Logan and I are always excited to sail up to a new island unknown to us, but neither one of us have EVER been more excited to see the glow of island lights off in the distance as we were on Sunday night. Bermuda was on the horizon and we were going to make it.
From the moment we cast off the dock lines in Hampton, the conditions we encountered were more intense than expected. The winds blew and blew and blew. The seas built and built and built. We spent about 24 hours trying to get across the Gulf Stream and when we finally did, we were met by a swift moving cold front that threatened to blow up to 50 knots with seas building to 12 feet. What?! Are you serious!? (And maybe a little explicit language…)
When confronted with more than intimidating conditions at sea, your options are pretty simple. Deal with it. We triple reefed our main sail and held on tight. The looming squalls reached us in the middle of the night on Thursday. After it was all over, Stella Blue and her crew had weathered the storm and I had executed the most high stress but controlled jibe of my sailing career. The biggest challenge for us turned out to be our sea sickness. We ate lunch before we left on Tuesday, but then couldn’t keep much down until Saturday morning. Ugh. Good thing Stella Blue seems to love the more than exciting conditions – she took good care of us.
It was a tough trip and many boats in the rally experienced some serious complications – including our friends on Wings. As we were trying to power across the Stream on Wednesday, they lost their fuel pump. This is the time that we decided to divert to Bermuda so that they could get their motor running again before we headed further south. That was the last that we heard from them. We contacted the rally coordinator for information on Thursday to find out that they had now lost their rudder and were waiting for a tow back to the states. I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been for them. We received news that they are safe back on land, but we miss them already and are sending lots of positive thoughts their way.
We feel very lucky to be resting up and relaxing here in Bermuda. This country to beautiful and we were once again welcomed by super friendly people – starting with the nicest customs officer we’ve ever met. Once we pick up some charts for the area, we plan to do a bit of exploring before we head south. We need a few days (maybe a week…) to regroup and dry the boat out a bit. Turns out that there is a lot of water in a 12 foot wave