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 [...]

Amazon River, Days 2 & 3, Return of the Mericans

10 March 2012 | Belem, Brazil
cap'n alex
Belem (population 1.5 million) is the gateway to the Amazon with all international traffic flowing in or out the river passing through this bustling port city. We were made aware of this at 5 am when we were hit by a group of rowers. Being too hot to sleep inside the boat the loud thud woke me instantly in the cockpit but after a few words and no damage done they carried on. I was only asleep for a few more minutes when I thought an alien craft was going to land on us but finally realized it was just the early morning triple decker river ferry shining its spotlight down on us. The confusion lessened with the rising sun and now the boat traffic that swirled around us could be seen and admired.

Ashore cannons lined the riverfront dating from the 1600s when the Portuguese kicked out the French and the Dutch. Old churches had greenery growing out of every crevice as a reminder of the proximity of the jungle. The hot air was heavy with humidity and upon entering an air conditioned bank I was actually content with the slow pace of the tellers.

Back at the boat we saw a passing sailboat (our first on the Amazon) and we dingied over to say hello and exchange information. It was a French couple and we learned of a quieter anchorage with two other French sailboats two hours around the corner in front of the Beira Rio Hotel. As the current was whisking us away as we talked I wasn´t able to get more details or a distance but didn´t think it would be too hard to find. We picked up hook and headed the direction they had pointed, but with so much current against us we dropped hook again for a few hours to wait on the switch. By the time the tide reversed again it was dark and we were now moving along at 8 knots desperately trying to pick out two masts from the glowing backdrop of the city. Realizing we passed it we turned around, but trying to make way against the current proved futile and so being less than a mile from our intended destination we put the brakes on once again and waited for another 5 hours until the tide switched back. The two hours to the anchorage ended up taking us more than 12 hours.

The next day Diego spent trying, unsuccessfully, to fill our propane tank with cooking gas while I ran to the Port Captain and Navy base to collect info and charts for the river. Not allowed in with shorts on I had to buy a used pair of pants ($5) from a street watch vender just to be let in. I was finally able to score some river charts although they were from 1987 and lacked latitude and longitude coordinates.

Arriving back at the hotel I found my brother Dave and nephew Elias (Indiana) waiting with a bucket of ice cold beers. They had flown in on a last minute visit, taking a break from cotton farming in the Brazilian state of Bahia. A few minutes later the lovely Molly (Nebraska) arrived in to join the crew followed later in the evening by Steve (Texas). Along with Celesta, Rebecca, and Diego, the 8 bubbles crew took a night out on the town practicing our Samba moves with the locals. We heard of a river surfing festival that just started 60 miles up a side river so the next day the plan was make a move.


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