Monday, November 18, 2013

Just Another Day on the Ocean!

Getting ready to leave Portsmouth, VA on
"new" home. This is where we live now!
After three days of gale force winds blowing us too far west, we encountered the calms. The next three days were beautiful sunny ones, but the water flat enough for water skiing! As we motored, the crew had a more relaxing time at the helm and in their bunks. It actually allowed us to catch up on sleep that had been lost when people were extending their watches to help the next person on watch in the rough weather.

Interestingly enough, no one wanted to fish on this trip even though there was a fishing contest. I cooked many meals in my new pressure cooker so the crew ate well: roast beef, beef stew, chicken korma with basmati rice, and even a whole chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy! This time I only cooked it for 8 minutes and it came out beautifully. And of course, my beloved Corn Chowder was a hit again. I guess my menu was a success as there were never any leftovers!
The guys were impressed with the 8 minute chicken!

We did have a problem with our communications as the USB cord for our satellite phone separated at the pin end so we could not download weather or email. That left us a little short on information but we were able to listen to the daily weather report during morning role call. Another little issue came up with the SSB (single side band) radio: when  on 6C frequency, the autopilot would disengage each time I would transmit a response. That made it challenging for the helmsman while I was doing my net controller duty some of the days. It was a real surprise when it first happened in the 30+ knot winds!

Dennis keeping an eye on things one calm day.
One night we had a little scare as our batteries started overheating and were giving off awful fumes. I knew there was a problem when Dennis directed us to prepare the abandon ship bag and get the life raft ready to deploy if necessary. We were all in our life jackets and ready to go. I was so glad we did not have to as it was pitch black. There was no moon that night so it would have been a real challenge to leave the boat. Our rule is only abandon ship when you have to step up to the life raft or if there is an uncontrollable fire.

Skipperette with Flat Stanley at the wheel coming around
Tortola to Nanny Cay Marina.
We made it down to Tortola, BVI in good time and even came in third in our group. That was a surprise since we had been so far west of the rhumb line. It must have been because a lot of boats just gave up on finishing - just get there and get some sleep was the attitude. It is great to be back to our southern home! You know you are home when the bartenders remember you from two years ago!

So you all enjoy the chilly winds and oncoming snow while we sip our Pain Killers and Bushwackers by the pool. We will be thinking of you! Wish you were here.


  1. Looks like you're having fun. Heard about the bad weather from John Hoffman. He was sailing down there too.
    Happy Thanksgiving Getting ready for everyone down here-love it!

    1. Have a great Turkey Day. Fun to remember the ones we shared when the kids were young.

  2. Jealous! 14 degrees in Indy this morning.


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