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21/09/2014

Nexus - 150 Miles to go to Cocos (Keeling) Islands

After a light wind nite of motor sailing, the wind returned with a squall early this morning so we're back on the white sails again! We've got the main double reefed and the headsail single reefed to try to slow the boat down for a mid morning arrival as the entrance to Cocos is somewhat tricky and we would like to have high sun to see the reefs.It's a pleasant day with isolated showers and 18kts on the port rear quarter making good sailing. It's getting a bit lumpy as the wind builds the waves. We de-rigged and stowed the code zero this morning and we'll keep the double reef in the main, just in case the forecast heavy weather materializes later this afternoon. We have two fishing lines out after hearing that Alpharatz caught a nice Mahi Mahi in the neighborhood, but so far no joy.. read more...


20/09/2014

Nexus - Half way to Cocos (Keeling) Island

After a fast start with good winds and a swift close hauled run for the first day, we're now bobbing along in 8kts from the stern. It's been a hot day, we've seen one large Indonesian fishing boat so far but no other traffic than the boats we're traveling in company with; Ghost, Alpheratz, Festina Lente and NDS Darwin.We put one motor on about two hours ago to charge the batteries and move us along a bit, while we wait for the wind to return. The forecast has the wind picking up again this evening, and unfortunately, we have heavy weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon as a large cold front will meet us around Cocos, so we'll batten down the hatches!We're looking forward to Cocos, as it is a beautiful atoll of three islands and has been written about by other cruisers as a highlight of. read more...


20/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 257; Leaving Christmas for Cocos Keeling 530 Miles Away; Friday, September 19, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM due to violent rocking and bumping of the boat. We're still rafted up to Nexus. Went back to sleep and got out of bed at 7:30 AM. At 8:45 AM I took Jeremy to shore in the dingy to meet with Paul, the gas station owner who is going to fill our 3 jerry cans with diesel. Each can hold 5.3 gallons or 20 liters. The cost per liter is $2.40 AUD, or about $10.00 per gallon for diesel. Expensive. At 9:15 AM we untied from Nexus and Nexus from Ghost and both departed for Cocos Keeling. We then grabbed on to the mooring buoy. Because a reef is 50 yards behind us Joel put two lines on the mooring buoy instead of one. If we drift off the buoy into the reef and then the cliff face, the boat will be lost. Jeremy called me on the radio for a pick up at 9:30 AM and I took the dingy. read more...


20/09/2014

Free & BrEasy - Happy Christmas Island

Just four days after waving goodbye to Annabelle, Nieves and Raqel as we left Benoa Marina, Bali, we were arriving in the early morning at Christmas Island. This is remote tropical island which is Australian Territory lying to the south of Java in the Indian Ocean. The 585 mile passage was split into two parts; the boring windless bit which we motored, and the more interesting windy bit during which our focus during the watches was almost entirely fixed on the auto helm which kept on disengaging. Even reefing the main sail to balance the boat did not entirely stop the problem. During the nights we passed through fishing fleets which used green, blue and red strobe lights as navigation lights. Novel but effective!Our first view of Flying Fish Cove, X-Mas Island was very inauspicious. The. read more...


20/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Christmas Island -->Cocos Islands - 2.Tag - Und wieder weiter

Nach 36 sehr schönen Stunden auf Christmas Island, wo es uns sehr gut gefallen hat, auch wenn man dort nicht sein ganzes Leben verbringen möchte (da es dann doch zu langweilig ist), sind wir wieder aufgebrochen nach Cocos (Keeling) Islands (530 Seemeilen entfernt, d.h. 3-4 Tage auf See).Bis jetzt gings ganz flott voran, wenn der Wind auch jetzt gerade etwas nachlässt. Der soll aber bald wiederkommen, und wir warten solangs auf ihn:-).Kartoffelgratin mit Speck und Käse steht heute auf dem Menü, nachdem wir gestern leckere Burger hatten. Sie lassen es sich also gut gehen - ja, so ist es.:-)Cheers, Tom. read more...


20/09/2014

Celebrate - Sharks!!!! Port Refuge on Direction Island at Cocos (Keeling)

At about 7.00AM local time we have arrived safely in Cocos Keeling. The wind died as we made our approach and in clear daylight we could pick up the leading navigation marks. We followed the waypoints of a previous World ARC participant which got us in to anchorage without a problemalthough at one point there was no more than a foot under the keel! We dropped anchor at the stunning Port Refuge anchorage complete with a welcoming committee of 3 black tip sharks swimming around just off the boat. They seemed to like the flying fish we collected overnight (hope they don't like us too much). here is beautiful turquoise water, palm trees and a sandy beach add to thescene! We have to wait on board till this afternoon for Australian Customs to clear us, so time for a welcoming beer andthen we. read more...


20/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Food Faux Pas and Provisioning

What is a food faux pas?It is when you purchase foods expecting them to be one thing, and they are not.Case in point, yesterday I pulled rolls out of the freezer ready to make sandwiches for lunch.They looked just like dinner rolls you would buy at home to make sliders (mini sandwiches).I sliced them open, and to my surprise they were filled with sweet treats, like chocolate, raisin type paste, and a sweet cheese filling.Unfortunately, only 2 had cheese filling which were used to make 2 small sandwiches.The raisin paste stuff did not work as a sandwich roll, Brian ate the middle and threw those overboard.Lucy was happy to eat the chocolate filled ones since she does not like sandwiches, and chocolate is a food group in her book.It brought me back to my biggest food shopping faux pas….the. read more...


20/09/2014

Firefly - The New Hebrides

Up until independence in 1980, Vanuatu was called the New Hebrides. This name seemed a little strange until Friday when it was cloudy all day and rained for several hours - during this time it did look very similar to Bonny Scotland, but to us, more the mainland of the Western Isles area as opposed to the Inner or Outer Hebrides. Aneityum Island is mountainous and the vegetation is quite lush, green and does consist of a good proportion of coniferous trees.We arrived just before midday on Thursday 18th having sailed the whole route from Fiji apart from a 7 hour stretch of motoring between 1600 and 2300 the day before - fortunately the wind came back enough to make it very pleasant sailing on the last night of the passage - with about 12 to 14 knots of wind we were managing to run goose. read more...


Flomaida II - Wer begrüßt uns am Morgen? Eine Schildkröte!
Flomaida II - Wer begrüßt uns am Morgen? Eine Schildkröte!
Flomaida II - Eines der wenigen Resorts- versteckt und der Natur angepasst
Flomaida II - Eines der wenigen Resorts- versteckt und der Natur angepasst
Flomaida II - Welche Frucht ist das?
Flomaida II - Welche Frucht ist das?
Flomaida II - Kristallklares Wasser
Flomaida II - Kristallklares Wasser
Flomaida II - "Blue Hole"- ein Süßwasserpool am Ende des Flusses
Flomaida II -
Flomaida II - Der unglaubliche Weg zum "Blue Hole"
Flomaida II - Der unglaubliche Weg zum
Flomaida II - Korallen vom Feinsten
Flomaida II - Korallen vom Feinsten
Flomaida II - Welchen Pareo suchen die Herren aus??Oder besprechen sie das nächste Wetterfenster??
Flomaida II - Welchen Pareo suchen die Herren aus??Oder besprechen sie das nächste Wetterfenster??
Flomaida II - Christoph und Paul können es kaum glauben, wie transparent das Wasser ist
Flomaida II - Christoph und Paul können es kaum glauben, wie transparent das Wasser ist
Flomaida II - Sarah mit Töchterchen Sheila,die Pareos von Hand bemalt und kreativen Schmuck herstellt
Flomaida II - Sarah mit Töchterchen Sheila,die Pareos von Hand bemalt und kreativen Schmuck herstellt
Flomaida II - Besser geht es nicht!
Flomaida II - Besser geht es nicht!
Flomaida II - Champagne beach
Flomaida II - Champagne beach
Flomaida II - Ein Pouletfisch, also ein Hühnchenfisch, der sehr zart mehr nach Huhn als nach Fisch schmeckt
Flomaida II - Ein Pouletfisch, also ein Hühnchenfisch, der sehr zart mehr nach Huhn als nach Fisch schmeckt
Flomaida II - Wunderschöne und gesunde Korallenwelt in Walaboua Point vor Aese/ Espirito Santo
Flomaida II - Wunderschöne und gesunde Korallenwelt in Walaboua Point vor Aese/ Espirito Santo
Flomaida II - Das Schönste, was ich bisher gesehen habe! www.ratua.com
Flomaida II - Das Schönste, was ich bisher gesehen habe! www.ratua.com
Flomaida II - Mal wieder ohne Worte!
Flomaida II - Mal wieder ohne Worte!
Flomaida II - Im Salat lässt sich's gut träumen!
Flomaida II - Im Salat lässt sich's gut träumen!
Flomaida II - Ohne Worte!
Flomaida II - Ohne Worte!
Flomaida II - Flomaida mal wieder im Paradies!!
Flomaida II - Flomaida mal wieder im Paradies!!
Flomaida II - Ein echter Gemischtwarenladen-wie früher bei uns
Flomaida II - Ein echter Gemischtwarenladen-wie früher bei uns
Flomaida II - Hier gibt es keinen gesüßten Tee aus der Flasche. Die Cocosnuss wird so zugeschnitten, dass es sich gut daraus nuckeln lässt. Und gesünder ist es auch noch.
Flomaida II - Hier gibt es keinen gesüßten Tee aus der Flasche. Die Cocosnuss wird so zugeschnitten, dass es sich gut daraus nuckeln lässt. Und gesünder ist es auch noch.
American Spirit II - The famous red crab that marches to the sea to mate in mass
American Spirit II - The famous red crab that marches to the sea to mate in mass
American Spirit II - Rober crabs on Christmas Island
American Spirit II - Rober crabs on Christmas Island
American Spirit II - West side if Christmas Island
American Spirit II - West side if Christmas Island
American Spirit II - Blow holes on Christmas Island
American Spirit II - Blow holes on Christmas Island
American Spirit II - Mama feeding her baby
American Spirit II - Mama feeding her baby
American Spirit II - Christmas Island ancorage view with new crew Jeremy
American Spirit II - Christmas Island ancorage view with new crew Jeremy
American Spirit II - Kids what can you do with them
American Spirit II - Kids what can you do with them
American Spirit II - Bali Elephant Safari Rescue Park
American Spirit II - Bali Elephant  Safari Rescue Park
19/09/2014

Celebrate - Approaching Cocos Keeling

Well the blessing and offerings made in Bali are still working! The wind is blowing at 18 knots from the right direction. At our current speed we should be approaching the atoll just after dawn tomorrow. We are heading for the Southern group of islands and plan to anchor within the lagoon in the lee of Direction Island. Cocos is an Australian Dependant Territory, the inhabitants are a mixture of Australian and Malay origin, the former living on West Island and the latter on Home Island nearby our anchorage. All the islands are a ferry ride apart and with a lagoon full of shallow spots,once anchored we will not be moving for a week.Flying fish are continuing to throw themselves at us:Charlie picked up twelve on this morning's walk/ rig check. No luck with fishing yet but the line snapped. read more...


19/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 256; The History of Christmas Island, a Tour and a BBQ on Christmas Island; Thursday, September 18, 2014

Up at 6:30 AM, coffee then dingied into shore for an 8:00 AM clearing in with Quarantine, Customs and Immigration officials. Christmas Island is part of Australia, so the same very critical review we've received elsewhere in Australia still applies. Breakfast at 7:00 AM - bacon, eggs, chilled mandarin orange slices and bread.We got the dingy from the V-Berth and filled its 4 air compartments using an electric pump. After attaching the seat and two oars, we put it into the water, then added the electric outboard shaft, followed by the lithium battery, handset control mechanism, red plastic piece to secure the battery to the shaft and finally a magnetic key so we could turn on the motor. At 7:50 AM we dingied into shore and were ready for our clearing in at 8:00 AM. The Quarantine official. read more...


19/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 255; A 177 Nautical Mile Day & a Late Arrival at Christmas Island; Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM. The wind is 16/17 knots, our speed thru the water is 5.9 knots and speed over the ground is 8.8 knots. A helping current of 2.9 knots. Wow! Cloudy, lumpy seas. Our running lights (tri-light at the top of the mast) are off. Joel must have turned them off when he rolled over in bed. Made myself a cup of coffee thae spilled it all over the aft end of the cockpit table. Got the nylon bucket out and washed down the cockpit; then made another cup of coffee. At 6:33 AM two frigate birds were 'fishing' off our bow, low to the water; our bow waves stirring up small fish for them to catch. Adela was 11 miles astern. They must have shortened sail during the night. At 7:42 AM the wind was still the same - 16/18; and we were still moving over the land at 8.1 knots. The lumpy seas were. read more...


19/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 254; Sailing to Christmas Island; Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Joel on watch 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM. At watch change when Jeremy came on duty Joel and Jeremy put up a low side pole starboard. I got up at 6:00 AM. The wind was 11/12 knots and we were doing 4.8 knots thru the water and 6.0 knots over the ground. A 1.2 helping current. Merlyn of Poole was 2 1/2 miles behind us and Alpheratz 11 1/2 miles ahead of us. The sunrise was at 6:29 AM. A thin layer of clouds on the horizon, so no green flash. A large, orange and red sunrise -not blood red like many we've seen the last few weeks. The sun was enlarged by sitting on the horizon with three faint horizontal cloud rings on front of its face making it look like a large planet with rings around it. Magnificent!At 6:34 AM I put 3 fishing lines in the water. At 7:16 AM I saw a large white cylinder 200 yards. read more...


18/09/2014

Celebrate - My entry for Story Time

"Let's CELEBRATE!" said LLUI, "it'll be a TON of fun!"So everyone pitched in to create the NEXUS of an international party with an AMERICAN SPIRIT TOO.AVO SET the table and FESTINA LENT A SAPPHIRE and a PEARL to her best friend, ADELA. MERLYN let us use his POOLE.We were SEADUCED into remembering the GHOSTs of celebrations past...When we would get TOO AUDACIOUS and shout "VIVO!"Just remembering some parties gives one the HEBE jeebies.It would be FOLIE to say ADIEU but all stories have ends.How's that?Ends!How to you spell it, Honey?Ends...eNDS DARLIN'.. read more...


Flomaida II - Erdnüsse als Strauß gebunden. Ungeröstet, frisch und sehr lecker!
Flomaida II - Erdnüsse als Strauß gebunden. Ungeröstet, frisch und sehr lecker!
Flomaida II - Immer fröhlich und gastfreundlich, die Menschen von Vanuatu
Flomaida II - Immer fröhlich und gastfreundlich, die Menschen von Vanuatu
18/09/2014

Celebrate - Story Time: Merlyn

This week's SSB Game/Competition is to write a story containing World ARC Boat Names.This game was suggested by Jan on Ghost.I received the following terrific entry from Jonathan on Merlyn of PooleQuest for Sweet Pearl.Adela is 12.She lives in a sleepy suburb in the American mid-west.Although outwardly small and slight she has a fierce imagination and is fullof the American Spirit of adventure.One day, she and her two friends AnnDromeda and Alf Eratz decided that today is the day they start their questto recover the magic precious jewel known as Sweet Pearl.This famous icon,unique with its wonderful blue colour was on loan from Switzerland at anexhibition in Louis Town in the three friends' home state when itmysteriously disappeared. It was one a freezing cold morning.'I cannot really. read more...


18/09/2014

Celebrate - Story Time: Polaris

This week's SSB Game/Competition is to write a story containing World ARC Boat Names.This game was suggested by Jan on Ghost.I received the following wonderful rhyming entry from POLARIS:Jan, Sheila, Tom and Luis.Good evening, my name is Merlyn of Poole,with my American Spirit, I lead and I rule,I am a real Alpha animal among the ratsI can fight Ghosts and men who are looking like bats. Free & Breasy like a Festina Lente, I Celebrate my Boingo life, Mister NDS Darwin, I’m a survivor, give me Andromeda Five!But there is one thing, I cannot reach in this world,it’s Adela, my Chika-lu, uuuhhhh you sexy Sweet Pearl.Your eyes are Saphirs, so shiny and bleu,I would travel to the Polaris for a Folie à Deux.While I dream that, with you, my life would be betterI see you driving away with an. read more...


18/09/2014

Celebrate - Story Time: Folie a Deux

This week's SSB Game/Competition is to write a story containing World ARC Boat Names.This game was suggested by Jan on Ghost.I received the following wonderful entry from FOLIE A DEUX:Tim, Tracey, Brian and Lucy.The FOLIE of ADELEA IIOnce upon a time, ADELA was a free SPIRITed CHICA living in the land of OZ.Every MOYA, she would sup on SHAYA, the local delicacy, then she would skip to my LUThat BReasy evening when ALPHERATZ, POLARIS, and ANDROMEDA aligned, ADELA saw what she thought was a GHOST.“Aha”, she shouted…..”it is BOINGO…ALIVE, SWEET mother of PEARL!We must CELBRATE your SAPHIR colored eyes and have a FESTINA next LENTE on the V(five or fifth).”But alas, CIVETTA II, second daughter of MERLIN was lurking in a nearby POOLE.She jumped and grabbed ADELA’s designer LLUITON ditch. read more...


18/09/2014

Celebrate - Story Time: Lucy (Folie a Deux)

This week's SSB Game/Competition is to write a story containing World ARC Boat Names.This game was suggested by Jan on Ghost.I received the following outstanding entry from Lucy on Folie a Deux:The Deux and the Ratz [pronounced Ducks and Rats]Once upon a time, there was a group of Adela deux, that lived in a poole on the star of Polaris. They were celebrating the finding of a Saphir mine nearby. Unfortunately a clan of American Ratz, from the land of Oz in the Andromeda Galaxy, had recently landed on the other side of the star, The Alpheratz name was Merlyn and he had recently lente his edible pearl industry to his cousin Darwin, who refused to give it back so he was bankrupt. He was developing a plan to thwart the festina and take the Saphir mine for his own. Merlyn’s twin daughters. read more...


17/09/2014

Folie a Deux - creating participation and fun- "story time"

This story is submitted by Lucy Ramsey on Folie A deux. the competition was proffered by Charlie on Celebrate, based upon an idea from Claire on Ghost as a fun activity for the WORLD ARC boats making the crossing rom B ali to Christmas Island.What a great idea to engage the fleet!!The Deux and the Ratz[pronounced Ducks and Rats]Once upon a time, there was a group of Adela deux, that lived in a poole on the star of Polaris. They were celebrating the finding of a Saphir mine nearby. Unfortunately a clan of American Ratz, from the land of Oz in the Andromeda Galaxy, had recently landed on the other side of the star, The Alpheratz name was Merlyn and he had recently lente his edible pearl industry to his cousin Darwin, who refused to give it back so he was bankrupt. He was developing a plan. read more...


17/09/2014

Celebrate - Fishing and dolphins

We are just 10 miles South of Christmas Island, having decided to skip this short stopover in favour of the next. Trade winds are now well set with Celebrate almost on a direct track for Cocos Keeling surfing along at 9 to 10 knots. From previous reports Cocos is one of the highlights of the rally so we are looking forward to an extended stay there; ETA 2-3 days.Fishing boats have kept our night watches busy, the locals don't bother with, radios, navigation lights or AIS (automatic identification system) leaving us little clue of their intentions. We found one trailing a net almost a mile long and another left a buoyed line across our path as far as we could see; fortunately the line was deep enough to sail over--if it hadn't we would have become a trawler for a while!Not to be outdone. read more...