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25/05/2018

Khaleesi - Log Day 7 Rough Weather

The weather had been very rough and we had experienced a number of crashes and bangs with kit and equipment being thrown around their storage areas. But one noise in particular grabbed our attention; it was a clunking noise that occurred whenever we changed tack (inadvertently)We put it down to something in the lazerette locker moving around. In the morning as daylight broke I popped my head up into the cockpit to ask Pete and Graham about the sail plan to see if they had any suggestions.We also mentioned the noise, and therudder bearing was mentioned as a possible cause.We quickly removed the emergency tiller cover, and soon spotted that the rudder bearing was slipping; Oh No, not again!There was nothing for it but to deal with it immediately.I furled in the genoa, got the guys to come. read more...


24/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 41 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018 - Suwarrow anchorage, Cook IslandsI went for an early snorkel over to a shallow patch about 250 meters off where the rangers had suggested the mantas may be, but Tuesday would appear to be their day off; I did see a grey shark but little else although the coral is fascinating. On the way back, Solitude was trying to lift her anchor from 15 meters of water, and it became stuck in bommies. I tried to pull the chain sideways to no avail and ultimately Rick brought his scuba gear over and dived on the anchor and chain with Dave in the dinghy with a trip line that Rick tied on to the anchor shaft. The chain soon was freed but the hook of the anchor wedged itself under a big coral head and was well and truly stuck - it came away eventually with a great lump attached that. read more...


24/05/2018

Selkie - Day 9: Leg 2 The Wind

In the cockpit, Nick and I decide on a new life plan: 6 months at sea, 6 months at home with long stints in Toledo and our cottage. Keep and fix up hornet for Lake Michigan (it will be our picnic boat, Nick says). This means homeschool. Bigs are excited about the plan and agree. Nick and I see a huge tree floating 50 feet from us! Geez. Then we prepare for upcoming storm (maybe) with high winds (for sure). We’ve heard news that Templar has gone missing and Zeeland can’t start their engine and their generator is down. They may be sailing with no lights, but they are so far ahead of us. We worry about them, because we would love to give them our spare generator. The wind is here. We are flying! Luckily it is like the smoothest ride we have had yet. At 20 knots, we are hitting between. read more...


24/05/2018

Selkie - Some squalls: more day 7, leg 2

Squalls approach. We take the squalls. Nick takes them alone. I stay below because it is too freaky and actually make hot dogs for lunch. Nick experiences rain, waves, and 35 knot winds. The swells have grown to 15 feet. We survive and laugh that I made hot dogs, but it was what he has always prepared for he said. When there is a calm we take down the spinnaker pole, which was scaring Nick. He calls me a sailor for remaining calm, which was easy for me. When he tells me we need to get something done, I do it. The pole is down just in time. The wind spins and puts us on a beam reach. WE sail on. Nick stays in cockpit a lot. I am in the galley a lot, but I have my watches as well. The big kids do watches only when it is safe. We are alive and excited about our final destinations.Maggie,. read more...


24/05/2018

Selkie - Leg 2: Day 7

Have you ever walked up hill and then down hill in the same 5 seconds over and over and over again? Have you ever made dinner where the kitchen knife slides towards you on the counter and a fantastic smelling squid lands right outside your window? Have you ever watched one of your children view a tv show while gripping wildly to a lee cloth? That’s us. Back and forth and back and forth with huge waves, but I can’t complain much. We have following seas, 18 knot winds, moving 7 knots with one wing, and no puking children. Are we safe? As safe as anyone can be. Are we low on food? Almost down to the canned goods, but there are a lot of canned goods. Do we know stronger weather is approaching? Yes, we are hoping for the best. We hope it is not much different from what we are experiencing. read more...


24/05/2018

Selkie - Leg 2: Day 6

We are moving. We have finally gotten far enough north that we have picked up the wind. It only blows at 13 knots, but that moves us at a steady 6 knots, down wind, wing to wing, with following seas. We don’t mind being at the end of the pack. We worry about if we will make it in time to participate in all the ARC events, because that probably is not going to happen, but we have to think safety first for our children. We’ve noticed that others have used their motors where we barely did. We moved at 2-4 knots for days. 6 knots feels like a speed train. Nick says, “We are finally putting miles down, clicking ‘em off. It is a moment to truly celebrate.” My time to write is usually during my night shift, which is 2-6 in the morning. That’s why I always update on the night sky. There are. read more...


24/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Happy Days

Kieron is still making our daily bread, this is usually enjoyed at Happy Hour with homemade houmus or guacamole and any leftovers are toasted for breakfast. Roos is our master sail trimmer and Martin is first rate at preparing Happy Hour drinks and competeswith Bruno on the eating front - at 6’ 7” there’s a lot of him!Bruno is constantly hungry, my mother would have said that he must have hollow legs. Bruno had never sailed on a boat before joining us in Tortola and is keen to learn everything. When not eating he practices his knot tying skills, writes up his journal and reads. We have yet to catch a fish but I’m confident this will be achieved. I expect (as we experienced going west) that after days of nothing we will end up with more than we can possibly want to eat. Anyone seen the. read more...


24/05/2018

Firefly - Sunshine and shorts

We have had a period of changing winds and weather over the last 48 hours ,in fact we experienced almost every point of sailing (while trying to sail in anEastwards direction) and wind  strength with plenty of rain showers.Fortunately  we are now settled into champagne sailing with clear blueskies and a good wind from behind pushing us towards Horta. Long may thiscontinue and our heavy weather sailing gear stays in the bag.   All doing well   Paul, Mike and Peter. read more...


24/05/2018

Muttley - weather or not .....

Muttley currently in zone HH which presumably stands for Ha Ha!The arc Europe weather reports should be entered in the fiction category for the Mann Booker prize!. read more...


24/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Passed half-way

As the fastest boats are undoubtedly already ogling Diagram 2.2 with the Finish Line in Horta, we have passed the half-way mark this morning. Our night at sea was quite uneventful, if you discount the strangely lit, un-AISed sailing boat that passed our bows with only a hundred or so metres between us. As stand-on vessel, we needed to hand-steer around the other boat, which quietly pursued a more northerly route as we continued our more easterly route. We're still in (VHF) company of one of two Dutch boats - yesterday Fanky was also with them... Our plotter screen is otherwise quite empty of shipping. We are enjoying a quiet (S)SWly wind which is gently propelling us forwards at 5 1/2 knots or so. Gosh, we might even reach Horta before the month of May is out! Only about 930 miles to go.. read more...


24/05/2018

Mazu - Day 8 - More Interesting Sailing

Another good day .... but with more varied wind conditions, still mostly from the WSW or SW.We put one reef in the mainsail overnight even though conditions didn’t seem to warrant it but just to be on the safe side.We also decided that we had gone farther south than we wanted to be so we gybed and sailed almost due north overnight.For me (Hope), the day began by a visit from the dolphins towards the end of Mike’s watch (I think they must love him).By the beginning of my watch at 0800 am, it was very tempting to shake out the reef and possibly pole out the genoa but then we saw some dark clouds to the northwest so we held off making any changes, which turned out to be a wise decision.The wind dropped first of all, then increased to up to 24 knots after going through a few rain showers.We. read more...


23/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - First shower

For the past three days or so we had been tracking along the Southern edge of a cold front. Last night it finally overtook us, with its associated rain and wind shifts. So not really a fun night. Lots of frustration in the calms, and even a little engine.But today is beautiful. Back to sailing and right on course for Horta.Today’s bread is rising, and all’s well with the world.PP & crew. read more...


23/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Order restored!

Things have returned to normal as we woke up to our 8th day at sea. We seem to have untangled ourselves from a nasty and vicious counter-current of the Gulfstream which was stealing nearly a knot of our speed over the ground, and we have escaped from the clutches of the Corner Seamounts which appeared to be throwing up some rough and confused seas. The of both phenomena was that our SOG sank to pretty low levels during the night; and we needed to hold on tight not to be thrown around the boat a lot because of the seas. But this morning the sea is calm again, that is to say commensurate with 18 knot winds, and our boat speed back to reasonable levels. The wind has shifted a bit too, so we are back on course for Horta and not headed for Mauritania or some other destination in Africa (which. read more...


21/05/2018

Khaleesi - Log Day 6 sublime sailing with the cruising chute

Our sublime sailing with the cruising chute came to an end as I suppose it had to. The wind died almost completely and the news from across the fleet on the SSB net was the same for everyone; no wind.We limped on for a while but then gave up the struggle and turned on the engine.We went through the night and decided at about 10am the following morning to get the sails up once again. But the wind gods were busy elsewhere and only 5 hours later the engine was switched back on. It seemed that apart from one or two others everyone else had done the same in an attempt to climb further North towards the 40th latitude, where rumour had it there was some weather to be found. We have a respectable amount of fuel on board, but by the next day I becoming concerned that we were consuming too much. read more...


23/05/2018

Mazu - Day 7 - Time Change and Celebrations onboard

We passed the eastern edge of Atlantic Standard Time yesterday so decided to change our onboard clocks in between our double night shifts,curtailing by half an hour.We are now on GMT (a.k.a. UTC) -2, a sure sign we are making progress.Mike was treated to a spectacular triple rainbow during his 0800 - 1200 watch.. at the expense of getting just a tad damp. For us, it was another sunny day with good following winds, unlike some of the other boats in the fleet who are further north and east and reporting wind shifts, rain and strengthening winds associated with a cold front. For us, it was time to run the generator to charge the batteries, make water, heat the water and have showers, what bliss!We now have under 1000 nautical miles to go to the Azores and expect to pass the half-way point. read more...


22/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 40 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Monday, 21 May 2018 - Suwarrow at anchorA slow start to the day - still in bed at 8am! Definite sleep catch-up, as I managed to fall asleep at the last night. Dave wanted to sort out the radar this morning which had stopped working during the thunderstorm the other night at sea so asked Rick from Amara, an electronics engineer to come over to assist, which he did once he had fixed Emily Morgan's computer - a busy man indeed. I had nothing to offer so went snorkeling. I was out seemingly for hours and found a wreck of a yacht, saw a huge turtle with his left side back flipper missing as well as part of his shell, a survivor of a shark attack no doubt some years ago. The water is so clear it is not too different from air and the scenery is amazing. However, I didn't see a single shark. read more...


22/05/2018

Firefly - Ode to ARC Europe

This is the story of ARC Europe, Bermuda to the Azores (day five), After a couple of days of light winds, Things have really come alive.   The fleet is pressing Eastwards, The Azores the distant prize, The sun on the horizon, Marks the spot when it does rise.  Leading the pack is Lumikki, the Finns know how to fly, They raced their way into rain though, At least the rest of us stayed dry!   They're so far ahead at this stage, They could be there by dusk, So there's one request from the rest of thefleet:, “Please save some beers for us!”   And then there is Devona, Five dashing bold young men, Their broken rudder no problem, For lads the calibre of them.   Despite their steering problem, On and on they roar, No challenge too great for a crew likethis, Yes, it's a. read more...


22/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Are we there yet?

I shall miss night passages, there is something quite surreal about sailing in the dark. It is as though you are in a simulator and somehow you’re not really moving. Well, anyhow, that’s how it feels to me. The dreamlike quality is especially magical when sailing along a moonlit path.Having successfully caught the wind we have been making good progress. Tomorrow we hope to be celebrating the half way point to the Azures. We shall toast this landmark (or should that be seamark?! ) with a tot of Goslings rum and a bottle of wine with dinner. Bee. read more...


22/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - A night with 2 different kinds of encounters

During our 6th night at sea we had two very different kinds of encounters with other vessels. The first one you'd probably end up by saying "typical yachtie". Around 2 a.m., popping out of nowhere, comes a sailing boat: no lights, no AIS, but on a very close course with us. In the dark you could make out his sails, but it wasn't possible to judge from them in which direction this other boat was going. When their mast-top light was suddenly turned on, this didn't offer much clarification on the boat's course, as successively green, red and white shone in our direction. Fortunately, this boat then made off and the lights went extinguished again...A few hours later, just before dawn, the cargo ship Gentle Seas approached us. Initially with a CPA of over 2 miles, their closest point of. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 7 day5

Sundaythe wind was elusive all Saturday night and in to Sunday morning but by 0500 we had a mega 6 kts on wind- just about enough to try sailing again.so ... engine off sails up .. we were moving again with out burning dieselbut the course was not good - who cares we still have over 1200 mile to go to Horta.as sail change to code zero improved our course and speed and we now had a speed over the ground of 5 knots - a major achievement considering the passed 24 hours.By the end of the day the winds have increased to around 18 knots and we had change the code zero for a poled out head sail and had a heady boat speed of 8 kts but were being driven back by a very annoying current reducing our speed over the ground to 6.6-7 kts.A trade off with the increase in wind is a bigger sea state and a. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 5 day 3

we had a good sail overnight, level pegging with Devona until early morning when a wind shift required a change in sail plan -no asymmetric and onto a poled out head sail and they sailed off in to the distance with there Parasailor pulling well.As the day progress the winds eased and in order to save the sails from being destroyed by the constant flogging it would be time to start the engine and put the sails away.I am not sure what it is about the hour of sunset but it seems to be the time that problems appear and this evening was no exception....The electric WC pump decided to stop!This has been an on going problem for a couple of month and I hope a new pump will be in Horta on our arrival.To sort the problem requires removal of the pump - easy you may think ......no the designers in. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 6 day 4

A frustrating dayHaving motored for a few hours overnight in lumpy seas the wind started to fill and.... engine off... sails up - this is it!however within a few hours the cloud cover thickened and i wondered if we were in for a blow....no the wind did a 360 in the space of an hour and then disappeared to .05 knots - no option engine again- at least the confused sea had gone and the ride was much smother.The hot days have now gone and we have even had a rain shower or two but when we see the sun it is still quite warm.. read more...


21/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 4 day 2 part 2

It had been a fantastic days sailing on relativelycalm seas with full main and asymmetric spinnaker- this was the longest this sail had been flown in a single session - fantastic!As a standard practice with sailing over night with a spinnaker I always drop them prior to night fall to check for halyard chafe and then re hoist as iwant to reduce the chance of misadventures at night!. Today would be no different and after dinner just as the sun was setting we furled the spinnaker and tried to drop it to check for wear... It dropped about 1 meter and then was stuck - well stuck.... no up or down!There was no option but to go up the mast and as light was fading fast time was critical. In retrospect it was probably a good thing as we had no time to think about what could go wrong!Colin soon. read more...


21/05/2018

Mazu - Day 6 - Practicing Ancient Mariner Skills (with a modern twist)

Today was another glorious sunny day, making good progress with following winds.Life doesn’t get much better.So it was that we managed to turn our attention to obtaining weather faxes and trying my hand at a little celestial navigation.We had been poring through various publications to try and obtain weather faxes but had until today come up short.Finally as I dug a little deeper into information on Sailmail (one of our at sea emails), I happened upon the text we needed to send to Saildocs that would return weather faxes.Now we can see a traditional weather chart with isobars, Highs, Lows, cold and warm fronts, etc. so we can have a much better bigger picture of what’s going on.It supports all the other information we have.That was success number one.Then, Mike kindly helped to teach me. read more...


21/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Of farmers and sailors

Farmers have a reputation of never being happy. The weather is either too dry, to wet, too cold or too hot. And having a good crop is useless if all other farmers have good crops too, because abundance pushes market prices down. Then again, a poor crop will cause shortages and push up prices. But if you don't have an abundance of produce available to take full advantage of the higher pices, what use are they to you?On Ngahue IV we are currently feeling a little "farmerish". After 2-3 days of no useful wind and needing to motor, we are now getting a fair whack of the stuff. But it is on our port quarter, just like the growing seas that the wind is throwing up at the boat. We're rolling quite heavily and life on board is not comfortable. Mutter, mutter! But we need to grin and bear it as. read more...


21/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 39 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Friday, 18 May 2018 - en route to Suwarrow stillA quiet night in terms of squalls, in fact we were by-passed by a couple and from 2400 there was nothing but clear skies and stars with a 15-20 knot breeze from the NE, with one reef in just in case. We were still doing 7 knots though. At the radio net this morning we were addressed as "Shark Catcher", better than the previous 'Miscreants'; 'Misfits'; or 'Mischievious', accurate though they may be. Should we be the only boat to catch one maybe we will be the 'Lone Shark', who knows? But the position reports put us furthest west of the fleet, not by much, but it does mean we are leading at this point in time. Spinnaker up at 9am, no problems, as we aim to reach Suwarrow in the early hours of Sunday for slack water is at 6am or 12 noon.. read more...


21/05/2018

IceBear - Blog Entry-Suwarrow

In the middle of the South Pacific lies a small atoll discovered by a Russian named Suvarov.The atoll is also called by that name and, after a 600 mile sail from Bora Bora we are here. But not without a significant emergency aboard Mad Monkey. At 1600 hours, a Pan Pan was radioed from Mad Monkey."We have lost our rudder and fear the ingress of water and are prepared to launch our life raft."Thank God that was the worst case scenario and their rudder actually came loose from its upper bearings and actually "dropped" down through the rudder post a number of inches and would have gone had it not been for Markand his crew jury rigging a loop of DYNEEMA through the top of the rudder and attaching it the spinnaker halyard and laterally to the traveller.World Arc boats immediately turned to aid. read more...


21/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Hooray!

We’ve now been sailing for 24 hrs. It is lovely listening to the waves and to hear the the wind on the canvas again. So much pleasanter than the drone of the engine. We are having a cracking sail - 7 to 8 knots. JM is beautifully balanced and Heidi is doing her thing, which makes for a super relaxed sail. The night sky is beautiful, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stars. Luminescence in our wake gives the impression of celestial bodies having fallen into the water. We have on board what Bruno calls the Precious Box. This is the biscuit container. ( Or as Bruno pronounces it‘bees- quit’). I think it is his favourite item!! We are a very happy crew and enjoy lots of daily laughter and fun.Some boats we hear are getting very wet, but so far we have managed to stay South of the wet. read more...


21/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Not so alone after all

It's just past midnight - boat time - and I've put all ghosts safely back to bed again. Time for the dog-watch crew to look back on what is now yesterday. Lo and behold, our AIS screen is getting quite crowded, and having thought that Ngahue IV was the last of the ARC fleet it now appears that there are several other boats contending for this place. Earlier on in the evening, we decided to gybe northwards where the stronger wind was going to be somewhat sooner. Well, I can divulge, on very good authority, that the Weather Family is quite illiterate. So how do I justify this unexpected bombshell??? Easy, peasy: they can't read the weather forecasts!!!! They're probably also quite ignorant about Grib files and the meaning of all those nice little arrows... And so the mariner, sailor, crew. read more...


Cayuse - World ARC fleet in Suwarrow
Cayuse - World ARC fleet in Suwarrow
20/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Back on sail!

Today is Sunday and after 42 hours of no wind we are back on sail! The kangaroo is flying high and Heidi Hydrovane is steering us East. Fresh bread in the oven, what more can we ask for? Well, fresh fish would be nice for supper, so the fishing lines are out. Otherwise it will be cans of beans for the last five days. Who bought those?! Still a secret.. Luckily there is guacamole on the menu today.We were visited by some dolphins and thousands of war of man are floating by. Still waiting for the whales to wave hello. With 1271 miles to go, we have good hope to see them.At happy hour we’re all on deck, sharing a drink and something to eat before the night watch starts. And who can beat the Perudo master in de game of dices? Hopefully this night the sky will be as bright as the last few. read more...


20/05/2018

Firefly - The hunt for wind continues....

It’s been a somewhat frustrating 24hrs for the crew of Firefly wind-wise(just as I’m sure it has been for several of the other yachts in the ARC Europefleet), however this has been ameliorated by beautiful sunshine and a slightdrop in daytime temperature to a much more comfortable level.  We’ve beenusing the iron horse for much of the time apart from a lovely silent hour thismorning when the winds picked up for a while, however this was short-lived asthey fell away as quickly as they arrived.  They’ve been steadily buildingthroughout the day though and after studying the various forecasts in detailwe’re expecting to get to a suitable wind-zone imminently, so hopefully we’ll beunder full sail again shortly.  As I type this I‘m hearing Peter and Paulhoisting the mainsail. read more...


20/05/2018

Mazu - Day 5 - Spinnaker Down!

Mike seems to have had most of the excitement during his morning watches over the past couple of days.Yesterday it was a show put on by dolphins... and today .... well, just read on.It took a bit longer for the wind to fill in than we expected.My (Hope’s) watch from 4:00 - 8:00 this morning was frustrating because the wind picked up ever so slowly.About half-way through I tried cutting the engine and rolling out the genoa but the waves just knocked the little wind that there was out of it so I had my morning exercise furling again.However, by the end of my watch, it was definitely time to start sailing.Mike agreed that the best sail for the conditions was the asymmetric spinnaker so we set it up then woke the captain to approve of the plan and assist.All was well and Mike had a lovely. read more...


20/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Still no wind or fish but we do have fresh bread!

We are only going to motor until 1800 today, even if we haven’t found the elusive wind, the last thing we need to do is run out of fuel. Despite having put out lines, almost every day, we have yet to catch a fish on this rally. No doubt it will taste all the better when we finally do - or should that be IF?Kieron has been making bread, so that is something we all look forward to daily. Unfortunately I think we will run out of flour before we get to Horta. Bruno has been taking lessons from the master and has declared ‘I shall never buy bread again’. He cooked supper last night and declared it to be ‘Rice and Things’, and I must say R&Ts went down very well after the evening’s G&Ts. Boat days have now settled into a lovely rhythm. We adopted Claire’s suggested watch pattern (given. read more...


20/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 3 day 2 part 1

It was a good nightssailing with light winds and the calm sea just what was needed to get into the 2 handed routine, giving us chance to get some off watch sleep As the sun rose it was soon decided the time had come to change from the code zero to asymmetric spinnaker. With just the 2 of us this operation was completed very smoothly and amazingly quickly and we were soon back sailing again at between 6-7 kts in just 8 knts of true wind however our sail change had given Devonaa chance to catch up to about 2 miles- but now we were starting to pull ahead againThe wind was light all day and with the clear skies the day was hot ..very HOT!It was hard to find some shade on the boat withthebinimi stowed for the ocean crossing. andso we carry on .... read more...


20/05/2018

Blonde Moment - blog 2 first 24 hrs

After the excitement of the start we soon settled in the life on board and on clearing the Bermuda fairway buoy the fleet soon set out on the separate route for the Azores. if is quite amazing how quickly the fleet disperses in to the open sea considering we all have the same final destination!Having pre prepared the code zero sail before we left the dock in Bermuda it was easy to deploy this sail and head off on our course....typically it was soon obvious that this was the wrong sail and we should havebeen flying the asymmetrical spinnaker which would have allowed us to sail a more northerly course.....Being short handed I decided not to use up energy in the heat of the sun and see how it all panned out the first night at sea was fantastic with clear stary skies, flat seas and good. read more...


20/05/2018

Ngahue IV - I'm a poor lonesome cowboy...

Fans of Lucky Luke, a Belgian comic strip character created by Morris, will recognise this as the song with which this cowboy, who shoots faster than his shadow, ends each story album. Well, Nieuwpoort, Belgium, where we normally keep the boat, is indeed 2766M away - still. And that's in a direct line! And at the moment we're pretty lonesome out here in the Atlantic, with only zillions of plankton on or near the sea surface, which light up under our waxing moon (what little was visible of it through the clouds), to accompany us. AIS: empty... Radar at maximum range: empty... Visual inspection up to our horizon: empty... And a star-blazing sky? Mostly obscured by the clouds. Sitting in the cockpit of the boat, seeing time ticking by, courtesy of our highly accurate GPS system, you can. read more...


19/05/2018

Ngahue IV - Jumping dolphins don't need no wind!

As yet another calm day drew to a close, Ngahue IV was suddenly the target of a school of dolphins. We saw them approaching the boat from afar, and the dolphins were keen that we noticed them arriving, as they jumped several feet out of the water before riding our bow wave and swimming around the boat. We're currently in 1 to 2 knot winds, so our Volvo-Penta is humming away at 1250 revs to give us a speed over ground of some 5 knots. Perhaps it was this engine noise that made the dolphins push on after only a few minutes around the boat. Well, it certainly made a nicer spectacle than the continuous parade of Portuguese Men-of-War that we see passing each day.And so our trip continues to the next waypoint on the plotter, which I've hopefully named "Windpoint Sunday" where we should start. read more...


19/05/2018

Mazu - Day 4 and We Are Drifting ....

We finally resorted to seeking help from the engine about 10pm last night as our speed over ground had dropped to around 3.5 knots.We motored slowly overnight, heading in a northerly direction, but sadly it seems we are in a patch of very light airs that will likely persist throughout the day today.After about 13 hours of the noise, we tired of the noise and resorted to drifting ..... but at least we are drifting in the right direction and we seem to be getting a little help from some current.Chris Parker’s forecast, which is backed up by various other sources of weather, suggests that we don’t want to go much further north as there is a cold front north of us (a line of dark clouds north of us supports this prediction).So, we plan to stay close to our current latitude of about 36. read more...


19/05/2018

Selkie - Update on Kids

Tristan (11) games a lot and loves his movie time. He can get cranky, but then he has beautiful moments where he does all the dishes with a smile, organizes really well, or plans a moment with a little. The other day on his afternoon watch, he made a pulley system that ran the length of the boat with our Polar Express book as a platter. It’s so no one has to get out of bed, he said. Lily (9) is such a sweetheart. Endless amounts of questions and a willingness to help with the littles or in the galley. She’s been going to the cockpit to stare off into the distance and write poetry. Yesterday she used her goddess cards to add more detail. We know she’s been writing when we find her crumpled pieces of paper all over the deck. On day one, she drew a picture of Tristan and put her Baba’s # on. read more...


19/05/2018

Selkie - 265 NM

Nothing. Calm. No wind. No waves. No swells. A lapping in the ocean like folding. How can something so big be so still, so quiet? The most gentle of breezes can be felt and barely harnessed. Main out with preventer in place, but Selkie bangs and fights and is curious to her surroundings like a caged animal. I’m scared to ask for wind. I don’t want it three fold. There is nothing above the surface. I wonder about the depths. What’s eating what in an endless aquatic food chain? The ocean is darkness. As the sliver of the moon set at sunset, we could see the dark side so clearly it made us laugh and stare in wonderment. This is a life outdoors. Who else can say they see every sunset and sunrise of every day? Who else cares so much about weather and wind? Who else moves with the will of the. read more...


19/05/2018

Selkie - Update on our Food

Savory Selkie. So far we’ve devoured endless amounts of fresh fruit like apples, bananas, plums, tangerines, pears, and more apples. The kids have learned to covet fruit more than dessert. They share little tangerines like mini meals. At this point, apples, plums, and grapefruit remain. We bought so many vegetables, we couldn’t keep up. We splurged on multiple meals of cucumbers and peppers with hummus, an abundance of green beans, greens, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, asparagus, tomatoes, and celery. Some remain, but the broccoli molded and had to be given to Poseidon. So far we’ve dined on an Hawaiian Pork BBQ with roasted asparagus, a taco casserole with green beans, and a beef stew with dumplings. The fresh food dwindles quickly. Nick asks, Are we gonna run out of food? No, I. read more...


19/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Where’s the wind?

Well, after our initial euphoria with the extra speed gained by putting up the cruising chute, the wind slowly died on us and we were struggling to get 3 knots. Every possible sail combination was tried - but to no avail. So they were all put away and we turned the engine on and headed north to chase the wind for the next 24 hours. We heard we were not alone in making this decision over the radio, so that was reassuring.Chef of the day was Kieron and he whizzed up some seriously garlicky humus that we had with our evening tipple. No one was going to be bothered by vampires for the rest of the night. Salmon pasta and fruit cocktail followed and all plates were licked clean - it saves on water not having to wash up! We will see what delights tomorrow has in store.. read more...


19/05/2018

Ngahue IV - After every night comes day

Another night at sea with no other company than the stars, a few clouds and, very briefly, a waxing moon. Not a ship in sight and nothing on the AIS. Pure silence on VHF channels 16 and 72, now our ARC listening channel... No flying fish on deck; and as Portuguese Men-of-War aren't visible in the dark, none of them either (though there are plenty around this morning). No wind, either, so the only disturbance really was the soft droning of our Volvo-Penta TAMD 41B...We were both on watch to see a beautiful sunrise announce the coming of a new day - La Vie est Belle... or to translate this French film title, Life is Beautiful!All we need to do now is cross an area of approximately 130M to start getting some better wind, which undoubtedly the rest of the fleet has picked up ages ago.. read more...


19/05/2018

Blonde Moment - Bermuda to Azores 1

wednesdy 16th may Bermuda has been a great stopover. Apart from the first couple ofdays when we arrived the weather has been fantastic ,almost wall to wall sunshine and a light cooling breeze. Touring the island by scooter is a mustfor any visitor and great fun can be had .We were hosted by st Georges dinghy and sports club and whilst I think all would agree that a referb. is required to the club house nobody could argue that the view from the balcony is fantastic - a great place for a Dark and Stormy sun downer.Well all good things must come to an end and so it was time to leave Bermudaand head off to the Azores.The weather on start day was no different to the previous few days with glorious sunshine and light winds. Normally i am not one that gets mixed up in the boat mess on the start. read more...


19/05/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 38 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Wednesday, 16th May 2018 - en route to SuwarrowThe wind eased as the night progressed, dropped to below 10 knots and came around onto the beam so we had to drop the genoa off the spinnaker pole. But come daylight, just as my watch ended at 0600, Dave rigged the spinnaker to hoist so no sleep for me with him clambering all over the deck and calling instructions aft, so I gave up and went back on deck to set the sail and we are now back to 8 knots boat speed in 15 knots of wind on a course of 290 degrees. There was a medical emergency overnight on one of our fellow ARC fleet boats, Lunatix the fastest boat in the fleet. Apparently a crew member had got in the way of the mainsheet on an accidental gybe and the gybe preventer failed: head injuries and lacerations resulted, and he is lucky to. read more...


18/05/2018

Ngahue IV - One empty sea - one beautiful sunset

As we move into our 3rd night at sea, we really are at the back of the fleet. This morning we could see the top of Selkie's mast. But since this afternoon our horizon has been completely empty. Not a ship in sight! We can pick up 2 other Class B AIS vessels some 35 Miles away. That's way over our horizon though!! We can see lots of Portuguese Men-of-War floating by, and this evening there even was a lost seabird circling around the boat. Heavens only knows where the flying fish are, as during the daytime you hardly see one. Usually just one, and not as on our East-West Atlantic crossing in whole schools.The sun is setting very beautifully and it is giving the sea an extra dimension of dark blue. So a perfect setting for another wonderful night.Only down side: the wind has given up on us. read more...


18/05/2018

Mazu - Day 3 and Still Sailing Gently

I shouldn’t have written so confidently that we had passed Gloria of Southampton.... Shortly after I had sent the last blog, her captain, Tim, greeted us on VHF and informed us that his crew had been whipped into shape and they would be pulling out all the stops to regain the ground they had lost to us.So, the battle began.... and they gradually gained on us, indeed they came so close, we caught them on one of our fishing lines!Having cut them free, they proceeded to overtake us ... with plenty of opportunity for mutual admiration and photos/videos (I’m looking forward to seeing us in action ... maybe we’ll learn how we can improve).Good fun, but the battle wasn’t over yet.Eventually, they managed to hold their “kite” on a more downwind heading than we could and thus gain some northing. read more...


Cayuse - anchored in Suwarrow
Cayuse - anchored in Suwarrow
18/05/2018

Jubilate Mare - Second day highlights

We had a super day’s sailing. With the wind dropping off we chose to fly the cruising chute. A great decision - we’ve added good speed and it makes the Atlantic a more colourful place. Winds looking good for the next 36 hours so it’s safe overnight. Weather was perfect, warm with a pleasant breeze and we had dolphins playing around the boat. Caribbean humidity has disappeared.Dozens of Portuguese Man of War jelly fish were also sighted. They appear as very clear glass bubbles about the size of a football floating on surface. Thanks to several other boats for telling us what they were! Did you know that their tentacles can be as long as 12 metres - doesn’t really bear thinking about, does it?!Our trusty captain cooked clam chowder for the crew supper; enjoyed by all in the cockpit whilst. read more...



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