June 7th, 2009

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June 7th in Beaufort, N.C.

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

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I will check and see what went wrong.

The North Easterly stayed in the 20 plus knot range all night. I made my tack away again from the N.C. coast at the edge of the Camp Le Jeune bombing range. This added a lot of miles tacking into the wind. The afternoon cleared up and I did get a lift from the east and arrived in Beaufort late afternoon. Turned out to be a very nice sailing day. I did manage to hear Garrison Keiler last night and again this morning. My Sunday radio service was a Spanish mass from Wilmington N.C.   So, my plan is to drive to Chesapeake, Va. on Tuesday and be back here on Monday the 15th and then depart on the 16th for the Azores. It will be a family reunion in Chesapeake, I get to see Madison my 1st great granddaughter and her nephew Mark who was born last year. And their parents and grandparents.

Here are a few pictures of the sail here:

The paintjob afloat

The paintjob afloat

June 6 Saturday Evening Post

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Most of you will have never read a Saturday Evening Post. It was for many Europeans their first look at life in America. Norman Rockwell illustrations.

At 14.30 hr I was at 33.37 N 77.25 W with 73 miles to go to Beaufort.

This was another day with big contrast. Wind from every which direction and from none at all to, right now, 15/20 knots on the nose from the N.E. I am so glad I chose to stay out of the Gulfstream. That would have been pure masochism with the 15/20 knot winds building against the N.E. flow the waves would have been high and hard.

It is supposed to lighten up later to-night and turn more northerly, still will have to tack to get to Beaufort. This means I should get their later in the afternoon.

I motored for about two hours and while I was contemplating lunch I saw a commotion in my wake. Another fish. Same one as on Thursday. And now I believe we are talking King Mackerel rather than Wahoo, from the chart I found. I had my fill of sashimi and will broil some for dinner. I am keeping 3/4 of it in a bucket of cold water, might still be o.k. to-morrow to give to the poor people in Beaufort. I also was entertained by a pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins, got a few god pictures. What a show they put on. I plan to go into the Town Creek Marina and anchor the boat off the marina while visiting the McDonnells.

I am getting close enough to shore now to hear the Irreverent Reverend on Prairie Home Companion, at 18.00 hrs.

June 6th on The Atlantic

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

At 6 a.m. I am at 33.12 N 77.39 W, just off Cape Fear near Wilmington, N.C., with 176 miles to go to Hatteras and 100 to Beaufort,N.C.

I have decided to put into Beaufort rather than get back into the Gulfstream and be faced with running into the tail end of the

cold front that is starting to move to the N.E. And then on Sunday onwards the winds are mostly from the North and very weak which means motoring from Cape Hatteras. The distance by land from Beaufort to Chesapeake V.A. is much less than by water.

I am hoping that Jeannine can pick me up and back. That will save me about 3 days sailing to the Azores.

Yesterday was a decent sailing day. The gale winds from Wednesday night calmed down to about 20 knots and less later. The clouds and rain moved in late afternoon and it looks to continue the wind has changed from S to SW and is about 10 knots.

I feel a lot better after getting plenty of sleep during the day and last night. I could not hear Herb on the net.

June 4 Bad Thursday

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

That should have been June 3rd instead of May 3rd in yesterday’s posting

At 7.30 p.m., just when I was finishing my low calorie penne leftover soup I had a 24″ Wahoo (?) on the line. A fighter.

And this trick of pouring alcohol down the gills really works. Instant death and no blood spattered cockpit.

I am already in the Gulfstream and hauling, 7 knots. Hope that Beaufort gale is gone by the time I get there. 392 miles to Hatteras and that would mean if the wind holds at this speed late Saturday rounding. That was written yesterday. Tuesday and Wednesday were outstanding sailing days. But to-day was sailing day straight out of hell. Last night there were thunderstorms and lightning all around and I did not get a lot sleep. It is hard to see the squalls coming at night and the nearly full moon was obscured by the clouds.

The whole day there were squalls and heavy showers all around me and upon me. For ten minutes it would blow like stink and then no wind at all. Motor on/off, reefs in and out. At 4 p.m. I got the prediction from Herb and he told me to get out of the Gulfstream right away.

So I am heading towards Charleston, with a little luck I get there by morning. But it promises to be another eventful night.

A half hour ago the squall was so violent that the whole boat was shaking. The vane blade vibrated loose and fortunately it ended up in the cockpit. One way to realize that I need another spare. This is definitely the shake down cruise, literally and figuratively.

I was soaked getting the sails down. Right now there is a sustained Southerly between 25/30 knots.

I had thought that the gale at Hatteras would have blown out by the time I’d get there on Saturday but apparently I am already in the

early stages of it that started off the S.C. coast. This will cost me at least two days in the diversion to Charleston. The Grib files did not show any of it neither do the current NOA VHF radio offshore reports.

The Wahoo fish was excellent. I had some as Sashimi and broiled and for lunch to-day I made a sashimi celery/tomato salad with it.

Dinner will be fish soup. You all, please, say a prayer for a safe arrival in Charleston.

Friday Morning: This posting did not make it through. Meanwhile it is near noon on Friday. I am sailing under bare poles, 3 1/2 knots, towards Beaufort/Cape Hatteras. I had a rough night it blew all night over 30 knots. I slowly moved under bare poles and wind vane, like heaving to.

I took a bad spill in the cockpit and cut my palm of the left hand. It howled all night. The boat trembled and it was nearly impossible to sleep from the noise. Waves breaking over the boat. I am tired and worn out. The winds did let up to around 20/25 knots and the sun is out again. I will talk to Fred this afternoon but I believe that to-morrow it will be calmer from the S.W. I figured I might as well keep going, slowly and let the worst dissipate ahead of me.