round we go!!

Vessel Name: Bubbles
Vessel Make/Model: Fast Passage 39
Hailing Port: Seymour IN
17 September 2012 | Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVIs
22 July 2012
10 June 2012 | St. Martin
04 June 2012 | St. Martin
31 May 2012 | Saba Rock
19 May 2012 | english harbour, antigua
07 May 2012 | Bridgetown, Barbados
27 April 2012 | Georgetown, Guyana
22 April 2012 | Paramaribo, Suriname
19 April 2012 | French Guyana
13 April 2012 | Atlantic Ocean somewhere off of South America
08 April 2012 | Amazon River, Macapa, Brazil
01 April 2012 | Amazon River, Brazil
30 March 2012 | Tapajos River, Brazil
28 March 2012 | Amazon River, Brazil
21 March 2012 | Xingu River, Brazil
20 March 2012 | Amazonia, Brazil
18 March 2012 | Para River, Brazil
18 March 2012 | Belem, Brazil
13 March 2012 | Capim River, Brazil
Recent Blog Posts
17 September 2012 | Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVIs

The final blog, Bubbles sold yesterday

First lets go back to that week in May in the British Virgin Islands… we had over 20 sparkling crew on board Bubbles (all wearing the coral crew shirts) approaching the round-the-world finish line at Nanny Cay. With only a few hundred feet to go the propeller fell off. Not being able to raise sail [...]

22 July 2012

the last leg sail

We had good wind on the morning we set sail to complete the 90 mile last leg (from St. Martin to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands) of Bubble’s circumnavigation. With a full boat, I was on deck explaining some navigational markers to some of the more virgin crew when Trevor at the helm yelled [...]

10 June 2012 | St. Martin

Magic Aboard Bubbles

That night in St. Martin the party aboard Bubbles can only be described as magical. With Christmas lights strung up both in the rigging to light the deck, and in the interior to light below, a special glow illuminated the boat that had carried us around the world. Paddy King lead a conga line of Bubbles [...]

04 June 2012 | St. Martin

The Round the World Pre Party Begins!!

The seven of us woke well before sunup to the Indiana Jones theme song cranked over the Bubbles sound system. Sails were up by sunrise with Paddy King at the helm and brother Joe standing by as we watched the morning light illuminate mountainous Saba's cliffs rising from the sea. With 20 knots of wind [...]

31 May 2012 | Saba Rock

the Sea Hawk 4 takes flight

The day sail to Barbuda was sunny with good wind and buzzing excitement from both new crew and old. Arriving in the poorly charted waters we ran aground, but jumping into a shallow sea full of starfish isn't a bad place to get stuck. Ashore the six of us strolled on an endless beach of pink sand with [...]

19 May 2012 | english harbour, antigua

Adding more Bubbles

Bubbles and crew ran completely broke of funds after Carine flew back to Amsterdam. Having neither cash nor credit via any type of card, Diego and I resorted to trading. For a couple dive tanks we got the jib sail repaired, for a regulator we got fresh produce out of a local garden. We were able [...]

Aitutaki Aground

25 July 2010 | out at sea
Joe Bro
I am quickly awaken by Alex barking more orders. Slowly I make my way up to the cockpit where I see that we have arrived to the Cook Islands, specifically the Island of Aitutaki. It was a lot smaller then Bora Bora but still had beautiful tropical hills that were covered in palm trees and some of the hills were just covered in grass. As we made our way around the island to what looked likethe main port, I noticed a handful of sailboats were anchored outside the atoll (reef) rather than going in close to the dock. I asked Alex why and he said "Their boats must be too big for the passage." We hurried on to the entrance of the passage and when we got there it looked really small compared to all of the other passages that we have been through, maybe 25 feet wide in parts. I quickly realized why all the other boats anchored outside of the atoll. They didn't want to risk running aground. Alex said we would be fine. He had heard some of his friends made it through with a 6 foot draft, where Bubbles has a 5 and half foot. Alex had Jim and I on the bow watching very intensely for shallow water. We had our engines running full throttle as we were going against a current that was at least 5 knots in speed caused by the outgoing tide. "Port! More Port!" We would yell to Alex. We were doing great and even looked like we had made it through the worst part. "Ok, now more starboard!" A little maneuvering and we were still traveling at a decent pace of 1 knot. Then Alex began to yell, "Talk to me! We're running out of water. Its showing less than five inches!" "Uh, More starboard!!? " I had no idea where to go. It all looked the same to me. " We're hitting ground!!" Alex yelled, as we could feel the boat really slow down and finally it made its way to a stop. We ran aground. "Joe, I need to know where to go! Jump in with some goggles and look around." I quickly stripped my shirt and jumped in. The current took me right back to stern of the boat. I pulled myself up to the bow but my swimming abilities were no match for 5 knots of current. I grabbed the wind vein in the back and pulled myself up. Alex did a heck of a lot better and he soon discovered that we weren't going anywhere for a while. Luckily we were in sand and no damage was done. But that was just for the time being. High tide was coming and could pick us up and throw us into the reef which would do some major damage. All we could do was be ready for high tide and push ourselves the rest of the way in. We threw two anchors and turned the dingy into a tug boat to push the bow at an angle away from the reef. I become the tug boat master! (Although I did run over the anchor lines a few times nearly tangling them in the dingy engine)We quickly became the attraction of the island as everyone had their eyes on the boat that got stuck in the passage. (By then Bubbles was running perpendicular to the passage, practically keeping everyone from coming and going. One boat was actually trying to leave but was forced to wait another day because of us.) Everyone was stopping by offering their help and we joked that we were pirates demanding a fee if they wished to pass. It turned out to be a lot of fun and a good way to let everyone know Bubbles has arrived! We left our boat as we had to wait for high tide to get us out. We checked into Customs and were left with all kinds of fees; entrance fees, health dept. fees, agriculture fees, and departure fees. We came back to our boat and after wiggling back and forth, pulling on the anchors, using the dingy as a tug boat we eventually made it. Bubbles was free! We pulled right up to the main dock and had the best parking spot there. We found out later that we were in the same spot as their small cargo ship that comes in every 28 days to supply the 15 islands of the Cooks. All the fuel for their generators, groceries, building supplies, it all came in only once a month. We of course were starting exploring the island right away. It was so weird to us that everyone spoke English (used to be a colony of New Zealand) and it took me some time to realize that I didn't have to use hand motions when asking about the nearest restroom. This in fact was the first English speaking country Bubbles has seen since the Virgin Islands in the Carribean. We had some local fish and chips in which we devoured in hardly any time. Our next stop was an internet bar. We were all wondering why so many of the places had cargo containers in their front yards and asked the owner of the bar. The owner told us there was a Hurricane that went through this past February and the shipping company donated for people to use as storage devices. He even told us that his roof was torn off from 200 km per hour wind while he was in his house and that there were no rain or clouds and he could see the stars shining above when it all happened. The next day we found scooters to rent for $20 a piece but they only they only has one left. We took turns riding around and even made our way up to the tops of the hills for an awesome view of the island. It was getting late in the afternoon and Alex said there was some good wind that would take us to Palmerston Atoll but we would have to leave that night. After we had a good local burger (which had beets, fried eggs, and some other stuff I had no idea was) we started to get Bubbles ready to go. My job was to collect more fresh water which involved carrying 6 gallon jugs back and forth from a water tank. The water was actually all rain water that was collected from roof tops. After asking a few people to make sure it was drinkable I filled our supply back up. Alex ended up talking to a guy in the Cook Islands Navy. Their Navy consisted of one ship that patrolled all 15 islands over 2 million sqare miles of Pacific Ocean. He even heard where we were heading and gave us a package to deliver. Looks like Bubbles is now in the delivery business! We pulled away with just enough sun light to help us through the passage. And we thought we would keep things consistent and leave the exact same way we came that's right, we ran aground AGAIN! This time Jim quickly united the halyard line and began to swing off of the mast to shift Bubble's weight (a good pirate move). Turning on the VHF after clearing the pass we were swarmed with calls ranging from a dutch family wanting to stay in contact on our next passage to some Canadians thanking us for the entertainment. Jim spotted a whale from the bow. We sailed out to sea towards it.

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