May 22, 2009.
Okay, here’s the plan. Well, the plan at this minute...in 10 more minutes who the hell knows.
The weather still looks like a go for tomorrow. The forecast is for 15 to 20 knots out of the east with 5 foot seas. The downside is that there is also a 40% chance of rain and squalls. The even lower downside is that the squalls can contain winds in the 30 to 40 knot range. As we get further offshore the ferocity and frequency of the possible squalls is supposed to diminish, so that’s an upside.
Our base plan is to head offshore to a little west of 79 ½ ° longitude which should put us in about the center of the northbound gulf stream. By riding the gulf streams current we should get an average of a 2 knot boost in speed over ground. Once there, we’ll be running just about due north for about 200 miles. At this point we can decide where to go, based on the conditions we’re experiencing and how we’re physically holding up.
I’ve checked the weather along our route at the times I expect to be at various locations. The squall activity should diminish, while the breeze should remain steady in the 10 to 15 knot range. When we get to about 79 ½° west and 30 ½° north, we’ll have a decision to make.
If the wind remains straight out of the east it may get a little sloppy heading off to the northeast in an effort to get to Beaufort, NC. If we can only make north northeast then we have the option of Georgetown, SC. Or if the wind remains straight out of the east we may opt to continue pretty much dead north and right into Charleston, SC.
Chris Parkers report has us pretty much aiming for Beaufort, NC but we’ll have to see how it all plays out. He says that by the time we get to our decision spot the wind should be clocking and coming more out of the south which would be perfect for us to head to the northeast. He’s even saying that this would be a decent window for continuing on and up around Cape Hatteras. This would give us the ability of cutting out the five days of being on the inside from Beaufort, NC up into the Chesapeake. It would end up adding close to 30 hours to our trip so we’ll have to see how we’re making out. He does warn that whatever we do we should be inside by late Thursday as the wind will star blowing from the north. I haven’t even looked to see if it’s possible but if we could make it to Solomons Island, Md. by then it would be great. I dunno, once we get past Charleston everything else is gravy so we’ll leave it up in the air for now.
So with the plan sorta set we spent the day getting the boat ready for the trip. Christy made a couple of different reheatable meals for the trip such as a big pot of chili and a huge pan of lasagna. We also raised the dinghy and stowed the outboard on the stern rail.
I donned my wetsuit and cleaned the propeller and shaft of the creatures that had taken hold during our stay here. We had a half dozen sunshades and rain screens up that needed to be put away. We checked the weather 4800 times today and plotted the location of the gulf stream as of today. Then of course, there was laundry to do and fluids to check in the engine room. And yes, the bilge pump is working.
So once we hit the fuel dock in the morning for some diesel, some water and a pumpout Veranda will be on her way…..somewhere.