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S/V Pizzazz - Journey Downunder
South Africa to Australia
Pacific, waiting for wind!!
Hugh
09/04/10, Panama

So Pizzazz got through the Panama Canal on Sunday 4th April and is now waiting for wind to start her next long leg. We are normally used to waiting for a weather window for the wind to slow down, but in Panama at the moment, boats waiting to cross to the South Pacific Islands, are waiting for a weather window for some wind to blow. It sounds like Pizzazz will be leaving on Saturday 10th April, will keep you posted. This is a shot of the city.

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12/04/10 | Francois Mellet
The city looks impressive! Very funny to wait for wind where we come from. Hope that Jan and Jo have fair winds and that they have a safe trip across the Pacific
Pizzazz on the Pacific Ocean!!!
Hugh
05/04/10, Panama

And then it was on to the last lock system, the Miraflores Locks. This was a short motor entering into the lock at 12:35 (local time), so did not take long to get through the Pedro Miguel Lock. After the Miraflores lock, Pizzazz will be on the Pacific Ocean, with another about 8200 miles to go before Australia. Here she was tied to only one other boat, and luckily closest to the camera.

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Pizzazz on Gatun Lake
Hugh
05/04/10, Panama

From the first Lock System, Gatun Locks, Pizzazz then had to motor onwards to a bouy where she was tied up for the night. Early the next morning, she made her way through the Canal and on to the Pedro Miguel Lock, which consists of only one lock. She arrived here at 12:00 (local time) and here she can be seen as the doors to the lock opened, dropping her first step from the Gutan Lake down towards the Pacific ocean. Pizzazz is on the right

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Pizzazz in the Canal
Hugh
05/04/10, Panama

So on the 3rd April 2010, Pizzazz made her way from Shelter Bay Marina, scheduled departure was about 12:00. Pizzazz was eventually in the first Lock, the Gatun Lock, which consists of 3 locks, lifting her up from the Atlantic (Caribbean) sea and onto the Gatun Lake. Here Pizzazz is all tied up and gate closed in the first lock. She was rafted up to 2 other boats. They are behind the ship with the orange colours, and Pizzazz is the closest to the camera, unfortunately this camera was quite far away.

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Panama Canal transit!!!
Hugh
03/04/10, Panama

So Pizzazz may transit the canal today 3rd April at about 2pm (Panama time) which would be about 8:00pm SA time, will confirm the time closer to transit. This is a pic of all the rope & fenders needed and supplied by the transit agent, Tina. For those interested, and who read this blog today, follow the following link to the canal webcam, to maybe see Pizzazz transit.... http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html Pizzazz will first go through the Gatun Lock today, then she would sleep over on the lake and then early.ish Sunday she will go through the Miraflores Lock...

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Approaching Panama
Hugh
03/04/10, Panama

After 9 days, Pizzazz closed in on Panama, then continued on to Shelter Bay Marina to prepare for the canal transit.

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Pizzazz sailing to Panama
Hugh
03/04/10, Panama

Her is a pic of Pizzazz sailing in the rain, Jan said they had a few rain squalls along the way.

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Goodbye Pizzazz....until Brisbane!!
Hugh
24/03/10, St Georges, Grenada

Then the final moment came where we had to step off Pizzazz, and leave her for Jan & Jo to look after.......we will miss her and we will be keeping a close eye on her progress.

So the end of the Caribbean for us, now we have the Whitsunday Islands and Australia to look forward to......

Good luck to Pizzazz, Jan & Jo, see you in Oz......fairwinds and come home safely.

This photo was the last look at Pizzazz as we left........

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The Handover.........
Hugh
24/03/10, St Georges, Grenada Island

So the day eventually arrived, after preparing Pizzazz for the final handover, Jan & Jo arrived and we met them at the bar. It was a pleasure meeting them after so many e-mails, and they are a fantastic couple, we had a few refreshments and it was like we had been mates for a while. We stayed on the boat together for 3 nights, going through Pizzazz's systems and unique bits and pieces. We also had our friends, John & Shirley from "Thiswan", who were anchored outside the harbour, but they also know Jan & Jo and we had some great evenings on Pizzazz before we left.

Jan & Jo own and run a business in Cape Town, called Indigo Yacht Management, and do deliveries all over the world, their website is www.indigoyacht.com .



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More Port Louis Marina....
Hugh
24/03/10, Grenada Island

Another photo of the marina buildings....

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Port Louis Marina
Hugh
24/03/10, Grenada Island

Port Louis Marina is a very new and beautiful marina, with good facilities.

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Arrival in Grenada
Hugh
24/03/10, Grenada Island

We had a great sail down to Grenada, we saw lots of fish jumping along the way. So our final sail in the Caribbean was done, when we approached St Georges, a very sad moment for both of us. From here Pizzazz is going the rest of the way without us..........We anchored off outside the harbour, which then dragged, this was now hard work as our electric windlass had packed up on us, when we picked up anchor in Tyrrel Bay........it had done so well and why now...so I had to pull up 40m of 10mm chain and anchor, then reset it, luckily it held the second time.
So now we were expecting Jan & Jo, who would be taking Pizzazz on to Brisbane, Australia. They were arriving the next day, so we booked a walk-on mooring at Port Louis Marina, inside St Georges lagoon. This pic is looking at St Georges harbour, with a passenger liner inside.

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Goodbye to Carriacou Island
Hugh
24/03/10, Carriacou to Grenada

So we spent a few days with our dear friend Dave and Barbara, and knew this was going to be a difficult goodbye, as we had all looked so forward to seeing each other and now it was all over, and we were moving on. We spent 4 days and spent evenings with them as they both still work. So eventually our time to leave Tyrrel Bay was upon us, our home base for the whole year, we sailed off at about 8:00am with fond memories, and set our course for St Georges, Grenada. On the way across we sailed very close to Diamond Island and Ronda Island, we side stepped the underwater Valcano "Kick em Jenny".

Kick-'em-Jenny is an active submarine volcano or seamount on the Caribbean Sea floor 8 km north of the island of Grenada and about 8 km west of Ronde Island in the Grenadines. Kick-'em-Jenny rises 1,300 m (4,265 ft) above the sea floor on the steep inner western slope of the Lesser Antilles ridge. The North American tectonic plate is subducting the Caribbean tectonic plate to the east of this ridge and under the Lesser Antilles island arc.

The first record of the volcano was in 1939, although it must have erupted many times before that date. On 23-24 July 1939 an eruption broke the sea surface, sending a cloud of steam and debris 275 m (902 ft) into the air and generating a series of tsunamis around two metres high when they reached the coastlines of northern Grenada and the southern Grenadines. In 2003, the summit reached 180 m (591 ft) below the sea surface and is thought to have remained constant since the 1960s.

The volcano has erupted on at least twelve occasions since 1939 and 2001 (the last being on December 4, 2001), although none of the eruptions have been as large as the 1939 one and most were only detected seismically. The larger eruptions have also been heard underwater or on land close to the volcano as a deep rumbling sound.

The pic is us passing Diamond Island.


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Bequia to Carriacou Island
Hugh
23/03/10, Carriacou Island

So after a full day sailing from St Lucia to Bequia, we stayed for the night in Bequia and then left again early the next morning and sailed down to Hillsborough, Carriacou Island. We arrived about 14h00 and then had to check back into Carriacou, Grenada, we stayed the night at Hillsborough, before sailing around into Tyrrel Bay the next morning. This is again a great sunset looking over Sandy Island.

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Sail between St Lucia and St Vincent
Hugh
23/03/10, St Lucia - Bequia

Our trip between St Lucia and St Vincent was an uncomfortable trip, as must have had over 25-30 knots of wind in a very choppy sea, so had a lot of water on deck, probably the most we have ever had. I tried to load a video we took with our new camera, but battled to get it to load, so photo only.

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Leaving the Pitons
Hugh
20/03/10, Pitons, St Lucia

So the time came to sail south once more to Bequia Isand and leave St Lucia. This is as we left early the next morning, with a view of Gros Piton.
The Pitons are two volcanic plugs in a World Heritage Site in Saint Lucia. The Gros Piton is 771 m, and the Petit Piton is 743 m high; they are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. There are still sulfur springs and hot mud pools in the nearby Soufrière caldera, visible remnants of former volcanic activity in the area.
Saint Lucia's local brand of beer is named after these two mountains.

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22/03/10 | Francois Mellet
Hi Guys, nice to read about your frolicks and dreaming of following in your wake. Let us know your plans but carry on having fun. Thinking of you
Passenger Liner at Pitons
Hugh
20/03/10, Pitons, St Lucia

Just before sunset a passenger liner came for a closer look at the Pitons.

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Beautiful Pitons
Hugh
20/03/10, Pitons, St Lucia

So here we are on the swing mooring, the colours of the water were unbelievable, with the deep water, then rising rapidly to the shallow shore.

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Smoking Piton!!
Hugh
20/03/10, Pitons, St Lucia

While anchored next to Petit Piton, it was smoking and we were getting ash dropping onto the deck, also a very strong sulphur smell, as the smoke drifted down towards the boat.

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Anchored at the Pitons
Hugh
20/03/10, Pitons, St Lucia

This is how close we were to shore and it got a lot closer when the tide went out, not a very comfortable night on board......

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Sail south to the Pitons
Hugh
20/03/10, St Lucia

So after a night out on anchor, we made our way down south to the Pitons and looked for a mooring, this place has very limited anchoring spots and very few mooring bouy's, so when we arrived, all the mooring bouy's were taken so we had to look for a spot to anchor, we were directed to a place where we were allowed to anchor, but had to take a stern line to the shore, so one of the boat boys helped out....at a fee of cause. When ready to drop anchor, the depth is anywhere between 20 and 30 meters below the boat.....which is a problem, and when backing up, within meters the depth goes to 4-6 meters, so very tricky anchoring here, so we stayed one night here, but with a plan to stay for 2 but after checking out of St Lucia the next day, we decided to move and were lucky to get a swing mooring for the second night.

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Pirate ship
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

They still have pirate ships roaming the Caribbean.............

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Complete Pigeon Island
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Here is a shot of the complete Pigeon Island, including both peaks.

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Fort Rodney
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

We unfortunately ran out of time and did not actually visit Fort Rodney, but here is a closer look.

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Anchored off Pigeon Island
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

So once our liferaft eventually arrived, we moved out of the marina and anchored off Pigeon Island. We were sorry we had not come out and anchored earlier, but the Marina had a special going where we had to pay for one day and get one free.....
Pigeon Island is a former island in Saint Lucia. The entirety of the "island" comprises Pigeon Island National Park and is administered by the St. Lucia National Trust. Composed of two peaks, Pigeon Island was artificially joined to the mainland in the 1970s.
The Arawak people, the original inhabitants of Pigeon island, were driven out by the Caribs around 1000 A.D. The Caribs lived in caves along the shore of the island, and hunted for fish, shellfish, small animals and birds. They also foraged for plant food. In the 1600s, a French pirate, François le Clerc, used Pigeon Island as his base. He forged an agreement with the Caribs, so that they would not attack his ship.

In 1778, Admiral George Rodney, took over Pigeon island, expelled the natives and built a fort on the smaller of the two peaks. This fort is known as Fort Rodney. Rodney ordered all trees on Pigeon Island to be cut down, to increase the range of sight. From the higher peak, Signal Hill, Rodney was able to observe the French navy base on Martinique.

Over the next several years, the British built several other structures on Pigeon Island, including two barracks, mess hall, and a lime vat.
In 1782, Admiral Rodney sailed from Pigeon Island to confront the French fleet, which he defeated in the Battle of Saints.
In 1824, a barracks which had been destroyed by a hurricane in 1817 was rebuilt.

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Another sunset...
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

We really did have some fantastic sunsets here......

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Rodney Bay beach
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

The one day we went exploring by foot and walked to the beach, we also did a bit of provisioning.

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Relaxing in the marina
Hugh
20/03/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Here we are relaxing in swing chair's next to the pool, sipping cocktails and another great sunset on the way....

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Fruit & Veg boat
Hugh
20/03/10, St Lucia

This is the guy that moves about the walk-on moorings and the anchorage offshore, selling fruit & Veg.

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Sunset from the pub
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

And the sunset while having refreshments....

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Sunset from the mooring
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

A sunset from the mooring, we took so many photos of this sunset, maybe the best sunsets we have seen, were in St Lucia.

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Settled in our walk-on mooring
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

After settling into our mooring, we were treated to a stunning evening in St Lucia.

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Entering the Lagoon at Rodney Bay Marina
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

So because we had the liferaft to service, we decided to take a walk-on mooring at the marina, so here we are entering the lagoon.

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Approaching Rodney Bay
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

So about 14h30 we approached Rodney Bay, seen on the left of this photo.

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Unusual landscapes
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

This is a shot of the landscape while sailing up the west coast of St Lucia, very unusual markings.....

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Pitons in sight
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

So with us doing great speeds, the Pitons approached quickily, but we were sailing to the north of the Island, to Rodney Bay. Here is a view of the Pitons, which we hope to visit on the way back down south.

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Real great sailing!!
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

With 22 odd miles to go, Pizzazz was having a great day with our speed over the ground here at 8.6 knots and even touching on 8.9 at times....

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Great sailing!!
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

This is our chart plotter showing us approaching St Lucia, the black blob on the bottom left of the Island, doing 8.1 knots at the time....

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Sail to St Lucia Island
Hugh
19/03/10, St Lucia

So after an early start, we made our way up to St Lucia, about 50 odd miles north. We were expecting a bit of a rough ride just north of St Vincent, we thought we had missed it by going early, but we did eventually get into a rough patch but did not last long and we had a great sail between St Vincent and St Lucia. This pic is leaving Wallilabou early morning.

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Checking out of the Grenadines
Hugh
22/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

We had to now check out of the Grenadines and this is the last place going north that we could check out. The Customs/Immigration are only in the office here between 16h00 and 18h00, so we went ashore and had some refreshments....then checked out and had a meal at the restaurant, before returning to Pizzazz.

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28/02/10 | Francois Mellet
Hi guys,
Thanks for the mail, you must reaaaly enjoy the last sail in the Caribbean and have a safe trip back.
We will try and catch up with you while you are back here
Thinking of you all the time
Sail to St Vincent Island
Hugh
22/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

So after about 5 days in Bequia, and some really big swells coming into the bay due to weather activity up north, we sailed out north to Wallilabou Bay in St Vincent. This is where parts of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean were shot, with Johnny Depp. This bay is about 15 miles sail. This pic is Pizzazz moored up to a bouy right in front of the now restaurant.

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Sunset in Bequia Island
Hugh
22/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

So after 2 nights in Saline Bay at Mayreau Island, we sailed early the next morning for Bequia, about 24 miles. This was one of the beautiful sunsets we had there.

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Salt Whistle Bay from the pub/restaurant
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

So from the pub this is what you look out to.......

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21/02/10 | Francois Mellet
Looks like heaven on earth
Let us know your plans as we have stepped up lots of gears to get ready to leave at the end of this year
Missing you and really envious this side
Francois and Mads
26/02/10 | claire y charalambou
Aha -I so agree - ur photo's -the bays, the sunsets - Um heaven on earth!
Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau Island
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

This is Salt Whistle Bay, a very beautiful location, it is small and the boats cram in here. We have been past here many times now and it has always looked very full, so have bypassed it. So we thought this time we would anchor in the next bay, Saline Bay, and would walk across.......it was worth the walk but the walk was very heavy, so we had a few beers and lunch at a stunning place here in Salt Whistle Bay and then caught a water taxi back to Saline Bay, which was an experience of it's own, these guy's only know one speed and that is fullspeed, but was great.

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View from top of Mayreau Island
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

This is a photo of Tobago Cays from the top of Mayreau Island.

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Local Restaurant on Mayreau Island
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

This is a local restaurant on Mayreau Island, when anchored there, the one day we went ashore and walked to the top of Mayreau and over to Salt Whistle Bay.

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Chatham Bay, Union Island
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Chatham Bay was a beautiful stop, we are now so sorry we did not stop here before, as the bay is full of turtles, the fish are so much more than anywhere else we know and the bird life was fantastic to see, it is very remote, although it does have about 3 or so local restaurants and one very smart one, where we got to know it at the Italian Restaurant, it has a pool as well and can order most kinds of food, including a hamburger, where the local restaurants only offer mostly Chicken, fish, conch and lobster type dishes. The bay has very high hills as seen in the pic, in this photo, is also the Italian restaurant on shore.

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Neighbour leaving from Chatham Bay, Union Island
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

This is one of the boats leaving the anchorage in Chatham Bay, Union Island. It was a great sight to see.

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Sunset from Hillsborough
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

So a sunset from Hillsborough, looking towards Sandy Island...

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Anchored off Hillsborough
Hugh
20/02/10, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

This is anchored off Hillsborough, Carriacou Island for checking out, we had some beautiful pics of the sunset, but this is looking at the main town.

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Pizzazz
Who: Hugh &Glyn
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