26 ft Groverbuilt goes from New York to Bermuda!

Aquarius

Angler
Dec 21, 2018
398
376
63
Woodcleft Canal, Freeport, New York
Another Groverbuilt owner makes the headlines!


Solo sailor's high drama on the high seas en route to Bermuda



An American healthcare worker said he was delighted to be on the island after he endured mountainous waves on a solo voyage in a tiny boat from New York.

Anthony Lisske, 49, told The Royal Gazette yesterday that he had picked a good weather window for the journey – but his passage through an eddy in the Gulf Stream had put him at the mercy of “substantial waves”.

Mr Lisske said: “At that point it was night and I couldn’t tell exactly what was happening because I couldn’t see anything, but I noticed I was doing close to 19 knots.

“This is not a fast boat, so I asked myself how is this possible.

“It was like picking up a tablecloth with a matchbox car on it and watching it slide. I guess the wave was just that big.”

He added that his 26-foot boat Walrus rode down the wave until it collided with the wave in front of it and water swamped the vessel.

Mr Lisske said: “My fuel bladder had started to spring a seeping leak along the edges of the tank – I guess it was the pressure of hitting that wave that hard.

“I started to get diesel on the deck and one of the seals on the hatch started to let water into the boat, so I had to climb up there in the weather covered in diesel to fix that.

“I planned to burn about 275 coming here and I had an extra 120 gallons of fuel to spare, but I basically came in on fumes.”

A Harbour Radio incident report said they got a call from the US Coast Guard about an emergency radio beacon alert from Walrus 253 miles northwest of Bermuda at about 2.10am on Sunday.

A US Coast Guard aircraft was scrambled and a nearby merchant ship was asked to go to the boat’s last known position.

But after contact was made with the Walrus it was realised that the beacon had been set off by a wave and the boat was able to continue to Bermuda.

Mr Lisske said he decided to make the trip because he found himself with free time as he moved from Manhattan to Long Island.

He explained: “I thought I should take a trip by myself and when I was thinking of all the places I always wanted to go, Bermuda was right there.”

Mr Lisske said he had owned the Walrus – constructed by Groverbuilt – for about ten years.

He added: “Al Grover, who built the boat, took one across the Atlantic. It was a renowned story from where I was.

“I thought if he could make it across the Atlantic, I can make it to here.”

He said that he had grown up on the water and had been on longer journeys before, but had never been so far from shore.

Mr Lisske added: “Those who didn’t know anything about boats thought it was insane.

“My father, who grew up on the water and worked on the water, said it was doable, but it wasn’t going to be comfortable and I was putting myself at some risk.

“My mother was beside herself. The vast majority thought it was a bad idea.”

He added that many of the people he spoke to brought up the myth of the Bermuda Triangle.

Mr Lisske added: “I didn’t really think about it too much. At least not until I was about 350 miles off shore.”

He said he contacted Harbour Radio about his situation and said staff were “beyond professional” in helping him reach Bermuda.

Mr Lisske added he arrived in St George’s on Monday and, after taking his arrival Covid-19 test, spent two days recovering from his ordeal.

He said: “My plan is to be around for a week. Everyone here has been unbelievably kind.

“I cannot say enough about the kindness and the hospitality.

“I’m from New York, and New York is not that hospitable, so it has been just so great. I have a big smile on my face.”
 
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jpd

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2018
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I have that story in my bookcase somewhere. If I remember Al Grover and son had so much gas on the boat they were afraid to light a cigarette.
 

Alisske

New Angler
Nov 22, 2021
4
6
3
Thanks for posting. I was the guy. Sold it there. Flew home, lol.

was a good trip. Would have been much easier if the 325 gallon bladder did not leak. Was covered in diesel for 3.5 days with no sleep. Last 225 miles was in 15-25 footers (the storm i was trying to keep ahead of caught up with me). Was literally hearing voices for the last 36 hours.

folks of Bermuda are awesome. Took me in. In the St George part of the island, the folks are hard core waterman. Was a pleasure to get their insight into boating and seamanship. If you live on an small island 700 miles from shore, i suppose you have to be.

A
 

OVERBORED

Angler
Jan 6, 2021
481
401
63
Some trip!

I agree. Bermudans are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! Bermuda is a wonderful place.

Glad you're alive to tell the story!!!!!
 

Aquarius

Angler
Dec 21, 2018
398
376
63
Woodcleft Canal, Freeport, New York
Thanks for posting. I was the guy. Sold it there. Flew home, lol.

was a good trip. Would have been much easier if the 325 gallon bladder did not leak. Was covered in diesel for 3.5 days with no sleep. Last 225 miles was in 15-25 footers (the storm i was trying to keep ahead of caught up with me). Was literally hearing voices for the last 36 hours.

folks of Bermuda are awesome. Took me in. In the St George part of the island, the folks are hard core waterman. Was a pleasure to get their insight into boating and seamanship. If you live on an small island 700 miles from shore, i suppose you have to be.

A

Welcome to the site. I am sure you have a lot of great stories from that trip.

Come back often. I stay within 25 miles myself. Trying to picture my GPS with "700 nm to go" displayed!
 

Alisske

New Angler
Nov 22, 2021
4
6
3
Aquarius, i see you have the grover 28. I think Al himself knew that another 2 foot was an improvement. Beautiful boat. I bet the extra 2 foot is nice
 
Last edited:

Alisske

New Angler
Nov 22, 2021
4
6
3
Lol. In regards to the distance. Was scared as hell leaving and just did not look at the distance at all. (I would have never left)

I did not think distance until I had the Coast Guard fly over me at night in a storm and they hailed me on the VHF (those guys are stone cold professionals. They have my gratitude). I was able to dewater the boat and get the engine started again. I was all full of piss and vinager since about two hours earlier, I had 18 inches of water in the boat

I was covered in diesel, punching through sharp 12 footers 250 miles NE of Bermuda. I had learned to “wedge” one leg between the engine cover and a seat post to keep myself from sliding all over the boat. When i heard the hail, I crawled ip to the VHF and they wanted a sit rep and I gave them the lowdown. As part of that was fuel on board, headway speed, burn rate and expected hours to Bermuda.

Did the calcs and replied back “Ill arrive in bermuda in 30 hours” (giving myself an additional 4 hours)

When the words came out of my mouth, I had a real WTF moment. (I mean, it was rough, I was losing fuel, the storm had cought up with me and I could expect it to get worse)

When the Hercules flew off, I suddenly felt very alone for the first time.
 

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