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16/11/2019

Layla - Good morning day 2 16 Nov 19

Our first 24 hours at sea has passed and we are all getting back into the rhythm of life on board. Not too much sleep reported but we are still getting used to our new lodgings! With the new forestay we decided to sail conservatively yesterday and this morning changed our sail plan to a polled out genoa. With this configuration we can sail a more direct route to Mindelo and we have plenty of smiling facesPaul - Layla BloggerSailing-Arc-Plus-Nov19-494-1-small. read more...


Layla - Good morning day 2 16 Nov 19
Layla - Good morning day 2 16 Nov 19
16/11/2019

Fish Pie - Mountain of supplies still to buy

I think we have broken the back of the work on Fish Pie in preparation for the start in a weeks time.  A few bits left and more spending to be done, but all quite manageable now.  We will need some advice on fishing gear, as none of us has a clue, but there are lots of experienced ocean crossing yachtsmen here and we should get some good advice.  He are hoping to have a sail over the next few days to test the new Hydrovane, but its a bit windy today.  Hoping its going to work out well.  Adrian. read more...


16/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Friday November 15, 2019

We awoke to the call of a group of large birds singing over the dock. After meeting Coco De Mer, and welcoming them, we had just enough time to hoist the flags before the weather turned wet and windy. What a joy to be in such a cool, comfortable place! Happy came and took all our wet laundry and sheets away. She brought them back fresh, clean and folded just four hours later! So impressive! On our journey in, we had a wave catch us by surprise and things got wet in the galley, then the mast boot, which has had a wee bit of a leak for awhile, decided to give way and become a full fledged waterfall. That’s why all the towels were wet, I was tying them about the mast, but they had to be changed every half hour. There was no way to coax the water to fall into a bucket, because the motion of. read more...


Sweet Dream - Friday November 15, 2019
Sweet Dream - Friday November 15, 2019
16/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Thursday November 14, 2019

Long day that started at 04:00 with an amazing display of electrical storm power. By 06:00 the wind was getting up, so I had to get Captain up as well, we put a reef in the Genoa, which we foolishly left on the pole. At 07:00 the wind hit 36 knots and we were hard pressed to get the Genoa reefed in...we finally just furled it as far as the jury rigged line would allow....the Hoyt staysail decided it wanted to come out and play...somehow, a line caught the handle on the cleat and voila’ the staysail was flying! Well, ok, we just sheeted it in and flew along wing on wing with the bit of Genoa on the pole and the staysail on the opposite side. The storm rolled over us for 7 hours! About noon, things calmed down enough to tie off the Genoa so it couldn’t unfurl, take down the pole, and. read more...


Sweet Dream - Thursday November 14, 2019
Sweet Dream - Thursday November 14, 2019
15/11/2019

Life of Reilly III - Life of Reilly III

the Mystery of the ShearwaterAn ocean passage requires endless hours of standing watch in the cockpit. Nothing to do except watch. Watch the vessel's heading, watch the set of the sails, watch for other boats, watch the wind, watch the waves, and - occasionally - watch the wildlife. Sadly, in recent years the wildlife has been scarcer than in previous years. I try to put it off to the fact that my vision is failing with age, but I fear that the true explanation for the dearth in sea life is much more tragic.One of our frequent companions when 100s of miles at sea is the shearwater. This graceful acrobat of the waves follows us tirelessly. I wonder whether it is out of a need for companionship or out of curiousity. He swoops effortlessly in the troughs between waves, never flapping his. read more...


15/11/2019

Oyster Moon - Oyster Moon Blog

Day 1 - Sunday, 10th November 2019Today is the day!After a very busy week of preparations in Las Palmas, we have now started Leg 1 of our ARC+ Rally.We had considered postponing our start due to the weather forecast, but decided to leave with the rest of the fleet. We knew we’d be in for a bumpy start, but felt that it was more important to have other boats around us on our long journey down to Cape Verde.After lots of hustle and bustle on the family pontoon this morning, the boats wished each other well and waved each other off one by one. Our dear friend Kate (from Kathryn del Fuego) acted as our official pontoon photographer and the Oyster Support crew even came to wave us off and hand us our ropes. Quite an emotional send off. From the exhilaration of leaving the marina, we were. read more...


13/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Wednesday November 13, 2019

We motorsailed until 01:00, then turned off the engine at 01:00 and made fairly good progress under just the poled out Genoa until 04:00 when Coco de Mer came up and passed us with a nice wide margin on our starbrd side. We waited until they were well ahead, then turned on the engine again and began to follow them. At 07:00 we did some calculating, and decided if we pushed it, using the engine, we had a shot at arriving on Thursday evening. After the ubiquitous coffee and yogurt, and a unanimous agreement, we decided to go for it. The morning SSB net was quite lively, with some strong words put forth by one of the parties about when to enter the harbour. Lots of the boats seem really keyed up about this approach, and with a good many of them using diverse weather routers, the differences. read more...


Sweet Dream - Wednesday November 13, 2019
Sweet Dream - Wednesday November 13, 2019
10/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Friday November 8, 2019

04:00 I rise for my first watch of the day, make a mug of black tea with lemon , grab a piece of cold quiche and come topside. There is plenty of wind from the east south east. We rumble along at six knots under just the poled out Genoa on a port tack. At 07:00 Captainshakes out the reef, rolls out the main on the port side and puts the staysail tight in the middle. The wind is steadily creeping back to the north. I make coffee, serve it with the ubiquitous granola, fruit and yogurt and we savour the morning. Big discussion about weather on ssb today...no conclusion...each weather router seems disassociated from the other. It seems too soon to know what the weather will be at Richard’s Bay coast anyway..so, we concentrate on doing our best to round the south of Madagascar. Two more days. read more...


Sweet Dream - Friday November 8, 2019
Sweet Dream - Friday November 8, 2019
13/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Monday November 11, 2019

We ran under the poled out Genoa and a bit of main all night. In the early 04:00 watch I played dodge the ships. AIS makes this a breeze, and after having transited the German Bight, the North Sea, The straights of Messina and Gibraltar, and not least of all both sides of Panama and the English Channel, this part of the ocean is comparatively light on shipping traffic. Captain came up at 07:00 and we had our by now boring for you to read about, but never tiring to us, yogurt, granola, and coffee. He ran the SSB net for the day, while I steered the boat. We always turn off the autopilot and electronics to save power and cut interference during SSB use. After the net, Lars napped and I sewed a couple hiking patches on his backpack. He tries to collect one from each country we visit. It is. read more...


Sweet Dream - Monday November 11, 2019
Sweet Dream - Monday November 11, 2019
10/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Thursday November 7, 2019

Morning at 04:00. I make Earl Grey tea, black, in a yeti mug (the one without the Magnetic slider top...the magnets mess up the navigation compass!) Being still a little tharn from just waking up, I grab an apple granola bar to eat with the tea. The lazy southern cross is lying on its side, sparkling brilliantly, moon has gone to bed, not yet accustomed to this journey, and I sip the hot tea, devour the granola bar way too fast and marvel once again of the beauty of predawn magic at sea. We’ve sailed the dark hours under single reefed Genoa and single reefed main. With dawn, the wind which appears to work the night shift only in this part of the world, went to bed. We shook out the reefs, but doggingalong at five knots wasn’t an option while trying to round Madagascar...on came the. read more...


Sweet Dream - Thursday November 7, 2019
Sweet Dream - Thursday November 7, 2019
13/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Sunday November 10, 2019

Until today, the focus of the blogs for this leg of the journey between Reunion Island and South Africa has been food. Why food? I have written about what we eat because so many people ask us, “what about food?” What about it? Food is first of all, fuel for the physical body; it can be plain, elaborate, just necessary or enjoyable. It also transcends nutrition and becomes comfort, ritual, and helps define the parameters of the day, and contributes to the wonderful bond between people. Breaking bread together is a very important part of our day at sea. Yet today, I suspend my hedonistic musings to write about another subject; the hungry Indian Ocean. Heretofore we have sailed the Bay of Biscay, The Mediterranean, The Baltic, The North Pacific, The English Channel, twice through the. read more...


Sweet Dream - Sunday November 10, 2019
Sweet Dream - Sunday November 10, 2019
13/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Saturday November 9, 2019

Wing on wing with the staysail in the middle, we are flying through the dark at 04:00 when I come up with my mug of black tea and bowl of plain yogurt. It’s an interesting watch because of so much shipping traffic. No fish boats today, but extremely large cargo ships and tankers which measure their length in tenths of nautical miles ply this route.With sorrow I finish “The Long Way”. Bernard was truly an odd duck, but he had a lot of beautiful things to say, and I really enjoyed his insights on the ocean and life. Captain came up at 07:00. It’s sail change time again! Coffee first, and yogurt and granola for him, then we furl the Genoa, take down the pole, put the Genoa back out without the pole, and shake out our night time reefs in the main. I went down at 08:30 for a wee nap, but. read more...


Sweet Dream - Saturday November 9, 2019
Sweet Dream - Saturday November 9, 2019
10/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Tuesday November 5, 2019

I vote for sailing! We did a last provisioning run, put the goodies away, tidied up the rental car, washed the soot from the sugarcane off the boat, rolled out the bull and with the help of Joe and Glen, reconfigured some parts to make it easier to use, patched some holes...rolled it up again and went to the skipper’s briefing. Captain exhibited his grill mastery one last time..with bbq chicken and a variety of grilled veggies. Matt, our resident yellow shirt all around guy, shared new to us music with us! So much fun. We ate our delectable grilled supper, downloaded some Rodriquez music, and watched the very last episode of Blacksails. Ready to go to Africa!image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Tuesday November 5, 2019
Sweet Dream - Tuesday November 5, 2019
10/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Wednesday November 6, 2019

We checked out at 08:00, and were off the dock out into the Indian Ocean by 09:00.Matt had brought all the boats a fresh baguette as we were making ready to depart.For our morning snack we spread the baguette with laughing cow cheese and fresh sliced strawberries, and washed it down with the last of the morning coffee. We contemplated the journey ahead of us as were motored through the wind shadow of the island. Then lunch...last night’s grilled veggies, mixed with rice and lentils, with a hunk of the baguette for mopping up. Now we had the sails up, augmented by 1800 rpms of the engine. By afternoon snack time...tamari almonds with Brie and English cheddar slices on various seeded crackers, washed down with Schweppes Lemonade....our favourite French drink treat, we had the motor off,. read more...


Sweet Dream - Wednesday November 6, 2019
Sweet Dream - Wednesday November 6, 2019
13/11/2019

Sweet Dream - Tuesday November 12, 2019

A fantastic day of sailing. No squalls, no rain, just good wind and moderate seas all day long, with an occasional odd wave. The kind of sailing that makes you happy to be in this passage. In the morning hours it was even smooth enough to do some nitty gritty cleaning, as well as laundry. We ate our everyday breakfast of granola and yogurt with a nice garnish of frozen raspberries on top, drank our life-giving java, and spent the first half of the day doing chores. For lunch, we had egg salad and crackers. Simple and fun to eat. Then we took turns napping. While Captain napped, I sewed another hiking patch in his backpack, and while I napped, he researched the radar and AIS problems. He never could find a fix for the lack of radar, but through reading the troubleshooting guide, he found. read more...


Sweet Dream - Tuesday November 12, 2019
Sweet Dream - Tuesday November 12, 2019
15/11/2019

Mabetica - Nice Weather Today

15.11.2019 - Day 6 on sea after a wonderful night with all the stars and this lightning moon. Nice weather today :) Bettina. read more...


Nauplios - Just used all our gas cooking this mahoosive pie!
Nauplios - Just used all our gas cooking this mahoosive pie!
Layla - First Squal Avoided 15 Nov 19
Layla - First Squal Avoided 15 Nov 19
Layla - Happy Captain 15 Nov 19
Layla - Happy Captain 15 Nov 19
Layla - Happy Crew 15 Nov 19
Layla - Happy Crew 15 Nov 19
15/11/2019

Layla - Better "Layla" than never 15 Nov 19

 We are finally away – crossing the start line at 07:50am – crew is in great spirits having finally got away… sails are set… first rumblings  about breakfast are being heard – Martin H is getting ready to rumble in the galley. First squall has been dodged too…. Looking at the YB trackers we are just starting and two boats have already made it to Mindelo. We are hot on your heels :-)Layla. read more...


14/11/2019

Aluaka - Day 3- Flying Fishes

Position: more that half way...in the midl of the AtlanticThe worst is back. Our body is now better and get in feeling with the wave up and down. We had a fantastic sunrise, with a pink light. The temperature is now 30, we are close to Africa. We found a lot of flying fishes on deck, good for a quick pasta. The night has been warmer and always with the light moon. The Cape Verde arcipelago is now closer.The hydrogen did his work and charged more than 60 Amps 24v in 8 hours. Our speed and humor remain high.. read more...


14/11/2019

Aluaka - Day 1 The Start

The boat is ready, but are we ready for the new adventure? We have saw the meteo forecast, will not be easy. The meteo expert in the morning confirm a strong breeze of 28kn, but I’m not scare about wind intensity, however from the waves. The Atlantic’s waves are big and powerful. I’m thinking to the kids on the others boats. We are out from the harbor quite early, the kids on the sail school dinghy said ‘Hey, Hallo, Ciao...’.We hoisted the main, watching the start of the catamarans division. After few minutes it our time:3,2,1 GO. It funny to see many different boats with different sail plan.S. Someone is sailing full main and jib showing a tech-dress, other are just taking the right decision. In one hour we were closed to some of the catamarans. The wind is 30-35 kn, the waves are. read more...


14/11/2019

Mabetica - Full Moon

14.11.2019 - Day 5 on sea after all these nights with the lightning full moon :) For one moment thousands of stars in one bigline - than they disappeared all by a sudden. Bettina. read more...


14/11/2019

Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 9 - When the Ship hits the Can

You may recall I said, ‘now we are sucking diesel’ when I spoke about our adrenaline junky speed trip with the Butterfly our Blue Water Runner?Perhaps on reflection not the best choice of words.As it turns out we were snorting diesel, real diesel for the better part of 24 hours thanks to a ratherunfortunate incident when monster waves met a half a dozen innocent enough jerry cans, (or so we thought).The jerry cans were stowed on the bow, 6 in all, a total of 120 litres of extra fuel.They looked cosy, well secured and happy enough to be there.That was until the monster waves of Sunday night/Monday morning started to hammer incessantly at them just willing them to break free, until finally, break free they did, in the middle of the night.We were first alerted to what had happened by the. read more...


Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 9 - When the Ship hits the Can
Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 9 - When the Ship hits the Can
Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 9 - When the Ship hits the Can
Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 9 - When the Ship hits the Can
14/11/2019

Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 8 - Flying High with the Butterfly

We have a Blue Water Runner from Elvstrom, designed specifically with Trade Wind sailing in mind.We first saw her at the boat show in Düsseldorf in 2017 and fell instantly in love.The sight of this magnificent sail unfurling like two majestic eagle wings made us go weak at the knees.We knew we HAD to have one.So we saved our pennys and finally a couple of months before the start of the ARC she was delivered to us on Lanzarote.Oh man we could not wait to fly her.We expected to give her a first spin on the sail over to Las Palmas but as luck would have it we had South Westerlies for the passage.Damn it!!So the first outing will be crossing the start line to begin the Atlantic crossing.That’s pretty cool too.Nope ‘fraid not guys, with 28 knots of wind there was no way she was making her. read more...


Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 8 - Flying High with the Butterfly
Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries - 8 - Flying High with the Butterfly
13/11/2019

Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew

Introducing the crew for Lubilu III and the 2019 ARC Crossing! Graham Helsby (IT specialist, 62). Skipper, with experience dinghy sailing as a boy in 'Lubilu I' and offshore sailing for over 20 years originally in 'Lubilu II' and now with 'Lubilu III'.David Helsby (Head of Mathematics and Computer Science, 29).Sailing for 16 years offshore with his dad in both 'Lubilu II' and 'Lubilu III' .Phil Haigh (IT Operations Specialist, 55).Dinghy sailing and then 15 years offshore, long-time former working buddy of Graham.Aidan Magee (Retired database specialist, 65).Sailing for 7 years entirely offshore and long-time former working buddy of Graham.All raring to go!LL3 4. Aidan Magee 3. Phil Haigh 2. David Helsby 1. Graham Helsby. read more...


Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
Lubilu III - LL3: Meet the crew
13/11/2019

Charm - To S Africa 6

We are 18 miles from our destination at Richards Bay and the Indian Ocean did not disappoint!After a week of mostly great weather, we started to get the “spicy” winds and seas that Joe predicted.Winds have been in the 20-25 knot range all day, with gusts up to 30 knots and a period of sustained 30-knot winds.In addition, we encountered the Agulhas Current that has been pushing us southwards at a rate of 6-8 knots.This means we were pointing the boat at a right angle to our desired direction of travel in order to make the bearing to our final destination.Basically, we’re sailing sideways. Incidentally, one of the reasons we spent so much time motoring a few days ago was because of another current south of Madagascar.In order to make any kind of decent headway against the current in the. read more...


Charm - To S Africa 6
Charm - To S Africa 6
Charm - To S Africa 6
Charm - To S Africa 6
Charm - To S Africa 6
Charm - To S Africa 6

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