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3 ships wait for winds in Bermuda to die down

All 3 vessels are at full capacity for crossing

SHARE 3 ships wait for winds in Bermuda to die down

ST. GEORGES, Bermuda — The Christian Radich, Europa and Statsraad Lehmkuhl pulled away from the Hamilton wharf on schedule Saturday morning, but it was only to shift positions and delay departure one day.

Due to strong winds and possible 35-foot waves, the ships elected to lay over a day in this outer harbor waiting for the winds to dissipate.

Regarding negotiating 35-foot waves with the sailcraft, "I don't do that," the captain said.

The ships took on passengers until the last minute, loading each to capacity. Although the ships have had more passengers on board for brief trips, having a full capacity on board for a crossing is a bit unusual, said crew members. The Radich, which had 23 passengers who crossed from the Canaries, left port with 60 passengers.

The new arrivals were trained in safety and emergency procedures, with the mate in charge keeping everyone's attention with ample reference to "if we sink" but admitted that in all his years aboard the Radich, he had never

seen the inflatable lifeboats used.

Despite the late departure, the ships commemorating 150 years of Mormon history will arrive Wednesday, a day early, in New York to take part in a patriotic commemoration at the Statue of Liberty.

"Certainly it will be a commemoration and not a celebration," said William K. Sadleir, chairman of Sea Trek 2001. The ships arrival will come three weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Sadleir, who thanked the passengers for their support, said the voyage "will be a microcosm of life" and encouraged everyone to make the most of it.

He said he expected the national news media to cover the arrival and memorial. A fireside will be held Thursday evening at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' New York New York Stake Center at Lincoln Square, and then the ships will be open for tours for schoolchildren.

Additional programs will be held in Salt Lake City later in October, he said.


E-mail: jhart@desnews.com