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10/11/2014

Helen - Start day - 13

Yesterday we had an excellent lunch at the marina bar, using up the loyalty points gained through many dedicated hours of hard work in the summer. By 3 o'clock we had checked out of the marina and headed out to sea.For me there is only one piece of music to play when heading out to sea from a Portuguese port. It's the theme tune from the film 1492, "Conquest of Paradise" by Vangelis. Stirring music and you entertain any locals who are watching your departure!Once out to sea we went to put the sails up only to encounter our first small challenge. The top sail batten had somehow got a 180 degree twist in it which meant that the sail would not unfurl. An hour or so later we had the main down, removed the offending batten, put the sail back up again and then the wind died. It's a boat!Once. read more...


23/01/2020

Charm - St Helena passage 3

Just a few hours ago we crossed from the East to the West.Gemma, the kids and I watched the numbers tick down from E 000° 00.001’ to W E 000° 00.001’.Since I missed seeing this happen when we crossed the equator, it was fun to see for the prime meridian. We are now officially back in the west.It feels more or less the same. Our time with good wind and waves might be coming to an end.The forecast shows that very light winds should start by morning.The forecast has been showing lighter winds coming for several days now but the start keeps getting pushed back which has been to our advantage.We are trying to reach St. Helena by Saturday afternoon, in time for the pig roast at the restaurant called Anne’s Place.Coco de Mer, a fellow World ARC boat, has sent us a satellite email briefing us on. read more...


Charm - St Helena passage 3
Charm - St Helena passage 3
Charm - St Helena passage 3
Charm - St Helena passage 3
Charm - St Helena passage 3
Charm - St Helena passage 3
23/01/2020

Domini - Log 7 - On to San Blas

We had a fantastic time in Santa Marta, and really didn’t want to leave. Alas when it came to start the next leg to San Blas we went down with a little bit of gippy stomach, so we got our extra day there after all. The good news is that it was very short lived, and we are both feeling lots better now.And having finally managed to leave the heads, we also managed to leave the marina about 0800 this morning (Thursday) and are currently flying along at 8 - 9 knots. Alas, there is a couple of knots of current against us, so it will look slower on the tracker.To San Blas and Beyond!Ju & Lyn. read more...


23/01/2020

Next Step - Departure from Columbia - 22nd Jan

Its departure day following a great stay in Columbia. In the morning we had a number of tasks to complete before we untied from the dock, including sorting out the marina and customs papers, shopping for the final fresh fruit and veg, getting the cruising chute out of the locker and on deck ready for use later. We departed the marina at approximately 1115 and headed out to the start line area for Leg 2 of the trip. At noon the start sounded and we were off to the San Blas Islands... The wind unfortunately was not quite in the direction that was expected so progress towards our waypoint was a little slow! By the evening the wind was getting very light but still coming from the northwest rather than the northeast. Nicole had prepared us a very nice supper before we left Santa Marta of. read more...


22/01/2020

Sapphire II of London - Santa Marta

We arrived in Santa Marta, Columbia after 4 nights at sea, each getting more bumpy and with a relentless winds of 35 knots, sometimes gusting to 50. We’ve been blown away by Santa Marta which is beautiful. We spent a day in Tayronaika National Park trekking to see a small lost city in the jungle and then floating down the river on tubes - a very different water experience to the last 5 days at sea. Then yesterday we went on a food tour and had typical Columbia’s food - fried corn with eggs inside, cheesy twists and fresh fruitsmoothies. Today we set off for the San Blas Islands with predicted winds of less than 10 knots so expecting champagne sailing just as we have said a sad goodbye to Shiv.image0.. read more...


Sapphire II of London - Santa Marta
Sapphire II of London - Santa Marta
22/01/2020

Domini - Log 6 - just when everything was going right...

We had 25 knots of wind behind us, a strong favourable current, and we were looking good to achieve our first ever 200 nautical mile day. Just as everything was going right - which is a most unusual state of affairs on a boat - Lyn noticed something trailing behind us. Perhaps we’d caught a tuna? It seemed unlikely given that we haven’t got a fishing rod, but we needed to take a closer look.We quickly stopped the boat, which is not that quick when you’re barrelling along at nine knots with a screecher out one side and a genoa the other. Ju then climbed down onto the transom and at last we could see the problem. There was a whole bundle of fishing ropes, netting and buoys tangled around the rudder. What a mess. Grrrrr. He managed to cut the worst of it away, but some of it was still. read more...


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 5 - Temptations of the watch

It’s the middle of the night; the “Dog Watch.” I’m not sure why it’s called that, but it doesn’t sound good. The moon is full, the sea is shimmering and there is nothing to disturb the peace other than the gentle thump of flying fish knocking themselves out on the transom.Unfortunately, Ju has just found a bar of chocolate in the fridge. Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut - his favourite. He used to get his five a day from Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bars alone. And now it is beckoning him.Perhaps if he had just one square…Did I say square? I meant line. Perhaps if he just had one line of chocolate…One line’s not really enough though is it? One line just gives you the taste without really satisfying the craving. So two lines is really a sort of minimum. As long as you stop at two lines. Two lines is. read more...


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 4 - half way there

We’ve had a great day’s sail, averaging nearly eight knots. A couple of records were hit today. 183 miles in 24 hours - a personal best for Team Domini. And not only that. We saw 18 knots on the speedometer! OK - that’s with a knot or so of current and surfing down a wave and lasted for about five seconds, but even so, it’s pretty impressive stuff.Last night was quite hard work. We seemed to have squall after squall, with lulls in between, so we were doing the Sailors’ Hokey Coley all through the night.You pull your foresail inYour foresail outYour foresail inAnd you watch it flog aboutYou do the Hokey CokeyThen you run agroundThat’s what it’s all about.Oooaah the Hokey Cokey…etcYou pull your mainsail in,Your mainsail out….and so on, till you either run out of sails or you’re. read more...


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 3 - Were Off!...Again.

Good Morning Chris,It’s 2 in the morning local time. It’s a beautiful moonlit night, and we have just had the biggest squall we have ever seen. It was about 4 inches on the radar screen so that is BIG! It lasted about 30 minutes and it was like standing under a waterfall, with the wind gusting up to 37 knots. On the plus side, we saw a moon rainbow! That’s right, a rainbow at night. In black and white. We never knew they even existed, but now we’ve seen one. Another first for Team Domini.We had a fast but bouncy trip down to Grenada, and got there mid morning on Sunday. Just in time to book ourselves a table at La Sagesse Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, where we had lunch overlooking the lagoon, listening to the relaxing sounds of the Caribbean played by the live band. Well,. read more...


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 2 - We're off!

Those of you following us on the tracker will no doubt be very impressed with our amazing high speeds, of anywhere between eight and ten knots. “They must be among the leaders,” you will be thinking. “If only they were going in the right direction.”Perhaps you suspect we have some cunning Ben Ainslie style plan; head south then pick up a favourable current, or a following wind, and head offthe rest of the fleet as we approach Santa Marta. Alas, dear reader, the truth is far more mundane. Our Voyage Around The World was all going really well. Right up until the first day. Well - to be precise, the first second of the first minute of the first hour of the first day of the first leg of our first circumnavigation. It was just as we came to cast off our lines that we found that one of our. read more...


21/01/2020

Charm - St. Helena passage 2

It’s my brother’s birthday and we celebrated with Oreos and Haribo gummy bears as we approached the halfway mark to St. Helena.We’ve had pleasant seas and winds all day – it’s exactly the way you picture sailing when you picture a pleasant day of sailing (not scary storms or rough seas).We’ve had our mini-spinni up for the past day or so and have been clicking along between 7 and 10 knots.Too bad my brother is stuck in meetings all day and can’t be with us.At least he can secretly duck into a little corner of his mind and sail away, like we used to do on our Sunfish in Corpus Christi Bay many, many years ago. The sea life spottings have increased, as they stealthily insert themselves into our daily lives.Gemma retrieved a squid this morning from the foredeck.She mentioned that, on her. read more...


20/01/2020

Charm - St. Helena passage 1

It is the third night since we left Walvis Bay.The first couple of days at sea are always a bit rough, no matter the weather or how long since we last were at sea.Joe said, “I’m going to sail around the world again and this time, I won’t stop!”Maybe it’s different for other people but even Joe, with over 4 decades of ocean racing under his belt, feels a bit queasy for the first 48 hours or so. For me, it was much worse.We left Walvis Bay with fairly calm conditions but roughened up by the time I went on watch that evening.Joe helped me put two reefs in the main and then I went to bed.Usually after one full night’s sleep, I am feeling mostly OK.The next morning I did all my cleaning duties, including vacuuming the remainder of the soil and dirty water out of the bilges on the starboard. read more...


Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Sally - Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic
Sally - Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
20/01/2020

Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia

After anchoring in Walvis Bay, we took our dinghy ashore, loaded with wet, salty laundry from the massive wave that landed in our cockpit.Stefano from the World ARC was there to greet us, as the organization is planning to add this as a scheduled stop for next year’s tour.Almost half the fleet from this year’s WARC stopped in Namibia this year and Stefano came to scope it out.This made our lives easier as he helped us figure out Customs and Immigration, where to buy sim cards, etc. The main feature of Namibia is the desert. After taking care of the basics like clearing in and getting cash and sims for our phones so we could have internet, we visited the tourist office.The lady at the counter told us, “Walvis Bay is more of a commercial port than a tourist center so there’s not much. read more...


Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia
Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia
Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia
Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia
Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia
Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia
20/01/2020

Charm - Visiting Cape Town

After dropping my mother and Kay in Durban, we had an adventurous trip to Cape Town, arriving just as the Christmas season was switching into high gear.There’s nothing like arriving in a large bustling city and parking in the middle of the busiest shopping district to rev up the commercial Christmas spirit! The kids quickly modified their original letters to Santa, made in Richards Bay, and started gobbling up large quantities of Krispy Kremes and Cinnabons to make up for lost time.Marin and Tully discovered a favorite sushi restaurant with a conveyer belt, Joe found a Thai noodle place and Cobin and I met our new favorite pizza shop, all under one roof.The US dollar goes quite far in South Africa so there was very little incentive for me to do any cooking on the boat, apart from some. read more...


Charm - Visiting Cape Town
Charm - Visiting Cape Town
Charm - Visiting Cape Town
Charm - Visiting Cape Town
Charm - Visiting Cape Town
Charm - Visiting Cape Town
Charm - Luderitz and other adventures
Charm - Luderitz and other adventures
Charm - Luderitz and other adventures
Charm - Luderitz and other adventures
17/01/2020

Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress

Ahh, life at sea.The calming warmth of the sun, the peaceful waves, the seabirds frolicking.If only we could experience any of that for more than a few hours . . . We had all of that on our way to Luderitz.But the closer we got to the tiny town that was once a German outpost, the more things changed.In the African cruising guide we have on board, it mentioned that “as you turn east to enter the harbor, you will encounter a wind acceleration zone . . .” In the past, any time we have prepared for an “acceleration zone,” it has turned out to be anticlimactic.This time, not so much. About 10 miles out from the turn, we had 25 – 30 knots of wind and were sailing almost dead downwind.This meant that to turn right and get to Luderitz, we would have to turn sideways to the wind and waves, which. read more...


Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
16/01/2020

Next Step - St Lucia to Santa Marta

Hooray... we're off, the start of the World ARC... The fleet left St Lucia Saturday 11th January and headed for our first mark of the course to Santa Marta off Castries in St Lucia. As we jibbed past the marker buoy, we were hit by a massive squall and pouring rain which was a little unexpected. Anyway, once we had turned onto our course for Santa Marta in Columbia, we settled into the usual watch pattern of 2 hours on and 6 hours off. For this leg of the trip we have a new crew member James, a friend of Jeremy and Nicole's and a very experienced sailor. We kept two reefs in the mainsail and four furls in the genoa for most of the trip and because the seas were quite large and confused each of us hand steered the boat during our watch which was quite hard work. As we got closer to Santa. read more...


15/01/2020

Maximilian - Nearly but not quite....

The only trouble with simbos is you need to plan direction changes well in advance and with just 80nm to finish in Santa Marta we are running a bit low on wind as we have come a little too close in shore! I remember at the weather briefing being told the wind freshens as you run in but obviously I wasn't paying attention as to where exactly ....Made another record 24hrs yesterday 225nm average 9.4kn with some wonderful sailing in some biggish waves. 25nm or so off the border between Venezuela and Columbia the water changed from deep blue to turquoise, just like that - beautiful.Life on board has settled into an easy pattern, no real dramas- had to re fix a bathroom door which was trying to throw itself into the aft cabin after a big roll.Battery charger is doing that weird thing again. read more...


14/01/2020

Maximilian - Simbo Sleigh Ride

Evening all, its an official sleigh ride out here. Plenty of breeze 25kn+ and a cheeky squall which touched 40kn on our instruments. Been playing cat and mouse with the squalls on the radar and aside one very unpleasant sail flog we are doing ok. Another day of records for Max, 206nm covered with a maximum of 17kn down a wave of course! Not bad for an old cruising boat :)In more mundane news, the battery charger is back on form now after plugging the laptop into it and giving it a talking to (reset); gave the batteries a big charge from the now functioning genset so thats kind of 2 boxes ticked off- for the moment!Looks like we are doing pretty well in terms of fleet position, we have about 370 to go so plenty of time for us to mess up yet. Hoping there will be a Columbian techy that can. read more...


13/01/2020

Maximilian - Breeze on

Charging day of all Max's records being broken; hoping that's all that's broken of course !The route to Santa Marta suits our downwind set up nicely and we hit a storming 16kn late evening yesterday!Some niggling issues with the genset and charger plus the SSB has given up completely now. Few jobs in Santa Marta...:/!Otherwise all good; glad Tez cooked a lot before we left as its pretty rocking and rolling out here in 25+kn ...... read more...


12/01/2020

Charm - Leaving Cape Town

Ultimately, it was the dentist that changed everything. We had planned to leave Cape Town on January 8, bound for St. Helena and then Salvador, Brazil.After passing almost two months in South Africa, I had shifted from traveling mode to being a liveaboard at the dock at the V&A Waterfront, at the height of the summer/Christmas tourist season in the most touristy part of the city.Which means my days were filled with touring, shopping, and doing all the things we had not been doing for months. This, of course, meant that I left the most important things to the last minute.Like the dental visit.It wasn’t entirely my fault.When we arrived in Cape Town on December 11, we had a frantic few days before the city shut down for Reconciliation Day and then the Christmas holidays.No one really. read more...


Charm - Leaving Cape Town
Charm - Leaving Cape Town
Charm - Leaving Cape Town
Charm - Leaving Cape Town
Charm - Leaving Cape Town
Charm - Leaving Cape Town
12/01/2020

Maximilian - Prep, Start and Apples

Our first blog from Moody Max! After all the prep and a simply massive Xmas and New Year with family and friends we said goodbye to beautiful St Lucia at noon yesterday. The time we had for final preparations was fine and all was good until the SSB packed up on its first real test and Apple (bless them) decide to update iOS making it incompatible with the iridium mail app. Luckily Tez had a back up back up back up back up android samsung that works. Blogs therefore will be short as typing on this phone isn't the easiest.Anyway, thanks to all the WCC team for a great build up and send off. We are beasting along with our Simbo rig pulling us pretty much dead down wind at 270T. We managed a new record at 14.5kn on a wave earlier so officially this is a sleigh ride.Autopilot came up with a. read more...


10/01/2020

Sweet Dream - Tuesday January 7, 2020

Today we picked up our new passports, caught up laundry, took delivery of provisions, and even put them all away! We went to the skipper’s briefing and had our under warranty chartplotter replaced.image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Tuesday January 7, 2020
Sweet Dream - Tuesday January 7, 2020
09/01/2020

Sweet Dream - Monday January 6, 2020

Rachel and Brad took us out for a wonderful brunch at Signal restaurant overlooking the yacht harbour. We shopped for souvenirs, then sadly packed Rachel and Brad into an uber off to the airport. In the evening we had a fun food and endless wine meeting with all our fellow sailors in the WARC, and even met a couple from last year’s rally as well.image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Monday January 6, 2020
Sweet Dream - Monday January 6, 2020
09/01/2020

Sweet Dream - Sunday January 5, 2020

Morning at the Penguinden apartment we stayed in overnight at Simon’s Town, then in the afternoon we went to a picnic in the park concert at Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens. Such a lovely venue, good family fun listening to the local talent of Craig Lucas, Paxton, and Jimmy Nevis. image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Sunday January 5, 2020
Sweet Dream - Sunday January 5, 2020
09/01/2020

Amazing Grace - Amazing Grace Log 2: Preparation is the Key to Success

It’s now T-2 days until we set sail to Colombia. And we are NOT READY. But we’re getting there 😊.In the meantime, our days are filled with seminars about the route, weather, currents and tides, best places to provision, can’t miss places to explore, etc. etc. My novice sailing brain can only follow about 50% of it, but Captain Dave is soaking it all in so he can teach us along the way.You guys have a lot of questions for us about the route: Why go westward? What about hurricanes and bad weather? Why not spend more time in Indonesia since you’re already over there? Isn’t this dangerous? And to those we can confidently say that for a circum-navigation expedition in under 2 years, this has been well thought out and we’re sure it’s the right trip for us.Sailing west allows us to pick up the. read more...



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