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24/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Passed half-way

As the fastest boats are undoubtedly already ogling Diagram 2.2 with the Finish Line in Horta, we have passed the half-way mark this morning. Our night at sea was quite uneventful, if you discount the strangely lit, un-AISed sailing boat that passed our bows with only a hundred or so metres between us. As stand-on vessel, we needed to hand-steer around the other boat, which quietly pursued a more northerly route as we continued our more easterly route. We're still in (VHF) company of one of two Dutch boats - yesterday Fanky was also with them... Our plotter screen is otherwise quite empty of shipping. We are enjoying a quiet (S)SWly wind which is gently propelling us forwards at 5 1/2 knots or so. Gosh, we might even reach Horta before the month of May is out! Only about 930 miles to go.. read more...


24/05/2018

Mazu - Day 8 - More Interesting Sailing

Another good day .... but with more varied wind conditions, still mostly from the WSW or SW.We put one reef in the mainsail overnight even though conditions didn’t seem to warrant it but just to be on the safe side.We also decided that we had gone farther south than we wanted to be so we gybed and sailed almost due north overnight.For me (Hope), the day began by a visit from the dolphins towards the end of Mike’s watch (I think they must love him).By the beginning of my watch at 0800 am, it was very tempting to shake out the reef and possibly pole out the genoa but then we saw some dark clouds to the northwest so we held off making any changes, which turned out to be a wise decision.The wind dropped first of all, then increased to up to 24 knots after going through a few rain showers.We. read more...


23/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - First shower

For the past three days or so we had been tracking along the Southern edge of a cold front. Last night it finally overtook us, with its associated rain and wind shifts. So not really a fun night. Lots of frustration in the calms, and even a little engine.But today is beautiful. Back to sailing and right on course for Horta.Today’s bread is rising, and all’s well with the world.PP & crew. read more...


23/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Order restored!

Things have returned to normal as we woke up to our 8th day at sea. We seem to have untangled ourselves from a nasty and vicious counter-current of the Gulfstream which was stealing nearly a knot of our speed over the ground, and we have escaped from the clutches of the Corner Seamounts which appeared to be throwing up some rough and confused seas. The of both phenomena was that our SOG sank to pretty low levels during the night; and we needed to hold on tight not to be thrown around the boat a lot because of the seas. But this morning the sea is calm again, that is to say commensurate with 18 knot winds, and our boat speed back to reasonable levels. The wind has shifted a bit too, so we are back on course for Horta and not headed for Mauritania or some other destination in Africa (which. read more...


23/05/2018

Mazu - Day 7 - Time Change and Celebrations onboard

We passed the eastern edge of Atlantic Standard Time yesterday so decided to change our onboard clocks in between our double night shifts,curtailing by half an hour.We are now on GMT (a.k.a. UTC) -2, a sure sign we are making progress.Mike was treated to a spectacular triple rainbow during his 0800 - 1200 watch.. at the expense of getting just a tad damp. For us, it was another sunny day with good following winds, unlike some of the other boats in the fleet who are further north and east and reporting wind shifts, rain and strengthening winds associated with a cold front. For us, it was time to run the generator to charge the batteries, make water, heat the water and have showers, what bliss!We now have under 1000 nautical miles to go to the Azores and expect to pass the half-way point. read more...


22/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 40 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Monday, 21 May 2018 - Suwarrow at anchorA slow start to the day - still in bed at 8am! Definite sleep catch-up, as I managed to fall asleep at the last night. Dave wanted to sort out the radar this morning which had stopped working during the thunderstorm the other night at sea so asked Rick from Amara, an electronics engineer to come over to assist, which he did once he had fixed Emily Morgan's computer - a busy man indeed. I had nothing to offer so went snorkeling. I was out seemingly for hours and found a wreck of a yacht, saw a huge turtle with his left side back flipper missing as well as part of his shell, a survivor of a shark attack no doubt some years ago. The water is so clear it is not too different from air and the scenery is amazing. However, I didn't see a single shark. read more...


22/05/2018

Firefly - Ode to ARC Europe

This is the story of ARC Europe, Bermuda to the Azores (day five), After a couple of days of light winds, Things have really come alive.   The fleet is pressing Eastwards, The Azores the distant prize, The sun on the horizon, Marks the spot when it does rise.  Leading the pack is Lumikki, the Finns know how to fly, They raced their way into rain though, At least the rest of us stayed dry!   They're so far ahead at this stage, They could be there by dusk, So there's one request from the rest of thefleet:, “Please save some beers for us!”   And then there is Devona, Five dashing bold young men, Their broken rudder no problem, For lads the calibre of them.   Despite their steering problem, On and on they roar, No challenge too great for a crew likethis, Yes, it's a. read more...


22/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Are we there yet?

I shall miss night passages, there is something quite surreal about sailing in the dark. It is as though you are in a simulator and somehow you’re not really moving. Well, anyhow, that’s how it feels to me. The dreamlike quality is especially magical when sailing along a moonlit path.Having successfully caught the wind we have been making good progress. Tomorrow we hope to be celebrating the half way point to the Azures. We shall toast this landmark (or should that be seamark?! ) with a tot of Goslings rum and a bottle of wine with dinner. Bee. read more...


22/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - A night with 2 different kinds of encounters

During our 6th night at sea we had two very different kinds of encounters with other vessels. The first one you'd probably end up by saying "typical yachtie". Around 2 a.m., popping out of nowhere, comes a sailing boat: no lights, no AIS, but on a very close course with us. In the dark you could make out his sails, but it wasn't possible to judge from them in which direction this other boat was going. When their mast-top light was suddenly turned on, this didn't offer much clarification on the boat's course, as successively green, red and white shone in our direction. Fortunately, this boat then made off and the lights went extinguished again...A few hours later, just before dawn, the cargo ship Gentle Seas approached us. Initially with a CPA of over 2 miles, their closest point of. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 7 day5

Sundaythe wind was elusive all Saturday night and in to Sunday morning but by 0500 we had a mega 6 kts on wind- just about enough to try sailing again.so ... engine off sails up .. we were moving again with out burning dieselbut the course was not good - who cares we still have over 1200 mile to go to Horta.as sail change to code zero improved our course and speed and we now had a speed over the ground of 5 knots - a major achievement considering the passed 24 hours.By the end of the day the winds have increased to around 18 knots and we had change the code zero for a poled out head sail and had a heady boat speed of 8 kts but were being driven back by a very annoying current reducing our speed over the ground to 6.6-7 kts.A trade off with the increase in wind is a bigger sea state and a. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 5 day 3

we had a good sail overnight, level pegging with Devona until early morning when a wind shift required a change in sail plan -no asymmetric and onto a poled out head sail and they sailed off in to the distance with there Parasailor pulling well.As the day progress the winds eased and in order to save the sails from being destroyed by the constant flogging it would be time to start the engine and put the sails away.I am not sure what it is about the hour of sunset but it seems to be the time that problems appear and this evening was no exception....The electric WC pump decided to stop!This has been an on going problem for a couple of month and I hope a new pump will be in Horta on our arrival.To sort the problem requires removal of the pump - easy you may think ......no the designers in. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 6 day 4

A frustrating dayHaving motored for a few hours overnight in lumpy seas the wind started to fill and.... engine off... sails up - this is it!however within a few hours the cloud cover thickened and i wondered if we were in for a blow....no the wind did a 360 in the space of an hour and then disappeared to .05 knots - no option engine again- at least the confused sea had gone and the ride was much smother.The hot days have now gone and we have even had a rain shower or two but when we see the sun it is still quite warm.. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 4 day 2 part 2

It had been a fantastic days sailing on relativelycalm seas with full main and asymmetric spinnaker- this was the longest this sail had been flown in a single session - fantastic!As a standard practice with sailing over night with a spinnaker I always drop them prior to night fall to check for halyard chafe and then re hoist as iwant to reduce the chance of misadventures at night!. Today would be no different and after dinner just as the sun was setting we furled the spinnaker and tried to drop it to check for wear... It dropped about 1 meter and then was stuck - well stuck.... no up or down!There was no option but to go up the mast and as light was fading fast time was critical. In retrospect it was probably a good thing as we had no time to think about what could go wrong!Colin soon. read more...


21/05/2018

Mazu - Day 6 - Practicing Ancient Mariner Skills (with a modern twist)

Today was another glorious sunny day, making good progress with following winds.Life doesn’t get much better.So it was that we managed to turn our attention to obtaining weather faxes and trying my hand at a little celestial navigation.We had been poring through various publications to try and obtain weather faxes but had until today come up short.Finally as I dug a little deeper into information on Sailmail (one of our at sea emails), I happened upon the text we needed to send to Saildocs that would return weather faxes.Now we can see a traditional weather chart with isobars, Highs, Lows, cold and warm fronts, etc. so we can have a much better bigger picture of what’s going on.It supports all the other information we have.That was success number one.Then, Mike kindly helped to teach me. read more...


21/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Of farmers and sailors

Farmers have a reputation of never being happy. The weather is either too dry, to wet, too cold or too hot. And having a good crop is useless if all other farmers have good crops too, because abundance pushes market prices down. Then again, a poor crop will cause shortages and push up prices. But if you don't have an abundance of produce available to take full advantage of the higher pices, what use are they to you?On Ngahue IV we are currently feeling a little "farmerish". After 2-3 days of no useful wind and needing to motor, we are now getting a fair whack of the stuff. But it is on our port quarter, just like the growing seas that the wind is throwing up at the boat. We're rolling quite heavily and life on board is not comfortable. Mutter, mutter! But we need to grin and bear it as. read more...


21/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 39 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Friday, 18 May 2018 - en route to Suwarrow stillA quiet night in terms of squalls, in fact we were by-passed by a couple and from 2400 there was nothing but clear skies and stars with a 15-20 knot breeze from the NE, with one reef in just in case. We were still doing 7 knots though. At the radio net this morning we were addressed as "Shark Catcher", better than the previous 'Miscreants'; 'Misfits'; or 'Mischievious', accurate though they may be. Should we be the only boat to catch one maybe we will be the 'Lone Shark', who knows? But the position reports put us furthest west of the fleet, not by much, but it does mean we are leading at this point in time. Spinnaker up at 9am, no problems, as we aim to reach Suwarrow in the early hours of Sunday for slack water is at 6am or 12 noon.. read more...


21/05/2018

IceBear - Blog Entry-Suwarrow

In the middle of the South Pacific lies a small atoll discovered by a Russian named Suvarov.The atoll is also called by that name and, after a 600 mile sail from Bora Bora we are here. But not without a significant emergency aboard Mad Monkey. At 1600 hours, a Pan Pan was radioed from Mad Monkey."We have lost our rudder and fear the ingress of water and are prepared to launch our life raft."Thank God that was the worst case scenario and their rudder actually came loose from its upper bearings and actually "dropped" down through the rudder post a number of inches and would have gone had it not been for Markand his crew jury rigging a loop of DYNEEMA through the top of the rudder and attaching it the spinnaker halyard and laterally to the traveller.World Arc boats immediately turned to aid. read more...


21/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Hooray!

We’ve now been sailing for 24 hrs. It is lovely listening to the waves and to hear the the wind on the canvas again. So much pleasanter than the drone of the engine. We are having a cracking sail - 7 to 8 knots. JM is beautifully balanced and Heidi is doing her thing, which makes for a super relaxed sail. The night sky is beautiful, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stars. Luminescence in our wake gives the impression of celestial bodies having fallen into the water. We have on board what Bruno calls the Precious Box. This is the biscuit container. ( Or as Bruno pronounces it‘bees- quit’). I think it is his favourite item!! We are a very happy crew and enjoy lots of daily laughter and fun.Some boats we hear are getting very wet, but so far we have managed to stay South of the wet. read more...


21/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Not so alone after all

It's just past midnight - boat time - and I've put all ghosts safely back to bed again. Time for the dog-watch crew to look back on what is now yesterday. Lo and behold, our AIS screen is getting quite crowded, and having thought that Ngahue IV was the last of the ARC fleet it now appears that there are several other boats contending for this place. Earlier on in the evening, we decided to gybe northwards where the stronger wind was going to be somewhat sooner. Well, I can divulge, on very good authority, that the Weather Family is quite illiterate. So how do I justify this unexpected bombshell??? Easy, peasy: they can't read the weather forecasts!!!! They're probably also quite ignorant about Grib files and the meaning of all those nice little arrows... And so the mariner, sailor, crew. read more...


Cayuse - World ARC fleet in Suwarrow
Cayuse - World ARC fleet in Suwarrow
20/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Back on sail!

Today is Sunday and after 42 hours of no wind we are back on sail! The kangaroo is flying high and Heidi Hydrovane is steering us East. Fresh bread in the oven, what more can we ask for? Well, fresh fish would be nice for supper, so the fishing lines are out. Otherwise it will be cans of beans for the last five days. Who bought those?! Still a secret.. Luckily there is guacamole on the menu today.We were visited by some dolphins and thousands of war of man are floating by. Still waiting for the whales to wave hello. With 1271 miles to go, we have good hope to see them.At happy hour we’re all on deck, sharing a drink and something to eat before the night watch starts. And who can beat the Perudo master in de game of dices? Hopefully this night the sky will be as bright as the last few. read more...


20/05/2018

Firefly - The hunt for wind continues....

It’s been a somewhat frustrating 24hrs for the crew of Firefly wind-wise(just as I’m sure it has been for several of the other yachts in the ARC Europefleet), however this has been ameliorated by beautiful sunshine and a slightdrop in daytime temperature to a much more comfortable level.  We’ve beenusing the iron horse for much of the time apart from a lovely silent hour thismorning when the winds picked up for a while, however this was short-lived asthey fell away as quickly as they arrived.  They’ve been steadily buildingthroughout the day though and after studying the various forecasts in detailwe’re expecting to get to a suitable wind-zone imminently, so hopefully we’ll beunder full sail again shortly.  As I type this I‘m hearing Peter and Paulhoisting the mainsail. read more...


20/05/2018

Mazu - Day 5 - Spinnaker Down!

Mike seems to have had most of the excitement during his morning watches over the past couple of days.Yesterday it was a show put on by dolphins... and today .... well, just read on.It took a bit longer for the wind to fill in than we expected.My (Hope’s) watch from 4:00 - 8:00 this morning was frustrating because the wind picked up ever so slowly.About half-way through I tried cutting the engine and rolling out the genoa but the waves just knocked the little wind that there was out of it so I had my morning exercise furling again.However, by the end of my watch, it was definitely time to start sailing.Mike agreed that the best sail for the conditions was the asymmetric spinnaker so we set it up then woke the captain to approve of the plan and assist.All was well and Mike had a lovely. read more...


20/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Still no wind or fish but we do have fresh bread!

We are only going to motor until 1800 today, even if we haven’t found the elusive wind, the last thing we need to do is run out of fuel. Despite having put out lines, almost every day, we have yet to catch a fish on this rally. No doubt it will taste all the better when we finally do - or should that be IF?Kieron has been making bread, so that is something we all look forward to daily. Unfortunately I think we will run out of flour before we get to Horta. Bruno has been taking lessons from the master and has declared ‘I shall never buy bread again’. He cooked supper last night and declared it to be ‘Rice and Things’, and I must say R&Ts went down very well after the evening’s G&Ts. Boat days have now settled into a lovely rhythm. We adopted Claire’s suggested watch pattern (given. read more...


20/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 3 day 2 part 1

It was a good nightssailing with light winds and the calm sea just what was needed to get into the 2 handed routine, giving us chance to get some off watch sleep As the sun rose it was soon decided the time had come to change from the code zero to asymmetric spinnaker. With just the 2 of us this operation was completed very smoothly and amazingly quickly and we were soon back sailing again at between 6-7 kts in just 8 knts of true wind however our sail change had given Devonaa chance to catch up to about 2 miles- but now we were starting to pull ahead againThe wind was light all day and with the clear skies the day was hot ..very HOT!It was hard to find some shade on the boat withthebinimi stowed for the ocean crossing. andso we carry on .... read more...


20/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 2 first 24 hrs

After the excitement of the start we soon settled in the life on board and on clearing the Bermuda fairway buoy the fleet soon set out on the separate route for the Azores. if is quite amazing how quickly the fleet disperses in to the open sea considering we all have the same final destination!Having pre prepared the code zero sail before we left the dock in Bermuda it was easy to deploy this sail and head off on our course....typically it was soon obvious that this was the wrong sail and we should havebeen flying the asymmetrical spinnaker which would have allowed us to sail a more northerly course.....Being short handed I decided not to use up energy in the heat of the sun and see how it all panned out the first night at sea was fantastic with clear stary skies, flat seas and good. read more...


20/05/2018

Ngahue IV - I'm a poor lonesome cowboy...

Fans of Lucky Luke, a Belgian comic strip character created by Morris, will recognise this as the song with which this cowboy, who shoots faster than his shadow, ends each story album. Well, Nieuwpoort, Belgium, where we normally keep the boat, is indeed 2766M away - still. And that's in a direct line! And at the moment we're pretty lonesome out here in the Atlantic, with only zillions of plankton on or near the sea surface, which light up under our waxing moon (what little was visible of it through the clouds), to accompany us. AIS: empty... Radar at maximum range: empty... Visual inspection up to our horizon: empty... And a star-blazing sky? Mostly obscured by the clouds. Sitting in the cockpit of the boat, seeing time ticking by, courtesy of our highly accurate GPS system, you can. read more...


19/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Jumping dolphins don't need no wind!

As yet another calm day drew to a close, Ngahue IV was suddenly the target of a school of dolphins. We saw them approaching the boat from afar, and the dolphins were keen that we noticed them arriving, as they jumped several feet out of the water before riding our bow wave and swimming around the boat. We're currently in 1 to 2 knot winds, so our Volvo-Penta is humming away at 1250 revs to give us a speed over ground of some 5 knots. Perhaps it was this engine noise that made the dolphins push on after only a few minutes around the boat. Well, it certainly made a nicer spectacle than the continuous parade of Portuguese Men-of-War that we see passing each day.And so our trip continues to the next waypoint on the plotter, which I've hopefully named "Windpoint Sunday" where we should start. read more...


19/05/2018

Mazu - Day 4 and We Are Drifting ....

We finally resorted to seeking help from the engine about 10pm last night as our speed over ground had dropped to around 3.5 knots.We motored slowly overnight, heading in a northerly direction, but sadly it seems we are in a patch of very light airs that will likely persist throughout the day today.After about 13 hours of the noise, we tired of the noise and resorted to drifting ..... but at least we are drifting in the right direction and we seem to be getting a little help from some current.Chris Parker’s forecast, which is backed up by various other sources of weather, suggests that we don’t want to go much further north as there is a cold front north of us (a line of dark clouds north of us supports this prediction).So, we plan to stay close to our current latitude of about 36. read more...


19/05/2018

Selkie - Update on Kids

Tristan (11) games a lot and loves his movie time. He can get cranky, but then he has beautiful moments where he does all the dishes with a smile, organizes really well, or plans a moment with a little. The other day on his afternoon watch, he made a pulley system that ran the length of the boat with our Polar Express book as a platter. It’s so no one has to get out of bed, he said. Lily (9) is such a sweetheart. Endless amounts of questions and a willingness to help with the littles or in the galley. She’s been going to the cockpit to stare off into the distance and write poetry. Yesterday she used her goddess cards to add more detail. We know she’s been writing when we find her crumpled pieces of paper all over the deck. On day one, she drew a picture of Tristan and put her Baba’s # on. read more...


19/05/2018

Selkie - 265 NM

Nothing. Calm. No wind. No waves. No swells. A lapping in the ocean like folding. How can something so big be so still, so quiet? The most gentle of breezes can be felt and barely harnessed. Main out with preventer in place, but Selkie bangs and fights and is curious to her surroundings like a caged animal. I’m scared to ask for wind. I don’t want it three fold. There is nothing above the surface. I wonder about the depths. What’s eating what in an endless aquatic food chain? The ocean is darkness. As the sliver of the moon set at sunset, we could see the dark side so clearly it made us laugh and stare in wonderment. This is a life outdoors. Who else can say they see every sunset and sunrise of every day? Who else cares so much about weather and wind? Who else moves with the will of the. read more...


19/05/2018

Selkie - Update on our Food

Savory Selkie. So far we’ve devoured endless amounts of fresh fruit like apples, bananas, plums, tangerines, pears, and more apples. The kids have learned to covet fruit more than dessert. They share little tangerines like mini meals. At this point, apples, plums, and grapefruit remain. We bought so many vegetables, we couldn’t keep up. We splurged on multiple meals of cucumbers and peppers with hummus, an abundance of green beans, greens, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, asparagus, tomatoes, and celery. Some remain, but the broccoli molded and had to be given to Poseidon. So far we’ve dined on an Hawaiian Pork BBQ with roasted asparagus, a taco casserole with green beans, and a beef stew with dumplings. The fresh food dwindles quickly. Nick asks, Are we gonna run out of food? No, I. read more...


19/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Where’s the wind?

Well, after our initial euphoria with the extra speed gained by putting up the cruising chute, the wind slowly died on us and we were struggling to get 3 knots. Every possible sail combination was tried - but to no avail. So they were all put away and we turned the engine on and headed north to chase the wind for the next 24 hours. We heard we were not alone in making this decision over the radio, so that was reassuring.Chef of the day was Kieron and he whizzed up some seriously garlicky humus that we had with our evening tipple. No one was going to be bothered by vampires for the rest of the night. Salmon pasta and fruit cocktail followed and all plates were licked clean - it saves on water not having to wash up! We will see what delights tomorrow has in store.. read more...


19/05/2018

Ngahue IV - After every night comes day

Another night at sea with no other company than the stars, a few clouds and, very briefly, a waxing moon. Not a ship in sight and nothing on the AIS. Pure silence on VHF channels 16 and 72, now our ARC listening channel... No flying fish on deck; and as Portuguese Men-of-War aren't visible in the dark, none of them either (though there are plenty around this morning). No wind, either, so the only disturbance really was the soft droning of our Volvo-Penta TAMD 41B...We were both on watch to see a beautiful sunrise announce the coming of a new day - La Vie est Belle... or to translate this French film title, Life is Beautiful!All we need to do now is cross an area of approximately 130M to start getting some better wind, which undoubtedly the rest of the fleet has picked up ages ago.. read more...


19/05/2018

Blonde Moment - Bermuda to Azores 1

wednesdy 16th may Bermuda has been a great stopover. Apart from the first couple ofdays when we arrived the weather has been fantastic ,almost wall to wall sunshine and a light cooling breeze. Touring the island by scooter is a mustfor any visitor and great fun can be had .We were hosted by st Georges dinghy and sports club and whilst I think all would agree that a referb. is required to the club house nobody could argue that the view from the balcony is fantastic - a great place for a Dark and Stormy sun downer.Well all good things must come to an end and so it was time to leave Bermudaand head off to the Azores.The weather on start day was no different to the previous few days with glorious sunshine and light winds. Normally i am not one that gets mixed up in the boat mess on the start. read more...


19/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 38 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Wednesday, 16th May 2018 - en route to SuwarrowThe wind eased as the night progressed, dropped to below 10 knots and came around onto the beam so we had to drop the genoa off the spinnaker pole. But come daylight, just as my watch ended at 0600, Dave rigged the spinnaker to hoist so no sleep for me with him clambering all over the deck and calling instructions aft, so I gave up and went back on deck to set the sail and we are now back to 8 knots boat speed in 15 knots of wind on a course of 290 degrees. There was a medical emergency overnight on one of our fellow ARC fleet boats, Lunatix the fastest boat in the fleet. Apparently a crew member had got in the way of the mainsheet on an accidental gybe and the gybe preventer failed: head injuries and lacerations resulted, and he is lucky to. read more...


18/05/2018

Ngahue IV - One empty sea - one beautiful sunset

As we move into our 3rd night at sea, we really are at the back of the fleet. This morning we could see the top of Selkie's mast. But since this afternoon our horizon has been completely empty. Not a ship in sight! We can pick up 2 other Class B AIS vessels some 35 Miles away. That's way over our horizon though!! We can see lots of Portuguese Men-of-War floating by, and this evening there even was a lost seabird circling around the boat. Heavens only knows where the flying fish are, as during the daytime you hardly see one. Usually just one, and not as on our East-West Atlantic crossing in whole schools.The sun is setting very beautifully and it is giving the sea an extra dimension of dark blue. So a perfect setting for another wonderful night.Only down side: the wind has given up on us. read more...


18/05/2018

Mazu - Day 3 and Still Sailing Gently

I shouldn’t have written so confidently that we had passed Gloria of Southampton.... Shortly after I had sent the last blog, her captain, Tim, greeted us on VHF and informed us that his crew had been whipped into shape and they would be pulling out all the stops to regain the ground they had lost to us.So, the battle began.... and they gradually gained on us, indeed they came so close, we caught them on one of our fishing lines!Having cut them free, they proceeded to overtake us ... with plenty of opportunity for mutual admiration and photos/videos (I’m looking forward to seeing us in action ... maybe we’ll learn how we can improve).Good fun, but the battle wasn’t over yet.Eventually, they managed to hold their “kite” on a more downwind heading than we could and thus gain some northing. read more...


Cayuse - anchored in Suwarrow
Cayuse - anchored in Suwarrow
18/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Second day highlights

We had a super day’s sailing. With the wind dropping off we chose to fly the cruising chute. A great decision - we’ve added good speed and it makes the Atlantic a more colourful place. Winds looking good for the next 36 hours so it’s safe overnight. Weather was perfect, warm with a pleasant breeze and we had dolphins playing around the boat. Caribbean humidity has disappeared.Dozens of Portuguese Man of War jelly fish were also sighted. They appear as very clear glass bubbles about the size of a football floating on surface. Thanks to several other boats for telling us what they were! Did you know that their tentacles can be as long as 12 metres - doesn’t really bear thinking about, does it?!Our trusty captain cooked clam chowder for the crew supper; enjoyed by all in the cockpit whilst. read more...


18/05/2018

Firefly - ARC Eurovision Song Contest

  All is well aboard Firefly after almost 2 days of blissful sailing. Theexpected light winds have been just enough to make good progress towards theAzores using our Assymetric Spinnaker. Achieving the desired course and headingnorth east we have managed to log 330 miles sailed in the first 48 hours.However, the wind has now veered and it is a difficult decision whether to ybeand head north or whether to just carry on east.....heading north east is nolonger possible at a reasonable speed. We have elected to gybe but will downloadthe latest weather gribs soon in order to work out our strategy and make surethat heading north is the best call.   Mike, our new crew member has settled in very well and life aboard with 3people means 50% less watches and much more sleep ......in fact. read more...


18/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Our first flying fish!

Usually on an ocean passage, the first job of the day on deck is to clear the flying fish that have inadvertently landed on board during the previous night. Sailing out of Bermuda, we didn't spot any flying fish in the water, and after our first night at sea discovered a deck completely bereft of the little critters (coming into Bermuda we had 4 really tiny flying fish on deck - you wonder how they managed to fly that high to land on us, as we have a pretty high free board, especially forward of the mast).Innocently we thought that flying fish had been replaced by Portuguese Men-of-War 5which don't leap out of the water and end up on your deck); so we thought no more of it.Last night, however, Laura had heard some suspicious flapping on deck, but during my normal morning deck and rigging. read more...


18/05/2018

Blue Pearl - Back in Tahiti

Our cruising life is full of surprises. Last time I reported on our wonderful time in the Society Islands and our upcoming visit to Bora Bora, the last island of this island group included in our itinerary. And now, unexpectedly, Blue Pearl is back at the dock in Tahiti awaiting arrival of a replacement part for our generator from the US.Our generator had started to malfunction and the nearest place for repairs to be made was Tahiti, so here we are. The sail back from Bora Bora to Tahiti was interesting. It was a nice windy night so we happily sailed along, we didn't have the generator to charge our batteries when the time came but we did have the boat engine which could do the same thing.. Or so we thought..! When the time came to charge and we turned the engine on the alternator (the. read more...


17/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Furukado continues

There's a song in The Mikado (a Gilbert and Sullivan opera - very popular with amateur opera groups in the UK) called "A wand'ring Minstrel I". Our autopilot's erratic behaviour reminds me of this song, and if you mix up Furuno and Mikado, you get Furukado (or Mikaruno - pick your choice). Either way it's particularly bothersome to see our track meandering all over the plotter!!! We've switched to wind mode on the autopilot as the meandering there is limited to some 15-20° either side of the wind's course; in course to destination mode, the meandering can be as much as 20-30° either side of the desired course! A mess...Like the other boats in the fleet, we've had our fair share of Portuguese men-of-war passing by the boat. When we saw the first one, we thought its sail was a discarded. read more...


17/05/2018

Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well

Compared to the strong winds on the nose for days and huge waves we had crossing from Florida to Bermuda, the delightfully light winds and surprisingly flat Atlantic seas during the first 24 hours on route to The Azores seemed more than we could have wished for. Flying our huge spinnaker (sized for a 47-foot catamaran) we were cruising along, enjoying being up with the front runners of the fleet... until I noticed that a thin line seemed to have become caught in the block at the end of the bowsprit. Fearing that it might hinder the tack line, I popped up to the bow, with cursory “I’ll be right back.”The bowsprit had disconnected from the bow of the boat, but luckily had become wedged in the barrel of the jib roller furler... 20 minutes later we had the spinnaker dowsed, jib hoisted,. read more...


Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
Makara - Day 2 - It Was Going So Well
17/05/2018

Selkie - Night 1: Leg 2 Bermuda to Azores

The Milky Way. Stars beyond stars beyond stars. Meteors grant me wishes of a safe passage. It’s so quiet. Ngahue seems to be our partner in crime: same heading, same speed, both of us lagging behind with no spinnakers. There is so much space in this darkness, yet I feel like I could reach out and hold their hand, a fellow astronaut in space. Sagittarius to my right makes me laugh with its big teapot shape. Would you like a cup a tea Ngahue? The Big Dipper is prominent to my left taking up the sky replacing the moon, and it is so dark that I can see every star in the Little Dipper and Draco. It is refreshing, soul replenishing, comforting. If I wasn’t strapped in, I think I’d float away like a parasail. I can see four boat lights. I’m curious about the distant two. Funny to have so much. read more...



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