Updated 08/04/2008 14:08

Sea Scout Ship 25 Apprentice Sea Scout Brian Jonathan Kurzik's Transatlantic Voyage

(click on any photo below to see an enlarged version)

Apprentice Ship 25 Sea Scout Brian Jonathan Kurzik on board SSTV KUAN YIN en route to Bermuda during the 2008 Bermuda Ocean Race

Brian onboard KUAN YIN en route to Bermuda in the Bermuda Ocean Race

Not since 1928 when Sea Scout Paul A. Siple sailed to the Antarctic with Admiral Byrd is an American Sea Scout believed to have sailed so far off shore in a small boat.  New Sea Scout history is now in the making.

Brian  Jonathan Kurzik is a 19 year-old Apprentice Sea Scout from Hellam Township, York County, PA, and a member of Sea Scout Ship 25 - SSS YORKSHIRE, in York, PA.  He is currently engaged in an epic sailing adventure crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Pasadena, MD to Brighton, England via Bermuda and the Azores in a 35' sailboat.

Brian's voyage began on Thursday, 12 June 2008 as part of the all-Sea Scout crew of SSTV KUAN YIN in the Bermuda Ocean Race from Annapolis, MD to St. George's, Bermuda.  For details, video links, and images from that race, click here.   Brian and the other Sea Scouts sailed from Pasadena, MD to Annapolis, MD onboard KUAN YIN.  They sailed on from Annapolis the next day as part of the Bermuda Ocean Race and arrived in St. George's, Bermuda on Friday, 20 June 2008 having covered approximately 825 nautical miles since Pasadena.  

Brian's original plan was to return to Pasadena with the rest of the Ship 25 Sea Scouts on board KUAN YIN, but fate intervened.  While attending the Bermuda Ocean Race fish fry social at the St. George's Dingy & Sports Club, Brian spotted a note on the club's bulletin board seeking an additional crew member for the Camper & Nicholson 35 yacht MILLIE D to proceed from Bermuda to the Azores and on to Brighton, England.  The MILLIE D is registered in Southampton, England and skippered by Jonathan Hull, an executive with Virgin Atlantic Airlines.  After three days of further investigation and consideration, and after long talks with his parents and Skipper Kain of Ship 25, Brian decided to accept the position and was cheerfully given an honorable discharge from the crew of KUAN YIN in order to sign on with the crew of the MILLIE D.

MILLIE D, a Camper & Nicholson 35, port bow view  MILLIE D, port quarter view

Two views of the Camper & Nicholson 35 sloop, MILLIE D

Jonathan Hull, Brian's skipper for the Bermuda-Azores-UK leg of his odyssey, is an experienced sailor and certified by the Royal Yacht Squadron as an off-shore sailing instructor.  Jonathan has participated in several "Round the Island" races, meaning races around the Isle of Wight in Great Britain.  Jonathan's mate for the trip is Lloyd Moulder, also an experienced sailor.

Mate Lloyd Moulder, left, and Skipper Jonathan Hull, right  Brian Kurzik, Lloyd Moulder, and Jonathan Hull on MILLIE D in Bermuda

Left:  Mate Lloyd Moulder and Skipper Jonathan Hull                                             Right:  Brian, Lloyd, and Skipper Hull onboard MILLIE D in Bermuda

On arrival in the United Kingdom, Brian hopes to meet with Sub Lieutenant Jonathan Jones, Royal Naval Reserve, who is a liaison between British Sea Scouts and the Royal Navy.  Brian wants to deliver an open invitation to all British and European Sea Scouts to come to Baltimore, MD in July of 2012 to attend the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of Sea Scouting in the United States.  Click here to see a copy of the invitation Brian is delivering to our brother and sister Sea Scouts across the seas.

Like Paul Siple, Brian is both an Eagle Scout and Sea Scout.  Brian is also a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow, a veteran summer camp staffer at the York-Adams Area Council, BSA's Camp Tuckahoe in Dillsburg, PA, and has just completed his freshman year at California University of Pennsylvania where he is majoring in Technical Education.  His current goal is to become a high-school shop teacher.  He has previously served in various Scouting positions including Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 49 in Hellam, PA and as Purser of Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA.  In addition to sailing, Brian's interests include photography, auto mechanics, and just about anything and everything else.

For the 24 June 2008 Press Release regarding Brian's voyage, click here.

For a nice article from the York, PA The York Dispatch on 8 July 2008 about Brian's voyage, click here.

Here's Brian's first report on Thursday, 5 June 2008:

This is the start of a wild summer for me. In five days (June 10th), I will officially fall out of contact with everyone as I will be in Annapolis getting ready for the 2008 Bermuda Ocean Race. We will be sailing on the 13th of June aboard a 43' Mason Ketch Sailboat, Kuan Yin, owned and captained by George Hay Kain III.

I will then be in Bermuda from June 19th-25 at St. Georges Dingy and Sports Club. I will try to update my Facebook with photos, etc.

From there I will be back in the real world on July 6th.

Here is the race website: http://www.bermudaoceanrac e.com/

Here is a website for our boats satellite tracking device so that you can watch our progress in the race right from your home: 
http://www.iboattrack.com/ racetracking.html. It will be up and running as the race begins under ONGOING RACES labeled as 
2008 Bermuda Ocean Race (Annapolis to Bermuda)- June 13.  We are boat Kuan Yin.  

More details to come

        /s/ Brian J. Kurzik, at York, Pennsylvania

Here's Brian's next report as of Friday, 20 June 2008:

Hello everybody

Right now I am sitting here on the veranda of the St. Georges Dingy and sports club, .... We had a very challenging, dangerous, [yet] safe trip participating in the 2008 Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean Race. At our worst we had 2-5 knot winds in which we had to motor, and at our best we had 45 knot winds running at 9.5 knot speed over the ground fighting a 2 knot current (new boat record). 2 minutes after setting that record (Kuan Yin's maximum theoretical hull speed is 7.5 fighting an adverse current), we got hit with a 48 knot gust off our starboard beam which immediately set us on our side at a 50+ degree heel. For those who don't understand, the immediate feelings of the moment were [unprintable] as we felt Kuan Yin preparing to throw us away to become fish food. Spent many of our days fighting anything from minor gales to major squalls to days of absolutely no wind. Inevitably we had to withdraw from the race and motor in bad conditions to ensure that the youth stayed safe and made their flights back to the states. I will post a lot of my great photos over the next couple days here in Bermuda. Right now only 1/3 of my wonderful adventure is over and sadly I will have to return to the real world of debt, turning wrenches on my Jeeps, various jobs, etc. One of the real lessons so far is to respect mother nature because if she is [upset], she will let you know. Well, I am going to go enjoy a dinner by the water and sleep well tonight. To everybody from the Cal University/Pittsburgh area, I miss you all dearly (tons o' manly tears) and can't wait to see you all again.

/s/ Brian J. Kurzik, St. George's Dingy & Sports Club, St. George's, Bermuda

Here's Brian's report as of Monday, 23 June 2008:

[I] just got an offer here in Bermuda to sail to the Azores and from there to the U.K. I won't be back till August. Sailing on a 35' Nicholson as a member of a crew of 3. This is my first transatlantic. Sorry Ben, I really wanted to be at your wedding, but I will be gone.
All is well here in Bermuda, sailing Wed to the Azores. My original crew will be taken care of so there is no worries about their passage back to the U.S. despite being down one experienced crew member.

I will learn a lot from this trip. I ask that you all keep Kuan Yin and Minnie D's crews in your prayers. I have high hopes that the Lord intends for me to return from this trip alive and well.

Everybody take care, this will most likely be the last of my contact with y'all for a while.

/s/ Brian J. Kurzik, onboard KUAN YIN lying at St. George's, Bermuda

Here's Brian's report as of Tuesday, 15  July 2008

Made it 18 days across the Atlantic, now in the Azores, Island of Flores, Porta del Lajes. All is well, many stories and tales to come. Sailing with the British has been fun.  I have never drank so much tea in my life. From here we leave to the island of Horta, re-provision, and head to either Portugal or the U.K. from there depending on what this massive anticyclone [Hurricane Bertha] does to our wind. Fronz [Alex Fronczek], your input here would be great.  We download our weather data from grib.us. The anticyclone is over the Azores and seems to stretch to England. 13 day outlook would be great. Love this place, beautiful, not leaving until we can get our diesel started. you all take care.

/s/ Brian J. Kurzik, onboard MILLIE D lying at Flores, The Azores, Portugal.

Here's Brian's report as of Sunday, 20 July 2008:

Hello everybody!  [I] figured I would send you an official update as to my progress across the Atlantic. We are sitting here in Horta [in the Azores ], looking for some more crew, and ideally we want to leave Tuesday [July 22, 2008].

Been here for a week. Lots of good times in Flores . We have met many interesting people; lots of CRAZY Frenchmen. Right now we are tied up on the pontoons here at Club Naval da Horta, the single premier yachting facility in the Atlantic . We had many good nights at Peterís Cafe Sport and many other odd, but fun, bars and restaurants. Itís a small world because many of the boats that we saw in Bermuda ended up where we are now, so that part is really cool.

John and Lloyd, two British gentlemen, have been working hard to assimilate tea drinking and proper English into my diet of life, and they seem to be succeeding. Itís been a wild time so far, and we still got ten days of sailing, and Iíve got some touring of England to do. Still havenít figured out if we want to go to Portugal or the U.K. because of this anticyclone caused by [Hurricane] Bertha.

Hope all is going really well back home.  Yíall out at California [ University of Pennsylvania ] take care and I will probably pop in as soon as I get back to the states.  When?  Who knows.

/s/ Brian J. Kurzik, 20 July 2008, 09:46 EDT, onboard the Millie D lying at Horta, The Azores, Portugal.

Monday, 4 August 2008:  THEY MADE IT!

Hello All Stations:

Brian Jonathan Kurzik, a 19 year old Apprentice Sea Scout from SSS YORKSHIRE, Sea Scout Ship 25 in York, Pennsylvania, arrived safely in Falmouth, England this morning, Monday August 4, 2008 onboard MILLIE D, a 35' Camper & Nicholson sloop captained by Jonathan Hull. For Brian, this completes a 4,800 mile transatlantic crossing begun June 13, 2008 when he sailed from Annapolis, MD for Bermuda with Sea Scout Ship 25 in the Annapolis-Bermuda Ocean Race. Transferring to the MILLIE D in Bermuda, Brian continued across the Atlantic via the Azores.

To the best of our knowledge, Brian is the first U.S. Sea Scout to sail across the entire Atlantic Ocean in a boat this small with only three crew.

Brian plans to tour the United Kingdom for the next few days, and hopes to meet with Jonathan Jones, Royal Naval Reserve liaison to Britain's Sea Scouts, to deliver an invitation for European Sea Scouts to come to Baltimore, MD in July 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of U.S. Sea Scouting as part of the Centennial ScoutFleet celebration. Brian will fly back to Philadelphia, PA USA this Thursday, August 7, 2008.

Sea Scout Ship 25 is pleased to extend to Brian our heartiest congratulations on the successful accomplishment of this very significant nautical undertaking and for demonstrating once again the truth of the saying, "Join Sea Scouts and See the World."

Here's Brian's report as of Monday, 4 August 2008:

Greetings to all, I am sitting here in Falmouth Marina after 10.5 days of awesome sailing. It feels great having completed a Transatlantic and I am looking forward to seeing you all after being out of the states for about two months now. Millie D handled really well through a nasty gale that lasted 24 hours. It was force 7 gusting 9-10 with up to 60 knots of true wind. We managed to do 10.4 knots on a boat designed to do 7, so it was a fun experience. John, Scott, and I are happy to be here and are looking forward to a couple days rest before flying back to the states. I will write a complete summary of my two months sailing later. If you really want to know the full story, call me and ask me in a couple weeks. Ill post photos later. Take care all, cheers!

/s/ Brian J. Kurzik, onboard the MILLIE D lying at Falmouth, UK

Here are Brian's position reports from the MILLIE D:

    Position reports from Brian Kurzik, a 19 year old Sea Scout from Ship 25, York, PA who is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean this summer
    Updated 8/4/08 12:11                 Approx Total Nautical Miles 4,377
                  Avg Avg Avg    
Leg WP Google Earth Report Time North West Avg Avg Wind Wind Baro   Approx
# # Waypoint Date EDT Latitude Longitude Course Speed Dir Speed Millibars Comments Leg NM
1 1 200806121752 Thursday, June 12, 2008 17:52 39.15 76.51 *   *     Departed Pasadena, MD 0
1 2 200806122015 Thursday, June 12, 2008 20:15 38.98 76.47 SSW   S     Arrived Annapolis, MD 21
2 2 200806131420 Thursday, June 13, 2008 14:20 38.98 76.47 *   *     Departed Annapolis, MD 0
2 3 200806151751 Sunday, June 15, 2008 17:51 37.04 76.07 SSW   S     Entered Atlantic Ocean 125
2 4 200806201112 Friday, June 20, 2008 11:12 32.22 64.67 SW   SW     Arrived St. George's, Bermuda 699
3 4 200806251100 Wednesday, June 25, 2008 11:00 32.22 64.67 *   *     Departed St. George's, Bermuda 0
3 5 200806261613 Thursday, June 26, 2008 16:13 33.52 63.02   5+ NNW 12+   Sea state slight.  Great progress.  Brian Jon and Lloyd. 112
3 6 200806271645 Friday, June 27, 2008 16:45 35.28 63.13     SW 25   Wind force 6.  All is well.  I got hit in face by a 7" flying fish at the helm last night. [position error?] 105
3 7 200806281523 Saturday, June 28, 2008 15:23 35.45 60.45 080 5.7         131
3 8 200806290700 Sunday, June 29, 2008 7:00 35.55 59.06     SW 15   Will push further north today. 68
3 9 200806301200 Monday, June 30, 2008 12:00 37.00 59.06           Very sunny. [position error?]  
3 10 200807012153 Tuesday, July 01, 2008 21:56 38.22 55.16 N 4 W     All good.  Great tans! 246
3 11 200807020700 Wednesday, July 02, 2008 7:00 38.47 54.55     W 5-10 1024 Maybe some motor sailing later! 34
3 12 200807041447 Friday, July 04, 2008 14:47 39.27 51.13           Today's coordinates 166
3 13 200807051458 Saturday, July 05, 2008 14:58 39.45 47.32           Wind is back! Great trip.  ETA Azores 12.07 dep 14.07. 168
3 14 200807091020 Wednesday, July 09, 2008 10:20 39.22 37.48           Using the engine as there is little wind 633
3 15 200807100700 Thursday, July 10, 2008 7:00 39.37 -35.48     SE 8-10   Still got the engine on to help us point high and still got lots of dolphins around. 93
3 16 200807120700 Saturday, July 12, 2008 7:00 39.49 -33.26     SE 10-15   Seas have calmed. Flores 103M. 103
3 17 200807130806 Sunday, July 13, 2008 8:06 39.30 -31.54           30M W of flores.39.30N 31.54W. Can see it easily. Wind is better. 76
3 18 20080713xxxx Sunday, July 13, 2008   39.39 -31.16           Anchored safely off Flores, the Azores. 17
3 19 20080713xxxx Sunday, July 13, 2008   38.53 -28.62           Moored at Club Naval da Horta, Horta, Faial, Portugal. 129
4 20                     Departed Azores for the UK  
4 21   Tuesday, July 29, 2008 20:03 44.55 -18.23           Motor sailing now after a top windy overnight sail.  All good but cold. 591
4 22   Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:26 45.26 -16.59     W-SW 4-6 kts   About 80M west of Frizroy.  Mark sending us weather.  Sounds perfect.  Downwind and comfortable. 82
4 23   Thursday, July 31, 2008 12:17 47.06 -14.11       28-33 kts   Managed 75M in 10 hours.  Force7 winds (28-33 knots).  Great downwind sailing.  Brian loving it.  I think it's cold.  Will be in Sea Area SOLE by 6 a.m. tomorrow. 139
4 24   Monday, August 04, 2008 5:00 50.89 -1.4           ARRIVED FALMOUTH, UK! 639

Here is an image from Google Earth showing Brian's voyage:

Congratulations Brian, Jonathan, Lloyd, Scott, and MILLIE D!  WELL DONE!




This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA - http://ship25bsa.org