Tall Ships Adventures are pleased to announce that we now automatically include travel insurance within your booking costs.

We have arranged this specialist travel insurance for all crew members taking part on all Voyages aboard any vessel owned or managed by Tall Ships Ltd.

Full Policy terms and conditions can be found on our website www.tallships.org

This can be downloaded or if required please contact us and we will send you a full copy in the post.

Please read through this documentation carefully to ensure it meets with your requirements.

A brief Summary of this cover is set out below.

Main Sections of Cover:


Cancellation or CurtailmentUp to £5,000

Replacement & Re-joining Expenses Up to £3,000

Medical, Repatriation and Additional Expenses Up to £1,000,000

Personal Baggage & Money Up to £1,500

Personal Accident £25,000

Journey Continuation Up to £500

Travel Delay Up to £500

Hospital Benefit £50 per day up to a maximum £2,500

Personal Liability Up to £2,000,000 (excluding whilst involved in sailing activities)

Legal Expenses Up to £25,000

Delayed Baggage Up to £250

Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation Expenses Up to £15,000


An Excess of £50 applies to some Sections - see Policy for details.


General Exclusions that apply to all Sections

It is important to be aware that Trips booked or commenced contrary to Medical Advice, contrary to health and safety regulations of airlines, to obtain medical treatment or after a terminal prognosis has been made are excluded.

This insurance also excludes certain types of claim arising from any of the following conditions in respect of an insured person

    (a) who is waiting for an operation or post operative check-up, any investigation or results, or any other hospital treatment or consultation (other than regular hospital check-ups for a stable condition where the medication and dosage has not changed in the last 12 months.)

    (b) who has received treatment for any of the following during the 24 months prior to date of booking a trip:

a stroke, any form of cancer; leukaemia or tumour; a transplant; any heart problem; hypertension; dialysis; diabetes (not including diabetes II); any blood disorder; any breathing or respiratory problem (not including asthma, unless requiring inpatient treatment); any psychiatric illness or dementia; any gastro intestinal condition e.g. colitis, stomach ulcer; any neurological system related condition

    (c) who has been seen by a specialist in the last three months (other than regular hospital check-ups for a stable condition where the medication and dosage remains unchanged).

You are advised to read the full policy terms and conditions (www.tallships.org or on request) which set out the full details of all exclusions and limitations


Maximum age 80 at date of travel

This Policy is underwritten by Sagicor at Lloyd's Limited (FSA reference 204947) for Lloyd's Syndicate 1206 and is administered by Sagicor Underwriting Limited.


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SSN 691 – Isle of Man School – Greenock/Glasgow – Liverpool

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 - No Comments »

Blog 1

After our departure from the Isle of Man very early in the morning, we took a coach from Liverpool to Greenock near Glasgow. We arrived about 7pm on Sunday and the crew welcomed us with a warm meal of chilli and rice, and very welcoming smiles. We had a quick briefing and settled in to our strangely shaped beds.

On Monday we received constant then we tested the engines by circling in the bay. We were all really excited to get going. No one was on any night watches that night so we all got a good, well-earned rest after a hard day’s training in climbing, cleaning and cooking to name but a few skills!

After a hearty breakfast of porridge and full English, we braved it up the rigging after learning crucial knot tying skills and the different functions of all the ropes. After lunch on Tuesday we set off down the Clyde and out into the Irish Sea towards Belfast. Those people who were on watch got to steer the ship and do lookout, and then those who were on watch during the night got to see magnificent starry skies – but it was very, very cold! We stayed in high spirits though!

We docked in Belfast after a rocky night which saw some sea sickness from this novice crew, some of whom had witnessed a really beautiful sunrise over the city. ‘Happy hour’ saw the ship thoroughly cleaned and after taking down and stowing the sails we docked in Belfast. This is a busy city and we were given the option of going bowling or staying aboard and climbing to the very top of the mast, which was amazing and we were proud of our individual achievements. In the evening we went to the cinema.

More from the Stavros crew tomorrow!

White Watch

AC007 – Azores to Cork – Challenger 2

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - No Comments »

Blog 7

Tuesday 31st March 2015

Well, second Blog for me. We are now day 6 into our Voyage and it has been very interesting the last 24 hours. Especially for me, had two huge waves come at the rear of the Yacht when I was helming, which I didn’t see coming but the other crewman did, and let’s just say it was nice to have a shower. We are currently about 150 miles away from our destination and looking to get into Ireland the early hours of tomorrow morning

When you read things like this and it refers to it as a ‘Challenge’, they are right. For someone like me with no sailing experience it has been a challenge. Learning to do all new and different things has been a challenge, helming a 57 tonne Yacht (and with the weather challenges as well), learning some new knots, putting sails up, winching, all has been challenging and interesting, but fun at the same time.

I came into this voyage with no expectations and no idea what was going to happen while at sea. I spent the first few days ill, but after getting used to the rocking and taking tablets I was able to bounce back and thoroughly enjoy the remainder of the voyage to its fullest. I am very happy I decided to do this and would recommend this to anyone looking for a new and different experience. As the saying goes ‘You regret the decisions you don’t make’, well I am glad this is one decision I made and decided to undertake the voyage.

The crew has been great and supportive of each other, and it has been good meeting people from different places and different levels of sailing experience, and also learning from all of them.

Well now we are counting down the hours and looking forward to that first celebratory drink. As before ‘Cheers’

Michael

 

Blog 6

Monday 30th March

Mornin! I hope this sunny Monday finds you well, rested and enjoying a peaceful morning at work/school/home/the gym (delete as appropriate).

It was with high spirits and eager anticipation that a small and very select crew (no riff-raff for Challenger 2, thank you

I’ve been embroidering kittens).

Right, off to turn the baked potatoes. Do spare a thought for us very much) departed Ponta Delgada a mere 4 days ago. In that 4 days we have experienced sunshine, moonlight – that reminds me of a song – twinkly stars and almost no rain. Our valiant crew have overcome seasickness, sleep deprivation and a fear of cooking as we progress on our 1200 mile journey to the Emerald Isle.

For the last 36 hours, conditions have been a little challenging as the increasing wind strength and , more significantly, sea state (officially rough) have made even the simplest tasks (drinking tea…having a wee etc) a major mission for our stalwart four – often requiring a Little Lie Down afterwards. People react to such challenges in different ways; Patrick and Mike can’t stop grinning and their stints on watch are punctuated with squeals of excitement as they encounter another, even bigger, wave, Chris cheerfully deposits partially digested fruit salad into the cockpit whilst all the while smiling cheerfully as though strolling through the park on a sunny day and Tomasz (Mr Grue from Despicable Me) has gone a funny colour but is manfully struggling on.

Having struggled with sleeping at all for the first 3 days, I am now beset by dreams about angry things. The other night (or possibly afternoon – it’s hard to tell) it was a big baboon (actually a person in a baboon suit) angrily stealing all the fruit on Baboon Feeding Rock and chasing people (me) who had purchased a bag of fruit to feed said baboons. It was quite scary and I woke up. I am now officially fed up of waves and apologise to any teacher friends reading this for possible spelling inaccuracies – the keyboard keeps moving.

We are currently crossing the Porcupine Abyssal Plain – which sounds rather fascinating. Still, all is looking very good in terms of progress towards our destination – we are only 366 miles from a pint of the brown stuff and a leisurely cruise – delightful words – along the south coast of Ireland. In the meantime, I have been amusing myself (in calmer hours) by whipping lines in the snakepit and putting in riggers eyes (not sailing friends to whom that makes no sense – in your flat, calm world…..

Lots of love

Sue (mate) xx

 

Blog 5

Sunday 29th March 2015

The most exciting news today is that we have just passed the half way mark to Cork, giving us only ~550 nautical miles left to go, though that still seems a rather long way!

Last night was overcast, giving only sporadic sighting of the moon and stars, so it was pretty dark on deck and we had very poor visibility. This meant we had to keep ourselves on course only using the compass, which is always a bit more challenging than by using stars or clouds in the distance as a fixed reference point.

Overnight the wind picked up quite a bit giving us more speed but much more rolling about, and what felt like some fairly extreme tilts, at least to an inexperienced sailor. The current forecast predicts that the father north we get the more the wind is going to pick up which is good for us continuing to make progress but not so good for sleep or anything else! By this morning is was getting quite challenging to keep the yacht on course, so in order to give us a bit more control on the helm as the wind continues to speed up we’ve put two reefs in the main sail (making it significantly smaller) and hence slowing us down. As the forecast predicts that the faster wind is also moving north over time, slowing us down has the added benefit that the wind won’t be quite as strong by the time we get to it.

Despite all this we’re still rocking about quite a bit, which is making this blog quite hard to type up!

Patrick

 

Blog 4

Saturday 28 March 2015

We have just ticked over into the start of our 3rd day. Last night we had extremely clear skies and when the half-moon drifted over the horizon at about 2am the sky became full of stars and constellations. We spent the next 30 minutes playing around with my phone trying to get the star app too work! When we finally did we found many interesting things such as the International Space Station was flying by. Later on that watch me (James W/L) and Chris saw a meteor. Not the typically small ones but one which had flames and air trails behind it!

With the wind still behind us we are having a very pleasant trip. This morning we gybe and have a new course of 015 so we can keep this wind as long as we can. Yet again we have covered 191NM (which is odd), now with under 759 too our destination of Cork. Everybody on board seems to be getting used to boat life, and some people are starting to enjoy it! No more dolphins to mention I am afraid, but just like the last trip. So far a bird has been seen every day.  I hope everyone reading is having a great weekend and is having a drink for us. Until next time……

James

 

Blog 3

Friday 27/3/15

The first night at the open sea has just finished. First time for me to see a sunset and sunrise on Atlantic. Three hours night watches work great, the best time to kill time is at the helm. The high pressure area is just at the edge of our course so we need to balance between our desired bearing and the wind.

With a steady wind from behind we are doing 8 knots and now have only 999 miles to go. Everyone is getting used to the system, sleep when you can, help when you are awake.

Today, Richard and I (Tomasz) are on the mother watch and I am getting familiar with British cuisine. I made a bacon for the first time and so far no complains. We also made bread using Portuguese instructions, haven’t tried it yet but it smells nice.

Regs,

Tomasz

 

Blog 2

Wednesday 25/3/15

Chris here I was the last member of the crew to arrive last night ,the taxi driver assured me I needed the older marina but It turned out I needed to be in the new  marina , but it was only a ten minute walk this time! I found the boat in the end without too much hassle and only a 10 minute walk!

We had a leisurely start to the day, not getting going until 9am, the first couple of hours spent getting to know all the systems down below deck followed by fitting all the sails and heading out to sea .

The winds were very light but sufficient to carry out all the procedures we needed to know ,from tacking, gybing , man over board drill, the principles of sailing, goose winging the gib with the biggest spinner pole i’ve ever used! And finishing off with a trip to the fuel dock loading 711 litres of fuel.

We are now all off out to a local sea food restaurant for dinner and tomorrow we all start our sea watches and guess what , Patrick and I are doing all the cooking for the day, that should be event full, although Patrick tells me that his preparation skills are second to none, it’s at the end that things fall apart! As for my cooking skills, well I did cook a meal,  once!

Chris

 

Blog 1

Tuesday 24/3/15

Hello, and welcome to my very first blog. Personally this is the first time I’ve ever done a sailing trip/adventure like this. I’m from Gosport but the only time I spent time on the water was when I was a scout, and that was a good 15 years ago now. I started at Heathrow by catching a plane at 19.50 and flying to Lisbon, and then on to the Azores and Ponta Delgada. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem expect I had a 9 hour layover at Lisbon airport, yay, fun.

After arriving at the airport at Ponta Delgada I got a Taxi to the local supermarket as I had made the error in not packing a sleeping bag, which I have blamed my mate for not telling me. The Taxi driver was very polite and almost didn’t charge as he didn’t have the correct change, very nice but glad he found the change in the end.

After arriving at Challenger 2 we spent a few days getting used to the yacht, where things are and getting a good nights sleep, with the second night being interrupted by a fellow crewman snoring, move to the other bunks it was.

Well now we are up to today, Tuesday, and spent the day driving around the Azores. The sites were wonderful. Going up the mountains and seeing the lovely views this place has to offer is amazing. The lakes, the hot springs, what they refer to as ‘Natural Pools’, where it gets up to 18degreesC, nice and warm. It is a wonderful place to see, and even though we went round in circles a few times it was a great adventure.

I am now looking forward to what the rest of this trip has to offer and continuing the adventure I have already had. Here’s to a wonderful time sailing the Atlantic Ocean and getting into Cork for a few well deserved drinks. Cheers!!

Michael

XF150323 – Swansea Youth Service – Challenger 1

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - No Comments »

Blog 4

Today is the 26th of March. We have been sailing from 12pm until 5pm. Today was a very successful day as everyone worked as a team well in every circumstance that was thrown at us. For breakfast we had eggs and sausage but some of us (Jordan) put Nutella on our eggs. For lunch we had baguettes with chicken or ham which went down well with everyone. The time now is 17:03 and were waiting to go for a shower then out for a meal with everyone on board as a treat. We played two team building games which were amazingly orchestrated by the best skipper in the world (mike). On the first challenge port watch won by far. But the second activity starboard team won as they obviously cheated. It has been a cold windy day from the moment we left this morning, but now it’s beginning to warm up as the sun is going down.

Lyssia, Morgan  

 

Blog 3

We had a very good day today. After an early start we all had a nice breakfast and headed up on deck to help out. Thanks to very good team work we quickly got the sails up and had plenty of time to relax in the sunshine. We sailed towards the needles and put the anchor down for a very tasty lunch which was said to be the best this week so far. After working hard all afternoon we got to have an hour free time which was spent relaxing or climbing the mast and looking at the breath-taking views. Over all we had a great laugh with all the crew on board and Jordan had a great time steering. We had a laugh when someone was stuck cleaning out the toilets. We motored in to port and ended the day on a high note with a cheerful dinner.

Everyone worked together well to put the sails up today and to pack them away after we docked; it is amazing to think how much faster we are completing tasks from the first day.  We can’t wait to have ‘the most amazing shower’, bigged up by Mike the skipper, according to him they are the best in the solent.

 

Blog 2

Today we sailed from Portsmouth to Poole everybody enjoyed breakfast, we had bacon baps. We left port at 9:30am and sailed until 4:30. In that time we worked together to hoist the main, Yankee and stay sail and put them away afterwards. There were a few discussions within the group which was down to personality clashes and people being tired after two days of sailing. Potatoes were hard at lunch time as they weren’t cooked properly but compensated for at tea time when we had a really yummy fish and chips. The weather started out sunny but soon changed drastically as there was a sudden outburst of hail and a random bout of gale force wind from the squalls around us. Not looking forward to leave port by 8:00am tomorrow but hopefully the day will be less strenuous. Overall it was an enjoyable experience since we first set sail on the boat.

Lyssia

 

Blog 1

Today was the beginning of our experience while on the challenger; we had an early start so we were tired and a little demotivated but we still lifted up and did the jobs which had to be done. The trip up was ages up but a chat with the mates made up for it, and the massage chairs in the services were so relaxing and then a disagreement why a Welsh top were being sold in an English services.  We found out our teams at first we were disappointed as we didn’t be with ourselves but as we work we are around each other anyway and is easy to concentrate as no messing around. We also likes steering the boat and putting the sails up and down. We learnt how to flake the sails and how to use the winch.  We got to find out a lot of information about our and other boats, we even passed an army boat which we found very interesting. We got to say our bad and good point after dinner at the table where we could also ask questions the workers really helped through the day with struggles and illnesses.  Good day, looking forward to a much needed sleep!!

CF328 – Azores to Portsmouth – CH4

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - 1 Comment »

Blog 5

Thursday

It is seven days since we left the Azores and my long awaited glass of wine (or two) is still several days sailing away – but I know it is getting closer by the hour!

As in any long passage, there have been highs and lows both in the weather patterns and in the mood of the crew. For me personally, one of my highs was the euphoria I experienced when Skipper Chris announced that we had enough water in the tanks to allow me to wash my hair – provided of course I was frugal with the amount of water I used.  Always one to obey orders, I filled the sink and plunged my head in, only to quickly realise that in my enthusiasm to experience the cleansing sensation of the water, I had somehow managed to get my head stuck somewhere between the plug  and tap! Now, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean one cannot rely on the efficiency of the Fire Brigade to assist in times of such crisis and so it came down to my new found skill as a contortionist to secure my release. The low I experienced when considering the embarrassment of having to call on my fellow crew members for help (which thankfully was not needed) was quickly followed by the high of having a clean head of hair!!

My watch, or the ‘Dream Watch’ as it has been christened, consists of our Watch Leader Archie, John, Nick and myself. With Nick and Archie, there are always plenty of laughs and who else but Nick would attempt to stand on his head in the cockpit with the boat heeled over simply because he had been told to do it -  what really is amazing is that he actually managed to achieve it even if only for a few seconds.

Unfortunately, the Ocean has been wrapped in a blanket of cloud for a few days which sadly has obscured the heavenly progression of the stars and planets as they march across the night sky.  The sun too has been reluctant to make an appearance and I can only thank modern technology for the gift of GPS to enable us to fix our position so readily. Being out here, so far from land and so alone, one must remember seafarers from years gone by who spent their lives in this sometimes hostile environment with little idea of where they were and with no means of communication.

It’s now just over a week ago that I met thirteen strangers in a restaurant in Ponta Delgada who had all signed up to bring Challenger 4 from the Azores to her home port of Portsmouth.  These thirteen people are strangers no longer and we have become a family, living on a yacht that is being tossed around at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean; but we all have the same goal – to bring ourselves and Challenger 4 safely home.

Sue Clements

 

Blog 4

Thursday

Dear Blogettes

Atlantic Sally Calling

Location 500nm from Falmouth UK. And I am feeling good………..

CH4 is free from the suck, squeeze, bang & pop of the metallic sail (engine).  The wind has picked up and we are downwind sailing.  Yankee No2 poled out and the mainsail has one reef.  The mainsheet is fully extended to catch the maximum wind. The sails goose-winged above the deck.  The helm/rudder kicks and strains under the pitching rolling waves.  CH4 tosses and turns like someone in the surf towards our destination, Falmouth, where it will earn a rest of 24 hrs before going to her home port of Portsmouth.  For me, Atlantic Sally, it will mean the end of 60 day affair with her – I ate, slept & felt her.  And the crew on this voyage, engaging, energetic, humorous and loveable, all carry their own personal stories and challenges.

For me, Atlantic Sally, Tall Ship Voyages are about bringing people together with a common band and desire to sail, to work as a team, friendships are forged, some survive, some do not,but you can be sure of one thing, you never forget the vessel or the crew and the feelings that are aroused on these voyages.

If you are looking at the moon think of me and the crew of CH4 ‘cause I and they will be thinking of you!

Atlantic Sally

 

Blog 3

Monday

After a windy night with plenty of action on the foredeck 27knots of apparent dies to just 6. Yankee down/stay down/2 reefs in main and engine on.

Indoor sextant lessons followed by spag bol & Pineapple chunks @ 1800hrs

Plenty of phosphorescence in wash.

Tuesday

3 cargo ship interception.

Been metallic sailing since 13.30 yesterday.

Watch wind-dance-off choreography in progress.

Beautiful sunrise over a mackerel sky – brown boobie spotted.

20-strong pod of common dolphins @ 1030hrs

Second shower at 1100hrs!

Jack-pots for lunch

Rotten broccoli discarded overboard! Wahoo!

Excited at promise of potential kite run back home to blighty J

 

Yours,

Team Dash

#archiecantstrum #griffins #brokenbiscuits #dolphins #blutackchess

 

Blog 2

22 March
21.19
Position: aprox 232 Nautical Miles North of Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel.

After leaving Ponta Delgada on Friday Challenger 4 and its motley crew have been heading north, avoiding the Biscay area where there are winds of 30 knots forecast.  Instead Chris (Skipper) has planned a passage firstly north through calmer winds to then pick up (fingers crossed) a lift towards the UK.

All has been plain sailing so far allowing the crew to find their sea legs, routines and way around the boat.  This has included some great meals, cupcakes and soon some freshly baked bread J.

The occasional pod of dolphins have been  keeping us company and just when we thought the North Atlantic was going to give us an unusually easy ride the winds have risen and the seas steepened.

The main is reefed twice and we have just had a soggy and bouncy time on the foredeck dropping the yankee sail in the dark.  We are still making a good 7 – 8 knots with the apparent wind gusting in the mid 30’s occasionally.

Everybody seems happy with the extra excitement and theirs smiles all round (some a little nervous!).

Jim fed the fish and lost his teeth in the Atlantic as he did so – oops! Mary also decorated the cockpit area and Afonasy has been trying to hog the helm – Russians!
Garys screen saver, serious face gave way to a grin, Chris is an ace at chess, Sue is a brilliant cook and Nick has been making a mess baking.  Archie has been pumping out the tunes on his guitar, Harriet has been learning to play, Sally is still “ye – Ha –ing” John is still causing mischief, Dave has a grin ear to ear. Dai seemed to enjoy the rough foredeck

Right off to bed -  a whole 6 hours! Treat!

Kirstie (WL)

Log 417nm
Pos: 42”43’01N   26”13’66W

 

Blog 1

Friday – Final shopping & showers – slipped 11.00

Avanasi = Mr Muscles

Saturday – sailing north’ish

Beating to windward, making NNW

David’s birthday & Mrs David’s Fruitcake

Blutack chess @ 1900hrs – Chris 2 Kirstie 0

Sunday – Motor-sailing north

Jim TOB (Teeth Overboard) @ 0500hrs

Desperate to find out the England vs France Rugby score…. Everyone waiting in anticipation COME ON ENGLAND!!!!

Weather has been quite calm for most of the trip so far, unfortunately we have not seen much marine life. We have seen a couple of dolphin pods but not up close L=

We have had a couple of nice clear nights so we could do a bit of star gazing and interesting debates about the universe. Andromeda could technically pass directly through the milky way without any collisions.

The Three S’s @ 1100hrs (S**t, shower & shave)

Nick’s attempt at ciabatta went out in the slops bucket. Susan swoops in to save the day with take 2.

Signing off Dream Team. (Archie, Nick, Sue and John + Dai) #wmp #archiecantstrum

Atantic Circuit – AC 006

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 - No Comments »

18/03/2015

So our voyage is done.  The long months of fund raising and anticipation are at an end.

Our last full day at sea saw us motor sailing under reduced sail as the last of the chop and swell from the stormy weather in the open Atlantic finally gave way to the benign seas more associated with that well known weather pattern for this area, the Azores High.

We were busy all morning, flaking and bagging sails, stowing lines, cleaning fenders, tidying up the sail locker in readiness for our arrival as well as a good clean of the deep bilges with mops and buckets!  After lunch we had an opportunity to relax and enjoyed afternoon tea on deck making short work of Darren’s marvellous Madeira cake.

Late yesterday afternoon saw our first sight of land for nine days.  The small volcanic island of Pico was some sixty miles to our north yet clearly visible beyond our natural horizon.  First sight of our final destination San Miguel was had early this morning and we are now safely alongside in the marina at Ponta Delgada.

With just some time to clean the boat, have a look round the island and have a farewell meal ashore with the Challenger 2’s sea staff; Steve, Darren, James and Hayley we will soon be on our way home.

Our thanks must go to the sea staff for their good care and company during the last three weeks.

With every good wish to all at St. Margaret’s.

From  Lisa, Rob and Colin 

 

16/03/2015

Today’s light winds and only having a storm trysail have made sailing impossible and much motoring has resulted.  This gave us an opportunity to take down the torn main sail ready for its trip to the sail makers on our arrival, as well as getting other preparations for land fall out of the way early.

We are now only about 250 Nm away from our destination with one last night left at sea.  One of the uniquely special experiences of long distance passage making are the sights, sounds and sensations of night sailing.  On sailing from the Bahamas we have been accompanied throughout our night watches by the moon, first as a full moon which has gradually waned on each night of our passage until last night when it became a mere crescent moon.  As each night became darker than the previous the Milky Way steadily revealed its true splendour.  It was a very welcome companion during these night watches only to be chased away by the sun’s first rays of the new day.

Throughout the stormy few nights however, the night sky was an inky black with no discernible horizon or other visual clues by which to steer.  In these conditions the sensation felt by the helmsman was of being drawn faster and faster into a black hole with each successive gust.  Our companions on these occasions were the spume thrown up from the hull and the sparkling phosphorescence of the plankton as we crashed through the confused seas.  In some ways this was just as magical as the peaceful, twinkling stars of calmer nights.  Each sensation quite different but both will leave a lasting impression on our memories.

 

13/03/2015

Since our last update the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Building steadily from late Tuesday the winds have reached force 9 gusting to force 11 and very rough seas. Overnight last night there was a lot of rain to compound the issue. Despite this bucking bronco ride we are on, we are all in good spirits and enjoyed James’s improvised beef curry last night for tea. Some 900 plus miles gone and with now just under 1000 to go we can soon begin to feel that it is all downhill to the Azores, so to speak.

Colin

 

11/03/2015

Currently we need to make good an average speed of 6.5 – 7.0 knots to arrive in The Azores by Friday the 20th.  The winds remain quite variable and as a result we are having to spend several hours under engine while waiting for the favourable winds to kick in once again.

Tuesday was affine clear day which gave most of us some time to relax.  Steve and Darren organised a wonderful chicken BBQ with just an oven and a blow torch.  The culinary masterpieces are likely to come to an end soon as our fresh provisions will soon be at an end but it was good while it lasted.  Darren was the winner of yesterday’s Great Atlantic Bake Off challenge with some delicious if oddly shaped fairy cakes with icing and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands.

Last night was the coldest so far and a busy night for all with an impromptu sail change at 03:00 and work in the engine fuel filters at 04:30.

We are now 546 Nm into our passage and our next update is planned for Friday when we should be just under the half way point.

 

09/03/2015

Under sail again, and 217 of the 1946nm to the Azores under our belts already.

The Extra day allowed more exploration of Bermuda, despite being a bit overcast and windy for much of the day.

The wind is a bit fickle and we have had to turn the engine on for periods to keep the speed we need to ensure we arrive ahead of the flight departures!!

Sighted sea birds and more flying fish but not so far the whales which Lisa is longing to see.

Rob and James made delicious burgers for lunch today and Darren is trying his hand at fishing, so we are all waiting to see what is on the menu tonight.

Having practiced my astro nav I have now located us in the correct ocean…. Practice makes perfect.

That’s all for now folks next update in 2 days.

Colin

 

07/03/2015

The end of our first week on board saw us sailing in fine conditions towards Bermuda.  We made landfall early on Friday morning in the very tranquil and picturesque old town of St. Georges before it had truly woken up for the day.

After a good clean up of the boat and the crew alike it was time to go exploring.  Rob hired a moped and headed off to find the far corners of the island while Lisa and Colin went for a swim at Tiger Bay just over the hill from St. Georges before taking a stroll back through the narrow streets and brightly painted houses of the old town which dates back to the 17th century.

Our planned sailing for today (Saturday) has been delayed due to strong winds which prevent us moving safely to the fuel and water berth, so the current plan is to await tomorrow’s better weather.

Rob sends this message to Pat and Keith Garland; alive, well and missing you both.  Rob sends Happy Birthday wishes to Olivia and Sara as does Colin to his wife Sheila.

 

04/03/2015

Less than 24 hours after arriving in The Bahamas Lisa, Rob and Colin plus sea staff Steve, Darren, Haley and James set sail for Bermuda. After a bouncy first 24 hours we have all found our sea legs, thanks goodness. Sailing under a full moon at night has been a great help to pass the night watch. Last night we were visited by some flying fish with one landing next to Lisa and giving her quite the surprise. Baked bread and cakes as the sun rose this morning and anticipating a brief stopover on Friday in Bermuda if the current weather forecast holds good.

Colin

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