How quickly can I type? Please forgive any errors. Our engine is already running and we are getting ready to leave St. George's soon headed for Newport, RI. I just figured out that our wifi isn't strong enough to update the blog from the website, so I will be updating via email without any photos for links.
We have been watching the weather closely since early June to make our trip to the northeast US, but it has been really hard to predict. This past year has been much harder for us to get a weather window going anywhere than it was back in 2007, or maybe we were just lucky then. It has given us time to do a lot of other things we hadn't had a chance for, like a very interesting visit to the folks up at Bermuda Radio, who are the Bermuda Coast Guard and port control for the island.
We weren't quite ready to leave when a window popped up one morning about a week ago. Lots of folks headed out that morning, and we decided to pull up into one of their spots at the dock, so we could more easily get the boat ready for passage and be ready to leave on a moment's notice. We stayed in SSB radio contact with two of the vessels and were very glad we didn't leave with them. The weather turned out to be horrible and they both had miserable trips. We were glad we were waiting a couple of days, that turned into waiting 3 then 4 then 8 days. Now there is a big group of us heading to the US, about half the group is going to the Chesapeake, and many of us are heading to Newport.
We were only planning on spending 2 nights on the wharf, and now we've spent 8 nights. That is a pretty luxurious splurge for us. We didn't have power or water here, but being able to hop off the boat whenever you want is pretty nice. We were also able to get wifi often and check all of the offshore weather support services available to us. Not surprisingly, the weather directly in Bermuda has also been a little squally this past week, and if we had stayed on anchor we might have been stuck on the boat several of those days to avoid a wet bumpy dinghy ride.
The other positive thing about being on the wharf was being able to greet and meet the sailors coming from the Chespeake in the Annapolis-Bermuda race. It has been wonderful for us to socialize with other boats and we are meeting folks that we'll probably get to see again during the boat show. We were all huddled around computers every morning in the dock master's office checking out the weather. We might also be keeping in radio contact with them during the passage.
Now the boats from the Newport-Bermuda race are just arriving, and we'll be passing some of them while we leave. One of the boats, Comanche, broke the Newport-Bermuda speed record by completing their trip in under 35 hours. The other boats will be taking at least 70 hours, and we will take ~120 hours.
We'll have the spot tracker on as usual if you want to see where we are click the link in the sidebar. If you want to check out the whole fleet of boats arriving and departing Bermuda today check out an AIS tracking website like Marine Traffic. We should be showing up in Newport by Saturday evening. Our weather window is good, but spirited, so we might even arrive a day early.