Good day all.
Day 5, getting a bit tired, ready for a long shower. After passing Hatteras without incendent (so we thought) there were some ugly short choppy seas that made last night a bit uncomfortable. It got really damp and soggy - probably something to do with all the hot gulf stream water and air intersecting the cooler (84 degree) waters off North Carolina. Plus there were some pretty impressive thunderheads in the distance. So we were happy when morning broke and things got a bit more predictable.
We passed the Abermarle Sound about 50 miles offshore early this morning - we waved to Nana & Grandpa! Today the breeze has been a very fresh 20-25 knots - we are sailing along under reefed main and headsail at about 6-7 knots in a moderate NE'ward swell. We are heading towards land to hide a bit from the winds and waves which are supposed to build until early am. We expect to be off Ocean City, MD around 1am.
Fish report: This morning spotted something big and greenish/blueish in the water dead ahead of us, 6 boat lengths away. A small whale maybe? Then suddenly the fishing line went and we saw the big thing again dive down. Lost our red and black lure - the metal shackle broke clean off. Had a big nibble on the silver plug lure, but whoever it was didn't like the taste of the hook and spit it back out.
If we get close enough to land for a cell phone signal, we might just give some of you a call!
Scott & Jen & Grant & Amelia
Monday June 28
SOG 6 knots
06/27/2010, Cape Hatteras
We are still HOT but doing well on our passage to Newport. Right now we are passing Cape Hatteras in mild seas, moderate winds and clear skies - can't ask for more than that! But in case you want more, the Gulf Stream is giving us a final push of about 3.3 knots, enabling us to make 9.0+ knots speed over ground. Soon, the Gulf Stream will head east out to sea, while we will head NE to Newport. We are about halfway through our trip.
More excitement last night - one of the wire lines holding our dingy up on the davits broke, leaving half the dinghy dangling in the water as we sailed along at 7.0 knots. We were able to get it hoisted again and double tied on with bits of rope.
Had a lot of swell and confused seas throughout most of the night so it wasn't that comfortable, but we were rewarded this morning with 2 Mahi Mahi on the lines at once! We hauled both on deck (each about 2 ft long) but while we were cleaning the fish, a wave hit and one of the fish slid across the deck, over the other fish and plopped right into the water. We briefly considered launching a man overboard maneuver to retrieve the bright green fish, but we will still have plenty of fish to feed everyone tonight.
There is still a small chance that we will need to divert into Norfolk or Ocean City MD because of some weather off NY later this week- we will know more tomorrow.
Scott, Jen, Grant & Amelia
06/26/2010, Passing Charleston, SC
We are doing well, although it is HOT here in the middle of the gulf stream. Winds filled in a bit, and we have been sailing extensively with our spinnaker, which is a fun novelty for us. It does really well in the light and downwind winds we've been experiencing. The current picked up to 3.5-4.0 knots, so we've been making good time.
Around sunset last night, a group of dolphins came to swim in our bow wave - got some good pictures in the fading light of day.
Had a bit of excitement at 4am (why always in the middle of the night??) when a metal shackle holding the top of the spinnaker blew out and the entire sail dropped into the water. Amelia called all hands on deck and we quickly recovered the sail (some of us in our underwear) and later today we replaced the part under the guidance of Grant, our Chief Spinnaker Officer.
We are now roughly even with Charleston, heading for Cape Hatteras. We are watching the weather carefully to make sure we past the Cape when seas and winds are calm.
Scott & crew
Saturday June 26
SOG 7.1 knots (nearly half our speed coming from the gulf stream)
06/25/2010, Even with Jacksonville, FL (90 miles out)
Making decent progress - mix of light air sailing and motorsailing throughout the last 24 hours. We hit the gulf stream at about noon today - we are motoring at a nice relaxed 4.7 knots through the water, but the stream is pushing us due north another 3.3 -3.5 knots for a speed made good of 8.0 - 8.3 knots! Very calm seas and (unfortunately) no wind. Given the latest forecast, looks like we will be motoring for the next 36 hours. Oh well, at least we're going fast in the right direction! Right now we are nearly even with Jacksonville, FL about 90 miles out.
Caught our first fish of the trip this morning on the green/yellow lure - it was a small Mahi - so small in fact, that we felt bad and threw him back. Maybe that will appease Nepture and he will provide us with the big bull Mahi we have been looking for!
Replaced our raw water pump this morning - our old pump was leaking pretty badly.
Everyone is doing well (including Bobo the autopilot who is doing most of the work) - we are planning on flank steak on the grill tonight for dinner.
Hope all is well!
Scott & Jen & Grant & Amelia
1325 June 25
SOG 8.2 knots
06/24/2010, On course toward St. Augustine and gulf stream
We had a good first 24 hours - we sailed 127 miles in light winds and moderate seas. So far good weather, clear skies and a nice moon to light the way for most of last night. For dinner last night, we had Jen's fresh conch fritters, courtesy of the giant conch that Amelia and Grant found in the Bahamas before we left.
Winds continued to lighten today, and the seas calmed down, so for the first time in a year we took our spinnaker out of the locker and are sailing very nicely with it now! Many thanks to Grant for his help getting the sail up - he's become somewhat of a sail expert at his job in Annapolis.
We think we spotted a big Mahi Mahi alongside the boat, but alas no nibbles on the fishing lines.
Our weather forecaster suggested that we head towards Florida to take full advantage of the 2-3 knot Gulf Stream current since the winds are expected to be very light for the next few days along the rhumbline to Newport. So right now we are pointed at a spot about 100 miles due east of St Augustine.
We'll update again tomorrow...
Scott, Jen, Amelia & Grant
At 1505 Thurs 24 June
SOG 5.0 knts
06/23/2010, Matt Lowe's Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
We are heading off to Newport today after sending the kids off to the grandparents in Cleveland. We picked up our latest crew at the airport last night, and we are ready to go! I found Anna's journal after she had gone with her final entry, and felt it summed up things better than we could. Next update from the US!!
June 21, 2010 Monday
This is it people - this is it! Man that went by fast, don't you think? It was only yesterday that we gracefully sailed into St. John with Roth and Matt...
First of all I'd like to thank my parents for making this trip possible. I'd also like to thank Matthew for being my opponent in Mario Karts. Mimi and Gimlet for taking care of us for a week. Noel, Roth Matt, Amelia and Grant for helping us with passages. Katie for letting me go for a year (I owe you one). All of our cruising friends for making it more fun, and all of the fish and conch that gave us their lives. And last but not least, the French bakery chefs that made baguettes and all the other wonderful things that are all so... wonderful! What a year!