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The Trufflesniffer Adventures


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Atlantic Crossing Travel Log

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The Trufflesniffer Adventures

  1. 1. <ul><li>The </li></ul><ul><li>Trufflesniffer </li></ul><ul><li>Adventures </li></ul><ul><li>May 20 th -June 17 th , 2007 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:09 PM Friends of the Marlow, We are away, to extremely mild conditions, as evidenced by whales frolicking along side the boat in glassy seas. Crew getting softer by the hour, as evidenced by dried German sausage photo op. A rousing send off from Nina Hunt and Willy doing 3 G's on our first morning out. Just passing through Oceanographer's Canyon now, 160nm from shore, no one is freaking out as of yet but do check in on us from time to time.   Paolucci, Hunts, Middleton and Robson Out 40.20.323N 68.01.462W Heading 110 degrees at 5knots to 40N and 60W.   
  3. 3. <ul><li>Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:56 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Friends, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>We are fully acclimated to life at sea, and as such, </li></ul><ul><li>our salty alter egos have replaced the dusty old </li></ul><ul><li>souls of our former selves, for we are now the </li></ul><ul><li>Trufflesniffers, a merry band of like minded men </li></ul><ul><li>who find no embarrassment in belonging to a family </li></ul><ul><li>of swine so long as our sensitive snouts lead us to </li></ul><ul><li>new and glorious veins of adventure dispersed </li></ul><ul><li>throughout the earth. Marlow's globe trot, to endure </li></ul><ul><li>for a score and to be altered on the whim of wine </li></ul><ul><li>and wind began May 20th in Newport and </li></ul><ul><li>will continue in the Med for a season or two until the </li></ul><ul><li>scent of the open ocean calls us forth again. Say </li></ul><ul><li>only the words &quot;I am a trufflesniffer&quot; and find </li></ul><ul><li>yourselves transported aboard in body or spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>To date, sausages have been eaten, auto-pilots </li></ul><ul><li>fixed, snarly nights tamed, drunken sailors sobered, </li></ul><ul><li>phosphorous trails crossed, moons howled, and it is </li></ul><ul><li>with confidence and humility that we face our </li></ul><ul><li>greatest challenge yet, the tempest in teapot to </li></ul><ul><li>begin as the sun sets twice more. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Until then, we remain somewhere in the Atlantic and </li></ul><ul><li>ever true to you. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>---Sniffy Trufflesniffer </li></ul><ul><li>(39.35N,62.30W)  </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Friday, May 25, 2007 3:40 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffers, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>No less than a day after </li></ul><ul><li>Crankysniffer opined that there was no </li></ul><ul><li>sense fishing so far out to sea and thusly </li></ul><ul><li>removed his lines from the water, intrepid </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy risked all to put the famed green </li></ul><ul><li>machine lure to work anyway at the start of </li></ul><ul><li>his 4am shift in the belief that Cranky </li></ul><ul><li>had lost hope unnecessarily. And as the </li></ul><ul><li>seas would have it, 550 nautical miles off </li></ul><ul><li>shore, just in time for lunch, we welcomed a </li></ul><ul><li>new 60 pound passenger aboard, a brilliant </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow Fin Tuna, the largest fish ever caught </li></ul><ul><li>by any of us, and the first fish ever landed </li></ul><ul><li>by rookie crew member Tunasniffer. Our </li></ul><ul><li>Wyoming fish monger gaffed it and </li></ul><ul><li>butchered it over the next two hours into </li></ul><ul><li>steaks, filets and strips that are soaking in </li></ul><ul><li>brine to be hung and dried. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--STS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Monday, May 28, 2007 9:54 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Paratech, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>We are at sea with snarly conditions coming and have </li></ul><ul><li>a question regarding deployment; what happens if </li></ul><ul><li>the primary float comes ditached from the </li></ul><ul><li>parachute--will the anchor stay where it is in the water </li></ul><ul><li>or sink and the line need to be cut? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Best regards, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Paolucci </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow </li></ul><ul><li>39.09N </li></ul><ul><li>50.04W </li></ul><ul><li>Monday, May 28, 2007 10:11 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Mr. Paolucci, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  If the primary float becomes detached the Sea Anchor </li></ul><ul><li>generally will remain in place so long as there is </li></ul><ul><li>significant horizontal pull on the anchor rode. Without the float </li></ul><ul><li>the Sea Anchor can sink - like when you are attempting to </li></ul><ul><li>recover it - and will open vertically below the boat.  In this </li></ul><ul><li>position it can actually pull the boat under as it displaces far </li></ul><ul><li>more than the boat.  If this did happen then the rode would </li></ul><ul><li>have to be cut. Let me know if I can be of further service. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sincerely, </li></ul><ul><li>Don Whilldin, President </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Tuesday, May 29, 2007 12:05 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffers, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing Bilgesniffer, our resident raccoon who lives </li></ul><ul><li>under the floor boards, close to his plumbing and systems </li></ul><ul><li>projects. A rare picture of him out of his den was </li></ul><ul><li>captured here very early this morning, sifting through </li></ul><ul><li>garbage looking for a tasty snack of tuna bones and </li></ul><ul><li>coffee grounds. Having a bilgesniffer on board comes in </li></ul><ul><li>very handy--he fixes everything in any kind of seas— </li></ul><ul><li>auto-pilots, watermakers, plumbing, etc., and he was yet </li></ul><ul><li>to waste any water on a shower, though miraculously he </li></ul><ul><li>maintains a shiny coat. Unfortunately he does leave a bit </li></ul><ul><li>of a mess on deck if you don't close the garbage lids </li></ul><ul><li>tight, and he requires to be fed a cigarette every 12 </li></ul><ul><li>minutes, but otherwise he is by far the most beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>and lowest impact crew member. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Now I'll answer a few questions: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Cranky's brother-in-law asks: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Can I hurl insults at the crew from land? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The answer is a resounding yes, in expectation of who </li></ul><ul><li>you have in mind to target </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sydney Trevenan asks: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>When will you see land? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sydney, this is a question that comes up on board </li></ul><ul><li>more frequently every day. The answer is not soon enough, or </li></ul><ul><li>at the current rate of 7.5 kts, in 5 days, 13 hrs, and 2 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--STS </li></ul><ul><li>(39.08N) </li></ul><ul><li>(48.20W) </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Wednesday, May 30, 2007 6:39 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Wishing you were here (?) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>    --Captain Trufflesniffer </li></ul><ul><li>    (39.02N, 43.47W, 8 knots, 110 degrees, 25kts from SW, 8 ft seas) </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Thursday, May 31, 2007 10:51 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffers ride out near gale force </li></ul><ul><li>winds, 30-35 knots, 12-15 foot </li></ul><ul><li>seas, biggest experienced on </li></ul><ul><li>board the Marlow to date. Too </li></ul><ul><li>wet and cold and tired to try to </li></ul><ul><li>make it seem fun tonight, but all </li></ul><ul><li>is well, conditions have </li></ul><ul><li>moderated and should be smooth </li></ul><ul><li>sailing for a few days. The key to </li></ul><ul><li>survival; double barrel Italian </li></ul><ul><li>espresso makers, proving once </li></ul><ul><li>again far superior to the French </li></ul><ul><li>press mud maker. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--STS </li></ul><ul><li>(38.54N, 39.12W, 8 knots at 109 degrees, 492nm to Horta) </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Friday, June 01, 2007 8:34 AM </li></ul><ul><li>TruffleSniffers, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>2am EST, Bilgesniffer is messing with the watermaker again, on </li></ul><ul><li>deck alone, a rare moment with 2 man shifts around the clock, </li></ul><ul><li>the sun is coming up, light winds, the calm after the storm, </li></ul><ul><li>cranking tunes.... </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Storm Diary: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>11pm, 30th of May, Sniffy and Cranky on watch, cold, raining, </li></ul><ul><li>blowing 25 as it has for a day. Batteries very low, so we turn on </li></ul><ul><li>engine. 20 minutes later engine sputters and dies, runs out of </li></ul><ul><li>gas. Cranky asks if we switched tanks, Sniffy tells Cranky that </li></ul><ul><li>Bilge and Sniffy have bet going on how long tank one will last, </li></ul><ul><li>and need to run it dry to determine winner. While Cranky is </li></ul><ul><li>lecturing Sniffy on the stupidity of this, they try to get the </li></ul><ul><li>engine started on the new tank. Meanwhile, dark black cloud </li></ul><ul><li>sneaks up on Sniffy and Cranky, packing a wallop of rain and </li></ul><ul><li>wind that blinds them and is so torrential it flattens 10 ft seas </li></ul><ul><li>instantly. </li></ul><ul><li>They reduce sail, discuss the stupidity of not having </li></ul><ul><li>the engine available some more (Sniffy does not tell Cranky that </li></ul><ul><li>he won the bet), and watch sheets of water cascade off the </li></ul><ul><li>mainsail. 20 minutes later it is totally calm, winds under 10, </li></ul><ul><li>seas tamed, and 20 minutes after that it is back to blowing 25 </li></ul><ul><li>with 10 foot seas, and raining hard, fortunately just in time for </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy to turn in for the night. By morning everything and </li></ul><ul><li>everybody is soaking wet, heater is broken, nothing dries. Sleep </li></ul><ul><li>has been an impossibility for some time now, how much worse </li></ul><ul><li>will it get? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>AM, May 31st, conditions escalate all night, wind at 35 knots, </li></ul><ul><li>small mountains of water now aft of the beam, the few that </li></ul><ul><li>break leave turquoise scars on the surface.  Biggest waves </li></ul><ul><li>seem to be chasing Marlow down in slow motion, arrive in sets </li></ul><ul><li>of 4 or 5 at a time, 10 seconds from the top of one wave to the </li></ul><ul><li>next, an eternity to consider your options. You'd think it was </li></ul><ul><li>beautiful, looking at the face of a large cresting mass of </li></ul><ul><li>water from beneath it, if you weren't just a little sacred you are </li></ul><ul><li>going to be buried this way. Greenhorn is not the only one in </li></ul><ul><li>awe, no pics will ever do it justice. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Auto-pilot over compensating for wave action, turning directly </li></ul><ul><li>into them, Tuna and Wyoming on watch, decision to steer </li></ul><ul><li>manually. Wyoming takes the helm, he actually likes it out </li></ul><ul><li>here, looks like he should be surfing Pipeline, joy on his face </li></ul><ul><li>brings color back to Tuna's. Tuna follows master's lead, carves it </li></ul><ul><li>up in his own right. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>4pm Sharp, May 31st, storm ends, winds drop and back to the </li></ul><ul><li>Northwest, precisely on schedule--weather forecasts have been </li></ul><ul><li>dead nuts on every time, down to the hour and exact locations </li></ul><ul><li>of wind changes. Seas remain for a few hours, fear </li></ul><ul><li>gone, perspective from wave tops enjoyable. Dolphins, as if on </li></ul><ul><li>queue, leaping through the waves, 20 under the bow </li></ul><ul><li>celebrating with us. Cranky even tosses Marlow a rare </li></ul><ul><li>compliment; &quot;she handled it well&quot;. Dinner, 5 solid hours of </li></ul><ul><li>sleep, most in 12 days, 2am shift, sleep walking, espresso </li></ul><ul><li>blast.... </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--STS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Sniffers, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Land Ho! After 13 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes, land has </li></ul><ul><li>finally caught up with the Trufflesniffers. Paolucci, Middleton, </li></ul><ul><li>Hunts, Robson are back, and quite pleased to be on land. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>So, who were those guys anyway? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Well, Sniffy grew up overlooking the vast Pacific dreaming of </li></ul><ul><li>an adventure beyond the horizon, and when he got the chance </li></ul><ul><li>he built a seaworthy vessel in 2000, the Marlow, named for the </li></ul><ul><li>salty protagonist in Conrad's sea stories. Sniffy didn't know </li></ul><ul><li>much about sailing, so he went to Maine often </li></ul><ul><li>during construction to see if he could learn a thing or two </li></ul><ul><li>and became fast friends with the boat builder on the job, </li></ul><ul><li>Bilgesniffer. Bilge has as much right and title to the vessel as </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy; changes to the Marlow come only with his </li></ul><ul><li>approval. Bilge not only taught Sniffy how not to kill himself at </li></ul><ul><li>sea, on journeys up and down the Maine coast, and on a run to </li></ul><ul><li>the Virgin Islands in 2001, which began at sunset in the East </li></ul><ul><li>River leaving behind the stinking ruin of 911, but also the finer </li></ul><ul><li>touches of the good life at sea, such as baking fresh bread. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Cranky entered the picture in 2001, a racing champion </li></ul><ul><li>and an old colleague of my Father's, he ran the sailboat </li></ul><ul><li>division of the </li></ul><ul><li>aerospace conglomerate where my father spent his </li></ul><ul><li>career. The three of us sailed about the east </li></ul><ul><li>coast, convincing Cranky in the </li></ul><ul><li>process to come out of retirement from racing to lead our </li></ul><ul><li>team in the 2002 Newport to Bermuda Race. Bilge </li></ul><ul><li>included, we finished 3rd and it is then that I was </li></ul><ul><li>christened Trufflesniffer for my slovenly ways, a </li></ul><ul><li>reputationsince enhanced on subsequent sails. (This race </li></ul><ul><li>also included the aforementioned pissing incident in the </li></ul><ul><li>galley, a 2nd offense from an unmentioned former crew </li></ul><ul><li>member, thus earning him permanent expulsion from the </li></ul><ul><li>Trufflesniffers and leading to formal codification of the </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;one galley piss and your out&quot; rule in the bi-laws). </li></ul><ul><li>Further sails around the east coast and </li></ul><ul><li>Bermuda Races in 2004 and 2006 cemented the </li></ul><ul><li>friendship, Cranky too behaving as if he owns the boat, </li></ul><ul><li>installing 'enhancements' including a bogus French press </li></ul><ul><li>and removing Sniffy's party favors. But if the truth must </li></ul><ul><li>be told, Bilge and Cranky are the two best mentors a fella </li></ul><ul><li>could have, and I can't imagine going to sea without </li></ul><ul><li>them. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>So three boat owners decide to cross the Atlantic on their </li></ul><ul><li>beloved Marlow, but need additional crew. Who better than </li></ul><ul><li>unnamed Wyoming sniffer, cousin of Cranky's late great friend </li></ul><ul><li>John the green beret, they had all sailed together in nasty seas </li></ul><ul><li>coming down the Pacific coast, and Wyoming has logged tens of </li></ul><ul><li>thousands of miles at sea in the Pacific, including time on top of </li></ul><ul><li>an overturned vessel awaiting help; no wonder the large seas </li></ul><ul><li>don't phase him. This guy seems so even and pleasant on the </li></ul><ul><li>surface, and yet he has recently been fingered as the lead </li></ul><ul><li>suspect in a clock rigging scandal on board, which has further </li></ul><ul><li>destabilized Cranky, who, already overwhelmed by the </li></ul><ul><li>use of multiple time zones and military time, now has to </li></ul><ul><li>contend with the distinct possibility that his clock has been </li></ul><ul><li>tampered with while sleep. This lack of clarity into the character </li></ul><ul><li>of Wyoming is making it difficult to nail the appropriate alias for </li></ul><ul><li>him. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>And of course you can't go to sea without a greenhorn. Notables </li></ul><ul><li>have included my then 76 year old Father in the 2002 Bermuda </li></ul><ul><li>Race, lying hunched over sick on the cabin floor at the start of </li></ul><ul><li>the race in 30 knot winds and 8 ft seas but managing to make </li></ul><ul><li>all his shifts, and Mark Dingle in the 2006 race, a masterly </li></ul><ul><li>performance that may never be surpassed, from cranking the </li></ul><ul><li>dinghy motor with the propeller out of the water to dropping a </li></ul><ul><li>pot of coffee on my old man's bunk, you are a true </li></ul><ul><li>Trufflesniffer. We sorely miss you both. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Enter young Tunasniffer, living in landlocked Colorado, skies like </li></ul><ul><li>a witch, assistant to the assistant manager of an organic food </li></ul><ul><li>store, engineer in training, but never been to sea. Don't worry </li></ul><ul><li>Mom, he certainly hasn't lost his appetite, wolfing down </li></ul><ul><li>precious provisions as if he is back at the store. If anything he </li></ul><ul><li>has caught up on his sleep, once brazenly sleeping through a 4 </li></ul><ul><li>hr shift. He plays the trip like a video game, preferring to watch </li></ul><ul><li>the boat cross the Atlantic on the computer screen, coming on </li></ul><ul><li>deck to reel in fish or fire the 9mm at the shooting range. </li></ul><ul><li>(Come to think of it, this greenhorn may be getting off easy, but </li></ul><ul><li>I would bet that our Sniffy has plans for him.) Otherwise, he </li></ul><ul><li>serves as our sea life photographer and as Bilge's apprentice, </li></ul><ul><li>having solved more than his share of mechanical problems. He </li></ul><ul><li>will likely earn his pig ears. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Until we depart for sea again, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The faithful crew of the Marlow </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:58 AM </li></ul><ul><li>MEET THE NEIGHBORS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Well, the Sniffers have met their match. Allow me to introduce </li></ul><ul><li>the Heifers, rafted to the Marlow in the crowded marina, one of </li></ul><ul><li>5 boats attached beam to beam to the dock. No better way to </li></ul><ul><li>get to know someone than to be tied up to them in 40 kt winds </li></ul><ul><li>and rain for 3 days. They have eaten us out of house and home, </li></ul><ul><li>but at least the last of the tuna is gone. And if you ever take </li></ul><ul><li>Pepperidge Farm Goldfish for granted, just watch a portly Brit </li></ul><ul><li>have at them (apparently you can't get them in the UK)--you'll </li></ul><ul><li>have a whole new appreciation as the last of them are gobbled </li></ul><ul><li>down cookie monster style. The sedentary Brits are bridge </li></ul><ul><li>players, and apparently the mastery of it transcends all card </li></ul><ul><li>games, including Texas hold 'em, having two days ago cleaned </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow out of its bank roll as well. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Fast forward to 5:30am GMT today, blowing a gale, dark, </li></ul><ul><li>freezing cold, raining, loud clanking noise on deck. Murderously </li></ul><ul><li>hung over crew of the Marlow called to the deck by Sham, their </li></ul><ul><li>lines have broken, we watch in horror as the Heifers' Kite and </li></ul><ul><li>the Spirit of Lundy (tied to other side of Kite and who just days </li></ul><ul><li>earlier crew of the Marlow had found upon returning from lunch </li></ul><ul><li>before check in at the dock to be dragging at anchor and </li></ul><ul><li>banging into our bow before rescuing it and our beloved from </li></ul><ul><li>damage while they ate on blissfully unaware) are connected to </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow's bow from their one remaining stern line. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>The Heifer crew of five, strangers to themselves except for the </li></ul><ul><li>owner couple are of course fast asleep, ignorant of </li></ul><ul><li>the imminent disaster, though some would argue the signs were </li></ul><ul><li>there, having taken possession of their 30 yr old dream </li></ul><ul><li>machine just two weeks before departing across the </li></ul><ul><li>Atlantic to learn that the diesel tanks were full of algae, </li></ul><ul><li>rendering the engine spotty at best, the refrigeration didn't </li></ul><ul><li>work, the ropes were tattered, with no access to weather </li></ul><ul><li>because the sat phone didn't work,and with a hired madman </li></ul><ul><li>as sea captain, pictured here in all his glory, who had planned </li></ul><ul><li>to leave Horta in 20 ft seas until we were enlisted earlier in the </li></ul><ul><li>day by the owners to talk him out of it. We scream above the </li></ul><ul><li>racket to wake them, and Sham grabs the 10 ft boat hook and </li></ul><ul><li>bangs on their hull. They finally raise from their tuna induced </li></ul><ul><li>slumber to witness the mess they are making. Their remaining </li></ul><ul><li>stern line has ripped Marlow's bow seat and nav lights off and </li></ul><ul><li>bent our bow pulpit, ripped their davits off and gotten tangled in </li></ul><ul><li>their life lines and halyards. We tell Captain Black to get his </li></ul><ul><li>motor on so they can pull back along side or else we are going </li></ul><ul><li>to cut their remaining line. We will, however, gladly give him a </li></ul><ul><li>moment to put on some clothes. He screams back that the </li></ul><ul><li>engine won't start. 10 minutes later it finally does and he drives </li></ul><ul><li>the Kite and the attached Spirit of Lundy back along side </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow. We tie them back down using our 1 inch thick sea </li></ul><ul><li>anchor rode and and replace their airless fenders. An hour later, </li></ul><ul><li>we are still threatening to cut them loose if they don't get their </li></ul><ul><li>tub of cow dung under control. Situation finally stabilizes, crew </li></ul><ul><li>of Marlow back in bed until noon, wake to learn that Alina, tied </li></ul><ul><li>to Marlow's other side has suffered a dent as a result of chaos, </li></ul><ul><li>insurance claims to be filed all around. </li></ul><ul><li>  Ah, the relaxation of port....get me the F back to sea. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>mp </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Sunday, June 10, 2007 8:21 AM </li></ul><ul><li>INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>In this day and age it is important for Americans travelling </li></ul><ul><li>abroad to consult a recent addition of Foreign Affairs before </li></ul><ul><li>shipping out. A quick read might have saved Bilgesniffer and the </li></ul><ul><li>crew of the Marlow from a minor headache early yesterday </li></ul><ul><li>morning. Specifically an understanding of French and British </li></ul><ul><li>history would have revealed that under no circumstances will a </li></ul><ul><li>Frog be happy to let an American borrow his dinghy after the </li></ul><ul><li>bar closes to return a few Brits to their boat, certainly not when </li></ul><ul><li>he is also returning from said bar to find said dinghy missing, to </li></ul><ul><li>later learn with the help of the maritime police that said </li></ul><ul><li>American is still aboard with said Brits having a nightcap, even </li></ul><ul><li>if they are drinking a French Bordeaux. Instead he will hurl </li></ul><ul><li>insults at you, at American imperialism, at President Bush, and </li></ul><ul><li>threaten to press charges against the advice of the local police </li></ul><ul><li>who think it much ado about nothing. Foreign Affairs would also </li></ul><ul><li>have revealed that the French are not currently in the 'coalition </li></ul><ul><li>of the willing', and as such if you must lift a dinghy to perform </li></ul><ul><li>an act of good seamaritanship for a member of the coalition, </li></ul><ul><li>make sure you are borrowing either a British, Australian or </li></ul><ul><li>Polish dinghy, if such a thing would indeed float. Furthermore, it </li></ul><ul><li>is of some benefit to find a dinghy that is not required to be put </li></ul><ul><li>in to service by the owner in the next 15 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>As it was, Bilgesniffer was delivered to the boat at 4am by the </li></ul><ul><li>local authorities, who seemed to feel they were caught in a </li></ul><ul><li>great power struggle beyond their concern, to be signed for by </li></ul><ul><li>a greenhorn now too spooked to go to sea. An hour later </li></ul><ul><li>Captain Sniffy awoke for the planned 6am departure, and as </li></ul><ul><li>punishment ordered Bilgesniffer to hand steer while heaving on </li></ul><ul><li>deck, before placing him under house arrest in his cabin with no </li></ul><ul><li>cigarettes for the next 24 hrs to recover and repent and to </li></ul><ul><li>prepare to be booked in front of his Captain and crew as well as </li></ul><ul><li>in the presence of a higher authority, namely his Mother. But </li></ul><ul><li>the sun was shining and we could actually see Mt Pico for the </li></ul><ul><li>frist time as we departed post haste for Vilamoura. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--Sniffeur de Truffes </li></ul><ul><li>38.16N </li></ul><ul><li>24.23W </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Monday, June 11, 2007 12:35 PM </li></ul><ul><li>AS THE TIDE TURNS (salty daytime soap) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>(Crew of Marlow lazing away on a sunny, uneventful afternoon, winds 15 from aft quarter, doing 8 knots, seas building, auto-pliot doing all the work, Tuna, Cranky and Sniffy in the cockpit, others down below) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>VHF Radio Channel 16 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller  &quot;Hello, is anyone there? I am 10 days at sea, sailing alone, over&quot; (exhausted, French) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;This is Commander Sniffy of the sailing vessel Marlow, over&quot; (bored, American) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller  &quot;What is your position?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;37.54N, 20.14W. What is your position?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller &quot;38.00N, 20.53W. I am 10 days at sea, alone, trying to get to Horta. The weather has been awful, winds on the nose the whole time from Gibraltar, this trip should have only taken 6 days, and I am out of cigarettes&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy &quot;I know what you mean, we were stuck in Horta for 6 days waiting for the weather to clear. I have bad news--the weather is calling for west winds for the next 3 days, so it will continue to be on your nose.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller: &quot;Fuck, Fuck&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy &quot;Yes, Fuck, Fuck&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller &quot;What a second, let me check a map&quot;  (seconds later) &quot;Do you have cigarettes on board?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy &quot;Yes, Camel Lights, by the creight load&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller &quot;I am 25 miles behind you, can you stop and wait for me so I can borrow some cigarettes, I must have a smoke&quot; (agitated) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  Sniffy &quot;I am afraid we can not wait 5 hrs for you, and you would have to kill to get any of them from our crew member, but many boats are leaving Horta behind us, try to catch one sooner before you sail past them&quot; (smell of cigarette in the air, all this talk has caused Bilge to light up) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller  &quot;Do you have chocolate on board&quot; (anguish in his voice, losing signal, much static) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;Chocolate? Yes, lots, some with cream centers&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller  &quot;Not chocolate, a satellite phone!!!&quot; (frantic) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;Oh, yes, yes, we have a sat phone&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Caller  &quot;My girlfriend is pregnant, she will be worried about me, I will be a week late, can you plse call her for me?&quot; (crying, perhaps) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy   &quot;Sure, I will call her--what is the number?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Caller &quot;004741255790, her name is Gina, plse call her and tell her I will not sail to Canada as planned, I will be home once I reach the Azores&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;OK, I will call her&quot; (much static, losing Caller on VHF radio) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>(Sniffy dials Gina on Sat Phone) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;Gina, I am in the Atlantic Ocean, I have a message from your boyfriend&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Gina   &quot;Yes, yes, what is it?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;He is ok, but is very delayed due to unfavorable winds, and he loves you very much, and he badly needs a cigarette&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Gina  &quot;Oh my god&quot; (laughs) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;He is 300 nm from the Azores, but will not make landfall for another week due to winds, but he did not want you to worry. He is also going to cut his trip short and come home to you&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Gina  &quot;Thank goodness&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy &quot;I hear you are pregnant--congratulations&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Gina  &quot;Thank you, thank you very much for calling. Tell him I miss him and I look forward to hearing from him&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;Will do. Where are you located anyway?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Gina  &quot;Norway&quot; (suddenly sounding blonde and bodacious, sat phone never clearer) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy &quot;Ok, that is all, I will call him and tell him we spoke&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Gina   &quot;Thank you so much, good bye&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy  &quot;Goodbye&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffy tries to hail Caller on VHF, but to no avail. Sniffy tries to hail Caller on more powerful SSB radio, but to no avail. Suddenly Marlow auto-pilot stops working, caused in some direct but mysterious way by attempt to transmit high powered signal to Caller on SSB. Shared, stunned looks aboard the Marlow, silence. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Camera zooms to Google Earth view of two sailboats sailing away from each other... </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Voiceover  &quot;Will Bilgesniffer fix the auto-pilot or will fateful intersection with star crossed lovers force crew of Marlow to hand steer to Portugal? Is Caller actually the Father of Gina's baby? Will Caller get his hands on desperately needed smoke before he goes nuts? Is this related to Bilge borrowing a French dingy? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Tune in next week to AS THE TIDE TURNS......&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--STS </li></ul><ul><li>(37.54N, 20.11W) </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:00 AM </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffers, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>It was fate indeed that intervened to wipe out Marlow's </li></ul><ul><li>auto-pilot, forcing the crew to hand steer the final 500nm </li></ul><ul><li>in 30 minute shifts all through the day and night. But it </li></ul><ul><li>was widely accepted as just and fair punishment for not </li></ul><ul><li>sharing our smokes, the time spent in the elements at </li></ul><ul><li>night, in heavy seas and winds, steering on our own, a </li></ul><ul><li>reminder of our insignificance in this vast ocean and the </li></ul><ul><li>importance of the comradie of our fellow man at sea. As </li></ul><ul><li>proof that the god of vice is indeed a benevolent god, we </li></ul><ul><li>all felt better for the effort, that it would be cheating </li></ul><ul><li>somehow to skate across with Atlantic without feeling </li></ul><ul><li>completely worn out, as character Marlow felt in Youth, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; But you here--you all had something out of life: money, </li></ul><ul><li>love--whatever one gets on shore--and, tell me, wasn't </li></ul><ul><li>that the best time, that time when we were young at sea; </li></ul><ul><li>young and had nothing, on the sea that gives nothing, </li></ul><ul><li>except hard knocks--and sometimes a chance to feel your </li></ul><ul><li>strength--that only--what you all regret?“ </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>And now we approach the mainland of Portugal, just 80 </li></ul><ul><li>nm miles away, due in by Midnight tonight, the crossing </li></ul><ul><li>all but complete..... </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>--STS </li></ul><ul><li>(37.04N, 9.75W) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Sunday, June 17, 2007 6:07 AM </li></ul><ul><li>Sniffer Friends, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>At 5:45GMT on the 17th, the Marlow passed through the Pillars </li></ul><ul><li>of Hercules, formerly known as the end of the Earth, a rite of </li></ul><ul><li>passage for sailors (one of three on Earth, the other two being </li></ul><ul><li>Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope) officially signaling the </li></ul><ul><li>end of the journey, some 3000 nm from home. We drank an </li></ul><ul><li>Imperial of Bordeaux and took a swim in 2 knots of current in </li></ul><ul><li>the salty cold water of the Straight, the first time since </li></ul><ul><li>departing that anyone had a desire to actually enter the ocean. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>As with any campaign, there are heroes, namely you, for your </li></ul><ul><li>support of us while being away for so long. It has been the </li></ul><ul><li>dream of a lifetime for many of us, and we recognize the </li></ul><ul><li>sacrifices made on our behalf. Personally, I would like to thank </li></ul><ul><li>my wife Eliza, who for 25 days now has had a running </li></ul><ul><li>conversation with our 2 yr old Jemima about when it is exactly </li></ul><ul><li>that we are going to be meeting Daddy on the boat, as well as </li></ul><ul><li>keeping my exploits front and center in the minds of 7 yr old </li></ul><ul><li>Anna and 5 year old Ella. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Today we bid farewell to two fine loyal Sniffers, and pick up </li></ul><ul><li>three more with big shoes to fill for the two day sail to Ibiza. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no better way to make a friend for life than to be </li></ul><ul><li>cooped up on a small boat at sea for weeks on end, and I am </li></ul><ul><li>truly grateful to count Unnamed Wyoming (to be named on a </li></ul><ul><li>future voyage) and Tuna among a growing list of certified </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow crew--I'd go anywhere with these guys. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, thank you for indulging us in these epistles--it has made </li></ul><ul><li>us feel closer to you all to share our adventures along the way. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus ends the Chronicles of the Sniffers, Volume One. We hope </li></ul><ul><li>you will join us to fill future volumes in the years ahead. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Love, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The Trufflesniffers, over and out </li></ul><ul><li>(36.08N, 05,21W) </li></ul>