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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 first items on the agenda for preparing the vessel to go to sea was the addition of fuel tanks. Fiddlers Green came with a 55-gallon tank, but Andrez wanted more. He added a 35-gallon tank forward if the cain, strapping it down to the deck. New rigging on the mast followed.

Another task was the installation of the steering system delivered from Canada and choosing the right cables for that. He chose that system (an Autohelm wind vane) because he’d had it on his previous boat.

Thomas and Andrez secure storage for 35 additional gallons of fuel.

Andrez has other modifications in mind, to make a boat that sails in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean “more ocean safe.” For example, he says, “changing doors so they close from inside to keep them more water tight. I don’t like the idea of water coming in at all. I use expandable foam to stop that.”

“I put a string on the anchor chain, drop it down into the anchor hole and seal it up. If you get caught in really bad weather, you don’t want an anchor banging around. We’ll take it home like this, but when I get home, I will do even more to make the boat more water tight.”

“I look at everything from an engineer’s mind.” he says. “How do things work? How can I carry more sail in high winds?

Andrez had nothing but praise for Drew Pertsky and Cathy Brugett, who had had the boat built 3 decades ago. The helped Andrez out extensively as he prepared to head out on the boat. “They renewed my faith in humanity. I didn’t know people that kind existed. He brings over frozen water and sandwiches while we are working on the boat preparing to sail home. They are absolutely wonderful; because of them, we have been able to do things that are going to make the journey home much more comfortable.

“Drew could have taken my money, said thanks, the boat is yours, but they just went so far beyond that to help us. We couldn’t have bought a nicer boat from any nicer people. I don’t like the heat here, but from what I’ve seen of North Carolina and its people, it’s beautiful.”

Thomas and Andrez on Fiddlers Green.
Preparing the boat, Andy, Andrez & Thomas.

Joining Andrez and Thomas for the first leg of the trip – as far as the Azores – is a friend from back home, Andy Firness. Both of their wives are teachers who came up with the plans for this voyage while walking a Falklands’ beach.

Andy, a driver, had not grown up in the Falklands, but moved there from the UK.
“My wife and I are more British than the British, but we were seeking a different environment. On New Year’s Day, we asked ourselves, ‘What shall we do tomorrow? We can stay comfortable, or we can go for adventure.”

Andy Firness, crewing til the Azores.

“We went for the Falklands. It’s a small community where everyone has to make a contribution for the good of the whole community and you don’t have to pass through checkpoints with soldiers using mirrors to check under your vehicles.”

To that, Andrez laughed. “I check under my car every day with a mirror to see if it is going to make it where I want to drive it.”

“After Andy leaves us in the Azores, Thomas and I will go on to the Ascensions where we will pick up another crew member waiting for us there.”

“He will be an extra pair of eyes so I can rest. I could sail this boat single-handedly, but I can use the extra eyes.” Plus, Andrez says, “He is a guy who has dreamed of doing a trip like this all his life.”

Andrez says he recalled how much he himself appreciated the chance to sail and make a passage on someone’s boat when he was new to it. That was part of his thinking in choosing crew.

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Posted Sunday July 24, 2016 by Melinda Penkava

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