Monthly Archives: November 2013

Lush bound for Cape Town

The wind looks great and we have just left port Elizabeth!! We are expecting a big easterly blow tomorrow so Alan was checking our reef pennants for chafe!

Joe admires one of our ships and being Irish keeps up the great relations!!! 😉

All great onboard and bring on the Cape of Good Hope!!

One life….live it 🙂




Video: Lush Rides the Agulhas Current

We are now safely tied up in Durban after another amazing voyage on the mighty LUSH! 🙂

We thought you guys would like this video where Paul explains about how we tackled the famous Agulhas Current!

By the way,  for you guys that know Paul…that TASH is for MO -vember! He promises it isn’t a permanent feature!!!

One Life Guys……you know the rest!!! 🙂

Whale Watching Lush Style!

(Paul Adamson)

“Joe, look over there…!” “What..What are you looking at???”


“Whooooaaaaaaaaa.. Oh my God!!!!!!” as 2 massive black and white humpback whales breeched clear of the water no more than 20 boat lengths from LUSH!!!

They momentarily hung in the air and our jaws dropped whilst we observed one of the many wonders of our oceans!

Humpback whales grow to 15 meters (50 feet) and weigh up to 40 tons!!!

In the excitement I shouted through the companionway hatch, “Guys.massive whale activity on deck..get up here quick!!”

The rest of team LUSH arrived on deck in a hurry and was privileged to witness another 3 breeches! During this time.. our adjectives were colourful to say the least as we were in complete awe of these magnificent creatures!!

We backed off LUSH to 3.5 knots and just like when somebody welcomes you in they all started flipper slapping the water as if to say, “Hi Guys, come on over we are having a party and there is a beer on ice for you!!”

They swam with LUSH no more than 5 boat lengths off her port quarter and escorted us on our course to Durban for around an hour and a half. They flipper slapped, tail slapped and also emerged with a massive sky hop to take a look at us!!

Now wildlife photography is a challenge! Especially when you want the camera to take a picture NOW!!! So during all of this I was randomly shooting the camera and got some nice shots and we have a video of the sky-hop!

Today is back into the instruction manual of the camera and working out how to let the camera know its time to, “lets rip!!”

It is really hard to articulate what a special moment this was to us all onboard so I’ll let the pictures do the rest!!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whoever you are with.ONE LIFE…make sure YOU’RE LIVING IT!

Take Care

Paul :0) xx

Chef shows the lads how it’s done!

So… I’m on watch and the fishing line starts to run. I called the lads from their bunks but none of them heard me, so there was nothing for it but to slow the boat down quickly and reel in the line. I hooked an absolutely beautiful Mahi Mahi (or Dorado) and I pulled it in as quick as I could. Wow, such fun!! I can’t believe I’ve left it to the lads all this time to catch and land the fish. They arrived on deck to see the most stunning Mahi Mahi yet and a very happy chef indeed.

There’s a competition amongst all the Oysters in the fleet to see who catches the biggest fish on this circumnavigation. Sure, what sort of competition is that? Surly it should be based on the tastiest and prettiest fish caught? And in that case I reckon I must have the winnings?! Also maybe a competition for prettiest fisherman too? I hardly broke a sweat pulling this in! Don’t know what all the fuss is about!! 😉 No points for guessing what was on the LUSH menu tonight! And boy was it as tasty as it looked! Pure delicious!

And now for the Fishing score.. Boat 3 – Fish 3!! Still all to play for with 5 days to go before pulling into Durban. We’re sitting in very little wind at the mo and expect it to stay like this for the next 24hrs until a Southerly of about 30knots hits!

One Life..Live it!

Lots of love,

Your Fisherwoman,

Audrey xxx

prettiest and tastiest fish yet

prettiest and tastiest fish yet

catch of the day or even of the year audreys mahi mahi

catch of the day or even of the year audreys mahi mahi

Freak Waves, a 6 knot Current and Antarctic lows ahoy!

On route from La Reunion to South Africa (Day 2)

After some serious trekking, mountain climbing and canoying in the magnificent French island of La Reunion the Lushous crew are at sea once more. This is the passage we’ve been most concerned about since planning our circumnavigation. The most popular route for circumnavigators throughout the century has been to sail up through the Suez Canal and into Europe. Unfortunately this route is no longer a safe option due to Pirates on the East coast of Africa, especially Somalia.
Now as I’ve mentioned on previous posts the further west you sail in each ocean basin the more weather you’ll encounter. Certainly this proved to be the case between the Caribbean and Panama (North Atlantic), and between Vanuatu and Australia (South Pacific) and now in the Indian Ocean we expect the same only this time there are a few more factors to consider.

1. Freak Waves off Madagascar
The weather in the vicinity of the southern tip Madagascar is “often unsettled” due to the extended continental shelf just off the coast and the splitting of the South Equatorial Current which gives a contrary current of around 1knot. “Confused seas” are often reported in this area. We’ve been sailing around 100miles offshore to avoid these seas and potential freak waves!

2. The Agulhas Current
The South flowing Agulhas Current contains waters from the Mozambique Current and waters from the southern branch of the Equatorial Current. This current flows South and then strongly South West before passing the Cape of Good Hope. It can be up to 6knots in strength, which if the wind is favorable means we could potentially do an extra 144 nm per day sitting in the current. The problem with this current is that on this stretch of coast you regularly get fronts (every 2-3 days) bringing SW gales and creating extremely dangerous seas in a wind against tide situation!! Waves of 70ft plus in height have been recorded here!

3. Frontal Systems (from East moving Antarctic Lows)
The entire area between Madagascar and the Cape of Good Hope is dominated by the frontal systems, which are created by Antarctic lows moving eastwards. A sudden SW gale can create extremely dangerous conditions when it hits the Agulhas current. Boats have been “knocked down, pooped and even lost on this stretch”

With this in mind we paid serious attention to the long range weather forecast in La Reunion. A good few of the Oysters in our fleet left a day or two before us however looking at the prediction of weather due by the time we’d reach the east of South Africa we felt it better to leave on Saturday 16th. We really don’t want to be off the coast of Africa with a SW gale in force and the Agulhas current running at 6knots south!! Ideally we’d like to sail directly to Cape Town however this is unlikely due to the regularity of the fronts and looking at the forecast from here we’ll be pulling into Durban and waiting for a weather window to sail further south. The other option is to stay outside the Agulhas current all the way down, however there is a high chance of being caught by a deep low coming up from the Southern Ocean going this way, so we’ve opted for the coastal route.

According to Jimmy Cornells book on World Cruising Routes the local method of forecasting a SW buster is (as one might expect) to watch the barometer. When it starts falling the winds will be NE. Once the barometer stops falling the wind becomes light and then ceases altogether. The moment it starts rising, you have between 30 to 60mins before the arrival of a SW gale, which will be the warning for us to leave the 100 fathom line quickly, and head for the coast, as this is where the Agulhas current can become hazardous. Obviously before all this we’ll be keeping our usual eye out for the changes in cloud with Cirrus coming in from the west followed by banks of cumulus before the approach of the cold front where the wind will back slowly from E to NW freshening all the time and the followed by the SW gale. Remember we’re in the Southern hemisphere so everything is the opposite way around to the North!

So here we go heading towards one of the Worlds most dangerous stretches of ocean where monster waves lurk and potential of ‘wind over tide’ conditions are of epic proportions. We’ll let ye know how we go but for now looks like we’ll get through ok. Fingers crossed!

Lots of love,

Audrey xxx

Backtracking – JULY 2013

A flight to Sydney

Unfortunately, due to the time of year we couldn’t sail further south than Mac Kay as LUSH would have had to pound upwind into low after low on the East Australian coast!  What a killer!  It would have been spectacular to sail into Sydney Harbour, nonetheless we weren’t gonna give up the chance to see it while in Oz especially as my best pal, Emer and her hubby live there.

After sailing 16,000 nautical miles it felt a bit odd hanging around an airport and boarding a plane.  What a sight to behold flying in over this world famous harbour, following our 3+ hour flight.  At 19kms in length and covering 52 square kilometers, with numerous inlets and bays it truly is an awesome sight especially when you get your first glimpse of its two most iconic structures, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Emer and Robbie brought us to all the famous sights; we climbed the bridge, visited the Opera House, shopped in the Rocks, walked the 6km along the coast to Bondi beach and had numerous ferry rides back and forth in the harbour.  In the Maritime Museum we certainly didn’t pass on an opportunity to board the replica of Endeavour, Capt James Cooks boat.  Pondering life onboard in the 18th century certainly made us appreciate, all the more, what we have today.  It’s hard to imagine sailing unchartered waters doing an average speed of 4knots and eating sauerkraut daily.  Needless to say we’re very content with our 21st century Oyster 885 averaging 9 knots, charts galore and a daily menu to die for 😉 …. plus engine, VHF, sat phone, computers, shower, aircon, fridge, freezer, ice machine, etc…!  Only thing I reckon hasn’t improved is our lee cloths (apparently designed to keep us in our bunks when heeled), looking at the hammocks and the boarded-in beds (cots) on the Endeavour I’d say they might have had a better nights sleep… although without air-conditioning and showers I guess that’s debatable!  Luckily, Skipper didn’t get any ideas when he saw the cat and nine tails hanging in the crew quarters!  Sure the only person you’d need that for on LUSH is the boss, hardly for the tiptop, well-behaved crew and first mate onboard!

I really didn’t expect the city to be as awesome as it was, with the harbour such a massive part to it, it really was a shame we couldn’t have sailed there.

Emer and Robbie wined and dined us all week and boy did we eat in style.  One thing about the Aussies, they are serious foodies and yes we did put on the ‘Sydney stone’ while there… nothing an offshore passage with no chocolate or bread onboard couldn’t put right though!!.  Anyone planning hols to Sydney I would fully recommend dining at Café Sydney (book a window table for spectular views of the harbour bridge) and the French restaurant Felix.

Emer and I visited the Sydney Fish Market on the final day of hols.  This is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world’s second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan.  It’s a working fish market and we managed to sneak in to see the commercial auction first thing in the morn.  You can actually book a place to go on a tour of this but it was fully booked well in advance of our stay.  This market trades over 14,500 tones of seafood annually – with more than a hundred species of seafood traded daily!  I would highly recommend a visit whenever you go to Sydney.  After spending over three hours there and buying some tasty bits for lunch the only thing that bothered us was the cost of parking!!!  Now this is something I haven’t missed!!

Saying farewell is never much fun but with such super friends living there and it being such a magnificent city I know we’ll return again, hopefully next time it’ll be by boat.

One Life…. wining and dining it in Sydney!

Lots of love,


Audrey  xxx


LUSH Celebrates her 1st Birthday!

A year ago today LUSH was handed over to Eddie, Marie and crew. Wow what a year it’s been, from packing the boat for the world trip in Southampton to then setting sail a week later on our World Adventure. Here we are in Mauritius (Indian Ocean) over 20,000 nautical miles later and as you’ve all, no doubt, gathered from this blog it truly has been the trip of a lifetime!!

LUSH has looked after us extremely well on this voyage and is still in superb condition ready for oceans and weather to come! We are just about to leave Mauritius and set our sails for the French island of Reunion, less than a day’s sail away.

While in Mauritius we were based in Port Louis. There wasn’t any suitable anchorages for LUSH around the island so unfortunately we couldn’t cruise and explore as we normally do. Top three things about Mauritius for me…

No 1. The people are extremely helpful and generous (everywhere we went they’d give us something for free). I have not experienced such generosity as this from so many people in one place, whether it was the taxi driver giving me a bag of mangos or the waiters giving us free drinks, food etc. They’d always give you something extra. Love it!

No.2 It’s cheap! Even in the 5 star hotels, ie champagne cocktails for less than 5 euro!

No.3 The supermarkets are fantastic!! You just can’t beat the French islands when it comes to food especially meat and cheese! Gosh, I was like a kid in a toy shop!! And the great news is there’s more to come… bring on La Reunion!!

One Life…. Celebrating it today that’s for sure 😉

Audrey and team LUSH xxx