First off, sorry for the length of this post. I'm just trying to make sure that all the pertinent information is here so that you can make worthwhile recommendations.
My brother joined the ARMY after college and has just finished all of his training. Well... now he is going to airborne school, so he will be done in 3 weeks. Afterwards, he will be stationed near Nurnberg Germany. I am graduating from college on May 9th and, after discussing with my parents and bosses from summer internships, have decided to do some traveling and visit my brother in Germany. Instead of flying, I thought it would be a great idea to take on another life goal. Sail across the Atlantic. Since I don't know any sailors at this level, I hit to the web searching for crew positions (too many crew sites). Through crewseekers.net, I was able to lock in a ride on a Beneteau 473 (please feel free express your concerns regarding Bene's).
British businessman living in St. Maarten with RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and 20 years of experience. He will not be along for the first leg due to business, but will join back up in the Azores.
Young South African guy with RYA Yachtmaster Offshore cert. He is also the full time captain of the boat. Crossing experience.
Another South African Guy with RYA Yachtmaster Offshore cert. who also has crossing experience.
Yet to be determined
I have been around boats and water my whole life. Up until about 5 years ago it had all been on been around the intercoastal, Chesapeake and lakes on motorboats. I made the transition after buying my first sailboat. It was a deal that I couldn't pass up. Since then I have been:
-Race crew on various keelboats (20-30ft) on Lake Norman, NC for 4 years
-Race crew on Beneteau First 36.7 on NC coast for 1 summer
-Race crew on Merit 25 for 60nm night race on NC coast (placed 2nd while smallest boat by 10ft)
-Owned a 1975 Helms 25 for last couple years
-Owned an 1976 San Juan 21 last summer while I was living in Savannah, GA to sail off Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island
-Worked on 100ft party barge for 4 years as deckhand then mate.
-(2) 10 day charters on an Irwin 68 (I think) in the BVI's.
-NAUI open water, NITROX and Rescue Diver certified.
I have probably logged more armchair sailing hours than actual sailing hours. I try to read and learn as much as possible. Its a huge distraction from my studies and work as it is all I think about.
I am young (22 y/o) and physically fit as I run, mtn. bike, swim and etc. pretty regularly. I am also a US citizen w/ US passport (might come into play with visa and permit suggestions)
Depart from St. Maarten -> Horta, Azores Portugal -> Gibralter -> Palma De Mallorca Spain.
I fly down the morning after graduation (May 10th) to meet the boat in St. Maarten
From my blog (just started it)
I'm Heading East!
While the boat has all the safety kit necessary for an Atlantic crossing, I am trying to make sure I have all the essential personal gear. This is where I need the most help
. I have searched the SailNet and other site forums, in addition to researchin several sites, blogs and etc.. This is the resulting list I have come up with along with some of the associated prices. You can disregard the "W/ Eric in Germany" section as this is subject to change (he may be deployed straight to Afghanistan in 3 weeks).
Concerns regarding gear:
Keep in mind that this trip is on a VERY tight budget. I was hoping to keep this whole trip under $5,000 so I need to do some trimming. If necessary I can cut out Europe exploration and just hang out in Germany with my brother. My main focus is getting across the pond, I can make due once I get across. While I don't want to sacrifice safety, I still don't want to spend frivolously. So....
- What am I missing?
- What can be deleted?
- Gill foulies (I have heard both bad and good things, any other input or other gear suggestions)
- Have you used SPOT for a Transit? How did it work? (The reason I am considering this is purely out of concern for my poor mother. She will be a basket case with me in the middle of the Atlantic and my brother in Germany. I think it would help alleviate some of her concerns if she could at least see a new way point each day. However, the SPOT's coverage looks spotty in the mid Atlantic.)
- I believe the boat has a Sat phone but I figured I would check into it anyhow. I will confirm with the owner.
- Inexpensive handheld GPS suggestions (I really just want something to read lat/lon and speeds)
- PLB options
- McMurdo Fast Find
- ACR AquaFix (I wasn't sure if these require an external GPS unit)
- ACR ResQFix
- ACR Mini EPIRB
- In-port costs/fees (I plan on being very cheap and stingy on shore)
I guess I'm hoping you guys/girls will tear through my list and let me know whats good and whats not.
Any and all advice (and bashing) is appreciated!