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 [...]

Adding more Bubbles

19 May 2012 | english harbour, antigua
cap'n alex
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 to sell our gasoline (no longer of any value to us as we no longer have an outboard) to the Barbados cruising club commodore, Dr. Mike, to help raise cash to pay for check out costs. Thanks to local sailor Wipers we were lent a dingy to use for our days there.

One morning I woke to what I thought sounded like horses surrounding the boat to find that there were indeed horses swimming around our boat. I jumped in to join them in the pretty turquoise waters and was even able to ride one briefly. Besides making lots of good rum, Barbados also has some mighty fine race horses and the low impact training of ocean swimming is just the trick to their success.

Also in Barbados we bumped into old friend John and Jack on sailboat Iris who we hadn't seen since Simonstown in South Africa. It was nice to share the intricacies of Barbados (the local McDonalds was shut down because they didn't serve fried chicken, KFCs are everywhere) with an old friend I had first met at a remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but like always with sailing friends the brief reunion was followed by another goodbye as Diego and I set out for St. Lucia.

Our passage to St. Lucia was smooth sailing with spinnaker flying most the way. Spotted dolphins greeted us with the sunrise. We arrived at the south end of the island near the international airport only to discover my brother Joe was flying into the local airport on the north end of the island (a 30 miles sail). We found him in Rodney Bay with captain hat on and rum bottle in hand and so began the celebration of the Bubbles round the World circumnavigation (also helping the celebration was St. Lucia Jazz Fest which included the likes of Ziggy Marly and Diana Ross). Also making an appearance was the Barbados commodore Dr. Mike who has sailed his 30 footer over for the Jazz fest.

Setting sail for Antigua to meet more crew we made only 4 miles towards our destination in the first 6 hours as we beat into 25 knots easterlies with current against us. Overcast skies with rain squalls didn't help our hangovers from the Madagascar rum drinking the previous night and in a rare occurrence Diego even puked. Once to windward of Martinique the wind shifted southeasterly in our favor and like a rocket we shot the next 170 miles in just over a day.

We arrived into English Harbour just before 4 am. The stylishly lit massive megayachts and classic sailing vessels (many with masts so tall they need the red aviation lights to warn passing aircraft) that were left over from sailing race week just a couple weeks before grabbed our attention in the otherwise dark and quiet hurricane hole. We tied up between two classic schooners at Nelson's Dockyard but it wasn't until morning when we walked ashore and looked back that we saw how dwarfed Bubbles was amongst the shiny boats (Bubble still ranked as the prettiest amongst our circle).

Joining as crew that day to carry on the festivities was Paddy King, a true Bubbles diehard , out of London town, crewed across the Mozambique Channel; Molly Smith, aka Starbird, out of Omaha Nebraska, returning from recently crewing up the Amazon river; and Barbara, a Bubbles rookie, out of the Netherlands, raised sailing in the North Sea. Also just happening to be in Antigua working on another boat was Sara from Texas who I had met in Jamaica three years before when starting the journey. With such a crowd together a hike up to Shirley Heights was in order for the Sunday afternoon steel drum band. Donning the Bubbles shirts we carried the party into the night and in true Bubbles fashion were last ones to leave (this made for an interesting hike back down from the cliff overlooking Antigua as we had no flashlights). Up at sunrise we set sail for Barbuda.

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