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30/06/2013

Sephina of Beaumaris - ARC 2013 Day Minus 147

The house is nearly packed up. The jobs list is now less than a page and we are due to move onto Sephina in a week or so. Most of the recent jobs have been adding the communication systems and I am hoping there are no more cables to be run. My electronics contractor thinks the boat is worth its weight in copper! It was great to fire up the Satellite system and download an Atlantic GRIB weather file in seconds. I have decided to go with both a Parasailor and twin head sails as the latter seems to have a lot of supporters especially for its ease of reefing for a squall. Sephina will leave Deganwy in North Wales at the end of July via SW Ireland and Portugal. She will meet up with two other ARC participants, Gozwoz and Kika before setting off for Gran Canaria in September. The crew is now. read more...


28/06/2013

Serendipity - Serendipity - Operation Save the Treacle Miners

After suffering engine failure and very little wind on a lee shore off Cape St Vincent on the last leg to Lagos the Treacle Miners on Serendipity wish again to thank all the boats in the ARC Portugal for the tremendous efforts to help get us alongside safely. The suggestions for technical solutions to our engine issues, weather and sea state information from ahead and practical advice on creating a good tow were invaluable. This is exactly why we chose to do this trip with WCC so that we were surrounded by experienced and helpful fellow sailors. The level of seamanship within the fleet is why we are tied up in Lagos Marina safe and sound.A special thanks go to the crew of Ocean Trilogy who arrived in minutes and very professionally took a tow to take us away from the cape and into more. read more...


Quirine - Re:
Quirine - Re: <Baionna > <Quirine ready for crew change>
Quirine - Leviathan and Abraxas fighting for first to arrive in Oeiras
Quirine - Leviathan and Abraxas fighting for first to arrive in Oeiras
Quirine - Re:
Quirine - Re: <Leg 7 > <Quirine crew of leg 7 awaiting prize giving results>
Quirine - Re:
Quirine - Re: <Leg 7 > <Henk Bothof behind the wheel of Quirine>
Quirine -
Quirine - <leg 8 > <Quirine finally gets the genaker to work>
28/06/2013

Quirine -

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27/06/2013

Starblazer - The final leg

As predicted, the final day's sailing was a disappointment, but not without incident. We had been 'serenaded' by the crews of Serendipity and Leviathan II until about 0100 so the 0530 alarm was not welcome! Just before we started getting ready to slip lines I found that we had run out of water, the gauge had stuck and we didn't still have three quarters of a tank. We started refilling while we got everything ready then, at about 0610, we slipped our lines and set off towards Lagos, into rolly seas with no wind so it became a motor boat race.During the morning the wind picked up a bit so we pulled out the genoa and cut the engine. A bit later we rolled away the genoa and pulled up the cruising chute for the first time since Biscay, other than to dry it while we were in the marina at. read more...


27/06/2013

Webster - Log 10 Sines to Lagos - the last leg!

Well this is it the last leg on our trip South to Lagos which was to take us around cape St Vincent, the notorious cape off which Nelson fought his great battle at Trafalgar. We were warned of wind speed increases of three Beaufort scales and big seas so Kate was spooked before we had even started. However, the forecast was for light winds on the nose and as this was going to be the longest leg, 75nm, it was going to be a motoring job for all. So up at 5am for a 6am start and we were off under engine which was a bit disappointing given the fantastic sailing conditions we had enjoyed the past few legs but never mind. Put full main up to balance the boat and that's how we went some 55nm down to the Cape. However, boats were already going round and reporting 28 knots from the East (on the. read more...


27/06/2013

Farfelu - All done and dusted

The party is over, the morning after celebrating our arrival in Lagos.There's a feeling of achievement on Farfelu - roughly a thousand miles under her keel - we've made the distance and, apart from losing our ensign half way, no major incident to report.Well, that's not strictly true.There was a nasty moment when yours truly decided to tension the main halyard whilst sailing about five miles offshore.We were bombing along quite merrily, in contention for a decent position for a change and it seemed like a good idea at the time to try to improve the sail shape.When the rope broke and the sail started to fall I knew I had made a blunder.Karen was remarkably calm about it, we clipped on harnesses, put the boat into the wind and did battle with the flappy falling thing for over an hour.We. read more...


26/06/2013

Merlyn of Poole - Sixteen days to go!

Our departure from Hamble is scheduled for Saturday, 13th July at 13.00 - weather permitting. Getting very excited and finishing last jobs on the boat, as well as passage-planning in earnest!. read more...


25/06/2013

Webster - Log 9: Oeiras to Sines 23rd June

Later start today to Sines scheduled 55nm. Very impressed with Oeiras but have to leave to head further South. Lovely day again, with wind N/NE so downwind again all the way. Poled out the jib again and went really well down to Cabo Espichel just under half way there and we sailed into a hole just off the cape and stayed at under 2 knots for half an hour or so. A bit surprised as supposed to blow harder around these points. The wind had been at some 15knots plus but soon returned from NW and increasing. We had already shaken out our reef earlier on but kept full rig up and were hitting 9 and 10 knots at times. Getting the pole down at the end was an issue again but managed it a little better this time by laying the boat across the wind again. Finished at 1522 first in class A again so we. read more...


25/06/2013

Silver Slipper - Silver Slipper in Roscoff

Well is been two weeks since we left our home port of Brixham. We are now moored up in the new marina in Roscoff and very pleasantly surprised. The crew are all happy and enjoying the life of "boat bums". Weather is all ready getting warmer with more to come.  Plan to visit L’Aber Wrac’h tomorrow then round the Chanal du Four to Camaret before heading slowly down the coast before we cross Biscay to Santander.Flying the ARC flag with pride and making lots of new friends along the way. . read more...


24/06/2013

Starblazer - A successful day's sailing

Sunday dawned sunny and windy! The wind was not as strong as it appeared. Today's leg from Oeiras to Sines started at 10.00 a.m. for the 50+ nautical miles including Cabo Espichel where we might expect a wind acceleration zone. Some boats headed off to the west while others sailed inshore, both groups hoping for favourable winds. We steered a middle course, watching the west bound group disappear in the background. Sadly for us, the inshore group crept ahead of us, especially Idefix, a Belgian boat flying a bright pink spinnaker. Their advantage was to be short lived however because they all sailed into a wind hole close to the cliffs! The first 14 miles were very slow however the wind picked up in the afternoon and we sailed on, wing and wing (mainsail pulled out one side and secured. read more...


23/06/2013

Webster - Log 8 Figueira to Peniche and Peniche to Oeiras

We were delayed by a day due to poor weather in Figueira but the sun came out and we had a really lovely day with no pressure and no plans so we went for a long walk along the seafront into the next town , came back and had the most fantastic fish platter for lunch.The leg to Peniche was 55 nm again with wind forecast to be 12-15 knots NNW, it blew a bit more than this but not too bad. We were not quite powered up enough with one reef andthe wind was to much on the quarter to pole out the jib but we still managed to finish third in class with Abraxus and Quirine ahead on corrected time. We didn't spend long in Peniche to make up for the extra day in Figueira so set off the next morning for another 55 miler to Oeiras with max 20 knot winds forecast.Managed to get the start right this time. read more...


22/06/2013

Starblazer - Summer has arrived

Friday morning we went on a coach tour of the Oeiras area, starting with a visit to the Poets' Park where they commemorate twelve of their best known 20th century poets.It is quite a pleasant stroll in the sunshine, but not yesterday when there was a biting wind and brief showers which had replaced the sunny early morning.From there we went to a gunpowder factory and spent a very long time in a traffic jam on the way, caused by roadworks on a roundabout!The museum was interesting and quite different from Explosion!in Gosport. In Portugal the walls are very thick, the ceilings high and the roofs thin so explosions go upwards.The rooms were also quite large and bright and there was a memorial outside listing the workers who had died in explosions.Explosion, by contrast, comprises small. read more...


21/06/2013

Starblazer - Fantastic sailing

We finally left Figuera Da Foz on Wednesday morning.This was definitely our best start ever, second over the line.We had a cracking sail to Peniche, averaging 6.9 knots through the water, more over the ground when the current is taken into account.This was definitely our best race to date, finishing fourth in class 2.Class 2 is led by four boats designed to race, the handicap should allow us to compete on even terms however we are fully loaded for long term cruising so are rather heavier than the boat's spec.We were delighted with fourth place.Thursday morning we left Peniche for Oeiras, near Lisbon.As we had been rafted up overnight we had a gate start between 0820 and 0900.Rally Control sat up by the lighthouse and called our start times.Conditions were much as Wednesday to start with,. read more...


21/06/2013

Farfelu - A day at the races

We are beginning to discover our confidence in Farfelu.The last two legs have been quite demanding; the leg from Figueira to Peniche was postponed due to unfavourable sea conditions so we had an extra day to mooch around town but an early morning departure into a rather grey day with the remains of a distinct northerly swell saw the fleet on its way.On each day the winds were north-north-west so almost dead astern.We sailed a pretty good course from Figueiras and managed to record 11.4 knots at one stage, albeit briefly but it shows on the AIS log so I'm chuffed!Even more to our surprise, we were third across the line at the finish, so rather a good day was had by all.We rafted up alongside a similar boat for the night and were given a splendid spicy chicken supper in their company,. read more...


21/06/2013

Starblazer - Tuk-Tuks, sailing and trains!

Our trip in a very modern electric Tuk-Tuk to the Graham's Port Wine Lodge was quite comfortable though the cobbles were very noisy.The tour was interesting and the dinner afterwards was superb.Thursday we went on a tour of Oporto, travelling there from Gaia by Tuk-Tuk.We started with a two hour guided walking tour, visiting a spectacularly decorated church, the stock exchange built on the site of the adjacent convent (long since burned down in battle),the beautifully decorated station and the cathedral.Martha, our guide, was excellent. After that we had a two hour guided tour by Tuk-Tuk of the centre of Oporto (aka Porto) and the opposite bank of the Douro river.The highlight of this trip was a visit to Lello's bookshop, the inspiration for the moving staircases and the library in Harry. read more...


19/06/2013

Quirine -

The Baiona Marina was very agreeable. The club building of the marina is spectacularly situated  blending in with the background of an old paraderos. The clubhouse building with its Galicia is an area with its own peculiar characteristics, its own language, its own culture. No flamengo dances nor bullfights in Galicia, but e.g. bagpipes as a results of close ties with the keltic peoples. Amazing. The inland climate of Galicia resembles that of Holland and England much more so than that of the rest of  continental Spain. Galica has more common roots with Portugal than with Spain and as a result of a wedding gift one prince got to govern  Galicia and the other Portugal. After waking up on Friday, more than half the fleet alreay arrived and still more to come. We decided. read more...


19/06/2013

Johanem - Johanem over!

Having secured3rd place on handicap in our division from the Azores to Lagos in Portugal, Johanem is now en route to Sardinia. We have just passed Cape Trafalgar as we enter the Strait of Gibraltar. We had such a great sail yesterday (18th June) that we had to stop for a few hours in Rota to wait for the tide to turn in our favour. Unfortunately we are still trying to catch that elusive fish for supper and are now on our next lure! Just passing a few warships! Has anything happened in Syria???Johanem over!. read more...


18/06/2013

Ayama - Arrived to Plymouth !!!

Ayama is safe in Sutton Harbour Marina, Plymouth. 8 days and 8 hours 6.3 knts average speed. Crew is celebrating with a glass of Rum!  Cheers!. read more...


Farfelu - Leisurely progress
Farfelu - Leisurely progress
17/06/2013

Webster - Log 7: Porto to Figueira da Foz 15th June

This leg was scheduled for 55 nm and turned out to be quite a sleigh ride in some 23 knots NW wind and quite big waves. The start was interesting as it was right off the marina entrance pontoon and across the river so was quite narrow. Initially the wind was quite light and made the pulling up of sails easier for a change. Thought I had put the boat in precisely the right place on the line with 2 minutes to go but the tide was strong and swept us sideways past the outer buoy - from being pole position ended up a right mess, really embarrassing!There was a beat out of the river followed by a long broad reach down the coast. Everyone was going for spinnakers so managed to agree with Kate that as the wind was fairly light we would go for ours too - as usual, short handed it was easier said. read more...


17/06/2013

Webster - Log 6 Povoa to Porto 13 June 2013

Only a short hop this one of 12 nm. Quite breezy on the start line and we were a little late getting our act together and getting the main up so were last but one to cross the line some 5 minutes late but never mind. Broad reach in force 4/5 NW in strong sunshine - this was more like it! Managed to set the pole and goose wing the rig which is quite fast and very stable. Single reef in the main so not fully powered up. The boat was very happy and flew downwind. Very few flew downwind sails and ours stayed firmly tucked away. Finished early afternoon after a brilliant sail, and Kate quite enjoyed it, certainly in comparison with the trip from Bayona.Despite being late for the start wemade good time over the ground and finished second in class.Porto is a brand new marina and much of it not. read more...


Casamara - The consequences of drinking…Trevor
Casamara - The consequences of drinking…Trevor
Casamara - Not really British Rail...
Casamara - Not really British Rail...
Casamara - Hogwarts?
Casamara - Hogwarts?
Casamara - Mills in the hills...
Casamara - Mills in the hills...
Casamara - Bottling up….
Casamara - Bottling up….
Casamara - Down the Douro...
Casamara - Down the Douro...
Casamara - Mervyn showing his vintage..
Casamara - Mervyn showing his vintage..
Casamara - Here come the girls...
Casamara - Here come the girls...
Casamara - Thai Tuk Tuk Taxi
Casamara - Thai Tuk Tuk Taxi
Casamara - Family Fillips in Porto Marina
Casamara - Family Fillips in Porto Marina
Casamara - Sunshine make all the difference
Casamara - Sunshine make all the difference
17/06/2013

Casamara - Casamara - Catching up with the blog!

June 8th - Casamara arrives Bayona 22.30, being met by Helen, Abi, Jane and Captain Darling.It was an uneventful crossing, mostly under engine.....but that was the important thing...UNDER ENGINE....Hoooraaahh....as several days had been spent in Salcombe trying to get the engine to work! New injectors had been flown in from Belgium. Thanks must also go to HM Border Agency who provided engineers and a tow to even get into Salcombe. All that tax.....finally got something back!!June 9th - Crew changeover day. Goodbye and thank you to Cindy and Paul Ross....Hello and welcome to Helen, Abi, Jane, Amanda and Mervyn.June 10th - We enjoyed an extremely scenic walk through historic mills in the peaceful hills above Bayona, followed by a delicious and capacious Galician lunch, so many courses, we. read more...


Casamara - Casamara flying….
Casamara - Casamara flying….
17/06/2013

Ayama - Last day before land

Since our last blog we managed to get our third near-gale (kuling) yesterday afternoon - evening.this morning the wind turned TO NE 5 -10 knts and is now according to the weather forecast (more or less) :)Sun is shining and a Northern Gannet (Havssula) greeted us.ETA Plymouth is 17:00 18/6. read more...


17/06/2013

Alice in Red - Gale and aftermath

It's now eight hours after our 27-hour ordeal by a Force8/9 gale 250 miles south west of Ireland and we are counting the damage - a shredded staysail, damaged genoa, sprayhood wrecked, top of the windvane torn off by aggressive fenders and electronics on the blink! Water everywhere of course and we weren't sensible enough to put some dry bedding in plastic bags. Still Doug has fixed the electrics and replaced the top of the windvane and we are gently moving towards Cork but against the wind and the swell from the storm. The main thing however is that all of us are fine, Dawn with two badly bruised hands, and Alice is in great shape. Have fun tonight those of you in Lagos - the sun must be nice! Expect a Guinness or two will perk us up in Ireland.. read more...


16/06/2013

Ayama - Another Near Gale

12 hours of wind exceeding 30 knts, averaging 35 knts and gusts 40 plus-We are a bit tired... but this time the autopilot managed all the way.This morning we had hot oatmeal porridge nice! (thanks Anders for bringing it with you)Then the wind shifted from SE to NW within ten minutes.We are now sailing 8 knts in 20-22 knts winds straight towards PlymouthNice!. read more...


12/06/2013

Easy Rider - Easy Rider... Chief Engineers update ... Day 4

Time flews by when you are busy at sea! Instead of writing a lot of unimportant things i will just make a list of all the things we did the last 24 hours:6:30 - Tightened in the genakker sheet about 10cm10:30 - Eased off the genakker sheet about 10 cm18:30 - Started the engine, though the wind is now officially dead Because we have had such a hard day, Soy made a delicious slow roasted duck for dinner. You know, we really need something to keep up the morality, when you are working 24 hours a day! 300 miles to go now, or 47 hours at our current speed, which gives us an ETA at early saturday morning. Too late for the happy hour, but just in time to be free of hangovers saturday afternoon, as the bars might have closed when we arrive. Thats it for now, i have a lot of coffee. read more...


13/06/2013

Amelie d'Oslo - See the sea!

O’hoi stuntmen and princesses!   We are now approaching Portugal and Lagos in good speed! The wind has finally picked up and we are back to the life that tilts over sideways.  If we keep this speed we will arrive in Lagos tomorrow some time mid day, which after our calculations will be exactly at beer o’clock. Yesterday the Norwegian delegation on the boat feed the American crew with a classic Viking dish called Fårikål, which is lamb and cabbage in a pot. People were happy, and we are now sailing around with the power of the lamb inside us. I think that might become useful as the boat is now starting to tilt over quite a bit, and we all know that lamb does a good job saying upright even in the steepest hills. For dessert we went back to the American continent and. read more...


15/06/2013

Ayama - Calm night

Westerly winds, 10-15 knts, gave us boatspeed of 5 knts. Seas calm so crew could get some good sleep when not on watch.We start motor sailing to gain some terrain. Our hope is to be in front of approaching low pressure, to have favorable winds.. read more...


14/06/2013

Johanem - Final Day

A happy days sailing! We had a wonderful clear starry night last night and Nick did restrain himself on the vocal front, brilliant sunshine, no wildlife and a few cargo ships today! We are now about 60 miles from Cape St Vincent and should be in Lagos by the early hours of Saturday morning.Fish supper is not on the menu again!!! We have failed to hook anything on the fish front over the last few days so perhaps we will have to look in the cabbage locker! Oh no! we hear our dedicated followers cry "not the cabbage again!!" but we do still have one remaining so it might have be.... Soup? Stew? Boiled ? or Surprise?????  Hopefully a sardine supper in Lagos tomorrow night. Strange to think that this may be the last ARC Europe blog that we post. ARC Europe finishes in Lagos and the. read more...


14/06/2013

Starblazer - Portugal and Sunshine!

The past few days have been rather mixed in a variety of ways: weather, wind, sailing mishaps and race starts.We left Baiona on Tuesday morning with a gentle breeze just outside the marina, pulled up the main, unfurled the genoa and crossed the start line about 15 seconds after the gun. It was possibly our best start ever! The forecasts were rather mixed, depending upon which one you chose. The reality was a mixture of all the bad parts, force 6 from the direction we wanted to go with big seas. Yuk. We battled to get two reefs in the main and rolled away a lot of genoa which levelled the boat a bit and knocked our speed down a bit as well. About two and a half hours into the passage I suddenly spotted our cruising chute floating away. These things are expensive so we did about six. read more...


14/06/2013

Farfelu - Into the swing of things

Our normal experience of cruising is to run away and hide from other people, to set anchor in the most unpopulated bay we can find and play Robinson Crusoe. This rally is immediately as different from anything we are used to and equally enjoyable. The arrival in Baiona was an entirely new and pleasurable sensation, being greeted by the rally organisers and other yachtsmen one instantly felt part of a newly formed comradeship which added enormously to the excitement. Swapping of stories, reliving the sensation, seeing every slight difference of experience through other pairs of eyes enriched our own recollection of an event that was memorable enough already. A few days at leisure in Baiona was the chance to ramble around its attractive narrow streets, find restaurants and bars for. read more...


14/06/2013

Serendipity - Treacle miners hit a rich seam of form

The crew of Serendipity who are all members of the Dunchideock Treacle Miners Sailing Club managed to score a second victory after ignoring the rest of the fleet and taking the shortest route on leg 3 to the finish line. This meant that weactually finished 6nm due west of the western end of Molhe Norte on the stunning entry to the Douro River. Despite some doubters on the rally who could not see us finishing because we were so far out, the excellent decision by WCC Rally Control to keep the Yellowbrick trackers on board on all yachts has proved inconclusively that our victory was legitimate. The victory was despite being up against super fast yachts and excellent race crews making the win even more special. Graham's Port Lodge tour and subsequent meal was superb and DTMSC would like to. read more...


14/06/2013

Ayama - Rough Night

Crew is fine but a bit tired. Contrary to the weather forecast we got SE 32-40 knots wind from 1900 - 0500 hrs, followed by a 180 degree wind shift at 0500 to NE 20-30 knts. Waves over 5 meters did not make it very pleasant, Nothing searious broke but we lost the holder to our life bouy, a rusty one year old Stainless Steel fitting and the wind did it.In the morning we passed through a big Spanish fishing boat fleet, -we counted to 25 ships! By this afternoon we should be halfway to Plymouth.. read more...