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14/08/2014

Jumbuck - ARC Baltic - Leg 10 Kalmar Sweden to Mon Denmark

I'm guessing it was the Nordic Gods either giving us a farewell display or warning us not to come back, but this time they all came out to show off. This last leg of the Baltic Rally was a leg that will be hard to forget.We had all ummed and ahhed Tuesday on Kamlars jetties, everyone asking everyone else what their route plans might be, as it was pretty obvious from all forecasts that along the way, we were going to have to deal with some heavy weather. It was simply each skippers choice of when and where.The rally team had allocated three days to make this 180 mile passage, but with even heavier weather due to arrive by the weekend, our decision was to complete the leg in one hop, as we wanted to be well tucked up in Mons before the really bad stuff arrived. So first question was, when. read more...


Till - Stockholm - At the harbour office of KSSS
Till - Stockholm - At the harbour office of KSSS
Till - Stockholm - Nobel Museum
Till - Stockholm - Nobel Museum
Till - Stockholm - The old town with Storkyrkan
Till - Stockholm - The old town with Storkyrkan
11/08/2014

Aislig Bheag - 26th July – 4th August: La Palma

At 8am on Saturday the 26th we headed into the port of Santa Cruz in the Canary island of La Palma.  The marina seemed to be well organizes and fairly quiet. We tied up at the pontoon and after completing the formalities, headedoff in search of a cooked breakfast.  We arranged a hired car for the following day to allow Tony time to explore the island with us before he had to head home on the Monday.  After a refreshing beer at the marina, we enjoyed a welcome shower and headed intotown for dinner in a lovely wee restaurant.  The following morning after a great night’s sleep we headed out to explore in the hired car with John driving and acting as tour guide as he had previously visited the island.  It offers a very diverse landscapewith rich, green vegetation to. read more...


11/08/2014

Aislig Bheag - 24th to 26th July, Madeira to La Palma

On the morning of Thursday 24th July we checked the forecast which looked good for our sail south to the Canaries.We changed sails from the genny to the new twin headsails as it looked like a following wind. As we didn't want to arrive in La Palma in the middle of the night, we waited until just after 11am before heading off.We started with the main and twin head sails and made good progress for first few hours before the wind died and we folded away the head sails and continued under engine and flapping main for the next few hours.We commenced a three hour watch system from 12 mid day. By mid afternoon we were back under sail with 2 head sails and main which was later taken down as the wind increased. By the following morning the wind had gone to the North East and we were on a broad. read more...


Aislig Bheag - La Palma Night Sky
Aislig Bheag - La Palma Night Sky
Aislig Bheag - La Palma lifebelt
Aislig Bheag - La Palma lifebelt
Aislig Bheag - John relaxing La Palma
Aislig Bheag - John relaxing La Palma
Aislig Bheag - Cliff restaurant
Aislig Bheag - Cliff restaurant
Aislig Bheag - Above the clouds La Palma
Aislig Bheag - Above the clouds La Palma
American Spirit II - view from the Skyrail Cableway
American Spirit II - view from the Skyrail Cableway
American Spirit II - View from the Skyrail cableway
American Spirit II - View from the Skyrail cableway
American Spirit II - A view from the gondola
American Spirit II - A view from the gondola
American Spirit II - Djabungay Tour, Rain forest floor
American Spirit II - Djabungay Tour, Rain forest floor
American Spirit II - Djabunga Forest tour, Do you see a boomerang here?
American Spirit II - Djabunga Forest tour, Do you see a boomerang here?
American Spirit II - Djabugay Forest tour by Arron an Aborigine
American Spirit II - Djabugay Forest tour by Arron an Aborigine
American Spirit II - Barron Falls view from the Scenic Railway Barron Falls Station
American Spirit II - Barron Falls view from the Scenic Railway Barron Falls Station
American Spirit II - A picture of the Scenic Railway
American Spirit II - A picture of the Scenic Railway
American Spirit II - Scenic Railway to Kuranda, Stoney Creek Falls
American Spirit II - Scenic Railway to Kuranda, Stoney Creek Falls
American Spirit II - We had a plethora of tankers on the way to Cairns
American Spirit II - We had a plethora of tankers on the way to Cairns
American Spirit II - Whitehaven Beach, You put one teabag in the water and everyone wants a free lunch!
American Spirit II - Whitehaven Beach, You put one teabag in the water and everyone wants a free lunch!
American Spirit II - Whitehaven Beach, does anyone have lifejacket?
American Spirit II - Whitehaven Beach, does anyone have lifejacket?
10/08/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Longbow in the Baltic; Helsinki .

Longbow in the Baltic; Helsinki .Arriving at the very central Nylandska Jaktklubben with its wonderful view across the harbour to the city was a delight. The clubhouse and its marina occupy the small island of Blekholmen with a dedicated ferry service to the city. We had one of our more difficult instances of getting Longbow stern to on a corner of the pontoon, but were then grateful that Clupea moored next to us and allowed us to board using their stern deck. The skyline is dominated by the beautiful Helsinki Cathedral which Ted and I enjoyed visiting on Thursday.We were pleased to welcome Hilary, Ted's cousin and her husband Rusty in time for the dinner in the historic clubhouse of the NJK. A beautifully Scandiavian wood clad building in muted white and green, it made us think of the. read more...


08/08/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Longbow in the Baltic; St Petersburg to Helsinki.

Longbow in the Baltic; St Petersburg to Helsinki.Motoring out of St Petersburg on Sunday morning proved much quieter than our busy entrance and we enjoyed catching a glimpse of the Summer Palace at Peterhof. Clearing customs at Kronstadt went smoothly as did the long trail out to the "rotary" from which one was permitted to branch off in a north westerly direction towards Finnish waters. It wasn't too long before we swopped the Russian courtesy flag for the Finnish flag, not without a little relief.It was 2315 when we tied up at the Customs quay on the quiet island of Haapasari. There the Border guards " welcomed us back to Europe ". The skipper was breathalysed! After clearance we had to creep into the anchorage aided by a powerful torch - we were glad of a dram and our beds after 92. read more...


10/08/2014

Flomaida II - 09.08.- seit 3 Tagen 30 Knoten Wind und mehr in Böen!

Gut, dass wir in der Bucht von Aneityum sehr geschützt liegen. Den Wind mitüber 30 kn bekommen wir zwar voll mit, aber das Gefährliche ist ja die Welle,die den Anker aushebeln könnte. Am ersten Tag sind wir noch mutig mit Flomiunserem Dinghy) an Land gefahren, wurden allerdings pitschenaß! Wir musstenunbedingt Geld wechseln - in Fiji gab es keine Vanutas, und auf den nächstenInseln gibt es keine Möglichkeit mehr bis zur Hauptinsel Efate ca 180 Meilen.Allerdings kann man hier auch kaum Geld ausgeben. Es erinnert michhier sehr an die Marquesas. Die Menschen sind unglaublich freundlich undfröhlich, sie machen einen sehr zufriedenen Eindruck, winken uns strahlend zuund freuen sich über ein kleines Schwätzchen. Englisch ist für uns ganz gutzu verstehen, es ist Piginenglish - ein Mix zwischen. read more...


10/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 217; The Kuranda Scenic Train Ride and Skyrail Trip Thru a Rainforest; Sunday, August 10, 2014

Up at 6:20 AM as we have a train to catch at 8:30 AM.Coffee and tea, followed by breakfast: scrambled eggs, cut up potato and raisin bread. We departed the boat at 7:35 AM for a 3/4 mile walk to the railway station, to board an old fashioned train called the Kuranda Train, to Barron Gorge National Park about 30 minutes away by car, but much longer by on old fashioned train thru the mountains. The train itself had rows of upholstered seats where each alternating row faced each other, so that each 'seating compartment' could seat 8 people. We were lucky in that it was only the 3 of us in our section of 8 seats. Every other set of 8 seats had more people in it. And we were the only non-Chinese people in our car, car #12, the last car in the train. As the train pulled out of the station,. read more...


10/08/2014

Free & BrEasy - Shivering Down Under

Sat in a bar on Hamilton Island being entertained by a talented solo rock guitarist, we marvelled at the different experiences we are having on this circumnavigation. Many cruisers spend years exploring and enjoying the delights of each South Pacific destination. In contrast, we have sailed from port to port, sampling the delights of each place like vintage wines, making notes should we return in the future. From volcanoes to coral reefs, isolated atolls to nightclubs, we are dipping our toes in the circumnavigation waters. Mind you with the Oz Crocs now more common as we head north up the Queensland coast inside the Great Barrier Reef, there will be no more dipping any parts of our anatomy in the waters!Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsunday Islands about 50 miles north east of. read more...


10/08/2014

Santa Maria - Mariehamn - Stockholm - Swedish Archipelago

This part of the journey we've had another major crew change Carla, Bernd and Jürgen joined the crew, while Imke, Jürgen, Bernhard and Martin left us. I keep saying, as we keep on wearing out crew members,  it's good that we get new motivated members carrying on the slave work full of enthusiasm. Leaving Åland was made pleasant, we got a fair amount of wind and the newcomers got their appetizer.  The majority, helped by the big fraction of don't-care'rs, wanted to get to Stockholm directly to get one day more in another big city. Thus we set out on the route used by the big ferryboats.As  soon as we got to the Swedish archipelago we kept on changing navigational directives, thus we ended up doing the inner route, and in stead of following the ones that wanted to stay. read more...


09/08/2014

Celebrate - Sydney Side Trip Sights & Boat Show Were So Much Fun!

After seeing a Platypus near our stop at Mackay, Australia and enjoying catching up with the other rally boats it was time to fly to Sydney, Australia.Thanks to Hugh from rally control, who lives in Sydney, I had many great tips for a terrific visit.I was based at a hotel in the historic area known as "The Rocks" which was close to the harbor and had great restaurants and shopping.At the harbor the boat show was splendid & the boat harbor tour had great views of the Sydney Opera House & the Harbour Bridge.Also, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Mrs. Macquerie's Chair were worth the visit.Beautiful beaches everywhere like Manly and Bondi and all with beach front restaurants with good food and great views.I could live in Sydney!Cathy. read more...


09/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 216; Arrived in Cairns After a Windy Finish & Saphir Has 2 Cool Humpback Whale Encounters; Saturday, August 9, 2014

During Joel's 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM watch the large boobie or tern flew away from the boat 2 or 3 times only to return to the same landing spot. Between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM 9 ships passed us either going in our direction or the other direction. Every one of these ships must be closely tracked as we're in the shipping channel with them. This is why we have AIS (Automatic Identification System). Not only can we see the ships coming at us, they can see us and that we're a sail boat. Up at 6:00 AM. Got 5 1/2 hours of continuous sleep. A rarity with being off watch 6 hours. At 6:09 AM as it was getting light out, the large bird perched on our dodger flew away for the last time. The wind was a steady 25 knots and our boat speed 5.5 knots. There were few clouds. Maybe a sunny day?At 6:33 AM. read more...


09/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 215; Another Humpback Whale Encounter, 25-30 Knots of Wind & We Pick Up an Overnight Visitor; Friday, August 8, 2014

What I failed to mention yesterday was that the Humpback Whale that I saw 20 feet behind the boat had a light grey or white underside. The large tail I saw was black on top but light grey or white on the bottom. That became apparent today with another whale encounter. At 2:17 PM while on 'whale watch' I saw a juvenile Humpback Whale just forward of our port beam headed in the direction we'd come from, about 100 feet from the boat. (Jeanine says the whale was 30-40 feet away). As I was looking at the whale I called out to Jeanine, who was in the cockpit with me, and for Joel, who was napping down below. The whale, easily identifiable with its black hump, then turned over on its back, exposing its white underside. Both its black and white pectoral fins (top black and bottom white) were. read more...


09/08/2014

Starblazer - 3/08/2014 - Back sailing.

We returned from Hong Kong with lots of goodies for Starblazer including a 20 metre air hose, first stage and regulator which has already come in handy.Sadly the lovely packet of spare ribs, packaged in the USA, was deemed to be a biosecurity hazard and was taken away at customs.We did know this was a possibility and I had declared food items on my landing slip so there was no problem.The three boxes of breakfast cereal didn't cause any problems so John is happy.We haven't found Shreddies anywhere since Gibraltar and he ran out months ago!I have been laid low with a cold and awful cough but that is now getting better, that is one reason we delayed leaving Vuda Point Marina for another 9 or so days, getting lots of jobs done and waiting in vain for a piece of metal to befabricated. The. read more...


Till - Mariehamn - The Fleet
Till - Mariehamn - The Fleet
Till - Mariehamn - Arrival to ASS Marina
Till - Mariehamn - Arrival to ASS Marina
Till - Mariehamn - Wait for berthing
Till - Mariehamn - Wait for berthing
08/08/2014

Jennie B - ARC Baltic - Åland is a land worth exploring.

We made it to Kokar by 2030 on Saturday 2nd August and were very glad we made the effort to get there.Many of the rally boats were at anchor in the harbour or tied up to the small quay.We went ashore to enjoy a few drinks from the small bar overlooking the harbour and listened to beautiful singing from a girl duo who were performing to the small crowd of sailors and local campers.It was a really magical evening. Sundaymorning we had a bit of a late start but eventually got under way at 1030 heading for Mariehamn. We had many hours of great sailing through more beautiful channels and islands and got to the ASS marina at Mariehamn at 1800.The marina at Mariehamn was, we think, the best we've stayed at on the rally so far.Great facilities and in a very pretty location,we were all impressed. read more...


08/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 214; Humpback Whale Collision - Almost!; Thursday, August 7, 201

At 5:04 PM this afternoon a Humpback Whale either surfaced closer than 20 feet behind and 10 feet off the port side of the boat; or swam from the starboard side to the port side angled 30 degrees forward of our transom's perpendicular plane. In either circumstance it probably was much closer to the boat than when I saw it. I was alone in the cockpit at the time. Joel had been napping for a while and Jeanine had just gone down to nap. I heard a noise behind the boat, looked up and saw a the large black (whale) body from the hump back to the tail. Then the tail elevated itself into the perpendicular and the whale submerged downward, with a big area of frothy water left behind. I mean BIG! As the tail was raised, it appeared as wide as the boat. The whale was so close I could see. read more...


06/08/2014

Longbow of Argyll - Longbow in the Baltic; Tallinn to St Petersburg.

Longbow in the Baltic; Tallinn to St Petersburg.We lost our blog writer,Clare, when she and Felix left us in Tallinn so now, two busy weeks later, the first mate will summarise.Leaving Tallinn, we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of sailing along the Estonian coastline.Dick and Budgie had joined Longbow and seemed delighted that their adventure had begun. By the following morning we had to enter the strict shipping channel that takes one 85nm to the Russian border control at Kronstadt, although one enters Russian waters a lot further west. Apart from a little sailing this leg was a long slog with the iron topsailthrough very featureless surroundings. Even when within a few miles of Saint Petersburg the skyline revealed industrial outlines only and a couple of vast cruise liners.We settled. read more...


07/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 213; A Rough Ride from Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach; Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Up at 8:00 AM. Coffee and tea. At 8:45 AM moved the boat up in the slip so our water hose would reach our water tank inlet. The water tank was almost empty. Breakfast at 8:55 AM: eggs, cut up potato cooked in olive oil in the skillet; and raisin bread. Departed the Hamilton Island marina at 10:55 AM. We had to be out of the slip by 11:00 AM. Because the wind was initially on the nose, we motored at first. Once we could turn east we put up a double reefed mainsail and throttled back the engine to 1,600 RPM. The wind was blowing 20 with gusts up to 30; and the waves were rough. It was an uncomfortable ride with a lot of water coming over the bow. Once we turned east the ride got steadier. Top speed was 8.4 knots. We sailed south out of Hamilton Island marina to the south end of Hamilton. read more...


07/08/2014

American Spirit II - Day 212; Last Full Day in Hamilton Island; Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Up at 8:30 AM. Coffee and tea. Breakfast at 9:30 AM. A surprise breakfast today for the crew: Bacon (Australian ham), scrambled eggs, chilled apples and raisin bread. Showered in the marina; paid marina bill (expensive; slip $110 per night); visited one retail store to pick something up; dropped off cards at Post Office (postage to the US for a post card $3.00 per card) and bakery (1 loaf of raisin bread). At least the slip rental included electricity and water. Some marinas charge extra for that. Joel called Ray Marine Australia trying to find where we (I) could get a spare auto pilot. He found a Ray Marine dealer in Cairns that could update our E-80 Chart Plotter software, which might 'cure' a couple of problems we have: GPS antennae jumping between UTC time and local time; and the. read more...


07/08/2014

Nexus - Cruising the Whitsunday Islands

We've been thoroughly enjoying the Whitsunday Islands (Cumberland Island Group) off of the Australian Coast, since leaving Mackay. These islands are a bucket list destination for us, and they did not disappoint. We spent a few nights enjoying the hospitality of the marina at Hamilton Island during some high winds and rain. This is a very expensive island but one of the few developed ones in the Whitsundays, and charter operations run out if it. There are nice restaurants and shops and a full service marina, and the Hamilton Yacht Club building is shaped like a giant manta ray, and is the challenger club for the next America's Cup race. We left as the preparations for Hamilton Race Week were filling the marina with activity. Having spent a couple of days at Whitehaven Beach and Toungue. read more...


06/08/2014

Flomaida II - Anstrengender Endspurt nach Ile Aneytium/ Vanuatu Archipel

Das werde ich nie verstehen: wieso fangen Stürme vorwiegend nachts an? Wirhaben nur noch ein Minivorsegel gesetzt und machen trotzdem noch 6 KnotenGeschwindigkeit. Im Verhältnis ist das kleine Segel so wie ein Einstecktuchim Jacket eines 1 Zentner Mannes! Das Gute ist, dass wir den Wind von 90 Gradbekommen, allerdings die Welle auch, die dann des öfteren auch im Cockpitlandet.Das Gute ist auch,das unser Cockpit soviel Schutz bietet.DasSchlechte ist allerdings, dass mir mal wieder schlecht ist, da der Himmelbedeckt ist, also alles total schwarz und dass die Schoot des Minisegelseinen irren Krach macht! Aber bei dem Wetter können wir nicht herausfinden,woran das liegt! Eigentlich müssen wir noch mehr auf die Bremse gehen, daes erst 1 Uhr ist, und wir nur noch 32 Meilen bis zur Insel haben,. read more...


05/08/2014

Trillium - Trillium Travels to Rakiraki Area

Destination Rakiraki AreaWith the generator and water maker in fine shape now, we decided to venture from Vuda Point Marina across the top of Vita Levu toward Rakiraki. We had read about the wonderful snorkeling and diving in this area. Of course, the wind would be on the nose so the Iron Jenny would be our momentum. Besides, we soon learned that it is nearly impossible to sail windward through the reefs to cover this area.While the distance is not that great, it is a slow methodical trip. First of all, as everyone has indicated, the electronic charts are almost worthless! There are many unmarked reefs all over Fiji. In fact, the World ARC participants could probably create a book of all we have found and noted the latitudes and longitudes! Maybe it could be sold to support dental health. read more...


05/08/2014

Trillium - Trillium Touring Fiji

Visiting Somosomo, NavitiOnce we had completed our sevusevu ceremony, Tewa asked if we would like to visit the market. Of course! I am thinking fresh fruits and vegetables. Wrong! The market was a few ladies sitting on the ground under a breadfruit tree with some fans and jewelry for sale. Dennis bought a bracelet and Sondra bought some pearls. I manage to buy a breadfruit off the tree so I could make breadfruit frites! Technique for making breadfruit frites:First boil the large green fruit for 20 minutes. Let it cool and then peel the tough skin off. Cut into French fries-style sticks. Fry in hot oil until crispy. Serve with mayonnaise and or ketchup (called tomato sauce in the South Pacific).Following our big purchases, we walked through the village with Tewa where we visited the. read more...


05/08/2014

Trillium - Trillium Enjoying Fiji

Yasawa Islands: Village ProtocolsOur first night in Naviti was spent at anchor in a bay just east of Somosomo village where there was a beautiful beach. The reefs are everywhere so we maneuvered through the anchorage until we found what we thought was a good spot. At least it was at high tide! Much to our surprise in the morning, we found ourselves relatively close to a reef, but we were still safe with present wind conditions.We spent most of the day on shore enjoying the beach. There was no snorkeling at low tide, but it was good to stretch the legs with a long beach walk. In fact, it was so shallow that we couldn’t even take the dinghy ashore. We had to anchor it and walk in. We had a little mishap. Apparently, when Dennis got out of the dinghy, the keys must have escaped from his. read more...


05/08/2014

Hebe - Rest In Peace

5th August 2014    Rest in Peace   Sarah Margaret Hope Peel BEM  4th Feb 1953 - 26th July 2014 It has been a real privilege caring for Sarah with her three wonderful sons during these final 5 weeks up in her home in Pocklington, Yorkshire. Andrew for his part ran all the errands and gave lots of moral support as nursing isn't his forte.  We are so glad to have had this time all together.Sarah's funeral was very special, as funerals go.  She had worked for many years in the visitor centre of the high security prison, HMP Full Sutton and was awarded The British Empire Medal for her excellent work.  The prison turned out in full for her funeral, I am not sure who was left running the place. Sarah's coffin was draped with the Union Jack and she. read more...


05/08/2014

Flomaida II - 5.8.- ein guter Tag!

Fast alle Probleme konnte Christoph heute beheben! Der Generator läuft,Christoph hat den Impeller gewechselt, der ziemlich zerfleddert war, alleGummizähnchen waren abgeschliffen. Die Gummireste müssen wir morgen bei Tagnoch aus den Leitungen pulen. Das war also ein ganz normaler Verschleiß.Die Genua lässt sich auch wieder einrollen. Das Genackertau hatte sich miteingerollt. Radar, der nun an beiden Bildschirmen nicht geht und dieInstrumentenbeleuchtung verlangen wohl doch nach einem Spezialisten. Mitdem Problem können wir leben, da wir AIS haben, den jedes große Schiff hat.(Bisher ist uns noch Keines begegnet) Das bedeutet, dass wir in der Nachtgesehen werden und dass wir die Schiffe auch sehen können mit Namen, Größe,Geschwindigkeit und Fahrtrichtung. Also sehen wir das Ganze. read more...


American Spirit II - A trip to Austraila wouldn't be complete without a Koala
American Spirit II - A trip to Austraila wouldn't be complete without a Koala
American Spirit II - A billabong in the outback
American Spirit II - A billabong in the outback

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