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 [...]

Fiji Island Hopping

01 September 2010 | Musket Cove and Beachcomber
Jim (The White Whale)
After saying our goodbyes to Joe and getting some work done on Bubbles we decided to head out to some of the different island chains of Fiji. Our first stop was Musket Cove, located on the island of Malolo Lailai. We decided to head out early morning with our buddy boat Balena. We also invited some backpacking friends from England along for the ride.
Before reaching Musket Cove we stopped at the coral reef surrounding the island. The tide was low and there was a sand island showing where people set up chairs and a beach shade. After rafting up with Balena, we hopped in to have a look at the reef. After swimming around for just a few minutes we had schools of small and medium sized fish surrounding us. If you held out your hand, they would all come up and start to nibble on it. Pretty cool, until of course, a bigger fish comes up and tries to take a bite. As we swam around some more we spotted a school of squid (18 to be exact). The largest one was the size of a rugby football. I've never seen squid swim around so I was amazed to learn that they swim in both directions and emit different colors on their skin.
Alex made a quick trip to the boat to get some spear guns and we ventured out to catch lunch. Our eyes were set on a squid but after a few shots and black ink everywhere they vanished. We returned to the boat empty handed but with some great snorkel memories. At that point the sand island (where our friends were catching some sun) had completely gone under water and the three of them were calling for a dinghy S.O.S.

Musket Cove was a bit more laid back than we expected. There were plenty of boats anchored but we couldn't seem to find the cruisers anywhere. Also, there was only one "hot spot" on the island and it was the Musket Cove yacht club. We get bored easily and like places that have options - "heaps of parties" as the Kiwis would say. It was around 4 PM and we decided to just get it started on Bubbles. By 5 PM we had quite the party going in Fort Bubbles (we set up sheets in the cockpit to block the shade and it resembled the type of fort we used to build as kids). There's a way of drinking here in Fiji called "Taki" where one cup gets passed around, filled after each person by the designated "spinner". A few cases of Fiji Bitter later, we had a carnival ring toss game going with the empty bottles.
By nighttime we were tearing it up at the Musket Cove Yacht Club. At one point, Alex ventured off looking for the rest of the crew and got pulled into a cava session with this little guy sitting down. After a few rounds of cava Alex asked the man what he did. The man quickly looked over his shoulder and clapped his hands. A second later, a woman was standing over him with a guitar and he started to jam on it. Alex looked over the man's shoulder and realized he was sitting in front of a giant billboard with his picture on it. This man was a famous classic guitarist of Fiji.

The next morning we decided to pull anchor and rock out some other islands. We headed north towards some of the small (tiny) islands. The first one we stopped at had no anchorage. The second one Balena got to first and threw anchor. Unfortunately it was a private island and these guys came out barking. We decided we'd try an island we knew was cool called Beachcomber. At this point, Balena had to head back to the mainland to prepare for their departure so we had a little goodbye session at sea. Balena had been with us since Niue so it was sad to see them leave.

We approached Beachcomber and called for a mooring ball. When they granted us permission we immediately looked at this giant one (likely the same size as the one they'd use for the Titanic) and decided we had to tie onto it. The swell was rolling so it ended up being a harder task that we expected. Regardless, we were determined to get the biggest mooring ball we'd ever seen and tied two lines to it.
After a great dinner (made by our English friends) we decided to start the party and head into the island. This island was tiny but packed a big punch. If you walked the beach around it you'd complete a lap in 6 minutes. Even with such limited space they managed to have a hotel, backpacker dorm (tons of bunk beds), a restaurant/communal area with a huge dance floor (all sand), a huge Jacuzzi, and probably a bunch of other stuff we didn't get around to.
The first thing happening was a crab race auction. There were 14 different eight-legged contestants and they labeled them by country. The auction began and we were too into it to wait until USA came up (USA was like 8th or 9th in the bidding session). We ended up winning Italy and Jamaica (no rhyme or reason other than it was just really fun to bid and we ran out of money). Guess who ended up winning? U.S.A - U.S.A! We were the only people chanting even though it wasn't our crab.
The sand dance floor got rocking and before we knew it, Alex and I were controlling almost everyone in the crowd. We did our typical routine (limbo, salsa, double-dutch, ya know...the Bubbles special). It was an awesome night and I think the whole island would agree.

In the morning I found myself sleeping on a bunk in the dormitory. Employees were everywhere but I managed to sneak out to the beach undetected and swim to Bubbles. I think we were all a little tipsy still because Alex and I decided we'd take the surfboards out for a paddle (even though there was no break). Oh and we went with just shirts on :-) We paddled over to an arriving ferry and asked if anyone needed to be brought to shore. The island dinghies could obviously handle it but we figured we'd ask. Then as one dinghy was headed toward shore they passed us and I decided to show them my version of "The Whale". As hilarious as it was they started chanting "White Whale - The White Whale!" It was one of the funnier things to happen on the trip so far, and the name was even famous among the locals back at Port Danarau (where all the ferries originate).

After having a fun morning we decided it was about time we headed back to port. I was sitting in the cockpit getting everything ready for sail when I noticed the sun was coming around to the other side of the boat. I looked up and saw the huge mooring ball floating away.
I yelled to Alex below, "Alex - are we untied?"
"No what do you mean?" he replied.
I was already starting the engine when I replied, "Dude we're floating away!"
Somehow, by the luckiest bit of chance, the two lines that we tied to the enormous mooring ball had both chaffed off (at the mooring ball's line's end, not Bubble's lines) and we had broken free. What is nuts is just a few meters away was huge reef and coral heads. Had that happened just a few minutes earlier (while we were busy below) or while we were onshore Bubbles would have floated away or gone aground on reef. I guess it was Beachcomber's way of telling us it was time to rock out :-)

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