Sailing matilda

15 April 2013 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
25 March 2013 | Union Island, SVG
10 March 2013 | Union Island, SVG
25 February 2013 | Speightstown, Barbados
18 February 2013 | North Atlantic Ocean - 165 East of Barbados
12 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 300 miles North of the mouth of the Amazon
03 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 260 miles East of Ilha de Fernando de Noronha
29 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 225 miles West of Ascension Is.
23 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 145 miles West of St Helena
16 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 75 miles from St Helena
10 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean
31 December 2012 | V&A Marina, Cape Town, South Africa
20 December 2012 | Hout Bay Yacht Club, Hout Bay, South Africa
24 November 2012 | Durban Marina, Durban, South Africa
24 November 2012 | Bluff Yacht Club, Durban, South Africa
16 November 2012 | Richard Bay, South Africa
11 November 2012 | 85 miles off Richard Bay, South Africa, Indian Ocean
08 November 2012 | Mozambuique Channel, Indian Ocean
02 November 2012 | La Port, La Reunion

First week in Galapagos

16 February 2012 | San Cristobal, Galapagos
Jonathan & Heather
It's already been almost a week since we motored into Wreck Bay, here in San Cristobal. Time has certainly flown and we feel like we've done all we wanted to do here now. Unfortunately we can't move on because there's a public holiday which means all of the banks are closed, and we need a little cash to be getting on with. So we plan to head off to Isla Isabella tomorrow (Wednesday) evening for a few days before the official dinners and parties start in Santa Cruz (Academy Bay) for the next leg to Hiva Oa.

Wreck Bay has been wonderful, mostly for the abundance of wildlife. We did a tour last Friday on a motor boat to various snorkeling locations. We have some excellent shots of sea lions playing under water at very close quarters, and a great little movie of one of those under water iguanas eating their seaweed. I say "their", and by them I mean the fish. It seems the fish actually go to the trouble of cultivating the seaweed, sort of like small scale farmers, then the iguanas stomp in and eat the fruits of their labours. It's amazing to see how the fish bite and butt the iguana as he feasts on their farmed produce; he just bats them off or shrugs a shoulder to keep them our of his ears. We've seen some wonderful birdlife too - the blue footed booby really does have very blue feet!

At our anchorage here in the bay we can see right to the bottom in 9 metres of water. Yesterday we saw a sea lion separate a fish from the school (they seem to congregate in the shade under the boats) and chase it to the rocks and sand at the bottom. He caught the fish before our eyes and swam back up to the top holding it victoriously in his mouth; then he munched it down and started looking for another.

The sea lions seem to run the town here. They lounge about all day on the public wharf, the footpaths and the street furniture giving the whole place a distinctly agricultural smell, if you know what I mean. It's quite surreal to see a load of local kids playing in water at the local beach, and just a few feet away a group of sea lions frolic in a similar way. The little pups suckling are gorgeous, but the big ones tend to growl and gnash a bit if you get too close. Touching any of the wildlife here is quite rightly prohibited. The noise they make at night can be quite monotonous as they bark for ages sometimes, just like dogs when they get a bit territorial. I wonder if they are nocturnal because they seem to spend all day lounging around town (and on people's swim platforms at the back of their boats) and all night barking. Ruby even had one climb onto their bimini (the roof over their cockpit) and make a sea lion hammock of the fabric structure. A few well-placed punches woke him up and eventually moved him off, although I doubt the bimini will ever be quite the same again.

Yesterday we went on a tour to the small lake in the main volcano on this island (apparently there are over 2,000 volcanoes in the Galapagos, although most are tiny). We also went to the tortoise breeding sanctuary and to a beach on the far side of the island. We were joined by the guys from Peat Smoke, so in all there were 5 of us. Heather and I rode in the tray on the back of the 4-door ute which seems to be ubiquitous here. It was a fun ride up to the lake, but then the heavens opened on us as we walked around the lake. It absolutely bucketted down with rain for the next hour or so, which made us all soaked through, but it also cooled us all down nicely. It has been very hot and humid here, so the rain was a welcome relief. By the time we reached the tortoise sanctuary the rain had stopped, and we saw most of the fully grown tortoises there as we arrived at feeding time. We also had a walk around the cages containing the babies - from little 1-year olds about the size of a computer mouse up to their only 6-year old which was about 600mm long. They feed them well and they all seemed very happy to splash about in their ponds. They did remind us of our tortiose in Dubai, Norman - all the same mannerisms, just on a much larger scale.

Today we will head for Darwin Bay (where he was supposed to have landed first to find fresh water - there is even a rather surreal fibreglass statue standing there) to do a bit of snorkelling. After that we may trawl the many gift shops that line the main street for souvenirs. They really do some brilliant t-shirts, although I think I will scream if I see another ''I love Boobies'' one. This morning we had breakfast on deck watching the sea lions pass, and two - what seemed - amorous sea turtles
Comments
Vessel Name: matilda
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg-Rassy 42E
Hailing Port: Portsmouth
Crew: Jonathan & Heather Howard
About: Jonathan and Heather Howard are now back in the Caribbean after completing the circumnavigation. matilda is now on the market and in May we will return to the UK with our friends on Peat Smoke.
Extra: matilda was re-launched in October 2011. Our circumnavigation took 15 months and we are now starting to think about getting back to work.
matilda's Photos - Main
Meeting up with the rest of the fleet 15-26 March
19 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
Photos of our various stop-offs to Grenada.
11 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
After Mustique we returned to Bequia for a few days and then onto the Tobago Cays 7-9 March
6 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
After briefly stopping at Bequia and St Vincent, we went for 3 days to Mustique from 1 to 4 March.
8 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
After St Helena we spent 4 weeks at sea from 22 January to 19 February to get to Barbados
11 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
We arrived in St Helena on 17 January and stayed five days till 22 January.
15 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
We arrived Hout Bay mid December then went to the V&A Marina in Cape Town for Christmas and NYE
24 Photos
Created 25 February 2013
We visited South Africa from 12 November to 5 January 2013
25 Photos
Created 16 November 2012
We stopped in La Reunion for a week up until 03 November
20 Photos
Created 2 November 2012
After two weeks at sea we arrived in Mauritius where our friend Brian visited from Dubai. We left for Reunion on 26 Oct.
21 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
After a great crossing from Bali we spent the last week of September in Cocos - another little piece of paradise
16 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
After sailing from Darwin we spent a week in Bali up till 21 September
15 Photos
Created 19 September 2012
We spent a week or so in Darwin, getting to Kakadu and Katherine Gorge along the way
14 Photos
Created 19 September 2012
Jonathan and Kelsey sailed matilda from Townsville up to Thursday island while Heather was in the UK from 5 to 20 Aug.
14 Photos
Created 22 August 2012
Anne, Baz and Amethyst joined matilda in Mackay for the sail to Townsville for the first week in August
22 Photos
Created 20 August 2012
We spent the first couple of weeks of July sailing from Fiji to Vanuatu with Philippa, Jari, Finlay and Ethan
33 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
Paul and Suzana gave us some of the photos of matilda they had taken earlier in the WARC
11 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
We spent the first week or so of June in Vava'u, Tonga
11 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
We spent 8 days in Suwarrow as a result of the nasty weather which passed through.
32 Photos
Created 11 June 2012
After arriving in Tahiti on 25 April, we cruised the Society Islands to Bora Bora before leaving for Suwarrow on 13 May
40 Photos
Created 10 May 2012
We stopped for a few days in late April at Rangiroa in the Tuamoto Archipeligo, where we had some excellent diving and great food!
5 Photos
Created 10 May 2012
We spent a few weeks from 26 March cruising Hiva Oa, Tatuata, Fatu Hiva and Nuku Hiva
26 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
After leaving Galapagos on 4 March we arrived in Hiva Oa on 26 March after three weeks at sea
16 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
On 9 February we set sail from Contadora, Las Perlas, Panama for the Galapagos Islands. We arrived on 15 February and have spent the last week touring around San Cristobal Island from Wreck Bay.
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2012
On day two in Panama we visited an Indian settlement, where we got to swim in a mountain pool
12 Photos
Created 7 February 2012
We left Shelter Bay Marina on Saturday 28 January at short notice to make our transit, arriving in Balboa, Panama on Sunday afternoon 29 January
20 Photos
Created 2 February 2012
After starting the World ARC on 8 January, we crossed the Caribbean Sea to San Blas for a week of R&R.
22 Photos
Created 26 January 2012
Whilst here we have climbed the Gros Piton, soaked in the volcanic sulphur baths and zip-wired through the rainforest...
16 Photos
Created 6 January 2012
Christmas at Landings Resort and New Years Eve at Bay Gardens Beach Hotel in St. Lucia
13 Photos
Created 1 January 2012
Jonathan & Heather took a day off in Las Palmas to visit Chis, Ange and Alex at their hotel, just a day or so before the ARC start
7 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
The ARC opening ceremony in Las Palmas was fantastic, with a drum band and a grand march around the marina with flags flying.
14 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
10 years ago yesterday (15th December) was our wedding. We decided to take some time away from the boat and stay at a posh hotel called Cap Maison. It was wonderful.
13 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
These are just a few of the photos taken on our three-week crossing to St. Lucia. We have so many photographs, especially of the whales, it's difficult to choose which ones to upload!
20 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
These are shots from the ARC start line around noon on 20 November.
9 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
On 20 November we set sail from Las Palmas. Chris, Angie and Alex were visiting from the UK and took these shots of our departure (thanks Chris)
17 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 22 November 2011
On 3 November 2011 we sailed overnight from Rubicon Marina in Lanzarote to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for the start of the ARC.
10 Photos
Created 13 November 2011
On 23 and 24 October we sailed from Puerto Rico on Gran Canaria to Morro Jable and then on to Gran Tarajal on Fuertaventura. On the 23rd we had a long encounter with a pod of hunting dolphins, who took time out to ride our bow wave.
18 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
On 7 October 2011 we re-launched matilda after more than six months of work out of the water in Puerto Colon, Tenerife. The amazing result is testament to the skills of the local crew who performed the overhaul, so our sincere thanks go to Ivan, Alex, Jesper, Pepe, Ronaldo, Diego, Horacio, Ronnie and Jamie for their fabulous work.
23 Photos
Created 22 October 2011
On 20 October we set sail at 6am for Gran Canaria. Sadly we had to motor sail most of the way because the wind was right on the nose, but we did have a fabulous sail towards the end.
12 Photos
Created 22 October 2011
On 15 October we set sail for La Gomera from Puerto Colon in Tenerife. It was very calm when we set out, but the wind acceleration zone soon woke us up!
17 Photos
Created 19 October 2011

Sailing matilda

Who: Jonathan & Heather Howard
Port: Portsmouth