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05/03/2017

Exocet Strike - Exocet Strike 4-5 March 2017

A great nights sailing, good boat speed and direction, rattling of miles. However as is said, after the Lord Mayors parade comes the ....Today it's been one long series of squalls heading us way north of our planned course. The wind direction is forecast to be NE or ENE, whereas it's mostly SE. Oh well it's gets us well north and away from negative current coming out of the Amazon.It's typical ITCZ or doldrums weather, so I guess another 3 or 4 days of this, hopefully when we reach 5 N it will clear up a lot. The forecast then is for very much NE winds and up to 20 or even 25 knots, that will be fast but not much fun, big seas, lots of slamming no doubt.. read more...


05/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob 3/15/17 6S.95W

It is 7:00 a.m. and my watch started at 6. We are sailing in 9-10 knots of wind and it feels great. I almost feel selfish because the others are asleep and I have not awakened them. It could die out at any minute but we are getting into the area where we should have some wind. I have weather information that indicates the wind might be a little iffy today but we are steadily moving to the area of steadily improving wind so those two factors combined are what we are hoping to improve our fate. Right now we have 7-8 knots of wind doing 4 knots on a beam reach (beam reach=wind coming directly from our side which is generally a good point of sail) I have two fishing lines out. I had two fishing lines out all day yesterday without any sign of a fish being anywhere near them. I did lose a lure. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob 3/15/17 6S.95W
Lexington - Captain Bob 3/15/17 6S.95W
05/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: Sunrise 3/4/17

I could not resist sending this photo. I am just going off watch. I experienced a beautiful dawn and sunrise. The sea is glassy calm because there is no wind. There is a gentle swell from the South. That is a slightly good sign since it means that there are winds to the South that are generating the swell. The only problem is that the swells come from far away. Enjoy! Bob  image1. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Sunrise 3/4/17
Lexington - Captain Bob: Sunrise 3/4/17
05/03/2017

Aurora Polaris - 4. Mars 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Det er lørdag, og vi har sovet godt – de timene vi fikk sove. Ingen skip i sikte, og det er lite her som bryter havflaten – en og annen flyvefisk, det er alt. På morgenrapporteringen via SSB-radioen i dag, forteller de om lite vind, og alle går på motor. En fortalte at han kun har ¼ tank med drivstoff igjen, mens en annen har brukt opp alt, og må vente på vinden. Veldig synd, for vi har som nevnt lite vind.Det er et høydepunkt på dagen kl. 9 om morgenen, og kl.18 om kvelden, når vi hører stemmene til de andre i flåten. Først opplyser vi om vår posisjon og vindstyrke. Når alle har fått oppgitt det, har vi en runde med spørsmål om emner som opptar oss. Det kan f.eks være om det marine livet, månen, stjernene og planetene, eller dersom det er medisinske emner – noen trenger hjelp osv. Været. read more...


Aurora Polaris - 4. Mars 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 4. Mars 2017  -  World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 4. Mars 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018
Aurora Polaris - 4. Mars 2017  -  World ARC 2017-2018
05/03/2017

Timshel - Galapagos to Marquesas Day 4

Motored slowly all night, trying to conserve fuel by motorsailing when possible.Switched off the engine for about 4 hours in the middle of the day to allow it to cool down so we could do the checks, sailing in 3 knots of wind or less mostly at 1 knot or less of boat speed.Anita went for a swim, absolutely no problem keeping up with the boat, and very warm. Yippee, Steve had a shower!At tea time altered course to head due south.Apparently you have to go as far as 8 deg S to get some wind.On the current course 230 deg 8 deg S is 280 miles, on 180 deg it is 180 miles - we may have just enough fuel for the shorter distance.Wildlife count:Pod of large dolphins swam under the boat this morning, but did not stop to play (probably we were going too slowly), Galapagos storm petrels skimming over. read more...


05/03/2017

Laura Dawn - Pacific log 1: Birthday Celebrations..

Steak dinner on the plancha yesterday to celebrate Martins birthday seemed very extravagant, especially as we are down to our last 8 tomatoes already! But it was a lovely treat. Jack baked a very well received birthday chocolate cake in the breadmaker too. We are still chasing the wind and enjoying our motor to the Marquesas, with it seems daily visits from dolphins and whales to keep our sailing spirits up. Unfortunately it looks like we will have to go further south than we thought to pick up the trade winds so have a couple more days of flat glassy seas to go.Oh! the hardship!We are making the most of pleasant conditions though as we know it will all change once wind and waves are here.Hels even made jam yesterday from some mystery fruit from the Galapagos(not something she even does. read more...


04/03/2017

Firefly - 45 miles to Grenada

Today is Saturday 4th March and we will arrive at Prickly Bay, Grenada by about 1600 local time. Firefly won't complete her circum navigation until she reaches St Lucia at the beginning of April. It is however a massive milestone as we have just crossed the Atlantic again, this time starting from Cape Town way down in the south.Our 4 day passage from the Maroni River has been wet and windy and uncomfortable.We benefited from some favorable current for most of the trip but have been hampered by a cross sea (waves across our track) with waves breaking on the deck. We have had frequent rain and wind squalls too and needed all of our sprayhood and rain covers in place to try and stay dry. The winds on the beam have been up to 35 knots in the squalls and mostly over 20.Fortunately our last. read more...


04/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: A Treat

I have ordered each of you a whole dried fish to be delivered for Christmas dinner. I found them in Sant Cruz on the street. EnjoyBobimage2 image1. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: A Treat
Lexington - Captain Bob: A Treat
Lexington - Captain Bob: A Treat
Lexington - Captain Bob: A Treat
04/03/2017

Misto - Day 56: Venus shining on the water

Today has been mostly motoring - we tried to sail for a couple of hours in the middle of the day but the wind finally died.After dinner, Carl went to take a nap and Howard and I sat out on deck.The sky to the south of us was spectacular with a huge anvil cloud rising out of the dense cloud bank.We altered course toward them by 10 degrees hoping that the clouds are the harbinger of wind which the latest forecast indicates we may find at 7 degrees 30 minutes south. The sun set in a mass of orange glowing clouds and the waxing crescent moon became visible in the night sky.Venus shines so brightly that at some elevations it can be mistaken for a tall masthead light as it gives off an eery red-tinged glow.Tonight Venus reflected on the mill-pond smooth water glistening like a string of bright. read more...


04/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/4/17. 4 degrees 37 minutes south 94 degrees 12 minutes west

Tonight I got a VHF radio call from a boat that I had met up with at Shelter Bay Marina just as you enter the Panama Canal prepping area They were going to town one day and offered to pick an item up for me. We have a device called AIS which is automatic identification system. We broadcast and receive a VHF signal that shows our boat position on the chart plotter of boats within range. They saw us on their system and called out. They have joined our SSB (single side band radio) radio roll call twice a day. It is always good to know someone else is out there in the dark of the night. In some places of the world you would turn it off so pirates could not see you. For your information I will go over our communication capacity. We have VHF radio. VHF stands for very high frequency. It is for. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/4/17. 4 degrees 37 minutes south 94 degrees 12 minutes west
Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/4/17. 4 degrees 37 minutes south 94 degrees 12 minutes west
04/03/2017

Exocet Strike - Exocet Strike 3-4 March 2017

Well that was a much better day and night, 12-15 knots from approx 170 to 150 true wind angle and a positive 1-1.5 knot of current, averaging 7-7.5 knots of speed over the ground (SOG). No rain or squalls even. Not sure if it will continue but let's hope so.We are in the area of the ITCZ so squalls etc are highly likely. The whole trip should in theory have 1-3 knots of positive current so we are looking good forward to more of the same. We need to stay well clear of the Amazon basin, due to debris coming down the river and also for us up to 5 knots of negative current, that wouldn't be helpful.In a few days we get quite close to French Guyana, Surinam and Guyana. On the 6th March there is a scheduled launch of an Ariane space rockets from the European space centre in French Guyana. Last. read more...


04/03/2017

Aurora Polaris - 2. og 3. Mars 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Går fortsatt på motor, for nå er vi i stillebeltet «The Doldrums», som de kaller det. Mange av de andre i flåten har sett både delfiner og svære hvaler, mens vi måtte nøye oss med å se tusenvis av små maneter i alle slags fasonger. Vi har det stille og fredelig, lager mat og vasker opp, reparerer klær og leser, og i dag, 3.mars, kan vi rapportere ei svær skilpadde som svømte rett ved siden av båten! Ikke verst!Vi har hatt høytlesning på dekk i skyggen av fokken i ettermiddag. Det var herlig! Forbereder oss på øyriket som nå ligger foran oss. Ser ut som vi har mye spennende i vente, både vulkanske øyer og korallrev.Etter mørkets frambrudd, en tur fram i baugen. Sitter og stirrer utover Stillehavet, som i sannhet lever opp til navnet sitt akkurat nå. Månen er en smilemunn, og lyser sterkt.. read more...


04/03/2017

Timshel - Galapagos to Marquesas Day 3

Unfortunately motored most of the night.More swallowtail gulls around the boat, quite spooky with their strange clicking call and they are all white on the underside.My book says they are the only night feeding gull in the world, you don't see them during the day. Fortunately didn't see any factory ships or run into any whales in the dark.The stars disappeared - it had clouded over.Then most exciting got a bit of wind at 0430 and set the yankee as well as the main to motorsail, then it came on to rain heavily - the first rain since before Panama I think, and I suddenly realised I needed to shut all the hatches, then it all went away, back to motoring.Presumably this is the doldrums, but it was hardly a squall.More wind as I handed over to Steve at 0600 and we set main, yankee and. read more...


04/03/2017

Skyelark of London - Its Calm, too calm.

It's all about the diesel.Beingpart of a rally means a fixed departure date, and for many things this can be a good thing -it keeps you to a schedule,limits the temptation to stay just one more night, or wait for something non essential to be fixed - however it can mean leaving in less than ideal conditions - in this case into a huge wind hole in the Pacific! The Doldrums is the name for the area of light or non-existent winds that occur near the equator, that were a major obstacle for sailing ships of old, which could spend weeks wallowing, in hot and humid conditions trying to beat the unfavourable currents and get through to the trade winds on the other side -back then they launched the Gigs and towed the ships along by oar andthe crew reportedly went Mad!Right now the Doldrums. read more...


Skyelark of London - Its Calm, too calm.
Skyelark of London - Its Calm, too calm.
03/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/3/17 sunset

We have had a nice day but motoring in calm winds. At the end of the day Mark and I went for a swim. The water was very nice. My guess is that it was about 82 degrees. We had the boat hove to but not well it still had a little movement. "Hove to" means the sails in a configuration that each sail is supposed to cancel out each other and stop the boat. Mark and I did not swim far from the swim ladder. I soaped up real good to clean up some. With the watermaker we are not too hard up for a very brief shower. I just wanted to say I had swam in the Pacific Ocean with no land in site. I did put my goggles on to look for any big fish showing their teeth. All I saw was a few jelly fish. On the roll call there were two or three other boats that went for a swim. For us Sam and Ann stayed on board. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/3/17 sunset
Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/3/17 sunset
Lexington - 3/3/17 sunset
Lexington - 3/3/17 sunset
Lexington - a small cumulus cloud that might turn into a little squall or plain rain cloud when it cools off.
Lexington - a small cumulus cloud that might turn into a little squall or plain rain cloud when it cools off.
03/03/2017

Lexington - 3/3/2017 Looking for Trade Winds

We are motoring along looking for trade winds. We are 3* 27′ S. 93 * 43′ W. The good winds are between 6-8 degrees south. We are heading south to get in that area. Our hopes, based on time proven weather patterns, are that we will have a comfortable sail down wind to the Marquesas once we get South far enough. The old sailors coming west to the Americas used the same principle. Their saying was that you sailed south from Great Britain or Spain and kept going south until your butter melted. The warmer air came from air flowing off the coast of Africa. At that point you were able to pick up consistent west-headed trade winds that gave an easy sail to the Americas. Often you can sail a longer route to get better conditions and winds. In doing that you may get there quicker. read more...


03/03/2017

Misto - Days 54-55: Little wind for first days of leg 4

March 1 saw the start of leg 4 in Santa Cruz. Misto crossed the line first in around 10 knots of wind and soon put up the gennaker.Towards evening Carl spotted whales and it seemed like a very auspicious start. Through the night we had a mixture of sailing and motoring as the wind became increasingly light and variable.We set a course towards the south south west as we expect to have to cross increasingly calm waters before finding wind on the south boundary of the ITCZ (Inter tropical Convergence Zone) between 7-9 degrees south. Some of the grib files show wind a little further north than that but Chris Parker's advice is that this may well not prove accurate and not to rely on it.On March 2, apart from a couple of hours of sailing when we chased some squalls and caught their wind, we. read more...


03/03/2017

Exocet Strike - Exocet Strike 2-3 March 2017

We had a great stay in Brasil, we seem to be one of the few that enjoyed it. Salvador was interesting, the berthing a bit of a challenge.We then sailed up to a city called Joao Pessoa, capital of the NE state. The port of Cabedelo was at the entrance of the river and we stayed at a pleasant Marina at Jacare. Really helpful, bit of a current meaning you could only go into and out of the Marina at slack water, but a great and relaxed place.We left yesterday morning, 2nd, bound for Grenada, unfortunately we got the main halyard wrapped into the steaming light fitting and from a safety point of view I took the boat back into the estuary to free it, lost two hours, but all sorted now.Had a great sail in some squalls in the afternoon but in the night it all went pear shaped, lots of big. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: pod of whales
Lexington - Captain Bob: pod of whales
Lexington - Captain Bob: pod of whales
Lexington - Captain Bob: pod of whales
Lexington - Captain Bob: pod of whales
Lexington - Captain Bob: pod of whales
03/03/2017

Timshel - Galapagos to Marquesas Days 1 and 2

Had a great time in Galapagos, all too short as we arrived late and had to get the generator fixed, but I think we managed to tick off our quota of wildlife sightings despite this.We had a great farewell dinner, a lovely meal and very pleasant company.An early start on race day to go in to Immigration for 07.30 and get the passports stamped, it took ages.Then there was the rush to get ready for the start.Despite the gloomy predictions there was wind, though not that much so we sailed over the line in far from last place with all 3 white sails set on a 60 deg reach heading SW.We continued in same vein, but some boats set coloured sails and went off to the W. In the light airs the boats stayed much closer together and the AIS was working unusually well.We motored for a couple of hours when. read more...


02/03/2017

Misto - Day 52-53: Misto comes 3rd on leg 3!

The prize-giving on February 27 revealed that Laura Dawn came first, Hanna second and Misto third.This was quite a surprise for us due to the motoring that we had to do on the last leg.Chuck and Sharon had now departed and so were not there to bask in the glory of this award, which they contributed to.Dinner at the Il Giardino restaurant was a festive and enjoyable affair.Carl was now on board and the first order of the day on February 28 was provisioning at the local market.We saw most of the boats represented there as we all tried to decide how much fresh produce we needed for a 3+ week trip and balance that with where we were going to store it all.Back at the boat a number of preparatory jobs proceeded - checking the engines, stowing gear and diving to clean the bottom of the boat. read more...


01/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: Tribute to Caverun Sail Association and Al Lawton 3/1/17

So I am out here in the ocean ghosting along headed towards the South Pacific Islands. How did I get here?A friend introduced me to Al Lawton and Caverun Sailing Association. I have not calculated how much that has cost me to date but I wish I could deduct it as a loss. Al and many of the members were extremely welcoming to me into the sailing community. I went on a group trip to Chesapeake Bay as an introduction to sailing and it has been down hill since.I read a book on cruising which stated that to be successful you needed a good wife to go with you and to start before you are 60 years old. I do not have a good wife that will go with me because of severe sea sickness but she was good about me buying a boat which is one of her many mistakes involving me. I bought a boat before I turned. read more...


02/03/2017

Aurora Polaris - 1. Mars 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Vi brukte om lag tre timer i dag bare på utsjekk fra Equador! Vi var ganske tidlige ute, syntes vi, men der er alltid noen som er foran! Vi ble stående utenfor kontoret halvannen time, før vi endelig kom innenfor døra. Innenfor døra tok det en time før vi endelig ble ekspedert.Etterpå skilte vi lag. Jeg gikk for å handle mat, Terje for å få tak i noe til kompressoren. Jeg brukte alle pengene jeg hadde, og måtte sette meg på kaien og vente til han endelig dukket opp. Da hadde han ikke fått utrettet noe som helst, og klokka var 11, og vi skulle seile klokka 12. Da ble det «hurrameghei» og full fart for å bli ferdige til seilasen.Igjen var vi sist over startstreken. Det begynner å bli en vane nå! Heldigvis er ikke Aurora Polaris akkurat ei «sinke», så hun tok raskt innpå de siste i følget.. read more...


02/03/2017

Aurora Polaris - 28. februar 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Nå går det litt i ett for meg, men vi brukte dagen til innkjøp, og jeg kjenner stresset rett før avreise. Dette er ikke det kjekkeste jeg vet, men jeg vet det må til. Vet også at vi har mat nok – og vel så det, hvis frys og kjøl holder, vel å merke. Vi er ikke garantert noen ting, såpass har jeg i alle fall fått med meg. Det skjer stadig noe, om ikke akkurat hos oss, så i alle fall i resten av flåten.#end. read more...


01/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: dumb luck 3/1/17

A few days ago I misplaced my credit cards and money. This made me feel dumb. My money had come out of my pocket as I got into the boat a few days before. When that happen I went back to land to alert the water taxis of my dilemma. No one had seen it. When I got back to the boat the crew had found it in the cockpit where I had set down upon getting back to the boat. This time I had been working on the generator when the fish plugged the intake. I had dove into the water to see what was plugging the intake. My money was in my pocket but I was all over the boat working on the generator, sometimes with my feet up in the air to get my head down to see something. I looked all over for about 2-3 days with no luck. Last night I rented a scuba tank and regulator to see if I could find it in the. read more...


01/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: 3/1/17 readership

It is interesting to see how diverse today's communication is.When we started out from St Lucia, Rodney Bay Marina, I got an email from someone at Morris Yachts. They had seen a post for the marina that had information indicating that we were there for the World Arc.Morris Yachts picked up that one of their boats was in the World Arc which was of interest to them. Morris Yachts was very nice to offer to help me along the way if they could be of help. I thought that was very nice of them to reach out to us. They also probably do not want one of their boats floundering. Another boat in our fleet consists of an older owner and three young crew members. The younger crew are probably late 20's or early 30's. They appear to function very well together and have done very well sailing. They. read more...


01/03/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17

Mark and I did a tour out of Santa Cruz to islands to the north. We went in a bus to the northern end of Santa Cruz and the got on a nice motor cat (motorized catamaran, two hulls). They served us breakfast while we went for two hours by boat to our two tour sites. The first activity was a walk up to the top of a old volcano that was about 2,000,000 years old which means that it still looks like a lunar surface. The park service has built steps up to the top to keep the impact a a minimum. I honestly do not remember how much vertical climb there was but it was moderately fatigue generating, maybe about 1,000 feet up. There were two plants that lived in the environment. There were a few lizards. The view from the top was fantastic. After the climb we had the mandatory snorkeling trip. The. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17
Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17
Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17
Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17
Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17
Lexington - Captain Bob:a tour on 2/26/17
01/03/2017

Firefly - French Guyana - Up the Maroni River

On 26th February 2017, after two days and one night at the rolly anchorage south of Iles Royale, one of the Iles du Salut, we lifted the anchor and headed north east approximately 100NM to the Maroni River entrance. Our destination was St Laurent Du Maroni, a town on the boarder with Suriname some 25 miles up river. St Laurent officially became a town in 1949 and now has a population of 40,000. It was historically a prisoner reception port for the French penal colonies within French Guyana, where all prisoners including Dreyfus and Papillon came first after their voyage from France. Our little detour up the river was suggested by Tim and Magda from fellow WARC yacht Bellafonte who had been in email contact with Davide Matelicani. Italian Davide, with good English and a strong Aussie. read more...


01/03/2017

Firefly - Cruising French Guyana - Iles du Salut

We were disappointed that our planned stop to the Brazilian islands of Fernando du Naronha had to be abandoned due to the predicted wave height at the anchorage but our next stops along the coast and up a river of French Guyana has made up for it.11 days after leaving Salvador, at 1000 on February 25th 2017, we dropped anchor at Isles du Salut (salvation) comprising Isle Royale, Isle St. Joseph and Isle Diable (Devil's Island). The group is famous (or infamous) as a French penal colony introduced by Napoleon and active for around 100 years from the 1850's until 1953. We anchored South of Isle Royalethe largest of the group sheltered from the NE Trade winds and the strong current running up the coast (sometimes over 3 knots). There were three other yachts one from France and two from. read more...


Misto - Street food on Santa Cruz during Carnival
Misto - Street food on Santa Cruz during Carnival
Misto - The Tunnels on Isla Isabela
Misto - The Tunnels on Isla Isabela
26/02/2017

Misto - Days 44-51 Isabela and Santa Cruz

The small anchorage at Puerto Villamil was soon crowded with World ARC boats as well as two other catamarans. After investigating the options ashore we settled on a trip to Los Tunelles (The Tunnels).We went together with the crews of Owl and North and were not disappointed.A 45 minute boat ride took us to tortured lava-scapes that formed huge rock pools teeming with turtles, sharks, rays and other fish.On land we watched blue footed boobies performing their stiff legged dance. Two snorkeling opportunities enabled us to get close to the marine life as well as seeing a single seahorse.All in all it was a great day.We decided to opt out of a trip to the volcano - it was reported to be a long uphill walk and very hot.On February 23 we proceeded to Santa Cruz.We managed a little sailing but. read more...


26/02/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: new crew. Sunday February 26. Santa Cruz

We had a crew change yesterday. Jim and Jerry left to fly home to Kentucky and Mark Arnold came in to join us. Mark and Judy were successful in getting the correct boat parts to each of the boats that we were helping. We delivered the parts to each boat mid afternoon yesterday and by about 6 pm Aurora Polaris had their generator running and Exit Strategy had their winches rebuilt. Sumore has a harder job fixing the mast track but plan to get it done today. We have a few things to get done before we take off Wednesday. Hope all is well with everyone that is normal and home.. read more...


25/02/2017

Lexington - Captain Bob: lava tunnel

I walked to a lava tunnel today. It was a long walk for a short slideimage1 image2. read more...