NYC to Derry Londonderry
If you are wondering why my Tenacious Tall Ship adventure is not up, it is because I am still working on sorting out pictures….there are many awesome ones. So while you wait I will get some of this adventure up.
This one is a Whale of a Tale as you will find out later!
I am on NASDAQ or NASDUCK as we are known. As the New York boat, we had the privilege of leading the parade out of NY.
Our two Americans, Kathi Lind and me.
It was a long trek out of NY to avoid all the commercial channels. We motored 24 hours and did some refreshing with a man overboard drill, setting in reefs, taking them out, sail changes, etc. to get us ready for the race. But some beautiful moments along the way.
Learning about duties on the bow, i.e. hanking on the Yankee, how the bowsprite is set up and how to connect tack lines. Plus signals from the bow to let all know what needs to happen in the back part of the boat. Great refresher for me also.
At the start we were the windward boat for the Lemans start. However, start was postponed as Garmin was late getting there. BUT, that allowed for lots of play!
It appears that we have earned a gift from another boat due to some strange encounters. So, during wait time it was time to bring out our mascot!
Yes we have a happy crew!
Then to get serious! Rob and 1st Mate Jacob setting up to be in line for the LeMans start.
As we were starting we came across an exciting adventure… Very much fun and yes it was a bit distracting but we did ok!
Whoops!! An unbelievable sight and really added to the adventure.
Watch leader Phil’s blog about the start:
“The Le Mans start went pretty well for us and we were able to challenge many of the other boats at the start. Half an hour into the race the fleet entered an area of high whale activity. All around the boats we saw tail fins splashing into the water and blow holes popping out of the blue. I was able to see a pod of seven swimming past our bow. It was beautiful and nerve-wracking at the same time. Richard and several others were whale spotting from the foredeck trying to help us avoid these beautiful creatures.
We also had dolphins and whale watching boats to avoid as well making this a very busy spot.”
After a few hours we settled into our watch routine. Below is our happy watch group.
Left to right is Andy, Richard, Phil, Pete, Skipper Rob, Kathi and me on the helm. Missing JW, Mike and Sophia. They are probably doing their watch job. This setup on boat duties was very different from my RTW (Round the World) adventure in 15-16. Rather than having the same duty (Bilges, Heads, Nav, Deck/Trim) for 24 hours by yourself, each time we changed our job every watch and had a partner to work with. This gave us the chance to know the other crew members better and when our partner might be on Mother duty (24 hour job) then we got a new partner and got to work with someone else. Really loved the system.
One of our NEW ADVENTURES on this trip was going through and inspecting the trash as it had started to smell. We had a team of sniffers and cleaners. I think I was lucky as I got to pull it out and hand off to sniffers who then gave to cleaners who then gave back to me to put in appropriate new trash bag.
Yes, I am hiding under my hood! Such interesting jobs!!
Notice the gray line to the right of picture. This was a beautiful day with a fog line. However when we entered it…….
the temps dropped about 40 degrees and we had no visibility. As you can see in the next picture we were not expecting it. Sophia in shorts and t-shirt. Interesting is that we had passed the iceberg limit when the temperatures dropped.
Another of our amazing moments was during a night watch. We were all caught off guard and of course it being night no one had a camera. Good thing as we couldn’t use a flash aimed at the back anyway due to night vision.
Recaptured from blog:
“We had quite rough conditions last night with 28knots of wind, a seriously steep heel going, lots of splashing and rain, and a heavy helm as we were proudly sailing at 15.5nm/h. At around 2200, Phil suddenly shouts “Andy, I’m losing the helm!”, all of us on deck look at him and say what do you mean you’re losing the helm? Shall we put a reef in?, he then responds: “It’s coming off! Andy F***ing get down on the leeward helm!”.
As Andy raced down to the Port side helm he asks: ‘What do you mean it’s coming off?’ and as he just caught grab of the port side wheel, Phil picks up the Starboard helm wheel above his head and says:“Yep, It’s come off!”. The expression in his face was priceless.
Mike rushed to call Rob back on deck who calmly comes up with a smile saying, “Oh Phil, you were only on there five mins, you know you’ll still have to pay for the wheel if you want to keep it (referring to the UNICEF fundraiser)!” point at which we all burst out laughing.
It took Andy and Phil over an hour to get the helming wheel back on and secured – working in the dark, grateful we have such savvy guys on board to help fix situations like this. Luckily, what could have been quite a disastrous happening was handled really well to keep everyone safe and maintain our speed. We’re now able to tease Phil as he took the phrase, “take my helm” a little too literally when Rob had handed it over to him.”
Vincent, my new Dutch friend even though he is on the other watch. New nationalities I am getting to sail with are: Dutch, German, French, Chilean, and Scottish. Scottish is the hardest for me to understand as Alison talks so fast with a beautiful lilting/singing accent. And of course she is my bunk buddy and Mother Duty partner.
From one of our blogs:
“The mood on the boat has rarely been more relaxed. That might be something to do with proximity to Ireland but also to the goodwill of leggers and established crew alike. We have blended very well.”
Have to say that I agree with the blogger. Very fun and comfortable boat with everyone getting along well.
Back to Alison. We have been having a contest of sorts as to how to prepare the bedding form the next watch change. I suggested we just put one bedroll over the other. That worked fine until we were on a steep heel and the top one would slide off. So next I rolled mine out of the way and spread Alison’s out and vice versa. Then when we heeled the opposite way and we were leaning against the wall of the boat and the cubbies, Alison comes up with flaking her bedroll against the wall and then opening my bedroll up ready to jump in. Finally we are flat (no wind zone) and have the other’s bedroll to be an extra mattress and then Alison goes all out with:
Am I lucky or not? Be sure that you have read my Nasdaq Blog that was posted as it also has a great description of Alison. Or if you have a better term for a Scottish Leprechaun, let me know as I know they are not normally found in Scotland.
Left to right is Pam, Kathi and Alison. Notice the twinkle in Alison’s eyes!! She is also referred to as my twin. Guess that’s because we both have gray hair?
All for now and hopefully more later!