NORDHAVN ATLANTIC RALLY
The Nordhavn Atlantic Rally comes to a dramatic conclusion as the fleet arrives in Gibraltar after a rough passage through the Straits
After months of planning, organizing and nervous anticipation, the 18 trawlers that set sail from Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday, May 16th and Monday, May 17th arrived safely in Gibraltar on the morning of June 27th. The final 24-hours were some of the roughest of the entire 3,800-mile voyage, as easterly winds blew in excess of 35 knots against the strong current of the Straits of Gibraltar.
The nasty weather added to a stressful night of dodging commercial shipping traffic, as the captains and crewmembers struggled against violently pitching seas and the confusing scene of freighters coming and going.
Fortunately, the winds and seas finally calmed down as the fleet neared its final destination, and eventually all 18 trawlers were safely tied up at Marina Bay. A well-deserved champagne celebration was organized by the NAR organizing committee.
Congratulations to all participants and a huge thank you to the Nordhavn staff or making such an historic voyage possible.
A little background
The fleet’s first stop was right on schedule with an arrival in Bermuda on Saturday, May 22nd. Traveling together in two groups ( a “fast” and a “slow” fleet) these rugged passagemakers participated in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally – the first event of its kind for powerboats. The 3800-mile ocean voyage took the fleet to Bermuda and the Azores, where it spent a week preparing for its final leg to Gibraltar. After celebrating their crossing in Gibraltar, each boat will go its own way, exploring European waters. Some owners plan to spend more than a year in the Mediterranean and then return home on their own. Some are planning to team up and explore together.
Daily tracking positions of the ocean crossing was available by clicking on Underway/Tracking where the data supplied by SkyMate was displayed. Both fleets arrived on schedule in Bermuda early Saturday morning, May 22nd. After a week of festivities and preparation, the 18 passagemakers left Bermuda on June 2nd in blustery 30-knot winds, reminiscent of their very bumpy Ft. Lauderdale departure.
The 1800 mile passage from Bermuda to the Azores was not without incident, so you’ll want to read all the exciting commentary by clicking on www.nordhavn.com/rally/underway/commentary. Be sure to check out the heroics of young James Leishman and Justin Zumwalt. What fine representatives of P.A.E.’s “next generation” of talent.
After some very rough conditions during the last couple days of leg 2, the fleet arrived in the Azores on Thursday, June 10th and Friday, June 11th. The fleet’s smallest vessel, the Nordhavn 40 “Uno Mas” received a welcome applause from a crowd gathered along the docks. A job well done!
The week in the Azores was a combination of social activities, touring the island(s), and maintenance chores. None of the participating vessels experienced serious problems, although about half of the fleet experienced active stabilizer problems of one kind or another. Boats utilizing passive stabilizers, or the non-mechanical, non-electrical variety, reported the least number of problems.
The fleet will rendezvous at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on May 9 for a week of preparations, seminars and more.
To make the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally as safe and enjoyable as possible, P.A.E. plans to provide a high-level of support not only at the stopovers, but also during every mile of the trip. Though details of this support are being finalized, P.A.E. plans to staff a number of specially selected Nordhavns that will serve as escort vessels to lead and follow the groups and will provide assistance to the fleet that may include:
- Mechanical and technical support with mechanics on lead and chase vessels
for en-route repair;
- Emergency fuel reserves with boat-to-boat transfer capabilities;
- Limited towing capability;
- Diver for underwater repairs;
- Daily roll calls;
- 24-hour monitoring of designated VHF and SSB frequencies;
- Daily weather briefings;
- Physician for medical emergencies;
- Shoreside staff in Hamilton, Bermuda, Horta, Azores, and Gibraltar to assist
owners with government formalities, provisioning, fuel and shoreside group activities;
- Special group rates for transatlantic return aboard Specialty Yacht Carriers.
Rally participants will also benefit from having other vessels in close proximity. The fleet will travel in two groups dictated by the vessel’s speed capability and the owner’s preference. Larger vessels may elect to travel up to 9 knots while the smaller vessels will run slower, particularly on the mid-Atlantic passage. The two groups will stay together with their respective escort vessels. During the day, vessels may run close together, sometimes closing to within 100 yards. During the night, in reduced visibility, or during periods of rough weather, greater clearance will be maintained. In no case should the fleet open up to more than 7 or 8 miles from the lead to trailing vessels, ensuring complete VHF radio coverage. The two groups may separate to two or three days running time, but will maintain SSB communication at least twice a day.
Transoceanic passage-making is serious business and safety is paramount. P.A.E. will do all that we can to ensure a pleasant voyage, but it is up to each captain to be responsible for the safety and conduct of his vessel and crew.
PORTS OF CALL
Introduction To Bermuda
For many yachtsmen, Bermuda represents the first step in true voyaging. Situated roughly 600 miles off the Carolinas, it’s an island with a true mystique for passagemakers.For the landsman, Bermuda conjures up images of pastel cottages, pink-sand beaches and British traditions like cricket matches and afternoon tea spring, not to mention businessmen going about their business in jackets, ties, Bermuda shorts and high socks.
Most visitors to Bermuda come from North America for short stays, and many consider the island to be quaintly British; the Brits, on the other hand, come in much smaller numbers but tend to consider the island highly Americanized. Of course, Bermuda has a leg in each country, but it is uniquely Bermudian – a product of nearly four centuries of British colonial history and an equally long reliance on American trade.
Full country name:
21 sq miles
Hamilton (pop 15,000)
61% African descent, 38% Caucasian descent,
a small minority of American Indian descent
Christian (28% Anglican, 15% Roman Catholic)
Self-governing British dependency
Head of State:
Queen Elizabeth II; represented by Governor Sir John Vereker
GDP per head:
Tourism, finance, insurance, structural concrete products,
paints, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, ship repairing
Major trading partners:
USA, Canada & UK
Late May and early June are especially busy for dockage in Bermuda, and transient dockage in Bermuda is difficult at best.
Dockage for the rally will be at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in downtown Hamilton. The rally fee covers dockage, electricity and water at RBYC for the duration of the visit to Bermuda.
The club’s docks are in the center of Hamilton. The seawall extends almost 1,000 feet forming a rectangle and enclosing 110 floating docks for members’ boats. Facilities for transient yachts on the outside of the seawall allow 30 – 100 amp, 120 – 240 volt, 60 Hz., single and three-phase electrical service at every slip and water at every slip.
RBYC members’ boats take all the space inside the seawall, and rally yachts will be accommodated outside the protected basin. Most rally yachts will be Med-moored on the outside of the breakwater, not a perfect situation due to the sometimes blustery winds and usual light chop in the harbor. This is not an ideal docking situation.. During Milt and Judy’s advance visit in mid-May 2004, winds were often 15 to 20 knots, sometimes gusting to 30 knots, and some of the dockage is beam to the wind. However, the bottom line is that there is no terrific dockage for transient yachts in Bermuda at any price, especially in the springtime when transatlantic yachts in Bermuda are everywhere.
Med-mooring at RBYC involves passing a bow line through an eye on a mooring buoy, then backing down to the breakwater, keeping a stain on the bow line to hold the bow up. RYBC promises to have small boats in the water to help rally yachts get bow lines through the mooring buoys.
Rally officials have a dock plan showing the transient slip area, complete with measurements and available power at each slip/power pedastal. About 20 – 22 rally yachts can be accommodated on the outside of the breakwater.
Use of passerelles will be required. RBYC has many long planks which can be used, but Rallly captains are advised to be prepared with workable passarelles.
Water is at every slip, and standard U.S. hose fittings are used.
Pier Master Allison Macintyre (441-295-2214 or cell 441-799-5290 – VHF channel 16) is the contact.
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
Host club for the Rally in Bermuda is the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club right in downtown Hamilton, just a few minutes’ walk from the shops and restaurants of Hamilton.
Rally captains and crew are invited to use the RBYC’s facilities, including the patio restaurant and the bar. Rally participants may use credit cards at the club or may charge on their temporary membership cards. All bills charged on membership cards should be settled prior to departure. Two Rally social events will also be held at the club.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a private Club and is the third oldest club holding a Royal Warrant outside the British Isles. The club was established on the 1st November, 1844. There are now approximately 850 resident and non-resident members.
Early in 1845, the Prince HRH Prince Albert, the first Duke of Edinburgh, graciously consented to become Patron of the Club. His Royal Highness, Prince Albert gave permission for the Bermuda Yacht Club to style themselves the “ROYAL BERMUDA YACHT CLUB”.
After almost 60 years occupation of No.52 Front Street, the RBYC in 1933 acquired a fine water site at Albuoy’s Point, Hamilton, built a large Club House on their new property and moved into their new quarters on the 16th December, 1933.
The RBYC’s major event is the biannual Newport Bermuda Race, which the club co-hosts with the Cruising Club of America. The conclusion of this race sees RYBC lined with dozens of sailing yachts. During this event, the club hosts social events for thousands of sailors. The 2004 Newport Bermuda Race will conclude in Bermuda about three weeks after the rally yachts depart for the Azores.
Commodore of the RBYC at the time of our visit will be Jane Correia, and Vice Commodore will be Andrew Cox. The club’s general manager is Vernon Pemberton, and the club’s secretary is Hilary Roberts.
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, an easy 10-minute walk or 5-minute dinghy ride from RBYC, offers special rates for groups. If the Rally can guarantee a certain number of people, Simon Boden at the Princess will reportedly offer very attractive rate reductions.
The Princess is one of Bermuda’s oldest hotels. Reservations 1-800-441-1414, www.fairmont.com/hamilton, email@example.com. Rack rate for a double: $379 to $539/night.
A bit downscale, Rosemont Apartments, 1/4 mile up a hill beyond the Princess but without the harbor view, offers neat, clean, air conditioned basic rooms with kitchens at $170 to $200/night plus service charge ($8.00) and tax.
The Bermuda dollar is on par with U.S. dollar. U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere, though change may be given in Bermudian currency. Credit cards are widely accepted, American Express and Diners Club less than Visa and Master Card. ATMs are widely available.
One recommendation: towards the end of your stay, ask for your change in U.S. currency. Bermuda dollars are accepted at few places away from Bermuda.
Under Bermuda law, no self-drive automobile rentals are permitted for visitors. Taxis readily available but expensive, and the public transportation system–frequent busses and ferries–provides convenient and reasonable transportation. In May 2003, a one-day pass, good for unlimited rides on busses and ferries, was $11.00.
Rental motor scooters for one and two people available. Mike Smatt of the Smatt’s Cycle Livery Ltd., 74 Pitts Bay Road, Hamilton, 441-295-1180 (firstname.lastname@example.org) offers a Rally participants 20% discount on rental of motor scooters. Smatt’s Cycle Livery is a five minute walk from RBYC.
Remember that Bermudians drive on the left side of the road, which makes driving motor scooters somewhat hazardous for Americans.
Provisioning in Bermuda will not be a problem, but paying for it might. You’ll find a terrific selection, many familiar brands, and prices that are typically 50% to 100% higher than in Fort Lauderdale, though some U.K. items such as Irish butter are actually less than in the U.S..
A five-minute walk (and five-minute dinghy ride) away from RBYC is Miles Market, The Waterfront, Pitts Bay Road at Waterloo Lane, Hamilton, 441-295-1234. This is a pricey but extremely popular specialty market with everything you need from avacados to zuccini, including fresh King salmon, Haagen-Daaz, and a coffee bar–the closest thing to Starbucks we found on the island. To quote their advertising: “Miles-aged beef, including special ‘dry-aged’ beef, free range chicken, turkey and lamb, hand-selected fresh fish, ‘fresh local catch’ and more.” They also have a fine selection of imported cheeses, smoked salmon. Miles offers a good selection of fresh produce, wines from around the world (few under $20.00), beer and liquor, a complete selection of fresh bread and other baked goods from their own bakery, Cuban cigars, and a delicious selection of take-out prepared foods. For substantial orders, Miles will deliver to the boat. Just give the yacht’s Rally number (visible from the pier) to Miles Market, and they will deliver right to the slip.
A 15-minute walk from RBYC is The Marketplace, on the north side of Church Street between Burnaby and Parliament Street. This is a more conventional supermarket, the largest supermarket on the island, and prices are perhaps 20 to 25 percent less than Miles Market. This well-stocked supermarket is almost identical to the U.S. variety, featuring a massive fresh produce department, fresh fish, meats, cheeses, milk and other dairy products, a bakery, and a good selection of ice cream. It also has a very large selection of prepared foods. Beer, wine and liquor. The wine selection is much larger than Miles and many of the wines are less than $20.
We suggest that Rally chefs and serious foodies check out both markets!
Rally participants are invited to use RBYC’s restaurant and bar facilities and may use either credit cards or temporary member cards, with temporary accounts to be settled prior to departure.
In addition, Bermuda offers over 150 restaurants, ranging from plain to very fancy and expensive. From chic international cuisine at posh dining rooms to conch stew at a roadside cafe, there’s a taste to please every palate and budget. You’ll find Italian, Indian, Greek, Chinese, English, French, and Mexican restaurants throughout the Island. Wahoo steak, mussel pie, Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas and rice), cassava pie, codfish and potatoes for Sunday brunch, and guinea-chick (spiny lobster) are just a few of the Bermudian delights available.
RBYC Rear Commodore Andrew Cox especially recommends Coconuts on the Beach at the Reefs Hotel on the South Shore as a great romantic Bermuda dining experience; four-course dinner about $88; reservations required–www.thereefs.com, South Shore, Southampton–about a $20.00 cab ride from RBYC. Coconuts: 441-238-0222. The Reefs is generally acknowledged as the island’s finest resort and has won many awards.
Check out restaurants at the Bermuda tourism website: www.bermudatourism.com.
The RBYC offers a coin laundry–two machines which take U.S. and Bermudian quarters.
Quickie Lickie Laundry, 74 Serpentine Rd., Hamilton, 441-295-6097, offers free pickup and delivery and wash, dry and fold service, but pricing is reported to be high by U.S. standards. RBYC General Manager Vernon Pemberton can arrange a pickup point at RBYC for Rally yachts upon request.
Communications and Internet
It’s easy to stay in touch while you’re in Bermuda. Bermuda’s area code is 441, and calling to or from Bermuda is just like making a call to another state in the U.S. To call Bermuda from the U.S. press 1-441 and the seven-digit Bermuda number. Likewise, calling the U.S. requires pressing 1 plus the area code and seven-digit U.S. number.
If you have AT&T cellular service, you can make arrangements with AT&T to have your service activated in Bermuda–see AT&T below. Cell phones are available for rent in Bermuda, and Internet access points are available in many locations in downtown Hamilton and at the Dockyard. Internet service on the island is typically 56K or slower, though some companies claim to have DSL and T1 lines.
Cable & Wireless, 20 Church St., Hamilton, open 9 am – 5 pm M-S, offers international calls, telex and fax, but no Internet.
RBYC sells phone cards which offer long distance service for about $0.30/minute and can be used from any phone in Bermuda.
AT&T Bermuda cellular service: call AT&T Customer Service from the U.S., have the Bermuda plan activated for $2.99 per month, and your cellular service will be extended to Bermuda for $1.49 per minute, not including long distance. Verizon has no service in Bermuda. Cellular One does have service in Bermuda which can be activated through Cellular One customer service in the U.S. No other U.S. cellular companies found in Bermuda.
Bermuda Cell Rental, 441-232-2355, rents cell phones for both short-term and long-term rentals–additional information including prices available at www.bermudacellrental.com. Or contact Cellular One in Bermuda at 441-296-4010.
Internet service is available at many locations around Hamilton. Generally, Internet connections in Bermuda are not fast, averaging about the same speed as a dialup connection in the U.S. Some locations claim to have ISDN, DSL or T-1 service, and such locations may be a little faster than dialup.
Internet Lane, upstairs at The Walkway, 55 Front Street, Hamilton, tel. 441-296-9972, is a 10-minute walk from RBYC and offers “fast Internet service” on their computers or yours at rates of 50 minutes for $10, 100 minutes for $19.50 using a magnetic card which allows you to split your time over several visits.
Twice Told Tales, 34 Parliament Street across from the Magistrate Court, 441-296-1995 is a dusty second-hand bookstore and cyber cafe near the RBYC offering inexpensive Internet service–15 minutes for $3, 30 minutes for $5.00.
You can make an appointment for 30 minutes per person per day of free Internet service at Bermuda Library just beyond the Perot Post Office (open 7 days a week) at the intersection of Queen & Reid Streets, a 10-minute walk from the RBYC.
At the Dockyard, Swiss Connection (441-234-6480) offers DSL Internet connection for $5.00/30 minutes–nice modern equipment and large bright screens. These were the fastest Internet connections Milt and Judy found in May 2003.
Consular Information Sheet U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Washington, DC 20520 This information is current as of Aug 7, 2003
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Bermuda is a highly developed British overseas territory with a stable democracy and modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens entering Bermuda must present a U.S. passport or a certified U.S. birth certificate, and photo identification. The Consulate strongly recommends that visitors travel with a valid passport at all times. A U.S. driver’s license or a voter registration card is not sufficient for entry into Bermuda. For additional information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the British Embassy at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 462-1340, or the British consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco; Internet: http://www.britain-info.org or the Bermuda Department of Immigration.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
CRIME: Bermuda has a low to moderate crime rate. Incidents of serious violent crime are infrequent, but petty thefts and assaults do occur. Valuables left in hotel rooms (occupied and unoccupied) or left unattended on beaches are vulnerable to theft. Criminals often target transportation systems and popular tourist attractions. Examples of common crimes include pickpocketing, theft of unattended baggage and items from rental motorbikes, and purse snatchings (often perpetrated against pedestrians by thieves riding motorbikes).
Travelers should exercise caution when walking after dark or visiting out-of-the-way places on the island, as they can be vulnerable to crime, and because narrow and dark roadways can contribute to accidents. There have been incidents of sexual assault and acquaintance rape, and the use of “date rape” drugs such as Rohypnol has been reported in the media and confirmed by local authorities.
There has been an increase in criminal activity at St. George’s, a popular cruise ship destination and World Heritage Site. Incidents of verbal, and sometimes physical, assault against both locals and tourists have been reported. Petty drug use is frequent and open. Gang activity, including assaults and arson, has been reported in the area as well. There have been several assaults and thefts in the area of Pitts Bay Road from the Hamilton Princess Hotel into the town of Hamilton, and the back roads of Hamilton are often the setting for assaults, particularly after the bars close.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State’s pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This publication and others, such as Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean, are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Good medical care is available. The hospital performs general surgery and has intensive care units. Serious or complex medical problems will likely require medical evacuation to the United States.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299); or via the CDC’s Internet site.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Bermuda is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Driving in Bermuda is on the left side of the road. The maximum speed limit in Hamilton is 25 kph (15 mph); 35 kph (21 mph) on the rest of the island. Under Bermudian law, non-residents are not allowed to own, rent, or drive four-wheeled vehicles. Non-residents must rely on taxis, the excellent local bus system, or motor scooters. Traffic is moderate, and Bermudians generally follow the rules of the road. Licensing and registration are strictly enforced, as are driving and parking regulations. Because Bermuda does not allow the importation of used vehicles, most vehicles are in good condition.
Those unused to driving on the left are likely to find the roundabouts and regulations for yielding at junctions confusing and dangerous. In addition, vehicles often stop on the side of the road, blocking one lane of traffic. Main roads, while generally in good condition, are extremely narrow and tend to be bordered by heavy vegetation or low stone walls.
Pedestrian crosswalks marked by white lines are found on all roads. Vehicles must, and do, stop when a pedestrian is seen approaching a crosswalk. Horns are seldom used aggressively or as a warning. Instead, horn honking is used as a general form of greeting in Bermuda. As almost everyone knows everybody else, horns are heard honking at all times, which may be confusing to those visiting the island.
Rental motor scooters are readily available, and the required helmet is provided. While renting a scooter for daytime activities in good weather should be reasonably safe, visitors should carefully consider whether or not it is worth the risk to ride a scooter during rainy weather or at night. Motor scooters provide the greatest road peril in Bermuda; local operators tend to abuse the speed limit more than other drivers, and they will often pass on the left or right with no warning. Travelers who rent scooters should be aware that scooter accidents involving visitors are relatively common, and they can sometimes be fatal or involve serious injuries.
Taxis are readily available. The local bus system, which is excellent and relatively inexpensive, services the length of the island and stops close to most beaches, hotels, the downtown shopping area, and other points of interest. In addition, water ferry service to a variety of stops around the island is available seven days a week, and it is a very safe and enjoyable mode of transportation.
For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs home page. For specific information concerning Bermuda driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Bermuda Department of Tourism offices at 310 Madison Avenue, Suite 201, New York, N.Y., telephone (212) 818-9800.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Bermuda’s Civil Aviation Authority as category 1 — in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Bermuda’s air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at telephone 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet web site.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: U.S. citizens who are taking prescription medication must inform Bermuda customs officials at the point of entry. Medicines must be in labeled containers. Travelers should carry a copy of the written prescription and a letter from the physician or pharmacist confirming the reason the medicine is prescribed.
Bermuda customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Bermuda of items such as animals, arms, ammunition and explosives, building sand, crushed rock, gravel, peat and synthetic potting media, foodstuffs (animal origin), fumigating substances, gaming machines, historic articles (relating to Bermuda), lottery advertisements and material, motorcycles, motor vehicles, obscene publications, organotin anti-fouling paint, plants, plant material, fruits and vegetables (living or dead, including seeds), pesticides, prescription drugs, prohibited publications, seditious publications, soil, VHF radios, radar and citizens band (CB) radios. For additional information on temporary admission, export and customs regulations and tariffs, please contact Bermuda Customs at telephone 1-441-295-4816, or email email@example.com, or visit the Bermuda Customs web site.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Bermuda’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Bermuda are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. If arrested for possession of even a small quantity of an illegal drug, offenders will be bound over for trial and not allowed to leave the island until sentencing is complete.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: ATM machines are fairly widely available in Bermuda. No local banks accept checks drawn on a U.S. account, but some Front Street stores catering to the tourist trade do accept U.S. checks as payment. The local American Express office will cash U.S. checks up to $500.00 for a three-percent fee. Credit cards are widely accepted at all establishments.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Bermuda is a hurricane-prone country. The worst of these storms generally skirt the island, however, and little or no property damage is incurred. Cruise ships regularly alter their schedules and courses to and from the United States due to hurricanes in the Atlantic. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children’s_issues.html or telephone 1-888-407-4747. Bermuda is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Central Authority for international child custody issues in Bermuda is the Attorney General’s Chambers, telephone 1-441-292-2463.
REGISTRATION/CONSULATE LOCATION: U.S. citizens may register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General located at Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DV03, telephone 1-441-295-1342, where they may also obtain updated information on travel and security in Bermuda. Office hours for American Citizens Services are 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday, except Bermudian and U.S. holidays. American citizens in need of after-hours emergency assistance may call the duty officer at telephone 1-441-235-3828. * * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated April 30, 2001 to update sections on Entry Requirements, Crime, Medical Facilities, Medical Insurance, Other Health Information, Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, Customs Regulations, Criminal Penalties and Children’s Issues.
P.A.E. worked with renowned circumnavigating yachtsman and TV/film director, Bruce Kessler who accompanied the fleet and created a documentary film of the voyage. Bruce, together with TV producer Jo Swerling Jr., hopes to generate network interest in the voyage. Bruce focused on the individual experiences of the participants and how they perceive this great adventure as it unfolded.
Watch the NAR documentary “Living The Dream” here or fill out the form below to receive your free copy.
- World Cruising Routes, Jimmy Cornell, (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 1995)
- World Cruising Handbook, Jimmy Cornell, (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 2001)
- The American Practical Navigator, Nathaniel Bowditch, (Paradise Cay Publications, 2002)
- Advanced First Aid Afloat, Peter Eastman, MD, & John M. Levinson, MD (Cornell Maritime Press, 2000)
- Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat’s Essential Systems, Nigel Calder & Charlie Wing, (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 1995)
- Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling, Elbert S. Maloney, (Hearst Books, 1993)
- Seaworthiness: The Forgotten Factor, Czeslaw A. Marchaj, (Tiller Publishing, 1996)
- Voyaging Under Power, Robert Beebe, revised by James F. Leishman, (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 1994)
- Ocean Passages for the World, (Hydrographer of the Navy)
- The Atlantic Crossing Guide, 4th Edition, Anne Hammick & Gavin McLaren, eds., (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 1998)
Participants Who Plan to Cruise in the Mediterranean
- Mediterranean Cruising Handbook: Chart (Mediterranean Pilots and Charts, Rod Heikell, (Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson, 1998)
- Imray Mediterranean Almanac 2003-2004, Rod Heikell, editor, (Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson, 2003)
More Mediterranean cruising guides are available at:
|1||Envoy||36° 9.811″ N||5° 22.174″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||10:09 AM GMT|
|2||Sea Fox||36° 8.069″ N||5° 21.378″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||10:07 AM GMT|
|3||Atlantic Escort||36° 8.773″ N||5° 21.354″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||9:02 AM GMT|
|4||Grey Pearl||36° 7.589″ N||5° 20.251″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||8:36 AM GMT|
|5||Four Across||36° 8.969″ N||5° 21.352″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||7:51 AM GMT|
|6||Uno Mas||36° 8.930″ N||5° 21.266″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||6:24 AM GMT|
|7||Stargazer||36° 8.950″ N||5° 21.304″ W||Sunday June 27 2004||1:23 AM GMT|
|8||Satchmo||36° 9.624″ N||5° 21.006″ W||Saturday June 26 2004||10:07 PM GMT|
|9||Strickly For Fun||36° 8.486″ N||5° 22.540″ W||Saturday June 26 2004||12:08 PM GMT|
|10||Egret||36° 39.808″ N||13° 40.031″ W||Wednesday June 23 2004||8:54 PM GMT|
|11||Sans Souci||37° 44.399″ N||25° 39.527″ W||Monday June 21 2004||7:52 AM GMT|
|12||Que Linda||37° 44.901″ N||25° 39.399″ W||Saturday June 19 2004||8:52 AM GMT|
|13||Sun Dog||38° 32.954″ N||28° 38.860″ W||Thursday June 17 2004||3:00 PM GMT|
|14||Odd at Sea||38° 31.842″ N||28° 37.527″ W||Wednesday June 16 2004||1:12 AM GMT|
|15||Goleen||37° 45.361″ N||33° 16.783″ W||Wednesday June 9 2004||2:26 PM GMT|
|16||Crosser||35° 9.576″ N||48° 38.234″ W||Saturday June 5 2004||8:58 PM GMT|
|17||Emeritus||32° 47.374″ N||61° 45.093″ W||Wednesday June 2 2004||2:20 PM GMT|
|18||Autumn Wind||32° 21.876″ N||64° 11.638″ W||Sunday May 30 2004||5:37 PM GMT|
June 2, 2004 – Kirk White
NOTE: Nordhavn’s Commissioning Manager, Kirk White, has taken over as Division One leader on board the escort boat Sans Souci. Here is his first report.
“GET ON THE LEFT!!!” Justin screams as I steer my scooter down the right (normal side) side of the road and cars are headed at me. The drivers are slowing down and probably thinking something about tourists that will not be printed here. What shall I do…move further right? This is my first excursion away from the marina and what fun it was. Following Justin was just like being in the desert, up on the side walk, jumping off curbs, full throttle.
Some things that I learned about Bermuda during my short stay there: Do the terms Dark & Stormy or “swizzle” mean anything to any one? It is possible that this had something to do with Justin’s scooter riding abilities.
Speaking of scooters, tourists are not allowed to rent cars in Bermuda, so the only transportation available besides taxis is the scooter. The locals can only have one car per house hold, so they to drive scooters by the gross. Men and women in business suits and ties, golf clubs, you name it, they haul it on the scooter. What is of particular interest is the short skirts and high heels on scooters, hmmmm…
So much for that…Fast forward to the business at hand. All vessels in the first group got under nicely on Sunday. Winds favorable, seas favorable. Everyone happy. Yachts running good except for Sea Fox, a Krogen, which has Naiads,and had to pin a fin right out of the box. Don’t know how they’re getting along.
Today, Grey Pearl, a Nordhavn 62 lost an alternator belt this morning. But they are running on the wing to make the repairs.
Our first medical issue developed on Four Across, the Nordhavn 50. It seems someone on the vessel is possibly passing kidney stones. He is being monitored carefully by our resident doctor, Kevin Ware.
Meanwhile on board Sans Souci, Garrett has caught a very nice tuna that we shall consume with haste, with Wasabe and soy sauce. Phil, our chief, makes a mean tuna roll. All fishing lines are out this morning, no luck yet, the lines have been in the water 15 min.
We tried our best to be entertaining last night at our first roll call for Leg 2, but alas, I feel that Mr. Dan (Streech) took that show and has made it a very difficult act to follow. We shall not give up and will try harder – even if it requires rehearsals.
Please feel free to write in with your questions. If you want a personal reply, just indicate it and I’ll be happy to email you direct.
June 2, 2004 – Jenny McCauley-Stern
With today’s departure of the faster boats in Division One, the second leg of the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally officially commenced. In conditions that drastically contrasted from Saturday’s calm departure of the slower-paced Divison Two boats, the newly pared-down fast group battled 30-knot winds blowing out of the west that made for a hairy exit. Fighting a swift current and strong wind gusts across its beam in addition to having to navigate through a line of mooring balls, Crosser, the flagship of the NAR, lost a couple of fenders and left it’s mark on the RBYC docks before Nordhavn’s Garrett Severen maneuvered the appropriately named T/T Sans Souci (which means “no worries” in French) against the bow of the 90′ Monk-McQueen and pushed it into the clear. The mighty Crosser escaped with merely a few scratches and should be congratulated with essentially winning the tough crusade against the wicked weather. Bystanders commented that the winds were the most severe the area has seen in over a month.
After retrieving Crosser’s two lost fenders, Garrett steered the tender over to Grey Pearl. Set up on the dock in front of Crosser, the Nordhavn 62 fared a much easier departure thanks to the full power Captain Braun Jones received from his thrusters which draw off the wing engine. With the thrusters at full strength, Braun was able to quickly get off the dock without much fanfare, save for the fact that Leg One crewmember, Mark Wildman who was helping to handle lines, and who was scheduled to fly out of Bermuda later that night, wasn’t able to jump off the boat. Fiancé Mary looked in disbelief from the docks as Mark waved and shrugged his shoulders. “He’s been talking about going to Horta all week!” Mary lamented, and then added, “But if he thinks I’m lugging his suitcases to Baltimore by myself, he’s nuts!” No worries. Garrett met Mark and delivered him safely back to the pier.
About 15 minutes later, Sans Souci, the Division One escort boat, left the dock and led the new group of 6 boats on a rhumb line to the Azores. Despite the strong winds, conditions looked favorable as the gusts coming out of the west would soon be behind the boats headed on their easterly course.
It was hard to believe that just two days earlier, the Division Two boats enjoyed a light easterly breeze and no troubles at all getting underway. “It’s as if the weather gods are looking down on us!” noted Rally coordinator Milt Baker. The newly expanded group included Sea Fox, the 58-foot Krogen, which decided that it was better suited to the slower pace of the smaller boats. Unfortunately, just as it had on Leg One, Sea Fox suffered the loss of a stabilizer, making the 10 days that remain slightly daunting and almost definitely uncomfortable. Poor Julie Fox, who upon hearing the weather forecast out of Fort Lauderdale opted to fly to Bermuda thinking she’d rejoin the boat on the second leg, which, although 4 days longer, was supposed to yield much smoother conditions. The forecast from weather advisor Walt Hack indicates only 5-7 foot seas for the next 5 days, but it’s not much consolation for a boat with a broken wing.
May 26, 2004 – NAR Report
Day 5 in Bermuda: the fog is rolling in and it’s been raining intermittently. We haven’t seen steady sun in 2 days, but the mood continues to shine bright amongst the Rally participants. What a wonderful place Bermuda has been. Beautiful beaches, loads of culture and hospitable residents who instantly befriend you – eager to give so much local knowledge that by the time the week here is done, we’ll hardly feel like visitors still trying to master driving scooters on the wrong side of the road.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club has been such a gracious host – that they don’t appear to mind that our getting ever-closer knit group has seemingly taken over the joint. With our laid back style and raucous laughter, the Rally participants share lunches at the terrace with RBYC members: two completely conflicting styles, but all with one similar appreciation for the love of our boats and being on the water. More accustomed to seeing sailboats and coastal cruising motorboats, our fleet of long-range trawlers intrigues them. But we all are just as happy to share information on our Nordhavns as they are to share their island with us.
The first few days in Bermuda have been time for play. After the moderately uncomfortable passage from Ft. Lauderdale, everyone was eager to blow off steam and partake in a “Dark and Stormy”, the Bermudian beverage of choice. The hours have been passed away with lots of organized dives, scooter tours of the island, shopping trips galore and dinghy rides. Monday, May 24 was Bermuda Day, a national holiday here which was marked by a road race and festive parade. Rally participants lined the road enjoying the Carnivale-like procession with lots of bright-colored costumes, island music and dancing everywhere. Island-style had officially taken over our group.
Late Monday afternoon, the sun ducked in and the winds came a-blowing as a small front parked itself over our island, trying to ruin our good mood. On Tuesday night, 20 knot winds gave a scare to one of the boats that appeared to be dragging anchor. Not used to the med-mooring style of docking, it left many with their guard up for the night, but no more drama ensued.
Now at the mid-way point of our stay, work begins on the boats. A Naiad tech was flown in to work on some stabilizer components that failed while underway on Leg 1. Boxes of parts shipped from the States have arrived via fed ex and the PAE commissioning team has spent the day tackling issues from non-functioning autopilots to a stubborn fuel leak. Brad Smith, division two leader, reports that there’s been no major problems, and the guys have a handle on all the worklists. Certainly by tonight’s Harbour Night out on Front Street, island-style fun will be in full swing once again.
May 23, 2004 – Dan Streech
From Dan aboard “San Souci” – May 23th.
With the theme song from the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail” (Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty momma) playing in the background, I say:
Good morning from Bermuda! We made it!! The fleet arrived yesterday (Saturday) morning exactly on schedule with pride and satisfaction bursting from everyone on board.
Our last night at sea (Friday night) was filled with excitement as the two fleets finally came together. We first saw group 2 on the radar, then one by one, their stern lights began to appear. It was a wonderfully satisfying moment which validated the endless hours of planning that have gone into this event. For the first time, radio roll call was a combined event in which all 18 boats (including Emeritus) reported their position in order of their size. Throughout the night, the radio was busy with questions and answers about the various issues of arrival.
Around midnight, we began to see the lights of Bermuda. At first, it was just an indistinct sky glow, but then individual lights began to show themselves. Several of us marveled at the oddness of this little rock of land sitting out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Our well-crafted arrival plan turned to benign anarchy when we arrived at the entrance to the “Narrows” passage thru the reef. We were to all enter together to give dramatic effect for the people waiting at the yacht club. However, the faster boats ended up about 45 minutes ahead of the slower boats and just proceeded on to the club. In the end all was fine because the staggered arrival actually helped the docking process run more smoothly. I was very proud of the participants as they deftly maneuvered their vessels into their “Med-moor” positions. Anchors were dropped and the powerful ABT bow and stern side thrusters were barking out their presence as each boat was maneuvered into position. Joan and Bruce Kessler were on the docks filming and Milt and Judy Baker with radios in hand were directing the various activities.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht club is PERFECT. It is exactly what one would expect. The building is old and the floors creak, and it reeks with history and British decorum. One expects HRM the Queen Herself to appear at any moment. In fact, she has visited the club twice (in 1953 and in 1994) as evidenced by the photos on the wall. The striking dissimilarity between the pretty smiling young Queen of 1953 and the dour stooped Queen of 1994 is amazing and reminds us that “time waits for no Queen” The walls are covered with old photos of schooners, steam yachts and various yachting characters going back over 100 years. The lobby and trophy room (where the temporary PAE NAR office has been reestablished) open on to the outdoor bar and eating area. As one comes and goes from the slips, they must pass by the bar areaā?¦ thus this “watering hole” has quickly become the social center for the participants. In a strange juxtaposition, the bar area is also an internet “hot spot”, so the 100 year old edifice steeped in tradition has been invaded by laptops. While in Bermuda, I will be doing my internet business from the yacht club to give some relief to the expensive system aboard Sans Souci.
I can only describe Bermuda in superlatives. I LOVE this place. The air is balmy, the weather is perfect and the mood is friendly and relaxed. The rocky shoreline of the lovely bay that we are located in reminds me of Maine. The pastel colors of the building and houses remind me of a Mediterranean scene, the beautiful lush greenery and flowers reminds me of Singapore. With the knee high socks and the “British” decorum and accents, one at first thinks that this place is stuffy. There is however an almost imperceptible wink that says “hey relax, we don’t really mean it..” A local guy came into the club last night wearing a blue blazer with tie, short pants, knee high socks and shiny black shoes. I said to myself – I LOVE this place.
Within a few hours of arrival, we headed up to Smatt’s to rent scooters. PAE now has 10 scooters under contract for cruising around the island (no car rentals allowed- only locals are allowed to drive). As our valiant young PAE men roared off (on the left side of the road), Jim turned to me and said that open ocean passage making was child’s play compared to the dangers that we are facing here in port.
Ken and Roberta have taken a hotel room for a few days to get some privacy and Christian has taken a hotel room. Christian’s very lovely and charming wife Andrea arrived yesterday afternoon and the 3 of us had dinner last night at a quaint Italian restaurant. We hadn’t had pasta during the entire passage and Christian said that he was craving it. When we arrived, the best outside tables were all taken. Christian began rattling in fluent Italian and a table magically became available. During the passage, Christian has had non-stop questions about the technical aspects of a passage maker. The dinner conversation was about steering and the interplay between the stabilizers, the rudder and the bulbous bow. He would not quit until he understood it. One can imagine that there have been many similar episodes after practice or qualifying in which the sensitive interplay between down force, gear rations and tire pressures were discussed to the nth degree.
While wondering the docks, I ran into Bob Rothman of Emeritus and asked him about his wayward course. He finally admitted that he is a loner and a “contrary” guy who isn’t comfortable traveling in a group. Thinking to myself, then why did you join a group?, I told him that there wouldn’t be much opportunity for him to deviate from the plan for the next leg since it is a straight line from Bermuda to the Azores. With a twinkle in his eye, Bob said “ahhh but you are wrongā?¦ there is the rhumb line route and the great circle route” With that Bob and Janis his lovely wife of a lifetime walked away towards the yacht club.
I could not be happier with the rally situation at this point. Leg 1 went perfectly and frankly turned out even better than I had thought. In all of our planning of the details, we had not anticipated the simple FUN and JOY that would come from this rally. I have not done well in naming the individual boats and their owners and crews, but they all have a story to tell and I am proud of each and every one of them. Without exception, the boats (Nordhavn and non Nordhavn alike) have been well prepared and have been well operated. The competence and confidence of the participants is high and will only grow as the rally proceeds.
This will be my last report, as I must head home soon. Business and personal pressures are calling me and I must heed. Kirk White of PAE will take my position as group 1 leader for the final two legs. I wish the rally group well and know that they will complete this undertaking with great success. This first leg to Bermuda has shown me that the NAR management and the participants themselves are first class and will cope with whatever befalls them.
I will stay here in Bermuda for a few more days, but won’t post any more reports. All they would say anyway is: I LOVE this place and we are having fun.
May 26, 2004 – Milt Baker, NAR Organizing Committee – May 23rd.
Leg one of the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally 2004, the first-ever Atlantic crossing by a large convoy of motor yachts, is history.
All 18 rally yachts and their nearly 100 crewmembers arrived safely in Hamilton, Bermuda, at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Saturday, May 22, and the rally fleet’s first experience with “Med mooring” was smooth as silk–thanks in large measure to good preparation by rally skippers and crews and to light winds and very flat conditions.
For most of the yachts, the trip was about 990 nautical miles.
Division 1, the slow division, departed Fort Lauderdale Sunday afternoon, May 16, in 15-20 knot easterly winds, gusting to 25, and 5-6 foot seas. The 11 Division 1 yachts were led by Nordhavn’s company yacht, the Nordhavn 57 Atlantic Escort, skippered by Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) vice president Jim Leishman.
The start was documented on video under the direction of Bruce Kessler, who is making a video production on the rally. At times, three helicopters were in the air off Fort Lauderdale with video and still cameras rolling. After the start, the yachts settled down on the slow slog to Bermuda.
To provide a more comfortable ride, rally weather forecaster Walter Hack of Ocean Marine Navigation Inc. called for the fleet to follow the Gulf Stream for 180 miles north before turning for Bermuda. That added about 70 nautical miles to the trip, but by all accounts it worked. By the time Division 1 boats turned for Bermuda, wind and seas were down.
“It was a little bumpy for the first day and a half,” one rally crewman reported, “but I think we’d all seen worse. And then it got dramatically better!” The yachts’ stabilizers helped a great deal.
The 11 division 1 yachts traveled within sight and VHF radio range of one another all the way to Bermuda. At night they maintained a minimum distance of one nautical mile from one another, and the closed in a bit during the daytime.
Division 1 escort vessel was the Nordhavn 62 Autumn Wind, captained by Bill Smith. Division leader Brad Smith, a PAE employee, was aboard Autumn Wind, and he quickly learned that his expertise was much in demand. Technical questions for Brad came rapidly, and division 1 skippers found him a terrific resource.
The seven Division 2 yachts, larger and faster, departed Fort Lauderdale 24 hours after the first yachts. Their forecast also called for heading 180 miles north in the Gulf Stream before turning. All but one of these yachts followed the recommendation and traveled together, but skipper Bob Rothman of the Nordhavn 57 Emeritus decided to take the most direct course to Bermuda and traveled outside the group. He slowed down on the approach to the island, arriving with the rest of the fleet.
Division 2 escort vessel was the Nordhavn 62 Sans Souci, owned by Ken and Roberta Williams and skippered by Capt. Rip Knot. Acting as division leader aboard Sans Souci was PAE president Dan Streech who did his best Robin Williams imitation on the daily roll calls, opening with a few seconds of rock music followed by a hearty “Goooooood morning Division One!”
Two days out of Bermuda, one crewmember called the weather “oily calm,” and another called it perfect trawler weather. The fleet launched small boats, took pictures of one another, swam in 15,000 feet of ocean water, and even delivered lattes to one yacht whose precious cappuccino machine had ceased to function.
PAE is sponsoring the rally is provide owners and crewmembers an opportunity to take part in a safe and enjoyable ocean-crossing event, experience the personal challenge of crossing the Atlantic aboard their own vessels, and enjoy the camaraderie of voyaging with friends and a degree of added safety by having other vessels nearby. Rally staff members travel ahead of the fleet, easing official clearance and making advance arrangements for dockage, duty free fuel and other luxuries and necessities in each port. A physician and two EMTs travel with the fleet, along with PAE technicians and other experts.
Problems aboard rally yachts were remarkably few. Three yachts experienced problems with active fin stabilizer systems, but two of the three ended the passage with stabilization from their systems. One yacht’s watermaker ceased to function, and at least one other watermaker was reported leaking. Thanks to satellite telephones and e-mails, parts for the systems were ordered and are expected to meet the boats during the Bermuda stop.
Fuel system problems are common aboard small yachts on offshore passages, especially when the weather is rough. However, the NAR fleet had virtually no fuel problems. A few of the yachts reported changing filters due to dirt in fuel taken on before departure and one broke a fuel fitting, but everything was handled onboard with no significant loss of time or speed.
The yachts reached Bermuda right on schedule, passing Five Fathom Hole at the entrance to the 17-mile channel into Hamilton at first light Saturday and arriving at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club a few hours later. All 18 yachts were Med moored at the yacht club well before noon, and the demand for lunch on RBYC’s scenic patio all but overwhelmed the club’s staff.
The Nordhavn Atlantic Rally yachts will be at RBYC for about a week. Division 1 yachts depart for the rally’s longest leg–1,800 nautical miles to Horta on the island of Faial in the Azores–on Sunday, May 30, and Division 2 yachts on Tuesday, June 2. All are scheduled to arrive in Horta on Friday, June 11.
After a little over a week in Horta, the yachts depart for the final leg, 1,125 nautical miles to Gibraltar.
The rally fleet consists of 18 yachts ranging from 40 to 90 feet, all but three of them Nordhavns. The yachts include:
Nordhavn 40 Uno Mas, John and Sue Spencer
Nordhavn 46 Satchmo, Bill and Ellen Bane
Nordhavn 46 Envoy, Wayne and Pat Davis
Nordhavn 46 Egret, Scott and Mary Flanders
Nordhavn 46 World Odd @ Sea, John and Dulcie Harris
Nordhavn 46 Star Gazer, Michael Perfit and Kevin Keith
Nordhavn 47 Strickly for Fun, Scott and Terri Strickland
Nordhavn 50 Sundog, Robert Greenbaum
Seaton 55 Que Linda, Hal and Linda Wyman
Nordhavn 50 Four Across, Doug Seaver and Charles Metcalf
Nordhavn 57 Goleen, Chris Samuelson and Sonaia Hermida
Nordhavn 57 Atlantic Escort, Jim Leishman
Nordhavn 57 Emeritus, Bob and Janis Rothman
Krogen 58 Sea Fox, Dennis and Julie Fox
Nordhavn 62 Grey Pearl, Braun and Tina Jones
Nordhavn 62 Autumn Wind, Bill and Arline Smith
Nordhavn 62 Sans Souci, Ken and Roberta Williams
Monk McQueen 90, David Stone
May 21, 2004 – Dan Streech
It was another magic night aboard Sans Souci. After chef Phil’s delicious dinner of Chicken cordon bleu, we conducted the evening roll call. These roll calls are becoming ever more fun as the jokes, pranks and outrageous fishing stories seem to grow. Goleen now claims to have caught Sea Fox’s 4 foot fish and (wouldn’t you know it) it got away again with a lure. Crosser was boarded by a giant squid which they fought and killed with dental floss. They are now enjoying calamari. While discussing the rather tricky routing in the final approach to the Bermuda Yacht Club, Grey Pearl wanted the Lat/Lon of the nearest bar. And much more.. Emeritus has finally come within radio range and will join tonight’s roll call.
My watch last night was 9:00 to midnight. The moonless sky was breathtaking with stars from horizon to horizon. The running lights of our faithful fleet blended with the stars as we floated along on the surreal “Lake Atlantic”.
I spent much of my watch standing at the Portuguese Bridge enjoying the balmy air and counting shooting stars. It was so beautiful, that several people who didn’t want to waste the experience by sleeping stayed up. We chatted about nothing and everything in a way that just doesn’t seem to happen in “real life”.
The pleasant melodic and reassuring purr of the dry exhaust was a backdrop to the above scene. Our faithful Lugger engine located two flights below us has of course run non-stop since we left Ft Lauderdale without a hiccup. These magnificent engines are designed to run 20,000 hours or more and are superb pieces of machinery. Our trip around the world on the Nordhavn 40 in 2001/2002 put 3,500 hours on the Lugger engine, so you can see that most of us will not live long enough to see our Luggers “wear out”.
I talked to Jim last night and this morning by SSB and he was euphoric about the wonderful day that they had in group 2. They launched their RIB and played, fished and moved from boat to boat conducting video interviews for the documentary. Group 2 was 24 miles ahead of us as of this morning, so we plan to catch them sometime this evening.
This morning has dawned with an imperceptible shift in mood and weather. As predicted by weather router Walt Hack, we now have light winds and seas from the west which means from astern. Following seas and winds are of course a “sailor’s delight”, but the glossy “oily” seas which so captivated us yesterday and now gone. The radio chat and activities on board have now turned to preparation for tomorrow morning’s arrival. Reality has intruded on the special bond that has formed among the 6 vessels of NAR group 1 over the last 4 days…
It may sound strange to some of you readers, but I almost wish that Bermuda were further away than the 147 miles now showing on the GPS…..
Love being at sea,
May 21, 2004 – Jim Leishman – Aboard Atlantic Escort
It’s 03:00 on Thursday the 20th and the wheelhouse is again mine alone. Another great day of passagemeking with the best weather yet. As Walt Hack predicted the sea has calmed and the winds have gone variable – a nice break from the 15 to 20 knot easterly that has roughed us up since leaving last Sunday. Today we launched our small Achilles inflatable that we have stowed above our cockpit – resting on the tie rods for our towing bit. This is the rig we’d deploy in rougher conditions when launching the large Caribe from the upper deck might be to dangerous. The launch went without a hitch. James and Justin motored over to Autumn Wind and picked up Georgs Kolesnikovs bringing him back to Atlantic Escort. Georgs was unable to get his email out and came aboard to use our Iriudium system. James made another trip over to Autumn Wind and picked up Eric and Mike – bringing them back to Atlantic Escort to visit for the afternoon.
The faster group is closing in on us. Speaking with Dan this evening on the SSB they were ony 75 miles behind and during the VHF roll call amongst our fleet we had to change frequencies as we were hearing the roll call of the larger boats behind. I imagine tomorrow we’ll be in clear VHF range and we should arrive in Bermuda exactly as planned – together at 08:00 Saturday morning. Dan reported a pleasant day too within his group. Lots of picture taking, fishing – even a water balloon fight between boats – everyone is joking and having great fun.
Four Across is having trouble with their water maker and we’ve agreed to transfer them water tomorrow. Our Village Marine unit is pumping out fresh water at almost 40 gallons per hour se we’ll fill their water tanks using a 400 foot hose we have aboard for such a purpose. The procedure will be to take Four Across under tow on a 300 foot tow line and then pass the hose to them. We expect the process to take a couple of hours and look forward to the opportunity to test our system in these calm conditions to prepare ourselves in the event fueling or watering a vessel might be necessary in the rougher conditions ahead.
Thats it for now,
May 20, 2004 – Dan Streech
We’ve had a mechanical failure in group 1!!. In a late breaking story: It was reported to the group leader that the espresso machine on Que Linda has failed! Disaster!!
Not wanting any of the members of Group 1 to suffer hardships of any kind, Phil, the esteemed chef on Sans Souci, made up an order of 3 lattes for delivery to their vessel. Our valiant young men, Garrett and St. John (prounounced Sinjin) launched San Souci’s small dinghy and made the delivery. With Christian at the wheel, Sans Souci made a close pass by Que Linda so that Ken could film the delivery and get shots of Hal and Linda in their hot tub on the upper deck.
When the guys came back in the dingy, they jumped in the water. This was too much for Christian and he also jumped in from the upper deck for a swim in 15,000 feet of water.
This ain’t roughin’ it,
Each day just gets better! It is Thursday morning as I begin to write this. We are cruising along on absolutely glassy seas and Jimmy Buffet is playing on the sound system.
Few things in this world can match the simple wonderful pleasure of a night watch in calm seas. My watch last night was from midnight to 3:00 AM. The bridge of Sans Souci was set for night running and the various screens, gauges, plotter, GPS units etc. emitted their soft red and green glows. The doors were open and the pleasant 75-degree breezes rustled the papers from time to time. Except for the occasional sound of water past the hull, it almost seemed as though Sans Souci were floating on a cloud. Best of all was the music. We have XM satellite radio on board and I had it tuned to channel 7 for 70’s music. Every song was perfect for the moment and brought back many memories.
After roll call this morning, the boats came closer together for a photo shoot. About that time Crosser reported whales on their port side. We saw them and turned over to get a closer look. It was a pod of 4 sperm whales and we were able to get right along side of them for quite a long look. I have never seen a sperm whale (that would be Moby Dick) and the site of them diving into the crystal clear water is a memory that I will have forever.
The folks on Sea Fox are having quite a time. They claim to have caught the same fish 3 times. They first reported it last night and claimed it to be 4 feet long and that it got away. They said that they landed it and it slipped thru the scuppers and overboard. We protested that a 4 foot fish wouldn’t fit through the scuppers and they then changed their story and said that it jumped through their transom door taking their prized lure with it. They then landed the same fish later and recovered their lure. They decided that it was too big and released it. They then claimed to have caught the same fish AGAIN. This time they released it again but not before scolding it and telling it not to bother them any more. See anything “fishy” in that story?
I should take a moment and introduce our fleet AKA Division1, AKA the “fast” boats. We consist of:
Sans Souci (Division 1 Escort)- Nordhavn 62 #9: We have a crew of 8 including Ken and Roberta Williams and your author.
Crosser- A Monk-McQueen 90 with a crew of 9.
Grey Pearl- Nordhavn 62 #8 with a crew of 5 including owners Braun and Tina Jones.
Sea Fox- A Krogen 58 with a crew of 6 including owner Dennis Fox and VIP guests Kurt Krogen and Tom Selman. Tom is owner of a Nordhavn 50 in his other life.
Goleen- Nordhavn 57 #29 with a crew of 4 including owners Chris Samuelson and the lovely Sonaia.
Emeritus- Nordhavn 57 #21 with a crew of 4 including owners Bob and Janis Rothman. Unfortunately, Emeritus went ahead and has not been part of our happy fleet.
It has been really fun and rewarding to see how the dynamics of the fleet have developed. Having never done this before, we didn’t know for sure how (or even if) the travel as a fleet would work. As it has turned out, it has been quite easy to stay together. The twice-daily radio roll call is the “campfire” time as we chat and each vessel reports on their situation. Numerous running jokes carry over from time to time and we have gotten to know each other better through these chats. I start the roll call each morning with 30 seconds of rock and roll music then and my best Robin Williams impersonation of “Goooooood Mooorrrrnnnning Group 1!!!!”
At noon today, we had a BIG event- we changed the clocks. We sprung forward to Bermuda time so that when we arrive there won’t be any mix-ups.
I need to make one correction to yesterday’ss report. I showed an incorrect web site address for Ken’s site. The correct address is: HTTP://sanssouci.talkspot.com
May 20, 2004 – Dan Streech
We are now in that wonderful “sweet spot” of a passage where routine, comfort and relaxation have taken over. Those prone to seasickness have their sea legs, running jokes and pranks abound and everyone is in their own world of reading, sleeping, fishing, eating, listening to music or playing with their (wretched?) computers. There is no sense of “when do we get there”. In many ways, we are there!.
Sans Souci is on a rhumb line course for Bermuda which now lies 530 miles ahead and we will be sipping Pina Colatas at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club within 3 days. She is running sweet and is perfect in every way. Once again I am reminded of Jeff Leishman’s design genius and Ta Shing’s fine craftsmanship as the 5-year-old Sans Souci conquers this open ocean passage with ease.
Our gaggle of boats (6 of us) answered roll call this morning with extra gusto as I suspect the sense of well-being has infected the entire fleet. Bob Rothman (the 7th of our group) continues on his own special course and is about 40 miles away. The only known mechanical problem is on Sea Fox. One of their stabilizer fins made “an expensive crunching noise”, so that fin was secured and they are running on one fin which will still give adequate stabilization.
I spoke with Jim this morning by SSB and got fairly good reception on the 4 meg frequency. His “slower” group of 11 boats are all well and are now about 90 miles ahead of us. We are closing on them at about 1.5 knots, and will thus catch them in about 60 hours.
At this point, it is self evident that the entire group of 18 boats will arrive safely, on time and together in Bermuda and that the fundamental concept of NAR is sound. Hats off to the entire NAR planning committee and especially to Jim for making this event possible. Their hard work and attention to detail is paying off big time. I know that history is being made. Thanks also to the participants themselves who have invested their time, money and effort to be a part of this rally. Without them, there would be no rally.
The seas and wind have settled down and are about as good as you can expect on an open ocean passage. As we learned on the ATW, there is nearly always the “lumpiness” of multiple swell patterns present in open ocean. As long as they are allowed to soften in light wind conditions, the motion of the boat and the speeds are fine.
The sky is bright blue and is dotted with puffy clouds and the crystal clear water (15,000 ft deep at this location) is a deep cobalt blue. The sun glistening off the deep blue sea is more beautiful than I can describe in words.
Chef Phil continues to be a joy. Last night’s dinner was halibut wrapped in fila dough (aka halibut “en croute”) and this morning was an especially delicious omelet with ham, bacon and cheese. Could someone check for me and see if a cholesterol reading of 756 is OK?
Position at 1:00PM EST May 19, 2004 30 00.2 N 74.51.9W
May 19, 2004 – Jim Leishman
It’s Wednesday morning – 03:00 – aboard Atlantic Escort. My fleet of 10 boats spread out before me – each stern light clearly visible equally spaced across our horizon. My concern over seperation and radar ineffectiveness has not been an issue. We’ve been able to aquire each boat on our radar and lock it into the ploting computer. Amazingly the Furuno Navnet radar has been able to hold each target while giving us continious information about each vessels speed and course.
All is well and we’re making almost 8 knots towards Bermuda. Our chart plotter indicates an on time arrival Saturday morning.
Weather matches our forecast perfectly with easterly winds in the 15 knot range and seas four to six feet. We’re anticipating continued good weather with lghter winds and calming seas.
There have been a number of minor issues with some of the boats. Egret (N46) lost one of her fin actuators the first night out. Scott Flanders – her owner was able to bypass the fin, lock the bad blade and continue on on a single fin. He’s doing well and a new part awaits him in Bermuda. Aboard Satchmo (N46) Bill Bane and the crew was able to correct a fuel blockage which was causing alarming fuel vaccuum. We’re experiencing minor problems and dealig with them as they come up.
We spent most of today manuvering for photography and the radio was alive with the chatter of people enjoying themselves. I’m more confident than ever of our expeditions success.
May 18, 2004 – Dan Streech
Position at 7:30PM on May 18 is 29 20.9 N 77 47.7 W
We have been at sea for about 27 hours now and are beginning to settle down to a routine.
The departure from Ft Lauderdale was CHAOTIC to say the least. We had a well-rehearsed departure plan, which had been discussed in several meetings. It was important to leave in a prearranged formation because there were 3 different helicopters in the air for magazines and the documentary.
While circling in the turning basin we delayed the departure several times waiting for traffic to clear while meanwhile the helicopters were hovering. Just as we were committed to the path towards the harbor entrance, we realized that a ship with assisting tugs was entering and coming towards us. We all squeezed past the ship (which was in the middle of the channel) and entered the very choppy and bumpy Atlantic. Right away, things went awry. We (Sans Souci) were to be the lead boat, but we headed out on the wrong course due to a temporary case of CRS. Some followed us and some proceeded on the correct course. Our formation was thus mixed up. After 30 minutes or so, we got reformatted and back into a proper lineup- except Sans Souci ended up in second place.
The filming commenced and I am sure that some incredible shots were taken as the brave fleet pounded into the 6-foot seas. The helicopter pilots are amazingly skilled. With a 20-knot head wind, they were flying sideways within 50 feet of the boat. The confusion and noise together with multiple radios and a cell phone call caused a case of TMI (Too Much Information). Also, I should add that at the very crescendo of the chaos, the refrigerator in the pilothouse flew open and a dozen soda cans poured out. One of them exploded and drenched us. Undaunted, we stayed the course and smiled for the cameras!
After a bumpy 24 mile ride into head seas to our first way point, we cracked off for a more comfortable ride to our next way point about 160 miles north. This gave the crew a chance to relax and settle in.
We are quite pampered aboard Sans Souci with 3 professional crewmen.
Rip Knot (I’m not kidding) is our courageous Captain. Several years ago, Rip moved Sans Souci from Seattle to Florida several years ago and later spent time on Sans Souci in Europe.
Phil Strable is our chef and is in charge of the galley. In his real life, Phil is a chef aboard private rail cars, so he is quite comfortable in the spacious galley of Sans Souci. He is very gracious and “at our service” 24 hours per day. Last night’s chicken Caesar salad and this morning’s scrambled eggs and bacon were served with a smile. Phil’s mysterious persona is enhanced by his collection of brightly colored tattoos!
Our EMT is St.John O’Neil-Dunne. “Singen” is a student from Tulane with a wry sense of humor and is a look alike for Kramer on Seinfeld (especially the hair). Singen took great delight in telling us that extreme seasickness is best cured with suppositories and that he has them safely stored in the freeze!
Also aboard are:
Owners Ken and Roberta Williams. Ken and Roberta purchased Sans Souci 6 years ago after selling their software company. They have used their boat in the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, Florida and Europe but until now have not made any open ocean passages. They are a lovely couple and easy to get along with. With their software background, they are very “techy” and thus have Sans Souci equipped with some nice gadgets. The gadget I like best is the “always on” Internet connection purchased thru Stratos net. That Internet connection is distributed thru out the boat by a common wireless system, so I can use my laptop anywhere on the boat and get my e-mail. Is that good? The cost of the Internet connection is based on usage and will probably amount to several thousand dollars or more by the end of the passage.
Christian Fittipaldi. Christian is a world-renowned race driver who has competed in Formula 1, CART and NASCAR and most recently was a winner in the 24 hours of Daytona. As a racing fan, I had followed Christianâ€™s career for many years before meeting him when he called our Dana Point office several years ago with interest in a Nordhavn. Christian and I have formed a friendship and Marcia and I have been his VIP guests at several races. Christian has owned several boats and is very passionate about boating and the sea, but until now has not made an offshore passage. If Christian gets hooked on passage making, we already have the headline of the ad figured out – “Fast guy learns to go slow” or something like that.
Garret Severen. Garret is a fine young man who has worked for PAE for about 3 years. He started with the commissioning crew on the docks in Dana Point and moved to Stuart Florida when we opened the office there. Garret is “First Mate” aboard San Souci and as part of the PAE response team is prepared to help with problems on any of the boats in the fleet. A small inflatable is at the ready to take Garret and the EMT to the other boats if an â€œeventâ€ takes place in open ocean.
SEVERAL HOURS LATER:
I just finished a great two-hour afternoon nap and am gradually getting caught up on my sleep. When Marcia and I flew out to Florida on a Jet Blue “red eye” , I lost one night of sleep and couldn’t ever seem to catch up during the busy week in Ft Lauderdale prior to departure.
The seven boats in our group have drifted apart somewhat. All but Emeritus are within radar and VHF range. Emeritus turned to starboard last night and has taken a different track. When Emeritus didn’t answer this morning’s radio roll call, we called them on the satellite telephone and found that they were 90 miles from us (VHF radio range is about 30 miles). We conduct a roll call each day on the radio at 8:00AM and 8:00PM to check on the condition of each boat. It is now about 4:30 PM, and afternoon will soon turn to evening. All of the boats will close in a little for the night. It is very comforting to look out and see your compatriots running lights.
We cooked our main 24V alternator today in a smokey event. At this point, we are not quite sure what happened but think that it might be the regulator. Despite the fact that parts of it were glowing red, we think that it might still work. Mickey Smith and I are going to have a post mortem e-mail chat about it later to try to figure out what happened.
In a radio chat with Seafox, we learned that Tom Selman has been battling with seasickness. We told him that we would launch the boat and rush over with the suppositories.. he has miraculously recovered.
The seas have calmed somewhat and a lovely long swell is starting to dominate. Chef Phil is going to produce a magnificent dinner tonight.
Best Regards from the happy ship San Souci,
May 18, 2004 – Dan Streech
There are few things in this modern world that are more dramatic than the pending departure of a yacht on an open ocean passage. Multiply that drama by 18 and you can imagine the atmosphere in this morning’s “Captain’s” meeting. Nearly 100 people were present for final instructions before this afternoon’s departure of Division 2, AKA the “slow group”. Division 2 consists of the 8 smaller (and thus slower) boats plus the escort boat, the Nordhavn 62 “Autumn Wind”. Division 1 consists of the 7 larger boats, which by virtue of their longer waterline length will travel about 1 knot faster. (The lead escort boat, the PAE-staffed Nordhavn 57 “Atlantic Escort” will float between the two groups.) The faster boats in Division 1 depart one day later. The staggered departure is designed so that all boats will arrive in Bermuda at the same time.
The previous 8 days have been frenetic, sometimes stressful, and mostly fun, as each of the boats has been prepared for departure. The 18 participating boats are located on 3 docks in close proximity; so the docks are always busy with carts hauling groceries, spare parts, dingys, liferafts and more. There have been 3 parties as well as numerous informal events as the participants have renewed old friendships and made new ones.
Each day has been busy with boat inspections, seminars and meetings. PAE people have been conducting boat inspections and interviews on each boat as well as making final preparations on our own boat, “Atlantic Escort.” The seminars have ranged from trouble shooting an autopilot, to fishing techniques to dealing with medical emergencies. Alaska Diesel (their Lugger engines power 16 of the 18 entrants) is a major sponsor of the rally and conducted a seminar on maintenance and trouble shooting of their engines. ADE has had representatives available throughout the week to answer questions or help with any issues relating to their engines or Northern Lights generators.
American Bow Thruster is also a major sponsor of the NAR and had representatives available to check out and survey their bow thruster and stabilizer systems. Robert Kinney of Alcom electronics conducted a seminar and inspected the boats, which had his electronics, fitted.
We particularly want to thank major sponsor Yachting and Motorboating magazines for the wonderful luncheon party which they hosted. Peter Janssen (editorial director for both magazines)’s speech was poignant, powerful and emotional as he was able to capture in words the special moment in yachting history, which was about to take place. Peter’s description of the special qualities of each of the participants was perfect.
At precisely 3:00PM, dock lines were thrown aboard and the 9 vessels in Division 2, plus Atlantic Escort departed. A large group of people assembled at the entrance to the marina and there were waves, shouts and not a few tears as each boat passed by. The people from Division 1 shouted, “see you in Bermuda” as each boat heavy with fuel, water and supplies passed into the distance. The fleet fell into formation as they departed the Ft. Lauderdale breakwater so that the aerial photography could be conducted. Director Bruce Kessler is filming a documentary of the NAR, so cameras have been ever present throughout the week, as the various events have occurred.
I am aboard the Nordhavn 62 SANS SOUCI and am the leader of Division 1.
Tomorrow is our day