30.08. – 06.09.2014 Le Havre – Paris

30.08.2014 – 06.09.2014

Le Havre – Paris

Skipper: Peter and Christoph
Crew: Priska, Peter und Kristina

The Seine at its best

We had a fairly leisurely ride in the TGV from Zurich to Paris, where we took a pre-booked rental car to Le Havre. It took us 2 hours to Le Havre, the starting point for our Seine cruise. Boat handover is not planned until Saturday so we had some spare time for a short stroll and a cosy dinner, to attune ourselves to the French “Joie de Vivre”.

Peter, our skipper, and Christoph as Skipper 2 oversaw the boat transfer on Friday, so that we, Peter’s wife Priscilla, her father Peter and I, wife of Skipper 2, could board Rolling Swiss II on Saturday morning.

After a safety instruction by Christoph we set off straight away. Unfortunately the weather was not good so the short crossing over the sea got a bit stormy and especially Priscilla and I were more than relieved to reach the calm inland waters of the Seine.

The first short drive took us to the beautiful, medieval-inspired Honfleur, where we bought the food for the next day. The next day we planned a relatively long trip to Rouen, so reveille was early in the day. But unfortunately our plan did not work out because we were forced, because of a broken lock system to wait for the flood. Our departure was delayed by half a day! That gave us the opportunity to explore the picturesque Honfleur a little better.

Fortunately, the trip to Rouen proved shorter than originally thought, so we were able to
keep to our itinerary. After a tour of Rouen’s historic centre and impressive cathedral we decided to carry on the next day. In the coming days we went through Poses, Les Andelys, Vernon to Le Port de l’Ilon, where we could refuel the boat and got a Tip to take a detour up the Oise to Port Cergy. The tip was spot on and the evening in the Mediterranean-style Port Cergy was one of the most beautiful of this cruise.

The next stop ought to have been our last stop: Paris Arsenal! It turned out to be somewhat difficult to get under there, so we spent a night in Port Van Gogh about 24 km away. After some persuasion, we eventually managed to get a place in Paris Arsenal the next day. This was a great advantage for the boat handover.

After 7 days and a total of 7 (!) locks on the Seine, driving into the centre of Paris, past the Eiffel tower was a unique and totally impressive experience and thus a worthy conclusion to a memorable cruise!

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23.08. – 30.08.2014 Nantes – St Malo


Skippper: Hanspeter and Andreas
Crew: Lisa, Thomas, Jacques und Michael

A trip in the area of the theory course

08/22/2014 Basel – Nantes – St Malo

On Friday, 4 of the 6 crew members meet at Basel-Mulhouse airport and travel from
Basel to Nantes. In Nantes, we rented a car, so it didn’t take long to get to St. Malo, without the aid of GPS. In the hotel we meet the other two crew members, we are complete. Together we eat in a restaurant and get to know each other a bit.

08/23/2014 St. Malo

In the morning we go to the harbour and take over Rolling Swiss II. We decide to wait  until Sunday before leaving. On the program for today are; the shopping, the attachment
of the davits with rope to the deck railing, the stowage of the outboard in the engine room, the instruction of skipper II about the safety equipment on board and a general theoretical introduction to handling a slightly larger motor yacht ,”Rolling Swiss II”. In the evening we eat on board. It’s is a wonderful risotto by skipper II.

Sunday, 8/24/2014 St. Malo – St. Helier, Jersey

A beautiful day to sail out, little wind and waves. We are making good progress and have to wait a bit to cross the sill of the port of St. Helier. After about 6 hours we can moor up. In the evening we eat at a fancy restaurant, on the recommendation of the harbour master. The food is fine; we have a lot of fun. The waiter doesn’t seem used to guests that ask for the wine list a second time (again ….?).

Monday, 8/25/2014 St. Helier, Jersey – St Peter Port, Guernsey

The air pressure has dropped … the wind has increased and hence the wave height. An uncomfortable crossing awaits us! But the ship and crew crack on bravely, and we enter St. Peter Port as early as 13:30 (with one cleat less onboard ..). The author now reports the taking of a Stugeron, and feels much better in the coming days …… In St. Peter Port, we are on a floating pontoon with no connection to shore. With the help of our neighbour’s dinghy we go into the village to buy some things (We didn’t use the davit during this trip). Tonight we pamper ourselves with a delicious meal from the galley.

Tuesday, 26/08/2014, St. Peter Port, Guernsey – Cherbourg, France

We thought we should leave early. However, a review of the tide chart shows that we ought to best set off in the afternoon. We are flexible, and make a few harbour manoeuvres, so that we can go ashore and enjoy the morning. We all eat Lunch together at a restaurant in St. Peter Port. Then it’s time to “cast off”. Wind is still there, but it feels a little more comfortable than yesterday. At about 12.6 knots we go through between Alderney and Cap de la Hague with the current. Meanwhile, even the GPS has dropped out. But nothing can disturb us. In the night, some time just after 22:00 we arrive in Cherbourg. We still eat something small on board and go quickly to our bunks; tomorrow we will depart early.

Wednesday, 08.27.2014, Cherbourg, France – Ouistreham, France

A long day travelling approximately 71.0 Nautical miles! The weather has improved, progressing faster than expected, the current takes us. Along the way we encounter a French customs boat. We are asked via VHF 8 to report and provide some information about the crew and Departure and destination port. A nice distraction while driving. Next we need to pay attention to fishermen buoys. We arrive at 15:30 clock In Ouistreham and moor up inside this beautiful harbour. We try and buy a new mooring line in the many ship-chandlers, without success. However, our evening meal was a great success!

Thursday, 28/08/2014, CAEN- and Beach Day (instead of D-Day)

Today we visit the Allied coastal landing sites. We’re finally in Normandy! It is 70
years ago, since the landings took place. We visit the “Pegasus” bridge, an American military cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer (Omaha Beach), the Allied beachhead at Arromanches and a German gun emplacement, which also failed to prevent the invasion. Meanwhile a crew member visits the city of Caen, a beautiful city to stay in. In the evening we all meet up again on board the “Rolling Swiss II” and eat in the same restaurant as yesterday. We are doing well!

Friday, 29/08/2014, Ouistreham – Le Havre

The last tour day. We have been going through the locks already since early and are at 10 o’clock already in Le Havre. The ship is “cleaned and checked”. The handover for the ship has already taken place. In the evening there is the “Captains Dinner”, then one last whiskey on board. …

Saturday, 30.08.2014, Le Havre – Paris – Basel

Today we say goodbye to the “Rolling Swiss II”. One last photo, then off to Paris in a rental car, then by train to Basel. Two of the crew members take the train to Paris and stay there for a few days. It was a great, fun-filled week in the practice area of the theory course.

Michael

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26.07 – 09.08.2014 Nantes – Brest

Skippper: Marc und Isabelle
Crew: Christian und Morten

A dream comes true – and How!

I have long wanted to, at least once, cruise around Brittany – so many exciting
stories and impressive images of Club Members who have already experiencing
this area with the CCS-yachts. Brittany had become more and more of a dream
destination for me: Rolling Swiss II was going. … 2014 fitted in!

What was more, we were to do a two-week trip from Nantes to Brest, together with our
colleagues from the Christian Tiedt “BOATS Magazine” ( http://www.boote-magazin.de/ ) and Morten Strauch of “Morten Strauch photography” ( http://www.mortenstrauch.com/ ).  Also I was pleased Isabelle, the General Secretariat of the CCS, had decided to do a tour with Rolling Swiss II  - and as skipper II! Thank you Isabelle for your support! What more could I write about this trip?
Christian certainly helped with the two reports, one of which is due to be published in the first quarter of 2015 Boote, and which reflects our experiences in a typical lively and exciting write up. Along with stunning photos by Morten.

All the islands that we visited are certainly going to provide a focus point! The excellent weather (compared to last year in Norway – and compared to the Swiss summer) As you will see from Morten’s photos. Presumably dominated by picturesque lighthouses, historic submarine bunkers, rugged cliffs, sandy Caribbean beaches, playful dolphins, dried out ports, the hospitable reception by the Bretons, Celtic music, notorious “nooks”, idyllic rivers, tasty Moule-Frites and the ever-dominant tides … There were countless great
experiences!

Thanks to Isabelle, Christian und Morten, it was a lot of fun! – Marc

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12.07. – 19.07.2014 Lorient – Nantes

Skippper: Ernst und Jürg
Crew: Dora, Martin, Pierre-François

The Boaters paradise – waiting for better ) times?

Sad to watch: fishing, rowing boats and small sailing and motor yachts drying out in the mud – they all are waiting for better times.

Not so for Rolling Swiss II, her crew always makes sure there is sufficient water beneath the keel. At the same time the 5m tidal range in Brittany is a treat for navigation fans making planning accordingly interesting and challenging.

Switzerland rain, north-western France sun – Brittany according to statistics, in summer
has a large number of sun hours. In the centre of the high, Rolling Swiss II glides along the blue-green water with a clear view of the horizon all around. A fine band of clouds with moisture rises over the land, blending into the soft blue sky. Tiny white triangles hardly seem to move, not sailing weather, but perfect for powerboats.

All helmsmen are excited about the manoeuvring capabilities of having two engines.
Turning, reversing, rotating, docking … under expert guidance of Ernst the crew members (with varying experiences) practice all kinds of manoeuvres and explore the possibilities of Rolling Swiss II. Next, the ship has a generator, freezer, TV (to receive the World Cup!), Nespresso machine and enclosed showers for comfort and convenience.

Planning the day, alternated between CCS crew members. Flexibility regarding the choice
of the destination was needed due to the seasonal traffic density. In the ports of call there are three different scenarios: many guests berths in Port Blanc / Ile aux Moines in the Gulf of Morbihan and in Le Palais on Belle Isle, then all local sport boats in Port Haliguen, Trinité sur Mer, La Turballe, L`Herbaudière and in the city port of Lorient and finally no infrastructure for sports boats in the harbour of St. Nazaire, where the U-boat bunker still bears witness to the second world war and the German occupation. A Pilot on a rubber boat notices us and shows us to a berth and in this particular case helps us run a line ashore to the mooring ring, offering tendering services ,cash equal to the mooring fee (EUR 25-52). Which saves going to the capitainerie.

For the idle ones, time passes in a flash. The view of the endless mainland coasts
and numerous islands with abraded rock, secluded sandy beaches, green coniferous forest, interspersed with typical white single storey houses with fireplaces at both ends of the  ouse is entertainment enough. But also in the sea, there were many navigation marks and even a school of dolphins to watch.
And finally one could not miss out on the obligatory dip into the refreshing sea. There was an opportunity to take a lunch stop at anchor off the island Houëdic.

Our skipper had thought of everything in the preparation and implementation of the
tour. The preliminary meeting was held in a Zurich restaurant, where the motto
of the guild was read to the sailors: ” Auf Wellen und vor Anker treu”.

July 2014 Dora (Bericht), Martin und Jürg (Fotos)

 

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07.06. – 21.06.2014 Saint Malo – Brest

Skippper: Richard
Crew: Even with a small crew, the RSII is easy to master

The trip Saint Malo => Brest respectively. Brest => Brest was characterized by
several features. But first things first.

Actually two individual trip’s were planned, but due to the high flexibility of its crew, these two weeks were combined into a continuous 10-day cruise.

Thus the extended trip could be addressed as: Saint Malo => Granville => Jersey
St. Helier => Guernsey St. Peter Port => Paimpol => Perros-Guirec => Roscoff => L’Aber Wrac’h => Brest.

The crew was not only very flexible, also extraordinarily “concentrated”. There were only three of us, two sailors completing their training miles and the Skipper. Of course it also has its advantages; no one could complain they got too little practical experience as a helmsman or navigator. With such a small crew, all must lend a hand, always. And secondly, no one could complain a lack of space on the ship, everyone had his own cabin.

For a Brittany cruise we also had exceptionally good weather. It rained once shortly after the departure in Granville, but really short. Otherwise, we always had beautiful weather; the weather of our trip was characterized by a stationary high over Ireland.

In Brittany you always have to expect waves. But we could not really complain. Of course we had to fight with waves from time to time, but everything in moderation.

It was always windy, mostly in the afternoon to evening about force 3-5, sometimes more. The docking manoeuvres should be particularly well prepared, especially when you’re only three. The ship well “fendered”, choose a possible berth where the wind helps and carefully but courageously do the manoeuvre. And yes, it can happen that it does not work    immediately. Then do not lose patience and take another run up and try the manoeuvre again. In any case, we got our Lady into every port into a berth without scratches or other damage.

Brittany is a great area; the large tidal differences make the whole trip planning very exciting. In particular, the times when entering and leaving a port must be exactly calculated, but also at anchor off the coast if, for example, you are waiting for a port to open at a certain water level. The changes in the landscape due to the high tidal range is also very impressive and beautiful.

After 9 days at sea and a total of 292 miles we have achieved our first goal of the port of Brest. Here Emanuel left the ship, Robert and I had 3 days to explore the surrounding area. So the two of us did; Brest => Parthenay => Camaret sur ​​Mur => Brest. Harbour
manoeuvres with the wind are even more demanding with only two of us, but possible.

The trip was, due to special circumstances, very nice. And another feature of our trip,
was, we were able to celebrate the birthday of our Lady.

Robert Emanuel

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31.05. – 07.06.2014 Saint-Malo – Saint -Malo

Skippper: Rolf
Crew: Marlis, Barbara, Alexander, Sandro

Tides and Currents – The Channel Islands

Arrival Baden – Saint Malo

Zurich to Saint-Malo is not easy and takes approx 10 – 11 hours by car or by train. Part of the crew arrived on Friday by train from Baden via Basel / Paris to Saint Malo. As the train from Basel arrives at Paris-Gare de Lyon and the train to Saint Malo departs from Paris-Montparnasse, a transfer was necessary. For the transfer, the bus 91 is reliable and is recommended.
The rest of the crew has travelled the journey to Saint Malo by car. The whole crew
met as planned on Friday at 16.30 in Saint Malo.

31/05/2014 Saint Malo

As agreed, we took over Rolling Swiss II at 09.00 in the harbour (Port Sablons) of Saint Malo, from the previous crew. After the obligatory takeover formalities Rolling Swiss II was set up and prepared for the next day at sea. Stowing the spare screws, which had just been delivered directly from England, proved tedious work.

Saturday afternoon was devoted to planning and navigation, particularly the stage on
Sunday after St. Helier (Jersey). Despite the preparation and adequate equipment used the conditions such as high tides, strong currents, etc. it took a long time to complete.

01/06/2014 Saint Malo – Jersey

As planned, we were able to leave the port of Sablons at 11.00 and set a course for Jersey. The previous days proper preparation proved itself useful. We could moor up on a  pontoon outside St. Helier at 16:20 after a quiet 41 Nm ride.  During this journey we crossed the border and the time zone. We also practiced the MOB manoeuvres. At 20.30, we were then able to enter the harbour. Due to the late arrival on Sunday evening many
restaurants were closed. Thank you McDonalds ;)

06/02/2014 Jersey – Guernsey

At 10.45 we cast off. All crew members had been looking forward to the visit to Guernsey. Our skipper had previously told us a lot about the place and people, as he had lived and worked there for several months. So that we did not have to abide by the opening times of St. Peter Port, we decided to moor on to a pontoon. This gave us the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the dinghy.

03/06/2014 Guernsey – Jersey

For the return trip to Jersey, we decided that we would drive around the north of
the island. There were several obstacles in the northern and in the south eastern part of the island that needed to be watched out for. Accurate navigation work was required. With perfect weather and good support from the currents we were able to enjoy a beautiful drive along the northern coast of Jersey. At 20.00 we arrived in the same port we had been in two days earlier.

06/04/2014 Jersey

Since the weather outlook for the day was not so good, we decided to spend a day in
Jersey. We enjoyed a long walk around the city and around the castle. In the afternoon we visited the very picturesque Gorey by bus.

05/06/2014 Jersey – Granville

Navigating to Granville was relatively easy. After exiting the port we could head fairly
directly towards Granville, where we moored up at 14.30. So we had enough time to visit, the fortress and the old town, and prepare for the next day.

06/06/2014 Granville – Saint Malo

Today we went on the last trip and probably the most interesting of the whole week.
Initially, the course, with a few fixed points rather gave the impression of a crossing. After about half an hour the helmsman spotted a dolphin and about five minutes later everyone looked out and saw again and again, more and more dolphins appearing all around the boat. The excitement went up the more we found that a pod of up to eight dolphins was accompanying Rolling Swiss II. Although we drove at 8 knots there were, five of these elegant animals swimming just in front of the bow. From time to time one jumped out of the water to look at our boat from the side. We had the impression that the Dolphins played with us and Rolling Swiss II. After about 20 minutes of play they probably had
enough and dived suddenly. That was a very impressive experience, one that none of the crew had experienced.

We can all look back on a very interesting and also very instructive week. Although all crew members theoretically knew the area around Jersey and Guernsey, it was very impressive to experience the extremely high tides of up to 11 meters and the strong currents, and to get involved in the navigation work.

Thanks to the great cooperation from all cruise members, it was an impressive and
unforgettable week.

Ruedi

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24.05. – 31.05.2014 Portsmouth – St.Malo

Skipper: Ulrich und Bernhard
Crew: Gabriel, Heiner, Walter, Zoran

Beautiful when the tides work out as calculated

23/05/2014 Basel – London – Portsmouth

The plan was, depart from Basel Airport to London Gatwick, from there travel on to Portsmouth by train. One of the crew members will arrive the next day and will meet
up with the rest of the crew at the ship Rolling Swiss II in Portsmouth.

In Basel the two skippers greets the one crew member. Where were the other two?
Both report a failure of their electronic navigation. For still unexplained reasons, one deviates to Geneva airport and the other to Zurich Kloten Airport; probably an exercise in alternative ports (!).

Theremaining crew check in and take the plane to London Gatwick. And the Commodore
is also on board, Hmm … two crew members missing, instead the Commodore is on
board … is this a test for the Skippper?

All ends well; the two other crew members finally arrive in Portsmouth from the
alternative ports Geneva and Kloten. The first night all together is spent in a hotel.

24/05/2014 Portsmouth

Once we reach the harbour, there is Rolling Swiss II, a great ship. Our sixth crew
member also arrives, now we are complete. On time, at 10:00 clock, the skippers
conduct the ship handover. Skipper II makes the safety inspection while three crew members go shopping in the city. At about 14:30, everything is secured and stored, unfortunately a bit too late to go out. So it is decided to stay in port today.

05/25/2014 Portsmouth – Cherbourg Marina

The time has come; we cast off at 06:00 o’clock, towards Cherbourg and look forward
to the exciting crossing of the English Channel, a shipping lane for which requires very high concentration. Not forgetting the time difference between England and France. Today we covered an impressive 80 nautical miles and, although a bit tired, we savour the fact, once moored up in Cherbourg, with a well deserved sundowner.

5/26/2014 Cherbourg Marina – Braye Harbour

Today is a good day for late risers; Cast off at 10:00 clock in the direction of Alderney.
Since this leg is a comparatively short distance, there is enough time for a “man overboard” drill. Now it’s serious, quick reactions and the exact commands are given. The helmsman is busy holding course, all crew members perform very well, after a bit of practice. The two skippers glows, and shows the screen; Congratulation, 100 nm, three crew members have done their duty, manoeuvring and navigating as required, additional engine miles. On arriving in the Port Braye we moor up to a buoy, for some of the crew members, this is the first time. It is a good opportunity to try out the tender. Since it has space for a maximum of 4 persons, skipper II was allowed to drive it twice and clearly had fun doing it.

27/05/2014 Braye Harbour – St. Peter Port

At 09:30 we cast off and find time for practicing “turn the ship on the spot”. Finally we leave the harbour under the guidance of the two beacons on the mainland. A navigator is required to instruct the helmsman.

Since we have sufficient time, we go past St. Peter Port, to the very beautiful and picturesque bay Port Es Saies Sark, where we anchor. Two intrepid crew members take
the plunge into the cool water.

We leave the bay after an hour in the direction of St. Peter Port. Now time will tell if our tides calculations are correct. It comes good of course, once learnt is never forgotten; thanks to a good education from CCS.

28/05/2014 St. Peter Port – St. Helier

By our tidal calculation we left St. Peter Port harbour at 09:25 and crossed the harbour tidal sill with not just a foot of water beneath the keel, but rather 1.2m of water. Safety is the top priority.

We arrived in the port of St. Helier were we decide to moor outside the port tidal sill, so that we can cast off the next day regardless of tide.  Rolling Swiss II travels almost independently along a pontoon.  The water level rises and in a few moments the sill disappears under the water. We are amazed; because the many sailing ships are pushing and shoving in order to get a “Pole Position”. Who will be the first to cross the
disappearing sill; what a lot jostling!

05/29/2014 St. Helier – St. Malo

Strengthened, cheerful and of course prepared we leave the port to our final destination. For most, this is the first time they had taken a boat to St Malo. Thinking back to our theory test is helpful as we navigate this very exciting and navigation mark cluttered area. It is a wonderful experience to finally implement the theoretical knowledge in practice. It is also fascinating how closely the calculated values ​​match the actual conditions.

The mighty fortress city greets us, a stunning silhouette, which we will be happy
to remember.

I am writing to express my thanks to all crew members, very pleasant and fair comrades with whom every day gave something to laugh about. A successful week with beautiful memories.

Zoran

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17.05.- 24.05.2014 RYA – Training in the Solent

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Skippper: Andi
Crew: Peter, Ruedi, Marc
Position determination

Position determinations at all levels – That’s what we were letting ourselves into this trip! We already guessed in advance that our RYA training week in the Solent would be no relaxing ride, rather it would be rather hard work ….

The subject was clear from the dozen or so books that we received last autumn from Andi Flückiger containing the relevant theory. Some of the books we ploughed through over the winter, others still looked unused at the commencement of the tour.

In the days before the commencement of the tour Andi explained to us that our RYA training week would consist of a four-day practical exercise, followed by the hardest bit, a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam on Thursday. The aim of the week was set by Andi Flückiger, Crew member Peter Ruedi and I, as well as the CCS and the Motorboat group: Where CCS-Motorskipper stood in relation to the RYA_Yachtmaster. and above all we hoped to pick up some practical exercises, ideas, tips and tricks from the English pros- just and competent outside view.

After taking over “Rolling Swiss II” on Saturday May 17, 2014, in Portsmouth, in the best condition. The tour started and the provisioning for the 4 of us skippers was done in a flash. Today, we wanted to make a quick trip to Cowes to familiarise ourselves with the boat before the instructors arrived. Cowes was already filled with sailing ships, on this first beautiful Saturday, but we were still spontaneously allocated a place. A short time later, a small sailing boat rafted up by the side of us. The Skipper took our warning, that we planned to leave at 7:00 the next morning, with typical English composure.

Then we went back to Portsmouth on Sunday morning early, where we picked up coach Andy Cross, on time. Then off we went: Extensive safety instructions, where all through-hull fittings, How to fight a fire, etc. That was the start of four extremely instructive days with Andy: Many practical exercises, always peppered with questions of theory to the KVR, passage planning, weather, ship technology and seamanship. The Tide and current calculations were getting easier, because there was hardly an exercise in which the water depth and flow conditions did not play a role. So we practiced Pilotage, both day and night, single-engine manoeuvring, ” blind navigation” Always knowing how the wind and current was affecting our Rolling Swiss II with regards to lay lines and bearings. Several times we continued the exercises until around 2:00 in the morning – then take a quick breather then sometime around 3:00 we all slumped exhausted into our bunks.

And then the exam on Thursday. The frustration of the previous day gives way to exam stress. At 9:00 in Hythe, we took Rob, our RYA examiner onboard. Only after 17 hours of testing, at 2:00 on Friday morning did he leave us. There were ups and downs for everyone. The tension was palpable throughout the exam and Rob’s warning, “we should not let up until the very end” really proved to be a major challenge. And Ruedi unfortunately didn’t quite do enough during the night exercise. He said that what the most important thing for him was, how much he had refreshed and learned during this week and he looked forward to using his new knowledge on the next trip.

Peter and I felt like freshly baked “RYA Yacht master Offshore (Power)” as well: All together we have learned a lot, and introduced to a whole new side of the “Pleasure boating”. Our nautical English improved and we maintained a great camaraderie. We all will all increasingly incorporate such practical training elements into our tours, that, we have promised Andi.

So on Saturday we all dragged ourselves on home. Probably, each of us has slept through Sunday …

Many thanks to Andy Cross, the so-patient and despite our English, so tolerant instructor of Marine Matters (www.marine-matters.co.uk). and “our Andi Flückiger,” who during the week, coached queried, motivated again and again, cooked for and also observed us. CCS MY will get together with CCS to see how provide interested skippers a similar training. I maintain that everyone will have fun with it!

08-2014-21, Marc

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10.05. – 17.05.2014 Brighton – Portsmouth

Skippper:Christian
Crew: Patricia, Severin, Wale, Thierry

Around the Isle of Wight

On Saturday morning, May 10, 2014, the crew meets up in a Brighton Hotel Seattle for breakfast. with skipper Christian, Patricia, Severin, whales and Thierry. Then we takeover Rolling Swiss II.

Unfortunately the weather is not playing along (Storm Warning) so we are stuck for the next three days in Brighton. On Saturday, the crew go on a big shopping trip to be equipped for the first day of the tour. Once the supplies are stowed we get a ship inspection with a safety briefing. It is noted here that the Hand log is missing. Christian will buy a new one on Monday. In the evening we eat on the Rolling Swiss II.

Sunday is still very windy so we, as already mentioned, don’t move the ship. Whales and Thierry take the train to London. Patricia and Severin take the bus into Brighton in the
afternoon to meet Christian for a very good Indian dinner.

Monday, and still too much wind for the proposed trip to Chichester. But since we are all quite anxious to head out, our skipper decides later that afternoon to head out into the bay of brighton on the first tide. Severin is behind the wheel and we cast off in what is  wind force 5 – 6 Outside in the bay, the waves are still pretty violently, so that the decision to head out the next morning seems much more sensible. Everyone has a go at the wheel
and once back in the port of Brighton, the first docking maneuvers are practiced. Unfortunately, more wind comes up and we return to the berth. Whales and Thierry plan the first stage. In the evening we enjoy a wonderful meal on board with a glass of wine from home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:00 clock, Severin casts off and then there is a change every hour. We arrive as scheduled according to the tides in Chichester. Thierry maneuvered
the ship through the lock to our berth. Just as we want to leave the boat in the sunshine to register with the harbour master, once again the English weather gives us  a short, heavy rain shower makeing us wait. The well-maintained port facility offers us a fine meal and great showers. In the evening we decide to go to Chichester. Unfortunately, the bus runs only every hour, so that we need to take a 1 ½ hour walk to Chichester. Totaly starved, we are rewarded with a fantastic steak with beer and wine. We take a taxi back!

First, harbour maneuvers in Chichester marina are required, after all we are not just here forfun. At 12:00 clock we go out with the tide, this time Patricia is allowed to drive through the narrow gate. A very beautiful and varied trip around the Isle of Wight awaits us. Particularly exciting is the Needles, so it’s into Freshwater Bay for anchor maneuvers. Then, to sail around the needles into the Solent with the help of the flooding tide. In the sunset we arrive in Yarmouth.

This is a small idyllic place with some pubs. Today there is the Skipper classic (flambéed prawns with Bavette no. 13) for dinner.

At 11:00 clock we set off from Yarmouth and drive through a quiet Solent towards Beaulieu River. Here we drop anchor and have lunch. Then we do some “man overboard”
maneuvers across the Solent towards Cowes. We docked at the port of the “UKSA” where our skipper had spent some weeks during his training. After taking a stroll through Cowes, we take the “Water Taxi” to the Folly Inn. Christian invites us to a “Captains Dinner” where we, in addition to an excellent meal , were spoiled by a great band.

Unfortunately, today is already our last day on board and we need to drive the boat to Portsmouth. Here, we meet the man in charge of Rolling Swiss II, Marc Pingoud. Where we also meet the ships designers, and a hansom bunch, they are too. The weather is sunny and we clean Rolling Swiss II until she shines. Our last night we celebrate with a fine meal by Thierry.

Saturday morning  means getting up early, giving the boat inside a clean and then taking
leave of a wonderful week with a really great skipper and  crew. We will always keep this trip in our memory.

Patricia

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03.05. – 10.05.2014 London – Brighton

Skipper: Urs and Dominique
Crew: Susanne, Adrian, Matthias and Robert

Offshore under wind or engine power? One begins to understand.

It is often heard amongst skippers their desire, at least once, to travel through Paris, London and Berlin under their own steam, (normally followed by a sigh). CCS Rolling Swiss II makes that possible, in just one year, the crews of Rolling Swiss II have done that through Paris and London. Berlin is not on the schedule, so stays in the realms of the Sigh.

Each trip begins with the acquisition of the vessel, the training and provisioning. So far, nothing new. Shopping at TESCO in Imperial Wharf went well due to the well prepared and thorough calculations of the finance manager. Our four shopping trolleys in this small TESCO always stood in other customer’s way. And the seemingly unending blocking of one of the registers brought on frowns from the locals. But in the end, everything was ok
and we stowed everything on RSII.

The trip from London to Brighton began with one of the highlights. Passing Big Ben, London Eye, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Pursued, obstructed and harassed by passenger ships, high-speed RIBs and other curious ships. The crew – (of course as instructed by the CCS to wear life jackets on the foredeck) – could not stop taking pictures, admire and enjoy.
Look to the right! And there: you can already see Tower Bridge. Rolling Swiss  trip through London was all over too quick. In one moment Tower Bridge was in front of us, above us then behind us and with it the centre of London. After Tower Bridge it was abruptly silent, empty, with the occasional RIB taking tourists towards the centre. The idea of stopping just before Tower Bridge and taking the perfect photo is an illusion, So many tourist and other boats in front of, under and around the bridge performing strange manoeuvres. Stopping would have caused confusion. So, quickly take the photo, put RSII on the correct course, dodge the boat and head off down the middle of the channel.

After Tower Bridge, it was quieter and emptier. And so RSII headed towards its first goal: Gravesend. The Thames is a very unexciting stretch of waters for motor boaters. The buildings on the shore are predominantly industrial, with little variety; there was little traffic, so the crew kept more or less on course. The chat regarding holding “more or less”
the course was a fun, recurring theme for the crew, associated with apparently different outlook of sailors and motor boaters. But more on this later. Gravesend is a small town with about 60,000 inhabitants. On Wikipedia you can read that in 1617 Pocahontas died here on her journey home. The sights of Gravesend remains hidden from the crew  at first,
in particular because the crew used the first evening together to have dinner on the RSII, lashed to the floating dock, on the other hand the crew got know the ferry well . The motor boater on board realized that his passion was not really shared by the rest of the crew: all sailors. One of which had already had a circumnavigation behind him, another who will tackle the world tour next year. With the exception of the motor boat driver all others are seasoned and very experienced skippers. Forced into this corner, the motor boat driver had to cope with the question of what actually separates and unites sailors and power
boaters.

Firstly, the one thing motor boaters have over yachties is that they take the currents very, very seriously. To avoid travelling against the current, currents of 0,3-0,5kn (it could have been even more) would have slowed down RSII, wake up time 5:00, briefing time 5:45 and cast off 6:00. That this was not the exception but the rule, the motor boat driver was not
entirely sure . But you do do everything to avoid being slowed down to 0,3kn (it may also have been more).

Out of the river Thames, and into the river Crouch. Passing sandbanks and seals, towards wind farms, sailors (you could see the sad eyes of some of the crew members – “Crap, on the wrong boat”), watch out for commercial shipping and follow the navigation marks. And already, in this section, in which we drove more or less in a straight line, the motor boat driver said he recognized differences. The sailors seem to have the urge to hold the steering wheel – even if one has to hold the course for 2 hours. One can, and even the sailors got this in the end, turn on the autopilot, sit back, fold your arms in front of your belly and just enjoy the ride. The sailors where struggling. They insist on holding the rudder. They are happy to do it, even though they are unable to hold a straight course.

A course of roughly 160 to 170 Degrees, you can’t hold an exact course“. “Of course you
can, turn the autopilot on and punch in 163 degrees”, “But that’s no fun”, “What’s so fun about steering?”. “You don’t understand, you are a motor boater”.

It was anticipated, already, at this point that the sailors would be caught at the end of the trip asking the helmsman “1 degrees starboard”. To which the motor boat driver would collapse laughing. Try that on a sailboat!

Another thing that sailors enjoy, like holding the rudder, is visual navigation. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that sailors like to hold and steer plus or minus 5 degrees. But sailors want to “feel the boat, the sea and the waves.” take a glance at the horizon every now and then and then make a decision.

The second night we stayed in Burnham-on-Crouch, a village of about 7,000 inhabitants,
with a beautiful port facility. It was actually quite sweet, with a beautiful waterfront and an unexpected variety of smart looking yacht clubs. Here, the crew had their first Pub crawl and drank ale in the sun. A beautiful afternoon.

The next day we left early, this time to Ramsgate. The term “tidal waters” became
a taboo word for the motor boater during this tour. And in fact the trip planning, done the night before, was a little more complicated. It turned out namely that tidal current timing was advantageous, but meant that we arrived at a sand bar at low water. Tricky. But the navigators managed to plan a course that meant that we went with the flow all the way, on the other hand at the sand banks we always had at least 3 feet of water under RSII. That was also the moment when the map navigation took the upper hand over the sight navigation. But only conditionally, because it is precisely in this area where one must be very carefully where one goes. The problem with sandbanks is that they are not usually were they are supposed to be. Sand tends to migrate. They are displayed on the plotter but their mark had disappeared or was added or replaced by a cardinal mark.

On arriving in Ramsgate the crew did some maneuvers before finally tying RSII up. When
registering with the harbor master, he greeted us with “Oh, Rolling Swiss. Did you finally find a place that you like?”. It was clear that not every observer of the maneuvers was clear that the crew basically knows what they are doing. Those unfamiliar with the CCS might well observe and think that the crew were a collection of confused princesses who can not really decide where to go with the ship.

Of course, the crew had to try the local pubs in Ramsgate and settled on the  recommendation of the harbor master, namely The Churchill Tavern. After two ales the mood was getting better. It could be just because of The Churchill Tavern that, the motor boat driver found his peace with the soul of the sailor and developed the idea of going on a sailing boat sometime. Not only this, but also, The Churchill Tavern will go down in history as the place another crew member developed his idea of ​​writing a book, and in the sense of good group spirit, the other crew members gave impetus for this book. It is hoped that this book is written and published. And is dedicated to us.

United, the crew went on to a famous “Fish & Chip shop” -Local in Ramsgate, award-winning for its chips. From the outside this local establishment resembled more of a mission station for stranded Skippers, but it tasted great to all. And the portions were intolerably large. Even for the stouter crew members.

The next day, everyone was still relaxed at 7 o’clock in the morning, the crew planned a
short crossing to Dover, about 15sm, nothing exciting. Departure should be around 11 o’clock, thus far the mood onboard was calm and quiet. At 7:30 the current weather report landed on the table in the salon and you saw the experienced sailors deep in thought. The weather was deteriorating. According to the prediction, Friday was already extremely unlikely as a travel day. In this respect the spontaneous decision: Dover is not to be approached, instead we shall proceed directly to Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour, a little more than 60sm, almost 9 hour drive. The preparing of the ship felt like on a warship,
good job distribution, concentrated work, with the exception of one crew member, who had disappeared before the weather information for a relaxing shower and freshen up in the port facility. The moment when he too, with wet hair and towel over his shoulders came on board, realized that we were already ready to cast off and realized that the plans had changed. At 8 o’clock we left Ramsgate.

The waves increased. At the beginning the waves were still small, but in the afternoon
the wave height was already at 1m-1.5m. No problem for the RSII, but the sailors set about clearly establishing that a motorboat bounces significantly harder in the waves than as a sailboat that (as the motor boat driver understood) rather “cuddles the waves and gently slides over the hills “. On a powerboat there are only short hard waves, End of story.

On the way, the motor boat driver was surprised by another peculiarity of the sailors.  Tacking. Sailors love to tack.

“By the way, why are you always tacking, if someone followed us on the yellow brick
road, they would think we are Dreaming Swiss”. “oh yes, and how would a motor boat drive”. “Straight on”.

Dover. Man associates Dover with the most famous Ferry between Britain and continental
Europe. The expectation was that there would be lively boat traffic, but when we approached Dover, it looked all very relaxed. Suddenly, on the radio, Dover Harbour called us and asked what our intentions were. We named our final destination and got instruction to sail past at 1 nautical mile away from the harbor, but other than that, the Port Authority was relaxed. As soon as we were at the centre of the exit of the Port of Dover, so far no real danger, then, more commercial shipping. We saw the appearance of three ferries from the harbor fog on a fast self confident course to continental Europe.

The Way to Eastbourne was getting bumpier and bumpier. RSII fell down the waves, was pulled up by the next wave which washed over the ship, the wipers struggled to get at least a bit of visibility. It was at that moment that the motor boat driver had to mentally go on bended knee before the other crew members who were completely left in the salon and reading, making coffee, and spreading butter on bread. And looking up annoyed when the boat came down particularly hard.

Sovereign Harbour was a settlement which was quite nice. Even with a lock, the port is
well protected from the outside, but was actually quite soulless and not close to any pubs. The sailors and motor boaters spent a relaxing evening, but where already focused on the upcoming weather change. And it was confirmed that one of the crew members had “a skin full” already. The weather was getting bad faster than predicted, even on the previous day.

Rolling Swiss II left Sovereign Harbour with destination Brighton, but with a plan B in
our luggage: should the weather allow it, we would carry on and drive to Brighton on Thursday. The weather, however, did not let up the whole day and that was just as well. After some 3 hours drive at wind force 6-7 Bft and 2.5m – 3m high waves, we moored up, the crew shaken, in the port of Brighton. During this trip the motor boat driver realized that the tacking at a certain wave height can be quite a pleasant idea, so as not to feel the full force of the waves.

It was right to reach Brighton on Wednesday: the weather deteriorated, the wind speed
increased, the waves were higher. That decision was the right one, you could also recognize the fact that we saw no ships on Wednesday leave the marina nor any enter it. Even a group of Norwegian sailors, who looked as if they could defeat any wave, stayed in the harbor. For us, that meant being able to enjoy Brighton. The center of Brighton was about a half-hour walk from the marina and was lively entirely due to the annual Brighton Fringe Festival. Buskers, full pubs, people dressed up strangely in the streets (especially surprising was a fat old Super man sitting in his dirty and worn costume with cape on, on a park bench drinking Cola). But that’s probably the nature of a Fringe festivals.

Our second living room for the storm days was the WestQuay, a pub in the marina with a
nice selection of real ales and good food. There were crew members who took advantage of the free Wi-Fi in WestQuay to work. In the morning they homed in for breakfast, coffee up until 12 o’clock and then onto ale (although it remains unclear whether the switch from coffee to Ale really took place at 12 o’clock ). For others, this meant always having a relaxing corner in WestQuay, somewhere to sit after a visit into town, somewhere to chat and eat.

The trip ended on a rainy Saturday. The motor boat driver has the sailors and their
worldview in his heart and is looking, at unobserved moments, on the CCS website for interesting sailing tours. The sailors are keeping MY Rolling Swiss II in memory and remember the strengths that seem to have the advantage over many a sail boat. The comfort and size of the ship, right down to the little details that make life on the RSII enjoyable. That it’s sometimes boring on the helm, more than on a sailing boat (ie if you drive straight ahead without waves for two hours), you have to compensate that by choosing areas that better suit RSII, areas crew would want to see and  experience. Just like Scandinavia last year, The Channel, Brittany and even Paris this year. Somehow I have the feeling that the Rolling Swiss II will be in waters on the go in areas that are exciting enough to make you forget the occasional boredom at the wheel. And with a crew like this, a motor boat driver is certainly and without hesitation going to go “On Stranger Tides”.

 

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