Monday, December 31, 2012

We meet up with fellow RYC Members - Torben and Judy Bentsen!!

Tivoli Moored in Christmas Cove
 In mid December, Deb and I shifted back into sailing mode, and headed out for the 100 mile overnight from St. Martin to the Virgin Islands.  Our mission was to track down Torben and Judy Bentsen from the Richmond Yacht Club.

Torben and Judy left RYC on their boat "Tivoli" about three months before us.  While we have been able to keep in touch via email and blogs, we have only managed to cross paths once before in Magdellena Bay, Mexico.

Morpheus Anchored in Christmas Cove
We had a great (translated easy light air) sail to the Virgin Islands and arrived off of Virgin Gorda just after Sunrise.  Perfect!  We took our time sailing down through the BVI's heading for Christmas Cove where the plan was to meet up with Torben and Judy.  With only a few miles to go, we noticed a race going on that looked to have about 12 boats slowly working their way downwind. 

Suddenly, the crew on one of the boats that looked sort of familiar jumped up and started waving our way.  That's right, Torben and Judy had decided to "race the house"!!
Pre-Christmas Warm Up onboard Tivoli!

We all got together that night and the following one to catch up, share stories, and drink and eat early Christmas treats.

It was great to see Torben and Judy again.  And, we'll have plenty of chances to meet up again over the next month or so.  We all are hoping to see each other at the New Years Party at Foxy's.  (standby for pictures!)

End of Year Catch Up #1

We've been a bit negligent updating our blog this month.  Part of that was due to the fact that our onboard internet solution died along with all the other things that have decided to fall apart over the past month or so.  Hopefully, most of that stuff is behind us now, we shall see.

In any case, here follows several short updates to catch up on a few of our activities over the past three weeks.

Early December Repairs
St. Martin is the perfect location for those looking to refit or make repairs to their boats.  There are fully stocked marine stores with everything and more that your typical West Marine might have at home, and plenty of skilled technicians around that specialize in all the standard systems that might typically be found on a typical cruising boat.  While the rest of the Caribbean has only very limited access to marine supplies, you can find almost anything here.  So, we took advantage. 

Auto Pilot Repairs
Just over a year ago while sailing to Bermuda, the metal bracket for our autopilot ram was badly damaged.  I had it "repaired" and added some additional metal to make it stronger.  But, I was never able to get it to seat perfectly and after trying several solutions over the past year, I finally bit the bullet and decided that I needed to build a custom footing to take up the space between the brackets bottom flange and the mounting block on the hull. 

A couple of days later, after some fun with epoxy and epoxy fillers, the almost finished product looked like this and we are back to 100%.

Repairs - Painting the Bathroom Floor

Not all projects are gucci glory projects...

Project number two involved repainting the floor in the head with Awlgrip.

Initially I thought that it would be a good idea to learn how to use this paint since so much of the boat is painted with it and I figured I could save a few dollars at the same time.

WRONG!!  This project probably took twice as long and cost at least as much as paying an expert.  It's not that I had problems, but by the time you purchase the sandpaper, chemical cleaner/degreaser, paint, paint catalyst, thinner, flattening agent, roller, brushes, etc, etc, etc. you have saved no money at all!!

At the end of several days, the end result is great and I have plenty of left over (very expensive) painting supplies for the future.

I guess I'll have to find some more projects!

Cockpit Table Upgrade

Our final project was putting new legs on our cockpit table which had been "non functional" for over ten years!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yesterday's disaster

I took a break from dinghy shopping and went kiteboarding for an hour yesterday. Not much wind, but apparently still enough for me to make a mistake and fly my kite into the water at warp speed!!

I guess it wasn't designed to deal with my mistakes. The main panel exploded leaving a four foot rip from front to back. Sort of a huge pressure relief valve, only that's not helpful in terms of getting or remaining airborne.

Another day, another repair project!

I've decided that its time to revisit the fundamentals of boat maintenance in the midst of all these breakdowns.

Christmas is coming!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

When will this end??

Our dinghy has an inoperable tumor in its floor!!

It sure seems like 10.5 years must be a magical time that everyone designs their marine equipment around!

We've had great luck keeping everything together, but the last two months have been a string of one breakdown after another. 

I knew we were pushing our luck with this dinghy, but now we are certain that we've used absolutely all she had to give!

Time for some more shopping!!!

Jim Gregory 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Answer to last weeks "Visione" quiz!

The reason that really big boats like Visione need to ensure that there is a line running down from a man being hoisted up the mast is pretty counter intuitive.

The man being hoisted is usually being lifted via a halyard that runs from a winch on the deck, up the mast through a block at the top and then down to the crew's bosun's chair. 

It seems that at some point, as the person is hoisted up the mast, the weight of the halyard line running down the mast from the top becomes greater than the combined weight of the crew person being hoisted and the line running down from the top of the mast to his chair.

Without a hold down line, he would accelerate uncontrollably up the mast until he slamed into the top and most likely was severely injured.

I wonder who figured this out the first time????

Picture of the Day

Just found this picture of Patrick kite surfing off Edgartown.

It's a great photo, but I wish I could remember whether this was taken in
the middle of a great trick, or just before another massive wipeout!

I'm going with wipeout for now!!


Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

I guess the "book" was too good to put down for dinner?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

My first effort painting with Awlgrip

We had some paint beginning to peel on the floor of the head. There were also a couple of issues with water intrusion around the shower floor. So... A week ago I started a "one day" touch up repair that morphed into a weeks work and lots of expensive supplies. 

The labor was free however, and I am very happy with the finished product!!

Jim Gregory 


This "sailboat" is HUGE!!! If not quite 200ft, I'll bet she is all of 150 and perhaps a not more. 

Quiz of the day:  the crew sent a man up the mast today. Not only was he attached to a Hayward which obviously was used to pull him up, he was also attached to a line that ran down from his harness to a block on the rail and then to a winch!!  To win this quiz tell me why he had a line running down from his harness....


Jim Gregory 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Super Yachts Lined Up

Lots of really large yachts arriving in St Maarten right now. 

The Antigua Super Yacht Boat Show ended a few days ago. 

These boats need to fit between two sides of a small draw bridge that opens each afternoon for inbound traffic at 530pm.  

The St Maarten Yacht Club is just inside the bridge on the right as you enter. The inbound traffic makes for great free entertainment if you are enjoying happy hour at the yacht club. 

Very few boats have hit the bridge but that's hard to believe as you watch some of these huge boats line up for their turn!!!

Jim Gregory 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

This would not fly at home

Took this from our dinner table last night.

  I really like the fact that the light socket near the bottom of the stack  is pointing straight up in the "rain catcher" position. 

Jim Gregory 

Monday, December 03, 2012


Picture of the Day

Under Sail from St. Kitts to Nevis

We are anchored (moored actually) off the beach at Nevis.  The Four Seasons Resort is a short walk up the beach, and was the location of Commerce One's last Sales Club in 2002.  The wheels had started to fall off the bus at that point and I think we all knew it.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Twice in one day....

Deb Here...

Who woulda thunk?

This morning, anchored way out in Simpson Bay, St Martin, having coffee, we suddenly hear a police alarm right outside our boat. WTF?

We are being boarded for a safety inspection. Ok.... We welcome the Dutch St. Martin Coast Guard aboard, ("Would you like coffee, sirs?"). Vicious Ita goes in her box. They ask lots of questions about where we've been, where we're going, weather we have safety gear, but don't go below. 5 minutes and we are done. No hassles.

Jim and I then have a nice sail over to Statia, which is 1/2 way between St Martin and Nevis. Drop anchor at sunset, cocktails, relax...

Full dark, about ready to go below and make dinner, when Jim and I both spot a very dark boat operating darkly in the dark... No running lights and it starts coming directly towards us like a shark.... Hmmmm...

Spot light on us. It's a Caribbean Narcotics Boat. Ita goes back in the box. They come aboard, this time wearing guns, and start pulling up floor boards, looking in bags, etc. Wow, Full on Search! After a few minutes, Jim shows them our track on the computer, and they figure out we are not the boat they are looking for. Their skipper calls them out of our bilges, they say thanks very much, and they leave.

If we get boarded tomorrow, I'm going to really suspect there's a bad guy out there who looks like us....


Update from Jim: I've never been boarded by Coast Guard or any other official before yesterday. (Well, there was that one time on my Dad's boat, but let's ignore that!) Twice in one day?? What are the odds??

My favorite exchange of the day...

CG Officer: Do you have anything that you want to declare??
Jim: Excuse me??

CG Officer: Guns??
Jim: No.

CG Officer: Large amounts of money??
Jim: No

CG Officer: Drugs??
Jim (looking confused): If I declare them are they legal??

I made them laugh....

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Season is Starting to Roll

More and ore of these huge yachts are beginning to show up here is St Martin. 

We are heading to Nevis/St Kitts tomorrow. 

Jim Gregory 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

We need to meet these people!!

Some People Just Know How To Have Fun!!!

I almost set a catamaran adrift today!!

Sunset off Shell Beach, St. Barths

Morpheus moved from Gustavia a short distance to Shell Beach, St. Barths early this morning.  We have a great spot right in the middle of a very small harbor, the popular beach just a couple blocks from the town is covered by millions of small shells (the source of the name),  there is a small cafe "Do Brasil" here, and the water is warm and spectacularly clear.

We spent the day onboard for the most part.  Lots of swimming to cool off, and Deb swam in to the beach for a glass of wine with the cool people that make up St. Barths.

My adventure of the day had nothing to do with "cool people".  Instead, it involved a 45 foot charter catamaran.  The captain came in with his non boating guests and anchored about a boatlength behind us and somewhat less in front of a worn out looking bulletproof cruising boat.  The "guests" gave each other high fives as the anchor hit the water and immediately dove overboard heading for the beach.

This was all entertaining to us, until we saw the captain jump in his dinghy and head for the beach and presumably the beach bar as well!!  Really???  When he left there was no more than 10 feet between him and the cruiser behind us.  We couldn't beleive it.  But hey, when in France its best to figure out how things work before you get to critical.

Well, it didn't take long and about 45 minutes later the wind shifted and the charter boat swung right into the bow of the old cruiser.  Nobody on either boat, and at least the charter boat was getting the worst of it.  That old cruiser had a huge metal anchor roller that seemed to be taking big bites out of the catamarans stern.

Anyway, I jumped in my dinghy and headed over to the other two boats.  I used the dinghy to pull them apart and confirmed that there was nobody aboard either boat.  Once done, I headed in towards the beach to find the charter captain.  At that point, another "local" cruiser buzzed over to the catamaran and showed me what I should have done.

Apparently, the local custom is, if you are an idiot and leave your boat unattended in a place where it can hurt others, it's fair game to jump onboard, pull up your anchor and motor your boat to where ever the good samaritan thinks it should be!

It was great, to see the charter captain running down the beach full speed towards his dinghy as this other guy pulled up his anchor and was motoring the boat out of the harbor!!

Next time, I'll know what to do....
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Morpheus at anchor in Simpson Bay, St Martin

Jim Gregory 

Bermuda to St. Martin - From Debbie's point of view.

On Nov 13, 2012, at 5:30 AM, "Deb Gregory" <> wrote:

This is for my family and friends who won't panic with the true (to me) version of our last passage.

Whenever I have reservations about my life style for the last 2 years, Jim always says, "Don't lose your sense of adventure!" Well, after this trip I think I can say that I am not loosing my sense of adventure, just for parts of his adventures. I think that was the last passage I'll do. I'm flying from now on. Unfortunately the last 2 days were great, so, like child birth, it makes the first 5 days hard to remember.

This trip was supposed to take 4 to 5 days. It took 8. I never thought we were going to die, I knew the boat would make it. I wasn't scared, (except when driving at night, downwind, in big waves, but that's a personal issue) but there was a lot of time when I couldn't tell you if life was going to get better or worse.

Start with the day before we leave Bermuda. That will be day -1:

Day -1: Fire in the Galley oven. Get it out by simply turning off gas. Figure out Broiler is toast and by extension the oven as well. But after testing, the rest is ok. Crew shows up. We have 3 friends joining us. 1 we sail with all the time. 1 sailing friend from college, one a San Francisco sailing friend.

Day 1: Nice day sailing. We forgot to pick up our case of duty free rum when we checked out. (Bad Omen) Almost turned around, but no. Should have.

Later we have a squall from 10 to 35 knots in 60 seconds. No damage but you mentally go from 0-60 in 5 seconds! If you are asleep, all of a sudden you are up and running. Adrenalin surge! Rain and squalls all night*.

(This means that you are sailing at night, no moon until late, and rain clouds blow up with big wind (20 knots) and TORRENTIAL RAIN in front of them, then 2 knots behind. This leaves you wallowing in the waves with the waves slapping for 1-3 hours. It's worse than nails on a chalk board. Seriously a bummer. You go from cool and groovy, to all hands on deck in less than 1 minute, then try to get the boat moving again while wet and clammy.)

Day 2: Engine Fire at dusk, fire extinguisher and fire blanket called into play. Starter motor burned out. No engine, so no electricity except for what solar panels could produce. (Solar panels are great!)

No electricity officially sucks. Enough for instruments and computer updates twice a day, nothing else. No auto pilot, so we go to 1 hour on watch hand steering, 4 hours off. In theory this is not too bad (if all can steer and stuff doesn't go wrong in the middle of he night). Jim doesn't get 3 hours of sleep in a row for the rest of the trip. I'm trying to restructure the menu since I can't bake bread and the stove is seriously questionable .

Jim's sterilized version published via a post to the blog - "We had a problem with the ignition system of the engine. Now can't start it. No other issues and solar will keep us powered enough to get to St. Martin. So rare updates from here."

Ya think?

Rain and squalls all night*.

Day 3: Instruments spontaneously go out. We still have the "old fashioned" compass, but nothing else. We each hand steer a 1 hour watch all night At 2 am I have serious thoughts about the Bermuda Triangle, which we are definitely not in, and aliens coming down from outer space and taking us off the boat, leaving Ita all by her self. No shit. Seriously! Rain and squalls all night*

Day 4: Jim fixed instruments!! Turns out it was 1 loose wire. Jim debugged. He's da man! Then, another galley stove fire. The clamp that connects the supply valve for the oven to the main gas line was cheap metal and corroded all to pieces allowing gas to escape. Jim removed the oven valve and plugged the hole with ... you guessed it - Duct Tape! This left us with only 1 burner for the rest of the trip. Rain and squalls all night*. Too much wind for me to steer.

Day 5: Wind during day, no wind at night and 3 hour waterfall at night. We did soaking wet sails slapping back and forth circles for 3 hours. Rain and squalls all night*. Too much wind or too little for me to steer.

Day 6: Light wind most of the day, then a Huge Squall, (2 hours w/ 25 to 30 knots) then nice wind 12-15. Finally into the trades. Nice night with some rain. Beautiful stars. Big Dipper to the north and southern cross to the south, moon rises to port.

Day 7: Mostly good wind. Some squalls at night. Sometimes no wind at night for periods, resulting in slapping sails, yuck.

Day 8: Drop anchor at 7:30 am under sail 30 seconds before a 23 knot squall arrives with torrential downpour. What a finish! Clear customs, buy a new starter and Jim has engine running by 5pm. YEAH!!!! New stove tomorrow!! DOUBLE YEAH!!!

Jim's Comments: Well, most of what Debbie describes is generally correct, although it does seem to be flavored a bit via her point of view. Which is understandable. I actually think there was some really great sailing involved along the way, and having to turn off the electronics etc. and just go sailing was a good reminder of how easy we do have it most times. Plus, she downplays her skills when it comes to driving the boat. She did really well and could have continued. She just didn't like it.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

RE: Morpheus - Half way St. Martin - Dead Starter - Seeking Advice??

My comment posted to the blog

Anonymous2:34 PM
In my defense I never suggested any of those ideas because if things went wrong the potential for damage was far worse than the need for speed or cold beer.

Forget about loss of life, there was real potential with any of those solutions to scratch paint or more drastic the wood. And we know how Jim is about the wood.

I was going to suggest bump starting the engine which we have actually done on the tugs, but that requires speed and you had little of that at the time.

As Frederic mentioned there is also the possibility of starting the engine in reverse. Google the effects of that, it is not good.

Your Brother

Morpheus - Half way St. Martin - Dead Starter - Seeking Advice??

Hi everyone,

Below are the two best suggestions that I received when looking for help getting our engine started a few days ago.

How is it that the French are so much more clever than the rest of us???


Emmanuel Renoir
Any way to wrap a rope on the front crank pulley and use blocks to the boom? Main tight, puff of wind, release main to pull on rope and crank engine. Could use crew to pull on rope too! Or push on boom.
Good luck!

Frederic Laffitte
1/ You need to rig a system of ropes around the flywheel of the engine if it
is accessible on your boat,like a winch, making sure that the rope is
wrapped the correct way or your engine can start in reverse and destroy

2/ With a system of pulleys you need a line that goes up to the spreaders or
higher with a 4 to 1 ratio and attach a jerry jug to this block and tackle

3/ The jerry jug must have a way to be released at a distance so its weight
will pull on the block and tackle when you hit the release.

4/The block and tackle will pull on the line wrapped around the flywheel and
starts the engine....

It sounds crazy but it works well, a French round the world guy did it every
day for 2 months to charge is batteries.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

And soon, you will have the rest of the story...

We are safe and sound in St. Martin. Our predicted 5+ day trip turned into 7. We ran into engine problems, mast issues, gas stove issues, instrument outages, lack of wind, too much wind, squalls, big squalls and really big squalls.

But...we are here. Tonight I expect a bit of a rum squall and then tomorrow we'll work on telling a bit more about the trip.

BTW - The engine is running as I type this!!! They had a replacement starter in stock when I walked into the Yanmar shop. Deb is very happy!

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Anchor down - st Martin

Arrived and anchored moments before a thirty knot squall hit the harbor. 

Par for the course in this trip!!

Jim Gregory 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hey Rob

Well, this passage has been one for the record books. Engine issues, gas stove issues, instrument issues, light wind that always seemed to blow from St. Martin, etc. We could have used your constant optimism for the past week.

Things changed yesterday after a 30+ knot "squall" that lasted a couple of hours. We are finally in the trades and making miles directly towards St. Martin.

Last night the skies cleared and the breeze was blowing hard. My watch from 3-6am was spectacular. 18-22 from behind, big waves, a sky filled with stars. The Big Dipper directly behind, and the Southern Cross ahead off the port bow. Great stuff!

And the perfect time for a little Pink Floyd!!

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Update - Still dead upwind to St. Martin

Three days and three hundred some odd miles of progress. Fairly pitiful.

Its been upwind the entire way. Yesterday spent dodging squalls with up to 30 knots and then sitting in the lulls that follow in 6 knots of wind.

Pretty frustrating stuff.

All good otherwise,


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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Alls Good

Just need that sun to come out for some solar charging and maybe a windshift so we are not heading dead upwind.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Greetings - Last update for a bit probably

We had a problem with the ignition system of the engine.

Now cant start it. No other issues and solar will keep us powered enough to get to St. Martin.

So rare updates from here.

We are fine.

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Rum Emergency - Hopefully averted....

Greetings from Morpheus. We are once again underway and heading South!

Adios to Bermuda and her tropical storms. I've had enough of that for awhile.

Mark Adams and Jim Carrick (fellow Richmond Yacht Club Members!) arrived on Sat. afternoon, and the four of us moved from Hamilton around to ST. Georges yesterday. Gibb Kane joined us yesterday afternoon and we finalized the boat and had her ready for sea prior to dinner.

Here's the Rum Emergency part. I suppose we may have had one too many last night with dinner?? any case, when we checked out of customs we forgot to mention my case of duty free Goslings that was sitting behind the counter for pickup!!!! Argh. We were two hours out this morning before I remembered. For a few moments I actually considered turning around, but those thoughts were quickly disposed of. Instead, we have called the local harbor master and asked very nicely if she could not perhaps arrange with the next boat heading South to make a delivery for us??? I'm hoping a bottle or two might make this deal work???

Anyway, we hoisted the mainsail at about 8am in absolute calm and have spend the bulk of the day sailing slowly upwind in 8 knots of breeze. The forecast has us sailing upwind at least 70% of the way. And, it also has the winds primarily in the 10-15 knot range. Guess we will take the good with the bad!!

Will keep the updates coming, but don't expect any true excitement along the way. Sounds like a perfect trip to me.


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Sunday, November 04, 2012

As if a hurricane wasn't enough

The yoga studio one block over from us just burned down. I swear the world is ending and it's all starting in alphabet city

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I miss my Etchells!!

Here is the line up at RBYC. I was going to race with Tim Patton last weekend, but Sandy ruined that!!

Jim Gregory 

Sandy is back!

Unbelievably, Sandy or the storm previously know as Sandy is back and making our lives difficult again!!

The storm hit New York, went a bit farther West, and has been moving NNE ever since. It's no longer a tropical storm or a hurricane, but it is still huge and last night Deb and I "slept" through a windy (25-35 knot) night at anchor. 

Today, first thing, we headed in to the dock at RBYC. 

LUXURY!!!!  Electricity, water, and a bar!!

Jim Gregory 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Video of the power plant two blocks away exploding

I choose great places to live don’t I?  Power plant down the block from me decided to go nuclear on us.  The three more days without power estimate might be a little optimistic.  Crazy thing to see first hand though, huge boom followed by complete darkness except for cop car lights, definitely turned lower Manhattan into a creepy place.

Patrick M. Gregory
Stonebridge Partners
81 Main St., 5th Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
Office: (914) 682-2700
Fax: (914) 682 0834

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I survived

Made it thought the night fine. Power and cell service are out tho and are supposed to say out for at least 4 days. Im having to steal Internet from a hotel thats a couple blocks away. Flooding made it to half a block from my apartment, two blocks away the flooding was deep enough to get to car windows. The storm itself didn't seem too bad where we were but the storm surge combined with the high tide was bad enough to flood a good area of the city. Cops seemed to be very well prepared and were able to keep everything orderly. I'll try to keep in touch but updates won't be too often with the power situation.

Monday, October 29, 2012

From a block away from my apartment

First off, I am fine, don't worry. The power just went out, the flooding has started and is past avenue c heading quickly to avenue b (where I live). Water and gas still work though so that's good. It's not really raining badly. Cell service is spotty so I'll check in as I can. We stocked up on books, movies, non perishable food, candles and most importantly wine so at least we'll have a good time as the world ends outside.


Winds picking up

So they're saying there have been 50+ mph gusts of wind in manhattan and Brooklyn recently. Spots in Jersey and coney island are starting to flood. And the worst hasn't even gotten here yet

Starting to get windy

Things are starting to pick up, still not raining all that hard but the wind has definitely been building!


Calm before the storm

New York city is very quiet right now. The subways are shut down, stores are closed, school and work has been cancelled. Everyone seems to just be waiting for the storm to hit. As of right now its only lightly raining and the wind is starting to pick up but when I went for a run by the east river this morning the storm surge was already coming over the breakwater and flooding some of the piers and running paths. I'll keep you all updated as the storm picks up.

- Patrick (Guest Blogger!)

All Good Here in Bermuda

We had some pretty strong winds last night, but nothing higher than about 35 knots where the boat is moored.  Still seeing 30 knots as I type, but things are definitely trending down here.

Now our attention shifts for the most part towards friends and family on the East Coast.

Our son Patrick remains in NYC.  Most likely dealing with a bit of a hangover after celebrating the Giants victory in the Worlds Series!!  Maybe we can get him to do some guest blogging here for us!!

Hurricane Sandy is a real problem for the Northeast
  • It is intensifying as it approaches land.  Winds are 85 sustained and were forecast to be 75.
  • Its pressure is 944mb, which is lower than the infamous hurricane of 1938
  • It is the second largest hurricane ever by size (tropical storm winds span 900+ miles)
Flooding seems to be the biggest issue and is our major concern for Patrick.

Maps Show Quarter Million New Yorkers Reside Below Potential Storm Surge Level
This map shows lower Manhattan, parts of New Jersey, and Brooklyn. The blue area identifies the land zone within five vertical feet of the average high tide line, toward the upper end of the range of surge heights NOAA is predicting for the immediate area. Based on 2010 Census information and Climate Central's map analysis, almost a quarter million (233,000) people live in this zone for all of New York City. That's 28 percent (65,000 people) more than live within the four-foot zone — the line we would be talking about if the sea hadn’t risen a foot over the last hundred years. About two-thirds of that rise appears to come from global warming.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Patrick - Get Out of New York City!!

Clearly you are not listening to your parents!!  You have plenty of friends in NY and CT that would be happy to put you up for a day or two.  In fact, they could probably use an extra set of hands during the storm!!

Check the map below.  How close are you to one of the mandatory evacuation zones??  Pretty close I'd guess.

After 7PM, you are stuck!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

LIving on the Edge

09:00PM EST - 10/27/2012

Things can change but as of now, we are right on the edge of Sandy's tropical storm force winds.  Bermuda is seeing 30-35 in several locations.  We have been averaging about 15 knots for the past few hours.

Can you believe the size of this storm???  Tropical storm force winds extend aprox 400 miles from the center of this storm!!  Glad we came to Bermuda early!!

Patrick - get out of Manhattan!!  Go stay with your Godmother Maureen or Mike & Meg!!

Everyone else - stay safe!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Preparations for Sandy Continue

Deb and I have been working hard to push the track of Sandy (East) West away from Bermuda.  To some degree that effort has paid off.  But, despite the fact that the center of Hurricane Sandy is forecast to pass 431nm to our West, we are being told to expect winds in the 40-45 knot range for 24 hours (Sunday/Monday) with gusts in excess of 60 knots!!

We are lucky to have an Etchells friend (Tim Patton) here in Bermuda that runs a marine business.  Part of that business is maintaining a collection of moorings around Bermuda.  He has set us up with a mooring in a protected cove that is normally intended for an 80' boat!!  My guess is that should be just fine.

A growing concern that we have is that we may have been too successful in our efforts to push Sandy to the West.  It now looks like we may have sent her right into the Northeast, and towards both our son Patrick (in Manhattan) and many friends spread between Maryland and Maine.  Be safe guys!!

Hopefully, the size and strength of this storm will not turn out to match the hype of the forecasts, but many are calling Sandy "one for the ages" with a unique combination of weather coming together at just the wrong time in just the wrong places.

Quoting RitaEvac:
It can be easily stated that should the forecast track and models “spectacular” low pressure verify, a storm of rare intensity and tremendous impacts will be felt along the NE and mid-Atlantic coast. Given the forecasted perpendicular strike on the coast, onshore winds will push the Atlantic Ocean inland along the New Jersey and New York coast including New York City. Due to the high blocking over Greenland, the fetch of wind will extend nearly across the entire Atlantic Ocean and this will result in massive wave action aimed at the NE US coast. Lunar tides are also near peak with the full moon on Monday and this combined with the wave run-up and long duration of onshore winds (20-30 hours at 60-80mph) will result in potentially record breaking storm surge values. The potential is there for coastal inundation of sea water never before experienced in the NE US including New York City, but this depends heavily on the exact track of the center of Sandy.

Strong winds will batter much of the mid Atlantic and NE for not hours but days as Sandy moves NW to WNW and slows. These winds will last anywhere from 20-30 hours at 60-80mph with higher gust resulting in widespread power outages and downed trees. Strong winds will spread well inland from the coast into Canada and the OH valley.

Rainfall will be extensive as tropical moisture is brought northward with Sandy and pushed against a stalled front nearly along the higher terrain of the Appalachian mountains. Flooding rainfall due to the high rainfall rates and slow storm motion is likely and it is possible some rivers will reach record crests.

Impacts over the open Atlantic will be severe with a massive area of sustained winds of 60-70mph over hundreds of miles. Wave heights will build into the 20-30 foot range and I would not be surprised to see heights build toward 40-45 feet. Visibilities will be reduced to near zero in blowing sea spray and heavy rainfall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sandy will not go unnoticed!!

This storm is huge! 

One way or another, we here on Bermuda are going to feel her impact.  Deb and I are making plans to go back to the docks at RBYC (Royal Bermuda Yacht Club) on Friday.

Updated forecasts show her strengthening and moving west relative to initial forecasts.  Sort of bad news/good news for us. 

Given the fact she was aiming right at Bermuda yesterday, I'll take the good with the bad and celebrate the fact that for now it appears we may avoid a direct impact.


Here we go again!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hurricane Advice/Feedback

Background:  In 2003 on the way home from New Zealand, Morpheus was in Hawaii when a large hurricane was heading directly for the islands.  Our friend, Mike Wallach, was aboard and he and I spent the night on the boat while Deb and the kids slept in a rented Ford Explorer!

Less than 100 miles from the islands, this hurricane decided to take a left hand turn and we never saw winds over 30 knots.  Mike and I sat on the boat watching movies all night, while Deb and the kids "enjoyed" their night in the car.

For whatever reason, we decided that we were "protected" by having Deb's brother Dan's foul weather gear onboard.  (He had forgotten it after helping us sail the NZ to Tahiti leg of our trip.)

Since that time, I have complained to Dan that he took his gear back and left us unprotected.

Here is Mike's take on that situation....

I notice from your latest post that the hurricane turned away.  
As I suspected. 

I tried to explain this to you last year - We have been misreading the significance of Dan's Foulies. They are only a good luck charms after the winds start. Normally they function as a Hurricane magnet and pulls the storms to the Morpheus.  If they are on board - I suggest you leave them as decoy on the other side of the island.  - mw

Friday, October 19, 2012

Significant Milestone (Nautical)

It appears that at some point during our passage to Bermuda, Morpheus crossed the 50,000 nautical miles sailed line.  That's a bunch of miles sailed with a tremendous collection of friends and family over the past ten years!!

Ten years, 50,000 miles and she's still going strong!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post Hurricane: USA 51850 vs. USA 17

Hurricane Rafael has gone!  We are fine.  No issues, just lots of work to put things back where they belong.  We have plenty of time for that, so perhaps we'll take the day off!

On the otherhand, Oracle USA 17 had less wind than we did and yet they seem to have some major new issues to deal with and perhaps not quite as much time...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yesterday's Contest

My brother Bob had the answer in about 5 minutes!

The weights are hung on the bottom of my fenders to keep them from squeezing up and out of the gap between the boat and the concrete pier that we are tied to.

Hope they work!!


PS>  In New Zealand, they just fill coffee cans with concrete and stick and eye bolt in the top as it cures.  Then they hang the coffee cans from fenders.  We didn't have time to go through the construction process here.

6pm - Hurricane Rafael Update

Rafael is definitely nearby.  Things beginning to ramp up.  But still below my expectations.  No complaints by the way!

Update details
  • Number of puffs over 30 = 1
  • Huge Seas - 0
  • Thunder = 0
  • Lightning = 0
  • Rain = lots and lots
  • It's getting dark.
So, in keeping with our hurricane traditions.  Deb and I are about to watch a movie onboard!


Still waiting

Just over twenty knots now and shifting to the NE. theoretically this means the system has arrived and beginning to push through. 

Still not bad, but the intensity is starting to build. 

More to come

Jim Gregory 


So far nothing much to report. 

Hurricane Rafael has yet to make an impression upon us, and we have run out of lines and ideas. 

At this point all of our lines to the dock are doubled, and we have four lines out to three moorings to hold us off the dock during the storm. 

The worst is supposed to arrive between nine and ten tonight. Right along with high tide!!

Stand by for updates...

Jim Gregory 

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Can See The Future!!

And it isn't pretty!!!

By the way, speaking of the future.  How many of you knew that yesterday was the day that Marty McFly arrived in the future??  (Thank you Kaitlyn!)