S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

going foreign

The distance from our slip in Boston Harbor to Provincetwn was about 50 nautical miles. The distance to the Cape Cod Canal was a little less than 50, and to various parts of Penobscot Bay in Maine was well over a hundred.

From Miami Beach to the Biminis (get out your atlases; they are islands in the western Bahamas) is 42.5 miles. The trip should take us roughly 10 hours in warm weather, so it's not nearly as challenging as any number of legs we've sailed so far this fall, yet we've been preparing for it and worrying about it as if we were crossing the Atlantic.

There are thins to consider. We are crossing open ocean, through which the northward-flowing gulf stream travels at about 3 knots in the middle. We will be sailing almost due east at about 5 knots. Do you feel like your back in math class solving a word problem?

The bottom line is, if we fail to take it into account, the gulf stream will push us north of our target, and we will hit the wrong island in the Bahamas--or we'll miss the Bahamas entirely, and our next stop will be Europe.

Then there's the wind. If a wind from the north blows against the gulf stream for a day or two, big waves develop. Delilah can handle them, but our stomachs can't. We tested this theory during the (attempted) delivery of Delilah from Fort Lauderdale to Boston back in 2001, and we both spent the whole trip with our heads over the side.

NOAA is predicting light winds from south for tomorrow (Wednesday), so everything looks good for a crossing. This is it! After today, we'll have no more cell phone service, but if we find a payphone in Bimini, we'll let you know how it goes.

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