Another Great Crossing
10 April 2019
In the days leading up to our return trip to the US we had closely monitored the weather and were confident that we could get to at least Savannah GA. The forecasts were calling for strong north west winds by Monday evening which would close the northbound window for a few days. Our weather service had supplied us with coordinates for the strongest current in the gulf stream so with those plugged into the chartplotter we set sail. Rather we set motor, the forecasted light winds plagued us all throughout the trip so we had to motor sail for 2 days. However, thanks to our routing we rode a 3-3.5 knot push from the Gulf Stream for over 200 miles. As the miles ticked by we realized we could get further north than planned and reset our destination to Charleston with an ETA of Monday afternoon. Our fuel reserves were tight but the forecasts called for 10-15 knot winds on Monday morning and all we needed was 4 or 5 hours of sailing to make port. Unfortunately Monday dawned flat calm and foggy, plus there were thunderstorm warnings out for Charleston Harbour. After much debate we altered course for Beaufort SC and we actually got to sail for a couple of hours as a shore breeze kicked in. What a relief after listening to the motor for 54 hours.
Thanks in part to Bev's hard work preparing meals in advance, life aboard Dagny was very pleasant during our crossing. The warm weather and calm seas made for a comfortable ride as the miles rolled by. Mark and Megan fit right into the routine and night watches were split between the couples. We were blessed with nice sunny days and starlit nights, and the few isolated thunderstorms that rolled by were many miles away. During the final run into Beaufort our visibility dropped to less than a mile in fog but thankfully it burnt off before we got to the channel. Afternoon thunderstorms were approaching and the race was on to get to the anchorage before the rain started. Wisely we snagged a mooring and got the hatches battened down just as the storm hit.
Time at sea can often pass slowly, however, the small things in life can offer a great distraction. Late on Saturday afternoon we were visited by a Palm Warbler in search of a perch to rest his weary wings. He spent the rest of the day checking out the exterior of the boat and gradually getting accustomed to our movements before retiring under the dinghy for the night. Mark named him Palmer and discovered he was a fly hunter so we gave him run of the boat to search for his food. He entertained us all day as he toured the boat inside and out, frequently sitting on someone's shoulder to survey the scene. Late Monday afternoon I went below to find Palmer sitting on the floor very disoriented. Mark took him out to the cockpit and tried to get him to drink some water but sadly he died as Mark tried to care for him. As per naval tradition he was given a burial at sea after a brief eulogy.
Today's picture is of Palmer perched on Bev's head.