Ed note: After a summer filled with cruising along the Mediterranean and
conducting final preparations for their big voyage, Scott and Mary Flanders
left this weekend for the Canary Islands - their first stop in their great
adventure that takes them from Gibraltar to New Zealand by way of Cape Horn.
The Flanders will be keeping us updated on their journey with weekly log
reports for the duration of their 18-month cruise.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
It is 1206 PM. M/V Egret is 37.8nm off the west coast of Morocco steaming
on a course of 232 degrees at 6.6 knots, 1400 rpm, 1.8gph. There are 6-8'
sea swells on the beam with a little wind chop on top. Mr Naiad is handling
that nicely. Las Palmas, Grand Canaria (Canary Islands) lies 603nm ahead.
After hauling to install line cutters in Sotogrande, Spain this week Egret
departed with a perfectly clean bottom and virtually everything aboard as
good as it can be. Mary wiped the entire bottom with a very green towel
removing the little slime we had grow on our Turkish bottom paint. I gave
the bottom a 'yacht brokers' bottom job. This is painting a belly band and
the bow area. I made an exact pattern for the v-block line cutter mount
using digital micrometers and a compass. The Spanish worker cut up my
beautiful work with a dull pair of scissors for a pattern. (a weed eater
would have done better) I drew arbitrary 6mm mounting holes figuring they
would space them correctly. First the piece came back looking like someone
gnawed the piece out of stainless plate. Second they put the holes where I
drew them. We don't tolerate sloppy work on Egret however we had firmed up
our insurance and were really ready to go. I installed the piece myself.
They probably would have used roofing nails and bathtub caulk. It is
strong, not pretty.
The bright spot in the last couple weeks is Egret's knight in shining armor
arrived (probably in casual business dress). Al Golden of IMIS insurance
wrapped up in four days what others couldn't do in 2 months. Egret is
insured under their 'Jackline' program. Al is a real boater and understands
long distance cruisers. Others flock to the white Clorox bottle marina
queens who disappear in hurricanes, marina fires or driven into mayhem by
clueless operators. Long distance cruisers rarely have these issues.
Al@IMIScorp.net Al has Egret's vote.
Egret took the first in many steps to New Zealand yesterday by fueling in
Gibraltar. We took on a little over 1000 gallons at the wonderful price,
for the Med, of $2.41/gal. This will be the last inexpensive fuel until
Usuhuia, Argentina where they have subsidized fuel. We also have 150
gallons of fuel in a bladder on the foredeck and 45 or so gallons behind the
Portuguese bridge. This a 704nm stability test (to the Canaries) for the
extra weight on deck. We also have an additional 100 gal bladder for the
cockpit and will use it if this works out. Obviously this is a big
compromise but we VERY much don't want to stop at the Cape Verdies on the
3100nm trek to Brazil (from Las Palmas). We can use the stretch in a couple
of other places down the road as well. I might add, we don't NEED to do
this but it is a matter of safety. The Verdies in addition to their usual
problems have been hit with a 108mph hurricane last month to add to their
dilemma. The safety issue is simply not stopping. Egret burns about 40
gallons of fuel a day when stretching. Within our departure weather
forecast the majority of fuel will be in Egret's tanks and off the deck.
The Egret crew left Gibraltar without the slightest bit of trepidation. We
have prepared so long, have tended to so many details the actual thought of
setting off on this wonderful voyage of personal discovery is exciting
beyond exciting. I will say it started slowly. VERY slowly. The absolute
first and last rule for departing Gib is YOU LEAVE WITH THE TIDE!!!!!
Wellll, we left. However, it was the beginning of the flood. From 6.2
knots to .8 knots in 6 miles. Major groan. The good news the 25-30 knots
of wind was with the tide so we had 2' seas. The other good news is we saw
a green flash when the sun set! Beautiful. Must be an omen. Whatta you
The departure forecast from Bob at OMNI weather said once we turned the NW
corner of Morocco we would have a 12 hour bounce. We did. He did say it
will get better all the way to the Canaries. It is.....so far. Thank you
Bob firstname.lastname@example.org Bob was recommended to us by Milt and Judy Baker
aboard Bluewater, Nordhavn 47-32. BW left the Caribbean this spring for
Bermuda with three other boats with three different professional
forecasters. Bob was the most accurate and timely with reports.
After Egret's stay in the Canaries and pick up our friend and capable
crewman, Steve Lawrence, we will take the looooong step. Mary and I invite
you to join the Egret crew on this adventure. It will be a wild ride.
For full Voyage of Egret coverage, click here.