The Pelagics by Mark

From time to time, on our trip to the Bahamas and up the ICW, we have crossed paths with a few sailors that have, shall we say, global iteneriarys.  It was always so fascinating to talk with these pelagic sailors that I wanted to update you on their progress.

Mike and Jennifer are now in Tahaite.

Mike and Jennifer are now in Tahiti.

While getting our boat ready to go in Florida, we met Mike and Jennifer on board Mahili.  They left Florida just before we did and have since transited the Panama Canal and sailed on to Tahiti.

We used to see them frequently making runs to McDonalds hardware in Ft. Lauderdale.  Mike was easy to spot wearing his signature blue terry cloth hat.  The skeleton that they gave the boys for haloween hung over our nav table for the duration of our trip.

They blog as they go and you can see their story on Facebook. MikeJenniferGough  mahili_au@yahoo.com

At the start of our journey, the first cruiser we met when we realized we weren’t in Kansas, or should I say Idaho anymore, remains at large in the Bahamas.  David on s/v Mist never ran short of stories to tell and our boys will always remember him as the ultimate sailor.  Unfortunately, you won’t find him on facebook.  You’ll have to discover him yourself but the best way to describe him would be a combination of Joshua Slocum and Tristan Jones!

David showing the boys what they used to do with pirates.

David showing the boys what they used to do with pirates.

Whenever I look back on the time he helped me change our exhaust hose, I tend to get that sinking feeling when I think what our trip would have been like without his help.

I have to admit, I never made this post until now because we were lucky not to have this hose blow out on us in the Bahamas and I didn’t want to tempt fate.  I understand now why sailors became so superstitious.

The exhaust hose was ready to go at any time.

The exhaust hose was ready to go at any time.

Finally, there was the meeting of Tom and Susi on s/v Troll.  They had put to sea from Germany, then traveled to Portugal, Morocco, and the Canary Islands.  They spent time in Gambia which they loved.  From there they went to Cape Verde, Brazil and Uruguay, and they did it all on a two masted junk rigged catamaran called “Aorai”. They built their own masts and made the sails themselves, no small task as one can see from the pictures.

Building new masts for Aorai.

Building new masts for Aorai.

Aorai, a catamaran built in Austria.

Aorai, a catamaran built in Austria.

Suzi hanging out on the dingy they built.

Susi hanging out on the dingy they built.

The mighty "Troll".

The mighty “Troll”.

Tom and Suzi on board "Troll"

Tom and Susi on board “Troll”

Tom steers with the emergency tiller until he replaces his steering cables.

Tom steers with the emergency tiller until he replaces his steering cables.

After cruising as far south as Uraguay, they began looking for another vessel more suitable for sailing in the colder North Atlantic.  They sold Their catamaran and bought “Troll”, a steel schooner in St. Martin.  We met them in Beaufort, NC on their way to Annapolis.  They had a few projects to work on before heading up to Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland and back to Germany.  I asked Tom what he still needed to do and here was the short list his gave me.

1.Replace masts, converting to Junk rig.

2.Install diesel heater.

3.Insulate inside of boat.

4.Install hydraulic steering.

5.Remove davits and install wind vane.

6.Make new sails.

Tom's plans for replacing Troll's masts.

Tom’s plans for replacing Troll’s masts.

I asked Tom if there were facilities for doing boat work in Greenland and Iceland, he appeared unconcerned and said, “They have welders which is really all we need because Troll is more like a fishing boat than a yacht”.

The wheelhouse.

The wheelhouse.

Again, you hear the stories of what some cruisers intend to do and you think, this just isn’t possible, but then they produce the evidence of what they have already done and you walk away believing that, wow, they are really going to pull it off!

If you’re going to dream…                                                                                               Dream big,

Mark

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s