Ocean Blue - Ocean Blue - Closing in on St Lucia through the squalls
Life aboard Ocean Blue has been a little less eventful over the last few days. The days have been hot and mainly sunny, the winds light to moderate and the Parasailor has remained the sail of choice. We have had a few squally nights, with massive wind shifts and huge deluges of warm but very wet rain.The fishing has been successful, landing a sizeable Wahoo which was filleted and eaten for dinner within a few hours. With the wind pretty much behind us the boat has been a more stable platform for doing a few jobs - meals have been crafted from individual ingredients, rather than pre-prepared frozen ones brought out (though we have eaten amazing well throughout the trip whatever the weather). Bread has been baked, luxuries such as cheesecake made and Lesley's lemon sorbet is a total hit. read more...
Ocean Blue - Ocean Blue - It doesn't get much better - except the ones that got away
You couldn't ask for much better sailing than we have had over the last few days. The trusty Parasailor has been the only sail we have had set and it has propelled us along day and night with ease. The wind speed is varying quite a lot but has remained just sufficient to keep it flying despite the small swells we are encountering. When the wind picks up the speed is blistering. The sun is hot during the day and the nights balmy. The night skies are an amazing array of stars and planets with many shooting stars or meteorites to add to the fun. As for the sea, its an amazing deep clear blue with fluffy little white caps when the breeze picks up.The fishing line has been out, but no fish have been landed yet, though two have been hooked and lost - must try harder. We have just had a large. read more...
Ocean Blue - Ocean Blue - Another brief relationship bites the dust
Alas the fix to the DuoGen didn't last. After a night of fast revolving union, the DuoGen spat out the toilet brush handle early the next morning shattering hopes of a long term fix. However being the tart she is, by early evening she had a new love, this time a far butcher solid 16mm stainless steel one stolen from the rigging spares box. So far this is a longer lasting fix and its more likely the DuoGen will tire first in this relationship.That aside, all is well. We could do with more wind - its looking like our ploy to head north, whilst initially gaining us a lot of ground is not so good. The position reports suggest that the boats that have gone way down South are now in significantly better breeze.Its now warm - well actually its very hot when the sun is out, sun shades are a must. read more...
Ocean Blue - Ocean Blue - We finally had to admit defeat!
If you read the sailing magazines or search for the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) on the internet, you will find many articles and adverts from the yacht charter companies etc. talking about escaping the European winter to sail downwind in the tradewinds in shorts and tee shirts for days on end under blue skies and bright sunshine. And last time I did this trip that was pretty much what we got. However it depends on two things: Firstly that the tradewinds are blowing (and they don't blow all year round, they normally kick in around the end of November) and secondly that the skipper has opted to follow the tried and tested route (head south until the butter melts then turn right).On this trip neither has occurred so things have been a little different, so here is a summary of the. read more...
Ocean Blue - Of course, the loo brush!
Like cars and trucks, most boats run off 12 or 24v electricity. Ocean Blue runs mainly off 24v so we have several large heavy batteries which require regular charging. We have 4 methods of charging them:1. The main engine. If there is no wind and we are motoring, or just going in and out of harbour the batteries are automatically charged since the engine is on, but otherwise we don't really want to run the engine just to charge batteries - it burns too much fuel and is a bit noisy.2. The generator. Effectively a smaller engine dedicated to producing 240v mains power electricity which has big battery chargers connected. This has the added advantage of also directly powering the few normal mains sockets we have around the boat. We like our generator for different reasons: Lesley because it. read more...