Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting ready to leave, focus on weather

I am going to send you a series of emails that describe the trip, as though
they are in real time.

In fact, shortly after leaving, someone who shall remain Martin, dropped the
satellite phone and it ceased functioning. We have a spare, and tried to
transfer service, but it appears that Globalstar was not able to accomplish
the transfer. We will try to get it fixed on shore.

I swear that I am geeting more grey not from the sunlight, but from the
stress of having to decide when to leave.

Monday morning and channels 16 and 27 are abuzz with talk of whether it is
safe to leave Bermuda for points south. I am not listening, because much
like the Internet, you don't know the experience of those voicing their
opinioins, and I seem to have information from the source.

We have been experiencing very strong winds in the harbor, along with some
pretty heavy rainfall. We put out an extra anchor to help us stay in the wet
part of the harbor.

There is a VERY strong front predicted for north of Bermuda, and the
southern end of the hurricane force storm (at its very small center, it is
hurricane force) Bermuda and some 100 miles south of it will be raked by
gale force winds. The good news is that the gale force winds will be blowing
from the NW, so are favorable for progress south. The bad news is that they
are gale force.

The official answer to the crew is that we are not going until after the
second front, but we are preparing as though we are leaving Monday.

After a confab with Peter, who I befriended when I brought him and his crew
Dark and Stormys (Ginger beer and Goslings Bermudan dark rum) on their
arrival. Peter turns out to be a professional charter operator, and has done
many passages. Peter says that he would not do it, but that it is a tough
call. Peter also tells me that I am reading the situation well, and have
sythesized the data correclty: I am balancing discomfort and somewhat higher
risk against schedule.

After thinking long and hard I decide to go. The crew is up for the
discomfort, and knows the first few days will be strong winds and seas and
rainy, but Mike and jack may have to back out if we don't go on Thursday,
and there is no guarentee that we won't have another front predicted then.

And we are off.