Postponed 24 hours…

Hola Boatbloggers,

Just a brief blog to let you know that the ARC has been postponed for at least 24 hours, because it is windy.

Now I know you landlubbers may than that windy is what a sailor would want, but this is premier division wind, or approaching gale force as we sailors call it. And that’s in the harbour!

This is a good decision by the organisers we think.

Hopefully we’ll be off tomorrow.

Ju & Lyn

Ready to go….

Hola Boatbloggers ®

Once again, thanks to all our readers, and especially to those who have made comments either on our blog page or on Facebook.

The race begins this  Sunday 23rd at 1300, weather permitting. And the forecasts are good. So this will be our last official Boatblog® till we get to St Lucia, hopefully sometime roundabout the 14th December.

However, do not despair. There are still many ways you can follow our travels across the world’s oceans.

First of all, you can got to the official ARC website, which is on….

You should get taken straight to the right place, but if you get an option on which rally to follow, select ARC 2014 (not ARC+ 2014). Our boat is of course “Domini.” If you’re looking to see where we are in the race, you’ll probably find us near the back.

If you prefer to follow it on a smartphone, you can do the same thing by downloading an app called Yellowbrick for £1.99.  Again select ARC 2014 when it asks you which race you want to follow.


There is a possibility that we will put up blogs on the World Cruising Club site. It all depends on if we can upload them via a satellite link which is not guaranteed. If we do, the way to read them is to go to…

Then where it says “Search Boat Logs,” select Domini, ARC and year 2014


Another completely different way to follow us is to go to…

…which should show you where we are in the Atlantic, but won’t show you all the other boats. If you go to this one, you will have the advantage of being able to send us a message (Highlight  the tab saying “Julian Ronnie,” then click “message,”) Bear in mind that you can only send 160 characters per message. If you type more than this, it will send it as 2 messages, so think of it as more like sending a text than an email. Also, the tracking device only connects to the satellite for a brief second every ten minutes, so even if we are receiving and sending properly you will probably have to wait for twenty minutes or so to get a reply.

Don’t worry if you can’t find us right now. Most of it won’t go live until the race begins.

In the mean time, here is the news.

In the true spirit of showing off, which is most unlike Ju, here is a picture of him as The Standard Bearer for Great Britain at the Official Opening Ceremony of the ARC.

Official Flag Bearer


The selection process was rigourous and gruelling and was based on one of three things.

1)     Best Sailor

2)     Best Looking Skipper

3)     First PersonTo Put His Name On The List.

It’s hard to be sure, but I’m pretty certain it was one of the first two.

We are getting pretty exhausted, not from all the boat preparations, but from the continuous round of parties. It’s like a Club 18 – 30 holiday. Well, maybe a Club 50 – 80 holiday, but it’s still pretty knackering.

Mr  Mrs Baba


Fancy Dress

ARABIAN KNIGHTS. With John Vickers from AISLIG BHEAG. (Try saying that after a rum punch.)

Jeanneau even put on a dinner for all their owners (which was very nice of them, but makes us suspect we paid too much for the boat.)

Jeanneau Dinner


 Adios for now Amigos. Next blog from St Lucia!

Ju & Lyn

Viva Las Palmas

Hello Again Boatbloggers ®,


And huge apologies for the long radio silence.  The truth is, there hasn’t been much to blog about, and I don’t want to risk boring our huge numbers of adoring fan with trivial nonsense. But I have been stung into action by Alan’s blog comment, which for those of you who haven’t seen it, I repeat it here in full.


Hi Julian and Lyn,

So I promised to write more in response to the fabulous Rabat Blues and since it is now over a month since I promised that, it seemed appropriate to get on with it!

Clearly there has been something of a radio silence of late and of course this leads of all your blog followers to become a little nervous and apprehensive on your behalf Julian. After all there are many examples of intrepid travellers losing radio contact and the like. One just has to think of those orbiting the moon for example, or trekking to the poles and one is immediately reminded of the tense wait in between communications. So imagine my pleasant surprise just a few weeks ago when I was contacted directly by Julian. It was a wonderful moment and I felt truly special, honoured to be singled out for what was, in my mind at least, quite a tricky procedure. I know that these days modern communications have improved enormously since the days of Morse code and the like, but nevertheless as I heard Julian’s voice on the phone, I was impressed with the quality of the line. As he spoke, I imagined him grappling with the sheets, whilst the wind whistled Domini across the ocean waves. I have some experience myself of ship to shore radio transmissions (more of that in a moment) and so I was both pleased and relieved to hear from Julian. Imagine my surprise then, when in response to my enquiry as to his whereabouts, rather than some kind of nautical co-ordinates involving degrees and longitude, he said that he was in Acton. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment. Acton. Now Geography is not my strong point, in fairness nothing is, but even I could more or less point to Acton on a map and understand the relation between it and the Atlantic. Rabat for example is clearly on a coastline, indeed a coastline suspiciously close to the Atlantic, but Acton is West London and not a drop of ocean in sight. The Rabat Blues, so beautifully performed, gave all of we humble readers some sense of the frustration of waiting for just the right weather conditions for departure. But whilst hanging around in harbours of the world sharing seafaring stories with other old salts is surely a regular pastime of the hardened sailor, wandering up and down Acton High Road in search of The Guardian, hardly constitutes the spirit of adventure – mind you, then again, it is Acton. But look, I don’t wish to pour cold water on your earnest endeavours and I am willing to suspend disbelief. It may be that you are not just hanging out at home, waiting for your next sailing holiday around the Algarve. You may well be studying detailed charts in the library and wrestling with fathoms and plumb lines, but I think it may be time for another missive so we can remain truly connected to your holiday, sorry, adventure and so we can set aside any creeping cynicism.

I did mention that I had some ship to shore radio experience and I think you may have heard the story before, but since it comes from a time when I was AT SEA, it seemed appropriate. I had been aboard the luxury yacht, Lambda Mar only for a few hours and was trying very hard to settle into the lifestyle and forget all of my land-based troubles. With a gin and tonic in hand, I was approached by one of the many immaculately liveried stewards and informed that the Captain wanted to see me right away on the bridge for an urgent ship-to-shore radio call. “Who can this be?” I thought to myself. “An urgent call from the Prime minister perhaps, obviously for such an important person as I must be, aboard a luxury yacht, or most likely, an injury to one of our children”. They were staying with their Grandma at our house. My worst fears looked like being confirmed as I took the communication device being proffered by the Captain and heard the voice of my Mother-in-Law. She said she was sorry but felt this was a big enough emergency to have contacted the luxury yacht’s telephone. So what was it? A broken leg perhaps, or a car accident? No, the reason for the call was to ask me what she ought to say to the angry and disappointed parents who had been let down by the breakdown of our Postman Pat van and subsequent lack of party for 4 year old Chantelle. It wasn’t so much being bothered by the seemingly trivial matter by Grandma that upset me, it was more the complete bursting of any kind of illusory bubble that I might actually belong on this super yacht, rather than be the kind of person who was running Postman Pat parties for a living. As I left the bridge I bravely tried to laugh it off, as if this was simply one of thousands of such events I organised around the globe, but the Captain’s smirk dampened any last vestiges of delusion.

So Julian and Lyn, when the right conditions arrive and you really do get cracking across the Atlantic, just know that not only will I be thinking about you constantly, but I will also be awaiting your call.
Love to you both,
Al x


Now clearly there are a number of issues with this scurrilous article that I simply must address. In particular the erroneous use of the term, “sailing holiday,” to describe our intrepid expedition into the unknown, as though it were some sort of Sunsail jolly, or a Channel Ferry booze cruise. And yes while technically it may be true that we did return to darkest Acton for a VERY brief period, may I remind our readers, lest they fear that our courage may be waning, that even Christopher Columbus had a break occasionally. (By the way, did you know that Columbus in Spanish is “Colon.” We found that out  at The Colon Museum, right here in Las Palmas.)


So, what has happened since our time in Rabat? Or Acton, depending upon which version of the truth you prefer to believe. We sailed South – or more accurately motored as there was no wind – and ended up in Agadir, which is Morroco’s answer to Benidorm.




The people of Agadir are quite charming, but unfortunately it takes a long time to get anything done, and security is quite lax. (If you’re interested, they key to the pontoon is under the flowerpot by the gate.) The Capitaniere apologised for the state of the marina, but they’d had a storm four years ago.

Agadir Pontoon


And after a few days, we were ready to set sail, this time, across The Atlantic. Let me just repeat that incase Alan missed it. 


…to The Canary Islands. Gran Canaria in fact. We had good wind and sailed all the way, which surprisingly for a sailing expedition, doesn’t happen very often. It was largely uneventful, apart from the rudder getting snagged on some drifting old net.

Rudder snagged 


Ju had to go over the side again to cut us free. Unfortunately, as he jumped in, he slightly cut his finger on the knife. Nothing too serious, except that this is shark country. And if I remember my David Attenborough documentaries correctly, sharks can smell blood from up to 48 miles away. Lyn didn’t helping by singing the Theme from Jaws.

So there was no time to lose, and soon we were free, and able to carry on our merry way. After about three days we arrived in Las Palmas. 

Las Palmas is the home of the ARC – The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which is the race that we will be taking part in, so we have been busy preparing the boat, kitting it out with safety gear, adding davits, provisioning and so on. As well as attending lectures telling us what to do if the boat goes upside down, or the mast falls off, or we get eaten by a whale.

ARC Flag


Other than that, we have just been tourists. Gran Canaria is a surprising place. While the north of the island is quite sophisticated, in the south you feel a bit out of place without a tattoo on your forehead. The centre is stunning; like The Grand Canyon. Well….I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, but it’s got lots of big mountains.


Lyn Mountains


We’re just over a week away till we cast off our lines and start the crossing, so it’s all getting a bit hectic in Las Palmas.

Official T Shirt



and here is a gratuitous selfie

Waving To Rory



That’s all for now Boatbloggers ® . Or “Avast,” as we sailors say.

I will be in touch before the starting pistol is fired with a link to “Yellowbrick,” which is a kind of satellite tracking device so you can see us as we go across.

Bye for now


Cap’n Ju & Lyn the Cru