Gast Crew – Michèle

Hier ein Bericht von Michèle Tiefenthaler , einer Schweizerin, die wir hier in Moorea kennengelernt haben. Um ihr unsere kleine Artemis – und somit ein richtiges Segelboot – zu zeigen, ist sie mit uns von einer Bucht zur anderen gesegelt. (Webseite: Mangata Yoga)

Bevor Heidi und Neill die schöne Insel Moorea mal für ein Weilchen verlassen, hatte ich das Privileg mit den beiden wunderbaren Menschen für einen Tag mitzusegeln.

Der Segeltörn begann bereits voller Gastfreundlichkeit. Nachdem mich Neill mit dem Dingy am Strand abholte, führe Heidi mich durch ihr schönes Zu Hause und zeigte mir wie die beiden so leben:) ich bin beeindruckt von der Ordnung, die sie pflegen und wie wenig die zwei brauchen um glücklich zu sein. Für mich als “wanna-be” Minimalistin eine sehr großes Vorbild!
Nachdem wir einen Kaffee auf dem Deck zusammen genossen haben, machten wir uns langsam abfahrt bereit und ziehen den Anker zurück. Zuerst tuckerln wir mit dem Motor langsam raus bevor wir dann die Segel hissen.

Gleich von Beginn an darf ich anpacken und die Seile bedienen. Da meine Armmuskulatur (noch) nicht so ausgeprägt ist, fällt mir es nicht so leicht an den Seilen zu ziehen. Doch zum Glück hilft mir Heidi mit ihrer Kraft und schwups! Die Segel sind oben. Jetzt darfs losgehen. Der Motor ist aus und wir dürfen uns nun vom Wind tragen lassen. Nächste große Challenge für mich: sauber steuern.

Was mir nicht immer leicht fällt 🤭 aber Neill ist sehr geduldig mit mir.
Ja, so segeln wir entland der wunderschönen Küste von Moorea und genießen die atemberaubende Kulisse. Die Ruhe, der sanfte Wind und das Blau des Meeres lassen mich in ein tiefes Gefühl der Dankbarkeit und der Freiheit sinken. Was für ein Geschenk! Sich vom Wind tragen zu lassen und einfach sein….

Der Wind wird ruhiger und wir steuern schon bald die nächste Bucht an. Vorbei an den spektakulären Bergen zielen wir zum neuen Ankerplatz.
Jetzt wo das Schiff geankert ist, setzen wir uns mit einem Kaffee nochmals in Ruhe hin. Mit wunderschönen Gespräche über das Leben lassen wir den Segeltörn ausklingen. Wie schön das Leben in Einfachheit sein kann.

Ich möchte mich von Herzen bei euch beiden für den unvergesslichen schönen Tag bedanken. Dieser Törn wird immer in meinem Herzen sein und ihr zwei natürlich auch❤️

Hoffentlich werden sich unsere Wege wieder einmal kreuzen. Bis dahin alles Wundervolle für euch😘

San Blas Inseln (Annalena)

Annalena & Daniel in Panama

Hier ein Bericht von Annalena die zwölf Tage, gemeinsam mit ihre Freund Daniel bei uns am Bord war.

Am 28. Oktober ging endlich unsere Reise zum Segeln in die Karibik nach Panama los. Daniel und ich flogen von München nach Panama City. Dort landeten wir um halb 8 abends, woraufhin Vidal (unser Taxifahrer) mit einem Bild von Daniel auf uns wartete. Daraufhin gab es eine abenteuerliche Fahrt durch den Dschungel, die ich komplett verschlafen hatte. Angekommen in der Marine in Port Linton suchten wir das Segelboot von Neill und Heidi, das mit dem Namen Artemis getauft ist.

Nach dieser langen Anreise fielen Daniel und ich total müde ins Bett. Heidi und Neill waren so freundlich und überließen uns für den Aufenthalt die Schlafkabine. Die nächsten zwei Tage erkundeten wir ein bisschen die Gegend, probierten das neu gekaufte Dinghy aus und kauften für die nächsten zwei Wochen Proviant ein. Der Neill hat für die Lebensmittel eine Excel-Liste erstellt, in dem er genau den Überblick hat, welche Lebensmittel sie noch haben bzw. wie viel davon noch da ist (super praktisch).

Unser erstes Ziel war die Insel Chichime, die wir nach 8 Stunden segeln erreichten.

Daniel und mir wurde ab und zu etwas mulmig, aber mit ein bisschen Schlaf, Essen und der Übernahme der Steuerung war alles wieder in Ordnung. Wenn man keine Lust mehr auf Steuern hatte, übernahm Steve (der Auto Pilot) gerne das Steuer. In Chichime angekommen erkannten Neill und Heidi direkt einen Bekannten Delfin aus Argentinien.

Nachdem wir unter einer kleinen Einweisung den Anker setzten, kam Delfin auf einen Kaffee vorbei. Wir vereinbarten mit ihm für den nächsten Abend ein gemeinsames Abendessen. Die Einheimischen kamen immer mit ihren Einbaumbooten vorbei und boten den Seglern Fische, Stoffe oder Obst zum Kauf an. Delfin kaufte für uns Hummer, zerlegte ihn und zeigte uns wie man es zubereitete. Heidi machte dazu noch eine Beilage und das Festmahl war angerichtet. Für mich war es das erste mal dass ich einen Hummer aß, aber ich war sehr positiv überrascht und fand es super lecker.

Es war bewundernswert wie schnell man sich an das Leben auf einem Segelboot gewöhnt. Man fängt an Kleinigkeiten zu schätzen, wie z. B. das Regenwasser oder den Wind. Wir waren sehr glücklich, dass es nachts immer soviel regnete, denn somit hatten wir immer genügend Wasser zum Duschen und der Wind machte uns das heiße Wetter erträglich.

In den darauffolgenden Tagen machten wir bei verschiedenen Inseln Halt.

Wir genossen die Sonne, erkundeten die Inseln, tranken Kokosmilch und schnorchelten.

Abends gab es immer richtig leckeres Essen. Neill war immer zuständig jegliches Gemüse klein zu schneiden und Heidi zauberte mit den einfachsten Dingen super leckere Mahlzeiten für uns. Damit hätte ich nicht gerechnet, dass wir so verwöhnt werden. Daniel und ich waren dann immer für den Abwasch zuständig – perfekte Arbeitsaufteilung. Mit einem Spiel und guter Laune wird der Abend abgeschlossen.

Nargana war eine Stadt, die mehr oder weniger aus Blechhütten bestand. Nach einer Besichtigung der Stadt entschieden wir uns am nächsten Tag den Fluss ins Landesinnere zu erkunden.

In der Nacht wurde ich leider zum Fraß der Sandfliegen, das machte die Nacht unerträglich und somit war ich am nächsten Tag auch dementsprechend müde als wir den Fluss aufwärts mit dem Dinghy fuhren. Nachts waren wir immer sehr dankbar für die Erfindung des Windfangs. Er fing den Wind ein und blies ihn in unsere Schlafkabine hindurch. Da brauchte man sogar ab und zu mal eine Decke weil der Windfänger seinen Job sehr gut erfüllte.

Als wir wieder Richtung Port Linton segelten, begleiteten uns eine viertel Stunde lang Delfine. Es war unglaublich und wunderschön mit anzusehen.

Ich möchte mich sehr bedanken für die wunderschöne Zeit bei euch auf dem Boot. Es war ein unglaubliches Erlebnis mit vielen Eindrücken.

In Liebe Annalena 🙂

Two weeks in paradise (Daniel)

Annalena & Daniel in Panama

Daniel and his girlfriend Annalena visited us in Panama and spent two weeks with us cruising the San Blas Islands. Here is the blog post he wrote about it.

In August 2019 Dad and Heidi met up with us during their visit in Germany. Oh by the way, when I’m talking of “us”, I mean my beautiful girlfriend Annalena and me. We agreed that we would spend our holidays at the end of October 2019 on Artemis of Ileyn. We didn’t know where exactly it would be, but they could roughly tell us to book a flight to Panama. So time rushed by and we had booked our flight from Munich to Panama City via Paris. Yes! We were really heading to the Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Panama, to the San Blas Islands! After a 20-hours-trip with a lot of traffic jams in Germany and two flights, we reached Panama City Airport where we were welcomed by our taxi driver Vidal. He couldn’t speak a single word of English and neither does one of us two speak Spanish, but he knew where we had to go. So off went our trip from the Pacific through the jungles of Panama to the Caribbean side of the country, where Dad and Heidi were waiting for us. Although we weren’t able to communicate with Vidal, it wasn’t a silent ride as we had Spanish music on full volume for 2 1/2 hours. But Vidal seemed to be a nice guy and I wanted to stay awake to see a bit of the country anyway, so I didn’t mind the music. Annalena obviously didn’t too, as she fell asleep very soon. After a few hours driving along rough roads in the dark in a foreign country with hundreds dogs running infront of the car we reached Linton Bay Marina at 10.30pm, which felt like the end of the world. No one could tell me where Dad’s and Heidi’s boat was, no one could speak English, we had no internet, the security did not want to let us two good looking young Europeans into the Marina and I couldn’t reach Dad or Heidi on their mobile phone. By that time I thought “that was it, we’re stuck in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and noone can speak English”. But then, luckily, our taxi driver Vidal, who I can call my friend now after helping us out, contacted the owner of the Marina, who I had booked the taxi over. And yes, he spoke English and Spanish and was possible to tell the security to walk through the Marina with us so I could try and find the boat. So off we went, said goodbye to Vidal, as he wanted to get back home, and after 15 minutes of searching we found the boat. Heidi was outside and recognized us in the dark and Dad followed her straight away. YES! We had found them! After telling them about our adventurous journey and exploring the boat and being awake for 23 hours, we fell into bed.

Jungle roads in Panama

The next day we woke up to the smell of coffee and bread, which Dad and Heidi had made themselves. During our stay we found out that they do not only make bread, but even much more! After breakfast it was time to go shopping in the neighbour town. We were lucky as Dad and Heidi already knew a few people at the Marina. Shila & Susi were just on their way to the town we had to go to, so they took us in their car. Susi & Dad in the front and four of us stacked on each other in the back without seat belts. Welcome to Panama! After reaching the town we wandered through the streets, had a look at left-overs of an old fort and went shopping. We had to get enough to eat and drink for the next two weeks, as we were going to head off to the San Blas Islands, which are located north-east off the Panamaian mainland. After filling our bags and a snack on the street, we took a taxi back to the boat and stocked it up with our shopping. The rest of the day we visited the monkeys on a near-by island using the dinghy and played cards in the evening. The next morning it was time to fetch the new dinghy Dad and Heidi had ordered and I must say, it’s so much better than the old one. It has a hard floor and just looks great! I was in charge of taking it for a test ride. It’s such a good toy!

The new toy (a dinghy)

After placing the new dinghy on the boat and saying goodbye to Steve & Nelly, who is an American with his dog we met, we motored out as far as we could, but where it was possible to anchor, so we could leave for the San Blas Islands very early the next day.

The next morning had arrived and we left Linton Bay Marina at 6am as we had a long trip ahead of us. Dad worked out before that it would take us about 7-8 hours to motor, as their would be no wind at all. And he was right. After 8 hours out on the open sea, going up and down big waves, we reached an anchorage at Chichime Island, our first stop of the San Blas Islands. It was an amazing moment seeing these tiny islands appear on the horizon and getting bigger and bigger. Not only Chichime island, but all the other islands we visited, were that small that you could easily walk around one in about half an hour. Of course we had lots and lots of time, so it took us a lot longer. But who cares? We’re on holiday! The San Blas Islands really are how you imagine the Caribbean to be. Palm trees, white sand, blue water, local fishermen out in tree stumps fishing for any type of fish they can catch and no tourists whereever you look. For years there had always been something in my head wanting to see the Caribbean in real life, and now was the moment this “dream” came true! It is hard to describe in words how different but beautiful these islands are, but just have a look at the pictures and then imagine it being five times as good as the picture. That’s what it feels like being in the Caribbean, and especially being on tiny islands with only local people, sailing boats nearby and waves around you.

Sunset at Chichime Island

In total we then spent ten days and nine nights sailing in between the islands, mostly spending two nights at one island and then sailing to the next anchorage. We never had the feeling of being surrounded by boats or other people, because the most you had was maybe five boats at one anchorage. Many days we spent passing two or three boats and anchoring by our own or with one neighbour. It’s amazing how the local people live in these places. They go fishing in their tiny boats and ask the sailors before if they need any fish, then they also catch the fish for them and sell them for a bit of money. But money isn’t what it’s about out on their islands. Sometimes they just want to swap some fruits for a bag of sugar or their caught fish for a few bottles of drinking water. Seeing this just made me so happy, as at home in Europe money does somehow rule the people’s life and decides how you spend your life.

Swapping some fruits for a bag of sugar

During our holiday we got to see so many things which we wouldn’t have seen back in Germany. Leaving our mobile phones in the cabin for most of the time made me feel completely free. Of course you don’t have the opportunity to quickly grab your phone when for example dolphins appear next to the boat. But you experience the situation in that moment and enjoy it even more. These memories will be in my head for the rest of my life and that is what is important for me. Just switching off from the daily routine, leaving everything where it is for two weeks, let work be work, let bills be bills, let stress be stress and just give yourself a break. We therefore spent our time enjoying monkeys jumping from tree to tree, dolphins swimming next to the sailing boat for many minutes, us trying to communicate with local people, playing card games and having a few sunset drinks, jumping into warm blue clear water, snorkeling through reefs, watching fish we had never seen before swimming around and meeting other sailors who tell us their life stories and about their sailing trips.

I think we have been able to freshen up our sailing skills after Dad and Heidi are experts now and you can just learn from them by watching. That doesn’t mean that we we’re only watching, no. Annalena helped Heidi with the anchor a lot and learned some new knots for the ropes. I mostly was in charge of steering and making sure that we don’t hit any reefs under the boat.

I really have to mention the kitchen on Artemis of Ileyn. Even in a tiny kitchen it is possible to cook amazing food. It must be because of Heidi’s “magic” (that’s what Dad calls it). From home-made bread and lasagna, lobster and pizza to Spaghetti Aglia e Olio and salad. Heidi did do a great job to make sure that noone on board has to be hungry and Dad did a good job cutting, but also making bread and coffee all by himself. That has definitely got better compared to what I can remember a few years ago! Good job Dad!

Riding a bus through the jungle

It definitely wasn’t the last visit on Artemis of Ileyn (I hope you’re alright with that Dad and Heidi). We found out that a day trip to the San Blas Islands costs more than 100 USD and we got a two week package including a bed and plenty of food. All we had to do was invite the two sailors out for dinner twice. Oh yes, if you want to pay for something when Dad and Heidi are around, you have to be fast. Otherwise they have paid before you even know the amount.

Thank you for an amazing time, it was great to see you two again. We will surely be back for lots of sailing, snorkeling and sunset drinks!

Guest Crew – Curacao Days

Jill Venema

As mentioned in another post, we met Jill and Joop in Curacao and had a great time with them. Here is Jill’s guest post about our adventures.

It was Joop my husband, who first happened upon Neil and Heidi. He works as a maritime pilot in Curacao port and came across them as they were trying to get an anchor permit having just arrived here. They were suffering from the usual frustrations of trying to make contact with the right people in order to do this and not getting very far, so he offered to help. I believe he wasn’t able to do much for them  as it turned out so he did the next best thing he could and that was to drive them to a supermarket so they could at least stock up on supplies.

When he got home, he told me about this intrepid couple who had turned up here on their round the world sailing trip.(they actually didn’t like to call it ’round the world’ as when they set out they were not sure how far they would get, but anyway they were here having set of from Scotland and it seemed pretty far round the world to me !  I was very impressed and hoped I could eventually meet them.

After a few weeks had passed, due to them  entertaining friends, we were able to meet up. We met for a beer or two and ended up almost switching off the lights in the bar as we left.  The night just flew by, such was the very convivial conversation and enjoyment of each others company.  We all had so much to say and Joop and I loved hearing all about the journey so far and the wonderful places visited. We were both so pleased they would be staying for a few weeks and wanted to show them the island . We were so impressed that they rode their bikes everywhere to see the sights of wherever they went , Joop  is a very keen cyclist so it was decided they come to dinner and the next day he would take them out for a sight seeing ride. (I decided to sit this one out as although I like to ride, I only had to look at how fit the three of them are to know I would probably embarrass myself !

So as planned both Neil and Heidi rocked up one afternoon and stay overnight . They were very complimentary about dinner and especially enjoyed the beers in the pool after riding over in the heat. Heidi enjoyed the shower she said as there was  no limit to the water and she could wash her hair and take her time, something I hadn’t considered to be a luxury but I suppose when you think about it…and the bed, amazing to think they hadn’t slept on land for quite sometime, we were so pleased to be able to have them stay and enjoy .

The bike ride took place the next day …..I should probably have  thrown in a warning ….Joop can be a bit of a bugger on the bike and if he detects a certain amount of stamina , he will beast you , and he did!  However I think they both enjoyed it and had a speedy tour of all the different environments on the land, coast and cactus road and track and back for another dip in the pool. Later in the week we took Neil and Heidi to Westpunt (too far to cycle) to swim with the turtles which I know they enjoyed.

Neil and Heidi then very kindly offered us a trip in their beautiful boat. We set off  to a lovely local bay  to swim and snorkel and have some lunch. It was a most exhilarating trip ! It all started out with Neil handing over the tiller to me  which was very trusting of him as I found i kept going in the opposite direction ….anyway I didn’t capsize  the boat and Neil was endlessly patient although my constant ‘SORRY!’ was wearing i think !
Once we got out of the bay Joop took over and he absolutely loved it , we were against the waves and I did rather cling on like a cat but that’s just me, the boat felt safe and I couldn’t help but feel OK knowing how far Artemis had come with both Heidi and Neil so how could anyone feel worried ? However, Heidi provided me with just the thing for a nervous sailor, a good slug of homemade Baileys in my coffee mug, I was totally fine after that!Lunch was splendid, I couldn’t believe that anyone could produce first of all four mugs of coffee on the ‘high seas’ and not spill a drop and then such a wonderful lunch including homemade chocolate brownies , the woman is a marvel !

Our final encounter with these two  lovely people was to be a few beers before we headed off to town to meet friends….oh well, best laid plans and all that…..we turned up to a local beach to meet them only to find they had become involved in a local beach party (it was a bank holiday) Heidi was ‘twerking’, that bottom thing with the local ladies and Neil was welcoming us with a beer when we arrived….and that was that, plans changed….I went to fetch my bikini  and on with the party ! What a great night, dancing eating and drinking, (it was all on your tab and I did want to pay something but was not allowed to ) thank you for your generosity .

There is so much more I could say, we really did have  some great conversations and laughs,  we are sad you have gone but as you said Neil, the world is round and so we will surely meet again. Safe travels on your beautiful Artemis and I know you will make friends wherever you go as you are just the sort of people that make it a certainty. there will be lots of others waving you off from the shore thinking they would have liked you to have stayed longer….or gone with you in Joop’s case. He is on about buying a boat more than ever now whahhhh!

Gast Crew – Karibik wir kommen!

Gertrud Klotz-French

Hier ein Bericht von unsere Freundin Gertrud Klotz-French die zwölf Tage, gemeinsam mit ihre Mann Jon bei uns am Bord war.

Nachdem Heidi und Neill nun schon über ein Jahr unterwegs waren und wir
schon beim Abschied versprachen, sie zu besuchen, wenn sie in wärmeren
Gefilden sind, war es endlich so weit. Juhu, endlich wieder ein Abenteuer!

Hitze

Der erste Eindruck war: HEISS. So heiß, dass eigentlich jeder Fetzen der die
Haut berührt zu viel ist. Aber da wir ja vernünftig sind und als käsige,
winterharte Allgäuer dort angekommen sind, haben wir uns wie die
Beduinen eingemummelt, um nicht zu verbrennen. Mit der Zeit wurde die
Bekleidung aber stetig weniger. Wir verstanden nun auch, warum wir einen
neuen Windcatcher anfertigen und mitbringen sollten. Falls „Gute Reise“
den Dienst versagen sollte, ist ein Ersatz überlebenswichtig. Ohne ist es
unter Deck kaum auszuhalten.

Segelschule

Für Jon, den ehemaligen Inselaffen, waren die Tage ein Auffrischungskurs
im Segeln, für mich als Mountain Girl absolutes Neuland. Umso cooler, dass
ich auch mal am Tiller stehen und steuern lernen durfte. Ich kenne jetzt
auch ein paar wenige Knoten und einige Bezeichnungen das Boot und das
Segeln betreffend z.B. Downwind ist mit dem Wind segeln, Upwind gegen
den Wind und – ist nicht meins!!! Die beiden Gastgeber waren so süß und
haben immer wieder Entschuldigungen gefunden, warum es mir schlecht
wird: zu wenig Schlaf, zu viel gegessen, zu viel Schlaf… aber ich war einfach
seekrank. Hab’s überlebt! In Zukunft werde ich die Blogs von Heidi und
Neill mit gleichem Interesse, aber noch besserem Verständnis lesen, weil:
Ich war dabei, ich hab’s gesehen, gespürt, berührt, gehört, gefühlt und
gemacht!

Seglerleben

stellte sich für mich so dar: ankern in schönen Buchten, ins Meer hüpfen
wann man will, schnorcheln in türkisfarbenem klaren Wasser, neue
Gegenden, andere Flora und Fauna sehen, tolle Sonnenuntergänge, das
Leben genießen. Aber für einen richtigen Segler kommt da noch mehr dazu:
segeln erfordert körperliche und geistige Fitness, einiges muss simultan
ausgeführt werden, es gibt viel zu tun und viel zu beachten, unerwartete
Probleme lösen und Ideen umsetzen, Reparaturen ausführen UND Customs
and Immigration! Oh mei, für uns ja nicht so schlimm auch wenn wir
deswegen den dreiviertel Tag in Willemstad rumtrotteten. Wir mussten nur
anwesend sein und Heidi und Neill hinterherlatschen, die schon im Vorfeld
alles online gemacht, Papiere vorbereitet und herausgefunden haben was
nötig ist und wohin man muss. Naja, muss wohl sein. Am „Heimweg“
stolperten wir dafür in die richtige Gasse, wo uns Reggae Musik zur
Mojitobar lockte und wir uns erst 1, dann 2, 3 … Caipirinha zur Belohnung
gönnten. Das Zeug schmeckt in der Karibik genauso gut, haut nur schneller
rein. Haben dann prompt den Bus verpasst.

Inselhopping

Vor Klein Curacao ankerten wir und reparierten das Jippsegel, das einen
Riss bekommen hatte. Das war aufregend! Am nächsten Tag erkundeten wir
die unbewohnte Insel mit Leuchtturmruine und einem Riesenwrack am
Strand im Zuge eines Geocaches. Es war einer der wenigen Tage mit
wolkenlosem Himmel, also unglaublich heiß. War dann echt froh wieder ins
Wasser zu kommen und den vielen bunten Fischen zusehen und auch mal
eine Schildkröte zu Gesicht zu bekommen. Dann ging es weiter Upwind
nach Bonaire –extra nachts, damit ich nicht so viel leiden musste. Trotzdem wollte ich auch die Sterne der Karibik sehen und wurde mit dem Kreuz des Südens am Himmel und mit im Wasser funkelndem Plankton belohnt. Und eigentlich ist das hart am Wind segeln voll geil.

Bonaire

als Taucherparadies, galt es natürlich auch unter Wasser zu erkunden. Das
Housereef war insofern interessant, da wir Artemis von unten
kennenlernten und sie nach einem Jahr auf See, mit Spachtel bewaffnet,
gründlich von Ablagerungen befreiten. Das hat dann viele Fische angelockt.
Jon und ich nahmen auch an einem Bootstauchgang teil, d.h. mit einer
Gruppe Taucher in einem Boot raus aufs offene Meer an ein Riff, um dort
mit einem Tauchguide ca. eine Stunde zu tauchen. In unserem Fall war der
Guide taubstumm, was unter Wasser ja überhaupt keine Rolle spielt. Der
hat den idealen Job für sich gefunden! Da mir zwei Tauchgänge
hintereinander zuviel sind, gab Jon vor seinem zweiten Abtauchen Neill die
Koordinaten des Tauchboots durch und so wurde ich von der Artemis
abgeholt. Ich kam mir vor wie eine VIP – Bin durchs offene Meer von
einem zum anderen Boot rüber gekrault. Immer für Abenteuer zu haben.
Der Skipper ließ mich aber nicht ohne Unterschrift gehen, sonst wäre es
sein erstes Mal gewesen, dass er mit 8 Leuten raus und nur mit 7
zurückkommt.

Am nächsten Tag war Jon nochmal tauchen und ich machte mich mit Hilfe
der Crew endlich an die Bemalung des neuen Windcatchers, bevor der
Urlaub zu Ende ist und ich meinen Hauptjob nicht erfüllt bekomme. Heidi
zauberte nebenher wieder mal was Leckeres zu essen und machte Hefeteig
für Brot, dem mein zwischenzeitlich verabreichter Fußabdruck
geschmacklich nichts anhaben konnte. Nochmal Sorry Heidi, wir hätten ein
Foto machen sollen.

Gegen Abend holten wir den Mietwagen ab und fuhren Flamingo gucken.
Jon und Heidi trauten sich durch die Kakteen zum Geocache, während Neill
Cäsar zitierte, aber statt Freunde , Brüder, Römer hörten nur ich und
vielleicht ein paar Papageien zu. Und wieder gabs einen wunderschönen
Sonnenuntergang. Dieser Abend endete spät, nach leckerem Eis, Karaoke-
Gesang, Kartenspielen und yummy Cocktails.

Nationalpark

Eigentlich wären wir lieber mit Scootern rumgedüst, aber in den
Nationalpark darf man nur mit 4×4 Drive und dann wußten wir auch
warum: Staubige Straßenpisten, manchmal steil, meist holprig, führten
kilometerlang durch undurchdringlichen Kakteendschungel und das in
brütender Hitze. Auf dem Pickup hinten drauf hats Spaß gemacht, Jon hatte
seine Freude hinterm Steuer und das Schnorcheln in den Buchten hat sich
gelohnt. Wir mussten noch zu Customs and Immigration, Einkaufen,
Volltanken, Auto zurückbringen, Eisessen, Essen gehen. Für die maximale
Ausnutzung des Mietwagens war logistisches Geschick notwendig. Beinahe
wären wir in Streß geraten, was dank Neills weisem Management und
Rudermuskeln gerade noch verhindert werden konnte. Danke Neill!

Rückweg

Nachts downwind segeln war halb so wild für mich. Neill fand auf Curacao
wieder eine tolle Bucht in der wir den Tag verbummelten.
Tags drauf gings in eine Marina, eigentlich ein Campingplatz für Cruiser
bzw. ein Bootsparkplatz. Hey, in einer Marina gibts Duschen und ich dachte, da freu ich mich drauf. Aber ehrlich gesagt, war baden im Meer mit
anschließender warmer Frischwasserdusche aus einem Eimer, fast noch
schöner, als die nicht mal lauwarme Marinadusche. Minimalismus kann
man sich angewöhnen! Jon erledigte seinen Arbeitsauftrag Fahrräder
checken und dann gings wieder nach Willemstad zur berühmten Customs
and Immigration zum Einklären und Jon und mich Ausklären. In meinem
neuen Reisepass habe ich allein von diesem Urlaub 5 Stempel.

Es ist unglaublich was wir alles in diese 12 Tage hineinpacken konnten. Ich
habe das Gefühl ich war viel länger mit der Artemis unterwegs. Es war
weder streßig, noch eintönig, sondern abwechslungsreich, unterhaltsam,
interessant, abenteuerlich, lustig und sooooo schön wieder mal mit Heidi
und Neill zusammen zu sein und eine schöne gemeinsame Erinnerung zu
erschaffen. Ist uns gut gelungen! Nochmal vielen Dank für die Einladung,
fürs Haben, fürs Aushalten, fürs Organisieren, fürs Kochen, fürs Abholen
und Hinbringen, für so viel Spaß und Lachen und Singen, für eure Zeit und
eure Freundschaft.

Schluchz, schnief bis zum Wiedersehn. Bussi,
Gertrud

Guest Crew – Sailing with Heidi and Neill

Jon French

Our friend Jon French and his wife Gertrud visited us on board for twelve days. Here is the blog post he wrote about it.

Well we said that when they get to the Caribbean, we’d love to join them for a few days sailing, and that’s what we did.

On Friday 31 May 2019 we flew out to Curacao. Stayed one night in a hotel. Gave Heidi and Neill the coordinates N12° 07.295′ W68° 58.174′, and they picked Gertrud and myself up at the Hotel Dive center Jetty.  Was kind of cool asking the hotel what depth of water (Draft) their jetty had, so that my crew can pick me up in the morning, lol.

After a warm welcome with lots of cuddles, we motored about 500 meters inland and set anchor, and Neill gave us a safety briefing about the boat, and how to use the toilet. The next day the sailing adventure started. Just a little trip on the map to Spanish Water, N12° 04.766′ W68° 51.531′ against the wind (So it’s about double the distance, if not more). I more or less grew up sailing, so it was a quick refresher course on what rope (Sheet) does what. Neill let me make the route, which I did every time we sailed from then on. At Spanish Water we set anchor (Heidi you taught me well), and the next day had a trip into Willemstad.

Customs and immigration. The one thing they don’t teach you in sailing school is what a pain in the ass this can be. Bureaucracy with a capital “B.” It could be so easy. You could do it all online. But there are a couple of programs out there, but which one does the next country use, and can the people in the office in front of the computer use it. OMG! Enough said.

After booking out of immigration and some KFC (Yummy), we stumbled on a Reggae Bar with good music and even better Caipies. Made lots of new friends and missed the bus.

Next day on to Small Curacao, Rock and roll against the wind for about 8 hours. Small Curacao is a small uninhabited Island Straight out of the Roche advert. White sand and crystal clear water with a light house and a ship wreck. We arrived just as the tourists were leaving, and had the Island all to ourselves. Beautiful sunset.

Next day a walk around the Island, and a Geocache, which had been muggled but was still there.

We decided then to sail in the evenings, which would be better for Gertrud. Sailing upwind was really testing her sea legs. She could then have a tablet and go to bed. We left after midnight, getting some sleep before hand, and sailed through the night to Bonaire. We made such good time that we had to slow down a bit before dawn, otherwise we would arrive at a mooring buoy, N12° 09.552′ W68° 16.923′ in the dark. I Probably looked at the stars to long and had 20 minutes of sea sickness in the night, but then was OK. Whats also amazing about sailing at night is how the plankton lights up in the bow wave, and leaves a trail of light, like small LED’s in the water. And it’s dark with no moon.

Bonaire. What a lovely Island. Clean, customs and immigration are very good, Diving costs an arm and a leg (very expensive) and the ice cream is out of this world Delicious. I did 6 dives there, For the price of 20 dives in Egypt. House Reef with Gertrud on the first afternoon. 2 boat dives, one each day, each boat dive with 2 dives, on Klein Bonaire, a small Island on the west side of Bonaire, Dive sights called “Hands Off,” “Rock Pile,” “Divi Divi Tree” and “Captain Dons Reef.” Last dive cleaning the underside of Artemis with Gertrud. Well we had to pay our rent.

On the last day on Bonaire we hired a 4 wheel drive pick up. We picked it up late afternoon at 17:00 and drove out to see the Penguins, sorry flamingos on the NW side of the Island at Saina Goto, Lake Gotomeer. Oh! a Geocache. Heidi and I found it after dancing among the prickly Cacti. The Frigging birds, sorry the flamingos didn’t exactly do a fly past, but they were there, and we had another one of those beautiful romantic sunsets.

Up early, well like every morning, and jump in the Dingy. Neill rows to land, and off we go to the North side of the Island to the Washington Siagbaai National Park, for a bit of off roading, snorkeling and sightseeing. Iguanas, goats, donkeys and birds everywhere.When we got back, we did a big shopping trip, using the car, and booked out of Immigration and customs, to leave just after midnight and sail Downwind (Yahoo), through the night back to Curacao.

At Curacao we spent the rest of that day and that night anchored in a little bay N12° 03.520′ W68° 50.214′, which turned out later in the afternoon to be quite popular spot with the local young folk, with Daddies boat and big ghetto blasters. Super gymnasts. Nice flick Flacks.

Well we came all this way to service Heidi and Neill’s bikes, and time was running out, so Neill decided to moor in a Marina for two nights, so we could get the bikes out easier. Servicing them didn’t take long, I built them well, lol. Heidi needs a new Gear hanger (Schaltauge). I’ve ordered 2, but you’ve got to come and collect it Heidi.

In the afternoon we had to go to into Willemstad to Customs and immigration again. OMG! we had to book in, and be taken off Captain Neill’s Crew list, otherwise Neill would lose his boat and we couldn’t fly out. Then to top it all off, we have been only coming in and out of Curacao on weekends. This was a Tuesday and the Anchor permit office was open. Never done this before. Upps. A law from 1936 says you are only allowed to Anchor for 3 days in one spot, other than Spanish Water, and you have to tell them NOW where you are going to be for the next 30 days. But only when they are open. Bureaucracy or what!? I think it was to stop spies during WW2. Gertrud and I left Heidi and Neill scratching their heads trying to make up a travel plan to the end of the month. We went to the Brewery Cafe for a coffee and a local beer. The 2 sailors joined us about an hour later with a story of a touchy woman official.

That evening I tried to phone a taxi for the morning to pick us up, to take us to the Airport, which proved to be a task I was to incompetent to do. Heidi got  him in the end, and about an hour later he phoned me back to confirm. He’d obviously got my whatsapp message, but hadn’t checked his phone. Last night on the boat, and as always we played Wicked Willy. Heidi won most of the time. I think Neill and Gertrud won once. Me always last. We played twice on the last night. I won twice, only because Heidi let me win the first game, and the second game I was the only one awake, lol.

Next morning sad farewells. Taxi came at 12, and our flight had been delayed, No browny points for KLM on the homeward flight. Personal were super, but it was, I think, an older plane, with less leg room, and the monitors didn’t work properly. 10 hours with no on board entertainment to help with the jet lag. I watched one film using Gertrud’s headphones with my monitor. It worked. When we arrived late in Amsterdam, our flight had been changed to a Lufthansa flight to München, and we had to sprint from one side of the airport to the other. This apparently happens to everyone I’ve talked to coming home through Amsterdam airport. WHY? A mega rush to wait 20 minutes to board.

A big thank you to Heidi and Neill for putting up with us for 12 days. A real Adventure. I loved the boat. I haven’t mentioned Heidi’s wonderful cooking, as everyone will want to visit them. And using the Toilet against the wind. That’s one experience I don’t want to repeat. But all in all a fantastic time

Thanks both of you and my lovely Gertrud.