Passage to Bermuda – Days 1 & 2

Day one Thursday 14 May 2015
DTG: 870nm
ETA: Thursday 21 May 2015

A forecast of light easterly breezes is ideal for a pleasant sail north to Bermuda. Although in a couple of days it will change to northeast and ease completely, so we may have to motor a bit.

After raising the mud-laden anchor from beneath the murky waters of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, Wayne hosed off the sticky goo from the anchor while I helmed Blue Heeler through the shallows to the slightly deeper channel and waited for the bridge to open at 8.30am. A long procession of vessels departed with us, including our friends on La Luna. The bridge gaps width is about 20m so plenty of room for Blue Heeler’s beam, but the wider mega yachts must’ve held their breaths as they passed through. Back out in the blue, blue waters, by 9am we’d shaken out the sails, charged our batteries and made fresh water. Wayne turned the engine off and we began our 870nm voyage. As the sun disappeared for the day Denise called on VHF for our prearranged sched. Blue Heeler already six miles ahead of La Luna so tomorrow night’s sched will probably be on HF. Sailing conditions today – generally clear skies; wind less than 14knots, close reach; speed averaging 5 knots; seas less than 1.5m; no moon, pitch black night sailing.

At 2200 the US Coast Guard was coordinating a rescue some 130nm northwest of our position. Apparently the sailing vessel (‘Sea Saw Lady?’) was taking on water and needed rescuing from disaster by a nearby vessel. Another sobering reminder of the risks out here…

Dinner tonight: a lazy prepared dish of chilli beef and cheesecake for dessert Crew condition: Getting used to these voyages!

Day 2: Friday 15 May 2015
DTG: 742nm
ETA: 21 May 2015

Despite light winds and negative current we successfully clocked a respectable distance of 120nm (5 knot average) for the first 24 hours. Anything less and we may have motored…

By 9.30am though the true wind died to less than five knots, as expected, so the iron sail was ignited into action and we motor-sailed. The winds were forecast to increase enough to sail by the following morning.

The nights are very dark and the consistent weather allowed us to have full sails overnight; sometimes this has risks (usually at 2am on my watch when a 35kn squall decides to appear out of nowhere) but last night was calm, clear and deliciously cool.

I’ve begun reading a paperback loaned to me from Denise – Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoirs, all 700 pages of them. Should keep me out of trouble for the duration of the trip. I took Hillary to bed with me and managed to read a few pages before sleep overtook me. Dinner tonight: same as night before Crew condition: First day jitters sorted, settled into trip

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Sailing the world aboard Blue Heeler
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