North America, Europe · 59 Days · 9 Moments · March 2017

Atlantic Crossing 2017


5 May 2017

Horta, Faial, known as Insule de venture in the old letters and sailing charts, is thought to have been discovered during the first half of the 15th century. Settlement began before the year 1460 on Faials northern coast with settlers from the north of Portugal. We dined and were entertained at restaurant Genuino, my favorite of them all, and a must to eat at for visiting sailors. We departed for Terciera on the following morning, not too early mind you, after a leisure breakfast and motored toward the island for the remainder of the day. Terceira is one of the larger islands of the archipelago, with a population of 56,000 inhabitants in an area of approximately 396.75 square kilometers. From here I flew home. Onto my next adventure.

2 May 2017

We departed Baltimore, MD, USA on 7 April under pre-dawn conditions, and after 2 gales, 1 hurricane, an extremely strong storm, and various make shift repairs to the vessel we reach the Azores 25 1/2 days later. Tormalind lost the paddle for the wind pilot, half the rudder, battens from main and head sails, lower tracks from the main, as well as various lines, the mains Single block (fiddle, snap shackle), the head sail Walder boom brake, various new leaks from the coach roof and sides of the hull, one man over-board, while we almost lost another over board attributed to a rouge wave. Well stating that the voyage went well might an over statement, but we did make it. Flores welcomed us with its 143 kmĀ², a population of roughly 3907 inhabitants, and together with Corvo Island form the western archipelago of Azores. Three crew members abandoned ship here, and elected to fly home. After several rest days, we departed to Terciera but diverted to Horta, Faial, our original destination.

29 March 2017

Preparations on Tormalind commenced in earnest on about the 17th of March, a Lavranos 42 Pelican cat ketch. Of high importance, the safety aspects vessel for the voyage, which needed sorting out. The owner had purchased a life raft of unknown original, and unknown age, that turned out to be un-certifiable, the sole life ring not serviceable, the dan buoy missing a MOB flag and extremely worn. I took the initiative and commence all the revisions and securing of safety equipment needed for the crossing. The list grew long, life-raft, life ring, horseshoe, life lines, offshore vest, emergency provisions, flares, etc., etc. The vessel was by no way ready for this adventure, thus all hands on board to get her there. Running lines, checked and replacements identified, rigging hardware in question was replaced, new batteries added to the banks, 10 x 5 gallon emergency water containers purchased, filled and stored. Tormalind was hauled out, hull cleaned, new anti-foiling applied.

22 March 2017

I arrived at Anchorage Marina shortly after 12:30 on 15 Mar 2017 and immediately ran into three crew mates, Fernando, Julio and Gabriel in the marina's lounge. After initial greetings, we proceeded down the slip to Tormalind, a 42' Pelican Ketch Cat made by Lavranos launch in 1998. The vessel built in South Africa, was sailed Africa to Iceland, Iceland to Canada, Canada to Florida, Florida to Baltimore where it lied until being purchased by Julio. We enjoyed lunch At Nelly's, which was followed by shopping at Safeway, and a cup of tea on board. The temperature dropped during the evening to -5 degree Celsius, which convinced me that staying on board for the evening was the best decision a smart person could of made. As I age, I find that I am not a fan of cold weather anymore, which is strange for I used to love winter, downhill Skiing in the Alps in any kind of frozen weather, be it -5C or -15C, so long as I was able to race down the slops to the next hut for a warm beverage.

17 March 2017

Our first stop after traveling approximately 880 nautical miles in a south easterly direction was to be Bermuda, a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pink-sand beaches such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay and hosting the America's cup. Its massive Royal Naval Dockyard complex combines modern attractions such as the interactive Dolphin Quest with maritime history at the National Museum of Bermuda. The island has a distinctive blend of British and American culture, which can be found in Hamilton, the capital. The original plan was to spend a day in St. George, resting prior to continuing approximately 2144 nautical miles to Horta, on the Island of Faial, which is located in the archipelago of Azores. This how ever seems to have change for a straight shot to the Azores, and skipping Bermuda.

10 March 2017

The crew of Tormalind for he Atlantic crossing were Raul, myself, Victor, Julio, Fernando, and Gabriel.

9 March 2017

8 March 2017

Spring Hill Suites will house me for the next seven days. During which, I meet Christina, my grandkids and her husband, visit a dentist, meet old friend and stroll around Baltimore.
View over Iceland from the WOW flight.