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20/01/2016

Starblazer - 20/01/2016 – Leaving St Helena

On Monday John went on a trip to snorkel with Whale Sharks, I opted to stay behind and do the washing because I still don’t like snorkelling in deep water!He did get some good photos and video.The plan was to spend the afternoon doing boat jobs but we failed.We went ashore in the late afternoon for a BBQ at the yacht club.Somehow the wrong message got to the boats, we took meat but should have taken a side dish to share as they had plenty of meat.There was lots of food for everyone, though, and the bar did a roaring trade.Tuesday was our last day on the island, we needed to leave the mooring by 2215, 72 hours after we crossed the finish line, not because of officialdom but rather because of the time constraints of the rally.I bravely, or foolishly depending on your viewpoint, climbed up. read more...


20/01/2016

Starblazer - 18/01/2016 – Sorry!

The wind continued to tease us throughout Saturday with our ETA varying between 2200 and 0300 Sunday, yes we’ll make it before the moon sets…. Wind, come back!Etcetera, etcetera.We spotted the island from 32 miles off which surprised us, however the highest point is something like 850 metres so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.Rounding the northern end of the island the wind continued to play tricks.Initially it followed us, fortunately because the twin headsails would probably not have coped with the necessary course alteration, then it started dying.At midnight we had 0.97 miles to go to the finish line but the breeze hadn’t finished with us, it died, it suddenly blew up to 17 knots, hooray!0.03nM to go and it all but disappeared, eventually we drifted over the line at 0015.The day. read more...


20/01/2016

Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta

We want to give the biggest THANKYOU to the Marina of Santa Marta, Michelangelo and his chandlery and to Andrew, Luisa, Stefano and Cecilia for all the lovely service and biggest help upon our arrival in Santa Marta. Coming in with a broken boom in two and an engine being down from day 2 from St Lucia to Santa Marta we were more than delighted to get all the help we needed to fix everything as quick as possible before the next departure. The first morning Michelangelo at the chandlery was on the spot fixing our engine. He saw our boom and asked if we need help to repair it …. well… eh yeah shoot go for it! Today, the day before departure we got our boom and what we can see it’s a whole boom again! We leave Santa Marta with a feeling of friendliness, high service, lovely people and. read more...


Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta
Take Off - Leg 1 Santa Marta
19/01/2016

Exody - Days 371-373 - Little England, Whale Sharks and 699 steps

Having arrived here at St Helena Saturday 16th at lunchtime, we are alreadyat sea again headed for Brazil after our stipulated 72 hour stopover at this fascinating place.Half the size of Arran, St Helena has 4000 of a population with a fair chunk of expats, including Thais helping to build the new airport.It is a steep-to dramatic volcanic island rising to 800 metres with resonances of remote St Kilda but then the 19th century Jamestown is more Channel Islands or Scillies, and the racially mixed population appear blended from a range of migrants. All UK services are right here: HM Prison, Immigration, Customs and Police with familiar vehicles and uniforms.The currency is sterling but specially minted for St Helena and Ascension.It is a cash- only economy until ATM's are demanded by the. read more...


19/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 11: Happy Birthday Elaine

Elaine woke up to a chorus of men singing Happy Birthday within close proximity to Paw Paw."What a lovely surprise", she thought, "Roy really excelled this time". But, alas, she soon realised it was for Peter on Meermowe on the dock along side us. Oh well, she's still having a great day and didn't even have to arrange a birthday party for this evening - It's all being laid on by WARC - Skippers Briefing for our Leg 2 departure to the San Blas Islands is at 1700 in the lovely Club Santa Marta, followed by dinner and the prize giving. In the interim, she's enjoyed freshly baked chocolate cup cakes, her birthday presents from Roy, a lovely birthday card delivered from Ann and Stuart on Time Bandit, plenty of birthday wishes from family and friends all around the world and a morning nap. read more...


19/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 10 - Passage to San Blas

Last night, while heading to the cockpit to respond to a large wave, I felt something squishy underfoot.I was shocked to find it was a live sardine in the middle of the salon (aka our living room).The fish had come into cockpit via a wave and then jumped inside the salon to relax for the evening.I tossed the live fish back into the sea and laughed that I had never seen that one before.Plenty of flying fish land all over the boat only to be discovered as dried out relics in the morning.But a live wingless sardine in the salon is a new record.Now I have to clean some fish scales off the floor.Another new experience is Cartagena Port Control's AIS warning messages.The messages instruct the large ships to contact port control but they make a startling noise on Two Fish's chart. read more...


Two Fish - Day 10 - Passage to San Blas
Two Fish - Day 10 - Passage to San Blas
19/01/2016

Aretha - Back to sea...and a request to our followers

We’re back to sea again and the sails are set for Brazil. Time to leave to African skies and head to South America. Glorious blue skies and sunshine, flat calm seas and slowly rocking our way forward under full main and the green giant(our massive green gennaker ..a very large sail).   Plenty more to write about St Helena shortly.   For now, a quick request to our followers.   Inspired by a Christmas present from Aunty Sharon. A book of poetry by Walt Whitman. We’ve been reading poetry to the children and each other as we bobble on the waves.   So, we’d love some new poetry.   We’d welcome anyone’s favourite poem that we can read to the crew (or indeed for the children to read). Text only in an email would be fabulous to aretha@mailasail.com   Team Aretha in. read more...


19/01/2016

Aretha - St Helena - Jewel of the South Atlantic

Sitting in the plush blue lounge of the colonial hotel - The Consulate Hotel feels a million miles away form from the fast crossing we had getting here. I’msurrounded by antique furniture, stamps dating back through all of last century, pictures and paintings of days gone by, Wedgewood crockery and a library full of books. Its quintessential British colonialism set off by the chirping of tropical birds outsidethe window. We arrived here at 1am yesterday morning - for the first time in this rally, we were the first mono hull to arrive here, some half an hour ahead of A Plus 2 after a fast racy 1700 miles. Our strategic move of heading muchfurther West to stay in the breeze before heading North paying off and closing down some 40-50 miles on A Plus to steal it over the line. We caught. read more...


19/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Log 6. Arrival in Santa Marta. 11.14.54N 74.13.09W

Thursday 14/1/2015.  Yesterday’s conditions were too good tolast!  We had great sailing during day light hours and then 3 disappointingevents occurred, the first being that we were overtaken by Chillie B in theearly evening.  We really should be faster than her, but she was sailingdead down wind under full mainsail alone, looking very comfortable and goinggreat guns.  Well done her.  The second was another failure to catch afish, one we never even noticed.  The lure had clearly been bitten off, nodoubt by some monster fish out there as other boats were reporting catches oftuna weighing 40 and 42 lbs.  As we have very little idea on how to land ordeal with such a fish, maybe it was for the best that the lure was gone, thoughthe Ship’s Boy was a bit nappy. read more...


18/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 10: Just Chillin'

Today we're just chillin".Had breakfast onshore and then wondered around the city of Santa Marta so that Roy could find a birthday gift for Elaine.Mission accomplished!This afternoon got the last minute laundry and fresh provisioning done in preparation for our departure to the San Blas islands on Thursday. Roy is now baking a birthday cake for Elaine - Chocolate - Yum!. In the interim, we're enjoying the time to take a breath, make phone calls to family and friends and socialise in smaller groups with other World ARC Rally sailors, who are fast becoming friends.. read more...


18/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 9: Humbled And Grateful

While Roy stayed onboard to fix our AIS (An electronic device to assist us in tracking other vessels as well as allow them to track us, especially at night), diagnose a issue that developed out of the blue en route to Colombia with our data communications and ready Paw Paw for the next leg, Elaine joined the entourage to a local school for underprivileged children. What she wasn't expecting was the greeting we received in what one would never guess as being a school, as well as learn the background of the children and the operations of the school. Essentially 49% of children in Colombia do not have access to an education. This school, completely funded through private donations and support, where the teachers are working professionals in various disciplines who donate their time, attempt. read more...


18/01/2016

Luna Quest - Monday, 18th January, 2016

Noon Position: 15.55S 5.43WJamestown in St HelenaDaily run: 104 logged milesThe wind held last night giving us a steady sail to St Helena. Our arrival time was before midday, or 10am St Helena time, which is GMT. Arriving at St Helena in daylight hours gave us a good impression of it: one huge uninspiring volcanic lump, its main feature being jagged and barren. Looking from seaward, it is difficult to see any spontaneous natural vegetation. The islanders do, of course, grow as much as they can themselves wherever they can, but St Helena is almost entirely dependent on imports. It does not export anything itself and relies on a £32million grant from the British taxpayer plus another £10million from customs and excise. There are 4000 people in the island and taxes are not a priority.. read more...


17/01/2016

Luna Quest - Sunday, 17th January, 2016

Noon Position: 16.49S 04.02WDaily run: 117 logged milesA little less wind towards evening last night persuaded us to hoist the mainsail, but there was insufficient wind to keep it filled and the banging of it backwards and forwards had us soon take it down again and hoist the staysail. Under the two poled-out foresails and no banging we achieved around 5 knots overnight.Our noon position today showed that we have just over 100 miles to go. The wind is disappearing slowly, so that we may have to motor the better part of the last 100 miles to arrive at St Helena some time during Monday morning.Eric. read more...


17/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 6: Beach Day and Barbeque

After a great night's sleep with all the hatches closed and one air-conditioner unit running so that we didn't hear the loud music from shore, it was up early,have breakfast and head for the meeting point where coaches were collecting us for our beach day and lunch timebarbeque at Bahia Concha in the Tayrona National Park. Great day out and exactly what we needed! Needless to say, after a long walk along the beach where we stopped at a little stall for a fresh fruit smoothie, the minute Elaine lay down on her beach towel, she was lights out. Fortunately she didn't snore! Roy had a moment of panic though at the little stall when Elaine tried to place her order in Spanish and then watched in dismay as they produced two fruit salads in addition to the single smoothie she thought she'd. read more...


17/01/2016

Firefly - First Days in Thailand

Firefly entered Thai waters 5 days ago and anchored at Ko Lipe, the southern most Thai Island on the west coast.Unlike all of the west coast of Malaysia, although its only 25 miles away, Ko Lipe has crystal clear waters. No sooner we were anchored, we were over the side, cooling down and snorkeling for the first time since we were in Indonesia. Looking at the boat in Reebak Marina before we left it had appeared as though we had a fair bit of growth on the hull. Once in the water it was clearly the worst it has been for some time and after a brief period looking at fish and coral we were snorkeling equipment under the boat, each with a sponge. As we were settling down a breeze appeared from the north east, the direction of the current monsoon, and we presumed correctly that it was set for. read more...


16/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 7: Welcome to Colombia

By 0200 we were tied up, had our flags flying, enjoying our celebratory drink and chatting to Keenan. By 0330 we were dead to the world, but awoke to the beautiful Santa Marta Marina and surrounding landscape with the realisation that we were actually in Colombia - our first destination of our World ARC adventure! We couldn't wait to explore and our wish was soon granted. After completing the usual clearing in formalities, but ably assisted by the friendly marina staff, instead of the usual drudge around the various Customs, Immigration and Port Authorityoffices, as well dropping off our laundry, it was back to tidy up Paw Paw beforetaking the City Tour arranged by WARC for us.What a great introduction to this country and it's history!Although everyone was still sleep deprived, we. read more...


16/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 6: "A Horse to the Barn"

With less than 24 hours to go, although a little tired our spirits were high and then soared around lunchtime as we enjoyed a spectacular display from a pod of approximately a hundred dolphins - Simply amazing! By early evening the seas had started to build and we received a report from Take Off, who were ahead of us, that the winds had picked up too. With that it was time to drop the head sail and put an extra reef in the main. By nightfall our gaggle of yachts started to encounter problems as Ain't Fancy broached and then headed directly towards us. Swift communications resulted in us and the yacht, Lydia, who was behind us, jibing to change course, After ensuring Ain't Fancy were back under control and crew were ok, having been swamped as well, we continued on into the night. With. read more...


16/01/2016

Exody - Day 370 - Rhu Meridian and St Helena Landfall

At 03.12 this morning, by one definition at least we completed a circumnavigation, as we reached 4 degrees, 47 minutes west, the longitude of Rhu Marina on the Clyde 4350 miles north of our current position.We left home waters from there exactly 18 months and about 26,000 miles ago.At 09.00 through the morning cloud we made out the steep bulk of St Helena 25 miles away and we are now sailing in these remote UK waters with just 12 miles to run to Jamestown.The texture and dramatic volcanic characteristics are now clear a few miles off in the bright sunshine with its top hat of puffy cloud and the visible scar of the new airport that will change the island's unique cachet for ever.Peter (Skipper). read more...


16/01/2016

Luna Quest - Saturday, 16th January, 2016

Noon Position: 17.51S 02.31WDaily run: 150 logged milesThis morning’s 8am position gave us just 230 miles to go to St Helena, or two days of 115 miles or just under 5 knots of speed. We were debating whether or not to push on under full sail and arrive Sunday night or take it easy and arrive Monday morning. We decided on the latter and have taken down the mainsail, leaving just the staysail up giving us 5 knots of speed in 17 knots of wind from the Southeast. An earlier squall has left us in brilliant sunshine and Julia is making bread with the prospect of pizza tonight. Eric. read more...


16/01/2016

Starblazer - 16/01/2016 – Daring to hope!

All day yesterday we were waiting for the wind to drop to an unhelpful 10 knots, it didn’t.We had resigned ourselves to arriving at first light on Sunday, however we made yet another day of good progress, but not quite good enough.Our ETA is sometime between midnight and 0200 Cape Town time, 2200 and midnight local.The advice at the briefing was to avoid arriving in the dark, we’ll probably fail to heed that advice.The moon is still in its first quarter but shines very brightly until it sets at about 0200, so long as there is no cloud.The past two nights have been clear until the moon has found some cloud to hide behind for the last 30 minutes before disappearing completely, it is tormenting us.What is the worst case scenario?If the wind does drop considerably, slowing us down a lot, we. read more...


15/01/2016

Luna Quest - Friday, 15th January, 2016

Noon Position: 19.25S 00.53WDaily run: 158 logged milesYesterday was the first day since our departure from St Lucia last year that we harvested a sea crop. Not that we had the fishing rod out or our harpoon, no, we were whiling away the day when suddenly Luna Quest was attacked by a school of squid, dozens of them. They landed in the sails, the stack pack, the foredeck, the side decks, in the cockpit, on the coach roof and one even landed on the saloon floor. They are full of black ink and their landing somehow releases the lot. Unless washed off immediately, the ink is indelible. We collected about two dozen for our consumption, dumping them in the sink and threw another dozen or more over the side. The mess they left behind was like mud on the kitchen floor, unpleasant to say the. read more...


15/01/2016

Exody - Days 368/369 - Whale encounter on home straight

David and Marian were both showering when the characteristic Humpback fin and long back appeared less than two boat lengths away to port on a parallel course!She (I'll guess !)was close enough for me to see the underwater shading and shape but soon sounded only to reappear close to starboard.David was soon out and we watched her surface straight ahead not showing much of herself, as she then overhauled us, her position indicated with more huge splashes and spray.Today, Friday 15th, we have less than 24 hours to run and have had two reasonable day's runs of 156 miles in the lighter trade winds.The lead boats will arrive late tonight, early tomorrow and we'll be in by mid afternoon. Exody was radio net controller today for the second time this leg and we managed a full role call with only. read more...


15/01/2016

Starblazer - 15/01/2016 – Weather - A mixed bag

The warmth of Tuesday gave way to a chill Wednesday morning; the sunny skies became grey, cloudy and damp.The fickle wind continued to tease, varying from 9 to 29 knots.If only the wind would make up its mind we might be better able to plan our arrival in St Helena during the hours of daylight. During the morning radio net the 14 knots of wind recorded at 1000 suddenly shot up to 29, with an accompanying increase in boat speed offering us the faint possibility of a Saturday evening arrival.During the afternoon the wind settled back down most of the time, indicating most probably a night time arrival, which is not recommended. It is too early to start slowing the boat down, difficult with a following wind anyway!The sun put in an appearance during the afternoon and, for the first time. read more...


14/01/2016

Solo - 1. Etappe von St. Lucia nach Santa Marta

Wir sind auf der Solo, einer Amel 54, zu dritt. Eigentlich segeln wir zuzweit - also nicht solo - diesmal haben wir aber bis Australien einenBekannten, Sigi, mitgenommen.Warum macht man eine solche Reise überhaupt, fragt man sich nicht nur amAnfang. Nur Spaß ist das bestimmt nicht, wie allenthalben verkündet wird.Je nachdem, was an Bord so alles kaputt geht - das kann fast alles sein-wird das ganze sogar zur Tortur.Man macht eine solche Reise also, weil man sich vor Anstrengungen generellnicht scheut, aber die Alternative ebenfalls nicht verlockend empfindet:die "Geschäftswelt" mit der Vernutzung der Lebenszeit zum Gelderwerb, dasverlogene Heucheln von all denjenigen, die, und das sind viele, ein Lebenlang dem Geld und anderen materiellen Vorteilen hinterherhecheln.Freiwillig oder. read more...


14/01/2016

Lydia - Lydia's Log. First 13 days.

The crew of Lydia comprises of Donald Begg, the skipper and owner from Lymington; Matthew Fyfe, an old school friend of Donald's from Emsworth, Andrew Richards from Wales, Dr Steve Jones from Ipswich and Nigel Lang from Lymingon. All the crew are ex Royal Navy who have served together at some time. Nigel is the only Pongo aboard who was a last minute replacement for another good Gunner friend from Lymington.We all flew out from a cold, wet and miserable Gatwick on Sunday 3 January. By sheer good luck Steve and Nigel were seated together and between 3 films, (Bridge of Spies, The Martian and The Intern) got to know each other and quickly learnt we shared the same sense of humour. After the 9 hour flight we landed just after 5pm in St Lucia and immediately were bathed in the warm, fragrant. read more...


14/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 5: The Colombian Cape and the Power of Prayer

With the exception of the South African coast line, referred to as the "Wild Coast" and Cape of Good Hope, referred to as the "Cape of Storms" by us South Africans, it was the Colombian Cape, sighted by many as the 5th most unforgiving Cape in the world, that had anxiety levels raised on Paw Paw, particularly with Elaine. For weeks ahead of our departure from St Lucia, forecasts showed Gale Force winds and seas as high as 17 - 23 Feet. However, as we sighted land yesterday afternnon, we rounded the Cape yesterday evening and last night in flat seas and light winds - unheard of for this time of year. We know our family and friends have had us in their thoughts and prayers - Well, our prayers were answered in the most spectacular way! Today we enjoy our champagne wing-on-wing sail down the. read more...


14/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 6 - Back to Colombia

According to our chart plotter, we are 39 miles from our return landfall in Colombia. Earlier this year,we traveled light. This time we brought our floating home. We have to keep all sails out and our speed up so that we arrive before sunset, while being aware of any wind shift in this area that is legendary for strong breezes.Other boats have shared their experiences which included puffsup to 38 knots.I was active on deck during the night in what from space must have looked like a sailor inspecting his inventory.Full main, main with 1 and then 2 reefs, Full genoa, genoa with 1 and 2 reefs and screecher.Some sails made multiple appearances.The spaceman must be puzzled - why not just turn on the engines? Gail was in agreement with him. We have been stingy with engine hours because I find. read more...


Two Fish - Day 6 - Back to Colombia
Two Fish - Day 6 - Back to Colombia
14/01/2016

Luna Quest - Thursday, 14th January, 2016

Noon Position: 20.54S 01.05EDaily run: 136 logged milesYesterday afternoon the sky cleared and a fierce sun beat down on the lonely Luna Quest. Since we left Cape Town we havesighted only one ship. We are now just under 500 miles away from St Helena or 4 days (i.e. landfall on Monday). The hot afternoon was spent relaxing in and out of the cockpit while Julia kept working away on her Indian Ocean iBook. My Kindle has given up the ghost, but luckily we have several novels in paperback, one of which is by Tony Horwitz about Captain Cook and his epic voyages of discovery in the South Pacific including Australia. He managed to sail his ship, the Endeavour, inside the Great Barrier Reef along the east coast of Australia. It was not without some anxiety that we sailed those waters and were not. read more...


14/01/2016

Starblazer - 14/01/2014 – A Productive Day

Wednesday dawned damp with squally winds, the light rain brought winds of up to 22knots, rising quickly from a fairly steady 12 knots.The increased wind gave an immediate lift to our speed, from about 5 knots to 7.5 knots but it never lasted more than about 10 minutes.If we can average more than 7.2 knots from now on we could arrive in St Helena just before dark on Saturday, but it is unlikely.The wind dropped below 10 knots for a while in the morning, Ayama motored past us so we just had to catch them and overtake them for the third time once the wind filled a little.The GRIB files suggest the wind will decrease so, realistically, we expect to arrive on Sunday.During the afternoon the weather improved to develop into the sunniest, warmest day we have had on this passage!We continued to. read more...


13/01/2016

Two Fish - Day 5, What happened to Day 4

13 JanOffshore from the Colombian / Venezuelan borderThe days are blending together faster than margarita ingredients in a dive bar.We had a fire drill on board.The spinnaker halyard goes through a block at the top of the mast.This block is attached by a single screw as it expects only a downward load.We luffed the chute a few times too many and the bolt sheered.James heard the ping noise as the sheared screw hit the deck.He grabbed the binoculars to sight any damage and quickly announced that the bracket was amiss. I then began to lower the sock that snuffs the spinnaker.It would not budge.The damaged part was impeding the progress of the sock.So we did it old school and dropped the billowing 1,300 square foot sail in the lee of the main.I had half of it under control and Gail charged. read more...


Two Fish - Day 5, What happened to Day 4
Two Fish - Day 5, What happened to Day 4
13/01/2016

Aliena - Miercoles 13-01-2015

4º dia de navegacion de Sta. Lucia a Sta.Marta.Ayer fue un buen dia. Un viento no muy fuerte pero constante y un mar bueno que nos hizo navegar bien y avanzar mucho. Hemos hecho 167 nm, pero hoy a pesar de tener condiciones similares a ayer se nos ha acabado el nudo de corriente a favor que llevabámos y lo tenemos en contra. De todas formas ya estamos en aguas de Colombia. En este momento rodeamos la peninsula de La Guajira y estamos frente a la punta, Puerto Gallinas, que vemos a lo lejos pero no da ni para imaginar como será. Esta noche ha sido tranquila y muy estrellada. Hemos pasado a unas 40 millas de Aruba y se veía el resplandor de sus luces. Tambien hay muchos mercantes, a veces hemos tenido alrededor seis o siete. Se nota la cercanía del Canal de Panamá. Hoy solo vemos a dos. read more...


13/01/2016

Exody - Days 366/367- Crescent Moon over Greenwich Meridian

On the first cloudless starlit night for days, we are treated soon after sunset today, Wednesday 13th, at about 9 pm to a bright crescent moon as we cross the Greenwich Meridian and start counting up our longitude westwards. It is seven and a half months and about 12,000 miles since we crossed the international dateline at 180 degrees east and west, half a world away by definition, on passage to Tonga. Another milestone on our track directly toward St Helena, 425 miles away, Exody wing on wing over a flat sea with enough wind, we hope, to get us in by nightfall Saturday.We have slowed over the last couple of days (runs of 164 miles and 150 miles) on account of the reducing winds but the sailing has been very pleasant.No ships or other boats or wildlife for at least four days now and we. read more...


13/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 4: It's Our Turn

Sailing past Bonaire and Curacao yesterday brought back many fond memories from our first hurricane season on these islands in 2014 as full-time cruisers. In particular, the wonderful friends we made, many of whom headed west to the South Pacific at that time. Although the goodbyes were upsetting, it's hard to believe that our first sailing season in the Caribbean and another hurricane season has passed and it's now our turn to head west with the high likelihood of meeting them again in pastures new. For now, though, we live in the moment, enjoying the beautiful sunrise this morning and the dolphins that were frolicking around our bows on two separate occasions this morning.. read more...


13/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Log 4. Heading for Santa Marta. 12.31.54N 72.01.86W

Wednesday 13 Jan.  Last night brought some very frustratingconditions, with variable winds, an inconsistent sea and difficult conditionsfor anyone trying to steer a reasonably straight course.  With a bit ofgrumbling from Ship’s Boy, know as “Toad” on these occasions, we decided not torisk the jury rigged pole, so sacrificing speed for safety, we took the poledown.  Eventually the winds died enough to warrant the use of the irontopsail, so Skipper and Skipper’s wife could relax after some hours of worry ofinvoluntary gybes or broaching on the odd occasions when the wind suddenlyincreased in some random direction.  Come daybreak, 2.7 nm north of the rumline, we were able to sail with full main and genoa with the wind just aft ofthe beam with the wind SE to ESE. . read more...


13/01/2016

Toujours Belle - Weg nach Santa Marta

Moin ihr lieben. 4ter Tag auf See. Start war gut. Abends kam die Flaute.Dann haben viele Mitsegler den Motor gestartet und sind an uns vorbei.Hoffe nur, die geben die richtigen Motorstunden an. Wir haben den Motor zuMitternacht gestartet und sind 7 Stunden gefahren. Dann kam wieder der Windund wir konnten unseren Parasailor benutzen. Fantastisches Segeln. Habehier bestes Wetter. Kaum Wolken über uns, normale Welle 1-2m und konstanterWind bei bis zu 15 kn. Wir liefen mit dem Parasailor sogar 9,4 kn. Und sindauch die Nacht durch gesegelt. Um uns rum nur Sterne und keine Squalls oderWolken. Daher war das nicht gefährlich. Wir sind dann gestern außerhalb derüblichen Route gesegelt und wollten die ABC Inseln (Aruba, Bonaire undCuracao) besuchen. Auf Curacao muss die Post abgehen. Nur. read more...


13/01/2016

Hejira - Moving on

Hejira has been moored in Marigot Bay while we returned home to the UK for Christmas.Having received an horrendous bill for satellite usage, we have decided not to continue to send our blogs to the World Cruising AND Mailasail sites as this has been a contributory factor in running up the fees. Instead I have initiated our own independent ‘Hejira’ web site which will receive our position through a new, dedicated ‘Yellow Brick’ tracker.The new web site address is the usual www. then followed by hejirasailing.com It is early days but I intend to bring it up to date with archive material from our ‘shake down’ cruises and I will eventually try to feature technical info and pictures on the various modifications and innovations that I have incorporated to prepare Hejira for her. read more...


13/01/2016

Luna Quest - Wednesday, 13th January, 2013

Noon Position: 22.20S 02.53EDaily run: 136 logged milesThe sail change yesterday was well timed. With the wind dead aft, the two foresails are giving us a relaxing time. Yesterday Julia spent nearly all day on her computer composing the Africa iBook while I dosed in the cockpit in the veiled sunshine catching up on a lack of sleep. The occasional school of flying fish would skim the water to escape a chasing dolphin. Most mornings we find a flying fish or two on deck or a squid. The size of the flying fish in this part of the Atlantic is about twice the size of any other species we found in other oceans. We debated whether or not to have them for lunch, but they are supposed to be very bony with little meat on them, so they were returned to the sea rigor mortes.Today is overcast and the. read more...


13/01/2016

Starblazer - 13/01/2016 – Good news, bad news

A milestone passed us by yesterday morning, soon after 0100.We crossed the longitude 004o 19’ E, the longitude of Mahon in Menorca, which was about as far east as we ventured into the Mediterranean in 2013 on our way to join the ARC then World ARC.We have, in fact, sailed the circumference of the world though we won’t cross our tracks, or more precisely ‘wakes’ until we arrive in St Lucia.Mahon has a latitude of 39o 52’ N compared with our current position of 22o 16’ S, a distance of 3,720 nM, but the Med was a lot warmer!This is proving to be one of our faster passages however Tuesday’s Day’s Run was the lowest of the trip, 147nM, i.e. an average speed just over 6 knots, however we did spend about 30 minutes drifting while we sorted out a problem.Late yesterday afternoon the wind. read more...


13/01/2016

Aretha - 20 59 South 00 22 East - Close to Completing our Longitude Circumnavigation

Calm seas Mid Atlantic.About to pass a significant milestone. In another 22 miles we will have completed our longitude circumnavigation. That means we’ll have crossed through all 360 degrees of longitude around the world. We won’t have circumnavigated yet as we have to pass our outbound track to do that (that will be in Grenada) but its still significant.It was about 18 months ago that Columbus and I went to the Greenwich Maritime museum whilst I was recovering from my back operation and we went to the Greenwich Meridian at the Observatory. In 22 miles we’ll be directly South of there. Overnight we’ve sailed underneath (as it were) my sister Pippa in Kent and will crossing off other UK landmarks today as we sail towards the Zero degree line and the switch from being in the East to being. read more...


12/01/2016

Alcedo of Ryme - Log 4. North of Noordpunt, Curacoa. 12.59.42N 69.09.01W

Tuesday, 12/01/2016.  Yesterday provided reasonable sailing, with justenough wind to keep going on either gybe with lots of help from thecurrent.  We checked the position and fixation of the pole to the mast withevery gybs and more inventive re-enforcement was applied to it before setting uppole and genoa again.   We managed to keep the sails goose winged allnight and are now chasing Wishanger II who has come back into view.  Thewind today is 15 to 18 knots from the ESE/SE, so we are bowling along in nearperfect conditions on the best gybe for once, with everyone very happy to handsteer and try to catch up with Wishanger II.  Wishanger is of course, quitesafe from such informal competition and is gradually sailing away from us but ithas given us something to. read more...


12/01/2016

Nina - Day 4 -12th Jan – A Beautiful Light

World ARC Day 4 -12th Jan – A Beautiful LightThe forecast was for a fair wind in our sea area. Big seas to the North. A low over Colombia and Venezuela, giving big winds ahead. Just after darkness fell, a brand new moon loomed ahead above the horizon. The bottom half of it showing a huge Cheshire cat grin, lighting our path over the Caribbean Sea ahead of Nina.The Celestial BodiesAs the moon set ahead, the grin turned red, and then slid below the horizon, leaving us once more in the pitch darkness. But then the stars came out. With not a cloud in the sky, the full majesty of all the stars is displayed filling the heavens with swirls, dots, pin-pricks and bursts of many different coloured suns. The milky way, like a cloud or carpet, painted across the sky from one side of the boat to the. read more...


12/01/2016

Aliena - Martes 12-01-2016

3º dia de navegación Sta. Lucia a Sta. MartaIgual esto de ir de santa a santa da buenos resultados. Sigue un viento real suave de 13 nudos hacemos un SOG entre 7.5 y 8 nudos. No nos podemos quejar porque no vamos ni muy deprisa ni muy despacio y ademas con el mar a favor y olas entrando por la popa, aunque dentro del barco la sensación sigue siendo de gravedad 0 y nos movemos a cámara lenta haciendo las cosas dos veces ya que cuando llenas un vaso de leche o de cualquier otro líquido, cuando cae el liquido el vaso ya no está donde debiera. Entre esto y los chubascos nocturnos, el barco está limpio como una patena.Esta mañana temprano hemos cambiado las velas y tangon de banda, el viento es mas constante y hasta tenemos navegación placentera dentro de lo que cabe en navegación a popa,. read more...


12/01/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 3: We've Found Our Mojo

Having been let down by our satellite email provider and, therefore, unable to download our weather information, we have spent the past two days trying to work out a suitable sail plan for the unusual Caribbean conditions we have been experiencing. We eventually managed to obtain detail weather reports this morning and Paw Paw is now sailing along happily under blue skies dotted with white puffy clouds (aka Cumulus Type 1) in fair winds and following seas, while Elaine does her stretch exercise on the aft deck and Roy attempts, once again, to catch a fish - any fish! We are, however, reminded that life does exist outside our bubble when a bird sweeps down to take a peak and a plane flies overhead.. read more...


12/01/2016

Luna Quest - Tuesday, 12th January, 2016

Noon Position: 23.25S 04.41EDaily run: 163 logged milesYesterday afternoon was most enjoyable; we sat in the cockpit for the first time since leaving Cape Town to relax and enjoy the sailing without the risk of being soaked by boarding waves. We carried out various little jobs that had had to wait while the sea was raging. A strong additional whipping was created around the end of the old water generator tow rope to prevent it knotting up in the same place in case the spinner should jump out again. We had shaken out the last reef and were bowling along at over 6 knots. We decided to carry the full rig into the night and at first that seemed a sound decision despite evidence of some squalls on the horizon. However, at 4am this morning a large squall hit us taking the wind speed up from 18. read more...


12/01/2016

Aretha - Sailing the South Atlantic Ocean 21 58 South 02 31 East

583 miles until we reach St Helena.All is well on board Team Aretha. Schooling once again in full flow. Willow drawing, Nichola and Columbus doing maths, Bluebell studying China with Paul.After 25-30,000 miles I think we’ve finally decided on a boat song… Animals by Martin Garrix - plenty of dancing on board yesterday.Inspired by finishing a bottle of Roses Lime Juice, we put a message in a bottle (one of our Team Aretha posters) and it went over the side at 23 04 South 04 50 East … We’ve put our details in there and a message to say that should anyone find it and returnit, they’ll get a Team Aretha Crew Shirt (only otherwise eligible if you’ve sailed over 300 miles with Team Aretha) and a special additional prize.Seas are calm, decks are flat and crew are happy - especially as we have. read more...


12/01/2016

Starblazer - 12/01/2016 - Good and Bad

Let us get the ‘bad’ out of the way first.On New Year’s Day I had a haircut, I say haircut but it was more like a scalping!To give you an idea of the severity of it: John says he never realised how much I look like my brother John.For those who know my brother I must point out that he no longer has a beard.My haircut is not much longer than a 1950’s short back and sides.No photos will be published before it has grown somewhat. Notable ‘scalpings’ to date: St Lucia, Darwin about equally bad, Cape Town the shortest yet.The second ‘bad’ bit is the temperature.We are only about 60 miles south of the Tropic of Capricorn but it is cold, especially during the night.It’s not that hot during the day in the sunshine either.The reason for this is partly the wind direction, south southeast.If you. read more...