Land Ho!

Tuesday June 9th, 2015. 06.00

Less than ten miles to Town Cut now and St George's harbor. It's the first real calm morning we've had the entire trip, or at least since turning the corner off Hatteras and aiming for Bermuda. We're unfortunately motor boating this last home stretch. There is a boat behind us under spinnaker, part of the Bermuda 1-2 Race. He's putting us to shame, and he's sailing solo!

Yesterday the wind began to ease in the late afternoon. We hoisted our own spinnaker, yet another 'simulation' that went off without a hitch. The wind was a bit too strong and a bit too far forward to really sail it. We took turns at the helm practicing steering the chute in the bigger swell. We caught a couple surfing waves and managed a few runs over 10 knots, loading up the helm quite a bit in the process.

Landfall came before the dawn today, with the first few lights warning of Bermudas treacherous reefs visible beneath the half moon. I came on watch just before dawn, as the first signs of light appeared in the east. I phoned Bermuda Radio on the VHF about ten miles north if the reef to announce our arrival. Astoundingly, we'd already started hearing them speaking to other boats yesterday morning, over 120 miles from the island. That's one strong radio!

Speaking with the staff there on arrival is one if the unique pleasures of making landfall in Bermuda. They're super friendly and helpful, yet ultimate professionals. You get the sense that they enjoy their jobs unlike some other government officials. The traffic in and around a Bermuda is unique, age they've got a big responsibility protecting the fragile reefs from wayward sea captains.

We should enter the harbor in another 90 minutes or so. Unfortunately due to our schedule and our little detour at the beginning of the passage, we won't have much time to linger here. We plan to depart already on Thursday, and right now the forecast looks perfect (fingers crossed). It's only about 685 miles back to NYC, yet we've sailed now 837 miles to get here! So this will be the last post until we head back to sea in a few days. Until next time...