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Old 29-08-2008, 08:45   #1
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Day 3 - Maine Passage

Day 3 - Maine Passage

Good evening from the Gulf Stream, 35*21'N 74*25'W, just past
Cape Hatteras, the bugbear of all East Coast Sailors...

The evening got off to an inauspicious start as the sink
overflowed due to a forgotten open salt water tap during our
showers on the platform aft. Ah, well - the floor and drawers
under the counter are now freshly cleaned...

Also, as you no doubt noticed, propagation is really lousy, and
as a result, despite over twelve hours of trying, we failed to
succeed in sending yesterday's log until the wee hours of today,
and at that I had to break it up into tiny pieces to be able to
stay connected long enough for any one section to complete.

Our wing-and-wing rig performed marvelously, taking us dead
downwind the entire day. However, by about midnight, we'd eased
our way back into the Gulf Stream for real, and we were seeing
speeds pushing 11 knots in apparent winds of 8-10. Earlier, it
had been very rolly and that slowed us down, a bit, I think, as
our speed went up notably when the rolling eased a bit. For all
the 6-8' seas, however, it's been a relatively smooth ride, as
the waves are not too close together, and we're mostly going the
same direction as they are.

The skies were overcast, but in the entire day we saw exactly
three other boats, all very far off, and none of them at night.
The radar, on at 24 miles full time, had no targets. Even the
slight lightning display off to the west was well out of range,
and the night was uneventful. That is, if you discount the
marvelous phosphorescence display as we sliced through the night

Lydia relieved me about 2AM and I gratefully climbed into our
airy bunk. It's airy because of the windscoop and the breeze
directly aft of the boat. I'm sore from all the unaccustomed
exercise I'm getting aboard, and I needed the massager we got
when we were ashore to work out the kinks in my left shoulder.

By the time I took over at 6:30, we'd had another minor equipment
failure - the bail (the wire thing connecting the pole to the
lift) on the spinnaker pole broke, leaving the pole without a
lift to stabilize it against the fore and aft guys. Fortunately,
the lift line didn't go up the mast, so when Lydia gets back up,
I'll make the appropriate adjustments to allow us to continue.

Well, Lydia's been exhausted, so I did it myself - the pole's
stowed, and we turned on to a beam reach in order to return to
the Gulf Stream. Our course has been taking us steadily, but
very slowly, east of the presumed axis of the Gulf Stream.
However, our speed remains very good, so we're not going to alter
course unless recommended by Chris Parker, our forecaster and
router. So far everything he's forecast has been exactly on,
unlike NOAA which usually manages to be off by 50% or more :{/)

That course took us very much more north, and into some
impressive seas and winds. By 10 AM we were in 15-20 knot winds,
and 8-10' seas. We were making only 6.5 knots, apparently
against one of the eddy currents shown in the links I gave as we
left, and only 34 degrees north. However, I added the staysail
at 2PM and that allowed us to turn a little more into the wind,
carrying us back into favorable currents, quickly upping our
speed to 8 knots.

By 4, we were on the edges, and we could afford to turn downwind
a bit, so we went on a broad reach while we had dinner. That
helped minimize the rock and roll, but then we got serious :{))

By the time we were finished with dinner, we'd re-entered the
Gulf Stream. I got creative and fixed the spinnaker pole, and
wing-and-wing, it is again. We're headed 56 degrees, at speeds
varying from the high nines to pushing 11 knots, again. So far
it's tough to fault this voyage...



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
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Old 29-08-2008, 09:04   #2
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Sometimes sailing is so grand. It just tempts you to keep going. BEST WISHES in your good weather continuing!
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