Monday, November 8, 2010

We Are Blowin' In The Wind!

What an exciting morning: final Skipper's Meeting and Weather Briefing, everyone trying to get off the docks and out to the Start line without crashing into each other, helicopter taking photos ...

Sherry, Dennis, Bob & Stuart
The Rally (racing portion) started at 11AM with the sound of the starter's gun. It took about an hour and a half to get to the Start line so everyone was jockeying for position. Those of us in the Cruising categories just got in the way or tried to get out of the way!

Sorry racers! Those of us cruising still get our prize for just simply getting there! That is more than satisfactory for us! No high tension and clock-watching here. We are just taking it all in. We had to share the channel with two Navy destroyers and a submarine - as well as the full fleet of Ralliers.

Who's worried about that Navy ship approaching?

The seas were 5-6 foot coming out of the Chesapeake Bay and are growing as we move away from land. There was a major course change since the hurricanes are still playing havoc in the usual path. We are heading down to Cape Hatteras (ugh!) before turning east. I have never heard a good word about sailing around Cape Hatteras. Hopefully we won't have more stories to tell! The good news is that we will have westerly winds (W-NW) most of the way until we make the turn. Then we may have little wind until we reach the Trade Winds.

We are anticipating seas of 9-15 feet with winds of 15-30 mph, gusting to 35 mph. I found it challenging to steer a straight course with the high waves. We passed through the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel entrance with Pixie on shore taking photos. She said we looked great! We were the first to cross this mark, but will be passed by bigger boats with spinnakers flying. Our goal is to get there - not to win!

Here is the fleet behind us!

I am going to try to download photos and update this blog until we get out of the Internet range of my Droid phone. Hopefully the pictures will tell it all.

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