December 13, 2009
Position: 17 38 96 N 61 52 36 W
Date: Dim 13/12/2009 au Lundi14/12/2009
D’Antigua à Barbuda une petite navigation au prêt serré nous a fait le plus grand bien. Nous avons vu une longue bande de sable jaune s’approcher de plus en plus et nous nous sommes mis a l’ancre tout prés. Apres quoi nous avons été émerveillés par une belle plongée sur un des récifs, peu de poissons mais une grande diversité de végétation !!! Et une tortue !! Une première tortue !!! MA première tortue !! Apres nous nous sommes déplacer un peu et avons mis l’ancre a un endroit paradisiaque !!! Au matin nous avons plongé pour rejoindre la plage. Il n’y a pas de mot pour décrire la beauté de cette plage ou les vagues se brisaient une a une en formant un rouleau tout le long de cette plage de sable blanc. Les pélicans, eux, attendaient que de pauvres poissons soient projeté en eau moins profonde et pour plonger a toute vitesse et sans élégance aucune, afin d’attraper leur proies. Mais quel spectacle ! Les rouleaux étaient tel que nous n’aurions jamais pu débarquer sur la plage en zodiac en avons donc nagé. Malheureusement je n’ai prise aucune photo, j’espère que ce moment et ces images resteront graver dans ma mémoire. Car WAWWWW !!!
To go to Barbuda we had to sail close to the wind, and I love that! We dropped the anchor just nearby a wonderful beach where we took the time to snorkel a bit. We didn’t see a lot of fishes but the vegetation was amazing, and by chance we even saw one little turtle. The first one for me! After the snorkeling we went a bit further to spend the night and discovered a paradisiacal island, with nothing else but amazingly big waves and Pelicans. In the morning we went swimming to the beach as the swell was to big for us to come with the zodiac. I can not find the words to describe the beauty of that beach where the waves were breaking all along the white sand. The pelicans were waiting for the fishes to be caught in the shallow water in order to jump without any elegance to catch their prey. It’s an amazing spectacle.
I just hope I’ll remember that beach for a long time as I believe it was the most beautiful one.
December 12, 2009
Position: 17 07 22 N 61 50 78 W
Date: vendredi 11/12/2009 au dimanche13/12/2009
After 20 days at sea, arriving at Antigua was really special, we arrived at sun rise and inside the canal to go to St John’s Harbour everything was quiet… no waves, no wind, the water was peaceful and so were we. We arrived at the only pontoon we saw and it was completely empty. It was magic we stood still at the pontoon and like to put an end to our crossing and to welcome us ashore it started raining… for a few minutes only.
After all the formalities, we entered the city that was full of colors, and joy. People are happy with was they have, the streets and the market are simple, colorful and enjoyable. We decided to take a small bus a go the English harbor, on the other side of the island. The contrast is amazing! The streets were clean and the harbor was full of wonderful big boats where all the crew members were working and cleaning the boats with lots of water. The kind of boat where everybody is cleaning in uniform all the time… the kind of boats we can not afford… but it was nice to dream or imagine ourself crossing the Atlantic with that kind of comfort. Who knows maybe one day. Back to St John’s (and back to reality) the streets were full of people shopping, listening to music, or just being there in the street doing nothing special. It was so crowded we all felt like we needed some peace again and we left to go at anchor, just around the corner. We had our first real swim and went to the beach with palm trees and deckchairs (it felt like holiday) then on the other side of the bay we visited a small wreck. My first wreck ;-). Scaryyyy …
Après 20jours passé en mer l’arrivée a Antigua a été magique. Nous sommes arrive au soleil levant et tout était devenu calme. Faut dire qu’après 19 jours de houle s’est étrange de ne pas sentir le bateau bougé. Une fois a quai et pour la première fois depuis 19 jours nous avons pris notre déjeuner sans s’accroche a nos tasses ! Quel bonheur. Apres les formalités nous sommes allé en ville et avons découvert la simplicité avec laquelle les gens d’ici prennent la vie, les rues sont pleine de couleur et les gens sont heureux. En Début d’après midi nous avons pris un petit bus pour rejoindre l’autre cote de l’ile, English Harbour. La différence entre les deux cotés de l’ile est incroyable, a tel point que l’on ne se croirait pas sur la même ile. Le port était magnifique et accueillait des bateaux gigantesques… le genre de bateau où tout le monde nettoie en uniforme, tout le temps et a grand jet d’eau, le genre de bateau que nous n’aurons jamais… mais ce fut l’occasion de regarder, de rêver et de s’imaginer qu’un jour peut-être nous aussi on traversera l’atlantique avec un tel confort. Qui sait ! De retour a St John’s et de retour a la réalité, les rue s’était remplient de monde a tel point que nous avons tous ressenti le besoin de se retirer dans un endroit plus calme. Nous sommes donc aller dans une petite baie pas loin, à l’abri du regard et avons pu pour la première fois vraiment nous baigner. Nous avons rejoins a la nage une de ces plages de rêve avec cocotiers et transats puis de l’autre cote de la baie nous avons pu visité une petite épave en masque et tubas…ma première épave !!! ca fait drôle !!!
Après 20jours passé en mer l’arrivée a Antigua a été magique. Nous sommes arrive au soleil levant et tout était devenu calme. Faut dire qu’après 19 jours de houle s’est étrange de ne pas sentir le bateau bougé. Une fois a quai et pour la première fois depuis 19 jours nous avons pris notre déjeuner sans s’accroche a nos tasses ! Quel bonheur.
Apres les formalités nous sommes allé en ville et avons découvert la simplicité avec laquelle les gens d’ici prennent la vie, les rues sont pleine de couleur et les gens sont heureux. En Début d’après midi nous avons pris un petit bus pour rejoindre l’autre cote de l’ile, English Harbour. La différence entre les deux cotés de l’ile est incroyable, a tel point que l’on ne se croirait pas sur la même ile. Le port était magnifique et accueillait des bateaux gigantesques… le genre de bateau où tout le monde nettoie en uniforme, tout le temps et a grand jet d’eau, le genre de bateau que nous n’aurons jamais… mais ce fut l’occasion de regarder, de rêver et de s’imaginer qu’un jour peut-être nous aussi on traversera l’atlantique avec un tel confort. Qui sait ! De retour a St John’s et de retour a la réalité, les rue s’était remplient de monde a tel point que nous avons tous ressenti le besoin de se retirer dans un endroit plus calme. Nous sommes donc aller dans une petite baie pas loin, à l’abri du regard et avons pu pour la première fois vraiment nous baigner. Nous avons rejoins a la nage une de ces plages de rêve avec cocotiers et transats puis de l’autre cote de la baie nous avons pu visité une petite épave en masque et tubas…ma première épave !!! ca fait drôle !!!
December 11, 2009
Atlantic Ocean – Antigua - day 20
Position: 17 07 22 N 61 50 78 W
Date: arrivée vendredi 11 des 2009 a 7.15 (heure local) et reparti le jour meme a 1800 pour aller a l’ancre
Date: Arrived Friday 11 dec 2009 at 7.15 am (local time) and left same day at 6pm to go at anchor
On day 17 we had some gusts again the only strong one, pushed us for a few seconds to a speed of 12 knots and we were too late to reduce at night so it broke the ring of the “jib-boom” that is attached to the mast, so that the jib-boom fell and woke up everybody at 2.25 am but more noise than else really. We took the jib down and with the biggest misfortune the halyard went up the mast , we waited the following morning to go up the mast to take it down again in order to put the jib and the genoa as previously on the 2 forestay in butterfly with the “jib-booms”(see pics)
For the rest of the day we had a few more light ones with as only inconvenient the rain.
Fortunately the sunshine came to dry everything soon enough, and at least everything was cleaning before our arrival. For the last few days we had to steer again as the rolling became again too strong for the pilot to hold, steering in the middle of the ocean gives a strange feeling, you start thinking of this immensity of the ocean and us 4 on a small boat in the middle of it, nearly surfing on the waves (when you steer well) Amazing.
Around 8pm on day 19 we saw the light of the land in front of us. Arrival with the rising sun above St John’s harbor in Antigua. That’s it! The dream is done, we made it! and it was an experience we will never forget.
December 06, 2009
Atlantic Ocean 2000 miles – day 15 – 696 miles to go.
Position: 18 59 80N 49 46 85W
Date: Dimanche 6 décembre 2009
Still 1200 miles to go and the wind dropped! Let’s put the Spinnaker and the main sail. We spend 24hours under Spinnaker and auto pilots without any problem. The watch was of course just a bit more stressful as a knot is quickly done in a beautiful light and colorful sail as the Spi. 24hours did I say… oh I meant 22h… just before lunch, just as an occupation we had to undo the magnificent knot around the forestay and once done we decided to put the genoa again as the wind could not even keep the Spinnaker open at some time and it was too risky to keep it. (pics to follow)
On day 13 in the afternoon we started to have a few light gust of wind and rain, it’s easy to recognize, when it’s cloudy and it’s dark under the cloud… and if it is coming towards you à it’s not good. Often we had no wind a moment before and the wind was coming from changing direction…(pics to follow) Luckily we had only a few light rain and wind gust with max force 6 but, During 24 h we had a few gusts lasting not longer than 10 mins every 2 or 3 hours, just the time for everything to dry in between. Once again the watch was not easy as we had to reduce sails in doubt when dark clouds were approaching. At dinner time we saw a few thunder light just beside us, it was beautiful, scary and exciting at the same time, happily we did not have thunder light in the one going pass us.
2 days later we celebrated the 2000 miles sailed since the Canary… with champagne again!
December 02, 2009
Atlantic Ocean “half way celebration”- day 11 – 1211 miles to go.
Position: 20 01 13 N – 40 38 05W
Date: Wed 2nd of December 2009
Half way there and we realize how we have taken a nice little routine the last few days, no one is complaining and everybody is happy and holding on to each and every moment of this adventure. (as well as holding on to our plates and glasses every times we eat because of the heaving of the sea)
We are all here on board with a nice little wind pushing us to the Antilles and the sun is shining while everybody is probably under the rain in London, Brussels or Paris… one more reason to hold on to those moments.
It’s full moon and for a 2 days only we can assist to the rising sun behind us simultaneously with the moon set in front of us. No words are great enough to describe the beauty of nature in those moments.
We had the moon keeping us company for nearly the all trip, and the watch being taken in rotation every night, we all have had the occasion to see the moon go up and down, to have 3 full hours with the moon light or without moon light which make it easier to see the flying starts and to study the sky when not cloudy. Twice we had the moon rise during diner, it’s amazing! Have you ever seen a moon rise? When going west we also had to change hours every time we sailed 15degrees west, we finally have a total of 5 hours difference with France. We also all had a few sun set early in the morning when the 3 others are still asleep. Nature is just amazing, I realized we did not watch the sun go up and down enough in the city (did you?) and how lights and pollution make it difficult to recognize the stars while leaving in a city. At sea everything is clear on the horizon. (when not cloudy – of course ).
So yes, half way! And with champagne again and “foie gras” this time we celebrate all that! But as from now, as we are in the middle of the ocean, far from everything, we are starting to approach the other side, until now we were just getting away from the last piece of land we saw. Do we want to get on the other side? We may as well just stay here and enjoy the daily life on board swinging on the motion of the sea….
Maybe I’ve read too many books … did you btw read books OF Philippe Jeantot or Bernard Moitesier, if not I recommend them (merci Alex).
November 29, 2009
Atlantic Ocean St 1000 miles – day 8 – 1735 miles to go
Position: 19 29 15 N – 32 27 94 W
Date: Sunday 29 November 2009
It is only one day after change of course that we could celebrate the 1000 miles already sailed since the Canary Island! And of course we had “Canard confit” and “Champagne!!”.
But as from day 7we also started to have more change or more maneuvers I would say, We put the main sail and the genoa only as the wind was East. During the night the genoa sheet broke for the first time. For a few days we had to steer at times, as the swell was to strong for the automated pilot. When the wind turned NE we changed the sails to Genoa on PS and jib on SS. Even tough we would check every morning if all was resisting wear, the same sheet broke a few more times on the way, luckily we finished the trip with just enough length not to have to change it. ;-)
16 dec 2009
pics and story until now will be posted once good connection available,
so far all goes well, thanks a lot for your support!
now in St Barth we will go at anchor for a few days before going to St martin.
November 28, 2009
Atlantic Ocean day 7 – 1891 miles to go…
Position: 19 39 70 N 29 59 62W
Date: Saturday 28 novembre, 12’o clock
The first week of the crossing we decided to go down south in order to get the Alize NE.
Depending on the wind ENE or NE we were holding the course 220 – 250 and sailed about 130 – 150 miles per day.
As per the other crossing we maintain our watch of 3 hours each staring from 9pm, till 6 am. On the second day we saw one whale, keeping us company during our morning maneuver, as we decided to put two jibs/Genoa with booms on the 2 forestays. The whale was impressive, swimming behind us then in front of us, on starboard then on portside… she did not breathe a lot out of water but we could see her trough the water. (if the connection is good enough I’ll upload some pics)
It took us a few days to adapt to the rhythm of the boat swinging the all time due the swell. The main occupation where sleeping and eating…. For those who were eating.
On day 3 we saw a sailing boat who was competing with the ARC association, and we made VHF contact. It is really nice to know that we are not alone out there. We came really close to each other so that we could wave goodbye and goodluck!
Soon we took our mark and started to have our little “on board routine” like, watching the sun rise, having breakfast together, reading, sleeping, watching the horizon for hours in the hope to see dolfins, whales, flying fish, or even an other vessel. Then, just before lunch, if we were not changing the sails, we would make the 12’o clock position calculation with sextant or GPS. Just to see hom many miles we achieved in 24h.
We could even have a nap after lunch as long as someone was outside watching out. Around 6 we would watch the sun go down make space for to the stars, flying stars and the moon. On day 7 we changed course to 270-280 as we were south enough, as we can read in books; the flying fish were there to say we cough the Alize NE. Once more we had to adapt at the swell coming from another angle…but yeah we will not complain.
November 21, 2009
Canary – Gomera
Position Gomera: 28 05 33 N - 17 06 46 W
Date: Sat 21/11/09 till Sunday 22/11/09
We left Marina Del Sur on Saturday morning for los Cristianos where we filled the fuel tank, on the way we decided to make a last stop at Gomera Island. Mid way between the 2 islands we saw a few small and shy whales. The harbor of Gomera seemed to be one of those where people get prepared for the long trip. We went to a nice small and local restaurant where we had the chance to eat some tasty local food. That evening we met 4 girls getting ready to row across the ocean racing against male teams. This is THE adventure, really! During the crossing we often though about them wondering how they were handling the big swell e were facing.
We left the island of Gomera at 10.40am to start our journey across the ocean, all ready to go.
Nous avons quitté la Marina Del Sur Samedi matin pour aller a Los Cristinos afin the faire le plein de fuel. Sur le chemin nous avons décidé de faire un dernier arrêt avant le long voyage à l’ile de Gomera. En chemin nous avons eu l’occasion de voir quelques globicéphales assez timide car des que on les apercevait ils replongeaient vers les fond plus profond. Le port the Gomera ressemble encore a un de ces port ou les bateaux se prépare à faire la traversée, l’ambiance y était assez sympa. Nous sommes allé dans un petit restaurant locale très sympa ou nous avons pu goutter les délicatesses locale. Le soir même nous y avons rencontré 4 filles qui se préparaient à faire cette même traversée mais a la rame ! Elle allait affronter des équipes masculines et n’arriverais que deux mois et demi plus tard aux Antilles. Alors CA c’est de l’aventure. Chapeau les filles et courage ! Durant la traversée nous avons souvent pensée à elles en se demandant comment elles faisaient dans cette immense houle qui nous a bordés tout au long du voyage.
Nous avons quitté l’ile de Gomera Dimanche 22 novembre à 10.40 fin prêt pour la traversée.
November 14, 2009
Anchor place around Las Galettas – Anchor place at Los Cristianos.
Position: 28 02 48N 16 42 64 W
Date: Arrivé Samedi 14 vers 17h et reparti ?
Date: Arrived Sat 14th around 5pm and left ?.
We left only to try to find a place where we could go ashore with the zodiac to do some shopping and have dinner. We arrived in Los Cristianos that had an official anchoring place a bit before the harbor. We anchored and rowed until the nearest beach, had dinner and bought some bread before coming back to the boat. We spend the day refreshing the boat, drying everything and cleaning everything. And on my side writing for this blog as well.
If all goes well tomorrow we should go ashore and spend the rest of our time here visiting the island. We will probably rent a car and go to the Teide that has an altitude of 3718 m and other important interest points. When the crew will be complete, we will complete the shopping and the reparation (oh did I mention the leak in the fresh water tank?) and then we will unmoor to go and cross the ocean.
If all goes well we should leave around the 21st of November or maybe one or two days later, as we are not going to Cape Verde the crossing could take around 20 days but it could be more depending on the wind.
See you on the other side!
November 13, 2009
Candelaria, Tenerife to Anchor place around Las Galettas
Position: 28 01 04 N 16 37 47 W
Date: Arrivé vendredi 13 vers 14h et reparti samedi vers 15h.
Date: Arrived Fri 13th around 2pm and left Sat around 3pm.
As we had no wind, we had to motor south until we found a nice place to stay at anchor. We had a full morning; we left Candelaria at 7am had a nice coffee to start the day and breakfast while going around the coast of Tenerife. The swell was important and we had to hold on to our bread, until a wave that I did not expect made me slide and fall with the cockpit table. It was a nice little mess with orange juice, coffee, bread etc… well cleaning the cockpit was part of the program anyway… A bit further we caught a “dorade” again, 60 cm ;-) Knowing there is only the 2 of us for a few days we decided to take the lines out of water for now.
The coast of Tenerife is an alternation of super hotel complexes and wild landscape, that’s near one of those landscapes that we finally found a place protected from the swell where we could anchor. For the first time since I’m here I went for a real swim (I mean real when it’s more then jump into the water and come back because it’s too cold). I had a look around snorkeling a little, but nothing to see but sand. It was just great, lately I had the feeling not to have done anything but sailing sailing sailing and visiting visiting visiting. Even if it is pleasant and interesting, I have to say that after a marathon of sailing and visiting, staying there at anchor, swimming and reading in the sun (as recently the sun wasn’t as great as expected) was marvelous. At the same time we needed to open the windows in order to dry the boat and take everything out of the lock in order to dry the sails and rigging. Because of the big swell we had a few waves coming in ;-).