To Bermuda, Day 2

S/V SN-E Cetacea Log Day 2 – 67NM


Dena’s half watch, noon-12:30 pm

12:13 pm: Saw a bird! Long wingspan for the size of its body, but I didn’t get a great look.

Dena’s 1-2 pm watch 

1:10 pm: We’re already realizing that avoiding direct sun will be a major activity. With the sun high overhead, I have a moderately comfortable perch under the solar panels.

Dena at the helm

1:47 pm: Well, here are the light winds we were promised. Main only and sheeted in some to get it off the shrouds when it pumps. We’re still doing a couple good knots, and in the right direction. Woohoo! If we used the motor, we’d just outrun the wind that much worse. I’m holding out hope that the wind will fill in from the southeast like they thought.

The water color has definitely changed!

Monitor in blueblue water

Seeing miles of glass water in every direction is disconcerting…then a breath and always moving at the pace of the Earth in the Verse among the multiplicity of it all.

James’ 2-3 pm watch 

2:26 pm: Making our hour of water. It took 10 minutes to clear the smell but the salts were only 214ppm.

James called out right when I switched the product water to go into the tank. A sailfish! I think! Dark, though, with a smaller sail than the ones I’ve seen as trophies (ick). It’s not easy to get photos of underwater creatures.

Impressionistic sailfish

Dena’s 3-4 pm watch

There’s a pattern to acclimatization…one more day of Dramamine and I (James) just know I’ll be able to think again.

James’ 4-5 pm watch

4:06 pm: I (Dena) spent my whole three o’clock hour fussing with the system. Finally settled on a single reef in the main, gybing to a starboard tack in case the forecasted southeasterly fills in, and using the electric motor at zero net amps. With good afternoon sun, that was 500 rpm for about 2 knots of boat speed. Before I engaged the motor, we were all the way down to 1.1 and the tiller pilot was struggling. I think all that speed was current. I put a single reef in the main to make it flog less when we outran our wind.

Beluga Greyfinger update…he ate, drank, and used the litter box like normal last night. He’s coped with worse in storms at anchor and on moorings, so I’m not surprised. Less playful, more cuddly, but that’s fine with me! He jumps a little when the mainsail slats and doesn’t like the look of the big white thing. He hasn’t come abovedecks yet.

Dena’s 5-6 pm watch 

5:35 pm:

James’ 6-7 pm watch

I’m starting to think in full thoughts again.

Dena’s 7-8 pm watch 

7:52 pm: I’m really hoping to get some sleep in this last hour before my first 3-hour watch starts at 9 pm. I got a couple hours of good sleep last night and some odd dozing on a couple other off watches. Notes on this watch are early so I can crash out immediately.

The wind came up and south just before this hour began. I’ve been reaching all watch under single-reefed main, staysail and yankee, making between 3-4 knots. Nice, after the slow afternoon!

James’ 8-9 pm watch. 

A perfect sail! It felt like the Earth was breathing and we were along for the ride. Venus and the Moon are still dominant in the sky. 

Dena’s 9-midnight watch 

9:13 pm: I don’t think I really slept, but there might have been some long blinks. The wind is similar to earlier. We’re trending a little south of our direct line to Bermuda, so I may strike the staysail and head a little farther downwind. It feels too good right now though!

9:54 pm: The moon has a halo and I can’t remember my weather lore well enough. Is the good or the bad weather coming from the bright side? Or is that just sundogs?

Also, and far weirder, a freight train of lights passed through the Big Dipper. They came into view just inside the bottom edge (north) and disappeared not far from the last of the handle, near the zenith. If that was a line of satellites, no wonder astronomers are so angry! They were all as bright as the stars, and there were 10-12 in sight at any given moment. I wish I were aliens; I’m glad it’s not a fighter squadron.

James’ midnight-3 am watch

I dodged storm cells and rocked the reefs for all three hours of my first dog.


Dena’s 3-6 am watch 

4:12 am: Light, variable winds caused too much slatting, so I pulled the yankee and put the second reef in the main as soon as I began my shift at 3 am. Engaged the motor at about 300 rpm, 2.7 amps, for steering control. Wind picked up enough to disengage the motor around 4 am, but still too light to keep the sail full.

I would work my way closer to our route’s line, but that seems to be the shipping lane. I’m going to stay about a mile and a half to two miles south of it. I remember the sheer line where the forecast says the winds will pick up on the north and stay dead on the south, though, and I want to stay north of that!

Oh, and I saw a shooting star! … Okay, that’s three in a half hour. Right to left looking north. Cool.

5:36 am: Gybed at 5, after yet another tanker got safely past. The increasing lightning got me worried so I checked the radar and, yep. Big, 20-mile-long storm to the south and east. I set the cursor near the northwest edge and watched. Another couple smaller cells appeared and disappeared, one directly astern. 

Can we run from the storm?

The storm moved ponderously but it revealed itself to be going northeast…yes! I shifted our course farther north, even a little west. We’re in a current that’s dragging us east, so that just set up a bit of resistance to being dragged into the storm.

This one, at least.

James’ 6-9 am watch 

Hand-steered around 3 different storm cells and worked the headsails like some young jack from the forecastle…my hands are tired.

No, really, that storm is going to get us

Dena’s 9-10 am watch

I (James) just want to close my eyes and not give a fuck for a second…got it.

James’ 10-11 am watch 

I (Dena) cooked eggs with soysauge and cheese on English muffins. Yum. Seems like a lot of food!

10:53 am: We seem to have left the favorable currents behind and it’s slow going under single-reefed main and a touch of electric motor (400-500 rpm, taking an amp over the solar in cloudy conditions). 

James and his boat

Dena’s 11-noon watch

11:30 am: I cut and whipped the Lovebot control lines. The twine was kinda weird, hard to say how, and I’m not sure I won’t have to redo them at some point. We’ll see.

I also shot the solution to the very first problem that cropped up. The wind generator is guyed by stainless tube leading to a fitting attached to the tower with rivets. The rivet holding the bottom was coming apart! The whole wind pole was moving way too much. Quick fix: hose clamp.

Hose clamp repair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.