Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

Day 7 – Time Change and Celebrations onboard

We passed the eastern edge of Atlantic Standard Time yesterday so decided to change our onboard clocks in between our double night shifts, curtailing by half an hour. We are now on GMT (a.k.a. UTC) -2, a sure sign we are making progress. Mike was treated to a spectacular triple rainbow during his 0800 – 1200 watch.. at the expense of getting just a tad damp. For us, it was.. Read More

Day 6 – Practicing Ancient Mariner Skills (with a modern twist)

Today was another glorious sunny day, making good progress with following winds. Life doesn’t get much better. So it was that we managed to turn our attention to obtaining weather faxes and trying my hand at a little celestial navigation. We had been poring through various publications to try and obtain weather faxes but had until today come up short. Finally as I dug a little deeper into information on.. Read More

Day 5 – Spinnaker Down!

Mike seems to have had most of the excitement during his morning watches over the past couple of days. Yesterday it was a show put on by dolphins… and today …. well, just read on. It took a bit longer for the wind to fill in than we expected. My (Hope’s) watch from 4:00 – 8:00 this morning was frustrating because the wind picked up ever so slowly. About half-way.. Read More

Day 4 and We Are Drifting ….

We finally resorted to seeking help from the engine about 10pm last night as our speed over ground had dropped to around 3.5 knots. We motored slowly overnight, heading in a northerly direction, but sadly it seems we are in a patch of very light airs that will likely persist throughout the day today. After about 13 hours of the noise, we tired of the noise and resorted to drifting.. Read More

Day 3 and Still Sailing Gently

I shouldn’t have written so confidently that we had passed Gloria of Southampton…. Shortly after I had sent the last blog, her captain, Tim, greeted us on VHF and informed us that his crew had been whipped into shape and they would be pulling out all the stops to regain the ground they had lost to us. So, the battle began…. and they gradually gained on us, indeed they came.. Read More

Great First Day out from Bermuda!

Although a little stressful to start, our first day back at sea turned out to be a real pleasure, one that seemed to make up for the trials of the passage to Bermuda. Unfortunately we missed the 11:00 am start with the rest of the Class A Cruiser boats because we were still waiting (not so patiently) for our turn to fill our fuel tanks. We did get a great.. Read More

Ready for Leg 2

After a couple of stressful days, last night at about 10:00 pm, the engine came back to life and I, for one, did the happy dance!  The cause for the engine not starting proved to be somewhat elusive. Benjy worked at it incessantly for the best part of two whole days, interspersed only by runs into Hamilton for parts and to test the starter motor and yet still the engine.. Read More


We arrived safely in Bermuda just after daylight on Friday.  The last day or so was uneventful but still the sun barely made it through the clouds.  Overall, It was a bumpy, wet passage with too much motoring. The ARC staff have been fantastic.  They greeted us at the customs dock, assisted with our lines, gave us a nice cool can of Dark and Stormy (rum and ginger beer) for.. Read More

Day 4: 180 Miles to Bermuda!

Well, the forecasted stronger winds did come and persisted through the night and well into the afternoon. With just the tiny staysail and a double-reefed mainsail, the boat handled the gusts with ease. However, to maintain boat speed, we have been continuing to run the engine. I hope I don’t jinx anything by saying that the engine has been running well. Long may that continue to be the case….. So,.. Read More

First Days at Sea

After a few hours rest, we checked off the final items on our To Do list and departed Ocean Yacht Marina in Portsmouth around 7:40 am on Sunday. The crew was ready! We were the last of the ARC boats to depart but we could see at least one of them on AIS about 5 miles ahead of us. The weather was a bit miserable, rain, followed by fog and.. Read More