Video – Germany to Norway

A summary of our tour from Kappeln, Germany, to Kristiansand, Norway. Unfortunately, we hit a rock in Denmark and had to pull Tioga out for repairs in Aarhus, Denmark.

As we were lucky to find a nice group of people in Aarhus, we only lost three days. The new mast made it in one piece and the bad weather is already forgotten…

Should this YouTube video not run in your country, maybe this link works for you:

Video – Unpacking the mast

Catching up on all the video files we created during this summer, here is a first quick glimpse on how we started the mast assembly in early July.

The mast was built in the USA (California) and then shipped from Los Angeles via the Panama Canal to Hamburg (with many many stops in between).
From there it went via Customs in Rendsburg to Ancker Yachting in Kappeln, where the very friendly and competent staff unloaded the precious cargo…
Kevin Montague from Northeast Rigging arrived the same day from Boston and organized us very well to assemble the mast in record time of 3.5 days (for an assembly with amateur helpers and without the usual tools he has available in the US).
Due to the mast’s late arrival (by about a month) we had to cancel the first leg (from Germany to Sweden) and cut the second leg (Sweden to Norway) in half.

The mast made it in one piece to Lanzarote with only a few and also manageable hick-ups (we had to built new partners and retape the mast boot in Norway, rebuild the vang bracket threads/bolts in Lanzarote, …).
Once the mast is back home in the US, we will take care of the remaining mostly cosmetic items.


Azores to France – video

This video covers the 2nd leg of our 2015 transatlantic journey, ie the tour from Terceira, Azores to Brittany, France.

Our new crew, Peter & Sean Davis, John Fulghum and Doug Frauenholz, had flown to Terceira a few days before our departure and stocked up lots of fresh food, including a frozen piglet. Corinna and Lauren had flown to Germany while Nick and Philip continued on with the 4 new guys.
We left Terceira in late July and arrived in Roscoff about 10 days later.

While we did not have any significant storms to deal with, the challenges were initially more about sailing downwind as close to the rhumb line as possible, followed by low wind periods that turned against us and increased in strength.
Crossing the first traffic separation zone showed the value of our new AIS system and prepared us well for further crossings later on.
From Roscoff, our formal port of entry, we moved on the Isle de Brehat  and then St Malo.

Total distance sailed: app 1400nm.



For those in countries where this YouTube video does not run, the link below might be better choice (it takes a little longer to load, though)


Tioga slideshow and presentation at Dory Club

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.

Fun facts:

  • 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;

when you see dolphins jumping in deep blue water, life is good  our mark in Horta  Overall plan  Islands of the Azores we visited  Britanny and Channel Islands  Solent, Isle of Wight  A busy day on the Northsea  for 2 days we had to take every 90 min against wind in the high 20s  Kiel Canal (about 60nm)  crew of the first leg in Horta

Summary video of crew and this year’s highlights:

Where is Yahoodi?

As most people lose interest when watching hundreds photos of someone else’s trip, here is a very quick slideshow to get an idea of what this year’s trip looked like.
A teaser to our upcoming video night at the Dory Club…

Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage Cake

Yesterday was our good-bye party at the Dory Club (the last weekend before our departure on June 19, Friday afternoon). It was great to see our club house filled with lots of members, crew, friends and many more.

Dan had printed a couple of charts to help explain our project. Manny, our commodore (who is from the Azores!), opened the event, followed by an (as always) well prepared speech by Peter. I said a couple of words and even Corinna stepped forward and thanked the usual suspects (must be a big event when that happens…)

Best of all, we got a lot of well wishes and even presents and  for the trip 🙂 – from good books about St Malo to expensive Champagne to flags of the Azores and Brittany to many other things (and surprises).

Thanks a lot for all these thoughtful gifts!!
They will remind us of the great community that we have in Nahant.


The eagle has landed

Flying a drone on land is something to get used to but overall not that hard – as long as the pilot is looking in the same direction as the drone and there is plenty of space to fly in. Once the drone rotates it take a fair bit of experience to direct it accurately in  the right direction as left & right, back & forth are no longer in sync with the joystick direction on the remote…

Anyways, we thought we had the basics figured out (only crashed into our house once) and took our new drone (Phantom 3 from DJI) out to the mooring to practice take off and landing from a boat. Altough the weather was very nice and the wind relatively calm (under 10kn), the boat still moved sideways with the change in wind direction and the bow up and down with the waves.

The video below shows our first take off and landing (which was harder than expected as we wanted to film us doing it and therefore had the drone rotated 180′. It made landing a lot harder than expected and almost crashed the drone into the rail and potentially the ocean… – but we were lucky and it came to rest before anything major happened.).
We got away with a good scare and will practice landing it in someone’s hand next as the motion of the boat and relatively small landing space make this a risky move on board Tioga.

Safety at sea seminar – day 1

We had a very informative day with the Safety at Sea Symposium at the University of Boston campus today (link).

Lots of experience in the room, good presenters, relevant topics and even some food. Nice to see some familiar faces after this looong winter.
While not many things were really new, it was valuable to refresh the memory, learn a few things here and there, complete our check lists etc; but mostly confirming that we are on the right track. We already carry most of what was recommended on board and showed the suggested behaviors during prior cruises.

Crew that went today:

Dan McMackin
Ulf Westhoven
Peter Davis
Nick Kersten
Philip Kersten

safety at sea safety at sea safety at sea

Good to see that our rigger, Kevin, was the expert on all things rigging:

safety at sea

Kevin will survey our boat in April to make sure we are good to go.