The days are beginning to run together and I am not sure
if I am not repeating myself.
Last night was very peaceful with winds about 15 knots and
seas running about 3-4 feet. We are still heading for the Carolinas
right now the winds are so light we will have to alter
course to keep going without using the motor.
Just before noon today we decided to put up the spinnaker
to see if we could gain a little more speed. It was a big job because we had the
genoa polled out with lots of different lines that wouldn't be used for the
spinnaker, and which had to be cleaned up first.
Because of the incessant rolling, there was a real
possibility of wrapping the spinnaker around the head stay which as you sailors
know is a bad no-no.
We put up with near wraps for about an hour and then
packed it in and took it down. The stress of watching a disaster almost
happen was too much. At one point we even took down the main so it
wouldn't blanket it but that only slowed us down more.
Now we are back to wing and wing with the full genoa and
main. We are about to change course so as to gain a little more speed, but
the quandary is which way to change to. We are dead downwind now.
Altering to the right would put us on line for Bermuda again. Going left
would take us to Miami Florida. Complicating all this is a frontal system
approaching with northerly winds just about the time we may feel the effects of
the Gulf Stream. One never wants to be going north in the stream with a
north wind blowing. The wind against a 3 knot current can make conditions
untenable. So now we ponder (I'll do my pondering after I am done with
this blog.) How do we position ourselves given the current and
expected weather conditions.
Yesterday, I listened to Herb on the high frequency radio
(SSB). Herb as many of you know, is the famous volunteer weather
forecaster/router that sailors have been using for a couple of decades.
His service is free. He takes your position and then tells you what is the
best 24 hour route to maximize your speed, comfort and
Trouble is, he has about 70 boats that he monitors each
day and talks to personally. This strings out for almost 2 hours and
waiting to hear about boats in your own area can take forever. I used him
on the first crossing by actually checking in. ( I was also publicly scolded for
not explicitly following his directions). Now, once bitten and twice
shy, I just listen and hope there is someone in our vicinity and going in
the same direction. There always is, but you have to listen to everyone
over the 2 hours to find out who.
Some dingbat lady today took up his time asking for a
forecast for a passage from Virgin Gorda to St Martin. A distance of about
30 miles and islands you can see from each other on a reasonably clear
day. To top it off, she wasn't sure which day she was going this week, so
howabout a weeks worth of forecast. I'd a told her to bugger off. He
is very patient with ladies and quick to scold men that don't do what he
Another guy is Chris Parker who you subscribe to and it is
quite expensive. Like Herb, you can listen in free and
glom on to a forecast for some boat near you. You just can't talk to him, or at
least your not supposed to. In an emergency, he will take calls from
Because subscribers are paying for the service, no inane
weather request is ever not asked.
Dinner last night was fabulous. A little NY strip
steak done perfectly in the broiler/oven. Judy's meals are always
great. No matter what the conditions, we always have a hot, freshly cooked
dinner that is the highlight of the day.
Well I've put off my pondering for as long as I can. Now I
have to get to work and figure out what our next move will be. Tomorrow
you will find out if it worked or was worth it.
As an exercise, since you can see us on Goggle earth and
I've already told you a little northerer is coming Wed. around Cape Hatteras,
which way would you go. Winds south of us will be light and eventually
moving out of the SW. By Thur. evening winds should be back out of the
so this little disturbance will be short lived. We
travel about 170 miles a day. Good luck.