Monday, 7 July 2014


We say goodby to St. George's, Bermuda

SV Passat II - Postcard En-Route Bermuda to Azores

We bade a fond farewell to Bermuda, leaving the Customs dock in St Georges at 08:15 local time.

Bermuda is a beautiful, historic paradise and we were sad to go, but will not miss the outrageous cost of living. The only really irritating thing we found was the practice of adding 17% to restaurant bills for "service" that was often bad or indifferent.

Did get to update the blog, up to our arrival in Bermuda, but you will have to wait for the Bermuda pictures until we get internet again.

No wind at the start, so we motor sailed for the first 10 hours, then 10-15 kts from the NE allowing us to make 5 kts almost on our rheum line.

A small pod of whales passed south of us as we left, but too far for pictures. Other than that no excitement.

All is well with us and we hope the same for you.

Wishing you fair winds and calm seas.

Barrie & Sandra

At 5/18/2014 5:25 AM (utc) our position was 32°38.81'N 062°59.08'W

Our tow generateor, hard at work.

Our hardest working crew member "Cap".

SV Passat II - Postcard en-route to Azores

Real men pee standing up! There is something about this that defines our maleness. Also, as any Boy Scout knows, this is very useful for putting out campfires when there is a lack of water available. Not that Smoky the Bear has ever mentioned it in his TV ads.

As a "real Man" I resist sitting to pee with a passion.

Then came boating.

At sea the challenges to peeing while standing are many and the variables infinite. Firstly, the toilet is usually smaller. Secondly, in a sail boat you are usually healed over between 5 to 20 degrees. Third, you have the action of the underlying swells. Fourth, there is the wave action on top of the swells. Fifth, you have wind gusts. Sixth, there is the increased impact of the dreaded double (or Multi) stream (men need no explication; women ask your man).

If you imagine standing in your bathroom, with the floor inclined 15 degrees, during an earthquake, trying to pee into a toilet bowl 1/2 the household size you will get the idea.

I approached this challenge with the energy of a true zealot. Calling on my mountain climbing training I devoted no less then 3 of my 4 limbs to stabilizing my position. This proved insufficient, with messy results. After years of trial and error I was confident that I had developed the perfect stance. For the first time ever I am prepared to share it.

First, plant one foot on the sole (floor), jamming it against a cabinet, bulkhead or door frame. Second, place the other foot, at least shoulder width from the first, against another cabinet, bulkhead, door frame, etc. Third, grab a secure fixed object with one hand. Fourth, jam the "guiding hand" shoulder against a bulkhead or door frame. Fifth, lean forward so that you are centered over the bowl. Sixth, place your head against a bulkhead. Seventh, aim. Eighth, release.

This process is guaranteed to reduce splatter to a acceptable level; in up to 15 degrees of heel, in less then 30 knots of wind, except in the case of a double/multi stream. Then all bets are off.

Or you can do as I do now, SIT.

Wishing you fair winds, calm seas and dry Head Floor.


At 5/23/2014 7:22 AM (utc) our position was 33°55.29'N 052°43.41'W   
Beast on board "flying fish".

Beast on board "squid".

SV Passat - Postcard En-route to the Azores

We passed the mid-point of our passage today and the longest time we have been at sea. To celebrate we had a "Dark and Stormy" with diner.

To close the "Potty Postcard":

- The answer the question "Who cleans up your messes?". I do (even when seasick).
- Sandra's comment was "Sitting is no picnic either!".

A friend(I forget which one) said that "Marriage while living on a boat should be measured in ""Dog Years"". Thus every year on the boat is the equivalent of seven on land.

Our first boat "Moomshadow" was 26 feet on deck and 7 feet 2 inches wide. To see if we were suited to the cruising life Sandra and I made our millennium project a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. This was 32 days, the vast majority of which was spent on passages and in isolated anchorages.

Sometimes we are known as the "Bickersons" and the betting at our Yacht Club was in favor of only one of us returning. The jury was out on which one, but definitely only one would return.

To everyone's amazement (including our own), we loved every minute of it. So cruising became our "post child rearing pre Nursing Home" life style choice.

Then we bought Passat II this "massive" 34 foot boat with a 12 ft beam. What to do with all that space??? Ya right.

What makes it work for us?

The psychologists will have all kinds of names for it and no doubt have studied it to death. We even passed on attending our Bluewater Cruising Association training session on the subject. Why? Because we know the answer.

Its magic.

Wishing you fair winds and calm seas.


We morn the passing of our friend Lesley's former boat SV "Sea Quin IV". Lost to lightning (with no human losses reported). Many memories shared of races won and lost, anchorages shared and wine ingested. Fair well old friend. B & S

At 5/26/2014 5:23 AM (utc) our position was 34°37.52'N 046°03.13'W
Our first siting of the Azores as the sun rises.

SV Passat II - Postcard En-route to the Azores

Watt the H-E-double hockey sticks!!!

A few days ago our towing generator "walked the plank". If fact it took the plank with it.

I like to think it was a giant fish that thought the shinny impeller was eatable, rather than a shoddy attachment.

The attachment was a new addition for this trip. Previously it was fixed to the teak toe rail with 4 big screws. This location was no longer available as it conflicted with the solar panels we installed in 2009. I did not trust the screws so always had a lanyard attaching the generator to a stanchion as back up. The new arrangement had 4 through bolts onto a new teak grating, securely attached to the boomkin, hence no lanyard. The teak grating gave way, giving up the portion that held the generator. A nice clean break.

Regardless, the generator is now doing a "Jonah" in the belly of a giant fish or resting at the bottom of the North Atlantic in 5000 meters of H2O.

All sail boaters are "Watt Watchers". Any Skipper can tell you the draw of everything electrical on his boat, the capacity of his batteries and the output of all his/her electrical generators. For producing electricity, under sail, we have two 85 Watt solar panels and had the towing generator. In the Caribbean the solar panels were enough to meet our needs. In the North Atlantic, not so much.

Refrigeration is our top draw on power, followed by the computer/SSB Radio/Modem used to send and receive email. With the loss on the towing generator we have had to ration our power outlay. Until today that is.

Today our wind dropped to below 10 kts and our speed to below 4 kts. We did the math. If we continued to sail we would arrive at Horta, Azores just after dark Sunday. Unless we wanted to risk a nighttime landfall we would have to pick up the pace to over 5 kts. At Noon we started the iron Jenny. Now we have Watts to burn.

So, to answer friend Brian's question: Why no Postcards?

We did not have the Watt-with-all.

Watt less in the North Atlantic.


At 5/31/2014 6:31 PM (utc) our position was 37°52.36'N 031°05.68'W

The tow generator "walks the plank".

We motor sail in no wind and calm seas.

View of the marina at Horta.

Sundowner with the crew of  SV "Three Sheets".
We add our painting to the dock.

Horta Harbour.

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