Cuttyhunk

With Tioga back in the US this summer, we got the next Labor Day trip to Cuttyhunk organized. This great little island with less than 50 year-round residents lies between Padanaram and Martha’s Vineyard and marks the entrance to Buzzard’s Bay. It is about a 15 hour sail from Nahant and usually involves motoring through the Cape Code Canal.

The crew of A Family Affair (Ulf, Rosmarie and Jasper) met up with Tioga and crew (Philip, Corinna, Nick, Lauren, Mia and Thea) outside of New Bedford, while Lois (Henry, Jen and Blue) motored via Martha’s Vineyard to Cuttyhunk. Josh and Ellen sailed from Nahant via Provincetown and Bob sailed Boomerang with Samy directly from Nantucket to Cuttyhunk.

By the middle of the day, we had sufficient moorings secured to make it through the weekend. Unfortunately, the crew of Saoirse (Dan, Candace, Peter, Linda and Ellen) had engine trouble and could not make it through the Cape Cod Canal.

Anyways, a lot of fun was had by all and we will do it again next Labor Day weekend.

 

 

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We have come full circle

After a nice meal and perfect sail into the sunset along the Cape Cod coast, we were able to sail close-hauled to Nahant (Immigrations agreed to meet us there instead of Marblehead or Gloucester).
Finishing our two year loop around the Northern Atlantic couldn’t have been a nicer sail: lots and lots of stars, beautiful sunrise, blue skies, calm sees and a perfect breeze brought it all together nicely.

Foulies and hats were replaced by t-shirts and shorts, Boston’s skyline rose behind the horizon long before we could see Nahant, the drone came out for a last spin over the ocean and familiar sites, like Graves Lighthouse (now sandblasted and looking slightly different), Egg Rock or East Point, came into sight.
We tied up on our mooring, packed, cleaned the boat, had breakfast and then headed to the dock to meet families and friends as well as the friendly Immigrations office that checked us into the US.
Of course Peter Koslowski had not forgotten about us and we enjoyed his donuts (that he could not deliver on the ocean because of equipment failure).
We were proud to have completed this adventure and large team effort.
After unloading a few tons of spare parts, tools, food, sails, scubz gear and clothes, Tioga’s waterline appeared above the water again.
We all went home, unpacked, had a shower and then got together at the Nahant Dory Club to round off the day.

A big thanks to all the spouse that let us sail this and all the previous legs!!

Moments aboard Tioga on Father’s Day

What do six friends talk about while eating dinner in the cockpit of a sailboat floating in Bermuda?
We would tell you exactly the subject of those discussions, however, this is a family blog.

By the way, our crew is now complete. Pete and Dave arrived three days ago to start getting the boat ready, followed by Philip and John, then Dan and as of tonight Josh. We all know each other well so the barbs fly. It’s one of those welcome situations when you’d feel left out if nobody busted your chops.

For the first time in three days, we have more than two cubes of ice, which we know will make James Devereaux jealous back in Nahant. We’re drinking Dark and Stormies and there’s nobody here to keep track of how many rums we’ve had.
Besides, we’re not going anywhere. We’re livin’ the pirate life right now.Bathing in the salty sea, carrying jugs of water to the boat, buying groceries for our trip back to Nahant later this week.

All joking aside, it’s a lucky moment that we’ve landed here aboard Tioga, the elegant 44-foot Alden sloop that has carried crews all over the world.
Today was the second day of the America’s Cup races where America’s Oracle racing team got slammed by the Emirates New Zealand team.Some of us watched the action televised at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, where the action on the water was easier to see and understand because watching the race from the waterfront was simply too distant.

Today is also Father’s Day, and we’re six fathers all with children. So it’s odd that we’re not with our families, but this kind of adventure is important to us. It makes us brothers.We’ll always have this time to share and remember.
Luckily we also have more one thing in common: we all miss our families and appreciate their support of our thirst for high seas adventure.

Enjoying a pretty large infinity pool

The day started with Captain Philip raising the broken genoa to let it dry. After everyone got out of their bunks we worked together to bring down the dried genoa: While Ellen kept Tioga on a steady course, Roger slowly dropped the sail inch by inch. Philip, Doug and Ulf flaked and rolled the sail into a perfect block.

This hard work was quickly rewarded with a blue ocean swim. All sails were dropped, a fender on a line was thrown into the water. Ellen overcame her fears of deep water, sharks and Portuguese men of war and swam without her best swimming friend “Jim Buoy”. The 50 year old boys turned 15 and did cannon balls, flips, somersaults and a triple sow cow into the 1000s of feet of crystal clear water. Fortunately nobody got hurt. The drone was launched to take more pictures of the happy crew.

Everyone got hungry. Ulf created the “use it before it goes bad omelette” which half emptied the fridge and filled everyones stomach.
The wind disappeared and we started the motor and raised the fly. We played some farkel. Nobody seemed to quite know the farkel rules that were established by the international federation of farkel players rule councils. No problem, we made them up.

Then we had you know blah blah more great food and enjoyed another blah blah wonderful sun set…. 140 miles Etmal. Our eta is Wednesday morning.

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Barbuda

Going for Gold

When Ellen answered “we’ll kinda” to the question if the golden bracelet she just lost over board was expensive, it was clear that a solution had to be found.
The water was 20 feet deep and relatively milky with mediocre visibility. First dives with just a snorkel and fins confirmed that most of the ground was covered with grass and that is was too deep to spend significant time for actually searching down there.
We therefore collected all the scuba gear on the boat, were positively surprised to find it in working order and started the search.
Due to the poor visibility the captain had to come up numerous times to get back to the search area and when we were close to giving up finding the needle in the haystack, it did actually happen: we found the bracelet in the sea grass!
What a relief – it gave us a good sense of achievement on an otherwise relatively uneventful day.
Linda, Lilli, Peter, Corinna and Lauren left to the airport in the morning (we already miss them and wonder if they will ever recover from 2 weeks without a shower), the captain took care of some boat maintenance and Ulf, Roger and Doug arrived in the afternoon.
We tried to make sense of the new Balmar 60 Series 120Amp alternator but concluded that it was missing parts of the wiring harness to the regulator (we are now trying to confirm that we can run the alternator without the regulator).

Roger treated us all to a very nice dinner at the Antigua Yacht Club. Thanks!!
No Fireballs tonight and no whistling captain… so Byron (our one-legged friend) and Jaffa (the donkey owner) will have to do without us for a night.
We’ll see what stories Ellen, Ulf and Roger bring back from their tour tonight.