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Hello From C Nut ....From Empuria Brava Spain...Las Palmas, Gran Canaria......Virgin Islands

This site is going to be the Log of the the trip bringing the new boat from Empuriabrava spain, just north of Barcelona to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Had to pick a name so I came up with C NUT short and easy to put on the transom
The boat is being picked up in Empuriabrava Spain Nov 15 and weather permitting will set sail south Nov 15 to Mallorca to have a final check out and then on to Malaga or Gibraltar. Then the boat will head to the Canary Islands arriving on or about the Nov 25. A few Days layover and then west 2700NM across the Atlantic to the Caribbean arriving around December 17. As always this schedule depends on the weather and boat.

Crew: Captain Robert Dinion , Thomas Van Doosselaere, Sanna Dohm Pics to follow

November 4, 2006
So still trying to pack and organize and arrange although I have all the gear we will need except the Shortwave reciever had to go back to the manufacturer. The long range weather forcasts look like we will be skirting a bit of rain but nothing major at first.

Talked to the broker and the boat is done and will be shipped Wednesday. So if you are in Germany or France and see a new 42' Bavaria going down the highway that is the C NUT.
Got the boat documented with the USGC today so all the paperwork is done and I officially own the boat. A HUGE THANKS TO THE US COAST GUARD VESSEL DOCUMENTATION PEOPLE HERE!! THEY TOTALLY WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY TO GET THIS DONE FOR ME! The shortwave receiver is fixed and will arrive tommorow, 4 big bags of boat gear are packed and ready to go although there will be all the kitchen stuff, supplies, lines etc to buy in Spain along with the digny, extra sheets, safety flares, wisker pole, fenders, lines,first aid, toilet paper etc.. Talked to Joe and he will try to arrive in Barcelona the morning of the 14 along with Sharon. Everything is comming into focus and the weather forecast looks better today, a little warmer with no rain on the wundeground long term map.

NOVEMBER 8, 2006
All packed and ready to head to the airport and of course my robbie yahoo email is not working the one day I REALLY NEED it. So if you need me and don't hear from me in a day or too email I have about 30 pounds of GPS,Radio,inverter and other electronics in my carry on.. Hope I don't have to check it in.. The weathr forcasts are varying wildly each day so I won't even mention what they are See Ya in Spain!!! NOVEMBER 9, 2006
Got to Spain with all luggage and no customs hassles..much easier than comming back into the US. found the barcelona boat show but to tired to stop in and all the hotels I checked in the city were full so headed north to Mataro got a room and found an internet place. My robbie_d email si working again. figureing out how to do things here.. More tommorow

Novemebr 10, 2006
THE BOAT IS HERE AND ALMOST READY. It got here a day early so they will finish it tommorow!!!! I was at the boat show and the Yates Aleman REP said oh it in the water already. SO I FLEW the hour north to Empuriabrava..which is a really cool beach/waterport/town kind of like Mrytle beach or lauderdale with a quaint euro atmosphere It's in the water mast a few things they will finish Saturday then clean it up monday.... If there is a Chance I may take it to Barcelona Tuesday to pick up the crew. All is working out REALLY well.

November 12, 2006
Too busy yesterday to write an entry. Been getting about 5 hours sleep each day trying to get it all done. The VHF, GPS are in and working but the Si-Tex NAVFAX 200 receiver is broken AGAIN and I am waiting to see what they are going to do to resolve it.
There are a few small things wrong with the boat but they will get fixed at the main yard in Palma. Most things are good if time consuming, the language is making things harder than I expected butI have started stocking the boat up with food and water even. The weather is cooler today and we are supposed to get a strong north wind known as the tramonta also know as the mistral in france but all is supposed to be settled by departure wednesday and it should get warmer. It is much cooler here than even barcelona. On another note: If I had ANY CLUE what tools cost here I would have brought only tools an dbought everything else here. a $3 utility knife costs 8E about $10 here.. I spent over $400 and it was basic stuff that in the states would have been $150 More later I need food

November 12, 2006
TOTALLY exhausted but ALL is set to take off for Mallorca Wednesday morning. Did a test sail today and this boat ROCKS.. point to about 30 and can feather up to 25 degrees off the wind, smooth fast responsive boat. Helm is light and once the sails are trimmer track with out the autopilot. Volvo is Quiet... only 12-14 knors so will see what happens when it gets rough but I think it will really be fine..took pictures will post later. So there is not a lot of palces to get dingys here and they are expensive so borrowed a life rift to get to palma then will get one there it is a much bigger town and I get the deales discount for boat stuff. But have linnes and basic kitchenware and started squirrleing away lot of long term food goods for the crossing. Fuel and water tanks are full and crew is comming in tommorow. The tramontana blew out over night, REALLY crazy HOWLING wind and of course the wind is comming from the south but it is supposed to be very light for the next three days so may motor the whole way to Palma which will break the engine in and then it can have it`s first service there..So all is set...returing car tommorow then training back with crew.

November 13, 2006
So the Joe will not make it due to work issues but Sharon and Thomas came in today and we got together and trained up to empuriabrava. They are grocery shopping while I take care of this and the sitex receiver.. Otherwise we are all set to leave for Mallorca first thing in the morning and should be there by Thursday so will be out of touch for a couple days. It is Thomas and Sharon are great and al looks well and it is NICE to have help. The weather looks good with the wind from the SW at first then backing to SE so will will kind of make two big takes out along the coast which we need to do anyway to clear it. There is high pressure over the central Med so we should have clear skies and great warm weather until we sail through weak upper system Monday.. Back in touch in a couple days and DON`T WORRY!

November 16, 2006
Ok we made it.... took 30 hours mostly motor sailing into a 20knot plus wind that was comming from 190 degress south ..exactley where we needed to go. Sharon and Thomas are great and we all took 4 hour watches so got enough sleep. the boat handled the winds great as one point up to 30 knots so I have no worries about it handling the atlantic.. We are in Mallorca a couple days at the dealers main base getting some last things installed and a few minor problems fixed getting more equipment and food and then off into the Med heading west...trying for the Canaries All is Good....

Robbie is checking the weather so I┤m making an entry. Last night was both Tomas┤ and my first overnight. We spent the morning along the coast getting to know the boat and then headed out in the afternoon. We were excited to leave as it was freezing cold the night before. As night fell, we ate hamburgers while watching a beautiful sunset and then all three sat on deck to get accustomed to looking at the ships in the night time hours. Tomas decided to sleep while I took the first shift as I am still on Washington time. Robbie spent the night on deck to help identify ships and distance. Robbie took over for some hours til Tomas got about 7 hours sleep. Then Tomas took over and was awake to see the sunrise and the appearance of Mallorca. Gorgeous, but very rugged coastline. We sailed around to the south side where we entered into the slip where there will be work done on the boat. As a crew, we are a good team. The boat is a pleasure to sail...we hope for some beautiful sailing days ahead. I┤m sailing in the mediterraean! How lucky am I?

November 18, 2006

In Mallorca spent all daz zesterdaz spending thousands of dollars on boat equipment getting everzthing we need. Lothar the dealer had 3 guzs working on the boat all daz installing equipment and checking it and the engine was serviced.. Thomas and Sharon got enough food for at least the next two weeks Everzone has been GREAT!! So we are SET! Note I am on lothars german kezboard so the letters are not the same.

the plan is to take off from here this after noon or earlz tommorrow and trz to get to the south coast of Spain as best we can because th ewind is supposed to be from the direction we want to head for the next 10 dazs.. on the nose as its called.. But all is good and MAllorca is cool...wish I had more time to spend here but the weather is going to go downhill fast here next week so we want to get out of it.. No idea when I will next make an entrz probablz 2 dazs at least mazbe 3....

November 4, 2006
Ww are now in Torrevieja on the South east Coast of Spain.. I wrote the following last night..
8:00H Novermber 19th, 2006 So finally there is some time... it is eveing and the sun just set in one of those amazing sunsets that you sail for. It has been an incredible amount of work and stress and mone to this point and a lot of running around but now the sailing and getting there having some fun is what it's all about. We left Mallorca last night for I biza, sailed through the night and this morning Ibizaa was in front of us.. a school of dolphions joined us, no I am not lying.. it was Thomas's first time on a boat with a school of dolphins..those who sail know he will see many more by the time we get to the caribbean. We refueled in Ibiza did not want to stay and took off SW back to the mainland which is now in sight.. We will head south through the day tommorow then go to a marina to get a break for a day..there is a cool Cape Hatteras like point called Cabo De Palos we will probably stop at. Thomas and Sharon are great!! I could not ask for better crew always ready to help, learn, put in the extra effort I am truly lucky to have them on board... we all kidn of gel and complement each other and Tomas is learning FAST. The boat is still great..only downside is we have consiently had winds from the direction we want to go so have been motoring almost constantly..but it is warm and clear so can't complain..the stars a beautiful at night. There is a huge high pressure system comming over the Azores so it may stay this way..Pray.. Anyway.. I am going to try to get pics out of the camera now so more later.. Wish you were here
Of course by 4AM the wind hade shifted and was right on the nose for the last 60 miles but all is still good.. I a going to add some various pic links but will label later... Boat and dingy Christening the boat Sharon--a better pic..she didn┤t want Jim to see the other :) Thomas Me, Hans, Lothar., The Bavaria Brokers

Thomas Supplemnt
November 20 The boat is now cleated in Torrevieja, South of Alicante on the Costa Blanca, where we arrived after sailing yesterday afternoon and overnigh. Everything works out fine even though Sharon and Thomas still gotta get used to sailing atnight and actually picture the distance (No this boat is NOT gonna hit us, its 4 miles away hehe). Everybody gets good sleep even though the boat is pounding a little (due to wind conditions which really su** right now since we┤re heading right into it). The food is great even though it takes twice as much time to get done due to heeling and grooving conditions), the sun┤s shining and everybody┤s happy. It┤s definitely a great experience, the crew gets along VERY GOOD and it seems that we all wanna get the best out of it: I guess wind forecasts might keep us here for a little while since it seems that West winds seem to stick around. Oh well we┤ll see what we can ˝ake out of it. We┤ll get back to you later.

21 November, 2006
Well we are totally jammed up here in Torrevieja. The wind in the harbor is 18knots from the West and it is very by high rise building. We did go out trying to make Cartagena about 45nm around but the wind gusting to 25knots and that was when we were still sheltered by shore a mile to the west. Once we rounded the point to our south we would have had it on the nose AGAIN and been jammed in Cartagena anyway which is more industrial and the marina more rolly so we came back...just can't see beating for 20 miles then the winds south towards Gibralter are supposed to be west at 30 fun at all... looking at the forecasts we are here until Thursday at least so....
The marina here is nice and set up for liveaboards with pool tables, TV, library, internet access, nice lounge reasonable restaurants and the town is OK if nothing special.
So we will do some boat projects, put some extra stuff together that kind of thing and maybe a side trip tomorrow by train to Grenada. The boat is large and comfy and the weather still warm and mostly sunny if windy so we are Good.
So now it is noon turns out to be a good thing we turned back REALLY nasty out there and supposed to MUCH worse tommorow... Thursday has hope though we will see.. a lot of conflicting forecasts

22 November, 2006
Things are looking better and this break has been good we got some boat work done.. extra halyards up, the teak oiled, stainless waxed etc... Tommorow we should be able to make Cartegena... Then a weak low comes in over the weekend so we will have to see what we can do.. BUT next week the big low pressure west of England which is causing all the winds finally moves away so it will be quiet and we sould be able to rock out to the atlantic at least..
a few more pics
Took the first day..YES it is MY BOAT
That Sunset
Not Really My boat until I`m at the top of the mast
Boat at the end of the dock..
Showing Thomas the ropes..literally

24 November 2006
FUN!! JOY!! WHAT??? Left Torrevieja At 0300 Thursday morning as planned. Since the wind was supposed to pick up to 25knots again about noon we figured we would make Cartagena.. But much to our joy the wind never picked was great 12-14knots..we checked the weather on the VHF and it was supposed to remain good so we headed to a place called Anguila..Me and Thomas each caught a tuna on the way..VERY tasty... We got to Anguila right before dark BUT no slips available so they gave us a mooring ball but we couldn't get to shore with out dropping the dingy and we wanted to keep moving while we could.. We checked the forecast and AGAIN light winds ..SO we headed out after napping at 0200.. Nice motor south ..very little wind no boat traffic... The we got near a point where Costa De Sol Start called Cabo de Gato... Now this place was like a minnie Cape of Good Hope.. 30+ knots winds 12' breaking waves with cross waves to boot.. kind of like driving a boat over a waffle with the holes big enough for the boat to fall into.. We actually had waves breaking over the boat!! the cockpit got flooded once.. more of what you expect in the Atlantic.. But the boat handled it wonderfully....
So if you notice the wind has been coming directly from the west or southwest almost continuously at over 20 knots.. this is blowing the schedule.. I figured 5-7 days through Spain max..But the end is in sight only about 150 miles to 24 hour period if we EVER get easterly winds.. More tommorow since we are once again blown in....unless I want to bash into 25knot winds in the Rain.. NOT.. But it has been warm and sunny!
Pics is Thomas one happy dude or what >
More Fish..

24 November 2006
SO LOOKS LIKE THE WEATHER IS GOING TO COOPERATE!! Bad news is Sharon is leaving the boat tommorow because she needs to be set to be in Barcelona by Tuesday and we have no idea where we will be then.. It Looks like we will be able to leave here tommorow and Rock right on out through the straights of Gibralter and down to the Canaries.. So we are going to ty to make this window while we have it.. THIS MEANS LOG ENTRIES WILL CEASE FOR ABOUT A WEEK!! BUT DONT WORRY WE ARE FINE.. The weather looks perfect to get us to Las Palmas in the Canaries as long as we make Gibralter..only 150nm by Tuesday which is for sure going to happen... SO Goodbye to Spain.. About Spain..the are no Laundries!! Other than that the people have been wonderful. Friendly willing to work with my broken spanish and bad accent an dover all very helpful One day I will be back when it warm and I can speak the language a bit better. I just wish I could wash clothes somewhere other than the shower!! Anyway... the boat is stocked and ready and we are off first thing in the morning..Should be going through the straights of Gibraltar monday afternoon if all goes as planned and the forecast holds.. Wish us luck...fair winds and folowing seas as they say!!

Next Log entry may not be until Dec 3 or 4th November 2006

2, December, 2006
WE MADE IT!!!! OK so I am writing this 30 miles out from Las Palmas but if you are reading it we made it.
SORRY I did not make another log entry when we got to Sotogrande near gibralter in Spain but the weather, tide and 7 day forecast which they let me check at the fuel dock was PERFECT.. or at least as good as it gets...NOTE While MANY times in the last 7 days I have doubted the FMNOC forecast it has pretty much turned out to be 100% RIGHT.. My thanks to the US Navy for making it available!! We fueled up filled the water tanks in 30 minutes and rode out on the almost all the way through before dark. It was a little scary cutting south between the ships in the separation lanes but with motor and sail I managed to make it through the line of ships then south west along the coast of Morocco.
I will be brief for the next few days as I have not made log entires as I went other than the ships log.. the only down side for the first 3 days was a HUGE swell from the Northwest (NW)..these things were mountains of water generated by a big storm off the coast of Ireland..They were like river valleys..not steep but BIG.. Had a great east wind and sleigh ride for the first 12 hours.. then the next day was light east winds with a line of very dark clouds to the northwest.. this was not supposed to be there and I thought the forecast was wrong.. but it passed and turned out to be the trailing cold front of the storm which gave us great NW winds for the night.. Then the wind died was forecast 10knots or so and was but we couldn't sail because of the swell.. the boat would scream down the face pick up in the valley go over the top and roll and the sails would collapse. So we worry 4 extra 25L jugs of fuel on the rail plus 3 10 gallons jugs in the cockpit lockers so we had enough fuel to motor over halfway of the 720 miles.. which is turns out we have done... The winds have been great at 10-20 knots behind or east and once west about the half the time.. then they die out for a 12 hour period. I have been very conservative on fuel so when motoring only going 5-6knots which has made the trip 6 instead of 5 days. The lack of weather info has constantly been a source of worry however as the high pressure system we have been traveling under and around is a weaker one than I would like..that is the reason for the variable winds but it has held although I am sure it is collapsing as I write. When I get to Las Palmas we are going NOWHERE until I resolve the issues with the Sitex Weather fax receiver I bought. This has caused me a LOT of anxiety..without knowing the weather forecast it is a constant state of worry to me. The other nagging worry is the VHF.. it appears the antenna was not properly installed as we have very limited range.. Again will be resolved in Las Palmas before heading out...

Now that we are here we can leave on the Atlantic leg anytime as after a few days sailing south will be in the Trades so pretty much set for solid E to NE winds...the weather here is GREAT days around 75-80F or 18C...water is not to cold to put your leg in or dump a bucket on you..sunny and beautiful...over all the weather has held pretty much exactly as forecast.
Thomas has been great..he does better than me with boat life and his sailing skills are getting better daily..he does not need to wake me much at all anymore to adjust sails as the wind changes while he is on watch and he can sleep anytime which makes a flexible watch schedule when I need to be up sailing. Overall a REALLY great run although we sooo wanted to fish but I never felt we had the time... they get bad South West winds and I did not want that scenario again of 25-30knot winds on the nose in the open ocean. But we saw several turtles sunning themselves, dolphins every day and of course beautiful sunrises sunsets and water..

So as I am typing a couple big swells roll the boat and of course I go look to see whats going on..nothing.. just some extra large swells from the North. The check to see if we can see Grand Canarie because so far we have not been able see the island at all, not even night glow last night although we saw Lanzarote . I am kind of worried someone stole it.... I look through the binoculars and ..behold there is the headland on the north end of the island looking exactly like it does in the pictures on the NGA sailing directions..... 1500nm down...2800nm to go..

Thomas's part : It's all going great, nothing to really worry about. Being off shore is definitely a must, spending time watching the ocean, the beautiful blue sky, the moonshine or the stars up there... I'm just loving it. The boat is doing fine, handling it very well. I read that once you see the ocean you dont care about its affluents anymore... it might be true, this is all great/gigantic/wonderful/magnifique.

5, December, 2006
So Whats going on...Everything is screwed up... The Motor in the boat is broken, the starter control black box seems to be bad but the engine model is so new they have no spare parts...Volvo had been VERY responsive though and is working the problem. AND sombody used my credit card to buy from best buy online in Minnesota... so made card had to be cancelled.. I am withdrawing money from the ATM but the max is never enough to buy all the stuff we need to get the boat ready. But we ae making progress and all will be ready by next week.

07 December, 2006
So we have been working on the boat setting it up for the crossing. Rigging an HF antenna wire from the stern rail to mast top, changing all the filters, oil etc in the engine. checkign the steering, putting boots on the spreaders and tape on the sails to prevent chafe, wires for the si-tex receiver,lubing the furler and sheaves and continuing to stock the boat with supplies and spares.

The Volvo people have installed a new black box and engine control panel so the motor is working fine and also I know how to jump it and stop it even if all the electrical components go bad now.
For boating people let me give huge Kudos to the Volvo customer service people. They jumped all over this problem, fixed it and fixed it right without any delay. It is a new boat but I have to say it's the first time ever I got no crap at all on a warranty claim about well what did you do? Or it's the factories or boat dealers problem for installation etc etc. AND they did not say we we will try to fix the parts etc..they simply replaced them no hassle, no charge. And while they only spoke a little english and me a little spanish we worked it all out in good humor and overall for an engine problem it was an good experience... Volvo Rocks..
And again other than a couple exceptions the people here have been helpful, caring and fun...really it's almost like a game communicating sometime..and my espana is getting better but I still have the American redneck accent and CANNOT roll an R.....
So the plan is to leave Las Palmas next Tuesday and get going...

12,December, 2006
So the boat is stocked and ready to go and the plan is to take off tommorrow morning if the waves have died down. A couple days good sailing south and then the wind gets a little iffy over the weenend but then the trade winds build back in monday and it looks like pretty clear trip after we get to 17 dg north all the way across...A couple other boats are going at the same tme and a couple more after. The radios and si-tex are working ok and reality is it is just time to get out there.. So there will not be any update for about 20 days or so give or take 4.. Christmas for sure and most likely new years will be at sea we have Champagne... Funny I was looking at a bottle of Jack Daniels at the resturant tonight thinking that came on a ship along with a ton of other crap from the US in about 10 days and we are sailing back the same way columbus id 400+ years ago.... Anyway we have a FEW we know where we are and where we are going...
So Sanna is here and comming so we will have three people on board...should make life easier.. not that she can climb coconut trees but at least she tries and I love her for it! Anyway we are heading back to the land of coconut and lobster...Happy holidays to all,, XOXO DON'T WORRY!!!! Robbie
Sanna's Log ~ Talofa! Hi everyone! I made it to Las Palmas with no problems, and I didn't get harrased by customs or anything. Anyway, as you can see from Robbie's log we are all set to sail off tomorrow morning. We had dinner tonight at a restaurant called "Samoa" of all places. It was pretty funny to find a pace called that here. The people have never been there but thought since this is an island that it was appropriate to call the restaurant after another island. The weather should be good for most of the sail. Happy Holidays to everyone! We will be in contact as soon as we can.

11,January, 2006
WE ARRIVED IN ANTIGUA TODAY!!! We had a false start and had to go back to Las Palmas then very light winds on the trip mostly so it took 26 days or so..Anyway we are two days from St Thomas..leaving here saturday morning for there if we can work out Thoams travel issues by then.. this is not the EU he must have a way back before he can get off the boat list. Anyway Trip was GOOD easy if a few waves breaking over the stern off africa but ok then slow only a few squall during the crossing..mostly light winds... More later!!!!! ROBBIE

12,January, 2006
OK way too much to tell and leaving tommorow for St Thomas it should take 40 hours but wait until 60 before calling the Coast Guard PLEASE.. Some pics
This way the "worst" part of the trip..2 days out of Las Palmas 35knot winds and big waves..a couple broke completly over the the back of the boat flooding the cockpit and ripping off a fuel jug
A couple WHALES decided they wanted to surf along with us..nothing like a 32 foot whale you can step off your boat onto..they stayed next to us for an hour or so even though I started the engine and even turned upwind to stop the boat Most exciting thing but also scary..if one had bumped us the PRIB would have needed to be set off.. I think since the hull has not been painted and is still white they wanted to breed with us...they keep doing barrel rolls under the boat and there bellies where white so we probably loked like one of them from below
The ever present dolphins
So Thomas has checked off the boat. He found a place to stay here in Antigua a week or two and has a ticket to Guadalope..Customs was really nasty about him getting off the crew list.. even after he went to the bank took out $2000EC and I bought him a plane ticket to prove he could support himself and was planning on leaving.. But this is a Really beautiful island and everyone else has been wonderful. i wrote up some log stuff I'll post later but mostly other than one night of squalls was a fairly straightforward trip of just trying to make as many miles as we could each day while dodging any weather. The sitex navfax 200 worked GREAT for getting faxes ..the boat had a few issues but I fixed or jury rigged everthing there.. So more again later.. I want to relax and enjoy this place tonight... xxozz

14,January, 2006
So we got about even with St Martaan on the way to St John last night and were getting killed by Thunderstorms and teh seas were ROUGH Went North and anchored in Simpson bay then Tried to cross over this morning and got beat up with waves over the boat and the wind to strong from the North so we are here in St Martaan for a day or two until the winds dies a bit...

21,January, 2006
To finish things least as far as the trip goes... After two days in Simpsons Bay in St Maartin the winds finally mellowed to about 20-24knots wendnesday and we ripped across the Anegada passage in about 12 hours and overnighted of Normans Key. Went to Cruz Bay St John and rafted up to Hot Stuff and went and checked into Customs.. Then over to Secret Harbour in St Thomas and halued the boat out at the boatyard the next day. So C NUT is out of the water getting bottom painted over the next couple of weeks.. No Idea what will happne next... Here are few more photos
The whale breaking the surface...
The rock of Gibralter..we refueled and went straight through that lucky is that? People get hung up for weeks here.
The mandatory fish pic...we caught a few of these and a few Mahi on the slow days..
C NUT in Cruz Bay St John..
And finally a dolphin movie.. 2 meg so...

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