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Tabor Boy Enters Gulf Stream: XO Race Update #1

1347 Day 3 Marion-Bermuda Race
By XO Chip Connard ’19

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. David’s Light to take the prize and hold the gauntlet from SPIRIT!


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