Paul Exner writes to the crew of Isbjorn to debrief the successful passage south in the Caribbean 1500.
We say this until we’re red in the face, but a passage south from the US East Coast can be brutal. The weather challenges in the fall – with late season hurricanes and early season winter gales – are mighty, and choosing a weather window is a mix of both skill and luck. You’ve got to know what to look for to make a break for it crossing the Gulf Stream. Beyond three or four days though, the forecast accuracy breaks down and it’s somewhat of a crapshoot.
Isbjorn is firmly in the Gulf Stream now, making good headway in the middle of the fleet. While I've not heard directly from the boat, I'm guessing (and hoping) that Paul and the crew were patient enough during last night's calm spell to wait out the wind and not turn the motor on. Yesterday they were at the front of the pack that started early Wednesday morning, but today they've drifted back towards the middle, probably because everyone else motored through the calm.
Isbjorn, to my chagrin, was the first boat to report a ‘casualty’, so to speak. Shortly after leaving the marina, Tom cut his finger badly enough to require stitches. They made a slight detour into Little Creek where Tom was treated. He was back aboard and Isbjorn headed offshore by 0600 this morning, so in the end it was a minor injury and a short delay.
On Thursday, November 5, the Caribbean 1500 program will feature a private screening of 'Around the World with Jean du Sud' at the Commodore Theatre in Portsmouth, by sailor, filmmaker and inventor Yves Gelinas. Yves is a guest of the rally this year, preparing to sail his famous Alberg 30 south to Martinique, and will be on-hand tomorrow to introduce his film and do a live Q&A with the rally participants afterwards, a rare and truly exciting opportunity. The article below was written by Yves and republished with permission from his website, capehorn.com.
A fall passage to the Caribbean from the northeast US is undoubtedly one of the more challenges offshore undertakings, both once at sea and indeed during the preparation stages. Here at the Caribbean 1500 headquarters in Portsmouth, VA, we write about the weather every year – about how difficult it is to find a weather window this time of year, as we’re squeezed between the winter gale season and the end of tropical cyclone season.