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Blue Water Update 11/10/2012

We set sail late afternoon Saturday and pounded through some initial confused seas, leaving quickly to run with the front of a storm moving in. The winds started at 15-18 knots but quickly made it into the 20s. We reefed the first reef. Winds accelerated into the 30s gusting to 45. We were moving 8-12 knots all night long riding building seas which we couldn’t see to determine the actual size until daylight. Rising 5 meters with breaking wind waves these swells were coming mostly fromĀ  behind but slightly to our side and we scurried through trough and peak looking out for the breaking tops. Here it is 24 hours later and we traveled an amazing 200+ nautical mies under one raging squall after another. Not the most pleasant ride but we’re on our way to the Gran Canaries. Everyone is alive, tired and rotating watches at the helm. ETA Las Palmas too hard to call – I’ll update tomorrow.

Brian

The Captain of the INNcredible Sea Lodge

 
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Let the Journey Begin

Leaving SFO tomorrow morning, election day, flying back to Lisbon, Portugal. The INNcredible Sea Lodge awaits El Capitan and its new crew members to join First Mate Andrew whose been waiting patiently on board. After stashing away all the gear, provisioning with a month’s worth of food and cases of Portuguese wine, the sails will be hoisted and the INNcredible Sea Lodge makes way down the Atlantic coast to the Canary Islands.

A near 700 mile trip, weather permitting, should take us 6 days sailing round the clock. If all goes well we treat ourselves to a stopover in Morocco. The allure of that African culture is strong so we hope the weather gods are with us.

 
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Stress levels find relief in season’s first rain

inncredible_sea_lodge Captain brian Fitzpatrick

Captain Brian Fitzpatrick

What’s wine, rain, sailing and grapes have in common? Everything when you are the winemaker/grapegrower and captain readying for the longest ocean crossing of your life.

There is such a thing as good stress which energizes and drives you to accomplish so much more if you just ride then wave that it creates. After a long fantastic harvest which started August 20th, yesterday October 21st was our final day of harvesting all our 15 varieties of grapes. And today its raining, raining hard and for the next three days. Perfect timing as the ground soaks up that much awaited water, the vines hydrate in luxury for the first time since last spring and when then rains stops the tractors start discing and tilling to prepare the soil for planting our winter annual cover crops in every other row in our vineyards.

Every fermenter in the winery is bubbling away happily making new wines. One more bottling to do this week (2009 Zinfandel), a dozen press loads to empty the fermenters when ready, barrels to be filled …

And putting on my Captain’s hat, the final push to collect all the non-food provisions needed for a hundred whatifs aboard the INNcredible Sea Lodge as November 6th quickly approaches and its time to fly back to Lisbon to restart the Maiden Voyage.

All good

Brian

The Captain of the INNcredible Sea Lodge

 
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