A hop, skip and a jump

I thought that it was important to write something about our passage-making these days. Moving up the islands in the East Caribbean has been quite a varied experience. First of all because each island itself is a distinct, individual country of...

The middle of the butterfly

So, for those of you who have not brushed up on your Caribbean island topography, Guadeloupe looks like a lopsided butterfly. Its western wing is called Basse Terre and is covered in mountains and volcanoes with clouds hovering at their summits; its...

All change

We sailed from Portsmouth, Dominica, to Terre d’en Haut on the Îles des Saintes on February 6th. This is where we parted ways with Lisanna and Paul, our crewmates since December 1st, who are flying onto Cuba before heading back to real life. This...

Land of rainbows

Approaching Dominica we understood instantly why we were given a warning about tricky anchoring there. It looks like something prehistoric. The island is so mountainous and steep-to that the coastal waters are mostly too deep to drop the hook...

The French Caribbean

Martinique, our playground for the last week or so was a strange beast. Imagine everything that you have pictured in your mind about a tropical Caribbean island; then add the rastas, resplendent with their dreadlocks and spliffs; include the...

Island style

This is a long overdue post all about St Lucia. Overdue largely because we needed a break after crossing our first ocean. We were straining our eyes, scanning the horizon for that first glimpse of land, all over-excited. But, we’re sailing, so,...

Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, Castries, Anse la Raye, Soufriere, Pigeon Island

We've been tripping along the Western coast of St Lucia; visiting mangrove bays and palm tree beaches; snorkelling among brightly spotted eels, luminous fish and giant sea urchins; diving off the boat to swim in beautifully clear waters; gorging...

A Hard Day’s Night

We are now fifteen weeks into our trip and I thought that it was high time to elaborate on a term that I’ve thrown around rather a lot: nightwatch. Contrary to what my father may think, when you are on a long passage such as our Morocco to Canaries...

Not your average milk run

The crossing of the Atlantic ocean from East to West is known among sailors everywhere as the ‘milk run’ primarily because it is supposedly straightforward and simple if approached at the right time of year. The instructions for sailing from the...

But what will you eat??? – Food for thought

In the previous post I mentioned that we have 4 fantastic cooks on board. Surprisingly, the question that we all got asked the most often before setting off on our circumnavigation was "what will you do about food?". Well, there are two kinds of food...

Gibraltar, Smir, Ceuta and Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

So we left Queensway Quay Gibraltar and Lis and Paul, our friends who joined us there, waved goodbye to what used to be their home. Next stop, Smir in Morocco to do a quick lesson in power handling, courtesy of Paul. We wanted to make sure that...

Underway

This is just a quickie post to say that we will leave Gibraltar tomorrow, heading for Ceuta and Smir in Morocco for a couple of days and then on to the Canaries. We should be in the Canaries around the 12th of December. We might have time for another...

James and the Art of Adamastor Maintenance

We had always planned that our time in Gibraltar would be a time of prepping the boat for the big Atlantic crossing. Much though we would love to fill our days tripping merrily up to the rock to commune with the monkeys we have some serious work to...

Strait to the point (sorry!)

The strait of Gibraltar separates mainland Spain from Morocco and mainland Africa. At its narrowest point it is only 7.7 nautical miles. Crossing the strait or going through the strait requires an understanding of how that narrow stretch of ocean is...

Pedra Amareta, Punta Umbria, Chipiona and Puerto de Conil

The trip upriver was lovely but we had an ulterior motive in going. We had lost the wind. Our experience of this side of Portugal and Spain (the Algarve and the Costa de la Luz) has been very all or nothing in terms of wind and weather. Normally, if...

Escapees and explorers

We have sailed up the Rio Guadiana, a river which acts as part of the border between Portugal and Spain. It's a lovely spot and we've been here for a couple of days. It was recommended to us by Tom Meyer, who we met when anchoring at Alvor. He said...

Alvor, Portimão, Ferragudo, Faro, Tavira, Alcoutim and Sanlúcar de Guadiana

So, we continue to slowly wend our sleepy way towards Gibraltar. Now that we are into November the weather is not as consistently good (so still good enough for all you English lot to be jealous) so we've been doing a fair amount of wind dodging....

Alvor and the ghost boat (this was about a week ago)

Just a little to add to the previous post about being at anchor. Picture the scene.... It's 5am. James and I have had a sleepless night. The previous night we went aground. It was sand, so we were ok, and only went aground by a little bit (20cm or...

The pros and cons of dropping the hook

Since our last post we have spent most of the time at anchor so I thought I would devote this latest bit of news to what we have learned from these days (and nights) spent on the hook. Pro: Staying at anchor is free and you gain exclusive access to...

Vigo – Viana do Castelo – Peniche – Sines – Praia de Arrifana – Lagos

Yup, I'm becoming a master of geography, not to mention my Portuguese pronunciations! I have fallen head over heels in love with the Atlantic coast of Portugal and urge anyone reading this to plan any future holidays there. The people could not be...

The Big Bad Bay of Biscuit (as it is it fondly known)

So, an update was promised and here it is. After the shaky false start of Friday the 7th we were finally able to set off from Mylor the next day with a repaired alternator and a bruised wallet. We had a great sail across the Channel (no fog this...

¡Hola amigos!

Just a quickie post to let all concerned parties know that we are safely across Biscay and currently marvelling at the crazy high pressure system we're in the middle of in Vigo. Looks like absolutely no wind in the next week meaning we'll be burning...

Second time lucky (said with all fingers and toes crossed)

Ok, so yesterday's hiccup meant we spent the night in Mylor with our two extra pro's on board (Andy and Anna). This morning sees our electrician and engineer putting in the new alternator as quickly as they can and James and I dealing with an...

A False Start…

So, the day has finally come, when we run round like headless chickens trying to get everything made ready for the big off. Let's get that liferaft properly fitted to the stern, we need five 20l jerry cans of fuel, quick - Sainsburys is closing and...

Home sweet home… at last!

Just a quickie post to confirm that we are afloat! Adamastor is indeed back in the water after what must have been 2 full years on the hard standing (under a tree, with her sails left on etc...). We have been living aboard since Wednesday. New Harken...

Channel crossing

So, it turned out the weather gods didn't want us to go to the Channel Isles after all. We did, however, manage to cross the Channel at least. The big bad weather was just behind us all the way so we were quite lucky. It took us 28 hours to get from...

Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark or Herm

We had a great time in the Scilly Isles and were really lucky with the weather. We went on a 35' Jenneau called Louise. New photos in the surroundings section. The islands are a beautiful mix of Cornish and Mediterranean with a touch of something...

Marines and liferafts

Picture the scene... Me, James, one other girl and 8 marines / army guys / pirate security types all in a swimming pool doing 'the crocodile'. This is, of course, after the day James and I spent being told about hurricanes, explosions, search...

A bit Scilly…

Heading to the Scillies with Trysail 19th-26th August. First time properly out on the water for a while. VHF radio course done, First Aid and Diesel Engine maintenance this weekend - we sure know how to have fun! Falmouth week at the moment, red...