Back from Bermuda
Had a very good time overall and it was a most useful shakedown for the cruising to follow.
Going down, the big problem was lack of wind for the second half of the passage. We had to motor a lot and when we switched tanks the new tank had a huge amount of water in it which stopped the diesel pretty quickly! We bled and bled and changed Racor elements and engine filters and were not able to get it started. Sailed into St George's and anchored in Powder Hole to clear customs. A really good mechanic from St George's Boatyard quickly got the engine going (water in the high pressure pump) and assured me that no permanent damage had been done. Repair was quick, thorough and not expensive (by any standard, let alone Bermuda). I am wondering if water is getting in through the fuel fill? It is an older unit with a plastic plug and no separate O-ring. Will drain some fuel from the bottom of the tank now and see if there is any water - we were on the same tack for four days coming back and there was water sitting on deck over the fill for much of the time.
Bermuda is still lovely and it was wonderful to get somewhere warm after such a cool spring in the NE United States. It is getting ever more crowded though. The Tall Ships came in while we were there. Pride of Baltimore II was first to arrive and sailed into the harbor under full sail - very impressive. We were docked very close to the bowsprit of the Bounty (not to mention the other parts of the ship!) - neat to come out in the morning and see a fully-rigged ship there.
Coming back was very easy with good winds almost all the way. It took 4 1/2 days we were certainly not pushing it. Had a slow time in the Gulf Stream but this was made up for by getting on the right side of a warm eddy after leaving the stream. Had about 30 knots for about 15 minutes or so, other than that it was in the 10 to 22 range.
I now have about two dozen things to work on. Highlights of the trip - the new Monitor worked great although I need to replace two blocks that do not have wide enough sheave sides to prevent chafing. This was my first offshore experience with a big (to me) boat and having 34000 pounds does make it more comfortable than 10k to 15k (my previous experience). We caught a 6 to 7 pound tuna of some sort shortly after leaving Sandy Hook which was fun. Did not land a much larger fish that left some very impressive tooth marks on a very big lure - on balance a good thing I think.
Will try to post some pictures when I get a chance.