i am happy - i completed my first transatlantic succesfully!
i'm writing this from a fancy /doubletree/ hotel
was safely delivered to annapolis
city marina yesterday 26th jan around 15h est.
it was the secondary success - the first one was to make it to american soil on jan 22nd around 9 in the morning. that's when we entered beaufort
, NC inlet, just SW of cape hatteras...
we left la rochelle 16h on 14th of december. so we crossed the ocean france-usa in a bit less than 39 days...
ill try to summarize:
we made it out of biscay very fast with some northerlies (~NNE) blowing us out of the bay in less than 5 days! very lucky.
as we rounded cape finstre we headed WSW to azores
one day later we got headwinds ~WSW with some unpleasant swell. we had to either sail NW or turn S.
we had no business NW so we went S hoping for a wind
stayed like that for a couple of days. gave up azores
. and that was probably for best. port tack was pointing way N of azores and waves angle was worse...were banging and stopping the boat
had no option than to sail S pointing towards madeira
on 20th dec though wind was W - increased to 35+kts w/ waves 5+m on 21st we had 40+kts with gusts exceeding 50kts at night... seas rose up to 8-10m... like mountains... was a bit scary but did fine... thank god it didnt go worse than that.
after 48hrs like that we had to stop in madeira
and had a nice pre-christmas rest about 36hrs (porto santo and funchal)
left on xmas eve...
at that time the whole ocean from azores to madeira had strong SW winds. so we had to keep going S.
didnt go S enough and turned WSW when winds calmed down and pointed better...... slightly above canaries
lattitude... did good at first then got no wind and had to motor
for some days... diesel
went low and halfway across ocean finaly we dove more S to get the better forecast
... slightly below 20 n lat caught the better tradewind flow... were gybing with the trades behind (only main/smalljib standard cat rig no gen/spi unfortunately) for some days and got about 100 miles N of virgins...
we shouldve went bahamas
as planned and then up gulfstream but winds and forecasts were good for a direct approach towards hatteras. also were kinda behind schedule a bit so went NW direct... lost
trades fast and had all sorts of wind... about 3 days 500miles offshore
it was a mess changing everyday from all directions and windspeed 0-40kts...
had a squall hit us in seconds full sails
steady 10kts beam reach - suddenly in 10secs 18-25-40kts with a black cloud... fast reaction saved the rig...
as we entered the gulfstream we had steady 25+kts wind veering from SE to NW and NE and picking up to 35 w gusts to 40... chopchopchoppy waves very untenable but at least not as high as before madeira...
had to fight hard beating before we approached and hid behind hatteras ....
morning of 22nd we had heavy sleet in our faces and every cut wave was banging and stalling the hulls but i was happy cause i saw the trees of atlantic beach off morehead city
were wet and freezing with no heating
aboard but made it safe at last...
week ago were swimming in 30degrees celsius water
in a flat ocean...
by the time we moored it was snowing heavy. next day had more than a foot of snow on the boat.
were very lucky though - the same day forecasts showed that where we crossed the gulfstream the day before there was a major storm covering more than 500miles with winds exceeding 50kts!!! dont wanna think if we were a day or two late.....
we rested in beaufort
got some diesel
and motored /sailed in the opened areas/ up form beaufort to norfolk via intracoastal. freezing cold with 1/2 inch of ice in the still waters of the ditch.
entered chesapeake and sailed N with light NE... night before 26th it started blowing 15,20 kts and on 26th up to 30kts against us waves didnt get that big but very nasty/choppy was impossible to even use the main w/ 2 engines to fight it....(also were low on diesel-burned a lot in the intracoastal section)
we just sailed and sailed - tacked up all the chesapeake bay
for about 20hrs in about -5-10 celsius windchill and heavy sleet in our faces...
at some points were near hypothermia soaking wet and cold with poor visibility and tacking side to side up along the bay trying not to get run over by a tug&tow or a cargo/tanker...
it was a hard sleepless freezing night but w skipper
we held up and w reefed sails
against 30-35 kts we made the last tack to starboard tack and dove inside severn river - just made it before another snowstorm that dumped another 2 feet last night...
reached, boat/crew safe, job done, trip completed
thanks a lot to everyone that got involved and helped me with advice
, opinions etc. highly appreciate it