Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Must be working this sailing out

Mixed bag of conditions from Vanuatu to Brisbane

Good sailing on a beam reach for the first 3 hours then lost wind and motored for 36 hrs

On passing the Grand Passage wind picked up to 15 kts as predicted but not as predicted continued to pick up peaking at 40 kts by the time we reached Chesterfield reef.

After Chesterfield we did enjoy a great days sailing with wind on the beam, moving along at 7-8 kts.

The day before we arrived in Moreton Bay, the winds died again.  motored all day to see winds pick up in time to enter Moreton Bay on Sunday night.  by 9:00pm we were hit by a large thunderstorm.  no damage.

Good to be back home

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Port Vila to QLD

Gale and strong wind warnings surround us.  Looks like the weather will calm down next week for a 1,000nm passage to QLD.

Thinking about making landfall in Brisbane, although most of the boats here will head to Bundaberg.

We will be in Australia by the end of the month.  Wow!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fiji to Vanuatu

Plan to leave this week for Tanna Island from Lautoka.  Conditions look good with SE winds around 15kts for week.  Passage will take 4 days.

A stationary front is in the area although it looks to be of little concern and will have moved on before we leave.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


We are currently in Fijian waters, with 150nm to go to Savu Savu.

Fiji weather issued a strong wind warning for all Fijian waters yesterday. so far on this passage we have had almost no wind motoring all the way. The forecast is for 20 to 25knt winds from the south east. expect winds to start picking up mid morning today, building to over 25kts by tomorrow morning.

We have already reefed down in anticipation of the increased trade winds.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tonga to Fiji

Departed Nukualofa at 1400 1st September 2010. Plan to arrive Savusavu, Fiji around 5th September.

Stationary front moving through Tonga as we departed. expect clear weather for rest of the passage.

Our route will take us from Nukualofa to Vatoa Island then to Totoya Island before making our way to Savusavu.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Va'vau to Nuku'alofa via Ha'api group of Islands

Taking advantage of a quite week for winds to travel south.

Overnight sail from Va'vau to Luangahu Island. Then to Ha'afeva followed by Tungua, Lalona, Kelefesia.

Expect to be in Nuku'alofa by the week-end

1. Yamaha outboard got water in fuel and is causing many problems with carburetor. Unable to clean fuel intake, Very unreliable. May need to replace carburetor if it cannot be cleaned properly.
2. Mainsheet traveler car bolts sheered. needs to be repaired/replaced.

Hoping we can make some sort of repairs in Nuku'alofa.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Niue to Tonga August 3, 2010

On route to the Kingdom of Tonga. relatively short 230nm passage. Weather reports look OK with light winds from the East and 3 meter swell. Expect to arrive in Neiafu on Friday. We will loose a day as we cross the International Date Line.

A reminder of the dangers, we met the crew of Anna as we left. A 57 ft catamaran that was capsized after being hit by 60+ kt winds after sailing nicely in 18kt winds. Anna is adrift last seen at 19 32.30S 172 14.6W drifing 325T at 1kt.

We are on route with Whiskers, Marlin & Albatross III

Another slow passage. We will just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Update Maupiti to Niue, Day 8

Light wind passage with less than 15kts of wind along the rhum line presents some challenges. Experimented with different sail configurations to try to squeeze more speed out of the wind and sails while maintaining desired direction, as well as reducing wear and tear on equipment and getting the most comfortable ride possible.

1 Using mizzen causes BR to fishtail and Monitor has difficult steering
2 Using main reduces roll however bashes from side to side and shadows the head sails, cannot sail directly down wind
3 Using a double reefed main reduces shadowing but still both main and head sail bashes, cannot sail directly down wind
4 Wing on wing with polled out headsail, BR rolls with ocean swell and causes main to bash excessively. however can sail close to directly down wind and better speed
5 Using only headsail removes bashing but BR rolls
6 Using spinnaker only removes bashing and BR does not roll. We are getting better speed from spinnaker in light winds and can sail directly down wind.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Update Maupiti to Niue

2 days into passage and only 800nm to go

Cold front swept through last night. Winds from the SE at 18-20kts seas 10 feet.

Overcast with some squalls today

sailing at 6kts with double reefed main and genoa. steering with Monitor windvaine.

rolly start to passage in light winds, first 200nm average 4.8 kts

Passage making, 90% Boredom and 10% Terror. so they say.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


noon position 16 36S 153 55W

10-15kts of wind from the ENE
2m Seas from the E

Rolly downwind sail and slow

Weather forecasts for high winds and very rough seas. So far we have not seen any bad weather.



noon position 16 36S 153 55W

10-15kts of wind from the ENE
2m Seas from the E

Rolly downwind sail and slow

Weather forecasts for high winds and very rough seas. So far we have not seen any bad weather.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

18th July 2010 - Bora Bora to Niue

Leave 18th July 2010 for Niue from Bora Bora

Plan to stop for a couple of nights in Maupiti if possible before the longer passage to Niue.

Expect passage to take about a week.

Often called the milk run, wonder why as mostly 20-30 kt winds, moderate to rough seas, squalls and thunderstorms on the way.

Weather forecasts are unreliable for this part of the passage.

Monitor, Polynesian Breakfast Club, SSB radio on 8164 @ 7;30 Bora Bora time

also Penguin Net on 8104 @ 9:00AM and 8:00 PM Bora Bora time,

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's it really like?

French Polynesia! The place many sailors dream of cruising.

The islands are more beautiful than we expected, the people are very friendly and have a rich culture, cool tattoos and hip-notic dancing. Snorkeling is the best we have seen, fishing is great, surfing is awesome.

On the other hand the prices are what you would expect $$$, passage making is surprisingly rough with winds often at 30kts along with rough seas. Thunderstorms and dangerous squalls are a feature of most passages.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Society Islands

Currently in Huahine.

Plan to be in Bora Bora for 14th July celebrations.

Then west, weather permitting.

Will post plan for Cooks//Tonga soon

Moorea to Huahine

Overnight run to Huahine. Left Moorea at 1700 hrs.

Winds from the east 25-30 kts, seas 10-12 ft from the east.

Sailed with Yankee only at 6kts to arrive off Huahine at 700am

Uncomfortable ride

Arrive safe

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tahiti update

we are currently in Papeete.

list of to dos before leaving include
repairs to sails
replace furler bearing
repair bilge pump

Expect to be ready early July for departure

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 15, 2010 Galapagos to Marquesas

We will leave for the longest passage we are likely too ever do tomorrow morning. over 3000nm to the Marquesas. We will sail the rumb line, may be south of it to get to the trade winds.

Expect to have light trades all the way with wind out of the east and south east. The trip will be about 3 weeks.

I will try and post position reports daily and the WARC will be tracking our progress.

We are travelling with Inspiration Lady, Anthem and Jackster.

We will be communicating on SSB on 8149 at 7:00am and 5:00pm (Galapagos time)


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sunday 11th April 2010. San Cristolbal to Santa Cruz

Approx 45nm day sail to Puerto Ayora.

Will leave Bacuerizo Moreno around 7:00am.

On board will be Jack (Anthem) Gary and Jackie (Inspiration Lady).

We will stay in Santa Cruz long enough to check out the Darwin Center and other sights plus take in a day tour.

Have full tanks of fuel, still need approx 20 gals of drinking water.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 27th, 2010 Panama to Galapagos

Second attempt for Bristol Rose to sail to Galapagos Islands

Depart Taboga Island Morning of Saturday 27th March, 2010

Weather forecast is for light and variable winds. Anticipate a slow sail.

Planned Route:
due south for the first 150nm
218 T for 185nm to Malpelo Is.
240 T for 565nm to Galapagos.

Make landfall at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal around 3rd of April, 2010


8:00 am 8155 Khz net with other cruising boats
9:00 am 8143 Khz Check in with Pan Pacific Net
5:00 pm 8155 Khz net with other cruising boats

Monitor VHF Channel 16

Post Noon Position Reports to both WARC and Winlink

Bristol Rose will be traveling with the following Yachts

Inspiration Lady (Canada)
Anthem (USA)
Jackster (UK)

We are looking forward to an uneventful passage.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Communications Plan for Western Pacific

While sailing, between Panama and the Galapagos, Bristol Rose will monitor the following radio frequencies.

VHF channel 16 when underway


0900am (local time) Pan Pacific Net Frequency 8143 kHz

0500pm (local time) Frequency 8155 kHz

In addition we will pick up AirMail email via SSB radio and post regular position reports.

Monday, March 8, 2010


What have we been doing?

Bristol Rose is in need of repairs following our accident.

So far, so good

MaxProp gears were sheared. A local machine shop repaired the propeller with help from the US distributor and Bill Ramus for Shannon.

Simrad Autopilot is repaired, thanks to local support company

New downwind sails are on order

New Bilge pump is on order

What? how did all this happen. Spinnaker sheet wrapped around prop and broke gears. during our tow at 9 knts we lost our new sail even though it was strapped to the deck. the back pressure on the bilge pump stipped the gears. score so far $120 for accident, $5000 from the rescue. Hmmm

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bristol Rose Rescue update

Those following our position reports may have noticed that we have experienced a set-back.

On Saturday night around 10pm we were hit with a gust of strong winds while flying a spinnaker. In our attempts to get the sail under control we wrapped a sheet around the propeller. disabling both our ability to motor and more importantly our ability to steer.

We could not fix the problem as sea and need to be rescued by Ligia Elena. We were towed to closed safe harbor, Bahia Pinas after 36 hrs adrift.

Feb 18th 2010 Bahia Pinas to Panama

Day sails to Panama for repairs to propeller.

Bahia Pinas to Las Perlas
Las Perlas to Panama

Haul out at Balboa Yacht Club

Feb 18th 2010 Bahia Pinas to Panama

Day sails to Panama for repairs to propeller.

Bahia Pinas to Las Perlas
Las Perlas to Panama

Haul out at Balboa Yacht Club

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Saturday 13th Feb 2010 - Las Perlas to Galapagos

Plan to leave Concholon Bay, Isla Del Rey on Saturday Morning for our 830nm trip to the Galapagos Islands. Will travel across the ITCZ and the equator on route. Expect light winds. Will call in on SSB 4 Bravo (4.164Mhz) at 9:30 am each day as well as call the Pan Pacific Net on 8.143Mhz at 9:00am

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saturday 6th, 2010 - Panama to Las Perlas

Will leave Panama at first light. approx 40nm trip.

*06N-Panama from Panama/Colombia-82W*
WIND: NNW/NNE 08-13 gust 18, except 13-18 gust 23 still likely near 79W.
NNW/NW 05-10 close to the shoreline in the eastern Gulf of Panama.
SEAS: 0.5-1.5m mixed from SW/SSW and NNW/N.
WEATHER: Few/sct cld & isolated shwrs.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Leaving the Caribbean

Wow, hard to believe. Trish and I have sailed Bristol Rose 5,000 miles and are about to leave the Caribbean. With Owen, Elliot and Rex, we are about to enter Colon Harbor, Panama where we will prepare to transit the Panama Canal. For us it is a time of mixed emotions, to be leaving the now familiar Caribbean and the many good friends we have made along the way, as we begin our long awaited return to the Pacific Ocean; the ocean we fondly think of as our home waters. As we sadly say goodbye to the Americas we think just as fondly of our chosen home for the past 13 years in North America, and the good friends we hope to see again. Across the Pacific lies our homeland Australia, about 8,000 miles and 6 months away.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 23, 2010 - San Blas to Colon

Bristol Rose will leave the San Blas Islands at first light Saturday 23rd, 2010. We will overnight at Isla Linton and continue to Shelter Bay Marina, Colon on Sunday 24th, 2010.

We will stay at Shelter Bay until our Canal Transit on January 27/28.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Off the coast of Columbia

Chris Parker announced "uncomfortable, but doable" We sailed into the notorious sea off the coast of Columbia 2 days ago. Jimmy Cornell does not recommend this passage in January. We now know why. Seas very confused and over 10 feet. Winds up to 45 kts. The pattern is for the conditions to moderate during the day then build up during the night. Very uncomfortable for the crew, hard on BR and frustrating to be in such rough conditions, especially at night.

We have be sailing at night with only a double reefed main, flying the yankee during the day. Surfing down the face of waves is making it difficult to keep BR from false jibbing. Power management poor as we are using the auto helm to steer. PC battery is dead and have to use inverter for power.

The damage so far. Snapped the Monitor safety tube, snapped a lug that holds the boom vang, broken china, very tired crew.

We are now 96 nm from the San Blas. Not sure what we will do about anchoring as we arrive after sun set. Will study the charts today.


Friday, January 8, 2010

8 January 2010 - WARC Day 3

Wind right on our tail. Started off with spinnaker. Then moved to Wing and Wing with polled out jib. Monitor could not steer BR with this configuration. Seas caused BR to swing from side to side occasionally backfilling either the main or jib. Lot of noise, broke the point of attachment for the boom vang. Needed to pull done mizzen early, self steering could not steer with it up.

Tonight we expect 20 to 30 kt winds and seas building to 10 ft. sailing only with 130% headsail. Monitor is steering very well however following sea is making for a very rolly ride.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 25th, 2010: Panama Canal Transit

Bristol Rose is scheduled to transit the Canal on Monday the 25th of January, 2010.

We will leave in the afternoon around 5:00pm, uplock into lake and stay the night. The following morning we will down lock into the pacific, completing the transit around lunch time.

You will be able to see us on web cam, click here.

January 6th, 2010: St Lucia to Panama

Bristol Rose will depart with the World ARC from Rodney Bay, Noon January 6th 2010. (this will be a first for BR to depart on such a defined schedule)

The fleet of 40 boats will depart Rodney Bay, sail south to Casteries, then head west to Panama.

Weather forecast is for light(10-15kt) winds and 5-6ft swell. However we will want to monitor conditions off Columbia that have a reputation for high winds and seas. I expect it to take 7-8 days to complete the passage to the San Blas Islands.

Bristol Rose will be fitted with a "Yellow Brick" and you can track her progress here I will also log position reports via the SSB.