Saturday, May 7, 2011

Northbound Ocean Crew to Departs; St Thomas USVI - Norfolk, VA

CELESTIAL, our IP 440 departed Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas USVI at 10:00 AM today, May 7, 2011 after two days of preparation. The crew members are: Captain Jack Morton (Florida), First Mate Jim Bortnem (Minnesota), and student crew members Sean Henderson (Colorado), Mark Price (Ohio), Robert Todd (Indiana) and Joe Pazourek (Oklahoma). CELESTIAL will make the passage to Norfolk via a non-stop ocean route. The cruise has an estimated distance of 1500 miles, and will take 11-13 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.

34 comments:

Kathy said...

Thanks for posting the progress of Celestial. I'm an anxious wife happy to get any updates. I wish the crew of Celestial a safe and happy trip.
Kathy Pazoureck

Rita Hanson said...

We receive the following transmission from CELESTIAL at 1:43 PM EDT on Sunday May 8th:

"All well. Got Wx from Skymate. MOTORsailing. Best, Capt Jack"

(Note: Wx = "weather")

Rita Hanson said...

At 3:38 PM on Sunday May 8th, Captain Tom Tursi sent the follwing transmission via Skymate to the crew od CELESTIAL:

"Expect variable winds below 10 kt to Tue. Cold Front will approach you Wed; expect NW-NE 10-15. Low N of BDA will wander aimlessly to Wed then dissipate. No tropical activity. T"

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...

We received the following transmission from CELESTIAL at 1:22 PMEDT May 9th, 2011:

"Motorsailing 340 psc. Spirits high, eating well, all is well. Captain Jack"

Kathy said...

Great!! Thanks for the update.

Rita Hanson said...

Captain Tursi sent the following communication to CELESTIAL at 9:56 AM EDT on Tuesday May 25th:

"A strong Low persists between BDA & New England to Thu-Fri. Trailing cold front to reach you today. High pressure building East of Florida Thursday. Expect winds NW 10-20 behind the cold front. No tropical activity. Rec'd your 5/9 message."

Rita Hanson said...

On Tuesday, May 10 at 10:32 AM, we received the following communication from CELESTIAL via Skymate:

"Thanks for Wx. In NW winds now. All is well.
05/10/2011
14:28:50 GMT
22° 56.12' N
67° 56.16' W
J"

Rita Hanson said...

Another word about the time stamp on the google map ... since we're in Daylight Savings Time here on the East Coast, the time stamp is only 4 hours ahead not five. You will have to figure that in to your calculation depending on your own local time!

Rita Hanson said...

We received the following communication from CELESTIAL via Skymate at 3:24 PM EDT on Wednesday May 11, 2011:

"Slow trip so far. When wind finally filled in, was from wrong direction. Spirits good, all is well, even if we haven't caught a fish yet.
S/V CELESTIAL
05/11/2011
19:15:27 GMT
24° 38.04' N
69° 04.30' W"

Rita Hanson said...

On Wednesday May 11 at 3:24 PM, we received the following communication from CELESTIAL via Skymate:

"Slow trip so far. When wind finally filled in, was from wrong direction. Spirits good, all is well, even if we haven't caught a fish yet.
05/11/2011
19:15:27 GMT
24° 38.04' N
69° 04.30' W"

Rita Hanson said...

On Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:32 AM, we received the following communication from CELESTIAL via Skymate:

"Progress abysmal in light contrary winds and swell from NNW. Forecast appears to be more of the same. Otherwise all OK. J"

Rita Hanson said...

Satellites are confused today and showing CELESTIAL on the south side of Cuba this morning. I know progress is slow, but not that slow! I'll post the next position that makes sense. In the meantime received this update from CELESTIAL Friday May 13 at 1:05 PM:

"Progress slow in strong headwind. With careful steering, and seminar on sailing to weather, day's run will put us about 36 m closer to Cape Henry. No change in wx due til Sat AM. Day seven, and less than 1/2 way! Otherwise all well. J"

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 5:10 PM
Subject: Wx 5/14


"Low over VA Sunday to NC Tues then move N Wed. Expect SW 10-25 next few days. Good sailing. No Tropical storms."

Kathy said...

Thanks for the update...sounds like slow sailin'. Do you know how many miles they've actually sailed?

Rita Hanson said...

They are about 1/2 way Kathy, but they should be in favorable winds now (see Captain Tursi's weather report above). This morning's skymate report shows them to have made good progress over the last 24 hours.

Rita Hanson said...

Received from CELESTIAL, Saturday, May 14, 2011 11:03 PM:


"05/14/2011 - currently 27 25 N 70 35 W. SW wind will be more than welcome. Currently motorsailing, ghosting in right direction in 5 - 8 kts E wind. J"

Rita Hanson said...

To: CELESTIAL
From: Tom Tursi
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:06 PM
Subject: Wx 5/15


"Inland Low approaching North Carolina coast today pulling cold front from VA to FL then moving NW. Expect SW 10-25 Mon-Wed. No tropical storms."

Captain Tom Tursi said...

As you know, they've had opposing winds since the start and are making slow progress toward Norfolk with about 650 miles to go. There's a Low pressure system presently over the mid-Atlantic coast which is expected to produce favorable winds from the south for Celestial's location, and weather buoy data shows that it in fact has turned to the south at about 10 knots. Another Low is expected to form over N Carolina which will also produce southerly winds, but also some stormy conditions.

It's too early to pin down an arrival date, but it will be at least four days from now, but probably more...

Rita Hanson said...

We receive the following transmission from CELESTIAL at 5:18 PM EDT on Sunday May 15th:

"As before, SW Mon AM will be welcome - becalmed last 12 hours. Good news is Gentleman Jim & Engineer Sean fixed the intermittent ME charging problem of last six months. Kudos. Spirits continue good, J"

Rita Hanson said...

On Monday, May 16, 2011 @ 1:10 EDT, we received the following communication from CELESTIAL via Skymate:

"Motorsailing in SE - SSW 10 - 15 kts. All well. J"

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: CELESTIAL
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:38 AM
Subject: Wx 5/17

"Weak cold front in your area to dissipate Wed. Low North Carolina moving North Wed. Another Low South Carolina today moving East Fri-Sat. Expect clocking winds Tue SE10-20, Wed S10-15, Thu SW10-15, Fri W10-15, Sat NW10-15. No tropical storms."

Rita Hanson said...

We receive the following transmission from CELESTIAL on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 10:20 AM EDT:

"Spirited Wx last 20 hrs - base 20-25 kts SSE - w squalls to 45 kts+. trouble furling genoa in one last night, and sunbrella on upper genoa a bit torn - sail itself appears OK. Making good progress in right direction, finally. J "

Kathy said...

Wow...that sounds pretty exciting! At least they're headed in the right direction now. Be safe.

Rita Hanson said...

Kathy, they would have been disappointed if they didn't get some heavy weather sailing in!

Kathy said...

I agree. Joe couldn't wait for some heavy weather. He wanted a chance to use all that heavy weather gear! I'm just glad they're safe and seem to be having a good time.

Bridget Balthrop Morton said...

Hi, Rita! Thanks for all these posts. Please let Cap'n Jack know when he arrives that I am on a mission of mercy for Van (details later) and may not be able to meet him at the airport in MLB, depending on his ETA. He can call Mary or Daniel -- and I'll have my cell! Fair winds and following seas -- even though this voyage seems to be avoiding that! Bridget

Captain Tom Tursi said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 2:34 PM
Subject: Wx 5/18

"Weak CF reach you late today or tonight. Another Low VA Fri move offshore & pass E Sat. Expect light SW15 or less next two days. No tropical storms"

Rita Hanson said...

Received from CELESTIAL:

"05/18/2011
19:29:11 GMT
33° 29.66' N
74° 34.52' W

Rough ETA Fri AM. Most have res to fly Friday - will pass any requests to change Thur.

Closer exam genoa - sunbrella in tatters for about 10' but sail has only tiny (3"?) hole. Unsightly, but usable.

J"

Kathy said...

thanks for the update Rita.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Tom Tursi
To: S/V CELESTIAL
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 10:51 AM
Subject: Wx 5/19

"Inland Low over MD moving N drag weak cold front offshore. Expect SW10-15 Fri-Sat. No tropical storms."

Rita Hanson said...

CELESTIAL has rounded Cape Hatteras and ETA is late today or very early Friday AM. Crew with flight reservations for Friday should be fine.

Kathy said...

WooHoo!!!!! Good job Celestial crew!!

Rita Hanson said...

S/V CELESTIAL arrived in Norfolk at 5:00 AM on Friday May 20th, 2011. All is well with boat and crew. Congratulations to Captian Jack, First Mate Bill, and crew members Sean, Mark, Rob and Joe!