Atlantic Reading List

Books I’ve read since leaving Cape Town:

Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is two hundred miles north-east of Brazil and is not an official World ARC destination. However, it’s so beautiful most of the fleet decided to go there for a few days after Cabedelo.

Nice spot for lunch
Nice spot for lunch

The anchorage is well protected except from north-easterly swells, with plenty of room for plenty of boats. Karen did a couple of dives and we rented a dune buggy for a day and explored the island a little. Inevitably we ended up at a luxury resort for lunch…

Cu-Nim developing

Much more on Karen’s site.


Quite noisy

We arrived in Salvador, Brazil, during the annual carnival. What that means in 200db music (sic) blasting out from every bar and restaurant from 10am to 4am. I the only managed two hours at the parade.

Infinity pool
Infinity coconuts

After the carnival we took ourselved off to a beach resort 30 miles up the coast, joining Ken & Cheryl who had already booked in. After a couple of days at anchor in the Salvador Bay, including a very pleasant boat trip up river, we sailed for 36 hours to Cabedelo where we met the members of the fleet who had skipped Salvador.

We’ll probably skip Salvador next year when we return on Mistral.

Much more on Karen’s site.

St Helena and Beyond


We only had 96 hours in St Helena, but it was well worth the visit. After a week at sea it’s great to have a break, restock (spending GB pounds!) and do a little tourism.

St Helena is a tiny chunk of the UK and feels a little like a strange part of Devon. We took an all-day tour of the island and saw it all, including Napoleon’s Tomb and his house where he lived for the last eight years of his life.

First Time Flying the Parasailor
First Time Flying the Parasailor

Then it was off to Salvador, Brazil – 1930 nm, 14 days at sea. This is third or fourth longest passage in the circumnavigation.

We soon settled into the routine – watch, sleep, eat etc. We were forced to motor for the first day or two, but then the trade wind set in and we sailed for almost the entire trip. We also used the parasailor for the first time – what a great sail! Easy to handle, tolerant of wind shifts, and easy to snuff as long as you don’t leave it too late. We’re looking at one for Mistral…

We expect to arrive in Salvador at dawn tomorrow (the 10th). We’ll have a kip, clear in, then watch Tommy’s England game against Wales! Go Tommy!

Catching Up

Executive Summary

  • Mistral flooded after entering the Great Barrier Reef in July 2023 – see Karen’s Travels for all the gory details
  • It took three months to repair and refit the boat in Mackay
  • Forced to leave the World ARC 2023-24
  • Flew to Cape Town in November for holiday and to meet the fleet
  • Asked to sail Fat Kat II, a Lagoon 46 catamaran, from Cape Town to the Caribbean – accepted!
  • Home to the UK for Christmas and friends and family catch-up
  • Now back in the World ARC 2023-24 on Fat Kat II, presently in St Helena en route to Brazil

See below for Fat Kat II’s location, or use this link.

We will arrive in the Caribbean in April and will then return to Australia to continue our circumnavigation with the World ARC 2024-25.

Fat Kat II
Fat Kat II

Mackay – Damage & Repair

South Africa Safari and Cape Town


Back at Sea


Chris & Karen with a Tuna
Chris & Karen with a Tuna

Funny old thing, fishing. We weren’t sure we’d do any on this trip, never having fished before, but we inherited a rod and reel with the boat and Martin passed it fit for duty. He promptly proved it by catching a decent-sized wahoo.

So when we arrived in Gran Canaria off we went to a fishing shop where we bought a new rod & reel, some spare line and a selection of lures, mostly pink plastic squids. We also popped into the off-licence for a cheap bottle of vodka, a splash of which which sends them to fish heaven almost instantly.

So each morning, assuming the seas are not too rough, the rain not continuous and enough crew awake to be able to deal with a catch, we set two lures two or three boat-lengths behind the boat. We then go back to our normal activities e.g. navigating, boat repair, boat maintenance, sleeping, radio net calls, cooking, reading, writing blog posts, FaceTiming family etc.

A few indeterminate hours or days later, we are startled into action by the sound of one of the lines running out as a fish takes the lure. At this stage, five things can happen:

  1. The fish immediately rejects the lure and disappears.
  2. The fish bites the line and takes the lure to the deep.
  3. We are too slow to get to the reel, the line runs all the way out, breaks, and the fish gets the lure and 150 ft of line.
  4. We battle the fish to the side of the boat whereupon it thrashes up and jumps the hook.
  5. We successfully gaff and land the fish. Note this only has a 20% probability…

Assuming we land the fish, we then give it a dash of vodka, bleed it (increases flavour), gut it and fillet it. Sounds easy but probably takes 40 min or so.

Yesterday we heard the lines running out and both lures had been taken! The fish on the starboard line took option 1 and vanished but we managed to land the other one, which was a magnificent tuna.

Oh, I’ve missed a sixth possibility after a bite: the fish becomes bait for a bigger fish. Nice work, Tim!

Great catch, Tim!
Great catch, Tim!

Tuamotus & Societies: Tikehau and Tahiti to Bora Bora

Point Venus, Tahiti
Point Venus, Tahiti

We continued on to Tikehau in company with Matt and Fiona on Matilda. Tikehau – another stunning atoll. From there it was a 24 hr passage to Moorea, close to Tahiti, where we anchored in Cook Bay.

Cook Bay, Moorea — not always sunny

In Tahiti we took the oportunity to get some maintenance done, mostly routine – engine & generator service, rigging inspection and tune-up, but also an instrument needed repair and the aircon needed a new capacitor. All the work was carried out efficiently, a bit of an unusual occurence in sailing.

The Blue Banana Restaurant, Tahiti

Then it was on to Tahaa for a couple of days including the stunning Coral Garden snorkeling area.

Tahaa - Coral Garden
Tahaa – Coral Garden

South Pacific Reading List

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read since leaving Galapagos five weeks ago:

Obviously can’t spend all day and night working!