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16 December 2010

The Doctor

All is well aboard Wild Tigris in the V&A Marina in Cape Town. Although there have been a few testing days and nights, adjusting lines and fenders in the relentless Cape Town Doctor (strong SE breeze), I am convinced that we have the most sheltered marina in the City. Our friends over in the Royal Cape YC record steady 40-50kt breeze while we sit in 20kts gusting to 35kts. However, the Royal Cape is child’s play compared with Hout Bay, where most of the World ARC fleet are clinging on for dear life!


I went down to greet Chessie and Brown-Eyed Girl who were due to arrive last Saturday evening. On arrival at Hout Bay, I was glad I decided to bring a warm fleece but sorry I forgot my PFD and survival suit! The seen that I walked into made Perfect Storm look like A Wonderful Life! There was a steady 50kts, Chessie had just been towed in by two rescue boats after loosing steerage and were docked in such a fashion that onboard motion felt like sailing on a hard beat into choppy seas.


Next was Brown-eyed Girl who although did not need or ask for a tow, were only too glad to accept the offer. They had a beautiful sail from Port Elizabeth to within 5Nm of Hout Bay and were suddenly confronted with building head winds. They fought for hours to make a couple of miles progress, damaging several sails in the process. They tied on to the N mole where Wild Tigris was scheduled to be. The process took approx. 45mins with the breeze now touching 60kts and spray crashing over the mole with the ferocity of several fire hoses loaded with ball bearings! Once tied up, the boat heeled at about 20 degrees due to windage of the rigs. A huge thanks and lots of respect is due to the South African Search and Rescue.

24 November 2010

Around the Cape of Good Hope

At 1:03 AM South Africa Time or 5:03 PM East Coast Time the WT rounded Cape Agulhas the southern most tip South Africa. At that point we no longer were in the Indian Ocean but in the South Atlantic. Just two on deck, and a bottle of champagne to toast the occasion.  It was a calm rounding with a full moon to guide us. We got down to 34.55 South Latitude about five miles off the coast. 


Five days in Port Elizabeth waiting for a weather window was a really good thing to do.  The weather for the trip around was most quiet calm with a huge South Westerly coming on Wednesday.  We will tie up at the Victoria and Alfred in Cape Town this afternoon around 5PM.  


On the Indian Ocean side we saw many Black-Browed Albaross, petrels and shearwaters.  Think we saw a few Shy Albatrosses with the huge wing span.

20 November 2010

On the move again!

Good Bye Port Elizabeth!


This morning after checking the weather one more time, we had to wake up the two boats rafted up to us, untied all the lines (lots of them) and motored out of PE. Sorry about the wakeup call to A-Lady and Destiny, especially A-lady who were hoping to sleep in after arriving in early this a.m, but were woken to the sound of feet on the decks.


After finally leaving the harbor and out of the coal or magnesium ore dust there was a big boat bath. Black dust on the windward side of everything.

Currently we are motoring along at 7kts, looking to get to Mossel Bay and or maybe to Cape Town. We will decide at Mossel Bay if we should keep going.


There’s a noticeable chill in the SW wind which is no doubt on route from Antarctica or thereabouts. We are currently at Latitude 34 10’ S and therefore 375Nm north of the ‘Roaring Forties’. There has been no shortage of locals offering their knowledge for this leg of our trip. One of the more important tips is to watch the barometer like a Hawk! We have also learned that there is more current offshore, but not to go too far off and likewise to go inshore for shelter against the westerly, but not too far in as there is a counter-current!


All in all, we are happy to be on the move again and excited about getting into our berth at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront marina in Cape Town.


Roll on the Wild Tigris!

34 10’ S

025 14’ E




18 November 2010

Storm bound

Morning all


Wild Tigris arrived into Port Elizabeth on Monday night at 2000. It may have been different had Casey and I not been ‘talked down’ from sailing on to Cape Town in strong Easterlies by our friendly S. African weather router, Peri. As it was, we were on the rhumb line 30nm South of PE heading directly to Cape Agulhas (S. Africa’s most southerly point) and after Peri’s local knowledge, had to do a swift 90deg turn and run to port.


PE is a large industrial port with a small marina tucked away at the back. We are too big for any of it’s pontoons and have been relegated to the fisheries jetty where we’ve rafted alongside a couple of squid boats. We are now playing the waiting game with the notoriously changeable Cape of Good Hope (or Cape of Storms, as it was once known) weather. Recent forecasts show a possible window between tonight and Monday morning. We’re standing by for Peri’s advice at 5pm just incase Casey and I are overly optimistic again…


We’ll keep you posted



  33 58’ S

025 38’ E

0800 UTC

14 November 2010

This one's for you Anne!

Hello again from Wild Tigris,

After a ‘Wild’ time in Richard’s Bay and surrounding National Parks, we are on the Agulas again and heading to East London or Port Elizabeth if weather permits. We left Richard’s Bay at 1100 yesterday under blue sky and full sail of Gib, Staysail, Full main and mizzen. We averaged about 9.5 kts with the help of the S. going current but had to dodge back in to shallower waters to avoid a SW wind last night. We are currently back out in the current which seems to run strongest about 10-15Nm offshore, seaward of the 200m contour.

The locals at Richard’s Bay kept reminding us we sailing in Zululand, NOT Disneyland! With this thought, we are sailing conservatively and monitoring the weather every 12hrs. So far so good!

Hope you’re all well,

Sean, Casey, Heidi and Sofia.

14 Nov 1030UTC

30 52’ S

030 37’ E

07 November 2010


We're in port in Richard's Bay, South Africa, having arrived early this evening to a wonderful welcoming committee consisting of the boat crews who got here before us, our ever-cheerful WARC keepers in their un-missable yellow shirts, plus local yacht club representatives who greeted us with gifts of club t-shirts and a bottle of champagne. Honestly, if everyone in South Africa is this friendly and welcoming we'll have a hard time leaving!

We're all crashing relatively early, with a long list of chores - most involve removing the truly amazing quantities of salt that seem to have encrusted EVERYTHING, including ourselves - ahead of us tomorrow.

But first: ahhhh... a bunk that's not moving in the slightest. :)

07 Nov 2010 2201 UTC
28 47.524 S
32 04.996 E

06 November 2010

Surprisingly little to report

As I write, we're motor-sailing towards our waypoint off the coast (we're carefully managing our speed to arrive at just the right time - adjusting sails, adding or removing engine assist as needed. Sofia says: "Sails up, sails down. Engine on, engine off. Speed up, slow down... what else is new?") Several other WARC boats are on schedule to arrive there at the same time, so we'll have a small rendezvous at sea to look forward to, bright and early Sunday morning.

After spending the last 24 hours under more or less grey skies, things have cleared completely, and we've got nothing but blue sky and blue water as far as we can see. We're hoping it will stay this clear for some more star-gazing this evening.

Our dragonfly mystery deepens, as now we've got several of them buzzing around the boat. They could, we suppose, have been blown out here on a past storm, but what have they been surviving on? We've had one shearwater (we fool ourselves into believing it's the same one, but that seems unlikely, really) that comes by and cruises back and forth behind the boat occasionally, ever hopeful.

We had one suicidal squid fling itself onto the deck last night; and Friday evening had a spectacular dolphin visit, involving a whole pod who couldn't content themselves with mere underwater bow-wave surfing, but also performed tandem (sometimes trio) full body jumps out of the water, as well as actually surfing in and jumping out of neighboring waves. It was quite a show. Sean saw some dolphins last night, too, leaving a trail of luminescence in their wakes.

Anne managed to fling herself (unintentionally, mind you) against the shelf over her bunk in the middle of the night thanks to an ill-timed urge to sit up and fluff her pillow combined with a surprise wave, and has an amusingly-colored black eye to show for it. We're thinking about taking bets on what color it'll be by the time we get in... Perhaps it'll just lend credence to Sean's favorite boat motto: "The beatings will continue until (or perhaps even if) morale improves!"

Chewin' up the miles, we are,

- the WT crew

6 Nov 2010 14:08 UTC (16:08 local time)
27 53.127 S
36 02.225 E

05 November 2010

Whoa, there!

There's a pretty strong current that runs north to south along the southeast coast of Africa, and we've long since set a waypoint about a hundred miles off the coast, a bit north of our goal, to help take this into account.

To make things a tad more complicated, though, when weather moves in from the south - particularly if it has decent winds blowing from the south, i.e. against that current - it kicks up a very rough sea.

Just such a weather system is moving into the area, so we've adjusted our speed to hit the next waypoint *after* the winds have passed and the seas calm down. (Between the weather forecasts the WARC folks send, and our own ability to download detailed weather data for our own analysis, we have a remarkable amount of information available, really. Casey continues to marvel and compare it to his first Atlantic crossing back in 1972 where things were just a bit different! See for details.)

So we're in the unusual situation of needing to slow the boat down, rather than the usual pile-on-the-sail attitude... we're now noodling along with jib and reefed main under cloudy skies and scattered light showers. Everything's been tidied and stowed for weather (though we're not actually expecting that much) and we've taken advantage of the mellow seas and wind to do some laundry and similar chores. The off-watches even watched a movie this afternoon.

Another unexpectedly quiet day on the WT. After yesterday's wildlife extravaganza it's been pretty quiet in that department, too, just a modest number of birds, and one extremely lost dragonfly. (The last has us really puzzled. Perhaps he was a stowaway since Reunion? No way to tell, but he's welcome to hitch a ride anyway.)

WT over and out.

5 Nov 2010 15:10 UTC (17:10 local WT time)
27 31.387 S
38 59.462 E

04 November 2010

Towels, Tunas, Terns, Tortes and Time...

Flying along around 7 knots, just slightly upwind, under jib, main and mizzen, we're well past halfway, and are sailing out into the waters between Madagascar and Africa - the Mozambique channel. We've been at sea somewhere over 5 days of elapsed time, and today's blog, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a bit random, as things so far have been (happily, mind you) uneventful.

TOWELS: Casey reports that, until yesterday, he'd been unaware that the towel on the *right* side of the rack was supposed to be his. We're not sure if this means that he's been using Heidi's towel all along, or what, but are pleased that he's straightened that out, anyway.

TUNAS: Strictly speaking, tuna, singular; in a first for this voyage (which is saying a lot) we had a tuna follow along next to the boat for several hours this morning. It looked like it was cruising in the boat slipstream - it was certainly surfing in the waves as they passed. Luckily (for the tuna) Sean was off-watch, and no one else wanted to set a lure. Looked like a good-sized yellow fin, and it had no trouble keeping up with the boat. Most interesting.

TERNS: In other wildlife news, it was a busy bird morning, with large flocks of terns, many shearwaters and even a skua winging by. Several of the birds, apparently familiar with fishing vessels, hung around behind the boat for a while waiting for chum. We were not interested in sharing any of the previous Dorado catch, so they eventually slipped away between the waves. We also were visited by a pod of dolphins who performed as usual at the bow, zipping back and forth in front of the boat before slipping off on errands unknowable.

TORTES: well... pizza, actually, but it didn't start with a T. We had a fabulous pizza lunch today, and the whole boat has been rather subdued all afternoon, happily digesting.

TIME: We've sailed far enough west of Reunion that we've set our local clocks back one hour, so we're now UTC+2.

All's well on the WT!

4 Nov 2010 12:06 UTC
27 18.472 S
41 31.100 E

03 November 2010

Night Watch with Autopilot

Half an hour before I'm due on deck, my trusty little watch alarm feeps me awake out of my post-dinner, pre-watch snooze. I check the time just to make sure I've set it right ("...oh, just a few more minutes sleep?" my nap-muddled brain requests) but, no, it's 2:30 AM, just as it should be. I move a bit slowly, awakened like this at odd hours, I like the extra time.

I get dressed - socks and shoes, fleece pants, long-sleeved shirt; it was cool already at sunset, best to put on more than you need now than get chilled later - and gather up my foulies and PFD. Check pockets - yup, lip balm, knife, flashlight ("torch" in WT lingo) and MP3 player all accounted for. Putting on a headlamp with a red light, I turn out my cabin lights before opening the door, so as not to spill lots of bright light out in case Sean, who's on before me, is nearby. (Protect precious night vision!)

The boat's rolling quite a bit, a big change from when I went to sleep, so making a cup of tea is a small adventure involving careful placement of cup, teapot and all, mostly one-handed or with legs braced against the cabinets; getting milk from the fridge requires a first careful swing of the door to make sure nothing's loose from the shelves to go crashing to the floor. While the tea's steeping, covered and in the sink to protect from spills, a quick raid of the snack cabinet... let's see, cookies? Crackers? Seems like a cookie night, and I silently thank whoever thought to pick up the box of little yummy hazelnut and chocolate wafers. Perfect!

Tea-making gear stowed, I do the usual wave-induced staggering dance across the saloon to the companionway (stopping to look at the last few log entries to see what's what... looks pretty quiet) set tea and cookies safely on deck at the top of the ladder and sit down on the settee to gear up against the cool breeze. Sean briefs me - he's put in a new waypoint, wind's gone very light but now behind us (by morning we'll have the jibs up), keep an eye on the engine exhaust temp, no tankers in hours... a quiet night of motoring - and he heads below. Being the skipper, though, he putters at least another 15 minutes, and I hear him flipping switches at the electrical panel and lifting floor panels to check on the trusty old Mercedes engine, steadily chugging away beneath us.

Three hours seems long at the start, but the trick, for me, seems to be to distract myself with smaller chunks of activity. For now, still warm from being down below, I curl up with my mug of tea in an aft corner of the cockpit, enjoying the breeze and savoring each sip of hot tea. I eke out a good 15 minutes tea-drinking, remembering the cookies partway through (indeed, perfect little chocolate-covered tidbits). Time to check the engine temp (happy) and the radar and chart plotter. Hey! There's a boat on the AIS (which may or may not mean Automatic Information System, but which is a wonderfully useful system where boats squawk their location, course and speed, and bigger ones more details like how large they are, name, destination, etc.) This one's a big tanker, going in the opposite direction to our course, closest approach nearly 8 miles. I can just see the lights appear over the horizon, and the radar suddenly shows a little blip as well.

I settle down on the starboard side, straddling the cockpit coaming, the better to see forward for a while, and watch the tanker's lights slowly become clearer. Time for some music, perhaps? We'd had fun singing "Southern Cross" at the beach party back in Reunion, maybe some CSN. The tanker and the trio keep me company for a while until I notice, on a horizon scan, a big glow to the east. Should be about time for the moon (thin waning crescent) to be coming up, and, sure enough, a sharp point of light appears suddenly through a break in the clouds on the horizon.

4 AM, and time for the log. I spend a while fussing with the chart plotter - it reboots itself periodically, and must be told to re-follow the route, and whoever programmed the interface apparently had a job in the audio-visual industry beforehand... it's a bit cryptic, to say the least. But I get all the numbers squared away, tweak the autopilot a few degrees and head to the galley for a second cup of tea. Getting out the milk I re-discover the hard-boiled eggs Sof had boiled up yesterday - another perfect snack. The only thing better at the moment might be Sof's leftover meatballs, must remember to request those for dinner sometime!

Back on deck, horizon scan, engine temp, all good. Nothing on the AIS, and there's a nice break in the clouds, so I spend a while looking, naked-eye and with binocs, at the unfamiliar constellations. Am still mesmerized by the sight of the few familiar constellations being *upside down*, the moon's angle likewise shifted, even the sun angle during the day is reversed to the north. I try playing with the star-finder "personal planetarium" that Casey showed me the other day, but it can't quite get a GPS fix (it whinges about electrical interference, maybe it's the motor?) so that's out. Back to tea-drinking. CSN's getting a bit too mellow, so I switch to the perkier Greatest Hits by Steve Miller. That oughta keep me awake, I figure, and for good measure I stand up and hold on to the dodger, dancing a little and singing quietly along with the silly pop lyrics.

The MP3 player gets my attention, suddenly - uh-oh, low battery. Hmmm. Can't have silence for the last hour, now, can we? I head below for the computer and cable, and set it up to charge. Thankfully it can play and charge at the same time. As long as I'm tethered to the laptop, I try to come up with a bunch of screen settings that make the laptop usable on deck at night, but to no avail. Even the "black" settings are awfully bright to dark-adjusted eyes, and I can't quite seem to get rid of all the white edges on windows and things. (Darned Microsoft.) A project for another day.

The moon's risen higher, and I notice that the sky is no longer uniformly dark, either - sunrise is coming, slowly but surely. I remember someone - Matt, I think, from Crazy Horse - talking about the ancient egyptian myths where the sky goddess, Nut, gives birth to the sun god, Ra, every morning. Nut's household is clearly already up and lighting candles, preparing for the impending happy occasion - colors begin to appear, the eastern sky takes on a bit of yellow, then orange, moving towards pink.

I hear movement below, see some cabin lights come on; my replacement, Heidi, is up and about. Minutes later, a hand reaches through the open hatch in the cockpit side and grabs my ankle - I manage not to yelp, much to her disappointment. On deck together a few minutes later we watch the newly-reborn Ra climb into his day chariot and head off across the sky... it's a pretty morning. I pass on the small tidbits about waypoint, current and wind, head down to do the 6 AM log, do my dishes and roll into bed for a few more z's; I'm back on at noon for a 1-hour watch, then again at 5, and then off until 6 Thursday morning.

- Anne

(Today's actual sailing update: we're back to sailing [no motor, hurray] under two poled-out jibs in 12-15 knots of following breeze, with 2-3 meter seas. Nice downwind sailing, and after some morning clouds, have a lovely sunny afternoon. We're just south of Madagascar. Specifically:

03 Nov 2010 11:49 UTC
26 45.248 S
44 59.827 E

Oh, and we hooked up a large fish this morning, but it got away; may have been a marlin. Caught a dorado yesterday, and saw a shark surfing along in our wake a little while ago.)

P.S. Anne says "Happy Birthday, Syd!"

02 November 2010


...and whales. (And, to be fair, one rather large ex-flying fish found on morning watch deck-walk.) Yup, it's been a nice day so far for wildlife - except perhaps for the poor fish - as we've had a couple of whale sightings (no photos, though, they were a bit shy of the boat, perhaps because of the engine noise) and Casey spotted a huge seabird soaring over the waves just after lunch. Didn't get enough details to ID the species, but based on size and behavior, it was surely one of the several Albatrosses in the region.

We're now motor sailing with jib, staysail, main and mizzen (Yet Another Sail Combo) through continued light winds. They've come around to a more favorable direction, though, so we're headed right for our next waypoint south of Madagascar. Sof continues to conjure up treats, we're all managing lots of sleep thanks to the watch schedule, the weather continues nice with relatively flat seas, and Ray is faithfully keeping us on course.

Life is peaceful aboard the WT.

02 Nov 2010 12:18 UTC (15:18 local time)
25 32.461 S
48 14.957 E

01 November 2010

Movin' along

(Reporting from Anne's favorite blogging spot: aft corner of the cockpit, in a patch of shade and breeze.)

We're flying along under jib, main and mizzen, in a nice breeze... from not quite the direction we'd like, but we're happy to head a bit extra south around Madagascar. The winds in the past 24 hours have been, for lack of a better word, "interesting" - sudden odd (and large) windshifts associated with small squalls, or sometimes just in the middle of nowhere, for no apparent reason. It feels like we've ranged through nearly every sail combination we have in the two days we've been out.

But in sharp contrast to the previous long leg from Cocos to Mauritius, the Southern Indian Ocean is being very gentle so far, with only mild swells and light breeze. We've had a few lines of clouds and some very occasional rain overnight, but otherwise the weather's quite beautiful. Traffic is pretty light, as well, with just a few tankers and one big fishing boat, and the WARC fleet scattered out along the course past Madagascar.

We're settling into things, our night watches (1800-0900) very mellow - three hours on, as much as twelve off (the joys of sailing with a crew of 5!) and one on, four off during the day (0900-1800). Regular raids on the snack cabinet, plus Sofia's afternoon creations (Saturday was peaches and custard on pastry, yum-oh) keep us going between proper (also yummy) meals. Yup, as usual, thoughts turn to food at sea.

Ray, the trusty auto-pilot, has been working wonderfully so far, making for even more relaxed watches than ever. Yay for technology.

There's been a nice scattering of seabirds - storm petrels, terns and shearwaters. Anne & Heidi are hoping for an albatross, maybe south of Madagascar. Flying fish occasionally go zinging off, as well.

Otherwise all is quiet aboard the WT, with much music-listening on headphones, book reading and napping in between watch work.

We're hoping the wind will settle back into a southeasterly flow later today, and we can tack over and make a few more knots towards our waypoint off the coast of the island.

That's all for now,

- Anne, for WT
01 Nov 2010 10:56 UTC
24 22.072 S
50 40.015 E

31 October 2010

Trick or treat...?

We're happy to report that the first 178Nm since leaving La Reunion have been a treat. Starting the leg at 1100LT yesterday under sail, our expected forecast of light breeze became quickly apparent and on came the engine. We're currently making 8.5kts motor-sailing towards the SE corner of Madagascar.

An even bigger treat is our new improved auto-pilot. Spare parts arrived to La Reunion from the manufacturer in the UK and were quickly installed with the result being an even more relaxed Wild Tigris crew. Fingers crossed and touch wood that there are no more tricks up Ray (the auto-pilot)'s sleeve…

Until tomorrow, Happy Halloween,


30 October 2010

Merci La Reunion!

We've had a great week in Reunion, exploring this interesting island. It's a huge mix of climates and terrain, ranging from dry coastal near-desert to lush tropical forest; with black volcanic beaches, impassable basalt cliffs, coastal beach towns and isolated mountain villages... and yet it's France, too. Very cool.

We had a great farewell party last night, with local Creole cooking and music. The little pub/bar/internet-cafe on the quay will probably be glad of a bit of peace and quiet once we've left, though they've been most kind to this random flock of strangers mangling the language while trying to order a cafe au lait and a croissant. Merci bien a tous!

We're heading out this morning for the 7-10 day trip to Richard's Bay, South Africa. Our trusty autopilot, Ray, is back with us, so we're looking forward to a bit less hand-steering this leg. Keep your fingers crossed.

Updates as we have 'em along the way...

- Anne, for WT
30 Oct 2010 9:04 local time
Reunion Island, France

27 October 2010

Like Switzerland, plus jungle

On Tuesday (26th) Heidi (fearless driver), Casey (fearless leader) and Anne (occasionally-confused navigator) took off in the rental car to explore the island.

After completely failing to find the vanilla museum/shop/factory (they grow vanilla and lots of other spices here) in St. Andre described in the guidebook, we did manage to find a yummy lunch at a roadside sandwich shop. The two guys running the place did their best to explain (via Anne's fuzzy translation skills) what the sandwiches were, and we ended up with baguette sandwiches filled with suateed veggies and chicken, and a local specialty consisting of a mix of sausage, french fries and cheese. (Extremely filling, but delicious, especially with some of the local chili sauce.)

After lunch we gave up on the vanilla quest, and headed up into the interior via an amazing road up the middle of a huge, deep gorge to the towns of Salazie and Hell-Bourg. The road wound back and forth up the sides of the ravine, sometimes crossing the river (sometimes the waterfalls on the sides fell on the car and the road!). We saw 10% grades in several places, and the switchbacks were quite a challenge. Tiny towns, small banana and chou-chou (a local fruit, haven't tried it yet) farms filled any vaguely flat spot, plus some that weren't so flat. We drove all the way to the end of the road, deep in the cirque at the end of the valley. It was stunningly beautiful.

In actual boat-news, Sean and Sofia were hard at work on the endless list of onshore tasks - with the replacement parts for the autopilot system finally arrived, they got them installed and tested, and all seems well. Great news, we'll not need to hand-steer all the way to South Africa. Bravo!

- Anne, for the WT gang

26 October 2010

Tsunam... er, not so much

(Portside, Le Port, Reunion, 4:30 AM local time, 26 Oc 2010)

indistinct voice: 'allo?

...silence onboard WT...

indistinct voice, louder: 'allo?

...continued silence onboard WT...

voice, no longer indistince: 'ALLO!

...loud knocking on boat...

...with that, seemingly as one, the crew finally appear from their cabins and clamber on deck to be greeted by port security... who attempt to describe, in a mix of English and French, some event that's happening. After some interpretation, it seems the port is under tsunami warning, and there's already been damage down the coast at St. Pierre. We are to "remain vigilant" and check our lines and fenders.

With 'Net access spotty, we make a quick call to the States for some more info. It seems there was an earthquake off Indonesia, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning network had issued, and later canceled, a tsunami watch, but local authorities were keeping an eye on things - there had been around a 1-1.5 meter surge about 3 AM which caused damage elsewhere on the island.

The WARC fleet, used to varying tidal swings, had rigged their docklines well, and snugly protected in our inner harbor, had all happily slept through the first event. We all re-checked lines and fenders, though, having been warned by the harbormaster that there could be more surges (there were significant aftershocks to the quake.)

Some folks did observe, about an hour after our wakeup call, definite odd swirls in the water, sudden small movements of the boats, and a noticeable drift to the bits of flotsam in the water along the boats - yes, that was our aftershock tsunami! Everyone should be so lucky.

After a bit more chatting on the quay, with all secure, the boat crews (having compared each other's pajama styles - there was one theory tossed around that it was all just a local gag to see what women sailors use for PJs) wandered back to bed for a bit more sleep before our day of working on boats and exploring Reunion.

Another day on the World ARC!

24 October 2010

Bienvenue à La Réunion

After a remarkably short trip (seems like we barely had time to set up watches; Anne having not stood a watch since last November, was told she'd be duct-taped to the wheel, but thankfully no one made good on the promise) we had a close finish to this leg. After an slightly bumpy ride over, with winds between 20 and 30 knots, the winds died as we came around the island. After thinking we'd be second over the line - cheated out of the spot by Crazy Horse, who appeared out of nowhere to cross in front of us - we had to fight hard to stay in front of our nearest competitor. Battling through light winds - Sean says it took "nerves of steel" - we crossed the finish line third at 5:06 AM local time. Not sure where that will put us in the fleet, the WARC's got their own special handicapping system that no one seems to want to delve into too closely.

We're now arrived in port (literally - the town is named "Le Port") cleaned up and starting to figure out the plan of attack for the week.

24 Oct 2010
20 56.375 S
55 16.993 E

23 October 2010

Heading to Reunion!

Boat provisioned, fueled up and all is tidy... We're getting ready to cast off for the fleet start to Reunion at 11 AM local time. This leg should take less than a day, there looks to be some nice breeze!

- Anne
23 oct 2010 05:35 UTC 08:35 local time

11 October 2010

Mauritius and Sunshine

We made it to Port Louis, Mauritius Sunday afternoon.... Yippy

20 09.598 S
57 29.792 E

06 October 2010

another day at the office

Wednesday, 6-10-10, 1230UTC, 19 45’S, 69 06’E

A calm day, you forget how nice it is to have a calm day, been able to clean up all the stuff that went flying for the last week.

Laundry machine is running, sun is out, the sea is flat. (flatter)

We had lunch on deck, with all the pillows out in the sun and some white wine.

I got stuck in to the baking, chocolate muffins all around!

We really are spoiled normally! =)

It is a lot colder than normally. I have to send a big thank you to Amanda who left her foul weather gear jacket on board! Its been a life saver.

None of us really have any warm clothes.

Again, we have been spoiled!

Found the biggest flying fish so far on deck yesterday, about 30-40cm, good thing it did not hit somebody, that would have hurt!

So things are more or less as normal on the good old ship,

Flying fish, weather condition, what the next snack will be…things rolls on…

It’s a hard life!

Same-same, but different.


04 October 2010

Two poles, two jibs, surfing, Beach Boys

Henry Neff wants some music surfing down the best waves the Indian Ocean can make, listening to the Beach Boys louder, louder……  We dropped the main in favor of the two poles and two jib configuration.  We immediately started going ten knots direct to Mauritius off Madagasor.  We are 963 miles from the barn still hand steering.  Ray our auto pilot will go for repairs once we get to land. We miss our “Ray,” hopefully “Ray” will come back to life for the next trip.  Still in the two hours steering and eight hours off to catch some sleep. Last night the movie was The Deer Hunter a 70’s Vietnam movie. Heavy weather sailing now for five or six days, will keep you posted.






03 October 2010

Rollin' down the track

Another day, another couple of hundred miles scratched off the track. Well 197 to be exact but who’s counting. Our speed is up as of yesterday afternoon since hoisting the main to third reef, then promptly up to second when we realized the improved speed and motion. We are roughly 80 miles from the theoretical halfway point of this leg which I have appropriately marked on our Raymarine plotter with a Martini glass waypoint.

All’s well onboard except our once trusty autopilot. Fortunately steering in big breeze like we’ve had is much more fun than doing so in light air. Our latest forecast predicts ‘well established trades’ for at least the next few days and more than likely to the finish line in Mauritius.

Hope all is well with you, until tomorrow,


0315 UT

18deg 36’ S

079deg 24’ E

02 October 2010

The sun has returned!!!

On Henry’s watch the rain had its last say and poured buckets for the 2 hours Henry was on the helm. Just as it was my turn after getting all suited up. The sky’s started to clear and the wind lightened up and the sun reappeared. The sea turned cobalt blue, the main went up to the 3rd reef, then to the 2nd and I hear calls for the full main. No action on that yet!

Ray is done for this trip need parts. Sofia gets to work on her spaghetti arms as she calls them. The rest of us are getting some exercise with hand steering.

1346 miles to go…

If you are reading this we got the email to send yippy.


18 01.009 S

81 49.389 E

09:13 UT

02:45 Wild Tigris time

01 October 2010

Sunny days? Well maybe, a sunny spot for a few minutes.

October 1st   making progress to Mauritius only 1560 miles to go.  The wind is in the 35 knot area for my complete watch 8 until 10 am. We only have a rolled in genoa up with no main.  Boats are catching up to us but the ride here is very nice below.  You wouldn’t know that it is blowing like crazy on deck unless you go up on deck.  Still thinking of our auto pilot “Ray” who makes things just so easy.  We try everyday to see if some how he will go back to work but no joy as of yet.  A large flying fish in the cockpit this morning, threw it over board but what a slim, took soap to wash off the smell. Haven’t seen any fish on the surface of the ocean but you know they are there checking us out.  We are almost on the 17th Latitude and the sun is peeking out this morning more than all of yesterday.  The further south the better the weather according to our weather router Bruce, at the World ARC. 


16 55.941 S

85 21.910 E


05:04 UT

10:34 am Wild Tigris time

30 September 2010

Rain, Rain, and more Rain

You never appreciate your auto pilot enough until it stops working. Yesterday we were Nantucket Sleigh riding for six or seven hours flying at speeds up to 14 plus knots. Two poles and two jibs pulling the Wild Tigris to hull speeds time and time again.  Then when the fun for just getting to much our beloved Ray (Hydraulic autopilot) he decided that it was too much and stopped working.  The motor stalled on the cockpit read out.  Our Courageous Captain Sean went through heavy rain and large seas to try and fix Ray but no avail.  Hand steering was the day.  Two hour watches with a backup person in the main saloon for the rest of the trip or unless Ray decides to give us a break and start working again. We just don’t love Ray enough, so if you know any Ray’s please give them some love so that our Ray may come back to life.   


Wild Tigris crew


16 10.805 S

88 46.748 E


03:21 UT time

8:51 am Wild Tigris time

29 September 2010

Pipp's Blogg

9.30 on Wednesday morning, running around full of energy after an epic watch. The wind is about 20 knots(calmed down during the morning from gusting to 35).

Normally the morning routine is to have a coffee, plug in the I-pod and slowly wake up(listening to Abba, or something else equally cheesy) =)

But this morning there was no need for the I-pod. The sea is amazing, big rolling waves and plenty of wind. Tried to take photos and made a film, will update it when we hit land so you all can see!

We ended up floating around in the doldrums yesterday. We heard that some of the other boats had the same problem so turned on the iron jib (engine) for about 6 h and motored S to 15 degrees where the weather report promised more wind. It turned out right! Averaging 10 knots this morning! Woooopwoooop!





15 15.65 S

091 43.85E

0400 UTC

28 September 2010

Captain's blog

Hello all. Sean here at the end of a 0600-0900 watch….happily escaping the grey and wet that is outside. We departed yet another paradise island at 1130 on mon 27th and are taking our weather router’s advice in heading SSW to 15degS. The plan is to skirt around the S of a developing low and then hopefully turn W and have established trades all the way to the barn (Mauritius). With both Gib’s poled out, we’re making about 8.5kts, rocking and rolling! The total length of this leg is over 2200Nm and assuming steady trades, we hope to complete it in 12days. The fish count has been embarrassingly low; one reasons for this is our newest crew member, affectionately known as ‘Grumps’, has teamed up with Casey and have initiated a new catch and release policy. I am still trying to explain that after trawling a fish at 8kts for 10mins, no matter how good your intentions, you are basically releasing shark food!

Until tomorrow


13deg 40’ S

94deg 35’ E

0300 UTC

27 September 2010

Back up and Running with bloging?

The wild ones are currently in Cocos Keeling anchored at Direction Island. The new wild is Henry Gibbons/Neff, entertainment unlimited!!!  There maybe a weather system coming to Cocos so we may leave earlier than the Monday starting time.  At 8 tonight we get the new World ARC weather report from Rally control Paul.  This is a new blog entry using the new Iridium phone purchased in Darwin, Australia.  This is one of the most beautiful places in the world that I have ever been. 




12 05.541 S

96 52.814 E

Gps time 12:58

Wild Tigris time 6:30 pm

26 September 2010

Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Australia

The WT has been in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands since late last week; as of 1100 UTC on 26 Sept they were still there, according to the WARC data feed.

The WARC fleet is scheduled to depart for Mauritius sometime on the 26th; the 2350-mile voyage will take between 12 and 18 days.

There are some Bali pix uploaded here.

- WT webmaster

08 September 2010


A quick update - just heard from the gang, and the boat has made the crossing from Darwin, Australia, to Bali, Indonesia, and is in port. There are rumors of more photos coming online soon!

Some Australia shots are online here.

8 44.482 S
115 12.785 E

- WT webmaster

02 August 2010

Sydney - Heading back up to MacKay

We started the day going over to the IMAX Theater in Darling Harbor, Sydney. Watching "Under the Sea" in 3D, when one of the water snakes just like the ones in Niue swam within foot of me in the theater I jumped the other way. It was an incredibly real, just like snorkeling on top of the reef. The shots of the sharks were like being there. Had an extra hour after so we went over to the Australia Wildlife exhibition. The size of the sea water crocodiles was scarier than I thought possible, the glass was not thick enough for me. The cutest of course are the Koala Bears; we stayed watching them the longest. Lots of other wildlife wombats, poisonous snakes, kangaroos - great morning of entertainment.

The highlight of the day was picking up all the new gear for Wild Tigris. We drove down with nine Barient winches and had the tops cut off and self tailers put on top of the winches, they look beautiful, can’t wait to get them back on the boat. A lot of spare parts, too - pawls, springs, bearings and grease. The other new part is a roller-furler for the Genoa Staysail. We will be able to roll out the Genoa Staysail at any time. In the 60 knot blow in the Mediterranean it would have been nice to have had this to put a couple of rolls into the Genoa staysail. The double head rig also works well on a reach.

Then off to Newcastle about 150 clicks up the highway before the light went away. My son Warner arrives August 4th so we are heading back quickly so we can join him on the Wild Tigris.

- Casey

01 August 2010

Made it to Mackay, Australia

On Sunday the 25th in the morning, cleared customs,and actually were on time for an awards dinner.

Will be in Mackay until somewere around the 6th of August. Then off to the whitsunday islands.

19 July 2010

Headed to Mackay, Australia

The Wild Tigris has left Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu, and is en route to Mackay, Australia. The passage should take approximately 5 days. - WT webmaster

Helicopter Ride around Efate and outside islands

Left this morning at 9 am with Juergen, Heidi, Casey for a three hour ride up to Ambrym Island to see a large volcano in the northern part of Vanuatu. We went up the west side to Port Havannah, Lelepa and Moso islands. Beautiful villages along the trip with 500 people in one island adjacent to Port Vila. Out a little further over a village of 5000 people. Then into the mountains and seeing the virgin forests from on top. Then into the beautiful harbor of Port Havannah with 300 feet of water. This was a navy base for the US in World World II. The shore is dotted with coral reefs. Over Moso to the northern side of the island. This side has huge caves and beautiful coral reefs. Next time we should explore this area in detail. Then up to Nguna island to see the extinct volcano. The locals do not let the helicopter company land here. Was hoping to land and walk along the rim of the extinct volcano, but no joy. Very good anchorage on the most NW end of the island looks to be a nice village there also.

At this point we are heading north to Ambrym but weather closed and a decision was made to head back to Port Vila. On return trip we went between Nguna and mainland where there is a beautiful beach and large sandy reef in the passage. There is a very low and small island just north of Efate which has a resort which was half built. Juergen was up there with his grand kids and had a great time earlier in the week.

This would be a kite surfing Mecca. Back thru Port Havanah and thru the Hilliard Channel. The island of Eretoka is just off shore and is where a peaceful chief lived in the 1200’s. He had a hundred wives and when the chief passed away the hundred wives were all buried alive with him. A French man wanted to see if the legend was true and started digging on Eretoka and on the first dig found the mass grave. The wives were given kava before being lowered into the ground. The legend has it that the wives who didn’t want to die were held in the pit and a large rock placed on their chest so they wouldn’t move and the dirt was then shoveled on top. Remember these islands were full of cannibals. What would you like to buried alive or eaten? Nasty.

Back to Port Vila over Point Devil and back to the helicopter pontoon in Port Vila Harbor. It was Juergen’s first helicopter ride and for the first time he was shell shocked and wasn’t talking the whole time!!!! A trip for the memory banks!!!!

- Casey

July 19th 01:02:50 Z
17 44.314 s
168 18.579 e
11:00am Wild Tigris time

16 July 2010

Photos - Vanuatu & Fiji

The gang have persevered through slow Internet connections and have managed to upload new sets of pictures to the web albums: Enjoy! - WT webmaster

East side of Lelepa Island, Efate, Vanuatu

After a great lunch yesterday we moved over to Lelepa Island from the Havanah Resort. Looking for snorkeling spots we took the dingy for a spin around Lelepa. Sean, Sofia, Jeff, Amanda took a walk on the sandy beach and cut through to the other side of the island. Driving the dingy around to the other side we idled around the West side to look at the amazing coral gardens right at low tide. The wave would go out and the coral would appear above the surface. The thought of a glass-bottomed inflatable would have been a sight in these healthy coral reefs.

We finished with Lelepa and went over to the Purumea Passage and Moso Island to check out the turtle farm. On the way we noticed a dive boat with no one on board, just anchored. Slowed down to see if there were any people snorkeling or diving. Just at that moment we noticed a reef in front of us which turned out to be bubbles coming up on the surface. In reverse immediately, don’t know who was more surprised the people in the water or us, crisis averted. Back to Wild Tigris, with her Cayman Island Red flag she is quite a sight to drive up too.

Dinner was a masterpiece from Sean and Sofia. A few rums and glasses of wine talking under the stars and the Milky Way was a nice way to end the day.

17.34.793 S

- Casey

15 July 2010

Good Morning Vanuatu

July 15, 2010

Our hero Alec Miller left yesterday after two weeks of travel on the Wild Tigris from Musket Cove, Fiji to Vanuatu. Alec’s good nature and constant entertainment had everyone wishing he would stay longer but weddings and tennis matches won the day. Back to Switzerland for Alec.

Yesterday we left Port Vila and went to Havannah Bay to the West, anchored near the beach head at the Havannah Resort. Wind blowing around twenty knots we set the jibs on a reach with a pretty good roll from the waves. Once we headed further downwind had to roll them up with a little difficulty since one had a mind of its own and unwrapped itself flogging forward on the furler.

Jeff was fishing with only one strike just outside of the Port Vila harbor. He reeled the line in and to our surprise the leader was partially cut from the teeth of the fish. Guess the fish wanted to eat the fish head first but hit the leader line first. Put the line back out but the speed of nine or ten knots was too fast for fishing.

Day before we left Tanna Island which we called Jurrassic Park because of its virgin forest with perfect canopy from the trees in the forest. Once ashore the villages were from two hundred years ago with the guide book saying people had lived here for five thousand years. A tour was set up to go to a Volcano and a local village for some native dancing. Some dozen or so men came out of a cut in a huge Banyan tree figuring to be four or five hundred years old and danced around for fifteen minutes in the rain. It was cold and we were not prepared for the rain. Then off to the Volcano which was also cold but from our view from the rim the molten rocks being sent up a thousand feet in the air was quite a sight. There have been tourists killed from the molten rocks but we were saved since the molten rocks just blew straight up and came down. Someone said, "I feel very stupid being here." Thinking the next eruption could take us out. The trip back in the rain on some of the worst roads we have ever been on, was a picture from a bad brochure. We all thought Tanna was truly a treasure!!

Havannah Bay is three hundred feet in water depth with Islands around keeping out the ocean waves out. You have the feeling of being on a lake in the autumn, since it is winter in this neck of the woods. We were treated to a sunset with a large pink and red glow over the island to the west. A trip in the dingy to survey the sandy waterfront for miles north and south. A perfect dinner at the resort and off to the Wild Tigris for some long hours of sleep.

- Casey

13 July 2010

Port Vila, the island of Efate, Vanuatu

The WT is in port in Port Vila, on the island of Efate in Vanuatu. Reports are that they have some internet (though slow) so the gang ought to be able to upload some new pictures soon.

Port Vila (Wikipedia)

- WT webmaster

12 July 2010

en route to Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu

As of 1000 UTC, 12 July 2010 (0600 EDT; 2100 local time on the boat), the WT was about halfway to Port Vila on the island of Efate, Vanuatu. Vanuatu local time is 15 hours ahead of EDT (U.S. East Coast Daylight Savings Time).

With about 70 nautical miles to go, it seems very likely they'll get in sometime during the day on the 13th, late in the day on the 12th for those of us following from the U.S.

- WT webmaster

10 July 2010

Port Resolution, Tanna, Vanuatu

According to the World ARC data feed (via Google Earth) the boat's in port at Port Resolution on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

The next scheduled fleet rendezvous is at Port Vila on Efate island, around 120 nm to the Northwest, on the 13th of July; scheduled fleet departure for the leg to Mackay, Australia, around 1,100 nm, is 15 July. (These dates are taken from the online schedule, and are all very subject to change!)

- WT webmaster

06 July 2010

Headed out from Fiji to Vanuatu

Got news from the gang that the WT is heading out today from Fiji for Vanuatu. All is well, and though blog entries have been a bit sparse - they're still having trouble with the satellite phone modem - they have managed to upload some pictures from the past month or so:

Tahiti and French Polynesia


The Kingdom of Tonga

Passage to Vanuatu should take something less than three days.

- WT webmaster

09 June 2010

What day is it!!!???

Saturday, Sunday or Monday!!????Nobody really knows.

As usually there is quite a confusion on board Wild Tigris, luckily once again we have Captain Sean to help us out.

It all started on the trip from Niue to Tonga, a 245miles trip of motoring due to light wind.

On Saturday night (2300) we crossed the date line and it became Sunday night (2300) instead.

We all agreed that Sunday was not really important anyway.....dont wanna miss a Friday!!!!

Niue was a very cool island, with tons of sea caves and limestone caverns.

But the coolest thing was the sea snakes! Stripy little guys. They come up to breath every 30 minutes.

More deadly than a Cobra, if you find yourself bitten you have about an hour to live! So of course I had to force Sean to come diving with me and look at the snakes! Very entertaining, the visibility is amazing due to there is no natural rivers to disturb the water.

Later the same day we went to visit some of the caves. When the tides go down some of the water stays and create little pools that are great for swimming and snorkelling. This is when I almost got eaten by a giant moray eel! (See pictures!) He is the same size of a dolphin and was about 30 cm away from me, sticking his face out from between two rocks.

Guess that was his cave.

We have about 2-3 weeks in The Kingdom of Tonga to look forward to now, which is hopefully going to be as exciting as the rest of them!

N.b. from Cap. Sat signal is slowly getting stronger and we hope that we will be able to do some more regular blogging.

18' 39. 48 s

173' 59.32 w



Chatta från inkorgen. Se möjligheterna med Hotmail! Klicka här!

24 May 2010

South Pacific: Bora Bora

Went snorkeling yesterday outside of the reef near the pass getting into Bora Bora. In water for a few seconds and spotted a black tip shark on the bottom. Came up to the surface to tell Heidi there was a black tipped shark below. Went back to looking underwater to notice two more now a total of three. Heidi jumps in and the three sharks start to come off the bottom and circle in perfect triangle around us. Each one 5-6 six feet long just circling. Now they are twenty feet away all three below the surface about three feet, just looking at us. Maybe curious but just a little too much for us. Both jumped back in the dingy. Back inside the reef for more snorkeling but with smaller fish.

Rented a copy of Mutiny on the Bounty couple of nights ago. Invited two boats over to watch, Crazy Horse and Ocean Jasper. The colors in the film are the same here. Great flick being very near the actual sight of the famous Mutiny. An epic night!!

Yesterday we were lent a copy of South pacific, finished it this morning. The local history books say there were 150 American children born here on Bora Bora during World War II. The book mentioned that only sixty percent of the children born survived once the normal conditions restored after the Navy left Bora Bora. Today the average age of these children today would be sixty-one.

Bora Bora is surrounded by a barrier reef with only one pass to get into the lagoon. There are about a dozen islands with the main island having a 3500 ft mountain in the middle of it. The barrier reef keeps all the large wave out of the lagoon; it is just like a lake in the middle of the ocean. The color changes as to how deep the water is in the lagoon. Some clouds change color to a green/teal from the reflection of the lagoons.

We did some varnish touch-ups this morning. Sean and Sofia are having a weekend ashore at one of the many on the water huts.

We leave for Suwarrow in the Cook Islands tomorrow.

- Casey

20 May 2010

Dive Master Extraordinaire

After over a week of discussing scuba diving, we finally put our plans into motion. Having all of the right equipment onboard - three full dive set ups, tanks, and a compressor - is clearly the most efficient means to see the underwater beauty of these island nations.

However, the one concern is not having much local knowledge of the best dive sites and their potential hazards. We were a bit nervous about the currents off the town of Fare on the island of Huahine, where we were, so Sofia, Sean, and I went on a mission to find some local knowledge. The three of us rolled up to the front of the Pacific Blue Adventures office and let our Dive Master/Captain Extraordinaire, Sean (he’s logged at least 5 dives since his Padi graduation), start seeking data while Sofia and I stepped back. We were sitting on a street bench close enough to hear the encounter. Sean was trying to get as much local knowledge as possible without giving away our trump card. After learning about a couple possible nearby dives, it hit the decisive moment where the actual dive master said, "So are you interested in doing one of our dives?" Sean responded with, "We actually have all of our own gear on the boat." I've never seen a conversation end so quickly. The moment that came out of Sean’s mouth the Pacific Blue Adventures dive master immediately turned and started walking away. He mumbled something and then said, "Enjoy."

As we were filling the tender with gas, we ran into a diver partially suited up. He was a pleasant Frenchman. Having not gathered too much data from the first encounter, we were keen on picking up some more info. This particular dive master told us exactly where to go, told us to pick up his blue buoy out by the reef, and do one of his planned dives. And just like that we were ready to conquer a dive.

Sofia opted out so it was just two of us. We found the buoy, geared up, and dropped in. The first portion of the dive was quite mellow and beautiful at about 60 feet as we checked out a lot of reef fish. We turned the corner and entered the second inlet – as the pleasant Frenchman explained – and hit a two-knot current directly on our nose. We struggled in it for a few minutes before we saw a long pipe on the ocean floor and both of us at the exact same time realized it was there to walk us up the ridge in the current. Once we got to the top, I looked at my pressure meter and realized I was halfway through my air. I gave the signal to Sean. He looked at me in amazement since we were only 13 minutes into the dive. You could tell he was thinking, "You greedy bastard. You used up all your air already!" Until he looked at his and saw he was at the same level. Hamming into the current definitely limited our time underwater.

From the top of the ridge we saw a white tip reef shark hammering by us about 30 feet away, which we could clearly see because the water was so clear. We hung out there waiting for more sharks for a few minutes then went down on the other side of the ridge where we spotted him. We were down to 80 feet by that point and decided to turn back running a bit low on air. On our way back we swam through a huge school of exotic fish and some more current, but as long as we stayed close to the reef the current wasn't that painful. Our entire dive took 25 minutes and when I surfaced I had about 15 pounds of pressure left in my tank. Thanks to my dive master extraordinaire, my first dive in the south pacific was an overwhelming success.

Thanks to the crew of Wild Tigris for a taste of the awesomeness that the round-the-world trip has to offer. It’s a fun ride and I hope to be back soon.

Cheers, Warner

16 May 2010

The Pearl Regatta

Since we left Tahiti and Morea we did a quick night sail up to Raiatea, 120 miles northwest of Tahiti, to attend the Pearl Regatta.

Casey and Warner went of on Ocean Jasper to be the tactician and Mr. Muscle. Meanwhile Wild Tigris is following around as the mother ship….or nowadays more known as the floating bar! =)

Sailing around Raiatea, Bora Bora, Tahaa and all these other exotic islands is fantastic. We are surrounded by the most stunning views all day long with turquoise water full of fish.

During the days we been entertaining ourselves with sailboat racing, loads of swimming and snorkeling and some wakeboarding.

And during night time we have been gate-crashing the parties. They all seem to take place on the smallest little islands, with an improvised bar built of palm trees and there is enough rum to make us all feel a bit sorry for ourselves in the morning...

Another night, another party!


16.38.47 S


07 May 2010

To all the armchair WT sailors out there

After spending some time in the boat yard ticking things off the work list, Casey decided that he was tired of docks, marinas, yards and all that BS (as he puts it) and we went for a little cruise.

Wild Tigris ended up in Cook’s Bay on the island Morea, 15 miles west of Tahiti.

Woke up this morning with the sun shining in through the hatch, as I went on deck to enjoy my morning coffee, I glanced over the side to see a giant Manta Ray. Couldn’t help myself so jumped in and went for a snorkel to the beach 50 metres from the boat. It is like swimming in an aquarium with turquoise water and everything from parrot fish to sea cucumbers hiding in the coral reef.

Of course we’ve also been doing some work.... =)

Got some dive gear onboard with compressor and everything! weeeeiii! =)

Casey started a project of varnishing the saloon table... which we like to call modern art...

The show must go on!



29 March 2010

Landfall: Hiva Oa

Early this morning, local time, the WT made landfall in Hiva Oa, French Polynesia.

Internet and satellite phone are a bit sketchy at the moment, but all is well and they're safe and sound in port!

More updates when they're available/possible.

9 48 31 S
139 01 56 W

 - the WT web gremlin, for WT

26 March 2010

Horse Latitudes

It's been a busy 24hrs on the good ship Wild Tigris since last night's weather download. At about 1800 yesterday, we received the World ARC's weather forecast (custom made by a US meteorologist for the WARC Fleet) and were informed of weakening trade-winds, especially in the latitudes below 8-9 degrees. Murphy's Law of round-the-world sailing... we were right bang in the middle of 8 and 9 degrees!

We quickly downloaded another weather file, a second opinion if you like, and our worst fears and bad luck were confirmed. Good-bye Champagne sailing, hello Doldrums.

Back in the good old days of Colonial exploration, these vast areas of light winds were known as the Horse Latitudes. The reason being, ships would squeeze as many horses on as possible to ease transport and facilitate the conquering of new lands with previously unseen cavalry. The problem was when they hit light wind, the horses drank all the water, leaving none for the crew. Solution: throw the horses overboard, hence the name, Horse Latitudes.

Call me parnoid but I think a similar thing is brewing on Wild Tigris. Replace Horses with 'Sean', water with 'Beer' and crew with 'Joel' and you get all the ingredients of mutiny!

Anyway, back to our busy 24hrs. Accepting our fate, we cut our losses and gybed onto a new heading WNW at 1830 yesterday. This served us well through a calm night but clocked more during this morning, driving our heading N and constantly decreasing in strength. With windspeed rarely over 10kts, we took the opportunity to try out our Asymetric MPS which helped boatspeed noticeably but unfortunately didn't do much to bring us back down to course.

We tried our best to ignore the depressing NW heading, banking 60Nm to the north where we expect better breeze to fill in tomorrow. Just before sunset, we dropped the kite, gybed back onto port and a much better angle and here we are... ghosting along at 6kts on a very much 'Pacified' Ocean.


8 deg 36 S 130 deg 37 W 2200 LT

25 March 2010

Moving West

Its day 13 of our crossing and we have seen our first boat since the first day out of the Galapagos Islands. Spotted by our trusted Captain, Sean, 8 nm out on a course headed for Santiago, Chile from what would appear to be Japan with a cargo of autos. With chart plotters at your disposal and overlays of AIS (Automated Information Service) we were able to determine the course, the fact it was 676 feet, and much more. Pretty neat.

This morning, starting around 2 AM, the seas roared with winds averaging 15-20 kt and some waves 14-18 feet. The J80 asymetric spinnaker blew out during a gust into the mid twenties. Glad Sean was at the helm at the time and we are all sorry Casey. We calculated its life had been doubled during this excursion. It had served us well over the past several days but we knew it was tired and its days were numbered.

Our waypoint at Hiva Oa, Marquesas originally stood at 2960 mm away. At this writing it is 620 nm away. We don't like to project our arrival but currently expect to arrive on Sunday, the 28th. Assuming this happening I expect to head back to Venice, FL on the 29th. Looks like my time to explore the French Polynesians will be limited but what a great experience this has been on one terrific boat.

Each night the moon gets fuller as we sail on. A great treat to be one with nature on deck thru the night alone with a million stars, the moon and an occasional flying fish arriving on deck. One undone task is to prepare a breakfast of flying fish which arrive on the boat each evening. I think I have Sofia and Sean up for this meal but don't think Heidi will partake.

Off to try to catch a fish or two.

All the best!!

Joel and crew

9 deg 24 mins South 128 deg 12mins West 1625 LT

24 March 2010

Marquesas look out!

With only 780 miles left to go we have started dreaming about what to do when we get there:
  • Joel is dreaming about his car and wife at home, counting the miles and hours.
  • Sean is worrying about his constant shrinking beer supply.
  • Heidi is dreaming about ice cream and a rumdum.
  • Me, I'm dying for a cuba libre and a cigarette!

Sending some love out to all the family members out there, today especially to Kevvilevvan! Sofia's nephew who turns 1 year old today! Grattis pa fodelsedagen!

Sean, not only the captain but today also the chef, is putting on a dinner with the sunset in the background that I was planning to attend to, so have to go!

may the force be with you


1800 Wild Tigris time 08 53.69 s 125 21.26 w

23 March 2010


On board Wild Tigris there is a quiet and peaceful atmosphere with only the sound of wind and waves to break the silence. However, this is sometimes interrupted by an intense squealing from Heidi. An occurrence which takes place, for example, when there is a flying fish emergency or when she is up on deck "birdwatching" and all of a sudden "sees an Albatross", which so far, has always turned out to be a seagull...

Other things the crew "see", for example, are ships on the horizon; i.e. a tiny little light that might just be something... So far it been nothing other than our vivid imagination of phantom ships or semi-lucid hallucinations of Irish Bars just a little bit ahead...

One winner in all this madness has been Joel who won the competition we started a week ago; "How many ships will we see in the next week??" He got it right, zero.

The log book has also become a victim of the crew's vivid imagination. Every second hour we plot down our Lat and Long together with speed, course and so on. One of the columns is entitled "Conditions" where we would normally write one word to describe the current weather such as 'Warm' or 'Good'.

Recently this column has turned into the Wild Tigris Thesaurus Dictionary and a test to see how many different adjectives one can use, without repeating yourself. Some classic examples are, 'groovy', 'cosmic', 'bliss', 'bouncy' and 'cozy'. The things you do to entertain yourself.

Have to go prepare dinner... fish.

Increase the peace


1600 Wild Tigris time 08 21 22 s 122 09 00 w

22 March 2010

where the hell are we!!???

Waking up in the morning from the smell of breakfast being cooked is the stuff dreams are made of! We have found a secret talent in Joel! Having someone with professional breakfast chef experience onboard turned out to be a pretty good call!

Another one of Joel's bonuses is his enthusiasm for fishing, or so I thought! Although we banned him from even touching the rod, he sneakily put it in and got a bite! Luckily the fish got away...!

Normally I'm one of the first ones to get the rod out and anxious to get a fish for lunch, but since we pulled the last monster onboard we have literally had nothing other than fish on the menu and there is still plenty in the freezer! Only problem is we're running pretty low on fish recipes. We've already tried everything from fish cakes to curries! Turned out to be a bit of a challenge..."What will the next fish dish be?"

Talking about fishing - today we broke the record for number of fish onboard, not only due to all the keen fishermen but also the flying fish being particularly suicidal last night, with 23 dead little fish on deck this morning.

Still sailing along at good speed with the J80 spinnaker flying high.  Apparent wind had been between 90-100deg for the first week but has dropped back noticeably over the last two days. We're currently running deep at 150+ degrees.

one love


1800 WT time
08 15 37 s
119 15 50 w

21 March 2010

Sailing the Ocean Blue...

Last evening we passed the half-way point. We had traveled 1480 nautical miles. The last time we saw land was about 20 nautical miles into our trip. We saw one boat off our transom the first evening around midnight but no boat/ship sightings since.

We let the Captain have one drip at the mid-point; he still has to get us safely another 1480Nm.

Last evening we were greeted with a great crescent moon. During each of our three hour night-time shifts certainly one of the things that stands out most is the millions of stars from as far as the eye can see on the horizon in all directions. Unbelievable as one might think we have a visit from a gull many evenings. This is our only companion on deck flying with its shadow reflecting on the headsail from the starboard running light, a great site at night.

Today we moved from a broad reach to a downwind run and the sails have been changed accordingly. The head sail (Gib) is poled out to port, we started with the Stay-sail to starboard but have changed to a larger asymmetrical spinnaker (J80). Next the Main sail is set full and out to starboard and lastly we have the Mizzen set full and out to starboard. This is likely the sail settings for the duration of trip to Marquesas. Presently we have wind speed averaging 14-15 knots and the boat is moving 7-8 knots.

Two nautical related facts for your info possibly but good homework for my grandkids:

1) The nautical mile is about 15% more than a mile (6000 feet) and came into being as a result of early sailors discovering they had to travel 60 units (nautical miles) of distance for each degree of  latitude. Therefore you can imagine if our destination in the Marquesas Islands is 8 degrees South that we are about 480 nautical miles or about 550 miles south of the equator. Test question: Distance from the north to South pole?

2) Determining our approximate time creates a second assignment. As we travel west from Greenwich (meantime), England. We add 4 minutes for each degree of longitude traveled. Therefore presently we are 116 degrees west of Greenwich England (therefore we are 4 x 116 = 464 minutes divided by 60 minutes is almost 8 hours behind the folks at Greenwich.

All goes well with boat and crew and we wish the best to all reading.


7 deg 43mins South
118deg 11mins West
1820 LT

20 March 2010

20 Miles to Half way!

Having been spoiled with near perfect conditions for the past five days, we can't really complain too much about the breeze dropping off a little.

After a tasty dinner of breaded ham, mashed potatoes and brocoli, we are heading slightly south of our course doing 7kts in 12-14kts of true wind.

The pole was prep'd this evening and if these conditions remain tomorrow morning, we will drop the mizzen, bear away 15 degrees and pole out our head-sail. Hopefully this will see us back on track and most probably be our sail configuration until near the finish (1498Nm away).

It seems a little warmer tonight and a new crescent moon is waxing in the West. It sets early leaving the rest of the night to the magnificent Pacific stars. As I write, we have less than 20Nm to our halfway mark and there's talk of marking the occasion with a small glass of wine...


7 deg 5 min S
113 deg 42 min W
2035 LT (UTC-7)

19 March 2010

FISH! FISH! We've caught a #*$@** Fish!!!

Just when the novelty of Champagne, trade wind sailing was beginning to wear off, our fishing reel whizzed into life at four fifteen this afternoon.

Partly due to luck, but more so due to Joel's sixth sense (or so he would have us believe), he made it to the rod first and therefore laid claim to whatever was on the other end...

Trying to slow a sixty tonne boat with three sails at full hoist in 20kts of breeze is no mean feat. After a gruelling 3 minute fight, an exhausted Joel passed the rod to Heidi who battled relentlessly for another 10 minutes before we caught a first glimpse...

At first all we could see was a magnificent electric blue shadow, as Heidi patiently reeled in, a full length dorsal fin came into view. Even while being towed at 4-5kts, it was able to remain under the surface, swimming powerfully from left to right. Initial estimates from the now ecstatic (and possibly a little biased) crew put this fish at five feet long and 50lbs.

Now came the tricky bit. Until now the largest fish we've caught has been half this size and we were always able to lift them onboard. I grabbed the gaff from the aft-locker and, having never properly gaffed a big fish before, was quietly relieved when Joel asked for it.

After his second attempt and with bowels trailing in the fish's wake, I concluded Joel has a similar level of experience to me in this unique area of expertise.

Once on deck, Sofia eased its passing with some of St. Vincent's 80% vol. Sunset Rum. In my book, any creature that survives a mouthful of this vile toxin deserves to live. Unfortunately for our fish, between Joel's gaffing and Sofia's Rum punch, fish is on the menu for a long time!


06 deg 14 min S 110 deg 15 min W 1800 LT (UTC -7)

17 March 2010

St Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all you Irish out there!

Not much change here, still sailing along in the trade winds, holding between 9-10 knots with a reefed main and gib. Been nice and sunny with calm seas but not too hot due to the nice 18 knots of constant breeze.

This morning around 8 o'clock we passed 2000 miles left go! Almost there!

Been entertaining ourselves with everything from splicing to Spanish studying to trying to figure out what the h**l happened with Casey and his tooth!!??? We have a lot of different stories and thoughts about that one and are making some moderate bets about who is closest to the truth!!!! =)

xxx - SW

05 18 73 s 106 43 08 w 1700 wild tigris time

16 March 2010

South East Trade Winds!

The winds have finally settled in from 15 to 23 kts. Sailing on a reach with genoa, main, and mizzen, flying at 9 to 12 kts. Speed recorded in the log for the last three entries (6 hours) has been over 10.2 kts.

Sofia and Joel spotted a school of small whales. A lot of small and medium sea birds,and lots of Pacific flying fish. Squid count this morning was 3 on the deck and none inside the boat.

- HK

Preparing for The Big day tomorrow, beers in the fridge, green clothes to wear laying out waiting on our bunks and Sean runs around like a child before Christmas, it's St Patrick's Day tomorrow!!!!


Grattis pa fodelsedagen pappa! Massor av pussar och kramar/Fia

Gotta run to put a reef in the main and gib before dark falls!


004 55.8 S 103 28.0 W

6:00 PM Wild Tigris Time