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15/02/2015

Sweet Pearl - Ascension --> Mindelo - 10. Tag - Und wieder schneller

Nachdem wir für fast 2 Tagen den Wind genau, aber wirklich genau auf die Nase hatten, ist seit gestern abend Flaute und wir motoren aufs Ziel. Wie es weitergeht, wissen wir noch nicht so genau, da die Vorhersagen nicht so ganz stimmen. Wir lassen uns überraschen. Wir sind aber alle gut drauf und nachdems ein dicker fetter Fisch uns die Angelschnur kaputt gerissen hat, gab es heute eben Thuna aus der Dose, weil der Koch nicht am Menu des Tages ruckeln wollte:-). Ciao, Tom. read more...


15/02/2015

Celebrate - 2500 Miles for Two on the Ocean Blue to Grenada from Brazil

Having passed Fortaleza, Brazil on the North East Coast of South America last night we are 885 miles closer to Grenada, almost a third of the way!Our boat speed has been terrific in the sustained high nine & ten knots.Only nine more days at sea if the winds and current hold with us.Also, Charlie saw more dolphins on his watch this morning and then cooked us a tasty ham like bacon & over medium eggs for Sunday breakfast with guava juice. Yum!Charlie & Cathy. read more...


15/02/2015

Celebrate - Basking in Brazil, Bonfires? Perfect Winds & Valentine's Day!

Basking in the sun with perfect winds we are now on our way along the Brazilian coast heading to Grenada.For several nights we saw what looked like huge bonfires on shore.Maybe carnival related?Also, we have had dolphins playing at the bow which is especially cheerful when our colorful Gennaker is up, too.Our special dinner for Valentine's Day was prawns with capers in lemon butter sauce over pasta.So far, so grand! Charlie & Cathy. read more...


15/02/2015

Exocet Strike - second night from Las Perlas to Galapagos

What a contrast! from 30 to 40 knots to almostzero. We have been motoring since 1700 local time, ie 2200 UTC due to lack ofwind. Overnight we passed within 2 miles of a small island way out in thePacific, none of us had heard of before, Malpelo, from the graphics ofbirds on the chart plotter chart, I guess its a bird sanctuary. It has twolight houses shown, but we should have seem them and no sign. It was hazy andaround midnight but could not see anything, only a radar trace to confirm it wasthere. Over the last few days we have seen Dolphins,Turtles, birds, one a Tern like bird landed on deck, and then quicklyflew off again. Others are more likeGannets, but a different colour to ours. The fleet seems to have spread out now, we have twoboats on our AIS, which is. read more...


15/02/2015

Luna Quest - Sunday, 15.2.15

Noon Position: 3.27N 81.20WDaily run: 116 milesDestination: Isla San Christobel - Galapagos IslandsThe wind is becoming markedly less. It is currently less than 10kn, but occasionally there is a little puff and our hearts fill with hope. It is tiring and trying coping with a lack of wind. There is 600 miles to go and we have just enough fuel if we were forced to motor the rest of the way.Eric. read more...


15/02/2015

Juno - Compendium, guest written by Andrew

1024x768Cleanfalse false falseEN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} I have been aboard for a month now and it seems time to pen something.  So we have arrived at the Las Perlas Islands, 50 miles from Panama city.  It is a big relief to have finally got sailing again after 10 days. read more...


Juno - Compendium, guest written by Andrew
Juno - Compendium, guest written by Andrew
15/02/2015

GarliX - Tag 36 - Start Richtung Galapagos

Start Las Perlas nach Galapagos am (Freitag) 13.2.15 11:00 OZ, 16:00 UTC.Vor uns liegen ca. 860sm Richtung Galapagos… der Pazifik ist nicht still. Wir haben 25-30kn Wind, zuviel für meinen Geschmack…nicht so für meinen Kaept’n. Er feiert bei jeder gut runter gesurften Welle und bei der Spitzengeschwindigkeit von 17,4kn (!!) grinst er selig! Ich finde, dass das zuviel Wind ist und kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass das hier mal ruhig wird. Warten wir’s ab und vertrauen auf die Wetterdaten. Wir segeln segeltechnisch in einer sehr interessante Gegend, was Wind und Strömung angeht. Irgendwann müssen wir über die ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, oder Doldrums) Die ITCZ ist eine Region mit hohen Temperaturen und wenig Wind. Ausserdem liegt vor uns der Aequator….!!!! Wir machen schon Plaene. read more...


American Spirit II - The lines of dancers to use the facilities in the support vehicle
American Spirit II - The lines of dancers to use the facilities in the support vehicle
American Spirit II - The support vehicle for all of the dancing people
American Spirit II - The support vehicle for all of the dancing people
American Spirit II - Brazilans dancing at carnival behind the moving rock concert stage
American Spirit II - Brazilans dancing at carnival behind the moving rock concert stage
American Spirit II - The moving rock concert stage
American Spirit II - The moving rock concert stage
American Spirit II - Brazilans dancing at Carnival infront of a moving rock concert stage
American Spirit II - Brazilans dancing at Carnival infront of a moving rock concert stage
14/02/2015

Exocet Strike - First night from Las Perlas to Galapagos

Well that was fun, not. Forecast was for 20 - 25 kngusting to 30kn, but we had gusts to 40 and steady state for some hours of 30kn,fortunately from behind, and with 3 reefs and a small amount of headsail out theboat was well balanced and not moving too violently. We did hit 18.9 knots ofspeed via GPS, but only 15.5 knots of speed on the log, either way by middaytoday we had achieved 230 nautical miles. A record for us, but helped no end by2 knots of tide with us. Stella is wondering where her flowers are, itsValentines Day and its the first time in 30 plus years that she hasn't had anyflowers from me, where is that Interflora helicopter, I did order them,honest. Currently we have gybed to try to keep into somewind, its only 12 to 15 kn and if we go further west we will have zero,. read more...


14/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 403; New Photo's Updated to Joel's Web Site; We Go to Carnival & One in Our Group is Targeted by a Pick Pocketer; Friday, February 13, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 41; Arrival at San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos; Thursday, February 13, 2014. At 12:44 AM we passed a gigantic rock called Roca Pateadora. 'Roca' means rock. By gigantic, I mean the size of giant asteroid a couple of hundred feet tall. If it was a 'small' rock, it wouldn't have been given a name. We've actually seen and been on islands that were smaller than this roca. Our electronic chart plotter had us in a depth of over 600 feet and 2 miles off shore from this rock. We were quite surprised, then, when our depth meter registered 49 feet. Bummer! We made a course change of 20 degrees,putting us further away from 'the rock.' If the depth had been 4 feet instead of 49, we'd have hit the underwater rocks (we draw a little over 5 feet), and we would have damaged. read more...


14/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 402; Showers & Toilets Explained; Fueling Day; Rendezvous Party; & We Finally Get our Whisker Pole Back; Thursday, February 12, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 40; Crossing the Equator; Wednesday, February 12, 2014. At 3:45 AM this morning, during Darlene's 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM watch, we came upon some fishermen who had laid miles of nets almost in front of us. A fishing skiff, one of 6 that the 'mother ship' had been pulling behind her(we'd seen them earlier in the day whey they crossed under our stern), rushed us and the crew members on board starting shouting at us in Spanish. They drove their boat toward us and 'herded' us away from their nets. Fifteen minutes later we we near a flashing light, which was the corner or end of their net. This flashing light was a buoy that they had placed to mark the southeast corner of their nets. Once there, they stopped escorting us and we got back on course toward Galapagos. We only. read more...


14/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 401; Half Day Tour of Salvador; Nuno on NDS Darwin Robbed at Knife Point; 3:00 PM Cruising Seminar; Two Months Until the Rally Ends; & Merlyn of Poole and Adela Arrive; Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 39; Closing on Galapagos; Tuesday, February 11, 2014. At 5:00 AM a loud alarm sounded on the boat. The alarm was a "Position Lost" alarm. Even though we have a plethora of satellites tracking us and giving us our GPS position, this anomaly keeps popping up every few days. Aggravating when its in the middle of the night. My 'sleeping' hours are 12:00 AM - 6:00 AM, so losing an hour of sleep is costly."*************************************************Today is the two month countdown to the rally being over in St. Lucia (April 11). Up at 5:40 AM. We have to get up early because we're taking a half day bus tour starting at 8:00 AM. Breakfast at 7:15 AM consists of eggs; potato; chilled pear quarters; and brown bread for Joel and me. And pears for Jeanine. She's out of. read more...


14/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 400; Secured Carnival Balcony Reservation at the Othon Pallace Hotel; Mast Light Fixed; & Hydro Generator Badly Damaged by Dock; Tuesday, February 10, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 38; Joel Saves Big Bird!; Monday, February 10, 2014. Not mentioned on the day's previous log because I sent it in early, was at 5:15 PM Sunday a large white bird, with black and white wings,a long neck and orange beak; along with a 3 - 4 foot wingspan, made a pass over our 2 fishing lines and his left wing got caught in one of the lines. Not the hook, just the line. He went down like a Nazi ME 109 during the Battle of Britain in the English Channel. Splash! As Joel Heyne donned 2 fishing type gloves, I reeled him in. He just sat in the water trying to swim under water and get away. We stopped the boat and turned the motor off. After what seemed like forever of reeling him in, the bird made it to our transom and looked up at Joel, who pounced with lightning speed,. read more...


14/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 399; We Arrive in Salvador, Brazil After the Most Pleasant Voyage in 13 Months; Monday, February 9, 2015

Today a year ago:"Day 37; The Trophy Size Blue Marlin That Got Away!; How I Log; Sunday, February 9, 2014. The story you are about to hear is a true fish story. Not to be confused with the 'fibber' fish stories that all fishermen make up. You know what I mean. The imaginary largest fish in the world that got away story. One of the differences between my fish story and others is that I had a witness. Joel Heyne. Joel was sound asleep at the time (he got off watch at 3:00 AM), but my yelling at the top of my lungs woke him up, which is a feat in itself. And though I have friends who would gladly alibi for me, Joel is not one to cross that line for a fish. Joel, did you see that whale that I hooked?" To find out what happened, you'll have to scroll back in time on my logs to February 9,. read more...


14/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 396;Extaordinary Sunrise, Blue Ocean, Another Twin Yoke, Deck Light Pulled Out & Green Flash No. 40; Friday, February 6, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 34; Last Full Day in Las Perlas Islands; Thursday, February 6, 2014. Today is one of the few days that we had to get up early for a Rally event. At 7:15 AM something called a 'Hash' is being run by the World Cruising Club. During this event we walked around the island following symbols left in the road way. Once done, drinks and fruit awaited us back at the Romantica Hotel. The fruit included pineapple, water melon and mango."**************************Relieved Jeanine at 6:05 AM. The wind is 14 knots and we're sailing at 6.2 knots thru the water and 6.4 knots over the land. The spinnaker is up, port side. Its cloudy and warm.At 7:00 AM the wind is 13/14 knots and we're sailing at 5.9 knots thru the water and 6.2 knots over the land. We're sailing into a squally. read more...


14/02/2015

Luna Quest - Sat. 14.2.15

Noon Position: 5.38N 80.10WDaily Run: 160 milesDestination: Isla San Christobel - Galapagos IslandsWe set off yesterday at 11am from beautiful Contadora. There was a strong breeze from the NNE and under reefed genoa to port we crossed the starting line a minute after the gunshot. We were in the back of the fleet of 15 boats (you can track each boat by visiting the Yellow Brick website) and stayed there till most of the bigger boats were lost out of sight over the horizon steering a southerly course. A depression over the North of South America produced the strong and steady breeze, which allowed us to pole out the staysail to starboard. Our speed improved considerably, but by late afternoon the wind had risen to over 30 knots and we were keen to get the rig set up in advance of. read more...


14/02/2015

Nexus - Carnival in Salvador de Bahia is absolutely incredible!

This truly is the world's largest party. We rented a hotel room down by the lighthouse on the main street, where the more modern parade floats go by, and spent about half the time on the street and half in the hotel. We had a balcony on the fourth floor with an excellent view of the street. The streets were extremely well policed, absolutely not "safe" from pickpockets and minor robbery with several other World ARC people having their cameras, money or cell phones taken from them, but if you are smart and go to the street with NOTHING but small bills on you, it is a very fun and exciting experience and well worth going to. Beer is 3 Real, which is about 80 cents so you don't need to bring much. We went downtown about 2pm, had lunch, and wandered the parade route as they were setting up,. read more...


13/02/2015

Exocet Strike - Sailing away from Panama and Las Perlas

We're on our way again, whohoo. After a few greatdays on the Las Perlas Islands, mostly around Contadura we have set sail againas a fleet bound for Galapagos. You may notice from our tracker that many of us areheading more south than direct, reason is that the winds should be better for usthis way, the perceived wisdom is to sail south and not cross the equator until084 deg west. The weather info we have seems to confirm this, however since weare crossing the ITCZ, or doldrums, an area where there can often be little windone minute and a near gale with lots of rain another, we need to keep our witsabout us. One of our fleet sent out a group message to saythey had just seen a 40 foot whale, must have been close to us, but we never sawit. Ditto another boat saw another whale about 10 mins. read more...


13/02/2015

Luna Quest - Friday 13.2.15

Noon Position: 8.30N 79.06WDaily run: Set off an hour ago from ContadoraDestination: Isla San Christobel in the Galapagos IslandsOur stay in the anchorage was a relaxing experience. We put our new canopy up (that we had made in St Lucia and stretches from the gantry, where the solar panels are affixed, to the mast) to keep the sun off the main part of the boat, but allowing the breeze to cool it and us. A pleasant temperature was had inside the boat. The water around the boat was as clear as a bell and at 8 meters down I could see the anchor lying in the white sand. I took the opportunity to snorkel around the boat, cleaning it so that we could present to the Galapagos authorities a pristine boat. Reports had it that a boat found to have one barnacle was taken 70 miles away to have it. read more...


13/02/2015

Celebrate - Caipirinha Cocktails, Clifftop Elevator & a Romantic Restaurant in Salvador, Brazil

Our terrific Rally Control, Suzana, Joel & Johnny greeted us at the marina with caipirinha drinks, the special beverage of Brazil and we felt so welcomed!Just up from the marina is a huge cliff face elevator that transports you up to the town.What a ride!Next we ate dinner at a beautifully restored restaurant recommended by Suzana with wonderful food and centuries old ambience.We left Salvador too soon, but had dates to meet in Grenada.Next:Sailing to Grenada...Charlie & Cathy. read more...


13/02/2015

Sweet Pearl - Ascension --> Mindelo - 8. Tag - Halbweg

Heute haben wir die Hälfte unseres Weges nach Kap Verden passiert - wieder mal ein Grund zum Feieren;-). Seit 2 Tagen motoren wir, gibt ja sonst nicht viel zu tun und alle sind nach wie vor gut drauf. Tschüss, Tom. read more...


12/02/2015

Celebrate - Saying Goodbye to Our Stalwart Sailor Partner & Photographer Extraordinaire, Jay Ailworth

After arriving in Salvador, Brazil from Cape Town, South Africa we must say goodbye to Jay Ailworth, who provided us with much sailing skill, creative photography and a great sense of humor.Jay has headed home to the US to re-join his wife, Laurie.We have seen some great sights together and wish Jay well until next time.Maybe the Panama Canal? Next:In and Around Salvador, Brazil... Charlie & Cathy. read more...


12/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 400; Secured Carnival Balcony Reservation at the Othon Pallace Hotel; Mast Light Fixed; & Hydro Generator Badly Damaged by Dock; Tuesday, February 10, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 38; Joel Saves Big Bird!; Monday, February 10, 2014. Not mentioned on the day's previous log because I sent it in early, was at 5:15 PM Sunday a large white bird, with black and white wings,a long neck and orange beak; along with a 3 - 4 foot wingspan, made a pass over our 2 fishing lines and his left wing got caught in one of the lines. Not the hook, just the line. He went down like a Nazi ME 109 during the Battle of Britain in the English Channel. Splash! As Joel Heyne donned 2 fishing type gloves, I reeled him in. He just sat in the water trying to swim under water and get away. We stopped the boat and turned the motor off. After what seemed like forever of reeling him in, the bird made it to our transom and looked up at Joel, who pounced with lightning speed,. read more...


12/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 399; We Arrive in Salvador, Brazil After the Most Pleasant Voyage in 13 Months; Monday, February 9, 2015

Today a year ago:"Day 37; The Trophy Size Blue Marlin That Got Away!; How I Log; Sunday, February 9, 2014. The story you are about to hear is a true fish story. Not to be confused with the 'fibber' fish stories that all fishermen make up. You know what I mean. The imaginary largest fish in the world that got away story. One of the differences between my fish story and others is that I had a witness. Joel Heyne. Joel was sound asleep at the time (he got off watch at 3:00 AM), but my yelling at the top of my lungs woke him up, which is a feat in itself. And though I have friends who would gladly alibi for me, Joel is not one to cross that line for a fish. Joel, did you see that whale that I hooked?" To find out what happened, you'll have to scroll back in time on my logs to February 9,. read more...


11/02/2015

Ayama - Las Perlas

Once the second flotilla of yachts had transitted the canal and joined us we had a crew supper in a Lebanese restaurant nearby. Andrew, the boss of the Arc, arranged transport and we all rode in style in 2 trailers pulled by a tuk tuk. The meal was interesting and we were entertained by an energetic belly dancer who kept selecting people to dance with her. Some were better than others and could wobble the right bits the rest of us just wobbled everything! We went to the fish market for our last supper in Panama City and indulged in all varieties of ceviche, raw prawns, octopus, lobster and the local fish cooked in lime juice. There was a vibrant atmosphere as it is mainly locals eating there.Ayama was anchored just outside the marina and it was entertaining watching the pelicans fishing. read more...


11/02/2015

Sweet Pearl - Ascension --> Mindelo - 6. Tag - Über den Äquator hinweg

Gestern mittag haben wir den Äquator überquert - grosses Fest und alles was dazu gehört;-). Jetzt sind wir im Nordatlantik und der Unterschied ist wahnsinnig klein;-). Wir motoren seit heute mittag und kommen gut voran. Allen gehts super, aber es ist sehr, sehr, sehr, heiss hier...puhhh:-). Ciao, Tom. read more...


10/02/2015

GarliX - Tag 31 Las Perlas?wir machen ein paar Tage Urlaub

Tour: Panama City - Las Perlas Island / ca. 37smLas Perlas: liegt im Golf von Panama, ist vulkanischen Ursprungs und heißt übersetzt „Perleninseln“. Die früheren Indios haben nach den Perlenmuscheln getaucht und damit Handel betrieben. Bereits 1515 wurden die Ureinwohner von den Spaniern vernichtet. Die Inselgruppe besteht aus 227 Inseln, wovon nur ein Bruchteil von wenigen Einwohnern bewohnt sind. 1977 hat Jimmy Carter auf der Insel Contadora den Vertrag unterschrieben, indem er die Hoheitsrechte des Panamakanals an Panama übertragen hat. Ihr merkt, wir waren etwas schreibfaul….dabei gehts uns gerade sehr gut. Die World ARC Truppe hat ein paar Tage Urlaub - ohne Termine oder organisierte Erlebnisse. Wir sind einfach nur hier. Dabei hat uns der Pazifik - bzw. noch sind wir im Golf von. read more...


10/02/2015

Exocet Strike - Las Perlas Islands

We sailed from La Playita Marina Panama City onSaturday to Contadura Island at the northern endof the Las Perlas group of islands. Great sail and anchorage. very beautiful andmuch less crowded than San Blas. Monday we sailed and motored to ananchorage between Isla Chapera and Moga Mogo, many of the World ARC fleet hadbeen there but had moved on so there was Garlix, and Allegro plus a couple ofother cruisers. That changed late in the day when Pentagram, Makena and Arethaarrived en mass preceded by Juno who had left for another anchorage but decidedthis was far better. Stella and Dain swam ashore to the beach whileI cleaned the waterline, which Dain helped to finish off later. Need tohave a very clean hull for Galapagos otherwise they charge to put a diver downto clean. The sun. read more...


09/02/2015

Luna Quest - Mond. 9.2.15 Contadora

Position: 8.37N 79.02WLas Perlas Islands - Contadora Daily Run: 38 milesNext Destination: GalapagosOn Tuesday, 3rd February, we began our transit of the Panama Canal late in the afternoon. Together with a 62ft catamaran and a 53ft Oyster, we formed a pod or nest as our pilot called it by rafting up to one another. Rafting up was a tricky business in front of the first lock with 20kn of wind blowing us towards its entrance (the Gatun lock, which has three steps - i.e. 3 separate locks). Each step raises the boat by about 10mtrs to reach the level of the Gatun lake that the American created in 1913 by flooding the land from the Chagres river. Once through the lake, the pod was stepped down again to the Pacific sea level in a similar way through the Miraflores locks, a trip of about 35. read more...


09/02/2015

Sweet Pearl - Ascension --> Mindelo - 4. Tag - Noch immer Wind

Morgen sollten wir den Äquator überqueren - das wird wieder ein Fest:-). Noch haben wir Wind, wenn auch weniger. Nach dem Passieren des Äquators sollte es dann aber bald windstill werden bis wir nach 3 oder 4 Tagen durch die Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) sind, und der Wind wieder auffrischt, wenn auch aus einer anderen Richtung. Alles läuft rund und wir versuchen nicht in der Hitze zu schmelzen, so wie unsere Schokolade;-). Liebe Grüsse, Tom. read more...


09/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 398; Auto Pilot Goes Beserk & We're Almost Back in the Americas; Sunday, February 8, 2015

One day a year ago:"Day 36; We Lose the Wind; Saturday, February 8, 2014. This morning the wind continues to build, eventually reaching a peak of 30 knots, with 7 foot breaking seas directly behind us. As the wind kept building, we kept putting reefs in the sails, both the main and jib. Eventually, we had 2 reefs in the main and one in the jib. We were surfing at up to 10.8 knots."******************************************************At 4:30 AM Jeanine said that a large black bird circled the boat thinking about landing on it. But because the canvas insert was removed between the dodger and bimini, the bird didn't feel comfortable enough to land. Too bad. We like giving refuge to big birds. I relieve Jeanine at 6:03 AM. Solid overcast. I'm not wearing a shirt as its warm out. The moon is. read more...


08/02/2015

Free & BrEasy - Not a Drop to Drink

We are less than 400 miles from Salvador, Brazil after a light wind, slow passage from St Helena. It has been a delightfully calm and serene sail for the last 13 days and nights. There has been a bright full moon to guide us to Brazil and a few sunsets to remember. All moments which we should be, metaphorically, bottling for later consumption.We were sat around chewing the sail cloth, as we frequently do, when it suddenly hit us, with a degree of shock, that there were only two months left of circumnavigation before the end in St Lucia! We were in the final stages of the 15 month adventure and would soon be at home, uncorking those memory bottles! But we are not there yet and there is still a lot of sailing, not to mention the Salvador carnival.For the last week we have been appreciating. read more...


08/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 397; Less Than 300 Miles To Go To Salvador; Saturday, February 7, 2015

One year ago today:"Day 35; Off to Galapagos; Friday, February 7, 2014. At 11:00 AM all the (40)boats in the Rally started for the Galapagos with 'race start.' American Spirit II was over the line a few seconds early, so we had to do a 360 and restart. Oh well. About 10 boats, including American Spirit, were flying Spinnakers. To go with our boat name, American Spirit, our Spinnaker is Red, White and Blue. For our British friends 'reviewing' this log, those are the colors of our national flag."***************************************************We turn the engine on at 3:09 AM after dropping the pole. To charge batteries. Since charging batteries with the generator takes .3 gallon of diesel per hour and running the engine at 1,400 RPM takes .5, we decide to motor. That and we didn't want. read more...


08/02/2015

Exocet Strike - Panama canal and city

Since leaving Shelter Bay on the Caribbean /Atlantic side our wifi has been near useless so apologies for noupdates. The transit through the canal was amazing, we werelate getting into the Gatun locks, by nearly two hours but it was a fantasticexperience, the Advisors which go on each boat are often tugboat captains, ourscertainly was on day two. After going through we tied up at midnight to a bigmooring buoy, in a raft of 6 boats, then next morning at 0630 we headed offthrough the Gatun lake, a huge man made lake, created by damming the riverChagres. took about four hours to reach the Pedro Miguel lock, approx 1200 localtime and then onto Miraflores soon after. Some near disasters quickly averted,and down to the marina at La Playita. Its a very small marina so we had toanchor in the bay. read more...


08/02/2015

Folie a Deux - "Off the Beaten Path" - Ascension Island

Folie a Deux, Lluiton , and Sweet Pearl were among three World ARC boats that had detoured to Ascension Island, arriving on February first and second.We were the only visiting yachts.There was a marvelous Mediterranean meal lunch aboard Lluiton.It was a happy celebration for the three crews which would sail different paths to complete their circumnavigations.St Helena is a 'working island' of less than one thousand people.You may not live here unless you have a job related to the island.The island is mostly barren and volcanic. The RAF and USAF utilize the airstrip.NASA has closed the tracking and emergency shuttle landing operations.The BBC/Cable and Wireless have antennas/cable relays. It was never populated until Napoleon was exiled to St Helena Island in 1815.The larger swells at the. read more...


07/02/2015

Starblazer - 7/02/2015 - Back to Opua.

Once we had relaunched we set off to return to Opua for more repairs.Our trip down to Whangarei had been rushed, with only one overnight stop, because the weather was expected to deteriorate, so we decided to head back up more slowly.Having been relaunched at midday, it took a while to get the water flowing through the engine (again) and we finally left soon after 1300.It is quite a distance to Whangarei Heads so we decided to anchor in Parua Bay, about 5nM from the entrance, inside Whangarei Harbour.The anchorage was almost deserted, very sheltered and very quiet.Next day we headed off towards Tutukaka Harbour, not far by road but quite a long way by sea.Tutukaka is a popular holiday area though I'm not sure why.There is little infrastructure except a marina, a launching ramp and a very. read more...


07/02/2015

Sweet Pearl - Ascension -->Mindelo - 2. Tag - Guter Start

Gestern morgen um 9 Uhr haben wir Ascension mit seinen 3000 Schildkröten verlassen und sind jetzt auf dem Weg nach Mindelo in den Kap Verden (1630 Seemeilen). Bis jetzt geht es besser voran als erwartet. Wir haben guten Wind - nicht zu viel und nicht zu wenig. So soll es sein. Alle an Bord sind guter Laune und schicken liebe Grüsse nach hause. Tom. read more...


06/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 395; We Turn on the Engine for the First Time in Over 6 Days & Ascension Island Has Piranha Type Salt Water Fish; Thursday, February 5, 2015

Up at 5:45 AM. At 6:01 AM I turn on the generator, then relieve Jeanine who has been on watch from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM. We were able to go two days without running the generator to charge batteries, which is good. At 6:30 AM the wind is 10/11 knots and we're sailing at 5.3 knots thru the water and 5.2 knots over the land. Its clear out, with white, wispy trade wind clouds blowing east to west. The moon is full on the starboard bow, 45 degrees above the horizon; with Jupiter between it and the horizon, slightly right of it. Our COG (Course Over Ground) is 250 degrees; and its 274 degrees to Salvador. So we're 'off course' by 24 degrees. That's down wind sailing, especially with a spinnaker. At 7:01 AM the wind is 10/12 knots and we're sailing at 5.0 knots thru the water and 4.8 knots over. read more...


06/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 394; 'Twin Yokes' Join Us For Breakfast & a Good Day of Sailing;. Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Up at 5:00 AM. Jeanine was exercising in cockpit right above my head, rocking back and forth one of the three recliner chairs. The chair's metal frame was hitting the backrest in the cockpit, sending the noise down to my sleeping quarters. I relieved Jeanine at 5:40 AM. At 6:06 AM the wind is 19 knots and we're sailing at 6.5 knots thru the water and 6.7 knots over the land. Its cloudy, which is normal in the morning around sunrise; and the wind is howling thru the rigging. Which is not normal in the South Atlantic Ocean. Standing watch is full of tension now when we're going wing-on-wing. With the tri-reacher pole acting as a whisker pole, if the jib back winds the pole will break like the whisker pole. Because the tri-reacher pole is thinner than the whisker pole, it will break more. read more...


06/02/2015

Nexus - Arrived Safely in Salvador Bahia, Brazil!

We hove to most of the night making about 1-2kts outside the harbor, and arrived at first light this morning into Salvador Brazil. We didn't want to inconvenience the Rally Control crew with a night arrival and safety concerns outside the marina, so we drifted along with Ghost and Alpheratz and came in at first light. Salvador is a large, vibrant city with an interesting culture, and you can feel the building excitement leading up to Carnival in a couple of weeks. We're busy cleaning the boat, clearing customs, exchanging money, and getting sim cards for internet. Tomorrow we will check out the tours and opportunities on offer here after a good night's rest!Russ and Laurie on NEXUS 15:30 Brazil time 2/6/2015. read more...


06/02/2015

Via Con Me - VIACONME and Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2015

Nun ist es das 5. Mal, davon das 3. Mal, dass ich an der Atlantic Rally for Cruisers teilnehme. Seit Seit ich das erste Mal im 2005 teilnahm, bin ich ein grosser Fan von WCC und deren alljährlich stattfindenden ARC. Auf Umwegen war ich im 2013 nach Las Palmas geflogen, um noch den Start der damaligen Rally mitzubekommen. Die WCC liess mich auch an der letzten Farewell Party rein und als die Ansprache von Andrew Bishop kam, muss ich gestehen, dass mir ein paar Tränen über die Wange liefen. Ich fand viele Teilnehmer, die ich von früheren ARC's kannte, die Mitarbeiter des WCC sind praktisch all die gleichen geblieben und so freute es mich sehr, Andrew, Jeremy, Clare, Rob, Mitarbeiter von JP Butchers etc. anzutreffen und natürlich Ernst von der Zingara und Manfred von der Albatros. Für mich. read more...


06/02/2015

Via Con Me - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2015 - Part 1 - VIACONME confirmed!

2005, 2010, 2011, 2012 and now for the 5 th time in 2015, I will be joining the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Since I joined the ARC for the first time in 2005, I have been a big admirer for this annual event. In 2013, I flew from the Caribbean to Las Palmas to the start of the exceptional rally. At the last farewell party, when Bishop Andrew came and made a speech, I must confess that some tears ran down on my cheeks. I also found many participants I knew from previous ARC's, the staff e.g. of the WCC were all still the same members and it was very nice to see Andrew, Jeremy, Clare, Rob, and some more yellow shirts and also some employees of JP Butchers etc. and of course Ernst of "Zingara" and Manfred of "Albatross". For me, the annual regatta was and is always very emotional. So it is. read more...


Via Con Me - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2015 - Part 1 - VIACONME confirmed!
Via Con Me - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2015 - Part 1 - VIACONME confirmed!
05/02/2015

Nexus - Slowing down to....10kts???

So this is how sailing goes...we pulled down our big asymmetric over a day ago to slow down and try to time our arrival for daylight into Salvador, and we watched our friends pull out more sail and go looking for wind in the squalls, or motor on ahead of us trying to determine if they could make it safely on Thursday. We were content with our decision to back off and take it easy, arriving in daylight for safety, and not making Rally Control come out to the marina in the dark outside the security zone. Then the wind pipes up to 20-25kts and swings north, and we go blasting along all night on our small asymmetric doing 10kts and end up in front with an arrival estimate of 10pm....not good, can't make this stuff up. So once the wind dropped to 15kts this morning, we dropped the asymmetric. read more...


06/02/2015

Hugur - Goodbye to beautiful Saint Lucia

Nú kveðjum við þessa fallegu eyju St Lucia, við komum hér næst í April 2014. Ævintýrið með Watermakerinn er ekki búið, Þeir (REGIS) gáfust upp í gær sem voru búinir að hafa verkefnið frá 3 desember í sínum höndum. Nú vonum við að sænskur Nick sem kom og hjálpaði okkur í gær nái að fixa málið en við förum á startlínuna eftir 10 mínutur og hann er enn ókomin þurfti að skreppa til næsta bæjar eftir varahlutnum. Við krossum fingur og látum hann þá hoppa frá borði við startlínuna og ARC fólkið pikkar hann upp í dingy. Bið og vona að það gangi eftir , þá ætti allt að vera farið að virka eins og á að gera. Myndin er frá the Pitons frá akkerislæginu sem við vorum á með Söru og Davie daginn sem þau fóruNow we say farewell to this beautiful island St Lucia, we will come here next in April 2014.. read more...



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