It was still cold, so we all had our foul weather gear on to keep warm. Glenn and Jason settle into the helm to take us out of the Bay.
Glenn giving us a final run-through of the instruments on MIRA.
Glenn and Jason on the clear, crisp morning of our departure for Antigua. The official rally destination was Tortola, in the BVI, but MIRA was headed to Antigua, a little further SE, as Pam and Glenn had just spent time in the Virgin Islands.
Glenn and Jason make adjustments to the genoa headsail while under way the first day. We were to sail south, close in along the coast to get around Cape Hatteras and stay out of the opposing Gulf Stream and bad conditions offshore. Nasty weather awaited us.
Pam and I volunteered to be 'net controllers' for the boats that had SSB (Single Side Band radios). We would start the radio roll call and document the boats' positions and make sure all was well, twice a day at a scheduled time and frequency. This only lasted for a few days and then the boats were too far scattered to make radio contact, so we only did it a few times. MIRA had a good radio setup and had to act as relay for boats that couldn't hear others. Good to know your radio works so well when at sea! And this was Pam's first time using the SSB. She did great.
We couldn't believe the rally would send 20+ boats out into this kind of weather! A third of the boats turned back or diverted with sick crew and/or damages in the first few days. Some rally participants were new to sailing and passage-making, so I can only imagine what was going on in their minds in these conditions. Not good thoughts, I can assure you.
MIRA's route is the light yellow track below. MIRA is the boat furthest east. You can see when the rally folks advised boats the day before to divert to Bermuda or the Turks and Caicos if they couldn't make landfall before the storm strenghtened. Boats went every which way. MIRA kept heading slowly east, hoping the storm would pass below us before we got there.
How the boats all finished their passages.
This was the storm track we were all trying to avoid.
Here Pam and Glenn are tethered in with their lifejackets at the helm as we got bounced around on the open ocean. Dishes were banging around in the cupboards, and we could hear the silverware tray sloshing its contents in its drawer. I opened a cupboard to try to rearrange the dishes to stop clashing. The boat lurched and the plates and bowls tumbled on top of me as I was thrown onto the stairs butt first. One shattered Corell bowl and a bruise, but the dishes were rearranged to hold better after that. I did have to dig a shard of glass out of Pam's foot a day or so later, but it healed just fine.
Glen barbecuing the mahi mahi; of course it was delicious!
It doesn't get much better than this. Except we were motoring, not sailing. Still heading east to avoid adverse winds and weather to the south. We passed Bermuda before we ever turned south.
Pam enjoying her watch at the helm on a nice day.
Those clouds always rolled up into squalls for us. A sudden gust of wind and a change of direction, sometimes with rain. Sneaky clouds.
More squall clouds that created havoc when they overtook us.
The view from our final dockside tie-up at the marina in Falmouth.
Jason found us an apartment available from a local up on a hill overlooking part of the harbor. It was cheaper than a room in Jolly Harbor and we would be close to any action here and available for help if needed. We took our bags off of MIRA, loaded them into the landlady's vehicle (she works for the gov't and would drive them up to the apt after work), said goodbye to Pam and Glenn (temporarily) and headed up the hill out of town to settle into our new home for a few weeks. It had been a great trip!