Madness = Ibiza in August!!!!!

Everywhere in the Med is crazy busy for the month of August and if you want to go cruising anywhere that month I would recommend the west of Ireland!! However, if ‘crazy’ ‘busy’ and ‘partying’ is your thing than there is no where I could recommend more than Ibiza.

There are another couple of good reasons to cruise Ibiza….. the obvious one being the heat… man it is hot hot hot there in August and the water is easily a few degrees warmer than the south of France. It is actually a stunning island to cruise, with scenery certainly prettier than it’s neighbouring island of Majorca and more options for anchoring etc provided you get the weather right!! We were unfortunate on our second week there with nasty swell in some of the anchorages making it unbearable to stay overnight. We had two of our worst nights at anchor over the whole world trip there and had to move in the middle of the night returning to our beloved anchorage in the bay of Cala Jondal on the south coast next to the infamous Blue Marlin beach club.

Now, beach clubs in Ibiza are at a whole other level to any other clubs and bars we’ve partied at to date.  Ibiza is the celebrity party capital of the world and the Blue Marlin is right up there with other island VIP hotspots for celebs and glitterati to soak up the Ibizian sun, sip cocktails and indulge their VIP aspirations. Apparently the Blue Marlin has been the largest seller of Champagne and one of the main sellers of premium brands in Ibiza. The wealth dripping from the place is staggering. Everyone sports the best of beachwear with bodies to match. It’s just such a cool place with superyachts moored outside with superyacht crew ferrying various guests to and fro.

We could also have left the yacht in a marina when the swell kicked up however that would have cost €1,000 per night, definitely the most expensive berth in Europe!! Monaco is a whole lot cheaper than that working out at €250 per night for a 90 foot yacht, still a pricey night in comparison to dropping the hook for free!

Most yachts pop out to the small island ofFormentera, 4 miles south of Ibiza, on day trips and boy it is some sight when you see around a thousand yachts in the main anchorage.Definitely the busiest anchorage we’ve ever been to. There is even an ‘anchoring service’ whereby a member of staff drives a rib about and points where to park the yacht, pretty much like a massive car park except you really wouldn’t want to drift anchor here with little or no room

to swing you always need someone on the boat keeping watch. We were boarded by the spanish customs there, wow they keep a close eye on all the traffic and will board most boats at some stage during your stay. They went through all the boats paperwork with Paul before they were satisfied.   Out of everywhere in the world the spanish authorities have been the most inquisitive and suspicious, always looking to catch you out. Fortunately we have a super record of everything onboard and all the necessary paperwork to hand for these surprise visits. At the end of the day if they are unhappy with anything in our paperwork they have the authority to impound the vessel!

So, would I recommend Ibiza to any of you who wish to cruise there? Yes, I would. With it’s rustic beauty and pretty little coves along with some of the clearest warmest water in the Med it surprised me as an island that has a lot more to offer than just pumping nightclubs and beaches. Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast and swell for anchoring and maybe don’t go in the month of August!!!

One Life….. Live it

Audrey xxx

 

Palma de Mallorca

Palma is the stunning capital city on the Balearic island of Mallorca. It’s a well-known watering hole for professional sailors with a vast array of marinas along the coast in the shadow of the city’s magnificent La Seu cathedral.

This is the centre of the marine industry in the Med. There is a heap of services available to yachties. You can get anything done from project management, refit, haul out yards, paint services, yacht detailing, crew placement, training etc…

 

It’s such a picturesque city with the old town at the heart of it where you spend hours ambling through the quaint streets popping in and out of shops and cafes, and even just chilling in a wee tapas bar with your glass of sangria! Ah, bliss! Along with pro crew Palma is awash with retired sailors, it is one of the main sailing residential spots in the Med, a perfect place to settle on terra firma and still keep your eyes on the ocean. One of the residential spots is actually known as ‘the Skipper’s graveyard’!!

 

Besides catching up with some old sailing friends I was excited to hit the food markets! I just love Spanish food and flavors… chorizo, Jamon Iberico, garlic, smoked paprika, gazpacho, olives, manchego cheese, and the finest of olive oils, seafood and shellfish galore. For me this is culinary heaven!

 

After the guts of two weeks there, getting on with a load of jobs onboard along with meeting a few potential buyers for LUSH (yes, she is for sale!), we set to sea again returning to the South of France by the end of July.

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Apologies for the delay in blogging folks, we’ve just been really busy as per usual. The past month we’ve cruised the south of France to start with for a few days, spent the guts of two weeks cruising Ibiza, briefly returning to Palma for a couple of days and then onto Corsica and Sardinia for the final week and yesterday we left Corsica and returned once more to the South of France. We’re currently anchored off Monaco!   I’ll catch up on these final blogs next week or so.

 

Love to you all back home,

 

One Life…. Live it!!

 

Audrey xxx

 

Video: Jim Carrey’s Secret to Life

We found this little video of Jim Carrey’s thoughts on life and just had to share it with you…Take 3 mins now and watch it!!!

Make the choice today to design your future and arrive at the destiny you choose!

We wish you well on your amazing life’s journey! As always…One Life…Live it! :)

Paul & Audrey :) xxx

A month cruising the French Riviera!!

11th June – 6th July

 It may come as no surprise for you to hear that the French Riviera is like no where else we’ve been on this world trip. This is a strip of coast with the most fancy ports in the world. The sailing itself isn’t great with very little breeze this time of year and so all the fun happens ashore.  The Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), runs along the coastline of the southeast corner of France, roughly extending from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez in the west.

On arrival into Monaco our french adventure was kickstarted with a slap-up breakfast aboard our bosses new sunseeker 155!!! Yes, we have been totally and utterly spoilt by Eddie & Marie on this trip and to pull into his home of Monaco and get treated to a 7-star breakfast onboard BLUSH, his brand new motor boat, is just unimaginable!

After a day in Monaco we sailed down the coast to the most luxurious port of them all, Saint Tropez!! Saint Tropez is everything you expect from one of the most renouned holiday destinations for the worlds the rich & famous. It’s elegant, chic, pretty beyond belief, designer shops galore, cutie-pie fish & veg markets and of course world class cusine. The girls are glam, the men ooze coolness and the boats are bigger and fatter than ever before. Wealth just pours out of the place and we soon realised our pacific islander look just wouldn’t cut it anymore!!

After a few oysters, moules-frites, escargot and the odd pain au choc it really doesn’t take long to get into the oul joie de vivre! We continued our cruise, sailing to the three Iles d’Or: Porquerolles, Port Cros & Ile du Levant. These islands are only a stones throw from Saint Tropez and are well worth a visit. Lovely hikes, beautiful swimming and superb restaurants where sea food really is top of the menu.

We pulled into Antibes on a couple of occasions during our time in France, it’s another charming french spot and brilliant for getting jobs done on LUSH. This is where everyone looking for employment in the superyacht industry hang out and spend their time doing day-work on yachts, which are passing through, while looking for permanent positions as crew members.

We returned to Monaco for the opening of the Monaco Boat Show, I’ve already posted a load of the pics on our Facebook page Monaco Yacht Club Opening. This is by far the biggest and most luxurious yacht club in the world with rumours that it cost up on €500million!!! We were berthed right in front of the club with a red carpet running down the quayside next to us. Very fancy indeed! The scene was incredible with the crew up to ninety working away on all the superyachts and the owners entertaining guests onboard into the early hours.

We left first thing the next day for the absolutely stunning anchorage of Ville Franche where a whole load more wealth and oppulance awaited us. The village itself is adorable with lots of little streets and lovely restaurants with delightful staff. The properties along the shore are reputed to be amoung the most expensive in the world, especially those by Cap Ferrat where even 100million euros doesn’t go far. From there we ventured to Cannes and a couple of other lovely anchorages on route, one nicer than the next.

After a month swanning around the chic ports of the Cote d’Azur it was time for us to set sail again, this time bound for Palma in the spanish island of Majorca. Perfect timing to refill my freezer with fish and thankfully we did just that, catching a load of the delicious Big Eye tuna on route! We were glad to leave France, in fairness, as we all felt we were turning into pain au chocs ourselves with the amout of eating we did. Certainly time for a tuna diet!

One Life… Live it!!

Audrey xxx

Mediterranean Magic

After the guts of two weeks in Vilamoura, Portugal, it was time for us to set sail for Monaco. It’s such a joy to sail in these latitudes this time of year. After nearly two years in the tropics we welcome the stretch in the evenings and the stunning Mediterranean sunsets. In the tropics you get 12 hours of daylight between 6am and 6pm and there isn’t much in the line of dawn and dusk.

The weather for our passage was very mild; in fact, of the four and a half day passage, we had three days of absolute calm. Very rarely on our world adventure has the sea been this still, and on our final day there wasn’t even the slightest zephyr of wind. We honestly couldn’t distinguish between the sea and the sky. Incredible! The Mediterranean has great marine life and plenty of friendly dolphins playing on our bow wave. Thankfully our recent fishing drought ended with a couple of tuna on the last day of the Skipjack and Big Eye variety, the latter was exceptionally tasty! Along with the dolphins we had a couple of massive humpback whales, a load of funky sunfish and a scattering of turtles. Gosh, the sea really is a magic place, even a few hours on a boat brings you back in touch with what’s real in the world and you just marvel at the wonders of nature and her wildlife.

Approaching the coast of France and Monaco you soon loose focus on the sea and wildlife with your attention drawn towards this magnificent coastline and even more so towards the mega yachts and motorboats that inhabit it. We did feel a tad intimidated docking in Monaco’s famous Chicane Quay, where a 90-foot yacht resembles a laser dinghy next to these floating glittering hotels. Nonetheless, we had LUSH beautifully polished, hoisted our Monegasque courteously flag, donned our fancy pick ts and white shorts determined to rub fenders with the best of them!

Anyhow. not many of the 100 plus super yachts in there could boast they’ve just sailed around the world, could they? It costs a small fortune to move those yachts 10miles down the coast let alone 28,000 miles around the world, not that I expect that to be the reason they sit in the Med from one season to the next. In fairness, it’s a pretty special place to explore and after sailing around the world, returning here really does make you appreciate Europe all the more. It’s hard to beat the history, beauty and diversity the Med offers with so many exquisite countries, cultures and cuisine right next to each other.

Who knows what the next few months will bring us? It’s very exciting to be cruising the Med, that’s for sure. And what a place to start than in Monaco? Plan for the week.. I think a tour of the Cote d’Azur along with it’s chic ports is in order!!

One Life.. Live it!
Audrey
(10/06/14)

Final Ocean Crossing – Complete!!!

At 2300 a day ago (May 19th) we arrived in Gibaraltar after a five day crossing from the Azores, mid Atlantic.  There has been just four of us for this final bit, Paul, myself, Alvie and Ian.  Due to a weather delay in the Azores we ran out of time for Richie to complet the passage and so he finished his trans-Atlantic on a 747! Richie, we have missed you!!  Honest!!  Although I can’t say our sentinments are the same for that tin whistle of yours!!!

 

Our whale pursuit continued, and each time we came near we hoisted Alvie up the mast to try and get some decent pics of them.  We had more Blue Whales and finn whales on route but we were no where near as close as we got in the rib back in Horta (Azores).  Still though Alvie enjoyed his mast adventures and did manage to get some decent dolphin pics at least!  See below for yerselves.

 

It’s been a pretty grey passage in fairness, in fact since we left Antigua we’ve only had about four decent days of sunshine and blue skies otherwise it’s been grey and overcast.  Thankfully our final night at sea was cloudless and we had the most beautiful starry night before the moon rose and brightened the stunning sky.  On nights like that I just love being on watch and can’t help marveling at this wonderous universe!  The dolphins on this trip have been awesome and I can certainly say the North Atlantic dolphins are the friendliest in the world, staying with us for ages at a time jumping through LUSH’s bow waves!  Incredible!

 

On arrival we’re shocked and saddened to hear such drastic news of a yacht that got into trouble in the Atlantic a few days after leaving Antigua.  The four crew abandoned their yacht Cheeki Rafiki to a liferaft.  The search for them was initially cancelled after two days which is absolutely crazy!!!!!  These guys can survive for longer than two days in a liferaft and thankfully the search has resumed.  It is still possible these guys are still alive!

 

On hearing news like that it does make you realise the unfortunate potential and danger of the ocean.  For all its beauty and romance the sea can still be a tough and unforgiving place.  I am so grateful to have made it back to European shores safely thanks to captain, crew and a well built yacht.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those sailors, hopefully still alive somewhere….

 

Lots of love,

 

Audrey xxx

Blue Whales – The largest animals ever on Earth!!!

The Azores, islands in the mid north Atlantic, are world famous for their numerous populations and varieties of whales. Although we’ve sailed the world’s oceans we have rarely got close enough to have a right look at these giants of the sea. The whale we’ve seen most on the trip is the humpback whale, which I previously blogged about. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d see a Blue Whale!! I always thought they were either too far south or north and nowhere near our latitudes. Luckily, I was wrong and for two months every year the Blue whales leave the Arctic and come to the Azores.

The Azores has a history of whaling and in the past killed Sperm whales until it was thankfully banned in the 80s. We hopped on the rib of a local whale watching tour group (Horta Cetaceos) with Pedro, Ricardo and their team of volunteers, from world organizations such as Sea Sheppard’s, and went to sea in search of the Blue Whale. We blasted through the ocean for miles in between the Azorean islands following instructions from whale watchers ashore, on the VHF. These guys spend their days looking through binoculars from various vantage points around the island and relaying info on whale sightings to Pedro and his team. Pedro is passionate about his whales and it was an absolute joy to go sea with him on this mini exploration!

A voice came over the VHF. some whales had been spotted to the south of the island. The whale watcher could also see our rib and directed us towards the blue whale! Wow this was a surreal moment… to see a Blue Whale, the largest animal to ever live on earth!! It is bigger than the biggest dinosaur!!! Imagine that!! .. And there we were in a rib within meters of this creature, 30 meters in length and around 200 tons in weight, that’s longer and over twice the weight of LUSH!!!! I was in awe, motionless, speechless. His blow shot up 12 meters into the air and really did stink!! We had tried to stay a safe distance from him but he was curious about us and swam around our rib and then under us. His body went on and on, it looked like a submarine coming to the surface. Under the water it has a beautiful blue colour, hence the name, and when it comes to the surface the whale is actually grey in colour.

Blue Whale Facts
Largest animal ever on planet earth!
Their tongues are the same weight as an elephant
Their hearts are the size of a small car
Some of their blood vessels are so big you could swim down them They eat 4 tones of krill per day
They cruise at 20 knots
Their tails are the length of a small aircrafts wings

Words and pictures don’t do justice to the experience we had on the water that day and the enormity of this animal. How fortunate are we to have come that close to the greatest animal on earth? And we only saw about 5% of the whole whale!! The hairs stood on the back of our necks for some time after that. This was a moment in time, one that we will cherish forever. Pedro brought us to see some massive fin whales along with humpback, sei and sperm whales after that educating us on all sorts of weird and wonderful whale facts. Amazingly, so little is still know about whales even with all the technology available today. It certainly does make you stop and think! Without doubt we still have a lot to learn about our sea-life and much yet to do to protect them and secure their future.

One Life.. lets look after and preserve it!

Lots of love,

Audrey

PS We’re currently three days east of the Azores on LUSH and have two days left to go till we land on mainland Europe!!! It’s been a grey and windy passage thus far!!

We’ve gone global!!

So for those of you that haven’t been to Horta in the Azores….the place to go is the “Peter Cafe Sport”

This is the bar that all yachties go to and drink copious amounts of beer whilst waiting for the weather to turn favourable to sail back to Europe!!

Every yacht leaves their mark and Audrey signed Lush and sailing west in this evening!!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing….

One Life…Live it!

Paul :0) x

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