Finally, we are on the way to warmer climate, the first trip was from Georgetown down to Hampton, ca 160 nM. We have provisioned and only needed to fill our diesel tank, but it took longer than planned to leave our slip as the wind was fresh and pushed us towards some piling. However just after 10 o’clock we cast off with all our “tanks” filled to the rim. We motored out of the river and set sails.
Pat and Diane on Shenanigans were heading the same way, so we made company all the way down to Hampton. They too go with the Salty Dawg rally down to Antigua.
The wind was brisk most of the time and for the first 30 Nm just forward of the beam so speed was really good.
The good speed gave us the opportunity to test our new hydrogenator from Swi-Tec. We deployed it and at 9 knots it gave ca 10 A 24 volt, so not too bad. One might have expected more as it is rated 500 Watt, but our batteries where at 93 % so no major need for charging. The wind dropped, and we made between 5 and 7 knots and by morning our batteries showed 94%. We are pleased with that.
It was a cold day
So long johns and cap were necessary, and at night time it became very cold indeed.
Kerstin has all the cloth she could find aboard on hear, but still need to wrap herself into a blanket.
I was rather cold myself mainly of my feet? The cold then spread from my feet up in my body. I do recommend warm shoes aboard even if they seldom get used. A coup of chocolate with Rum is always welcome in such circumstances.
The night is very long about 12 h, so it was nice to see the dawn.
But even nicer to have a well-deserved cold beer in the sun after arriving Hampton, Virginia.
Hampton and Salty Dawg Rally
Hampton was busy with all boats preparing for the crossing, presentations, social events, provisioning and maintenance occupies most captains and crews. We could have a more relaxed approach as provisioning and maintenance were done. So, focus on social events and some presentations.
The free Pain killers was highly appreciated followed by the farewell dinner.
Charts are studied to find the best route across the Gulf stream, especially as the weather forecast does not look good at all.
The gust map for today Saturday the planned departure day. The grey indicates gusts well over 50 knots and that is over the Gulf Stream than runs north at a speed of 3-4 knots.
Locally it does not look much better. We are at the green dots.
Through the Salty Dawg rally we get free weather and routing service from Chris Parker, we have webinars with him, but unfortunately to much information and much to less conclusions, but still rather clear stay in the harbor for now. An experienced skipper on a 70 foot Hylas who has done this trip more than 15 times he said no way I will go on Saturday as planned. The Gulf stream will show confused sea at 12- 14 feet and for small vessels already confused sea at 6 feet is bad.
The Gulf Stream is about 50 nM wide, but as seen in the picture areas of up to several hundred nM are effected trough eddies and sometimes they can be very bad them too. We wait for a better window, maybe on Monday or Thursday, we will see. preparation continues, Kerstin preparing ready meals for the crossing.
Kerstin vacuum chili-con-carne and bolognaise for the trip. Also Swedish “Pan Biff” is on the menu.
I make sure the Dingy is securely fastened on the after deck. So now we wait and see….