The Midnight Boat to Newport

Its 11:30pm and I have 30 minutes more of my nine to midnight watch. We left Bermuda today around 1:30pm after a too short, two day visit. We had originally intended to stay for a few more days but the forecast for the week urged us to get underway sooner so as to avoid motoring the entire way up to Newport. 

Our early departure has rewarded us with some spectacular sailing this afternoon and evening, and we are currently flying at 9 knots in 13 knots of breeze from just forward of the beam.  But these good times will end tomorrow as we enter a trough and our wind shuts down. Our routing model forecasts a day and a half of motoring over our four day trip.

This passage will be one of our more challenging for me as we will experiencr wind from every direction and also we'll need to carefully plan our crossing of the Gulf Stream current, which runs at up to four knots and winds its way up the coast, creating lots of eddiies and meanders that must be carefully planned around.  We have a good strategy but the complexity of the wind and currents will require a heightened level of diligence. 

Our passage from Saint Thomas to Bermuda was uneventful, but for one two hour passage of a cold front with torrential rain and lightning.  Most of the passage was reaching along at 6-9 knots in 8-12 knots of breeze. The last few hours leading to our arrival in Bermuda were delightful as we were reaching along at 10 knots in 15 knots of breeze.  Quite different from the last time I sailed to Bermuda, in the Newport to Bermuda race on a J-44. We finished thst race drifting over the line in 5 knots. I much prefer our recent experience!

My watch is now up and it is time for bed!  Thanks for keeping me company tonight!