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07/06/2016

Exody - June 4th - Portsmouth, Annapolis, New York, Bristol, Newport

Exody completed ARC USA arriving in a grey and damp Portsmouth, Virginia two weeks ago today on Saturday May 21st.Motored most of the last 24 hours to beat the forecast deeper low.Portsmouth is well up the Elizabeth River, home to Uncle Sam's impressive naval fleet and the city of Norfolk across the water. Negotiating the busy shipping lanes that cross over at the entrance to the Chesapeake, we still had a few hours to go after passing over the 13 mile Chesapeake tunnel-bridge.The landscape was low and apparently bleak.Today June 4th we are anchored in a foggy Newport Rhode Island, which feels as busy a sailing venue as the Solent.It is Saturday so there were yacht and dinghy races aplenty and many elegant, classic, excursion sailing boats plying their trade.In the intervening fortnight. read more...


31/05/2016

Altair - Altair's lesson learned from the ARC USA

The 2016 ACR USA provided some insight into being prepared and having spares. In past I have operated that the Tri-Color Light was my primary navigation light system and my Navigation light were my backup. We left Tortola, BVI with all lights working. The second day out the tri-light failed so per plan we switched to the Nav lights. A week later we lost the green and stern nav lights. The quick work around was since we were motoring was to turn off the steaming light and turn on the anchor light. This gave us an all round white, equal to a steaming light and stern light.Researched revealed that all the led light that fail were original to the boat, 2003. The red had been replace several years ago. Preparing for the 2017 World ARC, I will be replacing both Navigation light systems. read more...


25/05/2016

Starblazer - 25/05/2016 - Bermuda to the USA

We didn't make it 'up at first light' because I failed to start the kitchen timer!I woke up at 0630, early for me, woke John and we started pulling up the anchor at 0700.I don't think that missed hour proved too important.We motor-sailedall day Tuesday until about 0600 Wednesday because the batteries were rather depleted and were badly in need of a good charge.The wind was not very strong but we made our required average of just over 6 knots.The first problem was highlighted in the weather e-mail sent to all the rally boats by WRI at about 0800 ship's local time on Wednesday.A low was developing off Cape Hatteras and was expected to move in an unfriendly ENE to NE direction, crossing our path during the night.WRI suggested that the boats should head towards South Carolina, which was met. read more...


20/05/2016

Exody - May 19th - Weather !

Gale force gusts and sustained winds in the upper 20's befell our small ARC USA fleet last night as a low passed through, preceded yesterday with torrential rain and heavy cloud virtually all day.Exody was careering along under double reefed main and less than a treble reefed genny. Nearly close hauled, the south south westerly wind fortunately allowed us to maintain our rhumb line.It was very wet and we found new leaks in our cabin ceiling.As usual the movement down below was relatively gentle and we both slept well on our off watches.However, with that low for a taster, we are now even more keen to make port 300 miles away at the mouth of the Chesapeake before Saturday when the next deeper low forms off Cape Hatteras! Early this morning, the skies cleared, the winds abated and veered. read more...


18/05/2016

Free Spirit - Rockin it, Mon!

16 May 2016We left Bahia Mar Marina early this am, in time to catch the 8 am bridge opening.SV Nimble, one of our ARC USA FL Fleet boats is right ahead of us in the bridge queue.We understand that SV Aurelia won't be far behind.SV Altair and SV Karina have already left.SV Big Friskie is remaining behind in FL for a few more days.We basically sailed out into the gulf stream then hung a left.Once we found the current, it was sit back and enjoy the ride.We've had a beautiful day of sailing, sunshine and a gentle wind.We are rocketing up the coast, clocking speeds of 10 and up to 11.6kts!It doesn't get any better than this.We hope it will last long enough to get us home ahead of the next storm front.Andrea & Mikesv Free Spirit. read more...


18/05/2016

Free Spirit - Hail and farewells

14 May 2016It's time to scrub all the salt off Free Spirit and get things back in order following the passage from Tortola.Sadly, reality sets in and it's also time to say good bye to David and Alex, who are flying back home to family, friends, and that 4 lettered word called work.They've been a wonderful crew and we have really enjoyed sailing with them.After fond farewells, we hope our paths will cross again, be it on land or at sea.Our crew for the remainder of the passage home to Virginia flies in today and will join the boat in the am.Tonight is the ARC USA Florida Fleet final dinner, as we gather at a local restaurant to swap passage stories, as well as compare notes and plans from here.Everyone knows to give us a holler when they get to the Chesapeake Roads area for a continuation. read more...


18/05/2016

Free Spirit - Surfing USA

13 May 2016Another quiet night without much wind to speak of.We're continuing to motor and eagerly anticipating hitting the gulf stream as we feel the need for speed.We're determined to make it in tonight, preferably with daylight.About 10 am we added 10 gallons of diesel to the tank from the jerry cans on the rail.We were cooking right along until about 1230 when the block on the second reef clew gave way.Fortunately we were able to quickly replace it with a spare without losing too much time.By 1400 we were surfing the gulf stream, clocking 10.9 kts speed over ground… yeehaw!The skyline of Miami is on the horizon and our excitement continues to build.We know we're making it in tonight!!!!We just missed the 1830 bridge opening, so had to circle and wait until the next opening at. read more...


18/05/2016

Exody - May 17th: Bound for the Chesapeake

It is midnight and the three quarter moon is filtering through the cloud cover - it's pattern just like an inverted rippled sand beach.The canopy masks the stars but an aircraft trail, straight as an arrow crosses, the sky and the moonlight reflects off the sea. One hundred miles out from Bermuda, Exody is goosewinging downwind rarely reaching five knots in less than ten knots of wind with a half knot adverse current.It seems too good a sail to spoil with the engine but too slow to reach port before a forecast weather system lands late Saturday!I am hanging my hopes on an imminent veer and increase in wind.Thirty six boats left St George's - thirty on ARC Europe for the Azores with a formal race start at 11.00, the other six in their own time on ARC USA. Pure Elegance and Viva left last. read more...


18/05/2016

Exody - May 15th: Blowy in Bermuda

It's Sunday lunchtime - the torrential rain and blustery westerly winds are abating and we may get out to be tourists.We are one of a dozen boats rafted up choc-a-bloc in the St George's Town Dock. It is a picture postcard little town with quaint historic buildings, a town crier. All roofs here like ribbed icing on a cake- kept pristine as water collectors.We arrived two days ago, motoring in most of the last 100 miles.The narrow 'Town Cut' is big enough for cruise ships but felt constrained to us.Queued then tied up at the customs dock for straightforward clearance then a very short hop to the town dock.Soon discovered the well sorted Yacht Services facility with internet, cafes and quite the highest quality toilets we have seen anywhere.Sadly no showers but that's maybe because we can. read more...


17/05/2016

Starblazer - 16/05/2016 - Bermuda

We did eventually reach Bermuda in the very early hours of Saturday after a very frustrating passage.It was frustrating for numerous reasons: the winds were too light to sail by for about three days; the water pump generously shared the engine cooling water with the oil (again); the replacement water pump didn't want to share its water with the cooling system; the water maker decided to stop pumping water through the membranes in less than 10 minutes.For the last 42 hours we motored at 2000 revs and, though the water pump wasn't putting much water through the system, the temperature readings at various points in the system remained acceptable.Yards from the Customs dock the overheat alarm went off!The engine overheated when the revs were very low.Surprisingly the Customs and Immigration. read more...


13/05/2016

Exody - May 12th: Gunning and Ghosting, Chill in the Air

It is 21.00 and the last of the sunset has not long disappeared, the moon now bright, the skies clear and the seas flat. Heard this before?Just 70 miles out from Bermuda, we are ghosting along at around four knots with the light south easterly breeze.Although progress is slow and we want to optimise our very short three night stopover in Bermuda, it seems a shame to 'gun' the engine and spoil the magical peace.We are feeling chilled having dug out and recharged our old ipods to deliver sweet music over dinner of Frittata! At the 09.00 daily radio net which Exody hosted this morning, we reported 20.5 hours motoring out of the previous 24, but the wind has since picked up allowing us to sail off and on today.Once again at daybreak, we had three boats in sight, Zython, Here & Now and. read more...


13/05/2016

Free Spirit - Amazing how we spring to life

12 May 2016We had another beautiful night underway, cruising off the northern coast of Cuba.We had decent wind and were sailing until about 6am when the wind died.We turned the motor on and put the pedal to the medal as we are close enough and have plenty of fuel to reach our destination.Cruising up the Old Bahamas Channel is very civilized, as islands and reefs on either side break up the waves to provide fairly calm waters.Talk on the passage has turned to the subject of boats, with Mike and David tempting Alex with visions of his future boats.Alex has his notebook out and is carefully making notes.I think we have a future Caribbean 1500 skipper in the making.This afternoon's Ladies Chat featured a special guest, Mrs. Doubtfire, with an analysis of the Gulf Stream and strategies for. read more...


12/05/2016

Aurelia - Aurelia Trip Day 6

After a couple of days of really good sailing we reached the entrance tothe Old Bahama Channel, just North of Cuba, around 12.30am this morning. TheSpinnaker had been up for the past 14hrs constant but we now had to move on to acloser reach.  Lots of boats around , sailing, Tankers & a US Navy shipall coming up on the AIS as being dangerously close. We just needed to be extravigilant being night time.   We are now through the Channel & moved on to a more Northerly course aswe pass the Great Bahama Bank headed for the Straits of Florida & then PortEverglades. We hope to pick up some good speed once we enter the northerlycurrent of the Gulf Stream which could add 3 or 4knts to our boat speed inplaces.   For a change on board Sandy made the porridge this morning. read more...


12/05/2016

Starblazer - 12/05/2016 – The revenge of the engine water pumps.

We must have seriously annoyed the Norse God, Volvo!No sooner had I written that the engine was running well, it decided to cause us further grief. During Tuesday afternoon John decided to check the fresh water cooling reservoir and the oil levels, he’d meant to do it on Monday but forgot.The water reservoir was almost full, thankfully.The pipework is push fit pieces that go in various different directions and they do tend to leak, according to the Volvo engineer in Cape Town. The oil level was a different matter, the dip stick showed too much oil (about twice as much as there should be!) with the tell-tale grey emulsion evident, a sign that water had got into the oil.It was too late to start dismantling the water pump and draining the oil, that was yesterday’s job.We first encountered. read more...


12/05/2016

Free Spirit - Sunshine and more sunshine

11 May 2016We had a beautiful evening last night.The sky was littered with stars and the moon was in her glory.The nightly lightening was in the far distance and the squalls were reduced to a light sprinkle.The waves have settled down and we're enjoying a very civilized passage off the coast of Cuba.The sun came up on schedule this morning and everyone is working on a tan.David fixed a big farm breakfast for the guys with plenty of protein this morning.With dinner leftovers for lunch, bellies are full.The fishing line is out again today, but no hits yet.Andrea & Mikesv Free Spirit. read more...


12/05/2016

Exody - May 11th: New Moon, Procession, Doldrums

It is nearly midnight and for the second night in a row the bright new moon is setting in the west under a clear starlit sky.Tonight I can see the lights of three yachts heading north, last night there was a procession of five ARC yachts all appearing evenly spaced.It must be something about the psychology of a heading of 000 True, or the minuteness of Bermuda as a target that keeps us all so close to the same track! It has not happened anywhere else so consistently on our rally travels.Exody was creaming along at around 7 knots on a close to beam reach with a 12- 14 knot trade wind through the night, the wind easing as another sunny day dawned, earlier yet again than the day before - I detected first light not long after four in the morning. Downloading the position report, there were. read more...


11/05/2016

Free Spirit - Cruising Along

10 May 2016We're cruising along off the coast of Haiti now.Last night we had our usual laser light show with lightening in the distance, but fortunately nothing up close and personal.We had our share of squalls as well, accompanied by wind shifts, gusts to 34 kts, and copious amounts of rain.Makes you appreciate the cockpit enclosure when on watch.Everyone is settling in and finally able to catch a decent amount of z's when off watch.Amazing how some good shut eye will change your perspective on life.Once again we are wing on wing and progressing according to schedule.Andrea & Mikesv Free Spirit. read more...


11/05/2016

Exody - May 10th: halfway to Bermuda- savouring the Trades

The skies are clear, the quiet seas are blue and the trade winds are still gently blowing as Exody reaches directly north at just over six knots.Cabin temperature is 28 degrees - the same as London today. This is sailing as it should be - and as it has been for a fair amount of our twenty two month, 30,000 mile plus trip away from home waters, mostly in trade wind belts.Now we are eking out the last of the trade wind pleasures since, all too soon, we will begin to experience the North Atlantic westerlies and weather systems. But not before an expected windless stretch through the doldrums.We passed the halfway point to Bermuda this morning with our three day's runs to noon since the start on Saturday 7th being 136, 150 and 151 nautical miles. The passage has been unusually busy with. read more...


10/05/2016

Exody - May 7th - "Contestants its time to plate up!"

The Masterchef analogy, coined by Steven of Adagio at the bar last night, is a great one to describe the fear, tension, anticipation and excitement in the final run up to the start of an ocean passage!Forty four boats are assembled at Nanny Cay, Tortola, for the passage to USA or Europe via Bermuda including a handful heading straight for Florida. For Exody, it will be about six days at sea.It is nearly two months since we completed our last ocean passage in Grenada. So, just like a potentially fine meal, the ingredients are together- fuel, provisions, water - but some of the detail stuff has not quite been done and 'presentation' leaves a little to be desired. Just check the storage gloryhole that Exody's forecabin has become since the crew moved out in April, the dust everywhere after. read more...


10/05/2016

Starblazer - 10/05/2016 – BVI and onwards towards Bermuda

Thursday and Friday in Nanny Cay passed in a blur of activity: safety check, washing, cleaning the log impeller, haircut for me (the best one in over two years!), shopping, farewell dinner, skippers’ briefing, ‘Happy Hours’ and a final BBQ.The start was at midday on Saturday with nearly 40 boats on the start line though the Florida bound group had left earlier as they were taking a different route out of the Virgin Islands.We were within the first 6 or 7 boats to cross the line, brilliant for us!Shortly after the start the huge Advanced 80 came powering past us at probably more than twice our speed, and we were doing well.That’s the last we saw of them.The wind freshened as we reached the western end of Great Thatch Island and needed to gybe.We copied several boats ahead of us and tacked. read more...


10/05/2016

Free Spirit - Winging it

9 May 2016Our fishing efforts yesterday left us empty handed, so we had to settle for spaghetti for dinner.Then the wind shifted on us and we had a rather bumpy night with lots of lightening in the distance, but no drenching squalls in our neck of the woods.Fortunately it's settled down and we're winging it past the Dominican Republic… sailing wing on wing and making decent speed.We're amusing ourselves with knot tying practice and solving the world's problems.. read more...


09/05/2016

Free Spirit - Mothers' Day at Sea

8 May 2016We were doing great until about 1 am when the wind died and we had to start motoring.Then the squalls came through and put on quite the light show while dousing us with rain.We were very thankful when we safely put all the lightening behind us.With dawn came a new day that brought sunshine, though no wind to speak of.We celebrated last night's catch by having wahoo and grilled pineapple for breakfast.The line is out again and we'll see what we can do.If all else fails, we'll have spaghetti for dinner tonight.Andrea & Mikesv Free Spirit. read more...


08/05/2016

Free Spirit - And we're off!

7 May 2016Mike made a quick trip in to town to clear customs, and we headed to sea about 9 am.It's a beautiful day for sailing with lots of sunshine and 20 kts of wind.We're excited to finally pull away from the dock and be on our way.Free Spirit is having a nice downwind run with just the genoa.We enjoyed jerk chicken for dinner and just as we were prepping for the evening, we got our first hit on the fishing line.We landed a 36 inch wahoo and made short work of him.Andrea & Mikesv Free Spirit. read more...


08/05/2016

Free Spirit - In the Ready Position

6 May 2016Free Spirit has been scrubbed, equipment tuned, gear stowed, and provisions loaded.We have been in Nanny Cay getting ready for the passage home.Trying to make sure we've anticipated and planned for all possibilities.There's always the nagging question of what am I forgetting, but looks like we've got the bases covered.Our safety inspection is complete, skipper's briefing with final instructions attended, and rally office cleared.One of our crew is already aboard.David is a very bright, outgoing type and expert sailor.Alex, our other crew member should arrive tonight.He's the enthusiastic young man who made the passage down with us.We are delighted to have good crew for the passage.Andrea & Mikesv Free Spirit. read more...


05/05/2016

Starblazer - Nanny Cay - BVI

There should be a blog or two around. Starblazer or WorldCruising Club.  Try ARC USA, they may have moved our posts from World ARC.Finally arrived in North Sound Virgin Gorda and entered and anchored under sail.  As usual the engine was overheating and being kept for emergencies.Now in Nanny Cay which is our ARC USA departure port on the 7th.Spent part of the last week and most of today chasing through the seawater cooling system.Impeller-good, impeller turns-good, heat exchanger blocked by impeller parts?-good, oil cooler blocked by impeller parts?-good, syphon stop blocked-good, pipework-good.  WTH??Give in and replace the water seal in the spare seawater pump.  Fitted spare and works well now with lots of cooling water.  I can only picture that on the other. read more...


03/05/2016

Exody - May 2nd - Countdown to ARC USA

Anchored in Long Bay, Virgin Gorda, we are sheltering from the persistent rain under a grey sky but pleased to have found a beach anchorage to ourselves in the BVI, the destination apparently most heavily populated in the world with charter boats! It is a delightful archipelago that I first visited briefly in 1980 when nearby Tortola was the agreed delivery/handover point for my first sailing yacht purchase. We now have just five days to go until the beginning of ARC USA.This will take us from here to Portsmouth, near Norfolk Virginia via Bermuda. Since completing World ARC on 9th April, just over three weeks ago, we both took time for flying family 'pitstops' to the UK and Trinidad respectively - quite a culture - (and for me a climate) -shock.Back on board Exody at Rodney Bay St Lucia. read more...


01/05/2016

Starblazer - 01/05/2016 - Famous Last Words!

Sorry, this is a lot longer than intended.We did not pass Guadaloupe within 10 or 11 hours as previously guessed!It took us nearly 12 hours to reach the northern tip of Dominica, about 35 miles from our position at 0200.The first hour we averaged 6.9 knots, the second hour a little less, then the wind started to disappear.Our speed dropped until we were drifting at 1.8 knots.I steered while John laboured away in the engine room, coming up for a large glass of cold water at regular intervals.We eventually ran the engine for a few hours to charge the batteries before the overheat alarm went off.Problem still not solved!Our intended track was to turn north between Guadaloupe and Montserrat which would then give us a better angle on the wind for Sint Maarten.Following this route would have. read more...


Windswept - ARC USA- Big Catch
Windswept - ARC USA- Big Catch
19/05/2015

Celebrate - Arrival in USA,!!! Home Again , Playing Our Theme Song "Celebration Time Come On..."!!!

Let the music play, "Celebration Time Come On..."!!!We are back in the USA after 18 months and what a mega packed memory sailing adventure it has been. The last bit, the Gulfstream Crossing, in which the high current worked to our advantage to hasten our passage was still exhilarating.Our thanks to so many people who helped make our dream a reality.Stay safe everybody, your dreams can come true!!! Captain Charlie & CathyARC USA and World ARC Rally Finishers. read more...


17/05/2015

Celebrate - Back to the USA via Bermuda Feasting on Steak & Shrimp!

Just crossing the infamous Cape Hatteras ocean area then home again to the idyllic Chesapeake Bay in only 170nm!Yeah!Also, finishing off our provisions has been a food fest with steak & shrimp for lunch and dinner.Lots of exercise needed here when we get into Portsmouth, Virginia.The winds have been up & down but we feel that we have made good time.The weather has turned cooler at nights so up went the canvas & glass cockpit surround and some long pants and jackets.A few birds have followed us for a while, always entertaining!Charlie & CathyNext:The Gulfstream Crossing. read more...


16/05/2015

Celebrate - Nanny Cay, BVI's - A New Rally, A New Beginning!

Our first impression of Nanny Cay was charming with Sir Richard Branson's "Necker Belle" tied up to the dock and pastel painted shops on shore.Also, we saw boats from our previous fleet of the World ARC, Ghost, Avocet, Polaris and Merlyn, so we felt right at home. There were many new boats, faces and new friends to make, as well.With rum punches at the welcome party and a cheerful greeting committee of "yellow shirts" Lyall, Nicki, Jake, Mia, Claudia and Trish, it was a good time!Our final dinner was smashing with over 200 people and a wonderful West Indies buffet.Thank you to all for all of the effort.It worked! Charlie & CathyNext: Bermuda Passage. read more...


16/05/2015

Celebrate - Bermuda Night Entry and Leaving the Next Day for the USA to Catch a Weather Window

Even though we rushed to arrive at Bermuda before nightfall, it was not to be.With Cathy on the bow of Celebrate with a search light looking for markers and me cautiously moving the boat through the channel to the customs dock we arrived just fine.Also, Mia was such a welcome sight on the dock at 9pm as she directed us to a docking spot, helped us tie up and gave us two nicely chilled dark & stormy drinks!How nice was that!In the morning as we looked at the upcoming weather we realized our weather window was now, so off we sailed and expect to arrive at Portsmouth, Viginia on Monday, May 18th.It's been a great time and we will see the World Cruising Club again!Charlie & Cathy. read more...


14/05/2015

Crazy Horse - Day 6

We are powering our way to Ft. Lauderdale with motor on and all sails flying. This is really and truly the first time that wehave used the engine. Trying to make Ft. Lauderdale before dark. There is some tricky maneuvering with lots of ships and boats in the canals and a drawbridge as well. Better to get there before dark and see the obstacles clearly. Anyway, we are excited to get there and Crazy Horse seems to be fairly galloping the last 60 miles. This is some of her old stomping ground!We all agree it has been a great voyage with lots of wind and all sailing. Bill thinks we have hit the gulf stream as our speed has increased- up to twelve at times.The meals have been excellent. Better than most restaurants- just like home cooking!We will be at Bahia Mar marina after today so I should. read more...


13/05/2015

Windswept - Rock me Windswept!

Windswept's blog post to the tune of Wagon Wheel!Sailing out west to the land of the 'gators. Getting frustrated, want tokick the generator. Staring at the sea, hoping I don't see mast lights.We made it half way in 86 hours, catching flying fish and taking noshowers. Hoping for the moon so I can see my way tonight.So crank that winch and speed up the keel. Drunk on rum punch is how Iwant to feel. Hey...my boat's a rockin'! Rock me Windswept like the windand the waves, rock me Windswept in a westbound haze. Hey...Windsweptrock me.Meredith's cooking dinner, Shawn's at the helm, Carol's reading booksand Terry's always snoozing. We kept checking fishing lines, nothing tobe found. No fish, no rum keep getting me down, but we loved flipperplaying up on our bow. Next week I'm turning back to. read more...


13/05/2015

Abigail - Beautiful sailing continues

Greetings from Abigail.As expected the wind went light and turned from East to East Southeast last night and this morning has gone to Southwest, although the wind speed has picked up a bit.Last night we managed to keep sailing in the light stuff with all our working sails (jib, main and mizzen) up. We have not often sailed without at least one reef in the main on this passage. Surprisingly we managed to make reasonably good progress until 0415 this morning when the wind dropped to 5 knots directly from astern.At that point we started the engine for the first time this trip and motored for about 5 hours. We took advantage of the situation by making around 50 gallons of water, and Bob and David took showers. Then the wind came up a bit and we decided to set the spinnaker, and while we were. read more...


Morning Haze - Morning Haze - Diving in the Bermuda Triangle
Morning Haze - Morning Haze - Diving in the Bermuda Triangle
13/05/2015

Morning Haze - Morning Haze...swim in the Bermuda Triangle?

Hello everyone,As you already know, we lost our boat refrigeration on the first day, Then just after 24 hours out of the BVI we suffered an autopilot failure forcing us to make a difficult choice: to turn back or to take this misfortune as a new challenge to overcome. We choose the latter and so far we steered Morning Haze some 500 miles after another misfortune hit us...We thought we had seen it all but no....around noon today the wind died!!!What?!....We still have 165 miles to go and the wind dies? What do we do? We will enjoy it!!!We spent the last hour playing in the water behind the boat. Jumping of the davits and off the stern into deep but amazingly crystal clear water. It can only be so clear and blue in the middle of the ocean. It was so clear that we could keep our eyes open. read more...


13/05/2015

Lone Star - Day 5 - Old Bahama Channel

It is almost noon on May 13th and we are going through the Old Bahama Channel.We hoped to get a glimpse of Cuba but have not spotted land.However, we have been able to get a good dose of Cuban television.The television picked up 19 channels that were carrying two stations.Should have worked harder on my Spanish before we left because I could not understand a thing. We are still following Crazy Horse which is 3 miles ahead and Joel is jumping up and down like a mad man trying to make Lone Star go faster.It is difficult to catch a boat that is larger and more suited to down wind sailing, but we are trying.We have our tuna plug in the water along with a planer and spoon hoping to catch either a tuna or wahoo.The hand line fishing has gone well this trip. The seas are calmer and we are. read more...


13/05/2015

Crazy Horse - Day 5

Today we are traveling downor is it up? the Old Bahama Channel in the day light thank goodness. We didn't know what to expect with the shipping channel on one side of us and the Bahamas on the other. 8 miles doesn't seem like a lot of space but sometimes 2 ships seem to be able to pass on the same side. We are on the North side going toward Florida of course along side Lone Star. We have been keeping up close to each other the last couple of days. The winds are blowing 15-20k. apparent. The waves are pretty smooth in here going through the channel. We are making speeds of 8-9 SOG.Bill and I have decided that is our next adventure- to explore the Bahama islands. No time now- but it would have been nice to take a break and anchor off some of these beautiful islands. It was a wonderful. read more...


13/05/2015

Celebrate - SSB Net, May 13, Gooood Morming ARC Fleet and "Contest of the Day"! Rhyming...

Everyone is a winner!The "contest of the day" was making a rhyme for the evening radio check-in.Many boats participated.One particularly wonderful entry was from Widago who had each verse read on the radio by a different crew member.I hope they put it in the blog.Here are the rhymes I received by email:--The Polaris Crew. The day today was very calm. Feeling like sitting in the sand beneeth a palm.But then we get a reminder. Keep a sharp look out, even the grinder.First we found a red rescue ring, one hour later a yellow floating lifesling.Later in the afternoon, we ate homemade applepie, with a spoon.Matthias put the oven on. Sorry fleet, he just made one.After that, oh what a drama, a floating box left by a fishing farmer.After all we have dinner now. We lucky guys, we get slices of a. read more...


12/05/2015

Crazy Horse - Day 4

Well, This is May 12th Bill and my 41st anniversary of marriage!How appropriate that we should be celebrating this occasion on Crazy Horse. The Crazy Horse Saloon in Washington,D.C. is where Bill and I met , hence the name of the boat.How sweet of him to leave me a happy anniversary note on the top of our position and captains log. So when I come on watch at 4am ....he always remembers better than me!I am blessed to have so many adventures with this manand such great kids and grands. Of course this is all the day after we had a huge disagreement over how we had the accidental jibe, broke the preventer cleat and of course we had too much sail out for the winds and crazy waves. After all that, everything was repaired, no one was hurt and apologies were accepted. So you see the topsy turvy. read more...


12/05/2015

Abigail - Another 200 mile day

Over the past three days we have logged 602 nautical miles with daily runs of 201, 194 and 207, reaching all the way.Despite the usual late night/ early morning squalls it has been glorious sailing.Actually, so far dodging the squalls has been a kind of fun game that has helped to keep us awake during the wee hours.Today the wind has gotten a bit lighter and shifted more toward the south.A trend we expect to see continue throughout today and tomorrow, so keeping up the speed from here on in will be more of a challenge. All of the crew is doing well and we've begun thinking about the dark and stormies (is that how you spell it?) we'll be enjoying when we arrive (actually Pam has been dreaming about Chardonnay).. read more...


11/05/2015

Abigail - 234 mile day

We continue to speed toward Bermuda and we logged 234 nautical miles of a 24 hour period from noon to noon.I'm pretty sure that's the farthest Abigail has ever traveled in a day and puts us very close to the half way point in our journey.We are all doing well and catching up on our sleep and getting used to the very unnatural routine of sleeping and waking in 3 (at night) or 4 (during the day) hour intervals.Last night between midnight and dawn we sailed through numerous squalls.Fortunately, with the radar working we were able to dodge them all. It was a fun game helped keep us awake.The bad news is that not a drop of rain touched us and Abigail sure could use a fresh water wash down.Today is a beautiful, sunny day with only a few fair weather clouds in the sky.As has been the case from. read more...


11/05/2015

Crazy Horse - Day 3

After a wonderful dinner of West Indian Shrimp- hot but Bill and I loved it- it was a pleasant evening and i was able to sleep pretty well from 2100 to 0400. Then I relieved Matt from his watch. We have stillbeen making good time going from 8 to 10 kts. on average.They predict 20-25 ktsfrom the east so we are still going with our wing and wing sail formation. So far the weather reports have been right on.There are lots of clouds with strong passing showersand winds as we proceed past the Dominican Republic and gettingclose to Haiti. They did warn us that we might see some refugees trying to make their way across the Atlantic to safety. There are lots of big ships out here so they must be quite desperate to leave. Matt and I had our old scrabble game going again. Won't say who won because. read more...


Lone Star - Ron Horton Reels in Dinner!
Lone Star - Ron Horton Reels in Dinner!
Lone Star - Lone Star flying the Downwind System
Lone Star - Lone Star flying the Downwind System
10/05/2015

Lone Star - Day 2 - Sunday

Today has been a good one for Lone Star and crew.This morning we caught another Mahi Mahi similar in size to the one caught on Saturday.Then in a gesture of extreme kindness we turned it into a catch and release.Didn't get the rum to its gills fast enough.We had fresh Mahi for lunch from the one caught yesterday and still have enough for fish tacos.We have been sailing directly down wind using our double pole and head sail combination and have achieved speeds as high as ten knots, but generally in the 8.5 knot average.Hoping to have a 200 mile noon to noon distance day. Fair winds,Craig. read more...


10/05/2015

Abigail - Day 2 - Off to a good start

Greetings from Abigail.We are about 200 miles north of Tortola and off to a great start.It's blowing about 18 knots out of the ENE and we are doing 8.5 knots or so under a double reefed main and jib.Yesterday's start was spectacular as we sailed away from the BVI at over 9 knots under full sail.As dusk came we put in one reef and a bit later, perhaps a bit too late, we put in a second reef as the wind built to over 25 knots.Eventually we even rolled in the jib and sailed under main and mizzen alone doing a slower, but more comfortable 7.5 knots.This morning with the wind down a bit we decided to drop the mizzen and put up the jib again and that's the sail combination we've stuck with for today.The boat could handle more sail, but everyone is comfortable with what we've got. Everyone is. read more...


10/05/2015

Crazy Horse - Day 2

8am. here out in the middle of the Puerto Rico Trench. Sailing at speeds 8-9knots SOG.Winds are about 14Kts Apparent.We are in the midst of a little rain shower with waves from the stern pushing us along at times and rocking us at times. We figure we have made about 190miles since yesterday from the start at Nanny Cay. At this rate Matt and I willmake our plane from Ft. Lauderdale but one never knows. Many people have warned me about sailing and having firm plans for travel.So Matt made the pork loin I had marinated in the Mango Salsa and the Ginger Soy mixture. I think the Mango was the clear winner. It was tender and juicy and nota lot left for the sandwiches Matt had planned for. Even though it was rocky and rolly Matt did a stupendous job with the meal. We rounded the pork off with. read more...


10/05/2015

Celebrate - SSB Net, May 10, Gooood Morming ARC Fleet and "Question of the Day"! Everyone is a Winner!

After morning radio check-ins, the "question of the day" is announced to be answered in the evening. Today was, "How did your boat get it's name?" Many boats participated and here are some answers they emailed in:--'Merlyn' is a wizard and enchanter from Arthurian legend. 'Merlyn' has enchanted our lives by taking us around the world - that is the reason for her name.--"WIDAGO"Our boat name was derived from our 3 boy's names - William 12 yrs old(WI) / David 10 yrs old (DA) / Gordon 10 yrs old (GO)... The decision as to which of the twin's names should be listed first worked itself out because www.WIGODA.com was taken.... So our website documenting our 2.5 year family cruising adventure was created www.WIDAGO.com.--"Celebrate" the name is in in honor of my 6th birthday which coincided. read more...



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