Time Bandit

We’ve loved South Africa but it’s time to move on. In this last third of the year we’re heading for Namibia, St Helena, Brazil, Surinam (wherever that is) and the Caribbean. Come along for the ride. YouTube: SV Time Bandit

21 November 2022
13 November 2022
29 October 2022 | Domburg, Suriname
19 October 2022
19 October 2022
09 October 2022
07 October 2022
03 October 2022
28 September 2022
28 September 2022
20 September 2022
14 September 2022
12 September 2022
12 September 2022
12 September 2022
05 September 2022 | The Ludicrous Afternoon Thermal
01 September 2022 | Our manky mainsail
28 August 2022 | Leaving Cape Town (Thanks Ed for getting up and pics)
25 August 2022
25 August 2022

Video Backlog

21 November 2022
Stuart Letton
Followers will know we made it to Grenada. Those that also follow us on YouTube will know I’m a tad behind on my videos. With apologies for the delay, here’s something to keep you away from the endless hours of football you’re now having thrust upon you.

Where From?

13 November 2022
Stuart Letton
"Where from?" cried the chap in the official looking skippers hat, yelling to be heard above the sound of horns blaring and crowds cheering from the armada of small boats, many dressed overall, out to welcome and congratulate us as we tied the knot on the completion of our circumnavigation of the globe by small boat. Well, OK. Not that small. My dad had small boats. "Hell Ships" mother called them. Let's just call it "comfy".

"Where from?" I called back. "Grenada", echoing Sir Robin Knox-Johnson as he finished and won the Golden Globe single handed round the world race in 1969, bringing another round of cheers from our crowd.

Nah. Not really. Nobody gave a toss. A fourteen year old girl did it singlehanded not so long ago.

Anyway, with the timing that has typified our trip from Cape Town, all six thousand miles of it we arrived once again in the dark. Buggered if we were going to spend a thirty seventh night at sea, out of a total of seventy six since we left South Africa - Anne likes her numbers - thirty six had been just plenty. And so, reluctantly, we prepared to break our cardinal rule of not entering an unknown anchorage in the dark. Prickly Bay was our initial target but as it was somewhat unknown to us, at least as far as approaching by boat was concerned, we'd done it by car a few times but as that didn't really qualify, after having a bit of a peer into the dark, we decided to be a bit more prudent and head around to St George's. We left from there nearly seven years ago so that really worked in the strict sense of "tying the knot".

However, no armada, no cheering crowds, just my vivid imagination and what looked like an empty bay. We'd been told that like many islands in the Caribbean, the bay had been turned into a mooring field so as to force cruisers into the marina and/or extort a few more dollars from them. One can anchor at ones' leisure, just be prepared for the alleged £5,000 fine.

Slowly we crept into the bay, heading for approximately where we'd lifted anchor all those many years, miles and great friendships ago. We were being very careful, not wanting to do what friend, he-who-shall-remain-nameless did and T-bone something hard, within the last hour of completing their trans ocean trip. (Hi Nameless. Hope you're mending.)

Now you see, one of the benefits, or possibly the only benefit of being on a government mooring, as no doubt there's a clause denying any responsibility for your yacht if it takes its own mini cruise to Guatemala while you're ashore, is that you can save the batteries as theoretically, you don't have to show any navigation lights.

And so, against a backdrop of a million shore lights, only our past vague recollections and fortunately, four AIS signals helped us nose our way in through the pitch black. Once we got to the boats showing AIS we cast around for a while looking for a mooring but in the end, to hell with the expense, we dropped anchor and collapsed into bed.

Right now as I look around, there are twenty one boats on the moorings which have magically appeared, one of which is a huge, rusting fifty metre, three masted steel hulled would be cruise ship - I'm afraid, we saw none of them.

And so, if you happen to be on a mooring in St George's and reading this - PUT SOME FLAMING LIGHTS ON you Muppets.

YouTube Channel: SV Time Bandit

I Claim This Land…

29 October 2022 | Domburg, Suriname
Stuart Letton
Having done Brazil..... well, about 5% of Recife, we headed off to catch up with our Dutch cruising buddies on Red Max who were in Suriname, checking out their old colony.

You really have to admire the sheer brass neck of the early European and British explorers. These bold adventurers went around the world claiming countries, if not whole continents, in the name of their then present king or queen. The modus operandi was then to implement the Viking business model, or indeed, the Putin model and basically murder, rape and pillage until the locals were adequately subdued then ship their country's wealth back to the "mother country".

In return the locals would get inadequate accommodation, just enough food to survive, paid, or more likely unpaid employment, measles, typhoid and STD's.

To add insult to injury these "superpowers" would then play swopsies, "Hey, I'll swop you (or indeed, swap) Suriname for Manhattan. How about that?"

Suriname is South America's smallest country and something of a melting pot, populated by the descendants of escaped African enslaved labourers, Dutch and British colonialists, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese indentured labourers and indigenous Amerindians.

Sitting in the luxury of Recife's luxurious Cabanga marina I thought Suriname was just around the corner, albeit the north east corner of South America, which is quite big, and it came as another surprise that it was yet another mega passage of nearly seventeen hundred miles to the mouth of the Suriname river where of course, having knocked ourselves silly with multiple sail changes to squeeze out an extra knot or, we arrived at midnight and dawn was at the wrong end of the tide.

Consequently, after waiting on time and tide we motored up the river to where you find us now, twenty miles from the sea and just off the yacht club at Domburg.

We are moored off some suspiciously large houses (Suriname is apparently quite well situated on the drug trafficking route). One of these houses was playing some very loud music the night we arrived and, pretty tired from our trip, I was on the verge of giving them some, "I say chaps, how about turning it down a bit?" when one of the party goers walked down to the water's edge and blew some fruit bats out the trees with his pump action shotgun.

I'll just use the old ear plugs I thought.

Watched Kettles

19 October 2022
Tick, tick, tick. All day we've watched the clock as we hurtle north west up the Brazilian coast, our fourth equator crossing looming on the distant horizon. Quite different from the last time in Indo, as us old Asian hands call it, when about twenty of us anchored on 00.00.00 and had a bit of a party - just before a squall blew in catching some revellers up their masts taking pics, some swimming between boats clutching a glass and others not on their boats at all.

Tick, tick, tick. The afternoon passes as does the evening…… It's now dark and, like a boiling kettle, we don’t seem to be getting any closer, no matter how hard we stare at the lat/long. it's nearly midnight and then, with a rush, and a splash of Amarula over the side, well, about half a bottle actually, we A) toasted Neptune and B) got shot of the rather sickly, Baileys type cream liqueur that tasted so good of a late African evening, sat on the front of the safari 4WD, watching the hippos grunt and fart in the pool as the sun went down. Out of context, it never quite tasted the same.

I hope Neptune liked it or we're stuffed.

Welcome back “oop north”.

Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

Watched Kettles

19 October 2022
Tick, tick, tick. All day we've watched the clock as we hurtle north west up the Brazilian coast, our fourth equator crossing looming on the distant horizon. Quite different from the last time in Indo, as us old Asian hands call it, when about twenty of us anchored on 00.00.00 and had a bit of a party - just before a squall blew in catching some revellers up their masts taking pics, some swimming between boats clutching a glass and others not on their boats at all.

Tick, tick, tick. The afternoon passes as does the evening…… It's now dark and, like a boiling kettle, we don’t seem to be getting any closer, no matter how hard we stare at the lat/long. it's nearly midnight and then, with a rush, and a splash of Amarello over the side, well, about half a bottle actually, we A) toasted Neptune and B) got shot of the rather sickly, Baileys type cream liqueur that tasted so good of a late African evening, sat on the front of the safari 4WD, watching the hippos grunt and fart in the pool as the sun went down. Out of context, it never quite tasted the same.

I hope Neptune liked it or we're stuffed.

Welcome back “oop north”.

Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

DDT

09 October 2022
Stuart Letton
Satellite technology came to the rescue in allowing me to continue delivering my woffle to the Internet while we battered our way from Cape Town to Recife, Brazil via Namibia, St Helena and Ascension. It kept me occupied during the long nights on watch, not that you could see a thing anyway.

Once out of range of Cape Town we were definitely on a DDT programme. Digital Denial Therapy.

WiFi seems to still be a mystery to the places we stopped, searching in vain for WiFi spots where I could upload more nonsense. Fortunately, the spots we did find served beer instead.

We made it to Brazil and have had a WiFi binge this morning so, with luck, this is our latest attempt at YouTube entertainment.

The Lost Art of Cruising

07 October 2022
Part of the cunning plan to make a brief stop at Ascension Island was that it would give us a better chance of a broad reach where we could sit back and relax rather than a dead run where we're always on edge waiting for the crash gybe.

Of course, the wind didn't play ball and we had a dead run pretty well right up to this morning where we are finally on a broad reach hurtling towards the lee shore that is Recife, Brazil. ETA midnight. Of course.

Having spent the last seven days, sails up and down like a …… better not say….. gybe to port, gybe back, code zero up, code zero down, code D up, Code D down and on it went for days on end. Work, work, work.

It all reminded me of a comment a newly recruited crew member made to two of my racing friends (and blog followers), as they sailed their new cruising boat out the Med. As the new crew member looked on at our two heroes, winches quietly going….. click, click, click. Sheets being trimmed by the millimetre, peering up at the sails trying to get the last milli - knot out the boat, yer man looks at them and says, “Know what youse two? You guys just don't know how to cruise.”

Having learned nothing from the tale, we've knocked ourselves out trying to optimise our mileages every day. And of course, and predictably, we are now trying to slow the boat down to give us a daylight entry to Recife.

Unfortunately, if there's a breeze, this boat just does not do slow. So, with three reefs and the Solent in just twenty knots, we're still doing over seven knots when we need to be doing five.

And so, finally, after three thousand, seven hundred and fifty miles after leaving our pals in the V&A Marina, Cape Town, (friendliest marina in the world), hardly a drop of fossil fuel burned and twenty three nights at sea, we are NEARLY THERE!

BRAZIL!!!!

Now, where's my mankini?


Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit

Scales

03 October 2022
I got to thinking about scales after my last blog.

Getting into the ocean cruising life, sometimes referred to by those who've never done it as, “living the dream”, follows a series of natural steps. Progressing up the scale if you like, all the time building experience and skills. Or, at least it used to, pre YouTube. Cruising also has a finite lifespan, largely influenced by Stuart's patented Scunnerrometer. (See post from some years ago!).

This latest scale, which is still a work in progress is as follows….

1. Dinghy racing
2. Keelboat racing
3. Coastal Cruising
4. Ocean cruising
5. Motor homing
6. Gardening
7. Care homing.

Millennials, are whatever you might call the YouTube cruising generation; “BIGGEST waves I've ever seen” or “I was SCARED for my life” etc…. skip the early levels jumping right in at Level 4. Mind you, if they were that scared, maybe they shouldn't have skipped levels one to three. (Said the old guy clutching his Cadet Section Knots badge).

Some cruisers, reluctant to let go of the water add in Trawlering between Ocean cruising and the motor home. These folk enjoy the absence of sails, ropes, pulled muscles and the like, motoring around when and where they like irrespective of wind direction and tides but suddenly find they're not in the most environmentally responsible form of cruising and also simply dread the prospect of arriving at the fuel dock, not to mention the engine packing up. Said trawlermen then essentially transform into Level 6 the gleaming trawler now providing the function of garden shed whether at the marina or conveniently at the end of the garden. (In British Columbia perhaps?!!!).

Others rediscover their youth, fitness, energy and Lycra, getting back into, or even starting road cycling, travelling farther in a day than they ever would have by yacht.

And finally of course, heaven forbid, there's always golf.




Stuart & Anne

Our Tracker (cut and paste)
https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/

Follow the blog: www.TimeBandit.Co.Uk
YouTube: SV Time Bandit
Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer 51
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with a super sleek cat and still cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: Next up....the Caribbean. We've left South Africa in our wake and now off to Namibia, St Helena, Brazil, Suriname and into the Caribbean. Well, that' the vague plan. We'll see what happens.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/profile
Social:
Time Bandit's Photos - Cameron Highlands
Photos 1 to 15 of 15 | Main
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Sponge Bob
Black coffee please
Happy families
Tea pickers at work
Privet Lane
Where your PG Tips might come from
Jonny
Giant tea bags
Chilling out (while wearing fleece)
Lockdown luxuries
Seemed like a good shot at the time: Heading uphill
Non social distancing: The Corona Express Ferry.
Corona Express
Social distancing my foot
 
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