Monthly Archives: May 2018

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Leaving Bermuda

Getting ready to leave Bermuda. Trying to get the link to Facebook working.

USA to Bermuda – day 6

Our position at 10.00 (14.00 GMT) Wednesday 16th May
32 21N
068 00W another 2 steps

We have 170 miles to go to the anchorage in Bermuda and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 124 miles. Average 5.16kts.

Our penultimate day at sea, should be in some time tomorrow. Luckily it’s been a fairly easy sail because both Bill and I have found the passage very tiring. I think it’s a combination of our colds, which have nearly gone, jet lag and it’s been over a year since we’ve done a passage this long. It will be good to arrive. On reflection maybe we should have waited another week to allow our bodies to recover but it’s a good job we didn’t because listening to the cruising nets there has been another front crossing Florida which has brought squalls and strong winds. The weather in the Florida/Bahamas area is so volatile we are glad to leave. Hopefully we’ll have about a week to explore the island then probably be off again. There’s a good window shaping up for Thursday next week.

Our speed has been up and down slowing to 3kts this morning but it’s back up to 5.4kts now. Hopefully our winds hold for our last night. Still F3/4 south but a bit more forward of the beam now so we are heeling more.

Saw my first pod of whales on this trip this morning. About half a dozen playing about 200 meters from the boat. Looking at their fins I think they were pilot whales but they didn’t come close enough to see. This trip has been sparse on wildlife, no dolphins, a few flying fish and of course the big booby bird!

I have sent our position to marine traffic this morning but not sure if it’s working. Apparently we are in some obscure place in the US.

Thanks to my sister who is posting these twitterings on Facebook.

All’s well on board.

USA to Bermuda – day 5

Our position at 10.00 (14.00 GMT) Tuesday 15th May
32 35N a quarter of the way back to the UK from the US
070 19W another 2 steps and an eighth of the way back to the UK.

We have 285 miles to go to the anchorage in Bermuda and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 126 miles. Average 5.25kts.

Our stats are dropping a bit but not bad as we have fairly light winds. I can’t believe the good conditions we’ve got considering we are out in the north Atlantic and I’m touching wood while I say that. I spoke to Chris Parker weather yesterday evening on the SSB and he has given us a good forecast for the rest of the journey. Hoping to be in Thursday if the wind holds up.

We have blue skies over a beautiful calm blue sea. Only running the engine once a day for an hour to charge batteries, the solar panels and D400 wind generator are doing the rest. I hope the rest of the Atlantic is like this but I fear not.

I have sent our position to marine traffic this morning.

Thanks to my sister who is posting these twitterings on Facebook.

All’s well on board.

USA to Bermuda – day 4

Our position at 10.00 (14.00 GMT) Monday 14th May
32 54N
072 29W another 3 steps nearer.

We have 411 miles to go to the anchorage in Bermuda and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 138 miles. Average 5.7kts.

It was a good sailing day yesterday in a southerly F3/4 and calm seas. We passed our half way point in the evening so extra chocolate rations for me. 😉

Looking at the RTOF gribs yesterday evening we were approaching an area of strong current traveling north to south which we could sail down to give us some speed but Bill decided we wouldn’t do that. Firstly there’s no guarantee you find it and secondly it would have meant turning into the wind and we were sailing nicely on a beam reach so decided to just cross it instead. I don’t know what was down there but during the 2 or 3 hours it took to cross the 20 mile stretch we were absolutely creaming along. I didn’t see the speed drop below 8kts for several hours. The wind rose slightly from 12, 13, 14kts to gusts of 15 and 16kts. Added to this it was pitch black because we are in the dark moon at the moment. It just so happened that Bill was in bed and didn’t see any of this. I considered waking him because I get panicky but decided not to. Not sure what it was but we are in the area of the Bermuda triangle!!

All calm today. The wind dropped right off again just after sunrise but after a couple of hours it was back up to 5kts

I have sent our position to marine traffic this morning.

Thanks to my sister who is posting these twitterings on Facebook.

All’s well on board.

USA to Bermuda – day 3

Our position at 10.00 (14.00 GMT) Sunday 13th May
33 06N as far north as we go on this stage of the journey
075 33W another 2 steps nearer.
We have 550 miles to go to the anchorage in Bermuda and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 149 miles.

The engine was turned off at 13.00 yesterday with a zephyr of a breeze and stayed off. It was a very hot day as we traveled further north east having passed Georgia the day before and South Carolina yesterday. This morning at 5am off the coast of North Carolina, after 3 days of sailing north East we reached 33N and turned East. The new waypoint for the outer buoy at Bermuda gave 560 miles to go. This is the first time on our long journey that we have sailed due east since leaving the UK. We usually sail towards the sunset so sailing towards our first sunrise was magical, the colours were amazing, beautiful pinks and mauves, it was like England was calling me towards her.

As we gradually left the gulf stream the speed started dropping, we have been used to 7 – 8kts the last 3 days but within an hour the speed was down to 4.8kts. The wind got less and less and at 2.8kts (walking pace) we considered putting the engine on but we can’t motor all the way to Bermuda so resisted. Within an hour our speed was back to 4.7kts. We won’t win any races but it’s a comfortable ride. The forecast for the rest of the week is light winds so I don’t mind. No gales forecast, fingers crossed.

We are back in shorts and t-shirts today but it’s still surprising how warm it is.

I have sent our position to marine traffic this morning. As we gradually come away from the coast it should show us up a bit better.

Thanks to my sister who is posting these twitterings on Facebook.

All’s well on board.

USA to Bermuda – day 2

Our position at 10.00 (14.00 GMT) Saturday 12th May
31 53N
077 57W
We have 710 miles to go to the anchorage in Bermuda and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 143 miles.

We had a mixed day yesterday. We sailed until 3pm before the wind dropped then motored for the afternoon. The wind came back at sunset so we sailed all night but it disappeared at 6am this morning so the sails are down and we’re motoring again. The sea is calm but the swell is causing an irritating roll so everything is put away or sitting on non slip mats. Putting the sail up would dampen the roll but would add slating sails to other irritations. Luckily the current in the gulf stream is giving us an extra 2 knots of boat speed or we would be going very slowly.

Last night we had an unwelcome visitor on board, a huge booby bird decided to roost right next to the tricolour meaning no one would have been able to see us. Bill put the lower nav lights on instead which isn’t ideal because we can’t be seen from so far away. This morning the deck was covered in bird c**p, it was a big bird twice the size of a pigeon so there’s a lot of it; he’s got to go!!! Bill and I were out there as soon as the sails were down clapping, flapping ropes and banging the rigging until eventually he flew off. Wish I still had the Supersoaker but I gave it away to an island kiddie.

At this stage of the journey any little milestone is celebrated. Port Solent in the UK, where we are eventually heading for, is 50 degrees 50N latitude (they are the rings that go up the globe and our distance from the equator) Fort Pierce was at 27 degrees N. Today we are 31 degrees N so I don’t mind the northing we are doing at the moment. The longitude (meridians lines across the globe) for Port Solent is 001 degrees West and Fort Pierce was 080W, we are now at 077W. I’m looking at these like ‘steps’ towards the UK. Bermuda is at 064W so we are taking a couple of ‘steps’ a day on this passage.

The strangest thing at the moment is the heat, it’s baking. I was expecting it to turn cold at sea especially as we are traveling north east but the waters in the Gulf Stream that we are using to take us north are 29C. So it’s like the boat is sitting in a hot bath, add that to the engine going on and off and you have the reason clothes are optional at the moment. Haha!

I have sent our position to marine traffic this morning which seems to be working.

Thanks to my sister who is posting these twitterings on Facebook.

All’s well on board.

USA to Bermuda – Day 1

Our position at 10.00 (14.00 GMT) Friday 11th May
30 19N
079 49W
We have 839 miles to go to the anchorage in Bermuda and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 168 miles.

We left Fort Pierce at 6am yesterday to use the high tide to get out of the marina, Camomile ploughed a grove to her berth on the way in. It was good to get going even though the forecast isn’t brilliant. If we waited there is some bad weather coming in and it takes a few days to settle after that so we decided it was better to go. If we traveled the rhumb line to Bermuda we would probably motor all the way so the advise from Chris Parker weather is to use the gulf stream and head north where there is a bit more wind.

This is the first part of our journey home, a distance of roughly 4000 miles. It sounds a bit daunting but last year our trip from South Africa to Florida in 4 months was 7269 miles, including some stops, so 4000 doesn’t sound so bad!!! This first part to Bermuda should take care of about a quarter of that.

So our day started with motoring yesterday but the engine went off at 13.00 and we sailed until 19.00 when the wind died as the sun went down. Turned the engine off at 4am this morning and have sailed since then. The gulf stream is giving us another couple of knots of boat speed so coming north and doing a big banana to Bermuda should work well. Our first long passage for over a year but we are gradually settling. It isn’t helped by the fact Bill and I arrived back from the UK with bad colds so we aren’t feeling our best.

I have sent our position to marine traffic this morning so hopefully that will be posted. If it shows Camomile in some outlandish place could someone let me know and I’ll adjust it.

I’m not sure if the link between the website and facebook is working but if not my sister is going to copy and paste it for me.

That’s all for now folks.

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