Crossing the Panama Canal

There's a really curious side of sailing that may not be immediately obvious to people outside the cruising community. In our little sailing world, word of mouth is everything - where to anchor, where to eat, which marina is good, how much is diesel in the next port, did you hear about that Japanese boat that exited the Panama canal backwards, don't miss the so and so - the list goes on. The interesting thing that I have noticed is that in face to face conversations the…

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A Caribbean Christmas – Sunshine, Palm Trees & Rum!

The Atlantic crossing is fast becoming a distant memory, as I attempt to recollect the past four weeks of fun times, friends, family - celebrating Christmas and new year, absorbing the vibe of three separate Caribbean nations and feeling like a kid in a candy shop with all of the beautiful, sweet, cheap rum at our disposal! For those of you that followed our progress across the Atlantic, you may recall that the lack of trade winds in the early part of our crossing was threatening our…

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The 2010 Atlantic crossing – 12 Short stories.

In an effort to give as varied a perspective as possible, I suggested to team SAGA (Simon, Agatha, Gavin & Andy) that we each set a topic for each other and with 3 topics each we will come up with 12 short stories from our individual perspectives. The idea was embraced wholeheartedly both in terms of setting varied topics and in writing detailed accounts of what we experienced. Here are the topics by Author, in alphabetical order. Agatha's Stories Crossing an ocean - the expected and the…

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Canary Islands to Cabo Verde – Fish, sunshine and warm water!

Tuesday, 16th December 2010 - most things were done, the weather window looked OK for at least 4 days and it was time to set sail for the 900 or so miles from Las Palmas to Mindelo in Cabo verde. A few last minute things, we got the scuba diving compressor serviced, printed up some promotional materials for the best electronic chart swapping network in the world - www.chartswap.net and finally stopped at the local Fuel dock for some cheap diesel, water and a couple of ice…

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How to make a Mahi Mahi lure onboard a sailing yacht.

On our recent crossing of the Atlantic from Europe to Barbados, we had a particularly bad run with losing fishing equipment, including one entire Rig (Rod, reel, line, lure - the friggin lot gone!!). Some of it I blame on myself, some of it is simply low quality equipment that fails and the majority is just part and parcel of trawling lines behind us for over 10,000 Nautical Miles in the past 9 months. Simon holding up a decent Mahi Mahi caught some 300 Nautical Miles off…

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Two weeks in Morocco, new friends & fun times in the Canary Islands

Morocco is a colourful land of contrasts - be it the deep blue Atlantic ocean meeting the red dry desert, the proud Berber culture mixing with westernised ideals, the traditional Muslim people living their lives next door to Christians and less adhering Muslims, the extremely rich and the extremely poor, the list goes on... It seems that most cities perpetuate this contrast by having an old or often ancient side to the city as well as a new, more modern city. MOROCCO - 17th to 30th October…

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Sailing with the Girl with the dragon Tattoo

Where were we.... Italy. It seems like a lifetime ago already as i write this from the capital of Morocco. There's a surprisingly pleasant wailing (a muslim call to prayer) in the mosque tower near the marina adding colour to my already colourful evening. Earlier, John from Solstice next door dropped off half a freshly caught Mahi Mahi for me for dinner, I cooked it up and have washed it down with plenty of Vino and am not allowed to get up from the nav station until…

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Lagos, Villamoura, Portimao & football fever in Cadiz!

After a somewhat last minute departure from Terceira in the Azores, we had a brilliant run all the way to Portugal and mainland Europe. We weren't planning on leaving so soon but were forced to make a decision as Dmitry and Luis had to be back in Europe by the beginning of July¬† and the Azores high pressure system which kills all wind was looking like settling in for a week or so - the decision had to be made - we go now or not for…

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The Azores – a tale of two cities, great people & Festas.

After 2 short weeks at sea, we arrived in the Port of Horta in the Azores refreshed, slightly smelly and very thirsty - that kind of well earned thirst that used to be so well depicted in the old VB (Victoria Bitter) commercials in Australia... you know the ones. You can get it diggin', You can get it riggin', Or straining 'till you thought you'd burst. You've sure got a thirst.... A hard-earned thirst needs a big cold beer, and the best cold beer is Vic -…

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1000 miles to Bermuda

Leaving Nassau wasn't as easy as we thought. The generosity and hospitality of our new Bahamain friends was second to none and it seems that the Weather gods conspired to keep us there for one more night - which turned out to be a brilliant way to say goodbye to the Bahamas - with a home cooked feast at Geoffrey & Rosa's house, with the whole family coming over to say hello - a beautiful baked hog fish, home made coleslaw, banana fritters (whose name we cannot…

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