While we waited patiently for nine days in the Azores for our new engine coolant pump to arrive, we took advantage of the marina’s provisioning services and enjoyed some pizza and local fresh produce. It was a comfort to be able wake up to fresh Portuguese coffee, toast, and eggs while we were there.
After making great time motoring and sailing out of Gibraltar, a small disaster strikes and we are forced to make a pit stop in the beautiful Azores.
Dodging multiple gales and bunkering down in Spain we finally have arrived in Gibraltar! It was really looking like we weren’t going to make it here by May 15th but a lucky spell of weather put just enough wind at our backs and with just enough diesel we puttered into Gibraltar harbor on the morning of the 15th to our biggest refuel ever and to gather some fresh provisions and BEER! As we sailed close to the Moroccan coast, we slowed down considerably as we hit the east setting current that flows through the strait of Gibraltar from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean. It was then that our prospects grew dim. Luckily however, we magically found an unexplained counter current that carried us into motoring range.
We opted to increase our Garmin Inreach plan to “unlimited messages” for our Atlantic crossing in order to keep in touch and receive our FastSeas weather routing.
We are really happy to have a crew of three for our Atlantic crossing. This article really highlights a lot of the hardships we have faced in the past couple months culminating to our long Atlantic crossing back to our home country. We haven’t been chased out of a country yet, but the price gouging is real. Another big thanks from SV Speck crew to all of those who have supported us. We would certainly be in for much harder times without it.
We said goodbye to Syracuse and finally enjoyed some really nice downwind sailing. This came as a well needed reprieve from the thunderstorms and squalls that had us hunkered down below decks without sleep for days.
Not waiting for weather and with our sights set on home, the crew of SV Speck pushes on from Port Ghalib, Egypt to Syracuse, Italy sailing through strong winds and one of the fiercest thunderstorms to date. Determined to make the Atlantic crossing and armed with our new route planning service, “FastSeas“, we are making some of the best times we have seen yet.
Sometimes when the wind is just right, you keep on going. Originally intended upon stopping in Djibouti, SV Speck and crew decide to keep going after crossing the Gulf of Aden. This made for a 35 day crossing – the most days at sea for for us to date. A good training run for what is to come.
While in Tahiti we partook in an ago-old mariners’ tradition. Swallow tattoos mark a person who has sailed 5000 contiguous miles. The results were gorgeous.
Wrapping up our stay in Panama, we began gearing up for our push West across the Pacific Ocean. This would be the crew’s longest stint at sea yet. As such, we prepared our boat to be our universe for the next 4-5 weeks. Cut off from all outside contact and supply, we would have to be totally self sufficient.
We’ve fallen into a bit of a daily routine. Each day is either an exploring day filled with secluded islands, snorkeling, and reading, or a sailing day filled with fishing, navigation, and learning. Each evening has a catch of the day dinner, a game of cribbage, popcorn, and an episode or two of Black Sails.
After consulting Byron’s Uncle Bob on best practices for navigating the Gulf Stream, we set off and crossed into the Bahamas and into 2019. We checked into West End, then made our way to Freeport to meet up with three friends Steph, Anna, and Peter who would adventure with us through the Bahamas over the next weeks.
Well, the last month has felt like a year. We’re finally in a place with WiFi and in a position where the bold items on our boat’s repair list can wait.
After two years of not-sailing, it felt great to raise those sails.
We were happy to find the boat came with a Perkins 4108 engine and even happier to find that it came in pieces. We were able to piece it back together over the winter and…. it started up!
Many of the systems were 1985 original to the boat. Luckily, most electronics and plumbing ran on the starboard side of the boat and we had easy access. With our tight budget we refurbished what we could, and learned from the original design.
Now that the major pieces were together (hull, keel, mast, and rudder) it was time to focus on the inside of the boat. We knew the boat had been previously repaired on the starboard side hull (we think it may have fallen off its stands at one point in its life, but we’re not certain). The previous owner was in the middle of rebuilding the boat when he passed away from cancer.
After moving our 62ft mast down the pier and over next to our boat, Foster Rigging gave us the best quote (and excellent business) for our first mast step.
We hired LV Marine and Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina to attach our keel and install the rudder. Perfect. We’ll only have to do this once, right? Next: Mast!
After a few more visits to Chaumont, we made an offer and they accepted! Next step: get the boat (and all of the pieces) to Boston. Brownell (boat transportation company) to the rescue! ~$4k later, our boat was in East Boston and read to be assembled.
We dreamt of sailing the world. Step one: the most inexpensive Bluewater boat we could find and rebuild. Craigslist revealed a Beneteau First 42 in Chaumont, NY. We made the 6 hour drive from Boston and found a hull, a keel, and a mast!