Steve Ormond

Crew, Lady, Catalina 470First-time Caribbean 1500 Crew MemberTrying to land a berth as a crewmember on a Tortola-bound Caribbean 1500 vessel is a bit like one of those middle school dances, where the boys and girls try to match up without knowing much about each other, where there is competition for the best partners and where the
Author:
Publish date:
Ormand_200x

Crew, Lady, Catalina 470

First-time Caribbean 1500 Crew Member

Trying to land a berth as a crewmember on a Tortola-bound Caribbean 1500 vessel is a bit like one of those middle school dances, where the boys and girls try to match up without knowing much about each other, where there is competition for the best partners and where the potential rewards are great. Imagine my surprise when, unlike the middle school dances when my success was very limited, I landed a berth on S/V Lady, owned by Charlie and Jenny McNamara!

At 1200 on November 2, 2009, we crossed the starting line at Thimble Shoals light, and were off in a flurry of maneuvering and avoiding a naval carrier task force that departed at the same time. Eight days later, at 0321, November 9, 2009, we crossed the finish line next to Soper’s Hole at Tortola, covering 1,294 nautical miles in steady northeasterly breezes of 20-25 knots.

The course took us over the Gulf Stream at its narrowest part, off Cape Hatteras, while northeast winds kicked up large seas by opposing the current. That was exhilaratingly fast and scary, but Lady handled the conditions like a champ. We were consistently sailing in nine to ten knots, while rolling up and over large swells.

Some tips for new ocean sailors: don’t try to use the toilets standing up, unless you are well braced and prepared to clean up your misses. Make sure that your trips below are necessary and rare, because every movement about the boat is a challenge and risks injury. Hold on to solid structures.

No account of a voyage would be complete without comment on the food. Jenny made it her job to keep us all in sailing trim by creating full lunches and gourmet dinners each day (although we skipped on the first evening due to sea sickness). She always apologized that they were one-bowl meals, but we ate like kings: chicken paprika with dumplings; roast beef stew in wine with biscuits and butter; red beans and rice with sausages; brownies; chicken stew with mushrooms and rice; beef stroganoff; beef chili.

All in all, a very satisfying experience, with new friends, gut wrenching and challenging sailing, all ending up in paradise. If this was a middle school dance, I got the best Lady.

Related

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A Helping Hand  This is a real-world solution, and I expect correction by my betters. However, anyone whose seacocks are modern ball valves rather than the grand old tapered cone variety may care to ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more

windsensor

Gear: B&G Wind Sensors

Sense the Wind B&G has launched a new line of wind sensors, including the WS320, a wireless system that is suitable for masts up to 80ft. Wireless wind sensor technology has been hit-and-miss, with some users reporting intermittent signal failure on tall rigs, but B&G, citing ...read more