Arrived Hampton VA
November 3, 2011, 8:25 am, Blue Water Yachting Center Hampton VA
I know that this blog is a little overdue. Janet and I have been very busy. I suppose it will be that way till we arrive in Tortola. I hope that's when the leisure part of this adventure starts.
The sail from Montauk was a very good shake down for the boat and for us. Janet was a wonder woman. She sailed the boat by herself at night, alone, for the first time and was just great. She also prepared the meals. We did four hour shifts, with one of us sleeping while the other was sailing At Last.
The trip was a bit challenging but generally the weather was helping us. The wind, waves and current pushed us almost the entire way. We were making more than 8 knots over ground much of the time (which is good for At Last). We did run into a bad storm in the middle of the night off the coast of Delaware and we lost time trying to divert around the worst of the storm cells. Spending Halloween on a boat in a thunder storm on a pitch black night 20 miles off the Delaware coast was less scary than the thought of 18 inches of snow and the power outages back home due to the Nor' Easter.
The worst part of the passage was entering Chesapeake Bay. Twenty knot head winds opposed a 2 knot current and the result was 10' breaking waves over the bow. It was like riding a bucking bronco for three hours. We landed at our slip at Blue Water Yachting Center at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, almost exactly 48 hours after leaving Montauk Yacht Club. The most amazing aspect of the passage was that Mark did not toss his cookies.
Yesterday we checked in with the Caribbean 1500 Rally office and attended a Gulf Stream crossing seminar. The Rally safety inspector spent two hours on our boat going over every aspect of safety equipment and preparations. He said we were "as close as they come to being perfect." We have three minor things to address. This should be good news for our families to hear. Oh, and the crew will probably appreciate this too.
The crew - my brother Chris and sailing buds Andy and Bruce - arrive today and tomorrow. And, most important, Janet's parents arrive on Friday to support the effort. They all will be helping with many remaining preparations.
All of the comments posted to the blog and emails are much appreciated! The weather window still looks good for our scheduled departure for Tortola at noon on Monday. We should post again just before departure with crew photos.
Wild ride at the dock
still blowing 30-35knts in Montauk
October 30, 2011, 9:04 am
Though it was a rock & roll night, we weathered the record breaking Nor' Easter last night with no problems. We had several moments with winds over 40kts. Thank goodness for sea sickness meds. No snow here. I am glad of that because I threw away our snow shovel before we left East Longmeadow.
The Gale warning ends at 14:00 today and thats when we depart Montauk for a straight shot to Hampton VA.
Weathering the Weather
Mark, its bad weather
October 29, 2011, 6:12 pm, Montauk Yacht Club
It is 7:00 pm and we are tied to a slip in Montauk. Wind is sustaining upper 30knts and a minute ago it gusted to 45knts. We have 12 dock lines on the boat. The wind has been hitting us broad side from the east/NE since 11 am. The boat is heeling up to 10 degs. We are watching the news and see that East Longmeadow Mass is supposed to get up to 18in of snow.
So some questions for the sailors out there:
Have you ever had to gimbal the stove to make dinner while on a slip?
Have you ever had to use a lee cloth to sleep while in a slip?
The winds are forecasted to move to the north as they increase to 50knts by midnight. The boat is facing due north so the ride may better and safer the rest of the night.
Next post tomorrow morning. Maybe with pictures ofthe snow.
Can't wait for the Caribbean.
At Last has left Wickford Marina
October 28, 2011, 11:36 pm, Montauk LI
Well we are on our way. We spent the last two days stocking the boat with food. I think we have enough food on board for the entire trip but Janet, the provisioner, tells me it is only a three month supply.
There was ice on the boat this morning. I should have thought there would be ice on the dock as well. Stepping off the boat I did the splits with one foot on the boat and one on the dock. Not pretty. Not a good sign.
Having a cold start for the trip was reassurance that we will enjoy heading south. But having to contend with a Nor'easter on the second day of our trip is not a good sign again. NOAA predicts 40-50 kt winds and 10-13' waves in our path starting Saturday morning. So we played it safe and went to Montauk Long Island to ride out the storm. Montauk Yacht club is totally deserted of boats. We will leave on Sunday afternoon after the winds slow down just enough and head straight for Hampton, 330 nm and fifty hours starting off in 30kt winds from the north and 8' seas. Should be a great break in passage. ETA Hampton VA by late Tuesday, a day later than planed.