Sailing matilda

15 April 2013 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
25 March 2013 | Union Island, SVG
10 March 2013 | Union Island, SVG
25 February 2013 | Speightstown, Barbados
18 February 2013 | North Atlantic Ocean - 165 East of Barbados
12 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 300 miles North of the mouth of the Amazon
03 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 260 miles East of Ilha de Fernando de Noronha
29 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 225 miles West of Ascension Is.
23 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 145 miles West of St Helena
16 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 75 miles from St Helena
10 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean
31 December 2012 | V&A Marina, Cape Town, South Africa
20 December 2012 | Hout Bay Yacht Club, Hout Bay, South Africa
24 November 2012 | Durban Marina, Durban, South Africa
24 November 2012 | Bluff Yacht Club, Durban, South Africa
16 November 2012 | Richard Bay, South Africa
11 November 2012 | 85 miles off Richard Bay, South Africa, Indian Ocean
08 November 2012 | Mozambuique Channel, Indian Ocean
02 November 2012 | La Port, La Reunion

Glorious Reunion

02 November 2012 | La Port, La Reunion
Jonathan & Heather
Take a hack saw to France, chop off a bit of the coastline, preferably a mountainous bit, tow it South to the Indian Ocean, add rum and you have Isle de la Reuinion. There is an African/Indian Creole influence to the food and the people which makes it an even more interesting a place to visit. The food over the last week has been delicious and the places we have visited spectacular. We had a Halloween party on Wednesday night which we think may have been the best party of the ARC so far, with pretty much everybody making a great effort (check out our sailblogs photo gallery for a taste).

The World ARC tour to the active volcano in the North was great - a bit like visiting a moonscape. We had hired a car, so we carried straight on to a village in another caldera called Cilaos where we stopped over night. Next day at sparrow's fart we hiked up and over to the next caldera (Mafete) to a village which can only be reached on foot. It was a little hillbilly (or whatever the French version of that is) but the scenery was stunning, if you have a head for heights. We stopped for an incredibly picturesque lunch on the way back to Cilaos, and I could barely walk by the time we reached the car (my knees are not what they used to be...)

We then drove on to a beach town called Ermitage les Bain and stayed at the Novotel for a little luxury, a swim and internet access. All of that would probably have been enough, but we decided to take the hire car up to the fourth caldera yesterday as it's the only one we hadn't seen. We drove up another amazing road to Hellbourg which is like a small French chocolate-box alpine village. It was All Saints Day, so the cemetery was a very popular spot and absolutely crammed with flowers (again, see our photo gallery). All of the old buildings in the town have been restored and form part of a heritage trail walk. The drive back down took us back past numerous waterfalls plunging thousands of metres from the cliff faces - this really is a spectacular island.

Tomorrow we set off for Richards Bay in South Africa, a leg we are a little nervous about. The weather and currents can be a little volatile as we get closer to the SA coast, although the formation of the lows seems fairly predictable so we hope to have good reliable weather advice. We will keep you posted with a blog or two as we make the crossing, which should take ten days or so. Wish us luck!
Vessel Name: matilda
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg-Rassy 42E
Hailing Port: Portsmouth
Crew: Jonathan & Heather Howard
About: Jonathan and Heather Howard are now back in the Caribbean after completing the circumnavigation. matilda is now on the market and in May we will return to the UK with our friends on Peat Smoke.
Extra: matilda was re-launched in October 2011. Our circumnavigation took 15 months and we are now starting to think about getting back to work.

Sailing matilda

Who: Jonathan & Heather Howard
Port: Portsmouth