Kiss & Ride

english, Küstenwache, TEXT

N 51° 31.846′   E 003° 43.518′ | Veerse Meer around red buoy S4

In Belgium there’s an expression for a car dropping a person and continue onwards: Kiss and ride.  MILVA under command of her all female crew seems to be a gooder kisser and rider as well – especially in narrow-shallow Veerse Meer at stronger wind forces losing speed in failing tacks and drifting onshore. Kiss the ground with 1.15 metres draught of her keel and get herself floating again without external aid! Just the five horse power outboard engine, the crew hanging on the sidestay to get the boat tilt a bit, in extreme cases pushing with a paddle, and MILVA with her 800kg and keel is in maneouvrable state again. Our neighbours with their 22 feet longkeel boat and 6HP engine reported never having been able to get out of the mostly sandy ground by own forces. And just recently saw a far to big yacht for this area getting stuck in the middle of the fairway. Which brings me to my other observation sailing in Zeeland: never ever navigate and trust fancy navigation apps! Use a recently updated paper nautical chart. Following screenshot of Navionics app shows my track doing the two times kissing & riding by drifting too far starbards of the imaginary line marked by the red buoys. Considering the paper chart during sailing (as on the IPad with daylight beaming  on its surface you cannot see any dot on the digital chart) I knew that the depth was around 1.3m – 1.1m. The echolot showed 0.8-0.9 when the boat got stuck on ground. There is almost no tidal range in Veerse Meer. But Navionics showing 2.4m depth is just wrong and proofs that it should only be used for planning, tracking and checking the current position with where you think you are pointing on the paper chart.

Distance: 13 nm
Duration: 3h 48min
Max./Avg.Speed: 5.6 / 3.4 kts
Wind Speed: 4-5 Beaufort

MILVA, the Veerse Meer and its shallow shoreline

english, Küstenwache

N 51° 32.728′   E 003° 48.341′ | Red Buoy Number VM22

After a day of craning, setting up the mast, sprayhood and preparing the main drop system, MILVA went on her first cruise in the Veerse Meer. Two sweet Belgian ladies in the harbour, with a lifetime experience in sailing doing an afternoon tea time in the sun, commented our departure with ‘next time you should prepare that just a bit better’.

kortgene_vm22At wind speed of 17 knots in peaks, lots of motor boats and sail yachts around (due to the public holiday in Belgium) in the narrow channel just in front of Delta Marina in Kortgene, it was a quite demanding first time cruise and ended up in drifting to shore due to an unnecessary giving way to a motorboat. It is to blame La capitana who let MILVA pass red buoy VM22 starboard side trying to tack at almost no speed and wind gusts. The tack didn’t work, so MILVA slowly drifted on shore and slightly got stuck with its 1.15m keel in the ground. Two sailors in a dinghie offered their help, people onshore trying to give advice, but in the end Lala-lala-Lola managed to get the engine running backwards and La capitana could push the boat with the rudder standing at the bow and donating her (for sailing apparently unsuitable) green Rayban sunglasses to the Veerse Meer. Another reason to finally get the fancy polarized Polaroid sunglasses!