P2 Crew Log

August 10, 2012

Latest update

For the winter season in 2012, P2 competed in 3 regattas.  For the first time, we sailed the Caribbean 600, a 65-hr off-shore race which uses the islands of the Caribbean as marks.  Close on the heels of the 600, P2 sailed in the YCCS Virgin Gorda regatta and St. Barth’s.  Great crew work in all 3 venues provided 3rd place finishes in each regatta.  After some charter work and family cruising in the spring, P2 sailed to Newport, RI, arriving in June just in time to take part in the America’s Cup World Series event held in Narragansett Bay.  What a thrill to be on the course box watching the 45ft fixed wing catamarans tear up the waters off Fort Adams.  As I write this note, we are preparing for the Newport Bucket, August 24 – 26.  An aggressive maintenance program as well as a successful tuning session have provided the boat and the team with confidence as we get ready to sail.

May 6, 2011

Greetings Team P2!

I hope this blog entry find all followers and team members well, it has been quite a while since the last blog entry was posted and, as we all know, so much has happened. Now, I can’t fit in everything that’s happened, so I’ll start post- crossing.  I can assure you all that it was a great season in the Mediterranean this summer– lots of awesome racing at  the Lora Piana Regatta and then we captured third at the 2010 Super Yacht Cup in Palma!  Fast forward through a great guest trip cruising around the Spanish islands; a six week yard period in which P2‘s bottom was painted black and now we’re Back in Black; and a stellar crossing– the first on P2’s own bottom.  Suddenly we are into the winter Caribbean season!

It has been a somewhat quiet season for the permanent crew, as the guests are enjoying their long awaited Caribbean holiday.  However, P2 and her crew did have their first charter over New Years. The charter guests were very [very] happy with the boat and the crew and look forward to enjoying another charter on P2.

Since the last blog, and race, the permanent crew welcomes a couple of new faces to the boat.  New to the team are Chef Luisa (LuLu) from Malta and Deck/Stew Corinna (Nemo) from Newport, RI.  Both girls are very excited to begin sailing, racing and entertaining P2’s guests and race crew.  But heed caution when enjoying Luisa’s cookies– they may be amazing, moist and bigger than a Harken block, but after a few, you might have to ask for a new uniform!

As it is Luisa’s first season in the Caribbean, she and Chris ventured to Saba in January with a few friends.  Now, Saba is one of the shortest runways in the world, and even though Luisa knew this, she couldn’t help but ask, “Where’s the rest of the landing strip?”  The group grabbed some epic photographs of Saba and the surrounding Caribbean islands when they hiked the mountain of Saba.  According to Luisa, Chris ran up and down Mt. Scenery– a hike that is intended to take at least 90 minutes– Chris, however did it in 30 minutes.

Upon their arrival back to St. Maarten, the boat sailed down to Antigua where they picked up Corinna.  Capt. Roy said it was a great sail with just the blade out– calm seas and fair winds– nothing but perfection! In Antigua, the crew were able to squeeze in some kite surfing, sailing and biking.  The crew were also able to achieve a fair bit of work in Antigua as they prepared the boat for the advance race team, who were due into St. Maarten shortly after the boat returned.

At the end of January, following another perfect night sail, the boat was back in St. Maarten and ready for the advanced team.  The objectives of the advance team’s trip was to determine P2’s true loads whilst racing, replace our PBO rigging, test the new over deck sheeting system, and iron out any other glitches we may encounter.  As we tacked and gybed between Simpson Bay, Philipsburg and our imaginary mark half way to Saba, we saw great loads on the main sheet, working jib and runners.  Chef Luisa and Deck/Stew Corinna were nothing but smiles during the week as the girls got to see P2 fully powered up.  And when “Big Red” was hoisted, there was an overall sense of awe as P2 effortlessly sliced through the sea.  The week was a great success as everything on the list was checked off from new surf tape on the bow to succeeding with the over deck sheeting system for more efficient trimming.  The week ended in good spirits with a festive dinner and a few sips of the [in]famous Ti-Punch in Marigot!

At the end of the race prep week, P2 received an exciting package: two brand new inflatable kayaks!  The kayaks blow up in seconds and are as sturdy as a real plastic kayak.  The kayaks are sure to be a real hit as guests will be able to comfortably paddle to the beach, or even sail if they so choose as the kayaks come complete with spinnakers!  These new additions to the toy box are certain to be a hit.

Moving on to a different style of racing, it became apparent that permanent crew members are Go-Kart racers in disguise after a marina wide Go-Karting event.  Capt. Roy, Luisa and Corinna all advanced to the final round of their divisions.  Corinna won the coveted tire for most improved time as it was noted that on her first lap she drove more like she was out for a Sunday drive than on the race track!

In other news, P2 is now a member of the New York Yacht Club! She will now be flying the yacht club’s burgee.  As many of you are aware, it has been quite a team effort with how to successfully fly the burgee.  For most boats, a burgee is a simple addition, however for P2 the 63 inch tall B&G wand poses a rather unique situation atop the rig, as the burgee flag must fly above the wand.  Then there is the lightening spike.

Before the 3.7 meter pole arrived, Chris was sent up the mast to get proper measurements.  Up Chris went in the harness with a camera, measuring tape and a pen, and when he reached the top of the rig, he then climbed on to the top of the mast! Standing there, Chris began to measure and remeasure, taking all possible numbers for the attachment of the pole.  When the pole did arrive, there was a collective “wow” in regards to how big this pole was, and how it would safely be attached to the rig.  Up Chris went again, only this time with a 3.7 meter pole attached to him.  After a few more modifications the final product is a lighting spike in which the flag can fly.  It has been quite a creative but satisfying process with some amazing craftsmanship with all involved.

Well that’s mostly it from SY/ P2… in the next blog be ready for an ear-full on St. Barth’s Bucket recap!

By Corinna Halloran

April 28, 2011

Summer in Europe

On May 3rd P2 and Demasiado with Roy, Randy and Peter arrived safely on the Dockwise ship, Super Servant 3 into Palma de Mallorca.

The summer regatta season sees the 1st outing being the Loro Piana regatta in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. With Mr. A and 3 teenage boys joining us in Sardinia it is the new crew onboard for the trip from Palma to Sardinia. One small Tuna was caught on the way which was considered good luck and good fortune ahead for P2.

Early June and with us settled comfortably on the outside berth P2 holds on tight with wind to 40knots making race prep and keeping her looking good difficult the crew strive on even while materials disappear into the distance removed by gusting winds, can someone bring us more magic erasers please???? Who would have thought the whole bag could blow away just by opening the port mast locker…

Race crew arrive and race prep gets serious. P2 makes early outings for training and learning the local conditions much aided by our famous navigator Andrea Visintini who sailed here as a child on his way to school and practically wrote the Costa Smerelda course book.

Unique racing manoeuvres by Illusion...

Unique racing manoeuvres by Illusion...

Sees Robbie wave the red protest flag

Sees Robbie wave the red protest flag

The regatta is to be a 4 day event and day one sees P2 start at the back of the fleet and as usual pass most of the yachts in front of her, some of the passing made quite difficult due to unique and erratic sailing of other vessels however P2 sails on and all going well with full main and full heavy blade out in what is hoped to be 20-24knots which then turns a bit more serious when the sustained gusts are reaching 35knots. As yachts ahead and behind suffer visible damage our turn comes and the main sheet is snapped. The well trained crew quickly implement the emergency main sheet and we continue on. Later the extent of the damage reveals the below deck turning block to have been destroyed and a temporary system is implemented to allow competition in the morning.

Watching the sail of Whisper shred just before  P2 experiences her main sheet breakage

Watching the sail of Whisper shred just before P2 experiences her main sheet breakage

The morning brings more surprises with P2 recovering from an overnight black out and then the cancellation due to strong winds. It certainly appears P2 is not the only boat injured and most crews are happy to stay on the dock and repair and recover from the previous day a welcome relief as opposed to the thought of going out again and risk more damage to boats and crew.

So day 3 and the fleet leave the harbour in calm conditions, very calm. While waiting to hear if there will be any racing due to lack of wind P2 is attacked by Scorpione Del Mare armed with water bombs. A true sportsman Mr. A asks ‘where’s our sling?’. Happily the crew reveal many water bombs and the teenage boys get to work filling, as we only have one sling onboard but many hands it is decided the best retaliation method is to get close enough to negate the need for slings and simply throw. Seemingly unaware Scorpione make the mistake of bringing down their main sail which occupies their crew and allows P2 to simply cruise up and then unload 100’s at close range. A successful mission.

Scorpione not to be out done did later attack from the aft and luckily the skills of the young A’s with Lacrosse sticks managed to once again find the mark and accurately put many a bomb in the cockpit of Scorpione. Fabrizzio not to back away showed great skill in catching an incoming bomb and returning it to Scorpione thinking they had lost it by accident.

Not to keep all the fun to ourselves both P2 and Scorpione join together to share the water bomb experience with Ganesha, much fun was had by all and then today’s race is cancelled shortly after the start with P2 sneaking her way up the field, back to the dock and rest before the final day.

As day 4 rolls around there is enough wind for racing and the fleet set sail. The race fleet are out first and the faster cruises start early as opposed to the regular pursuit of the slower yachts. An interesting finish waits as the finish line is becalmed and on approach it is clear that the race fleet are stalled trying to slowly bob their way across the line. As more of the cruising fleet arrive it becomes over crowded at the line and Peter H makes a smart executive decision to motor around the line out of harms way as other competitors scream and shout and prepare fenders.

Aft deck as normal (file footage)

Aft deck as normal (file footage)

A 4 day regatta reduced to 2 but who can predict wind and weather when organising such an event, the focus is now the Palma Superyacht cup and P2 with Mr. A and the 3 teenage boys sets sail to ready for the next event.

With the great Cathedral of Palma as the back drop the regatta is hosted in a prime location close to town allowing crews, guests and owners to stroll the historic city.

A fun and well hosted regatta and with some days of light winds the water balloon canon is employed again. As far as sailing is concerned P2 as always was professionally handled around the course in her normal reliable manner for the first 2 days however this was not the case on the last day when some amazing decisions, great trim and alignment of the planets saw her sail around the course ridiculously well and pass every boat in front to cross the line first. This great day could be attributed to the luck of having ‘Bow Cow’ onboard but regardless of why, the only faster way around the course would have been in ‘Demasiado’ the sexy Wally tender.

Back in port and much praise from other crews was awarded on P2 and her great day. Fun was not only for the course and with eyes on winning the best dressed crew for the Western theme night the P2 crew all turned out looking ready to line dance. Unfortunately the judging of the night was obviously in favour of a more modern look and the frog green of Scorpione took the prize.

Unofficial best dressed crew

Unofficial best dressed crew

Bow cow getting milked before the race

Bow cow getting milked before the race

A happy owner, guests and crew and it is time again to de-race the boat and go cruising. Locally around the Balearics and to the main land at Barcelona we were escorted on a few occasions by Dolphins that come to appreciate P2’s beautiful bow and managed to catch a few fish.

It did take 3of us to subdue the Tuna

It did take 3of us to subdue the Tuna

Ibiza Dolphins watching or being watched?

Ibiza Dolphins watching or being watched?

Upon Mr.A’s departure P2 crew got through some of the work list in Palma and then returned to Beconcini shipyard where she was built for the final warranty needs, latest modifications and new colour bottom paint. Much work was achieved in the yard and its now time to sail P2 across the Atlantic to the Caribbean with new chef Luisa Galea and Stef Ziesler as our new deck/stew.

A few stops on the way for fuel, extra food more Tuna and to pick up Merrick and Lynnie and we headed out from Gibraltar hoping for good sailing and fishing.

Last gift from Italy

Last gift from Italy

July 13, 2010

Virgin Islands

Well we last left our crew stories in a random order between New York and the Bahamas and it must be time for some more revelations and updates to keep our avid followers well informed so the news will follow on from our arrival in St Thomas as we prep for our first charter which will include Maurice Kurg (Mo) moving from race crew to semi-permanent crew as captain of ‘Demasiado’.

After much time hearing about the Sugar Mill where Mo lives the P2 crew finally got to see it a few days after arrival in St Thomas and all enjoyed sunset cocktails atop the mill with Angel near by rolling around for attention and stories of life when young Jonathan lived at the mill and speedo clad gay men performed fire twirling shows.

Angel performs for the crowd

Angel performs for the crowd

A great location and an amazing place to experience, to add interest a few of the crew read the novel ‘Muscavado’ which tells the tail of slave life on the same mill and on the islands of St Thomas and St John, well worth a read if you have time.

For some of us this was our first visit to the Virgin Islands and it is a pretty place. The first free weekend meant a tour around the island by car with a list of suggestions from Jonathan and Mo of places to visit. Beaches were beautiful and the milkshakes from the dairy farm were great and especially relaxing as most contained Rum or a similar additive. First stop was ‘Mountain Top’ reputed by Mo to be a great open air bar/restaurant and the signs suggested it would be however the planets did not align for us as we found on our arrival that it to had burnt down 6 months prior, a good laugh and confused wondering as to why we were directed here so back in the car now wondering what ancient relics await us on the suggested tour??

No mistaking we are in the islands

No mistaking we are in the islands

Important locations were found such as the ferry wharf for day trips to St John and the contented crew headed back to our floating P2 home in the Yacht Haven Grande Marina which it is worth saying was a most welcoming and efficient marina with ever helpful and professional staff who made us feel most comfortable.

Relaxation over and all behaving well as we prepared for the upcoming charter Santa visited and took up residence on P2’s aft deck attracting attention from passers by and visits from children looking to inform the good man of their desired Christmas presents a little hard of hearing Santa also seemed to have poor memory retention so we hope those children faired well when diving under the tree Christmas morning.

Off to the British Virgin Islands and first stop Virgin Gorda. Just in time for Christmas and a visit to the hairdressers proved more successful for the girls than the boys but carry on we did and enjoyed morning swims to shore with callisthenics to keep us all tip top.

The girls better choice of hair stylist is evident

The girls better choice of hair stylist is evident

The girls better choice of hair stylist is evident

The girls better choice of hair stylist is evident

Charter guests arrived and ‘Demasiado’ proved extremely valuable as a launch pad for kite surfing and held up well when fully laden with luggage. This of course with Mo at the helm and his wealth of local knowledge was able to help the guests find all the right locations and experience the best of the islands.

Early January rolled round and our charter guests departed leaving P2 calmly at anchor in the entrance to Pirates Bight Harbour of Jost Van Dyke. A closer anchorage to shore was sought the night before but unfortunately Mo’s judgement of distance in the dark was not as good as his local knowledge and we had to abort our suggested anchorage which would have seen us stern to at the infamous Willy T’s bar surrounded by Cigarette boats, Zodiacs and lunatics, maybe it was the difference between the metric and island metre that caused the confusion. A beautiful anchorage to wake up in allowed time for a walk to the top of the hill and some diving in the beautiful clear waters.

Hare and the Tortoise (Sam managed to keep up)

Hare and the Tortoise (Sam managed to keep up)

View from the top

View from the top

The new aft deck Jacuzzi is perfect after diving

The new aft deck Jacuzzi is perfect after diving

Off to St Thomas again and a short visit where we were welcomed to Peter and Denise’ house on the hill for a fantastic dinner (thanks) before departing for Antigua and the anticipation of the super yacht cup with the rumoured 14 competitors?? So on arrival the rumours of 14 are diminished to 8 and then 6 and then realistically 5 as although Mirabella 5 is an entry she does not really feature except for blocking the sunset.

3 days of racing and we did not finish so well, some shattered pieces inside our boom and an opportunity to learn what to do in heavy wind and sea conditions was well worth the outing and testing P2 to new limits proved a hunger making experience with a deck head falling to keep lunch securely locked away out of reach in the fwd cabin. Eventually we ate, the lucky crew of ‘Demasiado’ ate early and were happy to be on the chase boat and not wondering if they were to go hungry and as always ice cream was available via a steady pitch to the safe hands of Peter McNaughton whilst Tom Ferland helmed the sexiest chase boat of the regatta.

All had a good time in Antigua for the cup and P2 crew sported well in the evening activities with swords, jackets, and custom t-shirts from the design brilliance of the young Doyle family setting us apart from all other crews however the Ranger race crew were determined to make the press with their evening rendition of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ not so pleasing for those members of the crowd standing too close and not quick enough to avert their eyes.

The boom now making unique noises meant a serious time for permanent crew and the appearance of the mythical Marty Ford to weave some carbon fibre magic over long days was only possible with the our much loved Randy Reynolds supplying all the answers and machinery to get the job done. All back together and Marty left with a full belly post steak night off to his next repair and P2 departs for St Maarten and the prep for the wonderful St Barths Bucket. Please note Marty may be joining us during the season if Tony Hawker is unavailable so cover your precious little ears if things go sour or a small alignment is necessary and volume is required.

John makes a preliminary boom inspection

John makes a preliminary boom inspection

Paul says ‘let me have look’

Paul says ‘let me have look’

Post regatta Sam McCarthy departs P2 for wider pastures and new crew member Roy Wadeson sets his sights on the Captains role aboard whilst Jonathan imparts the years of knowledge of the P2 build, racing and the family on Roy’s broad shoulders. After the build and captaincy Jonathan is moving to the role of race/regatta organiser and Roy will be taking over as captain of P2.

On the dock in St Maarten and race crew arrive prepped and excited to ship us off to St Barth. A good well sailed regatta on a busy field where decisions were made quickly and as necessary; like going wide for safety around ‘Andromedea’ trawling her spinnaker for minnows and tactically ‘I DON’T WANT TO TACK!!’ c/o our fantastic tactician Andrea keeping it real on the aft deck with the result being 2nd place (unfortunately to Ranger) in our class but enough to put a smile on all associated faces and the taste of what’s to come in Europe with 3 scheduled regattas and the prospect of getting one back on Ranger at the Maxi Worlds in September.

Post regatta and P2 departs St Maarten for Fort Lauderdale to meet the Dockwise yacht transport ship and enjoy a simple and uneventful trip from the States to Europe. Well somewhat uneventful if you don’t count wind to 64knots and seas coming over the bridge of the Dockwise ship onto P2’s aft deck, at least the riders Randy, Peter and Roy were able to keep clean in the new upgraded Jacuzzi.

Look closely, that is Randy and Peter in the new fore deck Jacuzzi

Look closely, that is Randy and Peter in the new fore deck Jacuzzi

Some more changes are afoot as lead main sail hoist technician and resident chef Eliza decides to seek life and other stuff away from yachting which includes P2, Eliza has found employment ashore and the joy of open top driving with the purchase of a convertible.

Karen Murphy who has temped for Eliza in the past moves into permanent chef and more new crew join as Roy moves up with girlfriend Connie stepping into chief stew and Toni Corlett becoming the new deck/stew and Chris Holt joins as mate. A good bunch are getting together here and will be looking forward to all P2 has for us.

Although by the time you read this we are 2 regattas ahead and P2 is comfortably in Europe please be patient as my pen is out of ink but I have found a pencil and am sharpening it now.

April 12, 2010

St. Barth’s Bucket

In the largest Bucket fleet to date, P2 sailed a great regatta against 38 yachts, including 19 very competitive gazelles. Three exciting days of racing provided for some great action. Team P2 sailed their best races to date wrestling with a fleet of fast, well-sailed boats. Despite great boat speed, tactics and yacht handling, P2 was unable to squeak by arch rival Ranger. At the end of the regatta P2 claimed second among the gazelles and third overall. Stay tuned to this site for some amazing photographs to be published shortly.

April 10, 2010

Caribbean to NYC

“Blanketed by an azure sky, the orange-yellow rays of the setting sun can, at special times, gift us with a moment of such considerable beauty, we find ourselves momentarily stunned, with frozen gaze.  The splendor of the moment so dazzles us, our compulsively chattering minds give pause, so as not to mentally whisk us away to a place other than the here-and-now.  Bathed in luminescence, a door seems to open to another reality, always present, yet rarely witnessed.”

Russell E. Dicarlo

Appreciating the Caribbean is easy task; it offers a humbling outlook which reminds me of Africa.  The broken roads leading up to thick dense forest, lined with photographic images of people and homes are edged with a coastline, inviting you to peel off your layers and submerge in the deep, clear ocean.  It is no wonder that I felt a pang of regret when the call was made to move P2 from the Eastern Caribbean up north to Great Abaco in the Bahamas.  The regret lasted all of 7.3 hours when the sun started to set and P2 was lit up in the warm celestial glow that soon became my quiet and cherished moment: wind, a changing sky and the soft swoosh of her bow cutting the ocean.  It was unfortunate that once again, I had coppered the four to eight watch (big wink), terrible to think that I was being forced to sit and contemplate the existence of what is, the enormity of the vast Atlantic and the beauty of the rising and setting sun. The big plus was and is of course, the superb delivery team that P2 enlists.  Masters at the art of sailing; Mo, Randy and Uncle Peter shared laughs and knowledge with the permanent crew while P2 moved closer to her new destination.

Uncle Peter and James Bond

Uncle Peter and James Bond

My first memory of Great Abaco was staring transfixed at the depth gauge on the ‘braai’, i.e. the center.   For those that have not had the pleasure of sailing in the Bahamas here is your very first lesson: you will always see the bottom) — no biggie if your floating around in an inner tube, but the 12ft draft that P2 draws caused a series of giggles and nervous apprehension as she approached her new dock on Guana Cay. After a perfect entry by the captain and the Magyver approach to the new system of dock lines, P2 was resting nicely with her 200ft wooden dock to starboard and the two dolphin posts to port.  We had landed.

P2 nestled against her 200ft wooden dock with Wally tender

P2 nestled against her 200ft wooden dock with Wally tender

Hitting the ground running is a term loosely thrown around; however, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the five of us can say with certainty that these lexical items have become a living reality.  With an ‘to do list’  to shake a stick at, the crew knuckled down and started to peg off the dreaded punch list which would take us through to our next race, and what better place to go ‘bum up, head down’ than P2’s new remote and beautiful home —  Bakers Bay.  While JK was shaking the work stick in our direction, the crew found refuge and solace in the impressive surroundings of Guana Cay.

Lion fish on Bahamian spear

Lion fish on Bahamian spear

Shaking our tails and making good of the light and hours before and after work we became the Bahamian Explorers:  from noiseless journeys around the island in golf-carts to surreal free-diving and water sports.

Crew adventure: Wet golf-cart island trip

Crew adventure: Wet golf-cart island trip

Russell E. Dicarlo says true stillness is rarely witnessed; I beg to differ.  Feeling oblivion and hearing nothing but silence and the soft beat of your heart, the see-through world of the true Bahamian beauty appears.  Here I found myself submissive, alive and alone.  My first splash offered a glide above a blue spotted eagle ray, say what? And this only improved.  Each day brought a new reef, a moving visit into the life and colour that fluttered and swayed with the current, coral that I could not do justice trying to describe. In a word: Unbelievable.   It was confirmed, between the friendly and accommodating staff at Bakers Bay, the Bahamian people, the pink white sandy beaches and the opportunity to find peace and true stillness in every moment spent in the water; Great Abaco was a hit.  Superb memories were shared, from Jonathan’s birthday spent with his family on island to watching Randy spear his first lion fish.  We were well impressed with P2’s new home.

Tom says “Whoo Hoo”

Tom says “Whoo Hoo”

Alana and Jonathan celebrate his birthday on Guana Island with Noah

Alana and Jonathan celebrate his birthday on Guana Island with Noah

Ding ding ding… and time to move on.  A quick over-niter brings us back to the States, where the plan takes some serious shape for the Newport Bucket and the family’s summer cruise.  Feeling brown, healthy and fit, the crew busts a move or two and preps for yet another trip up north.

Gi Gi flying high

Gi Gi flying high

Jonathan and Zimbabwe on Park Avenue

Jonathan and Zimbabwe on Park Avenue

Not any old place up north, NEW YORK BABY!!  Eager to be greeted by the statue of liberty, the delivery team arrives substituted with none other than Bill Bentz for the voyage to NYC and the Gods are with P2.  Not only do we leave with a flaming red sky, which silhouettes the city line of Fort Lauderdale as the space between us increases, but P2 is FISH ON!

P2 is FISH ON!

P2 is FISH ON!

Bill Bentz and dinner

Bill Bentz and dinner

You would think being this glamorous new sailing we’d be well established fishermen. Unfortunately, this was not the case.  We had yet to land a fish. Brushed up on our survival skills and blessed with the knowledge of safety drills; the brake ran and MAHI MAHI was served.  We actually got so good at fishing, Jonathan thought he’d spin out a pink squid and catch a Mako shark just for kicks and of course the bended rod fight which lasted a good while.  Like only ‘team P2’ can, the captain had his fun then the boys released the whippy-eye-balling shark back into the cold seas.

Fighting the Mako

Fighting the Mako

Something incredible happened on that voyage.  I have witnessed some lunar beauty, just the stuff that stops your heart and brings you to the place of pure silence and awe. This was one of those moments.  Sitting at the starboard helm in pitch blackness, I see a light on the horizon in the distance.  Grabbing the ‘binocs I scope out what’s what.  Not a boat. Ja, big question marks going off in my head.   With the object far enough away to breathe and ponder, I stare transfixed on the horizon. The unfolding full moon rise was epic.  The celestial glow that mirrored itself all the way to my seat blew my mind and fostered a sublime appreciation to the wondrous world of natural beauty and the feeling of honest stillness.

I have been told a couple times that what goes up must come down.  Well. The tale that balances this rare and special time of solitude is definitely a down.  Armed with a soft spongy nerf ball, you would think that the chaps were heading to the beach, but at 8.30 on our last delivery evening, the nerf ball was the tool of choice for James Bond and his side kick Tom Tom.  Yup, that’s right a bilge alarm had shown a leak into the engine room from a corroded intake valve. Quality leadership and follow-through saw the two okes kitted out with a split fin entry into the dark uninviting water.  Again, the Gods bathe P2 with good fortune and skills as the repair is made, the green light given to proceed forward.  Happy to have teak under their feet once more and be free of the ominous ‘da da, da da’ singalong track to the Jaws Movie, all crew members are back onboard and troubleshooting like true professionals.

Sailing into the Hudson sound was a treat, our pilot (dressed in a full suit in the wee hours in the morning) looked sort-of out of place with the rest of us geared up to the max in full foulies, but he soon caught up — with one of Eliza’s famous fresh muffins and a turvis tumbler loaded with a strong dark coffee.  The dense fog that rimmed the shore-line set the scene as P2 entered New York Harbor.

Slipping into NYC

Slipping into NYC

Down Town New York

Down Town New York

Eliza and Tom share a laugh

Eliza and Tom share a laugh

In quiet apprehension, we all scuttled around on deck pulling forestays and unlashing the small tender. The morning sun brought a mysterious glow to the grime of the approaching city and the symbol of freedom that stood bold and tall to our port.  Taking in the moment, we slipped past the statue of liberty and knew we had arrived. With the perfect tide, a plan of action and down town North Cove Marina waiting, New York City stares at us teasingly, shouting out a new experience and all things famously American.  So close, yet so far.  I mean, so close. Like we can see our dock, we can smell land but alas the keel won’t go up.  Yes. Yes.  At one point I thought the crew might just practice the MOB drill and reach forward to pull the boat closer with their finger nails (laughs); however, this rather primal approach was not needed with hero Tom around, who once again saves the day with calm and corrective actions.  Keel up and we are ready to three-sixty into our slip. A nice tight parking and “sold”; NYC ladies and gentlemen! What better place to provision and buff up than down-town! Excited to see the family again, dress the boat and race the Newport Bucket the P2 crew do what they do best and start shaking tail for the fun to come!

November 30, 2009

Cruise in Long Island Sound

With the Newport Bucket Regatta over and won by P2, the focus for permanent crew became finishing off the season for the owners with a cruise in Long Island Sound. New areas for the crew to see and some very fast changing weather experiences made for a memorable trip.

Obviously tired after the regatta and family trip, Jonathan lets slip for a moment and wears his cap backwards.

image001

The pending Perini warranty period to be conducted in Newport shipyard took a lot of time in some minds as preparations were underway to have as much work done in as small an amount of time possible and some repairs of significant nature required.

With input from race and permanent crew adding to the work list, P2 was preparing for a haul out and some repairs and improvements. The tempting ‘low lying fruit’ to improve P2’s sailing ability took on some priority with the fitment of 2 new pad eyes to the fore deck for better head sail trimming. This item became a major project involving all from naval architects to the local Newport fisherman in the aim of achieving a structurally sound deck fitting. A rarely used item, these new pad eyes will be more appreciated during racing to gain the extra speed necessary where as the removal of the ‘toe breaker’ pad eyes next to the bosun locker will be appreciated on much more regular occasions and certainly reduce the need for some of the swearing associated with kicking of said items.

Yard time included a haul out and meant the P2 crew sought refuge in a house ashore. Built in 1760 the house had character, but luckily there were no disturbances from the neighbours.

Crew house neighbours

Crew house neighbours

The opportunities arose for some great sight seeing in Newport with the 6 and 12 metre world championships held through August and September. Permanent crew member Sam McCarthy (GiGi) managed to secure the position of mast man on the 12 metre ‘Weatherly’.  Sailing with the crew of Chippewa a 2nd place in the classic class was achieved and ever so close to 1st place taken by ‘American Eagle’ on equal points.

During sight seeing of the 6 metre event one of the yacht photographers commented on what a good looking crew those of P2 are, obviously a very keen and appreciative eye.

Eliza managed some time off with a holiday to France and the opportunity to visit her new house in Quebec. A temporary chef joined the crew and besides good food, Karen Murphy provided some great laughs with her sharp Irish humour.

In case some of you have not seen a picture here is Eliza’s house in the country:

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Yard time allowed Jonathan time to visit New Zealand with Alanna and Noah giving Mike Cox the opportunity to come and enjoy the pleasure of dealing with contractors and builders to achieve the desired improvements.

P2 went back in the water and after minor set backs from the engineering department and thorough inspection of watertight integrity headed away from the haul out slip for a quick 360 in the harbour before finding a new home on the Newport shipyard northern dock.

Newport welcomed the crew to the new dock and over the following weeks turned on some horizontal rain and cold temperatures to harden us up in preparation for the sail south.

Late in the Newport period, Tracey (Zimbabwe) sprung a surprise and resigned to join a smaller yacht with a total crew of 2 where she hopes to improve her sailing knowledge. After a long time onboard P2 it was deemed necessary for Tracey to receive regular swims in her final week to make her experience more memorable.

2nd of November came round and had been chosen months before as the departure date to head South for Florida. Maurice Kurg and Dean Minardi joined regular crew including Randy Reynolds for the trip to Rybovich shipyard in West Palm Beach.

Dean models the new race uniform while Sam correctly uses his tongue to fight the fish.

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With mostly Northwest through Northeast winds P2 set a great pace South. A full day with the spinnaker flying was enjoyed by all and 16.2 knots SOG was seen on the B&G.

The local navy exercising off Jacksonville provided amusement with unique radio operation, stealth movements and also some mystery until the radar target approaching at 114 knots with a CPA (closest point of approach) of 0nm was identified as a helicopter.

As on all deliveries bets are taken in a sporting fashion to pick the arrival time. And as has happened in the past speeds can be adjusted to suit ‘necessary’ tides or marina operating hours making the challenge all the more difficult for some and easier for others (the others being those that make the decisions). It is hoped a new system will be developed before the next delivery allowing the sailing and prediction of it to be more prominent in the outcome.

P2 arrived in Rybovich on November 7 and being the beginning of Tracey’s last week became the day of her 1st swim so soon after her screams of ‘7 more sleeps and I’m at home’ with the giant form of GiGi looming little struggle saw Tracey over the life lines and into the harbour. Even Eliza took joy in the great experience of pushing Tracey in and on such an opportune moment as the morning of her replacements arrival when she had put some effort into her appearance.

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Tracey about to have her first swim

The Result!

The Result!

Tracey sneakily tried the tactic of getting a spray tan in the hope of avoiding  a swim and did put up quite a struggle, however with Eliza’s approval went in dressed and ready for a night out on the eve of her departure from the vessel. With her regular bounce she managed a quick shower and change of clothes and a night on the town. One more swim and she would be free, Tracey really should have got up very early on her last day to avoid going in still dressed in her pyjamas.

Pyjamas and all Tracey goes in for the last time

Pyjamas and all Tracey goes in for the last time

With Tracey departing a new stew was sought and an interim solution was found in the temporary employment of Paula Bushell who many will know from ‘Perseus’. Paula came down to Florida from Savannah a week prior to departure giving herself time to learn the boat and ready for the owners visit.

Once all the loose ends were tidied in Rybovich the crew happily departed for Bakers Bay on the 19th to prepare for our next owners engagement over the Thanks Giving period.

Although it is only a short trip from Florida to Bakers Bay there was still time to troll a line in the water and successfully land a Mahi that would serve the following lunch and guest’s dinner. Prepared very well as always by Eliza the fish was enjoyed by all.

Tomorrow's Lunch

Tomorrow's Lunch

Familiar faces welcomed the crew and P2 back to her berth in Bakers Bay and the Bahamas turned on the welcoming warm weather. With a short time before the owner’s arrival the crew were hard at work and only managed to sneak in a quick swim before the trip begun in the refreshing waters so a visit to ‘Nippers’ will have to wait.

Beautiful still dawn in Bakers Bay

Beautiful still dawn in Bakers Bay

Hoping the Thanks Giving period was very good to you all, best wishes from the permanent P2 crew.

Chief Engineer Tom Masterson.

September 3, 2009

Newport Bucket Regatta

Bringing together 19 boats over 70-feet, the Newport Bucket Regatta was held Saturday and Sunday, July 18th and 19th. After two days of  racing, P2 finished first in Class and first Overall in the Fleet.

During the first day in 20+ knots of wind, P2 starting at the back of the fleet and helmed by Peter Holmberg, America’s Cup Helmsman in 2007 with Alinghi and in 2003 with team BMW Oracle, reeled in nearly the entire fleet, including the J Class beauties RANGER and HANUMAN.  Holmberg and the P2 race team sailed P2 to a first place finish in the “Gazelles” and a second place overall.

In Sunday’s racing  with 12-18 knots of breeze, P2 again started last but passed all but one of the Gazelles finishing 2nd in class. Along with her 7th place finish in the fleet, she secured the Overall title as Winner of 2009 Newport Bucket, along with 1st place in the Gazelle Class too.

P2, the new Racing Line breed of Perini Navi, has made her entry into the sailing world, getting the award for Best Sailing Yacht Design up to 44m, Best Exterior Lines, and she was also awarded the Superyacht of the Year.

Thanks to Dana White for some great photos.  Stay tuned for more photos as well as the Newport Bucket DVD.

July 31, 2009

Bakes Bay to Fort Lauderdale

After 3 weeks in the Bahamas P2 is ready to depart and although time was well spent in Bakers Bay there is some disappointment leaving before the Grand Opening of the Conch Shack which was alleged to be opening on ‘Wednesday’ as crew were told on arrival Thursday 28th of May. But as travel can be a learning experience we discovered ‘Wednesday’ not necessarily to mean a day of the week however to be a term used on the island relating to an event sometime in the future or even a location of mystery, so maybe next year it will be possible to enjoy a refreshing sundowner at the fabled Conch Shack.

A clear morning dawns on Wednesday 17th of June and the permanent crew of P2 with their regular extra helper, Captain Reynolds of ‘Demasiado’ are ready to depart on the short trip to Fort Lauderdale, home to many of the race crew and importantly Noah and his Mum or ‘Mom’ depending on your origin.

With calm seas allowing easy motoring, time is taken to undertake safety drills including man overboard which with Jonathan at the helm and the long reach of GiGi leaning precariously overboard proved to be an accomplishable task on the first attempt. The same scenario however proved to be a little more difficult for Tom with the well experienced hands of Jonathan stepping aside and required a few passes of the make shift MOB victim.

Featuring heavily in the safety drills GiGi gets to don the fire suit and make his way to and from the engine room for practice. Luckily the temperature was in the low 30’s (81 F) and not the extremes experienced by those awaiting our arrival in Florida.

A safe and uneventful delivery continued with P2 arriving in Fort Lauderdale around 18:00 hours on Thursday 18th of June ready for a week of prep prior heading North with the focus being on the Newport Bucket.

June 1, 2009

The way north!

After 2 months in the Eastern Caribbean, P2 departed St. Maarten bound for Guana Cay in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas.  Aboard for the voyage were TP2 permanent crew Tom Masterson, Eliza Prevost, Tracey Bamforth and Sam McCarthy.  Veteran race crew Maurice Kurg, Randy Reynolds, and Peter McNaughton sailed as delivery crew on what would be a 970-mile, 4 day, light wind voyage.

Despite the excellent conditions that persisted the month before, P2 departed on the front end of a very weak trade wind regime.  Fortunately for us, the forecasters were not entirely correct and the light and variable conditions predicted did not materialize.  Instead, we sailed Northwest for most of the trip with 10 to 15 knots out of the SE, allowing us to deploy the P2 A sail for two days before being headed by a pre-frontal SW flow.

Though he vowed not to bring his camera, Peter McNaughton fortunately did so and captured numerous special moments on the way north.  Thank you, Peter!

Peter’s video clip from the trip will be on the website soon.  But here are a few photos…..

Check out the Baker’s Bay website:  www.bakersbayclub.com

More news regarding Newport coming soon….

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