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Hebe - Day 5 Beating to Galapagos.
Hebe - Day 5 Beating to Galapagos.
11/02/2014

Starblazer - 11/02/2014 – Heading west

From our start in St Lucia all our track is westbound, with a southerly component, so our heading towards the Galapagos is just a little west of south west.Unfortunately the current is conspiring to send us close to west!Let me explain.We point the yacht where we want to go, so long as the wind permits, and make best speed through the water.The water isn’t a stationary object like a road, it has currents which move at varying speeds in varying directions so it carries the boat on a different course at a different speed.The yacht’s log tells us speed through the water and the compass gives us the heading, the wonderful GPS(who remembers Decca, Loran or even Radio Direction Finders?) tells us the course and speed we are making over the ground.The weather forecasters say there is about 1. read more...


11/02/2014

Sweet Pearl - Las Perlas --> Galapagos - 5. Tag - Richtung Westen

Es hat sich gelohnt in den Süden zu fahren - wir haben wieder Wind von ca. 15 Knoten. Nur die Richtung ist mit SW nicht Idealste - aber wir schaukeln das Schiff schon (eindeutig, zweideutig). Der Alltag ist eingekehrt und wir lesen, schlafen, essen, plaudern und relaxen. Morgen oder spätestens übermorgen überqueren wir dann den Äquator und dann heisst es auf der Südhalbkugel auf den Händen laufen - wir sind bereits mächtig am Üben;-). Tom. read more...


11/02/2014

Free & BrEasy - Peaceful Pacific

Today, it's 31 days since we left St Lucia. One month of living the dream on board Free and Br"Easy". A quick health check up of the crew reveals that there is no scurvey, signs of teeth /hair dropping out (more than usual),sailors foot (or is it armpit?) or any other ocean diseases. Captain (Ahab) Stokes is being nice to his crew and his crew have not mutinied (yet but this is always an option). In short dear reader, we are happy! Steadily eating our way through a mountain of oranges, water melon, pineapples and in constant fear that the green, green bananas will ripen all at once. There are rumours that we can't take any fruit into the Galapagos and will have to pig out on fruit or throw it all overboard!Despite there be nothing to do but sail and eat we are all surprisingly busy. The. read more...


10/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 38; Joel Saves Big Bird!; Monday, February 10, 2014

Not mentioned on the day's previous log because I sent it in early, was at 5:15 PM Sunday a large white bird, with black and white wings,a long neck and orange beak; along with a 3 - 4 foot wingspan, made a pass over our 2 fishing lines and his left wing got caught in one of the lines. Not the hook, just the line. He went down like a Nazi ME 109 during the Battle of Britain in the English Channel. Splash! As Joel Heyne donned 2 fishing type gloves, I reeled him in. He just sat in the water trying to swim under water and get away. We stopped the boat and turned the motor off. After what seemed like forever of reeling him in, the bird made it to our transom and looked up at Joel, who pounced with lightning speed, grabbing the bird's long beak with his left hand. He never knew what grabbed. read more...


10/02/2014

Firefly - Chugging along

We have been making great progress towards Galapagos, albeit using the engine to motor sail for about 40 hours since the wind shut down. On Monday morning we managed to start sailing again and had several hours close hauled beating achieving a reasonable speed despite heading into some waves. The current remains reasonably favorable running at about 1.5 knots in a Westerly direction but is increasingly swinging North. Therefore as well as pushing us in the right direction our best close hauled course was gradually getting worse so the engine has had to come back on to help out.For this leg in particular Firefly is carrying a lot of extra fuel. In addition to the relatively small 150 litre fuel tank we have 30 x 5 litre jerry cans all individually strapped in place under the floorboards. read more...


10/02/2014

Skyelark of London - 9th Feb - whos in the doldrums?

Dawn broke to a sea shared only with a container ship headed for the canal and the morning star bright in the sky. A beautiful, starry night and a bright, new moon released by a up coming sun and a light breeze from north, changing into no breeze at all and a light clouded sky which gives us a kind, cooler day in the great Pacific . Dull room, hm, where have I heard about that? It is obviously around us everywhere. With only 8 knots of wind we would have been rather stuck without our trustable horses. Heading 221 South on "oiled water" there is no "rocking and rolling", but a great opportunity to do even more sophisticated dishes. Sams banana cake today is among our highlights of deliciouscourses. Who was talking about losing weight?....We have wonderful days at sea, enjoying every. read more...


10/02/2014

Nexus - Yeeehaaa! The thrill is back!

After a boring night of motoring, the wind came around this morning and built to 15kts by noon. Nexus is sailing to windward with a bone in her teeth at 8-10kts and we are all smiles here! Adding to the thrill of the new day, we hooked two Marlin this morning, probably the only fish that will chase an 8-10kt lure. One large one pulled about 100 meters of line out and majestically tail walked for about 30 meters across our stern before throwing the lure and going free! The other one pulled almost all of our line out and then stole our lure by snapping the leader. We use low quality hooks which rust out of their mouths quite quickly, as they are simply beautiful creatures and we would hate to have one die after getting away. The day is partly cloudy and cooler which is welcome, and the. read more...


10/02/2014

Starblazer - 10/02/2014 – Doldrums

This area has two names: the doldrums and the horse latitudes though the latter is a little more specific.One story is that the ‘horse latitudes’ are so called because, in the days of sailing ships, the lack of wind meant food supplies ran low and the sailors were forced to eat the horses they had on board.The vegetarian option is that they threw them overboard to swim away when fodder or water ran out.Take your pick!This lack of wind is caused by the ITCZ (inter tropical convergence zone) where the weather systems of the two hemispheres meet.It does move about and doesn’t just sit neatly above the equator so the doldrums also shift a bit further north or a bit further south.All I can say for certain is that we have found them and have been motoring steadily for about 36 hours.Two very. read more...


10/02/2014

Flomaida II - auf See Richtung Galapagos

Nun ist selbst mir der Ozean zu still geworden!Gestern haben wir noch allesversucht, um zu segeln und waren am Abend schlag kaputt. Sind halt auchnicht mehr die Jüngsten!! Morgens haben wir erstmal den Genacker wiederverstaut, da wir den Parasailor nach dem Frühstück setzen wollten. Danndrehte der leichte Wind aber doch so, dass wir ihn wieder hochzogen.Leiderscheint die Chemie zwischen ihm und uns nicht zu stimmen, er ist wiedergerissen! Also alles wieder runter und die Taue verstaut. Dann haben wirdas Besan Stag Segel gesetzt, das uns gut 1 Knoten mehr Geschwindigkeitbrachte. Als dann der Wind mehr von Achtern kam, wie angekündigt, haben wires wieder verstaut und den Parasailor mit allen Tauen vorbereitet- allesnicht so einfach, wenn man ihn lange Zeit nicht benutzt hat.. read more...


Flomaida II - auf See Richtung Galapagos
Flomaida II - auf See Richtung Galapagos
10/02/2014

Hebe - Day3 Towards Galapagos

Sunday 9th February 201402:41:97N83:31:05WHectic day, up and down with every sail Hebe has  in an effort to make the most of every little scrap of wind.  Finally we tried the parasail as the wind had shifted behind and it got in a terrible twist , as we were cursing and untangling the lines a whale blew whoosh beside us , wow! James was abandoned in the galley charged with cooking, up went the sail, phew we all ate a surprisingly tasty supper when the wind died and the whole lot had to come down again.  We then motored into a very dark and squally night when in fact we should have had some sails up, but everyone too tired!!   Gone are the starry nights with sparkling phosphorescence streaming along the boats length, and hello to equatorial squalls..  Only 2. read more...


09/02/2014

Nexus - Motoring is boring

Well the sleigh ride is over, about 11pm last night we pulled in the Spinnaker and started the engine, and here we are loping along on one engine on a hot day with little if any wind. We're getting a surprising 1.5-2Kt boost from a favorable current, but the seas are a bit of a washboard which makes the ride less comfortable. On the lighter side, we saw a pod of spinner dolphins this morning on watch, which leap high in the air and do flips and acrobatics for you, which is always a special thrill. I didn't know they were this far north in the Pacific. If this current keeps up, we'll be in the Galapagos by Tuesday evening. We're thinking about crossing the Equator for the first time tomorrow, Sheldon has some fiendish plan for a ceremony to welcome us to the seven seas club, which we are. read more...


09/02/2014

Skyelark of London - The pacific

7th FebAfter the ceremony and formality of the World ARC starting line we enjoyed agreat early sail amid light winds with Dan opting to forego the spinnaker while we watched other boats drop behind to wrestle theirs. Gradually though the conditions became ripe and we launched te spinnaker and made good progress, albeitlistening with some frustration as crews around us taunted each other with fishy tales. We opted instead for Sams sausage pasta, but just as the sausages thawed our lure tactics paid off and George expertly landed and seamlessly filleted a 5ft Dorada or mahi-mahi.Around 9pm a loud thump from on deck signalled a turn around. Our skipper Em had received news of a family emergency necessitating our return to Panama so she could fly home. We spent the night sailing upwind and. read more...


09/02/2014

Firefly - Wind shuts down, crew goes overboard!

As expected the wind dropped late Saturday afternoon and we started motoring. On the radio net role call Sunday morning all boats reported light winds but with the leading boats on a more Southerly route enjoying some breeze building from the South and that they were starting to sail again. Currently we are motoring at relatively low revs on a glassy sea, there is 3 knots of breeze on the port beam so we have the mainsail up and along with a favorable currents its all helping us to achieve an SOG (speed over ground) of about 6.5 knots towards Galapagos.Its very warm here and Susie insisted that we stop for a swim to cool down a bit. Having seen Youtube videos of yachts stopping mid ocean, the crew diving off and a great white turning up, Paul was a little reluctant to take part but was. read more...


09/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 37; The Trophy Size Blue Marlin That Got Away!; How I Log; Sunday, February 9, 2014

The story you about to hear is a true fish story. Not to be confused with the 'fibber' fish stories that all fishermen make up. You know what I mean. The imaginary largest fish in the world that got away story. One of the differences between my fish story and others is that I had a witness. Joel Heyne. Joel was sound asleep at the time (he got off watch at 3:00 AM), but my yelling at the top of my lungs woke him up, which is a feat in itself. And though I have friends who would gladly alibi for me, Joel is not one to cross that line for a fish. Joel, did you see that whale that I hooked?So, back to the story. At 8:35 AM this morning I hooked a GIANT Blue Marlin. At first I thought I had a nice size Dolphin (Mahi Mahi, not Flipper). I said 'trophy size' in the subject line because Joel. read more...


09/02/2014

Trillium - Trillium Has a Great First Day to the Galapagos

We had a beautiful sail all day our first day out. The fleet looked fabulous with genakers and spinnakers flying. Our vantage point was perfect being in the middle of the fleet. We took photos of many other boats and hope someone has a good one of us with the blue and white genaker flying. It was also a great day for fishing. Actually it turned in to a fishing contest with a lot of fun chatter on the VHF. We finally caught our first ones: three tunas, but one took off with our new lure just as we brought him to the boat. So the score is 2 for Trillium and 1 for the ocean! All is well and the sailing is great. Nick is learning and it is wonderul to have him here with us. He just learned that it is a "rhumb" line and not a RUM line! He is so disappointed!. read more...


09/02/2014

Trillium - Trillium Off to the Galapagos

We had a great start for Leg 2 on a beautiful sailing day. The fleet looked fabulous with all of the genakers and spinakers flying! We took photos of many boats and hope someone has a good one of our big blue genaker. The day turned into a fishing contest with a lot of catches. The chatter or banter on the VHF was fun as different boats threw down challenges! At roll call, the best reply was "we baked a fine loaf of bread" by a boat that didn't fish! We caught 3 tuna, but one decided to take our new lure home when we got him close to the boat! So the score stands at: 2 for Trillium, 1 for the Ocean.Our youngest son Nick is with us. It is his first experience on the boat and the ocean. He is learning many skills and it is a joy to have him here. He just discovered with great. read more...


09/02/2014

Starblazer - 08/02/2014 – Calm!

This leg of the rally is expected to need a lot of diesel because we are in the area known as the doldrums, we hope we have enough. During the night the breeze dropped off but, as the prop was making a worrying rumbling sound, we plodded on under main and genoa. The wind veered (shifted clockwise) and we really should have changed the sailplan however we put it off until daylight with both of us on deck. The one job we did in the dark, at watch changeover, was to fit the gybe preventer in readiness for another wind shift. We ran for most of the day with twin genoas poled out and the mainsail, which we finally dropped mid-afternoon. The wind disappeared completely just as I was about to go off watch so we rolled the sails away and are now making steady progress under engine. The sea. read more...


09/02/2014

Sweet Pearl - Las Perlas --> Galapagos - 3. Tag - Richtung Süden

Wir segeln momentan mehr Richtung Süden, als Richtung Westen um wenigstens ein wenig Wind zu ergattern. In der Nacht mussten wir allerdings schon bereits Motoren...mal schauen was der heutige Tag bringt. Ansonsten können wir uns nicht beklagen: alle sind wohl auf, die Sonne scheint und es gibt wenig Wellen - schon fast langweilig, wenn man sich daran gewöhnt hat:-).Liebe Grüsse. Tom. read more...


09/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 36; We Lose the Wind; Saturday, February 8, 2014

This morning the wind continues to build, eventually reaching a peak of 30 knots, with 7 foot breaking seas directly behind us. As the wind kept building, we kept putting reefs in the sails, both the main and jib. Eventually, we had 2 reefs in the main and one in the jib. We were surfing at up to 10.8 knots. At 11:00 AM, 24 hours after leaving Las Perlas, we had covered 163 nautical miles at an average speed of 6.8 knots. Cool. However, the wind started dropping after lunch, and by 4:25 PM we were forced to put on the motor. The weather forecast had called for wind for the first 2 days. Almost. We motored with the main sail and then with that sail and the jib. Motor sailing. The wind was only 3 knots, increasing to 6 on the bow later.For dinner we had Blue Fin Tuna and Potatoes. Nice sun. read more...


09/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 35; Off to Galapagos; Friday, February 7, 2014

At 11:00 AM all the (40)boats in the Rally started for the Galapagos with 'race start.' American Spirit II was over the line a few seconds early, so we had to do a 360 and restart. Oh well. About 10 boats, including American Spirit, were flying Spinnakers. To go with our boat name, American Spirit, our Spinnaker is Red, White and Blue. For our British friends 'reviewing' this log, those are the colors of our national flag. At 12:55 AM Nexus, a 60 foot catamaran, spotted a whale blowing between them and an island. We were about 3 miles to starboard of them. Some boats get all the luck! How cool is that? At 4:25 PM we caught our first fish! A Blue Fin Tuna, about 4 pounds. Joel reeled him in. And corresponding with our policy on board of 'filet and release', the fish was quickly. read more...


09/02/2014

Hebe - 2nd Leg Day 2

04:40:06N081:33:36WChugging along tonight having hit the Doldrums, but the past 2 days have been brilliant with a good breeze and able to sample a lot of Hebe's fancy wardrobe. WE all got off to a terrific start yesterday morning from Las Perlas everyone getting their spinnakers up on the start line, Hebe's got twisted much to our embarrassment. I was helming which is exciting.Bit of a shock to be rocking and rolling again at sea staggering about in the galley trying to produce meals with drawers slamming, then getting back into the watch system at night. The first night always the worst, we haven't been to sea for weeks. We all sailed happily down the huge Gulf of Panama where the water is green, full of silt from the canal, masses of plankton and fish, everyone chatting on the radio. read more...


08/02/2014

Nexus - Sailing into the Doldrums

A glorious second sailing day on Leg 2, riding a jet of 20-22kts astern coming out of the Gulf of Panama, venting into what we're told is a vast vacuum of no wind in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) or better known as "The Doldrums". We've been ghosting along at 8-10kts all day, boosted by the occasional pat on the bottom from sets of small waves scooting us along our way. With forecasts of the wind dying this evening or tomorrow(or more accurately we will sail out of the wind), we'll have to turn on the Iron Genny. We saw another whale near the boat at 0630 this morning, which was great accompaniment for another spectacular sunrise. We sailed in company with Boingo Alive, who came across our stern at sunrise for some really great photo shots of their Parasailor Spinnaker, and. read more...


08/02/2014

Hebe - Galapagos here we come.

Friday 7th February07:39:07N79:34:70WSuper final few days in Las Perlas, dodging jellyfish but finding good swim spots.  Had an ARCy rendezvous with all the other boats , BBQ and prize giving tonight, wonder how we did?  (We woz robbed - Ed)There's a hotel here with everyone glued to their laptops trying to get news.  A far cry from Bernard Montessier in the first circumnavigation race who used a catapult to send letters to passing ships.  We have one on board made by an Embrerer indian. We need to prepare for crossing the Equator we're told we need to offer incantations and gifts, I have a stone from Salisbury cathedral with PEACE engraved on it, for us to throw in.  The youngest male on board has to dress up as Poseidon's wife, here you go Harry!. read more...


Hebe - Galapagos here we come.
Hebe - Galapagos here we come.
Hebe - Galapagos here we come.
Hebe - Galapagos here we come.
Hebe - Galapagos here we come.
Hebe - Galapagos here we come.
08/02/2014

Firefly - We caught a fish on the way to the Doldrums

Leg 2 of the World ARC commenced from Contradora in the Las Perlas Islands at 1100 on Friday 7th and we are now en route to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands. There was a BBQ and prizegiving ashore on our last evening. We were very pleasaed to be in the prizes coming third on handicap in Class B ( we know its not a race!)and with others won a Panamanian wind instrument (bit like a recorder)for our log contributions to the World ARC web site. During the evening Susie drew on her early years and gave a very impressive rendition of 'London's Burning'. We also predicted our finish time to San Blas more accurately than other boats and within just over an hour, only to be told we didn't submit our time within the deadline.Next morning in a force 2, Firefly was first away at the start,. read more...


08/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 16 - Party, Party on the "Party Bus"!

It was Friday morning and first we said our fond farewells to our Panama Canal mates Andy Barrow and John & Kat Langenheim. We had a French Toast farewell breakfast and they were off to catch their flights out of Panama. Then it was time to welcome our next shipmate, Randy Brand, from Fairbanks, Alaska. He was going to join us on the "Party Bus" that night.Colored lights flashing everywhere on the Panama Party Bus! With a free bar, live DJ on board and plenty of room for dancing it was a popular night of fun. Some of the best dancing we have seen from our own Paul, Rally Control; Bryan, Darlene and Joel, American Spirit; Dagmar, Flomaida and my own Charlie of Celebrate!A very good time was had by all!Cathy  . read more...


Flomaida II - Michelada - mein Lieblingsgetränk- Bier mit Salzrand und Limonensaft!Auf der Terrasse des Hotel Romantica auf Contadora/Las Perlas
Flomaida II - Michelada - mein Lieblingsgetränk- Bier mit Salzrand und Limonensaft!Auf der Terrasse des Hotel Romantica auf Contadora/Las Perlas
08/02/2014

Flomaida II - Las Perlas und der Start nach Galapagos

Die 3 Tage in einer geschützten Bucht vor dem Hotel Romantica in Contadora/Las Perlas waren vollgestopft mit Programm von World ARC und Reparaturen- diesmal nur erfolgreich,obwohl uns erst der Schock getroffen hatte!Unsere 12 neuen Batterien schienen nicht mehr richtig zu laden. Horrorerklärungen und Erfahrungen von anderen Mitseglern gingen von: die Batterien seien zerschossen, weil sie zu schnell geladen wurden, bis, dass vielleicht eine Batterie kaputt sei, die die anderen runterziehe. Also hat Christoph jede einzelne Batterie getestet. Alle waren ok.Das war erstmal das Wichtigste! (Wir hatten ja neue Batterien in Martinique bekommen.) Es konnte damit nur das Anzeigegerät sein, das nicht zurückgesetzt wurde beim Einbau der neuen Batterien. Und so war es dann auch. Dann hat Christoph. read more...


Flomaida II - Las Perlas und der Start nach Galapagos
Flomaida II - Las Perlas und der Start nach Galapagos
08/02/2014

Starblazer - 01/02/2014 - Finally we escape Panama

We have not had the best experience of the delights of Panama because we have been delayed all week, awaiting parts for the generator.I have not written a log since Sunday because it would have just been a tale of woe!First thing Monday morning John phoned Fischer Panda in the UK, spoke to the very helpful Service Manager.He went ashore to telephone Venezuela, which was the nearest agent for Farymann, the German makers of the diesel engine in the generator and to get internet access.Having also tried Miami, Germany (closed at 1600 UT) and two stockists in the USA he found the parts we needed in South Carolina. Ordered, paid for and shipped that afternoon, we paid for a FedEx next day delivery.It was almost a ‘next week’ delivery and cost us significantly more to finally get the bits back. read more...


08/02/2014

Nexus - Start of Leg 2 - destination Galapagos!

A beautiful day for the start of Lag 2 of the World ARC, from Contadora Island, Las Perlas to San Cristobal, Galapagos. It was a great start as the World ARC staff did a seamless job of providing briefing notes and coordinating the cumbersome paperwork involved in moving 41 boats between countries, the rest of us could simply enjoy embarking on our journey with proper sails and supplies. A sunny, light wind day gave us the spectacular view of our fleet of boats leaving the Las Perlas with spinnakers of every color flying in the sunshine. The banter on the VHF was fun and comforting e as boats compared notes on fish caught or engaged in the subtle sarcasm and trash talk only sailors do to each other when there is more than one boat in the water! We caught two beautiful 36" tuna and had a. read more...


08/02/2014

Sweet Pearl - Las Perlas --> Galapagos - 1. Tag - Der Start

Heute morgen gegen 11:00 haben wir unseren Anker geborgen und sind wie gewohnt als einer der letzten über die Startlinie. Obwohl die ca. 900 Seemeilen lange Strecke nach Galapagos bekannt ist für wenig Wind, so lief es heute sehr gut und wir konnten auch einige Schiffe überholen. Der Tag war herrlich und wurde mit dem Fang eines schönen Thunfisches abgerundet. Jetzt machen wir, d.h. Sandra, Michael und ich uns gerade fertig für die Nacht und beten für Wind in den nächsten Tagen:-). Liebe Grüsse nach hause. Tom. read more...


07/02/2014

Skyelark of London - The start of Leg 2

6th of Feb.It's change over time on Skyelark, leg 1 has finished and leg 2 begins, so it's farewell to Arvil, Marita, Jan, Kim and Robin, a warm welcome to George, Becki & Richard and great to see you again to Wiggo, Sarah and Sam. For the next leg we set sail across the equator and head on down to the Galapagos islands for 2 weeks of cruising around and wildlife spotting. The forecast is generally looking light and varied so it should be an interesting legand put everyone through their paces.To mark the start of a new leg, the Warc fleet is anchored off Contadora island in the Las Perlas group which is quite a spectacle. Our yellow shirted party planners have been keeping us busy with drinks parties, morning runs, briefings and tonight promises a feast with a beach bbq, it's great. read more...


Skyelark of London - The start of Leg 2
Skyelark of London - The start of Leg 2
07/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 15 - Enchanting Embera Indians!

After anchoring at La Playita we were free to take a wonderful World ARC Tour seemingly back in time to the Embera Indian Village on the misty, almost mystical feeling Rio Chagres.The Rio Chagres is a beautiful tropical river surrounded by virgin rain forest.Silence reigns except for the cries of wild birds and animals.The Embera guided our group to their village in canoes, but they did have outboard engines for the longish 30 minute or so trip.At the village we were greeted by very nice music from a small combo of men playing natural hand made instruments.In the fascinating reception palapa with many arts & crafts, the Chief gave us a warm welcome in Spanish which our guide translated into English for us.The women of the village gave us an interpretive dance made extra special by. read more...


07/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 34; Last Full Day in Las Perlas Islands; Thursday, February 6, 2014

Today is one of the few days that we had to get up early for a Rally event. At 7:15 AM something called a 'Hash' is being run by the World Cruising Club. During this event we walked around the island following symbols left in the road way. Once done, drinks and fruit awaited us back at the Romantica Hotel. The fruit included pineapple, water melon and mango. During the Hash we walked past a mini mart, so I jumped in and bought a bunch of groceries for the boat. Some items we were short of. Once back on the boat, we spotted a fuel barge tied up to a mooring buoy in the anchorage. Motoring over in our dingy, we bought 15 gallons of diesel fuel at $5.00 a gallon, which was put in our yellow jerry jugs. With that extra fuel, we'll have no problem making it to the Galapagos Islands even if we. read more...


06/02/2014

Free & BrEasy - Bye Bye Turkey Vultures of Panama!

Well we are still here at Playita, Panama City, but soon to go. The anchorage at Playita is busy with fishing boats and ferries so every so often Free and BrEasy has a little Rock and Roll dance with herself. At nights it's like being a foetus when your Mother runs for a bus with the bouncing and squishing noises of the water on the hulls. Most of the rest of the fleet has up anchored and is exploring the delights of the Las Perlas islands some 40 nautical miles south east of here. The delay in going to the Las Perlas islands has been caused by the wait for a Pactor Modem to allow the SSB radio to talk to a computer and download weather forecast maps or send emails while in the Pacific Ocean. We were lucky enough to find David, a computer whizz, who eventually diagnosed a dead. read more...


05/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 33; A Lazy Day in Isla Contadora; Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Up at 5:30 AM today. No reason, just woke up. Made a cup of coffee, read a book, and watched the stars disappear and the sun rise. When sailing around the world, you see a lot of sun rises. A work project today was to change the 3 filters on our Spectra Water Maker. The reason for changing the filters is because our water production was being reduced to making 2.2 gallons per hour instead of the plus 6 we had been making. Since it takes a lot of energy (battery power) to make water, we need to make as much as possible in as little time as possible. The 3 filters we changed out were the carbon filter; 5 micron; and 20 micron. When we took out the 5 and 20 micron filters, they were both covered in algae. We only put those 2 filters in 3 weeks ago, so I was surprised that they had gotten so. read more...


05/02/2014

Flomaida II - Zusammenfassung der letzten 10 Tage

Wie die Zeit vergeht! Endlich hab ich mal wieder Muße und Lust, etwas zuschreiben.Wir liegen gerade vor der Insel Contadora/ Las Perlas-aber daswisst Ihr ja, falls Ihr uns "verfolgt"- und genießen die Ruhe nach turbulenten 10 Tagen! Im Großen und Ganzen gibt es nur Erfreuliches zu berichten (liegt sicher auch daran, dass wir unser Schiff wenig bewegt haben und uns daher nichts kaputt gehen konnte!!) Die Fahrt quer über den Eingang des Panama Kanals war schon sehr spannend, da wir im Slalom durch das Ankerfeld der großen Pötte mussten, die auf ihre Passage warteten. Ein Kapitän sagte über Funk;" what the hell are all these sailing boats doing here! "Wir kamen ihm wohl vor wie eine Horde durcheinander hüpfender Wasserflöhe! Das kommt ja nun wirklich nur einmal im Jahr vor. Die Marina war. read more...


05/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 14 - Part 2, Amazing Panama Canal Adventure

6am at Gatun Lake bright and early in the morning Ricardo and Irwin were delivered to our anchor spot.The instruction was to go at 8 knots until we caught up with our transit rafting partner S/V CLEMENTINA.On the way, we passed by the picturesque Smithsonian Institute Nature Reserve and the very contemporary looking Century Bridge.When we reached CLEMENTINA and rafted up they kindly allowed us to borrow Augusto from their boat for additional help with our lines through the Canal.Then, it was into the Miraflores Locks, under the beautiful Bridge of the Americas and we were through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific! Next, anchoring in La Playita below the Flamenco Signal Station.Cathy. read more...


04/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 32; Survivor (Las Perlas) Panama; Tuesday, February 4, 2014

At 8:40 AM we observed an act of nature seldom seen. Thousands of birds, different species intermingled, flew together in giant groups at wave top level from the surrounding islands to an area the size of half a football field, along the shore where they dove into the water with reckless abandon. A fish feeding frenzy had begun. Hundreds of other birds just sat in the water watching this spectacle. It lasted for a half hour. Breathtaking!Weighing anchor at 10:15 AM, we passed by another Rally boat just anchoring, Firefly, and after chatting with them briefly, we proceeded north toward the Islands of Chapera and Moro Moro. As usual, the winds were light and we sailed and motor sailed to our destination. At 12:25 PM a couple of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins swam in front of and behind our. read more...


Flomaida II - Zusammenfassung der letzten 10 Tage
Flomaida II - Zusammenfassung der letzten 10 Tage
04/02/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 13 - Amazing Panama Canal Adventure t

The adventure begins with an excellent briefing pre-transit given by Paul Tetlow, including a canal video.Also, Suzana Buraca was there smoothing the way. The next afternoon was a short stay anchored in the "flats" before the start into the Gatun Locks.Also, our terrific advisers, Ricardo and Irwin, came aboard around 4:30pm and we were off!They were invaluable as the leaders of our Transit Team 2 of 14 boats rafted together in twos and threes to make our way through the locks.We were grateful not to be sharing a lock with the cargo,tankers or cruise ships that use the locks.At 8pm our great experience of seeing the line handling Locks process and taping oreo cookie packages to the lines to send them to the Canal line handlers was over.Suddenly, we were done with Gatun Locks!Now, we were. read more...


04/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 31; Dingy Wipe Out; Monday, February 3, 2014

This morning we got in the dingy and proceeded a half mile along the very rocky sea shore, in the lee and east side of Isla San Jose. The tide was going out and what was a small beach the night before was becoming a huge beach. Just before we got to the shore, we had to dodge an underwater rock that was becoming visible as the 17 foot tide gushed out. Then about 50 yards from shore we killed the dingy motor and raised the shaft, not knowing how deep it was. The water was not clear due to the massive tidal action. Joel and I were paddling in when a swell turned into a 3 foot breaking wave. Just before we started riding the crest, I told Joel that we're going to flip. He confidently replied that we were not. A few seconds later we were surfing with the crest when the bow of our dingy. read more...


04/02/2014

Firefly - Cruising Las Perlas

Situated only 40 miles South East of Panama, the Las Perlas Islands we have visited so far are surprisingly remote. Our first landfall was Isla Bayoneta one of the most westerly of the group. Since leaving the Panama Canal we have been re introduced to tides and currently there are very large springs, with a negative low water i.e. the level goes below chart datum. These islands are therefore very different to the Coral Cays of San Blas. In fact the tide, the spacing and the sand are more reminiscent of the Isles of Scilly! The water is very heavy with plankton so visibility is lower and the water is also about 5 degrees cooler than it was in the Caribbean. Similar to the San Blas Islands our charts are not as accurate as they could be so combined with extreme tides and poor visibility. read more...


04/02/2014

Hebe - Exploring Las Perlas

Weighed anchor at dawn, why am I ever asleep at this time? Must PhotoShop this with pelicans off on an early sortie.We weaved our way between the islands, Immy using the lat and long in the pilot book chart and a ruler, the GPS is wrong and has many a yacht aground, still there's always a good tide to whisk you away.   One channel was bubbling with overfalls as we crept along hoping the engine held. A massive line of cormorants flew over head in V formation you could hear Dam Busters playing.Imo has been having a nightmare as her computer with all her gorgeous photos and her whole life has been corrupted and she's spent the past few days talking to Apple, oh dear. It meant we had to dodge about to find phone signal on our journey south. Our present anchorage off Isla Del. read more...



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