Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Storm Stories: First Irene, Now Katia...

 Hurricane Irene really threw our Le Pingouin Summer Tour off track and now our finale of the summer sailing is in the hands of Katia. These women are high maintenance and no fun! I am grateful that Irene spared us any damage, but that was not without a lot of prep and loads of help from friends.

As I arrived in Newport aboard Le Pingouin, after brief visits to New York and Boston, it was time to get ready for some swank hospitality and sailing during the Bucket Regatta. We were not an entry in the regatta, but had plans to take sponsors out on the water and view the amazing fleet of 100+ foot yachts. It was to be a VIP weekend full of sailing, parties and schmoozing. Well, Irene didn’t like that idea and sent the mega yachts sailing for cover in Maine and poor LP and I in Newport to await the unknown voracity of the storm ahead.

I decided to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, following the sage words of Mayor Bloomberg. This is not an easy task when the subject at hand is a 60-foot light weight carbon sled weighing in at only 8000 tons and boasting a mast of neatly 100 feet. We decided to take everything off the boat we could to reduce windage. This involved removing all the sails, lazy jacks, and wind instruments. We entered storm track mode!
We tied LP off the dock at the Newport Shipyard between pylons so she was suspended in the basin. The process was nerve racking and took a lot of extra hands. I am mostly a crew of one these days, so I was grateful to have some temporary crew support in the form of local friends and Newport Shipyard’s great team. The storm was not as bad as forecast. The storm surge definitely happened and we did see 50 knots and gusts a bit higher, but LP hung in there and handled it well. After a full day of watching and waiting, we faced putting LP back together and readying ourselves for the penultimate leg of the summer tour - Newport to Bermuda.

Let me introduce Katia. She sounds nice but is unpredictable, just like most of her friends. As I prepare this morning, loading provisions and fuel, the intent is to sail to Bermuda, unless Katia gets in the way. Danny Havens will join me as crew and our two guest crew onboard include Shana Bagley of California and Jay Nadelson of Florida. They are fired up for the ride and have helped a great deal in the preparations.

Katia looks like she will form into a major hurricane and might affect our plans to get to Bermuda. If she grows into the bruiser she looks to be, our destination may be altered. If she heads toward the U.S. coast we will likely keep the bow pointed to the tropical shores of Bermuda (although my family is in Charleston and that could be stressful). If she heads for Bermuda, I’ll either be headed home or back to Newport. We’ll error on the side of caution. I am usually telling people we don’t have an ETA only a destination, but in this case the destination is a bit unknown as well. Be nice to us Katia! Stay tuned for more news as we throw the dock lines off for the next adventure.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Awaiting Irene in Newport

I am here in Newport, RI with Le Pingouin, awaiting the brunt of hurricane Irene. So far so good. We have her tied down very well and the Newport Shipyard has been a great help, along with many local friends that chipped in to get us ready. Now it is a waiting game. We will be updating throughout today with photos and notes as the situation allows. Please check in for the latest news at


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On the Water Again - Headed to NYC

I left Newport about 24 hours ago sailing with Tom Haycock. He is a fellow solo sailor hailing from the UK, who owns a mini transat and works on boats like Bandit and Tribe. It has been a good sail so far and we anticipate arriving in New York by this evening. I haven’t sailed into New York Harbor since my 2002/3 campaign with Tommy Hilfiger. I’m certain it will bring back memories of the summer of 2002 when I lived in the city for 3-4 months doing non-stop client entertainment and media sails. We would sail down the Hudson for a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty and then back to the dock, or head out to the Jersey shore to showcase the massive TH sails along the beach. It was busy and fun, but a bit overwhelming at the time with a newborn child in the intense non-stop action of New York and prep for the Around Alone race. I look forward to a brief stay for media visits and catching up with a few friends.

We’ll be at the North Cove Marina before heading off to Boston on Aug 12. There is still time to join us onboard to experience offshore sailing on an Open 60. Here’s the deal:

·         2 slots remaining for NY to Boston transit: August 12-14, this one will be a fun weekender!
·         Limited space remaining on Boston to Newport transit: August 22-24
·         Limited space remaining for Newport to Bermuda: August 29 - Sept 3
·         4 berths available or one on one double-handed sailing from Bermuda to Charleston: Sept 6 – 10

I’ll keep you posted as we get to New York and continue the Le Pingouin Summer Tour!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It is August and you may feel like summer is quickly coming to an end. Not so fast! There is still time to enjoy the sweet freedom of summer. Come sail with me aboard one of the fastest boats in the world! There is limited space for individuals and small groups to take off on Le Pingouin, the Open 60 speed machine which recently took 1st Place honors in the VELUX 5 Oceans race. Options range from sail training to corporate events and include visits to Newport, New York, Boston, Bermuda and Charleston. Don't miss out!
Sail one-on-one honing your sailing skills and experiencing the thrill of manning the helm of an Open 60 speed machine; or share the experience with fellow sailors for a full day on the water or taking off on a transit to various northeast ports or Bermuda. SEE FULL DETAILS:

Looking for an exceptional platform for client hospitality this summer that will leave a memorable impact? Please take a moment to consider this unique opportunity to showcase your brand and entertain key clients, new business prospects, employees and media. Options include corporate sailing outings, dockside receptions, and speaking engagements. SEE FULL DETAILS   

Cheers, Brad