Commotion on Comocean

14 November 2016
09 November 2016
08 November 2016
06 November 2016
06 November 2016
05 November 2016
04 November 2016 | Beaufort, N.Caroline
01 November 2016
12 May 2016
10 May 2016
09 May 2016
12 April 2016 | Hope Town
06 April 2016 | Marsh Harbor
05 April 2016 | Coco Beach
04 April 2016 | Hope Town

Perfect lunch on Man-O-War

14 November 2016
After a night on Great Guana, beach walk and Rum drinks, we headed for a day stop on Man-O-War. After walking gthrough the all closed for Sunday business section (Half Block), we walked out to the West end and had lunch in a perfect spot, where the Atlantic and Sea of Abaco are separated by fifty feet.

Gael and Tom enjoy Green Turtle

11 November 2016
One of the joy's of the Islands is having friends to share them with. Hope Town may have been our destination, But, Green Turtle was our savior. Waiting for seas to subside we enjoyed the Island by Golf cart and foot. CoCo Bay, lunch on the beach, Greg drinks in the Green Turtle Bar and dinner at the screened in porch. perfect day.

Completing the Crossing

09 November 2016
Our final night saw perfect seas at our stern. Easily 10 feet at times but lengthy period. We headed for Memory Rock. At midnight I took my four hour shift. The team had us three miles off Memory Rock. The entry was easy, with very small seas. We proceeded toward Sale Cay in the dark and at sunrise found ourselves closing in on Abaco Island. The seas were all flat until we crossed between Manjack and Green Turtle. Norm. Was at the helm. Toby on the Fordeck cleaning things up. Tom calls out, "look at those rollers"! Toby yells, "turn into them". Then, a series of perfect waves, one after another, makes their way across the bank. Norm motors us to safety. Another lesson! We arrived at 2:30, cleared customs, cleaned up (that is a real joy after four days), and made a dinner celebration at The Green Turtle Lodge. Girls arrive tomorrow.

FINALLY!

08 November 2016
Toby
Well, the commotion started about Four PM yesterday. We were moving fast enough to have to burn off time to enter the strong current cuts in daylight. Toby pulled down data showing very high seas heading our way from a large storm near Bermuda. What will the seas be like? Everyone said 8-10 foot seas from northeast. No way to get in. Two options. Sail south 60 miles to Eluthera and hide. Or, go right 30 degrees and enter the west end of the Bahama Bank at Memory Rock.

So, course change. We sailed through the night at now sit 90 miles from our entry point on the West End. New landing sight. Going to one of my favorites...Green Turtle Cay Club and Marina. Best lobster Benedict in the Bahamas. The best lobster Ravioli in the world.

The crew finally caught a fish. Third one on, first landed. Mahi-Mahi for dinner tonight. We will sail the bank this evening and in daylight tomorrow. It is a beautiful experience. John was screaming fish on, Bill backing up the haul. Tom tore himself out of bed. Norm hid...it's a real mess with six in the cockpit. Toby brought up the tequila, then filleted the fish. Don't worry JoAnne, I'll clean the deck in Green Turtle.

UPDATE

06 November 2016
Toby
In case any of you didn't get earlier messages, Toby Hynes, Bill Cyphers, Norm WEILL and Tom Bittenbender are moving the sailing vessel, Comocean south to the Bahamas. Norfolk and Beaufort NC are well behind. So are the Gale Force winds of Friday and Saturday that took us to Beaufort. Leaving our hiding place at the Beaufort town docks at four we traveled through the night and are now in the middle of the Gulf Stream. As I right this, we are surrounded by a pod of large Dolphins. The crew is excited. It may not be as exciting as the Pats, Texans or Eagles, but it's all we have! Norms on the Ham Radio. Everyone has books out.

The saying is "never cross the Gulf Stream with an N in the wind direction. Our wind is ten to twelve out of the north. Wind against current can be ugly. Seth gave us great coordinates and our crossing has light current, so we are running smooth in three foot seas. I think if we live by that saying we will still be in Beaufort in January.

We are now 360 miles from Bahamas. We need light winds when we enter so there is no "Rage". The forecast for our probable Wednesday morning arrival is light seas. GREAT NEWS,

ALL IS WELL

06 November 2016
Seth Hynes
Hello all.

Just spoke to my dad via satellite phone. All is well onboard. They are currently in the middle of the gulf-stream with fairly calm seas and 10 kn of wind from the north. The crew are in "incredibly good health and have even started growing hair again," says my dad. It's just not on their heads, it's on their faces. Aside from no fish, it couldn't be going better.

They should exit the Gulfstream in the next couple of hours and then receive a favorable eddy current all the way to their destination. Winds are ideal between 15 and 20 kn from the Northeast. And then dying on Wednesday morning as they arrive in the Bahamas.

The only concern is a strong 50 kn weather system east of Delaware causing 1 to 2 m swells. Although the winds will be ideal, there could be too much swell to enter their preferred waypoint on Wednesday. We will keep an eye on it and they will have to evaluate at the time of entry.

That's it for now.
Seth

JUST LEFT BEAUFORT

05 November 2016
Toby
After a day and a half enjoying a great Town, Beaufort N.C., Comocean and crew pulled out of the docks at 4:30 for the GulfStream crossing and Bahamas. The Gale force winds passed. The Gulf Stream will still be a challenge with a north wind against north current but still very doable. Then a nearly due south run to Marsh Harbor Abacos. Dinners in town were great. Flounder, Crab Cakes, Crab dip...oh yea, and someone ordered Buffalo chicken legs. Great museum. However the important news is that the windlass, which pulls up the Anchor, has been dismantled. And, the wind instrument is now working. We put on quite a show at the docks for the tourists. Tom and Bill are holding the new wind instrument. It just needs to get 59 feet up the mast. Photo
About four more days with much better winds ahead of us.

Stop in Beaufort

04 November 2016 | Beaufort, N.Caroline
Toby

The crew of Comocean have put 150 miles behind us...BUT, ducked into Beaufort after a night at anchor in Cape Lookout, 12 miles north of Beaufort. Dropping the anchor proved a challenge. No cutlass. (That's the electric motor to haul the fifty pound anchor and 80 pounds of chain). That's a great surprise at 8PM! However dinner was great, the red wines excellent and sleeping sound.

In the morning, We motored over to Beaufort and are on the docks with about twenty other south bound boats who avoided the gale force winds Friday and Saturday. Beaufort is a great little town. We have a technician arranged to repair the Windlass. John arranged a walking tour for the crew. The free car at the docks...a Buick road master woody...allowed us to get more groceries. The plan now is go south either late Friday, or , more likely, Saturday morning early.

WE'RE AT IT AGAIN!

01 November 2016
Toby
South Bound 11/2016

Hey friends, we're at it again. It is hard to believe Joanne and I will be starting our sixth year post retirement on our sailboat Comocean enjoying the Caribbean and Bahamas. But, first we have to get he boat from Virginia to The Abacos, Bahamas. This letter, and the few updates that will follow, is for crew members families, past crew, friends of crew and my friends who have shown interest in our progress. Always remember, you control the delete key if you loose interest.

To get to the land of Blackened Mahi-Mahi, Rum Tonics and warm weather we will exit, the always busy Chesapeake (think war ships, tankers and 140 or so sailboats all leaving about the same time), cross the 3 knot northern currents of the Gulf Stream and then travel 700 miles south to the entrance to the Abacos. That entrance by the way, can't itself be exciting thanks to the occasional "rage" conditions which can exist.

The crew includes friends who have in the past helped move Comocean North. Perennial crew mate Norm Weill manages all of our communications. This includes daily chats on SSB with the other sailboats making these years voyage south. Backing me up on sailing knowledge and experience is John Hoffman, survivor of the first two 1500 mile endeavors to the British Virgins, and numerous others efforts helping bring Comocean back and forth to Osterville, including one stint to Bermuda. sailing. Tom Bittenbender, a friend and past work associate from Ford and Toyota, is making his third crossing and has become well skilled in managing the boat systems. Another friend from the automotive realms on board is Bill Cyphers. He has completed a number of Mackinaw races and helped Joanne and I bring the boat south from Osterville to Norfolk in September. My son, Seth, is our onshore hand, checking weather, helping with routing (especially Gulf Stream crossing points) and safety counselor.

Well, the weather looks good, so we're taking off within a few hours. HOWEVER...Friday and Saturday have major cold front. SO, headed for two day stop in Beaufort, NC. You can follow us on the following link:

Now what to do with all this fish??

12 May 2016
Toby Hynes
So you braggarts caught a fish...a pretty good sized fish. Now What Ollie!
Well, we had a great dinner. We had fish Taco's for lunch. We had fish appetizers with Lasagna. We still have fish...plus leftover lobster. We need to stay at sea at least another day. But, all things, good and bad, come to an end. Our ending has seen us dodging one giant lightning laden thunderstorm, a second pattern of storms developing around us and many chances to try to dodge them. Tom Bittenbender had his first experiences at the helm using radar to dodge the storms. He had the chance to talk to Freighters about course issues. YES ISSUES. Norm and Ron worked on similar dodging opportunities. And John and Toby, with Tom's help, reefed, in the dark, for strong winds. All, just to get around Cape Hatteras. That's just north, I might add, of Cape Fear. Now, off the Carolina Bank, we close in on the Chesapeake. Customs meets us tomorrow at the dock at 6 AM. All is well. Toby

Who says we can't fish!

12 May 2016
Toby Hynes
It's 2:29 and I see madness on the deck. John and Tom Bittenbender are for the second time today going for the line. A good fight ensues on a hook baited by Ron Campbell, hauled in By Tom Bittenbender, Assisted (which includes moving the new cushions...Joanne) by John Driscoll and grafted by Toby. Once again, it was not Norm's shift. What a surprise he will have when we have dinner tonight. He thinks it's going to be Lasagne. Toby

What fish?

12 May 2016
Toby Hynes
Minutes ago we had our first real hit on the fishing hand lines, yes hand lines. We have a crew bet on the timing of the first fish. It's been too long. I felt the slam inside the cockpit. The crew exploded to their feet ... Whoops, nothing. Closest we have come to a fish is the pilot whales who swam with us.

We sailed most of the night with up to 20 knots of apparent wind. Dinner was flat enough to cook the Lobster so the wind at night was not as expected. But, it saves on fuel. We think that we will once again arrive in the Chesapeake in the dark. We have had as much as 4 knots of positive current thanks to the Gulf Stream. Norm WEILL has successfully been on the SSB radio with Ham operators from all over. John Driscoll just broke out his "hidden" stash of midnight treats. Ron Campbell ran a weather program called Weather 4D that plotted a optimized course. We are right on top of the plan. Tonight is Lasagna night thanks to chef Stouffer! Everyone is excited. Toby, out for Comocean and crew

Second day

10 May 2016
So, this is a the second note to friends and family of Comocean crew members Toby Hynes, Norm Weill, John Driscoll, Ron Campbell and Tom BIttenbender. The chronicle of our five day and night trip aboard Comocean continues. We are 107 Nautical Miles from closest land at Beaufort, SC. So far, 207 miles from our start in West End Bahamas.

While it's been fairly calm for the first day's, last night at 7:25 winds filled in the engine was shut off. That's 75 less decibels of noise. The sailing is beautiful. We had enjoyed Beef Tenderloin (Costco) and a LITTLE Red Wine for dinner in very flat conditions. Sunset was classic over the water good. NO GREEN FLASH (I am still waiting for me first after 69 years..but who is counting). I saw a very large Sailfish fly out of the water. A good sign that there are fish around. STILL NO FISH IN THE FREEZER!

The Stars were gorgeous. Temperatures around 70 degrees made for a pleasant evening for the crew. While waves have built up to about five feet, everyone has acclimated and feel well.

The engine went on around 9:45 this morning and we were met instantly by very large Dolphins. OR, was it pilot whales. Photos will tell. Tonight flattens out and we will cook Lobster Tails. If it's flat there may even be Chardonnay.

Joanne say's I need to work on my spelling. There is no spell check on this program. We are rocking like hell, so I am just going to apologize. I may try to send a few pictures if I can, but not sure the Satellite Phone can handle it. Tob

They're off again!

09 May 2016
Toby Hynes
Many of you have received these E-mails in the past. For the fifth time North Toby Hynes is Joanne and My taking hips 42 foot sailboat north. 24/7 Literally! Great friends as crew. The bonding maY BE TOO CLOSE. HOWEVER THERE ARE LIMITS WHEN YOU DON'T SHOWER FOR DAYS. This year, West End Bahamas to Norfolk. Hope you enjoy our daily updates

The Gulf Stream is a bit like the Jet Stream. It can be your friend. Or, it can be vicious. While the crew was in the air flying to Freeport, I put extra energy into being ready to go. My Son, Seth, put onshore weather guide, says that the weather is great for the foreseeable future. North wind against the Gulf Stream is like a Canadian cold front. Everything gets cold and chaotic. Nothing from the north until Saturday night. So, we took off after the 2 hour late Silver Airlines plane landed! Sun had set 20 minutes earlier. Into the waining moons light. But, motoring in flat seas.

We have seen 10 knots, thanks to the current. Tom Bittenbender, new crew, has assimilated well. Ron had cooked the Pork Loin before arrival. Three crew fed. Norm and John had theirs ready to warm up. I started the warming, a little too hot. Ron took over. That's an important management technique to refuse your work. Or friend Mark Peters insists that is his teenage son's strategy! Management skills come early in development.

So far: NO FISH; NO SEASICKNESS; No freighter crossings, No vessels in sight, No other sailing fools within VHF, and, NO more Oreo's ... and almost out of Diet Coke. Beef Tenderloin tonight. The Coors Light remains untouched.

We have a visitor. It seems another Sparrow needs a ride north. He sat on John Driscolls shoulder for a short while. He seems to be a stowaway. We will keep you advised., NO FISH!

Mammals in Abacos....Manatee's

12 April 2016 | Hope Town
Toby Hynes
We are spending a few lazy days in Hope Town. Relaxing, reading and watching the manatee crowds on the docks. What a great spices. I hear there are just 20 in all the Bahamas. The second one arrived today. They monitor them, name them, report on their condition. THEY LOVE WATER...SEEN IN PHOTO. DO NOT DO THIS!!! They get plenty from rains. It bloats them and they get buoyant ... Not a good thing around propellers. They all have scars.

They love people. Don't touch them. They need to be at sea, not chasing attention from propellers. But, they are fun to see!

Dominoes

06 April 2016 | Marsh Harbor
Toby
Mexican train dominoes is always a blast with friends. Here, Joanne seems to be taking on the whole crew...hard for any of us to score

Off to Treasure Cay

05 April 2016 | Coco Beach
Toby Hynes
Next morning, off to Treasure Cay. We left about 8:00 AM as tide just started to drop. Joanne got us out nicely and Tom took the helm. At first 10 knots made for a great sail…then 16 and we were off! Got to Treasure well before low tide and burned off some time having lunch and dodging small rain clouds. After a walk on CoCo beach (Photo annotated by Gael’s Ap), we opted for dinner at CoCo Beach Club. Good Mahi-Mahi!

Gael and Joanne enjoying Great Guana Beach

05 April 2016 | Nippers
Toby hynes
After a nice sail from Treasure Cay to Great Guana, single reefed and sailing in 18 plus knots of wind, we headed for a walk on the beautiful Guana beach. Joanne, having this seasons newly broken toe joined us and did well. After the excursion and before lunch at Snappers, we had a libation at Nippers. You could sense Gael,s love for music as Nippers is loud and always rocking.

Gael and Joanne enjoying Great Guana Beach

05 April 2016 | Nippers
Toby hynes
After a nice sail from Treasure Cay to Great Guana, single reefed and sailing in 18 plus knots of wind, we headed for a walk on the beautiful Guana beach. Joanne, having this seasons newly broken toe joined us and did well. After the excursion and before lunch at Snappers, we had a libation at Nippers. You could sense Gael,s love for music as Nippers is loud and always rocking.

Bittenbenders join us in Abaco

04 April 2016 | Hope Town
Toby Hynes
Having arrived back at Hope Town after a Easter leave of absence from the ABACOS, we were met by our friends Tom and Gael Bittenbender. They had just spent a week fishing and beaching south of Little Harbor and ready to sail. Of course Weather determines everything in the ABACOS. Westerlies tied us up in Hope Town. However, the HT conditions cleared just before sunset, for at least one great meal at Fire Fly.
Vessel Name: Comocean
Vessel Make/Model: Sabre 426
Hailing Port: Osterville, Ma
Crew: JoAnne and Toby Hynes
About:
JoAnne and Toby are enjoying their early retirement years following in the footsteps of their children. Seth at 32 led the way when he and his new bride, Elizabeth, sailed their Lagoon 380 from Hampton, Va. to Sydney, Australia. [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/comoceanadventure/
Comocean's Photos - Main
Here are a few shots from the past of the Hynes family enjoying their boats.
22 Photos
Created 6 November 2011
Here are some of the first pictures of Toby and JoAnne on their new boat, Comocean. Seth, Elizabeth and Hale joined them!
7 Photos
Created 6 November 2011