Sailing Long Distances

Varberg – The fog and Captain Sparrow

In order to make the most of the day’s forecasts we sailed to Varberg in Sweden. The trip is only 35 nm, at least a part could be sailed so the forecast and last but not least, we have never been to the town. We left the marina and soon found ourselves in a thick fog. Fortunately, the shipping lines were far away east and west of Anholt. For hours we were the only boat around.
Actually, I wouldn’t write again about a routine sailing trip, if we didn’t have an unexpected guest, a sparrow. The bird had followed us for a while, made some attempts to land on the boat but it wasn’t brave enough yet. Things changed when a seagull showed up and attacked the sparrow a few times in vain. Exhausted, the little bird rested on a spreader first, later next to a winch in the cockpit. The sparrow was obviously very exhausted. It closed the eyes and rested for a while, bird-style, being always on the jump. An hour later the sparrow was daring enough to inspect the deck first and then the cockpit. Maybe the bird thought it practicable and sat down on the steering wheel. Under autopilot, the wheel turned to the left and right, but Captain Sparrow didn’t mind. It gained more and more confidence in its hosts; in no time it sat on Beate’s hand. A wild bird, just like that. Believe me, it’s no cock-and-bull story, we took pictures. Four hours later, after several systematic inspections of the deck and perhaps four dozen flies and other insects in its belly Captain Sparrow was back in business and left us.

Close to the Swedish coast, the fog got dense, of course in a shipping line. Traffic was lively, nothing serious to worry about, except for a tanker heading south. With a length of 80 meters rather a smaller one, making fifteen knots. The AIS triggered an alarm, CPA (Closest Point of Approach) of 15 m. The easiest … Read More