Norfolk to Fort Lauderdale Day 5 - Gary invents the hand bearing kitchen timer

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Tue 7 Feb 2012 23:59

Position           29:55.84N 081:08.20W

Date                2359 Tuesday 7 February 2012


The wind held overnight until 0900 when with the wind lightening and dead astern we had to report to motor sailing for the rest of the day.  Mostly we were able to benefit from the use of the genoa and with only 1250rpm on the engine we made approximately 7 knots through to midnight.  A chart may assist in knowing where we are:



I should explain that we are using a kitchen timer in the cockpit to remind the duty watch to take the hourly log.  Shortly after midnight I was woken by the timer alarm going off.  Roll over and ignore it, but as skipper I was now wide awake.  On and on it went, patiently I waited for Gary to turn it off.  On and on it went and I felt the first stirrings of concern.  On and on it went, better get up and check he has not fallen overboard.  Well no immediate problem because there was Gary as large as life but desperately trying to turn the hand bearing compass off.  Great, a porbl hat the skipper was bale to fix; of course we have been far too tactful to reminded him about this – not harf!


There has been a distinct absence of traffic during the day.  We did however see the odd buoy.  This was also a waypoint and is marked on the chart as Jekyll, it being off Jekyll Sound.



We did speak on the VHF radio to the delivery skipper on a passing motor yacht who left us with an ancient American farewell – “may the warm wind on your back not be your own” – not quite Robbie Burns but well intentioned.


Jacksonville, and the entrance to the St John’s River would have caused consternation if we had arrived an hour earlier as four large merchant ships left almost at the same time and we would have been right in the middle of them.  Whilst they took an age to clear, as there is a strict speed limit of 10 knots as a precaution to avoid damaging Right Whales who breed in the area, they were well away before we crossed their tracks.  There were, probably fortunately for us, no sightings of Right Whales however.


At midnight, other end of the day, we were very close to the St Augustine waypoint.  The mass of black overwritten text at the bottom of the chart marks the many waypoints that we have plotted for our arrival in Fort Lauderdale.