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05/05/2014

American Spirit II - Day 122; Brian to Clinic, Paul and Joel Go Swimming with Black-tipped and Lemon Sharks and a Giant Manta Ray, and Paul and David fly home; Monday, May 5, 2014

Went to bed at 12:30 AM.Paul first up at 5:30 AM, followed by David at 6:00 AM. I 'slept in' and got up at 7:00 AM.Joel and Paul were dropped off at Top Dive for 2 snorkels at 8:20 AM. David and I asked if we could do just one snorkel and then could be dropped off back at our marina, but we were told no. Too bad, as the first snorkel was at the pass a short distance from our marina. David and I then walked into town. David's 'mission' was to go to Air Tahiti and check in on his flight from Papeete to Los Angeles; mine was to find a doctor's clinic to look at and treat my infection. On the way back to the boat I bought a set of head phones, as Paul had demonstrated the utility of having such a set while he was on the boat. Ear plugs just don't do it for people (me) whose hearing isn't as. read more...


07/05/2014

Ballytrim - day 4

My last entry for a while - enjoy. Written at 1700 -4 UTCIts been a frustrating 20 hours or so since last reporting. As expected last night ended up being a lot of motoring, as there was precious little wind, but by 0200 we were back on it, making 6, 7, even 8 knots when the wind picked up and we had a smooth sea so no problems doing a little surfing.A good morning was had and spirits are high, as we can see an end approaching with the likelihood of a very favourable result - we hope.But now its pay back big time...... Since 1500 hours its been wind on the nose and building with short sharp ( those horrid sort of bashing into) seas...... Not so nice!! For those who might not realise, when a yacht wants to head into the wind, it can't - and must sail at an angle to the wind to achieve. read more...


07/05/2014

Nirvana - Nirana: Day 5

We see Cuba!But first early this morning: the night watch was rough with rough see's and heavier wind...we asked for wind but geez.Rich hung tough through dawn outside of Great Inagua Island where the daylight revealed "confused seas".Eddie said it looked like the ocean was boiling.Strong winds, strong currents, swells going in various different directions.  Nirvana held strong and the seas; although still swelling and rock and rolling, became tolerable and the wind is now in our favor.All four sails are up and we are pulling 7 to 8 knots.The "reach" is Nirvana's sweet spot.About 100 miles to go to our next mark and then........turn.-Rich, Ellen, and E:-). read more...


07/05/2014

Celebrate - Giant Anemones and Colorful Clams on Bora Bora Dive

On my recent Bora Bora scuba dive, I was introduced to lots of new sea creatures.Huge sea cucumbers, perhaps four inches in diameter and two feet long.I saw lots of giant clams which had brilliant blue or purple insides which retracted and closed when I got close—-but weren't very giant at just several inches across.Perhaps the most novel creatures for me were sea anemones, over a foot across, with brilliant red undersides which became visible when they closed up.I hope to dive Bora Bora again later this week.Charlie. read more...


07/05/2014

Altair - Happy Sailing from Altair!

Caught a mahi mahi yesterday. She was about three feet long and produced four very large fillets for great eating now and in the future. We sautéed one of the fillets last night in garlic, olive oil, lemon, and red pepper flakes...served over a bed of wilted baby spinach. Had leftovers in fish tacos today. In the meantime, we have been rocking and rolling up toward the Old Bahamas Channel, just passing between Cuba and Great Inagua now. 20-25 knots of true wind, well behind the beam, running under a wing-on-wing rig with the pole in the genoa on one side and the jib on the other. No main. Very comfortable...8-9 knots of boat speed. Expect to get into Ft Lauderdale on Friday.. read more...


Altair - Happy Sailing from Altair!
Altair  - Happy Sailing from Altair!
07/05/2014

Anna Sophia - Oceaandagboek dag 4

Positie:26.48N 65.06WCOG: 36 graden Snelheid: 5,7 ktsLOG: 8340 nmDagafstand: 88 nm :-(Zeilvoering: MWind: ÑE 3 ktsWeer: onbewolktZicht: goedGolven: 2,0 mLuchtdruk: 1026 mbarWatertemperatuur: 25 gradenZieken: 0Dinsdag; het is al meteen duidelijk, dit wordt een prima zeildag! Zowaar 20 knopen wind (kr. 5). Lachend zet het opperhoofd Genua, Kotterfok enGrootzeil. Genietend kijken we over de Atlantische Oceaan. Heerlijk zittend op onze eigen veranda, spotten we 5,5 knoop. Niet al te veel, maar we zeilen wel. Al snel besluiten we zoveel mogelijk Noord te varen en pas de motor testarten, wanneer we tot onder de 3 knopen zakken.De dag vordert; na 4 dagen zeggen we de zeeziektepillen vaarwel. Onze systemen zijn nu gewend aan het strakke ritme dat we hanteren en je kan ook overdrijven natuurlijk.. read more...


07/05/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - Musings on fishing......

N22:14:496 W64:30:235   Having time to think we have been mulling thingsover and have decided that all in all we are very successful fishermen. Sosuccessful that we only catch really bit fish that end up as dinner for evenbigger ones.  This fits the facts.  We do catch fish. Andromeda sloweddown by a knot when we caught one fish, two people were reeling it in andalmost had it in grabbing distance when a bigger fish came past and just tookit.   So far in 5 years of cruising we have landed on thedeck: 1 yellow fin tuna, just big for a couple of delicious mouthful each. And off Bequia this year we caught something and excitedlystarted reeling it in only to end up with just the head of a big mahi mahi....wereally should have take a photo. Then we have. read more...


07/05/2014

Starship - ED-VENTURE day 00

SUN-FACTOR: Rain and Squalls: we know it is a pity that we leave. But no reason for a whole country to cry.RUN-FACTOR: WOW. 7 kn SOG. Almost racing. Ed is speeding us up.FUN-FACTOR: When leaving the marina, we could not trust our eyes. There wasHECKOGECKO motoring to wave us good bye. HECKOGECKO with whom we had crossed Biskaya, explored the canary islands, done the ARC 2013 and spent great times sailing the caribbean island. We had tears in our eyes.. read more...


Flomaida II - Die Farben sind unglaublich!
Flomaida II - Die Farben sind unglaublich!
Flomaida II - Ein sehr geselliger Abend bei Josephine in Raritonga
Flomaida II - Ein sehr geselliger Abend bei Josephine in Raritonga
Flomaida II - Das traumhaft schöne Resort Kia Ora in Raritonga/Tuamotus
Flomaida II - Das traumhaft schöne Resort Kia Ora in Raritonga/Tuamotus
Flomaida II - Welche wird MEINE?
Flomaida II - Welche wird MEINE?
Flomaida II - Dagmar's Zoo auf der Flomaida
Flomaida II - Dagmar's Zoo auf der Flomaida
Flomaida II - Schön, dass Arbeit in der Perlfarm in Ahe auch Spaß macht
Flomaida II - Schön, dass Arbeit in der Perlfarm in Ahe auch Spaß macht
Flomaida II - Perlfarm in Ahe
Flomaida II - Perlfarm in Ahe
Flomaida II - Mein Geburtstagsgeschenk- Ahe/Tuamotus
Flomaida II - Mein Geburtstagsgeschenk- Ahe/Tuamotus
Flomaida II - 7.4.2014 meine Geburtstagsparty
Flomaida II - 7.4.2014 meine Geburtstagsparty
Flomaida II - Dicht am Riff durch die Passage mit Strömung und Wind aus Ahe
Flomaida II - Dicht am Riff durch die Passage mit Strömung und Wind aus Ahe
Flomaida II - Resort Kia Ora- wo hört der Pool auf? Wo fängt das Meer an?
Flomaida II - Resort Kia Ora- wo hört der Pool auf? Wo fängt das Meer an?
Flomaida II - Christoph im Unterwasserparadies von Raritonga
Flomaida II - Christoph im Unterwasserparadies von Raritonga
Flomaida II - Christoph bei der morgentlichen Baguette Lieferung
Flomaida II - Christoph bei der morgentlichen Baguette Lieferung
Flomaida II - Paradies??
Flomaida II - Paradies??
Flomaida II - Zwei im Paradies
Flomaida II - Zwei im Paradies
Flomaida II - Die Blue Lagoon in Raritonga.........
Flomaida II - Die Blue Lagoon in Raritonga.........
06/05/2014

Anna Sophia - Oceaandagboek dag 3

Positie:24.56N 65.14WCOG: 348graden Snelheid: 5,2 ktsLOG: 8252 nmDagafstand: 122 nmZeilvoering: GZ + KFWind: ÑE 20 ktsWeer: half bewolktZicht: goedGolven: 2,0 mLuchtdruk: 1022 mbarWatertemperatuur: 26 gradenZieken: 0Rustig zeilen we verder. Veel wind is er niet, maar wel voldoende redelijk vooruit te komen. Wanneer we om 09.00 uur het oceaanradionetje van de ARC afluisteren via de SSB, schrikken we van een 2 tal ernstige problemen met halfwinders!De boel is bij beiden in de knoop geraakt en oncontroleerbare lappen zeil bungelen ergens halverwege de voorstag. Daar moet een bemanningslid de mast in en deboel lossnijden! Geenpretje op de oceaandeining.Helaas valt tegen de avond,inmiddelsmet uitzicht op het donkere gebied waar de warme Passaatwind de Noordelijke stroming ontmoet, de wind. read more...


06/05/2014

Nirvana - Nirvana: Day 4 Morning

Greetings from N20.12 and W71.26!We saw luminous green algae in our wake last night for miles.It was a welcomed and entertaining find.Still, no rain and we continue to be fortunate with weather excepted for favored winds. We motor sailed as long as we could last night.We are wanting wind at 050 so think "050, 050, 050".The engine has a nice sound, but the silence of the sails is what we are longing for. Surprisingly, last night, it chilled down enough for more than a T-Shirt.Looking forward to a forecast of favored winds and happy seas.- Eddie (Rich and Ellen are off watch currently).They were kind and gave me the 9pm to midnight.It's a very pleasant morning.:-). read more...


06/05/2014

Webster - A day nearer Bermuda

Monday 5th May 2014. Position at noon 23 24'N 64 32'W We motored much of last night with little if any wind. We came across a couple of ARC boats which we could see on AIS but otherwise no real activity during the night, although the stars were amazing plus many spectacular shooting stars. Igor and I had eaten most of a packet of Bourbon biscuits on our watch which Neal and Dave thought was a tad greedy but we then noticed empty packets of Snickers bars all over the place, so that evened the score.Just before day break there was a puff of wind on my neck so up with the sails and by the time Dave and Neal came on deck at 7am we were sailing in 10 knts SW. This built through the morning and having dreaded the prospect of little wind all day here we were in 15-20 knots and making between 7. read more...


06/05/2014

Free Spirit - Free Spirit 3- Please send wind

We're motoring along, off the coast of the Dominican Republic, making agonizingly slow progress while sucking diesel fumes. Hard to sail when there isn't any wind. Our big excitement was celebrating Brandon's birthday yesterday. We surprised him with birthday brownies and sang Happy Birthday to him. Hopefully he wished for wind when he blew out the candles. We've had the fishing line in the water for two days, but the fish don't seem to be biting. We'll keep trying as hope springs eternal. With no wind it is getting rather warm and everyone smells a tad tired. We ran out of downwind positions last night, so we splurged and everyone had a shower. Roger was able to contact his wife last night via the satellite phone and confirmed that our efforts succeeded in getting the ARC USA tracker up. read more...


06/05/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - Well there goes another adventure.....

In very light airs (5-7kts) we decided to put the engine on and continue towards Bermuda. Around midnight the boat stopped and there was no forward motion. We inspected everything for damage, fluid loss, breakages, etc. and have concluded that there is major problem with the gearbox, although serviced in Trinidad late last year. This means we cannot proceed for the time being and will try and retrurn to Nanny Cay, if the winds permit, as this is our closest landfall. Updates to follow.......we are ok but obviously disappointed, though we did catch another bunch of seaweed! We are currently drifting at 1 kt in a roughly southerly direction. Andrew & SusanS/V Andromeda. read more...


05/05/2014

Nirvana - Day 3 Evening

Had a lovely sail in the morning then the wind died.Went for swim.Now, motoring into the sunset.. read more...


04/05/2014

Altair - Happy Sailing on Altair!

It's a beautiful downwind ride on Altair. Wing on Wing. 15 knots of true wind. SOG 7.5-8 knots. Even the autopilot is barely working. Can't beat it! Here's a photo of Karina with St Thomas in the background.007. read more...


Altair - Karina with St Thomas in the background
Altair  - Karina with St Thomas in the background
04/05/2014

Free Spirit - We 're off and running,

We 're off and running, celebrating Derby Day by starting a race of our own, bound for Ft Lauderdale, FL.We all have our hats, though the mint juleps and stogies will have to wait.We're settling in nicely, despite a minor glitch with a halyard and sail that we resolved on the way past Tortola with only a slight deviation in course.The wind has been decent and we're hoping it will hold to minimize the need to motor.Everyone on the crew is doing well, and we all had chicken pot pieless for dinner supplemented by liberal visits to the snacks lock to satisfy the midwatch munchies.This morning we heard that it appears we're in stealth mode, that our ARC USA tracker is not functioning properly.Rest assured we are here, passing off the northern coast of Puerto Rico.We will fire up our Spot. read more...


04/05/2014

Nirvana - Day 1

Eddie is woozy from the rollers. No chunks yet.About 20 miles past San Juan, PR.The stars are amazing.-e, Rich, and Ellen:-). read more...


03/05/2014

Free Spirit - Getting down to the wire

Tomorrow is our scheduled departure and preparations for the passage are coming along nicely.Our last crew member, Brandon, came in last night so everyone is here and raring to go.Unfortunately Brandon arrived ahead of his luggage, so we'll add tracking that down to the 'to do' list.I'm cooking the last of the premade passage meals while the guys put the finishing touches on filling tanks, securing equipment, and tweaking systems.The hospitality at Nanny Cay has been great, but come morning we're heading out, Florida bound!Mike, Andrea, Roger & Brandons/v Free Spirit. read more...


Free Spirit - Crew Photo
Free Spirit - Crew Photo
03/05/2014

Nirvana - update

At Nanny Cay. 1 more day of final prep and we set sail to Ft. Lauderdale, FL with ARC USA. We eagerly await Ellen's arrival.-Rich and Eddie. read more...


Sojourner - team photo pre-start from Portsmouth
Sojourner - team photo pre-start from Portsmouth
06/05/2014

Firefly - Back to cruising mode

After three days of frantic racing and partying we are now back to a much slower pace. Despite the racing challenges and pitfalls we did enjoy the Tahiti Pearl Regatta immensely and wonder whether Dartmouth Regatta will ever match up to the dramatic race courses, scenery, the nightly dancing and fire eating displays! Maybe we can bring back some ideas?The following day we cruised Tahaa and found a beautiful coral garden on the West Coast at Ilot Tautau. We spent a couple of hours snorkeling, drifting with the current, enjoying both the coral and fish, including a large shoal of surgeon fish and one black tip reef shark.After a few teething problems with the SSB radio that proved to be operator error! - we finally sent out some emails and downloaded weather data, the impending strong. read more...


04/05/2014

American Spirit II - Day 121; Checking out Bora Bora and Snorkeling on a Coral Reef; Sunday, May 4, 2014

I was awakened at 1:37 AM due to horizontal rain blowing thru my 8 inch x 4 inch porthole, getting me wet 3 feet from the opening. Got up and made sure all other hatches were closed. Went back to bed until 3:47 AM when my phone, on vibrate only, vibrated me awake. The call was from my friend Oscar W. (I've not included his last name to protect him from prank calls in my defense. Right Westerfield? Oops). It was 9:47 AM where Oscar is in Tampa; and I'm sure he wouldn't call me that early on purpose. Probably a 'pocket call.' Back to sleep. I'll call Oscar later in the day. FYI: first 'pocket call' I've had in 4 months since leaving Florida. Up at 7:00 AM. After breakfast went to explore the ferry dock, Top Dive scuba center at the yacht club, where we could buy bread, Church, etc. The. read more...


03/05/2014

American Spirit II - Day 120; Departed Tahaa Enroute to Bora Bora, at MaiKai Yacht Club and a Brewing Medical Problem; Saturday, May 3, 2014

12:17 AM. Just finished typing 3 logs. Very hot downbelow because of intermittent light rain that is keeping hatches closed. Paul up at 6:30 AM; followed by David and myself at 7:30 AM. Light rain falling. 8:40 AM breakfast. Eggs and French bread.Weighted anchor at 9:20 AM and headed to the west side of Tahaa, within the same reef system that we'd been in for a day. Island north of Raiatea but connected to it like a figure eight. At about 11:00 AM anchored off a pass and island and after backing down on anchor I hopped into the water because it looked kind of shallow. Surprise! The rudder was above a coral wall with 6 inches of clearance. Any further back and we'd have damaged the rudder and rudder post, perhaps fatally. I advised Joel and we pulled the anchor chain in until we were out. read more...


05/05/2014

Tigerlily - Checking In

Just letting you know that our little crew of two are doing well. Last night we spent a few hours hove to as the winds were gusting to 30 Kt. The wind and seas have calmed down a bit presently but we expect another rollicking night.See you in Bermuda,Purnell and Julia. read more...


Reberth - No matter the weather a man's got to do what a man's got to do!!
Reberth - No matter the weather a man's got to do what a man's got to do!!
Reberth - DARK AND STORMY
Reberth - DARK AND STORMY
06/05/2014

Shenanigan - On our Way

‘23.34.08N 64.37.36W’After an enjoyable stay in Nanny Cay, Tortola doing the final preparations and getting to know the World Cruising Team and other participants through welcome party, happy hours, beach volley ball and farewell supper, we are now on our way to Bermuda.  This is the first leg of our return Atlantic crossing.  We left our sheltered berth an hour before the start on Saturday to find a welcome wind in Sir Francis Drake Channel for a downwind start. We started at the same time as ARC USA so some of the fleet are heading to Fort Lauderdale, USA. About three hours after the start we were hit by heavy rain but then had a good 24 hours weather and sailing making good speed.  We along with, we believe from radio contact, most of the fleet had to motor through the. read more...


05/05/2014

Celebrate - Beautiful Bora Bora!

Beautiful views of Raiatea, Tahaa and our destination, Bora Bora, while at sea making the trip.We arrived at the Maikai Yacht club hooking to a mooring buoy with Teiva from the yacht club coming right over to help us and give us a warm welcome!Rally boats Vivo, Clemintina and Brizo were in sight on the moorings, too.We are looking forward to signing up a dive trip, a helicopter tour and horseback riding trip if there is time.It should be a delightful week! Cathy. read more...


05/05/2014

Firefly - Firefly and the Tahiti Pearl Regatta

The Tahiti Pearl Regatta has been very special for a number of reasons. The location, the party atmosphere and the wide mix of crews racing in the event have all been memorable. In the second race, a start in the pass at Bora Bora and a close reach along the reef made for some very exciting sailing. This was however followed by a less exciting 20 mile slog to windward back to the islands of Tahaa and Raiatea. Without any handicapping in the race, Firefly did not stand a chance against the larger and much faster boats in her division (akin to the 'hare and the tortoise') and after leading initially dropped back to finish 6th.With the opportunity for discarding the worst result, and counting a first place in the first race - Firefly did still had a chance going into the third and final. read more...


05/05/2014

Reberth - Blips on a screen!!!

I am writing this whilst on watch at two o"clock in the morning. Where would I be without my "blips" on the screen. The Chartplotter screen shows me that there are three other vessels relatively near and as I scan the horizon to port and starboard, which I do every ten minutes or so, I can just make out navigation lights, which seem very far away. With the new technology available I am able to tell the closest boat is three nautical miles away. The sky is inky black with thousands of stars twinkling away. Another blip has appeared and I know it is not one of the ARC Fleet. I place the cursor on it and see that it is a cargo ship doing twenty knots, but wait, my mind tells me it will cross our path and i need to know how close. OK, six miles ahead it will cross in front. If it wasn't for. read more...


05/05/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - View from the back of the fleet on a lazy sunday afternoon....

N22:26:291    W64:52:206 Boat miles    253       GPS Miles   244.9        Miles to go:   595.1 Sky and sea - clear blue, light blue, sky blue, cobalt blue, azure, cerrillean, pale blue, baby blue, eggshell blue, forget-me-not blue, french blue, Navy blue, lupin blue,hydrangea blue, larkspur blue, Airforce blue, Royal blue, midnight blue, aqua, aquamarine, wedgewood blue, sparkling blue, powder blue,inky blue, cornflower blue - its all there to see...... On the horizon - fluffy, whispy, cotton wool, marsh-mallow white and grey cummulous clouds and a sail or two. But wind - nada, nothing, zero, zilch, zip - well maybe a knot or two but nothning that. read more...