Often we have seen coastal sailors finally realizing their dream of cruising the world starting with their first offshore passage to the Caribbean. No matter how good the weather router, or how reliable the forecast, sometimes they will find themselves sailing in gale conditions. And when it's pitch black and blowing 35+, the wind howling through the rigging, the deck is leaking, the bulkheads creaking as the hull works in the seas, the waves crashing from three different directions, no-one has slept for 24 hours, and everyone is seasick and scared, picking up the sat phone and calling Coast Guard for rescue can seem like a very good idea. But the boat and crew are usually in no real danger. Patience and some simple skills are often all that is needed to successfully survive difficult conditions at sea with their boat and dreams intact.
Almost as important a goal is to show crews how to enjoy rather than simply endure their time at sea. Too many sailors see some tropical island as their only destination when, as sailors, an equally important destination is the journey over the horizon in front of us.
Masquerade is a Finnish-built Baltic 47, one of the best production boats of her size in the world.
She has just undergone an extensive refit that included new refrigeration, a couple of new sails, new running rigging, a complete rig inspection that included replacing a couple of shrouds and re-heading the rest, and a complete B&G electronics package with a 12" Zeus plotter at the helm and 20/20s at the mast.
Accommodations consist of four cabins; the captain's cabin aft to port and three double cabins each with a comfortable upper and lower berth with lee cloth. The forward head has a manually operated toilet while the aft head features an electric toilet.
The galley, nav station, and roomy saloon complete the interior.
In order to get the most out of your time at sea with us you should possess at the least basic sailing skills such as how to "hand, reef, and steer." Especially, you should know how to steer a compass course. Most of our time at sea we won't be using the autopilot. Sitting in the cockpit watching "Otto" steer the boat does nothing to hone your skills, but steering in waves certainly does!
One of the best, most important skills any offshore sailor can posses is how to deal with heavy weather.
Reefing down is the first step, but there comes a point in big breeze when you are better off just heaving to. We'll discuss and demonstrate heaving to and other options for surviving gale and storm conditions successfully--and in relative comfort.
We'll explore emergency situations such as losing your steering, rigging failures, fire, flooding, man overboard, liferafts, harnesses, and general safety at sea.
Going offshore on a sailboat isn't just about what happens on deck. We will talk about and delve into procedures for keeping a boat working properly and how to fix it should something go wrong. We'll discuss tools needed both offshore and for long term cruising and then dig into Masquerade's equipment, why I chose it, and what I'd change.
Andy grew up sailing in the Pacific Northwest waters around Victoria, British Columbia. An avid dinghy racer, he started teaching at his father’s sailing school when he was 14 and at age 16, sailed aboard a wooden Hilliard-designed ketch from Victoria to San Diego, beginning a life-long appreciation for offshore sailing.
Since then he has logged more than 350,000 miles as a delivery skipper and owner of Adventure Sailing, a company he started to introduce sailors to offshore sailing using the Nautor Swan charter fleet in the 1990s and early 2000s. He is an excellent navigator using traditional and modern methods and is familiar with the waters of the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both coasts of North and Central America from Alaska and Nova Scotia to the Panama Canal, and Cape Town, South Africa.
Having completed seven trans-Atlantic passages and three Panama Canal transits, he has captained boats offshore as diverse as a production 31-foot sloop designed for the Caribbean charter trade, catamarans, and a 110-foot motor yacht.
Passage fees include all on-board expenses, including food.
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The crew will meet on the boat in downtown Newport for orientation and safety discussion. We will discuss weather routing, heavy weather sailing, and the Gulf Stream crossing.
The passage takes about 4 or 5 days to Bermuda. Conditions can be rough on this stretch of ocean. In Bermuda we will spend at least 24 hours to catch out breath before heading south toward Antigua and fresh trade-wind sailing--about 6-8 days.
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If you have questions about the opportunities available to you in our programs, feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Newport, Rhode Island, United States