Lost in the future,

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 1 Dec 2011 17:49
Thursday 1st  December 2011
Sailing from Pilots Point Marina, Westbrook to Antigua, via Bermuda,  Total distance 1,600 + miles
Did you ever flippen well wake up and wonder to yourself, " what am I doing and where am I going "  !  well today is one of those days
 where Skipper is wondering what to do with the future,  Is it sailing around the world for ever and meeting lots of lovely and interesting
people, or returning to Terra Firma, and wither away , or return to some sort of work situation for mental stimulation , not to mention
that it could actually earn a few dollars. or just enjoy the Grandchildren,  All major decisions, but at least they dont have to be made today.
Since the last Blog, Aileen and Skipper have been back to Ireland and caught up with all our families, our friends, our children,
 and our grandchildren,
Then we travelled down to Spain, where we met more of our friends, including Dave and Sue Mackay,( World ARC ) and delt with some
housekeeping issues, ( the kind of things that crawl out of the woodwork after an absence of nearly 3 years )
Then we travelled to " Zelam an Zea" in Austria to meet our daughter Laeh, husband Johnny and grandchild Jamie, who were there for a
 few days prior to returning to Mumbai in India, where Johnny works,
Then back to Dublin, where we stayed with Stefan for a few days before returning to Cork where we stayed with Sarah and Paul,
 before returning to " A Lady" .....  This time Skipper brought two friends to do the trip to Antigua, while Aileen remained at home for a break.
On wed. 23rd Nov. we got a lift from Viv Nathan from Cork to Shannon and flew from there to N.Y.  ( skipper had lots of trouble at Shannon
because he took his US visa out of his temp. passport and stuck it into his brand new full Irish psaaport, )  Ohhhhh Skipper , ohh my Gawd,
how could one be sooooo flippen STUPID ,,, and all this will take time to sort out,,, ahhhhhhh ! blooming clown, Idiot, dumb, dumb,
Bottom of the class for that, in fact " go stand in the corner facing the wall "
We stayed at the New York YC in Manhattan  where we met Clayton Love Jnr, and Barbara by chance,
The arrangments at the club were organised by our NBF's in N.Y. Tom and Linda Delaney, thanks Tom.
Of course it was " Thanks giving day " on Thursday , so most places , including the marina where " A Lady " was moored , were all
closed for the long weekend,  However , we made the most of it, lots of things needed doing on the boat including putting on
the unused UK mainsail that has been rolled up and plonked in the Lazetette since ( I understand )  2006, 
MONDAY  28th , Our friend Will who owns the restaurant at the marina left a lovely bottle of wine for us on the boat, all for Christmas,
Then we had a few minor issues, ( minor really means major, ) before leaving, which was scheduled for 14.00hrs,
Issues like pay the bills, Get diesel, ( which there was none at the marina or any where else either, ) get water, food etc,
the repaired headsails , fix the Davits, sort out the generator once again, ( not starting )
Skipper then spoke to Jacinta, Aileens freind in C.T. we would meet in Jan.
There were lots of emails on the boat ,including one from our friend Jan Langer in Manchester, USA
In any event, finished or not, we departed Pilots Point at 14.30, monday 28th Nov. headed NE along " Long Island Sound"
throught the race with the tide in our favour at 12 knots,  It was dark when we rounded Montauk Point and out into the
Atlantic once more, then turned SE and headed for Bermuda, a beautifull night, a great SW breeze and we were sailing along merrily
with only 450L of fuel on board, However the weather forecast indicated plenty of wind for the trip, In fact they predicted a SE gale
for Tuesday night ( on our nose ), and they were right,
Tuesday evening we got a terrible hammering, so we had to sail down the NW side of the Gulf Stream, paralell to the coast for 24hours
on a port tack with the SE gale reaching 56knots at times, not to mention the lightning. The wind was screaming through the rigging,
and it all sounded like something from the movies, surreal,
At times like this, we would wonder to ourselves, "Yes, we have to be mad to be doing this, " 
The seas were huge and even though we were doing 7.5 knots well reefed down, we got a pasting that we wont forget for a while,
Mark and John were sick, and skipper was only barely hanging onto his insides,  Despite all our preperations in advance of this gale,
things were still flying around down below, even the door to the cookies press came right off ,can you believe that , it came right off
and flew across the saloon sounding like someone had just fired a " Bazooka"   But, but, NO leaks,
Wed. mornig around 01.00hrs, the wind began to abate , skipper spent the whole night on dack and watched the lightning display with awe.
By 12.00hrs, the weather was much improved, but the swell was still gigantic, ( well you know yourself , maybe just huge ) but thats
 what it felt like, massive,
Throughout the whole gale, " A Lady" was great, She managed a bad situation in her stride, just like any good lady would.  
Mark was unable to eat, so he got lots of TLC instead, and by sunset, he had improved considerably, John was fully back to normal
 as was skipper.
Wed. night saw lots of stars, a waining moon early in the evening and we had a WNW 25 knot breeze blowing us along towards Bermuda,
This morning, we set up a goose wing situation to get that extra bit of boat speed followed by a good healthy cooked breckfast, consisting of :-
a couple of fried eggs, ( sunny side up,) bacon bits, Tomatoes, plus baked beans on toast,  Mark was starving and gobbled the lot down
in the blink of an eye,
We are now 239 miles NW of bermuda, having covered 486 miles since 14.30 Monday.
Thats it for now,
Signed :-    Stephen Hyde  ( Skipper )