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Old 12-10-2008, 08:48   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Miami Passage - Day 3, October 4

Miami Passage - Day 3, October 4

Hello from the Atlantic Ocean, 35*17'N, 75*19''W.

We left you as we were tacking toward Cape Hatteras, the
graveyard of the Atlantic. Many correspondents have written
after we put up our float plan, urging us to use caution, and
Lydia's beside herself about it, nearly "ditching" the trip
(tossing the passage and going on the ICW, derisively named, but
appropriately so, "The Ditch"). Our bearing off, and review of
our progress and anticipated time of arrival put her in a better
frame of mind, however, so she went off to her rest while I kept
watch and tacked.

But first I had to retrieve the three Mahi-Mahi I hooked in quick
succession. Unfortunately for both of us, the first one didn't
make it into the boat, but was injured in the process. Ah, well,
life goes on, and she'll feed something else in the food chain.
The second one was on the hook at virtually the same time as the
first, so after I lost the first one, I dealt with her. She came
aboard without much fuss, and I tossed out the hook immediately,
and was rewarded with a large female, again, but this one put up
quite a fight. I got my exercise tonight, but the last two were
boated by 6:30, and fileted right after our tack.

We'll get 5 meals from those ladies, for which we're immensely
grateful and blessed. In addition to supplementing our budget,
they're delicious. They're marinating in Mojo, a Cuban spicy
marinade, while we finish the last of our steak shown in the pix
my brother took aboard.

After our tack, wouldn'tcha know, the wind essentially died, but
stayed right on our course. As our weather window for Hatteras
is relatively short, we reluctantly turned on the engine and
motorsailed at the 200 degrees needed to hit our mark. If the
forecast holds, we'll have equally light winds, but at our back,
until we make it around. For the night, however, the previous
afternoon's 3-5' waves have died along with the wind, and it's a
smooth ride. Lydia took over at 9:15 and I went down for my

The night was entirely uneventful, with placid waters and little
wind. What little there was was between a beat and right on our
nose, so we got a little lift, but eventually was so directly
ahead of us that Lydia wound in the genoa, as it was luffing and
doing no good. However, between the Stugeron (an anti-seasick
medication available over the counter everywhere but in the US)
she took earlier, and the placid ride, she was entirely over her
seasickness, and we enjoyed the eggs on toast breakfast she made
as I got up to listen for Chris.

The first three tries at hearing Chris were busts, again, but his
8:30 broadcast was loud and clear. He gave us the limits of the
Gulf Stream for the remainder of our trip, so later, I plotted
them as a "route" on MaxSea, the navigation program we use at the
nav station, as it gives much more detail, and in huge scale by
comparison (about 8 times the screen area) to our chartplotter.
As long as we stay north or west of that "route" we should be
able to avoid the contrary effects of the strong current we
enjoyed on the way to Maine.

Our weather for the next few days looks pretty good, too. The
doldrums are forecasted to continue well past Hatteras, which, at
our current rate and direction, looks to come just about the time
I'll send this out. We should be able to clear our waypoint
there before dark, and point off to Frying Pan Shoals. If the
winds are good for that, we should be able to do that in a rhumb
line, avoiding the Cape Lookout Shoals, but still remaining well
clear of the Gulf Stream.

Winds are forecast to clock around to North or Northeast, but
still be under 10 knots as we start out on that leg. Of course,
NOAA, any of my correspondents writing to caution about the
no-wind expected, and Chris, all missed the Hanna-quality wind
and seas we encountered our first day, so anything can happen,
and we remain vigilant. By Sunday afternoon, winds should pick
up to about 15 knots at 50-60 degrees, which may make for a
spinnaker run. With our boat speed, the apparent wind should
remain in the single digits if that materializes.

Monday, however, promises to be a bit more boisterous, as showers
and squalls, starting as 12-15 knots, may include some 20-30 knot
winds. Complicating our Sunday and Monday travels is the
expected E to SE 6-7' swells due to a front offshore, but later
Monday is expected to see only 2-4' waves. Depending on where we
are (room to slide, not immediately offshore one of the shoal
areas), we may heave to for a while. Having passed Hatteras in
the good time window, we'll be under no particular time pressure,
weather or otherwise, so taking a break then would probably be
much more comfortable for the crew! Of course, again,
everything's subject to change so we may find benign conditions,

So far, that little bunch above aside, the weather looks very
good for our passage to GA and then down FL. We're hopeful it
holds; certainly another bout like we found on our first leg
isn't on our wish list :{))

Otto, our autopilot, has been very much happier since I tightened
up the steering system, not hunting nearly as much, and rewarded
us with about 48 hours of never "falling off" (going into
standby). Just about the time we mused on why and how that could
be, however, he returned to his old habits and falls off
unpredictably. Lydia had one instance, which, depending on the
timing, will perhaps show up on our SPOT tracking as a quickie
detour to the East. Otherwise, our route is pretty much straight
as a die, and, which beats the first leg's experience, boring.
Reading and boat chores, including attaching hooks and eyes to
the previously launched drawers, were on the schedule today.

Well, things remained boring right through when Lydia got up at
about 4, when we were joined, sort of, by some porpoises in the
distance. One went right under our stern while we were sitting
on the back porch, but they didn't want to play. Astern, we saw
several doing the Flipper act, as they jumped out of the water,
presumably in joy.

I'll leave you there, as we're about to get to the dreaded
Hatteras shoals. We have been able to see the lighthouse off in
the distance, and we've just picked up the red lateral mark with
the binoculars. Unless there's something else at work, our
passage of the Hatteras intersection should be uneventful.

Stay Tuned!



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at !
Follow us at TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig
and/or Flying Pig Log | Google Groups

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power
to make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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