The Atlantic Collection

Ahoy Boatbloggers,

For those of you who missed the blogs en transit across the Atlantic, here they are in full.


26th November – Day Three Begins

Hello again Boatblog fans,
I hope you managed to find us ok on this, our new little piece of cyberspace. I guess if you’re reading this right now, you must have done, so welcome back. Apologies that there will be no pictures in these latest editions, but they take too long to upload. The computer boffin from Mailasail did explain how I could do it by re-sizing everything but I’m still none the wiser. ( HIM:- “You send it as an in message, not as an out message, because there are no ins, only outs which collect the ins, so to get an in you need to send an out, which on the leg in, becomes a leg out, thought it’s really an in.” ME:-  So, you put your left leg in, your left leg out, in out, in out, shake it all about. You do the…”) You get the idea. It’s all very complicated unless you’re a Cambridge graduate or a child of seven, so I’ll just have to upload them when we’re back on terra firma.
Our plan for the start of the race was to keep out of all the mayhem on the startline and hang back and let all the racers go first. Not a tactic that would impress Ben Ainslee but it suited us. Unfortunately, everyone else seems to have had the same idea, so it was still like D Day when we actually crossed the line. I’ve never seen so many boats in such a small piece of water. Very exciting, and just a bit scary! But we somehow managed to not hit anyone and we were off. Just thirty minutes after the starting pistol.
The first couple of days of our transatlantic adventure have been pretty full on. As you no doubt already know the start was postponed for a day because of inclement weather, but it was still pretty hairy when we left. It was F6 gusting up to F8, which in landlubber terms means very windy with bloody big waves. We were bouncing around like an old sock in a washing machine. And that was before we hit the acceleration zone about ten miles south. For those of you that don’t know, an acceleration zone is where the wind is predicted to go from fast, to ridiculous. And the predictions were right. 
But Domini handled it all with grace and ease, unlike the crew who were hanging on tight trying not to be sick. Ju got drenched twice. As in proper drenched. The second time just after he changed into dry clothes. Doh! We live and learn.
Then, after all that, the wind suddenly dropped as we got in the lee of the island. In the space of five minutes it went from 30 knots to bugger all (another seafaring term). We bobbed about for a few hours (which if you followed our track is why we went round and round in circles for a bit,)  before we eventually gave in to the inevitable; with heavy heart we hoisted the iron mainsail and chugged merrily into the wind.
By now it was night-time, and I’m pleased to see that the ARC committee have arranged for more stars than usual, so thanks to them for that. They really are quite spectacular. And dolphins by the hundreds . Fantastic.
Day two was a lot calmer, and strangely that was when Lyn got seasick. Which is very rare for her. So she was completely out for the count, but I’m pleased to say she’s a lot better now.
And so my Boatblog friends, there I must close. It’s about 7 in the morning, and I am sat here in the cockpit, the wind on our tail and the sun peeping over the horizon. 
It is all rather magical.
Ju & Lyn
 29th November – Sailing at Night

Hello again Boatbloggers,

I’m not sure why they call this particular crossing, “The Milk Run.” We’ve just been hit by a number of squalls, with winds gusting up to gale force and horizontal rain whacking into your eyeballs. I think I’d call it “The Water Plume,” or “Cyclonic Irrigation.” Even “The Adrenalin Rush.” But Milk Run? Nah. 
But first of all we’d like to thank the ARC committee for the spectacular display of shooting stars that they treated us to on Wednesday night. Absolutely fantastic.

Quick quiz…

How big is the average shooting star?

Is it…

a)About the size of the moon

b)About the size of a double decker bus

c)About the size of a pinhead.

The answer my friends may surprise you. According to my Patrick Moore Guide to the Night Sky It is (c) about the size of a pinhead. Apparently a shooting star is little more than a particle of dust bursting into flame as it enters the atmosphere. Though how they figured that out I’ve no idea. 

Hope that surprises you as much as it did me. We here at theboatblog dot com seek to inform as well as entertain.

It’s hard to describe the feeling you get sailing in the moonlight, knowing you are following in the wake of Christopher Colon and the other great navigators on their epic voyages of discovery, with nothing to guide you but a compass and the light of the stars. Well, the light of the stars and the GPS of course. And the radar. And the electric plotter. And AIS. But it’s basically the same idea. You, your little boat, and the great big ocean.

But the night is also the time when things go wrong. Or more accurately, when things go wrong at night, they seem much worse. On Thursday night for example, just as Lyn as coming off watch, there was a loud bang and the autopilot gave up. Now, when you are only two handed, the autopilot giving up is a very big deal. It’s like losing a crewman. Actually, it’s worse than that, because you can pick a new crewman at the next port.  And this is the perfect crewman. This crewman doesn’t eat all the chocolate biscuits during his watch. This crewman doesn’t moan when it’s cold and miserable. This crewman just sits quietly on watch, steering the boat far better than you could ever do yourself.

And this crewman just died…
Ju quickly crawled out of his pit, and it was not too long before he discovered that the cotter pin that holds the bolt between the RAM and the quadrant had broken. Now those of you that know Ju and his infamous DIY skills will be amazed at this statement. You will be surprised that he even knows what a cotter pin is. He has been banned from any type of maintenance ever since he managed to plumb the washing machine into the gas main. (That is a true story.) 
Actually, truth be told it was Lyn that found the broken cotter pin. But that’s just a detail.
Now read on…. 
Quickly he got out his new set of Halford’s spanners and a monkey wrench, and set about replacing the pin and tightening up the bolt. As you read this in the comfort of your own home, this may not sound so difficult. But bear in mind that this is in a completely inaccessible hole at the back of the boat, in the middle of the night, at a 30 degree angle of heel, bouncing up and down like a fairground ride, and with the bolt moving every time the rudder turned. 
It wasn’t easy, but eventually he managed it. 
What a hero!
And so for now, touch wood, it seems to be working.
We have just sailed over The Tropic of Cancer. So I guess that we are now officially in tropical waters. 
Not that you’d know it from the weather.
Keep on trackin’
Ju & Lyn
30th November – Squall Alley
Hi Boatbloggers,

We’ve just been hit by a whole series of squalls, one after the other.

You know, when we talked about trade wind sailing, I always imagined us lounging in the cockpit, perhaps a sundowner cocktail in hand, with the smell of hot bread wafting up from the galley as the freshly caught fish sizzled on the bar-b-que.

And now here we are. It’s four in the morning, it’s cold and wet, and I’m hiding behind the sprayhood in my woolly hat and oilskins, nursing a mug of Cuppa Soup.

And right now, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.


1st December – Flying Tonight
Last night, Ju was attacked by a fish.

He was just sitting in the cockpit, minding his own business, when all of a sudden he got whacked in the back of the head by a flying fish.
It was all very Monty Python.
Later Lyn saw hundreds of them, flying across the water together. At first she thought they were lots of little birds swooping over the water.
And then…we sailed through a rainbow!
Today’s quiz:-
Is it:-
(a)a shoal of flying fish?
(b)a flock of flying fish?
Answers on a ten pound note please, to the usual address.
Keep on trackin’
Ju & Lyn
2nd December – Living at Sea

Hello again Boatbloggers,

We are often asked, what is it like being at sea. Not the navigating, and setting the sails and all that stuff. What is the day to day living like?

In a nutshell, it’s like living in a very expensive caravan during an earthquake. It rolls about. It rolls about a lot.
Which makes some tasks more difficult. Shaving for example, is particularly hazardous. So much so that Ju has started to grow a beard. For some time now, his hair has been sun-bleached; I guess it’s the outdoor life that he leads, but we were surprised to discover that his beard actually grows sun-bleached. By the time we get to St Lucia. he’s going to look like Uncle Albert.
Eating can also be problematic. With all the rolling, it’s like that Charlie Chaplin film, with the bowl moving from one side of the table to the other. It was suggested before we left that we eat out of dog bowls because they don’t tip up. Dog bowls indeed! It’s not that rough rough. (Ha ha. Geddit?!)  Now we may be at sea, but we still have standards to maintain. Though every time we have soup we come more round to the idea.
(A note from Ju: The food is great. I don’t know how Lyn does it given that it all has to be cooked at a 45 degree angle, but we have had casserole de poulet, beef au vin rouge, and cassolet de canard. When I cook we get chicken and mushroom noodles en pot.)
And then you have to remember that you are completely self sufficient. So you need to conserve your battery power, your water and your fuel. This means you can’t have a shower every day, and when you do it’s a naval shower (wet yourself, turn off the shower, lather up, rinse and repeat.) You boil just the right amount of water, and use a pressure cooker to conserve the gas. There’s no motoring when you’re becalmed, because you just do’t have enough diesel and so on.
It’s all very SAS.
Keep on trackin’
Ju & Lyn
 3rd December – Progress…
Hello Boatblog fans,

As you can imagine, the middle bit of the Atlantic chart is a fairly empty affair, with not that many landmarks.

However, it is still good to celebrate significant moments of the crossing, and we are pleased to inform you that we have just gone over a crease.

And a curious thing. Obviously we have been doing lots of ropework over the past week, and this has made our hands lovely and smooth. So much so, that the fingerprint recognition software on Ju’s Iphone won’t recognise his thumbprint!

Which leads us on to…

Today’s Top Tips

Criminals: fool forensics. Before your next major heist, sail across the Atlantic. Then you won’t need to wipe down the crime scene.


Ladies: save money on expensive handcreams and manicures. For beautiful soft skin, buy a piece of rope and rub your hands up and down it three times a day

Hope that helps

Ju & Lyn


4th December – A Long Way South

We saw The Southern Cross last night, so I guess we really must be a long way south.

The wind has really died overnight, so unless it picks up, I don’t think we’ll get very far today.

We’ll keep you posted.

Ju & Lyn


5th December – We Are Sailing

Ahoy there Boatbloggers,
Well the wind’s dropped, and the boat’s stopped, so what does a sailor do in this situation?
That’s right. Put the kettle on and have a cup of tea. And then….it’s time for a nice sing song to keep up morale.  
So we got out the piano, and this is what we came up with…
We are sailing
We are sailing
To St Lucia
‘cross the sea
We are sailing
Atlantic waters
In a boat called 
Spent a fortune
Spent a fortune
Four thousand Euros
At Rolnautic
Now we’re cruising
I think we’re losing
But we should be there
By Thursday week
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Or has the sat phone
Gone down again
The autopilot
Gave up on Tuesday
And now the wind’s dropped
Till who knows when
We are sailing

We are sailing
To St Lucia
Come what may
But we ain’t lonely
There’s an ARC fleet
Not far away
We are sailing
To Rodney bay
The video of this unique event (possibly an ARC first) will shortly be available in all good record shops. To pre-order, please send cash to the usual address.
Keep on trackin’
Ju & Lyn
(But mainly Ju)
6th December – Cap’n Ju’s Atlantic Waters Shaving Balm

Ahoy Boatbloggers,

Today has been a day of slow winds, and little progress, but despite all that there have been a few firsts.
To conserve our fresh water supplies, we had our first ever salt water shower. Well, not so much a shower, more a wash in a bucket, but you know what I mean. We’ve got this special shampoo which is rather unimaginatively called, “Sea Shampoo,” probably because it is shampoo for the sea, and today we gave it a go.
And we’re happy to tell you it works a treat. Ju even had a shave using it, and it is actually better that a fresh water shave. The salt water heals all those little nicks and scratches before you’ve even done them. It’s brilliant. We’re thinking of bottling some and bringing it back home to sell.  Cap’n Ju’s Atlantic Waters Shaving Balm. What do you reckon?
And talking of bringing bottled water from the Atlantic back with us, that is exactly what we are doing on behalf of a couple of Dutch scientists. They are getting a number of ARC boats to collect water which they will then analyse scientifically.  They are looking for things called microplastics, which are microscopic bits of plastic, and it seems that this is going to be the next pollution nightmare. Basically, when plastic rots in the sea, it doesn’t just disappear, it disintegrates. In fact it never ever vanishes. It just gets smaller and smaller. So what’s the big deal? Well, these microplastics are getting into the fish, and therefore the human food chain. They don’t really know the effect of that yet, but it is killing the birds so it’s not good. 
Apparently, there are five big “gyras” sat in the middle of the major oceans of the world which are where the currents all meet, and they are like swirling municipal rubbish tips. They’ve got photos such as an albatross who died from eating a cigarette lighter. It’s all very sad.
We’re not preaching, sat as we are in our plastic boat, drinking plastic coffee from a plastic cup (all paid for on plastic) but if you want to know more check out, and in the mean time, don’t chuck any plastic into the sea!
And today we got the “kite” out. That’s sailor slang for the spinaker or cruising chute in our case. it is a sail specially for light winds and it was a right old palaver putting it up, Eventually  on the third attempt we managed it. Just in time for the wind to pick up. So we took it down again.
It’s about midnight right now and it’s a beautiful full moon; it’s almost bright enough to read by.
Keep on trackin’
Ju & Lyn 
7th December – The world’s most boring blog…ever!

We had a lovely day sailing.
8th December – 1000 miles to go!
Ahoy again Boatbloggers,

Today is something of a landmark!

After thirteen days of sailing – unlucky for some, but not for us – here is our official noon boat position.

140,Domini,At Sea,1D,07/12/2014 12:00:06,15° 55.4′ N,044° 15.7′ W,974.56,5.9

The number to look at is the 974 figure. That is how many miles we have to go before we get to St Lucia. Yes my friends, it is under a thousand miles to go!

Surely a cause for celebration! Well, on the one hand yes, it’s the “1000 miles to go,” landmark. On the other, “Crikey, we’ve been going two weeks and we’re still nowhere near!”

For just such an occasion as this, before we left Lyn prepared a nice celebration lunch  consisting of unbelievably expensive Iberico ham with gourmet cheese and other little titbits from Las Palmas, with chocolate brownies to follow. Unfortunately, we ate it all on day 3. So we’re going to have a celebration lunch of corn beef sarnies instead.

We spent much of the morning trimming the sails, and in particular the mainsail trying to get all the telltales to fly properly. Try as we might we couldn’t get the middle one to stream out. After way too long, we realised it had actually fallen off. Doh! And that was when we spotted it – flying off the end of one of the spreaders. How on earth it got there we have no idea, but it is probably a tribute to one of our many sail mishandling debacles. Anyway, the good news is that it is streaming out horizontally at all points of sail, so the spreader must be set perfectly.

We have been a bit disappointed with the amount of wildlife we have seen. We thought we would see dolphins, and porpoises, and maybe the odd shark fin. Even a whale or two! But apart from scores of flying fish we have seen nothing. If this was a whale watching holiday we’d want our money back. Lyn did see some Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, but they turned out to be seaweed.

And one last bit of news; today we ran out of diet coke. 

So that’s the diet over then.

Keep on trackin’

Ju & Lyn


9th December – LEAK IN BOAT!!!
I thought that might get your attention.

I should be working on a tabloid, because while that headline is strictly speaking true, it does somewhat overdramatise the situation . But be honest dear reader; if I had put “Boat Has Leaky Tap!” which would more accurately reflect the true postiion, would you have even got this far?
But let me explain…
From early on in our voyage, we had noticed that the fresh water tanks were going down much faster than we expected. Tank No 1 went down to just 1/4 full in just over a week. We suspected a leak, because we had been quite careful with our water consumption, not taking showers, using the salt water tap which feeds directly from the sea wherever possible and so on, but a quick check couldn’t find anything amiss. So we though it was simply that we must have been using more than we should and vowed to be more careful in future.
We switched over to Tank 2, so that if that ran out at least we would know we still had a 1/4 left in tank 1. We were now super frugal in the water usage, other than the salt water tap, which of course we could use with gay abandon.
But even so, earlier today, tank 2 ran out.
There must be a leak.
Quick as a flash, Cap’n Ju grabbed his new Halford’s monkey wrench, donned his multi-purpose Leatherman and set out to solve The Mystery of the Disappearing Water.
But perhaps dear reader, you are ahead of me. 
Did you spot the clues?.
That’s right. It was the salt water tap whatdunnit.
When he followed the pipes through, he discovered that it could be set to feed from either the salt water, or the freshwater tanks. And guess what?  Cap’n Ju had it set to come from the fresh water tanks.
The good news is that we found it in time. We still have 1/4 of  tank 1 which is the big tank. We have more than enough bottled drinking water, and so much Red Bull that we could probably fly to St Lucia.
But once that’s all gone, we’re down to champagne.
832 Miles to go!
Keep on trackin’
Ju & Lyn
10th December – Hats off to Sir Robin

Ahoy there, Boatblog fans,

We’ve just been reading about Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and how at the age of 75 he recently came third in the Route de Rhum. An incredible achievement. Apparently, when he finished, they asked him how he felt and he said, “Fantastic. Never been better. It’s great to be at at sea.  I feel like a man of sixty.”

I’d just like to take this opportunity to echo Sir Robin’s sentiments. After two weeks at sea, I too feel like a man of sixty. The difference is, when I left Las Palmas I was only 52.

We’re starting to see birds again, so we must be getting close. We saw an enormous one earlier today, and thought it must be an albatross, but when it came closer we realised it was just a lost seagull trying to find its way back to Blighty.

691 miles to go.

Keep on trackin’

Ju & Lyn



11th December – Are We There Yet, Dad?

Hi Boatbloggers,

After a fast morning’s sail, the wind has dropped and we’re mooching along at about 4 knots. It’s hard not to get impatient when we are so close, and to avoid the temptation of looking at the log every couple of hours to see how many (or few!) miles we have done.

And we can’t wait to get to St Lucia. Not just for the obvious things like cocktails on the beach and so on, but all the little things as well…

• Standing up without holding on

• Sitting down without holding on

• Eating without holding on

• Cooking without holding on

• Washing without holding on

• Sleeping without holding on

550 Miles to go

Keep on trackin’

Ju & Lyn


12th December – I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clew

Welcome Back Boatbloggers,

People often ask us, “What do you actually do during those miles and miles of empty sea?” Well, no one’s actually asked us that yet, but I’m sure they will.

And our answer will be, apart from the thousand and one tasks that need to be done to keep everything shipshape, we play silly games in the style of I”‘m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clew.” (See what I did there?)

In last’s night’s game for example, the contestant’s were asked to come up with the names of films that they have seen which are connected with our transatlantic crossing. Here are just a selection…

• The Winches of Eastwick

• Shallow Halyard

• Reef Encounter
• Pinnochio  featuring Bimini Cricket
• Anchorman

• Full Metal Lifejacket

• Boom Raider

• About A Buoy
• Meet Me In St Lucia

• Ice Stanchion Zebra

• Ocean’s 14

• The Shawshackle Redemption

But the winner last night was Lyn with… 

• RADARS of the Lost ARC

We are doing  similar thing tonight with popular song titles. If you wish to join in, please send your entries to the usual address. The winner of the most original song title will get the opportunity to treat the Captain and Crew to a sumptuous dinner for two in one of St Lucia’s most exclusive restaurants.

Good luck.

To start you off here are a couple of ideas…

• Love Me Fender

• Scarborough Flare

428 Miles to go.

Keep on trackin’

Ju & Lyn


13th December – An Apology To Squalls

Dear Boatbloggers,

In our previous dispatches, we may have made reference to “squalls.” We now know that this was not correct and would like to apologise to our readers for misleading them. These were mere bagatelles. Triflings. Barely even a strong shower.

Because last night we were hit by a proper  squall. In fact several proper squalls. How can we describe it?


Only kidding. It wasn’t t too bad really. Though probably not a good time for Lyn to give it smoking.

But that’s all behind us for now. Lyn has just managed to rustle up a fantastic lunch of Canary Potatoes with Mojo sauce, Iberico hams and home made lemonade! All served with freshly baked bread. It’s from an IKEA breadmix, so it looks great when you’ve made it, but  the next day all starts falling to bits.

We’ve haven’t yet seen the entries for our “Song of the ARC,” competition, (in the style of “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clew,”) but here are ours…

• Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’  Rawhide 

• Becalmed, Bothered and Bewildered

• Soggy Trousers by Madness

• Do Genooooo-a Where You’re Going To (Theme from Mahogany)

• Return to Fender

• Luff Foresail

• ARC, The Herald Angels Sing

• Dan(e) Buoy

• Born To Hand Gybe

• Vangs For The Memory

And those of you who are both fans of Sondheim, and know that the autopilot is traditionally referred to as George (after the chap who invented it) will appreciate the sheer genius of…

• Sunday In The ARC With George

281 Miles to go.

Keep on trackin’

Ju & Lyn


14th December – Woo Woo Woo – St Lucia
Well my Boatblog friends, it is about 2000 local time (that’s 8pm for the landlubbers) which is about midnight GMT, and Ju is about to go on first night watch. We are about 60 miles away from St Lucia, so all being well, by the time you read this we will be back on terra firma!
Woo woo woo!!!
And that means…
No more trackin’
(…for now)
Ju & Lyn

5 thoughts on “The Atlantic Collection”

  1. Wow! What an expedition – loved reading the blog. Trust you got there safely and look forward to seeing photos of you on the beach, without a boat in sight.


  2. CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing achievement – and you’re both still alive! Neither the waves nor marital disputes could stop you… Have fun in St Lucia.
    Yours in admiration
    Paul x

  3. Amazing!! Congrats to you sun-bronzed boat gypsies for coming this far and doing it with such grace and good humour. I’m waiting for “Domini – the Musical” now.

  4. Hi Lyn and Ju,
    Congratulations on your safe arrival! Just amazing to see you both looking chilled and relaxed like you have just been on a 3 week cruise!

    Have a fabulous relaxing Christmas and great New Year!

    Looking forward to hearing of the next chapter!

    Lots of love Heather and Ann xx

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