Mmmm, hurricane eggs! My friend Andy Staus taught me about these last year during the delivery of Susie Q on this very same route at this very same time of year. We picked up a couple of loads of fresh-made Bahamas bread in Marsh Harbor (unsliced of course). For the last two mornings I've been slicing off big chunks of the stuff, cutting a hole out of the center and grilling the bread with 2-3 eggs cracked in the hole in our cast iron skillet. There is just something about the combination of grilled bread, gooey eggs and butter that creates something truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Sojourner, as of 1030 Saturday, was in position 30 10 N, 080 58 W, making 5-6 knots under power on a course of 310 degrees true.
It's a grey, chilly and damp morning. After having to shorten sail around 0200 this morning, we are now motoring in a relative calm, the wind having gone to the EAST somehow! As I was cooking brekkie, dad tuned in the NOAA weather radio on the VHF - we are close enough to Florida now to do that - and heard them issue a thunderstorm and tornado watch for the area just to the south of us.
I'm aware that sailing north towards Hatteras in March is not the smartest idea. Particularly with this relentless winter we are having. As we were prepping Sojourner in Marsh Harbor, NOAAs offshore weather had winds blowing 70-90 knots south of Nova Scotia! With 45 foot seas! Yikes! So yeah, getting north to Annapolis in one go was probably unlikely, even with a boat as well-equipped to handle heavy weather as Sojourner. Dad and I have nothing to prove, so why be uncomfortable?!
But we have a time constraint. My dad wanted my help to bring the boat north, and I wanted to do it. We really enjoy sailing together, and this was the only week I had available all spring, so here we are. With the winter in mind, our plan is a very conservative one. Another weak cold front was expected sometime tonight into Sunday, and we figured we could get about 300 miles on the southerly winds before it passed us. This time of year is not the time of year to gamble that the front will remain weak - we are assuming the opposite.
So we're on a course for Fernandina Beach in northern Florida, and should make it there in the next 8 hours. At which point we will reevaluate the weather and discuss continuing on up the coast, or playing it safe and riding up the ICW until a better weather pattern emerges. Ironically, due to the curvature of the US east coast, Fernandina Beach is only 100 miles closer to Annapolis than Marsh Harbor was! But well be back on home turf, and it will give us options.
Until Next Time, Andy & The Sojourner Crew