Sailing 90° Off Course

Low on gas. No fresh veg left. Mainsail dropped. Now the spinnaker pole has broken! This is the pole that holds out the gib (front sail) at 90 degrees to the boat so it can run goose wing, downwind. Bit of a bummer since we had westerly winds and we’re heading west.

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Rugby World Champions!

England are the rugby world champions! We followed the progress via the BBC World Service, whose coverage went something like this:

‘There are loads of people here in Sydney preparing for the World Cup. And now back to the news’

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Our First Atlantic Swim

Highlight of the day, however, was going for a swim in the middle of nowhere (24’ 40.61N, 18’ 44.12W). With the sun baking down accompanied by slow winds Simon devised a safety harness for us to wear whilst we took it in turns to dive off the bow into the warm, clear blue waters, floating a few miles above the sea bed.

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Crew: Ocean Indies

Dave the Egret joined us for a 24 hour leg somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. Obviously tired from flying he decided to take passage on Ocean Indies and earned his keep by staying on anchor watch for the entire time he was aboard. When he parted he left behind a little present for us on the deck.

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Shooting Stars and Flying Fish

Ahhh. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean by boat. Can I put this experience into words? Probably not but as you see I did keep a log for each day and as you read through it you’ll discover that each day was very different. A lot happened. The night time became a lesson in astronomy. Dreaming became a major talking point on this trip. With such a long time at sea a trip like this is no longer an excursion but a lifestyle.

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Doing A Tom Sawyer

Like a character out of Tom Sawyer I spent my day bathing and reading on the trampoline and checking my line at the back of the boat, occasionally playing with the line as though I knew what I was doing.

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Fishing Lessons In The Atlantic Swell

It was as we were commenting on the huge waves coming at us that the reel of Dave’s fishing rod began to screech and we all jumped up like a bunch of excited monkeys, swinging around bars and leaping from bench to bench. Of course I instinctively grabbed my camera when I should have been sheeting the gib to slow us down. Vincent sprang into action whilst the rest of us just stood and marvelled at the master in action.

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Sintra & The Quinta De Regaleira

My stay in Sintra, however, was topped by a visit to the enchanting Quinta de Regaleira. Although the house was interesting it was the garden that could not fail to impress. Set in large tiers this steep tangle of orchids and large trees was littered with castle turrets and water features, but it was the Initiation Well that really blew me away. The well was over 60 feet deep and wide enough to walk down. Truly this was something out of Tomb Raider as I descended down the well via a stone staircase bordered by large archways.

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Escape From The Toothless Hag

Over the next couple of days Mario would try to teach me Portuguese. Every time I repeated a word he would tell me I’d said it wrong. He’d repeat it again, this time sounding completely different. Every time he taught me a new word I never learned it as he corrected me over and over again, repeating the word with different emphasis each time.

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The Original FTB Introdution

This introduction was written by my brother when the original FTB website was put together, preceding the Europe and Atlantic trip undertaken in 2003.

Tim helped communicate my adventures to family and friends by setting up a small site to contain these stories. This is the very original introduction that preceded the FTB web site.

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