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Biscay crossed: How are the world-travellers from Ramersdorf doing?

Biscay crossed : How are the world-travellers from Ramersdorf doing?

They want to sail around the world: Ramersdorfer Hannah Komrowski (29) and André Waidelich (31) report on their stages and stops on Instagram. After crossing the Bay of Biscay and a technical problem, they are now heading to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

For them an adventure is coming true that many can only dream of: Hannah Komrowski and André Waidelich set out to sail around the world. They gave notice on their apartment in Ramersdorf and sold their car. From Emden, where they had bought their ten-metre-long and nearly 50-year-old sailing yacht Manatee two years ago and had overhauled and readied it for the great voyage, the two set off at the end of June and first sailed across the Dollart to Delfzijl, and from there motored across the Dutch canal system to the Ijsselmeer.

"The Ijsselmeer developed lots of nasty short waves that really tested the boat and crew for the first time," the pair wrote on Instagram (#sailingmanatee), which GA follows. This "endurance test" was quite welcome, as the keel beam of their boat was completely renewed and could now prove its durability and tightness before heading out to the "shoreless" sea. "But everything seemed to fit, and we didn't get seasick either," Komrowski and Waidelich concluded the first chapter of their trip. The wind was kind to them when they reached the North Sea coast in Ijmuiden, the Netherlands, and tackled their first "big blow" across the sea.

A great adventure

A great adventure for both of them, as they had only acquired the necessary sailing skills for their circumnavigation and had little experience. "We were faced with the decision now to eventually build a house, have kids and do all the things you just do now," Komrowski let GA know before they left, "or get to know some more of the world." Yet both claim to be no daredevils and are very concerned about safety. Since deciding to embark on the trip, they had saved up quite strictly and are convinced that you don't need much to be happy.

Actually, their plan had been to cross the English Channel from Ijmuiden to sail to Great Britain, but they discarded it because of the more difficult entry conditions there. Favorable tides, which allowed them to leave the Dutch mainland just before the tide began to ebb, allowed them to leave in the evening and sail into the night. With the destination of Calais on the French coast, they passed through two of the busiest traffic zones of the English Channel off Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. "For us, that meant a lot of sparking and keeping up with the captains of the big freighters. In Rotterdam, even the police came to us to coordinate everything. For the time being, no one could sleep on our first night voyage," their logbook says. After 35 hours on the North Sea, they were glad to get solid ground under their feet again in Calais.

Stopover in Cherbourg, France

Cherbourg, France, some 160 nautical miles (296 kilometers) away on a direct route, was their next destination, where bad wind forecasts meant they could spend a week looking around the city before setting off on the crossing of the Atlantic Bay of Biscay, so feared among sailors, toward Spain.

With a lot of wind against them, high waves and an encounter with orcas (killer whales) that briefly terrified them, not everything went according to plan, but with "good spirits throughout," the Ramersdorf sailing couple reached A Coruña, Spain, in August. "We worked very well as a team and are therefore more than proud to have crossed the Bay of Biscay. Today we first earned some tapas," was their message. Afterwards, with a stopover in the bay Ría de Camariñas, they went to the Portuguese port city of Porto at the beginning of September. There, Komroskwi and Waidelich explored the historic alleys and took a trip to the oldest wine-growing region in the world, Alto Douro.

A technical problem with the injection nozzle in the engine then caused the stopover in Porto de Leixões to last a little longer. The current destinations are Figueira da Foz, Nazaré and the Portuguese capital Lisbon - before Komrowski and Waidelich will soon start their Atlantic crossing with a stopover in the Canary Islands.