Thursday, June 27, 2013

Morpheus - Trans Atlantic - Catch Up

Atlantic Crossing - Done!

Almost five weeks have past, since we first arrived in Europe.  They have been five busy weeks, but that's no excuse for having not put together an overall summary of the journey.

Most importantly, by now I should have written a very public thank you to my fantastic crew of volunteers (Mike Wallach, Kim Comfort, and Bob Branstad), and our guardian angel weather router Gibb Kane.

Well, the good news is that I am finally working on getting that massive post written and published.  The bad news is that I'm not there yet.

It turns out that its very difficult to summarize a month long adventure in a few paragraphs.  So, I am falling back to a large degree on pictures and video.  Even then, it is difficult to put things together.

So, to prove progress, here is chapter #1 of a four or five part video series documenting our successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.  Hopefully, the next chapters will follow quickly and all will be good!!

For a bit more detail on our daily activities, please visit the following blog posts by crewmember Mike Wallach...


4/20/2013
4/21/2013
4/22/2013
4/23/2013
 

As always, thanks to Mike, Bob, and Kim for sailing with me and getting the job done safely while enjoying the process.  It was a far better trip than we had a right to hope for!

Thanks,

-Jim

Monday, June 24, 2013

Shut Down Again

The Levante (easterly winds) have set in and the famous Tarifa beaches have no kitesurfers so far today. 

video


Wind in the thirties, with gusts into the forty plus range will do that. It's so bad out there that the ferries to Moracco have been canceled for the day.


Looks like we will head back to Seville today. Not to worry, I've seen enough to know that I will return in the near future....

Jim Gregory 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Bit of Local Flavor

Flamenco dancing at the grand opening of a new restaurant terrace. 



Jim Gregory 

Seville at Night

Last night Deb and I grabbed our cameras and took a walk around Old Town Seville. 

During the day this area was full of tourists and the temperature was in the high 90's. We got started around 8pm, the temperature and tourist counts were way down. It was light out until well after 10pm, and the moonrise was amazing!!

Jim



Jim Gregory 

Bound for Tarifa!!



 


 
Heading out via Bus this afternoon for Tarifa!  
 
Need to get a kite surfing fix!!



Friday, June 21, 2013

In an earlier post, Debbie described our trip up the Guadalquivir River to Seville.

Here as a followup is a slideshow of that trip.

-Jim


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bob has gone native on us!!

Is it difficult to figure out why all the locals chuckle as we walk by??



Jim Gregory 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Planes, trains, and ferries

Today is Sunday.  The Worlds finished yesterday and last night in Livorno, Italy, Deb and I jumped onboard a ferry bound for Barcelona, Spain. We plan to spend the evening and tomorrow am exploring Barcellona before boarding a high speed train back to Seville and Morpheus. 

The cost for all of that compares approximately to the option of flying, but instead of spending the night in the Barcellona airport we had a very nice cabin onboard this ferry!

We are enjoying the trip!!



Jim Gregory 

Lava Beaches

I know that I've posted something like this recently, but I still can't get over people spreading their towels on a lava beach at 0930!!!



Jim Gregory 

Etchells Worlds 2013

Well, the worlds are over and the boats are all back on their trailers returning to their home ports in England, Ireland, Italy, France, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA. 

Looking back now, we definitely enjoyed the event, despite our challenges along the way.  Getting black flagged early on was disappointing and put our initial goals for the event out of range. But, with the help of a combination of good luck and some good decisions we finished strong and that certainly helped. 

I had initially hoped to finish above mid fleet. We missed that. But, had the black flag been simply an OCS, we would have finished 20th just above the fold. 

Ultimately, I will remember the event for the very nice sailing conditions, and for the new friends made during the event. Especially the crew and family of "Rapscallion" from Brisbane, Australia. 

Many, many thanks to Kjeld and Diane Hestehave for the opportunity to sail in the event and for their hospitality and company during the regatta!!

Jim & Deb



Jim Gregory 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Etchells Worlds

It's all over folks!!

No racing today. 

Deb and I are taking a twenty hour ferry to Barcelona tonight. One night in Barcelona, and then a train to Seville   

Should be an adventure!!

Jim Gregory 

One more time

I'm guessing we are done. 



Jim Gregory 

New Friends

Good times with our new friends from the Etchells Rapscalion



Jim Gregory 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Early signs of breeze

Looks like we may get some wind for racing on time today. 

For the past two days we've had absolutely nothing until about 1pm. 

Now at 1030 we've got enough to move. Our guess is we'll be heading out for a good day shortly. 

Updates to follow....

Jim Gregory 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dinner at a hilltop farm in Italy

We enjoyed a great dinner this evening with our Australian friends from Brisbane. 



Jim Gregory 

Should have stayed at the dock today

The breeze filled in today at about six to eight knots. We got in one race. 

Unfortunately, our spectacular start turned ou to be a bit too good as we were called over early. Not only that but it ended up being over early on a blah flag start. So....game over for us today. 

Greece was winning at the last mark and Peter Duncan was in 4th at the same time. 

Tomorrow is another day!

Jim Gregory 

Photo op

Zoom in. The boats are out there!

Horse Back Riding this am!

Woot! When's riding early this am. Rode a pretty little 1/2 Lusatano mare, 3y/o, named Rebecca. Went through Vineyards, Forrest's, fields and flowers. So fun.

Going out to the 1st start

Here we go! After a great am of riding, Di and I have found the prefect place to watch the racing!

Here we go again...

More cloud cover this morning which may delay the sea breeze. 6 to 8 knots forecast for mid afternoon. 



Jim Gregory 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Two races

Beautiful flat water, 8 to 10 knots of wind. Guessing that we finished 18 an 30??

Good starts and speed. Lost where you always lose. At the corners. 

But it was not hopeless and overall I think we ha a good day. 

Jim Gregory 

Postponed Again

Our forecast shows no wind greater than six knots for the week. Ugh. 



Jim Gregory 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

And so we wait...





Jim Gregory 

No wind, some rain

No practice race

Opening dinner postponed due to weather

This is starting out well. 



Jim Gregory 

Practice

Ha a good practice session yesterday.  Surprisingly, we seemed to have good speed, and our maneuvers were "ok".  Today's practice race will tell us more...

Oh yes, the practice was great right up to the end when on our last gybe Ian was hit by a shackle on the boom. He's fine....



Jim Gregory 

More Beaches

Hanging out on a lava "beach" at 0930???



Jim Gregory 

Saturday, June 08, 2013

"Beaches"

This resort beach would not cut it in California. Not only that, but even with all the rocks etc, you need to pay for the privilege of sitting on it!!!



Jim Gregory 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Decisions, decisions.

We are walking distance from a water front path lined  with local restaurants and cafes. 



Jim Gregory 

Misc Etchells Worlds Photos





Jim Gregory 

Etchells Worlds - Rigging Day

Had a good day today putting our boat back together for the first time in almost three years. 

Everything looks good and we will be out on the water for some practice and tuning tomorrow. 

We are a bit behind the curve as others have been out every day for the past week, but you do what you can ....

Jim



Jim Gregory 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A quick tour of Seville





Jim Gregory 

Arrival Celebration in Seville

85 overnight ocean miles, 50 miles up a river, one lock, and one lifting bridge.



Jim Gregory 

Villamora

A very nice tourist trap. But still, a tourist trap. Very similar too, but a couple steps up from Cabo San Lucas.



Jim Gregory 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Wow. Wow! This is so cool!





Sunday night during our passage from Cascais, Portugal to Sevilla, Spain, I had about 12 dolphin keep me company on my midnight to 2am watch.  You could see them because of the phosphorescence, jumping and blowing right next to me in the middle of the boat. They were cool, but the 30 fishing, container and shrimping boats anchored outside the river mouth were not.  It was hard to figure out who was moving, who wasn't and who had little tiny boats out picking up nets!  Jim got no sleep but got us through safely.

Monday am, we are working our way up the Guadalquivir River to Seville. It's going to be about 50 miles, with a stop for a lock and a draw bridge.  The river  looks just like the Petaluma river with the Sierra in the distance.  You cruise along land that looks exactly like San Diego. Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, oleander, bougainvillea, cotton wood, sycamore, pine, etc.  It is getting hotter by the moment. Yeah!  The coast looked like Del Mar with the red sand stone cliffs and beaches below.  Absolutely looked like Where I grew up riding. 


It's all farm land along the river bank.  I know I saw a field of sunflowers, but couldn't see what else they had growing since we were a little low.  There are also toms of animals. I've seen Spanish Torros!  Man they are huge.  Bigger than CA cows!  Wood Storks, herons, egrets, terns, osprey, (going to have to keep an eye on Ita) and I think 3 flamingos flew by. Sheep, with a shepherd (no crook) and Border Collie. Also lots of fish boats and old abandoned churches, farms and monasteries?  Also some very cool houses/rancheros that clearly have Moorish influence.

AND HORSES!!!  A WHOLE HERD OF ANDALUSIAN HORSES!!  WITH FOALS!!!


The lock was very straight forward.  Thank goodness the container ship behind us spoke English and translated between the lock operator and us!

We are now pulled into a small marina just short of Seville, waiting until 10 pm for the draw bridge to open.

Later that Night...

Made it through the draw bridge and into the slip with inches to spare!  Our view for the next month is the Alcázar, which was the "residence of many generations of Kings and Caliphs." *Lonely Planet.  (I am sure they film Game of Thrones here!)

Off to explore.  More later.  Sorry for any time and tense changes. This was a 3 day post.

Deb