To Rally or Not to Rally
14 May 2014 | Sopers Hole, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
We have spent the last three days in Sopers Hole on Tortola. It is the final gathering place of the Salty Dawg Rally, the group of boats we are travelling north with starting tomorrow. For the past three days we have been gathering on the upper deck of the Pusser’s Restaurant here for our weather briefings with Chris Parker. The briefings were done over a webinar and quite honestly it was a major challenge to get enough bandwidth to fully appreciate them. Bill has been watching the weather in lots of different ways for the past few weeks, hoping to learn more about the best way to keep us safe on our trip home. Along with the weather briefings and his own research it didn't seem like the planned departure date of tomorrow was going to be that great for us.
The current weather report says good sailing the next three days, then a day of storms, then five or more days of no wind at all. We don’t have enough fuel to motor for five or more days. Other reports that Bill had found said that starting May 24th the weather would be perfect for a straight sail to the Chesapeake Bay. Most of the people in the rally are leaving tomorrow, a couple even left today. We went back and forth a couple of times wondering if we should just say goodbye to the rally and wait for the good weather on the 24th. Finally we decided that we would leave tomorrow and take a detour to Bermuda, wait there the couple of days until the weather changed, and then sail home. From what we hear the wind might be better to take us to the Delaware Bay than the Chesapeake Bay but either way we can get back to Annapolis eventually.
We've been busy getting the boat ready for the offshore passage. Bill cleaned the bottom and inspected the rigging. He fixed a couple of problems we had high up on the masts. You can see him on our mizzen mast in the picture above. I have been busy making sure we have food to eat. I have about fourteen frozen, vacuum packed dinners that we only need to put in the pressure cooker for five minutes before eating. No microwave on board our boat! There is plenty of chocolate and more cookies than you can believe waiting to be eaten. Another couple who are going on the rally with us has picked this passage to stop eating sugar. There is no way we would even attempt that. I’m thinking the more sugar consumed the smoother the passage will be.
At this point we are so very ready to leave. Tomorrow morning we check out of BVI and then stow our dinghy and off we go. We will post a couple of ways to track our progress but we hope to make regular updates to the blog while underway via our SSB radio. We are both nervous, excited, and ready!