Resumption Last day / It's over ...

ten miles before I can surround the sandbanks and some mud. After that, I sail north for a few miles towards St. Peter and finally head towards east to get to my familiar fairway, having up streaming water and a stiff breeze in my neck. I'd love to cut out the ten miles west this morning. Starting at 7 a.m. the wind gets up to 20 knots, changing to west and I' against the stream. I try to stay calm and shout just for a moment "Bullshit! Why are you doing this? It's my last day! My last day!" The water comes out my ears - this damn sandbank and its surf don't want to end. Am I in time? It could be close…. Damn!
Suddenly the breakwater gets calm and I go towards north. I let my canvas beat for a moment too long. A ribbon broke at the outhaul in the back and the deflection sheave in the front broke totally. I can take the next waves abaft and patch together as good as I can. 5 knots, 6 knots, 7 knots - yeah. That's it! Yes, I'm good in time.

Actually, I'm even a bit fast, so I let it flow for a moment in some calm water five miles in front of Eider-barrier. I relax and enjoy this feeling. The fairway now staggers ... "Go on course now Andreas - this will do!" Now my tears flow and I don't hold them back. "You made it my dear, you made it!" I've talked to the sea so many times - I've screamed to her that my time has not come yet. My hand is gliding through the water now and I'm grateful - incredibly grateful as she knows ... we both know. We've always known - no matter how often we've argued.
At 10:13 a.m. my phone rings. "Where are you? We can't see you!" "I can see you" I reply "My boat is like a clock work - I'll be there in an instant". There are people at the barrier - did they come for me? Bernd came with his cutter. A TV team on board, friends and a circle of acquaintances. This moment is one of the best moments in my life. My sister with her family, Sabrina holding a big transparency, my sons. Much ado about me ... I'm overwhelmed.

With barricades and a tired outboard-motor I reach the barrier where a line of cars is waiting at an open bridge in both directions. At the Eider, Bernd keeps some distance with the TV team and his huge cutter. I have some time for myself for the last few miles. I cry and scream and repair the "Besan-Opti" to arrive under full canvas. I'm just happy. My picture of my homecoming turned into reality. It's almost done. At the harbor-entrance it's just about the limit. It feels like 200.000 people. Wow! My mom… I can see my mom - incredible! She canceled a few days via phone as she couldn't leave her hair salon this day. At 10 a.m. she couldn't stand still however. She cancelled her last customer and left everything behind, locked the salon and drove like the wind to get to the barrier.

Now, the wind brings me to all those people. Tears, laughter, honking ... I've often imagined this moment. But I've never imagined it this overwhelming and heartily. My tour around Europe is over and I had a family in my back that is hard to find alike. Thanks for everything. Without you, I would have never challenged this adventure. I love you very much!

Tönning, 6th August 2013

Andreas Gabriel says "over and out"