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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