In Typical Nordstrom Style
02 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean
Day 4 and 5-- Saturday , April 30, 2016-- SUNDAY May 1,2016
This morning is wonderful. The seas are about 2-3 feet, but still rolly.
The wind is out of the southwest at about 12 knots. We are flying!!!! We turn off the engine, and under a reefed main, and the jib, we're making 8-9 knots. Top speed- 9.8 knots. We enjoy this until early afternoon.
Then in typical Nordstrom fashion, things get interesting. The winds shift to the east-- seas continue to build-- now 3-5 ft. The winds also pick up in speed-- about 15-18 knots. Even though it's uncomfortable, we're making good time, so we stay this course.
Around 4 pm, the wind is out of the Northeast!!! This was NOT in the weather prediction. The seas continue to build-- now 6-8 ft. With a 3 ft. Chop on top of the swells. YUCK!!! As if this isn't unpleasant enough, the damn reefing line broke-- Robert's out front in this mess, putting in our second (now only) reef, and I'm at the helm. It's times like this that I wonder why we do this!!!
With a reef successfully in, we trudge on.
Next, the dinghy starts to swing back and forth, just like it did on our crossing TO the Bahamas. Robert hoists it as high on the davits as it will go, and ties it off securely.
There will be no dinner tonight-- going down below is treacherous, and I Have numerous bruises in the making just from quick trips to the head. Pretzels and water are what's on the menu tonight!!
Just after dark, the running backstay line tensioner snaps. Son of a B!!!!! Ever the Boy Scout, Robert replaces that line too, and gets it re-tensioned. We're getting pretty darn frustrated at this point. Robert is cussing like a sailor/I'm praying like crazy for this shit to calm down. UGH!!
The seas are nasty all night long, we're slammin' and Bangin' like crazy. Very little sleep for either of us tonight. Trying to sleep in the cockpit on a bucking bronco is challenging.
Finally, around 5 am, we make it to the Beaufort Inlet. WHEW!!!! What a ride!!!
At sun-up, I mix Robert a breakfast cocktail. I have coffee. We're enjoying our respite, when along comes a big sport fisher, heading out to sea--- he rocks our world, tossing over Robert's vodka and cranberry cocktail. We've about had enough of this shit!!
By 8 am, the traffic in the Adams Creek Canal is quiet. I clean up the spilled cocktail--- red juice on white fiberglass AIN'T pretty!! Robert catches a quick nap while I man the helm.
After his nap, Robert and I enjoy a breakfast of sausage, egg casserole and toast.
Maggie goes on a walkabout and takes a much needed potty break on the trampoline.
It seems really nice to slow the pace. We meander to the Neuse River--- it's flat calm today!!!
By the time we reach the Pamlico, the winds have picked up, and the sky is getting dark--- the radar shows heavy rains all around us.
We arrive Bath Creek around 2 pm. Our friend David Johnston is once again graciously allowing us to stay at his dock. He's waiting on the dock, and catches our lines. Thanks David!!!!
Just a we are getting the last line on, the rains come. David heads back to his house before he gets soaked, and we sit in the cockpit listening to the cool, steady rain.
We have a snack, and of course, a cocktail!!!!
Once the rain clears, we take Maggie for a walk. She's so happy to be on land. She pees, poops, sniffs, runs in circles; then repeats!!!!
We visit with David for a bit, then make a stop to visit Teeny . We catch up on all the "happenings" in Bath, then return to SeaQuell for dinner. Dinner tonight is Mexican Beef Casserole--- the last of the dishes I had prepared and frozen prior to our trip.
We're fading fast, so we both take a hot shower and hit the sack.
We drift off to sleep with very thankful, happy hearts. Once again, we've enjoyed a wonderful vacation, shared with family and friends. We survived our longest offshore passage ever, and are fortunate to be able to share the story. As I tell Maggie often--- It 's not easy being a Nordstrom girl, but it sure is exciting!!!
Thanks to all who follow along with us on SPOT, and those who follow our blog. GoodNight All!!!!!
Making Our Way North
02 May 2016 | Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean--- 200 miles offshore
Day 3--- Friday , April 29, 2016
The sun rises around 6:30 am. It's beautiful!!
The wind has picked up a bit--- about 5-10 knots from the south, southwest.we fly the spinnaker, and shut off the port engine. We average a little over 5 knots most of the morning. SeaQuell is once again a sailboat!!! WooHoo!!
Today is our grandson Brett's 10th birthday. Happy Birthday Brett!!!!
We see 4 dolphin playing just off the bow. They always excite me!!!
Late morning, the wind picks up to 13-14 knots, and there are a few whitecaps on the waves. The ride becomes somewhat uncomfortable, but we're making 8.5 knots. We decide to douse the spinnaker, and raise the main and the jib. This makes for a much more pleasant ride. We still are making about 7 knots.
Lunch today is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips and salsa.
After lunch, Robert takes a short nap, and I read. The wind and waves continue to build. Maggie pukes!! I'm thankful I've been taking my Stugeron. It's not an unpleasant ride, kinda like surfing!! Surely different than yesterday's' flat calm. Winds gusting to 18 now. Robert thinks we're a little overpowered on the mainsail, so he puts in one reef .
For the next several hours, the seas become very confused. The wind continues at a steady 12-15, now out of the west . Even with both engines running, and both sails up, we can't get above 4.5 knots. It seems we're fighting some sort of current-- over 1 .5 knots of it. Bummer!!
Around 7 pm, the seas lay down a bit, but we're still fighting this current. Mother Nature never fails to intrigue/baffle us.
Dinner is shrimp cocktail and leftover pasta salad. After dinner, we watch a movie--- kinda challenging with the roll we've got going on!!
By 10'pm, the current has let go of us. We crank up one engine, and motorsail all night long. Robert takes the 10-2 shift. I take the 2-6 . The night passes slowly-- not another boat in sight!! The half moon is beautiful, and the sky is filled with stars.
02 May 2016 | Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean
Day 2--- Thursday April 28, 2016
After breakfast, Robert throws the fishing lines back out. I neaten the cockpit, returning pillows, blankets to the salon.
The wind is even lighter today --- about 5 knots. The seas are only 2 ft. rollers. It warms up quickly.
Robert naps for an hour or so. I read, and look around every 15-30 minutes for other boats. It appears we're alone this morning. Not a bother boat in sight.
Once Robert awakens from his nap, we see a few flying fish. They are the coolest things to watch.
We start a game of Mexican Train Dominoes. We only play 3 hands, and I start to feel a little queasy. I swear it was because I had some many dots in my rack!!! Anyway, we abandon that pastime, and decide to have a bite of lunch.
Lunch today is shrimp cocktail, pasta salad, and boiled eggs.
While I was down below putting away the lunch remnants, the starboard fishing line starts zing in' like crazy. I quickly grab my phone---photo op!!!! I get the net, and the bat ready. After a 20 minute fight, Robert reels in a beautiful fish. About 4 feet long, blue striped with a bill. We think it was a swordfish or a marlin. I capture a quick video, and a few pics, and Robert releases the fish. Wow!!! That was exhilarating!!!!
Mid afternoon, the wind is almost non-existent. We try to fly the spinnaker, but it won't even stay full. Maggie takes a walk out front, and pees on the trampoline. Robert naps, I read.
Late afternoon, we douse the spinnaker.
We play a few more rounds of dominoes. Robert's kicking my butt!!!
In preparation for dark, we take in the fishing lines, raise the jib, and the main. We start the port engine, as we are down to 4 knots .
Dinner tonight is leftover white chicken chili and a salad. We dine in the cockpit as the sun sets.
After dinner, we watch a movie on the laptop. By 10 pm, we're down for the night-- Robert takes the 10-2 shift. I'll do the 2-6.
And We're Off!!!!
02 May 2016 | Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean
Day 1---- Wednesday, April 27, 2016
We left Mangoes Marina in Marsh Harbour around 10 am. It's a beautiful warm, sunny day. Winds are light, about 10 knots from the east. We motorsail with both the main and the jib.
By noon, we're through "The Whale" (a navigable inlet from the Atlantic Ocean to the Sea of Abaco. Robert spotted a large turtle-- most likely a Loggerhead. He said the turtle 's head was a large as mine. Damn, I hate I missed it.
The ocean is a beautiful cobalt blue. Seas are nice 4-5 ft. swells with an 11 second period. SWEET!!!!!
Lunch is jalapeño pominto cheese sandwiches. We're drinking lots of water today-- gotta stay hydrated!! We are a "dry boat" (no alcoholic beverages) on offshore passages. I think we probably consumed enough Goombay Smashes on vacation to warrant a few "dry" days!!!! I'm sure our livers appreciate the hiatus!!
After lunch, we decide to throw out a couple of lines and try our luck fishing. Robert uses this time to organize his tackle box, and I read. Maggie naps.
The afternoon goes by slowly and peacefully. We listen to some tunes, keep an eye on our fishing lines , and chat. The wind picks up just a bit late afternoon, so we cut one engine off to save fuel. We're averaging just about 5 knots.
Just before sunset, Robert reels in the lines( not a bite!) and I heat up leftover shrimp curry for dinner. We enjoy dinner in the cockpit watching a beautiful sunset.
Around 9 pm, we settle in for the night. It got cool quickly after sunset. I bring pillows and lightweight blankets up to the cockpit. Robert is taking the 9-1 shift, and I'll take the 1-5. I just doze off and on until around 11 pm, then actually get a good couple hours sleep. We make the switch around 1 am. The moon is just rising as our shift change occurs. It's a beautiful sight--- shimmering on the swells.
Robert sleeps well (at least one would assume by the snoring) for only about an hour before I wake him with a question about a boat showing on the radar. He reassures me, and promptly returns to snoring. He sleeps until 4:30 when I wake him again. I've been watching a boat on the radar, and with my poor old eyes, and it's less than 2 miles from us. It passes in front of us, about a mile and a half away.
I catch a little more sleep. Around 7 am, Robert starts the coffee, and I wake to the wonderful aroma of perking coffee. NICE!!!! We enjoy coffee and granola bars for breakfast while talking about plans for day 2 ---- the conversation was short. Looks like it's gonna be a repeat!!!!
Vacation is almost over😪😪
26 April 2016
We had kind of a lumpy night at anchor in Fishers Bay. Breakfast this morning is granola bars and coffee.
It's Pete and Mary's last day with us. We're heading back to Marsh Harbour so they can catch their early afternoon flight. We spend our time underway reminiscing about the trip.
We arrive Marsh Harbour around 11:00 am. Topped off the fuel tank, and headed to Mangoes Marina. Pete and Mary enjoy a long, hot shower. Their taxi arrives around 1:30. We're sad to see them go, but we sure had lots of fun!!!!
Don, Robert, and I walk down to Jamie's Place for lunch. The guys have a big, juicy burger with fries. I have fried chicken. Boy, was it good!! With very full bellies, we walk to the small grocery store for a few last minute provisions. Robert makes a quick liquor store run as well.
We spend the afternoon readying SeaQuell for our crossing back to the states. The weather looks good!!! We're hoping to head offshore at Whale Cay . Our goal is to head for Cape Fear, NC. Praying for a nice, uneventful trip.
We've had such a wonderful vacation, and we're looking forward to seeing all our friends and family back home.
This will be the last blog for a while. Reports on our crossing will follow once we're safely back in the states and rest a bit.
A Beautiful Sail/Petes Birthday
25 April 2016
Today is Pete's birthday!!!! After a breakfast of coconut bread toast with honey, We leave Little Harbour at 9:30 am. We raised the mainsail prior to leaving the Harbour.
As soon as we cleared the narrow channel into the Harbour, we raised the jib too.
The winds are out of the east, at about 10 knots. We cut the engines, and SeaQuell is once again a sailboat!!
It's a beautiful day. Mostly sunny and cool. We sail on the same course for a couple of hours, maintaining about 5-6 knots.
Around noon, we douse the jib and fly the spinnaker. Our top speed was 8.1 knots, and we averaged 6.5. What a great run!!!!!! Lunch underway is cheese, salami, summer sausage, and chips.
We arrive Great Guana Cay around 2:30 pm. We anchor in Fishers Bay, and Nemo rafts up alongside. After resting on the trampoline for a bit , we jump in the dinghy and head over to Nippers. The ocean view is spectacular today!! We enjoy a round of Goombay Smashes, and head over to Grabbers for round 2. We shared some cracked conch while watching the local children play.
Back aboard SeaQuell just as the sun sets. Mary has prepared a delicious shrimp curry for dinner. The wine flows freely.
After dinner, we discuss plans for tomorrow. Sadly, our vacation is almost over. Pete and Mary fly home tomorrow afternoon. Robert and I will start heading back to the states on SeaQuell as soon as weather permits. Don 's son Seth and grandson Zane are joining him on the 27th.
We'll head back to Marsh Harbour tomorrow morning to regroup.