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08/08/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally Leg 9 - Stockholm Sweden to Kalmar Sweden

It's taken us four days to cover the 200 odd miles down Swedens east coast to fetch up in Kalmar, set low down on the coast where the Kalmar Sound is at its narrowest, and the impressive Orland bridge joins Orland island to the mainland.The weathers now changing swiftly as the Baltics summer season is coming to an end. The mornings now have a real freshness about them, and we're seeing more than our fair share of thunderstorms, rain squalls, and bursts of high winds. In between, we've still enjoyed some super sunny spells, but you can understand why the local sailors are mostly heading home - and not just to get ready for their coming winter months.The night before we left Stockholm we got something special. I awoke at 5 am when the first spatters of rain hit, making me consider going on. read more...


Aislig Bheag - Reflection of Aislig Bheag, Alison and dolphins Bay of Biscay
Aislig Bheag - Reflection of Aislig Bheag, Alison and dolphins Bay of Biscay
Aislig Bheag - Crew on Rhu to Newlyn Leg - complete with mustaches!
Aislig Bheag - Crew on Rhu to Newlyn Leg - complete with mustaches!
21/07/2014

American Spirit II - Day 196; Still Sailing to Australia; Sunday, July 20, 2014

At 6:30 AM Jeanine saw a sun rise that had a rainbow around it. Not a halo, a rainbow. She tried to take a picture of it with her phone, but no luck. Too bad. That would have been a cool one to see. Because I was still sick, Jeanine was letting me sleep in past my regular 6:00 AM watch time. Thank you Jeanine.At 8:18 AM we took the reefs out of the main and jib. Wind speed 12 knots; boat speed 7.6 knots. Charlie from Celebrate conducted the 9:00 AM net. Charlie is the fleet's 'Johnny Carson' of net controllers. Its always fun to listen and participate when he's got the mike. Kind of like 'Good Morning Vietnam' with Robin Williams, except on the ocean. I'm not kidding. Our noon position was 17 degrees, 42 minutes South; 160 degrees, 30 minutes East; with 593 miles to go to our next. read more...


21/07/2014

American Spirit II - Day 195; Wind Forward of Beam, Brian Gets Seasick and a Freewheeling Wind Turbine; Satuday, July 19, 2014

Up at 6:05 AM. Relieved Jeanine who was on watch from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM. Wind 12 knots, speed 5.5. Wind on the nose. A very rare occurrence in sailing around the world when the wind is from behind you over 90 or 95% of the time. Close reaching. At least we're not beating. We wouldn't beat even if we had to, we'd just sail north of the rumb line and when the low pressure and high pressures passed us the wind would swing around to a favorable direction. You can do things like that when you're crossing a sea or an ocean. We're currently about 32 miles or 6+ hours from our first waypoint, a reef/island called, in French Recifs Entrecasteaux. There are 2 sailboats aft on our starboard quarter; one with a sail up and the other with no sails up and motoring. I put out 2 fishing lines at 7:04. read more...


Trillium - Dennis and Sherry in Somosomo, Naviti
Trillium - Dennis and Sherry in Somosomo, Naviti
21/07/2014

Trillium - Trillium Visiting Yasawa

With friends, Stuart and Sondra from Annapolis, Maryland, we spent a week in the Yasawa Island group here in Fiji. We were treated to a wonderful evening of singing and dancing in the Naviti village of Somosomo.The village people invited us to share their culture for the evening. While they performed - and even got us up dancing, the children watched from outside and giggled like crazy. We were definitely the show for them. During the day, we toured the village after meeting the chief and presenting our sevu sevu gift of kava. Of course, we shopped in their "market" which was a few craft items spread out on the ground. We bought a breadfruit from which I prepared Frites. Yummy!We also spoke with the young people from the Rustic Adventures camp who were helping to build a new village. read more...


21/07/2014

Nexus - 460 miles to go to Australia!

After a sporty evening with brisk winds interspersed with lulls, we've made good time and had some great sailing. It's a bit lumpy with a low pressure off of New Zealand pumping waves our way, but they seem to be smoothing out now and the wind is finally shifting to the Southeast. We're looking forward to putting the Gennaker up again later today, but as we're going 9-10kts on white sails we're not sure its going to be necessary! We've sailed with Celebrate all night, but Charlie is a bit under the weather so unfortunately they're dropping back to give him a smoother ride. With Kathea up north and NDS Darwin south of us, we hopeful we'll have VHF company again soon as we converge on the next waypoint! Russ and Laurie on NEXUS 11:00 7/2118 33.4'S;156 09.9'E. read more...


21/07/2014

Sweet Pearl - Vanuatu --> Mackay - 6.Tag - Halbzeit und Geburtstag

Auch am 6. Tag sind wir noch immer wohlauf und seit gestern können wir wieder unbeschwert segeln. Daneben wird mächtig gefeiert: die halbe Srecke haben wir erreicht und Tom wurde 33. Puhhh...wir haben noch immer Kater; sind das einfach nicht mehr gewohnt;). Ansonsten kommt Australien immer näher...und das ist gut so:-). Liebe Grüsse. Tom. read more...


20/07/2014

Firefly - Kadavu and back to Tavarua

Firefly is anchored off Tavarua following several great days cruising the south coast of Kadavu and then a passage back to the west of Fiji. Kadavu is one of largest off lying islands in the Fiji achipelago and is about 50 miles south of Viti Levu the main island. To its south and east it is protected by the Great Astrolobe Reef, this being the 4th largest barrier reef worldwide.Kadavu is very remote, mountainous and the only inhabitants are Fijians living a very traditional lifestyle - living off farming, mostly kava growing and fishing. There are a few resorts, several specialising in scuba diving - the clients arriving by light aircraft and then being taken to the resort by boat as there are no roads.Following a couple of nights anchored off Ono and a dive around the Alacrity rocks we. read more...


20/07/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Longbow in the Baltic: the Tallinn interlude

We're moored stern-to in the Olympic marina in Pirita, about 3.5 km east of the centre of town. Like Visby, Tallinn has a medieval walled Old Town with narrow cobbled streets and wonderfully quirky buildings. Tallinn provides a somewhat eccentric mixture of old and new: huge modern supermarkets with ever possible choice of food and grocery item, clean and efficient buses on which you can pay by mobile phone, ancient medieval buildings with hefty wooden doors, lots of people dressed in national dress and blaring house music to top it all off.Huge ferries from Finland disgorge hundreds of passengers looking to stock up on cheap booze (the "Super Alco" supermarket is right at the arrivals gate); next door in the harbour a tall ship from Sweden was offering tours up the rigging.Stalls. read more...


20/07/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Baltic Rally 6: Gotland to Tallin

We had an "interesting" departure out of Visby: strongish winds, lots of simultaneously-departing yachts, a huge tall ship coming into dock and a high speed ferry trying to depart all at roughly the same time! Ted and Jane did an admirable job of steering us in circles in the inner harbour until we spotted our chance to duck under the stern of the "Sea Cloud II". We'd just pulled the main up in the outer harbour when we noticed the ferry starting to move... But after a few tense moments the ferry rapidly pulled away well ahead of us and off we sailed.We had a wonderful 50 mile spinnaker-up sail north to Gotska Sandon, an island national park with a large seal population. We anchored off to NE point at around 5 pm for a few hours to explore a bit of the island and go for a swim (Jane and. read more...


20/07/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Baltic Rally 5: the Gotland interlude

After a few hours sleep, we met up with a new crew member: Felix (Clare's husband), and waved a refreshed-looking Peter and Francoise off at the ferry. It was then time to go back to sleep for a few more hours before setting off to explore Visby.(For the benefit of non-sailing readers I would just like to point out that although it may seem as if there is rather a lot of sleep mentioned, it is one of life's luxuries while on passage, so we sleep all we can when we arrive!).Visby is an old medieval trading town, with the 3 km surrounding wall and ramparts still mostly intact. There are lots of old ruined churches, narrow cobbled streets and gardens to explore. Outside the walls the modern town of Visby has all the amenities one would expect from the capital of ~120km- long island, with. read more...


20/07/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Baltic Rally 4: Bornholm to Gotland

We left Bornholm early in the morning after a helpful tow off a windward-facing dock from the lead boat, Working on a Dream. We headed straight into a 20kt breeze with reefed main and staysail, and made fast but bouncy progress northwards to the Swedish mainland coast.We anchored overnight in calm waters just off Karlskrone for 5 hours to give the weary and slightly battered-feeling crew some rest.At 4am we upped anchor and headed east towards Oland under motor power. We spent another rough day bashing our way east and then northin confused seas. The wind swung round and dropped throughout the day, but time constraints for ferry departures out of Visby meant that we motor sailed. We made good time, even hitting 10.2 knots surfing down some of the waves.We arrived in Visby harbour at. read more...


20/07/2014

Free & BrEasy - The New Hebrides

We are back in the Pacific, halfway on the 1150 mile passage from Vanuatu to Mackay, Australia. We steamed past New Caledonia in the night without stopping but we are hoping to get reports from those members of the fleet who have visited those very Scottish sounding islands. The winds were light to start off with so we have been using the dreaded motor lots but at last we are sailing and enjoying listening to the rush of water past the hull interrupted by the slam and bang of waves into the underside of the bridge between the hulls (part of the character of catamarans). Vanuatu (renamed from the New Hebrides, to keep the Scottish theme going) will last long in our memory. Our arrival was marked by a 10h bar prop, followed, after very little sleep, by a 5am call to watch the World Cup. read more...


20/07/2014

Nexus - Nearly half way there!

We're north of Brampton and Chesterfield reefs, and half way there with 633nm to go! Well the wind and waves didn't follow predictions and we've had a washboard ride with 15-20kts stubbornly clinging to the south west, but we continue to have beautiful sailing weather bashing through the waves. No whales sighted as yet, but there is still time! We're eating our way through our freezer as many meat and dairy products cannot be imported into Australia. NEXUS seems to be holding up well to the pounding, and we're keeping a northerly course to keep a good wind angle and reduce the wave impacts. We've been sailing in company with good friends on Celebrate and Boingo Alive, with many of the rest of the fleet nearby. It was a tighter rally course this time, which kept us closer together and. read more...


19/07/2014

Zoonie - Santa Marina Azores to UK 45:21.92N 19:13.86W

As you can see we have now turned that illusive 45’ corner onto our finalleg home. We altered course at 25 minutes past midnight last night and have justhad a beer over lunch to celebrate.   Going back to last Monday, after the usual pre departure checks we leftSanta Maria with two other yachts who fairly quickly steered a course for theother islands leaving us to head for the east end of St Miguel north ofus.  The wind was perfect at first but as we neared her eastern volcaniccliffs it became necessary to start the engine to clear them. It would have beentoo frustrating to pass by this beautiful island if we had not both alreadyvisited there and were able to recall our many happy memories of a hot, orangeswimming pool, warmed by geysers from within the earth, milking machines. read more...


19/07/2014

Tomanita II - Tallinn

Efter en gungig natt för ankare vid Gotska Sandön,lämnade vi för Tallinn på morgonen i solsken och 2-3 m/s. Bill Springer,journalisten från Boston som hade mönstrat på i Visby var en kunnig seglare, så genackern åkte upp. Vi fick en skön dag med 7-8 knop i 2-3 m/s (!), tog ner seglet på natten. Motorgång till morgonkaffet, sen mer genackersegling! Kom fram kl.15 efter 204 Nm till känd hamn, skönt!Tommy. read more...


Flomaida II - Auch Fliegen mögen Fisch! Ziemlich langweilige Arbeit
Flomaida II - Auch Fliegen mögen Fisch! Ziemlich langweilige Arbeit
Flomaida II - Ist er nicht wunderschön und viel zu schade zum Essen!
Flomaida II - Ist er nicht wunderschön und viel zu schade zum Essen!
Flomaida II - Anscheinend sind die Muscheln hitzeunempfindlicher als die Verkäuferin!
Flomaida II - Anscheinend sind die Muscheln hitzeunempfindlicher als die Verkäuferin!
Flomaida II - Unglaublich, je kleiner das Haus umso mehr Wäsche hängt davor! Fijianer sind sehr reinlich und waschen viel! Vor jedem Haus hängt Wäsche
Flomaida II - Unglaublich, je kleiner das Haus umso mehr Wäsche hängt davor! Fijianer sind sehr reinlich und waschen viel! Vor jedem Haus hängt Wäsche
Flomaida II - Ein wenig Spaß muss sein auf dem Markt in Suva
Flomaida II - Ein wenig Spaß muss sein auf dem Markt in Suva
Flomaida II - Wie wär es denn mal mit dem Innenleben des Kugelfisches?
Flomaida II - Wie wär es denn mal mit dem Innenleben des Kugelfisches?
Flomaida II - Zuckerrohrernte
Flomaida II - Zuckerrohrernte
Flomaida II - Friedhof im Grünen mit Ausblick aufs Meer
Flomaida II - Friedhof im Grünen mit Ausblick aufs Meer
Flomaida II - Handarbeit der Frauen- sie binden die Krebse zusammen, damit sie sich nicht selbstständig machen
Flomaida II - Handarbeit der Frauen- sie binden die Krebse zusammen, damit sie sich nicht selbstständig machen
Flomaida II - Sind sie nicht hübsch?
Flomaida II - Sind sie nicht hübsch?
Flomaida II - Überlandfahrt von der Queensroad über die Kingsroad über die Insel Viti Levu
Flomaida II - Überlandfahrt von der Queensroad über die Kingsroad über die Insel Viti Levu
Flomaida II - Wie wärs mit einer Barfußhochzeit in einer Kapelle am Strand?
Flomaida II - Wie wärs mit einer Barfußhochzeit in einer Kapelle am Strand?
03/08/2014

Jumbuck - ARC Baltic Leg 8 - Arland Finland to Stockholm Sweden

We've had two days to cover this leg, and the Rally team provided a list of suggested anchorages we could make use of if we didn't fancy using one of the many guest marinas in the region.Brilliant sail from Mariehamn across the 30 miles of open Baltic from the Arland islands into Swedens eastern archipeligo. With a course heading WSS and a stiff SE breeze, Jumbuck creamed along before at times, 17 knots of breeze. The code 0 proved its worth yet again, but couldn't stop our new race mates, Capriai the Norwegians fast 45 footer. She came past us like we were standing still - and we weren't!Eventually wound our way into the Swedish archipeligo and early evening, dropped anchor in a paradise type bay on the small islet of Findhamn to break the journey. We were not alone. As well as half a. read more...


Flomaida II - Hotelpool in Suva- so sehr weit war das Meer eigenlich gar nicht weg......Fototapete muss trotzdem her!
Flomaida II - Hotelpool in Suva- so sehr weit war das Meer eigenlich gar nicht weg......Fototapete muss trotzdem her!
Flomaida II - Auch das ist Fiji!
Flomaida II - Auch das ist Fiji!
Flomaida II - Schrottplatz auf Viti Levu- Fiji
Flomaida II - Schrottplatz auf Viti Levu- Fiji
Flomaida II - Die Farben sind wirklich echt!!!
Flomaida II - Die Farben sind wirklich echt!!!
Flomaida II - Da muss man sicher auf leisen Sohlen durchs Haus gehen!
Flomaida II - Da muss man sicher auf leisen Sohlen durchs Haus gehen!
Flomaida II - Melken ist angesagt, und ALLE kommen brav
Flomaida II - Melken ist angesagt, und ALLE kommen brav
Flomaida II - Für den kleinen Hunger zwischendurch Kokoda- roher Fisch in Cocosmilch und Algensalat aus den Tiefen des Meeres
Flomaida II - Für den kleinen Hunger zwischendurch Kokoda- roher Fisch in Cocosmilch und Algensalat aus den Tiefen des Meeres
Flomaida II - Immerwieder wunderschöne Ausblicke bei Überlandfahrten
Flomaida II - Immerwieder wunderschöne Ausblicke bei Überlandfahrten
Flomaida II - Gemischtwarenstand auf dem Markt in Suva: Muscheln, Vongole, Obst und Gemüse. Die Sonne ist auch dabei!
Flomaida II - Gemischtwarenstand auf dem Markt in Suva: Muscheln, Vongole, Obst und Gemüse. Die Sonne ist auch dabei!
19/07/2014

Nexus - Rounding the top of New Caledonia and all is well!

Rounding the top of New Caledonia after motoring in no wind, we decided to head north west as the wind came back on the nose but is expected to turn slowly to the south east again, and we'll turn with it. (if not, we hear Singapore is nice this time of year!) It feels great to be bounding along ar 9kts on a close haul again, without the drone of the motor in the background. The day is magic with puffy clouds, clear sunshine and 15kts of true wind. We're settling into our watch schedules with our sleep cycle again and enjoying the ride. We're busy planning our exploration of the Whitsunday Islands (or Cumberland Islands more properly) in our down time and looking forward to Australia. It should stretch our sailing skills again as the Whitsunday Islands have 30' tides and strong currents. read more...


19/07/2014

Sweet Pearl - Vanuatu --> Mackay - 4.Tag - Langsam, aber gemütlich

Der Wind war meistens schwach, so dass wir nur wenig segeln konnten. Seit letzter Nacht ist er stärker und von vorn auf die Nase. Dies sollte sich aber dann bald ändern und wir können Gas geben;-). Das Meer ist ruhig und wir sind gut drauf:). Wache schieben, kochen, essen, schlafen, lesen - das sind unsere Hauptbeschäftigungen. Sonst gibts nicht viel zu berichten. Cheers, Tom. read more...


19/07/2014

Flomaida II - Schwerer Abschied von der ARC Gruppe/Familie!

Bis jetzt kämpfen wir immernoch mit uns, ob wir nicht doch noch "schnell" nach Australien hinterher segeln sollten.Wir haben uns so wohl gefühlt die letzten 6 Monate und so viele neue Freunde bekommen. Das Sicherheitsgefühl und die gegenseitige Hilfe war eine große Beruhigung. Auch hat das Programm und die perfekte Organisation von Paul und Suzana dazu beigetragen. Nun fühlen wir uns ziemlich " vereinsamt" , denn die kleine Gruppe der Aussteiger (10 Schiffe) ist momentanin alle Winde zerstreut, bis wir uns Ende Oktober in Neu Kaledonien treffen, um das Abenteuer Neuseeland gemeinsam anzugehen. Vielleicht noch ein paar Tage, bis wir nach Vanuatu gehen, und Neues auf uns zukommt, dann haben wir hoffentlich den "Trennungsschmerz" überwunden.Dann kommt auch ein längerer Bericht über die. read more...


18/07/2014

American Spirit II - Day 194: Light Winds & Some Boats Catching Big Fish; Friday, July 18, 2014

No more Pacific Ocean anymore. We're in the Coral Sea. Joel on watch from 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM. We dropped the low side tri-reacher pole at 1:45 AM and turned the engine on. Motor sailing. Jeanine covered the 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM watch. A little sea sick. But still stood her watch. I got up at 6:00 AM. Wind 6 knots; boat speed 6.3-6.8 knots. The sun rose above the low level clouds that always are on the horizon at 6:30 AM. Mostly blue sky today. Saw another sail boat port bow 30 degrees 2-3 miles t 6:56 AM. At 7:23 AM I saw a 2nd sail boat forward and starboard, with a spinnaker up; and a couple minutes later I saw a third, starboard 4-5 miles away.At 8;05 AM I talked with Russ on Nexus. They just dropped their spinnaker and were motoring up to Vivo, who still had theirs up to take some. read more...


18/07/2014

Trillium - Who Is Leaving Whom?

As we said "until we meet again" to the World ARC boats continuing on to St. Lucia, we shared heartfelt hugs and held back tears. We have made several new and close friendships with others from around the world. It has been a wonderful experience sharing this adventure. It is also bittersweet as we go our separate ways. This would happen in St. Lucia in April 2015, but we are one of the nine boats staying in Fiji and heading to New Zealand in November with the trial run of "ARC New Zealand." So even though we are leaving World ARC, they were leaving us! Many wished they were following our plan, but had committed to family and crew to continue. To follow us on Yellow Brick, you must look at the New Zealand tracker area. I have posted many photos on Facebook and in our blog at. read more...


18/07/2014

American Spirit II - Day 193; On the Way to Australia & 2 Boats Sight Whales Leaving Vanuatu; Thursday, July 17, 2014

Up at 7:00 AM. Coffee followed by breakfast: scrambled eggs, Vienna sausage, chilled pineapple pieces and French bread. Tasks to do this morning before departing: add more water to water tank; exchange Vanuatu dollars for Australian dollars; go to Post Office; make a quick visit to the grocery store to buy some paper plates and paper towels, plus 2 loaves of French bread; final land side showers; and pay final bill to Yachting World Marina. We departed the dock at 10:04 AM. The marina staff grabbed and off loaded our boarding plank; we let the 2 stern lines go; and the marina staff in a yellow motor boat released our line tied to the bow mooring ball. The 1,150 nautical mile leg from Vanuatu to MacKay, Australia got underway at 11:00 AM with a competitive start. Only one boat, Folie a. read more...


18/07/2014

Nexus - On our way to Mackay Australia!

After a fond farewell to Vanuatu, and a picturesque start to Leg 7 of the WARC Rally, we are off to Mackay, Australia! With a 1150mile routing up and over the top of New Caledonia, across the Coral Sea and weaving through the Great Barrier Reef for the last 100miles following the Hydrographers Passage, we plan to arrive later this week. Winds have been light and variable, and we spent the first 24hours sailing slowly in light winds, but it was fun to be amongst the other boats sailing together. The true wind speed dropped off to 4-7kts from the aft quarter later this morning, so we're now motoring, which we really don't like. However, its a spectacularly nice day, consistent with the high pressure system that killed our wind, and we're enjoying it anyway. We spotted one whale. read more...


17/07/2014

American Spirit II - Day 192; Last Day in Vanuatu, Broken Rappelling Rope is Delivered, Skipper's Briefing & Great Chicken Dinner on Boat; Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today is our last full day in Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu. Tomorrow at 11:00 AM local time we shove off for the 1,150 nautical mile journey to MacKay, Australia.Since a nautical mile is 15% longer than a statute mile, the distance we will be covering is 1,322.5 statute miles. Up early at 6:30 AM to call a vendor in St. Petersburg, Florida and another one in New Hampshire. We were successful with the former and unsuccessful with the latter.At 8:30 AM I went to the marina office to get in line to clear out of the country. Six or seven other boat captain's were already in line. An immigration and customs officer showed up in a government boat at 9:00 AM to start the processing. They each took a seat on a set of long tables set up outside but under a roof covering. The first official we met. read more...


17/07/2014

Free & BrEasy - Pedro and the Volcano

We left Vuda Marina, Fiji, shouting fond farewells to the many friends we had made during the 3 week stop. Fiji also marks a schism in the fleet as about 15 of the 43 boats that left St Lucia, are leaving this year's WARC, here, to cruise New Zealand and rejoin the next spin of the World ARCround the globe in 2015. We missed the rendezvous at Musket Cove so can only wish them all Fair Winds and Safe Sailing.The passage from Fiji to Tanna, a small island in the Vanuatu archipelago, was a short 5 day, 450 mile hop. That statement alone shows how adapted we are to cruising life in the South Pacific. The winds on the first night were decidedly "sporty" with gusts of 40 mph and big changes in wind direction. Free & BrEasy took it all in her stride and we noted by the upright stance of the. read more...


17/07/2014

Sweet Pearl - Vanuatu --> Mackay - 2.Tag - Aufbruch

Gestern mittag gegen 14 Uhr haben wir uns auf nach Australien gemacht. Einen Tag früher als die anderen Schiffe gehts an New Caledonia vorbei, durchs Bareer Reef nach Mackay in die Marina (1150 Seemeilen). Nach einigen Stunden Segeln, hat uns der Wind im Stich gelassen und wir müssen motoren. Wir sind aber guter Dinge, dass der Wind bald wiederkommt und wir uns mit den Kräften der Natur fortbewegen können. Lieben Gruss an alle zuhause. Tom. read more...