Friday, November 5, 2010

Southbound Norfolk to St Thomas, November 2010

CELESTIAL, our IP 440 departed Vinings Landing Marina in Norfolk Virginia bound for Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas USVI this afternoon, Friday November 5th, 2010. The crew members are: Captain Jack Morton (Florida), First Mate David Gifford (Pennsylvania), and student crew members Ingo Stubbe (Massachusetts), Wolfgang Linke (Pennsylvania), Fred Lipp (Ohio) and Erico Silva (Virginia). CELESTIAL will make the passage to St Thomas via a non-stop ocean route. The cruise has an estimated distance of 1500 miles, and will take approximately 11 days, sailing both day and night.

Captain Tursi will be monitoring progress of the cruise and will be in contact with CELESTIAL's crew via a Skymate satellite system. We'll receive reports from the crew approximately every other day and Captain Tursi will supply the crew with detailed weather analysis.

More discussion on this soon, as well as weather updates, communication from the crew, and actual progress (see comments below), so please join us! To follow their actual progress on Google Earth, click here. For more information on The Maryland School, please visit our website.

37 comments:

Janet Lipp said...

Thanks for the update my family and I are anxious to receive news! Bon Voyage, we wish the crew of the Celestial and safe and happy sailing!
Janet Lipp

Rita Hanson said...

Hello sailors and followers!

CELESTIAL departed on Friday after a one day delay to get a favorable weather window. Captain Jack Morton is in charge of the vessel for this cruise, and Captain Tom Tursi will be communicating with the crew for the duration of the cruise via Skymate, primarily regarding weather and position.

We can also track their position via the Skymate satellite receiver/transmitter installed on the boat and will post their position on a google map for all to see. Use the red link on the main blog post to see the google map.

The first few position points are posted and I'll post a new position usually once a day. Just keep clicking on the same link and it will bring you to the updated map. Zoom out using the control on the top left of the map to see more of the overall picture.

If anyone has trouble with the above link, e-mail me at office@mdschool.com and I will send the full address. I can't post the full address here because it's too long and gets truncated.

Rita Hanson said...

Janet! Good to see you here!!

Rita Hanson said...

A word about the time stamp on the google map ...

Skymate reports CELESTIAL's position to us in Coordinated Universal Time, abbreviated UTC. Other terms used to refer to UTC include "Greenwich mean time (GMT)", "Zulu time" and "world time."

Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 5 hours behind UTC. UTC is also on a 24 hour clock. So if the time stamp is 08:20:00 UTC then the EST is 03:20:00 or 3:20 AM. If the timestamp is 20:40:00 UTC, then the EST is 15:40:00 or 3:40 PM.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Saturday November 6, 2010 6:08 PM
Subject: Wx 7-2

"Stationary Cold Front 40N66W to E Cuba. New Low Sat on CF at 37N66W moving NNE. High inland VA combine w/ Low for winds from the NW 30 knots Sat-Sun then moderate but remain NW. Hurricane Tomas now 22N72W to 27N61W Wed dissipate Thursday."

carita stubbe said...

Thanks Rita for keeping us updated - we are eagerly following Celestial and its crew...from Sweden, Austria, Singapore, Turkey, Texas and finally also Massachusetts!!

Good luck to Captain and "students"!
Carita (Stubbe)

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 7:20 AM

"Cold Front stationary today per my 11/6 message. Low 35N68W today to 40N71W Tuesday. Winds N-NW @ 35 today; moderating Monday; remain N-NW. Tomas 26N69W today; moving NE; dissipating Tue-Wed. High pressure building inland Wed & pushing East."

Rita Hanson said...

Carita, It's good to have so many followers! They are making excellent progress. They have very strong winds, but from a favorable direction. If anyone is having trouble viewing the google map, just let me know by e-mail. I just posted their position from this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

nicely detailed blog. My 1st time following. I'll be following such blogs with enthusiasm as we hope to set sail on such a trip... but not for a few years. We're in the planning and learning stage. Quite exciting being able to follow this trip tho. Enjoy! Trish.

Anonymous said...

Hej Pappa! Hope all is going well. We're keeping our fingers crossed and wish you a safe and thrilling passage. We're very proud of you for pursuing your dreams.

G+Y+SI

Sebastian said...

Thanks, Rita, for the updates --- and good luck everyone on board! We're following along on google maps & are thrilled for your progress! Extra hugs for Ingo Stubbe....

Sebastian & Karis

antoniastubbe said...

Hi everyone!

Good luck to everyone. Miss you Dad!

Antonia Stubbe & Axel Pettersson, Stockholm, Sweden

Anonymous said...

Rita, thank you for sending me the notification of Celestial's departure. I always enjoy following the progress. My best wishes to you, and everyone at the School. I know that the crew of Celestial will share a truely amazing experience. Safe Journey! Pete Schloss

Rita Hanson said...

Good afternoon followers. I just posted today's weather map on the main blog post. It shows the low pressure system up in the New England area and also the low in the south which is the remnants of Hurricane Tomas. Celestial is between the two lows but will most likely be experiencing the effects and will get some heavy weather practice over the next couple of days. You have to be careful what you wish for. ;-) Tomas is moving to the east and should clear by the time CELESTIAL gets to that area.

Rita Hanson said...

Here is the detailed forecast for the the two low pressure systems discussed above.

For the low pressure system currently near New England, today (noon Monday 11/8), the low was at 42N70W (barometer at 985 MB) moving west at 10 knots and turning southeast tonight. Within 480NM of the low in the southern quadrant winds predicted 25-40 knots, seas 9-18ft. Within 660NM in the southern quadrant winds 20-30 knots, seas 8-12 ft. In 24 hours the forecast is for the low to be at 39N68W (995MB). Within 360NM southern and 180NM western quadrants the winds are predicted at 25-35 Knots, seas 8-16 ft. The 48 hour forecast is for the low to be at 39N67W (994MB). Within 360NM in the southern and western quadrants winds 25-35 knots, seas 10-16 ft.

The remnant of Tomas currently at 26N66W is moving east at 8 knots. Within 120NM in the northwest quadrant the winds today predicted at 30-50 knots, seas 12-20 ft. The 12 hour forecast predicts the low to be at 26N64W. Within 120 NM in a western semicircle winds are predicted at 25-35 knots, seas 10-15 ft. The 24 hour forecast predicts the low to be at 27N61W with winds below gale force.

Anonymous said...

Sailors,
would you please post your bearing, point of sail, speed, and distance from destinaton. Thanks
Follower and School of Sailing alum

Rita Hanson said...

Good morning all! Followers, CELESTIAL's position as of 0400 this morning 11/09/10 was Latitude: 31.059162, Longitude: -70.29797. Usually we have one of our followers calculate the information requested above from the google map. Anyone? If you haven't yet found the google map, showing their position and progress, go to the main blog post above and click on the red link that says "here".

Jerry said...

Having sailed many times with The Maryland School it is always fun to follow an off-shore passage. Safe sailing to "Celestial" and her crew.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 10:34 AM
Subject: Wx 11/9

"New England low pressure system is moving south; to Bermuda by Friday. Expect winds from the NW at 20 knots Tue-Wed, winds NW-N 30 knots on Thu-Fri, winds NW-N 20 knots on Saturday."

Captain Tom Tursi said...

The most recent position report from CELESTIAL at 2326 hours EST on Monday, November 8th was at 31.059 degrees N and 70.297 degrees W. This position is 480 nautical miles from Norfolk departure at 1600 hours on Friday, November 5th. In three and one-third days she has averaged 144 nautical miles per day, so she’s making very good time for an ocean passage especially since it appears that she hove to for possibly 12 hours on November 7th. We have not received an email from her in this time, but I must conclude that all is well onboard in view of the excellent progress that she’s making.

The storms that Rita reported yesterday are clarifying their intentions, and it appears that CELESTIAL will avoid most of their effects. The New England Low is expected to move south toward Bermuda in the next two days, and produce some northwest winds mostly in the 20 knot range, and possibly to 30 knots on Thursday-Friday, but this makes for good speed off the wind in broad reaching conditions. Hurricane Tomas has become a tropical depression and is expected to speed off to the northeast away from the path of CELESTIAL. Sounds like great sailing out there!

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Celestial via Skymate
To: Tom Tursi
Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2010 1:28 PM
Subject: Check in

"Tom - in Gulf Stream position 35 37 4 x 73 57 2 winds 20 - 30 nnw. Motion chaotic. Crew good."

Our followers will note that the e-mail is from Saturday. Tom says, "Sorry, this got lost on my computer."

:-) Though they were obviously doing fine, it's still nice to hear from them.

Janet said...

Glad you have heard from the crew! Nice to know that they did not feel any effects froom Tomas. Hopefully there is not another huricane lurking somewhere. What do you think the temps are like at this point? I'm hoping that they hit a milder climate and the foul weather gear has been stowed away.

Janet said...

Hi Rita. Just looked at the maps and it appears that Celestial is headed towards Bermuda...side trip?

Rita Hanson said...

Janet,

It's possible they just wanted to make more headway east. However, looking at the next point, it looks like the one from early this morning was probably just a confused satellite, which is not unusual. Last year on one of the Norfolk -> Bermuda trips the satellite told us one night that they were in the Gulf of Mexico! It useful to watch the overall trend but don't worry if one point looks a little off.

Captain Tom Tursi said...

I received a relay call from CELESTIAL at 1830 EST today via Herb Hilgenberg of Southbound II fame. CELESTIAL has been unable to transmit or receive email traffic by Skymate eventhough the Skymate automatic position reports have continued to function, and I asked Herb to advise Captain Jack of the fact that we've been able to track their position.

Herb reported that all is well onboard CELESTIAL and their 1600 EST position was 2724N-6840W

I've communicated with Herb hundreds of time while at sea. Check him out at http://www.allatsea.net/article/December_2008/Profile:_Herb_Hilgenberg_and_the_Southbound_II_Net
or Google him form more info

Janet said...

Thanks Rita and Captain Tom! As I have VERY limited knowledge and experience I appreciate your explanations and kind words! We are anxious to hear any news and love this blog and the satellite locations. Technology is really amazing! Talk to you soon. Janet

Captain Tom Tursi said...

I received an email relay from John Knight, a friend of mine at sea aboard his sailing vessel LARKING ABOUT, who heard from CELESTIAL and gave their position as 2508N 6810W at 1455 EST today. John's position was about 50 miles from CELESTIAL and he reported winds NW15 with smooth seas and 6 foot swells. John's email was relayed to me by Hayden Cochran who is our website guru.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 1:26 PM
Subject: Wx 11/11

"Low 38N60W today to 34N63W Fri to 33N62W Sat. Expect N-NW 15-20 through Sun. Seas building to 12-19 through Sat then moderating. Rec’d your position from Herb 11/10. Skymate is reporting your position twice daily."

Anonymous said...

From Selin Isabella Stubbe:
Go Farfar, go! Biggest kisses,
Selin Isabella

TomK said...

Copied s/v Celestial this afternoon on Herb Hilgenberg's net. Their report: Position 23N 67W; winds NW 12-15k; barometer steady. (Position rounded by me to avoid reporting any copy errors). They sounded hale & hearty!

Tom Kopcik
S/V Celestial Crew 2008
AC2AH

Rita Hanson said...

Tom,

Thanks so much for the relay! It's really amazing the community out in the middle of the ocean. And everybody knows each other!

Bridget Balthrop Morton said...

Many thanks to Tom, Rita, and all the ships at sea for keeping up with Celestial. Cap'n Jack and I used to go days (months?) without anyone knowing exactly where we were aboard Savaina. It's nice to know that we can keep up with each other now. I love the Google positioning feature!

Fair winds and following seas to the crew!

TomK said...

Copied s/v Celestial @ 1930 UTC
on Herb Hilgenberg's Net: Lat 1937
Long 6545 Winds Calm/NW Barometer Steady. Expecting arrival at St. Thomas tomorrow (Mon) AM.

Looks like they might beat the '08 record :-(

Tom Kopcik
s/v Celestial Crew 08
AC2AH

Captain Tom Tursi said...

Bridget... It's nice to hear from you. I look forward to meeting you someday.

Bestregards
Tom

Anonymous said...

Heja Pappa!!! Snart sa ligger ar du i Sir Francis Drake canalen och sen ar det bara nagra timmar tills du kan slappna av i det varma Karibiska havet. Och val fortjenad dykning ligger ochsa framfor dig. Puss och kram! Gabbe

Rita Hanson said...

CELESTIAL and her crew arrive in St Thomas on Sunday after a 9 day trip off the wind all the way. Boat and crew are well!

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