Archive For The “Atlantic Ocean” Category

Two Sides of the Atlantic

Two Sides of the Atlantic

In February of 2016, we completed our longest passage ever: 3,700nm across the South Atlantic from St. Helena to Barbados. And in May of this year, we completed our worst passage ever: 2,800nm across the North Atlantic through three gales from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. In between, we’ve cruised the West Atlantic between Florida…

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North Atlantic Gales

North Atlantic Gales

On our 2,800nm North Atlantic passage from Newport, RI to Ireland we passed through three gales. The first two were in the initial week of the passage, before we turned the corner south of the Grand Banks. It was during the first gale that we battled a water ingress issue that set off alarms a…

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Newport to Kinsale

Newport to Kinsale

We completed our Fastnet-to-Fastnet run and arrived into Kinsale, Ireland after a 17-day, 2,801 nm crossing of the North Atlantic. And we shared our first pint at an Irish pub—we’d been looking forward to that from almost the moment we left Newport. This was by far our most difficult passage we have done, with three…

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527 Miles To Ireland

527 Miles To Ireland

In over 13,000 engine hours and some 95,000 miles of travel, we’ve never had a mechanical emergency at sea and never have had to distrub the off-watch person to deal with an issue. This happened twice on the passage from Newport to Ireland, the first was the high bilge water alarm last week during James’…

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Newport to Grand Banks

Newport to Grand Banks

The first seven days of our 2,800nm passage from Newport RI to Kinsale, Ireland were a battle. We battled negative Bay of Fundy currents, low-pressure systems, and a water-ingress issue that threatened the boat and took us ten hours to resolve. On the positive side, we also got a push from the Gulf Stream and…

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Passage Preparation

Passage Preparation

We generally keep Dirona ready to go to sea at a moment’s notice, and securing the cockpit furniture is typically all we need to do as we get underway. For multi-day passages, we do some additional preparation ranging from provisioning, to heavy weather preparation, to paperwork necessary to bring Spitfire into a new country. Highlights…

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Steering Issue

Steering Issue

We haven’t had steering issues in the past. Given they can happen anywhere, why the heck would it occur within hours of dead-center on our 2,800 nm trip through the North Atlantic? We have covered a lot of miles over the years and generally have seen pretty good conditions. The weather we’ve encountered has been…

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Alarms at 1:15am

Alarms at 1:15am

I bolted awake at 1:15am to a shrieking alarm. We were 50 miles south of the Grand Banks, in large seas, on passage from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. I ran upstairs to the pilot house and Jennifer, at the helm, just said “high bilge water.” Yuck. Better than fire but far from good news….

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Big System Coming

Big System Coming

For quite some time now we have been watching a very large low in the weather models coming down from Greenland. The storm is currently predicted to bring 20′ waves on 10 second period, with 25 to 30 kt winds.  With 20′ waves nominal, there will be some that approach or exceed our 30′ mast…

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North Atlantic 500mb Forecast

North Atlantic 500mb Forecast

We plan on getting underway this weekend for Kinsale, Ireland. It’s a tiny bit early in the season but we have what looks to be a blocking high developing in the North Atlantic which will stall the steady stream of low-pressure systems that we’ve been watching for the past several months. Unfortunately the high is…

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Departure Planning

Departure Planning

We’ve been studying the weather every day as we prepare for our Atlantic crossing from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. We use a variety of data sources, including NOAA surface analysis and 500MB forecasts. The sources we rely most heavily on are GRIB files containing data from computer-generated models such as NOAA GFS and WAVEWATCH…

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Route Planning

Route Planning

While in Florida earlier this year, we considered a variety of routes for our upcoming Atlantic passage. Some of the possibilities are shown in the screenshot above (click image for larger view). The waypoint east of South Carolina is Bermuda, and the one labeled Terceira Sao Miguel is the Azores. The other waypoints are mostly…

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Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island

We took a taxi from the Rodney Bay marina to explore Pigeon Island National Landmark. The island once was detached from the mainland until a causeway was built in 1973, and has a lengthy naval history: it was a pirate’s hideout in the 1500s, a British naval base starting in the 1700s, and a US…

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St. Lucia

St. Lucia

From Port St. Charles we travelled 97 miles to St. Lucia and spent a relaxing couple of weeks at the marina in Rodney Bay. We contintued to mostly take it easy, but also got a few boat projects done. Trip highlights from Feb 21st to March 5th follow. Click any image for a larger view,…

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