2002 Bermuda Reports

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Course:      Offshore Passage Making, Norfolk to Bermuda
Date:          May 26-June 2, 2002
Vessel:        IP40 ENCHANTMENT
Students:     George Oliver, Paul Rosenberg, Donald Steinbrecher and 
.Michael Ziaylek

First Mate: Mike McGovern
Captain:      Jeff Troeltzsch

I boarded ENCHANTMENT, an Island Packet 40 foot sailing yacht in Little Creek, VA on Sunday, May 23rd; she had just arrived there from an intermediate coastal training cruise down Chesapeake Bay from Rock Hall, MD. I inspected her thoroughly in preparation for our upcoming cruise to Bermuda, and, except for a few minor exceptions, found her to be in great shape for an ocean passage. 

Our Norfolk to Bermuda crewmembers arrived at various times on May 25th, including First Mate Mike McGovern and Student Crewmembers George Oliver, Paul Rosenberg, Donald Steinbrecher and Michael Ziaylek. On May 26 & 27 we conducted pre-departure training and inspections. We thoroughly inspected the entire yacht from stem to stern and to the masthead, including below decks; we went over every piece of equipment, all tools and spare parts; all procedures, both routine and emergency. We rigged the storm trisail, boom crutch, sea anchor, mainsail, genoa and staysail. We did a complete walkthrough of abandon ship and man overboard procedures. And, by the end of the second day, found that we thoroughly knew the boat, equipment, procedures and, importantly, each other. 

May 28, Tuesday
0800: Departed Little Creek Harbor. Clear with Virginia Pilots. Set course of 115 degrees True for Bermuda; winds light; motorsailing. Scrapple for breakfast; discussed “what’s in this stuff?”
1500: Conducted Man over-board drill under power to recover a plastic milk carton floating by the boat; all crew participated; recovery time 2 minutes.

May 29, Wednesday 
1900: Caught a17 pound Albacore Tuna on hand line using white and red plug. Cooked and eaten immediately with lemon and dill…Yummy.

May 30, Thursday
1400: The wind has gone forward and increased to 20 knots, wave height 5-8 ft. Reefed main 15%, full jib to provide drive. Helm instructions are to steer “up and over” to gain the benefit of lift at the top of each wave and to accelerate down the back. Leeway is reduced and result is higher faster line increasing velocity made good (VMG) to destination.

May 31, Friday
0530: In the gulf steam water temp is 81 degrees F. Nearly full moon is setting while sun is rising. A pod of Humpback whales are spotted breaching 300 yards a beam.  
0900: A large group of White Sided dolphin spend several hours jumping and playing in the eddy on the bow. One jumps 15 feet out of the water and does a back flip, several of the crew agree the dolphin smiled at us at the top of its flip.  
2100: Great night sky using Venus and Saturn at the stern to aid helm steer, cloud cover to the east. 

June 1, Saturday
0645: Very interesting weather pattern has developed. To the north high pressure with cooler air and cirrus feather clouds; to the south warm air mass with lots of cumulus clouds; wave pattern is from two directions crossing NE and S.  We take a less favored tack to stay along a narrow pressure gradient.  
1200: Flop tacks results in 65 degree apparent wind angle; sailing at the mark with 100% VMG.  Remain in the wind slot for 6 hrs making better than 6.5 knots COG.  For several hours find a cool water thermal that gives a kick of .8 knot to the mark.
1700: Popcorn squalls developing; several course changes keep us dry. Sight several willy-waas (tornados) 3nm, 40 degrees off port quarter.
2000: Cooling night air dissipates cumulus clouds; low drifting fog cover develops; visibility under 1 mile; put extra crew member on deck as look out.

June 2, Sunday
0930: Great day for sun sites. Everyone takes several sites for comparison; within 7 nm accuracy.
1100: Bottle Nose dolphins  play around the boat. See the first Bermuda Longtail  
1200: Approaching Bermuda; take north route; use hand bearing compass triangulation on light towers for piloting.  
2200: Arrive at Bermuda outer sea buoy SB-MO(A); contact Bermuda Radio and advise will hove-to 2 nm SE of sea buoy for first light entry. 

June 3, Monday
0600: Slack high tide; enter the Town Cut, St. Georges Bermuda Harbor; proceed to custom-immigration pier. Bernie, the emeritus dock master greets us with a hug and a smile.
0900: Clear customs and proceed to Captain Smokes Marina; tie up stern-to in Med style. 

Norfolk to Bermuda synopsis: Rhumbline distance: 657nm. Distance sailed: 743 nm. Time on course: 142 hrs. Average speed: 125 NM per day.

Captain Jeff Troeltzsch
St Georges Harbour, Bermuda
June 4, 2002

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