Route and weather

Mon 4 Nov 2019 16:28
Phil kindly promised that I would provide you with details of the route and the weather we expect on the way

It’s quite simple really. Once we left Chesapeake Bay, the direct course to Antigua is SE. To persuade the crew to do the trip I promised a number of things and that included great weather with buckets of sunshine. So that’s what we all expect! Nothing else to it in big picture terms.

Back in the real world there are a few challenges. Down in the Caribbean the wind is guaranteed at 15 knots from the East. So Rule 1 is not to go South too early to avoid a horrendous up wind slog

The next challenge is the Gulf Stream. It flows up the US Coast in a 70 mile band about 100 miles offshore; quite strongly. As if crossing a river, it’s dealt with best by going straight across it. Fiddling about in it may get you off Grand Banks, Newfoundland heading directly home to UK after the crew have been promised Antigua and VIPs are heading out there to give us an incredible welcome.

So the classic route from Chesapeake, the popular launch pad for Yanks sailing to the Caribbean, is to head East first towards Bermuda. Of course this does need a handy wind in the right direction. As luck would have it, we have a Northerly and are enjoying lots of reaching in modest breeze. If the wind changes, we don’t mind a bit of South. After all that’s where we need to go for the 2nd half of the journey. Phil has slightly taken this to heart and is helming such that our current course looks like the New York grid system. One block East then one block South! ( to be fair the light wind right now is very variable and we are saving ourselves a huge number of sail adjustments ). Plus he looks so happy; admiring the tell tales on the foresail with no cares at all about where we are heading. It is important to keep the crew happy. Anyway it’s lunchtime and we really don’t want to muck about with sails

Apologies to readers ( if there are any ) who concluded yesterday from Phil’s Blog that we were actually going to Bermuda. It’s a lovely Island but we are resisting the temptation of it’s fine restaurants and tranquil harbours - unless some foul weather is forecast.

Apart from a need to show off the amazing sailing abilities of our lovely X-Yacht in light airs, the forecast is fairly good. Lots of wind direction changes in the 5 Day forecast we receive by Sat Phone every day but one way and another we can head East and South and better still a bit of both most of the time.

So far 320 miles achieved in first 48 hours so we are doing pretty well and have successfully crossed the Gulf Stream.

Hope this promised explanation is not too dull. I was committed to it!!

And yes. Much easier to fly


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