North American Tour 2017-2019

From Portland, OR through Panama Canal to East Coast of USA and back via Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Hawaii

13 November 2018 | Bermuda
08 November 2018 | Salty Dawg Rally Underway 32N70W
08 November 2018 | Salty Dawg Rally Underway
04 November 2018 | ICW at Shiloh, NC
26 October 2018 | Hampton, Virginia
26 October 2018 | Hampton, Virginia
20 October 2018 | Cape May, New Jersey
17 October 2018 | St. Michaels, Maryland
11 October 2018 | Rock Hall, Maryland
11 October 2018 | Rock Hall, Maryland
11 October 2018 | Rock Hall, Maryland
01 October 2018 | Oxford, Maryland
28 September 2018 | St. Michael, Maryland
25 September 2018 | Rock Hall, Maryland
20 September 2018 | Chestertown, Maryland
18 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
18 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
16 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
14 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
13 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland

Julia Max in Bermuda

13 November 2018 | Bermuda
George Stonecliffe
Difficult weather, sailing, motor/sailing, motoring, squalls, have all made this path from Beaufort, NC to Bermuda a challenge. But the crux of the passage was the failure of our Yanmar engine starter. Once we couldn't use our engine about 20 miles from Bermuda, we spent the next 8 hours in 6-7 knot winds slowly making it to our destination, St. George's, Bermuda. Once at the entrance sea buoy, we arranged for Bermuda Yacht Services to tow us into port. First we had to check in through Bermuda Customs. Then we anchored, and arranged to have a mechanic come to the boat to remove the starter, take it to a repair shop, order a new starter to be Fed-Exed to us, and have the boat back with an engine near the end of this week. We have watched the continuing weather development in the Caribbean, and determined that we will change our plans. We have bought plane tickets from Bermuda to Orlando, FL to be with our son's family after Thanksgiving. We will return to Julia Max on December 2nd, and continue our journey south in better weather. For this week we will be enjoying Bermuda in all its splendor.

Light Winds

08 November 2018 | Salty Dawg Rally Underway 32N70W
George Stonecliffe
Since our last report, we crossed the Gulf Stream with an unsettled chop during the night. Winds were forecasted light and variable. So sometimes we have been able to saIL But for the most part, we are motoring. We are 275 miles due west of Bermuda. And our goal is to reach 64W longitude, and then turn south as we reach the trades. All is well!

Sailing, Sailing...and Motoring

08 November 2018 | Salty Dawg Rally Underway
George Stonecliffe
Having left Hampton, VA on Nov 3rd, we spent 3 days on the ICW to Beaufort, NC. After refueling, we set sails, and left Beaufort at 3:30 pm on Monday the 5th. Heading out, winds were light and 'on our nose'. So we motor-sailed into the night, intending to cross the Gulf Stream at one of its narrowest points, 50-60 miles. This first night had confused seas, crossing the Stream. Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th, we had some good sailing, reefed, and making 5.4 knots. in a smoother sea state. Yesterday, we had a weather front pass over us, raining on our parade. But tonight we have starry skies, enjoying Orion rising. Having one crew member, Peter Rose, from Portland assisting Sue and me, has been great for comradery, watch standing, and sailing knowledge. The Salty Dawg Rally fleet is all in motion, waiting for different starts depending on the weather patterns. We felt going south on the ICW for a couple hundred miles, was a good way to avoid some of the nasty weather crossing the Stream out of Hampton. We get an e-mail update daily sharing the location of each boat. Most are heading toward Bermuda, then tuning south on longitude 65W for the Eastern Caribbean, using the trade winds that will be filling in.

Heading South in the ICW

04 November 2018 | ICW at Shiloh, NC
George Stonecliffe
Gale force winds out of Hampton and crossing the Gulf Stream, convinced us to go south in the protected waters of the Intercostal Waterway (ICW)! As we left Saturday Nov 3, we were hit by winds up to 32 knots in the James River crossing over to Norfolk. After spending an hour creeping across in 6-8' seas, we finally were in the lee of land, and could venture forward. 70 miles later we anchored in Shiloh, NC for the night. We anchored outside the channel. During the night there were many tug and barges that passed us in the channel. Now we are up at 0600 ready to start another day of easier travel. All is well!

Finally Set to Leave on Salty Dawg Rally, But...

26 October 2018 | Hampton, Virginia
George Stonecliffe
It's Friday night, Nov 2. We just heard a weather presentation by Chris Parker for the Rally participants. The winds are strong, and from the wrong direction going against the Gulf Stream. Washing machine waves up to 9-12'. You don't want to be out there. Julia Max was looking at going to Beaufort, NC along the coast line and around Cape Hatteras. But we were convinced by seasoned Rally participants that we shouldn't do it. Instead we decided to spend three days in the ICW going from Norfolk to Beaufort. The advantage is once we leave Beaufort, we can cross the Gulf Stream in 30-50 miles, turn east and head for Bermuda. Just this much further south, we avoid much of the Gulf Stream and the weather fronts that are north of Cape Hatteras. So we are on our way Saturday Nov 3 at first light! Most other boats are waiting out the weather in Hampton. But we are committed to the ICW.

Preparation for the Salty Dawg Fall Rally

26 October 2018 | Hampton, Virginia
George Stonecliffe
We arrived in Hampton, Virginia (near Norfolk) a week before the Salty Dawg Fall Rally begins. The Rally leaves November 3rd and arrives in the British Virgin Islands about 13 days later. In Annapolis two days ago, it was 36F at sunrise. We don't have alot of Fall/Winter clothes, so the Caribbean weather will be a delight. We finished replacing our Yanmar engine heat exchanger tube stack, found alot of broken rubber blades from the raw water pump that were blocking the flow of water causing the engine to over heat. All better! Sue tackled servicing one of our main Barient 32 winches, that is, taking it apart, cleaning and greasing all parts, then reassembling it. She takes care of all ten winches bless her. Salt water attacks them. Sand in the air attacks them. We have resolved our refrigeration problems with a new compressor, and filling an old 2" hole that was leftover and forgotten, but was letting in alot of warm, humid air that was frosting up the evaporator plate. The new wind generator is purring along producing amps nicely. The list of items to finish in the next week seems manageable. There will be meetings discussing navigation, weather, and numerous other special subjects. The excitement is building!
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Float Plan: July 1, 2017 Leave Portland, OR; head south along US West Coast; leave San Diego 10/29/17 with Baja Ha-ha Rally; go through Panama Canal 3/2018; Florida 6/2018; NYC and Rhode Island 7/2018; Chesapeake Bay 9/2018; Caribbean 12/2018; Panama Canal 3/2019; Hawaii 7/2019; home 10/2019
Julia Max's Photos - Main
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