Monthly Archives: May 2014

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,


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




A day out from the Azores

Well, this has certainly been an interesting passage, it has taken us at least two days longer than we expected, thanks to a few days of calm weather! We kept routing north in search of the southwesterly’s forecast and finally came into decent breeze 4 days ago. LUSH has been blasting along in force 7-8 ever since and over the past 24 hours winds have been in excess of 30knots. With three reefs in the mainsail we’ve sailed along quite comfortably.

Fortunately the sun shone on the day of our midway party and team LUSH glammed-up as per usual. On this occasion the theme was ‘international dress’ and everyone rose to the occasion. Continuing our usual routine of Aft-deck dance-off has been trickier in these conditions and we’ve now resorted to exercising around the cockpit table in our oillies and lifejackets! Where there’s a will there’s a way!

And now for the fish score: Ocean 3 Vs LUSH 3

That’s all the news for now.

Lots of love,

Audrey xxx