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.