West Palm Beach to Bermuda 1
18 April 2019 | 27:50 078:57
West Palm Beach to Bermuda Day 1
759Nm to go to our next waypoint just south of Bermuda and have completed 67nm
We have just completed the first day of our passage from West Palm Beach,Florida USA to Bermuda. This is the first leg of of our return journey, we are now heading back home to England via Bermuda and the Azores, A turning point in our Cerulean Atlantic Odyssey. A turning point with mixed emotions. We have had the experience of a lifetime exploring the Islands of the North Atlantic and the Caribbean and of course sailing to the USA. We have made our own discovery of the New World.
We have just crossed the Florida Straits and the Gulf Stream and are now 30 or so miles to the north of the Bahamas. Crossing the Gulf Stream is quite an experience. In the Florida Straits the Gulf Stream is 60 or so NM wide, and it runs roughly from South to North, North of us it will sweep round to the East and head up to the British Isles and Northern Europe. As we left Lake Worth Inlet at West Palm Beach we headed out into quite a chop with the swell rolling in through the narrow entrance, we where almost immediately being swept North with 3kts of current from the Gulf Stream. It had been our intention to head due East so the current didn't take us too far north, but as it happened we headed out hard onto the wind SE force 4 and could only make NE at 4-5kte through the water, with that current we were doing up to 9kt NNE, the current reaching a peak of 4.8kts in the centre of the stream. We ended up on the other side about 10nm further North than I had intended, but not to worry, as the current eases off we should get back onto my course...he said hopefully, just as I glanced at the navionics and notice that the current has picked up again from the stream running up from the Bahamas.
This passage is very different from what we have experienced so far on this adventure, since leaving the English Channel last August nearly all our passage making has been downwind, either on a broad reach or a run with sails goosed winged out on either side with the boat gently rolling from side to side. Now we are heading straight into the swell with the wind on the nose, sails pulled in tight, with the boat heeling over and crashing down on every wave. Cerulean is taking it all in her stride keeping us dry and ploughing at a steady 5-6kts, with 'Old Harry' the Hydrovane keeping us on course. with the wind from the SE force 4-5 gusting up to 26kts.
A full moon is high in the sky poking his head out from between the clouds now and then lighting our way. Other than a few local sports fishing boats when we left harbour and one other yacht heading north up the coast, we have not seen another vessel. I know they are there I can see their AIS signal on the screen a flotilla of Cruise Liners rounding the top of the Bahamas, and a few cargo vessels, but all 15-20 miles away.
Well better get back on watch...
WFayre Wynds and Kynd Seas
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
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