Beautiful Barbuda

by Jax 24th Jan 2015 - Caribbean

‘Beautiful Barbuda’ is the tagline of the behemoth that is the Barbuda tourism authority – I’m kidding, everything about this beautiful island is on the small scale. The island comprises 62 square miles, mostly flat, with a population of under 2000. Everyone is friendly and it feels very laid back and safe.
Two foot bay The beaches – white, or verging on pink depending on the light – and the sea – turquoise are undisputably beautiful.

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Roaming Solar

by Adrian 24th Jan 2015 - equipment

We’re currently in the Caribbean roaming the seas in a very self sufficient manner. We are making our own water, generating our own electricity, shopping locally and living quite cheaply and well. (We’ll all be reading the Guardian , not washing and wearing dreads soon if we carry on like this!)

(not much chance of that)

Coachroof Solar PanelsOne little modification I made before leaving Las Palmas which is helping considerably was replacing the two 65W factory supplied solar panels built into either side of the coachroof with more efficient 100W mono-crystalline ones.

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SSB installation

by Adrian 23rd Jan 2015 - equipment
SSB Installation

An SSB installation is not easy, and is probably the area of boat technology that is most susceptible to hard-to-diagnose performance issues caused by poor installation. There aren’t that many people out there with real SSB installation knowledge, especially on aluminium yachts, so I’ve read around, talked to lots of people and have tried to become an expert and understand the principles and recommendations of SSB installation, and most of my thoughts and understanding is here.

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Deserted Beaches and Distant Wifi

by Adrian 21st Jan 2015 - Caribbean

I’m feeling a bit smug…

Barbuda ChartWe’ve sailed across to Barbuda, with the promise of beautiful rose white beaches and crystal clear waters and reefs for snorkelling. Our first stop has been Cocoa Bay – one of the long beaches on the south west coast.

As advertised, there are indeed miles of white (the guide book says pink) beaches.

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Antigua and Island Diversity

by Adrian 20th Jan 2015 - Caribbean
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The most unexpected thing about the Caribbean islands for me has been the diversity and differences between them.

This is an amazing cruising ground, where every day with a 20 or 30 mile sail you can be in a different country with a totally unique feel and character.

Antigua is a bit like Hamble, Cowes or Gibraltar – it’s a place with deep nautical history that is on most sailors’ destination list.

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Movie Night

by Adrian 17th Jan 2015 - Caribbean
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One of the things we get asked quite often from non sailors about our lifestyle and living on a boat is “what do you do about TV?”

Well, we do have a TV tuner – its a digital tuner connected to an antenna at the top of the mast that receives terrestrial TV signals from any country we’re in and streams them over Wifi to an iPad or laptop.

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Atlantic Crossing Time Lapse Movie

by Adrian 17th Jan 2015 - North Atlantic

This is a little time lapse movie I put together from the GoPro mounted on the arch and shot during our atlantic crossing. (It is 100Mb, so may take a few seconds to load)

Click to enlarge
Timelapse of Atlantic crossing

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Tropical Weather and Downpours

by Adrian 14th Jan 2015 - Caribbean

We all know the tropics are hot, but with that heat comes convection, with convection comes rising moisture, with rising moisture comes clouds and with clouds comes rain…

Lots of it, but usually only in short squally bouts.

DownpourWe’ve slowly become accustomed to this pattern. It can be baking hot, then suddenly you get an increase in wind, followed a minute later by a huge downpour that lasts from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

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Dominica – the nature island

by Adrian 11th Jan 2015 - adventures
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After leaving Bequia, we’ve sailed overnight to reach Dominica in one hop. After weeks of short day sails between islands it seemed a big thing to sail 140 miles overnight. It wasn’t, and it went fine. Sailing north is always a bit more tricky as you’re invariable tight on the wind. Fortunately the wind played ball and we were able to manage close hauled at 40-50º apparent in the open stretches between the islands in 15-20 knots of wind.

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Tobago Cays

by Adrian 5th Jan 2015 - Caribbean

We’ve arrived in the Tobago Cays. This small set of islands is surrounded by a huge horseshoe shaped reef which protects it from the huge force of the Atlantic swell.

Dingy's

The reefs protect yachts from the waves, but the wind blows unabated. The last few days has seen a consistent 20-25 knots of trade wind, so the prime anchorages to the windward side of the islands were very gusty and very uncomfortable.

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