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14/08/2015

Firefly - Magnetic Island to Cairns and onwards north in the wake of Captain Cook

Its Friday 14th August and we are bound for Cooktown with an ETA of about 1630. With a limited signal from our Aussie mobile we have just called Thomas and reserved a berth on his pontoon. This was recommended in the notes we received from our World ARC 2014 friends, Manfred and Annelise on Tulasi (who are already in Darwin) as anchoring room is apparently very limited in the harbour. We left Cairns yesterday having been moored at the Marlin Marina for 3 nights.A couple or days previously our one night stop at Magnetic Island included a dinghy trip ashore to visit to Koala Bear wildlife centre. The morning was spent on a wildlife park bush walk with a guide and as well the highlight, Susie cuddling a Koala Bear, we also got to meet various lizards, snakes and birds close up. The 160 mile. read more...


Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
07/12/2014

Take Off - Our first squall

Although the full moon lit our way so gently last night was quite unsmoothdue to wind changes all the time. We suspected several squalls so the spinnakerwent up and down all night in prevention. However we seemed everytime to “miss”them. This morning was a grey morning, no sunrise from the sea and heavy cloudsahead of us. However the heavy clouds were all along the horizon so we thoughtit was just normal rain. We sailed through it, got a bit wet, the wind wassteady and we thought this was smooth. The wind started to blow stronger and wasup to 30 knots when it then dropped gently down to 17 knots. And from nowhere astrong wind hit the boat, Jörgen stearing had difficulties in answering the windand the broach was inevitable. And then came the real rain – just like pouringhundreds of. read more...


Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
Shenanigan - Final Leg
13/08/2015

Shenanigan - Final Leg

We can’t believe that we are on the last leg of our ARC Baltic Rally. Looking back over our photos we are amazed at all the places we have been to and all the wonderful sights we have seen and visited along the way since leaving Rostock nearly six weeks ago. The whole trip perfectly managed by Joel from World Cruising Club ably assisted by Cecilie. Always in their yellow shirts with smiles on their faces, always with time for everyone, always waiting on the dock to take lines whatever the weather. From skippers’ briefings to coach trips and dock parties – they both are a credit and super example of what we have come to know as the service of World Cruising Club ARCs.We had intended getting a few more miles under our belt after leaving Saltsjabarden but after a radio call from Pene. read more...


Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobaden
Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobaden
Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobaden
Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobaden
Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobaden
Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobaden
12/08/2015

Shenanigan - Mariehamn to Saltsjobadens

We left Mariehamn in glorious sunshine. Boats ahead of us on the radio were talking of poor visibility and exchanging very clear references on radar readings. Sure enough around lunchtime we found ourselves in the same dense sea fog and understood the radar conversations of earlier. Not a good day for sightseeing or photos. Visibility was down to about 40 metres and in fact a passenger ferry we spotted on AIS was completely invisible through the fog. Other yachts did however eerily appear out of the mist – some, given the conditions, a little irresponsibly under full sail. The fog cleared in the afternoon and we shared an anchorage for the night with Blonde Moment, Oojah and Shamwari; spending a very hospitable and enjoyable evening with everyone on board the rather lovely yacht. read more...


Northern Light - Northern light being overtaken by Migration
Northern Light - Northern light being overtaken by Migration
13/08/2015

Luna Quest - Thursday, 13.8.15

Noon Position:16.45S 145.46EDaily run: NACairns marked our first stopover without work being carried out to the boat. Instead, we took a cable car into the mountains to visit Kuranda village, taking an old fashioned diesel train back in the afternoon. As the weather was very clear, the views were breathtaking going up and breathtaking coming back. The track, constructed by the Brits in the 1920s is narrow gauge skirting deep gorges and passing waterfalls. The carriages from the 1930s are maintained to the highest standard including the service we enjoyed in first class. Today the trade winds are back with a vengeance giving us strong breezes from the South and Southeast. We set sail at 10.30 today and instead of using the Hydrovane, we are testing our new Autopilot in 25 knots of winds.. read more...


12/08/2015

Starblazer - 11/08/2015 - A delightful week in the Whitsundays

We left Mackay last Tuesday at midday so it was fitting that we left Hook Island on our way to Cairns at midday today.It is a truly stunning cruising ground and a week went very quickly; we only visited a few of the islands and none of the outer reef system.Our first anchorage was on Brampton Island, almost joined to Carlisle Island, north of Keswick and St Bees, west of Cockermouth and Wigton islands.It should come as no surprise that these islands are part of the Cumberland Group!Brampton used to have a resort but it closed a couple of years ago and there was nobody in evidence though we didn't go ashore.Just north of Brampton is the James Smith group, comprising Goldsmith, Anchorsmith, Tinsmith, Locksmith and Ladysmith, not forgetting Bellows, Anvil, Bullion and the 2 Ingot. read more...


11/08/2015

Luna Quest - Tuesday, 11th August, 2015

Noon Position: 17.28S 146.14EDaily logged run: 297 since Sunday noonApologies for omitting the noon position and logged run yesterday.During my watch last night in the early hours of the morning on a dead flat sea with not a puff of air rippling the water, I watched the gyrations of a fishing boat fine on our port side. I thought about waking Julia to watch the spectacle, but as she had been on watch till 0100am, I left her asleep. We were motoring in the shipping channel (so marked on the chart in the Great Barrier Reef marine park) with very little commercial shipping, making about 5.5 knots towards Cairns, where we shall stop for fuel and provisioning before heading out for Darwin some 1200 miles from Cairns. The fishing boat was strongly lit with a cable extending very tautly at 45. read more...


10/08/2015

Luna Quest - Monday, August 10th, 2015

Noon Position:Daily Run:The wind has been severely lacking since our departure from Mackay forcing us to motor most of the time. We had anticipated very light winds and bought two extra fuel jerry cans for carrying on deck. We now have 6 x 20 ltrs of extra fuel in jerry cans on deck, which should allow us to motor all the way to Cairns or Port Douglas, some 35 miles north of Cairns. At our current speed and from our current position we should arrive tomorrow evening in the day light at Cairns. The weather has been stunningly bright with clear skies during the day and a little cloud cover in the night. The moon, unfortunately, is in its last quarter and does not put in an appearance until the early morning hours. Without it, the night is pitch black save for the star-bespangled firmament. read more...


Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn
09/08/2015

Shenanigan - Helsinki to Mariehamn

Jane and Phill joined us on board for supper on our last night in Helsinki (Sat 1st Aug) bringing ‘squeaky teeth’ bread cheese and cloud berry jam for pudding – a traditional Finnish dish with an unusual texture which made our teeth squeak as we bit into it. This was an odd sensation but rather moreish.The fleet left Helsinki after a parade of sail around the harbour and we all headed off back into the Finnish archipelago en route to Mariehamn.  We stopped briefly to refuel and Brian brought us all yummy warm doughnuts with cardamom seeds in for breakfast.After some super sailing, we motored into an anchorage for the night at a place called Barosund.  I had forgotten to take anything out of the freezer for supper but managed to defrost some sausages in the warm engine. read more...


09/08/2015

Northern Light - Northern Light - St Petersburg to Helsinki!

28th July - Having set off from St Petersburg , via Kronstadt Island for customs clearance, and having said goodbye to the immensely helpful Vladimir ('Vlad the Enabler’), we headed West for the first time towards Finland. We arrived at Haapasari, the nearest Finnish Island at just after midnight,after an interesting night passage through some narrow and shallow channels, with the aim of clearing customs there. Guyan and Ali from Widago came aboard for a nightcap of Benedictine liqueur, and it was only after the final drop has been consumed that we remembered the ‘zero tolerance’ exercised by the Fins to alcohol, and that they quite often breatherlized yachties. Indeed we soon discovered that two skippers had been done that evening, with only the Honk Kong flag showing a minor. read more...


09/08/2015

Luna Quest - Sunday, 9th August, 2015

Noon Position: 20.37S 149.01EDaily Run: 34 miles since this morning Finally, after many days of work being carried out on the boat, we set sail today at 06.15am for Darwin from where the rally continues to Gili Gede, close to Lembar Harbour in Lombok. The distance to Darwin is about 1500 miles and we are therefore likely to stop on the way for fuel. We have in mind Cairns or Port Douglas, some 300 miles up the East coast of Australia from Mackay.Having sailed across the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Pacific, we have not had much chance to have quality maintenance work carried out by competent workmen. It has been a constant fight to keep things working, especially the electrical side of the equipment as it is so vulnerable to corrosion. We were hauled out in Mackay on Monday 27th July. read more...


09/08/2015

Starblazer - 2/08/2015 Mackay and Sydney

Usual excuse, life got in the way of the promised log!We tied up on the quarantine berth in Mackay at about 0730 local time on Thursday 23rd and were surprised to find officials already at work.Customs were first, the labrador found no evidence of drugs or money (no surprise there) but I did admit to a pepper spray which had to be bagged and sealed and concealed in the safe, together with the controlled medicines which John had left off our pre-arrival notification form.As soon as they left we ate our last sausages which the dog had ignored.We were warned that it liked sausages, no surprise there either given that a labrador is often described as a stomach on legs.Bio-security arrived and I gave them a bag containing 2 onions, some garlic, the lime from the fridge, a small quantity of. read more...


Northern Light - SS Sally!
Northern Light - SS Sally!
Northern Light - Hellsinki
Northern Light - Hellsinki
Northern Light - George goes ahead to buy the beers!
Northern Light - George goes ahead to buy the beers!
Northern Light - Kronstadt - Can we go please?
Northern Light - Kronstadt - Can we go please?
Northern Light - Northern Light by moonlight!
Northern Light - Northern Light by moonlight!
Northern Light - Julia takes charge!
Northern Light - Julia takes charge!
Northern Light - The Russian Navy welcomes the Baltic Arc Fleet
Northern Light - The Russian Navy welcomes the Baltic Arc Fleet
Widago - Sunset at KSSS
Widago - Sunset at KSSS
Widago - Sunrise en route to Stockholm
Widago - Sunrise en route to Stockholm
07/08/2015

Firefly - Champagne sailing and breaching humpbacks

Its Friday 7th August and Firefly is approaching Magnetic Island. We spent last night anchored behind the spit at Cape Bowling Green and at about 0600 the wind started blowing from the south and Firefly's rocking woke us up. With no lie in possible this morning we hauled up the anchor and have been on a very fast reach with a favourable tide, covering the 35 miles to Horseshoe Bay in 4 hours.Our time in the Whitsundays was very enjoyable, spent in company with Pat and Stuart from Brizo - the weather improving every day we were there. We spent most of our time on the west and north of Hook Island and particularly enjoyed anchoring off Langford and One Foot Island where we had a memorable walk and sundowner on the beach at sunset, witnessing a 'green flash'. Lunch at the exclusive 'One and. read more...


Lyonesse - Parade of Sail in Helsinki
Lyonesse - Parade of Sail in Helsinki
06/08/2015

Lyonesse - St. Petersburg to Helsinki

Donnerstag, 6. August 2015 St. Petersburg war beeindruckend…und sehr anstrengend…tolle Architektur, Paläste und Kathedralen und eine sehr lebhafte Großstadt, aber auch x Nächte mit megalauter Party-Mucke in der Marina, anstrengende Taxi-Logistik aus und in die Stadt und eher mittelschöne Facilities im Hafen. Quintessenz: toll, das einmal mit dem Boot gemacht zu haben, wir wollen auf jeden Fall nochmal hin, dann aber eher mit Flieger und Hotel ;-) Dementsprechend war es auch gut, am Montag wieder aufzubrechen in Richtung Finnland. Zuerst hieß es Volltanken zum absolut unschlagbaren russischen Dieselpreis und nochmal Spass mit dem Russischen Zoll, der auch beim Auschecken nochmal in viele Schränke und Verschläge an Bord schauen wollte…immerhin nicht mehr in alle und ohne Drogenhund wie. read more...


Lyonesse - Night in Russian Waters
Lyonesse - Night in Russian Waters
Widago - Running in Mariehamm
Widago - Running in Mariehamm
Widago - Running in Mariehamm
Widago - Running in Mariehamm

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