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11/12/2019

Layla - We made it - final blog entry

It has taken a few days for me to get around to writing the final blog entry for our amazing trip. I guess partly because it seals the lid on a great experience and that feels somewhat final. On the other hand it is partly because we have all been busy since arriving with a mixture of cleaning, partying, hiking, laying on the beach and putting Layla back to her normal pristine self. (Amongst many things swapping all the kitchenware from plastic back to china and emptying out any of the excess provisions).The last couple of sailing days were accomplished with mixed emotions - by then we had been at sea for about 16 days with our short turnaround in Mindelo and whilst we were still enjoying it most of us were ready to reach land. So it was heads down with our best sail plan trying to reach. read more...


09/12/2019

Saoirse - Saoirse Diaries-17- Reflections from the cockpit

I was surprised at how little life we saw during the crossing. For the better part of the journey we were alone on this vast ocean, no other boats on the horizon. We had one small school of dolphins come play beside us, and another two enormous dolphins, the likes of which none of us had ever before seen, jump up once right beside the boat just to say hello as they passed and then dive never to be seen by us again. No idea what kind they were but they were huge. We also had a bird that circled us for a few hours one day totally sending Óisin into an excited frenzy. Ah birdie, birdie mama, birdie!! Cúisle named it Brave because it was so far out at sea alone. Sometimes when I was on watch sitting at the wheel and would look to the horizon, nothing but sea in all directions, I had the. read more...


07/12/2019

Oyster Moon - final update from oyster moon

Day 15:  Thursday 5th December – Not long nowThere was a bit of excitement in the early hours of this morning as Joe watched a fast catamaran come zooming past us at a rate of over 20 knots.  We can only assume it was one of the front runners of the main ARC race.Everybody was feeling very hot and tired today and we had a quiet morning. A quick satellite phone call with the Halls in the afternoon and bangers, mash and baked beans for tea cheered us up no end. Day 16:  Friday 6th December – A day for reflectionI am writing this entry at 1 a.m. as I come off my last night watch of our Atlantic passage.  We have approximately 75 miles to go until the finish line.  I should really be crawling into my bed but am conscious that there will be much. read more...


06/12/2019

Oyster Moon - update from oyster moon

Day 12:Monday 2nd December - The 'Mystery Tin' We woke with 20 knots of wind from the rear and a lumpy 3 metre swell just a few seconds apart. Whilst it made life on board much more challenging, we were finally able to head directly towards St Lucia at a good pace!Hurrah! Joe has gradually taught the children how to play poker since leaving Cape Verde.This culminated in a game with high stakes today. The person finishing with the most chips would receive the 'mystery' unlabelled tin that has been sat under the floorboards since Southampton!There has been much speculation over its contents for many months. Baked beans, kidney beans, or the most favoured option - rice pudding.Both children played with determination. Charlie resorted to wearing his Ronaldo mask as his poker face needs. read more...


Amari - Day 15
Amari - Day 15
06/12/2019

Amari - Day 15 One More Day

“You sailed across the Atlantic Ocean! Holy cow what an accomplishment, how did you even do that?”My friend Lisa heard this question many times after they completed the ARC Europe passage. I’ve heard versions of that as well. I think about the beginning, when we started with bareboat chartering, and we would be out for 7 to 10 days at a time. All day time sailing, within sight of land, and stores, and a bar for when you get nicely tucked away at anchor.When we thought about open ocean sailing and passagemaking, it seemed overwhelming, even scary. But when dreams are big, they pull you forward. We did our first overnight sail heading to Corsica from Sardinia. We had watches and did all the things you’re supposed to do for a passage. Then when we got our own boat, we needed to bring her. read more...


Amari - Day 15
Amari - Day 15
05/12/2019

Mabetica - 05.12.2019 - Leg 2/Day 15

05.12.2019 - Leg 2/Day 15 - Our last day on this wonderful trip, tonight the last night, hopefully with all the beautiful stars :) A Dutch Santa Claus was already here in out cockpit - what a nice surprise by Willem :) Happy crew :). read more...


05/12/2019

Oyster Moon - update from oyster moon

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05/12/2019

Amari - Day 14 We Were Normal Once

We’ll be back on land in two days, with cars and malls and all the normal stuff that normal people have and do everyday. We were normal once. Had the house, the car, and the garden in a few different cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Raleigh. Of all the things about “normal”, I miss the plants and herbs the most. We had the most amazing sage plant, woody and robust with leaves just begging to go into your baked chicken. At the risk of sounding like a Paul Simon song, yes, we had “parsley sage rosemary and thyme” to go with our tomatoes and basil that grew so huge in the summer we swore it was some kind of mutant plant from Little Shop of Horrors.So when we strolled through the Carrefour in Cartagena, Spain and Dottie saw potting soil, it was like someone had cast a spell. read more...


Amari - Day 14 pic 2 of 2
Amari - Day 14 pic 2 of 2
Amari - Day14 pic 1 of 2
Amari - Day14 pic 1 of 2
Amari - Day13 pic 2 of 2
Amari - Day13 pic 2 of 2
Amari - Day 13 pic 1 of 2
Amari - Day 13 pic 1 of 2
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue
04/12/2019

Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Epilogue

17:00 3 Dec2019 Director’s CutThe Director has just seen the finished product and is very unhappy with the editing. He states that he spent countless hours trying to build the tension in the storyline only to find it all cut from the released version. So after court action he has now released a Director’s Cut which includes totally superfluous material cut from the original that adds nothing to the storyline except about 2 hours of extra boredom.Management have responded by commissioning further Ted adventure stories including “Exactly What Ted and Brooke Shields Did in the Blue Lagoon,“ “Cap’n Ted Sparrow and the Mermaids of the Caribbean” and “The Big Wipe - The Adventures of Ted’s Kids.”.. read more...


04/12/2019

Amari - Day13 Swishy Butt

With just three days and just over 400 miles to go, we are all achatter about the things we want to do as soon as we get there.For me, I’m psyched about getting into wifi range because there are some things I really need to do for work that require, I don’t know, the internet?While at sea I can still be productive as long as I prepare in advance. Before heading off, like stocking your freezer with things you’ll prepare through the passage, I line up tasks that I can do off line. And before you think, your boss is a real jerk for making you do this, what a slave driver you must work for, what a total crap company, well it’s my company and I’m the boss. We started it 16 years ago and have grown it by being scrappy, doing what we can with what we have to survive and thrive. I have employees. read more...


04/12/2019

Mabetica - blog

04.12.2019 - Leg 2/Day 14 - Today we are very fast on our way to St. Lucia. Happy Sailinhg :) The colour of the Atlantic is so beautiful and also all the stars in the night :). read more...


04/12/2019

Cuvee - Days 10 - 12

Mond 02/12 - Breeze has comeHave a steady breeze for over 24hrs now from the west in the low teens. Occasional rain squalls, so pressure builds, rain drops, close hatches, clear cushions from the cockpit and zip up the centre panel of the dodger. Let the rain past huddled under the dodger and then open hatches, put cushions back and open up dodger panel. Few hours later repeat, and then repeat, ... That’s about it today, did a jibe to stay on course, saw a spotted wing gannet , eat sleep and read. Getting close now but need to be patient and hopefully the predicted wind stays in and we have no more breakages.Only 2 cargo vessels past us in 24hrs.Decided to change to St Vincent time tonight at midnight so we will be tuned in when we arrive.Tues 03/12 - Under 200 Nm to goSteady breeze. read more...


Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life
03/12/2019

Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life

16:00 30Nov 2019Congratulations are in order! Ted and Louise are now the proud parents of 50 baby wipes born only an hour or so ago. Although reluctant at first, I think Ted is warming to his new life. As I heard Ted say, “Children are the fabric in the tapestry of life we weave!” Maybe I was wrong that I thought Ted’s poetic sayings couldn’t get any worse. I’m concerned his brains may have turned to cotton wool.I am yet to find the courage to ask Ted how he knows Louise’s babies are his and how he now seems conveniently unconcerned about his offspring from his past relationship. Maybe someday I can tease out from him all the threads to this strange adventure of his.I’ve had time to chat with Louise now things have settled. She denies any involvement in the kidnapping. She loves Ted. She. read more...


Amari - Day12 pic 2 of 2
Amari - Day12 pic 2 of 2
Amari - Day12 pic 1 of 2
Amari - Day12 pic 1 of 2
03/12/2019

Amari - Day12 On Autopilot

Captain Jack Sparrow drove the Black Pearl into what the special effects department seemed to indicate was a 50 knot gale with thunderstorms. His first mate implored him to take it easier on the boat. But Sparrow, being the star of this picture, was not deterred as the first mate hollered over the howl of the storm, “what’s putcha in such a fine mood this evening Cap'm?”Camera flashes to Jack, cue the lightning to silhouette of him hand steering the Pearl through the night in that gale, hat inexplicably still on his head, when he replies, “We’re gaining on them!”Aaaaand Scene. Back on Earth, I know that sailors used to hand steer all the time, and I guess they had to. But doing that for hours at a time is a killer. We lost our autopilot on Amari on a shakedown cruise from North Carolina. read more...


03/12/2019

Life of Reilly III - Caught a big one!

As part of Life of Reilly III's contribution to the 2019 ocean cleanup campaign, we are bringing ashore an abandoned fishing net. Yesterday around 6 pm UTC Fred was looking astern and saw something strange underwater. We fished out the boat hook, and Dirk attached a safety line to it. Fred furled the jib and drove the boat into the wind to reduce speed to 2 knots.  Long armed Peter reached down into the water with the boat hook as deep as he could go, and with Dirk's assistance brought aboard one end of a fishing net, the other end being securely fastened to the underbody of our vessel. We secured our end of the net and resumed our original course and sail set. We are now competing in this Rally under multiple handicaps, having started a day late, lost our spinnaker, and lost the. read more...


Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - The Fabric of Life
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 7
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 7
02/12/2019

Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 7

12:50 26Nov 2019 - Atlantic OceanI Harpoon WeddingThe Boss was pretty angry yesterday. He and Ted had an all-in session this morning. We heard it all of course - you could hardly miss the polite conversation. In the end the Boss said he wouldn’t have an unwed pregnant lady stowaway on his vessel and since he didn’t have a shotgun on board, there’d be a Harpoon Wedding today at 12:00. And so Ted and Louise were married just a little while ago. A mid-Atlantic Ocean wedding - how romantic! Whatever. It was hard to photograph the happy couple without the harpoon getting in the way. Ted looked like his inner self was unraveling.. read more...


Saoirse - The Saoirse Diaries -16- A dive in the Pond
Saoirse - The Saoirse Diaries -16- A dive in the Pond
02/12/2019

Saoirse - The Saoirse Diaries -16- A dive in the Pond

It was my shift, 3am - 7am and I had made the executive decision to whack the motor on and power through the hole into which we had sailed.Moral has been low after all the breakages, the last thing I wanted was to slosh about all night with the sails banging so no one could get proper sleep only to wake up the next morning and find we are still exactly where we were when they went to bed.So on it went, course was altered to head directly to our way point, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia and I was powering through.It was all going swimmingly. Peak wind strength all night was about 9 knots so I was feeling very content with the decision.Óisin woke at 6am as usual, and as Wolf was still sleeping made his way himself in the pitch black up the stairs into the cockpit and with a big smile on his face,. read more...


Cuvee - A trick or two up our sleeve
Cuvee - A trick or two up our sleeve
Cuvee - Day 10 -11: Getting warmer
Cuvee - Day 10 -11: Getting warmer
Amari - Day 11 Pic 1 of 2
Amari - Day 11 Pic 1 of 2
02/12/2019

Amari - Day 11 Pic 1 of 2

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.8838d233-cae6-44b6-a36b-e71c38eb31e15824123034265984574. read more...


Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6
Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6
02/12/2019

Zan - 310 miles to go

We are now on the downhill slope into Saint Lucia, the winds have been very varied over last couple of days ranging from less than 5 knots to well over 20 when a squall passes complete with rain shower! The trade winds are now more settled and we are sailing along under spinnaker at around 8 knots in 15 knots of wind. The spinnaker from Doyle has been the star of the show this leg it only arrived a few days before we left Las Palmas and after a short period of familiarisation has hardly been in the bag, the only sail up night or day and needs little attention, and with no pole gybing is a doddle! We even managed to catch a fish while flying the kite. We have experimented hoisting the genniker and spinnaker together which works well and makes us look like an old J Class sailing down wind. read more...


02/12/2019

Amari - Day 11 Great Expectations

774 miles to go and the doldrums now behind us, replaced with modest 12-15 knot winds and a Caribbean day to enjoy. Something happened when we got through the doldrums. Now it’s as though land is in sight already, and 700+ miles, hey, that’s not so far! Everyone is looking forward to getting in to shore as we read the guide book on Rodney Bay.It is SO Western!! Meaning, I don’t have to walk through an African medina looking for ice, where people respond with, “What do you mean? But what IS it?”In Rodney Bay, there is a chandlery with … ready, ready ?? … two floors of stuff!! In Morocco, marine supply stores were practicallynonexistent. It was as though Wesley were looking at me in his mask saying, “Get used to disappointment.”There’s a legit spa. The last one we went to rubbed us down. read more...


02/12/2019

Cuvee - Ted’s Atlantic Adventure - Part 6

12:50 21Nov 2019 - outside Mindelo Harbour Well we’re off!!! Here we come New World! Only 2100 or so miles to go.Ted’s on board. He’s a bit quiet and on edge but I’m sure that once we’re out in the open sea he’ll settle okay.16:00 23Nov2019 - Atlantic OceanSome eggs are missing. The crew deny all knowledge. Maybe just a couple of eggs got broken and were thrown out.10:15 25Nov2019 - Atlantic OceanMore food’s gone missing. We cottoned on in the end - there’s a stowaway on board and no prize for guessing who. Sure enough, after a search below deck we found Louise. Butit’s obvious that she not ‘alone’ - even in the torch light you can tell that she’s pregnant!. read more...


02/12/2019

Cuvee - Day 10 - 11: Getting warmer

Sat 30 - Quiet Day?Day starts off with little breeze around 10 - 15 kts and calm seas. Time to get those jobs done around the boat, make some water, cook some date scones for afternoon tea, yum. Made a duck bill valve for the engine bilge outlet that was taking on water out of the old “100 mile an hour” tape. Entertained everyone with some skiing of the back of the back of the boat!Only 2 cargo vessels and 2 yachts on the AIS, fellow ARC yacht L'Entente Cordiale within 10 miles. Had a chat on 2 way to other yacht, Tore who had run out of weather reports! I told them conditions were to stay the same for 48 hours!Then;At 16:00 squall for 40 mins. Winds up to 30 kts, reached top boat speed of 13kts. Called up Tore to let them know what was coming, do the right thing after my poor weather. read more...


02/12/2019

Layla - Downwind all the way now…

Winds have improved for us today and we ran with polled out Genoa and Jib polled out on the boom for much of the day, this configurations works well for Layla between a narrow range of wind speeds and we had a chilled out day with most people taking the chance to catch up on some zzzz’s. Today a cruise liner overtook us but apart from that we have not seen much around us these last days. In the water we have been seeing sea weed for about a day signalling that we are getting close to land. We had a visit from 4 dolphins who played around under the stern for about an hour – what amazing creatures they are. The rods were chirping quite a few times today but each time the fish was lost and for H the line ran out so fast that he was in danger of running out on the reel.So we have 360 nM left. read more...


Layla - That Sail the Gennaker flying
Layla - That Sail the Gennaker flying
Layla - Fish #2 Barracuda :-)
Layla - Fish #2 Barracuda :-)
Layla - Our night time office :-)
Layla - Our night time office :-)
01/12/2019

Layla - Its December 1st 1/12/19

Given the temperature it feels really strange that December has arrived, we managed to find a Xmas song in the play list today but also realised we have lost all of our Spotify tunes :-) Yes it is over 30 days since I downloaded them and due to the short turn around in Mindelo I was unable to connect the phone to Wi-Fi. We stil have few tunes on other devices and it stirred a debate on downloads v's CD's (at least we were not debating cassettes!) For todays blog I thought I would share it via photo comments... please have a look at the ones I am about to upload.Layla Out.. read more...


Layla - Raymarine - do I cut the blue or red wire!!
Layla - Raymarine - do I cut the blue or red wire!!

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