First Day Underway to Antigua

It’s Sunday morning and we have entered the Gulf Stream, about 100 miles from Hampton.

Peter and George arrived at 3:00 yesterday, not a moment too soon, as I had barely finished my preparations for departure.   I took a few minutes to shower and we headed out by 3:30.   This gave us a few hours to get settled before it got dark.

Aside for motoring out of the harbor and into open water, we have been sailing at a brisk pace since our departure, which is great.  So far, we’ve gone nearly 150 miles, about 1/10th of the trip.  It’s good to have some miles “in the bank”.  Being able to sail early in the trip instead of burning precious fuel is good as we really have no idea of what the rest of the run will be like.

The forecast is quite good for the next few days with the wind gradually veering from the SW to NW and becoming lighter.   This suggests that we will be spending a lot of time motoring and we have been advised not to motor much in the early part of the trip to avoid running out of fuel.

Fortunately, Pandora does very well motor sailing in light wind so I can drop the RPM and conserve fuel.  If needed, I should be able to motor for about a week, 24 hours a day before I run out of fuel.

It is possible that 6 days of motoring could be required but it’s hard to say and while we have a pretty good feel for what the next few days will bring, 5 days out is just too far to have any confidence in the forecast.

The window to depart was from Saturday morning through Sunday night but getting out sooner was better for sailing so out we went.

There are a good number of boats still in Hampton, some leaving today and others that just weren’t ready to go.   In some cases, it was crew, who hadn’t arrived in time, and others, mechanical issues.

We have settled in a bit but there is still along way to go, 1,300 miles, until we arrive in Antigua.

Near or far, it’s good to be underway and I guess we can hope to arrive in Antigua by November 10th or so.

Oh yeah, this post went to Brenda via my Iridium Go, a really neat piece of electronics.  I can send messages, email and also make phone calls that sound as good a local cellular.  I can also download files that look just like the tracking page that you can view on my blog under “where in the world is Pandora”.

That link will show my current track as well as that of all the other boats in the fleet.

I’m still getting the hang of the whole thing but the technology is just amazing.

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