Day 3: Halfway
06 May 2012
Author: Toby Hynes
Its 11:30 A.M. and closing in on the completion of our third day at sea, and exactly half way between our start and our Bermuda entry Way Point. It remains very interesting and beautiful… but, loud. We continue to sail along … correct that … motor along, virtually head into the light North wind at 5.5 knots within a few miles of our rumb line. I arrived at this observation while making a log entry and looking for the closest “bail out” point in the event of an emergency. I guess it would be a tossup (sorry Joel) between the Bermuda Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard, should there be an emergency; as Hampton Virginia, our next closest point of land, and where this all started, is 941 nautical miles away. Cheery thought. For the record, I believe the U.S. Coast Guard actually has a Bermuda station. As the Bermuda currency is more costly than ours, I am opting for the U.S.A.
Reflecting on this I asked myself what the difference is between sailings on Lake St. Clair and where I am at this moment. Why St. Clair Lake (think Detroit)? It’s because of the wonderful years Joanne and I spent with Seth and Adam spending long weekends aboard "Piccadilly Circus," a leased Beneteau 35 we enjoyed for three years, and its trips to Canada. While the seas are identical with 1-2 foot swells, the answer is, on Lake St. Clair you can always see land.
A recent call to Seth indicates a period of 10 to 15 knot West winds about 124 nautical miles north of us. Then, interestingly, a shift another 124 miles north to NNE winds at 10-15. While a close observer would suggest that if it took three days to go half way, it will take three days to get to Bermuda and meet our arrival committee (our wives and next stage crew members)… and the WCC welcome party at St. George’s Sail and Dingy Club. However, Comocean loves flat seas and 10-15 knot winds. She sails happily at 7.5+ knots. So, we look for an arrival the night of the 8th, god willing! (I should never have written this…knock on wood).
Last night was once again beautiful. Chef Hoffman kept himself VERY busy. First learning that grilling at 5.5 knots and then baking because the grill never gets hot enough. Second, preparing a fabulous meal of Turkey Bratwurst boiled in beer and water with baked mixed potatoes and vegetables in a special mustard sauce. Norm and I had seconds!
For some of the evening we were accompanied by Trillium, which is comforting. She is a 49 Hallberg Rassey which started 4 nautical miles behind us, but motored past at 7.7 knots, ending us 8 miles behind by morning. We have been holding about 2300 RPM to ensure plenty of Diesel fuel at the end. We are carrying 60 gallons in our tank; however we have 50 gallons in jerry cans, so we are not motoring at our best fuel speed of 1800 RPM.
Norm, our communications officer, led the SSB call among all boats this morning. A summary of the call would be that we are all in this together; that catamarans, with their two engines and low displacement hull are fast: and that hull length is very important. The only disappointment, we learned that Escapade seems to be competing with us for the coveted BP Award fuel use trophy.