Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘2014 Med’ Category

Greetings Everyone,

We left the Canaries on the 13th December and had a good sail but VERY rolly for the first 1250 miles. We only did one sail change, gybed the jib and main from one tack to the other as we were sailing goose-winged (jib out one side and main out the other) all the time as the wind was almost directly behind us. Even though there was only 15-25 knots the sea was totally confused all the time and most uncomfortable. Yesterday (23rd) the wind died and we are now motoring but hope to get some breeze in the next 24 hours as we can’t motor all the way!! We will be half-way tomorrow.

The HF communications have not been very good so our Yotreps reports are not always on time and we have missed a couple.

All is well on board — Bruce’s cooking is going well despite the continuing rolling. We will celebrate Christmas — somehow.

Due to the fact that Pam has been on the move for the past couple of weeks — Glenn’s, Jolly’s, Tim’s, Michelle’s and also the fact that her address book is on board with me and I’m some distance from the nearest post office, there will be no Christmas cards from the Bailey’s this year. This doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate you — just that it is not possible. Consequently, please accept this e-mail as our Christmas cards and have a happy and holy Christmas. Hopefully we will be back in Australia next year and back to some semblance of normal (at least for the Bailey’s).

God bless,

Phil and Bruce.

Read Full Post »

Greetings Everyone,

Well we made it to the Canaries (Lanzarote Island) last Sunday after five days of mixed weather.

Getting through the Gibraltar Straits, which everyone told us was a real problem with head winds, a strong counter current and short sharp seas turned out to be a dream run — no wind, three knots of current against us but almost flat seas. However, that night the wind got up on the nose and we had a couple of days of pretty rough sailing; then the wind died and we motored for a couple of days before sailing the last day with the wind on the quarter and four meter swells. It made for a very rolly day’s sail.

We have spent the week doing some maintenance on the boat, having a look around the capital, Arrecife and provisioning for the Atlantic crossing. The wind has swung around to the south east today and the visibility has really dropped due to the dust from the Sahara. Must be very good for the lungs!!

We leave tomorrow morning for Antigua in the Caribbean and hope to get there in about 24 days or so. It is just under 3000 nautical miles.

Been married 45 years tomorrow.

God bless,

Phil & Bruce

Read Full Post »

Greetings Everyone,

Well we are away at last.  After consulting innumerable weather pages on the internet and hours of discussions with other yacht skippers we ended up with two totally diametrically opposite forecasts for the first day of the trip to the Canaries.  Finally decided to bite the bullet and go at 2.15 pm today (Tuesday).

The stay in Gibraltar was good.  I think we saw just about everything to be seen including a week of wet lousy weather.  We made some good friends the other yachties and hope to catch up with some of them further down the track.  For now, we have about a five day trip to Lanzarote in the Canaries where we will top up our supplies before sailing for the Caribbean.

Would appreciate your prayers for the next few days especially regarding the weather.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce

Read Full Post »

Greetings Everyone,

Finally arrived at Gibraltar last Thursday — well not actually at Gibraltar.  We called in there to refuel ($1.11/ litre as opposed to $2.40 just across the border in Spain) then motored the last half mile to the marina in La Linea in Spain where we are moored.  We have a few jobs to do on the boat before we head off for the Canaries.  However, the weather looks like being lousy for at least the next week so will probably be stuck here for a while.

Gibraltar is a strange place — we walk from Spain through the UK customs (just flash our passport on the way) and then across the runway of the international airport and into the town.  Now and again you have to stop at the edge of the runway to allow a jet to land or take off.  It reminds me of stopping at the Swansea or the Harwood bridges to let yachts through.  We hope to spend a day or two looking at the historic parts of the Rock — miles of tunnels used for defence purposes over the centuries among other things.

Today we found a small church and had a good time with them.  They had quite a good lunch after the service so that was also appreciated.  I told Bruce that saved him cooking me a baked dinner for my birthday today — 40 already, you wouldn’t believe it would you (although Bruce reckons I don’t look a day over 69).  There were a number of Gideon New Testaments in the book shelves at the church and when one of the men started talking to us I asked him if they had a Gideon in the church and it turned out that it was him, so we had a bit of a yarn about Gideons.

There are a few other yachts waiting to do the Canary leg as soon as the weather is OK.  Please pray for wisdom on when to leave and good weather.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce.

Read Full Post »

Greetings Everyone,

Well, the Motorranean Sea has lived up to its name still.  The 400 Nautical Mile trip from Monastir to Mallorca  took four days with the strongest wind being less than five knots and that on the nose.  The only “exciting” part was being apprehended four times during the night sector on the Tunisian coast by their Coast guard/ Customs/ Port Police (hard to tell in the dark) wanting to know something (again hard to tell as they had very little English and we had no French and even less Arabic).  Eventually figured they wanted to know if we had come from Libya.  I kept shouting “Monastir” to them and eventually each lot left us.

We stopped at Colom on Mallorca and went ashore to clear customs but they had none and sent us to Palma.  Sailed to Palma and called up the customs there on VHF — no reply.  Called the port authorities and they told us to go to a marina where we would find customs.  Anchored outside a very up-market marina and went ashore to enquire about customs — they sent us by bus into the main city of Palma but by the time we got there they were closed.  Did some shopping and returned to the boat for the night.

As the weather was still benign we decided to motor the 150 miles to Alicante on the Spanish mainland.  Berthed at the biggest marina there and enquired about customs — come back at 9am tomorrow.  Back at 9am and they didn’t know where we had to go (all the marinas advertise “Customs and Coast Guard available” at their marinas) so after a number of phone calls sent us to the National Police headquarters in town.  A couple of K’s walk and an hour wait in the que revealed that we were at the wrong place.  They sent us to the Port police office another 3 1/2 k walk.  Arrived there to find they had shut for the afternoon siesta and would be back at 4pm.

Found a cheaper marina so shifted the boat there and then returned to the Port Police at 4pm to find they were processing several hundred Algerians embarking on a vessel to go home.  At 6pm we finally got to see the Port Police who, through an interpreter stamped our passports with a visa and said that was all until we clear out of Spain at Gibraltar.

As Bruce said, we spent three days wandering around Spain as illegals and the boat has still not been entered officially!!

Finally left Alicante yesterday (Wednesday) and had a good (read very rough 25-30 knot winds fine on) sail for 90 NM then the wind died and we are now motoring until tomorrow morning when we will anchor some where to shelter from the next westerly blow.  We will only be 50NM from Gibraltar then.  We will certainly be glad to see the last of the Med.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce

Read Full Post »

Skipper’s Update No 1 2014

Greetings Everyone,

No, there has not been a coup!!  Pam got a very bad dose of the flue in Australia and lost a stone in a week.  She was not well enough to sail yet so Bruce Bentley, a yachting friend has “volunteered” to sail with me as far as the Caribbean where Pam hopes to meet us.

We arrived back in Tunisia on Wednesday and had to wait a day in Tunis as my suitcase got lost.  This allowed us to spend some time with some friends in Tunis who showed us around parts of the city.

We got back on board late Thursday night and have been preparing the boat to leave, hopefully tomorrow (Sunday), if the weather forecast is correct.  We will be reporting our position on Pangolin yotreps each day (scroll down to VK2KMT to find Maranatha then click on track).  We will be making for Gibraltar as quickly as the weather permits.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce

Read Full Post »

Greetings Everyone,

My father’s funeral was a celebration of his life and a tribute to him by the many friends and relatives who attended.  Unfortunately all the hectic travelling and the firebox to icebox temperatures took its toll on me and I succumbed to the nasty flu bug that as been devastating NSW this winter.  I have lost a stone (6 kilos) in weight and am only now starting to regain my strength a fortnight later.

So … Phil is going back to Tunisia with Bruce Bentley instead of me.  Bruce and his wife Dianne used to sail their yacht to the Louisiades to do similar work to us and we have a close relationship with them.  Please pray for fair winds and smooth seas and wisdom in passage planning as they head for Gibraltar and then down to the Caribbean where I will meet them sometime in December.  Phil is a bit dubious about facing the new challenges — learing to cook, planning the details of the passage and writing the Admiral’s Update.  Keep them in your prayers especially as time is getting away and the winter storms will be approaching in the Med before too long.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »