Saturday, December 02, 2006


We received the following email from Kari, Jordan, and Seth asking us some questions about the trip. Seth is a friend of mine back in Kansas City. He was the one that put together the real-time Google Earth tracker for this trip. Because we’ve been asked similar questions by other people, we thought that we would share our responses with everyone:


For Shane and Walid, Questions from Kari, Jordan and Seth:

Do you have to "file a flight" plan to cross the ocean?

If so, with whom?

You don’t have to file a sail plan to cross the ocean. It is recommended that you tell someone about the trip, though. You’ll come and rescue us, right? If we were staying within U.S. coastal waters we would have given our intended route to the Coast Guard. We do have emergency radio beacons that would communicate via satellite if something should go really wrong, however.

What's the longest sailing trip you've taken before this?

This trip is by far the longest time at sea for either of us. We have both sailed around New England, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean for a week or two at a time. Walid also sailed the Gryphon twice to Bermuda and back in large off-shore races.

Do you wear some sort of tether when you’re outside the cabin?

Yes, we have tethers that connect to our life-jacket harnesses. We wear them whenever we go outside at night or during stormy seas.

Hey! That's one big steering wheel!

Yup! If you are going to have a boat, it better look cool! Actually, having a large steering wheel gives you additional leverage as well as allows you to be on the high side of the boat when it is heeling.

Did you get seasick? Do you normally?

I usually don’t get motion sickness, but I felt very queasy at the beginning of trip for a day or two. After awhile your body gets used to the motion of the waves. In fact, after you’ve been at sea for an awhile, you’ll get sick when you step back onto land. During the first day on Madeira I had really bad vertigo. It was especially bad at night when I tried to sleep. I continually felt like the bed was uneven and that I was falling out of it because I had been sleeping at an angle on the boat for weeks!

What do you miss the most?

Shane: dry land

Walid: his girlfriend Colleen

What do you not miss the most?

Shane: the daily grind

Walid: bills and daily tasks

Are you sailing the boat back to the US?

No, Walid is planning to sell the boat in Europe.

Would you do it again? Perhaps it's too soon to ask :-)

I would definitely do it again! Next time, though, I would do it earlier in the year and make more stops along the way.

Did you take pictures? Movies? Can we see those dolphins?!

Yes, but due to our limited internet connection we have a hard time sending pictures from sea. Once we get back on land, I’ll post more pictures. We have some great movies of the dolphins! Also, Craig is going to put together an awesome, hi-def movie using pictures from the camera mounted on the back of the boat.

Did you know you sailed right by the Titanic? (+/- a few km)

We were on the lookout for icebergs the entire time!

You guys are amazing, have a great rest of your voyage!



I received this e-mail from Shane today:

We are underway, although very slowly at the moment. The winds are very calm, but the sea is very quiet. We are motoring right now to Casablanca. I’m very excited about visiting Morocco. It is very warm here. In fact we almost went swimming today!


Friday, December 01, 2006

Mutiny on the Gryphon?

Below is an email from Colleen’s dad Mike. We thought that it was hilarious. For those on Shane’s side of the adventure, Colleen is Walid’s girlfriend.
Hello Walid, After careful reading of the Mutiny on the Bounty--I see some dangerous parallels:
  • Shane is quite taken with the beauty of the island stopover (just as Fletcher Christian and his band of mutineers were)
  • the Bounty had some problems with rotten sails--and technical problems that demoralized the men.
  • the naked Tahitian dancing girls are tempting Shane to stay---just like the crew of the Bounty.
  • Shane has resented the 12 lashes you handed down as punishment for losing iBoat satellite contact during the storm.
  • reading between the lines in the blog, Shane states--"at first chance I put Walid over in the rescue dinghy--and I'll take control of Gryphon myself--return to Madeira and the king size bed, real food and demon rum!"

As you can see--things are slow here on shore! Happy sailings to Africa and Spain--and the beautiful Med


Underway Again

Shane and Walid are underway and headed to Casablanca, Morocco.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ottawa Herald Newspaper Article

Shane's mom Judy sends along these pics from an Ottawa (KS) Herald newspaper article. Click on them to enlarge (that goes for any picture on the blog actually)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Pictures

With better net connectivity in port Shane got me a number of pictures to share with everyone. They are below as well as in some of the previous posts:

Running with the Big Boys

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish!

A picture of the boat with spinnaker flying

Land Ho!

We’ve arrived in Madeira! I had trouble sleeping the night before even though the seas were comfortable. I felt like a kid at Christmas, eager to wake up the following morning to open his gifts. When I finally did fall asleep, I was out like a light. Upon awakening, I saw a mountainous island covered in tropical vegetation shrouded in the mist and clouds. Try putting that into a stocking!

We pulled into the harbor at Funchal on the south side of the island. Taking my first step onto land was very disorienting. I could not walk in a straight line and had to hold onto the railing. I bet the immigration officials thought we had hit the rum one too many times! After clearing customs we sat down at a little restaurant in the marina and had our first fresh meal in weeks. The first bite of lightly toasted garlic bread dipped in olive oil was beyond description. We had a meal of fresh (just caught an hour ago by a local fisherman) fish, shrimp, fruit, and vegetables. Simply amazing!

After stuffing ourselves until we could eat no more, we wandered into town and checked into a hotel. Washing away more than two weeks of filth and grime never felt better! I slept so well that night in a warm, clean, king-size bed with cotton sheets!

The next day we rented a convertible and drove around the island. The tropical landscape and rugged terrain was just breathtaking. The roads were very narrow and curvy, switching back and forth through the mountains. Driving was such a pleasure!

Gluttons for punishment, we will probably leave port tomorrow after making a few more repairs. The storm appears to be calming down and we should have light winds on our way to the Med. It will be very hard to leave such a beautiful island, though.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Has anyone heard from Shane or Walid since they made landfall in Madeira? It looks like from the tracker below they made it to port in Funchal. If I had been them my first orders of business would have been to :

1) Check into a nice Hotel
2) Take a long hot shower
3) Hit the Snack Bar O Garrafao and have a nice tenderloin steak (Shane's Fav)
4) Back to the hotel for a soak in the hot tub
5) Retire to my soft bed for 12 hours uninterrupted of sleep

If anyone has heard from them post a comment.


click on map pic to see the Snack Bar O Garrafao! :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wave data

Per Shane's request here are some of the latest wave height maps...

Google Earth with overlay:

Here is a link to an animated GIF file that shows the wave height forcast for the next three days. Nov. 26 to 29th. With the legend/key below.

Almost There

We are about 14 hours away from Madeira. We will be docking at the port of Funchal for a few days to wait out the storm and make repairs. Our propane stove sprung a leak today. Add that to the list...

Today was a many shades of gray kind of day. The sky was overcast and we could see squalls on the horizon. Luckily they seemed to mostly miss us and we were able to make steady progress. The highlight of the day came when we were visited by a school of dolphins. These Portuguese dolphins looked very different than their brethren in the Grand Banks. They were a little smaller and had grey freckles. They sure liked to jump, though! They exploded through the waves with remarkable force.