Little Green Boat

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

26 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-15)
24 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-13)
23 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-12)
22 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-11)
21 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-10)
20 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-9)
19 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-8)
18 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-7)
17 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-6)
15 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-5)
15 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-4)
14 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-3)
13 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-2)
12 March 2020 | Manzanillo - Colima - Mexico
03 March 2020 | Bahia Chamela - Mexico
03 March 2020
03 March 2020
03 March 2020
28 February 2020 | Yelapa - Banderas Bay - Mexico
28 February 2020

Dances with Waves

26 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-15)
Sue & Andy
Day 15�- 27/3/20 at 00:06utc - Distance logged:1,802M �- Distance to Go: 1,365M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn
We are close reaching in around 15kn trade winds. It is a bouncy ride but we hope to be a little more onto a beam reach tomorrow. The waves are somewhat disorganised and we are angling I to them so this is not very comfortable sailing...much nicer to be going downwind. Although we are now doing 6.5-7kn.

More Wind Tomorrow

24 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-13)
Sue & Andy
Day 13�- 25/3/20 at 00:16utc - Distance logged:1,537M �- Distance to Go: 1,615M - Ave Speed: 5.1kn
After a fast night, the winds have eased a little today and there is a little more east in them...but not for long. We are making good progress south and soon expect to have stronger winds from ahead of the beam. A wet close reach is anticipated. Blog updates may necessarily reduce over the next week or so, typing while bouncing excessively is much more difficult.
By tomorrow morning we should have passed our half way point.
Photo shows Sue enjoying the last of the smoother conditions before we hunker down. Even so, this next leg still should be much more pleasant than the slog in the NE Monsoon 2-years ago, sailing up to Japan: there we suffered days of 25-30knot winds.

Seventh Time Lucky

23 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-12)
Sue & Andy
Day 12�- 23/3/20 at 23:59:30utc - Distance logged:1,413M �- Distance to Go: 1,736M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn (Oops got date wrong y'day)
At 05:00 local time today we crossed the line (equator) for the seventh time aboard Spruce. This was probably the best experience yet, in terms of minimal convection activity and winds that have enabled us to sail almost the entire way through.
We are now very close reaching in 10-knots of wind. It is already getting bouncy and we are making around 6-knots. Although we are once again bucking a half knot of foul current. It is hoped the wind will ease back a little more into the south eas,t instead of SSE biased as at the moment.
Photo shows us paying homage to Neptune. But a wee sip for the two of us, and a tot into the ocean to give thanks for the generous weather.

South East Trades!

22 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-11)
Sue & Andy
Day 11�- 23/3/20 at 23:59utc - Distance logged:1,290M �- Distance to Go: 1,857M - Ave Speed: 5.1kn
Mundane chores must go on. We are taking the opportunity in this lighter wind zone near the equator to get some washing done. We are sure we are in the SE Trades now. For 24hours we have had SE winds and we hope to cross the equator during the night ahead, another 50-miles and we shall pay homage to Neptune & Poseidon with a nip of the strong stuff. A sniff for ourselves and a tot for the gentleman beneath the waves.
Another couple hundred miles of southing and we shall get stronger winds, possibly from ahead of the beam. Life will get boisterous, the hatches will be firmly clamped shut and below decks will be come humid and stuffy. Washing clothes will become pointless as spray across the decks will make drying them impossible.
We shall continue aiming east of our destination, so when we get into the stronger trade wind zone, farther south, we can bear away to make the ride for the final thousand miles more comfortable.

ITCZ Astern? - We Hope So!

21 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-10)
Sue & Andy
Day 10�- At 23:27utc - Distance logged:1,169M �- Distance to Go: approx 1,900M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn
The Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is the line approximately parallel to the equator where the SE Trades and the NE Trade winds meet. This place is where the sun's heating effect causes hot humid air to rise into the troposphere, leaving a low pressure zone at sea level. Along with this convection comes condensation as the rising air cools with altitude, the formation of thunderheads and in the worst cases strong localised winds, allied with torrential rainfall can make sailing through the doldrums quite tedious and sometimes challenging. The latest forecast this morning seems to indicate we have slipped through encountering winds of no more than 20-knots and more typically less than 16-knots. Although the shifts in direction associated with each passing rain shower have been a feature. However, this is not a constant moving belt of weather. Depending on local sea temperatures the ITCZ may suddenly re-materialise in a different location. It could still reappear south of our present position at latitude 2 degrees 40 minutes North. We hope not, as we slowly plod south, close hauled in a SSE breeze of around 5-10knots. Another 100-miles of southing and we should be clear of these troublesome doldrums.
Photo shows us looking back north this morning at the band of cloud we passed through along the ITCZ during the night.

Bouncing Along

20 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-9)
Sue & Andy
Day 9�- At 23:19utc - Distance logged:1040M �- Distance to Go: 2,022M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn
Winds have been up in the 14-18knot range today. Now things are a little less at up to 14-knots but with the wind slightly ahead of the beam. There appears to be some moderate convection clouds ahead but hopefully they will not build too much through the remainder of the afternoon and evening.
GRIB weather models are notoriously inaccurate, but the GFS model has proved quite close to reality over the past few days, perhaps a knot or two understated, direction and timing predictions have been good. We hope that continues as we approach the ITCZ, (the zone where the north-east and south-east trade winds meet near the equator), the model is showing a slight reduction in strength but enough easterly quadrant winds to keep sailing through to the equator. We wish it will be so.
All is well aboard and we continue to make steady progress.
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:
Spruce's Photos - Antigua & Barbuda
Photos 1 to 47 of 47 | Main
A replica J-Class yacht, similar to Velsheda, returning from being put through her paces out at sea in preparation for the racing of Classic Week starting on 16th April 2010.
The 25 feet long Swedish vessel Ouhm at Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua. Ingrid and Jonas sailed her from Goteborg. THeir longest passages were from Cork to Madeira and then from the Canaries to Guadeloupe acoross the Atantic in 39-days. Jonas went over the side in mid-Atlantic to scrape off the goose barnacles that had slowed their modest speed by 1-knot.
John and Sue providing "Sundowner Concert" aboard Spruce anchored at Falmouth Harbour - Antigua. The audience were the crews of Aleria (Alex & Daria), Rapau (Keith & Welly), Moonlight (Anne with John playing clarinet)
One of the transatlantic rowing boats. When we left La Gomera in the Canaries back in November these guys were preparing to depart in December for Antigua. The adverse weather delayed their departure until early Jan. Some are still at sea and due too complete soon.
Moon setting in the West as the sun rises in the East ...
Sunrise in the East and the full moon was setting in the West...
Rock Folly anchored at Barbuda. Steve has sailed her around the three-capes (Good Hope, Leeuwen and Horn), he will completed his circumnavigation when he re-visited Cape Town after South America and is now 5-days out from Barbuda (3rd April) on his way back to the Azores, then UK
J-Class vintage restored yacht Velsheda getting prepared for Antigua Classic Week. A restored J-Class vessel built in the 1930
English Harbour Entrance 2010 ... but a 1952 style view to help Ray Warman
English Harbour Entrance 2010
English Harbour & Nelson
A battered transatlantic rowing vessel... we think this one came for 80 days then didn
Ashley aboard the vessel in which he and a partner rowed from the Canary Islands to Antigua in about 80-days at sea. His rowing partner has left Ashley here while he joins an Everest summit climbing expedition in the Himalaya.
Looking North at Low Bay on the West coast of Barbuda.
The hunter-gatherers off to find fish.
Launching a dinghy in the gaps between larger swells.
Trolling for fish with a lure - unsuccessfully.
Latest Zinc-Oxide cream anti-sun fashion.
Not to be outdone by Sue, Andy also sports cricketer fashion.
An "upside down jellyfish". Apparently these are eaten by turtles.
Scene above the Frigate Bird Colony - inner lagoon Barbuda.
Looking South along Low Bay beach on the West cost of Barbuda.
Steve casting his fishing net in the style learned in Sierra Leone.
Preparing the BBQ with dried mangrove wood.
A conch shell. There are many of these around, the ones that are spoil from human consumption have a machete cut at the top of the spiral... without is a natural demise.
Young frigate birds on the nest awaiting the next meal from airborne gatherers.
Adult Frigate Birds sitting on nests.
Andy tying up to a rickety jetty at Codrington.
Our guide to the Frigate Bird Colony, "King Goldilocks".
An unsuited male Frigate Bird indicating availability with his red throat display.
Wandering lonely as a cruiser on a Caribbean beach.
Juvenille Frigate Birds sitting on the nest and waiting for a free meal from Mum & Dad.
Sue puts a brave face on having selected the wrong shade of blue to wear today.
A grey overcast moment as rain threatened:-)
Heading to Codrington via a long 11 Mile dinghy ride.
Mangrove trees spill over to the beaches.
Shallow water as we round the penultimate headland before entering Codrington Lagoon.
Contemplating getting wet. Time to launch the dinghy after the peninsular portage.
Monserrat some 20 miles away as we sailed from Guadeloupe to Barbuda.
A cracking good sail.
Various shades of blue punctuated by mangroves and underlined by a white ribbon.
The great view to which we woke up.
The anchorage off the west coast of Barbuda.