Nearly Home and Change of Plans

It’s Sunday night and we are approaching Cape Hatteras and the Gulf Stream.  The wind is on the beam and we are barreling along at nearly 9kts, and that’s through the water as there isn’t any current yet.  Our original plan was to enter the GS, head north with the current and exit after about 150 miles to head either to Montauk or NYC for the final run home.

However, Chris Parker, weather router, has been unsure about a series of small lows that will roll off of the East Coast over the next few days and how they will affect the coastal waters from VA to NY.  The problem is that if the first low, due to hit the area around Tuesday shifts about 60 miles east of the coast, it will bring gale force winds of about 40kts from the SW.  This isn’t terrible as the wind would be behind us but there will also spawn strong convective squalls that may bring winds to near hurricane force and that would not be fun at all.

On the other hand, if the front happens to head up the coast, perhaps 60 miles to the west, then sailing north could end up being quite a nice ride.  But the uncertainty of the forecast will make it tough to predict until perhaps one day before the low will arrive and once we have begun running up the coast there aren’t many places to stop before Cape May and that’s not sounding to good to me.

So, what’s a voyager to do?  Bail and head to Hampton VA.  Yes, that’s what I’ll do.

The good news is that the Blue Water Marina there gives Salty Dawg Sailing Association members a very good price on dock space.  Pay full price for a week and get to stay for a month at the same rate.  And leaving Pandora there for a month works for me as I didn’t plan to do anything with her until after my SSCA event in Essex the weekend of June 17th anyway.   Besides, while she’s there, the yard can clean my fuel tanks and get out the water that has caused such problems on this trip.  BTW, today I was able to clean the filters out well and was alarmed by the amount of water that had accumulated.  And, I can send out the plotter for repair.  It’s always something.

Of course, it’s going to take some time to get Pandora ready to be on her own for a month but Cliff and Jim will be a big help and as they have never been to Hampton we’ll make some time to see the sights and have an “arrival dinner” together.

But wait, there’s more and it gets even better…

Brenda and I planned to visit Rob, Kandice and Tori the following weekend in Baltimore so it will be a cinch to take a train from Baltimore to Hampton to rejoin Pandora after our visit.

I wanted to be sure to post this so that anyone, and there must be at least a few of you, who have been tracking our progress won’t wonder “wait, what are they doing.  Is something wrong?” when we continue west from the GS and head to Hampton.

So, that’s the plan, arrive late Monday in Hampton, I hope, clean up Pandora, rent a car and be home on Wednesday.  That’s the plan.

First we have to get through the Gulf Stream.  Did I mention that wind of 15 to 20 kts will kick up seas of about 6-9 feet?  That’s just a detail…

2 responses to “Nearly Home and Change of Plans

  1. Roger Karlebach

    Ahoy Bob!
    Not really a change in plans because Hampton was always one of the options.
    “Where in the World…” shows you at the dock so congratulations on the satisfaction you must feel of a safely completed passage.
    And do you need to tell the yard to also check out your autopilot or did did it straighten itself out?
    Best,
    Roger
    PS: We plan to leave for the Bras D’or Lakes in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on 6/17, the same day that the Americas Cup is scheduled to begin.
    Best, Roger

    • Roger: Good to hear from you. Yes, the Autopilot continued to act up and I expect that it was related to the plotter failure. It was a bit unnerving to have the boat head violently onto another course, generally 180 degrees from our intended track, with no warning. Sounds like you are going to have a great cruise this summer.

      Pandora will be on the hard for a good deal of the summer.

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