Convergence

12 June 2017 | North of Gulf Stream
11 June 2017 | Bermuda
10 June 2017 | Bermuda
31 May 2017 | 31 51Â' N 63 14Â' W
30 May 2017 | 30 58Â' N 60 26Â' W
27 May 2017
25 May 2017
24 May 2017
22 May 2017
22 May 2017
20 May 2017 | 26 21' N, 24 55' W
17 May 2017
16 May 2017 | Lanzarote Canary Islands
16 May 2017 | Lanzarote Canary Islands
16 May 2017 | Lanzarote Marina Canary Islands
28 February 2011

Newport Transit

12 June 2017 | North of Gulf Stream
Randy
We went through the Gulf Stream a few hours ago. The water temp was 76 on the south side, 81.6 F inside and 65 north of the gulf stream!

It was about 40 miles wide flowing in a NNE direction at 3 to 5 knots setting us sideways, to starboard. To maintain course we had to head to port about 15 degrees. The boat was pointed 15 degrees to port of the direction of the boat. . . . Not something we are used to.

The first 24 hours out of Bermuda was uncomfortable with winds in the low 20's dropping to below 10 in the morning, big swells with lots of lumps from days of strong SW winds.

Then the wind stayed light for about 36 hours before filling in SW. Motoring, 36 hours. . . . Glad we have a great Yanmar diesel engine and lots of fuel! Delightful sailing in smooth seas last 18 hours in SW winds building from 10 to 17. Making 8.5 to 10 knots on course. ETA Tuesday morning, June 13.

We've been told that this is a typical transit. Some of the way not much fun, the rest of the way great!

We'll be in Newport a few days. We are having new sails delivered by David Hodges of Santa Cruz/Ullman Sails late Thursday and will install them Friday.

Then we'll head over to Marion for 10 days and the Kent Family Annual Croquet Tournament. - RR

Fueling Fiasco

11 June 2017 | Bermuda
Randy
We received an email from Commanders Weather Friday the 9th recommending that we leave Friday at 1700 due to expected high winds in Newport late Tuesday/early Wednesday.

So instead of leaving Saturday or even Sunday as planned we made our way to St. Georges to add fuel then prepped the boat and headed out at 5PM.

For some reason boats leaving the country buying fuel tax free cannot buy tax free fuel from a fuel dock. One must arrange to meet a fuel truck at a pier.

We arrived for our 10 AM appointment at a SW facing concrete pier to find a boat there fueling from the truck. The wind was blowing onto the pier at 20 knots and the boat was side tied with his bow actually inside the bowsprit of a square rigger that was side tied bow to bow with the boat being fueled. We figured that we would put our anchor out a couple hundred feet and back in partly because there was not enough room to side tie but mainly we didn't want to be pasted to the dock by the wind and have to struggle to get off.

Which is just what happened to the boat being fueled. When he was through fueling he couldn't get off the dock and sustained some ugly concrete gouges on his port side. We could see what was happening, offered to tow him off the dock which he readily accepted, launched our dinghy and towed him stern first off the dock. Then the young Dutch sailors aboard managed to get another line tangled in their prop! So Tim and Kent-Harris in our dinghy managed to hold the Dutch boat from crashing back into the square rigger while one of the Dutch crew went for a swim and finally cleared their prop.

Then we anchored, backed in close to the bow of the square rigger, got fuel and left the pier post haste. We couldn't get off the boat to pay so tied our credit card to the boathook and passed it ashore.

A poor fueling system that provided some excitement for our last few hours in Bermuda!!

We were treated to a fleet of 7 square tall ships in Bermuda for a week or so. Ships from the giant Italian immaculate �"Amerigo Vespucci�" which had to be well over 200 ft. to the beautiful �"Spirit of South Carolina�" about 100 ft and very similar to the schooner �"America�" that won the first America's cup in the 1850's. All with lots of crew to haul the sails up by hand and maintain these majestic vessels.

From several hundred year old tall ship sailing technology to the latest foiling catamaran tech, along with some of the highest tech sailing and motoring mega yachts and our vessel �"Convergence�", wishbone unstayed carbon fiber mast pilot house salon passage maker, it was all in Bermuda. Unplanned but fortuitous timing for us!

We thoroughly enjoyed our stopover in Bermuda. And now we are on passage to Newport, ETA Tuesday morning the 13th.

Bermuda

10 June 2017 | Bermuda
Randy
We arrived Bermuda Thursday June 1. We did customs and immigration formalities at St Georges harbor at the NE end of the 14 mile long island. The main town, Hamilton, and the Great Sound where the Americas Cup playoffs were taking place are at the other, SW, end. After a day of relaxing from our 15 day passage and checking out the well preserved, quaint town of St. Georges we motored over to Hamilton.

Coincidentally we came down the channel into the Great Sound about half an hour before the start of a day of races to determine who among 5 contenders (Japan, New Zealand, England, Sweden, and France) will challenge Oracle USA for the cup. That series of races with the US will be later in June.

So we decided to anchor and take in the activity. There were several hundred sail and power boats from 12 ft inflatables to 300 ft mega yachts lining the boundaries of the race course. We found a spot and watched 4 races.

In the week we were in Hamilton and after lots of action including a spectacular pitchpole crash by the Kiwis, Artemis - Sweden and Emirates Team New Zealand made it to the finals and will race off to decide the challenger.

Watching from the boat was great but the best way to see the action close up is on TV. We visited America's cup village on a 6 race day and with hundreds others watched the races on two giant screens. We were able to watch pre race preparations of both the NZ and Swedish boats close up at their bases which are right next to each other. We were pleased to see two West Marine inflatables on the dock of the Swedish syndicate, Artemis.

While it's sure a long way from the kind of sailing enjoyed by 99.9% of sailors, AC racing with the 50 ft very high tech foiling catamarans on short race courses is certainly exciting. The boats are fast, there is lots of action, and positions can change fast. Among our crew we had folks pulling for the Brits, the Sweds and the Kiwis. The consensus was that the Kiwis were the strongest team.

Alistair Murray, former CEO and current Ronstan Chairman, introduced us to Ron Stan. At first we thought it was one of Alistair's spoofs. Yes two folks named Ron and Stan started the company but could there really be someone named Ron Stan? Well yes and he works for another fun company: Bacardi. Ron is a very active with his own cruising sailboat and he crews on race boats including Newport and Marion to Bermuda races.

I've never been a fan of white Bacardi rum and I didn't know it but Bacardi owns oodles of other labels including Martini, Saphire Bombay Gin, Grey Goose Vodka, Benedictine, Dewars Scotch, a couple of tequila brands etc. Ron gave us a great introduction to Bermuda, a tour of Bacardi's amazing headquarters and some �"samples�", which we have been enjoying. - RR

Easy Last 24 Hours

31 May 2017 | 31 51Â' N 63 14Â' W
Randy
After a bouncy night the wind veered to the beam at 14 knots. Perfect sailing conditions. We have been sailing in winds that have dropped to 7 knots and we are sailing peacefully at 5 knots after a delightful dinner of eggplant parmesan. We'll continue sailing until the wind comes around on the nose at 5 knots as predicted. Then we will motor the rest of the way and arrive in the morning at Bermuda customs and immigration.

Aside from an uncomfortable day at the beginning and another at the end of it's been a great 15 day passage.

The 4 crew members read a total of 22 books, solved many of the world's problems, hashed out favorite boat designs, recounted numerous stories - mostly true -, talked cars, passed three sailboats on passage, sighted 5 ships, 3 pods of dolphins, 6 or 7 sea birds, had 14 gourmet evening meals plus breakfast and lunch superbly prepared by SC, played at canasta, repaired various items, and we got away from email and phones for 2 weeks. We are looking forward to what's in store for us in Bermuda where we'll stay for a week or so looking for a weather window to sail to Newport Rhode Island. Americas Cup playoffs are happening in Bermuda now to decide which of the 5 challengers win the right to sail against defender Oracle in late June. . . .- RR

Rest For The Weary

30 May 2017 | 30 58Â' N 60 26Â' W
Randy

Sailing In Good Company

28 May 2017
Randy
We were visited by a big pod of dolphins. The first we have seen since the Canaries. We have been surprised by the lack of marine life so far. We have seen a handful of seabirds, a few flying fish, some Sargasso weed, no whales and this one very active pod of dolphins.

Dolphins dancing at the bow are always cause for excitement aboard. We have had countless pods join us in the many seas we have sailed over the years. Amazing mammals that surface momentarily to quickly exhale and take in fresh air all in a split second. They seem joyous and as fascinated by us as we with them as they played in the bow wave for at least half an hour providing many photo opportunities. One wonders where they spend their time and where are the fish that they need for their seemingly boundless energy.

After 2100 miles and 11 days we have seen 5 radar targets. Not much activity out here. But then we are in the middle of the Atlantic!

At 1600 Kent-Harris spotted a ship on the horizon 11 miles ahead. It was headed SW perpendicular to our course. Then at 1800 Randy spotted a weak radar target at 6 miles. It was headed on a line directly toward us at 5 knots which added to our 7 knots in his direction was 12 knot closing speed. At 3 miles out we could make out a sailboat flying a green, white and yellow spinnaker.

We tried hailing them on VHF channel 16 at 3 miles with no response. Then boat was headed to pass about ¼ mile to windward of us. We hailed again at 1 mile out, no reply. Finally when the boat was close abeam we could see one person in the cockpit and boat replied with a strong French accent, I replied “Bonsoir Masseur”, the total extent of my French. He replied “Hi Guy”. s/v “Thera” is headed for Horta, Azores 1400 miles distant. Lots of sailboats that came over to the Caribbean last November in the ARC (Atlantic Race for Cruisers, over 200 yachts) or just sailed over on their own are headed home to Europe before the hurricane season.

Winds have been between 6 and 10 on the beam the past several hours and are predicted to stay that for the next couple of days. We have been making 6 to 7 knots. While we would like to be sailing faster, the sailing is delightfully peaceful.

540 Miles to go. RR
Vessel Name: Convergence
Vessel Make/Model: Wylie 65
Hailing Port: Santa Cruz, California
Crew: Sally-Christine Rodgers, Kent-Harris Repass, Randy Repass
Extra:
For more information about the boat including photos go to: http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BoatingExpertsView?langId=-1&storeId=11151&catalogId=10001&page=Randy-Repass-The-Convergence For information about "What Worked and What didn't" go to: [...]
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