Journey with Caravel - we ran away to sea
by Carlisle, Fred
pub. by Clarke,Irwin and Co., Canada. 1971 isbn 0-7720-0505-2 - - Maps. Atlantic and regional - - black and white photos between p. 66 and 67 - - Appendix Celestial Navigtion - the Easy Way p. 212-225 - - Glossary p. 226-241 - - 241 p. total
Fred Carlisle had what some would call a mid-life crisis - or re-examination - of how his life was being lived. At age 55 he was a successful insurance salesman in Toronto, Canada. He wanted some adventure in his life, sailing adventure. His wife humored him. They built a A. Piver designed trimaran, (a PI-40) 40 ft long overal beam 22 ft. 6 inches with a mast which stoof 51 ft. above waterline. They named the trimaran Caravel II. At first they used an outboard motor for an auxiliary but later fitted a small diesel. They sold most of their worldly goods and rented out their house, and left Toronto on November 4. Fred, his wife and two young daughters. They sailed across Lake Erie and entered the Erie Canal at at Oswego,NY (took down the mast) and used the canal to get to New York City. There they re-steped the mast and sailed down the coast, mostly in the Intercoastal waterway to Florida. They stayed in a slip, girls enrolled in school for some time. Installed a more reliable diesel auxiliary and sailed to the Bahamas. There they had an adventure in bad weather. Fred seriously injured his hand. (Do not get tangled up in the anchorline when a ton of pressure is on it.) Injury was attended to in a Florida hospital - helicopter flight included, and after a stay in the Bahamas they headed to Bermuda. From there they navigated across the Atlantic past the Echo mid Atlantic weather ship (US vessel) and on to the Azores. From there sailed to England where he visited relatives and the girls were enrolled in school for some months.
The original plan included sailing the North Sea and perhaps the Baltic. That was scrapped due to a careful examinaton of the weather they would probably encounter. They sailed to Gibralter. Again they stayed some time. The girls were semi-enrolled in school there. Again the original plan was to cruise the Mediterranean. After a taste of the unpredictable and wild weather that the Med kicks up they decided to head back across the Atlantic.
From Gibraltar they sailed to Mdiq, Morocco, Ceuta and Tangier in N. Africa then to Agadir on the Atlantic coast. From there they sailed to the Canary Islands. Here they met up with 2 other crews on boats who wanted to cross the Atlantic. They decided to sail in compamy as much as possible, as each crew was strong in some aspect and weak in others. (Do remember this whole voyage was sailed long before GPS was invented and navigation was much more an art than a science.) The sailing in company was marginally successful and was hampered in that they did not all have readios which could talk with one another. All of the boats eventually arrived in Barbados intact.
From there Fred and family sailed along the islands back to Florida and eventually back to Toronto, in early September 1970 after 5 years aboard. The girls were home in Canada for their High School years.
This is a good tale which fairly well explains how they did their adventure, and how a reasonable person could also do so. The authur declares he is not an expert, but he does have real-world practical experience. Honestly put forth - an asset to anyone with the idea to pack up and adopt the sailing life... with family.
The appenix on celestial navigation was probably a lot more useful before the development of inexpensive and dependable GPS navigation. Nontheless it is a good skill to have... just in case... also to wow your friends.
This is a good, fun read. Not at all pompous. Might even be useful.
~ 2016-12-26 ~
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