The crew from Newfoundland to Ireland

A couple of photos of our crew on the way from Newfoundland to Ireland via Crookhaven, Fastnet Rock and Kinsale to Crosshaven, where Tioga will spend the winter in the boatyard.

Amy Sullivan
Dave Mcquarrie
Ellen Christy
Ledyard McFadden
Philip Kersten
Ulf Westhoven

While the previous legs from the US to Canada were about 1000nm, this trip was one of our longer ones with over 1700nm.
It was warmer than expected and enabled our northern-most swim in the mid-Atlantic so far.

 

Watch schedules

“Whatever you wear, it’s not enough!” was some of the advice we got from the more experienced sailors that had already sailed to Nova Scotia a number of times.

That was certainly good advice and we are quite proud of all our ski-underwear, large collection of hats, gloves etc.

Captain's glove collection
So far, we have been pretty lucky as the weather up here has been much milder than we expected.
However, we still have to cross the Labrador current & Northern Atlantic, so plenty of opportunity to still make good use of our equipment…

The above also had its impact on our watch schedule as it would not have been comfortable or safe for the crew on watch to be out on deck for too long, should conditions have been as cold as we worried about.
The general watch schedule approach is to have a rolling change in watches. There are normally two crew on watch (red) as we always steer manually; so one to steer and one to handle sails etc.
In general we aim for roughly 3 hours on watch (depending on crew size) and then some following time where the still awake crew will be on standby (amber) to help if needed (to prevent waking up others that are deep asleep etc). Where possible, the standby time is scheduled in way that allows the crew to get off watch get settled etc – and to have them wake up their successor. That in turn ensures timely watch changes and deeper sleep for those worried about overhearing their alarm, but also means that we only have one crew on the help for about 30 minutes. That turned out to be a good approach for now.
During the off-time (green) the crew can sleep, relax, cook, repair, clean up or simply enjoy the time on the ocean.
The order of crew members listed is sorted to balance the skillset evenly across all watches (with the captain on stand-by throughout the entire day).
In case the temperatures did drop to as low as we worried about, we would have changed the cold day schedule, where duration of the watch reduces, but the frequency increases.

As quite a few people asked about our watch schedule approach, you can have a look at them yourself below:

Nahant to Halifax:NHT 2 HFX watch schedule

Halifax to Newfoundland:
HFX 2 STJ watch schedule

Newfoundland to Ireland:
STJ 2 IRL watch schedule

Crew Change

The crew woke to partly cloudy skies. The slip at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) proved to be very comfortable with little motion. Doug and Peter made coffee and headed to the club patio to relax. John prepared another great breakfast of fruit salad and french toast.

John, Doug and Peter headed to the pool for a swim. Peter phoned home to wish his mom a happy birthday. At about 2 the new crew arrived – Lisa, Steve and the infamous “ Uncle Dan”.

Tioga was fully loaded with the extra crew and all the extra gear – bags and sails filled the foredeck. The joint crew settled in for a midday meal of rice and tropical chicken curry.

The repaired gennaker arrived and Doug, Lisa, and Steve set to work on replacing the repaired sail with the old one in the sock. Philip, John and Dan were working on the windlass which when tested did not work. After voltage readings, jumper wires, and much discussion, a simple wrap of a hammer, suggested by Peter, brought the windlass back to life.

Jim, a friend of Bob, who gifted the yellow gennaker with the paws to Tioga, stopped by to say hello. He generously offered to take us to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute perishable items for the next leg. We only needed a few items since Dan did an outstanding job supplying Tioga prior to leaving Nahant – including enough fruit cups to supply the 10,000 dorys built by Sydney Mahaney.

Jim joined us for drinks on the patio then departed for home. The crew ordered dinner and enjoyed the peaceful beauty of the Harbor. The outbound crew remembering the great sail and the inbound crew contemplating the the cold, wet, and scary days to come.

Peter was able to obtain a burgee from the RNSYS to be displayed in the Nahant Dory Club. Captain Philip checked the online iceberg reports – it looked like only one iceberg left – hoping to get there just as it shrinks down to a cube to add to a fresh gin and tonic.

The inbound crew began to settle in as the outbound crew packed their gear for the trip home. We were relaxing together telling funny stories.

One of the best things about these crew changes is the relating of past stories and the laughter.

As the blog is written Doug is assembling a voodoo like doll of Sydney which will become a mascot for Tioga, joining the kalachakra seeds and the jar of F@#&$%* olives as good luck charms for Tioga. With this crew we need all the luck we can get.

The crew from Bermuda to Nahant

Below are a couple of photos of those that managed to get a spot on the final leg home.

This was our by far longest adventure and made the return quite special. Combining that with the beautiful atmosphere of Bermuda, America’s Cup racing, J-Class regatta and perfect sailing conditions across the Gulf stream created a hard to beat package.

Due to the consistent south-westerly wind we made the almost 700nm trip in just under 5 days – a record for us; and that without much sweat or hard work.

Apart from the consistent challenge to fully charge our house bank and the ripped gennaker, we did not have any technical challenges and instead enjoyed the frequent whale and dolphin visits.

All is good on board of Tioga.

Dan Mc Mackin
Dave Liscio
John Fulghum
Josh Antrim
Peter Barba
Philip Kersten

 

The crew from Antigua to Bermuda

A few more photos of our crew that sailed from Antigua to Bermuda.

We started our journey with an immediate highlight, hiking up to Shirley Heights, and overcoming our first challenges, recovering Ellen’s bracelet and installing the alternator, before sailing around Antigua to Jolly Harbor.
All were extremely happy with the decision to stop over in Barbuda with one of the nicest beaches we know.
St Barth’s also did not disappoint although we barely had enough time to see it.

The easterly tradewinds carried us far north before they calmed down (we sailed 514nm in 3 days), gave us a chance to swim in 13000ft deep water and then forced us to run the engine for a while. The silver lining of the now full batteries was the fact that we did not have to use our hydro generator and therefore went fishing.
The yellow-fin tuna was another highlight of this roughly 950nm sail.

Of course, arriving in Bermuda is always a highlight. With the America’s Cup in town, this visit was even more special. The fact that we lived a resort life just because we were mooring next to Grotto Bay Resort put the icing on the cake.

We should do  this more often…

 

Doug Frauenholz
Ellen Christie
Philip Kersten
Roger Pasinski
Ulf Westhoven