Monday, October 31, 2011


FYI...added some photo's and video to the posts just below....

Happy Halloween!

Check out the glowing eyes on the little dog!  I'm going to have to keep my eyes on her today!

Jim Gregory 

It's good to have friends!!!

Kim Comfort

Kim Comfort joined us once again for our trip to Bermuda.  

She just might inspire us to start a Frequent Guest Program onboard Morpheus.  Perhaps we will offer free drinks to those that travel with us the most?   Kim visited us in California shortly before we left, then met us in Panama to join us on our trip through the Canal and a week in the beautiful San Blas Islands.  She also spent about a week with us onboard this Summer as we cruised around the end of Long Island.  

She is definitely our Most Frequent Visitor!  

We are especially thankful that she joined us during our recent trip to Bermuda.  Because, when the "shit hit the fan", she was calm, cool and collected.  No complaints. Just tell me what we need to do.  Even, during  the worst parts of the storm, she had no issues grabbing the wheel and driving through some pretty difficult stuff.

Thanks Kim.  There's always a spot for you on-board Morpheus!!

-Jim and Deb

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Captains Log - Our Trip to Bermuda

Black Line Planned vs. Green/Orange Actual  (windy where Orange)

(Warning this is a bit long as I document what happened for my own benefit as well as yours!)

How was the trip to Bermuda??

Well, it wasn't the best! For those of you that considered coming along for the ride (Sue!) and then decided not made a good decision.

It probably sits at number two in our all time least enjoyable list of passages. Tough call, since the Auckland to Tonga trip had more than 48 hours with winds over 30 and this one only 24 hours. But, on the trip to Tonga the Autopilot steered through the worst parts, and on this trip we lost the autopilot less than an hour into the windy stuff. An autopilot is worth at least two capable crew. Lesson learned....we need to fix what broke and organize a backup system for the future!

As earlier posts have pointed out, we left a chilly Newport, RI behind with a forecast (from professionals (that we PAID for!!!)) that predicted 24 hours of very light conditions, the possibility (becoming more likely) of a new Low that would affect us with 20-30 knot winds pushing us downwind for the next 24 hours, and then 36 hours of ideal sailing conditions as we finished our trip into St. Georges Harbor in Bermuda.

Quotes from our Forecast Provider...
1) There is some change to the forecast but still think it looks best to get going today (Sun)
2) You may see adverse conditions for a time Mon, or Mon Night but will see better and more favorable conditions Tue and Wed to Bermuda
3) Look out for increasing NE wind, possible to 20 kts later at Night.
4) Winds: Sun - light and Variable, Mon - 5 to 15, possible gusts to 30 in squalls, Tue - 12 to 26, Gust 30?, Wed - 22 to 11

So, what happened....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Arts & Crafts Day

Rainy day activities onboard Morpheus as yet another gale moves past Bermuda!

Jim Gregory 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Re: Passage to Bermuda

Well wow! Bermuda triangle BAD! Jimmy Kim GOOD! Deb SMART! Snowing in NY. Glad you are out safe!!! Love you / love JIm and I'm becoming very fond of Kim :) T
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 28, 2011, at 4:17 PM, Deb Gregory <> wrote:
> Hi All.
> Jim, Kim and I are safely in Bermuda. It was an interesting/scary passage.
> As soon as you get casual about the ocean, she reaches up to remind you just how inconsequential we are in the scheme of things.
> Our friend Kim Comfort from Newport, RI joined us for the passage from Newport to Bermuda. She's the daughter of the Amazing Potato friends, and a good sailor. We left Newport with a good weather window. We use a service call Commanders Weather that helps us plan when to go. Only 4 days and nothing bad between us and Bermuda.
> The 1st day was cool, calm and easy. Day 2 the weather was suppossed to get up to 20 knots as we crossed the gulf stream, but not too bad. It definitely got warmer and nicer. By the time we got 1/2 way to Bermuda, it was 30k with gusts to 35. But we were going down wind, so it really wasn't that bad. We had taken down the main sail, and only had this tiny part of it up we couldnt reach to pull down. Waves were huge, about 30 feet, but we were surfing down the front of them. Jim hit 18 knots surfing down the waves. Yucky, but ok. Then we got hit with a gust of 46 knots out of no where. The Auto pilot was steering. Auto handeleld it well, but as Jim was running on deck to make sure all was well, we heard a huge "sproing" noise. Jim didn't tell Kim and I until we reached Bermuda, but the Auto pilot had ripped free of the boat with the force of trying to steer the boat through that gust. Jim reached the tiller before we rounded up or down and started steering or we would have been in big trouble.
> That left us in the middle of that big storm with no Auto pilot. Auto counts as at least 2 crew, so with him out, we had to hand steer for 2 days.
> So we started steering by hand in 30 knots of wind and 30 foot waves. We had to line the waves up right, or they would butt slap the boat, making it spin out. Sucked. This was during the day. At night you couldn't see the waves, because of course, it's a new moon. We would hear them coming, but you just had to stear by the compass and trust you didnt get butt slapped by a rouge wave.
> Kim and Jim steared all night. 1 hour on, 1 off. Somehow I got taken off the rotation. I definitely was scared doing it, and somehow those guys got the impression I didn't want to stear. I didn't correct their assumption.
> We got through the night without crashing the boat. The next day was more of the same, but every hour was better. Smaller waves, lower wind. By Thursday am the waves were small, wind was light and it was warm and sunny to finish the passage.
> So, long story short, we are good. We need to tell Commanders that they suck, and we need the auto pilot repaired. No worries.
> Love to you All,
> Deb
> On Oct 28, 2011, at 12:04 PM, Deb Gregory <> wrote:
>> In Bermuda. Trip SUCKED.
>> All good now. Phone and texts out of commission for next 6 mos but email works great!
>> Love you all. I am fine, but you were closer to -1 sister than ever before.
>> Deb

Primary Damage

Anyone that has seen this bracket will be amazed that it deformed and pulled up from one base!  That's what 47 knots of breeze does when you don't have time to react. 

The real axing thing when you really think about it is that the rudder did not break!

Jim Gregory 

In Bermuda Safe and Sound

It was one hell of a trip which needs to be fully documented. Stand by for more details.

Jim Gregory 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arrived Bermuda Safe and Sound

Was an interesting trip. Stories tomorrow. All onboard are fine and would do it again. But, just barely....

More tomorrow. Now to sleep more than two hours in a row!!


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Monday, October 24, 2011

This passage will have two stories to tell

All's well onboard Morpheus today.

The biggest issue we had leaving was the fact that our primary computer used for email, weather, and navigation had a problem and needed to go to the shop. Normally that would not be a problem and we'd just delay our departure. However....our weather routers were saying "go now!", or prepare to wait for at least a week.

That didn't seem very attractive. Deb was running out of extra layers to put on in the cold, and we have a perfectly good backup computer. So off we went!

Based on our weather since leaving, and our forecast the first third of the trip will be a very light one, and the second two thirds pretty windy!!

I've spent the first day fixing the solar panel issues and we now have three functional panels pumping free electricity into our batteries when the sun is out!! I've also managed to get all the systems up and running on the backup computer. (This email is proof of part of that!!)

So, it looks like we reach the Gulf Stream between 10pm and midnight tonight. It's always midnight when things get wierd. We should have very nice conditions for the first six hours or so, and then the wind will have built to 20-25 from the NW. The stream is running North at about three knots, so that's wind against current and normally that's not the most comfortable way to travel. Luckily, the wind will be behind us so that should help.

Then tomorrow will be pretty windy but having crossed the stream, I'm hoping for a fairly comfortable and fast downwind ride!

Thats all for now!!

-Jim, Deb, and Kim

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Castle Hill Lighthouse

Here we go as we cross the line of the Newport to Bermuda race start. 

From the looks of Debs outfit we may have waited too long!

Jim Gregory 

Time to leave

Sunrise in Newport. Time to head for Bermuda!

Jim Gregory 

Friday, October 21, 2011


After four days of up to 35 knots of wind on the mooring, we are more than ready to leave the Northeast!

Now we just need a break in the weather to escape. Looks like Sunday may give us that opportunity. In the meantime here's a quick overview of our work list to get ready. Most of these are done

Engine Service
Install jacklines on deck
Install lazy jack lines on mast/boom
Install solar controllers 
Install solar panels
Consult with weather routers
Shop for provisions
Test all lights and instruments
Test all epirbs
Check regs for arriving Bermuda
Mast check
Install Bimini
Park car and trailer for winter
Obtain health certs for dog
Fill fuel 
Fill water
Stow everything for sea
Extra lashing on lifelines
Check contents of ditch kit

Lots of stuff to keep us busy  and happy while we wait!

Jim Gregory 

Monday, October 17, 2011

One Year and Counting....

One year ago today, we left the turning basin at the Richmond Yacht Club on a beautiful morning, sailed under the Golden Gate into a wall of fog and turned left heading for warmer temperatures and hopes for plenty of exciting adventures on the way to the East Coast (and Block Island Race Week!!).

A year later, the time has flown by, but there have been so many highlights along the way.  It's been fantastic, and the best part is we have no plans to stop!


Should we stay or should we go?

Deb and I have really enjoyed the time that we've spent in Newport this Summer.

So...with real estate prices down a bit we thought we'd do a bit of shopping

This one seems nice. What do you think?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lucky Number 13?

13 has been a lucky number for us over the years, but 12 didn't do much for us. Oh well...

Cold Beer

Great picture! Great night! That's Lisa Faller and John Piga with me in the photo.

Johns streak of never having lost to me in darts remains intact!

7 Days to Departure

Back late last night from a trip in to Boston to see two of my best friends from High School!

Up early to begin and finish packing the trailer which will be stored for the winter along with our car at Jim Callahan's farm somewhere in New York.

Departure for Bermuda is beginning to seem real!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

30 knots at anchor

Definitely a good time to NOT be sailing to Bermuda!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Morpheus SPOT Messenger

GPS location Date/Time:10/13/2011 16:11:34 PDT

Message:Just wanted you to know that all is well. Everything is good!

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,-71.32623&ll=41.49669,-71.32623&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1


You have received this message because Morpheus has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ice Hockey

Watching a friends son play ice hockey. Great fun, but time for this SD girl to go SOUTH!!!!!

Today's Project

Solar controllers for our new solar panels!!
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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Rule #1: Keep Debbie Warm!

View Newport to The Caribbean in a larger map

With temperatures in the low 60's and threatening to go lower, it is time to get serious about getting out of dodge!

Our plan is to leave for Bermuda on or about Oct. 23rd, and then sail from Bermuda on to the Caribbean leaving Bermuda on the 6th of November.

Lots of people ask, why not just harbor hop your way South along the Atlantic Coast and then leave for the Caribbean from Miami?

Well, that seemed like a great idea to me right up until a couple of months ago when I started talking to folks that have done the trip before.  There are two very good reasons that the Bermuda route is a "no brainer".

  1. Check out the map above.  When you head South along the Atlantic Coast you are also putting in some significant miles to the West.  If you take this route it basically a 3,000 mile trip by the time you reach St. Martin.  If, on the otherhand, you take the Bermuda route the trip is 1700 miles.  Over a thousand miles shorter!
  2. The Caribbean trade winds blow from the East.  So, if you make the trip to Miami and put in all those miles to the West, you then need to regain your Easterly position by sailing 1,000 miles upwind into the Trades.  No thanks!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

College Life - Not so bad...

Just received this picture from our son Patrick. He has just started his Senior year at UC Santa Barbara. Doesn't look half bad to me!
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011