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Old 21-01-2018, 05:58   #1
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Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Boat: AP36 Princess 36'
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Abacos to Norfolk VA, end may

Crew wanted Bahamas to Norfolk, end may.
I am looking for a third person to help sail my 36’ ketch from the Abacos to Norfolk,VA. Offshore experience desirable but not essential.
The boat is a 1974 Allied Princess which has been extensively upgraded for bluewater sailing. It is equipped with a hydrovane self steering unit and has a reliable engine.
[More information on the boat available on request.]
I have over thirty years experience sailing my own boats, including a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, an eight month trip to the Bahamas and crewing on a transatlantic crossing. When my partner and I took this boat to the Caribbean two years ago we sailed directly from Wilmington to the BVI.
The other crew member is an experienced sailor and boat owner who has done this passage two times each way.
The boat will be in Marsh Harbor on may 22nd. Crew should meet me there. The idea is to island hop for a few days to get used to one another and the boat and then leave for open water through one of the passes as soon as we get a favorable forecast from Chris Parker.
The boat does about 120 miles a day so the passage should take around a week. The final destination is Norfolk but we may make landfall in Beaufort if the weather makes rounding Hatteras risky.
Boat will cover all expenses while aboard and pay reasonable travel costs at each end.
If interested you can pm me or email to

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Old 14-02-2018, 12:03   #2
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Re: Abacos to Norfolk VA, end may

email sent, but not sure if it was delivered

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Old 14-02-2018, 12:37   #3
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Re: Abacos to Norfolk VA, end may

Looking out the window at the wet streets and low clouds, I have only the countdown on my calendar to remind myself that in a few days I’ll be wearing shorts, a T shirt and sunscreen….. and complaining , no doubt, about the humidity. I will be flying down to Puerto Rico to begin getting our boat ready for the resumption of our Caribbean sailing adventure. Madeline will come down a week later.
For the last eight months Cornelia has been ‘on the hard’ [parked} in a storage yard near Fajardo on the west coast of PR. Unlike the inhabitants of the island we were lucky. Irma passed offshore, eighty miles to the north; Maria came ashore sixty miles to the south. The marina where we left the boat suffered some damage but was spared the worst and is back in operation.
The boat of course will be a mess. No doubt there’ll be some mildew. Everything we packed away and stuffed in the cabin has to be unpacked and aired and re-stowed.. All the equipment we removed has to be unpacked and put back. Next the boat has to be re-launched and the masts –it’s a ketch so there are two of them- stood back up and the rigging, sails and all the control lines re-attached. Then sea trials to make sure everything works, provisioning, fuel and water.
Assuming all goes well we should be ready to leave by the middle of march. We’ll head south and then west, along the south coast of Puerto Rico, stopping each night, trips ashore, taking our time while we regain our sea legs and get back into the routine of life aboard ship.
Our first big challenge will be crossing the Mona Passage to the Dominican Republic. By all accounts this can be quite nasty…. a lot of water is trying to squeeze through a narrow, shallow gap with dangerous shoals and weird currents. From Mayaguez on the west coast of PR to Samana and shelter is about 150 miles. For us that’s around thirty hours. We’ll be ready for some R’nR ashore. We plan to rent a car and explore the interior, go to Santo Domingo.
The north coast of the DR has few sheltered anchorages and is a dangerous place to be in bad weather. We have to make one 24 hr coastal passage and a couple of all day passages to get to Montechristi, our jumping off point for the Bahamas.
The crossing to Great Inagua, the southernmost island in the Bahamas is another 30 hour open water passage followed by another twenty four hour passage to the next island in the chain. At least we will be going with the wind and current. Boats sailing east to the Caribbean have to beat against the prevailing trade winds which by ten o’clock blow 15-20 knots and often more.

We’ve been to the Bahamas once already, in 2009. We spent two months cruising the northern islands. In a 26 foot inshore boat, with a 6HP outboard, it was quite the adventure and frequently way outside our comfort zone. Great Inagua, Crooked Island, Long Island -- these are part of the “out islands” of the Bahamas- remote, few facilities for tourists, groceries when the mail boat makes its weekly stop. After the Virgin Islands and the other islands we visited that have been overrun by tourism- cruise ships, resorts and charter boats -this sounds good. Plus we have a bigger boat and more experience.

Once we get to Georgetown in the southern Exumas it’s back to island hopping….and ‘facilities’ and crowded anchorages. Our friend Eileen will join us there for a couple o weeks. She and Madeline will leave from Nassau and I’ll be joined by my son Daniel for another week of island hopping to and through the Abacos. Daniel flies home from Marsh Harbor on the 22nd of May.

Rather than cross to Florida and come up the ICW I plan to sail directly from the Abacos to Brooklyn. A friend from Mill Basin, who has done this passage twice before, has agreed to make the trip with me. I have a third crew member, also from the NY area , and who has also crewed on an offshore passage. For our boat three people is about right. One person on watch, two resting. Four hour watches at night, six in the daytime.
It’s about 1000 miles from Walker Cay, the northernmost island in the Bahamas, to New York which translates to about ten days of ocean sailing. The plan is to ride the Gulf Stream north. If the weather turns nasty or something goes wrong we can always make landfall somewhere south of Cape Hatteras.
We should arrive in Brooklyn in the first week of June.
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Old 14-02-2018, 12:51   #4
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Re: Abacos to Norfolk VA, end may

Very good descriptive post. Exemplary. I wish more captains would provide that kind of description up front.
Sounds like a nice plan.
Sounds like (from reading your second post) that you have already got your needed third crew member.

Bon Voyage!
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Old 15-02-2018, 15:28   #5
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Re: Abacos to Norfolk VA, end may

Thanks Steady Hand. Since the two are from near here we were able to meet in person and interact. i already knew one of them. The other came via Hank Schmitt and OPO [offshore passages opportunity]. Fifteen responses from OPO --compared to one from CF.
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