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04/05/2015

Firefly - New Zealand to the Minerva Reef

Firefly started the passage to Tonga at 1030 on Saturday 2nd May. Leaving the Bay of Islands in beautiful weather with very light winds we motored away as part of the ICA's Pacific Circuit Rally. A start line had been set off the Opua Boat Club and as the signal sounded the fleet crossed the line with their engines roaring away - all except for Firefly who gently sailed across at the far end of the line - and then started the diesel.During the preparations we had reviewed the weather forecast on many occasions to ensure we were leaving at a good time for this potentially difficult trip. We therefore anticipated 24 hours motoring and during that spell that it would pay to head out to the East as much as possible. The expected point of sailing once the wind arrived was a close or beam. read more...


04/05/2015

American Spirit II - Day 481; The Last Day , We See Something We've Never Seen Before, the Welcome Home Party & the Last Log; Saturday, May 2, 2015

Up at 6:00 AM. Darlene is next up at 7:20 AM, followed by Joel at 7:30 AM. Breakfast at 8:00 AM consists of bacon, 3 eggs, chilled pear halves and multi-grain bread. This is the last meal on the boat Joel and I will have after 483 days on the boat. After breakfast Joel and I finish up the pictures for the media that we expect will be at the Boca Ciega Yacht Club today. Then Joel 'dresses' the boat; meaning we put up a lot of signal flags on halyards at the front of the boat and the stern. It was something we did a lot of in our trip in foreign ports. I've received some more emails from around the country. Thank you for your thoughts, Bill from Texas; and Bob from Ohio. I also received an email from Kathleen and Marc from Toronto. I have to post their email here because they've written. read more...


04/05/2015

American Spirit II - Day 480; Almost There, Really; Friday, May 1, 2015

Up at 8:00 AM. Coffee. We have to depart the marina by 9:00 AM because a fishing tournament is transplanting us. At 9:00 AM we depart the marina and while heading out of the channel to the bay we run aground in 4.6 feet of water. Who knew?! We're in the middle of the channel. As I learned in Australia, 'No Worries' in backing up and getting off the sand and mud. We then anchor 500 yards, or meters as my European friends would say, from the marina so we can have breakfast.Off in the distance is the Sunshine Skyway, a 200 foot bridge spanning Tampa Bay. Breakfast today is bacon, 3 eggs, chilled pear halves and multi-grain bread. No potatoes as I saving them for dinner tonight in the form of French fries. During breakfast Joel offers some advice on life, what I call 'The World According to. read more...


02/05/2015

GarliX - Tahiti Pearl Race… Fazit: nicht nachmachen

Klingt doch gut… Teilnahme an einem Race in der Südsee… Unser Fazit ist… macht es bloß nicht nach….Zum Skippermeeting wurde Vieles geklärt… wann sind die Partys, welches Outfit ist zu tragen, auch das Brot für den nächsten Tag war organisiert, wie sind die Starts… zuerst die Kat’s, dann die Racer, dann die Cruiser… alles wurde lange erklärt. Nur die Frage, WANN der Start ist war zu schwierig. Dazu sollte man auf den nächsten Tag 7:00 auf die Funkansage warten. Diese war 30 Minuten zu spät; also um 7:30 - für den Start, der dann um 8:00 sein sollte. Da wir aber blickig sind, war uns schon klar, dass der Start früh sein muss, wenn wir im ersten Rennen 7sm segeln sollen und im 2. Rennen 25sm mit Wind von vorne. Also waren wir schon draußen und mit uns auch die anderen Boote. Aber… jetzt. read more...


GarliX - Tahiti Pearl Race… Fazit: nicht nachmachen
GarliX - Tahiti Pearl Race… Fazit: nicht nachmachen
Zingara - Startklar nach Bermuda, Besuch bei Bootswäsche
Zingara - Startklar nach Bermuda, Besuch bei Bootswäsche
Zingara - Startklar nach Bermuda, Besuch bei Bootswäsche
Zingara - Startklar nach Bermuda, Besuch bei Bootswäsche
Zingara - Startklar nach Bermuda, Besuch bei Bootswäsche
Zingara - Startklar nach Bermuda, Besuch bei Bootswäsche
01/05/2015

Zingara - Wir melden uns zurück

Gestrandet in Port Canaveral 2014 wollen wir nun endlich wiedermit dabei sein. New York blieb uns verwehrt im letzten Sommer,hatten wir doch kurz nach dem Ablegen in Fort Lauderdale dashoffentlich einmalige Erlebnis, im Pulk von 6 Yachten als Einzigevom Blitz erwischt zu werden.So hangelten wir uns mit nem Handfunkgerät und dem LaptopDank Nimble Navstick durch bis Port Canaveral, wo wir in derOcean Club Marina einen schönen sicheren Liegeplatz bekamenund dort mit den Reparaturen der gesamten Elektrik und Elektronicbegannen.Nun ist alles neu und wir sind bereit, in Bermuda die ARC Truppe zutreffen, um dann gemeinsam ein weiteres Mal den großen Teich zuüberqueren.Ingo aus Obermörlen, Nils aus Friedberg, Wolfgang aus Friedrichsdorfund ich, Ernst auch aus Friedrichsdorf wollen unser Bestes. read more...


01/05/2015

American Spirit II - Day 479; Almost There & Thank You Log Readers for Your Emails; Thursday, April 30, 2015

One year ago today:I can't find that log in my archives, so there's nothing to report 'one year ago today.' *******************************Up at 7:42 AM. Its cloudy and windy. The forecast, according to Joel, is for winds from the northwest at 15-25 knots. How's that for a forecast? What a big wind spread. There is a free Herald Tribune newspaper in our cockpit. Nice touch Marina Jack. Joel gets up at 8:30 AM.Breakfast is at 10:00 AM. Bacon, 3 eggs, cut up and spiced potato, non-chilled pineapple slices and the last of our cinnamon bread. Darlene has one slice of brown bread with mayonnaise and bacon. At 10:55 AM I send out a log and one email. The Wifi is very, very fast. Amazing. We depart Marina Jack at 11:22 AM. I'm concerned when we leave that the wind will blow us into a piling at. read more...


12/11/2014

Club Carp - Club Carp: Zen and the Art of Sailboat Maintenance

Well, it's been another wonderful sail, taking a little over eight and a half days.We've ate and drank well; had more laughs than a barrel full of monkeys; advanced our personal knowledge of sail trimming and boat performance; and added another 1200 miles to our sailing resumes.Club Carp sets a high bar when it comes to zen and the art of sailboat maintenance.She outperforms when asked and keeps us safe in all conditions.As for the crew, I can't say enough about them.Captain Jeff and Woody, the "maintenance twins," are an amazing duo.They might bicker at times like the two old guys in the balcony on the Muppet Show, but they always come to a shared solution in the end. Beyond their mechanical, electrical and carpentry expertise, I can only hope to someday obtain the same depth of sailing. read more...


Club Carp - Club Carp: Zen and the Art of Sailboat Maintenance
Club Carp - Club Carp: Zen and the Art of Sailboat Maintenance
01/05/2015

American Spirit II - Day 478; We Travel from Venice to Marina Jack in Sarasota; Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 116; Tour of Moorea, Albert and His 3 Wives and our Departure Delayed a Day due to High & Building Winds; Tuesday, April 29, 2014. At 10:15 AM we started a tour of the island with Follie a Deux in an 8 person taxi/mini van driven by Albert, who advised as we started the tour that he had 3 wives and numerous children and grand children. Not sure if polygamy is legal in French Polynesia, but Albert certainly believes its OK. His oldest wife is 67 and the other two are 42 and 39. He's 75 and by his own account is the biggest tour operator on the island."*****************************Up at 7:00 AM. Joel and Darlene are up at 8:10 AM. Breakfast at 8:45 AM consists of bacon, 3 eggs, potato, chilled pear halves and cinnamon bread. Darlene had a protein shake.We. read more...


30/04/2015

Exocet Strike - Tahiti to Moorea

The obserant followers will haven noticed that we have moved 12 milesfrom Marina Taina on Tahiti to Cooks Bay on the nearby island of Moorea. Its famed, rightly for its beauty, unfortunately asyet we havent been able to sign onto wifi here! Never mind we may move toanother bay tomorrow where there is more chance and its equallybeautiful. It rained very heavily and got pretty windy on theway here yesterday, and last night it felt cold, well 27 deg C is cold to usnow. Today it rained again, pretty torrential but we managed to get ashore thisafternoon for a wander around. Several small supermarkets with lots of goodies,not quite as good as the Carrefour on Tahiti but still pretty good. Hopefully be able to book another dive course withTop Dive, or maybe just go snorkelling tomorrow.. read more...


29/04/2015

Exody - Days 102-106: Fleshpots of Tahiti

Nearly three months since the last alongside berth at Panama, we are enjoying being plugged into mains electricity, unlimited use of fresh water on the dock, stepping ashore into the middle of Papeete and all from a split new marina with a pristine shower and toilet block just out the wrappers - we are just about the first users - only about a dozen boats here with space for 100+ so what's not to like?Only downside is a bit of traffic noise from the adjacent dual carriageway that is busy from before 6am. Much landscaping work in evidence on the quayside walkway with 'guyed' semi-mature coconut palms, new grass, endless tropical flowering shrubs all being completed for the imminent formal opening.We arrived here Wednesday afternoon 22nd April, mostly motorsailing the 18 miles upwind from. read more...


30/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 477; 'Dolphin Day,' We Get Wet as a Front Crashes Thru, & We Make It To Venice; Tuesday, April 28, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 115; Sailed from Tahiti to Moorea in Bumpy Seas; Monday, April 28, 2014. We departed the marina at 9:30 AM and sailed under jib only, and a reefed jib at that, the 10 miles to Moorea. Along the way we encountered winds up to 28 knots and seas of 3 to 5 feet. 'Bad' weather is coming. Too bad. We averaged between 6 and 7.3 knots. One of the galley cabinets wasn't properly locked so its contents went flying out and all over the floor. Paul's Kindle also went flying, but because he had just bought a rubber cover, it wasn't destroyed."*******************************Up at 7:00 AM. At 8:00 AM I checked us out of South Seas marina. At 8:13 AM we left the dock and after departing the marina area headed south, following the channel until we could head east and then get into. read more...


29/04/2015

Tara - Arrival Into Nanny Cay Tomorrow!

TARA will be heading into Nanny Cay Marina tomorrow morning for some final repairs/maintenance before the rally begins.Our crew arrives Sunday. We are excited to bring them aboard and meet the other boats next week!. read more...


28/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 476; We Arrive at South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island After Completing Our Last Overnight Sail; Monday, April 27, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 114: The Car Tour thru the Clouds and 20 Waterfalls; Sunday, April 27, 2014. Paul and David were early (6:30 AM) risers. Breakfast at 8:00 AM was special in that besides eggs, we had bacon for the first time on our trip. Along with French bread, of course."********************************As I said in the subject line above, we just completed our last overnight sail. We had somewhere between 170 and 200 of these on our trip. Of course, whenever you have an 'overnight' sail, you're sailing 24 hours a day.Up at 5:55 AM to relieve Darlene. We're a couple of miles off the coast of Sanibel/Captiva Island. I call on my cell phone South Seas Plantation and found out that the marina personnel come in at 8:00 AM.The wind is 8 knots and we're motor sailing at 5.5 knots thru. read more...


27/04/2015

Firefly - Preparations for the passage to Tonga

Firefly was left moored at the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua, New Zealand, while we spent 4 weeks in England. Arriving back completely shattered we are gradually getting back into life onboard. Our visit back to 'Blighty' was well timed, coinciding with some great spring weather and we really enjoyed spending time with family and friends. it was somewhat of a shock to return to an autumnal NZ which is getting cooler, gets dark early and has at times been exceptionally wet. Today is Tuesday 28th April and our departure is currently planned for 1030 on Saturday 2nd May. We have joined the Pacific Circuit Rally organised by an Opua based yacht rally company known as the Island Cruising Association. Run on a smaller scale than World Cruising, ICA are similar in being both very well organised. read more...


Jambo - Jambo back in the water today
Jambo - Jambo back in the water today
27/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 475; We Leave Key West for South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island; Sunday, April 26, 2015

New tracker information from Rally Control:Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit*****************************One year ago today:"Day 113; Paul and David Fox Arrive; for Their Second Leg; Saturday, April 26, 2014. Back at the boat at noon; then left again to walk to McDonald's near the boat. Ordered a double cheeseburger, fries and coke. First time in a McDonald's since leaving on the trip. Only problem was that I expected the double cheeseburger to be smaller than it was. Ate it, but shouldn't have. Joel ordered a frappe and got a serious case of ice cream forehead. I'm glad he didn't pass out because I wasn't. read more...


Blue Pearl - Toast to fair weather
Blue Pearl - Toast to fair weather
27/04/2015

Blue Pearl - Bon voyage party in Pass Christian MS

A wonderful send off from my wife and friends. Heading to the boat on Tuesday the 28th of May.If all goes well on shakedown cruise from MyrtleBeach to Charleston, should head offshore for Bermuda on the 4th of May.. read more...


27/04/2015

Luna Quest - Sunday, 26th April, 2015

Position: 16.44S 151.29WApooiti Marina, RaiateaRun from Tahiti: 120 milesSince our arrival in Tahiti on 9.4.15, we spent most of our time arranging for and effecting repair jobs including maintenance work in the boat yard.Great was our surprise to find upon haul-out the hull almost clean of the luscious growth that we saw developing mid Pacific when I had to go over the side to find out why the propeller was not doing its job properly (felt as though we had a fishing net wrapped round it). It would appear that the fauna in French Polynesia took a fancy to the upside down garden and crustaceans under the boat as Luna Quest’s bottom appeared almost clean! Getting to the boat yard had been a major challenge as it can be accessed only by going through a pass in the reef that surrounds Tahiti. read more...


27/04/2015

Juno - Moorea

On watch in the early morning one can truly appreciate the slow and uplifting wonder of dawn. It starts with a faint light in the eastern sky; colour seeps from the horizon, spilling into the clouds, lilac at first, then pink and gold as the kaleidoscope revolves. As the first orange crescent appears above the horizon, the colours deepen and become rich and vivid. On the island ahead the dark peaks light up first, high above they are first to see the new sun; then slowly, the light spills down the eastern slopes, long dark shadows withdrawing into the deep green ravines cut into the hillside. The sun enjoys its first glimpse and now climbs quickly, increasing in power and splendour as it rises to create the new day.After a night sail from Fakarava we are approaching Moorea, brooding and. read more...


Juno - Moorea
Juno - Moorea
26/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 474; Darlene and I Walk Around Key West, We Watch the 'Bed Race, and Joel Continues To Do Pictures; Saturday, April 25, 2015

New tracker information from Rally Control:Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit*****************************One year ago today:"Day 112; Laundry (Again), an All Day Bus Tour of Tahiti, the Electrical 'Bus,' Dinner with Nexus and Getting Ready for Company; Friday, April 25, 2014. During the tour we learn the following: that there are 300,000 people living in French Polynesia; that 175,000 of them live in Tahiti; that they drive 35,000 cars; that France gives $1.1 Billion in aid to French Polynesia every year; that in the last 44 years there have been only 6 or 7 murders; that the biggest 'crime' in the country is. read more...


26/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 473; Haircut, Elvis Presley, Laundry, Pictures & a Very Special Dinner at Chico's; Friday, April 24, 2015

New tracker information from Rally Control:Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit************************************One year ago today:"Day 111; Stephen Kirk Last Day, Laundry, 1st Day Downtown, 3:00 PM Skippers Meeting, Rendezvous Party and Dinner in Papeete Rouletee (SP?); Thursday, April 24, 2014. Up at 6:40 AM. Breakfast at 7:20 AM. Stephen finishes packing and departs for home to Bend, Oregon. Today is 'sheet' laundry day. The only items on the boat we can't really laundry ourselves because they're so big. I got to the laundry at the marina, which has 4 washing machines that hold 22 pounds of laundry; and one. read more...


24/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 472; Back in the USA!; Thursday, April 23, 2015

New tracker information from Rally Control:Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit**************************************One year ago today:"Day 110; Agent Visits, Electricity at Dock Problem, Follie a Deux Visits for Dinner, and First East German Contact; Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Up at 7:50 AM when our agent, Laurent, arrived at boat. We gave him the stainless steel anchor roller, which needed a weld and a backing plate made for it. He said he'd have it back to us in a day or two. Joel then went to the nearby Mobil station and dropped off our propane tank to get filled with propane. We had to switch to our. read more...


23/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 471; A Long Day of Motor Sailing Along Cuba's North Coast & a Boat Surprises Me in a Close Encounter; Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New tracker information from Rally Control:Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit******************************One year ago today:"Day 109; On to Papeete in Tahiti, Anchor Roller Problem & Follie a Deux Dinner Party; Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The top of Mount Orohena on Tahiti, its largest mountain at 7,340 feet, stuck out of the cloud bank over the island. Impressive. Tahiti is surrounded by reefs, as all of the Society Islands are, with these reefs being 1/2 to 2 miles from shore. Tahiti also has the largest population in French Polynesia, with 80,000 inhabitants."******************************I relieved. read more...


22/04/2015

Exody - Days 99-101: Marooned off Moorea

....stuck for nearly 24 hours by the relatively high winds of up to 28 knots that discouraged us from making the half mile upwind dinghy trip to the landing place at the village of Papetoia.We were all still thoroughly soaked going ashore this morning, Tuesday 21st April with the winds still at about 20 knots.We are anchored in just four metres in the second of two lagoons just inside the encircling reef of Moorea at the iconic bay of Opunohu (Bali Hai) - you'll all have seen it in the Sunday Colour supplements - a bit like 'Fatu Hiva on steroids' to quote something I read.There were just five other boats here, the crews of which, like us, stayed on board during all of Monday. All of these Society Islands combine the key features of the Marquesas Islands - striking lush green vertiginous. read more...


22/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 470; Supplemental - Yellow Brick Tracker Address for American Spirit II; Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I received the following information from Rally control on how to track our boat:"Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit"Brian Fox. read more...


22/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 470; New Tracker Information, a Good Day Motoring and Sailing Along the North Cuban Coast, and We Get Boarded During the Night; Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New tracker information from Rally Control:Now that the World ARC has finished, the rally reporting and mapping has also finished. Yourself, family and friends can follow the progress of American Spirit on your YB private page http://my.yb.tl/americanspirit*********************************************One year ago today: "Day 108; Last Day in Moorea, Made Bread and Bali Hai Pool; Monday, April 21, 2014. I worked on itinerary for David and Paul, arriving late April 26 from Chicago and Phoenix. Early afternoon I took Tracy Ramsey's bread recipe and made my first loaf of bread on boat. Missing a couple of items, like a mixing bowl and had to use butter in place of shortening. One of the problems in shopping in a foreign country is that sometimes its hard to find in the store what you want. read more...


21/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 469; We're Half Way to Key West and Have a Great Motor Sailing Day Along the North Coast of Haiti and then Cuba; Monday, April 20, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 107; Tough Morning at Anchorage, Easter Sunday Services, Lauren and Brian Visit & Chef Stephen Strikes Again; Sunday, April 20, 2014. As the morning sun approached it got cloudy, windy and started to rain. Unlike other cloud meeting mountain situations, the clouds and associated rain and wind were from a 'larger' system. The wind began to howl in the bay, and the boat swung back and forth as the wind swirled down the mountain passes. The wind increased in gusts to over 30, probably some over 40. The anchor chain, instead of lying limp and weighty at the bow, was stretched out to its maximum. Its times like this that your sole thought is, is the anchor going to hold? Since the bottom is mud, we should be OK. We're parked closer than we should to land, with a. read more...


21/04/2015

Exody - Days 92-98: Three Tuamotus - Manihi, Ahe & Rangiroa

The village at Manihi proved very quiet and small- helpful post office where I got them to plug the internet back in after the weekend so that we could get our 'Manaspot' from the boat, two small shops with very limited supplies but not bad freezers and a snack bar where all we found was canned Fanta! Hugur was tied to the dock in the pass with phenomenally clear water below and it was at that 'waterside restaurant' we had enjoyed steak on board the previous night - Sunday 12th April, after happy hour on Ayama.Whilst we were ashore Monday, German catamaran FatCat arrived anchoring just upwind from us - we'd previously met them at Fatu Hiva and were invited on board for happy hour which generously morphed into dinner- the women had psychology in common. Once again we were taken with what. read more...


21/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 468; A Great Day Sailing, We're Off the Coast of the Dominican Republic, We Use Civetta II's 'Ascender' for the First Time, & I Start Log Book No. 8; Sunday, April 19, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 106; Computer Problem, Belvedere View Point, Looking for the Waterfall, Top Dive & Stephen Cooks Fabulous Dinner; Saturday, April 19, 2014. We left for an island tour in the Avis rental at 9:00 AM. We drove by a spectacular view spot where busses and cars had pulled over to take pictures. A high overlook over the ocean, with fabulous colored reefs and thatch huts (hotel rooms) over the water. These thatched huts have glass for some of their floor space, so you can see fish swim by from your room. How cool is that! An expensive resort. Probably the most expensive one on the island. The view was spectacular, and included some anchored sailboats and a pass thru the reef."************************Up at 6:00 AM to relieve Darlene. She says she had lightning during. read more...


20/04/2015

Firefly - Finally back in the water -

We have had a mad dash to get the boat back in the water and once back inwe found that the max prop had been badly adjusted so very poor ahead speed!(basically overpitched) In and out again (not the song) and back in and working... Checking all oursystems and new bits and pieces and seem like we are now getting there...Getting up to speed with technology as well having not used the SAT phonefor over 3 years Will keep everyone appraised on how we are getting on!N m_IMG_450715852. read more...


Firefly - Finally back in the water -
Firefly - Finally back in the water -
19/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 467; We Sail by Puerto Rico, Cross the Mona Passage, Talk to Some Ships & Have the Domincan Republic on our Port Beam; Saturday, April 18, 2015

I found out telephonically that our Yellow Brick tracker still has the boat in the BVI. Not true. We'll be off Cuba Monday evening; and in Key West by Friday, April 24. Stay tuned. Hopefully the tracker issue will be resolved Monday when the folks in the UK get back to work. ***********************One year ago today:"Day 105; Car Rental, Good Friday Services and Bali Hai Hotel Party; Friday, April 18, 2014. Up at 4:48 AM. Saw a cruise ship all lit up crossing from west to east towards Tahiti. Went back to bed and got up at 7:12 AM. Went to the Mobil gas station 100 yards from us in search of eggs and bread. No luck. Returned with 3 glorious French pastries, though."************************At 3:00 AM we rolled up the jib and jibed the mainsail from starboard tack to port tack;and left the. read more...


19/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 466; The Horse (American Spirit II) is Heading to the Barn (Home); Friday, April 17, 2015

Oneyear ago today:"Day 104; Arrived Captain Cook's Bay, Moorea & Pearls; Thursday, April 17, 20114. 7:10 AM Land Ho! Sighted Tahiti 48 miles away. Still no sign of Moorea. Clouds on that part of horizon. Have to take what you can get. Mount Orohena rises to 7,340 feet on Tahiti. I could see the lower left and right sides, and extreme top, of this mountain, as the middle of it was obscured by clouds. In daylight I probably could have seenTahiti 60 miles away."**********************Up at 6:50 AM. Joel and Darlene up at 7:05 AM.Breakfast at 8:15 AM: bacon, 3 eggs, cut up and spiced potato, chilled pineapple and cinnamon bread. At 8:35 AM Joel put on his face mask, snorkel and flippers and hops into the water to rub and scrape away the algae along the waterline. At 9:16 AM I turn on the. read more...


19/04/2015

Exocet Strike - Fakarava to Tahiti

Funny night, should have been a straightforwardsail to Tahiti, it started well but in the middle of the night it started to gowrong, very light and the wind agle instead of being East is more North Eastwhich means we arent sailing to where we want to go, hopefully it will go backto East.   Fakarava was a great place to stop, the pass intothe lagoon was simple and the shelter was great. The local people were verywelcoming and there were some great, simple restaurants, called snack barsthere, but the fish Mahi Mahi was great as were the steaks. Its portrayed inpilot guides as being commercialised, dont think they understand theconcept, its a great sleepy backwater, and very beautiful, I would go back againtomorrow.   Stella and I did a trial scuba dive, which wentreally. read more...


19/04/2015

Aretha - 6 Hours away from being in a Marina - almost at Tahiti

Tahiti. Made famous by Captain Cook and the the Mutiny on the Bounty. The Island steeped in history is just 20 miles away from us now and we will make landfall by around 10am this Sunday morning. It’s the largest Island in French Polynesia and by all accounts a bustling metropolis with some 130,000 people living here. It will be our first marina since leaving Panama - some 2 months ago. It’s strange to think we have been at sea or at anchor since then and have had to be completely self sufficient in that time - making our own water and creating our own electricity - courtesy of our water maker and generator. It’s a good feeling that you can be self sufficient and at the same time good to look forward to the security of a marina and Aretha not moving for a change! Strange when you. read more...


18/04/2015

Blue Pearl - Blue pearl blog attempt

Approximately two weeks from departure from Charleston,SC on the first leg of our adventure. Five days to Bermuda.. read more...


17/04/2015

Sweet Pearl - Azoren --> Barcelona - 22. Tag - Final Destimation reached: Barcelona

Noch sind wir auf hoher See, aber es sieht sehr gut aus, dass wir heute unser letztes Reiseziel: der Port Ginesta in Barcelona erreichen. Nach 22. Tagen, 1700 Seemeilen, 2 Zwischenstopps wurde es jetzt auch langsam Zeit:-). Ganz liebe Grüsse an alle zuhause und wo auch immer, Tom. read more...


17/04/2015

Sweet Pearl - Azoren --> Barcelona - 20. Tag - Und auf die letzte Etappe

Am Sonntag sind wir wetterbedingt in den sicheren Hafen von Almerimar geflüchtet und seit gestern sind wir wieder unterwegs - hoffentlich diesmal direkt nach Barcelona. Das Wetter sieht im Moment ganz gut aus, und nach viel Regen, kommt die Sonne jetzt ab und zu grüssen. Alle sind wohlauf an Bord, auch der Waschy. Liebe Grüsse, Tom. read more...


17/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 465; We Left Virgin Gorda and Arrived in Jost Van Dyke Island; Thursday, April 16, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 103; Tuomotos Islands Summary, Departed Rangiroa to Moorea, Almost Whale Collision?, Lightning & Full Orange Moon Rise; Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Since we're leaving Rangiroa this morning early, I thought I'd summarize my thoughts regarding the Tuomotos Archipelago, or Dangerous Archipelago. We visited two atolls, Ahe and Rangiroa; entering and leaving thru passes with a lot of current; as much as 4.5 knots; against and with the current. However, the French mark these passes quite well with range markers, and I believe theuse of the word 'dangerous' is overstated and no longer applicable. Exciting would be a better word. Our electronic charts were quite accurate, moreso than the Galapagos. The biggest surprise in these atolls was the size of the coral heads,. read more...


16/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 464; We Arrive in the BVI, Suffer an Engine Breakdown & Tour the Island with Joe; Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 102; Trip to Passe de Avatoru, Stephen's Dive in Passe de Avatoru, Beach Party and Getting Ready to Depart; Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Stephen's dive trip to Passe de Avatoru was eventful, as he saw and swam with 4 dolphins, a 6 -7 foot silver tip shark and a school of barracuda. Stephen mentioned to his dive guide that we were planning the other night to do a night snorkel of The Aquarium, and he (the guide) indicated that really big sharks come into the pass and The Aquarium area, even the 'shallow' side of The Aquarium; and that subsequently going into the water there would be dangerous. He also said To Dive didn't do night dives because of the liability involved."***********************Relieved Darlene at 6:04 AM. The sun rose at 6:07 AM, but the horizon was. read more...


16/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 463; A Great Day of Sailing and the Auto Pilot Acts Up Again; Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 101; Laundry, Drift Snorkelin Passe de Tiputa , How to Climb Back into a Dingy and French Dinner Ashore; Monday, April 14, 2014. Steve up at 6:30 AM. I got up 7:00 AM. Early breakfast because Stephen, whose handle is 'The Diver,' had an 8:00 AM dive today. After dropping Stephen off in the dingy at Top Dive, I dingied over to Follie a Deux and then Nexus; planning today's activities. Made a run to the grocery store on Follie a Deux's dingy, where I bought beer and junk food; and filled up 2 five gallon clear plastic containers with 'cistern' water from a hose at the grocery store. An employee in the store drove our beer and some groceries to the dingy dock located about a block away. The 10 gallons of water I got was not going to be used for drinking but for doing. read more...


16/04/2015

American Spirit II - Day 462; We Leave St. Lucia for the British Virgin Islands and See Green Flash No. 45, a Triple; Monday, April 13, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 100; The Water Taxi, The Aquarium and Swimming with Sharks; Sunday, April 13, 2014. I departed at 8:00 AM with Tracy from Follie a Deux to find an ATM, to locate the Catholic Church and determine what time the Palm Sunday services are going to be held. In order to do this, we had to take a water taxi across the pass to the town on the other side. 650 francs round trip. A little over $7.00.We found the ATM, the church and that the services were at 6:00 PM. While on the 'other side' of the pass we saw Caduceus motorsail thru the pass. It looked like they were barely moving as they fought their way against an outgoing 4 knot current. With what looked like rapids behind them; and breaking waves off to one side."***********************Up at 7:00 AM. The all important. read more...


16/04/2015

White Wave III - Skipper of White Wave iii survives pacific passage.

Ok so that is a bit dramatic considering I just flew in a Qantas jetfrom Sydney to New York, enjoyed their wonderful service as well asone movie and six episodes of The House of Cards series.It's a longway.I'm ahead of White Waves' crew, and after a few days in New York, it's down to the Yacht in Annapolis to start the long, and arduous task ofreadying the yacht for the Altantic. Can't believe I'm doing this.Being surrounded by only the Pacific, Indian and the Great SouthernOcean, it seems odd that my first full ocean passage will be theAtlantic.Nervous and Excited.. read more...