Bootlegger's Passage:Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI - Newport, R.I. - Southampton

Bootlegger of Mann
Frank Newton
Tue 10 May 2011 22:46


18:20N 064:57.14W

Passage: Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI - Newport, R.I. - Southampton

Distance: Approx. 4,486 nm. Passage Time: 13 days

Tuesday. 100511 :

Loading Day onto the MV Snoekgracht.

06.00 preparing Bootlegger for loading.

07.00 Ed Prosser from ‘ MV Good Mates’ brought me a coffee laced with Rum.

07.30 Ed and wife Lisa, from Mooresville, Indiana, are bound for Trinidad
where they propose to lay up in Peakes for the hurricane season, came over
to say goodbye.

07.45 Mike and Tracy McHugh from Kansas and neighbouring Amel SM2K ‘Lady
T’ joined me to assist with the loading. They will then be off immediately
in same direction heading for Maine.

08.00 We are lying off the ship ready for loading as scheduled. We are
hailed from the ship by Loadmaster Sean Lines to go Starboard To. That’s
good. Bootlegger will be facing forward.

Told by SL that my main mast backstay must be removed along with the
topping lift. I had already had my triadic removed the evening before as
instructed but no mention of these. I had asked that Bootlegger be lifted
by her four lifting points as BeBe another Amel had been a month earlier
when transported by Sevenstars. This obviates the need for removal of
rigging. The request was refused on this occasion.

With the various rigging all now removed the strops were placed in
position and up we went.

Tracy Mike and I stepped aboard the ‘S’ word and watched. Bootlegger was
dropped into her designated position just f/wd of the bridge facing AFT.
This means her cockpit will be facing the weather, with combined wind and
boat speeds that could and would reach 50kts. I am also worried about the
SSB aerial that is sloped astern on Bootlegger. With such forces at work
would this whip aerial be bent back into Bootlegger causing it to break
given it is hollow, thin walled and of fibre glass construction.

09.00 With the securing of Bootlegger completed it had taken exactly an
hour from coming alongside to do the whole process including removal of

I thanked Mike and Tracy for their help who then departed to prepare for
their departure. Promised to send them a copy of the loading video.

I had taken most of my kit to my assigned cabin next to the Captain’s
cabin on the top accommodation deck directly below the bridge.

My cabin which is designated ‘Pilot Cabin’ is small but functional. It
features twin ‘top and bottom’ bunks, desk, two chairs, two wardrobes,
fridge and small en suite Heads. Thought the bucket containing various
cleaning materials had been left by the cleaner. Later found out these had
been left for my use !

Went back aboard the Boot and prepared her for sea. On pulling out the
plastic cockpit canopy stern section which, when fitted, would enclose the
cockpit to protect the instrumentation on the cockpit console from weather
damage found the joining zip closing puller missing. So, the cockpit would
have to stay open to the elements.

After topping up cells with distilled water put batteries on charge
through 50 amp charger for four hours. Switched off battery isolators. And
closed down boat.

Met the Chef – an amiable fellow. Told him I was not a red meat eater; any
fish, seafood or meat from a two legged source was fine. He saw no

Given a plate of chicken leg and mass of huge sprouts for lunch. Had to
advise him
Didn’t do sprouts either. He remains amiable.

Not knowing what to expect in terms of food and drink etc aboard over the
next two weeks I brought aboard some provisions by way of nibbles,
chocolate, pot noodles, sweets, gin, tonics and fruit juice.

Throughout the day the boats come aboard. An impressive operation. By the
end of the day I counted some 33 boats secured to the S word’s deck.. I
noted Bootlegger to be the only ketch.

The 16 crew of the S word are a mix of two Dutch ( Captain and Chef) 7
Russian ( deck and engineer officers ) and the remainder Philipino.
Appears the crew or Philipinos have the mess to eat in at different times
to officers.

The first impressions gained of the ship is that she is dirty from stem to
stern. It reaches everywhere including, I noted, my cabin carpet tiled
floor. The clothes I wore today are now badly marked by grease.

22.00 After some thirty or so minutes of engine warm up, we slip the dock
and are under away. After putting the rest of my personal effects away I
hit my bunk, too tired even to put my duvet into its cover.