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14/06/2015

Exody - Days 148 -156 : Flotilla to a Fiji Feast

Since Tonga we have been embraced by the ICA Pacific Circuit rally with joint clearances out of Tonga last Monday 8th and then in to Vanua Balavu at the north of the Lau Group of Fiji.We were the 36th boat cleared of about 38 in total on Friday 12th. The four officials who are visiting these remote islands especially for us, and who are joining in our activities, agreed to clear the last few of us after we had moved around the island from Lomaloma to the perfect anchorage of Mbavatu harbour on Friday 12th - they sailed on one of the boats.The 280 mile two day passage from Tonga had been an uncomfortable one with rather too much wind (up to 30 knots), requiring us to slow the boat from the first night out and latterly with a confused sea which gave a particularly uncomfortable corkscrew. read more...


14/06/2015

Gozwoz - Roger and the Red Light

The marina at Vila do Porto was well run and we were extremely well looked after. As is usual the pontoons were fitted with electric sockets and water pipes which were mounted on posts at regular intervals, each post having a light on top. All the lights in the posts were white with one exception, that was the one by our stern which was red, apparently advertising the presence of someone of loose morals on GOZWOZ. Our last night at Vila do Porto involved a barbecue at the Club Naval and traditional dancing, which turned out to be a very competent musical duo. Roger was of course dolled up in going out mode. On our return to GOZWOZ a digestive (drink not biscuit) was being enjoyed in the cockpit. I am pleased to say that we had a number of enquiries from other returning yachties as to. read more...


14/06/2015

Zingara - Start nach lagos

Start nach lagos.... Einen gelungenen start freigegeben von einemzerstoerer der portugisischen navi durften wir erleben. Schoenstesurlaubswetter zum sonnenbaden begleitete uns, aber nicht gerade idealewinde zum segeln. So rutschen wir im moment mit 5+ kts durch die seichtenwellen und hoffen, dass es mindestens so bleibt. Aber: die vorhersagekuendigt etwas anderes an. So, jetzt muss ich ran, wolle hat wie immerhunger, hatte ihm thunasalat versprochen. Damit sonntaegliche gruesseernst, ingo und wolfgang. read more...


14/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 29: 14 June 2015

The Chief Engineer, known to be a bit odd at thebest of times, seems to have taken a turn for the worse. There areworrying signs of obsession. Last night his head appeared in thecompanionway demanding to check the engine oil. What's wrong withthat? you might say. "He is Chief Engineer after all". Well, nothingexcept that it was around midnight and the oil had been checked just afew hours earlier. Thinking he must have been havinga nightmare about engine failure with a massive supertankerbaring down upon us at a rate of knots -  or something of the sort - Ireassured him everything was OK and suggested he go back to bed, which heeventually did. But not, unfortunately, before waking the Judge. read more...


Dala - Sarah and Joelle in Angra de Hereoismo
Dala - Sarah and Joelle in Angra de Hereoismo
Dala - Natural pools in Angra
Dala - Natural pools in Angra
Dala - Inside the crater , Angra
Dala - Inside the crater , Angra
Dala - Bull run
Dala - Bull run
14/06/2015

Agua Dulce - Azores Cruise

We depart this morning from Santa Maria, the last stop in our Azores cruise. Again, the people of the islands have been nothing but friendly, warm and inviting. I definitely hope to return to visit here again someday. Terceira was yet another beautiful island with rolling green fields and beautiful hydrangeas, azaleas, and other flowers. The main town, Angra do Heroismo, has a very old world feel to it. There are no modern buildings - everything is beautifully maintained as it was built originally soon after it was discovered by the Portuguese explorers in the late 1400’s. The buildings are painted in soft colors and most have decorative iron window sashes lined with colorful flowers. We enjoyed some wonderful local “comfort food” called Alcatra, which is the Terceiran version of. read more...


14/06/2015

Luna Quest - Sunday, 14th June, 2015

Position: Bay of Islands, Vanua BalavuDistrance run: 1 hour Vanua Balavu forms part of the Exploring Islands (Fiji). They have been neglected as cruising grounds and have been outside the tourist routes until 2012. As the Exploring islands are on the way to the main islands from east to west, yachts have not been able to visit them as clearing-in facilities have not been available (they are available on the two main islands) and to sail back into the trade winds to visit them has never been an appealing idea. Since 2012, however, Immigration, Customs, Police, Health and Bio security, have made themselves available in Vanua Balavu to groups of yachties (such as the World ARC or the ICA) at specific times to clear them into the Fiji group of islands. It is quite a delightful. read more...


Zingara - Portugisische Gastlichkeit
Zingara - Portugisische Gastlichkeit
Zingara - auch an Bord ist es gemütlich...
Zingara - auch an Bord ist es gemütlich...
Zingara - Sundowner Ponta Delgada
Zingara - Sundowner Ponta Delgada
13/06/2015

Zingara - die letzte Etappe liegt vor uns

Die schöne Insel Santa Maria haben wir am gestrigen Nachmittag halb segelnd halb motorend erreicht. Wieder einmal hatten wir eine angenehm ruhige See, aber der Wind fehlte. Genua 1/3 gesetzt und Main in der Mitte zum Stabilisieren, so haben wir von Ponta Delgada hierher die See durchpflügt ......Und nun? Am Nachmittag Briefing für dei letzte Etappe, es wird zunächst wohl wieder mehr Motorsegeln als Segeln pur, bis Dienstagnachmittag erwarten wir nur Schwachwind. Dann aber, also die letzten 3 bis 4 Tage gehts nochmals zur Sache - wohl als versöneneden Abschluß -.Trotzdem sind wir Alle noch immer gut drauf, die Gruppe ist ja nun auch auf eine leicht überschaubare Größe geschrumpft. Auch von hier aus werden nicht Alle bis zum Ende dabei sein,direkt nach England, Norwegen, Kanarische Inseln. read more...


Dala - Zumba in front of the Police station, Santa Maria 2
Dala - Zumba in front of the Police station, Santa Maria 2
Dala - Zumba in front of the Police station, Santa Maria 1
Dala - Zumba in front of the Police station, Santa Maria 1
Dala - Our new watches order, scribbled on a paper table cloth, in a good fish restaurant, Sao Miguel Island
Dala - Our new watches order, scribbled on a paper table cloth, in a good fish restaurant, Sao Miguel Island
Dala - Joelle my superwoman Winner of the Ladies bowling contest
Dala - Joelle my superwoman Winner of the Ladies bowling contest
Dala - With my brother Harry, Sao Miguel Island
Dala - With my brother Harry, Sao Miguel Island
Dala - Inside the volcano, Terceira Island 2
Dala - Inside the volcano, Terceira Island 2
Dala - Inside the volcano, Terceira Island 1
Dala - Inside the volcano, Terceira Island 1
Dala - Bulls place, Terceira Island
Dala - Bulls place, Terceira Island
Dala - Bull Fight, Terceira Island 3
Dala - Bull Fight, Terceira Island 3
Dala - Bull Fight, Terceira Island 2
Dala - Bull Fight, Terceira Island 2
Dala - Bull Fight, Terceira Island 1
Dala - Bull Fight, Terceira Island 1
13/06/2015

Firefly - An interesting arrival at Vanua Balavu, Lau Group, Fiji

Firefly's passage from Tonga to Vanua Balavu in the Lau Group was very quick and during the second night we had to slow down as the wind kept increasing and we needed good daylight to transit the passage into the lagoon. This led to a particularly uncomfortable night as we reduced sail down to 2 reefs in the main and a fully furled jib. In a moderate sea, with very little sail up Firefly was rocking and rolling and was in fact still going too fast. Arriving at the Tongan Passage at first light we joined the first of the combined ICA and World ARC rally boats, Heatwave and Astral Express, both 'hove to' waiting for enough light to attempt the passage in moderate onshore winds. Heatwave's patience ran out first and they went through reporting on the VHF that it was wide and relatively. read more...


13/06/2015

Luna Quest - Saturday, 13th June, 2015

Position: 17.13S 178.58WRun since arrival in Vanua Balavu: 29 milesThe association our World ARC fleet formed with the Island Cruising Association proved very beneficial. Its commodore (John of a yacht called Windflower) had planned two yacht trips for the ICA fleet together with the World ARC fleet around Vanua Balavu, where we finished the clearing-in process early Friday morning. By 10.30am the combined fleet of some 40 yachts followed Windflower weaving its way out of the anchorage and around the many reefs towards the Mbavatu Harbour in the North of the island. Mbavatu Harbour sported a single dinghy jetty and a single building in the shape of a small sailing club against a backdrop of steep, impenetrable and virginal walls of forest that would have been there since time immemorial.. read more...


12/06/2015

Widago - Azores-N. Europe Leg: Day 1

Our last couple of days have been a whirlwind as we made ready for this, another 1800nm, leg of our Atlantic crossing. Spontaneous sangria happy hour dockside last night, led to teary goodbyes (yes, I'm a crybaby) to our fleet mates in Sao Miguel.At the time, the cocktail party was a happy distraction, feeding my procrastinating inner child. However, as I showered earlier this evening, the science project, formerly known as my bathroom, seems to be taking on a life of its own.Luckily, there is not much on my docket for the next two weeks, so I'm sure I'll get around to a bleach sneak attack.The sailing so far has been great. We finally found enough wind going the right direction to shut off the engines. Making 8kts upwind with 15kts true on a close reach. Seas are cooperating, but we are. read more...


12/06/2015

Gozwoz - To Santa Maria

The marina at Ponta Delgada was new but had a major disadvantage in its plague of seagulls. Once hosed down the pontoon was superficially healthy but the cleaning, while removing the bulk of the guano, did not remove the bones lodged among the woodwork, parts of which resembled an ossuary. Doctor Navigator would no doubt have relished the challenge of identifying the bones. Our position in the marina did, however, meet the approval of Roger who enjoyed the close presence of the young male members of the Finnish crew moored along side. Sadly they sailed north from Ponta Delgada while we sailed south.Yesterday the Bosun, the Coxswain and Roger went on a coach tour of the island, visiting the caldera of one of the local volcanoes and admiring the lush countryside where dairy farming is a. read more...


12/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 28: 13 June 2015

This is my first attempt at a blog, but given thatwe are now at about the half way point on the final leg I feel that time isrunning out.  The usual caveat applies - thanks to Peter, Carol, Ian,Richard and Louis for their assistance in preparing this blog.  I am theauthor but they are responsible for any mistakes or errors.  Also a warningthat having lived for 20 years in the offshore world, I am entirely judgmentproof so there is no point in bringing any legal proceedings.   It has been quite a tough trip so far: (I) numerous comments in the Captain's blog (whichwill be entered into the Booker Prize for fiction next year) about my diet.These comments are not, in fact, confined to the blog as even Ian made a commenttoday about the size of my bottom (I think that the. read more...


12/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 28: 13 June 2015 (Captain's Postscript)

Here's a conversation that took place in thecockpit yesterday.Me: "Ian, is it true that you have to pay a forfeitto the charity you are collecting for on this trip every time you are sea sick?" Ian: "Yes". Me: "And did I see you puking over the sideyesterday?" Michael: "Yes you did and it gave me great pleasurenot because I was being sick at the same time and appreciated thecompany, but because Louis reprimanded him for being sick towindward." Ian: "I was puking to windward because yourbig arse was in the way as you were puking to leeward." Michael: "But it's a big deck." Ian: "Yes, and you've got a bigarse."  Charming isn't it.. read more...


12/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 27: 12 June 2015

The problem of how to avoid sliding out of bedwhen on a port tack has been exercising my mind and I have come upwith a couple of ideas. The first, yet to be tried, is to fixhandcuffs above the head end - port side - of the bunk to whichwe can firmly attach ourselves. When I mentioned this to the crewthey all said it was a good idea and could they have somehandcuffs too - odd as they all sleep in bunks to starboard! The otheridea, which Mrs Trouble and I did try out last night with considerablesuccess, is to chock up the bottom - starboard end - of the bunk with something.A mattress snaffled from the crews' quarters worked well - sure it won'tbe missed!! Consequently, a very good night's sleep was. read more...


11/06/2015

Luna Quest - Thursday, Friday 12 June, 2015

Position: 17.18S 178.59WDaily run: 120 milesWe had timed our entry to the pass correctly and we were not alone. Another 6 yachts appeared from different directions. We were the 5th yacht to line up for the pass in 24 knots of wind (Force 6) and as we had the benefit of seeing where the first four had gone, our passage was made considerably easier. We had expected a mass of white foam to obliterate any sight of the pass, but the reefs were well below the water and there did not appear to be much breaking of seas until we were quite close and could see the reefs and their choppy waters. Some of today’s electronic charts aided by gps have made navigation quite reliable.None of the navigational buoys that show rocks, reefs and bommies on the chart were in evidence in the lagoon. Neither. read more...


11/06/2015

Gozwoz - In Terceira and on to Sao Miguel

The over-riding memory of Terceira is the bumpy and noisy marina mooring, just inside the marina entrance and full in the face of the southerly swell. It couldn't be helped because the marina was so busy but several boat crews had very disturbed nights tightening and re-tightening lines. At one point we pulled a cleat off that was between Unconditional and ourselves but a speedy repair by the Navigator and OGL rectified the situation.A walking tour of the city was a great success. The guide was pleasant, articulate and humorous and took us to a number of sites of real interest together with some spectacular viewpoints. It is always good to see someone who thoroughly enjoys their work!The crew went on a taxi tour of the local volcano - complete with lava tubes, stalactites and. read more...


11/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 26: 11 June 2015

This is horrible. It is cold, grey, wet andmiserable and I am too. The sky is heavy, the sea is heavy and we arebeing pitched about on a heeling boat. Doing anything requires maximumeffort and my body aches. Peter just fell exhausted on to the floor after ourwatch last night (sleeping in the bed is impossible ). He had been helmingcontinuously for 4 hours ( because I am useless ). The effort andconcentration needed to steer the boat in these conditions is relentless (too much for the auto pilot ).  Because he is the man he is he just gets onwith it, of course.  He has not moved since.....I think he needs tosleep. This is day 3 and we still have more than 800 milesto go to the Straits of Gibraltar. On a brighter note, the boys are happy to be"sailing".. read more...


08/06/2015

Gozwoz - To Terceira

Yesterday started with a 5.30 call from our Belgian neighbour on Fuga, a short while ahead of our planned alarm call, but helpfully coupled with an offer to untie our long shore stern line. Consequently we were one of the first boats out of Horta. The limited wind was on our nose as we passed down the Sao Jorge Channel but we managed to sail about 20 miles in the afternoon, firstly with cruising chute and then with goose wing (or Butterfly as we have poetically heard it called). On arriving at Angra marina we found a queue of boats waiting to check in at the reception, the planned touch 'n go having failed to materialise. We spent about 45 minutes doing circuits at the marina entrance but felt blessed, particularly as another yacht informed us they had waited 1.5 hours. Our sincere. read more...


11/06/2015

May - Day 4

Saturday afternoon the wind increased to a F6 NE with waves to match but all was still well. We had ports of refuge in mind if things got worse but we were too far west to make for them and it would have meant beating to windward on a fine reach. On we went with the wind increading to a F7 to 8 and waves breaking over the stern of the boat. It was hard helming so we did half an hour each while the other two looked out for rogue waves that could be a problem. The wind speed was up to 40 knots with no sign of abating. Then a large wave came and knocked John off his feet at the helm, followed by another that knocked the boat over on its side, but she's a strong old girl, so she came right back up. I was down below at the time and holding on, so I wasn't thrown to the other side with force,. read more...


May - Day 4
May - Day 4
10/06/2015

GarliX - Rost, Grünspan und anderer Gammel

Tour: 8.6.-10.6.15 Tonga - Fiji / erstes Ziel Lau Group - Vanua Balavu / Distanz: 290smJa, die Überschrift ist etwas ungewöhnlich. Aber Angesichts der Bedeutung von diesem chemischen Prozess der Feuchtigkeit, ist es mehr als überfällig, darüber mal zu schreiben. Größter „Reißer“ hier sind zur Prophylaxe wasserdichte Boxen und Plastiktüten mit Zipp - Verschluss und zur Therapie WD 40. Letzteres ist das Allheilmittel hier überhaupt und gibt es übrigens in fast jedem Laden der bisher ersegelten Welt; steht häufig gleich neben Nesquik und Nutella… ist ja auch ähnlich wichtig. Ohne WD 40 würde die Welt hier wohl leicht „festgefressen“ stillstehen. USB Sticks, die nur so rumliegen, fangen an zu rosten. Auch an den Computern die ohne Hülle rumstehen, entsteht an den USB Kontakten eine leichte. read more...


10/06/2015

Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!

Sienna likes listening to music up close and personal with the cockpitspeakers     m_IMG_2430 m_IMG_2432 m_IMG_2436 m_IMG_2440 m_IMG_2441 m_IMG_2445 m_IMG_2446 m_IMG_2450 m_IMG_2451 m_IMG_2452 m_IMG_2454 m_IMG_2455 m_IMG_2457 m_IMG_2458 m_IMG_2459. read more...


Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!

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