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, Day 6, Surfing the Pororoca

13 March 2012 | Capim River, Brazil
cap'n alex
One of the reasons for sailing up the Amazon was to find the Pororoca (if you have internet, you tube 'pororoca' to see) and to surf it. We were extremely lucky to not only be here when the waves came (there are only three waves per month and only in the months of March, April, Septemeber, October) but to also be here during the annual Pororoca Festival. Arriving back at the river town of Sao Domingo that night, thousands had gathered to celebrate the wave. Ashore we witnessed a parade that included a fire breathing major and scores of kids and adults alike dressed in colorful costumes of fish, boats, and of course, waves. Also set up were enough speakers to rattle the river as no Brazilian party would be complete without a DJ to keep the crowd dancing. Steve partied so hard that night he wet his pants.

Knowing that the second wave would be coming around 1 am we left the party early to make the two hour journey up the Capim River to where the pororoca breaks. Securing Bubbles in deeper water so as to keep her safe from the wave, Diego, Steve and I dinged over to where several floodlights were illuminating a section of the river. We were greeted by several other surfers who filled us in on what was about to happen (all in Portuguese of course), but I don't think there is enough to say to prepare someone for a single wave that comes rushing up a river in the darkness. With Steve on the river bank to film and Diego to on the board to surf, I was left in the dingy to surf the back of the wave, then pick up the surfers before they would be washed into the dark jungle.

We had arrived a little early and I fell asleep waiting on the quiet river before the roaring woke me up (Pororoca means 'roaring river' in the indigenous language). In the moonlight I could see whitewash fast approaching and my heart raced as I wondered what the heck I was doing being where I was. Taking the wave head on I caught some air before turning around and surfing the back of the wave towards where the surfers were. The wave was fast and powerful ensuring all ten surfers making the attempt got up. When reaching the end of the wave the jet ski banana boat rushed in to collect the surfers but I saw two that were further downstream and I was able to collect them just before they were swept into the jungle. With a headcount back on shore high fives, hugs and fist bumps were passed around. We had surfed our first pororoca, at night, what a rush!

We spent the next morning, while we waited on the third and final wave, dingy surfing (wake boarding with the surf board) with some local kids as well as some Bubbles famous mast jumps. Whole trees floated by and one nearly took us with it. By afternoon a crowd of over three thousand had gathered on the river bank to watch the wave where the previous night only 25 had been. Locals filled trees that hung over the river to catch a good view. TV reporters mingled in the crowd. With our group being the whitest there we were stopped frequently for photos (with Steve being the favorite). Weighing in at 350 pounds my brother Dave was a novelty to the locals and they feared him.

No one knew exactly when the wave would come but some locals said it would come with the rain. When it did start to rain a jolt of excitement electrified the crowd and then it appeared. Just like the previous night the whitewash could be seen flowing rapidly up the brown waters of the jungle river. There were nearly 50 surfers in the water and dozens of speed boats and jet skis. Diego was again on the board and I in the dingy. As we rode the wave past, the crowd cheered and whistled loudly. The driving rain reduced visibility but when I caught the look on the faces of those I would nearly collide with I was always greeted with a large smile and a 'isn't this flipping cool' look. One surfer fell and wanting to carry on grabbed the dingy to continue the surf. Diego surfed for more than a full minute and was probably the best surfer there. After picking him up into the dingy we noticed a couple kids on boards holding onto tree branches just feet where the river washed into the jungle. We picked them up into the dingy and returned them to the river bank before making three more trips filling the dingy with surfers holding onto logs or whatever they could find to hold them against the swift current. Once back to the crowd they were treated as heroes. The entire river was a three feet higher from all the water the wave brought. We had survived our second Pororoca, what a rush!

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