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16/09/2019

Next Step - Funchal to Las Palmas

Monday 9th September, we slipped our mooring lines and headed away from Funchal, Madeira and out into the Atlantic on our way south to Las Palmas. After a short period of motoring in the wind shadow of the island we set the sails and had a great sail averaging 7 knots over the three days.Unfortunately, our attempts at fishing was pretty hopeless we did not get a single bite. Never mind we will have plenty of time to perfect our fishing skills going across the Atlantic in November and December.After a 255 nautical mile sail we eventually arrived off Las Palmas on the morning of 11th September. We got into the Marina Las Palmas, completed the usual customs formalities, re fuelled and by 1030 we had moored up at our berth on pier L.Over the next few days we will have lots of jobs to do on. read more...


Next Step - Funchal to Las Palmas
Next Step - Funchal to Las Palmas
14/09/2019

Charm - Indonesia 2

Cobin celebrated the onset of his teenage years on the outskirts of the Indian Ocean.So far, he is a delightful teen-ager.We surprised him with “all day screen time” instead of school and, rather than retreating into a self-indulgent binge on devices, he shared all his electronics and gave the girls and Tyler tutorials on various games.He was pleasant, cheerful, helpful, and kind.If this is any indication of what the future holds, I can’t wait! Last night the girls helped me decorate the boat and we had streamers and balloons and signs all over when he woke up this morning.Tully stayed up late just to help out and commented that it was her “first birthday to help with.”I think Marin and Tully might have been more excited than Cobin. There were no “real” presents (Tully told me that kids. read more...


Charm - Indonesia 2
Charm - Indonesia 2
Charm - Indonesia 2
Charm - Indonesia 2
14/09/2019

Charm - Australia 8: The Top End

Human beings seem to have a lack of creativity in our ability to name things.The Australians are no exception to this and have named the area where Darwin is found the “Top End” because, as you might guess, it is at the top end of Australia.Its official name, no less unoriginal, is the “Northern Territory” but Top End is slightly more creative and has a nice double meaning, making it sound like that part of Australia is somehow superior to the rest.It’s an odd city, with bits of it poking out into the water and lots of tall buildings for a population of 150,000.Unlike the US, Australians seem to build up instead of out.They also build shopping malls that are like Faberge eggs – difficult to access the treasure inside. The kids and I went on a shopping/movie excursion to the mall and I. read more...


Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
12/09/2019

Charm - Indonesia 1

First, a big thanks to my brother Kyle who did me a huge favor this afternoon.I had made a commitment to a friend and didn’t follow through.Kyle helped me pick up the pieces and finish it.We are so lucky to have the support structure that we have.My mother regularly makes phone calls on our behalf and takes care of various tasks.My sister and all of Joe’s side of the family give us moral support in the form of cheers and likes and notes and e-mails.Our neighbors, Phil and Laura, are managing our house rental and our stuff that appears and disappears with various “mules.”Heather and the crew at CityROCK are running the gym in a way that gives us peace of mind as we make our way around the world.Then there are all of you that are reading this and sending kind words and thoughts of support. read more...


Charm - Indonesia 1
Charm - Indonesia 1
Charm - Indonesia 1
Charm - Indonesia 1
Charm - Indonesia 1
Charm - Indonesia 1
09/09/2019

Charm - Australia 7

By my calculations, we will hit the reef (Eel Reef, to be exact) in 45 minutes.Just a few moments ago, we were literally between a rock and a hard place.It’s amazing how many of these little phrases come from the nautical world.I’m not entirely sure if that particular one is nautical but it definitely applied to our situation.I am on night watch on the eastern Australia coast and we are sailing with no engines on.We were coming up on Restoration Rock (where Captain Bligh and his remaining crew may have made a pit stop in their small boat after the mutiny experience) on our port side and a large cargo ship was barreling down the shipping channel towards me on the starboard side.In order to miss the rock, I had to go to the right but, to miss the ship, I had to go left.I aimed somewhere in. read more...


Charm - Australia 7
Charm - Australia 7
Charm - Australia 7
Charm - Australia 7
Charm - Australia 7
Charm - Australia 7
08/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 236 September 8, 2019

Today we travelled back to Darwin. The roads are mostly empty except for the intimidating “road trains”. I had just finished saying to Lars that they must be terribly dangerous, when we passed by one that was in a heap on the side of the road. Shudder! Also, there were lots of smushed wallabies lining the road. Not an enjoyable journey. We were happy to stop in Coolilinga to visit the fishing store, Kmart, and grocery market. We did a big provisioning shop, treated ourselves to apple pie and ice cream, then came back to the marina to put everything away. We are very happy to see Ice Bear next to us now, all of our WARC boats are here in Darwin, ready for the start on Tuesday. I caught the laundry up, and put away the provisions, Captain grilled us lovely steaks and veggies on the bbq,. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 236 September 8, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 236 September 8, 2019
08/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 235 September 7, 2019

After a peaceful evening in Pine Creek we drove to Katherine and went for a cruise into two of the Katherine river gorges. Gorgeous! We ate our picnic lunch on the beautiful terrace of the Nitmiluk visitor center, then drove back to Pine Creek. Here we had the place to ourselves. We lounged by the pool, read, played with the WiFi, ate a simple supper of shepherds pie and had a lovely, no stress evening.image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 235 September 7, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 235 September 7, 2019
08/09/2019

Charm - Australia 6

Upon arriving in the Flinders Group of islands, we found one other boat in the anchorage.The kids and I went to shore and Cobin flew the kite for a while and we gathered shells before heading back to Charm for the night.We were at Flinders Group because I had read that there was an indigenous cave with paintings in it that I wanted to see.The next morning, we planned to dinghy over to Stanley Island across the bay, walk along the trail to the cave and then leave to get some miles in on our way to Darwin.Of course, that all changed.While we were eating breakfast, the man on the boat next to ours, who we later learned was Ron, started yelling and indicated we should turn our radio on.Joe said, “He probably wants to tell us we’re on top of his anchor.”Instead, he introduced himself as a. read more...


Charm - Australia 6
Charm - Australia 6
Charm - Australia 6
Charm - Australia 6
Charm - Australia 6
Charm - Australia 6
07/09/2019

Charm - Australia 5

Leaving Cairns in the afternoon, we made it to Lizard Island the next afternoon and headed straight to the beach.The kids suggested a picnic and we found an ideal spot with picnic tables and shade and the perfect branches to hang hammocks and swinging chairs.That evening we joined Atla’s crew of Peter and Eva aboard Alora, with Steve, Linda, and Linny for drinks and a game of Empire.They are new boats to this year’s World ARC rally, joining after time off from doing the first half in a previous year.The World ARC offers the option to drop out in Australia and then resume in a future year.This is a great option for those with the time to explore all of these beautiful places in more depth.The next day, we packed all our hydrapaks and set out for a hike up to Cook’s Lookout, the high point. read more...


Charm - Australia 5
Charm - Australia 5
07/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 234 September 6, 2019

We loaded up the hiredcar with snacks, water, Lipton iced tea, clothes, hats, sunscreen, band aids, music for cruising to, cameras, and a sketchy little map, and off we went (after eating a hot pie from the shop where we bought ice for the cooler!) First stop....Litchfield Park...Florence falls and Buley rock holes. Absolutely stunning! We did not expect fantastic waterfalls now well into the dry season, and we were pleasantly surprised by tons of cascading water! The walkways were amazing! Flat rock set in concrete...you could have walked in bare feet the entire”hike” it was soooo smooth and lovely. Both Captain and I having little open “owwwies” decided being in bacteria laden water might not be a good idea, refrained from swimming, but enjoyed the peaceful vistas of the falls, and the. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 234 September 6, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 234 September 6, 2019
07/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 233 September 5, 2019

The crocodile cruise in the morning, fellowship with Eva from Atla in the afternoon. Sigh....I just met Eva. I just spent one evening and one afternoon with her. She is moving on to other endeavours of serious artistic nature, and I think...oh what I crazy life we live...I wish I had more time with Eva, she is an AMAZING human being! In the evening we had welcome drinks at Tipperary Waters Marina, good fellowship all around.image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 233 September 5, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 233 September 5, 2019
07/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 232 September 4, 2019

Boat chores in the morning....shopping for stuff all afternoon....wow! Is it ever FUN to have a car to drive around in town! New feather pillows, shocks for the freezer door, appointment for Captain’s skin screening, new printer, non-perishable provisions, and then in the evening Dinner at Cullen Seafood restaurant with most of the fleet! Great times!!image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 232 September 4, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 232 September 4, 2019
07/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 231 September 3, 2019

It’s Tuesday! My lazy day. Laundry, tidy up,Gary from Shorty sails came by less than 24 hours after taking measurements for a sunscreen over the aft of the boat....put it up, gave us a bottle of “homemade bourbon” 8NT Life $1000! That says...ain’t life grand! Cool play on words/symbols...Gary’s mantra that he graciously shared with us. We are happy that Alora came in beside us, and they too had Gary measure for a fore deck sunshade.Lars went and hired a car. Great day all around...lots of loose ends tied up!image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 231 September 3, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 231 September 3, 2019
06/09/2019

Next Step - Cascais to Madeira

Saturday 31st August, overnight the wind speed reduced considerably, Jeremy had to radio a ship at about 0400 as it appeared on AIS that they were going to pass very close so wanted to make sure that they had seen us. After breakfast we got out the fishing tackle and started fishing for another tuna. Later in the day the breeze got up and our average speed increased to around 6 knots.It stayed sunny for most of the day which made it very pleasant, but unfortunately it was clearly not good weather for catching a fish as we did not get a single bite…! In the evening Hanna made an excellent supper and we all slotted back in to the watch pattern for our second night at sea.Sunday 1st September, The night was pretty uneventful we had several cargo ships around. The wind became quite variable. read more...


03/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 230 September 2, 2019

Today I spent availing myself if the excellent WiFi connection on our phone’s hotspot. Did a lot of research. We settled on hiring a car for the weekend,driving to Litchfield National Park(to see the waterfalls), spending the night in an old train junction, and then taking a cruise up into the gorges north of Katherine. That sorted, I found a bunch of music to download on Amazon music, refilled the kindle with good reads for the coming night watches, caught up on emails and Facebook, and researched Lombok, Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling, Mauritius, Le Reunion, and Richard’s bay, Africa. Also took time out to go do a bit of shopping with Dani, the Lock Mistress. A nice, no stress day. Lars grilled chicken, corn, onions, tomatoes, and peppers for supper. Gary from Shorty sails came and. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 230 September 2, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 230 September 2, 2019
02/09/2019

Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns

After leaving Mackay, we headed up to Cairns on an overnight journey.Of all of the boat projects Joe completed, the auto-pilot was the one I was most excited about.Wiggling masts and poorly connected rudders are obviously important, but they really didn’t affect my quotidian (like that fancy word?) existence.As any of the people who have crewed on our boat know – that autopilot was an all-fired nuisance.“Jeff” as the kids named it, would just stop holding the course at random moments.Joe had installed this new auto-pilot in Corpus Christi, before beginning the trip.He was afraid our old one would give up the ghost and wanted something reliable.Ha! Instead, Joe and the four crew members spent 10 days on their way down to Colombia hand steering as Joe tried to text our friend, Jon, to help. read more...


Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns
Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns
Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns
Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns
Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns
Charm - Australia 4 - Cairns
01/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 229 September 1, 2019

Today was the best in Darwin, so far. We accomplished a lot of little chores in the morning, defrosted our fridge and freezer, and had a chat with Peter, the wood wizard, who said he’d come by at 15:30 to have a look at our cabinet that Lars wants a door on. Christine arrived, with Dieter and Ursula onboard. We met them and then I set off to find the grocery market. On the way, Dani picked me up in her truck, and as she was doing some shopping, as well, we went to the Woolworths, picked up some goodies, and she brought me back to the marina. Easy easy! We ate a delicious lunch, took a good nap( we are trying to get acclimated to this roaring afternoon heat...napping helps!) Then Peter arrived exactly on time!! Most impressive! He discussed options with Lars, then went over to do the same. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 229 September 1, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 229 September 1, 2019
01/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 228 August 31, 2019

In the morning we walked over to the chandlery. To our utter amazement, they were not open! Only Monday through Friday banker’s hours! Crazy! So we meandered back, found a little shop to purchase some salad fixings. Enjoyed fresh green things for lunch, met up with the Niobe crew and walked to the lock to look over the wall and marvel at the lack of water where we had come in the night before, took a nap, then re-strung our dressing overall flags so they would all fit, and be in the correct order. Nick had told us that Andrew Bishop set a great store by the flags being properly flown, so to respect that, we made sure ours were in order. In the early evening we hoisted the flags, and were complimented by a lovely couple who were getting married on a private dock across from us. We had. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 228 August 31, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 228 August 31, 2019
01/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 227 August 30, 2019

In the wee hours of the morning, the wind woke up. Unfortunately, it was coming straight on our nose. As we approached the narrow channel between Melville island, and the mainland, ships began to show up. We were also dealing with four knots of current (it being new moon, spring tide), so here we were trying to slow down for a 06:00 landing at Darwin, and even with 16 knots of noserly wind, we were coasting along at over 7 knots. In the end, it all worked out, we arrived at the Cullen MarinaFuel dock at 06:20, just at first light. We gave our thirsty girl a big long drink of diesel, then walked her to the back of the dock to await the Biosecurity folks. We had an appointment for 07:00, they arrived at 09:00. It was all very easy, and straightforward. Due to our having a. A copper coat. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 227 August 30, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 227 August 30, 2019
01/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 226 August 29, 2019

We lifted the hook from the mud in Coral bay at 06:00, and had an interesting day. It was surreal sailing in bottle green water under a powder blue sky. We had everything from perfect, all canvas flying 120 degree port tack, to wild wet bashing at 50 degrees and gale wind, with just Hoyt and triple reefed main. At 16:00 in the afternoon, halfway into the Gulf of Van Diemen , it was as though someone flipped a switch and just turned off the wind. In about ten minutes it went from a gale to completely flat...the waves smoothing out as if a giant iron passed over them and everything became calm and quiet. We were incredulous! How was this even possible? We put the canvas away and turned on the engine. Suffice it to say we were never bored. It was incredible that for all of the daylight. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 226 August 29, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 226 August 29, 2019

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