Thursday, 31 January 2013

Arrived St.Lucia 06:00 Thursday 31-Jan-2013

We are in Rodney Bay marina St.Lucia!
Arrived 06.00 local time this morning.
Crossing took 15 and 1/2 days.
once we find wifi, normal blog updates will resume

(update via satphone)

Dawn arrival in Rodney bay

Celebrating our arrival - Thanks to Gary & Janice for the Champagne

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Update Wednesday 30-Jan-2013

Wednesday position 14,15.8N 59,11.1W
103Miles to go.
Should be there by mid-am (local time UT-4).
Dolphins chasing flying fish.
Wind light with squally gusts.
Champagne ready !!

(Update via satphone)

Raising the St Lucian courtesy flag

Update Tuesday 29-Jan-2013

Tuesday  posistion14,31.0N 56,51.7W
238M to go.
Went fishing, but the big one got away with the lure & twisted up the line. Better it got away. Swapped pole to other side wind NE

(update via Satphone

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Update Sunday 27-Jan-2013

Sunday, Posistion 14,43.9N 52,12.3W
Only 510m to go.
Bacon croisants 4 breakfast & fresh coffee.
May go 4 the papers later & a pint before lunch!

(update via satphone)

Update Saturday 26-Jan-2013

Saturday noon position 15,01.8N 49,47.3W.
650 miles to go.
All had a shower last night.
We still have plenty of water left.

(update via Satphone)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Update Friday 25-Jan-2013

Friday noon  position 15,25.5N 47,22.6W.
Put clocks back 1hr we are now UT§3.
791 miles to go.
Cliff is rummy champ.
Fresh bread smells good.

(update via satphone)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Halfway Update Thursday 24-Jan-2013

We are halfway!
Position 15,33.1N 43,07.6W.
London Pride & G&T To celebrate.
Put clocks back 1hr, we are now UT§2.
Tropical birds, storm petrels & flying fish.

(update via satphone)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Progress Update Tuesday 22-Jan-2013

Tuesday noon, position 15,49.9N 39,57.1W.
1221 mile to go.
142 miles yesterday (142 made good).
Light shower in the morning.
Saw 1 ship on the horizon in the night.
All well.
(update via satphone)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Progress Update Monday 21-Jan-2013

Monday noon. Posistion 15,55.9N 37,31.9W.
1364 miles to go,
134 miles yestday (128 made good)
f4, sea flatter.
Tropical bird & flying fish (1 on deck this am),
Starry skies at night

(update via satphone)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Progress report Sunday 20-Jan-2013

Sunday noon, posisiton 16,05.1N 35,08.9W.
Rowena baking bread.
1,498 miles to go.
147 miles run (142 made good)
Sunshine,wind & big waves.

(Update via Satphone)

Progress report Saturday 19 Jan-2013

Windy day today with big seas reefed down in a f6.
1640 miles to go,159 run yesterday.
Noon position 16,20.6N 32,41.1W
Sunshine at last !

(Update via Satphone)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Progress update Friday 18-Jan-2013

Noon Friday   location 16,36.3N 30,07.2W
1788 mls to go.
Morale better as wind direction good.
Red dust also dolphins.
Thanks Ryan for the message.
1 large ship last night,
Unblocked heads joys of sailing

(Update via Satphone)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Progress update Wednesday 16th Jan 2013

Position 16,52.2N 26,03.8W
Little wind from all directions,very frustrating.
Chafed through jib sheet in the night v annoying.

Departing Mindelo
(Via Satphone)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Mindelo Cape Verdes

The trip down was uneventful, the wind was behind us but the swells were rolling us about a lot.  The worst was to the bottom of Gran Canaria. The waves were coming beam on, hitting the shore and coming back so the motion was horrible. Poor Rowena was sick.

At the bottom of the island the motion improved and we set both the headsails, the genoa poled out to windward with the no1 jib to leeward poled out using a block on the end of the boom. This was very effective as the wind varied between 12 and 26kts. To reduce sail we just rolled away a bit of the genoa.


The seas were quite big - about 3m all the time and at first we had lovely moonlit skies with millions of stars until the Harmattan kicked in and the viz was much less. The reduced viz is due to Saharan dust which has covered everything.  We were surfing down waves at over 10 kts sometimes, pretty exhilarating. We saw dolphins twice, the second time we identified them as Atlantic Striped Dolphins which we had not seen before, very nice, but very few ships.

Saharan Dust

One cruise liner came fairly close in the day and one night a big fishing boat was really close about 500m. He was not showing the correct lights so we could not work out what was going on. The AIS alarm had alerted us to them and we called them on the radio, a stilted conversation was had in broken Portuguese and English so we struggled to understand each other.  By then we realized we were going to avoid a collision and miraculously the correct lights appeared!

Lunch at an angle!

The frozen vac packed meat has worked well. It is still all fine, but we did throw out 1 packet of chicken that had definitely gone off. We only had 2 and the other one was fine. We could smell it in the fridge so maybe the vacuum wasn’t quite sealed.

We stuck to our 2 hour watches from 8pm till about 8am each day and during the day we were quite loose about our watches. We even had time for a card school one day! With very little boat traffic and little marine life, watch keeping was pretty boring.

The yacht 'Sens' Left at the same time as us and we never saw them!- Until now!

On approaching the Cape Verdes, the dust was so thick in the air that we did not see S. Anto Island at all and S. Vicente only at about 2 mls. The ropes are all really dirty and the whole boat is reddish. We have not washed it because the water is charged for, 2c litre, so not a lot but we did not see the point of washing everything while the dust is still blowing.

first sight of Mindelo in the dust!
Just arrived

The town is all a bit run down Old Colonial. Lots of nice buildings but in bad repair, but a very nice atmosphere. Street markets and street vendors as well as a few proper markets, including a craft market. Lots of fresh veg on the street or in the veg market as well as in the supermarkets. Fish on the street as well, tuna mackerel, bream and bass. We have found 4 supermarkets and each one has something the others don’t so you do need to go to all of them if you need to stock up. I think you can get almost anything between them all.

Buying Veg in the Market

There is a laundry in town about €8.50 for a wash and dry. We had to dry because of the wind. It would all have been covered in red dust if we had hung it on the boat. We got a camping gaz refill for €5.00 at the petrol station near the marina and it feels like a really good fill.

Street Market

The beer at the marina bar is cold so it’s not all bad. Do go to the Club Naval, good atmosphere. We saw a brilliant band there Wednesday night. The restaurant Don Street mentions across the street from its back entrance, the Chave D'Oro certainly has an interesting decor, atmosphere and waiter (Bit like Fawlty Towers) but the food is atrocious. However the house red was fine ( €4.00 per litre).
Club Navale

Band in the Club Navale

The only irritation is all the T-shirt and sunglass sellers try to get you to buy which is a bit annoying, especially when you have been past them a few times already. Still I suppose they need to earn a living too. We took a walk on Saturday to the town beach,  a lovely stretch of golden sand and very popular with the locals, as were the beachside cafes. We had lunch there just chilling out.
Mindelo by Night

Mindelo from the Marina

We will probably leave on Tuesday as a big storm in the North Atlantic is projected to bring some big swells as far south as here. (Difficult to imagine). Then it will be off to St. Lucia, 16 days at 130 miles a day, we are all pretty excited. Tonight there is a party in the marina bar as so many will be leaving in the next couple of days to various Caribbean destinations from Grenada to Antigua and all points in between.


We will be updating the blog via the satphone while crossing, Pictures  to follow.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Progress update 8-Jan-2013

We are Safe in Mindelo marina, after just under 7 days.

We are all well and the boat is fine.

6.5kts average.

Pretty good trip.

(Via Satphone)

Progress update 7th Jan 2013

Moore red dust! Looks like we have been in a brickyard!
Very broad reach, twin headsails this morning & Reefed mizzen.
100M to go will be there in the morning (8th Jan).

(via Satphone)

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Progress update 6-Jan-2013

Last night we had a Harmattan wind. The boat was covered in red dust!
We saw a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins this morning.
Broad reach No1 jib & Reefed mizzen
220 Mile to go.

(via satphone)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Progress update 5th Jan 2013 (via Satphone)

Crossed tropic of cancer last night, officially tropical.

2 common dolphins yesterday pm.

20+ kts wind, more easterly today, will alter rig if continues.

346M to go.