Day 3 - Bahamas to Bermuda

Stravaig'n the Blue
Wed 27 Apr 2022 18:21
Position: 30:40.5 N 072:52.6 W (455 NM east of the Florida Georgia shoreline border)
Position timestamp: Wednesday 27 April 2022  09:00 (UTC-4 / EDT)
Distance travelled in last 24 hours: 144 NM at an average speed of 6.0 knots
Reduction in distance to destination: 125 NM
Remaining distance to destination: 436 NM (straight line)

We motored all of yesterday and into the night. The wind was light and variable and the gently undulating, glassy seas stretched out in all directions. It was very peaceful (apart from the drone of the diesel engine).

A westerly wind picked up slowly from midnight and was just sailable by sunrise, quite a bit sooner than indicated in our latest weather forecast of 25th. Linda resisted the temptation to wake me immediately and we took stock of the situation at 8am when I came on watch. With the wind 10 - 12 knots from the west, we hoisted the mainsail, unfurled the headsail and switched off the engine. Now it really was peaceful.

The revised route we adopted on Monday had us continuing to motor northeast (Bermuda now lies due east) from today’s 9am position to meet the winds coming in from the Carolinas. However, as these winds are already with us, we are now heading directly to Bermuda. Or we will be when the wind goes a bit more north later today.

We have 436 NM to go which, at a very doable average of 6 knots, will get us to the anchorage at St George’s in Bermuda at about 10am Bahamas time / 11am Bermuda time on Saturday morning. That gives us good contingency if we end up going a bit faster and very good contingency if we go slower. Having never having been there, we don’t want to arrive in the dark. The entrance to the anchorage is well buoyed but it is quite narrow and, when I checked the local Notices to Mariners before setting off, the two outermost buoys (SB and Spit) are reported to be missing! 

With the moon not rising until about 4am and very little in the way of cloud cover, the night skies have been a stargazer’s delight. The Milky Way in particular is very prominent. When the waning moon does rise, it is lined up with Jupiter and Venus to its left and Saturn and Mars to its right. Given the varying orbits of these planets I have to believe this must be a relatively rare occurrence.

The moon with Venus and then Jupiter to its left. Saturn and Mars are obscured by clouds. Taken at 05:44.

There have been fairly spectacular shooting stars, meteors burning up as they enter the earth’s atmosphere, between 2am and 4am for the past two nights and last night, what looked like a comet tracked across the sky. Its trail was almost as wide as a full moon and it took about five minutes to track from west to north so it must have been in a fairly low orbit. 

All is well.