Ready to head south, but is the weather?

It’s late Friday night, nearly midnight and I am waiting for my crew to arrive.  Bob and John have driven nearly all day from Norwalk CT to Beaufort NC.  I can’t believe that they are still on the road and the day is nearly over.

I feel badly that they have had such a long day and even worse that I will be picking them up in the dink at the dock and schlepping them out into the night where Pandora is moored.

We had planned to bring Pandora into the dock today so that it would be easier to get them on board but decided against it at the last minute as the wind was really honking and blowing right onto the dock.  Yes, we could have done it but I wasn’t into excitement first thing this AM and the easier decision was to just stay put.  Now that Bob and John are about to arrive, I do wish that I had taken a slip. I expect that I will get some teasing.  Oh well.

As the day wore on today I was able to go shopping for provisions, specifically for fresh food and meals that will be easy to prepare underway.   Brenda helped me to make a list of meals for the trip and I am hopeful that the guys will be happy with what I have in store for them.

The weather forecast for the next few days is a bit uncertain, as is so often the case.  There is a front coming through tonight and tomorrow which will shift the winds from the south to the north, a favorable direction for our run south.  The bad news is that the winds will be quite strong, in the high 20s with gusts that are even higher.   Worse is that as we get further south, toward Florida, we will see stronger winds that will begin to shift to the east.  That means that the winds will become less favorable and will be stronger than I would like.

When I spoke with Chris Parker, the weather router, earlier today, he suggested that our best option would probably be to stop in St Mary’s on the Fl/GA border to wait a few days for more favorable winds to make it down the FL coast.  He feels that we will be able to carry fair winds to the FL boarder but after that, not so good.  The problem is that we will be heading on a more S/SE course once we are in FL than we will have for the NC/SC/GA leg that will have more favorable winds.  A complicating factor in all of this is that we have to stay fairly close to shore to avoid the contrary northerly flow of the Gulf Stream.  On the way north, the Stream is our friend, not so on the way south.  This means that we can not carry a straight course for FL but will have to head SW with the coastline and then begin to shift to a more southerly and then SE course as we get closer to Florida.

In any event, time will tell as to what the winds will do.  For now, it looks like we may be able to leave later on Saturday afternoon or perhaps on Sunday morning.

One rub that has gotten into the mix is that I have a fitting on the back stay that looks somewhat questionable and I have asked a rigger to come down to the boat on Saturday morning to take a look at it and probably replace it.  I had all of the standing rigging replaced just a few years ago but one particular fitting on the end of the back stay looks corroded and might not be safe for offshore work.   With this in mind, I am having it addressed in the morning, as soon as the rain begins to moderate.

I normally don’t have much in the way of technical issues with Pandora and it seems like this trip has been full of fun (not) details that have had to be addressed,  I sure hope that the worst of these is behind me for now.  Unlike the issues related to the engine work, I can’t blame this on them.  I guess that there must have been a bad fitting used by the rigger a few years ago.  Who knows.

I will know more in the AM.  Fingers crossed that we won’t be totally dumped on with rain and that the rigger can get to me early.   I sure hope that this won’t delay our departure.  Fingers crossed.

For now, I am getting a bit pooped and can’t wait to hit the rack.  Sleepy…

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