Next Challenge

Time 1010 local
Lat N 27° 31.4′
Lon W 79° 12.2′
Nautical miles from Fishing Bay, Deltaville, Virginia : 618.2 Nautical miles to Port Everglades Entrance : 97.9

We are just rounding the treacherous shallows of Little Bahamas Bank. The nearest land is tp miles away, well over our horizon, yet just a few miles to our south are reefs less than ten feet deep. I am sure they have claimed more than a few ships trying to cut the corner a bit too close. Rounding this hazard sets up our crossing of the Gulf Stream toward the Florida coast.

Over the past several days the steady winds from the northeast, that have been so good at pushing us here, have built up a significant seaway. Waves of three to five feet are sliding under the boat. That’s not a problem here because those waves are quite widely spread, about eight to ten seconds apart and the boat is riding over them smooth, fast and rather flat. That will change in a few miles. Harmonie, and those waves, all happily moving southwest, will run into the Gulf Stream flowing north at speeds of up to four knots. Those nice, widely spaced waves will quickly pile up on top of each other, becoming closer together, taller and steeper.

The generally accepted advice on crossing the Stream here off the Florida coast is to never do it when the wind is from the north, and especially not if the wind has been blowing for a few days. But…here we are! We’ll have the advantage that we will be going downwind, not trying to bash our way north.

I do not expect anything dangerous to a boat like Harmonie, but I do imagine we’ll get bounced around a good bit for the eight hours or so it take to come out the other side. If things really are too nasty, we can always turn back, and hide in the Bahamas until things lie down.

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1 Response to Next Challenge

  1. Joel Potter says:

    You won’t like it!



    Liked by 1 person

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