At left: The Crew for the Atlantic Crossing
John and I attended university together and back in the mid-60's rowed crew on the same team. Little did we know then that our paths would continue to cross.
John was working in Boston in the late '90's and I traveled up there at least once a year on business. So it was just natural that we would hook up for a great beer from Miller, or dinner, or both. We talked about sailing back then and about the dream of sailing across the oceans of the world. Well, Bogie "up and did it!" He bought a solid ocean going sailboat, christened her the Nirvana and proceeded to do a lot of work on her. Then in May of 2003 he commenced his great adventure. Bogie is living his dream.
I was fortunate in that I was able to share a part of the dream by sailing with him on one leg of his journey. I flew over to the Cape Verdes Islands to join Bogie and Nirvana in the port of Palmeira on the island of Sal on November 14th. It's not a real easy place to get to from Milwaukee. I started this journey at 6:30am on Friday morning, November 14th--and arrived on Sal about 42 hours later. But hey, getting there is half the fun!
11/05/2003 Wednesday: As the date for me to fly to Cape Verdes approaches much is happening. Bogie has e-mailed for a number of things, including parts to repair a Furling system on the boat. This is the system that basically rolls up the sail on the front of the boat (the Jib) and lets it out. I was able to find a parts supplier and will have them in my suitcase when I fly out of the 'Burg--Cedarburg, that is.
11/06/2003 Thursday: Before we get too far into the log, I thought you might want to get a feel for the type of boat we are sailing on. Bogie's boat is a Baba 35. You can see some nice pictures of it at: http://www.geocities.com/babaweb1/baba352.htm It is a unique boat with classic lines. My main task today is to clean up my garage before I leave. Kathleen's orders! See you later.
At the right is a picture of Nirvana taken at the end of our trans-Atlantic voyage. Bogie set sail from Boston last May and completed his eastward crossing of the Atlantic in June. He and Nirvana have been sailing on the other side of the pond since then. Here are some notes on Nirvana that Bogie sent me in early November:
"Nirvana, a Baba 35, was built in 1982 so she is very sturdy fiberglass, weighs 21,000 lbs and has a full keel ... very stable in the seaway. Her former owner was a German engineer (One couldn't have asked for more thorough or meticulous maintenance over the years) who owned her from the get go. She has a Perkins diesel with only 2200 hours and a spare prop. I have a wind vane for self steering by Fleming (an Australian company that is well known for their engineering in wind vanes), and two autopilots.
For navigation I have a console GPS and two handhelds, radar, two computer navigation programs (Maptek and C-Map) and a couple of compasses. Communications: SSB, VHF, EPIRB(406 Mhz with gps locator). I maintain Nirvana very carefully and just yesterday in fact, climbed the mast to inspect the rigging and halyard chafe. I have three anchors (not that we'd need them at sea) but a 35# CQR, a 25# Danforth and a 50# fisherman's anchor and 210' of high tensile 5/16 chain ( and 300' of 3/4 anchor rode with 30' of 5/8 chain) for ground tackle. Then , as I mentioned before, an Avon life raft (inspected and certified in April 2003), life rings for throwing, a life sling rigged for getting one back on board and five fire extinguishers on board."
At left: this is a map showing the area of the Atlantic we will start from. Bogie made the seven day sail from the Canary Islands down to the Cape Verde Islands solo. He arrived on the north island of Sal on Thursday evening, November 6th.
According to local lore, when God was satisfied with Creation, and brushed his hands together, the crumbs that fell unnoticed from his fingers into the sea formed Cape Verde.1
The Cape Verde Archipelago consists of nine main islands: Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Sao Nicolau, Sal, Boavista, Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava with a population of 440,000. Cape Verde is an independent republic today, but was a Portuguese possession prior to independence, thus the official language is Portuguese, but the common language is Creole.
The islands were discovered between 1455 and 1461 and were claimed by the Portuguese. Because of the steady Northeast winds, these islands became an important link in the trade route to the Americas. These same trade winds make the islands a good kickoff point for a modern sailing vessel bound for the Caribbean.
1 From: Cape Verde Islands-The Brandt Travel Guide, Brandt Publications 2001
At the left is a map of the Cape Verdes Archipelago showing all the islands and the major towns. Just click on this thumbnail to enlarge it. When done viewing, hit your "Return" button to get back to this page.
Because we posted our position via the internet every day, you could have tracked our progress across the Atlantic by going to an internet site called Ship Trak at http://shiptrak.org . Once you were there you could have just typed in the call sign: kb1jko
This would have opened up a map indicating our current as well as our last 9 positions. It's pretty cool technology. My daughter Melissa had a US 120 Chart and had her second grade class track Captain Ken and Bogie across the Atlantic (I read to them once a month in my captain's hat and have become "Captain Ken" to them). If you did this as well, I hope you enjoyed it. Since Bogie is still out there, sailing his dream, you can still track him on his latest adventure. You can send him an e-mail -- right to Nirvana -- if you use this address:
Please don't send attachments or forward long jokes, etc. This method of communication with the boat utilizes the Single Side Band SSB (Ham Radio) and is limited in file size. Also, Bogie only gets a 30 minute a day allotment on the WinLink server, so just send your message, straight forward and to the point via this e-mail address.
This page was last edited on 03/3/2007