11 April 2017
We dropped the anchor in the lee of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour, at one a.m. this morning after a 66 hour passage from Geern Turtle. Unfortunately, we had to motor and then motor sail until we got off the Bahamas Bank, then as we approached the gulf stream the winds filled in and we could sail in great conditions. However, we all know that weather forecasting is not an exact science and the wind grew stronger and was slow in shifting in our favour. We made great time in the stream with a 3 knot push but by supper Sunday night we were down to double reefed main and greatly reduced jib; we still made good time and stayed dry throughout the night. For awhile we thought that Charleston might be out of reach due to fuel and weather conditions but finally the predicted wind shift came and conditions moderated allowing us to steam north. We sailed the entire trip with 2 Outrageous in sight and it was comforting to be in the company of another boat who had done this crossing before.
I was pleased to see that our advanced prepartion helped make the trip less stressful; the meals Bev had prepared in advance were a god send when the sea got rough and a pre-departure equipment check ensured no breakdowns. Bob and Liz's sailing experience made boat handling and life aboard very easy and when needed the whole crew worked to keep Dagny in trim. This was the longest ocean sail for Bev and I but Dagny was the star. Sailing in the gulf stream with north component winds is always rough, but with winds over 20 knots and short waves Dagny showed her stuff and drove well through the seas. Of course honourable mention has to go to Otto who never complained. We're tired but happy and we will spend a couple of days here before moving on.