December 12th Newsletter: Varuna Arrives in Bermuda and Off to St. Thomas

This passage to Bermuda was unlike any other in that there was no weather window for crossing the Gulf Stream in the usual Montauk to Bermuda route with winds less than 30 knots.  Given that the winds in the Gulf Stream region are generally 10 to 15 knots more than the surrounding winds this meant a no go.

Passing through New York City

The only good option we could find was to go through New York City, follow the coast line down New Jersey, and then slowly begin to peel off to a Gulf Stream crossing east of Norfolk which showed much lighter winds on Friday, in the range of 10 to 15 knots.  And so we were off.  

By Wednesday evening we had passed through NYC, picked up our last joining crew at South Street Seaport, Rob U, and were heading out.  That evening the temperatures were downright frigid as we worked our way down the Jersey Coast, facing increasing winds that built to well over 20 knots.  Skies were partly sunny at first, but soon clouds closed in and were with us for basically the entire trip. We even had a few sprinkles of frozen rain.

Experiencing a few sprinkles of frozen rain
Dan M. taking a turn at the helm

By early the next afternoon we began to turn to the east as we headed for our targeted Gulf Stream crossing point which we needed to be at by Friday morning.  Friday morning was a beautiful day at the start with bright blue skies and the forecasted 10 to 15 knot winds.  The Gulf Stream crossing could not have been more pleasant. 

Kiefer D. and Andrei B. enjoying the clear skies

By the afternoon clouds had filled in again and by the evening we saw flashes of lightning from the approaching cold front to our north. By 9 pm the rain started with lightning all around.  Up to about 2:30 in the morning it was torrential at times. The only good thing was that the temps were now in the 50s.  

The cloudy weather with on and off rain and progressively cooler temps continued Saturday into Sunday as the winds built to the 25-30 knot range with gusts up to 37.  Our little storm jib was up the entire time and pulled like a champ. For most of the evenings when the winds were over 30 knots we were sailing with a triple reef main and the storm jib which was and always is a great combo.

Even though the conditions were not great, Martin cooked most evenings. The chicken breasts, brown rice and broccoli was our Sunday dinner!

Andrei B.
Sunday’s dinner of chicken breasts, brown rice and broccoli
Jan H., Kiefer D. and Dan M. 
Land ho!

By Sunday we began to see breaks in the clouds and a bit of blue sky. Conditions moderated somewhat but the winds turned to the northeast and then the east so we were pretty much hard on the wind from Sunday night till we arrived in Bermuda on Monday afternoon.

Getting into Bermuda was wonderful as always and the arriving and departing crew enjoyed a lovely meal together on the St George Harbor.


In the running!

Join us for the last Frostbiting Race Sunday December 15th. Don’t forget about our New Year’s Race on January 1st 2020!  Rigging starts at noon with the first start at 12:30. The final race will start by 2 pm. 

As before, members can race for free as crew.  Non-members or Captains pay $20.   Only members can Captain an Ensign.  Kids race for free.  All crew who are not family members need to fill out a registration form and pay the $20 per person fee. 

One design racing is the best way to refine your sailing skills, and learn what makes a boat fast.  We guarantee you will become a better sailor, and of course, the thrill and excitement of racing is great fun.  We look forward to seeing you out there.  Please use our MeetUp page to sign up for racing and check for cancellations;

Sound Sailing Center MeetUp Page