Much faster

Time 12APR2019, 12:15 local
Latitude N 29° 16.7’
Longitude W 80° 01.7’
Weather: SE, 16, gusting 18. Scattered clouds
Course: 004°M
Speed: 10.1 knots
Water temperature: 81.5°F
Nautical miles from Port Everglades: 190nm
Nautical miles to Charleston Seabuoy: 203nm

After 24 hours we find ourselves halfway along a trip that was supposed the take 3 1/2 days. How so?

It has been our experience that the models always and consistently underestimate the speed of the Gulf Stream. The forecast was for a favorable current of 3.0 knots. Instead it has been steady at 4.1 knots and frequently surging for extended times as fast as 4.5. Combine that with a wind that has run 6 to 8 knots stronger than forecast for the last 10 to 12 hours, and we find we are making excellent time. To keep to our schedule I am running the boat as slow as comfortable in the steep confused seas that are normal in the Gulf Stream, but still we are way ahead of expectations.

Ordinarily that would be a good thing, after all when sailing “fast is fun.” Unfortunately, Charleston is not a city blessed with a large number of good anchorages, and what few marina slips they do have are full for “Charleston Race Week.”

Our plans had been to grab a dock downtown to make exploring easy. Right now it looks like we might arrive two days before our slip will be available! A bit of improvising will be in order.

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