I was stuck. I told a friend down in St. John that I would be there end of October…it was already Thanksgiving and I was still over 800 miles away. Luckily for me, I get to continue my travel story because I wasn’t going home. The day after I left the 42′ Whitby at the customs dock I met a nice couple from Maine, and they agreed to take me and my friend/sailing buddy the rest of the way to the Caribbean. They were headed to Tortola, which was right next door to the island I was trying to get to, St. John. As we moved aboard Cool Change, a 42′ Fountaine Pajot, we took to the narrow streets of Bermuda with all our belongings in hand, riding our long-boards.
On Monday November 21st we spotted land, and entered the port of St. Georges, Bermuda. As soon as we checked into customs, I let the others know that I would not be continuing with Kallista. I left the boat and checked in with the dockmaster, Sanda, one of the kindest women I ever met. She hooked me up with a good Samaritan named Shelly, another one of the kindest women I have ever met. Shelly runs the Samaritan’s Cottage, a historical building and refuge for sailors like me. She even picked me up from Ordnance Island after picking up her daughter from school. I find that the people of Bermuda are kind and welcoming. Young kids ride the buses by themselves without fear; I ride the bus alongside friends with anxiety. All and all I am just amazed by this country; there roads, their people, and the amount of bugs in the nice place I am staying.
On Tuesday November 22nd I met Raymond Lillie of Islesboro, ME. He was in the Caribbean 1500 from Hampton, VA to Tortola. After having a rough passage with damage to their boat, they decided to divert to Bermuda for repair. The crew isn’t able to continue so he invited Jean Phillipe and I onto their Catamaran as crew for the 2nd passage down to Tortola.
I recommend traveling the way I am, by boat, because you will end up meeting others that make your trip worth while.
Wednesday November 23rd, 2011 (A day in St. Georges, Bermuda)
Thursday November 17th 2011
The scariest night in my life…
After crossing the gulf stream over a day ago, we were still experiencing high seas and wind. The deteriorating low front was taking awhile to break up. We were all getting fed up with the conditions, and it was starting to show on our character. One night after I ended my watch Jean Phillipe took over and immediately something didn’t feel right. I was in the forward cabin, which is the worst place to be in rough seas. I could hear shouting as I tried to get to sleep. Capt. John had awoken at the start of Jean Phillipe’s watch because of the constant banging of the hull. John lashed out at Jean Phillipe and I knew tonight was not going to be a good night. I later got up, fed up with hearing them argue. Jean Phillipe was certain something was wrong with the rudder, it was unresponsive, he had know control. I had run into this issue on a previous boat. The Auto Pilot which we had been using had drained the hydraulic fluid from its tank.
Later that night, after pulling in the sails and deciding to motor, our motor cut out and we were adrift in the Atlantic ocean till morning. It was too rough and we were all too exhausted to continue making headway. We found out that two of the three diesel tanks had been taking on water and were not for the time being unusable.
November 12th – 21st 2011
Atlantic Ocean – Gulf Stream Crossing
After over a month of prep work, Kallista embarked on an offshore cruise down to St. John (U.S.V.I.), with a midway stop in Bermuda. Saturday the 12th we hit the diminishing winds and high seas of tropical storm Sean as we headed out of Salem, MA around Cape Cod. Everyone ended up getting seasick during the first few days except me. We were sailing close-hauled up to 40 knots of wind with the 15 seas. With the wind and waves off our bow trying to keep them on the quarter, it was a difficult few days at sea. On Tuesday November 15th we made it to the Gulf Stream, a swift ocean current that originates from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the tip of Florida and drifts northeast towards Newfoundland. It felt so good to reach, as if it were a milestone we had accomplished. It felt even better to know that we were not alone, dolphins immediately came to our starboard-side as if to guide us south 180 degrees to our destination. Seeing those dolphins rejuvenated our souls.
October 25th – November 11th 2011
F. J. Dion Yatch Yard – Salem, MA
I worked aboard the sailing vessel Kallista, a 42′ Whitby Ketch getting it ready for an offshore cruise down to St. John. Prepping and painting the hull are just a few of things I helped with. This clip is of Captain John W. Lee in the bosun’s chair setting up what he patented called “PINEAPPLES” (mop heads) which would protect the main sail from chaffing on the rigging lines. I was down bottom, belaying. I went up next and installed the port-side “PINEAPPLES”.