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04/11/2014

Tom Tom - Day 1

Entered Gulf Stream around 4am. Sea temperature at start Of rally was 59 degrees and it is now 79 and the air temp is 78 with blue skies and deep blue seas.Ran single watches so crew well rested. SSB somewhat challenging, receiving but not transmitting. . read more...


04/11/2014

Abigail - Abigail - Day1

Yesterday was a beautiful sailing day.After the start we had a light air spinnaker run out Chesapeake Bay and down the Virginia coast.At dusk the wind briefly died and then began to build slowly.After awhile we were sailing at 9 knots and decided it was time for a reef.A few hours later (around midnight) the wind build to 25 knots and we tucked in a second reef in the main.  Now, at about 1000 on Tuesday, the wind is back down to 13 knots and we have shaken out the reefs and have made it across the gulf stream.We all are enjoying a beautiful sail, although I think Bernie and Pat, who just came off watch, will soon be enjoying some well deserved sleep. All in all Abigail is a happy yacht after the first day of its adventure to the BVI, . read more...


04/11/2014

Corsair - Corsair update

After a light wind spinnaker start out of the Chesapeake, winds improved about 17:00 and continued throughout the night. Tuesday morning we began our crossing of the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras.We were fortunate to be just ahead of Naval operations including an aircraft carrier. Several of the boats behind us have been asked to divert either east or southwest o avoid the Naval operation.  One of our fleet "Hearts Desire" issued a Pan Pan early this morning reporting engine problems. Tom Rose and Crew signing off and waiting for morning radio roll call.. read more...


04/11/2014

Folie a Deux - you say frittatta, i say fritattoe

The indian ocean gave us a 'nasty taste' last night. a high pressure cold front came thru yesterday at 430pm local as we were sailing southwest around Madagascar.winds shifted from the NW at 10 knots to the S at 30 knots as the clouds and rain raced over folie a deux.We were able to get a reef in the main and the jib, then the 'Mad Hatter teacup ride' ensued till this morning around 4-6am.Our little Lagoon 380 was built to handle these type of Caribbean charter conditions and we actually caught up to some of our WORLD ARC fleet which had been motoring.Our crew, well that's another story.They were excellent[all stood watch],yet drenched, chilled to the bone and exhausted......Oh, but so well fed!!Luckily, we are always ready, the 'larder' is always full!. We were well prepared yesterday. read more...


03/11/2014

Exjuvantibus - Letzte Vorbereitungen

Badehose eingepackt, Proviantliste erstellt, Batterien geladen... Wirglauben, wir sind jetzt dann bereit! So langsam brennt es unter demFuudi. Freuen uns wenns los geht!Alpae. read more...


04/11/2014

Club Carp - Ascending the mast

Good morning,We learned something new at the start line: don't hoist your spinnaker too high or it will get jammed.Result: the Captain gets a herky-jerky ride up our 72-foot lightning rod, which comes with a bonus birds-eye view of our competition.And while our competitors looked mighty fancy at the start, we definitely made some good headway overnight in 20-25 knot winds.Our first round of night shifts was reasonably uneventful, with the "no spooning" rule in full effect and any "sleep walkers" receiving a code red.  As of this morning, we entered the balmy gulf stream, with the water temp jumping from 56 to 72 degrees, and celebrated with pancakes.Along with the high seas, the Captain had to navigate a small "coffee-shortage rebellion." Fortunately, the coffee reserves were. read more...


Club Carp - Ascending the mast
Club Carp - Ascending the mast
04/11/2014

Nexus - Rounding Madagascar in lumpy seas

Well, the winds came back and we had a boisterous sail over the last 24 hours, with confused seas and reversing currents and an epic squall line! We sailed up to what looked like a line of steady rain on radar, and as we sailed through the veil the wind rose to 25kts and it rained on us...no big deal. Then suddenly in the clear air behind it, the wind reversed 180degrees and peaked at 42kts in the other direction! We did a nice pirouette along with it, rode it for a while as we took the sails down, and sailed on with a sliver of jib out on the other side. It was a lumpy night with a few seasick crew, but today things look a bit calmer and we're sailing West as we round the bottom of Madagascar. We're pretty much alone now, as Darwin cut the corner on the bottom of Madagascar last night. read more...


04/11/2014

Sweet Pearl - Mauritius -->Richards Bay - 4. Tag - Madagaskar

Wir sehen Madagaskar zwar nicht, aber wir sind ganz nahe:-).Heute hatten wir viel Regen und viel Wind; eine Front zieht durch. Dies sollte aber morgen schon bereits vorbei sein. Mal schauen. Ansonsten gibts nicht viel Neues. Der Segelalltag hat sich auf der Sweet Pearl eingependelt: morgens Frühsport (Segeln), dann Segeln (Professionell), zum Lunch nach Downtown ins Schiffsinnere, am Nachmittag Sightseeing an Deck und Blauwassersegeln und am Abend ein Snack und ins Kino;-). Cheers, Tom. read more...


04/11/2014

Aviva - Boiling along

After a slow start slogging in light wind plus two instrument failures wonderfully debugged by Fred, we are boiling along at 6.5 knots in 11 knots of wind toward the Gulf Stream. Today featured meals prepared by each of us. We don't mind that we are almost last ... we are just happy we have chartplotter and autopilot operational and are well fed!Beautiful moon up there, too. Oh yes - dolphins!. read more...


03/11/2014

Lone Star - Class A - Start plus 30 minutes.

Having fun stealing wind!photo. read more...


Lone Star - Class A - Start plus 30 minutes.
Lone Star - Class A - Start plus 30 minutes.
03/11/2014

Abigail - Abigail - A beautiful day to start a rally

Well we're off!It was well worth waiting a day.We have a beautiful sunny day with west winds of about 12 knots.Our start was a bit sloppy.We were late at the pin on a downwind start and got rolled by most of the fleet.But we recovered quickly and began making up ground.We have now exited the Chesapeake and are sailing under spinnaker toward the Gulf Stream were things could be a little bouncy with left over swells from the storm that just passed by.Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to the passage.. read more...


03/11/2014

Alchemy - Alchemy has Set Sail

It's been an intense and challenging few days. Only fours days before the start of the Caribbean 1500 rally to Tortola, BVI, we discovered a fracture in our headstay chainplate. Somewhat important, as it keeps the mast up.After heroic efforts by the crew, Scott, Jere, Rick and Jim, we have  five new chainplates fitted and a well-found boat ready for offshore.As the sun starts sinking towards the horizon, we chase the fleet, past Navy aircraft carriers and out of the Chesapeake Bay.We are ready for offshore, and excited for the 1400 mile passage to Tortola in the BVI's.Alchemywww.sailingwithkids.net. read more...


Heart's Desire - The Crew
Heart's Desire - The Crew
03/11/2014

Club Carp - We're Off

After resupplying with the "appropriate" amount of rum, Club Carp is ship shape and ready for the high seas!We left our slip at 9:45am EST and are now headed to the starting line.Bring on the competition!Dog quote of the day #1: "The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you."DSC_0818. read more...


Club Carp - We're Off
Club Carp - We're Off
03/11/2014

Time Bandit - Flight of the Eagle

OK. It's beginning to look and feel like we're heading for the start of something big. Since the summer we've been spotting occasional ARC flags in anchorages and marinas around the Med and Morocco. Once we arrived here in Las Palmas, every day or two another ARC flag flying boat would turn into the welcome dock. Slowly over the last week once or twice a day has turned almost hourly. A few ARC flags flying has turned into a forrest of masts and flags. One or two individual sailors peering into their laptops in the bars has morphed into what looks like an "Introduction to Computers" class for the newly retired with a dozen or more grey haired folk playing the Flight of the Eagle as their fingers hover and swoop over the keyboard searching fruitlessly once again for the Q. We've. read more...


03/11/2014

GEM - GEM Blog Entry - Day 0

After a one day delay due to extremely high winds and seas off of Cape Hatteras we are prepping to get underway.Jim Underwood is checking on deck to ensure nothing is left to chance.Craig Simmons is making sandwiches and thinking about dinner.My son, Jay is cleaning/polishing the bimini windows.  Grant has just arrived from his place in Norfolk and I am penning this to you all.You can feel the excitement throughout the fleet, some boats in the Open class have left early since they are not being timed.It’s about 1 hour till we leave the dock and the crew is eager to get going.Looks like a light air day, clear blue skies, forecast is for 61.Should be a smooth start.We depart with the other multihulls at ~11:50 in the first wave.We’ll motor out to the start area which is inside the. read more...


03/11/2014

Corsair - Blog entry for Corsair on Carib 1500

Finally, departure day! Bright sun,crisp, light air. After hot breakfast, final deck check and topping up water Corsair is ready to go.photo. read more...


Corsair - Blog entry for Corsair on Carib 1500
Corsair - Blog entry for Corsair on Carib 1500
03/11/2014

Celebrate - On passage to South Africa

We with 6 other boats left a day early from Reunion to make best use of the weather forecast. So far it has paid off as we have enjoyed good following winds, at night a full moon to guide us and some pretty phosphorescence. Listening to the radio net the boats starting as originally planned appear to have been doing lots of motoring.World ARC gave us an advisory waypoint keeping us 100 miles South of Madagascar and some less bumpy seas. We are now about 100 miles from this waypoint and are already experiencing some adverse current, stronger windsand some bumpy seas but hope we will miss the worst of it.There is some positive news on the fishing front. The lures that Brian from Follie a Deux and Tom from Alpharatz helped us with appear to be working. Most of first lure we set got eaten by. read more...


03/11/2014

Aviva - Today's the day!

It's a bright, sunny, day in Portsmouth, 41 degrees (brrr!), gentle west wind.Mark has cooked us scrambled eggs with leftover venison and potatoes for breakfast.Then we'll muster, unhook electricity, return bathroom keys, empty trash, and we're off!Two hours to the starting line, then we'll head for the Gulf Stream looking forward to some warmer temps on the other side!. read more...


03/11/2014

Lone Star - Final Night in Portsmouth

Cooked chicken and sausage gumbo that was perfect on this cold night.Nobody complained about not getting to walk to and from dinner in this wind.The forecast is for a low of 34 degrees tonight.Can't think of a better time to be going sailing.If the weather forecast holds we will leave the dock at 1000 tomorrow morning to get to Hampton Roads for the start at 1205.Everybody is excited and the guys are looking forward to fishing when we cross the Gulf Stream Wednesday morning.We are hoping to catch a tuna that actually has a complete body this time.The last one we caught was in the Tobago Cays and it provided a lot of excitement until something bigger decided to have a snack before we got it on the boat.The picture shows Stacey and me with what was left. He is also holding a hand line that. read more...


Lone Star - Final Night in Portsmouth
Lone Star - Final Night in Portsmouth
02/11/2014

Zulú - DIA -20

Hemos adquirido las balizas AIS para completar la seguridad en caso de hombre al agua. Parecen sencillas de usar. Con un par de ellas, que se irán colgando en los chalecos de los que estén de guardia, reducimos los riesgos considerablemente. Esperemos que no haya ocasión de utilizarlas.Por otro lado han quedado establecidos los turnos de guardia, tras las mejoras operadas sobre una primera versión de los mismos. La idea es que haya siempre dos personas de guardia en turnos de tres horas, que van rotando. Cada tres días, cambia la secuencia de las horas de guardia asignadas a cada tripulante, de modo que se distribuyan equitativamente las buenas horas y las no tan buenas.Fernando va a aprovechar  un vuelo previo a Las Palmas para acarrear algunas cosas de incómodo transporte con el. read more...


Zulú - DIA -20
Zulú - DIA -20
02/11/2014

Crazy Horse - Sunday 11/02/2014

Sunday. They cancelled the start of the 1500 today. We are planning  and staying positive for a go on Monday. The winds and waves were enough for a rough nights sleep-even at the dock. Safest thing to postpone due to the wild winds and waves. First night out is always an adjustment so it would have really been a challenge crossing the Gulf Stream in the weather we had from the buildup of the wind and waves today. what a difference a day can make! The crew from CrazyHorse spent another day at the mall stocking up on hats, movies, and fast food. It will be nice to get to warmer temps once again. The eastern standard time is always an issue this time of year. we fell back due to the time change of fall and then when we get out on the ocean we spring forward again. I don't understand it. read more...


02/11/2014

American Spirit II - Day 300; Departure for Richard's Bay, South Africa 1,400 Nautical Miles Away; Saturday, November 1, 2014

Our 300th day away from home. We'll be going home for Christmas in 46 days (December 17) and home for good in 183 days (May 2, 2015).Up at 6:30 AM. Breakfast at 7:45 AM: bacon, eggs, chilled fruit cocktail and bread. Joel from Rally control passes out a French baguette to each boat. Nice touch, Joel. I depart the wharf at 8:30 AM to return our rental car; and return at 9:20 AM, driven back to the wharf by the rental car manager.Joel and Jeremy have the boat ready to go, and we cast off from the wharf at 9:46 AM. The start of this 1,400 nautical mile leg is between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. We cross the starting line at 10:01 AM, and a mile later at 10:12 AM the clock for our leg starts. Along the way we pass a 'rope nest,' an assortment of 1 to 2 inch rope all wound and lumped together,. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Delayed start

Having listened to the wind howling all night, we were very relieved to hear Andy's decision in the 9AM broadcast to delay the start until Monday at noon.  By then we should still have wind in a favorable direction with less punch and seas that are diminishing.  We are even provided with suggested entry and exit coordinates for the Gulf Stream to have the shortest point to cross it and take advantage of the currents and eddies.  It's all very fascinating stuff and has been the topic of many a discussion on board Second Wind.  It has been a long time since most of us took geometry and used vectors so William has been trying to educate us!So, we now have a free day.  WOW, this is a first!  What shall we do?  Maybe take the ferry over to Hampton Roads,. read more...


02/11/2014

Windswept - our first blog

Arrived at boat onWednesdayall the crew isnow here Sunday departure looked iffy due to nw gale / stormDennis, John,Meridith and Terry is the fine Crew for this adventure.We enjoyed all the events and rally. Great seminars with lots of valuable information. ----Great party Thursday at Roger Browns with bare foot Davis band.."A Tribute to Steve Black" the founder of the Carib1500.This is the 25th running of this rally and his lengend lives on.Friday night was another great send off party with all the great food, drinks , and especally the fellowship with the other rally participants.Great job Rally organizers and a special thanks to Andy and MiaAriel of the boats at Portsmouthhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfpLsiWoSMw&feature=youtu.beDue to weather we are delayed one day but it was a. read more...


Windswept - our first blog
Windswept - our first blog
02/11/2014

Winedown - Blustery day!

This is my first attempt at blogging. We've been in Portsmouth VA. making preparations for the start of this trek to the Caribbean for over a week now. Because of the conditions, freezing, 30-50 knots of wind!, our start is delayed until tomorrow noon. When the shrimp boat at port stays in, thats a pretty good indicator that you don't want to be out there.  We are a crew of four, Myself, Dale, Tim Berchard (a long time friend and experienced sailor) and David Grove who is one of the original Salty Dogs and has made this crossing 8 times. We feel fortunate to have such experienced hands aboard! Considering the newness of the boat and its owners, were hoping all systems are operational and stay that way. Check in again for the start tomorrow!Debbie. read more...


02/11/2014

Bahati - Hello Las Palmas - 21 day before start

We​ arrived on friday, Okt. the 3., in Las Palmas and we started on the 1. of may in Heiligenhafen, Baltic Sea, Germany. We made this trip in 6 stages. On our webside www.sy-bahati.de you can read about this trip (german) orwatch the videos. Now we are looking forward to start our adventure and to meet a lot of like-minded people. ​LasPalmas. read more...


Bahati - Hello Las Palmas - 21 day before start
Bahati - Hello Las Palmas - 21 day before start
02/11/2014

Second Wind - Saturday in Portsmouth

Sat 29 October At 5am in darkness we slipped our mooring and motored out of the creek, following the navigation lights through the buoyed channel to the open bay. Chesapeake Bay is a major shipping area for tankers and container ships heading to and from Baltimore and other ports in Delaware and Maryland, serving the East Coast.They are generally travelling at 30 knots plus, so appear out of nowhere quite quickly. Since they are highly unmanoeuvrable, we made several alterations to our course to make sure we weren't in their path.Some called us on our ship VHF radio to check our plans and let us know theirs, which is very helpful.They are able to do this because all commercial ships now carry AIS transceivers which identify other vessels with AIS by name, and giving course and. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Liver and Onions

28 October It's amazing how everything just comes together in the nick of time :-)At this point it must be said that the boat looks gorgeous with its smart teak decks, the result of months of hard labour by Howard, and everything is fitted and sound to ensure our safe passage.The safety inspection next week will be a good measure of what still needs attention, but I think we are confident that the major items are in excellent shape.It just looks like a boat that should be taken into the ocean and we've enough provisions aboard to cross the Atlantic west to east.We spent our first night in our old favourite Annapolis, setting off around midday after completing all shore tasks.There was a lovely following breeze and the boat kept a good pace, so we arrived in good time.From there, we. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Customs and immigration

Entering and leaving countries by private yacht is interesting. In fact we Europeans are not allowed to enter the USA as a normal tourist, and had to get visas to fly in. When arriving by boat, the boat's home country flag must be flown at the stern of the boat, the new country flag flown high up in the rigging, and the yellow 'Q' flag for quarantine flown below it. Only the skipper is allowed ashore, taking all passports to the customs office, to be inspected, have them stamped, possibly have the boat inspected too, and be given permission to take down flag Q and to disembark. It has been known for yachts to be impounded or sent back!When leaving, again the skipper visits customs taking passports for exit stamps, before being given permission to leave. We have all completed this today. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Weather to Sail

Friday Morning, weather briefing.  Even Patrick in Australia texted to say it's a cliffhanger  :-)So far we know we're not leaving on Saturday, and probably not on Sunday, but we have all to be ready to go then.  As soon as this deep Low passes through, we are off.  The weather will be good to carry us across the Gulf Stream before the very light winds from the High that is to follow.So it might not be comfortable, but we'll be grateful later next week.. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Food, one way or another

30 October Thursday's agenda started with an excellent lecture on rigging by a really practical professional rigger, with lots of simple tips and checks to ensure the mast and sails stay put! He also offered to come on board and check over the boat, and provided short term and longer term advice. He suggested increasing the diameter of the staysail sheets, for instance, as they will take a lot of load in a big wind, and fitting running backstays to counter that load.  None of this needs to be done today, but several suggestions have been added to 'the list'.This was followed by a lecture on catching big fish at sea - Howard already has his Cuban Yo-yos, so was keen to hear that one.And just in case it's harder than it looks, Karen and Hope headed off in the afternoon to. read more...


31/10/2014

Second Wind - Jitters

31 October There was a definite air of something around the marina on Friday. It was hard to identify, but could probably be diagnosed as the jitters.We'd all spent the morning listening to a presentation by a swimmer for the US Coastguard on disasters at sea, complete with statistics, much from his personal experience of rescuing distressed yachtsmen.His underlying message was that mostly it could have been prevented before the boat had left the dock, with proper maintenance and preparation. So in all our cases, that's good, right?This was followed by a quick run through the most likely medical emergencies and how to treat them at sea, by a retired surgeon (and radio ham and diesel engine expert) who is joining us on the trip back to his home on Tortola.And the day was topped off. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Crossing the Gulfstream

Tuesday 28 Oct9am again and we are all back in class for Andy's lecture on what to expect as we cross the Gulfstream.This is generally the hardest part of the trip, unless a new low pressure system develops in the tropics.....It is fascinating stuff.The current flows North East along the USA coast before crossing the Atlantic to Europe, keeping both coastlines warmer than they would be otherwise.Around where we will cross, the current is running at a few knots, and the warm water will produce localised clouds, with accompanying squally weather.We will enter the stream on the first night, and it's about 80 miles across, so will take us most of the following day. If the wind has been blowing from the north, there will be wind over current, which create big confused seas, and is no fun.If. read more...


02/11/2014

Second Wind - Follow the Yellow Brick

Wednesday was scheduled as a free day so we decided to divide and conquer. Hope and Karen headed off to the nearest coffee shop with Internet access,while Howard and William stayed at the boat and worked with the local expert on swinging compasses and fishing for tuna. Same guy. We had noted that the compass was reading off by up to 30 degrees and since we will be steering across the Gulf Stream by compass course thought if the expert was around, let's use him. Of course it turns out that the nearby chartplotter was to blame for a lot of it, so the next job is to move it as far as possible away.Compasses and electronics don't mix.Meanwhile, two cups of coffee later, Hope and Karen got to the bottom of subscribing to weather synopsis 'grib' charts over the SSB radio, and the right. read more...


27/10/2014

Second Wind - Seasickness and Deisel

Monday 27 October 9am and the back room in the Sports Bar is full of expectant sailors ready for the morning seminars.Today's topics are provisioning, mental preparation and boat gadgets. Mia, the lovely Swedish wife of Andy, (who as a duo run the Arc1500 rally) gave us the benefit of her experience provisioning and cooking for ocean passages.Top tips were avoid alcohol and coffee, over-provision by 50%, expect to be seasick for three days, and store chocolate! Well, we have the luxury of a freezer, so we have lots of one pot meals ready to heat up when no one wants to cook, and we've calculated for enough containers of water for the trip even if we lose both the water tanks.But we do need to buy more chocolate :-)Bob then demonstrated his 25 top gadgets, none of which. read more...


30/10/2014

Second Wind - Safety Inspection

Sunday 30 OctoberWe expected to have a few days to prepare, but our inspection time was booked for 10:00 am on Sunday, which was good, because it would give us the whole week to resolve anything that arose.In the end, Howard and Hope's amazing commitment to the boat paid off, and we were pronounced complete, after a rigorous review by Lyall from the Rally staff.He took an hour to go over the boat in detail, inspecting the rig, sails, ropes, liferaft, lifejackets, flares, in fact everything on board, and everyone, making sure we were well-prepared for whatever might be thrown at us.Jake came on board and checked our SSB radio, which is now working well, and we were able to both send and receive short emails by radio all the way to Karen's dad in Scotland! Considering that we are. read more...


Tom Tom - Testing the gear
Tom Tom - Testing the gear
Tom Tom - Braving the elements for a pint (or two)
Tom Tom - Braving the elements for a pint (or two)
Tom Tom - Memories
Tom Tom - Memories
Tom Tom - All dressed up and ready to go
Tom Tom - All dressed up and ready to go
02/11/2014

Tom Tom - Day 0: Waiting out the storm

Tom Tom and her crew are ready to race. All our boat preparations have been completed and safety checks performed. Just waiting for a window in the weather to get going. Currently anticipated to be Monday 12:00. Chris, Gareth, Mark & David. read more...



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