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 [...]

Arrival in Barbados

07 May 2012 | Bridgetown, Barbados
cap'n alex
The sea never felt so safe as when we had Georgetown out of sight. We had steady trade winds out of the northeast, making the 380 miles to Barbados our longest upwind passage on the entire circumnavigation. With the autopilot continuing to throw fits, Bubbles managed to sail herself directly towards Barbados without even having to lock the wheel (a well balanced boat can steer herself but generally only when sailing upwind).

On our second night out a sea we approached what seemed to be a floating alien city, a cluster of bright lights illuminating a tower that soared several hundred feet into the air. When closer I guessed it might be an oil rig, but the charts indicated none and even more mysteriously it seemed to be moving. There was a lead ship nearly a mile in front of its path and when it appeared we might be on a collision course I decided to call them up. When they didn't respond to 'floating alien city' I tried 'oil rig, oil rig' which got their attention. They were indeed an oil rig, being towed from Brazil to Texas and on learning the captain of the operation was Dutch I put Carine, also Dutch, on the radio so they could share a couple stories from back home in their native tongue. The moving oil rig stayed in our view for several hours that night.

Besides being a psychotherapist (which meant nice deep talks whilst sailing), Carine is also a meditator and so much her time was spent 'ohm'ing. Diego spent much of his time singing to the fish so we could catch one and by day three it worked. We pulled in a colorful four foot mahi mahi, breaking our three month dry spell. Killing the fish while sailing to weather blood sprayed everywhere leaving the cockpit looking like a murder scene. Diego filleted one side and I the other before Diego performed a short ceremony of thanks to the sea, giving back the carcass. Coconut fish curry over steamed rice was the meal that night.

Barbados is a well lit island and the many bright lights left our imaginations running wild with what treasures the island might hold as we approached on our fourth night at sea. By sunrise we found ourselves pulling into port next the King of Quatar's megayacht Katara (the 13th largest in the world) complete with helicopter on deck. I joked with the Katara crew telling them that the Bubbles chopper was in for repairs but could be expected back anytime. While checking in we had to wait for the immigration officer to finish stamping the 3,000+ passports of cruise ship that had arrived the same time as us. Once finished with them we watched cartoons with him as he dealt leisurely with our stack of three. The customs officer slipped us some cash to go and buy him duty free alcohol, the very thing his job was to regulate.

Once officially in Barbados we moved the boat over to Carlylse Bay and swam to shore (we have no dingy) where we were greeted by the commodore of the local cruising club, Dr. Mike. The white sand beaches and pretty azure waters was the best we had seen in months and an excellent change up from the muddy river waters we had grown accustom to. It was good to be back in the Caribbean.

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