Friday, November 22, 2013

Black Blobs; Week 2 of Hampton-BVI Passage

A week into our passage, we were south of Bermuda and happily committed to the BVI.  We still had over 450 miles to go.  The threatening front (which now looks like what spawned TS Melissa) was looming and our weather forecaster advised that we needed to be south of 28 degrees north by Tuesday pm and definitely south of 26 north by Wednesday at sunrise.  Well, we had accomplished the 28 degrees and felt good about that - but 26 degrees -  would take lots of active sailing and energy.


While Katie and I were on watch sometime after midnight on Monday pm, we would watch a black blob of a cloud slowly creep closer and closer to us until it enveloped us.  The weather patterns that were converging in the Atlantic were creating nasty squally conditions.  By time Baxter and Luis came up for their watch shifts, we were surrounded by lightning and we even saw two water spouts fairly close.  We quickly cranked the engine and motored a-w-a-y.  Our direction didn’t matter, we just did not want to deal with electrical issues or holes in the side of the boat by being struck by lightning.  

After looking at our track on the chart plotter, Baxter said he pulled a “Crazy Ivan”.  I called it getting the hell out of dodge.  For the next four days, we had squally conditions every night.  Lots and lots of rain with gusty winds and choppy seas.  Where was the beautiful blue water sailing I had seen on You Tube?  I was starting to wonder if the British Virgin Islands actually existed or if I would be stuck in an endless squall.

As soon as we had a good distance from the black blobs, we continued to chase the latitudes and watched our position change like paint drying. We sailed through 26 degrees, the line of huge cumulus clouds painted a clear picture of where we did not want to be.  The night continued to bring squally weather which were probably spin offs from the front.  By this time, we were used to it and knew the drill.  The storms would have to pass and within 4-5 days, we would be sailing in the Caribbean Sea!

The squalls are making us slightly crazy! 
Notice our position.  We are out of the 30's (29 59' is one mile south of 30 degrees)
Black blobs in the daytime….imagine how they loom in the distance at night.
Squall bearing down on us.

1 comment:

  1. Eeek! Sounds scary and exciting. xxx

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