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18/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Day 8 passage to Alderney

  Dolphins and bright sunshine accompany our departure from St Peter Port at 14.30 Omnishambles and Reflections just ahead under Genoa alone. We top up fuel though looking at the forecast for the week aheadwe won't need it!  I set one reef in the main and full genoa just in case the wind increases as we clear the shelter of the island but it does not, nor is the wind direction any good for my plan to head East around Alderney.  The wind is falling, little over10knots so I shake out the reef and hoist the furling gennaker.  We have good boat speed now but I need to head towards Ortac to get a good wind angle which takes us west of Pierreau Vraic. I drop the gennaker as we pass so we have plenty of time and controlin the Swinge   The tide is setting North and our. read more...


Matakana Blue - Day 8 passage to Alderney
Matakana Blue - Day 8 passage to Alderney
18/08/2017

Jambo - Nasty speed humps

Great day sailing yesterday in amongst the islands - must come back when we have more time to potter around with a local pilot bookBit of a shock as we came in to anchor and we slid across the top of a rock - trust the swedes to put speed humps in. Hopefully no damage done as only going 1 knotLeft early this morning to get down to Borgholm on Ola island. Will crack off early tomorrow to get to Kalmar for 12.30 when we meet Juergen who will lift Jambo on Monday for her winter restFeels a bit like the end of term as we head for the last day- can't believe it's all coming to an endMust fill in our end of rally survey form!IMG_0980. read more...


Jambo - Nasty speed humps
Jambo - Nasty speed humps
17/08/2017

Legato - Log day 6

Awoke to blue skies, sunshine and a free day to enjoy it.  The morning started with boat jenga.  We were rafted to a swiss crew who wanted to slip.  So we swapped places.  Then we were offered to move closer to the rest of the rally boats and rafted against a french family who decided to  leave an hour later.  St Peter Port in August is a busy place.After breakfast we did the town.  It's  like Cowes but much bigger.  Bond Street but much less pretentious.  Bath but hillier.  Madeira but English.  The high street is right next to the marina and we scanned the watch and jewellry shops for bargains, but no luxury tempted us beyond a round of coffees.  Some crew did the organised walking tour but we spent hours hunting down old. read more...


17/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Day 6 or is it Day 7 we're losing track.

The island put on its best for our coach tour.  Glorious warm sunshine accompanied us and provided a splendid backdrop to the crystal clear azure waters and white sand beaches of the west coast. The fabuloussights included the underground hospital, the little chapel, former gun emplacements and the wreck of a Roman Galley.    Lunch at The Catch was outstanding, great value too the £10 a head moules al La creme included a glass of wine.  The girls enjoyed some shopping time, the boys provisioned and topped up tanks.   A spectrum of views on winds, weather, tides and passage plans led to lively debate throughout the evening skippers briefing. Friday is looking blustery and I don't think anyone is too keen to be on anchorin Bray.   We collided with. read more...


Matakana Blue - Day 6 or is it Day 7 we're losing track.
Matakana Blue - Day 6 or is it Day 7 we're losing track.
16/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Day 5 free day in Guernsey

Exhausted!   The dawn reshuffle of the rafting pack lasts until 11am but leaves us comfortably alongside Reflections with Honey and Omnishambles across the pontoon and the rest of the fleet together a few pontoonsdown.   Lovely stroll through town, long lunch at the excellent Boathouse, areturn visit for us. Harriet gained her love of seafood here aged 2 when she demolished my plate of langoustine years ago.  A siesta was necessary to recharge before evening drinks at the yacht club and deferred birthday dinner at The Crows Nest.  Best seafood linguine ever tasted.  Had to laugh, the gents toilets are adornedwith pictures of famous Guernsey shipwrecks including one of HMS Smiter, the first Royal Naval ship abandoned since the falklands.  My brother was a. read more...


Matakana Blue - Day 5 free day in Guernsey
Matakana Blue - Day 5 free day in Guernsey
Timshel - Hauled out in Mackay
Timshel - Hauled out in Mackay
16/08/2017

Timshel - A cautionary tale of seacocks

We have just left Mackay and are heading north through the Whitsundays at a very leisurely pace, unfortunately the rest of the fleet is already far ahead.See the picture for the reason we had to stay in Mackay for so long. The seacock just broke off in my hand!They had all been replaced in 2014 so we got hauled out to get them all checked and ended up getting 5 of them replaced, also a few more jobs that Mark the shipwright thought of like getting the prop and p bracket done with a special coating "propspeed", also the generator fixed and the autopilot.It is lovely to be on the move again, I would say sailing but there has been no wind.We have seen whales and 2 different kinds of Dolphins.image1. read more...


Timshel - A cautionary tale of seacocks
Timshel - A cautionary tale of seacocks
15/08/2017

Legato - Log day 5

On the move again today, destination Guernsey.  In complete contrast to Saturday, no wind.  OK.  We could have flown  the gennaker for fun but with only 6 kts wind we chose to concentrate on the tides and look at the scenery.  We stayed close to the Cotentin peninsula and lobster pot spotting was another busy pastime.I was focussed on getting my position right for the white water rafting experience called the Alderney race.  As it happened we experienced a lot less tide than you might expect in the Solent.  As Steve from Omnishambles said, "the race was cancelled".   Time for tea and flapjacks.Suddenly Mike shouted "dolphin" as a fin broke the surface.  It danced around the boat coming up both sides of the bow. First one I've seen when. read more...


15/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Day Four - Passage to Guernsey

Karen’s birthday so it was special day and whilst some wind would have been good the skippers wife most definitely appreciated the warm sunshine, calm seas and zephyrbreezes on passage through the Alderney Race and Little Russel.  We depart 12.30, manage half an hour with the furling gennaker before the breeze shifts and dies away at Cap du Hague. Dolphin spotting, two sightings and a movie below kept the children entertaineduntil we arrived at a packed St Peter Port just after 7pm.   Pizza and wine aboard as the dusk fell revealing a cloud and moonless sky.  We shuffled the raft to allow the 4am departing French boat to move the outside, they wished happy birthday to Karen, triedsome charm – “you do not need candles tonight, you have the stars” and in typical French. read more...


Matakana Blue - Day Four - Passage to Guernsey
Matakana Blue - Day Four - Passage to Guernsey
15/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Matakana blue - day 3 Cherbourg

Skippers aching limbs and tired mind is in stark contrast to the youthful crews boundless energy after their long sleeps on the passage over.  Cherbourg’s much moreinteresting than its industrial heritage might suggest and two coffees at the splendid Café du Theatre revived flagging spirits for a busy day ahead.  Stores were replenished and a stray halyard recovered by Robin, Harriet (11) and Edward (8) took the opportunityfor a trip up mast, (don’t rely on the plastic hooks attached to the ARC flags).   We could have spent all day at the fabulous  La Cite de la Mer, the tour of the Nuclear submarine Redoubtable being a notable highlight for me and the children reallyenjoyed the Journey to the deep, as good as anything Disney can put on.  A late lunch /. read more...


Matakana Blue - Matakana blue - day 3 Cherbourg
Matakana Blue - Matakana blue - day 3 Cherbourg
15/08/2017

Jambo - Tom in the latest range from Armami

no wind and 60 miles to Arkosund so it's time to put the egg beater on at 6 knots - at least it's sunny so an excellent opportunity to get the latest summer gear on display IMG_0974. read more...


Jambo - Tom in the latest range from Armami
Jambo - Tom in the latest range from Armami
13/08/2017

Legato - Log day 4

Woke to the sound of bells from the town clock and went on a croissant hunt. Cherbourg looks much nicer than we expected.  The little back streets were deserted and the town squares and parks empty.   A typical French town on a Sunday - quiet, peaceful and mostly closed.Mike and I both felt the effects of running a big boat short handed.  We appreciated the idea of allowing a lay day.   But any signs of fatigue soon faded after breakfast.Some boats started to attend to those little tweaks that are needed after a long trip and our corner of the marina was soon buzzing with chatter and activity.  Notes compared, advice given, stories told. The sun shone again and we all assembled for evening drinks on the terrace bar overlooking the port.  This, as. read more...


Legato - Little ship big ship
Legato - Little ship big ship
Legato - Mike at the helm
Legato - Mike at the helm
13/08/2017

Legato - Log day 3

A coordinated departure from Haslar and we are all off and running.  A sedate start at dawn for a run down to Bembridge then turning south for the start of the next leg.  With a westerly wind that meant 65 miles all on one starboard tack.  Next stop Cherbourg.Although the fleet started to spread out, we eere always in sight of at least 2 other boats.  The ARC team encourage ship to ship vhf calls and there was lots of friendly radio chatter about dolphin spotting and general progress reports.  It really kept the idea going that we are cruising in company.Strenghthening winds over a strong tide gave us a challenging finish to a long day.  We all arrived at Port Chantereyne at near enough the same time to be greeted by the sunny smiles and yellow shirts of the. read more...


13/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Day Two - Matakana blue

Day two passage to Cherbourg . Is it possible to sail to Cherbourg  in your pyjamas? Yes it is, the children did it! A bumpy start meant we all headed on deck as we left Haslar at 5.30 and hunkered down for the day ahead.  The pre prepared bacon rolls were left untouched by most of the crew as we 'enjoyed' a day bestdescribed as 'perfect for passage making'.  It was a game of three thirds as the light grey mist and wind over tide that stirred our souls as we made swift passage southwards from the island gave way to reefs being shaken out in mid channel sunshinesailing confirming the east going tide was now working in harmony with the solid Westerly breeze.  Progress had been swift so far and the half way stage arrived surprisingly early, pleasingly so as the. read more...


Matakana Blue - Day Two - Matakana blue
Matakana Blue - Day Two - Matakana blue
13/08/2017

Matakana Blue - Day one on Matakana Blue

Day one. All gathered in Gosport, welcomed by a beautiful sunny morning and friendly team from World Cruising for briefings and safety checks. Great location to assemble, lots to do at Gun wharf Quay – children went zorbing, Karen shopping and boys went up the Spinnaker Tower before lunch at Zizzi's. Really convenient to be so close to all the facilities and historic attractions of Portsmouth.  Greyafternoon and light drizzle to finish the day.  Early night and sleep comes eventually as westerly wind whistles through the rigging.    Haslar Marina from Spinnaker Tower. read more...


Matakana Blue - Day one on Matakana Blue
Matakana Blue - Day one on Matakana Blue
13/08/2017

Legato - Log - day 2

Just in case all of the kit loaded on board hadn't been unpacked, screwed on, lashed down or tested, today was the day to do it.Early to bed, early to rise.  4.30 am alarm tomorrow??  Usually that time of day means nothing to me.Pete. read more...


13/08/2017

Lexington - Last Day in Sydney 8/13/2017

We are due to fly out of Sydney at 15:30 today. I am out to squeeze a little more out of my time in Sydney. I have an OPAL card that covers buses, ferries, trains and light rail. On Sundays the most you can pay for all travel for the whole day is $ 2.60. What a deal! To burn the little time I have, I have taken the train to Circular Quay where I rode the ferry to Manly Island. Because of time restraints, I got back on the ferry to Circular Quay. I have boarded the train that takes me to the airport. It has been a beautiful day. The amount of people going everywhere was tremendous. I am happy that I am on the proper train to the airport and I am on time. I am not that much of a tourist but Sydney sure makes it easy to see their sights. It took me a little to slow down and learn about the. read more...


13/08/2017

Lexington - Out and about in Sydney-photographs

Opera House at a distance.View of the harbor from inside the Opera HouseMore flowers in the Botanical garden and it is winter here.  . read more...


13/08/2017

Lexington - Sydney

   Skyline from tour bus  Statue of Robert Burns the poetFlowers from the Botanical gardenThese are converted old wharfs that were once decaying and an eye sore. They have now been converted into restaurants and condominiums over the wharf. You can live on the water and have a slip for your boat .........that is if you have enough to buy or rent one.. read more...


13/08/2017

Lexington - Sydney Opera House photos

 Inside view of the sail structure of Sydney Opera House. The concrete arches over the innards of the houseThe outer sails of the opera house. There are no attachments to distract from the appearance. The rain water is collected from a system between the tiles and diverted into the harbor.. read more...


13/08/2017

Lexington - Sydney photos

Parrots eating at local restaurant. I do not know how they afford it because most stuff is expensive in Sydney.Crepe stand in Sydney. I think they stole Mark Arnold's idea?Photo of Endeavor replica of Captain Cook's ship  . read more...


12/08/2017

Matakana Blue - ARC Channel Islands Day 1 - Haslar

Day one.all gathered in Gosport beautiful sunny morning Grey cloudy afternoon. Went over to gun wharf key. Zorbing, shopping, went up the Spinnaker Tower and had lunch at Zizzi's. really convenient tobe so close to all the facilities and historic attractions of Portsmouth.IMG_0176. read more...


Matakana Blue - ARC Channel Islands Day 1 - Haslar
Matakana Blue - ARC Channel Islands Day 1 - Haslar
12/08/2017

Lexington - 8/12/2017 Sydney

Our main event today is going to the opera at 14:00. We used the morning to cruise thru a festival of chocolate. There was a theme of chocolate but as with most festivals there was room for everyone and their wares. The festival was huge with a few streets blocked off and loads of people wandering about, lost like us. We had a lunch at a nearby restaurant and made our way to the Sydney Opera House. We are a little early so I am sitting outside as some tourists try to attract the pesky sea gulls for photos and other guests hover over their food lest it disappear into the sky. The restaurant (outside seating ) has screen covers to put over your food as you eat what you have in your hand. Even at that you should be quick with your hand if there is an aggressive group around. I am now in the. read more...


12/08/2017

Lexington - 7/30/2017 Cape Hillsborough

 Today at 05:00 most all the World Arc sailors loaded onto a bus to go to Cape Hillsborough, which is about a 45 minute drive north. The attraction is kangaroos and wallabies that come to the beach in the early morning. The people who run an R.V. Park have developed the attraction. They try to educate the public and protect the animals while making an experience for their guests. They place feed out on the beach to attract and somewhat control the animals. They place markers on the beach to control how close the humans come to the animals. The humans are the harder to control than the animals. The kangaroos and wallabies naturally come to the beach to get salt, eat seaweed and eat mangrove parts. I will do photos. May fair winds fill your sails with nature even if manipulated!. read more...


12/08/2017

Lexington - 8/12/17 Sydney Martime Museum

 I spent the day at the Sydney Maritime Museum yesterday. It was a very nice place and I wanted to get the most out of it. There were the boats on exhibit. One was a copy of the Endeavor, the ship that Captain Cook sailed to Australia when he discovered Australia. (Warning do not quote any of my facts). There was a small part on the boat which was flown on the space mission of Endeavor. It was taken to space and then returned to the sailing ship. Probably the biggest thing to note for a non-sailor is that the Great Barrier Reef was a navigation maze for an explorer. Cook went aground once and then he needed to navigate the rest of the way up the coast of Australia. They would use a line with a lead weight to repeatedly measure the depth as they sailed along. They also sent out. read more...


11/08/2017

Lexington - 8/11/2017 Touring Sydney

We are in Sydney for a side trip. We are doing our best to see as much as we can in our short time. There is a lot of learning on what and how to do things. There is an excellent transport system with their OPAL card that works for most public transport. We toured the Opera House and bought tickets for an opera. That is a real dichotomy, a redneck farm boy going to an opera at the Sydney Opera House. We will see if I survive. I took a tour of the Sydney Opera House which I thought was very well done. I can not remember many of the facts. Like most public arts projects, it took a lot of foresight and probably blind faith. They had a cost overrun of about 1500%. The architect fell out with the political powers that came into power after the project began. He resigned. The project was put. read more...


Legato - Arriving at Haslar
Legato - Arriving at Haslar
10/08/2017

Legato - Log Day 1 - And so it begins...

After weeks of planning, tweaking, fitting and generally keeping the chandleries of the South Coast in business, we arrived in Haslar to meet our new rally buddies.  In complete contrast to yesterday, the sun shone out of a blue sky and reminded us why we all wanted to go sailing in the first place.Thanks to the Haslar crew, the welcome drinks set the tone for a great evening.. read more...


10/08/2017

Jambo - Cycle ride on Armand

Cycle ride through the islands and snack lunch- Julia and Richard catch the ferry tomorrow to Stockholm and Tom and me take Jambo to the sailing club outside StockholmIMG_0939. read more...


Jambo - Cycle ride on Armand
Jambo - Cycle ride on Armand
09/08/2017

Lexington - Sydney

A few photos from Sydney View from our condo in SydneyBondi beach, known for surfingOpera House whose architect never saw it. Sent from my iPad. read more...


09/08/2017

Lexington - 8/9/2017 Sydney

We flew to Sydney this morning for a few days of sight seeing. We checked into an air b&b which is a brand new condo in the central city. We rode the hop on and hop off bus all afternoon to get our bearings so we will know what to try to go back and see tomorrow. My impression so far is: 1. Sydney is a huge big city 2. Sydney seems very affluent and young 3. Most of the young people we saw had a cell phone in their hand. 4. I saw little obesity. Now the big question: What is the difference between Port Resolution, Vanuatu and Sydney, Australia ? They both had people at about the same time. They are both islands. One has skyscrapers and one has thatch houses. The more developed one was started with convicts. WHY the difference? May fair winds fill your sails with questions that make. read more...


07/08/2017

Lexington - 8/7/2017. Fitzroy Island

We motored overnight to be able to get to Fitzroy Island in time to enjoy the day. We need to be in a marina in Cairns tomorrow. We planned our time to be very near Cairns but have time to enjoy the resort area. Sam, Tom and I did two tank scuba dives on the nearby reefs while Karen and Fran snorkeled. We later had a very nice and pricy dinner at the resort. I will add a photo of all of us at dinner. Bob . read more...


07/08/2017

Jambo - Evening sail in the Sun

Sun came out we headed north and rolled out the sails - perfect!Now on the lookout for a quiet anchorage for the nightIMG_0917. read more...


Jambo - Evening sail in the Sun
Jambo - Evening sail in the Sun
07/08/2017

Timshel - Mackay and Australia

The Marina is lovely, hot showers and a really good launderette.Only problem it is a 25 min bus ride to the shops, mostly the buses are exclusively occupied by WARC folk.At the mall we were surprised to find ourselves doing food shopping in Woolworths which went bust in the UK some years ago.Such a lot of stuff available, but the fruits and veg seemed almost too perfect, we are used to more natural looking produce.There was a trip to view wallabies feeding on the beach at dawn, later the prize giving and the dinner.A really good function, just a shame that the results for the leg had not been worked out correctly, motoring hours not applied in some cases so that prizes went to the wrong boats, and I think this has also happened on previous legs.A new version was issued next morning but. read more...


07/08/2017

Timshel - Vanuatu to Australia Day 8 The Finish

We worked hard today, several big squalls, especially one just as Steve was on the 9am radio net, sails reefed sails out again when it went calm and repeat, hand steering to get maximum speed.  Ain't Fancy and Cesarina were fairly close behind as Cesarina had gallantly waited to escort Ain't Fancy who had a problem with their engine (and also therefore electricity generation).  They talked a lot on the VHF in German; we assumed if they needed us they would call in English.  As we approached the line near the entrance to the Hydrographers Passage the tide was against us, not much we could do about it, we arrived when we arrived, but with 4 knots against us we were down to 2 over the ground and it took ages to cross at 17.49, then there was the bit with the overfalls marked. read more...



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