Update from Carol and Sig, Sept 1999 - April 2000

SEPT 9, 1999
We're in Croatia for a second summer; it's a cruising area that we enjoy almost as much as Malaysia and Thailand, though it's a bit tamer.  After two rainy winters in Turkey, we plan on wintering in Tunisia, but are also tempted by Venice... Cruising is just as good, but no easier, after nearly twelve years.
Sincerely,
Carol Baardsen
MARY T (San Pedro)
Vis, Croatia

UPDATE, SEPT 9, 1999
"Mary T." is anchored in the Krka river, in a small, unnamed cove opposite the town of Skradin.  We have been here two weeks and will stay,  at least, another week as we are awaiting the arrival of another boat (s/y "Palma")  with friends from New Zealand.  I must agree this is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  For us it is a nearly perfect place,  for a long stay, to work on the boat. The place offers perfect protection from the weather and good mud bottom for the anchor.It is quiet, there are no disturbances.  There is no charge for mooring as we are out of sight of the village.  We enjoy the luxury of freshwater bathing and laundry without depleting our drinking water supply.  We can pick enough figs and blackberries,  from the dinghy, to make jam.  The Pine and maquis covered cliffs and the river offer some of the loveliest scenery anywhere in the world.  Skradin is closeby, when we need  supplies or the HPT for e-mail. Soon we will be forced to go 7 miles down the river to Sibenik for supplies and fuel. Eventually we will be forced by weather to to our winter berth.  This year that will be at DVV in Venice.  We expect to move slowly up the coast and Istrian Peninsula to arrive in Venice about the end of September .Because there is a lot of painting and varnishing we wish to complete before winter, it is unlikely that we will be visiting Zagreb.  That is a disappointment because we would like to meet you (a friend of Ben Stavis) and to see something  of Croatia beside the coastline.  We should have another opportunity again next spring.  We plan to depart Venice mid April for Barcelona.
It is our intention to cruise the Croatian Coast enroute.   Should you have any plans to visit your mother in law at Sibenik, in the near future,  please let us know as we would be delighted to meet you.
 

UPDATE,   Late October, 1999

MEDITERRANEAN IN THE WINTER

Here in the Adriatic and Aegean conditions are similar to the San Francicso Bay. There are currents making a nasty short, boat-stopping chop.  Winds are fickle, constantly changing direction and strength from drifting to honking in 10 minutes.  Some of the locals and all of the charters carry only a big jib with no main and motor a lot.  In the last two summers we found that we also, are often JAMING (Jib, Awning and Mizzen).  This is new style of sailing for us and admittedly leaves us felling a bit nervous. It doesn't feel right having such large single units of sail to deal with.

At the moment we are wintering in Venice.  Winter is the operative word.  It's been blowing 35-40 all night and all day with heavy wet snow clumps. None of us were built for these conditions.  Happily, a 1000-watt heater and the warm welcome in the Deport Velcro Venetian compensate the discomfort.  So does the magic of Venice- no cars, no billboards, no discos.  It's lovely.  Still we look forward to summer in Croatia.  The Adriatic offers the best cruising since Thailand and Malaysia.  It offers protected waters, secure anchorages, mud bottoms, warm and clear water and no clothes.  We've had longies on since October 7th.  Next winter in Barcelona.  Sometimes I miss the Bay, Grant street and City Lights book store, but not L.A.

Sincerely yours
Sigmund and Carol Baardsen
s/y "Mary T."
San Pedro, California

UPDATE MAY 20, 2000

Subject: Cruising news,Spring 2000,Venice
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 06:22:44 +0200

    Rejoice. Spring is arriving. The ice is gone and warm southerlies are blowing. There are buds on the trees and gaily-dressed, illdressed tourists are appearing in the streets. I am without longies under my boilersuit, for the first time since October 7.

Despite the weather I have gotten a lot done. The D.V.V. Club has a big shed with workbenches, vises, a drill press, an air compressor, a grinder and even a welding machine. I am in Paradise. I just finished installing a support under the mizzenmast as the old bulkhead was collapsing. We bought a 10-year-old Hiller range, in good condition for only 150 U.S.D. I have just installed that permanently, no gimbals. I installed a cold start device on the Perkins 4-107 with its attendant tank, wiring and piping.  It has work brilliantly.  The engine starts easily, well below freezing. The new Webasto, Diesel fired, heater has been wonderful. Next we will be installing foam luffs on two old jibs to improve their efficiency when rollerreefing.  They look terrible and don't draw very well when reefed. So far I am not impressed with roller furling. We have already taken off the hanks and installed Kiwi-slides to fit the Profurl luff extrusion. When the weather is consistently above 10 Deg. C. we will repaint the cabintop top with polyurethane and reinstall all the fittings, rails and ventilators. I need to splice up new halyards as the old wire to rope splices are getting pretty bad. I shall replace the steering cables and get a small bubble out of the compass, then we will be nearly ready for the season.I am happy to have gotgten so many small jobs dome but the list is growing for next winter in Barcelona.    Even with all the work we have been getting a lot of tourism in. Lots of museum crawling and churches and free concerts of Gregorian chants and polyphony. We even went to Manon Lascaut. Most Puccini I like. For Manon Lescaut I would not go back.

I have been on parts runs to Mestre, Chiogia and Vicenza and Padova. Carol went yesterday to Florence. She wants me to go as well. I would rather see more of Venice.

I did get to row a Sandolo on the lagoon and in the canals. The sandolo ia a baby sister to the Gondola. It is similar to the Pirogue used in the Mississippi Delta. It was great fun but difficult to manage, standing with a single oar, as the Sandolo is much more narrow than the asymmetrical gondola. It was a real thrill navigating the foggy lagoon. That was the one of the most challenging events of the winter. The other big event was the arrival of "Palma" Chris and Millie were wintering in Nidiri. They headed North a little early on and found some really bad weather. They were weather-bound in Errecousa just north of Corfu, for two weeks. They just couldn't get out of the miserable place. They called us so we went down on a ferry to join them. After another week we got a weather window and powered quickly over to Otranto. Then we did an overnighter to Dubrovnik. After that it was duck soup. We motored fast, all-day and anchored snug each night. Chrissie fed us like kings. It was fun being with them because they really know what they are doing.

Our daughter, Anna, is coming for a week's visit, shortly. I haven't seen her in 3 years. I am told that she is now 1.88 tall.

Our plans remain to depart here mid May to run out our Croatian cruising permit. It expires in June. Then to Tunisia to buy a SPADE anchor. People who use them say they are as much of an improvement over the BUGGLE as the BUGGLE is better than the CQR. From there we will go up to Bonafacio to see Frank and Ann on CABOCHARD, some time in July. We want to be in Palma de Majorca, for Millies 50 th birthday in early September, then off to Barcelona for the winter. People here have been so kind and generous that it will be very hard to leave here. We would both like to come back to Venice but the boat is just not suitable for these cold climates and is too uncomfortable. We look forward to a new lot of friends in Barcelona.

Sig "Mary T" Venice Italy
 

Sig was in Barcelona for a long while.
 

JUNE 22
On the hard for a week, Rota Spain

JULY 22, 2002
On the Hard, Rota Spain

SEPT 23, 2002

We have been living on the hard with the engine in cabin for 3 months now and It's getting old.  We sit, high and dry in the cockpit, watching everyone sailing in glorious weather in Cadiz Bay.
Rota, Spain

OCTOBER 2002

We should have the boat back in the water within a month and are still
planning on crossing the Atlantic in December.  The weather windows between
here and the Canaries are getting a little shorter, so we may end up making
a stop in Morocco.
Carol Baardsen
on the hard in Rota, Spain

Cruising notes-
We spent the winter holed up in Sevilla, without moving. Now we have been on
the hard 4 months, mostly awaiting a vibration damper and other parts
parts. The new fuel tank is complete, after 2
months. The folks here give "manana" real meaning. We have sailed 15 miles
in the last year.  I think that I shall go mad.
Sig
 

UPDATE Dec. 19,2002

We are at last arrived in the Canaries. Jerseys, wool caps
and long underwear off for the first time in months. We used just under 5
days from Rota to Graciosa. Thanks to Carol's good weather routing we had a
fast but wet broad reach with force 5, 6 and occasional 7 the whole way with
rain and never a sight of the sun. It was very nice to be sailing again but
very hard after five months on the hard, with the engine in the cabin.

We are in the Marina at Santa Cruz de Tenerife,
Canarias. We have had two days of 50 Knots with squalls of 65+. My
feelings about insurance and marinas are changing. This is the second time
in a month that we have been in a marina that started to break up around
us. This afternoon one of the fingers broke off and sank, leaving the
attached boat in real danger. While in Rota we had a storm that blew over
two boats on the hard and started to break up the pontoons. In nearby
Chipiona 5 boats toppled and the marina broke up completely. The operators
say "an act of God, not our responsibility." Will we be happy to get out
where we can swing to our own hook. We should be off for the Cabo Verdes
next week. No marinas there.
Best wishes for the Holidays to all
Sig MARY T Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canarias