Friday, August 15, 2008

Azores to UK

As it happened (well not completely coincidentally) the day before our planned departure was the opening night of the Priar festival, the annual 10 day party I travelled back for last year. It was a grand way to be sent off and not wanting to hold back the Double Bruyn crew and our fellow cruising comrades made the most of it. And at 11am the next day we set off as planned (only I was down a camera from an accidental 4am swim and Jas and I had the worst hangovers either of us can recall in years!)

The plan was to head north for 24hrs and get into the westerlies, hopefully these would carry us all the way to England. Having spent an arm and a leg on a satphone we were keen to use it, and managed to get daily weather reports from the oldboy (HJ or dad) in NZ by relaying our position to him and Nae in the UK. It worked a treat and unlike the first half of the passage with Paul we were able to move around high and low pressure systems to suit our comfort levels.
Over the 10 day passage I think I could bullet point the high / low lights:

1. Smarty losing the bucket… It was the original head on the DB so it took me some time to get over the loss

2. While asleep on my bunk a case of beer fell off the shelf and landed on my head leaving me with a big bump. ‘How ironic’ the boys laughed, and the jokes of beer killing Jon carried on for a few days...

3. Our midway party, well organised by Jas and Smarty with party hats and streamers. Although we were a little low on numbers we still had a ball
4. 1000mile Meggie…. Our autopilot (only good for 1000miles) and the endless jokes about leaving Meggie to it when it was wet, her winging as she started to slip and her needing to lay off the booze as she went off course

5. The fishing… After trawling our best deep water lures most of the way with no action at all we changed to the shallow water raping rapalla and got a strike almost straight away – of course our tackle was too light and the hook simply bent...

6. Through all the bad weather Smarty continued to wear shorts while Jas and i complained about the cold in our thermals, well done chap!

7. The final 50miles coming up the channel. A force 8 gale, 8knots boat speed and surfing at 10-11, we ripped the mainsail in half and the boat speed didn’t change, great fun but nerve racking.

8. Nae meeting us on the dock with presents and beer, what a treat.

9. 1400 miles in 10 days! - An average boat speed of nearly 6 knots. Nice work DB, and I’m still smiling :)
10. Finally, 'A party on a super yacht'. Yep we all got dressed up for a welcome home party on the DB, so much fun.

All in all the trip couldn’t have gone better, the 3 of us got along so well and I really loved every minute. Actually i was almost sad when we got in and it had come to an end.

Now I’m living on the DB in Brighton Marina, I’ve since ripped both my head sails – how ironic, sail 6500miles and wreck all the sails within 20miles of Brighton (sorry Paul)! Lucky I guess.
Captain Dan and Glory arrived a week later and we had lots of fun with them (they've actually since been deported but thats another story all together!)

Following the crossing Team Double Bruyn ran an emergency life-raft training session in the river Thames – it was such a hoot, i'm sure everyone that saw us needed a second look. However it was short lived and the life-raft sank after about 20mins - I guess theres some things you shouldn't be a dutchman when buying!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Living the dream

Footy came to the party once again and provided us with lucky crew shirts, thanks buddy

It has been a great week here, the Praia festival is just getting fired up and we've been generally having a ball - working hard on the boat during the day and killing our livers come night time.

The DB is now ready to go and we're planning to sail tomorrow (Saturday 2nd Aug) most likely straight to Brighton. We've had a few hold ups (the mainsail got lost in Lisbon but has arrived yesterday) and now we're champing at the bit.

Glory lacks a little hand / eye co-ordination when it comes to eating

Its been great to see Dan and Glory again and they are planning to sail the same time as us. They both did a great job of giving me my 3rd birthday party for the week, and morning glory made a great cake to celebrate the mast being put back in the boat ;-) . And as always our good local friends here have been great at making our stay that much better, cheers guys.

We have had two 'sea trials', the first at 2am (a little spontaneous) and yesterday we actually took the boat for a sail. Was soooo good and it was a great sense of achievment for Jas, Smarty and me as all of the hard work had finally come together.

The weather looks settled at least for the next few days so will be nice to ease into it. I think we're still on track to make the party in Brighton on Sat 16th, Dad will be updating our progress in the comments if your interested.

This is a great thing for me, honestly over the last year all my spare time has been spent dreaming about getting back on with this trip. Now we're living it and i can't wait ;-)

Yeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaaa love to all Jonboy, Jas and Smarty xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo