All 18 trawlers Have Arrived!
The Nordhavn Atlantic Rally comes to a dramatic conclusion as the fleet arrives in Gibraltar after a rough passage through the Straits
After months of planning, organizing and nervous anticipation, the 18 trawlers that set sail from Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday, May 16th and Monday, May 17th arrived safely in Gibraltar on the morning of June 27th. The final 24-hours were some of the roughest of the entire 3,800-mile voyage, as easterly winds blew in excess of 35 knots against the strong current of the Straits of Gibraltar.
The nasty weather added to a stressful night of dodging commercial shipping traffic, as the captains and crewmembers struggled against violently pitching seas and the confusing scene of freighters coming and going.
Fortunately, the winds and seas finally calmed down as the fleet neared its final destination, and eventually all 18 trawlers were safely tied up at Marina Bay. A well-deserved champagne celebration was organized by the NAR organizing committee.
Congratulations to all participants and a huge thank you to the Nordhavn staff or making such an historic voyage possible.
A little background
The fleet's first stop was right on schedule with an arrival in Bermuda on Saturday, May 22nd. Traveling together in two groups ( a "fast" and a "slow" fleet) these rugged passagemakers participated in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally - the first event of its kind for powerboats. The 3800-mile ocean voyage took the fleet to Bermuda and the Azores, where it spent a week preparing for its final leg to Gibraltar. After celebrating their crossing in Gibraltar, each boat will go its own way, exploring European waters. Some owners plan to spend more than a year in the Mediterranean and then return home on their own. Some are planning to team up and explore together.
Daily tracking positions of the ocean crossing was available by clicking on Underway/Tracking where the data supplied by SkyMate was displayed. Both fleets arrived on schedule in Bermuda early Saturday morning, May 22nd. After a week of festivities and preparation, the 18 passagemakers left Bermuda on June 2nd in blustery 30-knot winds, reminiscent of their very bumpy Ft. Lauderdale departure.
The 1800 mile passage from Bermuda to the Azores was not without incident, so you'll want to read all the exciting commentary by clicking on www.nordhavn.com/rally/underway/commentary. Be sure to check out the heroics of young James Leishman and Justin Zumwalt. What fine representatives of P.A.E.'s "next generation" of talent.
After some very rough conditions during the last couple days of leg 2, the fleet arrived in the Azores on Thursday, June 10th and Friday, June 11th. The fleet's smallest vessel, the Nordhavn 40 "Uno Mas" received a welcome applause from a crowd gathered along the docks. A job well done!
The week in the Azores was a combination of social activities, touring the island(s), and maintenance chores. None of the participating vessels experienced serious problems, although about half of the fleet experienced active stabilizer problems of one kind or another. Boats utilizing passive stabilizers, or the non-mechanical, non-electrical variety, reported the least number of problems.
For more details of the event and many insightful observations by a number of participants, click on www.nordhavn.com/rally/underway/commentary
Read All About It !
For the journalist's point-of-view don't miss what Yachting & MotorBoating's editors and writers have reported on www.yachtingnet.com and www.motorboating.com. Each magazine has covered the event in detail, and they'll be publishing their wrap-up stories during the next issues. You'll also be able to read about this incredible journey in Soundings, Southern Boating, PassageMaker, Lakeland Boating, Power Cruising and SEA magazines. So if you couldn't join us this year, you'll certainly have plenty of opportunities of being an "armchair sailor."
Let's wish our adventurers a heartfelt congratulations. They are an inspiration to all of us!