Sunday, May 8, 2011

Driving to Bermuda!

Yup! That's right: Driving!

Trillium at Start of 2011 Atlantic Cup Rally
What do you do when you are sailing North and  the wind is out of the North? You "drive", as in motoring. Do you have any idea how long it takes to "drive" from Tortola to Bermuda at an average of 6.5 knots per  hour? Well, I'll tell you: from noon on Sunday until midnight on Friday!

                                                                                                At the beginning of the Atlantic Cup Rally, we had nice winds down Sir Francis Drake's channel and out into the Atlantic. We were able to sail for two days with decent winds. The winds lightened up and since Trillium needs at least 13 - 15 knots to really move along, we did some motor sailing. Then the wind shifted to straight out of the North - right down our rhumb line. Not only that, it started blowing 18 - 25 knots. Just what we need to really sail, but not on our nose! And so we continued "driving" to Bermuda - all the way!

It was a little like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disney World: up, down, around, jerk left, jerk right, fly off the bunk and meet it on the way down! The weather itself has been very comfortable with partially cloudy skies to protect us from the sun. We have only had a couple of squalls. It has just been the Northerly winds!

Sea sickness takes its toll on Jeff

We did have a sea sickness issue. I had about 18 hours of it, but Jeff has been sick the whole trip. Since it is lasting so long, it may be something more serious. He is going to see a doctor when we get to Bermuda. The picture shows how he spends most of the time when he is out of his bunk! It has not been pleasant for him. Jeff will probably leave us in Bermuda and fly home.

That will create a dilemma as we will be short-handed with only three of us to do the watches day and night. But the risk of Jeff staying and getting worse is not an option. It could be an appendix or some other abdominal issue. Having recently observed the US Coast Guard demonstration of an at-sea rescue, we don't want to take a chance. What I saw at the Safety-at-Sea Seminar tells me you don't want a helicopter rescue on the water even in calm seas! Now we will have to figure out how to deal with the loss of crew.

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