Tobago Cays ( 29. of December 2005 )

We have had a fantastic and different Christmas celebration at Bequia. Now we have been sailing further south to Tobago Cays for the New Years celebration. Camilla ond Bjørnar are visiting us, and Rannveig has disembarked and embarked at Balsam, a Norwegian catamaran, for two months.
Vanvara, Don`t Worry and Snorre is lying at anchor a short swim from Empire.
Tobago Cays is the most beautiful place we have been so far on the voyage. This is a fantastic place to welcome the New Year. We are thinking of you back home.



Admiralty Bay, Bequia ( 21. of December 2005 )

We sailed during the night from St. Lucia , and are now anchored in Admiralty Bay , Bequia. This was the first sailing in Caribbean waters for our newly embarked crew, Anne, Karin and Annichen. This is something different than Rodney Bay …A lot of other boats are anchored in the bay, and we expect more to come. Christmas at Bequia is always lots of boats and lots of people... The celebration can begin.
We have put up some Christmas decorations, so the feeling of Christmas is coming. Our nearest neighbour is Snorre, and we both enjoyed seeing each other again. We are now looking forward to the Christmas celebration at Bequia !!


Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers has come to an end. Some boats have left Rodney Bay Marina. Annichen embarked after waiting some extra hours for a plane at Martinique .Odd and Vince have returned to Norway and their families by plane. We are happy they joined us for the Atlantic Crossing , and we hope to see them and their families onboard soon. We are now waiting for Anne and Karin, Øyvinds daughter and girlfriend, to arrive, before we set sails towards Bequia and Christmas celebration. It is expected to be lots of Scandinavian long voyaging people at Bequia for Christmas.

ACR 2005 - onboard Empire - distance sailed from Las Palmas, 3012nm
Day 21, 11. Dec -
position kl 12 UTC 14.08N 59.18W
Three weeks at sea, time has passed rather quick. Super sailing with a fantastic sky full
stars every night and warm sunny days. After passing Cape Verde the wind has been on our side.
We hope to get land asight during the day.
Day 20, 10. Dec -
position kl 12 UTC 15.10N 56.40W
New distance record at the girls watch, 32nm in 4 hours, and a surf record of 14,1 knot. Rannveig got
a flying fish in the middle of her chest. Empire is sailing over the ocean like a train. To bad we had to wait for the wind at Cape Verde..
Day 19, 9. Dec -
position kl 12 UTC 15.39N 53.40W
184 nm last 24 hours, the Rum punch is getting closer. Rannveig og Heidi was hit and surprised by our first squall yesterday, from 10 to 20 m/s in no time. When we were hit by squall number 2 we were better prepared, and only got a little wet. Odd is back as the chef because of a bad schoulder - we are looking forward to pizza again.
Day 18, 8. Dec -
position kl 12 UTC 15.5N 50.26W
This morning the Captain saw two whales passing, 20 - 30 meters away. 176 nm last 24 hours. Rannveig has traded away one of four galley duties to Øyvind. Will she manage to trade away all of them ? We opened the first hermetic can for dinner yesterday. Now we would like fish on the hook..
Day 17, 7. Dec -
position kl 12 UTC 16.27N 43.57W
It is beautiful out here today, too. Some clouds, and Christmas songs from the stereo.
It looks a bit alike Christmas feeling...
Day 16, 6. Dec
- position kl 12 UTC 16.27N 43.57W
Vi are running over the ocean, 166nm last 24 hours. The sucessful fishinghook we have been using was chopped off by something big...
Day 15, 5. Dec
- position kl 12 UTC 16.19N 40.55W
It is warm out here, we are glad we have the "Monitor shower" aft. Another fish today, some sort of King Fish. It was delicious for dinner. Øyvind is baking the worlds best bread onboard this ship.
Day 14, 4. Dec
- position kl 12 UTC 16.06N 38.11W
The Spinaker is up. Tuna on the hook. Vince got his hair cut, now he has the same crew-cut as the rest of us.
Day 13, 3. Dec
- position kl 12 UTC 16.31N 35.48W
The Spinaker at the surgery table for second day, it seems like we will make it work again.
Celebrating with a glas of red wine together with the Doradoen yesterday, Heidi's grandmother was 93.
Day 12, 2. Dec
- position kl 12 UTC 16.47N 33.27W
Odd's last day as the chef, Øyvind is next. The Spinaker is at the surgery table, it is a luck that we have a sewing machine onboard. The sun is shining and we are having a great time onboard.
Day 11, 1. Dec
- position kl 12 UTC 16.50N 31.02W
The bow is pointing towards the west. The Spinaker is at the hospital, and will propably be recovered as a light wind spinaker...
Day 10, 30. Nov
- position kl 12 UTC 17.02N 28.11W
157nm last 24 hours. Øyvind got a flying fish in his face through an open hatch while reading.. After a short struggle it fell into Vinces bed..
Day 9, 29. Nov
- position kl 12 UTC 17.37N 25.24W
Only 63nm last 24 hours. The Spinaker is flying and we are heading west.
We can see the shaddow of Cape Verde behind us. The water temperature is 27,2 Celsius and the sun is still shining.
Day 8, 28. Nov
- position kl 12 UTC 18.16N 24.32W
Today is a bad day - the wind disappeared last night. The water is lying like a mirror. Where is the Tradewinds, does it exist ? Odd is teh chef for an extra day, we are looking forward to his cooking. Øyvind caught the first fish, a Dorado, 1,5kg.
Day 7, 27. Nov
- position kl 12 UTC 18.42N 23.41W
The toiletsystem is as new. No old stuff remaining in the pipes anymore..
Day 6, 26. Nov - position kl 12 UTC 19.53N 21.25W
The wind is still on. Wonder for how long ? 153nm last 24 hours, no we are on our way. The chef Odd
hasrpleased us with exellent food. And he surprised himselves and did not get seasick...
The chef before Odd, Heidi, is having difficulties in getting into the watch-system. But she will manage.
The Captain is very pleased, and we are sailing in a HAPPY ship.
Day 5, 25. Nov - position kl 12 UTC 21.46N 19.38W
Finally we have some wind, 140nm last 24 hours. This is going to be a good day.
Odd is starting his duty as the chef today.
Dag 4, 24. Nov - position kl 12 UTC 23.47N 18.29W
Christmas in one month from now, not much feeling of Christmas onboard - but we have a Christmas Calendar onboard.
We hope for more wind. Last night "In the name of the rose" was on for the Empire cinema and popcorn was served.
Day 3, 23. Nov - position kl 10 UTC 24,40N 17,08W
Life is back on the road again, the spinaker has been flying for almost 24 hours.
Odd & Vince have been using the "Monitor-shower".
Day 2, 22. Nov - position kl 10 UTC 25,57N 15,57W
Not much wind last 24 hours, we are heading south. Dolphins were playing around the ship last night.
Day 1, 21. Nov - position kl 10 UTC 26,24N 15,14W
Changing winds in the start. After some hours we had a gale in the nose. Stars in the sky all night and a beautiful morning. The wind has dropped, and we are slowly sailing south.
Las Palmas - GRAND CANARIA ( 13. of November 2005 )

We arrived Las Palmas last night, after a windy tour from Puerto de Mogan. We started the day in shorts, but ended up with the heavy weather clothes and lots of water on deck. Janne and Lise joined in as crew from Puerto de Mogan. This was a bit rougher than sailing in The Oslofjord, but they both gave what they could.

Rannveig embarked as the first crew for the ARC. We arrived Las Palmas just in time to participate in the official opening ceremony. If we like, we can join the ARC program every day from now until the regatta starts. But we think we only join parts of it…


Puerto de Mogan - GRAND CANARIA ( 8. of November 2005 )

In Puerto de Mogan the days are running. Family and friends are visiting us. Peder is enjoying his last days onbord for this time. Soon he travels back to kindergarten and Norwegian winter.
Almost all the food for the Atlantic Crossing is onboard. The vegetables and fresh fruit and fresh meet we will get onbord in Las Palmas. We are looking forward to embark the rest of the ARC crew.
We are leaving Puerto de Mogan the 12. of November, heading for Las Palmas. The ARC starts the 20. of November.
Puerto de Mogan - GRAND CANARIA ( 26. October 2005 )

Finally we have arrived in Puerto de Mogan. The sailing from Santa Cruz de Tenerife was relaxing. We also got another Dorado on the hook.
We will in Puerto de Mogan until the 12. of November. Then we will head towards Las Palmas and the start of ARC. Friends and family are going to visit as we are in Puerto de Mogan. Some of the ARC crew will also be embarking, but most of them will get on board in Las Palmas .

We will be bathing and sunbathing, but there will also be some sightseeing around the island. Peder is debarking when our parents return to Norway . He will probably have a lot of stories to tell when he gets beck to the kindergarten.

St. Cruz de Tenerife - TENERIFE ( 21. of October 2005 )

We arrived Tenerife yesterday afternoon, after a two day trip from Madeira. Not much wind. Sailing throug the night with full moon and lots of stars is fantastic. It do not get really dark when the moon is lighting.
We hooked 4 fish on the way, 2 Dorado and 2 Tuna. Eivind made a delicious Tuna-dinner one evening. We hope to catch more fish later on.

We will soon head out for Puerto de Mogan and Gran Canary. Our parents and others will be visiting us, and Peder is debarking in Puerto de Mogan.
The boat has to made ready for the long Atlantic Crossing, and lots of food is to be provianted. Food for four weeks and 6 persons is a lot...

Qt do Lorde - MADEIRA ( 16. of October 2005 )

Arrived Quinta do Lorde, Madeira , after a nice and short voyage from Porto Santo. Together with Anne and Jørgen from Vanvara, we have seen the island by car for three days. Trollstigen in Norway is for nothing, after we have seen the roads at Madeira.
We also went for a walk on one of the highest volcano peeks in Madeira . Pico do Areiro is 1818 meters above sea level. We also did one of the steepest gondolas I ever seen, and we have sleighed down the very steep asfalt hills in Funchal. We have been walking along the levadaes and seen some caves.
Madeira is a beautiful island, and has lots of surprises. There are no sandy beaches here, but the scenery is very fantastic.

PORTO SANTO , PORTUGAL ( 8. of October 2005 )

I Porto Santo nyter vi deilige avslappende dager. Alle har god tid, spør man naboen når de har tenkt seg videre, er det vanlige svaret et trekk med skuldrene. Vi har ligget her i over en uke allerede..
Det er en hel koloni med norske båter her. På det meste har vi vært 10 norske båter i havnen. Da Vanvara kom inn moloen, stod Eilif og Kari ombord i Blå på brygga med nystekte deilige pannekaker. Etterpå ble det servert varme rundstykker ombord i Empire.
Vi har utforsket øya via cabriolet buss, en flott tur fra øst til vest, og opp på utkikkspunktene.
Den 9 km lange stranden her er fantastisk. Lek og bading om dagen. Når den værste solsteken har gitt seg har vi funnet frem vollyballen. En kveld var flere båter samlet til grilling på stranden. Hvor lenge vi blir, vet vi ikke. Uansett - vi blir her til lavtrykket rundt oss har forsvunnet.

Landskamp på Porto Santo, Grillkveld på stranden i Porto Santo


Here in Porto Santo we are enjoying relaxing days. Nobody is in a hurry. If you ask the neighbour what their plans are, the answer normally is “we will see” or “do not know, yet”. We have already been here for more than a week...
There is many Norwegian boats here. One day it was ten Norwegian boats here. When Vanvara passed in through the breakwater, Kari and Eilif onboard “Blå” had pancakes ready for everyone. Later on breakfast was served onboard Empire.
We have explored the island with a cabriolet bus. The tour was nice, and gave us a bright sight of the island from east to west, and also included some of the peeks. The 9 km sandy beach is fantastic. Playing and bathing at daytime. In the afternoon we have been playing volleyball. One day several boats gathered for a grill party at the beach. We do not know how long we will stay – but we will at least stay until the low pressure around us has disappeared.

Porto Santo coming out of the sea after 480nm of sailing from Cascais, Portugal.
CASCAIS , PORTUGAL ( 26. of September 2005 )

After one week at anchor outside Cascais, we are leaving towards Porto Santo. Porto Santo is a little island 30 nm north of Madeira . We can not wait to get the sails up. After 10 days in the same place, we are looking forward to some days under sail. We are calculating that the voyage will be 4 to 6 days, but the wind decides.
What we have been doing in Cascais ? We have been bathing, cleaning, paddling, washing, been in the Animal Park in Lissabon, rowed the dingy and met a lot of other Norwegian boats on tour.
A Swiss sailor meant that there could not be many Norwegians left in Norway . Wherever he stopped there where several Norwegians.
Eivind's birthday was celebrated with pizza and cake. Wounder where we will be his next birthday…??

CASCAIS , PORTUGAL ( 19. of September 2005 )

Bjørnar debarked after 12 days onboard. He flew home from Lissabon, which is half an hour away form Cascais with train. We have been here some days already, Cascais is a nice for small people and for grown ups.
The best part so far has been the Zoo in Lissabon. The Zoo was OK, and the absolute best part was the sealion and the dolphin show. Both Peder and Eivind sat completely still for more than one hour. It was a fantastic show !!
As we are sailing more south, we are meeting more Norwegian boats. We have met some of them before, and some new ones are coming to. Vanvara with Anne and "Ørgen" came in yesterday.
We are going to stay here for some more days, but will move out of the marina and drop the anchor in the bay outside the marina. Much cheaper and with possibilities for a morning bath. Peder has become a bathing angel.

Nazaré , PORTUGAL ( 12. of September 2005 )

Peder and Bjørnar embarked as we were laying in Vigo . Peder had his longest voyage so far, 130 nm from from Viano de Castello to Nazaré.
Peder got his floating vest tested in Bayona. And it works. He was playing with a hose on the pontoons, and suddenly he fell in the water. Eivind was just beside him so it was a short bath. After Peder had sorted out his thoughts, he said it was a bit frightening to get a fish on him.
Not only the Spanish people like rockets. There was a folks festival in Viano de Castello. The last night of the festival it was celebrated with one hour of the most spectacular fireworks we have ever seen.
We have not caught any fish on the line so far, and we have tried…

Playa del Faro, SPANIA ( 4. of September 2005 )

Empire is at anchor in a bay on the east side of Isla del Faro, 10nm west of Vigo . The beautiful sandy beach reaches as far as we can see. The island is a nature reserve. At the west side of the island the cliffs go right into the sea. At the east side there are beautiful sandy beaches. The water temperature should have been some degrees higher…
Eivind is the best Captain in the world, and he is also a good mechanic. The anchor winch better be functioning well when we are at anchor like this. To pull in the anchor chain and the anchor by hand is a heavy operation. After thinking a while and then taking the anchor winch apart into pieces, and together again, it is now functioning perfect. We hope it will continue to be that way…

MUROS, SPANIA ( 2. of September 2005 )

Empire likes it at anchor, and so do we. Lovely days in Muros - preparing the boat and some paddling exercises. We thought it would be quiet in the small fishing villages along the Spanish coast. We were wrong. The fishing boats are quiet, but the Spanish people like to celebrate. Not with one or five rockets, but with hundreds, several times a day. Different Saints are to be celebrated, and this is the way the Spanish do it… So far we have heard rockets every day.
Most of the screws purchased in La Corunña is used, and a lot of things onboard is mounted where it should be. One of the screws even got into The Captains trout. But it later got out again…

CORME, SPANIA ( 27. of August 2005 )

After three days in La Coruña we headed further south. The days in La Coruña was shopping and shopping. La Coruña has the most and some more. Empire is now well equipped as ever before – fishing equipment, sewing machine, brass hooks, screws, kettles and other things nice to have. Our arms have gotten some centimetre longer of all the shopping…
It is more expensive to stay in a marina, than just dropping the anchor. Outside Corme we dropped the anchor, cheap, peaceful and quiet. One night we were woken by the sound of an oar banging in the hulls side. We never found out if it was a drunken fisherman or a thief planning to do something. He disappeared when we lit the lights, and could not find anything missing on deck.
We will stay here for some days, to get the boat even more ship shape and to enjoy the sun if it shows up. Maybe also do some paddling and some diving.

BISCAYA ( 25. of August 2005 )

Now we have arrived La Coruña , Spain . We had a fantastic voyage across The Bay of Biscay. From Falmouth to La Coruña took three days. That is the same as when we sailed across the North Sea . This voyage is though more to characterise as a relaxing voyage. Wind mostly from behind, 5-12 m/s ! The welcoming committee met us just outside La Coruña – 15 dolphins were playing around the boat as we were approaching.
Finally we have arrived to warmer parts of the world. La Coruña is a city with lots of history, and no one speaks anything but Spanish… Now we better get started with the Spanish course we have on CD onboard…

STORBRITANNIA ( 18. of August 2005 )

After an interesting visit to Oban Distillery, know for its 14 year old pricewinning Whiskey, we headed south the Irish Sea . Under way fro Kerrera and Oban to Crinan we got a little idea of what the current can be like in these waters. Crinan Canal is a quiet and peaceful canal, and the locks are self served. Bambi was running at the water edge.
Heidi exercised her body by working the locks, and the Captain had to take care of the ship. Next stop was Holyhead in north Wales . A well sheltered harbour inside an enormous breakwater. Here they speak pirates language (the Wales language) and English…
Falmouth , at the southern tip of England was the last stop before crossing The bay of Biscay. Finally the weather got a tough of warmth as the sun came through. A marvellous sky at night, full of stars. And dolphins visited us several times for long periods. Very beautiful and polite animals.

Please come with your comments and hints. We will appreciate your ideas to what you will like to hear about - empire@sailboat.no