Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Almost Ready to Take Off

We’re taking off tomorrow morning, Wed, for an 8-10 day sail to the British Virgin Islands. Today we have important stuff to do, like wait for FedEx to show up with our crew Bill’s passport that he forgot in the rush to get out of San Francisco. The boats together, the work list that is left is small and trivial, the first few days meals are cooked, stores put away, attitudes are mellowing.
There are two rallys headed south from here. The Salty Dawg Rally (SDR) and the Carib 1500. The 1500 is the oldest rally on this coast and is more organized, with entry fees, safety inspections, etc. The SDR is more laid back with no entry fee and you’re on your safety inspections. The 1500 is the smaller rally with about 30 or 40 boats. The SDRE has 119 leaving. The 1500 left on Sunday into what just didn’t look like a good weather window to me. You can see the boats here. A number have turned back and the conditions for the bigger lead boats are fairly rough. Friends talked to one of the bigger boats, 65 ft, that was only making 6kts and dealing with 40kts of wind (probably gusts).  Some SDR boats left yesterday. Mostly ones that were in a hurry due to crew issues or ones headed to the Bahamas. You can track the SDR boats at http://www.hawketracking.org/saltydawg/files/trackinglarge.htm Hopefully we will have our nightly position posted on this page. If not, don’t worry about us – we’re still headed south.
A lot of SDR boats are leaving today in the hopes of getting moving sooner and avoiding some frontal weather coming down. We’ll leave tomorrow, pay some small dues motoring at the start till the wind moves further south in front of the frontal passage. The long blue in the weather pic above shows us headed east to get past the Gulfstream, then about Thurs night a strong cold front passes over us. With 30kt winds plus gusts. After 6 or 12 hours the winds clock to the north and we have great downwind sailing in 25kts of wind heading to the SE. Hopefully the winds read the forecast the same way I do.

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