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14/11/2014

Abigail - Abigail - Final Note (11/14)

Well, we finished at 0138 on the morning of November 12. When we got to the dock at around 0300 we enjoyed a rum punch (or two) provided by the Caribbean 1500 organizers.Then we all took showers before going to bed at around 0500.Because we are used to sleeping only 3 hours at a time we were all up by 0800, and enjoyed a hearty breakfast as our first meal ashore.Since then we've been busy cleaning up the boat and converting it from an offshore passagemaker to a live-aboard cruiser.Pat, Ron and Bernie flew home yesterday morning (11/13) and I have continued cleaning and repairing, which seems like it will never end.  Looking forward to seeing Pam, who should be arriving today.. read more...


14/11/2014

Aviva - Fish story

As you might infer from our earlier blog post containing haiku, we caught a mahi on Nov 12.What a beautiful fish!It measured 27 inches.It was hard to do it, but we are fish-eaters, so we processed and had a fish dinner, with two more dinners in the freezer.Gratitude to mahi!Last night we had our second "fish event."I (Dorothy) was on the 1-4 am watch, sitting in the cockpit, motoring due south at 6 knots in 5 knots of E wind, having my mid-watch biscotti (we have our deprivations at sea, but we also have our simple pleasures!), when suddenly I was hit on the left arm by ... something wet.Quickly but carefully stowing my partially-eaten biscotti for later consumption, I investigated the cockpit floor.It seems we had a hitch-hiker -- a flyingfish!This is where I am supposed to say it was 8. read more...


14/11/2014

Reberth - Nearly there!!

Hopefully by Saturday night we will be in Mindelo. The winds over the last couple of days have been reasonable and we have not had to put on the engine. Hurrah!! Yesterday Ian had to remove another batten from the main sail to stop it getting caught and hang up the sail!! This morning, whilst doing his morning constitution round the deck, Bob cleared several flying fish, a mackerel  and a squid. He also found a screw from the boom vang!!! This then entailed Ian and Bob tethering themselves to the boom to affect a repair of the vang as all the screws were loose!! It just shows daily inspection is essential.The picture shows Ian doing the Oceanwatch water collection.Our communications are now slightly limited as Globalstar has no coverage in this area and we are reliant on the Iridium. read more...


Reberth - Nearly there!!
Reberth - Nearly there!!
14/11/2014

Opportunity - Almost there!

Hi Everybody,It's Friday morning, the 12 day out, and we are within 60 miles of Tortola! It is promising to be another warm sunny day, our 12th in a row. The moon is now on the wane, but has also been a faithful presence each night, as have many many stars. We have been making rather slow progress the last 5 days, as the wind is just now starting to think about coming from a direction other than southeast - that being the direction of our destination. So we have had to tack back and forth to get upwind. It hasn't helped that we have lost use of the headsail. On Tuesday it tore from leach to luff, and to top it off, we have been unable to get it down! It is firmly attached to the furler track, and resists all efforts to pull and even winch down. Without the large headsail it is. read more...


07/11/2014

Celebrate - Calmer seas

'Its a little bumpy' has become the most commonly used understatement on the radio net over the last few nights. However after another day of high winds and bumpy seas the wind and waves have abated. At their worst the waves were reported on our weather reports by email as 4.5 metres high caused by a combination of the gale to our South and strong currents. We did not check but they were a dramatic sight. So we are now enjoying a milder current and wind pushing us towards Richards Bay and the delights of the Zululand Yacht Club. Our ETA should be after lunch tomorrow (Saturday).The 'Bring and Braai' on Monday evening sounds fun.Celebrate continues to look after us well despite the autohelm going on strike for a couple of hours yesterday. It had however just got us through the 'bumpiest'. read more...


14/11/2014

Easy Rider - Captains Log....Day 6

Yesterday was one of those perfect but easily forgetable days. The sun shone & a steady trade wind of around 15 knots pushed us serenely along, on a direct course for Mindelo.........Soy's ideal sailing weather. Her Caribbean tan is fast returning!!Our makeshift steering line is working perfectly, & as long as we keep it well adjusted should see us safely over to St.Lucia. There are a number of boats within a few miles of us & we are all working hard to extract every ounce of speed.Even whilst writing this blog we have jibed again and found another knot!!!Boys with toys!!!David. read more...


05/11/2014

Celebrate - Windy and colorful weather

Celebrate is looking after us well, last night the wind rose to over 30 knots from the East with the occasional gust of 45 knots. Our top speed surfing down a wave was 16.5 knots, not bad sailing with 3 reefs in the main and just a little jib. The only casualty has been Charlie and Cathy's DVD collection which decided to fly around the saloon when one cross wave hit. So tonight when the next low hits us we will be battening down the DVDs as well as the hatches.Today started for Cathy with a good splash of color;a beautiful orange setting moon and a pink sunrise.Sadly another lure was lost yesterday, like the day before we got a bite during supper. This time the line with a breaking strain of 250 lbs snapped. We're not sure we wanted such a large fish joining us for supper anyway!Charlie,. read more...


14/11/2014

Purrr-fect - Day 4-5. Better wind and moving again

After losing wind on day 3, we have managed to get up on the course to better wind. Flew the spinnaker for 14 hours yesterday and have been wing on wing (goose wing in British English) all of today. Seas are a little lumpy tonight with a swell that swings the stern around. With Paul as third crew aboard, things are easier - easier to change sails, easier to get sleep with less hours on watch for each of us. Have had beef, chicken, pork and tonight fish for dinners. So we are enjoying good eating and still trying to use our fresh fruits and veggies. No fish caught so far, but Dave and Paul are trying everyday. Assuming our current speed, we hope to reach the Cape Verde islands sometime on Sunday, 7 days after leaving the Canary Islands.. read more...


14/11/2014

Purrr-fect - Day Two -- where is the wind?

Monday, November 10 was a day searching for more wind. Despite predictions of strong winds, we experienced lighter winds than expected and We worked our way back east to the rhumb line of our course trying to find stronger wind. Despite light winds, we resisted the urge to turn on the engine, choosing instead to set double headsails. The heavy seas from the first day gradually subsided so the boat was more comfortable. Dave went up the mast to repair the broken stack pack line so the main will be easier to use and more tame if we reef in the future. The highlight of the evening was a sea turtle which Dave spotted close on our port side. It was swimming strongly at the surface and was about 2 feet in diameter. It was interesting that it was swimming north against the current. Any. read more...


03/11/2014

Celebrate - On passage to South Africa

We with 6 other boats left a day early from Reunion to make best use of the weather forecast. So far it has paid off as we have enjoyed good following winds, at night a full moon to guide us and some pretty phosphorescence. Listening to the radio net the boats starting as originally planned appear to have been doing lots of motoring.World ARC gave us an advisory waypoint keeping us 100 miles South of Madagascar and some less bumpy seas. We are now about 100 miles from this waypoint and are already experiencing some adverse current, stronger winds and some bumpy seas but hope we will miss the worst of it.There is some positive news on the fishing front. The lures that Brian from Folie a Deux and Tom from Alpharatz helped us with appear to be working. Most of first lure we set got eaten by. read more...


01/11/2014

Celebrate - Reunion; a delightful and special stopover.

Our week here went very quickly but there was lots to see. Surprisingly Reunion is not only a French Department but also part of the European Union. Much of the infrastructure has benefited from considerable investment from the EU. The shiny new road system dominates the lower coastal plateau but makes getting around very easy. Peter hired a car for four days and explored the interior of the island with Sandra, Tom and Frank from Sweet Pearl. We drove and climbed around 400 bends (that's what the guide says and we stopped counting!)to drop down into the green volcanic crater of Circe de Cilaos. After the rather dry savanna low lands and ascent through clouds it's like finding the lost city of Shangri-la. The place is a paradise for walkers. The Circe and town of Cilaos are surrounded by. read more...


14/11/2014

T&T - Gan Canaria / Cabo Verde (3)

Hey daar thuis,Gisteren was weerom een geweldige dag zeilen, niet al te veel wind en schiftend, dus we moesten geregeld onze koers aanpassen om optimaal van de wind te kunnen profiteren .'s Morgens de spinakker opgetrokken die we dan bijna direct terug hebben neergelaten omdat er een scheurtje inzat. Dat is dan in de loop van de dag geplakt en gestreken ( nu vond Dirk het ineens niet meer zo onnozel dat ik een strijkijzer heb willen meenemen) en we hebben die gisterenavond terug opgetrokken en heel de nacht onder uitgeboomde  spinakker gevaren.Dat is echt tof, je hoort alleen de wind in de zeilen, de maan geeft geweldig veel licht en weerkaats in het water . Romantisch zelfs !!!   De sfeer aan boord is nog steeds top, Onze jongste crew Nico, 27 jaar en sedert vorige week. read more...


14/11/2014

Makena - Nov 14 - watching dolphins fish for flying fish with our nav lights

This morning’s sunset is one of those beautiful wispy delicate paintings changing colors slowly before our eyes. For fun we chatted with 2 boats nearby - Lydia at first and then Alia Vita who hailed us though we could not see each other on AIS. It is nice to exchange fishing stories and other small news. My favorite event since my last log was watching dolphins fish for flying fish in the green light cast by our port side light after dark (when there is no moon). They dart and change direction at such speed it is mesmerizing to watch. A flying fish went right past my foot as I watched but made it back into the ocean with a few wiggles. 3 others were not so lucky as evidenced by their stiff presence on our foredeck this morning. During the day time we are seeing many, many flying fish. read more...


Flomaida II - Der Zollhund in Schühchen auf der Suche nach verbotenen Lebensmitteln, hier getrocknete Chilis
Flomaida II - Der Zollhund in Schühchen auf der Suche nach verbotenen Lebensmitteln, hier getrocknete Chilis
Flomaida II - Glücklich festgemacht am Q Dock in Opua/NZ
Flomaida II - Glücklich festgemacht am Q Dock in Opua/NZ
Flomaida II - Reparatur unter Salzwasserdusche
Flomaida II - Reparatur unter Salzwasserdusche
Flomaida II - Alles aufgegessen, auch wenn uns schlecht wird, damit Bio Security es nicht konfisziert
Flomaida II - Alles aufgegessen, auch wenn uns schlecht wird, damit Bio Security es nicht konfisziert
Flomaida II - Angekommen!! NZ will erkämpft sein!
Flomaida II - Angekommen!! NZ will erkämpft sein!
Flomaida II - Christoph checked die Segeltrimmung
Flomaida II - Christoph checked die Segeltrimmung
Flomaida II - Das Riff immer schön im Auge behalten!
Flomaida II - Das Riff immer schön im Auge behalten!
Flomaida II - Oh, wie schön ist Nouméa
Flomaida II - Oh, wie schön ist Nouméa
Flomaida II - Genuss pur, aber leider nicht selbst gefangen
Flomaida II - Genuss pur, aber leider nicht selbst gefangen
Flomaida II - Mmmmh, Erdbeeren auf dem Markt in Nouméa
Flomaida II - Mmmmh, Erdbeeren auf dem Markt in Nouméa
Flomaida II - Die tapferen Segler vor der Abfahrt nach Opua/NZ
Flomaida II - Die tapferen Segler vor der Abfahrt nach Opua/NZ
13/11/2014

Exody - Day 5 - November 13th - In the Groove

A quiet day with up to 17 knot winds almost directly behind us - always a challenge and one we'll need to get used to for the rest of the ARC and beyond!Exody continues to be relatively happy with her genny out unpoled and making 5+ knots with the old Aries (at least 15 years more senior than the boat) doing a grand job keeping us on course relative to the wind. But maybe we need more sail up for increased boat speed - we have twin paired jibs and associated poles on board to try but somehow have not got around to setting things up!Its certainly a great relief to have the main tidily packed away and not to be worrying about unintentional gybes as we bowl along.We sailed all day only running the engine twice to ensure the fridge had enough volts - first time we discovered that running the. read more...


13/11/2014

Lydia - Day 5 - Groovy and Green

Another lovely day and Lydia has gone green. Not only are we assiduously sorting our gash (rubbish to the non naval types) and the non ditchable plastic is gathering in bags on the pushpit but we are heavily into peas. A large bag of well travelled Waitrose frozen peas was transferred to the fridge in Las Palmas so its been peas with every meal, except breakfast, today ...... and probably tomorrow too.With the latest positions in from a recent Yellow Brick report from the skipper's rear link (aka Nicola) generating a degree of'cautious optimism' verging on an air confident smugness that we are very much up with the leaders in our class, Lydia continues to crack on. Though there were some classic mare's tails clouds in the sky this afternoon indicating more wind to come, the weather. read more...


13/11/2014

Hugur - downwind sailing Day 5

Day 5 Thursday 13th November .Bright morning beautiful sunrise. Yesterday evening on my watch I saw at 21.30 a blinking yellow light 5sek apart on our starboard side maybe 3miles away, We think it must have been a  buoy of some sort. This morning 3 flying fish on the deck , and a dead whale floated by with lots of seabirds on him less than half a mile away on our starboard. Other sightings Blue plastic barrel floating by. Lots of flying fish in flocks flying low over the water like their being chased.We rigged the boom for the Genaker and have sailed Gooswing all day and still the Catamaran Lir we saw in the morning on our port has now disappeared on the horizon in front of us.We have 247  miles to go at 1700hrs today, so we probably will not arrive until Saturday morning. read more...


13/11/2014

Starblazer - 12/11/2014 - The final 24 hours.

We started the night with the wind behind, mainly in the 20-25 knot range but I had a sustained gust of 35 just before midnight.We were sailing fast, averaging about 7.5 knots, occasionally getting up to 8 knots without any help from the tide.Just after I did the 0000hrs logbook entry I went up on deck and within 15 minutes the wind suddenly backed 90 degrees, the jib gybed and the mainsail tried to but the gybe preventer did its job.Involuntary gybes can do a lot of damage, even pulling the rig down in some cases.I yelled for John while struggling to get the autopilot to turn us with the help of the engine.It took about 45 minutes to sort out the sails, the heading, the other gybe preventer etc.In daylight it would have been much quicker, we could have seen what we were doing.John would. read more...


13/11/2014

Winedown - Nanny Cay

Friday, November 13,We are all tied up and custom cleared in Nanny Cay! Yesterday we crossed over the line at 11/45/46.Currently we are standing in 3rd. place.  The marina is very nice, clear sky, swaying palms, Caribbean cool vibe, exactly what you would imagine. We are definitely on island time. The pace is much slower here. For those of you following along. We now have internet so feel free to email, text, facebook us.We are connected! Its happy hour now so gotta go,Debbie. read more...


13/11/2014

Winedown - Land!

Monday, Day 10After 9 nights on the boat, we woke to the sight of land on the distant horizon. Our last moon rise, sunset, and sunrise of the 1500. Tim entertained himself the night before with shadow hand puppetry by the light of the moon.  When he confessed this too me, I decided it was blog worthy. Just a little insight as to how some of us amuse ourselves on a three hour night shift. We enjoyed our last catch of Mahi Mahi for dinner last night, thanks to Dave for cooking us up a very satisfying and tasty last meal. Dave had what we thought was a very large Tuna on the line yesterday but sadly as we were luffing into the wind to slow the boat down the wind caught us at the top of a wave and jibed the jib just as Dave had the Tuna at the rear of the boat. . read more...


13/11/2014

American Spirit II - Day 312; Safari Day; Thursday, November 13, 2014

Woke up at 3:00 AM; and got out of bed at 4:00 AM. Coffee and then finished one log and typed a second one.Got Joel and Jeremy up at 5:30 AM as today is 'safari day.' Breakfast consisted of left over steak from a previous dinner; eggs; banana; and bread. Jeremy had a new culinary idea: bread with cut banana slices, butter and jelly. Sounds pretty good. I believe I'll try it tomorrow. We departed in two small buses with a capacity of 22 passengers each at around 7:00 AM; and arrived at Hluhluwe iMfolozi park at 8:20 AM. Joel from Rally control was riding in the other bus. I found out later that this was his first safari. The first thing we saw was a large bull elephant with two giant ivory tusks. Nice start! And this is before we enter thru the 'official' park gates. By 8:40 AM we're in a. read more...


08/11/2014

Winedown - Halfway to Tortola

600 miles from Florida, 600 Miles from Bermuda, 600 miles from Tortola, they didn’t want to tell me that we are in fact in the Burmuda triangle.  We’ve had 10.5 gremlins that have caught a ride on our boat, many of them have been solved, but who knows what the Burmuda triangle will stir up for us. Last night we saw some rain, gusts of winda bit of lightening, and a moon rainbow this morning. Our captain left the front hatchesopen and drenched our V berth, with me in it. The thing with salt water is that nothing ever really fully dries after getting wet.  So far we have caught three Mahi Mahi and Dave is cooking the last catch up for dinner! It smells good and relieves me from kitchen duty tonight. Dale and I are learning just how much we don’t know under the skilled. read more...


13/11/2014

Second Wind - Tortola in our sights!

All the hard slog to get to longitude 65W yesterday has paid off at last, and we are finally able to point the boat at Tortola, instead of the Dominican Republic! The forecast came good, and the winds are from the east. Sadly, there isn't much of it, so we have decided to sail when the wind is above 6 knots, and motor when it is not, until we get to the stage where we need to keep the last gallons for navigating round Tortola into the marina at Nanny Cay, hopefully in time for the party on Saturday night.The rules for the Cruising Division Race allow for 30% of total time to be spent under motor, so we are well within that limit (and will have run out of diesel long before), but now the deadline to qualify as a finisher is 12:00 AST Saturday. Will we make it?-----At 11/5/2014 3:13 PM. read more...


13/11/2014

Windswept - The final DAY

Our Final day at seaAfter 10 days at sea our TTG reads only Hours and Minutes.Some of the crew are really ready to touch shore.Our fuel should make it in.We ran our port tank out this morning and then hand pumped the last 2 inches over to the starboard tank.Now we have 7 inches in it.How long that last will depends on who you ask.I say we can sell fuel when we get to the dock someone else is convinced we will be out any time now and never get in.Very few napping today everyone is keeping busy, Fishing, calculating fuel consumption, navigating shorter routes and just looking and watching the DTW to go down.That is like watching for a pot to boil.It is beautiful day sunny, a 8-10 knot east wind and only gentle swells.We could Sail at 3-4 knots but we are motor sailing at 6-7 instead, while. read more...


13/11/2014

Aelfgifu - 13th Nov 2014. las Palmas

This morning was spent swimming in a local pool, building our fitness up before departure. This afternoon we attended several ARC seminars.Posted by Swiss TonyIMG_9866. read more...


Aelfgifu - 13th Nov 2014. las Palmas
Aelfgifu - 13th Nov 2014. las Palmas
13/11/2014

DreamCatcher -Thursday 13th Nov

Hi. Another good 24hrs. David landed our first fish - mahimahi, apparently. Not so big, but made a great fish starter for Maggie's supper casserole. Thisfeat, plus the expert way he handled the whole gutting, filleting and pan-frying the unfortunate creature, won David a sat phone call home. We've had a couple more 'bites' that got away, today.The sailing has been sublime, with Pandora up all night again. However, chafe is a real problem.I noticed the sound of a small bird chirping the first night. This went away to be replaced by an occasional graunching sound which became steadily louder and more frequent over the hours.As part of our routines, we dropped Pandora this morning to investigate, and discovered it chafed through the outer braid (chirpy, chirpy) and into the solid dyneema. read more...


Velella - finally found the nice trade winds
Velella - finally found the nice trade winds
13/11/2014

Red Devil 3 - 141113 Energía renovable

No es un motor fueraborda. Se trata del hidrogenerador que ya está instalado a bordo. El hidrogenerador nos permitirá abastecer las necesidades de energía eléctrica abordo (comunicaciones, instrumentos de navegación, piloto automático, iluminación, frigo, bombas, etc.) sin tener que recurrir al motor para cargar baterías constantemente. IMG-20141113-WA0001. read more...


Red Devil 3 - 141113 Energía renovable
Red Devil 3 - 141113 Energía renovable
13/11/2014

Red Devil 3 - 141105 Con la carena limpia listo para deslizarse

El Red Devil 3 ya está en el agua con la obra viva limpia y reluciente listo para deslizarse por las aguas del atlántico. La foto recoge el momento de echarlo al agua en el puerto de Las Palmas después del trabajo realizado en el varadero.IMG-20141105-WA0001. read more...


Red Devil 3 - 141105 Con la carena limpia listo para deslizarse
Red Devil 3 - 141105 Con la carena limpia listo para deslizarse
13/11/2014

Aviva - 24 hours at sea in 4 haiku

Pepper on lemonBig saucer eyes watching usGratitude, mahi.Dark clouds, wind buildingWhite line of rain -- we think -- squall!Brief shower then goneBig dipper abaftAviva gently rockingKnitting by moonlightStars fade and are goneEastern glow, clouds turning pinkRolling seas revealed. read more...


13/11/2014

Easy Rider - Day 5 - Flying Fish and Flying Cats

A day of firsts! First day with no breakages. First freshly caught Mahi Mahi fish for dinner.First 12 hour run of 90nm. First flying fish sightedKeeping it simple here, flying along the rhum line (the most direct line to the finish) with a good old fashioned goose wing sail plan, other boats are sailing hot angles but we are just taking the direct route dead downwind with a nice following sea and steadily making ground up the fleet. All's well on board and looking forward to arrival in Cape Verde on Saturday.. read more...


13/11/2014

Lily - Sea Legs Arrived

As one can imagine, the first few days at sea are kind of tough for body and mind. After so many days in the marina with so many parties and other serious activities to be attended, the body and mind were no longer used to life at sea. So it is with great pleasure to announce that aboard SY LILY all are now fully used to living at sea again. Boris, the boat cat, is again trying to chase the waves and brings the occasional flying fish found on deck during the night (it seems that flying fish have a problem with night vision as it seems they only land on deck during the night).Ineke and I have now adjusted to basically not seeing each other too much but for happy hour, breakfast and change of watch (with the standard ritual that the one going off is really happy but sleepy and the one. read more...


13/11/2014

Helen - Start day - 10

It is a beautiful sunny day at sea and we are making excellent progress with the aim of getting into Las Palmas by sundown. There were no events overnight and everyone has found their sea legs.I am still amazed as to how much space there is out here, we have only seen two ships in three days and they were over 10 miles away. Last night I was star gazing using the " Sky Guide" app on the iPad. It is a fantastic use of modern technology and should be great fun on the ARC.. read more...


13/11/2014

T&T - Gran Canaria / Cabo Verde

Vermits T&T (dochters) vinden dat T&T ( boot) onvoldoende nieuws laat en de skipper van T&T niet zo een schrijverke is stel ik opnieuw mijn evenwichtsorgaan op de proef om te laten weten dat het hier op te oceaan fijn vertoeven is. Gisteren was een prachtige dag, heerlijk zonnetje, vriendelijke zee, wel wat deining maar we zijn ondertussen gewoon uit een bakje te eten en ons glas tussen de billen geklemd te houden.Vissen lukt nog steeds niet en dat zal ook voorlopig niet meer gaan want de draad is fors ingekort wegens steeds in de war en reikt nog nauwelijks tot het water.Toch nog een vis aan boord met name een vliegende ( waar halen vissen het trouwens vandaan te willen vliegen) die deze nacht zich gezellig tussen ons in kwam nestelen via het openstaand luik.Nu gaan we de. read more...


12/11/2014

Purrr-fect - Day 4 - finally some wind

We fell into a hole two days ago and finally fought our way out late today. Raised the spinnaker at 11 am and we are still flying it as I write this at 10 pm. Normally we douse such a sail at night but we "voted" to leave it up for speed based on weather forecasts of moderate winds. We will see what winds come tonight. No fish yet. Still eating tons of fresh fruits and vets. I discovered that my zucchini order turned out to be cucumbers. Sigh!A few showers last night but sunny and warm all day today. Looks we are getting warmer as we head south. read more...


13/11/2014

American Spirit II - Day 311; Great Repair Day, Lousy Laundry Day, a Sober Skippers Meeting & and Prize Giving Dinner; Wednesday, November 12, 2014y

Jeremy is up at 8:00 AM, followed by Joel and me at 9:30 AM. I guess we slept in. Trevor from Nels Marine shows up mid morning, and after installing a new mother board in the Ray Marine E-80 Chart Plotter, we now have depth and navigation readings once more. This is a HUGE fix! And will make our hazardous journey down the coast of the Republic of South Africa much safer. The cost of the part and labor to fix the unit is $1,500. Expensive. I tell Trevor that I was thinking of upgrading the E-80 to a newer system if he couldn't fix it. He said that if I did so I'd have to get a new radar system, also; because my 'old' (6 years old) systems on the boat are analog, and the news ones are digital. Upgrading everything to digital would probably cost me $10,000. We pick up our laundry late. read more...



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