Shar & I arrived last Wednesday to start organizing the galley and stores…and Bob arrived on Friday night. Since then, boats and crew have arrived and we’re slowly meeting everyone. Group gatherings were held for Monday & Tuesday mornings to hear fleet captain Bernie offer his wisdoms and commandments, and a social gathering occured on Monday evening. So, it’s all starting to get real.
The fleet, boats & crews are below; first the ‘crossing’ boats, then the final 2 going to Bermuda, then elsewhere:
- Moxie N55 (with 4 aboard) – owner Bob, son Jason, Shar & me
- Angela N55 (4) – owners Andre & Oxanna, fleet Capt. Bernie & sidekick Robert
- Aleoli N52 (6 – all guys & the only boat w/ a body bag) – owner Stephan, Fernando & 4 others (sorry, guys)
- Relish N60 (4) currently in the Bahamas – owner Silvio, Rick & Michelle, Gary
- Jura N57 (3) currently in Bermuda, going with us as far as Horta, Azores – owner Cameron, Rob & Michel
- Roam N47 (4) – owners Clark & Michelle, another Michelle & Mark
- Tivoli N50 (3) – owner Clayton & Deanna, Jim
We just learned of an addition to the fleet, the above mentioned Jura. They will accompany us on the Bermuda – Horta leg, then strike out on their own, going to Scotland.
The weather looks OK. Notice, I didn’t say good. Easterly winds 15 – 20 kts with seas 4 – 6 ft are forecast. Easterly (from the east), in this case, means, because we want to go east, ‘in your face’ or, in boat terms, ‘on the nose’. Winds on the nose are not mitigated by stabilization systems, with which all these boats are equipped. Stabilizers are designed to reduce rolling (side to side), which is much more seasick inducing than pitching (more descriptively, ‘hobby-horsing’). So, we’ll be bumping around a bit for the first two days. After that, things look pretty good, all the way to Bermuda. By late Thursday, we expect SE winds 5 – 15 kts and seas of about 2 ft.
Boats are mostly ready. We are totally provisioned, safety checked, watered, fueled, with all crew on board (Jason arrived this AM). Some boats, however, still have minor outstanding issues. Angela, for instance, has air conditioning problems…with needed parts that were promised for arrival on Monday that still aren’t here; not a show-stopper, for sure, but something that adds stress as we close in on the deadline. There was a rumor of crew shortage, due to a broken rib and another due to illness, but that did not surface at the last morning meeting. So, by and large, we’re ready and the fleet is ready.
I haven’t said much about the home port where we’re gathering, Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach. Nice place. Here’s a narrow view out the saloon door as I’m drinking my morning coffee. That’s the marina office and restaurant. Nice palm trees, eh.
There are more Nordhavns here than you can shake a ludefisk at, some really large. Beyond our little fleet, there are a 62, 68 & 86 (92′ counting the swim step) here, and Bob says there are many more during the winter. Last night, the Queen of the fleet arrived under cover of darkness. Aurora is 120 ft. of superyacht, dwarfing us all.
North Palm Beach is a nice flat place. Hot, by NW standards. Been around 90 each day, with afternoon breezes that keep it from being stifling, but don’t really cool. Surface streets are wide boulevards, criss-crossing everywhere, with posted speed limits of 40 – 45 mph, but 50+ isn’t unusual. U-turns at traffic lights are part of the routine.
We’ve enjoyed the local seafood; no wait, love it! Copia, grouper, mahi and stone crab have graced our dinner plates. I think the copia, which is a tad like halibut, is my fav; Shar lists the Mahi-Mahi highest. There are lots of nice restaurants nearby and given that this is the slow season, it’s easy to grab a table. So, before we leave, one last dinner out tonight..and I’m ordering FISH.
Another cool element of the area is the abundance of Italian markets. There are two within easy driving distance. Carmine’s (OMG!) is fabulous. I wanna move in and live there! We did our last provisioning trip to Carmine’s this morning: fresh produce, cheeses, meat and specialty sauces. Oh yeah, we aren’t gonna go hungry on this trip.
Next is open ocean…