July 11th 2015 Still on disaster relief standby, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. Out of food but getting the occasional care package and donations! Hoping to return to Florida to pick up new supplies and then a third mission to Haiti commencing September, click here for more information.
April 19th 2015 Rodney Bay, St. Lucia W.I. at anchor
Mar 2015 Ile a Vache, Haiti completed 2nd mission to Haiti. We spent the last 5 months preparing, taking on cargo and sailing a mission from Florida to Haiti to bring supplies to two orphanages, a clinic and subsistence fishermen. We managed to pull together a fleet of two IRG-owned vessels and three more IRG Reserve boats! A great achievement that should be a lot bigger next voyage commencing in the winter.
April 2014 First mission to Haiti - Ile a Vache.
March 1, 2014
The crew is restless to get underway...
We have been anchored in Coconut Grove, Miami for the last week after a brutal beat of slowness from Key West. While here, we have been able to acquire another 40 boxes of medical goods via Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami. Thanks for the hard work, Brian!
The anchorage in coconut grove has a VHF net run by Julie and Matt. What an awesome couple of folks! Via their efforts, Thunderbird 5 was donated a used 10hp outboard more suited to our dinghy, sails from an Island Packet 40, food, hygiene items and a potluck get together on Picnic Island which was a great time had by all.
Nobeltec charting software was donated in Key West and I have an appointment with Scott E. Strand, President, Great Circle Systems, Inc. on Monday to install the Triton Yacht Management Software generously donated by his company
While we were in Key West, we dragged anchor 6 times off Wisteria Island. After hearing about it, we were donated a night of dockage at Stock Island Village Marina. Thunderbird 5 enjoyed a fresh water bath and we had Dougal MacEwan play the bagpipes for the marina as we departed.
February 4, 2014
Today we hammered out brainstorming Thunderbird 5's many requirements and steps necessary to help her accomplish the mission. Captain Thackeray and I are in the process of hammering out a more defined mission plan that meets the goals of our customers, the vessel and the organization. It was an interesting process and we are not nearly done. The complexity is enormous but I am up to the task. As are the other members and crew.
Printed out copies of flyers for our Bon voyage party and fundraising event this weekend. scattered the crew all over the island to post them. I hope we have a decent turnout.
February 3, 2014
Yesterday was Thunderbird 5's 1st sail since IRG acquired her. With crew of 5 men, the sails went up and got doused faster than any time I have ever seen. It was a local training sail, but the crew did remarkably well for having never sailed a gaff-rigged vessel. The weather in Marco Island was 80 degrees, sunny and wind blowing from southeast 12 knots. When all sails were set and we were on our beam reach, we turned off her engine and generators to see what kind of speed we could get under sails only. She did fine, lumbering along at 4 knots through the water. She is not a race boat by any stretch of the imagination, but she does move.
January 30, 2014
"Thunderbird 5", she is. The upside is that a thunderbird denotes strength and power according to native american mythology and should thus garner respect. My Seahorse has evolved. I'm starting to like it. Especially after finding out that Brian, from Tandemeer, is also a sculptor and did some draft sketches of her new figurehead. It's going to be awesome!
Received our batch of sails from the folks at sailsforsustenance.org! This is really happening! I am so stoked!
(I apologize for the picture being upside down. That isn't how it was taken. I have chosen to leave it this way to benefit our Australian friends.)
January 29, 2014
Have removed the ships' name boards, figurehead and other embellishments. It seems like the end of an era, but in a good way as she is poised to make a positive difference in the lives of many, many people desperately in need. I was hoping she could regain her original name of "Zeepaard" that is on the bronze telegraph in the wheelhouse. It means Sea Horse in her original Dutch language, but will probably have to learn to love "Thunderbird 5" in accordance with the organizations' naming schema for the fleet. I feel it lacks the... elegance... this lady deserves. Especially as we are going to be marketing her staterooms for charter on voyages to supplement the fleets income.
On a more positive note, Brian and Patrick of Tandemeer have been diligently seeking crew. We have a number of positive prospects with skills that are needed aboard both our vessels. Happy hunting, gents!
Am discovering that there are many wonderful corporations and folks in the world that are willing to donate to our cause. I agree with them and feel we are on a noble endeavor as well. Thank you, all!
January 28, 2014
International Rescue Group has acquired Sir Martin II, a 97' Gaff-rigged, 100-ton steel ketch generously donated by Mr. Edward Martin. I have worked in his employ for 5 years as Captain/First Mate/Engineer/Stew and, sometimes Science Officer (when the Tank Sentry toilet system acted up). My services were also donated with the ship should I choose.
I have decided to stay on as I believe in the IRG's mission and that this vessel will be a crucial part in helping the organization fulfill its goals of assisting those in need.