Day 5: Monday 18 May 2015
ETA: 21-22 May 2015
The morning of our fifth day had Blue Heeler more than 100nm west of our original rhumb line. This deviation however equated to only an additional 30nm of overall sailing distance. Our fourth day and night on the Atlantic had 15-20knot northeasterly winds, keeping us slightly west but our VMG (velocity made good) was still around 5-6knots. Right on cue the winds eased at 0300 to less than 10knots. Sails out full by the morning light, we began motor sailing north until the winds shifted westerly helping us to sail directly for Bermuda.
The Bermuda Triangle, or ‘Devil’s’ Triangle, is a region somewhere from Florida to Puerto Rico then north to Bermuda then back down to Florida. Blue Heeler is skirting the eastern side of this dubious zone. I haven’t read much about it, although recall it seemed quite popular and often mentioned in my youth with news reports of missing planes and vessels. Seems the theory of UFOs stealing planes and ships from these waters began, typically, in the 1950’s when there was an alarming increase of extraterrestrial happenings. Of course the news was generated by the media and movie makers (Remember Robbie the Robot?); the Cold War probably fueled the theory too. There were other ideas too as to why vessels supposedly disappeared. During my five minutes of research on the Bermuda Triangle (Wikipedia, what else?), I was interested to learn about the phenomenon of ‘methane hydrates’. Seems that methane eruptions along the continental shelves may produce frothy water that is no longer capable of proving adequate buoyancy for vessels, causing the vessel to sink rapidly and without warning. Basically the vessel falls down into the depths below never to be see again!
Day 6: Tuesday 19 May 2015
ETA: afternoon, 21 May 2015
If you’re reading this it means we haven’t succumbed to the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, nor have methane hydrates caused the Atlantic to swallow Blue Heeler like quicksand taking us directly to Davy Jones’ Locker. Well not today at least.
Day 6 we sailed with help from a steady westerly wind of around 15/20knots. The forecast windshift was preceded by a long stretch of dark grey cloud that brought with it increased wind, enough rain to rinse the dust off that had accumulated at St Maarten, and reduced visibility. In only a few days we’ve had wind from all directions, but alas by 2100 this night the wind shifted to the north, then eventually disappeared halting any chance of sailing. Conditions is virtually no wind for the next 36hours. [end]