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04/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 58; Leaving Galapagos; Sunday, March 2, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM to get ready for meeting with Immigration at 8:00 AM at The Rock restaurant and bar - to have passports and papers stamped to clear out of the country. While sitting in the cockpit having a cup of coffee after sun rise, I watched a marine iguana swim by on its way to the rocky shoreline. A dive boat going out of the anchorage at a high rate of speed missed the iguana by 5 feet, but it didn't bother it in the slightest. It just kept swimming with its head above water.After I left the boat, Mike saw a large turtle and 2 eagle rays swim by the boat. I made it back to the boat by 10:00 AM. At 11:00 AM a Blue Footed Bobbie landed in the water next to the boat. More T-shirts are sold in the Galapagos with the Blue Footed Bobbie on it than any other shirt. We then got ready to. read more...


04/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 57: Last Provisioning Day & Last Day in Galapagos; Saturday, March 1, 2014

Last day on terra firma before starting the longest leg of the Rally from the Galapagos Islands to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. The South Pacific. Picked up the DVD shot by our dive guide from the 2 dives the day before; then shopping for gifts for family back home. Then off to the grocery store buying frozen foods for the freezer: pizza's; BBQ ribs; chicken; and pork chops. Couldn't find any beef I could identify or would want to buy. Then items for the refrigerator: unripe, really small bananas; carrots; cantaloupe; cheese; ham cold cuts; and hot dogs. Plus 2 dozen more eggs, bringing our total eggs on the boat to 12 dozen. (The eggs are stored in the bilge in special plastic egg holding devices). Other items purchased included rolls of paper towels; junk food. read more...


03/03/2014

Firefly - Into the Pacific

We have had our first night at sea for several weeks and in 24 hours have covered 144 miles. Over night the wind died so we had to resort to the engine for while but now the wind is back and we are pointing in the right direction towards the Marquesas doing 6 knots in 10 to 12 knots of breeze - considerably more than was forecast.While on watch overnight David saw a giant turtle (who apparently waved at him) and Peter had a visit from a pod of dolphins jumping through the phosphorescence. He was also subjected to an unpleasant downpour it only lasted a few minutes but soaked him and the boat - at least it was warm rain! Here is a paragraph about Peter's Galapagos island hopping trip; I booked last minute on the appropriately named motor sailor the 'Beagle' for a seven day tour around the. read more...


Flomaida II - So why do the Boobies have Blue Feet?
Flomaida II - So why do the Boobies have Blue Feet?
03/03/2014

Free & BrEasy - Alejandro the Great

Its Day 2 of the 3000nm crossing from Galapagos to the Marquesas. We are in the middle of the Pacific surrounded by fellow World ARC boats so we feel safe. We have already landed an enormous (20kg?) yellow finned tuna and Alejandro has already cooked a delicious tuna belly (Bentresca in Spanish)and is now preparing Ceviche. Who is Alejandro I hear you ask? Michael Nicholson (Michael 1) has transferred to another boat, Dash Away, with his daughter Melissa. We wish you fair winds and safe sailing. In his place we have been lucky enough to meet Alejandro Hernandez (home is Lanzarote) who was on Andromeda V. Andromeda was placed second on the last leg so he is a crack sailor as well as a great fisherman and fantastic cook. Welcome Alejandro! Alejandro is also going to add to the log a piece. read more...


03/03/2014

Starblazer - 03/03/2014 - Tortoises and leaving Galapagos

03/03/2014 - Tortoises and leaving GalapagosWe spent our last full day with Richard and Stephanie taking a 3 hour taxi tour of Santa Cruz. The first stop was El Chato Tortoise Reserve, in the agricultural highlands. We had scarcely turned off the main road when we spotted the first few, mainly in the fields on either side but one was wandering down the track! To reach the reserve you walk through private land, again we saw lots of giant tortoises, then we entered the reserve. There were no fences, gates or cattle grids to keep the animals in so it was completely natural. There were a number of mud holes plus the only fresh water lagoon on the island, according to our taxi driver. Enormous ortoises were everywhere, wallowing in mud or water, blocking paths, snoozing under trees, chomping. read more...


03/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 2. Tag - Über den Pazifik

Gestern ging es los mit der längsten Etappe mit 2995 Seemeilen von Galapagos bis nach Hiva Oa auf Marquesas in Französisch-Polynesien. Obwohl wir dieses Mal etwas pünktlicher über die Startlinie wollten, hatten wir Verspätung, weil sich unser Grossfall verklemmt hatte. Nach 45 Minuten war das Problem entdeckt und behoben und es ging richtig los. Bis Mitternacht hatten wir dann wunderschöne Segelbedingungen und wir konnten auch einige Schiffe überholen. Heute morgen machen wir Motorsailing, da es fast kein Wind hat - und leider wird das auch so in den nächsten 2-3 Tagen bleiben. Das betrübt unsere gute Laune aber keineswegs - immerhin haben wir 140 Liter Diesel mehr als sonst dabei, das uns einen grösseren Spielraum gibt, das Wetter ist herrlich und das Schiff ist voll gebunkert mit. read more...


03/03/2014

Firefly - Leaving the Galapagos Archipelago

At noon today the World ARC fleet started the leg 4 across the Eastern Pacific to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, French Polynesia. This is the longest leg of the whole rally. The fleet assembled just out of Puerto Ayora for the start, with a 10/5/go countdown and a well laid line, due to our racing background the crew become very competitive at this point. For this one we were close to Chika Lu, Circe and Alpheratz at the favoured committee boat (a water taxi hired for the purpose) end of the line. Firefly came out in front and now has a reputation to maintain having been first boat away from the line for all three legs, so no pressure for the next one and good preparation for the Tahiti Pearl Regatta.After rounding the first headland we unfurled the Gennaker and sailed away at 8 knots in 12. read more...


03/03/2014

Nexus - First Day Out - All Is Well

WE had an unexpected great start for Leg 3 of the Rally at noon today, with a surprise 10-15KT wind from the SW allowing all boats to sail rather than motor in the doldrums. It was a great sight to see all of the sails up and hearing the crew banter in the VHF once again, with great encouragement from the WARC staff as usual. Unfortunately we had to leave two of our own behind with Celebrate still waiting for their autopilot parts to be flown over from Ecuador Customs where they've been held for a week now, and KoKo who unfortunately had to turn back from the start as their own autopilot failed. We all cheer them on and hope they get the opportunity to catch up this week, or perhaps they will be able to sail together when they are ready. The seas are calm, wind slowly dying as we're. read more...


03/03/2014

Celebrate - Final Tours and Party Toasts on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos!

Santa Cruz Island runs the gamut of dry vegetation in the low areas to the lush tropical trees of the "Highlands" just minutes away by car. Our final tour was visiting the giant tortoises in their natural habitat on a farm with protected acreage, viewing volcano craters and walking through large lava tubes. Galapagos will not be forgotten!Last night our crew member, Randy, treated us to scenic drinks and a fabulous sushi dinner out. For a final toast afterwards, Laurie of Nexus asked us to join in with their crew Sheldon and Ness at the street food fair. Laurie's husband, Russ, was on Ghost helping with their instruments, but he was able to join us a little later. Also, saw Becky of Skyelark for a minute. What a great evening! Today was the start of Leg 3 to Hiva Oa in French Polynesia.. read more...


Flomaida II - Der Kleine wartet auf dem Kopf, ob der Große was von seiner Beute verliert
Flomaida II - Der Kleine wartet auf dem Kopf, ob der Große was von seiner Beute verliert
Flomaida II - Die scheinen ja genau zu wissen, in welchem Kübel etwas für sie ist!
Flomaida II - Die scheinen ja genau zu wissen, in welchem Kübel etwas für sie ist!
Flomaida II - Mmmhhh frittierte Bananen zum frischen Fisch
Flomaida II - Mmmhhh frittierte Bananen zum frischen Fisch
Flomaida II - Alex hilft beim Betanken der vielen Boote
Flomaida II - Alex hilft beim Betanken der vielen Boote
Flomaida II - Gut, dass es nicht unser Dinghi ist!
Flomaida II - Gut, dass es nicht unser Dinghi ist!
Flomaida II - Der sehr spezielle Fischmarkt in Santa Cruz
Flomaida II - Der sehr spezielle Fischmarkt in Santa Cruz
01/03/2014

Firefly - Preparations under way for our next ocean passage

Sadly we said farewell to Susie, Barney and Juanita this morning as they fly back to the UK (we hope the weather has improved) Susie will be back in 7 weeks and will resume her adventure in Tahiti. David has arrived and now P P and D are busy preparing Firefly for the passage across the Pacific Ocean to the Marquesas in French Polynesia; a trip of just under 3000 miles if we go direct, however passages are rarely that straight forward so we expect to cover well over this distance to make best use of the winds and current. We have refueled (quite an experience) and re-provisioned. As Peter writes this Paul and David are diving under the hull to clean weed off the bottom which will add to our speed and improve Firefly's appearance.Peter and David have just got back from separate cruises. read more...


Flomaida II - Leider hatte uns das Tankboot ein paar Schrammen verpasst, die natürlich gleich wieder entfernt wurden
Flomaida II - Leider hatte uns das Tankboot ein paar Schrammen verpasst, die natürlich gleich wieder entfernt wurden
Flomaida II - Essen an der "Fressmeile" mit Ko-Ko, Festina Lente und Tulasi
Flomaida II - Essen an der
Flomaida II - Vittorio von Festina Lente sieht aus wie ein Rauschgoldengel- ist aber ein wirklicher "Hilfsengel im Motorraum beim Ölwechsel"
Flomaida II - Vittorio von Festina Lente sieht  aus wie ein Rauschgoldengel- ist aber ein wirklicher
Flomaida II - Den haben wir nur kurz ausruhen lassen, da es sonst in Reinigungsstress ausartet!
Flomaida II - Den haben wir nur kurz ausruhen lassen, da es sonst in Reinigungsstress ausartet!
01/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 56; Diving with White-Tipped Sharks & Eagle Rays; Friday, February 28, 2014

The day started early for me as Russ and Laurie from Nexus had invited me to go scuba diving with them. We met on the dock at 7:00 AM, and on the way to Iguana Scuba we walked by the fish market, where pelicans and two sea lions were gathered around a fisherman filleting fish, looking for scraps. It was actually pretty amazing. One sea lion in particular was favored by this fisherman as he kept flipping him scraps of fish. He was at the feet of the fisherman and looked like a dog would if seated under the dinner table looking for scraps. After meeting at the dive shop, we boarded 3 taxi's for the trip to Baltra and our dive boat. Ten persons were diving. Of the 10 divers, 7 were from the USA, 1 from Sweden, 1 from Canada and 1 from somewhere in Europe. We had 3 dive guides. We were. read more...


01/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 55; Mike Settles in & Getting Ready for our Longest Leg; Thursday, February 27, 2014

The sailboat anchored behind us woke us up at 6:30 AM because they thought their bow anchor was under our boat. It wasn't, they pulled it up 10 feet from our transom. This sailboat was not part of our rally but was headed for the Marquesas, where we will be going in 3 days. We'll see them again. Since we were all up, I put the kettle on to boil some water for coffee, only to find out after 15 minutes that we had no propane. Apparently, someone (Joel) had turned off the propane the day before when he weighed the cylinder and filled a small 16 ounce gas cylinder with the larger propane tank, using a special valve I bought to do so. By being able to fill the small propane cylinders, we don't have to buy a zillion of them to cook on our transom rail mounted grill. There was a lot of. read more...


01/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 54; Janet and Darlene Head for Home; Mike Mogavero Arrives; Wednesday, Febuary 26, 2014

Big day today. Darlene Heyne, Joel's wife, left us after being on the boat since January 4. During Darlene's 'stay' she sailed from Tampa to the Dry Tortugas; thru the gale; to Key West; around the western tip of Cuba; past Grand Cayman; thru the treacherous Nicaraguan Sand Banks;to the Sand Blas Islands; to Shelter Bay in Colon, Panama; thru the Panama Canal; to Panama City; to the Las Perlas Islands of Panama; and finally, to the Galapagos, where she visited San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabella Island. With the Caribbean crossing (we think) being the most arduous of our entire trip around the world, Joel and I would have been hard pressed without her. Thank you Darlene! You will be missed. Janet Fox, my bride, also left us today, after being on the boat (or our 'cruise boat') since. read more...


Seaduced - A very English tradition while crossing the Equator
Seaduced - A very English tradition while crossing the Equator
Flomaida II - Auf dem Fischmarkt in Santa Cruz
Flomaida II - Auf dem Fischmarkt in Santa Cruz
27/02/2014

Celebrate - Smashing Rally Fleet Supper at II Giardino on Santa Cruz!

Starblazer started the evening by hosting us for Caipirinha cocktails at the open-air Rock Cafe Happy Hour before dinner.So gracious of them, we had a chance to get to know John and Joyce better on our Kicker Rock tour in San Cristobal.Their son from Hong Kong,Richard and his wife, Stephanie, are here in Galapagos for a few days.Very interesting and nice people!Then Brian and Lauren, a very nice young couple crewing on Dasha Way, joined us too for a very tasty three-course supper at the attractive tropical, two-story Italian II Giardino Restaurant. As we walked up the beautiful stairway to the second floor the World Rally greeters, Suzana and Alex, were there to send us in the right direction with smiles.During our dinner of a shrimp curry appetizer, a fresh fish in coconut sauce entree. read more...


Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Firefly - More Galapagos photos from Peter
Flomaida II - Was ist das???
Flomaida II - Was ist das???
26/02/2014

Starblazer - Galapagos update

Kicker Rock tour on Saturday was interesting but sadly not spectacular, the highlight was probably the Spotted Eagle Ray. On Sunday they saw hammerhead sharks! The guided walk to the first bay and the snorkelling were good, though, and our guide was very informative. Almost as soon as we got back to Puerto Baquerizo we set sail for our rendezvous point, 70 miles away. So many boats had failed the inspection that the price went down!By about midnight the wind increased a little and we sailed for the last five hours, passing within 6 metres of the waypoint. We were lucky and were in the first group to be scrubbed and made our way back to Isla San Cristobal to meet Richard and Stephanie, who had booked into an hotel for the night. Monday morning we were one of the boats that were rechecked. read more...


Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
Firefly - Peter's photos from his Galapagos Cruise
25/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 53; Charles Darwin Breeding Center & Summary of M/V Fragata 5 Day, 4 Night Cruise; Tuesday, February 25, 2014

At 8:00 AM we met our guide on the public dock and walked to the Charles Darwin Breeding Center. Once there we observed giant Tortoises and Land Iguana's; and the home of 'Lonesome George' before he died. George was the last of his species from Pita Island. In the course of our 5 day, 4 night trip we visited 7 different islands: Baltra Island; Mosquera Island; Vincente Roca Point on Isabella Island; Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island; Urbina Bay on Isabella Island; Tagus Cove on Isabella Island; Egas Port on Santiago Island; Sombrero Chino Island; and finished at Santa Cruz Island, where our boats are anchored. The highlights of the cruise include swimming with: Sea Lions, Green Turtles, Penguins, a Manta Ray, Flightless Cormorants, Marine Iguana's, Sting Rays and White-Tipped Sharks.. read more...



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