M.A.R.I.N. return journey became tightly timed with weather patterns. Storm fronts going over Northern Ireland and Scotland, towards Scandinavia had 3 days between them of sailable weather. To make the timewindow, we sailed 24/7 to the Caledonian Canal, and through it with one night sleep over, and headed non-stop past Inverness to the North Sea. Westerly winds went up to 18 m/s at the open sea, waves at 4-5 meters took our vessel safely and swiftly to Denmark. 7 hours after we reached land, the storm arrived. With few hours of sleep, we left in the early hours through Limfjord Canal to open waters in Skagerrak. With the sky clearing up, we thought the storm was over. However, at night time in bright moonlight, winds went up to 24 m/s and our catamaran cruised at max 16.6 knots down the waves. After the more intense wind was over, 17 m/s felt like a tea brake.
Due to the winds and rapid transit mode, the last part of the journey which was to be transit mode anyhow, was not ok for looking at a computer screen at any length of time. Hence logging data on this trip was not an option. As a sailing experience, it proved that the boat can do auto pilot mode well up to 20 m/s and at higher winds with hand steering, it behaves still very well.
I managed to pack all the gear into my car and drive from Niva harbour via Stockholm to Turku and onto Helsinki.
The project will be still developed further over the next months, but the actual new research and residency season will start in April/May in 2010 with the focus on the Baltic Sea.