Little Green Boat

Spruce left the UK in 2011, arrived in SE Asia during 2015. Finished land/air touring in Asia. Afloat again and getting ready to head east to Raja Ampat and on to Japan and Alaka in 2018.

10 September 2009 | Enseada da Abra - Madeira
05 September 2009 | Madeiran Archipelago
04 September 2009 | Madeira Archipelago
04 September 2009 | On Passage to Porto Santo.
03 September 2009 | En route to Madeiran Archipelago
31 August 2009 | En route to Madeiran Archipelago
28 August 2009 | Lisbon - Unlit Quarter
23 August 2009 | Rio Tejo (River Tagus) and Lisbon
22 August 2009 | Just North of Entering Approaches to River Tagus (Rio Tejo)
22 August 2009 | 12 Miles South of Isla da Berlenga
21 August 2009 | Nazare - Portugal
19 August 2009 | Approaching Cabo Mondego
18 August 2009 | Porto in Portugal
16 August 2009 | Heading towards Leixoes
14 August 2009 | Viano do Castelo
14 August 2009 | At the Spanish - Portuguese Border
13 August 2009 | Bayona - Ria Vigo - Galicia - Espana

Polynesian Style Canoeing in Micronesia

18 February 2018 | Colonia - Yap - Federated States of Micronesia
Andy & Sue
Three evenings per week, the local Yap Paddlers meet to take two French Polynesian outrigger canoes for an outing. The traditional local canoes are made from wood, although very similar in concept. The wooden examples require more maintenance than these GRP examples brought from Tahiti. Photo shows Andy learning the knack of maintaining a stroke when the foremost paddler shouts "Hutt." and the crew behind respond with "Ho." This is to coordinate the seven person crew when the side on which the paddle is used is switched, and one's leg position is simultaneously changed. It is quite surprising how fast these slender craft can be propelled when the whole crew synchronise their efforts. There is a short video clip, see link below....

Click Here to Play Video...

18 February 2018
Here is a dawn view from the local hill overlooking the harbour. A ship is departing from the wharf area; to the right of the peninsula is where Spruce is anchored. On the peninsula and the immediate hinterland is the town of Colonia, the main town on the island of Yap. Elsewhere are much smaller villages.
Canoeing is an activity that supplements our frequent hikes up a local hill (from where this splendid view can be had) and along the local stone pathways. Our get-fit programme is coming along nicely. Often a tropical climate is uninspiring for physical exercise and the absence of definite trails makes it difficult to engage in meaningful hikes. Here in Yap, a regular trade wind breeze and the surrounding ocean maintains a bearable temperature. Next week we shall walk the ancient Tamilyog trail.

18 February 2018
From the same vantage point, this is a view to the northeast. The middle of the three finger-bays on the left is where we anchored for the recent tropical depression. Within Yap the waterways, the seabed and the reefs are all privately owned. The inheritance laws apparently make it difficult to know who owns where. This is not ideal for a visiting yacht that may need to shelter from bad weather at short notice. The previous photograph that pictures Colonia also shows the zone over which the Harbour Master has control. The water to the left of the Peninsula is around 30-metres deep, to the right is around 13-metres deep but contains many shallower reefs. The shallower zone is also exposed to any wind from between slightly east of south and southeast. Beyond the departing ship, the fringing reef can be seen.

Glad to See the Back of It!

10 February 2018 | Carina's Typhoon Anchorage - Yap - Federated States of Micronesia
Andy & Sue
This morning the weather is grey and rainy, but smiles are abundant aboard Spruce today. The middle of the night brought gusty winds, rainsqualls but nothing beyond a typical English Channel summer-depression. Tropical-Depression-02 past to the south of us (180-miles), more than double the earlier predicted distance, and it had not intensified as much as originally thought. The picture shows this morning’s position at the start of the dark blue-line well south of our position. This line shows the latest predicted track. We are quite surprised at the wide variation in potential tracks that come from successive prediction cycles. These beasts are clearly very unpredictable.
The research done before we came here, indicates we have probably had an atypical experience. These disturbances rarely form in February, but sometimes they do. Usually they start much further east, so have intensified more by the time they reach our longitude; La Nina conditions have pushed cold water from Central America and out into the Central Pacific, causing the warmer water zone for cyclogenesis to be farther west. Although, the few out of season systems over the last 40-years were shown as passing along this southern route at up to 250-miles south of Yap, so that was typical.
This morning’s forecast has predicted intensification will now take place. The Tropical Depression has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm and is now estimated to pass just south of Pulau (200 miles to the east) at 4pm local time today; earlier predictions had it moving north of them. They are now forecast to suffer 55-knots Gusting 70-knots. The maximum winds predicted are when the system will be 90-miles from a landfall in the Southern Philippines, where the winds are forecast to be 75-knots and Gusting 90-knots. We have been pardoned, but our thoughts are with the people over to the East, some of whom will have very unpleasant weather coming their way.
Thank you to all our family, friends and readers who have provided wonderfully supportive messages during this quite worrying period, we very much appreciated reading them.

Ready and Waiting

09 February 2018 | Carina's Typhoon Anchorage - Yap - Federated States of Micronesia
Andy & Sue
Spruce is moved and now anchored in the sheltered location arranged by Glen. A tandem anchor of 20Kg is laid out ahead of the main 35Kg anchor with an additional 85m of chain veered in a water depth of 15-metres. The photo shows our tandem anchor prepared on the foredeck and connected to the main bower anchor located in the bow roller. We need more practice at using this arrangement before we arrive in northern waters later this year, the last time we used it was several years ago.
The latest tracking report is giving maximum winds of only 35kn gusting 45kn and we are tucked behind a low peninsula. All is looking good. Even if the approaching weather system does strengthen above the present forecast. This close to its arrival-time and our confidence in the predictions not changing too much is improving.

09 February 2018
It is interesting to look at our plot of weather updates. Forecasting weather is clearly a more sophisticated science than in the pre-satellite era. In spite of refined models, there are still many uncertainties. The four coloured plot lines show the predicted tracks over the past 24 hours. Our location is shown by the red blob. Yesterday morning the green line was the expectation. At six-hour intervals, the updates showed the yellow line, followed by the grey-line and this morning’s update gave us the red line: a closest point of approach of 60-miles. Once the disturbance moves beyond Palau (the island shown bottom left) it is forecast to intensify further to 50kn gusting 65kn as it approaches the Southern Philippines. Not so good for them but we are relieved it is not now expected to become more intense until it is past Yap.
For now, we just wait until the peak winds, whatever they may be. They are due to arrive at approximately 1am local time on Sunday morning. These things always seem to happen in the middle of the night, why is that?
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-16 brought us north into Asia. The past few years cruising has enabled us to visit many countries, meet lots of interesting people and to understand the world a little better.
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Spruce's Photos - Main
Sorong and Misool
71 Photos
Created 14 December 2017
West Papua
98 Photos
Created 18 November 2017
116 Photos
Created 18 November 2017
41 Photos
Created 26 August 2017
SailMalaysia Rally 2
103 Photos
Created 26 August 2017
119 Photos
Created 26 August 2017
108 Photos
Created 20 July 2017
89 Photos
Created 18 June 2017
118 Photos
Created 18 June 2017
Cruising Anambas Islands Indonesia during May 2017.
85 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Vietnam. Life on the River.
102 Photos
Created 5 March 2017
We spent a week in Campodia, mainly to see the wonders of Angkor Wat.
118 Photos
Created 16 February 2017
24 Photos
Created 12 August 2016
81 Photos
Created 28 June 2016
112 Photos
Created 18 June 2016
17 glorious days in Nepal, starting in the Katmandu valley.
114 Photos
Created 15 June 2016
Onto the beautiful Agra , what a stunning place. So many ancient buildings the Taj Mahal being the crown, obviously the best known.
98 Photos
Created 13 June 2016
All too soon, we were lets loose on Delhi. Thank goodness Lydie and Abdulla had given an insight to being in India. India is an assault on the senses, smelly, loud, physical and above all colourful... what an amazing place.
66 Photos
Created 13 June 2016
Our first taste of India, we enjoyed 5 days in Chennai with our friends Lydie and Abdulla. A great way to ease into the way things run in India. Lovely company, gorgeos food, great temples amazingly busy roads and markets. Thnk goodnes Abdulla was driving !
109 Photos
Created 12 June 2016
106 Photos
Created 13 February 2016
56 Photos
Created 7 January 2016
95 Photos
Created 7 January 2016
130 Photos
Created 29 November 2015
We spent a couple of facinating days learning about the history of Melaka.
104 Photos
Created 22 November 2015
80 Photos
Created 22 November 2015
17 Photos
Created 8 November 2015
99 Photos
Created 8 November 2015
Our last island in Indonesia.
33 Photos
Created 27 October 2015
Belitung is one of islands to the East of Sumatra in the Indonesian Archipelago.
113 Photos
Created 27 October 2015
74 Photos
Created 11 October 2015
52 Photos
Created 11 October 2015
171 Photos
Created 11 October 2015
93 Photos
Created 9 September 2015
127 Photos
Created 7 September 2015
106 Photos
Created 7 September 2015
121 Photos
Created 7 August 2015
ON our way up to Darwin
38 Photos
Created 7 July 2015
Our final destination in Australia was to be Darwin..... along way to sail up the east coast and the top of Australia.
113 Photos
Created 5 July 2015
We spent 21 eventful days in a small van driving to experience the size of Austalia. We saw some wonerful sights and met many intersesting people. After 7,777 km we felt we had given it a good go. So here are a few images taken along the way.
91 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
We left Hobart on the 26th February to make our way back up the coast of Australia to Brisbane.
62 Photos
Created 24 March 2015
A wonderful 4 day event in the middle of Hobart.
36 Photos
Created 10 February 2015
115 Photos
Created 9 January 2015
Our time in Tasmania Jan 2015
119 Photos
Created 9 January 2015
Spruce is now in Port Stephens a lovely spot with pleanty of bays to explore.
81 Photos
Created 12 November 2014
The 2014 voyages of Spruce culminated with her arrival in Australia. The first large continenet encountered since leaving the Americas almost 2 years ago.
119 Photos
Created 28 October 2014
77 Photos
Created 19 October 2014
Spruce sailed to Vanuatu in early Sept 2014. We cruised the islands Aneityum through to Efate
53 Photos
Created 17 September 2014
120 Photos
Created 12 August 2014
120 Photos
Created 7 August 2014
116 Photos
Created 12 June 2014
7 Photos
Created 13 March 2014
120 Photos
Created 13 March 2014
120 Photos
Created 31 January 2014
Yet more piccies from our trip to SA
70 Photos
Created 5 January 2014
120 Photos
Created 24 December 2013
120 Photos
Created 24 December 2013
3 Photos
Created 4 December 2013
111 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
We arrived in Opua North island on the 24th of October after a 7 day passage from Tonga.
120 Photos
Created 24 October 2013
We visited the Ha' Api group of islands , then Tonga tapu.
62 Photos
Created 12 October 2013
We have had such a brilliant time in in the Vavau area of Tonga.
119 Photos
Created 18 September 2013
We have arrived in the beautiful Kingdom of Tonga, a group of many islands. Most seem to be uplifted limestone slabs with beautifully coloured cliffs and deep caves.
120 Photos
Created 27 August 2013
We have fallen in love with this island of beautiful landscapes and people and cannot seem to drag ourselves away.
63 Photos
Created 19 August 2013
A small island a thousand miles from Bora Bora
117 Photos
Created 12 August 2013
The island of Huahine, 90 miles south of Tahiti.
98 Photos
Created 21 July 2013
72 Photos
Created 9 July 2013
33 Photos
Created 30 June 2013
In June 2013 Spruce visited some of the atolls in the Tuamotus
120 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
After 21 days at sea we finally reached these beautiful islands.
114 Photos
Created 29 April 2013
8 Photos
Created 11 March 2013
119 Photos
Created 7 March 2013
123 Photos
Created 1 March 2013
15 Photos
Created 15 February 2013
We arrived in the enchanted islands after only a 6 day passage from las Perlas.
120 Photos
Created 9 February 2013
A group of little known islands that lie about 35miles south of Panama city.
59 Photos
Created 22 January 2013
On 21st December we joined a group of other cruisers for a trip up the Rio Chargres to one of the Embera indigenous peoples villages
70 Photos
Created 22 December 2012
During mid-December 2012 Spruce transited through the Panama Canal into the Pacific. Here are photos of the first days on the Panamanian Pacific coast.
9 Photos
Created 19 December 2012
On the 15th of December we started our journey through the Panama Canal. An overnight stop in Gatun lake, then our passage through the last locks into the Pacific.
70 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
14 Photos
Created 13 November 2012
A trip back to the UK. Quite a contrast from Panama both in temperature and culture. A short break before tackling the Pacific Ocean
32 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
Travelling up through the San Blas ( Kuna Yala)
118 Photos
Created 6 November 2012
After sailing from Cartagena and visiting islands en route towards Panama we made a last stop in Colombia in the Darien region jut south of the Panama - Colombia border.
107 Photos
Created 23 August 2012
Spruce sailed from Santa Marta to Cartagena in Colombia in early August 2012. This album has photos of our time in the city.
64 Photos
Created 6 August 2012
The boat was berthed in Marina de Santa Marta ready for a trek to the old city occupied from 800-1525 AD. La Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) or La Ciudad Teyuna (The Nature City)
81 Photos
Created 23 July 2012
This album includes some images from our trip into the mountains of Colombia
18 Photos
Created 13 July 2012
We are anchored in a small bay (Bahia Taganga) near the town of Santa Marta Colombia.
120 Photos
Created 22 June 2012
Another of the Dutch Antillean islands, Curacao
122 Photos
Created 6 June 2012
18 Photos
Created 29 May 2012
78 Photos
Created 26 May 2012
125 Photos
Created 26 May 2012
In May we sailed from Grenada to the island of Bonaire some 400M to the West. Bonaire is world renowned as a dive destination.
118 Photos
Created 11 May 2012
Son Robin and his partner Hanneke joined us for a couple of weeks for some diving and sightseeing in Grenada and the Grenadines. Here are some photos
67 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
A quick sail through the Grenadines before we head up to USVIs at theend of March
61 Photos
Created 13 March 2012
A group of photos showing some of the scenery encountered during a couple of Hash meetings in Grenada
34 Photos
Created 25 February 2012
Originally we planned to have left Grenada by now. With Sue's trip back to the UK Spruce will stay a bit longer. Here are photos for those extra weeks.
37 Photos
Created 11 February 2012
Every year in February the Island of Grenada holds workboat races in Grande Anse Bay near St Georges. Here areb a selection of photos.
22 Photos
Created 5 February 2012
A selections of piccies from our last week or so in this beautiful island
18 Photos
Created 2 February 2012
Getting on top of the jobs that will be more difficult to accomplish when we get into the Pacific...and embarking enough spares for comfort.
18 Photos
Created 14 January 2012
In December 2011 we completed our Open Water dive qualification and followed up in January with our Advanced Open water...some photos of the experiences
41 Photos
Created 6 January 2012
On 30th December 2011 a group of 9 intrepid sailors from 5 different vessels hopped into a minibus for a tour of the island.
18 Photos
Created 30 December 2011
On 27th December De Big Fish hosted a Cruisers Pot Luck meal and an Open Microphone Session for musicians aboard cruisers to show their latent talents.
17 Photos
Created 28 December 2011
Passage from Cape Verdes to Grenada during Nov/Dec 2011
29 Photos
Created 9 December 2011
A return visit after 2009/10 cruise. This time focusing on Grenada and ABCs before going West.
55 Photos
Created 9 December 2011
After Sal we visited Boa Vista, Sao Nicolau and Sao Vincente. Here are some memories of those islands
35 Photos
Created 22 November 2011
Pictures from first island in Cabo Verdes
40 Photos
Created 6 November 2011
On to a destination visited during the cruise in 2009/10. The island of La Gomera, another favourite.
39 Photos
Created 7 October 2011
Spruce sails from Madeira to the Canary Island of La Palma
25 Photos
Created 2 October 2011
A return vsit to Madeira almost exactly 2-years after our we sailed here aboard our Ohlson 38, also named Spruce.
25 Photos
Created 13 September 2011
After all the work to prepare Spruce for setting off cruising we finally got away in the middle of August...and sailed from Portsmouth, UK, to the Madeiran Archipelago.
38 Photos
Created 27 August 2011
Spruce II needed a new deck and other TLC so off we went to North Wales for a while.
20 Photos
Created 13 July 2011
Having found our new boat we are in the throws of preparing to set off. The boat is delayed on re-decking but we are busy getting the house ready for letting and sorting what we will keep and what must be sentenced.
7 Photos
Created 6 May 2011
Our search for another boat was successful and we procured a Halberg Rassy 42. This album shows the preparations for setting off cruising again.
12 Photos
Created 20 February 2011
After travelling back to the UK aboard the Snoekgracht in late October 2010 we started the hunt for Spruce II
10 Photos
Created 14 December 2010
Between 21st and 31st October 2010 Spruce was transported across the Atantic aboard a ship, M/V Snoekgracht, with the Sprucettes aboard the same ship.
15 Photos
Created 2 November 2010
Due to our shipping date being delayed from late September until mid-October we have spent more time in Newport than envisaged. Some more piccies of our sojourn.
10 Photos
Created 12 October 2010
While anchored at Newport the Sprucettes had a day's outing with cruising friends Bert & Marlene from Heimkehr. Here are sojme photographs of the day at Mystic Seaport Museum.
47 Photos
Created 11 October 2010
Spruce sailed from Provincetown, Cape Cod, and on to Newport RI with an overnight stop at Onset in Buzzards Bay.
39 Photos
Created 21 September 2010
Spruce left Shelburne in Nova Scotia and enjoyed just over 2 weeks in Maine before heading down to Cape Cod
27 Photos
Created 12 September 2010
Spruce left Les Iles Magdelenes on 12th August and after anchoring for a night at Port Hood Island on the West coast of Cape Breton Island went on to the Bras d'Or Lake via St Peter's Canal.
13 Photos
Created 16 August 2010
A small group of islands lay between Gaspé and Cape Breton Islands. Some photographs of the few days spent there.
41 Photos
Created 15 August 2010
The St Lawrence is now some 80 miles wide, as large as the English Channel between the UK and France. Past Ile de Anticosti we move out of the river and into the Gulf.
21 Photos
Created 6 August 2010
Our journey from Montreal and down the impressive St Lawrence River and Spruce's return to the Atlantic Ocean.
66 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
This album covers our time in Montreal (provincial capital) and Quebec City, two major cities in the French speaking province of Quebec.
29 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
Spruce transited the (approx) 100M of locked waterway from the St Lawrence River to Montreal between 8th and 11th July 2010.
38 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
Spruce sailed from Oswego, USA to Collins Bay, near Kingston in Ontario, Canada, over thhe weekend of 3rd-4th July 2010. This album covers time in Ontario and the trip towards the St Lawrence Seaway.
33 Photos
Created 6 July 2010
After a brief stop in New York the Sprucettes, already behind time, hheaded up the Hudson River to start their river and canal journey to Oswego and Lake Ontario. Photos of that stage of the voyage.
50 Photos
Created 25 June 2010
Spruce arrived in New York after an over-night trip from Cape May, on 19th June 2010.
12 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
Spruce arrived in the USA at Cape May, New Jersey, on 16th June after 5 days at sea. An album to show the trip and our first port of call in America.
6 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
On 30th May 2010 Spruce arrived in Bermuda afyter 13-days at sea dodging bad weather en-route from the BVIs. Soime photographs of the time on this distant island 650 Miles from the US Coast.
42 Photos
Created 9 June 2010
On 17th May Spruce left the BVIs to start an expected 6-day sail to Bermuda some 850 Miles to the North. The first tropical depression of the season and a selection of other weather phenomena conspired top extend this to 13-days at sea. Here are some photographs of that passage.
30 Photos
Created 30 May 2010
Latest pictures from BVIs
23 Photos
Created 11 May 2010
Spruce arrived in BVIs at Virgin Gorda on 29th April.
27 Photos
Created 1 May 2010
Some piccies of our couple of days moored in a marine reserve
22 Photos
Created 27 April 2010
A selection of photos from our day out amongst the Classic Yachts
17 Photos
Created 18 April 2010
Spruce arrived in Barbuda, from Guadeloupe, on 25th March 2010. Some photos of our adventures there.
47 Photos
Created 26 March 2010
Spruce sailed from Dominica to Les Saintes on 17th March 2010. These islands are just south of and part of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. This album captures memories of this, our next, island in the Antilles.
10 Photos
Created 18 March 2010
On 7th March Spruce sailed into Prince Rupert Bay at the north west side of Dominica. The last island with rain forest before Puerto Rico! An album of memories from our next island visited.
51 Photos
Created 10 March 2010
Spruce arrived in the Caribbean on 18th December 2009 after crossing the Atlantic from the Cape Verde Islands. This album shows the various albums covering our time cruising the Caribbean.
7 Photos | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 2 January 2010
Between 2nd December and 18th December 2009 Spruce sailed from Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands, to Barbados, caribbean. This album shows some of the photographs taken at sea during the 15 Day and 21 hour crossing.
11 Photos
Created 20 December 2009
Spruce sailed from La Gomera, Canary Islands, for the Cape Verdes on 14th November 2009 and arrived at Mindelo on the island of Sao Vincente after 6 days at sea. This album captures the passage getting there and the time in Sao Vincente and the adjacent island of Santo Antao.
16 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
Friends who are planning on heading off on future cruising trips themselves have expressed interest in feedback on our thoughts about the various systems and equipment aboard... what works well, lessons learned and general thoughts based upon experience. We have divided the blog into two categories: News and Updates; Boat Systems... the general news items uploaded so far will by under "News & Updates" and the equipment etc will be under "Boat Systems" ... you should be able to filter what categories you view when you access the blog.
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 6 November 2009
To follow
6 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 20 October 2009
Spruce arrived in Madeira main island on 9th September after leaving Porto Santo earlier the same day. Here are photos as we travel around the island.
14 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 September 2009
The passage from Cascais, near Lisbon, to the Madeiran island of Porto Santo took four days of downwind sailing at sea and some beautiful images were captured.
18 Photos
Created 5 September 2009
Spruce arrived in Portugal on 14th August 2009. This album and sub-albums shows a few photographs of our travels within Portugal.
3 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 17 August 2009
Spruce arrived in Spain at La Coruna on 11th July 2009 after a four day sail from Dingle 550 sea miles to the North-North West.
25 Photos
Created 17 August 2009
Spruce cruised from Baltimore to Bantry Bay and then up to the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. After spending the summer solstice celebrations at this most northerly point of the cruise we headed back to the Shannon and Dingle before sailing for Galicia in Spain.
22 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 August 2009