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17/03/2014

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

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


17/03/2014

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

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


17/03/2014

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

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


17/03/2014

Firefly - Breaking out the melon

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


16/03/2014

Nexus - Nearing the home stretch!

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


16/03/2014

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

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


16/03/2014

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

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


16/03/2014

Free & BrEasy - Guaranteed Tuna Free Log

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


15/03/2014

Firefly - Rain squalls

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


16/03/2014

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

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


15/03/2014

Celebrate - Dash Away All & Whales Tales!

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


15/03/2014

Starblazer - 15/03/2014 – A mixed day

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


15/03/2014

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

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


15/03/2014

Flomaida II - 14. März- ein guter Tag!

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


15/03/2014

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

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


15/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 14/03

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


14/03/2014

Firefly - A day in the life of a Pacific crossing

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


14/03/2014

Nexus - Loosey Goosey

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


14/03/2014

Starblazer - 14/03/2014 – Celebrations.

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


14/03/2014

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

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


14/03/2014

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

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


13/03/2014

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

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


13/03/2014

Firefly - Planning our time in the Marquesas

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


13/03/2014

Firefly - Weather Information

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


13/03/2014

Trillium - Trillium Reaches the Half Way Point!

Time for another celebration! We celebrated our 1/3rd point across the Pacific from the Galapagos to the Marquesas with a fine meal , some beer and a special dessert of freeze-dried ice cream! It was actually very good and tasted like chocolate chip ice cream. It just wasn't cold. Nothing has been cold enough!Last night called for a second celebration with a little wine with dinner and chocolate candy for dessert! It may not sound like much to you land lubbers, but it is a big deal when the Skipper says we can have alcohol underway. It would be much better if we had ice.Now I have to think up someway to celebrate the 2/3rds point. And of course, crossing the finish line.We also had the excitement of catching a 20 lb. blue fin tuna! Not only did we have tuna for dinner, but we had fresh. read more...


13/03/2014

Nexus - Jedi Night

The FORCE was 26kts with prolonged gusts to 30kts yesterday evening through midnight, and Nexus decided the waves were right and it was time to go surfing! We were flying along at a 10kt average with countlessprolonged surfs of 13-16kt and a peak of 17.4kt. The autopilot was carving gentle "S" curves along the face of each wave as they lifted and carried us, then slowly passed us by.I couldn't have done better by hand, and I'm sure glad I installed dual actuators on the autopilot. It was a little scary in the dark, but a fantastic ride. Nexus sings to you above 10kts, and her melody was wonderful. Alas, around 2am we discovered that the FORCE was no longer strong with us, the wind dropped back to 15kts, and we have been putzing along at 6-8kts this morning. So, seeing the glass as half. read more...


13/03/2014

Starblazer - 13/03/2014 – Another good day

Our day’s run was 157 miles in the right direction so we are pleased, we might make our estimated ETA.We’ll see.The motion of the boat is somewhat easier so living on board isn’t such a trial.There wasn’t much to do so I concentrated on cooking.I’d made the Herman cake mixture up on Sunday, adding some desiccated coconut with pleasing results.On Monday lunchtime I made BLT sandwiches with extra scrambled egg but forgot to mention it.Yesterday I made a Rosemary Conley Chili cheese on toast recipe.Rosemary Conley it wasn’t!Whole grain sliced bread instead of low fat Naan breads, full fat cream cheese rather than low fat, chopped chilies, grated Ecuadorian cheese rather than RC low fat cheddar and tomatoes.The idea was there and it was delicious.Dinner was supposed to be Spicy Bratwurst. read more...


13/03/2014

Flomaida II - 12. März- und wir haben es wieder geschafft!!

Nach herrlichen 2 Tagen und Nächten hat der Parasailor nun leider auch seinen Dienst quittiert und verlangt nach dem Segelschneider. Nun haben wir es endlich geschafft, auch noch das 3. mobile Segel zu zerreißen! Leider hat eine außergewöhnliche Welle unser Schiff kurzfristig so aus dem Kurs gebracht, dass er zusammenfiel und mit Wucht wieder aufstieg. Das war wohl zu viel,und es gab einen glatten Durchriss im oberen Teil. Dieses Geräusch ist uns ja mittlerweile leider gut bekannt!! Wir konnten ihn aber komplett bergen, obwohl es schon sehr kraftraubend war und die Dunkelheit (6Uhr morgens) auch nicht gerade die Sache erleichterte. Ja, ja liebe Maike, die Schwimmwesten hatten wir an- sind seeehr unbequem! Nun sitzen wir ziemlich betröppelt im Cockpit, weil der Generator plötzlich auch. read more...


13/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 67; Fish Fly in for Lunch ; Fixing the Hydro Generator under Sail; & Halfway to Marquesas; Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Awakened abruptly today with Mike and Joel talking about the hydro generator. It had stopped working. Why? Because the line holding it down has snapped. Second time this has happened. With 10 foot seas running up behind us, attaching a new line is doable but taking safety precautions are a must before doing so. No need to fix it now. The wind turbine is turned on, then Joel is back to bed. It's the middle of his night since he got off shift at 3:00 AM. Because the wind turbine can't generate all the electricity we need under sail, I turned off the refrigerator and freezer until we either start the electric generator later or fix the hydro generator and put it back in the water. All things considered, breaking a line on the hydro is a good problem to have because its fixable under way.. read more...


13/03/2014

Nexus - Still surging along!

We're making good time but the wind isn't quite strong enough to fully power NEXUS up, so she surfs down each wave coming from behind and surges ahead, only to slow in the trough behind and wait for the cycle to repeat quickly a few seconds later. It's great progress with the 10-11kt surges balanced with the 7-8kt troughs, but its a bit like riding with that Taxi driver we've all had once who was on the gas, on the brakes, on the gas.. but OK, we'll take it.Cloudy day with isolated showers but good variable 15-22kt wind from the port rear quarter, giving us about an 8.7kt average speed over 24 hours. We have 940miles to go! It's hard to believe we've sailed NEXUS over 7000 miles since we left the Chesapeake, but she's doing beautifully. Oh yeah, we last left our hero...the snatch block,. read more...


12/03/2014

Starblazer - 12/03/2014 – Nothing broke today!

Today was a relatively good day. John spent the afternoon mending the shelf mounting in his tools and spares cupboard which had collapsed on Sunday. At the same time he also remounted the battery charger which had started to fall off its bulkhead. As you can see, it wasn’t just the generator which broke on Sunday!Q continued to helm us on an almost direct course to Hiva Oa, our destination in the Marquesas. The wind wasn’t as strong as we would have liked and progress has slowed a little, in part because we let out the main to balance the boat for Q and in part because the wind is from a little further aft. Almost all the other boats are reporting SE winds, surely we’ll get them soon. Overnight the winds were lighter still, once or twice dropping to only 8 knots from 13. Ideally, we’d. read more...


12/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 66; Fast Sailing; Monday, March 10, 2014

Between 4:00 and 5:00 AM Mike saw a Chinese ship on AIS, on our chart plotter. A freighter heading east towards Panama. Surprised any ships traverse these seas in that direction. Not a shipping route. However, the Chinese manage the Panama Canal Zone, so doesn't surprise me one of their ships is heading there from the South Pacific. Forgot to change the clocks yesterday. Not Daylight Savings for us like home, but we crossed another 15 degrees of longitude, 105 degrees West. So our watches and ships clocks need to be moved one hour earlier. However, for the Net radio sessions amongst all boats, we're keeping to 'Galapagos time' for the whole leg. We're moving at 7.4 knots over the ground, 6.4 knots thru the water; a 1 knot helping current. Wind 16-19 out of the SE. Solid overcast with. read more...


12/03/2014

Sweet Pearl - Galapagos --> Marquesas - 10.Tag - Vorbereitungen in vollem Gange

Morgen ist Bergfest und die Vorbereitungen für dieses grosse Ereignis sind in vollem Gange. Für alle geladenen Gäste (3 haben bereits zugesagt9: Sandra aus der Schweiz, Michael aus Dänemark und Tom aus Luxemburg; vom Trade-Wind hier aus der Gegend haben wir noch nichts gehört) soll dies ein unvergessliches Fest werden mit Eröffnungszeremonie, Reden, Partys, Spektakels, Dinner und vielem mehr. Nach 1500 Seemeilen ist dies ja auch verständlich. Aber dies ist kein exklusives Fest, jeder ist herzlich willkommen und kann vorbeikommen. Ab Mitternacht UTC fängt's an; einfach auf ungefähr 7°45'S 114°30'W nach "Sweet Pearl" fragen:-). Ganz liebe Grüsse an alle und bis morgen. Tomhttp://www.sailmail.com. read more...


12/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 9 days on a Port Tack. A day in our life

9 days on a Port TackSailing on a broad reach means mostly that Skyelarks' sails are full of windand we make steady, sometimes spectacular, progress across this vast ocean.It also means living at a constant 20-30 degree angle.....0315 Awake to the sound of refitting as a chainsaw is driven through thebulkhead of my cabin.0317 Realise that chainsaw is in fact the snoring of cabin mate Tarquin(not his real name)0318 Reach for alarm to shut off. Boat heels. Drop alarm on T's head.Thankfully he sleeps on.0319 Reach for head torch to find alarm clock before alarm goes off. Boatheels. Drop headtorch on T's head. Thankfully he sleeps on.0320 Try to climb down from bunk. Due to boat heeling T is lodged at 30degree angle leaning over side of bunk. Only spot to step on appears to behis right. read more...


11/03/2014

Nexus - Sailing is like a box of chocolates

Adapting the line from Forrest Gump, you never know what you're going to get. Near midnight last night we had an extended lull in the wind and slowed considerably in the chop. Our cat has two long whiskers, the 21' antennae that rise vertically from the aft of the solar panel arch. We had encountered three large Japanese fishing vessels with no AIS earlier in the evening, so I was doing my usual horizon scan for traffic, when I noticed the top 8' of the SSB DSC antennae was wobbling in the wind and waves. It reminded me of that guy who used to spin plates on sticks on the Ed Sullivan show (sorry GenX'ers it's a Boomer reference!). Being on the extreme aft overhang of the arch, and higher than I could reach standing on my tip toes on the top of the arch, my first thought was "oh well,. read more...


11/03/2014

Firefly - Past halfway

At 0840 on Tuesday 11th March we passed the halfway point with approx 1500 miles under our keel and 1500 more to go. Overnight the wind has increased and we are now broad reaching in 20+ knots and are starting to consider reefing down as Firefly is going very fast and its beginning to get a bit bumpy.Now we are the downhill slope we are starting to think about our next destination; Hiva Oa the largest island in the Marquesas - we will make landfall at Baie Tahauku near the town of Atouna. This is the official port of entry where we shall clear customs and take on supplies and hopefully have an injection of culture and possibly French wine. The population of the town is just over 1500 so we are not expecting to completely re-provision Firefly but should be able to pick up essentials like. read more...


11/03/2014

Starblazer - 11/03/2014 – Celebration dinner

Yes, we had a reason to celebrate yesterday, the 1000 mile mark from the start. Dinner was fillet steak with new potatoes, green beans and leeks followed by a tin of fruit salad with the last of the Greek yoghurt, accompanied by a glass of red wine.John had a frustrating afternoon, trying to get the generator to run. He eventually managed to start it but it wouldn’t develop enough revs to pull the cooling water through: diagnosis fuel starvation. He found the fuel pump down by the tank had a dodgy connection, cleaned it up and tried again, and again, and again…. He now thinks there is a problem with the fuel solenoid, the way to test it is to remove it when the engine is running and see if it makes a difference. Helpful information but rather useless if the wretched thing won’t start. read more...


11/03/2014

Flomaida II - 10. März, ein erfolgreicher Tag!

Heute Morgen lag doch echt neben meinem Kopf ein relativ großer fliegenderFisch! Tot natürlich, aber ich habe mich doch sehr erschreckt, denn er hätteauch auf meinem Gesicht landen können während meines Eieruhrennickerchens,keineso angenehme Vorstellung!Der Tag war "vollgepackt" mit Arbeit. Heute sollten wir doch wieder auf dendirekten Kurs gehen, das bedeutete, dass der Parasailor dran war. Zuerst musstenwir das Großsegel bergen, das wir dank Christoph´s Konstruktion, da derUnterliekstrecker ja seinen Dienst verweigerte, erfolgreich schafften. Dannhaben wir fast 1 Stunde gebraucht, um den Parasailor zum Stehen zu bekommen. Nunsteht er schon 20 Stunden bei 15 Knoten Wind aus 120 Grad und beschert uns eineGeschwindigkeit von 8-9 Knoten!Nachts ist es für mich schon ein wenig unheimlichmit. read more...


Flomaida II - 10. März, ein erfolgreicher Tag!
Flomaida II - 10. März, ein erfolgreicher Tag!
11/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 65; Flying Fish , Birds , First Green Flash & Over 1/3 Way There; Sunday, March 9, 2014

At 1:00 AM we passed the 1,000 nautical mile mark on this leg. With the entire leg being 2,980 miles, we're over 1/3 of the way from the Galapagos to the Marquesas Islands. At 7:15 AM mostly clear blue skies. Wind 15-9 knots. Speed over ground 6.5 knots. Waves 6 feet. 12 flying fish on deck, from 3 inches to 7 in length. In reading the book Kon Tiki, the 6 persons on board the raft would collect the flying fish every morning and cook them for breakfast. I'll give that a try next time I get a big one on board. Apparently, you don't filet them, just cook the whole fish. We'll see. I may have to solicit advice from a landside expert before proceeding. (Diane, send me your flying fish recipe!).Speaking of Kon Tiki, for those of you reading this log who don't know what 'Kon Tiki' was, it was. read more...


11/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 10/03

A rainy day is a rainy day, whether in Portsmouth, San Francisco or the South Pacific. The hatches must be shut, so the saloon becomes stuffy. The laundry can't be hung on the rails, so dirty clothes remain just that. Chocolate in the drawer melts from the heat, so the cookies, biscuits in the mother tongue, are disappearing too quickly. Cold showers feel good, but they are nothing like even a bad shower at home. One leans, slides, sits, crouches, curses. Bruises appear everywhere in the shape of boat hardware. Cleats. Winches. Blocks. Skin turns brown for some, only red for others.Even the most safety conscious must steer shoeless, for her boat shoes are soaked. Some smart phones fail, not the iPhones, so someone (nameless) appears, mystified, an hour early for watch. Food is reduced to. read more...


10/03/2014

Free & BrEasy - The Long Passage

Its nearly end of Day 8 after leaving the Galapagos and we now have only 2000 nautical miles left to our destination, Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. We have covered 1016nm in just over 7 days which averages out at 5.8 knots or just over 6 mph! Nobody said sailing was fast but its the most fun you can have going that slowly in a man-made transportation device! Even that speed is impossibly fast when we have been experiencing light winds as we headed through the doldrums for the belt of trade winds 5 degrees south of the equator. We have been forced to use the engines so that we don't get left too far behind the rest of the fleet. Our speed has also been helped by a strong equatorial current going East to West. We were worried enough about speed for Roger to threaten to perform the naked wind. read more...


10/03/2014

Firefly - Whistling along again!

The mystery of the kettle whistle has been solved; somehow the errant domestic appliance landed in an open packet of unpopular biscuits (if they were popular we would have found it immediately) during one of the more dramatic downwind rolls. It was only when Peter was desperately looking for a snack at 0300 that its resting place was found (he thought at first it was another type of snack!). Yesterday's log implicated David in the crime, he has now been proved blameless and apologies made to him for any slur on his character!8 days on we are still enjoying fresh fruit and veg; the large bunch of local green bananas purchased from the Santa Cruz, Galapagos market for 1$ are now yellow and delicious. The fruit basket is far from empty and we are planning to have pineapple for lunch.. read more...


10/03/2014

Starblazer - 10/04/2014 – Reasons

First of all, an apology to anyone who expected to read this a few hours ago. Yesterday tiredness hit me and I took a 2 hour sleep mid-afternoon with the result that I did not sleep between 2000 and 2300. I coped with both my watches but fell asleep at 0800. That would not normally have delayed the log but the Hydrovane needed careful watching and the computer battery was flat so I couldn’t write this in the cockpit.Reasons to celebrate: Horace the Hydrovane, aka Q, has taken over steering duties from the thirsty autopilot. He’s keeping a relatively good course but occasionally gets overpowered by a strong gust or a sudden slap by a large swell. That’s when the watch needs to be ready to help get the boat back on course.We completed 1,000 miles from the start at 0500 this morning, so. read more...


10/03/2014

Nexus - Past Half Way!

Yesterday evening we passed the half way point at 1500 miles, and currently have 1380mile to go! Nice downwind sailing, we put the small gennaker up 6 days ago and haven't had it down since. Winds have been variable but good at 15-20kt true from the aft quarter, so we've made good time. Its a bit lumpy with two sets of waves coming together where we are, which makes sleeping and showering a challenge, but not too bad. Had a visit from another bird last evening....1400miles from land! Lots of flying fish so there must be more down low to catch! The stars and planets are very bright at night after the moon sets and we are enjoying identifying them with our IPAD starfinder. Venus looked like an aircraft landing light on the horizon at 4am this morning! We can only hear two other boats at. read more...


Flomaida II - Das wollte ich doch noch nachreichen: Christoph´s Geburtstag auf Isla Isabel/Galapagos mit Tulasi, Festina Lente und Circe
Flomaida II - Das wollte ich doch noch nachreichen: Christoph´s Geburtstag auf Isla Isabel/Galapagos mit Tulasi, Festina Lente und Circe
10/03/2014

Flomaida II - 9./10. März .Es wäre doch zu schön gewesen.....

denn 1. mußten wir unseren Idealkurs erstmal verlassen und 2. haben wirmal wieder ein Segel zerrissen!Der Wind hat weiter nach Osten gedreht. Da er weiterhin so super konstantund gut ist, wollen wir einfach das Segeln genießen und Flomaida in derbesten Position zum Wind halten, um Geschwindigkeit zu machen, was unssuper gelingt.Wer weiß, wo der Wind in den nächsten 8 Tagen noch sohindreht, dann sehen wir weiter. Noch optimaler könnten wir natürlichsegeln, wenn wir das Besan Stagsegel (mein Lieblingssegel, da es normalerweisegut und leicht zu handhaben ist!) noch hätten! Leider hat es bei 15-20Knoten Wind beim Hochziehen zu brutalen Kontakt mit dem Großbaum bekommen.Wiedermal dazugelernt!!!, aber das schmerzt sehr, da wir nun unserenschönen Vorsprung einbüßen werden, aber wichtig ist,. read more...


10/03/2014

Skyelark of London - 09/03

So we got our wish, and our fortunes have changed sun is out and the trades are back! We are on track for our first 200nm day of this leg - the miles are dropping. Not that we are counting but we completed 1/3rd of our journey last night, and 1/2 way is on the radar - we will be firing up the ice machine for some G&T's for that one!Life is pretty good here onboard, the sailing is beautiful and the company is goodBest wishes from all on Skyelark!. read more...


10/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 64; Found the Wind; Saturday, March 9, 2014

Up 7:15 AM. Lot of motion on boat during the night. A little uncomfortable. Tropical Trough to our right, skies clearing to our left. Wind 19 knots from SE. Speed over ground 7.3 knots. At 7:50 AM I pushed wrong button on chart plotter by mistake. Screen light on chart plotter was still set on 'night viewing,' so I couldn't see the screen. Boat did 360. That's always fun. Once it started its turn I just stayed with it and when our course came up I grabbed the wheel again and steadied the boat. Not for the faint of heart. As a result of this the wind turbine 'wrapped.' A small leather line used to unwind it actually wrapped around the 3 propeller blades. Joel stood on stanchion in cockpit with boat hook and unwound, while I held onto his belt. He then put a preventer back on the main, to. read more...


09/03/2014

Firefly - More champagne sailing!

The wind is slightly stronger today (around 22 knots, so its force 4 to 5) and coming from the East to South East. This is too much for us to use the spinnaker but sufficient to goosewing the jib and sail very comfortably down the waves. Occasionally our surfing speed is over 10 knots but normally around 8, not quite enough to break the 200 nautical a day milestone (requiring an average of 8.33).We are often asked do we find it lonely out here? - and if you don't, why not?. Apart from enjoying each others company and of course Barney's e mailed jokes, we speak to the rest of the fleet, some 35 boats twice a day on the long range radio and we are keeping in more regular contact with the three boats close to us Ghost, Tulasi and Boingo Alive, via VHF. So we have our own little community. read more...