Wednesday, April 22nd we were blessed with a beautiful spring day. Not sure of the exact temperatures but the smell of suntan lotion was in the air as we enjoyed the warmth of the sun on our pale skin that had been covered up all winter. The morning hours to about lunch time consisted of minimal winds requiring the always reliable diesel to be fired up. Again, no big deal since our batteries and fridge needed to charge and the drivers could kick back and relax a little. Not sure if I mentioned that Euro Trash Girl is not equipped with auto pilot technology, thus requiring the driver to remain completely focused during their 1 hour stint at the wheel. Read more
It was early afternoon and we were all very excited to finally be sailing away from the Charleston Harbor. As I mentioned, one of the requirements for this US Sailing Coastal Passage Making course required that each of us assume the role of skipper for at least 100NM and Charlie was selected first.
Over the next 24 hours Charlie would coordinate all operational needs of the vessel, under the watchful eye of JWorld Captains of course! First and foremost he would need to make sure we were heading in the right direction! Based on our preliminary course, which was plotted prior to departure with traditional navigation techniques, we were dead reckoning right on track. Over the next several days each crew member would rotate assignments including navigator. We would routinely and often plot a fix on our paper charts using GPS, knowing where you are can come in handy!
Once we were several miles out of the channel and into the deep blue sea we chose to adjust our first projected waypoint to take advantage of the prevailing winds, which saved time and distance. Adjustments like this…were made occasionally during this passage and we all became proficient at correcting and adjusting our dead reckoning on the charts. After taking an electronic GPS fix on our position we changed our course to steer to 069 magnetic. This bearing was projected all the way out 114NM to Frying PanShoal off the coast of Cape Fear North Carolina. Cape Fear, why did they name this area that? never mind, don’t think about it! Read more
I really gained a lot of valuable sailing/cruising knowledge on this trip, perhaps even more than I had expected. The formal “US Sailing Certified” sailing courses that I’ve attended so far have all been taught by JWorld Annapolis, they include 6 Day Basic Keel Boat, Basic Cruising and Coastal Navigation. They have terrific equipment and more importantly a team of professional instructors who really know how to teach the art of sailing. The additional skills that I learned during this blue water passage from JWorld’s Director/Captain Jeff and Captain Tony is priceless. Like all of the previous courses I took these two captains provided instruction in a clear and comprehensive way while always maintaining a relaxed environment! Read more
Ocean Marine Yacht Center located in Portsmouth Virginia is where S/V Euro Trash Girl would spend the next few nights tied up. Our 2 Captains, Jeff and Tony, remained at the marina after we docked to meet with ARC officials. The rest of the crew enjoyed a warm summer like stroll towards our hotel along the rivers bulk head, it was a beautiful day. Of course being the good sailors that we are we decided to delay checking into our rooms and grabbed seats at the bar! After a couple hours of wondering what happened to our skippers….in they walk looking exhausted and in need of a cocktail(s)! They said they had a short list of items to tend to in order to pass the ARC safety requirements, most were easy fixes such as adding a 6 foot length of line to our bucket! The most time sensitive item was replacing our LifeSling because there wasn’t a date of manufacture/inspection on it, our new unit would be overnighted to the marina! ALL issues resolved! Read more
The following is part 1 of a five part series written by Rick Pryor, one of our crew members from the ARC Bahama, many thanks to Rick.
ARC Bahamas 2014 (Annapolis MD to Portsmouth VA to Marsh Harbor Bahamas)
Wednesday October 29 – Sunday November 9, 2014
Where do I start?! When I first saw that JWorld Annapolis announced they would be participating in the ARC Caribbean/Bahamas I thought…wow a race from Portsmouth Virginia to the Bahamas sounded cool, but I really didn’t give it serious consideration. My family had just enjoyed a wonderful BVI charter in July and I figured the timing wasn’t quite right for a selfish blue water bucket list adventure for myself. Over the next several weeks I continued to daydream about what it would be like to really sail non-stop for days on end on the deep blue sea, especially with a crew I knew very little about! By the way the ARC – Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is professionally coordinated by the World Cruising Club, they offer ARC’s all around the globe including a 26000 NM circumnavigation if you have some spare time! check them out at www.worldcruising.com