Les and Jim arrived late Monday night, the two crew that will help bring Sojourner north and back to Annapolis. We're in Marsh Harbor now, waiting out a strong cold front that is predicted to bring gale force winds off the coast of Hatteras by Saturday. The plan is to depart late tomorrow night - we're going to have a frontal passage at sea, but the longer we wait, the further south we'll be, and the weaker the front. Still, it's predicted to blow 20-25 from the SSW ahead of the font (with probably thunderstorms and squalls), and then 20-25 from the NNE behind the front. So it'll be an uncomfortable 24 hours or so, but if we time it right, it won't be nearly as bad as it'd be if we were further north.
Yesterday, before the guys got here, my dad and I took the ferry over to Hope Town. It's known for the old 1800's lighthouse with red and white stripes, that still burns a kerosine light to this day. Retired Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa lives there when he's not in DC. Tom sailed with me on both legs of the Serenity passage from BVI-Tortola and back in February, and I've gotten to become pretty good friends with him. We originally met through Matt Rutherford during Matt's Around the America's voyage.
Tom invited us over for lunch, and to show me his new Seaward 26, which my first mate Jake helped him sail over from Stuart Florida after the Serenity passage. Tom's place is incredible, with sea views over both the Atlantic and Sea of Abaco. His wife Ruth made us fresh mani sandwiches, which we ate on the dock by the new boat, and then Tom & I recorded a podcast on his other deck overlooking the Atlantic. It's easily the nicest setting I've ever done an interview in! Suffice it to say that Tom's stories were remarkable. He spent 40 years in politics, 30 of those in the Senate, though we didn't discuss politics. Mainly we discussed sailing, and he's got quite a history as a sailor too.
Now this morning, Les, Jim, my dad and I have gotten the boat read, ate some hurricane eggs on the galley stove, and are about to go grocery shopping to buy provisions for the trip. We'll leave the dock this afternoon and head on up through Whale Cay Passage and stage somewhere near Green Turtle Cay, hang out on anchor, do some snorkeling and get our sea legs for departure offshore tomorrow afternoon sometime. I'll try and write a few updates once we get offshore, and at the very least, Mia will keep track of our position. Stay tuned!