Adventures with Pegasus .
Exterior refit completed Dec 2011 Lanzarote:: Pegasus completes her Circumnavigationw Page:: Fethiye, Turkey:: Cyprus and Kastellorizon:: Egypt:: Maldives to Egypt:: Maldives:: Sri Lanka:: Thailand Christmas 2010:: Johor to Langkawi:: Singapore and Johor Barahu:: Indonesia 8 Belitung:: Indonesia 7 Kumai:: Indonesia 6 Bali:: Indonesia 5 Sumbawa and Gilli Air:: Indonesia 4 Komodo:: Indonesia 3 Bau Bau:: Indonesia 2 Wakatobi and Hoga:: Indonesia 1 Banda and Ambon:: Australia 10 Darwin to Banda:: Australia 9 The Kimberley 2:: Australia 8 The Kimberley 1:: Australia 7 Dampier to Cape Leveque and the Rowley:: Australia 6 Carnarvon to Dampier:: Australia 5 Fremantle to Carnarvon:: Australia 4 Fremantle:: Australia 3 Port Lincoln to Fremantle:: Australia 2 Sydney to Adelaide:: Australia 1, Bundaberg to Sydney Christmas 09:: New Caledonia:: Fiji:: Vava’u Tonga:: Suwarrow / Suvarov:: The Society Islands:: The Tuamotoes:: The Marquesas:: Galapagos to Marquises the long Pacific leg.:: Panama, the canal and on to the Galapagos:: Curacao, Cartagena The San Blas and down to Panama:: The Caribbean and beyond:: The Passage West and Christmas 08::Uk to Cannaries Sept 08:: The Birth Of Pegasus

 ADVENTURES WITH PEGASUS

Finally we have started our big adventure on the high seas! One week later than we had hoped but we had so much to do to get the boat ready and things took a lot longer than expected! But here we are day 3 in the middle of Biscay being thrown around by the waves. First few days have been quite stressful getting back into the rhythm of the boat has taken a little while, Louis was throwing up for the first day and generally an unhappy child - we later worked out that he had drunk a bit of sour milk therefore making him sick! Jason and I were so tired before we started that we were rather niggly and short with each other for the first couple of days, it was very tiring

 

After nearly 3 months of hectic preparation, repairs and installations we finally left Cowes on the last of the cool North Easterlies headed for Bayona and warmer waters.  I was slightly worried that we wouldn’t complete the passage before the weather turned, but arriving off Cape Finesterre with 40 kts from the NE, we had made it through the Biscay unscathed and hopefully warmer, fairer weather lies ahead.

We plan to head slowly south to the Cape Verde’s, west to the Caribbean and through Panama. We are all pretty excited about the south Pacific, but at this moment quite unprepared. Its great to be back on board after the mini refit and boat life has come easily again having spent 4 months earlier this year in the US, Bahamas and Azores.

Whilst at home we took the opportunity to attend the Beaulieu meet in Pegasus. Other club members were met, faces put to names and plans discussed. We all had a jolly time despite the weather. Amongst those present were Peter and Katharine Ingram and family who sailed through the Pacific a few years ago. The day before we left they sailed to Cowes with armfuls of Charts, books and advice, all very welcome and appreciated. We look forward to sharing our experiences with others on our return.

 

 

 

The Trial Run…USA to Bahamas, Azores and to the UK

 

In Brief…We had a great time in the states. I picked Pegasus up from John Lombardi’s yard in late February and with Whig Neil and Neil Edwards set off down the intacoastal waterway headed for Charleston. I’ve got to say it was pretty cold, with ice on the inside of the cabin, but after 2 weeks the weather was warmer and we arrived in Charleston in early May ready for the arrival of Amanda, Jean-Jaques and Louis. The lads left and Amanda and the boys arrived and we spent a pleasant week with my Cousin Emily and family enjoying Charleston. Sadly Amanda had a spot of food poisoning so didn’t really see much of what is a beautiful city. We headed south and made our way to West Palm in Florida, ready to cross to the Bahamas. We had an early weather window and made our way to the Abacos, where my brother Edwin joined us for a week. Ed Left from Nassau and we headed south through the Exhuma chain enjoying island hoping and ended up in Georgetown. After a week on the beach it was time to go. Amanda had decided that she was ready and that she and the boys would do the crossing with me on Pegasus. I was delighted, as if all went well then we had a sustainable system and the rest of the world was only a sail away.

 

Our photographs of Pegasus in America http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/103419419518034555314/PegasusAmericaAprilMay2008?authkey=Gv1sRgCIHjo5T-6bmyjgE&feat=directlink

 

Our photographs of Pegasus in the Bahamas http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/103419419518034555314/PegasusBahamasMayJune2008?authkey=Gv1sRgCNzetp3o56zG8gE&feat=directlink

 

21 Days later we arrived in Sao Miguel in the Azores. All was well. We had done our longest trip and everyone had enjoyed it. A week later and we were off again headed for the UK and home waters. 9 days later we came up the channel in force8 conditions headed for Christchurch where Amanda’s parents had organised for us to go alongside the yacht club. We had a great reception and Pegasus looked really quite large up the river…we only just got in as there isn’t much water there. We spent a long weekend there and then headed for Cowes our homeport. I had a jobs list as long as your arm and so set about a mini refit, repairing some planking which had cracked on our transatlantic, installing a new wind generator, sail repair, rig tuning, changing the running rigging, new sail bags, and numerous other details to make the forthcoming trip easier. The summer proved wet and windy and the weather delayed repairs so that we didn’t get as much done as we wanted. However we had set a date and as the weather turned in our favour we were under the countdown. A last minute deal with a production company saw a cameraman and some production staff around the boat before we departed and we spent our last few days along side in Shepard’s Wharf in Cowes where all at the harbour commission were extremely helpful and really made our stay as easy as possible for us…we are very thankful.

 

The First Leg…Cowes to Madeira Via Bayona and Porto Santo 21/9/08 to 9/10/08

 

After nearly 3 months of hectic preparation, repairs and installations we finally left Cowes on the last of the cool North Easterlies headed for Bayona and warmer waters.  I was slightly worried that we wouldn’t complete the passage before the weather turned, but arriving off Cape Finesterre with 40 kts from the NE, we had made it through the Biscay unscathed and hopefully warmer, fairer weather lies ahead.

 

We left on 21 September after a real “fast finish” and although we planned to leave at 3 am we decided to get some sleep, as we weren’t finished in the house until 2.30am. Consequently we were all tired as when we eventually left at 8 am. We had a guest on board for the first leg…a camera man who was filming for a documentary to be shown sometime in the future. Biscay was just fine and we saw some typical Atlantic weather with winds in the 25-30kt range and some large seas on the port quarter. Finesterre caused us a little worry with high winds and some really steep seas on the beam, but we were through that by 11am and finally motored in with clear skies and a light warm breeze.

We had daily runs of 159, 181, 180, and 179 miles and dropped anchor on the 25th at about 8pm off Pria De Rodas on Islas Cies some 3 miles NE of Bayona, After a great beach day, which was enjoyed by all, and a meal ashore we left the following day and berthed in the Marina in Bayona. The cameraman left after a few days and we headed up to Porto Novo a few miles up the coast for a little family time and a bit of beach before our trip to Madeira.

 

The Weather was not looking good in the medium term so we shelved plans to meet up with friends further north, and upped sticks and headed for Madeira on the 2/10 with a following wind. Feeling refreshed after a few days alone.

 

Again with the NE Trades we made good speed making 210, 155,153 and 136 miles, arriving on the island of Porto Santo at 4.30 pm on 6/10.

 

Porto Santo was great with a really large beach and beach bar  / restaurant where we could see Pegasus and the boys could play on the beach as we ordered food and relaxed. Although the beach is quite exposed from the south and east, it provided good shelter while we were there and the holding was good.

 

With a freshening wind from the NW we set off for Madeira after breakfast on 9/10. We had all sorts of weather, full sail, to 3 reefs in, making 16kts at one point to ghosting along at 9 kts in 7 kts of breeze…really quite a challenging day. Pegasus was really responsive as I had scrubbed the bottom when in Porto Santo taking all the summer weed off, and much of the antifouling, so she now has great pick up.

 

We all really noticed a difference coming down to the Madeira group. The water temperature is 10 degrees warmer than N Spain so at 72 deg is quite swimable…(my cut off is 70 although the boys will swim in 60 deg F!!!) It was almost as we passed the straights of Gibraltar that the weather changed and the wind was really quite warm and pleasant We all felt that we had finally got into the cruising grounds we had left 4 months ago when we departed the Azores for the UK in June.

 

The last 1400m miles has been quite a test after 3 months ashore. We have changed so many things on board that each new system has had to be checked, and the propensity for massive problems has always been there, but luckily the modification that have been made have held up and at last the rig is working well and using the rotating mast has really increased our speed and windward performance.

 

The Atlantic has played with us and been forgiving…we really could have had a few problems in Biscay had the gusts been at the wrong times of that wave been a few meters closer when exposed reefing etc. The Reefing procedure is now much more polished…I had forgotten the finer details of the procedures whilst getting fat ashore…and yes, 3 months ashore and the muscles you need to perform the deck tasks quickly and smoothly have just gone soft and I’ve been out of breath and not really fit enough. All that has now changed and the strength is returning and sailing the boat is getting easier and less scary.

 

Life aboard is finding its rhythm again. The boys and Amanda are happy and family life is moving on….Amanda’s making soup and trying to get JJ to lay the table, and I’m on the computer…..no good got to go!!!

 

The Soup was delicious sort of tomato and garlic sausage. Were here in Madeira in Porto Da Calheta, (Funchal marina is full and all the boats are being evicted Next Friday as the On Deck Farr 65’s come in on their race…rather boring especially as this was organised by someone we know in Cowes our home port!!!) We plan to stay here for a week or so to sort a few issues and take a look around, then head off to the Canaries after our new guest arrives…Grand Mere. 

 

Our photographs of our trip from Cowse to the Cannaries http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/103419419518034555314/UkToCannariesSept08?authkey=Gv1sRgCKHlsrTz9rP6vQE&feat=directlink    

 

Leg 2 Madeira and Canaries, 13/10/08 to 15/11/08

 

Well, a lot has happened in the past few weeks!!!!

 

Grand Mere arrived on a balmy evening in Machico, Madeira, after a taxi ride from Hell. Machico is only about 3km from the airport and I think the poor taxi driver had been waiting a few hours for what he expected was to be a 100 Euro ride so was none too pleased with a 5 euro ride to the marina…..at least he got a tip!

 

Machico was great. A secure anchorage, a beach for the Boys and a local Bar / Restaurant so it had all the ingredients for a peaceful acclimatisation. We spent a day or two there and then headed off to Funchal for a day so Grand Mere could see the Capital.  We had a pleasant evening then headed up to Porto Calheta again to ready for the passage to Lanzarote.

 

The Weather looked set for light winds over the left shoulder so we fuelled up, set sail and cruised in most pleasant weather for Graciosa, a small island at the north end of Lanzarote We left at 11.45 on 20/10 and arrived at 6.30am on 22/10, having done 300 miles in 42 hours in no more than 10 knots of breeze.

 

Arriving in a small anchorage we had breakfast and went ashore for some beach sports with the boys. I set off in the little boat (we nicknamed Hotel Alpha) to check out the local marina some 3 miles away. It Really wasn’t up to much and as the weather had turned with wind and rain we set off round the point to Arreciefe the capital which would put us closer to our friends who were holidaying on the island for Half Term. We all felt tired and I wanted to put the anchor down and relax after our passage from Madeira.

 

Arreciefe is not a good place to anchor. We tried without success to drop in the inner harbour as the wind was blowing some 25-30 knots and the anchor just dragged along the bottom, so we extracted ourselves from the mishmash of small boat and headed up to Porto des Marmoles a mile north to try and fin d some good holding. There were some 10 boats at anchor and we found a spot at the head of the basin and dropped the hook in 15 ft of water over what we thought was sand. We dropped back and held well and all felt relaxed as we were finally at anchor and sheltered from the sea and wind albeit in not such beautiful surroundings as it was quite commercial with the container wharf some 200m to our starboard.

 

We held well overnight and decided to head down to Puerto Calero Marina where we felt we would all be happier.

 

This is where our problems started!!!

The wind had eased and was blowing some 10 knots from the NE and we were set to go.

 

I had started the engines and we were just about to leave when an English chap of an anchored boat rowed up and started talking with us about the local area. He said the holding was good, the little beach safe to leave a dinghy and, low and behold an Ikea store just round the corner…Well that was it. We all decided a trip to Ikea was exactly what we needed so we turned off the engines and put Hotel Alpha in the water and off we went to Ikea. We found loads of stuff we didn’t really need but just couldn’t live without and after an hour and a half returned to the dinghy just after midday.

 

We arrived at the beach and noticed Pegasus was no longer at anchor but tied up alongside the container wharf????

 

We all got into the dinghy, Grand Mere, Jean Jaques, Louis, Amanda and myself along with a few hundred euros of essentials, and headed over to Pegasus wondering what had happened. There were a few people standing on the dock and as we arrived I instantly noticed the rear boarding steps were underwater. We were ballasted down considerably in the stern.

 

We all got on board and as I opened the engine room hatch water was nearly over the top of the engine….quell horror!!! Inside the starboard hull, water was at mid calf level.!!

 

Right all hands to the pumps lets start bailing!!!

 

It transpired that we had dragged our anchor and hit the container wharf on the starboard transom splitting the seam where the transom meets the hull.

 

The wind was now blowing some 15-20 knots but was not excessive so I really didn’t understand how we had dragged.

 

So we were all bailing, Grand Mere with a jug, Jean-Jaques with a cup and Louis with an eggcup. I was in the engine room with a bucket and Amanda was talking in Spanish with the guys on the dock to find our what happened. A chap turned up from another boat “Peregrine” to give assistance and together we got the anchor on board.

 

The Tide was falling and after trying unsuccessfully to plug the hole with rags I decided that we could stabilise the situation by driving the boat onto the beach that we had used for the Dinghy and within an hour the hole would be exposed and we could review the situation.

 

I started the port engine, manoeuvred Pegasus off the wall and headed for the beach. As we approached I turned on the depth sounders and headed for the beach.

 

TZZZ… something had happened. I reversed thinking we had grounded on rocks or the instruments had fused. We were being blown towards some rocks so I manoeuvred back into position and tried again.

TZZZZZ …looking up I saw the issue. The mast was trapped between two power cables. WOW. Back off quick. Reversing hard I pulled the mast free having to sacrifice all the masthead instruments to get free.

 

Away from the cables we dropped the anchor again, and reviewed the situation (whilst bailing). There was a boat yard we had seen in the inner harbour, which was capable of lifting us. It was decided I would go down there in the dinghy and organise a lift. After retrieving the dinghy which was full of water and our now floating Ikea essentials, I changed the fuel and sped to the boat yard, conscious that the family was left onboard a sinking boat!

 

All at lunch, back at 3pm!

 

I sped back and we all decided that it would be better to be at anchor off the boat yard. We started up again and motored the mile to the boat yard and picked up a buoy. I went ashore and in pigeon Spanish organised a diver with some underwater putty to stop the leak.

 

On my return I found that the girls had been productive. Grand Mere had noticed the boys playing with some play doe and had taken some and had success stemming the flow. Amanda decided Pleistocene would be better so when I returned the hole had been temporarily plugged with Pleistocene and no more water was coming in.

 

The Diver plugged the hole with epoxy mastic and I got a price for hauling out…an eye watering 4000 Euros.

 

I paid the yard for the diver services happy that the situation had been stabilised and with the boat now dry we settled in for the night and decided we were all pretty lucky that no one had been hurt of that we had not had a mast fire.

 

I worked on the engine, and luckily the water had only kissed the bottom of the air intake so the block was dry. I changed the oil and cleaned the electrics and checked the block under telephone instruction from a mechanic in Puerto Calero called Jean Michele. That evening we got the starboard engine started and I was pretty relieved.

 

Our friends Pete and Debs were still in Lanzarote so we spent the weekend with them, which we all enjoyed although I could have been on better form.  The Boys had great fun with their boys, Fin, Lex and Rye who are all good friends, so the boys were happy and Grand Mere enjoyed her time on the beach with the grandchildren.

 

We elected to go down to Pueto Calero on the Monday and see if we could get the damage fixed there. After a day or two I found the right people for the job, and organised a crane for the end of the week. Having contacted the designer Chris White I realised that we really had been incredibly lucky and that the relative minor damage that we had suffered could have been really tragic. Chris confirmed the method of lift and the some details of relaminating the mast and by the weekend we were on the hard, mast out and working hard to do as much as possible before we went back in the water.

 

Grand Mere Amanda and the Boys spent two weeks driving around Lanzarote, swimming in the hotel pool and generally trying to amuse 2 small boys while Dad was working on the boat. Doesn’t sound too band until one mentions that it rained almost continually and the days when not raining it was only about 15-18 degrees so quite cold. Not really the holiday Grand Mere had planned on.

 

We changed Grand Mere’s Tickets to fly from Lanzarote on the Thursday and the following Monday (10/11) we went back into the water all mended, stickers on and looking good.

 

During this period I received a few e-mails from the TV production company, and realised that it really was time to make contact. I phoned Naomi and explained what had happened. It was decided that the Series producer James would come out and meet us, shoot some footage and supply some new camera equipment to make the filming a bit easier.

 

James and Naomi arrived on the Wednesday evening and we all sat down on the Thursday after Grand Mere had departed and discussed the turn of events. Some interviews were conducted and we took James for a sail so he could get a feel for the boat. James departed on the Wednesday having achieved his objectives and we were as a family again, which was a great relief.

 

It took a further 4 days to put the boat back together and we left Pueto Calero on Sunday 15th heading for Fuerteventura and beyond.

 

I have to say that we were extremely lucky. So many things could have gone really wrong: electrocution, mast fires, employing bad workmen, having a failure on the lift, destroying all the on board electrics, etc but it didn’t. OK we weren’t lucky to have the anchor drag, but we were with everything else that occurred or didn’t and for that we are thankful.

 

7500 euros later and Pegasus is now looking fine, the mast is tuned really well and the rotation is working as it should adding 2-3 knots of boat speed. She feels solid and happy.

 

We are all glad to be at sea again as a family.

 

Leg 3 The Canaries 15/11/08 onwards

 

After our extended stay in Lanzarote we sailed down the east coast of Fuerteventura spending our first night at anchor in Gran Tarajal. I’ve got to say I was a little nervous of anchoring again but luckily the hook dug deep and sure so we were happy. We went ashore for Pizza and the boys played on the beach, which they loved. Back on board we decided to push on in the morning and after a fitful night with ground swell we up anchored and headed off to Morro Jable some 25 miles further on.

 

Moro Jable was quite basic but pleasant and quiet. After lunch we all went down to the beach and swam and climbed sand dues which was great fun. It was just good to do some family stuff after so much work and stress. We had a lovely dinner on board and an early night as we were going to be up early the following day for our passage to Gran Canaria.

 

4 am and a quiet dawn. We motored out and set sails at dawn. The motion was no that pleasant with a beam sea but the wind was good some 15-20 knots and we made good speed. Louis was quite sick, poor boy, and was fairly subdued until our arrival early in the afternoon. We arrived at 13.30 to a very busy and crowded Las Palmas.

 

The Marina was full as was the adjacent anchorage. The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) is due to start on 28th so the place was packed. We tried to anchor 4 times but could not get a good hold. On the 5th occasion it dug in but I was not really happy. We headed off into town to get a few bits we had ordered and were back on board by 6.30 having decided to push on the following day.

 

I had last been in Las Palmas in 1999 and the amount of development was staggering. I hardly recognised the place…not really for us. Had we been 6 burly blokes doing an Atlantic crossing that would have been another thing, but we are a family and so it was just not for us.

 

We left early and by 8am were clear on the headland having motor sailed north to clear the island. The wind was again 15-20 with a beam sae and again poor old Louis was sick. We arrived in Tenerife at about 15.30 that day some 60 miles later, and tucked into the marina in Santa Cruz.

 

Santa Cruz is quite beautiful with stunning architecture and tree lined streets. It reminds us of Madeira. I‘m sure we will enjoy our stay.

 

Poor old JJ has to have his Yellow fever injection, so today, Amanda and the boys have gone off to see to that, and I’m on board with the electrician who is installing a new high power alternator to help run our fridge, which uses an inordinate amount of power. It’s just a toss up of a new fridge system or more power generation. I’ve gone for the cheaper option although I know that we will have to do something about the fridge in due course!!! 

 

 

Leg 3 Still the Canaries!

 

It took longer than expected to install the new alternator. Old Raul the electrician, a 30 something local with pigeon English just couldn’t say no to anyone, so spent time with other boats as well as us. In the end we had the alternator and regulator fitted and installed a Diode bridges in   each engine room so that all batteries could be charged simultaneously. We also sorted out the energy monitor so that it reads true. Im not sure if this is a good thing as I now know that our beloved fridge / freezer draws some 40 amps when charging! I’ve got to do something about that!

 

As Raul stepped off the boat with his pockets bulging with the last of my Euros, so we left Santa Cruz and sailed sedately down the East side of Tenerife, dropping our anchor in Bahia De Abona just after sunset. We spent quite a rolly night at the head of the bay with waves crashing against the rocks some 50 meters away. Not a relaxed nights sleep for me even though we laid a Danforth as well as a CQR. Its going to take some time to regain my confidence in our anchors.

 

Up early and away on a still morning. The swell was down and we motor sailed round the south of Tenerife as dawn was breaking. A school of Pilot Whales found us and joined us for a mile or two before leaving to carry on their journey. We had a pleasant crossing to La Gomera on a glassy sea and arrived after lunch…err…that is the English lunch. The Spanish lunch finished at 4pm when, after fuelling up, we went alongside in what was a crowded but pretty marina.

 

Tapas ashore, which we all enjoyed and the boys had a good run around the square while we were eating. San Sebastian is a quaint, local town without the hustle and bustle of the other cities we have been in. It reminded us of Machico in Madeira. Small and personable.

 

The Idea of going to San Sebastian was that the marina had wifi, there was a beach within half a mile and a small town. Amanda and the boys could go to the beach and be away from the boat while I compiled our tax returns and e-mailed them to the accountants in the UK along with some other paperwork I needed to do.

 

The Reality was that it was cold and overcast so, although the beach did not get as much action as was intended, the family saw the town and all the local play parks while I got on with the paperwork. Needless to say the wifi did not work, so it was not ideal.

 

After 3 nights and a pleasant stay we set off to La Palma some 60 miles north west of La Gomera. We had heard that the new Marina there had opened, the facilities were good and that it was quite empty. We had intended to leave a few days later but the wind was light and in a favourable direction so we headed off after a Spanish breakfast…about 10.30… and motor sailed up to Santa Cruz in La Palma.

 

Amanda’s Parents are taking a holiday in La Palma so we shall see them in a few days. The Boys will love that before the transatlantic and its Amanda’s Birthday on Wednesday so a jolly time should be in store for all.  It should also give us the space we need to stock up and ready Pegasus for her second transatlantic this year. 

 

Leg 4 La Palma to Grenada (Or Barbados if it looks better…)

 

WE had a great time in La Palma. The marina was quite bouncy with the swell ricocheting from one side to the other but after securing well it was quite tenable. Amanda’s parents arrived and it was great to see them. The Boys had a high old time and stayed 3 night in their apartment. Amanda and I went out together which was fun and had many enjoyable meals with Granny and Grandpa. I settled down to do my paperwork, which had been haunting me, and finally got 90% away which is all that I could hope for.

 

Granny took an armful of papers back to the UK along with used charts and general filing….the paperwork just doesn’t stop!

 

We spent a few early days readying the boat so as to have time to enjoy the family contact, and after a lovely swim and dinner in the Real Club Nautico La Palma, we said goodbye and we returned to Pegasus to leave the following morning, 8th December.

 

Whilst in la Palma we managed to acquire a whole stem of green Bananas so we hope they will ripen as we head south. They are living in the Dinghy astern along with our Christmas tree…ok, so it’s the top of a pine tree..but it will look good with a few lights and baubles on it, even if it is just a twigged skeleton!!

 

Our Photograps of The damage and repair of Pegasus in Lanzarotte http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/103419419518034555314/DamageAndRepairOfPegasus?authkey=Gv1sRgCNXb6pq73NGfuQE&feat=directlink  

 

   

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