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03/07/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally - Delivery Cruise Vlieland to Rendsberg

Had our first taste of berthing, German style.Seems it's popular across most Baltic states.It's called a box mooring and quite normal in this region. It scared the life out of us today. You enter between two posts and drop a couple of stern lines over the posts as you come in, then someone dashes forward and secures the bow to the dock, whilst the driver stops the boat whilst juggling the two stern lines. Sounds easy eh? Well it's not. Not in a stiff breeze.It didn't help that Sue refused to jump the gap from the bow to the dock, so we are in negotiations to resolve who does what next time round.Then to get ashore you've no option but to clamber over the pulpit and spread your legs, knuckles white as they try to grasp the furled headsail. So. Note for tomorrow. Remove the anchor and bow. read more...


03/07/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally - Delivery Cruise Den Helder to Vlieland

Vlielands only the second island along the North Friesland chain, but we fetched up here yesterday evening after logging nearly 60 miles from Den Helder. It's not actually that far, but for some reason we found we were pushing against the tide all the way.I'm assuming it's because of the shape of the bay, the Helgoland Bucht, into which we are heading eastward. In it's far corner three rivers, the Elb, the Weser and the Jade, all flow out. I am guessing the inward flowing tide meets those outward flowing rivers, and create a contra current that runs through the island chain in a virtually consistent east to west direction. But I'm only guessing. Tomorrow we really do need to get further east, so I will sail further out away from the Islands before turning eastward, and see if that's. read more...


03/07/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally - Delivery Cruise Breskens to Den Helder

We decided on one last attempt to catch up with our French pals on Boisbarbu who left Lymington one day in front, so chugged out of Breskens at 4am aiming to sail most of the Netherlands west coast in one day. Having used the marinas free wifi to check the current location of the other rally entrants, we were beginning also to feel paranoid as we were clearly the furthest away from Kiel and our 6th July start!Pitch black as we nudged out of the marina and hauled up the mainsail in the Westerschelde. It's a busy waterway normally, due to Antwerp being located 12 miles inland, but this morning only one coaster, and a solitary fishing boat patrolling back and forth across the estuary mouth.Absolutely flat water, and nice and warm even pre-dawn. We headed north, picking up the winding. read more...


03/07/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally - Delivery Cruise Oostende to Breskens

Breskens lies on the southern shore of the Westerschelde River, and we chose it as opposed to Vlissingers marina on the north shore, because from here we can leave at any state of the tide.We got in shortly after 2:45 EU time, having left Oostende at 10:30. It was only a 26 mile sail, which included a few tacks out.Great sail up. Building northerlies with the tide flooding from behind saw Jumbuck top 10 knots at one stage on our north easterly boards!All under a gloriously warm sun, semi racing in company with three Dutch yachts who left the same time. Slid around the headland into placid waters on the Westerschelde, and hung a hard right into Breskens Marina.We've been here before, as it's where we purchased our first Swagman - a Grand Soliel 42. I can recall sailing her back to the UK. read more...


03/07/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally - Delivery Cruise Ramsgate to Oostende

Tuesday saw us depart Ramsgate in a blustery NE wind under sunny sky's, to enjoy a rollicking 55 mile tight reach across the English Channel towards the Belgium coast. Sue commented that in two days she'd experienced her two worst nightmares at sea. Twenty four hours motoring - then a bashing to windward across lumpy seas. Me? I enjoyed it all.Jumbuck seemed to ignore the weight of cruising gear we were carrying as she dipped the lee rail and powered along. We've got our cruising sails on - Kevlar main and a No 2 headsail - and we slid across the shipping lanes making good time.Leaving at 10 am we had an hour or so of ebb tide, before it flooded back up Channel to help speed us along. The combo of wind and tide saw us topping 8 knots over the ground on a more or less direct route to. read more...


Flomaida II - Buntes Marktgewusel in Nadi-Fiji
Flomaida II - Buntes Marktgewusel in Nadi-Fiji
02/07/2014

Starblazer - 02/07/2014 - Second impressions of Fiji

Everyone we have met has been smiling, helpful and efficient, rather at variance with the bureaucracy.Never mind, we must move on.Quarantine helpfully e-mailed a copy of the receipt....The cruising permits arrived by 0900, quicker than we had been led to expect.Kevin, a friend of Jonathan and Donna, was waiting on the dock for them when we came in on Monday evening.He had a hire car so, first thing Tuesday morning, he kindly took Donna, Elizabeth and me shopping.Most men try to avoid grocery shopping with their wives but Kevin was extremely helpful and patient (he was amused by three women's reactions to seeing a very good supermarket for the first time in months!).After the supermarket we went to a good butchery where he was recognised because he used to live and work here.From there we. read more...


Flomaida II - Glückliche Kinder auf Fiji
Flomaida II - Glückliche Kinder auf Fiji
Flomaida II - Kokoda mmmmh
Flomaida II - Kokoda mmmmh
Flomaida II - Kochkurs beim Profi- Kokoda (roher Fisch mariniert in Cocosnussmilch)
Flomaida II - Kochkurs beim Profi- Kokoda (roher Fisch mariniert in Cocosnussmilch)
02/07/2014

Starblazer - 02/07/2014 - Order, Counter order, Disorder!

Sunday was a challenging day in many respects.We motorsailed all day, trying to maintain 5.5 knots, and finally switched off the engine at 1650. The wind didn't last!It taunted us, switched direction causing us to drop the main after dark, and finally gave up at 2305.At this point we were playing catch up, both Chez Nous and Caduceus were ahead but we could just make out their lights.During the morning Chez Nous called us to say the fish were biting, they'd landed a Yellowfin Tuna and a Bluefin Tuna.Shortly after that, while I was in the shower, John shouted that he had a fish on the line.It fought, John fought back, I reeled in the slack as John pulled the line in.Halfway to the transom the fish got away.During the afternoon Chez Nous called up to say they just caught 2 Mahi Mahi, some. read more...


01/07/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - Happy Happy Birthday......do de do de dum.......

It's Andrew's 60th birthday today and for the next10 weeks he is the same age as me before I once again creep ahead......So fartoday I think he has had a nice day.  This morning for the one time of theyear, well maybe a couple of other occasions too, I made him a cup of tea first- well it is his birthday.  Scouring Ponta Delgada I managed to find somethings to surprise him with as well - and not just my singing, wellnot yet, I am lulling hiim into a false sense of security that maybe I willforget to do it.   The phone started tweeting early this morning andthere has been a stream of texts, emails, facebook comments and phone calls toremind him of his big day.  But as you know we still have to do the otherstuff too and with our departure planned for. read more...


01/07/2014

Aislig Bheag - Porto to Lagos 23rd June to 1st July - Better late than never

On the morning of 24th June, we decided to spend time on maintenance and then visit the town of Porto in the afternoon.  Eilidh, in preparation for leaving, decided to make good use of the shore power by plugging in her hair straightners, (yes, she did bring them).  Unfortunately the electricity must have been higher as on her first attempt at the left hand side of her fringe, it not only singed, but totally removed a large clump of hair leaving it smoldering on the ceramic plate.  After some quick restyling with a blunt pair of kitchen scissors, she was finally able to leave the boat. We spent a lovely afternoon sightseeing in Porto, an extraordinary interesting and enjoyable town.  We enjoyed dinner in the square by the river and a cable car ride back up the. read more...


01/07/2014

Tomanita II - Heiligenhafen

Vi är nu bara 45 Nm från Kiel, väntar på bättre vind för att slippa kryssa! Tomanita. read more...


Tomanita II - On our way!
Tomanita II - On our way!
30/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 176; Rafting in the Fiji Mountains of Viti Levu; Monday, June 30, 2014

The day started really early - at 4:50 AM. No time for breakfast on the boat, as we were being picked up by a 20 person bus at 5:40 AM. We arrived at Pacific Harbor, located at the southeast corner of the island just short of the capital, Suva; at 8:15 AM. There we exited our bus onto a dirt road, where we boarded the RiversFiji bus. There were 38 customers, so we would be using 10 rafts. Each raft held 4 passengers and one oarsman, who maneuvered the raft from the back with two oars. It took about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of driving on dirt, gravel and rutted roads, up and down inclines of 20 degrees; until we reached our debarkation point from the bus. Then we had to don our life jackets, helmets and one paddle and walk 20 or 30 minutes up and down a steep, muddy trail with earthen steps along. read more...


29/06/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - Did you miss us whilst we were away........

Did you miss us yesterday? We decided to get out of the marina for a while and had a great walk round Ponta Delgada wandering up and down many of the little cobble streets.It was interesting to start remembering various places plus finding some new ones too. We ended up at the shopping centre and picked up some supplies and I found some lovely orange sandals, and they had them in my size.Last time we were here I couldn’t find anything that I liked in my size – the Portuguese seem to have such small feet. We still haven’t been able to bring ourselves to buy closed in shoes, but I don’t expect it will be long until we have to succumb.The rest of the afternoon we spent sitting in the cockpit reading and boat watching.Ponta Delgada is a great place for that with all the commercial traffic,. read more...


29/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 175; New Crew Arrive and a Sunset Dinner Cruise; Sunday, June 29, 2014

4:50 AM up. Naudi, my driver, picked me up at 5:20 AM. At the airport at 5:40 AM. Angela and Chet made it to the waiting area by 6:30 AM. They had been delayed because one of the two checked bags didn't make the plane in time; and will be put on the same flight arriving Monday. Naudi will pick that bag up because we will be rafting all day Monday. We made it to the boat around 7:15 AM. After putting their things away, Chet took a nap for awhile while Angie put on her swim suit and read in the cockpit. I unloaded the parts bag she brought with her, which contained an ICOM VHF radio; Sweet and Low; Liquid Crystal drink mix; copies of insurance documents; coffee creamer; 6 Impellers for the generator; binnacle light bulbs;miscellaneous generator parts; prescription drugs and extreme. read more...


29/06/2014

Free & BrEasy - Fiji A Tale of Two Shrouds

Here we are still in Vuda Marina in Fiji. New shrouds have been fitted but there are problems - more about that later! The Marina is the nearest thing to a resort hotel that can be imagined. There is a pool to chill by, bars to drink in, restaurants to eat in, live music to listen to, and of course world cup matches to watch. Added to that Tuesday is half price pizza night and Thirsty Thursday is half price happy hour. The Wifi is cheap and works (most of the time) so that we can Skype partners. There is even a nearby railway track for the daily jog. The track is only used for part of the year to transport sugar cane to the sugar factory and luckily the season has not started. You could not find a better place to relax. Michael has been gobbling up books and jogging while Alejandro has. read more...


28/06/2014

Starblazer - 29/06/2014 – Halfway around the world.

I was correct, in that the day’s run to 1000hrs Saturday morning was slow. We covered about 115nM, an average of just under 5 knots, and that was with the help of 6 hours of motoring at 5.5 – 6.0.The engine stayed on for the rest of Saturday though we did get a little drive from the mainsail from about 2000 onwards.We spotted Totoya Island from nearly 40 miles away though didn’t reach our waypoint between the two islands until 2200, now we are on a course to a waypoint in the middle of the Kandavu Passage.It was lucky that we weren’t depending on the navigation light, allegedly visible for 20nm.Someone forgot to put the money in the meter, or change the light bulb or…The island was totally invisible in the dark.We should reach the next waypoint in daylight.We are still on track to reach. read more...


28/06/2014

Zoonie - Languishing in Lagos 37:06.8N 8:40.1W

You may remember we have two rather important matters to sort out whilehere in Lagos. By mid morning on Wednesday, the day after our arrival, we hadopened an account at the Nautical Centre Sopromar and their top engineer was onboard playing with the chartplotter. Very quickly he found the problem with thetouch screen not liking to be touched but the GPS fix being more lost than foundtook a little longer. He worked for three hours coming and going to the yard forhis converter etc. Our converter was working and so was our old aerial butsomething was blocking the signal to the Chartplotter.  A software upgrade and restoration of factory settings and reconfigurationlater and all was well. We left it on for 24 hours and it kept signal and didn’tsqueak once. Also we are findings all sorts. read more...


28/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 174; Final Day Before Angela and Chet Arrive; Saturday, June 28, 2014

7:38 AM up. Called Angela. She was already at the Charlotte, NC airport getting ready to board a plane to LA, then to Nadi, Fiji. Found out later her plane left 1 hour late;or was it 2 hours? Breakfast at 9:00 AM. Scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage and bread. Left mooring ball and headed out to sea to empty head (bathroom holding tank). Returned an hour later. One of the few inefficiencies of the marina we're in is that they don't have a pump out station to empty your head; and there is no barge coming by to pump out your holding tank, either; like there is in Key West for boats on mooring balls or anchored off shore. The day was primarily spent getting the boat ready for Angela (daughter) and her husband, Chet. Joel was moving out of the V-Berth to a main cabin quarter berth, so a lot of. read more...


28/06/2014

Zoonie - Oeiras to Sines and the end of the Rally in Lagos 37:06.62N 08:40.48W

Oeiras gave us some happy/fun memories. From our berth we could sit andview Lisbon, the tour de Belem and the bridge through the often turbulent marinaentrance.  You could not imagine that a factory built over two hundreds years ago toproduce dynamite for multi purposes not the least being to blow up the enemy,could today be a place of such beauty and tranquillity. Built understandably along way from the nearest homes, in a river valley (to provide water in case ofaccidents, and there were a few, the last being a few years ago and killing sixwas the deciding factor in closing down the production) the factory embracedbeauty in architectural style along classical Portuguese lines. Workers valuedtheir jobs and their lives intermingled with their work through marriages andbirths. A. read more...


28/06/2014

Capraia III - Beautiful

Capraia is moving south again. We had a very nice day at sea yesterday. We sailed from Juelsminde to Assen. We left harbour at 0645 in the morning and enjoy a calm morning while having breakfast on the way. We saw loads of “Nise” (no cluewhat the English name is) which is a small version of a Dolphin. Our Volvo Penta got some exercise as we motored through Lillebelt in 3 knots of head current. Very unusual for us coming from the Southern part of Norway. Tides and currents are nothing we worryabout (except when we are racing).   This part of Denmark is beautiful and unfortunately the butcher shops has loads of fantastic food and I am sure we already have gained quite some weight. We are now getting ready for breakfast before we leave Assen. No idea where we endup today. Let’s see. read more...


28/06/2014

Celebrate - Charlie's Reef Diving, Dick's Nightly Music with Masterpiece Margarita's and Fun Anchorage Neighbors at Musket Cove, Fiji!

More excellent diving with Subsurface Fiji.This trip showcased the Charlie's Reef dive site (my favorite!) and the Gotham City site.Dick's Restaurant has a nightly string combo and the frozen margarita's are a work of art!A Taswell 56 sailboat anchored next to us.They have just finished their world circumnavigation.Also, Flomaida, Brizo and Nexus have just come in to the anchorage.We can't wait to catch up with their stories!    Charlie. read more...


American Spirit II - Entertainment at Vuda Point Marina
American Spirit II - Entertainment at Vuda Point Marina
American Spirit II - Vuda Point Marina
American Spirit II - Vuda Point Marina
American Spirit II - Port Denarau Marina
American Spirit II - Port Denarau Marina
28/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 173; Work Day and a Trip to the Vuda Point Marina; Friday, June 27, 2014

Up at 7:12 AM. Coffee followed by a breakfast of scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage and chilled pineapple pieces.Today was 'small project day.' As I cleaned the dodger windows with vinegar and water to remove the accumulated salt and dirt, Joel taped all the lifeline fittings on the boat and checked cotter pins and shackles on the boom. A cotter pin on the gooseneck was broken, so finding that was a good find. The gooseneck fitting connects the boom to the mast. If it ever fails, having a flying boom banging into the mast and shrouds would not be pretty. Next I put the canned fruit and vegetables I'd bought the day before away; and stacked cokes and beer in the refrigerator. We each (sans bun) on the boat for lunch; then went ashore to shower at 1:30 PM. I settled up the last invoice from. read more...


28/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 172; Fiji Golf Day; Thursday, June 26, 2014

Up 7:00 AM. Breakfast, then met our driver, an Indian named Naudi, for a trip to the Nadi Airport Golf Course at 9:30 AM. When we got to the golf course, it was closed. So Naudi took us to a 9 hole par 3 course called Novotel Nadi Golf Course. For Joel and I to play cost us 88 Fiji dollars, or about $44.00 US. Green fees were 15 F$ each; one set of rental clubs 15 F$; trolley rental 10 F$; and balls 30 F$ for a total cost of 85 F$. I thought the trolley rental was for an electric golf cart. It wasn't. It was for a pull cart. Joel hadn't played golf in 30 years or longer. At any rate, it was a fun day. Besides us, there were only two other golfers on the course. All the holes were par 3's except 1, a par 4. However, two of the par 3's were quite long - 180 and 191 yards. And there were. read more...


28/06/2014

Starblazer - 28/06/2014 – A slower day

Sometimes it is advantageous to sail slower, let me explain.The Fiji waters are dotted with hazards, not all charted, so it is best to arrive in any tricky area in daylight.Our first 24 hour run to 1000 hrs yesterday was a stunning 156.6 miles, an average speed of 6.5 knots.If we had continued at this speed we would definitely have arrived in the dark, we needed to average just over 7 to arrive Sunday evening, which is only achievable with half a gale behind us!We weren’t worried because the wind was forecast to drop.It slowly subsided during the day and our rapid progress was hampered, eventually John put on the engine at 0345, probably several hours later than necessary.We are now in Fijian waters, having reached our waypoint a safe distance south of the Lau group at about midnight.Our. read more...


26/06/2014

Starblazer - 27/06/2014 – Leaving Tonga for Fiji

We started the process of ‘clearing out’ bright and early on Wednesday, well about 9.30ish which is early for us!Our first task was to visit immigration. Easy.Next stop was Tropicana for a coffee and a final bit of wi-fi to post the blog I’d written the day before.Then there was a bit of last minute shopping at the market.To clear out with customs and purchase duty free fuel yachts have to go alongside the fishing dock and here there was a problem.A large fishing boat from Nuk’alofa, the capital, has taken up residence for another 5 or 6 days.Ahead of him there is a small fishing boat.Between the two we might have just squeezed in but the thick rope from the big boat would have caught in our arch and held our stern out. Ahead of the small boat there was almost enough length for us but. read more...


American Spirit II - Joel golfing, first time in over 30 years; June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Joel golfing, first time in over 30 years; June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Port Denarau Marina, June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Port Denarau Marina, June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Super Yachts Port Denarau Marina, June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Super Yachts Port Denarau Marina, June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Golfing in Nadi at a course frequented by VJ Singh, June 26, 2014
American Spirit II - Golfing in Nadi at a course frequented by VJ Singh, June 26, 2014
26/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 171; Yes, Watered and Fueled Boat; the Ramsey Family Visits for Lunch; and Pictures Sent to Our Web Page; Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Up at 7:17 AM. Coffee. Made phone calls to US. 8:00 AM for us is 4:00 PM in the US. Breakfast at 9:00 AM. Scrambled eggs, 'mystery' breakfast sausage (we have no idea what type of meat the sausages are made from), chilled fruit cocktail and bread.At 9:27 AM we emptied 10 gallons of diesel from two jerry cans into the boat's fuel tank. Then when dock space became available, we motored over to a nearby dock and tied up to water the boat. Our water tank gauge was showing only 1/4 full, meaning we needed to add about 35 gallons of water; and we also filled the two 5 gallons jerry cans with water that we keep on deck. When we're in a 'polluted' anchorage, we don't use our water maker, as we don't want to put dirty water thru our filter and membrane system. We then motored over to the nearby. read more...


26/06/2014

American Spirit II - Day 170; Another Slow Day in Denarau Marina; Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Up 7:10 AM. Overcast, looks like rain. Dropped off dodger windows at 8:00 AM at sail loft. One of the zippers to the center window had two broken teeth; and the zipper to the right side of the center window was a problem as the zipper was too tight. I had asked the sail loft to replace the two sides of the two zippers on each of two windows, and to make them 'less tight' when zippered.After breakfast I dingied in again and dropped off our propane tank, which was near empty. To be filled with butane again, even though its a propane tank. You can put butane in a propane tank and burn the butane in a 'propane ready' boat. But you can't put propane in a butane tank and burn propane in a 'butane ready' boat. Propane is a higher pressure gas and burns at a higher temperature, so its preferred. read more...


26/06/2014

Capraia III - On our way to Kiel

Capraia III is now on her way to Kiel. Small repairs and “getting ready” activities are going on. Currently we are in the harbour of Juelsminde in Denmark. If you have not been here, it is hereby recommended. Our best harbour in Denmarkso far (-:   We expect arrival in Kiel July 4 and we are looking forward to get our good friends and great crew on-board!  Hope we can find good Eichbein in Kiel (-:  . read more...


26/06/2014

Jumbuck - Delivery Cruise - Ramsgate to Ostende

Tuesday saw us depart Ramsgate in a blustery NE wind under sunny sky's, to enjoy a rollicking 55 mile tight reach across the English Channel towards the Belgium coast.Sue commented that in two days she'd experienced her two worst nightmares at sea.Twenty four hours motoring - then a bashing to windward across lumpy seas.Me?I enjoyed it all.Jumbuck seemed to ignore the weight of cruising gear we were carrying as she dipped the lee rail and powered along.We've got our cruising sails on - Kevlar main and a No 2 headsail - and we slid across the shipping lanes making good time.Leaving at 10 am we had an hour or so of ebbtide, before it flooded back up Channel to help speed us along. The combo of wind and tide saw us topping 8 knots over the ground on a more or less direct route to fetch up. read more...


26/06/2014

Jumbuck - Baltic Rally - Delivery Cruise Lymington to Ramsgate

We had left midday, pushing against the last of the ebbing tide up towards Cowes, to then cross tracks with pals Patti and Paul on their classic power boat 'Lily'. Lovely to see them and have a last farewell wave.We then run out of wind as we picked up the flood mid arvo, and motor sailed out of the Solent heading east.For this first leg of the delivery we had decided to sail on though the night to get our sea legs back, and it worked.Sue prepped an evening meal after our drinkies, I went down and got some sleep, and took over so Sue could do the same around midnight.The drone of the engine eventually got to the point you didn't hear it, as we rolled onward with the tide across past the lights of Shoreham and Brighton, eventually finding it turning again as we slid close past Beachy. read more...


26/06/2014

Celebrate - Flags Up, Fueled Up & Feet Up at Musket Cove Anchorage, Fiji!

S/V Celebrate is dressed overall to pay our compliments to Musket Cove.We have to say we think they really deserve it for all of the terrific treatment we have received from the marina check-in with "they-will-do-it" provisioning, to Subsurface diving, the boutique shop, Dick's restaurant, the Trader Shop, and fueling up at their dock.We are definitely enjoying having our feet up and relaxing!Cathy. read more...


25/06/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - We still haven't found a working fridge that we're looking for

We will be sending our yellow brick back to the UK today so it has been turned off and will no longer show our position so don't panic if we appear not to move anymore.We will still be posting to our own blog on mailasail.com as well and that will have updated position information when we are on the move and send our posts through our sat phone.We were very hopeful last night that our fridge worries would be over but this morning it appeared that we may still have a problem.....oh well back to the drawing board as they sa. Nobo who came round yesterday afternoon was very nice and checked out the pump and compressor etc and we seemed to have lost our Freon so he refilled it, now it would appear we may have lost it again.......It was a bit noisy here a couple of times in the night as some. read more...


American Spirit II - Joel at top of mast installing new antenna in Port Denarau Marina
American Spirit II - Joel at top of mast installing new antenna in Port Denarau Marina
American Spirit II - Sunset off Fiji - More to Come
American Spirit II - Sunset off Fiji - More to Come
24/06/2014

Starblazer - 24/06/2014 - A delightful few days in the islands

Last Wednesday we tore ourselves away from wi-fi, cafes and shops of Neiafu and headed off to an anchorage not far away, in search of a suitable reef to snorkel.The water is rather cold here; visiting fishermen are blaming an upwelling of cold water from the depths of the Tonga Trench which runs through the islands in a roughly north/south direction for a very long way south.O.K., it's probably not cold by UK standards, or even most of Europe, but it is colder than we are used to and wetsuits are the order of the day!We saw some rather nice corals and a lot of fish so it was worth the effort of squeezing into my wetsuit, one size too small.Caduceus had followed us in to the bay and we enjoyed sundowners on board their boat.On Thursday we both made our way to Hunga, an island on the. read more...


25/06/2014

Firefly - Naigani and Nananu-I-Ra, Viti Levu, Fiji

When Firefly left the sheltered anchorage south of Savusavu we were confronted with 25 knots of wind from the south east. Having looked at the GRIB files we knew it was unlikely we would go to Taveuni as planned as it would be a 40 mile slog upwind. Instead we closed reached for 20 miles to get past Namena reef and then set a course past Makogai on a beam reach and then onto Naigani, after rounding another reef - finally we were on a comfortable broad reach - both are islands in the Lomoviti Group, off the east coast of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island. Tucking in behind Naigani and its northern reef, having sailed almost 60 miles, we were rewarded with a beautiful anchorage to ourselves. Lying just off a pristine palm lined beach backed by a steep cliff with lush vegetation and fruit. read more...


25/06/2014

Nexus - Diverted from Fulanga and headed to Vuda Pt

Well...the weather forecast was wrong (no surprise) and after bashing headlong into head seas and 20kt winds for a few hours, we changed our plans and diverted to Vuda bay on the west side of Fiji and closer to the rendezvous point. We couldn't make more than 5kts without beating the boat and crew up, and it would have taken two days to get there and two days back, so we turned west around Mel Gibson's island and started our 1.5 day sail to Vuda point. We plan to re provision there and hopefully taks a three day sail up the north western island group before meeting up with the rendezvous. The area we are looking at next is famous for those endless white sand beaches pictured so frequently in Fiji postcards, and contains the location where Blue Lagoon and Castaway were filmed. Hopefully. read more...


24/06/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - We are waiting, we are waiting........

Well here we are once again in a cloudy andovercast Ponta Delgada with the bustling container ships and bulk carriersbehind us and a partially full marina around us. We have sort of recovered andare now getting a few jobs done before looking for a weather window to head toSanta Maria, some 60 miles SE of here and then set off for the last, fairlylong leg to Lagos. Hopefully the winds will be kind in the next fewweeks!   Today has been getting on with jobs day -replensihing the water tanks, cleaning the boat, putting away all the wetweather gear, and waiting for the fridge repair man - yes its gone again. Why weare not sure as all the indicator lights say everything is ok, but its notgetting cold, so it isn't working correctly - compressor, refridgerant....wedon't know. The. read more...


24/06/2014

Aislig Bheag - 15th - 23rd June Alison's blog update

Ship’s log Rhu to Newlyn 15th – 18th June 2014We haven’t had the opportunity to add to our blog since leaving home but here is a synopsis of the journey so far.We attempted to leave from our launch date, Friday 13th June, probably not a good day to leave anyway! Finally got away from Rhu on the Gareloch at 17.30 on Sunday 15th with six of us on board.  John and myself, Eilidh, Megan, Tony and Derek.  Sailed with light winds behind us carrying us south and commenced our four hour watch system.  I was on watch with Derek as we sailed past Ailsa Craig around 3am, a huge dark tower of rock rising vertically from the sea. It’s hard to believe people lived their entire lives on such a small inhospitable island.  We had many a laugh over the three day passage to Newlyn in. read more...