Trip: Palm Beach to Barcelona, via Bermuda, the Azores, Gibraltar and Mallorca. Leaving on May 17, weather permitting. The time for the crossing is 22 days (5 to St. Georges, Bermuda, 11 to Horta, Azores, 6 to Gibraltar). There will be 4 layover days in both St. George’s and Horta. Gibraltar is a duty-free zones, so the stop there is primarily for fuel and offloading any crew on a short leash. The route and timing, after that, are undefined, although Reservations have been made in Mallorca from June 26 thru July 7 and in Barcelona starting July 9th. The crew expects to disband in Mallorca, where Bob’s wife, Kim, is expected to meet up (no cause-and-effect, here).
Vessel: Moxie is a Nordhavn 55. It is: 56′ 1″ length overall, 50′ 10″ length at the waterline, 18′ 0″ wide, 6′ 6″ below waterline and displaces 115,000 lbs. It’s powered by a 325 hp John Deere engine, with 2,250 gallons of diesel fuel, giving a range of over 4,000 nautical miles at about 7 knots.
Crew: Bob Warshawer is owner/captain. His crew consists of his son Jason (keeping the average age under 60), galley slave Peter Arneil (owner of another, smaller Nordhavn) and medical officer (but reluctant to claim the title) Sharmon Figenshaw (nurse practitioner, Golden Shellback and Peter’s wife). Watch rotations will be 3-4 hours, subject to modification once we are under way.
Fleet: Originally envisioned as a solo journey, the addition of 5 other Nordhavns has turned this into a Nordhavn affair. It even has a name: Nordhavn Atlantic Passage 2017 or NAP17. Four vessels will cross to the Med and two will depart Bermuda for Nova Scotia, instead. The crossing boats include another 55 (Angela, owned by Andre de Welding Cremer), a 60 (Relish, owned by Silvio Gentile) and a 52 (Alveoli, owner Stefan Hearst). Aboard Angela is professional captain, Bernie Francis, acting as fleet captain. He has produced a trip manual, outlining cruising protocol, route & timing, safety, customs procedures and much more. Aboard Relish are another couple, Rick & Michelle Riordan, who are blogging for the trip. Their site is http://nap2017.blogspot.com/. The two boats going as far as Bermuda are Roam (a 47, captained by Clark Haley) and Tivoli ( 50 ft., captained by Clayton Naeve).
Weather: Ive been told that mid-May through June is the best time to cross the Atlantic with minimal adverse weather. Upon further research, that has its truth, but it’s not the full story. Truth: winter-ish storms that come from the north have abated or disappeared…and…heat generated, summer storms, i.e. hurricanes, are unlikely. The rest of the story, though, is that, ideally, we’d want to cruise under influence of the Azores/Bermuda High. This atmospheric, high pressure zone is a summer pattern that starts in the Azores vicinity (the Azores High) and, as summer progresses, travels east towards Bermuda (the Bermuda High). So, assuming minimal exposure to tropical depressions/hurricanes, summer might be calmer. Yeah, except, where do ya wanna be for the summer? In the Med or in the middle of the Atlantic? So, like most other things in life, it’s a balance. This group has chosen the mid-May start. And conventional wisdom says, regardless of strategy, boats on an Atlantic crossing will encounter at least one gale.