Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Update

Lots of queries on how Jeroboam fared last night so I thought I'd post something here. In short, all's well. The stern dock line parted on the boat next to me which slammed into Jeroboam pretty hard a couple times before I could leap out of my bunk to wrangle it back onto the dock. One damaged spot looks like just a gel coat flesh wound but the other has me a little worried. There's a port light in the hull, below the rub rail, that has a crack in it. I couldn't tell if the crack went all the way through but if so, I'm worried as when I beat to windward, it often dips below the surface. Other than that, no issues. My boat's instruments were recording wind speeds in the 20-30 knot range with most gusts to the upper 30s. There were two instances of gusts over 40 but they were very short lived. All 14 dock lines deployed for Jeroboam held well.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Did the NOODs on Darkhorse, the J-105 I crew for in Marblehead. Classic shot - that's my buddy George yelling from the back of the boat as we attempt a take down.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Slowly the paint comes off

A decade and a half of paint has been building up on this hull, all to come crashing down this weekend.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bermuda wrap up

The boats are mostly all gone now, headed back toward the states, though in contrast to Bermuda 1-2, not racing. The awards ceremony at the Governor's mansion last night was delightful with lots of friends in attendance and I was honored to collect a special award for seamanship. Given the experience levels of those we competed against, it was a particular honor to be singled out like that. Two other boats who responded to the medical emergency we're also honored, Flying Lady and Spirit of Bermuda.

The real world calls so I return to the office tomorrow. Jeroboam is in need of much attention with the next big projects of installing the new mast and redoing the bottom occupying all of my spare time in the coming month. I'm still hopeful of entering some Maine single-handed races this summer but this will hinge greatly on the projects listed above and the timing of new sails. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Last Day?

Heard from Nate's wife who spoke with him on the cruise ship and he's doing well, thank God. And thanks for the well wishes.

Wind and current look promising for a pre-midnight finish but we shall see. In any event, I plan to wake up in Bermuda tomorrow and yuck it up at RBYC.

Meanwhile, I've not yet heard a ruling from the Race Committee. Officially Seabiscuit received outside assistance last night in the form of an IV bag and some needles as well as used her engine for propultion. I've asked them to let me continue racing and score the Biscuit however they please, adjusting for the time I spent underway making various rendezvous but no word yet.

The Strangest Night Ever

Nate's condition deteriorated today so we rendezvoued with a boat called Flying Lady to retrieve an IV and some fluids. At first it seamed like I nailed the vein ok but it turns out I was doing it wrong. Luckily I had three needles left to try again. Fail, fail, fail. Plan B: transfer Nate to a passing cruise ship with proper medical facilities. I informed Nate it was in route to Malta and to be sure to collect his passport prior to disembarking Seabiscuit. 

The transfer was easily one of the most surreal experiences of my sailing life. Picture motoring up to a 990 ft long boat in the middle of the Atlantic at night with the hopes my weaken buddy can hurl
his body onto the pilot boarding ladder and scramble up to the opening. The cruise ship was slowing down so all thrusters were in reverse, churning the water along side. The 65 ft high mast swinging dangerously close to the poop deck, or whatever was above the pilot door opening. Good thing we had fenders out, now scared with blue paint from the ship's side. 

Nate made it and I'm sure he'll be fine but if anyone hears news of his condition, please let me know. I think the moment I'll remember most was the look on Nate's face as I made attempt after attempt to jab a needle in his vein while the boat was lurching about in the waves, never to succeed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2/3rds down

I think this is the fastest run to Bermuda I've ever been on. Nate's boat toughed it out like a champ last night as we pushed her to the limit across the gulf stream. In heavy seas we were making 10+ knots for most of the night, often in the 11-12 range and occasionallly hiting 15 surfing down a wave. Fun but very tiring. We're pretty wiped out.

This morning and afternoon it's more finesse sailing, playing the shifts and tweaking sail trim. I was delighted to see some decent breeze in the forecast for tomorrow. We're likely to hit some soft spots tonight so we'll hopefully finish sometime Tuesday if the wind holds out.

With the A2 gone, we'll probably try the down wind kite once the breeze moves a little further aft. There's some nasty rain clouds headed our way at present so we won't try anything until they're past as they're likely to bring some gusts.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Spin Goes Boom

We had a great run last night, probably averaging around 8 knots so far and would have been much higher had it not been for a lull around sundown yesterday. We carried the chute all night and were making some brilliant ime but then blew it out at dawn. No chance of repair in route so we're double headsail reaching and still making 8+ knots, often exceeding 10 surfing down a wave, sailing a little higher to the breeze.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Race Day

Getting ready to head for the starting line. Forecast is looking like a downwind sleigh ride for the first 48 hours then.........? Should make for an exciting start anyway. Some of the fast boats were modeling sub-60 hours passages which would be very impressive. We're unlikely to get into the barn before the wind dies so we'll have lots of sailing still left when the NE breeze dies.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Follow along

The Bermuda Race starts tomorrow afternoon and you can follow along from afar via trackers installed on each boat. It appears we’ll be in Class 15 so if you click on the Teams bar on the far left of the screen, uncheck “All Boats” then check “Class 15” you’ll see Seabiscuit and the others in our class.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Newport-Bermuda 2012

Well sports fans, another addition of the Bermuda Race is almost upon us. As most will recall, this race runs on even years and is only a race down to Bermuda, not back.

As in 2010, I will crew for my buddy Nate on his J-46 Seabiscuit in the double handed division. Entries are off slightly compared to 2010 with only 21 entries (we had 25 last time).

It's unclear whether we'll be broken up into two classes or remain as one but we'll find out at the skippers meeting on June 14th when they release the scratch sheet. Either way, there's some tough competition lined up including a Oakcliff Racing Ker 11.3 and some Class 40s fresh off the Atlantic Cup.

 We passed our safety inspection yesterday so all that's left is to do some test sails with Nate's new jib and fine tune the rig. All boats will be equipped with a tracker so you can follow along from afar.

I'll post the link to the race tracking website when it's up and running then post updates here during the race. Race starts June 15th - Charge!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah!

Dear Friends & Family,

I sent cards to everyone I had addresses for but wanted to post a holiday greeting here as well, albeit on the late side. When I look back over the past year and realize the worst thing that happened to me was coming in second in a sailboat race, I do indeed have much to be thankful for.

This being an odd year, the big race was Bermuda 1-2, a 635 mile single handed race from Newport to Bermuda then back the same distance double handed. Huge kudos to Gust Stringos on Bluebird for crushing me and beating the entire fleet on the single handed leg. In the 2009 running of this race, my accomplishment of this achievement was easily the greatest moment in my racing history and I’m very proud of Gust, a fellow Class 4 sailor, for rising to the top. On the way back, John Keane joined me and we had a blast, as we always do when we sail together. Some of my favorite memories of learning to sail and race are with Keane on his boats and we added many more memories to the archives on that leg. We also managed to beat the fleet on overall combined leg 1 & 2 time, a very big win for us.

I entered three more weekend races through the summer, the Down East Challenge, the Northeast Harbor Race and the Maine Rocks Race, though the NE Harbor Race was called off due to Hurricane Irene. The others offered some great competition among my Maine friends with Scott Miller on Resolute trouncing us all in the single handed class in both races. Ouch. Gotta get that guy next year.

Speaking of next year, Nate and I are gearing up to defend our Class 15 title in the Newport-Bermuda double handed division. Nate has an awesome boat for that race, a J-46 named Seabiscuit, and we have a rigorous training schedule lined up for the spring. We’re recruiting our shore support team so if anyone has an interest in getting involved, let us know.

Once again, I’ve fallen behind in updating my website but hope to spend some time on it over the next couple weeks. I hope everyone had a fantastic year!