Monday, October 27, 2014

Transatlantic: Portugal-Madeira-St Thomas, November 2014


On November 8th, MONTAUK LIGHT, a Skye 51, will depart Portugal for a 3200 mile transatlantic ocean passage from Portugal to St Thomas, USVI with an intermediate planned stop in Madeira.  The crew of five are associated with the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship, having been prior students, instructors and/or ocean mates.  The crew members are: Jerry Nigro (S/V MONTAUK LIGHT owner/skipper, Maryland School graduate and ocean mate), Mike McGovern (Maryland School graduate and ocean mate), Jochen Hoffmann (Maryland School graduate, instructor and licensed ocean captain),  Lee Tucker (medical doctor, Maryland School graduate, instructor, ocean mate and licensed near coastal captain) and Tom Tursi (Maryland School founder, instructor and licensed ocean captain).

S/V MONTAUK LIGHT will make the 500 mile passage from Portugal to Madeira, and then will depart for St Thomas after a few days.  The crew will then proceed on a SSW course in order to get further south and into the trade winds, then curve westerly to head for St Thomas.  They expect to make 150 NM per day. The picture above shows the planned route and the prevailing winds.  If the weather follows the predicted pattern, S/V MONTAUK LIGHT should be sailing off the wind the entire trip.  The prevailing wind and water currents in the Atlantic rotate clockwise, and the rhumb-line for this cruise is in the SE corner of that quadrant.  The prevailing winds could be interrupted by storms or weather systems, and we will be following that closely.

Bradley Mabe, a professional meteorologist and Maryland School graduate, will be providing weather forecasts to the crew for the duration of the trip.  Communications between Bradley, the crew and the school will be via e-mail over single side band. 

We will discuss the route, weather and actual progress here on our blog as it happens, so please join us! To follow the discussion, add comments or ask questions, see the comments to this blog post. To follow their actual progress on Google Earth, click HERE.

139 comments:

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: Re: Portugal to STT Cruise
Date: October 29, 2014 8:55:28 PM EDT
To: Tom Tursi

Tom,

When you arrive in Lagos on 1 November, there will be remnants of a strong low pressure system that has dominated the synoptic pattern in the Eastern North Atlantic for quite some time.

It looks like a broad area of high pressure will begin moving eastward followed by more high pressure systems that will keep the first part of your trip a little cool - temps will range 10 to 15 deg. C over the coastal regions. Winds generally from the North at 5 to 15 knots

Progressing toward mid week, high pressure continues building to the West at Lagos' latitude Winds building a bit Tuesday / Wednesday 15 to 25 from the NNW

On your planned departure date, 8 November - a weak shortwave passage makes winds light and variable generally from the SSW at 5 to 15 knots becoming ENE later in the day and onto 9 November then turning East on the 10th and SSW on the 11th - Wind speeds through this period 5 to 15.

There could be a disturbance coming off the African coast at around 20 degrees North Latitude and moving NW on 10 November that could cause some unsettled weather.
However this is at the end of my latest model run and my forecast skill degrades substantially after day 8 so I can't be as sure of the movement or timing of these systems this far out in time. I will track this and advise as I gain more confidence in the forecast.

Generally, it looks like there will be High pressure in control for part of the route - there are some low pressure areas that will affect wind farther West of Madeira - A more Southerly route generally looks more favorable at this time

The ITCZ looks quiet.

Of course, I'll be less verbose as I start issuing forecasts to the boat. I just wanted to avail myself of the larger bandwidth while it's available to give you as
much detail as I can before your departure.

Bradley

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/5 - 8
Date: November 4, 2014 7:57:58 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

11/5 Winds N to NNW at 15 to 25. 11/6 A strong lo to the North with cold front near Winds become W to WSW at 5 to 10. On 11/7 Winds turn back NNW at 15 to 25. On 11/8 Winds WNW 15 to 20. Chance of rain 11/7 - 8. Hope all is well.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-5
Date: November 5, 2014 11:33:00 AM EST
To: Bradley Mabe

Brad... We received your wx summaries. Thank you. Monday and Tuesday were very unsettled weather with lots of squalls and rain; winds to 35 knots just as we were moving the boat to our docking slip after launch. Today, Wednesday is bright and clear but winds to 20 North. Our wind instrument rotor blew off yesterday and there's little likelihood of repair before we leave, so we'll be estimating wind strengths. All for now.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Another Status 11-5
Date: November 5, 2014 5:22:00 PM EST
To: Brad Mabe, Rita Hanson

Well, all of our crew is here. Mike and Lee arrived yesterday, 11-4 about noon just as we were moving the boat to the slip, and gave hearty help getting her into the slip in those 35 knot winds that I mentioned earlier. Then Lee and Mike drove to Lisbon at 11 pm to pick up Jochen and all crashed at the apartment that Jerry rented during these underway preparations. This morning, 11-5 we all turned out to continue work on boat preparations including repairs to the backstay hydraulics, F/W pump, radar reflectors, and food provisioning which Mike is taking the lead on with able help from Lee and his rental car. Tom is working on navigation preparations, and Jochen and Mike figured out the Sailmail Email program and Weather Fax program that we'll receive via SSB. Tonight we went to a great dinner ashore at a very tiny restaurant that keeps their door locked where you can only get into if you say "Joe sent me" then we stumbled back to the boat over the cobble stone sidewalks which are everywhere; no concrete sidewalks here at all; just polish worn cobbles as far as the eye scan see. Tomorrow we still have some boat preps to attend to and we hope that all of the sworn promises that the shipyard has been making for the past week will come true.

T

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX report 11/6 - 9
Date: November 5, 2014 7:18:14 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Winds start out N 10 to 15 11/6 AM. Winds shift afternoon to the W and WSW 10 - 15 kts. Becoming Cloudy Thursday evening as winds begin to shift back WNW 10 - 15 kts on 11/7, chance of rain increases. Winds swing W 20 - 25 on 11/8 with rain possible. 11/9 has winds NNW at 20 to 25.
High pressure in control in the middle of the Atlantic, you will be generally on its edge going toward Madeira Winds NNW 15 - 25 kts.

B

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/7 - 9
Date: November 6, 2014 6:48:02 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Cold front currently 15W moving West affecting Lagos Weather beginning afternoon 11/7 - 8. Wind WSW 15 - 20 until afternoon 11/7 becoming NW 10 - 15, rain possible. On 11/8 afternoon Winds become W 15 - 20 chance of rain. On 11/9 Winds more from N the farther South you are, generally N 15 - 20.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11/7
Date: November 7, 2014 12:16:00 PM EST
To: Rita, Brad Mabe

Rita, Bradley, all parts arrived/installed. On track for probable departure tomorrow 11/8. Thx Bradley for Wx 11/7-9. Needed that good forecast.

Jochen, also on behalf of crew.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: We're Looking Good
Date: November 7, 2014 12:49:00 PM EST
To: Rita, Brad

We spent the past week with boat launch and getting the boat ready and it looks like we'll be ready to go tomorrow, Saturday 11-8. Our work list included repairs to the hydraulic backstay adjuster, reinstalling the compass after it was returned from maintenance, repairs to the spreader lights used to illuminate the deck at night, mounting the life raft on deck, doing a complete boat inventory, shopping for food provisions, engine and generator startup, watermaker startup, flushing and filling water tanks, repairing some electric cabin lights, getting the computer and SSB radio working, figuring out the email, sailmail and weather fax, navigation planning, and receiving the very welcome weather summaries from Brad. Right now, Jerry is going up the mast for a final inspection there. We still need to bend the sails on and finish up some shopping.

By the way, Jerry rented an apartment across the street which we variously used during the boat work period when everything was disrupted aboard.

We need to exit the inlet at high water which is due tomorrow at 1530, so that's our plan

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/8 - 9
Date: November 7, 2014 6:05:10 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Cold Front just past your current location in Lagos; it extends SW across your anticipated course to Madeira, so you'll be sailing near it. Saturday- Winds variable mostly WSW at 5 - 10 at departure. Later in the day and farther SW on your course winds become NW building to 15 - 20 with rain. Sunday - Winds NW to NNW at 20 to 25 gusts to 30. Clearing and winds become lighter toward evening NW 15 - 20.

Bon Voyage, and be safe.

B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Montauk Light Departure From Lagos
Date: November 8, 2014 10:44:00 AM EST
To: MDS

Montauk Light is underway from Lagos to Madeira Portugal.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/9 - 11
Date: November 8, 2014 4:45:17 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Sunday, winds NW to NNW 15 to 20 gusts to 25 diminishing to 10 to 15 on Monday. A Low and associated cold front N of your course follows you South and may make winds a bit more from the W depending on your course. Tuesday, Winds WNW 10 - 15.

B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-9
Date: November 9, 2014 11:13:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Rough way to start a cruise, which is not at all unusual considering that everyone needs to reacclimate to the boat and to sea rhythm. Add to that 20 to 35 knot squally weather, and it makes for uncomfortable but fast speed. As of 0800 our course has averaged 215T since departure well below what we need to make Maderia at about 238T. Winds have been mostly W to NW at 20 to 35. Everyone in fine shape and good spirits; eating some...

T

Rita Hanson said...

Hello families and followers, the crew of Montauk Light would be happy to received comments, questions or news from home. Please post here and I will copy to them.

Rita

Rita Hanson said...

From: Mike McGovern aboard S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status
Date: November 9, 2014 12:24:00 PM EST
To: MD School

We're off. Sometimes the take offs are easy, sometimes hard, all are different and exciting.

Yesterday's was a more difficult one. Throughout the day there had been periods of warm sun and cold scattered showers. We left with sunny skies and moderate winds around 15 knots. Within an hour winds had built to the point we reefed the main and soon thereafter reefed the headsail. Being cloudy it was pitch black, although there was an almost full moon. It was extremely rough with confused seas and waves 6-8'. As squall lines passed winds sometime went to 35 knots but mostly stayed in the mid 20's. There were at one point six or seven big ships in our path, three abreast in the outbound traffic lanes leaving /entering Gibraltar and over fifteen ships on the AIS necessitating contact or course changes. Jerry and I had the 20-2400 watch and it was howling with lots of wind and wave spray keeping us wet and uncomfortable. The moon started to pop out around 2300 and settled down a little overnight. today is sunny with winds around 20-25 knots and some scattered showers with gusts to 35knts. The good side is we are making good time.

I was unable to send the above this morning, no connection. So here is today.... more of the same with winds 20-25knt, rain squalls passing ahead, astern or over us often with wind gusts to 30-35. Made 161 nm in last 24 hrs. All is going well.

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/10 - 11
Date: November 9, 2014 6:10:40 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Monday, Wind N to NW at 15 going to 10 as the day progresses. The Hi to your West is beginning to dissipate. Tuesday, Winds shift more WNW to W at 10 to 15. Following your track, you are right on the edge of the dissipating Hi which makes the winds more variable and more from the W. Still a chance of rain throughout the period.

B

Joseph B Pazoureck Jr said...

Wishing you a fun and safe passage. Tell Jochem hi from Kathy & Joe Pazoureck, former students of his.

sgr said...

Enjoying your posts & look forward to following your adventure!

Hunter said...

Good Morning Sailors,
Following your passage and hoping your winds are fair.
All good here in NY Jerry,weather is going to get cold .....hope its warm were you are.
Hunter

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-10
Date: November 10, 2014 8:39:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Monday 1040. Thanks Brad for weather which has been right on target.

Balmy breezes blow from NW, a welcome relief from the winds of the past few days. Currently wind 12-15 NW; skies mostly cumulus clouds; squall approaching now but may miss us; mainsail is already reefed and we reefed just the jib in preparation.

Made 268 miles since departing Portugal based on ship's log through the water. GPS says 177 miles to Madeira. Winds have kept us south of our rhumbline, and we'll need to make that up someway over the next day or so; either a tack or wind clocking, but Brad's info implies that the winds will not help and that we'll need to tack.

Overall, it's a pleasant day onboard... Jerry's padding around the boat in his bedroom slippers and socks... I took a Sun shot and it verifies our GPS position, so I guess they finally got the GPS working right!

All for now...

T

Dick and Cheryl said...

Hello to all the crew aboard s/v Montauk Light -
We are enjoying the blog and following your progress. As former and continuing students of MD School, we are wishing you a safe journey and will live vicariously through your posts as we get our first glimpses of SNOW up here in the North East US. ;-)

Question from Cheryl -
How many cans or bags of beans did you provision and of those how many do you think you will off load when you get to St. Thomas? Our last trip I think I packed enough for a circumnavigation (better safe than sorry strategy). Just wondering what the "pros" do. This also could also be fodder for an on/off shore betting game. How about some friendly wagers here - :-)

Dick and Cheryl
s/v Midnight Sun (on the hard and under cover)

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/11 - 13
Date: November 10, 2014 6:58:55 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Tuesday, Winds W 15 - 20 (sorry guys). becoming a bit more WNW late in the day and into Wednesday WNW 10 - 15. Wednesday night into Thursday Winds WSW 20 - 25. A chance of rain through Wednesday afternoon.
B

Dan Courtney said...

Where are the gents making landfall in Madeira? My wife is a native (Grew up in Canical) and she has family all over the island. We'd be happy to share some local knowledge... restaurants, sites, etc. In fact we were married on the island last year, so even my knowledge is current.

Dan

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-11
Date: November 11, 2014 7:41:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Brad, thanks for weather info

Tuesday 1100... Mostly sunny skies littered with many cumulus clouds. Winds W 15-20. We just tacked to port and are on course of 320M. We are 82 miles to Madeira although it's not straight line and we'll need to tack a few times more.

Last night mostly 15-20W with some rain squalls to 30 knots, but no lightening. Have not seen any lightening yet for entire trip.

Temperatures comfortable shirt sleeve, but foulies needed for spray in cockpit. Jochen and Lee working on celestial shots. Yesterday, my two sun shots and running fix produced a good position in close agreement with our DR and GPS.

Jerry just started generator and water maker which produces 15 GPH of very welcomed water. Showers will be in order when the winds and sea state allow.

T

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Beans
Date: November 11, 2014 7:41:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Regarding questions...

The other guys are all steak and potato eaters and the beans are for me when needed in lieu of red meat. We stowed about a dozen of the 15 oz cans of garbonzos; more than I'll need; will probably arrive STT with half that amount.

Temperatures have been a pleasant 60F at night and maybe 75F in daytime. Of course, wind and sunlight moderate these.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Madeira
Date: November 11, 2014 1:19:00 PM EST
To: MD School

Rita:

We are planning on arriving in Funchal Madeira sometime in early AM 11/12

T

Rita Hanson said...


From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/12 -14
Date: November 11, 2014 6:36:23 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light


Wednesday winds WNW 10-15, becoming W and then WSW late in the day / evening. Thursday winds still WSW building to 15 - 20. Friday, winds shift back to the WNW at 10 - 15.

A very large Low pressure system will make things interesting storm wise for the British Isles over the next few days, but won't affect you.

Lastly, on the lighter side, I was able to make my first woolly worm forecast this afternoon. They predict initially a less harsh Winter than last years :)

B

Rita Hanson said...

Dan,

If you have any suggestions for restaurants etc in Funchal, I'll pass them on!

Rita

J.W. Comer said...

Following along with interest. I'd love to make this trip some day, to have a chance to watch the sun and water, feel the winds, ride the swells, become one with the rhythm of the ocean.

Good luck with Madeira, sounds like you're coming in tomorrow (Wednesday. Will be looking forward to the next (long) leg.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Arrived Maderia
Date: November 12, 2014 6:15:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We arrived Funchal, Madeira 0500 today Wednesday. More to follow. We ended up motoring for the last 60 miles as the winds dropped to very light from the west.

T

(Rita's note: That would be 5:00 AM Madeira time. They are 5 hours ahead of EST.)

Michael Crowley said...

Hi,

Following along with great interest. I would love to make a trip like this some day. Good luck and fare winds.

Capt. Mike
Whistling Man Schooner Co.

Anonymous said...

Tom & Crew:

Greetings from your friends at Bux-Mont Office Supply in Hatboro, PA! We've been following your cruise with great interest. Have a safe trip and I look forward to talking with you when you finally get back state-side.

Mark & Bev

Dan Courtney said...

My first suggestion is to head up to Monte (North and up from the harbor - you'll need a taxi). There's a beautiful chapel with the tomb of the last emporer of Austria, Charles I. There's a great view of the city if the clouds aren't too low. Then take the wicker sleds back down... although the "Captains" may be uncomfortable knowing that the sleds have no rudders!

My wife's cousin runs a restaurant even farther up the hill from Monte, but I don't recall the name. I'll ask my wife when she gets home.

Dan Courtney said...

Also a little trivia. In 1975, after fleeing England and getting kicked out of virtual every port in the Mediterranean, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard docked his converted cattle freighter, the Apollo, in Funchal. During a concert on the pier by The Apollo Stars (a band of Scientology members from the ship) rumors spread that the ship was operated by the CIA and the locals rioted, forcing Hubbard and his shipmates to flee for their lives. So please guys, don't let the locals know that Mr. Hoffmann was a US government agent!

Dan Courtney said...

Just found it... but it's farther away than I remembered. My wife and I had our wedding reception here just over a year ago. http://www.caferelogio.com/

I'll get recommendations for something closer.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Madeira
Date: November 13, 2014 1:42:00 PM EST
To: MD School

Today we went on a tour of the lavadas (aqueducts). There are about 2100 KM of Lavadas on the island to connect the dry side to the wet side. The hike was about 5 hours and covered 14 KM. Of course hiking in the rain forest in the rainiest month of the year meant it was a very wet hike but very interesting and informative.

They take the rain from the rain forest and also from much of the rock and flora and divert it into the lavadas, which they then use for drinking water, crop irrigation and hydro electric power generation. They also store some of the water for use in dryer months. In early years they used criminals or slaves to build the lavadas.

The lavadas are about 18-24" wide and probably 3-4' deep in most places and most have a walking path, sometimes very narrow along side the lavada. They are now introducing rainbow trout into some of the lavadas, for the tourists but also as an indication of the water quality, although they do allow some fishing with the proper license.

Much of the rain forest in now a national park so you are not allowed to harvest any of the plants or trees from the forest. We are now all very achy and worn out from walking on all the uneven rocks and are resting comfortably on he boat.

Last night I had the Espetada, Beef marinated in Madeira wine rubbed with garlic, salt and bay leaf, vinegar then cooked with olive oil over wood chips on a grill and served on a skewer. Sorry, you would have hated it.....

Wish you were here....

Jerry's Son said...

Dad,
Glad your trip is going well. Quick question, why did you go so far south of 'Deserta Grande' island and not to the strait north of the island? What was that weird Tack before the island too? Wind? Shallow water in that strait between Madeira and island? Tanker avoidance? Inquiring minds want to know!

Mark Twain once said, “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Continued Success and Safe Sail!

Your son Jerry

P.S. What fish have you caught in first 500 mi. West?

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-13
Date: November 14, 2014 6:47:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Yes, we arrived Thurs 11-12 in morning twilight, tied up at the Marina Funchal and crashed for several hours. Then did the usual boat cleanup and laundry chores. Went out that evening to a great dinner ashore where many exaggerated sea stories came to pass. Since they're on Madeira time here, they didn't rush us to clear the table, and the stories got bigger and more raucous as the wine flowed and the evening worn on.

Today, Thursday, we paid for our sins of the evening before by going on a seven mile hike (read that as a forced military march with a 22 year old guide in the lead) over very rugged mountain passes with sheer drop offs and cascading waterfalls. Most of this was over very uneven rocky trails in the pouring rain where we ocean sailors were almost bested by the march leader... but we all made it without falling into a crevasse. Now to do some more laundry since everything we wore was soaked.

Our plans is to leave here on Saturday bound for STT. Brad, I previously sent you our intended coordinates with intermediate waypoints at 22N/22W and 20N/30W. If you have any suggestions on this please let me know

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/15 - 17
Date: November 14, 2014 5:44:03 PM EST
To: MD School

The challenge for the winds is in leaving Funchal. The winds will be quite variable as you make your way South. Expect winds generally N at 5 - 10 on Saturday.

A shortwave trough associated with a Low to the NE of your position will make winds light and variable until S of 30N.

Waypoints of 22N 22W and 20N 30W look good, wind pattern NE 10 - 15 for 22-22 and ENE 15 - 20 for 20-30 for the next few days. I see no storms or gales at this time along your Westward track.

Will be monitoring your progress.

B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-15
Date: November 15, 2014 4:42:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We're on track to depart today, Saturday; probably by 1300. Have cleared with Customs and Immigration. Mike and Lee going out for shopping fresh food resupply. Skies mostly clear with some cumulus clouds. Winds light from north. Temperature a comfortable 70F at 0900

Brad... Thanks for weather update today. We've adjusted our initial waypoint target to 22.5N - 25W based on further research. After that we'll decide based actual conditions. Any inputs on the Trades expectations will be appreciated

Thanks
T

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk
Subject: Departed Madeira
Date: November 15, 2014 3:13:00 PM EST
To: MD School

We departed Madeira at 1225 today and set a course of 216T (222M) bound for an intermediate waypoint at 22.5N, 25W. Skies are sunny with cumulus clouds, and winds light from SW. Looking back at statistics, on the trip to Maderia we covered 489 sea miles in 3 days 13 hours for an average of 138 miles per day. Ran the engine 21 hours plus the generator some uncounted hours, and burned 26 gallons of diesel.

We're now just lazing along at 5.5 knots under full sail and engine power. Jerry is on for the noon to 1600 watch. We're keeping one man watches in daytime for the 0400-1200-1600-2000 watches, and two man watches for the 2000-2400-0400 watches. As a result each crewmember's watches change each day since we have five people covering eight watches per day. Designations are as follows: A- Jerry; B- Mike; C- Tom; D- Jochen; E- Lee. So Jerry (A) just started with the 1200-1600, and from there we go in alpha order. So, from that you can tell who's on watch at any given time during the balance of the cruise... I hope this makes sense, since I'll be giving you a test in a few days

All for now
T

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/16 - 17
Date: November 15, 2014 4:57:06 PM EST
To: Montauk Light

Sunday, winds NNE 5 - 15 depending on how far S you get, winds could back to SW mid afternoon. Monday, winds NW to W at 5 - 10. S of 29N and W of 20W winds are generally NE 10 - 15 for the period. A low pressure system coming off New England pushes the Atlantic High W and S through Thursday of next week - winds will stay from the North on your anticipated course. Winds more consistently E - S of 25N and W of 30 - 15 to 20 knots.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX report 11/17 - 19
Date: November 16, 2014 6:20:33 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Monday winds NW 5 - 10 veering W 5 - 10 later in the day. Winds more NW 15 - 20 W of 20N. Tuesday along your anticipated track, winds NW to N at 15 to 20. Increasing chance of rain and squalls Monday evening into Tuesday and Wednesday. High pressure continues to move Westward on Wednesday bringing winds N 15 - 20. Low pressure and associated front to your NE could mean unsettled weather Wed - Thursday depending on your course. continued SW course should keep you clear of it.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-16
Date: November 16, 2014 7:12:00 PM EST
To: MD School

Leaving Madeira yesterday was a beautiful sail. Bright sun, Cloudless sky. Winds NW 5-10 gave us pleasant sailing under mainsail, jib and staysail. We were moving along at 5.5 knots on less than 10 knots of wind. As sunset approached, clouds moved in from the west, and by evening it was completely overcast which remained overnight; winds remained light from west. By 0800 Sunday we hit some squalls and then about 8 hours of solid pouring, drenching rain with winds from every direction which you can probably tell from our track.

Now, at 1800 Sunday, we're at 3054N-1851W on a course of 225M per compass making 7 knots over ground. Lee's on helm. Mike is cooking Chicken fajhitas for dinner. Jerry just topped up engine oil. Jochen is resting in prep for tonight's midnight to 0400 watch with me. And I'm writing to you... Life is good

All of now.

T

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Great Crew
Date: November 17, 2014 11:52:00 AM EST
To: MD School

All is well on board "Montauk Light". We are currently about 100 NM West of La Palma, Canary Is. We had a great night and morning of sailing in 10 - 15 kts of breeze on a close reach right along our intended course. The weather now is a bit unsettled with rain, some squalls and variable wind directions.

The crew and "Montauk Light" are all in great condition. The crew is well rested and fed and the boat is in her element! We have an exceptionally talented and experienced crew and every day is a pleasure. We are all looking forward to working our way South and hopefully picking up some sunny consistent weather.

Best Regards To All - Jerry Nigro - Captain

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Celestial
Subject: Status 11-17
Date: November 17, 2014 11:52:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Mon 1200... Overnight was clear with billions of stars. Sun rose clear with gathering clouds.
great sailing on course of 220-225M at 6 to 7 knots. By noon today, had a strong rain squall, no lightening. Mike went on helm at noon relieving soaked Jerry. Jochen making lunch. BTW... our wind instrument has been working since Lagos. At 0930 I took a morning sunshot. Scope fell off of sextant and into DJ's locker. Took shot anyway without scope; worked ok.

Current position 2908N-1952W. COG 210M. SOG 7.5 kt. We're passing some distance west of Canaries and are running close to our original RL. Noon to noon 24 hour runs are 121nm on day 1, and 137 day 2

All's well

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/18 - 20
Date: November 17, 2014 6:41:42 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Tuesday brings wind from the W and even SW for a few hours in the afternoon at 5 to 10 kts. Rain and squalls likely from the W and NW.

Wednesday brings wind from the NW at 20 to 25 and rain as a low and associated cold front approach from the N. Thursday wind more from N at 15 to 20 as High pressure reasserts itself near your anticipated position. Wednesday looks a bit wet - farther W keeps you dryer and in a more N wind pattern.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status from Mike
Date: November 18, 2014 10:06:00 AM EST
To: MD School

On most ocean trips it takes a couple of days for the crew to become acclimated to the boat conditions and watch cycles, my experience has been usually about three days.

Yesterday (day 2 out of Madeira) I noticed all the crew was awake and active starting around lunch time, up until dinner. We cleaned the boat, spent time on navigation, weather review, reading and writing e-mails and personal time.

This morning for the first time (of course a warm sunny day helps) the whole crew had breakfast, prepared by Tom, in the cockpit. We are shaking a reef out of the main after breakfast then have some maintenance issues we need to take care of today. All is going well as we settle into our routine.

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

(Note, In answer to "Jerry's Son" question above...)

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: TACKING TO GET TO MADERIA
Date: November 18, 2014 10:06:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We had good sailing (winds 15 - 45 knts.) on our way south west to Maderia, but we could not lay a direct course to Funchal. We sailed slightly past Funchal, tacked and made the best we could for Funchal.

We then had to avoid the Dezertas Islands so therefore our snake track to Funchal. We were a little beat up from the previous nights sailing so perhaps we could have taken a different route, but all things considered we arrived in pretty could fashion. I had planned on a 4 day passage from Lagos to Funchal and in actuality we took 3 1/2 days.

Every day is a work in progress and all plans are subject to change. Currently we are motor sailing in light conditions and trying to trouble shoot an auto pilot problem. So it goes!
Regards To All - Jerry Nigro - Captain

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-18
Date: November 18, 2014 10:06:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Current position at 1140 on 11-18 Tuesday: 2705N-2047W. Bright sunny drying day after a clear starry night. Steering 220M per compass. SOG 6.2 kt

We have had our ship's clock set at Greenwich time since leaving Lagos, but we'll be resetting it today at noon. Since the earth rotates through 360 degrees in 24 hours, each time zone is 15 degrees of longitude wide. The Greenwich time zone stretches from 7.5 deg East to 7.5 deg West, and the next goes from 7.5 deg to 22.5 deg West. We're at 20.5 deg West, and so we're in the western side of that zone. New York is in Zone 5 west and St Thomas our destination is in zone 4 west, so we'll need to reset our ship's clock three more times before getting there.

Yesterday we got a good set of sun shots for a running fix that correlates well with out DR and GPS. I took the morning sun shot and Jochen took one in the afternoon which we crossed with a running fix. This was with the only sextant onboard which lost its telescope overboard when I was taking my first shot. So our results are without telescope, but, surprisingly, we did not find that to be a problem for sun shots, but it may be for star/plant shots.

Now, at noon, it's sunny with balmy breezes from the SW.

All for now.

Tom

Tomas said...

from: tomaspotz@yahoo.com

RE: Good Old Data

Hi:

Is this trip "Portugal-Madeira-St.Thomas" a rediscovery of the old routes? Reading the comments, I see other people like the idea and would be willing to join! Yes, it would be great to be part of it.

It is a long trip and lot of data will be generated. As a matter of fact, presenting the data it could make an extra class. Good segments of navigator's work-Like if I am there!-Accepting the challenge at home-Something more than just sights.

By now, I have already calculated point-to-point distances and courses to Madeira and I see Montauk Light has already departed the island and is sailing again. I am with you reading it daily. Good luck.

Tomas

Rita Hanson said...

Tomas,

There has been talk of doing a webinar on the trip this winter, so stand by for that!

Rita

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/19 - 20
Date: November 18, 2014 7:31:30 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Wednesday, winds N to NE 15 to 20 some gusts to 25. Showers possible. Thursday, winds N to NE at 15 to 20. Still have weak low pressure to your N that can cause showers and variable winds, although it looks like you're staying ahead of it on your present course and speed.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Blog: A Word about the Boat's chosen Route
Date: November 19, 2014 9:38:00 AM EST
To: MD School

A straight rhumb-line course between Madeira and St. Thomas would be the shortest route. Why, then, is Montauk Light sailing south southwest?

Well, during a number of planning meetings, we looked at the "Pilot Charts, North Atlantic" for the Month of November. We saw a pattern of optimal wind statistics if we would aim for a way point at 22 N, 22 W before turning west southwest toward St. Thomas.

Next, we refined our strategy following a close reading of Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" and Anne Hammick's "Atlantic Islands." We concluded from their recommendations that we would want to move our turning point further westward to 22.5 N, 25 W. We drew a rhumb line from Madeira to that way point onto our DR Plotting Sheet and are tracking our progress as dictated by weather.

In fact, we make tactical course adjustments based on local weather conditions and telling forecasts sent daily via e-mail by a friend from shore. NOAA weather analysis chants we receive via Single Side Band also inform our short-term course adjustment decisions.

Finally, we like to believe we are retracing parts of Columbus's route. Thus, as mariners, our chosen route has one more compelling attraction.

Jochen Hoffmann

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-19
Date: November 19, 2014 9:38:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Wednesday morning 0915... We're sailing like a freight train on a broad reach to starboard in N-NE 20-25 as predicted by Brad. Doing 7.5 SOG on course of 240M.

Yesterday was sunny with light winds in morning, and by noon it clouded up and started to rain by 1300 and continued into evening, then fell light so we took in all sail and motored for a while while we did some maintenance on the self steering around 2100. About that same time, a strong squall hit at 35 knots from north and driving rain. We deployed the jib only half out and got on a course of 235M pointing to our intermediate waypoint of 22.5N-25W, and we roared through the night blackness at 7 knots. Periodic rain squalls intermixed with clear patches of sky. And here we are by morning light about the same with slightly lower winds continuing from N-NE.

All for now. Thanks Brad for Wx... You're right on target

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/20 - 21
Date: November 19, 2014 6:26:31 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Thursday, winds N to NW at 15 to 20. Lighter the farther S you go. Continued chance of rain and squalls as low pressure system to your N turns E. Friday, winds N 15 to 20 on your anticipated course.
High pressure in control for end of week and next week across the Atlantic.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-20
Date: November 20, 2014 6:46:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Yesterday was squally with 18 to 22 N to NW winds through most of the day backing to west by evening; overnight 18 to 25 west. Now at 0930 Thur we're charging along at 7.5 knots on course 250M by compass. Lots of rain which seems to be the order of things here. Brad forecasts that we'll find the NE trade winds at around 21N26W which is another day's run from here... Looking forward to sun and drying out since everything is damp, soggy and smelly down below, but that's a normal part of ocean sailing.

It's really been great sailing with this bunch of experienced sailors, old fiends and great shipmates. Everyone knows the program and what needs to be done, and all are ready, willing and able to jump in without hesitation to get 'er done when needed. All are healthy and in good shape, and eating well, which is always a good sign.

All for now
T

Tomas said...

From: Tomas
To: Montauk Light
Date: 20NOV14

Hi- By reading the email I happened to develop some questions, please:

16NOV14 "Chicken Fajhitas" - you probably utilized fresh green peppers. It can be served as a wrap. Do you bake bread?

18NOV14 "To trouble shoot an auto pilot problem." Was it a mechanical or electrical problem? How is it now?

18NOV18 What is the reason you prefer to reset the time on the clock in every time zone rather than just couple of time during the trip?

I heard you have a spinnaker on the board, but did not read about it yet. How many hours have you sailed with the spinnaker by now?

How do you do the night navigation? Is it taken from GPS?

Thank you for now.

Tomas

Anonymous said...

Greatly enjoying following along and reading you blog! How does google earth pick up your location? It did not look like it had been updated today,

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/21 - 22
Date: November 20, 2014 7:45:27 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Friday, Winds NW 15 - 20 shifting N as the day progresses. A chance for rain and squalls diminishing through the day. Saturday, winds NE 15 to 20 becoming more E as the day progresses.

You are entering the trade winds and the wind pattern will be coming predominantly from the E at 15 to 20.

B

Rita Hanson said...

Tomas - I'll forward your questions to the crew.

Regarding the google map -- I am updating it manually. I've been mostly doing it morning and evening but didn't update it this morning. And how about that! It was missed. :-)

I'm getting the positions from the crews reported position and from a satellite tracker on the boat.

~ Rita

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: re Questions
Date: November 21, 2014 9:44:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Regrading questions asked above by Tomas:

We used fresh produce purchased in Madeira for Fajitas. Have not baked bread, but Mike the culinary expert is always surprising us so there's no telling what he'll come up with.

We've been hard om the wind since leaving Lagos, so no spinnaker yet. But Brad says we're on the cusp of the Trade Winds and should reach them Saturday, tomorrow and will have opportunities then.

We reset the clock at each time zone just to keep our sunrise and sunset at reasonable times for crew activities.

Night navigation is the same as day navigation, primarily DR plus celestial shots... We'll talk more of the details of this in future emails.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-21
Date: November 21, 2014 9:44:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Friday 1300... Position 2150N-2726W. Bright skies beginning to look tropical with puffy white cumulus clouds. COG 255M. SOG 7.5 knots. Yesterday was cloudy and a little squally in morning with winds NW 15-20 and higher gusts in squalls; as day progressed, winds clocked a little to NW.

We hit our first waypoint at 22.5N-25W, and were able to turn on a course of 270M toward our second waypoint at 19N-60W which was 1950 miles away a little east of the windward islands. But we cracked off a little and set our course a little south of this rhumbline.

Today Friday is a beautiful sunny day of the type that we came for, and we're sailing free on a close reach to starboard in 15 to 20 NW winds. Tomorrow we're looking for the trade winds to fill in from the east at 15 to 20 per Brads forecast... Thanks Brad.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

Another note on the google plot... if the track of Montauk Light is fairly straight, like overnight last night, I'll post less points while if they have direction changes I'm posting more points. If there is a large distance between points, the track was generally straight during that period.

Rita

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Update
Date: November 21, 2014 3:47:00 PM EST
To: MD School

The curse is lifted! Yesterday late in the afternoon I caught a nice 24" 12-14 lb Mahi-Mahi and was able to land him on the boat. We made short order of cleaning him and getting him on ice, but since we were already preparing dinner we decided to have him tonight. This morning I caught another smaller Mahi maybe 16" and 3-5 lb which we also got on the boat but decided to toss back since it was a little small.

Weather continues to improve and we have had great sailing conditions with 15-20 knots of steady NW winds. Expect winds to go to NE then E later tonight or early tomorrow.

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/22 - 23
Date: November 21, 2014 6:38:34 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Saturday, winds start out NNE at 15 to 20, becoming more ENE throughout the day and the farther W you are. A chance of showers from the N through the day. Sunday, winds ENE to E at 15 to 20. Chance of showers.

Looking West along your projected course, I see no fronts or storms at this time. The ITCZ is quiet. There is a possibility for showers and squalls along your course for the duration of the trip. I do see some small pop-up convective activity on the satellite image, but it's very sporadic. A thunderstorm is possible.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-22
Date: November 22, 2014 7:31:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Saturday morning... We're in the beginning of the Trades with light ENE winds at 5-10. COG 280. Doing 4 kts with poled out genoa and mainsail on starboard tack. Yesterday winds were NNW 15-20 with light squalls on occasion.

By sunset winds began to clock to the NNE, and overnight became shifty and eventually settled in to NE by morning. We were all up bright and early (0800) to set the pole before a leisurely breakfast of pancakes prepared by Jochen. Skies are sunny but lots of cumulus clouds and warm humid air typical of tropical conditions. Position 2125N-2946W.

Two days ago Mike hooked a 10# dorado and we had mahi-mahi for dinner last night with half a fish remaining for another dinner...Yum!!

Sail on!!

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: "DR Navigation" or How we Navigate - Day and Night
Date: November 22, 2014 1:56:00 PM EST
To: MD School

MONTAUK LIGHT has, of course, a complete suite of modern electronics. But we run them on background only. Why? Such units can and do fail (water leak, nearby lightning, etc.) or batteries fail. There are plenty of sad related stories. Instead, we use DR (deduced or dead reckoning) navigation to track our progress on a big ocean.

DR nav, as we call it, is that time-honored method which requires only a paper Plotting Sheet, a watch, compass, parallel rules and a pencil. (See a fuller youtube description at the beginning of Tom Tursi's video on "Celestial Navigation at Sea." {https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZCwgoUxXWs)

If you had a camera in space pointed at us, this is what you would see: Every hour the crew on watch goes to our Log Book and records such entries in a table as average course steered during the last hour, miles traveled, plus other data. He does this four times during a four-hour watch. At the end of his watch, he calculates (to keep it simple here) the average course steered over the last four hours and adds the total distance in nautical miles traveled. Those two values, namely, the distance and compass direction, he draws as a pencil line on the plotting sheet.

Each watch follows the same procedure and adds their line to the previous segments on the Plotting sheet. However, we always try to check the accuracy of our paper/pencil DR efforts by taking sextant shots, find and plot our position on the same sheet and compare this position fix to our DR entries.

How well does this work? You need a clear sky to take a sextant shot of a celestial body. But we had four days of cloud cover after leaving Madeira and only our DR position as our assumed position at any given time during the four days. When we finally got a position fix using the sun, our DR position and celestial position were only some thirty nautical miles apart. Rigorous DR plotting had paid off.

Jochen Hoffmann

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/23 - 24
Date: November 22, 2014 4:06:32 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Sunday, winds start out ENE at 10 to 15, some gusts to 20. As Sunday progresses winds turn more E at 15 to 20. Monday winds ENE to E at 15 to 20. Some showers and squalls possible though the period.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-23
Date: November 23, 2014 8:18:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Sunday... Jerry has promised a Sunday sermon, so we're waiting with baited breath... Currently in trade winds of 15 to 20 knots from the East making 7 to 8 knots over ground. Bright sun with numerous cumulus clouds. Warm; about 75F at 0900. Waves about 4 to 6 feet from 070 deg with a medium sized swell running from the NE. Sailing wing on wing with poled out jib and reefed mainsail. Lots of rocking and rolling from the swell in combination with the sails. Steering mostly with auto pilot and some hand steering... Heading west to the Virgin Islands!!

Brad... Thanks for Wx info.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Meals
Date: November 23, 2014 8:18:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Meal preparation is an important part of any ocean passage. The crew needs to be well fed and rested to work effectively. This trip has been particularly challenging for two reasons - in our pre trip meal survey we identified one crew member who does not eat chicken or 'fin fish' and another who does not eat red meat and when we provisioned the boat in Lagos and Madeira most of the products we bought were in Portuguese. We sometimes look at the pictures on the cans or boxes of product to figure out what we think we are using in the meal preparation. Of course we can't read any of the preparation directions either making it even more challenging. So far this has worked well and the crew has been very adaptable and considerate if it isn't quite what we thought it was. I don't believe anyone is losing any weight (yet) so meals must be going OK.

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: DOWN WIND ON MONTAUK LIGHT
Date: November 23, 2014 1:34:00 PM EST
To: MD School

All is well here on "ML". We are now in the trade winds which produce 15 to 20 knots of wind from the North East to East on a very consistent basis. This gives us 6 to 8 knots of boat speed to the West, it is quit remarkable! We have the Yankee poled out to starboard and the reefed main on Port and we have not changed a thing in 2 days, we hope to continue like this for the foreseeable future!

It has been a bit cloudy, but today it seems to have cleared. We are all drying out our gear and enjoying the sun. Tom made cheese omelets for breakfast and now Jochen is making wraps for lunch. Earlier Tom cleaned the sole and Mike cleaned out the shower sump. (luckily the shower is getting considerable use). It is a wonderful crew, as every one knows what needs to be done and they just get it done. Looking forward to continued great down wind conditions.

Best To All - Jerry Nigro - Capt.

Tomas said...

To: Montauk Light Crew
From: Tomas
Date: 23NOV14
RE: Q + A - II

First of all the best for the incoming Thanksgiving Holiday Season from Indianapolis.

Is it going to be Mahi Mahi with cranberry? Please, can we hear details about the fishing? Bait - yes/no and if yes then what kind? Size of the fishing hook and the fishing line.

Do you get some "sea food" on the deck to be maybe converted to soup or is it going back to the ocean?

Tomas

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/24 - 25
Date: November 23, 2014 6:39:42 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Monday, winds ENE to E 15 to 20. Tuesday winds ENE to E 15 - 20. There is a weak cold front approaching from the WNW which will bring an increased chance of rainy / squally weather on Tuesday. I think the front will dissipate before you get to it, but its remnants will cause some unsettled weather - there should be little or no wind change associated with this fronts passage. I will keep an eye on it.

B

JAMES EDWARDS said...

Fishing: Are you using rod and reel or yo-yo's? How's it rigged?

JAMES EDWARDS said...

How often are dolphins and whales are sighted? Are there birds out there?

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-24
Date: November 24, 2014 8:00:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Monday 1115... We continue to sail straight downwind in the trades wing on wing with poled out genoa and mainsail to port putting us on a starboard tack. We've gone a couple of days in this configuration without needing to even touch the sails, and have made about 500 miles to the west on a course of 275M since entering the trade wind belt.

It's been a pleasure with days passing quickly and pleasantly in bright sunny skies with winds from astern at 15 to 20 knots which feels less than that since it's from behind and our boat speed subtracts from the true wind speed. Current position is 2041N-3535W with boat speed continuing at 7 to 8 knots over ground.

We're cooking, eating, reading, sleeping, navigating, story telling and doing all kinds of pleasant things... A big difference from the first two legs of the cruise up north from Lagos in those stormy, squally conditions.

I'll ask Mike to answer the fish questions.

Thanks Brad for the weather updates.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Blog question
Date: November 24, 2014 9:45:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Thanksgiving dinner will be angel hair pasta with olive oil and a seafood medley. I bought some frozen sea food medley in Madeira that has prawns, squid, clams and mussels (and maybe more) in it (if I can figure out the directions how to prepare it) plus some fresh Mahi will make for a great meal. Hidden in the bottom of the freezer is two quarts of ice cream which will be dessert.

Fishing:
When I fish on the boat it's not for sport, it simply to land a fish for a meal. On the Eastbound leg I carried a deep sea trolling rod with a Penn level drag ocean reel. It was a good set up, but difficult to transport. I went back to my tried and true on the westbound leg, clothes line. I get 100' or so of clothes line and tie a swivel on the end with a 4' wire leader and then a green and silver lure with with a weighted head and an 11/0 hook which I drag on or just below the surface. I set the line up with a clothes hanger as a trip so I sometimes know when a fish hits. When I get a fish I may drag it behind the boat for 30-40 minutes to wear it out and take the fight out of it. If it is a large fish I may put the line on a secondary winch and winch it up to the boat so I can gaff it and get it aboard. We fillet the fish in the cockpit and depending on the time of day and morale of the crew may cook some of it right away. The rest goes into the fridge for another meal.

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

We had this correspondence off the blog, but thought we would post it here for our German friends.

Friend of Mike's: Sorry, but I need to hear that you caught a fish, by someone other than yourself. Will one of the crew corroborate your story. Otherwise it sounds fishy to me.

Jochen wrote: Liebe Lova, wir sind jetzt 20.40 Nord x 35.42 West. Die Sonne scheint und es ist schoen auf dem Boot. Mein Freund Mike hat 4 Fische gefangen: 3 kleine (zurueck in den Ozean) und 1 grossen, einen Mahi-Mahi. Er war sehr lecker. Jetzt machen wir Himmels Navigation mit dem Sextanten. Mike'As Resultat war besser als meins.

Alles Gute von Jochen



Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: More navigation
Date: November 24, 2014 1:25:00 PM EST
To: MD School

"...And a Star to Steer her By."

Mariners like to find "Steering Stars" at night to stay on course and take a break from staring at the compass. For example, we look for a star at the right or left side of the bow and sight that star always in the same relationship along a part of our boat, e.g., the shrouds. If we can do that, we know we are on course. A quick look at the compass should confirm our assumption.

Another way is to verify our position by using stars, or the planets or moon, for that matter). Tom Tursi describes the procedure in his youtube video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZCwgoUxXWs]

Ocean navigators need to know, and know how to find, forty seven navigational stars. If it's partly cloudy, we use a star finder chart which tells us which stars are above the horizon, at what altitude, and in which direction.

If there are no clouds, we have much more fun locating desired navigational stars. We use constellations or parts of constellations as pointer stars. You may know how to find the North Star, Polaris, by using the back part of the Big Dipper. You may also know the star Rigel in the constellation Orion. Well below the belt of Orion, you'll see the bright star Sirius. From Sirius we can follow an arc around Orion along Procryon, the Gemini and then find another important navigational star, Capella. Once we have located any of those, we begin our sextant reading to arrive at a position fix and verify our course heading.

Jochen

Tomas said...

To: Montauk Light Crew
From: Tomas
Date: 24NOV14

Hi:

The fishing report by Mike was a great one. As a matter of fact I am thinking right now to change my occupation to become a fisherman and if I would not catch anything I would be at least sailing!

I thawed about it: Squid yes!

Tomas

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/25 - 26
Date: November 24, 2014 6:49:25 PM EST
To: Montauk Light

Tuesday, winds ENE to E 15 to 20. Chance of a shower. Wednesday, winds ENE to E 15 to 20. The front I described yesterday has become stationary and will likely dissipate. However the remnants could generate some showers along your anticipated course over the next few days.
Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Jochen Emails
Date: November 25, 2014 4:36:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Rita... In Jochen's email about DR navigation add a reference and link to the you tube video on Celestial Nav at Sea for a detailed description of DR nav... This is the longer video; not the sextant video.

[Rita's note: Here is is... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZCwgoUxXWs]

In his email on a star to steer by, there are no you tube videos covering this subject.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: More Blog Questions...
Date: November 24, 2014 10:22:00 PM EST
To: MD School

We've seen dolphins once. No whales so far. Saw Bermuda longtail birds several times. Fishing is with a hand line

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: More Blog Questions...
Date: November 25, 2014 8:09:00 AM EST
To: MD School

On the westbound leg we saw large pods of dolphins almost daily that would come and visit the boat and occasionally a whale blowing in the distance. Since leaving Madeira we have only seen dolphins on three separate occasions, have not seen any signs of whales, with the wave height it would be difficult to see any spouts to indicate whales and have occasionally seen birds. Three days ago Lee said he saw a Bermuda long tail and we often see shear waters and storm petrels. Of course we see lots of flying fish and occasionally find one or two on the deck in the morning.

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-25
Date: November 25, 2014 12:20:00 PM EST
To: MD School

Tuesday 1140... COG 280M and COG 7 to 8 knots which includes about one knot of lift from the current that is part of the large Atlantic Gyre that produces the Gulf Stream and other localized current streams. Beautiful weather continues; 15 to 18 knots wind from east with some variations in direction. 1213 miles to our next waypoint at 19N-60W. From there we'll layout our courses for entering the Caribbean and proceeding to St Thomas. For now we'll continue with the easy life of sailing downwind in very easy conditions. Still sailing wing on wing with poled out jib and mainsail which we set on 11/22, and there's been no need to make any sail adjustments in that three day period due to the steady wind conditions. Bright sun; warm; low humidity

Position 2030N-3835W... We're resetting our ship's clock back one hour this noontime since we crossed into the next time zone at 37.5 deg west and are now in the 3rd time zone west of Greenwich. To make this work with our watchkeeping schedule and our DR plotting, we simply set the clock back to 1100 when we reach 1200 and make the 0800 to 1200 watch five hours long instead of four. And the DR distance for that watch is for five hours.

More sun shots this morning with good results for our DR plotting which continues to correlate well with our GPS position.

Tom

Hunter said...

Hey Guy's
That's why I always liked going east,
If i timed it right we got to spend less time on watch.
Going west was always tougher.But then again that was navy time.
Sounds like you are in the sailing zone...
Sail On !

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/26 - 28
Date: November 25, 2014 6:26:25 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Wednesday, winds ENE to E 15 to 20, chance of showers. Thursday, winds E at 15 to 20 becoming ESE at 10 - 15 as the day progresses.
There is a large winter storm moving up the East coast over the holidays and will begin to affect the Atlantic high, disrupting the trade winds that you've been enjoying. The storm will not affect you directly, but will cause winds to shift to the SE and possibly S on Friday. Winds will be lighter 5 to 10. The wind shift on Friday will occur from West of 50W and extend approximately 5 degrees S of your latitude. Winds return to E on Saturday at 5 to 10.
B

JAMES EDWARDS said...

Is this the correct watch standing order for Wednesday, 26 NOV?

Jerry: 00:00-04:00 and 16:00-20:00
Mike: 00:00-04:00 and 20:00-24:00
Tom: 04:00-08:00 and 20:00-24:00
Jochen 08:00-12:00 only
Lee 12:00 - 16:00 only

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Blog Question
Date: November 26, 2014 6:27:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Re James Edwards question re watch standing order for Wednesday, 26 Nov:

No: For the 26th if Nov it was thus

Jerry: 00:00-04:00 and 20:00-24:00
Mike: 04:00-08:00 and 20:00-24:00
Tom: 08:00-12:00
Jochen 12:00-16:00
Lee 00:00-04:00 and 16:00-20:00

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Update 11/26
Date: November 26, 2014 7:41:32 AM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Hey guys,
I see that you're heading a little North of W in your course track and I'm concerned that I may not have presented the information on the coming wind change correctly.
I would recommend that below 20N is better for staying more in an East wind. 19N is even better. However, even at those latitudes you're still going to run into some winds from the South. The pattern right now is that the winds along your anticipated course are going to diminish to near 0 after the winter storm moves off the U.S. coast. All this is happening beginning Friday and continuing Saturday, so I'm continuing to watch the patterns and revise my forecast.
B

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-26
Date: November 26, 2014 11:12:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Our bubble burst!! Last night we had squalls and rain and a wind shift to E which required us to steer a little north of our intended track. By daylight, we gybed the mainsail to port tack and left the jib poled out on starboard. This allowed us to return to our course of 280M directly to our waypoint 19N-60W.

Today Wednesday continues overcast with lurking squalls some of which we're able to avoid and some not. Brad suggests that we make more southing which we'll do by changing course to 270M and keeping sails full and drawing. So this was the first sail change after sailing for four full days wing on wing... All continues well onboard with mealtime appetites that could match the performance of teenage boys!!

Brad... Thanks for your guidance re wind shifts. We plan to continue close to our rhumbline as noted above since we feel that we can adequately deal with the E to SE to S winds that you forecast

Tom

J.W. Comer said...

Wow four days wing-on-wing. Did you forget your sailing skills then? :)

Serious question - how are the swells in the ocean out there? And are you seeing any birds?

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status
Date: November 27, 2014 5:25:00 AM EST
To: MD School

The aft port lower stainless steel shrouds broke last night (nothing happens in the daytime). We reduced sail area to take some load off of the mast. We are working on a repair plan and will be stopping the boat at some point this morning to make repairs. All is well.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/27 - 29
Date: November 27, 2014 8:16:53 AM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Thursday, winds ESE 10 to 15. Friday, winds ESE at 10 to 15 becoming SE 10 to 15 in the afternoon and more Southerly in the evening. Winds lighter and more S - west of 50W. Saturday, winds S at 5 above 19N. More E winds 5 to 10 South of 19N. The line where the winds are E or S is not precise, so you'll see a lot of variability depending on your position.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status
Date: November 27, 2014 1:41:00 PM EST
To: MD School

We have made temporary repairs to the lower stay. The stay had parted near the norseman fitting about 30 ft up the mast. We took the stay off, cut the wire and reinstalled the norseman fitting. We have just eaten a great thanksgiving dinner and are back underway under sail. All is well.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/28 - 30
Date: November 28, 2014 6:34:27 AM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Friday, winds E to ESE 10 to 15. Saturday, winds ESE to SE 5 to 10. Sunday, winds E 10 to 15. Winds could still be variable depending on position. However, since you had to stop for repairs, you are not as far West as I had anticipated.


Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Wahoo
Date: November 28, 2014 12:16:00 PM EST

Just around lunch time this morning we saw I had another fish, looked like a small Mahi. Got it to the boat it was, by wahoo standards a small wahoo maybe 18" long and 3-4 lbs. Just enough for fish tacos for lunch. My first ever wahoo and boy was it good.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V MOntauk Light
Subject: Status 11-28
Date: November 28, 2014 12:16:00 PM EST


Friday 1430... 1929N-4711W... COG 280M... SOG 5.5 kt... Winds E 12=15

Wed evening at 1940 the shroud busted sounding like the bang of a cannon shot. We knew something had gone, but the mast was still standing and we were still sailing at speed. The wind was about 23 knots and we were on a broad reach with the jib still poled out to starboard along with the deep reefed mainsail on starboard. A quick inspection of the rig showed the port side lower aft shroud, which attaches to the mast just below the first spreader, to be slack but still standing. As near as we could see with flashlights, some of the shroud wires were broken and unlaid at the top, but some still connected. We rigged the running backstay on portside and shortened the jib, and continued sailing at reduced speed.

Next day... All standing rigging wires are ended with Norsemen compression terminals, so we decided that a repair was possible by taking down the broken shroud, cutting out about two feet of damaged wire, refurbishing the Norseman terminal and reassembling it to the cutoff wire. Then reinstalling the repaired end of the shroud the the mast tang below the spreader and making up the two foot of gap at the bottom with a length of anchor chain and some screw shackles. The hardest part of this repair was taking down the damaged shroud from the mast and reinstalling it. Jerry went aloft in rough sea conditions with five foot waves. For this we furled the jib, left the main sail up for stability, and motored slowly on the least rocking heading. Jerry did a yeoman's job under very difficult conditions for this work aloft. Once down, we cut the wire, refurbished the Norseman and reassembled it all. Jerry went up the mast again and reattached the shroud, and then we completed the chain connection at the bottom. It seems to be working ok, but 20 knots is the most wind that we've had since the repairs. So we'll see...

After that, we had a Thanksgiving dinner celebration of a Portugese fish thing as an appetizer, and a seafood assortment over angel hair pasta with ice cream as desert... Yum!

T

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-29
Date: November 29, 2014 9:16:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Saturday 1115; course 300M; wind NE10; skies sunny and warm; some cumulus; position 1919N-4922W; next waypoint at 1830N-6320W between Sombraro Island and Anguilla 793 nm distant.

Yesterday winds went light NE; squally conditions; overnight some rain; morning bright some cumulus. We set the cruising chute on port side this morning and are now sailing at 5 knots at 300M on a smooth velvet ride.

Mike caught a wahoo yesterday to add to his three dorados of previous days, and we enjoyed fresh wahoo for lunch.

All is well onboard with spirits high.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 11/29 - 12/1
Date: November 29, 2014 6:42:00 AM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Saturday, winds ESE to E 10 to 15. Sunday, winds E to ENE 10 to 15. Monday, winds E to ENE 10 to 15 - slight chance of a shower.

B

Tomas said...

To: The Montauk Light Crew
From: Tomas
Date: 30NOV14
RE: Q + A - III

Hi:

Besides a photo camera installed in the phone, do you have other camera on the board? Is the shroud repair documented by photo?

How many bottles of vinegar did you plan for this trip? How many steps are there on the boat to be cleaned? From my experience, restaurants say "clean it", but no one knows the water + cleaner ratio. What is the enforced ratio of water + vinegar out there?

For the navigation do you also have the tough rail log?

Tomas

Rita Hanson said...

In response to the question: "How are the swells in the ocean out there? And are you seeing any birds?"

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Blog Question
Date: November 30, 2014 7:35:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We've had swells from distant storm activity up to 12 feet, but they're usually long and well shaped and easy to navigate, but they do interfere with celestial shots since they obscure the horizon while you're trying to finalize our shot. Waves run anywhere from 1 to 2 feet on up to 6 feet depending on the local winds.

We've seen Bermuda Longtails, Storm Petrels and Shearwaters, which are my favorite since they so gracefully skim the water surface periodically dipping a wing tip and riding the air cushion ahead of a wave.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 11-30
Date: November 30, 2014 9:07:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Sunday 1130... 1910N-5157W...Course 285M... SOG 6.5...Clearing skies after a rainy overnight... winds back to E by N at 15-20 after having backed to NE5-10 overnight. Yesterday we deployed the cruising chute and had it up from 0900 to 1500 when the squalls built in from the East. While the chute was up we had 8-10 knot winds from ENE and made 5 knots through the water, and this was a beautiful sail. Later, we redeployed the poled out jib for over night. We get a little concerned with the possibility of wear on the jib sheet riding through the pole jaws, and we periodically freshen the nip by easing the sheet position or moving the pole slightly.

Sail on!! 645 miles to waypoint.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

In response to the question (off the blog): "A little concerned with rotating watches but I'm sure everyone is seasoned and knows the drill. Its not something on our ship the crew would like. The shroud itself was it riveted to the mast?


From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Question
Date: November 30, 2014 9:07:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We'd like to have a fixed watch schedule as we usually do on the MDSchool ocean training cruises, but with a crew of five, that's pretty hard to do in an equitable manner. I was concerned with rotating watches before the cruise, but it has worked out better than I expected. Each crewmember has a minimum of eight hours off between watches, and periodically twelve hours off which is great for catching up on sleep.

Mast tangs are bolted through the mast clamping them onto opposite sides of the mast.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

In response to the question (off the blog): "I just wanted to ask the captain if he had any concerns about crossing the stream in November."


From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Question
Date: November 30, 2014 9:07:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We will not be crossing the Gulf Stream on this cruise to St Thomas... But crossing the GS in November is done all the time as have done for years on our November cruises from Norfolk to STT. The issue on that route is that you need to find the weather notch between the hurricanes that may be lurking and the frequent cold fronts that blow through in November on a regular basis. Usually the ideal time to leave Norfolk is on the tail end of a passing Low pressure system and ride the following cold front with its strong NW winds and make early miles quickly and round Hatteras and cross the GS quickly.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 12/ 1 - 3
Date: November 30, 2014 11:27:37 AM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Monday, winds E 10 - 15. Tuesday, winds E 10 - 15. Wednesday, winds E 10 - 15. There is some ENE to ESE variability in the winds over this period but not a long enough trend to forecast. Also, a slight chance of showers over the period.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Question
Date: December 1, 2014 10:25:00 AM EST
To: MD School

What a day! Sunny sky, temps in the 80's, humidity 66%, clear with a dark blue ocean. Jochen cooked delicious pancakes and fresh coffee for breakfast. Then it was all hands on deck to set the asymmetrical spinnaker. We had set it on Saturday so today was a smoother set. Lee suggested setting from the forward overhead hatch and that went well. We are now sailing very comfortably at 5 plus knots in about 10 knots of breeze. We cannot hold our desired course or 284 degrees magnetic, but we are sailing 310 degrees magnetic which for now is fine.

We are not using a taff rail log. Our cleaning solution is 50% white vinegar and 50% water. Generally we start at the forward head and work aft cleaning the sole with the solution. If we have a lot of salt water on the cabin sole we clean it as needed. We stowed several gallons of vinegar on the boat in NY and we have plenty.

The repair to the Port side lower shroud is well documented.

The gen set is on and the batteries are almost topped up, at the same time we are running the water maker (Spectra Newport 400 MKII). We can produce 15-17 gallons/hour using about 20 Amps/hour. Tom also insists that we run the electric side of the water heater while the gen set is on. (He loves his domestic hot water.) We do that off of the 2500 Watt inverter when ever the gen set is on. (Fischer Panda AGT - 4000)
Best Regards TO All - Jerry Nigro - Capt.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 12/2 - 4
Date: December 1, 2014 7:28:25 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Tuesday, winds E 5 to 10 - with a good chance of rain / squalls. Wednesday, winds E 5 to 10. Thursday, winds ESE at 10. Diminishing chance of rain Wednesday & Thursday.
Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 12-2
Date: December 2, 2014 4:32:00 PM EST
To: MD School

Tuesday 1100... 1852N-5644W... Winds light from E and SE at 5 to 10 knots; rain squalls lurking about but we've avoided all but light rain overnight and today. Sailing with cruising chute on port tack beam reach to broad reach at 4.5 to 5.5 knots boat speed. Holding course of 282M to next waypoint between Anguilla and Sombraro islands.

Yesterday we changed clocks back one hour later to account for the new time zone that we crossed into at longitude 52.5W

We've done a lot of celestial shots as skies permit, and have been having some shot accuracy contests. We do this by taking a sun shot and reading the GPS position at the same time, then calculate the results with the celestial computer using the GPS position as the Assumed Position. If our shot was perfect we'd get a calculated intercept of zero miles; that is we'd be right on the GPS position. Mike the novice navigator has gotten the best results of 0.2 miles. The rest of us experts have gotten higher numbers, so hats off to Mike. But just to clarify... this is not a position fix, but only an indication of how far the line of position (LOP) is from the GPS point. To get a position fix, you need to get two LOPs either at the same time of two at different times which are then combined using running fix procedures.

On 11/30 I took afternoon shots of the Moon and Sun and thus got an immediate position fix of our position when plotted on the chart. This is always a gratifying exercise since it's only a couple of days per month when the sun and moon are aligned well enough to do this and get a good crossing angle for a reliable fix. The moon has been a delightful companion at nighttime lighting the sea, the sky and the boat with its friendly rays, but it's a difficult body to shoot at night since its brightness washes out the horizon, which is why I like to shoot it in daytime.

Jochen and Mike also took some star shots with reasonably good accuracy, and this is something that we will be working on further clear skies permitting. I also took some star shots late at night using the moon brightened horizon at 10 pm; reasonably good results...

All for now

Tom

Tomas said...

To: The Montauk Light Crew
From: Tomas
Date: 2DEC14
RE: Q + A - IV

Hi:

It sounds like you did not have to go heave-to during your shooting contest, am I right? Less wind?

Tomas

JAMES EDWARDS said...

When did you last see another vessel?

JAMES EDWARDS said...

I have no real clue, but I am guessing you are about 400 miles out or around 72 hours to ETA.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 12/3 - 4
Date: December 2, 2014 7:12:22 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Wednesday, winds ENE becoming E at 5 to 10 gusts to 15. Thursday, winds E becoming ESE at 10 to 15 diminishing to 5 to 10 as the wind backs ENE in the evening.

A low pressure system at 36N 37W has a stationary front extending SW from the Low to 22N 57W where it becomes a shortwave trough extending through 19N 62W. Clouds and rain possible through the period.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 12-3
Date: December 3, 2014 10:20:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Wednesday 1040... 1830N-5913W; bright sun and cumulus clouds; warm; winds NE10; sailing with cruising chute for the third consecutive day; course 300M; SOG 6.0 knots.

Last night we had downpours on Jochen and Lee's watch; other watches were dry. They had strong gusts during one squall and when furling the jib, it jammed and could not be secured. They rode out the squall by heading off wind for a spell and things then quieted down to the normal 10 to 15 knot winds. This morning we tried to furl the sail but without success, so we dropped it to see what was the problem. All appeared normal with the furler swivels working smoothly and freely. But when we applied a side load to the top furler, it bound up and was very rough in rotating. So we applied a liberal amount of McLube dry lubricant to all swivel bearings, put the sail back up and after that it furled properly. Don't know if this is the complete solution since we left the jib furled, and deployed the cruising chute.

We expect to stay on the chute for the remainder of the day as it really gives us a speed lift and smooth sailing in these light air conditions. Yesterday we had several squall encounters while the chute was up but we rode them out fine with Jerry at the helm during his scheduled watch, so we have a lot more confidence in the kinds of wind that we can sustain with the chute.

We have not seen many ships or other vessels on this route, but every once in a while we encounter another. Last knight I crossed tracks with a 156 foot sailboat heading to Antigua. The AIS (automatic identification system) is great in that it alerts us to other vessels and gives their name, course, speed, distance, and expected closest point that they'll come to us on present speed and headings. If we think there's a possible close approach, we call them on VHF radio and discuss crossing options. Usually the overtaking or larger vessel will announce their intended course change necessary to increase the passing distance. As last night, the 156 foot Andromedia La Dea sailboat said they'd change course to port and pass astern of up, which they did and everyone was happy...

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 12/4 - 5
Date: December 3, 2014 6:07:39 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Thursday, winds begin ENE at 10 to 15 diminishing 5 to 10 and veering ESE as the day progresses. A low pressure will form on Friday, amplified by the shortwave trough to the East of your position. While the Low is weak, it will make for some shifting wind patterns on late Thursday night and into Friday. Friday, winds progress back to ENE at 5 to 10 becoming more NE as you approach the BVI. Winds can become variable for a time, but will remain light - possibility of rain an squalls which could have stronger winds and gusts.
Brad

Rita Hanson said...

Regarding the question on heaving-to for celestial shots:

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: Blog Question
Date: December 3, 2014 11:07:00 PM EST
To: MD School

It is helpful to heave to for celestial shots, but hard to do when sailing with cruising chute or poled out jib as we have been doing in the trade winds, so we shot underway.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 12-4
Date: December 4, 2014 11:04:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Thursday 0900... 1841N-6052W; winds continue light from the east, sometimes north of east, sometimes south of east. So we continue to sail downwind with the cruising chute in daytime and poled out jib at night. We make the change early after sunrise and late in the day after dinner before sunset. We've made the changeover several times now so we're getting pretty good at doing it smoothly. The jib furler seems to be working ok after the lubrication that I described yesterday, so no problems there.

Current COG = 4.0 knots and we're steering 310M to keep the chute full and drawing. Wind currently 8 to 12 knots from north of east.

With this long trip, consumables are beginning to deplete. Fuel of course is always a concern on any ocean trip, so we're minimizing engine use, but we run the generator as needed to keep the batteries charged, and run the watermaker as needed to maintain our water supply. Fresh fruit and veggies are gone, as are orange juice, butter, most snacks, and pancake syrup, but food essentials are in good supply so we don't expect to be starving. Clean clothing is also running low for everyone with all doing some essential laundry and drying on the lifelines so that we look like a tramp steamer at times.

We're heading for that waypoint between Anguilla and Sombraro islands 140 miles distant and then we have about 90 additional miles to St Thomas, so at our slow pace our ETA looks like sometime Saturday. Spirits are good onboard with lots of friendly banter and story telling especially during daily Happy Hour before dinner. Since sailing is so easy we're all getting lots of sleep and reading time.

Life is good!

Tom

Tomas said...

To: The Montauk Light Crew
From: Tomas
Date: 4DEC14
RE: Q + A - V

Hi:

Now when you are sailing close to your distant WPT what is the condition of your freezer? Is it extra icy? Did you have to defrost it at Madeira?

Here in States some stores carry type of a milk which does not need to be refrigerated. I had a paper carton of this milk with me in Rock Hall when going for the Docking Class. What is your experience with this type of milk? Did you come across it last time when docking at St. Thomas?

Tomas

Hunter said...

Hey Sailors,

why not head to St Barts,
I know this great Tiki Bar right in the Harbor of Gustavia...serves great Rum Drinks (dark & Stormy's)Jerry !

Anonymous said...

Hey Sailors,

why not head to St Barts,
I know this great Tiki Bar right in the Harbor of Gustavia...serves great Rum Drinks (dark & Stormy's)Jerry !

JAMES EDWARDS said...

A friend of mine told me BOAT is an acronym for “Bring On Another Thousand” $$$$. I told this to a friend of mine who has several boats. He laughed, and said sometimes BOAFFOT would be a better description. Bring On A Fist Full Of Thousands $$$$.

Glad your cruise is going well. Thanks for sharing it.

How many plotting sheets have you used so far? How many are needed for an Atlantic Crossing?

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 12/4 -6
Date: December 4, 2014 7:34:57 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light


Thursday Night, winds E at 5 to 10 East of 62W as you progress Westward, winds backing to NE at 5 to 10 in advance of a Low forming to the North - approximately 24N 60W.

Friday, winds NE 5 to 10 and can shift quickly but will remain light. Winds continue backing to N Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Saturday, winds become N at 5 to 10 near the BVI. Some rain and squalls possible.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status
Date: December 5, 2014 1:45:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We were heading to a waypoint about 15 miles North of Anguilla Island and still 90 NM away from the waypoint. The wind speed throughout the day has been in the 3-7 knot ranges and tonight I have rarely seen it above 5 knots. Due to the precarious fuel situation and weather forecast for light winds to continue for the next several days we identified St Martin as an alternate waypoint, which was only 80 miles away, kind of on the way and has excellent marina facilities. Around 2030 tonight Jerry made the decision to divert into St Martins and fuel up. ETA ST. Martins 1530 today. At 0230 we are 61 miles from St Martin. It is about 95 miles from St Martin to STT .

Mike

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: re Qs & Comments
Date: December 5, 2014 10:26:00 AM EST
To: MD School

Hunter... Jerry sez we'll do booze when we reach STT. Right now we need a different kind of fuel.

Tomas... Our freezer is large and very cold. We did not need to defrost as it is not overly icy. We bought fresh milk to last us about a week out of Madeira, but we also carry a liberal supply of preserved shelf milk, which is not too bad once you get accustomed to it.

James... We used seven plotting sheets for the cruise... One 926, one 925, one 924, and four 923.

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Re: WX Report 12/4 -6
Date: December 5, 2014 10:26:00 AM EST
To: Brad Mabe

Hi Brad - We are experiencing exactly what you have predicted, only even lighter and more variable. We have rolled the dice and are now using our remaining fuel to get to St. Martin to re-fuel. We are very close (17 NM), we will re-fuel and proceed to St. T. Winds currently 4 to 6 knts. E To NE To SE take your pick.

Thanks For Your Continued Help - Jerry, Capt.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 12-5
Date: December 5, 2014 10:26:00 AM EST
To: MD School

As you know by now, we're headed to St Maarten for fuel and hopefully a brief stop over. If fueling is a quick process we'll leave promptly and head for STT. As Brad has forecast, winds have been very light, variable and fluky from the NE to E to SE and back again for several days making progress downwind under sail very slow and maddening at times. When we're making three knots downwind with the wind whispering at seven knots from astern, we have a relative wind of only four knots which does not move a 45,000 pound boat very fast. So we did some extra motoring, thus we're low on fuel and prudence dictates that we refuel now while we have some remaining before we're entering port later in a narrow channel.

Friday 1045... 11 miles from St Maarten at 1814N-6251W under engine power in very light winds and clearing skies; warm and muggy.

Life is good!

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Report 12/5 - 6
Date: December 5, 2014 6:07:38 PM EST
To: S/V Montauk Light

Friday night, winds N to NW on the lower side of 5 to 10. Saturday, winds N 5 to 10 for the first part of the day then trending to NE 5 to 10 as the day progresses. Showers likely over land in the afternoon.

Brad

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: ST. THOMAS
Date: December 5, 2014 7:05:00 PM EST
To: MD School

After 4 days of very light and variable winds we were able to use fuel from all 3 fuel tanks to motor sail to St. Marteen. We were in and out of the fuel dock in less than an hour and now we are proceeding on to St. Thomas. Unfortunately we are motor sailing again, but at least we have the confidence in our fuel supply. It was fun to see a new island and a new port, it would have been great to stay a few days, but our schedules dictate that we keep going. We had a fun happy hour and a great salmon dinner for our last night together. It has been a wonderful crew and "Montauk Light" has kept on producing mile after mile, day after day. Looking forward to St. Thomas early Sat. AM.
Regards To All - Jerry Capt.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Moored
Date: December 6, 2014 6:55:00 AM EST
To: MD School

We have arrived at St Thomas and are moored at Crown Bay Marina.

Anonymous said...

I just had a brief lunch hookup with the stalwart crew in Crown Bay St Thomas, minus Lee Tucker who was only a mile away from his house and headed there, they all looked hale and eating hearty, and mighty spiffy overall after a long sail in all truth.
Got a short visit aboard and dropped Mike and Jochen off at the airport
Jerry and Tom are here for a few more days and I will be down to see them and give them any ST Thomas local help tomorrow.
Everyone seemed happy to be ashore and feeling proud just completing safe passage. Congrats!

Rob Wilkinson said...

Congratulations to everyone. I followed your voyage with great interest.

Regards,
Rob Wilkinson

Tom Bedwell said...

Jerry and Crew:Congratulations on a trip of a lifetime.
Tom Bedwell

Tomas said...

To: The Montauk Light Crew
From: Tomas
Date: 6DEC14

Congratulation and Welcome!

Your trip was like a text stepping out from Cpt. Tursi's textbooks presented to the students by the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship. Under no circumstances you were willing to merge "your routine" with other useful techniques that exists for a fact the text in books is already proven.

Thank you for your knowledge and also your time while sailing on
the ocean to answer presented questions.

Seriously yours.

Tomas

JAMES EDWARDS said...

Nice sailing, thanks for sharing.
8-Nov-14 10:44:00 AM EST
6-Dec-14 18:55:00 AM EST

28 Days, 8 Hours, 11 Minutes

J.W. Comer said...

Thank you for sharing your adventure, it is one I plan to complete some day.

(Oh and thanks for answering my question earlier about birds and mid-ocean swells)

Anonymous said...

Tom and the rest of the Montauk Light crew mates:

Congratulations on a successful trip! We had fun tracking your progress and reading your blog for the past few weeks. Tom-I look forward to hearing and talking to you in-person about your trip once you get back to the states.

Mark & Bev at Bux-Mont Office Supply

Captain Tom Tursi said...

We departed St Martin Marigot Bay Marina at 1430 on Dec 5th after fueling, and resumed our cruise to St Thomas. Conditions were squally with numerous storm clouds all around and with some that were dropping rain. Winds were below 10 knots from South. We motored on and by 1800 winds clocked around to NW at 10 to 15 knots and dried out as a mild cold front moved in from NW. By 2100 we were happily sailing along close hauled with full mainsail and jib at 7 knots under stars and a bright moon in an exhilarating dash directly toward St Thomas. These conditions persisted all night, and it was a fitting conclusion to our four week, 3200 mile odyssey from Portugal. By sunrise, the Virgin Islands stood out in clear relief to our west, and by 0700 we crossed Packet Rock and entered Gregorie Channel between Water and Hassel islands leading into the Crown Bay Marina entrance in bright sunshine. Lots of whooping and hollering and back slapping going on as Jerry spoke to the marina and we proceeded to our assigned slip…



And now to reenter life ashore after a wonderful ocean passage…



Tom

Captain Tom Tursi said...

I posted a brief video showing onboard scenes from the cruise at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li_X2YJQbGM

Captain Tom Tursi said...

Also posted a map of the cruise prepared by Steve Runals http://www.mdschool.com/Reports-2014/Trans_Atlantic/Montauk_Light_Return_to_STT.pdf