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18/06/2017

Timshel - Tonga to Fiji Arrival Vanua Balavu

We came up with and talked to Aurora during the day and agreed to go into the island pass together.Managed to sail for a few hours, until wind died and headed us.Even managed to tack - a long time since we've had to do that.More motoring through the night, Owl and Misto came up, Tulla Mhor hove to off the pass, at day break waited for a squall to pass that blotted out the visibility Skylark and Zeeland came up , also Altair appeared and Exit Strategy behind.Finally entering the pass at nearly 11, following Aurora with Skylark and Zeeland in line behind, Owl, Misto and Altair ahead.We were carefully following the waypoints provided by WARC having been warned that in this area (and most of Fiji) that both electronic and paper charts might be wrong.Most of the beacons marked on the chart. read more...


18/06/2017

Timshel - Fiji Vanua Balavu

We elected to stay in the Lomolomo anchorage on Monday having things to fix - e.g. the Lewmar hatches as two hinges one on the fore and one on the aft had broken in quick succession.Most of the other boats set off for the other side of the island which was much more sheltered.But we did spend a very convivial evening as we were invited aboard Zeeland by Bianca and Edwin.Tuesday we set off in convoy with cats Laura Dawn and Sumore, Andrew in LD piloting us in the lead (Stefano was also aboard) and us in the middle, having entered the 20 or so waypoints provided.Lovely day, beautiful scenery but even following one did have to concentrate on the navigation with reefs all around.Eventually we arrived and anchored off the village of Dalicoli with the rest of the fleet.Ashore at 5pm for the. read more...


Blonde Moment - "Steve.... Are you sure it's not supposed to be in the water?"
Blonde Moment -
18/06/2017

Blue Monde - Log 1 - In Baiona

Sunday in the sunshine in beautiful Baiona, Galicia, north west Spain. After such an anticipated departure, and floundering about in Falmouth's foul wind and rain, crossing the western end of the English Channel and Bay of Biscay was wonderful. Day 1 and most of day 2 meant a little mal de mer for moi (had to resort to Stugeron. Neither acupressure bands nor 'the glasses' could help) but luckily Nigel and our 'boy' racers, Hugh and Jon, enjoyed the sailing and changing conditions immensely. Using the cruising chute in lighter airs and then poled out genoa and main sail on a preventer, apparently known as 'goose-winged',helped give good speed and a more stable ride.A fantastic part of the journey for me was approaching Cape Finisterre, seeing land and the prospect of the end of our first. read more...


18/06/2017

Mischief - HI HO!!!!!

Mischief gets into "Deep water". 4000 meters to be exact. "Right old mess you've got us into this time Skipper!!!!"As we left Falmouth the wind was blowing old boots, 25 knots were recorded over the deck. Mabel the mouse decided Mischief should be dressed with one reef in her main sail and a full Genoa. The Skippers words "She's moving like a Rat out of drain pipe"  The passage plan was centred around the famed Cornish pasty that would be consumed whilst still hot as we headed off towards The Bay of Biscay. Precision planning allowed just enough time to procure these from the local bakery, the other side of Falmouth. Out of the lee of Cornwall the wind increased and the sea grew, waves were breaking over the bow and the gunnels were often submerged.   This proved too. read more...


Mischief - HI HO!!!!!
Mischief - HI HO!!!!!
Mischief - HI HO!!!!!
Mischief - HI HO!!!!!
18/06/2017

Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

I “Bay of Islands” lå svært mange av våre ARC-båter. Vi ble ønsket velkommenav dem der vi kom inn og la oss til rett før solnedgang. Neste morgen droalle de andre videre, og vi og Shamal ble liggende igjen. Vi ønsket åutforske bukta før vi dro videre. Det vi da gjorde, var å ta dinghyen ut oggå med den langs land, rundt øyer og bortgjemte viker for å fotografere ognyte synet av alt det ukjente. Der var øyer som så ut som sopper, og allesammen var helt tilgrodd med vegetasjon. Tok vi borti fjellveggene, måtte vivære forsiktige, for de var kvasse som nåler. Nedi sjøen så vi massevis avnydelige fisker i alle slags farger, og noen av vikene hadde turkis farge ogvar innbydende å bade i.Omtrent midt på dagen, dro vi tilbake til båten for å gjøre forskjelligeting, og rundt kl.15 skulle Shamal. read more...


Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 -  World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 -  World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 -  World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 15.-18. juni 2017 -  World ARC 2017-2018
18/06/2017

Aurora Polaris - 12.-15. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Det gikk som planlagt! Vi kom inn i atollen Vanuana Balavu, og gikk til Lomolomo. Der ventet toll og immigrasjon på oss. Vi trodde de skulle komme om bord, og jeg hadde hatt et svare strev med å rydde opp etter seilasen. En del saker og ting har en tendens til å fly rundt når vi stamper av gårde i slik vind vi har hatt de siste dagene. De speedet imidlertid opp den prosessen, så kapteinen for av gårde med alle papirene til «Laura Dawn». Der fikk han ordnet både immigrasjon og internett for oss.Senere gikk vi i land i den lille fiskerlandsbyen som minner meg litt om en vi besøkte i Las Perlas. Her var det imidlertid litt ryddigere, selv om Lomolomo var ramponert av syklonen Winston i februar 2016. De fortalte oss at bare i denne landsbyen var seks mennesker omkommet. De hadde fått noe. read more...


18/06/2017

Aurora Polaris - 11. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Det begynte med sol og fint vær, og vinden rett på nesen. Etter hvert snudde den mot nordvest, og vi kunne seile. Det økte på utover ettermiddagen, og vinden dreide sør/sørvest. Det begynte å bli veldig ubehagelig, med skikkelig «bausing» og jumping, og jeg kjente at jeg måtte være ytterst forsiktig med aktiviteter, ellers kom jeg til å bli sjøsyk.Vi nådde igjen de andre båtene som hadde gått litt tidligere enn oss, så nå er vi i nærheten av hverandre – fem båter i alt – det føles godt!Nå, nattestid, har vinden roet seg noe, og vi har fullmåne. Det gjør det ekstra fint å ha nattevakt! Tidligere i dag hadde vi gråvær, og noen av båtene hadde regnbyger. Vi har hatt mest sjøsprøyt!I dag fikk kapteinen en sværing på kroken! Snella raste ut, og stanga var aldeles krumbøyd. Da han rakk bort. read more...


18/06/2017

Starblazer - 18/06/2017 – Challenging sailing!

The challenge we are facing on this leg is to keep Starblazer moving as far as possible without reverting to the engine.Friday morning’s efforts are a bit more than our normal cruising behaviour though probably familiar to racers.It was a foggy morning, we only saw the ship passing 1.5 miles behind us as a blurred outline though he knew we were there.AIS is a wonderful tool; we had received notification of his details and a CPA (Closest Point of Approach) of between 0.1nM (18.4 metres) and half a mile when he was 12 miles away.John called him up and he offered to alter course to starboard to pass safely behind us.The separation between us increased when the wind piped up a bit and we sailed at a speedy 6 knots for about a quarter of an hour.Ocne he was clear of us we altered course to. read more...


18/06/2017

Lexington - More Photos

  Here are some more photos.. read more...


18/06/2017

Lexington - 6/17/17 Taveuni, Fiji

We are on the island of Taveuni, Fiji. We came to the southwest area of the island to Paradise Resort. They have free mooring balls for visiting yachts and they are extremely yacht friendly. They came out to help us tie to their moorings. When we went ashore they were there to greet us and give us a tour of their facilities that we were free to use. We all had dinner there. We are three boats, Skyelark, Aurora, and us. They brought out a birthday cake at the dinner for one of us that they had picked up that had a birthday. They have excellent customer service and were rewarded by us booking a diving trip, snorkeling trip and a tour of the area. Four more ARC boats are coming tomorrow because of what we told them. I am going to send more photos of our tour yesterday. May fair winds fill. read more...


18/06/2017

Lexington - Tour 6/17/17

We took a tour today. World Cruising had arranged it for everyone. That is one of the things that World Cruising does very well. We had a bus (very old) to take us to Ene’io Botanical Gardens. The owner was a very nice native Tongan who had devoted his land to a botanical garden. He was well educated, with a agricultural degree from the University of Hawaii. He had been the Commissioner of Agriculture. He had about 500 species of plants. They also had a demonstration on the uses of coconut, weaving palm leaves, making a cloth type material from tree bark and making kava powder for a mildly intoxicating drink. After the demonstration we had a very nice lunch with local dancers performing. I did not remember everything but I will try to name off what we were offered. We had a salad, baked. read more...


17/06/2017

Isbjorn - ISBJORN OFFSHORE: Sail fast, to get to the pub!

June 17, 20172011A grey evening 120 miles off the west coast of Ireland. Grey ocean, grey horizon. A very fine mist hangs in the air, and while the fog has come and gone over the past 24 hours, the visibility is good currently. A variety of seabirds circle the boat, gannets among them which is a sure sign of land drawing nearer. As are the fishing boats. We've had a dozen or so at any given time appear on AIS, meandering around haphazardly at 2-3 knots, only one coming close enough to get a visual on. It was a good opportunity to teach the crew how to use the radar and what a target looks like on screen. Isbjorn sails fast under spinnaker on a waning breeze, 8.5 knots steady and surfing into the tens once in a while, 11.7 our top speed today. We're racing towards Ireland now, committed. read more...


16/06/2017

Misto - Days 156-159: June 12-15 Vanua Balavu, Lau Group

Following the waypoints around the island, and keeping a sharp lookout for rocks and reefs, we made our way north to Mbvatu Harbor. Rather like a fjord, this deep anchorage is surrounded by steep, undercut cliffs covered in vegetation.After a couple of abortive attempts at anchoring in slightly shallower water we dropped all our chain in around 65' of water.That evening we had a great party aboard Exit Strategy.Early the next morning we set off in the dinghy to the jetty on the far side of the anchorage.There we climbed a winding staircase of about 350 steps up the hillside.At the top the devastation wrought by cyclone Winston was apparent, with many downed coconut trees and others just stripped of their vegetation.On the advice of a local lady we followed a path across the plateau and. read more...


Misto - Entertainment in Daliconi village Vanua balavu
Misto - Entertainment in Daliconi village Vanua balavu
Misto - Sunset in the Lau Group
Misto - Sunset in the Lau Group
Misto - Visiting Joel and his family on Vanua Balavu
Misto - Visiting Joel and his family on Vanua Balavu
Misto - The beautiful exploring islands on Vanua Balava
Misto - The beautiful exploring islands on Vanua Balava
16/06/2017

Lexington - More Photos From Taveuni

Here are a few more photos from our tour. . read more...


16/06/2017

Lexington - Taveuni Island Tour

We are on the island of Taveuni in Fiji. All three boats hired a van and took a tour to several waterfalls in the south end of the island. We had two long walks to see various waterfalls. I am sore and tired from walking. We ended up having a pizza and then coming back to the boat. I will send a couple of photos. May fair winds fill your sails with enough energy to walk to your next waterfalls! Bob . read more...


16/06/2017

Lexington - To Taveuni

We are headed to the island of Taveuni which is part of Fiji and west of Bay of Islands on the island of Vanua Balavu where we were last night. Exit Strategy, Skyelark of London and Lexington are traveling together. This is free sailing time so we will go our various ways and end up in Musket Cove to begin the next leg. As usual it was down wind sailing and we used our twin head sails. We have come to the northern tip of the island. We are in the bay near Naselesele Point near the village of Matei. We are anchored in about 20 feet of water well off from land because there is a broad reef which is very shallow at low tides. We all came together because Dan from Skyelark has been here before. So we pooled our knowledge and followed Dan. We are going into the town tomorrow to do a tour. read more...


16/06/2017

Lexington - 6/13/2017 Daliconi

By now you have figured out that I am crazy or lying. And you figured that an old man like me must be lying. But I don’t have that much money. The photo in the previous post was real. It was from another boat that actually has a tub built into the steering well of the boat. As you can imagine it is a very nice boat. Now I will include a photo or two from the village. May fair winds fill your sails with island memories! Bob . read more...


16/06/2017

Lexington - 6/13/2017 Daliconi Village Meal

We went to the village of Daliconi for a dinner cooked by the local villagers. Their school was destroyed by typhoon Winston. They fixed the dinner for all our boaters and we paid a fee for the meal. It functioned as a fund raiser. They had dancing and music. They have a very nice clean village in a bay on the west side of the island. So here is the interesting dichotomy. The people were doing their traditional music, singing and dancing. During one of the songs, their traditional “farewell ” song, I took a picture of one of the singers holding a cell phone with the words to the song scrolling along as they sang. A real mixture of culture and technology. The only other thing to share was a visitor to our boat. On one of the islands a young lady wanted to hitch a ride to the next island.. read more...


WikiWiki - Albacore in Bay of Biscay
WikiWiki - Albacore in Bay of Biscay
16/06/2017

Yoda - OOPS I was having way too much fun

OOPS I was having way too much fun with the ARC Europe to write a blog ! Plus I am not sure anyone besides the ARC staff are reading it anyway? Keep up the great work Arc Rally control, you guys are fantastic and all your hard work is seriously appreciated. A HUGE thank you for everything you do, seeing your happy faces when we arrive makes it all worthwhile. Well what a journey. Having 40knot’s plus at times and huge seas to flat calm when coming into Lagos yesterday, us sailors really have experienced everything along the way. Lea and I agree that the last leg seemed to be the worst, because of the confused short choppy sea and the fact we were a bit worn out by this point and just praying we wouldn’t have anything major break. Thank God nothing major broke…a few leaks and a kitchen. read more...


WikiWiki - ARC Fleet in Bayona
WikiWiki - ARC Fleet in Bayona
WikiWiki - Never too many crew
WikiWiki - Never too many crew
WikiWiki - MRCYB, Bayona
WikiWiki - MRCYB, Bayona
16/06/2017

Isbjorn - ISBJORN OFFSHORE: Ireland Bound?

Friday, June 16. Day 70449I woke at 0345 to Martha & Bruce rousting Mia, who in turn rousted me. I'm not taking an 'official' watch this passage, but promised to do Mia's first half this morning. Getting up to see the sunrise sounded like a great idea last evening when I tucked into my warm bunk in sweatpants and a hoodie...A clear horizon was already visible by 0400 in the grey dawn, and it's light out now (it doesn't get fully dark until 2300 in the evening). A waning but bright half moon peeks through low, scudding clouds every few minutes. The cockpit is wet, though it's not raining. I'm dressed, fully - long underwear beneath sweatpants, wool socks, two long sleeve shirts under my puffy coat, my merino neck gaiter, hat, all under my waterproof foulies and PFD. It's not THAT cold. read more...


16/06/2017

Starblazer - 16/06/2016 – Progress?

For the first five and a half hours after leaving the marina in Ponta Delgado we had a lovely smooth relatively fast sail along the south coast of the island though we only made about three miles towards the first waypoint we had put in the GPS!If you look at our track on either SPOT or the Yellowbrick (now that we have recharged it) you might well wonder where we plan to make landfall.Iceland perhaps?No we are going to Camaret, close to Brest, in the northwest corner of France.Our bizarre heading is an attempt to keep the wind for as long as possible as there is a large, untidy looking Low between us and mainland Europe.This is ‘déjà vu’ because our previous return with ARC Europe in 2010 was similarly challenged by the Azores High.That year the High went all the way to Scotland so we. read more...


Blonde Moment - DAVE FROM MISCHIEF - VICTORY!
Blonde Moment - DAVE FROM MISCHIEF - VICTORY!
Blonde Moment - Dave from Mischief fighting with his code zero
Blonde Moment - Dave from Mischief fighting with his code zero
14/06/2017

Blonde Moment - blog 6

Wednesday 14 June149 miles from 0800 Tuesday to 0800 Wednesday.A day of sails up; sails down.Engine on; engine off - bit frustrating, so our overall mileage good considering.Sail change again between 0300 and 0400 with moon up and lots of dolphins watching proceedings.Charlie and Paul handled this one allowing Dee 7 hours in her bunk.We have been goosewinging since the early hours (headsail poled out on one side; main the other) doing about 7 knots downwind.We hope to be in Bayona by daybreak tomorrow........if this wind continues.Having seen no other boats all night, we crossed within a mile of Blue Monde (HR43) and then had to dodge a "herd" of fishing boats (group name for fishings boat unknown)!As we rounded Cape Finisterre the wind double in strength and we have been surfing down. read more...


14/06/2017

Isbjorn - ISBJORN OFFSHORE: Alone in an empty sea

14 June, 20171255I'm a manly, manly man. Just took an ice cold shower in the cockpit outside. I sent the crew below so I could be comfortably naked. But man is that refreshing! The seawater temp is 62, and the tank water perhaps a degree or two warmer. Wakes you up!It's cleanup day on Isbjorn. We've been at sea now almost 4 days, have sailed 575 miles and been through some rough weather. The skies finally cleared around 0300 this morning and the wind & seas have abated slightly, so time for showers and a boat cleanup today (partly inspired by a full French press of coffee that exploded in the galley, grounds and all, earlier this morning...). I'm in charge of heads, Mia galley & floor, the crew scrubbing the cockpit. Nice to get a fresh start in the cleanliness department.Not. read more...


13/06/2017

Blonde Moment - blog 5

Tuesday 13 June 2017We are crossing from French waters to Spanish as I write - progress is good considering - 150 nm from 0800 Monday to 0800 Tuesday.The sun is shining; breeze gentle.We started on Sunday with winds from SW gradually veering WSW to NW and now on Tuesday NE to E !!The problem is the waves haven't quite caught up with all these changes.So today we have small (1.5-2) wind driven waves from behind NE with quite frequent, much larger rollers from the West.The result, we roll gently from side to side then lurch into a trough which rolls us vigorously for 4 or 5 then back to gentle.Whether sitting, standing or in our bunks, you are braced for the next lurch.........Bayona had better be worth this!A sail change was required at 0300 (code zero down; poled out headsail and main. read more...


13/06/2017

Starblazer - 12/06/2017 - Our mini cruise of the Azores

We made landfall in Horta on the island of Faial just before sunrise.The early arrival left us both short of sleep so that day was rather a non-event for us as one or the other was asleep!We did go for a walk and find a paint shop, useful because I wanted to paint our flag on the wall.In 2010 I painted a big one on the pavement close to where we were moored and a smaller one on a wall by some steps, alongside a number of other ARC Europe 2010 boats.I am pleased to say that they are still recognisable though the lettering has deteriorated.Sadly I didn't have enough time to refresh the paintwork.Starblazer's painting is much brighter than Fair Encounter's, I hope it lasts better though I doubt that we'll ever get back to check it!One afternoon we went for a sail on a traditional whaling. read more...


13/06/2017

Raggy Doll - Time to call it

It is Tuesday 13 June, and I am writing this last blog with a sad heart. We left Falmouth on Sunday morning, well stocked with provisions and ready to head for Bayona Spain. All started well.When we were 6 hours into our journey AJ and I were hit with a stomach bug, that we are pretty sure was food poisoning. We had eaten at a local pizza restaurant Saturday evening and the common denominator between AJ and I and not including Andrew was a Pizza we had shared. We know it wasn't the dreaded sea sickness because of how it presented, I shan't go into too much detail but suffice to say the heads took a bashing along with the bucket. I was fortunate that I wasn't sick, just the other end and I can only put this down to the fact that I was wearing scopoderm. The concern was if Andrew got it. read more...


12/06/2017

Blonde Moment - blog 4

Monday 12th JuneWhat a difference a day makes.The wind started to drop on the skipper's watch 0500-0900 and despite Charlie helping Paul to rig and fly the Code Zero, the engine is now on, the sea oily and we are rolling as the 3-3.5 metre high waves head for France.A different challenge today - hot showers whilst wedged against the roll was interesting and making anything in the galley requires balance with one hand braced.A pod of pilot whales went past in leisurely fashion and a school of maybe ten small dolphins or porpoises.Engine now off and the code zero is full and flying.Home made curry, rice and naan breads has been polished off and we are ready for our night watches.. read more...


12/06/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob : 6/12/2017

We are anchored in an area called Bay of Islands. It is on the other side of the island that we checked into. The trip around was slightly challenging in that the charts are not that accurate so Sam stood watch at the bow for most all the trip. We left at about 10 a.m. and got the anchor down at about 3. The charts can be off about 1/2 mile. A good portion of the markers are not there. We were just trying to be careful and it is confusing when you do not know whether the next mark you see is the next mark on the chart or totally missing. There are several other boats here. One couple came up to us in their dinghy to ask if we knew someone. The someone was a skipper of Hanna, a boat from Sweden whom we knew. These people are from Germany. It is a small world. We are going to the next. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob : 6/12/2017
Lexington - Captain Bob : 6/12/2017
12/06/2017

Blonde Moment - Blog 3

Sunday 11th JuneFinally the day arrived - crews up early removing multiple storm lines ashore, which kept us safe during 40 knots of wind; multiple fenders keeping rafted boats apart and slipping lines so we could pull gracefully away from "A" pontoon, which has been our home during a week-long enforced stay. Blonde Moment has gained a new crew member - Charlie Pierce of World Cruising Club required a berth to Bayona and Dee and Paul gratefully accepted another (younger) pair of hands and eyes.Day oneLife has been challenging at 45 degrees. Vertical in the cockpit is OK as we cut through 4 metre Atlantic rollers left over from the storms or horizontal in a bunk - but anything in between is a huge effort requiring balance, grip and timing.As we left Falmouth basking sharks were spotted. read more...


11/06/2017

Misto - Days 150-155: June 6-11 Across to the Lau Group in Fiji

We spent the last couple of days in Tonga in Neiafu as the weather was rainy.In fact on our last day there the heavens opened and there was a deluge of rain for several hours that made the roads into rivers for a while.We stocked up on fresh produce at the local market and welcomed Cecilie from WCC on board for the passage to Lomaloma on Vanua Balavu.We departed on June 9 in calm conditions that we hoped would yield some wind suitable for sailing.However, we eventually motored the whole way apart from a few hours of sailing on the second day.We were warned that charts of the Fiji area are not entirely accurate and we found out that our electronic charts are about 0.5 nm out and displaced to the North East.We utilized the waypoints WCC had supplied without mishap but it is very. read more...


11/06/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: 6/11/2017 Lomaloma

So we are in Fiji at a village named Lomaloma. It rained hard last night and was raining some this morning. I decided to go to church to get a taste of Fiji church life. The service lasted 2 hours and the seats were very hard with straight backs. I did not understand a word that was said. There was lots of very nice singing which I enjoyed. As I left one gentleman invited me to have lunch with them. At first I was a little too shy to go but after talking with a few other men who also invited me to join them I decided to join them. We first sat on a mat behind the church cross-legged and talked. Then we retired to an adjacent building where the food was all set out on the floor mat. All the men sat around the floor mat and we served ourselves from the dishes that had been set out. We had. read more...


10/06/2017

Aurora Polaris - 10. juni 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Klokka 10.20, slapp vi bøyen vi lå på, og satte kursen ut fra Tonga mot Fiji. Det hadde vært ei hard natt å komme gjennom for kaptinnen. Kapteinen var så utslått at han sov som en stein, og kaptinnen holdt på å kveles i varmen. Det var ei svært stille natt – ikke et vindpust, og i tillegg regnet det, slik at alle luker måtte stenges. Airconditioningen var på, men av en eller annen grunn funket den ikke. Klokka tre om natta, ble den skrudd av. Da hadde temperaturen gått opp fra 27,3 til 28,5 grader. Kaptinnen var helt kokt! Hun forsøkte å åpne takluka, men da regnet det inn. Så lukket hun den delvis, bare for å få litt luft. Nattelufta kunne tilby 2,5 grader kaldere enn det som var inne i kabinen. Da måtte hun i tillegg ha viftene på! Til slutt må hun ha sovnet, for hun våknet av at hun. read more...



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