Ocean Pearl Blog

Sea air and salt water are a callin'...

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It's been sometime since I've written a blog update. In the interlude Braun and I have been working on a plan to cross an ocean.

After we tragically lost our previous boat 'Grey Pearl' to a fire in Phuket, Thailand, you can bet we did our fair share of soul searching. Whether or not to get back on the horse, so to speak. We sought advice from many. Our friends counseled us to proceed slowly, consider all alternatives and use the liberated time to reassess our priorities. Our confidant and church Rector, Pierce Klemmt advised in classical Biblical fashion "let the ashes speak".

Well it did not take long for Braun and I to realize ocean cruising and exploration is our passion and a huge part of our lives which we enjoy doing together as a team. We also believe that this life is a short one act play and we're not getting any younger. In fact, Braun opined that if we didn't get cruising again soon the only ashes that would be speaking would be ours.

Our plan to get back on the water is unfolding in steps. First, before we set out on a long cruise to cross an ocean we wanted to become accustomed to the new boat and so we purposefully set up several 1000 mile ocean legs as sea trials. We wanted to learn the boat's mechanical and physical operational characteristics. We also were very interested in how she performed in rough sea conditions. Finally, operating the boat would produce the proverbial "list" of necessary additions and repairs to get her ready for ocean work. In maritime lingo this is known as refitting. On the good side it creates jobs but on the negative side it radically reduces the bank account.

The sea trials included voyages from Annapolis north to New England, south to Florida, the Bahamas and back to the Chesapeake Bay. So far the boat has performed well and as we become more experienced with her we are gaining confidence in her ability to carry us across an ocean.

The refitting "lists" have been attended to at Spring Cove Marina in Solomon's Island (excellent work professionally done) and Old Port Cove in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We are at home now in Virginia and Ocean Pearl is currently lying at Solomon's Island, Md., with the final work to be accomplished in several weeks.

So.what's next?

We've decided to mark our one year anniversary since taking possession of the OP to do some north latitude cruising. Our plan is to make an unconventional North Atlantic passage from Canada to Ireland. The conventional route to Europe from the USA is to cross the Atlantic around the belly of the globe USA to Bermuda, to the Azores, and enter the Mediterranean at Gibraltar. This popular route is the way we crossed in 2004 with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. However; the most direct and fastest course is the Great Circle route which the airlines fly. This northern pathway is closer to the poles where the world gets smaller. Although a shorter distance there is the downside of fog, ice and generally nastier weather vs. the more southern belly routes.

So we'll set off to the north for the Canadian Maritimes and explore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. These lands are north but also reach far to the east, toward Ireland. We'll stage to depart St. John's, Newfoundland sometime after July 1st and make way for Crookhaven, on the SW tip of Ireland, approx. 1700 nautical miles in 8 days. Captain Braun would have to point out that it was near Crookhaven (Queenstown) that was the Titanic's last port of callhmmm. Of course we will monitor the weather and particularly the ice flows closely. July and August are the best months to make such a crossing having the least chance of severe gales, fog and, ice. Yes, again ice that funnels down from Greenland through the Labrador Sea. Reminiscent of Alaska, the Aleutians and the Bering Sea. Didn't I say "never again"?

 
 
~ Our North Atlantic crossing route ~

As you might imagine, there's an enormous amount of planning and preparation for such an offshore passage. In years past, we had the luxury of dividing and conquering the plotting and planning of similar long voyages with our GSSR buddy boats, N68 'Sans Souci' and N62 'Seabird'. However; this time we plan to go solo. So we've spent many months getting the boat and ourselves ready. Here's just a sample of some of the work that we've done:
  1. Some bridge modifications to include; electronics upgraded, low fuel alarm, watch commander, satellite phone up and running
  2. Large spotlight installed
  3. Dinghies serviced
  4. Hydraulic alternators on the main engine installed; all new batteries installed
  5. Boat hauled out; shaft inspected; bow thruster cleaned; keel coolers inspected and cleaned; bottom painted; the entire boat beautifully buffed and puffed(waxed)
  6. Emergency life raft repacked; you can bet we had all the fire extinguishers inspected! Ditch bag packed and ready to go; survival suits purchased
  7. European electrical plug adapters; electronic and paper charts ordered
  8. Pumps and hoses replaced, parts upon parts ordered, inventoried and stored
  9. Portable scuba hookah compressor(Brownie) for diving the boat
  10. Medical kit updated
  11. Anddon't get me started on the provisioning! I'm burnin' up my vacuum sealer making ready-made meals to have on boardit's all about the food (Osso Buco, Split Pea & Ham, Chili Mac, Lasagna, etc)!
 
 
~ The 'Pearl' being hauled out ~

 
 
~ Fresh bottom paint and shiny props...is it any wonder we refer to boats as "she's"...?! ~

 
 
~ Captain Braun and one buffed & puffed Pearl ~

 
 
~ Getting ready for splashdown ~/aspx/TMCEH.ashx?idesc=751%7Cuploads%7C19965%7COP%20Blog%20513%7COP%20&%20BJ.jpg

Back to the voyage some anticipated stops for the good ship 'Ocean Pearl' are Lunenburg, Halifax and Bras d'Or, Nova Scotia, the fjord coast of Newfoundland, coastal cruise eastern Ireland to Dublin, Belfast, cross the North Channel and cruise Scotland's Caledonian Canal, head south though the Irish Sea and St. George's Channel, stop by the Scilly Isles and go along the English coast visiting the historic English ports of choice, Dartmouth, Plymouthhome ports of explorers and adventurers such as Sir Francis Scott Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Charles Darwin and Captain Cookto name a few, and ultimately arrive in central London at St. Katharine's Dock.

Does that itinerary scream adventureor what..?! We are excited, ready for this next chapter and very grateful to be able to go on this journey.

Next transmission will be from Canada, eh? Over and out from the bridge of the Ocean Pearl.

Tina and Braun

A side note - Our GSSR buddy boats, N68 'Sans Souci' and N62 'Seabird' have reunited...in Gocek, Turkey. They'll enjoy some cruising in the Med this upcoming season and winter in Croatia. Possible reunion of the three boats...?

Stay tuned ~

Comments

Raoul Harvey 6/1/2013
May Your GOD sail with You.
sharon 5/20/2013
SUBJECT: Sounds wonderful!! Tina, So love following your adventures! Thanks for blogging for us sedentary humans. Wishing you a wonderful, safe, exciting journey. - Sharon Sent from my iPad
James Keenan 5/17/2013
SUBJECT: Re: Sea air and salt water are a callin'... Hi Tina & Braun, How fantastic it was to see you guys in the Bahamas. A real treat having the familyand you guys at the same time. Great pictures. This trip sounds incredible. What! an adventure. I am going to enjoy following alongon your travel updates. Wishing you both an incredibly safe and sound trip and a mostincredible adventure. Better get those 7-10 mil suits out for diving and the hunt. Far cryfrom the Bahamas. Should be stunning. Cheers Jim Jim Keenan James Keenan Construction LLC P.O.Box 15904 San Francisco, CA 94115 jameskeenanconstruction@y... Office: (415) 771-0520 Mobile: (415) 305-5771 From: "tina@p..." To: Ocean Pearl Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 7:37 PM Subject: Sea air and salt water are a callin'... It’s been sometime since I’ve written a blog update. In the interlude Braun and I have been working on a plan to cross an ocean. After we tragically lost our previous boat ‘Grey Pearl’ to a fire in Phuket, Thailand, you can bet we did our fair share of soul searching. Whether or not to get back on the horse, so to speak. We sought advice from many. Our friends counseled us to proceed slowly, consider all alternatives and use the liberated time to reassess our priorities. Our confidant and church Rector, Pierce Klemmt advised in classical Biblical fashion “let the ashes speak”. Well it did not take long for Braun and I to realize ocean cruising and exploration is our passion and a huge part of our lives which we enjoy doing together as a team. We also believe that this life is a short one act play and we're not getting any younger. In fact, Braun opined that if we didn’t get cruising again soon the only ashes that would be speaking would be ours. Our plan to get back on the water is unfolding in steps. First, before we set out on a long cruise to cross an ocean we wanted to become accustomed to the new boat and so we purposefully set up several 1000 mile ocean legs as sea trials. We wanted to learn the boat’s mechanical and physical operational characteristics. We also were very interested in how she performed in rough sea conditions. Finally, operating the boat would produce the proverbial “list” of necessary additions and repairs to get her ready for ocean work. In maritime lingo this is known as refitting. On the good side it creates jobs but on the negative side it radically reduces the bank account. The sea trials included voyages from Annapolis north to New England, south to Florida, the Bahamas and back to the Chesapeake Bay. So far the boat has performed well and as we become more experienced with her we are gaining confidence in her ability to carry us across an ocean. The refitting “lists” have been attended to at Spring Cove Marina in Solomon’s Island (excellent work professionally done) and Old Port Cove in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We are at home now in Virginia and Ocean Pearl is currently lying at Solomon’s Island, Md., with the final work to be accomplished in several weeks. So….what’s next? We’ve decided to mark our one year anniversary since taking possession of the OP to do some north latitude cruising. Our plan is to make an unconventional North Atlantic passage from Canada to Ireland. The conventional route to Europe from the USA is to cross the Atlantic around the belly of the globe – USA to Bermuda, to the Azores, and enter the Mediterranean at Gibraltar. This popular route is the way we crossed in 2004 with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. However; the most direct and fastest course is the Great Circle route which the airlines fly. This northern pathway is closer to the poles where the world gets smaller. Although a shorter distance there is the downside of fog, ice and generally nastier weather vs. the more southern belly routes. So we’ll set off to the north for the Canadian Maritimes and explore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. These lands are north but also reach far to the east, toward Ireland. We’ll stage to depart St. John’s, Newfoundland sometime after July 1st and make way for Crookhaven, on the SW tip of Ireland, approx. 1700 nautical miles in 8 days. Captain Braun would have to point out that it was near Crookhaven (Queenstown) that was the Titanic’s last port of call…hmmm. Of course we will monitor the weather and particularly the ice flows closely. July and August are the best months to make such a crossing having the least chance of severe gales, fog and, ice. Yes, again ice – that funnels down from Greenland through the Labrador Sea. Reminiscent of Alaska, the Aleutians and the Bering Sea. Didn’t I say “never again”? Our North Atlantic crossing route As you might imagine, there’s an enormous amount of planning and preparation for such an offshore passage. In years past, we had the luxury of dividing and conquering the plotting and planning of similar long voyages with our GSSR buddy boats, N68 ‘Sans Souci’ and N62 ‘Seabird’. However; this time we plan to go solo. So we’ve spent many months getting the boat and ourselves ready. Here’s just a sample of some of the work that we’ve done: Some bridge modifications to include; electronics upgraded, low fuel alarm, watch commander, satellite phone up and running Large spotlight installed Dinghies serviced Hydraulic alternators on the main engine installed; all new batteries installed Boat hauled out; shaft inspected; bow thruster cleaned; keel coolers inspected and cleaned; bottom painted; the entire boat beautifully buffed and puffed(waxed) Emergency life raft repacked; you can bet we had all the fire extinguishers inspected! Ditch bag packed and ready to go; survival suits purchased European electrical plug adapters; electronic and paper charts ordered Pumps and hoses replaced, parts upon parts ordered, inventoried and stored Portable scuba hookah compressor(Brownie) for diving the boat Medical kit updated And…don’t get me started on the provisioning! I’m burnin’ up my vacuum sealer making ready-made meals to have on board…it’s all about the food (Osso Buco, Split Pea & Ham, Chili Mac, Lasagna, etc…)! The 'Pearl' being hauled out Fresh bottom paint and shiny props...is it any wonder we refer to boats as "she's"...?! Captain Braun and one buffed & puffed Pearl Getting ready for splashdown Back to the voyage… some anticipated stops for the good ship ‘Ocean Pearl’ are Lunenburg, Halifax and Bras d’Or, Nova Scotia, the fjord coast of Newfoundland, coastal cruise eastern Ireland to Dublin, Belfast, cross the North Channel and cruise Scotland’s Caledonian Canal, head south though the Irish Sea and St. George’s Channel, stop by the Scilly Isles and go along the English coast visiting the historic English ports of choice, Dartmouth, Plymouth…home ports of explorers and adventurers such as Sir Francis Scott Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Charles Darwin and Captain Cook…to name a few, and ultimately arrive in central London at St. Katharine’s Dock. Does that itinerary scream adventure…or what..?! We are excited, ready for this next chapter and very grateful to be able to go on this journey. Next transmission will be from Canada, eh? Over and out… from the bridge of the Ocean Pearl. Tina and Braun A side note - Our GSSR buddy boats, N68 'Sans Souci' and N62 'Seabird' have reunited...in Gocek, Turkey. They'll enjoy some cruising in the Med this upcoming season and winter in Croatia. Possible reunion of the three boats...? Stay tuned You can access the blog entry here. This email was sent from this website: http://www.oceanpearlyacht.com/aspx/m/0 -- To Unsubscribe: Click Here Website Name: www.oceanpearlyacht.com -- Email Address: blog-17828-comments@t... or, to unsubscribe, copy and paste this address into your browser: http://www.oceanpearlyacht.com/aspx/controls/mail/unsubscribe.aspx/parm/3bypLAtynjGcIvxttzvNiEF%40CvkIohqoG
proscriptus 5/15/2013
Ah, that's very nearly my ideal trip. If you have the opportunity to spend some time cruising in the UK, don't neglect the north--a visit to Stromness is worth almost any inconvenience. The boat looks beautiful, happy cruising. I was literally in the middle of looking at maps of the Gaspe peninsula and Nova Scotia when your post arrived in my email.
Robin Dunham 5/15/2013
Hi To you both! as a long term admirer of the Nordhaven boats and keen reader of your adventures (for which I thank you for sharing) Whilst I accept that it is a long time (relatively) away, on your vist to the UK and eventually St kat`s, do you think that you may be calling at Brighton Marina (My boat a 45` Princess "Gin Palace" resides there, as indeed we do seasonally, My wife Carol and I)It is a very convenient marina with up to super yacht facilities and a great little "City" close by, Brighton. for the leg to St Kats if you would like an easy run, a stop at either Dover or Ramsgate would be convenient, with maybe a shoot across to Calais or Dunkirk as a break (21 miles ish directly across the busiest shipping lane in the west?) or from Dover (more or less) via the Channel tunnel and Euro Star to Paris for a few days, as a break? something for you to think upon, if you haven`t already. for the fast run to St Kats (entry dependent upon the tides and out of hours entry can/could be negotiated )a run from Brighton in one leg is possible concidering your long distance voyaging expertese. I am guessing at your arrival time here will be late in the year and possibly a delayed re-restart may be concidered, so again Brighton as is St Katherines, is very handy for the flights back home, Brighton a 20 minute drive from London Gatwick, and st Kats about 30 minutes on the tube to London airport, both are suitable to leave vessel for a while, I do it each year for 4 months with mine, and have done so in St Kats too. The staff are friendly in both Marinas and facilities are similar although Brighton is a much larger Marina, St Kats has a certain charm, being developed from old london Warehouses based around an old wharf. where as Brighton is a "modern" 35 years plus development, and the "new" development apartments don`t overlook the moored vessels as they do at St Kats. If I can be of any help to you in the future, pleae don`t hesitate to contact me, Kindest regards and again many thanks for sharing your adventures, Rob
Robin Dunham 5/15/2013
Hi To you both! as a long term admirer of the Nordhaven boats and keen reader of your adventures (for which I thank you for sharing) Whilst I accept that it is a long time (relatively) away, on your vist to the UK and eventually St kat`s, do you think that you may be calling at Brighton Marina (My boat a 45` Princess "Gin Palace" resides there, as indeed we do seasonally, My wife Carol and I)It is a very convenient marina with up to super yacht facilities and a great little "City" close by, Brighton. for the leg to St Kats if you would like an easy run, a stop at either Dover or Ramsgate would be convenient, with maybe a shoot across to Calais or Dunkirk as a break (21 miles ish directly across the busiest shipping lane in the west?) or from Dover (more or less) via the Channel tunnel and Euro Star to Paris for a few days, as a break? something for you to think upon, if you haven`t already. for the fast run to St Kats (entry dependent upon the tides and out of hours entry can/could be negotiated )a run from Brighton in one leg is possible concidering your long distance voyaging expertese. I am guessing at your arrival time here will be late in the year and possibly a delayed re-restart may be concidered, so again Brighton as is St Katherines, is very handy for the flights back home, Brighton a 20 minute drive from London Gatwick, and st Kats about 30 minutes on the tube to London airport, both are suitable to leave vessel for a while, I do it each year for 4 months with mine, and have done so in St Kats too. The staff are friendly in both Marinas and facilities are similar although Brighton is a much larger Marina, St Kats has a certain charm, being developed from old london Warehouses based around an old wharf. where as Brighton is a "modern" 35 years plus development, and the "new" development apartments don`t overlook the moored vessels as they do at St Kats. If I can be of any help to you in the future, pleae don`t hesitate to contact me, Kindest regards and again many thanks for sharing your adventures, Rob
James (Pendana) 5/14/2013
Wow, what a trip! May calm winds and warm ocean temps be with you the good ship Ocean Pearl. Your trip makes our 1,150nm trip to the Whitsundays in June look like a walk in the park! Mind you, we do have coral to watch out for but I guess better than the odd 1000T iceberg you folks will have to potentially contend with!