Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St Lucia at Xmas












Hi everyone,
Some views of St Lucia and surrounding area were I have been so far.
I will be going for a New Year party at Pat's were I was on Xmas Day.
Pic 1 beach bar, pic2 Castries from south, pic 3 Xmas Party, pic 4 Sunset SL YC, 5 In the Past maybe?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Xmas Wishes from St Lucia

Merry Xmas to all this year, I thank everyone for their support during this year and all your good wishes too, heres hoping everyone will have a good time and enjoy this seasons festivities, as I am here. Special wishes to the friends I have met on my journey through Spain, I hope you enjoy the time very much, I think of you all often.
I toasted everyone at 8:00pm last night 12 midnight UK time, and will raise my glass again on New Years Eve, wishing everybody a prosperous new year with lots of luck for 2010!
I have been invited for a traditional Xmas dinner and later for a St Lucia style celibration on the beach with a barbacue, so my day will be filled with pleasant company and a bit of fun too.
All the very best seasons greetings
From Roy. xx

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ocean

Have tried to show what it was like on a daily basis during the trip. The view astern was the same every day, just the wind strength changed. In the vid its a top end F4, looks less cos I'm going downwind, its the no wind charger direction, they dont work unless the wind is about F6, the one I fixed to the prop shaft piles in the amps all the time as GL was doing anywere between 5.8 and 7.4 all the time through the water, sometimes SOG showing 8 or 9 on GPS.

video

St Lucia 2

Hi again to all,
Have been here now for nearly a week and its taken that long for me to sort myself and the boat out after the journey.

As the ARC rally was still ongoing, with boats still crossing the finishing line when I arrived, the Marina here has been very busy, lots of functions having been arranged for participating boats and their crews. I have met many of them and more friends have been made. I have also met up with a few people that I have met before and have also done the crossing, we all have celebrated together in good style as you can imagine, many stories being swapped about the various happenings that occurred whilst sailing the Atlantic. Having done it single handed seems to impress a lot of the crews too, have been smuggled into functions by some of them insisting that I should join in the festivities.

Guiding Light

The problem I had with the propeller shaft was fixed in about 20 minutes, very easy with the boat stopped! Another little problem with the engine tick over was also fixed at the same time. The sails and rig suffered only minor damage after driving the boat continuously 24-7 for the 3000 odd miles and 23 days it took me. Have now a great respect for GL and also Fred the Hydrovane! a lot of modern yachts faired far worse, I was told 2 boats were abandoned on passage.

I have lots of stores still untouched, even 4kg of potatoes, the eggs also lasted for a couple of days after arrival and I have only just had to buy some more. Starting with a full tank, I only made 40ltrs of water with the water maker the whole trip, and I have not run out of that yet either, I am expecting to any minute. My in transit cooking teach-in, from sisters Lynne and Janet have now enabled me to make bread and biscuits anytime I feel like it, and have been experimenting with pasta dishes, something else I never really tried before. In celebration I am presently roasting a chicken today, have not had fresh meat on board for quite awhile, yummy.

Have visited the St Lucia Yacht Club (web site http://www.stluciayachtclub.com/) and have been extended a warm welcome by the social secretary Danielle. I and another single handed yachtsman Adam have pledged our boats to take part in their Xmas flotilla called 'Carols Afloat' on Tuesday 22nd Dec. to go right around Rodney Bay with boats dressed and maybe a couple of guests aboard ending up in the marina and an xmas party organised ashore, a joint effort by St Lucia Yacht Club (Danielle), and the Marina IGY Rodney Bay. More about that later too

Roy
PS have added Pictures to previous post below!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

St Lucia






1) Gomera disappears.
2) Dawn on the last day before Barbados.




3) Dawn over St Lucia.
4) me before I rejoined the human race.
Hi All,
Arrived safely in Rodney Bay and anchored there at 2pm Fri 11th no problem.
will post an update when I sort myself out. Position: 14,4.81N , 60,57.63W
more coming
Roy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barbados

Hi All, I have some good news and some bad news good news first,
Made it to the Barbados waypoint at 0430hrs this morning.
Bad news is I'm now on my way to St Lucia!
I arrived at Port St Charle Marina early this morning, waited for the Sun to come up and found it very exposed to this F5 wind blowing off the land, decided to go to Bridgetown anchorage in Carlisle Bay.
Even worse at Carlisle Bay, wind gusting F6, Tried to anchor for 3 hrs, could not get close enough, still in 25mtrs water.
1000hrs sailed back to St Charles Marina.
Decided to give St Charles a go as wind not as bad there, again couldnt get close enough,
I didn't realise that it would be this difficult, but hadn't reckoned on the wind being this strong it wasn't forecasted.
Had been awake now all night for the approach and getting very tired, and still hadn't been able to stop the boat.
And even if I had I wouldn't have been able to clear in using the Dingy as just to rough.
So after another 2 attempts one without the jib, I still failed to anchor, Rain clouds were now coming over with rain and even more wind.
Just not my day.
So.
1200hrs 13,16.42N 059,39.08W wind NE F5-6 COG 295 speed 0.8 dist run 3,060 non to noon 135Nm
NEW WAYPOINT to the bottom of St Lucia. Visit to Barbados abandoned. Will mix it with the ARC lads this xmas.
I'm a bit disapointed about it, but the ambition didn't have a destination, have done well over 3,000Nm just not anywhere yet!
More Later
Roy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Emotions

Well Hi to everyone watching the blog! I've titled the post Emotions so I won't ever forget.
Today has began and started to be quite a shocking and suprising one for me, and very personal. It started early like 0600hrs while I sat on top of the aft cockpit hatch with a rollie in one hand and a coffe in the other (breakfast), to watch the dawn and the Sun come up. It has come up dead astern of me in the east every morning since passing Cape Verde Islands. While just taking in the scenery I realized this was most likely the last full day of this journey across the Altlantic! I was so shocked then with the most powerfull and overwhelming emotional responce I think I've ever had in my life before. The thought that triggered it was, this ambition has been probably the driving force of my entire life.....in a boat (I own), capable, (the boat and me) and crossing an Ocean in one go. The sunrise and dawn has been the very best one I've seen so far, I had even got my camera out to take a pic. I didn't bother before as who wants to see loads of pics of the same thing! This added to the occasion. All my Life I have wanted to do this, I have had a few different boats hoping to find the right one, difficult with limited funds, my Mum said "to do this Roy you will have to become the managing director of a company to have the money for what you want". I think this was in 1963, I was 15years old, I had just come back from a holiday on the Norfolk Broards on a boat called 'Gay Muskateer' with my sister Lynne and her Husband Ken, and had only had model boat experiance on Walton Hall Park boating lake before that! My answer to Mum was "there must be ways and means of doing it differently than becoming a managing director" I went to night school at university to learn Navigation from a professor of navigation, you had them then, and eventually I even gave up a very good job ashore and went and joined the Merchant Navy (1975), this to have more time off in a year for holidays, (Factory only allowed 2 weeks a year then) and of course have a preview of where I would take this dream boat! I swore that I would own a big boat before I was 30! Well I did that, at one point I had 2 boats both over 30 foot but thats another story. Even being in Beaumaris and how that happened! a few people only know that one, Sue and Dick, Gill, Glyn, Llew (it was Sue who asked!). (takes an hour to tell!).
So this morning a realization that its just about over, I'll have probably done it by tomorrow night........Well not quite over but the crossing, my first time, lost my cherry so's to speak, so has GL, GONE! bugger!. (sorry but it fits and I don't have another word)
More Later
Roy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Preparing for arrival

Hi everyone, a big hi to all my friends and people I know in the Bull, Beaumaris and Anglesey,
Have been getting on with keeping Guiding light ship shape, for the last 3 days I have been in very big seas. This all started on Friday night when at 7:15pm a very vicious rain squall had the temerity to hit GL and me during dinner. Fred was driving and I had him set up very fine off the wind, well, this wind went up to, and maybe more 40knt+ in seconds! GL staggered a bit and went over on her beam ends and accelerated away up to top speed, that only took a few seconds as well, as this was happening I was trying to disentangle myself from the saloon table and my dinner which I was now wearing!
GL was now doing something above 9Knts. Got the torch and popped my head out to see what Fred was doing, he bless his cotton socks was calmly driving the boat still at this very fine angle without broaching and going on a reach, amazing, then the rain came, not your normal stuff but the tropical variety, rain drops, no not the right word ermm... bucket drops traveling at 40+ in the horizontal plane, hitting GL like machine gun bullets! I put the washboards in and closed the hatch and let Fred, who appeared to have the situation well in hand, to it, and made myself a nice panad, a rolly fag and a sit down. After 2 hours of this, somewere past 2100 as suddenly as it had started it stopped, there was no wind at all, the waves which had built up were still there and GL was stopped. Then from the East an ever so gentle breeze sprang up and Fred put us back on course. It increased steadily and has been between 16 and 25knts since, the seas have built up to approx 12 to 15 feet swell and you always get those three biggies every severn or so don't you, they are the doozies, I look at them coming at my little low down stern and say, no way can I get up that one! But Gl does and off we go surfing down the front, You would have to pay a fortune at the fair in Menai Bridge for a ride like this!
Well I have had to pay attention to all the rig while this has been going on, but thought I also better let everone know were i'm at. Getting very close to landfall now, I am going over the north of the island to get out of the waves and furkle inshore gently bently, still have no propulsion from engine so need it to be quiet. right now Position: 13,26.41N , 55,32.12W Speed: 5 knots, Course: 256 deg. distance to Barbados 232Nm.
More later
Roy
PS You do realize that story would have taken at least 3 hours for me to tell it in the Bull,
so I've let everyone off lightly!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Passage Thoughts

Hi all,
Passage thoughts...After being alone now for nearly 3 weeks many thoughts have come and gone, some will remain forever some forgotton. I thought I was hearing things! I could hear this sound but could not locate it, at first I thought my brain was making it up because I was missing all the normal sounds I'm used to. No, when I was in the cabin, or any where inside the boat I couldn't hear it. Then I tried to decide what it sounded like, I don't have the words, every time I came up with an idea it just didn't decribe it properly. Uhmmm. It's like a song being played on an instument I've never heard before, I can hear something resembling chords, but thats not quite it, I've been at this now for days, and early evening today I think I've cracked it.
Your in the woods and theres a wind blowing, you hear, what we call, the wind sighing in the trees, a beautiful sound, somtimes it can sound like someone is talking or singing but you just carn't make out the words!
Bingo! Thats what I'm hearing, its the wind and the ocean making this sound, every wave is different and so is the wind, the wind is being changed by the waves, this changes the sound, so the song is constantly changing too.
The Ocean Sings!
And its also a beautiful sound. You've just got to be there havn't you, to experiance something strange like that, I've sailed on big ships in every ocean and never heard this sound before, but praps you need a quiet sailboat to be able to hear it at all.
(or three weeks alone to go quietly MAAAAD).
Other thought was Sue and Dick who I wish very dearly were still here with me experiencing all this stuff, I've no one right here to tell what i'm feeling, about things that they are experiancing at the same time, makes it a different experiance. I've only met 3 others single handing, they know what I mean.
One more thought, as I get closer and closer to Barbados and more things to see, hear, and people to meet, I feel sad that the sights sounds and people I've already met are now in the past, its a never to be repeated journey, impossible. I'll leave that thoght there.
PS. the boat is proving itself to be an amazing passage maker, so sea kindly, even when its RUF, have hardly taken any water on deck all this time. as I write Position: 14,26.64N , 047,17.26W Speed: 5 knots, Course: 279 deg. Time UTC -3hrs 2030hrs my time
More later
Roy

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guiding Light

Hi all,
Tried the old fishing game yesterday, got in a hell of a mess, hooks stuck in everything including me, after 2 hours or so had what looked like a decent rig to catch dorado,yahoo or mybe something at least, no go, all day, every time I was doing something the rod was in the way, eventually gave up.
Wind was ok and was still cracking on. towards evening it had calmed down and had a very pleasant sail, about 2100 spotted that yacht again, he was crossing my track from port to starb. I was much closer than last time so he isn't going any faster than me, he was over my horizon about 2300hrs.
After a power snooze woke up at 0300hrs made a coffe and was getting my wits together when bang! thud! the propellor started to make a terrible noise, thought I must have caught somthing on the prop. Started engine to see if I could shake it off by going astern. I was by then in a F5 doing 6.5knts, when I put it in gear nothing happened, my engine wasnt driving the prop, so down the engine room (Box) to see what could be wrong. I took so much care over fitting the new propelor coupling and shaft during last winter I couldnt imagine what could be wrong. When I was in, I found the propelor shaft had come out of the coupling!, (I don't believe it), cut a long story, it took till 0730hrs this morning to fix what went wrong, the grub screw holding the shaft had just worn away! stainless steel too, I had heaved too to stop the propelor turning but even then I was doing 3.4knts could not make the boat go any slower. This means I couldn't pull the shaft back into the coupling against the flow of water. It will just have to stay like that for now. I made sure it couldn't turn again and went back on course. Its the first time I've not had the noise from the propelor and it is so quiet now.
Today I have passed 2,000 Nm since leaving and have 983.3 to go, still going well wind today though is only F3 so not so fast. big Merchant boat came past and altered course to have a 'look see' he then turned away to starb and disapeared. Had 'spotted dolphins playing round the boat all morning, magic to watch.
More later
Roy