Pictures from The Grenadines

The paradise do have wifi, sometimes. We are once again anchored outside Canouan, here we discovered free wifi that's accessible from our cockpit. Tomorrow we will continue to Mustique where we intend to celebrate New Years Eve together with the rich and famous, isn't that what every budget sailor do? I guess we have to wash our hair in fresh water and comb it again. We have had some lazy days since we left St. Lucia, the evidence of that can be found under "Pictures" where I have uploaded the latest photos. I hope you all enjoy the last day of this year 2009, and see you later next year. /The Captain

Posted in | 6 comments

Another kind of Christmas

I am one of those slaves of tradition when it comes to Christmas, but this year I somehow have managed to put aside everything about Christmas. Of course, the people here in Caribbean also celebrates Christmas, but apparently without Christmas tree and so far I haven't seen Santa Claus. Doing a sort of halfway Christmas celebration is nothing for me, I am all or nothing, so I decided to celebrate more traditional next year, and follow the chill Caribbean Christmas style this year.

Christmas Eve was celebrated on the beach together with grilled chicken and our sailor friends, simply another kind of Christmas. As a slave of Christmas tradition I am big fan of Christmas food and I really miss Grandma's, for Christmas special made meatballs, but I must admit that waking up on Christmas Day not feeling sick in your stomach due to too much eating, was rather nice. Instead of continuing eating leftovers as usually on Christmas Day, we went on a little trip to the eastern side of Bequia, called Friendship Bay. The taxi ride there was one of those interesting ones upon an open platform of a pickup. All due respect to air-conditioning, but riding a pickup is the best cooling you can get in these tropic areas where the temperature in both air and water is constantly around 30 degrees C. Friendship Bay mostly consist of a nice beach and a chill restaurant where we had ice creams while overlooking the bay.

One Christmas tradition was actually kept, the one occurring on the night of Christmas Day when all old friends who have returned back to their parent's home get together and have a catch up party. The only difference this time was the fact that the party consisted of new friends rather than old friends. I think we had as much fun as you guys back home, but I miss all my old friends very much and I send you a special greeting in this!

After having celebrated Christmas and enjoyed the chill atmosphere in Bequia, we continued further south the day after Christmas Day. We ended up at anchor outside an island called Canouan about 20 miles from Bequia, where we were warm welcomed on the VHF by the two Norwegian boats Duffen and Trollwind. Except free wifi, a stunning beach and tasty drinks, Canouan didn't have much else to offer. Consequently we had seen it all in one day and continued the next day, the day of Helena's birthday. We sailed to an island called Mayreau and anchored in Saltwhistle Bay. Mayreau is a small, beautiful island with no airport and hardly any roads making it very quiet and chill. This is a kind of paradise island where you can stroll down your own beach, climb up in a palm tree and take those typical paradise pictures: it's just wonderful out here! We celebrated Helena at the beach restaurant and had a lovely night.

Yesterday I and the crew of Safari took a walk in to the little village in Mayreau, a 20 minutes walk up and down the hills. When we arrived up on the top of the island we had a wonderful view and could see the famous Tobago Cays, an island chain we soon will visit. Our intention was to find food, fresh fruits and vegetables in the village, but since the supply ferry hadn't shown up that day, the stores were almost empty. Instead of fruits we found some restaurants and bars and among them a typical Rastafarian restaurant with a true Bob Marley feeling, where the manager looked like Bob himself. Christianity is dominant around the islands here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, but Rastas can be find here and there. However, very few really practice the Rasta religion when it comes to faith, they are more focused on the other parts of the religion, as for instance music, weed and fashion. After having imbibed the Rasta spirit we continued home and later the Cantare kitchen served a tasty orange and garlic fried tuna.

Today it is another sunny, hot day in paradise and on the agenda is planning New Years Eve. What to do and what not to do? Party with the celebrities on Mustique or chilling on the boat that is the question. At the moment we think it will be some kind of combination… /First Mate

Posted in | 1 comments

Christmas in Paradise

Here we are, anchored among our friends, Escape and Safari also arrived yesterday. The water is turquoise and around 28 degrees, our closest neighbours are the turtles swimming around us sometimes popping their head above the water to see what we are doing. Ashore life is much slower than on St. Lucia and the people is less pushy, we like it here! Tonight we will celebrate Christmas with the other Scandinavians on the beach close by. I think it will be hard to find a proper Christmas tree and we'll probably have to be satisfied with a smaller palm tree. I will put on red nail varnish and every other red accessories I can find to get into Christmas spirit. But first I'll try to get clean, that means swimming around with the turtles for a while!

Merry Christmas to all our blog readers! We would also like to say thank you to all of our sponsors, especially the insurance company Europeiska. /The Captain

Posted in | 9 comments

A very Different Night

The captain and her first mate had decided to spend Christmas in Bequia, an island about 70 miles south of Rodney Bay. So we had to sail all night long to get there in time for Christmas. Having lived in a hotel room for a week, we now had to pack our things into the tiny space available on Cantare, and the boat wasn't even standing still. The whole world was suddenly rocking back and forth. It was even stranger to be standing in the cockpit during the night only dressed in shorts and a thin T-shirt, and of course, as the captain had ordered, wearing a lifejacket. Once in a while we would get water splashing into the cockpit and over us, still we felt warm. Helena took a pill against seasickness but didn't feel good enough to go down below deck. We had made up the watches, Anders was going to have the watch from 9 pm to 12 pm, then Sofia would take over until 3 am when Maria would have the boat for the rest of the trip. Something went wrong with the plan. Anders felt a bit insecure about sleeping while the boat was rocking so much, therefore his watch was stretched a bit and Sofia got to sleep until 2 am. That's when we got behind an island and the sea became smaller and we dared to go down. A while after the sunrise we stood up again, not very rested though, we were very close to Port Elizabeth on Bequia. It took some time to find a good spot among all the anchored boats, but we found one rather close to Maria's and Sofia's friends on Johanna and TimeOut. Here in the Caribbean it's more important to do all the formalities just when you arrive. Maria and Sofia took off in Volare with the ship's papers and all passports. We were left behind to watch the boat. Our skin is not yet used to the sun down here so after a while we started to look like pink pigs in paradise, which of course Maria pointed out on their return. The bimini had to be taken up and more sun lotion put on, what a hard life! /Anders and Helena (The owners)

Posted in | 0 comments

Goodbye St Lucia, Hello Christmas in Bequia

Position: 2200 UTC N 013° 52' W 061° 05'

We are finally out sailing again and consequently we have more time for blogging than we have ashore. This time we have even more time since we have welcomed the owners, more precisely Maria's parents, Anders and Helena. Anders, who hasn't been out sailing for a long long time, is like a child on Christmas Eve with a big smile on his face. At the moment he is steering on a reaching course and is very proud he manages to hold Cantare on an exact course, yeah, I think he's almost better than our dear wind vane Monitor at the moment. In order not to make Anders too proud, I cannot remember the last time we had such a comfortable sailing, hardly any rolling at all. I can sit down properly without having to hold on to everything, wonderful! We have been sailing down the western coast of St Lucia today and at sunset we had a fantastic view of the duelling peaks of stone, called the Pitons. Piton is also the name of the beer that we, together with rum punch sort of have over consumed the last week, giving all of us, even the captain a bad hangover. Our destination this time is Bequia, the most northern island in the Grenadines. Not only is Bequia stated as the most perfect island in the whole Grenadines by lonely planet, it is also home for Christmas celebration among us Scandinavians. Or shall I put it this way, the party moves from St Lucia to Bequia. From Rodney Bay in St Lucia to Port Elizabeth in Bequia it's around 70 Miles and we are planning on arriving there some time tomorrow morning. But before arriving it would be really nice to caught a tasty dolphin fish for Christmas. I, the fish killer onboard, have been resting a while so I'm more ready than ever for preparing a fish for the barbeque party in Bequia. Over and Out! /First Mate

Posted in | 1 comments

Pictures from the Atlantic

Finally, the pictures from our crossing are uploaded! You find them to the left under Pictures.

Posted in | 1 comments

Day (I don’t know) - A fantastic week

Since we arrived here in Rodney Bay life has been hectic with almost no time for sleep. But after our 22 days at sea that was what we longed for. Meeting our friends again, eating fresh food and of course drinking a few champagne bottles and between them cooling down with the local beer Piton. Enjoying life ashore! As you know we arrived early in the morning, an ARC-boat came out to meet us and then led the way into the marina. We got a berth next to Zahara and Ron and Larry were actually still awake. They had arrived a few hours earlier, when they heard that we were coming in around 5 am they decided to let the bed wait and stayed awake with the help of more alcohol, that’s true friendship. We got a fruit basket, local rum punch and a huge Heineken bottle, one glass in each hand we stood on the pontoon. Suddenly we had so much space to walk on, but all we did was drinking and hugging our friends. Arne on Lina 4 gave us a bottle of champagne, then he went back to his own boat and popped another one which he served us in real glasses, no plastic cups! We were overwhelmed with happiness, and after a while also more than slightly drunk. That’s what happens when you cross the Atlantic, you can ask any of the other sailors in the ARC. The last boat, a Canadian one, was due to arrive around an hour later than us, of course we went to welcome them. On our wobbly legs, we blame the land-sickness, we walked on the pontoons to the Canadian‘s berth. I think we took more steps than we’d done on the whole crossing, it felt a bit strange. The sun was getting warmer and people were becoming tired. We were too excited to feel that but decided to go to bed anyway, realizing that it would be a long night coming up with the General Managers Cocktail Party in the marina the same day. Being so used to not shower the preparing for the night was quicker than usual, a dress and a bit of makeup and we were ready. All the waxing and shaving were done on the Atlantic well in advance for our landfall. The party was in the marina, they had closed of the area around H2O, our new sailors bar, and around the small pool rum punch, beer and wine was served for free together with some food that was hard to get to because of the long queue. It was nice having so many people to talk to, lots of congratulations were made, we all made it across the pond. I had a hunch when I saw the pool and I was right, in the end lot’s of people ended up in it. So did we, some evil Norwegian through me in, but then Sofia and Emelie were already there, after three weeks together we still were not longer than six meters from each other. I think that shows what a good time we had on the Atlantic. Three girls on a small boat with a lot of Sex and the City do have effect, now we noticed a lot of good looking men and dancing was a good way to enjoy them. What happened after that? Yes you are correct, what happens in the harbours stays in the harbours, we are sailors.

The rest of the week has been terrific, costume party, street party and beach life, the water temperature here is amazingly warm, hardly cooling at all. We have also had to squeeze in a few interviews and picture takings, I guess that’s part of being one of the two all female crew yachts. We also got some attention for having such a small boat, but that’s a bit strange because a few years ago 31 foot was a standard family boat and lot’s of them have crossed the Atlantic. One day we got an email that said; Congratulations! We are pleased to advise that you have won a prize in ARC2009. Exciting! We tried to guess why, could it be our fish photo? Or the most beautiful yacht? It couldn’t be because of our sailing performance, that much we knew. We just hoped that it wasn’t something stupid like the most beautiful crew.

Last night it was time for the ARC 2009 Prizegiving. I managed to get ARC passes for my parents so they could join us. But before we went there Emelie and I had to buy new shoes, a girl that’s going on stage to receive a prize does that much better in high heels, at least if you have a matching cocktail dress. To get in a good mood we invited Ron and Larry for lunch and shared a bottle of champagne with the two gentlemen. My parents arrived just in time to take some photographs of us, Zahara and Ranja, the three smallest boats all berthed in the same slot. Then we were of to the prize giving and the farewell party. We got rum punches and mingled around in the beautiful garden. Some of the people we might not see again, at least not for a while, thinking about that made me a bit sad. But I went back to thinking like a sailor, live here and now, tomorrow is another day. After a while it was time to go into the big hall where the prize giving ceremony was going to take place. They started with prizes to the yachts that had come 2nd, 3rd and 4th in their classes. Then they went on to the more typical ARC prizes, like oldest skipper, youngest skipper (wasn’t me, but a 24 years old Polish guy), best picture, best log, youngest crew member and so on. We were eager to see what prize we would get. Andrew Bishop then announced that we had won a special prize, a picture framed and presented by the photographer Tim Wright. It was a picture of us while crossing the finish line and we got it because of “very good accounts of life at sea”. Underneath the picture it says; Best Daily Logs - ARC 2009. We walked up on the stage, matching dresses and high heels, people applaud and cheered, it felt great!

After the prize giving the party continued outside in the garden, then we went back to the marina. More party there in H2O, lot’s of beers and drinks, not very good if you combine it with almost no food. What shall we do with the drunken sailor? All three of us slept at home, our last night together, although it was a very short one. Emelie left Cantare this morning, she’s staying at a hotel for two days before going back to Sweden. We will miss her enormously but we have hope, she enjoyed life as a sailor so much that she will try to sell her house and then come back to us in March for Cuba and the trip back to Sweden. Anyone interested in buying a nice house outside Ängelholm? Special price for you!

By the way, we came on 7th place in our class of 17 boats, that’s quite alright. In total, when the finish time was corrected according to our handicaps, we ended up as number 52 in the cruising division where 158 yachts participated. We are very happy with that!

/ The Captain (Feeling like she deserves today)

Posted in | 4 comments

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your support and all sweet congratulations we have received! Wifi in paradise isn't that reliable, however, we are trying our best to upload pictures from our adventure and the crazy parties here in St Lucia. We hope to be able to give you more updates very soon so stay tight!

Thanks again, we love you!

/First Mate

Posted in | 2 comments

22 Days, 20 Hours, 17 Minutes, 2 Seconds....

WE HAVE CROSSED THE ATLANTIC I need to say anymore? This morning at 05.15.58 we crossed the finish line and about half an hour later we moored in the marina and were warm welcomed by friends, ARC crew, locals and champagne bottles. The crossing took us 22 Days, 20 Hours, 17 Minutes, 2 Seconds...

//: För vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlanten, fy fan vad vi är bra!

Fy fan vad vi är bra, fy fan vad vi är bra, för vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanteeeeeen, fy fan vad vi är bra! ://

/First Mate

Posted in | 32 comments

Day 22 - Time to say Goodbye

Position: 1956 UTC N 014° 23' W 060° 00'

Me and the Atlantic ocean have had a love affair for about three weeks now, and it has been wonderful. But the last two days she has started to get on my nerves. We have had our fights before, but not like this. The sun, the calmness and the beautiful sunrises every morning has now been replaced with rain, irritation and dark clouds. We have now only 57,2 nM (UTC 1956) left before we reach St.Lucia and we are hoping to be in harbour early tomorrow. Perhaps it is for the best. Perhaps it is better to end the love story now, before we destroy what we once had. It feels kind of sad though. I have been seeing her every morning for 22 days now and it is going to feel strange without her. But I now that I will see her again.

Since we are hoping to arrive early tomorrow, today is all about preparations. Unfortunately we haven't really started yet. It sounded like a much funnier idea to watch some more episodes of Sex and the city. We have now only two episodes left before we have seen them all, all episodes from 6 seasons. That is a lot of Sex and the city. But right now there is only a light breeze blowing and we are doing crappy speed, so I guess we will have plenty of time left for the preparations later on today

Wish us luck!!!

Deckhand Emelie

Posted in | 12 comments

Day 21- Getting ready for landfall

Position: 1200 UTC N 015° 06' W 057° 15'

Normally you don't spend much time preparing for going ashore. To get the fenders and ropes ready is just a few minutes work. But nothing is normal with our next landfall. After more than three weeks at the Atlantic Ocean we are rapidly approaching land again. We have only 215 nautical miles left now, that's nothing! We did a lot of preparations before we left Las Palmas, back then our arrival was impossible to imagine. The same goes for the first days at sea, the crossing seemed to stretch into eternity. That might explain why we now have to do some landfall preparations. Where exactly in the fore cabin are the fenders? Where are the finish instructions given to us the day before we left? We saw them on the first day at sea, but since then they have disappeared. Might there be any navigational hazards close to land? It feels strange to worry about water depth again. I have found and filled out the paper that is to be handed over to the customs, the passports are where they should be, in the grabbag and I think I know where my shoes are (though I haven't seen them since Las Palmas). After this long time at sea being under sail has become the norm. In our little world the wind comes from behind and our two headsails are constantly pulled out by spinnaker poles. Coming around Pigeon Island and approaching the finish line we will most likely be close hauled, we want to finish with the sails up, doing the whole ARC without using the engine for propulsion. Therefore we need to think about taking the poles down, getting the two headsails on the same side and hoisting the mainsail for the first time.

Today we are about to take our last shower. It will probably take up most of our day, feet need to be scrubbed, unwanted body hair removed and nails shortened. Although everything will roll around on the cockpit floor I am sure that the girls will do it smiling, they are so eager to get ashore, I am reluctantly starting to look forward to is as well. Maybe Cantare starts to feel the tension, maybe she wants to stay here at the Atlantic, something is definitely going on. Since we took the DuoGen up we are forced to run he engine everyday to generate power. This morning when Emelie was about to start the engine it only sounded normal for a few second before everything went quiet, the voltage was on a critical level so we badly needed to get the engine started. Now I was really glad that I have installed the whole electrical system myself and that I did it with problem searching in mind. Four screws to loosen, then the start panel is easy to take out and I can check the backside. The fuse was blown. I changed it and we tried to start again. The new fuse blew in just a few seconds. Hmm…what might be the problem then, probably a short circuit somewhere, but how was I to find it? Since everything looked all right at the back of the start panel I put in a slightly larger fuse and told Emelie to turn the key while I was down looking at the start engine. Ah sparks, I could see sparks around one of the connection screews. Turned out that the nut was a tiny bit loose. My dad has told me many times how important it is to secure the nuts tightly. Could the problem be that easy to solve? Yes it was! After tightening the nut and putting a right size fuse in place everything was back to normal. Today's shower was back on!

But Cantare wasn't finished with us for today, when we turned on the watermaker nothing much happened. It pumped alright but there wasn't any fresh water output. I could see some air in the hose going in to the pump, I decided to circulate the system for a while, like you do when you've put in a new filter. Luckily that solved the problem. Today seems to be the day when we have to pay for our lazy days. The wind is having a nasty last-days-at-the-Atlantic celebration, we now on and off have 50 knots of wind, forcing us to constantly reef and unreef the sails.   

It is also time to put the champagne in the fridge, you can do it at home as well. Get ready to celebrate our landfall in the new world! / Have a nice Lucia Day - The Captain 

Posted in | 3 comments

Day 20 - Things to Look Forward to Ashore

Position: 2034 UTC N 015° 27' W 055° 52'

We are now approaching land rather quickly, at the moment we have 310 Miles left to go and soon we will be able to smell land. Until then I will share with you some things I'm really looking forward to ashore:

  • Being able to stand up still, sit down still or lay down still without having to hold on to something in order not to fall and get more bruises.
  • Having dinner at a set table without having to hold everything. Nowadays we usually eat first and drink afterwards since we only got two hands available, one for holding the plate and one for eating.
  • Speaking of food, I'm dying for fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Being able to take a bath whenever you feel like it, (and not only foot baths in our water filled cockpit). Yeah, I know, we are surrounded by water, but it's unfortunately not that easy stopping the boat and jump into the tempting water, and especially not now when we are racing against Zahara.
  • Having more square meters to use than the climbing area of 7 square meters onboard. (our bath room included in the 7)
  • Having lots of people around me and reunite with all friends that have already arrived in St Lucia! Emelie and Maria are great and I love them, but now we need to see other people and get new influences.
  • Taking off my lifejacket and try to get rid of the funny tan it has caused. A kind of tan similar to the Swedish tan called "bonnabränna".
  • Washed, fresh bedding without sweat and salt water moist.
  • Not having to use earplugs while sleeping and not be bothered by the several disturbing noises onboard, of which Maria has told you before.
  • Last, but certainly not least, cold beers!

The above mentioned are only samples, I'm sure there are more. However, despite the fact that I'm really looking forward to go ashore, the 21 days and nights we have been on the Atlantic Ocean so far have been just amazing. It feels more like we have been out for a week than the actual three weeks. Let us hope that the remaining few days will work out just as smooth as the recent have. Until we arrive in St Lucia we are practicing a little arrival song I've come up with by changing some lines in an old Swedish melody. Feel free to join us singing!

Mel: För vi har tagit studenten.

//: För vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlanten, fy fan vad vi är bra!

Fy fan vad vi är bra, fy fan vad vi är bra, för vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlanten, för vi har korsat Atlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanteeeeeen, fy fan vad vi är bra! ://

Tonight we are going to celebrate the last 48h increased speed with a glass of champagne in the sunset. I want to wish you all a very nice Lucia Weekend, and if you happened to be tired of all Christmas preparations, then take a break and have a look at and at the insurance company Europeiska's blog, where we have posted some updates! /Love, First Mate Sofia

Posted in | 1 comments

Day 19 - Important Lessons

Position: 2030 UTC N 015° 59' W 053° '38'

After nearly 3 weeks at sea I'm finally starting to get a grip of it all. Some things, like how to handle the sails and how to adjust the monitor were I expecting to learn. I have also during these weeks learned some things I never expected, but almost just as important. Therefore I would like to share them with you.

¤ It is fully normal to mistake things for what they really are. Especially when you are at night watch, and a bit tired. A star can sometimes be mistaken for a lantern. The moon rising can look like a huge boat closing in on you , and a star falling can easily look like a flare.

¤ Using a headlight is not tacky. The headlight is a great invention and very practical. Sorry dad for all the times I have made fun of you. Next time you suggest a run in the forest late at night I will definitively wear a headlight.

¤ It is fully possible to do aerobics in tiny cockpit,. Even when it is high waves and 30 0 C. You just need good music and a friend that is just as restless as you are.

¤ After just a few days you will get new and improved skills. Before I could not catch a ball with one hand even if I concentrated really hard. Now I can catch a falling egg at the same time as I balance a glass of hot water in my other hand. This while the boat rocks me back and forward.

¤ If you want to catch a fish, start doing something important. Like for example write down your position in the logbook or start to take in sail. If you want to be really sure to catch a fish, hang the hook a bit above the water and go to sleep. Don't ask me why, but they seem to like it that way.

We are now doing great speed and the sun is shining from a clear blue sky. We have managed to close in on Zahara and we are having champagne tonight. Our only problem the last 24 h is that we had to take up the DuoGen yesterday. This since it kept colliding with our Monitor, causing damage on the DuoGen. When we took up the DuoGen we discovered that Monitor's light wind vane was slightly damaged as well. We have therefore changed to the regular wind vane. After some adjustments it is now working just fine. /HUGS AND KISSES, Deckhand Emelie

Posted in | 3 comments

Day 18 - Pirates or friends?

Position: 1200 UTC N 016° 40' W 050° 36'

Every time we have a watch change the person leaving tells the person going on how we are doing and if anything special has happened. Nowadays the question "have you seen any other boats?" seems to produce nothing more than laughs. I was sitting behind the wheel listening to music, looking at the horizon and thinking during my afternoon watch. Although I was constantly looking out I kind of stuck to the same piece of water and sky, therefore I told myself to have a 360 degrees horizon check every ten minutes or so. The sun had just hidden behind our headsails when I started to do a serious look around thinking this is hardly necessary since here aren't any boats, haha, but it should be done anyway. There it was, I had to look again, a "real" ship, with three masts and square sails, closing in on us from behind. Their sails looked black, I thought of pirates, but then the sun emerged from the cloud above them and shone on white sails, the moment was gone. Back to reality, pirates of today uses RIBs, I called the girls up so they could see the impressive ship. We discussed where it might be heading, I guessed Antigua. As it got closer we could see that it had four masts, the aft one without square sails. We heard something on VHF channel 16, but couldn't make out more than "….sea cloud, sea cloud do you copy?." We went through the ARC-participants list but found no boat named Seacloud. Seeing no other boats around, we figured it was the big ship who tried to contact us. Knowing the limits of our VHF antenna we didn't respond immediately, but waited for them to get even closer. Then they sent a new message over the VHF, this one was loud and clear, it was a woman speaking. We responded and agreed to change to channel 68. The woman asked us very politely about our name, origin and destination. We found out that the ship was named Seacloud, rang a bell in the back of my head, and that they were bound for St. John and then Antigua. The conversation ended with her telling us "you look absolutely beautiful, good luck with the competition and bon voyage." That was it, a short friendly meeting with a pirate ship on the Atlantic ocean, our day's most interesting event.

We are doing better speed now, maybe we will be in St. Lucia on the 15th . But we have some problems with the DuoGen, it is colliding with Monitor, I have tried to fix it with results that lasts no longer than 24-hours. Today we might take it out of the water, then we will have to start the engine to generate power. Don't worry we will be fine anyway, might even make us a bit quicker with nothing dragging behind. Watch out Zahara, we will cool the champagne and celebrate if we overtake you! /The Captain

Posted in | 2 comments

Day 17 - Are we there yet? -No!

Position: 1200 UTC N 017° 07' W 048° 33'

Are we there yet? No, not really. Aaaaaaghhhhh, not today, but maybe in a week! It is little, but only little frustrating to think about our ETA, Estimated Time of Arrival, when lots of our friends have already finished or are about to finish in St Lucia. Yesterday at 12.00 UTC Escape, whom I think you blog readers are familiar with by now, had 79 Miles left to go, which means that they, if nothing unexpected has happened, must have finished during yesterday night. Another friend boat of ours, Go Beyond where even faster and finished yesterday morning. I want to take the opportunity to send our best regards, hugs and kisses to our friends on Escape and Go Beyond and say welcome ashore! Escape and Go Beyond, you have done such a great job, we are proud of you! But please, try not to get too excited by the rum punch that is served upon arrival, try to save some for us! However, I will not put any effort in trying to compare ourselves with the larger boats, who have greater qualifications than us. Instead I will have a look at our closer competitors, Ranja and Zahara. Both of them, and especially Zahara have chosen a more south route, while we have stuck to the more direct middle route, or let me call it the Columbus' route. The south route have offered heavier winds and consequently Ranja and Zahara have been able to cover more Miles than us. One can argue whether we should have picked a southern route, and we have had the discussions onboard. And yeah, we could also have gone a few degrees more south and let the butter melt little more before turning right. But on the other hand, a more southern route would most certainly have been a lot more rolling and uncomfortable than our journey has been so far. And when doing an Atlantic crossing in a small boat not aimed at racing in the first place, the journey should definitely be comfortable! Secondly, a more southern route maybe not only be more uncomfortable, but also more trying for the boat, and also dangerous. All of the reported boat problems, like rudder and rig damages, and even abandoning of vessels have occurred south from us. And thirdly, we haven't actually lost that much to our competitors, especially not to Zahara who have a longer way to go now, we have still huge chances to beat them! Yesterday we did 131 Miles, Ranja (the owner of a parasail) 133 Miles and Zahara 139 Miles. At the moment Zahara is 24 miles ahead of us, which is equal to about 5 hours sailing for us, close huh? We are so excited about today's position reports! Oh, may I also remind you that there are of course other boats in our division that are still behind us, and we intend on keeping it that way!

Before I am off to my watch I will give you a little short review of what happened yesterday. Maria's fictitious bithday was celebrated with party games, lip stick try outs a Johnny Depp movie and of course, her favorite chocolate cake. Yesterday was also the day I decided I could not postpone my shower any longer. No matter how suitable greasy hair is when it comes to the fact that it stays in the way you want it, there is also a point when laziness becomes filthiness, and that point you really want to avoid! Over and Out! /First Mate Sofia, who now smells like paradise!


Posted in | 0 comments

Day 16- Are you suffering from boredom?

Position: 1200 UTC N 017° 32' W 046° 35'

We have now been out at sea for 15 days, 22 hours and 12 minutes. But who is counting? It has been, and still is a great adventure. Yet I have somehow gotten really good at recognising and treating boredom. To make sure that none of you secretly suffers from this disease, I have composed a little "test yourself ". I must point out that some of the scenarios in this test is mainly for sailors. Just answer the following scenarios below with - I have never done it, or - I have done it. Good luck!


¤ It's 27o C outside and not a single cloud in the sky. Your friends are out in the cockpit tanning. You are inside cleaning the toilet, on a voluntary basis. The waves make the boat rock, and your newly organised bathroom cabinet is a mess again after just 15 minutes. Instead of getting annoyed, you think -ohh, I can do this again tomorrow then.

¤ You have filled an entire notepad with " to do lists" for the next 5 years. This despite the fact that you have no idea what you want to do tomorrow. Even less what you want to do in a year.

¤ You start experimenting with different hair removal techniques on yourself and your friends. Waxing, shaving and plucking with a pair of tweezers. Which technique works best for each body part? The fact that you will look rather funny, since the hair has different times for regrowth depending on removal technique, doesn't bother you at all.

¤ You and your friends start an association. Like you did when you were 10. The difference is that now the main priority is to make Christmas carols a bit more interesting. This by making up new nastier lyrics to old melodies. You learn the lyrics by heart and start discussing how to perform them, and what to wear.

¤ You agree to leave the fishing hook in the water during your night watch, even though you hate fishing. Then when you see the fishing rod bending, you happily put down your sudoko book and start to pull it in.

If you can say - I have done it, to more than 3 of the scenarios please contact me so we can discuss appropriate treatment.

I just want to finish off by saying - Happy birthday Maria, since it's her fiction birthday today. There will be a chocolate cake and a great movie tonight.

LOTS OF LOVE From Deckhand Emelie, who might suffer from boredom at the moment ;)

Posted in | 1 comments

Day 15 - Cantare Sounds

Position: 1200 UTC N 017° 58' W 044° 20'

In our little world exists no silence. When we are sailing there are always many different sounds. Most of them I would call normal sounds. The sound of breaking waves, the sound of waves colliding with Cantare, the sound of the squeaking mast and the sound of the fluttering sails are all normal sounds. As are the sounds of Monitor's vane going to a halt at its extreme, metal against metal, the creaking of the teak interior and the sound of water clonking in the water tank. Before we left for the Atlantic we added some more normal sounds. Such as the Serrano leg's banging against the mast and the swishing of the plastic wrappings surrounding our dried sausages that hang in clusters in the saloon.

When I go to bed at 9 pm I bring with me three pillows and a sheet. There are already one big cockpit cushion and a bottom sheet in the bed, these we share. I put in my earplugs, arrange the pillows and the cushion around my body, pull the sheet over my legs and hoist the lee cloth The arrangement of the pillows is extremely important. They make my body stay still although Cantare bounces around, without them it would be impossible to fall asleep. When I am happy with my sleeping position I turn off the light and shut my eyes hoping to fall asleep fast. If I fail to fall asleep fast there's the risk of hearing all the abnormal sounds. Although I have my earplugs in they have a tendency to come through. The abnormal sounds are much more annoying than the normal, mainly because it's possible to do something about them. The abnormal sounds difference from night to night. One night it could be an unwashed fork in the sink, the other night it's the baking plate colliding with the walls in the oven or it might be the sound of a water bottle that is rolling back and forth on the floor. Lying there in my bed, trying hard not to hear them, there comes a time when I start to think about getting up to silence the abnormal sound. I consider which takes the most effort, ignoring the sound even harder or getting up and then having to rearrange the pillows and my sleeping position. Most of the time I concentrate even harder on not hearing them. If you want to learn something from this, that ought to be; always listen out for the abnormal sounds before you go to bed! (But they are slippery, most of the time they don't appear before it's to late.)

Anyway I slept alright last night, although there where stronger normal sounds since the wind has picked up again! The last 24-hours we have been doing 122 nautical miles, much better. We have also past 1000 miles left and will celebrate this with bread baking and a fresh water shower. / The Captain

Posted in | 1 comments

Day 14 - hot, hotter, the Atlantic Ocean

Position: 1200 UTC N 018° 20' W 042° 14'

"It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes". Yeah, for every day that goes by, it is getting warmer out here. Yesterday, was extremely hot, even I, who usually am not bothered by the sun had to put on a sun hat during my mid day watch. The energy basically melted away from our bodies. Every single movement was an effort, sweat pouring down the back and water bottles quickly being emptied. Dress code out here is underwear and lifejacket, nothing else is needed. Ok, I admit that little more clothes are needed during night watches when the sun is gone. Nevertheless, the temperature is still around 25° C at nights. Before arriving in St Lucia I think we will experience nights when only wearing underwear and lifejacket will be enough. Even though the sun nowadays tends to melt us down as if we were ice creams, I won't complain. I've heard it's quite cold back home in Sweden and I really don't want to go back to winter boots, gloves and swine flue hysteria.

When the sun had cooled down a little bit yesterday we celebrated my fictitious birthday in the cockpit. It was a really nice evening containing superb fish dinner and Christmas carols. Remaking Christmas carols can be so much fun, especially when it's three crazy girls from DJ Dingelidong doing the remix. I'm full of aches in my stomach today due to all laughter, we had a wonderful time! Happy Advent Sunday! /First Mate Sofia

Posted in | 1 comments

Day 13 - Stronger winds please

Position: 1200 UTC N 018° 39' W 040° 23'

It's 7.30 in the morning and I'm once again sitting in the cockpit locking out over the big Atlantic ocean. Maria and Sofia are down in the saloon sleeping. The sun has just started to rise and there is only a light breeze. Right now we are slowly bobbing forward, doing 3-4 knots. A perfect morning for meditation and watching the sunrise, but not as good for the competition. We have now had three days in a row with lighter winds. If it doesn't change soon we will have to remake the very beautiful countdown calendar, that Maria draw a week ago. The calendar only extend until the 15 December. In this speed we will not arrive in St:Lucia until the 17 December. That is at least one day before they close the finish line. But we are still positive to arrive earlier. If you know some great magic tricks how to get more wind, please send us a text message.

Yesterday we at least got to have our mid Atlantic party. Since we had such great fishing luck yesterday, we could celebrate with fresh fish and a bottle of champagne. Never had fish and champagne tasted so delicious.

Today we will continue to celebrate, since it is Sofia's fiction birthday. For those of you who hasn't read our previous posts. We have made up one fiction birthday each to make the Atlantic trip more fun. This will be celebrated with a luxurious scones breakfast and some movie watching later on tonight.

Hugs and kisses from

Deckhand Emelie

Posted in | 1 comments

Day 12 - The killing II

Position: 1200 UTC N 019° 03' W 038° 31'

Yesterday evening I left the fishing hook dragging behind the boat, I know the girls don't like that because then we might get a fish during the night when two of us are asleep. But it was almost full moon and there is a saying that it's harder to catch fish two days before and two days after full moon, I took a chance. We had calculated that sometime during the night or early morning we would reach midway, it actually happened at 00.30 am, so I thought a Dorado would accompany the champagne nicely. One's most likely to catch fish right after sunrise or before sunset, because they hunt more actively when the water is cooler and that's the reason why I wanted to leave the hook out. Emelie has the morning watch, she woke me up at a quarter to nine telling me in an anxious voice that we had a fish. Happily I got up and tried to wake Sofia up as softly as possible, she's usually not very keen on killing fishes before she's had breakfast. I went out in the cockpit and began to haul in the fish, but when he was about ten meters from our stern I could see how he made a sideway movement and got loose. A bit sulky I checked that the hook was alright before I put it out again.

Sofia started to prepare breakfast while I decided to solve the problem with the Monitor ropes. The steering ropes was led from the wind vane through a double block to the wheel. Since the two ropes actually need different angles the double block had started to chafe the ropes badly. I had hoped we could get away with it, not having to change the ropes before we reached St. Lucia, but then Emelie noticed how bad the ropes looked and told me this morning so I had to take action. I found a spare block and led one of the ropes through it and the other one stayed in the double block, after some tampering with the placements of the blocks I managed to eliminate all chafing spots and connected Monitor to the wheel again. I was happy with today's work and went down to write today's post about how we almost caught a celebration fish.

But I hadn't written many sentences before Emelie once again told me that there was a fish on the hook. I went out and started to pull it in. Sofia got out the bag net and scooped up the fish. I asked her if we should put the hook out again or if the fish was enough for tonight's dinner (it's Sofia's dinner making day) She said put it out again, one more would be good. Sofia was still killing the first fish when the reel rattled, third time in the same day. I went back to the fishing rod and started to haul it in, but it wasn't easy. Then the fish jumped and it was huge, I thought we wouldn't be able to land it, but decided to let it stay out there for a while to get tired. Although it was far off you could see a yellow mass underneath the water. Time was flying, I had to send our position to ARC Rally Control. When I came back out Sofia had finished making the first fish ready for the fridge. I told her to take out the big fish hook that my father made for us before we left, you put it through the body of the fish to make it easier to get the fish aboard. Sofia looked sceptical and refused to also take out the cheap vodka that's bought as a mean to kill big fishes. When I managed to get the fish closer to the boat and it jumped in front of Sofia and Emelie they were rather quick to fetch the vodka. We got all excited and started discussing landing tactics. In the end Sofia agreed that the bag net was to small and put the hook through the fish's body and hauled it aboard. We all screamed as it slid down onto the cockpit floor. Then I took out the vodka and poured it into it's gills, I started jumping all over the place and we screamed even more. But in a short while he stopped moving and we just sat there awe-struck watching his beauty. Then we took out the folding rule and measured him, from head to tail he was 890 mm! Gigantic! When Sofia put the knife into the fish we realized why they say it's a bloody business to kill a Dorado, blood was all over the cockpit. Everybody (sailors) talk about making sushi out of newly caught fish, you put the raw fish in lemon juice for half an hour and then it's ready. Emelie has been in Panama and there they call it "cevice". I was a bit curious and talked the others into trying. It tasted lemon and nothing more, Emelie says we need spices to get it right and will try to fix a recipe for us. Anyway now we have enough fish for a few days, and tonight we can celebrate halfway in style. Halfway to the Caribbean! It feels great! /The Captain

If you can't see the picture go to where it will also be published.

Posted in | 7 comments

Day 12 - The killing I

We are in the middle of killing a big fish so update will come later...

Posted in | 0 comments

Day 11 - ETA improvements

Position: 1200 UTC N 019° 27' W 036° 46'

We are now experiencing a period of light winds resulting in a striking decrease of average speed. Cantare is not a light wind boat, she is an overloaded heavy lady who needs some rough winds to drive her competitors out of the ARC race. In these light winds the competitors teasingly put up their spinnakers and parasails and quickly leave us behind. However, in heavier winds spinnakers and parasails must be taken down and they are struggling with their genoas and gennakers while the heavier winds fill our butterfly sails perfectly and we are increasing speed. To increase the speed in slack winds I have tried the hair drier a number of times, not that effective though. Unfortunately, our drier is a small one used for travelling. We need one of those more effective driers used at the hairdresser's! So now we have come up with another idea of how to improve our ETA in St Lucia: Hitchhiking with a tanker or a cargo ship. Yeah, I know we said we hadn't seen ships in ages, but yesterday morning they suddenly appeared and forced Emelie to change course and give way while Maria and I slept through the busy morning. We are also aware of the fact that large vessels normally wont follow the trade winds but taking the shortest route. So the chances of bumping into another heavy cargo ship or tanker might not be that overwhelming. But we are on the Atlantic Ocean and anything can happen! While waiting for our hitchhiking objects to arrive we try to cure restlessness in the best way we can. I am trying to learn more Spanish with the intention to be able to communicate in Spanish with more people than the bartenders. At the moment I am on the "una cerveza grande por favor"-level.* Emelie has found a sudoku book and is totally absorbed by it. Maria is going to break the world record in the category: number of books read in shortest time. Over and Out! /First Mate Sofia

PS. Our friends on the sail yacht Starfire who had rudder problem have fixed their rudder and are now continuing towards St Lucia! DS

*una cerveza grande por favor = one large beer, please = en stor stark, tack.

Posted in | 1 comments

Day 10 - new influences

Position: 1700 UTC N 019° 32' W 035° 19'

Yesterday was one of those fantastic days. We were doing great speed, there was not a single cloud in the sky and Cantare handled the waves perfectly. Making it a lot easier to move around in the boat. We also after several days of loneliness spotted a boat on the horizon. Not that there is something wrong with our little world, but it is always nice with some new inputs. They seamed to get closer and closer so we got curious and called them up on the VHF. It turned out that it was a Swedish/Danish family doing a one year Atlantic circuit. They were very friendly and we talked for a long while and decided to keep in touch. It's funny how we are on one of the biggest seas and still live in such a small world.

It was not only above sea level that we saw new things yesterday. Maria also spotted a whale. Unfortunately I and Sofia were down in the saloon when Maria screamed so we never got to see it. Hopefully there will be more chances later on. But I could settle with dolphins though, whales are a bit scary.

Since I'm used to things happening constantly around me back home in Sweden, at this point I start to get a bit hyper active. To get rid of some energy, I spent the whole afternoon yesterday baking bread. This is very unlike me. I hardly know how to cock an egg. Surprisingly the bread was very tasty, even if I didn't follow the receipt. I guess there is hope for me too.

We finished yesterday with some cosy and sincere girl talk in the cockpit , over a glass of water and delicious mashed potatoes. Lovely! Lots of love! /Deckhand Emelie

Posted in | 0 comments

Day 10 - Busy day

Since we have changed our local time we now have less time to write this post before we need to send in our position at 1400 UTC, therefore we will give you our update tonight instead.

Posted in | 0 comments

Day 9 - Living on the Atlantic

Position: 1200 UTC N 019° 56' W 033° 03'

Today we noticed an email that was sent to us yesterday by the ARC Rally Controll. The subject line read; Starfire rudder loss. Further we could read about how an ARC boat had diverted to assist the non-ARC boat Starfire, which is believed to be a Sadler 25 with two male crew members. We then realized that we know this boat, we met them in Las Palmas. Their yacht was to small to enter the ARC but they sneaked in on almost every event anyway. We began to think about their options, the rudder was snapped in half. Since they are further south and less west than us we figure they will go to the Cape Verdes.

What would we do if it happened to us right now? I think we would try to work something out and continue, with the double headsails we are sailing very balanced so I think we could have done it. But we all hope it will not happen. So far we have been lucky, no big problems at all. We have lost one screw that holds the DuoGen tower attached to the generator, but I found another screw in my toolbox that fitted and secured it with tape. We also have some water intake that we have to monitor and bail out with regular intervals. The water is pushed into the boat through the anchor box drain (which is under the waterline nowadays), we really can't do anything about that except eating our heavy food as quick as possible. My crew also complains a bit about the Serrano leg that bangs against the mast all night long, especially since they found out that they don't like it. I'm the only one liking the taste and I know they count the days until they are allowed to through it overboard.

Except for these minor problems everything is splendid in our little world. Cantare takes the Atlantic waves with grace, although we sometimes hold our breaths when we see big evil looking waves approach she always manages to take them in a good way. Her being heavier than normal seems to increase the stability. Monitor has been steering constantly since day 2, we use the light wind vane and have come to the conclusion that Monitor steers straighter than us without getting tired or hungry, great crew member with other words. The double headsails are fantastic, we don't have to do much with them and the fact that we can reef in a few minutes makes it possible for us to sail without preventive reefing during the nights. So far we have been doing a 24-hour average of 122 nautical miles, that exceeds my expectations, we have had winds between 5 and 12 m/s. But we do roll from side to side a lot, as some people said we would when they heard about our two headsails on the same furler. Funny though, in light winds we tend to roll more, bigger waves and a strong wind keep her steady. If I wake up and the boat rolls heavily I think wind increase, but when I pop my head out in the cockpit I realize that the wind is weaker than before and the swell that is left makes us roll. I think other boats with other sailplans roll as well, maybe a little bit less. Anyway we are glad to have a simple and non chafing (haven't found any chafe so far) solution that's easy to handle when there's only one person on watch. DuoGen keeps our batteries charged, we have almost too much power and when we don't run the watermaker it is possible to switch over from economy to normal on the fridge and keep it around 0 degrees. The watermaker works as it should, we run it every second day and then we produce around 20 litres of water. We have decided to allow ourselves a fresh water shower every Sunday, especially good for long hair that starts to transform itself into natural dreads after a few days. If we wash it once a week we might not need to shave it of when we reach St. Lucia.

We have many books left to read, a few more episodes of Sex and the City to watch, lot's of food to eat, plenty of fishhooks to loose, many waves and stars to look at and lots of time for interesting conversations. But I have started to notice some restlessness among the crew. Today we start our 10th day at the Atlantic, we are getting closer to halfway champagne, some of our friends are already halfway, but I think we will need around 3 more days. I feel no restlessness at all, but I'm the one of us that loves to read books, I like almost any book I read and get swept away in no time. If you are to fully enjoy ocean sailing I think you need to find a good way to pass time. /The Captain

Posted in | 1 comments