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24/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 261; Jeremy Has a Unique Pringle Experience and We Arrive at Cocos Keeling; Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Up at 5:00 AM after a good night's sleep. Joined Jeremy in the cockpit. During his 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM watch, while eating a can of Pringles, a wave slapper hit the side of the boat and filled the Pringles can with salt water. Instead of 'fire in the hole' its 'water in the (Pringles) can!' Some stuff you can't make up. Really. Who would have ever thought that it was even possible for a wave to do that? Come on! At 5:16 AM I could see the lume of Cocos Keeling 16.3 miles away. We were going too slow so I let some mainsail out. Boingo Alive was 1.7 miles ahead of us and Sweet Pearl 1.9 miles behind. At 5:30 AM I called Sweet Pearl on the VHF radio and chatted with Tom about their plans on entering the anchorage. The sun rose above the clouds at 7:30 AM. About the same time Boingo Alive. read more...


24/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 260; Almost There , We're Still Getting 'Pooped' & Our Chart Plotter Chip Reader Fails; Monday, September 22, 2014

On the 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM watch Jeremy got pooped once. At 6:00 AM the wind was 20-25 knots instead of 25-30. Still rough out. The moon was setting in the east; and it was 26 hours to Cocos Keeling. Our speed was 5.3 knots. I slept OK during the night, but it was hot; sweated a lot due to no air circulation in the boat. You can't open a hatch because hundreds of gallons of sea water would then enter the boat. The sunrise was at 7:15 AM Bali start time. The sun rose above the horizon's clouds at 7:30 AM. At 8:27 a 'slapper' wave got me and sent water up to the cockpit hatch opening. We turned the generator on at 8:40 AM. Even though the hydro generator was in the water, since we had slowed the boat for a daytime entry into Cocos Keeling, we weren't going fast enough to generate all the. read more...


24/09/2014

Starblazer - 24/09/2014 - Espiritu Santo

On Monday we had a great sail from Ambrym to Espritu Santo.It's about 60 miles so we started early (0630) to ensure arriving in daylight.The recommended anchorage, just off Luganville, promised to be bumpy as the south easterly winds blows right in so we headed to the north shore of Aore Island which is more sheltered.Four yachts were on buoys in front of the Aore Resort but the only other pick-up looked decidedly dodgy!We motored along a bit until we inched our way into 9 metres where we dropped the anchor.The underwater profile is very steep, from 30+ metres to less than 1 in a very short distance.To further complicate matters, the holding is poor because the bottom has a lot of coral.We finally set the anchor but had an uncomfortable night, worrying if we were likely to drift inshore. read more...


24/09/2014

Nexus - Enjoying Cocos Keeling Islands

The water is crystal clear and blue with white sand bottom, and the beaches are beautifully lined with palm trees and jungle. We spent part of the day doing boat work to prepare for our upcoming 2,300 nm voyage but took time for sundowners on the beach with the other crews both nights, and dinner with American Spirit on board NEXUS. We've added a fourth crew member, Finnbar from New Zealand, who is a 22 year old fine arts major with a passion for photography and sailing. We are really enjoying having him on board, he helped us big time with boat work yesterday, and last night he hitched a ride on a police boat to one of the other islands with another young German crew member, and enjoyed a night on the town and either camping or couch surfing for the night. We hope to see him sometime. read more...


23/09/2014

Celebrate - A walk around Direction Island Cocos Keeling

We have been at anchor in this island paradise for a few days. It has been quite breezy (25-30 knots) so our movements have been limited but we have had a chance to explore both Direction Island and nearby Home Island.Direction Island is now uninhabited but has a very rich history. At the beginning of the 1900s a submerged communicationscable was laid between South Africa and Australia connecting UK to the colonies . Cocos was the location of a manned cable station (a sort of terminal) and later a cable was run up to Singapore connecting Asia as well. The cable came ashore inCottesloe, Perth WA (I thought our Perth friends and ex Cottesloe residents would appreciate this)During the First World War the station was blown up by a German cruiser Emden which was later sunk by an Australian. read more...


Flomaida II - Tradition und Moderne- Wäsche gibt es auch hier "en masse"
Flomaida II - Tradition und Moderne- Wäsche gibt es auch hier
Flomaida II - Der Friedhof von Lifou
Flomaida II - Der Friedhof von Lifou
Flomaida II - So eine schöne Kirche!
Flomaida II - So eine schöne Kirche!
Flomaida II - So sieht es an der Hauptstraße der Hauptstadt von Lifou aus
Flomaida II - So sieht es an der Hauptstraße der Hauptstadt von Lifou aus
Flomaida II - Was wächst denn hier aus dem Haus?
Flomaida II - Was wächst denn hier aus dem Haus?
Flomaida II - Unser netter Chauffeur mit Söhnchen Jean-Luc bringt uns nach Wé
Flomaida II - Unser netter Chauffeur mit Söhnchen Jean-Luc bringt uns nach Wé
Flomaida II - Der Trick mit den Handtüchern, damit der Mast nicht klappert, nachdem das Segel unten ist
Flomaida II - Der Trick mit den Handtüchern, damit der Mast nicht klappert, nachdem das Segel unten ist
Flomaida II - Gemeinsam geht es! Und macht sogar Spaß!
Flomaida II - Gemeinsam geht es! Und macht sogar Spaß!
Flomaida II - Das nennt man Nachbarschaftshilfe!
Flomaida II - Das nennt man Nachbarschaftshilfe!
Flomaida II - Xepenehe auf Lifou/ Iles Loyauté / Neu Kaledonien
Flomaida II - Xepenehe auf Lifou/ Iles Loyauté / Neu Kaledonien
Flomaida II - Warten auf die Ladies!
Flomaida II - Warten auf die Ladies!
Flomaida II - Hübscher Besuch auf der Flomaida
Flomaida II - Hübscher Besuch auf der Flomaida
Flomaida II - Ein bunter Wurf
Flomaida II - Ein bunter Wurf
Flomaida II - Ein glückliches Paar!
Flomaida II - Ein glückliches Paar!
Flomaida II - .....und die Mühle zum Cavamahlen
Flomaida II - .....und die Mühle zum Cavamahlen
Flomaida II - Da hatte wohl Jemand zuviel Cava!
Flomaida II - Da hatte wohl Jemand zuviel Cava!
Flomaida II - Zu Besuch beim Schnitzer der Schlitztrommeln
Flomaida II - Zu Besuch beim Schnitzer der Schlitztrommeln
Flomaida II - Gemeinsam wird eine neue Dachdecke hergestellt
Flomaida II - Gemeinsam wird eine neue Dachdecke hergestellt
Flomaida II - Junge Mama mit 4 Jungs
Flomaida II - Junge Mama mit 4 Jungs
Flomaida II - Ein Häuschen im Grünen......
Flomaida II - Ein Häuschen im Grünen......
Flomaida II - Es reicht auch ein zugeschnittener Autoreifen zum Schaukeln
Flomaida II - Es reicht auch ein zugeschnittener Autoreifen zum Schaukeln
Flomaida II - Hier soll es bald Pizza geben ( Sandwich Bay, Malakula)
Flomaida II - Hier soll es bald Pizza geben ( Sandwich Bay, Malakula)
23/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 259; Showers, Squalls & a High Pressure Ridge Greet the Fleet in the Indian Ocean; Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM. The wind is 15/16 dead astern and our speed thru the water is 7.3 knots and 7.7 knots over the land. We're still motor sailing. Half the sky is obstructed with dark clouds; the moon is trying to set astern with a planet to its upper left. To stop motoring would require a sail adjustment, but with Joel sleeping I'll wait until he's up for the morning 9:00 AM net.The sun rose above the clouds on the horizon at 7:15 AM local Bali time. I have a sense of foreboding as we enter an area of expected higher winds and possible foul weather by this evening. The calm before the storm, if you will. We'll see.At 7:54 AM we're surfing with the waves up to 8.5 knots. More white caps are forming, meaning the wind is at 15 knots and building. The weather forecast that the Rally sends us. read more...


23/09/2014

Firefly - Port Resolution and Mount Yasur, Tanna

Firefly is heading north west to Erramango after 3 nights anchored in Port Resolution on Tanna. Both the island and the anchorage were named by Captain Cook who was there in 1774.Port Resolution is very close to the 'World's most accessible volcano - Mount Yasur' which we were keen to visit. On Sunday (21st September) afternoon we jumped aboard Werry's 4WD Isuzu pick up and bumped and bounced along dirt tracks until we reached the hut at the entrance to the Mt Yasur National Park. The scenery was spectacular and the flora and fauna would best be described as rain forest with a large amount of ferns and spectacular banyan trees. At the hut we paid the entrance fee and then proceeded up the steep track that had been concreted in places. Nearing the peak of the volcano the vegetation. read more...


22/09/2014

Nexus - Safe Arrival in Cocos (Keeling) Islands

After a blustery night of sailing in 30Kt Winds and medium sized waves, It's great to be an anchor behind Direction Island. The front came in as forecast last night, and we went from double and triple reefed sails, to just flying a little bit of Jib (Underpants as we say) and we were struggling to slow the boat down. I think she does about 7 kts with just the sail bag on the boom in 30kts of wind. Anyway we managed to time our arrival perfectly to 9am with good light to see the reefs, and high tide as well. The wind continues to blow outside and through the lagoon here, but the water is calm and the anchorage is crystal clear with good holding sand bottom, we we're going to have a good night sleep! We pulled together an impromptu sundowner get together on the beach this evening, and. read more...


22/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Christmas Island -->Cocos Islands - 4.Tag - Morgen kommen wir an

Nun haben wir genug Wind, fast schon zuviel, aber nur fast;-). Leider schaffen wir es nicht mehr bis heute abend am Ankerplatz zu sein, so dass wir seit gestern langsamer fahren um morgen früh pünktlich nach Sonnenaufgang die Cocos Islands anzulaufen:-). Wir freuen uns alle riesig auf Cocos:-). Cheers, Tom. read more...


21/09/2014

Starblazer - 21/09/2014 – Cruising Vanuatu

We spent 4 days in Port Vila, including buying SIM cards for the Ipads from Digicel.A word of warning for people following in our wake, they might not work!My iIpad is a version 2, three years old though I have downloaded updates to the operating system, and I got 3G coverage, internet etc.John’s is a version 3, two years old, and he could only access Edge, which is the 2G service and was absolutely useless.Once we left Efate to explore the more northern islands only Edge is available, and that doesn’t work, so we have had no internet at all.We left Port Vila in company with Trillium at about noon on Friday. We had bought some duty free spirits and had to wait for Customs to come and seal the bags containing the bottles.We can’t drink it until we clear out of Vanuatu at Luganville where. read more...


Flomaida II - Danke Gaby für die Collage der glücklichen Menschen auf Vanuatu
Flomaida II - Danke Gaby für die Collage der glücklichen Menschen auf Vanuatu
Flomaida II - Bye, bye Ratua Island!
Flomaida II - Bye, bye Ratua Island!
Flomaida II - (M)Ein Träumchen!
Flomaida II - (M)Ein Träumchen!
21/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 258; Light Air and Some Motoring to Cocos Keeling; Saturday, September 20, 2014

At 3:05 AM Joel and Jeremy put up a low side pole on the starboard side. I got up at 5:30 AM. The wind was 15/16 knots, our speed thru the water was 5.4 knots and over the ground 6.8 knots. A 1.4 knot helping current. Let's hope that current stays all the way to Africa! The wind is almost dead astern. Reason we're going so slow. At 6:50 AM I saw Lluiton on our AIS 4.4 miles astern. I can see their sails as its getting light out now. Sweet Pearl is also behind us not too far away, but their AIS is intermittent so I can't see exactly where they are.Sunrise at 7:01 AM Bali Start Time (6:01 AM locally). The sun was already 5 degrees above the horizon when I noticed it. Clouds obstructed it until then. I put one fishing line in the water at 7:05 AM. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.At 8:09 AM. read more...


Flomaida II - (M)Ein Träumchen!
Flomaida II - (M)Ein Träumchen!
Flomaida II - !!!!
Flomaida II - !!!!
Flomaida II - Der Blick von meinem Lieblingsankerplatz
Flomaida II - Der Blick von meinem Lieblingsankerplatz
Flomaida II - Ein traumhaftes Schnorchelrevier
Flomaida II - Ein traumhaftes Schnorchelrevier
Flomaida II - Ein blauer Seestern?
Flomaida II - Ein blauer Seestern?
21/09/2014

Nexus - 150 Miles to go to Cocos (Keeling) Islands

After a light wind nite of motor sailing, the wind returned with a squall early this morning so we're back on the white sails again! We've got the main double reefed and the headsail single reefed to try to slow the boat down for a mid morning arrival as the entrance to Cocos is somewhat tricky and we would like to have high sun to see the reefs.It's a pleasant day with isolated showers and 18kts on the port rear quarter making good sailing. It's getting a bit lumpy as the wind builds the waves. We de-rigged and stowed the code zero this morning and we'll keep the double reef in the main, just in case the forecast heavy weather materializes later this afternoon. We have two fishing lines out after hearing that Alpharatz caught a nice Mahi Mahi in the neighborhood, but so far no joy.. read more...


20/09/2014

Nexus - Half way to Cocos (Keeling) Island

After a fast start with good winds and a swift close hauled run for the first day, we're now bobbing along in 8kts from the stern. It's been a hot day, we've seen one large Indonesian fishing boat so far but no other traffic than the boats we're traveling in company with; Ghost, Alpheratz, Festina Lente and NDS Darwin.We put one motor on about two hours ago to charge the batteries and move us along a bit, while we wait for the wind to return. The forecast has the wind picking up again this evening, and unfortunately, we have heavy weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon as a large cold front will meet us around Cocos, so we'll batten down the hatches!We're looking forward to Cocos, as it is a beautiful atoll of three islands and has been written about by other cruisers as a highlight of. read more...


20/09/2014

American Spirit II - Day 257; Leaving Christmas for Cocos Keeling 530 Miles Away; Friday, September 19, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM due to violent rocking and bumping of the boat. We're still rafted up to Nexus. Went back to sleep and got out of bed at 7:30 AM. At 8:45 AM I took Jeremy to shore in the dingy to meet with Paul, the gas station owner who is going to fill our 3 jerry cans with diesel. Each can hold 5.3 gallons or 20 liters. The cost per liter is $2.40 AUD, or about $10.00 per gallon for diesel. Expensive. At 9:15 AM we untied from Nexus and Nexus from Ghost and both departed for Cocos Keeling. We then grabbed on to the mooring buoy. Because a reef is 50 yards behind us Joel put two lines on the mooring buoy instead of one. If we drift off the buoy into the reef and then the cliff face, the boat will be lost. Jeremy called me on the radio for a pick up at 9:30 AM and I took the dingy. read more...


20/09/2014

Free & BrEasy - Happy Christmas Island

Just four days after waving goodbye to Annabelle, Nieves and Raqel as we left Benoa Marina, Bali, we were arriving in the early morning at Christmas Island. This is remote tropical island which is Australian Territory lying to the south of Java in the Indian Ocean. The 585 mile passage was split into two parts; the boring windless bit which we motored, and the more interesting windy bit during which our focus during the watches was almost entirely fixed on the auto helm which kept on disengaging. Even reefing the main sail to balance the boat did not entirely stop the problem. During the nights we passed through fishing fleets which used green, blue and red strobe lights as navigation lights. Novel but effective!Our first view of Flying Fish Cove, X-Mas Island was very inauspicious. The. read more...


20/09/2014

Sweet Pearl - Christmas Island -->Cocos Islands - 2.Tag - Und wieder weiter

Nach 36 sehr schönen Stunden auf Christmas Island, wo es uns sehr gut gefallen hat, auch wenn man dort nicht sein ganzes Leben verbringen möchte (da es dann doch zu langweilig ist), sind wir wieder aufgebrochen nach Cocos (Keeling) Islands (530 Seemeilen entfernt, d.h. 3-4 Tage auf See).Bis jetzt gings ganz flott voran, wenn der Wind auch jetzt gerade etwas nachlässt. Der soll aber bald wiederkommen, und wir warten solangs auf ihn:-).Kartoffelgratin mit Speck und Käse steht heute auf dem Menü, nachdem wir gestern leckere Burger hatten. Sie lassen es sich also gut gehen - ja, so ist es.:-)Cheers, Tom. read more...


20/09/2014

Celebrate - Sharks!!!! Port Refuge on Direction Island at Cocos (Keeling)

At about 7.00AM local time we have arrived safely in Cocos Keeling. The wind died as we made our approach and in clear daylight we could pick up the leading navigation marks. We followed the waypoints of a previous World ARC participant which got us in to anchorage without a problemalthough at one point there was no more than a foot under the keel! We dropped anchor at the stunning Port Refuge anchorage complete with a welcoming committee of 3 black tip sharks swimming around just off the boat. They seemed to like the flying fish we collected overnight (hope they don't like us too much). here is beautiful turquoise water, palm trees and a sandy beach add to thescene! We have to wait on board till this afternoon for Australian Customs to clear us, so time for a welcoming beer andthen we. read more...


20/09/2014

Folie a Deux - Food Faux Pas and Provisioning

What is a food faux pas?It is when you purchase foods expecting them to be one thing, and they are not.Case in point, yesterday I pulled rolls out of the freezer ready to make sandwiches for lunch.They looked just like dinner rolls you would buy at home to make sliders (mini sandwiches).I sliced them open, and to my surprise they were filled with sweet treats, like chocolate, raisin type paste, and a sweet cheese filling.Unfortunately, only 2 had cheese filling which were used to make 2 small sandwiches.The raisin paste stuff did not work as a sandwich roll, Brian ate the middle and threw those overboard.Lucy was happy to eat the chocolate filled ones since she does not like sandwiches, and chocolate is a food group in her book.It brought me back to my biggest food shopping faux pas….the. read more...


20/09/2014

Firefly - The New Hebrides

Up until independence in 1980, Vanuatu was called the New Hebrides. This name seemed a little strange until Friday when it was cloudy all day and rained for several hours - during this time it did look very similar to Bonny Scotland, but to us, more the mainland of the Western Isles area as opposed to the Inner or Outer Hebrides. Aneityum Island is mountainous and the vegetation is quite lush, green and does consist of a good proportion of coniferous trees.We arrived just before midday on Thursday 18th having sailed the whole route from Fiji apart from a 7 hour stretch of motoring between 1600 and 2300 the day before - fortunately the wind came back enough to make it very pleasant sailing on the last night of the passage - with about 12 to 14 knots of wind we were managing to run goose. read more...


Flomaida II - Wer begrüßt uns am Morgen? Eine Schildkröte!
Flomaida II - Wer begrüßt uns am Morgen? Eine Schildkröte!

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