No questions asked: despite all the advice we received from the Polish to leave Poland before the November storms start in the Baltic Sea, Gordon would not risk sailing the Norda to Spain without first taking her out of the water and get her hull prepared for the job.
10 days were necessary to sail to the boatyard in Jastarnia, lift out her 46.5 tonnes to dry land, clean the accumulation of 8 years aquatic life which had taken residence on her hull, sand, caulk, seal, replace the anodes, repack the propeller shaft and put on new antifouling.
Whatever the outcome, our decision to proceed with the refit in the north of Spain because of the weather seems to be the right one: the wind in Poland in November is already glacial and interrupts work on the hull during 2 days. Read more about the Norda's restoration...
Maintenance of the hull
Logan and Julien arrived bursting with enthusiasm and motivation in Wladyslawowo where Gordon assembled 3 crew members from Poland. With 6 crew members on board the trip to Copenhagen can be split into 3 watches with no stop-overs.
To get under way some final preparations including the installation of a radar, water heater and life raft kept the crew busy right up to when the bell rang for the depart, early evening on the 11 November...
But after 10 hours of great sailing, the bildge pumps gave up and forced a stop for repairs at Ustka. Robert, Jaceks cousin, who was our man with a plan which helped us buy the Norda and all the logistical issues, jumped in his car and drove halfway through Poland to, once again, help us find the right pieces and mechanic to make repairs.
Our stay in Ustka took 2 days, we left with a favourable forecast of force 5 to 6 which finally turned into a force 9...
Despite all the set-backs, Gordon keeps smiling, he is extremely happy: after facing winds gusting over 90 km/h and waves of over 5 meters high, our new companion is up to the task ahead: The Norda is impressive in her stability, even in extreme conditions! Discover the tale of our first trip...
After visiting several classic yachts likely to become our companion in this new adventure, it became clear: heart and reason kept pointing us back to this old Danish ketch with her unusual but easily identifiable rig that is the Norda.
The plan? Quickly form a crew to leave Poland asap and get away from the winter storms famous for their violence and unpredictability which like clockwork hit the Baltic sea from November onwards... The aim is to sail the Norda to the north of Spain, where we can start work through the winter without worrying about the extremely cold temperatures which would slow down progress in Poland.
The itinerary is not the easiest: The Norda and her crew will have to face potential winter Baltic storms, the renowned North sea tides and wind forces of 8 to 9, the busy shipping route of the English channel and it’s tidal currents (the strongest in Europe) and finally cross the Biscay bay not known for its clement weather.