Made It To Annapolis
Sorry for waiting a week to post just got cought up with being home!
Day 8 Golf Stream! Annapolis Passage
According to the surface temperatures downloaded from the SSB we are on the wall of the gulf stream and the current that we are in is reflecting that observation. For the last 4 hours we have been flying by at 8kts knocking off nautical mile after mile. I am hoping that the wind remains with us as we make a dash for the Chesapeake bay 120 nautical miles away. Based on the weather out look we are facing light winds as enter we Chesapeake Bay which means more motoring. It sure would be a joy to sail the remaining 100 miles up the Chesapeake under a spinnaker but mother nature will tell us soon. I must say, now that we are days from finally having Dragonsbane back to were she began is a moving experience in its self. In a few days the sailing loop around the world will be total complete from every aspect of what it takes sail around the world. So what is next?
current position: 34* 41.3’N, 74* 37.2’W, SOG 7.8kts, COG 349*M, WS 14kts, Swell -1 meter, Current speed 1.2kts, 1022mb
Day 7 Passage to Annapolis “ETA”
The weather is beginning to lighten up and we have roughly 439nm go. In about hundred fifty miles we will be entering the the famous gulf stream current that runs from the south to the north along the east coast of the USA. As long as the wind stays out of the south the 100 miles of current should be crossed in favorable conditions. Still working our 4 hour shifts on and off with my Dad, but looking forward to our arrival.
Current Position: 20:42UTC, 32* 15.2’N, 73* 28.7’W, SOG 6.4kts, COG 352*M, WS 15kts NNE, Swell 2meters, CLoudy, 1026MB
Day 6 Passage to Annapolis “Bit of Chop”
Well the wind has changed to our beam and the swell has come around too. Sense this mid-morning we have been having the joy of falling off random swell and taking green water over the deck. Its is a bit of fun though, we are maintaining 8kts bashing our way to Chesapeake Bay. Lets just say brushing your teeth became a full contact sport this morning. Another good thing is we are outrunning the tropical low south of our position for now, time will tell.
Current Position: 20:19UTC 29* 31.9’N, 72* 20.7’W, SOG 8.4kts, COG 000*M, WS 19kts, Swell 1-2Meters, Cloudy, 1024MB
Day 5 Voyage to Annapolis
Passed several ships in the last 24 hours as we fight the swell and headwind’s. Luckily in the last hour or so the wind has clocked enough for us to sail in a north westerly direction but still not straight for the Chesapeake Bay. I will continue to keep my fingers crossed that we will still arrive this coming weekend. Hopefully things will improve, at least the weather is becoming cooler as we head north.
Current Position: 20:08utc 26* 58.1’N, 71* 12.3’W, SOG 4kts, COG 340*M, WS 14kts @ 010*NNE, Swell 1-2 meters
Day 4 Passage to Annapolis MD
In the early morning we experienced a large thunderstorm with lots of lightening. Proceed with squalls and heavy rain that has been following our slow move toward our destination. Currently the wind has slowed down to only 12kts and swell is a meter or less. That would be great but the only problem is that the wind and swell is in the wrong direction! We are currently motoring into the wind and waves make a very slow speed of 4.5kts, o well at least we will have warm water. I hope that tomorrow morning the low pressure system to the north of our position will have moved enough east to change the wind and let us sail. I would love to be on shore in a week or less but who knows at this rate.
Current Position: 21:08UTC 25* 42.2’N, 70* 11.2’W, WS 12kts@330*, Swell -1m, overcast and thunder! SOG 5kts, COG 352*M
Day 3 Voyage To Annapolis
Not to much to chat about other then the weather being very nice and good wind. Seems though that a gale is forming below our position and above our position. Looks like depending on our speed we may have to button up the hatch’s one last time before I am through making this final passage with my dad. I told my dad 25kts of wind is good sailing weather, 35kts is great fun but uncomfortable, 45kts is shity weather, 55kts is the point were you ask why you sail, 65kts and up you just kiss your ass good by. Just have a blast sailing in it and don’t worry about the out come.
Well here’s to another day at sea Cheers!
Current Postion: 23:15UTC 24* 01.05’N, 69* 21.04’W, SOG 6kts, COG352*M, Swell 1-2 meters, WS 18kts
Day 2 Atlantic Ocean
Well making slow progress as our wind speed goes up and down like a roller coaster. The swells are changing from south west to south east making it more possible for them to crash over the rial and soaking us as we sail on watch. It is very muggy and hot, I am already for this little voyage adventure to be finished but it looks like 8 more days. Looks like a 1.2kts counter current we are working against too, hopefully that will change soon.
Current Postion: 21* 29.2’N, 68* 21.8’W, UTC19:58, WS 18kts @180*M, COG 330, SOG 5kts, Really HOT!
Once again on the ocean reaching for the far off horizon. I am surprisingly more comfortable not seeing land right now then I am back home siting on the couch watching TV or running around town. But as wonderfully as it is to see dolphin playing next to Dragonsbane once again, the pains of sailing in light wind and pitch poling well we go dead down wind is maddening. I hope that we will make landfall in 10 to 12 days we will see.
Current Location: 19deg 52.7min N, 66deg 48.2min W. SOG 5kts, COG 330deg-M, WS-12kts, WH 1meter
Getting Underway to Annapolis MarylandThought I should share this picture of Dragonsbane getting ready to sail 1500nm. In the back ground is a freighter loaded with sailboats for America. I guess we are not all the same kind of sailors.
Hello Again “Sailing To Annapolis”
Hello again, it has been a few months sense I arrived back in the Caribbean Sea and not its time to make one last passage on Dragonsbane for at least myself Jacques. My dad Dale has asked me to help him sail from the St. Thomas US Virgin Island to Annapolis Maryland. My friend Carry as most you know will not make this trip so my dad and I will be making the voyage short handed. We plan on heading 1500 nautical miles straight to the Chesapeake Bay and then land in Annapolis. The current weather conditions look ok starting out in lit wind conditions and will increase throughout the 10 to 14 day passage. I will try and update you all as we make our way.
Final Passsage Break Down
Our total distance traveled from Cape Town South Africa was 6012 nautical miles. We used 15 gallons of fuel which works out to be 400 miles/gallon. We sailed for a total of 921 hours sleeping for 4 hours and then awake for 4 hours. That’s a average boat speed of 6.5 knots per hour. We saw 6 ships during our Atlantic crossing other then that it was all ocean. We broke one halyard, chafed through 9 sheets, blew out five panels in our spinnaker, ripped the drifted head sail, bent two snap shackles, lost two foil screws, fridge thermometer shorted out, spinnaker pole cats paw ripped out, leaked entire bottle of propane, throttle cable control broke, and beat the hell out of our bodies. All items above were repaired under sail and are functioning still. Cary and I both lost 20 pounds each and feel get. We ate almost everything aboard and landed in the BVI with just pasta and nasty can food. Our average wind speed was 22.3 knots, wave height 2 meters, and the biggest wave we saw was the two that broke over the top of the dodger. Our dodger is 10 feet from the water. Had dozens of waves wash over the entire for deck. All in all it was a great time.
Day 39 Passage to BVI “Back to the Beginning”
Its so unreal to be sailing back were I began two and half years ago. Its been a long haul and I am excited to have this 40 day passage under my belt. Cary and I are about 70 miles from Virgin Gorda BVI. We should make a landfall sometime tomorrow morning and hopefully clearance formalities will be painless. We are looking forward to enjoy a beer, burger, and then sleep for 8 hours straight for the first time in over a month. The wind is a bit on the lite side so I hope we can keep up our speed but we will see.
Current Position: 22:06UTC, 17deg 51.2min N, 63deg 29.7min W, SOG 6kts, COG 314deg-M, WS 10 -20kts, Swell <1m, DR 67.9, 1017mb
Jacques & Cary
Day 37 Passage to BVI “Almost to Land”
Well its looking good for a landfall arrival on Thursday after noon. We are pushing up the windward side of the leeward Islands. We will enter into the Caribbean Sea north of Antigua and it should be a straight line to Virgin Gorada Island. We are making good time but dealing with a spattering of Squalls and micro gust that are making life hard. On a good note we caught a Mahe Mahe fish and had a great dinner.
Current Position: 22:11utc, 16deg 55.3min N, 61deg 0.2min W, SOG 7.5kts, COG 315deg, WS 18 to 26kts NE, Swell 2 to 3 meters, DR220nm, 1018MB
Day 35 Voyage To BVI “35 Days At Sea”
It is hard to believe that we have been at sea for 35 days. Today has been much like the last week but the wind has increased and we have been getting gust up to 28 knots making things more uncomfortable then normal. Cary and I are looking so much to landfall in 5 days “fingers crossed” of course. Our food, water, and propane is looking to be in good shape although our food is very basic now, mostly pasta/rice. All the frozen meat is gone but one peace of ostrich filet. For a fun snack I have tea with some sugar and cinnamon spread out on rice. We have started fishing again but the ocean is covered in a tan/green seaweed that gets snagged on the lure every two seconds so I will try again once that changes. Other then the above we read more books, dream of our first meal on land, and try to work out. ALl is well on board.
Current Position: 22:12UTC, 14deg 13.2min N, 55deg 37.7min W, SOG 8.4kts, COG 305deg-M, WS 22-28kts, Swell 2 to 4 meters,
Jacques & Cary
Day 32 “Hammering Forward”
Once again the waves and wind have decided to increase to unfavorable heights. The waves pound into the side of Dragonsbane like the blacksmith hammer into hot steel with a sudden stop from a iron anvil fighting back against the hammer. The noise is like a thundering clap and as I sleep with my body along the hull of Dragonsbane I can feel the fiberglass flex inward as Dragonsbane rushes down waves. Sheer momentum of Dragonsbane against the ocean makes it seem like a fright train stressing to its limits only slowing up when it meets a new wave. On the top side the water sprays out from port and starboard making even more noise. For the person in the cockpit will observe the spectacle of the night as the moon shines bright and lights the bioluminescent that spark blues and greens. It is as if we sail through black liquid only to turn it up into a rainbow of colors as it continues to spray every witch way. I sit looking at the next few days of weather and see even stronger winds and higher waves. I crack my neck, roll my knuckles and try to relax my stressed muscles from sleeping 4 hours on 4 hours off for the last 32 days copulating the things to come. I close my eyes and realize that this is the dream, the adventure a young boy once dreamt, a real reality that is now happening. I am so close to the end that I hope it will not be the finally end but the humbling of the lion that has been in me for years. It may be only the start of something more because once you have flown so close to the sun you only want to go fast and higher. Were shall I go and who should I meet next who knows but I go!
Current Position: 23:21utc. 10deg 11.0min N, 47deg 51.4min W
All time best distance traveled in 24 hour run to date, in the last 24 hours we have sailed 191 nautical miles.
Day 31 At Sea “Happy New Year!”
Its been another year and once again I am out in the middle of the ocean. It looks like we are about 9 days from landfall if all goes well making it a total of 40 days at sea sailing nonstop from South Africa. We finally made it out of the really big waves and counter current. We are now screaming along at 8 to 9 knots under full canvas with the aid of a 1 knot current that should bring us very close to the Caribbean Islands. The mood on board is much better today even if we submerged Dragonsbane twice under some rouge waves but blasted right out from under them, great fun. Not sure on the hight because they both broke over the top of our binimi canopy at the cockpit, we both needed a good bath anyway.
I will be ringing in the new year roughly 800 nautical miles from shore with a shot of Rum and my good friend Cary. I have been taking the day and reflecting on the past year and remembering the good and the bad. Things I am still sad about is a broken heart, and disagreements with a person close to my heart but I choose to leave it at that. Things that I am happy about is the journey that will soon come to a end. In the last year I have sailed from New Zealand to South Africa and currently working on completing my around world sail voyage as we speak that has lasted over 2 years now. I have sailed to 9 more countries, bungy jumped, climb volcanos,scuba dived ship wreaks, hiked over mountains,through island tropical forest, met new people and learned about new cultures. I have been pushing myself this past year and only have a few regrets but that’s called living. As for the future I will try loving myself more, love my family more, love my friends more and work harder on things that matter to me. I wish you all a Safe and Happy New, God Bless!
PS. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog.
Current Position: 22:40utc, 8deg 54.9min N, 45deg 19.0min W,SOG 8.6kts, COG 316deg, Swell 2 to 3 meters, 1014MB, DR 1,265NM
Day 29 Passage to BVI “Bad Current”
For the last day and half we have been fighting a 1 to 2 knot counter current that is right on our nose. This counter current is slowing us down by 1 to 2 kts and it is very hard to deal with. Dragonsbane sounds like it is ripping through the water as if we were doing 7 to 8 kts but when you look at the actual speed over ground we are doing 4.8 or 5 knots. We are hopping that as we struggle our way 700 nautical miles off the coast of South America we will finally get out of this stupid counter current. We have been averaging 110 nautical miles in a 24 hour period which is just dreadful in the 20 to 25 knots of wind pushing us. We should be making 140 to 160 nautical miles per day but I guess we have to pay our due to the ocean. Looking ahead the North Atlantic East Trade winds are going to build up to 25 knots with 10 to 15 foot waves. This is a bummer because we will be taking all the waves on our beam based on our current course. BUt all is well on board and looking forward to finishing up the next two weeks.
Current Postion: 22:17utc 6deg 15.1min N, 40deg 35.8min W, SOG 4.6kts, COG 324deg, WS 22kts, Swell 2 meters, -2current, Overcast, DR 1588nm, 1014mb
28 Days At Sea “Squalls”
Over the last three days we have been fighting our way through the lite air and squall filled ocean. This lovely area of the Atlantic ocean we are currently in is the doldrums which is a stretch of ocean near the equator that has very little wind. Luckily we have been getting low winds of 8 kts to high winds of 25 knots and is staying on our beam to stern starboard as we continue to the Caribbean BVI’s. The problem with doldrums is the amount of sail changing that needs to be done to keep Dragonsbane moving safely and on course. In any given 4 hour shift the sails may be change 2 to 6 times because of the continuing squalls that plague the area we sail in. Our worst squall so far was two days ago. It began in the morning around 10am and continued with heavy rain and 20 knots of wind that swirled from bow to stern along our starboard side for 8 hours. We had been running our lite drafter head sail on a spinnaker pole making way at 5 kts but do to the length of the squall we were in and the bluster winds I decided to drop the drift headsail and switch with our heaver cruising sail.
I waited till the winds died down to 18kts and the rain slowed a bit to allow us to see what was going on. Cary and I came up with our plan and dropped the pole and drifted with out a problem. I stuffed the drifter into a sail bag and dropped it below. We then prepped the headsail, Cary would feed the sail into the foil track and I would grind the winch hoisting the sail. I put Dragonsbane on a pinch course to the wind to make hoisting the sail easier. The wind picked up to 22 kts and I wanted to take advantage of the wind so I proceed with hoisting the sail. The sail went up with no problem except for the last 6 feet of sail. The luff cord on the front edge of the sail that feeds into the foil groove jumped the foil track and was jammed. Cary told me to release the the halyard so I did dropping the sail 10 feet, Cary managed to get the sail un-jammed and working again. I winch the sail up again and once again the sail popped out of the track. Cary could not get the sail un-jammed and at this point the sail was flogging violently shaking the whole boat and rigging. I went forward to help and saw the luff cord had ripped a bit and would catch on the feeder when you tried to take the sail down. SO now we could not raise the sail or take it down. I decided to roll the sail up and did so wrapping the sheets around the sail. This was a big mistake. The wind pulled the lose sail off the fuller and began flogging uncontrollable. The sheets were now swing at our heads hitting both Cary and I in the face and body. The sheets wrapped around the sail now knotted and I could not unroll the sail now. Dragonsbane now crashed up and down in the swell and heavy wind. The headsail banged, and slapped the haul of the boat. From cranking on the winch so much I was out of energy and Cary tried to control the sheets from hitting us. But I managed to free the sheets from around the head stay. I then ran down below grab a screw driver and unscrewed the foil feeder from the foil. Cary released the halyard and the sail dropped to the deck and into the sea. I pulled with everything I had to get the sail out of the ocean as it filled up. Cary ran forward jamming his toe and helped pull the rest of the sail to the deck. We lashed the sail to the rail and hoisted the Staysail instead. We were exhausted from the 30 minute ordeal. We are now battling a 1 knot counter current under full sail and makeing slow progress as the squalls still swirling around us and soak our already soggy souls and sails.
Current Position: 22:43UTC 5deg 18.9min N, 38deg 52.2min W, SOG 4.7kts, COG 320deg-m, Swell 1M, WS 14kts, 1012MB, Overcast/Rain
Jacques & Cary
Day 24 Passage to Caribbean “Equator Crossing”
Happy to finally be back in the northern hemisphere, but it is hoooooooot! We crossed the equator at 14:00 today and are working our way to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. We hoping to be there in 17 days. Right after the sun went down today I made out what looked like Santa’s reindeer crossing the Atlantic ocean. I am pretty sure because his running lights were blinking the song Jingle Bells and he winked at us in the ocean well calling us crazy laughing all the way. I laughed back because he was wearing a speedo as he crossed the hot trophic’s, I don’t blame him because I am about there. So if your one of those kids waiting for Santa he is on his way.
Merry Christmas Everybody and God Bless!
Jacques & Cary
Current Position: 18:33utc, 0deg 25.0min N, 30deg 44.1min W, SOG 5.8kts, COG 344deg-m, WS 10kts, Swell <1m, DR 2297nm, 1010MB
Day 22 Passage to Carribbean “Boredom”
HI! it has been 22 days of non-stop sailing action. Most of the sailing action is rocking from side to side causing a little bit of stress or humor if you laugh at what happens. By funny I mean watching Cary or myself chase stuff around the cabin or cockpit as we get tossed around, it can be a real challenge especially when its a kitchen knife. Its funny out here in the middle of the ocean watching dolphins swim by, falling stars, crazy schools of flying fish running into the side of boat, and squalls because I am so bored. I joke with Cary and ask him to change the dam channel as I look out over the ocean. All you can see to the end of the horizon is many shades of blues with white clouds. In the last week we have seen two ships. Luckily the weather has been outstanding and we just sail along at 6.3kts. Based on my outlook schedule for landfall we are still on track for a mid-day landfall on January 9, 2015 but who knows what will happen in the next 19 days. I guess the hardest problem we have to deal with is our limited supply of LPG “propane” so making snacks is out of the question. Not to add to the problem but all our popcorn went bad so we had to toss even that into the ocean. Also all the snacks we did bring are now all gone except for a few, mostly jerky that I bought and you can only eat so much of that. Some snacks we could eat but in the event that we run out of propane we will have those items to eat because you don’t have to cook them. So for snacks we make a extra cup of rice when we make dinner or couscous. I just add some kind of sauce and bam you have a really bad snack but its better then chewing on you thumb. But all in all it is amazing to look at the chart and see how far we have come. We have sailed 3,329 nautical miles as of this afternoon and only 2614 nautical miles to go. I haven’t had to run the engine except to dodge a ship at night that was asleep at the helm so we are getting great gas mileage. Right now I am at 1/2 gallon per 3,329 nautical miles not bad, i should sell green credits to big companies. Our fresh water is holding up and we are looking good there too. Anyway I am looking forward to watching for some reindeer flying by here in a day or so. That should be a great sight to see, I will let you know that minute I do. Well I guess I will go back to doing pushups, pull ups, sit ups, and I may read another novel too.
Current Position: 02:33UTC, 2deg 16.1min S, 27deg 44.9min W, SOG 5.9kts, COG333deg, WS 10kts, Swell <1 meter, 1013MB, DS2600 NM, Sunny & Hot!
Marry Christmas Everybody,
Day 20 Passage to BVI “Slowly We Go”
The weather has been very nice and is now becoming more organized. We do get low flying clouds that add a few extra knots of wind and makes flying the spinnaker a bit exciting. We have flown the spinnaker for about 48 hours and early this morning we had to change it up with a head sail. Looking forward at the weather it looks like we may have wind to cross the doldrums hopefully and then the wind picks up to 20 plus knots in the northern hemisphere. That extra bit of wind should push us quickly up to the BVI. Systems on Dragonsbane seem to be holding together for now other then chaffing through head sail sheets but I guess that happens when you sail 24/7. Currently making contact with another ship off our starboard. The ship is not transmitting a AIS signal so extra care will be given to this vessel until we are clear of her, always a fun game at night.
Current Position: 22:09utc, 5deg 51.6min S, 23deg 19.1min W, SOG 7kts, COG 314deg-M, WS 12.5kts, Swell<1m, cloudy sky, 1014MB, DR-2852nm
Jacques & Cary
Day 16 Passage “Snapped a Halyard”
Not such a bad day today as we make our way I produced 30 gallons of fresh water with the water maker. I also topped up the batteries and charged our laptops too. Its funny when you complete the above taskes its like having fresh laundry folded and put away. BUt the sad news is last night around 2am our headsail halyard snapped at the mast head and the jib sail fell into the ocean. We had to struggle to get the sail back on deck and then used our secondary jib halyard to raise it back up. Looks like I will be climbing up the mast when we get a calm day to fish the halyard back through the mast, fun stuff. I also did a look ahead based on our current average speed of 6 kts. We should arrive in the BVI in 24 days 8 hours, fingers crossed.
Current position: 17:04utc, 11deg 52.9min S, 15deg 08.1min W, SOG 5.8kts, COG 335deg-m, Swell <2meters, WS 12kts, DR 3,456NM,1014MB
Day 15 “Sailing On the Salty Razor”
Its been two years of liven on the edge of a dream, reality, and the dark salty sea. Instead of a slug crawling across a razor I am on Dragonsbane rocking and rolling along its salty sharpened edge. For months on end I have sailed through squalls, and storms that foam with roaring shrill . Whistle winds that sound more like a freight train then butterfly wings. Blood filled with adrenaline for days till my stomach aches. Sailing on this tight rope, holding together and repairing my Dragonsbane I only hope to make to the next port.
I have Thirty Five Thousand nautical miles to go! I dream of fare winds, star nights, and sunny days to put my mind at ease. But as I write the clouds are dark, my jib sheets groan, my heart quickens, and the sea roars. For tonight I go into the dark night that shrouds my sight. With only hope to see me through to the sight of day I go with fear and fright to accompany my night.
After hours of icy dark night a light is cast through the shadows. The sun rises and shows the sight of angry sea around me. I am not afraid anymore, for I made it through another night on the salty razor. God give me strength and courage for next 35 nights as I live the dream!
Current Position: 19:05utc, 13deg 06.8min S, 13deg 13.4min W, SOG 6.7kts, COG 329deg-M, WS 15kts, Swell <2m, 1015MB, ALL IS WELL On BOARD!