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The key to happiness is having dream, the key to success is making dreams come true some people want it to happen, some wish it to happen others make it happen... The best laid plan are the plan that we can change...
Stars, sun and still looking for back eddy.
10/27/2009, 32 56N 77 28W

Motoring along still bucking the Gulf Stream which is very painful for the captain. Heading closer to shore to find back eddies. Stars are out and a bit cooler which means the cold front has finally passed over them and should bring clear skies and sunshine for the day, great change. The winds look like they are going to clock around, which might allow some sailing. At the moment, motoring into 10 knot of head winds and relatively calm seas.

Does anybody knows where the back eddy current is in the Gulfstream?

Back eddy current...
10/26/2009, somewhere along the coast

A calm spot next to a fast current, or in the case of a "back eddy," where the current switches direction.

For a picture check:

Rain, rain, more rain
10/26/2009, 33 39 N 76 32 W

Rain, rain, more rain, and then a brief bit of sun and now more rain. Never trust a sailor who is afraid of being wet. We take what nature offers and go from there. Beam reaching along the coast under sail alone and making 8-9 knots through the water, but only 6-7 over the ground. Sailing about 70 miles offshore to avoid any of the shallower water, less than a 1000 feet deep, as the headlands and shoals may reach out 30 miles or more. Approaching Cape Fear, but we have no fear; winds are moderate with 6-8 foot seas astern. Still influenced a bit by the Gulf Stream, which is running against us. Looking to find the back eddy current, moving farther south along the coast. That would certainly be appreciated to speed us along.

ETA prediction, Friday arrival in Fort Lauderdale, but who knows? Could be a day earlier or a day later. About half way to destination and still have 521 miles to go. Winds look like they are going to clock around on the nose, but are light. Plan to be motoring for a few days toward the end. Everything mechanical is working right now, including the water-maker. Travel status: we have plenty of food and water and we are heading toward warmer weather and sunshine. What could be better?

A military helicopter circle the boat twice the past hour. They figured we were suspicious... as who would be sailing south in these conditions against the Gulf Stream in a rainstorm. They never radioed in. So we assume they figured we were a harmless cruising yacht sailing down the coast to Florida. And since all cruisers are a bit nutty, they decided to leave us alone.

Everyone is in the mood to eat dinner tonight. The menu pork tenderloin with a bit of pasta, fresh bake bread from yesterday and a bit of salad. Assuming everyone will be able to keep it all down.

Hoping for better weather
Rain, rain and more rain
10/26/2009, 34 20N 75 12W

Apart from John calling me names, nice names mind you all is well on the boat.

The weather report sounds like the west coast one, as at sea they are still experiencing winds from behind with continuous rain. Have rounded Cape Hatteras and trying to work their way back to shore to get out of the Gulf Stream, which is slowing the boat down by 2-3 knots. So motor sailing keeps the wind at a favorable angle and maintains some speed. Once closer to shore and more south out of the Gulf Stream which is warm and humid, the rain will hopefully cease. Sunshine would be welcome, as dining out in the cockpit would be a nice change. It has been either too cold or too wet to do so. What to expect when a cold front pass over the Gulf Stream, so hope is up to get out of it later today perhaps.

Sailing almost dead down wind with a preventer, which broke once already. The captain was up a bit with the guys last night making sure things went well so he is a bit tired this morning. You need to be quick at hand in case anything happens. All in all, however, the guys are doing well and they liked the fresh bread and lasagna the captain cooked for dinner last night. Tonight, weather permitting something even better is in the making. The crews take care of themselves for breakfast and lunch which, hasn't been much up until yesterday. It gives the cook a break!

Because of the rain, they are having some signal problems but the report keeps coming sooner or later.

Cape Hateras abeam
10/25/2009, 35°16'N 75°33'W

Cape Hatteras is abeam and the boat is 45 miles offshore. Winds are northerly at 20 knots, with 6-8 foot seas. Moving along comfortably and quickly. Hit a new speed record for the boat of 17.2 knots surfing down a wave. Thirtees are common and fourteens are frequent. The Autopilot is handling it well and we are sailing at 150 degrees apparent wind so as to not risk jibbing.

Everyone is feeling good, and looking forward to some home made bread and some lasagna. So they must be feeling better for sure. Looking forward to more of the same wind for the next day or so before it changes around again when it will be in our face again for a while as we are heading toward Fort Lauderdale. It should be fine under warmer climes off the coast of Florida. The plan is to take it easy on that last leg. Right now all are enjoying the rounding of Cape Hatteras.

Something more to fix today, which was disappointing, the newly installed port side trampoline tore off its grommets at the bow. Last night it couldn't take the pounding into the head seas, which frankly it should have been able to do. So it will get fix by the installer in Florida. Jeff helped to reattached it through the webbing and all is well until in port again. Never a dull moment out there, everything else seems to be working pretty well.

The track

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About the crew...
Who: John and Marie-Andrée
Port: British Virgin Island
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