The number of chairs squeezed into our clubhouse last night might have broken a record. It was nice so see such as large and interested crowd during our presentation of this year’s journey across the Atlantic.
Given the close connection between our tour and the various people and places in France we visited, it was good to listen to Commodore Manny’s opening statements where he found the appropriate words to address the tragedy in Paris.
Manny handed over to Philip and we continued with a couple of photos summarizing the highlights of the tour, giving us the opportunity to explain the bigger picture in words and answering questions.
- preparation took about 5 years
- 15 people sailed the boat this year, spread over three legs, supporters: many, many more
- we sailed about 4000nm, roughly 1/3 of the entire tour
- highest waves: about 45ft, strongest wind: low 50s kn, highest tides: approximately 40ft
- sailboats seen between Nahant and Azores: 0
- near collisions with whales: 3
- time to paint mural in Horta: 3 days
- number of significant storms: 3
- highest number of concurrent AIS targets: 86 (North Sea)
After that, Corinna, Ellen and Peter presented the burgees to the Dory Club that we had exchanged at various places:
- Peter Cafe Sport, Horta, Faial, Azores
- Guernsey Yacht Club, Guernsey
- Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes
- Island Sailing Club, Cowes
Videos for each leg followed, showing live at sea and the various places we visited.
Comments about Philip’s choice of music were minimal 😉
Photos we presented to explain overall route;
Summary video of crew and this year’s highlights:
AIS = Automatic Identification System
Since last year we carry an AIS transceiver from Digital Yacht (AIT 2000) with us. It combines VHF and GPS information that tells us which ships are around us, at what speed, in which direction, what the closest point of approach will be, when that will be etc and also sends the same information about Tioga to our surrounding neighbors on the water.
Very useful information, especially in busy shipping lanes like the Channel. On sites like Marinetraffic.com you can get an idea as to how busy some areas really are.
We connected that transceiver to our wireless router (so that our iPad can receive this AIS data) as well as to our DSC VHF radio (so that we can see AIS targets on the radio display in the nav station as well as on the remote mic in the cockpit). An additional benefits is the fact that the AIS signal includes the target’s MMSI number (similar to a person’s cell phone number) which allows us to call a freighter, for example, directly via that MMSI number – rather than hailing everybody via channel 16 hoping that the particular freighter we want to reach actually responds.
The nice thing of using an iPad for navigation is that it allows us to use the latest apps that were designed to combine AIS data with chart software etc. This is a very affordable way to get this done, compared to replacing our permanently installed navigation equipment on the boat. The screenshots below show iNavX (our navigation software) displaying AIS information around us in Nahant.
Another benefit is that these days a lot of “other” things are equipped with AIS transmitters, such as buoys, windfarms or oil platforms – all quite relevant for the upcoming trip through the North Sea. iNavX has the option to only show moving targets (first picture) or all targets (fourth picture).