There are not many proas (boats with a long and a short hull) in Europe, let alone in Germany. It was a very pleasant surprise to see 5 of such rare craft sailing together for a meeting in Flensburg. Henrik sailed Proasis singlehanded up to Flensburg and was already greeted by smaller outrigger canoes when entering the fjord. The fleet spend a very nice weekend together, including sailing in nice warm summer weather, cold beer and camp fire. Hopefully there will be another meeting next year!
Initially we had planned to explore the Danish archipelago for at least a week but unfavorable weather shortened our trip to just 2 days. We left Kiel on Friday with a good easterly breeze and pretty awful weather for August. Fortunately the wind got lighter, the sky clear and the second half of the 30 nm leg to the island of Aeroe was more enjoyable than its start. Right in the middle between Germany and Denmark we found a weir orange object adrift. Turned out it was a humongous damaged drift buoy. We managed to pull it on board with much difficulties to free the ocean from the plastic waste. Our anchor dropped right next to the southern tip of Aeroe, next to the lighthouse. Because of the shallow draft of our canoe we could anchor so close to the beach that we didnt even need a dinghy to get to shore.
The next day brought cold and foggy weather with a stiff breeze. The morning was spent wing foiling, riding down the swell which bent around the cape near by. Around noon, the wind went down a bit to around 20 kn, the anchor was lifted and we started sailing back to keel with great speed. Shortly after the wind increased again, probably up to 30 kn, forcing us to put in a reef. Still doing 8-9 kn we were both holding on behind, staring at the huge waves and bracing for spray which would come over us every once in a while. These were not particularly terrible conditions in general, but the heaviest we have ever sailed proasis in yet. After this wiled ride the wind out of a sudden completely died once we entered the Kiel fjord and we had to use our electric engine for the last couple of miles. Eventually we made it home just before a heavy thunderstorm. We were only gone for two days but it still feels like a week worth of adventure!
This was supposed to be a post about the Kiel Sailing Week, especially the tall ship parade, and how great it was to sail in this massive fleet of hundreds of vessels. But just as we went out of the bay to meet the fleet, together with lots of friends on board, something very special happened: Tobi, a colleague of Christian, pulled out a ring, went down on his knees and proposed to his girlfriend!
How crazy is that, has ever someone proposed on a proa before?! We feel very honored and looking forward to the marriage!
Some more impressions of that day:
The night is just a day without light- from the physical point of view this quote from Michael Ende’s “Momo” is correct, but sailing at night is still feels very different. The wind always seems to be twice as strong, the waves humongous, and every noise sounds like the imminent failure of hull, rudder or mast. We finally got our first night sailing experience with proasis past Wednesday. Coincidentally that was half time of the Kiel Sailing Week and we could enjoy the spectacular fireworks in Schilksee on our way out. Sailing went very smooth and we could test our navigation light setup under real conditions.
We got the chance to present Proasis at the Waterkant Festival of 2023. Had some very interesting conversations and met nice people! Looking forward to next year.
My new job started later then expected so I (Henrik) spontaneously took Proasis out for a single-handed trip to Denmark. Some friends already anchored with their boats in the lagoon of the small island of Skaroe for wing foiling, so the first destination was set. Getting there was quick, despite the distance of 50 nm, due to lots of wind. Proasis was doing an average of 7-9 kn, sailing double digits on a regular base. At one point I had to slow her down to 7 kn because of nasty waves, and reef the sail. As reported previously, the zipper reef works, but it takes to long to reef and unreef for my taste. As soon as there is some spare time we will trial different reefing techniques. The way back home was less spectacular but more enjoyable due to light and warm weather!
We’ve successfully relaunched proasis last weekend, thanks to numerous people of our local sailing club who helped to push her down the beach. After assembling everything and carrieng countless boxes of very important stuff down the beach we enjoied a very nice 15 nm sail home to our anchor bay. Highglight of the trip was our first catch ever, a huge garfish!
All the improvements were well received, especially the wet box for the anchor and chain. Unfortunately the electric installation is not finished yet so we coudnt test the navigation lights.
We will be part of the Kieler Klimawerkstatt on 26.03.23 in Kiel Schilksee. We will be there with a booth 11:00 to 17:00 and give a talk at 15:45. Hope to see you there! More information here: www.kiel.de/klimaschutzwerkstatt
Sad but true: we have already winterized Proasis. We need to do some work on the bottom of the hulls anyway and I (Henrik) will soon go back to the Marshall Islands for half a year (make sure you stay tuned, updates will follow!).
We had the great advantage of using an electric winch and some nice custome made trolleys to pull her up the beach this time. The task was done very quickly and didn’t took many people.