May 3, 2015
After a month of pleasant and productive time in Miami, we start out across the Atlantic on Tuesday (May 5). The first leg will be Miami to Bermuda, a trip of about 950 miles. Next will be the long haul, from Bermuda to the Azores, about 1800 or 1900 miles, then finally another 900 miles to Lagos, Portugal.
The Bermuda/Azores and Azores/Lagos portions of the trip will be with the World Cruising Club’s “Rally” – now about 40 boats making the trip. We probably won’t see any of them most of the time, but there are weather and communications services that go with the rally, and we will probably in radio contact with others most of the time.
To our great surprise and pleasure, our good friend Dan Crookes will be joining Birgit, Hannah and me for the first segment of the trip – from Miami to Bermuda. He will be valuable on this solo passage, as a greatly experienced sailor and a warm, funny and intelligent human being. We’re so glad to have him on board.
Our long-time friends here in Miami, Pete and Nancy, have been a huge help in the preparations, and it has been wonderful to spend time with them. They organized an excellent dinner and party as a send-off (last night), and will join us Monday night for our last meal on terra firma for a good amount of time to come.
The boat is ready, except for some last-minute shopping and fueling, and we’re getting excited. The weather looks ok, at least not dangerous, but we’ll probably be reefed down and bouncing around in the Gulf Stream for the first day or so. After that the wind seems to turn more southerly, which will be a help. Anita will be sending us weather charts via our new Iridium WiFi “hotspot,” which seems so far to be working quite well.
We’ve been trying to honor the maxim “Take care of the boat and the boat will take care of you.” Extra fuel and water have been secured on deck, and we won’t run out of canned sardines or dried camping meals. For the rest, we are crossing our fingers, knocking on wood, remembering not to whistle on the boat, and trusting to luck.
Our next update will come from Bermuda!