It's Time To Go....
19 April 2012
Twenty years of dreaming and planning, two years of preparation work, and 5 days until we depart for St. Maarten. It is an odd feeling to be so close to this adventure starting. I've had many people ask me if I'm nervous and my reply is that there is a fine line between nervous and anxious. 70% anxious, 20% nervous, and I can't lie, 10% scared.
The destination is the Western Mediterranean. The route will take us to the Azores then to the Straits of Gibraltar. From there we will sail to the Balearic Islands. Joining me on the first leg to the Azores is my old friend Steve Nemethy (Stosh). We were 15 years old when we met in driver's education and have been close friends since. Stosh, simply said, is different. He marches to his own beat and goes where the wind blows. He has been an accomplished hunter and fisherman from childhood. While he doesn't know how to sail and has never crossed an ocean, Stosh will be a comforting crew for me. I trust him completely.
Dave Sharpe will be co-skippering with me on the whole passage. Dave is a Scot, behaves like a Scot, and drinks like a Scot. Just my kind of guy for landfall fun. He has made six Atlantic crossings. Five were on mega-yachts and one was on a 40' monohull sailboat. He has a Royal Yachtmaster Offshore Certification and has been working as a charter boat captain for the past year in St. Maarten. Dave will be going from St. Maarten to Ibiza.
When we arrive in the Azores Stosh will be leaving to head to Alaska for his annual summer job of fishing the Cook Inlet for Salmon. Kerry Smith from Los Angeles, California will be joining Dave and me for the rest of the voyage to Ibiza. Kerry is an old friend of my cousin Joe Lambright's. He also doesn't have sailing or passage making experience, but has spent hundreds of days on the ocean scuba diving. My cousin Joe will be meeting us in Ibiza with his two son's Matt and Adam and Kerry will stay with us for this segment. I've never met Kerry and am now going to spend 3 weeks straight with the guy, I hope he's ok given Joe's reputation for character judgment (actually judgment in general);)
Stosh and I arrive in St. Maarten on April 25th. The crew will review safety equipment and do a complete inspection of the boat including the standing and running rigging the next day. Afterwards we are going to motor sail for 12 hours in order to break in Palarran's new engines. On Friday the 27th I'll have the motors serviced, fuel up all the diesel tanks, and provision the boat. Saturday is our fun day. We are going scuba diving and then heading to Captain Oliver's for a cookout with our dock friends. Sunday we will ask Neptune for a safe voyage, offer him a drink and then cast off.