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13/03/2014

Trillium - Trillium Reaches the Half Way Point!

Time for another celebration! We celebrated our 1/3rd point across the Pacific from the Galapagos to the Marquesas with a fine meal , some beer and a special dessert of freeze-dried ice cream! It was actually very good and tasted like chocolate chip ice cream. It just wasn't cold. Nothing has been cold enough!Last night called for a second celebration with a little wine with dinner and chocolate candy for dessert! It may not sound like much to you land lubbers, but it is a big deal when the Skipper says we can have alcohol underway. It would be much better if we had ice.Now I have to think up someway to celebrate the 2/3rds point. And of course, crossing the finish line.We also had the excitement of catching a 20 lb. blue fin tuna! Not only did we have tuna for dinner, but we had fresh. read more...


13/03/2014

Nexus - Jedi Night

The FORCE was 26kts with prolonged gusts to 30kts yesterday evening through midnight, and Nexus decided the waves were right and it was time to go surfing! We were flying along at a 10kt average with countlessprolonged surfs of 13-16kt and a peak of 17.4kt. The autopilot was carving gentle "S" curves along the face of each wave as they lifted and carried us, then slowly passed us by.I couldn't have done better by hand, and I'm sure glad I installed dual actuators on the autopilot. It was a little scary in the dark, but a fantastic ride. Nexus sings to you above 10kts, and her melody was wonderful. Alas, around 2am we discovered that the FORCE was no longer strong with us, the wind dropped back to 15kts, and we have been putzing along at 6-8kts this morning. So, seeing the glass as half. read more...


13/03/2014

Starblazer - 13/03/2014 – Another good day

Our day’s run was 157 miles in the right direction so we are pleased, we might make our estimated ETA.We’ll see.The motion of the boat is somewhat easier so living on board isn’t such a trial.There wasn’t much to do so I concentrated on cooking.I’d made the Herman cake mixture up on Sunday, adding some desiccated coconut with pleasing results.On Monday lunchtime I made BLT sandwiches with extra scrambled egg but forgot to mention it.Yesterday I made a Rosemary Conley Chili cheese on toast recipe.Rosemary Conley it wasn’t!Whole grain sliced bread instead of low fat Naan breads, full fat cream cheese rather than low fat, chopped chilies, grated Ecuadorian cheese rather than RC low fat cheddar and tomatoes.The idea was there and it was delicious.Dinner was supposed to be Spicy Bratwurst. read more...


13/03/2014

Flomaida II - 12. März- und wir haben es wieder geschafft!!

Nach herrlichen 2 Tagen und Nächten hat der Parasailor nun leider auch seinen Dienst quittiert und verlangt nach dem Segelschneider. Nun haben wir es endlich geschafft, auch noch das 3. mobile Segel zu zerreißen! Leider hat eine außergewöhnliche Welle unser Schiff kurzfristig so aus dem Kurs gebracht, dass er zusammenfiel und mit Wucht wieder aufstieg. Das war wohl zu viel,und es gab einen glatten Durchriss im oberen Teil. Dieses Geräusch ist uns ja mittlerweile leider gut bekannt!! Wir konnten ihn aber komplett bergen, obwohl es schon sehr kraftraubend war und die Dunkelheit (6Uhr morgens) auch nicht gerade die Sache erleichterte. Ja, ja liebe Maike, die Schwimmwesten hatten wir an- sind seeehr unbequem! Nun sitzen wir ziemlich betröppelt im Cockpit, weil der Generator plötzlich auch. read more...


13/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 67; Fish Fly in for Lunch ; Fixing the Hydro Generator under Sail; & Halfway to Marquesas; Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Awakened abruptly today with Mike and Joel talking about the hydro generator. It had stopped working. Why? Because the line holding it down has snapped. Second time this has happened. With 10 foot seas running up behind us, attaching a new line is doable but taking safety precautions are a must before doing so. No need to fix it now. The wind turbine is turned on, then Joel is back to bed. It's the middle of his night since he got off shift at 3:00 AM. Because the wind turbine can't generate all the electricity we need under sail, I turned off the refrigerator and freezer until we either start the electric generator later or fix the hydro generator and put it back in the water. All things considered, breaking a line on the hydro is a good problem to have because its fixable under way.. read more...


13/03/2014

Nexus - Still surging along!

We're making good time but the wind isn't quite strong enough to fully power NEXUS up, so she surfs down each wave coming from behind and surges ahead, only to slow in the trough behind and wait for the cycle to repeat quickly a few seconds later. It's great progress with the 10-11kt surges balanced with the 7-8kt troughs, but its a bit like riding with that Taxi driver we've all had once who was on the gas, on the brakes, on the gas.. but OK, we'll take it.Cloudy day with isolated showers but good variable 15-22kt wind from the port rear quarter, giving us about an 8.7kt average speed over 24 hours. We have 940miles to go! It's hard to believe we've sailed NEXUS over 7000 miles since we left the Chesapeake, but she's doing beautifully. Oh yeah, we last left our hero...the snatch block,. read more...


12/03/2014

Starblazer - 12/03/2014 – Nothing broke today!

Today was a relatively good day. John spent the afternoon mending the shelf mounting in his tools and spares cupboard which had collapsed on Sunday. At the same time he also remounted the battery charger which had started to fall off its bulkhead. As you can see, it wasn’t just the generator which broke on Sunday!Q continued to helm us on an almost direct course to Hiva Oa, our destination in the Marquesas. The wind wasn’t as strong as we would have liked and progress has slowed a little, in part because we let out the main to balance the boat for Q and in part because the wind is from a little further aft. Almost all the other boats are reporting SE winds, surely we’ll get them soon. Overnight the winds were lighter still, once or twice dropping to only 8 knots from 13. Ideally, we’d. read more...


12/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 66; Fast Sailing; Monday, March 10, 2014

Between 4:00 and 5:00 AM Mike saw a Chinese ship on AIS, on our chart plotter. A freighter heading east towards Panama. Surprised any ships traverse these seas in that direction. Not a shipping route. However, the Chinese manage the Panama Canal Zone, so doesn't surprise me one of their ships is heading there from the South Pacific. Forgot to change the clocks yesterday. Not Daylight Savings for us like home, but we crossed another 15 degrees of longitude, 105 degrees West. So our watches and ships clocks need to be moved one hour earlier. However, for the Net radio sessions amongst all boats, we're keeping to 'Galapagos time' for the whole leg. We're moving at 7.4 knots over the ground, 6.4 knots thru the water; a 1 knot helping current. Wind 16-19 out of the SE. Solid overcast with. read more...


12/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 10.Tag - Vorbereitungen in vollem Gange

Morgen ist Bergfest und die Vorbereitungen für dieses grosse Ereignis sind in vollem Gange. Für alle geladenen Gäste (3 haben bereits zugesagt9: Sandra aus der Schweiz, Michael aus Dänemark und Tom aus Luxemburg; vom Trade-Wind hier aus der Gegend haben wir noch nichts gehört) soll dies ein unvergessliches Fest werden mit Eröffnungszeremonie, Reden, Partys, Spektakels, Dinner und vielem mehr. Nach 1500 Seemeilen ist dies ja auch verständlich. Aber dies ist kein exklusives Fest, jeder ist herzlich willkommen und kann vorbeikommen. Ab Mitternacht UTC fängt's an; einfach auf ungefähr 7°45'S 114°30'W nach "Sweet Pearl" fragen:-). Ganz liebe Grüsse an alle und bis morgen. Tomhttp://www.sailmail.com. read more...


12/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 9 days on a Port Tack. A day in our life

9 days on a Port TackSailing on a broad reach means mostly that Skyelarks' sails are full of windand we make steady, sometimes spectacular, progress across this vast ocean.It also means living at a constant 20-30 degree angle.....0315 Awake to the sound of refitting as a chainsaw is driven through thebulkhead of my cabin.0317 Realise that chainsaw is in fact the snoring of cabin mate Tarquin(not his real name)0318 Reach for alarm to shut off. Boat heels. Drop alarm on T's head.Thankfully he sleeps on.0319 Reach for head torch to find alarm clock before alarm goes off. Boatheels. Drop headtorch on T's head. Thankfully he sleeps on.0320 Try to climb down from bunk. Due to boat heeling T is lodged at 30degree angle leaning over side of bunk. Only spot to step on appears to behis right. read more...


11/03/2014

Nexus - Sailing is like a box of chocolates

Adapting the line from Forrest Gump, you never know what you're going to get. Near midnight last night we had an extended lull in the wind and slowed considerably in the chop. Our cat has two long whiskers, the 21' antennae that rise vertically from the aft of the solar panel arch. We had encountered three large Japanese fishing vessels with no AIS earlier in the evening, so I was doing my usual horizon scan for traffic, when I noticed the top 8' of the SSB DSC antennae was wobbling in the wind and waves. It reminded me of that guy who used to spin plates on sticks on the Ed Sullivan show (sorry GenX'ers it's a Boomer reference!). Being on the extreme aft overhang of the arch, and higher than I could reach standing on my tip toes on the top of the arch, my first thought was "oh well,. read more...


11/03/2014

Firefly - Past halfway

At 0840 on Tuesday 11th March we passed the halfway point with approx 1500 miles under our keel and 1500 more to go. Overnight the wind has increased and we are now broad reaching in 20+ knots and are starting to consider reefing down as Firefly is going very fast and its beginning to get a bit bumpy.Now we are the downhill slope we are starting to think about our next destination; Hiva Oa the largest island in the Marquesas - we will make landfall at Baie Tahauku near the town of Atouna. This is the official port of entry where we shall clear customs and take on supplies and hopefully have an injection of culture and possibly French wine. The population of the town is just over 1500 so we are not expecting to completely re-provision Firefly but should be able to pick up essentials like. read more...


11/03/2014

Starblazer - 11/03/2014 – Celebration dinner

Yes, we had a reason to celebrate yesterday, the 1000 mile mark from the start. Dinner was fillet steak with new potatoes, green beans and leeks followed by a tin of fruit salad with the last of the Greek yoghurt, accompanied by a glass of red wine.John had a frustrating afternoon, trying to get the generator to run. He eventually managed to start it but it wouldn’t develop enough revs to pull the cooling water through: diagnosis fuel starvation. He found the fuel pump down by the tank had a dodgy connection, cleaned it up and tried again, and again, and again…. He now thinks there is a problem with the fuel solenoid, the way to test it is to remove it when the engine is running and see if it makes a difference. Helpful information but rather useless if the wretched thing won’t start. read more...


11/03/2014

Flomaida II - 10. März, ein erfolgreicher Tag!

Heute Morgen lag doch echt neben meinem Kopf ein relativ großer fliegenderFisch! Tot natürlich, aber ich habe mich doch sehr erschreckt, denn er hätteauch auf meinem Gesicht landen können während meines Eieruhrennickerchens,keineso angenehme Vorstellung!Der Tag war "vollgepackt" mit Arbeit. Heute sollten wir doch wieder auf dendirekten Kurs gehen, das bedeutete, dass der Parasailor dran war. Zuerst musstenwir das Großsegel bergen, das wir dank Christoph´s Konstruktion, da derUnterliekstrecker ja seinen Dienst verweigerte, erfolgreich schafften. Dannhaben wir fast 1 Stunde gebraucht, um den Parasailor zum Stehen zu bekommen. Nunsteht er schon 20 Stunden bei 15 Knoten Wind aus 120 Grad und beschert uns eineGeschwindigkeit von 8-9 Knoten!Nachts ist es für mich schon ein wenig unheimlichmit. read more...


Flomaida II - 10. März, ein erfolgreicher Tag!
Flomaida II - 10. März, ein erfolgreicher Tag!
11/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 65; Flying Fish , Birds , First Green Flash & Over 1/3 Way There; Sunday, March 9, 2014

At 1:00 AM we passed the 1,000 nautical mile mark on this leg. With the entire leg being 2,980 miles, we're over 1/3 of the way from the Galapagos to the Marquesas Islands. At 7:15 AM mostly clear blue skies. Wind 15-9 knots. Speed over ground 6.5 knots. Waves 6 feet. 12 flying fish on deck, from 3 inches to 7 in length. In reading the book Kon Tiki, the 6 persons on board the raft would collect the flying fish every morning and cook them for breakfast. I'll give that a try next time I get a big one on board. Apparently, you don't filet them, just cook the whole fish. We'll see. I may have to solicit advice from a landside expert before proceeding. (Diane, send me your flying fish recipe!).Speaking of Kon Tiki, for those of you reading this log who don't know what 'Kon Tiki' was, it was. read more...


11/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 10/03

A rainy day is a rainy day, whether in Portsmouth, San Francisco or the South Pacific. The hatches must be shut, so the saloon becomes stuffy. The laundry can't be hung on the rails, so dirty clothes remain just that. Chocolate in the drawer melts from the heat, so the cookies, biscuits in the mother tongue, are disappearing too quickly. Cold showers feel good, but they are nothing like even a bad shower at home. One leans, slides, sits, crouches, curses. Bruises appear everywhere in the shape of boat hardware. Cleats. Winches. Blocks. Skin turns brown for some, only red for others.Even the most safety conscious must steer shoeless, for her boat shoes are soaked. Some smart phones fail, not the iPhones, so someone (nameless) appears, mystified, an hour early for watch. Food is reduced to. read more...


10/03/2014

Free & BrEasy - The Long Passage

Its nearly end of Day 8 after leaving the Galapagos and we now have only 2000 nautical miles left to our destination, Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. We have covered 1016nm in just over 7 days which averages out at 5.8 knots or just over 6 mph! Nobody said sailing was fast but its the most fun you can have going that slowly in a man-made transportation device! Even that speed is impossibly fast when we have been experiencing light winds as we headed through the doldrums for the belt of trade winds 5 degrees south of the equator. We have been forced to use the engines so that we don't get left too far behind the rest of the fleet. Our speed has also been helped by a strong equatorial current going East to West. We were worried enough about speed for Roger to threaten to perform the naked wind. read more...


10/03/2014

Firefly - Whistling along again!

The mystery of the kettle whistle has been solved; somehow the errant domestic appliance landed in an open packet of unpopular biscuits (if they were popular we would have found it immediately) during one of the more dramatic downwind rolls. It was only when Peter was desperately looking for a snack at 0300 that its resting place was found (he thought at first it was another type of snack!). Yesterday's log implicated David in the crime, he has now been proved blameless and apologies made to him for any slur on his character!8 days on we are still enjoying fresh fruit and veg; the large bunch of local green bananas purchased from the Santa Cruz, Galapagos market for 1$ are now yellow and delicious. The fruit basket is far from empty and we are planning to have pineapple for lunch.. read more...


10/03/2014

Starblazer - 10/04/2014 – Reasons

First of all, an apology to anyone who expected to read this a few hours ago. Yesterday tiredness hit me and I took a 2 hour sleep mid-afternoon with the result that I did not sleep between 2000 and 2300. I coped with both my watches but fell asleep at 0800. That would not normally have delayed the log but the Hydrovane needed careful watching and the computer battery was flat so I couldn’t write this in the cockpit.Reasons to celebrate: Horace the Hydrovane, aka Q, has taken over steering duties from the thirsty autopilot. He’s keeping a relatively good course but occasionally gets overpowered by a strong gust or a sudden slap by a large swell. That’s when the watch needs to be ready to help get the boat back on course.We completed 1,000 miles from the start at 0500 this morning, so. read more...


10/03/2014

Nexus - Past Half Way!

Yesterday evening we passed the half way point at 1500 miles, and currently have 1380mile to go! Nice downwind sailing, we put the small gennaker up 6 days ago and haven't had it down since. Winds have been variable but good at 15-20kt true from the aft quarter, so we've made good time. Its a bit lumpy with two sets of waves coming together where we are, which makes sleeping and showering a challenge, but not too bad. Had a visit from another bird last evening....1400miles from land! Lots of flying fish so there must be more down low to catch! The stars and planets are very bright at night after the moon sets and we are enjoying identifying them with our IPAD starfinder. Venus looked like an aircraft landing light on the horizon at 4am this morning! We can only hear two other boats at. read more...


Flomaida II - Das wollte ich doch noch nachreichen: Christoph´s Geburtstag auf Isla Isabel/Galapagos mit Tulasi, Festina Lente und Circe
Flomaida II - Das wollte ich doch noch nachreichen: Christoph´s Geburtstag auf Isla Isabel/Galapagos mit Tulasi, Festina Lente und Circe
10/03/2014

Flomaida II - 9./10. März .Es wäre doch zu schön gewesen.....

denn 1. mußten wir unseren Idealkurs erstmal verlassen und 2. haben wirmal wieder ein Segel zerrissen!Der Wind hat weiter nach Osten gedreht. Da er weiterhin so super konstantund gut ist, wollen wir einfach das Segeln genießen und Flomaida in derbesten Position zum Wind halten, um Geschwindigkeit zu machen, was unssuper gelingt.Wer weiß, wo der Wind in den nächsten 8 Tagen noch sohindreht, dann sehen wir weiter. Noch optimaler könnten wir natürlichsegeln, wenn wir das Besan Stagsegel (mein Lieblingssegel, da es normalerweisegut und leicht zu handhaben ist!) noch hätten! Leider hat es bei 15-20Knoten Wind beim Hochziehen zu brutalen Kontakt mit dem Großbaum bekommen.Wiedermal dazugelernt!!!, aber das schmerzt sehr, da wir nun unserenschönen Vorsprung einbüßen werden, aber wichtig ist,. read more...


10/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 09/03

So we got our wish, and our fortunes have changed sun is out and the trades are back! We are on track for our first 200nm day of this leg - the miles are dropping. Not that we are counting but we completed 1/3rd of our journey last night, and 1/2 way is on the radar - we will be firing up the ice machine for some G&T's for that one!Life is pretty good here onboard, the sailing is beautiful and the company is goodBest wishes from all on Skyelark!. read more...


10/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 64; Found the Wind; Saturday, March 9, 2014

Up 7:15 AM. Lot of motion on boat during the night. A little uncomfortable. Tropical Trough to our right, skies clearing to our left. Wind 19 knots from SE. Speed over ground 7.3 knots. At 7:50 AM I pushed wrong button on chart plotter by mistake. Screen light on chart plotter was still set on 'night viewing,' so I couldn't see the screen. Boat did 360. That's always fun. Once it started its turn I just stayed with it and when our course came up I grabbed the wheel again and steadied the boat. Not for the faint of heart. As a result of this the wind turbine 'wrapped.' A small leather line used to unwind it actually wrapped around the 3 propeller blades. Joel stood on stanchion in cockpit with boat hook and unwound, while I held onto his belt. He then put a preventer back on the main, to. read more...


09/03/2014

Firefly - More champagne sailing!

The wind is slightly stronger today (around 22 knots, so its force 4 to 5) and coming from the East to South East. This is too much for us to use the spinnaker but sufficient to goosewing the jib and sail very comfortably down the waves. Occasionally our surfing speed is over 10 knots but normally around 8, not quite enough to break the 200 nautical a day milestone (requiring an average of 8.33).We are often asked do we find it lonely out here? - and if you don't, why not?. Apart from enjoying each others company and of course Barney's e mailed jokes, we speak to the rest of the fleet, some 35 boats twice a day on the long range radio and we are keeping in more regular contact with the three boats close to us Ghost, Tulasi and Boingo Alive, via VHF. So we have our own little community. read more...


09/03/2014

Nexus - Great sailing day with Dolphins!

Winds were great over the last 24hrs, as we had 22kts ave wind on the rear quarter, and made just under 10kt average boat speed over the same period! Great sailing. Wind starting to weaken and shift aft this morning but we're still making good progress. We had a special visit with dolphins last evening, as we sailed into a pod we estimated at over 100 animals stretching from 1/4 mile each side of the boat. I believe they were spinner dolphins by the acrobatics they exhibited for us and their relatively smaller size. It was a great show which had the crew on the fore deck for 15 minutes or so enjoying the view. I was a little worried about dragging our two lures through the pod, but I think one of them gave me a look that said "really? you're kidding right?" Dolphins are smart. Humans,. read more...


09/03/2014

Starblazer - 09/03/2014 – Our best day yet (on this leg)

Our day’s run to noon yesterday was 159 miles towards our destination and today’s run is on target to match it, which means an average speed of 6.5 knots. The wind has been steady at between 13 and 15 knots just aft of the port beam so the boat is fairly constantly heeled at about 15 degrees, lurching to 25 when the swell hits us. This makes moving about down below a bit of a struggle, cooking is more difficult. On a starboard tack, i.e. the wind coming over the right hand side of the boat, the cook can lean against the peninsular while stirring the cooking. On port tack it is difficult to stand upright to avoid becoming an added ingredient to the dinner!Please don’t think I am complaining, we are really glad that we seem to have found the southern trade winds. Now we need to avoid a. read more...


09/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 8.Tag - Das war wohl nichts

Dieser Trade-Wind ist nicht einfach zu finden; wir haben ihn auf jeden Fall noch nicht gefunden. Trotzdem haben wir Wind und kommen voran. Und das ist gut so. Heute werden wir die 2000 Seemeilen-Grenze durchbrechen, das heisst wir haben ein Drittel hinter uns. Dies lässt sich bei den frisch gebackenen Brötchen von Michael besonders geniessen. Man gönnt sich ja sonst nichts. Ansonsten sind wir überrascht dass wir so wenig Meerestiere sehen. Seit letztem Mal wo wir die "Haidelfinen" gesehen haben, nichts mehr. Wo die wohl stecken? Tom. read more...


08/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 63; Bread Disaster & Blue Fin Tuna Catch; Friday, March 7, 2014

6:00 AM. Overcast. Wind light, 6/7 knots from the SE. Speed 5.5 knots over the ground. Two large rain showers ahead, one on our left and one on our right. Not a pleasant sight to wake up to. However, let me digress to our last stop. Something I neglected to mention previously. One of the things about the Galapagos Islands that is a little unusual is that the US Dollar is the preferred currency. However, even more unusual is the number of Susan B. Anthony $1.00 coins in circulation. They're everywhere. No wonder they're hard to find in the US. They're all in the Galapagos. And not shiny like in the US. Dull. At 9:38 AM we had to turn the engine back on. The wind had dropped to 4 knots. Back to motor sailing. We motored at 6.4 knots over the ground thanks to a helping current of 1.2. read more...


08/03/2014

Skyelark of London - Day 6 - Is it the doldrums?

This Pacific ocean has lived up to it's name, gentle , calm and peaceful. Our first week at sea has been fair weather cruising by any stretch - beautiful calm seas, easy reaching, dolphins, whales, turtles. Sunny skies by day, starry by night - even catch of the day appears on our menu. The sails that we beautifully set in the Galapagos have barely been touched for over 800 miles, this is the dream, crossing oceans doesn't get much better than this.That was until now, when the constantly changing weather is out to test us and banish rest & idleness. One minute sunshine, the next an overcast mugginess, then perhaps some rain. The wind is getting in on the action too, it blows a while, stops a while, veers a little, backs a little. When it blows ..oh yes..it's great, with the help of. read more...


08/03/2014

Firefly - Still no fish but good winds

Firefly is making great progress across the Pacific; we are now over a third of the way to the Marquesas and we continue to enjoy good winds force of 4 to 5 (in Beaufort Scale) from the South East. Sadly no fish yet but many of the others are celebrating their catches on the radio net. There is a competition running within the fleet estimating the total number of fish caught on passage - sadly we are not making our quota! But who needs fish when yesterday evening Paul cooked up one of his regulars and our favorites - corned beef hash. Tonight its David's turn and unless we hook something soon its looking like we will be opening some tins of tuna.In an earlier log you will have read about Paul and Susie's exciting plans to make the most of their trip to the Southern Hemisphere and have an. read more...


08/03/2014

Nexus - A little rain, then great sailing!

After a brief period of motoring in very light winds, we saw a great string of rain squalls approach from the South East, which came to wash our boat and deliver the wind we ordered. We're now sailing along at 8-10kts in 15kts of wind again. No fish so far, with two lures in all day yesterday, but we keep working it. We're over 1200 miles from Galapagos now, with 1800 to go to Marquesas. We had a large white and grey sea bird circle the boat yesterday, looked like a cormorant. He just said "hello" and cruised on by. We saw a fishing boat on AIS about 15mile away, and had a tanker pass within a couple of miles this morning, but otherwise lots of beautiful sky, and lots and lots of ocean. Smooth sailing and all is well.Russ and Laurie on NEXUS 11:00 6 50.'S;108 36.'W. read more...


08/03/2014

Starblazer - 08/03/2014 – The pretty sail

Yesterday the wind returned soon after 0700. I set the main but didn’t pull out the genoa because I find it too heavy to winch properly, anyway there was a line of squalls heading our way and I didn’t know how much wind to expect. After John got up we pulled out the genoa and were sailing quite well until the wind backed and our speed, in a suitable direction, dropped. Decision time: the plotter showed no significant squalls on the radar so we took a chance and rolled away the genoa and launched the cruising chute, the colourful big sail. We continued with the chute all day, only taking it down just before dusk. I am expecting the day’s run towards the Marquesas to be our best yet on this leg, pedestrian compared with the first leg but better than the preceding days.On the subject of. read more...


08/03/2014

Flomaida II - 8.März - 1/3 ist geschafft!

Der Wind beschert uns im Moment (03:30 Uhr LT) eine Geschwindigkeit von 9-10 Knoten bei 15-20 Knoten Windstärke von 70 Grad. Immer noch der absoluteLieblingswind von Flomaida! Welle gibt es auch kaum. Das Einzige, was michstört ist, dass es stockfinster ist heute Nacht, da der Himmel bedecktist.Der einzige Stern ist der Südstern,der mit intensiver Helligkeit langsamhoch zieht von Achtern, dass ich beim ersten Mal dachte, es sei dasNavigationslicht eines anderen Schiff, das uns verfolgt!Christoph musste schon einen Squall abwettern gegen Mitternacht-ich hoffesehr, dass ich verschont bleibe.Allerdings werde ich mir meine kleinenSchlafviertelstündchen mit Eieruhrwecken heute Nacht nicht leisten Auf demRadar kann man den Squall kommen sehen. Da müssen schnell die Segelreingezogen werden,. read more...


08/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 62; Spinnaker Sailing & Doing Laundry; Thursday, March 7, 2014

Awakened abruptly at 6:00 AM with commotion topside. The boat Auto Pilot had shut itself off and the sails were flopping around. Joel, who got off watch at 3:00 AM, got up to handle with Mike. I assumed watch duties shortly thereafter, and observed that we had two large storm cells in front of us, one on the left and one on the right. Wind 9/10 knots, speed over the ground 7.0 knots. Life is good. Auto Pilot shut off at 8:20 AM again. I was in forward part of cockpit when this occurred. The boat heads into the wind when this happens. I just let the boat go, doing a 360 circle. When the heading (265 degrees) that I wanted came up again, I grabbed the wheel and continued sailing. Also got a 'P.E' come up on chart plotter. Position Error? Not sure. Never saw that one before. At 9:25 AM we. read more...


08/03/2014

Firefly - Champagne Sailing

Well that's what they usually call a combination of sunshine and wind! After a night of light winds and calms when we had to use the engine to keep moving daylight arrived with a steady 15 to 18 knot wind blowing from the South East. This combined with with sunshine has kept us company all day. The morning radio net reports indicated that we with a number of other boats who decided to head further South were enjoying better winds. If we are lucky this stable wind with take us all the way to the Marquesas.With more than 2000 miles still to sail to our next landfall it is a bit premature to be making too many plans however we have been busy reading the pilot guides. Some of the more gruesome tales are stories of cannibalism on the islands .Fortunately we will have plenty of food supplies. read more...


07/03/2014

Skyelark of London - Musings from Colin

Day 5 Musings from Colin7.3.2014Quiet weather yet a quarter of the way there, Dolphins, Tuna and Turtles seen but no Mermaids so far, Dan says, "its only a matter of time".Fresh milk is finished and Daisy (the Cow) has gone dry so we'll just have to eat her, sad but she did drink a lot of water. Steak for dinner!Missing wall to wall news, Countdown and Pointless (not), hope Vlad the Mad hasn't done anything silly.The weather in West Sussex has no doubt returned to its normal 30degress now I'm out of the country and I missed the Church yard clean up.Refreshments have just been served with the match finely balanced so I'll have to cut short, " for there are still muffins for tea".. read more...


07/03/2014

Starblazer - 07/03/2014 – Another day in the Doldrums

Actually yesterday was quite a good day in a slow sort of way. We managed to continue sailing until 0200 this morning though the wind never peaked above 10 knots and was in the 7-8 knot region for most of the day. This means we have probably slipped further behind the majority of the fleet because we need at least 12 knots to get going properly. The solar panels did a sterling job and built up the batteries throughout the day. We have continued to head south of the rhum line, at least when the wind allowed, in the hope of finding those elusive Trades.Great(ish) news on the fishing front. A smallish squid jumped on board overnight so John rigged it up on a hook and trolled that for most of the day. Just as he settled down to tune in to the evening rollcall on the SSB his line started. read more...


07/03/2014

Nexus - Wind shifted but no joy yet.

On the late watch last night, I was sitting in complete darkness as the moon had set, and was startled by a thump in the dark behind me on the coachroof. Looking around briefly I saw nothing so I settled back in my seat. Suddenly a flopping commotion startled me again...a large flying fish had leaped almost all the way over the boat only to land behind me and flop its way off the back. Athletic buggers!Well, the wind shifted as forecast to 120 degrees off our port, but it also dropped to 10kts which makes for slow downwind sailing. Current also slightly askew in this region where it is more on the beam now before shifting back to the east and helping us again. Probably a slow, hot day sailing but the day is young! We have the smaller gennaker up because we need to fly it well to the. read more...


07/03/2014

Flomaida II - 6.März - besser gehts nicht! (05°10.195 S/103°17.363 S)

Das perfekte Segeln hört hoffentlich nicht auf! Wir hatten wieder einetraumhaft schöne Nacht mit unglaublich vielen Sternen, die trotz desfehlenden Mondes das Wasser um uns herum erhellt haben. Christoph hattewährend der Nacht zwar mit ein paar Squalls (ganz starke, plötzliche, sehrkurze Winde, die auch meist Regen haben und gut auf dem Radar zu sehensind) zu tun, aber ich bin verschont geblieben.Den Tag verbrachten wir mit "Segeltraining". Wir haben Gennaker undBesan Stagsegel gesetzt und sind mit 9-10 Knoten über das relativ glatteWasser geflogen und das den ganzen Tag! Es gab kein Problem, und wir habenauch nichts kaputt gemacht!!!. Nur der Kühlschrank muckt ein wenig und willnicht mehr richtig kühlen, aber die Gefriertruhe arbeitet einwandfrei. Dawir ja auch im Moment keinen Wein. read more...


07/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 6. Tag - Uns geht es gut

Uns geht es gut. Gestern und vorgestern ging es gut voran. Leider haben wir zwar noch immer nicht den berühmtberüchtigten Trade-Wind, aber wir bleiben optimistisch. Das Schiff läuft gut, wir essen gut (gestern Pfannkuchen, vorgestern Risotto auf mediterranische Art) und verstehen uns prächtig. Was soll man da noch hinzufügen...?!?! Tom. read more...


07/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 61; We're Sailing, We're Sailing!; Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mike was kind enough to let me sleep an extra hour, waking me at 7:00 AM instead of 6:00 AM. As I poked my head into the cockpit at Mike's urging, he pointed out a rainbow on our starboard bow. Nice. First rainbow of our trip. Still raining a little bit. 2,594 miles to go to Hiva Hoa in the Marquesas. Speed 7.4 knots over the ground, 6.0 knots thru the water. A helping current of 1.4 knots. Only one boat near us now, II Audeacious. Wind 9 knots just behind our port beam. At 8:04 AM I rolled out the jib, turned off the motor, and started sailing. Not sure if we're in the trades yet or not. Won't know (maybe) for a day. Three hours later we were sailing at 8.7 knots over the ground, an increase in speed of 2.7 knots or 45%. Nice. We continued to sail between 8 and 9 knots all day,. read more...


06/03/2014

Skyelark of London - Day 4 Poem

Three men and four women went to seaIn the beautiful Skyelark yacht,They sailed where it's sunny, till the butter went runnyThen they turned and went west where it's hot.Now Colin's in the kitchen,though his underwear is itchingBecause laundry in saltwater isn't kind,He's cooking steak for dinner, noone's getting any thinnerThough the dolphins and the gulls don't seem to mind....Richard's started fishingAnd our hopes are rising, wishingFor a mahi or a plump tuna filletBut the line is limply dragging and somewhere a fish is braggingAbout the big blue yacht that got away.But a new morning a new lureAnd the tunas' chances now are poorAnd we stand by with gaff and knife and pailIn this contest of the sea, skyelark one and tuna threeAs a 10lb beauty dangles on the scaleAs we helm beneath the. read more...


06/03/2014

Firefly - Life on Port Tack

Four days have passed since we left the Galapagos and we are still on Port tack; in fact we expect to be on this tack for most if not all of the way. Firefly has a number of advantages for prolonged periods heeled to port. When heavily laden with water, fuel and food the location of the weight tends to induce a port list (apparently this happens on the Discovery 55 so Firefly is in good company). So in this instance Firefly is stiffer and heels over less when sailing on port. Firefly also has the capability to shift water between the 2 large tanks which are located wide on port and starboard (almost 400 litres each). We are using our watermaker to maintain the port tank full and the starboard one near to empty adding more power. The heads and the shower both work better on port with. read more...


06/03/2014

Nexus - Flying Squid....Really?

This morning we went forward to clean the usual flying fish off the boat only to find our substantial foredeck covered with....Squid! Sheldon tell us its normal. You can't make this stuff up. I guess they get scared and leap out of the water as we cruise by. There must be a lot of them out here, as we've found squid in the bellies of the Tuna we caught and there seem to be a lot of healthy Tuna!Great night sailing along in good winds and smoother seas making about 10kts SOG with favorable current, although both have dropped off a bit. We were expecting the wind to shift aft and excited about flying our asymetric this morning, but were somewhat disappointed to see the wind stayed SSE, but who can complain about making 10kts close hauled in 14kt winds on the beam! We'll be just as excited. read more...


06/03/2014

Starblazer - 06/03/2014 – Sailing at last!

We have several reasons to celebrate, not major ones requiring Champagne, just minor ones earning us steak and chips for dinner with a glass of red wine!Less than two and a half hours after I wrote yesterday’s log the wind increased to 8 knots and we turned off the engine. 8 knots is barely enough to drive Starblazer but its direction is the all important factor. With the wind on the beam we slowly built up speed and have been sailing ever since, the highest wind being 11 knots, and we have averaged a bit over 5.5 knots though not all in the right direction. We are still heading further south than the rhum line in an attempt to find the trade winds and a favourable current, then we should really accelerate. The current, while slowing us down a bit, is helpfully pushing us up towards the. read more...


06/03/2014

Flomaida II - 5.März- ( 004°41.716S - 100°04.195W)

Was sah ich heute Morgen? Viele Tintenfische lagen an Deck! Ich wusste gar nicht, dass die fliegen können.Nach einer herrlichen Segelnacht und einem ausgiebigen Frühstück mit Rührei und dem tollen, selbstgebackenem Brot (Geburtstagsgeschenk für Christoph)von Anneliese von Tulasi, wollte ich die Spülmaschine anstellen.Aber wie so oft bei uns: Keiner hat die Beschreibung gelesen und Einer hat trotzdem gewusst, das es geht! Es ging auch, nur sie ist nicht wasserdicht, und da wir Schräglage haben und auf Steuerbordbug fahren, lief das ganze Wasser beim 1.Spülen raus und überall rein und hin!War halt viel Arbeit, aber es gab glücklicherweise sonst nix zu tun- heuteist mal nichts kaputt gegangen. Es sieht so aus, dass das Wetter die nächsten Tage so bleiben soll, das bedeutet, dass wir. read more...


06/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 60; In a Tropical Trough; Still Looking for the Trade Winds; How Galapagos Got It's Name; Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Got hit by a mild rain squall 20 minutes into my watch at 12:20 AM. Rolled jib and center window of dodger up; and put up piece of canvas between the dodger and bimini again. Wind 4 knots. Still motor sailing 4.8 knots, with 1 knot current against us. Only 2 other sailboats near us now. I believe most went south earlier in the day. We're in a Tropical Trough now. Low Pressure systems form out of such trough's. Not good. However, in looking at our weather GRIB files downloaded over our SSB Radio, it looks like we'll be moving out of this trough by tomorrow; and the weather forecast doesn't predict any serious winds from it. Off watch at 1:00 AM. Supposed to go off watch at 12 midnight. However, when we do watches, if you feel awake enough to give the person following you an extra hour of. read more...


05/03/2014

Nexus - Happiness is 15kts true wind on the beam! A great birthday present for Ness!

Happiness is 15kts of true wind on the beam, and a 2 kt current pushing as along our way! We've been averaging 10-12kts SOG over the last 24 hours and are all smiles on board. We're trying our best to pamper Ness on her birthday, and mother nature is helping us! It's a bit solitary out here, as the rest of the World ARC fleet is spread out enough to be out of VHF range, but we enjoy catching up on the regular SSB nets. We made a decision to sail with the prevailing winds out of Galapagos until they dropped below 8 kts, then motor sail SW to below 8 degrees south where the GRIB files showed consistent trade winds with a drop in wind significantly above that line. We were delighted to have motored only a few hours yesterday before we found some wind around 3 south, and significant wind. read more...



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