CELESTIAL, our IP 440 departed Vinings Landing Marina in Norfolk Virginia bound for Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas USVI this afternoon, Monday November 7th, 2011. The crew members are: Captain Jack Morton (Florida), First Mate Jim Bortnem (Minnesota), and student crew members Richard Sloan (Pennsylvania), Jacques Levesque (Ontario), Lisa Powell (Oklahoma) and Roland Heinrich (Massachusetts). 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 11-13 days, sailing both day and night.
UPDATE: After departure from Norfolk, the crew made southbound progress, staying on the west side of the Gulf Stream, while keeping a close eye on a storm brewing in the Atlantic, which developed into Tropical Storm SEAN. The crew made the prudent decision to find safe harbor in Beaufort, North Carolina, arriving Wednesday night, November 9th. They then departed Beaufort on Friday afternoon to cross the Gulf Stream some 60 miles distant. Though initially faced with frustrating SE to SSE winds that prevented them from getting any southing for the first few days, they are now making progress southeasterly toward their destination in St. Thomas. See the COMMENTS to this blog post below for the full report.
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.