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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Fiddler's Green
Shakedown Cruise: 9600 Miles From Oriental To The Falkland Islands
July 24, 2016
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One of the assets for the voyagers is their satellite linked tracking system. “For 70 dollars a month, we have unlimited use of text messaging. If we put it on map-share, it pings every four hours. When we use map-share, you can go on google maps, find us, and send a short message back to us. We can send a message that shows where we are, then you can send a short message back to us.

This device sends their position via satellite, and allows brief emails to be sent & received.
No matter how much high-tech is aboard, there still is a bronze compass.

“There is also an SOS button. If we push it, they ring us back every half hour until they reach us. We gave them two numbers they can call, one number rings on the boat; the other one rings the police station back home. I have not read of anyone using this on an ocean voyage but it is a no brainer from what I can see.”

“It comes with a hundred hours of battery, and we have a solar charger to keep it charged. It will show exactly where we are if we need help. There is a unit that can be waterproofed to carry on the lifeboat also.”

He added, “It’s also great to be able to communicate with my wife, Allison. I can give family and friends the website link and people can see our track, see messages, and get an idea of where we are.” Following prevailing winds, the journey will take them within 800 miles of the African coast. “Allison will keep us abreast of long range forecasts; she will be able to look at forecast and say you are fine now, but in a week’s time, you are going to have to change your course.”

Andrez is prepared for differing reactions from the crew, including Thomas. “I expect that the crew will get seasick. After three weeks, I may have to find a way to fly Thomas back, or he might make the whole trip, get off the boat and say ‘Thanks, but never again.’ He might say ‘Thanks, when can I have the boat?’ Eventually, this boat will be his.”

At the Whittaker Creek slip in Oriental, one lesson was already taught. The gap between dock and boat widened as Thomas tried to board. He met the water instead but quicklyswam round to the Portand Pudgy dinghy and climbed back to the dock.

As Andrez applied a little first aid ointment to a scratch, he talked with Thomas about pulling the boat much closer before trying to board. He also used the opportunity to instill one of sailing’s more elementary and universal rules.

“At sea,” he told Thomas, “it’s always one hand for yourself, and one hand for the boat.”

The cabin is roomy, the boat is beamy, but it may seems small after 100 days at sea.

Andrez said, “The first 5 or 6 days will be pretty nervy; I don’t know how the boat will react. “ The first leg to the Azores will be 2,700 miles.. Weather will be a constant challenge, from calm seas to giant waves. They have already experienced weather extremes in the journey so far.

“When we left to come here, it was 41 degrees, and it was dark at four in the afternoon. We are just emerging from winter down there. But we landed here in the middle of summer. We’ll be sailing toward the end of summer until we get across the equator, and then we will be headed toward next year’s summer.”

Describing the differing climates from hemisphere to hemisphere, he compared Oriental’s climate with the Falklands. “In your money, 80 degrees F would be a super hot day. It never goes below minus 3 Celsius. Add forty knots of wind to 0 Celsius and it is pretty cold. We have pretty even temperatures, but the days get much shorter in our winter. When it’s dark at four in the afternoon, we don’t get daylight until 8 the next morning.”

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Posted Sunday July 24, 2016 by Melinda Penkava

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