Second ocean passage with our President /CEO

In this Article

November 2, 2005

35 54N.

70 58W.

0000-0400 Denis and Johnny. Black howling night. Without the compass to steer by and a reliable auto pilot , this would be a bitch . Large confused beam seas. Wind 35-40kts. with wind to 45Kts. As breeze begins to back,headsl in and head to sea. Engines on . With a couple of powerful engines port and starboard, Punching up and over each swell is possible. This heading will avoid any possible capsize if we catch a heavy gust. Without these engines we would been forced to heave two.( Headsl sheeted to one side , main to the other.) I am up with Denis and Johnny and of course we are all making light of the situation though I am sure, its not levity that we are really feeling. My confidence is inalterably bolstered by knowing that Denis has every part of his yacht memorized especially engines and hydraulic/ electrical systems. If our engines quit our black gang( engineers) Will take care of any problem we have. Johnny who has never been to sea before , glares out at the rolling swell to port , appearing to will Poseidon to come kick his ass. What a man. My confidence in my friends and shipmates stands.

During this watch a light appears on the black rolling horizon. As we continue our pounding advance, spray breaks over our twin bows , white spume lit from behind by our red and green running lights.

Gradually the light on the horizon, increases in size and confirmed by radar I see that she is sailboat hove to . We pass well astern. I am sure they are thinking what the hell are we doing wrong. " We can't sail it and these miserable pricks are raking us."

Barometer has dropped over the course of the Midwatch from 1040 MB to 1025MB.

0300 Wind easing to 20kts steady. At watch relief Denis and Johnny head below .

0400-0800 Myself and Pat. Wind down to 10kts as we transit between the two frontal boundries. Our weather routers have given us excellent information, I assume that we have gotten away lightly and the poor bastards to the East of us have really copped it. We found out later from "Southbound Two" that a number of yachts out east of 70w longitude had really taken a hammering. One yacht in particular had been hit with a 70kt gust and shortly after was hit by a microburst. The Atlantic at this time of year is becoming increasingly violent, thanks to global warming. Last night we really ducked a major bullet.

0800-1200 Denis and Johnny. After a brief rest Denis and Johnny up.

1130 Set course 134M to Bermuda.

1200-1600 Myself and Pat. Denis chats with " Commander ", on the Sat phone. As we move East, the High pressure which many of these "mini" powerful lows dance around, begins to move North. Our forecast call for winds NE. At 35kts.

Grey ominous skies , breeze NE at 17kts. Steady. We are still fucked from last nights battle. The three reefs stay in , full headsl out. We should shake out the third reef , but , it seems my maxim of caution , combined with fatigue is setting format.

Wind to 35kts. Reduced headsl to 1/2. SOG 8kts.

 

Morning at sea

1515

35 15"N

70 13"W

Through Denis's watch large confused sea's begin to develop , as Highs and Lows roll North, in a confused fashion. Wind eases to 15kts.

1600-1800 Myself and Pat. Johnny and Denis our indomitable fore guard reduce to two reefs. Beaucoup abuse hurtled at the lazy after guard .

Large following swell hard on the port quarter. Breeze dying. Main full and drawing , Preventer slack and taught intermittently. Headsl rolled in.

1530 Headsl unfurled as we cocked our bow north sufficient to have the Genny draw. Main out Through my watch we slowly overtake " Outlaw" a yacht in passage to Bermuda. Denis hailed her on VHF and it appears she was the vessel we passed last evening during the lovely Midwatch. Johnny then takes over. Many declarations of simian manhood were emitted as we blew by her under main.

1800-2000 Myself and Pat. Decide after Denis and Johnny's many hours of galley and engineering duties Pat and Iwould take this watch for them. What a couple of fine young bastards. Actually only ten years younger than myself. Pat, has also proved himself a good shipmate and valuable. His assistance while working with Denis , have assuaged many of our potential nautical nightmares. His many year as an airline pilot and engineer have aided his shipmates considerably.

1600-1800 Denis chatted with " Southbound Two ". Supposedly all the shit had moved North and we set course for a waypoint 90 miles south of Bermuda.

Breeze NE 10Kts.

2000-2400 Denis and Johnny. God knows I would love to be up on watch with these two, with of course, theexception of the midwatch. Denis and Johnny, friends for many years , who grew up in Ireland , and now, years later , after great exertions, are both construction magnates in Manhattan. Hooting and hollering they both savor being alive at sea.

As the watch slowly winds into its gentle conclusion, the young Turks hurtle there laughter and abuse at the now quite Atlantic. Continued easing breeze and rolling swell from the North East. Breeze 16kts.