New Year’s Crossing to Start our 2023 Möbius Update Dec. 31, 2022

Mobius Atlantic crossing to GrenadaAs I am writing this on New Year’s eve 2022, I’ll start with a spoiler alert that it seemed only fitting for us to celebrate New Year’s eve in our last port on this side of the Atlantic and get 2023 off to a great start by leaving in the morning on New Year’s Day for our Trans Atlantic crossing over to the Caribbean. 

Tangier to Lanzarote route mapOK, now that you know where we are headed, let’s rewind back to where we left off in the last Mobius.World update “On the Run” when we were still in Tangier Morocco patiently waiting for a good weather window to head down south along the West coast of Morocco to the Canary Islands.  It all worked out as I had written in that update and we checked out of Morocco and left Tanja Marina Bay on Wednesday morning the 21st December. 
There was a bit more wind and wave on the nose than the forecast had predicted but it continued to settle down that evening as we made our way West and then turned South for the Canary Islands. 

The conditions that first day gave us the opportunity to become more familiar with our Paravane stabilisation system to see how well it worked to reduce the rolling from the beam (on the side) waves and swell.  This was the first chance I got to test out the latest rigging setup so I was keen to see how it would worked and very happy with the results in the end.

Paravane-working-flow-illustrationAs you may recall from previous posts, Paravanes or “fish” as they are sometimes called are commonly seen on commercial fishing boats as well as a few recreational trawlers and provide a way to reduce the roll of a boat as it follows swell and waves coming at angles of about 45 to 125 degrees of the hull, which means on the beam or sides. 
Canadian plywood   lead paravane WoodFish from Balder VIII on Trawler ForumI used this design from some Canadian fish boats as they were very well suited to a DIY project and would let me experiment with various sizes and setups to find the Goldilocks just right setup and then perhaps make a pair out of all aluminium. 
PXL_20221231_152938309Here is what my finished version 1.o of these paravanes look like when they are all ready to go to work.
A-FrameEach paravane is suspended by fixed length lines of Dyneema from the end of the A-frame booms that we set out at about 45 degrees. 
These fixed length lines going down to the paravanes allow them to run about 6 meters/18 ft under the surface of the water.  As the boat tries to roll to one side that paravane “dives” down and then as the boat tries to roll over to the opposite side the paravane resists being pulled up and thus reduces the amount and speed of the roll.  Super simple all mechanical system.
PXL_20221222_115842543.MPDeployment is very quick and easy, just let the A-frames out by easing off the lines going from the tip of each A-frame over to the top corner of the Arch and then lower the paravanes into the water with the boat stopped or moving slowly. 
PXL_20221221_133016759The design of the paravanes is such that they automatically align themselves and dive down till the fixed length line stops their descent and they start “flying” through the water about 6 meters below the surface.
PXL_20221231_152938309My previous rigging was to have a retrieval line, the white line in the photo above, attached to the top rear corner of the aluminium “fin” and just let this trail through the water out behind the paravanes.  It worked fine but the retrieval was purely manual by hauling in that retrieval line by hand and in anything other than very calm conditions was quite slow and laborious and potentially dangerous so I came up with a different design.
PXL_20221231_153001674Staying with the KISS approach, Keep is Simple & Safe, I simply used these aluminium low friction doughnut shaped rings that we use with our Dyneema lines in many other places on the boat.  Easy to insert them into the orange Dyneema line going down to the paravanes such that this ring would be about a meter above the water and then run the White retrieval line through the ring.
PXL_20221221_133313996.MPIf you look carefully or click to enlarge the photo, you will see that I added a block to the middle of the A-frame and ran the retrieval line through this block and over to the Arch.
PXL_20221231_152916197.MPEasier to see the whole thing when the A-frame is in its vertical stowed position here.  You can see how that White retrieval line goes through the low friction ring, up to the turning block on the A-frame then over to the second turning block attached to the Arch and down to the horizontally mounted winch at the base of the Arch.
PXL_20221221_145032563.MPHere is the best shot I could get of what the whole setup looks line when it is fully deployed and working.  The White retrieval line is kept slack and allowed to trail out behind the paravane so it flies freely.
PXL_20221221_153006964Retrieval now became as simple and as safe as deploying by simply using the winch to pull in the white retrieval line which starts to pick up the tail of the paravane and put it in this neutral vertical position with very low resistance to bring to the surface.
PXL_20221221_153009444I just keep cranking the winch to bring the paravane above the water and up to about level with the deck of the boat where I can use a boat hook to grab the line and pull the suspended paravane onboard.
PXL_20221222_115851399The whole process was very controlled and safe and this setup allows me to retrieve the paravanes without having to fully stop the boat so the whole process takes less than a few minutes and then Christine can take us back up to speed and we continue on our way or head into our anchorage or port.
So how well did these paravanes help stabilize the boat and reduce the roll you ask? 
PXL_20221221_145403785I thought the best way to show this was with this screen of a Roll graph I created on our Maretron N2K View system you see here.  This is a shot of the previous 4 hours and you can see the point a bit right of center where the paravanes went into the water and started working.  Previously on the Left you can see that the roll on the vertical axis was much larger reaching up over 15 degrees side to side and then dropped off noticeably to about 5 degrees or less.  At the time of this photo you can see that the roll was -1.3 degrees, negative being roll to Port, positive to Starboard.
The best way I can describe the effect is that these paravanes don’t eliminate the roll, they dampen it considerably both in degrees of roll and in speed of roll.  There is still some roll but it is now much slower and less “deep” which makes for a MUCH more comfortable motion that makes it easy to move around the boat safely.  I want to be clear that were we to have active stabilizer fins or Magnus effect cylinders, the reduction in roll would be much greater, however that comes with a significant cost in both complexity, price and maintenance.  For now we are very happy with these early trials of our Paravane system and we will continue to learn and test it in different conditions as we travel the world.  If they continue to work as well as these early trials indicate then we’ll just keep on using them.  If not, the hull has been fully framed for active stabilizers if we decide we want to install them at a later date.  I will continue to report the real world data on how well the paravanes work as we venture forward.

PXL_20221231_153019620I will come up with a more permanent storage setup for the Paravanes when they are not in use but for now it is working well to stow them safely out of the way on their sides like this, lashed to the very sturdy AL stanchions with their own lines.

PXL_20221223_150832001As it turned out we didn’t get a chance to use the Paravanes after that first day of our 3 1/2 day passage down to the Canaries as the seas flattened out and no stabilization was needed at all.  Weather WonderWoman Christine had found us yet another great weather window and the rest of this passage was smooth and comfy as could be.  These were our typical sea conditions.  Hard to ask for much better and we even had a bit of a following sea to help us along.
PXL_20221223_114019070As these two crew members can attest.
For those interested in overall passage performance this trip, the total distance was 678.4 NM in 78.2 hours.  Average SoG, Speed over Ground was 8.7 knots and average fuel consumption was 1.76 L/NM.  All numbers which we are eXtremely happy with and will continue to try out different combinations of engine RPM, load and prop pitch to see how these numbers change as we log more and more nautical smiles.

PXL_20221223_113139036.MPOther highlights of this passage include numerous schools of different types of dolphins who joined us for various amounts of time to the squealing delight of the Captain from her perch on the Bow.
IMG_2234We also picked up a few hitchhikers like this rather large squid but they didn’t travel too far with us before heading back to sea.
detailed-map-of-canary-islandsWe had originally intended to head for the northernmost Canary Island of Lanzarote but we were not able to find a berth at the Port of Entry there so we headed over to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria instead.
A bit disponing for us because we had hoped to meet up with David, who we had met years ago on our previous boat Learnativity when we were in Vuda Point marina in Fiji.  David has been following us for a long time now on the bloat and he very kindly reached out to us when he saw that we were heading to the Canaries where he was now working on Lanzarote.  Sorry to miss you this time David but stay tuned for the next opportunity.
IMG_2249And so it was that we pulled into the very large Las Palmas Marina, which is where the ARC rally starts from each year in November.  Even with those 200+ boats now long gone, the marina still only had a few spots but managed to fit us in on the end of the fuel dock you see here.
PXL_20221227_112850606The night after we arrived another low front passed through with some sustained winds over 40 knots which caused a bit of problems for some of the boats inside and outside the marina so we had several of them come in during the middle of the night and this is what the scene looked like in front of us the next morning.  Several more came in after this and we had one tie up alongside us to add one more spot for a few days refuge.  All has been cleared up now but repairs are still underway for damage in the marina and on several of the boats.
IMG_2263Seems like the Canary Island people like to get an early start on celebrating the pending arrival of the New Year and Christine was able to get this shot of the fireworks going off over in the city the other side of the marina last night.  I’m guessing this was just a warm up for the big show tonight so should be quite the celebration for all of us this New Year’s Eve.
Caribbean_general_mapWeather may change our routing but we are currently heading to the south end of the Caribbean islands to St. George’s on the West side of Grenada.
ATLANTIC_CIRCUIT_SAMThis zoomed out view will help provide a better overall picture of the typical routing many boats take for crossing the Atlantic both directions.  Who knows, maybe we’ll just keep going and do the whole loop and end up back over in Europe in a year or two?
Atlantic crossing mapOur intended route from here in Las Palmas over to Grenada will likely be about 2800 NM and should take us somewhere between 13-14 days but of course weather conditions can change that both directions so we’ll just leave it up to Mother Nature to decide.


For now, we eagerly look forward to eXploring the many many islands and experiences awaiting us in the Caribbean which will also be a bit of “back home” for Christine from her many years sailing there since the 90’s. Fist though, we need to send 2022 into the history books and get 2023 started with our first Atlantic crossing in Möbius.

IMG_2266 We have SO much to be grateful for from our experiences in 2022 so we look forward to tonight’s celebration.  We’ll try not to stay up too late, which is pretty easy for us to do, as we intend to throw off the dock lines tomorrow morning and start making our way across the Atlantic.  We want to sincerely thank each of you for all the time you take to join us throughout all our adventures with designing, building and now cruising on Möbius.  It means a lot to both of us to know that so many people are ridging along with us and we hope we can continue to post updates that will want you to keep coming back for more.
We will be off line throughout the crossing so the next update here will be from wherever we land in the Caribbean and I can provide you more details on the passage mid January or so.  Wherever and how ever you celebrate the end of 2022 we wish that 2023 will turn out to be the best year yet for all of us.

Happy New Year to all of you from all of us!

-Wayne, Christine, Barney & Ruby.


On the Run Möbius Update 19 Dec. 2022

Not much change since my last sitrep on our stay here in Tanja Marina Bay in Tangier as we continue waiting for a break in the weather to start our passage South to the Canary Islands. 

However in her most recent Sailingwriter newsletter, Christine has put together a great summary of our travels all the way across the Mediterranean from Kalymnos Island in Greece to here in Tangier so I will let her do a much better job than I ever can of taking you through all the spots we visited along the way with her photos and prose. 


Screenshot Sailingwriter On the RunChristine has really been enjoying publishing her “Sailingwriter” newsletter on Substack so just click on THIS link to read her most recent newsletter “On the Run”. 

* If you would like to automatically receive updates each time Christine publishes a new newsletter on Substack, just click the “Subscribe” button in the top right of the Sailingwriter page.
Tangier to Lanzarote route mapIf the current weather forecast holds we hope to leave Tanja Marina Bay on Wednesday morning the 21st December, to make our way south to the Canary Islands.  This passage will be about 600 nautical smiles (1100km/690 miles) which will likely take us about 3 full days and have us arriving on Christmas eve. 
Depending on weather and timing, we will likely make the most northerly island of Lanzarote our first stop to officially check into this Spanish group of islands. 
Christmas in the Canary Islands has a nice ring to it don’t you think?

detailed-map-of-canary-islandsThere are seven main islands in the Canary archipelago and we hope to visit as many of them as we can while we move West through the Canaries and keep a keen eye on the weather forecasts for the best departure date to begin our two week crossing over to the Caribbean.  We will update you all here when we are in the Canaries before we start our Atlantic crossing so stay tuned for that.

From all of the crew of the Good Ship Möbius our sincere and heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for joining us throughout this past year.  Knowing that you are there and all your comments and questions are a big part of what makes this whole experience so special and rewarding for us and we are truly grateful. 

Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate the upcoming holidays, we wish you great joy and happiness as 2022 ends and we all set our sights on making 2023 the best year yet.

Wayne, Christine, Barney & Ruby

Timing in Tangier Möbius Update Nov 28-Dec 11, 2022

Not too much to report from my side of the past two weeks as we continue to wait for a weather window to open up and let us make the passage south along the West cost of Morocco to one of the Canary Islands from where we will start to cross the Atlantic.  Lots of daily boat projects configuring some of our Maretron monitoring system, dialing in Furuno Radar, adding insulation to fridge/freezers, etc. but nothing too photogenic to show.

However, Captain Christine has been using our extended time in this fascinating city of Tangier to get out and explore so I will mostly share some of her great photos.

PXL_20221127_115032836Picking up where I left off in the last Mobius Update we were exploring “The Rock” aka Gibraltar as the great sunny weather we’ve been having for months for both shoreside explorations and passages continued. 
PXL_20221128_101041284.MPTaking advantage of the good weather, we waved goodbye to Gibraltar as we put it in our wake on Monday the 28th and made our way back across the Straits of Gibraltar heading SW over to Africa and officially out of the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic.
Strait_of_Gibraltar_from_Sentinel-3A_pillarsAs this satellite shot from space shows the Strait is VERY narrow and the only place where all the water of the Mediterranean flows in.
Strait of Gibraltar bathymetricNot surprisingly then this tremendous volume of water flowing for so many years has also made this Strait VERY deep, which makes for some pretty significant and wild currents.
PXL_20221125_043212737Oh, and of course this narrow passage is also the only passage for all ships going In/Out of the western end of the Med so it its a bit busy as well. Each blue triangle on our chart screen is a commercial ship.
PXL_20221128_120314906It was another sunny day with winds below 20 knots most of the passage and you can see the seas starting to churn a bit as we headed West to get over to good spot to turn South and get across the shipping lanes as quickly as possible.
Gibraltar to Tangier crossing mapYou can see this pretty clearly in this screen shot of our actual track coming out of Gibraltar and heading over to Tangier.  With such varied currents and sea conditions our speeds ranged from as slow as 4kts up to 13 and Möbius handled it all eXtremely well and we made the 37nm passage in 5 hours for an average speed of 7.4kts.
Tangier Marina Bay marinaWe entered this lovely Tanja Marina Bay in Tangier where we went through a very smooth checking in procedure before moving over to our spot on N dock which is in the top right end of the photo here.  The marina can hold up to 1400 boats and is relatively new having opened in 2018.
IMG_2119We had heard from other cruisers that the marina was very full due to the poor weather off the coast preventing all the boats trying to get down to the Canary Islands but we were treated to this excellent spot with an empty slot on the Starboard/Right side and nothing on the other.  A good spot for a few days, or so we thought at the time.
weather map Dec 11Mother Nature apparently had different plans in mind for us and our weather maps since just after we arrived have looked like this one, which is from today, Dec. 11th.  We’re looking for Blues 0-10 kts and Greens 10-20 kts but as you can see it is mostly all Yellows and Reds which are winds up to 50+ kts.  These are being caused by a series of Low pressure spots that keep marching East across the Atlantic one after another for the past few weeks with no end in sight yet.
wind color scale from WindyThis legend will give you the details of wind speeds and colours if you’re interested.
Fortunately we live on The No Plan Plan and so the only date we have for making the Trans Atlantic crossing over to the Caribbean is whenever Mother Nature gifts us with a nice Blue slot across.  And so we wait until we see something more like …..
Blue Slot crossing

…. this!  I’ve marked up this forecast weather map for next Saturday 17th December (click to enlarge) to help visualize the difference and what we’re waiting for.  The challenge is that the passage down to the Canary Islands will take about 3 days and then the crossing to the Caribbean will take about 12-16 days so we are waiting until the forecast calls for the typical “Blue slot” or Green with winds behind us, across the Atlantic like the one you can see here, and one that will hold for 2-3 weeks. 
Atlantic sailing routes mapHistorically those are the conditions here from about the end of November through February and hence the time when sailors come to the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic.  But as we are all experiencing no matter where we are, weather patterns are changing and often not following patterns from previous years and so this year we are getting this parade of Lows coming across and so the marina here in Tangier is chock full of boats all waiting like us for the weather window to open up to let us get down to the Canaries or Cape Verde to the south, and then make the Atlantic crossing with good winds and seas. 
Being a power boat we have the significant advantage of being able to go in anything from Blue to Green whereas sailboats want Green winds of up to 20 knots from the side to behind so we will likely be able to leave before many of the other boats here.  But not for at least another week or two by the looks of the current forecasts.
IMG_2161On the flip side, the local weather here in Tangier all last week was beautiful and this is an eXtremely fascinating city with a very long and diverse history so a pretty good spot to be for a few weeks or however long it takes. 
Tangier-circa-1670-1920x1080Being such a strategic location Tangier has been very highly fortified since about the tenth century BC, and all the ensuing occupations since by Romans, Berbers, Greece, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and more. 
IMG_2144Today fortifications like the one in the photo above have been restored and updated such as we saw here.
IMG_2163We spent an hour or so wandering through this sprawling fort with views like this which make it easy to see just how advantageous this location was for defending the Straits.
IMG_2167As we moved further in the historic preservation areas soon transformed into scenes like this with shops of every description on street level and apartments above.
29CEB5AA-A2F5-4B04-BB23-DC4A19B27E2EDiverse does not begin to capture the tremendous variety of everything from architecture and colours to …..
IMG_2172….  butchers ….
IMG_2141…. fish …
1101BB8A-5EE9-4FEA-B951-03672ADFA333… spices ….
IMG_2182… pastries …
4D98BFC1-637D-4186-B5B7-6A43E65FD98E…. and dress. 

I enjoy just taking it all in and observing details of the buildings, the people and the businesses.
IMG_2187Christine is the researcher and she found out that this was where many scenes in the Jason Bourne Ultimatum movie were shot including the Gran Café de Paris scene.
IMG_2189Where she walked there last week for her afternoon coffee.
IMG_2183and to this patisserie with her “Freedom machine” parked out front.
Meanwhile, back at Tanga Marina Bay ……..
IMG_2169We aren’t the only eXpedition type of boat here when this little fellow showed up about a week ago.  Christine met up with the crew on one of her walks and they were very familiar with our boat and some of the similar ones built in by Circa Marine in New Zealand.  I think their “tender” on the back is bigger than Möbius!
Morocco's players pose for a group picture ahead of the second leg of the 2022 Qatar World Cup African Qualifiers football match between Morocco and DR Congo at the Mohamed V Stadium in the city of Casablanca on March 29, 2022. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)The weather may have turned cold and wet this past week but what was really hot was all the celebrations of the Moroccan national football team competing in the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  We are docked beside a long row of cafés and restaurants and the Moroccan fans have been bringing down the house every night their team plays.
Morocco FIFA 2022 team chargeThis is closer to what it looks like inside these spots.  We aren’t much into sports but the story of the Moroccan team is quite incredible being the first team ever from Africa to compete in the World Cup and as of last night’s win over Portugal, who were favored to win the whole tournament apparently, the Moroccan fans have been partying hard and loud ever since.  An amazing story and they play top rated France next so I’m sure that the feverish support will reach all new highs on Wednesday. 
Great timing for us to be in this mix and Go Morocco GO!


So there’s your update from the Good Ship Möbius and I will update again once the weather window arrives and you can join us in the trip South to the Canary Islands.  Till then, thanks for all your comments and questions, please keep them coming and we’ll do our best to keep you entertained and informed.

-Wayne