Note: I added another page under the "Projects" page that should allow smart phone and iPad users to access the separate projects via hyperlinks. I don't know why but it seems that smart phones can't access the drop down menus.
31 Dec 2015We have started a separate dedicated sailing blog more friendely to phones and tablets. To access the site click on the tab "FRV Sailing Blog" on the menu tab above. Please join us there and feel free to leave comments. Or click here.
25 Dec 2015—We Made It!The Far Reach, with my sister and me on board, took our departure from Cape Lookout on the morning of 8 Dec. We made landfall at Jost Van Dyke, BVI after 18 days and 1643 nautical miles of almost all upwind sailing. The Far Reach was magnificent in every way. She was solid, quiet, and though the Atlantic washed over the deck a few times she did not leak a drop of water. It was a wet upwind ride most of the way.
We had three days of absolute mirror calms just drifting—a painted ship on a painted ocean. During one calms we went swimming in 17,000 ft of water so clear and cobalt blue it defies description.
We had frustrating headwinds almost the whole way. A couple of time we were forced to sail away from where we wanted to go. Around 26 degrees north latitude we had to sail east about 180 mile, well past the longitude of Bermuda, to get a better angle on the expected reinforced south easterly trade winds as we pushed further south. The last five days, when were finally able to reach a bit the trade winds were 25-30 knots (35 kts in the squalls)with seas about 10’-14’ with a few larger ones on occasion.
Many times it was so rough we sailed only under the stays’l, often still making 5-6 knots, sometimes reefed. We were both sick a few time. I was not eating much the last 10 days. I lost my love handles and now proudly have an “outie” for a belly button!
On the first night of the trip we lost the wind and as we are engine free nervously drifted north about 20 miles in the Gulf Stream dodging commercial shipping . But we also had some glorious sailing too. We made 140 miles in one 24 hr period and 135 on another with 12-14 kts of wind sailing close hauled on a fairly smooth sea. We saw thousands of flying fish and had a beautiful tropic bird drop down and check us out from about 20 feet.
Each night we were reunited with the eternal constellations that have guided and reassured mariners for millennia. Early in the trip we saw meteor showers fascinating us with brilliant shooting stars sometimes every 15 seconds.
There was a new moon when we started where it was dark as hell and we finished under and awesome full moon on Christmas Eve shining a path for us on the final night at sea.
We were cheerfully wished a Merry Christmas on the VHF radio on Christmas Eve by the huge cruise liner “Regal Princess” as we crossed paths just north of the BVI.
We made landfall over the north bank of the BVI about 10 miles west of the west end of Anegada Island blasting along down-wind with a 30-35 knot breeze with a stays’l and a double reefed main. A few times the Far Reach surprised me by surfing probably hitting close to 9 knots. We siled into Great Harbor, Jost van Dyke anchoring under sail in 35’ of crystal clear water.
The two heroes of the trip were my sister Tricia and our magnificent Cape Horn self-steering windvane.