Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Finish. Line

Freedom crossed the finish line at St David's. Light at 03:37:42 today June 23rd. Third in their class to cross the line they did so in. 106:47:42 hours, and a corrected time of 83:19:57. Congrats to the Skipper and his fabulous crew!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Food Lasted Just Long Enough...

It looks like Freedom will cross the finish line near (or hopefully before)sunrise Wednesday -- depending on wind speed (of course!). One boat in their class has already passed St. David's Light, and Freedom is in a tight race for 2nd across the line. But don't forget, the final standings are based on ratings, not on elapsed time over the course. Stay tuned.....


I Have Arrived

Alas, Freedom has not
So, we will drink a rum swizzle and await them Looks like it will be a girls night out with the women awaiting Freedom, Upgrade, and Spirit.
The Skipper reports a beautiful day on the ocean -- but I am thinking a shower and a cool drink would be even beter!

Technical Difficulties

Apologies Freedom fans - I am having trouble transferring data from email to the blog
O wil keep trying Meanwhile, the Skipper reports a beautiful sunrise with a pod of dolphins swimming along side. Jeff Moore, my guest blogger, reports Freedom had moved forward and now is in
4th place

Smelling the Coffee, Wishing it Was Rum

04:37, 6/22 from the Skipper

Beautiful night. Moon is getting larger every night. Now millions of stars diapearing in the glow of dawn. Just spectacular.

Morning coffee smells great. 152 miles to the finish. Hope to keep this speed. The crew is ready to get to the bar, and the shower.

Looking forward to meeting them in the Rum Line!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cruising? Division

6/21, 18:35 From the Skipper

Beautiful evening for a sail.. Reminds we why we do it.

Just contacted by a passing cruise ship. He asked if there was some sort of yachting event. He too is headed for Bermuda but suspects he would arrive before "you chaps".

Guest Post from Jeff Moore

I have invited Jeff Moore, Freedom Delivery Crew member to be my Guest Blogger this morning. Thanks Jeff for providing information about the competition in Cruising Division 12.

Quick Monday morning update…….

· Freedom has slipped to 6th place, behind Cadence , Poeske, Nostros, Shindig, and BonSpiel

· Freedom has 334 nm to go. Wind looks to be filling in nicely for the next day and wind is on the beam with a good heading for Bermuda.

· Nostros, Shindig and BonSpiel passed them during Sunday evening and overnight, taking a ride on the gulf stream and getting the new wind first. Gulf stream must have been just west of their heading (15 miles?) as the wind got light for Freedom overnight. Appears that the new southwest wind filled in first for the boats who went west early.

· With the wind now (almost) on their beam and blowing 17 kts, it’s a good opportunity for Freedom to make up some lost ground to the 5 boats that went west . Freedom excels in these conditions! Proven on the race course around the buoys when we put 4 miles over Actaea and Grey Ghost on a short leg in a GRF race.

· Cadence has gotten a perfect ride out of the stream (several skeds with at over 10 kts over the ground) and has passed Gold Digger, a very well sailed J-44!!!! Phenomenal. Dolphin (J-42) is further down the race course, close to the rhumb line now after hitting the gulf stream nicely also.

· Lots of race course left! If the wind stays on the beam, Freedom has proven her speed in these conditions.

GO Freedom! Lots of race course left.


Overnight Updates

From the Skipper at 0:25:

Searching for stream, should be close. going 7+. Lots of storm clouds and warm water

And later at 05:43:

Found stream. added 3 knots of speed. Punishing t-storms pushed us out to the east. Going 8+. Pounding off waves. Haven't been able to sleep yet. Hope things settle down soon. Moving quickly the right way and happy to see dawn.

Other boats in their class went way west to catch the stream, with good results. For now Freedom has lost her lead on the race course, but with over 300 miles to go a lot can happen.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Whales but no Wind

Sunday June 20, 17:55 from the Skipper:

Just spotted a pod of small whales about 200 feet away slowly moving to the south. Beautiful to see so close, but close enough.
Still very light wind. Getting ready to start Cheesey Potatoes with Ham (yum, yum).
This crew is hammering the junk food. We'll be out soon. The popcorn. That won't run out!

To hear what else the crew is eating, head on over to

Stop and Go Traffic

From the Skipper at 14:27 Sunday (2:27PM to the landlubbers among us!)

Moving again. Wind filled in a few hours ago. Directly on the nose so we are sailing at 6.5 with VMG of 3.5. Stream is about 50 miles. We will get there later then normal hoping for Southwest wind to fill in so we can make up some time (and not run out of food). Beautiful sunny day.

Not sure if he means they will get to Bermuda or the Gulf Stream later than usual. Although they may grow short on meals if the wind continues to be light, there is no way the crew will run out of snacks - even if they are only fueled by popcorn and Chex Mix, washed down with skill and adrenaline, they will get there!

Things that Go Bump in the Night

Lots of action in the dark (and then a lack of it).....

Subject: Freedom 04:12 6/21
Date: 6/20/2010 4:28:03a

> Becalmed again. 65 miles from the stream and it's possile 5 knot
> positive currents. Last night at 20:00 we had to shorten down with 27
> knots of wind opposing a knot of current making things very lumpy and
> frequently launching us. After rolling the jib down to a three and
> putting a reef in the main we were charging at 8.5. Now we are trying to
> avoid circles.
> 19 running lights in sight.
> Yesterday at sunrise we snagged a fishin bouy. At first we thought a large
> fish was surfacing until we could see the bouy. It inly took a couple of
> minutes but we went from 5 to 2 very quickly.
> The beef stew was very good but it was too lumpy to make the biscuits at
> dinner last night..

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Morning Update

At 11:32 the Skipper posted via the Satellite phone:

Breeze finally filled in after we were becalmed for several hours. Going over 7 again feels goood. Tacked onto port so all of the gear shifted. Quite a racket.

The weather is behaving as predicted so far. Should get new weather maps in about 20 minutes. Hopefully no more light spots from here to Bermuda.

Actea and Grey Ghost still in sight but dropping back fast.

Starry, Starry Night

A middle of the night post from the Skipper:

3:00 am ghosting along at 4.5 on a very close reach. Beautiful night full of stars. Grey Ghost is 1.8 miles ahead. Should catch them in about an hour and a good view at dawn. Actaea is between us.

Wind is getting lighter as expected. Dawn will be light air but it should then build through the day.

Speedboat and Puma rolled us at sunset going 16 to our 8.25. Puma was 3 boat lengths away and went by so fast I barely got my camera out in time.

Dinner casserole was just the right size. Starting at 3:50 has everyone a little off but settling into watches quickly.

Back to navigating. Need to keep us west of rhumb line until the stream.

Grey Ghost is owned by our good friend Phil Parrish, pictured above. He has three generations on board, Phil, his son Ted and his son Austin. Actaea is owned by fellow Corinthian and CCA member Mike Cone. Both keep their boats on the Sassafras River. We are cheering on all Chesapeake Bay boats!

Speed Boat seems to be living up to her name. Puma, aka Il Mostro, raced around the world in between the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race and this year's race.

I'll be posting a race food menu on www.FreedomFareAfloat. blogspot,com later today or tomorrow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

And They're Off

The Newport Bermuda Ocean Yacht Race began today under sunny skies. Shortly after their 4PM start, the Skipper sent this message:

Had a great start and very good speed. First to red bell off Newport to bear off toward Bermuda


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moored in Jamestown

Freedom arrived safely in Jamestown about 10AM. She is moored at the Conanicut Yacht Club -- her home for the week while last minute boat prep is completed.

The days leading up to a major race like this means long hours for the local boat mechanics. Many entries have traveled a good distance just to get to the starting line, and consequently things happen : bolts come loose, batteries die, systems fail, or in the case of Freedom: Mufflers Leak.
Mechanics will be on and off of boats from sunup to sundown (and later) all over the Narragansett Bay area from now until minutes before the start on Friday. The race would not happen without them.

Nearing Newport.. But not Without a Story to Tell...

The Latest from the Skipper....

Saturday June 12, 2:38 AMEntering long Island Sound with Montauk Poiint to port and Block Island to Starboard. Should enter Newport Harbor at sunrise,.

Not much wind so mostly motoring. No storms either so we'll take it. Had some excitement Thursday night about 50 miles off Atlantic City. During my routine inspection I lifted the floorboard to find a great deal of water. The bilge pump would not start so we immediately manned both manual pumps while frantcly searching for the source. All through hulls were sound. Once pumped out it stayed very dry. The bilge pump worked fine once the breaker was turned on. After repeated inspections we found water coming from the engine. The muffler has developed a leak. Thanks to the Sat Phone we have a mechanic lined up gor Monday morning.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heading North

Late Day word from the Skipper: Safe Travels, Freedom!

We just started our cruise/rally at R2 off Cape May.Under power at 7.5 knots..seems kind of wierd. We do not want to forget our mission is to get the boat to Newport in one piece for the Bermuda Race. Water is flat and weather is clear so we are off. Mechanical systems working and downloading satelite weather software whenever we have a connection. Somebody found the America's Cup replay on TV during dinner. Go figure. Looking for the Phillies game and loving this coastal cruising.

Saw a pod of about 15 dolphin on the Bay side of Cape May. They were headed in while we were headed out. (sounds like a good Springsteen song)

Catching the Tide

The Skipper, Doc, Z-man, Juan Valdez and Andy got up early to catch the morning tide as they head north. Here is the morning report:

We left the dock at 5:25. Slack current down the river and a flood tide up the Bay is helping us at over 1.0 kts so we are motoring at 9.3 kts. We are in the canal just past Schaefers. Planning to stop for fuel at Summit North before exiting canal. Looks like a light air ride with the wind on the nose after we turn the corner at Cape May.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bringin' Home the Silver

We had a fun time on the Bay last weekend participating in the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia's Spring Cruise. Thursday night found us at the Annapolis Yacht Club for registration and a light dinner/heavy hors d'oeuvres. After a good night's rest at Kurt and Dona's we boarded Freedom and set out for the Fun Race. The political theme had us choosing sides to sit on (Dems vs. Repubs)and overthrowing the Skipper. Not much wind, but lots of laughs. We anchored in th Magothy, visited among the fleet and got ready for a day of racing on Saturday. Another calm day, but Al, Donna, Kurt, and Dona (our Bermuda return crew) kept it interesting, and we placed third in our class. Another evening of visiting among the fleet in Whitehall Bay. Sunday brought more wind, some frustration and a first place finish! After much needed showers we headed to dinner at the AYC via Kurt and Dona's boat -- tough on the hair, but what a treat -- that's living!