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29/01/2016

Starblazer - 29/01/2016 – Que sera, sera!

Concerning our ETA in Brazil the words of this song dating. I suspect, from the 50’s are accurate: ‘Whatever will be, will be; the future’s not ours to see.’This leg started with three days of sailing but the winds became weaker and weaker, our speed dropped, we were in danger of arriving too late in Brazil.We made the decision to motor to avoid a DNF, we motored for 21/2 days before the wind increased enough to give us a chance of sailing the rest of the way in the allotted time.Since then we have been sailing. For two days our ETA looked to be late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.Yesterday morning the weather changed.First of all there were light showers but with squally gusts of wind and Starblazer started flying. During the day the weather cleared but the wind steadied in. read more...


28/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Family Reunion

We've arrived in Shelter Bay Marina just a few minutes ahead of Keenan, Brooke and William landing in Panama City. Excitement is high while we await their arrival on the marina shuttle.  Last night, while anchored off Isla Linton, we enjoyed our Seared Blue Fin Tuna Salad and Tuna Sashimi complements of Roy, as well as Tuna Carpaccio complements of Stephano, who happens to be Italian. Delicious!. read more...


28/01/2016

Exody - Days 380,381: Nibbles on the line

Three times the fishing reel has whirred out and we have run for the gaff and the leather gloves.Twice we have felt a huge weight on the line that then disappeared.Miraculously the original lure is still intact so a pair of(probably too large)fish somewhere have cuts in their lips- and we are thus resigned to more cans!David has just about recovered from oversunning himself a little a couple of days ago, having read his book theoretically in the shade of the sails!I have finished all six South African crime novels and Marian took time out today from reading and playing the computer at Scrabble to watch Casablanca! David's stuffed butternut squash went down a treat as we eke out the last of the St Helena fruit and veg. We have seen no ships for four days and this morning we had Starblazer. read more...


28/01/2016

Allegro - QUINTA-FEIRA, 16 DE JANEIRO, A SÁBADO, 21 DE JANEIRO DE 2016

No dia 14 de Janeiro, cruzámos o Meridiano de Greenwich, às 07:51 da manhã (05:51 hora de Greenwich), passando de longitude Este para longitude Oeste!Utilizando o piloto de vento, mesmo quando andámos a motor, conseguimos poupar o sistema de transmissão do leme, e a avaria não se agravou nem se complicou.SANTA HELENASanta Helena pertence a Inglaterra, sendo a moeda a libra esterlina de Santa Helena.Foi descoberta pelo português João da Nova em 1502, quando regressava da Índia. Como era dia de Santa Helena (21 de Maio), foi esse o nome dado à Ilha.Cruzámos a linha de chegada a Santa Helena às 13:06 (hora de Cape Town), do dia 18 de Janeiro. Às 11:35 (hora de Santa Helena) prendemo-nos a uma das bóias amarelas da Baía de Saint James, onde fica a capital da ilha, Jamestown.A hora é UTC, a. read more...


28/01/2016

Starblazer - 28/01/2016 – The ones that got away,

This blog will most likely be a predominantly fishy tale.On the way to South Africa John had a couple of bites which ran away with all his line so he determined that he needed a bigger reel which would hold more line.That was his Christmas present.It has a rather nice feature in that there is a two speed gear box for retrieving the line, low speed when you have a fish on the hook and high speed when you want to wind in a lot which a fish ran away with then spat out!The one feature lacking is a cast iron guarantee that the fish will give in gracefully and accept that it is hooked.Yesterday was like many other days, the line went out when John got up in the morning and came back in late in the evening, but there was some excitement during the day.We now know that the bigger fish liked his. read more...


28/01/2016

Luna Quest - Thursday, 28th January, 2016

Noon Position: 14.59S 19.29WDaily run: 167 logged milesThe big event yesterday afternoon was the sight of the British Councillor, an LPG vessel on its way to the USA. The ship was travelling in a similar direction to Luna Quest's, but at a fine angle to our course. She probably would have passed us harmlessly to port, but a collision might have been possible if Luna Quest veered off to starboard in a big puff of wind. The ship was less than a mile away and having called him on the radio, the Indian captain ordered his ship to pass astern of Luna Quest. The big ship made a sharp turn to starboard and passed astern of us giving Julia a great photo opportunity.This morning we changed over the two poled-out foresails in a fresh breeze. We brought the genoa over to starboard and the staysail. read more...


27/02/2016

Solo - Vor dem 4 Leg nach French Polynesia, Hiva Oa; 27.2.2016

Wir liegen in Santa Cruz, Galapagos, vor Anker. Es war einige Zeit in unserem Rallyefahrplan vorgesehen  um vor dem Start in der nächstenWoche nach Hiva Oa, das Inselarchipel kennenzulernen. Unberührte Natur mit den Tieren, die ohne Scheu vor Menschen überall anzutreffensind und denen Vorrang eingeräumt wird: nur so ist zu erklären, dass die Seelöwen hier auf Parkbänken schlafen und nicht verjagt werden. Galapgagos ist daher Natur pur, es wird auch so bleiben – davon lebt die Insel. Die Segelei im Pazifik unterscheidet sich von der im Mittelmeer (sehr anspruchsvolleSegelbedingungen) sehr positiv. Winde aus der gleichen Richtung über längere Zeiträume, nicht zu stark und ideal für einen langen Törn. Dieser lange Törn steht uns jetzt bevor. Es sind über 3000 Meilen am Stück zu segeln,. read more...


27/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Roy Caught a Fish - One We Can Eat - At Last!

Bluefin Tuna for dinner - Yeah - Roy caught a fish we can eat at last! Great day sailing and fishing with our guest on board - Stephano, one of the WARC team members who is hitching a ride, or should I say, sail, to Colon with us. We've just arrived in beautiful Isla Linton on the Panama mainland for our overnight stop and are enjoying sundowners while appreciating the rainforest view. This is to be followed by our tuna dinner, once Roy returns from sharing some of it with Time Bandit (Ann and Stuart).DSC_4382-sm. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Roy Caught a Fish - One We Can Eat - At Last!
Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Roy Caught a Fish - One We Can Eat - At Last!
27/01/2016

Starblazer - 27/01/2016 – Halfway there!

O.K. I’ll stop moaning.Yesterday the wind behaved itself in that we sailed for 24 hours without reverting to the engine.It wasn’t stunning sailing but it was fast enough to avoid a DNF in relatively flat seas which allows the boat to move faster in less breeze.When we left St Helena at 1830 on Tuesday 19th our DTW (Distance to Waypoint) was 1,916 nM.We reached the halfway point at about 2040 0n Tuesday 26th: 7 days 2 hours 10 minutes.If we continue to make the same average speed we will arrive next Tuesday at about midnight, 2100 Brazil time we believe.Ideally we would like to arrive in daylight so need to increase our average speed but that is largely dependent on the winds.Yesterday evening we had our first AIS target with a ship since leaving St Helena. A Singapore bound ship passed. read more...


27/01/2016

Luna Quest - Wednesday, 27th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.34S 16.58WDaily run: 152 logged milesHaving the parasailor up is all very well in stable down-wind weather conditions, but it is not very good at coping with squalls. Yesterday’s benign conditions did not look as though the few squalls on the horizon had much venom in them and so we decided to leave the parasailor where it was for the night, but be ready to adjust the autopilot if the wind shifted because ofsqualls. These duly came with the first one not affecting the course to steer much, but the second came with rain and a 40 degree wind shift. Ideally, it should have come down, but the temptation to leave it up and keep up with the fleet was too great. So, up it stayed, but without the autopilot. The Hydrovane would have to take care of the direction of the boat and. read more...


27/01/2016

Firefly - Australia Day at Nai Yang Bay plus a Russian Rescue

It is Wednesday 27th January and Firefly has just left Nai Yang Bay after riding out some strong easterly winds. We are not used to having much wind in SE Asia and are glad that we could position ourselves close in to a west facing beach giving us great protection. There was good holding for the anchor in about 6 metres of water over sand with little or no swell coming in. With a pretty beach, lower key tourism and a great local market it was not surprising that we had about 15 other yachts for company. There was also one that dwarfed all of the others - 'Vertigo' a 67 metre ketch (220 feet!) that according to our neighbours, Denise and Peter, on Reverie, belongs to Rupert Murdoch. Yesterday was Australia Day and despite being 'pommes' we were invited to a lunch time BBQ on the beach to. read more...


27/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 17: The Tainted Side of the San Blas Islands

After working out what we wanted to do yesterday, we settled on leaving Paw Paw in Chichime after hearing all sorts of stories of other yachts dragging, hitting reefs, losing anchors, etc and headed via dinghy for what we thought was a uninhabited tiny island just south of us.  It is, in essence, a heap of golden sand approx 1/8th of an acre in size with about 5 palm trees on it and surrounded by reefs - simply stunning! As we approached, however, we soon noticed a hut under the trees, occupied by two Guna Indian families, who welcomed us ashore even though we didn't have the $2/person fee to give them.After enjoying our stay an unexpected challenge developed - the tide was coming in and rather large waves were dumping on the shore which made our dinghy launch impossible.. read more...


26/01/2016

Lydia - Lydia's Blog 23 - 26 Jan 16

Saturday 23 January.At first light the nearest atolls of the San Blas islands came into view.This actually is the best time to do one's dhobi before the heat of the sunstrikes and in this case while the yacht is fairly stable. Its a matter of taking a bucketand fresh water from the shower from a aft locker, doing one scrub of all clothes ina washing detergent and three fresh water rinses. Luckily we have an excellent water makerso fresh water is in relatively unlimited supply. The San Blas islands,although they belong to Panama have a certain autonomy granted to theirlocal indigenous Kuna Indians who adminster the islands, collect taxes andcruising fees from passing yachts. As we sailed nearer, the breakers overthe reefs surrounding the atoll of Cayos Holandes to which we were. read more...


26/01/2016

Exody - Days 379,380 : Rolling again !

The trade winds have finally freshened a little this morning so after 'gentling' along and then, even slower, 'ghosting' yesterday we are now making over six knots. Our last two day's runs have been 116 (again) and 122.By midnight today Tuesday 26th, our 7th day at sea, we should pass the halfway point with just under a thousand miles to go. Last night we dropped the clattering main and rigged our loose luffed foresail twinned with the poled out genoa for a quiet night. This morning we have kept these and rehoisted the full main now out to port. With three sails up (unusual for us), Exody is making the most of the 15 knot Force 4 easterly wind directly behind us. F Looks like it will be with us for the next week all the way to Salvador - fingers crossed!It is good to have Ayama sailing. read more...


26/01/2016

Luna Quest - Tuesday, 26 January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.40S 14.37WDaily run: 115 logged milesHaving the parasailor up and filled makes a huge difference to the boat’s behaviour; the rolling has stopped, no more banging of the the two foresails or the mainsail as they are stowed. The speed improves considerably. Employing the water-towed generator, however, becomes an inconvenience as it cannot be retrieved without slowing down the boat and retrieving is a must when the batteries are full and the generator becomes a drag, but retrieving it means taking down the parasailor, which is something we are not likely to do. Instead we rely on the sun during the day and the Honda petrol-driven generator for top-ups in the morning and at night. This combination allows us to use the autopilot, which helps the parasailor with a steady. read more...


26/01/2016

Starblazer - 26/01/2016 – We are sailing, we are sailing..

But not ‘home again’, as in the Rod Stewart song if you are old enough to remember it, but rather on our way to Santiago de Bahia in Brazil. Yesterday’s winds were as co-operative as the previous day’s, i.e. not really enough to allow us to sail all the way.The odd gust brought our boat speed up to just over 5 knots, just about enough to arrive in time to avoid a DNF (Did Not Finish within the allowed time) but the wind didn’t stay.As usual we stopped the engine for the evening SSB radio net then continued drifting along for the next hour.By 2000, time for me to go off watch, we were making a fairly constant 5 knots so John decided not to restart the engine.There might be no engine noise but that doesn’t mean the boat is quiet.The wind isn’t steady so, in the lulls, when the boat rolls. read more...


25/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 16 - San Blas Procedures

1)A bunch of rumors were stirring on various chat forums about fees for the San Blas.Here is what we paid.205 USD for a 1 year cruising permit.125 USD per person(20 of which is for Kuna Congresso)20 USD per boat (Kuna Cogresso)2)We entered in the south at Mamitupu.The South is much nicer because there are fewer boats.However, one should NOT use C-map charts.They are useless.The Bauhaus chart book is the way to go.Better yet, scan your own Bauhaus guide and use it in SeaClear II with an external GPS puck on your PC.3)We checked into Panama/Kuna Yala in Porvenir. It can get crowded in the anchorage, but we had good holding in 13 meters.You need to spend time with four government departments. They are all in the same building. There is a dinghy dock nearby.You need to bring your passports,. read more...


Two Fish - Day 16 - San Blas Procedures
Two Fish - Day 16  -  San Blas Procedures
25/01/2016

Luna Quest - Monday, 25th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.46S 12.47WDaily run: 83 logged milesLast night, while a large full and bright moon rose above the eastern horizon, a red ball of fire set on the western horizon. Slow progress continues in a westerly direction in very light winds. Schools of squid or flying fish skim the sea from time to time and sometimes just miss Luna Quest, thank goodness. Julia is making good progress with her Africa iBook, whilst I fret about the lack of wind and the best sail configuration. The sea is calm although a lazy swell from the Southeast is making sailing quite difficult. The mainsail is likely to bang from side to side and the parasailor will swing wildly from the top of the mast. The steadiest configuration is the two poled out foresails, but it is at the cost of speed. This morning it. read more...


25/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 16: A Rather Strange Destination

After a rather lumpy night in higher winds and seas than forecasted for the last 12 hours of our passage and struggling to slow Paw Paw down as she romped along at speeds of 9 to 12 Kts, we eventually dropped the main sail and continued on a double-reefed head sail only to ensure an arrival in daylight. As the day broke we started to see tuffs of palm trees sticking out of the sea and masts of yachts which seemed to be anchored in the middle of nowhere. These were the San Blas Islands. An archepeligo of 340 plus islands owned and controlled by the indigenous Guna Indians, although part of mainland Panama. While accepting of visitors, they prohibit any non-Guna from settling or intermarrying and have, thus, maintained their culture and traditions without the influence of our modern world.. read more...


25/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Log 8. Chichime, San Blas. 09.35.23N 78.52.91W

Saturday 24/01/2016.  We need to amend the comments about switching onthe engine in the last blog.  Wind came back almost immediately and we thenhad lovely sailing in a much calmer sea and needless to say, hit the mostnorthern end of the finish line at 23.13 with about 7 hours of darkness ahead ofus.  We did, as the night progressed, hear that most of the Rally yachtsfelt their way into the eastern channel entrance to the Islands, lead byWishanger who anchored somewhere in 17 meters.  We decided to stay north ofthe Islands for the night and go direct to Chichime and the Garmin shows awonderful zigzag course as we spent the night keeping up enough speed to steerwhile trying to delay our arrival time to 06.30 earliest.  As the skystarted to get light from the east. read more...


25/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 15: A Dose of Patience Pays Off

We left Marina Santa Marta in calm winds and not struggling off the dock. We then spent the next 20 minutes motoring before picking up the winds and seas that were forecasted. Although the seas were 6 to 8 Ft and the winds 25 to 30 Kts initially, it was a lot calmer than the previous day. After 4 hours or so both the seas and wind settled to a comfortable 15 to 20 Kts in 4 to 6 Ft seas as we sailed along nicely maintaning our double-reefed main and head sails. Since rounding the river mouth at Baranquilla at a distance of 15 NM, we've enjoyed champagne sailing in 10 to 15 Kt winds out of the north in 1 to 3 Ft seas and we were rewarded with another pod of dolpins crossing our bow. The dose of patience has certainly paid off! We're looking forward to our morning arrival tomorrow in the. read more...


25/01/2016

Starblazer - 25/01/2016 – Little to report!

This could have been a suitable title for the past few days!The wind is feeble, mostly less than 10 knots, and Starblazer relishes stronger winds. If we have 15 knots we can easily make 6 or more knots through the water on most points of sail, 8 knots of wind leaves us meandering along at about 3.5 knots.We still have 1,200 nM to go so I’ll leave the maths to you, suffice to say we do not want 100 mile days or worse.The seas are quite calm with just a gentle roll. Occasionally the ‘gentle roll’ gives way to a wild lurch, wild enough to throw unsecured wine glasses over.I don’t expect sympathy, I should be aware of the unpredictable movement of the seas after 30 months living on board.Boredom attacks different people in different ways.I get busy in the galley!Yesterday morning I made some. read more...


25/01/2016

Aretha - Slow boat to China (well Brazil) 15 14 South 20 02 West

Calmest most consistent conditions yet. The seas are absolutely flat calm and we’ve been steadily moving forward at 4-5 knots in wind as low as 2 knots and up to 10. Its as benign as it gets.Whilst many boats have resorted to diesel power and have put their engines on, we’ve been enjoying the time at sea and taking our time. It’s not lost on Nichola and I that this is our last ocean crossing before we circumnavigate in Grenada. Time at sea like this is to be savoured. It helps it’s a full moon and the night sky is stunning. Last night on deck I lay on the aft deck looking up at the moon and stars. I ended up closing my eyes and being rocked to sleep under the night sky. It’s warm and just shorts are needed on deck. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.The crew are all in fine fettle.. read more...


24/01/2016

Exody - Days 377,378: "looks like another beautiful day....with no wind!"

..is how Mindy of Wayward Wind and Luis of Allegro summarised the outlook at the end of the radio net this morning.Exody needs 10 knots of wind to fill the sails when going downwind.This is just enough to stop the rigging from clattering and the sails from flogging as they empty and fill even in the slightest swell. Today, unfortunately, we have had only 8 knots of wind and are lucky to make even 4 knots through the water.Our two day's runs to 15.00 each day have been 132 and 116 nautical miles - passing the third way point this morning on day 5 at sea. Thankfully the forecast is for an increase from Tuesday. All but three of the fleet have succumbed to some engine use - us for just 45 minutes and one for nearly a full day. With 1250 miles to run, we are conserving our 350 miles worth of. read more...


24/01/2016

Luna Quest - Sunday, 24th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.55S 11.22WDaily run: 101 logged milesVery slow progress was made yesterday. The poled-out foresails did their best to achieve just over 3 knots of speed, but the little wind there was soon diminished further. However, a few squalls in the evening gave the sails a little work to do sending the boat first to the Northwest and later to the Southwest. Once the squalls had passed, the winds became very feeble taking our speed to less than 3 knots. By morning it had failed altogether, so that we had to take them down and use the engine in search of some wind further west. We might have got there had it not been for me putting the boat on a southeasterly course rather than a westerly one. I had not been able to read the course properly in the dark (read 170 rather than 270). read more...


24/01/2016

Starblazer - 24/01/2016 – Time for a sail change.

Our twin headsail system is wonderful when the true wind is in an arc of about 60o behind us.As the boat moves forward it tends to bring the wind further forward as well.Once the wind is apparently about 60o forward of the stern, on one side or the other, one of the sails starts to collapse with the wind getting in front of it, refills, snaps back then repeats it all over again.To avoid the jerking on the rig we change the heading.As the wind wanders about so does our heading resulting in us not quite following our required course.By yesterday morning we decided that the wind was definitely too far forward to allow us to sail close enough to the required course but that we should be able to with a sail change, not something we relish because it often takes up to an hour!Before the 1000. read more...


23/01/2016

Lydia - Lydia's blog 14 -22 January 2016

Thursday 16 Jan began as the previous 5 days with us forging ahead undertwin headsails with a 10-12 knot wind astern. Later that forenoon we beganto see the loom of the Colombian Sierra Nevadas and calculated that we couldbe alongside in to the new marina at Santa Marta by early the next morning.As the day progressed the impressive mountains took shape, (the highest19,000 feet) and the wind and waves began to rise. From yachts ahead of uscame messages that in the last 20 miles before entering Santa Marta harbourthey were experiencing winds of up to 40 knots (Gale 8 +) and high seas.Shortly before sundown we took down the port foresail and stowed itsspinnaker boom in anticpation of things to come. The wind was already rising25 knots and knowing what was to come, at 8pm under spreader. read more...


23/01/2016

Luna Quest - Saturday, 23rd January, 2016

Noon Position: 16.02S 09.50WDaily run: 127 logged milesAll night the parasailor stood firmly in the 11 knot breeze, but today the wind has gone down to 6 knots and the sail is flailing about. It is very wearing on the gear and on the crew. We decided to take it down and opt for the two poled-out foresails. It is less sail area, but there is very little room for flapping and flailing. It seems that the swell, which causes the boat to roll and the sails to flail about, is more pronounced in light winds. It is probably set up by violent seas that the low pressure systems of the Southern Ocean produce. We had big seas in the Indian Ocean for the same reason, but, luckily then, we had strong winds to push us along with all sails filled. We are now just making 3 knots of speed, which would get. read more...


23/01/2016

Starblazer - 23/01/2016 –Yet more of the same

Yes, we had similar winds, both in strength and direction though we did manage to steer much closer to our desired course for much of the day.The seas are still relatively flat with the odd bit of rock and roll when you least expect it.My wine glass flew across the cockpit table delivering its contents over the table, the cockpit and John!We have still had no action on the fishing front, other than setting the line in the morning and retrieving it after dusk.On a positive note I did finish piecing the Union flag together, today’s job is to cut out the other pieces of red and join it all together, add a line to the hoist and deploy it.I also did some washing which dried on the line strung across the arch so it was quite a productive day.You may wonder what John does all day.(He’ll. read more...


23/01/2016

Aliena - Viernes 22-01-2016

2º dia de navegación de Santa Marta a San BlasAyer tuvimos viento muy fuerte y no amainó hasta bien entrada la noche. Para dormir tranquilos hemos tenido que hacer mas de dos rizos a las velas. El mar tambien muy movido. Esta mañana ha ido cayendo el viento y en estos momentos tenemos solo 11 nudos y vamos a 4.3 millas. Nos faltan 55 millas y vamos a entrar de madrugada a fondear, lo que no me hace ninguna gracia. Hace mucho calor y humedad y no hemos visto ni un delfin ni medio, solo algún barco del grupo. Estamos todos bien salvo el chico suizo, que le ha hecho reacción la vacuna de la fiebre amarilla y tiene un poco de fiebre. Estamos tirando la caña a ver si pescamos para la cena.Carmen. read more...


22/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Blog 7. En Route to San Blas. 10.05.83N 77.43.12W

Friday afternoon, 22 January.  At sea, 57 nm to the finish line, sunshinning, wind has dropped to 12 to 16 knots from the Starboard quarter, arrivaltime 03.37, i.e. still dark.  Being a crew of 4 with opinions, and thisincludes the Ship’s Boy, we have all expressed an opinion as to what we shoulddo and come to the conclusion that arriving in the dark is not an option andnone of us want to be faffing about between the finish line and the channelbetween Holandaise and Cayo Coco Bandero, which was our preferred option andoriginal plan.  Plus the fact that we have lost a day because of thedelayed start, so need to be handy for Chichime and the Sunday rendezvous, so weare now heading for the most northern point of the finish line and then we willgo on to Chichimi taking the off. read more...


22/01/2016

Exody - Days 374-376: " .....a persistent pattern of benign trade winds....

...to continue over the coming three days" said the WRI weather forecast on Wednesday morning- and so it has come to pass!But today's forecast says that the "light tomoderate trade winds will ease".This we do not want since the 10 to 15 knot winds we have been experiencing are just enough for us to average a reasonable 6 knots on a broad reach with the wind over the port quarter.First three day's runs since the start of 141,147 and 141 miles - 1500 miles to Salvador at 15.00 today. Exody is about 90 miles behind the leaders (Makena, Hugur, Aretha, Garlix, Tulasi) and the same from the nearest boat behind (Ayama). We saw one tanker yesterday headed for China but otherwise have the ocean to ourselves.The seas are calm, the cloud comes and goes clearing to give us some glorious sunny. read more...


22/01/2016

Luna Quest - Friday, 22nd January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.58S 07.47WDaily run: 136 logged milesThe interior of St Helena is surprisingly verdant. A tour in a 1929 Chevrolet charabanc with a 6-cylinder Bedford engine took 10 people (including the driver) around the island and to Napoleon’s tomb. Napoleon, of course, was buried in Paris when the French decided that Paris was a more appropriate place to honour their hero than St Helena, which was and is British. St Helena is getting an airport. Everybody is quite excited about it in the island and the old Chevrolet took us to the construction site where the runway looks almost complete. A great feat of construction engineering in a very rugged environment. The runway is just over 2 km long and will only be able to take certain airplanes, but it will propel St Helena into the 21st. read more...


22/01/2016

Starblazer - 22/01/2016 – More of the same.

I’ll try not to be too repetitive. Boring!The winds seem to have a daily pattern, swinging behind us late morning and rising gently, allowing us to make our required heading before dying out then veering towards the south forcing us further north during the night.If this pattern continues we’ll have to set both genoas to the same side, hoist the main and alter course to bring the wind around a little more towards the beam.We don’t really want to do this because the twin headsail rig gives us best speed if the wind is from behind.The gentle winds are not conducive to good passage making and Brazil is still a tantalising 1,595 nM away.On the plus side, the seas are calm with only a little rock and roll, in fact so calm I got the sewing machine out, setting it up on the chart table.I. read more...


22/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 14: Goodbye and Thank You Colombia

Goodbye Colombia and thank you for your great hospitality. Panama here we come. First stop is the San Blas Islands for a few days and then on to Colon to prepare for our transit of the Panama Canal. The pot of gold at the end of this leg for us is seeing Brooke and William (hopefully Keenan as well) who are flying into Panama City for a visit and to transit the canal with us. Can't wait to hug and kiss baby William!. read more...


21/01/2016

Aliena - 21-01-2016

Jueves, 21 de enero de 2016, 1º dia de navegacion de Santa Marta a San Blas.A las 08.00 salimos hacia San Blas, nosotros un poquito mas retrasados porque estabamos en la gasolinera. Salida sin viento que enseguida cambia, de hecho a la media hora habian 30 nudos de viento que ha ido subiendo y hemos visto hasta 42 nudos. Menos mal que han avisado los que iban por delante. Navegamos con dos rizos y aun así la navegación es dura porque el mar está enloquecido. El Caribe bravo es como el Mediterraneo, con las olas muy juntas, pero mucho mas grandes. Nos hemos mojado y seguimos mojandonos a base de bien. En este momento, que ya hemos pasado Barranquilla y la desembocadura del rio Magdalena, empezamos a bordear el Cabo Augusta y ha bajado un poco el viento, tenmos unos 25 nudos y acabamos de. read more...


21/01/2016

Widago - Leaving Columbia, Next Stop: San Blas Islands

To quote my favorite father-in-law, "This is just awful."Just to be clear, I'm referring to our first few hours off the coast, heading for Panama. Columbia & the city of Santa Marta were fantastic - a must visit. But back to our departure...World ARC was scheduled to leave yesterday (Jan 20) for the islands of San Blas. Due to extreme conditions off the coast between Santa Marta and Cartagena, the port authorities closed the port, and kept us in town for another night. The wind was blowing so hard the night before our intended departure that WIDAGO in fact broke the finger pier off the main pontoon. Whoopsies...no harm came to our big girl, even as we edged ever closer to the riprap on the break wall. With the delayed start, and rearranged berthing accommodations WIDAGO found herself. read more...


21/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 13: An Extra Day in Colombia

It was rather bizarre to watched the World ARC fleet leave Santa Marta as we waved from the breakwater. It wasn't long though before yachts started reporting 30 Kt sustained winds. This together with the 9 to 12 Ft seas forecasted, led us to our decision to wait another 24 hours and take advantage of the lighter winds and flatter seas forecasted for tomorrow and the subsequent few days. It was a case of "take a chill pill" mixed with some patience and not place undue stress on our short-handed crew as well as on the yacht. After all, we're only `800NM into a 25000NM circumnavigation and it is a rally not a race! Also, since the World ARC's itinerary for the San Blas had been shortened to accommodate the additional stopover in Colombia which commenced last year and an additional day had. read more...


21/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 11 - Hanging with the Kuna

Kuna, pronouced Guna, are the inhabitants of a chain of islands off the coast of Panama. Generations ago, when the Spanish invaded, they fled the mainland.Kuna Yala (aka San Blas Islands) are an obvious stop for canal crossers.We did a bit of research and decided to go 60 miles south of the main anchorages.We would face more difficult navigation in an area known for boat-eating reefs and useless charts. The Bauhaus guide of Panama is an amazing resource to navigate this area.To make his charts easier to use we cut out and scanned the charts.Then using a free application called Map Cal I made them into raster charts.This is a must for the southern San Blas Islands.We walked onto the island of Mamipitu and fell back in time.The small lanes, communal kitchens and lack of utilities are signs. read more...


Two Fish - Day 11 - Hanging with the Kuna
Two Fish - Day 11 -  Hanging with the Kuna
Two Fish - Day 11 - Hanging with the Kuna
Two Fish - Day 11 -  Hanging with the Kuna
21/01/2016

Starblazer - 21/01/2016 – Boring.

The first few days from South Africa were extremely boisterous: strong winds, big seas, damaged sails and mal de mer reported from several boats. However once the wind settled a bit, the seas quietened and we all made very good time.The departure from St Helena has been rather different. One boat managed to sail off the mooring but by the time we were ready to leave the wind had dropped to 5 knots, probably a suitable speed for a dinghy but not for a heavily laden cruising boat!We unashamedly motored, probably a bit longer than strictly necessary as the wind increased a little but we saw no point starting a 1,916 nM passage at about 3 knots!Yesterday the wind was not at its most helpful, we frequently found ourselves 30o above our desired course but the twin headsails prevented us. read more...


21/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Fw: Blog 7. Santa Marta. High winds delay departure;

Wednesday,20/01/16.  It has been an eventful few days in Santa Martawith very little time for R and R or catching up with the Blog.  Today may give us an opportunity as the harbour master at Santa Marta has closedthe harbour to any vessel less than 300+ tonnes, which means we are not allowedto leave.   It has been blowing up to 40 knots at night and is nowgusting up to 25 knots in the harbour with more wind to come tonight. There is a very dangerous estuary where the very large river Magdalena emptiesinto the sea, giving very rough conditions up to 40 miles offshore and whereyachts have run into trouble in the past, so we are not unduly surprised by thedecision.  If we do leave at 12.00 today as planned, we would be in thatarea just when the GRIB files. read more...


20/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 12: "A Bump in the Night"

We had an absolutely lovely prize-giving ceremony, followed by dinner, at Club Santa Marta last night. Paw Paw didn't win anything, but we were all winners nonetheless, given the fantastic venue and superb dinner that was served.But you can't have everything in paradise. After settling down for the night as the winds howled through the marina we were both woken up by a loud thud - Paw Paw was trying to hug the dock with her port bow. Needless to say there was a scury of activity to start engines and try to tightened the docklines. We did, however, fear that the strain we were placing on the finger dock made for a very precarious situation. So, it was up early, in calm winds, and headed for the anchorage just outside the marina, where we await the start of Leg 2 to the San Blas Islands.. read more...


20/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 12 - Continued: Start Postponed

The start of Leg 2 to the San Blas Islands has been postponed due to bad weather until 0800 tomorrow. We have, however,taken the decision to postpone to at least Friday, given current predictions. We will keep you all posted on developments.. read more...


20/01/2016

Starblazer - 20/01/2016 – Leaving St Helena

On Monday John went on a trip to snorkel with Whale Sharks, I opted to stay behind and do the washing because I still don’t like snorkelling in deep water!He did get some good photos and video.The plan was to spend the afternoon doing boat jobs but we failed.We went ashore in the late afternoon for a BBQ at the yacht club.Somehow the wrong message got to the boats, we took meat but should have taken a side dish to share as they had plenty of meat.There was lots of food for everyone, though, and the bar did a roaring trade.Tuesday was our last day on the island, we needed to leave the mooring by 2215, 72 hours after we crossed the finish line, not because of officialdom but rather because of the time constraints of the rally.I bravely, or foolishly depending on your viewpoint, climbed up. read more...


20/01/2016

Starblazer - 18/01/2016 – Sorry!

The wind continued to tease us throughout Saturday with our ETA varying between 2200 and 0300 Sunday, yes we’ll make it before the moon sets…. Wind, come back!Etcetera, etcetera.We spotted the island from 32 miles off which surprised us, however the highest point is something like 850 metres so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.Rounding the northern end of the island the wind continued to play tricks.Initially it followed us, fortunately because the twin headsails would probably not have coped with the necessary course alteration, then it started dying.At midnight we had 0.97 miles to go to the finish line but the breeze hadn’t finished with us, it died, it suddenly blew up to 17 knots, hooray!0.03nM to go and it all but disappeared, eventually we drifted over the line at 0015.The day. read more...


20/01/2016

Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta

We want to give the biggest THANKYOU to the Marina of Santa Marta, Michelangelo and his chandlery and to Andrew, Luisa, Stefano and Cecilia for all the lovely service and biggest help upon our arrival in Santa Marta. Coming in with a broken boom in two and an engine being down from day 2 from St Lucia to Santa Marta we were more than delighted to get all the help we needed to fix everything as quick as possible before the next departure. The first morning Michelangelo at the chandlery was on the spot fixing our engine. He saw our boom and asked if we need help to repair it …. well… eh yeah shoot go for it! Today, the day before departure we got our boom and what we can see it’s a whole boom again! We leave Santa Marta with a feeling of friendliness, high service, lovely people and. read more...