A Stern Publication.
Tuesday August 27 at 3 PM Newfoundland time Tioga spotted Great Skellig Island ten miles off. Kudos to our intrepid Capitan for bringing the crew so far and so fast.
We’re going to put in at a small harbor close to Fastnet Rock and grab a mooring for a few hours. We’ll then head out to see the Rock before heading to Kinsale for customs. What a journey! Stand by your cellphone.
A note to a certain reader. Our dedicated reader and regular Tioga crew member Peter Barba submitted the following letter:
I read with great enjoyment the recent installment of the Lazarette – The Need For Speed. I know how the Captain and Ulf are competitive and can see Amy as competitive as well. My guess is one of Ulf’s protests must have been that he was not allowed to “ put out the Blister” or at least increase the sails to suit his personal needs. And why is he Ulf “Son of Ulf”. Shouldn’t he be Ulf “son of Rosemarie” or “Father of Jasper” or “Father of Max” which is actually pretty cool sounding. And what’s the story behind Bunk Nomad Ledyard – are you all not Bunk Nomads? And King Philip – you anointed him King? Dan Mcmackin and I are a little concerned with the brown nosing going on – we suspect it is to gain favor for chances at future sailing legs aboard Tioga. Serving the Captain breakfast in bed and anointing him king will only go so far. When the $#,% hits the fan! Which one of you will climb in the hole and have the ability to fix the hydro generator controller or figure out when there is water in the exhaust clogging it up like a banana in your tail pipe. The Captain is a pretty smart guy and we’re sure he sees through your thinly veiled attempts at locking up a place on his next adventure. You need to do it the old fashioned way – bribe him with cash. Dan’s got a fist full of dollars to reserve our spots. Dan and I are watching closely!
And my wife asked why was Ellen not given a time at the wheel in this speed contest – We think she could have been a Contenda!
Im thinking (what are you thinking about) with the liberal state of humanity today, you may want to make everyone happy by awarding prizes so that everyone wins. Dapper DAVE would get overall winner, King (huh) Philip would be fastest Captain. Bunk Nomad Ledyard could be …well fastest Bunk Nomad. Chef Amy could be fastest female ( oh wait that is brining gender in and I think that is a no no today) so I guess Fastest Chef and Ellen could be Fastest while wearing perfect lipstick!
Lastly – quite an ETMAL but not quite the record – good effort buddy, keep trying!
Oh, and my wife Pretty Linda, passed along that on the Ireland Scotland Leg, King (huh) Captain Philip told her she had steered Tioga to the fastest she had ever been, too bad Pretty Linda can’t remember what that speed was
Hope you enjoy my email – heck I need something to do while I WAIT MY TURN FOR THE NEXT LEG! Oh that would be FIRST in line – right Captain King Philip? And What would you like for breakfast on the first day?
We felt it only proper to address Peter’s concerns further below in a note from Ledyard (Bunk Nomad and New Guy)
It is so funny that you mention “the hole.” I was just working in there yesterday to install the new water maker that I brought along as a gift for Tioga. It should be a real upgrade for next season’s crew, whoever that might be. I am sure you will be included, although it is odd how incessantly Philip is seeking a place in our luggage for your boots.
Please tell Pretty Linda that her 11.3 record stands under normal conditions. Top speeds made this year probably have to do with the upgrades Philip and I have been making to the standing rigging while underway.
Regarding bunk nomad status, I was able to fix all the leaks in the deck except for the one over the starboard bunk. It happens to be my bunk since Ulf saved it for me. How nice of him. So I am the only one forced to travel. (It’s great to have all these things taken care of before we put her to bed for the winter.) Happy to take off your list.
So nothing to worry about. Although Philip keeps asking me about my schedule next summer, I’m sure it’s nothing. You know how chit chatty he can be. And if it doesn’t work out, you can always go sailing with Dan as long as you bring the Fireball.
The New Guy
a Stern Publication
Monday August 26
As we celebrate 10 days at sea we would like to thank our growing list of now hundreds of subscribers. Most readers are friends and family of the 50 sailors that have enjoyed sailing Tioga with captain Philip and his family on the Atlantic’s blue waters since 2008.
Our newest subscriber is also one of the oldest ones: Rolf Reinhard, 92 and Ulf’s father in law has inspired Ulf to sign up for this journey to Ireland, which is where Rolf had spent his early childhood.
Rolf’s dad, a forester, had been hired by the Irish government to reforest the island in the 1930s. When Rolf was 12 years old he competed in Irish planking, an ancient celtic sport.
You may recall that In the 1960s Irish planking was almost selected as an Olympic sport, loosing out only to Badminton. The goal is to create a straight line from head to toe and to hold this in place as long as possible, while touching the ground only with toes and elbows.
Rolf achieved a school record of 17 Minutes and 23 seconds. In honor of Rolf, today each of the the Tioga crew members attempted to break Rolf’s record, see attached photos. Needless to say Rolf’s record still stands with our max achieved by Captain Philip at 4 minutes, 16 seconds!
Today was probably the busiest day of all. Beyond Irish planking, the Tioga crew engaged in changing, reefing and setting sails, cleaning, cooking, and reading (yes, Emily, Ulf has almost completed Sapiens!). Most importantly, we turned on the heater – a Tioga first timer – to dry out the boat and gear after yesterday’s surf, spray and rain.
The wind died down today, and we did not travel many miles in the last 24 hours. Never-the-less, we are coming into the home stretch of our journey, with just over a day until we expect to see Fastnet rock!
Going from roughly 12000 feet depth to just 1200, we left the deep waters today and are impressed by the very long and at least 10 foot high ocean swell.
As we prepare for dinner with a beautiful sun setting behind us, all is well on Tioga!
a Stern Publication
Sunday August 25
Despite appearances to the contrary Tioga is a laser dinghy! For those who are not familiar with the laser, it is a one-person dinghy, 13 feet in length, one main sail, and she weighs about 130 pounds before crew. It is also a boat that Philip, Ulf and Ledyard sail a fair bit in “friendly” competition. Tioga is 44 feet long, has a main, jib and staysail, along with various other sails, capacity for an endless supply of Spam, baked beans and other supplies, a crew of six, and she weighs in at about 26000 pounds.
How is it the Tioga could ever be a laser? Survey says: She surfs like one! Yes the laser actually surfs in enough wind, skipping along the surface at an exciting clip. Tioga surfs in a much more stable and stately style but surf none the less she does. She’s been on a broad reach, starboard tack since 6 PM last night, Saturday. In a nice breeze we began to see some big numbers on the knot meter. The competitive juices began to flow. I wonder who can go fastest?
Ledyard began with an impressive 11.4 knt run in a paltry 26 knt breeze. (Wow that guy is fast). Seeing Ledyard’s stellar display at the helm, Ulf began to create ad hoc rules regarding the scoring of wave surfing in the North Atlantic, ostensibly to create a fair playing field but one must wonder when the high score by ledyard suddenly becomes just a qualifying score. Hmmm. In a much stiffer breeze of 30 knts, Ulf was able to achieve a 12.5 surf, at least according to him. Ledyard went forward to pout and nap.
Then the big dog showed up. Rising from his nap, Captain Philip could not resist getting in on the action. And as one would expect with so much time behind the Tioga wheel (read massive unfair advantage), Philip scored a 13.5 knts. Ledyard and Ulf then simulated electrical issues and switched off the knot meter, reminding Philip of his own words that Tioga is a low energy consumption boat.
Ulf and Ledyard began secretly using Philip’s data plan to consult with international sailing associations to file the obvious protest. Clearly their early surfing clean Tioga’s bottom, creating unfair conditions. This is further supported by the fact that Ulf went faster than Ledyard and then Philip faster still.
However the real threat was yet to come. In the following watch, Dapper Dave rode a big wave to clock the winning 13.9 score What a ride. Ledyard had a great final run at 12.9. Then in the following watch Chef Amy served up a 12.6 dish of humble pie.
Dapper Dave 13.9
Prince Philip 13.5
Bunk Nomad Ledyard 12.9
Chef Amy 12.6
Ulf, Son of Ulf 12.5 (good effort buddy keep trying )
All this goes to show that you can take the sailer out of the dinghy but you can’t take the dinghy out of the sailer.
All is well here on Tioga, bruised egos aside.
Distance traveled in the last 24 hours: 179!
a Stern Publication
The day started with a belated celebration of reaching the half way mark with Mimosas. Don‘t ask why it just happened that way. We gave Neptune his due and began to think about the second half of our journey, now well underway.
After cocktails, the wind died down slowly, and the sun smiled across a cloudless sky. The air and sailors’ mood got so warm that an Ocean swim became theoretically possible (in 2025 fathoms = 13,000 feet = 4,000 meters , 59 F = 15 C waters). What started as a hypothetical discussion lead to all 6 sailors changing into their speedos. The boys jumped in first as boys often do. The girls waited from a safe distance until after they had attained positive confirmation that all boys made it back alive. Then, instead of jumping in they dipped their toes into the iceberg cooled water inch by inch so that they could enjoy the contraction of their veins more intensely.
Once everyone had warmed up again, we listened to Max W’s awesome playlist of classic rock and demonstrated everyones signature dance moves (see attached)
And yes. We ran the Engine for the very first time on this trip due to no wind.
It’s spaghetti and meatballs on the menu tonight served with laughter and good cheer on the side.
a Stern Publication
Thank you to our faithful Tioga crew not able to make this passage who sent us off with not-to-be-opened-until-half-way gift boxes. We loved the mix of goodies and warm thoughts.
Big news on Tioga today, it is Dave’s birthday! He is a lucky guy to be scudding down the waves in 15 kts on his BDay, and we are lucky to have him on Tioga. Dave has brought along a family heirloom, a beautiful sextant, so that it can finally be christened a transatlantic instrument and add to his family’s rich history of sailing. You really get to know a guy on watch after watch, and Dave is a good man and a dedicated dad. He apparently has excellent dance moves as well, but has been a bit shy on the Lido Deck. Happy Birthday Dave, your up in ten.
Some readers have requested data on long standing Tioga traditions. Here you go:
1. Run the motor yet? No!
2. Turned on the heater in the North Atlantic during the freezing cold? No!
3. Sail changes: 1444 changes. ulf keep putting up the spinnaker without permission and leaving it for Philip to deal with on his watch. 4. Found Ulfs boots in the garbage? Daily!
Miles traveled last 24: 157
All is well here on Tioga