Odyssey's Journal

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Odyssey anchored in Belfast, Maine
Odyssey anchored in Belfast, Maine

 2017 Float Plan

Our 2017 Float Plan begins with a 4,000 mile voyage to Cork, Ireland departing Sarasota the beginning of May. Captain Jim Mobley will be joining us aboard for the crossing helping us with mechanical and cosmetic maintenance, navigational planning and watch keeping while underway. Our goal is to have Odyssey fully prepared to depart from Palm Beach by May 1st, and we will get under way at the first acceptable weather window thereafter.

The first leg is the 250 mile journey to the East Coast of Florida to Palm Beach Gardens where we will spend a week with final system inspections at James Knight’s Yacht Tech, who will already have preformed significant mechanical, electrical and cosmetic maintenance and new installations during the months of December and January.

The Second Leg is 880 miles from West Palm Beach to Bermuda, which will take under 6 days. We will stop in Bermuda to refuel in St. Georges, insure the weather for the next leg is acceptable and do whatever maintenance may be necessary.

The Third Leg is a 1,700 mile run from Bermuda to the Azores, which will take about 10 days. This is the longest leg of the trip, but typically the calmest, with average seas less than 4’. Again we will stop to refuel in Horta, insure the weather for the next leg is acceptable and do whatever maintenance may be necessary.

The Fourth Leg is a 1,200 mile run from the Azores to Cork, Ireland which should take about 7 days. As we head North the sky’s will get greyer, and we will move into the westerly’s with higher seas. June is the best time of year to make this trip and average seas will be about 5’, but higher in inclement weather. Nothing Odyssey cannot comfortably transit.

We have reservations to spend two weeks or so with Odyssey moored at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, Ireland, which is the oldest yacht club in the world! Nancy and I plan to take a road tour of Ireland. While I spent many years in Ireland in business, there is much of the island I have never seen, and of course I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit old friends and colleagues in Castlebar and Dublin.

I find that float plans change on a regular basis for many reasons: Weather, Maintenance, or simply liking a place and deciding to stay longer than planned. So while we don ‘t have firm plans at this time, it is possible that from Crosshaven we will cruise along the southern and eastern coasts of Ireland and cross the Irish Sea to Scotland. We might moor for 10 days and take a 7-day road trip exploring the interior of England, Scotland and Wales before transiting the 26 locks of the Caledonian Canal, through Loch Ness to the East Coast of Scotland arriving in the beginning of August.

From here we might make a two-day passage across the Irish Sea to the West Coast of Norway and spend the first two weeks of August visiting the Fiords and working our way along the South Coast to Oslo. We could spend a week moored in Oslo exploring and then take a 10 cruise down the coast to Copenhagen, Denmark. The Danish Archipelago which consists of over five hundred islands, so there are many harbors to stop and explore!

Again we could take a week to explore the local area while moored in Copenhagen before beginning our 21-day cruise to Amsterdam through the Kiel Canal.

We plan to arrive at the new Amsterdam Marina www.amsterdammarina.com on October 1st where we will lay over for the winter.

We expect to return to the states for the Holidays and then, having Odyssey as our base, explore Western Europe by train in the early spring before departing for our next adventure

Don & Nancy

Odyssey' s Blog


On August 7th, with an excellent weather window at hand, we bid Scotland, the land of Wallace and Castles, farewell.

The Wallace Monument and views from the Top overlooking the sight of the Battle of Sterling Bridge

and Stirling Castle  birthplace of Mary Queen of Scotts.  Stirling Castle is remarkable and changed my perception of Medieval Castles being dark and dreary places!  It is being fully restored to its original opulence at the time of Mary’s birth.  The ceiling of the kings bedroom is adorned with hand carved oak disks known as the “Sterling Heads”.  Read the article about them in the Stirling Castle link.

We headed out across the North Sea at 1600 hrs past Fort George and a large Oil Platform that had just been towed in and parked close to shore by a pair of these 250’ Tug Boats.  This was just a couple of hours after Don & Kim Macaulay arrived.  With the fair weather forecast we changed our destination to Bergen about 100 miles north of Stavanger where we had planned to make landfall.  While this would add a half a day to our two day journey, everyone we had talked to told us this was a part of the country we should not miss, and we are glad we did!

The trip across the North Sea got a little bumpy one night, but otherwise was quite pleasant.  This Destroyer, guarding this Air Craft Carrier, came by quite closely to check us out!

We crossed into the Eastern Hemisphere at 2:15 on August 8th, having traveled 5,400 miles since departing Sarasota! During the night, lit by the full moon, bright lights aboard, and the flaming towers high above, we passed numerous oil rigs.   We made landfall the following morning, August 9th at 0930hrs, and found a perfect secluded anchorage for the night later that afternoon!

The following morning we headed up to Bergen.  It rains here all but 60 days a year, and today was not one of those!  We did find a birth a the quay right in the center of town, and close to the famous Fish Market.

A friend of Don’s son Ryan, Jan Erik Fredriksen has an exclusive travel business in Iceland and Norway and bills himself as an "Adventure Travel Evangelist”  His son Matt came by the boat just after we docked and joined us for lunch, and made dinner reservations for us at Cornelius.  Jan Eric joined us for Dinner which was fun and informative!

From Bergen we headed south, with stops in small towns and quiet anchorages along the way toward Stavanger.  We wanted to stop in Haugesund  but it was packed with a festival and sail boat races going on and no room for us at the dock.  We continued onto Skudenshavn, which was a pleasant surprise and where we had a nice dinner ashore!

Of course we did a bit of fishing along the way, but even with the best of fisherman aboard, and NO Bananas, we had little to show for our efforts.

The highlight of the Macaulay’s visit was our visit to Lysefjord.  We had a pleasant night at anchor at the base of the fjord, and early the next morning set out to explore.  

Along the way we launched the dinghy and Jim Mobley took these photos,

But we had to leave and head to Stavanger,  from where Don & Kim had to depart the following morning.

Stavanger is the capital of the Norwegian Oil Industry, but there are signs of this goldmine everywhere.  Oil was discoverd in the North Sea in 1969 and has transformed Norway. After the oil platform disaster of the Alexander L. Keilland, which had been built in France, Norway brought the construction of almost all equipment “In House” with a great emphasis of safety.  The country has no national debt, and the state oil fund is over 7 trillion dollars!  Once senses the national pride, with flags flying from almost every summer cottage we pass.  The Norwegian Petroleum Museum was fascinating and gave voice to the dilemma the country faces between Climate Change and the Oil Industry which is the source of it’s wealth.

60% of the nations electricity is produced by Hydro Electric Power, with the goal of increasing that to 67%, and they are not going to run out of rain water any time soon!  Wind generation is also growing and very evident.  Food is expensive, especially in restaurants, and taxes are high especially on Fuel.  Significant tax incentives are in place, and Tesla is doing very well here supplying electric cars….. and there are some local versions too!

We are currently working our way to Oslo, about 350 miles from Stavanger along the southern coast.  Much less rain, and able to run inside the barrier islands most of the way with small towns and summer cottages it is very scenic although less stunning than the fjords.

Fair Winds & Following Seas,

Don & Nancy

Current Blog Article: Odyssey-Journal---Norway---August-20--2017


SUBJECT: Re: Odyssey-Journal---Norway-Part-1---August-20--2017 Sent from my iPhone > On Aug 21, 2017, at 11:35 AM, Odyssey''s Journal (www.odyssey5546.net) wrote: > Thanks a million!! Do you have the "back issue" on Ireland available still? If you do, I would love to see it. John McGrath. PS: Please give Captain Jim my regards. >

 John  8/21/2017


SUBJECT: Re: Odyssey-Journal---Norway-Part-1---August-20--2017 Thanks for your updates - marvellous content. I may have registered twice or three times. I do receive 3 updates on this subject. man. 21. aug. 2017 kl. 17.35 skrev Odyssey''s Journal (www.odyssey5546.net) < blogcomments-4OH4D@[...]>: >

 Erik Andersen  8/21/2017


SUBJECT: Re: Odyssey-Journal---Norway-Part-1---August-20--2017 Another great post, Don & Nancy! You are amassing tales & adventures to last a lifetime. Sometime when we next meet I will share with you my crossing of the North Sea in 1969! My own little memory/adventure! All the best, Patty Sent from my iPhone > On Aug 21, 2017, at 11:35 AM, Odyssey''s Journal (www.odyssey5546.net) wrote: > >

 Patricia Di Pan  8/21/2017