Category Archives: South Atlantic (Leg 4)

Fernando de Noronha

(by Audrey Adamson)

It’s hard to believe the Fernando islands were our last stopover before completing this circumnavigation. The islands waters are full of turtles, spinner dolphins and fish galore with frigate birds, tropical birds and boobies flying overhead. There were a few things to do ashore but to really get a feel for this island you’ve got to dive. It is an underwater paradise with extremely clear water and fascinating topography. The landscape itself is dramatic with the most beautiful beaches and plenty of surf.

While it’s always hard to leave a cool island like this, I for one amn’t too upset to be on our way! I have three very good reasons for saying so. 1. Baia Santo Antonio, the only anchorage there, is the most rolliest anchorage we’ve been to. After days at sea the one thing we all long for is a motionless boat but not in Fernando. The boat just rolled and rolled from beam to beam due the northerly swell. This made it difficult to get any little jobs done onboard and particularly tricky in the galley! I had the oven on gimble, as we do when sailing, and had the pan clamps in place to stop them moving while cooking. Everything slid from one side of my counter to the other while trying to prepare food. We couldn’t even eat the food from a plate on the table, as it would slide off! So we all held our own plates and ate from them. Crazy!
2. Flies!!!! Blinkin flies everywhere. throughout the boat but particularly in the galley. We opened the hatches allowing the wind to blow through but then I had bits of lettuce and onionskin etc.. (whatever I was prepping at the time) blowing around the galley! So picture it. the whole galley and it’s contents massively rocking from side to side, I was doing what looked like the funky-chicken dance trying to get the flies off me and the food, and all the while there’s a mini tornado of lettuce, skins etc. flying around me!!! The fly spray worked to a degree but it’s pretty toxic so we could only use it once prep and cooking was finished! 3. Brazilian tong bikinis!!! There appears to be a shortage of lycra material on this South American shore and the girls all saunter about in tong bikinis!!! Yes, full ass on display!!! Tanned and toned asses at that!! Needless to say the lads eyes were popping out of their heads with this sight and they were in no way discreet about it!! Now the Brazilian men also suffer from this shortage of lycra, wearing their Speedos everywhere from the beach to the bar!! Funnily enough it didn’t have the same affect on us gals!

The locals were lovely happy people speaking only Portuguese, which made it tricky to communicate. Our Charades skills came in handy when trying to communicate without the language that’s for sure! Off course we did enjoy a couple of caipirihnas when there but didn’t get any Samba dancing in much to my Dads disappointment!

Now here we are on LUSH sailing north-northwest for Antigua, where we will have fully circumnavigated the world! We all love Antigua and we’ll have one hell of a party when we arrive. Hopefully we’ll get in on time for the Ireland Vs England rugby on the 22nd of this month. With half the crew Irish and the other half English it should add to the fun of it. And if we don’t make it in for the match well Paul will just have his father-in-law to answer to who has been getting very excited with all the rugby reports from back home of late!

One Life.. Live it!

Audrey xxx

Video: Swimming with Ocean Giants!

We thought you would love to get a feel for what it was like swimming & diving with some of the most fascinating and stunning marine life in our oceans!

It was a total privilege to spend time in the water with these guys in Saint Helena! We are now in the Fernando De Noronha and will be diving first thing tomorrow to get more footage with….well we will have to wait and see!!!

One Life….Be Committed to Living it!

Paul 🙂 xx

Brazil, here we come!

While we’re not cruising the coast of Brazil from Rio upwards as originally planned we couldn’t resist a quick stop-off before continuing north to the Caribbean. The Fernando de Noronha islands lie off the northeastern coast of Brazil and we figured it would be a shame to sail past them especially as they are a National Park full of sealife, clear waters and magnificent beaches. I can’t image how they could be any more beautiful than anywhere else we’ve been but who knows what’s in store for us? This is my favorite part of the trip, seeing new land on the horizon, dropping anchor, meeting the locals for the first time and finding out what’s cool to do ashore. New land, new people, new culture, new language and hopefully lots of new food, especially new fruit and veg at the market! We should arrive there this afternoon. Bring it on!

Thank to everyone who has posted on our blog and/or sent us messages. We really love hearing from you and we also appreciate your suggestions on what you want us to blog about. We’ve had a fair few messages asking us what a day offshore is like. I’ve written a bit below to give ye an idea.

A Day in the Life.
Everyone starts the day at different times depending on what morning watch we have. We run watches continually, as you would expect. We’ve tried various systems since we joined the yacht and the best is one where we run two hours on and six hours off, doing the same hours every day which gives us a great routine.
Those on the first watch up in daylight tend to wash and scrub the deck. I always start the day with exercise and recently I’ve found skipping pretty handy to do on the aft deck! I take whatever food we need for the day out of the freezer.. It doesn’t take long to defrost in this heat! Paul normally connects to the internet through the satphone and downloads boat emails majority of which tend to be from Oyster with either Rally news and information on the next stopover or emails from Oyster aftersales with details on any boat parts Paul may have requested to get sent to our next destination. Paul would normally also be in contact with someone from our next port of call organizing various paperwork and also booking fuel if poss. He’ll download the latest weather information at this point too. He doesn’t go online and search the net as that would coast a fortune so he just connects quickly and does a send-receive in his inbox and that brings in all the relevant info. This blog is sent out through his email too and uploads the other end on our blogsite along with a notification on facebook and emails sent to those on the email list. The Oyster fleet run a radio sched twice a day where everyone gives their position and wind along with any other concerns.
When Alan gets up he does his regular engine and generator checks and carries out any maintenance needed. He’s also hoping to get the qualification of Ocean Yachtmaster after this trip and since we left Ascension he’s been plotting our course through Astronavigation using Paul’s sextant.
At lunch and dinner times all crew must be on deck to eat together which is important team bonding time. Off course there’s prep involved for both these meals but it’s normally straight forward. We tend to have a salad for lunch which I’ll do up and then Lucy and Als wife, kizzy, heat up one of my defrosted meals for dinner. I prepare these meals and freeze them when at anchor. On a lot of superyachts the chef does all the cooking offshore and doesn’t partake in the watch keeping. I love sailing and running a watch and as first mate it would be crazy be involved, even the night time watch so it just means I need to have the food prepared in advance. The wash up is pretty straight forward after each meal and my Dad, Joe, has become particularly useful in the galley much to my surprise!
Everyday before dinner we do our daily dance-off, which is a 30-40min workout with the music up and everyone giving it loads on the aft deck!! The dance-off is the best thing for team morale on the boat. No matter how big the yacht everyone can get a bit of cabin-fever and so a bop about really helps to clear the mind and put us in an empowering state! Lets not forget we normally have something happening on the fishing front too which can keep us busy. Mind ya, so far the South Atlantic hasn’t proved as fruitful as other oceans with only one pelagic caught since we left Cape Town, however we have caught some fish at anchor both in St Helena and Ascension Island and I’m allowing them on the scoreboard for this trip due to crew pressure!!
And now for the score.. Fish: 5 Vs LUSH: 9

Hopefully this will give ye all a bit of an idea of life onboard. There’s a whole lot more but I’ll save all that for the ‘Extras’ section we’ll put together after this trip.

One Life. Live it!

Audrey xx

Bye Bye Ascension!

We are just getting ready to leave Ascension Island!

Its been a blast here from snorkelling with trigger fish and turtles, watching the female turtles lay their eggs ashore at night to a proper burger and fries on the US Airforce Base that is here!!

Here is a selection of pics for you!

One Life…you know the rest right???

Paul 🙂 xx

Ascension Island, another jewel mid-Atlantic!

(by Audrey Adamson)

Yesterday evening, after 4 and a half days at sea, we reached the tiny volcanic mass of Ascension island, an island, north of St Helena, famous mainly from his military history. This island is approx 1,600km from the coast of Africa and 2,250km from the coast of South America, pretty much in the centre of the South Atlantic Ocean.

It is a British island used by both British and American military over the past century. A vital communication centre in the Atlantic, Ascension has a BBC World Service relay station at English Bay. Cable & Wireless established an Earth Station here in the 60s for the ever expanding satellite communications network. NASA were here in the 60s running the Apollo space programme. A runway and refueling stop built here for US aircraft 40s has been in use ever since. Ascension became essential to the Brits in the early 80s for the war in the Falklands, hence there’s a large Royal Airforce base here too.

800 hundred people live on Ascension, however no one can stay here permanently and locals are based here for work reasons only, unless they are under 18years of age. It’s a pretty treating island to approach by sea with aerials and antennae, towers and dishes adorning every hill and mountain top, testimony to the communications and military work here. As always the LUSH crew were delighted to drop anchor and celebrate another passage at sea along with new landfall. We were greeted by a load of turtles in the water around us, who come here from Jan to April to breed and lay eggs on the pristine beaches. These Green Turtles have come all the way from South America and make the mammoth journey every 3-4years.

Out of hours to clear customs last night, we passed our time away at anchor playing cards and fishing (catching 3 Black Jack fish!!) under a very starry twinkly sky! This morning LUSH was surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of BlackTrigger fish!! Donning our snorkles and diving into the tropical water (29 degrees C) wasn’t a difficult decision for us, and a great start to our time here in Ascension.

One Life.. Live it!



Backtracking: Royalty Onboard in Table Bay!

(by Audrey Adamson)

We were honored to have HSH Prince Albert of Monaco onboard LUSH for a sail around Table Bay to watch the start of the Cape Town to Rio Race on the 4th of Jan. We had originally planned to do this race ourselves along with the rest of the Oyster fleet however there have been numerous security concerns along the Brazilian coast recently so none of the yachts are pulling in there now and we are opting to get to the Caribbean a few weeks earlier, how bad!

Anyhow we still got a taste of the race sailing around the bay that morning along with a hundred other spectator boats. Boy was I glad we weren’t racing on seeing the forecast of 60knots plus of breeze expected within the first 24-48hrs of the race. I would certainly question why the race committee didn’t delay the race with a forecast like that! Out of the 30+ boats who started 9 retired, returning to Cape Town, and one person lost their life from a dismasting on one of the yachts. Two yachts abandoned ship that night, one was in the race and the other was a French cruising boat. Gosh, when you hear stories like these it really does remind us of the might and ferocity of the ocean, and the importance of heeding the weather forecast. Cruising and racing yachts is great fun but you can’t take it for granted. Safety of the crew and yacht must always be to the forefronts of our minds and one can NEVER underestimate the power of our seas and weather.

Prince Albert certainly enjoyed his day onboard LUSH as did his wife, Princess Charlene. I was all hyped in the galley, to think I was cooking for Royalty!! When I accepted this job two years ago I never envisioned this, that’s for sure. From Marks & Sparks ready-meals in Dun Laoghaire to fine dining in Cape Town, wow I really have come a long way in cooking miles not to even mention sailing miles, of which I have 24,000 under my belt at this stage.

I didn’t get too stressed thinking of cooking for Royalty, sure I just reminded myself that he’s family. yes indeed folks Prince Albert’s mum Princess Grace Kelly’s grandfather came from Newport, Co Mayo (which is where I’m from). My Grandmother was Kelly and they were cousins. I have pictures at home of Princess Grace with my grandmother when she came to visit her ancestral home years ago. It didn’t take me long to explain the link to Prince Albert and he was thrilled with the connection as was my boss, EJ! Prince Albert himself came to Newport a couple of years back and had met my mum along with other cousins. We had such a laugh onboard LUSH that day and after taking a few pics I asked would he mind me sharing them on our blog which he was cool with. So see below for yerselves.. moi entertaining Royalty!! Da Royal Couz!!

The Most Remote Distillery in the World!

We are now at sea on passage to Accession Island and we have been reflecting on the beautiful island of Saint Helena!

We have had an incredible time on Saint Helena!! It was pure class!

We had time for one final dive with Anthony from Sub-Tropic Adventures who took us into a massive underwater cave! Like all Ocean upwelling’s Saint Helena is packed with a rich bio-diversity so we saw loads of reef fish and also the pelagic’s and massive crayfish inside the cave!

At 1730 we were met on the dock by Sally who is the wife of Paul Hickling who set-up and runs the Saint Helena Distillery.

The Saint Helena Distillery is the most remote distillery in the world and it is Paul’s vision to be producing the local bottle that tourists take home with them on their return flight from the airport when it opens in 2 years!

Paul makes his spirits from scratch from sourcing the raw materials locally all the way through to bottling and its all done in his special extension on his house!

He is already supplying the whole island with his 4 different spirits, Tungi, White Lion, Jamestown Gin & Midnight Mist

We had tastings of all four and they are first class!

For sundowners, Paul & Sally served us, “Gunpowders” which is White Lion (His Spiced Rum) mixed with Sprite & Lime – they were delicious!

It was fascinating to spend a couple of hours with Paul & Sally learning about their vision! It’s always great to spend time with people who are real doers and are making their vision happen! Very inspirational!

Check out:

We had booked to eat in Wellington House that evening with Ivy who cooked us the most fabulous 3 course meal! We gorged on fresh tuna to start and then roast chicken with all the trimmings and finished it off with proper apple crumble!! Totally Delicious!!

We woke up the next day to find Al had caught 5 nice fish for lunch! Yum Yum!!!

So we are now back at sea sailing in light airs with calm seas!!

Accession Island is our next South Atlantic stop!!! Bring it on!!!

One Life.Make Sure Your Living it!

Paul :0) x x

Swimming with Ocean GIANTS!!!

What a morning we’ve had!!

Myself, Audrey, Lucy & Joe left LUSH this morning with one goal in mind…to swim with whale sharks!!

It wasn’t long before we found 6 Whale Sharks feeding off the corner of the island! These ocean giants ranged from 10 m to 15 m!! (30′ – 45′) and believe me when you are next to one you sure know it!!

You will see the scale in the pics with us beside them!!

This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!!!

Swimming with these ocean giants that are so graceful and roam the ocean eating veggies was just awesome!!! 🙂

Here are the pics!! Enjoy!

One Life….you know the rest!!! 😉

Paul 🙂 xxx

Whale Sharks, Dervil Rays, Napolean’s House & Fantastic People!!

We arrived safe and sound in St Helena on Friday evening to be greeted by some of the most friendly and fun people we have ever met!

We were greeted by 3 “Saints” which is what the local people are called! St Helena has 5000 “Saints” living on it and its only 10 miles long by 5 miles wide!!!

Yesterday afternoon we went off with Colin Corker in his 1929 Chevy and he drove us over to the house that Napoleon lived in when he was exciled here. He was on the isand for 6 years up until his death in 1821 when he was buried here for 19 years until France removed his remains to Paris. Ivy who was our host in the house was so knowledgable and gave us so much history! It was pretty awesome to be in the room standing next to his bed that he died in!

Last night we had the team from SAMS radio onboard and Sharon interviewed and have asked Audrey and I to be guests on the’ Juicy Mango’ show tomorrow evening with Richard!!! Darrin took a load of pictures for the local paper too!!
Al and his wife, Kizzy, were interviewed on the other local radio station at the same time!
Fame at last for team LUSH!! Well we all have to start somewhere!!!

This morning, Anthony took us for a dive at “Long Ledge” where we encoutered two 3 metre wide dervil rays (Slightly Smaller than the Manta Ray) and they put on the most amazing show for us circling us and swimming right up to us and playing for ages…it was an awesome dive!!! One of the best I have ever done!

Back onboard for a cup of tea and then we heard Audrey shouting from the back of LUSH saying quick guys…..we ran to the transom and there was a couple of 35′ Whale Sharks right next to us on the surface…..I just thought….’ONE LIFE’…..and whipped off the shorts jumping into the water in my boxers with mask, snorkel and camera in tow! 10 mins later Audrey and Lucy joined me to meet our new friends!

What followed was an amazing experience where the Whale sharks swam with and around us for about 30mins…in fact everywhere we swam he followed!! The girls did let a few yelps out of them as he was fully gunning for them at one point!! Totally safe though, these guys only eat plankton!! Its hard to get a across the scale of them in words…so look at the picture I took from behind one of the whale sharks and you will see Audrey & Lucy’s legs and asses tiny next to the shark!!! I can honestly say it was the best swim of my life. It’s just so rare to get an opportunity to swim with such awesome sealife!

So 2 days in the most remote island in the world as it has no airport and my God its been amazing so far!!!

As always….One Life…..Make Sure your LIVING IT! :0)

Paul :0) xxx


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