To Bermuda, Day 3

S/V SN-E Cetacea Log Day 3 – 62NM


James’ noon-12:30 pm watch 

Started with a bang. The Simrad didn’t correctly log the distance we traveled. James got it on his phone from the navionics app, but that’s a real drag. The odometer is back at zero, too, so I’ll need to add up the distances manually. Damn. I (Dena) hoped the reset fixed everything, but at least it hasn’t been restarting randomly!

We restarted the system and will make that part of the noon routine from here on out. I also changed the track logging method from auto to distance and set it at 1 mile.

James is winding the watch clock at noon. I’m so grateful that he keeps that thing running!

…it’s not just the bells and the elegance of a mechanical device that can mark your way through the Verse…for me it’s a focal point in my (J’zzz’s) day. 

Dena’s metrics have dominated the written logs since we left Nova Scotia…it’s wonderful!…she’s documenting this adventure the way she’s always wanted to because now it matters more than ever with the electric motor and everything that’s changed because of it.

Un-fucking our fucked-up world is job one for everyone…that’s not political, that’s just the facts.

Tick-tock motherfuckers.

Dena’s 2-3 pm watch 

2:09pm: We’re making 2 hours worth of water. We did an hour yesterday too, think I forgot to log that. The wind just picked up in a direction that’s helpful for running out of the way of two huge ships. 2.6 is better than 1.8 when trying to get somewhere.

Run away!

And then one of the ships went and changed course. I was definitely early patting myself on the back. Slow stress is still stress. I can probably learn to accept smaller distances from ships, but it’s not easy now.

The smallest on we’ve seen since we left the Gulf Stream has been 400ft!

James’ 5-6 pm watch

Once I gave in to the endlessness of the horizon I stopped bumping into everything.

5:28 pm: My (Dena’s) last watch was great! Good sailing for a beat, and the wind veered further south to bring us pretty well on course (on average). It also freshened and felt like a little much until I realized it was completely normal, just more than we’d had in days.

Dena’s 8-9 pm watch 

8:21 pm: James called a tanker that was coming up our asses on his watch and I just called to thank them for the safe pass. Unnecessary, but rather pleasurable. I’m pretty sure James would talk on the VHF more if I weren’t around because he’s a radio kind of guy, but I usually find it stressful entering a communication environment with so many protocols. I’ve gotten much better since doing the ICW as much as we have. Bridges and people wanting to pass us really added up.

The waxing gibbous moon decorates the evening sky. I love watching sunset colors sluice across the sky when there’s a big lovely moon growing in power at the same time. The amazingly visible afternoon moon takes the throne by dark.


James’ 3-6 am watch

It’s like surgery moving through the world with a tiny device like a 30ft sailboat. The rain soaked marching storm cells look miniscule in comparison to the electric Cumulonimbus, the Moon, Venus, Mars and finally, Jupiter rolls up before our local star has another go at our skin cells and they all, without exception, are so much bigger, than our tiny selves.

I can’t remember a single thing other than the Moon, the stars, and the feel of dipping  into this ongoing journey like it was with a toe in an icy lake in the middle of the night.

3:08 am: I (Dena) just finished a long night watch. There’s a line of thunderstorms right next to us to the south and it seems to extend quite some ways east. We are adapting as necessary to specifics cells that pop up but mostly we’re just heading east alongside lightning flashes. There’s another sailboat called Seabiscuit about 16 miles northwest and they are either in lighter winds than we are or they have decided to heave to. that for me?

Dena’s 6-9 am watch 

8:39 am: Last long shift and it’s been daylight the whole time. The storm line is still there and still threatening. It’s pushed us about 15 NM north of the original route but I’m wondering whether it represents that sheer line we saw on the forecasts between an area of lingering doldrums and the wind zone. If so, I’m deeply glad we’re north of it! Buggering up our solar production a bit.

The wind rises and falls frequently. Before the clouds burst into big rain brooms, I was on a close reach heading right towards Bermuda. The rainfall also changed the wind pattern and I had to fall off to stay clear. Slower but an easy ride.

Sea state has been good for ages now. We had a real swell as we came over the Bahamas but it’s been low and long ever since.

Dena’s 10-11 am watch 

10:36 am: Good strong starboard reach! We’re seeing 5 knots regularly for the first time since we got well clear of Fk Lauderdale. Too much variability to do any math with that number. It’ll barely affect the low low average speeds from yesterday afternoon and early this morning. Sea state is still kindly but it made me wonder whether we’ll eventually see the kind of weather that means you have to pump as you pee so you don’t have it sloshing up at you.


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