Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
||Offshore Passage Making; Bermuda to Norfolk
|| May 28 to June 2, 2017
|| Jeffrey Crawford,
Vincent Di Stefano, Keith James, Manfred Tiedemann
|| Captain Jerry Nigro
|| Captain Tom
The following account is taken in part from the Blog that
to track this cruise:
S/V NAVIGATOR, our Island Packet 40 foot
ocean sailing vessel, departed Norfolk Virginia at 1018 on May 28, 2017 after
two preparation days in port Norfolk with the entire crew participating.
Crewmembers are: Captain Tom Tursi Skipper, Captain Jerry Nigro First Mate, and
student crew members Jeffrey Crawford, Keith James, Manfred Tiedemann and
Vincent Di Stefano. NAVIGATOR will make the passage
to Bermuda via a non-stop ocean route. The cruise has an estimated distance of
670 nautical miles, and will take approximately 6 days to complete sailing both
day and night.
Bradley Mabe, a professional meteorologist and Maryland
School graduate is providing weather guidance to the crew. Following is his
May 27, 2017
From Bradley Mabe
Sunday Morning - A low pressure area and associated stationary front will be
moving E across Pennsylvania bringing a chance of light shower to the lower
Chesapeake. The winds will generally be light and variable from 8 to 10 AM local
time and should be mainly from the N to NW at 5 - 7 knots for your anticipated
departure. Throughout the day winds continue to be variable, mainly from the
Northern quadrant. Overnight,
be mindful of possible wind shifts as winds begin to veer and become SW by
Monday morning at 10 - 15 knots; continuing SSW to SW at 10 - 15 through the day
on Monday. The western wall of the gulf stream from your anticipated position is
at 36.2N 74W. No tropical cyclone activity expected.
May 29, 2017
From Rita Hanson
Hello all! Be sure to click on the spot link to follow the progress of NAVIGATOR
and her crew. One note on our SPOT transmissions: The SPOT is far from
infallible and a loss of signal is quite common. There have been times when we
had no position updates for more than a day. Reasons can range from a weak
satellite signal, a sail bag inadvertently shifted and blocking a clear
"view" of the sky, or the SPOT batteries getting weak. The crew checks
in with me electronically at intervals, and we will address such issues. Also,
sailboat tracks are affected by wind direction, current, etc. and rarely result
in a straight-line course.
From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX Forecast 5/29 - 30
Surface Low moves NE of your anticipated position. Monday Morning (5/29) Winds
WNW to W 10 to 15 knots. Widely scattered showers possible. During the day Winds
continue WNW at 15 to 17 knots.
Overnight, high pressure begins to build in W of your anticipated
position. Winds continue WNW to W at 10 to 15 knots.
Tuesday (5/30) Winds light and variable. South of a line between Norfolk and
Bahama winds backing SSE at 5 to 10 knots. North of that line winds WNW at 10 to
12 knots. Wind direction will depend on your position. Afternoon and evening,
winds S at 5 to 10 knots.
From: S/V Navigator
All is well aboard NAVIGATOR. We've had a little rainfall and
light winds from the south. We're heading directly into it. Everyone is doing
fine! They are doing their tasks and we're functioning like a well working
During the in port preparation days, crew assignments were:
Weather Communicator: Fred
As of noon today, Saturday May 28, the crew rotated down list one spot so that
Fred is now Captain, Vince is Mate, Jeff is Navigator and Keith is Weather
||Fred at the helm during a beautiful sailing day with 15 knot
winds on the beam.
From: Bradley Mabe
Monday evening and overnight (5/29) winds mainly S close to the NC coast turning
SW to W further East of your position. Tuesday Morning (5/30) winds light and
variable mainly SE to SW at 5 to 10 knots north of Cape Lookout latitude. Winds
W to SW at 10 to 15 knots south of Cape Lookout latitude.
Winds becoming S 10 to 15 knots through Tuesday evening. Winds turning SW at 10
to 15 knots overnight. Wednesday (5/31) winds become SW to WSW at 10 to 12.
Chance of showers and T-storms throughout the period. Tropical storm
activity remains quiet.
From: Bradley Mabe
Tuesday 5/30 - Evening winds S 10 - 15 knots becoming SW overnight. Wednesday 5/31 Morning
winds continue SW 10 - 15 strengthening a bit in the afternoon 15 - 20 and
becoming WSW. Winds diminish in the
evening & overnight and come back to SW at 10 - 15 knots.
Thursday 6/1 - Weak high pressure to your South may causes some variability.
Winds WSW to SW at 15 - 20 knots becoming 10 - 15 knots during the afternoon and
A chance of showers and T-storms through the period. Sea Surface
Temperatures 72 - 74 degrees F. at your position.
From: S/V NAVIGATOR
We left Sunday at about 1030 and got around Cape Henry by about 1400 in the
afternoon. It was cloudy with no wind and we motored for about a day and a half.
We had some drizzle at times but not much.
We have had beautiful sailing for the last 24 hours. The winds filled in
yesterday about this time and we had a terrific day of sailing today. We are
making heading directly for Bermuda at this point. Right now the winds are light
and blowing from the south. It's starting to get warm and muggy now, but prior
to this it was a beautiful day. We had a very easy crossing of the Gulf Stream
with nice flat water and a good wind direction and we made good time in the
crossing. We are now about 300 miles out of Norfolk and we have about 420 to go
to Bermuda. Right now we're sailing right on the track to Bermuda. By tomorrow
morning we should be about half way.
The crew is great and everyone is getting along fine. Tonight we had chicken
stew. Last night we had franks and beans. The first night we had the famous
Dinty Moore beef stew. We are washing dinner dishes in seawater to conserve our
fresh water supply, since dishes take a lot of water. Fred and Jerry are
honoring us by doing that chore.
We did some celestial navigation work yesterday when we had the sun shining.
That went well. We have been doing a lot of training with the onboard weather
The crew is rotating assignments each day at noon. Everyone moves down the list
that I gave you earlier, and that is working well.
We are on 4-hour watches. 12:00 to 4:00 is Keith and Jeff (Midnight to 4:00 AM
and Noon to 4:00 PM), 4:00 to 8:00 is Tom and Vince, and 8:00 to 12:00 is Jerry
and Fred. That is working out fine and everyone is getting along very well and
doing their watchkeeping assignments as necessary.
NAVIGATOR is in good shape. No boat problems.
We have been receiving Brad's e-mails regarding the weather every day and they
are very helpful. This next rain storm that is coming your way we were concerned
about this morning because we thought it was going to come out and greet us, but
it apparently turned northeast, like they usually do, and we were far enough
east of it that is didn't touch us. So while we had a beautiful clear sunny day,
we could see on the Sirius weather chart that that storm was approaching and
going up the East Coast.
From: Bradley Mabe
Wednesday evening - winds continue SW at 8 - 12 knots overnight and becoming WSW
and strengthening to 10 - 15 knots before morning.
Thursday (6/1) - winds backing to SW at 10 - 15 knots and diminishing in the
afternoon. High pressure to you SE - showers and T-storms mainly NW of your
position. Overnight, winds SW 12 - 18. A greater possibility of showers and
Friday (6/2) - Winds SW 15 - 20 knots with showers likely. all day and
overnight, winds SSW 8-10 knots. Saturday (6/3) - Morning Winds SW 15-20 knots
From: S/V NAVIGATOR
We had a bright sunny day today with beautiful sailing. We had 15 knot winds
from the southwest and have been sailing along at 7 knots with smooth seas and
we are making great progress toward our destination. We made 165 miles in the
last 24 hours and have about 280 miles to go to Bermuda.
We saw the storms coming up the east coast, as I mentioned yesterday, but came
out of that very well; we were far enough east and we missed it all. Except for
the first day out of Norfolk we haven't had a drop of rain on us yet. It's been
perfect really. Plenty of sun. The other day we had some clouds come and go but
it's been pretty docile the whole time. It sounds like tomorrow the wind might
pick up but it will still be coming from the southwest putting us on a beam
reach and making good progress.
After doing the calculations on it, we saw that the Gulf Stream moved us about
75 miles to the north. That's quite a bit; more than I've seen previously. But,
in advance, we had compensated for the movement, having gone way south before we
made it to the Gulf Stream, so it wasn't a problem for us.
We are keeping a good lookout for ships. We've seen some pretty big container
ships out here. Now we are seeing cruise ships which are coming in and out of
And, we've been doing some celestial work, which has been going well.
||Vince taking a celestial shot of the Sun at mid-day
Tonight we had pasta and meatballs for dinner. For breakfast we've been having
eggs, either cheese omelets or those fancy egg things that Jerry makes with the
hole cut in the middle on toast. For lunch it's usually sandwiches.
NAVIGATOR is doing great. Everything is working like it should be
working including the sails and engine.
Everybody is sleeping well, and getting along well. No showers yet, so we're all
very smelly. The crew loves it out here and they are all impressed with how nice
the weather has been. Since we're not close hauled on the wind, it's been like a
magic carpet ride.
From: Bradley Mabe
Subject: WX 6/1 - 3
Thursday evening (6/1) - Winds SW 10 - 15. Overnight, winds strengthen a bit SSW
15 - 20.
Friday (6/2) - Morning - winds SW 15 - 20knots Chance of shower & T-storms
increase. Winds steady throughout the day, evening and overnight
Saturday (6/3) - Winds SW 10 - 15 knots; showers and T-storms likely.
Temperatures in the high 70s.
From: S/V NAVIGATOR
What follows is a transcribed conversation via SAT Phone.
Tom: We had another beautiful sunny day with light winds of about 10 knots from
the southwest and we are sailing along anywhere from 5 to 6 knots. We have
another 140 miles or so to go. There is nothing terribly exciting or unusual to
report. But the guys want to say hello...
Fred: Hi Rita, this is Fred. We're having a great time. I'm loving it! I love
being at sea. I'm watching the sun go down right now and enjoying every minute
Vince: Hi Rita, this is Vince. We're having a great time. The weather has been
absolutely perfect. We've had the wind on the beam almost the whole trip. We've
been putting in a lot of miles every day. Everybody is having a lot of fun doing
that. We're not getting rained on, and we're not getting knocked down. We're
doing a lot of fun stuff. We're getting some celestial work in. So, it all going
Jerry: Hi It's Jerry! The crew is fine, the weather is fine. Everything is fine!
It's been a very docile trip.
Jeff: Rita! We're having a wonderful lifetime opportunity! Thanks for doing all
of the behind the scenes work!
Tom: Keith is sleeping, so I don't want to disturb him. As you can see by our
SPOT track we're pretty much sailing a straight line course toward Bermuda. Not
like last year when we had wind on the nose for the entire trip! Our ETA in
Bermuda is late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
NAVIGATOR arrived in Bermuda at 1700 on
Friday, June 2, and cleared Bermuda Customs and Immigration promptly. Fred and
Vince departed that evening for accommodations ashore. Keith and Jeff remained
onboard overnight and departed ship the next day for ashore accommodations.
Farewell my shipmates... We had a great trip and a wonderful sailing with smooth
Captain Tom Tursi
St Georges, Bermuda
Return to Home