Friday, May 30, 2008

Bermuda to Newport - Day 2

The passage was easier today although we didn't sail much. Light winds required us to engine in order to make progress. While we try to avoid using the engine, it made for easy night-watches and better sleeps since the bunks were more horizontal than usual. Overall it was a beautiful day with little activity on or around the boat. I did see a container ship, our only vessel sighting, during my last night-watch. When not sleeping, eating or watching what's ahead, I have been reading and my captain spends his leisure time studying weather charts and reports we receive throughout the day via single sideband radio. By the day's end we did another 177nm so we're half-way "home".

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bermuda to Newport - Day 1

The first 24-hours presented a wide range of weather, wind and sea state. Sometimes the conditions were nice and other times uncomfortable. You can always tell things are unpleasant when this sailor girl prefers to skip a meal. Based on the boats requesting permission to exit St George's Harbour over the VHF radio, we know several are making a similar passage, yet the only vessel we have sighted so far was a southbound cruise ship. The best news to report is that we made good progress - 180nm. Approximately 500 more miles to go...

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

S/V Event Horizon Position Update

5/29/2008 @ 12:00 AM(UTC)
32°54.44'N 065°25.30'W
Course 325T Speed 6.9kts
Wind 295T @ 10kts

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Departing BDA

Event Horizon is getting a late start because we have been waiting on a new hatch cover, which is being installed as I type. (Thank you Ocean Sails for your great customer service and excellent canvas work!)

It was nice knowing I could sleep in this morning, but I was up early so I took my favorite walk along the east end of St George’s and also did a bit of beachcombing for sea glass. It’s a gloomy day in Bermuda but the views were still spectacular and the rain held off until after my long walk. Since then the rain has been steady... We are among several boats departing today despite there being no wind this morning and light winds forecasted for the first 12hrs. In the past hour a stiff breeze has arrived so maybe our delay was a good thing.

An interesting fact I want to share is that within 200 miles of Bermuda there are 4 abandoned boats still floating. Alarmingly, two of these vessels may be along our journey’s path. This will keep us wide-eyed and alert during the dark of night!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Preparing for BDA Departure

Our weather router has given us a green light to leave for a few days now but the winds have been light out there and my captain has had a cold so we've been postponing our passage. But the wind is forecasted to pickup and my captain is feeling better so now we’re busy preparing and stowing for an early Wednesday (tomorrow) morning departure, which should put us in Newport by Monday.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bermuda Day

May 24th...

Recently restored Onion Patch following the Bermuda dinghy races.

The first Bermuda dinghy race of the 2008 season with the St George's Dinghy Club’s team Victory in the foreground.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Summer's Arrival

Yesterday our guests departed by plane, just before the high winds and thick clouds that hampered our social activities all week finally passed over Bermuda. The change in weather also brought the long awaited good weather window for sailing north so there has been a mass exodus of yachts all day.

Lucky for me, there are three reasons why we have decided not to set sail:
  1. Our friends aboard Schooner Heron recently arrived and their company is always reason to linger.
  2. It looks as though there is another good weather window on Tuesday.
  3. Tomorrow is Bermuda Day (May 24th) and our good Bermudian friends insist we stay for the festivities, including the first Bermuda Fitted Dinghy race of the season, which takes place in St George’s Harbour. You can watch it too on the webcam at

Today is a picture perfect day in Bermuda, as the photo shows. And for a nice change, the weather is warm and the harbour is calm. The same is expected tomorrow for Bermuda Day, one of the most celebrated holidays in Bermuda. It is considered the first day of summer and usually the first day of the year to jump in the ocean. I hope to join in the tradition!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Still Waiting in Bermuda

We’re still waiting in Bermuda as high wind weather systems roll in and out, watching boats arrive with damage and listening to stories of woe on the high seas over the VHF radio.

A friend of ours suffered severe rig damage about 200nm south of Bermuda so he was making way under engine. We were keeping in contact via SMS over satellite phone and had agreed to meet the boat with more fuel once it was about 30nm from Bermuda. Just before we departed on the fuel run, the rig completely failed and soon after they had transmission failure. The 2-man-crew ended up being rescued at sea by a 320-meter container ship. The ship generously towed the sailing vessel but then the tow broke so they were forced to abandon the boat at sea. Later that morning the guys arrived in Bermuda where they became our guests aboard Eve.

It’s been 4 days now and our guests remain in great spirits despite their terrible ordeal. The feeling of loss associated with having to abandon a boat that was a labor of love as well as one’s home and most of its contents must be devastating and overwhelming. I know I wouldn’t be able to deal with it as well as these guys seem to be.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Waiting in Bermuda

We remain in Bermuda waiting for a favorable weather window to return to Rhode Island. We’re not alone. I’ve never seen St George’s Harbour so full of boats, all trying to get north or to Europe for the summer season. My captain and I have been moving Eve around the harbour seeking the best shelter depending on the wind direction. We haven’t been off the boat in over 3 days due to heavy rains and gale force winds, part of which was the wrath of tropical storm Ophelia. Meanwhile boats & ships continue to arrive from the Caribbean with exhausted crew and sometimes with personal injuries or damage to their vessels according to the endless chatter on the VHF radio. (Notice the shredded jib in the photo.)
The winds have finally subsided so I'm needed on deck to lower the dinghy in preparation for going ashore soon for cheeseburgers, news and socializing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Exploits Ashore

On our first morning at New England Boatworks (NEB) we awoke to cold rain and extra grateful to be ashore. We spent the day trying to keep warm, cleaning Morgan’s Ghost and stuffing our gear in my old car, which serves as a storage container on wheels. By evening my captain, our Bermudian friend and I headed into downtown Newport for a night on the town and we eventually ended up in the jailhouse. I mean the Jailhouse Inn, a restored 1772 landmark that offers luxury contemporary lodging. For years I have wanted to stay at this inn but always figured it was beyond my budget. At the suggestion of locals, I checked it out and found it less expensive than other places on the outskirts of town I have stayed over the years. I must say it was fun being back in Newport – savoring the superior Guinness at The Fastnet Pub, shopping among the unique boutiques and surrounded by all things nautical, but staying in a nice hotel was the pinnacle of my visit. I got up early to watched VH1 music videos while lounging on a king-size bed covered in silky high-thread-count sheets, read a hot-off-the-press newspaper while sipping freshly brewed coffee and finally, soaked up a hot shower while applying an assortment of complimentary fancy English toiletries. By 10am I was standing on the cobblestones dragging my Bermudian friend to favorite day-time spots along the main drag of Newport. (My captain spent the day at NEB as Morgan’s Ghost was being hauled for some scheduled maintenance.)
By late afternoon my captain picked us up in the storage container on wheels and we headed for Boston. That evening we enjoyed a cozy gathering of the crew and friends at the Washington Square Tavern (owned by our other crew member) where all partook in delicious food, fine wine and lots of laughs. Our final day was spent in Boston accomplishing errands (including new ATM cards) and visiting a few favorite places because we felt obligated (and lucky) to entertain our visiting crew member. On Wednesday morning we three took a Jet Blue direct flight to Bermuda where my captain and I were back aboard Eve by noon. While fun was surely had, it feels good to be home sweet home.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Morgan’s Ghost Appears

On Tuesday, April 29th four of us departed St George’s Harbour aboard Morgan’s Ghost, a Swan Club 42, bound for Newport, Rhode Island. This two-year-old yacht was built for racing – meaning she lacks the comforts of most offshore yachts. She’s light weight (under 14 gross tons) and her deck is open to the elements so we spent the 4.5 day passage harnessed in and holding on. Our 700nm journey was a mix of high seas, strong winds and light breezes so we got the full experience. We arrived at New England Boatworks (NEB) Saturday evening, May 3rd with no damages to report – bruises have yet to be tallied.
Hamilton, Bermuda based Morgan’s Ghost (BER 542) will be among over 200 boats sailing in the famous Newport to Bermuda Race in June.