Friday, June 29, 2012

The float switch saga

Although I am not feeling 100% OK I am getting antsy about getting out of Horta and on to Ireland.  I have a couple of repairs that I want to accomplish before I leave.  Top of the priority list was to replace the float switch for the "everyday" bilge pump.  (There is also a high level bilge pump and switch that is working fine.) I pumped out the last of the water in the bilge, took out the switch and headed for the marine parts store.  They didn't have a float switch, but they did have a switch and pump combo pack for 85 euro.  (Food and booze here is cheap, boat parts, not so much.)  I then spent a couple of hours hitting every story within walking distance that might have a switch.  No luck.

While out I stopped by a drug store to purchase vitamins.  I hoped that they would help me knock down the last of what ails me as I had run out while on transit from Bermuda.  I guess not only boat parts but US drugs  don't come cheap - a 100 pill pack of Centrum 50 + vitamins was 36 euros.  Wow!  I swallowed hard and paid the nice lady.

As I continued my walk I headed North from the marina.  Most of my previous ventures had been to the South.  I found the shopping district.  There is a beautiful square with a bandstand, an open air fruit market, butcher shops, and a large number of primarily women's clothing stores.  I didn't have the camera but I will take it tomorrow when I go food shopping.

I walked back to Reboot past the marine store but just could not bring myself to spend 85 euros.  When I got back I dumped the float switch in a bucket of soapy water and cleaned it up.  In the process I discovered that the switch actually had two parts that snapped together.  After cleaning up the switch and putting it back together I hooked up the multimeter.  Eureka!  It worked!  85 euros saved.

As an aside the refrigerator is working again.  It seems that the holders for the fuses are loose.  Perhaps I can get it to work more consistently before I put perishable items in it for my trip to Ireland..

I spent this evening in a local bistro talking to a couple from Connecticut.  They are part of a family group of 14  whose parents immigrated to the US from the Azores in 1958 when the volcano erupted.  With the exception of the parents none of them have ever been here.  What great fun.

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Voyage Summary - St. George's, Bermuda to Horta, Azores

Departed St. George's Bermuda on Sunday, 10 June at about 1635Z.  Ran over to the fuel dock and customs via dinghy so I didn't have to deal with bringing Reboot into the customs dock again.  When I arrived it was blowing 20 knots and it was a royal pain.  I bent my plough anchor when I finally put Reboot into the dock so that I could get a line over.  I obviously misjudged the speed and distance but it is difficult from 40 feet away.  As my day by day summaries indicate it was a very unusual weather pattern for the North Atlantic in June.  Instead of going up to 40 N and riding the westerlies I stayed down in the low 30's and road the south side of the progression of lowes including Hurricane/Tropical Storm Chris that were roaring across the higher latitudes.  Came into the Marina da Horta.  No radio communication - wandered further into port until I discovered the marina office building - a couple of guys were waving at me so I went over and rafted up to the fuel dock (yes, rafted up to the fuel dock.)  Nice, clean, well run marina but very crowded, almost everyone is rafted up 2 or three boats.
1.  Furtherest East Longitude for Reboot
2.  150 NM day (to be precise 151)
Dates: 10 June - 26 June 2012; 16 days
Voyage Length: 2071 NM
Great Circle Distance: 1788 NM
Distance lost to avoiding weather (or not) and tacking downwind: 283 miles or 2 1/2 to 3 days
Average Speed Made Good: 5.5 Knts
Hours Motoring: 20.7; 2 hours out of Bermuda, 2 hours charging batteries; 16.7 hours into Horta (note that when I get close and the wind dies I tend to "go for it.")
1. Refrigerator (again:) Works sometimes, reset fuses; still does not cool the way it should.  I will have to get Maury to come and look at it.  Unfortunatley he and Ginger are buying a house so he will not have the $1200 for a round trip to Dublin.  Maybe he can help me troubleshoot it over the phone.
2. Water maker -  Once again spotty.  Some days it would make water, some days it would not.  Some days it would start and then decide not to work any more. Have contacted the manufacturer - hope to get resolved in Ireland/England.  Really a pain, it has never worked the way I would expect it to - that is day in and day out without failure.
3.  Bow light - intermittent - will replace fixture in Ireland
4.  Port rub rail - came out of its metal bracket.  I should be able to pop it back in.
5.  Bilge pump float switch - not working, will replace before I leave.
6.  Jiffy furl (main sail furling sock) - both battens that hold the top of the sock have come apart, not sure what the story is.
7. Tachometer - stopped working after long period of very wet and damp weather - now works again.  I think it was just affected by the mosture.
XO did fine.  Weather was not condusive to a lot of sun bathing so he curled up in a ball and slept most of the time.  He is still the best bad weather early warning system on Reboot.
1. Was able to contact the Maritime Mobile Service Net (14.300) daily - special thanks to Fred (W3ZU) who met me every day - patched me to Bill (KI4MMZ) for weather and phone patched me to my sons.
2. Was able to talk to Herb (Southbound II) most days for weather reports
3. Weather charts were too fuzy to be much use.  Downloaded using Airmail
4. Was able to get good links to Airmail until the last three days.  Then it became progressively harder.  Now very spotty.  Hope it will get better as I get nearer to Europe
5. As noted in 4. above was able to make a decent Airmail connection most of the time.
Once you cross the 45 W longitude line the US (NOAA) weather becomes less useful.  Almost no forecasting for the east side of the North Atlantic - another security blanket gone.  Weather fax now seems to be out of Germany but I have been unsuccssful at downloading much of anything yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Horta, Azores

I have now been in Horta for a couple of days and am feeling better.  About a day before I got here I started to get flu like symptoms.  I didn't think it was possible to get sick in the middle of the ocean (except for seasick of course.)  So my first couple of days here have been mostly on the john or in bed.

Boat paintings on the sea wall
Acores (the Azores) is truly the crossroads of the Atlantic.  The marina in Horta claims to be able to hold 300 boats.  In truth it is like the end of the Chicago - Mac race.  Most everyone is rafted up three or four deep.  The inside boat is always the one about to leave so one spends a bit of each day shifting around the stacks.

In my raft today it is just Reboot and a boat from Poland.  Yesterday we had a boat from Ireland, the boats behind me are from England, France (I wonder if they realize that the channel is between their boats - reminds me of Rockefeller Center.) and Germany.

One of the traditions here is to paint your boat name, crew, and date on the seawall.  The picture is just a small sample of the art work.  In some cases boats have come back several times and updated their paintings.  It is quite a deal.

The Office
This is the "Office" on Reboot when I am doing a transit.  The papers hanging are, from left to right, port and navigation information, weather faxes, a calendar so I know what day it is and if I have taken my meds, and miscellaneous paperwork that I should have taken care of before I left port so I can feel guilty. You never realize just how easy it is to get information (weather, etc.) in the US until you leave and start dealing with the rest of the world.  BTW:  I will do the passage summary tomorrow as I am feeling much better this evening.

One last thought:  In Bermuda I had a crummy hamburger and two beers at the cruisers "bar" the White Horse for $30.  In Horta I had a crummy hamburger (with fries), two beers, two sprites, two coffees for 10 Euros (or about $12.50 US)  Things are very inexpensive here.  It is true (as I knew from my days at IBP) the rest of the world does not know how to raise beef.)

In Port, Horta, Azores

Arrived yesterday morning.  Not feeling well so I have been sleeping a lot.  More when I feel a bit better.

XO Delivers a fish

To my face in the middle of the night.  Ugh!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

... And a wake up

Noon Position - Monday 25 June 2012
N 37 06
W 029 55
108 NM to Horta, Azores

1. The last couple of days have been miserable weather. Yesterday I had winds in excess of 40 knots. I have experienced this before off Newfoundland but it doesn't make it easier or better. In addition I had a loose halyard that went bang bang bang bang bang for about 4 hours while the front passed. Another lesson to the wise, make sure everything is tied down and not able to bang. Of course I could have gone up on deck and secured it except (a) I was taking large quantities of green water over the deck - including waves that didn't break until they hit the deck and (b) I love myself too much to be that crazy. Eventually it did calm down and now I have light winds in the 7 to 10 knot range.
2. One thing that has kept me sane is my nightly radio contacts with Bill (KI4MMZ) and Fred (W3ZU.) Fred has also run telephone patches to Spencer and Trevor. It is quite a treat to hear their voices even though we rarely have anything earth shattering to say - for me "I love you and miss you" is all I need to say. (Which reminds me - Bill - would you please send me Fred's email address via Winlink? Thanks) I am very aware that I will soon be out of radio range. Bill have been there since August 2009 - he will be missed.
3. Today if finally a nice weather day. The sun is shining, the waves are moderate, and the wind is even a little light. I have been wondering if the weather on this trip has been unusual (certainly Chris becoming a Hurricane must be unusual.) This is the second day in two weeks that the weather has actually been nice. I did not expect the parade of bad weather days that I have been experiencing. In fact last night I ran the engine for two hours as the batteries were becoming uncomfortably low. This trip has made me want to put a wind generator on my wish list. At least if the sun isn't shining but the wind is blowing I will be getting a battery charge.
4. Yesterday was the day to try men's souls. In addition to the heavy winds and seas everything, and I mean everything that could have leaked salt water into Reboot leaked. No matter where I sat, no matter where I put things I didn't want to get wet the water came in. I was also reminded that bare feet on a teak and holly floor is like standing on black ice. Except the black ice moves and tries to drop you on your butt. There is nothing to do but wait it out. Once it was over the interior was still wet - the bed, the pillows, etc. Not a fun day.
5. You may have noticed that these missives have been getting shorter and more irregular as I proceed across the Atlantic. That is because it is harder and harder to get a good radio channel to send them. In addition, days like yesterday just leave me exhausted and I have no energy to write. Today is different in that I can send this via internet if I can't get it out by radio tonight.
6. Saw dolphins and sea birds this evening. I have not seen dolphins since Florida, sea birds since a day out of Bermuda. That doesn't mean they have not been there, the weather has not been conducive to long sessions in the cockpit.

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Saturday, June 23, 2012

12th Night!

Again I am sending this the following morning:
@ 0000 Z 23 Jun 2012 Reboot was as:
N 35 02
W 35 58
1. Have been dodging storms but still have very strong weather. Last night winds were in the 30 to 35 knot range, seas 10 to 12 feet. The first time you see a wave above the level of your solar panels gives you pause.
2. It is amazing what small course changes (and wind changes) can do for the ride. Last night was terrible, wind on the beam, waves crashing over the deck, a couple of halyards doing their version of the Chinese water torture. I learned in Newfoundland to never run with a main at night. The danger of trying to reef while taking green water over the side is just too much. Last night I was running with about 50% jib which was more than enough for 30 knot winds. While being thrown around in my bunk I just put up with the halyards slapping. This morning after dawn I altered course about 10 degrees to stay on track. The entire ride calmed down and (relatively) smoothed out.
3. What an emotional experience it is to be in bad weather for several days in a row. You hear the wind howling. Waves slam against the side. The sails will start to flap and the entire rig will vibrate. You hear the water running against the hull. The "G" forces can be quite significant. You realize two things: (a) You are all alone out here (except for XO but I don't think he would be much help in a emergency) and (b) boats like yours have traveled around the world - a bunch of them have - so they must be sturdy enough to take it.
4. I am about 350 miles from the Azores. The radio stations in Europe are now closer than those in the US. So I try them first to link back and send email.

Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, June 22, 2012

11th Day Out

0800Z (Next Morning)
N 34 14
W 37 38

Long day and night dodging the effects of Hurricane Chris. Question - why do you cross the Atlantic in May and June? Answer, because there are no Hurricanes! Of course.

All OK, just tired from the constant bashing about in the waves.

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

10th Day Out

N 33 30.6
W 041 06.3
1. Winds have been relatively light all day. Also got the beautiful "red sky at night" at sunset. I am watching this carefully because Tropical Storm Chris is to my North and West. I an transiting the top of a high pressure area. Hopefully this will insulate me from the T.S. winds until Chris dissipates in the next couple of days. At this point I will head up to Horta in the Azores as the track to the Azores and to Kinsale Ireland are just about the same.
2. Most of today has been quiet but the Tropical Storm Chris low has created some confused wave trains. This may amaze some people but there are times underway when I wake up from a nap that I can't perceive any motion in the boat. It is as if we are actually on shore. It is one of the very weird things that happen while on these long transits. The contra is when Reboot is jerked around by confused seas and all I want to do is keep my back from breaking.
3. I keep loosing distance to tacking down wind (Reboot doesn't like the wind at 151 - 209 without a poled out jib which at the moment is not a option) and avoiding weather. I will recap exactly how much I have lost when I come into the Horta.
4. I am in "imagination land" (see South Park.) I am at that point in the Atlantic where the US radio stations are hard to contact and the European stations have not quite come on line yet. The good news is that my friends from the Maritime Mobile Service Net have the equipment and antennas to keep in touch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

9th Day Out

N 33 17
W 43 22

1. Don't know what I was thinking the other day but the proper coordinates for Horta (the port in the Azores) is 38 12 N 28 37.5 W. That is about 600 miles east of where I told you it was the other day.
2. Good communications with Herb today. Quite a major storm brewing Northwest of me. It looks like I may be South and East enough to miss at least some of the brunt of the storm. It should be a function of just reefing down and riding it out. I have experienced winds as forecast before while up in Newfoundland and St. Pierre. Still, does give one pause.
3. I will be continuing due East for the next three days. This will put the Great Circle route to Kinsdale just about thru the Azores so it looks like Horta is in my future.
4. Light winds all today, have not been making as much progress as in the previous couple of days. I should enjoy it while I have it as the winds will build quite a bit over the next three days.
5. An interesting experience is that of tranisiting time zones. After I talk to Herb each day I have my nominal "sundowner." "Nominal" because: a) "Sundowners are mean to be consumed at anchor while lying about the benefits of the cruising lifestyle and b) because they are intended to contain alcohol and c) for those who still have tobacco left it is a time to "light up." In any event, failing on points "A", "B", and "C" I am still in the habit of going up to the cockpit and consuming a beverage at this point. When I left the Florida coast it was broad daylight, now the sun is actually close to setting. And yet, UTC it is exactly the same time.

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Monday, June 18, 2012

8TH Day Out

N 33 12
W 44 52

1. Quiet day of light winds - made good progress but not as fast as the past couple of days.
2. Was able to talk to Herb (Southbound II) and Bill (KI4MMZ) today with respect to weather. It looks like if I go to Horta (Azores) I might arrive in some strong winds but if I were to bypass Horta and head direct for Ireland I would be heading right into the low so the winds would be worse. This is 5 days out so we will see what actually happens.
3. Have shifted from the Western Atlantic Weather Faxes and forecasts to the Eastern Atlantic - a sign of progress.

Fair winds and following seas.


7th Day Out

Writing this the morning of the 8th day.

N 33 29
W 46 06

1 Radio communications yesterday were difficult. I could not download the weather charts or talk to Herb from Southbound II
2 Starting to see the influence of the Azores High. (Horta is at N 38 30 W 38 50). Horta is 120 east of the western Azores Islands

Saturday, June 16, 2012

6th Day Out

N 32 53
W 050 22

Nice 24 hours - no rain - winds got very light this morning but filled in later in the day.

1. I moved into a new time zone - I am now in GMT - 3. Sunrise and sunset are aligning better with what my body expects the clock to say since Reboot runs on GMT.
2. Also a new record - I am now east of St. John's, Newfoundland which was the furthest east Reboot had ever been.
3. Played with the bow light this morning while it was light winds - I just have to replace the light fixture. All my clever repairs seem for naught.
4. Maury - I am trolling a line. I will let you know if anything strikes.
5. I listen to Herb (Southbound II) for weather every day. It is interesting to hear the other boats making the transit, we are spread about 120 miles apart in a line (since that is the weather advice track we are getting.

Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, June 15, 2012

5th Day Oot

N 32 38
W 52 26
1. Quiet day. Steady winds, now veering from west to southwest. Doing crosswords and some computer gaming but the gaming computer eats up the batteries.

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

4th Day Out

Rex: I heard you today on the MMSN but could not establish coms. I am on my way from Bermuda to Cork, Ireland, although it looks like I will stop in Horta in the Azores.

32 16 N
59 01 W

1. When I left Bermuda there were 4 other sailboats with me. I lost track of them the first evening. Channel 16 has been quiet and the AIS has shown no targets until today when I copied a conversation between two boats (ships?) Neither showed up on the Ais. it's lonely out here!
2. As I mentioned to Rex it looks like I will stop in the Azores (Horta) and look for a weather window to Ireland.
3. Played some Civ V today. Very complex game, still don't think I have a handle on it.
4. Screwed around for about 1/2 hour trying to make the printer work to print out the weather faxes. Did all sorts of stuff on the computer only to discover that a cable was loose on teh back of the printer. LOL
5. Failed to mention that the preferred mooring field in St George's Bermuda is "Convict Bay." Do you think they are trying to tell us something?
6. Good day, no rain, making better speed than what I considered normal. I think my new sails give me about 1 knot more than the old ones (wish I had known when I was racing!!!) It also may be a function that I am finally getting my long distance cruising legs back again, The down side is we are bobbing like a cork in the swell so rest is very difficult.

Fair winds and following seas.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

3rd Day Out

32 52 N
057 20 W

1. Continue heading East per weather routers Herb (Southbound II) and Bill (KI4MMZ). Tough 24 hours with several squalls and rain. Wind gusts to 30 knots but most of the time wind from the west at 15 knots. Using (and learning) the Scanmar "Monitor" wind steering more and more. One thing I like is that when a squall hits the Monitor tends to just let Reboot head up into the wind to ride it out. With the Autohelm autopilot we would maintain course. This would often result in quite interesting angles of heal. The Monitor also demonstrates just how confused the winds are after the squall. I have had to learn to give it 30 minutes or so to go back to the original course. That is because the winds are still veering and backing all over the place just after the squall passes.
2. Have been downloading the weather faxes and am learning to read them. I have Steven and Linda Dashew's "Mariner's Weather Handbook." Between my weather routers, the book, the faxes and my local experiences I am starting to get a little more comfortable with weather forecasting. BTW I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who plans to go offshore in a boat.
3. Herb suggested today that he route me close to the Azores even though my destination is Ireland. He gave two reasons (a) The weather is much more varied on the Azores to Ireland route and I might want to pause in the Azores for a weather window and (b) the wind angles from the Azores to Ireland are much more favorable than taking the great circle route. Since he has been doing this for decades I figure it is good advice.

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2nd Day Out

Currently around 32 43 N 59 36 W
This is the second day since my departure from Bermuda.
1. Mostly good sailing until hit by a line squall 32 knot winds. Now have 5 to 6 knots. Mostly convective activity from solar heating.
2. Water maker still giving me fits. Worked fine yesterday, would not work today. Fortunately have lots of water on board. But I am going to get this handled one way or another - this has not worked correctly in the 3 years I have owned it.
3. Still about on track for distance covered. Sailing due east to avoid a big low to the NE and adverse winds. If this keeps up I may end up in the Azores as they will be on my track
4. XO is happy or sad depending on the weather. Oh well.
5. Got the gaming computer out today to play a little bit since the Kindle doesn't work. Of course the squall hit about 15 minutes into my game so I stuffed the computer back in a safe place before I dealt with the sails.
6, Could not communicate with Herb (Southbound II) for weather routing but was able to talk to Fred (W3ZU)who patched me thru to Bill (KI4MMZ) for a weather update.
7, Tried to talk to Steve (K9UA) who has been one of my regular ham contacts for all the years I have been cruising. I was very weak and we had difficulty. Then it dawned on me that we are now 1700 miles apart - in the past I have always be heading up or down the coast.
More tomorrow.
Fair winds and following seas.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day in St. George's

I took advantage of the fact that Larry of Serengeti needed to go to the hardware store to join him and get fuses for the refrigerator. It is working again, Yea! I also ran the cleaning chemicals thru the water maker. I think I will have to replace the filter tomorrow and clean it again.
I spent a good part of the day walking around St. George's. I visited the oldest Anglican church in North America. I also got a number of pictures that I will post again when I have Internet.
Weather here is warm days and cool nights, good for sleeping and getting the boat ready for departure to Ireland.
Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Half Way to Bermuda

It is Monday 4 June and I am a little more than half way to Bermuda.  The first days of the trip have been rain and overcast.  Interestingly the rain has brought very little wind with it.  In fact, wind has been my problem. Too little wind.  I have spent quite  few hours bobbing along at 2.5 to 3 knots in winds of 5 or 6 knots.  The waves rock Reboot around quite a bit so the sails are doing a lot of banging.
I did rig the whisker pole only to have the halyard on the pole break.  The upper part of the halyard is now wrapped around the upper rigging.  I was concerned since it flipped around the forestay that I would be unable to furl the jib but I did get it furled without incident. I raised the main and it was blanketing the jib so I figured better find out now than later.  I still have a single reef in the main as I don't want to risk the top of the main fouling in the halyard that is wrapped around the top of the mast.
The refrigerator went out on the first day.  It blew a fuse.  I had purchased 20 extras just in case only to find out that they were the wrong size.  I was concentrating on the cost per fuse and neglected to notice that I was comparing two different sizes.
With all the rain and being constantly under sail the batteries have gotten low.  Fortunately the low front passed over me and I have a day of bright sunshine.  The solar panels are working away at restoring my batteries.
Position -     N 28 40 W 070 00
Fair winds and following seas (but not too big seas!)

Kindle Fail

For the second time in a year my Kindle has crapped out.  Since it is loaded with the books I intended to read on this trip you can imagine how delighted I am.
Anakin Skywaker AGHHHHHHHHHHH!!

XO Catches Two Fish!

Actually the fish committed suicide by leaping on to the deck in the midldle of the night.  This did not prevent XO from dragging them around the cabin leaving me a bit of a mess (not too bad) to clean up.  Interestingly he had no interest in eating them.
About 230 miles left to Bermuda
Fair winds and following seas

Voyage Summary - Lake Worth, FL, USA to St. George's, Bermuda

Departed Lake Worth about 10 AM local after fueling and waving goodbye to Ed and Claudia Davis.  Hot and sunny, was becalmed the first day until the afternoon thunderstorms started.  Gulf Stream running strong.  Since I was not trying to make the Bahamas I did not compensate and was carried about 80 miles north by the current. The remainder of trip in overcast skies or rain.  Herb routed me below 29 N as a series of lows were passing North to keep me out of stronger winds.  Turned North at 67 35 N.  Waves ranged from 3 to 10 feet on the beam or stern; winds averaged 15 to 20 with gusts to 30 in storms. Arrived St. George in 15 to 20 knot winds (inside the harbor!) and was directed to make fast to the customs dock.  Took two tries to get tied up.  Cleared customs and immigration without incident,  Typical of the efficient British I was contacted by radio about 20 miles out and asked for all the information they needed to fill out the forms in advance.  Clearance fees were 35 USD (so there Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Bahamas!)
Dates:  May 30 - June 7, 2012; 8 days
Voyage Length: 1022 NM
Great Circle Distance 869 NM
Distance Lost to dodging weather, tacking downwind, etc.:  153 NM
Average Speed Made Good 5.1 knots
Hours Motoring: 22; 1 to depart Lake Worth; 2 to charge batteries; 19 to beat the weather into Bermuda.

1. Refrigerator:  Failed during first rain storm - fuse blew.  Apparently water got down inside the non-waterproof electrical panel (great design, thank you.)  Tried to replace fuse only to discover that in my haste to purchase a large and therefore cheaper per unit number of fuses I had purchased the wrong size.
2. Kindle:  For the second time in less than one year the screen failed.  Since this was my reading material I was pretty torqued.
3. Whisker Pole Halyard:  Fortunately there was no damage to the pole or the jib but the halyard remained free and out of reach the entire remainder of the trip.  I will have to go up the mast to recover it.
4. Chart table seat: (fat ass failure) Both bolts that hold the seat to the wall sheered off dropping me to the deck.  Unfortunately the bolts are welded into the support plate so they will have to be drilled out rather than just replaced.
1. Three fish recovered from deck.  Two left on floor, one delivered to my face while I was sleeping.
2. XO is Maggie's (of s/v H2OBO) soul mate.  He is an amazing early warning system for anything uncomfortable and lets me know it.
1. Was able to contact the Maritime Mobile Service Net ( at least once a day and pass messages to Trevor and Spencer (my sons.)
2. Was able to contact Herb (Southbound II) for weather routing all but one day.
3. Was able to download weather charts, fuzzy but readable.
4. Was able to make one phone call to Spencer using my new IMARSAT PRO satellite phone.
5. Was unable to make a Airmail connection.

Long First Night in St. George's Bermuda

As I mentioned in my last blog entry when I arrived in St. George's Harbor the wind inside the harbor was blowing 20 knots.  The weather forecast was for the wind to increase to gale force overnight.  Given my recent experience in dragging anchor and the fact that the mooring area was sufficiently crowded that I could not put out all of my desired scope I was pretty nervous.  I put out as much as I dared and then added the concern of swinging into another boat to my list of frets.  I took out my second anchor (the Fortress) and laid it and its rode out on the deck.  I figured that this time if I dragged I would at least be able to throw a second anchor over the side!
The long and short of it was that I did not drag.  This morning the winds are calm, although we are having rain showers.  The forecast is for improving weather and we may actually see the SUN tomorrow for the first time since I departed Lake Worth.
I was in pretty blue spirits last night. After nine days of passage making I anticipated a landfall with a sundowner and a quiet night.  That was not what I got.  I am very creative thinking about all the things that can go wrong.  I used my creativity all night last night.
"One who would cruise for a lifestyle would choose to vacation in Hell"
With the winds calm and the sun trying to break thru my spirits have been renewed.  The engineer in me is already looking for solutions.
Fair winds and following seas..


Arrived June 7 to Gale Warnings. Reboot in St. George. Weather to clear Saturday. More to follow.