I realize I never wrote a final blog post on our Florida-Annapolis passage. The last one was titled 'Hove-to!' So here goes.
After three very tiring days of upwind, close-reaching in 20+ knots of breeze, we finally got a respite. We ended up only spending 6 hours hove-to - by 0300 the next morning, the wind had eased off into the teens and backed enough to the WSW so that we could set sail and ease the sheets. The Hatteras rounding, ironically, was the best sailing and most pleasant part of the trip. Made even better because of the challenging conditions we'd endured up til then!
Then, off the coast of Virginia Beach, the wind shut down entirely. The final 30 hours of the passage were a motorboat ride on a mirror-calm sea, something I'd normally not enjoy so much, but in this case was a nice way to end the rough and tumble passage.
My friend Mark Baummer, a Chesapeake Bay Pilot, was even working that day, and tooted the horn on the big car carrier as he passed us going through the Bay Bridge tunnel. He got some cool photos of us from a perspective you rarely get to see!
I'm writing this form Sweden, where Mia and I just handed over Arcturus to her new owner, Neil Fletcher. We have a ten-day break here after launching, rigging and sailing Arcturus from Vasteras to Stockholm (more to come on that, as it was a GREAT last experience on the boat that launched so many adventures for Mia and I). Isbjorn is back in Annapolis in the boatyard getting even more improvements. By the time we set sail for Lunenburg, we'll have (hopefully) completed the following:
- New hardtop dodger with integrated solar panel installation.
- Watt & Sea hydrogenerator (we'll never have to run the engine offshore again to charge!).
- Two new 'Hydranet' genoas (140% and 110%).
- Stiffened bow sections thanks to new fiberglass stringers currently being glassed into the vee-berth and chain locker, which will greatly improve our windward performance, especially when racing.
- A new feed pump on the Spectra watermaker, which should improve fresh-water output.
- A new mirror-stainless Bomar hatch over the salon table, new drawers and shelving in some lockers, all thanks to our friend Kevin at Mallard Marine.
- New iPad navigation suite.
- ...and more!
It's been great fun continuing the refit on the boat, made possible only by the awesome crew who continue to sail with us and support us! Thanks guys!
See below for a selection of photos from the Florida-Annapolis passage, and stay tuned for the 2018 schedule which will be out this summer!