CELESTIAL, our IP 440 departed Taylors Landing Marina, Norfolk VA before dusk last evening May 27, 2009 after two days of preparation. Aboard CELESTIAL are: Captain Jochen Hoffmann (Arlington, VA), First Mate Jim Bortnem (Hawley, MN), and student crewmembers Jim Wallace (Miramar Beach, FL), Richard Zell (Milford, CT), Allan Zell (Easton, CT) and Mike Mika (Katy, TX). CELESTIAL will make the passage to Bermuda via a planned non-stop ocean route. The cruise has an estimated distance of 670 miles, and will take approximately 6 days, sailing both day and night. Please read the COMMENTS to this post where we will follow their ocean cruise with reports from the crew, discussions on weather and reports on actual progress.
This is the first of four back to back ocean passages, between the east coast of the United States and Bermuda. A second student crew will board CELESTIAL in Bermuda for the return trip to Norfolk. Student Jim Wallace from this first cruise will stay aboard for the round trip! It may interest those aspiring ocean sailors to read Jim's post to our blog following his 2007 101 class with The Maryland School, prior to which he had only dreamed of sailing. Since then, Jim has earned his certifications through ASA 107, and has done a significant amount of independent sailing. It gives us great satisfaction to know Jim is living his dream!