Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bermuda to New York Training Cruise; June 9-17, 2015

S/V MONTAUK LIGHT, A Skye 51 will depart Bermuda on Thursday June 11th, 2015 after two preparation days. The crew members are: Captain Jerry Nigro of New York (Skipper), Captain Tom Tursi of Pennsylvania  (Instructor), and student crew members Jim Gravelle (Virginia), Don Policky (South Dakota), Tim Jenkins (Florida) and Christian Marston (New Jersey). MONTAUK LIGHT will make the passage to New York via a non-stop ocean route. The cruise has an estimated distance of 650 nautical miles, and will take approximately 6 days, sailing both day and night.  We will discuss the route, weather and actual progress here on our blog as it happens, so please join us! To follow the discussion, see the comments to this blog post. To follow their actual progress on Google Earth, click HERE.

28 comments:

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 6-9
Date: June 9, 2015 9:33:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

All crew arrived yesterday 6-8 as planned with five of six sleeping onboard and one ashore during the pre-departure prep phase. Today dawned bright and sunny and quickly warmed to 85F with strong sunshine for our on-deck sail handling and sea anchor exercises. Made contact with a local rigger to replace the mainsail halyard that broke during the cruise from Florida; he located a replacement halyard of the proper size needed to fit the mast hardware, and plans to replace it tomorrow Wednesday. Crew rotating training assignments were setup starting at 1600 yesterday and initial assignments included Tim and Captain; Chris at Mate; Jim as Navigator; and Don as Weather Communicator. These assignments will change daily at noon with each crewmember passing what they learned on to the next crewmember. This is intended to facilitate training and boat operations. Tomorrow Wednesday we'll get into the details of this training... After a very busy and tiring day, all went to the White Horse restaurant for dinner... All for now

T

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk LIght
Subject: PRE-DEPARTURE
Date: Wed June 10, 2015 4:17:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

The crew of "Montauk Light" are working towards our departure on Thurs. morning. Currently Tom is working with the students on pre-departure Nav. and general log keeping and celestial Nav while under way. Yesterday we spent the entire day on the operation of all of the sails, deck hardware and gear, stem to stern down below orientation, and MOB. It was a very full day and the crew slept well last night. Today more prep, more orientation and provisioning. Tomorrow AM we will clear customs, top up fuel and if we are on schedule we will depart for Huntington, NY USA. It we be good to get under way again and get this barky going North!

My Best To All - Jerry Nigro Capt.

Rita Hanson said...

Just a quick note on the google map... please do not be concerned if you see a gap in the points plotted. I am loading these manually. I check the location once or twice a day and enter the point, but if I am away from my computer for a span of time, there will be a gap.

Rita

H. Jochen Hoffmann said...

Ahoy to All, especially to the aspiring celestial navigators on board. Here is one anniversary to recall as you are acquiring "The Big Picture" as ocean sailors. Mariners over millennia could get lost because they had no way to rediscover their longitude once blown off course. Imagine, that changed only 300 years ago when a huge price was offered to determine longitude via the British Longitude Act of 1714. It took another 5 decades for John Harrison to develop a maritime clock for longitude determination (currently on exhibit in Washington, DC) that actually worked on a rolling ship. Think about it when you look at your Timex to determine distance from Greenwich, England during your celestial calculations.

H. Jochen Hoffmann, celestial navigator, ex-Montauk Light crew

Anonymous said...

"Aspiring celestial navigator" Jim Gravelle will serve you well. Looking for photos on the blog, if that's possible.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX BDA to NY 6/11 - 13
Date: June 10, 2015 10:48:34 PM EDT
To: S/V Montauk Light

6/11 - Wind S to SSW 6 to 10, partly cloudy, high around 80
6/12 - Wind S to SSW 6 to 10, sunny, high around 80
6/13 - Wind S to SSW 10 to 15 - Wind speed stronger NW of BDA - increased chance of rain and t-storms

Rita Hanson said...

S/V Montauk Light departed St Georges, Bermuda at 10:50 AM this morning.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX BDA to NY 6/12 - 14
Date: June 11, 2015 10:54:36 PM EDT
To: MD School

6/12 - Wind SSW to SW 10 to 15
6/13 - Wind SW 15 to 20 - a cold front moves off the coast causing variable winds shifting to more Westerly on Sunday
6/14 - Wind W to WNW 10 to 15 - as this system moves E the chance for rain and squalls increases winds will turn N at 5 to 10 for several hours late Sunday, then become E at 5 to 10, then become ESE on 6/15.
This is based on your anticipated course.

Bradley

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: DAY 2
Date: June 12, 2015 2:25:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

HI ALL - We have had light conditions since leaving St. George's harbor yesterday morning, but thanks to our cruising chute we have been sailing almost continuously. We struck the chute last night at dusk and set the yankee and the staysail with the full main, that combination of sail kept slow but steady NW progress through the night. This morning around 0900 we set the chute again, at first we only had about 4 or 5 knots of wind speed, but now we have 8 to 10 knots of wind speed with boat speed of 4 to 5 knots heading almost directly for Montauk Point. It is a spectacular day with steady wind, blue sky and a very nice motion on board. The crew seems very well acclimated to our routine at sea. Tom spent several hours this morning working with all of the students on the basics of a sun shot, while I repaired a small rip in the main and replaced some stitching on the leach of the staysail. We have 3 Shearwaters following us as well as one Bermuda Longtail. Every once in awhile we also have a group of Mahi Mahi swimming along our starboard side. Life on "Montauk Light" is very pleasant.

33 - 32 N, 65 - 50 W
1254 hours on 6/12/ 2015
Jerry Nigro Capt.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX BDA to NY 6/13 - 16
Date: June 13, 2015 7:33:44 AM EDT
To: S/V Montauk Light

6/13 - Wind SW 15 to 20
6/14 - Morning Wind SW 10 to 15, afternoon W 10 to 15, night NW 10 to 15
6/15 - Morning Wind NE 10 to 15, afternoon E 5 to 10, night SE 5 to 10
6/16 - Morning Wind SW 10 to 15, afternoon W 10 to 15

A cold front will move into the area this evening and Sunday and become stationary, then dissipate 6/15. Then another cold front pushes into the area on 6/16, causing the wind shifts noted above.

Bradley

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX BDA to NY 6/14 - 17
Date: June 14, 2015 8:57:52 AM EDT
To: S/V Montauk Light

It looks like the frontal passage has slowed a bit causing winds for 6/14 to be N to NE at 5 to 10 for the day. 6/15 - winds become ENE to E at 5 to 10 and during the afternoon and evening become SE at 10 to 15.
6/16 - winds SW to W 20 to 25, rain and squalls likely.
6/17 - winds NW to N at 10 to 15

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Status 6-13
Date: June 13, 2015 11:59:00 AM EDT
To: MD School

1200 noon. 3533-6716. Winds SW 15-20. Boat speed 6 to 7.5 thru water. COG 7 to 8. Waves about 6 ft. Boat motion bouncy and care needed when moving about anywhere below or on deck. Sailing great! Completed 250 miles; 400 to go. Skies blue with lots of cumulus. Last night rain squalls ahead of what appears to be a CF. Just finished lunch and daily crew assignment meeting. All crew healthy and doing well. Last night dinner noodles and shrimp alfredo; previous night beef stew; tonight chicken stew. .. Thanks Brad for Wx; right on...

Tom

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Saturday 6/13/2015 1643 hours 36-01N 67-41W
Date: June 13, 2015 4:59:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

Hi All - We are sailing along at 6 to 7 knots with a triple reefed main and a partial yankee. Needless to say we have an abundance of wind power at our disposal! We just recently reefed the yankee and that has made our ride much more comfortable. The seas are up around 5 or 6 feet, but with the reduced sail area the boat has settled down nicely. Christian is preparing a one pot meal of veggies, rice and beans. The crew is adapting to our new conditions. Our way point at Montauk Point is 359 NM from our current position. All is well on "Montauk Light".

Sail On - Jerry Nigro Capt.

Rita Hanson said...

For those following the google map, Captain Hoffmann (who is monitoring the cruise from ashore) commented that the +/- 0400 positions likely reflects a tacking maneuver and preparation for the weather change.

~Rita

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: 259 NM FROM MONTAUK LIGHT
Date: June 15, 2015 12:51:00 AM EDT
To: MD School

Hi All - 6/15/2015 0034 Hours - We had a great 4th day of sailing today! Full main, yankee and staysail powered us all day at 5 to 7 knots. We are now motor sailing for the first time this trip, light conditions and a 2 knot contrary Gulf Stream current. Before we started the engine 4 hours ago I checked the engine oil (it was fine) and the transmission fluid (it was full of sea water). Apparently the tranny fluid cooler has a leak which is letting sea water back into the tranny. We pumped out the contaminated fluid and added new fluid, I am hoping that the tranny fluid has a higher pressure than the cooling water while it is running, we will find out! The crew is in top form, and we had pasta and meat balls for dinner. Hoping for continued good winds once we punch through the Gulf Stream.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX BDA to NY 6/15 to 6/19
Date: June 15, 2015 7:21:29 AM EDT
To: MD School

6/15 afternoon - winds SE to S 10 to 15 - rain showers and squalls likely into the night and into 6/16.
6/16 morning - winds S to SW at 20 to 25 becoming W at 10 to 15 in the afternoon chance of rain and squalls - wind will turn W earlier closer to shore.
6/17 morning - winds N 10 to 15 becoming NE 15 to 20 in the afternoon.
6/18 winds variable becoming E 5 to 10 then veering SE in the afternoon and overnight
6/19 - winds S at 10 to 15 early morning then a frontal passage causes wind shift to NW at 10 to 15 based on present position and anticipated course.

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Hello Monday Morning from "Montauk Light"
Date: June 15, 2015 2:47:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

A new day dawns with hopes of winds shifting to S.E. and picking up. Sunday's sailing was quite good for the majority of the day, but the wind failed us for the first time by coming around on the nose and decreasing. So, for the first time since leaving Bermuda on Thursday, we had to motorsail overnight.

We're 200 nm from Montauk light, so have some catching up to do over the next couple of days to meet our ETA on Wednesday. Should have 10-15 today and even more tomorrow from SW-W. All is well aboard with crew firmly in ship's routine. Grog will be welcome upon arrival!

Cheers, Tim Jenkins (Student)

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Update
Date: June 15, 2015 2:47:00 PM EDT
To: Rita

I thought I would send you my thoughts on this picture perfect day. We have aboard a little bird that came aboard yesterday, and we hope he will stay with us until we get him safely to land. I have enjoyed watching him, and he seems to have little fear of us. I am living my long-time dream of doing an ocean passage between the U.S. and Bermuda. The skies are blue with some puffy clouds, blue seas, and a nice breeze. We are flying the asymmetrical spinnaker and a full main, and moving along nicely. I am pleased that we have rarely used the engine. We used it last night for the first time to get us through an opposing gulf stream eddy. I have come to really appreciate all the prep work we did before leaving Bermuda. The students have turned into quite a team, and although we are still learning, we are starting to look like sailors, including some with beards. I am proud of one of my sun shots I took yesterday, about 2 nm off the GPS course. I won't mention my other practice shots. Of course, my skills pale in comparison to Captain Tursi's, who did a running fix, based on two sun shots, that was right on the GPS course. All in all, I'm glad I'm out here today this crew, and living my dream.

Jim Gravelle (Student)

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Captain Gives Crew 'The Bird'
Date: June 15, 2015 2:47:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

Captain Gives Crew 'The Bird'

It was a fun day yesterday practicing sun shots, setting the stay sail and generally enjoying the day and each other's company, when the our Captain changed things up a bit and gave the crew 'The Bird.'

In our case 'The Bird' is grey with a white breast. She's small too. In fact, smaller than an average parakeet, and certainly less tropical. She joined us on the stern pulpit,hungry and tired from a long journey, sometime near 3 in afternoon.

Following our Captain's lead we gave her some water to drink and crumbs for a meal. To this point nearly a full day later, 'The Bird' is still with us. However as I sit here in the cockpit to write this short post, 'The Bird' is sitting on the rail nearby. No doubt she's wondering if it's time to be on her way.

Christian Marston (Student)

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: Update
Date: June 15, 2015 2:47:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

We have been on the water for close to 96 hours. We have had the spinaker up for the 3rd time on the trip. We have brought it down at night which is very wise. The second night when it was raining, windy and rolling seas the 4 foot journey from the companionway to the cockpit seemed ominous, let alone going to the foredeck. The food is excellent thanks to the cook and acquisition officer. Of the 4 days, we have had one where movement within the boat was challenging. I appreciate lee boards as vital equipment on board. The port tack is simpler for basic living and cooking. Amazingly, I have enjoyed being locked into the Nav desk from time to time. The instructors and crew are fine companions for the journey. We have cleared the Caryn Seamount with no issues. Have used 4 different sails and some reefing. Other boat traffic has been about 1 per day. Having a Great Time !!

Don Policky (Student)

Rita Hanson said...

Jackpot today! Four e-mails from the ship, one from each of the student crew. Be sure to read up to get them all.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX BDA to NY 6/16 to 6/18
Date: June 16, 2015 7:38:04 AM EDT
To: S/V Montauk Light

6/16 winds S to SW at 5 to 10 - becoming W in the evening
6/17 winds N at 10 to 15 becoming E in the afternoon, then SE 5 to 10 at night
6/18 winds SE 5 to 10

H. Jochen Hoffmann said...

To Jim Gravelle and Friends: No photos of the first working maritime clock were allowed at the DC exhibit. But nearby were instruments lent to Capt. James Cook for his exploratory circumnavigation. It included an early sextant. Tell Capt. Nigro and Tom Tursi that it included a "mounted scope" and they'll tell you about our challenge taking celestial sights without one during our Atlantic crossing last year. Jochen Hoffmann

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: More Thoughts
Date: June 16, 2015 1:57:00 PM EDT
To: MD School


There were events yesterday that caused me to have some additional thoughts. Last evening, the wind kicked up and tore the asymmetrical spinnaker, which now is bagged away for the rest of the trip. Then, during the night, the wind increased to 29 kts and veered, with seas running 4-6' and, as you can see from the blog map, caused us to change course significantly to the east. I was reminded, during my 2000 to 2400 watch, of the Space Mountain roller coaster ride at Disney World, which I rode on years ago with my young sons. The roller coaster goes through the dark and lights go flashing by, in our case 4-6' bio luminous waves. In addition, the boat was really getting knocked around. Definitely getting lots of and varied experiences. We are back on course, and I'm still living the dream. Hoping to get to Montauk Lighthouse around daybreak tomorrow.

Jim Gravelle (Student)

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Montauk Light
Subject: MONTAUK BOUND
Date: June 16, 2015 2:33:00 PM EDT
To: MD School

Hi All - 1413 Hours, 40-27N, 70-15W, 81 NM SE of Montauk Point.

Currently motor sailing with full yankee and reefed main making 6 plus SOG. Had a boisterous sail last night with SW winds 20 to 30. Just before supper the spinnaker back winded against the rig and was badly damaged. We got the sail back on board, reefed the main and continued sailing with the full yankee. We have had a small sparrow on board for several days, but apparently it has departed. We should arrive at our way point at Montauk around 0600 hours Wed., at that time we will decide to enter Long Island Sound from either Plum Gut or The Race, depending on wind, tide and sailing status. Our transmission has been holding up well so far, as we get sea water in it from the transmission cooler while sailing. To begin motoring I pump out the sea water and refill with transmission fluid just prior to engine start up, I am hoping that the positive pressure from the transmission keeps the sea water out as we motor. I can refill about 3 more times, keep your fingers crossed! We have experienced almost all weather and sail configurations possible so far, making for a very varied off shore experience. Looking forward to the home waters of Long Island Sound!

Sailing Home - Jerry Nigro Capt.
S/V "Montauk Light"

Rita Hanson said...

I asked the crew if they'd yet named the bird. Tom replied, "Pain in the Ass".

~Rita

M Mcgov said...

Montauk Light welcome home.

Rita Hanson said...

Montauk Light is in port safe and sound! Congratulations to the crew.