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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.

Phil's Voyage To England

August 3, 2005

he saying we have always heard is “Third Time’s A Charm” – but in the case of Phil Hay-Jahans it was the fourth time. On Sunday July 31 Phil arrived in Poole, England aboard his Hunter 37. It was a voyage that started in Oriental May 8. When we heard the news both a sigh of relief and whoop of joy erupted at TownDock headquarters.

Phil’s course may not have taken quite as straight a line as shown
Long time readers of TownDock.net may recall Phil’s exploits of 2004 – in which three unsuccessful attempts to cross the Atlantic were made. Equipment or weather got Phil each time, earning him the nickname “Turnaround Phil.” Phil has a good sense of humor, and used the nickname himself in email correspondence.

He finally flew back to the UK in 2004….but returned this year, with a determination that THIS TIME he would cross the pond.

Phils departure on Sunday May 8 was….classic Phil. We received a call from Oriental resident Ann Demuth that Phil was about to depart – and with what might be described as a “minimalist approach to food stocks.”

Ann’s description was more contrite – “he only has about a week’s worth of food. He thinks he is just going to eat oatmeal the whole way!”

The TownDock.net crew attacked the pantry and quickly put together two boxes of food, while Ann did the same from her home. We all converged at Phil’s boat (at the Sailcraft yard) about a half hour later.

Phil onboard Moondance a few minutes before departure
To many a sailor Phil might appear unprepared, with a boat in marginal condition for the voyage. One bulkhead was missing, another loose. His electronics consisted of a handheld GPS with one set of batteries (“I just turn it on for one minute a day” said Phil.)

We (and others) were concerned. Phil, however, was calm and confident. He had sailed the boat in rough weather before, and while it was damaged – he had returned to tell the story.

Ann and her dog Jerimiah agreed to accompany Phil for the first part of the voyage (that would be the Oriental to Beaufort part). From Beaufort to England (the somewhat longer part of the voyage) Phil would sail alone.

Phil starts the diesel, while Ann and Jerimiah examine the shore
Departing out the channel, Phil signals a prayer for the voyage
We didn’t hear from Phil until June 19 – and it was welcome news:

Don’t cry for me Oriental…….
The truth is I´m alive and kicking, left Beaufort 0900 May 9th, arrived Horta, Azores 1235 June 19th. No autopilot for 1400 miles. one destroyed main and Yankee, no engine, one broach and injured back from broach which had me lying ahull for 7 days on painkillers.
Boats taken a hell of a beating and stood for it well, 60 miles from flores got hit by 60 knot gusting 70 winds and torrential 24 hr a day rain which lasted for four days ( wind speeds from other boats here who also got caught). Oh well…. only 1500 miles to go if any are interested well send the full tale from the UK ….. when I get there ……..lol
Have a good one guys…………… hope the weathers better for you.

Apparently Phil stayed in the Azores for about 10 days to rest and restock, and then departed on a northeast route to England. We didn’t hear any news again until Sunday July 31 – Phil had called Ann from his cell phone…he was 3 miles off Poole, England on the south shore of the UK. We understand Phil arrived in Poole without further incident…and we trust Phil now is enjoying a well earned rest and a fine ale at a local pub.

While Phil’s approach to offshore travel may not be textbook, he and his boat “Moondance” have crossed the Atlantic. He is one of the likeable visiting characters that make Oriental the quirky place it can be, and for the record – a great cook. At least on land.

We hope our paths cross again.

Posted Wednesday August 3, 2005 by Keith

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