Friday, December 23, 2011

Voyage 1 Steph, 11/26/11

Greetings Blog followers:  Oceans of water have coursed under our keel since last I added to our blog. Muddy storm churned brackish water on the Hudson courtesy of Irene; deep sapphire blue of the open ocean and the warm and inviting aqua and coke bottle green of the Bahama Bank. I’d like to tell you how many miles we’ve covered, but it depends on who you ask. Our Raymarine Speedometer log was set on kilometers when we started. It reads the boat speed by way of a little wheel at the keel, and therefore distance through the water. The Garmin chart plotter on the other hand tells the actual distance over the ground traveled as it measures our movements from place to place geometrically. On land, these would be the same, but on the fluid medium of the sea, interesting things happen.
Imagine if you will, riding an escalator, or moving sidewalk like at the airport. If you stand still you will be carried to your destination.  If you walk while riding, you combine your efforts with that of the conveyor, reaching your destination that much quicker.  I’m sure we’ve all tried going the wrong way on one of these people movers. This happens all the time on the water and we try to find favorable rather than adverse currents. Now imagine that the current is moving at a 45° angle to your course. The ship is pointed south, and moving southeast or southwest. Anyway you get the picture.
Besides the speed over ground (SOG) vs. Boatspeed, there is tacking to consider. As a sailboat cannot sail too close to the wind direction, it often has to zig-zag or tack it’s way towards its destination. A hundred mile course from A to B may in fact require sailing two hundred miles (or more.)
Now the modern marvels of technology should be able to give us a good Idea of our travels anyhow, BUT.. I reset the Speedo log to read Nautical Miles after we were under way for some time so my log start is in Km. and my current log is in NM, all in distance through the water. This was to bring it into sync with the chart plotter.  Then the chart plotter had a hiccup and added several thousand NM while we weren’t looking. So we can estimate a straight line course from Nyack NY, to our current location and say we’ve covered ???? miles. 
All this however does not include the part of last year’s voyage never blogged, or the summer in between.  A brief recap to be fleshed out at a later date….
            After Cat Island, we began out trek north with stops at Little San Salvador and several stops on Eleuthera revisiting our new friend Sue.  At Spanish Wells, we met  Deb and Bob.
On the Marsh Harbor net (morning cruisers chat on VHF radio) we found Bob and Judy on board “The Edge” who became our buddy-boat back to the states.
            We crossed from Great Sale Cay, the Bahamas to Fort Pierce, Florida with little wind, motoring through a thirty hour trip across the gulfstream.
            We motored up the Intra Coastal Waterway AKA “the ditch.” Stopping to visit Cousin Laurie near Coca Beach and ate at “Squid Lips” and then heading out to sea at New Smyrna Beach, around Georgia and into Charleston Harbor. A delightful visit to this lovely town (will definitely get a fleshed out chapter.) Tim Harris a Charleston resident, who crewed with us going down, loaned us his house and car while he was away.
            We parted company with The Edge when we reached Albemarle Sound, NC as they went home to the Outer Banks and we continued North with a stop at Herfort, NC to visit the Lavery’s at Snug Harbor, then on the ICW to Hampton where we again enjoyed this historic friendly city.
We buddy-boated to Cape May with Nicky and Franz on Split Decision and spent a day geocaching on loaner bikes. We arrived back at the Nyack Boat Club under full sail (as in the photo at the top of the Blog) on May 6, exactly 7 months after we left.
    The weather was much too cold for our thin blood, and the teaching job we rushed home for Judy to fill was given to someone else. Then the weather got hot and I longed for the salubrious climate we had left in the islands. Judy has described our summer elsewhere, the decision was made to cast off our land lines and move on board Bentaña, so we’re all caught up.

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