Since I emailed in this morning, we've received the WX update I was looking for from WRI, and it basically confirmed my analysis of the GRIB forecast I got earlier. They sent a fantastically detailed outlook, which I won't include here, but their conclusion was basically what I'd hoped for earlier. Just makes me feel better having a real weather professional backing us up! WRI said:
"Conclusion: To maximize a Gulfstream assist, recommend RL - 31-33N/79-00W, RL -
33-58N/75-23W, direct- Cape Hatteras, direct - Annapolis. This will also keep
you in close reach-close hauled winds into this evening, becoming more
beam-broad reaching tomorrow morning. Excessive winds are not likely, and will
be mostly moderate. By late tomorrow night into the 24th, winds will be more
broad reaching to running, relatively light SE of the NC coast line. Eventually
more broad to beam reaching winds are likely in the s'rn Chesapeake."
Sounds not too bad to me! Since we decided to go direct, we've been able to ease the sails a touch and are now close-reaching in about 18-20 knots from the NNW, blasting along at 8 knots. The foredeck is wet, but except for the rare splash, the cockpit it dry! The air has cooled off and the humidity from FLA has left us. All is well aboard Isbjorn!
Track us on 59-north.com/tracking. We expect to arrive at Hatteras sometime early Tuesday morning.