Steve Ormond - Sail Magazine

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:
Social count:
0
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

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozen of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more

180612-01 Landing lead

Painful Sailing in Volvo Leg 10

It’s looking to be a case of feast or famine for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean fleet as it continues the epic struggle that has been Leg 10, with it having been all famine thus far. Painful is the only word to describe the light-air start in Cardiff, Wales, on June 10, as the 11-boat ...read more

01-13_07_180304_JRE_03695_4605

Tips From the Boatyard

Within the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard sits a communal sail loft which provides service and repairs for all seven teams sailing in the 2017-18 edition of the race. The sail loft employs only five sailmakers who look after 56 sails in each stopover. If you’re thinking, “wow, these ...read more

sailCarwBasicsJuly18

Sail Care for Cruisers

Taking care of your canvas doesn’t just save you money, it’s central to good seamanship  Knowing how to take care of your sails and how to repair them while at sea is an important part of overall seamanship. The last thing any sailor needs is to get caught on a lee shore with ...read more

Ship-container-2048

The Danger of a Collision Offshore

This almost happened to me once. I was sailing singlehanded between Bermuda and St. Martin one fall, and one night happened to be on deck looking around at just the right time. The moon was out, the sky was clear and visibility was good. Still, when I thought I saw a large ...read more