Swimming with Turtles in the Anchorage

After two nights in Les Saintes it was time to creep a bit farther up the Windward Island chain to the main island of Guadelupe. As Les Saintes is officially part of Guadelupe we had already completed the customs and immigration formalities. We stopped and anchored off the town of Basse Terre for a few hours and took the tender into the commercial dock to visit the ATM and get a French Digitel Simm for the phone.  We then set off for our overnight destination, the anchorage near Pigeon Island, a marine park originally associated with Jaques Cousteau the legendary french underwater film maker, diver, conservationist and co-developer of the aqualung.  The anchorage, in the bay by Pte Malendure

A Touch of Brittany in the Caribbean

After a short stop over in the laid back Prince Rupert Bay at the north west corner of Dominica we made the hop to Les Saintes, a small archipelago just south of the main island of Guadelupe.  After crossing the channel from Dominica, with 15 to 20 knot trades on our starboard beam, we navigated through Passage Sud Ouest and made our way round to the anchorage in the main settlement, Bourg Les Saintes. The town, with a history of sail making, has a Breton village feel and is set on a beautiful bay sheltered from the northerly swells and easterly winds.  Just 18 miles from Dominica but a completely different vibe. Certainly more affluent and prosperous, and the gallic atmosphere is unmistakea

Beauty and Devastation in Dominica

Quickly after arriving in the anchorage in Roseau, Robin, who was acting as the 'Sailing Santa' from St Lucia, made contact on the VHF. The next day we went up into the hills, with Robin, Nicholas and Jacinta his crew and Kai from the Charity in Mahaut, to see at volcanic crater lake. We enjoyed welcome walk in the forest and saw the early evidence of the regrowth after hurricane damage from Irma and Maria in late 2017.  Noonsite - Dominica Hurricanes.  We then had a hot bath in the natural sulphur springs on the way to the Mission in Mahaut. In Mahaut we met the charismatic Pastor and her daughter Deborah who are carrying out tireless and selfless work helping orphaned children and those st

Sad to Leave St Lucia

On the evening of 14th December the time came for the ARC+ crew to part company. Giles, Ray and their families are heading back to the Pembrokeshire and Bristol and Jo, Freddie and I are heading up to Dominica with Moana. It's been epic, a wonderful adventure, with all of us feeling bonded as a team with ourselves and Moana. Yet, each of us has been personally affected in our own way by the crossing. It sort of crept up on us as a life changer!  Huge thanks to Giles and Ray who will soon be back in the Hope & Anchor in Tenby dreaming of life beyond Caldey and a flying fish in the ear! So, weighing anchor in Rodney Bay, we're heading north towards Dominica. The plan is to meet Robin on the Ca

Moana Scoops 3rd in Class A

After the ARC+ team adjusted the Rally Results for the handicaps and engine use, Moana came in 3rd in Class A. Wow, how did that happen?? We stoically refused to use our motor and sailed the entire length of both Legs of the ARC+. We wanted to sail the Atlantic, not motor, or motorsail, a bit of it. After coming in 16th out of the entire fleet of 72 yachts we were elevated to 10th after the adustments and 3rd in the 21 Class A cruiser group. As in Leg 1, we were the fastest of the 3 Oysters, coming in ahead of Nikitoo (OY625) and Princess Aguella (OY55). We had such a great spirit on board and this was the icing on the cake after such and amazing experience. What and achievement. Moana's

An Early Birthday Party is Just Great!

Today Maxim, from La Diala, and I had an early Birthday Party. He is 5 on the 23 December and I'm 10 on the 18th December. As we are all going our our separate ways across the Caribbean from this Thursday our parents organised and early Party including two cakes with candles. Some of our best friends from the ARC+ came along to celebate and eat lots of cake of course. It's going to be quite sad saying goodbye to everybody on Thursday. We now have to make room for the boats still arriving from the main ARC rally and it is the right time to move on to explore other islands. Some yachts will go south to St Vincent and the Grenadines, while others, like us on Moana, will head north. We are pl

A Ocean in One Leap - ARC+ Leg 2

It's incredible! An experience which defies adequate description. More of a feeling of mutual acknowledgement within all of us that this is a momentus achievement in our lives and that we will never quite be the same again (in a good sense!) or look at the ocean and sky in the same way from now on. Taking the 'Great Circle' route from the start we were caught in the light airs and the wind shadow of Santa Antao. After 24hrs we were 67th in the fleet of 72, but we wanted to sail the whole way again, which will be around 2100nm this time. As predicted by ARC+ weather and our GRIB file download, the wind duly arrived soon afterwards from the north east. From the frustrating clanking of rigging

Leg 1 - We've done it!

After 6 days and nearly 1000nm at sea we've made it to Mindelo. We're all buzzing. What an achievement and a brilliant start to the adventures. Despite the light airs at the start we've stuck to our guns, kept the engine quiet, and sailed all the way from Las Palmas. The spirits are high and the food on board has been superb. Tuna Sandwiches extraordinaire from Giles and Ray's on the case with our fluid intake from our initialled water bottles. No cases of 'real' sea sickness and Freddie's a fully fledged Sea Dog already. We have had a few bites on the fishing lures, but due to the boat speed it has been difficult to land any of the fish, especially the spectacular Mahi Mahi. Something bit

ARC+ Leg 1 'The Start'

The big day has arrived and we are at the start line for the ARC+ 2018. We're novices, in fact 1st timers, at this stuff so we are a respectible last (we think) in the fleet soon after the start! Oh well, let's get on it....... afterall its a Rally not at Race! Everyboby is in great spirits albeit a touch apprehensive of what lies ahead of us. So far so good. #SYMoana

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