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02/02/2016

Overseas Express - Log 1 - Leaving for the Panamá canal transit

2nd Feb - 2016This is our first log, since we have not managed to send anything before now, and we're starting off in Panamá after coming from San Blas Is. and St. Marta, Columbia.We are really excited about the transit through the canal, mostly because we have never done such a thing before but also because it is very big. The canal locks can handle boats up to 33 metres wide and 300 metres long, so I think our boat of 42 feet will easily fit inside.We will be teaming up with two catamarans from the World ARC: Paw Paw and Paradise Found, which will be on our sides; a little bit different than usual where you have one cat in the middle with a monohull on each side.Our SSB- radio is still not working and we have ordered the KISS-SSB grounding plane, which by a major mistake from FedEx was. read more...


02/02/2016

Luna Quest - Tuesday, 2nd February, 2016

Noon Position: 13.24S 30.15WDaily run: 138 logged milesAnother beautiful sailing day with clear skies, blue seas and hot sunshine. Today we are 420 miles from Salvador. Most of the fleet will be in the Nautico marina by the end of today, which just leaves us and another 3 boats at sea. The wind is forecast to be around 10 knots tomorrow and Thursday with a little northeast from its easterly direction. We have been sailing a little north of west to stay with the wind, which has so far proved to our advantage.Eric. read more...


02/02/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 23: William, the "Belle of the Ball"

What a fantastic day. Our early morning start involved a coach ride to the Chagres River, where we transferred to large dugout canoes for our trip up the river to one of the Embera Indian Villages. Our welcome was simply incredible - As soon as the villagers saw William, one of the woman came over and took him from Brooke and, within seconds, he was surrounded by the other woman who promptly carted him off to play with the babies and children of the village, much to his delight - He was indeed the "Belle of the Ball". After learning about the traditions and history of the Embera tribe, including their relocation to the edge of the Chagres River, we were served a delicious lunch of fish and fried plantain in bowls made from palm leaves, all of which was prepared by some of the woman. read more...


01/02/2016

Exody - Days 384,385: Last lap - hot and windless !

The wind has dropped to about 5 knots and the cabin temperature has reached over 33 degrees C as we take the last 90 mile lap to Salvador overnight to arrive early morning.Everyone is down below staying out of the sun and the heat.With the lighter conditions our last two days runs have been 146 and 125 miles. Today, Monday 1st February, was our thirteenth at sea and we expect to be in Salvador almost exactly two weeks on from our St Helena start tomorrow, along with Ayama and Starblazer.Six boats are already in sampling the delights of the city and land- based activities!Earlier we dropped the main - sounded like it was clattering itself and the rigging to destruction and flew our loose luffed jib with the genoa instead.With 8/9 knots of wind we were making 4 knots plus -. read more...


01/02/2016

Luna Quest - Monday, 1st February, 2016

Noon Position: 13.53S 28.12WDaily run: 165 logged milesA fresh breeze and a big fast running swell from the East helped Luna Quest make good progress yesterday. We have overtaken the boat in front of us (Allegro), who was at one point 40 miles ahead, but who is now 12 miles behind. It is all a matter of where the wind is. Wayward Wind is 120 miles ahead (she has a massive new genneker from Cape Town) and is likely to make landfall on Friday with Allegro and Luna Questbringing up the rear on Saturday, 5 days behind the first arrivals today. The World ARC organisers had expected the first boats to arrive on January 26th, but a lack of wind has put this back by 4 days. Perhaps the entire schedule will be shifted back. We may just catch the tail end of the Brazilian Carnival. Every day is a. read more...


01/02/2016

Starblazer - 31/01/2016 – Frustrating progress

During Saturday morning we were sailing well and our ETA in Brazil was early evening Monday, still daylight.During the afternoon the wind died a bit, the boat slowed and our ETA went out to late Monday evening, after dark. In fact the day’s run averaged 6.0 knots, we’d usually be happy with that but on this leg from Cape Town via St Helena we have been treated to higher average speeds!There was also frustration on the fishing front.‘So what’s new?’ I hear you ask yourself.The first nibble didn’t take off, just a quick tug and the fish realised its stupidity and spat the lure out.The second fish did take the lure and started to rapidly swim away with its prize, John tightened up the drag one notch then the leader snapped.He had rigged two lures in series so he still had one, the line went. read more...


01/02/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 22: Up Close and Personal

After a lazy morning we headed to the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal and got to see the operations up close and personal.  We watched four huge tankers transit right before our eyes from the visitors centre and when we returned to the marina the first half of the World ARC yachts had left for their transit. All in all, it certainly brought home the adventure we're about to embark upon and William will be the youngest member of the fleet to do so!. read more...


31/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Blog 10. Shelter Bay. 09.22.08N 79.57.02W

We left Portobella with regret on Wednesday 27 and motor sailed the 20 miles to the entrance to the Canal, with the Skipper’s wife very stressed bythe Skipper reading his book as we approached a fleet of anchored ships ofvarying sizes, one of which was directly on the course being followed by “NoHands Hans”.  Further stress as we cross in front of a moving vessel whichis not heading for the entrance to the canal as predicted by the Skipper, but tothe channel for the harbour at Colon where we were waiting for him.  Had wenot waited, it would have been less stressful!  Then there is a vesselcoming out of the Canal, which we go behind and then we race across in front ofthe next vessel coming out.  It is hard to judge where to pass some ofthese ships as they either. read more...


31/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Blog 9. San Blas to Portobello. 09 33.48N 79 57.02W

With apologies to all blog readers for deafening silence from Alcedo, but acombination of busy, busy, busy and very flaky Wifi has interfered with all blogactivities and in truth, we are now in Shelter Bay, but will go back to San Blasfor this blog.   Chichime in all honesty was a disappointment.  It has been spoiled bythe back packers who stay on the Island at the weekend and it was a weekend whenwe were there.  The rubbish detracts from the beauty of the Island and wewere unlucky with the weather as the wind was unusually strong and blowingmostly from the North East, making the anchorages rough and the sea verymurky.  It was also very squally the day of the World ARC pot luck lunch, soStefano delivered the Skipper’s briefing for Porvenir and Panama on a windybeach. read more...


31/01/2016

Luna Quest - Sunday, 31st January, 2016

Noon Position: 14.05S 26.02WDaily run: 136 logged milesYesterday afternoon we changed our sail configuration by swapping over the two foresails to enable us to head slightly more north and find more wind as forecast by our grib files. It duly arrived late evening. The rolling and flapping of unfilled sails ceased giving us a peaceful night's sailing. This morning the sky is partly overcast, the sea moderate and the breeze fair.Eric. read more...


31/01/2016

Starblazer - 30/01/2013 – Fish for dinner but….

There were few memorable events on Friday but one gave us pause for thought. We have noticed that when a darkish cloud passes over us the wind often freshens and alters direction then settles back to its previous strength and direction.There is occasionally a little light rain but these cells do not always show up on radar.During the morning radio net I was in the cockpit when suddenly the wind whistled up from 16 to 28 knots and backed 30o.I quickly punched a 30o course alteration into the autopilot control and the sails coped admirably as we got the wind back behind us as the gust subsided.A few minutes later we were hit by another gust at the same time as a large wave knocked us sideways.The autopilot couldn’t cope and just squawked nosily, showing an ‘off course’ error.I shot across. read more...


31/01/2016

Firefly - Cruising the crystal clear waters of Similan, Thailand

Today is Sunday 31st January and overnight Firefly was anchored off Koh Miang, also known as Island number 4 of the Similan Islands. This chain of 9 Granite Islands lie about 40 miles east of the west coast of Thailand. They derive their name from the Malay word, 'sembilan' meaning 9.The water is incredibly clear with fantastic visibility when snorkeling. We have a dive guidebook for Thailand and are using it to visit the various dive sites in this area. We can't actually SCUBA dive as we don't have our own tanks but as we can see so well, snorkeling is fine. In addition to the effect of the 2004 Tsunami, there has been some coral bleaching here - this happens when the water temperature rises to over 30 degrees centigrade. The dive book says it happened in 2010 and that generally the. read more...


31/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 20 & 21: Family Time

Well, I guess you can tell we've been so busy that we've forgotten to do our blog updates. We are thoroughly enjoying our time with Keenan, Brooke and William albeit that we're stuck in a very secluded marina. We have, however, enjoyed the pool and took a "field trip" to the supermarket today in order to replenish supplies. Tomorrow we're taking the tour to the Gatun Locks Visitor Centre to see the canal in operation before our transit on 2nd February. It's fair to say, though,  that William has definitely been a source of great joy,  not only to us, but to everyone he encounters around the marina, especially when his little face lights up with his beautiful smile!. read more...


30/01/2016

Exody - Days 382,383: The sky was a study in purple and orange

We often wax lyrical about sunsets but tonight's was particularly special due, surprisingly, to the extent of the grey cloud.The cloud canopy was stunningly illuminated from below by the sun after it set turning it purple with orange edges, whilst still leaving glimpses through to blue and white beyond.The experience perhaps enhanced by two glasses of house red - Ayama Leopard Spot, and appreciation of my bacon, potato and carrot 'bake'. We dined in the cockpit since the evenings are getting lighter later, and warmer - still 28 degrees as I write at 10pm. Exody is still on GMT whilst Salvador is 3 hours minus- we've decided to change our clocks on arrival.After bottoming out on speeds of under 5 knots nearly a week ago, I reckon we topped out with our last two day's runs of 170 and 166,. read more...


30/01/2016

Luna Quest - Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Noon Position: 14.29S 24.02WDaily run: 142 logged milesThe first boats in the fleet are due to arrive in Salvador tomorrow morning, but we still have 850 miles or 7 days to go, but as long as the weather continues fine, we must not complain, although we are running a little close to the end date of the Brazilian Carnival that is live from February 4th to the 9th. With a little luck we might just experience the last few days of the annual event.It is now more than a week ago that we left St Helena and the last of our bread has been chucked over the side. Julia is making fresh bread today, which is always a grand treat.Eric. read more...


29/01/2016

Aretha - 13 47 South 032 02 West - Back up to racing speed

Aretha is a big yacht and heavy for her size. She thrives on big winds for being able to go fast. In light winds she’s certainly not as quick as some of the lighter race boats. We’re back in 20 knots of wind today and back to surfing down giant waves at 13-14 knots. Magical stuff and we’re racing the clock now to get into Salavador be Bahia by Sunday before it gets dark in the evening.Team Aretha are very settled into our routines at sea - schooling is bubbling along, the watches are expertly being run by Nichola, Paul and Jani and it’s great to have a smooth running happy ship. Our daily patterns of values prizes and questions such as “What am I committed to doing today” are well established and get great engagement. Right now, the children having done schooling for the day are playing. read more...


29/01/2016

Luna Quest - Friday, 29th January, 2016

Noon Position: 14.40S 21.55WDaily run: 168 logged milesThe weather continues gloriously fine with blue skies and and a hot sun overhead. A good steady breeze stayed with us all night and it looks as though it might stay with us for a day of two. We are at the back of the fleet, but the breeze has pushed us along nicely and has enabled us to gain a little on the two yachts in front (Allegro and Wayward Wind). Checking our water supply, it appears that we have used 80 litres in a week. The tank is said to hold 330 litres, but when we filled it by jerry can in St Helena, I judged it to have a capacity of 200 litres at the most. In addition, we have a water maker that produces 1.5 litres in 8 minutes. This water we use for drinking purposes only. Eric. read more...


Makena - Makena and Hugur flying spinnakers Jan 22 in the South Atlantic Ocean 15° 36'S 014° 57'W
Makena - Makena and Hugur flying spinnakers Jan 22 in the South Atlantic Ocean 15° 36'S 014° 57'W
Makena - Makena headed for Brazil. Image taken with our quadcopter Jan 22 in the South Atlantic Ocean 15° 36'S 014° 57'W
Makena - Makena headed for Brazil. Image taken with our quadcopter Jan 22 in the South Atlantic Ocean 15° 36'S 014° 57'W
29/01/2016

Starblazer - 29/01/2016 – Que sera, sera!

Concerning our ETA in Brazil the words of this song dating. I suspect, from the 50’s are accurate: ‘Whatever will be, will be; the future’s not ours to see.’This leg started with three days of sailing but the winds became weaker and weaker, our speed dropped, we were in danger of arriving too late in Brazil.We made the decision to motor to avoid a DNF, we motored for 21/2 days before the wind increased enough to give us a chance of sailing the rest of the way in the allotted time.Since then we have been sailing. For two days our ETA looked to be late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.Yesterday morning the weather changed.First of all there were light showers but with squally gusts of wind and Starblazer started flying. During the day the weather cleared but the wind steadied in. read more...


28/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Family Reunion

We've arrived in Shelter Bay Marina just a few minutes ahead of Keenan, Brooke and William landing in Panama City. Excitement is high while we await their arrival on the marina shuttle.  Last night, while anchored off Isla Linton, we enjoyed our Seared Blue Fin Tuna Salad and Tuna Sashimi complements of Roy, as well as Tuna Carpaccio complements of Stephano, who happens to be Italian. Delicious!. read more...


28/01/2016

Exody - Days 380,381: Nibbles on the line

Three times the fishing reel has whirred out and we have run for the gaff and the leather gloves.Twice we have felt a huge weight on the line that then disappeared.Miraculously the original lure is still intact so a pair of(probably too large)fish somewhere have cuts in their lips- and we are thus resigned to more cans!David has just about recovered from oversunning himself a little a couple of days ago, having read his book theoretically in the shade of the sails!I have finished all six South African crime novels and Marian took time out today from reading and playing the computer at Scrabble to watch Casablanca! David's stuffed butternut squash went down a treat as we eke out the last of the St Helena fruit and veg. We have seen no ships for four days and this morning we had Starblazer. read more...


28/01/2016

Allegro - QUINTA-FEIRA, 16 DE JANEIRO, A SÁBADO, 21 DE JANEIRO DE 2016

No dia 14 de Janeiro, cruzámos o Meridiano de Greenwich, às 07:51 da manhã (05:51 hora de Greenwich), passando de longitude Este para longitude Oeste!Utilizando o piloto de vento, mesmo quando andámos a motor, conseguimos poupar o sistema de transmissão do leme, e a avaria não se agravou nem se complicou.SANTA HELENASanta Helena pertence a Inglaterra, sendo a moeda a libra esterlina de Santa Helena.Foi descoberta pelo português João da Nova em 1502, quando regressava da Índia. Como era dia de Santa Helena (21 de Maio), foi esse o nome dado à Ilha.Cruzámos a linha de chegada a Santa Helena às 13:06 (hora de Cape Town), do dia 18 de Janeiro. Às 11:35 (hora de Santa Helena) prendemo-nos a uma das bóias amarelas da Baía de Saint James, onde fica a capital da ilha, Jamestown.A hora é UTC, a. read more...


28/01/2016

Starblazer - 28/01/2016 – The ones that got away,

This blog will most likely be a predominantly fishy tale.On the way to South Africa John had a couple of bites which ran away with all his line so he determined that he needed a bigger reel which would hold more line.That was his Christmas present.It has a rather nice feature in that there is a two speed gear box for retrieving the line, low speed when you have a fish on the hook and high speed when you want to wind in a lot which a fish ran away with then spat out!The one feature lacking is a cast iron guarantee that the fish will give in gracefully and accept that it is hooked.Yesterday was like many other days, the line went out when John got up in the morning and came back in late in the evening, but there was some excitement during the day.We now know that the bigger fish liked his. read more...


28/01/2016

Luna Quest - Thursday, 28th January, 2016

Noon Position: 14.59S 19.29WDaily run: 167 logged milesThe big event yesterday afternoon was the sight of the British Councillor, an LPG vessel on its way to the USA. The ship was travelling in a similar direction to Luna Quest's, but at a fine angle to our course. She probably would have passed us harmlessly to port, but a collision might have been possible if Luna Quest veered off to starboard in a big puff of wind. The ship was less than a mile away and having called him on the radio, the Indian captain ordered his ship to pass astern of Luna Quest. The big ship made a sharp turn to starboard and passed astern of us giving Julia a great photo opportunity.This morning we changed over the two poled-out foresails in a fresh breeze. We brought the genoa over to starboard and the staysail. read more...


27/02/2016

Solo - Vor dem 4 Leg nach French Polynesia, Hiva Oa; 27.2.2016

Wir liegen in Santa Cruz, Galapagos, vor Anker. Es war einige Zeit in unserem Rallyefahrplan vorgesehen  um vor dem Start in der nächstenWoche nach Hiva Oa, das Inselarchipel kennenzulernen. Unberührte Natur mit den Tieren, die ohne Scheu vor Menschen überall anzutreffensind und denen Vorrang eingeräumt wird: nur so ist zu erklären, dass die Seelöwen hier auf Parkbänken schlafen und nicht verjagt werden. Galapgagos ist daher Natur pur, es wird auch so bleiben – davon lebt die Insel. Die Segelei im Pazifik unterscheidet sich von der im Mittelmeer (sehr anspruchsvolleSegelbedingungen) sehr positiv. Winde aus der gleichen Richtung über längere Zeiträume, nicht zu stark und ideal für einen langen Törn. Dieser lange Törn steht uns jetzt bevor. Es sind über 3000 Meilen am Stück zu segeln,. read more...


27/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Roy Caught a Fish - One We Can Eat - At Last!

Bluefin Tuna for dinner - Yeah - Roy caught a fish we can eat at last! Great day sailing and fishing with our guest on board - Stephano, one of the WARC team members who is hitching a ride, or should I say, sail, to Colon with us. We've just arrived in beautiful Isla Linton on the Panama mainland for our overnight stop and are enjoying sundowners while appreciating the rainforest view. This is to be followed by our tuna dinner, once Roy returns from sharing some of it with Time Bandit (Ann and Stuart).DSC_4382-sm. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Roy Caught a Fish - One We Can Eat - At Last!
Paw Paw - Log Day 18: Roy Caught a Fish - One We Can Eat - At Last!
27/01/2016

Starblazer - 27/01/2016 – Halfway there!

O.K. I’ll stop moaning.Yesterday the wind behaved itself in that we sailed for 24 hours without reverting to the engine.It wasn’t stunning sailing but it was fast enough to avoid a DNF in relatively flat seas which allows the boat to move faster in less breeze.When we left St Helena at 1830 on Tuesday 19th our DTW (Distance to Waypoint) was 1,916 nM.We reached the halfway point at about 2040 0n Tuesday 26th: 7 days 2 hours 10 minutes.If we continue to make the same average speed we will arrive next Tuesday at about midnight, 2100 Brazil time we believe.Ideally we would like to arrive in daylight so need to increase our average speed but that is largely dependent on the winds.Yesterday evening we had our first AIS target with a ship since leaving St Helena. A Singapore bound ship passed. read more...


27/01/2016

Luna Quest - Wednesday, 27th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.34S 16.58WDaily run: 152 logged milesHaving the parasailor up is all very well in stable down-wind weather conditions, but it is not very good at coping with squalls. Yesterday’s benign conditions did not look as though the few squalls on the horizon had much venom in them and so we decided to leave the parasailor where it was for the night, but be ready to adjust the autopilot if the wind shifted because ofsqualls. These duly came with the first one not affecting the course to steer much, but the second came with rain and a 40 degree wind shift. Ideally, it should have come down, but the temptation to leave it up and keep up with the fleet was too great. So, up it stayed, but without the autopilot. The Hydrovane would have to take care of the direction of the boat and. read more...


27/01/2016

Firefly - Australia Day at Nai Yang Bay plus a Russian Rescue

It is Wednesday 27th January and Firefly has just left Nai Yang Bay after riding out some strong easterly winds. We are not used to having much wind in SE Asia and are glad that we could position ourselves close in to a west facing beach giving us great protection. There was good holding for the anchor in about 6 metres of water over sand with little or no swell coming in. With a pretty beach, lower key tourism and a great local market it was not surprising that we had about 15 other yachts for company. There was also one that dwarfed all of the others - 'Vertigo' a 67 metre ketch (220 feet!) that according to our neighbours, Denise and Peter, on Reverie, belongs to Rupert Murdoch. Yesterday was Australia Day and despite being 'pommes' we were invited to a lunch time BBQ on the beach to. read more...


27/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 17: The Tainted Side of the San Blas Islands

After working out what we wanted to do yesterday, we settled on leaving Paw Paw in Chichime after hearing all sorts of stories of other yachts dragging, hitting reefs, losing anchors, etc and headed via dinghy for what we thought was a uninhabited tiny island just south of us.  It is, in essence, a heap of golden sand approx 1/8th of an acre in size with about 5 palm trees on it and surrounded by reefs - simply stunning! As we approached, however, we soon noticed a hut under the trees, occupied by two Guna Indian families, who welcomed us ashore even though we didn't have the $2/person fee to give them.After enjoying our stay an unexpected challenge developed - the tide was coming in and rather large waves were dumping on the shore which made our dinghy launch impossible.. read more...


26/01/2016

Lydia - Lydia's Blog 23 - 26 Jan 16

Saturday 23 January.At first light the nearest atolls of the San Blas islands came into view.This actually is the best time to do one's dhobi before the heat of the sunstrikes and in this case while the yacht is fairly stable. Its a matter of taking a bucketand fresh water from the shower from a aft locker, doing one scrub of all clothes ina washing detergent and three fresh water rinses. Luckily we have an excellent water makerso fresh water is in relatively unlimited supply. The San Blas islands,although they belong to Panama have a certain autonomy granted to theirlocal indigenous Kuna Indians who adminster the islands, collect taxes andcruising fees from passing yachts. As we sailed nearer, the breakers overthe reefs surrounding the atoll of Cayos Holandes to which we were. read more...


26/01/2016

Exody - Days 379,380 : Rolling again !

The trade winds have finally freshened a little this morning so after 'gentling' along and then, even slower, 'ghosting' yesterday we are now making over six knots. Our last two day's runs have been 116 (again) and 122.By midnight today Tuesday 26th, our 7th day at sea, we should pass the halfway point with just under a thousand miles to go. Last night we dropped the clattering main and rigged our loose luffed foresail twinned with the poled out genoa for a quiet night. This morning we have kept these and rehoisted the full main now out to port. With three sails up (unusual for us), Exody is making the most of the 15 knot Force 4 easterly wind directly behind us. F Looks like it will be with us for the next week all the way to Salvador - fingers crossed!It is good to have Ayama sailing. read more...


26/01/2016

Luna Quest - Tuesday, 26 January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.40S 14.37WDaily run: 115 logged milesHaving the parasailor up and filled makes a huge difference to the boat’s behaviour; the rolling has stopped, no more banging of the the two foresails or the mainsail as they are stowed. The speed improves considerably. Employing the water-towed generator, however, becomes an inconvenience as it cannot be retrieved without slowing down the boat and retrieving is a must when the batteries are full and the generator becomes a drag, but retrieving it means taking down the parasailor, which is something we are not likely to do. Instead we rely on the sun during the day and the Honda petrol-driven generator for top-ups in the morning and at night. This combination allows us to use the autopilot, which helps the parasailor with a steady. read more...


26/01/2016

Starblazer - 26/01/2016 – We are sailing, we are sailing..

But not ‘home again’, as in the Rod Stewart song if you are old enough to remember it, but rather on our way to Santiago de Bahia in Brazil. Yesterday’s winds were as co-operative as the previous day’s, i.e. not really enough to allow us to sail all the way.The odd gust brought our boat speed up to just over 5 knots, just about enough to arrive in time to avoid a DNF (Did Not Finish within the allowed time) but the wind didn’t stay.As usual we stopped the engine for the evening SSB radio net then continued drifting along for the next hour.By 2000, time for me to go off watch, we were making a fairly constant 5 knots so John decided not to restart the engine.There might be no engine noise but that doesn’t mean the boat is quiet.The wind isn’t steady so, in the lulls, when the boat rolls. read more...


25/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 16 - San Blas Procedures

1)A bunch of rumors were stirring on various chat forums about fees for the San Blas.Here is what we paid.205 USD for a 1 year cruising permit.125 USD per person(20 of which is for Kuna Congresso)20 USD per boat (Kuna Cogresso)2)We entered in the south at Mamitupu.The South is much nicer because there are fewer boats.However, one should NOT use C-map charts.They are useless.The Bauhaus chart book is the way to go.Better yet, scan your own Bauhaus guide and use it in SeaClear II with an external GPS puck on your PC.3)We checked into Panama/Kuna Yala in Porvenir. It can get crowded in the anchorage, but we had good holding in 13 meters.You need to spend time with four government departments. They are all in the same building. There is a dinghy dock nearby.You need to bring your passports,. read more...


Two Fish - Day 16 - San Blas Procedures
Two Fish - Day 16  -  San Blas Procedures
25/01/2016

Luna Quest - Monday, 25th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.46S 12.47WDaily run: 83 logged milesLast night, while a large full and bright moon rose above the eastern horizon, a red ball of fire set on the western horizon. Slow progress continues in a westerly direction in very light winds. Schools of squid or flying fish skim the sea from time to time and sometimes just miss Luna Quest, thank goodness. Julia is making good progress with her Africa iBook, whilst I fret about the lack of wind and the best sail configuration. The sea is calm although a lazy swell from the Southeast is making sailing quite difficult. The mainsail is likely to bang from side to side and the parasailor will swing wildly from the top of the mast. The steadiest configuration is the two poled out foresails, but it is at the cost of speed. This morning it. read more...


25/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 16: A Rather Strange Destination

After a rather lumpy night in higher winds and seas than forecasted for the last 12 hours of our passage and struggling to slow Paw Paw down as she romped along at speeds of 9 to 12 Kts, we eventually dropped the main sail and continued on a double-reefed head sail only to ensure an arrival in daylight. As the day broke we started to see tuffs of palm trees sticking out of the sea and masts of yachts which seemed to be anchored in the middle of nowhere. These were the San Blas Islands. An archepeligo of 340 plus islands owned and controlled by the indigenous Guna Indians, although part of mainland Panama. While accepting of visitors, they prohibit any non-Guna from settling or intermarrying and have, thus, maintained their culture and traditions without the influence of our modern world.. read more...


25/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Log 8. Chichime, San Blas. 09.35.23N 78.52.91W

Saturday 24/01/2016.  We need to amend the comments about switching onthe engine in the last blog.  Wind came back almost immediately and we thenhad lovely sailing in a much calmer sea and needless to say, hit the mostnorthern end of the finish line at 23.13 with about 7 hours of darkness ahead ofus.  We did, as the night progressed, hear that most of the Rally yachtsfelt their way into the eastern channel entrance to the Islands, lead byWishanger who anchored somewhere in 17 meters.  We decided to stay north ofthe Islands for the night and go direct to Chichime and the Garmin shows awonderful zigzag course as we spent the night keeping up enough speed to steerwhile trying to delay our arrival time to 06.30 earliest.  As the skystarted to get light from the east. read more...


25/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 15: A Dose of Patience Pays Off

We left Marina Santa Marta in calm winds and not struggling off the dock. We then spent the next 20 minutes motoring before picking up the winds and seas that were forecasted. Although the seas were 6 to 8 Ft and the winds 25 to 30 Kts initially, it was a lot calmer than the previous day. After 4 hours or so both the seas and wind settled to a comfortable 15 to 20 Kts in 4 to 6 Ft seas as we sailed along nicely maintaning our double-reefed main and head sails. Since rounding the river mouth at Baranquilla at a distance of 15 NM, we've enjoyed champagne sailing in 10 to 15 Kt winds out of the north in 1 to 3 Ft seas and we were rewarded with another pod of dolpins crossing our bow. The dose of patience has certainly paid off! We're looking forward to our morning arrival tomorrow in the. read more...


25/01/2016

Starblazer - 25/01/2016 – Little to report!

This could have been a suitable title for the past few days!The wind is feeble, mostly less than 10 knots, and Starblazer relishes stronger winds. If we have 15 knots we can easily make 6 or more knots through the water on most points of sail, 8 knots of wind leaves us meandering along at about 3.5 knots.We still have 1,200 nM to go so I’ll leave the maths to you, suffice to say we do not want 100 mile days or worse.The seas are quite calm with just a gentle roll. Occasionally the ‘gentle roll’ gives way to a wild lurch, wild enough to throw unsecured wine glasses over.I don’t expect sympathy, I should be aware of the unpredictable movement of the seas after 30 months living on board.Boredom attacks different people in different ways.I get busy in the galley!Yesterday morning I made some. read more...


25/01/2016

Aretha - Slow boat to China (well Brazil) 15 14 South 20 02 West

Calmest most consistent conditions yet. The seas are absolutely flat calm and we’ve been steadily moving forward at 4-5 knots in wind as low as 2 knots and up to 10. Its as benign as it gets.Whilst many boats have resorted to diesel power and have put their engines on, we’ve been enjoying the time at sea and taking our time. It’s not lost on Nichola and I that this is our last ocean crossing before we circumnavigate in Grenada. Time at sea like this is to be savoured. It helps it’s a full moon and the night sky is stunning. Last night on deck I lay on the aft deck looking up at the moon and stars. I ended up closing my eyes and being rocked to sleep under the night sky. It’s warm and just shorts are needed on deck. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.The crew are all in fine fettle.. read more...


24/01/2016

Exody - Days 377,378: "looks like another beautiful day....with no wind!"

..is how Mindy of Wayward Wind and Luis of Allegro summarised the outlook at the end of the radio net this morning.Exody needs 10 knots of wind to fill the sails when going downwind.This is just enough to stop the rigging from clattering and the sails from flogging as they empty and fill even in the slightest swell. Today, unfortunately, we have had only 8 knots of wind and are lucky to make even 4 knots through the water.Our two day's runs to 15.00 each day have been 132 and 116 nautical miles - passing the third way point this morning on day 5 at sea. Thankfully the forecast is for an increase from Tuesday. All but three of the fleet have succumbed to some engine use - us for just 45 minutes and one for nearly a full day. With 1250 miles to run, we are conserving our 350 miles worth of. read more...


24/01/2016

Luna Quest - Sunday, 24th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.55S 11.22WDaily run: 101 logged milesVery slow progress was made yesterday. The poled-out foresails did their best to achieve just over 3 knots of speed, but the little wind there was soon diminished further. However, a few squalls in the evening gave the sails a little work to do sending the boat first to the Northwest and later to the Southwest. Once the squalls had passed, the winds became very feeble taking our speed to less than 3 knots. By morning it had failed altogether, so that we had to take them down and use the engine in search of some wind further west. We might have got there had it not been for me putting the boat on a southeasterly course rather than a westerly one. I had not been able to read the course properly in the dark (read 170 rather than 270). read more...


24/01/2016

Starblazer - 24/01/2016 – Time for a sail change.

Our twin headsail system is wonderful when the true wind is in an arc of about 60o behind us.As the boat moves forward it tends to bring the wind further forward as well.Once the wind is apparently about 60o forward of the stern, on one side or the other, one of the sails starts to collapse with the wind getting in front of it, refills, snaps back then repeats it all over again.To avoid the jerking on the rig we change the heading.As the wind wanders about so does our heading resulting in us not quite following our required course.By yesterday morning we decided that the wind was definitely too far forward to allow us to sail close enough to the required course but that we should be able to with a sail change, not something we relish because it often takes up to an hour!Before the 1000. read more...


23/01/2016

Lydia - Lydia's blog 14 -22 January 2016

Thursday 16 Jan began as the previous 5 days with us forging ahead undertwin headsails with a 10-12 knot wind astern. Later that forenoon we beganto see the loom of the Colombian Sierra Nevadas and calculated that we couldbe alongside in to the new marina at Santa Marta by early the next morning.As the day progressed the impressive mountains took shape, (the highest19,000 feet) and the wind and waves began to rise. From yachts ahead of uscame messages that in the last 20 miles before entering Santa Marta harbourthey were experiencing winds of up to 40 knots (Gale 8 +) and high seas.Shortly before sundown we took down the port foresail and stowed itsspinnaker boom in anticpation of things to come. The wind was already rising25 knots and knowing what was to come, at 8pm under spreader. read more...


23/01/2016

Luna Quest - Saturday, 23rd January, 2016

Noon Position: 16.02S 09.50WDaily run: 127 logged milesAll night the parasailor stood firmly in the 11 knot breeze, but today the wind has gone down to 6 knots and the sail is flailing about. It is very wearing on the gear and on the crew. We decided to take it down and opt for the two poled-out foresails. It is less sail area, but there is very little room for flapping and flailing. It seems that the swell, which causes the boat to roll and the sails to flail about, is more pronounced in light winds. It is probably set up by violent seas that the low pressure systems of the Southern Ocean produce. We had big seas in the Indian Ocean for the same reason, but, luckily then, we had strong winds to push us along with all sails filled. We are now just making 3 knots of speed, which would get. read more...


23/01/2016

Starblazer - 23/01/2016 –Yet more of the same

Yes, we had similar winds, both in strength and direction though we did manage to steer much closer to our desired course for much of the day.The seas are still relatively flat with the odd bit of rock and roll when you least expect it.My wine glass flew across the cockpit table delivering its contents over the table, the cockpit and John!We have still had no action on the fishing front, other than setting the line in the morning and retrieving it after dusk.On a positive note I did finish piecing the Union flag together, today’s job is to cut out the other pieces of red and join it all together, add a line to the hoist and deploy it.I also did some washing which dried on the line strung across the arch so it was quite a productive day.You may wonder what John does all day.(He’ll. read more...