mandag 9. november 2009

Short visit to Norway!

A couple of weeks ago it was finally decided that the repairs should be done by Rigging Mar in Mallorca. Then at last the new mast could be ordered from Z-spars. It will take another 3-4 weeks before the new mast arrives and can be stepped on Sirius. We are getting quite impatient, but doen't really have any problem finding things to do! Reading, school work, running, swimming, shopping.. Watching Spanish TV for language training and DVD films every night. We have decided to keep the boat in Ibiza until we know that they are ready to do the work in Mallorca, and found it was a good time for a visit to Norway for all of us! We spent a couple of days in Barcelona before heading north, but now we are in Porsgrunn! Ingeborg is at school, Thorstein is with a friend, Stein is at work and I will do a little of everthing.. Later this week we will go to Trondheim to meet up with family there. It's a long time since we last saw them! We go back to Ibiza on the 23., and then it's hopefully not long before we can go back to Mallorca. Christmas in Gibraltar, may be.. We'll see.

søndag 11. oktober 2009

Late summer in Ibiza!

It's three weeks now since we were dismasted, but we are still here in Ibiza.. We are not happy about how long it takes before they can even start on the work, order materials and all that is necessary in order to get us ship shape again..But then it is understandable that it takes time to produce the offers as there are so many details to work out. Well, there are four companies that have been asked to give an offer, two on Mallorca and two on the mainland. Hopefully we get a decision on where to go early next week. Thank you to everyone who sent mails and messages, it was good to know that you are thinking of us! After some days of feeling very sorry for ourselves we found that we had to accept the situation and rather find out how we could benefit from it. Realise that this might happen again, that the circumstances rather than our plans decide when and where we can go..Anyway, the first thing is that we get the chance to see more of Ibiza.

Eivissa is the largest town on te island and is also called Ibiza city. With some imagination you can see that the names resembles each other, they only differ slightly in what tongue has been most influential. The summer season is still not quite over, and quite a few charter planes continue to fly in tourists every day. The weather is still good enough for beach life, and even though some restaurants seem to have ended the season others have quite a few guests. It is quite expensive here, so it's probably good that we came here outside the high season. Here are four different marinas, and they are all in the upper price range. Most of the yachts here are motor yachts that seems to go out mainly for daytrips. Anyway, that's what we observe this late in the season. Another reason for coming to Ibiza seems to be the club's. These large discoteques have shows going on every night, and people pay tens of Euros for the tickets. Ingeborg tried to tempt her brother to join her at "Harry Potter Party", a club evening for the youngsters. But he was not interested.. so she will probably have to wait until she is back in Ibiza, some time later in her life.. We have spent some days walking around in Dalt Vila, the old city. This area is a well conserved castle with a surrounding wall dating back to the renessance period, churches and other buildings from different periods and several museums. Restaurants and souvenir shops for the tourists are plentyful, but there are also several private homes inside the city walls. To learn more about the history we have visited the Necropolis, the Archeologic museum and a presentation of the muslim period in Madina Yabisa. We also tried to find remains of the salt production out in the marshland in Ses Salines, but ended up with too many mosquito bites and returned to town without seeing anything of historic interest.

The school work has been running quite smoothly lately. Both students are quite eager to study spanish, but they also spend hours on other topics of their curriculum. We have been watching films in the evenings and been reading books from our small ship library. Thorstein has taken up his hobby of painting "Warhammer" figurines.
The weather has been a mix of rainy days and sunny days, but it is quite warm anyhow. So we find it quite nice.
Tomorrow is the National Day of Spain, and we look forward to see how they celebrate!

That's all for now! I'll post an update as soon as we know where to and when we are going from here!


fredag 18. september 2009


We lost our main mast last night! Disaster, but we are all fine except for a little scratches and bruises and some sore muscles.. We don't really know why it happened, but we have written a report to the insurance company about what happened and I think I'll just publish the same report here now.
We need a lot of comforting now, so please write mails and messages in our guestbook.. Ingeborg wonder if she should report to a Spanish school right away, as this might take some time. I'll be back with more when we are a bit more relaxed.

Damage Report

Dismasting of SY Sirius in the Balearic Sea, 17th September 2009

SY Sirius was on course from Portocolom, Mallorca to Puerto del Espalmador north of Fuengirola. We had started from Portocolom at 15:00 on the 16th of September. On watch was Stein Julsrud, 57. Skipper Gjertrud Rian, 45, Thorstein Rian Julsrud, 15 and Ingeborg Rian Julsrud, 13 were below decks, sleeping.
There were thunder storms in the area, but not exactly where we were. We had been sailing in medium wind ~6 m/s from S. Our steering course was 250º. It was a bit rougher sea than the wind force indicates, but no breaking seas. Both the main and the genoa was hoisted and the speed had varied between 4 and 7 knots for the last couple of hours, seeming to decrease.

Course of events:
At 01:30 in the morning of the 17th the following happened: A big bang was followed by the mainmast falling down to starboard. The boom was attachd to the traveller on our deckhouse top and this plus all the stays and lines kept the mast hanging down into the water over the lifeline with the foot sticking up. The lifeline had now been ripped off the terminals and one of the bases for the stanchions had alo been ripped loose from the aluminium toe rail. Both sails were now down in the water along with the mast. By now we could see that the forestay was bent and the roller boom was twisted. We wanted to try to secure the mast along the side of the boat in order to save sails and equipment. In order to accomplish this the forestay with the furling gear had to come loose. There was also a second forestay mounted which was detached from the eye in the deck. Then the spinnaker uphaul was brought back and over the genoa winch. Nothing really came out of the water. Then the boom toplift was taken back likewise, and when this was winched in we could raise the top of the mast to the surface. It was easy to see that the mast was bent 90º or broken by the spreaders. It was still not reachable from the cockpit level, as the freeboard is quite high. Due to the state of the sea the mast now started to bang against the hull, and we did not dare to keep it there for long. It seemed like the teak rubrail had protected the hull as long as the mast hang downwards. In order not to jeopardise the security of the boat and crew, we now concluded that we had no other options left than to cut the stays, and so we did. The time was around 03:00 and we were in position 39 °09.45' N 02 °34.47' E. Everything sank slowly into the deep. A fender that had ben stored by the mast was still there.

Summary of observations:
The mast was bent, probably by the spreaders.
The extrudate for the rolling forestay was bent.
The rolling boom and rodkick was twisted.
A triangular steel plate attaching the lower spreaders on one side was laying on deck, obviously ripped loose from the mast.
All stays were intact.
Wiring in the mast was ripped off by the throughdeck cable box, and this was twisted.

Our reflections after the event:
We have no conclusive idea how this could happen. The rigging was new this summer, all stays had been replaced along with new terminals and bottlescrews. The forestay with the furling gear was new, the boom was new and the sails were new. The only thing that was not replaced was the mast itself.
We noted one thing when the mast was hanging in the water: Two lowers SB? were still attached to their mounting plate which had been attached to the mast right below the spreaders by throughbolting the mounting plates on each side and secured by nuts that were locked by cotter pins. A possible cause could be that the bolt sheared. This could of course also be a secondary effect of some other main cause.

tirsdag 15. september 2009

The rain in Spain..

Well, a lot has fallen over Mallorca these last days, with a lot of thunder and lightning accompanying the water! Stein and Ingeborg are back in the boat after a visit to Porsgrunn in beautiful autumn weather. So they did not bring the rain! Well, it's September and probably quite normal, and after all the temperatures are still well above 20degC. Another water related issue is that we have produced our first water with the watermaker! It tastes delicious, and we only have to fix a few leaks before the installation is considered finished.. We plan to head westwards again tomorrow. Weather forecasts have been downloaded as GRIB files, which we will also be able to do underway. According to the forecasts we should start out going west and then go south along the Spanish coast. We don't know how many stops we'll have between here and Gibraltar, it depends a lot on the winds. Ingmar and Seija on Marieke are ahead of us, and probably underway from Ibiza today.

søndag 6. september 2009

Still here in Porto Colom!

We are still here in Porto Colom in Mallorca. At least Thorstein, myself and Sirius are here. Stein and Ingeborg has taken a trip back to Norway to keep up with work and school! Ingeborg's class has started at a new school this year, ungdomsskolen, and she wants to keep up with the rest! This week she will hopefully establish routines for the contact with the new school. And, of course, she will have a lot of time with her friends. Then we have met Seija and Ingmar again! They started from Leros a month later than us, and now they are here in Mallorca, too! We will sail together, more or less, at least as far as to the Caribbean.

onsdag 2. september 2009

Hola Mallorca!

We arrived in Mallorca, Porto Colom yesterday morning. Everything is well, and no problems arised during this crossing! Just too little wind like on the previous crossings. We lost the hook twice from the fishing line, and didn't catch any fish so.. there must have been some really big ones there.. Porto Colom seems to be a quite nice little harbour, not too many tourists! We'll stay some days before proceeding.

torsdag 27. august 2009

Next stop Mallorca!

We are leaving Tunisia today, and plan to go directly to Mallorca. Then we will skip Italy alltogether this time, but it shouldn't be too difficult to go there some other time! It is a longer crossing than we have had before, more than 500 nm, so we think we might have to spend a week at sea before we get there. Anyway, it's good to have some more practice on long distances before the Atlantic crossing. We have picked up the Spanish course, too, and will do our best to prepare for the contact with the natives.. The letter from our stay in Tunisia will hopefully be ready for publishing, too, when we are hooked up on the internet again.

mandag 24. august 2009


We have been to Sahara, and Ingeborg and Thorstein have been running in the sand dunes, great! We found a real nomad to guide us around his village and the surrounding desert including a French fort at the border of the desert. We spent only a few hours there but it was great! Toufik was a very enthusiastic person, and if you ever want to get a taste of the desert and the lifestyle of the nomads you should go to El Sabria and talk to him. I think he is hanging around the entrance to El Sabria most of the time, when he is not guiding. We came across this place by talking to a German family who had spent a night there at the French fort. But they also have a web-page where you can read about their very special Next time we come to Tunisia we will definitely go there again for a full experience!

fredag 21. august 2009


We arrived in Tunisia yesterday, more precisely in Hammamet. For tomorrow the plan is to rent a car and take a trip to the south of the country. Some of us want to get a taste of Sahara! I also have to mention, we got another 5.5 kg tuna on this crossing! I need more recipes for variation!

That last comment seems meaningless now as I just read about the tragedy of more than 70 refugees having died in these same waters that we have just crossed! It is a shock to realize that we could easily have met these poor people, but we didn't! Like other cruisers I guess, we have talked about it, what if..? What should we do to help? It is not easy!

søndag 16. august 2009

Planning to leave for Tunisia!

After more than a week in Grand Harbour Marina we are ready to leave tomorrow morning. We plan to anchor in a bay somewhere around here before we start the crossing. They say the snorkeling is superb in these waters! A letter and photoalbum from our stay at Malta will be published soon!

lørdag 8. august 2009

We have arrived in Malta!

All is very well! This weekend we will celebrate St. Lawrence here in this wonderful place. And take a look around at everything..

lørdag 1. august 2009


After 4 days in Kalamata we are ready to leave for Malta. We haven't found anyone selling the courtesy flag of Malta here, but I think I can make one while underway. We were surprised to find a good sized city here in Kalamata, with a lot of life in the streets. And the old railway station made into a park with old locomotives and trains to look at and play with. The graffiti artists had added to the atmosphere of course, but it was as much a park for children and families enjoying summer in the city as for the youngsters. We have friendly neighbors at our jetty in the marina, and we even got a kilo of tuna from our new friend Ingmar from Sweden. He also gave us some tips on how to catch them, so maybe we'll get some on our crossing to Malta..
By the way, I have found that I'll write these short news in English.
- Gjertrud

onsdag 22. juli 2009


I dag morges har jeg vært på radioen igjen, på NRK Telemarkssendinga. Og Ingeborg også, forresten. Som vanlig blir det alltid sånn at vi glemte noe vi skulle sagt, noen flere vi skulle hilst til, og lurer på hvordan det hørtes ut. Jaja, kanskje vi lærer etterhvert. Jeg glemte spesielt å etterlyse en reparasjonsmanual for generatoren vår...(Kubota E300-ES01) Hvis noen skulle ha en er vi veldig interessert! Nå er vi på bytur igjen, for vi har fremdeles bil og må benytte sjansen for å få gjort de innkjøpene vi har på lista. Meltemien har satt inn igjen fra nordvest, så vi har litt dårlig vindretning for å komme oss videre vestover for seil.
I går var vi i Heraklion og besøkte akvariet og en Leonardo da Vinci utstilling like ved. Lærerikt og interessant på forskjellig vis!

mandag 20. juli 2009

Hilsen fra Agios Nikolaus

Naa sitter vi paa en internettcafe midt i byen, Agios Nikolaus. Skikkelig sydenplass, masse turister.
Vi har leid bil og har vaert paa storhandel paa LIDL. Bilen er stappfull av appelsinjuice, UHT-melk, greske poelser, tomater, kaffe, dopapir, cornflakes, oel og andre noedvendigheter... Dessuten fant vi en trelasthandel med granmaterialer fra Nord-Sverige, saa naa skal matvarene holde seg paa plass inne i matskapet. Frontlister paa hyllene er nok en god ide, skjoenner vi etter aa ha opplevd at doerken ble fylt med knuste syltetoeyglass og spaghetti i skjoenn forening da baaten la seg litt over under seilasen fra Kos til Kreta.

Thorstein er ankervakt ombord og ploeyer nok gjennom et par boeker i dag ogsaa!
Det er kjempevarmt her, saa vi gleder oss til aa bade naar vi kommer tilbake til baaten.

I gaar gikk vi forresten tur bort til byen Plaka og kikket over mot Spinalonga hvor det var leprakoloni tidligere, som beskrevet i boka The Island. Det kostet 8 Euro pr person aa bli skysset over saa det droppet vi. Kanskje vi seiler innom paa vei herfra. I morra kjoerer vi en tur til Heraklion, og tar kanskje en tur paa akvariet som ligger paa veien dit.

Ha en fin dag,
- Gjertrud og Ingeborg