Catching The Dream

19 April 2018 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
19 April 2018 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
17 April 2018 | North Atlantic 40 nms off Barbados, 17th April
17 April 2018 | North Atlantic 40 nms off Barbados, 17th April
15 April 2018 | North Atlantic 400 nms off St L,; opp Guyana Sun 15th April
14 April 2018 | North Atlantic 534 nms off St L,; op French Guiana/Surinam Sat 14th April
13 April 2018 | North Atlantic 734 nms off St L,; op French Guiana, Fri 13th April
12 April 2018 | North Atlantic 880 nms off St L, Thurs 12th April
10 April 2018 | North Atlantic 1200 nms off St L, 400 nms off the Amazon delta, Tues 10th April
10 April 2018 | North Atlantic 1230 nms off St L, Tues 10th April
09 April 2018 | North Atlantic 1300 nms off St L: Monday 9th April
08 April 2018 | North Atlantic 8th April
07 April 2018 | 3 nm N of Equator - North Atlantic 7th April
06 April 2018 | 59.191 nm S of Equator - South Atlantic 6th April
04 April 2018 | South Atlantic 5th April
02 April 2018 | Fernando de Noronha 2nd April
01 April 2018 | Fernando de Noronha 1st April
30 March 2018 | South Atlantic Ocean Fri 30th
29 March 2018 | South Atlantic Ocean Thurs 29th
27 March 2018 | South Atlantic Ocean Tues 27th

24,863 nms 'round the block'

19 April 2018 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Pam's comment about statistics incites some more. eg the 'round the block' mileage registered by the impeller is 24863 - at least from Rodney Bay and back again. The benefit of the mostly favourable current will mean that we actually covered more, but that extra isn't quantifiable.
Saiiing from our departure port of Torrevieja, our log produces a total of 30,308 nms and our route back to La Linea, via the Azores suggests there's another 3,300 miles to go. We stopped at La Linea on our way out, so I'll do a 'Door to door' mileage when we get back there!
I must admit, it all sounds quite a reasonable lot.

Around the block

19 April 2018 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Mart - Sunny with sudden heavy downpours
We crossed our outgoing track at about 0800 UTC yesterday, passing from the SE the same waypoint that we passed from the NE on the 3rd December 2014 on our way into St Lucia as part of the ARC+ rally. Thus, we officially completed our circumnavigation at that time.
We arrived and moored up in Rodney Bay Marina at around the same time as on that first occasion. It is good to be back - and lovely to see so many familiar faces, again. We even had friends Glenys and Nev from Alba round for drinks last evening!
We were all pretty tired to exhausted, but managed to keep going with a nap in the day. A few beers with G&N, then rum punches with dinner ashore made certain we all slept soundly!
Earlier, soon after clearing in, I had tested my luck to find an acceptable replacement supply of batteries available, in stock and charged ready to go.
We will take delivery Friday once we have accumulated enough cash to get the max discount.
I also got a rigger to call, but he doesn't have the necessary equipment - no-one on the Island does - so we must go to Martinique; some 30 miles N up the chain.
We'll organise that for next week, having got all the other jobs done here, hopefully, and had some time to tour and chill.
The new wind doodah for the top of the mast had arrived, so that was fitted by the rigger, and seems to be working, OK.
So....jobs it is for a few days.....

Shaping up for landfall

17 April 2018 | North Atlantic 40 nms off Barbados, 17th April
We had one more great 24 hours of sailing before the winds became more tricky again - lighter, with awkward angle. Thus yesterday, it was decided to revert to Plan A and go N around Barbados.
As a result of the slower conditions, we have also lost the race to ensure we arrived in daylight. However, the Bay to Rodney Bay marina is wide and open and we have been there before. The marina is also well lit, so we have no concerns about approaching and either anchoring off the beach, or going straight into the marina. We'll decide when we get there.
The conditions are forecast to be relatively light, and the Bay is on the leeward side ode of the Island.
That arrival will officially end Maggie and my circumnavigation, so a beer might need to be sacrificed to celebrate the fact; with another to note Maggie's birthday yesterday.
ST L arrival is now only some 120 nms away. We have some jobs to do!


17 April 2018 | North Atlantic 40 nms off Barbados, 17th April
is a funny concept. Part of me doesn't believe in it, rather preferring the maxim that you make your luck. Hence, when I really have tried to do the right thing, taken the sensible and responsible course, only to find fate sniggering at my stupidity; do I feel rather p'd off.. This trip has well and truly driven the point home....from the electronics (I bought a spare chartplotter from a dealer I trusted - only for it to have serious faults that cost a small fortune to not even fix). It failed the first time it was used at sea!. I accept the dealer acted in good faith, as an intermediary on someone else's behalf, but the wallet with a hole in it is still mine. I won't mention the crew: that we met up with, or even invited home to stay, but who went on to make our life a misery. No. I won't mention them. The batteries were high quality, top spec internationally branded batteries - pretty costly - that were bought at the very beginning, in Spain, to ensure we had a trouble free 2-3 years, given that they had a life expectancy of 7 -10!. They worked fine until we installed the solar panels and a controller from the same company. Unbeknown to us, the controller had a fault at manufacture that fried the batteries under the Catribbean sun for 5 months. That I was responsibly paying the Yard in Grenada specifically to look after the batteries, made no difference. In fact the idiot turned off the fridges which I had left on to create some load - with the fridges closed shut! I returned from the UK to find overcharged batteries and fridges with mouldy food! The electrical system has been a constant issue ever since, with peculiar faults showing up in various bits of equipment: to make you think it's that equipment that's faulty. Until, that is, some techie advises you to replace it - which you do - and the fault remains...... but you are off already; traveling to the next scheduled destination. It was finally in New Caledonia that the fault in the solar controller was found. However, I was not alert, nor alerted, to the seriousness of the damage to the batteries, which I can now see with hindsight, were deteriorating rapidly, but even then, any issues were masked by us having shore-power in the OZ marina. It was the lucky lightning miss that has brought matters to a head with the forcible replacement of kit highlighting the ongoing issues, so that this trip across the S Atlantic has been an increasing struggle with the fast failing batteries. I now HAVE to replace the batteries in St Lucia and attempt to get the maker of both the solar controller and the batteries to recompense me. I will need some luck to succeed with that! Finally, a stand of the most difficult to get at rigging wire broke yesterday. It was all sensibly and responsibly renewed in Australia by a well known rigger a year ago, and then responsibly tested in Rodrigues after the worst part of the most hard wearing sailing conditions of the whole circumnavigation. I can't see any alternative but to have the mast taken off in St Lucia for the broken wire and end fittings to be replaced. That won't be cheap. I only hope it can be done in time as we have to be gone....or stay somewhere 'safe' here or back in Grenada for the upcoming hurricane season. Who's a lucky boy? At least the mast hasn't fallen over!

Steady as she goes

15 April 2018 | North Atlantic 400 nms off St L,; opp Guyana Sun 15th April
Another great night's passage making - dry, with the wind blowing around 20 knots, consistently angled off the starboard beam to continue giving us 24 hour distances of around 180 nms, with only slight help from the current. The inevitable hand sized cotton wool clouds that obscure the stars as they transit the inky firmament were the only feature to diminish the joy. Autopilot Graham seems so calm and cool as he meets the pull of the swell and DC just dinks and weaves through the foam - leaving the crew on watch to hang on to save him/herself from a tumble as (s)he dodges the invading mug-lets of spray in the same gyrating movement. Cheer out loud joy! This morning's wind GRIB files continue to promise much the same, except for small but important variations in direction and strength. Plan A is leave Barbados to port and hang a left for St Lucia, once off Barbados' NE corner. However, the prospect of lighter, backing winds suggest that going S of Barbados and maybe St Lucia too, and then up the west coast of whichever might have a better wind angle at the time, so we have changed course 5 degrees to the latter. If the A route proves the best, we can easily and advantageously change back, whereas to ignore B much longer could give the worst outcome. Nice problem (1), eh? Meanwhile, the morning has clouded over somewhat, and rain looks a distinct possibility. We would all welcome the washing away of the salt that coats everything - especially the solar panels. These also need a clean of the leaving present from the latest noddy that got evicted a couple of nights ago. I must have given him quite a surprise - given the volume left behind! The sea temperature is said to be 32.3C, while, here at the nav table, it's 31 - so quite warm. Our friends further south tell me on the evening SSB net that it's 35+ around the Equator. We seem to have dodged the more extreme temperaturess and had pretty comfortable conditions. It has even been verging on the 'cool' at night. Nice problem (2), eh? Maggie has decided to make her chocolate hedgehog biscuit and nuts batch today - using up the remains of the cocoa, so no Mart's Magnificent Apri-Choco Cake for her birthday tomorrow. We'll defer celebrating the latest of her advancing years, ashore.

Current situation

14 April 2018 | North Atlantic 534 nms off St L,; op French Guiana/Surinam Sat 14th April
After another night of superb sailing in dry weather and good winds, but against the current, its effect began to wane in late morning and by lunch time, it was neutral to favourable, which is how it is now. It's not as strongly with us as it was against, but that's OK. So, we're making good progress and after Maggie's macaroni cheese dinner, preparing for another 'blowy' night. The wind is trending aft by a few degrees, which affects sail trim, so crew must stay alert to that. Otherwise, all well here as we press to ETA Weds. However, with lesser wind forecast a few days ahead and the direction from further aft, we'll be slower, so I'm thinking Thursday.......Although, it wouldn't be the first time the forecast was wrong.... Toss that coin....heads! Pip pip
Vessel Name: DreamCatcher
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 49DS
Hailing Port: Cowes
Crew: Martin and Margaret Rutt
Extra: We're only popping out for a sail. We've 'done' the San Blas, Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquesas, Rangiroa, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Tanna, New Caledonia and Brisbane; and up to Darwin so see you in........err....Durban.
DreamCatcher's Photos - DreamCatcher's Grenada to Australia Pics
Photos 1 to 163 of 163 | Main
Gracious Giraffe: Beautiful
Unfolosi scorpion in UV light: Not dangerous to humans, and almost invisible in white light. Weird.
Mysterious Loch Ness Hippo monster: Family in the St Lucia wetlands
Geckos on a toilet wall: Christmas Island
Sunset: Over Darwin from Fannie Bay
2nd biggest.: There
Whitsunday Isle: Nice hilly walk from the beach
I need a wide angle lens!: Biggest croc in the Cairns Croc park
Up a banyan tree: the world
DC at sunset
The ultimate removal: James Cook
The names..........: Wally in the Southern Ocean
Fascinating - Height of fashion: No flies on Katie!
Kate and Bernie
I wonder what and where....
Larrie and Kevin, Yorkey
The GG gap on the chart
Gariguri gap
Bali Temple
Locking out of tipperary Waters, Darwin
OK, so Fiji won!: Rugby 7
Savu Savu: Copra Shed Marina
Savu Savu: Approaching
Levuka 5: 1850
Rugby hostesses: Levuka
Couple of anchors: Plus M&G in Levuka
Ouch: Rugby7
Levuka 4: High street
Levuka 3: Library, museum and tourist office
Levuka 2: Backdrop to the town
Levuka : On arrival
Cruise ship off Suva: 3 miles off and only just visible
Capsized off Levuka: TC Winston did a lot of damage
Rain again?: Fiji in the dry season
Proof: Gonza and me with Sonny and Cher
El Despatcher: Gonza, strapped on, about to despatch our tuna
Rod, me, and a tuna : My first yellow fin tuna is about to board
Toilet is engaged........
Oops!: Caught on the apex of the ridge of the dune
Durban Marina Cat: A message to take to heart!
Ardmore Ceramics: Fantastical animal ceramics
Maggie wants her hair like this: No complaints from me! Just the hair?
Hong Kong skyline: with Maggie
Never mind gardening: Get rid of that ugly bush..........
Firing off
Ding ding: It
Noonday Gun: Ho hum
Adding to the guano on deck: Ain
Lucky - engine control: 10 years of water accumulation - we are lucky this failed AFTER we moored in Manly!
Christmas in Brisbane
M&M in skirts: Hindu Temple, Fiji
Nasonisoni Passage: Between N and S Island
Sindbad in Suva: Gonza knew the NZ owner of this beauty
Oops !: Another reef victim
Yep, the flash works: Birthday cake
Gonza and Maggie: At sea
DreamCatcher at sunset
BoraBora Yacht Club
BBYC Mooring
Galapagos: Kicker Rock
Panama canal: Breathe in.........
Training: Six man pirogue at sunset
Teamwork - San Blas style
Bridge of The Americas: Entering the Pacific Ocean
Raiatea Reef: Bora Bora in the background
2 men in a boat: Alex and Gonza in the RIB
Maggie shingled
Gonzalo - Huahine
As good as it looks: Maggies
Black tipped shark: Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa
Rangiroa remora
Our own Hiawatha: Gonza saving fuel, Moorea
Marea altar
Looking out for bommies: coral head spotting, Raiatea
Galapagos: That
Shower time: time for a fresh water shower
DreamCatcher San Blas
Team Dreamcatcher Ashore: Moorea overlook
Raiatea marea
Fruits of our foraging: Leaving Huahine
Birthday Supper time: with Alex and Gonzalo
In the midst of a dream
Ua Pou
Land ahoy!
Tiki: More tikis than you could shake a stiki at
Paul Gaugin grave
Marquesan skyline2
Dealing with chafe: The sheet on the poled out Genoa
Sealion protection: Keeping sealions off the sugar scoop
Blue footed boobies
Tiki Site
Marquesan skyline
Melonhead whales
Pifa: with Pampelmousse, Hiva Oa
Melonhead whales: Swimming with humans
Marquesan Tiki: Nuku Hiva site
Melonhead: with us as we leave
Atuoma headland, Marquesas
Ashore, but rarin
Thomas and Maggie are Pool Buddies: Padi training with Reece  from Aquanautics
Happy Valentine bubbles!
Off Grenada
Having another Padi
Pacific passagers: And they are under starters
Poor Lennie is about to become a rich lobster dinner
Banedup Cay, San Blas
Highly des res
A view from San Lorenzo fort
Panamanian bus
Oops - Puerto Belo Pilot: Don
Local Bus: Best to keep out of their way! You
Portobelo fort: Keeping the pesky Brits out for 250 years
Part of
Typical menu for the officers
Dreaded fender eggs: You don
Immigration is a big isue: Blinkin
Carousing: Thomas with a beer in a Colon bar
The other side: Gatun Locks Reception from land
Alex, Gonzalo, Maggie and Martin: Today Papeete, tomorrow Moorea and the rest of the passage
A,G, M&M - Papeete: .........and sideways
Rarotonga Needle: The centre piece of the cross island trek
Bill Marsters and
Meet the Marsters: In the cockpit, Palmerston
Nieuatopatapu, Tonga: New Potato or Tit Island, N Tonga
Last night drinks for Alex
Sunset over DC
Nieafu harbour, Vava
Nieafu harbour N passage: Him, her and half a Gonze selfie
Tight squeeze: Vava
Tight?: We
He don
Nuku Alofa Tonga: Hmmmm
It can get windy: Nuku Alofa harbour
Pangaimotu: Big Mama Yacht Club
Maggie and Ole Jug-Ears: Nice angle, Gonze. Thanks!
Ahhhh. How romantic: Nice moment, Gonze - thanks!