Friday, November 14, 2014

Offshore 300nm leg SC-FL

Sunsets at sea are so special...
Spending nights at sea on a sailboat is a special aspect of cruising. It is also challenging, exciting, boring, beautiful, and very tiring. So why do it? We set sail for sea to cover longer distances in shorter periods of time. Then again, there are some trips where you must spend nights at sea. Running the East Coast to the Caribbean can take 10 to 15 days and nights!  Cape May NJ to Block Island is a 36 hour run that takes one overnight. That is a summer trip we have made  ten times. Sailing from Acadia Maine to the Cape Cod Canal is also one overnight trip. So, we do it because we want to get to the destination. We do it because we have a lot of confidence in our boat systems, fuel system and engine. If it breaks or stops running offshore, then we have to fix it. Lucky for us, our brand new engine, with 100 hours, ran perfectly. Hand built by a Bavarian, we now call it Yannie-New BMW, and it runs like one too. What a great engine. Thank you, Alfred, of Schooner Bay Marina, Wisconsin!

Radeen harnessed in
We try to run watches at night so that we are each on in two hour shifts. That way the one off watch can catch some sleep. Sometimes we extend this to 3 hours, but we find we are so exhausted and tired that the one on night watch usually needs relived in two hours. Hayden usually does not sleep well and in this 52 hour trip, he only had 4-5 hours of sleep. While on watch, the person at the helm needs to be harnessed onto the boat so that they can not be lost overboard while the other person is asleep. No one is allowed to go onto deck unless the other person is up. No sail changes alone. If anything is not clear, like a ship crossing or a navigation issue, then get the other person up to help. Keep the boat moving, push 5-6 knots of speed with sail, or sail and motor to keep it going. We are not out here to extend the trip, we want to make a safe and speedy passage. Usually this means that if the wind is over 15 knots then we can use sails only. If it is 15 knots or less, then we add some engine to keep the speed up. This trip was forecast to have 10-15 knots NW, but we had 0-10 SW winds. (See previous post for weather map proof!) On a course of 195 degrees, this required sails and engine at 2,000 to 2,300 rpms. On day two, the winds came in as planned and we had 15-20 NW. We finally killed the engine and sailed the final 9 hours!

So here we are in FLORIDA. We are 964 nautical miles from Rock Hall, MD where we departed on October 8 for the Annapolis Boat Show, the beginning of our Fall 2014 cruise.

Check out these ocean sunrise and sunset photos

Ship crossing in the AM sunlight

Here comes the sun

Sunrise off Cape Canaveral, FL

I love to take these sunrises at sea

A focus on the ocean waves. This is a calm sea, 30 miles offshore

Radeen, the librarian, reading and happy
Her book? Seven Wonders by Ben Mezrich, author of
:Breaking Vegas (made into the movie Bringing Down the House)
and The Accidental Billionaires (made into the movie Social Network)

Ship on the horizon under the jib

The blue sky, clouds and sunset


The moon over our mast, but look at out worn out mainsail..ugh

Good Morning sunrise as we sail SOUTH

The sunrise is always exciting and wakes you up



This is a CALM inlet as the 3 knot flood current pushed us into the inlet

We always have sails up in inlets in case our engine stops!

Fort Pierce over the rock jetty

Bell Buoy with a wake, 3 knot flood current taking us in

This is WHY we fear SHIPS....look at this 34-40 sailboat and a 1,000 foot ship

Another view of the same sailboat and this 1,000 foot ship!
They run at 15-20 knots of speed
We are so grateful to be on anchor, safe and secure in Fort Pierce. Now we can enjoy the Farmers' Market and then move up to Vero Beach to see good friends and boat buddies.

3 comments:

Greg Kerlin said...

Raydeen looks quite snug there reading her book. I hope you have a BIG Library!

32 degrees here in the Beauzone this am. The big chill has arrived. Glad to see that you were able to bypass that SC and GA stretch of miles and miles that seem to go nowhere.

Happy Motoring says the Esso Tiger.

S/V Island Bound said...

Glad you guys made a safe passage. We are headed your way after Thanksgiving. Hope to see you again soon.

Bill and Tricia, Island Bound

Desert Pirate said...

I know you posted these photos almost a month ago and you've probably had a grand Thanksgiving out West, but upon rereading your comments I see you mentioned the condition of your mainsail. I also see that your jib is pretty much blown out with the draft moved far aft in the sail. My original 1991 jib was exhibiting the same condition, but it was also due in part to loose backstays. Once I tightened up one inch on both backstays, the draft in the jib moved forward and the telltales on both sides of the jib could fly aft at the same time. My jib still needed to be replaced, but the loose backstay was not helping matters.