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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Change of plan

14 May 2011
Change of plan
In case you were wondering how we fill our time whilst sailing, I thought I'd let you know a few things I think about and do whilst at sea (can't speak for the others!) Whilst on watch, I spend a lot of time looking out to the sea. Looking for other ships, obviously, but also, it's amazing what little things can catch your eye and make you smile. Like a huge shoal of flying fish. Or a butterfly. Or just the light on the sea, depending on the time of day. I don't want to wax lyrical now, but it is nice to have time just to appreciate the moment. And then, when I'm tired of that, I make some bread. Now, I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but toot toot on the bread making front! Loaf after light fluffy loaf on a daily basis. I think I have actually turned into Delia Smith on this trip. I even made some TVP (textured vegetable protein) taste good, in the absence of catching any fish! We've also all been reading a lot; I've got about 6 books on the go at the mo; War and Peace (will I EVER get through it, and why am I trying to in the first place?!) Birds without wings, a bookswap book about Turkey that I am thoroughly enjoying and I reward myself with if I get through a chapter of W and P., a book on navigation, a book on Panama, and one on the Pacific, and then Lochy sometimes lets me read his 5th Harry Potter book with him - The Order of the Phoenix.
Oh, as I was saying, a change of plan. As there has been NO wind again today and we have had the engines on for ages, we are stopping off at Cartegena (Columbia) to re-fuel and depending on whether we have to pay for a cruising permit, maybe spend the day there. We've had to slow down so we don't arrive at night, but should be there at first light. And I haven't even told you about the hour we spent dodging logs last night and the hour of dolphin action....I hope I'm going to have some comments on my blog by the time I arrive tomorrow, otherwise, I'll be mortally offended! Current post: 10.53.37N 75.27.70W

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05/15/2011 | Lucia, Werner, Nina and Lucas
You always should have a plan to be able to change it. We have been very slow going south down the coast of Brazil and hiding from the south wind. We keep having fun reading your blog, keep blogging!
Love form the Kleiner Bears
05/15/2011 | Mel from Samba
Hello Hello! Sounds like your plans change about as often, if not more than ours! Will be interested to see what you have to say about Columbia - are you at Santa Marta or Cartegena? We are thinking of stopping off there
05/15/2011 | Helen
Great as always to hear your journey and lovely to know what you do whilst sailing from place to place, other than the obvious. Take care and looking forward to next instalment
05/15/2011 | rose marie crolla
hi seems like you have had a great time ,island hopping we'e been keenly watching. seems like the jackson cops are aboard (Change Of Plans). never does to be to ridged. lots of love to you all rose marie and gang xx
Wind wind where are you?

13 May 2011

No wind at all today. Engines running all day, one at a time to save fuel. Despite the sea looking more like a lake than the sea, none of us were inclined to jump in, Lochy having spotted another Portuguese man of war today. Instead, Whit, Lochy and Mia had another water fight on the trampoline. We've had lots of dragonfly visitors today, Whit having to wrestle about 10 out of the saloon on his night watch. One of them drowned itself in the cockpit drain, so the kids dried it off and then drew it, its appearance nicely coinciding with the insect page in their science book. Six legs tick, three body parts tick. We can see the coast of Columbia at the moment (a lighthouse in the distance.) Having thought we would be in the San Blas islands in a couple of days, we had an all time low daily log of 98nms in 24 hours, whereas our previous average was 120-140nms a day. I'm not sure if the AIS would be picking us up at the moment anyway, but just in case you were wondering why you couldn't see us, it's because our aerial isn't working at the range it has in the past, and I suspect it has something to do with me being up the mast and pulling on wires shortly before we left Grenada. Another thing to put on the list once in Panama. Current posn: 11.37.84N 74.23.45.W

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A couple of visitors

12 May 2011

Can't believe that the wind completely died for a few hours today and we even had to put the engines on for a wee while. Glad to report, it has come back again, but only about 16 knots - perfect for spinnekars, if only we had one! However, never a dull moment on Pegasus. Mark and I spotted a strange looking creature - bright pink/purple with an inflatable 'sail.' We didn't know what it was, but as the engines were running at the time, we turned the boat round to follow it. Lochy recognised it as a Portuguese man of war, having seen a picture on the front of the 'toxic and venomous marine life of the world' book. Then, after his visit, we got another visit, this time a low fly-by from the Columbian Coastguard, not once, not twice, but four times. Mark tried to hail them on the radio, but they didn't reply. Just now, as Whit was bringing in the lure (he has this strange idea that garlic on the lure will catch more fish) at the end of the day, a little fish almost as big as the lure itself jumped on his line. He was very cute, so we rescued him and put him back where he belonged. Whit is now claiming his garlic lure does work, however, I'm after a slightly bigger variety for the pan. Oh, and we've put the clocks back another hour, as Whit was complaining he didn't get to see the sunrise on his shift anymore! Current position: 12.34.10N 72.53.59W

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The fish that got away

Hmm, after yesterday's blog saying how Mark wouldn't like to re-stitch the spinnekar, we are very sad to report the loss of our beloved spinnekar for a second time. She ripped in a completely different place and under light conditions, so we think she was just tired and old. We don't regret the past four days we've had with her as the sailing's been great fun and we'll miss her bright colours and beautiful looks. Sniff. We're just about half way to our destination that we have decided will be the San Blas islands. We've been reading about them and they look too good to miss. I have a sneaky feeling that if we were to go straight to Panama, we might not be inclined to go back the way we came to visit them, and apparently the immigration people are much nicer there than in Colon. So, we have about 3-4 days sail left on this leg of our trip. Mia's been like a little barometer and picked up on the fact that the swell was coming form a different direction, so has been feeling a little sick today, but at least the trip will be shorter than we originally thought (fingers crossed!)
We put out the lure today as we are down to our last bits of fresh meat, a couple of hours later the reel went whizzing, but before Whit or I could get to it, the line had snapped, so obviously a biggy; we saw some big fish jumping right out of the water just a bit later, just before another dolphin show. It's getting darker later and so soon we will put our clocks back by another hour to be in time with Panama. Now that it's dark, we'll reef down and change direction as we go round the corner, changing from a westerly to a south westerly direction. Current position: 13.00.47N 70.51.69W

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A great day's sail

10 May 2011
We had lovely sailing conditions these last few days and are averaging 120nms a day, which is pretty good for us. The winds have either been light - 12ish - so we can fly our spinnekar and go in the desired direction, or 20ish when we have had to take the spinnekar down (after last trip's lesson of not being greedy and tearing the whole sail) and go maybe a little faster but in the wrong direction. This whole vmg (velocity made good) means it's quicker to go off the rhum line on a faster point of sail, but psychologically, I just like going in the right direction with the spinny flying. We were all reluctant to take the spinnekar down at sunset, but again, we've learned our lesson from the previous experience and Mark would prefer not to have to sew the whole length of the sail again. Our rudders seem to be holding up well, if the autopilot is anything to go by. He seems very happy. Also, our water filter is wonderful - the water tastes great and that's from me who is very fussy when it comes to water. Mia was disappointed when she found out today that the water was only a filter and not a desalinater, that question coming after enquiring why we were using sea water to wash the dishes. Mark has had to make some minor repairs to the duogen and so we are happy that that is working again. We all really like our watch system and are getting into a routine of sleeping in the day to catch up. We've now gone past Bonaire, so are heading straight for Panama. Current position: 12.54.23N 68.40.90W

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Liberation Day on Pegasus

Jersey's Liberation day (liberated from Occupation by Nazi Germany during the Second World War) was spent on Pegasus by eating Jersey bean crock and Jersey royal potatoes. I don't know why I cooked bean crock because only Mia likes it, but I forced everyone to eat it anyway, because I had bought the beans with me from Jersey and was chuffed that I could actually find them today! The Jersey royals were disappointing, largely because they were the tinned variety, however, Mark's meal of roast chicken and fresh veg with them was delicious.
It's been a very quiet day, with little wind (10 knots) Nevertheless, we are using the spinnekar and traveling in the right direction, and even had a brief visit from dolphins again. We've averaged 120nMs per day which is none too shoddy. I have had my first complaint with my new crew. He has won every Backgammon game we have had since he arrived and I am not happy. Does he not know he has to let me win just occasionally just to keep me happy? I'm holding my tongue at the moment, but I'm not sure how long it will be before I have to let him know the rules of the boat. Otherwise, he's very handy on board and has an uncanny capability of talking for one minute on any subject without repetition, hesitation or umming or errring, a game we have recently started to play. Lochy is also good at this game, as long as the subject is dragons or Harry Potter. Anyone who knows me well, knows I can't play this game as I mostly can't finish my sentences, a habit that drives Mark mad. Mark, Whit and the kids are star spotting at the moment with the help of our new constellation book -we've had a couple of amazingly clear nights - long may it continue!

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05/10/2011 | mom and pops
To smooth sailing! We can wait to hear all about it. The stars must be incredible.

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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