Trinidad to Turkey 2012

15 April 2012 | Soper's Hole
09 April 2012 | San Juan
08 April 2012 | Ensenada Honda - Culebra
06 April 2012 | Charlotte Amalie
30 March 2012 | Hurricane Hole, St John
25 March 2012 | Francis Bay, St John USVI
18 March 2012
17 March 2012 | Bitter End Yacht Club
15 March 2012 | Spanish Town – Virgin Gorda
09 March 2012 | Virgin Gorda, BVI
09 March 2012 | Great Camanoe Island, BVI
09 March 2012 | Cane Garden Bay - Tortola, BVI
09 March 2012 | Jost van Dyke Island, BVI
09 March 2012 | Tortola, BVI
07 March 2012 | Peter Island - White Bay and Road Town,Tortola
19 February 2012 | Peaks Yacht Services, Chaguaramas, Trinidad
19 February 2012 | Trinidad

The Sad End to my Sailblogs

15 April 2012 | Soper's Hole
Due to the difficulty keeping up two sites - the Sailblogs on this site and our Website ... as well as technical problems with posting pictures on the Sailblogs, I have decided to terminate this blogging and will in future only have thorough updates on the website.

That might mean that we will not have contact during the crossing of the Atlantic...luckily the ARC website will keep tract of all our progress on the crossing.

Thank you to everyone following the blog ... all the news will still be there - so keep an eye on the Website!

Old San Juan : the Jewel of Puerto Rico

09 April 2012 | San Juan
Henriette - Rain for one day and beautiful sunny the next!
Old San Juan:

The narrow glazed cobble stone roads and small alley ways between the most wonderfully painted and restored old buildings with their balconies and fine laced trellises was like stepping out of the Caribbean into Europe!
It was absolutely unbelievable how all the flavours you get on the street, the sounds you hear in voices and music ...and even the inside of the hotel... even remind me of the smell of an old European "Hostels" ...
I knew this is going to be fun! The photographic opportunities are huge! (you will unfortunately noticed the huge amount of pictures that I have difficulty with choosing what to post and what to leave out!!) We could not wait to hit the streets... Old San Juan is on a peninsula ... where the Forts were built to protect the waters and access to this big natural harbour .
There are two fortes in Old San Juan and another smaller one just outside across at the other bay entrance on a small island. The biggest one and most impressive one is El Morro! I am not much of a Fort lover ... but this one is mind-blowing! If ever you want to see an excellent Forte and very well preserved ... go and see El Morro Castle ... I know they call it a castle - but it really is a Fort! It is amazingly beautiful with this massive open space of a forever stretching lawn in front of it ... where heaps of kids and adults are flying kites in the breeze and the awesome view from the bottom of this lawn covered hill up to El Morro was just breathtaking! People walking to El Morro and BackThe view (as the Captain has told me so many times before when I did not want to walk up any hill to see another Fort!) is just always wonderful! You could see the whole stretch of that side of San Juan with your eye automatically following the beautiful thick stone wall that was built all around the city!... that on it's own has so much character... with the almost 400 year old lookout posts making it impossible not to feel like popping into them and get anyone passing by to take a picture of you! Look out posts in Old San Juan
The town has a buzz to it that is hard to describe. People seem to be unhurried... there is always some musical sounds coming from somewhere ... the Puerto Ricans are beautiful people with their Spanish looks and lovely olive skins and black hair... but they are also very friendly!
Restaurants and Food: We have tried to have small tapas meals at various places at night and the food varies from Puerto Rican (fantastic jalapeño's stuffed with cheese and crab meat) to Spanish to Latino Asian (which is what we had at The Dragonfly ... a combination of Latin American and Japanese/Chinese ! Just gorgeous ...imagine Peking Duck Nachos with a Wasabi Mayo! !!) The Old Harbour Brewery has the most fantastic German food on it's own or combined with Latino flavours and best beer taste we ever had! Then there was Restaurant Triana ... where you have live Spanish music and nibbling at the pub at some aged prosciutto and cheese! And the lovely vibrant Parrot Club! So many options! ... we ran out of time in the end!
One night we decided to go for a walk after dinner .... Walking towards some really vibrant loud music (Spanish music it was) and found a stack of (80-100) locals having a sing-along night. Whoever had an instrument played along with the base band! There was one main (female) singer with a great voice and stage personality on the mike and 3 backup "girls" (just about 70-80 years old?) .Spanish sing-a-longs in the streets Folk music! Just fantastic rhythm and so we swayed and clap along ... I even joined in with the train dance!... it was so much fun! I was stunned by how eagre they are for one to take part and how many young people there was ... young and old ...all just for the sake of music and having fun !! It lasted until about 11pm ... it was a great end to a special night for us! There surely is much to say for culture!
The next day we stumbled upon an exhibition that Johann has read about a while ago ... This (im)famous Pathologist from Germany (Gunther von Hagens ) has used his dissecting and artistic skills to create the most amazing exhibition of every part - veins, bones, brain, heart and full human bodies! Very tastefully done although it sounds macabre! Something to be seen if ever you come across it ... it is really art work! Amazing Body Worlds Exhibition
Another interesting first for us is watching cigar rollers at work! There is amazingly enough very few people that smokes cigarettes, but the cigar industry is a different story! ... "remember ... much less unhealthy and it is all organic! "... is the sales pitch! We stood for an hour watching the artist at work and bought a few for a special day if the Captain can only find someone to join him ... it will not be me! LolCigar Rollers on the street corner
Art and fine Arts are playing a fairly big role in the educational system here. Specific centres are found where kids have painting lessons (not only keeping them busy with a messy paint room!), music and dance lessons and you see kids from 4-16 years old walking around with cello's and violins in the streets ... again .... It is just a part of culture that we sadly sometimes miss in our country?!
Old City San Juan ... we will miss it ...and hopefully one day we will have the time to go and taste some more of this wonderful old place!

Spanish Virgin Islands : Culebra Island

08 April 2012 | Ensenada Honda - Culebra
Henriette - Sunny and beautiful weather!
Culebra ... the first touch of Spanish

As we got closer to the island - even from a few miles away ... we could just tell the vibe is so totally different from the Caribbean, BVI or USVI ... the architecture and the vegetation on the island as well as the "little small holdings" with a few horses makes you think - this belongs to Spanish culture for sure!

Saying that ... the Spanish Virgin Islands falls under the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico ... So - although there are very little American influences ... these island groups are a special territory of the United States. So we have our yacht has now a cruising licence for all American Waters! A big deal! Trust makes life easier to get in and out of US waters! The Customs office is located at the airport - a nice 15min stroll through the colourful town...with Air Flamingo their main airline ...with only ten-seater planes that looks like toys! HaHa! Quite scary!

Stepping ashore confirmed our previous suspicions that the culture has completely changed from the previous islands. The people are European (Spanish looking) with hardly any African influences around. ... unlike the other islands that are still bearing the consequences of slave-trading from earlier days.
The language is Spanish and although you get the odd American working in bars and shops - they speak Spanish and you don't lose out on that special feel of the island. Al we need to do to get the feel of it all is to switch on the radio and listen to the ling, and beautiful Spanish music!

Tourism is on a much smaller scale ... no big cruise ships means that you can still feel part of the island ... without standing out as a tourist! If people start talking Spanish to you while you buy your veggies or bread ... then you know.... You are fading into the islands people! Most of the shops tenders can speak (a broken) English - so you are not totally stuck (with your little pocket dictionary as the only assistant)!
Ensenada Honda is the bay where the main town Pueblo of the Island Culebra is located- and is just picturesque colourful ... every home or shop has beautifully chosen colour schemes (unlike in Grenada where any colours just have to do!). It gives you that real happy island home feel!

The flair with which they arrange and use pot plants, lanterns or artwork outside and inside places to emphasise special features has been done in very European style... just love it!.. I think we are slowly getting the feel of a culture shift...

What will mark this as a special stop for me is the clear waters (again! ... but this time it really looks like a glass of water with fish in it!), the architecture and vibrancy of the colours of the buildings and the feeling that you are just part of them... if you can keep your camera in your pocket...they would not know if you are living here or visiting!(needless to say ... I struggled with the camera bit...) .... By now we are both very tanned but I do think there is still a tag too much blond for me to claim to melt in with the locals with their beautiful slick black hair! It is great to hear and feel the Spanish influence....

We had to pop in at the Dinghy Dock Bar (seems like every harbour, town or bay has one! HaHa!) ... Captain J reckoned that is where all the sailors will be and he needed some advice on anchorages and things to do at the next island (Vieques) - we have absolutely no literature or any information on it ...and no internet access either! So firsthand knowledge it will be...over a beer or two... Cannot wait to see Puerto Rico and the next stop at Vieques Island... Mosquito Bay ... with more dazzling lights in the water at night! Apparently - that is what that bay is known for!!! ... dyno-flagellates ....So!!! Bring it on! Flamingo Beach

After a day with a rent-me-Jeep and a great tour of the island with our picnic basket...having lunch on a deserted beach where there once were a beach shack...
We overnight the last night at the bay just around the corner of Punta Soldado (no name again!) and was the only boat there... with a tiny little beach ... while we were getting ready for our sunset rituals... we noticed a group of young Spanish guys and two girls... sitting on the rocks with each a drink watching the sunset ...and serenading in the most beautiful harmonised voices until the sun has set. Such a great end to our day!.. and that is the last image imprinted in my mind of this beautiful island!
Vessel Name: Scolamanzi
Vessel Make/Model: Leopard 4600
Hailing Port: Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Crew: Johann Scholtz & Henriette Scholtz
Johann is owner and skipper with wife and first mate Henriette. The two of us will take Scolamanzi in February 2012 on to the BVI, Bahamas and Bermuda - where Chriso (a crew member and friend from Australia) will join us in the ARC to take her to the Azores and Portugal. [...]
Extra: We take delivery of Scolamanzi in Cape Town during September 2010. After commissioning and provisioning departure will be end of October on leg one to Trinidad for our first season in the Caribbean. 20 February 2012 : We are now on our second leg of our voyage from Trinidad to Turkey....
Scolamanzi's Photos - Main
Our first leg of the foyage
17 Photos
Created 8 December 2010
It was one hell of an effort!! But we managed to find space for all of it!! Easy !!
6 Photos
Created 24 October 2010
Great sailing to test all the new features and sails of Scolamanzi
12 Photos
Created 24 October 2010
Additions and fine tuning on Scolamanzi with the help of John Titterton
16 Photos
Created 3 October 2010

Trinidad to Turkey 2012

Who: Johann Scholtz & Henriette Scholtz
Port: Mackay, Queensland, Australia