First time Jumping the Atlantic
A Massachusetts family and an Alberg 37 are up to the task. A story from our March 1982 issue.
However, I think we were lucky. I think we did the right things and that we had a strong, seaworthy boat. We were not knocked down or rolled as could easily have happened despite skilled steering. It must be much harder to recoup after an initial catastrophe. Many skillful sailors in good boats came to grief that night. They were unlucky. But for now, I knew nothing of all that. We had come through a terrible adventure and I just was drained and glad and peaceful. It did have some long-lasting effects on me. I became a tapper of the barometer, more conservative, more reluctant to leave port on a falling glass.
We raised sail at 4 p.m. and headed for Mizen Head . Again. There were reports on radio Valencia of gales to come, which seemed unbearable. Radio bearings and a sun-shot put us 50 miles off. The steering became very stiff, then froze up almost completely. Ev and Ed investigated the steering cables and could find nothing wrong, so they oiled what they could reach and we were able, just barely, to turn the wheel. Then the wind dropped and we put on the engine. It was unusable. The prop shaft tube heated up and there was smoke and tremendous vibration . Thank heavens it had functioned when we needed it so much. Later we discovered that the strain it had been subjected to during the night had wrenched it askew on its mounts. We slopped and drifted toward Mizen Head. In the early morning a breeze sprang up and at last we were able to sail into Crookhaven, our landfall. We dropped anchor at 8: 15 p.m., the middle day of August. Generous Scotch libations, generous self-congratulations, high spirits and an exhausted crew. We all went below fora secure sleep.
We awoke in the afternoon to find a crowd lining the shore of this small town. Dozens of red-sailed Mirror dinghies were skudding about the harbor, rounding Arion, too intent to even wave. It was Regatta Day, and a bullhorn from the shore identified us, "the blue-hulled sloop," as the third marker in the race.
Soon we pumped up the Avon and rowed ashore. An Irish pub has to be the
most enchanting spot in the world to celebrate an Atlantic crossing.