#1 2011-10-03 15:52:34

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SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Simoon III of London is a cutter rigged Victoria 34.

The following log is by Simon Fraser and Janet Gayler.

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Simoon III on passage from West End to Road Town, Tortola on the 15th February 2009

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Simon and Janet

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#2 2011-10-03 16:13:38

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

The challenge ahead

Simon Fraser and Janet Gayler have rejoined Simoon III at Puerto de Mogán on Gran Canaria and are about to set sail for Barbados.

The distance to South Point, on Barbados, is approximately 2605nm and to Bridgetown would be about 2620nm.

Their messages will be displayed on the following pages, as they are received.

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#3 2011-10-03 16:14:38

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Puerto de Mogán - Last minute preparations

Fri, 14 Dec 2007 19:27:00 GMT

We are now in Mogan and guess what!!!  We have 2 additional solar panels fitted above the coach roof which were in place when we arrived on Monday. Peter was finishing the 2 steel hatch security grilles, believing that we were leaving today and actually came on board after 7 p.m. yesterday and then had to drill the holes in the dark, needed to borrow a drill and go back to his shed for bits.  He finally left at 8.30 p.m. but they are great. They were ordered in September and we had given up hope of getting the job finished so we're very pleased.

Yesterday was a "Spanish day" but it was the 13th!  We drove to Arinaga to try and get an anode for the calorifier.  The address was no 165.  We found the road and drove up and down (the wrong way down a one way street at one point) but the number only went up to 55.  We finally stopped outside a sign saying 2B and 'phoned the company who said we were outside!  The actual building was 165 but the numbers in the street were somewhat different!  The phone no. was correct for the building but the firm did not exist.  We were sent to Arguineguin and this time we were directed by various people in totally the wrong places.  Finally we found the chandler and bought 2 anodes just to be sure. We went to Carrefour for supplies only to find that there was a holiday in Arinaga and all the shops were shut.

We now have all the provisions for 3/4 weeks at sea.  The weather forecast is OK so we are going to leave before lunch tomorrow Saturday 15th December.

There is an Irish group here whom we saw yesterday.  They are going to row across and hope to take about 29 days in an attempt to beat the record.  If the weather is right they can go faster than us! There will be 6 rowers at any one time, with 14 people on board.  Food for them will be hydrated and they haven't sorted out what's in the packages. They might pick porridge or curry!

Whilst typing this we've heard that an American and an Australian rowing crew have also arrived so there'll be a race.

Anyway, hope you have a happy New Year.  By that time we hope to be more than half way across and heading for Barbados.

Simon and Janet

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#4 2011-10-03 16:17:57

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

22º 28.46'N & 24º 39.66'W - North of Cape Verde Islands

Sat, 22 Dec 2007 15:44:00 GMT

Well, it's Saturday again. At noon today our position was 22° 28.46'N & 24° 39.66'W. 240 miles north of Santo Antao in the Cape Verde Isles. We have been at sea for a week now, completed 693 miles and have just over 2000 miles to go to Barbados! At last we're in the Trade Winds, have the parasailor, a type of spinnaker with a slot cut out 1/3 of the way up and a piece of parachute laced loosely into the space to allow for the wind to spill through and keep the sail full. Difficult to get up as it has so many lines attached but once sailing looks beautiful - bright red and white - and goes really well and much more smoothly downwind. 

It's not been an easy week.  We left with the Heart of England Jazz band waving us off together with other people we'd met in Puerto Mogan and sailed out optimistically into a sunny, calm sea. Actually it was too calm and we had to motor for 3 days as sometimes we only had 2 knots of wind!  Then a depression struck with huge seas, adverse winds and rain storms.  The fridge stopped working and there was a fresh water leak and we lost all our water.  That could be resolved partially by turning off the pump and using the foot pump in the galley.  With the desalinator to re stock the water tank no problems in supply now, except that who wants to stand and laboriously pump the water?  Needless to say it's a lick and a promise - if that, if the boat's being tossed around!

Simon is on antibiotics.  He had 2 teeth out just before leaving and although he took antibiotics and finished the course he did not keep carefully to every 8 hours, so his lower gum went numb.  No distractions (like beer with bellringers) here so the tablets are working and he is keeping to the times, which co-incides with watches.

The regime here is sleeping, keeping watch and eating.  We each do 8 hours watch in every 24, 2 x 3 hours and 1 x 2 hours.  So there's a lot of time for sleeping! The men seem to have reversed the order of things as per London, i.e. 6/8 hours sleep and 16+ hours up/work, etc.  It's head down and snoring whenever possible!

We have been entertained by loads of dolphins twice, sailed in parallel with a yacht most of one day and seen several ships, picking them up first on the AIS at 32 miles away. Most of the time there are no boats around.  We left just ahead of the rowing challenge called la Mondiale and have been feeling very sorry for them in the rough weather. There are 14 on board an open boat! The 2 new additional solar panels, towed generator and wind generator keep the batteries fully charged during the day, so we can use the autopilot all the time and the chartplotter & radar when ever it is necessary.

On board Christmas will be celebrated low key with confit canard, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, Panetone, and crackers. Father Christmas will have to navigate his reindeer to our tricolour on Christmas Eve! We have no carrots to leave out as they all went rotten and no mince pies, oh dear! The decorations are so subtle that Simon didn't notice the 5 stockings and cards blutacked around.

We hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Simon & Janet

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#5 2011-10-03 16:21:29

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

N20º20.75' W033º41.32' - 1243nm out - 1548nm to go

Thur, 27 Dec 2007 15:26:00 GMT

Noon position 27th December 2007
20° 20' 45" N
33° 41' 19" W
1213 miles from Puerto Mogan 1548 miles to Barbados

Christmas is now over for us on board though we still have some festive food left. On Christmas Day we had confit canard, cranberry stuffing laced with calvados, bread sauce, onion gravy, pots, peas and carrots.  Not bad on only 2 rings and an oven. When Janet opened the oven door to get hold of the duck the stuffing came hurtling towards me.  She just managed to stop it and call for help.  Often a third hand is needed, cooking in these conditions.  Despite being hove to, the boat bounced around and we had to hold on to our plates (we use soup plates for all meals to stop food shooting off across the cockpit).

We saved the Christmas pudding for Boxing Day, but decided it would be prudent not to have a flaming pud.  Instead we poured the rum (couldn't find the brandy) over the custard which tasted good.  We finished the Florentines and stollen cake (M&S sell a fantastic moist, alcoholic cake full of nuts and fruit) and still have a Christmas cake, marron glace and orange and lemon slices to enjoy, thanks to Jean.  There's not a lot else to do but eat, so Janet spends a lot of time planning the next meal. Today it's seafood crepes.

Anyway enough of food.  We have been sailing for several days now with one reef in the main and a partly furled genoa as the winds vary from 11k to 20k. For the last 24 hours they have been from SE.  Yes I know we're in the NE Trades, but the weather here doesn't!  We are on the edge of depressions so the wind is variable in speed and direction.  We had hoped to average 100 miles a day and sometimes even do 120.  No such luck.  We're pleased if get into the 90's at the moment.  So ETA in Barbados is about 9th January now. Tomorrow we should be half way there.

The 2 new solar panels (all is forgiven Peter, despite the fact that you were working on board at 8p.m. the night before we left) and the towed generator give us full power during the day so we can have the Chartplotter on whenever we want.  Simon is now getting a weatherfax from New Orleans which has interesting charts, including a satellite image of clouds.  Incidentally when we have the radar on it shows rain clouds clearly, sometimes in technicolour and if we target them (as if it is a ship) we can see the speed at which they're moving and a direction line.

The GRIB file via Sailmail on the computer gives a 6 hourly chart for the next 72 hours and has proved very accurate.

We have had 3 sides of the 'Wendy House' up since soon after leaving Mogan and this gives us protection from the wind at night and from the sun during the day.  The watch system, our third, seems to suit us all.  Simon and Julian do 2 x 3 hour watches from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Janet does 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The men then sleep during the day. 

Janet has just made some bread as what we bought has finally given out on us.

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#6 2011-10-03 16:24:14

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

N18º45.12' W039º06.47' - 1535nm out - 1272nm to go

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Chart is courtesy of Google Earth. The yacht icons (pointing the wrong way!) show the positions on Day 7, 12 and 16 (if you cannot read the red print!)

Mon, 31 Dec 2007 20:54:00 GMT

Dear all,

Noon position 31st December 2007
18° 45' 07" N
39° 06' 28" W
1535 from Puerto Mogan 1272 to Barbados day's run 77 miles.  Better than the day before but still disappointing. I understand form my son Philippe that one of the easiest ways to see where this position is to plot in on "Google Earth". As we don't have internet access I haven't the full address or know how to do it.

Happy New Year to everyone.  We hope that 2008 will be enjoyable for you and we will be thinking of you all.
Instead of ringing at midnight tonight Simon will be just getting up for his watch (12 until 3 am), taking over from Julian.  Janet will probably be asleep in her kennel (the forepeak) ready to do the day watch from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. As it gets dark by 7.30 p.m. and we must not have bright lights below, because it upsets night vision it's early nights here.  No bells or pubs to distract us!

After a boisterous Christmas lunch, with the boat bouncing around merrily, we had several days of perfect sailing.  The wind was from the SE on the beam at about 12k and we made good progress, doing just over 100k each day in comfortable circumstances.  We passed the half way mark and were looking forward to getting to Barbados. Then the doldrums! Unexpectedly in the last few days there has been no wind.  Often we've registered 0.2 or even 0.0 of boat speed. We only managed 33 miles in 24 hours on 29th December and that much was only because we had the engine on for 1.5 hours to charge the batteries and also have at least 1k of favourable current. So it has been very frustrating.  We don't have enough fuel to motor all day so have to learn patience and sit quietly in the sunshine, wallowing gently in a calm, undulating sea, which breathes peacefully.  So much so that we have been able to have the hatch open and even some of the windows as there are no rogue waves to get us wet.  We read and sleep and eat.  What else is there to do in this tiny space?  Life is very restricted here.

It has been lovely to hear from you over the Christmas period.  In fact we know in more detail than usual how you've spent the days from your emails. Please keep sending them.   It's the highlight of the day to turn on the computer, download the GRIB file for weather and send and receive emails.  When we had difficulty one day with both satellite and SSB connections, Simon was very downcast and spent the afternoon with Julian taking the SSB box apart.  There were 39 screws to undo but it was the only way to check the wires.  Anyway it gave them something to do!  Now all is working well again thank goodness.

We have eaten almost all the special Christmas fare.  Tomorrow we are having haggis for lunch.  It's in a tin so not sure what it will be like, though we will pour a tot of whisky over it which will make it much nicer.  We have no coal for first footing and no-one to visit.  We're hoping that the pilot fish whose been swimming alongside some nights might come.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you all,

Simon, Janet and Julian



Tue, 01 Jan 2008 12:24:00 GMT

Thank you to whoever phoned us on New Year's Eve.  On board it was 11.30 p.m., 0030 in London.  Simon who was nearest, but asleep, stumbled out of bed bleary eyed, and couldn't work out what the noise was. The satellite phone only rings once, not like a land line or mobile, so he couldn't decide which alarm had gone off.  Was it the AIS which has a 32 mile guard zone to warn of approaching boats, or the bilge being too full of water or the DSC Controller with a relayed distress message or a Navtex alarm?

Anyway that meant we were all awake for midnight and drank a toast - in fizzy water!

The wind has now picked up a bit but with it confused seas.

We will have to change our clocks 3 more times before we get to Barbados, to accommodate the time zones.

Enjoy the day

Simon, Janet and Julian

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#7 2011-10-03 16:29:32

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

N16º42.58' W047º39.18' - 2049nm out - 722nm to go

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Sat, 05 Jan 2008 12:11:00 GMT

Dear all,

Noon Position 16° 42' 35" N  47° 39' 11" W 5th January 2008

2049 miles from Puerto Mogan, 722 miles to Barbados, day's run 95 miles

Well, we're nearly there.  Less than 722 miles to go. Since Simoon's longest non stop voyage in the last 10 years has been 487 miles, I suppose that's still some distance.  We usually cover about 1000 miles in a season (that's why it took 8 years to get round Britain) so it will be as if we've done 3 years when we reach Barbados.

That has been our consolation when things stop working.  Always every year there are repairs to be done: we're just getting 3 times as many!!  The wind generator has gone wrong and yesterday we realised that the towed generator was no longer attached. Don't know whether the shackle failed or the screw came undone but the line to the shaft has disappeared, but now we have to rely on the solar panels which are great during the day and a few hours with the engine.

Since New Year we have been becalmed for 3 days, achieving only 33, 75 and 79 miles respectively.  Then despite a forecast of 15k winds, we had 23 - 25 all day with gusts of 28k and rough, disturbed seas.  Overnight there were squalls, one of which produced winds of 39k, so Simon had to get the pole down in the dark and the genoa furled.  We sailed with just a reefed main for the rest of that night. Yesterday the winds were around 11k as forecast, but none of us could quite believe it as we waited for the strong winds to arrive.

It's very hot during the day and we try to find shade in the corners of the Wendy House thinking of you with the probability of snow back in England.  Poor things.

On deck alone for hours looking at the endless sea or the myriad of stars makes one wonder at it all. Encapsulated unreality.  3 of us in a tiny boat in a vast ocean.  What it must have been like for the explorers who like us were in a huge empty space, but, unlike us, didn't have GPS, Chartplotter, satellite communication or the certain knowledge that there is land ahead.

We're all looking forward to next Saturday,

Simon, Janet and Julian

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#8 2011-10-03 16:33:36

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

13º 02' 08" N & 059º 23' 18" W -  Approaching Barbados - Land ahoy!

Editors note:  The position was given as 13º 02' 08" N & 050º 23' 18" but that would put him hundreds of miles from Barbados. The longitude in the title is probably correct and would put him south of Sam Lord's Castle with 6.9 nm  to run to a waypoint somewhere south of South Point Lighthouse.

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Sat, 12 Jan 2008 12:10:00 GMT

Noon position UTC 12 January 2008

13° 02' 08" N

050° 23' 18" W

2771 miles form Puerto Mogan 6.9 Mile to Barbados waypoint and a further 10 miles round in Carlisle Bay Bridgetown, day's run 114 miles.

Land is in sight.  Saw the first glow of land this morning about 06:00 UTC 45 miles away. Well, we've now been becalmed for the third time on this trip!  Simon has devised a Heath Robinson way of testing how much fuel is left - he sticks a piece of paper to his steel tape measure and dips it.  27 cms on Thursday and 20 cms yesterday.  So we have enough for 2 days motoring and expect to do the last bit in about 25/28 hours.



We have been giving some thought to the passage and here are our comments:

Winds variable in direction and speed

Becalmed 3 times, each lasting about 3 days, lowest daily average 33k in 24 hours! with at least 1k current every hour!!

Beam reach/broad reach 3 or 4 times

Depressions x 3 (weather not us!)

Troughs along the lines of the isobars making sunny days and cloudy days

Parasailor up only twice because wind too unpredictable

NE Trades for only 5 days, with perfect Trade Wind puffy white clouds

Big Atlantic swells from NE to NW 2m to 4m wave height

Thunderstorms in the early hours (3am to 6 am) when wind increased x 3, from 13 to

39k and from 5 to 15k. Can be tracked easily on radar as they show up as great big brightly coloured blobs

Complex skyscapes.  Up to 7 or 8 multiple layers of cloud

At times intense rolling up to 54 degrees (27 in each direction)



Also: the loneliness of solitary watches

      the pleasure of receiving and sending emails

      the difficulty of getting food from plate to mouth without losing everything overboard

      trying to stand upright at times

      seeing dolphins, a pilot fish and flying fish which land on deck

      things going wrong and the joy of repairing them

      the lack of phosphorescence on the water and few sea birds

      very few boats and those which were 'seen' on AIS were about 25 miles away

      the delight of a hot shower

      the green flash at sunset

Later today we will be in Bridgetown Harbour looking forward to a lobster meal ashore, with plenty of rum punch to celebrate our arrival.

Simon, Janet and Julian



Our congratulations to Simon, Janet and Julian on a successful crossing, from all of us in the Victoria Shadow Association.



Sun, 13 Jan 2008 14:26:00 GMT

After 28 days, 3 hours and 15 minutes we arrived at Bridgetown Harbour to clear customs.  The fenders/bollards were so large that Simoon couldn't get close to the ladder in the wall.  Instead Simon and Julian crawled up and over one to go to Customs whilst Janet began to clear the detritus of a month at sea.  Over an hour later they returned with the news the Julian has to take his plane ticket to them for exit clearance before going to the airport on Thursday.  What bureaucracy.

We then went to pick up a buoy in Carlisle Bay and had just finished putting on a second rope when the heavens opened and there was a deluge, which lasted more than 3 hours.  It had been very cloudy and overcast in the morning as we came along the coast and we had wondered whether there had been a ghastly navigational error and we were on the south coast of England!  Anyway, a bit disappointing for our arrival to this tropical island.

We sheltered in the Wendy House, getting drips down our backs as we ate a gloomy lunch. Not the hot, sultry, welcome we had anticipated.  Still, as Julian said, we know it can only get better.  On deck to blow up the dinghy the people on Shiva came over to say hello as we'd met them 2 summers ago in Corme, Spain.  They had a 3 year old and a dog on board so their routines must be quite different.

However in the evening we went ashore, tying to a pontoon which in the book says might cost, or was that to pick up one of the Boatyard Restaurant's buoys? In fact the bar tender was very low key, waived any charge for leaving the dinghy and didn't seem to know much about the buoys.  Simon was directed to speak to someone who said that they no longer looked after the buoys and was vague as to whether anyone else did.  There was no food, just rum punch and very cold beers. So we tottered - not sure from alcohol or being on land again - next door to a superb meal in a posh waterside restaurant called Wispers. Janet had lobster starter whilst Simon and Julian tucked into some lamb which was cooked to perfection.

We got back to the boat at 9 p.m. feeling as if it was 2 a.m. and fell fast asleep until bells at the various churches tolled out every hour from 6 a.m. (only one bell at each, unfortunately).  Everything is closed on Sundays here so after the rain has cleared - yes, 2 brief rain storms this morning - we will go ashore to explore Bridgetown.

Signing off now for a few days of relaxation,

Simon, Janet and Julian

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#9 2011-10-03 16:36:19

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Carlisle Bay, Barbados - Caribbean News

Sat, 19 Jan 2008 21:23:00 GMT

So, we've been a week at anchor in Carlisle Bay. What have we been doing?  Well, sorting out some minor repairs, doing lots of washing (no laundrette here and the laundry takes a week), socialising with other 'yachties', hiring a car to take the mainsail in for repair at Doyle Sails and going round the island.  We went to Port St Charles on Wednesday to see if the rowers on la Mondiale had arrived.  We were not allowed in to the complex as it's very select.  Each residence has a berth next to it.  There is a pier which has 6 visitors berths - for yachts up to 200 feet! Not for the likes of us, then.

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Port St Charles

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Port St Charles

We were told that the rowers would arrive between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday and we would then be allowed on to the pier. We went to Bridgetown Harbour for Julian to show his plane reservation and get exit clearance and next day took him to the airport. He was not looking forward to going back to a cold, wet London.

We collected the mainsail and then went to see the rowers, who all looked remarkably well considering that they had been rowing for 33 days.  They have broken the record and will be in the Guiness Book of Records. Most of them had lost about 2 stone in weight, though one had lost 3 stone as he was seasick for the first week. Everyone was very proud of the achievement and it was a lovely celebration.

We spoke to Kenneth Crutchlow from Ocean Rowing and he was excited that we had left at the same time from Mogan and come to Bridgetown, so could compare the 2 journeys, especially as our 'support team' had plotted the 2 courses daily on Google earth.  Janet is going to write something for him about Simoon's journey.

Simon had another look at the fuel gauge today and after spending some time cleaning and checking it, he located a broken wire which he mended.  He was thrilled that he has repaired it, so we no longer need the improvised dip stick method.

We plan to move on to St Vincent in the next few days so that we can get something done about the fridge.  Currently we're getting ice every second day.  Must have cold beers!

Cheers,

Simon and Janet

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#10 2011-10-03 16:41:01

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

St. Lucia - Caribbean Update

Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:38:00 GMT

It is pouring with rain again this morning here in St Lucia, so there is no excuse not to write what we've been up to in the last month.

We now have a beautiful new fridge which works well. It involved a day's lift out so that a hole could be made in the bottom of the boat. This was not without frustration as the yard insisted that we undid the backstay and Simon was worried that something might fall down and also concerned as to whether he could get the bottle screw tightened again. There was a strong wind blowing and Simoon did not like going backwards into the cradle, or in fact, forwards when it was time to leave!

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Bequia moorings

We spent 2 relaxing weeks in Bequia whilst waiting for the fridge parts to arrive. This coincided with their music festival over the first weekend which was fun. We really enjoyed visiting Moonhole (an eco complex of 19 homes built into the rock), the turtle sanctuary and many of the restaurants. We have perfected the art of 'liming' doing nothing, just hanging around. Extended morning coffee at Lina's or Frangipani, led into a leisurely lunch, then afternoon tea or ice cream at Marannes. We met lots of interesting people, somehow engaging in conversation with those on the next table.

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Moonhole and the airport

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Rock dwellings

We weren't totally idle. We ordered a steel grille for the hatchway, to add to the two coachroof hatches we'd had made in Puerto Mogan.

Janet had her hair done at a 'salon' run by an English girl, who happened to have lived in and around Mill Hill so they had lots of places in common. The salon was a shed with a sink, no hot water, a plastic garden chair and a stool. Later, when Janet mentioned this to someone now living on the island, she said it had improved because it used to have a sand floor, but now it's concrete!

We battled across to Petit Bayerhaut in St Vincent, prior to having the fridge installed and enjoyed this quaint restaurant and accommodation.

The original owner wanted to live with nature so each of the seven houses has few walls and is open to the sky. The bedroom is enclosed, with half wood, half mosquito netting. Otherwise everywhere is open. The toilet, a nice white modern one, has wood round 2 sides only and the shower is like you would have on a beach. It's a bit like living in a tent, though the prices aren't! The place is only accessible by sea.

The capital of St Vincent is Kingstown and it's like Whitechapel market, with stalls in the street and shops selling cheap goods. Simon now has a pair of 'crocs' for less than £4. There are no department stores, or pleasant cafes in which to sit and watch the world go by. KFC doesn't qualify.

After that we went to Wallilabou where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. Some of the props - bales, carts, etc. have been left. It's funny to see a building whose front is made of polystyrene.

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Pirates at Wallilabou

Leaving St Vincent we had a rough, hard sail up to St Lucia in huge seas and strong head winds, so much so that we couldn't make the course and had to beat to windward only just got in before dark. Here there is 12 hours of darkness. The sun goes down at about 6 p.m. and it's dark by 6.30. However, it stays hot all night so there's no need for a jacket when going ashore. In fact a local told us that last year it reached 66 degrees and he thought that was really cold!

We are now at Malgretout and hired a car for 2 days to drive round the island. There is one road round, near the coast. En route, past the sulphur springs, we bought a large lobster from Choiseul and had a tasty meal that night aboard. We have been on a 2 hour guided walk through the rain forest, had a delicious brunch in a mountain resort called Ladera which had a spectacular view of the Pitons and visited Castries, the capital, which had a vibrant city feel to it. It was the only place on the island where we could buy a new camera. Simon had his hair shorn yesterday in Soufriere and it cost £3.

When it stops raining, we plan to sail up the coast to Marigot Bay, Rodney Bay then on to Martinique by the weekend.

Pitons.jpg
Pitons

Hoped it's not too cold and miserable in England.

Simon and Janet

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#11 2011-10-03 16:46:24

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Guadeloupe - Happy Easter

Mon, 24 Mar 2008 20:15:00 GMT

Happy Easter to you all. We are still enjoying our time in the Caribbean. Simon said yesterday "only 54 days to go"! but it's great fun: we keep meeting such nice people and seeing some fantastic places, particularly the rain forest and unusual vegetation.

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Since we last wrote we sailed up to a fairly new marina in Marigot Bay, St Lucia, and after arguing about the price with a boat boy we picked up a mooring. The harbour master came rushing over in his dory. It was a lovely surprise to meet Bob Hathaway, who'd built Simoon in 1997 in Warsash, so it was great to see him again. He gave us very special treatment, found a space for us on the small dock, between two 115 foot yachts, and everyone knew it was 'Mr. Bob's' boat. We spent a few days there being looked after extremely well and enjoying his hospitality, before heading off to Martinique.

In Fort de France checking in to customs was easy. We just had to fill in a questionnaire on a computer in Sea Services Chandlery. However, the town itself is somewhat intimidating. All the shops have metal shutters at night and we were advised not to walk in the street - and it was only 6.30 p.m! We went over to Anse Mitan to anchor and stayed there for several days until the rain squalls had gone through. We found the patisserie Paul, which has the same kind of cakes as in Covent Garden and Canary Wharf.

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Fort de France

We met up with some OCC members whom we'd heard on the SSB radio each morning which was interesting as they've been cruising in the Caribbean for the past 6 years or so and could recommend lots of places to visit.

Then we sailed to Dominica and were enchanted by the island. It has no high rise buildings: instead there are rain forests where there is 350 to 400 inches of rain per year, 365 rivers and wild, unspoiled mountainous terrain. We were paddled up the Indian River to wonder at the twisted, gnarled shapes of bloodwood trees and look for parrots. The trees were just like you see in Disney films, such weird formations. Then we spent a delightful, though exhausting day with Dilan who kept leaping out of the minibus to collect plants, flowers, herbs and fruit for us to sample. We went to see a waterfall, the Red Rocks, swim in Chaudier Pool which was at the bottom of a steep ravine and drive to a volcano. We also met up with a German boat we'd befriended in Las Palmas and compared notes about our Atlantic crossings.

Chaudier.jpg
Chaudier Pool

Then we sailed to Les Saintes, a group of small French islands south of Guadeloupe. Unlike Dominica, which has no shortage of water, the islands are dry and arid. The people, too, are not as friendly or helpful. Typical French! Also our CQR anchor would not dig in and we had four or five attempts at anchoring. So we have now ordered a new Rocna anchor which should be waiting for us in Antigua. In the meantime we're using a smaller Danforth.

Whilst listening to Chris Parker's daily weather forecast we were told that there was an unusually large northerly swell due and it was predicted that in some places it would reach 17 feet. A very unusual phenomenon. A warning was given for small boats. So we scurried across to Bas du Fort Marina in the south of Guadeloupe and have been tucked up safely here for 5 days. We hired a car and drove to look at the north coast, taking loads of photos of white water pounding on to the shore. However, it's Easter and today Bank Holiday Monday we drove to visit a plantation and then a rum distillery and found both closed. Everything is shut, even some of the cafes. So unlike England where it's the beginning of the tourist season.

We have been sailing in company with a couple we met in Wallilabou and then again in Roseau, Dominica. Nelly is from Peru and Jan from Hamburg where they live. It has been fun touring the islands with them. Jan has been fascinated to hear about bells and is planning to come to London to join us at a practice. Talking of bells, Simon is missing ringing.

Today the closest he got to a bell was to eat one! (It was dark chocolate from the local patisserie which had rabbits and bells rather than eggs.)

We went on board a British boat "Blue Sky" in the marina here the other evening and were introduced to Matthew and his wife who have for 20 years owned the antique shop, Noah Too, opposite St Mary's Church in Upper Street, Islington. They were spending 2 weeks with her brother on his boat. They said they liked hearing the bells, though they were disappointed that the clock is quieter than it used to be! What a small world it is! Thomas Hardy's coincidences have nothing on us!

Our plan is to take the river passage between the two halves of Guadeloupe. We have been through that way in a bateau mouche to check what it is like as there are lots of shallow patches on our chart. The only problem is that the 2 bridges only open once a day, the southerly one at 5 a.m and the northerly one at 4.30 and 5.30 a.m. Once through, we will probably anchor if it's not light enough to see our way clearly to Port Louis where there is a small new marina built with EU money. However there a re no showers, capitainerie, etc, but the locals we spoke to assured us that we can just arrive and take up any of the empty spaces. It's bows-to mooring so we will have to negotiate between all the unused stern buoys. Then we will go on to Antigua the next day. The only problem is that the mosquitoes stalk the narrows of the river channel as it's swampy and we're likely to get attacked by them in force.

Most days it's hot and sunny. There is less rain now that we've moved north of Dominica though if we're caught in showers we soon dry out. No snow here!!

Anyway, better close now and read a book on deck,

Simon and Janet

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#12 2011-10-03 16:49:55

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Tortola, British Virgin Islands - Journey's End

Sun, 11 May 2008 00:39:00 GMT

Journey's end - for our first sailing season in the Caribbean.

We arrived at Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI on Wednesday after a 19 hour overnight sail and had to get busy preparing Simoon ready to be lifted out on Friday. Then we will spend a few days sorting her out before flying back to London on Wednesday 14th May. So our first Caribbean cruise in Simoon is now over.

It has been fantastic. Since Guadeloupe we have been to Antigua, Montserrat, Barbuda, St. Barts, St Maarten and now BVI. In Antigua we hired a car, visited most of the island that way, but also went by boat to Falmouth Harbour, English Harbour, Marmora Bay, Jolly Harbour, Deep Bay and Hermitage Bay.

English_Harbour.jpg
English Harbour

We were very fortunate to be given a recommendation of Winston in Montserrat, who took us on a tour of the island, including going into the prohibited zone of Plymouth. He was the deputy chief of police during the eruption and had been responsible for the evacuation, so he had lots of tales to tell. It was awesome wandering among the desolation of the town, seeing only the top storey and roof of a five storey building, many houses in ruins, whilst others, like Winston's, still standing neglected on the hillside out of bounds. So much sadness. After the initial eruption there was a hurricane then a further eruption so it is unlikely that Plymouth will ever be restored, but there has been much delay in waiting and hoping, though now the people seem to be accepting the inevitable, that the country has lost its centre and it will never be restored.

Delta.jpg
Montserrat gets a new delta

Volcano.jpg
The Soufrière Hills volcano that caused all the trouble

Barbuda is a largely uninhabited island, with only one hotel which is private, but the frigate bird reserve is well worth visiting across the lagoon. We anchored by the 11 mile stretch of pale pink sand and spent a very rolly two nights there. We went on to Gustavia in St Barts and looked at the superyachts, one so gawdy it was unbelievable: leopard skin covers on the chairs, jet skis prominently on a top deck, great carved monstrosities at the entrance level. A woman with coloured diamente sunglasses, coloured diamente earings and sandals to match got on board. Ugh! Our little yacht seemed much more welcoming.

When we arrived in Philipsburg we found it was carnival and the costumes were absolutely amazing. We hired a chair each for 1$ from the local primary school so sat in comfort to watch the procession on the second day. Then on to Marigot Bay where we had a reunion with Nelly and Jan and saw them until Jan set off with his son and two friends for Bermuda and the Azores. We met up with several people from the OCC net which we listen to each morning at 7.30 on SSB and there were drinks on other boats and meals ashore together. A very sociable time.

The outboard motor gave us trouble recently and refused to start on several occasions, forcing the skipper to row back to the boat in strong winds. We decided to buy a new, more powerful outboard in the duty free chandlers in Simpson Bay Lagoon. 9.5 hp moves much more easily than the 3.2!!

We are now out of the water and cleaning, tidying, packing and laying up. We went to Mulligan's, a bar nearby, and talked to an American who offered to take us to an Italian restaurant in Road Town - and paid for the meal. Then last night it was free spare ribs and chicken in happy hour there so again we chatted to 'yachties'.

We hope the weather will be relatively warm when we get back. See you all soon,

Simon and Janet

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#13 2011-10-03 16:52:21

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Nanny Cay, British Virgin Islands - Getting Started Aga

E-mail received 31/01/2009:

Well, we are here in the British Virgin Isles and the temperature is 31.8 degrees as we gently roll at anchor near a sandy beach. Not quite alone on a desert island as there are 2 other boats, but close. The waiter at Nanny Cay told us that this is Paradise. He was born and brought up in Hackney so in comparison I can see what he means.

However, it has taken us 2 weeks to acclimatise and begin to agree with him as our start has not been brilliant. First we were delayed and didn't actually get to Nanny Cay until 18th January, instead of 6th. Then 2 incidents occurred. On the Tuesday that the boat was being put in the water, the hoist arrived and Janet went down the ladder, walked to the back of the boat, turned round and saw me unconscious at the foot of the ladder. I think I just missed the last couple of steps and hit my head as I fell. There was no blood or bruising, but as I was out for 5 to 10 minutes she was worried and thought I was having a heart attack. She kept talking to me but I didn't respond. Then an ex-paramedic from the marina arrived carrying a defibrillator. When she leant over me and spoke I evidently replied "I'll talk to any beautiful woman" so Janet knew I was alright!

Nanny_Cay.jpg
Nanny Cay

I was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Road Town. They were very thorough - I had a CT scan, ECG, blood tests, steroid injection and tablets to take for a week. The worst part was lying on a narrow bed in A&E for 10 hours so that they could monitor whether I had any problems. We heard Obama's inauguration but couldn't see the screen from the cubicle.

Anyway, we were delayed for a day or so and it was incredibly hot in the marina, with no breeze. We left for Soper's Hole on the Saturday, only to have one of the alternators give up on us. So after a pleasant day on a buoy we went back to Nanny Cay and had to have a new alternator fitted. That cost (1200$) which was marginally more than the hospital treatment, so it's been an expensive start to the trip!

Sopers_Hole.jpg
Soper's Hole

We are now enjoying Jost van Dyke, a small island with only 200 inhabitants. Having anchored in Great Harbour yesterday we went to Foxy's for a barbecue last night. Now we are anchored at Sandy Cay, but going to Little Harbour later for a pig roast.

Great_Harbour.jpg
Great Harbour

On Monday we will be going across to Charlotte Amalie in the US Virgin Isles to see a friend whose boat is there at the moment. We will then be making out way slowly up to Virgin Gorda and Anegada during February.

Hope it's not too cold for you all in England.

Kind regards,
Simon and Janet

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#14 2011-10-03 16:56:35

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Norman Island, British Virgin Islands - BVI update

E-mail received 21/03/2009:

Hi there,

It's been rather a long time since we sent you an update. No excuses, except to say that we've been liming - doing nothing slowly. Also we weren't able to get wifi for the first 8 weeks, despite going into the old Cable and Wireless HQ at Road Town, Tortola, where they did manage to at least get the stations up on the screen for us but only whilst we were in the shop. So we had to resort to an Internet Cafe in Charlotte Amalie, USVI which was rather crowded and lacked any privacy.

Charlotte_Amalie.jpg
Charlotte Amalie, U.S.V.I.

Finally when we limped into Spanish Town - there was water coming from the engine as a bung had corroded and that meant water was not going into the heat exchanger which then melted the Vitas water lock - and Simon took the computer to a shop, thrust it on the counter and explained that we hadn't been able to get wifi. The man was surprised, so Simon opened up the computer - and it worked, without being touched in any way!!!

We have been cruising gently in the BVI, visiting the various islands, as well as going to USVI where we spent nearly two weeks, going to St Thomas, St John and anchoring off Great St James Island for several days to avoid the strong winds and huge northerly swells which have persisted over the last month.

St_Thomas.jpg
St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands

We have had unusual weather here, with 3 days last week of dull, overcast, rainy, blustery conditions. We even had to wear our fleeces to go ashore in the evening which was unheard of last year. So we have not done as much sailing as planned, but instead have found quiet anchorages to wait out the storms and northerly swells.

We wanted to revisit Anegada, a low lying reef where the highest point is 28 feet above sea level, which we had visited in 1999, spending New Year's Eve there. Our memory was of only one restaurant, the Anegada Reef Hotel and about 100 boats! So when we went ashore this time and stepped on to the pier we were surprised to see a different name. Then we realised that 'our restaurant' was next door, set back and less prominent.

Anegada.jpg
Anegada

Perhaps it was the alcohol and celebrations in 1999, but it seemed to have changed quite a bit.

It has expanded, so that now there are several more restaurants, and even two grocery shops (next door to each other in the same building, selling very similar items). Evidently a mother and daughter had a feud and so they each opened a shop! There is also a laundry and a craft shop. Whilst we were there the Premier of BVI came over to join the celebrations to mark the completion of the new dock and road. The oldest inhabitant of Anegada cut the tape and there was music and food.

Another local activity was the film we saw on the beach at Water Island, USVI. A large sheet was strung between palm trees and three rows of chairs were arranged round the screen, with golf buggies behind. The film - Mama Mia - was free and there was popcorn and hot dogs for sale. Luckily it was a calm evening so the sheet didn't move too much in the breeze.

This past week has at last been hot and sunny, with favourable winds. At Saba Rock restaurant at Bitter End, Virgin Gorda, we had a delightful dinner with crews from two other OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) yachts, making 8 of us in all. The next day we went to Little Harbour, Peter Island, and had drinks with another OCC boat, before going on to Penns Landing yesterday, where we joined the Friday night pizza party and about 20 of us sat together. So it's been a very sociable few days.

We listen to the SSB radio net at 7.30 each morning when yachts call up and say where they are, so we keep in contact and meet up if we are in the same area.

Today we are at anchor in Norman Island and will go off to West End, Tortola, tomorrow so that we can check out before heading to the USVI and Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Isles.

Culebra.jpg
Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands

Hope everyone is well. We have not seen a newspaper or heard the news for weeks, so have avoided the doom and despondency we understand is current at the moment.

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#15 2011-10-03 16:58:54

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Culebra, Spanish Virgin Islands - Happy Easter

E-mail received 07/043/2009:

Hi there,

Happy Easter to you all, hope it's a pleasant sunny one.

There will be no bells for us to ring this year here in Culebra, though the locals are forecasting a very busy weekend as there is usually an inundation of people from Puerto Rico for the holiday. When I was in one of the two mini supermarkets on Sunday a young man spoke to me and I asked how long he'd been on the island. He said for a week as he'd come over in his brother's boat which had taken half an hour! 25 miles would take us five hours, and that's on a good day! Evidently the power boats tie to the buoys in large numbers, rather than having just one yacht on each.

This island is small and more undeveloped than BVI. There is a daily ferry to Puerto Rico, but the only morning one leaves at 6.30 a.m. so it makes for a very early start when we have to dinghy in to the town dock before walking to the ferry. Anyway, we have made the trip twice, going to el Junque, which is a rain forest, and also to San Juan to see the old fortifications. We have also been socialising here, as there are 2 boats in the harbour which spend most of the year here, although we actually met them at the Friday pizza party at Penn's Landing, Tortola in February. There is a cruisers breakfast at Mamacita's every Sunday morning where about a dozen people meet up so that has been enjoyable.

San_Juan.gif
San Juan

We hired a car and toured the island for two days but several places were shut, as the economic situation has affected the Caribbean this year. The beaches were white, sandy and almost deserted, as were the anchorages we went to by dinghy the other day. Buoys here are free and they are placed in most of the bays, all of which have good holding.

One has to adapt to a different mind set here. We took washing to the Same Day Laundry on Thursday and when we went to collect it on Friday were told it would be ready on Monday. Then I asked for fries with my meal (well actually I said chips at first and the waitress looked at me as if I was speaking Swahili). Anyway she said that they only came with the nuggets for children. I was puzzled. After all, you just have to peel potatoes, but evidently fries come frozen in packets from Puerto Rico and the freezer isn't large enough to stock any quantity of them. That's Caribbean islands for you!

We have been having problems with wifi and someone told us about John who is a whiz on computers. He has waved a magic wand and we can now receive wifi at anchor, having bought a new, smaller aerial. However this involved 3 hours on board on Tuesday, then taking the computer away on Thursday until Friday p.m. with Simon going over to his boat for several hours when he was sorting programmes out. He has put on a different firewall and added some navigational software. Now Simon will play around with the new things and then have a lesson with him next week.

The weather has been mostly hot and sunny, with temperatures just below 30 degrees. The northerly swells are at last disappearing and we are expecting calmer seas for the next week. We hope to go on to Vieques after the weekend and then we'll make our way back to St Thomas, USVI.

Kind regards to everyone,

Janet and Simon

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#16 2011-10-03 16:59:56

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

Penns Landing, BVIs - End of Caribbean

E-mail received 05/05/2009:

Hi there

We are coming to the end of our second season in the Caribbean. It was different from last year, in that we have visited only a few islands this time, (BVI, USVI and Spanish Virgins) but spent longer in each, the longest being in Culebara where we were anchored for 3 weeks. We found the live aboards there particularly friendly and the place was very laid back and easy going. Simon found a computer expert who spent some time on board and has set up all sorts of fancy systems. He also had a look at the solar panels and discovered that only one was working, so now at noon we get up to 12 amps for the battery which is great. There was a good library, run by volunteers, which we were able to use. We also went to Vieques to see the bioluminescent bay which was very unusual.

We were in a marina in Nanny Cay where the boat was kept during the hurricane season, in Spanish Town when we had an engine problem and now in Penns Landing for the arrival of the crew. The rest of the time we were on a buoy or at anchor. We found the latter best, as anchoring is free and also our new Rocna has excellent holding. We heard of an OCC member who tied to a buoy in Saba, went ashore and then later that night, or rather at 3 a.m., he woke up, looked out and realised that they were drifting gently out to sea, still attached to the buoy which was no longer attached to the sea bed! A nasty experience.

In USVI we met an 85 year old OCC member who was sailing his 30 year old, 52 foot boat alone and had amazing stories to tell of his adventures. Without radar, autohelm or windvane, just relying on GPS, he pottered along at 2 to 5k, didn't use his main as it was too big for him to handle. He had no fridge but always had lots of food on board and so did not worry if he was blown off course and stayed at sea for weeks on end.

Back in the BVI we are preparing for the trip home. We went to a chandlers on Friday to see if we could get a chart of Bermuda. Simon has a chart on his computer but wanted a paper one as well. He doesn't plan to go there but might have to in an emergency. The assistant said several people had asked him (ARC Europe is setting off from Tortola on Thursday) so he picked up the phone to order some. Janet said "Lovely" and another assistant exclaimed "The Queen's here"! Didn't know her accent was quite like that!

Julian and John have arrived. Unfortunately, it is raining today and squalls of up to 40k winds are predicted until the weekend so we are doing last minute provisioning at a slower speed than expected. Departure date is very close.

Regards to you all,

Simon and Janet

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#17 2011-10-03 17:09:58

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Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

The voyage home - BVI to the Azores

Route.jpg
Chart and position plotting courtesy of Google Earth

E-mail received Monday, 01 June 2009 20:44:00 UTC

Arrival in Horta, Azores.

I am pleased to report that we have arrived safely in Horta. We have logged 2484 miles since leaving Tortola, BVI.

The last four and half days were exhilarating. We logged 102, 140, 154, 149 and a final half day of 55 miles. I have always considered that for Simoon 100 miles in a day was a reasonable days run. So to do these distances meant that we were going like an express train. We had reasonably strong winds which were constant and came over the beam at force 6: 24 to 28 kts with occasional gusts in the low 30s which explained why we have made such good progress. The only problem was that we had quite a lot of rain. The conditions were such that if we were not on watch then we spent our time below. We had been tracking a depression and we finally crossed the cold front. As soon as we crossed the front the wind veered 60 degrees from SW to WNW and moderated for the final run into Horta.

I had emailed Horta Marina trying to reserve a berth but was told that they didn't accept reservations as they were so busy. However they said they would accept us and would find a berth if they could or we might have to raft up to other boats or even anchor. Their office hours are 08:00 to 20:00. Unfortunately we arrived after the office had closed. I radioed in as we were passing the outer breakwater and they answered immediately. They told me to proceed into the harbour and radio in again. Once in the harbour we were directed to the reception pontoon. The marina personnel told us that if we could see the flashing torch we should go towards it. We had to raft up to the quay which turned out to be the fuel dock and we were the third boat out. Just astern of us were 2 or 3 rows of boats, all rafted up. It was quite a difficult manoeuvre in the dark to come into the space which was very tight and also had boats stacked just behind the space. Fortunately we managed to get in without mishap.

Once safely tied up we had a couple of beers each and a few tots of an 18 year old Glen Fiddich - in fact we finished off the bottle. We then turned in for our first full nights sleep for 3 weeks. What joy! No night watches.

Next morning I checked in and cleared immigration and customs with the minimum of fuss. We refueled Simoon with diesel. She needed 135 litres for 102.5 hours of engine use. We had used the engine on the few occasions when the wind died and for charging the batteries. The marina managed to find me a berth as a local boat had just gone way for a few days and I was offered its space. The berth is just long enough so that we can step off on to the pontoon. What luck.

Our crossing had taken 21 days 7 hours 4 minutes. For Simoon this had been a very fast and furious crossing. I had estimated that it would take at least 25 days. Some of the highs were seeing a whale and lots of dolphins, John and I swimming in 7000 feet of water on a rare calm day, seeing a myriad of stars on clear nights.

Horta harbour is very full with yachts from all over the world. The walls are decorated with paintings done by various yacht crews. The drawings stay there until they weather away and the space is re-used. We have visited Peters Cafe, the famous yachties hang out. All the yachts here have done at least 1000 miles just to get here; many have done much more. The second person we spoke to said he had just sailed up from Brazil. It makes our jaunt across the Atlantic seem like a short hop.

When I looked at a weather chart the next day, on the 30th May, I saw that a low had developed to the west of us with hurricane force winds. This depression moderated first to a storm and now to a full gale. Winds of Force 9 have been howling round. It is just passing over us as I write this log. The wind has been howling and the rain has been lashing down. I am very pleased that we got in when we did and are safely tied up or we would have been out in it. We left Tortola an hour before 23 boat in the ARC Europe. They stopped in Bermuda for a few days, by which time the wind forced them to go south to avoid a depression and now they are still a few hundred miles away. We are so glad we came by ourselves and have thus managed to be flexible and get the most out of the weather conditions. We listened every day to Chris Parker who offered advice on our route. However, ironically, his house got struck by lightning on Sunday and he was off air for several days.

The boat had a damp air about it during our last few days at sea. However a few days in port have solved all that and the boat has dried out. Laundry has been taken away and was returned the next day clean and dry. We have been doing various jobs around Simoon to get her back shipshape for the next leg back to the UK.

I have just seen Julian off at the airport and we are meeting David at the airport tomorrow, Tuesday. Julian is a great guy to have on board, so knowledgeable and calm. He has made the trip very enjoyable and easy.

We hope to leave on Wednesday or possibly on Thursday.

Simon & his motley crew Julian & John

E-mail received Friday, 29 May 2009 12:06:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 29th May 2009

38º 31' 00" N
28º 37' 00" W

Days run 55
Total to date 2484
Distance to Horta 0
Distance made good 52.5

I am pleased to say we are safely tied up to a pontoon in Horta Marina. We arrived at 22:30 UTC. THe last bit was a little slower than we had come to expect of late. Shortly after yesterday noon position it started to rain heavily and then shortly thereafter as we passed though the cold front the wind veered 90º and moderated slightly. We had a 2 knot current against us for the last 2 hours.

As we approached the outer wall of the harbour we radioed in and Horta answered immediately and gave us instruction to come in the harbour. We had to raft up to 2 other boat off the fuel jetty. A trick maneuver in the dark with a raft of boats a stern of us. We have now moved into the space left by a local boat and have power after some difficulty and water. However the battery charger has packed up.

We had a celebratory drink or 2. Before turning in for an uninterrupted sleep.

I checked in when though a police check immigration then customs all with the minimum of fuss. As we were at the fuel dock we took on diesel 135 l for 102.5 hours of motoring 1.3l/hr.

I have telephoned a local laundry who are going to collect our dirty laundry at 14:00 this afternoon.

All is well I will write more but there are jobs to be done.

Simon and a contented crew.

E-mail received Thursday, 28 May 2009 12:05:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 28th May 2009 day 21

38º 25' 00" N
29º 43' 00" W

Days run 147
Total to date 2429
Distance to Horta 149
Distance made good 52.5

Another fantastic day passage. We are now contemplating our arrival in Horta this evening sometime after 21:00 UTC which is the local time in Horta. I think the wind has got stuck in a grove. The same direction and strength now for 3 / 4 days. It is blowing a 6 gusting 7 for very short periods. The sea in not as steep as it has been but has this nasty habit of a wave breaking under the boat and dumping a load in the cockpit and who ever is on watch. Yesterday for the first time during the day the person on watch was left alone whilst the other stay below often in bed. I think we will have similar winds until we arrive in Horta.

Yesterday was uneventful no ships, no dolphins, no whales just a few birds and lot of grey sea with numerous white horses on the tops of the waves.

I spoke on the SSB,yesterday morning, with Niami Niami an OCC boat on the ARC. They were 700 miles behind us and expect to get to Horta at least 3 days after us. Of all the boats on the OCC Atlantic Net we have has the best passage with the most favourable winds for most of the time.

The boat has a damp air about her and it will be good to get to Horta to Air her and dry her out. It is damp very overcast and is trying to rain outside.

Regards

Simon and his contented crew.

E-mail received Wednesday, 27 May 2009 12:09:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 27 May 2009 day 20

38º 22' 00" N
33º 52' 00" W

Days run 154
Total to date 228o
Distance to Horta 201
Distance made good 152

Our best days run ever. We have made excellent progress just like an express train. We averaged 6.33kts over the last 24 hours.. The wind increased slowly all day and we continued to reef our sails. At the moment it is blowing between 24 and 28 kts with gusts up 33 kts. Force 6 gusting 7. It is however blowing just abaft the beam and is forecast to veer to the NW before getting much lighter. The sea is rather rolly and a bit steep at times not over comfortable. It was overcast most of the day and we have a few light showers.

We have passed the point that should the wind die we will have enough fuel to motor to Horta. From the forecast I am sure we will have a reasonably strong wind for the next 24 hours at least. It looks as if we should be at Horta sometime on Friday.

We put our clocks forward an hour yester at noon we are now UTC - 2 BTS -3 The Azores have daylight saving and are UTC.

Not much else to report except that we are all well and in good spirits and looking forward to getting in.

E-mail received Tuesday, 26 May 2009 12:51:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 26th May 2009 day 19

38º 04' 00" N
36º 04' 00" W

Days run 140
Total to date 2126
Distance to Horta 353
Distance made good 140

We have made spectacular progress. The wind has been from the south on our beam all day. It went up 16/17 in the morning so we put in a reef. The wind moderated slightly so we took out the reef and put it in again at the end of my first watch. We are doing between 5 to 6.5 kts which explains our good progress.

We had our second green flash last night. 2 in 3 nights. The new moon, about the width of a pencil line, set about 1 hour after the sun. There was a lot of reflected light form earth so we could see the whole outline of the moon.

I had a pleasant easy watch, with a clear sky but when John came on things changed. The wind had increased to 17 kts when we put in the reef. John had a band of rain squalls with winds gusting 25 Kts. The squalls cleared by Julian's watch. It is now cloudy but pleasant wind 17 kts still from the south.

We were visited by 2 or 3 pods of dolphins but none stopped to play. They come bounding in but continue past us.

We will shortly reach that point that if the wind should died we will have enough fuel to get to Horta. I estimate that we will arrive in Horta at 05:00 local time on the 30th May lets see how close I am.

Simon

E-mail received Monday, 25 May 2009 12:22:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 25th May 2009 day 18

37º 31' 00" N
38º 56' 00" W

Days run 102
Total to date 1986
Distance to Horta 493
Distance made good 102

We have made good steady progress in the last 24hrs. The good news is that we only motored for 5.9 hrs. We will soon reach the point that if the wind dies again we will have enough fuel to get us to Horta we are not yet at that point. All night I have been doing mental arithmetic would we do the 100 miles or not. What speed would we need ect. As you can see we did it and more.

We passed the 500 miles to go to Horta at 11:00 UTC. We will now speculate on the date and time that we will arrive.

I have just had 2 very enjoyable watches. My first started just after dinner I did the washing up and then settled down. The engine was plonking along the wind was 4 or 5 kts occasionally 6 to 7 the sea calm. We had agreed that as soon as the wind got to 9kts we would try and sail. Just before the 00.00 utc position log I was able to stop the engine and start sailing. The wind was a beam reach 9/10 kts. A great direction. We settled down to a SOG 3 to 4 kts an occasional 4.5Kts. We were on the move again sailing. The sky was clear a new moon so completely dark. Large numbers of stars just a little high level cirius cloud to soil a perfect view. The sea making a gentle sound along the hull.

When I came on for the early morning watch. I was told that we had kept a gentle wind all night. The sky was light and the sun rose about 4.30 CAT. The sun a fiery red burning orb appeared above the horizon and lifted majestically. The sky had some high level cloud and some puffy cotton wool clouds, cumulus The wind has now increased to about 12/13 kts and we have a SOG of 6kts. The wind is just forward of the beam a very good wind most comfortable. The sea in now rushing along the hull and Simoon is eager to get here. These will be the sort of watches I will remember. The sailing is neigh on perfect, this what sailing is all about. We have only a little movement we are healed about 10 to 15 degrees.

I am just finishing washing and drying my clothes that got wet in my locker under my bunk in the bad weather we had it is now perfect drying wind with sun.

I have just had an email from Chris Parker

"Lightning struck my house yesterday, and did significant damage to my radio gear, computer, Internet, central A/C unit, appliances, and even fused most of the wiring in the house. I'm scrambliing as fast as I can to get functional. I have been unable to locate a radio, so I will not be on-the-air tomorrow. I think I can locate one Tuesday, so, if I don't run into any unanticipated problems, I can be operational to some extent Wed27 (today is Sunday & stores are closed, and tomorrow is Memorial Day & stores are closed)."

"Unless you hear differently, expect me to be operational Wed27 morning. If you need additional assistance (a Custom Email Forecast, or to speak with a Forecaster by phone), please contact Ed: svrainyday@hotmail.com"

It is just a little ironic that the weather man was wiped out by weather.

All is well on board and no problems.

E-mail received Sunday, 24 May 2009 12:04:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 24th May 2009 day 17

37º 10' 00" N
41º 01' 00" W

Days run 97 miles
Total to date 1884 miles
Distance to Horta 595 miles
Distance made good 96 miles

We have made steady progress to our destination as we have been motoring.

Last night we had a perfect sunset and had a "Green Flash". The flash lasts for a short moment perhaps 1/4 of a second. We have come very near to seeing this illusive moment but clouds or a swell have appeared at the critical moment. This was John's first time and the first time this year for me. The sun must over the sea and no clouds must block the view condition must be just right. Very often clouds appear at the very last moment and block the final few seconds of the sunset. As the moment the sun drops below the horizon it shines though the top few feet of the sea and you get this mystical "Green Flash".

A few minutes we saw a turtle swimming 600 miles from the nearest bit of land. Whether turtles nest in the Azores I don't know but I do know they nest on warm sandy beaches.

Again we have been visited by dolphins. John saw a fin which he thought might have been a dolphin but didn't swim like one and was probably a shark. Not a Great White Jaws type but a small domestic one, it was only a glimpse .

In the last 24 hrs we have had the motor on for 15.6 hrs. We managed to sail for about 8.4 hrs over night. We don't have enough fuel to motor all the way to the Azores, reasonable wind are forecast in a day or two, we need enough wind to be able to sail for about 3 days. Lets hope it arrives shortly.

We are all in good spirits and most things are working well we have no major problems that we can't deal with. The sun shone most of yesterday there was the occasional cloud but definitely no rain. On my early watch the stars were very clear and abundant on other watches there was much more cloud. It look as if you are in the same high pressure system which is stretching almost from Bermuda to Scotland with a cold front sweeping in from the Atlantic. It looks as if you have good weather for the Bank Holiday for a change. By the way our pressure has stayed constant for the last 3 days at 1025 hPa so there not much of a pressure gradient to give us wind.

Simon

E-mail received Saturday, 23 May 2009 20:15:00 UTC

Week two.

Noon position UTC 23rd May 2009 day 16

36º 57' 00" N
43º 00' 00" W

Days run 100
Total to date 1787
Distance to Horta 691
Distance made good 100

We have now been at sea for more than 2 weeks and we have now completed about nearly three quarters of our journey to the Azores. The routine of living on board is well established. We have our watches to do - basically 3 hours on and 6 off with a dog watch of 2 hrs on and 4 off so that it is the same time each day for us which is better for our biological clocks.

Just over a week ago the conditions were so calm that we went swimming in the middle of the Atlantic: we could do that again today. Over this last week the conditioned have varied. On some days we have had winds of 25kts to 30 kts with squalls and gusts of 40k to 45kts. Sometimes when the squalls came there was very heavy rain which seemed to flatten the sea. The squalls often came at night and it is a little disorientating with the wind screaming and the rain teaming down, fortunately they don't last very long. At one time the rain was so heavy it seemed as if we were standing under a power hose. Most of the time we were able to sail the course we wanted. Maybe not the direct route but a route which didn't take us too far out of the way and gave us the best chance of getting favourable winds.

However we had 2 days with the wind on the nose and were sailing 30 degrees off the course we wanted. The wind was blowing a constant 24 to 26 Kts. The decks were awash most of the time. We had 3 reefs in the mainsail and the staysail and a tiny triangle of the genoa out. The conditions on board were not very comfortable and the sea found any crack to come in and so we had several leaks.

After 2 days the wind moderated and the sea calmed. The wind died to the extent that we had to motor. We are still motoring but trying to sail when we can.

The bad weather was the worst part but we have has some glorious highs. We have been visited by several pods of dolphins. Some have played in our bow wave. At one time I counted 12 dolphins in the bow wave. The highlight of the trip so far was the majestic passage of a whale. It came up a few hundred yards in front of us, swimming slowly without any effort. It took 3 or 4 breaths then dived for a short while. It then came up about half a mile away behind us. Again it took a few breaths before diving. After that we lost sight of it. We estimated that it must have been 35 to 45 feet long. It presented no danger to us. It was such a thrill to see it. Julian says that once he can look at a book on whales he will be able to identify it.

Last night the sky was clear most of the time. There was no moon as it is a new moon today. The stars were there in all their glory. The only significant event was a large ship which passed us about 8 miles to port. Dawn came and the sun rose through some cloud to give us another bright, sunny day.

As you can imagine here on board talk about the weather is endless. If you think at home we have a fixation with the weather, then on board it is much worse.

We have access to good weather information. I can receive via the ssb radio weather faxes. The current surface condition is updated every 6 hours and I receive it about 4 to 5 hours later. We pour over this chart all the time. There are several other forecasts such as 24hrs, 36hrs, 48 hrs and 96 hrs. both high level and low level, surface, wind and wave heights. There is even a summary of the Ice Patrols - not a problem where we are! Twice a day there is a satellite photo which shows the clouds and it is possible to recognise the various fronts which are shown on the charts.

In addition I get a Grib file which shows the winds direction and strength for up to 96 hrs. It shows every 6hrs then 12hrs and finally 24hrs. This is the only attachment I can receive via email.

Finally I have access to a professional weather forecaster, Chris parker, who is sending me a personal forecast when I request it for up to 5 days ahead. I can call him up on the SSB at 7.30 each morning and talk to him about the weather situation or just listen to him talking to other cruisers.

It is great to hear your news and what is going on at home.

All is well on board and we are is good spirits.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday. It looks as if you will be getting some sunny weather.

Simon, Julian & John
North Atlantic

E-mail received Saturday, 23 May 2009 12:38:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 23rd May 2009 day 16

36º 57' 00" N
43º 00' 00" W

Days run 100
Total to date 1787
Distance to Horta 691
Distance made good 100

The wind has died. We are in an area of high pressure usual know as the Azores High. Very light wind over a very large area. We motored until about 10:00 cat 13:00 utc. We just managed to sail with winds of about 7 kts or less. After lunch we had a go and set the Parasailor a type of spinnaker but there was just not enough wind to fill the sail so we took it down again. As the sail had been stored on deck it was wet though so by setting the sail we did at least dry it. We sort of drifted along sometimes doing 3.5 to 4 Kts. However as we had dinner the boat speed dropped to less than 1 kts we started motoring again. We are still motoring.

The sun shone all day with a few clouds but little wind underneath them. We managed to dry the boat out better we also spent sometime putting mastic around deck fitting and crack in the hope of stopping the leaks. I do a few more today. Only more weather will we see if we have improved the situation, I don't think we have made it worse.

We saw a few more dolphins and Portuguese Men of War drifting by. The high light of the day or even the trip so far was the majestic passage of a whale. It came up a few hundred yards in front of us. Swimming slowly without any effort. It took 3 or 4 breaths then dive for a short while. It came up and about half a mile away behind us. Again it took a few breaths before diving. We then lost sight of it. We estimated that it must have been 35 to 45 feet long. It present no danger to us it was such a thrill to see it. Julian says that once he can see a book on whales he will be able to identify it.

Last night the sky was clear most of the time the was no moon it is a new moon today. The star were there in all there glory. The only significant event was a large ship passed us about 8 mile to port. Dawn came and the sun rose though some cloud to give us another bright day.

E-mail received Friday, 22 May 2009 15:04:00 UTC

To those of you who have been plotting our route and pointing out that there some discrepancies John & I
have been though the data. John has worked his magic and has calculated the Great Circle route (GS) on a daily basis. There were a couple of minor error on the data for which I apologies. I have copied with some difficulty the data from a spreadsheet to Airmail and had to do quite a bit of formatting to make it look OK here whether it will survive being compressed in Airmail I don't know. The last 4 columns are calculated and not from the GPS. The minutes are shown as minutes and 1/1000 of a minute Just to show we do know where we are to the nearest 2 meters.

Tortola to Horta

Day Date º N Mins N º W Min W Total days To Dis GS Dis GS Dis GS Dis GS dis
run Horta made from made Horta made
good BVI good good
07/05/2009 18 26.390 64 33.610
1 08/05/2009 20 4.160 64 9.360 106 106 100.4 100.4 2143.8
2 09/05/2009 22 1.100 63 45.620 225 119 219.4 119.0 2054.6 89.2
3 10/05/2009 24 14.248 63 1.657 365 140 358.2 139.1 1944.2 110.4
4 11/05/2009 26 22.400 62 18.380 499 134 492.1 134.0 1841.5 102.7
5 12/05/2009 28 9.930 61 30.560 617 118 607.2 115.6 1750.2 91.2
6 13/05/2009 29 15.530 60 4.610 718 101 694.0 99.9 1652.6 97.6
7 14/05/2009 29 54.532 58 29.297 813 95 763.8 91. 1561.1 91.5
8 15/05/2009 30 5.640 56 12.530 936 123 834.5 119.0 1450.9 110.2
9 16/05/2009 30 24.720 54 8.800 1,054 118 1,348 915.2 108.6 1347.5 103.4
10 17/05/2009 30 52.250 52 7.757 1,167 113 1,245 103 1006.2 107.7 1242.7 104.9
11 18/05/2009 31 51.253 50 8.905 1,285 118 1,128 117 1120.4 117.4 1125.4 117.2
12 19/05/2009 33 3.858 48 43.300 1,390 105 1,032 96 1222.7 102.4 1029.0 96.4
13 20/05/2009 34 29.452 47 39.729 1,492 102 950 82 1319.3 100.6 947.7 81.3
14 21/05/2009 35 55.330 46 21.672 1,602 110 863 87 1424.4 107.0 860.5 87.2
15 22/05/2009 36 35.579 45 2.314 1,687 85 791 72 1498.9 75.6 788.5 72.0
16 23/05/2009
17 24/05/2009
18 25/05/2009
19 26/05/2009
20 27/05/2009
21 28/05/2009
22 29/05/2009
23 30/05/2009
24 31/05/2009

Simon

E-mail received Friday, 22 May 2009 12:33:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 22nd May 2009 day 15

36º 35' 00" N
45º 02' 00" W

Days run 85
Total to date 1687
Distance to Horta 791
Distance made good 72

What a difference 24 hrs can make. Yesterday was a recovery and drying out day. The wind which had moderated yesterday morning continued to easy but remained stubbornly from the east. The wind moderated all day and by 18:00 CAT (central Atlantic Time, Simoon Time) 00:00 BST the wind had died to less than 7 kts. We started the engine and are now pointing to the Horta 93º COG (course over ground) at SOG (speed over ground)of 3.8Kts. The wind is now from the NE and we expect it to back further but s till less that 9 Kts. We don't have quite enough fuel to motor all the way but we have at least fuel for 500 miles

After nearly a week when the decks were continuously awash the worst being the previous 24 hours. We have discovery several leaks which we will now have a go at fixing. The whole boat had a damp feel about it. Yesterday both John & Julian washed their damp and salty cloths and hung them out to dry. Julian dried out his bunks in the sun. We will do more to day.

I had a better look at the wind generator and it looks as if we lost a screw which kept the hub to the generator spindle. The rotor blades turned but didn't transmit much trust to the generator. The hub has worn badly but can be easily fixed. David has orders a new hub and will bring it out next week.

The highlight of yesterday apart from the sun were dolphins. We had several pods of dolphins visit us and play around the bows of Simoon. I counted one pod of at least 12 dolphins. John said that he saw dolphins swimming past Simoon, on his watch, by the phosphorescence they disturbed in the sea.

Julian had just received an email to say that his firm "were the overall winners for the RICS Awards
for the Airship Hangar and Wind tunnels. Next year the awards dinner will be held and presentations made at Farnborough." This was the second award that his firm has received whilst he has been sailing. This show what they can do without him.

Have a great bank holiday. With best wishes from all on board who are all well fed, well rested, happy and content.

PS we have enough beer to last us to Horta.

Simon

Here is a summary of our days run
Tortola to Azores
Day Date Total days To Distance
run Horta made good
1 07/05/2009 106 106
2 08/05/2009 225 119
3 09/05/2009 365 140
4 10/05/2009 499 134
5 11/05/2009 617 118
6 12/05/2009 718 101
7 13/05/2009 813 95
8 14/05/2009 936 123
9 15/05/2009 1,054 118 1,348
10 16/05/2009 1,167 113 1,245 103
11 17/05/2009 1,285 118 1,128 117
12 18/05/2009 1,390 105 1,032 96
13 19/05/2009 1,492 102 950 82
14 20/05/2009 1,602 110 863 87
15 21/05/2009 1,687 85 791 72
average 112

E-mail received Thursday, 21 May 2009 12:02:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 21 May 2009 day 14

35º 55' 00" N
46º 21' 00" W

Days run 110
Total to date 1602
Distance to Horta 863
Distance made good 87

I seem to have make a mistake in one of my positions, here are the last few days positions taken from the print out
20/5/09 34º29n 047º39w
19/5/09 33º03n 048º43w
18/5/09 32º05n 049º36w
17/5/09 30º52n 052º07w

Our progress towards Horta is fair. We had hoped to be making better progress it looks as if it will take another 10 days at least before we get there.

Yesterday was pretty bad during the day. We has a constant wind of 24 to 26 kts close hauled which occasional gust of a little more. We were sailing about 30 to 40º of our course. Simoon was pitching quite a lot and the deck were awash most of the time. Even though we had 3 reefs in the main a very heavily reefed geneoa and reefed staysail. As dusk gave the wind dropped slightly and continued to drop over night. We slowly increased sail and for the first time have full sails and no reefs. Wind has dropped to 12/13 kts. and come round slightly we are only sailing 25º off the course.

The wind generator which has been sounding very sick and not producing much power lost a blade yesterday and had to be stopped. I have spare blades but need a very calm sea to fit them. We will just have to do without it. The towed generator doesn't seem to be giving much either and we have not deployed it much.

For most of last night we had clear skies and the stars were very bright. When I came on watch at 04:00 local time there was a clear sky a very small crescent of the the moon and 2 very bright objects. We have now worked out that they must have been Mars & Venus. There is no light pollution out here. When the sky is black when there is no moon you can see phosphorescence in the water and the splash of white foam as the boat speeds though the water seems to be glowing with biolumnicty

E-mail received Wednesday, 20 May 2009 12:02:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 20 May 2009 day 13

34º 29' 00" N
47º 39 00" W

Days run 102
Total to date 1492
Distance to Horta 950
Distance made good 82

Another correction to yesterdays report we only made good 104 miles not 204. You should try typing on a bouncy boat.

We have sailing close hauled. Beating across the Atlantic. The wind has been a force 6 in the region of 22 to 26 KTS. It look as if we have these condition for at least another 48 hours. The boat is healed about 20 degrees to port. Quite unconformable. We have 3 reefs in the main, several turns in genoa a just the smallest triangle in the staysail. Which is why we have not made better progress towards Horta.

Simon

E-mail received Tuesday, 19 May 2009 12:33:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 19th May 2009 day 12

33º 03' 00"N
048º 43' 00"W

Days run 105 miles
Total to date 1390 miles
Distance to Horta 1032 miles
Distance made good 104 miles.

Our progress wasn't as good as some days but still over 100 miles but the wind is heading us and we are having to sail about 20 30 degrees off course. The low which has dominated our lives for the last 5 or 6 days is now west of us and is set to dissipate. A new high will develop in front of us and is due to stalls just west of the Azores. We may expect to be motoring later in the week.

Today has dawned cloudy with some rain and a few mild squalls up to the mid 20kts It look as if we shall have to pass though the warm front which lies in front of us.

All is well on board with no major problems. We have a list of things we plan to do on the calm days that have been forecast for sometime.

Calisto one of the boats crossing are having an interesting time. 2 nights ago a shroud broke which they replaced. Then they picked up a fishing net around their prop which they cleared by diving down it took about 30 mins hard work. Then a few minutes ago they said they had a near miss with a whale which dived and passed directly under them. Reverie another boat says they they are staying within sight of them as they are such good entertainment value. Both Calisto and Reverie are well south of us and are motoring.

Simon

E-mail received Monday, 18 May 2009 12:45:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 18 May 2009

32º 05' 00" N
49º 36' 00"W

Days run 118 miles
Total to date 1285 miles
Distance to Horta 1128 miles
Distance made good 117 miles

The good news is we are still making good progress. We passed the half way stage yesterday afternoon our time 16;20 UTC.

We had torrential rain all morning at time it was like standing under a power hose. The winds were up and down bit we didn't have any very mighty gusts the one we had were in the low 30Kts range. This was the first period of heavy weather and we and Simoon all coped very well with the conditions sleeping and eating well. No problems at all.

The afternoon was drier and easier with the winds in the low 20-25 range. Overnight were conditions were basically good. During my watch the wind didn't alter by more than 1/2 kts. During John's watch it was more variable getting quite light at times. During Julian's watch the conditions were stable.

The sun came out during my fist watch and the wind easier further now in the mid teens. We are romping along famously.

We are sailing our course. we are just 9.25 miles off our rhum line. We had been further off but have brought her back.

I have just been talking on the OOC Atlantic crossing net and spoke with one boat just about the leave Antigua, John & Jenny Franklin on al.shaheen in North Carolina and Reverie who is about 10 days behind us.

As we have passed 52.5º we shall be putting our clocks forward an hour the daily report will still be in UTC. We we be UTC + 3 hours.

Simon

E-mail received Sunday, 17 May 2009 12:33:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 17 May 2009

30º 52' 00"N
052º07' 00"W

Days run 113
Total to date 1167
Distance to Horta 1245

Yesterday was very variable. Winds in the morning started strong 7 gusting 8 with very large sea a swell of 3 to 4 metres. Simoon coped beautifully with the conditions. Squalls were coming every 20 mins or so. We had just the staysail and a very very small triangle of the genoa. In the afternoon conditions started to get better 5 gusting 6, top end, and the squalls about 1 an hour. Overnight we had everything I had very strong wind for most of my watch and John had strong wind for the first hour. Julian had quite benign conditions. My early morning watch had everything. Strong winds, rain, sun, no wind, wind on the nose and lot of heavy rain all in my 3 hour watch. John is now on watch and it is tipping it down but he is still smiling and I am going to give him a cup of tea. Julian is asleep and dead to the world.

I had an unexpected email from Chris Parker yesterday as I hadn't spoken to him because the condition were as he forecast:-

Simon:

Don't know if you were on frequency this morning. I think the situation is mostly unchanged. I'd try to stay along or S of 30N thru early next week (continuing due-East along about 30N)...until wind backs SE (which I think it will about mid-week)...then bring your course up to NE when wind backs SE.

Not sure what you'll see after that, but I think you'll be in a good situation between 30N-35N crossing 40W late next week...lying in this area will give you lots of options...I do not see much N or NE wind for the remainder of the trip to the Azores, and that would be the only direction which might cause you trouble.

Today & tomorrow, expect backing wind NW-W-WSW, mostly 20-25k, but with some 30-40k squalls.

Hope we can talk Monday...

Chris.

We are passing though an active depression we are on the south side so the wind are in a favourable direction. The boats on the ARC returning to Europe from Bermuda this weekend have this depression blocking there way. They will have to sail south toward Tortola to get the good side of the depression. I am speaking on the radio to other OOC members returning to Europe and their winds are nowhere near as favourable as ours are. They might be strong but from a good direction.

Simoon is sailing beautifully and coping with the conditions and all is going well.

We expect to pass the half way stage sometime late this afternoon.

Simon

E-mail received Saturday, 16 May 2009 13:25:00 UTC

I can see from the current weather chart 0600 UTC that the condition in the UK are not much better than here. We a couple of fronts and a double low depression due to sweep over the UK bringing very strong winds.

That is if you had not noticed. We might not know what's going on at home we we can see what weather you are having.

Simon

E-mail received Saturday, 16 May 2009 13:04:00 UTC

Noon position UTC Saturday 16th May day 9

30º 24' 00" N
54º 08' 00" W
days run 118.3
total distance 1054 miles
distance to Horta 1348 miles

We did our first 1000 miles at midnight UTC. That is in 8.5 days that is a daily average of 117.6 miles or 4.9 kts. We are very pleased with this average.

Winds increased all days and we continued to reef down. As dark came we had 3 reefs in the main, staysail and several rolls in the geneoa. The squalls started to come though so we dropped the main and staysail leaving just a small geneoa. Some of the gusts that came we in excess of 40Kts with very heavy rain. It was a very black night the moon didn't come out until about midnight. We later rolled up the geneoa and let out the staysail. At the moment we are running with both the staysail and geneoa. Simoon coped with the conditions extremely well. We expect boisterous condition for another two days at least. We are still able to make a course we want.

I have been in touch with Catia Carvalho from the marina at Quinta do Lorde who gave me to email address of Horta Marina. I have had the following encouraging reply.

"We would be pleased to received you in Horta´s Marina. Unfortunately due to the great movement that we experience during the period between April and August, we do not accept reservations for occupation of pontoons. However, we will do everything possible to received you in our marina, in the best possible conditions.
Best regards.

Armando"

All is well on board. We had Pitza for dinner last night and ate heartily.

Simon

E-mail received Friday, 15 May 2009 12:27:00 UTC

Noon position 15th May 2009

30º 05' 00" N
056º 12' 00" W

Days run 123.2 miles
Total run 935.7 miles

We have had good winds since early yesterday morning. We are making the suggested course by Chris Parker. We have quite an intense depression just north of us. I have just spoken to him and he is forecasting squally conditions on Sunday with wind up to 40Kts. Well forewarned, we will take good precautions and will be well reefed. The wind has varied between 15 & 24Kts which is why we have made such good progress. We have 2 reef in the main and a few turns in the genoa so we are sailing quite comfortable.

There a cooler element to the wind I had started to wear long trousers.

All is well and we have no problems to report. We are well into the routine of the watch system which is working well.

Simon

E-mail received Thursday, 14 May 2009 13:35:00 UTC

IMPORTANT NOTICE
IF YOU REPLY PLEASE DO NOT RESEND MY MESSAGE I ONLY HAVE A SLOW CONNECTION I HAVE THE ORIGINAL.

Noon Position noon UTC Thursday 14th May 2009
29º 54' 00" N
58º 29' 00" W
Today run 95 miles
Total run 812.5 miles

Departure from the British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Most of the preparation for our departure had been completed by Janet and myself before the arrival of my crew. For the return leg Janet had decided that a 747 would fly better to windward than Simoon so she took the easy option of flying back. Nevertheless she made sure Simoon was in tip top condition and that there were enough provisions on board that we would be able to make a return trip without having to restock.

For our departure we decided to stay at Penn's Landing, a small very friendly marina on Tortola (the main island of the BVI) about 1.5 miles from the airport on Beef Island. Julian, who had made the crossing with us over Biscay and also in the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Barbados, arrived from the UK. He had just a very short stop in Antigua to change planes from BA to LIAT on Saturday 2nd May. He arrived in time for a good dinner at Red Rock Restaurant at the marina.

John Barry who had been introduced to me by Julian arrived on Sunday evening on the same flights as Julian after a hectic week at work. There may well be a world recession but on both days both flights were fully booked with no spare seats. We took him for a very short tour to Trellis Bay a well known anchorage close to the airport and sat in the sunshine having a drink. Saturday and Sunday were reasonable Caribbean days hot weather and calm seas.

Unfortunately, after that, for the rest of the week until we left we had very squally weather. The torrential downpours were very heavy and often prolonged. This meant we had to seek refuge in a local hostelry for 2 hours at a time. I spoke to Chris Parker, the weather guru, on the SSB radio about our departure and he said conditions would be very poor on Tuesday and Wednesday but he thought that there might be a brief window of opportunity on Thursday.

So Monday Tuesday and Wednesday was spent doing a few last minute jobs about the boat. During one of the downpours we discovered a leak on one of the portholes. As it was just above Julian's bunk he offered to fix it (in his own self interest). We then discovered a second leak coming in from the mast area. Again this was fixed.

We were therefore set for departure on Thursday which was just as well as it was the last day of my temporary import of Simoon and my own extended permit to stay on the island. Janet's flight had been booked months ago for Thursday 7th May.

The final forecast from Chris Parker said that we wouldn't have many squalls but conditions would be difficult for the first 24 hours and would then improve.

We checked out at Road Town on Wednesday afternoon then went to the supermarket for the fresh provisions we would be taking. I thought that every nook and cranny had already been filled and was surprised when Janet said we needed 2 / 3 trolleys. Where were they going to put it all? I didn't think that there would be any room for the crew. We had made Janet pack up all her clothes and empty a drawer and lockers for John and Julian and now we could push off and let her make her own way home.

Well between John & Janet all was stowed!!! I think we have enough for at least 3 return trips.

The next day dawned, departure day had arrived. No turning back now. Onward and upwards. We would go forth into the white water ahead. We did the last few jobs, topped up the water, paid the marina bill and were off. A quick farewell to Janet and then we concentrated on a slightly difficult manoeuvre out of the pontoon with a turn to starboard and not a lot of room between us and the shore. All went well despite the strong winds and we were off. 10:50 AST 14:50 UTC 15:50 BST 7th May 2009.

The wind was against us to start with and would be until we cleared Beef Island about 3 or 4 miles away. Once clear of Beef Island we could sail freely and the wind settled down to 90 on the starboard, a great point of sailing. The wind was blowing 20 to 23 knots. It might even have been blowing harder as we all came to the conclusion that the wind speed indicator was reading low. (more later). There was a large swell which had built up over the previous stormy days and the boat was rolling and pitching a lot.

The first night was rough John kept falling out of his bunk as the leecloth sagged. We fixed this by adding a couple of grommets so the tie could be more effective. The computer fell off the bunk and fell on the floor. I thought that I might have to telephone with my daily updates to the family and admit that the computer was US. However it fired up in the morning. Though I was feeling very sink I managed to get my first update out. I was due to sleep in the fo'c'sle how ever at times it was impossible so I hot bunked with Julian and John

John planned to do all the cooking as he says he prefers to cook than wash up. I certainly wasn't hungry. In fact I was feeling decidedly under the weather.

Conditions slowly improved and after a couple of days I began to feel better. My appetite has improved and I am always looking forward to the next meal. We are eating well as John is an excellent cook. On Monday we had scrambled eggs & smoked salmon for breakfast, smoked salmon & brie sandwiches for lunch and spag bol for dinner. What more can a sailor ask than 3 good meals a day?

We made excellent progress on the first few days, doing 106 miles in 21 hours, 119, 140, 134 and by Tuesday after the noon position we had done 617 miles. Fantastic speed for Simoon. The winds, as forecast, have been getting lighter all the time and now are down to less than 3 knots at times so we are motoring today.

By Monday we had not seen a boat since we left Tortola. I had spotted 2 or 3 boats on the AIS all at least 10 miles away. Then 2 large boats crossed our path at the same time. We had to keep a sharp watch on them. One passed about 2 miles away, the other about 5 miles. We were also monitoring the US Coast Guard who were organising a search for a yacht which they believed to have sunk. We think that the coast guard was in a plane. A large tanker and a sail boat were involved. We passed their positio n just after sunset but by then we it was pitch black as the moon hadn't come up. The plane reported that they had found wreckage but the boats on the scene didn't find much. The search was called off at sunset. All these events were happening at the same time.

On Wednesday the wind had died so we began motoring and the sea had a glassy sheen to the surface. Firstly I went to flush the toilet with fresh water and part of the shower fell down the toilet. I got one part out but another stayed there so I had to dismantle the toilet before breakfast! I then cooked pancakes for breakfast - my sole contribution to date.

After breakfast John & Julian agreed with my suggestion that we should go up the mast and clean and lubricate the wind speed sensor. John volunteered to go up the mast so Julian and I winched him up. He cleaned it with WD40 and then lubricated it with a teflon spray. It seems to be giving a much better reading.

I did a crank test on all the domestic batteries as I had a suspicion that one might be failing I was pleased that all were in good order

John and I decided that, as we were in 4000 metres of water and at least 300 miles from the nearest point of land, we would go for a swim. We stopped the engine and dived in. The water was crystal clear and quite warm and it was great to think how deep it was. I can now say I have been swimming in the middle of the Atlantic.

We motored all night just as I came on watch 04:00 AST 08:00 UTC the wind suddenly picked up and we have romping along for the last 4 hrs. We have just put the second reef in and have a full genoa and staysail. We are making E so are on course.

End of first week

Simon

PS
IMPORTANT NOTICE
IF YOU REPLY PLEASE DO NOT RESEND MY MESSAGE I ONLY HAVE A SLOW CONNECTION I HAVE THE ORIGINAL.

E-mail received Thursday, 14 May 2009 12:35:00 UTC

Noon Position noon UTC 14th May 2009
29º 54' 00" N
58º 29' 00" W
Today run 95 miles
Total run 812.5 miles

On Wednesday the wind had died so we began motoring and the sea had a glassy sheen to the surface. Firstly I went to flush the toilet with fresh water and part of the shower fell down the toilet. I got one part out but another stayed there so I had to dismantle the toilet before breakfast! I then cooked pancakes for breakfast - my sole contribution to date.

After breakfast John & Julian agreed with my suggestion that we should go up the mast and clean and lubricate the wind speed sensor. John volunteered to go up the mast so Julian and I winched him up. He cleaned it with WD40 and then lubricated it with a teflon spray. It seems to be giving a much better reading.

I did a crank test on all the domestic batteries as I had a suspicion that one might be failing I was pleased that all were in good order

John and I decided that, as we were in 4000 metres of water and at least 300 miles from the nearest point of land, we would go for a swim. We stopped the engine and dived in. The water was crystal clear and quite warm and it was great to think how deep it was. I can now say I have been swimming in the middle of the Atlantic.

We motored all night just as I came on watch 04:00 AST 08:00 UTC the wind suddenly picked up and we have romping along for the last 4 hrs. We have just put the second reef in and have a full genoa and staysail. We are making E so are on course.

I am having long conversations with Chris Parker and he is giving he guess all the way to the Azores. I have just spoken to him for 5 minutes and he expect the wind to back over the weekend but we might get strong squalls on Monday or Tuesday

All is well with no problems.

Simon

E-mail received Wednseday, 13 May 2009 15:24:00 UTC

Noon Position

29º 15 00N
60º 05 00W

Days run 100 miles
Total run 717 miles
approx miles to Azores 1790

We had a pleasant afternoon the wind kept up and we make reasonable progress. Unfortunately about 17:00 local time 21:00 UTC the wind died so we started the motor. The wind picked up again for a time so we sailed but has now died completely and we have less than 4 Kts. The sea is calm but there is a swell of 5-7 feet not to bad.

I saw a boat on the AIS about 16 miles away. That was the high light of shipping. We have not seen a yacht since leaving Tortola. We didn't even see any of the 23 yachts that left for Bermuda from Nanny Cay on Tortola who left on the ARC 1 hour after us.

The most interesting sight was a large number of small Portuguese Man of war jelly floating past us. I had always thought that they were much larger some were only 1" across.

Life is good and all is well.

Simon

E-mail received Tuesday, 12 May 2009 12:24:00 UTC

Tuesday 12th May Noon positon. 12:00 UTC 13:00 BST
28º 10 00 N
61º 30 00 W
Days run 118 miles
Total run 617 miles

We had a great day making good progress. Winds are now light and the sea calm. Everything is going well. We are expecting lighter winds yet before they get stronger. We have to get in the groove to go east. Between A low to the N and a high to the S. The sun is shining.

I have just had a very long conversation with Chris Parker the weather guru and he said the situation is complicated and we will talk again for the moment we should just go NE until the wind dies completely. So far I have managed to speak to him every day. I have now started to received some good weather faxes via the SSB from Boston and have printed them out on the computer. We are all studying them with interest. We are getting lots of data.

We had not seen a boat since we left Tortola. I had spotted 2 or 3 boats on the AIS all at least 10 miles away. Well yesterday 2 large boat crossed our path at the same we had to keep a shape watch on then they one passed about 2 miles away the other about 5 miles. At At the same time we were monitoring the US Coast Guard organising a search for a yacht which they believed sunk. We think that the coast guard was in a plane. A large tanker and a sail boat were involved. We passed there position just after sunset by the time we passed it was pitch black as the moon hadn't come up. The plane said they had found wreckage but the boats on the scene didn't find much. The search was called off at sunset. All these event were happening at the same time.

The food is great. Yesterday we has scrambled eggs & smoked salmon for breakfast, smoked salmon & brie sandwiches for lunch and spag bog for dinner what more can a sailor ask for than 3 good meals a day.

Simon

E-mail received Monday, 11 May 2009 12:38:00 UTC

Noon position 12:00 UTC 13:00 BST
26º 22' 00 N
62º 18' 00 W
Days run 134 miles another excellent day
Total run 499 miles.

We are still making excellent progress sailing 30º mag. The sea has calmed down and yesterdays sailing was neigh on perfect long may it last. We have been told to expect lighter winds especially on Wednesday. We have to get across the High Pressure ridge before we can make much easting.

All is well on board everyone has settled down and got their sea legs especially the skipper. The first two days were cloudy and overcast the sea was very lumpy but yesterday the sun shone and the sea sparkled.

Simon

E-mail received Sunday, 10 May 2009 12:13:00 UTC

Sunday 10th May noon position UTC
24º 14' 00" N
63º 01' 00" W
Days run 140 Miles!!!!!
Total run 365 miles

Still with 2 reefs in main, full staysail and we let out the rest of the Geneoa last night. Making excellent progress though it is a little bumpy. We not expect to we able to turn towards the Azores until we have cross the ridge of high pressure. probably on Tuesday.

All is well with us.

Simon

E-mail received Saturday, 09 May 2009 12:23:00 UTC

Noon position
22º 01' 00" N
63º 45' 00" w
Day run 119 miles
Total run 225.3 miles

The sea has calmed a little wind is between 15 to 20 k. We still have 2 reefs in mains, full staysail, and 2 rolls in the geneoa.

All is well onboard.

Simon.

E-mail received Friday, 08 May 2009 12:17:00 UTC

20º 04 00N
64º 09 00W
Logged miles 106 miles
Days run 21 hrs 106 miles

We had a beat around Beef Island but thereafter we sailed freely. Wind about 90º on the port blowing 20k we have 2 reefs in the main, full staysail and a reefed genoa out. We only used the engine for less than I hour. I have to get my sea legs but is going well.

Simon

Offline

#18 2011-10-03 17:26:31

Admin
Administrator
Registered: 2011-02-24
Posts: 320

Re: SIMOON III OF LONDON's Log 2007-2009 (V34)

The Voyage Home - The Azores to the Hamble

Route_2.jpg
Chart and position plotting courtesy of Google Earth

E-mail received Sunday, 05 July 2009 13:13:00 UTC

Phew! I'm back now in England.

We spent a week in the Azores where Julian left us and David Livingstone joined us for the final leg to the UK. The week was spent doing maintenance and dodging the rain. To the west of us there was a depression with hurricane force winds so we were pleased to be tied up in Horta. Within three hours of David arriving he had stripped the wind generator, replaced the bearings and hub and put it back.. It was now so quiet it was if I had bought a new one. He had also unpacked in that time.

Anyway the final part of my trip back from BVI, after we left the Azores, was an extraordinary experience. About three days out we realised that there was a depression approaching, but we didn't appreciate just how powerful the low would be. 994 is a bit frightening, with Storm Force 10 and 6 metre seas! and sustained winds of 44+ knots with gust of up to 55 knots. We had 2 partial knock downs, lots of huge waves in the cockpit and were running out of control down the waves. The wind was blowing off the tops of the wave horizontally. At that point I decided to use the parachute anchor, which had been stowed at the bottom of the starboard locker for the last 10 years.

John went up to the bows to move the CQR anchor so that the lines could go through the bow roller. As he was doing this a wave washed over the bows and he was thrown over the bows but clung on, attached with his safety line. His lifejacket inflated with the power of the water so we have some difficulty in getting him back on board. In fact we ditched the CQR in order to fasten the sea anchor.

Whilst emptying the cockpit locker another wave came over filling the cockpit and the locker, where I was head first removing the parachute anchor and all its attachments.. At that moment my lifejacket inflated!

I must say it was worth the effort as once this anchor was streaming at 45 degrees from the bows, everything calmed down on board. We had no more water cascading over us and Simoon lay much more comfortably in the water. We hove to like this for about 18 hours. Next morning the weather had dropped down to a mere force 6, though we found out that the rope had chafed through and the parachute anchor had disappeared as had the new Jonbuoy on the stern which must have been set off before we deployed the sea anchor. The chocks had come out of the mast and the steering had been affected, but otherwise we had survived.

During the storm the computer was damaged so I could not send emails home. I saw on my AIS that there were 2 ships in the area, so called one up on the VHF and asked the operator to pass a message on, which he did. Next day I spoke to Mike on Altaire. He was running the OCC Atlantic crossing net on the SSB radio in Flores, in the Azores, and I asked him to send a brief email with my position to Janet. This worked well for several days until I was out of range, about 1200 miles, by which time I was in the English Channel nearing Falmouth and was able to call up the Coastguard. They requested that I should check in with them every six hours and agreed to phone Janet. Unfortunately they didn't do this, so for 24 hours there was no contact until our mobile phones began working just off Portland Bill.

Within a day of the storm we were in mild weather, so much so that we put up the parasail (a kind of spinnaker) during the day on 5 separate days and had a glorious sail in sunny, gentle seas. The final few days were an absolute joy. That's what sailing is all about. What a change in just a few days.

We arrived in the Hamble to quite a welcoming committee, tired and exhausted after the experience of a storm but otherwise well. We had no injuries, only a few knocks and bruises. I hope I never have to go through something like that again, but if I do I will be much better prepared.

We logged 1429 miles, from the Horta to the Hamble, which we completed in 12 days 5 hrs 20 mins at an average speed of 4.9 knots. If we took off the time we were hove to the average speed would have been 5.2 knots. Overall we logged 3913 miles in 33 days 12hrs 24 mins from Tortola to the Hamble. The best day's run was 154 miles.

Now we're back Simoon is out of the water in the Hamble and up for sale. We drive to Sweden in August to collect the new Hallberg Rassy 43 which we will be sailing back to England in a leisurely fashion during August and September.

Simon
Captain Birdseye (currently with a white beard)

E-mail received Monday, 06 July 2009 08:07:00 UTC


  • Day

  • Date

  • 1200Z  Latitude

  • 1200Z Longitude

  • 1200Z Distance logged

  • Days Run

  • Distance made good

  • 1200Z Distance from start

  • 1200Z Distance to destination

  • Total distance covered

  • Total distance to go

  • Sunday

  • 03/05/09

  • 18°26’.392N

  • 064°33’.619W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 2224.172

  • 0

  • 3591.744

  • Monday

  • 04/05/09

  • 18°26’.392N

  • 064°33’.619W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 2224.172

  • 0

  • 3591.744

  • Tuesday

  • 05/05/09

  • 18°26’.392N

  • 064°33’.619W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 2224.172

  • 0

  • 3591.744

  • Wednesday

  • 06/05/09

  • 18°26’.392N

  • 064°33’.619W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 2224.172

  • 0

  • 3591.744

  • Thursday

  • 07/05/09

  • 18°26’.392N

  • 064°33’.619W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 2224.172

  • 0

  • 3591.744

  • Friday

  • 08/05/09

  • 20°04’.395N

  • 064°09’.310W

  • 106

  • 106

  • 80.204

  • 100.654

  • 2143.968

  • 106

  • 3511.54

  • Saturday

  • 09/05/09

  • 22°01.100N

  • 063°45’.620W

  • 225

  • 119

  • 89.127

  • 219.379

  • 2054.841

  • 225

  • 3422.413

  • Sunday

  • 10/05/09

  • 24°14’.457N

  • 063°01’.612W

  • 365

  • 140

  • 110.646

  • 358.447

  • 1944.195

  • 365

  • 3311.767

  • Monday

  • 11/05/09

  • 26°22’.400N

  • 062°18’.380W

  • 499

  • 134

  • 102.666

  • 492.116

  • 1841.529

  • 499

  • 3209.101

  • Tuesday

  • 12/05/09

  • 28°09’.651N

  • 061°30’.843W

  • 617

  • 118

  • 90.976

  • 606.848

  • 1750.553

  • 617

  • 3118.125

  • Wednesday

  • 13/05/09

  • 29°15’.668N

  • 060°04’.389W

  • 718

  • 101

  • 98.217

  • 694.191

  • 1652.336

  • 718

  • 3019.908

  • Thursday

  • 14/05/09

  • 29°54’.532N

  • 058°29’.297W

  • 813

  • 95

  • 91.281

  • 763.805

  • 1561.055

  • 813

  • 2928.627

  • Friday

  • 15/05/09

  • 30°05’.679N

  • 056°12’.467W

  • 936

  • 123

  • 110.2

  • 834.6

  • 1450.9

  • 936

  • 2818.5

  • Saturday

  • 16/05/09

  • 30°24’.665N

  • 054°08’.026W

  • 1054

  • 118

  • 103.8

  • 915.6

  • 1347.0

  • 1054

  • 2714.6

  • Sunday

  • 17/05/09

  • 30°52’.250N

  • 052°07’.757W

  • 1167

  • 113

  • 104.3

  • 1006.3

  • 1242.8

  • 1167

  • 2610.3

  • Monday

  • 18/05/09

  • 31°51’.253N

  • 050°08’.905W

  • 1285

  • 118

  • 117.3

  • 1120.4

  • 1125.5

  • 1285

  • 2493.1

  • Tuesday

  • 19/05/09

  • 33°03’.858N

  • 048°43’.301W

  • 1390

  • 105

  • 96.5

  • 1222.7

  • 1029.0

  • 1390

  • 2396.6

  • Wednesday

  • 20/05/09

  • 34°29’.452N

  • 047°39’.729W

  • 1492

  • 102

  • 78.3

  • 1319.3

  • 950.7

  • 1492

  • 2318.3

  • Thursday

  • 21/05/09

  • 35°55’.027N

  • 046°21’.948W

  • 1602

  • 110

  • 90.2

  • 1424.0

  • 860.5

  • 1602

  • 2228.1

  • Friday

  • 22/05/09

  • 36°35’.553N

  • 045°02’471W

  • 1687

  • 85

  • 72.3

  • 1498.8

  • 788.3

  • 1687

  • 2155.9

  • Saturday

  • 23/05/09

  • 36°57’.890N

  • 043°01’006W

  • 1787

  • 100

  • 99.8

  • 1587.7

  • 688.5

  • 1787

  • 2056.0

  • Sunday

  • 24/05/09

  • 37°10’.403N

  • 041°01’.273W

  • 1884

  • 97

  • 96.1

  • 1671.4

  • 592.4

  • 1884

  • 1960.0

  • Monday

  • 25/05/09

  • 37°31’.855N

  • 038°56’.353W

  • 1986

  • 102

  • 101.6

  • 1765.3

  • 490.9

  • 1986

  • 1858.4

  • Tuesday

  • 26/05/09

  • 38°04’.034N

  • 036°04’.288W

  • 2126

  • 140

  • 139.2

  • 1897.8

  • 351.6

  • 2126

  • 1719.2

  • Wednesday

  • 27/05/09

  • 38°22’.973N

  • 032°52’.076W

  • 2280

  • 154

  • 152.1

  • 2039.4

  • 199.5

  • 2280

  • 1567.1

  • Thursday

  • 28/05/09

  • 38°25’.155N

  • 029°43’.425W

  • 2429

  • 149

  • 147.5

  • 2174.0

  • 52.0

  • 2429

  • 1419.6

  • Friday

  • 29/05/09

  • 38°32’.002N

  • 028°37’.534W

  • 2484

  • 55

  • 52.0

  • 2224.2

  • 0.0

  • 2484

  • 1367.6

  • Saturday

  • 30/05/09

  • 38°32’.002N

  • 028°37’.534W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0.0

  • 0.0

  • 1367.6

  • 2484

  • 1367.6

  • Sunday

  • 31/05/09

  • 38°32’.002N

  • 028°37’.534W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0.0

  • 0.0

  • 1367.6

  • 2484

  • 1367.6

  • Monday

  • 01/06/09

  • 38°32’.002N

  • 028°37’.534W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0.0

  • 0.0

  • 1367.6

  • 2484

  • 1367.6

  • Tuesday

  • 02/06/09

  • 38°32’.002N

  • 028°37’.534W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0.0

  • 0.0

  • 1367.6

  • 2484

  • 1367.6

  • Wednesday

  • 03/06/09

  • 38°32’.002N

  • 028°37’.534W

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0.0

  • 0.0

  • 1367.6

  • 2484

  • 1367.6

  • Thursday

  • 04/06/09

  • 38°41’.838N

  • 028°28’.004W

  • 13

  • 13

  • 12.1

  • 12.3

  • 1355.5

  • 2497

  • 1355.5

  • Friday

  • 05/06/09

  • 40°18’.580N

  • 026°17’.910W

  • 155

  • 142

  • 139.2

  • 151.6

  • 1216.3

  • 2639

  • 1216.3

  • Saturday

  • 06/06/09

  • 41°26'.496N

  • 023°49’.196W

  • 289

  • 134

  • 130.0

  • 281.4

  • 1086.3

  • 2773

  • 1086.3

  • Sunday

  • 07/06/09

  • 42°33’.597N

  • 021°39’.967W

  • 420

  • 131

  • 116.9

  • 398.6

  • 969.4

  • 2904

  • 969.4

  • Monday

  • 08/06/09

  • 42°27.663N

  • 020°47’.991W

  • 464

  • 44

  • 26.3

  • 427.5

  • 943.0

  • 2948

  • 943.0

  • Tuesday

  • 09/06/09

  • 43°21’.945N

  • 018°49'.717W

  • 571

  • 107

  • 101.5

  • 525.7

  • 841.5

  • 3055

  • 841.5

  • Wednesday

  • 10/06/09

  • 44°35’.199N

  • 016°45’.892W

  • 688

  • 117

  • 115.3

  • 643.8

  • 726.2

  • 3172

  • 726.2

  • Thursday

  • 11/06/09

  • 45°34’.04N

  • 014°17’.475W

  • 819

  • 131

  • 119.3

  • 763.7

  • 606.9

  • 3303

  • 606.9

  • Friday

  • 12/06/09

  • 46°34'.103N

  • 012°11’.764W

  • 921

  • 102

  • 105.9

  • 868.9

  • 501.1

  • 3405

  • 501.1

  • Saturday

  • 13/06/09

  • 47°40’.290N

  • 009°44’.944W

  • 1042

  • 121

  • 116.8

  • 988.1

  • 384.2

  • 3526

  • 384.2

  • Sunday

  • 14/06/09

  • 48°30’.644N

  • 007°15’.954W

  • 1157

  • 115

  • 113.8

  • 1099.6

  • 270.4

  • 3641

  • 270.4

  • Monday

  • 15/06/09

  • 49°37'.075N

  • 004°37’.872W

  • 1277

  • 120

  • 123.0

  • 1221.4

  • 147.4

  • 3761

  • 147.4

  • Tuesday

  • 16/06/09

  • 50°38’.838N

  • 001°38’.576W

  • 1409

  • 132

  • 129.8

  • 1351.3

  • 17.6

  • 3893

  • 17.6

  • Wednesday

  • 17/06/09

  • 50°51'.120N

  • 001°18’.650W

  • 1429

  • 20

  • 17.6

  • 1367.6

  • 0.0

  • 3913

  • 0.0


Statistics while under way           

  • 1st leg

  • 2nd leg

  • overall

  • Average speed

  • 4.85

  • 4.88

  • 4.86

  • Days run

  • 116.29

  • 117.05

  • 116.56

  • Maximun run

  • 154

  • 142

  • 154

  • Minimum run

  • 85

  • 44

  • 44

  • Maximum wind

  • 38

  • 48

  • 48

  • Maximum gust

  • 41

  • 55

  • 55


E-mail received Sunday, 07 June 2009 10:20:00 UTC

Position 10;00 UTC 7th May 2009

42º 34' 00" N
21º 55' 00" W

Days run 118
Total to date 406
Distance to Hamble 980
Distance made good 109

I might not be able to give a noon position today as we are in the middle of a very vigorous depression. We have a full gale with sustained wind of 35Kts+ and gust of up to 47 Kts one even reached 52. The seas are enormous 6m+.

Will write more when the wind moderates.

I have turned the computer on of a Gribb File.

All is well we are in good Heat.

Simon

E-mail received Saturday, 06 June 2009 12:23:00 UTC

Noon position UTC Saturday 6 May 2009

41º 25' 00" N
23º 49' 00" W

Days run 133.6
Total to date 288.6
Distance to Hamble 1089
Distance made good 130

We have again made good progress. The wind has been quite variable. For most of the day it was a steady 6 mainly from the NW but over night it went NE and headed us. The wind this morning has been light and we have had the motor on for a time. We have just put the engine back on. We are however expecting a good blown in the next few days.

A bit of an uneventful day. We saw dolphins from time to time and very briefly we had a glimpse of a whale not very close. The sun came out for a time we had a little rain and fairly strong winds for most of the time.

The battery on my Iridium has stopped working this morning so I will have to use the SSB to send and receive messages. I started to download when the computer went into Hibernation and but I think I got all the messages.

Apart form these minor problems all is well and we are in good form.

Simon John & David.

E-mail received Friday, 05 June 2009 12:01:00 UTC

Noon position UTC Friday 5th June 2009 day 2

40º 18' 00" N
26º 17' 00" W

Days run 142
Total to date 155
Distance to Hamble 1219
Distance made good 140

We have made excellent progress as you can see. The wind has been mainly NW 5, 15 to 20 knts it has recently in creased and is now Westerly 6, 24 to 25 knts.

We passed Graciosa last night at 18:00 UTC. and by the time I came on watch at 22;00 its light had disappeared.

Our excitement this morning was the Geneoa falling down into the sea. Whilst in Horta we had noticed some chafe on the halyard so we cut off the worn part and made a knot it to attach it to the furling gear. John had done the knot and our first thoughts were it had come undone. It turned out that part of the shackle attaching the halyard to the sail had failed and had nothing to do with John's knot which was still there. The sail had fallen down but left the halyard at the top of the mast. It was all hands on deck. We first of all retrieved the sail and lashed it on deck. Then had a cup of tea and some breakfast. We first of all thought that we might wait for a calm day before going up the mast. However looking at the forecast, we are expecting some fresh winds and would need the sail. As conditions were not to bad we decided to go up the mast now. David volunteered to go up. The boat was swinging a little but we have had it much worse. David was winched up the mast holding on tightly to stop him swinging out. He attached a rope to the halyard block and was winched down. The halyard was then pulled down to deck level to be inspected. David attached a new shackle to the halyard and we were able to get the sail back up. The whole episode lasted no more than 2 hours which we felt was very good going.

At the same time as this was going on there was a large pod of dolphins playing around the boat and had been of quite a while. The AIS also went off as we were about to go up the mast. There was a boat 8 miles away but fortunately would be of no trouble and would pass us safely.

Apart for that incident all is well. The moon is very nearly full so we had a very light sky almost daylight. The weather pattern is quite complicated but we are expecting another low to cause us some problem in the next few days. John and I have settled back into our routine and David is adjusting to the routine as well.

We had a sunny day for most of yesterday but it is now beginning to rain as we approach a new low.

Simon John & David.

E-mail received Thursday, 04 June 2009 12:45:00 UTC

Noon position UTC 4th June 2009 day 1 (2.3 hrs)

38º 41' 00" N
28º 28 00" W

Days run 13
Total to date 13
Distance to Hamble 1359
Distance made good 13

We left this morning at 09:40 with a bright blue sky there were a few puffy clouds mainly over the islands. I said I had wanted to leave by 10:00 which we did with ease.

We have had a busy few days doing various jobs on Simoon. Nothing very serious but just jobs that needed doing. We changed the fuel filters and made this job take several hours. We had great difficulty in getting the system to bleed. Final we achieved it and had a working engine again. David arrived safely on Tuesday afternoon to a very wet Horta. The weather over the time we were there was very wet with a intense low pressure system overhead. As soon as David unpacked he was keen to look at the wind generator. The hub had worn on the spindle and ground the back down several millimeters. He took the generator to pieces removed the old bearing and replaced them with new. We fitted a new blade and reassembled it. After putting the generatyor back on its pole we discovered we had a new machine. Very quiet you can hardly hear it turn. It seems to be producing a good deal of power, we we see how much to night when the solar panels stop working.

We are bouncing along with one reef in a a slightly reefed geneoa making 5 kts in the direction we want to go. The forecast is fair but a new depression is due to form N of us with gale force wind to the top of it in 3 days time. We hope to be at the bottom of it where the wind hopefully will not be a strong.

We are sailing past Ilha de Sao Jorges and can see Garciosa in the distance about 30 miles away. Having left Faial and Pico. This will be our last sight on land for many days, how many is in the lap of the gods and the weather.

Greetings from a happy rested and content crew. All is well on board and the sun is shining. Yesterday was the first day since we've been here that it didn't rain.

Simon John & David

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