Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
|Black Line Planned vs. Green/Orange Actual (windy where Orange)|
(Warning this is a bit long as I document what happened for my own benefit as well as yours!)
How was the trip to Bermuda??
Well, it wasn't the best! For those of you that considered coming along for the ride (Sue!) and then decided not to...you made a good decision.
It probably sits at number two in our all time least enjoyable list of passages. Tough call, since the Auckland to Tonga trip had more than 48 hours with winds over 30 and this one only 24 hours. But, on the trip to Tonga the Autopilot steered through the worst parts, and on this trip we lost the autopilot less than an hour into the windy stuff. An autopilot is worth at least two capable crew. Lesson learned....we need to fix what broke and organize a backup system for the future!
As earlier posts have pointed out, we left a chilly Newport, RI behind with a forecast (from professionals (that we PAID for!!!)) that predicted 24 hours of very light conditions, the possibility (becoming more likely) of a new Low that would affect us with 20-30 knot winds pushing us downwind for the next 24 hours, and then 36 hours of ideal sailing conditions as we finished our trip into St. Georges Harbor in Bermuda.
Quotes from our Forecast Provider...
1) There is some change to the forecast but still think it looks best to get going today (Sun)
2) You may see adverse conditions for a time Mon, or Mon Night but will see better and more favorable conditions Tue and Wed to Bermuda
3) Look out for increasing NE wind, possible to 20 kts later at Night.
4) Winds: Sun - light and Variable, Mon - 5 to 15, possible gusts to 30 in squalls, Tue - 12 to 26, Gust 30?, Wed - 22 to 11
So, what happened....
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 28, 2011, at 4:17 PM, Deb Gregory <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi All.
> Jim, Kim and I are safely in Bermuda. It was an interesting/scary passage.
> As soon as you get casual about the ocean, she reaches up to remind you just how inconsequential we are in the scheme of things.
> Our friend Kim Comfort from Newport, RI joined us for the passage from Newport to Bermuda. She's the daughter of the Amazing Potato friends, and a good sailor. We left Newport with a good weather window. We use a service call Commanders Weather that helps us plan when to go. Only 4 days and nothing bad between us and Bermuda.
> The 1st day was cool, calm and easy. Day 2 the weather was suppossed to get up to 20 knots as we crossed the gulf stream, but not too bad. It definitely got warmer and nicer. By the time we got 1/2 way to Bermuda, it was 30k with gusts to 35. But we were going down wind, so it really wasn't that bad. We had taken down the main sail, and only had this tiny part of it up we couldnt reach to pull down. Waves were huge, about 30 feet, but we were surfing down the front of them. Jim hit 18 knots surfing down the waves. Yucky, but ok. Then we got hit with a gust of 46 knots out of no where. The Auto pilot was steering. Auto handeleld it well, but as Jim was running on deck to make sure all was well, we heard a huge "sproing" noise. Jim didn't tell Kim and I until we reached Bermuda, but the Auto pilot had ripped free of the boat with the force of trying to steer the boat through that gust. Jim reached the tiller before we rounded up or down and started steering or we would have been in big trouble.
> That left us in the middle of that big storm with no Auto pilot. Auto counts as at least 2 crew, so with him out, we had to hand steer for 2 days.
> So we started steering by hand in 30 knots of wind and 30 foot waves. We had to line the waves up right, or they would butt slap the boat, making it spin out. Sucked. This was during the day. At night you couldn't see the waves, because of course, it's a new moon. We would hear them coming, but you just had to stear by the compass and trust you didnt get butt slapped by a rouge wave.
> Kim and Jim steared all night. 1 hour on, 1 off. Somehow I got taken off the rotation. I definitely was scared doing it, and somehow those guys got the impression I didn't want to stear. I didn't correct their assumption.
> We got through the night without crashing the boat. The next day was more of the same, but every hour was better. Smaller waves, lower wind. By Thursday am the waves were small, wind was light and it was warm and sunny to finish the passage.
> So, long story short, we are good. We need to tell Commanders that they suck, and we need the auto pilot repaired. No worries.
> Love to you All,
> On Oct 28, 2011, at 12:04 PM, Deb Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> In Bermuda. Trip SUCKED.
>> All good now. Phone and texts out of commission for next 6 mos but email works great!
>> Love you all. I am fine, but you were closer to -1 sister than ever before.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
More tomorrow. Now to sleep more than two hours in a row!!
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Monday, October 24, 2011
The biggest issue we had leaving was the fact that our primary computer used for email, weather, and navigation had a problem and needed to go to the shop. Normally that would not be a problem and we'd just delay our departure. However....our weather routers were saying "go now!", or prepare to wait for at least a week.
That didn't seem very attractive. Deb was running out of extra layers to put on in the cold, and we have a perfectly good backup computer. So off we went!
Based on our weather since leaving, and our forecast the first third of the trip will be a very light one, and the second two thirds pretty windy!!
I've spent the first day fixing the solar panel issues and we now have three functional panels pumping free electricity into our batteries when the sun is out!! I've also managed to get all the systems up and running on the backup computer. (This email is proof of part of that!!)
So, it looks like we reach the Gulf Stream between 10pm and midnight tonight. It's always midnight when things get wierd. We should have very nice conditions for the first six hours or so, and then the wind will have built to 20-25 from the NW. The stream is running North at about three knots, so that's wind against current and normally that's not the most comfortable way to travel. Luckily, the wind will be behind us so that should help.
Then tomorrow will be pretty windy but having crossed the stream, I'm hoping for a fairly comfortable and fast downwind ride!
Thats all for now!!
-Jim, Deb, and Kim
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Sunday, October 23, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Up early to begin and finish packing the trailer which will be stored for the winter along with our car at Jim Callahan's farm somewhere in New York.
Departure for Bermuda is beginning to seem real!
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Forecast: SYNOPSIS FOR MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND COASTAL WATERS...
LOW PRES NEAR JAMES BAY DEVELOPS INTO A POWERFUL STORM TODAY AND
TONIGHT...YIELDING W TO SW GALES ACROSS THE NEW ENGLAND WATERS
THROUGH THE WEEKEND. WINDS WILL SLOWLY EASE MON AND ESPECIALLY TUE
AS THE CANADIAN LOW WEAKENS. A COASTAL LOW MAY DEVELOP AND MOVE UP
THE EASTERN SEABOARD TUE NIGHT INTO WED AND COULD BE ACCOMPANIED
BY SE GALES.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
GPS location Date/Time:10/13/2011 16:11:34 PDT
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
View Newport to The Caribbean in a larger map
With temperatures in the low 60's and threatening to go lower, it is time to get serious about getting out of dodge!
Our plan is to leave for Bermuda on or about Oct. 23rd, and then sail from Bermuda on to the Caribbean leaving Bermuda on the 6th of November.
Lots of people ask, why not just harbor hop your way South along the Atlantic Coast and then leave for the Caribbean from Miami?
Well, that seemed like a great idea to me right up until a couple of months ago when I started talking to folks that have done the trip before. There are two very good reasons that the Bermuda route is a "no brainer".
- Check out the map above. When you head South along the Atlantic Coast you are also putting in some significant miles to the West. If you take this route it basically a 3,000 mile trip by the time you reach St. Martin. If, on the otherhand, you take the Bermuda route the trip is 1700 miles. Over a thousand miles shorter!
- The Caribbean trade winds blow from the East. So, if you make the trip to Miami and put in all those miles to the West, you then need to regain your Easterly position by sailing 1,000 miles upwind into the Trades. No thanks!!