Nov 3 – Into the Gulf Stream

Hi all

After a short weather update at 0800 yesterday (Monday 11/2), we cut loose from our dock, had a short pit stop at the pumpout and headed back out to the Chesapeake for the start of the rally.

We got out fairly early and saw many of the “Cruising Class” boats head out to sea. The Rally classes, however, had to wait for a noon start time. We took this opportunity to hoist sails, untangle lazy jack lines that mysteriously became tangled, and then sailed about for a while until the start.

At 1200, we got underway and all the rally class boats headed for the Bay Bridge Tunnel (half bridge, half tunnel) that divides the Chesapeake from the Atlantic.

By about 1300, we were out in the ocean and the fleet began to spread out as folks chose their courses. The wind was blowing about 20kts out of the North, so we set a full genoa and a single reefed main for some fast broad reaching.

We headed SE throughout the day and into the night as the winds grew to about 25.

Around 0200 this morning we entered the Gulf Stream. This characterized by 3 things:
1. The water warms up remarkably (When we left Hampton, the water temp was 16C. It’s now 31C!)
2. The 2 knot current starts to push you north (And we want to go south)
3. The meeting of north bound current with southbound waves makes for a very lumpy sea.

Since leaving Hampton, the boat’s been rolling nicely and is clearly in her element. Our boatspeed for most of yesterday was in the 9’s and frequently over 10 knots.

Right now (0930 Atlantic Time), we have waves of 12-15 ft or so, which makes for a somewhat lumpy ride. All aboard are well so far – although there has been a little ‘chumming’ the water for fish – although I can’t disclose the source as ‘what goes on Bojangles, stays on Bojangles’.

We expect these conditions to continue for another 24 hours or so and then the winds and seas will calm down. Stay tuned.

Cheers,
Colin

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