||Monday, June 28, 2004
Linda and Hal Wyman do what thousands of sailors passing through Horta have done over the last half-century, paint the name of their yacht on the wall surrounding the marina.
Marge Wilson proves to have the right karma for water fights against all comers.
There was a Nordhavn 62 already in Horta when the rally fleet arrived. Marty and Marge Wilson of Karma, shown with crew Gunter at left, are headed in the opposite direction across the Atlantic as their circumnavigation of the world nears completion.
What a mess! Kirk White of Pacific Asian Enterprises stands beside the tangle of fishing net and line that caught in the prop of Autumn Wind on the leg from Bermuda., causing the Nordhavn 62 to almost come to a standstill. Some of the mess was cut away by swimmers but this clump hung on till Horta.
The red flag means refueling is taking place, from a fuel truck on the quay at Horta.
Caroline Inman of the Nordhavn 57 Emeritus takes a break from boat chores.
The busiest man in Horta was service engineer Nick Fornabaio of Naiad Marine based in Connecticut, the provider of active-fin stabilizers for many of the trawler yachts in the rally fleet.
When the last volcano erupted on Faial, ash piled up as high as the top windows of this lighthouse.
The harbor dominates any photograph of Horta.
The island of Faial has proven to be a wonderful stopover en route to Gibraltar. We are anxious to depart, but we would like to linger.
OK, it is time to get caught up with photos.
I have about 50 selected from the hundreds on my hard drive, and will uploaded them in batches over the next several days.
Gibraltar is a fascinating place, but more about that when I'm caught up with photos.
SATURDAY JUNE 26 0845
Wow, what a rock it is!
We are off Gibraltar, with a cloud hooked on the top of the mountain.
At 36 05.2 North 05 21.6 West, the voyage is done. A great adventure for
close to 100 souls is drawing to an end. A historic moment, not quite up
there with Nelson returning from the Battle of Trafalgar, but important in
its own right. The first-ever cruise in company across the Atlantic by a
group of trawler yachts has been successfully completed.
Let the celebration begin. But first, a photo shoot with the Rock of
Gibraltar in the background. We await arrival of the rest of the fleet.
It feels good to be here.
SATURDAY JUNE 25 0530
Quote of the day from John Spencer aboard the Nordhavn 40 Uno Mas: "It was
like the boat was standing on its stern. I saw only air, no water." Now, check out the first photo at the link below:
Chris Samuelson instigates a discussion among the fleet, saying it would be
better if we picked up speed and headed closer to the Spanish coast, rather
than idling along. Jim Leishman agrees. Faster boats are given the signal to
proceed at a speed that is comfortable for them. Atlantic Escort will remain
with the smaller boats.
It is quite bash to weather. Wind speed increases to 35 knots, still on the
nose. Spray flies everywhere. Now and then, bows are buried in steep seas.
The horses have smelled the barn.
SATURDAY JUNE 25 0330
Lat 36 01.9 North, Long 06 03.8 West
After a gorgeous final day on the North Atlantic, with blue skies and gentle
seas, we are being punished by the Strait of Gibraltar.
We have a steep sea right on the nose with 25 to 30 knots of wind tossing
waves at Goleen. We're thumping along at 3 to 3.5 knots, just under 1,000
We are not alone. There are 16 sets of running lights in front and to the
right of us. Our group of larger boats has caught up and merged with the
Fm: O.M.N.I. NJ/USA
1400Z 25 JUN 2004
- The weather god has again intervened in the developing pressure pattern today and Saturday , and will indeed swing the local wind for the Gibraltar Strait passage to EASTERLY! However, he is being kind and keeping the wind intensity to at/below 20kts, and the wave heights at about 5ft or less.
- The high pressure ridge that has guided the winds along your route these past few days will remain to your north as you pass south of the Iberian Peninsula, keeping the local wind along the southern Spain coast NE-E thru this weekend.
For the SLOW & FAST GROUPS along the rhumb line route to Gib Strait
Fri/25 - Gib/26: NW SW 10-18kt, veering NE-E late, 08-17kt, to E'ly in the Strait 10-20kt. NW-WNW 2-4ft becomes East 3-5ft sea Gib/Strait.
Wishing all fair weather and following winds (after Gibraltar).
FRIDAY JUNE 25 0930
Lat 36 17.2 North, Long 09 03.2 West, Course 101, Speed 8.2 knots, Wind
15-20 knots North, seas 6 to 8 feet under bright sunshine, Distance
remaining to Tarifa waypoint, 168 nm, to Gib, 184 nm, meaning we are right
on schedule for a Saturday morning transit of the strait with the tide.
At the moment, there are at least 14 ships in the neighborhood, as reported
Mother Nature never lets you forget who is boss. With winds around 20 knots
from the North, we are rocking and rolling again in a beam sea of 6 to 8
feet. The noise of waves slapping Goleen drove me out of the guest
stateroom and up to the flying bridge for sleep after my watch ended at
And what a busy watch it was, what with commercial ship traffic converging
at the conflux of Europe and Africa and the entrance to the Med via the
Strait of Gibraltar. At one point, we had a Dutch ship approaching from the
east while a Moroccan came down on us from the north. It was so busy that I
did not get my water bottle out of the fridge until the first two hours had
passed, never mind making it to the head until it was almost too late.
At the morning roll call, we heard that the smaller-boat group is only 26
nautical miles ahead of us. We should catch up by evening. The smaller boats
are starting to come into VHF range so we begin to hear familiar voices
again on the radio.
Today is going to be a busy day aboard Goleen as we attempt to clean ship
from stem to stern, and I have my interviews to complete as well.
THURSDAY JUNE 24 2200
Earlier this evening, we took a detour, with excellent results.
We had not caught a single fish since leaving Horta, thus, as we approached
Gorringe Bank, where the ocean floor shallows to as little as 67 feet, we
left the rhumb line to troll the area. To sweeten the bait, I kissed the two
lures before putting lines into the water, and gave my patented fish cry,
"Here, tuna, tuna, tuna!"
Lo and behold, we had a 10-pound tuna aboard before long. It is a bonita and
thus not sashimi grade, but after a 12-hour marinade in olive oil and soy
sauce, it will make excellent eating.
Ironically, for supper, Chris made a tuna pie, albeit with canned tuna.
THURSDAY JUNE 24 1700
That was close. Another vessel in our group came to within a few feet of
brushing up against Goleen. It was attempting to toss a line to us to pass
over medical supplies for the treatment of a minor foot injury sustained by
Bransom Bean during the swim.
Lesson learned: Think out and talk out carefully the procedure that will be
followed before starting such an operation. Make sure both vessels are on
the same page. If you have a monkey's fist with 50 feet of line to throw,
there is no need to come closer than half that distance. Both vessels should
move at slow speed, with one holding course while the other maneuvers.
Separate if the operation cannot be executed with surgical precision and try
Or simply drop the package in the water and let the other vessel retrieve it
with a boat hook.
THURSDAY JUNE 24 1400
Lat 36 34.1 North 12 24.1 West, Course 103, Speed 8.2, running slower so
Sans Souci can catch up, Wind 9 knots out of NW, Distance remaining to Gib
346 nm, with Chuck Berry's fantastic instrumental, Deep Feeling, on the CD
player in repeat mode
Aboard Goleen, we are busy testing jokes on each other in preparation for
our hosting of the evening entertainment on the VHF after our group roll
call. We'll also be conducting a quiz, on cruising Europe, which is not
likely to be overly serious.
As the sample below indicates, the onboard humor has a definite British bent
as the owner hails from Ireland and the vessel is home-ported in
Southampton. Your reporter holds Canadian and Latvian passports, Bransom
Bean is a Yank living on the Isle and Man, and while Jonathan Ehly is an
American, living in San Diego, he grew up and was educated in Africa and the
Middle East as he has missionary parents.
From: Chris Samuelson [73511,562]
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 1998 2:47 PM
Subject: American view of France
"The following advisory for American travelers heading for France was compiled from information provided by the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and some very expensive spy satellites that the French don't know about. It is intended as a guide for American travelers only. No guarantee of accuracy is ensured or intended.
"General Overview: France is a medium-sized foreign country situated in the
continent of Europe. It is an important member of the world community, though
not nearly as important as it thinks. It is bounded by Germany, Spain,
Switzerland and some smaller nations of no particular consequence and with not very good shopping.
"France is a very old country with many treasures, such as the Louvre and
EuroDisney. Although France likes to think of itself
as a modern nation, air conditioning is little used, and it is next to
impossible to get decent Mexican food. One continuing exasperation for
American visitors is that the people willfully persist in speaking French,
though many will speak English if shouted at. As in any foreign country, watch your change at all times.
"The People: France has a population of 54 million people, most of whom drink
and smoke a great deal, drive like lunatics, are dangerously oversexed and
have no concept of standing patiently in line. The French people are in
general gloomy, temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof and undisciplined-and
those are their good points. Most French citizens are Roman Catholic, though
you would hardly guess it from their behavior. Many people are communists, and
topless sunbathing is common. Men sometimes have girls' names like Marie, and
they kiss each other when they hand out medals.
"American travelers are
advised to travel in groups and to wear baseball caps and colorful trousers
for easier mutual recognition.
"Safety: In general, France is a safe
destination, though travelers are advised that, from time to time, it is
invaded by Germany. By tradition, the French surrender more or less at once
and, apart from a temporary shortage of Scotch whiskey and increased
difficulty in getting baseball scores and stock market prices, life for the
visitor generally goes on much as before.
"History: France was discovered by Charlemagne in the Dark Ages. Other
important historical figures are Louis XIV, the Huguenots, Joan of Arc,
Jacques Cousteau and Charles de Gaulle, who was president for many years and
is now an airport.
"Government: The French form of government is democratic but noisy. Elections
are held more or less continuously and always result in a runoff.
"Culture: The French pride themselves on their culture, though it is not easy
to see why. All their songs sound the same, and they have hardly ever made a
movie that you would want to watch for anything but the nude scenes.
And nothing, of course, is more boring than a French novel (except, perhaps,
an evening with a French family).
"Cuisine: Let's face it, no matter how much garlic you put on it, a snail is
just a slug with a shell on its back. Croissants, on the other hand, are
excellent, though it is impossible for most Americans to pronounce this word.
In general, travelers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers at leading hotels
such as Sheraton and Holiday Inn.
"Economy: France has a large and diversified economy, second only to Germany's
in Europe, which is surprising because people hardly work at all.
If they are not spending four hours dawdling over lunch, they are on strike
and blocking the roads with their lorries and tractors.
"Public Holidays: France has more holidays than any other nation in the world.
Among its 361 national holidays are 197 saints' days, 37 National Liberation
Days, 16 Declaration of Republic Days, 54 Return of Charles de Gaulle in
Triumph as if He Won the War single-handed Days, 18 Napoleon Sent into Exile
Days, 17 Napoleon Called Back from Exile Days and 112 France Is Great and the
Rest of the World Is Rubbish Days. Other important holidays are National
Nuclear Bomb Day (January 12), the Feast of Ste. Brigitte Bardot Day (March 1)
and National Guillotine Day (November 12).
"Conclusion: France enjoys a rich
history, a picturesque and varied landscape, and a temperate climate. In
short, it would be a very nice country if it weren't inhabited by French
people. The best thing that can be said for it is that it is not Germany."
THURSDAY JUNE 24 1100
The latest weather from Walt Hack calls for W-NW wind 8-17 knots, seas 5-6 ft for Thursday, NW-NE wind 10-20 knots, seas 4-5 ft for Friday and Saturday.
We[base ']re delighted to see no easterly winds for Saturday morning as they can make the approach to the Strait of Gib problematic.
THURSDAY JUNE 24 NIGHT WATCH
Hello, milky way! I sure do prefer night watches under a starry sky than when it is overcast. The milky way tonight looks as if it were whitewashed with a broad brush.
A good look all around, visually and by radar, and I head for the galley and a ham and/or cheese sandwich. Which I'll probably chase with an ice cream before my watch ends at 0400.
Last night I made an Azorian klops, a variation on the soon-to-be-famous Kolesnikovs Klops. We could find no sour cream in the Azores, thus, I made do with béchamel sauce which is readily available. In addition to the usual ground beef and bacon, I jazzed up the dish with Azorian sausage.
David Stone of Crosser and Ken Williams of Sans Souci played a chess match last night--by VHF radio. It went on forever, and I went below before it was concluded, so I have no news about a winner.
During the evening roll call, we heard that the Nordhavn 62 Autumn Wind is hand-steering this 1,100-nm leg. They discovered an autopilot problem in Horta too late to order in parts, and elected to press on the old-fashioned way, with a man on the wheel 24 hours around the clock. With six or so persons aboard, it should not be too tedious.
Our group did stop for a swim yesterday afternoon. One could say we swam with the whales as shortly thereafter several whales cruised between Que Linda! and Sans Souci.
I must say that a far greater percentage of the people aboard boats in this group participate in the diving and swimming than did the folks in the smaller-boat group. Chris Samuelson and I aboard Goleen were likely the only ones in our group who did not jump in.
The atta-girl award goes to Linda Wyman who swam over to one of the Nordhavn 62s, climbed up on the pilothouse roof, and dove in. Que Linda! indeed.
Fm: O.M.N.I. NJ/USA
1900Z 23 JUN 2004
-- High pressure ridging continues to dominate the waters south and just east of the Rally track. The vessels are positioned very well relative to the ridging and the very vigorous low pressure activity in the NE'rn Atlantic. (We note Force/9-10 winds were reported today/Wedn in the English Channel and across southern UK, not a very friendly place to be these days, since a newly developing Severe Gale Low is now developing in the upper-40 latitudes midocean that will bring more heavy Gales to the northern France, Bay of Biscay, and UK region in the coming days.Virtually all of the weather coincident with those systems over northern Europe will remain well north of the NAR area.)
-- Much of the low level moisture has thinned across the NAR track although some cloudiness, and even some light patchy fog may still persist o'nite tonite.
-- The NAR track will pass thru the prevailing high pressure ridge Thu/PM, that now lays from a 1025mb high pressure cell some 400nm to the SW of the NAR NE'ward to about Lisbon. Forecasts are not precisely clear on whether the Gibraltar Strait winds will veer to sustained E'ly by Saturday/26th-AM, but we believe the pressure will persist in its prevailing position, and likely build somewhat, but the shift from the prevailing westerly winds in the GibStrait will likely take place overnight Fri into Sat and should not generate risk winds or sea in the Strait for the NAR passage. ENE-E winds moderate to occ fresh will prevail along the S/Spain coast Sat/26-Tue/29.
For the SLOW GROUP along the rhumb line route to Gibraltar Strait:
Wed/23: W 09-19kt. West 4-7ft.
Thu/24: Veer W to NW 10-18kt. West 4-6ft.
Fri/25 - Gib/26: NW to NE to E'ly in the Strait 10-20kt. NW 2-4ft becomes East 3-5ft sea Gib/Strait.
For the FAST GROUP along the rhumb line route to Gib Strait:
Wed/23: WNW to NW 10-18kt. West 4-7ft.
Thu/24: NW to NNE 08-17kt. W+NW 4-6ft.
Fri/25-Gib/26: NW-NE to E'ly 10-20kt. NW 2-4ft becomes E 3-5ft sea Gib/Strait.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 23 MORNING ROLL CALL
Our group of five larger boats is at 37 02 North 17 57 West, 564 nautical
miles from Tarifa at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. Our eventual
destination, Marina Bay Marina on the west side of the Rock, is another 16
The smaller boats are 73 nm ahead of us, 491 nm from the Tarifa waypoint.
Our lone ranger, Emeritus, is already 29 nm ahead of the smaller group, hell
bent for Gib on his own.
It's odd that Bob Rothman has chosen to run separately from either group,
even when he had a chance to hang with us or the smaller boats. If he is so
independent-minded, why did he enter the rally in the first place? I suspect
there may be more than independence behind his tactic. Perhaps Janis, Bob's
wife, who had a tough time of the long second leg, is anxious to be done
with the Atlantic as quickly as possible.
There is something odd also about this stretch of ocean. Bob reported that
his GPS signal dropped off. Jim Leishman reported that each of the three GPS
units aboard Atlantic Escort was, for a time, showing three different
In our group, Chris Samuelson instigated discussion about our speed. His
calculation is that we may not catch up with the lead group before Gib if we
maintain our current speed of about 8.5 knots. He suggests speeding up at
least 50 turns. We ask Que Linda!, the smallest boat in the group. Hal Wyman
agrees to increase rpm accordingly.
I know from my interview aboard Que Linda! that Hal is not all that happy to
run his Caterpillar 3406C close to the maximum rpm of 1,200. According to
the nominal distances and speeds set out in the rally operations manual, the
average speed for the larger boats was to be 7.9 knots for this leg of the
rally. (And 6.6 knots for the smaller boats.)
Kirk White, the designated group leader, suggested last night that we
consider running with the smaller boats once we catch up. It would be nice
to let the smaller boats have their moment of glory, he said during roll
call, by letting them finish first.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 23 0120 ON THE NIGHT WATCH
Conditions have improved considerably. The wind has dropped to 7-8 knots and
the seas, as much as I can see the darkness, are down accordingly.
The Nobeltec Admiral tells me there are 668 nm to go with an ETA of Saturday
I have both pilothouse doors open, but only halfway, so as not to
inadvertently hurtle into the sea, thus uttering the ultimate, "Oh, shit!"
TUESDAY JUNE 22 2030
Darkness is preparing to cloak the North Atlantic. In the dusk, I am sitting
in the saloon, facing aft with my feet up, waiting for sleep to come.
Wave after wave chases down Goleen, lifting her stern and then passing
underneath with a whoosh. The seas as 6 to 8 ft but well spaced and benign.
What a fine meal we had tonight. It was an Irish-Portuguese chicken stew
prepared by Chris, washed down by an excellent vihno tinto from the Azores.
Fm: O.M.N.I. NJ/USA
1700Z 22 JUN 2004
- High pressure ridge still lays from southern Spain to Madeiras to a 1025mb cell near 24N 42W, south of the 'normal' seasonal position. This ridge will drop southward to northern Morocco to the high cell Wed-Thu, and now expected to migrate northward again Fri/25-Sat/26, possibly swinging the local Gibraltar Strait winds to NE-E by Sat/26th. This may occur a bit earlier, but through Sat/26th-PM, not expecting winds above 20kt in the Gib/Strait.
- Some patchy fog and/or drizzle likely overnight tonite.
- Intense low pressure activity well north of the NAR tracks, moving from the upper 40's latitudes of the mid Atlantic to the UK and North Sea will not contribute significantly to the ocean conditions south of 40N.
For the SLOW GROUP along the rhumb line route to Gibraltar Strait: Tue/22: W-WSW 15-25kt. West 6-8ft. Wed/23: W-SW 10-20kt. West 5-7ft. Thu/24: W-NW 10-18kt. West 4-6ft. Fri/25 - Gib/26: NW-NE 10-20kt. NW 2-4ft becomes East 4-5ft sea Gib/Strait.
For the FAST GROUP along the rhumb line route to Gib Strait: Tue/22: W-WSW 15-25kt gusty/30kt. West 6-8ft. Wed/23: SW ease 10-20kt. West 5-7ft. Thu/24: W-NW 08-17kt. W+NW 5-6ft. Fri/25-Gib/26: NW-NE 10-20kt. NW 2-4ft becomes E 4-5ft sea Gib/Strait.
INTRODUCTION TO AIS
Earlier in the morning, when an Algerian cargo ship approached our group,
Chris Samuelson was able to demonstrate the latest in communications
wizardry, the Automated Identification System (AIS) he has installed on
Goleen. AIS generates a signal using GPS and VHF data. When the Algerian was
about 12 miles away, up popped all the data anyone would want on an
approaching vessel: name, call sign, destination, heading, speed, length,
beam, draft et al, and the all-important MMSI number.
Chris punched the MMSI number into our VHF and a loud and distinctive signal
sounded on the AlgerianÕs radio as well as ours. No more snoozing on the
Almost immediately, the Algerian responded, and was uncharacteristically
chatty for a commercial vessel. He of course knew all about Goleen from the
data that had appeared on his monitor.
We exchanged course and speed information and the Algerian ship, which was
running on the same track as our group and overtaking us rapidly, was glad
to alter course to avoid us by several miles.
Soon, all commercial vessels operating legally on the oceans of the world
will be required to use AIS making it identification and communication so
much easier for AIS-equipped yachts. The cost is about the same as for a
With radar, there is the possibility that a small sailing or motor yacht
will not be seen, perhaps because of clutter caused by the sea state. With
AIS, identification and location is established automatically on the shipÕs
chart plotter or other monitor.
AIS is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment a yacht can
have, Chris says. It ensures we will be detected and it enables us to
Goleen is the only trawler yacht in the rally fleet so equipped. On the
approach to Hamilton, Bermuda harbor patrol told Goleen she was was the
first AIS-equipped yacht they had encountered.
For the technically minded, hereÕs the poop from the operatorÕs manual for
the Furuno UAIS Transponder, model FA-100:
The FA-100 is a universal shipborne Automatic Identification System capable
of exchanging navigation and ship data between own ship and other ships or
THE FA-100 consists of VHF/GPS antennas, a transponder unit and several
associated units. The transponder contains a VHF transmitter, two TDMA
receivers on two parallel channels, a DSC channel 70 receiver, interface,
communication processor, LCD display, and internal GPS receiver. The
internal GPS is a 12-channel all-in-view receiver with a differential
capability, and provides UTC reference for system synchronization to
eliminate clash among multiple users. It also gives position, COG and SOG
when the external GPS fails.
The LCD panel displays all required information about static data, dynamic
data, voyage-related data and short safety-related messages. The information
and messages are automatically updated . . .
-- Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI)
-- IMO number where available
-- Call sign and name
-- Length and beam
-- Type of ship
-- Location of position-fixing antenna on the ship.
-- ShipÕs position with accuracy indication and integrity status
-- Course over ground (COG)
-- Speed over ground (SOG)
-- Rate of turn where available
-- ShipÕs draught
-- Hazardous cargo (type)
-- Destination and ETA at masterÕs discretion.
TUESDAY JUNE 22 1100
I am catching up on reading email I downloaded in the Azores.
It was great to hear from Fred Caron aboard the Nordhavn 46 Arcturus and
Maurice Nunas aboard the Krogen 48 Whaleback. They have rendezvoused in the
Solomons Islands in the South Pacific.
It was great to also hear from Carol Flicht, Marty Levesque, Mike
Harrington, Larry Polster, Bill Schleuse, Caledon Boatworks, Louis Letson,
Frank Weismantel, Trawlers Midwest, and Charles Baker aboard BeebeÕs
original Passagemaker, all of whom I will try to get back to when I am in
Not everyone is delighted with my reporting or the rally, as witnessed by
"I decided not to pursue this on the blog but I would hope you would address my question a little more seriously. I[base ']m the one who commented:
"Given the lousy conditions and the forecast for improving conditions, why didn't you delay departure for one or two days? Is this rally really on that strict a schedule?[per thou]
"Your response was:
"Quite frankly, I don't believe a delay crossed anyone's mind. Everyone was keen to get started, and conditions were not that lousy.
Georgs [apple] 5/25/04; 5:56:03 PM
"Yet your blog includes the following:
[base "]Personally, I've had my toughest time ever on a boat, having lost lunch twice in the first 12 hours at sea. I've never been sick on a passage. In fact, the last time I up-chucked was maybe 40 years ago, after too much partying.[per thou]
[base "]Arline Smith says the conditions are the lousiest she has seen on this boat.[per thou]
The Sans Souci site talks about how sick and miserable many folks were. I hope you can see why your cavalier response to my serious question might have confused me. I wonder how many of your group were saying to themselves, if not out loud, [base "]What are we doing out here[per thou] or the like?
"Certainly a voyage of the magnitude you are undertaking will have its share of lousy weather/seas but when your weather router tells you conditions would improve greatly in 48 hours, what would compel the organizers to start out in rough weather? It[base ']s been my experience, limited as it may be, that trouble begins when strict schedules overrule prudent decisions. While the conditions were not life-threatening I don[base ']t see the logic in subjecting the crews or boats to them unnecessarily. If the point was to prove how robust Nordhavns are, it was lost on me.
"I wish you folks the best and hope you all have a safe and pleasant crossing."
As far as I can tell, everyone joined the rally and went to sea willingly, even enthusiastically. I upset my stomach by eating the better half of a family-size bag of potato chips by myself. Arline Smith complained because Autumn Wind, as the support vessel for the smaller boats, was required to run several knots slower than optimum. And we all returned to sea willingly and enthusiastically for the next leg, and the leg after that.
As far as I could determine, in interviews in Bermuda and the Azores, there were only three people who were so uncomfortable that they did not wish to go on. One decided to carry on regardless while two flew ahead to Gib.
With few exceptions, we are having a blast, even when the wind pipes up and the seas push us around a bit.
TUESDAY JUNE 22 MORNING ROLL CALL
Jim Leishman on Atlantic Escort reports the smaller boats are 677 nm from Gib, traveling at 7 knots.
Bob Rothman reports he is 662 nm from Gib and bearing down on the lead group. Bob tells us that Emeritus was attacked by a huge shark during the night. It tore a a large chunk out of the rudder but Bob and his grandson-in-law used a copy of Voyaging Under Power to patch up the damage.
In our group, Que Linda reports a small hydraulic leak in its stabilizer system. Grey Pearl notes that its Naiads show considerable improvement after an upgrade eliminated the gyroscopic control, and Crosser proudly tells us its Wesmars continue to operate trouble-free.
MONDAY JUNE 21 2000 GROUP ROLL CALL ON VHF RADIO
On the menu tonight, there was pork roast on Que Linda!, meat loaf on Grey Pearl, and beef ravioli and chicken with mango sauce on Crosser. We had a light supper: mixed green salad with Azorian tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and cheese.
Crosser won top honors in the dessert competition. They enjoyed homemade chocolate ice cream, courtesy of Linda Wyman who delivered it this morning prior to departure from Ponta Delgado.
MONDAY JUNE 21 1945 FLEET ROLL CALL ON SSB RADIO
Atlantic Escort, the rally command vessel steaming with the smaller-boat group, reports in at 37 16 North 20 55 West, 167 nautical miles ahead of us, traveling at 6 to 7 knots, with distance remaining to Gib of 745 nm.
Glory be! Emeritus checks in, at 37 38 N 21 55 W, 114 nm ahead of us, 783 nm to Gib.
Everyone reports similar weather to ours: wind out of the SW at 15-20+ knots, seas from the same direction 6-8 feet.
Our group is at 37 35 N 24 16 West, chugging along at 8.5-9 knots.
MONDAY JUNE 21 1425
Chris telephones Bill Smith on Autumn Wind, support vessel for the group of smaller yachts. They are doing well, running at 6.4 knots about 180 nm ahead of us on the rhumb line (most direct route) to Gibraltar. We[base ']re running 2 knots faster so we should catch them up in 3.3 days.
No word on the whereabouts of Emeritus, Bob Rothman[base ']s Nordhavn 57, which left Horta early Sunday.
Later, I chat with Chris about accommodations in Gibraltar where the designated rally hotel is 110 pounds, almost $200 per night, and a 20-minute walk from the marina. He suggests I consider walking 5 minutes in the opposite direction, north into Spain, where more modestly priced hotels may be available in La Linea. He has business associates in Gib and he will ask someone to do research for me.
From Gib, there is ferry service to Africa, so who knows what will unfold once we reach the Rock.
MONDAY JUNE 21 1330
We started the last leg of the rally with a burial at sea.
With a proper salute, we sent into the deep the hydrangeas and other lovely
flowers that Sonaia brought aboard during our stay in Ponta Delgado. The
three vases would probably not survive the passage upright. As you may have
noticed from the weather report in the preceding post, we are not expecting
calm seas in the next few days.
But we are glad to be at sea again, even though water and skies are gray
For the first time in the rally, I am thinking it won't be long now before I
see Significant Other again, and my dear 83-year-old mother and equally dear
But, first, we have 985 more nautical miles of North Atlantic to cross.
SUNDAY JUNE 20 2000
What a day!
First interview at 0830 aboard the Seaton custom 55 Que Linda!. By 0930, the
marina is demanding that we immediately move the boat as the full-time
slip-holder has returned after several days away. So, over to raft up
against the Nordhavn 62s, Grey Pearl and Sans Souci, we go. No sooner has
the interview resumed when the VHF squawks. The smaller-boat group is
approaching Ponta Delgado, one day after departing Horta. Linda Wyman of Que
Linda! and I decide to jump into Lindita, their RIB, to race out to say
hello. Hal Wyman's son, Chris and his bride, Stacy, join us. Off we go,
readjusting vertebrae as we pound into head seas for about a mile.
We greet eight boats of the 12 in the group. Much waving and shouting and
picture-taking. Then we race back to the marina and Que Linda! to complete
the interview. I hike back to Goleen where I fix salad and cheese for lunch
and then nap prior to my afternoon interview aboard Sans Souci. Ken
Williams, who is playing golf with Chris Samuelson, gets delayed and we miss
each other for the second day in a row.
Before long, the tender from the Monk/McQueen 90 Crosser is here to pick me
up, for an interview followed by cocktails. Crosser is a mind-blowing
combination of luxury, fine taste and craftsmanship. David Stone and Sandy
Howarth, the owners, are delightful, and certain to win the rally
hospitality and congeniality awards. Before long, owners and crews from Grey
Pearl and Sans Souci arrive for cocktails. Anita Neifert, chef and steward
aboard Crosser, serves two type of margaritas to wash down the chicken liver
pate and antipasto she has made. Everyone is having a smashing time as
Crosser gently swings on the hook just off the main drag of Ponta Delgado
which, in a downscale sort of way, is reminiscent of the waterfront at Monte
The rain starts just as we are about to return to our own boats. I hitch a
ride with Linda Wyman. My umbrella collapses in the breeze as Linda pushes
the throttle to the metal.
Back on Goleen, Sonaia Hermida is preparing bacalhoada, a Portuguese
specialty made from salted cod. Bransom and Jonathan are not yet returned
from their second day of sightseeing. Chris is ashore, at the marina cafe,
watching the Portugal-Spain Euro 2004 soccer match on the jumbo screen. I
join him, and find a bunch of other NAR types taking in the game and soaking
up the suds.
I am quite wet, so I return to Goleen for a change into dry clothes. From
the cheers, I can tell the second half has started, so out in the rain I go
again to see the rest of the game. It's an outdoor cafe, so I tuck my
trashed umbrella under one arm.
We are scheduled to depart for Gibraltar Monday at 12 noon.
Email from Bill Bane aboard the Nordhavn 46 Satchmo to Chris Samuelson:
We left on schedule today (Saturday, June 19) at noon and the day has been
spectacular. The sun was just right for us 46s to get a picture with Pico in
the background. Hope it turns out.
You guys have a good trip and I look forward to seeing all of you in the
light at sea as you toodle past.
Fm: O.M.N.I. NJ/USA
1700Z 20 JUN 2004
- Not too much change since the last few days n the overall surface pressure picture for the eastern Atlantic in the coming 5 days. High pressure across the sub-tropics from west of the Canarys to southern Spain, will persist thru the coming week, but will weaken by late this coming weekend across the Gib/Strait.
- Wind/sea conditions along both the SLOW and FAST Groups tracks will remain following and quartering for much of the this leg to Gibraltar. However, there is some chance that the last day through Gibraltar Strait will meet some easterly mod-fresh winds.
For the SLOW GROUP along the rhumb line route from Horta south of Sao Miguel to Gib/Strait, expect: Sun/20: WSW 11-20kt. Swell West 4-7ft. 8-10sec periods. Mon/21: WSW-SW 12-22kt. West 5-7ft. Tue/22: WSW 15-25kt. West 6-8ft. Wed/23: WSW-W ease 10-18kt. West 4-7ft. Thu/24: Veer wind W to NW to NNW 08-18kt. W+NW 5-6ft. Fri/25-Gib: NNW to ENE 10-20kt. East 4-5ft Gib/Strait.
For the FAST GROUP along the rhumb line route from San Miguel Mon/21st to Gibraltar Strait, expect: Mon/21: WSW 12-22kt. Swell WSW-W 5-8ft. Tue/22: W-WSW 15-25kt gusty/30kt. W-WNW 6-9ft occ 10-11ft briefly. Expecting the wave field to be fairly stable so even the larger swells should provide reasonable riding. Wed/23: W-SW ease 10-20kt. West 5-8ft. Thu/24: SW-W 04-14kt AM. W-NNW 08-17kt PM. W+NW 5-6ft. Fri/25-Gib: NNW to ENE 10-20kt. East 4-5ft Gib/Strait.
Updating. B/Rgds, Walt/OMNI
SATURDAY JUNE 19 1945
Bransom and Jonathan have not yet returned from sightseeing and Chris and
Sonaia were invited to Crosser for cocktails. Santana plays in the saloon
and I bang away at the iBook in the pilothouse.
My heart went a flutter this afternoon when Anne Caseneuve showed up with
her record-setting trimaran. Although I did notice that she was wearing a
red top as tight as her jeans, it was the trimaran that made me fantasize.
Trawler yachts are awfully nice, and sailboats are wonderful, too, but an
ocean-racing tri or catamaran has no equal in the excitement department.
It's been 15 years since I sold my trimaran, Great American, but I can still
feel the spade rudder start to hum when boat speed reached 15 knots. Sail
faster still and listen to the centerboard join the song.
SATURDAY JUNE 19 1445
Alone, at last.
After five weeks in the company of others, it is nice to have the boat all
to myself for the afternoon. The owners are off visiting another yacht.
Bransom and Jonathan rented a car for sightseeing. I was going to go with
them but decided to stay behind.
Having the boat to myself was the primary reason. Additionally, I wanted to
get some work done. I started interviews aboard Que Linda! this morning and
in two hours I am expected aboard Sans Souci. At the moment, Chuck Berry
rocks Goleen as I make these notes.
I suspect I may return to the Azores with Significant Other, thus, the
sightseeing excursion to Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande for a close look at
extinct volcanoes and hot springs was easy to postpone. Nevertheless, the
prospect of eating a dish called cozido cooked in a hot spring sounded
Chris Samuelson called Milt Baker back in Horta before he left the boat. The
group of 10 smaller boats and their two escorts were due to depart between
1200 and 1300, so by now they will be under way. Tommorrow, their course on
the rhumb line to Gib will bring them close by Sao Miguel about 0730-0800.
Chris said he would try to raise them on VHF 16, 17 and 72.
Emeritus, the Nordhavn 57 with a stabilizer problem that has been fixed,
will depart Horta at 1200 Sunday The question is whether owner Bob Rothman
will follow the rhumb line, thus, making it easy for use to group up with
him by leaving here Monday morning. An independent sort, Bob, at 77, the
oldest man in the rally, already broke from the fleet between Fort
Lauderdale and Bermuda.
Milt reported that there was much fuel polishing going on back in Horta as
it was suspected that one load of diesel used to refuel the fleet may have
been dirty. In our group, Que Linda noticed an unsual amount of crud in the
filters en route Ponta Delgado.
I have not received a response from Skymate to my one satphone call and two
emails, but Fred Wunderlich, back in Fort Lauderdale, received the
following from John Tandler, president of Skymate:
Thank you for your email regarding SkyMate and the Nordhavn rally. I
apologize that I missed your earlier message. We realize the visibility
this event is getting and are working on improving our level of service.
It appears that there is a problem in getting the units switched over to use
ground stations in Europe and Morocco as they should be from the area they
are in. This is likely the cause of the majority of slow- or non-reporting
systesms. We are working with our subscribers and the rally organizers to
correct the problem.
Jenny Stern of Pacific Asian Enterprises reports that three journalists are
coming aboard for the third leg:
Peter Janssen (Yachting): Atlantic Escort
Brad Kovach (Motorboating): Atlantic Escort
Bill Parlatore (PassageMaker): Strickly For Fun.
Fm: O.M.N.I. NJ/USA
1700Z 18JUN 2004
- Strong S-SW winds expected remainder tonite into early Sat/19-AM. Secondary low pressure center 550nm NW of Faial, will move NE-NNE tonite then North into Sat/19-PM to a nearly stationary position just ENE of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The occluded front associated with the low will pass Faial-SoaMiguel o'nite tonite 2400L-0300LT. Since the associated low center will remain to the NNW-NW of the Azores, expect local Azores winds to veer a bit S'ly to W'ly into early morning Sat/19 then back and ease WSW-SW again during the day Sat. Strongest winds associated with this system will occur in the Azores late tonite into the dark morning hours Sat/19, then ease. Thus, not expecting severe conditions from Faial eastward toward Gibraltar for the Div/2 group departure Sat/19th and for the 2-3 days following.
- A new disturbance south of the prevailing stationary low to the north, will pass not far north of the Azores o'nite Sun/20 into Mon/21-AM and will freshen the SW-W winds to 25+kt near and just east of SaoMiguel Monday/21.
- For both Groups, winds east of 20W will veer SW to W'ly, then mostly WNW remainder to Gibraltar Strait, as high pressure settles in across the lower 30's latitudes west of the Madeiras.
msg 2/2 - Div/2 departure Sat/19 Horta, along the rhumb line via south of San Miguel, to Gib/Strait expect:
Sat/19: 0000-0600LT Ease to SW 20-30kt. Ease further after 0600LT SW-WSW 15-25kt. Swell WSW 8-10ft til noon, then 7-8ft. Sun/20: WSW-W 10-20kt. WSW 5-7ft. Mon/21: W-WSW 15-25kt. West 5-6ft. Tue/22: SW 17-25kt. WSW 5-7ft occ 8ft. Wed/23: SW-W'ly 10-19kt. W-WNW 5-7ft. Thu/24: W'ly 10-17kt. West 4-7ft. Fri/25-Gib: WNW-W 10-20kt, West 4-6ft Gib/Strait.
- Div/1 departure Mon/21 Sao Miguel, along the rhumb line to Gib/Strait expect:
Mon/21: SW-W 18-28kt. Swell WSW 7-10ft. Tue/22: W'ly 20-28kt. Swell W 8-10ft occ higher sets 11-12ft. Wed/23: WSW-WNW ease 15-23kt. West 7-9ft. Tue/24: W-NW 10-20kt. NW 5-7ft. Fri/25-Sat/26 Gib: W'ly 10-20kt 4-6ft thru Gib/Strait.
FRIDAY JUNE 18 0935
We are entering the harbor at Ponta Delgado. It appears there is no room in
the marina for us, despite any number of telephone calls from Horta, and we
will anchor, at least until matters are sorted out.
FRIDAY JUNE 18 0220
Lat 38 04.4 North Long 26 48.6 West, Speed 8.9 knots at 1,450 rpm, Course
125, Wind 3 knots from SE, Light swell, Distance remaining to Ponta Delgado
56 nm, ETA 0830
What a happy ship! You can sense it right away. The four of us are going to
have a great time aboard the Nordhavn 57 Goleen on the passage to Gibraltar.
On some yachts, there is unease or tension between owners and crew. On
others, the tension is between the husband and wife who own the vessel. On
many other yachts, and Goleen, there is none of that.
Simply put, we are all here to enjoy ourselves.
On board is Chris Samuelson, Goleen's owner who is a Brit, his friend
Bransom Bean, an American living for many years on the Isle of Man, Jonathan
Ehly, my crew mate on Strickly For Fun who hails from San Diego, and me
myself from Frenchman's Bay just outside Toronto.
Two hours after leaving Horta, Chris, in a tribute to the two Americans
aboard, selects a CD by Don McLean. A minute later, American Pie rocks
Goleen, and Bransom and Jonathan sing along.
It's happy hour! We crack open beers to wash down the Pringles. Then I
volunteer to make a hearty yet simple supper, a large omelet made with
Bermuda eggs, American bacon, and Azorian pork sausages, onions and
potatoes. Chris and Bransom share a bottle of Beaujolais, and Jon and I
sample a bottle of red wine from the island of Pico. It is quite nice and we
affectionately call it Pico Plonk.
When we were alone in the pilothouse, Chris remarked, more to himself than
to me, that this was the first time in 6,500 nautical miles that he has
sailed without his partner, Sonaia Hermida. Sonaia had a rough time during
the Bermuda-Azores leg and opted to fly on to Gibraltar.
I suggested that Chris call her and tell her, not me, that he is conscious
of her absence. As it turns out, Sonaia is only a half-mile from Chris,
having accepted an invitation from Crosser to at least cruise as far as Sao
Miguel aboard the 90-foot Monk/McQueen. When Chris hails Crosser on the VHF,
Sonaia cannot take the call. She is having a massage.
THURSDAY JUNE 17 1605
We are under way again, aiming to run along the north side of Pico and then
head for Ponta Delgado on Sao Miguel where our way point is 37 40.445 North
25 36.463 West.
Our group of 5 yachts is made up of Goleen, the custom Seaton 55 Que Linda,
two Nordhavn 62s, Grey Pearl and group leader San Souci, and the custom
Our way point off Gibraltar, actually, south of Tarifa, will be 35 59.013
North 05 35.630 West, another 1,136 nm across the Atlantic.
At the briefing prior to departure, Jim Leishman requested that we get under
way from Ponta Delgado 24 hours after the small-boat group passes. If they
run at 7 knots, and we scoot along at 8.5 knots, we should all arrive at
Gibraltar together on the morning of June 26. The smaller boats are leaving
Horta on Saturday morning.
Milt Baker told us the best time of approach to Gib will be at high tide so
we get a push through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Med. We will hug the
northern coast of the straits to avoid outbound ships.
The sixth yacht in our group, the Nordhavn 57 Emeritus, will depart Horta on
Sunday as per the original rally schedule. Stabilizer repairs were being
made as we departed Horta since the Trac tech arrived later than expected.
In light of an earlier comment I made about Naiad stabilizer failures, I
should note that Trac as well as Naiad are having the same success rate in
the fleet, that is, one of three systems are not working properly. I'll need
to double-check but I believe 13 boats have Naiads and 3 are equipped with
Trac made by American Bow Thrusters.
----- Original Message -----
To: Jim Leishman Stratosnet ; NAR2004 Sans Souci ; Capt Georgs Kolesnikovs ; Jim Leishman - Atlantic Escort ; FourAcross ; QueLinda ; NAR2004 KenW
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 2:21 PM
Subject: NAR2004 2/2
- There is some indication that Mon/21-Tue/22 will bring some 25+kt SW-W winds and waves above 10ft to the Azores waters and eastward to 20W-15W. These conditions could impact directly on the scheduled vessels' departure Monday/21st for Gibraltar.
- During the coming 24 hours between Faial to SaoMiguel, expect winds to swing from prevailing NE'ly to S and SW by Fri/morn, and may freshen to 20-25kt by noon Friday. Waves will build to 6-8ft by mid-morning Fri near Sao Miguel.
Updating. B//Rgds, Walt/OMNI
----- Original Message -----
To: Jim Leishman Stratosnet ; NAR2004 Sans Souci ; Capt Georgs Kolesnikovs ; Jim Leishman - Atlantic Escort ; FourAcross ; QueLinda ; NAR2004 KenW
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 2:20 PM
Subject: NAR2004 1/2
Fm: O.M.N.I. NJ/USA
1600Z 17 JUN 2004
- New surface pressure pattern is evolving across the Azores waters these next 3-5ft days. NE'ly winds today will become variable overnight into Fri/AM, before freshening SE-S , then SW-WSW winds become the dominant wind stream over the weekend.
- Developing low pressure Friday/18th 600nm NW of Faial will mature into an occluded low pressure center by early Sat/19, remaining near that position through Sun/20-Mon/21, while secondary low pressure disturbances move NE'ward across the waters between the stationary low and the Azores waters. These secondary low pressure centers are not expected to be of gale intensity, but will freshen up the winds across the Azores to 20-25kt+ at times from the S-W into mid-week coming.
- During the coming 3 days, weather will be variable: some rain, some showers, some breaks to partly cloudy.
THURSDAY JUNE 17 1000
There is a briefing for skippers and crews in an hour, and then five of the larger boats will be off, on a 150-nautical-mile leg to Sao Miguel, the largest of the Azores islands. The rest will depart Saturday as per the original schedule, and we will meet up somewhere along the rhumb line to Gibraltar.
From this point onward, follow our adventures at http://abaco.pwr.com/NAR2004/transat/ as well as at http://www.nordhavn.com/rally/voyage/welcome.htm
I will resume posting at http://radio.weblogs.com/0137829/ upon our arrival in Gribraltar on or about June 26.
© Copyright 2004 Georgs Kolesnikovs.