Winter over, next leg prep underway

So winter is over for me – back in South Africa where it has been very hot. We have been getting the boat ready for the next leg, quite why there is always so much to do when the boat was fine when we left it is of course one of those great mysteries of life. Have been shopping today and plan to finish by getting the fresh meats and vegetables tomorrow ready for the off on Saturday.
It doesn’t seem possible that we only have another 3 ½ months and 6,000 miles to go although the next leg is quite long. We expect to finish about 15 April in St Lucia.

Michael Birch, 06.01.2011 | More from Michael Birch’s blog

In South Africa after stormy Indian Ocean

I have not posted for a while as we have not had good email facilities. We have now reached South Africa so have finished crossing the India Ocean. It was not the kindest of seas - on the leg from Cocos Keeling to Mauritius we had to run before gale / near gale winds for 6 days and had two sets of waves, one set we could take on the quarter as you should, but the other ones hit us almost abeam and was most uncomfortable. On the last leg from Reunion to Richards Bay SA we had a gale off Madagascar and then again on our last night. The last night the winds dropped down to 22 knots and the seas flattened when a freak wave hit us on the beam and we went over at least 70 degrees, I was on watch and was thrown across the cockpit and then back again ending up laying on my back in 6 inches of water.

Michael Birch, 15.11.2010 | More from Michael Birch’s blog

Éowyn is in Bali marina, Benoa

Éowyn is in Bali marina, Benoa in position 8:44.425S 115:12.803E

We arrived safely in Bali on the 8th September. The last 24 hours of the passage were frustrating as the light wind was dead astern and basically we motored all that period.
Michael Birch, 13.09.2010 | More from Michael Birch’s blog

Cruising and diving in the Pacific

Tonga dancer

We sailed from Bora Bora to Suwarrow which is a very small island group with no inhabitants. It is a nature reserve, there is a caretaker there sometimes but he wasn't there when we arrived - so it was deserted. There were several yachts in that night so we went ashore and had a pot luck party.

Michael Birch, 21.06.2010 | More from Michael Birch’s blog

Raiatea - Update from Éowyn

 I have been a bit bad with emails recently as the internet connections have been bad.

 We spent some time in the Marquesas and then sailed to the Tuamotos. These are a group of Islands further to the west. The islands are again volcanic with the rim of the volcano being the land surface with a reef surrounding it, inside is a lagoon. Whilst there we had some good diving, mainly drift dives. We also visited one of the many pearl farms where  they cultivate the local ‘black pearl’. 

Then on to Tahiti where we met Valerie and Chris, a bit delayed by the Iceland Volcano. They will be leaving us from Bora Bora Saturday. When they leave we will continue to Australia with just Graham and me. John left the boat at Papeete. We have someone else joining us at Darwin and then a change at South Africa.

Michael Birch, 19.05.2010 | More from Michael Birch’s blog