Day 195, Year 6 Passage to the Carolinas, Day 1-Sailing, Sailing
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2011
Weather: Overcast Early, Turning Beautiful and Sunny
Wind and Temperature: Winds E 12-14 Knots; 80 degrees F
Latitude: 19 00.969 N
Longitude: 066 06.169 W
Miles Traveled: 51
Miles to Go: 1117
Location: Passage from Puerto Rico to Mainland USA

The weather projections were just a little off, and for once, the difference was in our favor. Instead of 7 to 9 knots of wind, we have had 10 to14 knots all day. That is not much of a difference, but it is just enough that with our angle to the wind the conditions have made for a perfect beam reach with all tree sails flying. We have 2 to 3 foot seas and have been traveling between 5 and 6 knots plus all day under clear blue skies. Glorious! But I must admit that the early morning start was not quite that perfect. The sky was totally overcast when I went down to flake chain while Mark raised the anchor. This is routine for us, and as far as I know, it has never been an emotional experience. But this morning as the anchor was coming up, I got all teary-eyed when I realized that this is the last time we will be raising anchor in our world circumnavigation. We’ll be in a marina in South Carolina and will leave there and head straight for Woods Hole where the anchor will go down officially ending our voyage around the world. Raising that anchor this morning felt like letting go of the beautiful cruising life we have been living for almost six years. But then I thought of what lies ahead-quality time with family and friends of a lifetime. I wiped away the tears and started to think about the future that will include more time with grandchildren and all was well.

Before leaving this morning, I checked our daughter’s blog site, www.Climatide.org, and found myself looking at a photo of four year-old Sam building one of the many sand castle forts that he constructed on the beach in Vieques last week. That image triggered a flood of memories . . . barely two year-old Ziggy lying naked on his stomach in the water squealing with joy and pretending to swim . . . curly-headed, almost two year-old Jonah holding my hand and bouncing along on the beach looking for sea glass . . four year-old Sam building and rebuilding those sand castles and sailing his palm fond boats. . . Justin and Jo in snorkel gear walking over the inner barrier reef and swimming off to see the wonders in the sea . . . Heather and Jed walking down the beach with both of their boys looking for wild horses and other treasures of the sea washed ashore. These images are helping to erase the apprehension of heading home and are starting to build an excitement for what lies ahead.

But for the moment, we are enjoying this sail immensely. Today’s sail is one of the nicest we have had, and certainly the nicest sail we have ever had in the Atlantic Ocean. Let’s hope we just have more of the same for days.

Day 196, Year 6 Passage to the Carolinas, Day 2-Motoring, Motoring
Day 194, Year 6 A Little Apprehension