Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Girls

Ian had a couple friends from home, Andrea Beldyga and Sydney Ball, come to visit for a couple weeks. During their visit they enjoyed themselves to the fullest. They were able to see a live performance by Fatboy Slim, a popular DJ throughout Europe as well as the United States. The following night the three of them went to a beach club until 8:00 in the morning. Once everyone returned to the boat and went to sleep, Brad and Suzanne began moving towards Spain. We set anchor outside a small island fishing village for the night.
The following morning we pulled anchor and made it to Spain in the early afternoon. We pulled into port for the next couple days. Ian, Sydney, and Andrea managed somehow to hitch hike back to Portugal to see their friends from Club NAU one last time.
The next pint of anchor was something else to take in. We were entertained with a parade of fishing boats and fireworks. The fireworks were launched from less than 100 yards from the boat.


We are sorry for the delay on keeping everyone up to date on our travels.

We spent a few weeks anchored along the beachfront in Portimao, Portugal. During the time we found a nice location to relax along the beach, (Club NAU). It was more like a house without any walls, a beautiful view of the beach, and furniture made of pillows. There we met people from all around the world, whom we are trying to keep in touch with for possible future travels. The crew was also invited to celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Club NAU. The party included entertainment such a complete Jazz band as well as an electric violinist playing along side of a DJ. We all enjoyed ourselves that night, some may even say we had too much fun.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Evergreen has completed the transatlantic crossing and is resting comfortably in Lagos, Portugal

Brad and the crew,

Thanks for having me. It is something special you have going on. 3 very different characters on a 42ft boat that have tons of hospitality for everyone joining. There hasn't been a moment that we didn't feel at home.

This week has been tremendous. Nobody would have thought a crossing could be this easy going:

- Patrick blended in as if he has always been around.

- The wind has been so favourable to us that we only needed to jibe 2 times in a whole week
- We were able to keep the speed up and had record breaking days

- Waves have taken us all the way

- The fresh catches were a blessing and Suzanne made wonderful meals of them

It is hard to believe we caught two fresh tuna at the same time; half an hour later we had Sushi on our plate!!!

We saw Orca whales swim under the boat

Dolphins were a daily treat

The Evergreen has shown that she is more than a sea worthy ship; a warm welcome home and a fun place to be at.

I'll be watching you on this trip and am glad I could be a part of it. I hope to get back soon.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Evergreen is bound for the mainland!

We are making final preparations for the last leg of our transatlantic crossing and plan to leave this afternoon.

Brad's last bag arrived today after being lost somewhere along the way. The crew is complete (Rik arrived with Brad and Ian picked up Patrick, a "local American"); the boat is ready.

Ian had a fantastic week running with the bulls, meanwhile he got good at it, and hanging out with his new friends from the military base. We all got a taste of it yesterday and very much appreciated it. Thank you, Julie, for having us around. Omar, from Texas, took some fantastic photos of Ian "teasing" the bulls.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Praia Da Vitoria, Terciera, Azores

To all of our faithful followers, please accept our most sincere apologies for the lapse in entries. Thank you Lisle for taking the blog reigns while you were here, you left some big shoes to fill. Thank you JD for all of your hard work in Mobile and for all you taught us while you were here. To Vicky and Anita, we are truly disappointed that your visit was cut short by travel delays, but we were very happy to see you in the short time you were here. We enjoyed having all of you around more than you probably realize. Evergreen is on the island of Terciera. Our skipper has gone home to attend a wedding and Ian and Suzanne are left to our their own devices. Ian is off exploring the festival that is occurring on the other end of the island and Suzanne is taking advantage the local beaches and some rare and much appreciated alone time. We are looking forward to welcoming our next crew member, Rik. He is from Belgium and has been participating in the Mac races with us for the last several years. We are planning to leave the Azores for Portugal when Brad and Rik arrive next week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Horta Day 5

We have been enjoying the scenery and food of Portugal.
The island of Faial is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide.
JD took his flight out today and Lisle will leave on Friday. Additional crew would help for the 800 mile trip to the mainland. Feel free to volunteer.
It is a tradition and also required for good luck that each boat paint something on the harbour walls in Horta. Two of the pictures show how the harbour walls look.
The top picture is the volcano at Pico island as seen from Horta.
Horta is the only major city on Faial. The airport is about 6 miles away and about 17000 people live on the island. Brad is planning to move the boat and additional 150 miles to the island of Sao Miguel. This island has a population of 200000+. The entire island chain has about 250,000 people.
Best wishes to all.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Horta Day 1

We spent a night at rest and most of the next day as well. Brad enjoys a brew at the Sport Bar. This is a traditional stop for all who have sailed the atlantic. We were with many of the ARC (Atlantic Ralley Cruisers) sailors who have also made the crossing from Bermuda. Our harbour neighbor Mary P from Kensale, Ireland was also sailed from Bermuda. There trip however was a bit different from ours. During our passage we were warned to stay south of the 37th lattitude and sailed 120 miles south of course. We never saw above 25knots of wind. The Mary P sailed north of us and were in 20 foot seas and Gale force winds. The Crew of Mary P, Neal, Andrew and Jeffery had waves wash over the boat and fill the cockpit to their knees. They broke their boom and ripped gromets from their mainsail. Brad and crew experienced a much milder Atlantic.
The city of Horta is located on the Island of Faial about 900 nautical miles from mainland Portugal. Similar to our Hawaiian Islands being west of the contiguous 48.
These islands are where Christopher Columbus provisioned for his trip to the new world.
Pan Am Airways landed here to refuel on its early flights to the US.
The transatlantic cables were routed through here.
Many of the men who Whale hunted came from the Azores.
These are volcanic islands and the island of Faial last erupted in 1957-58 in the fall and winter.
Thi island of Faial is a shor ferry ride from the island of Pico a volcanic mountain over 7,000 feet above sea level. We were very pleased that our GPS properly located the site. You can see Pico in the picture taken form a city street in Horta looking across the harbour.
Our plan is to clean and wash both ourselves and the boat before John and I leave so we have plenty to do. Will communicate again soon. Best Wishes to all.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Landfall in Portugal

After 17 days without the sight of land, Portugal's Faial Island looked beautiful to us all.***
Our cycle of 4 hours shifts followed by 6 hours off duty were so ingrained that the trip moved rythmycially along under all conditions. When are you on next? Did you sleep well? These were the common questions answered by all. The biggest events were Suzanne's Sunday pot roast and Sunday meat loaf dinners.***
The open Atlantic has hours of beautiful emptyness punctuated by moments of sightings like porpoise, whale, jellyfish, a freighter or a fishing boat. The porpoise joined us so a picture is included. They jelly fish don't move so we included a pictue. The whales however, were bound elsewhere and did not stop for a picture. The boats were visible at night moving away.***
The nights without moonlight were erily dark and when the night was cloudy it was difficlut to orient yourself. The horizon disappeared and you floated in an empty darkness impossible to describe.***
We have moved into a small group of people who have made the crossing. You have watched us make the trip and know what only a small group of people have experienced. The middle 3 pictures are a sample of our daily views.***
Did you know anything about the Azores before this trip? let us know. Did you look them up. Is Portugal a new place for you as it is for us?***
The finish time was 1:31pm eastern daylight savings time at the waypoint. We actually docked for fuel and customs at 1:52pm eastern daylight savings time. 5:42pm portugal time.*** More about the Azores later. The locals use a short a sound and the o is pronounced like a u.***
Your comments are appreciated.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bermuda Departure

The crew enjoyed a final meal, on land, and are preparing for our ocean crossing. The GPS indicates 1,793 nautical miles to the harbour entrance for Horta on Maial Island in the Azore Islands of Portugal. The winds are currently northeast and our direction is east northeast.
We have decided to conduct a contest among our followers. If you list yourself as a follower and log in to the comments section.
You should list your first and last name as well as your home address. You may guess the estimated time of arrival at our waypoint. We will publish the finish time and date. We will list the winner and the crew will award a prize. Anyone can get involved. You have until Midnight May 22nd eastern daylight time. The entry should be in the comments section of this blog posting. We hope you can follow along and be the prize winner. The prize will be announced after our arrival.
It is currently 1pm, eastern daylight time and we anticipate leaving harbour within the next 2 hours. You can follow us on SPOT in the track us section. We purchased new batteries for the SPOT just in case. We must complete final loading and clear customs for departure.
A clue for you. We left our slip in Conch Inn Harbour at 11:30am Wednesday for the 738 nautical mile trip to the Bermuda waypoint. We arrived at 5:30pm Monday.
Good luck from the crew and best wishes to all

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bermuda day 7

The decision has been made. We leave tomorrow Monday May 18 for the Azores. We expect the trip of 1750 nautical miles to require 18 to 24 days. You will be able to watch our progress. We are excited about the next step. A very big step for us all. Young Ian turned 27 at midnight last night he is on the moped in Hamilton with Rose a Young lady form a nearby sailboat.*****I promised pictures of St George and these simply do not do it justice.***We all enjoy having John along. His experience and agility make him a valuable asset for the trip. His even disposition, joyful mood and willingness to do whatever is asked of him are respected by us all. He surprised Ian when during his down time a sail change was made. Johm popped up and began the work before Ian had walked to the bow. John enjoys telling us stories about his service in Vietnam and his sailing adventures on the great lakes.*******Tomorrow will be cast off day and although we have no planned departure time there are always a number of projects to be completed. Our course is about 60degrees on the compass but with winds coming from 20 to 40 degrees we will begin with a beat or windward path.****Best wishes to all The Crew of Evergreen:
Captain Brad Faber
Crewmen Ian Faber , John DeWyse, Suzanne Bickel, And Lisle Conly
Best wishes to you all

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bermuda Day 6

At last the wind shows signs of moving to the north. It appears the low is beginning to move. If it moves enough we will likely leave port on Monday. Time will tell.***Ian and Suzanne went diving off one of the Bermuda Reefs to a shipwreck. The wind however caused the wave action to stir the silt and sand limiting visibility. They enjoyed themselves but did not see as much as they had hoped. The local yacht club invited us to join them this evening for a grilled fresh fish dinner with dance and live music to follow. It begins at 6:30pm western Atlantic time or 5:30 eastern daylight savings time. We were told the fish is excellent and well worth the admission.***We are all anxious to leave for Horta soon and hope the weather will cooperate.***The picture is of St George Harbour from the south. Evergreen is parked against the sea wall to the left most side of the picture. It may require a maginifying glass. Hope you can pick us out.***Brad has been very diligent about keeping the boat in top condition with careful checks of the equipment on a regular basis. He truly enjoys sailing and wants us all to enjoy the trip and return safely. We have 4 EPIRB's aboard that send emergency radio signals, Single Side Band Radio and VHF Marine radio's as well as a 10 man life raft. Brad added both an electric and manual water maker as well as sufficient stores to carry us for a few days. He has both paper and electronic charts of the Islands of the Azores and its harbors. He has planned long and well for this trip.*** We have filled the water tanks with over 160 gallons and are carrying 80 gallons of fuel. We hope to make it to Horta within 18 to 21 days of departure.***Tomorrow I will send pictures of the town square in St George the former capital of Bermuda.***Best wishes to all from the Evergreen crew.

Bermuda Day 5

Once again we wake to clear skies and warm weather. The Island is surrounded by reefs that have taken many ships to their graves. The British heavily defended these Islands from the Americans,Spanish and Portuguese. The were used to assisted the south with a naval blockade during the civil war. The US aided their defense during the first and second world wars. Coal was shipped here to supply the British Navy as well as food and armaments. Not log ago a building destroyed by a hurricane was cleared away and coal from that civil war era was unearthed. There are several forts with cannon saved as historic sites throughout the island.***Local residents have gardens and grow vegetables and fruits for local consumption.***The Island is described by the museum director as a glorified sand dune. The limestone rock (calcium carbonate) and sandstone predominate.*** John DeWyse and Suzanne celebrated with the locals our second day here and now everywhere we go people call to them and ask how they are doing. They apparently celebrated long and hard at three different locations. John has been strangely quiet the last couple days.***The winds continue form the Northeast a most unusual and unfavorable situation.***There are over 30 boats waiting to travel from here to the Azores. The group is called ARC for Atlantic Rally Cruisers. They will leave Bermuda on Wednesday. Brad has decided we will leave with this group. We will be in communication with them as we cross. So Evergreen will have quite a bit of company.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bermuda day 4

Well today was payoff for the time of arrival. The picture was taken by our waiter after dinner. The shirt, as you can see, is being worn proudly.******Ian had a great first night in port. He found someone his age and they went to the opposite end of the island for a party with employees of the cruise ships. He returned at 4:30 in the morning full of excitement about the nights events. He is much younger than the rest of the crew and manages well with all the older folks. He is agile and handles sail changes and the spinnaker very well. It is clear that he loves sailing and the adventure of going across the Atlantic. He told me about a sail change he was making when a wave took the boat from behind and the bow dropped 8 feet. He was suspended in the air momentarily then dropped to the deck. He landed on his feet and continued working however it was a heart in your throat experience. This happened on the trip down from Pensacola.*****We look forward to our departure next week, but the island is beautiful and worthy of the time to see it.***Ian and I visited some caves. The picture does not do it justice. Every where you go the ocean views are spectacular.***The roads are paved and the streets are clean. It is a very beautiful place with a great deal of history. Best wishes to you all

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bermuda May 13 day 3

Hello to all
We all rented mopeds to travel this British colony. The colony of Bermuda was established in 1609 and is thus over 400 years old. It is about 30 miles long with St George at the east end and the Royal Navy dock yard near the town of Somerset at the west end. In between is the largest city Hampton. Cruise ships dock at all three ports. One of the pictures with the mopeds was taken at the fort by the Royal Navy dock yard. One of the pictures show part of the crew looking at the Hampton Harbour. The third picture is of some of the homes on the island. The homes are brightly colored it was traditional to paint them with whale blood and red clay but today they use all the colors of the rainbow. The roofs are made of limestone and slate. They are painted white and all the rainwater runs to catch basins and cisterns in the homes. There are no potable wells or natural springs on the island. Rainwater is the principal source of drinking water for each home. The entire island is clean and well maintained. It is a stark contrast to the Bahamas. ****** Winds are still blowing from the east at 15+ thus holding off a bit is still a good idea.*****Both in the Bahamas and on Bermuda the money is equivalent to the US dollar. It is an even exchange.***Best wishes to our followers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bermuda Day 2

We woke to the sound of rain as the low pressure system is having its effects on Bermuda weather. We are on hold for the Azores trip until this low moves off a bit. One of the pleasant surprises on our Bahama to Bermuda trip were the evening meals prepared by Suzanne. She takes pride in her preparations and seasonings. The conditions for the meal preparation are less than ideal. You look at a tall pot on the stove and see it tilted in at 25 to 35 degrees and automatically reach out to stop it from falling however it is level the boat is heeling but your eyes deceive you. Suzanne would slide across the deck holding 3 things at once and manage to season and prepare excellent meals. Chicken, pasta, rice, beans and hearty meals for all with bread and vegetables hot off the stove. She does this while holding her required helm duties. Brad makes omelets that make a hearty breakfast and sandwiches, cheese and various foodstuffs are available thought the day. Today's picture is simply a view of what we saw for the last few days.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We have reached Bermuda and cleared customs. The crew is pleased to stop for a few days before setting off to Horta in the Azores. We did well with food supplies and water. As we neared the eastern end of Bermuda we were greeted by a school of porpoise. They ran alongside the boat and hovered near the bow for a few minutes. We are now staying at Pennows Wharf, St Georges Super Yacht Terminal, St Georges Harbour. The attached picture gives you the view from Evergreen. The crew each submitted the anticipated arrival time and it was placed in a sealed envelope. This Idea came from John DeWyse. The winner would receive a dinner and t-shirt from the others at trips end. We started at a bit after 11:30 on Wednesday and ended our journey at 5:30 pm on Monday. Lisle won within 90 minutes. You can also see the view from aboard for the last few days. Each day 1 or more flying fish landed on the deck. The sizes ranged from 2 to 8 inches in length. They can soar several feet above the waves and change direction in flight.
We tried fishing in 16,000 feet deep water and were greeted with a catch to big to haul in. The 50 pound test line snapped. Perhaps that was for the best. Will add more after a good days rest.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It has been a great day for warm weather and clear skies. The wind is steady from the southeast and that bodes well for our start tomorrow. Postings to this blog can only be done when we have a good internet connection. The spot device is turned on when we start moving and turned off when we stop. It is not however an internet connection. **** We are here for the third night tonight with Bermuda in our sites 7 to 10 days away. Ian and Suzanne went scuba diving on Monday with captain Keith scuba dive master. Keith grew up in Toronto and moved to Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island at the age of 17. He informed his divers that Abaco Island Reef was one of the most beautiful in the world with caves and fish of many sorts. Ian had such a good time that he signed on for a second dive today. We were lucky enough to locate Mr Burroughs who as a skilled technician made the repairs and allowed us to look forward to cold food. JD spent the day riding around the island on a rented bike while Brad and Lisle worked under the noonday sun. Suzanne and Lisle had a wonderful time shopping at the grocery to provide some since of quality in our food selection. We invited Captain Keith for dinner last night and he enjoyed the Mahi-Mahi salad. Her pronounced it excellent. We are staying at the Conch Inn and Marina where both Sun Sail and Moorings have rental desks. Hope these pictures let you know things are going well. We had the boat pumped dry and filled the water tanks. The cubbyholes are full of food and we have just enough room to get around. The weather looks promising so we wish you all well and look forward to contacts again in a few days.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What a beautiful day in paradise. We spent the last two nights here in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island with plans to leave for Bermuda on Wednesday.
On Saturday May 2nd we left Nassau, New Providence Island, at 5:00am the wind was at 15 knots form the east and we were able to make 6 knots for the first 7 hours. The wind began to fall off and so we turned on the diesel. Suzanne suggested we begin to fish and set out a floating lure. As we approached Little Harbour, Abaco Island, the depth went form 12,900ft to 70ft and the line began to sing. JD pulled in the second line and we landed a 51 inch Mahi-Mahi. We had no weigh scale but guess the weight at 35 pounds.
We spent a pleasant evening anchored near Little Harbour. May 3rd we traveled north to Hope Town and then elected to go on to Marsh Harbour. We needed to replace the refrigerant in the cooler as it has no pressure and is keeping things cool but not cold. Marsh Harbour has an expert who is supposed to be here tomorrow morning and make things right. Hope you enjoy the attached picture we enjoyed the steaks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waiting on weather in Warderick Wells, Exumas

Low and behold, it's blowing like stink AGAIN. We've been enjoying a very beautiful, protected anchorage in Warderick Wells Cay. It's pretty secluded here; no restaurants or liquor stores and we're running dry in the adult beverage department :(. The view is well worth the sacrifice, however. We are planning to shove off in the morning to head back toward Nassau to pick up JD and Lisle. From there we may stop in the Abacos before heading for Bermuda and the Azores. Once again the internet service is weak and slow, so we'll post more photos when we get closer to civilization.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exumas here we come!

After a wonderul stay on Andros we are preparing to leave this morning for the Exumas. We have met some great people on the dock (Kenny, Richard and Bill) and had the pleasure of learning to dive for, clean and prepare conch. Our diving and fishing adventures have resulted in several wonderful meals prepared dockside with our new friends. We really enjoyed their company and hope they had as much fun as we did. We were fortunate enough to have spent a week with Vicky, Alec and Lauren and will miss their company (hopefully the bug bites heal quickly).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Paradise at last!

We made it to the Bahamas (Cat Cay in the Bimini's and currently in Chubb Key in the Berry Islands) safe and sound after a beautiful night sail under the most amazing full moon you could imagine. The water here is indescribably blue. We will be heading to Nassau before dawn to meet up with Vicky, Alec and Lauren and are looking forward to our first (hopefully of many) visitors. We caught a barracuda (Brad suffered a wound in the battle) and enjoyed eating a large grouper for lunch yesterday. There's something pretty cool about eating your own fresh catch while anchored off a small, secluded beautiful island. We're trying very hard to post some pictutures, but the internet down here is slow at best. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bahamas Bound!

We are finally underway and headed for the Bahamas. So far it's been a beautiful sail. 15-20 knot winds with moderate seas. Both sails are reefed and we're cruising comfortably at about 6.5-7 knots. We expect to arrive in the Bimini's around 7:00 tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 3, 2009

So close, yet so far away from "paradise"!

We have been unexpectedly delayed from continuing on to the Bahamas by engine complications. Upon routinely checking the oil, we have discovered seawater in it. Not a good thing. Brad replaced the muffler, but the problem wasn't resolved. He has had to drain and flush the oil countless times to prevent salt damage. The source of contamination is a complete mystery and we can't get a diesel mechanic to come until Monday. You can imagine the frustration involved with this dilemma. In the meantime, we are working very hard at "keeping our chins up" and making the best of the situation. The wind is howling again today, but is expected to die off tomorrow.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We're dangerously close to leaving this popsicle stand!

We are still in Marathon after 3 weeks waiting for parts to finish all of our last minute projects (wind vane installation, CNG to propane stove conversion, leaky bowsprit, new Skymate weather forecasting thingamabobby, etc.), and for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream into the Bahamas. We have all developed allergies in the last few days. The wind has been blowing like stink for weeks now. Some mornings it feels like the movie "Ground Hog Day". We have been to almost every restaurant on the island and found that the Lobster Reuben at Keys Fisheries is our favorite. LIFE IS GOOD!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Ocean Dive

Well we survived our first dive without any complications. It was wonderful being under the surface and seeing all the new and beautiful things the underworld has to offer. We saw hundreds of new and interesting creatures and fish for the first time face to face. What an experience, Suzanne and Ian will be completing their second dive tomorrow morning and will then be certified divers.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Scuba Dive Training

Well we are still here in Marathon (Florida Keys) as you can see Suzanne and Ian have been taking their scuba diving course. The two of them will be taking their first of 2 dives in the open ocean tomorrow morning. Hopefully all goes well for them. They have completed all their bookwork and pool training in the last couple days. We ran into a couple problems with the engine yesterday morning but nothing that cannot be solved. If you are wondering, the engine still runs fine, but if you would like to know more just ask. We are more than willing to explain. We are still enjoying the warm weather down here and are looking forward to moving on towards Puerto Rico and seeing the Bahamas.

Monday, March 16, 2009

OK all you voyeurs out there, we want photos of those of you who were polite enough to sign in, but for the rest of you who are following us and complaining about the lack of info, we are checking in on you as often as you are checking in on us, so put a face to the name and log-in and for God's sake leave us some comments. Our diving classes start tomorrow and Brad just cannot wait for his first 100 ft. dive (lol). The instructor told him his mustache may make his mask leak so he's not very happy. We will add more photos of our dive training tomorrow night.