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IceBear - Galapagos Freeloaders
IceBear - Galapagos Freeloaders
15/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Booby prize

In this series of blogs we have tried to give a taste of the ups and downs of life at sea, and have hopefully induced the odd smile. Sadly today's blog is very much focused on the down side of life, and the sense of hopelessness you feel when so far away from family.As most of you know, my mum developed Alzheimer's about 10 years ago and has been steadily going downhill. It is such a terrible disease, eating away at the very kernel of what makes a person who they are, until, in the end, all that is left is a dry husk. My mum was at that stage. When we visited her at Christmas she was healthy and happy, but had no idea who we were. Yesterday afternoon we received one of those emails you dread receiving at sea. It said my mum had had a stroke overnight and was in a coma. Two hours later we. read more...


15/02/2018

Mischief - Crossing the Equator

We are nearly at San Cristobal with about 50 miles to run at 0400 UTC We crossed the Equator at 2100hrs UTC last night. We had a Neptune party which involved stopping Mischief on Lat 00degrees00.00', saying a few words, having a drink each and 1 for Neptune.The trip has been a bit frustrating with light winds and rain. We have done lots of motoring, over 50 hours, and I am very pleased we opted for an extra fuel tank as some in the fleet are running on fumes. We have even had to break out the wet weather gear from the depths of a locker as it is so wet but still warm at least. It was raining so hard yesterday it activated my life jacket which nearly gave me a heart attack as I was not sure what was happening. It also activated my AIS alarm which had to be canceled and the rest of the. read more...


15/02/2018

Libeccio - The equator!

Well, at 6:00pm tonight we crossed the magical "00 degrees 00.000 minutes" into the Southern Hemisphere. It capped a rather pleasant day- unfortunately the wind gods were taking a break, but, so were the wave wizards and so we had an increasingly smooth ride through the day. Neptune put on quite the show through the day as we were treated with large pod of whales enjoying themselves broaching and tail slapping. This was followed by a huge school of dolphins that were also inspired to give us an aerial show. Just before sunset, there was a school of fish, we are not sure which, that also spent more time in the air than they did in the water. What a treat. We used the calmness to make Libeccio a little more shipshape as we expect to arrive on San Cristobal at about 8:00 am on Thursday. read more...


14/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Life, the universe, and everything

After leaving Panama City, we sailed 40 odd miles south to the Las Perlas islands. In some ways these resemble the coast of Brittany, but without any people. On our second night there we anchored in a small bay, which could only be reached by following a zig-zag path through the rocky shallows. Sitting in the cockpit you could gaze across the water to other islands and other secluded bays, but despite the proximity to the mainland, there were no other boats to be seen, just lots and lots of pelicans. We were joined that evening by another World ARC boat, but by that time the sun was setting and so it didn't really matter.If the water had been clear, it would have been perfect, but a plankton bloom meant it was a murky green. This was a shame because the abundance of rays that kept. read more...


14/02/2018

Libeccio - Another First!

Yes, we know- this is the second blog post in as many days. Normally, there can be weeks in between. We will keep this one short as wanted to celebrate catching our first fish of the WARC. We realise that the vast majority of boats will have already caught many fish by this time, but, we have not started to try to fish until this leg. We have to say a big Thanks! to Mark on Mad Monkey for his tutorial on how to arrange our "muppets", yes, seriously, that is what they call the lures. Paul had tried initially yesterday when we were being followed by a small school of very large fish that we initially thought were dolphins, but, they never surfaced or swam by our bows as they tend to do. It was literally 5 seconds after Paul had dropped the lure in the water that it was struck by one of. read more...


13/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island

Five of us took a ferry to the adjacent island of Taparica which was only about 5 miles away. We decided to get a little different scenery. We took the ferry and then took a taxi to a beach just south of our landing area. The taxi took us to a beach restaurant where we had drinks and some food. I walked the beach a lot and swam a little. The water was very warm, about 85 degrees. There were all kinds of people there. There were a lot of families with children. There were a lot of good looking women in very small swim suits. The smallest had a small triangle of cloth at the back which disappeared to join another small triangle in the front. There were the usual people who should not have been wearing such suits. image1 image2 image3 image4. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
Lexington - Captain Bob: Ferry trip to adjacent island
13/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Noah's Ark

Whilst we were in Shelter Bay (the Caribbean side of Panama) we had the boat fumigated. Surprisingly, this was not necessitated by having Jacob on board for an extended period of time, instead it is a requirement for all boats visiting the Galapagos Islands. Likewise, you have to make sure your bottom is squeaky clean (that's the boat's bottom, not the individual crew members', or at least I hope that's what they mean). Both stipulations are designed to protect the islands from invasive species and are noble in principle, but the timing of the fumigation seemed a bit premature. Invasive beasties will have had three weeks to re-colonise the boat, and they seem to have embraced that opportunity.The first arrival turned up in Jacob's shower. He had been complaining that his bathroom smelt a. read more...


13/02/2018

Libeccio - It has been awhile!

Hi, hope you all are well. As most of those who read this blog are also friends of ours on SV Libeccio on Facebook, you will have caught up with our time in the San Blas Islands, through the Panama Canal and to the awards night in Las Perlas (did we mention that Jane and I were the second fastest catamaran in the second leg!). Its currently Monday the 12th at 8:30 pm (20:30 for you 24 hour clock people), we have had a tasty meal of vegetarian fajitas prepared by the internationally recognised team of Paul and Jane. Internationally recognised because Paul lives in BC, Canada and Jane lives in Kent in the UK. There is a huge bank of ominous looking clouds on the horizon and so we have gone to defcon 2 in preparation: all hatches closed, side plastics have been unfurled and tied into place. read more...


12/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Sloths in the city

After the weeks of coral seas and remote marinas it is quite a shock to arrive in Panama City with its high-rise buildings, giant shopping malls and traffic jams. It provided a great opportunity to re-stock the food cupboards, and for Vanessa to get a much needed haircut (during which I was entertained by the campest straight man I have ever met, who made me coffee and talked a lot about wine). We even had to time to go out for a couple of fabulous, tapas-style, meals in the old town.The wealth of the city is obvious for all to see, not least in the marina, which was chock-a-block with large, sport-fishing, motorboats, with not a sailing yacht to be seen. You would think that with all this money the facilities would be amazing, but despite charging Solent-type prices for berths, there. read more...


12/02/2018

Mischief - The Doldrums

We are experiencing the doldrums for the first time as we approach the equator. We have had the engine on for a total of 23 hrs in the last 3 days. This is more than we motored all the way from Guernsey to Lagos. I am glad that we specified Mischief with bigger fuel tanks as we may need to motor all the way to Galapagos looking at the weather forecast.We are all settling into life at sea again, getting use to sleeping in short bursts and getting in and out of damp clothes. Last night we had a about 4 hours rain which was a bit miserable although it was warm rain. As a consolation it has washed the salt off the decks but the crew refused to get out with the shampoo so I am still making water for showers.We drew a blank fishing yesterday so Trevor is on a formal warning for dereliction of. read more...


12/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival

Sam, Karen and I all went to the old city squares tonight for more carnival. This was smaller groups of bands, dancers and people in costumes. It was actually more enjoyable to me than the event we paid for. image1 image2 image3 image4 image5. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival
12/02/2018

Mad Monkey - A quick stop in Panama and now to see Galapagos

Mad Monkey arrived in Shelter Bay Panama a week before transiting the Canal so this gave us enough time to catch up on what's been 'going on' at home and to prepare the boat for the Pacific. We also enjoyed day trips to the new Gatan Locks where we were lucky enough to see a ship complete its transit and on another day, visit the Embera Indian Village where we got to meet the locals and acquire some tribal tattoos. We had great fun transiting the Panama Canal, rafted with Jojo's Circus and Alora, then coming together for a raft party in Gatan Lake. Once in La Playita we didn't have much time but managed to fit it some shopping, a Lebanese themed night and some rooftop bar sightseeing! Then it was time to explore the Pacific Ocean…We had 2 and half days exploring the Las Perlas Islands. read more...


11/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Go east young man

Great trivia fact: to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Panama Canal actually involves going east rather than west. We have done a fair number of locks in the past, but these have mostly been in France. The etiquette there is to rev up your engine and charge for the lock gates the second they open. Those unwilling to incur bumps and scratches to their boat may choose to hang back, but you then risk missing the lock altogether. And just being at the front for the next lock means nothing. I'm not sure there's even a word for queuing in French.Thankfully the situation in Panama could not be more different; every second of the transit is choreographed in fine detail. It all starts with a visit by an "admeasurer" whose primary job it is to measure the length of your boat. The key. read more...


11/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Carnival

We went to carnival Friday night. We thought we had it nicely arranged. We had a bus to take us to the event. We had two escorts to get us to the place with the help of 6 military police. That was all great until we found out that the place we bought tickets for did not pass inspection and was closed down. WE HAD NO PLACE. After about an hour or more of fussing and calling they walked us to another place where we could get in. Carnival is basically a parade of very large trucks pulling stages and sound systems to could vibrate the barnacles off our boat that was miles away.People would dance in the street in a roped off area around the truck as it moved. Others would dance along which ever truck they choose. We were up in an I closed area where we had beer and some foods.Beer was. read more...


11/02/2018

Air Power - Feb 10

The rest of fleet caught up with us at the anchorage the day before we left. The few boats that called it home must have thought there was an invasion. This was the predetermined location for last minute preparations, and the Skipper's Briefing for the next leg of the trip. The World ARC staff arranged a really nice barbecue on the beach, and had the award ceremony for the previous leg. It had been so long ago, I kind of forgotten about it. (The leg ended on the Caribbean side of Panama, in the San Blas Islands. They awarded prizes (bottles of wine), for more than winning in your class of boats. Such as, one boat was able to guess the closest to the total aggregate age of all the crewmembers crossing the starting line back in Santa Marta, Columbia. (A bottle of Merlot). The guess was. read more...


10/02/2018

Shepherd Moon - Meet the natives

Life has been a bit hectic this past couple of weeks: fixing things that have been broken, provisioning for the next leg, making sure we have enough fuel and gas. Things always take much longer on a boat and there never seems to be enough time.But it's not all been work and no play. Whilst we were on the Caribbean side of Panama waiting to transit the canal, we spent a day visiting an Embera Indian village. While we are short of time, it appears the Embera are short of clothes. After a 45-minute bus journey we were dropped off by the side of a large lake. There we were met by a group of lithe, loincloth clothed Indians. Poor Vanessa didn't know where to look. We wobbled our way into giant, outboard-motor-powered, dugout canoes and raced across the lake and up a river. Those unfortunate. read more...


10/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador

I have gotten a little behind on posting information. A few days ago I went to a museum that used to be a charity hospital and a church. They had a lazy Susan type apparatus where poor people could place their infant in a section and turn the apparatus to place the child inside the church without being seen. It has been nicely kept.I had an English speaking guide, who had only been on the job a couple of months but did an excellent job. image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: More of Salvador
09/02/2018

Mischief - Leaving Las Perlas

Hi FolksWe are off again and we are all glad to be back on passage, if only to give our livers a rest.We had a great time in San Blas and managed to kidnap Yellow Shirt Thomas for the trip to Shelter Bay, Colon. We called in at Portabello which is where the pirate Henry Morgan was based for sometime having ransacked it and held the inhabitants to ransom. We passed the final resting place of Sir Francis Drake at Nombre Dios Bay. Despite being a national hero at home he is also regarded as a pirate by the locals. Portabello was great and the people were very friendly. We had a great meal at a restaurant called Captain Jacks in the next bay round as recommended by Shepherd Moon who ate there the night before, great shout, thanks.We left there and put Thomas on the helm to prevent him having. read more...


07/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador

We went on another tour of Salvador. It was of the lower city, to the south of the marina where we are staying. It is an old poorer part of town. I will show more photos. image1 image2 image3 image4 image1. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador
07/02/2018

Air Power - Feb 6

After a 7 hour motor, sail, motor sail and then motor, we arrived in the Las Perlas Islands. They were named after the pearls the local inhabitants adorned themselves with. There is more to the story, so feel free to google it. As usual, internet is a commodity beyond our reach. We're currently anchored on the south side of Contadora. It is protected from the waves, and we get enough wind coming through the hatches to keep the boat quite comfortable. There are a few boats from the fleet with us, so this is a good time to have the neighbors over for a "Sundowner". (sharing a cocktail while the sun goes down). I like it when there are just a few other couples. It's makes it easy to hold a conversation without being drowned out.We hiked around the island yesterday, saw on land, pretty much. read more...


06/02/2018

Blue Pearl - Blue Pearl-Las Perlas

It is a beautiful morning at our Contadora anchorage in the Las Perlas Islands. Lyn and John our new and delightful crew from Australia have taken the dinghy to go ashore and explore this small island which is a weekend beach destination for the Panama City Crowd.The Las Perlas Archipelago is a short daysail from mainland Panama where we departed from yesterday morning after staying at the LaPlayita marina for 4 days. Based there we explored Panama City both new and old and the bit destroyed in 1671 by pirate Henry Morgan. The City has done an amazing job of turning Henry's handy work into a beautifully maintained and educational museum site (Panama la Vieja). It is always disturbing to see how destructive violence ruled so much of the Middle Ages. Have we learned from this?In any case. read more...


IceBear - S/v Someday and somebody else frame a sweet Panamanian sunset at Isla las Perlas
IceBear - S/v Someday and somebody else frame a sweet Panamanian sunset at Isla las Perlas
05/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving

We had a nice welcoming party sponsored by the marina and sailing concerns. They had demonstrations of the traditional dancing and music. image1 image2 image3 image4 image5. read more...


Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Prize giving
04/02/2018

Lexington - Captain Bob: Salvador Tour

Yesterday we did a guided tour of the city. I will post a few photos image1 image2 image3 image4. read more...



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