Will we sail over the Titanic?

As quite a few of you already know, we are in the final preparation of our next adventure. This time we are going north as it is not only time to give our underused heater a workout, but because the Northern Latitudes always ranked high on the list.
Plus, it offers the shortest way to get to Europe and that is where Tioga will be spending most of her time over the next couple of years.

As always, time is precious and none of us have enough vacation to spent appropriate amounts of time in all these beautiful areas. We are going for it anyways and are planning to sail the route below:

The overall trip is split into three legs:

  1. Nahant, MA to Halifax, NS – app 400nm
  2. Halifax, NS to St Johns, NL – app 670nm
  3. St Johns, NL to Cork, IRL – app1745nm

ie, roughly 2800nm.

After our boatless journeys to Japan and Tanzania in 2018, it feels good to plan this next Atlantic sailing event. If all goes well we will be leaving Nahant on Friday, July 19 in the afternoon. Our goal is to arrive at the Crosshaven Boatyard close to Cork by Labor Day weekend, ie early September.

Now, will we sail over the spot where the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage in 1912 and about 1500 people lost their lives?

No, we will not. While the spot is roughly in the vicinity of Newfoundland, it is about 350nm south of our route.

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Video – Ireland to Portugal

A video summary of our roughly 950nm tour this summer from Cork, Ireland, to Lisbon, Portugal.
We meant to spend a little more time cruising the southern Irish coast and ideally round Fastnet Rock before heading south. However, the weather convinced us to leave right away to take advantage of the northerly winds (and to avoid the upcoming strong southerlies).
While the water remained cold all the way to Lisbon, it was clear that we were moving south as day after day we were wearing less and less layers.
While La Coruna does not look that pretty from the water, we were quickly convinced we found a hidden jewel when walking down the old town alleys with endless rows of restaurants, bars and an amazing atmosphere until late. That in combination with outstanding food and endless opportunities to visit historic sites made for a good start into the Iberian part of our tour.
Santiago de Compostella did not disappoint at all; neither did Lisbon – fantastic destinations on their own.
What surprised us was the natural beauty of the Islas Cies (a must stop for any visitor in Galicia!) as well as the atmosphere of Porto. We wish we had been able to spend more time in either location.
On the downside, the water was much colder than expected and we therefore sailed in a fair bit of fog (we never saw the Portuguese coast north of Lisbon…).

Should YouTube not play this video in your country, try this link instead: https://goo.gl/photos/94mEV21sn4vgUT1j9

Video – Scotland to Ireland

After Corinna and Philip made it to Oban where the new crew, Cathy, Dan, Ellen and Linda, came on board, the quite creative epoxy job on the diesel return line finally put an end to our engine problems. From Tobermory on we had quite nice weather and enjoyed the amazing landscapes of Western-Scotland. Highlights of this roughly 550nm long leg, include Loch Moidart (with the old castle ruin at the end of a tricky to navigate body of water), Loch Scavaig (impressive views at the southern shore of the Isle of Skye) and the Crinan Canal (where the locks are operated manually by the crew), as well as many beautiful towns, distilleries, breweries, Irish pubs etc.
All this combined with numerous overnight sails and weather changes when we needed them made this a very memorable trip.

In case YouTube does not play this video in your country, try this link instead: https://goo.gl/photos/ehFWP1V58ErUbbUo9

Crew from Ireland to Portugal

A few more photos of our crew that sailed from Cork in Ireland to Cascais in Portugal. We left Ireland a little earlier than initially planned to benefit from the northerly winds and had a great sail to Spain. Temperatures were quickly getting warmer, sealife was abundant and the cultural experiences in Ireland, Spain and Portugal fantastic. We sailed about 950nm, had no technical issues and apart from a little fog here and there, perfect weather.

Alex Vogel (he left us as planned in A Coruna)
Marc Carbone
Max Brueck
UIf Westhoven (who took Alex’s spot in Baiona)

Philip Kersten

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Heading South

While it is not getting warmer yet, it will be soon.
We had left Crosshaven at 8:00 in the morning under blue skies and a westerly breeze. Motoring against the current down the channel, the sails were quickly set and the new crew settled into its routine.
An Irish customs vessel paid us a last visit and validated our information before the beautiful cliffs of Southern Ireland disappeared behind the horizon.
Sailing conditions were perfect, a 15-20kn westerly breeze, blue skies and 6-8foot seas made for an enjoyable ride.
The crew caught up on lots of sleep, enjoyed a visit by dolphins and a very nice seafood meal, cooked by Marc. The boys are slowly getting used to the motion of the boat.

So far, the weather forecast and routing have turned out to be very accurate (we continue to use iPolar, Weather4D Pro and iNavX in combination with Iridium GO). We are hoping for another 15 hrs of westerly wind before we transition into a new system with northeasterly wind (after motoring for half a day)

It is nice to be out on the blue ocean again and follow a different rhythm (and not having to worry about rocks, markers, etc)

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Let there be light

We had struggled to refill our gas tanks last year and continued to do so in Ireland. Howth had nothing to offer and we were hoping that Cork would work out better. As the first attempt by the Yacht club staff failed, we came up with a more elaborate plan, rented a car and had Marc and Max drive for about 1 hour to the Calor Gas filling station. At the end of the day they were not able or allowed to fill the tanks either.
We ended up buying the Irish tank and after a while were able to connect it to the boat’s system ( thank god for all the redundancies we built into the system). So we have light (or a working stove) again and are ready to move on.
Numerous other items were fixed, tanks filled and food purchased. An inspection of the mast was successfully completed and burgees were exchanged. Our fourth crew member, Alex, arrived in the afternoon .
The weather window was reconfirmed and another nice meal was ordered at the Anchor (again). We are ready to go and are planning to leave for A Coruna tomorrow morning.

Philip

The crew from Scotland to Ireland

A few more photos of our crew that sailed from Oban, Scotland, to Cork in Ireland. While the weather started rainy it was predominantly nice. Initial technical challenges (like the broken fuel return line) were overcome and we got to see some fantastic places. We sailed about 550nm, manually operated the locks in the Crinan Canal and motored for about 40 hrs…

Linda Barba
Ellen Christy
Cathy Bartholomew
Corinna Kersten
Dan MacMackin
Philip Kersten
(Max Brueck for the last 2 days from Dublin to Cork)

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