Feb 99 Updates

February 1, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 8
Time:   20:45 hrs
Wind: 10-12 kts SE
COG:   312 deg
SOG:   6-6.5 kts
ETA:   Thursday Afternoon
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1015 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 178 NM
Position:   Longitude 000 deg 02.15E  Latitude 20 deg 44.04S

Conditions: Winds dropped off again this morning to under 10 knots true. Maintained very light winds all day into early evening. Seas very calm. Skies clear and hot!

Highlights:  With winds as light as they are, neither the mainsail nor the headsail are able to stay full and as a result, the boat has a hard time keeping course. Combine that with the wind moving a bit East and we had a  frustrating situation.  With the wind on our quarter, it made it difficult to reach or go wing on wing.  Solution, throw up the spinnaker... actually, the gennaker. Instead of using a pole, we simply tack it down to the bow and let her fly. It allows the boat to go a good deal deeper without going directly downhill. And, in extremely light air we can actually make reasonably good speed.  In 10 knots of true wind we are making 6.5-7.5 kts through the water. All in, it was a great day of sailing!

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 19 54S, Lon. 01 14W. Barometer 1015 Mb. Wind 10- 12 knots SE - 5-5.5 knots boat speed.  Bob would like to thank everyone that e-mailed OOB for sending their hellos.  Other than that, things were very quiet today. Nothing to report. 


February 2, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 9
Time:   21:45 hrs
Wind: 10-12 kts SE
COG:   312 deg
SOG:   6-7 kts
ETA:   Thursday Afternoon
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1014 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 160 NM
Position:   Longitude 002 deg 03.09W  Latitude 18 deg 57.41S

Conditions: Again today, winds dropped off this morning as the sun rose. Light winds persisted most of the day into early evening. Seas remain calm with clear and sunny skies.

Highlights: Sometimes with day after day of nothing exciting happening, it's difficult to come up with enough to say. But still I try.

During the last few days we've seen a pattern developing with the winds. What appeared to be the typical SE trade winds a few days ago was probably just the result of a large high pressure system over us. As a consequence, the winds have been a bit inconsistent, strengthening during the night and weakening during the day. The trades usually really start to blow steadily around 20 degrees south, so hopefully they'll kick in any time now.  At least that way we won't have to be constantly jumping around on deck changing sails all the time. Also, for the first time since August 1997, we’re back in the Western longitudes...

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 18 13S, Lon. 03 09W. Barometer 1015 Mb. Wind 10- 12 knots SE - 5-6 knots boat speed. Bob says that there’s nothing to report today, except that there's very little to do but eat a lot and read a lot. 


February 3, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 10
Time:   21:35 hrs
Wind: 7-9 kts SE
COG:   311 deg
SOG:   4.5-5 kts
ETA:   Thursday Afternoon
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1013 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 146 NM
Position:   Longitude 003 deg 49.60W  Latitude 17 deg 28.12S

Conditions: For the third day in a row, the winds dropped off in the morning when the sun rose. With less than 10 kts of true wind, there was only 2-4 kts of apparent wind. Seas continuing to flatten. Skies clear and sunny.

Highlights:  Well, there is literally nothing of any consequence to report from OOB for today. We've had hardly enough wind to fill our spinnaker for most of the day and it doesn't seem to be getting any better going into this evening.  It's not easy watching the ETA climb as the boat speed continues to fall off, and it's certainly not encouraging when you're looking at under 200 miles to go. The good news is that baring anything catastrophic, we will still arrive tomorrow!

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 16 32S, Lon. 04 57W. Barometer 1015 Mb. Wind 10- 12 knots SE - 5.5-6 knots boat speed.  Currently 55 miles from St. Helena with an ETA of sometime tomorrow morning. When asked for a comment on his impending arrival for his fans, he said rather nonchalantly, "Hooray, a landfall... or something like that!".


February 4, 1999, Jamestown, Saint Helena
Time:   15:15 hrs
Wind: 5 kts SE
COG:   000 deg
SOG:   00 kts
ETA:   Now....
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1013 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 178 NM
Position:   Longitude 005 deg 43.12W  Latitude 15 deg 55.06S

Conditions: Who cares, were here!

Highlights:  It took us just over 10 days, but we made it! As we approached the island, we could see it's volcanic peaks from over 35 miles away. The wind seemed to die about 20 miles from the north end, forcing us to pull down our spinnaker and motor the rest of the way. As we passed close by the barren, rocky landscape, we were again reminded of the incredible feeling of seeing land after a long ocean passage. We may have just traveled 1700 miles, but we are only 1/3 the way across the Atlantic. Everyone is looking forward to putting the rest under our belts, but there is a lot to be seen in between.

In the mean time, after a celebratory drink, Suzie has prepared a leg of lamb for dinner. Then tomorrow we have arranged for a tour of the island with some of the other boats that have just arrived. As I write this, we are all exhausted and ready for bed, so until the next update...

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob arrived early this morning and stood off until sunrise before entering the harbor and dropping the hook. His is now happily anchored and on shore having dinner at Anne's Place with the crews from Jump Up and Camissa.  He had a bit of a fright this afternoon when his wallet went missing. Thankfully he left it at the police station and was later able to retrieve it without incident!


Feb. 8, 1999, St, Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 1
Time:   14:09 hrs
Wind: 20-25 kts
COG:   295 deg
SOG:   8.2 kts
ETA: February 18 - 19
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1014 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 000 NM
Position:   Longitude 005 deg 36.40W  Latitude 15 deg 53.25S

Conditions: Strong winds out of the East at 20-25 kts. Seas flat calm and clear skies.

Highlights: Well, we're on our way again! After a brief respite of 4 days we're well rested and ready for the next leg of the crossing. St. Helena was a fascinating Jacobs Ladder, Saint Helenastop but the island is so small that it can be seen in it's entirety in one day. At left is Jacob’s Ladder.  699 steps of pure torture... but worth the view from the top. Keep your eyes out for a few words on our stay on one of the most remote islands in the world where Napolean was exhiled.

Having done some minor provisioning of fresh fruits and veggies we weighed anchor and made way in a fresh easterly wind. No sooner did we have our course set and the sails trimmed, did the wind choke. So we hoisted the spinnaker, brought the main down to the second reef and we were moving again. After another hour we lost the wind all together.  With no other option we started to motor and made 1800 rpms, giving us 5-5.5 kts of speed. Not a great start, but there's always tomorrow.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob left yesterday morning at 7:00 AM on the final leg of his circumnavigation. This will be his longest passage at over 4000 miles and about 27 days give or take a few depending on conditions. He is quite anxious to get to St. Thomas where he will meet his wife Sally after almost a year's absence. This evening when we talked to him on the radio his position @ 18:00 was 14 20S 08 35W.  Winds were very light and he was just going to start his motor.


Feb. 9, 1999, St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 2
Time:   20:00 hrs
Wind: 7-9 kts Variable
COG:   296 deg
SOG:   4.5-5.5 kts
ETA: February 18 - 19
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1017 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 120 NM
Position:   Longitude 008 deg 06.92W  Latitude 14 deg 47.63S

Conditions: Very light winds out of the East at 6-8 kts. Seas flat calm and clear skies.

Highlights:  With the conditions we're experiencing here you'd think we were in the doldrums crossing the Equator. 120 mile days will kill our ETA for Brazil, but that is part of sailing. At least we have enough wind to keep our spinnaker full with light sheets. We had the main up to the second reef for a while, but that ended up working against so we pulled it down all together. Still we have only been averaging 5 kts.

With the wind practically still around us the days are starting to get hotter. Normally the only relief from the heat would be a fresh water deck shower or a bucket of salt water over the head.  Today we figured we'd try something a little different. We rigged the bosuns chair to a line and then through a block at the end of the boom. We then swung the boom out to starboard with a willing participant attached and proceeded to dunk said person. Needless to say everyone had a blast, not to mention a swim.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 was 13 20S 10 22W. Avg. speed today - 4.8 kts Winds continue to be very light for everyone out here - variable between 6-10 kts true. Seas FLAT! Skies clear and hot. We had a fishing contest today between Gyspy Spray, Truant, Jump Up, Camissa and OOB. Bob won with the only fish caught - a flying fish found on his deck this morning... dried out and dead as a doornail! Bob wanted us to relay a message to his wife, Sally, that he will be listening to Herb at 21:00 GMT.


Feb. 10, 1999, St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 3
Time:   20:50 hrs
Wind: 10-12 kts Variable
COG:   302 deg
SOG:   5-5.7 kts
ETA: February 19-20
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1016 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 122 NM
Position:   Longitude 10 deg 00.75W Latitude 13 deg 52.06S

Conditions: Winds continue to be extremely light @ 8-10 kts. Seas still fairly flat and cloudless skies.

Highlights:  We're now 14 degrees south and have yet to experience the true trade winds normally found north of 20 south. Consequently, we are making our way forward at an average of 5 kts SOG. At 120 miles per day it will now take us about 14 days to reach Brazil. Our weather faxes are showing us that we're stuck in the middle of a large south Atlantic high pressure system. Not much we can do about that.  But the days pass easily and the weather is near perfect. We’re all catching up on a lot of reading and long naps.

At this point, all we can do is wait and see if this high moves off and we get some wind filling in from the SE. The only thing that would make this perfect would be to hear the fishing line run out and then reel in a big tuna...

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 was 12 15S, 12 14W  Experiencing the same conditions. Under 10 kts of wind and 4.5-5 kts boat spd. Currently running dual headsails and moving along comfortably. He sends his greetings to his son Terry (he got your e-mail as read to him over the SSB) and can’t wait to see the whole family in the US Virgin Islands.


Feb. 11, 1999, St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 4
Time:   20:00 hrs
Wind: 9-11 kts Variable
COG:   305 deg
SOG:   6-6.5 kts
ETA: February 19-20
Current:   0.5 kts against
Barometric Pressure: 1014 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 146 NM
Position:   Longitude 12 deg 17.40W Latitude 12 deg 51.20S

Conditions: Brief periods of freshening wind in between predominately light winds. Seas and skies calm and clear.

Highlights:  This is certainly shaping up to be on of the more peaceful passages we've had. The conditions are light but very pleasant and there's definitely been no lack of jumping around on deck. We've had no major sail changes, but quite a bit of spinnaker work over the last two days. Subtle shifts in wind direction and speed have the spinnaker going up and down constantly. When the wind is directly behind us, we have it out on a pole. When the wind moves off our starboard quarter, we tack it down to the bow. Then, when it moves behind us again and starts to fold, down it comes. With anything under 8 kts we have to use the lightweight sheets. Then, as the wind increases again, it's back to the heavier sheets. It all keeps us busy, especially because it usually happens at sunrise, sunset or in the middle of the night.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 was 11 03S, 14 17W Same conditions as yesterday - still moving along nicely although a little slower than would be ideal. Nothing happening but a few little ants driving him crazy.


Feb. 12, 1999, St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 5
Time:   20:10 hrs
Wind: 15-20 kts
COG:   296 deg
SOG:   6-7 kts
ETA: February 19-20
Current:   0.5 kts against
Barometric Pressure: 1014 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 142 NM
Position:   Longitude 14 deg 33.79W Latitude 11 deg 40.91S

Conditions: Wind steady at 15-20 knots SE. Wave height has increased slightly to 1.5 meters. After overcast skies this morning, they are now clear.

Highlights:  Early this morning the wind finally decided to pick up to between 15-20 kts on our port quarter. Since it was gusting up to about 24 kts, we didn't want to risk keeping the spinnaker up, so down it came. Up with the main and throw the jenny out on the pole. It's a great rig, but we really need 20+ kts to make any real speed.  At this point, we're still 1200 miles out of Fernando de Noronha, so we'll take anything we can get.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 was 09 49S, 16 19W, 15 kts SE. 6.5 kts SOG. 2-3 meter swell. Nothing else to report today - all is well on Gypsy Spray. Bob has become the Majordomo of the radio schedule. He seems to run the whole show - might have something to do with the fact that he's got no one to talk to all day.


Feb. 13, 1999, St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 6
Time:   20:00 hrs
Wind: 15-17 kts SE
COG:   284 deg
SOG:   7-7.5 kts
ETA: February 19-20
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1013 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 150 NM
Position:   Longitude 16 deg 539.9W Latitude 10 deg 38.65S

Conditions: Wind out of the SE at 15-20 kts. Waves 1-1.5 meters. Overcast again this morning and clearing in the afternoon.

Highlights: Reporting the goings on day in and day out tends to become a little boring, so I'm going to try and mix it up a little. Tonight I just wrote the first thing that came to mind. Let us know what you think.

Life on passage. What can I say? The incredible thing about it is that it's never the same. Every day seems to have a life of it's own. It's usually dictated by all kinds of things. The conditions, people's moods, proximity to land and a host of other variables. It's like a living organism, it reacts to everything that happens around it. It effects you in ways you cannot imagine. It allows you the time to do things that you never seem to have the time for in everyday life. It gives you the time to think and reflect, and it's a better form of therapy than anything that I can think of.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 was 08 27S, 18 17W, 15 kts SE. 7 kts boat speed. 1-1.5 meter swell. Still fishing - lost two fish in one shot when something hit both lures at the same time. All the sails were up and the boat was going too fast. Bob figures the hooks must have pulled right out. Oh well...steak and spaghetti for dinner.


Feb. 14, 1999, St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha, Day 7
Time: 17:30 hrs
Wind: 16-20 kts SE
COG: 284 deg
SOG: 6.5-7.5 kts
ETA: February 19-20
Current: ?
Barometric Pressure: 1012 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 166 NM
Position: Longitude 19 deg 20.57W Latitude 09 deg 59.25S

Conditions: Wind out of the SE at 15-20 kts. Waves 1.5-2 meters. Bright and clear skies.

Highlights: If you read yesterdays update then you know that I mentioned the tendency for every day to be different from the next. Well, I never imagined how true that statement really was until this morning.

It all started early this morning on Bill's watch when, while charging the batteries and the fridge, the alternator decided to stop working. Being that it was the middle of the night, he left it until this morning, upon which time we gave it a thorough looking over. After checking and rechecking the alternator, the regulator, and all the wiring, we determined that the diodes had fried and it was in all probability not going to work again.

What does this mean? Well, in short, we have no power to run anything on the boat. No lights, no instruments and no Autohelm! Suddenly, we are faced with the reality that we are going to have to hand steer the remaining 900 miles to Fernando de Noronha. Add to that the fact that we have no electrics. Basically, all we have is the charge that was left in our service batteries and that’s all folks... Twenty-four point five volts is going to have to last us six days.

We then went about the task of shutting off everything, including the Autohelm and the GPS. Thankfully we do still have our engine, as it runs off a separate 12 volt bank of batteries. Off that system we have wired in a Magellan handheld GPS and a small fluorescent light. Aside from that we still have the ability to charge our fridge and make water if we have to. We've even had to bypass the gas shut off switch in order to use our stove/oven.

To make a bad day worse, as we were all discussing our fate, we heard an enormous ripping sound. We all rushed to the deck, only to watch in horror as our spinnaker was shredded in front of our eyes. It seems a 30 knot gust was a little too much for it to handle. Luckily, we were able to get it on board before it went under the boat.

That was about all the excitement we could handle for one day. Unfortunately, this will be our last update until we arrive in Fernando de Noronha, so check in with us at the end of the week.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 was 06 33S, 20 09W, Didn’t have a chance to talk to him much due to our charging problems, but he reports all is well.


February 22, 1999, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Note from Jeff:  Received word today on my voice mail at work that Out of Bounds has made it safely to Fernando de Noronha.  They were also able to send some stored emails out via PinOak. Here is the collection of past updates.  I expect that the crew will forward more on their arrival later tonight or tomorrow. An added thank you to everyone that took the time to send email inquiring about the situation and well wishes for a safe arrival.  Bob Greymont is safe and well the last the last time they had contact with him on February 20th.

A special thanks to Mike at Jamestown Boat Yard in Rhode Island for his help in the great alternator debacle.  Luckily, Bill and Alex were able to rebuild the alternator once they reached Fernando de Noronha at a little electric shop.

February 17, 1999
Time: 22:41 hrs
Wind: 10-15 kts SE
COG:   292 deg
SOG:   6.5-7.5 kts
ETA:   Feb. 19-20
Current: ?  
Barometric Pressure: 1013 Mb
Distance today: 149 NM
Position: Longitude 024 deg 18.48 W Latitude  07 deg 37.58 S

ALTERNATOR, ALTERNATOR, ALTERNATOR!!!!
We’ve found a bit of a solution but this alternator problem is a still a real pain. Every day, we have to helm for twelve to sixteen hours while we tear apart the battery bank and reinstall the 12 volt engine alternator.  And that’s just to get a small amount of juice into the house batteries.  Then we have to change it back again just to stay charged enough to use auto-von-helm for a short period at night and use the navigation equipment and running lights.

February 15, 1999
Greetings from Apollo 13! We have managed to charge the 24 volt service bank of batteries by splitting it into two 12 volt banks and charging them independently with the "starter" alternator. In short, we have autohelm and very little else. We are lighting the boat with flashlights and sparingly utilizing any other systems.  We should be able to manage until we reach Fernando de Noronha.

We will not be able to send daily updates unless we are communicating for reasons to do with the alternator at which time we will certainly transmit position, speed, etc. It really drains the batteries.

Anyway, all is well and look forward to arriving at Fernando We Needabrewha. (so dubbed)

Position- Lat S. 08.50.41 Lon W. 021.57.49
Speed-   6-7.5 kts.
Wind-     10-15kts SSE
Seas-   Calm >1m
Sky-     Clear
To Go-   698 NM
ETA-     Saturday


February 25, 1999, Caribbean Passage, Day 1
Time:   20:10 hrs
Wind: 7-8 kts SE
COG:   311 deg
SOG:   5-5.5 kts
ETA:   March 9-10th
Current:   .5-1 knot with us
Barometric Pressure: 1013 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 160 NM
Position:   Longitude 33 deg 12.48W Latitude 03 deg 18.16S

Conditions: Not a whole lot of wind and very calm seas.  A very sunny day.

Highlights:  Well... this is it... the final leg to close the circle. YAHOO!!   We departed San Antonio Bay this morning at 09:00 and headed out for the last long passage of our circumnavigation. It will be just under 1900 NM and we expect it to take 10-12 days to reach Barbados. We will be crossing the equator in the next few days and expect the winds to be extremely light due to the doldrums. With any luck we'll have some wind to push us through, although it's not looking good at the moment. We're all always a bit tired the first day of passage, settling in and such, so I'll keep this short and save the good stuff for later.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 19:00 hrs GMT Lat. 6 29N, Lon. 38 11W. 20-25 kts wind on a beam-reach. Cloudy skies. Only had a short conversation due to poor propagation.


February 27, 1999, Caribbean Passage, Day 3
Time:   20:22 hrs
Wind: 14-16 kts SE
COG:   298 deg
SOG:   8.3-8.7 kts
ETA:   March 9-10th
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1010 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 128 NM
Position:   Longitude 36 deg 13.83W Latitude 00 deg 09.43S

Conditions: Winds slowly picking up out of the east to NE. Skies clearing and seas picking up.

Highlights: After raining most of the day under light wind conditions, the clouds began to dissipate and the breeze started to pick up. We are presently flying along on a beam reach at 8-9 kts. If it actually holds for the next 24-36 hrs then we'll have cleared the area along the equator where the doldrums are most often found. After that, it should be smooth sailing all the way to Barbados!

As we are nearly at the equator, there is an old maritime custom still in practice today. When a ship crosses the equator, all persons not having done so before are subject to participate in certain rituals. This ceremony is performed by the ancient God of the sea, King Neptune, as an initiation or rite of passage.

Out of Bounds will be no exception to this old custom. When King Neptune (Bill) makes his appearance as we cross the equator, the humble crew will accept his orders and do as he commands. Only then will they be worthy of passing into the Northern Hemisphere.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 19:00 hrs GMT - Lat. 11 12N, Lon. 48 09W. Winds out of the NE @ 18 kts. Seas flattened out overnight making for great conditions. To quote Bob, "It's been one of the best day's sailing in a long time"


February 28, 1999, Caribbean Passage, Day 4
Time:   17:40 hrs
Wind: 20-25 kts NE
COG:   303 deg
SOG:   6.5-7 kts
ETA:   March 9-10th
Current:   1.5 - 2 knots against
Barometric Pressure: 1008 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 146 NM
Position:   Longitude 38 deg 10.33W Latitude 01 deg 16.72N

Conditions: Winds picked up in the middle of the night to 20-25 kts NE. Seas 2-3 meters and very confused. Skies overcast with periodic sunshine.

Highlights: Although it's a little bumpy at the moment, these are the winds we've been wishing for. It'll take a day or so for both the seas and the swell to settle into a pattern but they are definitely the trade winds and we'll take’em!

As for the ceremony conducted by King Neptune (played by Bill) as we crossed the Equator, it went off without a hitch. Here is what he said as we left the Southern Hemisphere and entered the Northern Hemisphere for the first time since April 1997.

King Neptune's Toast at 00.00.00 Degrees Latitude
The sea 'tis a friend
To which there’s no end
We but steer our course
Made humble by her force

Along we shall go
As the winds they doth blow
From the South to the North
We journey now forth

As we travel the earth
We now transit it's girth
I now give the command
For all here to stand!

And lift up your cup
From which we shall sup
As the oceans do roar
May your spirits now soar

We have crossed the equator
A moment to savor
These are King Neptune's sounds
From the yacht "Out of Bounds"

And with that, we lifted our beers and toasted to crossing the Equator.  We thanked Out of Bounds for carrying us across and King Neptune for looking after us. It was definitely a special occasion, as we NEVER drink on passage.  But, it's not every day you cross the equator on a boat. As for the traditional hazing, egg in your hair is supposed to be good for it, right?

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 19:00 hrs GMT - Lat. 11 53N, Lon. 49 43W. Winds out of the E @ 15 kts. Excitement of the day: The boom-vang let go with a bang, ripping the fitting right out of the mast. Lucky for Bob's wherewithal, as he was able to fix it and continue sailing.

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