Antigua to Norfolk VA - day 7

Stravaig'n the Blue
Sun 16 May 2021 22:08
End of day 7 position: 31:39.4 N  071:02.3 W
Position timestamp: Sunday 16 May 2021 11:00 UTC-4
Distance travelled last 24 hours / in total: 120 / 1055 NM
Average speed since departure: 6.5 knots
Shortest distance to destination: 426 NM

Disappointing progress in the last 24 hours. Our plan assumes we will achieve 150 miles towards our destination each day. We managed only 104 despite actually sailing 120. Most of the missing 16 was dodging thunderstorms and in one case, when we failed to dodge it, being driven south (at great speed) and then having to recover that distance.

This screenshot shows us dodging to the right and then to the left to avoid the larger of the red blobs which passed south of us. However, the smaller red blob was catching us fast and, when it hit us, we had no option but to turn south and run with it.

Here’s our track after the thunderstorms were well past. You can see us ducking south before turning around and resuming our northerly course.

Overnight the wind was on the nose so we motored into it but at modest revs to conserve fuel, averaging only 4.5 knots vs the planned 6.25.

So far today the wind has been up and from the east so progress has been much better: 63 miles in 9 hours since 11am. However the wind is forecast to drop overnight and, what’s more, stay that way for the first half of the week. It looks as though we will be motoring quite a bit which is not what we expected when we set out. The forecast then for this area was for strong winds from the north east, strong enough for us to have plotted a route into the anchorage at Cape Lookout in case we needed to take cover. Current ETA into Norfolk is daylight hours on Wednesday.

Having had the ocean to ourselves for the first four or five days we are now having to share it with quite a bit of commercial shipping especially when passing level with Charleston in South Carolina earlier today. But no other yachts, not one since leaving Antigua.

All is well.