Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Getting Mrs Opela ready to sail again

Hi All

I have been back two weeks now and working towards getting mrs Opela back in order again because when I got back the fact that i had left her alone for such a long time made her decide to take revenge
Bev on Dandelion had been looking after her for me by airing her out once a week and checking the bilges as well and running the engine once or twice for me and for that I am truly thankful but my lady is a very jealous lady and she wasnt happy to be left standing so when I got on board I was expecting to find mould and black algae and a host of other things lurking in corners not often looked at.

My first big one was that the new stay wires i had had installed in Le Marin in Martinique a year and a half ago were worn such that one fell on the deck because the hook swaged to the end simply snapped and on further inspection i found the others were all cracked as well which means I cannot sail her.
I phoned the suppliers and they were struggling to remember my boat but soon remember…

Arrived home

John and I are home on our boats now

After reading the air ticket saga you will know We were given tickets and $500 to get to LAX to connect to our next part of the Journey home
Max and Rachael (owners) came and met us and went over the boat as they were preparing to go on holiday on the boat a week after we left
Sitting talking to them was really interesting as Max is designing a smaller space rocket which will take small satellites up to space and what makes it even more of a challenge is their team is using 3D printers to achieve results and seem to be winning
Rachael works for the government helping bring innovative improvements into public transport systems and was really interesting to talk to as well

Rachael and Max helped us arranging for the USA customs and immigrations officials to come to us and stamp us into the country and they were really accommodating and when John was presented with a USD 500 fine for entering on an ESTA entry permit instead of a B1/B2 visa Max just pa…

Day 13 Newport trip

Start of Day 14

Position: 40° 39.8787' N 071° 09.1321' W

Boat: All good with the boat and we are sailing slowly
Last night we had almost no winds so its very slow and it could mean we only arrive very late in the night tonight.

People: we are both fine
Speed: 2 to 3 KTS
Wind: 4 kts Easterly
Distance 74 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: ok sailing conditions for very light winds

24-hour mileage: 74 miles with around 50 miles still to go to Newport with an estimate of 1806 miles sailed of the 1856 total miles

Comments:
It was very slow last night but we had to be vigilant because we are near New York and there is a lot of shipping traffic to look out for and then at 5 am the fog set in and you could see nothing but you could hear the ships horns blowing all around.
And amongst that there were sports fishing boats racing around at over twenty knots with visibility down to less than half a mile and at times John said he couldnt see the fron…

Day 12 Newport Trip

Start of Day 13

Position: 39° 30.2631' N 070° 37.1987' W

Boat: All good with the boat and we are sailing slowly
Last night we had good winds and we got up to 12 knots of speed at times but this morning the sea has flattened and we are sailing slowly but doing fine
Later the wind will drop even further and we may have to motor for a few hours but we are limited to how many hours so we charge batteries and motor at the same time to get the best out of the diesel
I am so glad I have my Small Honda generator which helps me when I need it but I have to carry a little petrol to get it to work

People: we are both fine
Speed: 4 to 5 KTS
Wind: 5 kts Easterly
Distance 160 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: ok sailing conditions

24-hour mileage: 160 miles with around 125 miles still to go to Newport with an estimate of 1699 miles sailed of the 1856 total miles

Comments:
Last night the winds were from behind and because of the nature of this boat it…

Day 11 Newport Trip

Start of Day 12

Position: 36° 54.6174' 069° 50.2833' W

Boat: All good with the boat and we are sailing very fast
Last night we put away the Gennaker and opened the Genoa and it was a good idea as the winds picked up and we were bulleting along all night and even touching 11 knots at times and are now much closer to arriving
I still like taking longer and having a more stable and easy ride and John has a *need for Speed* and pushes the boat to its limits but we just put the Gennaker back up and now we will go even faster I expect

Well now while writing all hell broke loose and we were seriously overpowered so out we went and put the sails back to the previous configuration and now we are sailing well again. The wind subsides just long enough to give a sense that its dropping then it sends a long gust to put a thumb to its nose and say I got you again ha ha so we have decided to keep the genoa out and let it play its games and we will just ride the wind given

People: we are both…

Day 10 Newport trip

Start of Day 11

Position: 34° 05.3040' N 068° 43.5316' W

Boat: All good with the boat and we are sailing again YAY
We had a day of no wind except for short gusts and we bobbed to my delight but John and I differ greatly in that regard as he wants to keep moving all the time and I am happy to wait for the wind
Our Diesel is at a premium and is being rationed so we cannot simply motor and because the agreement was to save it until the last bit of the journey because we may have fog going into Newport we will need the engine. that is why we simply had to wait it out but this morning at 5 am the wind started coming through and picked up to 10 knots and now we are sailing with the full main sail up and a huge gennaker sail and barreling along at 7 to 8 knots speed over ground
We expect the winds to get stronger as we close in on Newport but die just before the port
People: we are both fine
Speed: 7 to 8 KTS
Wind: 10 kts South Westerly
Distance 69 miles sailed yesterday
Course: tru…

Day 9 Newport Trip

Start of Day 10

Position: 32° 56.6123' N 068° 50.6773' W

Boat: All good with the boat and we are motoring
We get short gusts of wind from time to time and it gets us going for 10 minutes and then stops so we are constantly putting out and rolling up sails and also stopping engines and starting engines because the wind drives us faster than the engine does but it doesnt last long
I can just imagine how it must have been for the the old days sailors who had no engines and they spent days wallowing with no chance of moving forward
At least we have an engine albeit with now very limited diesel to fuel it. We left Grenada with 173 liters diesel and have had to motor over 63 hours due to no wind and another 18 hours to charge batteries because this boat has no solar or wind alternative power sources and the Lithium batteries although they are great in supplying power you have to nurse them well and make sure you dont let them discharge too much as well as be careful you dont overcha…

The Stove Incident

The Stove Incident

I arrived in Trinidad to look at Crazy Sophia and settled in with getting the work done and because i was living on the boat with the kind permission of Powerboats i connected the gas to the stove and arranged to get the fridge working the shore power on and some coffee and Milk to make me feel comfortable (those were the important ones because lunches were served on the street at a really good price for great local food
Friends of mine from Shady Lady were going shopping and i asked them to arrange a kettle for me and they did with happiness

THe next morning I light up the stove and that was when I noticed the copper coloured filler around one of the burners but the plate worked well and Coffee was easy and for the next three weeks while the boat work was going on all was well except that the Brazilian Gas bottle could not be filled in Trinidad and it was huge and was staining the deck with rust. One of the other boats in the boatyard was giving away two Campingaz …

Day 8 Newport Trip

Start of Day 9

Position: 31° 24.4759' N 068° 36.1584' W

Boat: All good with the boat and we are motoring because we are becalmed if we dont and the forecast is like that for the next two days but we have to manage our dieselbecause we cant motor all the way we dont have enough
This morning was spent planning when we can run the motor and when we either bob or sail at 1 mile per hour

People: we are both fine
Speed: 4 KTS
Wind: 2 kts Northerly
Distance 113 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: its pretty flat at the moment like a blue glass table that has a small yacht disturbing it

24-hour mileage: 113 miles with around 615 miles still to go to Newport and now past half way with an estimate of 1235 miles sailed

Comments:
Not Much to report today again because its calm and we are motoring
We hope to find wind in the next few hours but who knows the universe does what it wants


Lets hope it is a quiet day
Kevin

Day 7 Newport trip

Start of Day 8

Position: 29° 38.6679' N 067° 49.3199' W

Boat: All good with the boat and sailing well.
All went well and we sailed well all night on the gennaker with no storms

People: we are both fine
Speed: 5 to 8 KTS
Wind: 8 kts south easterly
Distance 145 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: good with average swells of 0.5 m but its pretty flat at the moment

24-hour mileage: 145 miles with around 725 miles still to go to Newport and now past half way with an estimate of 1075 miles sailed

Comments:
Not Much to report today because its calm and we are sailing at my kind of pace with a wonderful comfortable ride
I loaded the first three or four or five episodes of the Airticket saga so there is enough to read without more today but beware i am going to add more soon and the next one will be the stove drama
Lets hope it is a quiet day
Kevin

The Airticket Saga

We Arrived in Brazil with all the great intentions of Sailing on after a few days towards Capetown

Well when we arrived the covid bomb had hit the world and we were in a very precarious position we weren't well informed and we didn't know how it affected us but fortunately we arrived six hours before Brazil closed its borders to sailors and we needed to get cleared into the country or leave as quickly as we had left French Guyana. Fortunately we had managed to get in touch with Brian who is a friend i made when sailing toward the Caribbean and knowing i had such a good person helping us gave me confidence so we asked him for his help and he adopted us as though we were family and made us welcome in true Brazilian style but add to that true English traditional style as well

I will go into details of the Stay with our family in Brazil later, just saying that Brian got us through customs and immigration in one month after arrival and during that time we found out more and more ab…

Day 6 Newport trip

Start of Day 7

Position: 27° 24.9485' N 066° 46.6755' W

Boat: All good with the boat and sailing very slowly.
Last Night after low winds all day we put the Code 5 away and were preparing for the night sail when all hel broke loose and 40knots of wind came out of nowhere and I was on the foredeck sorting out the furler which was jamming when it hit well as you can imagine a drowning rat finishing the work as quickly as possible because if the sail came loose in that wind it would have shredded and we may have landed in the water (broaching)
This morning at 2 am John decided to motor as the wind had died again and we have been motoring for 7 hours until we put another bigger sail up and tried that one but still there is not enough wind so we are motoring again

People: we are both fine
Speed: 5 to 5.5 KTS
Wind: 3 kts south easterly
Distance 138 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: good with average swells of 0.5 m

24-hour mileage: 138 miles wi…

Day 5 Newport trip

Start of Day 6

Position: 25° 10.7063' N 066° 12.5206' W

Boat: All good with the boat and sailing very well.
Since we are using the code 3 (another name for a huge sail biggest is code 0)even though the winds have dropped to 6 and 7 knots in the day this sail manages to get this boat going . We were turning the wind speed into boat speed with a factor of 90% and at one time we were sailing as fast as the wind with 7 knots wind and 7 knots boat speed (I have never done that before so another first for me)
I wonder what a code zero would do but i just am not willing to give it a go now
Sea state is comfortable and we are going along at good speed

People: we are both fine
Speed: 78 to 9 KTS
Wind: 10 kts south easterly
Distance 159 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: good with average swells of 1 m

24-hour mileage: 159 miles with around 1007 miles still to go to Newport and now 842 miles covered

Comments:
Things on the boat are settled and all …

Day 4 Newport trip

Start of Day 5

Position: 22° 33.4337' N 065° 45.4871' W

Boat: All good with the boat and sailing very well.
We spent two hours yesterday putting up the code three sail and the reason it took so long is because the specialised equipment the owners bought to fit it hadnt been used for around 5 months so it had siezed and the roller restraining strap had broken so we had to spend time servicing them and making plans for the strap
No longer had we put it out and the wind came up and we had to put it away again
But this morning we got it out and now the boat is saiing 8 knots in 12 knots of wind and reaching 10 knots at times
wind at the moment is around 12 kts coming from 111 degrees so we are flying along

People: we are both fine its just very hot in the boat so we spend as much time as possible outside in the cockpit
Speed: 8 to 10 to KTS
Wind: 12 kts south easterly
Distance 157 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: good with average swells o…

Day 3 Newport Sailing trip

Start of Day 4

Position: 20° 08.4520' N 064° 42.0448' W

Boat: All good with the boat and sailing very well. Its bumpy most of the time but getting used to that now
Yesterday we had two squalls one of 35 kts and we tried putting the third reef in but the reefing lines were too short so while we were messing around the wind dropped and we reset the sail to two reefs and all was well even though i was soaked from spray over the decks and rain that hurt ti skin as it hit from the wind
the second squall wasnt as bad so we just rode it out and while we were back in the cockpit we made a new line so we can now put the third reef in if we need it but i am hoping we wont

wind at the moment is around 12 kts coming from 140 degrees and this boat does not like running so we are constantly changing course to fit the wind but we still are sailing at 6 kts average

People: we are both fine
Speed: 6 to 6.5 to KTS
Wind: 10 kts south easterly
Distance 170 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true ,…

Day 2 Newport trip

Start of Day 3

Position: 17° 31.4997' N 063° 34.6909' W

Boat: All good with the boat and sailing very well and very fast

wind at the moment is around 20 kts on our beam so we are speeding along at 7 to 9 knots reaching 10 kts at times

People: we are both ok
Speed: 7 to 9 to KTS
Wind: 20 easterly kts
Distance 181 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: Choppy but good

24-hour mileage: 181 miles with around 1484 miles still to go to Newport

Comments:
Good sailing however inside this boat is extremely hot and sticky and because its low when the waves break over it they splash you properly and both John and I got swamped yesterday. I got it twice but wasnt completely soaked but John got a big one and was drenched and had to change.
We have nearly completed the trip to BVI and before this evening we will leaving the Caribbean sea and be back in the Atlantic ocean.
With these speeds and this boat we get thrown around a bit and the two of us are get…

Day 1 Newport trip

Start of Day 2

Position: 14° 39.6999' N 062° 35.6282' W

Boat: THis is a very special boat and is really fast compared to the others i have sailed. Opela and Crazy Sophia are very similar but this is a very new racing cruiser and for those who want to look at what its about you can look up Pogo 12.5 on www.pogostructures.com
Last night during the night we were able to get 11 knots speed in 17 knots of wind and before that we were turning 50%of the wind into boatspeed so that is very good energy usage
Inside is very comfortable except for when i am cooking because i get thrown about a lot and the compromise for speed is great but saying that i am not happy at speeds above 10knots because i am a nervous sailor

wind at the moment is around 17 kts on our beam so we are speeding along at 8 to 9 knots

People: we are both ok
Speed: 8 to 9 to KTS
Wind: 17 easterly kts
Distance 172 miles sailed yesterday
Course: true , to Newport Rode island
Conditions: Choppy but good

24-hour mileage:…

The airtickets saga

We Arrived in Brazil with all the great intentions of Sailing on after a few days towards Capetown

Well the Cape was closed and we found out that if we carried on we would probably only be able to get flights home to our boats in 2021 because Cyrils puppeteers were controlling his strings well and international travel was not on the list
So after loads of deliberation we decided to leave the boat in Cabedelo and ask Brian to care for it while we were away and then come back to Brazil in January and finish the Job of getting it to Capetown

After much discussion John and I decided to buy tickets through a travel agent because if we did it ourselves on the internet we would not be in control if there were any cancellations etc. It turned out to be a really good decision

Pamela introduced us to a travel agency where one of here friends works and we booked airtickets from Joao Pessoa to Papeete flying on LATAM airlines and we were to fly to Sao Paulo to Chile then to Easter Island and onto…

Day 5 of Quarantine

June 20th 2020 QD5

Position: We are in the quarantine anchorage in Grenada with Anchor down

Boat: Gearbox is re-installed and now we are waiting for the raw water pump so we can test it again

wind Its been howling for the last few days and its good that we are at anchorage because the wind can flow through the boat and keep us cool
We are expecting a big blow tomorrow so we have to be prepared

People: We are both ok and happy
Alistair and Ingrid went shopping for us again and brought treasures like fresh vegetables and some more chicken
John had asked Alistair to get beers and he obliged so between us so we can have beer o clock again but in moderation

Comments:
We are in day 5 of quarantine and its really funny because when I was at the quarantine dock i asked for feedback about the virus free certificates we submitted on arrival and if out 14 days would be reduced. Their response is as follows 'We have no proof that you did not stop on the way from getting the certificate to the…

June 17th in St Georges

June 17th 2020

Position: We are in the quarantine anchorage in Grenada with Anchor down

Boat: Boat Is good and we are swinging wildly as the winds are strong here outside St Georges

wind Winds when coming in Yesterday were very good however we had to slow down because we were going too fast and I am a fraidy cat who didnt want to arrive and anchor at night without a working engine
John was more confident but acceeded too keep me happy and come in in daylight so we put all sails except the 3rd reef away and reduced speed to 3 knots to get our timing right only thing with that was the waves rolled us a lot. So anyone who would have been sea sick would have had it bad with the swaying and rolling sometimes over the 45 degrees mark. But having done the preparation we got here to the anchorage are in great time with the sun blinding us as as it rose over the anchorage. We sailed past the area so we could see what spaces were available and then tacked back to come in closer
Once we chose th…

Start 15th June 2020

June 14th 2020

Position: 11° 14.2745' N 059° 56.4821' W

Boat: Same as yesterday.

wind
Yesterday we had all sorts of wind ranging from no wind to 18 knots with lots of rain
Variable from North and west

People: we are both ok

Boat Speed: 0 to 8 KTS under sails

Distance 124 miles in 24 hours miles sailed with a total of 1912 miles sailed so far and approximately 118 miles of the 2030 miles to go until we arrive in St Georges Grenada for quarantine of 14 days
We are expecting an ETA of June 16 at around lunchtime if conditions stay the same
Course: true ,Directly to Grenada around the north tip of Tobago
Conditions: Swells are 1.5 m and the big ones still throw the boat around

Comments:
So yesterday we spent the day between rain and squalls and changing sails from pole out to pole down and the rest of the time we were mailing friends and anyone we needed help from Alistair and Ingrid are helping a lot already with Advice and arranging things for us
We have been given permissi…

Start 14th June 2020

June 14th 2020

Position: 10° 12.0030' N 058° 08.3712' W

Boat: Same as yesterday. Selector problem persists and we now know the clutches are worn so the job will have to be done in Grenada when we arrive

wind
Yesterday we had all sorts of wind ranging from no wind to 40 knots in a big squall on my shift in the night
Variable from North and west

People: we are both ok

Boat Speed: 0 to 8 KTS under sails

Distance 137 miles in 24 hours miles sailed with a total of 1786 miles sailed so far and approximately 244 miles of the 2030 miles to go until we arrive in St Georges Grenada for quarantine of 14 days
We are expecting an ETA of June 16 at around lunchtime if conditions stay the same
Course: true ,Directly to Grenada around the north tip of Tobago
Conditions: Swells are 1.5 m and the big ones still throw the boat around

Comments:
We sailed all day yesterday because we could not get the gearbox to engage and it was slow
This morning it started raining heavily on my 3 am shift a…

Start 13th June 2020

June 13th 2020

Position: 09° 00.8762' N 056° 09.9336' W

Boat: Same as yesterday. We did some checking on the selector and it went into reverse and it went into forward gear but we cannot test it because when the boat is doing 8 to 9 knots the propeller is turning faster from the drag of the boat than the engine turns it so we will wait until the winds slow down and test it then

wind Last night Was was strong and we sailed very fast even though we still have reefed both the main sail and the genoa down to two reefs
Average sailing speed for the day was just over 8 knots (14.95 KM per hour)

People: we are both ok
Boat Speed: 7 to 12 KTS under sails
Wind: 14 kts from North
Distance 193 miles in 24 hours miles sailed with a total of 1646 miles sailed so far and approximately 384 miles of the 2030 miles to go until we arrive in St Georges Grenada for quarantine
We are expecting an ETA of June 15 at around lunchtime if conditions stay the same
Course: true ,Directly to Grenada ar…

Start of June 12th 2020

June 12th 2020

Position: 07° 23.5740' N 053° 23.0924' W

Boat: Alls well with the boat and she is sailing well but the selector on the gearbox is giving some troubles so the propeller doesnt engage in forward when you put it into gear but reverse works so we may have to reverse into the anchorage in Grenada just like i had to in Panama

wind Last night Was was very strong and we sailed very fast even though we had reefed both the main sail and the genoa down to two reefs
At times in the squalls we were sailing at 12 knots and averaged for the whole day over 7 knots which is really good for a boat this size

People: we are both ok
Boat Speed: 7 to 12 KTS under sails
Wind: 18 kts from North
Distance 194 miles in 24 hours miles sailed with a total of 1456 miles sailed so far and approximately 574 miles of the 2030 miles to go until we arrive in St Georges Grenada for quarantine
We are expecting an ETA of June 15
Course: true ,Directly to Grenada
Conditions: Swells are 1.6 m and …

Start of June 11 2020

June 11th 2020

Position: 05° 35.0683' N 050° 41.8529' W

Boat: All good on the boat yesterday we motored a while and then in the afternoon we could sail again so its back to my kinds of days except during the night we had two or three serious squalls and had to put sails away and out and away and out again and again

wind Last night was good but for the squalls i mentioned and today we are predicted to have 14 kts on the beam (or at 90 degrees to the boat) so its going to be good if the weathermen get it right

People: we are both ok in the storm we let our tempers fray but 10 minutes later we sat out in the cockpit and sorted the misunderstanding out and it was all over
We have been at sea for 10 days now and about 3 full days of motoring all joined together because of periods where there was no wind
Boat Speed: 9 to 13 KTS
Wind: 10 kts from North westerly
Distance 139 miles in 24 hours miles sailed and motoring again with a total of 1267 miles sailed so far and approximately …

Start of June 10th 2020

June 10th 2020

Position: 04° 21.4794' N 048° 45.6867' W

Boat: THe engine got hot last night but we caught it before it overheated so we were very lucky and this am when it got light we redid the grub screw and put a hose clamp on it so it will be kept in place longer and cant work its way loose. When we get to grenada we will take the pump off and get a keyway made and then the problem will be solved.
Water is good again and we are back using it

wind Last night Was really light and with no engine we were really slow but flat seas and no wind allowed comfortable sleep. Its picked up a little but is still slow and we are motoring with the weather projections telling us it should start blowing at 11 am but we all know the weather forecasters simply cannot get it right
Never mind they said the wind would be blowing us toward Grenada at good speeds they got the direction wrong for another full day and to add we went into a zone where the current was countered just north of the Amaz…

Start June 9th 2020

Hi All

June 9th 2020

Position: 03° 40.6711' N 047° 28.2376' W

Boat: All good here and we ended up motoring for a total of 33 hours over two days and used 2.05 liters of diesel per hour to travel 6 knots per hour so i am glad we have wind again and can use the freeby
Our water in the water tanks was dosed with muthti (African for medicine) and now its a huge improvement and we wont have any more problems I hope
and it tastes better too

wind Last night after a rain storm John found some wind and we used it all night and are still using it now. Its Light but it works and the boat is sailing at 5 to 6 kts with better winds expected at 9pm this evening
Strange thing is that the wind is on the nose so we are beating towards the Caribbean which is very unusual. I even asked John if that wasnt the beginning of a hurricane because thats the only explanation i have for the wind reversing like that for such a long period in this area. Luckily he said no
People: we are both ok
Boat Speed:…

June 8th 2020

June 8th 2020

Position: 02° 00.2320' N 045° 31.0388' W

Boat: All good here and we had to motor for 19 hours because the wind took leave from us and the weather says it will only come back tonight after dark
Our water in the water tanks is going to be treated today then we have to leave it for 10 hours before we can use it again. We found a bottle of treatment silver ions and will dose the water as a trial and then see how that goes
The water isnt hurting us its just the smell which is strange and it tastes like an overdose of chlorine

wind We have zero winds so we are motoring at 6 knots and then every 24 hrs we stop to check the engine and we start again
People: we are both ok
Boat Speed: 5 to 6 KTS
Wind: 0 kts from anywhere
Distance 145 miles in 24 hours miles sailed and motored with a total of 885 miles sailed so far and approximately 1145 miles of the 2020 miles to go until we arrive
Course: true ,Directly to Grenada
Conditions: flat like a lake on a still summers morni…