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Misto - Magical Niue
Misto - Magical Niue
31/05/2017

Timshel - Niue to Tonga Day 1

We could definitely have stayed longer atthe lovely island of Niue!Most of the fleet left during the night/very early morning aiming to arrive Thurs in daylight.Not being so fast, we opted to continue to catch up with sleep and attempt to time it so we arrive Fri morning.Also we thought we needed daylight to get the anchor up - though it was OK and didn't get stuck (Lars picked a good spot for us!).We moved to a (now vacant) mooring to complete final preparations, and went back to the mooring to sort the mainsail that had jammed.We eventually crossed the line at 13.37 (Bora Bora time), closely followed by Lexington and Zeeland. Good sailing wing and wing making 6 knots or so, Lexington went past making good progress with her twin headsails and later Zeeland caught up too.There is now a. read more...


31/05/2017

Laura Dawn - Pacific Log 19: 45 miles until Tonga

Another passage almost complete finds ourselves only 45 miles from civilisation, in fact probably the most we have seen since Tahiti.So we still have a full genoa and 1 reef in the mainsail and we have turned our engine off (no more toast sadly!).The wind is currently about 13knts true from 90 degrees which puts us on a starboard tack and sailing with the wind 150 degrees off our starboard side.Its not just sitting on watch here enjoying the sail and drinking tea though. The debate rages on when you gybe? So much to consider: Mid watch, watch hand over or on wind shifts... the next questions being: Is there a schedule? If so, are we on it? Then there is always the issue of squalls, crew rest, swell/wave direction and current to consider.But it doesn't stop there: wind direction, cross. read more...


Lexington - SV/Lexington (photo credits to Chuck and Annie Johnson)
Lexington - SV/Lexington (photo credits to Chuck and Annie Johnson)
31/05/2017

Lexington - 5/31/2017. Leg to Tonga

We left Niue at about 13:00 today. We have had an excellent day of sailing again using our twin headsails. In the first 12 hours we did 80+ miles. That is real good for a sail boat and for us. So we have been at this for 5 months now. For someone who had never taken more than two weeks vacation at a time it has been an adjustment. It is hard to say what kind of adjustment. I never was one to party much and eat out much and we do a lot more of that. The heat has been a little annoying at times. I hate to be sweaty. Sweaty and trying to sleep is a challenge. I did get a good fan that has helped a lot. With the rolling seas it is hard to read and study. A lot of the time I am sitting in the cockpit like an old fart sitting on his front porch watching the world go by. I often feel I should. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - A Few More Niue Photos

Sam and I enjoying the beautiful viewThis is a large break in the limestone near the sea.This is foam formed as waves crash into the limestone at the sea edge.. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - 5-28-17 Niue photos

 This is a limestone cave that opens to the ocean. At one time a large population of people lived in some of the caves.This is more from the interior of the caveThis is Sam dwarfed by the cave. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - More Niue photos

This is Howard Cheetham from the boat, Misto. Misto is a beautiful catamaran. This is a large cavern that opens to the sea. It has fresh water flowing into it from aquifers. The fresh and salt water do not mix readily. The junction of the salt and fresh water causes a distortion of the light making it appear you are looking thru heat waves. There was also a marked difference in the temperature. When you dove down into the sea water it was probably 10-15 degrees warmer.. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Niue photos

This is Gary Chapman from Skyelark of London. He is from Great Britain. He was a former underwater welder.This is Stephen Kingsman from Kent, Great Britain. He has a nice catamaran called Sumore. He was enjoying getting his picture taken because he could stop and rest.. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - 5/28/2017. Niue tour

The volunteers from the Niue Yacht Club took us on a tour of the island today. They are a major asset to the island. They delivered fresh baked bread to the harbor for boats that ordered it. They took us around the island in their private vans. They will deliver fresh vegetables to the dock Tuesday. They provide the mooring balls for the visiting yachts. Last year about 10% of the tourists to the island were on yachts that used the mooring balls. The island is trying to promote tourism as a significant part of their economy. It would be an interesting study to see what leads to success or failure. There are only about 1,600 people on the island. Of those that are employed, about 75% work for the government. New Zealand heavily subsidizes the economy. I think that if they were left on. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - 5/27/2017. Niue

NiueWe have arrived in Niue this morning at 05:15, crossing the finish line. We slowly came into the mooring area and by the time we were in the mooring field it was twilight so we could see the mooring balls easier. We tied up, had a drink and took a nap. Soon thereafter there was a knocking on our boat for me to go in and clear in with customs and immigration. I then went to rent a car for Sunday and went back to the boat. We cleaned up a little and then checked out the village. The main event was a dinner party at a resort which was very lovely. The setting was great. The food was very nice and the entertainment was enlightening. The entertainment was local school dancers that were doing cultural dance and music. They did an excellent job. As we say , “a good time was had by. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Saturday 5/27/17 Arrival at Niue

It is 2 am again and my watch. We are 22 miles from the north end of Niue, where we will turn south to go down the west side of the island to the mooring area. The village is Alofi which is the capital of Niue. It is located at the center of Alofi Bay, close to the only break in the coral reef that surrounds Niue. The bay stretches for 30% of the island’s length (about seven kilometers) from Halagigie Point in the south to Makapu Point in the north. The Niue Yacht Club maintains moorings that we hope to use. It is not a good place to anchor. Most cruising boats would not stop there if they did not have moorings. About 8 boats will arrive today, most a little ahead of us. We have a scuba dive arranged for Monday. Most things are closed on Sunday. They are strict. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Reflections on My Journey by Alan Owens

I have purposely waited most of a week before composing the final entry in my journal describing my travels to and through French Polynesia in order that the most recent impressions and experiences might give way to more of a distillation of the whole of it. Running off to the south seas is a childhood fantasy that ranks up there with joining the circus, driving for the Ferrari team and being chief costume-fitter for the Rockettes.  It has always been near the top of my “bucket list”.  I am grateful to Bob, Sam and Karen, crew of the sailing vessel “Lexington” for allowing me share part of their “Adventures in Paradise”. Having been a life-long travel junkie, I was not surprised by the first of my take-aways from this trip.  . read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Polynesian Picture by Alan Owens

Always interested in a deal on a boat Alan Owens eyes a fixer-upper on the island Huahine.. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Crew Picture by Alan Owens

Crew of the Lexington at the Bora Bora Rally.. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Cannon Picture by Alan Owens

World War 2 cannon on Bora Bora.. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Sunset Picture by Alan Owens

Sunset Raiatea. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Bob with "hooka" Picture by Alan Owens

Photo from Alan’s trip to French Polynesia. read more...


31/05/2017

Lexington - Mo'orea Picture by Alan Owens

Lexington at anchor in Mo’orea.. read more...


31/05/2017

Timshel - To Niue or not To Niue

That was the question.Trouble was we'd been told there were 20 buoys at Niue so enough for the whole fleet, then a few days out the word was there were only 15, then 13, and however you counted it we would be too far down the order to get one, in fact 6 boats would be without.The Pilot books all say that it is not possible to anchor as there is only a small shelf and it's deep and rocky. The seamanlike thing was probably to gybe and head directly for Tonga, but we held on and luckily got a message from Cecilia at WARC Rally Control just in time to let us know that the Niue Yacht Club had given special permission for the excess boats to anchor just off the wharf where there is a small patch of sand (it should be noted though that if there was a ship at the wharf this would not be. read more...


30/05/2017

Laura Dawn - Pacific Log 18: On route to Tonga

And very sad to be leaving Niue...What a unique place, the worlds highest atoll and another amazing place! Lumps of coral everywhere through the vegetation where the atoll has been literally pushed up from the sea.We have loved every minute, especially the friendliest locals and help from everybody, Keith (Niue yacht club) and his many hired hands of help worked non stop to assist and ensure we had a great time.Watching the afternoon sun go down on a terrace was magic, just time to reflect after an amazing island tour (a must on your itinerary), the spinner dolphins popping along just in time for sunset, they even surfed the bow of the dinghy one evening too.A bit of a unique dinghy docking experience as there is big tide differences and potential for big swell: you have to hoist your. read more...


30/05/2017

Misto - Days 138-143: May 24-29 Magical Niue!

The Magical Cat has found a magical destination in Niue.The passage to Niue, though relatively short, was not the most comfortable we have had. A night of variable wind, motoring and squalls gave way to established trade winds of 15-20 knots on the beam but the seas were large, which translated into a rough, bumpy and rolly passage.Squalls dogged us the entire way and we arrived at 9.30 at night in Niue rather tired. We did not have the worst of it though, as boats that traveled the following day experienced winds up to 45 knots.However, the challenges of the passage were rewarded by what we found at our destination.It's difficult to describe the attraction that we, and many other boats, found in Niue.This huge rock, miles from nowhere, is strongly connected politically and financially. read more...


30/05/2017

Starblazer - 30/05/2017 – A new record!

Day 12 of this trip, noon Sunday to noon Monday, had some definitehighlights plus the odd negative!I’ll get the bad bits out of the wayfirst.The boom strut/vang/kicker thingy decided to follow the lead of thewire rope which formed part of the system for pulling the boom down againstthe force of the gas strut and the wind trying to lift the boom.John hadreplaced the wire with some dyneema linking the block and tackle directly tothe boom a couple of days ago. Sunday the main body of the unit tore off theend fixing block so it is now on the deck and we must remember to tightenthe topping lift otherwise the boom will damage the bimini (a sunshadecovering the cockpit) when we drop the mainsail.The second negative was the day’s run, a new record low since arriving backin the Caribbean in 2016. read more...


29/05/2017

Starblazer - 29/055/2017 – Going slower

The weather system which affected us Thursday evening and through Friday didleave a very short lived legacy of better speeds but unfortunately the highpressure ridge, which had been pushed south, fairly quickly filled the voidleft by the departing Low.This brings more settled weather but very littlewind and we have been suffering ever since.Day 10, Friday to Saturday,kept reasonable winds through to mid-morning Saturday when we had to resortto the engine.The day’s run was 144 nM, giving us hope of a daylightarrival on Tuesday.Saturday to Sunday was not so good, resulting in ourlowest day’s run on this trip of just 110 nM and that’s with some help fromthe engine!By Sunday noon reality had set in that the chances of adaylight arrival on Tuesday are non-existent, daylight on Wednesday. read more...


29/05/2017

Isbjorn - Isbjorn Offshore: Astro Push-ups & Spinnaker Blasting

29 May, 20171008 - Day 12Mia's in the galley making oatmeal, and it's a good morning for making oatmeal indeed. Low, scudding grey clouds hang over the boat and horizon. A damp, cool westerly breeze. Droplets of dew on everything, stuck fast to the crystallized salt that cakes most parts of the boat after nearly two weeks at sea. The Portuguese man-o-wars continue to glide by our stern in regular procession. Sea turtles eat them, I'm pretty sure. I'm in black sweatpants and a black t-shirt, doing morning exercises in the cockpit. Mostly 'sumo squats' and what Mia & I have dubbed 'astronaut push-ups.' These would be just normal push-ups when Isbjorn is stationary, but offshore, the rolling of the boat changes your perceived, or in keeping with our sailorly theme, your 'apparent'. read more...


28/05/2017

Blue Monde - Log (minus day five) 'Getting ready,

Not long to go! Just checking out blog operation.Jill Robinson Sent from my iPad. read more...


28/05/2017

Isbjorn - Isbjorn a Offshore: An Ocean Thick with Phosphoresence

28 May, 20170240I put too much hot sauce on my leftover rice & beans just now. 'Jack's Bay Pepper Sauce' from St. Croix. Really tasty, but runnier than anticipated out of the bottle, which I shook with a tad too much fervor. My lips are tingly.Isbjorn is running down the miles on the home stretch. 300 miles to Horta. Under another dark black sky, just a few stars peaking out through some misty cloud cover, she veritably FLIES along, touching double-digit surfs and doing a steady 8.5 in the lulls. We bravely have the spinnaker up, 'Ol Whitey,' a recut chute from an old race boat that we got in time for the Caribbean 600 race back in February. It's a downwind A-sail, but we've got it rigged on the pole to windward like a symmetric sail. She's very stable, and the autopilot is managing. read more...


26/05/2017

Laura Dawn - Pacific Log 17:On route to Nuie

Back on the ocean again!We are currently on day 3ish of our leg from Suwarrow to Nuie.So far we have had a complete mixed bag of weather, everything from a motoring start to a blustery 27knts which are our current conditions.We had a great day in the middle, perfect 10 knts flat seas and perfect fish catching weather... oh yes another Bluefin was landed, this time 18lbs oh she is a beauty, the sushi was sublime!So the current sail plan is 2 reefs in the main sail and 7 rolls in the jib, the wind is currently 22knts true and we are sailing with the apparant wind at about 90 degrees on our port side.There is still a little lean on the boat but speed is between 7-8knts and we are bashing through the waves.The sea is a lot less confused than earlier, we awoke this morning to a very messy. read more...


26/05/2017

Starblazer - 26/05/2017 – Three time zones on one boat.

Yes, really we have three time zones on Starblazer, or rather clocks etc. showing three different times.‘Why?’you may ask.The answer is easy. The clock on the wall tells us the time in UT or GMT or Zulu Time, whatever. All time zones around the world are based on Greenwich.The earth rotates 360 degrees each 24 hours therefore 15 degrees of longitude constitute one hour of the earth’s travels.Not all countries set their clocks by their geographic location, some choose to align themselves with their neighbour for convenience.Bermuda was UT -4 that means you have to take four hours off UT to find the time in Bermuda, summer time just complicates matters. We started this leg on Bermuda time so the GPS and our iPads are set to UT -3 to account for summer time.Our destination is The Azores, UT. read more...


26/05/2017

Jubilate Mare - The Journey so far

Well the blog is now open and perhaps this is our chance to be the first at something! So here goes. We are currently on day seven of our Odyssey to St Lucia, taking a layover day in the Helford River in glorious Cornish sunshine and a warm easterly breeze.We left Portishead (near Bristol) on 20th of May, with subsequent overnights at Cardiff, Combe Martin, Padstow, St Ives, Newlyn, and Helford. The wind gods have cooperated beautifully, allowing four days of glorious sailing down to St Ives, and then a flat calm day for us to motor round lands end.The last two days however have provided F4-5 on the nose around The Lizard. Not quite as much fun.Now on a buoy in the Helford River; the sunshine has been wonderful, with an opportunity to do a little deck-scrubbing and of course to sample. read more...


26/05/2017

Timshel - Suwarrow to Niue Day 1 and 2

We all had a lovely time in Suwarrow, snorkelling in the lagoon (the many black tipped reef sharks seemed indifferent to swimmers), walking on the reef, just lazing on the beach, also a very sociable time with Sundowners on the beach, Pot-Luck lunch and Pizza.It is a beautiful place.Due to the bad weather forecast for Niue, many of us stayed an extra day, after all not much point battling your way to Niue to find the wind and swell is too bad to stop there.In fact leaving Suwarrow was not that easy due to anchor chains wrapped round coral heads, and involved a few cooperative efforts with a swimmer in the water to direct or a dinghy to pull out the anchor.Our chain had managed to drop into a small gap between 2 rocks, we are so grateful to Dan from Skyelark for all his help, without him. read more...


25/05/2017

Starblazer - 25/05/2017 – Not all about the weather!

Days seven and eight were a great improvement on the previous few days, at least in terms of weather.The seas calmed down to about 2-3 metres, the winds dropped and eventually all but disappeared for most of Wednesday.We made the most of having to use the engine to fully charge the batteries and make a tank full of water.The day’s run, Tuesday to Wednesday, was a paltry 122 nM, aided by 6 hours of motoring early in the morning.Wednesday to Thursday wasn’t much better, 128 nM with far more engine hours!VMG is a term used to describe the average speed towards the destination, the day’s run is calculated as the distance travelled towards the waypoint, therefore our VMG for the two days was 5.2 knots, not good.We have, in fact, travelled much further and faster but not quite in the right. read more...


25/05/2017

Lexington - 5/25/17. 15°. 34' south. 165°. 39' west

It is 4 am and I am on watch. It is a very pleasant night but the wind is light and we are motoring. The wind is predicted to go back to the southeast and freshen. We are about 325 miles away from Niue. To reflect we are 5+ months into the Arc. We started at about 64 degrees west and we are now at 165 degrees west. By rough math we are 101/365 around the world. We have spent about 1/3 of our time and completed 1/3 of the circumnavigation. I have been pleased with our travels. Most pleasing is the people who are sailing along with us. Everyone is most eager to help any others. It is amazing the amount of collective knowledge that we have on boat systems and sailing. Just recently two owners helped another owner completely realign his engine to within .004 inches thereby removing the. read more...


25/05/2017

Lexington - 5/23/17. Headed to Niue

The weather was a little up in the air. That was not a pun. There was a gale south of our area. There were lows developing in our path. There were predictions for significant southerly swells south of us. There were very light winds in the initial sailing area. We have a real honest to God weatherman in our fleet. He is very kind to give us a weather briefing when things are a little iffy. I really have a hard time being confident of my weather skills. In any case, we think our worst problem is that we are going to have to motor some at first. The more interesting portion of this post is getting underway. We were anchored in about 60 feet of water. The wind had shifted some during our stay. When we taking up anchor, Zeeland was having a little trouble getting their anchor to come up. We. read more...


25/05/2017

Lexington - 5/23/17 Suwarrow pizza party

Several people on the trip love pizza. There is an area on the island where National Park Rangers from New Zealand stay during the season. There was also a hermit type who stayed here for several years , Tom Neal. In this area was a small outdoor cooking area. There is an old stone oven. One of our members decided he was going to fix things up and cook pizzas that everyone would make. They cleaned the oven up, found a piece of metal to slide in as a rack, cut wood and got the fire going by the late afternoon. People would bring their pizzas to the area to be cooked and shared. Pizza cooking and eating went on for 2-3 hours. It was a great success that I would have never thought of doing. May fair winds fill your sails with innovative friends willing to share! Bob. read more...


25/05/2017

Lexington - Suwarrow. 5-21-17

We had a pot luck on the beach at noon today. There was some shade under the coconut trees. Each boat brought something and we had a feast. Karen cooked chocolate chip cookies for us to take. Two men sailing Arabella are from Russia. One of them was a proud new grandfather. They brought special sardine-like fish, vodka, scotch and another strong drink to share in their celebration of him being a new grandfather. The day before we did a community service type thing where we walked around the island and picked up trash. It was amazing how much trash we picked up. People could do a section of beach and then someone would go behind them and find more trash. I wanted to collect the oddest lot. I had a 55 gallon plastic drum, two refrigerant containers (metal canisters) and a big hunk of. read more...


25/05/2017

Aurora Polaris - 24. Mai 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Det ble bestemt at vi skulle videre i dag! Dagen startet med strålende vær, og vi to var inne på stranda og ryddet opp etter grillingen kvelden før. Terje hadde hørt på meteorologen at de skulle dra i dag, så da var det egentlig avgjort. Da gjenstod det bare litt overtaling overfor fruen – helt til hun gav seg, lette ankeret og dra i vei. Det var bare tre båter igjen av ARC-flåten. De skulle reise i morgen.Vi har gått på motor hele dagen. Vinden har minket fra 6-8 knop da vi gikk, og til 1knop og flatt hav nå når jeg skriver mellom kl.22 og 23 om kvelden. Vi har truffet på en fiskebåt med AIS. Nå, i mørket, kan jeg se i alle fall en båt, og den har ikke AIS. Kan heller ikke oppdage den på radaren – men den har navigasjonslys (hvis det ikke er ei stjerne, da). Vi har hørt fra de andre som. read more...


25/05/2017

Aurora Polaris - 23. Mai 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Vi hadde en fantastisk kveld! Lasse på Sandvita, hadde fyrt opp steinovnen til Tom Neal. Alle hadde laget sin egen pizzadeig og så steikte Lasse pizzaene i tur og orden. Det ble konkurranse her også, på tull og tøys, selvfølgelig – men det var en dommer som skulle smake pizzaene og drev og rangerte dem – etter båtnavn, selvfølgelig. Etterpå serverte Aurora Polaris nystekte kanelsnurrer, og vaniljeiskrem fra Tahiti. Det ble veldig godt mottatt. Tenk å havne på ei øde øy i Stillehavet, og spise steinovnsbakt pizza med kanelsnurrer og iskrem til dessert! Det er eksotisk, det!Etter mye om og men, var det faktisk ganske mange båter som forlot Suwarrow i dag. Terje og jeg var over på den andre siden av øya, den som vender mot innseilingen. Her snorklet vi og kikket på alle de nydelige fiskene. read more...


25/05/2017

Isbjorn - Isbjorn Offshore: A Mid-Ocean Swim

Thursday May 250047Midnight watch. A new day. Wind WSW 10-15. Isbjorn is running at 6.5 knots on starboard, the genoa poled out to weather, rolling in an annoying cross swell still leftover from Monday's gale. I have the first half (0000-0200), Mia will come on for the second half. Unless I'm feeling particularly inspired, in which case I'll stay up longer. We enacted this new 'shared' watch routine for the two of us to allow each some time alone in the cockpit at night. It's the part I like best about offshore sailing, and what I'd been missing the most about taking no watch at all (instead being always 'on call').Coffee. Last spoonful of the instant currently on hand. I know there's more, just not sure where Mia's hidden it away. We're down to the UHT milk too, having drank the last of. read more...


24/05/2017

Misto - Days 136-137: May 22-23 Pizza Kitchen Open on Suwarrow!

I think that this must be a first for Suwarrow.Lars, from Sandvita, seeing the primitive, wood fired bread oven that exists for the caretaker on Suwarrow, decided that it could be a great pizza oven.After several hours of stoking it with wood, he declared the Pizza Kitchen open and we all assembled with the makings of pizza. It was an incredibly fun afternoon and evening with very creative that tasted wonderful.Our thank to Lars for all the hard work that he put in to make this an amazing party.The next day, we decided to tackle a maintenance job, as the port side winch had started squeaking painfully when under load, so we took it apart and found a paper label in the cogs.Clearly this had never been removed when the winch was first installed and it was now causing a problem.With that. read more...


23/05/2017

Laura Dawn - Pacific Log 16: Suwarrow

Imagine a true castaway island, only the height of a palm tree, surrounded by a reef; crystal clear blue waters and no one for hundreds of miles... well.. welcome to Suwarrow!I cant believe we are at another incredible destination, alright a bit of a bumpy and slow journey getting here but arrived all well on Saturday morning at first light.There's the odd collection of black tip reef sharks that gather when you anchor to have a look at what's going on and if you make a splash, then a dozen or so come to check out what's on offer!Skyelark seems to have its own shark aquarium around their boat,but they are no bother and poodle off when they realise you are not food! (thankfully)...Most of the second group of boats have arrived so we are almost a full fleet here, which is awesome.We had a. read more...


23/05/2017

Aurora Polaris - 20. Mai 2017 - World ARC 2017-2018

Denne dagen var uhellenes dag! Jeg er vant med å bevege meg rundt omkring i båten, men da har vi vanligvis storseilet oppe til støtte. Nå seiler vi uten storseilet. Det betyr at vi gjør bedre fart, men alle huslige gjøremål blir vanskeligere å utføre. Tidligere har vi som sagt valgt komfort framfor fart. Nå lar vi det altså stå til, og vi fyker av gårde.Da jeg skulle lage morgenkaffen, fløy kaffefilteret og det kokvarme vannet rett på magen min. Da ble det baluba! Som ikke det var nok – til lunsj skulle jeg bære opp den varme suppen i gryta. Visste jo at jeg måtte ta det med ro, noe jeg også gjorde, men jeg hadde ingen til å ta imot oppe i cockpiten, derfor satte jeg gryta på golvet. Båten gjorde en kraftig krenging, og jeg skulle berge innholdet i gryta. Resultatet var at suppa kom over. read more...


23/05/2017

Misto - Days 130-135: Bora Bora to Suwarrow

Our start for this leg in Bora Bora was in very light winds. After exiting the pass we made a decision to motor-sail as we wanted to arrive in Suwarrow on May 20.The passage was a strange one with variable wind that fluctuated constantly both in direction and speed. That, combined with a large predominant SW swell, another swell from the SE and the wind almost directly astern, made for a rolly, bumpy passage.At night it seemed worse, with lower winds and the rig banging around.On our last night out we dropped the main and motor sailed with just the Genoa and then hoisted the parasailor in the morning - that last morning before arriving in Suwarrow was the best sail of the passage.With our combination of sailing and motor-sailing we arrive late in the afternoon of May 20.Negotiating the. read more...


23/05/2017

Starblazer - 23/05/2017 – Days 4, 5 & 6

The past three days have been dominated by the weather, our day’s runs have reflected decisions we have made concerning where to head to avoid the worst of it.Saturday to Sunday we only made 119 miles towards the Azores though we sailed a lot further.The advice from the weather forecasters was to stay or get below 35 degrees which, for us, meant heading SE rather than just north of east.At the 2300 watch changeover we gybed the mainsail and rolled away the genoa to head due east.As the genoa had been poled out we couldn’t use it without lowering the pole and rerouting the sheet, something we do not do at night!All day Sunday the wind was fairly low, the calm before the storm?At noon Sunday the wind had teased us enough to drop two reefs in the main and roll up half the genoa.It didn’t in. read more...


23/05/2017

Isbjorn - Isbjorn Offshore: Mr. Andy's Wild Ride

May 23, 1245Dolphins! All around us, dozens of them jumping & flipping & talking! You can hear them bouncing their echo-sounding waves from inside the boat. They streak alongside us, grey torpedos just beneath the brilliant deep-blue wave crests.Thane & Brenda are on watch. The seas are down considerably from the past two days, but then that's relative. It's still blowing 20-25, gusting over 30, and that feels like a respite. We're on day 4 of three reefs in the mainsail. Mia shook out a bit of genoa this morning. During those three days we cracked 170 miles made good, each day...I'm cooking some rice for lunch, Mia's sorting out some video and clearing the camera memory cards, David is reading & Mac is chillin' in his high side pilot bunk.--The barometer is on the rise. read more...


22/05/2017

Silver Penny - Day 5 on Silver Penny

All is Well on Silver Penny (so far)I meant to write a blog at the end of day one, but I was seasick for two days and writing during the rest of the time.We've spend a lot of time chasing wind. If you're following our track, you'll notice we sailed north-north-east and now we're sailing east-south-east. We had to travel north to latitude 35 to catch the wind. However, a storm is forming and we need to be at latitude 34 by Monday to miss the high winds and seas. On the other hand, we've only spent about ten hours motoring. We also got to sail under spinnaker for two days.. read more...


21/05/2017

Starblazer - 21/05/2017 – Going in the right direction sometimes.

Day 3, noon Friday to noon Saturday, comprised a number of course changes. Our pathetically slow progress northeastwards to find a better breeze finally paid off from mid- afternoon onwards, when we could lay a course a bit closer to the desired one and pick up a bit of speed.From 0300 we were able to head straight for the Azores and we made cracking progress until about 0900.When I did the 0900 log the course we were making as opposed to steering was 30 degrees high, caused by an unexpected current.At the 0930 SSB net matters only got worse when the weather report and GRIB files were discussed.One boat has subscribed to a weather guru in the States who recommended getting down to 34 degrees North to avoid some potentially very strong winds on Sunday/Monday.We were at 35 degrees 53. read more...


21/05/2017

Isbjorn - Isbjorn Offshore: A Black, No Horizon Night

May 21, 0900Low, grey clouds overhead. They're moving off to our right, carried by the chilly northerly wind. A few hints of blue sky are visible to the north. Thane & Brenda are on watch. It's dry outside, but cool. They're in fully foulies, gloves & wool hats. The wind has a bite to it, especially without the warming sun overhead. It's a proper North Atlantic day today.Isbjorn romps east on 60 degrees apparent under small sails - triple-reefed mainsail & double-reefed genoa, the staysail rigged and furled on the foredeck just in case. We're slightly under-canvassed now, but the motion is smooth, the helm is light and we expect the wind to increase throughout the day as it backs into the NW. Mia just finished washing up from the morning's breakfast - eggs over easy forThane. read more...


20/05/2017

Lexington - 5/20/17 Suwarrow

We are at anchor in Suwarrow, an atoll east of Bora Bora. It is a beautiful morning. We all slept well last night. We were a little fatigued because the rolley seas keep you from good sleep. Sam is fixing omelettes for everyone. Karen and I are reading and emailing in the cockpit. There is a good light breeze that makes it comfortable. We invited Altair over last night for dinner. We shared our Mahi Mahi with them. It was a very nice evening. Sam poached the fish in a coconut vanilla butter mixture which tasted so nice that we saved the sauce to put over leftover rice for a lunch later. We will stay here 72 hours and head for Niue. The next leg might be a little more comfortable because of the direction of the heading.  May fair winds fill your sails with successful dreams and. read more...


20/05/2017

Timshel - Bora Bora to Suwarrow Day 6

Another quiet night.Eagerly anticipating our arrival at Suwarrow, calculated that if we keep up 5 knots or above we can arrive on Saturday.Wind gradually died over the morning so when down to 3 to 4 knots used the engine for a couple of hours.Now sailing nicely on starboard gybe wing and wing. Evening SSB sked found most of boats from first start already arrived and anchored in the lagoon, or else in the process of doing so in the last of the light.Just ourselves (99 nm to go), Laura Dawn (48) and Aurora, possibly also Owl to arrive on Saturday, hopefully just before first boats from 2nd start.. read more...



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