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 [...]

niue nuie nui

02 August 2010 | niue
Jimmy Boy
Our approach to Niue (which btw is spelled all different ways - we're not sure which is correct) was what you'd call the scenic route. We navigated along the north to get to the leeward side of the island and saw a vast array of caves and "bridges". Niue is Earth's largest coral island - and we had a view that very few ever get to experience.
We grabbed a mooring ball and got the boat wrapped up. Within a few minutes we noticed another boat (Balena) sail up and grab the ball adjacent to us. Balena is a classic boat from New Zealand and her captain wrote many sailing books and articles on ocean cruising. Turns out, the current captain was the son of the author, Magnus (dreadlocks and everything, cool dude). The two shipmates were Emma and Gwyn (a guy), both Kiwis (New Zealanders). We noticed they only had a rowing dinghy so we buzzed them to see if they wanted a ride to shore and became immediate friends. Haha - as I write this Magnus is swimming over to our boat thru the school of jellyfish.
The first day was short and we ended up just chatting with other cruisers, the locals, and getting an idea of what we're going to accomplish over the next two days. We decided on sharing a rental car with the Balena crew to ride around and check things out. We also each got Niue drivers licenses for $12 which kinda look like pool passes, cool souvenirs.

Exploring day one consisted of checking out the chasms on the southern portion of the island. Our first stop was the Togo chasm which is right next to the 1967 shipwreck of the Yashio Maru No 1 (any of you guys watch whale wars?). The hike to the chasm was pretty well carved out and we ended up in the sandy patch with coconut trees surrounded by 100 foot cliffs - it was like a coral island oasis. We found a cool cave/chasm that opened up to the crashing waves and got some good footage. On our way out we decided to have a competition with the coconuts lying in the sand. The goal was to land these old coconut shells into a little cliff edge about 30 feet up, so you could call it coconut basketball. I think every one of us landed at least one.
The second stop was found kind of randomly. As we passed the second chasm sign (named Vaikona Chasm) we noticed the sign said "Very dangerous - guided hiking only" so we decided it was a must-see. In our flip flops we hiked about 1200 meters into thick foliage and jagged terrain. All I can say is coral is sharp, so you'll just have to see the picks to get a full understanding. We spotted a sign along the way that said "Dangerous cave - enter at your own risk". Again, a must-see so we detoured in. The cave was manageable, but there were some very technical sections where you had to repel down ropes and across big caverns. We got some good videos of our cave dwelling and Joe apparently makes the noise of giving labor when he gets strained. At the bottom was a crystal clear pool of water that was so deep you couldn't reach bottom in a single breath even though it only looked 8 feet deep. There may have been some monsters in there but we didn't have underwater torches to check (phew). We eventually made it out of the cave and to the end of the trail. The terrain at the end of the trail looked like something out of the Lord of the Rings with jagged rocks spiking out of the earth. "Very uninviting" as Alex put it best. I can't imagine what the first explorers were thinking when they arrived.
We finished up our exploring and headed back to the main town, Alofi. We made a quick stop at "The Country Club" and witnessed an island dart competition between Alofi and the eastern town of Liku. On our way out we shook hands with every person in the bar like you would at the end of a baseball game.
That night there was a party and pot-luck on the only motor boat in the anchorage. Afterwards we headed to an island party at the Mafeku bar. Literally, we started and ended the party - typical for the Bubbles crew. I think we all agreed that the younger crowd was very shy because we ended up dancing with more elderly people than I'd like to admit. Half the party was outside in the parking lot. One last thing I'd like to note is that every car had a sick audio system - I'm not sure what was going on there but it was cool.

Day three was another cave and pool exploring day. We checked out the north end of the island: Avaiki cave, Matapa chasm, and the Talava arches. The hiking was not as crazy as day one but there were certainly some good cliff dives that we took advantage of. Alex and Magnus conquered the largest cliff jump of some 50-60 feet at Matapa. We got lots of good pics and took a dance video at the Talava arches (coolest natural rock formation I've ever seen).
We ended the last exploring day with a nice sunset along the cliffs and a handstand competition. For dinner we sampled some Indian food at a local joint and nearly all passed out on the dinghy back to the boats.

After a good night's rest we decided to get ourselves together and try to take off. We tried to get a dive in while we were here but the diving shop's schedule didn't work out with ours (plus it was a bit expensive - and I hate snakes). We got a quick lowdown on the weather and heard a rumor that it might get nasty. Magnus checked out the GRIB file forecast (shows how the winds will act over the next couple days) and said it was not going to be too bad. His exact words were "If it's gonna be a rockin' I'd rather be sailing with it than stuck here in the anchorage." To foreshadow a bit, let's just say we didn't check the weather ourselves but from now on we definitely will.

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