Overnight from Cape May towards Block Island

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sun 12 Jun 2011 22:59

Position           40:12.76N 073:03.69W

Date                2400 – Sunday 12 June 2011 (UTC -4)


The weather forecast giving the indication of 18 hours of south easterly winds and with 220nm for the major hop north to do we were off at 0600 so that we could arrive at Block Island, Rhode Island State sometime on Monday afternoon.  The forecast for the rest of the week was for very light winds and what wind there was to be was forecast from the north or north east so now was the time to go or we risked being stuck in Cape May harbour or the delights of the New Jersey shore for too long.


The weather gods were being fickle and the forecast winds did not materialise either in direction or strength.  We started with winds directly astern from the south west and light, so we motored and when the wind shift came, very abruptly at 1200, they went round to the north east, on the nose and continued light which at least had the benefit of making motoring easier and we were easily able to maintain 6 – 7 knots through the water.


Our course took us across the approaches to New York, three traffic separation zones and a major fishing ground.  In one very busy hour we had three major cruise ships pass within a mile of us and we threaded our way through eleven fishing boats all trawling apparently randomly at 5 knots.  The combination of that and the fact that we had sails in and out to try and get the best advantage motor sailing from what wind there was meant that the Skipper had a very long night.


The Mate magiced some Chilli from the freezer and kept me well supplied with hot drinks. 


Midnight saw us with 115nm done and 92nm to go, well on track.  We are definitely going north.  It is much cooler and for the first time night watches have required jeans and layers of jumpers.