Longtail visits Steven Thing on the communications-safety boat
0545, Tuesday. 34 12.6m
N 66 20.6m W.
Went on deck about 0430 for the air and to witness
sunrise. The early dawn light was the background to sharp-edged
cumulus clouds to the east. It was easy to see the profile of an
sailor, leaning back asleep, probably snoring as his mouth was open.
Just before the light broke through the low clouds in the distance,
the big tropical cumulus clouds to our west became bright pink-orange.
Almost looked like they were a reflection of the pink sand of Bermuda.
the sunlight broke through, the western clouds were spectacular against
the light blue background. Some of the clouds seem to be throwing off
some rain. Just then a Bermuda Longtail came along and followed us for
a few minutes, getting quite close, almost like he wanted to land.
visit from a Longtail is said to bring good luck. Think he was taking
a ride off the updraft from our sails, as he just hovered for the
time without moving his wings. He then flew off to the west and we
a rainbow. After a bit, we noticed a double rainbow with the color
reversed from the main rainbow. The gentle sea, steady winds, light
blue background, big white puffy clouds, the rainbows, and the Longtail
made for a special moment in our voyage.
of the Stream but not out of current, say
Dorsey and Bruce Beard
0930 Tuesday, 33
31.5N, 65 45.1W. The good news is that this is gorgeous
to 14 knots of steady breeze at 70-80 degrees apparent. We've been
along comfortably at 7.5-8.5 knots for more than 30 hours. Sunny and
pleasant during the day, cool and moonlit, then starlit milky way, at
night. What could be wrong?
I forgot. The foul current. Almost from when we exited the Gulf Stream
we've been plagued by 1.0-1.5 knots of foul current. Some from the
some from the south – but foul every which way. We stayed to the west
because, well, we were supposed to stay to the west. We expected mixed
current down here below the stream, some foul, some not, but we didn't
expected such persistent and strong stuff against us for so long. Even
now, it's still .5-.75 knots foul.
good news: we're in good company. Next Boat, the Morris 45 owned
by Mark Ellman, is rolling along to leeward of us, gradually pulling
by. And he won the DH division a few years back in his little Morris
36. What's he doing over here? Same thing we are, I guess. I imagine
the mood there is similar to the mood here.
main competitors – Lora Ann, Paladin, Great Scot,
and Kiva – are all to the east and ahead by 30+ miles, right
on the rhumb line. Yesterday morning they were closer to the finish
by 20-25 miles, but we thought we had a chance of catching up, with
our westerly position and more favorable reaching angle. We weren't
counting on this current, and as the day went on and it didn't subside,
we could only hope that they were getting foul current also.
look like they did get the bad current. We just looked at the 0400
reports and their boat speed averages are much higher than ours. While
we've been sailing at 7.5-8.5 knots, we're only making good 6.5-7.
making good 8-9. So not only is the current not setting them back,
got enough wind to move fast.
Oh well. Bermuda, here we come.
Roy and Gail Greenwald and
Cordelia have current problems, too.
0800 Tuesday, about 190
miles NW of Bermuda. Winds Southwest at 10 to 12 knots. Currents,
currents, currents. Missing when you want them, there when you don’t.
since clearing the Gulf Stream we’ve had about 1 to 1.5 knots of current
against us where there shouldn’t be any. . . at least not by any of
the charts, maps, or reports we’ve seen. We knew we’d have some
unfavorable ones between the Stream and Bermuda, but not almost ALL
the way. So we decided to scrap our plan to sail farther west (since
it was based on avoiding currents in an eddy) and to just head straight
winds held up well all night, and our boat speed was pretty good. We’re
not really tracking other boats but if they have the same bad currents
we do, then we probably had a decent night. We haven’t seen another
boat in about 24 hours. It has been very nice weather. Quite warm, but
not oppressively tropical, which is what it was like in the Stream
Shorts and tee shirt weather. So far we’ve been almost hard on the
wind the entire way.
settled into a good routine, and are finally into the watch schedule
enough to wake up rested. A couple of large ships have passed across
our bow and stern during the last day. They always look much more
out here than they do in a channel at home. It’s probably because
you can more easily predict their path at home and be assured you are
out of harm’s way.
highlight to report: Before leaving we had Burr’s yard do some work
on the toilet seat and install a ring on the bottom so it doesn’t
slip off the bowl when you’re sitting on it and the boat is heeling.
Works great! I told them we ought to patent this thing.