Selim's Logbook
About my sailing activities, and more ...


by Selim E. on Mon, 5th, Nov 2018

The moment when the engine stops, the yacht heels and silently starts plowing through waves has ever been a magic moment for me. The fact that a ship can be moved by the sole power of wind still fascinates me from a technical point of view. And I must admit, I often argue for my hobby by pointing out that sailing is an environmentally friendly activity.

However, recent developments with regard to plastic pollution and yacht disposal encouraged me to take a deeper look at the environmental impact of yachting activities. I am aware that the pure announcement “to take a deeper look at the environmental impact of sailing” will make some colleague sailors sigh and refrain from reading on. Yet, I think it will be helpful to reveal some facts about the environmental impact of our beloved hobby. And I promise, I will try to do this is an objective way, just to provide you with knowledge to make your own decisions.

The goal of the following analysis is to raise awareness about the environmental impact of yachting among yachtsmen in general, but is especially addressed at charter skippers and crew. The scope of the analysis is limited to the sailing activity and related activities, such as crew travel. The environment of a sailing activity is the air and water that surrounds a boat and the organisms that live in this environment. The whole analysis is based upon a practical example which may sound familiar to the most of us.

Emissions from one week sailing trip and a rough estimate of their quantity in kg ((C) Selim E.)
Emissions from one week sailing trip and a rough estimate of their quantity in kg ((C) Selim E.)

Example

A crew of six goes for a sailing trip in the Adriatic sea in the area of Murter Island. Five of the six mates live in Vienna in Austria. The sixth lives in Salzburg. The five Viennese manage to go together with one car (a mini van), The guy from Salzburg travels with his own car (a station wagon type of car). The whole crew embarks on a 42 feet sail yacht from a local charter company. They start their trip the day after their arrival and sail about 250 nautical miles. They sleep onboard and eat their dishes partly on board partly on land in restaurants. They anchor their ship three times, the other four nights they stay in marinas. In total they use the boat’s built-in diesel engine for 10 hours and consume 30 liters of diesel. Their dinghy is used for several landfalls and they use around 3 liters of gasoline for it.

Impact on air quality

The main impact on air quality is caused by the travel activity necessary to arrive at the yacht. Sailing in a narrow sense has no negative impact on air quality. However, in a broader sense a sailing yacht needs an engine for berthing in harbors and anchoring activities. Bad wind conditions might require as well to start the engine from time to time which leads to emissions of different kind. A sailing crew often uses a dinghy with an outboard engine to make landfall. A sailing yacht usually is equipped with a propane gas fueled oven which affects air quality as well during operation. In this article I calculate CO2 emissions only.

CO2 emissions in numbers from a one week sailing trip
CO2 emissions in numbers from a one week sailing trip

Based on the example above, a one-week sailing trip emits approximately 650kg of carbon dioxide (CO2). About 85% of the CO2 emitted is caused by the car travel of the crew. Only around 13% is caused by boat and dinghy operation during the week. The oven is responsible for only 0.23% of CO2 emissions. Exact numbers are shown in illustration 2.

CO2 emissions per source from a one week sailing trip
CO2 emissions per source from a one week sailing trip

Now I will compare the numbers with other travel options and some reference values. In case the crew decides to travel by airplane the emissions are at least two times higher (~1480kg). The CO2 emissions caused by travel to and from boat then accounts for 94% of the total. Even worse is a scenario where the crew opts for a 42ft motor yacht powered by two 250hp engines. An assumed consumption of 80 liters per hour will lead to an almost 5 times higher CO2 emission (~3140kg). The boat then is accountable for 82% of CO2 emissions. From these comparisons one can see that distance to sailing locations is making the difference. If you live somewhere near to the sea you will have a minor impact compared to somebody who needs to travel a long distance by airplane or car.

Different sailing scenarios and their CO2 emissions
Different sailing scenarios and their CO2 emissions

In relation to the average CO2 emission of an Austrian per year, the above sailing trip accounts for around 10%. Given a recommendation from climate experts the CO2 emission budget for a person to stabilize climate change should be reduced to 1.6 tons per year. Enjoying a sailing trip in a remote destination, there will be not much CO2 emission budget left to spend for other things or a second sailing trip ;-)

CO2 emissions from a sailing boat are not a direct threat to environment and marine life in particular, but contribute as well to global warming in the long term and acidification of sea water. NOx and particle emissions from Diesel engine are not included in this analysis.

Impact on water quality and marine life

Human excreta

During a week of sailing the crew produces about 8.5kg of human feces and about 84 liters of urine. In Croatia, like in many other countries, the so called “black water” goes directly into the sea water or is pumped first into an intermediate tank and released later into the open sea.

The impact on sea water has been investigated in several scientific studies. Accordingly, high concentrations of fecal bacteria and their direct impact on fauna and flora can be seen mainly in enclosed coastal areas like harbors and bays. The impact is twofold as human excreta like other biotic waste on the one hand decomposes and on the other hand serves as a nutrient for other organisms. Decomposition uses up oxygen from the surrounding water and if it is too much, fish and other aquatic animals and plants will lack oxygen and may die.
High levels of nutrients as a result of discharged human excreta in enclosed areas may lead to uncontrolled algal and plant growth. As a consequence algal blooms reduce light penetration in water and may produce toxins which as well may lead to extinction of marine animals. When algae decompose they cause as well oxygen depletion.

A recent study of large harbors in the Adriatic sea shows that concentration of bacteria stemming from human excreta is about 20 times higher than in surrounding coastal waters and around 30 (Coli bacteria) to 130 (Enterococci) times higher than what WHO says is sufficient water quality for safe bathing. Although only partly responsible for increased fecal bacteria in commercial harbors, recreational vessels and their crews are contributing a large part in bays used as anchorages.

Dish washing sewage

Based on personal experience I assume 40 milligram of soap used for personal cleaning per day and person and 420 milligram for dish washing for the whole week. This amounts for 2.1 liters of soap used during the trip. Luckily, a quite recent scientific report shows that soap and detergents have no adverse impact on the aquatic or sediment environments at current levels of use.

Anti-fouling coatings

Hull paints that continuously release one or more biocides (scientific word for poison) have been the preferred method of fouling prevention on yachts for more than a century. By intention, biocides in these so called antifouling paints are toxic and can have a negative environmental impact if the biocide does not quickly degrade after release and maintains its toxicity and bioavailability.

The sailing yacht used in the example above measures around 12 meters in length (waterline) and 3.9m in width and has a draft of 2.4m. For the area exposed to seawater I assume around 40m2 of wetted surface. Assuming that a copper based anti-fouling paint was used, the yacht releases around 12g of copper into sea water during one week.

As mentioned above, the steady release of copper from hull painting is intentional. Copper in high concentrations has a toxic effect on various marine organisms. Impact on marine life has been scientifically investigated in several studies. Results show that copper concentrations above natural levels deteriorate filtration rates of several mussel species, impair settlement of coral larvae and growth rate of particular algae species.

Increased rates of copper in the enclosed coastal areas with increased boating activity have been reported by several scientific studies. A clear relation between antifouling and increased copper concentration has been observed for example in Australian anchor sites and European ports for recreational boating. In these studies concentration of copper has been found to exceed national guidelines for environmental and health safety. In particular cases copper concentrations are about 10 times higher than allowed values. In the United States several states have already banned copper-based antifouling paints for recreational yachts.

Micro and macro plastic

Modern yachts are increasingly made of plastic. Sailors increasingly dress themselves in performance clothing made of plastic fabrics. Sailors use plastic bottles, cups, bags, straws and other packaging onboard which often find their way into the sea.

Plastic bottle caps found at a beach in Brioni National Park
Plastic bottle caps found at a beach in Brioni National Park

Running parts like sheets and halyards are made of plastics like Polyester, Polyethylene, Polyamide and Nylon often known by their brand names Dacron, Dyneema, Twaron etc. These parts are the parts that are susceptible to increased wear off. Wear off of these parts are the fibres that they are made of. In particular, these are microfibres released during operation of ropes.

To date no studies exist that explored the abrasion behavior of marine ropes. Realistic estimates for microplastic wear off from rope handling is therefore not possible. Kumar and colleagues found that a Nylon area of around 1cm² in size looses around 0.2 grams for a load of 0.5 kg (5N) and 500m pull distance which equals 0.18 cm³ of volume. In general, the wear off can be assumed very low as ropes in general do not slide for a long distance around blocks or edges under high loads.

Plastic made packaging frequently used on board is in fact a larger problem. Plastic bottles and bags easily get overboard and due to their floating characteristic accumulate at shore and ground. Marcoplastics over time – due to UV exposure and abrasion breaks up in small parts.

The so called microplastics is increasingly found in seawater, seafloor sediments and in marine animals. Research on the effects of microplastics is at its beginnings. However, first studies show that it negatively affects growth rates of various marine organisms. A major concern is that microplastic does not biodegrade and needs around two hundred years to degrade in seawater. The pace in which plastic is accumulated in the oceans today is alarming. Scientific studies have found plastic in a wide variety of marine animals that are used for food production. Recently, an international study has found microplastics in human stool from independent individuals around the world.

Noise

Main sources for noise in a recreational yacht are the engine, the ships movement through water and the sonar. Each of these sources emits different sounds. The characteristics of the sounds depends largely on the size, design and location of the engine, and the yacht’s size and construction.

Small boats like the yacht from the example above usually have a Diesel engine emitting sounds with a frequency below 300 Hz. But several studies have found that noises from propeller may as well cause frequencies around 100kHz. A typical sonar system of a yacht emits sound signals with a frequency from 50 - 200kHz.

Many marine animals are able to hear and interpret underwater sounds of different frequencies. For example, marine mammals like dolphins and whales use sound signals for communication and echolocation of prey. Bottle nose dolphins use frequencies ranging from 75 to 150,000 Hz. This range overlaps for example with yacht sonars and may therefore disturb their echolocation systems used for hunting. In general, studies have found that underwater noise causes stress to different marine species. Thus, leading to increased energy demand and disturbance during feeding or migration activities. Several species of whales have been reported to loose their orientation capabilities and subsequently have been found trapped in bays and other shallow waters.

Summary

The environmental impact of a one-week sailing trip can be considered low compared to other recreational activities. However, considering the whole lot of sailing trips during a year the environmental impact is huge. Especially in the Adriatic sea the number of sailing activities has increased during the last decades. Recent statistical data shows that in Croatia 215,000 recreational yachts are registered in harbors. A similar number can be expected in Italy. Given these data, one can easily calculate the overall impact of sailing activities.
A source of trouble are long-term impacts of sailing activities. Just to give an example, almost half of the carbon dioxide emitted from the sailing activity is dissolved in sea water in the long term, as is with the far larger amounts CO2 from other sources. The dissolution of carbon dioxide leads to an increase in hydrogen ion concentration in the ocean (acidification) of sea water. In the last 100 years, since industrial revolution, concentration of hydrogen ions has increased by 30%. Some marine organisms, that rely on calcium carbonate structures such as corals and some plankton are vulnerable to dissolution due to increased levels of acid in sea water.

Disposal of yachts is going to be a challenge in the near future. (Foto Selim E.)
Disposal of yachts is going to be a challenge in the near future. (Foto Selim E.)

An example for indirect impact of sailing activity is increased land use. Land use is as a consequence of marina construction and other sailing related infrastructure. Another example of indirect impact is the yacht disposal. To date its is not clear how glass or carbon fiber reinforced hulls can be recycled. The major problem is the composite structure of resin and glass fibers. An increased number of yachts has reached its end of life and must be disposed soon. In Europe an estimated 25,000 yachts are expected to be disposed in the near future. Necessary capacities for disposal are currently not existing. Yacht owners need to charge around 1,800 EUR for a 12m yacht. Experts assume that many yacht owners will leave their yacht in harbors or anchorages or dispose it in the open sea.

What can we do to reduce our impact?

Depending on the source of impact yachtsmen may take different types of action to reduce their impact. Here are some suggestions.
  • Travel to and from the yacht is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. As a crew, team up to travel with a single car or reduce equipment weight. Often it is not necessary to travel too far for having a sailing experience.
  • When sailing, use your sails instead of the engine. This requires a different style of sailing from target driven sailing to wind driven sailing. However, it is extremely satisfying when you learn to play with the winds. Ask yourself, if you really need an engine for your dinghy. The dinghy engine is not a safety equipment, it is just for convenience when going ashore. It is usually sufficient to use oars instead.
  • Ask for holding tanks for black water. This will allow you to dispose black water and gray water later through a professional service on land or in the open sea beyond three miles from shoreline. This is another easily applicable action to reduce negative impacts on marine life, especially in enclosed marine areas like anchorages and harbors. The areas that we want to enjoy, unspilled. Many charter companies have yachts that have holding tanks, but it is often necessary to ask explicitly for it.
  • Avoid plastic littering of the sea. First, try to avoid plastic packaging. For example, when buying food supplies take paper bags instead of plastic bags or even better, use reusable cotton bags. As a skipper ask your crew to not! dispose plastic things in the ocean (accidentally or not). As a crew you may plan a beach cleaning activity in a beach of your choice. This is a fun activity, that your crew will feel great about. Whenever you sea plastic things floating in the water collect them and bring them on board. It is kind of a man-over-board training and your crew will have fun.
  • There is not much you can do about the biocides dissolving from anti-fouling paints. But you may ask as well the charter company which kind of anti-fouling they use. This will raise awareness of this problem among charter companies and if many ask, they will have to respond.
  • Anchoring causes damage to sea bottoms and the marine life inhabiting it. Avoid anchorages if there are for example mooring buoys. Reduce anchor chain to the safety minimum and consider to use a shore line to avoid swinging.

Let’s keep our seas clean!

There has been a vivid discussion on this article on the legendary cruiser's forum.


Sources


Carbon dioxide

Human excreta

Sewage

Anti-fouling coatings

Plastics

Noise


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by Selim E. on Fri, 21st, Sep 2018

It is still dark when I start the engine of my car and head for crossing of lake number 3 – Lake Atter (Attersee). Weather reports have told me that I must expect a base wind of 4-6kn from south and gusts up to 10kn. From my research with Google Maps and some phone calls to local harbors I found that a public slipway exists in Unterach (southernmost town) and a private one in Schörfling (northernmost town). When I arrive at Unterach, I am pretty alone at that time of the day. I buy a coffee at the Strandcafe and then I start preparing my Weta. Meanwhile some motorboaties have arrived at the slipway and start watering their boats.

Planned and actual track for crossing Lake Atter
Planned and actual track for crossing Lake Atter

At around 10:30 I am in the water ready to start my South-to-North crossing of Austria’s third largest lake and the largest completely located in Austria (compared to Lake Neusiedl and Lake Constance which Austria shares with other countries). A breeze with around 8kn lets me get excited as I did not expect that much wind. A cool breeze is blowing from South and after a mile suddenly changes direction to North. It is magnificent to plough through the dark blue waters of Lake Attersee.

High mountains of southern part of Lake Atter, Sechserkogel
High mountains of southern part of Lake Atter, Sechserkogel

Again, at that time of the day I am the first to sail -except the motor boaties. I extremely enjoy the unique scenery with sharp mountains surrounding this part of the lake. It is such a contrast to my first crossings where the shoreline appeared mostly flat and monotone. I proceed quite fast until I reach Buchenort – a small village on the western shore. While tacking against the wind I pass by the deepest point of the lake with around 170m. Then, wind decreases and I slow down to about one knot. The lull continues and I decide to paddle. I developed a technique where I set the rudder a little out of midships which allows me to paddle on one side of the middle hull. While paddling I achieve a speed at around 2 knots. Some intermediate gusts let me proceed until latitude Zell am Attersee. At this time of the day I have already spent around 3 hours on water and I am extremely disappointed when a complete lull sets in. I literally pray to god (I am an atheist!) to send me a breeze. Imagine how speechless I was when suddenly a motor boat with a white haired and bearded man (god?) appears alongside and offers me to tow me until village Attersee. In my desperate situation I say yes although I have the feeling that I disqualified myself from my own goal “to cross Lake Attersee by sail”.

God? ;) giving me a lift
God? ;) giving me a lift

After fifteen minutes we arrive at latitude Attersee and I get dropped in the middle of a breeze which blows me towards Weyregg. There the wind increases suddenly to 10 and more knots. Now, I am able to run with wind abeam at about 6knots speed. - what a joy! Due to time restrictions I decide to head towards Litzlberg where I intend to draw my boat out from water at a public beach. As I approach the shore I spot a small sailing club near the beach with a slipway. Not knowing whether they let me ashore I decide to give it try and start steering my boat into the small and shallow harbor. Luckily, an extremely friendly club manager let me go ashore for free and even offers me a hand for pulling out my boat. At 4pm I call a taxi to bring me to my car in Unterach.

Rethinking the day and my prior crossings I decide to pay more attention with regard to the wind for future lake crossings. A stable and gentle breeze (wind force 3) is the minimum requirement for future crossing, especially for the large lakes ahead – Lake Constance and Lake Geneva. However, I am proud and satisfied to have accomplished the crossing of the third lake within two weeks.

Trip details

Trip length: 10.8nm (20.1km)
Hours on water: .hours (10:40 until 15:40)
Start location: Unterach Strandbad
End location: Litzlberg, Segelclub Kammer

Some more photos here..


Early morning drive towards Lake Atter, sails in the back
Early morning drive towards Lake Atter, sails in the back

Unterach harbor and slipway
Unterach harbor and slipway

Me switching on GoPro
Me switching on GoPro

High mountains of southern part of Lake Atter, Schoberstein and Sechserkogel
High mountains of southern part of Lake Atter, Schoberstein and Sechserkogel

Me and mountain Schoberstein in the back
Me and mountain Schoberstein in the back

Meeting a gull on latitude Steinbach
Meeting a gull on latitude Steinbach

Mountainous east shore of Lake Atter
Mountainous east shore of Lake Atter

Tacking in almost no winds
Tacking in almost no winds

Catching light airs with screetcher
Catching light airs with screetcher

Read about the "Seven Lakes Crossing" project..



by Selim E. on Tue, 18th, Sep 2018

At 6 am I get up to slip the boat into water. I have to paddle to get out of the little harbor. I am completely alone in the harbor except a beautiful white heron who keeps watch on the breakwater. I have to paddle towards the open water of Lake Balaton to catch the easterly morning breeze. My first way point is Tihany peninsula which separates the northern part from the southern part of the lake. A light wind blows at about 5 knots but I experience rather high waves. As I approach Tihany peninsula I enjoy my breakfast and the beautiful scenery of the peninsula with the monastery on top of a hill and the little ferry harbor. I keep an eye on the frequent ferries crossing my way as I pass by the peninsula at 9am. Meanwhile also other sail boats pop up on the lake.

Leaving Sziofok
Leaving Sziofok

South of Tihany wind force increases and I am happy to proceed fast towards my next way point – the Badacsony mountain. Badacsony mountain has a peculiar shape and is therefore easily recognizable even from far away. It is located on the north shore of the lake and is famous for it’s wine and vineyards.

Approaching Tihany
Approaching Tihany

While I head towards Badascony I get an impression of the immense size of the lake. As the shore of Tihany slowly fades away I still cannnot see the shore at the southwestern end of the lake. In some moments I feel like I am at sea. Water is kind of cloudy but is not muddy as the water of Lake Neusiedl.

Approaching Badascony
Approaching Badascony

At latitude of village Balatonszepezd wind decreases and I somehow get a little worried whether I get to Kesthely before sunset – it is 2pm and I have only done have my way. Now I start to think about alternatives. I decide to proceed with my plan until 4pm hoping that wind will increase and give me the chance to arrive at Kesthely before sunset. After almost 9 hours on water and almost no wind I decide to lay down for a rest. I wake up as a light gust shakes the boat and makes sails rustle. With a light breeze in the neck I proceed until Badascony mountain as again wind decreases. As I am on the boat for already 10 hours I decide to finish my trip on the southern shore of lake Balaton. I change course towards Fonyód where I have spotted a small yacht harbor on Google Maps. With wind from abeam I am able to increase speed even with a light breeze.

Approaching Fonyod
Approaching Fonyod

Around 5:30 pm I arrive at a beautiful small and private yacht harbor with a slipway. Although private and locked down, an elderly extremely friendly couple helps me bringing my boat ashore.
I call a taxi to get back to Sziofok, pick up my car and trailer and drive back to pick up my boat in Fonyód. It is 9pm when I start to drive back home.

Trip details
Trip length: 24.2 nm (44.81km)
Hours on water: 11hours (6:30 until 17:30)
Start location: Siófok, Ezüstpart Yacht Harbor, Calypso Restaurant Harbor
End location: Fonyód TVSK-Port Lacaj Yacht Harbor

Some more photos ...

Fully rigged WETA and sleepy me before going on water at 6:15am
Fully rigged WETA and sleepy me before going on water at 6:15am

Fully rigged WETA on water
Fully rigged WETA on water

Passing Tihany peninsula
Passing Tihany peninsula

Heading for Badacsony mountain
Heading for Badacsony mountain

Some weed on board
Some weed on board

Packing my WETA at night
Packing my WETA at night

Read about the "Seven Lakes Crossing" project..



by Selim E. on Mon, 17th, Sep 2018

Next step in my Seven Lakes Crossing project – Lake Balaton in Hungary. The largest (concerning km²) lake in Central Europe. Planning required much more time than for Lake Neusiedl but it is extremely exiting to delve into the facts around lake Balaton.

My planning is starting to become a procedure. First task is to plan a theoretical route spanning the most remote points of the lake. Decision on which point is the starting point depends on the actual weather forecast. I try to set course in windward direction. Second task is to locate yacht harbors that allows to slip my boat in and out of water. This task involves a lot of research with Google Maps satellite map and then (third task) I try to contact local harbors, yacht and sailing clubs to find out if they allow me to use their ramps. Ideally, I find a ramp that is publicly accessible even in early morning or evening as I am not able to plan exactly the time of my arrival. Fourth, I have to find out whether there are means of transportation to get back from my trip’s end point to the my car and trailer.

Planned and actual track for crossing Lake Balaton
Planned and actual track for crossing Lake Balaton

Finding a slipway at lake Balaton is quite difficult. First problem is that I hardly can reach somebody at yacht harbors and sailing clubs as high season is over and some of the facilities there are not anymore in operation. Second problem is that if I reach somebody people are reluctant to speak German or English. However, after a while I find an Austrian sailing instructor at “Sail and Surf” who kindly gives valuable advice on Lake Balaton. Finally, with no clear information on whether and where I may find a accessible slipway I start my journey. However, I trust in Hungarian hospitality and comradeship among sailors. At 11:30 I leave for lake Balaton and after a 3 hours drive I arrive at Laguna Yacht Club in Balatonfűzfő. The yacht club at the northern end of Lake Balaton is extremely charming. The lady in charge there explains me that I may use the club’s ramp but it costs me about 10 Euros. Unfortunately I find out that the yacht club closes early in the afternoon, so I will not be able to pickup my car after the crossing. I decide to choose a different harbor on the south shore. With help of Siofok’s harbor master I finally arrive at a small yacht harbor south of Siofok. The ramp is privately owned by a restaurant but the owner lets me use it for free. After a pizza and a coke at the restaurant I rigg my boat and prepare everything for the journey next day. I enjoy an extremely beautiful sunset after a long day and go to sleep in the rear of my car.

Preparing WETA
Preparing WETA

Enjoying sunset
Enjoying sunset

Yacht Harbor in Sziofok where I started crossing
Yacht Harbor in Sziofok where I started crossing

WETA fully rigged on land
WETA fully rigged on land

Read about the "Seven Lakes Crossing" project..



by Selim E. on Mon, 10th, Sep 2018

Start of my Seven Lakes Crossing project. I decided to start with my home lake Neusiedler See. I spent a weekend full of route planning and made some phone calls to local harbors and sailing schools regarding slipways to take my Weta Trimaran in and out of the water. Due to weather and slipway availability I decided to start the crossing in Neusiedl’s Eastern Port and finish in Mörbisch. I did want to go to the Hungarian part of Lake Neusiedl, but the southernmost part is inaccessible as it is a protected area of a National Park. It is theoretically possible to access Fertörakos, a Hungarian harbor south of Mörbisch, but I could not find out how depth conditions are between Mörbisch and Fertörakos. So I opted for Mörbisch as destination which I know quite well.

Planned and actual track for crossing
Planned and actual track for crossing

Early in the morning I head towards Neusiedl by car and arrive there at about 9:00am. After setting up my Weta I take her down the narrow ramp of Neusiedl East Harbor. Wind blows at approximately 8kn from North. I turn her around and with wind from backwards I follow the narrow channel through the reed and harbor towards the open lake. Arriving in the open lake I hoist the main and immediately start my route towards Mörbisch. Wind is perfect until latitude of Podersdorf harbor. Then I experience a lull followed by a 180° turn in wind direction. When wind has turned again by 180° I proceed towards Rust Bay with light winds and then after Rust Bay with around 8kn wind again from North/North-East. During the whole journey sight is brilliant and I can see distant mountains like Schneeberg in the West. During the part with light wind a myriad of different fly species populate my boat. Apart from very small gray flies covering my hulls also a larger species of flies covers sails and my whole body. They even cover my face and I am not sure if I swallowed one or another. At the beginning of my journey across the lake – around midday - I am almost completely alone on the lake. In the afternoon several other sailing boats are visible. At around 16:30 I finish my journey in Mörbisch. It is a strange feeling as it is the first time I have spent 5 hours non-stop on my dinghy trimaran and it is the first step of a quite old plan I have had – the crossing of the seven largest lakes in central Europe.

Trip details
Trip length: 12.47 nm (23.1km)
Hours on water: 5hours (11:30 until 16:30)
Start location: Neusiedl East Harbor
End location: Mörbisch Segelschule Lang

See some photos here...

Preparing for the crossing in Neusiedl
Preparing for the crossing in Neusiedl

Car and Trailer
Car and Trailer

Half rigged boat
Half rigged boat

Fully rigged boat in water
Fully rigged boat in water

Leaving Neusiedl
Leaving Neusiedl

Waiting for the next breeze in the middle of the lake
Waiting for the next breeze in the middle of the lake

Flies everywhere
Flies everywhere

Approaching the southern end- Rust island
Approaching the southern end- Rust island

Arriving in Mörbisch
Arriving in Mörbisch

Read about the "Seven Lakes Crossing" project..



by Selim E. on Sat, 1st, Sep 2018

Final check of boat. We have breakfast and pack our stuff and leave boat around 10am. Before leaving for home we clean up the outer side of the breakwater from plastic debris. We collect around six mid size bags of plastic but are from finished. While we clean the breakwater base staff do not care as their own coffee cups get blown away by wind. I beg the base manager to be more careful and to advise his stuff. He says that he is aware of the problem but his people do not care. At around midday we leave Murter towards Austria. A heavy thunderstorm is approaching and as we leave heavy rain sets in and lasts for about 2 hours.

Plastic pollution in Jezera marina
Plastic pollution in Jezera marina

Breakwater in Jezera marina
Breakwater in Jezera marina

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by Selim E. on Fri, 31st, Aug 2018

Wind again light in the morning, dying away around midday. In the morning we explore two artificial caves at the western head of Tratinska bay. The caves have probably erected as part of a fortification. When we enter the caves several bats suddenly flap around our heads. Caves are split into several tunnels after entrance but do not lead too far into the rocks, only 5-10 meters. We leave towards Jezera Marina around 3 pm and arrive at around 6pm at Jezera port. We set sails for a sudden short easterly breeze. Needed to fill up Diesel but only 12 liters. Base manager checks boat. Dinner again at Konoba Leut.

Crew snorkeling
Crew snorkeling
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Tagged with: logbook, Sailing, Croatia,


by Selim E. on Thu, 30th, Aug 2018

Wind decreasing at around midday. We leave Piskera under engine towards Zirje – our last station. We arrive there at around 6pm. No sailing today as wind is too weak. We moor our boat on a buoy in Tratinska bay. Friendly guy charges 200 Kuna for buoy. He speaks German and tells us stories. Brilliant night sky.

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Tagged with: logbook, Sailing, Croatia,


by Selim E. on Wed, 29th, Aug 2018

Wind again fresh. We do another walk on top of the cliffs. Swimming and Snorkeling until midday. We leave in early afternoon towards Piskera. Again lovely downwind sailing. We sail in southern direction between Kornat island and the western Kornati islands. Today my brother notices that one of the lead pulleys for jib is completely worn off and does not turn anymore. I have noticed a certain resistance when pulling in Genoa sheet before but could not think of such a defect. Fortunately the Genoa sheets glides quite easily round the pulley. However, I consider this a major and safety threatening defect to be included in the logbook.

Sunset
Sunset

North of island Piskera we leave the inner channel and sail towards the open sea to be able to enter Piskera port from West. Preparations for berthing take quite long as I have to explain all the necessary to crew. Around 5pm we take berth in Marina Piskera. It is good to be in harbor after two day at sea. Magnificient sunset.

Piskera
Piskera
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by Selim E. on Tue, 28th, Aug 2018

Wind is still fresh. Around 12kn. Before breakfast I go snorkeling and I discover a lobster fishing cage on the seafloor at around 5m depth. The cage looks like it is abandoned. Several fishes are trapped inside. I decide to return with the girls to free the fish. After breakfast we return to the cage and try to encourage the fish (sea breams) to leave the cage by its small entry. All but one fish (the largest) manage to do so. The large one panics and is not able to find the exit but pushes hard against the lattice. My brother finally lifts the cage to the surface and tries to push him out. As the bream has already hurt himself I finally decide to grab him by his rear fin and pull him out. Happily? he disappears in the blue. Around midday we leave the bay towards Telasica bay on island Dugi Otok. Lovely sailing with wind force 3-4. I like the small passage between Kornat and Dugi Otok and the lake like feeling when entering Telasica bay. While tacking northwards towards Mir bay I am happy about the boats upwind performance.

Daughter at work
Daughter at work

We moor the boat at a buoy near Mir. After dinner we set out with the dinghy to explore lake Mir. As we arrive at the lake it has already got dark. However, we walk around the beautiful and quiet lake with our torches on. At the southern end of the lake a small path leads to the western shore of Dugi Otok. We discover a field of stone piles and add our own. On our way back moon rises in South East and lightens our way through the woods.

Stone piles at lake Mir
Stone piles at lake Mir

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Tagged with: logbook, Sailing, Croatia,

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