Visited regularly from our home in Dartmouth but first time since Xmas she is looking fabulous thanks to almost daily checks by John and his team at JE Marine and Berthon. The sales interest is now picking up as expected and she is absolutely ready for the next set of oceans - someone just needs to 'add water' where she is happiest.
BriZo ready for sale following a full independent survey and recommended works complete by Berthon at Lymington. The specification in the 'boat section' details these works which included a full standing rigging re-fit. The survey, detailed refit and viewing is available from Berthon Lymington Friends Clive and Glenn based in Antigua completed the load while we were busy with UK end arrangements - we used Peters and May shipping and a local Antiguan agent to arrange everything and the far end and John Eustace (JE Marine)and Berthon at Southampton end. Everything went like clockwork. BriZo is now 'VAT bonded' and lifted on the Berthon sales dock - post re-fit. Sales and spare equipment/covers removed to dry store in Berthon and tender wrapped - Fully winterised and heated Brizo is snug.
She is looking near perfect in the hands of the team and now thinking we should have kept her in a warmer climate for a few more seasons - missing out !
6th June 2018 BriZo arrives Lymington UK
Towards the end of the Caribbean 2017/18 season we decided to ship BriZo back to Southampton for sale - She was in good shape after her circumnavigation and we did not want to add to her low engine hours or rig wear and tear unnecessarily. It also allowed us to complete a re-fit before her sale at Berthon.
1st Nov 2017 Back in Antigua
Flew back and stayed at the sail loft Admirals Inn for a few days while we organised BriZo works to get her splashed for this season (the sail loft is just above Pat in he picture). It was quiet for the first few weeks as its still officially the hurricane season but 3 weeks later things are starting to open up. Lots of work to do on BriZo in preparation for the season and after her 3 year world trip, so very busy.
20th May 2017 Arrive home
On a warm May Saturday Murray met us at Southampton with the car and a drive home to a very pretty Dartmouth followed - not so bad to be back. Looking forward to catching up with everyone and work.
15th May 2017 Step onto Queen Mary II
We had a great week in New York waiting for the QM II to dock. It was Pats birthday and so we also slotted in a day trip up to Niagara Falls. By the 15th May we stepped onto the QM2 bound from New York to Southampton.
6th May 2017 Lifted into Bailey's Boatyard Falmouth Antigua.
We arrived late April into a busy Falmouth harbour with Antigua Classics week just about to start. Stunning classic yachts had gathered in English Harbour and as Pat and I prepared BriZo these were racing for a week close to BriZo anchored at the rear of Falmouth. A week later Antigua Race week started, (see Video - vids and Photos/Grenada to Antigua) 150 yachts from all over the world competing in one of the most famous races in the Caribbean calendar. By the 6th of May after 10 days of solid work in preparation (and a few evenings of celebrating) we were leaving Antigua for New York for a week to await our trip home on the Queen Mary II to Southampton.
20th April 2017 Settle in Falmouth - Antigua to prepare for Haul-out for the hurricane season
Following 2 weeks of lovely day sailing stopping to St Pierre Martinique, Dominica, Isle Saintes and Guadaloupe we arrived in what we consider our '2nd home' in the Caribbean English and Falmouth Harbour Antigua. It is great to be back and we arrived t the start of Classics Race week that then leads into Antigua Race week. You would not believe the beautiful boats that are here ! We immediately met people that we know here and have had several great nights out - the challenge is getting the boat ready for the closed season !
8th April 2017 Rodney Bay St Lucia to complete the World ARC circumnavigation.
Arrived at 13:03 local time, having left from here on the 4th of January 2014 - 3 years 3 months and 4 days - BriZo has now completed some 42,000 nautical miles and we have visited 37 countries. (The WARC route accounts for approximately 26,000nm).
7th April 2017 Marigot Bay St Lucia
Arrived in Marigot Bay St lucia on the 5th after a few lovely stops up from Grenada, stopping at Union Island, Tobago Cays, Bequia, Mustique and the pitons in St Lucia. It was more stunning than we remembered.
16th March 2017 Port Louis St Georges Grenada
Arrived mid day after a busy overnight around Tobago due to traffic and weather. No issues with the reported pirates that have operated off Tobago but the last reported 3 incidents had been some 18 months ago. Port Louis is a Camper and Nicholson marina of the highest standard with fabulous beaches just 5 minutes away - so we are settled here and Pats sister Terri has come and joined us for a weeks break. We are docked just along from a 10 x billion aires yacht the Mayan Queen - a mexican owner of Gold and Silver mines.
10th March 2017 mid leg stop in French Guyana
We crossed the equator on Monday the 6th March with both Pat and I asleep and Josh and Laura on watch. It was good sailing after the first 30 hours at sea which was rough. We were to have wind all the way to Grenada mostly on the beam although we did motor a few hours when we had wind directly behind as we did not want to stress the damaged V2 stbd rig. We stopped on the 10th at Isle du Salut - Salvation islands of French Guyana where we did not have to check in. It was a delightful and informative stop for two nights which broke the journey leaving only 700nm to Grenada.
2nd March 2017 Cabedelo Brazil
Enjoyed this river mooring in Cabedelo for 10 days visiting the carnivals and local surroundings. Tomorrow the 2nd we leave for a 2000nm plus long leg heading north across the equator and ITCZ, (InterTropical Convergence Zone) along the South American coast of Brazil past the amazon, French Guyana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela and Tabago. Its an interesting sailing leg as the ITCZ is the Doldrums where there is little or no wind and this shifts North and South, couple this with counter currents in and around the amazon and some planning is needed to ensure a speedy not slow passage.
4th February 2017
Were are today just wrapping up our Family trip which started on the 20th Jan to South Africa at my brothers farm in the sensational Drakensburg Natal. Weather was great for his daughters wedding to Rob. Pat and I, our sons and grandchildren stayed on the farm next door at Penwarn and loved the whole area - I had forgotten in the past 6 years how lovely the area was. We then moved to Nambiti game park for 3 days safari - It was spectacular having 5 trips in open trucks and saw the big 5. We are flying today via Durban, Dubai, Rio and then to Salvador. - We should get there late on Sunday. Glenn has now left BriZo so we are looking forward to rejoin the World ARC who start arriving just as we do.
12th Jan 2017 Preparing to return to Salvador Brazil
Following our return to the UK in November we have ticked most boxes. We had a terrific Christmas with the Grandchildren, children and other family members. We caught up with work and the domestic side of life. We have one more commitment ironically back in South Africa a big family wedding then we expect to be in Salvador on BriZo on the 5th Feb in time to re-join friends on the WARC.
2nd Jan 2017 BriZo Arrives Salvador
Following a stop in Cape Town for a few days to collect parts the crew left on the 7th December 2016 heading up the coast of Namibia and out across the Atlantic running close to St Helena but not stopping. Total miles clocked from Richards Bay - 4331nm 37days 20 hours, days in port 7.
25th Nov. Returning to UK over Christmas and wedding late January.
We have now left BriZo in the capable hands of pro-crew while Pat and I return to the UK for Christmas and a family wedding late January in South Africa. We will return to Salvador Brazil early February to tour its East coast and take BriZo back to the Caribbean for the end of the season 2017, where we intend to Hurricane.
Arrived Richards Bay South Africa 16:30 LT 11th Nov.
Arrived late afternoon after a motor sail from halfway under Madagascar so we could keep up the speed to arrive ahead of the impending SE storm approaching Richards Bay. The fast change to SE winds occurred as predicted late on Saturday after all WARC boats were in producing seriously poor conditions along the East coast outside Richards Bay.
Arrived Reunion Island
Left Mauritius 27th October for short overnight to Reunion Island some 130nm. Trip did not start well as it was light winds and we lost our spinnaker with a broken torsion line just an hour in. Still arrived Reunion by 12:15 28th Oct. Looking forward to seeing this lush volcanic island with peaks over 3000m. We leave for South Africa Saturday the 5th November.
Cocos Keeling - Mauritius
Left Cocos for 2,400nm Indian Ocean leg - fabulous trip in just over 13 days. set-off 3rd Oct and arrived in Port Louis on the 17th at 01:00 cocos time.
Christmas Island to Cocos Keeling
Heavy wind trip to Cocos big seas gusts to over 50knots seen. eft 23rd Sept and arrived 27th early morning. Lost 12V electrics on way for a time. Island lovely and really enjoyed our time there.
Lombok to Christmas Island
First leg with Tim on board. Left Sunday the 18th Sept. and arrived Thursday the 22nd some 572nm. Broke pole on the way but fixed at Christmas I. quiet leg lots of lightening and gusts. Island a little disappointing but good break.
Darwin to Lombok 6th Sept.
We left the lock at Tipperary marina on Tuesday the 6th September at 08:15 to start the leg officially at 11:00. It was a low wind leg as expected so there was much motoring involved. We did get limey up at one point from the Friday after we had passed East and West Temor. The leg was noticeable for things in the water, Barrels which seemed tethered in deep water which we think were FADS (Fishing Aid devices), at one point we hit a semi submerged tree – luckily no damage to the rudder. Then a large whale which looked to hit our beam but gracefully turning at the last second to swim alongside just feet from BriZo for a minute or so. We also supported on calls Odysseus who had broken down and had to be towed eventually by Katarina some 300nm ! We ended up being first boat into Lombok anchoring off a world famous surf break on Monday the 11th.
Lombok was poor but friendly best trip was to the South side and a surfing beach / restaurant on the day we hired a taxi !
6th September - Leaving Darwin for Lombok Indonesia
Arrived darwin29th August after last stops at Escape river and Cape Don following a stunning August travelling inside the great Barrier Reef from Mackay. Included a 4+ day passage across the Gulf of Carpenteria which was both static for 1 day and then wind and lumpy. Time in Darwin went fast with work catchup, boat provisioning partly for the rest of the trip to South Africa. Darwin is an outpost city at the end of the Stuart Highway that runs South. We are now about to leave for a 6 day passage to Indonesia, Lombok.
Arrived in Cairns 10th August, approximately halfway from Mackay to the Torres straits North before we turn West for Darwin. Stopping here for 5 days after cruising mostly remote islands on the Coral Coast inside the Barrier Reef. Diving here and Rory took his PADI course. After Cairns we continued up inside the Great Barrier Reef with lovely anchorages and islands such as Lizard I. and Flinders I.
We hope here to dive on the outer reef as well as see some of the Australian sights around this delightful small city.
27th July 2-16 Just arrived in Hamilton Island Whitsundays East coast of Australia. Since re-launching BriZo in Mackay after nearly a year back in the UK we have had a stunning 5 days on a re-commissioning sail through the Whitsunday islands. The sailing and all of BriZo's systems are now working excellently. A few more days while we await some parts from the UK into Airlie beach, then we will gradually head North on our trip to Darwin and beyond.
Since the 28th June 2016 when we flew via Sydney to Brisbane where we stayed for 2 nights to recover from the flight.
2nd july Pat and I started to recommission BriZo from her land based cyclone cradle to the water on the 7th July. Another 2 weeks getting sails on, fixing pumps, tenders, enigine and generator works and servicing and we were finally ready to test sail to the Whitsundays on the 21st July.
2015 and beyond summary (in reverse):-
7th August Heading home:
We left Mackay on the 28th July afer a bit of celebrating. We said goodbye to many of this years World ARC we had made friends with as they will be going seperate ways but most on to Darwin to continue their 20 month round world trip. Pat and I set off some 60nm North for two weeks to see the famous Whitsunday islands inside the Great Barrier Reef. We have seen Whales, Sea eagles and Wallbabies to name a few. Today we took a flight over the barrier reef for my Birthday - very special. We will be returning this weekend to Mackay to prepare BriZo for a long 8 month layup as we return to the UK for Grandchildren, business and family and friends.
22nd July 2015 Arrive in Mackay Australia !!!
'Gooday and Fairdinkum' we crossed the finish line as we entered the Great Barrier Reef Wednesday the 21st July after 1056nm but stil had 106nm through the reef to the marina arriving 22nd. The crossing started smoothly but the latter 4 days of the 6 were large seas and high winds from the SE.
This is the end to a number of years of planning as it was Frech Polynesia and Australia that had been our distant objective.
Arrive in Vanuatu - Tanna and Port Resolution, after fast 430nm 2.5 day passage - picked up winning yacht as a result ! After a few days with the local tibe we sailed north to Erimango then into Port Villa on Efate. We left for Australia on he 16th July 2015 for the expected 7 day 1162nm passage.
Leaving Fiji 4th July for the land of Volcanoes, Cava and the last Cannibals - Vanuatu
From Saturday we will be back at sea for 3 days 470nm trip from Fiji's Musket Cove to Vanuatu where we will arrive in Tanna in the southern islands so badly devastated in this years Cyclone Pam.
26th June, Arrived in Fiji Yasawa group.
As planned we sailed overnight on arriving in NZ. North to Opua NZ, we cleared immigration and left ahead of a large storm for an 11 day crossing to the Fiji Lau group stopping only one night at minerva reef. We cleared immigration at LomoLomo Northen Lau with the help of the ICA rally that arrived from Tonga. Then we were off with Paul and Susie on Firefly to dive at Viani then re-stock fruit and veg in SavuSavu. From here a two day trip West to the Fijian Yasawa islands, which we are slowly heading South down currently.
26th May 2015 return to Auckland
We will return to Auckland on Air Malaysia via KL during the 25th/26th May. Plan is to serve notice to NZ immigration as soon as we get in then head up the coast, maybe to Opua to exit, using it as a test sail before setting off towards Fiji's Lou group. We expect this to be a challenging sail as its twice the distance fom Uk across Biscay and we will be well beyond the predictable weather window for the area. Pats sister is recovering in good hands at Winchester hospital with close family in support and we will be back in August to help out where we can again.
Back in Auckland BriZo Relaunched:
Saturday we flew via Shanghai on the way back to NZ and BriZo – timing went perfectly, in at 06:30 Tuesday 28th April, all contractors works completed on time and BriZo launched the same day as we had exactly as planned to sail North overnight to the Opua to join the ICA rally to Tonga via the amazing Minerva Reef.
However unfortunately Pat received a call on arrival to say one of her sisters was taken seriously ill and our plans are now to return to UK for a few weeks and may well have to alter the planned trip. BriZo will be left in Gulf Harbour Auckland as its close to the airport.
Previously April 2015
Busy building bonds with the two Grandchildren Reuben and Logan and catching up with house and work. Meanwhile managing a number of contractors back in Gulf Harbour Auckland where BriZo is lifted for maintenance and antifouling. The next session will see New Zealand to Tonga via the minerva reef, new volcano near Ha'apai. Then to the Lau group South of Fiji and through to Vanuatu recently hit by Cyclone Pam. Then on to the barrier reef in Australia and finally Mackay.
Arrived back UK 15th March - Cyclone Pam
has been confirmed 5th largest Cyclone ever on record, devastating part of ourplanned cruising area in July, we are awaiting confirmation that BriZo is OK in its marina as Pam passes East Coast of New Zealand today.
Previously - 7/3/15 touring islands outside Auckland and the Coramandel penninsular.
Previously - 13/2/2015
Touring North Island and now South Island by car, Hotels and Guest houses.
See blog and photos - currently back in Napier for pats Cousins wedding 13th Feb - Just completed our South Island tour including Christchurch, Wanaka, Queenstown, the Sounds, Catlins Dunedin and Otago, Franz Josef Glacier, the West coast, Golden Bay, Abel Tasmen, Nelson and Blenheim wine region and the marborough Sounds - Phew ! Heading back to BriZo next week.
Previously – 14/12/14
Arrived in Auckland
Its always special to sail into a City and even though the poor weather tried to spoil it we arrived in Auckland on the 12th of december in time to do the Xmas shopping and meet up again with Pam and Craig and also Paul and Susie on FireFly. BriZo will remain in Auckland as Pat and I head off for Napier over xmas then a land tour of South Island in January/February.
Previously – 10/11/14
Wow arrived in New Zealand
Pat and I are still finding it a little difficult to believe - we have made it to New Zealand - its beyond the goal we had originally set 5 years ago. We had a difficult passage from New Caledonia with lively winds and high seas on the nose the entire 977 miles we sailed. See latest blog for more details.
Arrive New Caledonia 23/10/14
Just a quick note to say we arrived safely in New Caledonia Noumea. It was a fast crossing just 4 days for 720nm and we slowed for the last 12 hours to enter the Southern channel during day light for the 6 hour trip inside the reefs to Noumea itself.
We plan to do one night in the marina then go back out to explore, before returning to Noumea Tuesday to collect Pam and Craig.
So we will update the maps and pic early next week.
Pat and I have had a very busy last three months with Work and seeing as many friends and family as it was possible to fit in. We arrived home in time, as planned for the birth of our 2nd Grandson Logan. Pat and I spent a tiring few days going 'solo' with our other Grandson during this Reuben. Work has been very busy with two big projects to get out of the way, phew just done before we return. BaoBab had to remove the Gennerator from BriZo to repair it and clean water from the inside - 'seems' to be running OK now. BriZo to be lifted next week to have underside cleaned and inspected. Pat and I will return on the 14th just before it goes back into the water again.
Big Legs ahead, 1st to New Caledonia then to New Zealand - and we have virtually no time to do the planning - ah well no change there then !
Arrived in FiJi, (Lovely 2 weeks before that in Tonga, very quiet) . Fiji is one of the best places we have visited so far. Down side is the generator packed up (see blog). Pat and I are now perparing BriZo in a marina slot in Fiji (Vuda) for the next 12 weeks. The main sail is in for repair and the genoa will be replaced. A local diesel contractor BaoBab will be looking at the generator which we think is the mechanical fuel governor. We went to our final rendevous with the fleet in Musket Cove, which was fun but tinged with some sadness as we have made very good frends with many of them. We left Fiji after a few days of preparing BriZo for its 3 month stay alone in the marina. Excted about the expected arrival of our new Grandson and seeing our one oter Reuben now 2.
We beat you into June
Over the previous 10 days we had sailed from Bora Bora the 'pearl' of the Society islands (Tahiti) to the uninhabited island Suwarrow - wow quiet and fabulous. From here to Niue (both ocean passages of around 600nm). In Niue we dived with their indigenous sea snakes ! (apparently much more dangerous than sharks).. We then sailed between Niue and the Tonga islands group crossing the international dateline. So we moved our clocks from -10hours GMT to +13 hours GMT so we are now ahead of UK time and lost the Saturday. Takes some thinking about especially with the instrumentation on board !
We will now tour Tonga for a few weeks.
(see crew blogs to follow)
We left Bora Bora (Tahiti) Tuesday the 13th May after a great week that included Pat's big birthday. But we are ready for another ocean going trip this time to the very isolated and unpopulated Island of Suwarrow, this is 700nm North West of the Society Islands. Just Pat and I on-board for this and all the remaining 3000nm to Fiji.
We left the Marqueses on the 5th April for a 600nm 3 day passage to the Tuamotu’s, which was a fairly squally and feisty passage (see blog). Arriving in Fakarava North passage on the 7th April. We spent a week in Fakarava and I qualified for diving, (about time I made it official) and had fabulous dives on two of the top dives in the world, the North drift dive and South passage shark dive. (see blogs and pictures). We then sailed a 210nm overnight passage north west to Rangiroa where Murray joined us for 10 days, both Pat and Murray dived here also. We then moved an overnight to Tahiti and the Marina at Taina where we fuelled for the 1st time since Galapagos some 4000nm although we still had 1/3 of our fuel and only took 800 litres on. We have also dropped our sails in for repair. We then moved 15nm North to Moorea (the setting for South Pacific movie), Pat qualified for her PADI open water qualification. Then back to Tahiti to collect sails and drop Murray off. We have now sailed on to the 'pearl' of French polynesia - Bora Bora arriving 4/5/14.
Arrived Marquises Hiva Oa Tuesday the 18th of March after sailing some 3,145nm taking 17 days. All well and readjusting over next few days before cruising these lovely islands. (see latest crew blog). These are some of the 'newer' islands in French Polyenesia so don't have coral reefs, they simply rise majestically from the sea bed some 2-3000m below. They are greeen and lush and the islanders all keep perfect gardens, plentiful in fruit. there are some quiet perfect beaches and lovely walks.
22nd February 2014 – Isabela – GalapagosDuring the past two weeks we have moved from Panama 40 nm to the quiet Las Perlas (Panama) islands on the 31st Jan then back again to visit the hospital for a minor op. then back again to Las Perlas . Leaving here on the 7th Feb Pat and I made a 800nm 5 day ocean passage to the Galapagos islands (Ecuador) arriving on the 12th Feb and crossing the Equator, breaking ‘Limey’ on the way. We had some serious issues with the local bureaucracy on entry but that was resolved and since then have visited all three islands we are allowed to visit here. San Cristobal, where we swam with Sharks and met two friends Kay and Nigel that will join us for the next 6 weeks, Santa Cruz where we saw some of the unique land animals and now Isabela arriving on the 21st February where we will visit some of the Volcano sites.Visit the blog pages for detail.
St Lucia to San Blas
Pat and I set off for San Blas islands Panama a week ahead of the ARC fleet on the 4th of Jan 2014, it took 5 days and 17 hours to complete in good winds including 12 hours of gale force off the coast of Columbia.
We spent a week there wih friends on Seaduced and Suzie Two. Lloyd our son joined us for the last few days there and will stay on board for the trip through the Panama canal.
Since San Blas we hav arrived in Shelter Bay Marina in preparation for the transit starting late on Saturday the 26th Jan. The canal transition went well and now we are awaiting the day sail to Las Pearlas off the Panama coast. See Canal blog.
From November 2013 World ARC Preparation St Lucia Jan 2014:
We completed the necessary re-commissioning works and test sailing following five very busy weeks since 'splashing' BriZo at the end of November 2013 after the Hurricane season. Pat and I flew into Gatwick North terminal on the 23rd December to a fair amount of weather chaos. All the major systems are now working on BriZo and alterations complete. Final checks on parts and spares are about there as are some of the provisions.
On our return new Years Eve we will have a few days to check the lists, fix the last few things, check the safety gear and prepare ourselves for the 7 day 1200nm crossing to San Blas near Panama, skirting Venezuela and Columbia.
End of 2013 season:
2nd half of April and 1st half of May saw us circle Anguilla, St Barts and St Maarten twice with different sets of friends followed by an overnight trip to Antigua to meet my brother Chris for a few days. We are now settled in Falmouth harbour Antigua organising the work required to lift BriZo for the Hurricane season and our return to the UK which we still hear is cold.
Pat and I had a lovely sail from Antigua South to Guadalupe getting into Deshais early evening after a fast 9 knot sail almost all of the way. We 'cleared in' to these French Islands in the morning then moved on to Le Saintes - islands we had missed last year but heard great things about. We will stay here for Easter before returning North. So more in a blog later in Easter. (Internet is best we have had finally catching up with the BBC News 1st time in 6 weeks ! )
Prior to this see Pats Crew Blog that covers our week in in Antigua and Barbuda with friends Sue and Rowland. I think they had a great and very overdue break (6 years since their last holiday). We managed to miss the large Northerly swells staying South and East of Antigua early in the week. I have to say every time we come to Antigua we like it more and more, there really is such a selection of different places to visit and Pat and I feel very at home around English and Falmouth harbours. The weather and climate has been absolutely perfect and there is really nothing on that front to draw us back home to the UK we hear.