Day 47, Year 1: Let’s Go Surfin’
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2005
Weather: Heavy Wind and Big Seas from Behind
Air Temperature: 68 degrees F
Water Temperature: 72 degrees F
Latitude: N 31degrees 30.81 minutes
Longitude: W 66 degrees 32.50 minutes
Location: Passage from Norfolk to St. Martin, Day 7

For the first four days out of the Chesapeake we were bashing into the waves as the strong winds were directly on our nose. We knew we needed to get across the Gulf Stream before the wind shifted to come from the north, so we plodded on using the motor to help us. We made it out of the Gulf Stream but the wind and waves were still coming from the direction in which we needed to travel, so we continued the bucking bronco ride. Then the wind shift came and for the past three days we have been surfing the waves as the wind is coming from behind us. And there has been plenty of wind and ten to twelve foot waves-great surfing conditions! The surfing is much easier on both us and the boat, but as long as the waves are as big as they are now, we do a bit of rock ‘n roll with the surfing.

We just finished listening to the weather net, and Herb told us to get as far south as we can by tomorrow. We need to get across a ridge lying off Bermuda by tomorrow evening. So we have just headed south and it is a bit rougher than the easterly course we had been on all day. A couple of the boats that had been heading from New England to Bermuda made it there today, but Herb’s suggestion was for them to leave ASAP and get south of that ridge. I guess we made the right decision about not going to Bermuda. We have 828 miles to go and if we can get across that ridge tomorrow, we will then have a day or so of light winds and then by Tuesday we should pick up the trade winds that will take us to St. Martin. As you can see, it’s all about the weather.

Today we spotted a large ship on the horizon. It was a Navy war ship, #44, at least that is what we understood them to say. They called on Channel 16 to let us know they were going behind us. At that point in the day, the waves were so high we could sometimes not see the ship when it dipped below a wave. Those waves have calmed considerably and we just hope it stays that way. We’ll check in tomorrow afternoon.

051203 Day 47 Passage to Caribbean–Navy Ship Contact
Day 48, Year 1: Feast or Famine
Day 46, Year 1: Settling In