Final Leg, Bahamas to Bermuda
While transiting the Bahamas we choose to sail south and east to exit a fierce northern cold front. The line of clouds and rain mark the border between the northern cold front and southern tropical weather. Sailing out of the horrible northern clime we witness numerous waterspout tornados, rain torrents in the distance and sunny weather to the south. The winds then shift drastically as we enter the southern zone.
Tacking we can now re-aim our course toward Bermuda. Winds fall to light as the cold front is pushed further to the north. As evening falls we can see a huge lightning event in the distant clouds of the frontal boundary.
This has been one of the most interesting and contrasting weather events I have ever witnessed firsthand.
Weather modeling now shows the northerly front being pushed far to the north and fair weather and light breeze for the next week of our passage.
Myself and crew greatly relieved and talk turns to arrival Covid-19 protocol, party’s, beaches, girls and flight back home. I am relieved for Ana Luna who has been a bit bashed around by the weather and sea, and for the crew who have had a rough spell and wonder a bit why they signed up for this ‘adventure’..
Typing on my watch at 1:15 am the moon is half full, full canopy of stars overhead and motor sailing in light breeze and slight seas the magic of adventure yachting has returned.
Seems a bit like a Wizard of Oz episode! The wicked witch is dead.
Sunday sailing is splendid. Light breeze from the stern, seas are rolling, we are in the real ocean now. Progress is slow, our forward speed diminishing the apparent wind we travel on.
Interesting shipping news out here, near Nassau Bahamas we spot over 20 cruise ships, all at anchor and mothballed for the time being.
At sea we spot a submarine on the surface and several giant bulk carriers whose waterlines are painted 30’ above the waterline, these will carry many 10,000 tons of bulk cargo.
Fairweather prevails, this is nice!
Fly asymmetrical forward sail for first time, this goes well and a good team effort, improves boat speed and heading. Doused at sunset as night weather can get windy quickly and doused sail is very exposed to weather and wind issues.
Another midnight wind event, classic! Front moves through and winds go up from nothing to over 30 in no time.
We charge forward at over hull speed, bashing, decks awash through the night.
Morning comes and relative calm, then real calm, then another front, this one full of rain and it pours before we become becalmed once again and motor sail.
So far the entire trip has been the least consistent conditions of any crossing any of us have done, ever! In keeping, daybreak brings lovely conditions with a 150’ wind shift, now to SE..and smooth for a day now. The new consistency is inconsistent with the journey to date.
March 24 and the moon is moving to full, the night illuminated with moonbeams. Magical..
Morning comes with a distant rainbow to our north, I make a wish for the safety of our crew and safe arrival of Ana Luna.
Motor sailing along and along… Get inreach weather forecast which calls for light breeze until after our arrival, so two days more motor sailing in light winds and slight seas.
Need to pour reserve diesel into tankage, fun on the high seas.. We have used more diesel and motored more than in all my previous crossings combined (8 crossings / 10,000 miles)
Stunning morning, now 240 nm out. Mating pairs of longtail swallows, Bermuda’s national bird, circle above chirping greetings. Getting closer, should arrive in two days.
Surprisingly, a barn swallow seeks shelter, strange how he got here as we are over 600 miles from any land. He flys into the salon, then out, then in, then lands on deck etc. Thinking he is exhausted and needs shelter I grab him and place in overturned veggies basket with a container of water and one of ‘food/saltines’. Hope he can rest and recover, will set him free in St Georges harbour.
Crew getting anxious to land, who can blame them, our journey is now in its 11 th day…
We motorsail on my watch in the early morning, moon setting, sky full of stars and planets.
On track to pass over the outer banks, hope we catch a fish or two. Since catching two right off the bat in mexico all we have hooked is sargasso weed & not just a little of it!
Type it and it is true,…Flying fish on deck to welcome the daybreak, amazing sea creatures who we see by the thousands. They see us and fly away by day but can’t see by night and end up on deck, or even hitting crew on their watches.
Now on final approach, Bermuda 30 nm away, full moon hides her powerful lighthouses.
Winds have been light for some time, unusual for March in NW Atlantic; unusual weather keeping with our theme!
Crew in good fetter, spruced up cabins and polished off the last of Debbie’s curry meal, her pre cooking greatly appreciated as is the new fridge/freezer. Laundry service the next of her charms! Love and miss her, my wife Debbie & the power and wisdom she brings to our family and Ana Luna team. It will be great to be back to her home turf in a few hours.
Radio from 32 miles off shore to Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre to announce our arrival and inquire regarding Covid-19 testing protocol. Speaking to them provides great comfort knowing that they would be in charge of organizing our rescue at any time we needed assistance. Marops is way head and shoulders above any port authority we have had contact with in terms of communicative professionalism. Kudos to their team.
Sun is coming up, will enter this blog again once we get settled back in Bermuda.
Best regards to all our friends reading this entry.
Nathan, captain s/v Ana Luna