AuthorTopic: I Was Excited to Find a New Sailing Blog  (Read 1428 times)

Offline Eddie

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I Was Excited to Find a New Sailing Blog
« on: November 01, 2018, 06:35:36 PM »
This caught my eye when I was searching for junk rigged boats to dream about

It came with this.

We are often asked why we choose to sail a junk rigged schooner for offshore sailing when more technologically improved sailing rigs are available today. Up until recently the response would be that we always were intrigued by the rig and simply wanted to sail one.

Having been aboard a Colvin Gazelle at Marina Hemingway outside of Havana, Cuba only increased the desire to build and sail a junk rigged boat. We built a Benford Badger design and have sailed it from Canada and back on the Atlantic circuit with stops in the Azores, Portugal, Morocco, Canaries, Cape Verdes, and Caribbean before returning home to Canada directly from Jamaica.

Easy Go, the name of our boat, is a junk rigged dory schooner, engineless, with auxiliary power in the form of a Chinese yuloh**.

** The Chinese yuloh is a viable alternative auxiliary propulsion devise for small to medium size sailing yachts.

Kathy and I built this boat in Canada close to Lake Erie. Previous to this boat we had sailed a Grampian 26 on the Great Lakes and as far afield as the Caribbean. The Grampian, also named Easy Go was a conventional sloop rigged boat.

The best reason for sailing a junk rig became apparent during the 3200 NM nonstop 37 day passage from Port Antonio, Jamaica to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Port Antonio is located on the north shore of Jamaica. A choice of beating through the Windward Passage and then a downwind run in the Old Bahamas Channel or taking the old sailing route through the Yucatan Channel and riding the Gulf Stream is the decision to make.

We chose the traditional downwind/current riding route along the south shore of Cuba and on north. Leaving on April 29, 2009 gave us a pleasant overnight passage to the first landfall off Cabo Cruz, Cuba where we not only passed by the great anchorage we had stayed at previously under the watchful eye of the lighthouse but were visited by a blue whale that dove under the keel at the very last moment giving us a little anxiety.

Our next landfall was off Isla de Juventud, another one of our favourite places when sailing the south coast of Cuba.

Our final view of Cuba was the lighthouse at Cabo San Antonio, the western most point of Cuba. Fishing was excellent with good catches of tuna.

Turning the corner inside of the major shipping lanes off this cape we headed north east in the general direction of the Dry Tortugas. While the current was in our favour it was very weak and we had an easterly wind during our passage of the Florida Straits all the way from Cabo San Antonio until we were off Key Largo in the Florida Keys.

While we have experienced beating to windward for short periods of time during our last two years we had not come on a time where we would be beating day and night for the better part of a week.

The strength of the junk rig in beating to windward became rapidly apparent and appreciated for its steady pull and comfortable ride as we tacked across to the Dry Tortugas on a starboard tack then switched over to a port tack until we saw the lights of Havana then back to starboard tack to head us towards Miami.

On this portion of the passage we picked up our first Dorado (dolphin fish) and started our time proven salting and drying. Without a motor, electricity is not possible to provide refrigeration.

We have researched and successfully utilized traditional methods of food preservation for some time and no longer desire refrigeration in any form.

Sounded like real seasteaders. There was a link to their blog. I went there to check it out. This is what I read.

Easy Go Lost

Easy Go was lost on November 5, 2013 while on our way to the Caribbean directly from Cape Breton Island. This is a mid ocean route crossing the Gulf Stream around 60 degrees west. We found ourselves in very strong storm conditions in an area of the Gulf Stream with strong current some 700 miles off of Cape Cod. We were unable to work our way out of the complex conditions presented by wind over current after 5 days while steadily being driven east. We normally try to get across the Gulf Stream in less than one day. We left with a favorable weather forecast but found ourselves in trouble with many miles to go. Early winter brings on changeable conditions that make this particular passage challenging, even for those of us who have done it a number of times.

Easy Go performed well in beating to windward in 45 knots of wind for four days with the wind aligning with the current favorably. While rough Easy Go persisted. I was unable to cook or rest adequately in these conditions. When the wind shifted to NE and increased the situation became overwhelming with wind over current. The current in this area was running in excess of 3 knots. A series of small equipment failures (sails, electronics and water ingress), that in lesser conditions could have been rectified relatively simply, could not be addressed. My own fatigue and deteriorating condition was a major contributing factor. Making the decision to call for assistance while still afloat and with the energy to save myself was not easy but was necessary. I felt conditions would deteriorate further and this proved to be the case over the next few days with continuous gale to storm force winds followed quickly by Tropical Storm Melissa.

I put out a Mayday via SPOT. AMVER, via the US Coastguard arranged for two ships, Bishu Highway and Athina L to attempt a rescue. After waiting for conditions to improve we decided to abandon ship, in consultation with Athina L, in 6 meter waves and 40 knots of wind in the dark. More info about the rescue will be available at a later date.

Athina L took me to her next port of call in Hunterston, Scotland where I spent time recovering from injuries with the assistance of friends from the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC). I have since returned home to River Bourgeois, Cape Breton where I continue to recover. I mourn the loss of Easy Go. She took great care of me for a lot of ocean miles as did her predecessor the first Easy Go. There was no insurance so the next Easy Go will take some time to come to be. Lost everything but my life; the adventure continues.

In this article the "We" referred to is myself and Easy Go. I was sailing single handed. No lives were lost.
Posted by Easy Go Adventures - Bob and Kathy Groves at 8:06 AM 10 comments: Links to this post   

The ocean can be a very scary place. Bob Groves was a good sailor who made a good decision to save his life. He's lucky he got out alive. And that's 45 knots (51mph). Not a hurricane by any means. But a Force 9. Close enough.

Easy Come. Easy Go.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline MikeBiggers

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Re: I Was Excited to Find a New Sailing Blog
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 01:29:47 AM »
This caught my eye when I was searching for junk rigged boats to dream about

You know man, I sometimes dream of sailing. Probably it is very scary to be on a small sailing boat such as in a sea far from the coast. In such a situation, you can only rely on yourself. That's when all the rubbish from our life is removed.

Offline Eddie

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Re: I Was Excited to Find a New Sailing Blog
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 01:28:01 PM »
And the ocean looks the same in every direction....for days. GPS is a miracle,if it doesnít run out of battery power.

But yeah,you are completely right.

One thIng....time slows way down.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.


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