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rockDAWG 04-25-2011 10:22 AM

Chesapeake to Bermuda - share your wisdom
Hello Captains,

I am back for another year of armchair sailing on Sailnet :D

I will be crewing in a Bristol SV to Bermuda the end of May. This is a round trip voyage. For those who have experience making this trip, please share with us your do's and don'ts particular in picking the weather window, route, strategy to making a smooth safe passage. If you have links regarding the thought process of making such trip, please post them.

I beleive that we have a safe vessel and many backup system to ensure crew safety.


zz4gta 04-25-2011 11:17 AM

I brought a boat back to annapolis from Bermuda last year. Nothing too exciting, there was a front behind us and a low pressure system ahead of us moving up the east coast. We nipped the southern end of the Low in the Gulf stream. Just make sure you aim low when crossing the stream, it will push you a good bit.

Bring baby wipes and plenty of smokes if you smoke.

tempest 04-25-2011 01:29 PM

Hey RockDawg,

It definitely can be an adventure!!

I know you will get lot's of great advice here. You'll probably be able to fill a book.

We attended the Annapolis Safety at Sea seminar before my trip, and received a lot of great tips. It has taken place already for 2011.

I'll list a few items that I think are important:

SSB radio and weather fax...or equivalent.
Jennifer Clark does weather routing you might check her website and see if it's worth having her do a plan for you.
I think Herb is still broadcasting...check in with him to get up to date information
Pay attention to your progress while in the want to avoid going sideways in the wrong direction

Jenifer Clark's Gulfstream

South Bound II VAX498 - Ship routing and weather forecasting

For comfort:

Keep spare clothes in waterproof package
Have plenty of quick and easy energy foods and easy to prepare meals available in case you hit some bad weather..keep dry foods dry! ( watertight)
Have a big thermos so you can make coffee, soup etc and keep them hot for night watches.

For safety:

Jack lines..( flat webbing), harnesses etc..I'm sure you know this.
Pain meds,
Good first aid kit,
strong Lee cloths or lee boards
A way to secure the companion hatch boards from flying out
A way to secure bilge boards from popping out. ( hooks and bungy cords)
MOB pole
Strobes and whistles at minimum attached to life jackets..
Storm sails...Storm jib, and maybe a storm tri....deploy them early if needed
Make sure the bow anchor is very secure.

I don't like glass bottles on sea!

For Fun! Bring a fishing rod..
Stop the boat and take a swim..if the weather is good!

I'm sure I missed a bunch..

Minnewaska 04-25-2011 01:49 PM

Unless you feel very comfortable with offshore weather planning, I would pay for the service from a pro. Even having the experience of the passage itself, doesn't mean the next trip will be anything like it.

rockDAWG 04-26-2011 11:30 AM

Great info Captains. We may opt for the weather planning route since it is not too expensive. It is will be nice to see the pro how to use weather info to deduct their plan.

Thanks Tempest, great help as always, very useful links. Beers on me one of these days either on land or in the middle of the pond. :D

tempest 04-26-2011 06:28 PM

Dawg, No problemo...Hopefully you have a better skipper this trip!

On the meds, my dentist hooked me up with an antibiotic..I didn't need it..but it was good insurance, same with the pain meds..

You never know what could happen out there.

I also had some suture materials, butterfly bandages...and some betedine.
Thankfully I didn't need any off them. We had one guy get seasick for 4 days...that was a pain..we had no solution for that.. I have since found motion-eze to be somewhat effective on others who feel a little motion sickness.

You might up the thermos' to for hot food, I have a wide mouth thermos for soup..stews..and one for coffee. Lots of energy bars fresh fruit ( for as long as it lasts ) make some sandwiches or something for the night watch in advance. Going below at night to rattle around the galley can be an annoyance to crew on the off watch trying to sleep.....keep eating...if you hit weather, you'll need the strength.

Have a safe, fun trip!

paulk 04-26-2011 08:40 PM

Crossing the Gulf Stream is different each time. I've had smooth swells and 12 knots of breeze on one trip, and two waterspouts in sight at the same time on another, with lightning squalls. The last time, we waited about a day, double reefed at about 3 knots, for a nasty 500 mile front to pass. (Two other tough guys that punched through got damaged crew members heliported back to Bermuda). Besides excellent weather data from the Bermuda National Weather Service, we had good information from a volunteer radio weather router, who seemed to know what he was talking about and had about 25 boats in various parts of the Atlantic checking in each day. The best advice is to be ready for anything but snow: it's the Gulf Stream.

sailordave 04-26-2011 09:52 PM

[quote=Tempest;723901]Make sure the bow anchor is very secure.

I don't like glass bottles on sea!


Don't leave the anchor on the bow. As soon as you depart Bermuda put it down below. No place to anchor between here and there! All that weight WILL affect your performance.
No glass is a good idea.

I would take some Gatorade in case you need electrolytes from :puke

I would also take some Metamucil powder or similar type stuff! Nothing worse than eating granola and other snack type food for a few days and then not being able to, um, pass it.:p

Here is a link to RUTGERS Satellite imagery. You can look at the Gulf Stream and get an idea how it will affect you. Good news is heading to Bermuda is pretty straight forward; the GS usually hasn't broken off into developed eddys and loops/swirls like when you go to/from Newport.

rockDAWG 05-16-2011 05:33 PM

From NOAA - what does it mean?
"baltimore canyon to hague line s of 1000 fm"

Where and what exactly is Baltimore Canyon, Hague line South and 1000 fm?

Edited: fm = fathom :)

SVAuspicious 05-16-2011 06:39 PM

Baltimore Canyon is a subsea canyon in the continental shelf off the Maryland Atlantic coast.

The Hague Line divides US and Canadian fishing grounds - essentially the boarder between territories.

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