Mike and Bill’s Great Adventure
Day 1 – Thursday 5/13
This was our first experience making a long offshore run (~950NM) far from land. We started in Stuart, FL and worked our way to Ft. Peirce in the intra-coastal waterway to spend the night at Pelican Marina.
Day 2 – Friday 5/14
At 5:30 a.m. we prepared to depart as to position ourselves off the coast of Cape Canaveral for the last launch of Shuttle Atlantis at 2:30 pm. The launch went off right on time and we had a great view of it.
After watching the launch, we headed in a directly out to the gulf stream and then Cape Hatteras. We had never tried this long of a trip with two people and Mike suggested we try 4 hours shifts which worked really well. We were almost run over by a frieghter at 11:00 p.m. Came with 100-200′ of hitting us! No problem staying awake for the rest of my shift.
Day 3 – Saturday 5/15
Apparently right in the center of the gulf steam. Water temp is 80 and we are cruising at 9.3 to 10 knots. Saw a whale, caught a nice Mahi and had a bird visit us in the pilothouse within 30 minutes!
Day 4 – Sunday 5/16
Approaching Beaufort, NC. Based on weather, have decided to go around Cape Hatteras. We have reached speeds as high as 11.5 knots so the gulf stream current is up to 4.5 kts.
Day 5 – Monday 5/17
Successfully rounded the Cape. Getting beat-up by unexpected east wind as we skirt the outer banks of NC
Day 6 – Tuesday 5/18
Heavy rain as we enter the mouth of the Chesapeake. the “Virginia Pilot” helps us through the traffic circle in limited visibility. No more night time travel w/o AIS and Infrared capability. Too dangerous. North winds steady at 21 in morning increasing to 27G32 in afternoon forces a stop in Solomons to visit Scotty and drink some beer. Waves were building to 4-6′ head seas with very short period.
Day 7 – Wednesday 5/19
Chesapeake is like a pond, barely a ripple as we cruise our final leg into Annapolis and off to O’Briens for some R&R