|Vessel Name:||Schooner Windjammer|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Pete Culler - Integrity Schooner|
|Hailing Port:||Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia|
|Crew:||Ashley & Cathie Kerr|
|About:||We set off in December 2010 to continue our cruising adventures around the world after 25 years owning and operating a yacht charter company in the Whitsunday Islands - Australia|
The front has eventually passed and we are now on our way to Lunenburg. The extra two days dockside at Newport turned out to be quite productive and I was able to free up the engine stop cable that was forever challenging us to an arm wrestle. Cathie managed to add another ice breaker to her arctic collection [...]
Spring has finally arrived in Newport and it's time to get moving again. Just waiting for the weather front to pass, then we're off to Nova Scotia via Cape Cod canal and Provincetown on the end of Cape Cod peninsula. From there it is a 320 mile passage to Lunenburg where we start our meander up the coast [...]
We are back in Newport where we will spend this winter berthed at the Newport Harbour Hotel and Marina in the heart of the old town. Our in water berth includes shore power, cable TV, heated pool and access to the hotel facilities all at a cost of $400.00 per month. During the on season they charge $5.00 per foot per day so a very good deal for us. We are part of a community of 25 live aboard yachts in the marina so looking forward to building some new friendships. Our first project though is to build a frame over Windjammer so we can shrink wrap her with plastic to keep out the snow ....mmm this is going to be interesting.
After disembarking Tom and Sylvia at Bar Harbour in Maine we sailed down the coast to Newport with a quick stop over in Rockland and Rockport. Newport was going to be our home for the winter so we were keen to check out the place to ensure we knew what we would be getting ourselves into. The Newport [...]
We finally made it to Maine, a bucket list destination with Penobscot Bay and all the wooden classic schooners. We had heard so much about cruising in Maine, how beautiful it was, best cruising ground in the world, lobsters etc etc. We therefore had very high expectations.
Our next destination was the island of Nantucket famous for being the largest historical whaling town in the US. We had read good reports about the museum and after reading the Nathaniel Philbrick book, In the Heart of the Sea, (the story of the ship Essex from Nantucket which was sunk by a giant sperm [...]
We left Ft Lauderdale on a bright sunny day with not much wind and followed the coast line for Savannah, Georgia. There were recreational fishermen in droves out on the water so had to maintain a close watch. The city of Savannah is located about 10 miles up the Savannah River, so we made a left turn [...]
We spent a wonderful week cruising through the Jardines del Rey, a 210 mile stretch of cays, reefs and sandy beaches on the North Coast of Cuba. On our first snorkeling/spear fishing session we managed to get a red emperor and our first fresh lobster. Ciguetera can be a problem in this region so we [...]
Friday 8 May at 11.00am we made landfall on the south eastern coast of Cuba at Pt de Vita. We were instructed by the Capitania de Puerto to drop anchor outside the marina and standby as we would need to be boarded and cleared by the local officials prior to entering the marina and Cuba. This we duly [...]
After nearly 3 weeks in Antigua where we had great fun preparing and then participating in the Classic Yacht regatta, we dropped off our hearty crew and headed for the island of Barbuda. As our South African friends who we were buddy sailing with said "Barbuda is the real deal". Beautiful sandy pink [...]
Our first blog since the 28th February! - We have been so busy jammin between the islands with various friends on board that blogging just had to take a back seat. Since leaving Trinidad we have sailed up through the Windward Islands, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines including, Union Island, Carriacou [...]
We are currently sailing down the north west shore of Trinidad on our way to Chaguaramas, ten days after leaving Brazil and we are ready for Carnival. It has been a wonderful trip, good winds all the way, lovely warm weather and great crew. This is definitely what cruising is all about. We are yet to [...]
Looks like about 2 days left to get us to Trinidad which will be a nice end to our 5400 mile crossing. Since the last post we have been maintaining good daily averages of about 170 miles thanks to the Brazil current and steady trade winds. Crossing the ITCZ was quite comfortable this time round with [...]
I half joked that disasters generally run in threes! The glue in our two dingy repair kits had gone off, the guy in the English yacht next door came to the rescue with some hypalon glue, nope also gone off, then the marina maintenance man turned up with a tube, nope also off. So it was tools down, stop [...]
2nd February - Just another day cruising.....or was it? We arrived in Fortaleza under a full moon at 3:00am and made our way across the bay to the yacht marina. A shipwreck lay near the entrance but almost a mile closer than was noted on the chart. As we passed between it and the marina break wall we [...]
At 16.30 hrs on Friday 30th,we arrived at Ilha De Fernando De Noronha, a small island roughly 7 miles long, 2 miles wide and 200 miles off the coast of Brazil, just in time to race Holly ashore to clear customs and sound out the immigration people. We were somewhat concerned that as the Island was not [...]
Yesterday (25th) was Bruce's 21st birthday and up until 3pm she could be forgiven for thinking that we had forgotten it was such an occasion. Other than a few hugs and quiet "Happy Birthdays" it was a quiet normal day onboard Windjammer. But, unbeknownst to Bruce, we had been plotting... As Bruce settled [...]
As some of you may have gotten the impression ,there are several things on board that provide an inordinate amount of pleasure. Cooking is one of them and, as I write, the pineapple and rum cake is in the oven. We all did the rounds earlier to lick the bowl clean of cake mixture and we now wait in [...]
20th Jan. Yesterday evening we ran out of wind. Having tweaked sails and course (and crew) trying to keep going we were eventually forced to conclude defeat and drop sail in the evening and motor. Back to a world of noise and vibration. On the plus side, running the engine allows us to get a good charge [...]
After the excitement of leaving St Helena, getting back to sea and settling down, life onboard has resumed its normal routine. We have all passed the day - the one just out from port, when all the crew, transitioning from normal hours to watch hours suffer from a bout of exhaustion - and everyone is [...]
0600 this morning the bell rang for all hands on deck to stow the tender and prepare Windjammer for her onward passage to Brazil. The crew were a tad tardy in responding and everything seemed to take twice as long, but then again, we did have a rather big final night ashore! It soon became evident that [...]
Our exploration of the island started with a tour of the island on an old classic 1929 Chevrolet open truck seating 16. There was a canopy which could be pulled over for rainy days however the weather was magnificent as we headed off with our local driver Colin whose family has been on the island for [...]
07.30 hrs Sunday 11th January and it is day 15 out from Cape Town. I have just sighted land hiding beneath a large cloud on the horizon. The isailor app on my Ipad confirms that it is indeed St Helena Island and we should be there in about 2 hrs time. There are now lots of red billed tropic birds and [...]
Day 13 and the St Helena high has finally moved back south allowing the trade winds to settle in at a steady 12 to 14 knots. The days are clear with polarized blue seas and fair weather clouds on the horizon. We are now 170 miles from St Helena and expecting to arrive early Sunday morning. We managed [...]
Current position 20o 11'S, 000o 15E. - 422nm remain between us and Saint Helena but we're being pushed west by SSE winds. The winds continue to be fickle, tempting us with promises of breezes; clouds and ripples and dancing patterns on the water but a consistent, steady breeze is proving hard to find. [...]
After plain sailing for the New Year, on the 2nd of January the wind finally left us. 5 days of plain sailing then nothing, nada. The sails flapped in the swells, the blocks rattled and kept us awake as we attempted to ease Windjammer forwards on ever decreasing puffs of air. Finally we dropped sail [...]
900 miles to go until we reach St Helena, we have been without wind for most of the day. There is a high sitting just to the west of us and keeps moving our way. We motored for a while but then decided to stop and go for a swim to cool down. The sea was very calm and we came across a turtle also enjoying [...]
And a Happy New Year to all our friends and relatives from the crew of Windjammer, may 2015 be everything you hope for and fairwinds and safe anchorages to all. We celebrated with an early sit down dinner this evening with a suitably good bottle of Cape wine followed by a sticky date and banana pudding [...]
Have had a steady 15-18 kn breeze for most of the day but the wind direction put us further south of the rhumb line which is about 55 miles. Hoisted the fisherman at sunrise this morning which added another knot to our boat speed. The weather has been warm and sunny and the crew have been quick to exploit [...]
The start of the race out of False Bay was always going to be challenging and the 25knt sou'easter didn't disappoint. We worked our way out of False Bay to Cape Point which took about 4 hours and was wet and uncomfortable with a little "mal de mer" amongst some of the crew. You could read the "what have [...]
It was a busy morning at False Bay Yacht Club. The air was full of excitement and anticipation as the 17 yachts entered into the Governors Cup race from Cape Town to St Helena were doing their final race preparations. Crews milling around, chatting, having coffee and saying their goodbye's. The new [...]
Alongside at False Bay Yacht Club for the winter we hope? A lot of uncertainty and hopeless bureaucracy, I thought we had left this behind in South America but South Africa has taken it to a whole new level!
14nm off the coast of South Africa and still no sign of land, the AIS is on overdrive. A slight fog creeps in and suddenly consumes us so that we cannot even see 5m past the bow. Desperate to see land we powered through dense cool fog, we would either run right into it or sail right past it and end [...]
Finally arrived off the coast of Southern Africa only to be met by a big south easter and the north flowing Benguela current. Have been close hauling for the the past 55 hrs averaging 4 kn, but the good news is that the wind should veer and soften in 12 hrs then we can start heading back towards Cape Town. If all goes to plan (which has rarely happened on this leg) then we should be at RCYC by nightfall on Thursday, otherwise first thing Friday morning. Either way hoping to get some good shots of the "fairest cape of all" and Table Mountain without her table cloth.
The South Atlantic has, and continues to deliver 'interesting' winds leaving Jammer confused and the crew frustrated! "What's the wind direction?" Someone shouts from the galley, "It's everywhere but nowhere" replies the helmsman. "Uh okay then what is the wind speed?" "It's kind of varying between [...]
The lights of a small town were seen before dawn as the swell was rolling in and the strong winds prevailing, we dropped sail and hove to, allowing the current to take Windjammer the last five miles towards the Island of Tristan Da Cunha. A day of motor sailing around the Island with light winds and [...]
Three consecutive days of beating upwind in 20-30 kn well and truly tested the stamina of the crew. George, the autopilot, threw a hissy fit and decided to take his leave before we could make use of him on the upwind sail, another to add to the 'list of things to look into' that Ashley is constantly [...]
Our last update mentioned that we had made our way north to 38 degrees to avoid a series of marching lows, and in anticipation of westerly trade winds, the idea of a smooth easterly course to Tristan da Cunha was in sight. Ironically, we soon encountered a band of high's that forced us to turn back south, [...]
Almost a week has passed since we left the sight of land behind us and set sail for the African continent, the true sailors nature comes out on land in admitting too much money spent on beer and too eager to leave. Sail preparations and training for heavy weather sailing was in order as we rigged new [...]
Crossed the 45th parallel and still heading NNE with large following seas. We managed a well controlled gibe this morning as the wind moved around to the SW and freshened. By midday we had set the trysail on the main mast which created a bit more balance with the reefed foresail and staysail with winds in the high 30's. A few hours later we hove to and dropped the foresail, certainly the best maneuver for doing this in these large seas. By now the wind was gusting in the low 40's with the highest recorded at 47 kn. Windjammer is running well under "storm rig" with the two small sails and certainly a lot easier to steer. The wind is expected to drop down to 25 kn some time this evening. Crew are all in good shape getting lots of sleep and Maggie even made us a Thai green chicken curry for dinner with out spilling a drop, quite a feat considering the rolling seas.
We are three days out of Port Louis, our last anchorage in the Falklands where we were holed up as a number of fronts passed over us. We finally managed to get away after a quick shore excursion to look at the penguins, at noon on Saturday with a SW wind on the quarter and all sails set. We all felt relieved to be on the go again as cabin fever was setting in. We have been steering a course due north to avoid a low system that is moving across from Argentina in a SE direction with winds of up to 40 knots centered around it. The low has now crossed ahead of us so allowing a more NE course. We are sailing in winds of 25 - 35 kn with gusts of 40 under reefed foresail and staysail with large following seas requiring the helmsman to steer with care. Colin just called out another coconut (boat speed above 10 kn). Our strategy is to continue N to NE until about 40 degrees then eastwards to Tristan De Cuhna where we hope to call in if weather conditions allow. Life on board has developed a a certain rhythm around watches and sleeping with a bit of reading or watching movies while wedged into the leeward bench at the galley table. The heater has been running perfectly since I changed the fuel supply line to the inlet side of the main fuel filter in Ushuaia and hasn't had a hiccup even under motor at high revs. - "go you good thing"
Our hopes of setting sail on Monday were crushed as the grib files came through predicting 30-40kt winds for the following 3 days, looks like our we have exhausted our luck with good weather. We are currently anchored in Johnson Harbour which is just North of Stanley on the East Falkland Island waiting [...]
27th Feb The Atlantic Ocean has welcomed us with winds of up to 28-knots and lists of up to 45 degrees as we reach our halfway point to Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Simple tasks such as using the toilet without sliding off and making a cup of coffee where the coffee actually stays in [...]
As tradition plays I will begin with the bad news, Windjammer's Australian flag mysteriously disappeared from the stern along with the flag pole, so no Aussie flag to fly until we replace the flag and craft a new pole.
Windjammer is in high spirits after a good scrub, varnish, grease and well stocked with food, filling up every spare space she has on offer. Delicious curries and stews have been premade in preparation for the passage and most importantly, the wine barrels have been replenished. Our new crew, Colin and [...]
It was only last Monday that we gave a final farewell to Chile the thin country with very welcoming hospitable people. We are still recovering from a somewhat interesting last dinner. Having to pre order 8 hours in advance (probably giving them enough time to hunt one down) we did what few Canadians [...]