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 [...]

Kingdom Of Tonga; Part 2

13 August 2010 | Vavau Islands

There are over 40 anchorages in the Vava'U Island Group and we have just three days before we head back to the main port in Nieafu. Our first anchorage was about as far south as we could go. On the way there we stopped at Swallows cave, one of the main attractions here. Well we really didn't stop because there was no place nearby to anchor so Alex drove Bubbles in circles while Jim and I took the dingy right into the cave. It was an awesome cave where the jungle was coming in through the top and the coral reef was covering floor. After about an hour of exploring around we felt bad for Alex so we headed back. I told Alex that we were spoiled in Niue with all the coral caves there so with timing not being in our favor he decided to skip it, at least for now. When we sailed up to our anchorage there were two of our long lost friends; Baleana and Finegold. The night before, they roasted a hog on the beach over a fire. It was now our turn to roast our chickens. By this point we had all three of them named, Michael Phelps, BBQ, and Curtis Lough. We decided we were only going to roast two of them, Michael and BBQ (they were giving us the most trouble). But first we need fire wood. We spent the first few hours anchored looking for what few dry wood we could find, chopping it up with the axes and machetes. We even found a good side dish for the night; it looked like edamane and tasted like it too (and we didn't get sick either!) We brought the chickens to shore with some sharp knives and some BBQ. We chopped their heads off and were all entertained as we saw two chickens round around like they had their heads cut off. After spending some time pulling feathers we had them gutted and BBQed, ready for the fire. Baleana brought an oven rack to place over the fire so it was just like having a grill. After a couple flips we were ready for some juicy chicken and hot potatoes from Baleana that they threw in the fire as well. To be honest we are lucky with chicken we get in America that are corn fed, these chickens didn't have that much meat on them at all. After a big feast, Alex entertained us with some fire breathing. He was really good but he didn't get any tips from us, just a few hollers and claps. I remember laying down with my head on a log feeling pretty tired from the long day of sailing and chopping firewood and then it was black.... It seemed that I just shut my eyes for a few seconds and when I opened them I was all by myself and the fire was left smoldering away. There was an old cover over me that I don't remember having. I jumped up really quick and looked around. I really was all by myself and all the dingies were gone too! I looked out and I could see the sailboats still anchored about 200 yards offshore. I had two options: I could sleep it out here on the beach with the bugs or swim back to Bubbles. I swam. And after a long swim I crawled on board. After drying off, I fell fast asleep.
The next morning I found out that everyone heard me snoring on the beach and Alex said "You just looked so happy that we had to leave you alone." Fair enough. The next day we all grouped up with Finegold and Baleana and headed down the beach for an adventure. It was low tide and you could walk across some reef to get to another island. It was really fascinating to walk across with waves crashing just meters away. We walked the beach down the whole way. The water had so many different colors of blue and with the tall palm trees in the background, it made it all picturesque. We even found out about a side trail that lead us to a cave with a small freshwater pool in the bottom of it. Of course Alex, Jim and I all jumped in. It was cold and dark! We could hardly see if anything was in the water. After that we made it to the end of the next island and it was time to turn back. It was a long hike and I was just glad to make it back to get a drink of fresh water. We were all exhausted and hungry so we split up for lunch and an afternoon nap. After a refreshing break Bubbles set sail to the smallest island I have ever been on. We anchored about 100 yards out and took the dingy in. The island was just sand and was the size of a living room. After some tic-tac-toe, a race around the island, building a sand castle that covered nearly the whole thing, we decided it was time to move on. Our next anchor brought us next to Baleana again. And I mean right next to them! We tied up with them leaving a foot in between us. Baleana has a projector on board and we had plenty of movies on board. Tonight was going to be movie night. And we decided to make it a dinner and a movie. We cooked a nice big pot of American Chile and Baleana cooked dampers (An Australian Camp fire favorite, its like a meat pie). Once all the food was done we were watching "The Hurt Locker" on a projected screen. Who would have thought you could have all these things in the South Pacific?
The next day we had a lot planned and a tight schedule to fit all into. We started out going a few islands over to an ancient tomb of a former Tongan Queen. Legend has it, the first King that came to Tonga brought many wives with him. He built his palace in his favorite island group which was Vava'U (where we are now). One his wives he was very fond of and gave a lot of attention to. One day he went to fish and when he came back he discovered his wife had cheated on him (the PG version). In rage he ended up killing her. Afterwards he felt dreadful about what he did and built her an elaborate tomb. The trail to the tomb was a little spotty but we eventually found it. There was not much left but a small wall around the area and what looked like a concrete grave with the top slightly opened. Alex and I got in and looked around for her but could find anything but spiders and old coconuts. I even got my picture lying down inside the tomb. We climbed a little higher and found a beautiful lookout. We were able to see island upon island and the vast ocean stretching across the sky. I reminded me of Bora Bora but I doubt I'll find a place that'll beat the view we saw from there. Alex even got on my shoulders because he wanted a better look. We hiked down to get ready for our nest stop which was Mariner's Cave. This was the same as Swallows, where you can't anchor anywhere near it. Bubbles found a morrowing ball and we all hoped on Beleana to head to the coolest cave we have ever seen. It was a little tricky to find. Alex filled us in. "You have to swim 8 feet down and 14 feet across to get into the cave. Its been said that few people even... well, I'll tell you about that later," he said. Oh great... When we showed up to the location, we couldn't see any cave. We were supposedly looking for a white mark on a rock with a lone palm tree above it. There were hundreds of palm trees! We finally decided to just jump in and get a closer look. There first round was Emma, Gwyn, Alex, and myself. Jim and Magnus stayed on the boat circling around. We swam up and with our snorkel gear could see a dark whole in the rock under the water. We all swam up and started to look inside but it was just pitch black inside. We were warned that there are other caves around that don't come up and are just full of water. We all sat outside for a few minutes waiting for someone to step up and go take a look. Gwyn was finally the one. When he took off we all realized that we wouldn't know if he made it or not. Either he made it and he was in the cave or he kept swimming and drowned! After he bit he came back and smiled really big. "I found it! Its there." One by one we all took off after him. When we got in you could hear a few of us gasping for air (then again it could've just been me and the echo from the cave walls). It was dark but there was still a blue light coming in from the underwater entrance. The size of the cave was about the size of a large church. It was like nothing else I have ever seen. The waves were still coming in changing the water levels every so often. There was even a mist that would appear and as the waves pulled the water out it would disappear instantly. It looked so magical with sparkles in the mist. After some time there ( I didn't want to leave) it was time to check out Swallow's Cave. (Baleana had not been there yet). We found out that Swallows was bigger than Jim and I thought. We went to the smaller sister cave next to it and completely missed the real swallows cave. That night (tied up to Baleana again) we fried our last chicken, Curtis and had a Thanksgiving meal with mashed potatoes, yams, and dressing. What another great meal! We attempted to make Oh Baby Bars but it took a lot longer to chill then we thought so we decided to wait till breakfast.
We woke up to a beautiful sunrise and a delicious breakfast of Oh Baby Bars. We ate half the pan which left a perfect amount for dessert for the next few meals. Alex filled us in on the best coral garden in the Vava'U Group just a dingy ride away. He decided to stay behind to work on some stuff on Bubbles while the rest of us enjoyed our morning. We took the dingy most of the way and but had to walk down a beach and some rocks to get in. The place that looked like where we had to get in didn't look too pleasant. It was all coral rocks and waves were constantly crashing against our feet. We watched Magnus go first (he's done this kind of stuff before). He made it look easy. All we had to do was wait for the waves to come up and swim out with it. If you were a second off, the water would be too shallow and you'd scratch your belly on the coral. Luckily we all made it no problem. The coral garden was beautiful! The colors were vast and the ocean creatures were as well. Emma saw a shark that she claimed to be as big as Magnus. But she waited until she was a safe distance away to tell us so nobody else saw it. We also saw whales in the distance that were coming out of the water. The best part was that we could hear them calling each other underneath that water. It sounded like a slow motion mumble. Getting in was one thing but getting out was harder because you still had your flippers on and it was hard to keep your balance. I got away with only a few scratches on my hands. We made our way back to our boats and decided to head back to town. Once in port we rafted up to Baleana, making it three nights in a row that we would be tied up together. That night we went out for some more local BBQ or what the locals called Kentucky fried chicken, close enough.
The next day Alex bought my ticket from Fiji to LA. I can't believe I am down to 10 days! My days are now numbered here in the South Pacific. We did some quick provisioning and filled up on water. Just as the sun was going down Alex decided we would set sail. I thought this would be a little crazy to sail out of a port in the dark with no moon but we made it, like always. We are first heading South to look at some fresh volcanoes that started to form as early as 2006 and then after that, its Fiji Time!

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