Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Final passage aboard Oso Blanco

Passagemakers Eric and Ann Bloomquist with son Bear.

One of the most pleasant jobs at Circumnavigator magazine is keeping an eye on the blogs of Nordhavns out there are voyaging the world. There are many excellent blogs maintained by Nordhavn owners but one of our favorites is Cruising with Oso Blanco written by Eric and Ann Bloomquist about cruising with young son Bear.

Eric and Annie have a way with words, and a sense of humor, that has us looking forward to each new post about life aboard Oso Blanco. We first encountered the Bloomquists when Bear was a toddler. Then the first Oso Blanco was a Nordhavn 40. As Bear grew, so did the Nordhavn, with the second being a 47. Bear now is 10 and the third Nordhavn is a 64.

After a full decade of voyaging, including thousands of miles meandering around the Pacific, the Bloomquists are moving back to life on land in the U.S.A. Last night, on their last overnight passage, Annie posted this blog entry:

Final Overnight

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 04:07 AM PDT

Sitting in the darkened pilot house on our last overnight passage aboard Oso Blanco, moving south along the coast of Australia. We left the Great Barrier Reef a few days ago and have had perfect weather: winds at 5-10 knots, not a cloud in the sky, unbelievably calm seas.

Dozens of humpbacks whales have poked their heads up to say good-bye and entertain us during the day. Newborns splashing and playing around lumbering moms and spunky males throwing themselves out of the water and crashing back into the sea. It never gets old. We even had a dolphin escort for a while; as they rode the bow wave, I swear they made eye contact. Are they just as curious about us as we are about them?

Tonight the Milky Way is so vivid in the dark sky it looks as if the stars are trailing smoke. The rising moon startled me as it suddenly appeared over the horizon where a minute ago it was complete darkness. The orange glow looked like a threatening fireball but quickly emerged into a beautiful, yellow, almost full moon. Somehow you don’t feel quite as alone out here with it watching over you. The hum of the engine combines with the gentle sound of the ebb and flow of the water to offer a soothing atmosphere, making music all its own.

I know Bear and Eric are safe and sound, asleep together in the big bed of our stateroom. Bear pulled me outside to see the Southern Cross before bed and I hugged him as we were in awe of the night sky. “Look Mom! A shooting star! Make a wish!”

My wish is that we never forget nights like this . . .

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bluewater anchors sunflower raft-up

Milt Baker, senior contributing editor of Circumnavigator, who is cruising the Canadian Maritimes this summer with his wife, Judy, aboard their Nordhavn 47 Bluewater, sends along this photo and message:

Thought you might like to see how we've been wasting time here on the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This was a Cruising Club of America sunflower raft three days ago with 45 yachts ranging from about 90 down to 33 feet. Bluewater was one of the four cardinal anchor boats and at one point had 10 yachts, worth about 500,000 pounds, riding on our single anchor until we linked up with the other parts of the raft. The good news is the wind was light and the seamanship excellent.

We were sunflower raft virgins—our very first time. Great fun, too. Tomorrow, we begin the trek back to Halifax, heading into a smokey sou'wester by day and stopping in a snug anchorage each night along the way. We'll probably reach Halifax Friday, spend a week downtown on Cable Wharf, and be back in Southwest Harbor, Maine, around Aug. 23.

Great cruising here . . . we love it! Good chance we'll return next year for longer.

—Milt & Judy