Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Wild Ride Down to the BVI!

Tom up the mast at the Start Line! Not the
right way to start off on a long rally!

The 2013 Caribbean 1500 Rally was scheduled to leave Portsmouth, VA on Sunday, November 3, but oncoming bad weather caused an early departure on Saturday afternoon. I really was not ready, but you go when the boat goes! Murphy,s Laws continued to haunt us as we made our way to Tortola, BVI.

When we got out to the Start Line and put up our sail - because you must sail across the line - we had a problem: the main sail twisted in the track and folded over on itself! We sailed across the line with it 3/4 up and then immediately got out of the way of others to work on it. After some contemplation by all, Tom volunteered to go up the mast and see if he could untangle the mess. Fortunately, he was able to straighten it out.

We then got under way following the fleet that was leaving the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. That was the beginning of our game of "catch the fleet" that continued for days. We made good time getting across a very wide Gulf Stream, shooting between two eddies and catching a ride on one of them.

All was looking good and then came three days of gale force winds out of the north-northeast. This was not good. Although we were sailing very fast (9-11 knots) we were being set to the west. Our southbound progress went well, however, we ended up 142 nm west of our rhumb line! It looked like we had decided to go to the Bahamas. That would not have been a good thing as S/V Trillium has a 7' draft and most of the Bahamas presents dangerous conditions for us - especially at night and in high seas.

Former Crew Bob and Pixie once again gave us the warm
southern welcome and loaned us their car!

After three days of being pounded, we had three days of calm -as in no wind. Time for the Iron Jenny! It was warm and sunny. The dolphins came out to play with Trillium twice. The stars were spectacular! Tom taught me about the constellation Orion that was right over us each night. No one seemed fired up to fish so we didn't. I don't have room in the freezer for fish anyway.


  1. very good blog!
    What type of boat is Trillium. You might want to remind your followers of that if I missed it.

  2. Thanks! S/V Trillium is a Hallberg-Rassy 46. We love her.


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