Hans Klaar Sets Sail

29 Nov

Regular readers will know that Hans Klaar is a remarkable voyager–a builder of classic two-hulled sailing craft, who sails where the wind and his spirit take him. After a shocking and painful turn in his life, Klaar set out to build a new boat on the west coast of Africa. 

And every once in a while, out of the blue, he sends me an update on his progress and whereabouts, which always get me dreaming and thinking my life is way too bound by convention. Here is his latest, from this morning, with the welcome news that he completed the build is is now back at sea:


Here is a real cheesy shot (lead photo above) made from a whale watching outfit off the island of San Miguel, Azores. That rainbow followed me all the way to the end of the island. I was sad, but glad to get a move on after being stuck in Ponta Delgada harbour for 3 weeks, due to that Hurricane Sandy having sucked all the air into it's direction, translating into east-northeast winds.

Boat sails well, becoming a bit of a monster in winds under 5 knots, and wave action really is not something she likes due to being so light. Otherwise had a fast trip up from Cape Verde–17 days to the Azores (sailed in the slipstream of a failed hurricane, Nadine), and got a perfect lift almost halfway by day 5. Then the lack of engine made itself felt [in the Azorean High], but once out had 3 days of strong northerlys before the long prayed for westerly clicked in.

Same went for the Azores to Cape Saint Vincent stretch. Four and a half days for 700 miles, only to get stuck 80

miles out with no wind, waiting for the inevitable bad weather–in winter not uncommon–to roll you. Which it did 4 days later and cracked the already compromised mast, so that I really have to nurse it (until I find a new tree). I am now in Lagos, in the Algarve, on mainland Portugal, hoping to lay the boat up for a month while I go and spend Christmas with my family in Switzerland.

Boat performs well over all. I have been singlehanding this 70-footer since the Cape Verde islands. That's how easy she is to handle. I also don't steer any more–my 3$ bungee cord and tweaking of the sail does it all. So that frees one up to doing absolutely nothing. It was fun to work and paint in the Azorean high. But once up in the colder parts all that one could do was lay up in the bunk and read, drink hot tea, and wait for another day and just keep warm.

Will head out for the Canaries come Febuary and then Brazil before bending off for Saint Maarten in the Caribbean.

Having fun and greetings, Hans 

Now that's a plan that sounds quite appealing as winter starts setting in. Tell me it doesn't make you wonder. 

Look forward to the next voyage update, Hans.


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