I bought this boat a little over one year ago. During the first year of ownership
I was diligent in learning
and repairing the various systems of the 30+year old vessel.
Finally, mid Feb I decided I had enough of repairing, preparing, and reading this forum about sailing or the desire to do so. I called a friend and asked if he would like to take a sail to warmer climates.
Three of us loaded the boat with beer
and bread Feb 26th, watched the Weather
Channel for a few minutes and decided Moday Feb 27 looked as good as any for a date to head
south from Little River, SC to the USVI.
After frantically fueling and loading the third CMs four gallons of milk, seven boxes of Cheerios, nineteen cameras and forty seven Frisbees we slipped the mooring
lines at Barefoot Marina. Four hours later we were entering the Atlantic at the mouth of Little River, SC.
sailed clear of Frying Pan shoals into the Gulf Stream
with a brisk 20-25knt north breeze. A little different than the reported 5knt East wind
predicted. Three days later, battered and bruised, we exited the eastern reaches of the Gulf Stream
looking forward to riding the northern winds to 20N 60W, as called for in the Admiralty Sailing Orders.
The southern run was cut short by a collapsing of the Bermuda
High, the passage
of a cold front or two, and a massive low developing to the east. The low brought gale or near gale conditions, 25-40knt winds with 15-25 foot waves for the next three and a half days; but at least we were going in the right direction.
We finally reached the area where the Trade
Winds historically begin, to find nothing. Not a problem, start the reliable Cat diesel
. It won't start, WTFO, Sat Phone
calls to Cat, and a religious following of the Operators Manual "How to Start It" section were to naught. Bobbing around for two days, netting a minus five miles, did a lot to cheer up my crew.
The trades finally came alive and we started once again westward.
A careful scanning of the charts
, yes I did have charts
, showed Puerto del Rey, PR to be the best port based on our draft
and mx needs.
Sea Tow picked us up one mile short of the harbor at about 2000hs March 15th, about 18 days after we left on this three hour tour.
Lessons I've Learned:
Don't plan too much, it will only get in the way of the departure date.
If the waves are big and the wind
is screaming, inside of the boat is much more comfortable and less frightening.
It's a bunch more exciting and fulfilling to do something than read about it.
Never follow my advice.