Mad Monkey - Approaching Darwin!
After the couple of days of bad wind and a frustrating sea state, the last couple of days have been much better!The night before last we rounded the top of Cape Wessel and this meant we could crack off 20 degrees from down-wind and enabled us to fill the sails and keep reasonably on course. Although the wind dropped very low last night for about 5 hours, the past 48 hours have been averaging 11-12 knots and the sea state has been much calmer
Perfect!Therefore, we have been flying just our A5 spinnaker and been getting boat speeds ranging from 6-12 knots.We have also been joined by the Australian Air Coast Guard twice over the last few days. A red and white aeroplane flies at low altitude next to the vessel and then jets away, 20 seconds later we get a VHF call asking what our intentions. read more...
Mad Monkey - Mad Monkey - Northern Australia
After battling the shipping lanes in 35 knots, Mad Monkey rounded the top of Cape York 2 nights ago during darkness hours and is now travelling across the Arafura Sea. However, now we have a different battle on our hands. Light winds (down to 4 knots at times), lumpy seas and wind coming from directly behind us! (which isn't good!) Oh, and just to add to the misery, a downpour of rain overnight!Our main task now is to work out what the best sail-set is (what sails to put up). Yesterday we tried the goosewing approach; poled-out headsail, staysail and reefed mainsail. This didn't work as there was not enough wind to keep the sails full, so they ended up banging with the waves too frequently than we'd like. We also tried using just the headsail, which worked well, we can easily reduce the. read more...
Mad Monkey - Mad Monkey Sailing Down-Under
Sailing around the Australian coastline has definitely been good fun and it's now clear to us why sailors gather from around the world to enjoy this eastern coast. Our trip from Vanuatu to Mackay was full of perfect sailing conditions, alternating between spinnaker and white sails to comfortably maintain boat speeds in the 10-knot range; we even broke our boat speed record and achieved 16.7knots with just white sails!Working our way north, through the Whitsunday Islands, has shown to us how diverse Australia is and where we would like to bring Mad Monkey back to. Stopping off in Airlie Beach was a highlight, not only was it one of the nicest marinas we have stayed in for a while but the weekend we were visiting was also the annual Reef Festival weekend, so the town was buzzing with. read more...
Mad Monkey - 21/03/2018 - Mid-Pacific Crossing
We are now two thirds of the way to the French Polynesia, having left Santa Cruz- Galapagos- a week late due to an unexpected medical situation
For me, this is an ocean crossing like other. I certainly did not expect to be the recovering patient having to spend most of my time on the saloon sofa, keeping my spine straight and my foot elevated; all whilst wearing a corset! When I lie awake during the night, I never thought I would miss being outside doing a nightshift so much, battling the elements and reefing due to squalls, however I better be careful what I say about that because I may soon be regretting those words in the Indian Ocean!Thankfully, for most of this passage the wind has remained constant and the sea state has been reasonably calm, meaning it has aided my recovery big. read more...
Mad Monkey - A quick stop in Panama and now to see Galapagos
Mad Monkey arrived in Shelter Bay Panama a week before transiting the Canal so this gave us enough time to catch up on what's been 'going on' at home and to prepare the boat for the Pacific. We also enjoyed day trips to the new Gatan Locks where we were lucky enough to see a ship complete its transit and on another day, visit the Embera Indian Village where we got to meet the locals and acquire some tribal tattoos. We had great fun transiting the Panama Canal, rafted with Jojo's Circus and Alora, then coming together for a raft party in Gatan Lake. Once in La Playita we didn't have much time but managed to fit it some shopping, a Lebanese themed night and some rooftop bar sightseeing! Then it was time to explore the Pacific Ocean
We had 2 and half days exploring the Las Perlas Islands. read more...