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 [...]

Our First Gale - 3rd time is a charm!

19 August 2010 | On our way to Tonga
Alex, Jim, and Joe
Wow sorry guys there must have been a bad character in the blog message bc it happened again :-D Third time is a charm though - Enjoy!
(On our way to Tonga a couple weeks back)

The winds went from 6 knots to over 36 in a matter of seconds. The only sail we had up at the time was the jib and Alex immediately began cranking her down. Bubbles has serious weather helm, which means as she heels over she tends to turn up into the wind. Generally, it's better to sail at less than 30 degrees of heeling over, so if the sail area is producing more than that you need to bring her in some. As Alex began cranking her down the winds got stronger and stronger. At one point I looked down and saw wind speeds being clocked at 57 knots! (like 70 mph!) At this point in the blog we've decided it's only right to each blog our version of our first gale.

Jim - "Ok so I'm at the helm and this wind starts going nuts. Alex is cranking in the jib furling line and I'm turning her downwind (fighting the weather helm which is trying to bring us upwind). The waves at first were quite short (probably because the weather picked up so quick they didn't have time to build). But the rain or water being swept up from the waves was smacking our backs so hard I thought I was in a hail storm. The waves built up to around 5 meters (yeah that's like 15, 16 feet), but we eventually got the hang of it and just rode it. Our course was determined by what kept the wave crashing to a safe level (riding downwind - straight north) and trying to keep our bearing of due west. This went on for a few hours and we ended up only about 10 nm off course. In retrospect, it was a crazy and great thing as an experience, but if you can avoid it you should."

Joe - "With all the gusts of wind and waves crashing against the sailboat it took a lot of energy to keep the boat on course. So we decided to move our usual three hour shift to a one hour shift giving us two hours off. (The best two hours of my life!) Since it was so loud in the cockpit from the wind and waves we left the handheld radio on and used it to talk to whoever was in the cabin. When I first started my first shift (which was nothing compared to what Jim had to go through) I was a little worried about getting tired but that thought quickly left. The 6 meter waves that were coming left the boat rocking but Bubbles was built to take waves like that. It was the waves that came right after another and at the right angle that would bring in green water (Water that crashes over into the boat). So every now and then I would be brought to my senses from a splash of water (leaving me completely soaked by the way). I was getting a little board so I decided to sing to keep myself entertained. "God Bless America", "The National Anthem", and old camp songs was all could think of. So I sang away! I hope I wasn't singing to loud to keep Jim and Alex from resting. After what seemed to be multiple hours, I thought for sure my one hour shift was up. So radioed Alex and it turns out it had been just as it felt; 2 hours. It was my fault anyways, I wasn't watching the time."
Alex - "Yarrr!"

Later on in the night (probably around 3 am) we heard the radio start to clatter. From what we could tell the Kiwi Rescue Aircraft was having a conversation with another boat but we could only hear the KRA's signal (it's stronger and higher in the sky). We got on the radio to find out what was going on and learned that a catamaran and capsized just 60 nm south of us. Without a motor and staring at 60 nm of beating straight into 40 knot winds we could only standby. One sailor was in a life raft tied up to the cat and the other was still inside the capsized hull talking to rescue. Apparently these cats are designed to be livable while capsized and have special life boat escape hatches built into the bows. Pretty gnarly stuff but I think it puts things in perspective. Let's just say it was our first gale and hopefully our last. Tonga here we come!


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