We departed on Sunday at 07:30 from Nassau Bahamas, headed for Beaufort, NC, a trip that is expected to last until Wednesday afternoon. The plan will be for us to stay there for the night, take on fuel and then head up the coast around Cape Hatteras for the two day trip up through New York and on to Norwalk Yacht Club.
Our plan originally had us leaving Nassau on Friday or Saturday but the weather wasn’t cooperative with a small tropical storm off of the Florida coast that would have had us motoring into strong NE winds, something that you don’t want to do in the Gulf Stream.
The Gulf Stream moves along in a northerly direction at up to 5 knots as it is squeezed between the Florida coast and the shallow waters of the Bahamas banks and if the wind opposes the direction of the current, as is the case with a northeast wind, the seas can get steep and nasty.
To be certain that we had the best weather information available, Bob, the owner of The Abby, subscribes to the weather service provided by Chris Parker, who advises cruisers on what to expect from weather along their route. By checking in with Chris on a daily basis, Bob was able to determine that we would be better off leaving on Sunday to avoid the unfavorable winds.
As he reviewed the forecast for the next few days, Chris Parker predicted that we will have to motor for several days, and then he feels we might very well end up with some favorable winds for sailing as the week goes on. As I write this we are about 90 miles east of Savanna and the winds have not yet filled in from a direction that is favorable for sailing.
Prior to leaving Nassau we took on about 95 gallons of diesel to top off Bob’s 200 gallon capacity so that we would have an adequate capacity to get us to the states. Bob’s boat is very well thought out off-shore yacht with large capacity of both water and fuel and we can easilymotor much of the 750 or so miles to our first stop.
After several days of uncharacteristically rainy weather in Nassau, we are now out in our second picture perfect day with clear blue sky and deep blue tropical waters. The seas coming out of the Bahamas were very flat, much like you’d expect on Long Island Sound, but as we entered the Gulf stream and began to head north, we found ourselves motoring into a really nasty mess that had waves breaking over the bow every 8 seconds or so. I took some videos of this on Monday and it will be interesting to see how they look when I download them at home. What we were experiencing was the result of a current running north with opposing winds. Beyond that, the waves were kicked up by the tropical storm churning up the waters off of Florida, just ahead of our path.
Now, as I write this on Tuesday the waves have calmed down quite a bit and it’s an easy if hot ride north.
It’s been a long time since I have been this far from land but after our many trips to Maine over the years, it doesn’t look much different from what I have experienced except the fact that I am aware of the fact that the water depth is close to 1,000 feet.
Also worth noting is that there are plenty of flying fish that launch themselves from our path as we head along and skip from wave top to wave top for 100 yards or more. They are well adapted to getting away from those who would like to make a meal of them.
Finally, this note comes to you via a SSB radio transmission sent to Brenda as an e-mail. What a great service. You can see where we are right now by clicking on the “where’s Pandora” button above this post.
I am pretty sticky in the 80+ heat and humidity but I am looking forward to that “just showered feeling” as I am about to get a much needed rinse.
More to come on Wednesday.