Saturday, July 9, 2016

To Bermuda or Bust! Sailing J/160 Trans-Atlantic

(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The story of how the J/160 PIPE DREAM, Scott Piper’s magnificent cruising yacht that hails from Coconut Grove, Florida, managed to hang out in New York City for yet another day and have even more fun (or more angst) before heading off across the wild blue Atlantic Ocean to that little gem in the middle of it all- Bermuda.  Here is their story:

“Subject: Pipe Dream Bermuda
Date: June 24, 2016 at 6:52:21 PM PDT

Our decision to delay our departure from New York City by one day was based on a nasty weather report. This was a very last minute decision.  With the last day in New York suddenly free, we got tickets to the Broadway Show "Aladdin". The show was wonderful.

Mary made it very clear she wanted New York pizza, saying there is nothing like it anywhere else. My nieces, who live in New York, recommended "John's Pizza” only three blocks from the theater. I have a hard time walking any distance, so Mary, LLoyd and I took a "bicycle taxi".   Lee, Kelly and Lee's husband Andrew contacted us and they joined us. All worked out very well-- lovely girls.

We didn't get back to the boat till 9:30 PM by Uber. We left the dock early the next morning. We went to Liberty Landing Harbor to top off on fuel. The Clipper ships were there, which was fun to look at. The Clipper ships are a group of identical boats that sail around the world  and amateur adventurers can do some of it or all of it for $1.00 a mile.

We sailed by the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, then into the open Atlantic on Monday. The first day was easy, but by nightfall the wind was building.

To make a long story short, the next two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, were awful. The wind was ahead of the beam and the baseline wind speed was 35 kts, with gusts up to 39 kts! This should not present a problem for the 53 ft Pipe Dream and, in reality, it didn't. We were always safe and nothing broke, and we were going fast.

On the negative side, the seas and the Gulf Stream were confused and large, and hit us from different directions. White water frequently rolled over the boat, even filling the cockpit sometimes. It felt like being in a giant washing machine. This resulted in sudden exaggerated motions making any movement in the boat a gymnastic exercise.

Three of our five man crew "fed the fish" and I'm not naming names, but none were Pipers.  It was saltine crackers only for everyone.

After two days of misery, we got out of the Gulf Stream and things gradually improved. Indeed, the last half day was a lovely sail into Bermuda. We cleared customs at 11:30 PM and anchored in calm water harbor for the night. It would have been perfect except everything onboard was soaking wet including sheets and mattresses.

Today, June 24, 2016 we spent the morning drying the boat out. Oh yes, on our last day motor sailing in, something hit our prop causing significant vibration of the boat. So, Jason dived and found a huge piece of shredded synthetic fiber surrounding the prop. Amazing the prop worked at all.

Anxious to get to a dock and do laundry, we motored from St. Georges to Hamilton. Here we are Med moored at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club with the entire race fleet for the Newport to Bermuda Race.

There were awards and a big party tonight sponsored by Gosling Black Seal Rum, and was open to the public. There were two bands, food and a thousand people walking the docks sightseeing. We had Dark’n’Stormies and ate, but were too tired to stay and party. Sally Browne flys in tomorrow night. The America's Cup boats  are doing speed trials tomorrow so we will go out to watch them. The day after that, our CCA Cruise starts, which is what brought us here in the first place! More later!”