2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Art class

After a great night’s sleep we’re full of energy again! Kids did some schoolwork including art class with modelling clay and Seathan went to sort out the paperwork. Now that we’re no longer in Europe we have to check in and out every time which means going to customs and immigration. We plan to stay here a few days, perhaps even celebrate new year before we continue!

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Cape Verde

We’re in Cape Verde and have another 900 NM under our belts! From here it’s another 2000 NM to the Caribbean. It’s a perfect stopover as we had to pass here anyway in order to get far enough South to catch the trades. We’re happy we stopped, the atmosphere is great and you immediately feel you are no longer in Europe! We arrived just after our friends who left Las Palmas at the same time as us. They ‘caught’ more than 30 flying fish on their deck (we only got three) which we barbecued for lunch! The sail from Las Palmas to here was very enjoyable with nice steady winds. It took the kids and I a day or so to find our sea legs again but after that we were fine. We settled on 3 hour shifts during the night (after trying all sorts of combinations of shorter and longer shifts, we felt that 3 hours on and off was the best). After a few days one gets used to the broken sleep pattern and life on board becomes a daily routine. Still, I’m looking forward to a normal night’s sleep again tonight! Christmas was certainly very different this year, it was a calm day so we had a nice lunch and relaxed. We even were treated by a visit from a pod of dolphins. The boys were happy as Santa managed to locate our boat during the night and dropped off lots of new toys!

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Murphy’s Law invoked.

First of all thank you all for the wonderful send off wishes yesterday, we will store them for later this week…..
We were all set to leave today but Murphy played his Ace!, we woke to a strange new wind from the SSE, visibility is down to 1/2 mile and the air is full of Saharan dust, a little worse than your ordinary household dust as this stuff is red brown and its not making our beautifully washed decks look so good.. Its a Sirocco from the Africa which is known here as the Calima, its blowing fairly hard and it’s coming directly from where we need to go. No point in banging our heads against the wall for three days, we are supposed to be cruising!
We’ll sit it out until Sunday, the way the Gribs are looking that will be a good window, meanwhile we have a good opportunity to complete the never ending list of chores on the boat.
We discovered a small ingress of water yesterday it turns out that some swim ladder mounts had been installed years ago without best practise, good news is we discovered it and have today managed to prep the whole area, all deck fittings removed and properly reinstalled and the affected area has been cut out and is ready to be re-glassed tomorrow. All the beautiful Canadian Cherry is still intact, Phew!
Our sails are looking great after a nip and tuck, we have revamped the asymmetrical spinnaker system so that no one has to venture out on to the pole for deployment or retrieval.
We installed our under bridge deck safety lines should the unthinkable happen, good to know they are there.
What else is going on? The kids are having a ball, a small but crazy gang has formed with the French outnumbering the Scottish-Belgian contingent by a factor of two, the pontoons are no longer safe for the elderly, scooting is the order of the day, Aeneas’ war cry down the ramp at low tide is something to be heard.
Last night was Octopus fishing night, Yotam, Eden and Tyrii hooked a big old fellow who managed to break the line and retreat to his rocky crevice to lick his wounds! Tonight is another night and we can still see him. BBQ is ready and waiting.
Some guys on the dock had better luck they speared a 46 kg Mahe Mahe, big fish!
That’s it for today, we are in the hands of the wind gods.

Ready for the big crossing

After nearly two weeks in Gran Canaria we are ready for our big crossing! We’ve had a great time on the island and last weekend we rented a car to explore the beautiful mountainside and some of the beaches. I also visited several museums with the kids. There is a great museum about Christopher Columbus which Tyrii found fascinating and he is now writing an essay about Columbus. We also visited the science museum and the museum about the Canary islands. And the atmosphere in the marina is great. Everyone is getting ready for the crossing and there are (finally!) other kids to play with. It’s been a busy few weeks with lots of cleaning and fixing jobs in order to get the boat ready. And of course there’s always time needed to chat to other people and make new friends.
Yesterday, we did our big shop (7 trolleys!) which was delivered early evening and packed away neatly in a few hours. We are waiting for one more delivery tomorrow morning (fruit and veg) and then we can go. It’s quite a challenge planning for one month of provisions but I think we did quite well. The freezer is full of vacuum packed and pre-frozen meat, we rubbed 150 eggs in vaseline to keep them fresh, we packed away 10 kgs of pasta, 10 kgs of rice, 15 kgs of potatoes, plenty of flour for making bread, 200 litres of water (even though we have a water maker it is always wise to take plenty of bottled water just in case!), 40 litres of juice, a few cases of coca-cola, some beers, and so on! We plan to stop over in Cape Verde which is about 7 days sailing from here and then cross over to the Caribbean from there. Everyone is excited about leaving and we will have a few birthday parties (including my 40ed!) en route! And of course Christmas might be happening while we are in the middle of the Atlantic but I’m confident Santa will find our boat and our stockings are ready. We even have a little Christmas tree on board!
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