Monday, June 13, 2022

A Grand Finale with a Couple of Kicks


Pilots have an old adage about piloting planes, It is hours and hours of boredom, interrupted by moments of sheer terror. Our short, four day passage from the Bahamas to North Carolina seemed to fall into line with this saying. In this picture, about 145nm off Charleston, SC,  you can see a waterspout leaping down from the clouds and exploding at the water surface. In the lower, left edge of the picture is the corner of our Dodger. I left it in the pic so you can judge how close this beast was.

This tornado on water chased us for near a half hour. I've never seen a waterspout last that long and appear so large before.

This is photo about 5 minutes after I first spotted it dropping out of the sky, before it has hit the water level. We dropped all sails and cranked up the diesel. First driving East, then South and finally West in an effort shake it off our trail. We haven't run the Yanmar that hard for a long time -- probably good for it. 

This is what the 1,300 ft container ship on her way to Cartegena Colombia, the Antwerpen Express, looks like as it comes out of a squall that we are about to enter.

Chris was on watch the last night of our passage. At around 04:30am she gets me up to discuss taking evasive action on a fast approaching and dense looking (on the radar) squall. It didn't take me long to wake from my sleep fog as the squall started to overtake us and the blinding flashes of lightning were hitting all around. This squall had the most dense lightning of any on this passage.  We could see that the thickest part of the squall was where we were and to the west. We centered the main in the driving rain with true wind about 30kts. With the engine running and small swell we were moving along at 9-10kts. The apparent wind on the boat was 18-22kts. We started a gybe so that we could turn hard to the east and try to travel away from the squall's center. As the main sail came over the connecting stainless steel half shackle that is embedded in the Lewmar traveler pulled free of the thick aluminum. This sent the boom and main flying free to the shrouds. In the process folding the boom vang (in the picture) in half. We managed to safely weather the squall with the boom loose, completely  uncontrolled. 

This where the mainsheet block pulled out of the traveler. When the winds finally dropped below 20kts we lassoed the boom and managed to get it under control. Not a fun episode and I'm sure it won't be cheap to repair. But all hands are safe onboard, if not a little worse for the wear and tear.

We're now anchored in Cape Lookout National Seashore. Today we successfully cleared in to the USA on the Customs and Border Patrol ROAM App with only a few hours of minor technical difficulty (with helpful error messages like Zoom SDK not successfully initialized).

Somehow this passage seemed like it had a tinge of the Curse of the Last Leg


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Arrived in Beaufort


We arrived in Beaufort, North Carolina around noon today. We actually went a little past so we could anchor Cape Lookout National Seashore, in the bay under the old lighthouse. The passage was, how do say, eventful. I'll put up some of the eventfulness tomorrow after we finish getting cleared into the US.


Saturday, June 11, 2022

Enroute Beaufort Day 3

Day 3 noon-to-noon run was 162nm.
Good sailing overnight until midmorning. Then we ran into a long squall line. Jumping out of this squall was the longest lived, largest waterspout (tornado over water) that I have ever seen. DRopped the sails and pushed the Yanmr harder than it has been pushed in a long while. First east, then hard south to get out of its track. It had this clear funnel from the cloud top halfway to the water. Then it was explosive looking on the water.
I could live a long time without those. Did get a few pictures to post.


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