NA-23 Defiance Day 3

CO: By this point in the journey I have eaten almost my entire body weight in pretzels My diet will surely contribute to a short lifespan. The supply officer has notified me that we will be issued small pieces of hard tack for our next ration The crew is beginning to experience hallucinations. Earlier, our driver thought he had spotted a ship of the line just over the horizon The crew scrambled and general quarters was sounded for nothing Oh how I long to be ashore on stable ground.

XO: Tensions soar as the crew of Defiance attempts to hold a spinnaker at angles suitable only for a jib. We have put our chips down and decided to let it ride Sails spotted three points off the starboard bow, we are working hot angles in an attempt to gain the weather gauge upon the enemy. The decks have been cleared for action and the # 1 genoa is ready to be s et as conditions warrant. Fear of disease has set in as one of the plebes has likely contracted the Black Death, the CO and XO have ordered a quarantine and cough drops for the afflicted. As conditions deteriorate, we will explore the option of towing the ill behind the warship in our life raft.

NAV: Nav is becoming more confident of our position as we gather more star and sun shots. We have lost sight of all other contacts. The sun is becoming our best friend/ The loneliness is setting in Supply: We have one bagel left. Our lack of apples and citrus fruit is causing concern among boat leadership. Fear of scurvy is setting in.

Pouchy #5

Pouchy adjusts course based on Where we think we are to get Where we think we want to be To avoid where we think adverse currents are to get where we're bound.

David Savage

Update from Abigail

We are back on line thanks to our IT officer Bernie. I will spare you the technical details, but we are sending these messages through a sat phone, and while the sat phone worked and the computer worked, they refused to talk to each other. Since we last communicated, we have had nothing but beautiful sailing. We hit some warm water well north of the Gulf Stream which meant warm nights that are normally chilly. It's been mostly sunny during the day and moony and starry at night. Mark our navigator has been able to get some good sights and we've been sailing the route we planned. Right now winds are about 10 knots out of the SW and we are reaching toward Bermuda with the Code 0 spinnaker up. This race only allows a boat to carry only one type of spinnaker and just before the start we decided to leave our all purpose spinnaker behind and take the Code 0, which is a special spinnaker for close reaching. So far it's been the right choice. Everyone is well and and rested (all things considered).

Pouchy #4

Pouchy crew miffed at onboard wine list. Mise en box, really? Leftover caviar has gone bad, and ice cream is nearly gone. Intolerable. Winds still 18-20 though.

David Savage

NA-23 Defiance Day 2

CO: The weather is beautiful right now Our towed array has been deployed, and sonar reported one contact designated "Sierra 1" off the starboard bow I have notified maneuvering to make turns for 30kts

XO: The crew is in high spirits after absolutely cooking down the racetrack the past 12 hours, though they are a little worse for wear The spinnaker incident has given the boat leadership a nice assortment of bruises, blood blisters, and sore bodies Ensign Signorelli has sure earned his hazardous sea duty pay It was discovered that the crew has just been throwing their foul weather gear in a pile, much to the chagrin of the CO and XO Strict discipline has been installed by the XO by placing offending midshipmen on bread and water rations for the following 12 hours We are ready to duke it out with the other sloops-of-war as we converge on the island

NAV: Water temperature has indicated that we have hit the Gulf Stream Navigation theory #26 that we were being set towards Canada has been debunked Running fixes off the sun have been our consistent from of navigational reference It has become my favorite star

Supply: We are out of silver ware, aluminum foil, apples, paper towels, and we are on our last box of gogurts I fear that toilet paper may be the next to go

NA-23 Defiance Day 1


Our day started out beautifully, with NA-23 aggressively pushing the water of the North Atlantic. The skipper was awakened by a calm voice notifying him that "the spinnaker was slightly wrapped around the forestay".

When I arrived on deck, the XO was swinging like a pinata at a birthday party from the top of the mast, attempting to untangle the helpless spinnaker from the grips of the friction knot that had formed. After over an hour it was clear that the only solution was to cut it away. The crew went aloft one by one and hacked down the beautiful spinnaker, it brought a te ar to my eye and a pain to my heart.


NAV: Skipper says it only took 1 hour to cut away wrapped spinnaker...It took four hours. I too was awoken to be notified that it was becoming more difficult to monitor our dead reckonings as many course and speed changes were occurring while dealing with the spinnaker. We were able to monitor a quite accurate DR and I am fairly confident of our DR capabilities. That being said our celestial sights have us placed 30 miles North West of our location. Only time will tell if we make it to Bermuda. We have tried leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to keep from getting lost. We have converted to tortillas. They float better

Supply: Unfortunately our supply officer had an very rough encounter with the deck after being caught by the main sheet during a high wind jibe on the the staring line. He was briskly off loaded and other than a few stitches and a great sea story, he is okay and hopefully rooting for us out their on YellowBrick. That being said most of our food is freeze dried and stored in cans. We do not have a can opener.It is hard to saw who is to blame. We have resorted to using a knife.

Executive Officer: Our XO was accidentally awoken an hour early for his wa tch. When asked his opinion for the blog, he scowled returned to his rack. He has fallen back to sleep. He is upset.

NA-23 Defiance, Day 0

Day: 0
The U.S. Naval Warship NSTC NA-23 Defiance is prepared for dangerous sea duty. Spirits are high among the crew, and provisions are fresh. Skipper and Executive Officer spent countless hours last night calculating their route they will take into the blue abyss. Whale and Dolphin defenses have been prepared, and the crew has been well trained. Navigation team has been equipped with sea sickness prevention techniques. We will see if their training suits them well. 

Nav Report: Nav team is prepared to DR the entire way to Bermuda. Last night, they discovered a new star they named "Moon"

Engineering Report: The engine has been thoroughly checked, and the bilge pumped. Flex Seal Tape has been applied to nearly every hatch of our craft. 

Safety Report: Safety has informed the crew that they are "not in the back seat heading to Grandma's house" and to stay vigilant at all times.

CO Reports that the ship has been rigged for dive. 

God speed,

The crew of NA-23 Defiance

Pouchy #2 and #3

All well on Pouchy. Making 8 knots under sunny skies--we think in the right direction. Crew in good spirits.

Sun came up off Pouchy's port for second day in a row, confirming crew's confidence in the navigator. All well, advancing with good winds.

Tabor Boy Day 3 Marion-Bermuda Race

TABOR BOY is en route to Bermuda! We find ourselves now in the Gulf Stream, having started the race approximately two days ago just outside our Marion home in Sippican Harbor. The start of the race, which had us pitted against SPIRIT OF BERMUDA on the starting line, was fast-paced and exhilarating. We tacked back and forth across the line in a SW 25-30 knot breeze under full sail, jockeying with SPIRIT for the best possible starting position to beat up Buzzards Bay and turn for Bermuda. We paid close attention to the maneuvers of SPIRIT and the tight-quarters sparring for position of our two vessels. The pairing of a 1914 Dutch pilot schooner and a replica of the historic Bermuda sloop was a sight more fitting to the previous century than 2019. At the 1210 start, we began our tacking out the Bay, maintaining full sail in the growing breeze and driving the schooner harder than she’s been sailed in a long time.

            After several hours of beating out the Bay we rounded the mark at Sow and Pigs, SW of Cuttyhunk, and set a course for where we wanted to enter the Gulf Stream. Through day and night TABOR BOY has maintained full sail and adjusted course as necessary, working our location off of the plotting sheets of our student celestial navigators. The navigators have been hard at work using the sextants to take star sights at morning and evening twilight, as well as morning, local noon, and afternoon sun lines – all with the goal of fixing our location as accurately and often as possible. Between celestial observations, we have been keeping a careful “dead reckoning” plot using our compass heading and old-fashioned distance log. So, in deep blue water and rolling seas, TABOR BOY works its way to St. George’s Light to take the prize and hold the gauntlet from SPIRIT!

Tabor Boy

Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – The Sta

Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – The Start
Wind SW 16-20kts Seas 3-5ft

A rainy night for the crew dinner gave way to clearing skies.  The day of the race is partly spent recovering from the crew dinner/party the night before, partly making final preparations for the race, and come 12:00: the start!  Thanks to the race committee for all their hard work to setup and manage the race.

There are five size/weight classes at the start, so it takes about an hour to get all boats across the line and into the race.  Thursdays rain storm setup Friday to be a lively sailing day in Buzzards Bay, and since the bay is long and narrow, the SW winds allow plenty of opportunity for strategizing how to best set-up tacks to exit the bay.

Our class was away at 12:55. During the race, we often use the auto-pilot to hold a specific course, but switch back and forth to manual control.  When the auto-pilot is driving the boat, it is normal to see the wheel turn back and forth as the auto-pilot compensates for wind and sea conditions.  About an hour into the race, I noticed that the wheel wasn’t moving.  At all. 

We did some investigation, and found that the auto-pilot mechanism was properly connected and driving the boat – all good there.  However, it appears that the cable connecting the wheel back to the quadrant attached to the rudder has loosened and kinked.  This is why the wheel wasn’t telegraphing the auto-pilot actions.  After much consideration, we determined that this was not a repair we could complete under way, and it would not be safe to begin an ocean crossing without wheel control, so the crew agreed to withdraw from the race and return to port :(

Egg sandwiches for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and dinner was baked chicken with veggies.  Cookie of the day is lighthouses.

 “Never a ship sails out of bay but carries my heart as a stowaway.” - Roselle Mercier Montgomery

#SVMahinaKai #marionbermuda


All well on Pouchy. Making 8 knots under sunny skies--we think in the right direction. Crew in good spirits.

David Savage

Blog your Race on the Website

In 2019 the Marion to Bermuda Race has a blog system that boat captains and crew can send postings and photos to be automatically added to the website

All registered crew email (used to register for the race) and vessel emails (recorded as part of registration) are approved for posting on the website blog. If you have another email address accessible on from your vessel send a message to for it to be added to the approved list. You can include photos in your email as attachments. Please keep individual file sizes to less than 1 megabyte, and limit the total number of images per email to no more than six. Your mid-atlantic email provider may have smaller limits already in place.

Note that if you have a footer on your email, that too will auto post. If your footer contains information you do not want to be publicly viewable, remove the footer before sending. We can do that for you if you forget to remove it. Do not post forwarded emails.

Check with your skipper for the email address to use to post to this site.