|Welcome to the Delphinus Leg 2 "The Off Shore Atlantic Crossing" Web Site|
|A special welcome to the students at SCDS!|
|Where are they?|
|We're in Horta, the Azores, Portugal!|
|Captain: Bill Stone
Captain Bill says "Got a question or comment?" Email us at:
Captain Bill says
|Cook: Pam Clay
Day One: April 26, 2004
|Start Location: St. Georges
Dinghy and Sport Club, St. Georges, Bermuda
Start Lat/Lon: N 32.22.744, W 64.40.074
Day Plan: Depart heading N/NE
WX: Partly Cloudy, Temp 70
Wind: E/SE 10 knots
A (rather large) cruise ship enters St. Georges Harbor in front of Delphinus and her crew.
Day Two: April 27, 2004
|Lat/Lon: N33.30.10, W 62.00.46
Day Plan: Head NE toward 35N 50W at a course of 090Magnetic
WX: E/SE 15-20 knots
|Day Three: April 28, 2004
|Lat/Lon (7:30pm) N33.41.17,
Day Plan: Head East to keep from potential Gale-force winds and seas north of us.
WX- Wind S/SE 15-20 knots
Seas: 5-9 ft
|Today's commentary from
Greetings from the middle of the Atlantic! Capt.Bill
Stone and his now swarthy crew are settling into shipboard life. Sea legs
acquired, we are now on a regular watch system consisting generally of 4
hours on and 8 hours off. The "on" includes steering, navigating, checking
the radar at night and writing the log (data of position, wind, seas, speed
and longitude/latitude, etc.) and staying warm. We are blessed with a few
IPODS on board which provide a wide and imaginative range of music! "Off"
watch consists of sleeping, sleeping, sleeping and reading! This is also the
time we look after our able little craft.
Day 4, April 29, 2004
|Lat/Lon: N33.45.766, W 53.58.08
Day Plan: Head NE on a great-circle route course to Horta (approx 70 degree true course)
WX: N/NE 10-15 knots
Seas: 3-5 feet
Another nice day - we had frontal passage around 6 am, some rain showers and a wind shift from the S/SW to N/NE. We're now on a port tack, beam reach, and once again averaging 8 knots. So far the weather has been a good as we could ask for. Looking ahead the next three days look to be similar, with no major fronts or systems moving through. We're approximately 570 NM from Bermuda and 1270 NM from Horta.
For those interested click here
to see our watch schedule
are in the lower 60's, and when the winds are blowing 20-25, seas crashing
over the bow it can get chilly!
The fore deck needs attention, Michael's on it...
And sometime you can catch a few calm moments to relax in the sun, as Bill
and Scott show us..
|Chris Abbott's Daily Log|
|Greetings everybody! It is Day 4
and Capt. Bill and his even swarthier crew are doing magnificently! The boat
has blessed us with a stable platform in which to live, sleep and eat! There
have been no, I repeat no, instances of sea sickness on the boat. Queasy at
times perhaps but a quick nap, some inspiring tunes by one of our numerous
"DJs of Delphinus" and the crew is back on its feet shimmying and shaking!
The music has played a special role in our on board experience. There is an
eclectic mix that ranges from Aaron Copeland's "Theme for the Common Man" to
the theme from Austin Powers! Rock 'n Roll, classical, ska (your author is
still not sure what that is!), and even a little funk! As I write "Tower of
Power" is belting it out in the main saloon! Pardon me while I
As you can imagine we have an elaborate rotation of shifts, called watches. The particularly feared, "Grave Yard Watch" from 12 a.m. until 4 a.m. is one that all of us get to experience. Ship board life is very democratic and even our fearless Captain stands watch. Our heroic cook Pam, however, does not! Last night we were 6.48 miles away from a West bound container ship and could see her red, port running light as we proceeded East bound. We were tempted to ask for some Grey Poupon but decided to pass in the midnight to one o'clock silence! Other than one other potential ship (it could also have been lightening far away) we have only been visited by storm petrels, Portuguese Men of War (brightly colored jelly fish), some flying fish and occasional flotsam and jetsam. Regretfully we have not caught any fish, despite having one of the Northshore's premier anglers on board!
Today for lunch we had Spanish casserole, one of Chef Pam's favorites, and fresh, ship board made carrot cake; all washed down with the usual sobering collection of soft drinks and french sparkling water! There is a lamb roast defrosting in the cockpit for supper tonight. Suffice it to say that life on Delphinus is sybaritic (vocab word of the day). [Did everyone get "pelagic" yesterday?] Please also consider participating in our now registered lottery on arrival dates for Delphinus in Horta, The Azores! Pick a date and sent it to us, along with any mail, greetings or other things you might sent to a kid at camp for the first time! The other contest we have is a guess on how many miles we are making each day. Again, send your answers to us at email@example.com A panel of judges has be formed led by His Royal Highness, The Right Doctor Henry Frissora. A man of impeccable and impeachable character, Judge Frissora is also the benefactor of the award and has offered to personally bestow it upon our triumphant return!
As we sign off for today we send each and every one of you our greetings, love and happiness from the middle of the Atlantic! We continue to be amazed, as some of you may be, by the technology now available.
Capt. Bill, Chris, Hank, Scott, Michael, Pat and Pam
Position: N 33.53.535
Wind: 18 - 24 knots; boat speed: 7.9 - 8.5 knots: Course Heading: 95 degrees (nearly due East!!); Seas: 4 - 7 feet and building....'tis a bit bumpy and we have shifted tacks! In the oven: Roast lamb and oven roasted potatoes. Cheerio!!
Day 5, April 30, 2004
|Lat/Lon: N34.23.43, W050.05.40
Day Plan: Head E-NE on a great-circle route course to Horta (approx 70 degree true course)
WX: N/NE 15-25 knots
Seas: 10-15 feet
Beautiful day, with higher than forecast wind and seas -
the 15' seas are, um, interesting for all (but not intimidating). Sunrise
was reported as spectacular, a red orb shining from below a dark squall
line. We had a man-of-war on deck this morning, and while on watch at 1 AM a
flying fish smacked Michael in the head.
|Today's Mid-Afternoon update:
The winds and seas have eased, we're now in 10-15 knots of wind out of the
north/northeast, and the seas are back to 3-6 feet. The sun's out, we're all
looking forward to a more restful stretch ahead...
Hank mans the helm...
Captain Bill catches up on his sleep...
|DELPHINUS SURGEON GENERAL REPORT
Five days out and all is well. Captain, Chef and Crew report smooth operation of all bodily systems. Only mild maladies reported: tylenol and caffeine responsive headache, contused wrist, acute situational obesity, parietocranial contusions X2(suffered from hatchway, no craniotomy required). There have been no observed or reported cases of delerium tremens. Scalpels, endotrach tubes, casting material, a pharmacopia of pills, injections and suppositories are gathering cobwebs. And other than the occasional sobbing of the crew as they go off to sleep, longing for their children and spouses, morale remains high. Despite my pre-voyage debriefing that the crew could expect to lose between 1/2 and 1 pound per day at sea, Chef Pam is proving me to be a FAT liar.
RANDOM THOUGHTS ON SEA AND SKY
Now children and friends, one safely at shore must ask the question "Isn't it boring to see the same old ocean day in and day out?" Imagine that the sea is a vast desert with water instead of sand, the waves fluid sand dunes swirling into different shapes at different rhythms. There is no monotony, as every time we rise out of the cabin into the cockpit, a different neighborhood surrounds us. Now the waves are massive and royal blue, tossing us up and down like a rollercoaster. Yesterday afternoon, they were sharp and choppy, dark navy blue at the base, turning to turquoise at the crest before exploding into a white frothy cap, the brilliant sun shining though. The sky powder blue littered with friendly puffs of cumulus clouds. Just 8 hours before, the sky was sunless and gray, layered with menacing clouds, overlapping each other in a colorless palate taken from a black and white picture. The ocean below was a rolling swirl of gunmetal and slate. Then the horizons explode with color, from yellows to orange, red and purple, in the east as day breaks, and to our stern as the evening begins. The sky becomes black as black can be, as there are no city lights. The stars and moon can be blinding, lighting up the deck so that we can check our rigging. The wake of Delphinus stirs up phosphorescence, like millions of fireflies swimming in the black ocean. We greet with excitement any visitors to our neighborhood.:storm petrels, flying fish, portuguese Men of War, and of course our guardian angels the dolphins. Tiny speckles of light on the horizon turn into big cargo ships coming our way, as we watch them on radar and with binoculars. Where are they from? What do they carry? Where are they going. And those shooting stars.. could they really be stars? Or are they meteors entering earth, ready to visit our ocean neighborhood?
Finally, as conscripted Judge of Contest, please submit your entries in the Finish Date Contest. The homesick crew of Daddies and Hubbies can't wait for your Emails. Please do not send pictures as email attachments as download time is very slow and expensive on satellite phone.
Day 6, May 1, 2004
Lat/Lon: N35.12.759, W047.18.708
Day Plan: Continue E-NE on a great-circle route course to Horta (approx 72 degree true course)
WX: N/NE 5-10 knots (not enough!)
Seas: 1-3 feet, occasional 5-10 swells (a nice change)
|Good Morning from Delphinus!
Today arrived with a tropical sky, scattered fair weather cumulus clouds, bright sun, calm winds. A wonderful change from the past several days of powering through decent seas, but one that leave us no choice but to fire up the engine and motor sail. The light winds we're seeing are almost on the nose and not enough to fill the sails, so we're making 8 knots on course and on hybrid power - main and genoa sails plus the the rumbling-purr of a Yanmar 125 diesel.
We are Power Rangers...
But the crew's enjoying the calm seas, warm sun, flat decks
Excitement for the day? So far we've seen two schools of bottlenose
dolphins, one pod of dolphins played in our bow wake for a while before
heading off. Pretty nice, and amazing considering we're about as far as we
can be from land!
This just in, at 12:15 Bermuda Time today we passed our 1/2 point!
|Chris Abbott's daily log for Saturday, May 1, 2004|
|The winds of the last few days
have eased and with it the focus of the crew on staying upright,
preoccupation with sleep and making it through the next watch! Your intrepid
travelers are, as most on weekends are; at rest, for the most part. Missing
baseball and soccer games, mindful of the saying that "a sailors work is
never done..." some of the crew while away the time by taking apart the
starboard stateroom head. What could be more fun on a sunny Saturday, smack
dab in the middle of the Atlantic than overhauling a marine toilet? A snake,
muriatic acid and a whole lot of seawater, supplied by the on deck anchor salt
water wash-down pump, managed to free the pipes of their waddage (NOT the
vocab word of the day) and a considerable amount of build up. Cardiac
surgeon and crew member extraordinaire Hank Frissora likened today's
exercise to angioplasty for the plumbing system. Delphinus has the cleanest
hoses in the Atlantic we'd be willing to guess!
As the mid-day update indicates, other excitement on board has consisted of our "cooler overboard" opportunity, visits by numerous bottlenose dolphin pods and our mid-ocean cookout this evening. Mindful of the importance of reporting on the vittles I will briefly describe "Cookie" Pam's suculent output! Breakfast of oats and bananas (oatmeal for the non-initiated South Afrikaners), cous cous salad and melted ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and finally, for the mid-ocean cookout, the piece de resistance (Vocab words of the day!!); tenderloin on the grill with a ginger, soy sauce, garlic marinade (the latter of which was whipped up by the Right Honorable Dr. Frissora....he's a doctor, a sailor, a chef and he looks maahhvelous for dinner in nautical Armani!) In addition Ms. Pamela also produced a fresh, home(boat) made 3 bean salad (she is a brave girl with all these men on board!), insalata Caesar (my best and only Italian.....apologies to the Frissora's and others on your author's inadequacies with one of the most beautiful languages in romance (sic)!! The salad featured home made croutons and just a sprinkling of bacon (in lieu of the usual anchovies that were SUPPOSE to be caught earlier today.) Finally we also toasted our mid-point of the journey with ears of corn, all washed down with the ubiquitous Ting soda, made of grapefruit in Jamaica, mon! Never has there been more pressure on a captain of a vessel to consider, under the circumstances, a wee dram of red wine to accompany this veritable feast at sea! Dr. Frissora led the near mutiny insisting that there is great medicinal benefit to a glass of red wine. The uprising was prevented when Captain Bill reminded us of "Deb's Rule" and uttered the now famous admonition; "Would you climb Everest with a flask?" Needless to say it was another spiritless evening on the high seas.
A quick update on the crew. Capt. Bill is in rare form; he is grizzled in appearance and obviously buoyed by the change in weather. He has full command of his ship and we are all grateful for his leadership. Dr. Frissora, as highlighted above, showed up for dinner tonight well rested and looking like a model out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue: Tevas matching mine, pressed shorts, a French sailor's shirt and sun glasses that matched Pat's. Not only thoughtful and handsome; we thought him the "belle of our ball!" Scott "Former Fisherman" Fabyan managed to get hit with a flying fish on watch early this morning and has claimed this as his first victory at sea in the fishing department. The fish weighed in at 4 ounces. Pat "Iron Stomach" Gardner has had his IPOD on for most of the trip listening to tunes that one can only guess from his mellifluous voice and reading financial reports below in 30 knot winds and 15+ foot seas, all the while dining on Cottage Pie. He is a heck of a good sailor and we admire his near constant attention to speed! Michael "Web Master" Enright, I hope you all will agree, has done a spectacular job with our web site. He informs us, as CTO, that we had 796 "hits" yesterday alone! I am hardly surprised and only kidding! He is a magician! Chef Pam is holding up well, having slipped in a seaway last night while preparing Bananas Foster (ah,... the worries of the "idle rich!") Dr. Frissora was quick to her rescue and applied ice to the ankle. She is better today having elevated it and is in high spirits as usual poking fun at us all! Finally, your author, who has seemingly spent his life waist deep in the sewer system got to use today's activities as an excuse for a shower! We are all well fed, minimally rested and in good spirits. As always, we enjoy from hearing from any and all interested in our voyage.
Position: N 35.35.411
Weather: Bright blue skies; perfect night tonight (you could touch Venus and Mars!! Scott and I are working on that!)
Sea Conditions: Rolling 15 -20 swells, <10 knots of wind, Sea Temp.: 65 degrees
In the oven: The rest of the award winning carrot cake and more Ting......................
Signing off and wishing everyone a great weekend (remember there are only 52 each year!)
Your Devoted Captain and Crew
Day 7, May 2, 2004
First report at 6:15 am
Another beautiful morning!
We continue to run under diesel power, if forecasts hold we may not see substantial winds for another 48 hours...
Pam's making banana muffins to get rid of our remaining bananas, as bananas reportedly bring horrible luck when hoping to catch a fish, and thus far despite dragging two lures across 1/3 of the Atlantic we haven't had a strike!
|News of the Day!!!
We had high expectations for ocean fresh fish for dinner on this trip, and Scott, the famous east coast fisherman, finally came through! Yeah baby, fish for dinner tonight!
The wind has returned, and is back at 15 knots from the west/southwest. The engine is once again silent, and we're powered under three sails, making 7.2 nm/hour to the east/northeast. Nice.
One eastbound freighter passed 10 miles south of us this morning, and we've seen whales (we think they were fin-back whales) and a sun fish.
shot: A close reach under genoa and staysail
The picture below
show two of the three basic cloud types. Which type of clouds are visible,
and which type is missing?
|DELPHINUS SURGEON GENERAL UPDATE
Day 7 and all remains well. Minor injuries include one case of ankle strain (patient stable and improving) and one of acute traumatic contusion/laceration of the great digital extremity with subungual hemorrhage ( a wicked bad stubbed toe) disinfected, stabilized and splinted, (again stable and improving). But the true heroics aboard Delphinus was on the Poop deck, as it were, when Captain/Bowel Surgeon Stone and First assistant Abbott performed a skillful, but malodorous, colonoscopic disimpaction of the Delphinus waste elimination system. They showed experience and insight in the diagnostic localization of the problem, and intrepid spirit in diving into where many men had gone before.This may be the first documented operation like this on the high seas. They are hereby deputized to the previously exclusive Delphinus medical staff, assigned to the Division of Public Health and Gastroenterology.
I would like to take a few moments on my website platform to complement the witty, insightful, if not poetic in justice scribe, Mr. Chris Abbott. After valiantly arising from the bowels of Delphinus, part Ed Norton, part Michael DeBakey, Chris showered, perfumed-up, and changed. A man of great modesty, and always most complimentary of his fellow crew, Chris failed to mention the fashion trend he's started, an ensemble consisting of a classically French striped shirt, brash colorful scarf, and anchor embroidered beret. Yes, it is amazing to see what the time in the Doldrums can do to grown men!
Day Eight: May 3, 2004
First report at 7:00 am
All-in-all, another beautiful morning!
Chris Abbott's Daily Update for Monday morning
Greetings from Delphinus and we hope you all had a good weekend! Yesterday, Sunday, known by many as the Sabbath, a day of rest, proved the earlier cited axiom that "a sailor's work is never done!" Sunday's project provided the Captain the opportunity to become more intimately familiar with the good ship's refrigeration system and with the help of CTO Enright they trouble shot the system for most of the day. The result was as anticipated; the refer worked again. In an effort to use up some of the eggs that she feared would spoil, Pam "Cookie" Clay built a luncheon quiche Lorraine that was some 2 1/4 inches thick. These "real men" dove into it as if it was there last meal along with a lettuce-less Greek salad. Smiles were seen on all of the crew after this splendid repast!
I thought I would share with the readers a description of our accommodations this morning. The foc'sle of the boat contains 2 pipe berths that, as the name describes, are little more than canvas cots stretched across some aluminum pipes. Nobody sleeps here due to the constant and pronounced motion of Delphinus! To port, in a stateroom ensuite, Chef Pam Clay has the lower bunk and Dr. Frissora the upper. Pam has her own head that is exclusively her's forward of the stateroom. With their mutual interest in food, Dr. Frissora and Ms. Clay have exchanged a number of tips on cooking and intend to exchange recipes at the end of the trip. In the starboard suite, the one with the formerly troublesome loo, Scott Fabyan is in the lower bunk and Pat Garner the upper. Both of these cabins have bunks with lee boards that allow the occupants to sleep against the side of the bunks when the boat is healed over on their opposite side. I occupy the main salon, shifting sides depending on the tack. The main salon is delightful and often scented, as it is as I write, by the familiar smells of bacon, onions and butter! Aft, in the master stateroom is Capt. Bill Stone and CTO (Chief Technology Officer & Webmaster) Enright who share a large, queen berth, all ensuite with a head and shower. A dividing canvas lee cloth (see picture above of Bill sleeping) separates the two of them. There has, however, been some kicking and mauling in the night! Needless to say we keep Delphinus neat and clean, all mindful of the fact that the family Stones will be arriving in Horta expecting to not only recognize their family vessel but see it in tip top shape!! It shall be!
Today we were again visited by a small pod of dolphins and just a few minutes ago saw a large leather back turtle. An ocean going sun fish was also seen after breakfast. We are reminded regularly of the size of the Atlantic. Last night, for the first time, we saw a private, 138' motor yacht who hailed us on their radio. We spoke briefly, exchanged positions and headings, agreed that they would pass well in front of us and and bid good night and safe voyage. The young Irish chap on the radio admitted to more than a little jealously of us able to sail as oppose to just power. If he could only have seen the boat!
Again, we send our greetings to all that are reading this and a particular mid-ocean hello to our family and friends at Shore Country Day School! We welcome any questions, best via e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org Have a good Monday and we will update the site later today.
Answer to the cloud quiz:
The picture above show both cirrus and
cumulus clouds, but no stratus clouds.
Cumulus clouds: The puffy cotton-ball like clouds near the water in the picture above are cumulus clouds. Cumulus clouds are formed by rising air. They often appear as "rising domes, or towers, and the upper parts often look like a cauliflower... A showery type of precipitation, when it occurs, is often associated with cumulus-type clouds."
Stratus clouds: There are no status clouds visible in the picture above. Stratus clouds "form a gray layer with a fairly uniform base". Stratus clouds have little vertical development, rather they develop in a layer and the stratus layer can cover large areas.
These basic could types can be combined with modifiers, for example:
And of course, there's the grand-daddy of all clouds, the cumulonimbus, or thunder cloud.
On this trip we've seen primarily cumulus clouds, with some cirrus (as you see in the picture), with an occasional cumulonimbus off on the horizon.
Cloud and weather quotes from "Weather for the Mariner,
third edition", by William J. Kotsch
Lat/Lon: N37.49.99, W040.29.402
Under hybrid sail + motor power, trending NE, a direction we'll likely continue for the next 24-36 hours. This will place us west/northwest of Horta on Wednesday/Thursday, where a north/northwesterly wind is forecast to arrive which we'll ride down into port at Horta. This route seems to be the best compromise between winds and sea states, angle of sail, and fuel on board available to power our motor. We're now less than 600 nm from Horta...
Day Nine, May 4, 2004
First report at 5:15 am
|Today the sun rose early, at
about 4:15 am in "Delphinus time". We're keeping our clocks set to Bermuda
time (Bermuda time is US eastern time + 1 hour). Since our watch
schedule is independent of the clock time it's easier to keep our clocks set
to Bermuda time until we reach Horta, when we'll rejoin the rest of the
world and set our clocks to "Horta time"...
The sunrise was dark and chilly. It was a tough, bumpy, wet ride last night, as we head directly into a choppy, tightly packed sea. Temps at dawn were in the high 50's with 20 knots of wind, and the bow kicking up lots of spray as it rose and fell in the waves.
Scott came on watch at 4:00 am, just in time to see the sunrise (for those who followed the cloud discussion, this picture shows a broken stratus layer, with some scattered cumulus). You'll see the decks are wet from the constant spray (and at times water) being thrown up as we dig through the waves.
Last night we had a pretty sunset, including a little rainbow...
|Chris Abbott's Daily Update for
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Greetings to all of the readers of our web site! Day 8 of our voyage and we proudly announce that the vast majority of the crew, including Capt. Stone are participating in a beard growing contest. Dr. Frissora is excluded due to his "Pavarotti-like" beard that he arrived on board with! We are indeed a swarthy group that could be mistaken as a bunch of pirates, eh matey!!
Yesterday we were fortunate enough to get some outstanding questions from
Ms. Ann Russell's second grade class at Shore Country Day School in
Beverly, MA We have answered them on our FAQ page which can be accessed
through the hyperlink below. Thanks you second graders for the question;
keep 'em coming!
I thought we would share with our readers the reading material that is being consumed on Delphinus as time permits, off watch. Capt. Bill Stone has just finished John Le Carre's "Our Game" and is now reading "Don't Stop the Carnival" by Herman Woulk. Pretty heavy duty we think, once again impressed with our captain's depth! CTO Enright is reading "Godforsaken SEA" by Derek Lundy a narrative about the 1996-1997 Vendee Globe, a four month around the world sailing race, single handed for men and women. Pat Gardner, in addition to the financial reports listed earlier, has two books working; "DaVinci Code" a recent best seller and "Atlantic" a story about the classic yachts of the turn of the century and their quest to set the Atlantic crossing record. Rich business men at DelMonico's Restaurant hatched the idea and entered boats that they, themselves, did surely not sail on. Oh, how the world has changed! Chef Pam is consuming "Portraits In Sepia" by Isabelle Allende a novel about a Chilean and Californian family dynasty in the 1860's. She reports that is well worth reading. Dr. Frissora is doing some ground breaking work on the effects of scurvy and, in his spare time, reading ""Sailing Alone Around the World" by legendary sailor Joshua Slocum. Slocum, as many know, was born in Nova Scotia in 1844 and went to sea at the age of 12. On April 24, 1895 he set out on his single-handed circumnavigation which he completed on June 27, 1898. Interestingly, Slocum arrived in Horta, The Azores (our destination) on July 20, 1895. He writes,
"Islanders are always the kindest people in the world, and I met none anywhere kinder than the good hearts of this place. The people of the Azores are not a very rich community. The burden of taxes is heavy, with scant privileges in return, the air they breathe being about the only thing that is not taxed." (Could he be confusing The Azores with Massachusetts?!!)
Scott Fabyan is reading "How to Fish" by Skunked Again and "How to Bait a Lure" also by the same author. He is also reading "Golden Buddha" by Clive Cussler. He reports that it is a thriller about espionage on the high seas. Finally, I have finished "Adrift" by Stephen Callahan (recommended reading by Leg One Super Sailor Scott Stone (brother of our Capt. Queeg). This is the story of a man stranded in a life raft in the Atlantic for 76 days. I suspect it would not surprise readers to know that a few of us read this.........just in case! I am now reading Po Bronson's best seller, "What Should I Do With my Life?" I did, however, get bonked on the head, in a sound sleep, by Pat's "DaVinci Code" so I feel I must pick up the thriller next before my wound heals!
We are able to read most of the time and as I write a select member of the crew watched "The Commitments" a film brought on board by Hank. Last night was "Football Night" which featured the World Champion New England Patriots highlights. No beer, chips or salsa made for another early evening aboard Delphinus!
DELPHINUS SURGEON GENERALS UPDATE
Day 9 and all continues well. Our biggest scare came when Mr. Abbott cracked the Da Vinci code, literally, with his head. A mere flesh wound, I would say, adding a manly blemish to his now rugged and burley visage. His mental status exam remained marginally intact, with the exception of hypergraphia as evidenced in the above diatribe. Prognosis is fair, will likely dodge the cranial burr hole.
While listening to Nathaniel Phillbrick's Heart of the Sea on audio tape yesterday, we learned of the dangers of scurvy on the high seas. Caused by deficiency of Vitamin C, it may result in weakness, anemia, and sores of the gums. In the case of a whale ship in the early 1800's, the scurvy so devastated the crew that the captain brought the ship to shore on the South American coast, rented a house, and set up a makeshift hospital. Somewhat panicked by this eventuality, I immediately consulted Chef Pam as to the inventory of citrus fruits aboard. Thankfully, we have an adequate, although dwindling supply of fruits and will likely arrive in Horta scurvy-free.
Still Life with Citrus
Day Ten: May 5, 2004
First report at
We're currently about 350 nm from Horta, with forecast winds later today from the north helping us continue under sail power once again later this day and through tomorrow.
Today's vocabulary word is:
Becalmed: to make a ship motionless from lack of wind
Yes, we're within striking distance, yet we're becalmed...
In the meantime, Pam's taken this opportunity to catch up on some sleep, while the rest of the crew enjoys the opportunity for a mid-Atlantic poker game...
Earlier in the day, before we became becalmed, we'd taken advantage of the light winds and calm seas catch up on some maintenance - more on that and some pics later...
|Chris Abbott's Daily Update for
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Greetings to our Delphinus readers! The circle of friends has expanded and there are more readers than ever who are sharing their questions and answers! We continue to welcome input and feedback! Today was a maintenance day, largely made possible by a lack of wind. Delphinus, as earlier noted, has been an outstanding trans-Atlantic vessel. We have had some routine issues that we dealt with today and they are captured in the photos below, compliments of our good doctor. First, the genoa (jib, sail in the forward part of the boat) got ripped, slightly, along the luff line. This means the edge of the sail was ripped by an open cotter pin on the first set of spreaders. [Note to Readers: I apologize for slipping into "sail speak" and would be happy to provide a glossary for the unfamiliar; just let us know if you have questions on terminology.] The photo directly below features Capt. Bill, with his "palm" in hand ready to repair the sail being ably assisted by crew member Pat Gardner. The palm allows Bill to sew the sail, pushing a sharp needle through stubborn sail cloth. Between the sticky patch material (sail cloth with adhesive) and Bill's sewing the sail is as good as new!
Next, our intrepid Captain decided to prevent further damage and decided that he would scale the mast, with the help of a bosun's chair, to the first spreader to tape off the ends of the spreader that chaffed the sail. Despite the fact that the seas were relatively calm there was a whole lotta shimming and shaking going on. We hoisted Bill up the mast and he quickly did his business. It was remarked by one of the crew members that Bill should stay up the mast until he sees land or until the rum barrel had been drained in the salon! Dutifully, as the person on the winch, I lowered him down carefully to the protests of some of my fellow crew members! Below are photographs of Capt. Bill up the mast, followed by sailor Frissora, resembling a leather back turtle on his back, taking a picture of Bill up the mast! The mission was successfully completed. Second, we took the spare Jerry cans of diesel fuel and put them in the ship's fuel tanks. All of this coupled with a general clean up invigorated the crew, irrespective of the forward progress we weren't making!
Note: The fair Annisquam Yacht Club burgee that has lead us across the Atlantic!
There appears to be some genuine interest in the vittles again and I am aware that Chef Pam's brother in South Africa is following our progress, greeting to him and all of Pam's family! There is an old saying that "necessity is the mother of invention." Pam is doing very nicely despite the fact that we are out of propane. propane gas makes the stove burner go so............we don't have no fire!! We do have an electric oven and a micro wave oven, both of which have been pressed into service in ways you cannot imagine. Pam remarked this morning as she cooked eggs for 7 in the microwave oven and heated the coffee/tea water, that "...us South Africans are used to camping because we have always done it!" She continues to turn out splendid meals with out a stove. Last night she made her patented Mac and Cheese. One of our readers observed that were it not for Pam we would all be eating mac and cheese (which would be optimistic I suspect!) Well Pam makes Mac & Cheese like nobody else's. In addition to two kinds of semolina based pasta she added 3-4 chopped onions, ham, tomatoes and at least 2 kinds of cheese. It didn't do our waistlines much good but it was inhaled by these hardly starving men! Tonight we had a collaborative effort between cabin mates Pam and Hank on shrimp over linguine! Very tasty in a orange/garlic/lime buerre blanc sauce. All of this was accompanied by the ubiquitous, and fortunately dwindling supply, of that Jamaican beverage that everyone loves to hate' "Ting!" It has turned out to be anything but Ting!! Yesterday Pat Gardner pulled out a Halloween size bag of candy and it is being consumed at an alarming rate! Our on board physician has observed that it may be serving as an important substitute for parts of the crew's life that they left back on land...................
As I write this evening that air has again becalmed us. We are moving at 1.08 knots (it is far easier to walk faster than that!) Capt. Bill and Dr. Frissora, who are on watch, have rigged a light in the cockpit and are engaged in a spirited game of backgammon. The captain has extraordinary luck in this game: IF HE COULD ONLY PRODUCE THE WIND WE NEED!!
Finally, we are playing a cat and mouse game with the need for wind. We have enough fuel to run the engine and generator for 25 hours or 150 miles at 6 knots. We have a distance of 285 nautical miles to go to Horta. At 6 knots that is 47.5 hours out. Life is a balancing game and we are waiting for the sailing gods to bless us with the right wind so we can glide into Horta. We all intend to have July 4th at home!! We will report tomorrow morning on our progress; please if you think about it, light a candle, say a novena or do whatever you can to get us some wind!!
Day Eleven, May 6, 2004
First report at
We're currently about 245 nm west/northwest from Horta, happy to be moving once again...
Luncheon today was a Picnic on the Poop Deck. Chef Pam out did herself with the usual pre-prandiel offering of Pringles and Ranch flavored Doritos. This was followed by two platters. The first contained a delicious selection from the ship's cheese cellar; Stilton, camembert, and a pate de champagne, all served with crisp crackers, fresh radishes, two kinds of olives and a whole lotta love! The second platter was festooned with Pam's now legendary tuna melts featuring home made but NOT caught tuna fish, tomato, cheese with a dill pickle on top. By now I am sure it is obvious that this offering was greeted by the doldrums bound crew of Delphinus with broad smiles! Again it was coupled with lightly chilled Ting.........that now all too familiar grapefruit sod from Jamaica, mon! Following lunch, as is our custom, we disposed of all biodegradables over the side. A certain tuna can, which for the time being did not sink, passed us faster than we could make time over the bottom. We debated for some time the benefit of building a perfectly round vessel and why such oddly shaped object would move faster than the good ship Delphinus in the doldrums? Put differently, one crew member observed that "We are actually wallowing in our own filth!"
I regret to report that wind has still not cracked the Azorian high. A high pressure system that is often in evidence around the Azores has sat on us now for a few days. This afternoon the crew and Capt. of Delphinus did a bit of laundry, washed some pretty nasty heads of hair and in general tidied up the vessel. Capt. "Brigadier" Stone took a daring plunge into the Atlantic that lasted all of 45 seconds. He then challenged the crew to join him but all decided we would enjoy the captain's swimming with the fishes but it was not for us!
Chef Pam again made wine out of water by spatchcocking two chickens and flat roasting them. [Note to readers: this rather curious recipe for chicken is apparently how they cook chickens in South Africa. It is usually done with the assistance of natives and involves killing a smaller animal as a sacrifice, collecting cassuba wood and lighting the fire facing East. Your correspondent can confirm that the chicken was terrific, "spatchcocked" or not!] This was accompanied by roasted potatoes and a lightly, garlicy insalata Caesar. Once again the beverage that was chosen from the cellar was the ever present, mind numbing and all too familiar......can the readers guess........? Yes, that pale green can containing none other than Ting, the grapefruit flavored soda from Jamaica, mon. (And if you think you are tired or reading about it, try drinking it for 11 straight days, morning, noon and night!)
I am very pleased to report that after a consultation with the afterguard (nautical name for the brain trust) we have decided to make for Flores, the outermost island in the Azores. Our weather forecast is for no more wind through tomorrow and one member of the crew was caught on his cell phone in the foc'sle calling for a taxi. Given this, we did some precise calculations and have determined that Flores is reachable and we can refuel with diesel, see another island and after that make for Horta, some 100 miles from Flores. We have just cranked up the "cast iron wind" and we are making 7.4 knots over the bottom and have 90 miles to Flores. This decision was met with a round of Hip, Hip Hoorays for our bold captain; all cell phones were confiscated. Capt. Stone has expressed some concern about the crews early reaching of land and their behavior during liberty. I suspect some stern warnings will follow in the morning before we reach Flores as to our behavior on the fuel dock and bar!
Before we sign off we want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who are sending us e-mails at sea. They are most welcome from all quarters. We look forward to sharing some arrival photos in Flores. Tonight, under power, backgammon is being played above deck with a light on in the cockpit, reading below in the salon and others have turned in. Capt. Stone has requested that all members of the crew put headphones on overnight in order to cram a few more morsels of Portuguese into their heads. Tomorrow we will negotiate for fuel and beer in Portuguese for the first time!
Bon tarde, Bon noite!!
Queria uma cerveja de pressao, muito obrigado!
Day Twelve: May 7, 2004
We passed the southern point of the island at approximately 9 am (still on Bermuda time)
First impression is a mountainous, green island, with steep cliffs falling dramatically to the ocean, and a few small villages perched on lush green valleys - some compared it to Ireland or even Bali, with terraced hillsides and an apparent abundance of sheep.
A view of the eastern side of Flores Island, the Azores
The port of Lajes, Flores Island
It's a good thing we found land, some of the crew were starting to get a little ornery, we caught Scott looking for an eye patch and mumbling something about flying the Jolly Roger...
Day Thirteen: May 8, 2004
Lat/Lon: N39.22.728, W031.10.129
Chris Abbott's Daily Update for Saturday, May 8, 2004
Greetings to the readers of the Delphinus Trans-Atlantic Web Site and apologies for our 24 hour black out (of updates you understand!) The captain and crew arrived in Lajes, The Azores and took the island by storm. As noted above; there were a few crew members on the brink. Scott was rescued from his pirate fantasy, fed a ration of Sagres beer and did some honest work filling the diesel tanks with Pat. Upon arrival we were greeted by three sets of Gendarmes; Azorean Police, Customs and the Marine Security Unit. We docked against a concrete pier, which was no small task considering the on shore swells (waves not people!) coupled with the offshore breeze. The French catamaran behind us had not fully figured out this as we watched them crunch their starboard pontoon against the concrete pier. We ducked to avoid the flying gel coat and lay perfectly positioned, gently laying off the pier; Delphinus was untouched to her captain's and crew's credit. Upon arrival and tie up, Capt. Bill went ashore to process the considerable paperwork with these three constabularies. Meanwhile, there was a catamaran astern of us who had just made landfall from Guadeloupe, having left on 4/17/04 the same date, coincidentally, that our Leg 1 crew departed from Antigua) bound for Toulon; they were French and had had the boat on charter in the Caribbean for the winter and will have it on charter in the Med this summer. They were also there for diesel so we took our respective jerry jugs up the hill to the filling station. I was joined by Oliver (assessed by Chef Pam as "stunningly cute!" which was lost on me) and we filled 57 gallons of petrol at the "Gulp" Gas Station. I also found a grocery store nearby and purchased the makings of the Austrian National Bobsled Diet; fresh bread and beer! The bread was, of course, that aromatic Portuguese sweet bread so familiar to New Englanders. As with my vacation to Portugal many years ago the language is completely baffling so hand gestures had to suffice.
The diesel was put in the tanks, the bubber ringy (rubber dingy) inflated and the engine attached, the boat cleaned up and the crew was ready for shore side excitement! An advance party went up the hill and found a pizzeria that also served ice cold beverages (Sagres beer; named after the town in southernmost Portugal that was home to Prince Henry the Navigator.) Our waitress had lived in Stoughton, MA and the owner, Paula, in Bridgewater, MA for most of their lives and had only recently returned to the island! We judged it to be one degree of separation and as we later found out half the island had been to Stoughton and surrounding south shore of Boston communities! It is indeed a small world. Paula rounded us up two taxis, driven by a father and son combo that featured Silvio, who had attended junior and senior high school in.........yes, dear readers, Stoughton, MA and his father who drove a Mercedes but had a constant and annoying habit of whistling. They proceeded to give us a spectacular tour of the island.
The photos above detail Flores, which is the westernmost island of the archipelago. The island is the outermost portion of western Europe and is 1, 380 miles from Lisbon, Portugal. It is characterized by rugged cliffs and overhangs, peaks and valleys and some crater lakes that are virtually inaccessible because of the steep walls on every side. There are small pastures with cows and sheep, and hedge rows of hydrangea that bloom blue in July and August. The stone walls are reminiscent of the stone walls in the Cotswold's part of England and the roads are often only able to accommodate just one car. As we climbed into the lakes the temperature dropped precipitously and we estimated it to be in the low 50's. At one of the stops we saw Ilheu de Monchique, the small, uninhabited island that is, in fact, the westernmost point of Europe. Needless to say the crew enjoyed the island tour immensely and had managed to work up a powerful thirst that Silvio was instrumental in quenching.
Silvio and his whistling father dropped us off at a wee pub in Santa Cruz das Flores to knock back a few Carlsberg's, the tap being out. Ailene, our bartenderess, was very helpful and an attractive law student from the island. She too had vacationed in the states, having spent most of her time in.........yes, I'll bet everyone guessed it; Stoughton, MA! Santa Cruz has the airport on the island and is the principal town on Flores. We capped off our visit with a dinner at Restaurante Lita, a small cafe-restaurant with a beautiful view of the sea we had just crossed. Dinner featured a number of bottles of red wine (one type of which was sent back because it tasted sacramental and should have been served with a wafer and a blessing!) The crew supped on salad (butter lettuce with island grown onions that were as strong as any of us had tasted, and a light vinaigrette), whole fish, an off-the-menu chicken dish, and veal that turned out to be beef! There were copious toasts to our safe crossing so far, our families and friends and the good people of Flores who so graciously took in this collection of rag tag, unshaven, joke telling, beer drinking, foul smelling and generally unkempt, but well intentioned, sailors. [Note to readers: All of the above refers to the male members of our crew only: Pam was, is, and always shall be the "flower" Flores! (I am writing at lunch time!)] Silvio and his whistling father returned to Lita to pick us up and whisk us back to Delphinus who lay bobbing on her anchor awaiting us. One of our crew members, who was particularly upset that he couldn't stay out late and participate in karaoke that is in all the bars on Flores led the charge with the B52's playing "Love Shack" while we had one more Sagres, and danced on the fantail with Pam leading us in the "Fantail Flutter" (as an aerobic nightcap), and happily tumbled into our bunks. It goes without saying that despite the cacophony of birds on the 300 ft cliffs opposite the boat, everyone slept soundly until 8:00 this morning! In short, Flores, which means "flowers," was a perfect landfall for the crew of Delphinus.
Reveille sounded, kind of, at 8:30, the ensign was set and slow but steady progress was made towards a relaxed departure. The previous evening, as it was best remembered, there had been some good natured sparring with another American boat in the harbor called "Raven" which hailed from the Virgin Islands. As nine of them departed the stone pier in their 9 ft dinghy, one crew member, after refusing a request for a ride with them to our boat, challenged us to a race to Horta in the morning where both boats are bound. We have just lapped them, and there appears that there was nobody on board as we played a little "Love Shack" over Ch.16 VHF. We are looking forward to Horta!
And even Scott, who was behaving somewhat, um, erratically over the past few days was once again back in Captain Bill's good graces...
DELPHINUS SURGEON GENERAL'S UPDATE
Morbidity and Mortality aboard Delphinus has remained minimal, however since hitting landfall I have become concerned with a behavioral syndrome not previously observed at sea. This is heralded by increased speech volume, ataxic gait (Wobbly legs), a general sense of giddiness punctuated with laughter and unfiltered exclamations. The conditioned worsened deeper into the evening hours, then almost paradoxically reversed after a period of deep somnolence. I observed amongst the crew this early morning a general malaise, listlessness, associated with dry mouth, cranial throbbing, photophobia (fear of light), and coated tongue (one crew member claimed he needed to shave his tongue with a razor).
I am quite sure this is not the dreaded scurvy, but remain uncertain as to whether this condition, only seen on land, is caused by an infectious agent or toxic exposure. Hopefully this epidemic will be self limited (it appears to be improving with caffeine intake) and resolve completely with return to sea.
CALLING ALL MARINERS*
*(Attention please Former Navy Dads and In-Laws Mr. Gordon Abbott, Mr. Byron Atwood and Mr. Anthony Frissora, as well as veteran trans-Atlantic Single-Handed Sailor Dr. Austin O'Keefe. Go ahead, dry land Green Beret Dr. James Hagerty take a stab)
On quite a separate note, on watch the other day while in the Doldrums, we contemplated the mathematical calculation that would predict the distance at sea that we would first see landfall. Flores, the westernmost of the Azores, was some 100 miles away, and according to the charts, had volcanic mountains over 900 meters tall. I asked Captain Bill and Scribe Abbott if they had any insight into the calculation. I soon learned that St. Lawrence University, from which they both hail, although providing them with excellent backgrounds in literature and liberal arts, must have been teaching from the "World is Flat" theory relative to Navigational Mathematics. [Captain's note: Hey! I received A's in calculus!...and prior to my editing, the comma usage was lacking closure with a frequency heretofore unseen on these pages! and... enforceability is now spelled correctly below....take that.]
In perusing Bowditch's 2002 Bicentennial Edition"The American Practical Navigator", I found a formula for calculating the visible horizon at see based on the height of the eyes of the observer above sea level
Distance of Visible Horizon(Naut Miles)= 1.17X(Square root height in feet)
Distance of Visible Horizon (Naut Miles)= 2.07X(Sq root height in meters)
Please advise as to the validity of using this formula "in reverse". In other words, could we assume that WE are the visible horizon, and the observer is atop the highest mountain on the island, hence defining the distance away that land would become visible?
Please weigh in Salty Dawgs, we need your help. In fact, our first sighting of landfall at early dusk was about 35 miles from Flores. By the formula, we should have first sighted land at 2.07x30, or roughly 60 miles away (at which time it was cloudy and pitch black). Send us an email in time to make a calculation for the sighting of Faial (elev 1043 meters, our final destination. The enforceability of Deb's Rule rides on this....oops, too late...
Day Fourteen: May 9, 2004
Happy Mothers Day!
|At 6:55am on Sunday, May 9, 2004, Delphinus arrived in Horta, the Azores, Portugal!|
|At ten o'clock in the morning on
Saturday, May 8, Delphinus departed Lajers on the island of Flores for the
final leg of her West-East Atlantic crossing, bound for Horta on the Island
As the sun set on another beautiful day in the Azores, Delphinus was joined by a pod of fifteen dolphins who stayed with us for about a half an hour, playing in our bow wake and entertaining the crew...
The night was clear and bright, with stars, shooting stars, and satellites all of which were observed from the after deck by watch mates Fabyan and Enright while listening to Pink Floyd's classic album "Dark Side of the Moon" in wonder and awe! The passage at night was pleasantly interrupted by a sighting of Land Ho as Pat Gardner's 2:00 a.m. watch commenced. As the lights of Faial grew brighter so rose the spirits of the crew. By the time Chris Abbott came on watch at 4:00 a.m., relieving the good doctor Frissora, the island was abeam.
As the sun rose on a beautiful morning with light winds and calm waters Delphinus glided into the port of Horta.
Pat and Chris begin the process of preparing Delphinus for her berth
And with the volcanic peak of the neighboring Island of Pico as a backdrop, Delphinus quietly and gently slipped into her berth and made fast her lines, safely completing another passage in her travels across the globe.
Back to Delphinus Home