Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Our weather router Chris Parker finally gave us the green light to leave Bermuda and sail towards Newport, Rhode Island. We had 10 good days in Bermuda that we wouldn't have been without, but Wednesday we were ready to go.

The Gulf Stream
To get to the USA we have to cross the Gulf Stream, and the Americans discuss this with awe. To us, the Gulf Stream is as big a mystery as the Bermuda Triangle (which we luckily have sailed around), but we still chose to wait until the experts said that it was responsible to leave. In addition, Chris Parker has also told us where to enter the Gulf Stream and where to exit it again, so we better follow his advice. Americans are very serious about weather in general and the Gulf Stream in particular, but as a British couple we met in Bermuda, said to us, the weather we were trying to avoid is summer sailing weather in the UK! Everything is relative, I guess, but I'd rather not tempt fate – and especially not at sea!

Men seek offshore passages
As I write this, we are 200 nm north of Bermuda. We're at the edge of a low pressure with 24-30 knots of wind and 4-6 metre waves, and I wonder what I'm doing here. What’s wrong with a land-based home, a nice bed, a proper bathroom, and a good night’s sleep? I have noticed however that a lot of men apply to go sailing as a crew on offshore passages. To me that sounds a bit foolish, but it’s a good thing that they exist, because in Bermuda a lot of men were either sailing single-handed or sailing with a crew, since their wives had already left them to go see their grandchildren.

The last offshore passage
This will luckily be our last offshore passage in 2014, and I'm very happy about that. When we are sailing longer stretches, it’s like the days just merges, and I can’t feel the difference between day 2 and day 7. When we arrive, it’s like we just have left our previous port, and the days in-between has nearly not existed. It’s like they have just been ripped out of the calendar. A former colleague of mine (a man) wrote to me that sailing offshore must be the ultimate freedom. I'm more of the understanding though that sailing offshore is like being in prison just with the risk of drowning. So I'm looking forward to get ashore!

We have gone to the beach, but we are spoiled from the Caribbean’s warm temperatures, so we only dip our feet in the water.
Luckily, this is the last offshore passage in 2014!

Signe Storr Freelance journalist and friend of Boatshed