Starblazer - 27/11/2016 - Promises, promises!
No, I didn't write this just before leaving Tortola so no surprise there then, I hear you mutter!The afternoon tour around the west end of Tortola was interesting with stops at Soper's Hole (good ice cream), Bomba's Shack (scene of the reputedly best Full Moon Party), Cane Garden Bay (very old rum distillery), then a stop at the beach before returning via Road Town.I must admit, the hairpin bends and steep hills don't look any better with someone else driving. In 2000 I drove these roads with Richard and his friend Paul while John did an introduction to Scuba diving.Friday evening was the final dinner preceded by the prize giving and results.We were awarded a fantastic tray of fruits plus a bottle of sparkling wine, cheese and biscuits for our efforts to raise our home made code flags as. read more...
Starblazer - 15/11/2016 - The end of this part of our journey
Sorry this is a bit later than intended but I wasn't on watch between 0500 and 0800 when I normally write my blog!As expected we reached Tortola mid afternoon on Monday and were safely tied up in the marina by about 1700.The day's run to noon was 143 nM, not brilliant but it did include about 7 hours of sailing, peaceful but not particularly fast. Now it is time to reflect on the passage.We had no major problems, just a few niggles which might prove to be expensive!I have previously described the problems with the mainsail slugs which detach themselves from the cars on the mast track.Today I reconnected another one which had popped out before I stowed the mainsail properly.John needs to revisit the design of his pins.A second, relatively minor problem concerns the tricolour light at the. read more...
Starblazer - 14/11/2016 – Sunday
If Saturday was full of positives I’m afraid Sunday did not follow in the same mould!Overnight there had been several squalls, more rain than wind though the latter waltzed around the compass.I led a charmed life; the squalls all arrived during John’s watches.I didn’t mention yesterday’s sunrise as I wrote the blog because it was unspectacular, light working its way through dense clouds which threatened more rain.We motored most of the morning, sailed during the afternoon, motored again for a few hours then sailed until 0200.There were a number of heavy showers as the black clouds marched past but, by late afternoon, the skies cleared and it became a lovely evening.I do appear to be doing my best to fit the stereotypical Brit, always going on about the weather!At sea there is not a lot. read more...
Starblazer - 13/11/2016 – We have neighbours.
The ocean is a mighty large space and, though 35 boats are heading towards the same destination, the fleet is spread over a wide area.The first night at sea we could see the lights of several rally boats, however sightings for most of the time have been few and far between.We have spotted the odd non-rally boat but they have not stayed close.At about this time yesterday morning the AIS alarm went off for Windarra, a 13 metre sloop.At the time it was 3 miles ahead, slowly crossing our path.Today they are 10 miles away, on the port quarter (rear near side in carspeak for right hand drive vehicles).Yarona, another British owned Hallberg Rassy, also in the rally, came across our bow about 3 hours ago and are now 2.5 miles away on our port beam.Yesterday was rather frustrating, the predicted. read more...
Starblazer - 12/11/2016 – Positives
It’s a beautiful dawn; the sun isn’t due to rise for about 30 minutes but the eastern sky is suffused with a golden orange light which illuminates the gently rolling sea.Once the sun has risen the sea will appear a wonderful Quink Ink blue.For those too young to remember Quink Ink for fountain pens, it’s a stunning Royal Blue.Starblazer is powering along at a steady 6.6 knots with a little help from the current and we are on the final leg with 351 nM to go to Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI.ETA Monday early evening. The day’s run to noon Friday was 144.7nM, not stunning but acceptable.So what is there to be displeased with?The seas are so calm because there has been almost no wind for nearly 24 hours.Starblazer is making good speed because the Volvo diesel engine is thundering in the background,. read more...