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Delphinus Atlantic Crossing FAQ Page

    Q. What's the air temperature?
A. We don't have an air temperature gauge, but it feels like 60's in the day and 50's at night

Q. What's the water temperature?
A. The water temperature has been between 68 degrees and 70 degrees since we left Bermuda

Q. Where do you get your weather from?
A. We have several sources:
* There are great charts put out by the Bermuda Weather Bureau. We look at these each day:

* Every evening at 4 PM US ET we speak with the guru of Atlantic off shore weather, a guy named "Herb" who lives somewhere in Canada. He uses Single Side Band long distance radio to talk with dozens of boats each day, and advises them on the current and forecast conditions along their route. He's also great to do a little brainstorming on options for the next few days, including finding wind of the right direction and velocity, and avoiding tough weather. Herb's great.

* There are numerous weather sites, most from various US Government agencies, that we check for specific weather issues (wind models, wave heights, etc.)

Q. Has Scott the famous open water fisherman been keeping you in fresh fish each day?
A. Hmmm, now that you mention it, no, Scott's not had a hit.

Q. When did we leave Bermuda and how far is it between Bermuda?
A. We departed on Monday, 2pm. and it's approx. 1800 nm from St. Georges to Horta.

Q. Did Scott *really* catch that huge fish?
A. In his dreams...Scott claims to have caught it, but we're pretty sure it actually jumped into the boat. And it's not quite as big as he makes it out to be...



Some questions have arrived from Ms. Russell's 2nd grade class at Shore:

    First, we'd like to thank Ms. Russell's second grade class for the questions. They are very good and we have all worked on answering them. Obviously you all put a great deal of thought into them and they resemble questions that a third or fourth grader would ask! Nice job!! It is our pleasure to answer them!

- Do you swim in the water?  (Alexandra V.) It depends on what you mean by "swim." No we don't stop to swim and hope not to have to but we do get very wet! When we are on watch and the seas are running high, as they are now, we feel like a cross between running through a sprinkler and falling into a dunk tub. (You know those; when you throw a ball at a target and there is someone who gets dunked if you hit the target?!!) Needless to say the water is a bit too cold to swim in and we have seen sharks, sun fish and dolphins all of which would make swimming in the ocean a bit scary!

- How long is your estimate to get to the Azores? (Tori B.) Good question; we have a contest to submit a guess on when we are going to arrive in Horta, The Azores. We are currently sailing and powering into big wind and waves.........this will delay us but please submit your guesses based on the fact that we are 430 miles out of Horta, traveling at 7 knots per hour, and today is Tuesday, 5/4. Please let us know what your guesses are!

- What music do you have besides the ones you mentioned?  Are you singing
any sailor songs?  (Taylor C.)
Another good question Mr. Chin; we have a vast variety of  music that ranges, as I reported earlier, from classical to books on tape. Yesterday we listened to "Heart of The Sea" on tape. It is a great book about the whale ship "Essex" out of Nantucket. I read the book and it is very exciting. It was written by Nathaniel Philbrick. He has two wonderful nieces at Shore; can anyone tell me who they are?! As for sailor songs we don't have any. If you were to send us a few I would gladly put together the Delphinus Sailing Singing Chorus!

- Do you eat the fish that you catch?  May the Schwartz be with you! (Alex C.) The fish, the fish, ah the fresh, ocean caught, fresh as a spring day fish that was SUPPOSE to be caught by any number of our ship mates who expressed skills in the area. Let it suffice to say that were we to have to live on fish we'd be dead now!! Chicken, pork, beef, vegetables and pasta but NO fish yet! Chef Pam does have frozen Dorado and some shrimp in the freezer. They are buried in the bottom not expecting to ever have to go there for our Omega fatty acids!! Cregg-Man: Who da "Schwartz??!!" Thanks for the Schwartz power; what ever it is?!!

- What is it like to be on watch?  (Miranda B.) Watch, Miranda, can be shear boredom or terror, depending on sea conditions! Day watches are easy because there are generally a number of people on deck getting fresh air and reading. The nighttime watches, 12 midnight to 6 a.m. are what is known as the "Graveyard Watch." We always have two people on a watch and we have a regular rotation so everyone but the Chef gets to take part. We see beautiful sunsets behind us in the West and even prettier sunrises in the East, which is direction we are going. On watch we are responsible for sailing the boat, keeping the sails full and Delphinus moving and attempting to make it comfortable below for our crew mates (far easier said than done!) We are generally on for 4 hours and then off for 6 hours.

- Are you scared?  Has anyone fallen overboard?  Do you practice drills?  (Hamilton C.) Another good question. If you have read our web site you know that we had a "cooler overboard" drill that prepared us to deal with an MOB situation. (Man Overboard) Fortunately we have created a culture of safety and nobody has fallen overboard, fallen badly or done anything other than a bad toe nail ripping! We have been thoroughly briefed on safety by Capt. Stone, be it fire, MOB, sinking, etc. As for scared I think it is safe to say that we are all very careful about how we conduct ourselves on the boat. The ocean is big, unpredictable and is able to be ferocious. We NEVER take her for granted and keep a weather eye "Peeled" at all times.                                         

- Tell me about Argus.  Thanks!  (Sophie N.) Sophie, good memory, there will be more on Argus on our web site. Watch for his first segment!

- It was funny to see that the fish isn't real!  (Phoebe M.) I'll let "Former Fisherman" Fabyan know you said so........we don't think it is that funny: we want fresh fish!!

- Who is the driver? (Emily E.) We all take turns steering Delphinus. However, we have a very reliable "virtual" crew mate. He is very quiet, eats and  drinks nothing and has a very steady hand on our helm. We call him "Iron Mike" our autohelm! It is a computer driven automatic steering device. As Gordon will tell you we also have one on our boat, "METEOR." Can you guess his name?!!

- What time do you wake up on the ship?  (Katie B.) We all have different schedules depending on our individual watches. Generally we are up for meals at 8:30 a.m. breakfast; 12:30 p.m. lunch and 6:30 p.m. dinner. Otherwise we are reading, catching up on sleep and tending to the boat. I'll bet Katie is woken up by her Mom and Dad with a big kiss and a hug. Our wake up is: "Abbott, You're On!!"

- Is it easy to capsize your sailboat?  (Eliza D.) No Eliza, it is very, very difficult and we hope to not even try! Delphinus is a very well built and designed boat that has already sailed around the world. Below her she carries an enormous keel that keeps the boat upright in almost any sea condition. We are lucky to have such a magnificent craft!

- Did you see any whales?  If so, how many?  (Christian B.) We have seen some whales and looked them up in a book that is aboard Delphinus. They have been far enough away so we haven't really been able to make a positive identification. We have seen many dolphins as reported on the main web site.

- Hi Dad!  Have you worn those big yellow hats yet?  (Gordon A.) Hello Gordon, I miss you! We have worn those big yellow hats and they kept us dry. They are a bit big so we kind of look like Paddington Bears when we step on deck!! Do you or your classmates remember a book your parents used to read you about "...a man with the big yellow hat...?"

- Has there been a storm yet? (Spencer N.) No, Big Man, no real storms. We have had some squalls with 30-35 knot winds rain and big seas with 10-15 foot waves but no bone fide storms. We chose to cross the Atlantic in May because that is when the fewest storms occur.

- Have you been wearing sailor suits?  (Bissy R.) Well, Bissy, Dr. Frissora and I have had on our sailor shirts but other than that no costumes. (Gordon wouldn't let me borrow any of his!) We all do put our foul weather gear on in the day and at night on watch. This is a pair of waterproof pants and a jacket and a harness. The foul weather gear is red, yellow and blue and has a bright yellow/green fluorescent hood, should we fall overboard. We would be easier to find that way in the dark.  We also wear a harness when on-deck after the sun goes down or when the wind picks up.  A harness enables one to "clip-in" to a line (the "jackline") that runs from the bow to the stern of the ship.  With a harness one is able move around the boat at night or in heavy weather while always being attached to the boat.  If someone was to trip and fall, the harness would keep them on or attached to the ship. If anyone actually did go overboard because they forgot to clip in the harnesses or were knocked over when attempting to clip-in, the harnesses have a strobe-light (a very bright flashing light) that will allow the people on the boat to see the person at night. Maybe not what you were thinking but required gear for a transatlantic.

- What does Delphinus mean?  (Alex C.) Excellent question; Delphinus is the astrological sign of the dolphin in the Southern hemisphere. Our visits by dolphins have brought us good luck and smooth passage we hope!

So there you have it, our best attempts to  answer your terrific questions. If you have others we would welcome them. Thanks again Ms. Russell for facilitating these and helping with the explanations!