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22/02/2018

Air Power - Feb 22

After approximately 100 hours of motoring, we are finally sailing and pointing toward the Marquesas Islands. The GRIB files did not look promising, until we passed through 5 degrees Southlatitude and west of the 94 degree line West longitude. There is one thing to be said for motoring in glassy seas, the boat rides flat and stable. It was like being on a lake for the first 4 days. Now we get the up and down, back and forth motion that 13 knots of wind provide. Waves generally run 45 degrees off the wind line. So, they push you along at a bit of an angle.The moon also returned and is actually up at night, as opposed to during the day. What a novelty. Lately we have to rely on the radar to avoid colliding with any unknown obstacle. If the radar ever picks up a sleeping whale, we'll be sure. read more...


22/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello

We are in a marina near Capadello. It is a very quiet marina on a river to Capadello. The city was Joao Pessoa. There was a small area of small shops and one restaurant. Their attraction for tourist is a saxophone player who is paddled along in the water beside the shops. He has been doing his act for many years every day at sunset. It was amazing the amount of traffic he seemed to generate. It was a Keywest Sunset type event on a smaller scale. We had dinner at a restaurant that was built as a tree house. image1 image2 image3. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello
Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello
Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello
Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello
Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello
Lexington - Captain Bob: Capadello
20/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: 2/20/2018 09*. 02' south. 035*. 05' west

We are one day out of Capadello where we will stay until we take off for Granada. My theme lately is to see what I have learned in the past 14 months. I will try to summarize our group as to qualities leading to a successful less challenging trip. Just about everyone who wanted to finish will finish the trip. One owner was older and decided to sell his boat in Australia. He had planned to have his wife be with him but she decided that sailing was not for her. He had three great crew but his heart was not in it to continue and he got a good quick offer for his boat. The boat market is good in Australia. He may have found that he was a little older than he thought. I know I have really felt my age. Another boat dropped out in Australia. They joined in Fiji from the year before. They had. read more...


19/02/2018

Air Power - Feb 19

Our time in San Cristobal Island was enjoyable. We had to create barriers on the two sterns of the hulls to keep the sea lions off. Shouting didn't work too well. Neither did the rope barriers. I finally made a deal with them. If they would just shut up, I wouldn't be chasing them with the boat hook, and we both could sleep. We fueled up in restaurants and attempted to use the internet. We got a chance to buy diesel for our continuance to French Polynesia. Getting fuel consisted of taking jerry cans in the back of a taxi (pickup truck) and getting special permission for the purchase. Locals' cost was approximately $1.04 per gallon. Visiting yachts....$3.70. At least the person fueling our cans looked official. Swat coveralls, badge, holstered weapon. I'm sure the Ecuadoran government. read more...


19/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Squeaky clean

We arrived back in the anchorage around 1 a.m. on Saturday morning having dutifully sailed the required 40 nautical miles offshore to release our baby barnacles into the deep blue sea. The operation proved far more challenging than anticipated. Unfortunately, the flat-calm, glassy seas of a few days ago had been replaced by a vicious chop. We hove-to (basically forcing the genoa onto the opposite tack from the main sail, so that the main and the foresail work against each other, stopping the boat and calming the motion). But even this attempt at nautical parking didn't achieve the desired effect.Shepherd Moon ploughed on at around 1.5 knots, rolling from side to side like a drunken sailor. I tied a rope around my middle, and we ran another rope along the side of the boat to hold onto,. read more...


19/02/2018

Blue Pearl - Blue Pearl

MUYU would be successful anywhere in the world. Beautifully prepared and presented healthy food, elegant decor and great service. Just the perfect place to celebrate Laurie's memorable birthday. We were on Cristobal the Galapagos Island where we made landfall on Thursday of last week. We didn't expect such an elegant restaurant there.The night of our arrival John , our crew member and new friend from Australia, grilled a beautiful chicken breast meal for us on the boat only to be surprised by a large seal joining him on Blue Pearl's aft deck. We soon learned that Wreck Bay, where we were anchored , is the home of more seals than there are Kangaroos in John's home country and they all love to jump on the boats anchored in the Bay.We passaged to Cristobal from Contrador in the Panamanian. read more...


18/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: 2/17/2018. 12*. 45' south. 38*. 01 west

We are sailing north along the coast of Brazil towards Capadello. From there we will head to Granada (about 1200 miles). We have almost completed our circumnavigation and I really do not know what I have learned. That is mostly because I have not thought about it that much. One can not sail 28,000 miles around the world and not learn anything. So here goes with a few things I have learned or reinforced. If one had to pick 1. Excellent boat 2. Excellent captain 3. Being in the right place at the right time , I would choose 3.This trip is a perfect example. We have not had a start delayed by weather. This is a trip planned years ahead of time and starts scheduled. We have had some less than perfect weather at times but nothing that should challenge our skills much. For sure there are. read more...


17/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: 2/16/2018

We are anchored at Morro São Paulo. We will be headed north in a few days toward Capadello. I was talking to a couple of other Arc participants about the finish line being near. The general consensus was that we were completing a major accomplishment. I alway have a different view than others about a lot of things. The more I thought about it the more I thought that my sister Alice Baesler and her husband, Scotty Baesler completed a more difficult task each year as they raised 300-400 acres of tobacco. They managed a crew of 20-30 workers for whom they furnished housing, transportation, medical coverage and weekly visits to the grocery.They sometimes have up to 60-70 contract workers at busy times. They have a greater financial risk. Farming is almost as dangerous as mining. I have a. read more...


16/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Stowaways

In the early hours of this morning we finally arrived in the Galapagos and now we are leaving them again. Despite having Shepherd Moon lifted out of the water in Shelter Bay and pressure washed, and then checked again while we were in Las Perlas (albeit through murky green waters) we have acquired a few baby barnacles during our 1,000 mile transit from Las Perlas to the Galapagos. I had meant to check the bottom before we arrived, but the last couple of days haven't played out in the quite the way we expected. The net result is that the barnacle police have told us (and the other two boats they checked today) to go 40 miles offshore to clean off the offending crustaceans, and then return to the anchorage for a further inspection. Oh well, it's a nice day for a sail.The trip down to the. read more...


IceBear - Galapagos Freeloaders
IceBear - Galapagos Freeloaders
15/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Booby prize

In this series of blogs we have tried to give a taste of the ups and downs of life at sea, and have hopefully induced the odd smile. Sadly today's blog is very much focused on the down side of life, and the sense of hopelessness you feel when so far away from family.As most of you know, my mum developed Alzheimer's about 10 years ago and has been steadily going downhill. It is such a terrible disease, eating away at the very kernel of what makes a person who they are, until, in the end, all that is left is a dry husk. My mum was at that stage. When we visited her at Christmas she was healthy and happy, but had no idea who we were. Yesterday afternoon we received one of those emails you dread receiving at sea. It said my mum had had a stroke overnight and was in a coma. Two hours later we. read more...


15/02/2018

Mischief - Crossing the Equator

We are nearly at San Cristobal with about 50 miles to run at 0400 UTC We crossed the Equator at 2100hrs UTC last night. We had a Neptune party which involved stopping Mischief on Lat 00degrees00.00', saying a few words, having a drink each and 1 for Neptune.The trip has been a bit frustrating with light winds and rain. We have done lots of motoring, over 50 hours, and I am very pleased we opted for an extra fuel tank as some in the fleet are running on fumes. We have even had to break out the wet weather gear from the depths of a locker as it is so wet but still warm at least. It was raining so hard yesterday it activated my life jacket which nearly gave me a heart attack as I was not sure what was happening. It also activated my AIS alarm which had to be canceled and the rest of the. read more...


15/02/2018

Libeccio - The equator!

Well, at 6:00pm tonight we crossed the magical "00 degrees 00.000 minutes" into the Southern Hemisphere. It capped a rather pleasant day- unfortunately the wind gods were taking a break, but, so were the wave wizards and so we had an increasingly smooth ride through the day. Neptune put on quite the show through the day as we were treated with large pod of whales enjoying themselves broaching and tail slapping. This was followed by a huge school of dolphins that were also inspired to give us an aerial show. Just before sunset, there was a school of fish, we are not sure which, that also spent more time in the air than they did in the water. What a treat. We used the calmness to make Libeccio a little more shipshape as we expect to arrive on San Cristobal at about 8:00 am on Thursday. read more...


14/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Life, the universe, and everything

After leaving Panama City, we sailed 40 odd miles south to the Las Perlas islands. In some ways these resemble the coast of Brittany, but without any people. On our second night there we anchored in a small bay, which could only be reached by following a zig-zag path through the rocky shallows. Sitting in the cockpit you could gaze across the water to other islands and other secluded bays, but despite the proximity to the mainland, there were no other boats to be seen, just lots and lots of pelicans. We were joined that evening by another World ARC boat, but by that time the sun was setting and so it didn't really matter.If the water had been clear, it would have been perfect, but a plankton bloom meant it was a murky green. This was a shame because the abundance of rays that kept. read more...


14/02/2018

Libeccio - Another First!

Yes, we know- this is the second blog post in as many days. Normally, there can be weeks in between. We will keep this one short as wanted to celebrate catching our first fish of the WARC. We realise that the vast majority of boats will have already caught many fish by this time, but, we have not started to try to fish until this leg. We have to say a big Thanks! to Mark on Mad Monkey for his tutorial on how to arrange our "muppets", yes, seriously, that is what they call the lures. Paul had tried initially yesterday when we were being followed by a small school of very large fish that we initially thought were dolphins, but, they never surfaced or swam by our bows as they tend to do. It was literally 5 seconds after Paul had dropped the lure in the water that it was struck by one of. read more...


13/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island

Five of us took a ferry to the adjacent island of Taparica which was only about 5 miles away. We decided to get a little different scenery. We took the ferry and then took a taxi to a beach just south of our landing area. The taxi took us to a beach restaurant where we had drinks and some food. I walked the beach a lot and swam a little. The water was very warm, about 85 degrees. There were all kinds of people there. There were a lot of families with children. There were a lot of good looking women in very small swim suits. The smallest had a small triangle of cloth at the back which disappeared to join another small triangle in the front. There were the usual people who should not have been wearing such suits. image1 image2 image3 image4. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
13/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Noah's Ark

Whilst we were in Shelter Bay (the Caribbean side of Panama) we had the boat fumigated. Surprisingly, this was not necessitated by having Jacob on board for an extended period of time, instead it is a requirement for all boats visiting the Galapagos Islands. Likewise, you have to make sure your bottom is squeaky clean (that's the boat's bottom, not the individual crew members', or at least I hope that's what they mean). Both stipulations are designed to protect the islands from invasive species and are noble in principle, but the timing of the fumigation seemed a bit premature. Invasive beasties will have had three weeks to re-colonise the boat, and they seem to have embraced that opportunity.The first arrival turned up in Jacob's shower. He had been complaining that his bathroom smelt a. read more...


13/02/2018

Libeccio - It has been awhile!

Hi, hope you all are well. As most of those who read this blog are also friends of ours on SV Libeccio on Facebook, you will have caught up with our time in the San Blas Islands, through the Panama Canal and to the awards night in Las Perlas (did we mention that Jane and I were the second fastest catamaran in the second leg!). Its currently Monday the 12th at 8:30 pm (20:30 for you 24 hour clock people), we have had a tasty meal of vegetarian fajitas prepared by the internationally recognised team of Paul and Jane. Internationally recognised because Paul lives in BC, Canada and Jane lives in Kent in the UK. There is a huge bank of ominous looking clouds on the horizon and so we have gone to defcon 2 in preparation: all hatches closed, side plastics have been unfurled and tied into place. read more...


12/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Sloths in the city

After the weeks of coral seas and remote marinas it is quite a shock to arrive in Panama City with its high-rise buildings, giant shopping malls and traffic jams. It provided a great opportunity to re-stock the food cupboards, and for Vanessa to get a much needed haircut (during which I was entertained by the campest straight man I have ever met, who made me coffee and talked a lot about wine). We even had to time to go out for a couple of fabulous, tapas-style, meals in the old town.The wealth of the city is obvious for all to see, not least in the marina, which was chock-a-block with large, sport-fishing, motorboats, with not a sailing yacht to be seen. You would think that with all this money the facilities would be amazing, but despite charging Solent-type prices for berths, there. read more...


12/02/2018

Mischief - The Doldrums

We are experiencing the doldrums for the first time as we approach the equator. We have had the engine on for a total of 23 hrs in the last 3 days. This is more than we motored all the way from Guernsey to Lagos. I am glad that we specified Mischief with bigger fuel tanks as we may need to motor all the way to Galapagos looking at the weather forecast.We are all settling into life at sea again, getting use to sleeping in short bursts and getting in and out of damp clothes. Last night we had a about 4 hours rain which was a bit miserable although it was warm rain. As a consolation it has washed the salt off the decks but the crew refused to get out with the shampoo so I am still making water for showers.We drew a blank fishing yesterday so Trevor is on a formal warning for dereliction of. read more...


12/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival

Sam, Karen and I all went to the old city squares tonight for more carnival. This was smaller groups of bands, dancers and people in costumes. It was actually more enjoyable to me than the event we paid for. image1 image2 image3 image4 image5. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
12/02/2018

Mad Monkey - A quick stop in Panama and now to see Galapagos

Mad Monkey arrived in Shelter Bay Panama a week before transiting the Canal so this gave us enough time to catch up on what's been 'going on' at home and to prepare the boat for the Pacific. We also enjoyed day trips to the new Gatan Locks where we were lucky enough to see a ship complete its transit and on another day, visit the Embera Indian Village where we got to meet the locals and acquire some tribal tattoos. We had great fun transiting the Panama Canal, rafted with Jojo's Circus and Alora, then coming together for a raft party in Gatan Lake. Once in La Playita we didn't have much time but managed to fit it some shopping, a Lebanese themed night and some rooftop bar sightseeing! Then it was time to explore the Pacific Ocean…We had 2 and half days exploring the Las Perlas Islands. read more...


11/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Go east young man

Great trivia fact: to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Panama Canal actually involves going east rather than west. We have done a fair number of locks in the past, but these have mostly been in France. The etiquette there is to rev up your engine and charge for the lock gates the second they open. Those unwilling to incur bumps and scratches to their boat may choose to hang back, but you then risk missing the lock altogether. And just being at the front for the next lock means nothing. I'm not sure there's even a word for queuing in French.Thankfully the situation in Panama could not be more different; every second of the transit is choreographed in fine detail. It all starts with a visit by an "admeasurer" whose primary job it is to measure the length of your boat. The key. read more...


11/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival

We went to carnival Friday night. We thought we had it nicely arranged. We had a bus to take us to the event. We had two escorts to get us to the place with the help of 6 military police. That was all great until we found out that the place we bought tickets for did not pass inspection and was closed down. WE HAD NO PLACE. After about an hour or more of fussing and calling they walked us to another place where we could get in. Carnival is basically a parade of very large trucks pulling stages and sound systems to could vibrate the barnacles off our boat that was miles away.People would dance in the street in a roped off area around the truck as it moved. Others would dance along which ever truck they choose. We were up in an I closed area where we had beer and some foods.Beer was. read more...


11/02/2018

Air Power - Feb 10

The rest of fleet caught up with us at the anchorage the day before we left. The few boats that called it home must have thought there was an invasion. This was the predetermined location for last minute preparations, and the Skipper's Briefing for the next leg of the trip. The World ARC staff arranged a really nice barbecue on the beach, and had the award ceremony for the previous leg. It had been so long ago, I kind of forgotten about it. (The leg ended on the Caribbean side of Panama, in the San Blas Islands. They awarded prizes (bottles of wine), for more than winning in your class of boats. Such as, one boat was able to guess the closest to the total aggregate age of all the crewmembers crossing the starting line back in Santa Marta, Columbia. (A bottle of Merlot). The guess was. read more...


10/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Meet the natives

Life has been a bit hectic this past couple of weeks: fixing things that have been broken, provisioning for the next leg, making sure we have enough fuel and gas. Things always take much longer on a boat and there never seems to be enough time.But it's not all been work and no play. Whilst we were on the Caribbean side of Panama waiting to transit the canal, we spent a day visiting an Embera Indian village. While we are short of time, it appears the Embera are short of clothes. After a 45-minute bus journey we were dropped off by the side of a large lake. There we were met by a group of lithe, loincloth clothed Indians. Poor Vanessa didn't know where to look. We wobbled our way into giant, outboard-motor-powered, dugout canoes and raced across the lake and up a river. Those unfortunate. read more...


10/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador

I have gotten a little behind on posting information. A few days ago I went to a museum that used to be a charity hospital and a church. They had a lazy Susan type apparatus where poor people could place their infant in a section and turn the apparatus to place the child inside the church without being seen. It has been nicely kept.I had an English speaking guide, who had only been on the job a couple of months but did an excellent job. image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
09/02/2018

Mischief - Leaving Las Perlas

Hi FolksWe are off again and we are all glad to be back on passage, if only to give our livers a rest.We had a great time in San Blas and managed to kidnap Yellow Shirt Thomas for the trip to Shelter Bay, Colon. We called in at Portabello which is where the pirate Henry Morgan was based for sometime having ransacked it and held the inhabitants to ransom. We passed the final resting place of Sir Francis Drake at Nombre Dios Bay. Despite being a national hero at home he is also regarded as a pirate by the locals. Portabello was great and the people were very friendly. We had a great meal at a restaurant called Captain Jacks in the next bay round as recommended by Shepherd Moon who ate there the night before, great shout, thanks.We left there and put Thomas on the helm to prevent him having. read more...


07/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador

We went on another tour of Salvador. It was of the lower city, to the south of the marina where we are staying. It is an old poorer part of town. I will show more photos. image1 image2 image3 image4 image1. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador

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