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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...


23/01/2016

Aliena - Viernes 22-01-2016

2º dia de navegación de Santa Marta a San BlasAyer tuvimos viento muy fuerte y no amainó hasta bien entrada la noche. Para dormir tranquilos hemos tenido que hacer mas de dos rizos a las velas. El mar tambien muy movido. Esta mañana ha ido cayendo el viento y en estos momentos tenemos solo 11 nudos y vamos a 4.3 millas. Nos faltan 55 millas y vamos a entrar de madrugada a fondear, lo que no me hace ninguna gracia. Hace mucho calor y humedad y no hemos visto ni un delfin ni medio, solo algún barco del grupo. Estamos todos bien salvo el chico suizo, que le ha hecho reacción la vacuna de la fiebre amarilla y tiene un poco de fiebre. Estamos tirando la caña a ver si pescamos para la cena.Carmen. read more...


22/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Blog 7. En Route to San Blas. 10.05.83N 77.43.12W

Friday afternoon, 22 January.  At sea, 57 nm to the finish line, sunshinning, wind has dropped to 12 to 16 knots from the Starboard quarter, arrivaltime 03.37, i.e. still dark.  Being a crew of 4 with opinions, and thisincludes the Ship’s Boy, we have all expressed an opinion as to what we shoulddo and come to the conclusion that arriving in the dark is not an option andnone of us want to be faffing about between the finish line and the channelbetween Holandaise and Cayo Coco Bandero, which was our preferred option andoriginal plan.  Plus the fact that we have lost a day because of thedelayed start, so need to be handy for Chichime and the Sunday rendezvous, so weare now heading for the most northern point of the finish line and then we willgo on to Chichimi taking the off. read more...


22/01/2016

Exody - Days 374-376: " .....a persistent pattern of benign trade winds....

...to continue over the coming three days" said the WRI weather forecast on Wednesday morning- and so it has come to pass!But today's forecast says that the "light tomoderate trade winds will ease".This we do not want since the 10 to 15 knot winds we have been experiencing are just enough for us to average a reasonable 6 knots on a broad reach with the wind over the port quarter.First three day's runs since the start of 141,147 and 141 miles - 1500 miles to Salvador at 15.00 today. Exody is about 90 miles behind the leaders (Makena, Hugur, Aretha, Garlix, Tulasi) and the same from the nearest boat behind (Ayama). We saw one tanker yesterday headed for China but otherwise have the ocean to ourselves.The seas are calm, the cloud comes and goes clearing to give us some glorious sunny. read more...


22/01/2016

Luna Quest - Friday, 22nd January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.58S 07.47WDaily run: 136 logged milesThe interior of St Helena is surprisingly verdant. A tour in a 1929 Chevrolet charabanc with a 6-cylinder Bedford engine took 10 people (including the driver) around the island and to Napoleon’s tomb. Napoleon, of course, was buried in Paris when the French decided that Paris was a more appropriate place to honour their hero than St Helena, which was and is British. St Helena is getting an airport. Everybody is quite excited about it in the island and the old Chevrolet took us to the construction site where the runway looks almost complete. A great feat of construction engineering in a very rugged environment. The runway is just over 2 km long and will only be able to take certain airplanes, but it will propel St Helena into the 21st. read more...


22/01/2016

Starblazer - 22/01/2016 – More of the same.

I’ll try not to be too repetitive. Boring!The winds seem to have a daily pattern, swinging behind us late morning and rising gently, allowing us to make our required heading before dying out then veering towards the south forcing us further north during the night.If this pattern continues we’ll have to set both genoas to the same side, hoist the main and alter course to bring the wind around a little more towards the beam.We don’t really want to do this because the twin headsail rig gives us best speed if the wind is from behind.The gentle winds are not conducive to good passage making and Brazil is still a tantalising 1,595 nM away.On the plus side, the seas are calm with only a little rock and roll, in fact so calm I got the sewing machine out, setting it up on the chart table.I. read more...


22/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 14: Goodbye and Thank You Colombia

Goodbye Colombia and thank you for your great hospitality. Panama here we come. First stop is the San Blas Islands for a few days and then on to Colon to prepare for our transit of the Panama Canal. The pot of gold at the end of this leg for us is seeing Brooke and William (hopefully Keenan as well) who are flying into Panama City for a visit and to transit the canal with us. Can't wait to hug and kiss baby William!. read more...


21/01/2016

Aliena - 21-01-2016

Jueves, 21 de enero de 2016, 1º dia de navegacion de Santa Marta a San Blas.A las 08.00 salimos hacia San Blas, nosotros un poquito mas retrasados porque estabamos en la gasolinera. Salida sin viento que enseguida cambia, de hecho a la media hora habian 30 nudos de viento que ha ido subiendo y hemos visto hasta 42 nudos. Menos mal que han avisado los que iban por delante. Navegamos con dos rizos y aun así la navegación es dura porque el mar está enloquecido. El Caribe bravo es como el Mediterraneo, con las olas muy juntas, pero mucho mas grandes. Nos hemos mojado y seguimos mojandonos a base de bien. En este momento, que ya hemos pasado Barranquilla y la desembocadura del rio Magdalena, empezamos a bordear el Cabo Augusta y ha bajado un poco el viento, tenmos unos 25 nudos y acabamos de. read more...


21/01/2016

Widago - Leaving Columbia, Next Stop: San Blas Islands

To quote my favorite father-in-law, "This is just awful."Just to be clear, I'm referring to our first few hours off the coast, heading for Panama. Columbia & the city of Santa Marta were fantastic - a must visit. But back to our departure...World ARC was scheduled to leave yesterday (Jan 20) for the islands of San Blas. Due to extreme conditions off the coast between Santa Marta and Cartagena, the port authorities closed the port, and kept us in town for another night. The wind was blowing so hard the night before our intended departure that WIDAGO in fact broke the finger pier off the main pontoon. Whoopsies...no harm came to our big girl, even as we edged ever closer to the riprap on the break wall. With the delayed start, and rearranged berthing accommodations WIDAGO found herself. read more...


21/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 13: An Extra Day in Colombia

It was rather bizarre to watched the World ARC fleet leave Santa Marta as we waved from the breakwater. It wasn't long though before yachts started reporting 30 Kt sustained winds. This together with the 9 to 12 Ft seas forecasted, led us to our decision to wait another 24 hours and take advantage of the lighter winds and flatter seas forecasted for tomorrow and the subsequent few days. It was a case of "take a chill pill" mixed with some patience and not place undue stress on our short-handed crew as well as on the yacht. After all, we're only `800NM into a 25000NM circumnavigation and it is a rally not a race! Also, since the World ARC's itinerary for the San Blas had been shortened to accommodate the additional stopover in Colombia which commenced last year and an additional day had. read more...


21/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 11 - Hanging with the Kuna

Kuna, pronouced Guna, are the inhabitants of a chain of islands off the coast of Panama. Generations ago, when the Spanish invaded, they fled the mainland.Kuna Yala (aka San Blas Islands) are an obvious stop for canal crossers.We did a bit of research and decided to go 60 miles south of the main anchorages.We would face more difficult navigation in an area known for boat-eating reefs and useless charts. The Bauhaus guide of Panama is an amazing resource to navigate this area.To make his charts easier to use we cut out and scanned the charts.Then using a free application called Map Cal I made them into raster charts.This is a must for the southern San Blas Islands.We walked onto the island of Mamipitu and fell back in time.The small lanes, communal kitchens and lack of utilities are signs. read more...


Two Fish - Day 11 - Hanging with the Kuna
Two Fish - Day 11 -  Hanging with the Kuna
07/12/2014

Take Off - Our first squall

Although the full moon lit our way so gently last night was quite unsmoothdue to wind changes all the time. We suspected several squalls so the spinnakerwent up and down all night in prevention. However we seemed everytime to “miss”them. This morning was a grey morning, no sunrise from the sea and heavy cloudsahead of us. However the heavy clouds were all along the horizon so we thoughtit was just normal rain. We sailed through it, got a bit wet, the wind wassteady and we thought this was smooth. The wind started to blow stronger and wasup to 30 knots when it then dropped gently down to 17 knots. And from nowhere astrong wind hit the boat, Jörgen stearing had difficulties in answering the windand the broach was inevitable. And then came the real rain – just like pouringhundreds of. read more...


Two Fish - Day 11 - Hanging with the Kuna
Two Fish - Day 11 -  Hanging with the Kuna
21/01/2016

Starblazer - 21/01/2016 – Boring.

The first few days from South Africa were extremely boisterous: strong winds, big seas, damaged sails and mal de mer reported from several boats. However once the wind settled a bit, the seas quietened and we all made very good time.The departure from St Helena has been rather different. One boat managed to sail off the mooring but by the time we were ready to leave the wind had dropped to 5 knots, probably a suitable speed for a dinghy but not for a heavily laden cruising boat!We unashamedly motored, probably a bit longer than strictly necessary as the wind increased a little but we saw no point starting a 1,916 nM passage at about 3 knots!Yesterday the wind was not at its most helpful, we frequently found ourselves 30o above our desired course but the twin headsails prevented us. read more...


21/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Fw: Blog 7. Santa Marta. High winds delay departure;

Wednesday,20/01/16.  It has been an eventful few days in Santa Martawith very little time for R and R or catching up with the Blog.  Today may give us an opportunity as the harbour master at Santa Marta has closedthe harbour to any vessel less than 300+ tonnes, which means we are not allowedto leave.   It has been blowing up to 40 knots at night and is nowgusting up to 25 knots in the harbour with more wind to come tonight. There is a very dangerous estuary where the very large river Magdalena emptiesinto the sea, giving very rough conditions up to 40 miles offshore and whereyachts have run into trouble in the past, so we are not unduly surprised by thedecision.  If we do leave at 12.00 today as planned, we would be in thatarea just when the GRIB files. read more...


20/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 12: "A Bump in the Night"

We had an absolutely lovely prize-giving ceremony, followed by dinner, at Club Santa Marta last night. Paw Paw didn't win anything, but we were all winners nonetheless, given the fantastic venue and superb dinner that was served.But you can't have everything in paradise. After settling down for the night as the winds howled through the marina we were both woken up by a loud thud - Paw Paw was trying to hug the dock with her port bow. Needless to say there was a scury of activity to start engines and try to tightened the docklines. We did, however, fear that the strain we were placing on the finger dock made for a very precarious situation. So, it was up early, in calm winds, and headed for the anchorage just outside the marina, where we await the start of Leg 2 to the San Blas Islands.. read more...


20/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 12 - Continued: Start Postponed

The start of Leg 2 to the San Blas Islands has been postponed due to bad weather until 0800 tomorrow. We have, however,taken the decision to postpone to at least Friday, given current predictions. We will keep you all posted on developments.. read more...


20/01/2016

Starblazer - 20/01/2016 – Leaving St Helena

On Monday John went on a trip to snorkel with Whale Sharks, I opted to stay behind and do the washing because I still don’t like snorkelling in deep water!He did get some good photos and video.The plan was to spend the afternoon doing boat jobs but we failed.We went ashore in the late afternoon for a BBQ at the yacht club.Somehow the wrong message got to the boats, we took meat but should have taken a side dish to share as they had plenty of meat.There was lots of food for everyone, though, and the bar did a roaring trade.Tuesday was our last day on the island, we needed to leave the mooring by 2215, 72 hours after we crossed the finish line, not because of officialdom but rather because of the time constraints of the rally.I bravely, or foolishly depending on your viewpoint, climbed up. read more...


20/01/2016

Starblazer - 18/01/2016 – Sorry!

The wind continued to tease us throughout Saturday with our ETA varying between 2200 and 0300 Sunday, yes we’ll make it before the moon sets…. Wind, come back!Etcetera, etcetera.We spotted the island from 32 miles off which surprised us, however the highest point is something like 850 metres so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.Rounding the northern end of the island the wind continued to play tricks.Initially it followed us, fortunately because the twin headsails would probably not have coped with the necessary course alteration, then it started dying.At midnight we had 0.97 miles to go to the finish line but the breeze hadn’t finished with us, it died, it suddenly blew up to 17 knots, hooray!0.03nM to go and it all but disappeared, eventually we drifted over the line at 0015.The day. read more...


20/01/2016

Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta

We want to give the biggest THANKYOU to the Marina of Santa Marta, Michelangelo and his chandlery and to Andrew, Luisa, Stefano and Cecilia for all the lovely service and biggest help upon our arrival in Santa Marta. Coming in with a broken boom in two and an engine being down from day 2 from St Lucia to Santa Marta we were more than delighted to get all the help we needed to fix everything as quick as possible before the next departure. The first morning Michelangelo at the chandlery was on the spot fixing our engine. He saw our boom and asked if we need help to repair it …. well… eh yeah shoot go for it! Today, the day before departure we got our boom and what we can see it’s a whole boom again! We leave Santa Marta with a feeling of friendliness, high service, lovely people and. read more...


Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta
Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta
19/01/2016

Exody - Days 371-373 - Little England, Whale Sharks and 699 steps

Having arrived here at St Helena Saturday 16th at lunchtime, we are alreadyat sea again headed for Brazil after our stipulated 72 hour stopover at this fascinating place.Half the size of Arran, St Helena has 4000 of a population with a fair chunk of expats, including Thais helping to build the new airport.It is a steep-to dramatic volcanic island rising to 800 metres with resonances of remote St Kilda but then the 19th century Jamestown is more Channel Islands or Scillies, and the racially mixed population appear blended from a range of migrants. All UK services are right here: HM Prison, Immigration, Customs and Police with familiar vehicles and uniforms.The currency is sterling but specially minted for St Helena and Ascension.It is a cash- only economy until ATM's are demanded by the. read more...


19/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 11: Happy Birthday Elaine

Elaine woke up to a chorus of men singing Happy Birthday within close proximity to Paw Paw."What a lovely surprise", she thought, "Roy really excelled this time". But, alas, she soon realised it was for Peter on Meermowe on the dock along side us. Oh well, she's still having a great day and didn't even have to arrange a birthday party for this evening - It's all being laid on by WARC - Skippers Briefing for our Leg 2 departure to the San Blas Islands is at 1700 in the lovely Club Santa Marta, followed by dinner and the prize giving. In the interim, she's enjoyed freshly baked chocolate cup cakes, her birthday presents from Roy, a lovely birthday card delivered from Ann and Stuart on Time Bandit, plenty of birthday wishes from family and friends all around the world and a morning nap. read more...


19/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 10 - Passage to San Blas

Last night, while heading to the cockpit to respond to a large wave, I felt something squishy underfoot.I was shocked to find it was a live sardine in the middle of the salon (aka our living room).The fish had come into cockpit via a wave and then jumped inside the salon to relax for the evening.I tossed the live fish back into the sea and laughed that I had never seen that one before.Plenty of flying fish land all over the boat only to be discovered as dried out relics in the morning.But a live wingless sardine in the salon is a new record.Now I have to clean some fish scales off the floor.Another new experience is Cartagena Port Control's AIS warning messages.The messages instruct the large ships to contact port control but they make a startling noise on Two Fish's chart. read more...


Two Fish - Day 10 - Passage to San Blas
Two Fish - Day 10 - Passage to San Blas
19/01/2016

Aretha - Back to sea...and a request to our followers

We’re back to sea again and the sails are set for Brazil. Time to leave to African skies and head to South America. Glorious blue skies and sunshine, flat calm seas and slowly rocking our way forward under full main and the green giant(our massive green gennaker ..a very large sail).   Plenty more to write about St Helena shortly.   For now, a quick request to our followers.   Inspired by a Christmas present from Aunty Sharon. A book of poetry by Walt Whitman. We’ve been reading poetry to the children and each other as we bobble on the waves.   So, we’d love some new poetry.   We’d welcome anyone’s favourite poem that we can read to the crew (or indeed for the children to read). Text only in an email would be fabulous to aretha@mailasail.com   Team Aretha in. read more...


19/01/2016

Aretha - St Helena - Jewel of the South Atlantic

Sitting in the plush blue lounge of the colonial hotel - The Consulate Hotel feels a million miles away form from the fast crossing we had getting here. I’msurrounded by antique furniture, stamps dating back through all of last century, pictures and paintings of days gone by, Wedgewood crockery and a library full of books. Its quintessential British colonialism set off by the chirping of tropical birds outsidethe window. We arrived here at 1am yesterday morning - for the first time in this rally, we were the first mono hull to arrive here, some half an hour ahead of A Plus 2 after a fast racy 1700 miles. Our strategic move of heading muchfurther West to stay in the breeze before heading North paying off and closing down some 40-50 miles on A Plus to steal it over the line. We caught. read more...


19/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Log 6. Arrival in Santa Marta. 11.14.54N 74.13.09W

Thursday 14/1/2015.  Yesterday’s conditions were too good tolast!  We had great sailing during day light hours and then 3 disappointingevents occurred, the first being that we were overtaken by Chillie B in theearly evening.  We really should be faster than her, but she was sailingdead down wind under full mainsail alone, looking very comfortable and goinggreat guns.  Well done her.  The second was another failure to catch afish, one we never even noticed.  The lure had clearly been bitten off, nodoubt by some monster fish out there as other boats were reporting catches oftuna weighing 40 and 42 lbs.  As we have very little idea on how to land ordeal with such a fish, maybe it was for the best that the lure was gone, thoughthe Ship’s Boy was a bit nappy. read more...


18/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 10: Just Chillin'

Today we're just chillin".Had breakfast onshore and then wondered around the city of Santa Marta so that Roy could find a birthday gift for Elaine.Mission accomplished!This afternoon got the last minute laundry and fresh provisioning done in preparation for our departure to the San Blas islands on Thursday. Roy is now baking a birthday cake for Elaine - Chocolate - Yum!. In the interim, we're enjoying the time to take a breath, make phone calls to family and friends and socialise in smaller groups with other World ARC Rally sailors, who are fast becoming friends.. read more...


18/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 9: Humbled And Grateful

While Roy stayed onboard to fix our AIS (An electronic device to assist us in tracking other vessels as well as allow them to track us, especially at night), diagnose a issue that developed out of the blue en route to Colombia with our data communications and ready Paw Paw for the next leg, Elaine joined the entourage to a local school for underprivileged children. What she wasn't expecting was the greeting we received in what one would never guess as being a school, as well as learn the background of the children and the operations of the school. Essentially 49% of children in Colombia do not have access to an education. This school, completely funded through private donations and support, where the teachers are working professionals in various disciplines who donate their time, attempt. read more...


18/01/2016

Luna Quest - Monday, 18th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.55S 5.43WJamestown in St HelenaDaily run: 104 logged milesThe wind held last night giving us a steady sail to St Helena. Our arrival time was before midday, or 10am St Helena time, which is GMT. Arriving at St Helena in daylight hours gave us a good impression of it: one huge uninspiring volcanic lump, its main feature being jagged and barren. Looking from seaward, it is difficult to see any spontaneous natural vegetation. The islanders do, of course, grow as much as they can themselves wherever they can, but St Helena is almost entirely dependent on imports. It does not export anything itself and relies on a £32million grant from the British taxpayer plus another £10million from customs and excise. There are 4000 people in the island and taxes are not a priority.. read more...


17/01/2016

Luna Quest - Sunday, 17th January, 2016

Noon Position: 16.49S 04.02WDaily run: 117 logged milesA little less wind towards evening last night persuaded us to hoist the mainsail, but there was insufficient wind to keep it filled and the banging of it backwards and forwards had us soon take it down again and hoist the staysail. Under the two poled-out foresails and no banging we achieved around 5 knots overnight.Our noon position today showed that we have just over 100 miles to go. The wind is disappearing slowly, so that we may have to motor the better part of the last 100 miles to arrive at St Helena some time during Monday morning.Eric. read more...


17/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 6: Beach Day and Barbeque

After a great night's sleep with all the hatches closed and one air-conditioner unit running so that we didn't hear the loud music from shore, it was up early,have breakfast and head for the meeting point where coaches were collecting us for our beach day and lunch timebarbeque at Bahia Concha in the Tayrona National Park. Great day out and exactly what we needed! Needless to say, after a long walk along the beach where we stopped at a little stall for a fresh fruit smoothie, the minute Elaine lay down on her beach towel, she was lights out. Fortunately she didn't snore! Roy had a moment of panic though at the little stall when Elaine tried to place her order in Spanish and then watched in dismay as they produced two fruit salads in addition to the single smoothie she thought she'd. read more...


17/01/2016

Firefly - First Days in Thailand

Firefly entered Thai waters 5 days ago and anchored at Ko Lipe, the southern most Thai Island on the west coast.Unlike all of the west coast of Malaysia, although its only 25 miles away, Ko Lipe has crystal clear waters. No sooner we were anchored, we were over the side, cooling down and snorkeling for the first time since we were in Indonesia. Looking at the boat in Reebak Marina before we left it had appeared as though we had a fair bit of growth on the hull. Once in the water it was clearly the worst it has been for some time and after a brief period looking at fish and coral we were snorkeling equipment under the boat, each with a sponge. As we were settling down a breeze appeared from the north east, the direction of the current monsoon, and we presumed correctly that it was set for. read more...


16/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 7: Welcome to Colombia

By 0200 we were tied up, had our flags flying, enjoying our celebratory drink and chatting to Keenan. By 0330 we were dead to the world, but awoke to the beautiful Santa Marta Marina and surrounding landscape with the realisation that we were actually in Colombia - our first destination of our World ARC adventure! We couldn't wait to explore and our wish was soon granted. After completing the usual clearing in formalities, but ably assisted by the friendly marina staff, instead of the usual drudge around the various Customs, Immigration and Port Authorityoffices, as well dropping off our laundry, it was back to tidy up Paw Paw beforetaking the City Tour arranged by WARC for us.What a great introduction to this country and it's history!Although everyone was still sleep deprived, we. read more...


16/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 6: "A Horse to the Barn"

With less than 24 hours to go, although a little tired our spirits were high and then soared around lunchtime as we enjoyed a spectacular display from a pod of approximately a hundred dolphins - Simply amazing! By early evening the seas had started to build and we received a report from Take Off, who were ahead of us, that the winds had picked up too. With that it was time to drop the head sail and put an extra reef in the main. By nightfall our gaggle of yachts started to encounter problems as Ain't Fancy broached and then headed directly towards us. Swift communications resulted in us and the yacht, Lydia, who was behind us, jibing to change course, After ensuring Ain't Fancy were back under control and crew were ok, having been swamped as well, we continued on into the night. With. read more...



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