05 July 2010 | Plymouth (on the West side of the Atlantic)
27 June 2010 | Atlantic Ocean
25 June 2010 | Bristol
24 June 2010 | Bristol
23 June 2010 | Middletown RI
22 June 2010 | Bristol Marine
15 June 2010 | London
21 April 2010 | Bristol Marine
05 July 2009 | 41.17.07'N : 070.05.35' W
04 July 2009 | 40.04.42'N : 071.47.84' W
19 June 2009 | 40.12.07'N : 072.10 'W
19 June 2009 | 40.25.11'N : 074.01.57
19 June 2009 | 51.39'N : 000.0'W
19 June 2009 | 40 25.07'N 74 01.5'W

Radio Silence

05 July 2010 | Plymouth (on the West side of the Atlantic)
Sorry for the radio silence on the narrative side. We have had difficulty with the Satellite phone data port. The set up is a very Rube-Goldberg / Heath Robinson lash up. Any little salt crystal or wobbly connection seems to send the connection south. We are now in Plymouth Mass where the Pilgrims from the UK landed in December 1620. (Not the Plymouth we were pointing towards)

Well it seems I am making an annual event of posting to the blog on the 5th of July about how and why the passage didn't come about. This time it was human factors rather than gear problems. Paul was suffering from sea sickness that we were hopeful time (and possibly some stronger chemicals) could cure.

We started well on Saturday the 26th and were good to go all the way until Simon fell ill. I will update the position postings with the log book entries but the short story is we sailed in fog for 2 and a half days, sometimes with only about a boat length of visibility. It is un-nerving to see nothing but white foggy curtain around the boat. We have radar and Automatic Identification System but your frame of reference is removed it is difficult to steer and is eerily like a sci-fi movie I saw once.

Back to our patients, Paul who is new to sailing was feeling poorly but was responsive and I was hopeful that he'd spontaneously get over the initial lack of sea legs. Simon on the other hand is a very experienced sailor, Yacht Master Instructor and although has occasional bouts of sea-sickness was very much enjoying the trip until one particular moment. He and I were trying to cure some noises at the the mast where it enters the boat. The parts there move relative to each other and the chirping and cracking noises were annoying, making sleep difficult for all. The weather was brewing up to expected 30 kt winds and 9 foot seas. completely handle-able but not plain sailing.

Morning of the 28th
We were in the salon preparing to remove the inner face plates so we could blow some talcum powder into the space to reduce the friction and ease the movement between the parts. (Simon's idea as he used to be a professional wooden boat builder) As he looked up to apply the screwdriver the the screws holding the plate in place he was taken over suddenly with a sweat and nausea.

We binned the project and he sat down for while to assess how he felt. We continued sailing in the fog and monitoring Paul and Simon. Paul was stable and helpful in making cups of tea and being cheerful. We reefed putting in another tuck in the sail to reduce power the stronger winds we would have pushing us about. (Simon did a great job rallying for that)

We were then leaving the continental shelf and the weather stepped up and we removed all the sails and surfed along at 5 knots "under bare poles" before a 45 knot wind. This is something I've only read about in "storm stories" of other sailors. It was not as treacherous or difficult as it sounds. In fact Penguin was quite well behaved. Several hours later we put a small bit of the headsail up to give us some more stable position in the wind. Simon was in bunk and not very responsive except to direct questions. He knew where he was and what we were doing but was complaining of muscle weakness, fatigue and lethargy as well as a "metallic taste" in his mouth.

In the morning of the 29th we had more fog and sails up again. We were steeering with the auto tiller working well. I called "Telesuccoro" a medical consultancy in Italy for mariners. Christian there was very helpful and got me working towards some diagnosis of Simon's problems. We concluded quite quickly it was NOT the England loss to Germany in the World Cup and possibly more serious. Simon had tremors and was only taking water or juice. This was the trigger to turn about and head back to Boston. Lesley was steering and being the top notch crew member as always.

Afternoon of the 29th.
We had got Simon started on Anti-biotics in case it was an infection. It seemed unlikely as his temperature was lower than normal. We were 400 miles from Boston. So with an unclear diagnosis we headed for shore. We shortly got into better seas and Simon was improving quickly (6 hours after first anti-biotics). This leads me to believe that Simon had some kind of "Grand Mal de Mer" when we were swinging about in the confused seas and he tilted his head back to look at the ceiling.

Morning 30th
Simon was feeling better by this point and was helping with the watches again. He suggested we turn back for England but my conclusion was not to change.

Afternoon 30th
Weather eased significantly and we saw dolphins alongside which even got Paul up on deck.Patient improved; eating and actively participating in conversation. If you know Simon, he is always an active participant in any conversation and his withdrawal from interaction was one of the most concerning symptoms

1st July:
Log reads: All good, clear sailing and "Sun shines on the righteous" (from Paul).

Weather in Gulf of Maine brewed up and upwind work at night with the tide flowing with us underneath that set up viscious steep seas against us that required us to hand steer for 1 hour watches. "motoring with bare poles, hand steering around rollers all night"

Morning 2nd July
Landfall Provincetown MA in Cape Cod for fuel

Afternoon 2nd July:
"en route Provincetown to Plymouth MA" to clear Simon and Paul into the US. After leaving their paperwork with US Customs and Border Protection in Newport Rhode Island they needed to have another entry visa in their passports so they have an even number of them otherwise the paperwork would appear they've over stayed their visa and would not be granted antoher one.

Officer McQuade of USCBP in Plymouth was very helpful and came out to the boat to do the ceremonial stamping and stapling.

We've been fiddling around with the boat for a few days getting Paul off back to England and some repairs of stuff that the yard didn't do, like winding the furling line the correct direction on the headsail furler, re-fitting the mast boot that leaked like a colander after 3 days at sea,.

Evening 3rd July,

Sailed to Wellfleet to stay in a dockside at the marina but got there so late and with so little water under the boat that we turned back into the bay and went to anchor. The anchor windlass (the winch for the anchor chain) didn't respond so with Lesley at the wheel and Simon ready to control the anchor going down, I dashed below to reset the breaker switch at the battery for the windlass.


Some of the things the yard did or didn't do were minor. A leaking mast boot and chain plate are annoying, a sail furler wound up the wrong way is just stupid, not life threatening. Failure to replace the anchor windlass battery might have been. I believe incompetent yard bosses are a hazard to one's health. Avoid them.

I'll post some pictures now.


In the Fog South of Nantucket

27 June 2010 | Atlantic Ocean
Well we had soup for dinner last night and it's pea soup tonight. Out side it is very thick. We can see about 100 feet. We have the twin headsails up and preparing dinner. Chicken fettucine, and coffee. We are all in life jackets and have the motor on in case we find other boats out here. That is standard procedure for fog but we have decided the fog is definitely NO FUN. It is difficult to steer because you lose your frame of reference very easily. We have AIS and Radar on so we have more chances but are still cautious We had a night of very fluky light winds last night. It is a challenge to steer in that because it it swirls around and makes sailing in the same direction consistently very well.

We have the Spot Tracker and are pressing the OK button which is supposed to ping an email to the blog so the position updates. You might also find us on the "Spot me Tracker Website" as "Penguin" or "SVPenguin" ...a few minutes with google should work or ask a 12 year old.

Simon sends love to all of his in Canterbury and Manston, Lesley sends love to her brother Mark in St. Lucia, Paul's message of love is evidently to complicated to be be sent over Satelite phone. Matt sends his love to niece and nephew Madeleine and Nathan, Sister Adrianna, Brother Todd and of course Ollie.

I'll be downloading the weather when I send this so We are hopefule of some cheery news there. Sad new about England's loss to Germany and US to Ghana. We heard it on the single side band this afternoon.

Healthy, happy and getting dinner ready,

The Crew of Penguin

Almost ready to slip our lines..

25 June 2010 | Bristol
Matt & hot weather
Doing some bill paying. Met Gorretti Pacheco at the local citizen's branch and she could have been more helpful. Also Anju Talafair in London Moorgate Branch.

Off to the post office and the water, fuel ice and groceries.

I'll try to get some last minute photos up.


Last night ashore

24 June 2010 | Bristol
Matt & Paul
Matt here,

We got the VHF radio the AIS and the Auto-pilot steering sorted today! yeah! Crew dinner ashore we had a nice meal and desserts. Beers and a nice sunset. We are doing a big shop and a top up of water & fuel to morrow and on our way. I'll try to post some more photos tomorow. Brought the wrong cord ashore!

Paul here:

Just a very quick hello to all but more importantly a Happy Birthday to my Dad (Arnold) - Hope you had/are having a great day and looking forward to seeing you on my return.

Test remote post from Travelodge

23 June 2010 | Middletown RI
Demo post for Simon

Cooler today and progress made

22 June 2010 | Bristol Marine
M, L & P
Simon will arrive tomorrow and Matt will pick him up in Boston. We got the electrics on the mast sorted out. Three cheers for Mike at Newport Electronics. Very accomodating and very professional. He also helped make some of the connections for the AIS. (Automatic Identification System) A pleasure to work with. We got the secondary bilge pump installation prepped. A couple of connections of electrical switches and plumbing and we'll have a back up in case of leaks. Shur-flo 2000 (Gallons/hour). Like the life raft we hope it is wasted money and effort. Got the electricity generating water driven alternator hung off the back of the boat today.

On AIS see and look for us tomorrow or Thursday. You should be able to see us until we get out of radio range (45 miles or so) and as we approach Falmouth.

"Judge Roy Beans" internet wifi, Taco's for Matt, Wings (again) for Paul and Lesley. Beers for all. Tom Petty on the juke box and on TV; baseball and America's Got Talent. That last point is very debatable!

Posted some photos. Lesley discovered that toothpaste is great cleaning for low abrasive applications like the windows that are kind of fogged in the salon and it cleans stains on the deck and leaves the boat minty fresh!

Must buy more toothpaste

More tomorrow.

-M,L &P
Vessel Name: Penguin
Vessel Make/Model: Endeavour 42
Hailing Port: Savannah GA
Crew: Matt & Lesley with Simon and Paul
About: Husband, Wife and a couple of friends
Extra: Getting Ready for the dash across the pond!
Penguin's Photos - Main
Bristol to Continental shelf and back
19 Photos
Created 5 July 2010
Getting the boat ready
10 Photos
Created 22 June 2010
Pictures for Before and After
10 Photos
Created 21 April 2010
Getting Ready for the crossing
3 Photos
Created 16 June 2009

Who's Aboard

Who: Matt & Lesley with Simon and Paul
Port: Savannah GA
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