Tag Archives: sailing

Night Sailing

Night Sailing - From Sines to Sagres

Breaking waves are smashing against the boat as if they try to grab Ropati. The wind whistles and suddenly I can hear them. The voices of the Sirens. They are calling my name: ‘Helmaaaaa. O, Helma, please come with us. Helmaaaaaa.’  My fear fades away and takes place for a deep feeling of satisfaction. Peace is on my mind. 

‘Yes, please. Take me with you. Ow, yes!’ I stretch my arms out waiting for the Sirens to grab them. ‘Helmaaaa’. Suddenly a bright light shines in my face and I see the French Seaman right in front of me. He snarls: ‘ Come on. Your night shifts starts in five minutes. It is time to wake up now.’

Dam’n it, I was dreaming and now I have to get up in the middle of the night to take over the watch. For two hours I have to sail alone, while the others are sleeping. I feel excited. Staying awake and being alone outside in the cockpit, while it is dark and windy… Even when the night shift just lasts two hours, at the ocean it feels like a lifetime, especially when the moon is dark and the stars are hidden behind the clouds.

I get up out of bed and dress myself in my sail jacket.  With a big skarf around my head I climb outside. Nervously I look around. No other boats. I try to keep on moving to stay warm. After one hour I get hungry, but I am too scared to go inside. What if there is suddenly a boat in front of us? Every minute I look around. My thoughts are drifting away and in my mind I go back to my first sail adventures in The Netherlands with my friend Judith and her father. I just turned into fourteen and together we went on a sail holiday in Friesland, Brittany of The Netherlands. During this trip I was not afraid at all. Not even a split of a second.

Here I am, sixteen years later, with more safety equipement aboard then in those days, and scared to death. Nowadays I can oversee the risks (for as far as possible), which is good on the one hand, but on the other hand this awareness has replaced my innocence. Tired and afraid I start seeing and hearing things. The sounds of the sea are like old songs hidden in my unconscious mind. The melody of the the wind and waves is soothing. Slowly I calm down and suddenly I understand how all the stories of sailors, the myths and the seaside sagas are shaped. Their existence is founded in the bewildered minds of seamen sailing at night.

Ropati – Stuff and Storage

cartoon-lady-closet

Living on a boat is all about the art of simplicity, which is quite complicated in practise. Follow this way of life in the serie `Ropati`. Hopefully it will help you to understand more about the daily boat life.

In the end there is a lot of space in a boat, but still not enough for everything. I just have the things that I really need, which fits into three suitcases all together. In The Netherlands I already selected my stuff and there are just ten boxes left. You can read about this ‘process of dematerializing’ in another article about surfing and the minimalistic life.

The French Seaman has a little bit more things and among these are a lot of tools, but also a nice collection of cd’s and books. Furthermore there are a lot of sail guides, sail books, sail magazines and sail clothes. There are some maps with administration and accountancy, camera’s, laptops, chargers, bags, kitchen & bathroom stuff, food, drinks, clothes, shoes, more tools, surfboards, wetsuits, diving gear, bikes and a yogamat. All together I guess there is too much.

We really cannot allow ourselves to have more stuff. If we want something new, something has to leave the boat first. We only buy something new when something is broken and/or too old to be usefull. If you visit us and you like to bring a present with you, please bring some food or something to drink, while this will stay just temporary. Books, clothes, souvenirs, all kinds of bathroom and kitchen equipment… Very nice, but thank you. We try to save space, therefore we probably will give away your present to someone else, while we really don’t know where to put all the stuff anymore. In our serious attempt to live as simple as possible, we still have too much things. Wow.

 

Photo: thesweetlittlebird.blogspot.com

Ropati – ‘Roof Terrace’ and Dinghy

`Roof terrace`

Living on a boat is all about the art of simplicity, which is quite complicated in practise. Follow this way of life in the serie `Ropati`. Hopefully it will help you to understand more about the daily boat life.

My favourite spot on Ropati is the ‘roof terrace’. This is the forward part of the deck, a little bit before the anchor, chain locker and just after the mast. If the weather and waves allow, then I prefer to watch the ocean from this place. Underneath the ‘terras’ is the trunk where the dinghy stays. We already have had some nice ‘dinghy’ adventures. The best memory I have is from the time we all felt in the water, while we were trying to get on land.

After arriving at our destination, where we go for anchorage, the first thing we do is unfolding the dinghy and inflate it to go on shore. The moment I get into the dinghy, my heart starts pounding and I feel like Colombus who is discovering new lands. How will the shore be, who will we meet, what will happen? In the end nothing really happens, except getting a wet ass, but the feeling is amazing. Especially after days of sailing. Entering land is almost like visiting the moon. We put our sealegs on land and with crazy steps we walk like two cosmonauts over the beach. Land, finally!

Ropati – Bedrooms

vegetarianduck.blogspot.com

Living on a boat is all about the art of simplicity, which is quite complicated in practise. Follow this way of life in the serie `Ropati`. Hopefully it will help you to understand more about the daily boat life.

There are three double bedrooms. Two in the aft and one in the front. This one is the captains room and only accessible for him and his first mate: c’est moi. Of course I don’t accept anyone else to enter this room, unless you belong to a very small group of friends, who has the honour to stay in our bed, while we sleep somewhere else. The room is big enough for two, but some nights we sleep separeted. One of us sleeps in the other double bedroom, so we are both very well rested the next day.

Besides that, sometimes I just like to sleep alone, because I need my space. I like to have all the covers for my own and I love laying in bed with my arms wide, my magazines spread all over the bed, rolling from one side to the other (which is very annoying for the French Seaman). Believe me or not, sleeping seperated once in a while works very well for the relationship, especially because we live together almost twenty four hours a day on circa twenty square meter. You know what? Enough details about the bedrooms.

 

 

 

Photo: vegetarianduck.blogspot.com

Ropati – Bathroom

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Living on a boat is all about the art of simplicity, which is quite complicated in practise. Follow this way of life in the serie `Ropati`. Hopefully it will help you to understand more about the daily boat life.

Two shower cabines, a sink for him and a sink for her, an electronic toilet that cleans itself, plus a bidet, and of course a normal bath, a bubble bath and, last but not least, a sauna. In your dreams. The ‘bathroom’ is one by one meter. There is a little toilet, a little sink, and a long hose with an unidentified object in the end, which you might call a shower. Well, what can I say. It works. There is a little window and this compensates the lack of space. In the morning, when I brush my teeths, I see the ocean right in front of me.  With such a beautiful views you don’t need that much, right?

Ok, that’s a lie. Sometimes I get frustrated. All my ‘toilet equipement’ (shampoo, tooth brush, floss, make-up, body lotion, razors, nail polish, EVERYTHING) is put together in one little sport bag (the French Seaman disagrees with the word ‘little)’. That’s my ‘mobile bathroom shelve’, by lack of space. Some mornings I can laugh about it, some morning I don’t think about it at all and some mornings. Ai, ai, ai. The big advantage of having a small bathroom is that you can clean it very quickly. Wow, what an advantage. The biggest disadvantage of having a very small bathroom with a wooden door is that everyone on the boat can hear your doing things you do in a bathroom. What else can I say. To be honest, I am always very happy to visit some family and friends, so I can use their spacious and luxurous bathroom. Women…

 

Photo: Bath boat by Wieki Somers

http://www.wiekisomers.com/

Ropati – Living Room

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Living on a boat is all about the art of simplicity, which is quite complicated in practise. Follow this way of life in the serie `Ropati`. Hopefully it will help you to understand more about the daily boat life.

During cold periods this is the place to be. Everything happens in the living room. Eating, hanging, chilling, reading, talking, receiving visitors, aperó’s, watching movies, etc. The living room has a lot of seats, so we can easily receive five to ten persons. After a couple of chilly and/or rainy days the koala’s start irritating me, as well as the lack of single chairs and the lack of space to practise my yoga. This only happens after daaaays of bad and cold weather.

When we are sailing the living room is the place were we meet each other. Might sound strange, but if the days are organized into shifts, sometimes you don’t talk with each other anymore. Why? Because if one person is sleeping, the other one is doing the watch. For days you live seperated and only when you try to cross the living room from the kitchen to the sleeping room, or the other way around, you meet each other. This is the moment you can have a small talk, before the other goes to bed or is going outside for the watch.

In warmer periods the living room turns into a storage room and functions mainly as an office. With sunny days it’s too hot to stay inside, so most of the breakfasts, lunches and dinners are outside in the cockpit, as well as other activities, including powernaps, readings, and relaxing. One nice detail: There is some street art in the living room. A sticker of Miss Tic fills the wall on the left side next to the cd-player.