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01/10/2014

American Spirit II - Day 268; Better Weather and a Good Day Sailing; Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Up at 5:45 AM. A nice sunrise in the offing. Relieved Jeremy at 6:00 AM. At 6:30 AM the wind is 15/17, our speed thru the water is 4.6 and over the ground 5.2 knots. Cloudy, with a little blue sky. On port tack, mainsail only. The wind increases to 20 at the top end a little later. Joel up at 9:05 AM. We turn the generator on at 9:10 AM. Bradley on Alpheratz hosts the 10:00 AM net. Good turnout of boats reporting.Breakfast after the net at 10:30 AM: bacon, scrambled eggs, chilled pear halves and bread. We go to wing on wing at 11:35 AM. The wind is 11/12, and we're making 5.7 knots thru the water and 6.2 over the land. A slight helping current. We're trying to find the propane leak. Think its a hose not a tank. No luck. Joel uses soapy water, drips it on the hose and valve, to see where. read more...


01/10/2014

Celebrate - The Fish Jumped into the Boom! Hey, Diddle Diddle...on Passage to Mauritius

Flying fish jumping onto CELEBRATE everywhere even into the Leisure Furl boom on passage to Mauritius. When we walked around the deck this morning we found 45 stranded on board, they have all been returned to the sea but sadly with the exception of two all were past saving.Peter did a perfect job of helming (scope for improvement in Peter's view) us to a great start away from Cocos with winds driving the boat to speeds of 9 knots.We are now following a similar route to many of our band of boats; Festina Lente, NDS Darwin, Nexus, Alpharatz, Ghost and Folie a Deux, the three of us on board CELEBRATE are on our regular watch schedule with nice Radio Nets and chatter among the boats. Also, its a little wet from a few squalls, but we are looking forward to sunshine soon!Charlie, Cathy and Peter. read more...


01/10/2014

Folie a Deux - Trials and Tribulations – leg 11 Cocos to Mauritius – day 1

Trials and Tribulations – leg 11 Cocos to Mauritius – day 1This leg 11 of 2350 nm [nautical miles] is the second longest leg on the World ARC.For us too.In perspective, for American landlubbers, it'slike driving from Maine to the Florida Keys, or maybe Philadelphia to Las Vegas.This seasoned group faced the challenge.The weather forecast was favorable; 15-20 knot trade winds, seas/waves a bit highSEAS 4-5SWELLS S-SW9-11FT.The waves created a sloppy ‘box’ effect of crisscrossed swells and wind driven waves like potato waffle fries.Winds were a bit more [and less] than advertised. They varied in strength from 5-33 knots in and after squalls. Did we mention they were rain squalls? “Why is it raining only on my watch?” said each as they took their turns. Seasickness takes its toll,. read more...


30/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 267; We Leave Cocos Keeling for Mauritius, Then Return to Direction Island (Briefly) for Repairs; Monday, September 29, 2014

Woke up at 5:20 AM, but stayed in bed until 6:30 AM. At 8:01 AM I noticed that the Rally boat Shaya Mora had hauled someone up their mast in the rain squall. I guess better to do that in the anchorage than under sail. Not sure what their problem was. Breakfast at 7:30 AM: scrambled eggs, potato, chilled pineapple slices and bread. At 8:23 AM I sent out and received some emails on the SSB via Brunei in the Philippines, 1,458 miles away on a bearing of 47 degrees True. After that I typed a log then sent it out via the SSB again. Started the engine at 9:25 AM, then weighed anchor. As we started to motor out of the anchorage in a rain squall and high winds,Jeremy and I both heard a grinding noise emanating from the rear, aft port side of the boat. Didn't know what to think about it. The leg. read more...


30/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 266; Last Day at Direction Island in Cocos Keeling; Sunday, September 28, 2014

Up at 6:45 AM. Joel and Jeremy slept in until 8:25 AM. I put the 10 dozen or so eggs away that we'd bought the day before from the super market in West Island. Only 3 individual eggs were broken, not bad considering the rain and handling the eggs had to endure to make it to the boat. In reading a book about the Cocos Keeling Islands it appears that the islands became a territory of the United Kingdom by mistake. Two islands in the Bay of Bengal were also called 'Cocos' and had requested to become part of the UK, and when the British Admiral overseeing Australia got the orders to 'territorialize' Cocos Keeling, he thought they were the islands in the Indian Ocean 1,000 miles or so from Australia. The order he received did not have the longitude and latitude of the islands in it. Oops. The. read more...


30/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Cocos Islands -->Mauritius - 2.Tag - Ab durch den Indischen Ozean

Gestern um 10 Uhr morgens haben wir uns auf nach Mauritius gemacht (2340 Seemeilen; wir hoffen so zwischen dem 14. und dem 17. anzukommen). Der Start sowie die 2 Tage zuvor waren regnerisch; immer wieder ergoss sich der Himmel auf uns. Wir brauchten gestern vor dem Start 5 Anläufe um unser Dinghy trocken einzupacken. Mit den immer wiederkehrenden Squalls war der Wind auch sehr unstetig - Richtung und Stärke wechselten sehr schnell (fast so schnell wir die französische Regierung;-)). Heute sieht es schon ein wenig besser aus und wir sind guten Mutes:-). Die Stimmung ist gut, wenn auch alle ein bisschen müde zu sein scheinen. Immerhin haben alle mehr als 10 Stunden letzte Nacht/Morgen geschlafen. Das Paradies in Cocos Islands war scheinbar sehr anstrengend;-). Lieben Gruss an alle. Cheers,. read more...


30/09/2014

Nexus - Great start to the leg to Mauritius

It was a rainy and windy night, but the sky cleared briefly for the start of our leg to Mauritius, and we were all off sailing in good wind for the second longest leg. It was a beautiful sight again to see most of the boats sailing together for the first day out. We hung back on jib alone as American Spirit had to turn back to repair their autopilot, but they found the loose wire quickly and were on their way a couple of hours later. Since they were bringing up the rear, Brian announced that anyone they pass would owe them a beer. This concerned me greatly as we are rather fond of our beer, so aided by a full crew again, we rolled out our Gennaker in stiff winds and went from the back of the pack to the front during the first day of sailing...sorry American Spirit! The winds died off. read more...


30/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Back to school again – leg 11 Cocos to Mauritius – day 1

Back to school again – leg 11 Cocos to Mauritius – day 1wow so much has happened in this first day, it took a while to figure where to start, so we’ll break this into a couple of segments.We lost our electronic wind instruments this morning at 5am.We have a windex pointer at the top of the mast which is list at night.Our helm is pretty open, yet we had a lot of rain squalls, so the top helm canopy was closed. It is amazing how good technology can make one complacent. And how broken technology can help one to appreciate those around you.The World ARC provides a superb learning environment. 1. Everyone is supportive and wants to help each other. 2. The collective knowledge on important subjects is large. 3.And old technology of an open vhf communication provides a level of transparency. read more...


29/09/2014

Starblazer - 30/09/2014 – A tale of 2 days

Sunday was horrible, wet all day with no regular wind pattern so we motored. The sun briefly glowed among the clouds just above the western horizon, putting in an apology for an appearance better late than never.At least it suggested the weather was clearing!It finally stopped raining at about 1900.The sprayhood and the bimini, which I’d waterproofed in St Lucia, decided to go into sieve mode (as in the similie ‘leaking like a sieve’) so the cockpit and occupants were soaked.The rain hadn’t quite finished with us as I ran through a short but very heavy shower shortly before midnight. John had spotted it on radar, a cell about 12 miles wide and 3 miles deep. Avoiding it was not an option.Later on during the night John managed to dodge a second one, which was smaller.The other downside of. read more...


29/09/2014

Celebrate - Off to Mauritius

Our stop over in paradise has drawn to a close and at 10:15 this morning we crossed the starting line for the next leg to Mauritius some 2300 miles away.On Saturday we took the ferry to West Island to clear out with the police and customs and do a community farm tour. A group of residents were disillusioned withwhat the local authority were doing with their state run land so they leased a section to grow fruit and spices (including lemon grass). The group also collect sea salt and coconut palm oil and are now making and sellinglots of beauty and condiment products. After the farm visit we went to a clam farm,they export colourful clams to aquariums all over the world. The owner John is a Cluny Ross and direct descendant of the former ruling family and a very interesting character. We. read more...


Flomaida II - Mittagspause bei der Fahrradtour- leckere Hühnerspieße!
Flomaida II - Mittagspause bei der Fahrradtour- leckere Hühnerspieße!
Flomaida II - Endlich haben wir Rollen gefunden zum leichteren Dinghitransport am Strand!
Flomaida II - Endlich haben wir Rollen gefunden zum leichteren Dinghitransport am Strand!
29/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 265; A Trip to West Island & a Lot of Rain; Saturday, September 27, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM.Breakfast at 7:15 AM: bacon, scrambled eggs, chilled fruit cocktail and bread. We left the boat at 8:30 AM; and the ferry picked us up at 9:00 AM for the trip to West Island. Almost all the crews from all the Rally boats were on the ferry. We brought our empty propane tank with us because I had been told that we could get it filled at the super market on the island. We arrived at West Island around 9:30 AM, and after being driven in a small bus to town, we walked to the police station to get our passports stamped and pick up our clearances out of Cocos Keeling. Next to the police station was a building with wall pictures and information stating that it was the location of the island's golf course; and that since you had to play along or between the runways, you had to get. read more...


28/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands - hello and farewell

Folie a Deux was lucky, the torrential rains had stopped around 3am, the drizzle stopped around 6am, then the winds picked up from 25 to 35knots…..ok, that’s what we call lucky….’land ho’ of cocos keeling islands was at dawn.The rest of the fleet would face stiffer winds and waves in the next two days.We were able to pick our way in with the World ARC waypoints and of course our eyes.Even as a catamaran with a shallow draft we are concerned with depths, reefs, and coral heads. Some are navigational concerns, in Cocos Direction Island, the coral heads are anchoring concerns.One must do everything possible to conserve the coral, so a visual approach is imperative. We were the second World ARC boat, joining 9 other yachts already in the anchorage.We leave in the morning for a two week. read more...


Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands  - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands  - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands  - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands  - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands - hello and farewell
Folie a Deux - Cocos Keeling Islands  - hello and farewell
28/09/2014

Free & BrEasy - Keeling over the Cocos Islands

After a taxing passage from Christmas Island, we anchored off an idyllic coconut tree fringed, crescent shaped sandy beach in Port Refuge, Direction Island in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The passage had been bumpy and fraught with the autohelm problem - if you watched it like a hawk it behaved but the moment you relaxed, it switched itself off! After nearly a week without showers the cleansing azure sea in Port Refuge was heaven sent!On our passage we ended the Free & Breasy Whale Drought. Other boats have been reporting whale sightings all around Australia but apart from one very distant fluke sighting, we have seen nuthin! The sighting started with the observation, a little ahead, of something brown in the water that looked like floating sea weed. As we approached we could see a. read more...


28/09/2014

Starblazer - 28/09/2014 – The annoying, the puzzling and the downright dangerous!

Before you read on, please be assured we are fit, well and unharmed, just a little soggy because it has rained for the past 16 hours!Yesterday, Saturday, passed much like Friday, with a mixture of motoring, motorsailing and sailing.The afternoon was punctuated by three events.I’ll deal with them in time order.Annoying: John decided to make some more water so started the generator then started the water maker.Within 5 minutes the water maker stopped because the generator had stopped, showing an ‘engine overheat’ warning light.It won’t suck up the cooling water even though John primed the system so he suspects the impeller but that will have to wait until the main engine is cool enough to lay on!Annoying/downright dangerous:I started to prepare dinner, potatoes on to boil and beef. read more...


28/09/2014

Firefly - Awaiting wind and rain in Esema Bay, Efate, Vanuatu

Firefly is tucked into the anchorage at Esema Bay awaiting some bad weather. A small system is due to pass over central Vanuatu between midday and about 2200 today (Sunday 28th September) and from the recently downloaded GRIBs it is forecasted to get wet and windy. This blip in the normal great weather has been expected for some time so we have found what we hope is a well sheltered place with good holding - its near a river mouth so the ground is mud and sand and the depth is about 8 metres - this is a much better choice than a deeper anchorage with a coral strewn bottom which is much less predictable.Coming from Erramango, we arrived on Efate at the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila. We spent 2 days there getting hooked up to the internet and re provisioning. We met up with World ARC. read more...


Flomaida II - Kunst an der Promenade von Nouméa
Flomaida II - Kunst an der Promenade von Nouméa
Flomaida II - Eine Seeschlange, die sehr giftig ist, jedoch nicht agressiv- so sagt man!!!
Flomaida II - Eine Seeschlange, die sehr giftig ist, jedoch nicht agressiv- so sagt man!!!
Flomaida II - So schön!
Flomaida II - So schön!
Flomaida II - Moräne, die hungrig aussieht
Flomaida II - Moräne, die hungrig aussieht
Flomaida II - Wer ist das? Hab es noch nicht rausbekommen
Flomaida II - Wer ist das? Hab es noch nicht rausbekommen
Flomaida II - Ziemlich gruselig manchmal die Unterwasserwelt!
Flomaida II - Ziemlich gruselig manchmal die Unterwasserwelt!
Flomaida II - Der Tigerhai sieht doch freundlich aus!
Flomaida II - Der Tigerhai sieht doch freundlich aus!
Flomaida II - Volksfest in Nouméa
Flomaida II - Volksfest in Nouméa
Flomaida II - Komfortables Krankenbett auf der "Wies'n"
Flomaida II - Komfortables Krankenbett auf der
Flomaida II - Alles handgenäht und handgefädelt
Flomaida II - Alles handgenäht und handgefädelt
Flomaida II - Diese Art Hütte ist "tabu" für uns
Flomaida II - Diese Art Hütte ist
Flomaida II - Was so alles auf einem Steinhaufen wächst! Tiara, das Wahrzeichen der Südsee
Flomaida II - Was so alles auf einem Steinhaufen wächst! Tiara, das Wahrzeichen der Südsee
Flomaida II - Große Wäsche meiner Sommergarderobe.
Flomaida II - Große Wäsche meiner Sommergarderobe.
Flomaida II - Nachbarschaftshilfe von Gerd von der Lazy Lady
Flomaida II - Nachbarschaftshilfe von Gerd von der Lazy Lady
Flomaida II - Wer hat wohl Vorfahrt? Nouméa, das Surfer und Kiter Paradies
Flomaida II - Wer hat wohl Vorfahrt? Nouméa, das Surfer und Kiter Paradies
Flomaida II - Haben wir uns da nach Südfrankreich gebeamt??? Nein, es ist Nouméa/Neu Kaledonien
Flomaida II - Haben wir uns da nach Südfrankreich gebeamt??? Nein, es ist Nouméa/Neu Kaledonien
27/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 264; Laundry on Direction Island, the Dingy Drifts Away & a Visit to Home Island; Friday, September 26, 2014

Up at 6:54 AM. Sunny. The wind was out of the east and the wind speed was down from previous days. Because the wind overnight was blowing too hard our wind turbine did not charge up the batteries like we'd hoped. As I started to cook breakfast our propane tank hit 'empty'; so we switched to another one. Later, Jeremy smelled propane and after checking the hose and valve we determined that we did have a small leak. So henceforth, we'll have to turn off the propane at the tank after using the stove. This is irritating but until we stop the leak we'll have to do so. Breakfast at 9:20 AM consisted of scrambled eggs; potato; chilled mango slices; and bread. Brian from Folie a Deux joined us for breakfast and then went to work on 'enhancing' our fishing equipment. We have been having a hard. read more...


27/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 263; Historic 'Tour' of Destination Island, Swimming with Sharks & Sun Downer Party on Beach; Thursday, September 25, 2014

Up at 7:10 AM. Sunny. Breakfast at 8:10 AM: scrambled eggs; potato; chilled mango slices; and bread.At 8:30 AM Nexus picked up 8 of our jerry cans - 5 full with diesel and 3 empties. They were going to go to Home Island for fuel for us and a bunch of other boasts. At 8:58 AM I typed up a log. As I was doing this Jeremy called from the cockpit to announce that a sea turtle was swimming by the boat. From the cockpit we saw the turtle raise its head 3 times out of the water to gulf air, then submerge and disappear. At 9:47 AM I tried to send out a log and emails but kept getting disconnected, so I stopped. Will have to do later or tomorrow. At 10:30 AM Joel was picked up by Jonathan from Merlyn of Poole to go work on their generator and alternator problems again. Jeremy and I picked up. read more...


26/09/2014

Celebrate - Enjoying a bit of Paradise

Well apart from those boats having technical problems island life has dropped a few gears and everyone is enjoying the peace and beauty of the place.This has not always been the case; a trip tothe museum on Home Island outlines a very interesting history. The owners of the island for some 200 years originally from Scotland appear to have run the place like a slave colony importing Malaysians as workers on the coconut palm plantations . The family isolated the residents of Home Islandfrom its neighbors. A walk around the island and you see some evidence of this history with warehouses and copra drying sheds. Oceania House where the ruling family lived still sits out on a headland commanding views of the coast and what remains of the plantations on Home and South Island. Despite selling. read more...


25/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 262; A Slow Day in Cocos Keeling; Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Up at 5:30 AM. Sunrise over Direction Island was cloud impaired. No surprise there. The wind turbine kept us charged up overnight. About time. I spent 20 minutes looking for the key for the dingy motor this morning. I had taken it off the dingy the night before because I was afraid it might get blown off the boat or float off if the dingy flipped over. I finally found it under a pile of sandals in the aft cockpit. This key is magnetic and is needed to start our electronic motor. Breakfast at 7:30 AM. Scrambled eggs; cut up potatoes; mandarin oranges; and raisin bread. Joel had an 'Joel truism' to share over breakfast: 'Fixing your boat in exotic locations - a definition of cruising.'A number of work projects today: fixing the battery generator terminal; fixing the washing machine;. read more...


24/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 261; Jeremy Has a Unique Pringle Experience and We Arrive at Cocos Keeling; Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Up at 5:00 AM after a good night's sleep. Joined Jeremy in the cockpit. During his 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM watch, while eating a can of Pringles, a wave slapper hit the side of the boat and filled the Pringles can with salt water. Instead of 'fire in the hole' its 'water in the (Pringles) can!' Some stuff you can't make up. Really. Who would have ever thought that it was even possible for a wave to do that? Come on! At 5:16 AM I could see the lume of Cocos Keeling 16.3 miles away. We were going too slow so I let some mainsail out. Boingo Alive was 1.7 miles ahead of us and Sweet Pearl 1.9 miles behind. At 5:30 AM I called Sweet Pearl on the VHF radio and chatted with Tom about their plans on entering the anchorage. The sun rose above the clouds at 7:30 AM. About the same time Boingo Alive. read more...


24/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 260; Almost There , We're Still Getting 'Pooped' & Our Chart Plotter Chip Reader Fails; Monday, September 22, 2014

On the 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM watch Jeremy got pooped once. At 6:00 AM the wind was 20-25 knots instead of 25-30. Still rough out. The moon was setting in the east; and it was 26 hours to Cocos Keeling. Our speed was 5.3 knots. I slept OK during the night, but it was hot; sweated a lot due to no air circulation in the boat. You can't open a hatch because hundreds of gallons of sea water would then enter the boat. The sunrise was at 7:15 AM Bali start time. The sun rose above the horizon's clouds at 7:30 AM. At 8:27 a 'slapper' wave got me and sent water up to the cockpit hatch opening. We turned the generator on at 8:40 AM. Even though the hydro generator was in the water, since we had slowed the boat for a daytime entry into Cocos Keeling, we weren't going fast enough to generate all the. read more...


24/09/2014

Starblazer - 24/09/2014 - Espiritu Santo

On Monday we had a great sail from Ambrym to Espritu Santo.It's about 60 miles so we started early (0630) to ensure arriving in daylight.The recommended anchorage, just off Luganville, promised to be bumpy as the south easterly winds blows right in so we headed to the north shore of Aore Island which is more sheltered.Four yachts were on buoys in front of the Aore Resort but the only other pick-up looked decidedly dodgy!We motored along a bit until we inched our way into 9 metres where we dropped the anchor.The underwater profile is very steep, from 30+ metres to less than 1 in a very short distance.To further complicate matters, the holding is poor because the bottom has a lot of coral.We finally set the anchor but had an uncomfortable night, worrying if we were likely to drift inshore. read more...


24/09/2014

Nexus - Enjoying Cocos Keeling Islands

The water is crystal clear and blue with white sand bottom, and the beaches are beautifully lined with palm trees and jungle. We spent part of the day doing boat work to prepare for our upcoming 2,300 nm voyage but took time for sundowners on the beach with the other crews both nights, and dinner with American Spirit on board NEXUS. We've added a fourth crew member, Finnbar from New Zealand, who is a 22 year old fine arts major with a passion for photography and sailing. We are really enjoying having him on board, he helped us big time with boat work yesterday, and last night he hitched a ride on a police boat to one of the other islands with another young German crew member, and enjoyed a night on the town and either camping or couch surfing for the night. We hope to see him sometime. read more...


23/09/2014

Celebrate - A walk around Direction Island Cocos Keeling

We have been at anchor in this island paradise for a few days. It has been quite breezy (25-30 knots) so our movements have been limited but we have had a chance to explore both Direction Island and nearby Home Island.Direction Island is now uninhabited but has a very rich history. At the beginning of the 1900s a submerged communicationscable was laid between South Africa and Australia connecting UK to the colonies . Cocos was the location of a manned cable station (a sort of terminal) and later a cable was run up to Singapore connecting Asia as well. The cable came ashore inCottesloe, Perth WA (I thought our Perth friends and ex Cottesloe residents would appreciate this)During the First World War the station was blown up by a German cruiser Emden which was later sunk by an Australian. read more...


Flomaida II - Tradition und Moderne- Wäsche gibt es auch hier "en masse"
Flomaida II - Tradition und Moderne- Wäsche gibt es auch hier
Flomaida II - Der Friedhof von Lifou
Flomaida II - Der Friedhof von Lifou
Flomaida II - So eine schöne Kirche!
Flomaida II - So eine schöne Kirche!

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