Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baimaiself: Tommaso Luppi's Atlantic Crossing running update continues here...

The Homecoming: Tommaso Luppi & Baimaiself arrive in Venice!

Tommaso Bringing Baimaiself Home

April 22, 2012: Just a few days short of eight months have passed since Tommaso Luppi, Venetian gondolier, set sail alone from Almerimar, Spain aboard Baimaiself to successfully follow Christopher Columbus’ route across the Atlantic Ocean. On Sunday, beneath grey skies and through the wakes of the Adriatic Sea—which must have seemed like bath water in comparison to the waves he faced on the Atlantic Ocean—Tommaso completed his journey aboard Baimaiself  by bringing her home to Venice. 

Gondola escort for Baimaiself

Bai, as we have all come to affectionately call her, arrived through the port of Lido, glided passed the gardens of Saint Elena and the marina of San Giorgio Maggiore Island flanked by sailboats from the Diporto Velico Veneziano sailing club. As Bai arrived closer to St. Mark’s Basin Tommaso’s colleagues manned their gondolas and escorted Bai to the Molo traghetto to be docked among Venice’s most symbolic vessels. 

Loud cheers, and a banquet of food and drink organized by the gondoliers and offered by local restaurants and bars, added an even more festive touch to the celebration, and welcomed sponsors and fans that like Italy to Los Angeles and Back have enthusiastically followed Tommaso’s adventure. 

Buffet Celebration with Gondoliers, Sponsors & Friends

Tommaso’s determination, courage and accomplishment shine a light on the city of Venice and brighten the spirit that sits at the heart of the gondolier trade. I, along with those who have followed your adventure, thank you Tommaso for showing us that our dreams are meant to be realized.

Tommaso & his fellow Gondoliers celebrating aboard Bai!

Bravo Tommaso, Brava Baimaiself e Bentornati a Casa!

Tommaso & Bai running free!

To read about Tommaso's adventure just keep scrolling down the page!

Venetian Gondolier Tommaso Luppi has successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean alone on Baimaiself and has arrived in Martinique!

The flag of San Marco on Bai waving goodbye to 3000 miles of Atlantic crossing

Tommaso's view from Baimaiself as they approach the Island of Martinique

Le Marin Bay Island of Martinique as seen from Baimaiself

Tomasso Luppi wearing his Venetian Gondolier uniform and completing his journey after 23 days at sea. He honors his trade, his colleagues and the city of Venice, Italy.

December 5, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. Italian timeTommaso wrote: Finally I'm anchored in the Le Marin Bay and in front of my eyes is the enchanting scenery I've been dreaming about! Now all I want to do is rest and relax...there's a part of me that thinks I deserve it. Until later, Tommaso.
And I say: Thank you Tommaso for making Roberto and I feel so much a part of your adventure and for calling us once again this evening, and more than anything else thank you for letting me share your adventure here on my blog. To my readers, who have now become your fans, I'd like to say that it was wonderful hearing your voice, learning you were safe and sound, and listening to your enthusiasm leap through the telephone as you retold much of what you have shared with us on this blog. You have followed your dream and made it reality. Now enjoy your time sailing the quieter waters of the Caribbean with your lovely family. Your fans will be waiting to greet you upon your return to Venice. Grazie!

December 5, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. Italian time Tommaso Luppi called my husband via SAT and then wrote: Bai and her crew has spotted LAND!!!!! I'm 30 miles from Martinique. http://www.findmespot.com/mylocation/?id=6bEGM
AND I SAY with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat: Tommaso you are an incredible person and an inspiration to all who have a dream. Thank you for letting us share yours with you! Sei Grande!!!!

December 4, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 14°20'N-59°00'W. Well I've only got about one hundred miles to go. Tomorrow I'll be able to let you know how it feels to see land after 22 days at sea; who knows maybe I'll get land-sick! At this very moment I'm using motor because there's no wind and I prefer to approach the island by day and have a more secure landing between the barrier reef and mangroves. Now, seeing as my surroundings are quite calm, I'm going to get some rest; tomorrow I need to be prepared and rested for the moment and an enormous emotion. Ciao my friends...until tomorrow!  

December 3, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 14°17'N-56°46'W rotta 270°. Today is a calm day with a few strong gusts of wind up to 30 knots which I actually found quite entertaining. The only thing I blame myself for is my awful cooking and having a lack of culinary creativity--if I never see another can of food! As for the rest I'm really satisfied how the trip is going. And to Mauro, I'm glad that along with my family, my friends and colleagues are deeply enjoying my adventure, too.  Thank you all. A warm salute, Tommaso. 

December 2, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from14°41'N-54°13'W rotta per 270°. Hi dear Facebook friends; I'm about 300 miles away from Martinique and I'm navigating in the middle of rain showers that alternate with clear skies.  On the horizon you can see walls of violet which are actually downpours that suddenly teem down upon Bai and then rush off leaving peace and quiet. This morning an oil tanker passed in front of me; I guess that means I'm getting close to land and seeing the first forms of civilization or lack of civilzation. I thank all of you for the support you have shown me, and I wish you a good night.

December 1, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from14°35'N-51°52'W. Thanks my Facebook friends for the wonderful comments you're writing. This evening I'm a little later than usual getting back to you because up until sunset I had to spend my time working as if I were an exclusive taylor: the spanker split! I must say as far as stitching and sewing I did a pretty good job. The tear was caused by the constant friction of the sail against the crosstree. Oh well, it happens. I'll get it fixed when I arrive in Martinique. Today I spotted three boats; they were probably part of the Arc regatta, so I don't feel all alone anymore! Have a good evening...until tomorrow. 

November 30, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 14°40'N-49°08'W route at 275° speed at 6 knots wind at 15 knots. Today there was a small accident with the spinnaker yard after a sudden broach of the boat. It slowed me down a bit because I had to take the time to do some repair work at the foot of the mast to fix the genoa. It happens; what's important is that the remedy works, and more than anything it holds against the continuous yanks and pulls caused by the constant sea rolls. As for everything else, it's going well; calm and tranquil. This journey has given me time to relax (even with the waves) and read--today I finished my second book dedicated to the life of Christopher Columbus. I think I've got a little less than 600 miles to go, so I'll be keeping you company for quite a few more evenings. Until tomorrow. Ciao. http://www.findmespot.com/mylocation/?id=6Zh5z

November 29, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 14°41'N-46°39'W. Hello friends! Outstanding navigation today; I traveled just under 160 miles and now I've got less than 1000 miles to go. According to the last weather forecast I got from Roberto this evening--thank you Roby you're fantastic and an enormous help--the storm that was hovering over the Caribbean islands is headed north therefore it shouldn't affect my route. My best to all; until tomorrow evening...good night.

November 28, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 14°43'N-43°54'W. Dear friends, today, thanks to the wind at 25 knots, I beat my own record and traveled 158 miles between yesterday at noon and today. Now with the sea swells and the intense wind at the bow the difficulty lies in keeping Bai from pitching. In fact, this morning, the main sail gybed and I found the sea at my side and a swell washed through the boat wetting just about everything, including the correspondence table which holds all the instruments; fortunately everything is still working! Besides the water I had other guests: a baby seagull was seeking refuge in the cockpit. It was probably tired of flying against the wind! However, no need to worry, the situation is under control--even if I don't think I'll get much rest tonight. You know what they say "when the going gets tough the tough get going". All the best from the Atlantic...until tomorrow! 

November 27, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote: Hi friends! I've just updated you on my position with a spot message http://www.findmespot.com/mylocation/?id=6YK8t Today was a beautiful windy day which permitted me to travel about 150 miles in 24 hours. This afternoon I crossed paths with another sailboat; an English couple who via radio told me they, too are headed for Martinique. We took photos of each other and we'll exchange them once we're docked in the Martinique Marina. It's a great opportunity to have a photo reminder of Bai in the deep blue Atlantic! Good night to all, Tommy.

November 26, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote: Aeolus didn't make me wait today and gave me 20 knots of wind which took me to my current position of 15°26'N-38°48'W. While Bai was gaining territory through the waves--proceeding across the ocean--I spotted a group of sparkling fish swimming alongside us; I think it was a school of Dorado! According to the weather forecast the wind should be good in the next couple of days and I hope to make up the miles I wasn't able to travel in the last few days. I've yet to see another boat on the radar since I left port...oh, wait, for a minute I forgot I was in the middle of the Atlantic! Until tomorrow, ciao!

November 24, 2011: ‎Today Tommaso wrote from 15°39'N-34°32'W: Today I didn't gain much distance because there's very little wind and the waves have flattened so much you could take a gondola out for a nice ride; it's calmer than the St. Mark's Basin back home! The sky is clear and the sun is burning hot! Peace and silence surround me; the only sound is that of Bai's gentle splashing as she advances forward on the intense blue sea. Marvelous! My best to all of you, I bid you sweet dreams. You can follow Tommaso's route and progress here: http://www.baimaiself.com/gps.html

November 23, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 15°47'N-32°40'W. Hi friends, unfortunately I'm travelling a bit slower due to the lack of wind, and when I look at the nautical map it seems as if I'm standing still! Hey Aeolus, did you leave on vacation? I'm faithfully waiting! Fortunately I've got all of you to keep me company through your messages; some of you are even keeping my morale up with a joke or two--Thank you Mattia and Sara. I hope to be able to have more to tell tomorrow. Good (and damp) night!

November 21, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from 18°14'N-29°09'W route for 215°. The wind is blowing at 15 knots and we're running at 6.5 knots. Today I added more canvas seeing that there wasn't much wind and the sea conditions permitted; in fact the roll of the sea extended a bit giving the boat more stability. Yesterday the Arc regatta left Gran Canaria, so maybe in a few days I'll meet up with a few of the boats. However, everything is proceeding well and I really like hearing from all of you on my Facebook page. So please do keep writing. All the best from the Ocean.

November 20, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from:19°25'N-27°25'W route for 260°. Hi friends, wind at the stern at 13 knots.Yesterday Bai travelled 147 miles in 24 hours! Now she's slowing down because the wind has died down; it'll probably be this way for the next few days because of atmospheric disturbances in the north Atlantic. This afternoon was pretty exciting though, because off the stern I spotted a fin--I'm sure it was a whale--and earlier I discovered Bai completely covered with flying fish, unfortunately they were already drying in the sun. Most likely they had "landed" during the night. Until our next episode tomorrow!

November 17, 2011: Today Tommaso wrote from off the coast of Western Sahara: Hi everyone, this is my position 21°12'N-20°24'W rotta per 250° at 18-20 knots I'm proceeding with the wind at the stern and open sails. Last night I was "resting" in the company of dolphins. The hull of Bai transmitted their fantastic sound and verse! Thank you my travel companions, I'll be waiting for you tonight, too. And to my supporters, I wish you all a good night. Until tomorrow.
You can follow Tommaso's route and progress here: http://www.baimaiself.com/gps.html
Gondolier and Sailor Tommaso Luppi on Baimaiself

November 14, 2011: Well Tommaso Luppi has set sail on his transatlantic crossing! Above is a photo he posted November 13th as he passed the Dunes of Maspalomas and the Melonera lighthouse. From that point it'll be blue water until he reaches the Caribbean. Buon Vento Tommaso!
I'll be translating and posting Tommaso's updates here in English as he makes them from aboard Baimaiself, and you can follow his path using this link See My Location http://www.findmespot.com/mylocation/?id=6SQOW A presto!



Dunes of Maspalomas-Gran Canaria

As promised this blog post will be a running update of Tommaso Luppi's transatlantic crossing. If you haven't already done so read my August blog post here http://italytolosangelesandback.blogspot.com/2011/08/venetian-gondolier-to-sail-atlanticall.html and then follow along to see what Tommaso has to tell us from his Facebook page and while aboard Baimaiself :

Gran Canaria Island in View

September 11, 2011: Hello to all! We made it to the Canary Islands—precisely Gran Canaria Island. Bai for now is docked at the Las Palmas Marina while waiting to find out where she’ll be kept until November. Our departure from Gibraltar was a bit uneasy, because when I slipped the moorings to pass the mythical Pillars of Hercules and navigate the Ocean for at least 5 days I knew the weather could change even though the predictions confirmed a week of Portuguese alisei.

It was 8:45 a.m. on Sunday September 4, 2011 when I set sail and my neighbors from the boat docked beside me bid us goodbye. As Bai moved away from the dock they stood up, raised their hands and crossed their fingers while wishing me good luck. Believe me when I say that their gestures made me a little preoccupied, however as soon as I began to sail I left all thoughts of preoccupation behind. Leaving the Strait of Gibraltar took longer than I had anticipated because the current was against us and at times it blew at 4 knots causing Bai to run at 2.5 knots. At 1 p.m. I crossed Tariff in steep, intersecting waters which finally freed us to enter the open Ocean. I was holding a route of 270° for about 70 miles leaving the coast of Africa, and about 10 miles from the Strait Bai was able to sail at a minimum of 5 knots. All the while the wind was coming from the prow; at 9 p.m. I leaned and went 250° only using the sails until dawn on

Baimaiself facing some mighty waves
September 5 with winds constant at about 20 knots. It wasn’t until daylight came that I could see that the waves were enormous confirming my thoughts as to why we had experienced such unusual rolling during the night.

However Bai did well, and thanks to Mustafa the wind rudder she held at a speed of 6/7 knots. Now I need to repair the wind straps because the roll caused all the rivets to pop. So with a drill, and a lot of balance on my part, I’ll be able to fix what needs to be fixed. In the meantime the wind is orienting more from the stern so I decided to go a farfalla or butterfly, and I discovered that Bai, by reducing the mainsail (due mani di terzaroli alla randa) she navigates well often reaching, and while descending enormous waves, 11.5 knots. On September 6 at dawn I spotted a blanket of flying fish; the sight filled me with emotion. It was just like those events I’ve read about in books of great navigators.

As for the rest the sailing went like this: wind in the sails, sun and Bai flying through immense oceanic waves. When I think about how I’ve taken her out on the Murano canal to pick up my daughter from school on a day when the local transportation was on strike, or on the Saint Erasmo canal for a swim, and now we’re out in the Atlantic Ocean…it’s incredible!

Then on September 8, my birthday, I got a surprise visit from a family of dolphins with a lot of young dolphin calves following along, truly a herd of them; Now another 200 miles to go before we reach Gran Canaria Island.

September 9, 2011 was the day of arrival in Gran Canaria Island. I was so excited when I saw the island. As soon as I entered the first seawall—which is enormous—a docked tugboat honked at me. The commander raised his hand in a sign of victory and then saluted me again with a ring of his siren. He most certainly must be a fan of Sea Shepherd—but he also was paying tribute to Baimaiself and her first Ocean crossing. I docked at the Marina Las Palmas at 9 p.m. Italian time, here it was 8 p.m.

Bai has made her first 750 mile ocean crossing in 5 days and 11 hours at a median speed of 5.7 knots. Now she’ll rest until November when we’ll face approximately 2,800 miles of ocean to cross together.

The Rock of Gibraltar
 Friday September 2, 2011: I’ve arrived in Gibraltar! A place I’ve always dreamt about, as I imagine most sailors have. From here it’s all Ocean navigation and therefore we’ve arrived at the beginning.

Yesterday I set out at 5 a.m. from Malaga and after having sailed about 70 miles we arrived at 7 p.m. The sailing went pretty well; up until about 15 miles outside of the coast, with, obviously, the wind and sea blowing against the bow. I was 35 miles away from the Rock of Gibraltar when I spotted it, and the coast of Africa. I began preparing to take the mythic photo of me and the Rock but, like I said, about 15 miles outside the Rock the wind picked up and began to blow at 35 knots—obviously against the bow—and the light rain limited the visibility causing me to have to use radar to navigate and keep an eye on the many, many boats that navigate in that area.

On top of all that the tide was lowering, in other words, pulling out toward the Ocean while the wind was coming from the West, creating choppy, rolling waves which covered Bai with water a number of times causing me to slow her down from 6.5 knots to 3 knots.

A Rainbow to Salute Bai & Tommaso

However, in the end we were able to pass the Europe Point leaving behind a marvelous 180° rainbow. Now, Bai and I are in the Atlantic Ocean. We did well; and Bai is an exceptional boat. She keeps moving forward, even against walls of water and she never pounds against the waves; she’s always sweet.

Yesterday I slept anchored in a bay because I was too tired to make the needed docking maneuvers. Instead today I went to the Marina Bay. Nearby, about 50 meters away, there’s an airport runway, and the airplanes are pretty much landing right next to me; it’s an uneasy feeling.

Now I need to wait until the low pressure system passes, it’s brought a lot of wind from the West and I hope to leave for the Canary Islands on Monday or Tuesday.

Ciao to all!

Thursday September 1, 2011: On route to Gibraltar with southwest wind, all is well to move forward...will get back to you later.
Wednesday August 31, 2011: I left Almerimar this morning with the bow headed out to sea and the wind against us, more updates to come from the next port...

Evening: The web connection is really slow today so I can't post any photos, however I sailed about 70 miles from Almerimar to Caleta Velez, Malaga against swells and wind all, of course, coming from the bow, Bai behaved perfectly and it seems she, too, is anxious to enter the Ocean, however, we'll have to wait because there's a low pressure system arriving which will worsen the weather. Tomorrow I’ll get closer to Gibraltar and wait out the bad weather in a Spanish dock, once again travelling against the wind, pietà...pity! Today I saw a group of flying fish "fly" across the bow of Bai, they're extremely strong and can fly up to thirty-meters at a time.

I'm not sailing at night and I need to stay very close to the coast to avoid even rougher swells, so there will be more water traffic and it's not as safe. I hope the internet connection is better tomorrow so I can post more photos...

Tuesday August 30, 2001: Another hard day of work has come to an end. It seems the chores to get Baimaiself ready never end, however, that's okay because it seems that everything is working well with Bai; the new mainsail fits like a glove; all the instruments are okay, and the motor--after 5 months--started up on the first try...

Fuel tanks

The gasoline tanks I've installed will give Bai about 350 miles to travel on; I need to fill about 800...let's hope the wind turns!

Monday August 29, 2001: Hi everyone. I arrived in Almerima (where Baimaiself is docked) yesterday August 28 at 4p.m. and up to this moment (August 29 at 3:45 p.m.) I've been busy working aboard, first cleaning, she was covered with sand (it hasn't rained here since I left her in April) and then getting her ready to set sail.

Saturday August 27, 2001: Today is my last day at work on the gondola, tomorrow I'll fly to Gibraltar where Baimaiself has been waiting for the last 5 months. I'll begin applying the adhesive sponsors' logos and start to clean her up. Then on August 31 I set sail for Gran Canaria Island which I should reach in approximately 10 days...

Some Sponsors...there's room for more!

Follow my progress here: http://www.baimaiself.com/gps.html

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I'm seriously impressed! What an epic journey, and so beautifully photographed.

    Actually, I was very impressed with the casual skill of the gondolieri in Venice when we visited. They get those long boats around tight corners and under low bridges so neatly, and fast, too! We hope to be back there in May next year. Before the 'zanzare' wake up!