Archive For The “Destinations” Category

527 Miles To Ireland

527 Miles To Ireland

In over 13,000 engine hours and some 95,000 miles of travel, we’ve never had a mechanical emergency at sea and never have had to distrub the off-watch person to deal with an issue. This happened twice on the passage from Newport to Ireland, the first was the high bilge water alarm last week during James’…

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Newport to Grand Banks

Newport to Grand Banks

The first seven days of our 2,800nm passage from Newport RI to Kinsale, Ireland were a battle. We battled negative Bay of Fundy currents, low-pressure systems, and a water-ingress issue that threatened the boat and took us ten hours to resolve. On the positive side, we also got a push from the Gulf Stream and…

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Newport Yachting Center

Newport Yachting Center

Newport Yachting Center was a wonderful place to live for a few weeks as we staged for our Atlantic crossing. The marina had just put its docks back in the water the week prior to our arrival, but we didn’t realize just how early we were in their season until we’d been there a month…

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Passage Preparation

Passage Preparation

We generally keep Dirona ready to go to sea at a moment’s notice, and securing the cockpit furniture is typically all we need to do as we get underway. For multi-day passages, we do some additional preparation ranging from provisioning, to heavy weather preparation, to paperwork necessary to bring Spitfire into a new country. Highlights…

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Steering Issue

Steering Issue

We haven’t had steering issues in the past. Given they can happen anywhere, why the heck would it occur within hours of dead-center on our 2,800 nm trip through the North Atlantic? We have covered a lot of miles over the years and generally have seen pretty good conditions. The weather we’ve encountered has been…

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Alarms at 1:15am

Alarms at 1:15am

I bolted awoke at 1:15am to a shrieking alarm. We were 50 miles south of the Grand Banks, in large seas, on passage from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. I ran upstairs to the pilot house and Jennifer at the helm just said “high bilge water.” Yuck. Better than fire but far from good news….

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Big System Coming

Big System Coming

For quite some time now we have been watching a very large low in the weather models coming down from Greenland. The storm is currently predicted to bring 20′ waves on 10 second period, with 25 to 30 kt winds.  With 20′ waves nominal, there will be some that approach or exceed our 30′ mast…

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Fort Adams

Fort Adams

Fort Adams guards the harbor entrance to Newport and is the largest coastal fortification in the US. The parade area is 800ft across and covers 6.5 acres. We can see the fort from our berth at Newport Yachting Center and on a warm, sunny day finally got over for a tour. On the way we…

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North Atlantic 500mb Forecast

North Atlantic 500mb Forecast

We plan on getting underway this weekend for Kinsale, Ireland. It’s a tiny bit early in the season but we have what looks to be a blocking high developing in the North Atlantic which will stall the steady stream of low-pressure systems that we’ve been watching for the past several months. Unfortunately the high is…

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Departure Planning

Departure Planning

We’ve been studying the weather every day as we prepare for our Atlantic crossing from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. We use a variety of data sources, including NOAA surface analysis and 500MB forecasts. The sources we rely most heavily on are GRIB files containing data from computer-generated models such as NOAA GFS and WAVEWATCH…

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Thunderbolt to Newport

Thunderbolt to Newport

With a big push from the Gulf Stream and an evolving good weather forecast, an overnight run from Thunderbolt, Georgia turned into a three-night run to Cape May, New Jersey and eventually a four-night run directly to Newport, RI. Trip highlights from March 25th through 29th, 2017 follow. Click any image for a larger view,…

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Flying over Newport

Flying over Newport

In January of this year, while walking in St. Marys, Georgia, we heard a drone and went to check it out. What really caught our interest here was that the person with the controls wasn’t even looking at the drone. It was a DJI Mavic Pro that had some really impressive features, including the ability…

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Thunderbolt Marine

Thunderbolt Marine

We’d never heard of Thunderbolt, Georgia, nor the superyacht yard there, until we were referred to Ian Anderson, an electronics installer at local Mackay Communications. Following an overnight run from Halifax Harbor, we spent three busy but enjoyable days at Thunderbolt Marine while we upgraded our KVH V7 mini-VSAT satellite data system to the latest…

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Halifax Harbor Marina

Halifax Harbor Marina

Halifax Harbor Marina is among the closest marinas to Daytona International Speedway, which is the main reason we picked it. But we were so happy with our berth there that we extended our four-week stay to six weeks almost immediately upon arrival. It was an excellent base to attend the racing at Volusia and Daytona,…

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