Day two and 200 miles from Cape Hatteras

It’s Monday morning and we are charging along about 200 miles south of Cape Hatteras.    With fully 600 miles to go Montauk, there’s still plenty of distance to go.   The sea state is a bit lumpy but not too bad.  The good news is that the winds have been favorable and pretty strong with nearly 20kts on the aft quarter much of last night.   I am not comfortable with the calibration of my knot meter but we saw speeds in the 10+kts range quite a lot and speeds over the bottom from the GPS somewhat less as we have been in some contrary current eddies south of the Gulf Stream.    However, I can’t complain as having solid winds aft of the beam have allowed us to make good time so far.   And, the forecast for the next few days suggest that we will continue to have favorable winds and sea conditions.  That’s good…

There isn’t a lot of activity around us this far off shore and many hours go by without our seeing another boat, much less one that comes anywhere close to us.   I’d say that in the last 24 hours we have only seen two or three ships and they were way off on the horizon.   It’s pretty clear that when you are offshore, you are on your own.

We should enter the Gulf Stream at some point in the next few hours and will run with it for about 250 miles.   As the stream in that area runs several knots to the NE, we should pick up our over the ground speed a good bit for the next 24 hours .   While our over the bottom 24 hour distance made good, without the benefit of a current, has been in the 175 mile range, we should cover 225 miles or more while we are in the favorable current of the Gulf Stream.  After we exit the stream we will adjust our course to head toward Montauk.    The winds are forecast to be favorable for much of the rest of the run and should build a bit further into the 20-25 knot range from the south to southwest as we head into the latter part of the week.

This is a grib file for tomorrow, which I downloaded over my SSB radio.  I modified it to show our current location and estimated track to Montauk.   The red arrow is our location as of 08:00 Monday.   The wind direction flags point toward the direction from which the wind is coming.  So, you can see that we are experiencing winds from a southerly direction.  This is expected to continue through Friday when a cold front exits the east coast.

Friday is about the time we should be off of Montauk so as the weather forecast becomes clearer we will make a decision regarding if we are going to head into New York and into western Long Island Sound or if we will continue offshore to Montauk as planned.  This should all become clearer by Tuesday.   All of this suggests that we will be in Essex by the weekend unless we have to hide somewhere as the front comes through.  We’ll see…

Last night a few little flying fish landed on deck.  Chris told me that a larger one, perhaps a foot long, was on deck yesterday but was tossed overboard before I was able to take a photo of it.  Speaking of meals, last night when I was cooking dinner it was hard to keep my footing because the boat was slopping around a lot.  I was mixing up scrambled eggs and a wave hit…  You know how eggs that aren’t fully beaten can sort of flop, no make that crawl, out of a bowl and somehow some of the other eggs tag along?  It’s like the eggs latch onto each other and climb out as a slimy lump. Well, that’s what happened.  So much for the galley rug.  It was getting pretty nasty anyway.  Time for a new one.  The eggs were pretty good in spite of that.  No Brenda, I didn’t scoop up the ones from the floor and put them back in the pan. I am not that disgusting.  Well, I hope not…

There isn’t much in the way of wildlife to look at here.  We have seen a number of sea birds as well as a good number of Portuguese Man of War jelly fish.  Man of War are the ones that look like a white inflated baggy about 6″ long.  This “sail” helps them move along somewhat faster than the current, although much of the animal, and the poisonous tentacles are below the surface.   The sting you can get from these is pretty nasty, I am told.

So far, the trip is going well and I am hopeful that we will continue to have favorable weather.  Unfortunately, the somewhat bumpy conditions are causing some difficulty with seasickness for some of the crew.  Hopefully, everyone will adjust and not feel  nauseous much longer.

So, what do we do all day on Pandora?  Well, some of the time we sleep.  However, we try not to all snooze at the same time.  Two down…

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  And yes, it’s still a long way home.

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