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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine just started a single handed trip from Massachusetts to Bermuda. I sure hope it works out for him (personal interest too - I hope to join him on a later leg of the trip).

In any case, this being a widely read forum - if anyone happens to be on the route and see his boat - say "hi" (and report here too - he's got no tracking devices on board other than EPIRB, which hopefully he won't need :) ).

His boat is Hallberg Rassy 33 (Monsoon) called Moonwind.
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Clearly no one met him. It's been a week and he still had not arrived. What is the "reasonable" time to reach Bermuda from MA?
I figured 100 nm a day as a rule of thumb but by this measure he should be there in no more than 6 days. I suppose if he's only doing 3 kts, it could be a lot longer - but that sounds a bit too slow, though winds have been very light for the last few days.
 

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if he is single handing it 50 miles a day is decent, figure even at 6 knots a 10 hour day is only 60 miles. so figure 10 to 12 days

edit you think its 600 miles to Bermuda, hell its 500 from mass to maryland by road
 

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is he taking I65 or coastal hopping to NC before heading out. if he is taking the off shore route and has an autopilot then you are right he might do 100 miles a day maybe more. but i still think its more than 600 miles
 

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Telstar 28
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well, the winds may not have been the most favorable for him, and the trip is probably closer to 750 or 800 NM depending on the winds... since as the crow flies going from boston to just NE of the tip of Cape Cod to Bermuda is 676 NM according to my charts. No news is better than bad news... but not as good as good news... Did he have an EPIRB or sat phone with him??
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He's going in a straight line, from around New Bedford - so he better be sailing about 24/7. I don't think stopping for the night anywhere out in the ocean is a very easy task (or even possible, heaving to won't be fun :) )

From where he left I measure 625 nm in a straight line (from the exit light at Buzzards Bay, which is where he called me from on Monday at noon). Winds are definitely appearing light in grib data I have, but not in a bad direction for where he's going. From NE or so - kinda on a close reach.

He does have a EPIRB and a life raft.

I called Bermuda radio and, sure enough, they haven't heard from him. I think it is still within a reasonable time frame for a next day or so, but from then on it will definitely be getting into a "something ain't right" category.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Newport to Bermuda is 635 miles...Mass is probably around 700-750 depending on the departure point.
I hope your friend is not out there tonite.
He very well may be. Whats tonight? The forecast from mailasail.com does not look so bad, but I don't know how good their forecasts are.
 

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moderate?
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Brak...I assumed the strong frontal system which swept the East Coast yesterday would be moving out to sea...but of course, your friend may be out of the danger area. Let's hope for the best. Here is the forecast:

GALE WARNING
.FRONT EXTENDS FROM 40N66W TO 35N73W TO 31N79W. WITHIN 120 NM NW
OF FRONT WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS TO 12 FT. ELSEWHERE WITHIN 180
NM NW AND 90 NM SE OF FRONT WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST FRONT TO EXTEND FROM 36N68W TO 33N74W TO
31N78W. WITHIN 120 NM NW OF FRONT WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 10 TO
19 FT. ELSEWHERE WITHIN 180 NM NW OF FRONT WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS
TO 10 FT.
.48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 31N TO 34N BETWEEN 71W AND 81W AREA OF E
WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 8 TO 16 FT.

Bermuda is approximately 32N and 65W.

EDIT: Just took a closer look at the WeFax charts and it seems to me that the stronger gale winds and seas are being blocked and confined to more coastal areas. Hope so! Please keep us posted if you hear more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Brak...I assumed the strong frontal system which swept the East Coast yesterday would be moving out to sea...but of course, your friend may be out of the danger area. Let's hope for the best. Here is the forecast:

GALE WARNING
.FRONT EXTENDS FROM 40N66W TO 35N73W TO 31N79W. WITHIN 120 NM NW
OF FRONT WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS TO 12 FT. ELSEWHERE WITHIN 180
NM NW AND 90 NM SE OF FRONT WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST FRONT TO EXTEND FROM 36N68W TO 33N74W TO
31N78W. WITHIN 120 NM NW OF FRONT WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 10 TO
19 FT. ELSEWHERE WITHIN 180 NM NW OF FRONT WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS
TO 10 FT.
.48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 31N TO 34N BETWEEN 71W AND 81W AREA OF E
WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 8 TO 16 FT.

Bermuda is approximately 32N and 65W.
I see this one in a GRIB data too, it seems to be somewhat more near shore in particular between NC and Florida, whereas it shows relatively calm winds north-northwest of Bermuda. I sure hope so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Called Bermuda radio again - no contact yet.

They don't seem to care a whole lot. I suppose in any case they aren't going to start any search operations for a vessel that can be almost anywhere from their pov. Well, not much to do but to wait.
 

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If you *average* 6 knots you're looking at 110 hours for Newport to Bermuda. It's easy to drop well below that if he's out there becalmed and just chilling out for a bit rather than motorsailing... I dunno, I haven't bothered checking the weather between in a while but average wind speed here hasn't been over 23 all month. Low-mid teens forecast for the next week so if he's in the area right now he's not going to be thrashed around.

Says your initial post was 6 days ago... if I take that literally that's 144 hours - starting to get a bit long but not unreasonable if he's keeping the engine off.

A little more about his plans would be helpful. Just chill out and sail? Trying to maintain an average speed? Any idea where he's planning to tie up?
 

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Called Bermuda radio again - no contact yet.

They don't seem to care a whole lot. I suppose in any case they aren't going to start any search operations for a vessel that can be almost anywhere from their pov. Well, not much to do but to wait.
It's not unthinkable that he could take as many as eight or nine days if conditions were unfavorable. I have no idea what the off-shore forecast has been for that patch over the past week, but if he ended up having to spend a day hove-to, or beating to windward for a few days, you wouldn't expect to see him in Bermuda for another day or two.

Tanei Aebi took 12 days to go from Sandy Hook, NJ, to Bermuda -- a somewhat longer distance, but in an arguably much faster boat.

My bet is that he's fine, and his biggest concern is that he might be causing his friends and family to worry about him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
It's not unthinkable that he could take as many as eight or nine days if conditions were unfavorable. I have no idea what the off-shore forecast has been for that patch over the past week, but if he ended up having to spend a day hove-to, or beating to windward for a few days, you wouldn't expect to see him in Bermuda for another day or two.

Tanei Aebi took 12 days to go from Sandy Hook, NJ, to Bermuda -- a somewhat longer distance, but in an arguably much faster boat.

My bet is that he's fine, and his biggest concern is that he might be causing his friends and family to worry about him.
I think you may be correct - although the winds were above 35kts when he left, forecast shown that the winds were quite light pretty much the rest of the way - 10-15 kts or less, variable direction (fortunately mostly not on the nose).

He is a kind of a loner (not surprising, considering his choice of transportation method :) ) and I don't think he has any family. In fact, at this point other than people at the boatyard where he left from (Niemiec marine) and myself there isn't anyone directly informed about his plan.

He didn't ask or authorize me to contact anyone either, he is a very self-sufficient fellow, but I figured I'll do it anyway - just in case (I hope he'll forgive me in time :) ) Not to raise alarm, too early for that, but its always worth making information available early rather than late, get people in the loop.

As far as the time goes, I spoke to him at about 8pm on Monday the 11th, he was at the exit from Buzzards Bay at that point. He's supposed to sail directly from there to Bermuda. In Bermuda he would take a short break and weather permitting the next destination is Virgin Islands (likely US). There I was supposed to meet him and we were planning to sail to Curacao - he's got a new job there. So, while the trip was not completely scheduled to the hour, he was somewhat on a "clock" and isn't likely to take any detours.

P.S. I rechecked my call record and it was 8pm on the 11th actually, not sure why I thought otherwise.
 

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"Nevis Nice"
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Seven or eight days isn't unreasonable at all. It took me 4-1/2 days from Hampton, Virginia, which is about the same distance, but we were fully crewed, and the wind was blowing pretty good (well, more than good) pretty much the whole distance. Sailing solo, he's going to be a lot more conservative with how much canvas he has up, especially at night.
 

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When you say he planned to sail "directly there", we can assume he was not sailing coastal hops. He may, however, have planned something other than a straightline run. Did you discuss where he planned to cross the gulf stream? Was he watching it's forecast location? Did he plan to cross at a right angle? That might give a somewhat better idea as to his possible location and the weather he has and is possibly encountering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
When you say he planned to sail "directly there", we can assume he was not sailing coastal hops. He may, however, have planned something other than a straightline run. Did you discuss where he planned to cross the gulf stream? Was he watching it's forecast location? Did he plan to cross at a right angle? That might give a somewhat better idea as to his possible location and the weather he has and is possibly encountering.
He planned quite literally a straight rhumb line run unless he decided to do something else on the way. I know he was watching the forecast, winds were relatively calm all week.
 

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Depending on the winds, going straight there may not be wise, as trying to cross the Gulf Stream current with a northerly wind can be very treacherous.
 
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