Saturday, 14 November. 30.26.41N 68.16.06W

David Batten
Sat 14 Nov 2015 20:11
11 November. A lovely sunny morning with a fair wind and an atmosphere of anticipation up and down the docks as boats are preparing to leave at last. We left Portsmouth at 06.45 and went through the new start line at the Bay Bridge Tunnel at 10.00, along with lots of other yachts and 2 US Navy boats. There were several other Rally boats with us, but the fleet was well spread out as some yachts started last night and some in the dark this morning.

The wind was very obliging and allowed us to turn off the engine at the start and we had a cracking good sail towards Cap Hatteras with the genoa boomed out and a full mainsail. Needless to say, it was very important not to get left behind at this stage and a satisfactory 8 to 9 knots of boat speed kept everyone on board happy. By 20.00 hours, the wind had dropped to force 1 and we were all some 50 miles from Cape Hatteras and the recommended gulf stream crossing. There were several low pressure areas with lots of wind developing to the north east of us and later in the week, south west so we were anxious to keep ahead of the lows and turned on the engine.

After motoring most of the night, the wind picked up again in the morning and we were soon bowling along in 15 to 20 knots south westerly, giving perfect sailing conditions. We have done one 200nm day and one 190nm day, with only one unpleasant watch when it gusted to 35knots, but at least it from a good direction. Lucky Skipper! Otherwise it has been brilliant sailing conditions and we have all be competing to see who can drive the boat the fastest. Skipper's wife recorded 12.3 knots this morning, but since the, the wind has died and we are motoring again.

The crew have settled into their watches and the Ship's Boy only needed a hot water bottle the first night. As soon as we hit the Gulf Stream, the temperature warmed up and we have gradually been able to come out of the thermals. Today, it is shorts and T'shirts and Edd and the Skipper's wife have taken advantage of the relative calm and lashings of hot water to have a shower, after discussing how not to get the sea sickness patches wet during hair washing.

We have no other boats in sight and accept that turning on the motor will count against us with regards to the other yachts, but we are on a roll with less than 10 knots of wind from behind and a sea that empties the genoa every time a wave catches her, even with it out on a pole.

Sorry no photographs with this blog, as too costly to send them through the satellite.


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