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30 January 2011

A stones throw...

We are currently powering in on the 150Nm to go mark, stuffed full of Lasagna and sweating in the now noticeably tropical heat. It’s strange that only a few days ago I was wearing jeans and a ‘hoodie’ on night watch and now I’m tempted to do them shirtless!

We had our first ‘Green flash’ in ages last night and Casey almost caught it on camera had he not left the lens cap on…just kidding, he ignored a gut feeling and didn’t bother going below to get his camera!

Today has been hectic with our first boat sightings in over a week; one tug this afternoon heading to Las Palmas and another unidentified late last night. We were beginning to think we were out here alone!

All going well, we should arrive tomorrow afternoon shortly before 2pm local time.

Cheers, SMC

13 25’ S

035 57’ W


29 January 2011

Let's go dancing!

I’m writing this blog with the noise and heat of 190 Mercedes horse power 3 feet away so I’ll be brief.

We managed to sail, albeit slowly, for most of the day yesterday. At 1630LT, the slamming of the sails in an almost windless swell became too much and on came the motor. Since then, we’ve been shooting along at an average speed of just over 8kts, covering about 160Nm in the last 20hrs. At present, this leaves us 410Nm from Salvador and an ETA of midday Monday.

Thanks to some correspondence from Rally Control, we know that there will be a group of Brazilian dancers and five Caprihina’s waiting for us on the dock in Terminal Nautico…

Roll on Salvador!


14 03’ S

31 36’ W


28 January 2011

Star Trekin'

We had a really quiet night with no wind and hardly any sea, so on went the engine after we had been bopping around for a while, doing three knots.

Everybody got a good night sleep with out getting tossed about in the bunk. I woke up at sunrise this morning and there was the breeze again. We have been sailing along doing around 7 knots all day, no record breaking speed but good enough to get us there.

We are all well into our routines by now.

I am in to the baking to everyone’s delight, might have to roll us of the boat though….

A lot of books are getting read, and there is only two more films left of the Start Trek film marathon that Casey and Sean insist on watching.

With only 700 miles left to go we are all planning what to do when we get there, I read something about ‘batidas’…sounds interesting!




14 455 07s

26 33 89w


27 January 2011

Mamosa's at noon

At 0800 yesterday morning, Wild Tigris passed the halfway point of this leg 955Nm from Salvador and St. Helena respectively. The occasion was marked with Mamosa’s before a delicious lunch of chili and ginger shrimp salad.

We finally ran out of wind at about five in the evening, furled sails and began motoring. Although the tranquility of sailing has been replaced by the monotonous drone of the motor, I think everyone would admit that it’s nice to be doing 8kts on target! We have 815Nm to Salvador and at this rate, would expect to arrive on the afternoon of the 31st. Hopefully we will be able to get a little more sailing done which may knock our arrival back to the 1st of Feb.



14 54’ S

24 40’ W


26 January 2011

Breaking barriers...effortlessly

Another day has eased past on the good ship Wild Tigris. Effortless doesn’t describe it…Casey pointed out today that we haven’t made an adjustment in sail trim or course in over four days!

Although the breeze has dropped down to 12kts, we continue to roll along directly on course at between 6 and 7kts.

It’s been and continues to be a pivotal day; at 0025 this morning, we dropped under 1,000Nm to go. It’s now 0400 and we have 18Nm to the half way point and in 25Nm, we cross the ‘more diesel than distance to go’ imaginary line that gives us the peace of mind that should the breeze drop out completely (which looks likely in a couple of days time), we can happily motor in to Salvador at 8kts!


This evening, I had less than no luck (if that’s possible) with the fishing lark. Just as we were finishing Sofia’s famous Cottage pie, the reel whirred into life. Seeing the rod bend backwards under the weight of a decent sized fish (at last), I jumped up, ran back and overenthusiastically struck too soon…the line went slack as tomorrow night’s dinner swam away. As it was getting dark, I began bringing in the line and about 30ft from the back of the boat, ‘tomorrow nights dinner’ had another go at the lure….only to let it go and swim away again. I swear these S. Atlantic fish are playing with my head!



15 09’ S

21 55’ W


24 January 2011

Only 151 h to go!!!

151 hours….this morning I was staring at a depressing 210hr ETA….

The wind picked up! Nicely cruising along in 8-10knots for the moment.

What is going on onboard?

Casey and Stu are watching a Clint Eastwood film (at 10 in the morning) Heidi is reading a book, and Sean is pushing buttons on the auto pilot.

I just finished my watch, have to say I got lucky and got the nicest one on this trip (well, to be honest I nagged myself into it!!!=)), from 6 in the morning to 9.

Get to wake up all by my self on deck every morning, drink a nice, quiet cup of coffee and watch the sun rise!

Normally I would not wake up before 10 if I had a choice, but the sun rises at sea is always worth the effort, absolutely stunning! A great way to start the day!

Getting closer to the halfway mark (it is as usually marked with a champagne glass) and if we keep up this good speed we should be there early tomorrow!


15 24’S

18 01’W




23 January 2011

S. Atlantic Brownie Whales

All’s well aboard after a good day with 12-16kt steady ESE breeze allowing us to average between 7.5 - 8kts. We’re quietly confident that the wind will hold until at least tomorrow evening, but still very eager to download tomorrows forecast!

Hunger is definitely not an issue; after a delicious salad for lunch, it wasn’t long before the whole boat (and probably a few square miles of the S. Atlantic) was being tormented by the smell of Sofia’s special double chocolate brownie’s…however, appetites were still ready for the honey roast, smoked-salmon with pesto tallitelle and sautéed vegetables for dinner at seven!

Tired of catching small Dorado, I’ve changed lure to what I hope will bring in some Tuna Sashimi material…we live in hope.


15 41’ S

015 20’ W


1458Nm to go and sailing at last

560lts of diesel later and too many hours of listening to the motor drone, we finally got sails out at 1115 this morning. The breeze built all day and we’re currently rolling along at about 8kts with twin head-sails poled out. Our latest forecast predicts good breeze all day Sunday but a decrease from Monday onwards. This leaves us between the proverbial rock and a hard place; do we sail very slowly in light winds and burn more fuel using the generator, or use the fuel plus some on the main engine and hopefully catch more breeze further down the track? One way or another, we have to get sailing miles as our theoretical fuel range of 1200Nm will not allow us to reach Salvador.

In other news, crew settling into routine again, caught and released another tiny Dorado, Thai green chicken curry for dinner and only 6 more Star Trek movies to go….

Best regards to all,


15 48’ S

13 34’ W

0600UT 23rd Jan

21 January 2011

On the road again...

At 2030UT last night, Wild Tigris weighed anchor and set a course due west for Salvador. Ray (the plotter) tells us it’s 1910Nm straight shot. Once clearing the impressive wind shadow of St. Helena, we found enough breeze to motor sail and no more. This died as the night went on and the flapping became too much. Making good headway now with just the Iron Gib (engine!), Ray shows 1789Nm to go.


I think I can speak for the whole crew in saying we thoroughly enjoyed ‘the piece of land that’s furthest from any other piece of land’, St. Helena. The rugged, volcanic coast gives way to a lush, tropical interior that is strikingly scenic, peaceful and unspoiled. The people are some of the friendliest and most trustworthy we’ve encountered so far; Hazel the landlady at the hotel who lent us 100pounds on the night of our arrival so we could ‘eat and drink to our hearts content’, and Water-rat our tour guide, who was as informative about his family and friends as he was about the history and culture of the island!


A friend has told me if we can make landfall before the second, we’ll catch the end of Carnival…Roll on Salvador!  



15 55’ S

007 52’ W


18 January 2011


St Helena was sighted yesterday, midday at a range of 35Nm. With its highest point at 818m, the steep-sided volcanic island cut an impressive dash in the horizon. We dropped sails at the NE corner of the island, motored into James Bay and dropped anchor at 1530 local time. After a quick and informal customs clearance, we jumped into a little ferry and headed for shore.

We’ve had some interesting landings on this trip but James Bay ranks top three easily! The relentless Atlantic swell calls for some dynamic ferry maneuvering and with the help of a set of monkey bars on the dock with knotted ropes hanging down…you get the picture!

Once ashore, we headed for the Consulate, a nice hotel in the centre of town. After a few beers and a lovely meal, it was back to the landing gauntlet and out to our bunks…


15 55S

005 43W


16 January 2011

Pub crawl?

160Nm from St Helena and the excitement aboard the good ship Wild Tigris is palpable! The only problem is that the breeze seems to be dropping out again. The same thing happened yesterday evening and resulted in 7hrs of motoring. Although this put us on course at 8kts, we burned approx. 112lts of fuel. Fingers crossed it picks up after sunset…

Of note today; another couple of tiny Dorado landed by Sofia, Swedish crepes (savory and sweet!) for lunch, pasta Carbonara for dinner, interspaced with a lemon and coconut cake…the crew are all looking forward to Jacob’s ladder…900steps from the harbor up to a lookout!

Other ‘not to miss’ activities under discussion at the moment include visiting the house Napoleon lived in while he was exiled here, an open-top-bus pub-crawl (I was surprised they had more than one…bonus!), renting a car and taking in the spectacular scenery, diving, fishing and more.

Roll on Wild Tigris!


18 21 S

004 39 W


15 January 2011

Cape Town-->St. Helena, 15/01/2011

Life aboard Wild Tigris is demanding.  Each of our 5 person complement stands one three hour night watch, and one two hour day watch.  As the “newbie” on board, I’m in the cockpit by 0830 for my 0900 to 1100 morning watch.  Very civilized.  This morning the breeze was very light, with speed over the ground hovering between 2.5 knots and 4.5 knots.  Seas were down to one meter.  Lots of rock ‘n roll.  Capt. Sean cranked up the engine 2x, but before our iron Genny could heat up, the breeze would reluctantly fill in, maybe 8 – 10 knots.  So, most of the day we’ve been making good 6-8 knots.  We have been sailing with two 110% high clewed jibs poled out port and starboard – seems just a couple degrees course correction either side is the only trimming ever required!  We landed (3) juvenile Dorado today (8-10 lbs?), and gave them all a second chance.  Passed one commercial ship headed south-bound.  Seemed to be some sort of drilling vessel, with (3) massive rig legs mid-ships.  Also, we’ve had a red & white spinnaker 3-4 miles off our transom for most of the day.  We’ve got cameras at the ready, but they’ve been bashful all day.  A Lady we think, playing shy, contrary to her usual aggressive behavior.  It’s now 2015.  We’ve quaffed our sundowners, had dinner, cleaned up, and await the green flash.  My second watch is 2100 to 2400, which will complete my 5 hours on, 19 hours off.  Life aboard Wild Tigris is very good indeed!!!  Stu & Crew


Our current position: 20 degrees 24 minutes South; 02 degrees 54 minutes west. 1930UT


Weather:  Winds SSE @ +/- 10 knots


Seas: 1-2 meters


Clear blue skies & brilliant sunshine, Temp. @75 degrees farenheit


14 January 2011

Another day, another hemisphere...

At 1130 local time this morning, Wild Tigris crossed the Prime Meridian into the Western Hemisphere. Strangely, there was no mention of Bubbly…just a quiet appreciation of another milestone. A few hours on, the quiet appreciation had manifested itself into double rations of sundowners and even a glass or two of wine with dinner! Party on!

We are now 470Nm from St Helena and travelling at 7-8kts with blue skies and a warm SE breeze. Hopefully tomorrow’s forecasted drop in wind won’t mean too much, if any, motoring.

Finger crossed, cheeseburgers in paradise and God Bless Jimmy Buffet,


22 17’ S

0 50’ W

1915 UT

South Atlantic Sailing

Poles sailing for the past few days with a small twist using the mizzen.  Boat is averaging just under 10 knots for a few days now.  Wind continues to be 15 to 25 knots with some holes down in the 10-12 range. The watch system is 3 hours on and twelve hours off at night and 2 hours on during the day.  Only five hours of watch per person, very restful!!!  Last night with a small shift we changed course two degrees and that was the only change for my 3 hours!!!

            Not much wild life on the ocean.  Fishing line out all day yesterday without a nibble.  Few birds flying by occasionally.  One or two flying fish on the ocean surface. Least amount of ocean life on the whole trip here in the South Atlantic.  One ship 1093 by 200 feet was on the horizon day before yesterday. We just keep sailing along!!

            We will sail through the longitude of Palma today.  We have sailed through all 360 degrees on the longitude. A celebration is planned, bottle of champagne, etc.     



24 48’ S

002 39’ E

13/Jan 1700UT

12 January 2011

Quick sail change...

With the breeze going ever more SE, we decided to put up the second pole, drop the main and head off 30degrees to course. We allowed 15mins for everyone to get caffeinated as it was only 0915 local time. The planned 20min maneuver took closer to an hour and a half after the port gib-sheet anti-chaff protection slid out of position. This meant furling away both headsails, dropping the port pole, going up the forestay on the stay-sail halyard (last one available), re-attaching the anti-chaff protection with good-old reliable Duck Tape then proceeding with the plan….


Although initially slower, a more direct track has compensated for the drop in speed. A building breeze in the evening saw us back up to a 9.5kt avg speed on course….life is good!

300Nm to Palma longitude, 950Nm to St Helena.



27 19 S

006 09 E


10 January 2011

A true circumcision?

After spending most of my early morning watch engineering the Tahitian made bow-sprit into position, then rigging the asymmetric spinni with Stuart, a big grey cloud rolling in from behind spoiled the fun. Alas the cobwebs will have to wait for another day…

With the breeze backing from SW yesterday to SSE today, we opted for a poled out port gib, one reef in the main and the mizzen. This sail plan is powering us along at about nine knots in 16kts of wind; bang on course. It’s hard to complain….

A large steak dinner and a sneaky glass of red left most of the crew fighting food coma’s…so much so that there has even been some watch swapping!

The mood aboard is good with 220mile days and 570Nm until we cross Palma’s longitude. Will this be recognized as a circumnavigation? We’re not sure but we’ve marked the spot on our track with a martini glass waypoint and fully intend to celebrate!

Until next time,


29 48’ S

010 38 E



09 January 2011

New Year, New Ocean...

Hello and Happy New Year to everyone from the Wild Tigris crew.


Having departed Cape Town yesterday at midday, after refueling in a ‘pea-soup’ fog, we are currently on a direct heading to St Helena under full sail in 10-15kts of wind and a bright blue sky.

In fact, conditions are so perfect, there has even been whisperings of shaking the cobwebs off the asymmetric spinnaker tomorrow morning….watch this spot.


Our stay in South Africa and Cape Town in particular has been fantastic. It blew all my prior expectations out of the water and is a place that I’d return to in a heartbeat. Although very busy completing work on the boat and courses for my license, not to mention celebrating Christmas and New Year, we still managed to cram in tones of sightseeing and activities. Summiting Table mountain by cable-car, wine tasting in Stellenbosch and Constantia, kite-surfing with Bill and Morgan at Big Bay, live gigs at Camps Bay, nightlife in Long street, Chapman’s Peak drive and Jackass penguins at the Cape of Good Hope….the list goes on!


Back to sea now though and the core crew of Casey, Heidi, Sofia and I have been bolstered by the round the world veteran Stuart Conway. Stu completed the first version of the World Arc called ‘The Millennium Odyssey’ which began in 1998 and finished in Easter 0f 2000. Weather permitting we hope to complete the 1685Nm leg to St Helena around the 18th of this month. We are permitted a 72hr stay on the spectacular volcanic island of St Helena, then 1950Nm on to Salvador in Brazil.


Until tomorrow,



  31 28’S

013 51”E