Sailing almost around Europe with a homemade kayak catamaran - and with even a rule to have any money: This is Andreas Gabriel's object. The man from Tönning will put to sea at the end of april 2011* at Tönning and struggle along the North sea, Rhine, Main and Danube on to the Black Sea (plans to go through the Baltic Sea, Vistula, Bug and Dnepr had to be canceled. The reason: non visa for Russia). From the Black Sea he passes through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles into the Mediterranean to Greece and via the Adriatic Sea to Italy. There, he sails up the coast to France and Spain, where a trip is planned across to Mallorca. Back on the mainland, he passes the Straits of Gibraltar, the Portuguese coast and the Bay of Biscay, reaches France to pass
"Will I get so much sympathy, kindness, self-esteem and confidence as experienced in 2008?" the adventurer who then "sailed" from Skagen to Marseille on a self-designed sailing bike, wonders.
Andreas Gabriel has also designed the now used catamaran himself and built it since the spring of 2010 with his own hands. There are no templates for many of the technical details. They had to be self-designed and implemented by him: For example how to connect two kayaks so precisely and accurately to one another that they run exactly parallel, or, how the mast and sails are anchored stable and firm.
In October, he launched his boat for the first time to water. With success: The maiden voyage went smoothly. The winter months of 2010/2011 will be used to hone final details of the boat and its route. Andreas Gabriel: "I will start as soon as the weather allows it in 2011."
"Will I eat a real Italian pizza for the first time? Will the Spanish galleys finish me off? Or will I withstand the Bay of Biscay, where so many sailors failed before me? This is only a small part of the questions that haunt me." And Andreas Gabriel adds: "But there is one thing that these thoughts are unable to damage: The image of me returning safely to my home port Tönning." Whether he's afraid? He does not know: "Rather respect. It's more like a feeling in my stomach like before a math test for which you have not learned."
Aquapac will sponsor Andreas Gabriel. The waterproof bags will ensure that his electronic devices such as GPS, mobile phone or radio as well as maps and parts of his personal equipment are protected from water, wind and waves, from sand and dust.
In any case, we keep our fingers crossed!
Two months are over, now. Andreas Gabriel has left behind the North Sea, Rhine, Main and the Main-Danube canal and cruises down the Danube. Passau is passed, now followed by Austria and another 2,000 miles to the Black Sea. Whereever he sailed along, the kayaker and catamaraner has caused a stir and left lasting impressions. Everywhere he was received warmly, with food, beverages or technical support, for example when he demolished his blade in a lock and could use the workshop of a shipyard.
On the Rhine, he had to struggle against five to six knots of countercurrent and at the Lorely against downslope winds. The wind has not been at all his friend: mostly headwind. "But I will get it from behind, more than I prefer at some point," he reported in an email to Aquapac.
Rhine, Main and Danube with more than 3000 km stretch of river are now behind Andreas Gabriel and his adventures around Europe "sailing against prejudice." He has passed through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus, along the Turkish coast and with waypoints like Mykonos and several other Greek islands he has crossed the Corinth Canal. Now he is almost in Italy. And had a different view of the people and the world as he writes. Everywhere
Beginning of november 2011 somwhere close to Tarantion, Italy. The first scirocco captured Andreas Gabriel. Fortunately he was just at land before the storm started. He decided: finish for the tour for this year. Staying in Italy for the winter or going home to the children? He drove home. More next spring ...
Update IV: It goes on
The winter break is over. On 22 April 2012 Andreas Gabriel starts the second part of his trip around Europe. From Tarantano (Italy), it goes out through the Mediterranean to France, Spain, and after a trip to Mallorca into the Atlantic Ocean via the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, home to Tönning. If things go according to plan, the adventurer will be home in October. During the winter he used to renovate the children's rooms and hold first lectures on the first part of his journey. A book project is also being planned.
Update V: "course north-north-north"
|Outboard damaged: first trial to sail around Cabo de Sao Vicente failed|
Europe-circumnavigator Andreas Gabriel has left the Mediterranean behind with his kayak catamaran . End of July 2012, he passed Gibraltar with 36kN tailwind, the Levant, through the Straits of Gibraltar to Tarifa and took the waters of the Atlantic under the keel. Given the wind strength he barely managed to land on a beach. And he was happy to have survived the ride unscathed. "The hardest so far," as he wrote in his blog on his website. "I'm on my way home, the new course: North-North-North"!!!
With wind and currents he again had to fight at Cabo de Sao Vicente, the southwestern tip of Europe on the coast of Portugal. Since the 12th August he waits "at the end of the world" for a fortunate window with suitable winds and currents to circumnavigate the Cabo. A first window had to be passed up unused: engine damage to his small outboard ...
Waterproof stowed in the Aquapac backpack: Andreas Gabriel with his laptop.
End of October 2012 Andreas Gabriel drew a conclusion. In northern Spain, Laredo he went ashore to fly home. He really wanted to make it to Tönning this year. But adverse and debilitating wind and weather conditions, in particular up the Portuguese coast gave him a hard fight. At least he had started at the very bottom of the "boot" in Taranto in April. In the spring of 2013, it will go on, the cat is safely packed in Laredo. Free.
At home with his wife and children, he wrote us the following progress report:
"Love for the material: My laptop is always with me. It is my window to my family and friends at home. Still every day I work with it and often have to chuckle to myself quietly when I flip it open. Sometimes I give thanks to it for bravely hanging on and still being with me. Surfs ... capsizes ... sand ... salty air and lots of water ... actually, it's not possible that it still works in this quality. But yet I still wear it on my back ... still! For the past 15,000 km!!!!!! In the waterproof backpack and bag by Aquapac."
Update VII: Winter break is over:
Andreas Gabriel is calling the challenge again. After having used the winter to write his book about the circumnavigation of Europe with the catamaran kayak, it goes to Laredo, northern Spain on 24 Mai. There he has mothballed his kayak late October. And from there it goes on up the Atlantic coast through the English Channel and the North Sea to the home port of Husum. "The hardest passage lays in front of me" he wrote to Aquapac. Those who sponsor him with waterproof cases for his trip. Those who ensure that his laptop and other electronic devices such as GPS, cell phone or VHF are 100% protected against water, sand and dust. Those who provide security.
If you want to know more details about the course of the circumnavigation of Europe, please refer to www.der-mit-dem-wind-faehrt.de
*Further Updates will follow.