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Flomaida II - Malariatest wird getrocknet. Alle zwei Monate wird er gemacht
Flomaida II - Malariatest wird getrocknet. Alle zwei Monate wird er gemacht
16/09/2014

Firefly - Firefly on passage to Aneityum, Vanuatu

Firefly is on passage to Vanuatu - we have arranged special permission to clear into Aneityum (sometimes called Anatom) - the southernmost island in the chain. We left Vuda Point Marina at 1400 on Monday 15th September having provisioned, fueled, watered and checked out all in one morning. Leaving was not actually that easy as the SE trades were curling around the end of Viti Levu and creating a SW on shore sea breeze. We slowly managed to motor into the chop and then had a change of plan and managed to bear off and get the sails up to beam reach to the north of Malolo Island (instead of going south) and out through the fringe reef and into open sea.This is our first long passage since arriving in Fiji from Tonga back in mid June - preparing for it and undertaking gives us somewhat mixed. read more...


Flomaida II - Unglaublich kares Wasser
Flomaida II - Unglaublich kares Wasser
02/09/2014

Flomaida II - Ohne Worte!

Collages. read more...


Flomaida II - Ohne Worte!
Flomaida II - Ohne Worte!
Flomaida II - Die vergessene Insel Erramanga- wunderschön!
Flomaida II - Die vergessene Insel Erramanga- wunderschön!
Flomaida II - Weniger ist meer!
Flomaida II - Weniger ist meer!
Flomaida II - Wow! Die Qual der Wahl, welcher Strand soll es für heute sein?
Flomaida II - Wow! Die Qual der Wahl, welcher Strand soll es für heute sein?
16/09/2014

Nexus - Beautiful Sailing in the Indian Ocean

A day of beautiful fast sailing in the Indian Ocean!. We're on white sails alone as we are short handed, however Nexus has been making great time with the apparent wind on the beam. We continue to see abundant wildlife, and actually watched the dolphins in our bow wave today feed on the flying fish we scare up. They would cruise next to the bow and dart out to the side with amazing speed as we scared flying fish to take flight. They would snap one up and return in an instant. We're about 100 miles south of Indonesia, and we sailed past numerous fishing boats all around us last night, with bright white lights, spreading a large glow in the darkness. Some of them were tending to large floats with colored blinking lights on them, not sure if they were nets or long lines but we were in two. read more...


15/09/2014

Flomaida II - 11.-15.9. Lifou/Ile Loyauté- Neu Kaledonien

Zum provisorischemEinklarieren in Neu Kaledonien müssen wir auf dieOstseite nach Wé.Da können wir nicht ankern, weil zu viele Riffe vorgelagert sind, und auchder Ostwind immer noch stark bläst. Also beschließen wir, per Autostop indie Hauptstadt zu kommen, da nur ein Bus morgens um sieben Uhr fährt. ImMoment segeln wirgemeinsam mit Luna Blu und Lazy Lady. Während wir dreiFrauen den Tag mit Einklarieren und Sightseeing und Shoppen (Lebensmittel)verbringen, beheben die drei Kapitäne mit gegenseitiger Assistenz fast alleProbleme. Das ist wirklich das Schöne, dass Jeder von Jedem profitiert undimmer wieder neue Erkenntnisse gewinnt. Danach schmeckt das Helferbier umso besser!Heute haben wir mal Glück im Unglück! Leider reißt eine Leine an den Davits,jedoch ist das Boot schon im Wasser, also. read more...


15/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Bali -->Christmas Island - 2.Tag - Ab die Post

Und bereits nach 5 wundervollen Tagen in Bali sind wir auf dem Weg nach Christmas Island - 580 Seemeilen südwestlich von Bali entfernt und gehörend zu Australien.Nach einem guten Start mit Wind und Strömung, sind wir heute am Motoren, dies wird höchstwahrscheinlich noch 1-2 Tagen so bleiben, bevor der Trade-Wind sich wieder einstellt und wir nach Christmas Island unter Segel brausen können.Alle sind gut drauf und ready den indischen Ozean zu durchqueren.Cheers, Tom. read more...


15/09/2014

Nexus - On our way to Chirstmas Island!

We're on our way to Christmas Island! After a great sail, close hauled in nice wind and beautiful weather out of Bali, we're now in 3.kts true wind and motoring, but it's still a beautiful day.Laurie had another close encounter with a whale last night, who blew his spout next to the boat, but not as close as last time. One of the boats behind us reported a pod of more than 100 dolphins! It's great to see the sea full of life. Hopefully tonight will bring the trade winds!Russ and Laurie on NEXUS at 14:00 9/15/2014 at 9 21.0'S;112 30.4'W. read more...


14/09/2014

Free & BrEasy - Bye Bye Beautiful Bali

After six days on land we are back on Free & BrEasy headed for Christmas Island on a 585 mile westward passage in the Indian Ocean. Light winds are predicted but fingers crossed we will be able to sail rather than motor, as refuelling with diesel will not be as easy from here on. From Christmas Island, the next destination, a mere 525 miles away, are the Cocos (Keeling) islands in the Indian Ocean, followed by a long 2350 mile passage to Mauritius.The Indian Ocean can be a sailing challenge so we spent some of our time in Bali visiting temples asking the appropriate Gods to send us fair winds and safe sailing.Bali is a tourist's heaven with tours available to see a range of delights from forest monkeys and volcanoes to one of the many, many temples. There are temples everywhere and. read more...


14/09/2014

Celebrate - Farewell to Bali

Before leaving the dock at Bali Marina we and Celebrate were blessed by local guide Aasa and his wife. The ceremony which many boats participated in involved a prayer, a floral offering and a flower placed behind our ears. This together with lots of smiles and farewells made our departure very special. Once out at the start we threw more offerings into the sea to help make it a safe and enjoyable passage. The blessings appear to be working as we are are enjoying a good breeze and more than forecast.We have left Bali with some very fond memories. Cathy and Charlie took off to a hotel for a battery re-charge. Cathy treated the whole fleet to a memorable birthday party at the hotel roof top bar. The seven seas theme ( Cathy, Charlie, Celebrate, Cocktails, Cake, Champagne and lots of. read more...


14/09/2014

Firefly - Giant Clams, Mantas and the embroidered bag is returned

we finally left the Blue Lagoon on Friday 12th having had a brilliant kitesurfing session the day before. Brent from Aurora Star and Peter from Vegas joining Paul in absolute spectacular conditions - 20 knots of wind and flat, relatively shallow azure water. We had an excellent sail down to the west coast of Naviti. The wind was stronger than expected so the planned stop at Somosomo was replaced with anchoring off the Botaira Beach Resort.We established it was the Botaira Resort by consulting our Fiji Lonely Planet guide, a useful resource on this kind of cruise. Exactly as the guide said, the staff at the Resort were very friendly allowing us to book in for dinner and also join in the herbal walk around the grounds conducted by Sam who was extremely knowledgeable about Fijian herbal. read more...


13/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 250; Elephant Safari & American Spirit II Receives 2 Prizes During the Rally Dinner; Friday, September 12, 2014

Up at 7:00 AM; and breakfast in the marina restaurant at 8:00 AM. We departed the marina in a beautiful van sent from the Safari Park for us. Leather seats, air conditioning, 3 rows of seats. Rally nice. About 30 minutes into our 1 1/2 hour trip Russ from Nexus called and said that Suzana from Rally Control needed Jeanine's passport to process her for transfer from American Spirit II to Nexus. Jeanine was joining Nexus because with Jeremy on board we were 'overloaded' for the next two month's voyage and Jeanine had to leave. Nexus was short crew, as two other crew had just left and they were now at two instead of four. Once we got back to the marina I found out that Rally Control needed Joel, mine and Jeremy's passports, also. Once we'd given her the passports we headed back to the. read more...


13/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 249; Jeremy Nance Joins the Crew and Charlie from Celebrate Holds a Party for Cathy; Thursday, September 11, 2014

I got up at 5:30 AM because I'd gone to bed so early, but then went back to sleep until 7:15 AM. Breakfast at 8:30 AM was in the restaurant, with a selection of 'American' breakfast or 'Banana Pancakes' being the popular choices. As Rally Control does whenever we're in port, they had their daily broadcast at 9:00 AM. We walked into town and activated our local phones. We'd already bought a local SIM card of $5.00; and loaded 200,000 Rupiah of air time on each phone. That's $20.00 worth of air time. I think its $.60 per minute to call the US. More than in Fiji and Australia where it was $.15 per minute to call the US. The lady loading the phone didn't speak a word of English so the transaction was 'fun.' Joel departed to the airport to pick up his son-in-law Jeremy Nance, whose flight. read more...


13/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 248; A Tour of Bali and a Whale Hits Boat Story from 20 Years Ago; Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Up at 6:30 AM for a tour starting at 8:00 AM. Breakfast on the boat consisted of bacon, scrambled eggs, chilled fruit cocktail and raisin bread.At 8:00 AM we boarded a bus for our all day tour. Our tour guide was named Arsa. As we started our tour it became obvious that there was no public transportation in Bali and that most people drove scooters or motor cycles instead of cars. Driving was on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right side of the bus and cars. Arsa indicated that Bali has two seasons: dry and wet. Currently we're in the dry or summer season. As we drove around we saw MacDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Circle K and Dunkin Donuts. There are over 13,000 islands in Indonesia with 3,000 of them inhabited. Bali itself is 95 kilometers from north to south and. read more...


13/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 247; A Wild and Rocky Night & Arrival in Bali ; a Shootin Star 'Circles' the Moon; & Nexus Almost Hits a Gray Whale; Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Turned the water maker off at 12:20 AM after making water for 3 hours; and the generator. Now its quiet. The wind was 15 knots and our boat speed 4.7 thru the water and 7.3 over the land, with a 2.5 knots helping current. I put a reef in the main at 1:00 AM to further slow down the boat. That slowed us down to 5.6 knots. We turned the engine on at 3:42 AM as the wind suddenly went really light and the seas with the opposing tide were quite bumpy. We then rolled the sails up as they were flapping too much. I was back on watch at 5:41 AM. Our speed was 3.1 knots, with a current against us still of 2.5 knots. We were violently rocking back and forth. It was like riding a bad roller coaster and not being able to get off...for hours on end. Boingo Alive was on our port bow 8.5 miles away. The. read more...


13/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 246; Final Race to Finish Line in Bali; Monday, September 8, 2014

Up at 6:17 AM. The moon was still up, just above the port bow horizon; setting into the mist or fog.Jibed the mainsail from port to starboard side. Was doing 4.3 knots, now 5.7, with the wind 10 knots dead astern. David got up at 6:35 AM and Jeanine went to bed. I put two fishing lines in the water at 7:15 AM; one hand line and one line on a reel. The sunrise at 7:39 AM occurred 3 minutes before I'd anticipated, so I missed any chance for a green flash sunrise...again. However, another blood red sunrise. Quite spectacular, even with a smattering of light clouds on the horizon. A fish 'hit' the pole and some line ran out for a couple of seconds, then the fish thru the lure. The communications net was at 9:00 AM; hosted by Tim by Ghost. Breakfast at 9:20 AM consisted of scrambled eggs; cut. read more...


12/09/2014

Flomaida II - Akrobatik pur auf dem Weg nach Neu Kaledonien 9./10.9.

Nun zu der Frage von Einigen, was wir denn so den lieben langen Tag machen,wenn wir unter Segeln sind.Ablegen 9 Uhr morgens von Port Vila mit errechneter Ankunftszeit von 15 Uhram nächsten Tag. Zuerst fegt uns der Wind mit 25/30 kn übers Meer und das aufder sehr hohen Kante. Hab mal wieder eine Vomex gegen Seekrankheit genommen, umauf der sicheren Seite zu sein. Gut, dass ich vor gekocht hatte und vieleBananen vom Markt da sind. Nachts vertörnt sich das Achterliek so, dass wir denBaum nicht bewegen können. Ca 1 Std Jonglierarbeit bei Schräglage im Dunkeln mitder Gaffel, bis wir es wieder frei haben. Das Schiff muss natürlich gleichzeitigam Wind gehalten werden. Gut, dass wir Vollmond haben!Dann wollen wir das Großsegel reffen, leider will das der Rollmechanismus nicht!Auch von Hand kann. read more...


10/09/2014

Firefly - Riding out strong winds in the Blue Lagoon

Its been very windy for the last few days so we have been tucked in and anchored close to the shore off Nanuya Lailai one of the islands that borders the Blue Lagoon. Our yellowbrick tracker is now functioning again and if you visit https://my.yb.tl/firefly/ and you will be able to see where we are. Several days back (Sunday 7th) we went snorkeling in the pass between Tokatokeanu pass between Naviti and Drawaqa but did not encounter the manta rays we were hoping to see. Despite this it was a beautiful place to snorkel and we saw a huge number of fish including a very large Barracuda that made our hearts flutter a little - they can sometimes be dangerous. Up until this time the winds had been very gentle but that evening the wind went from zero to 20 knots over the course of a few hours,. read more...


09/09/2014

Flomaida II - 25.8.-07.09. herrliches Segeln im Vanuta Archipel

Inselhopping vom Feinsten!Bei gleichbleibendem Wind um 25 Knoten von Osten klappern wir traumhaftschöne Inseln ab:Epi ist eine unglaublich grüne Insel mit weißen Ministränden und Höhlen,umgeben von Riffen voll blühender Korallen und Schildkröten, die neugierigihren Kopf heraus strecken. Dugongs oder Bondas(Seekühe) haben wir nichtgesehen, aber das ist auch schwierig, weil sie wie Staubsauger den Bodendurchpflügen und viel Dreck aufwirbeln. Wir bleiben lieber in mitten derKorallen. Ab und zu besucht uns ein Auslegerkanu und bringt uns Grapefruits,wir revanchieren uns mit T-Shirts und Süßigkeiten.Weiter geht es nach Amrym, leider gibt es zu viel Schwell in der Bucht zumübernachten. Obwohl wir uns die TamTam Schnitzereien anschauen wollen,beschließen wir, zur gegenüberliegenden Insel. read more...


09/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 245; Still Sailing to Bali and Green Flash #18; Sunday, September 7, 2014

I neglected to mention that for dinner Saturday night we had kangaroo steak. It was OK but I wouldn't eat it again, at least as a steak. The kangaroo hamburgers we had a week ago were much better. David got up at 6:00 AM and I rolled out of my berth at 6:45 AM. A mountainous island called Totoka Sumba was off our starboard beam 38 miles away. The sun rose at 7:32 AM (Darwin time). Another bright red fireball sunrise, but no green flash. The reason I mention 'Darwin time' is that during this leg all boats are on this time for communication's and leg finishing times. Otherwise, boats could be reporting times from at least 2 time zones, leading to confusion. Once we get to Bali we'll reset our watches and boat clocks to Bali time, which is 1 1/2 hours earlier than Darwin time. By 7:37 AM we. read more...


09/09/2014

Starblazer - 09/09/2014 – Vanuatu

As John wrote in Sunday’s log, we had put two reefs in the main to slow us down.We were still going too fast and our ETA was creeping earlier and earlier.While going fast is normally a good thing, I know, we didn’t want to arrive in an unknown port, with dubious reliability of navigation lights, in the dark.We put the third reef in the main at 1800.At 2300, first watch changeover, we decided to alter course towards the southwest because we were making 6 knots with the smallest amount of sail unless we experimented with the storm sails!The course alteration would make our trip to Port Vila longer as it would involve another change of course to bring us back up towards our destination.By the 0500 watch change it was time to alter course again and I had strict instructions to wake John up. read more...


08/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Darwin -->Bali - 8.Tag - Baldige Ankunft

Wenn alles gut läuft, werden wir noch heute vor Sonnenuntergang ankommen - das hängt aber alles von der Strömung ab. Wir hoffen es klappt, ansonsten bleiben wir noch eine Nacht draussen, da abgeraten wird Benoa bei Nacht anzulaufen. Uns gehts allen sehr gut und freuen uns bald wieder einen Fuss aufs Land zu tun:) Cheers, Tom. read more...


07/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 244; More Birds Join Crew & Green Flash #17; Saturday, September 6, 2014

David got up at 6:00 AM and I followed at 6:30 AM. The small bird that had joined us the day before was still on the foredeck. The wind was 12 knots and our boat speed 6.7 knots. We are motoring with no sails up. I put the mainsail out at 6:45 AM and our speed increased to 7.4 knots. The boom is on the starboard or right side. Some clouds but stars still out. The sunrise at 7:22 AM was another blood red one. No green flash. The atmosphere isn't really clear enough for one...yet. With clouds we're hoping for a little more wind today so we don't have to motor. I put 4 fishing lines in the water, two on poles with reels and two hand lines with very, very simplistic reels. I realized this morning that when we turned the motor on last night we forgot to take the hydro generator out of the. read more...


07/09/2014

Free & BrEasy - Half The World Away

We are only twenty four hours from Bali, Only twenty four hours from another home (Thank you Gene Pitney!). The passage from Darwin across the Timor Sea and the Indian Ocean has been slow and stately. We have experienced light winds and have made good use of our mechanical crew member (the motor of course!). In anticipation of Free & BrEasy's performance in light winds, we left Darwin two days earlier than the rest of the fleet and will arrive with them, 8 days later. We are not winning any races but we are not losing out on the all important Bali experience.When we arrive, Annabelle and Alejandro will be waiting for us as they flew from Darwin. Alejandro has been celebrating his big four O birthday with his mother and sister. Happy Birthday Alejandro!Roger and Michael sailed (and. read more...


07/09/2014

Sirocco Of Oz - Darwin - Bali Day 6 Sunday 7th Sept

Ok folks the wind as finally filled in, we had a good sail last night (Saturday) and likewise on Friday, currently we are under screecher only and sailing along at around 7 knots, we tried flying a reefed main but it made no difference to our speed as it was blanketing the screecher too much. We could try the kite but its getting late in the day and we don't fly it at night in case the wind picks up, the screecher can be handled by 2 crew...All good and providing the wind stays with us we expect to just make Bali by fading light Monday, every hopeful !!. Other news:Friday as the sun was setting and we were eating out last bit of Tuna we got a hit, after a bit of a battle in came a nice 1.2m (4') Spanish mackerel - nice eating.Yesterday tried a poled out jib but the downlaul for the pole. read more...


07/09/2014

Celebrate - Approaching the Indonesian Coast

The light winds we suffered early on on this trip are now over and are now enjoying 20 knots of trade wind sailing taking us towards Benoa Harbor on Bali. Ironically we now have to put the breaks on by reducing sail otherwise we will reach our destination over night, this is not an ideal situation and on this occasion the harbor is closed so we must wait till morning and slack water. Our route from Darwin has taken us through different seas on the edge of the Indian Ocean starting with the Timor Sea, the Savu Sea and now the Flores Sea. We are now within 15 miles of Lombok as we approach the Indonesian Coast. The air temperature has gradually increased and flying fish are flying again. No fishing yet but some pink lures and line are on the shopping list for Bali.Now the wind is up we. read more...


07/09/2014

Starblazer - 07/09/2014 – Rock & Roll

I’ve been delegated to go below and write a blog as it’s very Rock & Roll today.We’ve been trying to keep our speed down to arrive after 0900 Monday to avoid overtime rates for an unknown number of officials taking an undefined length of time to clear us in to Port Vila, Vanuatu.Number of Officials (unknown) x Clearance Time in Hours (unknown) x £6.50, and that’s the Saturday rate.Sundays are more expensive.The wind speed was so low that we have had to motor.Until late yesterday, when it increased and we had to roll all of the genoa away and this morning put two reefs in the main to get down to 4-4.5 knots.At the moment (1530 local) we are making 5.3 knots in 23 knots of wind!Time to spill some more wind from the main.Soon after lunch yesterday a small tuna (1.8kg, 4lb) stopped by. read more...


06/09/2014

Firefly - A windlass saga

On Saturday morning (6th September) we were up early and leaving the idyllic anchorage between Navadra and Vanua Levu after 2 enjoyable days. Our intended destination was the south of Waya but due to the failure of our anchor windlass we changed our plans. The anchor windlass is the powerful electric winch that raises the anchor chain at the bow of Firefly. Its a piece of equipment that works really hard on this kind of trip due to the frequency we anchor and its also really exposed to the elements being regularly doused in salt water whenever water comes over the bow. Following the recent inactivity (while we were in the UK) the windlass was tested as we left Vuda Marina and we did have some doubts as to how well it was working. It was therefore little surprise when the electric motor. read more...


06/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Darwin -->Bali - 6.Tag - Wir nähern uns

Die Hälfte haben wir geschafft, gestern hatten wir den ganzen Tag Wind (jetzt sind wir zwar wieder am Motor-Sailing) und kamen zügig voran, das Wetter ist schön und der Seegang angenehm. Was will man mehr?:-)Cheers, Tom. read more...


06/09/2014

Nexus - There be Whales in the Indian Ocean!

The wind is back, and we dug the big gennaker out of the bottom of the sail locker and had a magnificent day sailing today! Other than the beautiful clear sky and sunshine, the highlight of the day was multiple sightings of Grey Whales on either side of the boat! It was easy to spot them, as they are huge and blow spray high in the air that lingers in the sunshine for several seconds. We saw several groups of them through the day swimming together, and got a good look at one who came up for air, arched his back above the waterline sliding all along it's length, then put his tail flukes in the air and dove down. I would estimate that he was conservatively 80' long, much longer than NEXUS! What a treat! We also saw numerous pods of dolphin feeding, and another pod of what I thought were. read more...


06/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 243; The Boobie Strikes and Green Flash #16; Friday, September 5, 2014

David and I stayed on watch until 1:30 AM and then Joel relieved us. Around 5:00 AM we had reached the waypoint at the northeast corner of the Sahul Sand Banks and turned left to an approximate heading of 270 degrees. Joel went to bed then and Jeanine took over watch duties. David got up at 6:00 AM and I followed at 7:00 AM. We had another blood red sunrise at 7:10 AM. At 7:30 AM I cut an empty Folgers coffee canister in half, put water in it and laid it up on the bimini for the large boobie to drink from. The bird was pruning itself at this time.At 8:15 AM we had a ship on our starboard bow, the Seven Eagle, which the AIS labeled as a 'dive' ship over 400 feet long and doing 11.3 knots.At 8:20 AM the bird had been on the boat for just over 24 hours. The wind was 5/6 knos and we were. read more...


06/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Is it worth it?

I could go on for hours complaining about how difficult, strenuous, and exhausting a trip around the world can be, especially for a 16 year old like myself. For instance I can never escape my parents and sister, or most of the friends I have made on this trip have been 20 or so years older than me, that I left my high school “social life” behind, or even that I don’t get to take showers as often as I used to.I could, however go on for even longer naming things that, individually, would make all of the negative aspects of this trip obsolete. I have been handed the chance of a lifetime, something most people will work their whole lives to achieve, at age 16.I have visited places unmatched in their beauty with cultures equally unique, I have met amazing people from all walks of life and. read more...


06/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Three Must Haves

Every Day: drinking water seagull IV filter from General Ecology outside of Philadelphia.The water we drink day and night may not be cold, but it has tasted great due to this product. We do not purchase drinking water, except for Customs Officials.Never used [yet]: Jordon Series Drougue from roddy coleman in the UK, great product, quality, workmanship, and price….It is a comfort that has not had to be used.Today: heavy asymmetrical gennacker from Rolly Tasker.It allows the boat to run dead down wind.The kids[crew] can handle course and wind changes single handed. It has been raised and doused easily.  Timsv Folie a Deux. read more...


06/09/2014

Celebrate - GOOOOOOD MORNING World ARC

For yesterday's SSB Net Peter suggested the question of the day for the fleet: to find the "Best" word made up only of the first letters of the names of boats currently participating (multi-word names can choose to use any first letter).You could make your word in any language but you must provide a definition.If you invent a word, the definition should be entertaining and/or humorous. EVERY ENTRY IS A WINNER! I had a great time and hope the other entrants did as well.CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL ENTRANTS (WINNERS).They all win a beer on arrival in Bali.Of particular mention...From Merlyn: FABALMSAP From Nexus: BAFLLPASSDANCCLOGMAP {The map you need when bafl'd}From Ghost: O'Flanagans (an Irish Pub chain)Also, I received the following entry from Folie a Deux via. read more...


06/09/2014

Nexus - 320 miles to go...with unidentified floating objects!

Winds are still light, but we've transitioned from motoring, to motor sailing, to gennaker over the last several hours and it feels good to have the peace and quiet again! We've seen several other large pods of dolphin feeding on local fish, which is a spectacle we never get tired of. There are quite a few Indonesian freighters and fishing boats crossing around us as it appears to be an active area with no set shipping lanes. We've been contacted four times by Australian aircraft on this trip, they keep an active patrol over this area due to the high levels of illegal immigration across their vast northern border, as well as chronic illegal fishing around the protected reefs along this area. The Indonesian fishing boats are quite different, we passed one yesterday that was painted in a. read more...


05/09/2014

Starblazer - 06/09/2014 – ‘the darkest hour’

Think Mammas and Pappas not a politician, is just before dawn. Yesterday the moon rose at 1402 and was Waxing Gibbous (68%) so took over lightening the sky as the sun set at 1804.Unfortunately, having bright moonlight throughout the first two night watches means the next two both have a period of very dark though the stars help!The moon set at 0219 and the first vestiges of dawn didn’t appear until about 0530 with sun rise at 0615 this morning.There is a fantastic app for the i-pad called Star Walk, we thoroughly recommend it.Yesterday was a hotter day than Thursday because there was no cloud cover, it was also an almost windless day followed by weak winds during the night. We did try to sail, 21/2 hours in the morning, when we even hoisted the spinnaker for 5 minutes, and 33/4 hours up. read more...


05/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 242; Not Much Wind,; A Bird Visits Us; Frigate Mackerel, Crocodile and Wild Boar for Dinner; and Another Blood Red Sunrise & Sunset; Thursday, September 4, 2014

David got up at 6:00 AM and I slept in until 6:30 AM. At 7:05 AM we had another blood red sunrise. No green flash, but a great sunrise. The horizon is obscured because of a little fog or heavy mist in the air. At 7:23 AM the Merlyn Victory, a 148 foot tug (?) was towing a barge, according to our AIS. It was heading to Darwin at 5.7 knots. It had passed us abeam earlier when Jeanine was on watch and was now 21 miles away and astern of us. I put 4 fishing lines in the water, as we approached two areas where fish were jumping and birds were flying down to get them. The wind was 4.5 knots, our speed thru the water 6.0 knots and our speed over the land 5.8 knots. Polaris is 4.9 miles astern and starboard of us. Sirocco is... off to our right somewhere, not sure where. Out of AIS range. At. read more...


05/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Darwin -->Bali - 4.Tag - No Wind Part II

Wir sind noch immer am Motoren, denn es hat noch immer keinen Wind. Ab und zu kommt eine Brise und dann nehmen wir die Segel hoch zum Motorsailing, aber richtig viel bringen tut das nicht. Den Wettervorhersagen nach sollte es aber morgen/übermorgen dann besser aussehen. Mal schauen. Ansonsten sind alle gut drauf - der Waschi macht die ganze Zeit Witze und wir kugeln uns vor Lachen.Hasta la vista!Cheers, Tom. read more...


05/09/2014

Nexus - The sea is full of life

Even though we had to put the sails away again, yesterday evening was simply magic. In the afternoon we found ourselves sailing through an extended group of sea snakes...what is the proper name for a collection of snakes? There were at least 12 that passed near the boat in the space of a few miles, mostly yellow with bands of color and averaging 6-10ft in length. One of them did a perfect "Loch Ness Monster" pose for us, rearing its head up above the water with the rest of its body in humps above and below the waterline, paused briefly to look at us, then dove below. As usual, we didn't have the camera handy but it gave us a great memory. Later in the afternoon and well into the evening, we were surrounded by a very large pod of small, playful dolphins who continued to play in the bow. read more...


05/09/2014

Folie a Deux - A watch that works at sea

This is our third extended family cruise over the past 10 years.It has taken us ten months on this trip to find a watch cycle that works for our crew.The children have grown to take more and more watch responsibility while underway on overnight passages at sea.As a family of four with Brian age 16 and Lucy age 13 we are all now taking equal shifts of two and one half hours. The rotation remains the same: Dad, Brian, Mom, Lucy.This way we all get a sunrise or a sunset every couple of days.Time zone changes make no difference.There is ample time for sleep, chores, and schoolwork.TimFolie a Deux. read more...


04/09/2014

Starblazer - 05/09/2014 – Sailing!

Actually, the title is a bit of an exaggeration. The wind put in an appearance just before 0800, John rushed up on deck when he heard the engine revs reduce.We let out the main and pulled out the genoa and sailed for 81/2 hours, managing to average 5 knots until the wind died again.We have been motoring all night at just under 5 knots because we don’t want to arrive before 0830 on Monday morning.According to the information we have, overtime is charged for a minimum of 3 hours for each official required. Tonga and Fiji have each had 4 officials.Just for once, I am lost for words because we did nothing all day.We tried to get into hunter/gatherer mode and put out two fishing lines with no result, not even a nibble.My lure came back minus a hook but I’m sure it rusted through!Nature has. read more...


04/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 241; Two Swim Parties , a 'Tree' Hitches a Ride on Our Keel , a 5 Course Dinner and a Blood Red Sunrise and Sunset; Wednesday, September 3, 2014

David got up at 6:10 AM; I got up at 6:30 AM. Sunrise at 6:57 AM, a blood red fireball rising out of the Timor Sea. Looked like a great sunset in reverse. Wind 4 knots, our boat speed motor sailing 5.3 knots. Sirocco of Oz is on our port beam aft 1/2 mile. A while later they pulled in behind us dead astern. At 8:40 AM there were 6 Rallyboats around us: Alpheratz, Polaris, Boingo Alive, NDS Darwin, Sirocco of Oz and Nexus a little further away. Three porpoise passed by to starboard at 8:30 AM.The 9:00 AM net communication was hosted by Laurie from Nexus. 15boats checked in. Nexus had caught a yellow fin tuna and Sirocco a small shark. The day before or this morning?At 8:00 AM 8 porpoises passed by. I say 'passed by' because they did not come close enough to our boat to swim under and in. read more...


04/09/2014

Nexus - Still motoring..but the fishing is good!

Well, we had a brief period of wind and enjoyed an early afternoon sail, but now it's back to 3kts so we're motoring again. We're going through an area north of Western Australia in the Beagle Gulf, where there are numerous undersea mounts and several coral reefs and sand bars. Apparently this area used to be land before the last Ice Age melted, just like the Queensland coast inside the barrier reef. It is rife with strange currents, but also great fishing! We've caught 7 fish so far, and had two more get away at the transom. The keepers have been Northern Blue Fin Tuna, a small variation of what we would recognize as Yellow Fin Tuna but with less yellow and larger pectoral fins. They have great, tasty meat like Yellow Fin, we've eaten one already and two more are in the freezer. The. read more...


04/09/2014

Firefly - Firefly on the move again

On Thursday September 4th Firefly was re launched after a month out of the water at Vuda Point Marina on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. With the hull polished and antifouled, Firefly is now set for a few more weeks cruising in Fiji, before leaving on passages to Vanuatu and then New Caledonia, where we will depart on 'ARC New Zealand' at the beginning of November. We will then spend 6 months exploring New Zealand. ARC NZ is a new World Cruising event for the World ARC 14/15 boats taking an extra year in the South Pacific before joining the next WARC in June/July 2015 as it passes through Tonga and Fiji.Now back from Blighty, having flown home and spent a really enjoyable August in Devon with our Family and Friends we are recovering from jet lag and getting used to living on board again.. read more...


04/09/2014

Celebrate - We are Sailing!

We have finally turned the engine off. The sea breeze that blew us out of Darwin did not last long followed by almost two days of motor sailing. On Charlie's 6AM till 10 AM this morning the South South Easterly breeze started to build sufficient to roll out the genoa and full main (they flap if there isn't enough wind)while still running the motor. By 10AM when Peter came up on watch there was enough wind to hoist the colorful Genniker and after a few adjustments we are bounding along without engine assistance between 5 and 7 knots.No matter how many times it happens turning off the engine, enjoying the silence and relying solely on sail power is a great moment. That does not mean we have not had any other good moments; there was a beautiful red sunset that filled the sky on Charlie's. read more...


04/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Why the World ARC?

Initially we joined the World ARC for the children.We have two, ages 13 and 16.This being our third extended cruise we recognize cruising is a very lonely environment for children, particularly teenagers.What makes the difference is a community of cruises like you find in Georgetown, Bahamas; Culebra, Puerto Rico; and Lupron, Dominican Republic.So we signed up for the 1st half of the World ARC 2013 -2014 and met the fleet at their rendezvous in the San Blas Islands, Panama.What a beautiful event.We were welcomed by all.Then, we realized how important this group of people would become to our family.Around 10 PM, my husband went outside to deal with the horrendous noise of the wind generator.Then it happened -- Tim did serious damage to his left hand – broken, split open, and top of index. read more...