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05/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 242; Not Much Wind,; A Bird Visits Us; Frigate Mackerel, Crocodile and Wild Boar for Dinner; and Another Blood Red Sunrise & Sunset; Thursday, September 4, 2014

David got up at 6:00 AM and I slept in until 6:30 AM. At 7:05 AM we had another blood red sunrise. No green flash, but a great sunrise. The horizon is obscured because of a little fog or heavy mist in the air. At 7:23 AM the Merlyn Victory, a 148 foot tug (?) was towing a barge, according to our AIS. It was heading to Darwin at 5.7 knots. It had passed us abeam earlier when Jeanine was on watch and was now 21 miles away and astern of us. I put 4 fishing lines in the water, as we approached two areas where fish were jumping and birds were flying down to get them. The wind was 4.5 knots, our speed thru the water 6.0 knots and our speed over the land 5.8 knots. Polaris is 4.9 miles astern and starboard of us. Sirocco is... off to our right somewhere, not sure where. Out of AIS range. At. read more...


05/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Darwin -->Bali - 4.Tag - No Wind Part II

Wir sind noch immer am Motoren, denn es hat noch immer keinen Wind. Ab und zu kommt eine Brise und dann nehmen wir die Segel hoch zum Motorsailing, aber richtig viel bringen tut das nicht. Den Wettervorhersagen nach sollte es aber morgen/übermorgen dann besser aussehen. Mal schauen. Ansonsten sind alle gut drauf - der Waschi macht die ganze Zeit Witze und wir kugeln uns vor Lachen.Hasta la vista!Cheers, Tom. read more...


05/09/2014

Nexus - The sea is full of life

Even though we had to put the sails away again, yesterday evening was simply magic. In the afternoon we found ourselves sailing through an extended group of sea snakes...what is the proper name for a collection of snakes? There were at least 12 that passed near the boat in the space of a few miles, mostly yellow with bands of color and averaging 6-10ft in length. One of them did a perfect "Loch Ness Monster" pose for us, rearing its head up above the water with the rest of its body in humps above and below the waterline, paused briefly to look at us, then dove below. As usual, we didn't have the camera handy but it gave us a great memory. Later in the afternoon and well into the evening, we were surrounded by a very large pod of small, playful dolphins who continued to play in the bow. read more...


05/09/2014

Folie a Deux - A watch that works at sea

This is our third extended family cruise over the past 10 years.It has taken us ten months on this trip to find a watch cycle that works for our crew.The children have grown to take more and more watch responsibility while underway on overnight passages at sea.As a family of four with Brian age 16 and Lucy age 13 we are all now taking equal shifts of two and one half hours. The rotation remains the same: Dad, Brian, Mom, Lucy.This way we all get a sunrise or a sunset every couple of days.Time zone changes make no difference.There is ample time for sleep, chores, and schoolwork.TimFolie a Deux. read more...


04/09/2014

Starblazer - 05/09/2014 – Sailing!

Actually, the title is a bit of an exaggeration. The wind put in an appearance just before 0800, John rushed up on deck when he heard the engine revs reduce.We let out the main and pulled out the genoa and sailed for 81/2 hours, managing to average 5 knots until the wind died again.We have been motoring all night at just under 5 knots because we don’t want to arrive before 0830 on Monday morning.According to the information we have, overtime is charged for a minimum of 3 hours for each official required. Tonga and Fiji have each had 4 officials.Just for once, I am lost for words because we did nothing all day.We tried to get into hunter/gatherer mode and put out two fishing lines with no result, not even a nibble.My lure came back minus a hook but I’m sure it rusted through!Nature has. read more...


04/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 241; Two Swim Parties , a 'Tree' Hitches a Ride on Our Keel , a 5 Course Dinner and a Blood Red Sunrise and Sunset; Wednesday, September 3, 2014

David got up at 6:10 AM; I got up at 6:30 AM. Sunrise at 6:57 AM, a blood red fireball rising out of the Timor Sea. Looked like a great sunset in reverse. Wind 4 knots, our boat speed motor sailing 5.3 knots. Sirocco of Oz is on our port beam aft 1/2 mile. A while later they pulled in behind us dead astern. At 8:40 AM there were 6 Rallyboats around us: Alpheratz, Polaris, Boingo Alive, NDS Darwin, Sirocco of Oz and Nexus a little further away. Three porpoise passed by to starboard at 8:30 AM.The 9:00 AM net communication was hosted by Laurie from Nexus. 15boats checked in. Nexus had caught a yellow fin tuna and Sirocco a small shark. The day before or this morning?At 8:00 AM 8 porpoises passed by. I say 'passed by' because they did not come close enough to our boat to swim under and in. read more...


04/09/2014

Nexus - Still motoring..but the fishing is good!

Well, we had a brief period of wind and enjoyed an early afternoon sail, but now it's back to 3kts so we're motoring again. We're going through an area north of Western Australia in the Beagle Gulf, where there are numerous undersea mounts and several coral reefs and sand bars. Apparently this area used to be land before the last Ice Age melted, just like the Queensland coast inside the barrier reef. It is rife with strange currents, but also great fishing! We've caught 7 fish so far, and had two more get away at the transom. The keepers have been Northern Blue Fin Tuna, a small variation of what we would recognize as Yellow Fin Tuna but with less yellow and larger pectoral fins. They have great, tasty meat like Yellow Fin, we've eaten one already and two more are in the freezer. The. read more...


04/09/2014

Firefly - Firefly on the move again

On Thursday September 4th Firefly was re launched after a month out of the water at Vuda Point Marina on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. With the hull polished and antifouled, Firefly is now set for a few more weeks cruising in Fiji, before leaving on passages to Vanuatu and then New Caledonia, where we will depart on 'ARC New Zealand' at the beginning of November. We will then spend 6 months exploring New Zealand. ARC NZ is a new World Cruising event for the World ARC 14/15 boats taking an extra year in the South Pacific before joining the next WARC in June/July 2015 as it passes through Tonga and Fiji.Now back from Blighty, having flown home and spent a really enjoyable August in Devon with our Family and Friends we are recovering from jet lag and getting used to living on board again.. read more...


04/09/2014

Celebrate - We are Sailing!

We have finally turned the engine off. The sea breeze that blew us out of Darwin did not last long followed by almost two days of motor sailing. On Charlie's 6AM till 10 AM this morning the South South Easterly breeze started to build sufficient to roll out the genoa and full main (they flap if there isn't enough wind)while still running the motor. By 10AM when Peter came up on watch there was enough wind to hoist the colorful Genniker and after a few adjustments we are bounding along without engine assistance between 5 and 7 knots.No matter how many times it happens turning off the engine, enjoying the silence and relying solely on sail power is a great moment. That does not mean we have not had any other good moments; there was a beautiful red sunset that filled the sky on Charlie's. read more...


04/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Why the World ARC?

Initially we joined the World ARC for the children.We have two, ages 13 and 16.This being our third extended cruise we recognize cruising is a very lonely environment for children, particularly teenagers.What makes the difference is a community of cruises like you find in Georgetown, Bahamas; Culebra, Puerto Rico; and Lupron, Dominican Republic.So we signed up for the 1st half of the World ARC 2013 -2014 and met the fleet at their rendezvous in the San Blas Islands, Panama.What a beautiful event.We were welcomed by all.Then, we realized how important this group of people would become to our family.Around 10 PM, my husband went outside to deal with the horrendous noise of the wind generator.Then it happened -- Tim did serious damage to his left hand – broken, split open, and top of index. read more...


03/09/2014

Starblazer - 04/09/2014 – Moce Fiji (Goodbye)

We decided not to rush to check out on Monday so completed quite a few jobs at a leisurelypace!John reinstalled the water pump on Sunday, a job which took quite a lot of the day, while I repaired the dinghy bag.The zip needed sewing back onto the tape it was attached to.Normally the problem arises with the stitching deteriorating but in this case it was the braid which had started to disintegrate in UV.I’ll have to make a new bag when we get to New Zealand. We had a very pleasant Sunday evening with Dennis and Sherry (Trillium) celebrating Sherry’s birthday a couple of days early because they were due to clear out on Monday.The GRIB files are predicting very little wind all week so we decided to delay our departure until Wednesday which gives us the best chance of arriving in Port Vila,. read more...


03/09/2014

Sirocco Of Oz - Log Day 2 Mid Ocean Swimming

Around 11:00am we got a call from Brian on American Spirit II, inviting us all to a swimming party, what is a swimming party, well you stop in the middle of the sea and take a swim with like minded folks. We were around 5 miles apart so once we caught up we simply knock off the motors and go for a dip in beautiful clear water, the sea temperature a fantastic 32C. Other notable events, the wind or lack thereof got to say there was pretty much zero yesterday or 5 knots dead against us.Today a light SE'ly came to life and on the morning role call everyone was reporting 5 knots E or ESE dead behind us, so we have had a heap of motoring but the forecast is telling us freshing SE'ly in a day or 2, wind is currently 8 knots from the SE and we are motorsailing with motors at 1500 rpm.Other. read more...


03/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Darwin -->Bali - 2.Tag - No Wind

Gestern haben wir uns auf den Weg gemacht nach Bali - 955 Seemeilen, 7-8 Tage (hoffentlich). Während wir noch über die Startlinie gesegelt sind und die nächsten Stunden mühsam gegen den Wind aufgekreuzt sind, sind wir seit gestern Nachmittag am Motoren, so wie alle Schiffe auf dem Weg nach Bali. Obwohl wir kein Wind haben, so ist das Wetter super schön. Keine Wolke weit und breit und das wird höchstwahrscheinlich auch so bleiben. Das heisst natürlich auch dass es super heiss ist, aber das sind wir gewohnt:-). Wir schicken allen daheim gebliebenen liebe Grüsse. Cheers. Tom. read more...


03/09/2014

Nexus - Motoring in flat calm on our way to Bali

Well, the weather forecast was spot on, no significant wind for the first day or so on our way to Bali. It is however, flat calm and pleasant, and we've caught two fish so far. It's important to us, as we have a case of beer at stake in a friendly competition with Ghost. Traffic is light, as most of the fleet has spread out over time, and some have chosen a northerly route, where we have chosen a rhumb line route which is more southerly, somewhat along the lines of Jimmy Cornell's advice, and I wanted to be heading north west in the final days of passage when the wind comes back astern because the waves will be more on the beam and NEXUS will surf them rather than plow through them. But, as I've said before, sailing is like a box of chocolates.... Russ and Laurie on NEXUS 9/3/2014 at 12. read more...


03/09/2014

Folie a Deux - When given lemons make lemonade

We have been underway for four and a half days now since leaving Darwin Australia.  Turns out Folie a Deux is not a sailboat, but a motor boat on this leg.... no wind, less than 5 knots of wind, hardly any ripples in the water.we are running one engine and then the other at the most economical speed 1800 rpm which moves us at 4-5 knots depending upon the current.that's a fast walking pace.we have been buzzed by the austrailian customs airplane four times yesterday. They must have more fuel to burn, than we do.Our engines have around 8,000 hours each. Not bad for 14 year old boat. That's over 320,000 miles of car mileage at an average speed of 40 mph.  Brian figured that's also around 700 days of engine running.  This round the world trip has accounted for more engine time. read more...


02/09/2014

Celebrate - Senational Start for the Bali from Darwin Rally Leg!

What a grand sight our sailing fleet is!With wind in our sails our great looking fleet headed out for Bali together from Darwin, Australia. We have so many fond memories of Darwin, meeting cheerful and hardworking, Keith, who runs the Tipperary Marina (also he has a lovely wife, Lei).Our new crew person, Peter, is aboard and he cooks, too!Also new, Rob of rally control and we have already appreciated his help.The rally sponsored two fun socials and we had a terrific last Thai supper.We must say goodbye to Hugh at rally control who was wonderful to us and we will miss.Good luck to everyone!Cathy. read more...


03/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 240; Half Way Home, a Ceremony for Richard Volz, Departing for Bali and a Tacking Duel with Boingo Alive Leaving Darwin; Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Today marks the half way point of our trip. Joel and I have been away for 8 months and will be home in 8 months, May 2, 2015 at the BCYC Yacht Club at 12 noon. Set your calendar. Up at 5:45 AM as we're the fist ones out of the Tipperary Waters Marina lock. The lock can only hold one boat at a time, and we were picked first because our draft is the least in the fleet at 5 feet one inch. Coffee, then we shoved off from the slip at 6:35 AM after stowing the electrical cables and transformer. In the lock at 6:45 AM, we did a starboard tie, with Suzana and Rob tending our lines (I think it was Rob and not Hugh). I gave Keith, the marina manager our shower key and got $20 back. Once we were out of the lock at 6:50 AM we motored to an area near the starting line for the next leg and grabbed a. read more...


02/09/2014

Merlyn of Poole - Sad to leave Australia, but excited to be on our way to Bali

‘The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat’After three weeks of ‘land-lubbing’, here we are again, back in our time-honoured, at-sea routine. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to take the start to the leg with all the other boats, and we really enjoyed leaving in convoy. There was a group of schoolchildren waiting on the quay to wave us off, and it was a moving experience to see them all waving wildly as we sailed away, on an unexpected beat, weaving in and out of each other as we tacked to and fro across the harbour. Monday was very hectic. We didn’t get to bed until the small hours, and we had to make an early start to ensure that we were ready to be third boat into the marina lock, at just after seven am on Tuesday. It takes longer than you might. read more...


Flomaida II - Das ist schon die luxuriösere Variante (Tanna/Vanuatu)
Flomaida II - Das ist schon die luxuriösere Variante (Tanna/Vanuatu)
Flomaida II - Ein Häuschen im Grünen!
Flomaida II - Ein Häuschen im Grünen!
Flomaida II - Schon wieder Fisch zum Frühstück!!!
Flomaida II - Schon wieder Fisch zum Frühstück!!!
02/09/2014

Celebrate - Amazing Ayers Rock Side Tour from Alice Springs, Australia!

After welcoming Peter on board CELEBRATE in Darwin and meeting his lovely friends Paula & Diane for a great Greek dinner, Charlie & Cathy were ready to fly out to Alice Springs as a sight seeing base for an all day bus tour to Ayers Rock (now called Uluru/see posted photo).At the amazing "rock' we were able to take several walks around the base with ancient aboriginal paintings in them.Also, we were able to visit another huge rock formation nearby called Kata Tjuta.We finished the day with a sunset view of Ayers Rock with many changing colors and a festive BBQ with a glass of champagne.What magnificent sights!Charlie & Cathy. read more...


Flomaida II - So strahlende Kinderaugen für einen Lolly!
Flomaida II - So strahlende Kinderaugen für einen Lolly!
Flomaida II - Es ist mal wieder Waschtag! Oder Schrankersatz??
Flomaida II - Es ist mal wieder Waschtag! Oder Schrankersatz??
Celebrate - Visiting Ayers Rock (AKA Uluru)
Celebrate - Visiting Ayers Rock (AKA Uluru)
01/09/2014

Aislig Bheag - 18th - 30th August Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

18th AugustWe had an early start, 7.30am departure from San Miguel to try to get well underway before the wind became too strong.  It wasn’t one of the better journeys with the wind almost on the nose in big seas making for a very wet passage indeed.  Back in my wet weather sailing gear for first time in weeks.  Got in around 3pm and slept for 2 hours. Saw Nigel and Tracy who had arrived here yesterday.  We had dinner and prepared for another early start. 19th AugustWe headed out at about 08.30 am on our final leg of the first part of our journey to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria.  We sailed in the company of Tracy and Nigel on Relentless for much of the passage.  We sailed on a reach in the morning and by the afternoon, a. read more...


01/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 239; Last Full Day in Darwin and a Very Thorough Skippers Meeting; Monday, September 1, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM. David actually got up then. I thought about it and then went back to sleep for a couple of hours. Breakfast at 9:00 AM: coffee, tea, eggs, potato and raisin bread.One of the things that David delivered to me was my new American Express card. This one had a chip in it for security and was compliant with the new Australian law mandating pin numbers for credit cards or security chips. I activated it at 9:40 AM and will try it out later today. At 9:50 AM I called a dentist listed in our Rally manual. Again, one of the advantages of being in the WCC Rally. Their having put information like that into our Rally manual. Fortunately I was able to secure an appointment at 1:10 PM today. Why the dentist? Last night after dinner I developed a tooth ache. Bad timing. Why couldn't the. read more...


01/09/2014

Celebrate - Day trips to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks

Our time in Darwin has been limited to less than a week but we have made the most of it. Peter's trips have included a day tour to Litchfield National park where we toured through dramatic scenery, wandered around giant termite mounds and walkedto even more waterfalls- a continuing theme on the rally. We even went for a swim at the foot of Florence Falls. The tour was warned off swimming at Wangi falls as a few days earlier a tourist had been 'scratched' (in the words of the tour guide) by a fresh water croc.Another trip with kiwi friends Paula and Tony took Peter on a boat trip around the Corroboree Billabong where we saw all sorts of water lilies andbirdlife including a Jacana . At one point we got very close to both salt water crocodiles (saltys) and the less aggressive fresh water. read more...


Celebrate - Spectacular view at Kakadu National Park
Celebrate - Spectacular view at Kakadu National Park
Celebrate - Not all the locals are friendly; seen on the way to Kakadu National Park
Celebrate - Not all the locals are friendly; seen on the way to Kakadu National Park
Flomaida II - David wurde ein Freund! Stolz hat er uns seinem Dorf und seiner Familie vorgestellt
Flomaida II - David wurde ein Freund! Stolz hat er uns seinem Dorf und seiner Familie vorgestellt
Flomaida II - David wurde ein Freund! Stolz hat er uns seinem Dorf und seiner Familie vorgestellt
Flomaida II - David wurde ein Freund! Stolz hat er uns seinem Dorf und seiner Familie vorgestellt
Flomaida II - So viele Kinder überall!
Flomaida II - So viele Kinder überall!
Flomaida II - Die wunderschöne Bucht von Erramango
Flomaida II - Die wunderschöne Bucht von Erramango
31/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 238; Brother David Arrives in Darwin; Sunday, August 31, 2014

Up at 8:00 AM. Breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and raisin bread. Took a taxi to the airport to pick up a rental car. $24.50 one way. Expensive. I had reserved one at Thrifty using my phone but Jeanine got online and found one for me at 1/2 the price of what I was going to pay at Budget. So I rented the car for 2 days instead of one. I was back at the boat by 10:30 AM; then at 12:30 PM I took Michael, Peggy and their 2 children to the airport. From the Rally boat Polaris. Back at the boat by 1:20 PM. Then off again to pick up my twin brother, David, flying in from Chicago via Los Angeles and Sydney to Darwin. He arrived at 2:15 PM toting a bag weighing 70 pounds and loaded with spare parts, a couple of hose reels and 30 freeze dried dinners. Once he got to the boat Joel and I finished. read more...


31/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 237; Work Day, Provisioning #2, Nexus and Polaris Visit; Saturday, August 30, 2014

Up at 7:45 AM. Breakfast at 8:30 AM.At the 9:00 AM Rally broadcast we found out that Custom's and Immigration will be coming to our marina Monday between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM for us to clear out of the country; and that the Skipper's meeting for the leg to Bali will be Monday also at 4:30 PM. At 9:00 AM Joel went 'next door' to Polaris to help Michael install his new VHF radio. It was successfully installed except for one connection which will rectified when Michael returns to the boat in Cocos Keeling (He's flying home to Germany tomorrow).I called home at 9:40 AM (it was Friday night in Tampa)and talked to Janet, Andy, Patti, Diane and Bill who were at my house celebrating Janet's, Diane's and Bill's birthdays. Andrew Bishop, the World Cruising Club Managing Director, stopped by to. read more...


31/08/2014

Free & BrEasy - Natural Selection in Darwin

We continued to make good time to Cape Don across the Arafura Sea but ran in to strong tidal rip currents entering the ominously named, Van Diemen Gulf.Our speed over the ground was reduced to 0 knots and the current produced an unpleasant disturbed sea. We decided on a more leisurely route around Melville and Bathhurst Islands rather than fight the moon! This added nearly a day to our passage but with the benefit of hind sight, we should have considered anchoring, as other World ARC boats did, and going through the narrow passage between the islands and the mainland with a fair tide. In any case we were enjoying the cruise and Annabelle's company so why rush and make life difficult?We arrived in Darwin early in the morning and anchored in Fannie Bay, off the Darwin Sailing Club but a. read more...


30/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 236; Touring Litchfield National Park Outside Darwin; Friday, August 29, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM; breakfast at 6:45 AM. Coffee tea, scrambled eggs, chilled fruit cocktail and raisin bread.Boarded our tour bus at 7:30 AM and departed the Tipperary Waters Marina at 7:40 AM en route to Fannie Bay to pick up the catamaran crews going on the tour. Departed Fannie Bay at 8:03 AM. On a large bus that seats 50 and has a toilet. Like our tour in MacKay Bay, our driver is a female. Named Stephanie. The first thing she said on the PA system was that we're supposed to wear our seat belts or she is subject to a fine of $420. The nanny state lives in Australia. The road to Litchfield National Park was single lane, with a maximum speed of 130 kilometers (80 miles per hour). Usually the speed limit is set at 100 kilometers (62 miles per hour). There were occasional signs referencing. read more...


Flomaida II - Mit Machete und Cocosnuss durch den Regenwald
Flomaida II - Mit Machete und Cocosnuss durch den Regenwald
Flomaida II - Ist das nicht paradiesisch?
Flomaida II - Ist das nicht paradiesisch?
Flomaida II - Die traditionellen Tänze werden sehr ernst genommen
Flomaida II - Die traditionellen Tänze werden sehr ernst genommen
Flomaida II - Das Kostümieren macht den Großen wie den Kleinen viel Spaß .
Flomaida II - Das Kostümieren macht den Großen wie den Kleinen viel Spaß .
Flomaida II - Die Feuertänzer, wow welche tolle Darbietung. TÜV sollte lieber nicht vorbei schauen!
Flomaida II - Die Feuertänzer, wow welche tolle Darbietung. TÜV sollte lieber nicht vorbei schauen!
Flomaida II - Amel im Doppelpack
Flomaida II - Amel im Doppelpack
Flomaida II - Die Cocoskrabbe beim Chinesen, wer bekommt da nicht Appetit???
Flomaida II - Die Cocoskrabbe beim Chinesen, wer bekommt da nicht Appetit???
Flomaida II - Ein kleiner Australienfan wäscht am Waschstein seine Sachen
Flomaida II - Ein kleiner Australienfan wäscht am Waschstein seine Sachen
29/08/2014

Flomaida II - 16.8.-24.8. Port Vila auf Efaté (Vanuatu)

Wieder haben wir einen tollen Segeltag! Die Genua ausgebaumt fahrenwir bei 25-30 kn wahrem Wind im "Schnetterling" mit 8-9 kn, nachdemwir auch noch neben der Genua die kleine Fock setzen konnten underreichen nach 80 sm Port Vila auf Efaté, die Hauptstadt´von Vanuatu.Die Einfahrt ist nichts für schwache Nerven, denn der Kanal ist sehreng, und es gibt ein kreuzendes Stromkabel auf angeblich 30m Höhe, werweiß, ob es stimmt, wann wurde es nachgespannt??!!Da wir beiNiedrigwasser einfahren, sollte es klappen, und es hat geklappt,sogarohne Bodenberührung wegen des Niedrigwassers!Bei der Einfahrt hören wir Musik und stellen fest, dass es einFestival für die Microeconomy Firmen von den diversen Inseln gibt andiesem WE. Jeder hat seinen kleinen Stand und preist seine Ware an.Zum Beispiel. read more...


Flomaida II - Wunderschöne, versteckte Buchten
Flomaida II - Wunderschöne, versteckte Buchten
Flomaida II - Hier gibts Früchte und Cocosnusswasser am Straßenrand
Flomaida II - Hier gibts Früchte und Cocosnusswasser am Straßenrand
Flomaida II - Gekonnt köpft David die Cocosnüsse zum Trinken
Flomaida II - Gekonnt köpft David die Cocosnüsse zum Trinken

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