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15/02/2019

Charm - Test blog post

Hello Charm followers-Just making sure we can post.  Please watch for rotating posts from all our crew on this page.Also, see past posts at Charmof5.comBest wishes,The Charmies. read more...


15/02/2019

Rubicon IV - Crossing to San Blas Islands, Panama post ; 6

January 30, 2019Santa Marta, Columbia was beautiful, with mountains near the shore, cool breezes and blue skies. In short, we all enjoyed Santa Marta. We had a tour of the city, and a beach day with a BBQ. We were planning to leave on the 23rd, but, the winds were so strong it would be stupid to go out. Then the next day we were recommended to stay back as the waves were 4 metres and the next day would be 2. So we decided to wait one more day. On the 25th, we left for San Blas, Panama. On the way, our route crossed the outflow of the Magdalena River for 4 or 5 hours. There was a sharp border between the river outflow and the ocean. The ocean was a beautiful sapphire blue, and the outflow was a murky olive-teal. Nothing was overly exciting on the river, but once we crossed into the salt. read more...


15/02/2019

Rubicon IV - Bob the Boobie post ; 5

January 16, 2019Exciting things happened last night after I wrapped up with my last post.Our new crew came yesterday and left early this morning. He was Bob: Bob the Boobie.If I didn’t make it clear enough, Bob was a bird. After dinner, the adults were looking at something, and I didn’t understand what they were talking to, so I came on deck to see what the fuss was about. There was a booby, [BIRD] flapping its wings while kissing the railing as he was so close. Eventually, he settled on the cleat under a seat on the back of the boat. My mom gave me a briefing, “He landed on our dingy, [motor boat] and we shooed him off, but now he’s come back so we figure he’s very tired to put up with us.” Immediately we started thinking of names. He came from a Dutch Island, Aruba, so Glenn had said. read more...


15/02/2019

Rubicon IV - On the way to Santa Marta. post ; 4

January 14, 2019I’ve made some friends on the ARC, Eva, Daisy, Ivory and Lucia. We boat-hopped together in the marina for the rest of the time there in St. Lucia. A few days back, we left the marina for our first official ARC sail, St. Lucia to Santa Marta, Colombia. So far we’ve caught two fish, a mahimahi and yellowfin tuna that our crew, a man named Glenn, artfully carved. I helped my mom with her watch for a while before going to bedThe next dayLooking back, there wasn’t enough in my blog yesterday to post it. So here are some nitty-gritty notes about the wind, waves, sails etc.So far we’ve been underway for about three 24-hour periods. In short, three days and three nights. The waves are ‘confused’ or hitting the hull ( side of the boat ) from two different directions. So a constant. read more...


13/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 30 February 11, 2019

Monday. We waited for our passports to come back from the agent. Typical Latin America no hurry attitude. Passports will be here at 09:00 hours..so we enjoyed breakfast and unlimited WiFi at the Beach house hotel while we were waiting for passports. At noon , with still not a passport in sight, we moved back onto the boat. At 14:00 we had a good talk with Pat and Sandi on Hope. They were elbows deep into an engine project, so we offered to take their friends, David and Susan Scott over to Isla Taboga then on to Contadora. That way,Pat and Sandi could focus on their boat, and David and Susan could see more than just the locks and marina. At 16:00, passports in hand, we loaded up David and Susan and sailed to Taboga. As we came into the bay , two pilot whales greeted us by dancing in the. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 30 February 11, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 30 February 11, 2019
14/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 31 February 12, 2019

09:00, we let go the mooring ball at Isla Taboga, motored out into the morning mist, raised sails and had agentle glide through the traffic separation zone. Lots of the WARC fleet were on the move populating our chart plotter with buddy boat icons. The wind took a nap, we turned on the motor, encountered two whales, probably a Moma and baby, guessing by their size and proximity to each other. We radioed Danica that the whales were coming their way...they ended up having to change course to avoid them! Other boats in the group radioed in about the whales. What a joy to share these moments with our fellow travellers! We dropped anchor off of Isla Chapera, went and had a nice walk on the beach, dinner back onboard, and dancing to cannedimage1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 31 February 12, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 31 February 12, 2019
12/02/2019

Cassiopée W - Log February 10th 15:30 - Isla Viveros, Las Perlas Panamá

English to follow...Ce matin, l’équipe de Cassiopée était occupée à nettoyer le sel accumulé durant les derniers jours après une navigation au près à travers d’autres îles désertes. Nous avons également fait la lessive, nettoyer les cales du bateau ainsi que la multitude de moustiques. Durant les derniers jours, la seule compagnie que nous avons eu était un groupe de dauphins qui nous ont escortés de Isla San Jose à Isla del Rey. Mammifères et humains étaient tous très excités de se rencontrer. Certains membres de l’équipage ont même avoué n’avoir jamais vu autant de dauphins auparavant. 10 points pour Cassiopée! Nous avons aussi rencontré ce que certains ont crû être un mammifère mort flottant avant de réaliser qu’il s’agissait du dos d’une baleine recouvert de bernacles. Pendant ce. read more...


12/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 16 nearly there.

Yesterdays GRIB showed all red arrows (18 kts +) for +24hr i.e. today, new one we got this morning was all green arrows (max 13 kts).Deployed the cruising chute with pole and sailed quite well with a little wind for some hours then it died even more, too little for even the lightweight sail to set, so we put sails away and switched to engine power - bit of a shock after 2 weeks - noisy.Also it is getting very hot.So we are plugging on, just 40 miles to go now so we will arrive in Salvador very early tomorrow morning, hopefully in time do go on the tour at 9am (Brazil time UTC -3) but will probably not make the closing time at the finish of 0700 UTC.But we did start a day late.. read more...


11/02/2019

Endo 2 - Panama

Hurra, wir haben es geschafft. Wir sind im Pazifik angekommen - kein Traum nein wir sind hier in Panama City!Die Kanalpassage war ein Erlebnis - im Päckchen durch die Schleuse ist schon etwas besonderes. Aber es hat alles gut geklappt und auch die Adviser der Kanalgesellschaft waren hilfsbereit und nett. Auch an unserem Essen gab es nichts auszusetzen, es schien geschmeckt zu haben.Panama ist schon gewaltig und wie alle großen Städte sehr vielfältig. Auf der einen Seite die imposante Skyline mit den riesigen Hochhäusern und andererseits die Altstadt, mit verfallenden Gebäuden. Dazwischen gibt es immer wieder toll restaurierte Häuser, und die Regierung scheint eine Menge für die Restaurierung zu tun. Es gibt allerdings noch eine ganze Reihe Brachen, die nach dem Abzug der Amerikaner sich. read more...


10/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 15

Mostly good progress today sailing in sunshine but wind is still pretty variable.The boat can be charging along at 7 -8 knots and you are thinking maybe it us time to reef then it all goes peaceful again.We are looking forward to arriving in Brazil, 178 miles to go.. read more...


10/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 29 February 10, 2019

Again we hooked up with Louis, our favourite taxi driver. We met him four years ago when we spent several weeks anchored in the bay outside La Playita, or on a mooring ball at Isla Taboga. Back then he helped us get propane, boat parts, the out board engine repaired, eye doc appointment and glasses for Laura, and charts. We are so happy to see him again. He took us to the wonderful Rey store for groceries, then to the duty free store for liquor. On our first trip across the Pacific we learned that good spirits are ten times more expensive in French Polynesia than in Panama, so it is prudent to stock up here. It is really lovely being on a dock in La Playita marina..just roll the cart to the boat! Decadent luxury being part of the WARC! We appreciate the ease of being in the marina here. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 29 February 10, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 29 February 10, 2019
10/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 28 February 9, 2019

We engaged the services of our favourite taxi driver, Louis, to take our crew for the Panama Canal transit of Mike and Ed to the airport, then did a bit of provisioning. Boat was cleaned, fridge and freezer defrosted and cleaned out, linens washed, .that never ending hot wind is great for laundry drying! Not a very exciting day....but that is the flip side of paradise...best part was receiving the exhaust flap cover plus spare ! We have tried to find this silly little important part in five countries and finally succeeded here!! A happy Sweet Dream!image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 28 February 9, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 28 February 9, 2019
09/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 14

More wind today so good progress under white sails.The forecast shift to NE wind (from WRI supplied by World ARC) didn't really happen, in fact it is more SE so we gybed back onto port, still running wing on wing. More warm trade wind sailing.We are getting better connection to Sailmail stations with the SSB now - even connecting via Belgium over 4000 miles away so it is easier to download weather GRIB files.We are now on the other half of the folded chart - i.e. the half with the coast of Brazil on it.Nice to have the moon back too.. read more...


09/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 27 February 8, 2019

We sailed back to La playita marina in the afternoon. Tried to dock at d dock....not enough water, backed out through the churning mud and were given a cosy spot on c dock. We all enjoyed the delicious food, fun fellowship, and exotic belly dancing at Beirut restaurant in the evening. A very fine finish to our canal transit on the Sweet Dream.image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 27 February 8, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 27 February 8, 2019
09/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 26 February 7, 2019

Isla Taboga....lovely sunrise, good kayaking, sweet swim off the beach, bump bump bump in the night from a fish boat pulling in a net on our stern! Even being woke up by the fish boat, it was a nice break here. In the afternoon Tumi, Eq2, and Cassiopee joined us in the mooring field. Just living the Sweet Dream.image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 26 February 7, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 26 February 7, 2019
09/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 25 February 6, 2019

Left the marina at 1100 in the morning and motor sailed to Isla Taboga. We picked up a mooring ball and spent a lovely afternoon exploring the darling village. In the evening we braved the surf into town, walked up to the quaint hotel/restaurant only to discover their cook had not come to work....no dinner....back through the rolling surf to the big boat, and a quick dinner of Spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic toast. It was cool to have the entire anchorage to ourselves, and was an uber peaceful night.image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 25 February 6, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 25 February 6, 2019
09/02/2019

Makara of Exe - Las Perlas Islands Feb 9th 08.28N 078.52W

Another day and yet more highlights. We arrived in The Las Perlas Islands on Feb 7th and anchored to the south of Isla Chapera and went ashore later afternoon. The islands is deserted except for wildlife. In the water we saw fishing jumping, massive shoals of fish on the surface making the water look like a jacuzzi, rays basking in the shallows and flocks of pelicans feeding. On the beach we spotted humming birds and very small birds that looked like green finches. We cannot believe here islands are so unspoiled when they are only 40 miles from Panama City.The sunset was glorious and in the morning we were surrounded by hundreds of frigates, pelicans and egrets feeding on small fish in the shallows. It was difficult to leave but we headed south to an anchorage on Isla Del Rey just by. read more...


09/02/2019

Cassiopée W - Log Feb 09 06h10 - Isla San Jose, Las Perlas

En Français ci-dessous...After three days at Marina La Playita where the crew was busy cleaning the boat, provisioning, reconnecting with the rest of the flotilla who had crossed the canal at different days of the week, and visiting Panama City, we finally set sail for Isla Taboga.There we were at a mooring buoy for a rather rolling night. Yesterday we lifted anchor for a group of islands known as Las Perlas. This archipelago is located a day sail from the big city with its high rises and shopping malls. Very unsettling when you are used to the local Saturday morning street market. Las Perlas got their name after the Spanish conquistadors stole pearls from the indigenous King Toe, and later enslaved his skilled pearls divers. This morning, our big neighbour with its Festival of. read more...


09/02/2019

Smoke and Roses - The Breakaways Explore Namibia

Logged 830 Nautical Miles, 116.75 Hours41.25 Hours Sailing 75.5 Hours MotoringJanuary 9 – 16Cape Town, South Africa to Walvis Bay, NamibiaAfter being in South Africa for two months, it is time to head into the South Atlantic Ocean. Historically the 1700 nautical mile leg from Cape Town to St Helena has 15 knots of wind with downwind sailing, but the forecast is calling for less than 10 knots of wind for the first 5 days. This could mean more motoring. Some boats are concerned about having enough fuel and they would like to see another country on the African Continent. A stop in Namibia adds a couple hundred miles but affords flexibility as well as interest to the route and we can still meet the World ARC Fleet in St Helena. Along with 5 other boats, we broke away from the fleet and took. read more...


08/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 13

Another day of warm sunshine and gentle breeze.Set the cruising chute in the morning with the pole, little wind so going slowly, later with more wind it got in a fankle and the guy had practically chafed through where it goes through the pole end, so we hauled it down and back to white sails.The grib files do promise more wind for tomorrow.We have finished all the fresh fruit and most of the veg, plenty of onions left though and some cabbage and squash.Made brownies yesterday.. read more...


08/02/2019

Misto - February 7-8 2019: The parasailor is no more

At 3 am on the morning of Feb 8, with a coupe of cracks and sounds of tearing our parasailor ripped itself to death.The fabric in the top half has split right down both edges past the actual wing of the sail.We think that the fabric was just well used and its time had come. We've had the sail for over 5 years and it has been flown extensively - especially in the Pacific.We managed to snuff it and so we can take a look in Salvador, but I think that it is not repairable - or at least not worth repairing. It's really a pity as for the last two days we had better wind, 14-17 knots and were sailing along really well.Now it has dropped back to 9-13 knots and we are motor sailing with the gennaker. So we will be without a real downwind sail for the rest of our return to the USA.Hopefully most. read more...


07/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 25 February 6, 2019

We set sail for Isla Taboga at 11:30 am. Had a lovely trip through the big ships at anchor. Picked up a mooring ball at 13:30, and settled in for lunch. The mooring guy came by and collected $40.00 for two nights...fair enough, as it was $15.00 a night 4 years ago. We went ashore and tried to make reservations at the hotel for supper, where four years ago we enjoyed three delicious meals over two weeks time, image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 25 February 6, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 25 February 6, 2019
07/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil day 12

Another day of gentle sailing in the sunshine, it would be nice to go faster because we want to get there, but its not really an option.Some of the bigger boats can put the engine on and do 8 knots, we have to be going very slowly for it not to be faster under sail.Something like 550nm to go now.. read more...


07/02/2019

Makara of Exe - Makara of Exe Panama Canal transit - February 6th 2019

We have been a bit tardy with our logs recently, in fact more than recently, but we have had so much to see and do that it hardly leaves time for tapping on a keyboard.The San Blas Islands were terrific. A bit like Pacific islands but with the indigenous Indians still living on the islands, some the size of a suburban garden, So first blog entry for PvR. Joined Makara at Shelter Bay ready to transit the Panama canal. Great experience climbing 26 meters up through 3 massive locks rafted together in three's. Our on board advisor for the transit a font of knowledge on Panama and its canal. If you want to sail your container ship from the Caribbean to the Pacific then you will need $1,000,00 in your wallet. Back down three more locks and into the Pacific Now in Panama City, which has a great. read more...


07/02/2019

Tintin - Emberapuru Village

A few days ago we visited a village in the rainforest called Emberapuru. The Embera Indians are one of 7 indigenous tribal groups within Panama. They used to occupy territory bordering Columbia in the Darien region, but were forced to relocate when military activity encroached on their lands. In the 1960s this group of the Embera Indian tribe moved west  to an area of forest by the banks of the River Chagres, which has since been designated National Park by the Panamanian government. The Embera villagers govern themselves, and have actively decided to continue with their traditional ways of living. Their children attend secondary school in local towns, and as they grow up they decide if they want to stay and live traditionally or move away.It was a fascinating day. Here are some of. read more...


Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
Tintin - Emberapuru Village
07/02/2019

Tintin - Panama canal transit schedule

We have been given 3 enormous fenders, and 2 heavy 50m hauling lines, and have been briefed on what we need to do as line handlers as we go through the canal locks. There are 3 sets of locks, each a ladder of 3 chambers. We will be going through the canal locks in a raft with a catamaran called Hanna, and the monohull Aurora B. Tintin will be on the left, the cat in the middle, and Aurora B on the right. The raft behaves as one vessel, with fenders either side to prevent collision with the lock walls and a rope at each corner to stabilise the raft as we go up and then down within the locks. The schedule is: Advisors Boarding Time                1615hrs Arrival Gatun. read more...


07/02/2019

Misto - January 28-February 6 2019: En Route to Salvador

I guess that as sailors we are never really satisfied! On this passage everyone has been seeking more wind.With trade winds of only 10-15 knots for much of the time, and even lower over recent days, the passage has been slow, to say the least.It has made for gentle, smooth sailing and the possibility to do chores, cook and read. Fishing has also been on the agenda, but so far we have been unsuccessful, although others have made some catches. Now with a little over 400 nm to go we are trying to time our arrival for daylight and with our goal in sight several boats are now motoring, some, or all of the time.We are motoring when the wind is less than 10 knots and sailing with the parasailor when it is more.It has been a quiet and contemplative passage a far cry from the frenzy of the Indian. read more...


06/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 11

More wind today after a calm night, so reasonable progress.Hot and sunny, ran the watermaker and had showers.Steve cooked mixed bean curry for dinner - not sure if this will bring more wind?. read more...


06/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 24 February 5, 2019

We started early in the morning with a delightful traditional Panama breakfast. Empanada, yucca, tortilla, coffee, and chorizo. Then we toured around til early afternoon, learning about Panama province and Colon province, our guide was Clemente, he did an excellent job. We saw quite a synopsis of this area we are in, from the cobble stone Camino that Henry Morgan marched on, to the hill overlooking the city, to a beautiful national park, the old town, and many other interesting places. This is one of our favourite perks of being with the WARC, each place we visit, we have a get acquainted tour that sets the stage for things to do while we are there. Very well done! Late afternoon gave time to get household chores done, and our guys went walking around the island of Flamenco. We watched. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 24 February 5, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 24 February 5, 2019
06/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 23 February 4, 2019

Early morning after a short night rocking and rolling as the big ships passed our raft up in the lake, we were awakened by the sound of a huge anchor plunging into the water. Popping our heads up we could see a big ship had decided to chill out in Gatun lake beside us. Howler monkeys were roaring in the trees onshore and birds sang as the sun came up over the horizon. We were up at five, ready for the advisor by six, and only had a two hour wait for him to arrive. After all the advisors were onboard their respective boats, we set off single file, motoring south in the lake towards our second set of locks. Jamie, our advisor, delighted us by being an excellent tour guide! We learned a lot about the history, climate, culture and ships on the canal. At noon we rafted up outside the locks,. read more...


07/12/2014

Take Off - Our first squall

Although the full moon lit our way so gently last night was quite unsmoothdue to wind changes all the time. We suspected several squalls so the spinnakerwent up and down all night in prevention. However we seemed everytime to “miss”them. This morning was a grey morning, no sunrise from the sea and heavy cloudsahead of us. However the heavy clouds were all along the horizon so we thoughtit was just normal rain. We sailed through it, got a bit wet, the wind wassteady and we thought this was smooth. The wind started to blow stronger and wasup to 30 knots when it then dropped gently down to 17 knots. And from nowhere astrong wind hit the boat, Jörgen stearing had difficulties in answering the windand the broach was inevitable. And then came the real rain – just like pouringhundreds of. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 23 February 4, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 23 February 4, 2019
06/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 10

Sailing all day with cruising chute (spinnaker), making good progress with a bit more wind, hot and sunny.Boats have started to talk (on SSB) about which day they will get in but that's a bit premature for us as we have nearly 800 miles to go.Unfortunately the wind started to die away towards evening.The makeshift guy popped out of the pole end so we had to snuff the sail and rig a new guy - that one was chafing badly (it was an old rope).In the middle of this operation the AIS alarm goes off - a tanker is bearing down on us, the only vessel for a hundred miles.We called them on VHF and they agreed to give us 1 nm clearance.We took the sail down at sunset again, too little wind means it doesn't set and tends to wind itself round the forestay as the boat rolls, so we are making very slow. read more...


04/02/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 22 February3, 2019

Panama Canal Transit Day is here! In the morning the lines and fenders arrived. We had a brief tutorial on line handling, had the boat fumigated, ate lunch ashore while the poison was evaporating, and took off to the anchorage to wait on our advisor. Our Advisor was Hector, just the coolest guy ever! He was everywhere, tireless, calm, cheerful, and helpful. We were very lucky to have him as our on board advisor. The journey was quite an adventure, the captain’s handled Makara, Chubby Bunny, and Sweet Dream with aplomb, we journeyed through the first three sets of locks up to Gatun lake after a two hour delay caused by the big ship ahead of us with no major incidents. By 20:30 we were rafted to Makara on the mooring ball in the lake. The evening was quiet, and we rested up for the second. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 22 February3, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 22 February3, 2019
04/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 9

Less than 1000 miles to go now - but that's still a very long way.It seems to be getting hotter and less wind today, sunny with a few fluffy trade wind clouds.We set the cruising chute, but like a spinnaker with the pole as we are dead downwind.Some of the other boats suggested that an asymmetric (sail) (modern jargon for cruising chute I think) when set with a pole is better back to front - with the higher clew on the pole and the lower tack on the sheet.So we are trying it and they are probably right, but next time we need the pole higher and have to arrange a longer downhaul/foreguy for this.The sail often seems like a lot of work for not much increase in speed, but today we need it to keep moving.We took it down at sunset though and reverted to main and yankee wing and wing.Lots of. read more...


03/02/2019

Timshel - St Helena to Brazil Day 8

Less wind today, but whenever I think its time to deploy a coloured sail it comes up again.Just heard on the SSB net that Mischief's big spinnaker is now 2 small ones - after flying for more than 4 days continuous mind.Makingbread again today as Steve ate it all.We managed to connect with the SSB to Sailmail station in Trinidad for the first time yesterday, showing that we are getting closer to S America and further from Africa.Otherwise not a lot out here.. read more...



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