Stamford Couple Combines Ancient Transportation and Technology


Dirk DeLo and his wife Sandy are enjoying the comforts of home after a long journey made possible through sail power and technology. 

The couple returned to Stamford Harbor on Tuesday afternoon after completing a 1,530-mile voyage that took them from St. Thomas to Bermuda and back, reports the Greenwich Time.

Despite their using an ancient way of getting around, the DeLos' 44-foot catamaran named Catatonic was not without the latest technology.

In the spacious cabin, the Delos and friends enjoyed a flat-screen television hooked up to Wii, an iPod-ready stereo and a remote control that drove the engines. At one point, while watching birds, they used an iPhone application to identify the birds and piped their calls back to them over the stereo.

DeLo, 43, of Riverside, told the Time he began sailing the boat from the Virgin Islands on July 11. It took four-and-a-half days to reach Bermuda, a voyage of 850 miles. From Bermuda, the DeLos and three friends made the 680-mile trip to Stamford.

In 1981, DeLo -- then 11 years old -- sailed his first real offshore race, the 2,225 mile Transpacific Yacht Race from Long Beach, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii. Sailing the catamaran provided for a much different experience, he said. Most nights, the crew grilled fresh-caught mahi-mahi and tuna -- "something you wouldn't think of doing on a regular sailboat," he told the newspaper.

The trip was not always smooth sailing though. About 100 miles north of Bermuda, a storm packing 50-knot winds blew out a main sail. Delo says before the sail shredded, Catatonic bested its previous top speed of 14.4 mph, hitting speeds of 17.7 mph.

Sandy DeLo, 43, sailed the last leg of the trip home from Bermuda and said it was the farthest she had ever been offshore. She tells the Greenwich Time, "I was nervous at first, but once you got accustomed to not seeing other boats on the horizon, then when you did see one, I felt they were encroaching on my ocean. It was a great trip."

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