How do you know weather to go?

Our route this season takes us along some rather untouched and remote places, more so than in years before. This sometimes makes getting a good weather forecast a bit tricky. Previously we’d consult marina offices, go online where possible and...

The perfect wind

Sailors, true sailors, know how to grab their moments. A mere ten knots of wind guarantees them swiftly casting off the lines or, for the truly skilled, stylishly sailing off the anchor, to go out and play in the light breeze. Strengthening winds...

The best laid plans of mice and men

So, you may be aware that the plan was to sail from New Zealand to Australia via Vanuatu and New Caledonia, getting to Australia for Christmas at the latest. James left for Vanuatu with a couple of crew but got into an unexpected storm with [...]

You can take the girl off the boat…

...but you can't take the boat out of the girl. It may come as a surprise to learn that that are long stretches of time when we are not sailing. World cruising comes with what I refer to as ‘go times and slow times’, which are largely [...]

The impromptu bank holiday

Getting out on the water and sailing is a pursuit that most people have to save for their time off. It represents a respite from their other life of being defined by their weekday job and makes every weekend, every summer break and each public...

The naked truth

Perhaps it comes from being away from your home country and its associated stigmas. Or maybe there’s an element of feeling on a perpetual holiday. It might even be as simple as no longer caring what anyone thinks. Whichever way you look at it the...

The Waiting Game

First it was the strong, gusty westerlies, then there was a huge southerly swell and now all we can see is squally showers with no wind whatsoever. We’ve been sitting in the same spot, pausing until the current nasty weather system travels through,...

The unpredictable child

Sometimes having a baby feels like damage control. You can easily spend a whole day consoling your howling infant from their latest fall, pre-emptively snatching away all the tempting unsuitable objects that they manage to get their sticky hands on...

Safe and sound

Yes, we made it! We are safely at anchor in Baie Tahauku, Atuona, Hiva Oa. Our passage across from Punta de Mita, at the northern tip of Banderas Bay in Mexico, took 26 days in total, covering a distance of 2,850 nautical miles. It wasn’t quite the...

No trade

So now we wait. We have got ourselves into the happy position that both the boat and her crew are ready for the crossing from Mexico to the Marquesas. It’s just that the wind isn’t. The right forecast will be one that gives us Northerlies or even...

The art of letting go

If you read the post with our statistics of our first year on board you would have seen that we spent a total of 4 nights away from the boat. This year it’s a different story. In total we will have been off the boat for a whopping 11 weeks, this...

To Motor or not to Motor, that is the question

You are off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The moon is setting. It’s five in the morning the wind is 9 knots from the North West and you have plotted your latest position on the paper chart on the nav-table. You have travelled only seven miles...

Reputation is everything

2013 began for me by considering the two big milestones we would need to get past in order to get up to Banderas Bay for hurricane season: the Panama Canal and the Gulf of Tehuantepec. With the first of those being easily achieved, drama-free in...

Time to turn

Long before we had reached the Pacific coast of Central America we knew that we would need to watch the weather for Papagayos. From December to March, high pressure systems move into the Caribbean, reinforcing the trade winds which then pour over...

The Pleasures of Passage Making

A frigate bird wheels overhead as the hazy dawn light is mirrored back by the water. The sea is absolutely still, more like a lake than an ocean, blurring the horizon so that the sky bleeds into the water. Slowly, gently, a large, old leatherback...

Keeping up with the Joneses

Buddy-boating was a term that we had heard used but never fully understood until we left Bocas del Toro. We found ourselves in the fortunate position to have made some really great friends in Laurie and Damon of sailing vessel Mother Jones. We met...

The Mouths of the Bull

Sod’s law that after covering nearly 8,000 miles in the last 8 months we would have our worst ever weather just 5 miles from our last major Caribbean destination: Bocas del Toro, Panama. I don’t think our families were particularly concerned...

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...

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...