Archive for May, 2015

Photo Albums

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

if there is anyone reading about my adventures here and is not on Facebook here are the links to the photos I have posted so far.

Travel to BVI

Prep and Activities in BVI

The sail from BVI to Bermuda

Bermuda

 

 

 

Change of Plans

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

The ARC Europe is a way for sailors to cross the Atlantic with support. There is also the fact that there are other boats doing the same thing at the same time, there are radio check ins twice a day while underway and in port there are services and activities. Even though Pixie Dust is a slow boat compared to the other boats in ARC Europe 2015 and most of the fleet left us in their dust after about the second day we still had visual imagecontact of another boat for most of the first leg. One evening we were joking with them over the radio about dropping in for dinner because they were having stir fry and we had opted for sandwiches because of the rough seas.

 

Most of the boats can be handled quite easily by a crew of two. While cruising the British Virgin Islands Joe and Dawn required no help, in fact Joe had sailed Pixie Dust single handed for many years before meeting Dawn. Most of the sailing around the Caribbean involves day sailing with the occasional overnighter. Passage sailing involves long distance sailing taking a week or longer. Because the boat is constantly under sail (or motor if the wind is lacking) someone has to be at the wheel 24/7. They would have to have a watch schedule of every four hours or six hours, this means long watches and short sleep periods. This can be quite taxing for a crew of two so they will try to find an extra crew member or two. With a crew of four the watch schedule can be quite relaxed with plenty of time to rest and sleep between shifts.

There are many ways to find crew, friends, word of mouth or crew lists. There are web sites where crew members advertise their availability/experience or boats can post crew wanted. I met Dawn a year and a half earlier on a closed Facebook group called Women Who Sail. Another woman had posted about how to get sailing experiences or a school that offered offshore trips. In the ensuing discussion Dawn posted that she was looking for crew for a trip from the mid Atlantic states to BVI and I replied I could be interested. Several phone calls and such later I was onboard. Unfortunately because of weather and repair delays in the end I was unable to make the trip but we kept in touch. When Dawn posted on Facebook in early January that they had been accepted in the ARC Europe 2015 and were looking for crew I immediately replied, I’m in!

Dawn sent me details then said they were going to be out cruising with guests and would be back in touch in early February to get things confirmed. After doing a lot of research and checking vacation time and such I told her that I could commit to either leg one (BVI to Bermuda), leg two (Bermuda to Azores) or, if they were in a pinch for crew, BVI to Azores. she said they had someone lined up for Bermuda to Portugal so I said great, BVI to Bermuda. They had one other person committed for the whole trip.

Meanwhile, the whole Nijmegen March thing came up at Air Force and, after looking at all aspects including vacation time, deemed I could do both even if it meant I had to do a couple of days of the annual camping trip to Vermont in August with no pay. I was a little worried that I might lose a bit of the conditioning while on the sailing trip but I would have another four weeks once I got back before the two tryout March days.

Finally, on 5 May I fly down to BVI, meet Joe and Dawn face to face for the first time and the other crew member Mike who was brought on because of his experience of not only sailing his own boat to Bermuda but has crisscrosses the Atlantic several times as crew. He was to do the whole trip with Teful replacing me in Bermuda.

The trip to Bermuda went well, we had three and a half days if great sailing, all on a single starboard tack, then the wind died and we motored for two and a half days with the last 24 hours or so with a 15-20kt knot headwind that caused us to slow down and buck all over the place. On Friday, almost exactly six days after we left Tortola, we arrived in Bermuda.

As we were sitting at dockside just enjoying the moment Mike informed us that he was leaving the boat. That took us all by surprise as things seem to be going well and I think we all gained a bit of knowledge from his expertise. This left Joe and Dawn in a bit of a pickle because they would have to find a new crew member in five days before the passage to the Azores.

Since I had done that research earlier I knew I had the vacation time to go to the Azores so I said, let me send an email to my manager and see if I can stay out another couple of weeks. It was only noontime on the East coast so I knew that wouldn’t be a problem. Got an answer back in about ten minutes, go for it! So, I said to Joe and Dawn, if you don’t mind having another inexperienced member on board (Teful’s only offshore experience was Saint Martin to Newport last year) then I’m in. They enthusiastically said yes so now I am off to the Azores on Wednesday!

As far as the dream to do Nijmegen, well, I’m just trading one dream for another. One us a sure bet (sailing across the Atlantic) while the other was a long shot at best. In fact the lumbar pain that was caused by the marching has flared up again and has bothered me the whole time we have been in Bermuda. I hope it dissipates before the next leg.

Just another Test

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Checking to see if Twitterfeed separates the header from the contents

Sent from my iPad

Post

Friday, May 8th, 2015

I now have it set up so that I can use an email to post to Facebook. The next step is to set up a connection on e boat to the sat phone that Dawn has so I can post while we are sailing

Sent from my iPad

test 20

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Will jet pack work?

Sent from my iPad