To complete and my summarize my virtual cruise
: between April 20 and June 1st there were only two weather windows that I choose for a Norfolk departure.
1) May 15 departure for MOW - heading out with a pretty strong (15-20/25)SW wind, but making a fast passage. stayed on a stb tack - close reach to beam reach - down to about 30N 73W by May 18, where the easterly's kicked in and on a port tack, beam reach, first light air then stronger as we worked south arrived in MOW late in the day May 21.
2)May 15 departure for Bermuda -Fast broad reach out to 70W by May 18, winds went to the NE 15 - close hauled into BA by late in the day May 20.
3) May 29 departure for MOW - winds SW 15, rode
this on a close reach across the stream to 34N 74W, the wind goes to the NW, the steer rumb line to MOW, with winds generally S SE 10-15, motoring in the last day June 4th.
Once in the ABACOS the weather seemed less that ideal with strong East winds, rain and TSs for, it seems like, most of the time. nice calm days about every 3 or 5 days.
In later in june the weather got a little better, but still shots of 20 kt eastern winds every 3 days.
Looking for a departure home, late in june had a stationary front along the eastern seaboard locking in a huge line of thunderstorms in the gulf stream which didn't clear until July 2-3. We choose ( in our virtual cruise) to depart Walkers Cay on July 4th with some of those good East winds at 15 knots. On a track due north we made great time on a beam to broad reach, probably double reefed and still going 7 knots. We stayed out of the gs because of the TS's that were still spotty. turning NE at 30N, then converged with the GS at 34N 75W on July 7. We got back into the Bay on July 9th, and then weathered severe thunderstorms and heavy rain as we worked our ways north to Kent Island and home.
Another option to avoid the thunderstorms would have been to return via Bermuda, which locked under the High pressure did not experience all the wet stormy conditions that were prevalent along the coast.
All and all an interesting exercise. I was a little disheartened by the less that ideal weather in the Abacos. but I must remind myself, its the journey, not the destination
.... that's what we say....