On mooring, Pepperrell Cove, Kittery Point Harbor, Maine, USA. Departed in cold cloudy weather 68nm to our north this morning to start our southward journey back down along the coastal US. We arrived at 1700 local to lots of fishing and yachting activity as everyone here is wrapping up their Sunday afternoon of fun in the sun. It was mostly a motorsail, but the wind filled in for the last 2 hours to make it fun to sail under jib alone. First stop of our sojourn southward is here on the border between Maine and New Hampshire, where we started our Maine cruise less than 2 months ago. We will linger here possibly for a few days, visit friends and wait prepare for our next leg onward to Boston Mass.
On mooring, Orrs Cove, Quahog Bay, Sebascodegan Isl, Maine, USA. 248 nm in our rear view. We mostly motored on this passage, sailing when we could, and especially had a fun sail up this tiny inlet to tuck away in a quintessential Maine cove. Lots of lobster pots to dodge, and even a submerged red nun buoy required all three sets of eyes to safely navigate and tie up before sunset. Here we will sleep well. Kailani is put to bed, ready for lots of rain starting tonight, with winds forecast to be 20kts from the North at the peak of Dorian's pass to our East. Looking at where we departed, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, the wind and sea forecast is simply scary. They are expecting up to 80mph winds when Dorian makes landfall tomorrow in Nova Scotia. We cross our fingers for all the people we met there, especially the handful of cruisers who chose to stay there instead of run.
Day 2. 41 nm to Maine, USA. Sailing 6.2kts at 274T, main plus jib. Mostly been a motor sail until an hour ago, as winds have been light and the seas eerily calm. Last night the sunset was a weird salmon orange haze full of wispy high level clouds and this morning the sky was the exact image of "red sky in the morning, sailors take warning". Our objective is to make landfall before sunset, and we have found a place we think will provide good protection for the storm. We have entered the Maine waters and today will be back to the "lobster pot boogie", dodging the multitude of buoys large and small. We are thankful for the calm seas, no fog, and rain free weather to make our final approach.
Day 1. 223 nm to Maine, USA. MS 1rM , 8.4kts at 201T. After only 3 weeks cruising here, we are departing Nova Scotia this morning as Hurricane Dorian is due to strike as a Cat 1 here on Friday night , Sat morning. Without any real good harbors to secure from the anticipated potential 19m sea surge we are out of here. Anticipate arrival tomorrow late afternoon, some place near Portland Maine, but that destination may change as we continue to watch the weather.
Day 5 Anchor down at 0830 local, Brenton Cove, Newport RI. 650nm. Arrived in the USA! Yesterday right after our noon update, Sophia came down from her scope of the horizon with the notice "we have FOG!". Not really surprising, as of course the New England waters are infamous for it, but believe it or not, this is the first fog we have ever encountered while sailing Kailani. This includes sailing her from Turkey across the Med , across and up to SF, then around the world and up here to the east coast of the US. Our radar, like most of Kailani's electronics, is vintage 1989. OLD. In addition, upon our last inspection while repairing the hole in the fabric radar cover, we noted a new crack in the housing. We have no idea how much rain might have seeped into all of its radar emitting electronics. In fact the only time we have turned this radar on to aid in navigation was in 2015 in Indonesia due to their seasonal practice of palm oil field burning, which causes debilitating visibility and air quality with rancid smoke. While it "worked" then, it never really did so in a manner to effectively pick out the hazards there, like the little old man we almost ran over, sitting in his wooden dugout canoe holding simply a bic lighter for his running light when we neared. So, this is a long way of saying, it was with a bit of trepidation and a lot of hope that we fired up our c. 1989 Raytheon radar, wishing mostly that it actually worked, and more importantly that if it malfunctioned that we would not start a fire, or something worse. Anyway, to our delight and amazement, it worked. We quickly went through the motions of "dialing down the clutter" etc on our giant cathode ray tube screen down below, and boom, we could see all the upcoming fish buoys! Good, but yikes, they were seemingly everywhere, and we could not see them visually as the fog was to the deck. Next was a lesson for Sophia about sea clutter (Jen reaching back to her days of designing guidance systems on radar guided missiles, noting of course that this actually was a time period a few years AFTER the date of our radar) so that Sophia could help tune the radar to separate hazards like buoys from returns like rain clouds and waves, and be our key assistant during our helm watches. Let's just say the next 19 hours of our motorsail into Newport was exhausting. The radar transmit had to happen every 5 mins, and Jen and Harley took turns running up on deck to maneuver as needed around pots, fishing vessels, buoys, etc. And it was COLD. But arrive we did, and exhausted we are. Unable to raise the harbor master we sought out an anchorage and dropped the hook (technically not really approved protocol). Harley completed our immigration and customs clearance into the USA online (cool!) and the delightfully friendly harbor master Steve just dropped by to give us the skinny on local knowledge we need e.g. where we can dinghy in etc. So here we sit, watching geese and kids in sailing dinghies cruise around, every manner of boat out and about, and the nearest channel buoy's brass bell clanging away as it rocks in the waves. A very busy harbor. We have to put the boat to bed now, so it is definitely a second POT of coffee day. To be followed by food, beer, champagne and some sleep (not necessarily in that order!).
Day 4 159nm to Newport RI USA. Motorsailing, full main, 7.7kts at 335T. Soon after our post yesterday at noon, the wind kicked up and the seas got very messy. We were sailing on a close reach into 8-9ft seas that were 5-6 secs apart, and adding to it there was a remnant swell from the NW coming in to hit us and generally add an extra bounce to anyone transiting the cabin. All in all it made for a very uncomfortable ride. 27T of boat going up a wave then slamming down into the trench, to slam hard again into another wave, repeat, repeat, repeat. It is in these times we take great stock in what a well built boat Kailani is, fast yet stout when we need it most. We were all fairly tired and gulping down the the seasick meds, until all of a sudden by 5pm the seas seemed to cease. The wind was still at about 20kts from the SSW, but we had crossed into the gulf stream, way ahead of where we thought we would. The gulf stream current, running with the wind, had the wonderful effect of flattening those waves. Yay! So on we sailed and we all got a reprieve from the slamming motion, the barometer dropped, from its high of 1023mb to 1017mb, in 4 hours confirming we were out of the H that has dominated this trip so far. The gulf stream current set us a bit east, but that was ok since the forecast said we would get winds from the E and NE after the H passed as the new dominant wx would be a low up near 46N. The wind died by 0130 this morning, and we have been motoring since. Morning broke with us under squally skies, and we were greeted with rain, thunder and lightning around us. In the list of things we sailors worry about out at sea, a lightning strike is right up there. As we breakfasted on warm scones, peaches and coffee (upon each lightning burst each of us counting to ourselves "one-one thousand, two-one thousand...") the storm passed us by, but not before the nearest strike was right behind our boat. We didn't need a second cup of coffee this morning to be alert! We are now technically in US waters, being within 200nm of shore, and all aboard are getting excited about landfall tomorrow afternoon. Ironically, the latest forecast has now come back to what it was when we departed Bermuda, that is, no wind for the remaining miles in to RI. Good thing Harl threw the right engine room words at that engine back on Day 1, as she is running fine.
Day 3 339nm to Newport RI USA. Port reach single reef main and staysail, 7.7kts at 340T. Wind veered and increased last night and we took advantage of the lagging sea state to make some miles at 9.5 to 10 kts with the apparent wind aft of the beam. At breakfast we reefed down and changed out the headsail for the staysail to make it a little more comfortable. Our two wx models have a conflict with one showing a low passing about the time we pect to encounter the Gulf Stream tomorrow, not what we want experience. Weare watching closely and will heave to if necessary to allow what looks to be fast mover go through. Last night we found ourselves on the opposite heading of a Bermuda ocean race with a half dozen smaller boats bashing their way south just off our starboard. Seems like a lot of misery for a dubious honor and a few complimentary dark and stormy rum drinks.
Day 2 518nm to Newport RI USA. Stbd close reach full main and jib, 5.8kts at 336T. Been mostly a light air sail so far, with the exception of a few hours after sunset when we got a lift by skirting between squalls, allowing the Kailani "hum" to happen as she cooked along at 9.5kts with minimal seas. In typical Kailani fashion, the most "exciting" thing to happen yesterday was losing our engine while exiting through the Town Cut from St George's harbour. Thankfully there was no major traffic, we were able to flip back around to the bay and we ghosted around with full main and 4 kts of wind, giving Harl time to go down and use some engine room words. Pretty sure it is just a bad fuel / clogged filter issue, and we will address it further today during our light air times. Winds are continuing to veer as this H moves E, so we will eventually motor for a few hours and then flip over to port tack. For now enjoying less humidity and cooler temps!
Day 1 637nm to Newport RI USA. Checked out and in the final throws of stowing the dinghy and kayaks, then we anticipate up anchor by 1600 local. Will post an update to our website when we make landfall in the US, but in a nutshell we really enjoyed our time here in Bermuda: forts, batteries, museums, beaches, long walks, ice cream, etc. We have been watching for a wx window for the past week and are amazed at how much the predictions vary every 6 hrs. So altho not as great a window as it originally looked, it at least has some favorable winds. We are going to skirt the backside of this H that is passing through Bermuda at the moment, which will give us light westerly winds, but hopefully enough to sail until the wee hours. We will likely motor for half of this passage, but at least the winds that are forecast will get us across the gulf stream without wind against tide. So that's our main objective - to cross the gulf stream without getting caught in a NEly. But every time we check the wx it changes pretty dramatically, so we are readying for whatever may come, rigged and ready for all points of sail.
Anchored, Convict Bay, St George's Isl, Bermuda. Our plans are to stay here in Bermuda and catch the first wx window after 7 June for the 650 nm run to Newport, RI. For those following us our website, www.laughterjourney.com, has been updated with narrative and photos from Antigua and our first couple of days here in Bermuda. We will resume updates on YIT when we put to sea again.
DAY 8 Anchored, Convict Bay, St George's Isl, Bermuda. Yesterday was a long day beating hard to weather close-hauled on starboard, against the confused seas remnant from TS Andrea. Kailani and crew took a beating. The wind died around 9pm local, then it was squally for a few hours so we sailed when we could, and motored on and off as necessary. Finally, the wind just died completely so we had to motor the last 6 hours, making the Town Cut entrance at about 0730 local. We are all checked in, and now anchored amongst many cruising yachts. A big breakfast is brewing and we are happy to be here!
DAY 7 119 nm to Bermuda. After 16 hrs hove to waiting for the strong Nly to get some E, we set sail this morning at 0715 local. We have a 24 hr window to make landfall before the wind dies completely. We are pounding to windward stretching Kailani and crew limits with the associated pounding thru confused 2m seas.
DAY6 130 nm to Bermuda. Hove to. Just after posting our noon update we passed through the "Post Tropical Cyclone Andrea" , essentially just a few squalls and gusty variable winds. Coming out the other side, the Nly winds increased and we have decided to heave to hoping wind goes to NE sooner than forecast.
DAY6 144 nm to Bermuda. Port beam reach 1st reef main plus staysail, 9.5 kts at 022T. The winds died as forecast and we motored 7 hrs yesterday until they filled in from the SSE. Tropical Storm Andrea at first strengthened and changed heading toward us, but then dissipated in the night. Now our dominant winds are being created by the H to the N of us, and as predicted the wind continues to build and veer. By this evening it is anticipated to be 25-30 from due N, so we will heave to then and wait until there is more E and we can sail again (12-14 hrs). Our arrival ETA is still Friday unless we have to stay hove to longer.
DAY 5 310 nm to Bermuda. Port beam reach main plus jib, 5.0 kts at 310T. As forecast the winds have been waning as a L 300nm off to our NW strengthens. This low has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Andrea, and is headed right for Bermuda, but it is anticipated to dissipate within 48 hrs, which will mean we will extend our arrival ETA to Friday subject to change based on the changing forecasts. Once it passes a H to the East will dominate, giving us wind on the nose for the last leg into Bermuda. We are tracking this TS closely, and will alter sail plan as needed. For now, the humidity has kicked up, the skies are gloomy looking, and the winds are anticipated to strengthen and veer this afternoon.
DAY 4 463 nm to Bermuda. Stbd beam reach main plus jib, 7.0 kts at 001T. Just passed the half way mark, which usually calls for celebration. Maybe a cake, but it is still very hot despite our steady sail north. We motored 6hrs yesterday until the winds filled in just before sundown, and all on board, even our "Elf on the Shelf" (Bill's self proclaimed nickname referencing his high side bunk in the 3rd cabin) finally got restful sleep as Kailani sailed along at 5-7 kts thru the calm night.
DAY 3 623 nm to Bermuda. Motor sailing, 7.5 kts at 355T. Winds have been less than 15 kts and this morning veered aft and dropped to 8-9 kts. We are motorsailing on course but the prospect for better winds anytime soon is poor. The forecast for later in the week is for 15-20kts on the nose so it looks like we will be battling upwind to make Bermuda by the weekend. We'll see as the weather has a way of changing, particularly when you consider that none of this was in the forecast 2 days ago!
DAY 2 777 nm to Grenada. Stbd beam reach run sgl rf main and jib, 6.8 kts at 355T. We upped anchor yesterday afternoon at 1600 local, departing Falmouth Harbour in light winds. The wind settled in for great sailing once we were headed north along the west side of Antigua, and it has steadily veered to allow us to be close to the rhumbline humming along. Our stopover in Falmouth Harbour was great for rest, the usual ashore food breaks, and we really enjoyed visiting historic English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard. Jen and Sophia are both reading Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey Maturin series for the first time so exploring the museum, seeing the old forts, walls, careening pillars, cannons, sail loft, etc made the stopover particularly fun.
Day 1 - 937nm to Bermuda. Sailing 1RM plus Jib. Under way from Antigua! Sorry for no updates here. Jen's hand injury has tightened up our crew situation so no updates until she can type roughly now. Thank goodness our friend Bill has been aboard for our sail since Grenada. We as a family spent about a month in Grenada and St Vincent and had to haul out just the day before departing northward to Antigua. We had a short 36 hour sail to Antigua and awaited arrival of good wx window for this leg to Bermuda. Wish us luck as we head into the TRIANGLE:). If you want to read more of our time in Grenada check out our website Travels and Photo pages LaughterJourney.com. Great to be back to sailing north!
We are back aboard after an 11 month hiatus taking care of family back home. Anchored in Tyrell Bay on Carriacou, Grenada West Indies. Will be gunkholing around the Grenadines for a month before heading north to Newport via Bermuda.