It’s Wednesday morning and we are just about ready to head out from Red Hook St Thomas. My newest crew member, Mike flew in from San Francisco a few days ago and between him and George, who has crewed with me a number of times, we are just about ready to head out and get underway.
1,500 miles to go and that is a long way.
The weather for a trip that I expect will take about 9-11 days is obviously uncertain as even the best weather models does not see out much more than 4-6 days with any sort of certainty. However, the long range forecast that Chris Parker gave us last night suggests that we should not have much, if any, adverse weather which is better than was the case just a few weeks ago when gales were plaguing the waters in the north Atlantic. The most uncertain part of the trip will be what we encounter north of Bermuda, the second half of the trip. As we are still early in the season, conditions can be nasty up there and it is possible that a strong cold front will exit the US coast and bring with it a NE Gale. A lot of this depends on timing so we will be monitoring the weather forecast closely.
The image below is what the forecast suggests as a route for us. Each line represents a separate forecast model with assumptions about the sailing characteristics of Pandora.
The blue areas are those without wind and red, in the mid 20s or higher. Anyway, I won’t say much more about all that but the weather right now and into the next week suggests that we should be ok and hopefully can make it all the way to Long Island Sound without diverting somewhere else along the way. One area of some uncertainty is my engine cooling system which has been acting up a bit over the last week or so with a small drip/leak on the front of the engine. I have taken some areas apart, tightened a few key bolts and the problem seems to have been solved. Just for fun, or not, here’s a shot of the area in question. You can see the red antifreeze puddling slightly. The engine, in this area looks a bit nasty but hey, it’s an old engine. The leak is coming through a seal that is part of the water pump. I have no idea if my “fix” will hold but a proper repair is a fairly big deal that will require removing the water pump and replacing some seals and gaskets. With that in mind, I ordered a set of parts overnight from the US and picked them up at the other end of the island yesterday.
I guess I subscribe to the idea that if you carry an umbrella on a cloudy day it is less likely to rain. So, let’s hope that with parts on hand it won’t rain. At least I am ready although making a repair at sea isn’t appealing. Fingers crossed.
So, all that is left is to stow things properly, fill the water and get everything on deck ready for the run.
I will be posting regularly as we make our way north and may include some photos as well, a first due to our Starlink unit. Unfortunately, I had a glitch in how I set up the account and used a lot of expensive data already so will have to limit my usage to keep the bill from spiraling out of control.
You can follow along and see how my track is going on the Salty Dawg Homeward Bound Rally tracking page.
There are also some details on this blog about tracking Pandora individually, under the tab “where in the world is Pandora”.
I guess that’s about all for now as we still have a few items to square away before we head out.
Wish us luck.
I’ll be in touch.