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12/06/2015

Widago - Azores-N. Europe Leg: Day 1

Our last couple of days have been a whirlwind as we made ready for this, another 1800nm, leg of our Atlantic crossing. Spontaneous sangria happy hour dockside last night, led to teary goodbyes (yes, I'm a crybaby) to our fleet mates in Sao Miguel.At the time, the cocktail party was a happy distraction, feeding my procrastinating inner child. However, as I showered earlier this evening, the science project, formerly known as my bathroom, seems to be taking on a life of its own.Luckily, there is not much on my docket for the next two weeks, so I'm sure I'll get around to a bleach sneak attack.The sailing so far has been great. We finally found enough wind going the right direction to shut off the engines. Making 8kts upwind with 15kts true on a close reach. Seas are cooperating, but we are. read more...


12/06/2015

Gozwoz - To Santa Maria

The marina at Ponta Delgada was new but had a major disadvantage in its plague of seagulls. Once hosed down the pontoon was superficially healthy but the cleaning, while removing the bulk of the guano, did not remove the bones lodged among the woodwork, parts of which resembled an ossuary. Doctor Navigator would no doubt have relished the challenge of identifying the bones. Our position in the marina did, however, meet the approval of Roger who enjoyed the close presence of the young male members of the Finnish crew moored along side. Sadly they sailed north from Ponta Delgada while we sailed south.Yesterday the Bosun, the Coxswain and Roger went on a coach tour of the island, visiting the caldera of one of the local volcanoes and admiring the lush countryside where dairy farming is a. read more...


12/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 28: 13 June 2015

This is my first attempt at a blog, but given thatwe are now at about the half way point on the final leg I feel that time isrunning out.  The usual caveat applies - thanks to Peter, Carol, Ian,Richard and Louis for their assistance in preparing this blog.  I am theauthor but they are responsible for any mistakes or errors.  Also a warningthat having lived for 20 years in the offshore world, I am entirely judgmentproof so there is no point in bringing any legal proceedings.   It has been quite a tough trip so far: (I) numerous comments in the Captain's blog (whichwill be entered into the Booker Prize for fiction next year) about my diet.These comments are not, in fact, confined to the blog as even Ian made a commenttoday about the size of my bottom (I think that the. read more...


12/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 28: 13 June 2015 (Captain's Postscript)

Here's a conversation that took place in thecockpit yesterday.Me: "Ian, is it true that you have to pay a forfeitto the charity you are collecting for on this trip every time you are sea sick?" Ian: "Yes". Me: "And did I see you puking over the sideyesterday?" Michael: "Yes you did and it gave me great pleasurenot because I was being sick at the same time and appreciated thecompany, but because Louis reprimanded him for being sick towindward." Ian: "I was puking to windward because yourbig arse was in the way as you were puking to leeward." Michael: "But it's a big deck." Ian: "Yes, and you've got a bigarse."  Charming isn't it.. read more...


12/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 27: 12 June 2015

The problem of how to avoid sliding out of bedwhen on a port tack has been exercising my mind and I have come upwith a couple of ideas. The first, yet to be tried, is to fixhandcuffs above the head end - port side - of the bunk to whichwe can firmly attach ourselves. When I mentioned this to the crewthey all said it was a good idea and could they have somehandcuffs too - odd as they all sleep in bunks to starboard! The otheridea, which Mrs Trouble and I did try out last night with considerablesuccess, is to chock up the bottom - starboard end - of the bunk with something.A mattress snaffled from the crews' quarters worked well - sure it won'tbe missed!! Consequently, a very good night's sleep was. read more...


11/06/2015

Luna Quest - Thursday, Friday 12 June, 2015

Position: 17.18S 178.59WDaily run: 120 milesWe had timed our entry to the pass correctly and we were not alone. Another 6 yachts appeared from different directions. We were the 5th yacht to line up for the pass in 24 knots of wind (Force 6) and as we had the benefit of seeing where the first four had gone, our passage was made considerably easier. We had expected a mass of white foam to obliterate any sight of the pass, but the reefs were well below the water and there did not appear to be much breaking of seas until we were quite close and could see the reefs and their choppy waters. Some of today’s electronic charts aided by gps have made navigation quite reliable.None of the navigational buoys that show rocks, reefs and bommies on the chart were in evidence in the lagoon. Neither. read more...


11/06/2015

Gozwoz - In Terceira and on to Sao Miguel

The over-riding memory of Terceira is the bumpy and noisy marina mooring, just inside the marina entrance and full in the face of the southerly swell. It couldn't be helped because the marina was so busy but several boat crews had very disturbed nights tightening and re-tightening lines. At one point we pulled a cleat off that was between Unconditional and ourselves but a speedy repair by the Navigator and OGL rectified the situation.A walking tour of the city was a great success. The guide was pleasant, articulate and humorous and took us to a number of sites of real interest together with some spectacular viewpoints. It is always good to see someone who thoroughly enjoys their work!The crew went on a taxi tour of the local volcano - complete with lava tubes, stalactites and. read more...


11/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 26: 11 June 2015

This is horrible. It is cold, grey, wet andmiserable and I am too. The sky is heavy, the sea is heavy and we arebeing pitched about on a heeling boat. Doing anything requires maximumeffort and my body aches. Peter just fell exhausted on to the floor after ourwatch last night (sleeping in the bed is impossible ). He had been helmingcontinuously for 4 hours ( because I am useless ). The effort andconcentration needed to steer the boat in these conditions is relentless (too much for the auto pilot ).  Because he is the man he is he just gets onwith it, of course.  He has not moved since.....I think he needs tosleep. This is day 3 and we still have more than 800 milesto go to the Straits of Gibraltar. On a brighter note, the boys are happy to be"sailing".. read more...


08/06/2015

Gozwoz - To Terceira

Yesterday started with a 5.30 call from our Belgian neighbour on Fuga, a short while ahead of our planned alarm call, but helpfully coupled with an offer to untie our long shore stern line. Consequently we were one of the first boats out of Horta. The limited wind was on our nose as we passed down the Sao Jorge Channel but we managed to sail about 20 miles in the afternoon, firstly with cruising chute and then with goose wing (or Butterfly as we have poetically heard it called). On arriving at Angra marina we found a queue of boats waiting to check in at the reception, the planned touch 'n go having failed to materialise. We spent about 45 minutes doing circuits at the marina entrance but felt blessed, particularly as another yacht informed us they had waited 1.5 hours. Our sincere. read more...


11/06/2015

May - Day 4

Saturday afternoon the wind increased to a F6 NE with waves to match but all was still well. We had ports of refuge in mind if things got worse but we were too far west to make for them and it would have meant beating to windward on a fine reach. On we went with the wind increading to a F7 to 8 and waves breaking over the stern of the boat. It was hard helming so we did half an hour each while the other two looked out for rogue waves that could be a problem. The wind speed was up to 40 knots with no sign of abating. Then a large wave came and knocked John off his feet at the helm, followed by another that knocked the boat over on its side, but she's a strong old girl, so she came right back up. I was down below at the time and holding on, so I wasn't thrown to the other side with force,. read more...


May - Day 4
May - Day 4
10/06/2015

GarliX - Rost, Grünspan und anderer Gammel

Tour: 8.6.-10.6.15 Tonga - Fiji / erstes Ziel Lau Group - Vanua Balavu / Distanz: 290smJa, die Überschrift ist etwas ungewöhnlich. Aber Angesichts der Bedeutung von diesem chemischen Prozess der Feuchtigkeit, ist es mehr als überfällig, darüber mal zu schreiben. Größter „Reißer“ hier sind zur Prophylaxe wasserdichte Boxen und Plastiktüten mit Zipp - Verschluss und zur Therapie WD 40. Letzteres ist das Allheilmittel hier überhaupt und gibt es übrigens in fast jedem Laden der bisher ersegelten Welt; steht häufig gleich neben Nesquik und Nutella… ist ja auch ähnlich wichtig. Ohne WD 40 würde die Welt hier wohl leicht „festgefressen“ stillstehen. USB Sticks, die nur so rumliegen, fangen an zu rosten. Auch an den Computern die ohne Hülle rumstehen, entsteht an den USB Kontakten eine leichte. read more...


10/06/2015

Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!

Sienna likes listening to music up close and personal with the cockpitspeakers     m_IMG_2430 m_IMG_2432 m_IMG_2436 m_IMG_2440 m_IMG_2441 m_IMG_2445 m_IMG_2446 m_IMG_2450 m_IMG_2451 m_IMG_2452 m_IMG_2454 m_IMG_2455 m_IMG_2457 m_IMG_2458 m_IMG_2459. read more...


Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
Firefly - Some pictures of Leg 3!
10/06/2015

Widago - Barnacles

Yum! (photo credit: DALA)IMG_4597. read more...


Widago - Barnacles
Widago - Barnacles
Zingara - Zera vor uns....
Zingara - Zera vor uns....
Zingara - Erinnerungen
Zingara - Erinnerungen
Zingara - Faial, Pico
Zingara - Faial, Pico
10/06/2015

Widago - Azores Cruise

ARC EUROPE: Azores Cruise 2015Yesterday, I ate a barnacle. Yes, you read it right. You know those gnarly attachments you’d find growing along the bottom of a neglected hull? Yes, indeed….and it was worth the flash of horror that crossed my mind as the waitress delivered our lunch.Unfortunately, you cannot really expect your kids to venture off the kiddie menu in foreign countries, if you do not exemplify the same adventurous spirit. Luckily it worked, and the boys were asking for seconds. If you had asked me six months ago if I would ever eat the crusty turd scraped off the bottom of boat, I’d have said, “Not in a million….”So let’s back this up a bit. WIDAGO successfully completed a 1800nm journey from Bermuda to Horta, Faial (Azores) in 14 days. Our passage was very calm with light. read more...


Zingara -
Zingara -
10/06/2015

Firefly - Povoa

All arrived safe and sound in Povoa after 55 mile sail! Nice day but with alittle cloud! Sienna played in the cockpit (photos to follow) and she alsodecided that the Almanac was a better read than the beatrix potter books... Position currently 41:22:30N 8:45:89   We leave tomorrow and head to Porto where we pick Anna’s sister up for somecrew help! Should be fun! Again the boat is performing well and keeping us safeand sound! Thanks Firefly.... read more...


10/06/2015

Free Spirit - Log 25: 10 June 2015

I went to bed early Monday night in preparation fora 0600 start next morning. The crew went to a strip club. Not all  - I'llleave it to the reader to guess which ones. Some, not all, didmanage to emerge from their bunks at dawn, eyes bleary and bloodshotfrom insufficient sleep, too much intoxication and seeing things theyshouldn't, to lend a hand getting out of port. This was tricky because wewere hemmed in by other boats and the wind was blowing at 20 kts but we made itwithout mishap and are now back on the open sea with just over 900NM to go tothe Strait of Gibraltar.One of the attractions of Angra, in additionto its rich history, the beauty of its buildings - and its stripclub - is the bull fight, which takes. read more...


10/06/2015

Zingara - Via Inmarsat:

Weiter gehts....nach einigen schoenen tagen auf faial und tercheira segelnwir,- ja, wir segeln - bei idealem halbwind kurs durch die nacht nach saomiguel, marina ponta delgada. Dieses mal ist es keine wettfahrt, so konntejeder starten wann er wollte. Uns geht es prima, auch zingara funktionierteinwandfrei.So, das war s fuer den moment, beste gruesse von den azoren,ernst, wolle u ingo mit einem hallo zu nils in fra beim geldverdienen!. read more...


10/06/2015

Luna Quest - Wednesday, 10th June, 2015

Noon Position: 17.52S 177.05WDaily run: 63 milesA strong breeze is sending big blue rollers onto the port quarter of Luna Quest. It is difficult to keep her speed down to under 5 knots. She only carries a scrap of genoa. A near gale is forecast soon and our passage through the pass is due tomorrow morning. All night we have been hove-to to allow us to time our passage. This morning at 07.30am we only had a 130 miles to go to the pass from our hove-to position, a distance Luna Quest would cover in about 16 hours in this wind, but we have been told not to enter the pass at any time other than in the morning hours from 9am, when the sun is behind us and obstacles (bommies and rocks) can be spotted by the naked eye or with the help of polloroid sunglasses.The rollers are magnificent with. read more...


Isabella of Portsmouth - Photos start Arc Portugal 2015
Isabella of Portsmouth - Photos start Arc Portugal 2015
09/06/2015

Firefly - Some pictures of the trip so far! -

We are now in Baiona which is around 70 miles north of the Portuguese border and have a lovely berth at the yacht club! Sienna is very happy as shehas been reunited with all her toys... Boat looks great and really finally feelall the hard work prep has paid off as we are now so self sufficient. Current position 42:07:33N 8:50:86W   Leaving for Porto WednesdayAgain big breeze from the North so Sienna is excited  LOL   Crew Firefly    m_IMG_2401 m_IMG_2380 m_IMG_2363 m_IMG_2400 m_IMG_2424 m_IMG_2421 m_IMG_2410. read more...


Firefly - Some pictures of the trip so far! -
Firefly - Some pictures of the trip so far! -
Firefly - Drinks in Bayona
Firefly - Drinks in Bayona
Firefly - Dinner
Firefly - Dinner
Firefly - Fishing tackle
Firefly - Fishing tackle
Firefly - Night out
Firefly - Night out
Firefly - Crew in Plymouth
Firefly - Crew in Plymouth
Firefly - Fishing tackle
Firefly - Fishing tackle
Dala - Touring Terceira, North-East view
Dala - Touring Terceira, North-East view
09/06/2015

Firefly - Fast passage to Fiji's Lau Group

As we approach the end of a passage we are normally pushing Firefly as fast as possible in order to arrive in time for a deadline - normally its to arrive before it gets dark. Its different this time - we are going to need to slow down on our second night at sea in order that we have good light to enter the Tongan Passage, our planned route into the lagoon of Vanua Balavu, part of the Lau Group of Fiji - we are going too fast! Firefly cast off her mooring in Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga at 1030 on Monday 8th June to start this passage of just over 300 miles. The destination is a village called Lomolomo, which in this case is a 'sufferance' port. It is called this because its not an official port of entry for Fiji - the ICA have special permission to arrive here and have arranged to fly the. read more...



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