It is Wednesday morning and we are motoring along in calm conditions. There is not a lot to look at except the (very) occasional ship or yacht that crosses our path, heading to Europe. I suppose that should not be a surprise as we are indeed, in the middle of nowhere, about 200 miles west of Bermuda and almost 600 miles from home. The good news is that we are over 800 miles from our starting point in St Thomas.
It feels good to be on the second half of the run. However, it will clearly be the most challenging with some salty conditions up ahead.
Even though there is not a lot to look at except flying fish skipping from wave to wave, and phosphoresce off the stern at night, we are seeing many Portuguese Man-O-War jellyfish floating by.
They look so delicate with their “sail” moving them along in the breeze. It is hard to see in this photo but they are quite colorful with a bit of red on one end and translucent bits of blue on the sail.
As pretty as they are, don’t be fooled, as to touch one of the tentacles that trail along upwards of 10’ below, pack quite a punch.Brenda and I have seen many of these as we sailed along the US east coast, particularly off Florida when we were spending our winters in the Bahamas. There was a time when we were in Boca Raton and several were blown thru the inlet and into the harbor. Brenda was inspired to do a tapestry that she titled “blown off course”.I think that this piece is one of her best and others seem to agree as she has received several awards at shows and the piece was featured in a national fiber arts magazine last year. It is worth noting that the “braids” affixed to the borders are a Japanese technique that she does. These intricate silk braids are hard to do but she has had a lot of practice.
And speaking of Japanese fiber techniques, Brenda is still in Japan, having just finished up on a “fiber tour” of the country. She is staying in Tokyo for a few more days with a good friend before flying back to NY later this week. I am very much looking forward to seeing her again and learning more about all the great places that she visited.
So, back to what lies ahead and title of this post.
Since the beginning of this run a week ago, we have been watching the weather north of Bermuda with the hope that the constant parade of low-pressure systems that have been moving off the Coast will moderate.
To some degree, they have but we will be sailing into some sporty conditions beginning sometime tomorrow afternoon. From there north to where we cross the Gulf Stream, several hundred miles, will be a bit challenging with wind sometimes gusting to 30+kts. The good news is that the wind is not likely to be quite as bad as we feared based on earlier forecasts but whatever we face will last for about 24 hours longer.
The angle of the wind should be on the beam so it should be manageable.
After that we cross the Gulf Stream which should be reasonable. We expect to run into strong winds north of the Stream but they will be behind us, which is better.
Given the amount of motoring we have done, we switched fuel tanks yesterday and shortly after that, the engine began to slow down and stall. I know that the tank is full but there must be some crud clogging the pickup tube. Just to be sure, I replaced filters on the engine and switched to the third tank. Everything seems to be OK for now. Just in case we motor more than expected we took time to dump about 15 gallons from jugs into the nearly empty tank. In light conditions like we have now, it’s easy but if it’s rough not practical to siphon fuel without the risk of getting water into the tank.
However, I do not want to run out of fuel, as unlikely as that may be so better safe than sorry.
So, for now, we are sailing along in light conditions and I am hoping that “the blow” will not be quite as bad as it was looking a few days ago.
I guess all I can say is details to come.
Not sure I will be putting up anything when it is “sporty” but time will tell. Not to worry, we will still be posting our position every two hours on the tracker.
For sure we will be moving along well for most of the rest of the trip. If conditions are no worse than forecast, it should be manageable.
Perhaps we will be home on Sunday.
Wish us luck, please…