Wind not in our favor sometimes not very much wind at all, sometimes right on the nose, so we alternate motoring and sailing. Now we are doing good speed 7-8 kn closed hauled with 15-18 kn wind, but in the wrong direction. According to Chris Parker we need to reach 26N 61 W before Monday morning when the trade wind comes, it is forecasted to go from NE to SE, ie right on the nose. I asked Chris if we do not reach this position by then what will be the consequence, you will end up in Puerto Rico instead he said, Well we enjoy the nice sailing and sunshine and take it as it comes, We have a few boats within AIS distance all of them catamarans so we probably do good progress.
Fishing luck is better we landed a nice Mahi Mahi yesterday, so the rod went in again. Thomas my brother showed great skill in filleting so now he has a new responsibility aboard, Kerstin very pleased with that as she work hard in the galley serving delicious food even under difficult conditions. Brita Is very excited finding fly fish on the deck this morning.
Position 29 33 W 68 02 N Rum line to Antigua 1016 Nm.
No wind since 14:00 yesterday we are motoring in light winds, according to the forecast no wind to be expect the coming 4 FOUR DAYS!!!!. I’m glad we have some extra diesel, we filled our 5 jerry cans before we left. In a mail this morning Chris Parker gave us way point 24 N 61 W, to reach by Sunday or not later than Monday, after that we can sail in Tradewinds towards Antigua. For us to reach the way point by Monday the 12 th, we need to do 6,4 kn average.
The good news, we put out our rods yesterday and after maybe an hour or so we got our first fish, a Bar Jack we guess, and shortly after that our favorite Mahi Mahi. The rod went in again as we do not need more fish until tomorrow. Kerstin had her day full, taking care of the fishes and preparing a delicious meal from the Bar Jack with a small taste bite from the Mahi Mahi, so we know what to expect tomorrow ( I.e today). It was served with mashed potatoes. The night was calm with a fantastic heaven full of stars that felt so close you almost could reach them by raising your hand. One newer stops to fascinate of the star heaven. Pos 31 20 N 69 24 W, rum line to Antigua 970 nM suggested route by Chris Parker 1060 nM, with god luck and a lot of diesel, ETA Antigua Morning 15 th
Yesterday we used most of the day to get out of the Gulf Stream, the wind was fresh 18 to 22 kn, speed was very good but the ride was bumpy, exciting but not comfortable. After exiting the stream we set course a little bit more to the south and put the pilot in wind vane mode,57 degree apparent and off we went. All night long we had 18 to 22 knots beam reach so very good progress 9-10knots most of the time. We made 204 nM COG the first 25 h of sailing crossing the GS!!! Amazing our best ride so fare, hard to beat I guess. At sunlight this morning the wind dropped to 10 knots and become more to the W but speed still good about 6,5 kn and the ride is much more comfortable, very enjoyable I would say, and the sun is shining. I’m sitting on the deck in sunshine writing this, very nice indeed. The forecast is for the wind to drop and the weather man Chris Parker who send mail to us and broadcast on SSB expect us to have to motor for quiet some time, but we enjoy as long as it last ( Our SSB radio who have given me a lot of problem now work well at least receiving, I have made some amateur fixing not really sure what the problem was).
Hopefully we can have our lunch and dinner on proper plates to day and not have them served in “dog bowlers”., I can recommend using “ dog bowels” as plates during bumpy rides, not fancy but practical. The Hydro generator have worked very well, despite all the Saragossa weed we see, this morning I had to clear the prop for the first time, as the ride was gentle no big deal.
Position 33 19 N 70 50 W. the rum line to Antigua gives an other 1100 mile to sail, but expect it to be a bit longer as we can not sail a straight line due to wind forecast. South east is suggested by Chris Parker for another 100 and so miles.
We left Hampton, Virginia at 10 am, a rather murky day. Wind on the nose 15 knots and the rain hanging in the air. We motored out of the Chesapeake bay, the rid was rather bumpy with water on the deck rain started to poring down. But current with us gave us good speed. The day was colder and so was the night, but not close to what it was when we sailed down the Bay the other day. After about 110 nM we entered the Gulf Stream the wind became brisk and we sailed in to the stream doing 8-9 knots. The wind increased to sometimes well over 20 knots and speed through the water was occasionally exceeding 10 knots. Initially we had a good course but the wind turned a bit against us and we could not hold to the way point which was absolutely vital. I discover a strange thing by pointing higher to wind to get to the way point still doing 8 knots through the water took us further from the WP I noticed boats a few miles ahead of my drifting north and slowing down. It did not looked good,
I fell down a few degrees and Kerpa increased speed and suddenly we was much closer to the lay line and we passed a handful of boats by this maneuver. The current was then close to 4 kn the night was very dark, it was a special feeling to have the direction the boat was going ca 40 degree to port. Boats that looks as we would pass clear was suddenly much closer than comfortable. The wind was nice and turned back so we could more or less closed hauled sail at speed exceeding 9 knots, the temperature went up and suddenly in the middle of the night I had only t shirt and trousers. Now Tuesday at 12:35 we have sailed 83 nm over ground in the Gulf Stream and still have ca 30 nm before we are supposed to be out of the Gulf Stream. Totally since we left we have made 180 nM over ground. Wind still ca 20 kn apparent hopefully remains so over the next 24 h. Boat sped rather often exceed 10 knots glorious sailing, and the hydro generator pumps in Amps to our batteries. Position 35 17, 3 N 73 30,4 W
After numerous studies of various forecasts, several webinars by Chris Parker and inputs from salt experienced Gulf Stream sailors. We have decidedly to depart tomorrow for Antigua a trip of ca 1500 nM. The most critical issue is to cross the Gulf Stream, we do not want to have too much wind at the crossing as the sea can be confused and dangerous even for large vessels. Last time we passed this area close to Cape Hatteras we hade head wind of 20-25 kn and the current with us, the going was very uncomfortable. The weather is very unsettled with one trof followed by the next trof. To quote Chris Parker the other day about crossing the Gulf Stream today. “Gulf Stream is probably not life-threatening for most seaworthy vessels, but it will be monumentally uncomfortable.” So keep your fingers cross for a nice ocean passage for us, we will keep you updated on our progress with daily postings by our IridiumGo.