Mia flew home on July 2, having met the crew for the return leg to Lunenburg. My dad had flown up from Pennsylvania to join us for a sail in another part of the world he’d never been to, in the hopes he’d get to see an iceberg or two (he did). August Sandberg, ISBJORN’s new full-time skipper, flew over from Norway to take Mia’s place as mate on ICEBEAR, get to know ‘the 59 North Experience,’ and spend some time training up with me.
Today is Mia & my 8th wedding anniversary! I never know what to celebrate more - the day we met, on December 28, 2006. Or the day we got married, June 18, 2011. After that first day, the second day seemed inevitable. One week after our wedding we flew back to the USA and prepared ARCTURUS for our first trans-Atlantic passage, leaving Annapolis harbor on July 4 (and forgetting the paper charts!), proceeding north and east to Newport first, then on up this way. We called at Lunenburg for the first time then (the last time I sailed with my mom), where we dropped my parents off and traded them for our friend Clint who joined us for the rest of the journey, continuing on to St. Pierre, our last stop before Ireland.
On deck she’s a bucking bronco. I was getting frustrated yesterday afternoon for our sluggish progress - it felt like we should have been able to easily make 7-8 knots in this breeze, even despite our horrible headsail (more on that in a sec). But all along we’d only make 6-6.5, and the boat would slam hard in the troughs of the bigger waves. So yesterday before dinner I tweaked a few settings, took the helm and ICEBEAR took flight.
Thus far we’ve covered 687 miles in a flash. The run up the Gulf Stream from Key West was fast and smooth, the wind from the southeast and never more than 12 knots, allowing us to lay our course around the Keys and never once kicking up that gnarly Gulf Stream sea. The current boosted us past 10 knots SOG and we rounded the turn north of the Bahamas in just a little over 24 hours.