08 June 2014
Gian Luca Fiori
Now that Vivaldi is back on her mooring, somewhat clean, I can claim the Atlantic Circuit is closed. It took 9400 miles, 300 days in which we sailed 60 days at an average speed of 6.9 knots. The maximum wind was 37 knots, the biggest wave was enormous. We used the engine for 400 hours and the Generator for 300 hours. The circuit took me to 22 different places where we anchored only 8 times in fabulous places, the rest of places were marinas in bigger ports. Most of the time we sailed on a starboard reach, we only beat arriving to Flores and the last 100 miles before reaching New England back. Vivaldi is a great vessel and in good condition. We had few problems that were solved over time. The second alternator failed, the autopilot and the hydraulic van run out of oil (I'm still wondering where the oil went), we rip a little the genoa on the UV cover, a docking scratch done by a nail at the dock, the baby stay started to fail, the radar that we very seldom used got disconnected during the last storm, as well as the check valve on the hot water tank that suffered from the beating of the weather. We fished one tuna, three dorados and one wahoo. We drank closed to 350 beers, we made 400 gallons of water, we ate plenty. The passages were with a crew of five, four or three.
I don't have enough words to thank Chip, Sue, Pike, Bob, Angela, Stefano, Bernardo, Diego, Pablo, Todd, Miguel, Maria, Linda, Larry, Mike, Joe, Greg, Miles, Sabrina, John W. and John C. A total of 21 dear friends that joined me to make this dream a reality. Also, I need to thank Antonio that supported and trusted me with his boat. And last but not least, the gods that protected us from accidents and bad weather.
Not quite there...
29 May 2014 | 40 12'N:71 22'W,
Gian Luca Fiori
After we crossed the midpoint of Cape Hatteras, we continued on the Gulf Stream for another good 24 hours. Then, the wind turned to NE and continued to increase. In the afternoon, we were battling waves and winds of 30 kn and above. We continued heading East until the direction of the wind got to 45¼ and then we tacked to head straight to Buzzards Bay light. However, the winds continued to increase and we were barely making a headway. We were just pounding the poor Vivaldi against the ocean. So, we decided to heave to. Amazing, it worked. We backfilled the staysail, let a little on the triple reef main and lashed the wheel to windward. The pounding totally stop, the healing became moderate and the ocean was going underneath of us all the time. Inside, was very quite. We were exhausted so we took turns to keep a watch and we slept for few hours with the intention of sailing again by midnight. However, it was too cold and windy that we decided to continue to heave to until day light. The winds are around 20 still from the NE but we are making progress toward our destination that is 70 miles North of us.
27 May 2014 | 37 52.9'N:71 36.3'W,
Gian Luca Fiori
As always getting close to the destination has some obstacles. We have had a nice ride since we left Fort Lauderdale mostly on low winds. Yesterday, we crossed Cape Hatteras that is an important milestone for this leg. The winds were favorable from the south and we got back in full on the Gulf Stream. We had averaged more than 10 kn in the last 24 hours because of a push of the current and an increase in winds up to 30 kn. Last night was rough, we had triple reef on the main, a sliver of genoa on wing and wing and we were still pushing 8 kn plus 4 of current. The waves were short but not immense. We double up on our watches and had little sleep. Wind has started to decrease and we continue to move forward to Marion to cover the last 200 miles. We still need to deal with another low that is getting prepared for our arrival, NE winds around 25 kn. I hope that the forecasters are not that right and we don't have to fight our way into Buzzards Bay.
On the boat, the routine continues. There is always something to fix that keeps me busy. The crew gets along nicely and everyone is engaged. We had another Dorado on the hook, a little larger than the first one. We have not yet finished the whole fish that provided for three meals. Yesterday, I did a pasta with the tail part of the fish that came pretty good. For tonight, we will enjoy lentils soup to get ready for the first night in New England waters; we just have left the nice warm weather.