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28/01/2020

Next Step - 27th Jan 2020

Today we need to get to Porvenir to check in, we raised the anchor after breakfast and headed out to clear water and made our way to Dog Island first to do some snorkelling before we going direct to Porvenir. As we approached Dog Island it started to rain quite heavily but did not detract from our destination. We found a spot not far from the island and the wreck of a cargo ship which was sunk in the 1950's. Jeremy, Nicole and James rowed across in the dinghy to the wreck to do a bit of snorkelling whilst I kept watch on the boat. Once everyone was back on the boat we picked up the anchor and motor sailed our way to Porvenir so that we could complete the formal customs and immigration requirements for Panama before arriving in Shelter Bay Marina. Porvenir was quite a strange island with. read more...


10/11/2014

Helen - Start day - 13

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


28/01/2020

Sapphire II of London - San Blas Day 4

Rained all day yesterday so we had a poker championship with Helen as the victor. She continued her winning streak to thrash Paul at cribbage. Got all dressed up to go out in the kayak this morning and it started raining again. Luckily the sun has come out and done some snorkelling and kayaking, It is difficult to get 3 fully grown Phillips' into a 2 person kayak. Emily got out and towed her elderly parents to shore who cannot paddle in sync. Planning BBQ for lunchtime. The poker tournament will continue tonight, bets on who is going to win this time?. read more...


Deo Juvante - Mazarine and Clement had the opportunity to take the World Arc turtle for an excursion on Porvenir Island, the heart of the Guna culture.
Deo Juvante - Mazarine and Clement had the opportunity to take the World Arc turtle for an excursion on Porvenir Island, the heart of the Guna culture.
27/01/2020

Sapphire II of London - Rainy San Blas

Last night had good news of the arrival of Neil and Shelly's healthy grandson Rufus so we had steak and champagne to celebrate! Then some dolphins gave us a show catching flying fish which was magical. Today we have moved to a different San Blas island which is bigger but the weather is very rainy! Time to become Catan experts.. read more...


27/01/2020

Next Step - 26th Jan 2020

After a breakfast of scrambled egg and bacon we planned our route and input some waypoints to Cacos Holandes. At 0905, we lifted the anchor and headed passed the reefs out into more open water. The trip was very quick and before you knew it we were wending our way through the reefs to a new anchorage. The bay at Cacos Holandes was very much bigger than our previous anchorage with many more islands to explore. Unfortunately, we were met with rain showers which thankfully only lasted a short time. After a bit of lunch we headed for the beach in the dinghy on the nearest island to do some snorkelling and I took the kayak out to the reef edge. The island undergrowth was quite dense so not very easy to explore, the beach was lovely the odd starfish and lots of small fish. Going out to the. read more...


26/01/2020

Next Step - 25th Jan 2020

I was awoken earlier than expected with a bit of rain coming in through the hatch above my bunk. It really only drizzled for a very short time. Once we were up and had breakfast we got out the rubber dinghy ready to go ashore to explore one of the islands and do a bit of snorkelling. Jeremy, Nicole and James took the dinghy off whilst I sorted out some of the issues on the boat that we had experienced since leaving Santa Marta. When the folks returned to the boat, we had lunch before heading out again to another island where Jeremy and Nicole snorkelled and I went by Kayak. On the island we were able to buy a beer, relax and met up with folks from Skylark. After a great day we headed back to the boat for sundowners. Burns night…we did not have any whisky so we had to drink Gin as a. read more...


26/01/2020

Sapphire II of London - San Blas

Arrived in San Blas yesterday, lots of tiny beautiful islands with palm trees and nothing else! Spent the day organising our huge collection of flags - we have 3 St Lucia flags if anyone is interested. Several unidentified flags also in the mix. We launched Sapphire explorer, the kayak, onto the island while the rest of us drank beers on board. We had fried fresh fish on the BBQ.Wishing everyone could be here.. read more...


25/01/2020

Next Step - 24th Jan 2020

Hopefully, on target to get into the San Blas Islands today...! Overnight we had quite a bit of shipping traffic and it was very dark with cloudy skies for most of the time. Thankfully the wind stayed with us all the way until the late morning when it got a bit lighter but with the engine running we still managed to achieve a steady 6.5 knots towards the finish line. During the morning we planned our arrival anchorage destination and input the necessary waypoints into the chartplotter. Lunchtime Nicole made a guacamole to have with salad and wraps, very nice. As we get closer to the finish line more and more of the WorldARC fleet yachts start appearing visually and on AIS. At the finish line at 1539 we had Cloud Shadow ahead and Amazing Grace astern. Once over the line we immediately. read more...


25/01/2020

Charm - St. Helena passage 5

Our last day of the passage went by fairly quickly.The kids did school and I have to eat my words about Marin struggling to write three sentences because today she wrote almost a full page with perfect handwriting and no complaints.Once again, we have been able to tap into the talents of our crew and the girls got a dance lesson from Gemma.After school, Tully decided that everyone should have a water gun fight.Cobin joined in and taught the girls how to conduct a duel with their water pistols.After that got old, he decided just to throw buckets of water on them, which they not only tolerated but encouraged. We had tacos for dinner, which wasn’t quite the same as a pig roast but we had the added benefit of seeing St. Helena around sunset, which more than made up for the lack of pork.That,. read more...


Charm - St. Helena passage 5
Charm - St. Helena passage 5
Charm - St. Helena passage 5
Charm - St. Helena passage 5
Charm - St. Helena passage 5
Charm - St. Helena passage 5
24/01/2020

Charm - St. Helena passage 4

Another gorgeous day on the boat.The longer we’re on a passage, the faster the days start to go.Part of this might be because we’re always heading east and we don’t change our clocks until we arrive at a destination.Our bodies continue to adjust to the sun, so there’s a weird feeling that the kids shouldn’t be going to sleep while it’s full daylight out even though it’s 9 pm.It feels like summer nights, except in January. We had school today but I diverged a bit from our typical writing plans to do something that I thought would be fun.Usually I’m the only one that thinks it’s fun but today, everyone eventually got into it.I had saved a few in-flight magazines from our trip to Zimbabwe and we all went through them and cut out pictures that inspired us and put them together to make a. read more...


Charm - St. Helena passage 4
Charm - St. Helena passage 4
Charm - St. Helena passage 4
Charm - St. Helena passage 4
Charm - St. Helena passage 4
Charm - St. Helena passage 4
24/01/2020

Sapphire II of London - Happy Birthday Paul!

Spent a lovely few days in Santa Marta and set off yesterday for the San Blas islands.We celebrated Paul's birthday with a chocolate cake (well done Shelley) and dinner of steak and potato wedges. Beautiful day sailing - kind wind and waves - so all good. One flying fish decided fly into the saloon. We've had a few squalls but otherwise relatively calm. Lunch today is chorizo and couscous with okra. Looking forward to being able to put our feet up in San Blas and try out our new canoe and flippers.. read more...


24/01/2020

Next Step - 23rd Jan 2020

Overnight the wind had gone down to below 5 knots, so sails down and the engine was started. In the morning it looked like the wind was going to get up so we raised our cruising chute and switched off the engine, but by the time we were sailing again the wind had gone down…oh dear…on goes the engine. Whilst the engine was running we charged up various electrical appliances and ran the watermaker to top up the tanks before we get into the San Blas. Unfortunately, the watermaker still has a water leak which I must get fixed in Shelter Bay. For lunch Nicole cooked some corn on the cob followed by slices of pineapple, very refreshing. The afternoon was fairly uneventful which gave us all time to relax whilst the autohelm did the driving. In the evening Jeremy made us a thai green curry with. read more...


23/01/2020

Charm - St Helena passage 3

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


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

Domini - Log 7 - On to San Blas

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


23/01/2020

Next Step - Departure from Columbia - 22nd Jan

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


22/01/2020

Sapphire II of London - Santa Marta

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


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

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

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


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 5 - Temptations of the watch

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


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 4 - half way there

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


Sally - Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic
Sally - Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic
22/01/2020

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

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


22/01/2020

Domini - Log 2 - We're off!

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


21/01/2020

Charm - St. Helena passage 2

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


20/01/2020

Charm - St. Helena passage 1

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


Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
Charm - St. Helena passage 1
20/01/2020

Charm - Walvis Bay, Namibia

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


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

Charm - Visiting Cape Town

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


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

Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress

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


Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress
Charm - Luderitz and other adventuress

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