checked Alita out and then left again. We thought "nice of them to stop by, well, that's it". But, no, they went to get the rest of the school and there we found us in the middle of maybe 20 dolphins playing with Alita. So peaceful, so cute. And such beautiful dolphins. They are a different kind here, very unique, very short nose, grey bodies on the top, white on the bottom. And this cute big smile on their faces. Those guys caught our hearts immediately. One guy was a jumper, so sweet. He gave me the picture of the day. As soon as I can I will post pictures. I am VERY happy with those I got yesterday.
During that trip yesteday we also tried the storm main sail (Trysegel) and prepared everything and the floating storm anchor (Treibanker). So now we're prepared for stronger winds and we familiarized Hanno with the boat. Now we can all relax. We did by eating all the Vanillekipferl in our afternoon coffe break. Nothing left.

Every move we make we have to report to the prefectura naval (coast guard)of Argentina. They even contacted us during the day yesterday and asked for the position. I have to admit I enjoy it. At least once a day I get to have a conversation with the coast guards in spanish, giving them current position, speed, direction, where we come from and where we are heading to nd when we plan to arrive (ETA). They are very friendly. We could also send E-mails from now on, but I think we'll stick to radio. It's more fun for me.

This morning at 2am local time we woke up from high waves at our anchorage. The wind had changed its direction earlier than forecasted and blowing over the whole bay of Puerto Madryn built up quite a wave. So Marcus and I decided to lift the anchor and leave (and let Hanno sleep, but who woke up anyway). Under a beautiful star sky and cold winds we did so. Once the anchor was up and we had set the sails of course I radioed to the Prefectura to let them know we did so and that we're heading out starting our trip with direction of Puerto Deseado. They wished us good navigation and off we were. I went back to bed, Marcus took the first shift and sailed us out of the bay and into the northerly winds, that we still enjoy, with 20-25 knots (we're expecting up to 30 knots). None of us could sleep though because in that first 3 hours Marcus had to work on the sails a lot. Then Hanno took over the second shift. So the shift plan is set. All works great, everybody is happy. Right now I am on my favourite shift: the evening sun and sunset shift. The men are in their beds, Alita is mine ;-) Sailing wise nothing to do today. Just watch out for traffic (which has not appeared so far) and make sure, we're following the right course. We all enjoy the beautiful ocean and weather, we know it won't always be this way. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful start we all love. I wish the same for all of you!

P.S. Danke liebe Gross-Cousine Baerbel, für Deine Delphin-Wuensche. Sind doch glatt am ersten Tag schon in Erfuellung gegangen!
P.P.S. Alles Gute nachtraeglich zum Geburtstag, liebe Silvi! Hoffe, Du liest das. Liebe Gruess an Euch alle, v.a. Moritz.

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