— 11 YEARS ABOARD SEA LISE Chesapeake Bay. Paul was happy to find a place in Deltaville, VA, where they could leave the boat for just $65/month over the winter. It was in the summer of '03 that the Pedersens took a somewhat unusual — and chilly — route across that Atlantic. Departing from Hampton, Virginia, they bypassed both Bermuda and the Azores to sail east at 50 degrees north. Twenty-eight days later, with Paul having stood all the night watches, they made landfall at Falmouth, England. "We had heavy fog for the first 10 days of the crossing," remembers Paul, "but then we enjoyed pleasant trades the rest of the way across. Surprisingly, we never
had more than 18 knots of wind, and no big seas. It was wonderful!" Despite the calm seas, the Pedersens put all the cushions on the cabin sole and slept on them. The lower center of gravity meant they rocked and rolled less. After sailing up the English Channel, the two continued on through the Kiel Canal to Praesto, Denmark, where they were greeted by a cheering crowd of family, friends and newspaper reporters. They would spend the next three summers in the region.
Pedersens didn't live and die by GRIB weather files. "We got weather reports via HAM and SSB and from other cruisers. While in Europe, we got it from local radio stations." • They started with a Fleming windvane, but switched to a Monitor. "For two years I couldn't get the Monitor to work right, but then Hans, the owner of Monitor, explained what I'd been doing wrong. Once you learn how to set it, it's wonderful. In fact, I rate it as more important than the radar — although I have a radar, too. And by the way, somebody bought our Fleming, and it's worked great on their boat, too." • Sea Lise is equipped with both a wind generator and five solar panels. "As long as we didn't watch too much televsion, these green energy sources provided for all our electrical needs. In fact, prior to tying up to the police dock in San Diego in June, we hadn't plugged into shorepower in six years. We never
plugged in while in Denmark because the electricity is so expensive — six times what it costs in Canada! In fact, the cost of heating a boat in Denmark is more expensive than than the slip itself. Of course, the Islander was made for California and therefore isn't well insulated for northern latitudes." • "We had no signficant gear failures. I did have to change the starter for our 28-year-old Volkswagen diesel once, but it was actually a wiring problem. Our engine ran great and, despite its age, didn't smoke or use oil. I did, however, change the injectors once. • The couple used a two-bladed fixed prop until two years ago, at which time they replaced it with a Flex-o-Fold threebladed prop. "It eliminated the vibration we had before." • "Our Nova Cold refrigeration system needs to be replaced after 12 years, as the compressor won't shut off. The good news is that the new ones only use 60%
of the power of our current model." • "The one thing we didn't have that I would like to have had was inboom furling. That's because the most dangerous times for me — and therefore us — were when I had to be on top of the cabin house flaking the main." • "The Islander 36 was a very manageable size. I could probably handle a 40-footer, but at my age I would probably consider an electric winch for the main and sheets." • "One of the big lessons I learned was to make sure to reef in time. And that it's often better to put in two reefs rather than one." • "The secret to being able to do such a cruise on $1,000 a month — including doing things such as buying a dinghy and outboard — is that I do all my boat work myself." It doesn't hurt, of course, that Paul was a mechanic and a shipwright for many years. — latitude
LATITUDE / RICHARD
very much," remembers Paul. "Then we made our way down to and through the Canal, later stopping at Isla Mujeres and Florida's Dry Tortugas — which we thought were wonderful. It was
while sailing up to Florida from Panama that the couple had their second bout of bad weather. "It blew 20 to 25 knots on the nose for three days," says Paul, who would be to first to admit it wasn't that bad at all. A f ter putting the boat on the hard in Florida, the couple drove their VW bus back to Vancouver for the summer. Their general plan was to cruise six months a year, then return home for six months a year in order to stay in contact with children, grandkids and friends. Paul and Annalise spent the next season cruising as far south as Georgetown in the Bahamas, before returning to Florida and taking the IntraCoastal Waterway up to the
Paul and Annalise don't go in much for the Socialistic tendancies of their native Denmark. They prefer to take care of their own needs.
"We only had three instances of bad weather in 11 years."
August, 2009 •
• Page 117
The August 2009 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.