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Old 23-08-2008, 06:38   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Main Passage - Day 1

This will be the first in a series detailing our passage as shown a while back in "Flying Pig Float Plan" - and these also appeared in my log in the Yahoogroups in the link in my signature line, in the event you'd like to subscribe for real-time postings...

Day 1 - Maine Passage

We left in a drizzle early Monday evening, on the outgoing tide,
from Fernandina Beach. An hour later, we'd turned off the engine
and commence sailing, for real. While under way, we had a
chicken breast cut up in a salad. Not by design, we're sort of
dieting on this trip, and while calorically lean, it was still

Our sail plan, despite the very light winds forecast, was a
single reef in the mainsail, and the genoa out completely. Our
main has three reefs, all very deep. The first takes out about
three feet of the bottom, a significant reduction, so even if we
were to experience a lot of wind, we'd be able to comfortably
sail with no adjustments.

However, NOAA got it right, and we ghosted along under a south
wind. I went down for a nap at 10 as Lydia stood her first
watch. By 2, when she came to get me, it was up to 15 knots with
brilliantly clear skies, and we were moving along very nicely in
10-15 knots, making good 83 degrees, just about perfect for our

By 4, however, the wind had dropped to 6-10 knots, and we were
rolling quite a bit due to the swell, so I turned south a bit
tostabilize the boat with more pressure on the sails, even though
it was a bit out of our way to do so. I finally gave up and
dropped the sails altogether at 8AM, still 15 miles from the
western edge of the Gulf Stream. Lydia relieved me for a while,
and I went below for more sleep.

That's honoring our plan to never turn on the engine unless
absolutely necessary, and that every time someone goes off watch
they go to bed, whether they can sleep or not. That assures the
most amount of rest possible. Lydia came to wake me again at 11,
saying that the wind had finally picked up to where it was 8-9
most of the time; out come the sails again!

However, as we were not yet in the Gulf Stream, we potted along
at 4 knots or less, still rocking and rolling, but not so badly.
Fortunately, our attention was diverted when, at 2:30, I landed
and filleted a 36" lady Dorado. I turned the boat south, again,
to stiffen it up, as filleting on a rolling platform made for
concern with sharp knives!

Despite that being three meals for the two of us, I threw out the
hook again and nearly immediately brought in a 36" King Mackerel,
immediately filleting it, too. Lydia went below with both to
apply the marinades... Fresh fish tonight!

Between 4 and 6, we crossed the outer boundary of the Gulf Stream
simultaneouslywith a slight pickup in the wind, as well as more
calm waters. So, for the last couple of hours, we've been very
comfortably (little rolling) making 7 knots with only 7 knots of
wind, and our course over ground - high 40s - is over 40 degrees
less than the angle we're sailing.

Good thing, too, because if we had to sail the wind, it would be
directly behind us, and very light. That's not quite good enough
to keep us in the path in the middle of the Stream, but since
we're not there yet, anyway, it's fine. We love the progress, and
the lift provided. For a long while, we may get as much as 4
knots of assistance from the Gulf Stream as we head north.

So, smacking our lips over the marvelous Mahi-Mahi over salad we
had, we'll close for tonight. We're presuming our SPOT is sending
out our "OK" messages as well as keeping a lovely track as we


Skip, Lydia and Portia

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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