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."
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 rpm.
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 smaller-boat group.
To: NAR-2004 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). B/Rgds, Walt/OMNI
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 by AIS.
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 0400.
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 again.
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'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.
To: NAR-2004 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 nm farther.
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 locations.
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 morning.
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.
To: NAR-2004 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 Algerian's radio as well as ours. No more snoozing on the bridge.
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 radar system.
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 ship's 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 establish communication.
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, here's the poop from the operator's 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 coastal stations.
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.
-- Ship's position with accuracy indication and integrity status
-- Course over ground (COG)
-- Speed over ground (SOG)
-- Rate of turn where available
-- Ships draught
-- Hazardous cargo (type)
-- Destination and ETA at master's 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 Beebe's original Passagemaker, all of whom I will try to get back to when I am in Gibraltar.
Not everyone is delighted with my reporting or the rally, as witnessed by this email:
"I decided not to pursue this on the blog but I would hope you would address my question a little more seriously. I'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? "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: 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. "And Arline Smith says the conditions are the lousiest she has seen on this boat." 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, What are we doing out here 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 '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'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 with mist.
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 94-year-old father. But, first, we have 985 more nautical miles of North Atlantic to cross.
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