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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...


02/11/2014

Nexus - On our way to RIchards Bay!

Well, we started out on a great sailing day with good wind for the start of Leg 14 to Richards Bay, but late in the evening yesterday we essentially sailed out of the wind as predicted in the forecast and we've been motoring since then in calm seas and light wind. It's a beautiful day and the Indian Ocean is a deep indigo blue which is beautiful, but has yielded us no fish so far. We were going too fast for trolling initially but we don't have that excuse anymore, perhaps the magic has gone out of Curly's Lures from Savusavu and we'll need to make a change! The fleet has thinned out as usual, we had five boats leave early because they are usually slow and wanted to arrive with us. At the moment they're about 120 miles ahead of us. The rest of the fleet has spread out and are behind us,. read more...


02/11/2014

Free & BrEasy - Two and a Half Happy Dodos

The local beer in Le Reunion is called Bourbon and has a happy looking Dodo as a logo so is known affectionately as "Dodo beer". But all that was 200 miles ago as we are now in the Indian Ocean heading for the southern tip of Madagascar, after leaving a day earlier than the rest of the fleet. Why only two and half happy Dodos? More later!We hired a car for two days to get a good "feel" for Reunion. The volcanic mountains at the centre of the island are circled partly by a high quality motorway and even the small local roads are in extremely good condition. Most of the island is extensively populated near the coast with well maintained villages which extend up the winding roads into the mountains. These local roads need careful handling as the hairpin bends are lined with very deep. read more...


02/11/2014

Lir - Logs appearing soon

Just sending this as a test. It appears all is OK and we hope to post some logs here soon!. read more...


02/11/2014

La Madeline - Getting ready

Our fourth crew member joined us late Thursday night.Enjoyed the Bon voyage party Friday night and may have stayed out a little late, but it was a great crew bonding night:). Finished getting our provision today and spending the night doing final preparations.Feeling the cold front coming through and can't wait to head out!Great week of seminars and feel ready for the passage.. read more...


01/11/2014

Senseless - Ready to Leave

We are all ready, inspected and waiting on the weather. Storm Sunday morning so departure will most likely be Monday. keri has been cooking for days, and I want to fish. Paul is redoing my rig and Ira is tying everything down. It is time to leave. When the storm has passed the forecast is for easy weather for at least a week. It is going to be great.Capt. Erik. read more...


01/11/2014

Celebrate - Reunion; a delightful and special stopover.

Our week here went very quickly but there was lots to see. Surprisingly Reunion is not only a French Department but also part of the European Union. Much of the infrastructure has benefited from considerable investment from the EU. The shiny new road system dominates the lower coastal plateau but makes getting around very easy.Peter hired a car for four days and explored the interior of the island with Sandra, Tom and Frank from Sweet Pearl. We drove and climbed around 400 bends (that's what the guide says and we stopped counting!)to drop down into the green volcanic crater of Circe de Cilaos. After the rather dry savanna low lands and ascent through clouds it's like finding the lost city of Shangri-la. The place is a paradise for walkers.The Circe and town of Cilaos are surrounded by. read more...


01/11/2014

GarliX - Wir sind in Las Palmas - und sind dabei!!

Wir sind in Las Palmas - und sind dabei!!ARC.001.. read more...


GarliX - Wir sind in Las Palmas - und sind dabei!!
GarliX - Wir sind in Las Palmas - und sind dabei!!
01/11/2014

Bliss - Soon to arrive in Las Palmas

After arriving with Bliss almost two months ago in Las Palmas, the crew will soon arrive for the crossing. We had a wonderful trip from Copenhagen, 2.548 nautical miles. It took 6 weeks and gave us wonderful experiences and learnings. Since September 22nd we have been back at work in Denmark. On November 14th we - owners Elizabeth and Ib together with our son Andreas and daughter Camilla, our daughter in-law Katja and an old sailing-buddy Ebbe. Elizabeth, Ib and Camilla on the picture with Hans, who will not be back. We are more than ready having prepared for this for more than 1.5 years. We look forward to meeting new people and enjoying the atmosphere of excitement in Las Palmas.P1020315. read more...


Bliss - Soon to arrive in Las Palmas
Bliss - Soon to arrive in Las Palmas
Flomaida II - Warten auf den "Startschuss"
Flomaida II - Warten auf den
01/11/2014

American Spirit II - Day 299; Last Full Day in Reunion; We Visit the Roland Garros Restaurant; & Dinner at Rigger Ben's House; Friday, October 31, 2014

Jeremy is up at 5:35 AM; followed by me at 5:40 AM. Joel sleeps in until 7:45 AM. Breakfast at 8:00 AM: eggs; potato; fruit cocktail; and French bread.After breakfast we put stuff away; filled boat water tank using hose with large charcoal filter; installed whisker pole back on mast; returned laundry room key; called car rental location and extended car for one more day; paid the bill for the E-80 chip reader part and installation; and used the internet at the rigger's office to send out some logs and receive email. We left the wharf area in the car at 11:00 AM to go to the Jumbo mall to go to an ATM there; and get haircuts. After waiting in a 'coiffure' salon for 45 mimutes, we left as it was taking longer to get our haircuts than promised. At 12:45 PM we're in St. Denise, about 30. read more...


01/11/2014

Sweet Pearl - Mauritius -->Richards Bay - 2. Tag - Auf nach Afrika

Obwohl wir bereits auf Mauritius waren, das auch zum Kontinenten Afrika gehört, fühlen wir erst jetzt mit unserem Aufbrechen gestern nach Südafrika (1450 Seemeilen), dass wir jetzt nach Afrika segeln. Der Start, 1 Tag vor dem offizielen Start, war reibungslos und anstatt den vorhergesagten leichten Winden, hatten wir eine gute Briese, die uns gut voranbringt. Hoffen wir dass das so weiter geht:-). Liebe Grüsse von Sandra und mir nach hause. Cheers, Tom. read more...


Flomaida II - Port Moselle/Nouméa- warten auf das optimale Wetterfenster für die Überfahrt nach NZ
Flomaida II - Port Moselle/Nouméa- warten auf das optimale Wetterfenster für die Überfahrt nach NZ
Flomaida II - Wassersport einmal anders!
Flomaida II - Wassersport einmal anders!
31/10/2014

Crazy Horse - Getting Ready - Friday Oct31,2014

Hi to All,Bill and I arrived here at Ocean Marina on Monday afternoon. We had a great sail down the bay and even got to visit with our friends LJ and Sarah and their new dog Brady while tied up in Solomons I. at Zanhisers.We watched as manysailors descended on marinas atSolomons as they all made their yearly trek south with the birds to warmer climates. Matt arrived late Tuesday ready for our voyage to the Caribbean.We have attended many great seminars on safety, dealing with heavy weather, provisioning, weather forecasting, and dealing with health and emergency situations. The final seminar was today with a flare and life raft deploymentdemonstration. We are just now waiting to see if the weather will cooperate for our start at noon on Sunday. Tonight is the final farewell dinner. The. read more...


31/10/2014

Abigail - Almost Ready

It's Halloween and 2 days from our scheduled departure for Tortola, BVI.It's been a bit hectic getting ready.Aside from all the the usual preparations for an offshore passage we had the added pleasure of burning out our 24v alternator on the way to Portsmouth. (The alternator charges the batteries when the engine is running.)It has been a real fire drill getting the parts and getting the new alternator installed.Props to Billzo at Aquidneck Custom and Keith at Ocean Marine Yacht Center for making a nearly impossible job possible.The good news is that this morning we finally got it working and are now able to put the boat in proper order and pack away supplies.The crew, Pat, Ron and Bernie arrive tonight.They're such rock stars they are excused from most of the prep work.(Actually, they. read more...


31/10/2014

Anika - ANIKA Testing Blog

This is a first attempt at blogging so forgive the lack of style.   Anyway to add a little bit of reality we fly out to Lanzarote tomorrow the 31st to be reunited with ANIKA and sail across to the arc start line in Las Palmas   Saludas   DavidSail_Picture. read more...


Anika - ANIKA Testing Blog
Anika - ANIKA Testing Blog
T&T: Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T: Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T - Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T - Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T - Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T - Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T - Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
T&T - Overtocht Cogolon / Gran Canaria
31/10/2014

American Spirit II - Day 298; A New Forestay is Successfully Installed on the Boat & a Halloween Party is Held at the Dodo Restaurant; Thursday, October 30, 2014

I want to welcome Dottie and Ken, Jeremy's parents, as new (last 2 months) log readers. Jeremy has advised me that Dottie, especially, is thankful for all the 'mind numbing detail' I put in the logs because she has a good idea what her son is going thru day to day (like the 'lovely cruise across the Indian Ocean without a forestay). Dottie, Jeremy has been such a good crew member that we're keeping him for another month. He'll now be home in the middle of December instead of the middle of November.*Up at 5:18 AM. Coffee and updating notes into the log book/daily journal. A very sunny morning, with a light wind blowing. Why 5:18 AM? Because the sun rises over the mountains to the east and lights the boat up. Breakfast at 8:00 AM: eggs; potato; chilled pear halves and French (baguette). read more...


31/10/2014

Celebrate - Breathtaking Helicopter Flight and Haunting Halloween Party in Reunion!

Between the abysses, wild canyons, waterfalls, volcanoes, rain forest and peaks the helicopter ride shows the fascinating world of Reunion!It was not to be missed!Haunted costumes, a live band playing jumping music, delicious duck and marlin salad dinners with huge tiramisu for pudding made for a terrific Halloween Party at the Dodo Gourmand Restaurant.Charlie went as Lord Nelson, Peter was the devil with red horns and Cathy was a cow girl along with our pumpkin buckets filled with candy bars to hand out.Many rally boats attended which also made for an extra fun evening!Charlie, Cathy and Peter. read more...


31/10/2014

American Spirit II - Day 297; 'Bad' Parts Day in Reunion & Anatomy of a Forestay Failure; Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jeremy is first up at 7:00 AM, followed by me at 7:30 AM and Joel at 7:45 AM. Breakfast at 8:10 AM: eggs; potato; apricot halves; and French baguette (French bread). At 9:30 AM when the rigger arrived at his shop I brought the parts I had gotten in Mauritius the day before to him. It took only a second for him to see that the parts I brought were for the racing foil and not the cruising foil. We had ordered the parts for the R 350 furling system instead of the for the C 350. R = Racing; and C = Cruising. They're incompatible. The rigger, Ben, said that we can still use the plastic top halyard wrap stop cap with a little modification by him. Joel and I usually complement each other so that this sort of mistake is caught by one of us, but this time it wasn't. The one emotion I was feeling. read more...


30/10/2014

Aviva - Getting ready to rally!

We moved into the Ocean Marine Center marina yesterday -- what a festive pre-rally environment, with almost all of the boats nicely dressed in flags.  Our neighbor, Moonshadow, noticed right off that our jack lines did not run all the way forward, and helped us out with a longer one -- thank you, Paul and Monica!  At Paul's suggestion we also seized all our shackles and fixed a cotter pin that was sticking out in a way that was sure to slice someone walking around it.  We had our safety inspection yesterday afternoon and have just a few small items to attend to, such as a knife in the cockpit, another set of thigh straps to wear with PFD, and lanyards on our buckets.  Rigging and fishing seminars today ... learning so much!!!  We have met a bunch of great. read more...


30/10/2014

Nisida - Lots of Dolphins

Its been upwind and uncomfortable all night and this morning, we are now managing good progress and should be clear of Biscay some time tomorrow!Sausage rolls for breakfast went down well, whats for lunch?Will run out of pork scratchings in the next day or so anyone fancy organising an airdrop?looking fwd to a beer in Las Palmas!!!!!. read more...


Flomaida II - 4.9.1774 Ankunft der Europäer, wie die Kanaken es gesehen haben
Flomaida II - 4.9.1774 Ankunft der Europäer, wie die Kanaken es gesehen haben
Flomaida II - Dann doch lieber barfuß über die Korallen!
Flomaida II - Dann doch lieber barfuß über die Korallen!
Flomaida II - Abendstimmung im Hafen von Nouméa
Flomaida II - Abendstimmung im Hafen von Nouméa