The Second Leg

Hello again Boatbloggers ® ,

We have just completed the second leg of our second Transatlantic! Now this isn’t going to be a huge long blog, because as you know we did the Atlantic in 2014 and to be honest, it hasn’t changed that much.

This is the view from the front…

View from the front

…and this is the view from the back. Or to use the correct nautical term, the patio.

View from the patio

We only put the mainsail up once, before quickly realising it was a mistake and pulling it down again. Most of the time we used twin headsails – the screecher out one side, and the genoa on the other.

Butterfly copy

We call it “goose-winged,” but for once the Germans are more poetic and call it “The Butterfly,” which we’re going to use from now on.

Butterfy 2

It doesn’t feel like sailing. Basically you just put them up and are more or less blown across The Atlantic. But it’s very comfortable, and very easy, so what’s not to like.

Of course there are the usual mega sunsets…

Sunset 2

Some amazing clouds…

Clouds 3  1

A squall or two…

Clouds 1  1

Which look even worse on the radar..

Radar squall

And one night we sailed by the light of Jupiter, Venus & Saturn.

Jupiter

OK, so it looks like a little white dot, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. That is Jupiter. And it was pretty amazing.

It took us 14 days and 11 hours from Mindelo, and we came 38th arriving just before midnight.

Alien

This is crossing the finish line. Ju looks like he’s just been beamed down.

So just time for a gratuitous selfie…

Selfie

And to thank St Lucia for their fabulous welcome.

Fruit 2

Oh – I can’t resist. One more sunset.

IMG 3784~photo  1

That’s all for now Boatbloggers ®,

Merry Christmas!

Ju & Lyn

To Cabo Verde

Welcome back Boatbloggers ® ,

And so we set sail for the first leg of our trip across The Atlantic.

A View From The Bridge

900 nautical miles to Mindelo, Sao Vincente in the Cabo Verde islands. It took us about six days. The first two days were quite rough with strong winds…

Hi winds 4

True Wind Speed of up to 86 knots – hurricane force – but at least it meant we went fast at over 33 knots, which should put us in the running for the Americas Cup. Either that or there was something wrong with the instruments.

But by day three it had calmed down a bit..

Stormy 2

…and we were able to start collecting the flying fish that kept landing on deck overnight. 

Flying Fish

Five in one night! Not quite big enough to eat, but not so small that they don’t make a horrible slippery mess where they land.

Land ahoy! – We arrived at Cape Verde just after sunrise.

Land Ahoy  Cape Verde

So time to send the crew forward to sort out the ropes.

Getting the ropes

While the captain attended to more important matters.

Teatime

Pretty soon we were moored up in Mindelo Marina. 

Mindelo Marina 2

And while it was nice to be back on land, Mindelo Marina is the windiest marina with the biggest swell we have ever been to. The pontoons were rolling all over the place – walking along them felt like you’d had ten pints. We were more seasick on the pontoon than ever we were at sea! Three people along from us actually fell in – and these are experienced ocean navigators. Still, at least it meant we kept our sea legs for the next stage of the journey.

Sao Vincente is a beautiful island and the people are really friendly and welcoming. We did a little island tour – first stop, the beach.

Beach 4 2

Where we tried the local grog.

Grog 1

Strong enough to knock out a camel. So up into the mountains to the tea bar to sober up.

Mountain Tea Bar

One day we took the ferry to Sao Antao, another of the Cape Verde Islands, where we tried the traditional food…

 

Trad food

Saw the traditional cottages…

Traditional cottage

And watched farmers collecting yams in the traditional way.

Workers

Next we got in a minibus to go up into the mountains. We went at breakneck speed up these little cobbled roads with sheer drops either side.

Mountain Top 5

It was quite terrifying. This is Ju trying to not look scared.

Trying not to look scared

Not doing too bad a job of it, but he’s holding on to that wall with both hands. What you can’t see is that behind that wall is a thousand foot sheer drop. It is all unbelievably high. We’ve been in many minibuses, but never one where we’ve had to worry about turbulence.

But once you dared to open your eyes, the views are spectacular. 

Mountain top 1

The photos of course don’t do it justice.

Mountain top 3

But here’s a few more anyway.

Mountain

You’ll just have to come and see it for yourselves.

Bloody scarey

But back to Mindelo, where Lyn enjoyed the street art…

Mindelo 1

…and Ju enjoyed the cultural events.

Culture Night 2

Some of the wall art is amazing. This picture is not painted on the wall, but chipped out of the plaster.

Wall Art 4

We had a great social life with the ARC while we were here in Mindelo. Here we are with the crew of Zan eating the bruschetta (which they serve by the metre.)

Zan

Just time for the arty farty prize, which has only one entry called “Street Scene,” and that is from Ju – so he is the winner!

Arty Farty Prize 1

And of course it wouldn’t be a proper Boatblog ® without a gratuitous sunset. Though actually it’s a sunrise.

Sunset 2

That’s all for now Boatbloggers ®

Ciao Cape Verde. Thanks for having us.

Next stop St Lucia.

Ju & Lyn

X

Getting Ready For The Circumnav….

Yes Boatblog ® Fans, that is not a typo…

We are planning a full circumnav – that’s circumnavigation for you landlubbers; sailing round the world. So once we’re across the Atlantic, it’s through the Panama Canal and then to….. Infinity and Beyond. Well – Darwin anyway.

We have just signed up to do the first leg of the World ARC, which is very exciting.

We were sorry to leave Madeira, but all good things must come to an end.

GC Leaving Madiera 2  1

It’s two or three days sailing to get to Gran Canaria and we had a pretty good run, though we arrived in the middle of the night and it was quite scary manoeuvring among all the massive ships and oil rigs when we got there.

It was great to be back in Las Palmas. We’re doing the ARC+ this time which is Las Palmas to St Lucia, but it calls in at Cape Verde instead of going straight across like the regular ARC.

We spent our time there doing last minute repairs, stocking the boat up with provisions, spare parts and tools and everything else we could think of that we might need for a round the world trip.

One thing you really have to have on board is an angle grinder…

GC Angle Grinder 1

…just in case we ever need to cut away the rigging in the event of a dismasting. Now those of you who are aware of my DIY skills will probably be horrified to think that I would ever be let anywhere near such an awesome power tool.

Do not worry.

I’ve never used one before and I don’t want to use it for the first time in an angry sea and accidentally cut my leg off, so I found the time to practice.

GC Angle Grinder 2

It’s actually really good fun.

Though once you get started it’s quite hard to stop.

GC Angle Grinder 3

WARNING TO OUR YOUNGER READERS. We are trained professionals. Do not try this at home.

We also needed a new drill, which came with a fantastic selection of gadgets.

GC Drill

I wonder what they’re for.

And we had SSB installed.

GC SSB

SSB stands for Single Sideband Radio. It’s the big radio type thing with the microphone attached that you can see underneath the computer screen. It’s quite a miraculous piece of kit. By bouncing radio signals round the globe you can talk to people in Australia or Tokyo or anywhere in the world from right out in the middle of the ocean. It doesn’t use satellites or anything so fancy, but it just bounces the signal off the ionosphere, back to the ground and up again, right all the way round until it gets to where you want. It’s quite amazing.

Though it’s a bit weird because whenever I hit the transmit button, the lights come on and the electric winch goes round. But you soon get used to that. It reminded me of Nick’s house in Cape Town. The electronics were incredibly sophisticated but didn’t quite work, so every time someone rang the doorbell the toaster popped up.

But apparently that’s quite normal with SSB. The power that the transmitter puts out is massive, so its bound to interfere with the electrics. There’s not much you can do about it apart from switch everything off before you use it.

So far all I’ve really heard people say is things like…

Hiss crackle FX

“Hello this is Mike Echo India November Niner, do you read me? Over” 

More hiss crackle FX

Mike Echo India November Niner, this is Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower, you are a bit faint, but I read you. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Thank you Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower. This is Mike Echo India November Niner. I read you loud and clear. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Thank you, Mike Echo India November Nine. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower out.”

And that’s about it. No one seems to have actual conversations; they just ask each other if they can be heard. And then move on to see if someone else can hear them as well. But I expect it will come into it’s own when we are at sea.

Jan and James (Lyn’s sister and brother-in-law) came to visit with their daughter Lizzie.

GC James  Jan

I did try to find a photo of us all that wasn’t eating, but we don’t seem to have one. I think eating was all we did.

And very nice it was too.

But enough of this messing about. We’ve got a rally to do.

GC No 338

No 338 Domini. You can track us at…

https://www.worldcruising.com/arc_plus/eventfleetviewer.aspx

Next stop, Cabo Verde.

This is Domini – Out.

Ju & Lyn

X

Madeira M’dears

Ahoy there Boatbloggers ® and welcome back to another exciting episode in the life of the good ship Domini and her good looking crew.

In the last episode we left you on the coast of Portugal in a beautiful anchorage called Culatra, somewhere near Faro.

Red Sky At Night 5

And much as we loved this little bit of the Caribbean in the middle of the Algarve, it was time to move on. Next port of call, Madeira – or more accurately Porto Santo which is a little island just to the North East of Madeira. It’s about 500 nautical miles from Culatra, so a bit of an ocean passage which took 3 or 4 days.

The weather was predicted to be good, but even so, it’s important to prepare properly for long trips…

Teatime 2  PM

and to wear a silly hat.

It was a pretty easy crossing with calm seas…

Winches

…and Homer’s clouds.

Simpsons clouds

I’d like to say they are called that because of some literary reference to the epic Greek poet, but no. It’s because they look like the opening credits of The Simpsons.

Land Ahoy!

Madeira  Land Ahoy

Eventually we arrived at Porto Santo and anchored off the beach.

PS Domini from a distance 3

Intrepid explorers that we are, we set off to discover the island…

PS Tiptoe ing thru the waves

and as luck would have it, we soon came across a delightful little Caribbean Bar.

PS The caribbean

Though we wouldn’t want you thinking it’s all boozing and enjoying ourselves.

PS It s not all boozing 2

Even if it is.

It’s all very pretty…

Madeira Hiking View

But basically it’s just a great big lump sat somewhere off the Atlantic Ocean.

PS Nice island 2

Jokes on a ten pound note please.

It was time to head off to Madeira, only about 30 miles away. There aren’t many anchorages in Madeira because it’s volcanic and the seabed tends to drop away very quickly, so we headed for a marina for the first time in months.

Madeira  marina ahead

…and for a few days it was actually quite nice to not have to get into the dinghy to go anywhere.

Madeira harbour

Legend has it that the pattern in the rocks…

Madeira  the Real Scream 2

…was the inspiration for Munch’s famous painting, “The Spaniel.”

Munch s Spaniel

Madeira is famous for it’s hiking, so we donned our boots and set off into the unknown.

Madeira Hiking 3

It’s knackering…

Madeira Hiking Ju 2

..but worth it for the views.

Madeira Hiking Ju 1

We discovered that it’s much easier to get up the mountains in a cable car.

Madeira  Up the cable car

To come down again, against all the advice, the Madeirans invented the sledge.

Madeira Sledge 1

They didn’t seem to realise that sledges need snow.

But it’s all good fun.

Madeira Sledge 4

The entries for this blog’s arty farty prize are “Cool Rocks,” by Lyn,

Cool rocks

and “Cool Cactus,” by Lyn.

PS Cool cactus 2

And the winner is…

LYN.

So that’s Madeira M’dears.

Watch out for the next installment the Boatblog ®, as we head to The Canaries and get ready to cross the Atlantic.

Hasta la pasta

Ju (Captain) & Lyn (Admiral)

X

The Boatblog Returns

Welcome back Boatbloggers ®

It finally dawned on us that…

So we decided to get one!

We found this in a field somewhere outside Canet en Roussillon…

New Boat In A Field 2

So we made an offer, and in the space of a few months the nice people at Catana turned it from this…

New Boat In a field 1

into this…

New Boat In the factory 1

and then to this…

New Boat In the factory

and this…

New Boat In the yard

And finally to this…

New Boat Bloody cold when we picked it up

It was bloody cold when we picked it up, but we still celebrated.

You’re meant to break the bottle on the side of the ship, but we didn’t want to put a dent in it so early on. Besides, why waste all that lovely French champagne?

But it’s not all just boozing and enjoying yourself. Well it is, but moving onto a boat is about the same moving into a house,

New Boat Moving Day 2

New Boat Moving Day 3

New Boat Moving Day 1

…except you have to walk the plank every time you bring something on board.

Plank

But it wasn’t long before we had everything Shipshape and Bristol Fashion, and we were off to sunnier climes…

Cap n Ju Waving

First stop down to Barcelona, then Menorca and Mallorca, up to La Grande Motte and Toulon on the South coast of France, then back down to the Balearics, over to mainland Spain and following the coast to Gibraltar, through the Strait to Cadiz, before ending up on the Algarve coast.

Lyn in Gib

Doesn’t she look great! (All together now) And the boat’s not bad either. Here we are moored up in Gibraltar.

Gib, as us sailors call it, has everything you need. Duty free fuel, duty free fags, a Morrisons selling black pudding, bacon and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and all the other things you miss when you’re away for a long time.

And this…

Curry Sushi

What more could you want? Curry and Sushi in one place. Though it turns out it’s a bit difficult eating curry with chopsticks.

Curry Sushi Hard to eat curry with chopsticks

One of the great things about having a superyacht in the Med is that it turns out that you have a lot of friends. OK, so technically it might not be a superyacht, but we it’s pretty darn super. So we have had lot’s of visitors…

Visitors James Emma

James & Emma

Visitors Nick Shelagh

Nick & Shelagh

Visitors Paul Selina

Paul & Selina

IMG 3362

Martin

Visitors Ju Carol

Carol &

Visitors Lyn Simon

Simon

Visitors Jo

Jo

Visitors Jane Ian

Jane & Ian

And of course – this bunch…

Visitors Alice Ben Rory Joe

And Mr Nick Cursi came all the way from Cape Town to see us – but we didn’t get a picture.  Oh no! You’re just going to have to come again Nick.

When Joe arrived he had come direct from a wedding, which is why he turned up half sailor, half usher.

Joe dressed for a wedding

…But we soon got him into the proper gear.

Joe looking serious for once Rory

Rory taught us to windsurf

Joe even caught a fish…

Lyn not looking too happy about us catching a fish Rory

…though Lyn doesn’t look too impressed. We were going to use it as bait to catch something bigger, but unfortunately Joe dropped the rod over the side. Doh! However, this was not the end of our fishing triumphs. One night, a wave broke over the trampoli…sorry – I mean the nets, and we caught a squid!

Squid

Though it was a bit whiffy by the time we found it.

It’s always good to have guests, as their help is invaluable when crewing the boat.

Martin crew 1  Shelagh training

Cap n Selina PM   Martin Crew 2

Rory floating   Alice through the looking glass Rory     Visitors James       Cap n Paul

Dinghy Experts

* Editor’s Note:-Simon is rather pleased with the picture of him and Ju by the dinghy, because he thinks it makes HIS stomach looks smaller than Ju’s. Our readers can rest assured that this is in fact nothing other than a trick of the light caused by a highly unusual camera angle. For those Boatbloggers® who wish to get a more accurate impression please scroll to Appendix A at the end of this article.

One of the things that has struck me as we have sailed down from France, is how many things you aren’t meant to do. There are little signs put up all over the place banning this that and the other, so for one blog, and one blog only, please welcome…

THE BOATBLOG® SIGN COLLECTION

No driving

No Cars

No horse riding

No Horses

No walking

No People

No dog pooing or stealing trees

No Dog Poo & No Stealing Trees

No Climbing

No Climbing

No Trilbys

No Trilbys

No dog poo ing

We’ve told you about that dog before

No drowning

No Drowning

No Anything 2

No Anything

And you definitely mustn’t do this…

No poo ing

(That’s enough signs. Ed)

Ju thought it was time to get with the zeitgeist, and follow the fine example set by Ben and be a bit more vegetarian. It didn’t start well.

Ju eats vegan

TOFU

Ju eats Ribs

RIBS

It’s nice to socialise, and enjoy a few quiet sundowners in the evening. Ju and Martin went to an All You Can Eat Argentinian Steak House. Unfortunately Martin thought it was an All You Can Drink Argentinian Steak House.

It s not all boozing All you can drink

Ben struggles to reach his glass…

It s not all boozing Ben looking sozzled\

And Lyn enjoys a piscine of rosé.

It s not all boozing 1

But it’s not all just boozing and having fun. (Hmmmm. Ed) 

There’s work to be done.

Dinghy Captain

Lyn Coiling Ropes

Cap n Ju takes the helm

Lyn Hosing

Putting on the bridle

(Editor’s Note:- That’s Simon in the yellow shorts helping to put the bridle on. His stomach may be smaller, but who’s got the best bum? Answers to the usual address, and the first person with the correct answer gets to take the Captain out for dinner. )

Keeping fit is vital for the international sailor, so we have yoga…

Yoga on deck

Swimming…

Rory swims

And acrobatics…

The girl on the swing

This week’s blog competition is called, MATCH THE WALL. This is an advanced technique used by the Urban Warrior to blend into his or her surroundings.

Matching the walls 1

RORY

Matching the walls 2

LYN

Matching The Walls 4

JU

And the winner is ……Ju. With his wonderfully garish orange and black combo. He’s not called The Chameleon for nothing.

Matching The Walls 5

His “sun-bleached” hair even matches the window frame. Splendid attention to detail. Well done Ju.

And now we come to the Arty Farty Prize. And this blog has a number of very strong entries.

Arty Farty 5 Lyn

“Misty Sunrise” by Lyn

Mainsail PM

“Sails” By Paul Miller

Arty Farty 1 Ju

“Boat” by Ju

All excellent contenders, but the winner is…. Rory with “Spike Leaves.”

Arty Farty 2 Rory

And in a new category called “Sailor’s Delight,” we show off some of the Red Sky At Nights we have seen – no filters used…

Red Sky At Night 3

Red Sky At Night 2

Red Sky at Night 4 Rory

Sunset 2

And this last one – just to prove that we do use an anchor ball.

We do use an anchor ball

Sometimes.

And finally a random bunch of photos from our travels, in no particular order…

Africa in the mist

Africa Through The Mist

Caves of Drac

Cave boat – The Caves of Drac

Cool clouds 2

Exploding Clouds

Cool door

Fornells Rory

Nice Buildings

Green Flash 3

Green Flash (For James)

Lagoon 2

Lagoon

Flag PM

The Red Duster

View of boat 2

Cat in the Middle

Don t like the look of those clouds

Don’t like the look of those clouds…

View from the bridge

A View From The Bridge

Lyn

The Crew

Adios for now amigos. And thanks to all our friends who came to visit us, (and let us use their photos)

Ju & Lyn

 

APPENDIX A

Simon & Ju – The True Picture

Fat SimonNewImage

We’re On A Boat

Welcome back Boatbloggers – or should I say BoatVloggers…

We’re sorry for the long radio silence, but until recently we have been boat-less, so we haven’t had that much to Boatblog about. And The-2-Bed-Flat-In-Brentford-Blog just didn’t seem as much fun.

But that is all in the past. At last we have taken delivery of the all new improved Domini, so the Boatblog is back!

It wasn’t long before the family came to visit…

And this month’s Boatblog Competition is…

Can you name the type of boat?

Entries on a €20 note, and the winner gets to take the Captain and First Mate out for a slap-up Michelin star meal.

Hasta luego for now amigos

Ju & Lyn

Into The Med…

Hello again Boatbloggers ® , or as we say over here, Buenos Dias Barcobloggers y bienvenido a una edicion neuva del BarcoBlog,

We have at last reached The Mediterranean.

Our first stop in Spain, but still on this side of the Gibraltar Straits was…

Cadiz

Which is a beautiful old town…

IMG 3686

…with a long and proud history. Most of which seems to consist of various illustrious British sailors from Drake to Nelson, turning up and setting fire to all the Spanish ships. We decided it might be better to anchor out rather than sail straight into Cadiz Harbour in case they  held a grudge, so we dropped the hook in a place called Port Sherry. Which has to be the booziest name for a town that we’ve ever come across.

And no wonder. This is home to the “Sherry Triangle.” It is almost obligatory to take a trip round the local sherry factories. Or is that breweries? Distilleries? Sherryeries?

Anyway, we were invited to sample some of the finest vintages – although if you know about sherry, you will appreciate that they don’t actually have vintages because the way it works is that they just keep topping up the barrel when it starts getting a bit low. Well, it’s a bit more sophisticated than that, but that’s the general idea. And what that means is that some parts of the glass that you are quaffing might be hundreds of years old, while other bits are quite new.

The tasting was an elegant affair…

Sherry Tasting the beginning

but unfortunately, Ju wasn’t drinking that day…

Sherry Tasting the middle

So Lyn had to drink his.

Sherry Tasting the end

Well, it would have been rude to leave it.

Not too early the next day, and very quietly, we set off for the Gibraltar Straights. We went past another famous landmark from British naval history,

Trafalgar

…Trafalgar. And on through the Straits. It was exciting to have Europe on one side of the boat, and Africa on the other.

Port - Europe, Starboard - Africa

Eventually, we arrived at Gibraltar itself.

Gibraltar 1

The cradle of history.

Gibraltar Cradle of History

Which I guess means we went in and burnt a load more Spanish ships.

You already know about the Rock, and the monkeys and the WW2 tunnels, so here at the Boatblog® we’re not going to bore you with the usual Gibraltar photos. And that’s not just because we forgot to take our camera that day. What we can tell you is that Gibraltar is a really unique place. The locals speak a strange dialect called – you’ve guessed it – Gibberish, which is a strange half-English, half-Spanish concoction. Actually, it’s not very far off Ju’s Spanish. On this tiny strip of land, they still use pounds sterling, and there is no tax or VAT. So diesel is 44p a litre and cigarettes are £2.60. So cheap in fact that Ju, who can never resist a bargain, has decided to take up smoking.

Generally speaking, it is fair to say that the Spanish are a bit miffed that Britain still owns Gibraltar, and they make their displeasure felt at the border which can take two hours to cross if you get the wrong time of day.

Check Point Charlie 2

LYN COMING IN FROM THE COLD. CHECK POINT CHARLIE

The border guards can be quite intimidating.

Border Guard

The Rock and the views and the people of Gibraltar are all fantastic, but to be honest, quite a lot of it is like Croydon with palm trees.

Croydon Rock 1

Maybe if they paid a bit more tax they could get their pavements repaired and potholes filled in.

So think about that before you vote! What would you rather have – decent infrastructure, or cheap fags?

(Dave – don’t answer that.)

But of course the highlight of any trip to Gibraltar is this.

Morrisons

Expats, holidaymakers and sailors come from miles around to stock up on PG tips, Proper Bacon, Branston Pickle and Morrissons’ Own-Brand Oatcakes. All the things you miss about Blighty.

The other unusual feature is the airport.

Airfield Ahead

There’s not many places in the world where you have to dash across a runway to get to the supermarket.

Runway Run

And you have to wonder why they get the fire engines out every time an Easyjet flight comes in.

Fire Engines

But alas dear reader, it is time to bid you a fond adios as we head back to…

Spain

But this time by boat.

Lyn

But there is just time for this edition’s arty farty prize, which this time goes to Lyn.

IMG 3688 2

CADIZ SKYLINE

And before we go, a reminder that a lot of people in Europe still welcome foreigners – even the one’s whose ancestors kept on coming over and burning all their ships.

IMG 3684

Hasta Luego for now amigos

Ju & Lyn