Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Askari Position Report 20th November 2018 1500 UTC

27 degrees 42 minutes north, 68 degrees 00 minutes west
sailing at 7.5 knots with 15 knots of wind from the south west

Had the most amazing sailing overnight with a nearly full moon and the brightest shiniest stars I ever saw. Andrew did get hit with a flying fish in the cockpit which he wasn't best pleased about as they really are the most stinky fish in the world.

This morning I woke up about 6.30 to see a large squall approaching. Yay, my watch....

The sky was amazing with these dramatic rain squalls against light blue of the morning. There was one beautiful feather cloud that looked just like a quill dipping into the ink well of the squall - I hope I got a good picture of that one.

Escapade was about half a mile from us and so I grabbed my camera to try and grab some shots of them with the squall behind. As I put the camera away I noticed them furl their foresail - hmmm I'll just stick a turn on the jib. I was monitoring the squall line on the radar and we were still a way off. As I furled the sail the wind picked up so I double reefed that and just got to the main sail when it hit us with 25 knots - a double reefed main all done and we were hurtling into the squall at 8 knots. All good and Andrew is still sleeping (it turns out he was awake but pulled the sheet over his head - thanks mate!)

I radioed Sea Larks and they were already reefing, now I just had to wait for the rain. As usual the other side of the squall the wind died off for about 10 minutes and then we were back underway again. Now he gets up for a cup of coffee!

All very well on board.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Askari Position 18th November 2018 - 1200 local (UTC 1700)

29 degrees 22 minutes north, 69 degrees 51 minutes west
Sailing on a course of 160 degrees magnetic towards the BVIs
Wind East 10-15 knots
Speed over the ground 7 knots

Happy Wedding Anniversary to us! Yay we actually remembered for once…. To celebrate we are back in bathers, Andrew had a shave and I have even washed my hair.

The wind eased off over night and we had a great calm sail from about 10pm onwards. It's amazing that we have still only run the engine for an hour on this whole trip.

This morning the wind has come around more to the East (from north east) and we've followed it on a more southerly course. We have unusual wind on this passage, which we expected to be using fuel to get east. An upper level trough has sat just below our course for the last 3 days creating the north easterly winds we've ha,d in the region of 10-22 knots. Later today we expect to cross it, pick up some squally weather and then get light-ish south to south westerly winds on the other side. Right now it's gloriously warm, we are fishing and have both Escapade of Rame (Oyster 485) and Sea Larks (Catamaran) on our AIS. It's funny as we have been within 20 miles of Escapade since we left - I know for a fact that neither Andrew or Richard would be following each other however they definitely appear to follow the same philosophy and the boats both enjoy sailing into the wind, even in some of the seas we had yesterday.

On our radio net last night, there were a few reports of sea-sick crew, kids and dog- hopefully everyone had the same lovely conditions we had last night and will be a bit more cheerful tonight. I actually don't mind being on the wind as you can get wedged in and plan to do things carefully knowing the boat will stay on one side - yesterday with big square waves was a little more lively certainly though…..

We've been reading, listening to podcasts and sleeping mainly, I have also learned how to get the weather in on the SSB, something I've been meaning to learn for the last 2 and a half years. Andrew went out for deck inspection this morning and all was good, just a couple of spare halyards to tighten up.

So all is very well and we are having a lovely day.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Askari Position Update 1000 local time 18/11/2018

Position 31 degrees 29 minutes north, 072 degrees 18 minutes west.
Sailing at 8.5 knots heading 140 degrees magnetic with 17 to 20 knots out of the north east

Its fast and furious out here this morning, actually most of the night - Askari or course loves it and we are wedged in. We have a double reefed main and full genoa and it's actually comfortable enough.

I'm popular as I just cooked a sausage sandwich.

We haven't had to run the engine and are in serious fuel conservation mode as motoring is expected in the coming days. There's more wind than we expected so are taking the opportunity to use it.

All well on board.

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Askari Position 1200 local time 17th November 2018

Position 33 degrees 7 minutes north 074 degrees 28 minutes west. Sailing in 10 knots of wind from the north east.

We had a great gulfstream crossing over night and sailed all but an hour when the wind was light. It was chilly but sunny all day yesterday and we eased ourselves into passage mode with a customary lasagne for dinner. This morning it's unbelievably warmer - the fowlies are packed back away and its a beautiful day with light fluffy clouds. We are just hoping this wind will hold and we can keep sailing.

All well and happy aboard.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Backstreet Buccaneers heading to the Caribbean

It's been a whirlwind since we got back to Beaufort - first we had to get the depth sounder fixed and Andrew was all over that working with the local Raymarine agent, but it also ended up being a fabulous social time meeting some really lovely cruisers all heading in the same direction - I just love these jumping off spots for this. Two of the boats had abandoned the Caribbean 1500 and others had been waiting like us for the window that suited us - we all found each other in or around the Back Street Pub in Beaufort. We also enjoyed an OCC dinner at Clawsons hosted by Port Officer Dianne who gave each yacht a jar of her fabulous local peanuts.
It was decided we'd get an SSB net going and a coffee meeting was planned to get that arranged. Amazingly all 7 yachts are going roughly in the same direction and all have an SSB radio. We have agreed to be the initial net controllers and we all look set to leave on 16th November for points south.

Mike on Aleta came up with the name Backstreet Buccaneers after the great cruiser pub and the pirate connections in Beaufort- then he designed a logo incorporating their boat dog Marlon. Hats were made and this group is now cemented in cruiser history.

The boats are Aleta, Askari, Escapade, Loon, Lulu, Moonlight Serenade and Sea Larks - we have two others joining from other ports (Rockhopper and Miclo III) and hope to have some fun along the way. It should be around 10-12 days and we will generally head east before approaching the caribbean trade winds. However, we will see what the weather brings

All being well we will provide daily updates via our sail mail to the blog - so come along with us back to the warmth of the Caribbean.

Buccaneers send off last night at the Backstreet Pub