Tony Fleming made landfall on the Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar, 10-miles off the southern coast of Iceland on the morning of June 20th aboard his Fleming 65, VENTURE II. He and his crew of three departed the Faroe Islands on June 18th, making the 400-mile passage in 46-hours. Three days later Fleming arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, completing another key leg of his ongoing “voyage of personal discovery.”
Fleming and his captain, Chris Conklin, have been planning this exciting voyage for the past 18-months, eventually setting out from Southampton in the UK on April 19th.
During the next two months, VENTURE II cruised parts of England and Ireland before exploring the Western Isles of Scotland. She arrived in Torshhavn in the Faroe Islands on June 13th, where Fleming and his crew spent five days traveling throughout the fascinating island group located halfway between Scotland and Iceland.
Fleming’s reasons for his ambitious cruising itineraries are “to visit people and places of interest, preferably those that are impossible or difficult to get to by conventional transport.” Now that he has turned over the daily operation of Fleming
Yachts to his next generation of management, he has been able to focus on cruising to faraway destinations while producing high quality videos of each of his voyages.
Another important reason for Fleming’s voyages is to provide first hand feedback to the factory building new Fleming 55s, 65s and 75s in Taiwan. VENTURE and VENTURE II, both Fleming 65s, have been used to test new systems and equipment before they are incorporated into production models. Recent examples include the Seatorque enclosed shaft system, Hypro Marine’s Fly-by-Wire steering system and BÃ¶ning’s ship monitoring system, all of which are now available on new production boats.
The 400-mile, 46-hour passage from the Faroes to Iceland’s Vestmannaeyjar was an uncomfortable one, as the sea conditions severely deteriorated during the last 18- hours. Winds of 30-knots or more were off the port bow creating 8 to 10-foot square-shaped head seas on top of the large ocean swell.
Fleming recounts in his daily blog, “The waves were steep and short and often came in groups so the bow flew up in the air and then crashed down into a hole on the other side. These were probably the worst conditions we have ever experienced during all our thousands of miles cruising in VENTURE I and II.”
The Fleming 65 displaces 133,500 pounds (60,555 kg) and is powered by twin MAN 800-hp diesel engines. She can cruise at 17 to 18-knots, but for long passages she normally runs between 8.5 and 10-knots. With her standard fuel capacity of 1700 gallons (6,435 litres) she has a range of 1500 nautical miles at the lower speeds.
After spending a week in Reykjavik, Fleming plans to take VENTURE II up the West Coast of Iceland to the West Fjords where he will take on a new crew for the return trip to Scotland and eventually back to England in time for the Southampton Boat Show in September. For a detailed and illustrated account of Tony Fleming’s voyage to Iceland, as well as his other voyages throughout the world, visit Fleming’s web site: www.flemingyachts.com