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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...


Hugur - Goodbye to beautiful Saint Lucia
Hugur  - Goodbye to beautiful Saint Lucia
05/02/2015

Celebrate - "She Who Waits"

SHE WHO WAITS by Jay AilworthThe voyage end is almost in sight,Arriving off the coast at morning's first light.Stories of a trip from South Africa to Brazil,Now only one more page to fill.In Salvador I will cross the gangway and disembark,But before I do I must pen one more remark.Once my feet touch this foreign shore,My scribbled lines will be no more.As a poet I have no true claim,Truth be told some of the words are pretty lame.I will write one last rhyme,Maybe I will get it right this time.These tales are only written for my wife,The one who waits at home, the love of my life.The last poem,Jay. read more...


05/02/2015

Celebrate - "Rhumb Line"

RHUMB LINE by Jay AilworthOur course line zigs and zags going here and there,With the winds contrary and almost never fair.We take what is given riding the wind like an airborne seed,From this particular bondage we wish to be freed.When the change comes it is with little fan fare,Our course changing by the barest width of a hair.With the shift the wind begins to rise,The first breath of the trades a pleasant surprise.Days of endless wandering have ended and the die is cast,Celebrate is dead on course and sailing fast.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


05/02/2015

Celebrate - "Celestial Transition"

CELESTIAL TRANSITION by Jay AilworthI came on deck and looked toward the bow,My eyes went wide and my lips let loose a whispered wow!The ocean ahead bathed in a silvery glow,Framed in clouds a full moon sinking toward the ocean below.The waves sparkled like sequins set into lace,I had to smile as I looked the man full in the face.He seemed a little sad and I wondered why,Then over my shoulder I noticed the eastern sky.His majestic aura was being tainted,As he saw morning colors being painted.His aura now not nearly so bright,Knowing he would lose this fight.Like a child who has stayed up too late,With a small moan and a whisper resigned to his fate.Finally below the horizon he is put to bed,And the sun dawns and raises its sleepy head.. read more...


04/02/2015

Ayama - PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT

Kristofer and Stefan had to work hard on Hugur to fix her in time to be back in the water for the scheduled 3.30 pm departure.It had been an epic for them with parts not arriving, only to be found in a cupboard in the marina office, raiding the scrap for a piece and going through the garbage to retrieve a piece of hose.They made it and Hugur was back in the water at midday. 8 of us left Shelter Bay Marina, motored across the shipping lanes and dropped anchor to wait for the advisors who were joining each yacht.ETA was 17.30 and we had to have a good meal ready for them.Moses arrived about 6.30 pm and there was no rush as our time for the Gatun Lock was delayed.As we approached the brightly lit locks Moses decided he wanted his supper and we all hoped he was a fast eater! We nested up. read more...


04/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 393; Auto Pilot Shuts Off & Causes Whisker Pole to Break; Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One year ago today: "Day 31; Dingy Wipe Out; Monday, February 3, 2014. This morning we got in the dingy and proceeded a half mile along the very rocky sea shore, in the lee and east side of Isla San Jose. The tide was going out and what was a small beach the night before was becoming a huge beach. Just before we got to the shore, we had to dodge an underwater rock that was becoming visible as the 17 foot tide gushed out. Then about 50 yards from shore we killed the dingy motor and raised the shaft, not knowing how deep it was. The water was not clear due to the massive tidal action. Joel and I were paddling in when a swell turned into a 3 foot breaking wave. Just before we started riding the crest, I told Joel that we're going to flip. He confidently replied that we were not. A few. read more...


04/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 392; Three Months Exactly Until We're Home; Still Sailing; We Reach the Half Way Point to Salvador; & See Green Flash No. 38; Monday, February 2, 2015

Starting today I'm adding a 'back in time' synopsis of the log on the same date a year ago. In this instance, on February 2, 2014, exactly a year ago today, we "Day 30; Departed Panama City at 9:35 AM today, en route to the Las Perlas Islands." Wow! What a difference ayear makes!*****************************************Today marks 3 months until we'll be home. We're scheduled to arrive at the Boca Ciega Yacht Club T-Dock at 12 noon on Saturday, May 2nd. Janet is throwing a welcome home party for us, like the one she threw when we left. Mike Mogavaro will be helping her, along with others. *****************************************At 5:55 AM the almost full moon sets on the starboard bow horizon. Large and orange, according to Jeanine. I relieve Jeanine at 6:15 AM. The wind is 13/14 knots. read more...


04/02/2015

Nexus - Good sailing, but slowing the boat to time our arrival for Friday am.

We've had great winds and good sailing the last day or so, but we've done some calculations and decided to slow the boat down so we didn't arrive in the middle of the night and get Rally Control out on the streets of Salvador at a dangerous time of night. We switched to our smaller gennaker, which took about .5-1kt boat speed off, hopefully timing our arrival to first light on Friday. Of course we can't control the weather, but we'll do the best we can. We're not sure about the others in our group, some seem to be speeding on ahead and some hanging back with us, but it should be easier to arrive in daylight with a relatively complicated Mediterranean Mooring arrangement on the dock which requires dock side assistance with lines. We're having a nice time sailing together, we had our. read more...


02/02/2015

Nexus - Marlin on!

Wow....out of desperation I put a large plug with a double hook on one of our lines this afternoon since we've had no luck and I thought it would make lots of commotion and attract a fish. About 7pm the reel started screaming and took out half of the line on one of our large reels in one continuous smoking run. We were pouring water on the reel to cool it. We got the sails down and boat stopped and drifted with the motors running. The line sounded straight down off the back of the boat and pulled hard for 20-30minutes and we made no progress pulling it in with Finnbar fighting hard on the reel the whole time. Then the fish started to surface but gave back no line and kept pulling. We were sure it was tired and because it sounded we hoped it was a nice tuna! However 5 minutes later the. read more...


03/02/2015

Celebrate - "Capturing Zephyrs"

CAPTURING ZEPHYRS by Jay AilworthAnyone can sail with the wind blowing hard,But true skill is tested when dealt the light air card.A broad reach can be the toughest sail set of all,Constantly wary of a luff about to stall.The kite pumps a living breathing lung,A symphony of sound being sung.Maybe a gently wheezing ruffle, kerpuflle, kerflap,Then out of no where a mast shuddering, brutal jarring snap.Now is when you need all your sailing skill,Doing whatever it takes to get the spinnaker to puff and fill.Things can get heavy when the wind goes light,It is not always so easy flying a kite.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


03/02/2015

Celebrate - "Colors of Morning"

COLORS OF MORNING by Jay AilworthOverhead at sunrise dark and foreboding storm clouds grew,Turning the sea gun metal gray from royal blue.A placid sea no longer at rest,White caps foaming off each new crest.Astern the sun and clouds play hide and seek,While off to starboard a rainbow glows amid a squalls distant peak.A spectral aura made of rain and air,A simple change in the light and it is no longer there.Soon the rain and clouds drift away,Leaving behind sunshine and wind swept spray.So begins another watch on this churning southern ocean,Feeling as though I am under the spell of a spiritual love potion.. read more...


01/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 390; A Slow Day Sailing and Another Boring Log; Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let me address the 'boring log' comment in the subject line first. The sail from Cape Town to St. Helena and then from St. Helena to Salvador, Brazil is so pleasant that nothing is breaking on the boat; we're not being pummeled by big waves and high winds; we're not running out of food, coke or beer; and other than catching a few fish, seeing a Sperm Whale, seeing our first blue sunrise flash,visiting St. Helena including Napoleon's homes and tomb; and swimming with Whale Sharks, not much is going on so there's not much to report. Hopefully when we get to Brazil there will be lots to report; like Carnival and the latest in swim suit fashions. Today is the last day in January. Up at 5:53 AM and I relieve Jeanine at 6:20 AM. The wind 10/12 knots and we're sailing at 5.4 knots thru the. read more...


02/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 391; We Have Two Fish Stories To Tell Today; Sunday, February 1, 2015

I relieved Jeanine at 6:12 AM. At 6:20 AM, while it is still pitch black out (its 6:20 AM St. Helena Start Time but really 5:20 AM local time), our starboard hand line hooked a fish. I first knew a fish had hit the hand line because I heard a loud bang, like someone hitting a metal garbage can lid with a hammer, once. We have a coke can tied to each hand line so that it makes a noise when the line is hit. I shined my flashlight on the spool and it was pulled to the stern stanchion in the cockpit, which I thought was impossible, because it shouldn't have been able to move from where we had it attached. I immediately grabbed the small diameter rope line (not fishing line) and started pulling it into the boat. No way was I going to reel it in. Whatever I had was giving me quite a fight.. read more...


02/02/2015

Nexus - Nice sailing days

We've had variable winds but nice sailing these last two days. A few squalls have come by which sometimes force us to take our 15kt Gennaker down for a while, but most of them we've been able to ride out downwind without exceeding her limits. Still relatively slow going but better than before. We've had no luck fishing...even with lures that have caught reliably in other oceans so we're perplexed and have turned our attention to learning Cribbage! We have 560nm to go...and will probably arrive in the Thursday or Friday time frame depending on the winds. We're becoming a bit more spread out since NDS Darwin decided to motor last night while the three of us sailed gennakers slowly around squallsin different directions, but we can still talk by VHF so far, which is nice. We're sure looking. read more...


02/02/2015

Celebrate - "An X Marks the Spot"

AN X MARKS THE SPOT by Jay AilworthWith as many miles to come as are gone,The special X to mark that spot on our chart is drawn.In flight it is called the point of no return,A sailor sees it as beginning the second half of a sea sojourn.The distant shore is no longer so far,It calls to my heart like the rising of the morning star.The journey will end in a few days time,A celebration to be enjoyed with an umbrella drink garnished with lime.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


02/02/2015

Celebrate - "Miles to Go"

MILES TO GO by Jay AilworthThe state of our fuel is becoming a concern,With no wind and only so much to burn.Our first tank finally bottomed out in the red,Into the engine's hungry maw it had been fed.The distant shore is way beyond our range,Our only hope is for the wind to change.We are resigned to trust in our fate,With any luck at all the wind will not be too late.For now we continue on our merry way,Listening to the diesel drone day by day.With 996 miles to our port of call,I am reminded of a story about bottles of beer on the wall.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


01/02/2015

Free & BrEasy - Toast to the Slow Boats

We are now 6 days out of St Helena on the 1960 mile passage to Salvador, Brazil. There was little or no wind for the first 3 days and nights so the motor was growling continuously, before light trade winds arrived only to go again! The metal monster has become our constant friend, at least until the diesel runs out! We have all caught ourselves staring out into the blue yonder, lost in our memories of our short but eventful stay on St Helena. We were taken on a tour of the Island by Robert Peters, a sprightly 78 year old 'saint'. The inhabitants of St Helena call themselves 'saints' although for a population of 4000 there appear to be a lot of churches so perhaps it's a religious accolade as well! The crews of Merlin and Free & Breasy squeezed into Robert's rickety pickup and we. read more...


01/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 390; A Slow Day Sailing and Another Boring Log; Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let me address the 'boring log' comment in the subject line first. The sail from Cape Town to St. Helena and then from St. Helena to Salvador, Brazil is so pleasant that nothing is breaking on the boat; we're not being pummeled by big waves and high winds; we're not running out of food, coke or beer; and other than catching a few fish, seeing a Sperm Whale, seeing our first blue sunrise flash,visiting St. Helena including Napoleon's homes and tomb; and swimming with Whale Sharks, not much is going on so there's not much to report. Hopefully when we get to Brazil there will be lots to report; like Carnival. Today is the last day in January. Up at 5:53 AM and I relieve Jeanine at 6:20 AM. The wind 10/12 knots and we're sailing at 5.4 knots thru the water and 5.8 knots over the land. Its. read more...


01/02/2015

Allegro - DOMINGO, 25 DE JANEIRO DE 2015

As Ilhas de San Blas são mais de 300, espalhadas ao longo da costa nordeste do Panamá. Segundo o guia, são únicas no Mundo em vários aspectos. Pertencem ao Panamá, mas são administradas pela tribo indígena dos Índios Guna, que, de todas as tribos das Américas, são os que melhor preservaram a sua cultura e tradição. Têm zonas de floresta virgem intocada ainda, e são um local de cruzeiros de veleiros de uma beleza incrível.As ilhas e o território adjacente constituem a Guna Yala. Os Gunas não dividem a terra em propriedades individuais. Aceitam os estrangeiros que os visitam, mas proíbem que se instalem em permanência, ou que casem com Gunas. Os estrangeiros não podem comprar terras ou investir na Guna Yala, embora sejam aceites donativos. Os Guna são de estatura pequena, bem. read more...