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It took us 16 days from Bermuda to the Azores

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 31-Dec-1982


Bermuda was first settled in 1609,  when Admiral George Somers and 150 others, were shipwrecked here aboard the the Sea Venture, on their way to the Jamestown colony in Virginia.  They spent  ten months here and built two ships, the Deliverance and the Patience, from Bermuda cedar and materials stripped from the Sea Venture,  Most of the survivors sailed on the two new ships to Jamestown to find the colony decimated. George Somers later returned to Bermuda where he died.

Docked at a friends house in Salt Kettle bayA replica of the Deliverance can be seen in St Georges harbour.

It is a beautiful island with lots of greenery and coral coloured houses with white, coral roofs.

There are few cars on the island and tourists use public transport (taxis or buses) or hire scooters. It is quite scary to see inexperienced scooter drivers weaving their way along the narrow roads.

Bermuda is blessed with wonderful beaches, crystal clear waters, and loads of history.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 31-Dec-1981


Cape Verdes

Herb Hilgenberg (Weather)

About 3 hours/day, 365 days/year, since 1987, providing customized weather routing to sailors at sea at no cost, from his radio station in Canada, this man deserves a knighthood or sainthood.

Herb kept us to the south, and out of harms way.  On one day we had a 50 knot storm just to the north of us, but we were fine, thanks to his advice and direction.

We missed the exhilaration of our northern crossings in the 1980's,  between Bermuda and the Azores, up at latitude 40oN, surfing down the huge trade wind swells, with poled out gennys and a stiff following breeze, but our safety was worth it and I will certainly follow Herb's advice again and again. Apparently, every year, there are casualties or breakages on boats that take the northerly route.

Log in with Herb between 1940 and 2000 UTC on 12359KHz SSB and give your position and local conditions. He will call you back, as he does the rounds in geographic sequence, and give you a customized weather routing report for your boat and position.

It helps to listen in on the radio before you leave the dock to understand the protocol.

Go to www3.sympatico.ca/hehilgen/vax498.htm for further info.

Like many other sailors that subscribe (at no cost) to Herb’s dedicated service, we are all deeply indebted to him.

Although Herb does all this at no cost and,  I believe, many boats send donations before or after their crossings to help offset his running costs,and as a thank you for this wonderful service. Commercial weather routing services charge hundreds of dollars for similar services, and few would have Herb's wealth of experience.

You can email Herb at : hehilgen@sympatico.ca  or by regular mail at: 
                 Herb Hilgenberg
                 5468 Hixon Ave, Burlington,
                 Ontario, Canada, L7L 3S2

"Have a a good watch!"

Howard and Jayne [ Just Imagine ] 20-Jun-2005

Rabat (Point of Interest)

        After leaving Gibraltar  in October 08 for the Canary islands we decided to visit Morocco and we were not disappointed. We arrived off the city of Rabat and called the Bouregreg Marina on channel 10 VHF. Soon the harbour master met us offshore in a RIB and guided us into the river and upstream to the new marina. The river is being dredged and new docks are being installed for larger ships. The marina is well sheltered and well run. Only new, with small alongside slips and narrow fairways it is rather tight but with the assistance of the boat boys not a problem. The owners have big plans for a haul out and repair yard. We left Virgos Child safe and secure in the marina while we caught the train from the nearby Sale station to Marrakech and Casablanca. The people were friendly and we never felt uneasy. The food prices were reasonable. Alcohol is available at the large supermarket about two miles from the marina (except Friday) Atms and fuel and propane are nearby.  Potable water and electricity is available on the docks and Customs and Immigration just out side the entrance to the marina. Tie up there first and do your paper work. The medinas and the casbah are worth a visit and there numerous restuarants with good food at cheap prices.
Terry and Elaine [ Virgos Child ] 25-May-2009