Pre ARC 2009
Tue 24 Nov 2009 09:37
The dream is finally becoming a reality -  the dream to cross the oceans on my own keel.
The dream which took 35 years to happen..
With the purchase contract for a Hallberg-Rassy 48, a strong boat from Sweden
the base was created. I was in "love" with HR yachts since 1980 when I had the opportunity
to sail a HR 42F ketch with my friend Hilmar Krinke.
The next step was to refresh the knowledge and get the necessary certificates.
The yacht was delivered to Koper, Slovenia in June 2006 well equiped for the long
voyages. My wife Marina created the name MY GIN'S initials of the names of our kids
Gregory, Niko, Igor, Stephanie).
Getting to know the yacht was accomplished over the following 3 years, sailing in the Adriatic sea..
Last year I took part in the Atlantic crossing with the ARC 2008. I  liked it and that is why I am today ,
November 22, starting with the ARC 2009 at 13:00 UTC.
This last couple of weeks were rather dynamic and stressy. MY GIN'S was serviced ,  cleaned, bottom repainted
and polished in Punat, Croatia. Besides that a number of electical instruments had to be fixed due to a lightning
damage (a yacht close to mine was hit by it).
I started on Oct.3 with 3 colleagues from Hermes Softlab times. The way to Tunis was quite confortable with a lot
of motoring. Therefore we had time to see the Eolian islands including Stromboli. Next stations were Cefalu, Palermo
and the Egadian  island Marettimo.
In Tunisia I had a change of crew. 4 sailors from Pongau Austria were joining me, leaving for Gibraltar onOct. 19
From the first day when the coastal guard did not allow us to leave the marina Sidi Bou SAid due to stormy weather
there was a fight against the wind and the sea. At the same time there was a Rolex MED regatta from Malta around
Sicily and back. From 75 boats only 45 reached the finish line. For 4 days we had winds from west up to 50 knots
and very high waves, Finally I had to take an unplanned stop in Palma de Mallorca to rest the crew. For the 2 of them
it was also the end of the voyage. They decided that they had enough  and simply left. The three of us then sailed to
Las Palmas with one night stop in Gibraltar. All together there were close to 3000 nm - a distance similar to the Atlantic
The 3 weeks in Las Palmas were used or diferrent repairs and checks, where the two specialist, David and Richard,
 from Hallberg- Rassy yard were particularly helpful.  I also enjoyed the visit of my dear wife Marina and my son Niko
We mananged to sail to Tenerifa for 3 days.
My Slovene crew arrived on 4 days before start of the rally, which were used for provisioning and storing the food,
some spinnaker training and final tuning of the yacht. Marko Murn, Jure Bozic, Matjaz Jemec and Boris Vodopivec
are all in their mid fifties and are experienced sailors, but this will be their first Atlantic crossing.