Day 53, Year 1: The Home Stretch
Date: Friday, December 9, 2005
Weather: Winds 35 then down to 20 knots, Rough Seas
Air Temperature: 80 degrees F
Latitude: N 20 degrees 02.75 minutes
Longitude: W 63 degrees 34.65 minutes
Location: Passage from Norfolk to St. Martin, Day 13
124 miles to go to St. Martin!!! If we continue as we have, that means we should be headed into Marigot Bay about this time tomorrow. The last 24 hours have been rough, but things are starting to settle down. By 2200 last night, the winds had built to 28 to 35 knots and they stayed that way all night and into the morning. Finally around 1400 this afternoon, they started dropping into the lower 20’s and are now 18 to 24. But the seas were the bigger challenge during the night. They were a consistent 12 to 15 and sometimes there were monster waves that looked more like 20 to me. They have settled down as well, so we should have a good run into St. Martin.
We continue to stand our watches, but we have seen very little traffic. I saw a tanker about a mile to starboard this morning which is only the second commercial ship we have seen in the past eight days. We have seen two navy war ships and a sailboat, but that is about it.
I’ve mentioned before that every day at 1430 we check in with the weather net run by Herb Hilgenberg in Canada. I really don’t know what we would have done without that contact. He has a set protocol where everyone out here who wants weather advice checks in by calling and identifying the boat between 1430 and 1500, “Southbound II, Southbound II, this is Windbird, Windbird, standing by.” Boat after boat checks in and then at 1500 he groups the boats by area and talks to each one of us individually giving the current weather for our location. It takes him two hours to talk to each boat and he does all of this out of the kindness of his heart. He must love it and I know that from our experience, those of out here appreciate what he does more than a thank you can express. That 1430 check in each day has been our life line. Thank you, Herb, for your expertise and guidance.
I do hope to be sending the next log from Marigot Bay, the French side of St. Martin. Thanks to so many of you have sent e-mails of best wishes to us during this first passage of the voyage of Windbird. Let’s all hope for a successful conclusion of the Chesapeake to Caribbean passage tomorrow.