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15/12/2017

Infinity of Yar - Infinity of Yar - Ode To St Lucia

An Ode to St LuciaSt. Lucia, St. Lucia is an Island so fair,That we left Las Palmas without a care.To cross the ocean of endless blue,And find an island with pastures new.Over the horizon the armada did come, To the lure of the beaches and smell of the rum.So stock up the bars and get the beer on ice,The fleet's in town and the mainbrace is spiced.The crews tie up and head ashore like rockets,The locals just smile and then empty their pockets.Oh St. Lucia; a brazen mistress thou art,I'll walk to that restaurant but leave in a cart.. read more...


15/12/2017

Infinity of Yar - Infinity of Yar - Final Blog

Blog No. 12 Infinity of YarDate: Wednesday 13th December Location: Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia.Alert the press!!We made it to St. Lucia, although I admit that is slightly old news now. We actually arrived on Monday morning at 07.15 So, why is this, probably my final epistle, three days late? Well, it might be writers block, it might be the rum or it might be sheer bone idleness. Probably the answer lies in all three. A wave of euphoria on crossing the line was quickly followed by a wave ofrum which was quickly followed by a wave of apathy leading to sheer bone idleness! That probably sums up the Caribbean lifestyle,let’s face it the “ rate race “ here is an entirely different problem!So, dear readers, let me explain the silence of the last days of our journey prior. read more...


NoStress - Log Day 26 - A Visitor
NoStress - Log Day 26 - A Visitor
14/12/2017

NoStress - Log Day 26 - A Visitor

“Careful what you wish for” is the oft-heard phrase.We’ve been waiting for the wind for days and finally, last night, it arrived. The breeze filled in after dinner (which was the previously maligned but much enjoyed risotto - thanks Fi for the magic recipe) building from 12 to 20 knots through the night.At about 4am local time it hit 25~30 knots - wish granted.“That’s enough wind now thanks” we said, and put a reef in the mainsail which we kept in until the airs softened a little this afternoon.We made 132 miles in the 24 hours until midday today with 160 miles now left to go. So, if all proceeds as planned we should be in Saint Lucia tomorrow!In the title of the log entry I mentioned a visitor.We had a small bird, some sort of sparrow or martin, join us for the night at sunset.Although. read more...


14/12/2017

Cassiopeia - Episode 6/6 – Laaaaand!

There was a joke going around at some point about a two-page literary composition: "The horse entered the forest and went thubalup, thubalup, thubalup, thubalup, thubalup, thubalup, [...] thubalup, thubalup, thubalup until it got out of the forest." What if the composition had to be 4 pages long? No problem: more 'thubalup'.Same goes for me, with episode 6. What else is there to tell by the end of it? The same: more stories from Episode 5 – “Tradewinds”! But here comes a new element ... a telluric one. For me, these were the most memorable moments from the sea adventure movies when the sailor in the crow’s nest would shout as loud as they could: ‘Land ahoy! Land ahoy!’ to the great joy of the crew.I must confess that I felt a bit like cheating by having all that on-board equipment. In. read more...


Cassiopeia - Episode 6/6 – Laaaaand!
Cassiopeia - Episode 6/6 – Laaaaand!
14/12/2017

Cassiopeia - Episode 5/6: Trade Winds - The Santa Lucia Express

Today we'll reach the 999 miles mark until our destination. My father, who left yesterday from Gibraltar, has still to master 5000... we are 6 on a modern and new yacht. He is alone on a yacht, which which is one year older than myself... Our boat was equipped by Liviu with a hydro generator which reloads our battery from the boat's speed as it is propelled by the wind. Without that we would have ended up as a "black ship", a boat with zero power in its battery. In any battery. And this, after we would have used up all the diesel in our tanks, trying to keep up the high voltage. We had foreseen approximately 21 days for our trip. Dad has 50+ to spend on the open sea. Without hydro generator.Our nightwatches last 4 hours, for everyone, and upon finishing  everyone drops dead for. read more...


Cassiopeia - Episode 5/6: Trade Winds - The Santa Lucia Express
Cassiopeia - Episode 5/6: Trade Winds - The Santa Lucia Express
14/12/2017

Cassiopeia - Episode 4/6 - Ten days on the Ocean. Almost halfway

I didn’t felt inspired and didn’t had much to say. Then I got a message from home: “Ovidiu, people are waiting for the 4th episode!”. I smiled like I just heard a good joke, but suddenly the title crossed my mind - 10 days on the ocean. And so, here I am trying to put the words together.I am in the bow cabin, lying on the bed, wearing only a pair of shorts. I just finished my 8.00 to 12.00 watch split with Cătălin. It’s hot, we’ve descended below 18th parallel and the butter melted for some time in the saloon. I felt myself pushed into the cabin walls while the boat was dancing on the waves. It’s Andreea’s turn on the helm, it’s her's and Blondu’s watch.We sail with a speed of 7,5 kn in straight line to Santa Lucia. We keep our schedule on the watch, rigurously as we planned on the. read more...


Cassiopeia - Episode 4/6 - Ten days on the Ocean. Almost halfway
Cassiopeia - Episode 4/6 - Ten days on the Ocean. Almost halfway
14/12/2017

Cassiopeia - Episode 3/6 - Five days on the Atlantic. Cassiopea tour

We have sailed for 5 days already on the Atlantic Ocean on our way to Carribean and I thought to invite you on a tour aboard our boat, Cassiopea.Cassiopea is a Beneteau Oceanis 38 sailboat. 38 representing 38 feet, in the imperial units system, around 3 feets for one metre. So a craft of about 12 m.The 30-32 feet yachts, with two cabins, a companionway and a bathroom, start to be confortable for sea voyages, more coastal.The 34-35 feet go over B category and are more suitable for longer distances, away from the shore.The 38-43 feet yachts offer a generous confort with three double cabins, a big companionway and 1-2 bathrooms.The ones who exceed 44 feet host four or more cabins or they keep only three generous, overly confortable cabins on “the owner version” worthy of fine. read more...


Cassiopeia - Episode 3/6 - Five days on the Atlantic. Cassiopea tour
Cassiopeia - Episode 3/6 - Five days on the Atlantic. Cassiopea tour
14/12/2017

Cassiopeia - Episode 2/6 - Las Palmas. Starting point

Big round of applause! It's the final briefing for the ARC race - Canaries/Las Palmas to Caribbean/Santa Lucia. The room is packed, even thought the skipper and one member of each crew were given the access. No one missing. From Pogo 30, the smallest yacht in this race, with two people aboard, to Oyster 885, a luxury aircraft carrier.It is the end of the East Atlantic Ocean event organized by Jimmy Cornell and carried on by those who took the license. It's a proof of impeccable organization, a fleet of over 150 sailors and over 1500 participants. Think about it, a small part of the logistical work was to take most of the navy residents and anchor them in a nearby bay, in order to make room for hundreds of participating vessels with  an average size of 50 feet ( yes, yes, we know. read more...


Cassiopeia - Episode 2/6 - Las Palmas. Starting point
Cassiopeia - Episode 2/6 - Las Palmas. Starting point
14/12/2017

Cassiopeia - Episode 1/6 - Preparations for Atlantic Crossing

I'm going to cross the Atlantic! This is what I have been telling everyone in the past week. Not to brag, but because I can feel it coming. Every passion has got a milestone, every sport has got its standards. For yachting lovers, crossing the Atlantic on a sailboat is like climbing the Everest for rock-climbers. (Circumterra is something like the Seven Summits). About 3000 nautical miles from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Santa Lucia, the Caribbean.  One of the longest sailing distances in a straight line. Even in the Pacific - there are no 3000 miles without a patch  of land. We think it will take 3 weeks, unless we have days of calm waters. Three weeks of sailing on Cassiopeia, Beneteau Oceanis 38, Liviu and Alex Chiric's boat. Three weeks in which you only. read more...


Cassiopeia - Episode 1/6 - Preparations for Atlantic Crossing
Cassiopeia - Episode 1/6 - Preparations for Atlantic Crossing
14/12/2017

Manihi - Interlude

Oui c'est vrai il y a un peu de relâchement dans l'écriture du blog. C'est vrai qu'on prend ses habitudes ... Des petites nouvelles chaque jour ... C'est vrai aussi que depuis que nous sommes à terre, la pression et les routines quotidiennes ont laissé la place à des journées rythmées par le soleil et probablement ralenties par une certaine nonchalance locale ! De plus, il n'y a rien de très intéressant à raconter, entre les lessives, menage, réparations en tout genre ...Et puis, est-ce bien décent en cette période hivernale d'évoquer la chaleur, la couleur et la température de l'eau, les palmiers, les langoustes et le reste ... Nous avons oublié confits, foie gras, soubressades, aligot et autres jambons pour nous mettre en mode Caraïbes !Bref, tout ça pour dire que nous. read more...


14/12/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope

If you are ever in Capetown, the Castle of Good Hope is a good visit. It is the oldest building in Capetown. It was the original fort built by the Dutch, started in 1652. We had a nice guide and also spent extra time looking at the military museum, Secunde's House and the art exhibit at the Governors House. image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6 image7 image8. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
Lexington - Captain Bob: Castle of Good Hope
13/12/2017

Blue Top - Ultimate whistle Coup!

The blog of the TOP # 16 of Wednesday 13/12/2017 Ultimate whistle Coup! And now, as Denise says, "It's done!"Last night, last fishing, I pulled out a little trevally. Nono cooked it and mixed it with tomato rice, a treat. This night around 3am we cut the engine and sail at 5 to 6 kts. We had guessed the lights of Martinique since yesterday. We pass the Cabrits Islet at 11am after zigzagging among the nets and many barely visible lockers. Then we go north to the North Marin and its large sheltered bay. Finally, at noon buoys and at 12:15 we anchor after 24 days of sea and about thirty hours of engine. We thought to make the crossing in 17 to 18 days, but the weather decided otherwise. So it's true, no finish line, no cheerleaders, no vahines or orchestra, but a great pleasure."It's. read more...


13/12/2017

NoStress - Log Day 25 - Eat, Sleep, Wait for Wind, Repeat.

I have to start today’s entry with an apology I’m afraid.We have nothing new to report.The wind that was promised in the forecasts predictably failed to appear (the irony of this observation tessellates all too well with the other parts of our story).The sun remains hot, making sleeping below uncomfortable.Likewise the view is unchanged (apart from the odd flurry of flying fish).The crew are in good spirits - if this remains true after tonight’s dinner of rice and peas is yet to be seen though.Latest calculations indicate we should arrive in Saint Lucia on Friday or Saturday, but the lack of consistent or reliable wind is painful and we’re clawing at every mile with hope, but not much certainty, that we’ll make it to land within the next 3 days.With less than 300 miles to go, that should. read more...


12/12/2017

Blue Top - BlueTop 12122017 Clap de fin...

Eh bien dernier billet pour cette ARC 2017...écourtée...Note heureuse...cette apres midi on a fait du bateau a voile...et sur une mer quasi plate, et un vent de travers de 6a 12Kt...sous un chaud soleil....et cela ne se refuse pas....Depuis hier apres midi, et notre fin de course, on a du faire quand même une quinzaine d'heures au moteur...qui vient de reprendre du servicea cette heure...brise evanescente...le spi ne tient plus en l'air....la nuit risque d'etre comme la precedente, du vent avec les grains ...et peu en dehors....Velcro JMi profite de la route peche, pour mouiller la ligne....on est tous derriere lui...le couteau a lever les filets est pret!Merci a toutes zé tous pour vos messages et votre soutien...on se causera bientôt de vive voixBonne soiréeBlueTop a 85NM de l'Ilet. read more...


12/12/2017

NoStress - Log Day 24 - The Tortoise and the Hare

Or should I say the tortoise, and only the tortoise.A slow tortoise at that, one that has one of those GPS boxes in its car to get discount off its insurance premium because it’s such a safe driver.The sort of chelonian that thinks snails are dragsters and for whom watching paint dry is an action movie.Yes, it’s been a slow day waiting for the promised wind to fill in.Once again it teases us, lots of shifts in angle and strength have us fiddling with the rig in the hot sun just to hover around the 5 knot mark.So we continue to wait patiently for the wind to help us on our way - such is a sailor’s lot.23 days into 21 days of provisions and the daily bill of fayre is beginning to get “interesting”.Lunch was sausages & pasta with a cup-a-soup sauce.Those that know the caterers at my. read more...


NoStress - Log Day 24 - The Tortoise and the Hare
NoStress - Log Day 24 - The Tortoise and the Hare
12/12/2017

La Cigale - Day 24 - 12 December - St Lucia!!!

"Hark how the sailors' cry,Joyously echoes nighSanta Lucia... Santa Lucia!"- Neopolitan folk songAs a child, I would sit by my mother at the piano, singing my heart out while she played from an American book of folk songs from around the world. The one above was one of my favourites. Now it has popped into my head as we arrived in St Lucia at 7.30am this morning, appropriately on the eve of the feast day of St Lucy. Growing up, as the youngest and called Lucy, I would take coffee and cakes to the family first thing in the morning of 13th December, with a candle on the tray. Here in St Lucia, I am delighted to find not only is the 13th a national holiday, but it kicks off this evening with a Festival of Lights and Renewal, a promenade of lanterns, masqueraders and fireworks. Talk about. read more...


12/12/2017

Hot Stuff - some final thoughs

As we approach the last days starboard watch (Josie, Rosie, Silvia and Janet) have been discussing our experiences, good and bad, and thinking about the things we will miss. 1) precariously positioning yourself in the heads, knowing one unfortunately timed heel will result in being slapped back with toilet water.2) surviving the heads challenge, but busting out the side door towards the person in the forepeak with your pants around your ankles. 3) the never ending supply of cabbage to create some unusual meal choices, pasta pesto and cabbage....yum! 4) armpit hair wafting in the wind (without judgement!)5) playing human Tetris to get between the cabin, saloon and deck.6) the strange noises and the mouse that lives in the mast.7) boat soap foot spas, authentic sea salt shower scrubs and. read more...


12/12/2017

Blue Top - BlueTop 12122017 On the way to Martinique

Le blog à part du TOP n°15 du mardi 12/12/2017Aujourd'hui, anniversaire de mon filleul, salut Yann !Cette nuit, j'étais de dernière garde. Réveillé une heure avant à 3h, j'ai remplacé Catherine. On avait le moteur depuis la veille au soir et en l'absence de vent on setraînait à 4, 5 kts. Après les minimum 7 kts des jours d'avant, on ne peut pas dire que les poissons volants étaient collés dans mes moustaches. Trois heures trèspénibles, vent nul puis tournant moins de un kt. Je surveille du coin de l'oeil à l'AIS, Peregrine, voilier aussi au moteur par travers babord arrière. Je ne le verrais jamais.Ah oui l'AIS (automatic informationsystem), pour ceux à qui je n'en ai pas encore touché deux mots. Il s'agit d'un système embarqué qui émet à destination des autres bateaux les infos comme le. read more...


12/12/2017

La Cigale - Day 24 - 12 December - Land Ahoy!

I'd just got to sleep (it seemed) when the alarm rang. Still pitch black outside, I just about registered it was only 5am, at least an hour and a half too early for my alarm. Why is it ringing? What do I do? The ringing stopped. Then it began again. I started, taken aback by its insistence, then fumbled, all fingers and thumbs. Three weeks away from civilisation and I've forgotten how to answer a phone! I got there in the end though to find it was Xavier's cousin Tom, who, with his family, had sailed with us to the Canaries. Tom was ringing to congratulate us - only 12 miles to go! How's the atmosphere with you guys? Hot and stuffy, I replied, thinking of the vest top sticking to my back. Not sure that's quite what he meant...The Skipper mumbled an acknowledgement into the microphone,. read more...


12/12/2017

Indian Summer - Day 22 with Ted

We followed Teds fishing recommendations and got lucky. Two big mahi mahi, around one meter each! We could eat fish tacos and now the captain is getting better at cutting up the fish so we get more and more out of them. Ted has learnt a new table game, Bonanza, where you plant and harvest beans to get rich. Hilmer won. For several days we had a lot of wind and waves (Ted has been seasick), but now it is almost no wind or waves (safe for Ted). Now everybody is longing to come to St Lucia and walk some solid ground, but still two-three days to go.Sunshine from Indian Summer - Ted, Hampus and Hilmer. read more...


11/12/2017

Gust of Wind - Final Day

Match Racing to the endThe last 24 hours saw some challenging and exhilarating sailing. Rain squalls with accompanying winds of 30 to 40 knots. Flying just the spinnaker, we would accelerate quickly as the gusts hit us. At one point we had a top speed of 24 knots (Can’t say exactly as the wind speed meter had been blown off the mast, sustained for 20 to 30 seconds, with the spray coming off the bows like a powerboat.)  This was followed by periods of very light winds. Shortly after sunrise we had dolphins on the bow again.Since a few days into the start of the race, we hadn’t seen another boat and then out of the darkness a few days ago loomed Celeste of Solent, a far 65. Each of us sailing our own race, our paths would cross as we both went in different directions only for us to. read more...


Gust of Wind - Final Day
Gust of Wind - Final Day
11/12/2017

La Cigale - Day 23 - 11 December - As the sun sets...

Today began with the most spectacular of sunrises, matched only by the sunset this evening, and I persuaded the whole crew to come and join me on the bow to watch it together. Clowning around to get a smile from some of the younger members of the crew, grumpy at first, having to leave Plus Plus (a kind of flat version of Lego, with which you can construct 3D objects) and don life-jackets, the biggest smile was drawn by the arrival of a pod of dolphins, the larger than any we have seen so far, playing in our bow. We have now set our clocks to Barbadian time. Less than 75 miles to go!. read more...


11/12/2017

Lothlorien - Tag 22 - Geschrieben an Tag 23

Zum ersten Mal bin ich ganz nervös dabei, einen Blogeintrag zu schreiben. Ihr fragt euch, warum? Ganz einfach: Seitdem wir gestern angekommen sind und wieder Kontakt zur "Zivilisation" haben, trudelten von unzähligen Leuten What's App Nachrichten, SMS und E-Mails ein, von Leuten, die unseren Blog gelesen haben. Die Hälfte davon kenne ich noch nicht einmal! Es ist ein bisschen überwältigend gewesen, aber auch schön, weil es allen gefallen zu haben scheint (oder alle höflich genug waren, nicht zu sagen, dass sie mein Geschreibsel furchtbar fanden). Also möchte ich diesen Eintrag damit beginnen, Danke zu sagen: Danke an alle, die so fleißig mitgelesen und Anteil an unserem Abenteuer genommen haben; an alle, die in Gedanken mitgesegelt sind. Danke! :-)Gestern um 07:40:45 Uhr local time sind. read more...


La Cigale - Day 23 - The sun sets on La Cigale
La Cigale - Day 23 - The sun sets on La Cigale
11/12/2017

NoStress - Log Day 23 - Jacques Cousteau

Wind, what wind?We spent last night, and today drifting at 2-3 knots with a flukey breeze of 4-5 swinging between our stern and our beam.After some maintenance and cleaning (including flushing the holding tanks and the bilges) we looked at the drive selection unit again and a very worrisome vibration started.This was not good news.Cue the camera team from the Blue Planet!With help from the Blue Peter production department (zip strips, boat hook and sticky-back plastic) we had an underwater GoPro gimbal.A couple of shots over the side and our fears were confirmed.Somewhere along the way we’ve picked up an unhealthy amount of line around the prop, and even the rope cutter on the shaft hadn’t dealt with it.Solution: Jake and I went for a dip with our knives and got to work under the boat.. read more...


11/12/2017

La Cigale - Day 23 - 11 December - Catch of the Day

I took over from the Skipper on the dawn watch this morning. The rest of the crew fast asleep, it isn't often we have time to ourselves so he stayed out a little longer I keep me company. He also wanted to keep an eye on an approaching vessel he had just flagged. The stars were shining, and with my Night Sky app, I could give him a guided tour. No, that wasn't Mars, that was Betelgeuse, also of a reddish hue, I corrected him, continuing: that bright star, over there, is actually the planet Jupiter and look, just above, *that's* Mars. After a few minutes he declared "Actually, Lucy, I'm not really interested at all, I just want to find the North Star that I remember as a teenager." I cast around quickly and caught sight of a bright light on the horizon. "There you go, Polaris!" I said. read more...


11/12/2017

Blue Top - BlueTop 11122017 Plume d'oie

The blog of TOP n ° 14 of Monday 11/12/2017 Dear Friends, dear fans, dear groupies, dear families, we do not doubt that all your thoughts are turned towards us. Unfortunately, it's "game over" and it's not "more fun to compete"! I quote Nono: "Since yesterday afternoon the breeze has been light ... last night a little more constant the second part of the night, but since this morning is the" misery "... 2 to 3 kt speed ... the forecasts for this night and tomorrow morning do not give more wind (and we have less than the expected wind!) ... in short we give up the race, this day at 17H30TU, .... to make motor road until finding a breeze enough to move towards St. Lucia ..or Le Marin directly ..The sporting stakes had already begun since last week, we were before this abandonment the. read more...


11/12/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.

The Kirstenbosch Gardens were given to Capetown by Cecil John Rhodes an early prime minister of the Cape Colony who became wealthy. I will show a few photos This is a tree top canopy recently added. This is streptocarpus which is like an African Violet. The last two were from a family called protea This was a 30-40 foot tree. I did not get the nameThis is Houw hoek a type of heathMay fair winds fill your sails with fragrance and beauty BobSent from my iPadimage1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Lexington - Captain Bob: Kirstenbosch Gardens.

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