Little Green Boat

Spruce visited Japan and Alaska in 2018 after time spent in the South Pacific, NZ, Australia and Asia.

11 November 2019 | Bahia Los Friales - Baja Peninsula - Mexico
07 November 2019 | Bahia Tortuga - Baja Peninsula - Mexico
31 October 2019 | Bahia Tortuga - Baja Peninsula - Mexico
30 October 2019 | Isla San Martin
28 October 2019 | Isla San Martin
27 October 2019 | Ensenada and on Southwards
16 October 2019 | Ensenada - Mexico
16 October 2019
14 October 2019 | On Passage Santa Catalina to Ensenada
07 October 2019 | San Miguel - California
04 October 2019 | On Passage - Morro Bay to San Miguel
29 September 2019 | Sausalito - California - USA
29 September 2019
29 September 2019 | Santa Cruz - California - USA
29 September 2019 | Monterrey - California - USA
29 September 2019
29 September 2019 | Morro Bay - California - USA
20 September 2019 | Approaching San Francisco
20 September 2019
20 September 2019

Los Cabos & Eastwards

11 November 2019 | Bahia Los Friales - Baja Peninsula - Mexico
Sue & Andy
Our passage from Bahia Santa Maria was accompanied by light winds from astern. It became evident, we would be motor-sailing most of the way so we set our speed target to arrive somewhere on the south coast to avoid starting a second night at sea. A rocky high coastline north of Cabo San Lucas emerged dramatically in an orange pre-dawn glow. Craggy peaks, distorted igneous and sedimentary rock formations distinctly showed their relief, illuminated by early sunlight; almost like in a high altitude photograph. Towards midday we rounded False Cape and Cabo San Lucas. Gosh, what a shock. A mass of recreational fishing boats, each towing multiple lines astern. Presumably all in search of elusive big-fin fish. If this shows the extent of a typical day-fishing range from popular tourist venues perhaps few of the huge fish vaunted in publicity brochures exist any more. The Hemingway myth lives on unabated.
Also remarkable is the quantity of urban tourist development. Miles of shoreline appears similar to the Spanish Costas, or even rather similar to the Californian coast; holiday villas, resorts hotel complexes radiate from Cabo San Lucas, valuable south oriented waterfront property that does not relent until twenty-miles and beyond San Jose. Anchorages are few and exposed to Pacific swell from the south, even though protected from northern quadrant winds. A night comfortably anchored at Punta Palmilla and we moved on eastwards in search of some more natural scenery.
Another thirty miles, another anchorage in sand at Los Frailes (The Friars), named we assume from a Spanish mission of old. This was more to our liking, raw cliffs, rock and beach without an unending backdrop of buildings. This region clearly has more rainfall than we saw at Tortugas. Although arid, there is much more vegetation and a more pleasing vista ashore. Greens and other colours intersperse the bare features. This is still a potentially hostile coastline for a vessel, open to the south and east, only a narrow strip of sand sheltered from northerly winds and seas.
As seen in Australia and other parts of the world, land based snow birds on extended camping trips away from winter are encountered. Dan and Jackie from the northern inland regions of British Columbia have headed into the Baja for a few months each of the past four winters. It may be dusty but it beats shovelling snow and chipping ice at home.
Antics of Pelicans, Crested Kara-Kara and Turkey Buzzards proved interesting to observe. Offshore several pods of dolphins visited, likely Bottle-nose and Fraser's types. A hurried dive by a turtle as we passed counted our first one of those seen for a while. Many sizable Rays leaped skywards in somersault, maybe to dislodge parasites, perhaps disgruntled at our passage.
A first proper snorkel excursion, since on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean, took us along a rocky shoreline. Similarly to cooler waters on the eastern Atlantic seaboard at these latitudes, coral is very sparse. Tropical fish are suddenly prevalent. Possibly they have grown more numerous gradually, but we have not been braving cold water to confirm. Fishy creatures of the Trunk, Parrot, Cronus, Damsels, Puffers, Tangs and many others made an appearance. Probably due to recent strong winds the levels of sediment severely restrict visibility. Without coral to underpin the food chain we wonder what they are eating. We noted many urchins and wondered if these may be over-represented thus affecting the ecosystem as a whole.
Our objective is to move on north towards La Paz as temporary lulls in otherwise strong northerly winds facilitate easier progress. Bashing to windward through the night is rough and tough but we have done enough of that for now, unless absolutely necessary. The latest boat maintenance list has recharging our refrigeration system top of the list. An evaporator plate freezing only three-quarters across its width, and the fridge compressor running 24/7 indicates a problem to be resolved urgently before we sail farther south.

Dry and Dusty

07 November 2019 | Bahia Tortuga - Baja Peninsula - Mexico
Sue & Andy
Bahia Tortugas, also described on a lovely old paper chart as Bahia Bartoleme, named after the mountain at the entrance, is a very dry place. Dust pervades the atmosphere; it blows onto decks, canvas and rigging, even though we took pains to anchor a good way off the shore. Trucks sprinkle water onto the roadways each morning to settle what must be a constant curse for the inhabitants.
A gathering of residential dwellings lie along windy lanes. In places buildings are derelict, in others more recent renovations have been completed; many have high fences and gates, locals mention stray dogs wandering streets after dusk. A number of smaller shops can be found, some better stocked than others, all have a speciality. Cheese and olives can be purchased from the back of a truck; samples offered were tasted, perhaps a mistake.
Diesel fuel presents a conundrum. Cruising guides mention a local yacht service agent. Reports give mixed reviews about his product; short quantities and dirty fuel are mentioned. One yacht that refuelled at the jetty about the time we arrived was later towed back to Ensenada by a friend. They confirmed his engine was completely inoperable due to contaminated fuel. We discovered a local fuel station, perhaps a half mile into town, also has a diesel pump. Our trusty trolley was pressed into service and 70-litres bought to top up. On the second trip one of E's employees enquired where I was going. �"There is no diesel at that place, you must buy it from us at the jetty!�" Great practice for fledgling Spanish to explain, they do have diesel, I had already bought some. As I returned to the beach a huge shiny new pick up truck swerved onto the sand. Senor E., wanting assurances I would never buy fuel from anybody but him in future. I mentioned the 53% mark up on his prices. He was quick to say he is a businessman and can give me a good price. The welcoming boat that raced out upon our arrival only mentioned the one price. We later found that Asuncion, 50-miles along the coast, also has a fuel station with diesel.
The trip from Asuncion southwards began under motor. Although, overall we achieved 26-hours of our 36-hour and 186-miles passage under sail and wind power. During our single full night at sea we were slowly overhauled by a large group of recreational motor vessels. As we sailed downwind at around 6-knots under wind-vane steering, we received a call on VHF. �"I am worried about our closest point of approach shown on AIS, we are going to get very close to each other!�" After a long pause and deep breath on our part, we responded... �"We are under sail, and you are the overtaking vessel?�" Eventually we received another call, followed by a manoeuvre to pass across our stern.
We arrived after dark the following evening at Bahia Santa Maria to a plethora of lights in the anchorage. We had caught up the fleet of 24-boats, plus a few more fishing vessels and a couple of sailboats.
Dawn brought another dry landscape. The air is more humid. We are now only 75-miles north of the Tropic of Cancer. Thick grey clouds billow to the southwest; convection activity to the south hint at the recently ending hurricane season, turbulent air still rises in the far south of Mexico. High in the sky today, two Magnificent Frigate Birds soar on thermals above. These black Man-o-War birds, the Skuas of the tropics, wait patiently to piratically steal a meal from any unsuspecting bird seen with a fishy catch below.
Tomorrow we shall depart early. One hundred and eighty miles until we round our southern most cape on the Baja California Peninsula and begin a slower northward trek into the lower reaches of the Sea of Cortez.

Real Sailing - At Last

31 October 2019 | Bahia Tortuga - Baja Peninsula - Mexico
Sue & Andy
We departed Bahia Sur on the promise of 20+Knots of wind from astern. A beautiful day dawned blue and clear but with little evidence of breeze. Forlornly we motored out of the bay. Ahead, well clear of the headland, ruffles on the water showed a breath. Farther ahead still another yacht turned northwards, hurriedly reefing mainsail. There was to be wind. A breeze rapidly picked up. Ten knots, fifteen then another few minutes and a 25-knot blast hit our under-reefed rig. Spruce heeled, we started fast reefing the mainsail and genoa. Off we went on a beam reach at almost 8-knots speed. The only downside was a half knot current opposite to our course and into the wind. A choppy zone of steep seas built, but we powered through with much spray thrown over the entire boat.
Spruce leaped in bounds across the open waterway towards Isla Natividad. Once into the lee the stiff breeze continued unabated, but the seas diminished. A glorious fast sail in flattish waters on a close-reach. Warm sunshine dried our spray coating, leaving a thick film of salt caked on ropes, metalwork and dog-house. Memories of warm water sailing flooded back, this fast evaporation has not been a factor in our sailing since arriving in Japan some eighteen months ago.
Past Monte Eugenia, dodging rafts of floating kelp as we sped onwards. Monte Bartoleme at the eastern entrance to part enclosed Bahia Tortuga rapidly approached. Close hauled for the last couple miles and we were into the entrance. The vista ahead was another arid dusty desert-like landscape. It rather reminded us of the island of Sao Vincente in the Atlantic Cape Verdes.
As the township opened up behind a headland, block shaped dwellings came into view. Concrete structures manifestly preferred over what had once been mud-brick adobe construction. Trees scattered amongst buildings provide welcome shade. In general, their numbers are limited for building wooden structures. Some homes are painted colourful shades, many faded under the harsh regime of this unrelenting sub-tropical sun; summers must be brutal. A squat church stands towards the eastern perimeter of town, its shape redolent of so many seen in Europe, its height less so. San Martin was our first anchorage, this our first anchorage with a town.

A Prickly Encounter

30 October 2019 | Isla San Martin
Sue & Andy
A hike ashore with friends from s/y Areana, and a goal to reach the summit point of San Martin, was scaled back when an apparently benign cactus leaped out and grabbed Bronwyn by the leg. Well, maybe a slight exaggeration, but these beasts are Peligroso, as our local guide, Ramon, advised. A ball of spiky fluff attached to a calf is idly brushed away with a hand, the point of attachment moves to the hand, leaving spines in leg. Some other device is required to remove the irritant...but most branch-like growths on this island are also coated with spines. Ramon pointed at one embedded into his leather boot; trainers offer inadequate protection, open mesh sandals fare worse. Now we know about these we shall avoid impalement. In Australia we assumed all creatures were dangerous, here in Mexico we shall assume all cactii are similarly endowed. (Ada points to the offending fauna, not too close or she will be taking that one home on the end of her digit.)
A small group of workers sojourn the summer months on the island. Some are fishing for Langosta, others are gathering Sargasso. We are unsure if that is the generic local name for seaweed or the particular type being collected. Divers use a portable air compressor to descend up to 10-metres depth, gathering the purple weed which is taken ashore and laid out to dry on the beach. When we saw Ramon he was stood in a box stamping down weed into a compressed bundle for transport to the mainland. He looked rather like a man treading grapes for the wine season. At first light, pangas heavily loaded with bales of sargasso race to San Quintin to deliver that latest crop. The collection is centralised in Ensenada for onward transportation to buyers; we assume for cosmetics or maybe biological culture material, Agar-Agar.
We spent a few days anchored at San Martin hoping for the unseasonal southerly winds to switch into the north, eventually our wish was granted and we left for Cedros Island 150-miles southwards. Light winds from astern enabled us to sail around 60% of the distance to a bay sheltered from the next round of Santa Ana winds due to spill out from the Golfo California (Sea of Cortez).
Bahia Sur (South Bay) in Cedros Island is a large sweeping bay backed by an arid landscape. In some places volcanic debris is widespread with evidence of lava, heat and dry white sulfurous emissions from the past. On the east side of the bay sedimentary deposits have been scarred by outwash from occasional heavy rainfall. Next stop south, a day sail on to Bahia Tortuga.

Donde Esta Las Langostas

28 October 2019 | Isla San Martin
Sue & Andy
It is amazing how previous cruising experiences fashion the lens through which we view the world. A speeding boat with a bunch of hefty blokes aboard, racing fast directly at you...in Eastern Borneo and other parts of Asia that would be a very alarming sight. It was not so long ago we were in those waters so the mental filters were still finely honed. The memory banks were hastily consulted. Fishermen? Officials? Pirates? Are they armed? Are they smiling? What is in the boat with them? Do we prepare to repel boarders? We were anchored and dead in the water.
As they bumped alongside we saw boxes of Crayfish, ropes and other paraphernalia associated with legitimate fishermen. Shouts of Langosta, Langosta! Phew! �"Want Bebida�" was the next utterance with the universal sign language of thumb pointed to mouth with head tipped back. Five crew, five beers, a box of mango juice and a very old can of cola resulted in three decent sized Langosta landing on our deck. They did not want money they wanted to barter for something they did not have on this desert island.
Within an hour of arriving we tucked heartily into a lobster luncheon.
Next instalment will bring �"Killer Cactii�", and a return to the Sargasso.

Into Mexico

27 October 2019 | Ensenada and on Southwards
Sue & Andy
Ensenada was described by both Mexicans and US citizens as �"Not Really Mexico.�" Close to the US Land Border, masses of expatriate residents and several North American style supermarkets make the transition less visually dramatic than a voyage across an ocean to a completely detached country.
However, there is a definite first taste of Mexico, and not only with the cuisine. Although many people speak English, there are far more who know only their native Spanish. Once away from the manicured tourist zone near the Malecon (literally translated as boardwalk- with not a wooden board in sight, more an Esplanade) the townscape changes. So Ensenada caters for all shades of tourist. Cruise ships disgorge visitors directly into buses or onto the Cruise-port dock. Restaurants and gift shops adorn the side-walks, with their attendant �"Come Eat �- You Buy�" door personnel. Portly gentlemen in large sombreros, carrying guitars or double bases roam the streets and cafes looking for couples that can be serenaded for a few dollars. And yes, more beggars materialise on days that cruise ships arrive.
Away from the harbour front, scenes more redolent of towns in Malaysia are found. Less investment in buildings, pathways and visual appearances, but with a vibrancy of a busy town. Cafes, small Tiendes and a throng of people going about their daily errands. Here a chance to practice our embryonic Spanish. Six years since we sailed from The Galapagos, having gained a very basic competency in the language; it is a struggle getting back even that level of proficiency. Since that time we have been using French, a bit of Fijian and a lot of Bahasa Indonesian. Oh why do those foreign-tongue cells in the brain seem to flush through with every change. We have time enough to learn and practice.
Our short sojourn in Ensenada has enabled us to become established in this, for us, new country. Boat formalities done, new local SIM card for the phone bought, resupplied with fruit and vegetables, (so much less chilled and transported than to the north, much cheaper to boot).
The rest of our time was spent finishing off burgeoning boat jobs, while we had access to hardware stores, and meeting a few more cruisers heading south into Mexico. Campbell and Jenn (s/y Charelle-Australia) who we first met in Astoria; Nora and temporarily absent Tim (s/y Candine) from Germany and Canada have plans to go south to Patagonia after Mexico; Jamie, Stephanie with children Ada, Riley, Bronwyn and Lochlin (s/y Arena) from Canada on a big family adventure south. Other folks we met on the way south through California are joining a rally that leaves from San Diego in early November. That has 150 boats involved, so we hope to stay ahead of and away from that mass exodus of snowbirds.
Our passage south from Ensenada took us overnight 90-miles to the island of San Martin. An introduction to the vagaries of weather on this coastline. An hour before our midday departure the air grew cold and thick fog formed, we felt our way to sea with the aid of electronic chart, GPS, depth sounder and radar. A forecast 10 knot easy broad reach, with wind astern, was a close hauled motor sail in less than 5-knots from the SSE. Extensive patches of thick fog persisted. Rigging, dog-house windows and the deck were all streaming with a soaking cloak of condensation of the like we didn't see, even in Alaskan fog. At dusk we ran into a patch of near invisible kelp, a piece of which lodged in the folding propeller. Nothing short of a dive under the boat was going to fix the problem. That task could wait until daylight on safety grounds. Meanwhile we painfully motored inefficiently at 3.5-knots, anything faster achieved nothing except a horrible vibration from the unbalanced propeller. At 3am the wind shifted from SW to NE. A hot dry breath from the shore, followed immediately by an almost 30-knots blast. Sue, off watch, almost tipped out of her bunk. After struggling with backed sails and reefing, we realised the moisture and wet was gone, the decks were fast drying and we sailed on a beautiful reach at 7 knots, maybe this would dislodge the kelp wrapped on the propeller? The warm wind continued, fleeces, hats and warm boots were discarded. Progressively over an hour the wind eased back to 10 knots, the boat was dry. Another 180 degree sudden wind shift and we were all aback again. A light southerly wind, the dripping blanket of fog reappeared and we were back to motor-sailing, the annoying weed had held firm throughout the brief sail.
A little after dawn, but now glassy calm with a lazy long swell from the north-west, we stopped the boat. Quick work with a serrated knife had the propeller cleared and we motored on our way at a more respectable 5.5 knots.
Our first anchorage in Mexico was at San Martin. Within seconds of the anchor being set a fast Panga, five men aboard, hurtled from the shore towards us. Uh Oh! (more later)..
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-18 brought us from Asia to Washington State via the Noorth pacific Rim. In 2019 we aim to cruise BC and then head south to Mexico.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/littlegreenboat
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Spruce's Photos - Main
96 Photos
Created 2 October 2019
106 Photos
Created 2 October 2019
54 Photos
Created 31 August 2019
From Tahsis to Tofino our last port of call on Vancouver Island.
57 Photos
Created 7 August 2019
119 Photos
Created 16 July 2019
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Created 22 June 2019
After cruising the Gulf Islands we sailed north into the channels and though to the Broughton Islands for a look-see before going on towards the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
105 Photos
Created 22 June 2019
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Created 2 May 2019
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Created 2 May 2019
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Created 29 October 2018
36 Photos
Created 29 October 2018
We arrived in Prince Rupert on the 19th of September 2018. Prince Rupert to Kannish Bay.
109 Photos
Created 14 October 2018
94 Photos
Created 17 September 2018
111 Photos
Created 7 September 2018
Prince William Sound to the Inside Passage.
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Created 22 August 2018
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Created 5 August 2018
87 Photos
Created 4 August 2018
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Created 3 August 2018
99 Photos
Created 3 August 2018
31 Photos
Created 28 July 2018
Alaska, Aleutian islands 2
103 Photos
Created 2 July 2018
Spruce sailed from Japan to the Aleutian islands in May 2018.
20 Photos
Created 2 July 2018
190 Photos
Created 9 May 2018
78 Photos
Created 8 May 2018
79 Photos
Created 8 May 2018
56 Photos
Created 7 May 2018
89 Photos
Created 7 May 2018
Spruce arrived in Okinawa on 12th march 2018. Cruising up the island s of Japan northwards.
111 Photos
Created 7 May 2018
50th Yap day celebrations over a 3 day period at two diifferent locations on the island.
104 Photos
Created 14 March 2018
World War 2 Wrecks on Yap Island.
16 Photos
Created 25 February 2018
24 Photos
Created 25 February 2018
We visited Yap , a small island one of the Federated States of Micronesia for over a month. Plenty of time to get to know a few folk and learn more about this ancient culture.
117 Photos
Created 25 February 2018
Sorong and Misool
71 Photos
Created 14 December 2017
West Papua
98 Photos
Created 18 November 2017
116 Photos
Created 18 November 2017
41 Photos
Created 26 August 2017
SailMalaysia Rally 2
103 Photos
Created 26 August 2017
119 Photos
Created 26 August 2017
108 Photos
Created 20 July 2017
89 Photos
Created 18 June 2017
118 Photos
Created 18 June 2017
Cruising Anambas Islands Indonesia during May 2017.
85 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Vietnam. Life on the River.
102 Photos
Created 5 March 2017
We spent a week in Campodia, mainly to see the wonders of Angkor Wat.
118 Photos
Created 16 February 2017
24 Photos
Created 12 August 2016
81 Photos
Created 28 June 2016
112 Photos
Created 18 June 2016
17 glorious days in Nepal, starting in the Katmandu valley.
114 Photos
Created 15 June 2016
Onto the beautiful Agra , what a stunning place. So many ancient buildings the Taj Mahal being the crown, obviously the best known.
98 Photos
Created 13 June 2016
All too soon, we were lets loose on Delhi. Thank goodness Lydie and Abdulla had given an insight to being in India. India is an assault on the senses, smelly, loud, physical and above all colourful... what an amazing place.
66 Photos
Created 13 June 2016
Our first taste of India, we enjoyed 5 days in Chennai with our friends Lydie and Abdulla. A great way to ease into the way things run in India. Lovely company, gorgeos food, great temples amazingly busy roads and markets. Thnk goodnes Abdulla was driving !
109 Photos
Created 12 June 2016
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Created 13 February 2016
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Created 7 January 2016
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Created 7 January 2016
130 Photos
Created 29 November 2015
We spent a couple of facinating days learning about the history of Melaka.
104 Photos
Created 22 November 2015
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Created 22 November 2015
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Created 8 November 2015
99 Photos
Created 8 November 2015
Our last island in Indonesia.
33 Photos
Created 27 October 2015
Belitung is one of islands to the East of Sumatra in the Indonesian Archipelago.
113 Photos
Created 27 October 2015
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Created 9 September 2015
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Created 7 September 2015
106 Photos
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121 Photos
Created 7 August 2015
ON our way up to Darwin
38 Photos
Created 7 July 2015
Our final destination in Australia was to be Darwin..... along way to sail up the east coast and the top of Australia.
113 Photos
Created 5 July 2015
We spent 21 eventful days in a small van driving to experience the size of Austalia. We saw some wonerful sights and met many intersesting people. After 7,777 km we felt we had given it a good go. So here are a few images taken along the way.
91 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
We left Hobart on the 26th February to make our way back up the coast of Australia to Brisbane.
62 Photos
Created 24 March 2015
A wonderful 4 day event in the middle of Hobart.
36 Photos
Created 10 February 2015
115 Photos
Created 9 January 2015
Our time in Tasmania Jan 2015
119 Photos
Created 9 January 2015
Spruce is now in Port Stephens a lovely spot with pleanty of bays to explore.
81 Photos
Created 12 November 2014
The 2014 voyages of Spruce culminated with her arrival in Australia. The first large continenet encountered since leaving the Americas almost 2 years ago.
119 Photos
Created 28 October 2014
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Created 19 October 2014
Spruce sailed to Vanuatu in early Sept 2014. We cruised the islands Aneityum through to Efate
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Created 17 September 2014
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120 Photos
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120 Photos
Created 31 January 2014
Yet more piccies from our trip to SA
70 Photos
Created 5 January 2014
120 Photos
Created 24 December 2013
120 Photos
Created 24 December 2013
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Created 4 December 2013
111 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
We arrived in Opua North island on the 24th of October after a 7 day passage from Tonga.
120 Photos
Created 24 October 2013
We visited the Ha' Api group of islands , then Tonga tapu.
62 Photos
Created 12 October 2013
We have had such a brilliant time in in the Vavau area of Tonga.
119 Photos
Created 18 September 2013
We have arrived in the beautiful Kingdom of Tonga, a group of many islands. Most seem to be uplifted limestone slabs with beautifully coloured cliffs and deep caves.
120 Photos
Created 27 August 2013
We have fallen in love with this island of beautiful landscapes and people and cannot seem to drag ourselves away.
63 Photos
Created 19 August 2013
A small island a thousand miles from Bora Bora
117 Photos
Created 12 August 2013
The island of Huahine, 90 miles south of Tahiti.
98 Photos
Created 21 July 2013
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Created 9 July 2013
33 Photos
Created 30 June 2013
In June 2013 Spruce visited some of the atolls in the Tuamotus
120 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
After 21 days at sea we finally reached these beautiful islands.
114 Photos
Created 29 April 2013
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Created 11 March 2013
119 Photos
Created 7 March 2013
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Created 1 March 2013
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Created 15 February 2013
We arrived in the enchanted islands after only a 6 day passage from las Perlas.
120 Photos
Created 9 February 2013
A group of little known islands that lie about 35miles south of Panama city.
59 Photos
Created 22 January 2013
On 21st December we joined a group of other cruisers for a trip up the Rio Chargres to one of the Embera indigenous peoples villages
70 Photos
Created 22 December 2012
During mid-December 2012 Spruce transited through the Panama Canal into the Pacific. Here are photos of the first days on the Panamanian Pacific coast.
9 Photos
Created 19 December 2012
On the 15th of December we started our journey through the Panama Canal. An overnight stop in Gatun lake, then our passage through the last locks into the Pacific.
70 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
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Created 13 November 2012
A trip back to the UK. Quite a contrast from Panama both in temperature and culture. A short break before tackling the Pacific Ocean
32 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
Travelling up through the San Blas ( Kuna Yala)
118 Photos
Created 6 November 2012
After sailing from Cartagena and visiting islands en route towards Panama we made a last stop in Colombia in the Darien region jut south of the Panama - Colombia border.
107 Photos
Created 23 August 2012
Spruce sailed from Santa Marta to Cartagena in Colombia in early August 2012. This album has photos of our time in the city.
64 Photos
Created 6 August 2012
The boat was berthed in Marina de Santa Marta ready for a trek to the old city occupied from 800-1525 AD. La Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) or La Ciudad Teyuna (The Nature City)
81 Photos
Created 23 July 2012
This album includes some images from our trip into the mountains of Colombia
18 Photos
Created 13 July 2012
We are anchored in a small bay (Bahia Taganga) near the town of Santa Marta Colombia.
120 Photos
Created 22 June 2012
Another of the Dutch Antillean islands, Curacao
122 Photos
Created 6 June 2012
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Created 29 May 2012
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Created 26 May 2012
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Created 26 May 2012
In May we sailed from Grenada to the island of Bonaire some 400M to the West. Bonaire is world renowned as a dive destination.
118 Photos
Created 11 May 2012
Son Robin and his partner Hanneke joined us for a couple of weeks for some diving and sightseeing in Grenada and the Grenadines. Here are some photos
67 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
A quick sail through the Grenadines before we head up to USVIs at theend of March
61 Photos
Created 13 March 2012
A group of photos showing some of the scenery encountered during a couple of Hash meetings in Grenada
34 Photos
Created 25 February 2012
Originally we planned to have left Grenada by now. With Sue's trip back to the UK Spruce will stay a bit longer. Here are photos for those extra weeks.
37 Photos
Created 11 February 2012
Every year in February the Island of Grenada holds workboat races in Grande Anse Bay near St Georges. Here areb a selection of photos.
22 Photos
Created 5 February 2012
A selections of piccies from our last week or so in this beautiful island
18 Photos
Created 2 February 2012
Getting on top of the jobs that will be more difficult to accomplish when we get into the Pacific...and embarking enough spares for comfort.
18 Photos
Created 14 January 2012
In December 2011 we completed our Open Water dive qualification and followed up in January with our Advanced Open water...some photos of the experiences
41 Photos
Created 6 January 2012
On 30th December 2011 a group of 9 intrepid sailors from 5 different vessels hopped into a minibus for a tour of the island.
18 Photos
Created 30 December 2011
On 27th December De Big Fish hosted a Cruisers Pot Luck meal and an Open Microphone Session for musicians aboard cruisers to show their latent talents.
17 Photos
Created 28 December 2011
Passage from Cape Verdes to Grenada during Nov/Dec 2011
29 Photos
Created 9 December 2011
A return visit after 2009/10 cruise. This time focusing on Grenada and ABCs before going West.
55 Photos
Created 9 December 2011
After Sal we visited Boa Vista, Sao Nicolau and Sao Vincente. Here are some memories of those islands
35 Photos
Created 22 November 2011
Pictures from first island in Cabo Verdes
40 Photos
Created 6 November 2011
On to a destination visited during the cruise in 2009/10. The island of La Gomera, another favourite.
39 Photos
Created 7 October 2011
Spruce sails from Madeira to the Canary Island of La Palma
25 Photos
Created 2 October 2011
A return vsit to Madeira almost exactly 2-years after our we sailed here aboard our Ohlson 38, also named Spruce.
25 Photos
Created 13 September 2011
After all the work to prepare Spruce for setting off cruising we finally got away in the middle of August...and sailed from Portsmouth, UK, to the Madeiran Archipelago.
38 Photos
Created 27 August 2011
Spruce II needed a new deck and other TLC so off we went to North Wales for a while.
20 Photos
Created 13 July 2011
Having found our new boat we are in the throws of preparing to set off. The boat is delayed on re-decking but we are busy getting the house ready for letting and sorting what we will keep and what must be sentenced.
7 Photos
Created 6 May 2011
Our search for another boat was successful and we procured a Halberg Rassy 42. This album shows the preparations for setting off cruising again.
12 Photos
Created 20 February 2011
After travelling back to the UK aboard the Snoekgracht in late October 2010 we started the hunt for Spruce II
10 Photos
Created 14 December 2010
Between 21st and 31st October 2010 Spruce was transported across the Atantic aboard a ship, M/V Snoekgracht, with the Sprucettes aboard the same ship.
15 Photos
Created 2 November 2010
Due to our shipping date being delayed from late September until mid-October we have spent more time in Newport than envisaged. Some more piccies of our sojourn.
10 Photos
Created 12 October 2010
While anchored at Newport the Sprucettes had a day's outing with cruising friends Bert & Marlene from Heimkehr. Here are sojme photographs of the day at Mystic Seaport Museum.
47 Photos
Created 11 October 2010
Spruce sailed from Provincetown, Cape Cod, and on to Newport RI with an overnight stop at Onset in Buzzards Bay.
39 Photos
Created 21 September 2010
Spruce left Shelburne in Nova Scotia and enjoyed just over 2 weeks in Maine before heading down to Cape Cod
27 Photos
Created 12 September 2010
Spruce left Les Iles Magdelenes on 12th August and after anchoring for a night at Port Hood Island on the West coast of Cape Breton Island went on to the Bras d'Or Lake via St Peter's Canal.
13 Photos
Created 16 August 2010
A small group of islands lay between Gaspé and Cape Breton Islands. Some photographs of the few days spent there.
41 Photos
Created 15 August 2010
The St Lawrence is now some 80 miles wide, as large as the English Channel between the UK and France. Past Ile de Anticosti we move out of the river and into the Gulf.
21 Photos
Created 6 August 2010
Our journey from Montreal and down the impressive St Lawrence River and Spruce's return to the Atlantic Ocean.
66 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
This album covers our time in Montreal (provincial capital) and Quebec City, two major cities in the French speaking province of Quebec.
29 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
Spruce transited the (approx) 100M of locked waterway from the St Lawrence River to Montreal between 8th and 11th July 2010.
38 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
Spruce sailed from Oswego, USA to Collins Bay, near Kingston in Ontario, Canada, over thhe weekend of 3rd-4th July 2010. This album covers time in Ontario and the trip towards the St Lawrence Seaway.
33 Photos
Created 6 July 2010
After a brief stop in New York the Sprucettes, already behind time, hheaded up the Hudson River to start their river and canal journey to Oswego and Lake Ontario. Photos of that stage of the voyage.
50 Photos
Created 25 June 2010
Spruce arrived in New York after an over-night trip from Cape May, on 19th June 2010.
12 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
Spruce arrived in the USA at Cape May, New Jersey, on 16th June after 5 days at sea. An album to show the trip and our first port of call in America.
6 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
On 30th May 2010 Spruce arrived in Bermuda afyter 13-days at sea dodging bad weather en-route from the BVIs. Soime photographs of the time on this distant island 650 Miles from the US Coast.
42 Photos
Created 9 June 2010
On 17th May Spruce left the BVIs to start an expected 6-day sail to Bermuda some 850 Miles to the North. The first tropical depression of the season and a selection of other weather phenomena conspired top extend this to 13-days at sea. Here are some photographs of that passage.
30 Photos
Created 30 May 2010
Latest pictures from BVIs
23 Photos
Created 11 May 2010
Spruce arrived in BVIs at Virgin Gorda on 29th April.
27 Photos
Created 1 May 2010
Some piccies of our couple of days moored in a marine reserve
22 Photos
Created 27 April 2010
A selection of photos from our day out amongst the Classic Yachts
17 Photos
Created 18 April 2010
Spruce arrived in Barbuda, from Guadeloupe, on 25th March 2010. Some photos of our adventures there.
47 Photos
Created 26 March 2010
Spruce sailed from Dominica to Les Saintes on 17th March 2010. These islands are just south of and part of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. This album captures memories of this, our next, island in the Antilles.
10 Photos
Created 18 March 2010
On 7th March Spruce sailed into Prince Rupert Bay at the north west side of Dominica. The last island with rain forest before Puerto Rico! An album of memories from our next island visited.
51 Photos
Created 10 March 2010
Spruce arrived in the Caribbean on 18th December 2009 after crossing the Atlantic from the Cape Verde Islands. This album shows the various albums covering our time cruising the Caribbean.
7 Photos | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 2 January 2010
Between 2nd December and 18th December 2009 Spruce sailed from Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands, to Barbados, caribbean. This album shows some of the photographs taken at sea during the 15 Day and 21 hour crossing.
11 Photos
Created 20 December 2009
Spruce sailed from La Gomera, Canary Islands, for the Cape Verdes on 14th November 2009 and arrived at Mindelo on the island of Sao Vincente after 6 days at sea. This album captures the passage getting there and the time in Sao Vincente and the adjacent island of Santo Antao.
16 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
Friends who are planning on heading off on future cruising trips themselves have expressed interest in feedback on our thoughts about the various systems and equipment aboard... what works well, lessons learned and general thoughts based upon experience. We have divided the blog into two categories: News and Updates; Boat Systems... the general news items uploaded so far will by under "News & Updates" and the equipment etc will be under "Boat Systems" ... you should be able to filter what categories you view when you access the blog.
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 6 November 2009
To follow
6 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 20 October 2009
Spruce arrived in Madeira main island on 9th September after leaving Porto Santo earlier the same day. Here are photos as we travel around the island.
14 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 September 2009
The passage from Cascais, near Lisbon, to the Madeiran island of Porto Santo took four days of downwind sailing at sea and some beautiful images were captured.
18 Photos
Created 5 September 2009
Spruce arrived in Portugal on 14th August 2009. This album and sub-albums shows a few photographs of our travels within Portugal.
3 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 17 August 2009
Spruce arrived in Spain at La Coruna on 11th July 2009 after a four day sail from Dingle 550 sea miles to the North-North West.
25 Photos
Created 17 August 2009
Spruce cruised from Baltimore to Bantry Bay and then up to the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. After spending the summer solstice celebrations at this most northerly point of the cruise we headed back to the Shannon and Dingle before sailing for Galicia in Spain.
22 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 August 2009