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20/03/2014

Trillium - Trillium Still at Sea on Day 18

It looks like a lot of the bigger boats are anchored in Hiva Oa. There are about 10 of us still at sea. The wind is light and variable so we are not moving very fast. We are trying to keep the engine hours to a minimum. This makes for a relatively relaxing sail. The days and nights are beautiful as we have had a full moon this week. You feel like you can reach out and touch the Southern Cross it is so low and bright.Tony has been teaching us how to use the sextant at noon each day. The calculations are a bit challenging, but there is an app for that! We will have to get it when we get to Internet again. We haven't done much fishing as the freezer is full. To keep from being bored we are having popcorn in the afternoon and on watches and pretending to be watching the movie we call The. read more...


20/03/2014

Starblazer - 20/03/2014 – Rubbish day

No, that isn’t a reference to our sailing performance though it could be, it is a reference to my major housekeeping task yesterday.Rubbish is a problem on boats as you have to carry it with you for as long as the voyage takes.Every item which has contained food is thoroughly washed before being put in the bin to avoid smells and flies.Once a week, or whenever the bin is full, I carefully sort the rubbish and compact it as much as possible.With care the contents of a full bin may be reduced to less than half in size, I then rebag it in a strong blue plastic rubble sack and put it in a bucket on the after deck.So far, two and a half weeks in, we have two part full carrier bags in the blue bag, no smell and no flies.On the other hand, rinsing out the milk boxes is a waste of fresh water. read more...


20/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 74; Rainbows, Speed Explainted, Remora, Mixed Waves & Special Dinner; Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The day started poorly. At 4:00 AM Joel wanted to jibe jib and pole over. Decided not to. Too difficult to do in the dark, and no hurry to do so anyway. Middle of my night. Woke up for good at 6:20 AM because full moon was perfectly positioned on starboard bow to shine thru my aft cabin porthole right into my eyes. Like a spotlight in your face. Before assuming morning watch duties from Mike, my daily routine includes shaving, even when its rough out. Then boiling the kettle to make hot water for a cup of coffee. Have to have that first cup in the morning. At 7:03 AM spotted a rainbow on the port bow. Red, yellow and green in color. Last until 7:30 AM. A long rainbow. The wind was 13/14 knots from the ENE, and our speed was 6.1 knots. The sunrise was beautiful, cloudy on the horizon, of. read more...


Here from ARC+, now getting ready for ARC Europe 2014
Here from ARC+, now getting ready for ARC Europe 2014
20/03/2014

Firefly - Aloha!

Hiva Oa and the surrounding islands of the Southern Marquesas are making an incredible sight as we approach. We first sighted land when 40 miles away, due to the very high mountains on these 'recent' volcanic islands. We managed to 'Parasail' all last night in glorious moonlight and a relatively flat sea. Maintaining about 6 knots in 10 to 14 knots of wind, Firefly literal felt as if she was flying - just the bright yellow Parasailor, no mainsail and very little wind blowing through the cockpit - each of us had memorable night watches. The wind then dropped away at 0900 and since then we have been motor sailing with the exception of one hour and half slot, when 20 knots of wind appeared under some clouds and we took off at 8.5 knots on a broad reach towards Hiva Oa. Motoring for the last. read more...


19/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 18.Tag - Weniger als 500 Seemeilen

Der Wind hat etwas nachgelassen, aber wir kommen immer noch gut voran und haben in der Zwischenzeit noch zwei Schiffe deutlich hinter uns gelassen. Jetzt sind es weniger als 500 Seemeilen - wir rechnen mit unserer Ankunft am Sonntag. Anscheinend müssen viele Schiffe, die schon weiter sind, motoren. Wir hatten bis jetzt Glück und hoffen, das bisschen Wind, das uns im Moment begleitet, bleibt noch bis Hiva Oa bei uns. Heute morgen haben wir das erste Mal seit Galapagos zwei Delfine gesehen, die eine Weile mit uns geschwommen sind!Sandra hat als Ms. Netcontrollerin für die nächsten drei Tage das Radio Net organisiert und kurzerhand anderen Schiffen die Verantwortung für verschiedene Tage zugeteilt - so wird die Arbeit hier verteilt :-)! Ungefähr die Hälfte der Schiffe sind jetzt in Hiva Oa. read more...


19/03/2014

Starblazer - 19/03/2014 – Still slow

Now I understand why this ocean was named Pacific, compared with the Atlantic it lives up to its name. I know we had some very calm days on our Atlantic crossing, however once we found the Trades the winds continued to build, the swell quickly grew, sailing became far less comfortable but it was quicker! We have suffered another 24 hours of light winds, mainly in the 8 – 12 knot range rather than the forecast 13 – 20, and there haven’t been any squalls to shoot us forward, albeit briefly. Our day’s run to noon yesterday was 135 nM, an average of just over 5.5 knots but our three hourly figures since then suggest an average much nearer 5 for today.Q is behaving admirably, managing to steer us directly towards the waypoint. If the wind were to get a lot stronger we might have a problem. read more...


19/03/2014

Osprey final preparations

Only seven weeks to go before we head for Bermuda. We have our new mainsail and staysail from Bremen Sails Miami Florida. Tom Bremen along with building the new sails, serviced all of our sails and built us new jack lines and, sail covers. Osprey is now in Fort Lauderdale having all standing and running rigging replaced new by Pete Ackerman, aka Bluepeterigging, who manages the local West Marine Rigging Shop. Pete will also be with us on the crossing. . read more...


19/03/2014

Flomaida II - 19. März- wir haben es geschafft! 3000 Meilen!!

Gerade ist unser Anker gefallen, es ist 3:00 Uhr Ortszeit, aber trotzdem gibt es eine Flasche "Schampus"!! Willkommen im Paradies. Wir haben zwar Vollmond, aber es ist leider bedeckt, schaun wir mal, wie es nachher aussieht hier auf Hiva Oa!.Aber jetzt werden wir erstmals nach 17 Tagen wieder in unserem großen Bett in der Achterkajüte schlafen. Während der langenPassage schlafen wir immer in einer Koje in der Nähe des Cockpits, um gleich einsatzbereit zu sein, wenn nötig. Es ist schon erstaunlich, dass wir bis ins Ziel kein anderes Schiff getroffen haben oder ein Licht gesehen haben. Wir wissen nur durch den Funk, dass Seduced kurz vor uns (ca 8 Meilen) durchs Ziel gefahren ist. Ein wenig betrübt sind wir schon, dass wir in den letzten Tagen langsam aus der ersten 5er Gruppe gerutscht. read more...


Flomaida II - 19. März- wir haben es geschafft! 3000 Meilen!!
Flomaida II - 19. März- wir haben es geschafft! 3000 Meilen!!
19/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 73; Fixed Head, Spinnaker Sailing & Dog Star; Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Today starts the beginning of the last week on this leg. We hope to be in Hiva Hoa by this Saturday or Sunday, day 20 or 21. I can't remember if I put the 'Dog Star' in a previous log or not a couple days or so ago, so here goes (again?). At 12:30 AM Joel pointed this star our to me. It actually twinkles green and red; is large; and is next to Orion. (No, we weren't tasting any wine when we looked at this star!). This star is part of the constellation Canine, or something like that. Whatever the 'dog' constellation is. If I had internet I'd Google it and would be sure. No internet out here. At 7:00 AM our speed through the water was between 4.5 and 5.5 knots. The wind was 11 knots from the east. Lot of rocking motion on the boat. We had a jib out with a pole.. read more...


18/03/2014

Firefly - Almost there

We now have 170 miles to go. Landfall is anticipated on Wednesday early evening. We think six boats have already made it, some who left Galapagos early, with the next group of 10 to 15 yachts (including us) following on in over the next 36 hours. The radio net at 9.00 AM local time this morning suggested that we were likely to enjoy good winds all the way. However, shortly after we were down to less than 8 knots and starting thinking about a later ETA. During the lull we put up the parasailor which has allowed us to sail straight down wind, exactly in the direction of the Marquesas. Within an hour the wind has built up again from the East and we are now sailing along at 6 knots in 12 knots of wind. We have in the past tried various configurations, surprisingly today the parasailor is. read more...


18/03/2014

Celebrate - Fancy Meeting the Rally Fleet here at 116W Degrees and Flying Fish Galore!

Having caught up with the Fleet we are turning northwards while still sailing with reasonable wind.Also, flying fish are making for some interesting companions as they flop into the cockpit at night! Next...Land Ho, the Marquesas!Cathy. read more...


18/03/2014

Starblazer - 18/03/2014 – When squalls are welcome

I never thought I would welcome the approach of a squall, however there have now been two occasions when I have been pleased, even a little regretful that they have been so short lived. When we could see the squalls coming in daylight we could make use of the free fresh water for showers and hairwash. At night that would be impossible while remaining harnessed on wearing a life jacket! Before dawn broke yesterday morning several squalls came through bringing increased winds. The forecast had been for 13 to 20 knots but we were only seeing 8 to 12 except in the squalls when it peaked at 24 knots once. In the lower winds we do not make much speed and bob around on the ocean, tossed by the swell and the waves coming from different directions. In 18 to 20 knots Starblazer forges her way. read more...


18/03/2014

Trillium - only 500 miles to go!

At last, the end of our longest passage is in sight! It has been a good passage with few engine hours, but light and variable winds. Since Trillium weighs 26 ton, she needs more wind to move so there won't be any prizes in this leg for us. Although we think we will cross the finish line a day before we ha anticipated.We have had a great sail with fishing, some sail damage, a power outage (caused by Skipperette's foot when trying to stay in the nav station during role call) and good books. It is amazing that it is not as boring as we thought it would be. The crew does two four-hour watches a day so everyone has a lot of free time.This crew is very good at keeping the conversation at a good level so others can sleep or read in peace. The only real challenge is the swells off the port. read more...


18/03/2014

Trillium - Trillium - only 500 miles to go!

At last, the end of our longest passage is in sight! It has been a good passage with few engine hours, but light and variable winds. Since Trillium weighs 26 ton, she needs more wind to move so there won't be any prizes in this leg for us. Although we think we will cross the finish line a day before we ha anticipated.We have had a great sail with fishing, some sail damage, a power outage (caused by Skipperette's foot when trying to stay in the nav station during role call) and good books. It is amazing that it is not as boring as we thought it would be. The crew does two four-hour watches a day so everyone has a lot of free time.This crew is very good at keeping the conversation at a good level so others can sleep or read in peace. The only real challenge is the swells off the port. read more...


Anettine - Here arriving St. Lucia, now preparing to return with ARC Europe in May
Anettine - Here arriving St. Lucia, now preparing to return with ARC Europe in May
18/03/2014

Flomaida II - 17. März- Segeln vom Feinsten!

Solche Tage zeigen mir, dass es wert ist, sich auch mal durch Wetter wie zwischen Saint Lucia und San Blas zu kämpfen! Wir haben heute den Spi-Baum gesetzt, um die Genua am Einfallen zu hindern. Durch die hohen, seitlichen Wellen wird das Schiff kurzfristig zur Seite geworfen, dadurch fällt das Segel kurz ein und schlägt dann wieder auf, was natürlich nicht gerade schonend ist. Es ist schließlich unser letztes Vorsegel! Den Baum haben wir auch leben lassen! Wir bessern uns!. read more...


18/03/2014

Nexus - Safe arrival in Hiva Oa, Marquesas!

Nexus arrived safely in Hiva Oa, Marquesas this afternoon, the first boat across the finish line with a time of just under 15 days, 6 hours for the 3000nm voyage. The next nearest boats in the rally, who gave us a wonderful chase, were the 53 and 51 foot Swans, Kathea and Alpharatz, who were neck and neck 87 and 89 miles behind us, and the 61' XYacht Chika Lu at 103 miles. The next nearest Catamaran was the 62' lagoon NDS Darwin, at 250 miles. Nexus and her crew performed very well in a variety of seas and weather on this the longest open ocean passage of the voyage. Many thanks to our families and friends who cheered us on along the way, and special thanks to the folks at Nexus Yachts, and Georgetown Yacht Basin, for building a safe, fast, comfortable and competent sailing machine that. read more...


18/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 72; Main Sheet Traveler Car Blew Up; Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rain showers 6:30 AM. What else is new? Rally boat II Audacious 3 miles abeam to starboard. A 49 foot boat. Wind increased to 22 knots. Reefed main and jib. Seas 8-10 feet. Shook reef out of main couple hours later. At 9:15 AM we crossed under transom of II Audacious. Had to double reef main to slow boat down to do so. Not sure who had right-away. AIS alarming - collision. Missed by 100 yards. The boats gave their respective positions during the 9:00 AM net. Breakfast after that. Scrambled eggs with cheese and ham slices; plus crackers layered with peanut butter and/or strawberry jelly. Noon position 9 degrees, 24 minutes South; 125 degrees, 16 minutes West. 807 miles from Hiva Hoa; have come 2,173 miles so far. At 11:15 AM we went to 'wing-on-wing.' Meaning, the jib (and pole) were on. read more...


17/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 16.Tag - Es geht weiter

Der Tradewind ist zwar da, aber ist nach wie vor sehr unstetig. Trotzdem lassen wir uns nicht unterkriegen und segeln weiter nach Hiva Oa (wenn wir auch ab und an aufkreuzen müssen). Sandra musste heute als Ms. Netcontroller für das Radio Net mit den anderen ARC-Schiffen arbeiten und hat den Positions- und Windinformationsaustausch über Funk geleitet. Michael und Tom sind auch nicht faul gewesen und machen sich Konkurrenz im Brotbacken - die Qualität verbessert sich um jedes Brot, wenn auch noch nicht preisverdächtig;-). Von uns 3 einen ganz lieben Gruss. Tom. read more...


18/03/2014

Firefly - Mooncream

Last night we had a clear sky and a fantastic full moon. Just as the sun was setting ahead of us in the west, the moon appeared and rose behind us, initially coloured orange so it looked just like it was dawn again. The moon setting was equally as stunning as the sun rose just before, the difference being that within a short period of time it was getting hot and finding shade in the cockpit became important.All night we had the moon lighting our way and it was during one of the watch changeovers that we discussed whether there were any damaging effects to humans being exposed to excessive moonlight! It was agreed that surely there must and equally there must be a requirement for a new cosmetic product we called 'mooncream'!!Clearly the long period at sea is having a detrimental effect on. read more...


18/03/2014

Skyelark of London - Where are we.. really?

We don't believe the GPS, we simply can't be 90% of the way there yet, it doesn't fit with our other instruments, for example there is cold beer and loads of food in the fridge, fresh fruit and veggies, plenty of fuel in the tanks and the fishing lures in the locker -there must be some mistake! We are out of cookies though... so to be certain we have checked with the sextant and sure enough, we are closer to the isle of Wight than French Polynesia. You can't trust technology. sextant. read more...


Skyelark of London - Where are we.. really?
Skyelark of London - Where are we.. really?
17/03/2014

Happy Destiny - ARC Europe, Happy Destiny prepares to go east

Happy Destiny is preparing to depart Texas on March 24 for the overland trip to Portsmouth, VA.  Mast is going down and she'll be hauled today or tomorrow.  The boat presently  looks more like a storage locker than a seafaring vessel.  I have some work to do in Portsmouth.IMG_0066. read more...


Happy Destiny - ARC Europe, Happy Destiny prepares to go east
Happy Destiny - ARC Europe, Happy Destiny prepares to go east
17/03/2014

Flomaida II - 15. März- zu dem Bild sag ich mal nix!

Nun haben wir ihn schon behandelt wie ein rohes Ei, den Gennaker, aber er war wohl noch roher! Wobei wir denken, dass der "Schuster/ Schneider" in Santa Cruz nicht das richtige Garn hatte, denn die Nähte sind genau da wieder aufgegangen!Mittlerweile nehmen wir es mit Humor und stellen uns vor, wie wir die 3 Segelsäcke im Dinghi transportieren werden! Leider hab ich heute Nacht die A....Karte gezogen. Es kommt ein Squall nach dem anderen, das heißt: Segel einreffen, Kissen rein, Segel ausreffen,trocken wischen, Kissen raus, und das schon mehrmals. Man sieht ihn auch nur auf dem Radar, da der Mond hinter den Regenwolken verborgen ist,es ist also wieder stockfinster!! Die Nudelsuppe, die ich wegen extremer Schräglage im Küchenbecken geparkt hatte, ist leider trotzdem übergeschwappt. Aber es. read more...


17/03/2014

Flomaida II - 16. März- der nicht so sanfte Pazifik!

Heute haben wir nach 2 Wochen erlebt, dass der Pazifik auch anders kann! Wir hatten einen recht anstrengenden Tag mit hohen Kreuzseeen, viel Wind (20-30 Knoten) und 4 m hohen Wellen. Da wir uns nun schon langsam mental auf den Landfall vorbereitet haben, hat es uns kalt erwischt. Es ist einfach auch körperlich anstrengend, die ganze Zeit gegen zu steuern bei den Wellen, aber das kann man dann auch als Fitnessprogramm sehen. Etwas betrübt sind wir jetzt schon, dass wir- in Ermangelung unserer Vorwindsegel- nun langsam aus der 5er Spitzengruppe rausfallen und hoffen, wenigstens unter den ersten zehn anzukommen. Wir müssen leider den Idealkurs verlassen,um den Wind nicht total von Achtern zu haben. Selber Schuld, wenigstens zum größten Teil!!! Heute ist mal nichts mit Segeln passiert (sind. read more...


17/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 71; Jib Overboard & Joel Goes Climbing; Saturday, March 15, 2014

Awakened at 5:30 AM by rough motion of boat. I could hear the wind howling from my aft cabin. Relieved Mike at 6:30 AM. Wind 20-23 knots. Speed 6-8 knots. Helping current. Big, windy rain squalls passing by stern of boat. The last 3 days the wind died down during the daytime. Don't think it will today.We've received two completely different weather forecasts. One, from a GRIB file we get from a weather service out of Hawaii, called for winds of 10 knots. The other forecast, from our Rally weather router, is calling for winds of 17-21 knots. Big difference. The rally weather router won out. A little wave slapped the side of the boat and sent some water onto my Kindle. Luckily, the cover was closed. The waves are very broad and 12 feet in height. Seen a few 15 footers. Some of these waves. read more...


17/03/2014

Firefly - Breaking out the melon

The fruit basket is now empty with little being donated to Neptune this passage. To keep us refreshed for the last few days we have finally got round to opening up the water melon. This good specimen, hand picked by Barney has been stored over Peter's berth since the Galapagos so one less health and safety hazard too. The veg is still going strong, we finished the white cabbage yesterday; it seemed to go on for ever and still another red cabbage to go. We understand there are limited supplies of fruit and veg to buy in the Marquesas with most grown for their own needs however if we are lucky we might be given some of their surplus by friendly locals - a bunch of bananas would be great!This morning's radio indicated that we continue to enjoy some stronger winds than many (25 to 30 knots. read more...


16/03/2014

Nexus - Nearing the home stretch!

After a slower calm period in the middle of the night, we've got 20kts of wind aft, and we're scooting along downwind with Fat Albert out. Everyone on board is looking forward to taking a hike on shore! Its partly cloudy with scattered showers and warm sunshine today, and although we are technically fishing, the lures are jumping out of the water on each following wave as we're doing 9kts average over ground. The current has relentlessly pushed us further south than we would like to be, so we're crab clawing our way back north gradually, which has scrubbed off a bit of boat speed as well. Hopefully the wind will stay strong all day, and we'll look forward to a Monday afternoon landfall! Meanwhile, we're working out potential itinerary's for exploring the Marquesas and all is well!Russ. read more...


16/03/2014

Starblazer - 16/03.14 – Where’s the sunshine?

Yes, I know too much sun is bad for you and that we spend the vast majority of the time in the cockpit shaded by the bimini, however yesterday it barely put in an appearance. The problem with no sunshine is no free energy via the solar panels. On a sunny day they have more than kept up with our daytime demands and we have only needed to run the engine to charge the batteries for an hour or two. Yesterday they needed three hours of charging in the afternoon and another three hours overnight.Apart from the welcome supply of hot water there is a downside, the noise and the cost of diesel. We still have almost ¼ tank left plus another ¼ tank in cans so we’ll be fine on that score.We have decided the best solution to our generator problems is to replace the engine, hopefully the Fischer Panda. read more...


16/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 70; Kon-Tiki Lure, Joel Radio Transmission Techniques & Low Side Pole Explained; Friday, March 14, 2014

Sunrise consisted of scattered trade wind clouds. A small rain cloud drifted by and dropped a mist of rain. Came and went in 5 minutes. Not enough of a rain shower to even wet your clothes, but had to close up boat main cabin hatch and zipper the dodger window to prepare for the worst.Three flying fish on deck, forward of the dodger. Even though I could see them, I did not go forward to retrieve them until someone else on the boat was up and in the cockpit. A rule on the boat, no one goes forward, even when wearing a harness and hooked to the boat, when they are alone on deck. Why is that? Because if you're harnessed to the boat and fall overboard, if someone doesn't come get you, you could easily drown while being dragged alongside the boat. If that were to happen, you may have to even. read more...


16/03/2014

Free & BrEasy - Guaranteed Tuna Free Log

Tonight we will hopefully be two thirds of the way from Galapagos to the Marquesas - that's a mere 1000 nautical miles to go! Every body is in high spirits despite yesterday being set with problems. Yer winds decreased in strength in the morning and as a special treat for Alejandro when he woke up from the night shift, the remaining crew decided to show him the "screecher" (a genaker or large floppy head sail halfway between a genoa and a spinnaker). We set the boat going wing on wing with the jib (the other head sail)on one side, screecher on the other, and sat back to marvel at our handiwork. Alejandro arrived and was duely impressed but the only problem was we were heading well north of the bearing to the Marquesas. After much muesli chewing (Alejandro's jaw muscles are aching!), down. read more...


15/03/2014

Firefly - Rain squalls

With only 725 miles to go to the Marquesas the chances of us landing that elusive Tuna are rapidly diminishing. In contrast a number of fish have been catching us! over the last few nights flying fish have landed on Firefly; one almost on David's lap and the another one big enough to eat; if it were not smelly and very bony!Its been quite cloudy today and for the past hour its been raining, heavily at times. looking upwind we can't as yet see the skies brightening again but we anticipate it will within another hour or so.Listening to this morning's radio net the fleet are now converging on the French Polynesian islands from their Northerly and Southerly tracks. If the South Easterly wind stays with us as forecast we should be dropping anchor in about 4 days and in close company with. read more...


16/03/2014

Nexus - Wind lacking...bring up Fat Albert!

We had another great night with relatively strong winds in the 20-25kt range, giving us the power to surf again and reel off the miles. However, in the early morning the wind died down to 15kts, which is pretty much what was forecast, and as it is dead aft, we are in a warm downwind slog for the last couple of days to go. Since we like 8kts a lot better than 6kts, we put away our well worn 80% gennaker and pulled up our 100% gennaker(aka Fat Albert) for the first time! Its a beautiful teal blue and white asymmetric spinnaker, but lighter weight than our 80%, so not tolerant of strong winds at all, but it moves us right along in light ones. As it's not been furled around it's ProFurl Spinnex yet, we had to wool it and pull it up without a sock, which worked like a charm. I love that. read more...


15/03/2014

Celebrate - Dash Away All & Whales Tales!

Behind the Fleet by two days to stay at Galapagos for the autopilot installation, we are now within 20nm of the next boat in the fleet. Also, we were a few days without wind, motoring and trying to conserve our fuel running the engine at only 1500RPM's which slowed us. Finally, we picked up the trade winds at 12 knots (plus & minus). We were sailing along nicely at mostly 8knots when our Genoa sail jammed, so slowing down to 5-6knots with just the Mainsail up.Fixed the Genoa to deploy about half way so now enjoying 7-8knots of speed again with Trade Winds at a high of 23knots! Yeah! Whopping Whales Tails from a pod of whales right at our starboard bow a few days ago! What a fun sight! Happy to be dashing away with the rest of the Fleet!Cathy. read more...


15/03/2014

Starblazer - 15/03/2014 – A mixed day

The day’s run to noon was only 127 miles, not quite what we wanted. (NQW3) On the plus side, we weren’t forced as far south as on previous days.On Thursday evening we took the decision to put the clocks back by one hour, ship’s local time, on Friday morning. This was to ensure we have breakfast after sunrise and the sun has set well before the start of the evening watch system. We now have three clock times on board: the ship’s clock is kept in GMT; for this leg the radio net and our logbook entries are based on Galapagos time, GMT-6 which is the same as Mexico and, I think, Minnesota; ship’s local time, which is what our watches are set to, is now GMT-7, the same as Denver according to my watch. There is a lot of opportunity for confusion!During the afternoon we were engulfed by quite a. read more...


15/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 14.Tag - Was will dieser Wind

Wir kommen zwar voran, aber der Wind dreht ständig und die Windgeschwindigkeit geht die ganze Zeit hoch und runter. Das heisst dann auch jedesmal die Segel neu einstellen - bei Tag und Nacht. Und das ist natürlich mühsam. Aber sonst geht es uns ganz gut:-). Tom. read more...


15/03/2014

Flomaida II - 14. März- ein guter Tag!

Heute gibt es eine tolle Vollmondnacht mit unglaublich vielen Sternen, esist fast taghell! Wir haben genügend viel Wind, sodass wir sogar mitunseren paar übrig gebliebenen Segeln noch eine ganz passableGeschwindigkeit fahren können. Tagsüber haben wir den Spinnaker gefahrenund ihn wie ein rohes Ei behandelt. Er hat es uns gedankt,indem er heilgeblieben ist.Haben ihn allerdings abends doch gegen die robustere Genuagetauscht, da nachts kurzfristig die Squalls auftauchen können, und wir danicht so gerne auf dem Vordeck rumturnen zum Segelwechseln.Heute Morgen, als es langsam hell wurde,flog ein Fliegefisch volle Pullegegen den Besan Mast und dann vor meine Füße! Normalerweise würde mandenken, Genick gebrochen, aber das hat er ja nicht! Im Verhältnis zumKörper hat er sehr große Flügel, die. read more...


15/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 69; Just Sailing; & Two Joel Mini Lessons; Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sunrise. 14-15 knots of wind; speed 5.5 knots. Shook reef out of main and picked up 1/2 to 1 knot of boat speed. Because boat speed down, hydro generator not charging as much as we like. Low voltage turned freezer off. Too much east in wind, so we have to steer left of Hiva Hoa. Right after sunrise the 2 fishing lines were put in the water: a silver spoon and a yellow rebella. The rebella submerges to 15 feet or so when trolled. The silver spoon slips on the surface. Then a large flock of terns were seen concentrating on a patch of ocean, going after a school apparently. No flying fish on deck today. After morning exercise, put sails on 'wing on wing' mode. Main sail on one side, jib on the other. Jib held out with a pole. No good. Speed 4.5 knots. Dropped wing on wing idea 15 minutes. read more...


15/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 14/03

We continue to whosh our way across the ocean, with only a few minor sail adjustments needed. Today has witnesses 2 more celebrations - we now have less than 1000 miles to go to Hiva Oa, and we are also over 2/3 rds of the way there. Definitely a day for scones and jam with afternoon tea.The other evening there was great excitement on board as just as dinner had arrived on deck, the fishing reel started spinning manically. Particularly bad timing as the crew tried to furl away the headsail and release the main to slow down, whilst at the same time trying not to lose their dinner. Dan and Richard manfully stepped up for the biggest fishing challenge yet. Dan on the rod managed to reel in a huge fish and there was a lot of debate as to what it was - it certainly wasn't the standard tuna or. read more...


14/03/2014

Firefly - A day in the life of a Pacific crossing

Unlike our passage across the Atlantic we have enjoyed reasonably consistent winds from the start (apart from the first 24 hours). We haven't made any sail changes, and until this morning have stayed on Port tack either broad reaching or running all the time. So we have settled into quite a leisurely and consistent routine. Here is a typical noon to noon day for Peter but could easily be for Paul or David. We do three hour on watch periods during the day (6 off) and two hours at night (4 off). As the total number of periods is uneven the times change each day and repeat every three;At noon I am off watch and having a snooze, up at 1.00 PM , my turn to make lunch; tortilla wraps with ham, cheese, carrot and cucumber, the fresh bread has now run out so tortillas are the next best thing.. read more...


14/03/2014

Nexus - Loosey Goosey

On the late watch last night, Laurie and I were playing scrabble back and forth on her IPad, while I tried to work our asymmetric into a good set. The wind was up to 15kts and down to 8kts and swinging a bit side to side in transition to somewhere. So I'm tweaking and tuning the lines on the sail trying to get the boat into a a smooth rhythm between the flukier winds and regular swells. It seemed that every time I got it settled down, the wind would either shift or lighten up, and I would have to readjust. I'm getting frustrated as the wind is dropping and our boat speed is down to 5-6kts, just above my threshold for firing up the motor which hasn't seen action in 10 days. Just then, a bleary eyed Sailing Master Sheldon emerges from his den, and asks why the sail is so tight? I explain. read more...


14/03/2014

Starblazer - 14/03/2014 – Celebrations.

You need targets in life, little milestones to celebrate, things to keep you going.In the past we have celebrated the first time we completed a two hundred mile day, right now I’d settle for 160 but the winds won’t cooperate.Yesterday we reached a milestone, the halfway point on the longest crossing we have made, 1,480 nM (nautical miles), about 10% longer than a statute mile at 1,860 metres I think.It took us 10 days and 21 hours but we are hopeful that the second half will be quicker.For one thing we have found the trade winds, even though they are not very strong, and we can sail faster than we can motor if the wind is in a helpful direction. The second factor in our favour is that the South Equatorial Current should be carrying us in the right direction, unlike the unhelpful current. read more...


14/03/2014

Flomaida II - 13.März- heute mal keine Hiobsbotschaft!

Heute hatten wir sehr starken Wellengang (2-3Meter bei 20-25 Knoten), sodass wir von manchen Wellen Besuch bekamen im Cockpit,da sie direkt von der Seite kamen.Mit der Beseglung Genua/ Besan fahren wir noch 8-9 Knoten!Wenn die Wellen von schräg hinten kommen, und du denkst, jetzt überrollen sie dich, dann wird das Heck von ihnen angehoben, und Flomaida surft die Welle runter. Da kann ich mich beim Beobachten nicht sattsehen und komme daher kaum zum Lesen! Musik haben wir übrigens bisher auch nicht vermisst.Das Geräusch des Wassers am Schiffsrumpf und der Wellen, die sich kurz vorher brechen und der Wind in den Wanten produzieren eine Art Gesang- das ist wirklich melodieähnlich, speziell der Wind in den Wanten, wenn die See glatt ist.Mit unseren Frischevorräten kommen wir prima aus: es. read more...


14/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 68; Sleigh Ride at Night; Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Great sunrise. Lost of blue sky, low wispy trade wind clouds. Wind 16-20 knots, seas 8 feet, speed 7 knots. A small .2 to .3 knot helping current. No flying fish on deck this morning. The reason is because with a 3/4 moon the fish fan see the boat and therefore they can miss it. We'll know if this hypothesis is accurate when we have no moon again. According to our Pilot Charts the wind should start coming more from the east instead of southeast from here all the way to Tahiti. The problem with that is when the wind is directly behind you its a very inefficient point of sail if your heading just south of west, which is what we're doing. To sail effectively, you have to either fly a spinnaker or sail at an angle to the wind behind you, jibing back and forth across your rumb line a few. read more...


13/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 12.Tag - Gelungenes Bergfest

Gestern sind wir um 17:05 über die 1500 Seemeilengrenze geflitzt. Die Freude und der Jubel waren gross unter den geladenen Gästen.Der Trade-Wind ist nicht erschienen, hingegen sein Bruder der Südostwind, der uns seit Tagen begleitet. Zur Feier des Tages gab es auch frisch gebackenen Vanille-Flon als Dessert - und obendrein noch ein Glas Sekt.Ja, die Herrschaften lassen es sich gut gehen. Trotzdem segeln wir weiter - gerade bei Vollmond, was die Nächte hell und bezaubernd aussehen lässt:-).Ganz liebe Grüsse von der ganzen Crew nach hause.Tom. read more...


13/03/2014

Firefly - Planning our time in the Marquesas

Firefly will be 2/3rds of the way from Galapagos to French Polynesia later today. Wind and weather remain favorable. The fastest World ARC yacht, Nexus, a 60 foot catamaran is 260 miles ahead of us - some of the slower boats are about 300 miles behind us. We are mid fleet, Firefly performing extremely well given her relative size.The pilot books have been out and we have been reading details related to the places we will visit in the Marquesas and have a rough itinerary in mind. Hiva Oa will be our landfall, we will then go slightly south to Tahuatu, then further on to the South West to reach Fatu Hiva, this apparently being the jewel of the islands. We will then head north west to Niku Hiva for a World ARC gathering at the beginning of April and will probably stop at Ua Pou en route -. read more...


13/03/2014

Firefly - Weather Information

We continue to scoot along on a broad reach on port tack. We have about 20 knots of wind from the South East and are rolling a fair amount in the swell. Firefly is averaging nearly 8 knots with the occasional fast bit when she surfs down a wave and slow bit when she loses the wave and waits for the next one to catch up.On the SSB radio net yesterday there was some discussion amongst the fleet regarding the wind potentially dropping in a couple of days time. In order to plan the most appropriate route to get us to Hiva Oa, the largest island of the Marquesas, we have consulted several sources of weather info and thought it may be interesting (sorry if not) for our readers to know how we do this considering we are in a very remote area.Using the SSB radio, the boat's laptop computer and a. read more...



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