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28/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 23; Thru the Down Locks: Pedro Meguel & Miraflores; Sunday, January 26, 2014

The day started at 5:00 AM, as the Chief Advisor had told us that we needed to be under way by 5:45 AM. We were ready. The Pilot boat arrived at, you guessed it, not 5:45 AM but 6:45 AM; one hour late. The extra sleep would have been nice. Not mentioned from Saturday's log was that Nexus, a 60 foot catamaran that was the center of our raft up, tied up to a mooring ball inLake Gatun Saturday night; and we tied up to them. We were happy to do so as we didn't have to worry about dragging anchor; and because at 74 feet it would have been a deep anchor with insufficient scope. We normally like to anchor with a scope of 5:1. At 74 feet we would need 370 feet of anchor chain out. Oops. We only have 300 feet. Thank you Russ and Laurie off Nexus.We had a different Advisor on board today, a. read more...


29/01/2014

Hebe - Embrerer Indian village

29th January 2014Spent 3 days in Panama during which Andrew 'I Don't Do Buses' joined me on a Panama City tour…..he lasted 2 hours. Circumnavigators do not like being herded like sheep. He bolted into a wild taxi then started to enjoy himself. The old dilapidated city and the expanding new part which is beginning to resemble Dubai.One evening we went downtown to the fish market where we were assured we could eat in the restaurant there, we found ourselves amid the end of the day's rubbish and chaos with the workers eating street food. Being a Monday the restaurant was closed. its exciting finding yourself in the wrong place, H&I are of course intrepid travellers in Central America so used to it all. Did repairs -  frustrating getting things delivered by UPS I am astonished. read more...


Hebe - Lovely Zuleica who made my basket. The henna acts as an insect repellant too.
Hebe - Lovely Zuleica who made my basket. The henna acts as an insect repellant too.
Hebe - The gorgeous children playing with crayons
Hebe - The gorgeous children playing with crayons
26/01/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 11 - Onward to Shelter Bay

Our plan for our trip to Shelter Bay was to make a lunch stop at Portobello, just a few miles from Isla Linton. The port has historical significance: it was used as a loading point for Spanish ships to take on gold and other cargo to be transported to Spain. A few decades ago some of the ancient fortifications were recovered from the jungle, and we had a chance to go ashore and check them out. There is something unsettling about looking out a shore gun port and seeing that the cannon is pointed directly at the yacht you came on.After a lunch of hearty soup, the Celebrate put to sea for the last 20 miles to Shelter Bay Marina. Through the rain we could see dozens of ships anchored out waiting to go through the canal.World ARC staff were waiting for us at the dock, Charlie expertly. read more...


26/01/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 10 - Isla Linton

After a somewhat rolly night anchored outside Chichime, Celebrate put to sea for a short 40 mile run to Isla Linton. Charlie and Cathy had been to this anchorage 4 years previous, and were interested in seeing if the old research station was still there, as well as a unique French country restaurant accessible via short river and mangrove tunnel.As with many of the good anchorages along the Panamanian coast, it was already filled with yachts, many of which had clearly been there for some time. Celebrate anchored in 40 feet, outside the main group, after the first attempt at anchoring inside was unsuccessful. The old research station was close to being taken over by the jungle, and the monkeys that they had seen in a past visit were nowhere to be seen.The run through the mangroves for. read more...


26/01/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 9 - Chichime World ARC Party

World ARC put on a great party for crews on what would become, for many crews, their last day in San Blas Islands. The event was a pot luck. The diversity of offerings from the World ARC boats was as diverse as the crews, from spring rolls to barbeque ribs, potato chips to potato salad. Celebrate's offering was a team effort of au gratin potatoes by Charlie and Andy. Everything disappeared quickly – clearly an indication that folks were anxious for a change from their usual on-board fare. The World ARC yellow shirts provided an endless supply of coconuts with the generous addition of rum.After lunch, a local Kuna group came to dance and play music for the group. Beautifully dressed and very animated, they seemed tireless!A happy but tired crew returned to Celebrate, carrying 10 loaves of. read more...


26/01/2014

Nexus - Half Way Through the Panama Canal

A restful but short night in the big lake in Panama, after completing our first half passage through the Panama Canal. The Canal is AWESOME, and it was really fun to watch it work, and especially to drive through it with two 40' boats rafted to our sides! The adviser was excellent and really fun to work with, and the World ARC staff did an superb job preparing us for the journey, there were no surprises other than the beauty of the area and impressive engineering and clockwork precision of the locks. We went through with 11 World ARC boats, and in the middle lock, someone in the group played the bagpipes, which gave a wonderful ambiance to the trip and solicited a salute from the horn of the freighter in the other lock. We should arrive at the middle set of locks around 11pm and pass. read more...


26/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 22; Thru the Gatun Locks; Saturday, January 25, 2014

I seemed to have miscounted a day so the days went from Day 20 to 22. The morning was spent getting ready to transit the 3 Gatun Locks today. We had to be ready to go by 12:00 Noon, even though our appointment was at 4:30 PM. Late in the morning we were told to leave the Shelter Bay Marina at 2:30 PM and proceed to an anchorage area, anchor and wait for the pilot boat to drop off our Advisor at 4:00 PM. We departed at 2:34 PM and anchored at 3:22 PM. The area we anchored in was mud, and we along with some other boats dragged anchor. At 4:10 PM our Advisor, Victor, was dropped off at our boat; and at 5:00 PM we weighed anchor and headed for the Gatun Locks. Eleven sail boats in the Rally were scheduled to go thru the locks together, in rafts of 3, 3, 3, and 2. We were in the first raft. read more...


25/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 20; Measurement and Safety Inspection Day; January 23, 2014

At 9:00 AM every morning the World Cruising Club broadcasts on VHF Channel 72 information of interest to the Rally participants. For example, we were advised today that by early afternoon all boats making the first transit of the canal would be measured by an official of the canal authority. Our measurement inspection occurred at 10:15 AM and lasted a half hour. The boat was measured: length, width, and draft; and particulars of the boat were written down by the official, such as our cruising speed; engine horsepower; status of navigation lights; and other navigation equipment.At 2:00 PM Joel from the World Cruising Club conducted a safety inspection of our boat, since we didn't have one in St. Lucia. We passed. At 4:00 PM a briefing was held for the boats (five) that did not receive. read more...


25/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 19; Gatun Locks and Quiz Night; January 24, 2014

A tour was taken of the Gatun lock complex today by Joel and Darlene Heyne; and Paul and David Fox. Brian Fox was off to Panama City to try to secure a haul out date for the boat to fix the rudder. The date assigned is next Wednesday at 1:00 PM. The hoist time of 1:00 PM, middle of the day, is because of the large tide, 15 feet. The water at the hoist location will be too shallow for us to get into until that time.Before the Panama Canal was constructed, a debate ensued about whether to have a 'sea level' canal or a stepped, lock system as is currently in place. For some crucial reasons, the stepped, lock system won out. The three Gatun Locks are the "up" locks on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama. Boats traveling from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean are raised 85 feet.. read more...


25/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 18; Temporary Ruder Fix; January 22, 2014

The project for the day was to fix the rudder temporarily so we could transit the Panama Canal this Saturday, January 25, as scheduled. To that end Joel Heyne, technician extroadnare, developed a plan to raise up the rudder post using two pieces of star board, PVC piping and plastic ties. By lifting the rudder post, the steering mechanism could swing its full dimension without hitting the bolts that were obstructing it. We had the (expensive) star board on board to use in the event we had a hull breach. We had it on board to patch a hole in the hull if we struck a reef, whale or shipping container.By noon the rudder was fixed good enough that we had 100% utilization of the steering on the boat. Though the fix may last forever, the goal is to get the new bearings and install them at the. read more...


25/01/2014

Firefly - Up River

Another great day today. Paul was up early for a kitesurf in the shallow lagoon around Green Island. This was a memorable session due to the large number of rays seen. Mostly they were jet black manta rays, about 1 metre across (there were a few grey stingrays too) - difficult to judge but they did not appear to be that pleased to be disturbed.We then took the opportunity to see another part of Kuna Yala of which the San Blas Islands form a part. From Green Island we sailed towards the mainland and anchored off the Island of Nargana or Yandup. We then took the dinghy across a shallow sand bar and up Ria Diablo. This river meanders into the foothills and is enclosed by palms, mangroves and sugar cane. We motored and paddled about three miles upstream and saw herons, kingfishers and other. read more...


24/01/2014

Free & BrEasy - Much Ado About Very Little

Team FBy have been in Shelter Bay for 4 days now and have settled into a routine. Skipper Roger spends most of the time emailing and emitting gushes of steam at the frustrating lack of progress with getting things ordered and delivered before we leave on the 28th January. We are waiting for a new inverter, storm jib and toilet valve. Unfortunately the latter is a through hull fitting and Roger would prefer to be hauled out here, to fit it, rather than rely on the smaller Marina in Flamenco bay. It has been suggested that we only need someone on the outside of the hull with a sink plunger to stop water coming in but what if it does not work or comes off? Any way we need the valve to arrive first.Michael 1 has set up his office in the terrace resteraunt and is presumably buying and selling. read more...


24/01/2014

Firefly - Another blissful anchorage

There appears to be no end to the number of fantastic anchorages here: yesterday we sailed East for 10 miles to Coco Bandero Cay and found a very sheltered spot and took the dinghy to a small island on the reef nicknamed 2 Palm Cay (because it was just large enough to have two palms growing on it) and spent a couple of hours snorkeling through a colorful collection of corals and tropical fish.Also there appears to be no end to thecourage and resourcefulness of the Kuna, at every anchorage we meet up with the same people selling lobsters, Molas or fruit. They will have traveled from the mainland each day in their hand crafted ( and not always that seaworthy) craft.Today we sailed the short distance to Green Island (because its slightly greener than it's neighbors). The island is large. read more...


23/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 18; Fixing the Rudder; January 23, 2014

The project for the day was to fix the rudder temporarily so we could transit the Panama Canal this Saturday, January 25, as scheduled. To that end Joel Heyne, technician extroadnare, developed a plan to raise up the rudder post using two pieces of star board, PVC piping and plastic ties. By lifting the rudderpost, the steering mechanism could swing its full dimension without hitting the bolts that were obstructing it. We had the (expensive) star board on board to use im the event we had a hull breach. We had it on board to patch a hole in the hull if we struck a reef, whale or shipping container. By noon the rudder was fixed good enough that we had 100% utilization of the steering on the boat. Though the fix may last forever, the goal is to get the new bearings and install them at the. read more...


23/01/2014

Day 16 and 17; Rendevouz on Chichime; and on to the Panama Canal; January 20, and 21, 2014

The World Cruising Club held a Party on Chichime Island at 1:00 PM today. Everybody to bring a dish or drinks to share. Joel from WCC passed out rum coconut drinks, with real coconuts as the 'glass.' Very cool. Met people from other boats, and even met some people on the island who had nothing to do with the Rally. Specifically, three young men from Israel: Arnon Joseph, Tom Peleg and Nir Badt. First actual Israelis I'd ever met. They were staying in a hut where the charge per day for each of them was $25. For that they got a "leaf" (roof) over their heads; and three meals a day. What a deal! Why mention this? Because part of the experience in the World ARC 2014/15 is not only meeting people in the Rally from 9 or 10 different countries, but indigenous peoples in the countries we visit;. read more...


22/01/2014

Free & BrEasy - Sleep At Last!

After a week at Rodney Bay trying to decrease the length of the "to do" list, we were glad to be off sailing at last with the start of World ARC 2014. For the previous three months Roger (skipper) had devoted every hour awake and some asleep, to the venture, from Winnipeg, Canada. Free and BrEasy was meanwhile on the hard in Greneda and only touched water a week before Christmas Day after Roger had spent a busy 2 weeks. Just to add to the list Roger's wife Annabelle, broke her ankle so its a miracle that Roger and Michael 1 were able to sail the boat to Rodney Bay in time for Michael 2 to join them. Just to make life even more interesting, Roger celebrated his 70th birthday in fine style with his sister, Jan, and brother in-law, Tim, taking him off for lunch and giving him his first cell. read more...


22/01/2014

Flomaida II - 21./22.1.auf dem Weg nach Shelter Bay

Nach einem sehr netten nachmittags "come together" auf Chichime Cay undeinigenmit Rum gefüllten Cocosnüssen- ich glaube, die Cocosmilch war schonverdunstet, haben die Davits den Geist aufgegeben- diesmal war ich derKünstler! Aber wenigstens war das Dinghi oben. Gestern hatten wir danneinen perfekten Segeltag, wenig Welle und 20/25 kn Wind bis nach Porto Belo,eine geschützte, sehr tiefe Bucht, die schon die Spanier früher als idealenBeutehafen benutzt haben.Dort liegt auch die Renina Maris, einDreimastrahsegler mit Niederländischer Flagge, der als Schulschiff dient"school on sea". 35 Kinder im Gymnasialalter verbringen 6 Monate auf demSegler, es gibt 6 Lehrer und den Kapitän. Den haben wir beim Landausflug,den uns Elisabeth und Martin von der Caduceus ermöglicht haben,( unserDinghi s.o.). read more...


22/01/2014

Firefly - San Blas Islands at a leisurely pace

The pace of our trip around San Blas has remained quite slow but we are gradually working our wayaround the island groups at a rate of one a day. After leaving East Lemon Cays we headed for a rendez-vous on Chicheme Cay with all our fellow rally participants and exchange tales of our trip down from Saint Lucia. We drank a very novel cocktail- a coconut with a hole in it large enough for a straw and a splash of rum! We were also treated to a display of traditional Kuna dancing and great hospitality.We have now moved on to West Lemon Cays, via Porvenir Island where we went through very 'traditional' immigration formalities- all carbon paper and neat handwriting (in Spanish) with not computer in sight. Bearing in mind that we have already been in the country for 5 days the whole process was. read more...


21/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 15; On to Cayo Chichime & Kuna Indians; January 19, 2014

At 9:15 AM we weighed anchor and headed for Cayo Chichime 4 nautical miles away to the northeast. This island is where the Rally is going to have a "Rendezvous" on Monday, January 20 at 1:00 PM. We entered a lagoon and anchored at 10:40 AM. There were also 23 other boats in the lagoon, most with the rally, but others not. We anchored in 34 feet of water and then went for a swim. The first thing I saw upon entering the water was a ray swimming along the bottom right under the boat. The water was very clear. After the swim, we hopped into the dingy and headed off for the northeast part of the island, where after beaching the boat went for a walk around the island. There were maybe a half dozen to a dozen little cabins that people rented while staying on the island. These people probably. read more...


21/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 14; Clearing into Isla Porvenir; January 18, 2014

Woke up 6:50 AM, just in time to see a commercial propeller aircraft land at the Isla Porvenir air strip. A daily flight from Panama City. This air strip was possibly constructed during World War II, for air craft on patrol against Nazi submarines in the Caribbean and especially on the approaches to the Panama Canal. Everybody slept well last night. No watch keeping; no rock and roll under sail; no wave noise, just the trade winds blowing. It was eerie anchoring in 64 plus feet of water. A deep anchorage. We had 210 feet of chain out, a 3 to 1 scope. Probably should have had more. 200 feet of chain weighs 200 pounds. We carry a total of 300 feet. Chain is not necessary in the San Blas Islands, but is in the South Pacific atolls we will be visiting. On the last 30 feet of anchor chain, a. read more...


21/01/2014

Starblazer - 22/01/2014 – The idyllic San Blas islands

First of all, many apologies for not writing a blog on Sunday and wishing niece Hester a very happy birthday and great-nephew Harry a very happy first birthday and as well.We arrived in the San Blas island group in the early hours of Saturday morning, carefully felt our way in to a large, deep anchorage and crashed for a few hours!In daylight it was stunning, with half a dozen small palm tree covered islands and beyond them the crashing seas, breaking on the surrounding reefs.This is no place for complacency, there are reefs stretching out from most of the islands as well so a large anchorage may well have several areas of reef within it.The area known as Kuna Yala belongs to the Kuna Indians who are largely autonomous within Panama.They are physically small, very happy people who really. read more...


21/01/2014

Nexus - San Blas is Paradise

Spend a fantastic three days in the San Blas, which are postcard perfect white sand islands covered with palm trees and surrounded by vibrant coral reefs. If you have a mental picture of a Caribbean paradise, they would describe it perfectly. We'll put some photos and several days of updates on our blog once we get WiFi in Shelter Bay, Panama tomorrow but we don't have anything but satellite connectivity here....which is great. As the Rally office said, it is forced relaxation!The WARC threw a wonderful rendezvous beach party yesterday on Chichime Cay on the beach, which was a great social mixer with the other rally boats, local campers and the local population. A pot luck format of great food and drink, these WARC crews have some very good cooks! We plan to stay and snorkel and paddle. read more...


20/01/2014

Flomaida II - 20.1.Abschied

Heute verlassen wir sehr ungern unser kleines Paradies vor "unserem"Inselchen und pulen uns aus den Riffen.Beide Familien winken uns zumAbschied.Ich kann es Euch leider nicht beschreiben, wie wunderschön eshier ist zum Schwimmen und Tauchen. Mir fehlen die Worte dafür!Wir segeln nach Chichime zu einem BBQ.Christoph hat nach demMotto: dumm kann der Mensch sein, aber zu helfen muss er sich wissen,perfekt die Bremsbacken des Faltpropellers mit einer Zwinge festgesetzt,und nun ist Ruhe! Hauptsache er macht das wieder rückgängig bevor wir denMotor anmachen.(großer Knoten und Zettel überall!) Habe heute morgen einenBerg Reissalat gemacht - Rezept Rumfort hahaha.Jeder bringt was mit, einigebringen auch die Gitarre oder andere Instrumente. So gibt es einen sichergelungenen Nachmittag und Abend,. read more...


Flomaida II - 20.1.Abschied
Flomaida II - 20.1.Abschied
18/01/2014

Trillium - Trillium Has Crossed the Finish Line in San Blas Islands

The good news is that we crossed Leg 1 Finish Line at 0718 on January 18th. That means we made the crossing of the Caribbean Sea in 6 days and 19 hours + 18 min. The bad news is that our Navionics charts do not have any details of the area! So we are doing it the old fashion way: paper charts and line of site. Not the easiest place in the world to be doing this! I am the one who screwed up as I thought the chip I bought included Panama and it doesn't. And, of course, there is no Internet here to download the charts!With the exception of the added tension the chart issue has created, the crossing itself was a breeze. We had great winds all the way for wing and wing sailing. Trillium loves to fly when the winds are 20-30 kts so we had a great ride. In addition, we were blessed with the. read more...


Flomaida II - Kaffeekränzchen
Flomaida II - Kaffeekränzchen
20/01/2014

Firefly - Cruising the San Blas Islands

After the passage from Saint Lucia we are now in relax mode leisurely cruising the islands and in Paul's case kitesurfing. We spent two days in the East Hollandes group meeting up with fellow rally participants and snorkeling. We has a great BBQ last night on appropriately named BBQ Islandwhere a local Kuna father and son team cooked our supper on a wood fire. We brought a couple of lobster purchased from the locals and they were delicious.Leaving the Hollandes we sailed 10 miles East to the Lemon Cays where there are more reefs to snorkel and lobsters to buy. We have also been visited by locals from nearby islands in decidedly unseaworthycanoes selling us Mollas the local hand embroidered andlayered fabric panels-after lots of negotiation Susie bought one; the designs arequite unique. read more...


19/01/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 9 - Memories of Leg 1

Celebrate is quietly at anchor at Lemon Cay, a beautiful anchorage surrounded by small islands and reefs. Near the entrance a sailboat clearly came to its end on one of the reefs, a reminder that good navigation and careful piloting is essential in the San Blas. We have done a bit of snorkeling, and are working through the list of repairs and maintenance items.During Sunday pancake breakfast this morning, we were thinking about our 1100 mile passage from Saint Lucia, everyone remembering those unique things that made the trip memorable for each of us. Here are a few:We remember friends sending us off at Saint Lucia, each bringing a bag of fresh vegetables or fruit. How thoughtful!An exciting start to the leg, with a cannon being fired by the Saint Lucia Coast Guard.The while trimming the. read more...


19/01/2014

Flomaida II - 19.1. im Paradies

So ist es! Aller Stress und Hektik vor dem Start unddie anstrengende,rauhe Überquerung des Karibischen Meeres sind vergessen, denn wir sind imParadies gelandet. Es ist so traumhaft schön und noch so ursprünglich, dassich gar nicht weiß,welche Bilder ich für die Galerie aussuchen soll.San Blasbesteht aus 378 Inseln, von denen nur 49 bewohnt sind von den Kuna Indianern,die eine unabhängige Provinz von Panama sind und Sprache,Kultur,Wirtschaftssystem und Identität erhalten haben. Wirliegen vor einer kleinen Insel der Hollandaise Islands hinter einemsicheren Riff.Auf "unserer" Insel (3000m²) leben zwei Kuna IndianerFamilien mit vielen Kindern,sie sticken und fertigen aus Muscheln Kettenund Armbänder an. Die Männer gehen zum Fischen und bieten sie uns zum Kauf-2 Lobster (10$US) gibt es heute. read more...


Flomaida II - 19.1. im Paradies
Flomaida II - 19.1. im Paradies
18/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 13; We Made It to Isla Porvenir; January 17, 2014

For the first day in many, the wind had some north in it, making our final run for the finish line easier to handle. That being said, we finally hit a current that was completely opposite of what we've been dealing with. Instead of being on our nose, or from east to west, at an average of 2 knots for the last week; the current turned and went from west from east at 3 knots. How it does that is amazing, as the trade winds are driving the wind and waves from east to west at 20 to 25 knots. To put that in perspective, at 100 miles from our destination and at a speed over the ground of 7 knots, if we didn't account for this 3 knot current pushing us east, we would end up approximately 42 miles east of our destination. You have to use math to deal with currents, or program the auto pilot to. read more...


18/01/2014

Sweet Pearl - St.Lucia --> San Blas - Tag 8 - Relaxen

Eigentlich hatten wir gehofft heute in San Blas anzukommen - das würden wir auch schaffen, allerdings erst kurz nach Sonnenuntergang. Da wir den Untiefen und Riffs bei Nacht nicht trauen, haben wir jetzt das Tempo gedrosselt und dümpeln langsam zu den paradiesischen Inseln. Hundert Meter vor uns ein amerikanischer Katamaran und rund um uns noch 2 weitere Segelschiffe auf dem Weg nach San Blas, die sich allerdings noch nicht entschieden haben, ob sie den Landfall auch bei Nacht wagen sollen. Bei uns ist die Entscheidung gefallen und wir vertreiben die Zeit mit Aufräumen, Musik hören, Lesen und Bier trinken. Das Leben könnte unangenehmer sein;-).Morgen früh bei Sonnenaufgang gehts dann nach der Ziellinienüberquerung gleich zu den Coco Banderos, anscheinend eine der schönsten unbewohnten. read more...


18/01/2014

Starblazer - Starblazer 18/01/2014 – The last frustrating day and a bit!

From midday Thursday, when we had 200 miles left to run, the wind dropped and we lost the helpful current.All of a sudden the anticipated daylight arrival became an impossible dream!They say it’s better to travel hopefully than to arrive, but I disagree.We were hopeful but the arrival was more than welcome even if somewhat later than hoped.Friday’s noon run was 162.4 miles through the water, stunning given the weaker wind, but sadly only 131 miles towards the waypoint as the current effectively carried us 31 miles backwards.Four years ago we would have been more than satisfied with that total but we have come to expect more.We had another sailplan change forced upon us, during the night of course, when a very expensive snatch block managed to twist enough to pop the pin. In fact it was. read more...


18/01/2014

Flomaida II - geschafft!13:58 Uhr local time ankern in San Blas

Als der Anker fällt hinter einem Riff vor unglaublich schönen Inselchen,ist die letzte Woche schon fast vergessen! Silvio und Vittorio von "FestinaLente" kamen gleich zur Begrüßung im Dinghi angetuckert.Wir haben ja eineFlasche Schampus verloren, da sie vor uns ankamen- die Beiden warenwirklich sehr schnell, hatten wohl die ganze Zeit Passatsegel an 2 Bäumenoben. Bei der elenden Schaukelei und dem starken Wind konnten wir wederParasailor noch Genacker fahren. Aber auch sie waren froh. endlichangekommen zu sein. Erst wurde natürlich die "Flomaida" geduscht und von Salz und Schuppenrestenfliegender Fische befreit, dann waren wir dran. Ihr glaubt gar nicht, wieman eine Dusche genießen kann, bei der man sich nicht verkeilen muss undschnell wieder raus muss, damit die Seekrankheit nicht. read more...


Flomaida II - geschafft!13:58 Uhr local time ankern in San Blas
Flomaida II - geschafft!13:58 Uhr local time ankern in  San Blas
18/01/2014

Celebrate - Log Day 8 - In Porvenir

We made it! Celebrate and her happy crew of Charlie, Cathy and Andy crossed the finish line of World ARC Leg 1 yesterday at 3pm local time, after 6 days 2 hours at sea. Charlie used his experience of the area and safely guided Celebrate to anchor at the Kuna village of Porvenier shortly before 6pm. The crew enjoyed a long-anticipated martini in the cockpit. ARC participant American Spirit followed us into the anchorage. Celebrate was the 10th boat to complete the passage, and as of this writing (9:30am) a few ARC boats were as much as 80 miles from finishing. What a wonderful experience! Aside from the occasional breakage and reluctant autohelm, all went smoothly onboard. As with any passage, we made note this morning of the things we would like to check, maintain and repair while. read more...


18/01/2014

Firefly - Arrived San Blas Islands

After 7 days of eventful sailing we have arrived in the San Blas islands. This particular passage has been described by previous World ARC participants as a washing machine ride;we know what they mean now! (definitely full cycle). However, this was all forgotten on the last run in to the islands. The wind dropped a little, the sea and swell reduced and we hoisted our spinnaker (gennaker) for a fantastic run and surf in close company with fellow participants Tim and Clare on Ghost, their XC45.Only after crossing our finish line offshore did we have sight of the East Holandes Islands, first we saw clusters of palm trees a few miles off, then waves breaking on the coral reef and finally we saw the masts of other yachts tucked in behind the reef. We had to steer around some reefs and islands. read more...


Flomaida II - 16./17. die Nacht der Nächte!
Flomaida II - 16./17. die Nacht der Nächte!
Hebe - Day 7 San Blas landfall
Hebe - Day 7 San Blas landfall
17/01/2014

Hebe - Day 7 San Blas landfall

09'35'40N78'40'50WFriday 17th January After a very fast passage we were the second boat into the San Blas Islands arriving by moonlight creeping into the first bay at 4am alongside Alpharatz who arrived just ahead of us. Fell into a dreamless sleep in a cool boat anchored into wind rocking gently with all the hatches open and the breeze blowing through at last. One of the downsides of downwind sailing is the wind doesn't come into the boat and the sun cooks down on it and you get terribly hot when trying to sleep. When we woke up we were in paradise, surrounded by little islands of coconut palm trees, bobbing about in calm turquoise water and the roar of the waves out on the reef.Kuna Indian children playing on the waters edge and very soon visited by Kuna's in their dug out canoe with. read more...


17/01/2014

Nexus - Nexus crossed finish of Leg 1 of World ARC 2014 Rally

NEXUS crossed the finish line at San Blas, Panama at 12:19pm St Lucia time!Nearby yachts; Nexus was 4.5 miles behind NDS Darwin, and 9 miles ahead of Festina Lente, 13 miles ahead of Celebrate.San Blas Islands are postcards of paradise! More later.... Nexus at 13:55pm. safely anchored at "Swimming Pool" in the Holendaise Cays in San Blas Islands, Panama at 09 35'N, 78 40'WRuss. read more...


17/01/2014

American Spirit II - Day 12; Almost There!; 2 Huge Current Anomolies; Thursday, January 16, 2014

For the second time during our trip a Petrel tried to land on top of our mast. Though we would like to accommodate any and all birds that want to hitch a ride with us to Panama, landing on top of the mast with our VHF antenna, TV antenna, wind direction and wind speed instruments would be a problem. It would be a costly touch down, as one or more pieces of equipment would be broken. Fortunately, this bird only tried to land twice. A few days ago, we had one make half a dozen passes at the mast top, some as close as inches, before giving up. This is probably the only good thing about a bouncy sail boat - a bird preventer.Had a little excitement today as our navigation system, a Ray Marine E-80 Chart plotter, lost its position. You get an alarm and the screen says "Position Lost." Not the. read more...


17/01/2014

Starblazer - Starblazer 17/01/2014 – What a difference a day makes.

During Thursday we had almost everything except rain!The overnight watches were not pleasant with winds in the 22-25 knot range with gusts up to 30, which is nearly gale force.We were well reefed and the winds were not a problem but the accompanying seas were evil.The seas and swell came from different directions and rolled the boat alarmingly at times.One unexpected roll threw me off the seat at the nav station, dumping me on the floor between the engine room and a cupboard.The laptop also went flying but, thankfully, still works.The winds abated and backed during the morning but the seas remained very confused.We shook the reefs out of the genoa to increase boat speed and slowly altered course, following the wind, away from our destination!By late afternoon we decided we had to change. read more...


16/01/2014

Nexus - Small Spinny back! Wind dropping, waves aren't!

After some intensive repair by the entire crew, spreading the sail, balls and lines across the cockpit and salon, our small cruising chute is back up as are our spirits! Hoossaahh! True wind at 20kts and dropping slowly, it looks like we're all going to coast into that umbrella drink at the finish tomorrow just as we run out of wind!Russon Nexus at 1/16/2014 16:3110 42'N 76 41'W. read more...


17/01/2014

Hebe - Day 6 Nearly there.

10'05'93N77'52'67WThursday 16th JanuaryLast night was AWESOME. Full moon, clear sky and the foaming seas white and luminous. The seas were the biggest and wind strongest yet and we just barrelled along at one point hitting 17.5 knots.We sat in the cockpit on our watch mesmerised by the silvery sea and following waves and then the huge wooooosh when the boat is lifted forward on the surf. I am especially happy to be describing this scene in the past tense as this evening finds Hebe 50 miles from her destination, the San Blas islands, in calmer waters, gentler breeze and the small asymmetric spinnaker flying carrying us to the end and those beers.There is an unexpected current against us caused by localised land effects which is annoyingly slowing us down as we all want to get there.There. read more...


16/01/2014

Starblazer 16/01/14 – A close shave and a rude awakening

Don’t worry, the close shave was quite benign. Soon after midnight Wednesday I felt a splash on my face and heard a slap, most likely I had company in the cockpit! I searched around but didn’t find the culprit then I heard a slapping sound from below. A flying fish had landed right beside the saloon berth where John was sleeping. I removed it and threw it back from whence it came. It could easily have hit me or, better still (let’s see if the captain edits this), in the bunk with John.We made rapid progress all night, passing our waypoint just before 0300, but we continued on the same track because to alter course meant changing the sail plan. The midnight UT fleet positions put us 15th in the fleet which left St Lucia, our best position yet. We just kept charging onwards, in the wrong. read more...


BriZo - Arrival Porvenir San Blas 10th Jan
BriZo - Arrival Porvenir San Blas 10th Jan
17/01/2014

BriZo - San Blas archipelago, Panama – Friday 10th Jan 2014

Had to slow the boatdown over the last 12 hours to ensure we arrived with good visibility into thereef strewn San Blas Islands. Anchored safely at Porvenir, which is a tiny sandstrip with coconut palms, and the Customs / Immigration clearance house, andthat’s about it -  Oh Yes, and avery short airport strip which is the length of the island.During thepassage from St Lucia our log showed 1111 nautical miles in 5 days 17 hours, soaveraging approx. 200nm per day in the first 4 days, whilst skirting the coastlines of Venezuela, Columbia and Panama. This was a surprisingly windy passagealthough renowned to be so, and so it proved to be - with 12 of the last 24hours in Gale Force 8 gusting 40 knots at times and very high, confused seas.As we were running with the wind and waves behind. read more...