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Charm - Cocos Island recap
Charm - Cocos Island recap
Charm - Cocos Island recap
Charm - Cocos Island recap
Charm - Cocos Island recap
Charm - Cocos Island recap
16/10/2019

Charm - Cocos Island recap

Normally, passages allow me to catch up on the place we just visited but this passage has been exceptionally busy so I am just now sending out what happened two weeks ago.Later I will send the Christmas Island recap.All is well on Charm tonight.Winds and seas have been extraordinarily pleasant - a nice respite after several days of high winds and seas.We have a few more of those days in our future but nothing out of the normal range.We have caught back up with Nor’easter and have been traveling within AIS range of them most of the day.Cobin accidentally dropped two-thirds of his beloved tiny magnets (called Speks) down a hole in the cockpit floor but everyone else is in high spirits.Before the big loss, Cobin made snickerdoodles for the sub-1,000 mile mark.He rallied later to make. read more...


Charm - Mauritius 1
Charm - Mauritius 1
Charm - Mauritius 1
Charm - Mauritius 1
12/10/2019

Charm - Mauritius 1

It’s Tully’s 6th birthday on the Indian Ocean! We’ve got bigg-ish seas (9-12 feet) and winds in the 25 to 30 knot range. This means it’s bumpy and damp (waves crashing into the cockpit occasionally) and all the hatches and ports are closed inside so it’s a bit on the steamy side but it’s breezy and cool enough that some of that air manages to trickle down to most cabins.Still, of our 8 crew (5 normal plus Carl, Josh, and Talia), only Josh is mildly nauseous. The rest of us are baking cakes, reading, playing video games, and doing all the normal things we do on a passage.We are enjoying decent speeds through these lumpy seas. We’ve got three reefs (the maximum) in our mainsail and our jib out. We took the spinnaker down a couple of nights ago when Joe anticipated that the winds would. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 261 October 3, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 261 October 3, 2019
04/10/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 261 October 3, 2019

The wind came up in the morning, frothing the anchorage with white caps, sending the boats dancing on their hooks. We decided to take advantage of the twice a week ferry to Home island, and leaving our Sweet Dream tethered on a 7:1 chain with thirty feet of two nylon snubbers and heavy compensators on each snubber line, we took the 08:30 ferry. About 50 tourists got off to spend the day here on the island, as well as Manel, we bade them good day, and enjoyed the 30 minute ride to Home. About 450 people live on the tiny scrap of sand in government subsidised housing that is depressingly bleak. They are mostly of Malay descent, the children of the old Copra plantation workers. It took us about 15 minutes to see the whole settlement. We met the resident doctor’s lovely wife and her two. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 249 September 21, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 249 September 21, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 251 September 23, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 251 September 23, 2019
Charm - Indian Ocean - Cocos bound
Charm - Indian Ocean - Cocos bound
Charm - Indian Ocean - Cocos bound
Charm - Indian Ocean - Cocos bound
29/09/2019

Charm - Indian Ocean - Cocos bound

I will send some more details about our time on Christmas Island in the near future.Just sending a quick update to those of you following our daily progress so you can be here in the moment with us!It is Sunday and therefore our cleaning day on Charm.The kids have progressed from groaning and fussing and dawdling to just doing their jobs.This is great except I still have more jobs than they do and I hate working alone.So I have to decide when to embrace a new round of groaning and fussing and dawdling as I introduce a new level of work.I continue to delay and it isn’t getting any easier to involve the children because we have Carl, the cleaning machine, on board.Who wants to train a reluctant 8 year-old on the finer parts of wiping down walls when you can just turn the job over to a. read more...


Charm - Indonesia - surfing
Charm - Indonesia - surfing
Charm - Indonesia - surfing
Charm - Indonesia - surfing
Charm - Indonesia - surfing
Charm - Indonesia - surfing
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani
26/09/2019

Charm - Indonesia - surfing

While I didn’t mind the volcano hike, what I truly wanted to do on Lombok was surf.In Darwin, I did a little research and found out that Lombok had decent surfing, including for beginner and intermediate levels.Cobin and I bought boogie boards in Tahiti but still haven’t been able to use them.It turns out that places that make nice anchorages (calm, without rolling waves, etc) don’t usually make good surf beaches.We had a great time surfing on Isabella Island in the Galapagos and wanted to do it again. When we first arrived, Joe and I talked about what we could do in our limited time in Lombok and we agreed that doing the volcano and a surf trip would make it difficult to prepare the boat, provision, and get caught up on rest for the next leg.So, we compromised.I took Cobin down to the. read more...


26/09/2019

Charm - Indonesia - Mt. Rinjani

The day after the Wildlife Park, we woke up at 5 am and hiked a volcano called Mt. Rinjani.It was Marin’s idea.The ARC had sent out a flier about a tour they were offering as well as other options offered by the same tour company. One of the options was an overnight hike up Mt. Rinjani.Marin had been dying to go camping for some time.I told her we didn’t have to hike 8 hours up a volcano to go camping but she persisted.Joe thought it was a good idea as well.Cobin and I wanted to go surfing but we thought we might be able to do both.Tully didn’t want to go until Marin talked up the camping aspect and then she was all for it. We got into a nice air-conditioned van that transported us two hours to a hotel where we had breakfast, met our guides Gus and Surya, and got a briefing on the hike. read more...


25/09/2019

Charm - Indonesia - Medana Bay

Medana Bay Marina was not immediately impressive.After fighting a strong current in the Atlas Strait for most of the day, we were anxious to get to our destination.We arrived close to dusk and called the ARC staff, learning that we would have to spend the night on the boat and clear the next day.The “marina” was actually a series of mooring buoys in a small space, surrounded by coral.As we threaded our way through the ARC boats that had already arrived, we learned that an atypical wind had been blowing all day which had raised significant waves that were rolling everyone around.A few hours before we arrived, a non-ARC boat had chafed through its mooring line and was now lying on the beach. We grabbed a mooring ball and got all our lines affixed, only to discover that it dragged and left. read more...


Charm - Indonesia 3
Charm - Indonesia 3
24/09/2019

Charm - Indonesia 3

We are on our way to Christmas Island, where Tully is hopeful that it will be Christmas every day.It may not be Christmas, but it will be Australia again and therefore we can stock up on more supplies before the long passage to Mauritius.We will spend a few days on Christmas Island and then go to Cocos/Keeling which is also part of Australia and will also have good supplies. We left Lombok 3 days ago in light winds at the start.We put up our sails, crossed the start line first, then dropped the gennaker and motored for several hours.Due to lots of activities on Lombok, and a change in crew (Tyler and Larissa are gone, Carl is with us through Richards Bay), I was still catching up with all kinds of tasks and was more or less oblivious to the sailing side of things.I do recall looking out. read more...


24/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 249 September 21, 2019

Today we tied up loose ends, went ashore to check out with the authorities, use the WiFi, and to pick up the kilo of Lombok coffee we’d ordered from the grocery delivery folks. A very frustrating morning all around. Our plan had been to get these three things accomplished by noon, then take the fast ferry to Gilli Air so we could have a nice beach experience for our last day in Lombok. Firstly, the coffee we ordered did not come. Secondly, the WiFiwas so slow, it was useless, thirdly it took 3 and 1/2 hours to complete the clearance out and the WARC folks changed the skipper’s briefing to 14:30! No visiting a lovely beach today! Captain brought me back to the boat and he went back for the skipper’s meeting. It was a wickedly hot 98 degrees in the cockpit and 96 degrees inside the boat! I. read more...


24/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 251 September 23, 2019

In the morning, after the great golden orb ascended to a burning height, the wind came. So softly at first that we seriously flirted with the idea of putting up “the bull”, our cantankerous asymmetrical reacher. Thankfully, the wind direction wasn’t all that great in relationship to the waves, and we were rolling a lot. May as well skip the rodeo and just put up our favourite rig of wing on with the staysail in the middle to dampen the roll. We made the right choice. By the time Sweet Dream had her wings spread we were clipping along at a smart pace. It was a glorious sailing day all day. At morning radio net time we passed a good size fish boat bouncing in the waves next to two of those odd package things and a long line of floats with wires sticking up. Now at least we know that those. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 247 September 19, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 247 September 19, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 248 September 20, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 248 September 20, 2019
21/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 247 September 19, 2019

Early morning we met the folks for the tour of Lombok. First stop, feeding monkeys. Second stop a local market, then a fun horse cart ride. Pottery works, then lunch at a fabulous resort on the other side of the island. When I saw the beautiful beach here I finally understood why someone would want to come to Lombok. Lunch was a crazy adventure in local cuisine. I have no idea what I ate besides rice and fruit. The venue was clean, well laid out, very tastefully done.After lunch Captainand I walked on the heavenly beach and had fun looking at all the local boats and amateur surfers. Too soon we travelled on to a Sasak village. It was very interesting to see the traditional homes, rice buildings and cow sheds. The artistry of the weaving was very beautiful. The weaving on the buildings. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 248 September 18, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 248 September 18, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 242 September 14, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 242 September 14, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 243 Sept 15, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 243 Sept 15, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 247 September 17, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 247 September 17, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 246 September 16, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 246 September 16, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 241 September 13, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 241 September 13, 2019
18/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 246 September 16, 2019

The absolute worst day of this passage. Here we are anticipating a lovely run into Lombok and we are met with squall after squall after squall. No rain, just erratic fluky, changing wind. At 07:30 we switched the pole and boom....put out the sails...wind changed to 120 degeees starbrd side. We took down the pole put the Genoa on the port side....wind heaved and swelled and backed round behind us...we put the pole in the starbrd side, put the Genoa on the pole. The dang wind stopped all together. We motored with sails up...we motored with sails down. The wind flipped to the other side. We moved the boom and the pole. We sailed with every single conceivable sail combination a cutter rig can offer on every point of sail....even close hauled with waves breaking over the bow. The single ,. read more...


17/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 243 Sept 15, 2019

Another really lovely day of gentle sailing. There was no way to predict our arrival time at the finish line when we first began. With the fluky, erratic, and non-existent winds of the first few days, we couldn’t even draw a bead in it until this afternoon. It is our understanding that the Atlas straight is best started on a rising tide, so it’s looking good to aim for crossing the finish line that lies at the bottom of the Atlas straight tomorrow evening between 18:00-19:00, Darwin time. Every passage ending is interesting because we travel and measure in our start Port time (this trip...Darwin time), yet we actually arrive in the end Port time, and tides and currents need to be figured in the actual time of the finish line. Some places it is of little consequence when we arrive in the. read more...


15/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 242 September 14, 2019

We’ve sailed all day today. Feels so good! Now, late in the evening we only have 12 knots of wind, but heaps of current in our favour. We are cruising past the island of Sumba about 20 miles offshore under a single reefed, poled-out Genoa alone, and still traveling at 7-8 knots through the water! Captain is reading a Zane Grey Classic, which is utterly bizarre since I am reading John Guzzwell’s ‘Trekka around the world’, and I read that when Guzzwell was in Russel, New Zealand, he met a chap who used to take Zane Grey big game fishing to Tahiti! What are the chances that Captain picks a Zane Grey story to read on the day I read that interesting bit of trivia? Serendipitous!I’ve read Trekka a couple times already, but just had to revisit it as Guzzwell travelled this very journey that we. read more...


Charm - Indonesia 2
Charm - Indonesia 2
Charm - Indonesia 2
Charm - Indonesia 2
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
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...


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...


14/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 241 September 13, 2019

Another rosy dawn burst upon the eastern horizon just as the fat orange harvest moon slid off the edge of the west. It was a magnificent start to the best sailing day on this leg of the journey.We had usable wind for a nice wing on wing glide the better part if the morning. Then Fideleo showed up on our port quarter. They got closer and closer and since we had the sails out on both sides we were unable to turn to Starboard to have enough sea room between us. Lars and Clement had a vhf chat where they teased about getting close enough to shake hands. Eek! Anyway, we needed to make some progress to the north side of the rhumb line anyway, so we took the Genoa off the pole on the starboard side and just put it out without the pole on the port side with the main, rolled away the staysail and. read more...


12/09/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 240 September 12, 2019

Wind continues to be “light and variable.” That lovely euphemism for maddeningly close to not usable, and changing direction erratically every couple of hours. The moon is fantastically helpful, though, beaming with a noonday brightness all night long. It’s a really lovely friend on our night watches, especially as we approach Indonesia with its teeny little, no lights, no AIS, no electronics wooden fish boats. We saw our first one this morning. They altered course to pass us Port to port, just 1/4 mile away, waving hugely as we waved back. The day was easy enough, with a nice sail all afternoon between erratic wind shifts, and good progress being made toward Lombok despite our constant gibing. Twice today we have been visited by dolphins as they passed by us. These Timor Sea elves don’t. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 240 September 12, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 240 September 12, 2019

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