sailing

Farewell to the (southern) Caribbean

by Adrian 5th Mar 2015 - adventures

It seems strange that we’re soon to be leaving the main Caribbean islands to head west to Puerto Rico and then the Bahamas and the U.S.

We’ve worked our way north through most of the Caribbean island chain and have sailed (and motored) almost 1000 miles since arriving in December.

Caribbean Route

We’ve worked our way through the southern windward isles, epitomised by the laid back and rustic charms of Bequia and Union island.

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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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Fond farewell as we head south

by Adrian 28th Dec 2014 - adventures

Carsten and familyToday was the sad day where we had to say goodby to Alice, Carsten, Camille and Malou – our Danish friends as we turned to head south and they headed north.

We’ve been sailing on and off with them since June, when we first met them in Portsmouth, uk. We shared some huge experiences and they have become close friends.

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Our route across

by Adrian 26th Dec 2014 - adventures

I’ve just bought this image from the Yellowbrick satellite tracker company that the ARC fleet used to track and monitor our progress.

It shows ours and everyone else’s route across the Atlantic.

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Weather Forecasts at Sea – Atlantic

by Adrian 17th Nov 2014 - Caribbean

After a few days at sea on an ocean crossing, any weather forecast we take with us becomes too old to be of any use. During the crossing we are out of range from all normal communications, so have two ways to receive vital weather information:

SSB is short wave marine radio. We have a good SSB setup on our boat, and can talk to other crews on other boats across vast distances (up to thousands of miles) if the conditions are right and receive small emails containing basic weather reports, computer generated SSBGRIB files predicting wind and pressure systems and synoptic weather faxes.

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ARC 2014 Preparations

by Adrian 15th Nov 2014 - equipment
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I’ve been back at the boat for just under two weeks now and we have one week to go before we’re scheduled to leave.

Its been a very busy time, packed full with preparations for ocean sailing, safety work, boat jobs and provisioning. We’ve prepared the boat and passed the ARC safety inspection and I’ve ticked off a number of major projects I’ve been meaning to do for a long while.

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The Vagaris / Allures / ARC ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

by Adrian 31st Aug 2014 - Events
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We’ve just arrived in Las Palmas in preparation for crossing the Atlantic in a couple of months with World Cruising Club’s ARC Rally.

What should we do with the dinghy before packing it away? My nephew sent me the challenge from Finland by having his two young boys douse themselves in cold water. Could we do any better?

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Lagos to Las Palmas

by Jax 30th Aug 2014 - Portugal
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Not one.

That’s how many other yachts we saw on passage to the Canaries.

We didn’t see much wildlife either, a couple of dolphins on the first afternoon, a few sea birds and a couple of random small squid that we found on deck. We didn’t know how long the squid had been there so we thought it best not to eat them – shame.

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Man Overboard practice with a real man!

by Jax 24th Aug 2014 - Portugal
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Although they have sailed with us from Brighton to Chichester, Lymington and Cherbourg, with our crew still reasonably new to our boat, we thought it would be prudent to spend some time trying out some different sails and familiarising ourselves with certain procedures without having the pressure of having to cover lots of miles in a day.

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